Friday, May 30, 2008

Hannah's graduation and Katie's Gods of Greece Lapbook

Hello all . Been mighty busy trying to wrap up school here for the year . I thought I'd do a quick update of all our homeschooling adventures this past week .
Hannah graduated from Preschool . She did such a wonderful job and her teachers did a wonderful job putting the graduation ceremony all together . I've added a slide show of all the wonderful pictures that Marilyn took . I was busy with Maggie so Marilyn the photographer took some amazing pictures for me .

We have finished our Detectives in Togas . What a good read . I recommend this book for anyone who has children in grades 3 and up . I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit . Is it one of the great books of literature ? No . But if you want a suspenseful story to read to young children this is it . We enjoyed the fact that each chapter left you wanting to find out what happened next . We also enjoyed the Roman facts that were spread out throughout the book . Marilyn was able to pick up on those things that we've studied this year in Ancient Roman history . Again we highly recommend it for a fun , mysterious book that has a surprise ending !

Our enjoyable science project has been growing tadpoles . Hannah had gotten nine tadpoles from her preschool teacher . So we got out our aquarium and began to 'grow' our tadpoles . We have really enjoyed watching these little 'guys' grow ALOT ! Tim has seemed to grow attatched to them . I think he likes the fact he isn't the only guy in the house right now . He even had gone out and bought the rocks and they were blue , green and grey . I mean really , he said he didn't want to feminize these little critters with girly colors .LOL! Today we have 2 froglets , 3 of them are getting ready soon to go on land and we have 4 still on the verge to get their arms . We're trying to not repeat the Frog Massacre of 2006 when we had a bunch of tadpoles and they all died unfortunatley . Some drowned because I didn't know when to put something in there for them to get to the air , most of them starved to death after they became froglets because I just wasn't getting them the right food and one accidently got squished because it got under a chair after it jumped from Marilyn's hand . So we're definitley trying to stay ahead of the game .

Next on to our lapbooks . The girls really have enjoyed this new past time . Even though they don't realize that they are learning something while doing " arts and crafts" . I can happily say that we have gone through ALOT of glue sticks :>) But its worth it because it all looks great in the end . Katie finished her Gods and Goddesses book . This was quite an undertaking as I wasn't sure what I wanted in it and where we were going to put it in the book . But it really did turn out nice .
So I'll end this blog tonight with the slide show of this as well .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation Day

Spring has sprung and I wish the weather was a bit better today . But its cloudy , cool and I guess I shouldn't complain since we actually had a day last week where we saw snow fall from the sky .
Today is Hannah's graduation from preschool . My baby is growing up . Sniff , sniff . But its a new chapter for Hannah as she will begin her homeschool journey with her two older sisters now . Hannah is actually excited about it . I thought she would be sad . But she isn't . So I am really glad .

Marilyn is beginning to show signs of a hormonal teen and she's only 10 . She and I have been having not so good days lately and I don't like that . She feels if she doesn't like to do something when it pertains to her school work , then by golley she thinks she doesn't have to do it by telling me " I don't want to do it . I don't like it . " Well , to that I say " There are A LOT of things in life we have to do that we don't like to do . "

We've been plugging away getting our Test 100 out this week . I will just be so happy to get this cyberschool stuff done . In all actuality I'm burnt out from this curriculum . It doesn't fit us well at all , its dry and boring and makes me want to sleep half of the time . I know that all learning can't be fun . But man this makes it awful when you use things that don't work well for your children . I've found if we use anything but the Calvert that the girls learn better . Period . So I'm on the fence as to wether we will continue with cyberschooling and just venture out on our own . Of course its still a thought in process. But I'm sure when we finally do move I'll be able to come up with the answer .

On the lapbook front Marilyn has been feverishly working on her Birds in our Backyard lapbook . This will be a gift to her grandpa who love bird watching . This monstrocity of a project will hopefully be done in time for grandpa's birthday in July . We are just about finished with Katie's Gods of Greece . This one took a little while to put together because it was something we did on our own . I had to think really hard as to what I wanted to add to the lapbook each day . But we're nearing to the end . Hannah is working on her Frogs lapbook since we now have a new addition to our home . Nine little tadpoles . Which daddy has so fondly adopted . We enjoy watching them swim around the air hose . Letting it take them up and then they come down and come back around and do it all over again . One would think they were making their own game . They have one little leg growing . So I'm sure pretty soon we'll have to add a log or stick in the fish tank to let them hop up on .
All three of the girls are working on a Lapbook made by a Catholic mom . Its called The Seven Sacraments . Marilyn and Katie are doing really well . I've had to adapt it a bit for Hannah since of course she can't write long sentences and read yet . So we use lots of pictures or I write the info in for her . The girls have been really creative with it and I can't wait to see how it all turns out in the end . Of course I'll post a slide show of it after we are finished .
If anyone is interested in Catholic lapbooks you can go to her website at :
Its a new business and a new website . So she is working feverishly on many requests from families already . Hopefully soon we will be getting the lapbook download for the Prayers . I am most sure we will enjoy working on that as well .

As for Writing Tales we are still working away on it . The girls will be working on their final draft and I will be adding that here soon as well . I always enjoy seeing what they come up with .

To end my post . I thought I would post this link to a funny song called " No Child Left Behind " . It pretty much sums up how I feel about this state testing as well .

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Counting lapbook and getting school done

So sorry not to get a chance to update this week . The batteries to our camera went on the fritz so I had to go get some more . We finished up Hannah's counting Lapbook . It turned out really nice . I got mighty creative this time and used VELCRO ! LOL . I was able to get just about everything for this Lapbook from The Flash cards I had gotten from
This was fun to make as I wanted it to be a learning tool for Hannah as well . Something she could use to practice her number recognition since she's been having issues with this concept along with remembering her colors .
Of course we haven't forgotten about posting our Writing Tales experience . We finished the story of Androcles and I really enjoyed reading the girls' finished stories . It definitely is wonderful to see them be able to take what they have learned from this program and move it over to their own writing ,both personal and for their school work .
Working on getting school done here . Its hard because we'll be moving soon so that's a task in itself and I have another mission as to getting my youngest over to another Children's Hospital for better care ... that's a whole other story that you can see on her webpage

So we've been working very diligently on getting our schoolwork done so we can have some semblence of a summer this year . I don't mind working on things throughout the summer but I don't want to be working through the summer . Its had its ups and downs but since after the birth of my 4th daughter this momma is getting burnt out from the demands of cyberschooling . And we are not enjoying the curriculum very much anymore either. There has been too much of the Calvert curriculum that I've had to replace with this or that and the higher up the level we go the less time I have to replace things to make them work for the girls . So we shall see what our choice will be for the upcoming school year .

As you can see with our Read Alouds we are finished with the Swiss Family Robinson and are moving on to Detectives with Togas which sure looks like its going to be a fun read . Katie was sad to see we were done with Swiss Family Robinson but she's happy to hear this story as well .

I've also been going through things that I am wanting to use with the girls for the upcoming school year . I've decided that we are going to tackle Latin . Latin you say ? Why Latin ? Well about 50% of the English language comes from Latin sometimes directly from Latin but often through French .Many professionals get their terminology from Latin - especially law , science , medicine, music ,philosophy and theology . Plus alot of Latin quotes are in English Literature . If you can master Latin you can also master, Spanish , French , Romanian , Italian , and Portugese .
So I believe if we can start with this the girls can easily grasp other languages the older they get .
I know sounds crazy . One would say why would you want to study a dead langauge ? My question to you is : If 50% of our language comes from this dead langauge isn't it worth studying ?
We will be starting with Prima Latina . There are several things I like about the program . One it is a Christian program . The girls can learn the prayers such as the Our Father , The Sanctus , The Doxology , and The Table Blessing ( Bless us O Lord ) all in Latin . Will it stick ? Will it work with the girls ? I can only hope . Another thing that I like alot about this program is it has a DVD program along with a pronunciation CD . Which is a good thing for me . I have never taken Latin . I like everyone else know those few Latin phrases that most people know . " Veni , Vidi , Vici ( I came , I saw , I conquered ) . Alma Mater ( nurturing mother ), Semper Fidelis ( Always Faithful the Marine Corps motto ) . But I don't know much about the language. Of course I know my Latin roots , aqua ( water ) , vita ( life ) and so on . But to knwo the Latin word for I , he , she , it and so on . Well all I can say is I'm going to learn right along with them . Thank God for DVD programs :>) I also like that I can use this with all three of the girls at different levels . Marilyn make work pretty fast through this , This maybe the perfect level for Katie , and Hannah can tag along and do this program orally if she is interested .

I've looked at other programs but right now we are going to start with this . I am tempted to give Song School Latin a try with Hannah . It looks very interesting and is geared toward K-2nd graders. It includes cute songs to get them to remember the words . I may not have the time to do two programs though so we'll play this all by ear for now .
So now that you've gotten this far here is our Counting lapbook :

Friday, May 9, 2008


So sorry that we haven't updated in a while . We've been so busy with our new projects . We have found lapbooking . What is lapbooking you say ? Well , its being able to put your textbooks and workbooks aside and be creative and still learn at the same time . Its almost like scrapbooking but in an educational sort of way .
I decided to give it a try and made a My Colors lapbook for Hannah . She's had such a difficult time remembering her colors that I thought this would the best way to start . So we started and Hannah and I really enjoyed it , then Marilyn saw us doing it and wanted to create one of her own , then Katie decided she wanted to make one of her own too ! So I have had three lapbooking going at the same time .
Now I haven't purchased the already made lapbooks . Its taken me some time in the evening and research , which Marilyn did quite a bit on her own . But we've made it work .
The first lapbook is of Hannah's color book . The picture on the front was given to us by Maggie's speech therapist so I'm not sure where she got it from . Then on the inside we found lots of color worksheets from This is where the majority of the worksheet stuff on her lapbook came from, as well as the color flash cards . I also created a color wheel and a flapbook with all of the colors , in which I typed in small type the words of each color and glued them on there as well . The colored squares I got from ABC Teach ( ) . I had to go to the preschool section and click math , then counters . There they had colored markers that I just printed and cut out . This was a very easy lapbook to make.

Then Marilyn's lapbook was a bit more complicated . The subject she chose was Julius Caesar . This one took quite a bit of research . The front picture of the book came from Karen Whimsy's website of hand drawn clip art . We looked at several before she came to a decision on which one she wanted . The bottom strip and the strip on the inside came from PBS's website on Ancient Rome ( ) as well as the small picture on the inside of the map of what the Roman Empire was like during that time . The pictures of the people in Caesar's life was clip art from websites like Wikipedia and a website called Brutus. We sat down and made books of each , Pompey the Great, Mark Antony , Brutus and Marcius Cassus , two of these men made up Caears first Triumvirate ( meaning three mean in Latin ) . Then I printed out the lined paper from for the inside to tell a little about Caesar . I also used to print out our template for the wheel Marilyn made to show some of the other family members in Caesar's dynasty that ruled after him . The template for the book shaped book the match book were also from this site . The little matchbook question and answer books that we have on the inside as well as the timeline was from .
It has taken me all week to get things together and for us to get it done . But it was so worth it and today Marilyn was so proud of her lapbook that she is ready to start another . She is thinking birds this time .
Katie is finishing up hers . Her book is much bigger then Marilyn's so its going to take a bit more creativity . But we're close to getting it done . So all I can say if anyone wants to buy gifts for the girls get us lots of printing paper white , different colors , construction paper , velcro , glue and printer ink ! LOL . No really that would make a great Christmas gift for them .
We also finished up Androcles in Writing Tales and I will be posting pictures of this tomorrow . So with a further a due here are Hannah and Marilyn's first lapbooks .