19 January 2013

Use Your TV for More Than Just Watching Doctor Who

As homeschoolers, we do everything we can to make sure our precious childrens' neurons reach that optimal level of development that will allow them to single-handedly cure cancer (or at least the common cold).  One of those things is usually relegating the TV to a dusty corner of the family room and only letting electricity flood through its creaky circuits in cases of emergency, such as flu infestations or, well, anything that involves a puke bucket, really.

The new smart TVs, however, do more than beam episodes of Caillou directly into your little darling's brain.  The smarter they get, the more we can use them to enhance our homeschooling, and some of the things they can do now are pretty darn cool.

30 November 2012

Our Reading Routine

Our reading program has undergone quite a transformation since we first began teaching Syd to read back when she was three.  (Hey, she asked, I provided.  Don't judge.)  We have a system now that, I think, works pretty well, so I thought I'd share with you how we spend the first part of each day.

The spine of our program is Jolly Phonics.  From what I've seen, it's somewhat similar to AAR, but I think it's more fun for younger children.  We have the complete JP curriculum, and most days go something like this:

27 November 2012

Encouraging Young Writers Who Can't Yet Write


Confusing?  Sorry. ;)  But if you have a preschooler who is constantly exploding with an endless stream of stories, you'll know what I mean.

Around here, we find that a good solution to the problem of having a child who wants to write stories, but can't yet write well enough to get them down on paper, is dictation.  Yes, it's going to take a good deal of your time, but the look on your child's face when he or she gets to see one of her stories written down is worth it.

26 November 2012

Christmas at the Fort

As we all recover from Black Friday (and yes, I did pick up a lovely porcelain-enameled cast iron Dutch oven, thank you for asking) it's also time to start easing our way into a month of Rudolph, Santa, spiced cider, and obnoxious parents willing to take you out if you happen to be standing between them and a display of the new revamped Furbys.

We got our month-long holiday season off to a more gentle start by attending Christmas at the Fort, a short pre-Christmas celebration at the local history museum.

20 November 2012

Looking for an Art Program?

I just wanted to share this great deal the Homeschool Buyers Co-op has going right now.  They're offering the Home Art Studio DVDs for up to half off, and given that they're only around thirty bucks to start with, that's really cheap.

17 November 2012


We went all out for Halloween, like always.  I was the Evil Queen and Sydney was a flower fairy princess.  Behold, and tremble before our awesome costumes:

Okay, so I'm wearing the same thing I wore last year, and Sydney's costume came from Walmart.  But I still think we look pretty cool.

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Once again, we're t-minus less than a week to Thanksgiving, which I only noticed yesterday and then promptly freaked out.  (We're also long overdue for an update around here, but let's just move on... *nervous laugh*)

Thanksgiving around here is less "what do we want to eat" and more "what can we all agree on that won't make any of us violently ill."  The hubby, when he does strap on his big-girl-panties and bravely give it a go, has about a fifty-fifty chance that any poultry he has eaten will leave him moaning and incapacitated in front of and/or on the toilet for several hours.  I have the same reaction to any kind of canned cranberry sauce, though with more of a ninety percent chance that I'll be in there.  And believe me, our bathroom is small.  It's not the sort of place that can handle violent illness x 2.