Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homeschool Mother's Weekly Wrap-Up Journal: Busy Bees

In My Life This Week ...
I have had way too many late nights this week. I definitely need to get more rest. I tackled piles and piles of paperwork yet I still have so much more to go through this week. I have a horrible habit of writing numerous notes down on paper. My handwriting is illegible so to anyone else these piles look like garbage. I am often surprised by Alyssa's handwriting. Thankfully, she didn't learn my bad habits. I am also a pack rat so I find it hard to trash those notes or ideas. I so need a new way to organize my thoughts.

We received the scanned cabinet plans for the house. I wanted to share them on the blog, but I can't get it to work. The plans look neat! I can't wait until I can see them in person. I hope that he remembers the small details we discussed. The outside of our home is finished. They have been working on connecting AC units, lights, plumbing, and more. My husband says that they will put walls up soon and stain the concrete. I have to make a trip to the house soon so that I can write scripture on the framing before the walls are put up. 

I wrote a post about the Subjects I Love to Teach. I love homeschooling and enjoy teaching several subjects. I bet you can't guess which one(s) I love most of all. I won't post a photo because that would give it away. What is your favorite subject to teach? What is your least favorite subject to teach? Why?

I have also been a busy bee working on skeleton outlines for all of my upcoming reviews. I will be very busy, but I am extremely thrilled about each and every review opportunity we have been blessed with this year. The products we have been given to review are awesome! I recently posted my Song School Spanish review if you are interested in reading my thoughts. I tend to be overly thorough and love photographs. I do use titles in my reviews to make it easier for my readers to find the information they need. Check it out if you get a chance and please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!
Singing Songs from the Song School Spanish CD While Performing
In Our Homeschool This Week ...
On Tuesday, we found out that we will definitely receive the revised edition of Math-U-See Beta as a review product. We can't wait until its arrival date! Alyssa has been waiting to begin her new level since Christmas. We were going to purchase the next level, but we prayed about the situation and God provided. 

Okay, so when I first started typing the rough draft of this post we did not actually have the curriculum in our hands. The package arrived YESTERDAY. My daughter tore open the package and played with the two sets of blocks they sent us. The company was very generous - I couldn't believe it. We are reviewing the curriculum in beta format. I hope that I can take the evening off tonight from homeschooling and blog posting, but this is such a temptation. I have a feeling I will read through parts of the teacher manual in order to prep myself for tomorrow's lessons. We should have everything organized in her workboxes in the morning. I pray that this curriculum level challenges my daughter.

Our new homeschool schedule is still working beautifully. However, I will need to make adjustments with the arrival of Math U See. I will slowly begin this level in order to figure out the perfect pace for my daughter.

Alyssa has been diligently working through her A+ Tutorsoft First Grade Math curriculum. She started chapter 5 yesterday.  Her scores haven been superb! The grade level we are currently reviewing and lessons completed so far have been a review for my daughter. We'll be addressing new concepts soon! 

She has been learning about several famous artists and their works using Artistic Pursuits (Book 2). She started working on an important painting. I so want to share photos, but I really need to save them for the review. She says it is "top secret."

We did a little car schooling again this week. Most of the First Grade Essentials in Writing lessons have been a review for her so far but I have a feeling new material is coming soon. She did learn about "subjects" yesterday. We discussed this term a long time ago, but I haven't revisited it in months. I can't wait to see how she reacts the next couple weeks to the brand new concepts using this curriculum method. 

The biggest event that happened this week was that the downloads for Adventus: Children's Music Journey arrived in my inbox. Alyssa was asking me to check on the hour praying that she would have access. She enjoyed the video demo about the program and it was just enough to spark her curiosity. She is having a blast with this curriculum - What a blessing!

Helpful Homeschool Tips or Advice to Share ...
Do you keep educational or interesting books on a shelf in the bathroom? I tried something new this month and it has worked like a charm. I placed grammar and vocabulary cartoon books on a shelf by the toilet. I wanted to put relevant reading materials within reach. Alyssa called out to me asking if I knew what the word "aloof" meant. Then, she explained the definition while laughing up a storm. She thought the cartoons in the book were funny. Problem: She won't get off the potty now. She thinks that the books are interesting and she says she is learning a lot. I wish I could find the elementary version so that my daughter was reading more age-appropriate material. If I am being honest ... I have learned a few new words and grammatical rules myself this week. The books were purchased months ago at Half Price Bookstore. The price tag on the book facing you says $3.00, but I paid 50 cents to one dollar for each book. I love shopping in the clearance section. My homeschool tip is to keep interesting educational books you want your children to read on bookshelves in places where they are most likely not going to find them. I hope I am making sense - I am trying to keep it classy. May be worth a try ... you never know.  
What's on your bookshelf? 

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing ...

We visited the library so that we could pick up our reserved books and pay a late fee. Alyssa watched a volunteer embroider signatures and dates on a Christmas blanket for 20 minutes. I think she may be interested in a new hobby. However, this is not my cup of tea and I do not know where to begin. 

We listened to dog stories written by participates of the Millionaire's Reading Club. The librarian asked if we wanted to take a peek and see the guide dog. We glanced from around the corner and the group leader called us over to join them. The stories the children wrote were well-organized and creative. We ate at BJ's for dinner that night before spending hours at Lowe's and Home Depot. Luckily, my ever so thoughtful husband used a Starbucks "Buy One Get One Free" coupon to order us some coffee. It was enough caffeine to keep my eye lids open after a night without much sleep.   

We went to Lowe's and Home Depot several times this week (late nights). We were making several decisions with regards to faucets, countertops, carpets, and sinks. The tile employee gave me a few boxes of laminate tiles for crafts. I only paid one dollar. I am sure we will figure out what to do with them soon. Alyssa has been using them to create buildings. She also connects the pieces. Do you have any craft suggestions? The wood laminate tiles come in a variety of colors and sizes (mostly 4x6).

We went to Target and bought her father a Starbucks gift card for Valentine's Day. He doesn't always have time to make coffee before leaving the house. We thought he could at least pick one up on his way to work or on his way home. He LOVES his morning coffee!

Questions and Thoughts I Have ...
When will we move into the new house? My husband doesn't want to give me an exact date yet. He did mention that he would like to be in by his birthday (April). Will I get things organized in time for another move? Probably not - and that's okay. 

My Favorite Thing Was ...
My daughter made me such thoughtful Valentine's Day cards that I will cherish forever. My hubby bought me a Half Price Bookstore gift certificate and my favorite hazelnut chocolates. Alyssa also talked him into buying me a CD that she said I needed. It was a CD that she really wanted. LOL. Thankfully, we all love the musician!

Alyssa's Favorite Thing Was ...
This week Alyssa enjoyed playing her fun Squeebles iPad games and making Valentine's Day cards. We won an educational iPad app giveaway this week. She has been playing with the games every chance she get during her free time. She already mastered several of her times tables and she has been working on double and triple digit addition and subtraction. I haven't create any spelling lists for her yet, but that is at the top of my to do list. I am glad that we won such a wonderful giveaway!
Working on Subtraction Skills
We Are Reading ...
We have been reading a stack of Valentine's Day and President's Day books aloud this week. She read the story Love, Splat written by Rob Scotton for the first time. She adored the book. I found a story element response page at GradeONEderful. I also found a cute craftivity, but I had trouble downloading the template so I didn't want to add it here as a tease. Check out the book trailer below to see if you would be interested in reading this with your child next year.   

Things I'm Working On ...
Lately, it has been mostly reviews and blog posts. I hope to organize more house clutter next week.

I Am Inspired by ...
I am truly inspired by how hard my daughter works. She is very attentive and has inspired me to provide and create even more fun learning opportunities. 

I enjoyed watching her create Valentine's Day cards for the family. Her favorite card to make was for Papa Kenny. She decorated the heart and wrote him a message. Then, she cut the heart up into pieces because he loves puzzles. Her creativity inspires me. She brought him the puzzle Valentine and they worked on it together. I was wondering what they were doing and why they were taking so long. I should have known better.   

I Rewarded My Daughter This Week By ...
We allowing her to watch several of her new movies. We try to limit the amount of time she spends watching television or movies. We do not have television right now. She deserved a break so we let her watch three short movies all at once. We'll be spending time tonight playing games, doing puzzles, and hanging out tonight. They are outside grilling and drawing chalk pictures. The DVD's she received were part of her Valentine's Day gift as seen in the photo below.   

I'm Cooking ...
I was supposed to bake a carrot cake for my friend's birthday party today. She ended up having a high fever and lost her voice. She asked to reschedule her party. How horrible to be sick on your birthday!

I make puppy chow almost every Christmas. I found an awesome Valentine's Day version of the recipe on the blog, Stay At Home Mom. We made it as family. It was horribly good and very fattening! My husband took half of it to the fire station. 

Would you like to see what we ate for meals on Valentine's Day? Check out this post titled, Valentine's Day Menu and Gift Surprises

I made her a heart shaped grilled turkey and cheese sandwich the day after Valentine's Day. I also heated a can of tomato soup and added cheese hearts for a little extra flavor. 
I am drooling now because I can smell dinner cooking outside. My husband is grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, cheese brats, zucchini, and stuffed jalapenos. 

I'm Grateful For ... 
I will always be most grateful for God. I am grateful for His mercy and forgiveness. I confessed my sins to the Lord and prayed asking God for forgiveness this week. I know that He is a forgiving God.

On a completely different note ... I am also grateful for winning the app giveaway at Chareen's blog called Every Bed of Roses. We won three educational apps from for our new mini iPad. 
I am also grateful for winning Solomons's Bunch from Karyn @ Teach Beside Me. We enjoyed watching a new family movie with an important Biblical lesson for all. Thanks you ladies! Your generosity and giveaways have blessed our home this week!

I'm Praying For ... 
I am praying for our friend's health (Pam). I hope that my friend feels better soon and that their travels home are safe.

We're Memorizing ... 

We are keeping our Bible verses close to our hearts this week. We are still attempting to catch up. We start Week 8 verses tomorrow. To see which Bible verses we studied this week, please take a moment to read this post

I Have my Eye On ...

I keep thinking about getting a one-year Zoobooks subscription for Alyssa through Groupon. It would cost us only $10. She loves looking through my magazines and adores animals. This would give her an educational magazine of her own that focuses on a topic she is constantly reading about in books. I am waiting for hubby to approve the expense. It is not a "need" right now so we may wait until next year. Here is my personal referral code if you are interested in joining. I earn $10 in Groupon Bucks if you join through this link and place any order within a certain amount of time. If you are interested in Zoobooks or their other magazine subscriptions, then they are found under the Kids and Family category. If you were thinking about placing an order anyway, please consider using my code. Just thought I would throw it out there for those of you that haven't joined.   

Photo, Link, Video Quote, or Scripture in a Snapshot
I have read many verses this week in search for the perfect scripture verses to write under the sheetrock and on the framing boards of our new home. I saw this idea on either Pinterest or during a Facebook party. 

The following verse (well, part of it) will be used for sure: 

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

Which verses would you recommend? I would absolutely LOVE to hear your suggestions.

I am linking up this post at iHomeschool Network's The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up, and Scripture and a Snapshot.

Note: I am trying to figure out how to make and embed the collage photos into Blogger using PicMonkey so I can hopefully post at Collage Friday.

Click on the links above to go directly to the Link-Ups and click on the buttons below to read the guidelines for participation.

Scripture and Snapshot

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God bless,

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