Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gems from their heads

We've been everyone else...celebrating Thanksgiving and all the lovely things that come along with it. But I'd just like to share these two gems from my sweeties heads:

Iggy: Mom, do you know what kind of coffee a mouse drinks?
Me: No, what?
Iggy: A Capp-u-cheese-o (instead of cappuchino). Mom, I just made that up!!!

Ooky (building in the dirt) Mom, come look at this!
Me: That's neat. What is it?
Ooky: A sculpture of a really neat place...its has a bunch of heads carved into it.
Me: (just about to answer Mount Rushmore)

I have never laughed so hard. These kids are good therapy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another pizza for...

Iggy! He finished his November reading goal for his Book It Read-a-thon, and proudly handed over his free personal pizza coupon to a waitress today. His book list for this past month:

Jar Jar's Mistake by Nancy Krulik
All Kinds of Kids by Christina Mia Gardeski
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
Get the Ball, Slim by Marcia Leonard
I Like Mess by Marcia Leonard
Dig, Zig Pig! by Sam Fonte
Kate and Jake by Janis Asad Raabe
I am Lost by Hans Wilhelm
My Messy Room by Mary Packard
Sharks by Ira Wood


We should also mention here, that Ooky, although not officially "old enough" to participate in the Book It Read-a-thon, has certainly done his share of reading. Just this past week, he read the books "Tip", "Gus" and "Max". He's pretty sure that when he reaches his goal, he's going to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Dairy Queen. I, not aware that he even had goals, said we could probably work something out. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So...what exactly are you looking for?

It is still amazing to me that making the choice to homeschool tumbles you into a world of so many decsions and choices...and mind changing...a totally eye opening experience. Not that I didn't think there would be choices to make...I just didn't realize I would make choices, have new things brought up to me...and make new choices. Almost constantly.

Today, the choice/decision is about what kind of group my kids need to be in, if any. I'm not a big social butterfly, but I realize my kids need to know other kids exist and form some friendships. Since we homeschool, I'm their link to that socialization. If I don't take them somewhere to do that, they're like the fabled homeschooler-locked-in-a-closet who can't relate to anyone. So we found a nice group which exists for the purpose of socialization. We hang out and play. It's groovy. But lately it has occured to me that it would be nice if my boys would reap some of the benefits of being in a group of all-aged children...rather than just running amuk to burn off some energy. As a homeschooler, there are certain things you can't do at home with two kids...or at least not very easily (certain games, projects, etc.) There are also some experiences that just aren't the same at home as they would be in a group. For instance, Iggy told me he likes to do presentations - to get up and talk in front of people. That's great...but I'm not sure that he really means "in front of people" or "in front of mom and dad". And without some sort of non-relative group, I'm not sure we can figure that out.

So then, does that mean we need a co-op? I'm not ready for that. At almost 5 and 6, I think joining a formal co-op would be a little least for us. And a year ago I would have said we would never even consider a co-op. Now, I can at least see the benefits one could the right time, and choosing the right one for my family. I guess that means we're searching for that elusive middle ground of (eek) structure.

Anyway, all of this to say, its amazing to me how things change. A year ago, it was fine for the boys to get together and punk around with everyone else. And I think that's still valuable. I'm not quitting any groups, or anything. I'm just kind of interested in the morph the boys and I have made from wanting nothing more than punking "Mom, maybe when we're with the group...we could do show and tell? Or play kickball? Or do a giant art thing?"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Build, Bowl, Skate

We've been busy here at...whatever our school is called. Thought I'd post a couple pictures of how we've been spending our time.

I read somewhere that boys need to build. Nothing could be more true!
What's cooler than building your own cars to race?

Skating is also pretty cool. Because nothing says "hospital visit" like two boys on wheels.

Bowling is good old-fashioned fun. The operators of the bowling alley love it when the ball launches about five feet before crashing down somewhere in the lane and then bounces its way off the bumpers back and forth ten times. "Honey...roll the ball...don't throw it."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Time to try something new...

Waking up to snow just seemed like a great day to try something new. So we did.

On the recommendation of at least four homeschoolin' friends, we are taking a look at Not as an everyday total curriculum kind of thing, just something different for the kids to do. So today I had the kids doing things in their different accounts. Iggy had a pretty good time, although I think we might need to tweak his educational level. Ooky was bored to death, oddly enough, and we DEFINITELY need to tweak his educational level (which totally freaks me out). But I think it could be a cool thing once we get everything all figured out. I learned a lot by watching them today. Mostly, that Iggy is a total perfectionist but also wants to get through everything, like yesterday. So when he thinks he knows what the computer is going to ask of him, he just goes gung ho. And then when he gets the question wrong, he is a) all confused because he thought he knew what the computer was going to say...and he didn't, and b) he freaks out because he wasn't perfect. These are issues to work on that might make the cost of T4L completely worth it.

The other new thing was putting a little Love and Logic to work, again on the recommendation from a couple friends. I was visiting a friend yesterday and saw her using some of the L&L tactics on her kids and it was lovely. So we did a bit of that today...and it was lovely. From what I've read, the whole thing makes sense to me because its all about the kids learning to be in control of and responsible for themselves...and that all actions have consequences. And for me, its about not getting involved in a lot of things I don't need to. I tend to talk things to death, or get caught up in that senseless banter that goes on (especially when I'm amazed at the things my five year old going on fifteen year old can come up with). This, apparently, doesn't help matters. So I'm on the hunt for some books (which I can't get through my library system, if you can believe that) and looking to do a bit of overhauling with 'da system.

Other than that, more signs, more signs, more signs. Sign language is just "it" if you ask the kids. How many more signs can we learn before Dad gets home from we can talk in code...I think I've created monsters!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are grave rubbings illegal?

Iggy asked this title question because yesterday, we walked to the cemetary just up the road, there were two cops driving around. We did some gravestone rubbings and got into a lovely conversation about disease outbreaks (brought on by the fact there were several really old graves of little kids who died within months of each other). For a good chunk of the time, these two cops drove around, and Iggy was sure they were watching us and that we were doing something wrong. I told Iggy I was pretty sure there was nothing wrong with what we were doing...and said if the cops stopped we would be just fine. I am pretty sure he couldn't breathe after that until the cops left the area. This, from the kid of a cop? I don't get it.

Anyhow, yesterday was also a nature walk in the back 13 acres to try and find the monster buck we spotted with the binoculars earlier that morning. Hubster helped us find some of his tracks. We never found the deer (hard to do with an extremely loud Ooky in the group) but we will certainly look for him again in the binoculars.

Today was gym day with our homeschooling group, and the boys had fun playing with their friends.

At home we learned more about Obama, and I was asked to explain electoral votes (by Iggy). I stumbled. I did my best...but seriously. Most adults I know can't offer a coherant explanation of why and how that all works. Especially to a five year old who then says "well, isn't it supposed to be up to the people? why do we need electoral votes?" My thoughts exactly.

Iggy read a Star Wars book today that I didn't think he'd get through, but he did. Ooky worked on short vowels, but was pretty sure that the piano/keyboard looked way more interesting. We all worked more on coins, and then played around with the piano/keyboard. They told me they were playing scary wedding music. Hmmmm....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Day After

I was a little stressed out Halloween morning because I just knew that Iggy and Ooky were going to wake up as little urchins, horrifically behaved and ridiculously hyper...awaiting that springboard jump into sugar-filled stupidity that generally comes on Halloween.

Instead I got:

We woke up. They ate breakfast. It was a beautiful morning so we played outside for a couple hours before coming in to do the more educational items of our day. We played a word game (draw a letter and let's think of as many Halloween words that start with that letter as we can...) where they could earn a penny for every word they thought of. After that game wore itself out, we made caramel apples and talked about the differences in what happens when you heat or cool something. While the apples were setting, the boys went back outside. I set up the "Halloween store" in the living room, where I had little tiny toys (finger puppets, mini stampers, etc.) and a couple things of candy available for purchase (remember the pennies they earned during the word game?). They came in, did some shopping in the store, ate their caramel apples, and suggested since it was Halloween, wouldn't it be great to shoot arrows into the jack-o-lanterns? Sounds perfect! So that killed another hour or so. We played around in the backyard most the day, they took baths (they were FILTHY), got into their costumes and we went trick-or-treating. Hit four houses and scored plenty of candy, came home for a bonfire supper and a "Halloween Treat Treasure Hunt" in the backyard. It was dark and they used flashlights to find wrapped up items we'd already hidden earlier. We wrapped up some of their favorite food things like bananas, olives, string cheese (that was hidden in the garage fridge!) etc... they were so excited. Did a lot of sky lookin', saw a shooting star...eventually went to bed.

I guess I had no reason to worry :) Pictures coming when remember where I put the camera last night...