Monday, July 13, 2020

Notes for June 27th - July 13th

Tobias and Rebekah love
playing with the math

Saturday's plan was simply to be home. Jason was recovering from surgery and split his time between doing school from the bed upstairs to sitting on the couch with his leg elevated to visit with the kids. We had easy meals. Breakfast was toast or oatmeal. Lunch was quesadillas, rice, watermelon, and grapes. Dinner was shredded pork sandwiches, which meant the meat roasted in the crock pot all day. I added in some potato wedges and leftover fruit. 

Sunday began with our home church time. We sing hymns, pray, partake of the sacrament, and then do some sort of lesson. This week was a "Who Am I?" game. Each person had a card with descriptions of a person from the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. They read it aloud and we all tried to guess who they were. Most of the people were from chapters we have already studied in our family scripture study. A few were from upcoming chapters. 

In the afternoon we baked cinnamon rolls, played a round of Hedbanz, and just relaxed together. 

Monday kicked off a 90F week. Makayla worked on the farm. I picked up a prescription at the pharmacy, grabbed some meat that was on clearance, and restocked fruits and veggies for the week. Jason spent 6 hours on his surgery check up. There was an hour drive each way, a 20 minute ultrasound, and then hours and hours of waiting for the doctor, who he saw for less than 5 minutes. He has to go back next week to get another ultrasound and have stitches removed. Then a check up in 2 months. At that check up he's able to schedule the next surgery, for his other leg. 

After lunch Joseph, Daniel, Oliver, and Caleb spent a couple hours playing Monopoly Cheater's Edition. It takes forever to play a good game of Monopoly, and the Cheater's Edition gets pretty hilarious. Some of my kids are great at it, while others always get caught on their cheats. The best part was when I stopped by the table to see how the game was going. I grabbed all the $500 bills from the bank during Caleb's turn. When the turn moved to Daniel, I announced my cheat - and that they hadn't caught me. I was now the richest player in the game. Even though I wasn't playing. In the end, I returned the bank money and they continued their game. 

Dinner tonight was fried chicken and roasted corn on the cob. It was delicious! In the evening I started preparing our yearly homeschool notification paperwork. 

 Tuesday I took a couple quick pictures while the kids did their summer learning routine. Each week the kids read daily, write once, and do math practice. Their reading varies widely - from picture books to nonfiction to chapter books. Some have specific plans, like reading the Narnia series, while others decide what their next book will be when they finish the current read. We also have a family read aloud going. Through the first three months of quarantine that was a series by James Conti: Framed!, Vanished!, Trapped!. Now we are reading aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I haven't decided what our next read aloud will be. 

Dinner was BBQ pork ribs in the instant pot, with apples and baked potatoes on the side. The pork ribs are an unusual meat for us. These happened to be country style (boneless) and on clearance for $2.40/lb. They were delicious, and we have enough left over to toss on salads or in quesadillas later this week. 

 Wednesday I spent time researching places and resources for funding and building a wheelchair ramp on the house. It's a lot of phone calls, emails, and waiting around to hear from places. It's complicated. 

Thursday I also had some phone time because it is yet again time to schedule 11 dental cleanings. It is always an event to figure out how many people they will see at once, and fit it all in with our schedule. The day was pretty typical for quarantine life, quiet and at home. 

Friday is here. We had one ramp evaluation today. It's not cheap (over $8,000) but it also isn't a wood ramp. This company focuses on modular metal ramps. Now we need bids from two more companies. 

I don't have notes for the weekend, but it was pretty much family time at home, playing in the hot back yard while daddy power washed the house, and home church. 

Monday Daddy had a checkup at the surgeon's office. Healing is going well so far. We took the 9 younger kids swimming at the YMCA outdoor pool. They have a limit on how many people can be there at each two hour swim session, so it wasn't super full. That helps a lot, because we have a lot of non-swimmers, and need to keep an eye on them, physically help Mason, and try to teach kids to float and swim. I'm tired! Kids are tired! It was great!

Tuesday we woke to thunderstorms and heavy rain. It was a stay inside and play kind of day, with thunderstorms on and off all day. Pok√©mon battles were the main game of choice. 

Wednesday through Friday were spent planning, preparing, and getting things organized for the coming homeschool year. We will be starting back to school the first week of August. We also did a lot of playing games, reading, and family time on these days. A few kids made projects with Lego. The younger kids spent a lot of time pretending with Little People sets we've had for a decade or more. 

Saturday was Samuel's 7th birthday. He woke up happy to open his presents and enjoy them. We also spent part of the morning on a new family adventure.

 We bought a Raddish Kids subscription, a cooking subscription for kids. 

This first box's theme was Ticket to Tokyo. 

We divided the kids into groups and each group prepared and cooked one of the three recipes. 

We made Yakisoba noodles (delicious - the favorite recipe from this box), Teriyaki chicken skewers (also yum!), and sushi (an adventure for sure). 

After an hour and a half of prep and cooking we sat down together as a family with chopsticks and our new foods. 

It was so much fun, but a lot of work and dishes. 

I think next month we will spread out preparing recipes over a few days or weeks.

 In the evening we went swimming at the YMCA outdoor pool again. 

We ended up making double of each recipe, if you were wondering. 

Sunday morning began with church at home. Then Emma and I baked 96 chocolate cupcakes for Samuel's birthday party. Emma, Daniel, and Oliver piped on the frosting, then Samuel added the sprinkles. We had the party that evening and you could see Samuel's joy that it was finally his birthday. My kids are now 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 19 - until October, when we start the chain of 8 kid's birthdays in 5 months. 

Monday we made plans to visit my sister's family. The husbands were replacing brakes on our car, then pizza night together.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June Summer Reading

Image Source

Reading is something that happens year round at my house. Even in the summer, kids are expected to pick up a book and read for at least 20 minutes a day. Beyond that, you will often find my kids reading to learn about things they are interested in, reading for pleasure, and listening to audio books. Every evening the kids go to bed at 8pm, but have an hour with book lights to read or draw if they wish. They read a lot, and reread favorites regularly. I decided to jot down the books being read during the month of June by the kids. This time I'm including the picture books and library books we read. I know I've missed a bunch of those because the boys take up a basket of books each evening. The list does not include my own personal reading.

Chapter Books (Finished or in progress) 

  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Hobbit
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Two Towers
  • The Return of the King
  • The Ruins of Gorlan
  • Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?
  • What Was Ellis Island?
  • Who Was Leonardo Da Vinci?
  • Mercy Watson to the Rescue
  • Gregor the Overlander
  • Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
  • The Sea of Monsters
  • The Titan's Curse
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Runaway Ralph
  • Red Rope of Fate
  • Royal Magic
  • Who's Your Hero? Volume 1-3
  • Flat Stanley
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • The Throne of Fire
Books from The Good and the Beautiful Library

  • Mr. Apple's Family
  • Luke's Adventure
  • Lily's Pumpkins
  • Ted and Tom and the Tall Tall Peak
  • Blake the Brave
  • Jack and the Lost Maze
  • Jane and the King
  • Summer on the North Star
  • Number Eleven Poplar Street

Other books
  • How to Knit a Monster
  • The Little Green Girl
  • The Bold, Brave Bunny
  • Monster Motel
  • The Little Island
  • Sonya's Chickens
  • Hippopotamister
  • Policeman Small
  • Chicken Chickens
  • The Trouble with Time Travel
  • Red Panda's Candy Apples
  • Dough Knights and Dragons
  • Edgar Allen Poe's Pie
  • City Chickens
  • Bear Came Along
  • My Pet Wants a Pet
  • Finders Keepers
  • The Beginner's Guide to Fashion Design Studio
  • Please Don't Eat Me
  • Home in the Woods
  • Bats at the Library
  • The Hundred Year Barn
  • Boxitects
  • Anna at the Art Museum
  • A Computer Called Katherine
  • Hawkeye Comics #1-3
  • The Friend Magazine
  • The New Era Magazine
  • The Sherlock Holmes Book (by DK Publishing)
  • Several Childcraft Volumes
  • Story Path
  • Zootopia: The Big Case
  • I Spy: Picture Riddle Books
  • Insectlopedia
  • 5 Minute Mickey Mouse Stories
  • 5 Minute Star Wars Stories
  • Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth
  • Desert Giant
  • The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top
  • The Magic School Bus In the Rainforest
  • What Should Danny Do? 
  • What Should Darla Do?
  • How Things Work: Inside Out
  • New Testament Stories
  • Old Testament Stories
  • Book of Mormon Stories
  • Doctrine and Covenants Stories
  • Eyewitness: Vote
  • Squeak
  • Bunny's Book Club
  • Last Stop on Market Street
  • The 7th Garfield Treasury

Friday, June 26, 2020

June 13th-26th: Zoo, Doctors, Drawing, and Surgery

Saturday started out raining. We had reservations for our zoo's reopening weekend, so we loaded up the van, added ponchos, and had a great visit! The animals were pretty active. We got to see the baby polar bear and baby gorilla, river otters, the orangutan. We even got a sneak peek of the seals and sea lions in the not-yet-opened Adventure Cove. In the afternoon I did meal planning for the week. We are often very repetitive in the meals we eat, the same recipes on repeat. Is it like that at your house? I'll be honest, I cook because if I didn't the natives would turn cannibal. It is not my favorite activity, probably because it takes so much time to prepare, cook, and clean up, compared to how quickly the food is devoured. Remember, I'm feeding 12 people, so the quantities of food I prep are big. This week's lunches and dinners are:
  • pancakes and waffles (giant recipe that gives us extra to freeze for breakfasts)
  • fried polish sausage, roasted potatoes and beets, and green beans
  • grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, salad, fries, strawberries
  • homemade pizza rolls (like cinnamon rolls, but savory)
  • sandwiches, tater tots, grapes
  • chicken taco tuesday and rice
  • macaroni and cheese, salad, cucumbers, pears
  • homemade cinnamon rolls
  • leftovers for lunch (gotta clean out that fridge!)
  • Italian chicken, rice, corn
  • spaghetti and meatballs, salad
  • Scones (flavor undecided)
  • Bean with bacon soup and biscuits
  • Leftovers for dinner (cleaning out the fridge again)

Sunday morning I woke up to make strawberry shortcake for breakfast. I made sweet scones, chopped strawberries, and added whipped cream on top. Our neighbors had a tree company arrive to trim a tree that hangs over their garage from our yard. The kids had fun watching and we ended up having them remove a small tree while they were here trimming. It made for a noisy accompaniment during our home church. 

In the evening we picked back up on our Lego sorting project. We worked for an hour and I kept the sorted bins downstairs so that I can work on the project during the week. 

Monday was exciting because we were able to pick up our library holds for the first time in more than three months. Our library has a drive thru window and cars were lining up before it even opened. We have so many interesting new books to read! I also did our grocery shopping today, because Saturday I opted to skip shopping due to our zoo trip. 

In the afternoon I spent time sorting Legos with a couple kid helpers. We made pizza rolls (think cinnamon rolls, but with garlic butter, cheese, and pepperoni in place of the butter, cinnamon, and sugar) for dinner. In the evening we played in the backyard before shower time. 

Tuesday morning I started preparing the Math Level 1/2 Activity Box from The Good and the Beautiful, cutting, punching out pieces, and sorting into the labeled bags. Today Mason and Samuel did their first 'transition lesson'. We are moving these two boys from Math U See to TGTB Math in the fall. Over the rest of the summer we'll play with the games and do the transition lessons for each level so they are familiar with the programs. The current plan is to put Samuel in level 2 and Mason in level 3. Several of the bigger boys were fascinated with the tangrams in the box, so they joined in for some math play. 

While we were doing that, Tobias and Rebekah spent an hour playing with our math manipulative bin. It holds the math blocks from Math U See, a toy clock, dice, a deck of cards, calculator, solid shapes, etc. 

The kids were busy reading this morning, too. In the last week Emma has read The Fellowship of the Ring and is well into The Two Towers. It is so fun to see her dive into The Lord of the Rings! Joseph is working through the Chronicles of Narnia series. Oliver is 14 chapters into The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series. Daniel just finished Ella Enchanted today. Mason is on book 17 of the Magic Tree House series, Tonight on the Titanic. Caleb read Jane and the King, one of the Gold Tales from The Good and the Beautiful. Samuel read Ted and Tom and the Tall, Tall Peak, also from TGTB. Tobias had me read Please Don't Eat Me to him. Rebekah went with her current favorite, Oliver's Tree. 

Wednesday was quiet. We watched the season finale of Wayne Brady's Comedy IQ on BYUtv. We played. Kids practiced piano. We read books. Just quiet quarantine summer life around here. 

Thursday I started prepping the house and the packed bags for Friday's day of appointments. Mason has Myelo Clinic every 6 months. He goes to Children's Hospital and sees on average 10 of his specialists in one day. He has updated x-rays and ultrasounds done. He has blood work. It's exhausting and an information overload. Often we come out with a heads up for coming surgery needs. While I spend the day with him, I also have a house full of kids at home. My mom comes to watch them. I prepare easy meal plans, and they enjoy time with grandma. 

The rest of Thursday was family time. Play. Projects. Reading. Listening to another chapter of our current read aloud - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 

Friday Myelo Clinic went well. Mason's wheelchair needs growth adjustments made, which involve ordering new parts. His lab work and ultrasound results had no surprises, though it did take 3 attempts to get his labs drawn because his veins kept blowing. Emma finished reading the rest of the Lord of the Rings series and started The Hobbit.

Saturday was all family time and I didn't make any notes.

Sunday church at home and baking a lot of baking: scones for strawberry shortcake, cookies, and pizza. We had a family movie night this evening. 

Monday was a normal at home start to the week. Daddy focused on his final project preparations in his current online class. The kids read books, played, practiced math, wrote, drew, and played some more. In the late afternoon Mason and I made the hour drive to the wheelchair vendor to get measurements and parts ordered for his wheelchair growth upgrade. We've also set up an appointment at our house to see about getting a wheelchair ramp installed on the house so Mason can get in and out in his wheelchair. 

Tuesday Daddy was at work. I covered the table in drawing paper and put out freshly sharpened colored pencils in bowls. All the kids drew, doodled, wrote, and created on that paper. Pictures from that are sprinkled throughout this post. Sometimes the best way to get kids to do something is to simply make it available and ready to go. They didn't have to get out paper or track down colored pencils. They could just start. In the afternoon Emma and I baked Lembas Bread from The Lord of the Rings. It was yummy!

Wednesday's nature study moment was brought to us by a bird that flew into the living room window. We observed him for about half an hour, until he flew away. It has been a bird filled spring here. We've had four baby birds in our yard at various times (one blue jay, three robins). Our old outdoor cat just looks at them and lays down. 

Thursday Jason was off work and headed to the hospital to get lab work done and COVID-19 testing before his surgery day. Hours later, he made it home. I headed out to grocery shop. Once home, we prepped food for Friday, cleaned the house, and played Hedbanz as a family. 

Friday morning started at 3:30am when my alarm went off. At 4am my mom arrived to sleep on the couch, in case any kids woke up. I drove my husband to the hospital almost an hour away and dropped him off, then came home. (Thanks COVID). My mom headed back to her house to work from home. The kids eventually woke up and Makayla headed to work at the farm. After breakfast, the kids and I watched Trolls the movie. The surgeon called to report on Jason's surgery (everything went well). Then eventually the nurse called to let me know I could head to the hospital to pick my husband up. My mom came back over to hang out with the kids for a couple hours while I got my husband, we stopped to fill his pain meds, and drove home. Now he's tucked in bed, the kids are playing, and I'm almost done with Mason's afternoon medical care. We plan to have a quiet weekend at home before my husband's surgery check up on Monday. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

June 6th - June 12th Notes

Rebekah grabs a timer and a book
to read most days. Why? Because
that is what she sees all her 
siblings do. Example is so

Saturday was grocery shopping day. Our local stores are pretty well stocked at this point. There are random items still out of stock, or low. The stores all have purchasing limits on a variety of items. That makes it very difficult to buy enough food or supplies for a family of 12! A few examples I saw today:

  • 1 pack of chicken, pork or beef at one store
  • 2 packs of chicken, pork, or beef at two different stores
  • Limit 2 on butter, milk
  • Limit 1 on toilet paper 
A few other things from our day: the kids played their weekly 30 minutes of video games, my husband took an exam and worked on school work, my brother-in-law helped Jason recharge the A/C in the car, we cleaned the house, grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch, and went through 2 lbs of strawberries, 2 lbs of grapes, a couple zuccinni, a green pepper, salad, 2 lbs of apples, 2 loaves of bread, a gallon of milk, 1 lb of pasta, a bag of chips, a bag of pretzels, 1/2 a jar of pickles, and part of a gallon of ice cream over the course of the day. 

Sunday we had home church in the morning. I'm really going to miss this when we are able to go back to church! Jason spent a chunk of the afternoon replacing the kitchen faucet. 

Monday morning Mason and I headed out the door at 8am for an hour drive to his eye surgeon's office and pick up his new glasses. They are the exact same style as his last ones, with slight different colors for the paint splatter design. Daddy held down the fort at home. 

Tuesday Grandma spent the morning with kids while Mason and I headed to the hospital for his yearly bone density check. He has osteopenia, which is osteoporosis for kids. Each year we check his bone density and do an IV infusion of medications to help. (In the beginning he did the infusions every 3 months.) After reading the DEXA scan today and comparing it to his prior numbers, we were able to skip the IV infusion this year. We are hoping that an every other year infusion will be enough to maintain his bone density until he is in his teens. 

The rest of Tuesday was pretty typical of our summer days. Family time. Play. Cooking. Cleaning. 

Wednesday was my 20th wedding anniversary. I've officially been married for more than half my life. For those who may be new, my husband and I have a bit of a fun story. We met when I was 18 and he was 21. Three weeks later we were engaged. It felt right, but looking back now as a mother, I can't imagine what I would have said if my daughter told me she was getting married to a guy she had only known for 3 weeks. Marriage is hard work, but it is so rewarding! 

My husband spent our anniversary working, while I held down the home fort. I decided it was also a great day to officially potty train my 10th child, Rebekah. Rebekah has been choosing to use the toilet pretty regularly for the last several months of quarantine. Sometimes her diaper is wet, sometimes it is dry. She is still wet overnight, so she will continue to wear a diaper to bed. But during the day she's now in underwear. We set a timer that rings every 45 minutes to remind us she needs to visit the bathroom. She does still need to learn to poop on the toilet, but she'll get there. End of Day 1 Potty Training Report: Rebekah had 2 pee accidents, and used the toilet the rest of the time.

Thursday we spent a couple hours outside in the morning enjoying cool weather. We moved inside as it warmed up and played games, read books, and just relaxed. Rebekah had one accident when she fell asleep for a nap. 

Friday started with taking Makayla (on her birthday! My oldest is 19!)to work because I needed a vehicle. Not too far into the morning was a dentist visit for Caleb to pull a baby molar that needed out. Rebekah informed me she doesn't want to use the potty today. Considering she's only a young 2, I'm okay with that. She's a really forceful girl, sure of her opinions, and a battle over the toilet isn't worth it right now. 

Right now it is early afternoon and the kids are playing Minecraft together. I've got a special dinner request to put together for the birthday girl, so I'm hitting publish on this post. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

May 30th - June 5th Notes

Saturday was a lot of family time and a few projects. One project was going through the boxes of homeschool books that have arrived for fall. We cleaned out each child's school bin and added in their new books. We did a bit of decluttering and organizing in the attic. 

Sunday we had church at home, per usual. In the afternoon we went to my sister's backyard to celebrate my nephew's graduation. It was perfect weather and kids enjoyed the trampoline while adults enjoyed sitting and visiting. We brought home with us a new game to try: Googly Eyes. It is pretty much Pictionary with a 15, 30, or 45 second timer, three card categories, and glasses with changeable lenses that make it harder to see the paper you are drawing on. 

Monday dawned sunny and 40F - nice and chilly. Makayla is back to working weekdays at the farm for the summer. As the morning warmed up, Joseph mowed the yard. In the afternoon we spent a couple hours outside relaxing in the back yard. Rebekah got two bug bites while we were out there that started swelling into hives and itching. We gave her some Benadryl and it got better. Of course, then she fell asleep for four hours and wasn't at all sleepy at bedtime. She and I got to sleep at midnight. 

Tuesday was hot. Kids were happy to play games and be inside most of the day. 

Wednesday was hot. Nothing notable happened. We're just doing our everyday tasks, playing, reading, and cooking a lot. The kids enjoyed doodling all over some paper we spread down the middle of the table. I published a post about our homeschool plans for the fall on Wednesday, sharing the curriculum we plan to use. You can find that right here.

Thursday Emma decided she wanted to bake and decorate a cake. She had fun and everyone enjoyed eating it after dinner. 

Friday is here. It is humid and stormy today, just like yesterday. Some of the kids are watching the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug today. Others are upstairs building with Lego. We have no plans the rest of the day other than reading more of our current read aloud, Trapped by James Ponti, so I'm hitting publish on this post. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Curriculum Plans for 2020-2021: Large Family Style

When the new homeschool year begins this fall I will have children in grades 10, 9, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, plus a 4yo and a 2yo tagging along and a child off to her sophomore year of college. As of today, most of our curriculum has been planned, purchased, and placed on shelves. 

Group Subjects

History - We're using The Good and the Beautiful History Year 3. Topics we'll study fall under four broad categories: Ancient Mesopotamia and Israel, Ancient Africa and Native North Americans, Westward Expansion and Industrialization, and World War II. 

Science High School - Joseph and Emma will be grouped together for science. This year they chose to study chemistry and astronomy. They will use Exploring the World of Chemistry and Exploring the World of Astronomy, both by John Tiner. They will also use the Chemistry 101 dvd series, do a set of experiments, and spend time with the telescope at night. 

Science Elementary and Middle School - Daniel, Oliver, Caleb, Mason, and Samuel (with tagalong Tobias and Rebekah when they are interested) will be using science units from The Good and the Beautiful. We have a stack of them, and I will generally let the kids choose which unit we start each time. There are also a few more units coming out in the next several months, including geology, which I'm sure the kids will want to do. The units I currently have that we've not used before are: Energy, Chemistry, Space, Water and Our World, Arthropods, Meteorology, The Human Body part 1, and Botany. 

Elective: Culinary Arts and Nutrition - Joseph and Emma both chose this elective, so we'll be in the kitchen together, meal planning, shopping for food, and cooking. 

Elective: Boomerang Book Club - Joseph and Emma will be doing this elective together. Daniel may choose to join in. We will be reading the following ten books and using the Boomerang guides from Brave Writer to go along. 
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
  • Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
Individual Subjects 

Language Arts - All my kids will be using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts at various levels. For Joseph, Emma, and Daniel this is their third year with TGTB LA, and they will be doing level 7, 7, and 6. Oliver and Mason will be in their second year with TGTB LA, and they will be doing level 4 and 3. Caleb and Samuel will be in their first year with TGTB LA, and they will be doing level 2 and 1. It is a solid program that rotates through a variety of subjects over the course of the year in spelling, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation, geography, poetry, memorization, artist/picture study, and art. 

Math - This year we are split on math. The kids doing Math U See, our old standby, are Joseph (Geometry), Emma (Geometry), Daniel (Algebra 1), Oliver (Zeta), and Caleb (Delta). This year we are moving Mason and Samuel to The Good and the Beautiful Math. The reason is pretty simple - TGTB math is full of fun, hands on, and practical day to day math. Mason, especially, needs a change for math. His learning issues stemming from his hydrocephalus and spina bifida seem are small, but beginning to show in math (he has memory issues and executive function issues). Math U See is black and white, basic at these levels, and doesn't address real life math things like time, money, measurement, fractions, etc very well in their early levels. Things are either not addressed until later (fractions) or only addressed once or twice before moving on, so kids lack familiarity. 

Handwriting - For my younger kids who still do handwriting, we use Handwriting Without Tears

Literature - Many of our subjects already include books, but we read more than that. In our home children are expected to spend time reading every day. We read a wide variety of books, depending on a child's age and interests. We have a large shelf full of books from The Good and the Beautiful Library. We find books at our library using The Good and the Beautiful's free Book List. We take recommendations from friends and librarians, and use book lists found online. We read, read aloud, or listen to audio books. It all counts! 

Those are the major plans for the coming school year. Everything else is pretty child-led. If someone has an interest, we explore it. We leave room in our days for following passions, playing games, being out in nature, getting together with friends, going to our book club group, and just being a family. We study the scriptures together each day. Kids practice piano regularly. Art materials are right where kids can grab them. We go on field trips. We learn and grow together. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Two Weeks of Books at My House

I've been jotting down books being read or listened to at my house for the last two weeks. I thought I would share them here. I am not sharing the countless picture books I have read aloud to the younger kids. We usually read a stack of 5 each morning, and often another stack each evening.  

Currently Reading:

Trapped by James Ponti - This is the third and final book in a fun series about two kids who use TOAST (the Theory Of All Small Things) to help the FBI solve some mysteries. I've read these aloud at the lunch or dinner table and can't wait to make it to the end of this final book. 

The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis - Joseph is reading this. He decided that he wants to read/reread the entire Narnia series this summer.  

The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds by Suzanne Collins - Emma is reading this. My sister dropped it off, and there is a line to read it among my teens and myself. 

Polar Bears Past Breakfast by Mary Pope Osbourne - This is one of the Magic Treehouse Series. Mason has been reading them, and is currently on this book.

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins at Gorlan by John Flannagan - Oliver is wading into this series for the first time. It's fantastic, and I can't wait to have conversations about it with him. It is a series I love enough that it has a home on my shelves, instead of just an Kindle book. I also love the related series The Brotherband Chronicles. 

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson - Daniel is currently reading this funny book about Benjamin Franklin.

Calico by Ethel Calvert Phillips - Daniel is also reading this book. It is a fun story about a pony that shows up at a farm, and the adventures the children there have with him.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - Caleb is reading/listening to this one. It is the first time he's asked to do a book for fun. I'm trying not to be super obvious about how thrilled that makes me, but he knows. 

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart - Several of the boys are listening to this currently at bedtime. 

The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey - This is my current read. It is set in the 1400s in Wales, a time period and place I am not familiar with. So far, I love it!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - Joseph listens to this right now in the afternoon during quiet time. It's an old favorite.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan - Oliver started listening to this book today. He likes the Egyptian mythology themed series and hasn't listened to it in a year or so. 

Recently Read:

The Hound of the Baskervilles and several other Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Emma owns the complete collection of Sherlock stories and has been rereading.

The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osbourne - Mason has read a stack of these and is still going.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin - Daniel finished this book and loved it. 

Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe - Oliver just finished this book. He likes Bunnicula and felt like it was a bit of mystery without being scary. 

The Lost Kingdom by Chester Bryant - This was Joseph's last read. It's about a boy from India who starts out living in an American foundation. Then he moves out to some ancient ruins that his grandfather owned. The boy wants to learn about his past, and eventually, he does. 

The Mysterious Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood - The boys have listened to this entire series recently.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart - The boys just finished listening to this one. It's an old favorite. 

Heir of the Curse by Deborah Grace White - This is the first book in a series. I read it this week and enjoyed it. 

The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon - I finished this book at the beginning of the week. I really wasn't sure I would like this one, but I did. 

The Firethorn Chronicles series by Lea Doue - I read this series last week. I'm looking forward to when the rest of the books release.