Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope everyone enjoyed thier holidays. Now it's time to settle in a bit and relax with few obligations on our calendars than in the last few months. The only thing we've got coming up is S.'s b-day. The kids already did their testing for their required grade level so they (and I) have slacked off on keeping up with doing something everyday. We've shifted to a more unschooling mode lately where they do things of interest to them for a good chuck of the day. I do still have them doing workbook pages but let them slide a little about doing them every day. (For those wondering how we've done this, we started back in June so we've already put in more than 100 days of "school".) Having a new baby in the house has really thrown off our schedules for longer than I had anticipated. This is not a huge deal since I know that they are all at or above grade level in most areas and they pick up on new stuff everyday through their play or our daily activities. i.e. They've been earning and saving money and all decided that they wanted to order some fun things from a homeschooling catalog we had lying around. They all practiced reading and budgeting skills pouring through the catalog to figure out what they could afford that looked/sounded interesting. M. and S. were also introduced to calculating with percentages so that they knew how much the shipping would cost. I just ordered their choices this morning and added some learning games that everyone can play which I think they'll enjoy while learning new things.

One activity we've been doing is Mad Libs. There are few things more fun for learning parts of speech than Mad Libs. The kids have really gotten a blast out of those lately. If you haven't done them before, give them a try (you can find some or similar forms like wacky webtales on-line). The key is to be as outragous as possible with your word choices. If asked for a verb don't say something boring like walking or talking, try bob sledding or prognosticating. Need a noun? How about sea cucumbers or kumquats? And they absolutely should be done with group participation.

I haven't made any resolutions for 2008 specifically. I'm still working on my weight. (After 5 kids, like that's a big surprise.) I still haven't finished the quilts that I showed back in Sep. so those are on the list of "to be finished sooner rather than later". I, also, have to add 2 more baby quilts to the list-one to be finished by the end of Feb., the other by the end of April. I'd like to add a few receiving blankets to the quilts, but those are easy and shouldn't take more than 10 min. each. The fabric for most of this was purchased at Jo-Ann's after Thanksgiving Day sale. I may have to add one or two things but I haven't had a chance to compare what I have to what I'll need yet. Along with those I want to try my hand at a smaller version of the strip twist quilt, this time in blues and white-on-whites for a wall hanging. I've just gotten swimsuit fabric for making myself a suit so that I can continue the kids' swimming lessons. Hancock had a great deal on this. ($3.50/yard and then this week it was further discounted to $1/yard so I bought more for making the next size up suits for the girls) Hancock also has a really great deal on the Janome Sew Mini ($40) which I got to teach the girls on. I've read good reviews for it so I'll let you know what I think once we have a chance to get some sewing time in.

It's time for me to get busy with other things. Take care all and have a great day.

Completely unrelated photo of kids and their cousin at the Persepolis ruins

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