Monday, September 25, 2006

This game I created using some crayola flashcards that we hadn't ever used in my recollection, probably purchased at the dollar store. The front of each card shows picture representations and the back loosely demonstrates a number sentence to correspond. I made number sentences on craft sticks, and store them in a baggie taped to the front of the folder. This self checking game will hopefully offer some practice transitioning from pictures to the number symbols they represent. Other cards in the set include numbers one through twenty on the backs and pictures on the front. That makes one set for our youngest, with numbers 1-10, our four year old gets the game with the set of 11-20. This one above is for our six year old, mainly, but I sense the others will be ready for before I can blink. But that is three different games from one set of $1 cards .

These two games, above, I made for our two year old, who very much likes things in order. The shape and color cards were from the one set, which was 'Barbie'. But she can also use the Pooh cards, below, and any number of other flashcards I happen to find out there. Better still, she can make her own out of index cards and magazine cut outs. She loves cutting and gluing. All the game pieces store in a plastic baggie taped to the front of the folder.

Math Path - an idea gleaned from A+ Activities for First Grade. The boys decorated it with Transformer pages they cut up and glued on. They use the smallest Transformers as game pieces. Make 8-10 each of (+) and (-) cards. Later they can progress to multiplication and division, word problems, etc. Laminate for a longer lasting game board.
Roll two dice, choose a card from the stack (+) or (-), apply the operation to the numbers on your dice, and move forward.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


These pictures were taken today of some wildlife we found in the flower bed right outside our school room window.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

new addition to the family...

Tim found this piano on Craigslist. He and a friend went to Wilmington this afternoon to pick it up. I don't know much about it, as far as its age, condition, etc. It is by Cable of Chicago, and doesn't seem to be too far out of tune. The finish is a little sun bleached in places. But for a starter piano, it'll do just fine. Chas is the most excited it seems, and is full of questions about music and about how a piano works. We are, initially, going to muddle through with what little musical knowledge we can muster between the two of us, and eventually start lessons when the time is right.

'knuckles' as taught by daddy

every bump and wart

Tim found this guy under the lawn mower a few mornings ago.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sorry for the excess of photos...

We are really enjoying the new camera and its ease of use. The memory card comes right out and goes straight in one of five slots on the front of the cpu. In addition, the camera came with an accessory kit which included a tabletop tripod, lens cloths, memory card storage wallet, rechargeable batteries and charger, etc, and something with a USB plug on one end and a memory card reader on the other end, I think, er- something like that. Like I said, we just slide the memory card into the slot and it's done.
But anyway, here's more pictures...

This one is for you, Uncle T. You'll be happy to know that, thanks to Pop Pop and you, every time I get out the camera, Mia makes a bee line for the benches and whips her brothers into line. 'It's benches time, boys.' She insists that benches are for taking pictures.
Also, I would like to post this disclaimer: The disparity between pictures of Mia and pictures of the boys in not intentional on our part. Mia simply sticks closer to me, especially when the camera is out, while the boys, as they are older and male, are not as interested in posing for the pictures. This was taken Friday night at a local farm which runs a petting zoo, gift shop, hay rides, etc and family style country restaraunt.

refinishing project

Note upholstered benches beneath window behind Chas. We bought them a few years back, they have a handy drawer for storage, they were a natural color, with hardly any finish on them. At our new house, however, it became neccessary to place them in the living room, where they match nothing. Well, the upholstery matched, the wood was horribly out of place. But not any more.
I found a product that has stain, and clear coat and sealant and whatever else all in one can. It took barely two hours (plus time to disassemble, dry, and reassemble after drying) to refinish all three. Two of them are shown here. For the amount of work I put in, and considering the original cost ($30 each on clearance at Target), I am very proud of how they turned out.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Adventures in Homeschooling, Volume I

Some of you may know we homeschool our two boys. Since this is our first formal year, we are taking it one quarter at a time. So we have laid out just the first quarter (8 weeks) of lessons, to span from now until Thanksgiving. We have chosen a theme for each week, from which history and science lessons will stem. We also cover math, handwriting, language arts, and Bible as appropriate for each boy and also relating as much as possible to the theme.

This week's theme is pirates. So, for instance, social studies will be (treasure) map skills and world geography, science this week will include magnets and how to use a compass, math will cover American coins and consumer skills. Bible stories we plan to study are fishers of men, Jonah and the whale, etc. Throughout the year, as situations arise, we'll include life skills such as cooking, sewing, computer skills and media and cultural literacy.

Monday we visited the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC. The boys brought their journals, as you can see them in the first photo doodling pictures of the fish and crabs in tanks. The museum featured a special exhibit on Blackbeard as well.

Friday, September 01, 2006

an unfortunate misunderstanding...

While browsing through Walmart's lady's clothing department the other day, I accidentally found myself in the junior's section looking at screen printed teeshirts. Some of them were easily recognizable pop icons, some I had never seen nor heard of before. But I came across one in particular that simply said 'I [heart] nerds'. I briefly contemplated buying it, but second thoughts, about what message I would be sending about my husband, stopped me. I mentioned it to him that evening in passing conversation. He thought I should have bought it.
Well, next time I was in Walmart, I went back to look at it again. That was when I noticed that inside the heart was a faded picture Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal his Superman suit. Well, that did it for me, I made my purchase and headed home to try it on. I wasn't sure I would ever wear it out of the house, but I figured it would be a funny joke just for the two of us. All he said was something like 'oh you went back and got it'. It wasn't till later I found out that he imagined the CANDY called NERDS that we used to eat as children (well, I guess some of still eat it.)
But nonetheless, I think he took it as a compliment after all.