Friday, August 31, 2012

Bayou Bend Museum of Fine Arts.....

We went to the Bayou Bend part of the Museum of Fine Arts today.. (((Sigh))) so beautiful....

BTW.. they had a small puzzle item of Frederic Remington (and Matt recognized both the painting and artist) and one of the ladies said they had the actual painting on display also.  So we were going to go see it because it is about to be sent off on loan... anyhoo... EMILY did remember studying him and recalled that he used bronze in his statues.. .YEAH. .I love those moments!

Okay back to our trip... We went because it was the last day to participate in their Detective Days--- kind of a scavenger hunt for clues around the garden and home... the kids did really well and learned a few things!  We did not do the garden scavenger hunt because it was TOO hot, but we spent a little time outside.. SO beautiful.. did I already say that?  Did I already sigh??? 

I managed to catch a shot of each of my kids in a shady area... and after that they were DONE!  :0)

We had a great time and it was a fabulous way to end our LAST day of "break"! 
Next Wednesday we start our new school year....
Monday is a holiday and Tuesday we have a field trip so Wednesday it is!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The sounds of playing

I have a very bad memory.  I mean a very bad memory.

It doesn't affect normal every day functions.  I mean I remember appointments and passwords, I remember where things are and phone numbers, I remember (most) peoples birthdays and what to buy at the store.  I don't have a problem with all of that... but something much more personal to me.

My past.  I have a very strange way of remembering the past. 

I see it all through photographs.  I cannot for the life of me recall Kaitlin's grin or SEE Emily doing the "O" face.. in my mind.  I cannot bring those memories up, but what I can bring up is the photograph OF that memory.  This is one reason why photographs are so very, very, very important to me.  I cannot remember my own child hood except through photographs.  I remember a few things here and there, when family starts talking about something it might SPARK a memory... but a lot of times it will bring up a picture I saw of the event!  If I saw a picture of a event I am MUCH more inclined to remember that than the actual event.  I cannot conjure up in my mind what "x" event looked like.. but I can recall the whole photograph.

Does ANYONE else have this problem?  I have never encountered anyone with the same problem.

It makes me sad.  It makes me frustrated when my camera is not working or I don't have one with me.  It makes me think that later on, NO matter how important THIS was to me in this moment... without a picture it will be gone.  It will be as if it did not exist to me.

I don't remember when my kids lost their first teeth.  I don't remember what their first word was.  I don't remember the first time they rolled over... sans a photograph of it. 

But when I look at this picture or that picture, a sea of memories flood over me and I can remember how I felt... sad, glad, happy... I can remember what is going on in the area just outside the picture.  I can remember what was being said or why we took that picture.  I can remember my life!

I am not exaggerating this problem I have... this is my life.  This is how I am forced to live because I cannot find a way to unlock those memories.  I mean I assume they are in my brain- if I can conjure up what happened by the recall of a picture I have seen.. I assume that means the memories are just stored an odd way.

So anyway, connecting my sad woeful tale to my title.  Because I don't remember my kids childhood I don't remember what they were doing. I don't remember how it sounded.  I don't remember their voice or the tilt of their head as they concentrated on something... without pictures.

I know the sound of Emily being a horse.
I know the sound of Kate's drawing pencils clinking in her holder.
I know the sound of the backdoor being closed and KNOW Matt is going outside.
I know the sound  of a DS.
I know the sound of the zipper on Emily's Polly pocket bag.
I know the sounds of my children playing TODAY... what they are doing now.

But not when they were little.  I didn't capture those sounds.  I don't have a memory of it.  I was scared of losing the "picture" scene so I took lots of shots.  But I still don't have the sound.  I mean I remember a few things... mostly from family members recounting the story a bunch of times. 

Kate saying "yion" for lion.  I can hear that in my head.
Kate's feet pounding on the floor of the mobile home, at the window calling Pa's here.

But there is little else.  Just what other family members recount for me. 

So today I know what I am going to be missing... the sound of the clinking, a sea of bricks being swept aside.... looking for the perfect one.... I know that at some point that sound will be gone...I will miss the sounds of my boy playing.  But how will I remember that noise when he stops altogether.  How will I remember the years of him "loudly" looking through Lego boxes.... I wont.

 I have pictures. I know he loved Lego's, the family will say..."Oh yeah, Matt loved Legos, every Christmas and birthday.  Oh remember how bad Lego's hurt to step on...."

But how will I remember the sound?.  How will I remember smiling from the other room when I heard that sound?  How will I recall every time he proudly showed me a build or how he would call me to come see?

I wont.

I wont remember the sounds of a playing. 

This video is a little long, but in ALL seriousness... it made me tear up.  It shows HOW important photos are to people.. every day JOE'S. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Curriculum Picks: 2012- 2013 School year

Okay here it is:  I know its not of THAT much interest to some of you, but for my own record book I am going to lay it out!  We are starting our 9th year of home schooling.  Kaitlin is entering 8th grade, Matt 7th grade and Emily 4th. We are really, really moving out of mommy's comfort zone and happy place this year with more independent work and different curriculum and kids spread about the house working on their own STUFF!  I know it might be needed.. but I don't have to like it!

Kate and Matt are together for almost everything.... so first I will list their like studies and then branch into any differences.

Sonlight Core G- World History Year 1

this covers literature, Bible, scripture verses for the year, History and geography (partial credit)
English-- Sonlight actually includes grammar now also, I have it and we will see about using it.. as of now we will continue with Rod and Staff though...
IEW-- Institute of Excellence in Writing Curriculum --- Student Writing Intensive B
Spelling-- review rules from ALL about Spelling Level 1... and continue with All About Spelling  Level 2 then  Level 3
Latin-- finish up Prima Latina and start Latina Christiana
Vocabulary-- Wordly Wise


Matt will be using Saxon math-- still unsure of his level as we are giving him till the end of the month to finish his Alecs program....
Kaitlin will finish up her Math U See... and start the next one!
ALL the kids will be doing an Impressionist Artist study
All the kids will use a typing program.. Typer Island and Mavis Beacon
All the kids will learn about composer a month-- still picking and working on that.
All the kids will work off our reading list: in addition to the set curriculum reads.
All the kids have individual work for 4H and Keepers of the Faith that will need to be done.
I have included some school work that would already be done this year to meet a few badge requirements.
All the kids will continue with Logic... we use multiple workbooks, work pages, games etc to meet this requirement...
Kate will also keep on with Sign Language ASL using  Life
Bible-- still not sure. 
History--will be using Mystery of History (Creation to Resurrection)
English- Rod and Staff
Spelling-- All About Spelling and Spelling Workout Press
Science-- God's Design  The World of Animals
Writing-- IEW Student Intensive A  and Story Builder Cards
Vocab-- Wordly Wise
Literature-- book club type activities with read aloud and comprehension type questions on other books along with note booking and lap books.
Math-- Emily will keep on with Math U See for now and Mary Faith will start Rod and Staff in a few weeks
Latin-- Prima Latina (and then start Latina Christiana)
Memory work-- scriptures (mostly from ESV translation a little easier to understand), poem work, finish Books of the Bible, finish Presidents (if not done), States and Capitols (if not done)  and misc.
copy work/ dictation--- (mostly through MOH), scripture, and quotes.
and I feel a little crazy just writing it all out...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Amanda's birthday...

Kaitlin decided that it was Amanda's birthday the other day (best guess of course).
So she made her a cake.

and let me just say that Amanda enjoyed EVERY morsel of that birthday cake.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Choir Camp 2012

Kaitlin has waited all year long to go back to camp!  Finally the day arrived and we left for Trinity Pines along with Amy, Brett and Kirsten (who has moved up to Junior Singers).  Kirsten got to stay in the dorm with Kaitlin and I... such a trooper (even ad mist a few bugs and ants!)  We had a VERY busy two days of singing, fellowship, eating, singing, fellowship, eating, swimming, playing games, singing, fellowship, eating.. and guess what singing! 

The girls were together on GREEN team!  GO GREEN!  They had to come up with a song, poster and had points accrue for wins during games, getting back to practice on time.. how many items of THEIR team color they could possibly wear!  Just fun!

Trinity Pines has added a beautiful water feature since we were there last year.. these pictures in NO way do it justice.  I could have sat outside there all day long... it was gorgeous!  I would love to plan a group trip there (I cant really call it camping since there are dorms and a cafeteria and everything).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Sum Up: Day 29-34 year 2012-2013

We have only done a few days of school this August.. we should have gotten 9 days in, but we decided to take the last week off completely and I had a funeral.  So instead of 9 we only had 5 days...NOT much schoolin over a whole month, huh!  I am VERY ready for daily school again.  I think our three day week was nice and the kids enjoyed their days off, but if I thought it was easy to get behind during the regular year... it was even easier this summer!

Anyway.. in the past few weeks (you know our five days of schooling) we have actually gotten a fair amount done!

We finished our Frank Lloyd Wright lesson, (we had already done this artwork though)

we learned about Mark Rothko and did a few just for fun crafts...

The kids worked on finishing up their bible, history and science and logic!

We started a unit on poetry and will take that into the next years school work.

The girls worked on math, Latin, spelling, writing, English, scripture memory.

Kate and Matt made progress in English, math, Latin and logic.

This is Emily after her first time test with 100 problems on it... she had been doing one with 60 and it only had up to the 3 times table on it..  this new one goes up to the 8 times table.  No matter how many times I explain that it is going to be harder... her time will be longer (but get better) she is hysterical when we are through.. UNTIL Friday.  All she said was I had a plan mom... I did all the 1's, all the 2's and all the 3's etc... She DID cut almost a minute off her time!  So anyway.. there is progress and hopefully less of this face. (BTW, she looks like she is faking but trust me... this was true upsetness!--- I know the difference! You know FROM EXPERIENCE!)

We are DONE with American History... whewww.... and ready to take on the ancients.  We did not finish our curriculum but mama is DONE!  I will post an update on the kids reads and the last of the history curriculum.

Lesson planning and preparing this week and our next Sunday Sum up will be from our NEW school year!!! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fun in the Woodlands....

A few weeks ago we had our first SUMMER activity... because of the whole kidney stones business!
Mom, the kids and I, headed out to the Woodlands and went to a beautiful park....
Hubble and Hudson
The Goose's Acre (a fish and chips pub)
and the new TRADER JOE's  (yeah)
on the way home we stopped for dessert at Arandas Bakery... VERY good!

We had a lot of fun.. it was certainly a full day!  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Days like this....

Wednesday morning I woke up and I felt cheerful... kind... not at all weary or in a bad mood.


It went downhill from there.

I made breakfast, Matt had an incredibly bad attitude (one that mommy has repeatedly reminded him that I am very-much-over-thank-you-very-much).... it seeped into every family members pores....

No one did their chores... in fact they acted as if possibly they had never before in their lives even DONE a chore... or knew that they even HAD chores to do (something that mommy has repeatedly reminded them that I am very-much-over-thank-you-very-much)

The cable/ Internet didn't work. (at&t: something that mommy is very-much-over-thank-you-very-much)

The dryer wouldn't heat... and the day went downhill from there.

No, actually we had a decent school day after mommy grounded said children from everything except breathing for 3 days basically.  Matt asked if they could play rock- paper- scissors.  I allowed it.

Thursday morning....I woke up and felt cheerful.... kind... not at all weary or in a bad mood.


The kids seriously did not do their chores (which we have not dealt with because we were gone from 9:30-10:30 at night).  I have no words right now.. but I DID spend time reading my bible last night which might be why I was capable of waking up cheerful... kind... not at all weary or in a bad mood.

Anyhoo... So we left for the laundry mat at 9:30 because OF COURSE I had just put all MY sheets/ comforter/ bedding in the washer 10 minutes before Dave said it didn't work.  I also already had the load in the dryer --- that wasn't drying... SO off to the laundry mat we went...

From there we drove to 610 and Kirby to the Sears Auto Center shop to get the part that is going to make my dryer go!

It is permanently closed BTW.

From there we drove from 610 @ Kirby to 517 @45 in Dickinson...


From there we drove to La Porte to meet at a friends house and play (although the children are grounded from all but breathing, and they still didn't do their chores I let them play at a friends house....see how benevolent I am.)

But before I even reached her house... we stopped (after getting a Sonic drink NOT EVEN AT HAPPY HOUR) to rid the van of trash and when we got back in the van.. IT WOULD NOT START.

So friend and her hubbie came gave me a jump... we got the van to her house-- her hubbie charged it on his battery thing a bob... all is well (you know until I have to go purchase a new battery today so that I don't have to worry every time I get in the van if it will START or NOT)

We had a nice visit.... breathed a sigh of relief.  Drank my sonic tea.. ALL WAS WELL.

Left her house (the van started.. YEAH)

Picked up Sarah and drove across town to I10 and Highway 6 IN TRAFFIC.... for our robotics training class and Kaitlin and Emily's livestock judging practice (thankfully on the same night!)

We were there a couple of hours.... GREAT TIME HAD BY ALL!

Drove home... dropped Sarah off in La Porte.. Drove back to Pasadena...

I DROVE 179 miles. (something that mommy is very-much-over-thank-you-very-much)

The dryer works BTW.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Conversation starters....

I went to a moms meeting with a homeschool group a few months ago and we had a special speaker.  She was wonderful and spoke about a lot of different topics.  I learned a lot, but one thing was an example of a way to teach older children to make decisions.  It is along the lines of  a pro/con list, but I like this better and you can use it to discuss a lot of things with your children... children of all different ages! 

Draw a grid with four quadrants...

For God

Against God

The far right side is a really good things.  for example- a well written book, a well done movie or play, a fun toy, a fun situation even.

The far left side is a really bad things. for example- a badly written book, a badly done movie or play, a badly made toy or an unsafe situation.

The top is FOR God and the bottom is AGAINST GOD.

Now take a movie for this example.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  It was a well done movie.. we will give it the highest rating... a five.  It is FOR God... it show redemption, forgiveness, truth etc. but since it doesn't actually MENTION salvation (it is an allegory) we will only give it a 4.  Now mark on the graph.  So this movie is put in the FOR GOD/ really good thing quadrant.  You could basically recommend it to anymore.

A movie could be in the really bad side (not well made) but still be FOR God so it would still be great to see.  BUT a movie in the bottom badly made and against God you pretty much wouldn't want to see. 

Do you get it. 

You could use this with your child for a lot of situations and they could help make decisions about certain things by seeing where it fits on the graph!  My kids are visual and especially Matt I think would really like this.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our New Art Curriculum 2012/2013

This year I am excited to study the Impressionist.  Last year, we studied American painters, but there was a huge mix of genres and types.  I wanted to be a little more thorough this year and study more in depth.  Picking a single style of painting will allow me to expand their knowledge on it and build on that all year long.  I love this style of art and it may well be my favorite... I mean who doesn't like Monet, Renoir or Van Gogh.  I don't think the world would be the same place without a The Starry Night, Sunday Afternoon on the Island, Blue Dancers or Waterlillies....

I am starting with using this from the Brook Museum.  We will use their vocabulary list and of course read

here is a short review.

We will also use parts of this lesson plan from Minnesota Marine Art Lesson
Here are the links to different paintings...

I also purchased this beautiful book...The Usborne Introduction to Art
(this has all genre's but is a good resource)

and this coloring book for them to color the different works of art, too...

A WONDERFUL resource is Practical Pages... she has note booking pages, activities, information!  SO MUCH! 

We will be using Practical Pages for the ARTIST of the Month--Impressionist Artist Charts
We will also be using Practical Pages Artist Mini books...
We will also be using Practical Pages Black line Notebooking Pages for more information...
We will also be using Practical Pages Blank Notebooking pages to map where the artist comes from (birth, most lived area and place of death).....

I also plan on using the Anholt's Artists Series by Laurence Anholt for other readers.

Along with countless other books for each artist as we come upon them!

Here is the plan for which artist we will study each month:

September: Edgar Degas
October: Camille Pissarro
November: Georges Seurat
December: Vincent Van Gogh
January: Claude Monet
February: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
March: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
April: Paul Signac
May: Mary Cassatte

Monday, August 13, 2012

Art: Louis Comfort Tiffany

We are now learning about Louis Comfort Tiffany...he was an artist in every sense of the word--- I sometimes think the fact that HIS art is useful... it is even better!  One of my favorite pieces at the MFAH is a Tiffany piece..A Wooded Landscape in Three Panels

so beautiful.  You can almost hear the stream gurgling over the tiny pebbles, in the still, quiet forest.... the lavender, blues and greens are extraordinary.

Did you know that Mr. Tiffany started an education foundation for students of Oyster Bay, Long Island and left a million dollars in the fund as well as his ENTIRE collection of paintings, glass and other art objects?  In addition he left his home and 80 acres of land to the foundation!
 He built studios and luxurious living quarters and every summer invited fifty artist, from all parts of the country to work there at his expense. The house Laurelton Hall was of course the envy of all the beautiful old mansions in the area.... but three years after his death in 1933 the house was abandoned by the foundation, looted and mostly destroyed the house burned a few years later... terrible! A lot of things were saved and taken to the Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida.

Not for the kids but after my research I am totally reading THIS book.... Clara and Mr. Tiffany

The kids also studied some of his different stained arts pieces from this book

we watched Biography: Tiffany: the mark of excellence

It told the whole life story of Charles Tiffany and Louis Comfort Tiffany and was very interesting!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Sum Up: Day 1-28 year 2012-2013

We have been summer schooling since May 22 This review takes me through August 3.... even with all my stuff going on I have tried to be so diligent to get school done!  We have managed to get 28 days done so far!  We have worked on math, Latin, spelling with the girls, finishing up our history, BIBLE, memory work, English, some art....

our current memory verse

the girls working on English

Emily and MF wrote their FIRST story with Story Builder Cards!

Daddy helping Kate get over a hump in math!

Emily and Mary Faith's last memory verse...

MF's Subtraction.... (((sigh)))  but she GOT it!

artwork: thanks BRENDA!

Daddy doing physics with the three munchkins!  I know they look enthralled... I didnt take pictures during the DOING part!  :0)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teacher "ish" stuff

I have resorted to more teacher "ish" stuff than I normally use the past few weeks...

 out of need.

I need to find ways to engage the kids.
I need to find ways to harness Emily's "Emilyness" for good.
I need tricks to help the kids remember.
I am one person, teaching four students, multiple subjects and I don't want to continue repeating information so UP on the wall it's going to go!
I need creativeness in a few approaches!
I need to make it over a few walls we have hit!!!

So Pinterest and I have gotten to be fast friends over the past few weeks! And I started printing last week--

one of my favorites is this:

it is helping in math for word problems.....

and another that is helping with the wiggles is this:

you roll a dice for 5 columns and do each corresponding activity in each column.  THE kids ask for it multiple times a day!  :0) Takes a few minutes and they sit right back down ON TRACK!

Another is reward charts...

The girls get a sticker for doing various things.. 100 on spelling tests, doing great on math timed tests, behaving, reading during non school times and any GREAT JOB scenario's!  Their first reward was a big one (Chuck E Cheese) and their second was pick a book at Half Price books... so we will do a few small ones like pick a candy bar- GET out of MATH today etc... and then a bigger one.  It is helping!

Implementation is proceeding slowly as to not frighten the caged animals. :0)