*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homeschooling With a Toddler…

I’ll be the first to admit…this has been a hard year for us when it comes to homeschooling.  I have had a hard time figuring out how to manage homeschooling with a rambunctious toddler under my feet.  It’s been a hard task, but luckily, we’ve hopefully figured out a way to cope with the extra set of little hands that are into everything. 
I’ve basically come to the conclusion that we have to include Micah in our schooling.  No, I’m not teaching him anything major yet, but I basically let him make the biggest mess have a go with all of the manipulatives.  He gets to play with the musical instruments, dominoes, counters of many sorts, unifix cubes, and spelling letters.  You see…we just have to let him think he’s part of the learning, and he’s good to go.  Granted, he’s mainly just tossing the stuff all over the school area, but maybe there’s something deeper going on in that brain of his.  Time will only tell…
But – we’re managing and school is getting done.  So, I think that’s all that counts.  I’m hoping it will all get a bit easier as he gets older.  But I’m sure the messes will only get bigger.
Here are some pictures for your viewing enjoyment:

Micah taking a break from his “schooling” to enjoy some juice.IMG_4332
Look at the mess learning that is going on here…wow, lots to learn.IMG_4335 Spelling tiles on the floor…IMG_4336Micah put his hat on and decided to go for a trip…he said, “Bye” and off he went.IMG_4340
If you have any other tips for homeschooling with a toddler, PLEASE SHARE them.  I’m open for any suggestions to continue to make this an enjoyable time for all of us.  fingerscrossed

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Grade Week 14 in Review

Well, we are done with another week here at Childress Academy.  It’s been a busy time of year for us, but I guess that’s a good thing.  Anyway, here’s how this week panned out:
Bible:  Our Bible story this week focused on “God Made a Wonderful Home”.  The Bible verse this week was Psalm 104:24.
Phonics & English:  This week we talked about action words (verbs).  The service words were “every, everybody, work, and done.”  We started back with word families and added the following to our list:  “-ane, –ate, –ape, –ame, –ake, –ale, –ade, –ave, –ike, –ile, –ine, –ime, –ive, –ide, –ire, and –ite.” 
Heritage Studies:  This week we continued to talk about new settlements.  We learned about Sir Walter Raleigh, Jamestown, and John Smith.  I truly hope that we are able to make a trip to Jamestown the next time we go up to visit Omi and Opa in Virginia.  I think Caleb would love seeing it and exploring all of the sites.
Math:  We continued our chapter on addition by discussing 3 addends, adding on the # line, double facts, adding with 5 (ten-frame), and names for 10.  Caleb really seems to excel in math, and he tickles me figuring out the answers to his math problems.  He doesn’t use his fingers or counters…just does it in his little head.  I think we’ve found his strong point.  smile_regular
Vocabulary:  We added “enormous, decay, volcano, skeleton, and prehistoric” to our list of vocabulary words. 
Science:  We’re taking a little break from our science book with another lapbook.  This time we’re doing Rodney Rockhound’s Rocks & Minerals.  Ever since Caleb got a collection of rocks & minerals from Grandma (it was a collection that my two brothers and nephew had when they were younger), he has been all about rocks & minerals.  This week we talked about the different vocabulary terms, safety precautions, colors of rocks/minerals, where to find them, and why people collect them.  I really think we’ve sparked a new interest for sweet Caleb.
Art:  Caleb finished up his art lessons today, but since he expressed such an interest we went ahead and signed him up for 8 more weeks.  So, he’ll start a new session next week, and I think he’s happy about that.  Today he painted a house. 
Well, we’re going to take a small break this week since Opa is visiting.  We’ll get going again next week.  As always, thanks for following our first grade adventures.

Random Pictures of Micah…

I think I’ve been pretty slack about posting pictures of Micah, so here are a bunch of random shots.  It won’t take long for you to figure out what he’s into these days…EVERYTHING!!!!!

Modeling his bee hatIMG_4269Playing in his cabinetIMG_4313Enjoying fruit snacks in his cabinetIMG_4316 Modeling his new shoe…aka the top to the Playskool Busy Ball PopperIMG_4328Sharing his new favorite trick…taking a sip of juice/milk and holding it in his mouth until he’s good and ready to swallow.  Please note – said child may spit the liquid out or spill some of the liquid before actually swallowing.  If I find out who taught him this trick, they’re in for it!  smile_tongue 
So, there you have it…this is just a little example of how my days are filled.  It’s no wonder I don’t get much accomplished.  I’m constantly telling a certain someone “get down”, “NO”, “don’t touch that”, etc.  LOL!

Friday, September 18, 2009


How do you define fear?  What terrifies you?

I had a bit of a fearful experience yesterday.  Let me share what happened…

I was sitting at my laptop doing something, and I smelled an awful smell.  It really scared me and freaked me out.  It was a smell that didn’t settle well, and I had no idea what it was or where it was coming from.  The smell…it’s really hard to describe, but it reminded me a lot of plastic burning on the stove but only a LOT worse. 

Well, I immediately checked to make sure the stove/oven were off and nothing was burning.  I then made sure that the washer/dryer were both off (I was running both at the time).  I still couldn’t figure out what the smell was or where it was coming from.  I couldn’t see anything either…no smoke or anything. 

Since Brian was out working, I didn’t know what to do.  So, when all else fails…CALL MOM!  So, that’s what I did.  I called my mom and asked her what I should do.  We both decided that I should call my youngest brother, Daniel, who works in the city where we live.  He wasn’t due to get off of work for another 30 minutes, but luckily, he said he’d be on his way.  I called my parents back, and talked to my dad.  He told me he was on his way and gave my mom word for the boys and me to get out of the house.  So, I took the boys, the dog, and myself to the car. 

By this point, Caleb was freaked out.  Granted, it’s my fault because I was freaked out, too.  I mean, hello…my husband isn’t home, and I haven’t the foggiest why my house smells like it could burn down or explode any minute.  Wouldn’t you freak out, too?

My brother came over and looked things over.  He thought it had something to do with our a/c unit.  When my dad and other brother (along with my mom) got here, they all confirmed the same thing.  So, I called a family friend who is in the a/c business, and he told me to shut off all the breakers for the a/c.  He told me he’d be over last night or this morning (it was pouring last night, so he wasn’t sure if he’d make it or not).

Well, Mr. Charles came over this morning, and he let us know that our fan motor had blown up.  He also informed us that it should still be covered under the warranty since we bought our house in ‘05.  After he told us what to do, we got on the phone with the company who installed our unit.  They sent someone over later this morning.  The guy told us it wouldn’t be covered under the warranty since the unit was an ‘03.  Ummm…hello, we bought the house in ‘05, it sat on the market for OVER a year…it’s not my fault it’s now 6 years later and your warranty expires after 5. 

Have I mentioned that we are a very hot-natured family, and we keep our air on 72?????  You mean to tell me that I’m going to have to live without a/c over the w-end.  Ummm…I don’t think so JOE!

Brian went over to the power company and got a certified letter stating that we turned on power to the house in Feb. of ‘05, and the guy proceeded to replace the motor.  He informed us that had we followed proper a/c protocol (meaning you really should have the stuff cleaned/checked 2x a year), we wouldn’t have had this issue. 

After all was said and done, we are now out $215 for something that would normally cost $980.  We are sooooo thankful that Mr. Charles told us about the 5 year warranty on most units once they are put into a new home.  Otherwise, some JOE SCHMOE could have come up in here and made some money off of us.  We would have never known otherwise either.

Thank the Lord we have a/c now.  I truly don’t know how people ever lived without it.  My hot-natured self would DIE!  So, there you have it…sorry this turned into such a long post.  Geez, it’s not this long when I tell the story.  LOL!

First Grade Week 13 in Review

We are done with yet another week here at Childress Academy.  We’ve basically been schooling every day (weekends included) in order to get all caught up so we can enjoy our 4-day week.  Don’t worry, it only takes us about 2 hours each day, so Caleb is getting plenty of play and free time.  smile_teeth Here’s how this week panned out:
Bible:  Our Bible story was on “Faithfully Serving the Lord.”  We continued to review Acts 16:31.
Phonics & English:  We added “were, live, something, school, and heard” to our list of service words.  In English skills, we discussed describing words (aka adjectives) and the different sounds of the suffix “-ed” (d and t).
Heritage Studies:  We started a new chapter talking about new homes in the New World.  We are talking about settlements right now.
Math:  We started a new chapter this week, and we’re back to addition.  This week we focused on counting on 1/2, the zero principle, and the order of addends principle. 
Vocabulary:  This week we discussed the definition of “desert, bend, stump, temperature, and dusk.”
Science:  We finished up our chapter on Matter this week.  Caleb learned about the different forms of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and their properties.
Art:  Caleb painted two pictures this week during art lessons.  He worked on a bird painting and a shark painting.  He continues to do so well and really seems to enjoy this activity.
Thanks for continuing to follow our adventures at Childress Academy.  We’ll be back next time to share more of our fun times and activities.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Grade Week 12 in Review

Well, we are done with another week in first grade at Childress Academy. Let me just say…we have been so stinkin’ busy lately. I’m having a hard time keeping up with all of our activities, but I’ll post more on that later. Here’s how this week went:
Bible: Our Bible story was on “Preaching the Good News.” We continued to review Acts 16:31.
Phonics & English: We added “Bible,” “people,” “once,”
“money,” and “does to our list of service words. The English skills we discussed were: nouns, 2 syllable words, adding “-ing” and “-ed”, and the consonant plus “-le” pattern.
Heritage Studies: We finished up our chapter on Indians by discussing the Indians of the Southwest and the foods the Indians gave us. Caleb will take a test over this chapter next week.
Math: We started a new chapter on money. Caleb worked on counting dimes/pennies and nickels/pennies.
Vocabulary: We added the words “clear,” “flash,” “paddle,”
“swift,” and “wild” to our list.
Science: We finished up our chapter on plants and tested over the material. We then started a new chapter on matter. Caleb learned that matter is anything that takes up space.
Art: Caleb is still enjoying his art lessons. This week he painted a picture of a “Crayola man”, and he did a GREAT job. I’ve yet to get a picture of it, but I promise to do so.
Extra Stuff: We have been super busy with lots of extra activities. Our monthly homeschool activities started up this month, so Caleb has enjoyed skating and Boys’ Club. I’m actually leading the Littles’ Club (club for boys in PreK – 1st grades), so that is keeping me busy. We have bowling coming up this week. It’s something nearly every Friday…not to mention all the other stuff that has to get done. smile_teeth
We are also gearing up for another session of homeschool co-op, and I’m teaching 2 classes. I’m teaching an Eric Carle Carnival (lots of crafts related to his books) and Acting Up (Reader’s Theater). Caleb is taking my Eric Carle Carnival, Time & Money, and Wonderful World of Animals. It should be a fun and exciting 8 weeks. Classes start on the 24th of this month, so we’re getting everything ready to go.
As always, thank you for following our first grade adventure. We’ve really enjoyed the year, and we are looking forward to many more fun times.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Walking in Daddy’s Shoes…

Micah has started trying to wear Mommy & Daddy’s shoes.  He decided he’d try to walk in Brian’s shoes today (and please don’t mind the pig sty mess of a master bedroom behind him.  He’s such a cutie!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Grade Week 11 in Review

Here’s how this week at Childress Academy panned out:
Bible:  Our Bible verse for the week was Acts 16:31, and our Bible story was on “Sending God’s Servants Out.”
Phonics & English:  We added “hear, eyes, door, and floor” to our list of service words.  We discussed the following English skills:  possessive “s”, suffixes –er, –est, –ed, and –ing, and the title “Mrs.”.
Heritage Studies:  We continued our discussion of Indians.  We have discussed Woodland Indians, Plains Indians, and the Indians of the North and Northwest.  Caleb also got to make a tipi this week.
Math:  We finished up our chapter on subtraction.  Caleb really seems to enjoy math, so that’s always a plus.  smile_regular
Vocabulary:  This week we discussed the meaning of “peak, liquid, dip, shallow, and compass.”
Science:  We started a new chapter on plants this week.  Caleb has learned the three parts of plants (roots, stems, leaves), different types of leaves (broad/flat and long/thin), and he learned all about edible plants (not his favorite subject since he doesn’t care for veggies).
Art:  Caleb is still enjoying his art lessons.  I posted one of his projects here.  We’re waiting to see if any of his artwork will be displayed at the Georgia National Fair…he’d be THRILLED if he was chosen. 
As always, thanks for following our journeys in first grade!  We will share more next week. 

Windows Live Writer Test

I have heard about this from someone else, so I thought I’d download it and give it a whirl.  Let’s just see how easy it is, and if I like it.

Do any of you use this for your blog posting?  How do you like it compared to the typical blog posting method?  So far, it seems easy-peasy.  But – the jury is still out, so we’ll see. 

I am wondering though…where are the emoticons?  Someone said they were on here…am I missing it?  Oh, I’m using the Desktop version if that makes a difference.

So, share your love/hate for Windows Live Writer…

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cheesy Budding Artist

No, these two things have nothing to do with each other, but I didn't want to type up two separate posts. So, here's the combo and the explanation.

While we were in Florida, Micah figured out how to say "cheese" and ham it up for the camera. So, whenever I got out the camera, he would say "cheese" and turn into the little ham. Here's a small glimpse at his cheesy haminess (is that even a word combo????).

As most of you know, Caleb has been taking semi-private (meaning he's not the only student) art lessons for a few weeks. They've been looking at objects and drawing them. Today he looked at a bird and drew it. Then, he painted it. So, here's his first painting from art class. I think he did a GREAT job considering he's only SIX!!!!! And -- this was only his 3rd class, so I think he's doing super! Does anyone know how to hang these? This is just a flat canvas panel, and I haven't a clue how to hang it. So, any ideas/tips? TIA!

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