Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Olivia's Word Folder

As our dining room doubles as our school room, we don't have a lot of wall space for large projects like word walls. I love word walls. Not having space for one makes me sad. Enter the word folder. While it doesn't have the out and open, large feel of a word wall, it's basically a portable word wall.

I took a simple file folder and some alphabet stickers I had floating around and created a folder for review. Olivia thinks it's great to add new words to it. When she struggles with a word, it's nice to be able to say "but it's in your folder, you KNOW this!".

Linking up with Hip Hop Homeschooler

Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - March 25th

We had a fairly quiet week as we took an extended long weekend for Easter. (Ok, really, so I could catch up on some marking, planning and sewing projects ;) )

Math: Olivia finished her chapter in math and is now moving on to shapes and measurement.

English: Brianna has restarted watching CNN Student News for her daily writing. We watch the day's episode together and then she picks a topic from the news cast to write a paragraph about.

Olivia decided to make these mice cupcakes with Brianna for Poetry Teatime.

Science: Olivia and Brianna had a great time with Cornell's bird identifier app. Because Brianna has always been fond of identifying the local birds, she quizzed Olivia to remember distinctions to be able to look up the bird.

History/Geography: Brianna finished World War II in Color for her Holocaust study and is now watching through Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.

Phys Ed: The weather is getting better so we'll hopefully be getting out for more walks and Brianna will be able to start running outdoors again. For this week's Homeschool Coop, we walked to and from the library, roughly a 5km route (just over 3 miles). Brianna also did a general workout once.

French: Brianna is really enjoying her DuoLingo and was tickled to pass me in progress (which wasn't hard, I keep forgetting to do it lol)

Other: The girls have been watching Signing Time with Joshua a lot lately and all 3 of them have picked up loads more sign language! The girls are even starting to put together sentences to show off their skills

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Practical Mom

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - Mar 18th

Joshua is progressing in his speech therapy. He's now up to 36 signs and will use the ooooo and ppp sounds unprompted to "say" open. He has also learned bbbb, eeeee, hhhhaaa and tttt.

Making the eeee sound to ask for a toy key

Math: Brianna's continuing with her math assessment. I introduced fractions to Olivia today with Lego. She thought it was fantastic to include toys with schoolwork! Brianna made a city skyline of the Pi numbers for Pi Day.

English: I've started Olivia on Reading Eggs as ABC Mouse was getting waaaay too easy for her. She needs something that will help her read/spell words instead of with sounds letters make (something she's mastered). Joshua loves watching her work on her schoolwork and it's helping him too as he sometimes attempts to make the sounds to go with the words.

Science: I am working on planning a Human Body/Biology class right now, so formal science is on hiatus. The girls did some bird watching now that our yard is starting to fill with spring birds again. They spotted a Robin too, which is traditionally the first sign of spring around here.

Geography/History: This week was a busy week for Mystery Class. Because of being sick last week we had catch up, but also, we had to figure out roughly how many degrees longitude each Mystery Class location was from Greenwich, England, on the prime meridian.

French: Still continuing with Rosetta Stone and DuoLingo.

Health/Phys Ed.: After a sick week last week, we took it slow this week.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Practical Mom

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My New Mom's Planner!

So, like a LOT of people, I live on my smartphone. However, I love a good pencil and paper. I still do my budget by hand, with paper and pencil. I use spreadsheets all the time for other things. But certain things just require pencil and paper.

I've made a planner before and failed. I discovered it was too long. I'd get bored and keep forgetting to write in it. The beauty of making a planner as opposed to buying one is that it's completely custom. I can't keep a planner for a whole year so I make one for 3 or 4 months. I don't need school phone numbers or dry cleaner numbers. I don't add them. I DO need a cleaning schedule because I'm a terrible housekeeper and no planners have that.

Insert - I'm bored and like to play with Microsoft Word and print stuff.

I'm left handed so coil binding or Steno-style is pretty much required.

Daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule for my lazy house-work-hating self

Full year calendar with days off school

Master Grocery List

It's titled pantry inventory, but really it's my "basement food" inventory

I don't follow meal planning in the sense of this is what we WILL eat this day, but having many meals written out, gives me ideas and prevents too much cereal or take out for supper

Living in an old house, there's always fixing to do

In correlation with my weight loss efforts, I have this tracking page....

And this workout tracking page

In a plea to appeal Brianna to math, I came up with math points in which she can earn Minecraft time or money

In response, she asked to also have to opportunity to earn chore points.

Major school plans

Keeping track of curriculum used

Thus far it's been working well. We've been eating real food and my housework is at least getting done better than before.

I'll be working on sharing the pdf files I make her on the blog. For now though, if you can work simple programs through Word, feel free to copy them :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Ultra Sick Week

As it's been all winter, everyone seems to be sick. I don't think we've had the entire house healthy since November.

I got slammed suddenly with the worst strep throat I've ever had. Friday, I was fine, felt like maybe I was coming down with a head cold by bed time. Sat morning I woke up and thought I was dying. I was sweating profusely like it was a heat wave in August, to shivering uncontrollably like it was -50 degrees. My thermometer battery is dead, but Lee says I had a pretty high fever. Went to the ER to get meds (we don't have regular clinics that are open on the weekend), dr saw I don't get flu shots and tried to insist it's the flu "because I don't get a flu shot" *roll eyes*. How about you LOOK at my throat, since that's my biggest complaint?? Finally convince him to look - oh! Looks like strep throat. Gee, really?? Other than going to the ER, I pretty much slept Sat-Mon. By Wednesday I was finally starting to feel slightly on the mend.

Brianna has had a horrible hacking cough. It has gone no where for weeks. It's not even getting better. She just sounds like she's going to cough up a lung several times a day. Otherwise she was fine. Wednesday she suddenly got very cold after she finished her schoolwork and asked to take a nap. We didn't see her again until about 10pm. Thursday and Friday she went up and down on fevers and bathroom trips.

Olivia likes to over-do everything and get multiple illnesses. On Sat, she developed this odd rash. Looked like simple hives, an allergic reaction. Except she's not typically an allergy kid and hasn't been exposed to anything new lately anyway. Then Sunday, starts popping up with an impetigo-like rash on her face (not surprising as a friend had it last week). Monday, starts having a "scratchy" tongue. *sigh* By Thursday her rashes we gone but she was still "turning into a cat" (since our cat, Bacon, has a scratchy tongue and so does she, she must be turning into a cat).

Joshua spent the week spreading snot everywhere and coughing on people (we are *trying* to work on nose blowing and covering his mouth).

Thankfully, mom and Lee seemed to be mostly spared. Lee got a bit of a cough but nothing else and mom seems to have escaped completely.

We did minimal school this week. A mix of the stuff even Olivia could do on her own and the stuff that she would allow Brianna to help her with. The basics for Brianna. Throw in a few movies (French for Kids, Dogs with Jobs (which was really enjoyed!)) and that was about it.

Daddy got to help out with schoolwork too
Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I WILL Take This Year's Weight Loss Seriously

Several times now I have done the common "New Year, new ME!" fad. I've lost as much as 40lbs (3-4 years ago and starting from a much higher weight). Last year I lost 14. Then gained 9 of it back.

Last year I started buying sewing patterns. I don't want to waste money and time buying fabric and making myself cute stuff for it to flip flop being too big and too small. I want to be able to enjoy my hard work for a long time!

I have the added bonus of a new friend, who kinda lives next door (she actually lives on the street behind me but our back yards share a fence so that still counts!). She too is overweight and wants to be healthy for her family.

She overeats but has loads of energy. I eat pretty healthy but am lazy. We bounce off each other great! She yells at me to get off my butt, I yell at her if she grabs a chocolate bar.

I have loads of fantastic online friends who have been my weigh loss buddies for years. I love them to bits and would probably be a lot heavier right now if it weren't for them. But there's just something that makes you extra accountable to have someone right there in your face telling you not to cheat.

This year, I'm already down 11lbs.

All I've done is the same thing I always do - eat better (and less) and move more.

I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories. Calorie counting in general isn't a big thing as it doesn't take into effect good and bad calories. A banana and a half a chocolate bar are both roughly 100 calories. But counting calories works for me as I can see, first hand, portion control. Which is my big food issue. I eat fairly healthy stuff, but I eat way too much of it.

For exercise, I track my steps via the S Health app, built into my phone (an S5 but is now available for download for some other Android phones). Again, the visual helps me see my progress and motivates me to make the numbers go up. I also occasionally use a treadmill and an exercise bike, but I really dislike exercise equipment. I can't wait for the snow and ice to vamoose so I can get back to walking outside!

I'm still 43lbs from my goal. Will I see goal this year? Maybe. But I will get a hell of a lot further than I have in the past!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - March 4th

Monday was a Leap Day!

Math: Brianna is working her way through her new math. This week she did 12 various "tests". Olivia finished another chapter in her math and is now on to telling time!

English: Olivia is enjoying her phonics book so much that outside of me reading the instructions, she is completing it independently. It's nice to be able to walk away for a minute to help Brianna or Joshua and her still work!

Science: We watched the water/ice move on our walkway and discussed erosion. The girls walked along the ice and watched the air bubbles and water underneath move and talked about displacement.

Geography/History: We read through more of the Our Canadian Girl: Rachel series. Even Olivia is getting excited for read alouds now (this was her first read aloud for school). Week 5 of Mystery Class is in the books. The graphs are looking more definitive now.

French: Brianna worked on some problem areas this week  (Grammar and Writing). She also started DuoLingo on her phone.

Health/Phys Ed.: We got a bit of snow on Tues/Wed so got shoveling exercise! Brianna rode the bike once and ran on the treadmill once for her running training. Olivia is signed up for another year of Soccer, unfortunately she has to wait until May to start playing.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Joshua Starts Speech Therapy!

We were lucky and DID get into the early speech therapy we were hoping for!

Joshua just loves it. The speech pathologist, Sassy, is great with him. He's definitely the most non-verbal in the current pile of therapy kids but she's got loads of patience.

Right now, we're focusing on expanding his known signs and trying to get sounds (of any kind) out of him. In 2 classes of speech he has picked up 6 new signs (up, down, again, out, cut and sit) and 2 sounds ("b" and "k").

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Totally Flipping Brianna's Math

Brianna has several issues that are just part of her life. She has Sensory Processing Disorder, Central Auditory Processing Disorder and probable Dysgraphia. Such is life. We deal with it. Now, however, we are looking at the probability of Dyscalculia.

Brianna is a smart child. Regardless of her alphabet soup of letters between her diagnosed disorders and her probable ones, she still excels in many areas of life. Except math. Math has always been her sore spot. In a sea of straight As in everything else, the highest grade she's ever gotten in math is a C, but most often it's a D or (currently) an F.

While she seemingly has no issues with grades 1 through 4, grade 5 hit her like a lead balloon. It took her 3 tries to make it through Gr. 5 math. She is now on her 2nd try through Gr. 6 math. And yet, she's doing Gr. 8-10 in most other subjects.

Going into the high school years and the fact that she needs at least Gr. 11 math for the college course she wants to take, we obviously need to figure something out.

What we're going to do first is have her do almost all of the chapter tests (thankfully no test anxiety here) from grade 2 to 5. That will hopefully pin point the specific areas she's struggling with.

From there, we're going to spend extra time with Khan Academy, drills and randomized math questions in problem areas. Hopefully we will go back with Math Mammoth in a few months as both she and I enjoy it. We are also looking into Life of Fred and MobyMax.