Friday, December 19, 2008

We're kinda vacationing

We've been doing a bit here and there, over the last two weeks. Watching science videos, playing our new 4 way countdown game, and playing learning games online. I can't wait till the holiday season is over so we can get back some order around here.

The hubby and I made a couple of great educational finds that I wanted to put up here for anyone who happens across my blog. We discovered a treasure trove of National Geographic publications while we were in Austin. Apparently, in April of each year the society decides where they are going to have their gigantic warehouse sale. They hold the sale at the end of the year. Here's an article talking about the sales that just passed. Watch for one next year. It is definitely worth a drive to attend. We purchased many books for $1 and large reference books for $10. This is something worth setting aside money for so you can get everything you want. We wanted one of everything. Of course, the pictures in the books are all amazing. It was very difficult to choose.

I, also, read about this site. I can't remember where I got the information, but I'll let you know when I remember. This is a site that offers, according to them, "100% FREE K-12 Tailored Tutoring Programs in Math and Reading". There is a free assessment test which is supposed to help tailor the program to your child or to you. Adults are welcome to use the site, also.

I thought I'd add a few pics of my kiddos, too, because that's really what this blog is all about.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Budding Three Year Old Photographer

Connor loves to take pictures. I love to see things from his perspective.

Mac n' cheese and Aria are synonymous

Connor and bowling are synonymous

Who would have thought to take a picture of the inside of a potato chip bag?

This is my favorite, but please don't tease him about the painted toenails. He just wants to be as cool as his big sister.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gingerbread Demolition

The beginning of our day was blissful and a bit misleading. One might have thought that this was going to be a cozy, cloudy day in which a young family might bond over some board games. Not so much.

Casey and I played with our new game, 4 Way Countdown. We had a great time adding and subtracting to our hearts content. Connor woke and was fairly accommodating. I woke (i.e., dragged) Aria and the disharmonious-ness ensued.

The whining and petty arguing between Aria and Casey was like a fork in the garbage disposal. It was so melodramatic that I just had to laugh. We played another round of 4 Way Countdown with Aria. Casey won to the consternation of Aria.

Then Aria and I went to the Internet to practice grammar and usage. We played Grammar Gorillas here. Which went well and we checked out National Geographic for kids, online. That was pretty cool. We played a holiday quiz while Casey looked on. We, also, watched a video of one of Aria's favorite singers who was helping to provide bed nets to children in Africa. Malaria runs rampant there and kills many children. She was impressed that her idol would do something like that.

Casey and Connor played on Between the Lions again for Language Arts. We, also, discussed our word of the day which was 'fiction'. Both the older children, later, used the word in our conversations. I love to hear them implement these words. I praised both of them for their usage.

Last, but not least, we demolished the gingerbread house and the eating of candy ensued.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread House

I managed to get a little academic cooperation out of the children today, but it seems that they will be in a state of perpetual excitement until Christmas. I started a Junie B. Jones book which received a lukewarm response at best. We did all laugh when Junie accidentally says that no one in her family is 'normal'. I can totally identify, Junie.

We watched a couple of videos about Pandas and talked very briefly about their habitat being destroyed and the probability of losing pandas forever. We, also, watched a video about cats' ability to right themselves in a fall. They are amazing creatures.

Aria and I talked about the difference between fiction and non-fiction. She played a game online which practiced this concept. We also discussed the 'word of the day; prudent. She then did a quick worksheet practicing her math facts. She wanted to get through these things quickly so we could get to our gingerbread house building.

Casey played on He played most of the games on Between the Lions. I got him started and told him when he was done he could do his math sheet. Then we'd work on the gingerbread house, but he was engrossed he didn't want to stop. He played much more then I told him he had to. That desire to learn is so nice to see.

Finally, to the kids' delight we started on the gingerbread house. They had a blast putting it together and eating the candy and licking the frosting off of whatever it got onto.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Tooth Fairy and the End of the World

We had an exciting morning. The Tooth Fairy came and left Casey two dollars for his first lost tooth. (He is actually missing two teeth. The first one was damaged and had to be pulled. That one earned a present from Mommy and Daddy since it was so traumatic.) Casey's eyes were lit up this morning. I heard him say, "She came!" He found me in the kitchen and told me the Tooth Fairy came. "And I KNOW she did 'cause there's glitter on my pillow." He exclaimed. Priceless.

Casey and I spent the morning watching videos on We watched a couple of videos on the strangest ways the world could end, like nano technology turning all living things into grey goo. Maybe not so great material for a little kid, but he saw it as fantasy, which it is, basically. We also watched a bunch about colonizing the moon and Mars. We had a tough time tearing ourselves away. Aria didn't want to join us, but she spent about half an hour on, exploring the science games on there. BTW, did you know that the sun flips its magnetic poles every 22 years?

Aria read a chapter in her fairy book and Casey and I finished his book. I read four books to Connor while he tried to go potty. He doesn't want to wear diapers but he also doesn't want to pee in the potty. It is not very much fun to sit in a wet spot on the computer chair. He'll get it though.

We played a neat Internet game to practice our math facts. It's very simple and yet addicting. It practices the facts that add up to ten.

I attempted to get the kids to help me write a rhyming Christmas poem, but we just ended up with a lot of words that rhyme with poo. So, I abandoned that idea. Aria decided to blog and Casey practiced a bit on starfall.

Connor impressed me with his ingenuity. He built a cool little lane for his ball and he rolled it over stuff and into stuff. He kept changing it up and watched what it did each time. He such a little scientist. A scientist who is liable to knock your block off with whatever he's rolling/throwing at the time, but a scientist nonetheless.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Solar Oven

I've been excited about this idea of a solar oven since I found the instructions for one online. So, I made one today. Unfortunately, it was not sunny enough today to really get it going, but the temperature neared 140 degrees at times. It warmed the hot dogs I put in it, slightly.

I'd love to build a real one to take camping with us, to cook with on the beach or cook on in the summer when it's too hot to turn on the oven. I know I could use the slow cooker, but this is neat because it doesn't require any energy but sunshine. There's a very cool site about the benefit of solar ovens to energy poor countries.

Today, we played on a fun science site called Wonderville. Both kids found it entertaining for quite awhile. The 3d environment is really neat.

Aria read twenty-five pages of a chapter book on her own! I read to Casey who wanted to continue the book until chapter six. Awesome-ness on both counts. Aria hasn't read a book on her own since I can't remember when. I'm sure the aversion was because she was forced to read a whole lot of books in school that were of no interest to her and I think her comprehension of the material has improved, considerably. She came to me after she read and relayed all of what she had read in those twenty-five pages. Casey, in turn, told her about his story.

Aria wanted a worksheet to practice her math facts. She finished 50 problems in a relatively short time. I think I'm seeing a light bulb go on with those troubling things. I see her putting in the effort to commit them to memory, finally.

Casey played addition pinball online. He read me a few books on Aria played a game practicing recognition of nouns and verbs. We finished up by about 1:00pm.

Connor played a pinball game and on, too. He watches everything we do. He recognizes a few words like go, stop, and play. He can type his own name and tries to write a little sometimes. He's learning a lot just by watching from the sidelines.

I productive day over all, I feel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving, Camping, and New Friends

We survived the Feast. We spent a nice afternoon and evening laughing and eating with our family. We played some games. Connor managed to dampen the evening by breaking a sculpture which had been an anniversary gift, but other then that we had a great time. We brought home plenty of leftovers.

Friday we went camping. We met up with our new homeschooling buddies. We had a blast sitting around the campfire all weekend. The kids ran with their friends and played in the woods. It was really, really good for all of us. We haven't had a vacation in a long time.

I needed yesterday to recouperate. Today, we got back on with a bit of the academics. (When you say it like that it almost sounds like a disease. 'I came down with a case of the academics.') We read a short picture book called "Too Many Toys" by David Shannon and started a new fairy story.

We went to the Internet for Language Arts. Aria practiced identifying types of sentences. (i.e. exclamation, statement, question, command) Then she corrected the capitalization and punctuation. Casey read a short story on

We played a math card game called Twenty-five and Addition War.

Finally, we watched a video about hurricanes and tornados, which Aria loved. The boys were not so interested in it. We found out that Texas has the most tornados per year and then Kansas.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yay! Our camera's here!

Lets see, we've been busy people this past few days. Friday we meet some new homeschooled friends. I've been trying to find Aria some gal pals her own age. I'd like her to have friends of varying backgrounds so she doesn't have just one peer set helping her make up her mind about everything. We meet several girls her age this weekend and I made some new friends, too.

We met our new friends at their home on Friday and then Saturday attended a bbq at the park. Sunday we visited with old friends at their house and today we had another old friend over to play. So four days of socializing and running around has left me feeling a little like I've been too close to a fast moving train, but strangely energized.

Hopefully, we'll get back to some academics tomorrow. We need the support, though, of others like ourselves. So, our visits were definitely needed and welcome. We are scheduled to go camping after Thanksgiving with our new friends. So, the fun's not over yet.

We are very excited over our new camera. It can do videos, too. So, we can upload our science experiments and Aria can upload her singing. We can say hi to everyone every day. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick entry

I have to get to some cleaning so this is going to be short and to the point. We played on the computer all day. Math on, science on (we learned about popcorn, ligaments, and resonance), language arts on and and I read a chapter from our book. We are getting to the end of "The Rainbow Wand". We did a lot of stuff in a very short period of time. I think everyone was on fast forward today, but that's okay sometimes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're plugging away

Yesterday and today we read four chapters of "The Rainbow Wand". I am gratified to see the children pause their coloring and get that far away look while their minds create vivid images of the story. To practice Comprehension, I asked them a few questions about the characters and situations in the book. Aria's retention of the details was great.

To practice our math, yesterday, we created flashcards. We did just two fact cards each, but we decorated them up like pieces of art. Today, we played Addition War with a deck of playing cards. I've been trying to incorporate all of the five senses into our math. I am hoping that this will help us all to retain the addition facts. We, also, reviewed skip counting. Aria knows how to skip count by twos, fives and tens. Casey know the fives and tens and is pretty sure of the twos, but may need a little review.

We began a Thanksgiving craft yesterday, but the kiddos didn't feel like continuing with it today. There hasn't been much enthusiasm for Thanksgiving crafts as there was for Halloween. I'm hoping we can get a couple of things done before Thanksgiving. I may need to find some crafts that are a little better quality. Something, that requires more thought and something we could give as a gift or keep year after year.

Today, Aria practiced noun and verb usage by playing Casey and I sat with her through the first game. Then Casey and I went to another computer to play Starfall. I read one of the 'books' on their site and reviewed the 'when vowel teams go walking the first vowel does the talking' rule.

DH ordered us a new camera. I hope it arrives quickly. I'm having photo taking withdrawals.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Successful Day

We had lots of learning fun today. We read as usual. We are trying out Fairy Realm Book 10: The Rainbow Wand by Emily Rodda. I didn't realize that it was a series, but the book seems to stand on it's own. We haven't run into in any confusing materials, yet, that relate to previous books. The children seem to be enjoying it well enough. There's no shouting "Read more! Read more!" But there's no moaning when I pick it up.

Then Casey and I played a math game online. The object is to reveal a picture by answering addition problems. Aria and I played a game, too. In this game, you defeat an alien space ship by answering math problems.

I think my favorite part of both of these games is that the kids and I sat in the chair together. I held Casey and then held Aria while they played. I encouraged and helped them through both of the games. I've been thinking that I wanted to spend more individual time with each of them and I think I may have hit upon something important for us.

I have, in the past, spent more physical time with Casey while he's learning. I've held him in my lap or sat behind him in the chair. I've sent Aria off to blog or play a game. I think that was a mistake. It disconnects me from her learning and allows her to hurry through things just to get them done. I feel that having me there may help to support and comfort them when something is confusing or difficult. Being there, also, shows that I am interested in what they are creating and learning. It says I'm interested in them.

Casey and I worked on another digraph and then he wanted to play with a couple of 'games' on I like that he chose to play these things. He knew we could have been done after practicing the 'ch' sound, but he then went on to 'ar' and 'ow'. I didn't for an instant mind that we didn't do the worksheet I planned. It's so much better to go where the interest leads then to end a foray into learning prematurely.

Lastly, we did something they both really liked. We created a story with sound effects. Aria typed a fairly lengthy and, slightly, disturbing story. :) I saw her making corrections here and there. Although, her writing was far from perfect, the fact that she was taking notice of any of the grammatical errors is a huge step for her.

I transcribed Casey's story for him and we then took turns reading our stories and pressing the buttons for the sound effects. This is definitely something we will do again. We all thought it was great fun and I think this would be wonderful for those kids who don't like writing. This makes it much more fun. I think I may write one that's funny and see what the kids think.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back to School

After, a week and a half devoted to a garage sale endeavor we are now back to school. We finished our Katie Kazoo book which we started last week. They seem to focus much better on the story when they are coloring while I'm reading. I find that kind of ironic, but I guess it focuses the eyes and leaves the ears and brain open to the story.

We practiced our math by modifying this game We rolled two die and added the numbers together. We then counted out the correct number of beans to represent the answer. When we had ten beans we would trade them in for a manipulative representing ten. (I have foam pieces, strips, and squares representing ones, twos, threes...tens, hundreds, and thousands.) The first on to fifty won.

Casey then made up a game with very subjective and changeable rules which he graciously let me win. Then we changed to a bit to make it more fair and accurate by placing the foam 'tens' strips end to end. We rolled the dice and counted that number of spaces on the strips until we reached the end of our tens road. He won that one. I was impressed that he knew 5+6 immediately even though we've never formally learned that one. He knows what 5+5 is so he correctly deduced that it was one more. A couple of times he 'saw' where he needed to move his piece without counting it out. I'm impressed by his mathematical thinking.

We were practicing our math facts in the car yesterday and I was gratified to hear my dear daughter remembering several math facts we have been working on. I wasn't sure that she was retaining them long term. Yay! My dear husband gave me so good advice about teaching math with several different methods. I could use music, flashcards, games, ect. I thought this was a great idea. We can create several different ways of recalling the facts and we can use methods that will speak to each child's mode of learning.

Aria practiced her nouns and verb with a game on and Casey practiced 'wh' with

I'm very depressed because we can't find our digital camera. I love having the things we do recorded that way. It would have been so fun to have it last week when we got out our new microscope and looked at a hair, wasp's wing, and a...booger. :) That particular sample was happily extracted by both older children in record time. lol Well, we'll find it or get a new one for an early Christmas present, I guess.

Feels good to be back together, learning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We had taken last week off of school so the DH and I could do a MAJOR junk purge. Now that we are mostly finished with that huge job we can get back to that thar edumacatin' stuff.

We got back into the swing of things today with our traditional morning reading. I set the mood with the reading candle. And I don't believe that I heard any whining about doing school today. They seemed ready to get back to it.

After reading we verbally reviewed our math facts and then played a game online practicing counting by fives. Both children understand the concept and are proficient at counting by fives.

Then Casey played on with the 'th' digraph and also with 'ee' words. Then we did a little verbal playing with the 'th' sound by filling in the missing word. For example, "During what holiday do we eat Turkey?" I, also, gave him a couple of words with 'th' in them and asked him was the 'th' sound at the beginning, middle or end.

Aria played a game online that practiced noun and verb identification. The goal was to 'recycle' the trash into the correct bin. If the trash had a noun on it then it went in the 'Noun' can and the verbs went in the 'Verb' can. I helped her a bit and then she understood much better. I think we could adapt this game to a real life recycling game.

It was a good first day back. Now I've just got to go get all this garage sale junk marked and clean the house and prepare for school the rest of the week and figure out what we're gonna eat for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Phew! Is this week over, yet?

Yesterday, the children woke with so much energy that I had to fore go any thought of structured teaching. We went outside and kicked the ball around. Aria read us a chapter in our Junie B book and the kids played a bit on some educational websites. That's why we do this, though, right? I can move with the ebb and flow of my children's energies. Teachers in school cannot.

Today, I took a bit of a personal day. I tried to encourage the kids to play on some educational websites again. They did for a short time, but they really just wanted to do their own thing today. That's just fine. I having been feeling like a little bit of do your own thing was inevitable.

My dear husband and I are planning on doing a major junk purge to clean out the house, garage, shed. I am going to have to prep for that and I need to look at what we're doing with school. I want to make sure we're enjoying each other's company and learning as well.

We have some new animal additions to the household. Three baby gerbils, but I'll be darned if I can't find the camera to take their pictures. Ronnie, also, carved some awesome pumpkins for the kiddos and I want to take a picture of those, too. Can someone, please, divine were the darn camera is?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday, again

Well, we seem to be doing more in less time. I can't tell what's going on, exactly. It maybe that we are doing less wandering aimlessly between 'subjects' or the children are hurrying to get through the work so they can do their own thing. Casey seems to enjoying his learning time. Aria enjoys our reading time, I think.

I feel that I have to be careful the direction I take from this point forward. I'm seeing a little of the old 'I don't want to do this, it's stupid' attitude from my dear daughter. I may have her blog about it and see if she can't tell me what's going on.

We read "Eloise Takes a Bawth" today. Aria loves Eloise. Then Casey and I colored snowmen with letters on them. We cut them out and match the top hat with the lower case letter to the snowman with the cooresponding upper case letter. Aria colored some Halloween themed pages and she blogged for Casey.

We did our math worksheet. Casey forgot some of the facts from last week. I'm confused because the last two days he's gone right through them without any problem. Aria, too, has a few to memorize. I just need to go slowly. Maybe we should take a break from the worksheet and play some flashcard games.

Casey's Phrase of the day: "Say what, Mama with the big butt?" That's lovely, son. Thank you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Larvae vs Rainbows

In our home, rainbows don't hold a candle to larvae. We went outside today to 'make' a rainbow by reflecting sunlight off of a mirror held under the water. The rainbow is reflected onto a piece of paper held above the mirror. Personally, I thought this to be quite amazing and fun. I wish I could have shared it with my lovely children, but a larva was found near our experimentation site. I'm afraid larva trumps rainbow.

We found out that the larva is probably an acorn moth. Specifically, Cydia splendana, I believe. I don't know what so splendid about this thing. It's pretty gross, in my opinion. I enjoy looking at different types of insects and spiders, but this one is just disgusting. Sorry, Refracted Light you just aren't cool enough. Maybe if you were a bit slimy looking and had creepy grasping legs you'd have a chance. :)

Seriously, though, I am glad the children like nature and want to care for these creatures. I am hoping that they will someday feel the same sense of responsibility for their Earth that I do. I hope they understand the importance of caring for the only home we have and feel driven to do what they can to accomplish that.

Let me backtrack now and start at the beginning of the day with Casey. He found me in the office, as usual, with my cup of coffee. I was printing the day’s worksheets which he spied and wanted to know what they were. So, I showed him the letter matching worksheet I planned for later. He wanted to do it immediately. I told him to draw a line from the lowercase letter to the uppercase letter. He had just a little trouble with lower case 'b' and 'd'.

I have to laugh at the fleeting thoughts I have when they want to do stuff before I planned to do it. That's when I am most grateful for unschooling. In the past I may have said, "No, those worksheets are for Language Time." (I would have said it all know-it-all-teacher-like) What if he didn't want to do it later? What if I had to make him do it and then he didn't learn a darn thing?

A few minutes later, we were all sitting together for breakfast, a rare occurrence, and Aria wanted to start reading our new “Junie B. Jones” book. Again, I could have said, "No, let's wait till we're all done eating and we can light our Reading Candle. We can go outside and read." But, why? The child wants to read to us. We're all there. We're not so distracted by our food that we can't listen to a fun story. Yet, this is what they'd have to deal with in school everyday, the compartmentalizing of each subject into block of time when they may or may not be able or willing to participate. Not my kids.

We do try to have some sort of a schedule, but if they want to do math first or science first or dinner in the morning I don't care. All I want is for us to be happily learning and comfortably busy.

We practiced our math worksheet and did a fill in the blank worksheet. I am going to move them to the next set of facts tomorrow. We did a couple of Mad Libs which came out okay, except that the children weren't very creative with their choices of words. The stories were mildly funny, but I may have to give them multiple choice answers or a big list of adjectives, verbs, and nouns. I gave them an example of an adjective, like red. They would pick blue as their word. I, definitely, think a list would help make it more fun. Aria blogged and she started one for Casey, too. I think she likes writing under a pseudonym.

After we were done, I introduced Connor to Chilly Willy on YouTube. He wasn’t very impressed, but Woody Woodpecker was a hit. Casey came in to have a look at what we were watching and he says “Oh, you guys are watching Crazy Chicken, huh?” He made me laugh out loud with that one. He says these things with such authority sometimes. As if, there can be no other title for this show. Mostly, because what Casey says is nearly always right, in him mind anyway. Yes, son, we’re watching the Crazy Chicken cartoon.

That reminds me of one of Connor’s funny quirks. If I say, “Connor you are so cute.” He says, “No, I not. I’m Connor.” I love this. I may be reading too much into it but I like that he doesn’t want to be anything but himself. He refuses to be labeled. Maybe I’ll start using that as my motto, too. I’m not lazy, fat, busy, mother, homeschooler, disorganized, smart, stupid, or temperamental, I’m Jill.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rainy Day

Stayed up late again with the fire pit, so we got a late start today. The day is rainy and cool, not very condusive to high productivity. We finished Junie B. It ended with a good laugh.

We reviewed our math facts and I think I will start Casey on the next set tomorrow. He zipped right through the current ones. We, also, practiced counting by 5's with a worksheet. Casey is working very hard on his writing skills. I see Aria's handwriting improving, too. The numbers she wrote today seemed more adult some how. Both the children understood the exercise by the time we were done. We should be able to move on to skip counting by 2's by next week. It probably seems backward to count by 10's, then 5's and then 2's but it seems easier to me to learn them in that order.

Aria and I played WAR and she beat me again. I think the laws of probability don't apply to her. Casey and I played Addition Rummy. He wanted to change the rules in the middle of the game. He said this our game and we can make any rules we want, right? I said it'd be more fair to change the rules before we start playing so that we all get a fair chance. But in the end he put down all his cards according to his rules and then pronounced me the winner because he didn't have any cards and I did. What a sweet boy.

The kids then cleaned their rooms like crazy people. We are considering getting them gerbils, but we told them they had to show some sign that they are responsible individuals by cleaning their rooms and keeping them clean. Clean rooms have nothing to do with caring for gerbils, I realize, but...a gerbil could get lost in there and never be seen or heard from again.

Now they are demonstrating their 'karate' skills in the driveway, with a lot of gusto. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Static Electricity

Aria read to us this morning out of our current installment of Junie B. Jones. She doing such a good job of reading with inflection and emotion. We started out at the table outside, but a visit from a bee had everyone in tense knots so we moved inside. We sat at the table and Casey colored while Aria read.

About half way through, I heard him sounding out the words on the front of the color book. "C-c-c-a-a-rrrr-e B-e-e-e-a-rrrs, I love Care Bears." He whispered. I noticed how much beginning reading is like beginning talking. You notice it a little at first and then it seems like overnight they are talking like you and me, or reading in this case.

Casey and I sat down later and typed out many words with the word processor. He doesn't have any problems with words like cat, sat, met, set, but what impressed me is that longer words don't scare him at all. He read set and said, "That's like on the computer when you push the button." I said, "That's reset." And I typed it. I had typed 'tad' and then he tried to type tadpole. He started with 'tat' and asked me how to spell pole. He was also sounding out 'broadcast' when he saw it on TV this morning. He got 'broad' all by himself.

He cracked me up, too. He's very impressed with his own abilities he said something about making a lot of money with the Amazing, Reading Six-Year-Old. I'm not gonna tell him that a lot of six-years-old kids are reading now and nobody else better tell him either. :) I can practically see the wheels turning. The comparing sounds and words. The strategies he's developing to remember them. It's VERY cool.

After reading we 'played' with static electricity. I found a cool idea on this website:

Step 1: Transfer some of your electrons to a balloon.

Step 2: Attract a neutrally charged object, cereal, with your negatively charged, electron-infested, balloon. :)

Step 3: Allow electrons to hop to cereal and give it a negative charge.

Step 4: The negatively charged items should repel each other.

Step 5: Wear balloons because it's fun.

Warning: Balloons are dangerous for little ones and big ones alike. If you get a balloon stuck in your throat there isn't much that can be done for you, short of a tracheostomy and the doctor who's giving it better be in the next room because there isn't time to get you to the hospital.

After our fun with static we reviewed our math facts. I think Casey is just about ready to move on to the next three facts. He should have them all memorized in a few weeks. Aria is doing well, too. I think she may need the rest of this week for these facts. She's gaining control of that brain muscle, I feel.

Then we played a game to learn counting by five's. Aria, Casey and I each had a different color crayon and we took turns writing the numbers in the five series as quickly as we could. Casey has caught on quickly and his writing is improving. Aria already knows them quite well. We have a colorful chart to look at now.

Lastly, Aria went to play some educational games and Casey and I played a cool strategy game online.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lots of stuff to talk about

We took Friday off from schooling. It was our tenth wedding anniversary. We dropped the kiddos off with family. The next morning we took Aria to an audition. We were so proud of Aria because she is not naturally extroverted. She was very nervous. Each child was to read a three sentence commercial bit in front of a casting director and the camera. I wondered if there would be a point where she would decide that she didn't want to go through with it, but she did it!

Her father and I found out pretty quickly that this was not a 'real' audition, though. It was a thinly veiled sales pitch for an acting/modeling school. If they found that your child has talent then you fork over $2k - $5k for them to attend their school from which directors draw their talent. Needless to say we were disappointed, but it was a wonderful learning experience and way to test limits.

We suggested to Aria that we look around for community productions to get involved in and read up on acting to gain the experience she's looking for. She seemed mildly interested.

It was, also, a great opportunity for Aria's daddy and me to spend some time completely on her. Aria got a new outfit, her daddy took her out to the park and took some pretty pictures of her for the audition, we ate breakfast at McDonald's on the way to the audition and after we took the elevator up to the 37th floor of the building we were in and looked out over Dallas. It was a nice time for us.

Yesterday, was a rest day and today we're back to the old grindstone. This morning we read Junie B. and reviewed the letter 'R' with Casey. We went through our math facts worksheet and played a game with the 100 chart. This time we rolled a die and we moved five spaces for every dot on the die. So, secretly, I introduced Casey to counting by fives. I showed him how all the numbers we were landing on ended in five or zero. Then Aria blogged for a bit.

Finally, we worked on some more Halloween decor. We painted our pumpkins, put up cobwebs outside, and attempted to build a giant spider out of a trash bag. The trash bag spider still needs work, but this mommy/artist ran out of gas.

The children's creative juices, however, did not end there. They began planning a 'Halloween experience'. They want to dress up the front yard and scare people. The Barbie's are now several different colors and the plan is to drop them from above somehow. Aria has decided that Sharpay is not scary enough and will now be a zombie, vampire, prom queen. I guess Casey will be a zombie, vampire, Ninja? I love to see them working together and thinking up crazy stuff.

It's been a good and tiring day.