Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Bright Yellow House

When we purchased our house 7 years ago, I wanted it to be painted yellow with white trim. Well, that wasn't one of our choices from the painter and we would have had to pay extra to have it - - so I didn't get my yellow house. About two years ago our house needed to be repainted (the original job was not very good - the hurry up cheapo job) and so hubby and I painted it. I now have my yellow house, it is the brightest in the neighborhood. Some people think it is a bit too bright but I just tell them that I am not a subdued kind of person.

Summer Garden Adventure

Our daughter planned a summer garden adventure for the ladies of her congregation. On Tuesday of this week they went to visit two gardens in the Puget Sound area. I was able to go to the first garden with them and took these pictures. It was a smallish garden called Bradner Gardens and is in a quiet neighborhood in Seattle near I90 off of Rainier Avenue. It is also a pea patch garden where people can plant a garden spot and then volunteer to keep the garden up. There was a childrens garden, vegetable patches and a great variety of herbs and flowers. It would be a nice spot for a picnic lunch.

A Giant Hole

One of the favorite summer time activities for our boys and their friends is playing in the giant hole. This is the second time that we have let the boys dig a hole in our backyard. It took great energy to dig it and now they have made caves for their actions figures and have a great time playing in it. They spend hours at a time out there. Just about every little boy in our neighborhood has played in it at one time or another.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Science is Fun Summer Reading Program

We are on Summer break from our regular school routine. While my children would love to play all day long and not touch a book, outside of a comic book all summer, I have other plans. One thing that seems to happen on our summer breaks - too much free time and then squabbling or "I'm bored". This year I decided that I could provide a diversion once a week for some of the children in our neighborhood and a couple of our dear friends. We are meeting once a week for an hour and reading about a famous scientist and then doing an experiment or two that replicates a discovery of the scientist. I made up manilla folders for each of the children, with log sheets for them to keep track of their reading each day and to record books in certain categories. I wanted to encourage the children to widen their horizons and so I am giving extra points for their trying books outside of what they might normally read - such as a biography, a nature book, a history book etc. They get a sticker and a piece of candy bringing their folder each week and I am keeping track of their points and then will give prizes at our half way point and then again at our last meeting. We will also have a banana split party at our last meeting. We had 17 children, 1st - 10th grade the first week and 12 the second. The children seem to enjoy it and are reading away! This was a great way to motivate my boys to try some different kinds of books on their own and keep reading.


Guess What?! It is our blog birthday today. I almost missed it - Oh My! This has been great fun and I hope it will continue to be as we move into the future.


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Well, I finally did it! I can now say that I have read the book that almost every high school student in America has been forced to read. Somehow in my high school career, I missed reading any of the classics that others were made to read. I decided to preread this book as it is one of the books assigned in my sons literature curriculum this fall. I must say that it was not at all what I expected and I was pleasantly surprised. All I really new about the book was that it was based on an adulterous affair. And while that is the sin that starts the story, I found the book to be much more about sin in our life and how we deal with it. It was about the difference between confession and repentance versus hiding sin and it torturing us, or us not forgiving sin and then our sin of unforgiveness turning us into a monster. The characters became very real to me and I think that Nathaniel Hawthorne did a masterful job with this story. Although, as Gene Veith pointed out in a World Magazine article, Mr. Hawthorne did seem to miss the point on the gospel and God's great mercy and forgiveness toward us.

Highschool/college- homeschool or not

We have one child who has already graduated from our homeschool and is currently working toward a certificate in Landscape Design at a local Community College. She did well in her highschool work and is also doing well in her College work. So why do I have anxiety once again as we have another child in highschool? B#1 just finished his first year of highschool and for the most part is doing very well. Of course he is different from his sister in many ways and thus we are having to adapt our curriculum to these differences. In my planning his course of study, I did some blog surfing and came across some interesting thoughts about homeschooling highschool or not. Kim at Upward Call had this to say. Semicolon had a three part article about High School here and here and here . Semicolon also had some things to say about College or Not that I found interesting and here is link to an article in about Homeschoolers going on to college. (I have not perused this site enough to know what else might be found there - but this article was interesting.) Hope this helps others who are thinking about High School and College.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This Weeks Goal - American History Decisions

I have been looking over what the boys have accomplished this past school year and making plans for the next year. I have been reviewing my long range goals and trying to find good fits for each of the boys. This weeks goal is picking books to teach American History at three different grade levels. I have B#1 entering 10th grade, B#2 entering 7th Grade and B#3 entering 5th grade. For B#1 we have settled on using Notgrass American History and Literature curriculum. It looks to be an engaging and educational choice. I am pleased with this selection and I believe it will help spark B#1's interest. I haven't settled on what to use with the younger two boys yet. I own several books that cover this period but neither of the boys are real strong readers yet, so this makes it a more difficult choice. I am trying to move them into more independent learning and thus need to make careful choices in their books. Engaging, but literary books fit the bill, which ones for their levels? I really like This Country of Ours by HE Marshall, but don't own it yet. Maybe I will have to sell off a few of the books I do have and purchase it. We shall see.

No, I haven't vanished off the face of the earth

It has been such a long time since I have posted. I am not sure why, but I haven't made time to write and now I have a cazillion topics running around in my head and will have to take time to post on them - I will try to be coherant in my writing - but no promises. We have been busy with finishing up our school work, church activities, planning school for the upcoming year, and working on summer plans. Whew! I have been online reading - just not doing much writing.