Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Benjamin Franklin Boys Club

Once again it was Boys Club day at our home- (For more info on our Homeschool Boys club- Here) We had a great time- Our book for this month was Benjamin Franklin: Young Printer I just LOVE the Childhood of Famous Americans series. They are easy reads- but they are interesting Biographies. Maybe I'm the only one- but biographies sometimes are dry and boring- to many dates and places, and not enough "story" to them. These books are all story. It's exciting to read about important people's childhood. First we discussed the book- the favorite parts, the type of person Benjamin Franklin was, how his family life was etc. Then we had a short presentation from one of the boys in the club. (Each boy has a turn to do a presentation on something they are interested in- gives them a chance to do a little public speaking) We did our Notebook pages- VERY simple- if you are interested in them- drop me a comment- and I can email them to you- they have a pic of Benjamin Franklin, lines to write what you admire about Franklin, and what inspires you. The 2nd page has a place to draw a picture of your favorite part of the story and lines to write about it. The last page simply has a timeline of Benjamin Franklin's life- and I included a few quotes from him.

To go along with Benjamin Franklin we made Tetrahedron kites (ok- so maybe Benjamin Franklin's kite wasn't a Tetrahedron- but he did fly a kite- there's the tie-in). Here is a link to patterns and instructions to make the kites- The kites were a little tricky- but they were a definate hit! I think everyone enjoyed making them- and flying them was even better! Here's a few pics of the kites flying. Bug Flying his kite-

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Moment of temporary Insanity maybe?

I've always been a "no pets in the house" kind of person. When we got dogs- It was always under the condition that they stay outside. We've hatched chicks- and they've stayed in the house under the condition that when it's warm enough they HAVE to go outside. Well, after visiting his brother last weekend- Ben said we should get some Cockatiels- they would be fun pets for Doodle (whose rabbit died a few weeks ago) Somehow I agreed to it- and here they are- as yet- unnamed- I'll just call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" they haven't found their voices yet- so they don't make much noise yet- but Bug is planning on teaching them to whistle Ode to Joy. :D We'll see!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trip to the Aquarium

Doodle, Roo and I went to the Aquarium on Saturday- We met my SIL Amber and her 2 boys there- and had a fun time. Living in the Desert- my boys haven't ever been to the ocean (ok- I guess when Doodle was a baby we went to San Diego and spent a day at the beach) We had a great time seeing the ocean creatures. The Octopus, starfish, eels,and stingrays were hits.

Friday, April 17, 2009

You can say "I told you so"

Ok Natalie- go ahead and say I told you so! My sister-in-law Natalie- kept telling me "You need to get on Facebook" That I could see what old friends from High School are doing etc. I said "I'm not sure I really care about old friends from high school" But I went ahead and joined. And lo and behold- I did find some friends from high school that I've enjoying getting in touch with-But the best was re-connecting with my old College Roommate Monica. I found her on Facebook, and what do you know- she lives near the library that we practically live at (ok- so maybe we don't live there- but we drive 45 minutes to the library at least every other week) So after the library run today- I went to visit her. We had a great time reminiscing, and catching up. Monique! It was great to see you again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Night Hike

Last night for Family Home Evening we decided to go hiking. We went to Perry Canyon and hiked up the mountain. It was a nice hike- steep, but the weather was perfect.

Bug and Doodle just setting out on the hike. Ben and Roo hiking along.Look at these strong gentlemen- lifting the tree so I could walk under it.Roo found some "lellow" flowers- "Lellow, I LOVE Lellow!"The hiking crew--- as we are hiking along a dirt bike comes across our trail- (maybe they didn't read the sign that said "no motorized vehicles"?!) And Doodle replied "He's a cheater- he's not getting any exercise. The only thing he exercises is his BOTTOM!" lolRoo's backpack- when he gets tired- he just pops out the wings- and he can fly like Buzz Lightyear. Watch out for those rocks- they can be "trippy"What a view!See- I went too- most of the time I'm the one behind the camera.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Fun

Ever since Bug was little- we've always gone up to the cabin for Easter. This year- Ben's Cousin Brad was getting married on Friday of Easter weekend- so we decided to go to the wedding instead of the Cabin. So it was a little weird spending Easter at home. Usually the Easter bunny visits while we are gone- and leaves Eggs hidden around the house- and a gift for the boys to share or small gifts for each of them.

Sunday afternoon- the boys headed outside and saw what the Easter Bunny left- a new Trampoline. (you'd have to see the old one rofl-.....it was missing quite a few springs- and I finally told the boys it wasn't safe to jump on) The searched around the yard- and found plenty of Easter Eggs hidden. Doodle found the movie Bolt (great movie- we LOVED it in the theater)Bug searching for the missing Egg.Roo- and his chocolate wink.

Oh- and Doodle wanted me to put this on the blog- lol- it's him doing a flip on the new trampoline.

Oh, and I almost forgot- I uploaded pic of our family at the Bountiful Temple.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is what makes a homeschool mom's day

When they make the jump from Reading cuz mom says I have to read every day....to Reading instead of eating their breakfast because they want to. Doodle has discovered chapter books. Bug told him he needed to read the A-Z mysteries because they were good books, and they were easy. He finished the first book- Absent Author at breakfast yesterday- and grabbed the second one- The Bald Bandit and finished it during quiet time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Conference Weekend

What a fun weekend we had. We have the family tradition of going to my Mom and Dad's cabin each year for General Conference weekend. We watch the sessions of General Conference on tv, and the kids get to spend a lot of time playing with their cousins. Sat was cold and windy- and not really "play outside weather" so in between sessions- we went to the movie theater and saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D. It was a cute show- Roo of course got scared (he gets scared in any movie with a "bad guy") But did okay snuggling on Ben's lap snarfing down popcorn. Here's a pic of all the grandkids with their 3-D glasses on.Sunday we watched the morning session- then the weather was nice- so we had an Easter Egg Hunt outside. Roo with an egg he found.Bug found one in the firepit.
Doodle searching in the "pot gut" (ground squirell) holesNeice J helping Rachel make dessert.Grandpa with neices J and C.

We listened to the final session of conference on our way home- My favorite talk- Elder Stevensen's on Temples and how our Homes are like Temples. Listen to it here- He said "You are never lost when you can see the Temple" How true. The temple is a wonderful place where I can fell the Spirit of the Lord teaching me the truths of the gospel. He compared our homes to temples. I am grateful for the Gospel in my life- and the opportunity I have to live so close to so many temples. I need to make the time to go more often, and make my home more like the temple.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun giveaway

Quick post before we head out the door for our CrAzY ThUrSdAy- (appointments, gymnastics, karate, piano and a hot date all in one day!) Debbie at The Architect and The Artist is having a Spring Cleaning giveaway- Check it out!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A few things that are "working" right now

I feel like I'm constantly "tweaking" things around here- coming up with new and better ways to have our house (and school time) run more smoothly.

The first of which- is our Token system- I can't claim credit for the idea- token economies are definately not a new thing- a while back we went to a foster care training class (we had to have 10 hours of training each year to renew our licence) And the speaker talked all about giving allowance and having the kids buy everything they need- clothes, shoes, shampoo etc. Well- at the time we had Bug who was 3, and 2 foster kids who were 3 and 1 1/2. We walked away saying "That doesn't help us!" But then we got thinking- and said we could do something similiar and have them earn things that they want. And thus the token system was born. Our tokens are Poker chips I found at the dollar store- they work great. The kids token banks sit on the kitchen coutertop where I can find them- I can't give tokens if I can't find your bank. Here's Roo's (the yogurt cup) Doodle's (the blue bowl) and Bug's (a Harry Potter cauldron from a friend's b-day party) I think at one time they were all bowls like Doodle's- but ?? who knows what happened to the other 2.

How do the kids earn tokens? Doing a good job with their chores, getting them done before the song is over, going above and beyond what's asked, doing jobs without being asked, getting along with their brothers, obeying quickly, basically my point is to "catch them being good" This reminds ME to watch for the good. Maybe you aren't like me, but I tend to get caught up too much in what the kids are doing wrong- but the token system helps remind me to look for the best.

What do they use the tokens for? I have a "store" with various things they can buy-Dollar store toys (usually 20 tokens equals a $1- so most dollar store toys are 20 tokens) treats or snacks, candy (10 tokens for a candy bar), fruit snacks (5 tokens) TV time- 10 tokens for 1PBS show, Wii or Computer time-5 tokens for 30 minutes. Toys that mom confiscates cost 1 token a piece- (if they don't pick them up after being asked- or leave them laying around downstairs I take them!) Roo's favorite "Jelly Ranchers" (known to the rest of us as Jolly Ranchers) cost 1 token each. A new addition to our store- chocolate milk for dinner costs 3 tokens (Doodle loves this- as he doesn't really like milk) Our token system is working great. We've used it off and on since Bug was little. It worked WONDERS for the foster children we had coming in and out of our home, and a few small bonuses- Math skills- the kids are always counting their tokens, figuring out how many more they need. and the best bonus- I had kids asking what jobs they could do today! Dishes are done- thanks to Bug, and the dining room floor is swept and mopped thanks to Doodle. The other day the kids had a friend over playing- and they were washing windows to earn tokens for Candy!

The 2nd thing that's working around here are Sticks for School- LOOK!! Another use for craft sticks! -- again it wasn't my idea. On the FIAR Message board that I sometimes go to there was a big buzz about Workboxes and while I was tempted to get on the wagon- but decided I didn't need the extra expense of buying all the plastic boxes nor do I have the space to put them all. But someone mentioned on a thread over there about using Sticks with fun activities written on them for their kids to do after they finished their box or something. So I stole the idea and "tweaked" it. Written on the sticks are the things Doodle did for school today. The Green stripe means it has to be done each day. Math, Handwriting, Phonics and our unit study. The purple line means you might need mom's help. The orange line means it's independent work.

At the beginning of our "school time" Doodle draws sticks. There are the 6 that have to be done- and plenty of other fun things that he can pick from- so he has 8-10 sticks to do. Then he arranges them in the order he wants to do them. (I don't really care what order they get done, as long as they get done- and he works on a few independent things together so I can work with Roo for a few minutes) After we've finished the work on that stick- it goes back in the bag for tomorrow. He can see his pile of things to do getting smaller and smaller.

Just a few things that are working around here- What things work at your place to help your days run more smoothly?