Whatcha Doin’?

My day went a lot like this:

Monster A/Monster S: Mama, what are you doin’?
Me: Working on getting school stuff ready guys. 
Them: When are you going to be done?
Me: Soon. I promise. (secretly I’m thinking, “Never if you don’t LEAVE ME ALONE!)

Maybe this was my mistake. Trying to do my lesson planning on the weekend that Cody is in Minneapolis. Leaving me alone with the kids. Nah. It would have been the same had he been here. He tries but the kids would’ve found some way to break through the barrier. 

We’ve had a great couple of days here. The weather has been PERFECT so we’ve spent a lot of time outside under our big tree (my favorite feature of the house). 

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The Monsters adore being outside and so we have spent the majority of the past two days enjoying it. They were upset about the rain today because we had to stay inside. I explained that we are from Oklahoma. We do not complain about the rain. EVER! Tiger had to join us, of course. I’m pretty sure Otter is out there somewhere, too. 
10603272_773529329543_1685363572360859506_nMy amazing little Padawan is doing some review work out of a Star Wars workbook I found at Sam’s the other day. Have I mentioned how much I love that place?

10550882_773533915353_5241894410709164047_nAnd my BEAUTIFUL princess is working out of a BrainQuest workbook. She’s been able to do EVERYTHING in the book so far with no problems. Watch out, Monster A. Little sister is gaining on you. 
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I’ve been working on lesson planning. I’m still waiting for curriculum to come in completely before I do a curriculum post, but I did get my super awesome Planner from Mardel’s! Check it out! I’m a fan. 

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I also got most of our posters, map, and our super cute owl calendar (all also from Mardel’s) and got them up on the wall. The room still needs some work but it’s shaping up and the kids were stoked to see everything up.

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I’d say we’re getting there. I’ve got a lot more to get planned but I’m in a holding pattern until I get the rest of the curriculum on Tuesday. So I’ll just keep gliding along. I think we’ll be ready just in time to start next Monday. WOOT! 

Now, just to get those pesky freezer meals done. 

Happy Mouth

I’ve been told, on more than one occasion, that the key to making home schooling and life in general successful is to have a plan. That’s what I’ve been doing a lot lately. Planning. EVERYTHING. Plan all the things!!!

I’m a cook. I mean, I absolutely LOVE to cook and, not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty dang good at it. So what could I love more than a website that provides me with meal plans with incredible recipes (haven’t had a bad one yet), shopping list included? Well, some things come to mind but this is pretty high up there! The Unmeasured Scoop is, well, AWESOME!!!! We eat vegetarian about 60-70% of the time due to cutting cost here and there. This website is perfect for those of you that might eat a lot like us. The meat dishes that are offered are typically lean and still pretty veggie packed. For instance, I made some turkey mini-meatloaves last night loaded with spinach, carrots, and mushrooms. Monster A and Cody devoured theirs. Monster S, well, let me make a list of what she will eat. That will only take a second. Tonight was a chicken dish, Skinny Sesame Chicken with brown rice. We used asparagus with ours. There are no leftovers. That doesn’t happen often at our house. We’re all full and happy and I don’t have to find room in the fridge to stuff more storage containers. WHOO-HOO!!! Monster S even ate some of her chicken, Lord be praised! She even said <gasp> that it was good! The great thing is that all the recipes and shopping list are absolutely FREE! I bet that got your attention. You do have to subscribe by using an email address, but I haven’t seen any emails from the site since I subscribed. There are about 12 plans with 5-6 recipes each (we always have leftovers once or twice a week.) The shopping lists are affordable and the items attainable without using many processed items at all, if at all. I don’t need to make a million shopping trips for the items on the list. In fact, the commissary has had everything we’ve needed so far. Now, for those of you that don’t know, your selection can be a little limited at the commissary sometimes depending on how small your base is. Ours isn’t exactly the largest base around.

Anyway, as I get the hang of things, I may even start adding some recipes of my own to this blog. Right now I’m loving The Unmeasured Scoop since a.) we just moved and I’m still establishing a routine and b.) it’s just so dang easy.

Disclaimer: I have received no payment or services in kind for blogging about this site. I just want to help people by alerting them when I find good resources. 

Playing the waiting game…

…and printing. A LOT!

When choosing curriculum, I really wanted to try to get it all in hard copy format so I wouldn’t waste spend a ton of time printing and a ton of money on paper and ink. But, in the end, it’s all about what I felt was the best fit for the Monsters. I’m still waiting to do a complete review of what we ordered until the rest of it is delivered but we did go get so “essentials” this weekend in preparation for this upcoming shindig. 

Lets see, we have…(I like list by the way)

1.) Writing utensils. Highlights, pens, pencils, yada-yada…

2.) BINDERS. Lots of BINDERS. I’m lovin’ our new Sam’s Club membership, by the way. 

3.) Milk crates. We found a set of six of varying sizes for about $15. They’re not really permanent solutions for the kids work (we’re going to use the work box system by Sue Powers, but with our own little twist.) I’m waiting to find the set of drawers that I want to make it permanent. Of course, we got orange for Monster A and purple for Monster S. I’m going to stick with black. 

4.) Tabbed file folders. Monster A and I are going to do the “Classical Literature Vol. 1” curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler and it involves a lot of really awesome lap books. Erica has some amazing ideas! I have really enjoyed going through her website for the past week. We’re actually going to use several of her curricula, but that’s the only one I’m sharing right now. That’s the one I’m most excited about!  

6.) Page Protectors. Not much to get excited about here. They’ll mainly be used for their daily workbook pages. Gotta love dry erase markers. 

7.) Table. We bought a table for the kids to do their work on. Yippee!

But my absolute favorite thing, so far, is this……

7.) Our new HP Touchscreen PC. We I have named him Harry Potter. I mean he is an HP and all. I’ll take a picture of him (yes, I’m well aware I sound like I have adopted him as a part of our family. Maybe I have.) when I have better light. Maybe with the Monsters using it or something. 

So, now I wait. It’s always hurry up and wait around here. I want to get started but maybe I should, I don’t know, write up my lesson plans or actually have our curriculum in the same state as us. Sounds prudent. I got Monster A a “Star Wars” activity book to use as a review for the next couple of weeks and got Monster S one as well (not Star Wars) hopefully she’ll use it even though it doesn’t involve any princesses. The plan is to start two weeks from today. I think we’ll be able to shoot for that. I think getting them involved with the co-op has got them in the right spirit. Hopefully, I won’t drive my husband crazy in the interim until we start. Not holding my breath though.

 

Have I lost my mind?

Hi. My name is Kyla and I think, just maybe, I have lost my mind.

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I have decided, rather quickly I might add, to home school my four and five year-old. Alright, to say quickly is an understatment. It’s always been in the back of my mind and my husband, Cody, has always been on board with it. So what pushed us over that edge? Well, let’s see…

1.) We’re a proud USAF family currently stationed in North Dakota. The kids and I just arrived a little under a month ago. Monster A was enrolled at a wonderful, small, Lutheran private school for Pre-K last year. He thrived. The kid is scary smart, ya’ll (I’m from Oklahoma, by the way. Get used to the “ya’ll”s.) When I started researching the ND schools I was shocked to find that you’re not even required to have any kind of education until you’re seven. Huh? So, where does this put my five year-old who had a hard time staying out of trouble caused (mostly) by boredom last year? Do I put him in a class that will basically repeat EVERYTHING he just spent the last year mastering? I think not. His sister, Monster S, is also incredibly bright and since there’s not a Pre-K program at the schools here I might as well throw her in the mix. I don’t want to push them too hard, but I know they’re capable of more than what they’re offered.

2.) Cody has different reasons. Well, not really different because I believe them too. It’s just not my primary reason for taking the route. We’re a Christian family, like the majority of home schooling families, and we want to have more control over the influences in our young children’s lives. I think it’s a good thing to have them interact with people of all faiths or lack of faith. I just want them to be well equipped to know what they believe. Also, I don’t trust the parents of other kids sometimes. I honestly believe that teachers and administrators do the absolute best that they can do (in most cases) but with the rising number of students being shoved into classrooms, it’s no wonder kids get lost in the fray.

3.) I found an amazing group of home schooling families on base. They have a co-op that meets on a weekly basis. Sometimes even more than that. I don’t think I would have ever made the decision to home school if it hadn’t been for the support of that co-op. People worry about the socialization of home schooled children. Well, between the twenty kids that were at the co-op and ballet and other sports, I think they’ll be just fine. Plus, they need to interact with all ages. Not just peers their own age.

There are actually many reasons why we decided that this was the right path for us. Those are just a few of them. I’m sure in the coming months we’ll find even more reasons that we love/hate home schooling.

My main reason for starting this blog is just to encourage other families and to share resources. Also maybe to document the losing of my mind. In the coming days I’ll be discussing the snags and triumphs of our adventure. As soon as I have all my curriculum delivered I’ll have a better idea of how to proceed. We are dedicating an actual room of our house to be a classroom. It’s a work in progress and will continue to be for a while. That’s okay. As long as we have the essentials, I’m not too concerned.

P.S. The thought of not having to get them to school in the ND winter doesn’t suck either.