Monday, February 28, 2011

A sick day

We've got a houseful of sickies! ODD came down with a runny nose and watery eyes Sat and it progressed (through sniffling) to an ear infection in the middle of the night :( The other two woke up with a bark-ish cough (not croup just sounding similar). Soooo we are homebound and taking it easy. I'm so grateful to be homeschooling and after a night like last night not have to try to get someone out the door. And we can still cover some school just in a more relaxed manner!
When ODD woke up crying and I sugeested we read. I went to the "these would be good read alouds someday" section on the book shelf in her room and found Rebecca of Sunny brook farm. I found some coloring pages here:
Stage coach

Maine coloring pages

And walah we've good a lazy day of reading.

Depending how she feels I may try out our new math program. We're trying out Shiller Math. We were given the books by another homeschooling cleaning out. I love MEP, but it's not working fabulously right now and ODD is not loving math. I read something recently that if your child isn't loving math switch to something else until you find something that works. I keep intending to Montessori math, but I'm struggling with how to do it and make all the beadwork. And I just can't justify buying them. And since the Shiller was sitting on my shelf I'm going for it.
I feel very blessed to have that on our shelves.
We did the tests this weekend and the lessons look really good. Very much shat I need right now. I am a bit curious if they will be enough when it comes to new material. However it looks much like MEP in that it is spiral and many of the concepts are identical to the way they explain them.
Ok gotta run, snuggling and reading is calling my name (as well as three adorably pathetic kiddos)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mystery Bird Photo #1: Answer

This is the Tufted Titmouse. My kiddos thought it was a pretty silly name!! Here's some more info on the tufted tit mouse:

Good all around bird site:

We've got more birds coming up, so don't forget to follow me so you will know when I post the new pictures.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mystery Bird Photo #1

As I wrote recently my mom has been getting involved in our homeschooling by sending us bird pictures to identify. See if you can figure this one out:

This was the accompanying email with hint:

Good Morning,

I took some pictures of birds this weekend and I have attached the first one for you to identify.

See if you can find him in your bird book! When you do you can call me or write to me and tell me what his (very silly) name is.
Love, Grandma

There are some good bird identifying sites to help you here:

We were given this book to help us. I'm sure you can find a bunch at your local library too.
See if you can figure this out! Let me know how it works for you. Once I figure out how I'll post the work sheet I made to go along with it.


We really like Montessori at our house. Follow through is my challenge and we started it with ODD quite young and as she grew I had a bit of a difficulty figuring out how to do some things- the reading and math particularly. I ended up petering out a bit, with the actual Montessori learning tools,but we kept up the Montessori inspired ideas.I made some things and bought a few, but the prices are a little steep for Montessori items. And even though the resale value is great I just wasn't able to fit it into the budget. Let alone paying for Montessori classes or training for it. Well I "happened" to come across a blog by Mamabusybee over at
On her blog there was a giveaway for Karen Tyler's Montessori online training class so of course I had to enter it.

And guess what??

So I have been downloading and preparing like a mad woman!! It's an online class that I have been looking at for years and haven't been able to justify it in the budget. And now I don't need to! I am so excited!! Can't you tell ? :)
I am hoping to share more of our Montessori journal on here as well. I have a few hiccups to figure out uploading pictures with ease, but I'll post some pictures that I have taken on our journey so far and as we continue on.
I believe things happen for a reason and coincidences aren't really that. I've been dabbling with getting back more fully in Montessori for YDD and most especially SDD and she has low tone among other things that we haven't quite figures out yet. I've been praying for guidance and it just landed in my lap! I'm so grateful for prayers that are answered clearly! :)
Thanks to Mamabusybee and Karen Tyler for this giveaway!
Have you won anything lately? I'd love to hear about it!

Bird study

I've been a little absent lately- a high radial elbow fracture will do that to a gal. And then SDD is having issues that are requiring MRIs and fun things like that. I'll post on that a little later when I actually have results and not result in a mess of blubbering tears because we still don't know what's going on with her. In the meantime we're slugging away with homeschooling and my dear sweet mom wanting to be involved with our homeschooling adventure. She's 200 miles away and knowing I'm a bit overwhelmed right now to do this she came up with a great idea for a bird study. She has been sending bird pictures she taken of birds in her birdfeeder.
Then the kids (mostly ODD) find the bird in the bird book she sent and answer a little worksheet I made. Once I get my scanner up and running I'll send her the scan and she can give the kids some feedback. Right now it's being read over the phone or just planned to be if the schedules don't mesh right now. It sounds like more work than it actually is for me. It's actually quite nice to have her be involved. I'm excited about it because we are also reading the Burgess Bird Book so it dove tails rather nicely (yes pun intended ;) )
And then I've been excited because I've been able to read the Burgess Bird book on my kindle! It's a free Kindle book and doesn't have pictures, but we have the paper book so we're not missing out. I found a bunch of great printables to go with our whole study. There are matching cars or you can use them for Montessori Nomenclature cards (see here if that word makes you go huh?)
I'm also thinking of doing a nature study more in depth. But for now with no driving allowed (silly elbow) I'm calling this our nature study! It's been am azing how many more birds we are noticing all around us and even in books we read when there are birds in the illustrations!
I think I'll even share some of this bird study in the near future! Have a great day and hope you and yours are hugging and enjoying. We never know what life may bring!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We use work boxes to organize our work and organize the mom. Yep I need help organizing for sure! I love them because they help keep me on track and the kids can work independently if needed.
We've used work boxes in a variety of ways. If you are new to work boxes you can read about Sue Patrick's workboxes here. Some people swear you need to read the book. I didn't, I'm a rebel like that and not willing to part with my pennies. Instead I read Sue Patrick's site and scoured the web for blogs on work boxes and workboxes in small spaces. These were my favorite workboxes blog posts(click on these AFTER you finish reading my post- these posts are very addictive and will lead you on a rabbit trail hunt for the best way to do your workboxes and you will not remember where you started! I've been there- promise- so keep reading :) ):

There are many different ways to use the boxes depending on the space, materials and ages of children you have. Here are some blog lists showing the variety of ways people have adapted workboxes to fit their homes and situations:

We've done it two ways. We have used them in a rubber maid boxes with zip-locks and a piece of cardstock to keep them stiff. Sort of like this, except we used zip locks be cause that's what we had around the house:
(Scroll down to see the pictures)

Since we aren't doing it this way any more and I've re purposed the boxes I don't have a picture. I may have one in my other computer, but I'll have to look (and since I have a love hate relationship with that computer it may take me a while).
Now that we moved and have more space we have also transitioned to using them with an ikea shelf and some boxes I found at target.

I bought Target out of these boxes them all out and haven't seen them since. Ans I found them while on vacation. Our local target didn't carry them! I found 12 red and 4 blue. Perfect for the 6 yr old (red) and 4 year old (blue) for now. I'm hoping target carries them again in their Dollar spot section. They were $2.50 each but found in the dollar spot. They are not see through which has some disadvantages, but they fit our space and work well. I still have some things to tweak, but they work well for my 6 year old and not as well for my 4 yr old. We have been transitioning to Montessori for the younger two and my 4 and 2 yr old are doing better with that. I have bookshelves for them next to the workbox bookshelf with Montessori works set out.

I try to change them daily depending on interest and what they are working with, but I usually end up changing them every other day. I'm hoping to go through what are on other shelves and put out some more Montessori works there. My 6 year old wants to the Montessori works she sees her sisters doing and so she gets to pick these as her free choice. When she gets to a box that has a fun thing (puzzle, game, drawing etc) and she would rather do a center, she can pick that. It's fine with me. I just wish I had had more space and more of these done when she was younger. We do what we can with what we have and I think she's grown up just fine without it, but she sure does enjoy it now.
I'll be posting pictures of what is in the boxes soon and details about our Montessori shelves as well.