Join me in a year long journey reading through the Bible

  • Wow, this was a lot to read today. A lot to take in. Le t me see if I can recap this correctly. He begins by telling us about Gods defense of Jerusalem and...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where have I been

Well, this past couple of weeks has been so busy for me. But last night was the topper. Got a real scare. My Mother-in-laws boss called us and told us that Maggie was in the hospital. That she could not talk and was un-able to stand. We went right off to Upland. 1 1/2 hour drive. UUGGHH!

Well, when we got there, she was able to talk, but she was terribly stuttering. The first thing Anthony and I thought was stroke. Maggie kept saying that it was from this new medication she was taking for IBS. Well, I was just not too sure about that.

Around 10:00pm, the ER Dr. came in and said he was going to release her. Mainly cause she did not have the typical signs of a stroke. I was not happy with that at all. How could a drug reaction make someone not be able to talk correctly? Slur the speech etc? Just did not make since! The Dr. came back about 15 minutes later and took back what he said and decided to admit her. YEA! He told us that the first 72 hours to 1 week is the most critical after a mini stroke and usually that's when a person will stroke again. So if this was a mini stroke, they want to make sure of it.

So now she is in the hospital waiting to have test done to see if she has any blockage. I just talked to her a few minutes ago. No tests have been done as of yet, but her speech is still stuttering. I am really worried. So we will see how it goes. I will post later about it when I find out all the results.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Books, Digital or not Digital

This new day and age we are all so darn busy with our lives, we don’t even have time to sit down to a magazine and read it cover to cover. We have gone digital. Even my homeschool magazines have done this.

Now let me say that sentence sounds as if I am complaining. Well I am not. I am also very busy. The Old School House magazine is one of the homeschool magazines that I currently get and now in digital form.

I purchase many e-books now due to ease of getting them and the cost too. But I have to say there is something to being able to bring your favorite magazine with you to a restaurant (McDonalds) and just sit and read while the kids play. Or to the Dr.’s office. I love to flip thru and look at all the ads. See if there is any new and wonderful curriculum that I have to check out. Then I scan the table of contents and look for those articles that are of interest to me. Then off to reading land.

Now on the plus side of that wonderful digital age.... I don’t have a thousand magazines cluttering up my bookshelves. Or in my case I rip out articles and put it in a file. Now I can just save the whole magazine in my hard drive. I have a laptop as well as a desktop so this way I can take my laptop and read while I am lying in bed watching TV. The Old School House makes it real easy for you to turn pages just like a real magazine and resize the page to fit your screen etc. So it is very comfortable and user friendly.

So digital or not? I guess it is all in perspective to the person reading. My mom, well she would go bonkers trying to read it on the computer. My husband, this is the perfect thing for him. Me? Well, the jury is still out on this. I do love digital, but again I really love my papers.

One thing I must add. I have a flash drive that I save all my e-books, e-units and e-magazines too. I have spent time organizing them onto the flash as well as the hard drive for easement of finding them. I highly suggest you do the same if you are getting into e-books. That way, if you computer drops out for a few days (like mine just did a couple days ago) then you will not have to worry about loosing all those books.
In the near future our bookshelves are

The School House Planner

I love this planner from The Old School House. It is such a wonderful combination of information, forms, recipes etc. I highly recommend this planner for homeschoolers. With the wealth of information that is available right at hand, this is a wonderful resource.

Now first let me say that I do most of my homeschooling record keeping on my computer with Homeschool tracker, which I love, however, I am also a paper person still. I need to schedule my year on paper before I put it into my computer. I have seen so many planners and there are two that I love the best. The School House Planner by The Old School House is the one I want to comment on today. There are so many pages in here that are the fantastic. I love the idea that first off we can type in our information and then print it out for a neat and tidy household/homeschool planner. Now for someone like me who will re-write a page several times just to make it clean, this is a big plus.

The idea pages that each of the authors have written are great. Such helpful information is nice to always look back to. There are the birthdays to remember, kitchen conversion sheet, recipes that are very yummy. I have made 2 so far and so much more. Now let me say I get so many emails and info on websites and never know what to do with them. This gives me a pace to add that info to as well as getting suggestions from The Old School House.

Then we have the School Helps pages. My goodness this is a fantastic idea. So many times we are looking for these types of pages or we spend money on them from school supply stores. Some of those pages are periodic table, helpful ideas on math, making timelines, composer, capitals and presidents and more.

Don’t forget about all those planning pages for budgeting your house, keeping track of chores, schedules etc. as well as the homeschool pages. My favorite is the field trip pages. Well, since I am the field trip coordinator for my homeschool group this was a great resource for me. But there are the high school tracking pages, unit study, nature journal and crafts completed and several other helpful pages.

The only thing that I would suggest to make this a bit better would be instead of having recipes and ideas all over the place…make them into their own separate chapters so they are easier to find. I would lie out the table of contents as so…

Time lines
Periodic table
7 wonders
USA Documents
Schoolhouse monthly resource lists
Homeschooling Forms Instructions
Teaching/homeschooling tips by certain writers/publishers
Fun in Unit Studies
Tip for Teaching Writing
7 reasons to learn language
Household Forms Instructions
Household/Child Raising ideas
A Day without communication
Lessons Learned Around the Table
Conversions sheets

Overall, I would again recommend this planner to any homeschool. Well, heck even a non-homeschooler would get some great information from this as well as the household planner pages. Seems to me that the people at Old School House put in a ton of work to put this planner together. Great work. Check it out on The Old Schoolhouse web site.

Score: 9 out of 10

Letting the kids help with housework

You know creating a balance throughout the day in chores, homeschooling, mommy duties, cooking, cleaning, wife duties, taking care of Mom can be challenging. I do a pretty good job of it, but I still struggle with my never ending to do list I have going on not only in my head, but also on my computer. Seems like there is always something I want to do.

My biggest challenge through out my day is incorporating the kids into cooking, cleaning etc. I have finally figured out that they really only want to do a little bit (they're 3 & 6). So that is what I give them. When cooking they get to stir or my son now can chop while I do the rest. Even if my daughter is only stirring a bowl of water with a bit of flour in it.

With laundry, my son puts all his clothes away. Now it is not in any way neat and perfect, but it is all his. One less for me to do. He also picks up dog poop, wipes the bathroom counter and does numerous amounts of easy little chores to help mommy out. My daughter helps me fold undies during laundry time. Again, who really cares how they look in the drawer.I guess all in all, even though in some cases it does take a bit longer or not as neat or clean to have them help, they really appreciate the time we allow them to help and they remember it.

We just baked cookies the other day. Boy were they lop-sided and funny looking, but they were both so proud when Daddy came home.My advice...let them help. They will remember it for a life time. I know I remember the times my mom let me help when I was a kid!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Heart of the Matter Homeschool online Conference

That title is a mouth full! Well I just finished my first online homeschool conference. WOW, it was really great. There are ups and downs to doing it online.

The downside is that if you need to look at curriculum, then you don't have the touchy feely that you have at a conference held at some auditorium. You also are not physically around a whole bunch of other homeschool moms/dads that you can sit and chat with at lunch or in between the seminars. You don't get the exercise of walking around the curriculum floor either. The 2 or 3 days you get away from home and chores are not an option either, kind of like a mini vacation just for you. You do have a lot more interruptions from the kids (I have young ones) and from hubby on the weekend. Seems like even hubby does not understand that this is a seminar. Just because I am home does not mean I am not involved in the speaker. And lastly you don't get to look through gobs and gobs of used curriculum to get that just right bargain you can brag about to your homeschool friends.

Now the upside to doing an online conference is the fact you can look like you just put your finger into a light socket and no one can see you! Yippee!!! No makeup, no hair gel, just plain old you! You can walk out at anytime on the speaker and they will never know. There have been a few times in the past when I have gone to our local CHEA convention and wanted to go to a different speaker, but stayed because I did not want to hurt the feelings of the speaker and be rude to the other people listening. You can burp, toot and make silly comments and not disturb the people around you. You can put out the fires your children are making between themselves and really not miss too much of the speaker. Best of all you can clean your house, fold the laundry, cook the dinner all while listening to the speaker and taking notes!!!

I was really unsure about this whole online conference thing. As a matter of fact I really did not think I was going to go. Now on the other hand I was promoting it top all my homeschool Friends that did not get a chance to go to the CHEA convention in July. I think 2 of my friends did the online conference. Now that I had a chance to participate in it.....I love it. Yea, there are ups and downs to it, but isn't that the same with going to a conference held in Long Beach?!?

I think next year I would love to see Heart of the Matter use a different conference source. They had way too many problems with the microphones going in and out. I still enjoyed it greatly, but it would have been nice to have consistency. Also, I would love to see a speaker or two talking about how to make a few extra bucks on the side while handling homeschooling etc. Or maybe a speaker on home selling, especially in this market. Hey my hubby could have done that one. I have several friends that are in a bind cause of this market. The other thing that would have been nice is a little more hands on stuff. It is a little hard to stare at a screen for an hour and loose your concentration. The speakers that had other things to show us other then their bio screen, I seem to have kept interest in.

My favorite speaker was Amy Pak from Homeschooling in the Woods!!!! She is absolutely the most awesome history person I have ever seen or heard!!!! You really have to check out her website. let me say how much I have always hated history! I was one who had to take history over in high school cause I failed it. Too many darn dates to memorize! But she takes history and brings it to life. Now first let me say...last year we did early American history with Beautiful Feet. I really loved it and it finally made our history come to life and put things in order for me. This year we are starting with world history and taking the 4 year approach to finish world history and then we will go back and re-do American. I can now say I feel that we will have no problem with learning all there is. We are using Veritas Press History and Bible and we will be using several of Amy's add on to enhance our studies. She really knows how to make people enjoy history.

Well, anyway, there is my take on an online conference. I highly recommend doing it again next year. I know I will. But in the same breath I highly recommend doing a conference of any sort. They have a way of reviving your senses and making you feeling like new again. It's just a way of reminding yourself that you are doing the right thing and here are some ways of changing it up so you get out of the homeschooling box. So, next year....everyone...go to the Heart of the Matter online convention!

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10