Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where did all our prayers go?

For Rivka and Gavriel.

May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified, throughout the world, which he has created according to his will. May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel, swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen.
May his great name be blessed, forever and ever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one, Blessed is he- above and beyond any blessings and hymns, Praises and consolations which are uttered in the world; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who makes peace in his high holy places, may he bring peace upon us, and upon all Israel; and say Amen.


Yis'ga'dal v'yis'kadash sh'may ra'bbo, b'olmo dee'vro chir'usay v'yamlich malchu'say, b'chayaychon uv'yomay'chon uv'chayay d'chol bais Yisroel, ba'agolo u'viz'man koriv; v'imru Omein.
Y'hay shmay rabbo m'vorach l'olam ul'olmay olmayo.
Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispoar v'yisromam v'yismasay, v'yishador v'yis'aleh v'yisalal, shmay d'kudsho, brich hu, l'aylo min kl birchoso v'sheeroso, tush'bechoso v'nechemoso, da,ameeran b'olmo; vimru Omein.
Y'hay shlomo rabbo min sh'mayo, v'chayim alaynu v'al kol Yisroel; v'imru Omein.
Oseh sholom bimromov, hu ya'aseh sholom olaynu, v'al kol yisroel; vimru Omein.

Progress on the piggy banks

We added another layer to the paper mache piggy banks yesterday. This time, the mache part turned out better and was less clumpy. They are coming along nicely and I think we'll do one more layer before painting. Niles is also working on cursive. I found a book that is specifically designed for left handed writers so that's been good. I really like the mathscore website we're using. I get a summary each day and it's adaptive so it moves him quickly through what he knows, but slower, with review of wrong answers on what he does not.

During the past two weeks, I've been talking w/people about why I've chosen to homeschool. I have been surprised by the positive responses so far. I have gotten a few, "I think you are nuts" but those have been the minority. I think people have become frustrated with the conveyer belt approach to education. At least I know that is part of our issue. They are working on math concepts that I didn't learn until much later [algebra, geometry] when the kids haven't all got down the basics yet. But they must MOVE ON because they have to reach the EOG objectives in order for the kids to pass and not lose their rating on No Child Left Behind. While the intentions behind this are good, how does this help? The kids at the top of the class get bored, the kids in the middle get lost in the shuffle if they are quiet like Niles and the ones at the bottom of the class are maybe able to get help.

Let's can the PC stuff and admit that not everyone is equal in all things. I'd rather clean toilets than do math work, let's be honest here. It is not my strength. Nate, who enjoys math, would rather clean toilets than do English! It doesn't mean that either of us will love it anymore or get any further in life because of it. It just means that we like and enjoy different things. The horror! People are different and I just said it was ok?! What's wrong with me?

And don't even get me started on why English now must be called "Language Arts". I could fill a whole post on that one....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wasn't planning on doing school today, but it ended up being a good day to work on the paper mache piggy bank for Charlotte's Web. So we did that for awhile. Nate decided he wanted to make one too. We're letting them dry overnight before the next layer goes on. So I'll add more pictures as we get them. Niles also took a couple shots of himself and Eliana so I've included those as well. I've also found a good math site to help w/that as well. progress!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yellow Belt Testing & Field Trip Pix

Saturday was a big day for us. Niles tested and received his yellow belt! We also got his sparring gear too. He's very excited about that. Then we went to Native American Heritage Day at the History Museum downtown. The kids made jingle bells, like on the costumes, sassafrass tea bags for me and Nate made a bookmark. Niles enjoyed looking at the military exhibit the most though. From early American up until the Gulf War. Times sure have changed he said!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Week

I've been reviewing basic addition and subtraction problems w/Niles to get an idea of what he knows and how confident he is in his skills. Plus, we've been doing the same thing w/multiplication problems 1-12. I'm going to wind up the lesson on add/sub with the test in the book I'm using, as I know that he's got that down pretty well. We also did a field trip w/Luca's dinosaur class to the grocery store to purchase items for the Thanksgiving soup and Backpack buddies. Niles' job was to estimate the cost for Luca and Joseph who rode with us. They each had a baggie w/$6 in it to spend.

In English, he's reading Charlotte's Web and working out of a workbook on identifying parts of sentences, incomplete sentences, etc. It's been going well so far. He has some trouble focusing during the day, but for the most part is doing well. We are going on our field trip tomorrow to the Museum of History for Native American Heritage Day and there's High White Belt Testing!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Today's Work

Assignment 1 on packet 1 which is learning about 3 Astronomers and writing a paragraph about each of them. He chose Aristotle, Galileo and Jonathan Gottfried Galle.

Assignment 2 had a math problem regarding light years and for #3, he and Dad went out and found Ursa Major [aka The Big Dipper] after dark.

For reading, he read 2 chapters in Hear O Israel by Molly Cone.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Astronomy curriculum ideas

website on astronomy that lets kids complete a course online. Once your child has completed the course, they get a certificate stating they've finished. Plus there's some worksheets, puzzles and coloring pages for you to print out. Pretty neat stuff.

constellation information

The Planets of our Solar System

We got our official approval

so now we can begin any time! I'm a bit surprised as I sent it in like two days ago & it came in the mail already! But it's a good thing. We've been doing a few things here & there in the afternoon. And have our first field trip planned. That is also the same day as Niles' testing for his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. So it should be a busy and fun day, ending with a drum recital for Nate!

Friday, November 14, 2008


is going to be our first science unit. Niles really enjoys it!! Here is a link I found with images of planet outside our solar system.

Friday, November 7, 2008

We begin the adventure

I've made the plunge and decided to homeschool two of our kids. One is a third grader, one is a rising kindergartener. Verdict is out yet on my sanity.