Friday, August 29, 2008

Yay I got all my blogging done!

I was trying so hard to blog so much stuff I didn't take any pictures over the last 2 days. I am going to make dinner then read and reply to comments. Over the weekend or the beginning of next week I am going to list some of our plans for the year. I hope to look back at my goals and plans during our year and keep on track. Last year we stayed on track with our schoolwork (we kept ahead somehow). I am worried with Zehira being a bit older, louder, and napping less than last year, we might not be able to keep that pace up this year. I figure I will write it all out and just try my best and hope to have a calm year with no rushing to finish up. I always feel bad for the homeschooling parents I see doing an end of the year rush! I am a bit worried I might be one of them this year because we started later than I wanted and like I said Demi and Zehira can slow us down a bit.

I hope to blog 3 times a week this school year. This is going to be hard for me to do because I don't use my computer 3 times a week now! I will give it a try and see how it goes. See you all soon!

Travis learns to spin wool

Travis was able to learn to use a drop spindle in just a few minutes. I am very impressed. I learned how to spin wool a couple years ago. I know my family will all tell you it took me MUCH longer to learn how to do it. I know my hubby still remembers me pouting, tossing the spindle down on the sofa, and stomping off like a baby. I think it took me a few days just learn how to keep my spindle from falling to the ground!

My video clips of Travis learning are not that great. If I knew he was going to learn so fast I think I would have tried to video tape it a bit better. I did try to get Travis to tape me giving instructions after every step but my son isn't as steady with our camera so I will try to record a simple set of spinning instructions using our tripod (all steps from how to make a spindle to making yarn) sometime next week.

Travis and Demi are studying the ancients times again this year (we did this 4 years ago). Last year we covered all modern times up to 2007 so this year starts all over again at the beginning of time. I thought it was silly to read how people use to spin yarn to make clothing. I thought having Travis do it would be a lot more fun. I figure it counts as part of our history lesson, a home economics class, and an art lesson for the day. This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.

You will see and hear Demi and Zehira in the videos. The music is the girls playing with a musical teapot. Zee is tossing toys all over the floor, pushing a chair around, and wearing just a diaper. Demi was dropping papers all over the floor I don't know if she was playing with learning cards or art pages I just remember she had a ton of stuff all over the floor by the time I was done teaching Travis. I guess it gives you a real look at some of our school time. It looks a lot like this when I am teaching other subjects. I do try to find ways to keep Zee and Demi quiet for Math class so Travis can concentrate but most other subjects look something like this.

I had to upload them on you tube. My dial up locks up when I load video clips on blogger. Here are the links.

This is spinning video 1 (me just talking about it). 22 second intro clip
Video 2 Travis preparing the fiber. 12 second clip
Video 3 Travis drafting some of the fibers. 24 second clip
Video 4 Travis spinning from the hook. In under a minute he was making yarn. 23 second clip.
Video 5 another clip of him spinning from the hook. 14 second clip. It isn't rolling that well to be making much yarn.
Video 6 wrapping the fiber (using his arm as a distaff) preparing to drop spin. 27 second clip.
Video 7 first try at real drop spinning! 33 second video clip
Video 8 30 second clip
Video 9 7 second clip
Video 10 33 second clip
Video 11 27 seconds clip

In about 5 minutes he was spinning with the drop spindle with no problems at all! I guess it is true what they say.... Kids catch on to things very quickly!

After his spinning lesson we finished up school and got ready for soccer. Later in the night he tried spinning againfor a few minutes. He is now spinning standing up and walking around the house! He is doing a wonderful job and making his mom feel like a slow learner. LOL! I do want to give him a few more lessons on drafting the fibers. I think he can learn to draft when he is spinning. In the clips above he is drafting before he spins (called park and draft method). I think I will give him some lessons on my spinning wheel in the next two weeks. He has used my wheel before but it has been a couple months. I think if he keeps an interest in spinning he will be spinning better than me in a few weeks. Hmmm... Maybe he can spin and I can do the knitting?

Back to reality.

Monday morning I found myself tossed back into our normal routine. Rob went back to work so I had to go back to doing everything with a fussy, teething, baby on my hip. I missed our camping trip. It was so nice not having to do everything with a baby on my hip all weekend long!

If you homeschool and have a hard time working around the little ones (the big challenge for me) here are a few things that are working for me.

Demi has this large art case. I ONLY pull it out when I need to instruct Travis. Travis can do most of his lessons on his own but I still need to teach some of his English lessons, listen to his reading lessons (his grade level reader) to make sure he is pronouncing the words right, and give an occasional Math lesson. This is her "big girl" art kit. It works great at keeping my 3 year old busy so I can do the teaching I need to do. OH! She also uses it for our art class.

Here is one way I have found to keep Zehira busy, quiet, and happy so I can work with Travis. It is a tiny dish of yogurt. She eats, and paints with it.
I did need to give her a bath afterwards but that was no big deal. I put her in the baby tub in our kitchen sink and gave Travis his spelling words (a pretest) and washed her up all at the same time.

Here is a picture of Travis starting our second week of school. It is a nicer picture than the one I took our first day of school. I hope to get some pictures of him smiling at school time soon. He did smile a lot this week but I was so busy with the little ones and housework I didn't think to grab the camera.Travis started the new soccer season on Monday. I was SOOOO EXCITED to see one of my very best friends! Vicky's girl is on the same team as Travis!!!! I got to sit and visit with her and my sister's best friend while our children all played soccer. This is going to be a great soccer season for me! I don't know how Travis likes it but I know for me being able to visit with Vicky 3 times a week is wonderful!!!! Travis is playing on a team with almost all girls. I was so busy visiting with Vicky on Monday I never noticed all the girls. At Wed.'s practice my hubby said something about 3 boys and the rest was all girls for me to notice. LOL! For any of you who don't know Vicky is a homeschooling mom who lives down the road from me. She has 4 children, she sews, knits, and does tons of other crafty things. She is a lot of fun and on some weeks my only source of adult conversation. I usually like to see the end of the soccer seasons. This year I will be sad when it ends.

OH! I wanted to say we overall had a good school week but we did have one big bump in the road. Travis was careless in writing his spelling words. He copied them wrong! He had Rob and I worried he might have an undiagnosed learning disability. I had him go and write all his words another 5 times (he was not happy) and I noticed he was able to do it without a problem. I then had him go fix all his mistakes from his first try. I guess he was just being careless and trying to see if I would notice if he didn't try. I don't think he will have a problem with that again any time soon. For right now our school seems to be happy and on track. I hope we have most of the bumps worked out for this year. I can hope/dream can't I?

Trip home

We stopped at a nice visitors center on our way home.

We founds lots of fun educational things inside.

Demi sat and read while we took in the nice view of the mountains.

I enjoyed this view the best.
We left with hands full of papers of places we want to go see next. We are all sad that our camping trip had to come to an end.

More pictures from last Sat (camping trip)

This is an interesting bike we saw on our way back to the campground, after visiting the PA Grand Canyon.

Zehira got a bit cranky (needed a nap). Rob walked around with her and sang her to sleep. She then took a long nap in our screen room. He is such an attractive man! Some love a man in uniform. Not me I love a man holding the fussy baby.
I am not sure what he is doing in this picture. Having a good time I think.
This is a funny story. The first day camping we took our children to the playground. Travis got a bunch of children to run an obstacle course with him. We went back to the playground the next day. Rob noticed Travis going around talking to all the children. Rob said "Poor kid, I feel bad for him because he thinks he is going to get this group of girls to join him in a race like yesterday. He doesn't understand sometimes girls have no interest in doing that kind of stuff".

I felt bad for him but I thought learning that everyone doesn't always want to do what you want to do isn't such a bad thing. Just a couple minutes later we see all the children start running all around the playground all in a row with Travis leading the way. We (my Mom, Rob, and myself) could not believe it! We all started cheering Travis on! I have to admit I didn't think any children would ever join him in his Olympic races. We asked him later on how he got everyone to race with him. He said I just asked them to join in a race with me and they all did.

Below is a picture of all the children racing on the playground. I think Travis (boy in gray) and girl in dark blue a step below him are lapping the group of younger ones in front of them. Demi is the one in pink in front holding up the race (that's our Demi lol). I am very proud of my son's leadership skills.
After the big races Travis took Zehira down the slide.

Happy baby!Look at this man! He's such a good looking man. He has Zehira squealing with laughter.

I have such a good looking hubby! Look at how happy this baby is! You can't tell she is teething.
Happy girl!
My hubby is very happy. Just look at his big smile. Camping is so much fun for us all!

Nana playing with Zee. I think I relaxed and watched everyone else play with the children all weekend!

Zee climbing the steps. She (like all little ones) LOVES climbing steps!

Nana walking Zee back to our campsite.

Daddy and Demi.
Nana (my mom), Travis, and Zee. I guess you can see I didn't do anything the entire weekend.
I love this picture. My wonderful hubby put Demi on his shoulders for the walk back to our tent.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I will blog a bit more tomorrow.

I am going to get ready for bed. I will share more pictures of our camping trip, video clips of Travis learning to spin yarn on a spindle, and get to blog comments tomorrow. Then I HOPE to keep up with blogging. I want to post my school goals and other stuff so I can look back during the year to keep on track. I would also like to use this as a bit of a record of what we are doing. Not for school records more for my own records. Rob sometimes forgets about many of the fun educational things we have done. I think he will be putting together our portfolio, so glancing at our blog might help him remember some of the things we have done during this school year.

PA Grand Canyon (more camping weekend)

We went to Leonard Harrison State Park (PA Grand Canyon). It's in Wellsboro PA.

Daddy teaching the children. At first Travis grumbled but only at the first sign. He looked happy to find and read all the other signs along the trail.
An old incinerator.
Real men wear the babies! I think my hubby looks VERY attractive whenever he carries our children. Our girls weigh about 20 pounds each. Sometimes I end up with one on each hip. 40 extra pounds is hard on a body. Whenever Rob takes one or both children for me I use that "pain free" time to admire how wonderful and good looking my hubby is! BTW Demi walked most of the time. My Mom did pick her up and carry her when she started to fuss. Camping with my hubby and my parents made the weekend a real vacation for me!
Happy girl! She is almost asleep.

All that time in a carrier with Daddy has created a very close father -daughter bond. She now wants to be with him all the time.

Enjoy the view!

More camping PIX

I love Demi's taste in fashion. A flowered hat, a fairy shirt, a checked top, shorts with a princess she drew herself (she designed her own clothing line this summer), and pink shoes with a bow. What a girl! lol!

Forgot to mention the heart shaped princess wand.
My little flower child!
Daddy had several races with Travis. The Olympics perked Travis' interest in lots of sports. the last couple weeks Travis has been running the track at the local high school (with his new stop watch). His dream was to run faster than his Dad. He was so happy Rob asked to race him many times at the campground. Daddy almost beat Travis several times but somehow our speedy boy managed to out run his Daddy every time.
Here they are running back. Demi is looking for her flower.
I have a wonderful husband! I think in a few years it might turn into my hubby who will need to practice at the track to try to beat his boy in a race to the tree and back. LOL!

My silly little girl.

My good looking boy! He hates his hair cut (Rob picked it out for him). I doubt we will ever see him with his hair this short again.