Our First Three Days of Home School

 

Our Homeschool Classroom

the 3rd day

We have made it through our first three days of home school. Only 2 more days until the weekend!! ¬†Is it bad that I’m counting down to the weekend already??

This week is all about figuring out how I want to do this. I’m pretty sure the whole year will be about that really. Every single day has brought a different set of challenges. The first day it was Daniel in the afternoon. The second day it was a battle of the wills with Joshua. Today it was a nap time struggle with JD and several phone calls and door knocks. I’m always torn on whether or not to answer these things.

The biggest change today that I made was the behavior system. Alan suggested, after yesterday’s battle of the wills, that I switch to the color system that the boys’ elementary school used. In their eyes, everything that our Virginia school did was the golden standard of what should happen at school, so anything that I can do that is like their old school will be well accepted.

Great Behavior System

Great Behavior System

Boy, was Alan right. We made a very official looking chart last night for the boys to track their behavior. Joshua walked in this morning, saw it hanging on the wall, and said, “Oh, ya made the colors chart, eh?” Then he giggled, “You used Candy Land cards.”

Hey. The Candy Land cards are perfect little color squares, and I was rather proud of Alan for thinking of it. ūüôā

I consider this our first great victory of home-schooling. This worked like a charm. The threat of being changed to blue or even yellow saved my school day. Everyone managed to earn their way back to orange by the end of the day, and that was an accomplishment because one student spent some time on yellow, let me tell you.

What am I talking about? Well, everyone starts out on orange. If you’ve been warned, but you still aren’t obeying, you get changed to blue. You have to go up to the front of the class and change your color yourself. If you continue to cause problems for your teacher, you go to yellow.

If you are an amazing and exemplary student, you can even earn double orange.

Today feels like that Mary Tyler Moore song, “You might just make it after all!” Where’s a hat I can thrown in the air???

The Dan Plan: Dan must do a craft every day. This keeps him extremely happy and well occupied. He’s actually an AMAZING student. He runs and sits in his seat every morning, first thing. He never argues with me, and he always finishes his work without complaining. He also doesn’t bother anyone……Well, he does bother JD. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have THREE older brothers. I hope you all treat JD with a huge dose of grace. I can’t tell you what he goes through.

Dan wants to do EVERYTHING his brothers do. They love show and tell.

Academically, the kids are off to a high-flying start. The first week is review material, so they’ve found it very easy, especially Caleb. This has made Caleb very easy to deal with. Caleb is a wonderful student, as long as he doesn’t feel intimidated. Actually, Caleb’s happy attitude has been a life-saver. Thank you so much, Caleb!!! ¬†I’m taking him to the pool Friday to reward him for being such a positive influence in our school.

A Beka Math is no joke, though, so I have to introduce multiplication to Joshua on Friday. It’s in the review section. Ha! Joshua’s never done multiplication. I’m so thankful his teacher last year made him do so much addition and subtraction practice, though. He’s had two addition speed drills this week, and he aced them both with flying colors–way under the time limit.

Also, I assessed their reading levels using a test that only went to 5th grade. Joshua scored perfectly, so I know he’s at least at a 5th grade reading level. Caleb’s score was still in the 1st grade level, but I expected as much.

I kind of feel like I will learn as much as they will this year. I know I’m going to have to make serious strides in self-discipline and patience!!

QUOTES!!

1. Caleb:  I just want to sit by Joshua!

2. Joshua….on a different day: I just want to play with Caleb!!

While it’s a little sad that we don’t have friends, I do appreciate how much closer we are all growing as a family.

3.We heard knocking on the door. Joshua ran to the window. “It’s ups! ¬†It’s ups!”

Me: ¬†“Huh? What’s ups??” ¬†I looked out the window and spotted the UPS truck. “Ohhhhh. It’s called UPS, boys. Yes, Joshua, go get your package.” (He was excitedly waiting for a new book he’d ordered.)

One thing you don’t have to worry about is the boys being with other kids. They truly are each other’s entertainment. Right now two of them are in Joshua and Caleb’s room, discussing costumes and Lego creations.

I would also like to say thank you to Donna!! Donna has been sending me wonderful Pinterest links on teaching ideas. Keep ’em coming, Donna! ¬†I’ve found some great ideas this way.

I need to say thank you to Alan too. He’s in up to his eye balls in school work, but he’s been coming home everyday and picking up toys, vacuuming floors, and folding laundry. What would I do without you???

By the way, my house still has almost nothing on the wall, and the boxes are not all unpacked yet. When will we ever have time???

Home school perk: I don’t have to build Dan’s tracks anymore. Joshua and Caleb happily did this for me. Roll tide!!

How To Make a School Supply Cake

SupplyCake

 

Yes, I actually made this. ¬†Nope, it wasn’t hard.

I’m always saying I’m not a crafty person, but then I do have so much fun putting stuff like this together. ¬†I’m beginning to wonder if I actually DO enjoy crafts after all….

 

Next week is Staff Appreciation Week at the boys’ school, and I am “room mom” for Caleb’s class.

Don’t be impressed. ¬†I am never ‘room mom.’ ¬†This is simply what happens when you are the last parent to leave Open House, and you realize that no one signed up for that position. ¬†Thankfully, the position really hasn’t required that much of my time. ¬†I’m not able to volunteer during school hours, as I have two babies at home, but I can organize class events from right here at home.

Now, let’s talk about this ‘supply cake.’

That term sounds goofy to me, so let’s call it a tower here. ¬†I found this idea on my favorite idea zone, Pinterest! ¬†I found several towers like this, read about them, and none of them were exactly what I wanted, but this particular one served as my inspiration because it is just so darn cute:

http://www.darlingdoodlesdesign.com//?s=supply+cake

Shout out to darlingdoodlesdesign.com and to whatsscrapping.blogspot.com for the inspiration on this!!

I wasn’t able to come up with exactly the same supplies that were used here, so I decided to just ‘wing it’ a bit.

Like it?? ¬†You can totally make this. ¬†If I can do it, anyone can!! I’m including directions here for exactly how I made this, to make it as easy as possible for you!!

¬†To print the directions: click here¬†(Page 1 comes last on the printable. But don’t worry. It is there.)

how-to-make a school supply cake

First, buy this:

scrapbook paper

paper plate

a pretty color masking tape to match the scrapbook paper

16 boxes 24 count crayon boxes

10 bottles Elmer’s glue

26 glue sticks

1 paper towel roll

1 full size Dixie cup

2 boxes 24 count #2 pencils

2 packs of 100 count index cards

5 rubber bands

4 jumbo paper clips




alternative: ¬†You can also use packs of glue sticks instead of glue sticks, and that’s a little cheaper and easier. ¬†If you do the packs of glue sticks, you will need 7 packs of glue sticks. ¬†Each pack has two glue sticks.

Here’s a photo of what the glue stick pack version looks like. ¬†I made this one for Joshua’s teacher. Families from the class chipped in and paid for these. ¬†I just put them together. ¬†: )

SupplyCake#2

 

Directions:

1. Take a sturdy paper plate, turn it upside down, and tape the scrapbook paper to the plate.

2. Don’t stick the paper towel roll to the plate until you have secured layer 1 to the paper towel roll. ¬†Trust me. ¬†It’s easier to do layer one ¬†if it’s not stuck down to the plate yet.

Layer 1:

3. Line 6 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the paper towel roll. Secure with a rubber band.

4. Line 8 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the other boxes of crayons.  Secure with a rubber band.  Wrap the masking tape around the rubber band.  You could also use ribbon.  In the middle, clamp on a jumbo paper clip.

5. Now put tape all over the bottom of the paper towel roll and stick it to the prepped paper plate with scrapbook paper.

Layer 2:

6. Take 9 or 10 bottles of Elmer’s glue to form a ring around the paper towels, sitting on top of the inner ring of crayon boxes. Secure with a rubber band. ¬†Wrap the tape around the rubber band. ¬†Fasten in the center with a jumbo paper clip.

Layer 3:

7. ¬†This is the trickiest part, though none of it was hard. ¬†The glue doesn’t make a shelf, so you have to tape the glue sticks to the paper towel roll. ¬†I just lined up multiple little bundles of masking tape, and stuck the glue sticks to it.

Don’t worry. ¬†Here are some photos to help:

 

3/4 of the way done

 

the tricky part

Once all the glue sticks are on, secure layer 3 with a rubber band, cover with the masking tape, and clip on your jumbo paper clip.

Topper:

8. I folded some more tape onto the top of the roll, covering most of the hole.  Then I pushed the cup onto the top.

 

not overly sophisticated, but it will do

 

 

Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

9. I put a crayon box on the north and south sides and index card packs on the east and west.  Our class also chipped in for some gift cards, so I stuck those in there too.  This would also be great as a Christmas or end of the year gift for your teacher.  It was surprisingly easy to make!

 

ta-daaa!

ta-daaa!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will follow me on Facebook for more fun ideas. ūüôā

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Charitable Chicken and Other Little Tales

handskneesJD

Lots of little things are going on here in the House of Many Little Men….

This is the thing I’m most excited about: ¬†JD is getting ready to take off. ¬†Each day he finds his way onto his hands and knees just a little bit more.

He is also SERIOUS about his “standing practice.” ¬†He just loves to be on his feet. ¬†He’s extremely unsteady when you walk him, and yet the boy will randomly just let go of your hands. ¬†Gutsy, this one.

Do you think we’ll have to hang gates before we move? ¬†Right now he moves at the speed of sleeping turtles, so we’re good, but we have around seven weeks left in this house, and a lot can happen in that amount of time!

DID I MENTION MOVING?????

This is hands down the most stressful thing going on with me right now. ¬†Here’s the deal: ¬†we are a military family. ¬†That means we can’t even book movers (set a moving date) until we have official orders in hand.

Alan has to report to his new duty station on June 30.

We have no orders.  This is April 24!!!

We keep calling. ¬†It turns out that the EFMP is what’s holding us up. ¬†What’s an EFMP, you ask? ¬†Exceptional Family Member Program: ¬†a PCS nightmare. ¬†(PCS = Permanent Change of Station= Moving) Pray for us! ¬†We can’t move until the EFMP people decide this is a good place for Caleb to live and get treatment. ¬†Caleb has epilepsy. ¬†I will be doing a post on epilepsy soon: ¬†yes, another one, because I’m always amazed at the misconceptions that people have of it.

So that’s that. ¬†Moving stresses me out to talk about, so let’s move on…

My #2 stressor right now is that I’m the room mom for Caleb’s class, and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up. ¬†I volunteered to make this:

only with less Elmer’s and more pencils. ¬†Plus, we’re adding a couple of fun gift cards for the teacher.

Do you think I can do it? ¬†Let’s go with yes. ¬†After all, I did make this last year:

and by ‘this’, I’m referring to the diaper cake to the right of my friend Betsy! ¬†I forgot to take a close-up picture of it!! How do you create a masterpiece like that and forget to take a picture? ¬†; )

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the ‘supply cake’!

******

Funny things I’ve seen/heard lately:

–I was going over my bank records, and I noticed a transaction that read ¬†“Church. ¬†$23: ¬†charitable giving”

(Our bank categorizes our purchases.)

Alan was sitting beside me, and I thought this was an odd amount, and at a different location than our church. ¬†I asked Alan, “Did you give $23 to a church?”

“No. ¬†What’s the address? ¬†Hmmm. ¬†Let me see it. ¬†Oh! ¬†Ha! ¬†Church’s chicken!”

So there you have it, folks!  If you eat fried chicken, it may or may not help you on your tax return!

One more:

Daniel was sitting down the other day, making his feet talk to each other.  Apparently they were having an argument of some sort:

“Your turn,” said the left

“Noooo,” replied the right, and it kind of just went on along those lines. ¬†But then doesn’t everyone’s feet talk to each other?