Friday, May 25, 2012

Natural Mosquito Repellent!

So we live where humidity + heat = mosquitos.

I have for the last 3 years been trying to find something, ANYTHING that would be natural and work.  So far I've been totally unsuccessful.  We had the mozzy bites to prove it.  But when the PIL came with the bees they also brought something I've been wanting to try out.  Lemongrass oil.  First off I couldn't figure out WHY would they be bringing lemongrass oil???  They are not exactly the natural "organic" type of people so I was confused.  Turns out lemongrass is used to attract bees when they swarm so you can capture them.  Now that you know that.....it is also AMAZING as a mosquito and tick repellent.  Here's how I use it.  I have repurposed a old bottle of organic hair detangler from the kids that had a fine mist.  I filled it with 8 oz distilled water and then 30 drops of lemongrass oil.  Shake and apply.  I will tell you that if your sweating like a pig...er...perspiring alot it might sting but that's nothing compared to days of itching or worse finding some creepy tick stuck on your scalp or worse.  The best part to all of this is you don't smell like some yucky deet bug spray but like lemons....cool!  You can find lemongrass oil online or at your local organic "groovy" store or Whole Foods Market (aka..whole paycheck).

Now go outside and enjoy your kids!



Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Really? or What Are We Going to Read Now?


So Summer is upon us.  We have planted most of our garden and our little friend Groundhog has managed to help himself last night to almost my ENTIRE garden....yes...i'm bitter.

To keep my mind occupied I was thinking about summer.  That always makes me smile.  Sunshine, butterflies..ah..that's better.  We homeschool year-round but if you don't you may be wondering what to do for summer.  Most people who don't do school year round go on holiday schedule.  Which usually means keeping up on a little math and ALOT of reading.  If you're wondering what to actually read may I suggest something?  Try the Robinson Curriculum list found at Rosegate Harbour or Sonlight has set up a summer reading list.  They even have broken it down by boy or girl and school level...love that.

ah..now if fixing my garden was this easy....



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kiddie Records! Holy Hi-Fi Batman!

Well if you're feeling a need to let the kidlets relive your youth...or you need some fun entertainment go check out:

Kiddie Records

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mathtacular!!

I just have to post about this AWESOME set of CD's on math.  After using Leapfrog for learning the alphabet and numbers I was left with a hole for something to reinforce concepts.  Until...I got Mathtacular.  Seriously my son has learned so much and LOVES watching these.  He actually asks to watch math!  How crazy is that!?!?!

Mathtacular!

Need To Make A Worksheet?

So...have you ever needed to make a worksheet for whatever your kidlet is having trouble with and were to lazy...er...not motivated to make one?

Here's one that makes REALLY nice worksheets for you

Worksheet Works

Friday, May 11, 2012

Relaxed Charlotte Mason or How To Get It ALL Done and Not Be Crazy





If you've followed Charlotte Mason's Philosophy at all you'll eventually start trying to find a schedule and that will usually lead to burnout.  Why?  Because in most of what I've seen of the schedules available none of them take into account having more than one kid or even worse someone is sick or even worse you're sick because you're 8 weeks into being preggers with kid #5.  So now what?  Chuck it?

Nope..

Here's a schedule you'll actually be able to do and be SANE at the end of the year.  Notice I didn't say week?  You can do anything for about a week it's from then on it gets bad. I am purposely not putting in time.  Time doesn't work when you have a nursing baby or you've been up all night with a sick kid.


  • Breakfast
  • Chores
  • 3R's  - Start olders while you work with littles who require more. Once Littles finish, start littles on project (cutting, pasting, coloring) and go over what middles and biggies need.  This shouldn't be much.***
  • BIG snack and fun run  - (get the wigglies out, dance to music, musical chairs, trampoline) this is probably somewhere around 10:30-11:00 ish
  • Read Aloud - Living Books (history, science, literature, Shakespeare. rotate subjects) 11-1
  • Lunch
  • Afternoons free!  This is the time kids can work on Nature Walks, Nature Notebooks, History Notebooks, Discovery Learning, quiet reading from Robinson Curriculum List, Sonlight List etc.


Sounds easy right?  It is.  No more being behind.  No more scope and sequence merry go round.  Now if for some reason you can't dedicate the huge time slot to reading then break it up through out the day.  You can read over breakfast, lunch and at bedtime.

For Art you check out the big coffee table books from the library and have them open for display.  For Music just stream some classical or hymns.


         
****I am HUGE on self learning and mastery so I work towards ALL kids working independently by 2-3rd grade.  If you need more info go to Robinson Curriculum or UR the mom

Also check out my post on Popsicle Planning if you're feeling that you need something new everyday


now...GO ENJOY THE FREEDOM!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oh BEEhave!

My PIL's came this weekend with 3 boxes....2 for us and 1 for them.  BEES!  Yes!  we are now a hobby apiary...makes it sound like we're growing apes but no!  it's bees.  We are beekeepers.  My Farmer BT grew up with them so he felt it was time to make the farm really buzz.  Oh BEEhave...


In celebration we are studying The Bee Tree this week.  Yesterday we did the bible (Prov. 16:24) and looked at Michigan & Yukon.


Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body - Prov. 16:24

Jumping Ship on Curriculum and Planning!


These are GREAT tips on when you're starting to feel like "jumping ship" with a curriculum from Angela O'Dell who wrote Math Lessons for a Living Education (GREAT BOOK!) which you can buy at Queen Homeschool Supply.  I can't make a direct link to the book so you'll have to look at categories and then math lessons


I am one of the most distractible people alive. I have to pray for contentment and focus in everyday routine. I am, by nature, a "wing-it" kind of person. I have learned that I cannot do this in homeschooling. To combat this urge to throw everything out the window every six weeks and start something new, I have come up with a workable plan that keeps me reasonably on track. 
1) I recognize this tendency in myself, and I pray for wisdom and direction.
2) Before I make any curriculum decisions, I talk to my hubby, my children and mostly, to God. 
3) I set a flexible plan in place for the year.
4) I plan in a "diversion week" every 6 weeks or so. This might mean a week-
    long unit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we have been doing.
    Or it could be just a break where we read some cool books, bake a lot, 
     play games, focus on only the 3 Rs, or go visit friends more often. When 
     our week is over, I am ready to go back to the routine that we had going
     before. This helps my ADD issue, and it gives the kids something new, too.
5)When I am planning for the year, I very carefully weigh the cost of outside
    activities. Not just the money that it will take, but the time, energy and
    how much stress it will add, are all weighed carefully. 
6)When planning curriculum, I ask myself the question, "Am I going to be 
able to get at least 75% of this done in an average week? If not, some-thing has to go.
7)Leave time to relax! Take that time and RELAX! 
8)Give a resource at least 6 weeks before changing it. Talk to your child and
 husband and decide why it is not working. It could be something simple that can be easily remedied.
     
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