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Posts Tagged ‘homeschool’

Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.

11:17  OH CRAP PEOPLE!!!!  GET YOUR BATHING SUITS ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!  GO!!!  GO!!!!  GO!!!!  WE HAVE TO BE AT SWIM LESSONS IN 13 MINUTES!!!!

11:22 

Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.

 

1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.

Me:  THANK GOD YOU ANSWERED!

Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.

 

6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.

 

 

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Yesterday was the first day of school for all the kids residing under our roof.

first day of school

The poor, poor, teen’s bus picks her up before 7, long, long before 7 am.  Really, I should put all of the sympathy upon myself, because though I have nowhere to go, I woke up early and made her some pear bread.  Okay, I made it the night before, but I woke up early to serve it to her.  It makes up for the fact that I refuse to drive her down the driveway, across the street and 1 block north to the bus stop and then sit in the car with her and the heater on.  If I am going to drive her to the bus stop and wait for the bus, I might as well drive her to school. (and that’s not going to happen)

Her:  “But all the other kids’ moms do it!”

Me:  Then you should ask to sit in one of their cars. I am not wasting fossil fuels on that! Some poor brontosaurus died so that millions of years later we could make gasoline.  His life shall not be in vain!  I will be PISSED if in a million years we are still using fossil fuels and my decomposed body is being used to warm the car for a lazy teenager.

Her:  Mom!

Me: I will walk you to the bus stop and keep you company.

Her:  Never mind.

It was also the first day of school for all the homeschool kids here at BDB Academy.  Oh boy!  Normally we start the week after all the public school kids.  We have  a “Hahahaha Suckers! We homeschool” extravaganza week filled with empty theater movie trips, empty swimming pool swims, empty mcdonalds playland lunches, empty park trips and empty museum visits.   Alas, with company coming soon and public schools not starting until after Labor day, I figured our “Hahaha Suckers” week followed by company would probably give us a start date some time after October 15.  Though I would be very happy with that, I don’t think the boys would be happy finishing up the year in August.

reading

The first week of school is always meticulously planned and organized.  Normally, I over schedule, overbook and generally make everyone cry on the first day of school.  I think the past 4 years in a row has ended with everyone in tears by the end of the day, including me.  What I’m trying to say is that it’s terribly fun!  Don’t you want to homeschool too?

I was very much dreading this year because I’ll have a 7th grader, 4th grader and two kindergartners.

kitchen table schoolin'I’m not even sure why I was dreading it.  What could be harder than homeschooling with twin toddlers? And I survived that.  By the way, don’t you just love Nate’s long nap tousled hair?  My gosh, it seems like yesterday that they were that little.  It kinda makes me want to cry thinking about those block playing, sipping drinking, nap taking boys who can now pick up a book and read it or ride a bike. Yep, blubbering mess over here.

Just one more picture of those cute baby cheeks!

cute baby!

Yep, blubbering mess over here.

Nonetheless, I was dreading the first day of school a little bit.  It may have something to do with that I’m crazy and I tend to think I am much more patient, have more time than I actually do, and have the stamina of a race horse. Or it might have to do with the fact that we are doing 3, yes THREE, cores from sonlight this year. After yesterday I have determined that I will be incredibly hoarse this year.  If I start to sound like a chain smoker, rest assured it’s not because I actually took up smoking, but because I’m reading aloud for an hour and a half a day not to mention all the other talking I’m doing helping everyone learn everything else.

science experiment 1.1
It might also have to do with the constant complaining the last few weeks as books have been showing up in the mail or as they’ve been slowly accumulating at home?

Marshall:  Whose Pre Algebra book is that?

Me:  Yours!

Marshall:  WHAT!!!  THAT LOOKS WAY TOO HARD???

or

Mike:  Why is there a stack of paperbacks on the bar?

Me:  Those are your first readers for school.  Aren’t they exciting?

Mike:  WHAT?  I only want to read about World War II!

I am relieved and glad to announce that there hasn’t been one official complaint on my choices of curriculum so far.  I was informed that Writing and English are Mike’s official worst subjects, but I expect that to change pretty soon, and even if it doesn’t, I’m okay with that.  You don’t have to like it, but you must be proficient at it.  That is my new mantra.  Or it may be rephrased if I am channeling my inner Tiger Mama to “you don’t have to like it, but you must excel at it”.

homeschoolin

We actually started kindergarten weeks ago to get a head start on the year.  It’s always easiest for me to skimp on the youngest because they are so easy to make up later.  Hence, the four lessons of phonics each day last June and July to finish Nate and Jake’s phonics book before this year.  I have vowed that won’t happen again.  Thankfully we now have a 4 week buffer built in.

isn't that kid handsome!

The day ran smoothly and surprisingly efficient. There does need to be a little tweaking done here and there.  I didn’t anticipate crying when Marshall and Michael shared writing time.  Nor did I anticipate how much Jake and Nate enjoyed reading to Michael.  I also didn’t anticipate starting on time and finishing an hour early.  That was very nice!

I also can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the Bible curriculum I picked this year.  It’s hard to find something that will feed and engage a 12-year-old boy while still keep the attention of a 5-year-old.  The combination of scripture reading, drawing, coloring and writing has everyone excited.

loving the Lord

We are kitchen table homeschoolers.  Though I could technically have a school room, we seem to gravitate to the kitchen and that’s where we spend most of our day.  This year I have decided to overtake the game room.  I’m hoping that this will in turn, corral the mess that we seem to generate.  We shall see.  Our downstairs is also freezing.  Whoever designed the heating in our home deserves to have their duct work designing license revoked.  Hopefully by employing the fireplace downstairs we can warm up the whole house and make the downstairs less frigid during the winter here in the arctic tundra of the Pacific Northwest.  Again, we shall see.  We may be frozen out and slowly trickle upstairs.

Bible study

All I know for sure is that today, the second day, everyone wanted to start early.  There wasn’t any complaining or crying, it went incredibly smoothly.  I couldn’t ask for a better day!

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When we lived in California, we were part of a homeschooling art class.  It met a friend’s house.  The kids learned how to use many different types of media in a very non-stressful, nonacademic format.  Well, McKayla did, the boys usually spent the whole time engaged in Nerf warfare. It was very informal but informative.  It was the highlight of our week.

Mike is my social butterfly.  More than anything he really misses the weekly get together with his best friend.  A few months ago he asked if we could start our own art class.  I can draw a pretty darn amazing stick girl, dress and pigtails included.  That is where my artistic ability ends.  We brainstormed all of the things that we knew how to do and people would be willing to learn.

Mike:  Cooking?

Me:  Sorry, I don’t think our kitchen is big enough to handle a brood of boys.

Mike:  Nerf warfare!

Me:  No. How about a book club?

Mike:  BORING!  How about crocheting?  You could teach us to make a stuffed animal.

Me:  I don’t think I could teach boys to crochet.

Mike:  cake decorating?  Then we could eat a whole cake every week!

Me:  Sorry, not my expertise.  How about a painting the treehouse club.  I could teach everyone to paint?

Mike:  NO!

Me:   How about sewing?

Mike:  Okay, we could try that.

I sent out an email on the various email groups we belong to. The first meeting we had 5 boys ages 6-9 and Marshall.  We made a pillow case.   Mike would like you to know that he did not choose a pink pillowcase for himself, but made it for his sister for her birthday.

 

The first class was a learning lesson.  I thought we could cut the pillow case out and sew the whole thing.  The attention span of a group of young boys is not that long.  Trying to direct a group of kids who have never sewn, was chaotic to say the least.  All I can say is, I am so thankful that my mom happened to be visiting during that first class.

Marshall made his brothers coordinating pillow cases.

After the class Mike and I talked about what we liked and what we didn’t.

Mike:  I want to play more! 

Following this lead, we decided to cut the sewing time down to 30-45 minutes and then the boys could play until everyone was ready to go home.  Honestly, I do very little teaching.  It’s more of a play date masked as a sewing club.  Everyone brings their moms, so the adult to kid ratio is 1:1.  Most moms have a basic knowledge of their sewing machine and can sew a straight line.

Week 2 we cut out a patchwork pillow.  I provided square templates and the boys cut out squares.  Then they played.

Week 3 We sewed together the front of the pillow.  What I really love about this project is how forgiving the patchwork was.  Yes, corners might not actually meet up, but if seams aren’t very straight, it’s hard to tell.  Even the boy whose material looked as if he gnawed it rather than cut it with scissors had a pillow that looked amazing at the end!

Week 4 we sewed the back and front together and stuffed them.  The hardest part of the whole project was the hand sewing to sew the stuffing closed.  Boys don’t particularly have the patience or fine hand eye coordination for a hidden stitch.  While the boys played this week, Jake and another sibling made tiny pillows.

Week 5 We lost a few families and gained some new ones.  We tried our hands at sewing a pattern.  The boys decided they’d like some new jammies. Actually, they’ve been coveting army and baseball fleece that they’ve spied at the fabric store and this was the best project we could think of to use it for.   I chose a Simplicity So Easy Pattern.  JoAnne’s only had ONE pattern so I ended up making my own patterns for the boys to cut.

This week we finished the jammies.  They turned out amazing!  I think my favorite part about the sewing class is seeing the individual boys.  I love seeing which fabric each boys chooses.

The twins have also been bitten by the sewing bug.  Jake was lucky enough to be given one of the boys extra pirate material and we whipped up a pair of jammies together today.  I pressed the pedal and Jake guided the material.

Nate also wanted a pair of Jammies.  We didn’t have enough pirate material, but I did have a pair of Dave’s pajamas which have been waiting far too long to have a hole repaired in a rather unfortunate spot.  He was very excited to have a pair of Daddy pants.  Nathaniel was not even remotely interested in guiding the material.  Instead he pressed the foot and I guided the material.  It was definitely an adventure.

Our next project will be a quillow (A quilt that turns into a pillow).  I think we will do this one.  I know there are much easier patterns, but I need something that will not only interest the 7 year-old but also challenge the 13-year-old.  Hopefully this isn’t something that will frustrate everyone.

Do you have any ideas for some sewing projects that a boy would love?  I’ve scourged the internet and have come to the conclusion that sewing is not only primarily done by girls, but also for girls. If we wanted to make tutus or dolls or an easy dress, I could find hundreds of patterns and ideas easily. Alas, I don’t think a pink tutu clad doll would be very appealing to these boys.   I’m thinking of designing some kind of nerf gun carrier, maybe a messenger bag.  Please give me some ideas.  I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

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