Aug 30, 2010

Homeschool Curriculum

IMG_4146 Here is an overview of our homeschool curriculum.  We like the spectrum workbooks they have color pages and are pretty easy to work independently.  With these books we can adjust the level.  He struggles with spelling but is great in vocabulary, so we went up and down accordingly.  For social studies we are starting with geography and will be adding history in a few weeks.  We went to a museum this weekend for a Civil War Reenactment.  He has dysgraphia and cannot write cursive, he can read it though (go figure), so we are using handwriting without tears to teach cursive. 

I will be adding Writing with Ease for writing skills.  He always melted down when asked to write.  We have 4 pen pals he will be writing to also.  Three of them live in neighboring towns and one is his cousin in Oregon.  They all like Pok√©mon his favorite topic so he is excited to write them.

We are using an online program for math, Aleks.  I love this program.  He has dyscalculia, which is a math processing disability.  We have always had a struggle with math.  In this program the child takes an assessment and the program gives them lessons according to their level.  As they master new skills, the program opens up games and lessons.  The child has a pie with math categories (geometry, fractions, place value, and multiplication and division) and as they master topics in each category the pie fills up.  The child can work on any section of the pie they choose.  He is strong willed and likes picking his lessons for the day.  This is fine with me.  He also likes to check his pie and see how close to filling it he is.

We have a character building book called Sticky Situations.  This book has a scenario and multiple choice question.  It references a passage in the bible that they can refer to for the answer, however if you weren’t Christian you could answer the question based on morals and your own beliefs.  They are generic situations about being a good friend and having good morals, which today's kids need. Scholastic has a weekly ethical dilemma also.

I always hated the school year and dreaded it.  Now that I don’t have to deal with schools anymore our life has become peaceful again.  I don’t have to spend every evening signing forms or harassing him about homework.  Sometimes the homework they sent home made no sense either, I would have to Google it just to figure out what to do. 

We also don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn.  The public school bus used to come at 7:30 and when we drove him to a charter school we would have an 1 hour commute starting at 6:45 am.  If he stayed in public school, next year at 11 years old he would ride the combined middle/high school bus.  That is insane to me.  Funding should never trump common sense.  Now we wake up at 7:30 and eat breakfast and start our day by 9am. 

Everyone is happy with this arrangement.  The added bonus is homeschool can take place wherever we want it to.  So if we want to go to Grandma’s for a visit we can bring our books with us.  I love the freedom of homeschool!!!

Aug 25, 2010

I see a blue door and I want it painted black…

Black Shutters Blue Door

Ok, sorry to make you suffer through my bad Rolling Stones imitation.  We painted our door and shutters blue in July.  I was never a fan of the blue shutters.  All the paint experts claimed you can’t paint plastic shutters a darker color so we felt like we had no other choice.

Blue Shuuters & Door 

Well our neighbors had nothing to say except it was an interesting color choice.  Our real estate agent said black would be better.  I went back to the web and searched for fellow black shutter painters.  I read some forums and a few people had success, so I told my husband we would be repainting them.  The stinky part of all this is the cost of the shutter pins.  They are one time use and cost $40 for all our shutters.

Now that the shutters our black I am unsure about the blue door.  I hesitate to paint our front door black because half our neighbors have black doors.  I love blue but have a hard time executing it. 

I have some exciting stuff I’ve been working on.  I am having a hard time balancing homeschooling, job hunting, selling a house, and just life in general.  I hope to share my projects this weekend. 

Aug 7, 2010

Closet Makeover

My closet was overflowing and not very functional.  We moved a dresser from our room into my husbands closet.  He needed it more than me.  It use to hold all my sweaters and sweatshirts.  My closet is a narrow walk-in with 4’ walls on each side.  I used the closet designer on the Better Homes & Gardens website.  We did everything with just one 4’ by 8’ sheet of mdf.  This was much cheaper than a closet organizer.


I can’t find my before picture so here is a photo of all the stuff from just one side of my closet.  I had a pile of clothes and two hanging shoe organizers.

July 2010 016

Below are the in progress photos.  We removed a white wire shelf that you could hang clothes on.  It left quite a few holes in the wall.

Closet Organizer MDF 2 

Closet Organizer MDF 1

Closet Organizer MDF 3

Here it is freshly painted with all the holes filled.

Closet Makeover 1

Closet Makeover 2

Closet Makeover 3

And of course here it is with my overabundance of clothes.

Master Closet Hers 1

Master Closet Hers 2

Master Closet Hers 3

Master Closet Hers 4

Projects 050

I love it now.  My hubby built the shelves.  I painted.  It definitely was one of my worst paint jobs but you really can’t tell with the clothes in it. :) 

I love hearing your feedback and enjoy reading your comments.

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