Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Darrell!

This weekend, we spent an overnight in Pittsburgh to celebrate 13 years of marriage and Darrell's birthday. Thanks to Darrell's dad, who watched the kids, and our friends who took our dog for the night, we were able to get away. We ate at a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant, Abay. The food was amazing and you had to eat with your hands! The food comes on a thin piece of bread, which you tear off and scoop up the food to eat. We had a great time!
We also meandered through an Italian festival and just relaxed and enjoyed each other. Now we're ready for another week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two adults+four kids+one dog=fun outing!

The flexibility of homeschooling allows our family to be spontaneous and we enjoy this aspect, especially when it means we can spend some quality time with family and friends. So on Friday, I heard that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law were taking time off of work to hike McConnell's Mill State Park and we thought that would be something we would like to do also. So, we rearranged our plans, called a friend, packed a lunch and headed out to spend (possibly) the last hot, sunny day of 2010 hiking. It turned out to be the perfect thing to do! Above, my three kids, Evan's friend, and Maura (Darrell's sister).
The Mill was open and Ann-Marie was very fascinated in reading all the informational signs inside.

The boys......
Ann-Marie and I.....
and Comet too! Thanks, Maura, for sticking around and enjoying the afternoon with us!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Linking up.....Ordinary Days

I've never done this before so bear with me.....I'm linking up! My friend, Alison, over at Stuff and Nonsense blog is hosting a link-up about ordinary days. So here it goes....a somewhat ordinary Wednesday for a PACyber-schooling family.....

6:00 a.m. - wake up timefor me to spend at least 30 minutes in quiet time devotions. (The main way I stay sane).

6:30 - 7:30 a.m. - I check e-mails and blogs and facebook. Then I spend time working on my fitness routines (I teach fitness classes at a local gym).

7:30 a.m. - Breakfast time for everyone. Usually kids are up around 7 a.m., so they choose to read or hang out quietly playing a board game, legos and such.
Breakfast time means family meeting, announcements for the day, reciting Bible verses that we are working on, and doing family devotional.

8:00 a.m. - Getting ready - showers, brushing teeth, any morning chores.

9:00 a.m. - official start to our school day. Evan (4th grade) and Ann-Marie (2nd grade) use the Calvert curriculum under the umbrella of PACyber Charter School. They are required to log-in to their school computers for attendance and announcements. Evan likes to get on his computer early (usually 8:45 a.m.) since he does keyboarding, spelling, and art on-line independently - he likes to get these done before the official start of school. I show Alec what is in his workboxes so he completes his independent activities while I work with older two children. Alec's workboxes have lego projects, playdough, puzzles, books on tape, wikki stix, etc.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - I work with Evan on math, science, social studies, and/or composition - whatever he has for the day that needs explanation. Ann-Marie works through her independent workboxes (hers has math practice, handwriting, reading, a book to read to Alec, Bible study, and anything else she can complete independently.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Evan and Ann-Marie switch and I work with Ann-Marie while Evan works through his independent workboxes. Evan's contains grammar, handwriting, learning chess, Bible study and anything else he can complete independently.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30: I work with Alec - we complete calendar activities, theme activities (we are working slowly through My Father's World Kindergarten), any letter or pre-reading activities I might have planned for him.

(*typically we break for lunch at noon and do group time at 1 p.m. - but this is about what our Wednesdays look like, which are a little different)

11:30 - Evan takes dog on short walk, everyone gathers a lunch (premade by mom, of course) to eat in the car and we are in the van ready to go at 11:45 a.m. (we almost made it!) Drive to Wexford (about 45 minutes).

12:30 - 2:45 p.m.: Evan and Ann-Marie take a recorder class (instrument/music) and a creative arts sampler class at our PACyber Charter School support center. I drop them off and take Alec with me on errands (not a popular idea for him!)

2:45 p.m. - drive home

3:30 - 5:30 p.m. free time - Wii time, screen time is popular during this time, although we do limit screen time to no more than one hour.

5:30 p.m. - dinner

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Alec has soccer. Evan and Ann-Marie come also, since Darrell has a night appointment.

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. - bedtime snacks, baths or showers if needed, getting ready for bed.

8:00 p.m. - everyone in bed and reading or looking quietly at books. Alec has lights out at 8:30 p.m., Evan and Ann-Marie have lights out at 9:00 p.m.

10:00 p.m. - is my bedtime! I am not coherent past this point.

So there you have it! Go visit the Stuff and Nonsense blog if you want to participate or peak into another family's daily homeschooling routine!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tall Ships at Erie, PA

We took a day off of our regular schedule and went to Erie, PA to see the tall ships. We toured the museum and two of the ships (there were five of them.) It was fun to see them, but there were a lot of people there! Some of the highlights.....
the presentation of how a cannon is loaded.....
a small replica ship firing upon the larger ship.....
enjoying a view from above....
then after lunch, Darrell and I took the kids to Presque Isle....we enjoyed the warm sand (as it was only in the upper 60s) and the kids played in the waves at the water's edge (getting pretty wet, but they didn't care.) It was a relaxing day for us!

My favorite picture of the day is the foot picture....this signifies to me relaxed time spent together.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One......then two.....

Both of Alec's bottom teeth have been very loose for the past several weeks. Alec let Darrell pull one on Friday night.....

and the other came out on Saturday night. My baby has lost his first baby teeth!