Category Archives: Teaching My Bugs

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Excited about school.. all over again!

Did you guys think we had disappeared? 

We’re still here, occasionally doing our school work out of the car while Daddy is in an interview, but we’re still here.  This momma was almost too busy praying for an answer from this one company to worry about school.  Then an ‘out of the blue’ play date refreshed me!

A new friend of mine came by yesterday with her daughter, also 7, also in the first grade.  She’s new to homeschooling, started in Nov or Dec I think, and already she further than us in the Math and Language Arts curriculum we use.  (She purchased the same one I did) 
I do more subjects then her and do more internet supplements but still…  geez…  3 workbooks ahead of me… SO…

I went online with her to show her some of our favorite places to find ‘things to do’ and to introduce her to the world of lapbooking.  Boy oh boy did I find some fun stuff…. 

Here’s the lapbooking links (some of the coolests were links I followed FROM here…)

Homeschool Helper Online

Homeschool Share

and I just joined up at Lapbook Lessons!

For those of you brave enough to make up your own lapbooks here’s a great tutorial (with pictures) on how to make your own templates in MS Word.

We have officially decided to have a lapbooking day next week (cross fingers) since we’ve done one once from a kit and once from stuff we made up and since I have way too much paper and glue and it needs to go somewhere.  (Lucky me found my colored folders last night too!)

Well, after she left I found the COOLEST new beta site.  It is NOT interactive, but rather a worksheet generator for printables…

“You will not find anything on this website that is designed to interact directly with a student. Our guiding principle is that paper-based documents are the best way to help kids learn. There are many good sources of computer-based educational materials, but we have learned through experience that they simply do not compare to a quality printed worksheet. Numerous studies of the effectiveness of computers in the classroom support this view. “

I printed off several worksheets for the girls last night.  An addition ‘word search’ type puzzle,  an alphabetizing practice sheet, magic squares, and fractions  (it’s gets cooler when you get out of First Grade).

They even have a worksheet where you can type in the copy work text and they will shadow it on the paper for them to trace! 

It’s called WorksheetWorks.com and it’s awesome!!  If you already know about it then pretend I’m not a total late bloomer and cheer with me anyway (LOL).  I just clicked on their “site for parents” button where they have a whole bunch of homeschool friendly sites listed by popularity!  It just keeps getting better and better!

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Since it’s 6 am, and Tader is still on the couch with me coughing I guess I better go wake up the coffee pot, no going back to bed now.  I’ll leave you with my field trip tip from last week…

When you spend two days telling your kids they are going to the caverns (aka Daddy’s job interview 2 plus hours away in the mountains where someone is probably going to hurl on the way up or the way down) and you GET there to find out their website LIED was misleading as to their true operating hours you can always pretend they went by stopping by the local Shoney’s and grabbing  a bunch of brochures on the caverns instead.  Tader Bug can now differentiate between a stalagmite and a stalagtite and she’s never actually seen one!  WHOO HOO! 

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Like having the Principal observing your class…

Despite the not very reassuring conference call I listened in on last week, the one that clearly stated that ‘all is well’ in the world of Company Q, all was not well and last Friday was our Daddy’s last day at work. (Something told me immediately that I should NOT have prayed so hard that he would be home more often!) Monday we skipped formal school work to learn about proper eating habits out of brochures while we sat at social services and the unemployment office, waiting to find out there is not help for us at this time, then we went to the park for some well deserved Physical Education. I knew that today would be the hard day… the first day we had to do school with Daddy around. It was kind of like having the Principal sit in your class room to observe. Only ours was bigger, and could in fact watch all of us at the same time. He opted to sit around the corner, said he was applying for jobs, but WE KNEW he was secretly listening. (ok, so I knew he wasn’t paying us the slightest bit of attention, instead he was searching thesaurus.com for a better word to put in his resume, but what THEY don’t know won’t hurt them) I must say I enjoyed telling DoodleBug that her daddy was listening…. muwahahahahaha yes, I am bad…yes, homework was finished faster and neater than ever before. My devious little plan was perfect. Until…. DoodleBug asked Daddy to check her work. To which he proceeded to tell ME she got two wrong. Which is when I told HIM to tell HER… and he did not… and Doodles figured out that Daddy really wasn’t paying attention after all. So Doodles put up her books and went to play. My leverage was completely played out in less than 3 hours. I can always count on him for one thing- taking them outside- they are off pretending to hunt scrogers while the weather is nice. I’m going to try to post again on my other blog so my mom will stop commenting on how I need to post (love you mom ! LOL) and maybe make some Jello for my little hunters. Have a happy school day everyone!

Story Time ! (with a freebie)

In keeping with my slacker style, we skipped our book work yesterday for a “Sunshine Day”. When winter clouds bring gloom, without even a hint of fun snow, it’s easy to get on each others nerves. Once the thermometer reached 55° I decided it was time to go play outside!

(according to TaderBug, their jackets got wet and they just HAD to come off… you know, because mud is different…it’s not wet right?)

Well, they were just having so much fun soaking up the vitamin D, and learning very scientific hands on information regarding the effects of water on soil, sand, concrete, baby dolls, cotton pants, and cats. I didn’t have the heart to bring them inside.  (Or, maybe I was just enjoying the peace and the opportunity to do a load of dishes without stopping 15 times to dry my hands and button a costume or clasp a necklace or wipe someones bum!)

After a very warm bubble bath (it took two baths to get it all off), we gathered all our silly instruments in the living room.  My little sweeties insisted on providing accompaniment to my attempts at practicing piano.  I cannot even begin to describe how difficult it is to play “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with a 4 year old drummer and a 7 year old guitar player!

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This morning, anticipating short attention spans caused by a light dusting of snow, I decided to have Doodle’s tackle her schoolwork before the sun came up and she could see the white wonderland outside.  I’m not dumb enough to wake her up that early on purpose… but since she was up….

While she finished up her Math Quiz, I worked up a little story page for her to do for fun.  I’ve added it here and to my Free From Me page! It’s a pdf file and includes a big box on top to draw a picture!  There is a list of words to help new spellers and new writers with their sentences.  This page has a ‘Park’ theme!

It took Doodles a few tries to really understand what I was asking her to do; however, now that the story page is done she is following me around trying to finish the story.  I’m not sure why I thought I could say ‘just two sentences’ and have that actually work!

The handwriting is sloppy thanks to our lazy attitude this morning but the story was told…

Time to eat some oatmeal and bundle up for the blizzard (NOT).
Happy Tuesday!

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So you think you want to get up at 5:30 am?

I’m pretty sure DoodleBug will stay in her bed this morning for as long as she possibly can stand it.  Yesterday she woke up at 5:30 and refused to go back to sleep.  (She’s normally up around 9 or so)  I’m normally up that early, up to kiss hubby on his way out the door, but I’m also very accustomed to having some quiet time to gather my thoughts, pray, drink coffee, and ask God for the patience to survive the day.  DoodleBug had interupted that and I could think of no better way to keep her occupied then to start schoolwork early!  (evil grin) 

She was excited and eagerly ate her oatmeal, dressed and brushed her teeth while I gathered her books up near the couch. 

About half way through her first subject she decided she was too tired to figure out how to spell “took”. 

We survived ‘Reading I’ and ‘Language Arts’, moved into a quick ‘Social Studies’ lesson where somehow we started talking about how some of our families ancestors were Cherokee Indians and that turned into a crying session of how much she misses the great-great-great-great grandma she never met. 

I contemplated whether to pull out my hair or hers.  I decided instead to put those books aside and move on to Mathematics… I mean how hard can 6+1 be right?

Really stinking hard apparently!

We finished with a Bible lesson that went a little something like this:

“Remember yesterday when we talked about Jacob and Esau?
yes you do…
They were Isaac’s sons remember?
and he was blind?
and Jacob tricked him?
and stole his birthright?
remember the picture of the soup?
you know!  the dot to dot you did yesterday?”

I gave up…at least for that day.

I’m grateful that it’s 7:30 am and all are still asleep….  Thanks God, I needed that.

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Free Elementary Math and Spreadsheet Practice!

I’m always looking for fun new ways to “feed” my bugs the information they need to learn.  For one whole semester, Doodlebug has been fascinated with the ‘Speed Drills’ that come in her Christian Light Curriculum Math books.  All of a sudden she has forgotten how to write, or how to read, or maybe it was how to add 1 plus 1 but either way she is adamant that she can NOT do this anymore.  This means only one thing, she’s bored.  I saw it coming, way back at Thanksgiving when she started writing her numbers backwards or going back and connecting them claiming to be writing in cursive.  She was getting bored then and now it is officially just too boring for her.  So momma is going to spice it up a bit. 

We’re going to feed her the same information, the same drills, in a new way.  Last night I created a practice spreadsheet. 


It’s so fun!  She can just type the answer into the green box and immediately she’ll know if she has answered it correctly!  SOOO, since I’m not the only one with child in need of a change, I’ve uploaded the xls file for you!  Click on the image above, or go to our “Free From Me” page.  Most Excel spreadsheets can be opened in OpenOffice, but if it doesn’t work for you just let me know and I’ll try to convert it for you!

There are four quizzes, with 15 problems on each quiz.  The formula cells have been protected so little fingers can’t get “type happy”. 

Please let me know what you think!  Have fun and happy schooling!

**  it’s 14 degrees this morning, and they closed the local school not because of snow, but because they didn’t want underdressed children to get frostbite standing at the bus stops…don’t tell Doodlebug but she’s going to have school anyway!  LOL   I *heart* homeschooling!**

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A lesson in tooth decay….the hard way.

This mom is having a mouthful of dental issues.  Next week, I’ll be having an abscessed tooth removed.  In the meantime, Momma Taderdoodles is more than willing to remind her children how incredibly painful this is, to have a hole in your tooth, to have it be all infected, and on and on and on.  (quietly giggles)

Can anyone guess how many times my girls have brushed their teeth in the past couple of days?  I still can’t get either of them to use their fancy blue stuff that tells them where the plaque is but their brushing, and that is what is important.

I started remembering those times in school when the dentist would come visit.  He’d pass out those red tablets, and we would all get a new toothbrush.  Being a homeschooling family, we don’t have a dentist coming to visit for a fun school day.  I don’t see dental appointments as the same thing, definitely not as much fun.

I went looking today for a few fun websites to play on, for worksheets to print out and some other fun avenues to help my kids learn a little bit about what’s happening in mommy’s mouth and their own.

Crest had a cool “eggsperiment”

so did HealthyTeeth.org (not to mention a really cute animated graphic of a tooth brushing itself 🙂  )

Dentistry.com
has some fun games (can you say Whack a Molar)

MouthPower.org, with the National Museum of Dentistry has an amazingly packed site in English and Spanish! Tons of stuff for teachers too!

and it was fun playing “To Tell the Tooth” from ADA.org!

Take a moment to try a new subject! Make a day out of exploring your teeth!

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