For my twitter mommy friends!

I have just created a new twitter group!

join me here for twitter group “Happy Homeschool”

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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 (not to mention a really cute animated graphic of a tooth brushing itself 🙂  )
has some fun games (can you say Whack a Molar), 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!

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

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What’s so hard about music?

Apparently I was wrong.. you do NOT have to know HOW to play the
instrument in order to have a music class about the instrument !

See, I took a different route today with class… instead of our curriculum’s books we did some other things from one of my ‘big book of
stuff they need to know’ and we did riddles and did math with popcorn
and then I stumbled upon the page on musical instruments and their

so we did a little percussion with Tader Bug’s cheesy $10 wanna be drum
set she got for her birthday, and shook some beans up in one of my
tiny canning jars to make fake maracas, and we talked about how mommy
and daddy’s guitars are from the string family and mommy’s violin is
too (neither of which can I play worth a hookie) and we tried to
understand how a piano is string BUT mommy’s is electric (yeah, i fell
into that one)

BUT then we got to the wind section and I figured the noise was done…
OH NO… DoodleBug remembered that Dad had bought a used clarinet at the
yard sale and we just HAD to take it out and see how it worked….
ummm.. yeah.. Mr. B played that when was like nine… I play piano…
sort of, not clarinet..

Well, we spent almost an hour making the oddest sounds come out of that
thing! We learned the difference between humming, singing, and blowing
air (since only the later will actually produce a pleasant sound out of
that thing)

All in all, to not really be able to play any instrument worth a dern
we managed to have a pretty fun and education day out of it all….

only one problem… DoodleBug wants castanets for her birthday….

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It’ll happen….

Sometimes I need to be reminded to take a deep breath and let things just happen.   If it’s important, if it’s necessary, if it’s what God needs to have happen then it WILL happen.  This goes for big things and little things: even school work.   I was pretty relaxed about getting behind during the weeks surrounding Abigail’s birth; but I was NOT relaxed when one week behind became two weeks behind and Samantha’s frustration began to mount.  Add to all that, I started having in-laws and such ask me “how’s school going?” on a daily basis.  (Ever have that feeling that there are some people in the world just looking to see you fail at something, because it makes them feel better about themselves?)

Who said we had to be caught up in a week?  NO ONE!   And even if we’re not all caught up by the time MY “end of the first six weeks” is here we’ll be fine.  Sam has actually done her Bible studies through next week, and is up to date with Science and Social Studies.  It’s Math and Learning to Read that she needs to catch up.  I can’t fault her for not wanting to do but so many lessons in a day.  She learned this stuff last year and after an hour of reviewing it you get pretty bored.  If I’m patient though, and I “feel” her out, I get a day like yesterday when she does 4 lessons in one day.

I’m counting my blessings instead of the number of items scratched off our “to do” lists and lesson plans.  My daughters LOVE to read and be read to, they love to sing, and move and dance.   Their imaginations are boundless.  They are eager to learn and absorb everything around them: at their own pace.


I’m wanting to make a special box that has “things to do while Mommy takes care of Abby” stuff in it.  Workbooks they can do by themselves, games they can play etc.  My two challenges are that Jolene still isn’t very good at remembering that crayons/markers/pens are for paper not my walls, and the last time we let Sam near a pair of school scissors unsupervised we ended up at the beauty salon.   Anyone have any suggestions on what I could put in my box?    We already have educational sites they can play on such as and (really cool movie making here!)

Ohhh!  I also could really use some indoor high energy activities for the girls… any suggestions?  It’s going to start getting cooler and rainy here and my girls need to burn off some excess energy.  I can’t go swimming at the YMCA with them yet and they aren’t big enough to go without me, so I’m at a loss for how to help them work of some of this energy.  I wish I could bottle it, I’d make a fortune!


Big hugs to everyone who has hung in here with me during this busy and stressful time (yeah, I’m referring to the whole pregnancy!)  We’re slowing getting it together over here and I hope to be back in force soon!

Back to School 2008!

Welcome First Grade!  Welcome Preschool!  And within the next few weeks we’ll begin our real life Child Development class as we welcome our newest addition!

We started school officially this past Monday and it went great!  DoodleBug is very excited about her new curriculum.  Even TaderBug is getting into the swing of school even if it is mainly coloring and providing endless distraction for Doodles.  We chose Christian Light Education curriculum for her this year because it was clear cut, easy to follow, promotes independent working, and….  dum dum dum dum….  it’s pretty inexpensive.   It’s not free, but it is way cheaper than the cost of public school.

The amazing part is that for now we can get the basics done in less than two or three hours!  We’ve decided not to schedule a lot of extra activities until after the new year (in order to give us time to adjust to the baby).  I’m hoping that I can count on the baby sleeping at least two hours during the day!  🙂

I also revisited a few of my favorite websites, bookmarked them, and prepared for those days when momma just wasn’t feeling up for school.

our always favorite

and when I need to print extra stuff for Tader’s,  I love my subscription to Enchanted Learning (of course, most of their stuff is free, just easier to print as a member)


I was just totally interrupted in the middle of my post!  UGH…  completely lost my train of thought.  The girls went to the in-law’s house for a bit and my Father in Law just brought them home.  I wasn’t feeling well this morning so we didn’t get around to doing book work until late (totally her idea, not mine at all).  She came in and wanted to finish her Bible lesson and her Learning to Read lesson (with my FIL here of course!).  We finished and now she wants to do more math….  so off we go!

Fostering her creativity, with junk around the house :)

Our eldest daughter has started to exhibit an amazing desire, and talent, for drawing.  After watching a DVD bonus track on “How to Draw…” something from her Veggie Tales movie, she has gone around drawing the characters from the movie with surprising accuracy.  Ok, so she’s not Picaso or DaVinci, but she’s 6 years old and neither of us can draw worth a hookey.  I’m crafty, just don’t ask me to draw a straight line (without a ruler).

I’ve been totally slacking lately, and can only partially blame it on being six months pregnant.  So today, feeling guilty, I tried to throw together some special time with her while her sister napped.  In keeping with our new efforts to reuse things, I sent her on a hunt for some simple supplies:  a brown paper grocery bag, my pack of notebook paper, my scissors, and my stapler.

I cut the bottom off the bag, at the crease, and tossed the bottom aside (I’ll use it for something 🙂  ).  This left me with a “ring” of brown paper bag.  I cut about an inch off what was the top of the bag, just to clean it up a bit.  Next, I cut the sides along the middle crease.  This allowed for flap pockets to eventually be made for her to store stuff.   The paper bag pieces became the front and back cover.  I stuffed it with roughly 25 sheets of notebook paper and stapled the left edge.

We spent a good hour drawing pictures in it, naming smiley faces, and learning how to spell new words.  She was so excited to have a notebook especially made for doodling and dreaming.   Maybe tomorrow we can take out markers and stamp pads and decorate the covers!