Your homeschooling? How do you find that?

I was packing up our swimming paraphernalia, three wet kids with  their shellacked hair tight to their scalps, and the remnants of our pot luck dinner. When I was asked,

“Your homeschooling? How do you find that?”

I don’t know what to say in one sentence or even two.

I stumbled over a few of my lines.  “Some day’s it’s crazy other day’s it very rewarding the day’s balance out”.  But now I am home thinking of all the sentences I could have said.

“How do I find it, I ponder?” as I trip over three person’s shoes in the entrance,towels and toy’s that need to be picked up.

I find that at any given time I can have three to five rooms that need cleaning.

I find that my spare time is often thinking about how to help a child understand a concept or pondering  better strategy in my parenting or school routine.

I find that I don’t get out  much and my wardrobe consists of five of the same t-shirts only varying by colors.

I find that I say sorry often because I’m learning character as well as the children.

I find that I’m constantly surprised of all the things I don’t know like; in the arctic they pick clams from under the frozen ice when the tide is out.  And Jack and the bean stalk is based on a true story…. ( sick)

I find that I’ve developed  goals of  how I want my children to grow up.

I find that there are godly woman to learn about parenting, relationships and education.

I find that I  love teaching, so much so that I’m compelled to help the kids learn to add when they come to play with the girls.

I find that I love to learn and I love to teach and that’s what I want to give to my kids.

I best get to the things I find myself doing.

Where I am today

It’s all about the habits of our day that make up a life.

And that is what I have been thinking and pondering about the last few years.

Being actively thinking about what habits need to cease and what habits need to be developed. There’s a great many areas  in my life that need to be weeded out and replanted. I have work to do.

Since Christmas I have  been thinking about the Facebook habit and was spurned to action through the series ” the rage against the machine“( particularly the last three sermons) at the meeting house.  I have been thinking about my time usage, and the fluffiness of it’s content.

“But this is my social time”,  I thought. ” I can connect with people and still be with my family” I would justify and it’s fun entertainment.

But am I really connecting with people or only their screen persona?

I see that other people getting  lots of comments on their status why don’t I get comments on my status? Then I spend a few day’s feeling sorry for myself and being mad at people because I’m not interesting, blah, blah, blah. It’s too high school  and I hated high school.

Plus I have developed  the habit of formulating status updates all day long while I go throughout my day.

Am I developing a habit of shallow one sentence liners rather than formulating a thought out concept?

My screen time needs to be adjusted and I need/ want to be proactive about developing  my real personality and life habits.

So what about blogging?

I see blogging different than face book because there is more room to work out thoughts,  it requires  more creativity and I noticed that when I was blogging more regularly that I was a more productive parent and wife. It gave me a venue for accountability. But sure it’s still the screen persona.

It also helps with my face to face relationships because I don’t have to down load every topic that I have been working out in my mind  on the poor person to happens to be present once in a while and maybe I won’t scare the geezers out of them with my torrential flow of words.

How do you think that face book has enhanced  or influenced your face to face relationships?

By the way I’m not deleting face book, after all I’m addicted to it, butIi need to put some boundaries around it.

Have you put boundaries around your face book time?

I will now introduce you to the Pippa’s.

 

” Pippa? Little Roo?” we all asked.” But Joy named her doll Pippa, must we have two dolls with the same name, Little Roo?”

Waldorf doll

Well, for yesterday and today it’s Pippa, she may meet someone else who makes her happy and re-name her but for now she will copy her sister.

I am thrilled with this doll and so glad that she’s  finished!!! She may develop  freckles one day, but for now she is as she is. Her inspiration came from  a child hood friend  whom I thought and still think is the most beautiful girl I have met to date.  I would’ve named her Pauline if it was my doll.

She is actually the third doll I’ve made. The second one is Joy’s and has has no hair yet. I am considering taking that dolls head off and redoing it entirely because I don’t like the nose…. I have not decided if I should or what’s the easiest way to fix her without  adding more wool, re-stringing her facial features and adding new “skin”.

Part of me thinks  we all have our blemished.  So,  so what that this doll has a small bump between her eyes, she’s still lovable and being loved regardless….. But I know  I can do better, and it’s for Joy.  This is her what do you think? Does she need surgery?

Waldorf Doll

These dolls have put my skills to the test, and my confidence to the brink. I have cried, laughed, hugged them, squealed with delight, bled a bit on each doll from pin pricks and it seems I have carpel tunnel( which I’m not blaming on the dolls but the dolls are certainly not helping matters) .  I have one more doll to make from scratch and Joy’s to finish.  They are made with a lot of love and time, but it’s worth it to see the girls excited about their new friend.

When Little Roo took  Pippa into her arms and said,  ” My dolly” the work was all worth it.

The next one is Sunshine’s.  She is much more particular so I left her’s to last so I had a better chance of getting it right for her.  She wants a dark skin doll and I don’t have the fabric for that yet so I have to decide if i will order some or if it will be the first of her disappointments.

My first Waldorf doll

This is my practice doll I made before Christmas.  I got tired of thinking about it all the time so  I had to try with what I had on hand, besides I didn’t want to practice with my good supplies.

She is 10 inches and made out of an old t-shirt I dyed in black tea with a dollop of vinegar to hold fast her complection. She is stuffed with miss-matched children’s socks, and one of Jason’s for her head.

She was so much  fun to make.  She is real to life too because under her cloths she is  blemished like the rest of us and the socks in her make her a little lumpy:)

My sock Waldorf doll

She needs some shoes, the poor thing.

Friday’s favorite finds

I like blogs, mostly art and craft blogs but also home school sites for idea’s, inspiration and help.  I thought I would add my finds here for others to be inspired  maybe find  helpful too .

First off you should know that if you are following a few blogs web sites you will probably want to set up a Google reader. There are other ones too but I don’t know about them. The Google reader holds all the blogs that you like and when you sign into your Google reader the blogs you have subscribed to will   appear in bold and have the number of posts that you have not read yet. It saves you from going into each blog that you follow only to find that there is nothing new there.  It is very handy and the most efficient way to keep up with blogs and websites.  There are other organizing features  too but that’s the jest of it.  You can watch a u tube  video about it here if you want.

My favorite site  is  one pretty thing. This site has compiled and sorted DIY projects from all over the blogo’ sphere. That’s how I found the  Molly Monkey pattern. Some very cool stuff here. They share  a small picture of each project  so you can look quickly through the post until you find one that interests you.  The DIY projects are sorted into  birthday parties, seasonal decorating/ events,  kids crafts, gifts for /granparents, dads, mom’s you get the idea and the best is that they are all free courtesy of bloggers.  This site it the best I have found.

A favorite bread recipe of mine is  focaccia bread. Oh, it is so good! And simple to do.  I am surprised it is so expensive in the stores, but everything has become expensive the past few years. I’ve been thinking that I should consider  making bread more regularly.

I have wanted an IPod for quite some time.  So this past October when Jason heard an employee was selling his, on my birthday and he was facing coming home with no gift he bought it up….  smart move on his part and happiness for me!

I have an app for that…. Arithmaroo1  simply put it is counting balls or boulders  in different shapes, like what you would see on a dice, your hand, or in row’s of fives. The first level is 1-5, then 5-10, 10-20  ect,  perfect for all ages,  way better value than a work book from the dollar +  store  at the price of 2.29 with tax and the exchange rate.  If you or your kids are  in need of brushing up on math skills, I highly recommend the Arithmaroo.

And I would be completely irresponsible if I did not tell you about starfall. It  is  an amazing on line early literacy program, which teaches letters; upper and lower, sounds and reading. It is used by many home schoolers  and parents with great reviews. Perfect for dinner preparation hour computer time and the holiday’s.  You will find printable work pages and books to print off.

There is more in my brain and in my favorites folders but slow and steady win’s the race….. have a good weekend.

“Mine’s Molly”

A few weeks ago little Roo had her second birthday, and I was at a loss of what to get her.   She’s the third girl and we have so many toy’s  from her older sisters  and  I didn’t want to go  shopping.

So I began to think about what I can make.  A few day’s before her birthday I decided to make her this  molly monkey.

Molly Monkey

Oh, isn’t she a darling? I just love her.  I had the pattern for a few months but the project looked too big every time I thought about it . I was right it was a big project, with all the hand stitching and having  to relearn how to embroiderer, but it was so worth it. Making Molly has been one of the best projects I have ever made. Hearing Roo looking for her ” mine’s Molly”  to tote with her on her travels has brought me delight over and over again. And like any project the hardest part is starting, once I started I could not stop.

The older girls were excited to see the progress each morning and gave some suggestions,” Molly needs real feet mom not these blobs. I’m just trying to get Ruthie  a good birthday”.

The pattern was incredible and I kept commenting to Jason how amazing it was   that this woman designed the monkey and then made it available on her blog. She’s  the one with the real talent I can only credited for the ability to read ( thanks mom). I added a buttoned pocket on the  skirt and a zipper, but no pocket behind the zipper,  it was my first zipper thanks to u tube.  I have wanted to get her a activity doll for a while so I added it to Molly’s skirt ,cool Ah?

My mom made my sisters and I a doll when we were kids and I have had the project in mind for my kids.

I want them to bring a piece of their childhood into their lives and remember the stories they made up with their sisters as I do.  And I hope that they would hold their dolls when I can’t hold them and remember I love them even if they are mad at me.    I’ve seen Waldorf dolls like the talented Miranda makes,  from time to time and wondered about making them for the girls.  I considered buying them but they are worth their price and I want to hand make them.     So this project has become a stepping stone for me. Since  I have recently bought the  doll fabric  from here I’m now committed.  That project will be in the new year.

Do you still have your childhood doll?

The art of art

I never thought of myself as crafty or creative growing up. In fact I used to ask my sister what to color each and every section of the page, until she got really annoyed for some reason and wouldn’t answer me.  Then I stopped coloring.

It wasn’t until I became roommates with a friend with great talent that I began to play around while I watched her create at the kitchen table, or actually everywhere she went for that matter.

It wasn’t until  found myself in charge of the sewing room at His mansion ministries that I fell in love with sewing and in the past year drawing.   Now I consider myself a copy-cat art groupie. Enough skill to make some decent  projects but not enough talent to make it up on my own..

 

Last spring  I read  drawing with children by Mona Brook  and have since   become a believer in teaching my girls drawing skills and art….. for more reasons than the fun of it, although that is worth it as well.

It was while reading this book that I  come to realize that I can draw!!!  Drawing is a matter of looking at the details and recognizing shapes and it  can be learned .

Furthermore, drawing benefits children’s ability to recognize patterns, shape, spatial awareness, coordination, attention span as well as stick-to-it-ness.   Children are residulant, they have a desire to create and will make many attempt to create the perfect picture.

Encouraging children to persevere with their art project and problem solve will give them the skill of developing strategies, which will carry through to reading, math, and science ( nature study;noticing the details). Drawing with children, is therefore on my recommended list for parenting/educating books.  ( I view parenting and educating as synonymous)

The problem lies in the carry through.

My children  love the art of glue, small pieces of paper and in short a mess.  And don’t get me wrong I love a good o’l hog wild mess myself from time to time. But they are not learning any skill, they’re not  happy with the results of their work,  and I have no use for it but to recycle it, so the mess has no silver lining.

So I have come up with a plan.

drawing station

An art  station, drawing station to be specific. At this table the girls have available a few art supplies,  a board  in front of them which I have taped up simple drawing that I have found from clippings to give them ideas to draw. A book with a variety of different weather scenes and landscapes. As well a few projects that have been completed that turned out well….. The scissors, and glue are gone for other projects that we will work on together…

Now the nitty gritty of my post.

 

I have found a gold mine of doable art projects for kids. These art peices once completed will have actually taught your child different elements of art,  creating potentially  wonderful art that would make great children’s wall art, for your home or be added to their own  portfolio. These bloggers, That artist woman , Art projects for kids and Deep Space Sparkle are real life  art teachers and thier projects are tried tested and true with real kids in a class room. You can choose the age group catagory that you are looking for and look around for interesting projects that inspire you.

I’m  excited because I finally  have an art teacher myself now in the form of these blogs!  The instructions for the projects are great, and because they really do know about art and are talented they are giving me something to teach and focus on during art time rather than the free for all that I was talking about earlier.

The girls have enjoyed looking at the projects  students their own age have complete on the blog too, which give them ideas but also does not set them up for unattainable expectations. ( me too, after all they are just kids and they have only been cutting and gluing for most of their life)

What books or blogs have you found useful for teaching art with children?

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