Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wow the year is almost at an end

We school year round with our new year starting in December.

Skylar will start 3rd grade, Summer 1st grade, Decklin will be 3 and doing preschoolish type things. Ember will just be being a baby : )

With all the changes this year I'm really hoping to keep it simple from this point on.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On the road to losing weight

I've been reading the journeys of several homeschooling Mama's on the road to their weight loss and thought I'd share mine.

After the birth of Ember on May 7th, it seems that I am having more shall we say "Mommy Tummy" than after my other children. So I opted to use The 3 Hour Diet in an effort to begin to get myself back in shape. Today is day 8, and I've lost 6 lbs. I'd like to get back to about 120 or there about. I've found that for me with the breastfeeding on demand, about 1650 calories per day is the right combo for me.

The reasons I went with this method verses many others are:
- It's realistic for a breastfeeding Mom with 4 little ones to incorporate into my day.
- I am able to eat foods I really enjoy along with sweets.
- I don't have to follow recipes and can eat normally with my family.
- There is no additional expense in my grocery budget.
- I have not felt hungry and therefore not grabbed handfuls of chips or candy like I used to.
- I feel more energy despite waking often at night to nurse the baby.
- I don't have to exercise to get the benefit of losing weight.

I've not really added in much exercise more than housecleaning while carrying my 16 lb, 3 month old in a sling. I do try to add in some squats to tone my legs and behind and also a tummy exercise to close the gap in my belly muscles from pregnancy if time allows. For the squats I use one of those birth/ exercise balls and put that behind my back against the wall as I squat. These feel fantastic : ) For my tummy, I get on hands and knees and pull my belly button in as far as it will go. I also do this in a sitting position while driving or sitting at the table or on the sofa. I can definitely feel a difference. I also like those little dumb bells for arm exercises.
The Wii fit offers a fun cardio step workout as well as hula hooping which is fun. But again I'm not doing anything on a regular basis except for changing the way I've been eating.

Happy weight loss to my fellow homeschool mamas!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I wanted to put all my workbox photos in one place so I'm doing another post on them and also for anyone who wants to know what a workbox is I figured it'd be helpful to have that all in one place.

What is a workbox?
It's a system developed by homeschooling Mom and author Sue Patrick.
It creates physical and chronological structure to a child's school day, using a visual cue (the boxes, the schedule strip) and encourages the parent to present work in bite sized chunks, mixed with fun things which make school time enjoyable for the child. The child is able to see what is coming when and gets structure and order while working through their school day.

Sue's book has downloads for all the items you need for your boxes, as well as schedule strip, school check in and numbers for the boxes and numbers that go on the schedule strip.
You will need either clear laminate or clear contact paper, cardstock to print your cards, file folders if you want to do file folder games and velcro coins (or velcro dots - nice and cheap on
ebay for these!)

Sue Patrick encourages the use of clear shoeboxes in a shoe rack, but I have seen many variations from magazine holders, cereal boxes, plastic drawers, hanging file folders etc.

Our day starts with my kids checking in to school using the pocket hanging on the side of one of our shelves. They seem to enjoy this.
Then they sit at their desks (they asked for school desks and love um!) and I have their schedule strip sitting there for them. There is a set of numbers and any other picture cards I want on there (these pictures are for things that do not have a box, like play with baby brother, Wii fit, do a puzzle, play with the cat, watch a dvd lesson - like Sonlight Discover and Do dvd or an episode of signing time and so on).

Then they take number one off their strip, attach it to matching workbox that has a number 1 on it. They take whatever is in their box to their desk and begin working.
Some boxes have a "work with mom" sign on them and the kids take that off when they get to the box and hang it on a wall strip I have just as a keeper for them, or they put it into a jar I have on my desk.
By the end of their school day (which is not long at all) there is nothing left in their boxes and their schedule strip is empty and they know they are done for the day : )

some of our printables:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some new pictures

My brother AJ with Ember yesterday.

Daddy and his baby girl.

The Whitehouse and other pictures

Summer built the Whitehouse yesterday with building blocks.

picture of our planner

We're using Christian light Education's Teacher Planner for our workbox planners, here are two pictures to give a visual of them: