Category Archives: Homeschooling

Going Ons at Casa La Crazy

I’m not sure how much blogging I will get done this week. Pretty sure without it meaning to this week will become the busiest week EVA!!!!

Nathaniel Lane and Holly will be starting our new adventure in schooling that next year all 6 will be doing. They will be homeschooled still but will also be attending a parent/public school partnership which is basically….they get to attend classes both at home and at this school which has classes from archery to algebra,ballet to biology,cooking to chemistry….ok ok you get the idea.They are so excited as we are as well!

Brandon has been working on fencing off the duck.chicken area in the backyard and not a moment too soon.Yesterday I walked out into the garage,while on the phone, and one of the chicks was on the top of the enclosure. So here I am talking to my aunt and talking to the chick telling it to get back in.

Then it hopped completely out so as I’m putting it back in another one hops out. At this point I tell my aunt,”Hey I have to chase a chicken. I’ll call you back!”

We got the garden beds prepared yesterday just in time for the rain to start. Yeah for the garden beds…not so yeah for Brandon who was still working outside.

I’m proud of the way the kids have jumped in to help. They haven’t always wanted to but we have heard very few grumbles. With their help we have gotten done so much quicker. Whether it has been scooping out the old chicken coop,helping with the flower beds,or watching Squishy for me so I can help outside too. Everyone has stepped up and participated in the family.I promise to post pics soon!

Speaking of Squishy….We are so not ready for this:

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Or this:

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And yes she did let go for a few seconds yesterday standing straight up!!!! ARGHHHHH!!! No Squishy No!

And she’s definitely ready for this:

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Squishy loves blueberries especially blueberry pancakes.

We are rounding out our week with Kenna going in for surgery. She is having both legs worked on. Her calf muscles are too tight and need to be lengthened. This may explain why she was a late walker as well as explains why for the last 3 years her feet and back have been in constant pain.

So for 10 days she’ll be in soft casts and wheelchair or bed bound….then she’ll be in walking boots for 6 weeks. It’s an easy enough surgery and she needed to get it done because this summer she is going to be our little traveler instead of Nathaniel.

So if you have a couple minutes this week to stop and pray for us or just send good thoughts…please do! This momma is going to need the strength or 10,and a calmness that I don’t easily come by!

 

 

“Springing” into Spring

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Spring has graced us with it’s nice sunny head this week! It has been sunny everyday and with that comes the smell of stinky feet,the sound of basketball being played,the sight of kids running and laughing,the taste of lighter foods such as macaroni salad,and the touch of duckling and chick fluffiness as our little babies get bigger!

Yes Casa La Crazy is in constant metamorphic stage.

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Hard to believe that Squishy will be 7 months the day after Easter! She is crawling,pulling herself up and oh bathing WITHOUT the bath seat now!!!So much easier on my back!
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“Ummmm excuse me momma I NEED my privacy!”

At her last Dr apt she weighed in at a whopping 21 lbs!She is wearing nothing smaller than 12 month closing and babbles and likes to make all of us laugh. While we have tried solids “jug juice” is still her preferred method of nutrition. She wants nothing to do with baby food and loves rice,peas,corn,and spinach.

Our homeschool journey is changing as well! After Kenna asking about public school next year I think I found an answer that will fit all of us! It is a public/parent partnership school or an ALE. We went and checked it out on Tuesday. Basically,it is a public school,but you can take classes there or at home. The parent is still in charge of the children’s learning which I love. They have so many classes from the basics to digital photography,pottery,weight lifting,drama,band, and even archery! 3 of the kiddos will be trying it out for the end of the school year one day a week,then next year all 4 of them will attend and possibly my 2 bonus girls! Which means I would have all 6 at home. We would all be on the same page. When we went to check it out Tuesday all 4 of the kiddos fell in love with the school as did I.

Kenna will be the only one not trying it out. She is sure she wants to do it next year,but she has a big ending to her school year. In April she will be going into surgery to have her calf muscles lengthened. After years of back and feet pain we believe we have finally found the answer. This will put her up for a little while but to me is all worth it after I saw the smile on her face and her telling me,

“Next year I can take PE!”

The ducklings and chicks are getting big and have been a lot of fun to have around! We can’t wait till the chicks start laying,which is still a ways away,and the ducks well they’re just way too cute! Messy,but cute!

Yes things are definitely busy here as always but with a nice twist. the sunshine sure helps everyone’s moods.

We will be walking in the March For Babies April 27. Please please if you find it to your heart to donate even a dollar you can do so on the team’s homepage here

http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/CasaLaCrazy

We will be walking the neighborhoods this weekend collecting donations but we still have so far to go before we hit our goal. The kids are so excited to be doing this in memory of their brother/stepbrother Reed. I am proud of them for their enthusiasm.

So yes as you can see things are definitely “springing” into spring over here in our neck of the woods! I have many “little projects” to keep me going as well as a constantly moving baby!

Guest Post for Monday Listicles!!!!

How fun!!!! I told Kenna what this weekend’s topic was for Monday Listicles,and she started rattling off all the little things that make me happy! So without further ado…my first guest blogger my oldest daughter Kenna!

10 Little Things That Bring My Mom Joy!

1.Adrienne

2.listening to New Kids On the Block early in the mornings (I think it’s just so she can annoy Nathaniel)

3.Chocolate

4.Me (since I’m so awesome)

5.COFFEE

6.Homeschooling (Because she loves it when we change the subject in the middle of the lesson)

7.Picking on Nathaniel/Brandon (And of course I always help her out)

8.Not cooking for one night (I enjoy it too because get to have pizza or McDonalds)

9.Breastfeeding (Except for when Adrienne starts to pull on her nipple and choke for no reason)

10.Stopping at every red light while Adrienne is screaming her head off in the back seat.

And there you have it folks a little glimpse of what Kenna thinks brings me joy! I’d have to say she’s pretty spot on!

Happy Monday Listicles Everyone!

 

 

Because My Kids are Kind of Awesome

We started out President’s study this week. We kicked it off by putting a timeline up on our living room wall and I told the kiddos the first one to memorize all the presidents will get to go to Sky High on the next homeschool day. They also only had two weeks to do it.

“But MOM there’s like a hundred of them….” they all whined.

“I’m not doing it I don’t care about Sky High.” Said one defiant teenager.

” What if we DON”T get them all done?” asked a nervous 8 year old.

“Well if only the first person get’s a prize I’ll just quit memorizing if I’m not the first,” said one way to smart for his own good 10 year old.

SIGH…..

grumble grumble…went the kids

public school public school…whispered this mommy,and her head may have just been filled with thoughts of kid free days,lounging around with Adrienne,sipping coffee and writing awesome blog posts.

Then I remembered how much I would miss learning and teaching,the giggling,lazy pajama days….

And I think the kids thought the same thing.

As of Wednesday the two oldest could say them all and the two youngest have made it to Coolidge.

What they don’t know is because they all stopped whining and buckled down to tackle the list they will ALL be going to Sky High as long as they get the list memorized.

Even when they’re whiny brats….they still end up being good kids.

Just don’t ask me how the all house clean up is going to go today….

 

 

 

Breastfeeding,Homeschooling,and Bonding

This week has been so busy! Not the run around till you drop kind of busy,but the buckle down at home and get back into our studies busy!

We have pulled very full days of school and thankfully we get today off where we get to meet up with some other homeschool families and play. Well the kids will all play,the teen age girls will “hang”,and us mommies will get to sit and breathe for a bit!

It’s also Friday which means it’s time for sisters n’ cloth’s breastfeeding blog hop.

The week’s topic is I breastfeed and……

Well I’m sure you can all guess what I’m going to say. I breastfeed and I homeschool. We started this practice right after we started back to school after baby was born. Homeschooling for the last 8 years I have learned how to adjust to things pretty well.Although I do like to stick to schooling in the morning so I can help my other two with their homework when they get home from school.

My favorite time though homeschooling now that we have baby here is when we start by reading our book. We largely do literature based unit studies and right now are working our way through the Narnia series. So in the morning when it’s time to read. I grab  Ms Squishy get her settled and we read a chapter and discuss the questions,all from the comfort of our couch,before moving on to do the days activities.

Usually,Adrienne falls asleep before we’re done with the chapter and by the time we’re done with questions she is totally out!

Well earlier this week Kenna was giving me a break and when I walked into the living room this is what I found:

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Squishy sound asleep snuggled up to her sister,as Kenna read out loud to her the Guardians of Gahoole guidebook.

These are the moments that I know I’m doing something right…..

 

Dance Party Over Here….

My poor poor kids…is what I think on most days I mean they do have to deal with me day in and day out. I can be strict I can be off the wall with new ideas that they know will only last a day at most,then there are some days when it seems like EVERYONE is in my bubble!

Then there are the days that this momma has been up since 4:30 am and is feeling a little loopy while trying to breast feed a child and get a gourmet dinner of fish sticks,french fries, and pickles and olives out. Why is it out of the easiest meals I’ve “made” this week it took me the longest to get it to the table?

Maybe it was because the day before I had been suffering from a SERIOUS case of the grumpies….I mean serious people. No amount of coffee in the world seemed to help,not even topped with whipped cream. No cutest baby smiles….no I love yous….not even my kids doing their school work compliantly could pull me out of that stupid funk.

So yesterday as the “dinner rush” was about to begin and my loopiness from being awake so long began to take affect,I decided we needed music. Not just any music but the kind that makes you wanna jump(Sing it with me y’all Jump Jump!),dance,and croon right along. We needed 80’s and 90’s boy band music! Thank God for Pandora because within minutes we were singing (ok I was doing most of the singing) and dancing along to New Kids On The Block,Bel Biv Devoe,Nsync,Backstreet Boys,and even a little Michael.

I rotated kids in and out of the kitchen to help throw the fish sticks on a sheet or in the oven,while others practiced their smooth dance moves in the living room. I use the word smooth loosely have you ever seen a room full of 7-10 year olds trying to imitate boy band moves?I wish I would’ve taken some video.

AND THE MUSIC????? Well it was up pretty loud.

Thank God Squishy likes music. Oh and the neighbor girl ya know Kenna’s best friend? She sat staring at us like we were all nuts for the most part. I often wonder why she loves coming over so much, (she has become a permanent fixture in our house and is welcomed happily.) then I realize it’s probably like getting to go to the circus for free.

WELCOME TO CASA LA CRAZY…..

Where you may come in with the grumpies but you will never ever leave without a smile!

 

Not Back to School BlogHop Week 2…Our Classroom

Welcome back for week 2 of the Not Back to School Blog Hop!!!

This week we’re taking a sneak peek into everyone’s school rooms…or in most of our cases what we call “most of the house”

I know a lot of people dream of having a separate room to school in and some families are able to have that and love it. Let me just say though for years I thought that is what I wanted…and then I got it. When we first moved to WA I had a huge upstairs room that connected all of the bedrooms and thought it would be so perfect for a school room. While it was a good room to use I felt so disconnected from the rest of the house and all the things that were going on. Also,the kitchen was downstairs so if I wanted to work on baking or cooking I’d have to wait till after school time was over.
Besides we all missed sitting on the comfy living room furniture for most of our lessons.

Oh well you live you learn.

We now do school the way we’ve done it mostly throughout our homeschool career.Mainly in the dining room,spread out to the living room for reading times and extra rooms.and outside whenever possible! However whatever room you walk into there are traces of us homeschoolers all around.

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(Kenna sitting in the living room studying.)

We did just do the great room switcheroo preparing for baby last week so now we do have a nice little quiet library that houses most of our books(learning or not) as well as a stereo a desk and a big comfy chair. I’m a freak about bookshelves.I believe one cane never have enough bookshelves.

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(sorry about the blur I was in a hurry this morning.)

Our comfy living room area also has a small shelf in it which holds supplies we use almost everyday,pencils,paper,dictionaries,math manipulatives and colored pencils just to name a few.

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This area is in our dining room. The magenta colored crate is used for folders that the kids use to keep their assignments in. They each have a folder for whatever FIAR book we are rowing and then one for the language arts/grammar.

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It is so much easier for them to just grab a previous piece of work from there then dealing with hearing 4 snapping binders all the time.The colorful drawers keep my homeschool lesson books as well as each kids gets a drawer for their silent reading and any smaller workbooks they may have.

But like I said most the time we’re crowded happily around the dining room table….

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(and yes that is a coffee station behind Lane…a must for all homeschool moms.)

Or outside

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Next week it’s School Picture time of the kiddos…this could get interesting.

 

 

 

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Not Back To School BlogHop…Our Curriculum

Yes I know I’ve sort of been MIA again. This morning though I actual woke up at 4 and didn’t feel like going back to sleep so I thought AHA perfect time to blog and not be rushed.

The last two weeks we’ve been doing swim lessons on top of homeschooling which of course have lead to very busy days,as well as my annual,”Yup this is exactly why I homeschool.” reminder.

For the first time ever though I have decided to participate in iHomeschoolNetwork’s Not Back to School Blog Hop.For the month of August each week they have asked us to share a different area of homeschooling. This week is Curriculum week.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

As I’ve mentioned before we’ve already kicked off our school year. This marks our 8th year of homeschooling. 8 YEARS!!!! Honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. The things we have all learned in these 8 years have been amazing. You would also thing that in the last 8 years I would’ve found one curriculum that I solely loved and stuck to it.

However,for those of you that know me well enough also know that,that is about as likely to happen as me sticking to one hair color.

With baby on the way though, I’ve decided to go back t one of my favorites and most reliable curriculums.

We all love unit studies over here and we also all love a good story so for the last couple of weeks we have been using

Beyond Five in A Row

We are currently reading the Boxcar Children,and in the last couple of weeks have learned how to write a good cliffhanger, have made it rain inside of the house and discussed the water cycle,as well as designed our own drinking fountains. We have also been researching different dog breeds,their positive and negative attributes, and why they may or may not be a good breed for our family(which of course has lead to everyone wanting a dog). We also have learned about different kinds of shelters and even built our own.

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It has been a good curriculum to use with the oldest bonus girl as well since she is home for summer break.Although now she is asking to be homeschooled as well!

As far as math goes the 4 oldest gave delved into the world of Geometry. I am using A Little Garden Flower’s Waldorf geometry for this and all I can say is I wish I would’ve learned Geometry like this! It focuses a lot on the beauty of it before incorporating the angles and shapes of it all.

This is only about a 12 week program so we’ll see what we use next. Although Holly has been using LifePac’s 4th grade math workbooks from Alpha Omega and loving it.

This is our plan as of right now. We will probably take most of September off because of the arrival of Ms Adrienne. This year I really wanna focus on spending time reading together learning some good American History and just growing together as a family.

Stay Tuned….next week I share pictures of our homeschool area….err whole house?

Oh My June was Busy!!!!

Wow I guess I wasn’t joking when I told myself as well as others that June was going to be a busy nasty month. I am sooo glad we’re in the last week of June. It seems like forever since Kenna and I celebrated our birthdays,not only 27 days ago. Since then my oldest left for a week to my parents,then all the kids spent 10 days with their dad only to have them come back and the bonus girls leave for a camping trip with their grandma. Today the girls come back and we’ll be in the house for a full 24 hours until my kids leave for their dad’s again for the weekend. ….Throw in Dr appointments,Ultrasounds,and other random appointments and you might as well stick a fork in me I’m DONE!

I crave normalcy….schedule…stability. July and August will be schooling months with everyone here since September will not be a full schooling month for obvious reasons.Yes in only 2 and a half months baby Adrienne should be arriving….

So much for normalcy once he arrives….normalcy will learn a whole other meaning then 🙂

I changed the kiddos chores up a bit for now. Instead of them each having random chores in all rooms,and stepping on each other toes,or being forced to be patient so early in the morning,they now are each responsible for their own assigned room. So far it is working out pretty well.

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I have never seen the kids’ bathroom as clean as when Holly has cleaned it. She has a knack I tell ya. I know she definitely does not get it from me!

As far as “summer school” goes I had worried about our kids missing out on neighborhood activities but is seems that living in Suburbia means most kids are already pretty scheduled in the mornings.

I have,however,decided to stray from our normal Waldorf for the summer and do some fun lapbooks with all 6 kiddos. one of them will be a choose your own country lapbook found over at Homeschool Share. I love their site there are lapbooks for all ages as well as notebooking pages.

I figure this with some good ol summertime reading and of course our math will make for a fun summer.

In other news it looks like I  have at least two sets if friends coming to visit in July. One that I have not seen since I was about 14,the other I haven’t seen since Holly was a baby! I also have a package coming for baby Adrienne from England!!! it’s from one of my grade school friends when I lived in Yakima.Our dads worked together and our moms were firends. I am SO excited.I also have another package coming from a friend in Williams AZ full of diapers…

Poor Brandon can barely keep up with all the friends I speak about and he tries so hard. It has made me realize how truly blessed I am as there is rumor of another internet friend wo I have known for at least 7 years online may be coming to visit as well. There are some days I sit back and wonder what I have done to be so blessed.

And now I must go make pancakes…and work n a schedule….and start lesson planning….you know the little things that keep me sane!

 

More Dinner Guests!

One would think after living for 6 months in the Frat House surrounded by others,that when we got our own place,it would only make sense to cocoon ourselves up for a bit and not socialize. HA! no not even a regular HA,but a big ol fat stinkin BWAHAHAHAHA.

One thing that my mom taught me very well(among other things) was how to be very very very social.Seriously the girl can make friends in the frozen food aisle of a grocery store,and has.

Last year when we first moved here we tried to get involved in a homeschool group. It wasn’t a good fit for us,but out of that I met my first friend I made since moving back here. So almost a year ago Charity and I met. We quickly became friends that day chatting and then realizing our birthdays were only a day apart.(Cough Cough,June 1st,it’s comin up ya’ll.) No wonder we were both so chatty and friendly…we’re Geminis.

Not only is she a friend in real life,but she blogs over here at WordPress as well! You can find her at http://urbanhippiechick.wordpress.com/

We have been trying for the last year to have a good get together. With my living situations though and just life in general it has almost been impossible on my end. Last night however we Finally got that chance!

The kids all played while us 4 adults enjoyed conversing. Heck we even managed to shoo the guys off on their own for a bit and got some girl talk in. Hey we all need it every once in awhile.

You know the night was a success when all the kids are hugging each other goodbye and B is pushing off his leaving time for work as much as he can.

The funnest sight was all the kids gathering together for meal time. After I called them all in I walked back into the house to find them like this waiting for their food to be dished up.

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3 of them had already made their way through the line.

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***THIS JUST IN*** Homeschoolers actually KNOW how to socialize and have fun!!!!

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You know it was a successful get together when everyone is even too busy for dessert! Oh well a little berry cobbler for breakfast never hurt anyone.

Next get together will be for our birthday!!!