Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jamestown, the Mayflower and Colonial life. Football and other ramblings, too.

The younger boys have been working on a few writing assignments in the past several weeks. They have written reports on Jamestown and the Mayflower already. They are now preparing a three paragraph report on colonial life in America which will also be given as an oral report. Joseph often throws fits because he has to prepare an outline before he begins his writing. Aye yi yi. He has decided to write on travel in colonial America, while Sean has decided to write on food in colonial America.

We use a simple formula: pick your subject, then pick three topics within that subject. Each of the three topics will be a paragraph. Paragraphs are written: Topic sentence, middle sentences that explain the topic sentence and a conclusion that reiterates the topic sentence and may add a personal note or an extra tidbit of information. Outlines are easy! Use your topics and add keywords for A and B (or C, D, etc)


I Topic

II Topic

So far, high school seems to be going well for Matthew. Several challenges, but going well. Football season is in full swing and I hope to go out and get some pictures of him with his new team this year. It is his first year on the homeschool football league. He is a Panther! They are asking him to move up from JV to varsity because when they scrimmage the varsity team, it takes two varsity players to block Matthew. He can also sack the QB.

Sean and Joseph will start playing for High Point Little League soon. We are supposed to get a call this week. They are looking forward to fall baseball.

Our garden is still going. The other day, we picked carrots, bell peppers and a few other things and made a delicious Emeril's creamy chicken recipe with our wonderful garden fare. We've also been making apple recipes with the apples we picked at our friend's orchard on the way back from Cincy last week.

The boys had their bone marrow biopsies and we are still waiting on the results. I got their CBC results before leaving. Sometimes I just want to crawl under a rock and pretend that Shwachman-Diamond isn't real. I dream of the day they will have completely normal counts! ~smile~

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baseball - Summer 2009 Pictures

The boys played on the Red Sox this season, but also helped fill in for missing players on the Blue Jays. Here are some shots from the summer season.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Losing Freedom

A CNN article reports:

Let's explore the five freedoms that Americans would lose under Obamacare:

1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan

2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

5. Freedom to choose your doctors

Read the bill at:

you can also read the entire CNN article at the link above.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Fun

We had a lot of fun Saturday afternoon at Union Cross park. Chris, Matthew and Sean took turns pitching and all the boys batted. I did bat once and played in the outfield quite a bit. I just can't pitch, folks! Union Cross park is nice and very quiet! This year, we are going to try to go to different area parks once again. We enjoy exploring and getting to know the area.

Sunday was low-key and no pictures. Church and then swimming with friends. We're hoping to go swimming this evening-- a little night swimming....and bat watching. Bats come out near the the pool.

Here are pictures from Saturday afternoon. I like the one where Mathew is being silly as Sean pitches. He's always trying to be funny!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Student Nights at the Opera 2009-2010

Everything is all set for homeschoolers to buy tickets to the Student Nights at the Opera for the 2009-2010 season. It is simple! Call Piedmont Opera at 725-7101 tell the box office lady (Sarah) that you would like to be seated with the homeschool group and purchase your tickets for either of the following operas or both. They are not offering a package this year that includes the NC School of the Arts. If you buy tickets to a single opera, the cost is $15 per adult and $3 per child. If you purchase tickets to both operas, the cost is $18 per adults and $6 per child. Buying tickets to both saves you money!

Hansel and Gretel, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 at 7:30pm
Turandot, Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 7:30pm
The operas are performed at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information:

Monday, August 3, 2009

The First Day is................

Always exhausting! We woke up early enough....the kids seemed to have some memory lapse as to what we've done the previous ten years of school. Luckily, they caught on quickly and got to work. Joseph started his new math and only had one fit over writing. He got over it quickly! This year, we are using one of the Institute for Excellence in Writing's U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons in Structure, Style, Vocabulary and Grammar. I had used this for Matthew and Sean had never completed more than one or two lessons while we were using other English books. So, we pulled it out again forthis year. At the end of the lessons, they can bind their work to make a history book of their own. Very neat!

We reveiwed a few lessons of Friendly chemistry and are back on track for a great year! We've always tried to supplement our science with Friendly Chemistry and not used it exclusively. Have not made it through the entire curriculum because it was always a supplement....this year we're going all the way. It is an excellent program and we can't wait to do it all!

While Matthew is using Seton's curriculum, they do not have a Catholic Physical Science textbook, so he is using A Beka's Science of the Physical Creation textbook through Seton. Seton does not require the labs to be done, but we are adding them using the Science of the Physical Creation Lab Manual

Sean and Joseph will be participating with Matthew when we go over his religion for this year and we are also using Scott Hahn's Understanding the Scriptures to supplement Sean and Joseph's religion.

This afternoon, Matthew is working on his homework while dad teaches an Aeronautical Science class. Sean and Joseph are taking the class along with the other students and seem to be enjoying it quite a bit.

I've got a lot of work to do to keep ahead of them in their lessons! ~smile~ I'll be doing lots of homework every night to keep on top of things! and grading.... ewwww...I don't like to grade!

The boys have drama auditions on Wednesday. Matthew and Joseph are excited about the homeschooling drama classes for the next year. They will be performing the original Cheaper by the Dozen play. Sean may try to play piano music between scenes, etc. We'll see. Auditions are Wednesday morning and practice/classes begin the first week of September.

We're also getting really excited about the Homeschool Science Fair, too! It is the first year that we have ever hosted a science fair and we're hoping it is a great success. We'll also be participting in Around the World Night and Student Night at the Opera again this school year. This is our 11th year of homeschooling and they keep me on my toes!

As we begin our new school year, I will tell you more about our curriculum. We've got quite a bit! All and all a good first day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back to School

Hard to believe that we are starting school again tomorrow. Summer vacation just flew right on by! Matthew is starting to read Red Badge of Courage for English. I had to get a copy for myself to refresh my memory! We are really excited about the new year. Matthew will be taking Physical Science along with his other courses. I am excited about science as it is my favorite subject. We have his textbook already and the lab manual will arrive on Wednesday. Here's to anothe ryear of fun learning.

Sean and Joseph will be completeing Friendly Chemisty this year. We'll reveiw the first several lessons and then take off again. Joseph has a pretty cool chemistry set, too... we love science experiments!

We're also hosting a Homeschool Science Fair this year-- our first time trying to put one together. The boys get to put the Scientific Methos into practice. If you are interested in participating in the science fair, shoot me an email. You can find info on the science fair at the link above.

Lots of writing for everyone this is going to be a GREAT year. Matthew has started tackle football with the homeschool football league in our area. Sean and Joseph will continue with baseball and we hope to help a friend establish a home school baseball team in our area by next fall when Sean ages out of the Y baseball league. Wish us luck! It is going to be a busy year with all we have going on.

Our friend is also doing her annual Breast Cancer fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of the Triad. It will be held on October 16-- we've been helping with aution items for many years now. If you'd like to donate items, contact me and I can get you in touch with the organizers. It is for a great cause.

We're starting early this year so that we can take off to go to Cincy. We can still take time off for Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas and two weeks at Easter and have 23 days left to take off before June 30..... we've got a plan.

Pray for us as we start our new school year. 1, 2, 3 we go!