Monday, April 26, 2010

Summer Plans

If you are a homeschooling family, do you continue to do school year-round? Last year, we did school through the summer. Until about a week ago, I'd been assuming I would be doing it again this summer. But I'm starting to think we will take a break, starting with our week long trip to Louisiana, and starting up again sometime in August when we're all bored out of our minds.

I'm sure we'll still do lots of interesting things with educational value. It just won't be so structured. To be honest, our structure has been slipping toward the end of the school year, so it won't be much of a transition. Here are some things I want to pursue over the summer.

Nature Study with Journals
Local Travel
Cooking Lessons
Sewing Lessons
Video Animation
Scrapbooking (this past year of school)
Sports, especially bicycle riding

The usual things will be laying around the house for free use:
Art and Craft Supplies

I still feel the need to limit screen time. It's my big roadblock to unschooling. I have this kneejerk reaction to letting my kids have unlimited screen (tv/video games/computer) time. I have definitely seen the advantages. Thing One learned to read on the Wii because he got tired of having to depend on us to read the instructions to him. He has learned a lot of his basic arithmetic from Leapster games. But his attitude gets very disrespectful, his behavior toward other kids gets more aggressive the more time he spends in front of a screen. So I'm thinking I'll give Thing One (age 6.5) 2 hours per day for total screen time. Thing Two (age 3.5) will get 1 hour. At least, that's the plan.

I love our neighborhood when the weather outside is nice. All the neighborhood kids come outside and play together. Thing One is relating to the older kids (ages 8+) in new ways and I have the feeling this summer will be alot about forming new relationships for him.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to Make a Lightbox

Do you have a drop-leaf dining table? If so, you can easily make it into a temporary light table.

1. Remove the leaf.

2. Place a piece of glass or plexiglass where the leaf was. If you are going to be using it alot, consider getting a piece of plexiglass cut to the size of your leaf.

3. Place a lamp under the glass or plexi, with the bulb pointing up toward the ceiling.

4. Trace away!

5. For a smaller project, you can tape your items to a well-lit window for the same effect.

I heard this tip from another quilter. I used my lightbox to trace patterns onto black background fabric for an appliqued quilt.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quilting Tattoos

I have seen these popping up alot lately. I'm not really a tattoo kind of gal, but even I'm starting to think a smallish one would be neat and fun.

I love Karen McTavish's feathers.

Here's a whole batch on flickr.

But here's my favorite, one I could actually see myself getting.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Today I...

Made two books for the boys to make "cookbooks"
Prepared breakfast, lunch and two snacks for three of us
Washed the rugs
Cleaned the upstairs bathroom
Did a half-hour workout video that involved JOGGING and it felt good
got myself and two kids dressed and teeth brushed
went to the library
balanced the checkbook
paid the bills
remembered the vitamins
washed the dishes
swept the kitchen floor
closed a credit card account and cut up the card (that felt really good)
read at least 50 pages aloud
made a bed
dusted while talking to my mom on the phone
put away six dirty socks that weren't even mine
helped a six year old with some school worksheets and helped him make a smoothie(he's obsessed with a blender cookbook)
watched tv
played horsie
gave about a zillion hugs and kisses
played a bit of bejeweled
checked email
researched toilets
found some ham recipes for leftovers
read my book

...and I even blogged!