Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 Homeschool Summer Questionaire

Confession: I look at youtube videos.

Well, it's mainly to get ideas on the project I have going or need to get going. And I can't say that I don't look at videos (and blogs) of other homeschooling families.

Well, you know.

Sometimes I just need a glance at the life of other homeschoolers to make sure that I'm still sane and maybe not alone in some of my homeschooling struggles.

So, surfing Youtube, I came across a video from the Virtual Homeschool Coop channel.

This is a list of summer 2016 questions for homeschooling families. You can watch the video here if you like, but the "assignment" is to answer these questions about summer time.

1. Do you do any school curriculum over the summer?
I haven't really done any formal schooling in summers past, though I was going to try to do one subject per day this summer. It isn't working out so well. We are doing science on Wednesdays though.  *Smile*

2. Do you have a set date for the start and stop of summer? Are they the same each year?
We do. We usually stick with the public school dates. I'd like to get us to a place where we can take an extended break in the fall and one in the spring. You know, the months in the year (here in the south) where it's not so unbearable to be outside.

3. Do you have any traditions for the end of school?
No. We don't usually do anything special for the end of school. This year ended on Sugar Bear's birthday, so the last day of school was pretty fun this time.

4. Do you keep a schedule during the summer? Is it the same as during the school year?
We don't normally keep a set summer schedule. However, we are trying to keep a regular routine going this year. I'm a little undisciplined when I don't have to do something. I may be on the lazy side. I'm working on that.

5. Are you going on vacation this summer?
We love hitting the beach every summer, but it's just not in the budget right now. We may do a little stay-cation when my hunny bunny is off for a little over a week next month.

6. Do you do any organized summer activities?
The only organized activity we've ever done is participate in the library's summer reading program.

7. Do you do a summer reading list or specified reading time?
We participate in the summer reading program at the library, as mentioned above. In times past, we would read or listen to as many stories as possible (it's a contest). This year we are going to the library for the summer program, but our reading has changed a bit. My 2 little lovelies are becoming independent readers, so we're concentrating more on quality reading rather than quantity. They do have to read at least 15 minutes every day, but they are reading more than that on their own.

8. Do you have goals for summer?
How's about we don't knock each other out? Ok?

Just kidding!  *GRIN*

Kind of.

I try to get some diy projects done around the house that doesn't get done during the school year. This summer I must get my new book shelves up and get next year's lesson plans done. I've never had to do my own lesson planning before, but I do this year. I'm quite intimidated by that.

Sugar Bear is also working towards earning 3 badges for American Heritage Girls at home. We may not make that goal, but it's worth the shot.

9. What is your favorite part for summer?
Maybe for it to be over. Summers here are hot and humid. I don't like that one bit. You step outside just for your breath to be snatched right out of you instantly!

But really, we are a bit more relaxed, so the slowed pace is much enjoyed.

10. Bed times! Do they still exist? What about letting them sleep in?
Bed time is still set, but we are more lenient this time of year. Alarm clocks are not set right now.... unless we have to be somewhere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Morning Prayer

Again From Calm and Sweet Repose

Again, from calm and sweet repose, I rise to hail the dawn;
Again my waking eyes unclose to view the smiling morn.

Great God of love, Thy praise I'll sing, for Thou hast safely kept
My soul beneath Thy guardian wing, and watched me while I slept.

Glory to Thee, eternal Lord, O teach my heart to pray
And Thy blest Spirit's help afford, to guide me through the day. 

Let every thought and word accord with Thy most holy will;
Each deed the precepts of Thy word with pious aim fulfill. 

From danger, sin, and every ill My constant Guardian prove;
O sanctify my heart and fill with thoughts of holy love. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Amazing Kitchen Cures ~ Hair Coloring

I've been a little hair lightening crazy this summer. You may remember that I recently experimented with cinnamon on my hair. Well, here is what our kitchen have to offer for the topic of..... 

  • Country Time Lemonade - To get the rust color out of your hair, pour a dollop of your regular conditioner in the cupped palm of your hand, add enough Country Time Lemonade powdered mix to make a thick paste, then using a little hot water to dilute the paste, apply it to your hair. Let set for five minutes, then rinse clean.
  • Hunt's Tomato Paste and Q-Tips Cotton Swabs - If you want to be a red head, wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo, rub Hunt's Tomato Paste into your hair, then rinse lightly. For red streaks, use a Q-Tip to apply paste to strands of hair.  
  • Kool-Aid and Jell-O - If you'd like to find out how you look with purple hair or rainbow streaks, mix the contents from a packet of any flavor Kool-Aid with a little water to make a thick paste and apply it to your hair. The coloring is non-toxic and will last through a few shampoos if you have medium or dark hair. Blonde may find the coloring to last longer.
  • Lipton Tea Bags - Use several Lipton Tea Bags to brew a strong pot of tea by letting the tea bags steep for about ten minutes. Let the tea cool, pour it into a trigger-spray bottle and spray your hair. Wearing sunscreen, sit in the sun for an hour. The tea will give your brown or red hair highlights. 
  • Maxwell House Coffee - Highlight brown or red hair by rinsing it with Maxwell House Coffee for a rich and shiny color.  
  • Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing - Adding a couple of drops of Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing to the rinse water when washing gray or white hair eliminates yellowing and gives hair a lush whiteness that products made especially for this purpose cannot achieve. This product is perfectly safe, and a few drops cost less than a penny. 
  • RealLemon - To create blonde highlights, rinse your hair with one-quarter cup RealLemon lemon juice in thee-quarters cup water and wearing sunscreen, sit in the sun until your hair dries. Lemon juice is a natural bleach. 
  • 7-Up - Prevent the itchy feeling from hair-coloring products by adding two tablespoons 7-Up to the formula before dyeing your hair. 
(NOTE: Using name brand products isn't necessary.) 

  1. The Assyrians began dyeing their hair around 1500 B.C. 
  2. The ancient Greeks revered light-colored hair, and most of their great heroes had golden-blonde hair. Many dark-haired Greeks used soaps and alkaline bleaches imported from Phoenicia to lighten or redden their hair. Others dusted their hair with yellow flour, talc made from yellow pollen and gold dust. 
  3. Ancient Romans of the upper classes preferred dark hair, and elderly senators and consuls dyed their graying hair with a concoction made by boiling walnut shells and leeks. To prevent graying, men went to bed wearing a paste made from herbs and earthworms. 
  4. In the 1600s, many Europeans erroneously believed that frequently combing gray hair with a lead comb could restore the hair to its original color. 
  5. When England's Queen Elizabeth I dyed her hair bright reddish orange, thousands of her faithful subjects followed suit.
  6. In 1909, French chemist Eugene Scheuller created the first safe, permanent, commercial hair dye, founding the French Harmless Hair Dye Company. A year later, he changed the company name to L'Oreal.      
  7. Today, three out of four women in the U.S. color their hair. 

  1. Prevent dyeing the skin around your hair line, forehead, neck and ears by applying Chapstick, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or Alberto V05 Conditioning Hairdressing. Wrap the ear pieces of glasses in Reynolds Wrap to avoid dyeing them. 
  2. If you dye your hair too dark you can...
    1. Wash your hair with a handful of Ajax cleaning powder to lighten the color.
    2. Spray Fantastik in your hair, work in well, then rinse, repeating up to four days.
    3. Use Spic and Span diluted with water to remove excess color. 
    4. Be careful not to get any of the cleaning solutions in your eyes. 

I know you can also lighten hair with peroxide. I looked that up on the internet and experimented again just a few days ago. I mixed equal parts hydrogen peroxide (3%) and conditioner and applied the mixture to my hair. I covered my hair in a plastic sack and sat in the sun for about 45 - 50 minutes. My hair lightened up quite a bit. I think I'll leave my poor hair alone now.  *WINK*

Look for the next Amazing Kitchen Cures post that will tell us what the kitchen can do for cleaning, defogging and repairing eye glasses. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ June 1, 2016

I've read about 6 books in the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. These true missionary stories have been incredible and have seriously challenged me to trust God for EVERYTHING and to worry
for NOTHING. God does provide everything we need to spread the Gospel and further His kingdom. 

We closed out our official school year a couple of weeks ago. We took a break for 2 weeks and we have begun our summer schedule. We didn't make it through all our curriculum and we were really enjoying our history and science subjects, so we are going to continue doing some light school work through the summer. 

I officially sent off my orders for next school year's curriculum. I have chosen teaching materials and work books from different sources and so I must make my own lesson plans this time around. I've never done that before, so I will be spending a coupe of hours a day (probably the evenings) working on that. 

I have created a "check-list", if you will, for the children of all the work they must complete each day before they can go off and play. They must complete their chores and the small amount of school work. I'll probably elaborate more on this in another post. 

Our summers aren't complete without being involved in the local library's summer reading program. This year's theme is On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! The activites includes keeping track of the books we read and going to the library about twice a week to learn about sports and fitness from special visitors, making some crafts and playing some group games. We usually have fun with that. 

Our piano teacher has set up a time for her students to play their spring recital pieces for the residents of a local nursing home. She also has planned a piano day camp in July that sounds like fun! 

Speaking of music, one of the churches in a neighboring town hosts a free "grace singing school" for one week. Young people will learn how to sing various parts of music using shape notes. I heard about this program after the fact last summer so I was determined to look for the dates this summer so the kids can participate this year. 

This summer is jam packed, so hopefully we won't find ourselves in too much trouble. *smile*

I do not enjoy cooking. I like meal planning and grocery shopping even less. So, coming up with a meal plan every two weeks is not my cup of tea, nor is it working for me. Seriously, if we could eat out more, I'd have us doing it. But, it's not in our budget nor is it good for our waist line. Cooking at home is a must. 

I heard about having seasonal menus to rotate each season. I started making up 4 menus; one for summer; one for fall; one for winter and one for spring. You have each day of meals planned out for the month and then you use that one menu for 3 months. Then you rotate to the next menu for the next season (3 months) and so on. Make sense? I have about 2 weeks for each season menu complete and I'm trying to get the summer menu done by this weekend so we can start using it next week. This has proven to be quite the challenge, especially with my dietary restrictions, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run and I won't have to think about planning meals again.  *wink*

We usually have Bible time together in the morning, either from our curriculum or a devotional book. However, we recently started reading through the Gospel of John together. The 3 of us read a short passage, each separately. We then come together to discuss what we've read. We do that first, then we also have our regular Bible time. 

We have finished listening to a couple of Little House books in audio form. I'm going to read the last read-aloud from our curriculum, Stories from Grandma's Attic, and then I'll start reading the Christian Heroes series to them. 

Adelle has been reading Pilgrim's Progress on a 4th or 5th grade level. I picked that up at a used book sale a couple years back. After listening to the dramatized version on the Grace Gems website, she's been enjoying reading it for herself. 

I have a song to share from the Broadway musical Amazing Grace, which is the story of John Newton's life that was dramatically changed after the Lord brought him to the place of repentance. He is the writer of the popular hymn, Amazing Grace. This song is John Newton, played by Josh Young, singing his Testimony.  Here are the lyrics:

In a moment of truth
I have seen what I am
Like a mist on the bay that is here and is gone.
Where dream that awakes with the coming of dawn
So am I!

What the world sees as weak
God can use to proclaim
With a voice and of wisdom
Could never perceive
What God has prepared for those who believe and receive
What He gives. 

And the man that I was I cast upon the furry of the sea. 
And the wind and the waves washed away a lifetime of deceit
And I won't be ashamed to stand and proclaim I am free!

I am free!

There was nothing in me that the Lord should desire
For everyone knows of the life I have led
And you can attest that my conscience was dead in my sin

I can say once again
It was not in me to change
But God in His mercy has called me by name
And He lifted me out of the pit of my shame and ordained I should live

And the man that I was I cast upon the furry of the sea
And the wind and the waves washed away a lifetime of deceit
And I won't be ashamed to stand and proclaim I am free!

I am free!

And I never can repay what the Lord forgave that day
He came for me came to set me free!

And here is a recording.....

Really, this could be a song we sing in Sunday Services.  :-)

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. ~1 John 3:18

I hope this post isn't too long for ya. I guess that's what happens when you don't blog for a few weeks. Ha!