Aviation Museum

The second largest aviation museum in the United States isn’t too terribly far from us. We recently decided to go. Pilot, Bones and Walter want to fly them. Sketch says he wants to build them…and Echo and Squirt just love looking at them and even prefer the airplane books to any other. We had a great time and it was a good pre-study field trip. We went on A Sunday and started the aviation era that Monday!! To say that the boys had fun would be a gross understatement.

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I’m not what it is with little boys and airplanes but I know mine are all smitten with them. They talk about them, they draw them, they point them out, they make models of them… my boys are thoroughly airplane crazed.

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Paint By Number

Sketch is our artist and for his recent birthday I found an awesome present for him! I was honestly super excited and couldn’t wait to give it to him but both Bones and Pilot didn’t think he’d like our that much. Sure enough, his paint by number was one of his favorites!!

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I’d never heard of these before honestly. I’ve seen plenty of color by number but these are really quite neat…and challenging. This far, Sketch has put about ten hours into this project and he still has some way to go!

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I absolutely love watching this cow together, but more so than that, I love watching how serious Sketch is when he paints. It calms him. He literally gets lost in his work for HOURS. This is his passion. I don’t normally think of children as being passionate about painting, but this boy is. I’m so excited to frame this picture and to hang it up. However, I’m even more excited to see where this takes him next. As his mom I feel Ita my job to help introduce him to a vast array of artistic styles knowing this is what excites him so I’m always looking for something new to expand his creativity.

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Squirt

Today, my sweet little boy is two. It amazes me just how fast time goes because in my mind there is no way that my sixth son is already two! It doesn’t seem possible that this feisty, bouncing, ornery toddler has only been apart of our lives for two years. It doesn’t seem possible I’ve only known his awesome silliness and his strong love for a mere twenty-four months. I feel like Squirt has always been apart of our lives.

Squirt has probably changed our family more than any of our other children. I’m not saying he’s more important or that he is better or worse, he has just changed us. He’s changed the way we have had to communicate with each other but in no way has his hearing held him back from anything. He is also our first real preemie (Sketch was three weeks early but still considered right at term) and we have had to adjust his age and expectations for that (though he always superseded where his actual age us). He’s not a hard child to parent per say, he’s really good at understanding what we want him to do but he’s equally amazing at pretending to not see us signing to him. I mean when your are deaf you can just turn your head and obviously that means mom and dad are done talking…right? Well, when you’re a deaf toddler it does and boy does he use that to his advantage!! He’s such an ornery guy too. He has this infectious evil laugh and upon hearing it you know he’s up to trouble and smacking his brothers in the face places him immensely. (Granted, this isn’t entirely his fault as THEY initiated it!)

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He is such a loving little boy though . He hugs and kisses all of us DOZENS of times a day and it slightly thrills me to say he’s a mama’s boy…though he loves his daddy too. This little boy melts by heart! I cannot wait to see what mischief awaits him as he grows!

We have been in a hotel…for over a month… I told you we were gypsies…anyways, as you can imagine life is pretty interesting with lots of little ones in a hotel for a month. And, (yep I totally just started a sentence with “and” despite telling my kids that it’s not acceptable to do so) despite what my crazy little people think, school MUST go on. Well, for my sanity it must go on!!

Some days are fantastic and we get to all of our subjects and get to do extra fun things and some days I feel like we chase squirrels all day and spend our free time collecting nuts to attract more squirrels. However, most days, are a decent mix of the two which is good.

Hopefully, we won’t be in this hotel too much longer and will be able to get settled again soon. Have you ever had to homeschool while in a hotel relocating before?

McGuffey’s Readers

We are delayed readers here. In a house of boys I don’t do serious attempts at reading before the shre of six. That being said, I teach phonics and not sight words, so when it clicks for my boys they seem to rapidly soar through the next several levels.

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(Part of Lesson 1 in McGuffey’s Primer.)

Now, this want my first plan. I simply wanted to start getting Pilot to read so Radar’s parents would get off my back about why my three year old want reading yet. So, when Pilot was for I started teaching him sounds. We instantly tried pushing reading and he was NOT ready for it…in fact, he wasn’t really ready for it for almost three years. However, hearing my in laws in my mind (and ear) we continued and we stressed and we butted heads…and then one day he brought his book to read to new and he suddenly knew ALL the words. He suddenly had no problem reading at level…and then at one, then two, then three plus grade levels ahead. Now, he reads well above level and I forget we ever started do roughly.

However, I didn’t learn the first time. When Sketch was ready I started him at four…and then put it off because it stressed me out so much. When Bones came around my goal was to start at five (I was learning see) but then I had another baby so it got poor off until he was six.. and then when he was about six ands a half we got serious and buckled down.

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(Part of Lesson 18 – the last lesson in his Primer.)

One of my favorite resources are our McGuffey’s readers. Seriously, you can talk to your grandparents and they probably remember these things. They are fantastic. Bones started the Primer about a year ago but struggled so much I put it off. Two to three months ago we tried again and he just got it! On Friday Bones finished his Primerand now he starts Book 1…and man oh man was he period of himself. Shoot, I was beyond period of him!! He has come so far!

Record Keeping

I love the idea of a super fancy, super hip method of keeping a running record of the days we do school… but at the end of the day, I just never follow through with those methods. They’re much too laborious and I just don’t like wasting my time on them. Instead, I prefer this simple…almost seemingly archaic method… and believe it or not it is ridiculously simple! (I have to say, I copied this from http://www.allinonehomeschool.com because…well, because we are using their program. I might recreate my own later but for now this suffices.) 

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This is so ridiculously simple….but brilliant all at the same time!! There’s a chart…it has 180 squares that are numbered 1-180. For each day we do we write in the date. They can then color them. (I should add in that I print one for each child.)  Usually Pilot and Bones wait until the end of a row and Sketch colors them in each day but whatever you want to do works. You don’t have to even color them in but my artsy (and fartsy) dudes think it’s more fun that way.

Easy enough? I think so!
How do you keep track of your attendance days?

Double Digits!

I’m not sure I’m ready for this but Pilot is officially in the double digits. Now he is perfectly content being ten…but this mama’s heart isn’t so sure.
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I love all my boys but this one…this one made me a mama for the first time…and now he’s ten!! This one was born during a deployment and so it was just the two of us until Radar came home when he was six weeks old.

Pilot is my little adult. He is so mature and responsible we often find ourselves forgetting he’s only a boy himself. He has the fortunate gift that everything generally comes very naturally to him and though he’s only ten this boy has his life already mapped out for himself.

He has a get’er done attitude much like his dad’s. If he sees something that needs done he is very content doing it. He loves to play sports and after ten years he is FINALLY enjoying reading! Now he lives to curl up in a comfy spot with a blanket and read.
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Today, I watched as Red’s face lit up when he saw Pilot and my heart just purred with love. This boy, the one that will clean you out in a game out poker, rides his bike like a bmx pro, he surfs, and skatevosrds… He’s so delicate with his baby brother…He is so thoughtful, so loving, so willing, and so able.

I’m not sure what this double digit phase will bring for us, and though it saddens me immensely, it also gives me a bit of excitement to see what is all in this young man’s future because I know it’s going to be great!