Parade wants to know if homeschooling should be illegal

Parade magazine is showing its ignorance when it comes to HSing, featuring a poll that asks if parents should be required to have teaching credentials to homeschool their children.

They also include a quote saying that the California case “pits those who believe parental rights are paramount against those who place a premium on well-educated citizens.”

Oh, I forgot!  Only those of us with teaching degrees can produce well educated citizens!

Care to cast your vote?

Rose lapbook 2: progress and perfectionism

Anna and I are taking a break from her lapbook. She is having an ice cream bar outside and I’m having caffeine upstairs! 🙂 Daddy took the other kids to the lake to give us some one-on-one time.

The lapbook is turning into a really neat project. We’ve talked lots about everything from history (like how the Peace rose was smuggled out of Europe during WWII and more about WWII) to how to cross rose types to make a new breed to the petals generally being in multiples of 5. has some neat flower parts with labels to explain how the seeds are formed and such. I’ve already lost the link but it was very helpful when we were talking about how the pollen gets on the ovules to develop seeds and so on.

Annalee is so good for making me a better mother. Victoria and I are perfectionists and we double check and plan and take our time. Anna dives in, scissors flying, colors running, willy nilly.

I have caught myself criticizing her several times today and I reined myself in. She did things like colored over some information I printed out, with pens so dark that you can longer read some words, or cut everything into tiny pieces so it’s hard to figure out what goes where and the ends of some sentences are lost. She’s the type to write something in permanent marker and never think to ask if it’s spelled right, and then scribble over it.

I told her that I need to work on not being so picky and she needs to work on taking her time and checking things before she does things that can’t be undone. She very nearly glued one picture on upside down but she checked it at last minute and caught herself, so she’s getting the idea.

I have to keep in mind that this is her project, though. If she is happy with it and learns, then it’s a success– even if the pictures are upside down. It doesn’t have to win awards or be suitable for framing! She always loves her finished work and is quite proud.

I can be a silly woman if I don’t stop and think sometimes. 😉 Victoria and I can learn a lot from her willy nilly ways.

Working on a rose lapbook

Anna chose roses for the theme for her new lapbook so I’ve been printing her out information and handouts.

If anybody is looking for neat stuff to include in their own rose lapbooks, here’s some of what we used…

I cut and pasted info from this page and put it in a fancy font to glue various bits in.

Here’s a lesson plan about countries that cut flowers come from.

Here’s lots of cool facts about roses and ideas for extensions.  Neat stuff!

I also printed out a coloring page of a rose and am looking for ways to say rose in various languages to make a shape book.

I’ll post the finished book when we’re done!

Victoria's best of the year

Here’s Victoria’s answers for the best list.

Best books read: Molly Moon series

Best math game or activity: Running the lemonade stand

Best reading/spelling/grammar game or activity: Blogging and emailing (with spell check)

Best field trip: Maine


Best science experiment: The mold comparison experiment

Best science activity: Collecting different kinds of seaweed at the ocean, pouring seawater on the acorn barnacles to make them open


Best read-aloud or chapter book: Hoot

Best movie: Surf’s Up

Best educational DVD: Rough Science (reality TV challenges for scientists stranded somewhere!)

Best educational web site: Scratch, Science News for Kids

Best educational computer game: Timez Attack or Pet Vet

Best art activity: altered books & artist trading cards


Best PE activity: playing wiffle ball with the kids after Japanese class, tree climbing, HS swimming, HS ice skating


Best history book, project or activity: Playing Carrie in the Wilder Pageant, The History Fest

Best social studies/geography book, project or activity: Ethiopia lapbook & eating at the Ethiopian restaurant, going to Boston & Maine (and learning their history)

Best craft: art dolls

Best party or get together: St. Patrick’s Day party, Group bug-themed “wild” birthday party at Shetek

Best one-on-one time with mom or dad: playing spaghetti ball in the dark with mom at the field across the street

Best foreign language activity or program: Japanese class with Kanae

Best new subject we learned about: The gold rush

Best HS memory of this year: Lobster & seal watching boat trip & Diver Ed’s in Maine



Best of the year

As this “school year” winds down, I’m getting ready to put together the kids’ HS scrapbooks and I’m thinking about what did and did not work well for us.

I made up this list of various subjects and am going to ask the kids what the best activities were that we used to learn them.  I’ll add my own too and ask Daryl to weigh in.  Anybody else want to join?

I’ll post our answers later in the day.

Best books read:

Best math game or activity:

Best reading/spelling/grammar game or activity:

Best field trip:

Best science experiment:

Best science activity:

Best read-aloud or chapter book:

Best movie:

Best educational DVD:

Best educational web site:

Best educational computer game: 

Best art activity:

Best PE activity:

Best history book, project or activity:

Best social studies/geography book, project or activity: 

Best craft:

Best party or get together:

Best one-on-one time with mom or dad:

Best foreign language activity or program: 

Best new subject we learned about: 

 Best HS memory of this year:

Easy puppets


Here’s an easy way to make puppets for the kids and use up some of the millions of cheap stuffed animals that may have accumulated at your house.

Take a small, unwanted stuffed animal and cut a slit across the back.  Pull out most of the stuffing (you may want to leave the head  and a bit of the legs stuffed).  If you want these to last a long time and want to leave stuffing in parts, you can stitch across the stuffed parts, iron it sealed with fusible tape or use fabric glue.  We never did this step though.   You can also just cut straight across at the midsection to make a standard puppet you insert your hand into and remove all stuffing.

Show the children how to  insert their hands in the back and put two fingers in the arms to move them.  Ta da!  Instead puppet theater.

Here’s a photo of my girls making puppets many moons ago…


Plans for the day

We spent yesterday running errands and buying too many scrapbook/lapbook/altered book supplies, so today will be a nice day home.  Victoria and I stayed up till midnight working on her latest lapbook so she got a late start this morning!

Plans for the day…

  • I promised Anna that we’d make an applesauce cake together
  • Help Jack finish his world lapbook
  • Math worksheets for the girls
  • Victoria is interviewing the Greenbush twins (the women who played little Carrie on the “Little House on the Prairie” TV series) for our local newspaper.  We need to finalize her questions so she can email them to them.  The ladies already told her they’d take part and the editor of the paper has said he’ll run the interview, so it should be a neat experience for Victoria.  She played Carrie in the Wilder pageant in Walnut Grove last year.
  • I need to work on the yard and housework, and enlist the kids in helping with some of the work.
  • Reading to the boys
  • Painting with the kids
  • One on one time with Jack, perhaps reading games or maybe just fun mama time
  • Get Anna started on her next lapbook
  • Whatever else comes up!

A poem by Victoria

Victoria happily brought this poem up to show me last night. Thought I’d share it here (the original was very multi-colored too). Cool


I wake up. It’s today!
Summer’s here! Hip hooray!

Summer means lots of fun!
Swimming under the summer sun!

Splash in the pool! Catch that ball!
Roller skate! Don’t fall!

Be happy! Have a blast!
Do it all! Before summer’s past!

~ Victoria Bayer (loves summer)

Sunday at the state park

We had a wonderful day at a nearby state park with some homeschool friends yesterday! We started out walking on a causeway to Loon Island (misnamed by the locals years ago when they thought the nesting cormorants were loons). Daryl dropped me and the kids off and went bird watching, since he has (as Jack puts it) “owie legs” and can’t walk far. He parked in a shady spot and bird watched, while we explored the island. It was a beautiful day and the temperature was perfect, with a nice breeze off the lake. We passed a cool fish skeleton that Victoria had to get a picture of, too.



Once we got to the island, we stopped at the shore and looked for cool rocks and artifacts. I found a piece of an arrowhead. Mostly I chased Alex, who loved the sand and water. He ended up stripped naked because I couldn’t keep him out of the water! Anna found a neat leaf skeleton, and then found some for her friends.



Then we hiked the path through the island. My kids spotted a great climbing tree so we all had to wait a bit while that was tackled.



After another brief interruption where I went all the way back to the van to get comfortable shoes for Anna, we headed out again. Some highlights included the weird conjoined trees, the big indentation where the interpretive sign said a still was during prohibition and more trees to discover.




It turned out to be a very long hike when one has forgotten to bring either a stroller or a sling! We thought it was a much smaller island! 🙂 Still, we found egg shells, learned lots and had a really nice time.



After we made it back from the island, we drove to some small lakes in the park and played. Daryl taught our friends how to use juggling sticks, the kids played T-ball and baseball, we explored the lakes and just sat and talked.

sticks.jpgbaseball.jpganna1.jpgBy the end of the day we were exhausted. It was a really nice day!