Try Your Luck

The kids have been having fun doing extra chores and homeschooling lately, thanks to this little gadget.


I got a wonderful math manipulatives kit at a thrift store last month for a dollar or so, and it was full of all kinds of wonderful math tools (cuisenaire rods, unit cubes, a measuring tape, etc.).  One of the gadgets was this little plastic spinner, and I drew up a little wheel to use it with the kids for a few times.

The entries we put on it were:

  • Read a book
  • Scoop the cat box
  • Get a dollar
  • Climb the stairs ten times
  • Write a paragraph
  • Clean up after the dog
  • Get a candy
  • Spin again

It’s really funny how often the kids want to spin this thing!  Poor Alex tends to get “clean up after the dog” and homeschool assignments, but he rushes to do them and comes back to spin again.  Jack is usually extraordinarily lucky (his first two spins were for dollars!) but he occasionally runs the stairs or does some homeschooling.  Even 15 y/o Rhia (Anna) took a few turns.

This is a spin-off of the chore sticks we did for years, which had lots more options and were always hits with our kids.  I want to start doing those again, too, since the kids have always asked to bring them back.

I’m thinking we could easily mix them up and make all kinds of versions to keep them fresh.  We could even make up spin charts for various subjects, like for math you could spin to see if you should do Khan Academy, do two worksheet pages, play Prodigy, get a pass, use the Rocket Math app for 20 minutes, etc.

It’s kind of fun, though.  I may have to do a mama version for myself.  🙂

Yesterday and Today, In Pictures

Boy, if these photos don’t show what our homeschool is like, I don’t know what does.

Yesterday, we went hiking at Red Rock Dells, a park about 20 minutes from us.



It was so much fun.  It was nature study, history, science, PE and more.  And it’s just beautiful and good for the soul.



Today, Daryl took Toria and Alex and some homeschooling friends two hours away to take part in a movie shoot.

As extras.  In a zombie movie.  🙂


Isn’t my boy darling?!

This is the movie they’re shooting.

Daryl just called to check in.  They didn’t wrap up shooting until after seven so they’ll be back late.  They’re excited about going back tomorrow and Saturday, even though it involves an awful lot of sitting around (they’re bringing iPod chargers and more books tomorrow!).

They’re learning lots about the movie business and I have no idea what else (can I somehow make this count for social studies?), but what an experience!

And in contrast, this is what Jack and I were doing while they were filming….


He stayed home and helped me with Fiona (no zombies under five allowed).  He’s not sure if he wants to have anything to do with this zombie business, though he’s signed up so he can take part if he chooses to.

And we had a pretty fun time on our own.

It’s an odd life, but a fun one!  🙂