Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do you freecycle?

A friend and I have started a new freecycle group for Clinton County MO. If you are in our area and freecycle, check it out. We just started and only have a few members so far, but have had a couple of items posted. There was not a group for Clinton County, so several of us have belonged to all the surrounding areas that require more driving than we like. This will be an additional resource for us with less driving.

If you aren't familiar with freecycle, its a great program where you can post items you don't need anymore and pass them on free to someone who does need that item. You can also post items you are needing.

Its a great way to pass on and receive books, furniture, crafts, sewing machines, pianos, just about anything that is legal. It keeps items in use and out of the landfills.

As I have stated several times before, most homeschooling families tend to be single income earners, and freecycle is just another tool we use.

So go to freecycle.org and find a group near you to join!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chess League for Kids in Lee's Summit MO

Lead Bank Kid's Chess League (sponsored by Lead Bank)

League Results are a www.mychessrating.com

When: Friday 6:30 – 8:00PM - 6 Weeks

Who: All kids from grades Kindergarten to 12th Grade can play.

Exact Dates: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.

Where: Lead Bank, 9019 SW 7 HWY, Lee's Summit, MO 64064

Three Sections: Kids will be grouped by age, grade, and ability.

Lesson Focus: Players will learn about important rules, chess etiquette, strategy, openings, endgames, and tactics. Research says chess improves test scores on Math and Reading! A link: http://www.quadcitychess.com/benefits_of_chess.html#studies

Chess Teacher: Your chess teacher will be nationally rated chess coach Ken Fee. Ken has played tournament chess for the last 40 years and has coached numerous Missouri and Kansas State Chess Champions. Ken is also a nationally certified tournament director who runs the Kansas City Chess Club and teaches high school Communication Arts.

Activities: Free play from 6:00-6:30. Chess Lesson from 6:30-7:00 by expert chess teacher, Ken Fee. League Game from 7:00 to 7:30. Kids play one league game per week.

Resident Entry Fee: $29.00 for six weeks. Each player will have a www.mychessrating.com page with his/her tournament results and graphs.

Awards: Chess Books and Awards for all kids.

Registration: Online at www.mychessrating.com (Click on "Events" > click on "Lead Bank Kids Chess League" > Register )

League Schedule: There are 3 leagues per year. Each league is six weeks.

Information: Visit www.kcchess.org for more information.

Questions: Call Ken Fee @ 816.399.3703 or e-mail kcchess@gmail.com


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pre-ACT Test

Dates and locations have been set for the pre-ACT test, the PLAN, for the fall of 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010, at Brighton Academy, 10100 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park KS 66212 (located in the Emmanuel Baptist Church)
Monday, October 25, 2010, at Harmony Vineyard Church, 600 NE 46th Street, Kansas City, MO 64116
Monday, November 1, 2010, at Coronation of Our Lady Catholic Church, 13000 Bennington, Grandview MO 64030

This is a test designed by the ACT college entrance exam company. It is specifically designed for 10th graders, but all high school students are welcome to take it. The test covers the same areas that the ACT test does: English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning. Test results can be used to obtain good student discount rates with insurance companies, as well as giving students practice for taking the college entrance exam. After the test, you will receive the test questions, along with the answers your student gave on the test, and the correct answers, if any were wrong. This will make it very easy for you and your student to understand what they missed that day and why it was missed.

It is a one day test. You may pick the most convenient date and location for your family. Testing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and be over no later than 1:30 p.m. The cost for the test is $20 for the two Missouri sites and $27 for the Kansas location. You need to send the registration form and 2 self-addressed business size envelopes, one with a $.44 stamp and the other with a $.61 stamp (we should have the results back before the post office increase for postage in January), along with the check made out to Monette Anderson. Registration deadline is October 12, 2010. If you have any questions, please contact Monette Anderson at whereismonette@ gmail.com or feel free to call at 816-781-5531. (Most days calls are being screened due to homeschooling needs.) I will email you confirmation of receipt of your registration when I receive it, so please print all information very carefully. Thanks.

Students name: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Address: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _____

Phone # ____________ _________ _______ email: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________

Parent’s names: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Please send all information by October 12 to: Monette Anderson
901 Cambridge Circle
Liberty, MO 64068

Great website

I got word of this site from FreelyEducate.com

Check it out. I have been using worksheets from this site for our math review. Its also a source to print of graph paper or handwriting paper if you only need a sheet or two.

It also has timers, so you can have your child to the sheets online and timed, or print sheets off.

LifePac Confusion and Civics

My poor girls. I guess in the past I had told the girls when to do their LifePac unit tests. LifePac's by Alpha Omega is what Emily uses for all subjects, and the twins we are slowly phasing into it as they use up their other books.

Anyway, each book is a unit, and each unit has its own unit test. The test covers the entire book. (Each book also has various worksheets and smaller test that you do as you come to them). Well, the test for the entire book is located in the center of the book, but designed to be taken out and tested with when you get to the end of the book.

All last evening and this morning, the twins have been struggling with this test. They were able to do the first part, but kept telling me they hadn't learned the 2nd part. Being a typical mom, I simply told them to reread the chapter....wrong answer. It was after I finally sat down and tried to do it myself that I realized they were doing the unit test and not the self test. They say I owe them one...I probably do.

I gave Emily some time last night for Civics. She and I, along with other fire department members attended a city council meeting in support of our chief who gave a presentation to the council to update them on our department. It was the first such meeting she had attended. She was very interested in it, and has expressed a desire to go back and sit in on more. She also just had her 14th birthday, and is now old enough to participate in 4H Congress (along the same line as Girls State) so I expect that is in our future as well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Any high school homeschooled girls up for Volleyball?

If you are in the area of Holt MO, Northern Hills Christian Academy has opened up their 9-12 girls volleyball team for homeschooled girls to join. Practices start next week, so if you are interested, you need to call now. Below is the email i received regarding the team.

Homeschool girls grades 9-12 are welcome to join the Northern Hills Christian Academy volleyball team located between Kearney and Holt. They will begin practice when school starts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from approximately 3:30 – 5:30 and games will be on week nights excluding Wednesdays. Contact the school at 320-3204 or Amy Ragseale at 510-4425 if you are interested. Cost will be approximately $35.

Emily played on their team several years ago when the girls went to school here and really enjoyed it. She is playing for them again this year.

If you are not in this area, but the idea of organized sports appeals to you, contact your nearest Christian School. It is very very common for Christian Schools to open up their sports teams to homeschoolers. Many Christian Schools are smaller and this enables them to have teams they may not be able to have otherwise. Also, most will allow you to "buy" a single class from them--such as math, or science or a foreign language. This is a win-win for the school and the homeschooler--the school gets some extra revenue without extra expense (the teacher is already in place) and it can provide a break for a homeschool parent or be used as a teaching tool in an area the teaching parent is not strong in-esp areas such as foreign language, band, music, or math. Others, will let homeschoolers tag along for field trips or school programs. So, check out your nearest one and see what they may offer!

School Notes & Spelling

Our new school year for our homeschool started July 1. According to the state, we are to have in 1000 per school year, with 600 of the hours in core subjects. As of today, Emily already has 550 and the twins have almost 500. However, everything is not in a core subject. Emily always has more than the twins as I count part of her church camp, and she goes in July where the twins go in June (although this year they went twice with the last time being in July). From church camp she gets some Bible time, and PE time, and depending on the topics of discussion, possible time in other subjects as well. One year we had a missionary from Asia, so we counted some geography and social studies in there as well, as each day he gave them a 30-45 minute lesson and slide show of his village.

I found a new site for spelling words for this year. Right now we are using http://www.zaner-bloser.com/spellingconnections/ from Zaner Bloser for the twins. It contains 34 units of spelling words, which will last us about 16 weeks. Each unit only has 10 words, so we will do 2 units a week. I like the lists as they are grouped by subject matter or by language and spelling rules. They also have a set of Spanish units, so if you are taking Spanish, you can add those right in. I like finding and using free resources when I can. Some resources I can find or make entirely for free, others I just use to supplement in here and there. We are using the "preview" section. If we like it well, we may decide to purchase later on-we do have a few of their texts in our library already.

One thing I have trouble finding is handwriting for middle school and high school. I find it for younger students, but not older.

Our garden is finally slowly growing. It was late getting in, and then the chickens and ducks thought it was their private banquet. But, the tide has turned. Our fence around the chicken coup is not complete yet (we still have the top row of fencing to put on, as well as a net over the top), but we have enough up that they can't get out unless we let them out--except for a black hen and a duck, and 2 bantams. The rest either don't realize they can fly or are too big to slip through the opening where we have a temporary gate. So, their days of eating the blooms off of the squash, peppers and tomatoes have come to an end. For some reason they liked to hide from the sun in the shade of my okra plants, and that has also come to an end. It may be too late for this years garden, but next year I hope to have a nice garden again, as I did in my "pre-chicken" free ranging days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Cousin Week Continues"

So far, the heat has not beat us. Not yet anyway. The kids have been keeping busy here on the farm by riding horses (that takes a dedicated horse to give rides when it is 100 degrees outside), swimming in the pond, playing wii, and board games.

This morning we went to Shatto Dairy in Osborn MO to get some cream to make ice cream this evening. If you go to the dairy, they will bottle it for you in half gallon bottles which you can not get in the store. We met two of my cousins while we were there, and took the tour of the calf barn, milking station, bottling plant and got samples in the new addition they have built. The kids also like to milk, and see the baby calves.

After we left Shatto we intended to have a picnic. We had a cooler full of food, including a big batch of potato salad that I made yesterday, and charcoal but went to 3 different parks and none had a BBQ grill. So, we came home and ate what was going to be for supper for lunch, and grilled our lunch for supper. It did feel good to get in out of the heat though.

On the way home we stopped by at the Conservation catch and release area and drove around for a bit.

The kids were good, and have been so far. My biggest challenge is getting them to use the same cup all day, and to remember to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher! Really, they have all been getting along well.

This evening I canned up 14 quarts of Nodaway County peaches. I am listening to the lids "ping" sealed now, and the last few jars are boiling now. I would have probably had another 5 quarts, but we ate them before they managed to get processed. They are good. My apple trees continue to look good, so that will be my next big project-apple sauce, candied apples, apple pie filling, apple rings, apple juice, apple syrup, apple jelly and apple jam.

Yesterday was Emily's 14th birthday. She picked going out to eat at Pizza Hut (fine by me-got me out of the kitchen in this heat!) and had a friend over. So for a period of time my husband had 9 females in the house. He does have the dog and a little 3 year who is spending the evening with us to keep him company. But they have been out numbered by the girls!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you have a college student going to school in Warrensburg MO? Or, if you are a military family moving to WAFB and need housing--I've got it!!!

3 bedroom home for rent across street from park.
Shaded yard.
All electric with seperate heat pumps for upstairs and downstairs
laundry room
hardwood flooring in bedrooms and hall
tile in kitchen, 1/2 bath and pantry
carpet in dining/living room
carpeted large game room
2 woodburning fireplaces--one in master bedroom & one in kitchen
lots of cabinets and storage in kitchen
walkin kitchen pantry
upstairs bath has built in storage
master bedroom has built ins on either side of fireplace
1 bedroom is standard size
2 large bedrooms
1 bedroom features 3 closets
Very nice house in quiet neighborhood. Can walk to park, library, stores and more.
email jupdike@centurytel.net for more info

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Its cousin week

As usual, the day of the family reunion I bring back a vehicle full of kids. Or, as in last year and this year 2 vehicles of them. This year we are currently down 2, but added one. We were going to add one more, but that would have made him the only boy, so, when the other 2 get to come, we will invite him as well. That way we will have my 3 girls, one more girl and 2 boys who love to go fishing for the second go around.

We got home about 40 minutes before dark. Just enough time for the girls to catch one of the horses, and for me pull weeds in 3 rows of okra. One of my cousins went to a peach orchard and I bought 2 flats of peaches that tomorrow we will work up. Not sure yet if I will can them or freeze them.

I guess I am getting old. When I was a kid and my parents, cousins hung out together. On Sundays, holidays or during the summer they would gather at one house or another and visit, or butcher or build a barn or share some harvesting task. Now, people just text each other.

I think for cousins to get together during the summer and spend a week or more, or a few days if that is all that fits, makes wonderful memories. My dad, and his cousins (in the 67-70-80 year range)(sorry dad,I let the cat out of the bag for anyone who thought you were still 29!)still tell stories at get togethers about things they did as youngsters. I think family visits are starting to become a lost art, along with baking our own bread and hanging clothes out on the line (yeah, I do that stuff too and I even IRON!) So, I am trying to keep the tradition going for my children's generation. I will admit though, I need to work some on my own generation as I have cousins close by that I don't see nearly enough. I'd rather see them for dinner or meet at a park now and then instead of saving it all for the weddings and funerals. Especially the funerals.

I think it started to fade when more moms started working out of the home full time, and electronic gadgets entered the picture. I know many moms work to pay the bills, or very often to pay for the health insurance if dad is self employed. I've had to in the past, and I still do bits now and then to help out.

But, how many moms work to buy the things they really don't need? Such as a new car, the cell phones for every family member except for the dog , the new TV, new carpet, the new appliances, the prepared foods, the nanny, the housekeeper... Is that what our kids are going to grow up remembering? Nope, I'd rather mine remember we may not have had everything, but remember how we got to get together with our cousins every summer, or how mom got to go to camp and be dorm mom with us, or chaperon for an activity?

Don't even get me started on the activity every night families--you know, baseball on Monday, Tues is swimming, Wed is horse riding, Thursday is Karate, Fri is ball practice, Sat is piano lessons and Sunday? Well, we are just too tired for church. Nope, I'll save that for another day...

If your the busy sort and don't know how to get out of the rut, start slow. Drop one activity a week and replace it with hands on--play board games, hang out your laundry and have your kids help you one on one-laundry hanging time is good talking time. So is time you may use by washing dishes by hand. Have a night each month where you do activities that don't require electricity. That means no Internet, no texting, no cells, no TV....my girls used to call those "Little House Days". In the winter we even carry it as far as cooking over the fireplace, or in the summer cooking outside over the fire pit.

I guess what I am saying is, I'd rather keep our simple homeschooling life that allows time for family and memory making.