Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Falcons Fly High After Win!

If you can't brag on your own blog where else can you? Austin's football team finally won their first game this season. Yesterday I picked up the Falcon newsletter and read:

The cornerbacks positions were Lights Out last Saturday and receive this week's editor's accolades. There were NO Wildcats runs that eluded the two cornerbacks. At strong side corner Austin Ryan took care of business when it counted. In one instance Austin bounced off a block and made a tackle for a loss.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Time Machine

This has nothing to do with homeschooling, but I thought I would share it anyways.
Being that my husband is a pool man. He is always in people's backyards. When a customer is wanting to get rid of something they seem to always try and pond it off on the poor pool man. I'm kidding... Which is not always bad, most of our customers are very well off. Many of them are doctors, attorneys etc. Some of the items we have been given are a jacuzzi, a crib, a rocking chair, electic scooter and now a Time Machine. Well that's what the kids think it is. I don't have the heart to tell them it's really a sauna.

So you want your own horse?

Faith has been taking horse riding lessons for the past month. Her new favorite thing on earth (besides dogs) is horses. She keeps begging Me and Justin (my husband) to move to horse property and buy her a horse for Christmas. So, I had a little talk with her instructor today before her lessons.

We thought we would have Faith pick up all the horse poop and do chores around the barn to see what it's really like to have your own horse.
When the lesson was over I asked Faith if she still wanted a horse. She says she has to think about it:) Horses are alot of work!

Let your light shine

Today for (recess) I guess you could call it that. A couple of us homeschooling mom's got together and had a little harvest party for the kids. The kids dressed up and we read (Christian) Halloween books and carved a pumkin and told a little story to go along with it.

Being a good person is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all of the yucky stuff -- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a bright new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Support our Troops

A little something to show our thanks...I took the kids to help fill boxes for our soldiers. Some of the homeschool friend were there along with Faith's American Heritage friends. I found a website: it just takes a few seconds but means so much to them.
Go to and just fill out the form and hit Send. A soldier will receive a personalized greeting from you with your name and hometown on it.
It's something the kids can do by themselves.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You get the point?

We did an activity today: Sailing Ships

The kids each made their own boat out of foil. Austin was Pinta, Faith was Nina and Landen's was the Santa Marina. We labeled one side of the bathtub Spain and the other America. I told the kids the water was the Atlantic Ocean, Am I right? LOL.... My point was to remind them that ships at that time had no motors and had to rely on the wind.

They put the their ships in the tub and watched them travel from Spain to America across the Atlantic while the wind (them blowing)took them. We even made Landen's bigger because his was a bit larger; it was the ship Columbus sailed on..hey I'm learning too:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ring of Fire

Despite all the fires going on in Irvine yesterday we still attended our field trip as planned. We went to Tanaka Farms, Orange County's largest organic farm. We took a wagon ride around the 30 acre farm, the kids picked their own veggies, found the "perfect pumkin" and wandered around (got lost) in a corn maze. (don't attempt with 3 kids running in different directions) I was smart this time around and brought some help. Grandma Proffitt was able to go on the field trip with us and helped me chase the kids through the maze. It wasn't the prettiest day to visit the farm with all the smoke and ash in the air, but we still had fun learning at the farm.




Saturday, October 20, 2007

History (Timeline)

We finished our time line...for now we plan to add to it as we learn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Famous Home schoolers

thought this was interesting:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Abraham Lincoln
William Henry Harrison
Theodore F. Roosevelt

Patrick Henry [VA]
Charles Pickney III [SC]
Richard D. Spaight [NC]
William Livingston [NJ]
Richard Bassett [DE]

U.S. Senators and Congressmen
William S. Johnson [CT]
George Clymer [PA]
John Francis Mercer [MD]
William Blout [TN]
William Few [GA]

Blaise Pascal
Booker T. Washington
Thomas Edison
Benjamin Franklin
Andrew Carnegie
John Stuart Mill
Chief Justices of U.S. Supreme Court
John Rutledge
John Jay
John Marshall

College Presidents
John Witherspoon -- Yale
Timothy Dwight -- Princeton
William S. Johnson -- Columbia

Preachers / Missionaries
John & Charles Wesley
John Owen
Johnathon Edwards
William Carey
Dwight D. Moody
John Newton
Hudson Taylor

Mark Twain
George Bernard Shaw
Irving Berlin
Charles Dickens
C.S. Lewis

Charles Montesquieu

Famous Women
Abigail Adams
Mercy Warren
Martha Washington
Florence Nightingale
Phyllis Wheatley
Agatha Christie
Pearl S. Buck

"Stonewall" Jackson
Robert E. Lee
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton

John Singleton Copley
Andrew Wyeth
Rembrandt Peale
Claude Money
Ansel Adams

Anton Bruckner
Felix Mendelssohn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Francis Poulenc
and many more.....

OH and Austin wanted to point out that Jason Taylor the tight end for the Miami Dolphins was home schooled.
Faith likes the fact that the tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams were also home schooled.

My biggest fear

I filled out a paper the other day that asked: What is your biggest fear? I thought about it and awnsered: One of my biggest fears is having my children turn away from God when they are older (teenagers etc.)
When training my children, I must remember to instill in them a spiritual purpose. Sometimes I seem to put alot of focus on academic excellence, accomplishment in sports, socialization, musical training, or just plain discipline. These are all valuable to my children. However, I must not neglect the most important area of spiritual purpose. It has been said that the formative years are before the age of twelve. Parents help form the identity of their children during this time. By helping them establish for a lifetime how their child will relate to God and each other. Children are most open to the heart of a parent and we need to be aware of the impact our words have on them! Our children need to know the truth of the Bible in their early years so they can be free from the deceptions the world has to offer. Spiritual purpose builds character and establishes vision that will not be shaken. (When I drop my children off somewhere I always say, "use your manners, let your light shine and don't let your faith be shaken and I love you" or to Landen I simply say, "no pushing, no hitting, no biting and I love you!" Its true, they hear it over and over. I believe that children have a spiritual dimension that needs to be nourished and fed by the Word of God. If we do not do this, they will lose ground when they grow up. Which is my biggest fear! I can help them understand their spirtual purpose in life by praying for them everyday. I find that a short prayer at bedtime has become a treasured time together. God promises that children who live a life of spiritual purpose from their earliest years never depart from HIS ways. So as long as I do my job I should never face my biggest fear!

I Guess they do listen (sometimes)

Yesterday we went to the park to finish our work after Faith's horse lessons. The kids were playing as I was busy writing out bills when I over heard Austin yelling "Captian of the waves we are-- kings of the sea. Warriors bold and cold, forever the sea we roam." I almost started crying,(because I was laughing so hard) and because last week in history, we made a time line and talked about a man named Leif Ericsson and the Vikings. He was acting out the part of Leif Ericsson. I think I am getting through to them. Just maybe they are listening to me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My little TA's (teacher assistants)

My children are with me all the time and know how forget I can be. With a thousand things on my mind, I sometimes ask them to help me remember. For example, Next Wednesday is Faith's potluck dinner and I signed up to bring finger foods. I told her to please remind me to write it down when we get home so I won't forget. Yesterday they kept reminding me of things. They must think I can't function without them.
Austin is my personal clock. He is always letting me know what time it is and how late we are. Like yesterday, the kids attended Friday school and he informed me, "Mom we should leave now, it takes over 20 min to get to school and it takes you at least 5 minutes to load and unload all your kids, which means you should allow yourself a good half hour." Thank you Austin!
Yesterday's friendly reminders from my kids:
Austin: Did you call the eye doctor for Faith yet?
Faith: Did you rsvp for Tyler's party yet?
Austin: (after changing Landen's diaper) (whole other story) you shouldn't give Landen corn.
Austin: remember mom its grandmas bday today
Faith: Did you sew the badges on my uniform yet?
Austin: Check the tracking number for the books you ordered.
Faith: Were out of vitimins, you need to get them refilled.
Austin: Don't forget were out at 12:00 allow yourself plenty of time to park and unload the kids.
And my favorite:
Austin: Mom the orange light is on, please get gas while your out so dad doesn't have to come rescue us again!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Philosophy of Math

Math by far was my worst subject in school. I struggle even helping Austin at a third grade level sometimes. I met a friend a couple months ago who has a daughter who is Austin's age and a son who is Faith's age. I had no idea that she would be so much help to me. She is a math major and teaches math at APU. She now is a homeschool mom and the author of Math FUNdamentals and many other math books.
Below is a post from her website:
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7

Math is everywhere, math is useful, and yes, math can and should be FUN! We believe that mathematics is a process, a way of thinking. Yes, it involves arithmetic, computational skills and memorizing math facts, but ultimately, mathematics is learning to think logically and to solve problems! The primary goal for learning mathematics should be to help our children become confident and successful problem solvers. The main objective should be to help our children learn how to apply their skills to solve problems that arise in the home and in the work place. Children, as well as adults, tend to learn more and retain information longer when they are given the opportunity to be active participants in their learning, to construct their own meanings and to invent their own procedures.

A balanced approach to learning mathematics involves three components: problem solving, conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge. When learning a new concept or skill, children should always begin at the concrete level. This means the abstract symbols should be explained with the use of concrete models and manipulatives, such as buttons, beans, spoons, and Cuisenaire rods and then with drawings and diagrams, before moving on to symbolic notation and memorizing procedures.

They should see that mathematics is important and useful. This is accomplished by introducing and reinforcing concepts and problem solving through the use of everyday experiences such as cooking, shopping, and gardening. If children are given concrete models to work with and are given a sufficient amount of time, they often solve very complex and complicated problems on their own. Children tend to use their prior knowledge and experiences, with the aid of manipulatives, to help make sense of new problems or situations.

Children should also think math is fun! This of course can be accomplished by reviewing concepts and skills through the use of games. A fun and meaningful approach to learning mathematics can easily be accomplished by using the Math FUNdamentals resource books


The kids have been doing very well at getting ready and finishing their morning chores on time that I decided to add something new to our schedule. We call it "Kids in the Kitchen." I believe teaching children to cook is an important but overlooked skill. Boys, (notice I say boys) and girls benefit from the math skills, reading practice and nutrition knowledge gained. Today we started with something easy, french toast. Yum! My plan is to have them master the whole process from preparing to clean up. We talked about making sure they wash their hands and use clean sponges and dishtowels. After Austin burnt his finger, we talked about safety! We talked about the basic cooking methods:frying, steaming, sautéing, boiling, etc.
How to measure. I showed them the difference between dry measures and wet. Let them practice then went over math of measurements, that there are four cups in a quart, 16 ounces in a pound, and three teaspoons in a tablespoon. Most important I told them how important it is to clean up. The job is not done until the kitchen is clean. I am expecting breakfast in bed with a clean kitchen on Saturday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Horse Heaven

The kids each take a different co-op class every month. Since Austin is taking a Paleontology class this month, Faith wanted to take something she enjoys. She loves horses and I just so happen to find a class near our house that offered lessons in horseback riding, grooming, stable chores, and horse science. Today was her first class and she was in heaven!

Monday, October 8, 2007

That's HOT!

That's what Faith said as she posed for this picture:

Our trip to the fire department:

Left in the dust...

That's where they left me, in the dust... Try pushing a double stroller up a dirt hill with two kids in it. Not fun! Although Landen enjoyed the bumpy ride! Once we reached the top of the hill I quickly put the brakes on the stroller so Farrah wouldn't go flying back down the hill. As I bent down to lock the wheels BAM! Landen hits me in the side of the head with a stick (his gun).

Landen with his "gun" (after this pic i got rid of it)

Other than that we had a very fun time on our field trip to Rileys Farm. We went back in time and got to experience civil war camp life, workshops, Victorian etiquette and we even ate what the soldiers ate back then. Our lunch included hard tack, beef jerkey, cheese, and an apple straight from the tree.

Austin has been shot in the leg...they learn what soldiers did when they got hurt in battle.

Landen thinks Austin is really hurt..look how worried he looks. He gave him a hug right before they amputated his leg

Some whisky for the pain

A fun place to visit check it

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Art the Artist

this was the kids favorite painting "Drop your nets and follow me"

Today we did things a little different. We ventured out early for the day. I took the kids to breakfast and then to the park to do school. It's nice to do school when Landen can play and run around and Farrah can enjoy the outside. We had dentist appointments that kind of threw off our normal school hours. So I decided to change our routine. On our way to the park I noticed a man who had his garage and driveway full of paintings. I thought after we were done with our work we would take a walk over to look at them. Hey, it could be our "art" lesson for the day.
As we walked up to the house we saw such beautiful paintings. The kids asked questions and the man was happy to awnser them. He introduced himself as God's favorite. He was a man with a great sense of humor. His name was Art (go figure). He sat and talked to the kids for a good half hour telling them what each painting was and the meaning behind it. He was 85 but looked to be in his 60's he was full of interesting stories. He use to work for Walt Disney and is a retired doctor. We not only got an art lesson today we got a bible and history lesson also. You can learn so much from older people if you just stop to listen to them sometimes. Oh... and because my camera is permanently stuck to my hand I even was able to take some pictures of some of his paintings.

Just one of his many stories....a picture of the house Art grew up in. His whole family lived in that small house. (pictured) hes the little boy sitting down. the house was torn down by andrew then him and his brothers built it again and it was recently ruined by katrina.