Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Golden Keys

One of my readers was looking for this poem. Yes, it was on the now closed Dishpan Dribble site. I did not write this but it is very old and that is probably why it cannot be found very well on search engines. It's a good poem to teach your children in this day and age when manners has taken a back seat! Here it is. Enjoy!

Golden Keys

A bunch of golden keys are mine
To make each day with gladness
"Good morning," is the golden key
That unlocks every door for
When at the table "if you please"
I take from off my bunch of
It helps to make our mealtime calm
And keeps a smile on Dad and
"Thank you" is one magic key
That helps the world to smile at
And "please," I must remember all the time
You see, it helps me share
with friends what's mine.
"May I" is a key my Mom likes best
Because I
remember to ask before I test.
Oh, I see two special golden kindness
One is "I'm sorry," and the other is "excuse me, please."
When grown
up is how I want to be
I use a certain golden key
That says "Yes please,"
"Yes I will," "Yes ma'am," "Yes sir,"
Then I get treated grown up, you can be

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I closed Dishpan Dribble

For those of you who are asking about Dishpan Dribble, I closed it. It wasn't to keep you all out but rather because of a google matter. When prospective clients for my tutoring business would google my business it was taking them to the old blog. I locked it, hoping that without the traffic going to it that google would start redirecting traffic to my real business site. You are not missing out on anything there because I have quit blogging there. Most likely I will never start it back up again. I may export some of the posts to another blog and start something different. If I do I will be sure to link to it here.

In the meantime, I am preparing for homeschool again for another year. I will come back to share it all with you when I get it put together. So what are you all using for Science and History this year?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crafts from Asia

Peter is exploring Asia for his history lessons this month. While looking for some fun projects to go with the study I found these crafts. I just had to share them with you all. Enjoy!

See Chinese Paper Yo Yo and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Resources for Teaching Geometry

I've always been against teaching toward the state tests. This year I am making an exception. I took a peek at the sample tests from the state and decided I am going to take two weeks to groom the kids for that ugly test!

The Math test revolves around the metric system and geometry. My kids know precious little about either one! I am not a lover of Math and I cannot wrap my mind around geometry so we are in a pretty pickle! I don't understand why I can't find nay geometry classes for homeschoolers. Are we all geometrically challenged? Goodness, I hope not! I would like to think that some of you out there understand all the shapes and angles and areas and pi and radii and circumference and deci and decka and whoever else wants to join the crowd!

So anyway, in an attempt to better our understanding of such things I went to our local homeschool store and bought what is called in shorthand, "Key To's". I am just not as impressed with them as I thought I would be. Tink finds them almost impossible to understand, but then again, she does have the processing disorder so maybe I shouldn't evaluate a text on what is understandable and comprehendable to her. Here's the kicker though, it isn't any clearer to me either!

So back out for more resources. Here is what I found! Geometry books from Straight Forward Math! I love them! They are so easy to understand and use. Even Tink is understanding these books! I really can't recommend them enough. The pages have just a few problems on them. They are not crowded and overwhelming. The pages are white, not gray like the Key To's. The page color makes a difference to children with learning differences. Some kids cant look at black on white and need overlays to tone it down. Tink needs the white. The grayish paper makes her feel cluttered!

Everything in these Straight Forward Math books is explained clearly and simply. State testing for my kids is scheduled to begin on March 28. We have spent all of this past week doing Geometry and Math. It's really been a fun thing in the long run. The charter school is out for break this week and next week. As a result, we have been able to spend some valuable time pouring over the books without interruption. I have high hopes that Peter, at least, is going to score higher as a result of these two weeks of study.

I also found another book that I think is wonderful. It's entitled, "Everything You Need to Know About Math Homework. I use this as a tutor and a homeschool mom. Check it out. I purchased all the books mentioned here (except the Key To's) used for cheap prices at our local homeschool store.

How do you teach Geometry? Do you have any good resources to share? I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today my boy; Tomorrow a man

Things are getting tough here at Blueberry House. School work has been laborious and painful. Peter is slogging down in the sticky academic mud of the ditch he himself has created.

Ten year old boys and school books have never been all that compatible, but Peter is making his fourth grade year a tough one for both himself and me! There are tears almost daily. I would take those tears into account a bit if a large part of them weren't due to a ten year old's natural bend towards laziness!

I take a little different approach to homeschooling than many people. I read of homeschoolers letting their kids learn through online games or board games or just from osmosis. I'm not that kind of homeschooler. I'm not saying my way is more right than theirs. I'm just saying I disagree with their method especially when it comes to schooling boys!

Boys are going to have to be the heads of their own homes some day. They are going to have to be bread winners. They will have to know how to get up on time every day and get themselves to work. They will have to learn to do unpleasant jobs whether they feel like it or not.

What am I teaching my son if I let him do his studies through games because he doesn't like to read or write? What am I teaching him when he cries because he doesn't want to do the work in his workbook and I let him quit because workbooks aren't his learning style?

I firmly believe in spicing up the schoolwork with supplementary games and such, but to make his entire school day out of such things is just not going to happen around here.

Peter must learn to write in full sentences whether or not he begs to to abbreviate everything. He must learn to put thoughts on paper and be able to write a cohesive story. He must learn to get at his school work without being told. He has to learn to finish everything in the lesson before marking it off of his goal chart. He must learn to try even the hard problems and not just put a huge x across every part he doesn't know how to do or every part he is too lazy to do.

My son has to learn that he cannot turn on the TV or play his PlayStation games until all school work and household chores are done. He must learn that he cannot play with the neighbor boy until all his music is practiced for the day.

Peter has to learn that before going to bed at night he must have everything ready for his charter school classes the next day; musical instruments at the door, music in his bag, gym shoes in his bag, water bottles packed, and all workbooks in their proper file in his big notebook.

He must learn to get up at 7:30 every morning and put on clean clothes, not the shirt or the socks he wore the day before. He must learn to eat his breakfast in a timely manner so he has time left over to pack the car with all the musical instruments: electric guitar, viola and two violins. He must also make sure that the cooler with our lunch gets to the car and that the big tub on wheels that totes all of our stuff into the building, is in the car every morning. It's his job to empty the lunch pail when we get home and to put the icepack back into the fridge for to freeze for tomorrows lunch.

It's Peter's job to empty the dishwasher daily and to feed the bird and to take out the recycle and garbage and to set the table. It's up to Peter to bring in the wood during the week day and to help Dad restock the wood bin on weekends.

Yes, Peter has a lot to do, but I am raising a boy, not a sissy. I am raising a future husband for some girl some day. I may be raising a future President or a future soldier who will be put on the front lines facing gunfire, extreme temperatures, hunger and pain. I may be raising some boys future daddy or some future evangelist or preacher.

I may be raising a future Fortune 500 corporate manager. My son may some day be a missionary on a foreign field and face danger at every turn. My son may have to stand up for truth and right at the risk of losing his own life.

In the light of all that, why would I ever give into his tears now and let him take the easy way out. Why would I let him do his school work and chores half heartedly? Why would I let him get by with skipping problems in his book because he is too lazy to look for the answers?

Ladies, you are homeschooling future men. Don't cripple your sons ability to be a responsible man tomorrow, by babying the boy of today.
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