Saturday, January 29, 2011

And The Winner Is.....

Lora! Congratulations Lora for being the winner in my Blogging 101 giveaway. Please send me your email infomation is I can pass it on to the Blog Writing people. I hope you will come back in a few weeks and let us know how you like the course.

For everyone else. Thank you for entering my giveaway.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Officially Hate Winter

I hate winter. I totally and completely hate winter. I understand that we need to have the cold weather to kill off certain insects and germs or whatever. But come on, can't we think of a better way to do this. It's cold. I heard on the news last night that we have had 56 inches of snow since Christmas. Last year we only got 51 inches all winter. We are going to break all records this year. I am over it. Everyone I know is over it. Can we move on now please.

As some of you know, I don't go outside when there it is snowing. We missed a production of King Tut on Wednesday because of it. So what do you do when it's like this? I like to play learning games online. There are math games, language games, geography games, spelling games. My favorite is the jig saw puzzles. They have animals, music, geography. All kinds of jig saw puzzles. Playing games is a great way to while away the time on these long, cold, snowy winter days. Sometimes I even let my son play.

I also like to spend time on my blog. I've been thinking about taking Blogging 101. It's an online course to help you improve your blog writing skills. I really want to learn how to add all those little widgets and gadgets and things like that. I've gotten pretty good at inserting links but there is so much more to learn.

So playing online games, improving my blog writing skills, a bit of baking, and a good book. That's how I've been spending these bitter cold days. How about you? How are you spending all these snow days at home?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog Writing Course Blogging 101 Giveaway

Do you like to blog? Do you want to blog but you're not sure how to go about it? I am hosting a giveaway for a wonderful Blog Writing Course called Blogging 101.

Blogging 101 is a fully automated 8-week online course that covers everything you need to know to plan, start, write, and build an audience for a brand new blog. The eight units of Blogging 101 (which can be completed in less than eight weeks, if you choose) include:

1. Introduction to Blogging (all the basics for the beginning blogger)
2. Laying Your Cards On The Table (blog titles, platforms, and start-up instructions)
3. It’s All About Me (blogging safety, “About Me” pages, and blog design)
4. Build That Content and Make It Snazzy (writing quality posts, commenting, and adding media)
5. It’s The Little Things That Count (sidebars, widgets, categories, and static pages)
6. Mi Blog es Su Blog – - Building Community (growing a readership, blog promotion, and blogrolls)
7. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained (more blog promotion strategies and monetizing your blog)
8. Looking Back and Looking Forward (tips and strategies for continuing to grow your blog after the course)

For only $25, you receive access to the Blogging 101 course for eight full weeks as well as downloadable links and resources for you to keep as long as you want. This is an incredible bargain, and you won't find any other comparable course on the web at such an affordable price.

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment for this post. Be sure to leave a way to contact you as well. If you post about this blog on Facebook, you will get another entry. Just come back and tell me about it. If you write about this giveaway in your blog, you will receive another entry. Come back here and leave a link to your blog page in the comments section.

This giveaway will end at midnight on January 28, 2011. The winner will be notified on January 29. Okay now, leave a comment to enter this giveaway now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Homeschooling High School

We have spent so much time lately cooped up in the house. The weather has not been nice to us this year. And we are expecting another 6 inches of snow tomorrow night. This has caused a great deal of togetherness. Maybe too much togetherness. I don't know. At any rate it has certainly given me time to think. Of all things, I've been thinking about high school. I know, I know. My son is eight years old. He's a long way from high school. But that's what I've been thinking about lately.

We love our curriculum. We have used it since preK. However, it only goes up through eighth grade. What am I going to do when he goes beyond eighth grade? He can't continue with the cartoon characters that he loves. We're going to need another curriculum if we are going to be homeschooling high school. I'm sure we will continue to look at things that Dakota is interested in. So there will continue to be rockets and rocket building classes. But there is also going to be algebra and triganometry. See, I can't even spell that one. I know I'm going to need a lot of help with that. Fortunately my husband knows a lot about math and science and things like that.

I'm sure we are also going to have to do a lot more writing. Right now writing is the worst thing ever. To ask Dakota to pick up a pencil is like pulling his teeth with no anesthetic. I know there are some great writing courses out there that we will be using when he gets a bit older. While looking around the internet for writing courses the other day I found an online blog writing course. Can you imagine. I love to blog. I love reading blogs. I even love reading about blogs. This learning to blog course sounds perfect for me. Oh no, I meant perfect for a high school student to learn about blogging. Okay, you're right I'm thinking more about me. Writing isn't that much of a problem. I usually have something to say. I know how to use spell check and grammar check. But what are all those little things like widgets and things like that. I may have to check into this course for myself. But I also think it would be a great learning tool for a high school student.

Yes, I have several years before I have to worry about homeschooling a high school student. But it's good to look ahead. It's good to think about what we will do when the time comes. And who knows, maybe this blog post will help someone who is a lot closer at looking for a high school homeschool curriculum.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowed In Again

We woke up this morning to 8 inches of fresh snow outside. I can't believe how much snow we have gotten this winter. Dakota has been out playing with his friends all morning. He just came in covered with snow, soaked to the skin. Now he is huddled up in his bed with a video game to try to warm up. I don't know if he'll try to go back outside today or not. He's really cold right now.

Since it is way to wet and cold to spend a lot of time outside, I'm sure we will spend a lot of time today playing games. We love playing all the great online educational games that are out there. Dakota has so much fun with them that he forgets that he is learning as well as playing games. There are so many great games out there. If he wants to learn about maps, or about words, or even about math, we can find an online game to learn about it.

Sometimes when it's cold like this, I like to bake. Baking is another way to work on math skills. Today, though, I think I would rather sit huddled under my blanket, playing on my computer more than anything else.

I wonder what kinds of things other people do on cold cold days like we've been having lately. I would love to get some comments about cold weather activities.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back At It

Well, the holiday break is over and we are back at it with our school work again. We are trying to get at least halfway through the year in all of our subjects by the end of January. Dakota is already halfway through language and language extensions. He is almost halfway through social studies. I think we will get there next week. We are way behind in science. But that is entirely my fault. I just don't like science so it is way too easy for me to say, "Let's just skip this for today." Fortunately there are not as many lessons in science so we will be able to catch up. So that leaves us with math. Dakota loves math. Or at least he did until we started working on multiplication. Now he is really struggling. Part of me wants to follow the math curriculum straight through. But I am finding it much easier to skip around with it. If we work on multiplication one day and then go on to something more interesting for a day or two, he is much more willing to work on multiplication again. One of our homeschool friends loaned us a copy of Times Tales. This book uses cute little symbols to represent the different numbers, 4 is a chair because it has four legs. The first grade class is represented by the number 6. Then it tells a story to help you remember the multiplication fact. The first grade class played musical chairs for 24 hours. 6 (the class) times 4 (the chair) equals 24. It's a great program. I think it will help a lot once we get used to using it on a regular basis. We had just started using it when the Winter Holidays started. Another thing that I am doing to help Dakota with his math skills is to let him play online math games. It's great how he can have so much fun playing the games and still be learning.

Today we are learning about being snow bound once again. On the news last night they said that we would probably only get about 2 inches of snow. We've already passed that and the worst part of the storm has not arrived here yet. Dakota loves it when it snows. Tomorrow we will start the four or five changes of clothes again as he runs in and out all day. Ah, winter. Only 74 more days until spring.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I just read a wonderful post by my friend Tree, about reflecting over last year. So I thought that was a great idea. I opened my blog and started to write.

January, CRS (Can't Remember Shit.) February, Car died and had to buy another one.CRS. March, CRS. April, CRS. May, MIL passed away. June, CRS. July, Dakota turned 8. August, CRS. September, I turned 60. October, CRS. November, CRS. December, It's over. Let the New Year begin.

Well, I think there was a bit more to the year than that. After not being very involved with the homeschool community for most of the summer and fall of 2009. I looked forward in January to beginning to venture out again. I was starting to feel better and I even had a tiny amount of hair again. Okay, not hair, but fuzz. You could feel the fuzz on my nekid head. We had play dates with a couple of friends. We went to a play, visited a pet store, went to Beczak Environmental Center.

February was cold. But we still went out to Beczak, the Challenger Center, and the Art Museum. We went to the homeschool Geography Fair on the 26. Dakota did his display on Guatemala. Everyone loved all of the things we have from there.

We had a snowstorm in the middle of the month that kept us in for a few days. We had to say goodbye to my beloved car, Lillie. We bought another car, but we couldn't bring it home for several days due to the snow storm. Jeremiah is a Mazda Protege. He even has a stuffed tye dyed frog in the back window. (Jeremiah was a bullfrog...)

March the weather was finally getting warmer. We had a major rainstorm with wind and hail that left us without electricity for several days. My husband was out of town so it was just Dakota and I. We lost all of the food in the refrigerator and freezer. We still made it out to several events at the Tenefly Nature Center, Beczak, and even Chuck E. Cheese. Dakota finished 2nd grade language on March 29.

April came with a flurry of new activities. We went on a Trip to Mars at the Challenger Center. And we saw Mammothe Follies at teh Mayo Center For The Arts. Soccer started in April as well. Rocket launches started for the year.

May was a sad month for us as my Mother-In-Law passed away. She fought a short battle with lung cancer and passed a few days before Mother's Day. We saw the movie Oceans and we went to Montclair Art Museum for the monthly homeschool class.

June arrived in a rush of heat. No Spring here, just winter to hot hot summer. We continued monthly classes at Beczak Environmental Center, Tenefly Nature Center, Historic Speedwell, and Montclair Art Museum. We also added weekly park days at Brookdale Park.
Digging For Treasure at Historic Speedwell.

July was Dakota's 8th birthday. He decided that this year he wanted to go to Medieval Times instead of having a birthday party. He also wanted to get gift cards from instead of presents. So we went to Medieval Times with Gov, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Gary, and his two cousins as well as mom and dad. He collected enough gift cards to purchase an Nintendo DS and a few games.

In August we started back to school. Bob and Dakota went on their annual trip to New Haampshire in the beginning of the month.

September came and I turned 60. This really makes me feel old. The rest of the month was pretty uneventful.

In October Fall Soccer started. Dakota played for the town of Leonia as well as Homeschool Soccer. Bob wreaked his car in October. We ended up buying two cars this year. Unfortunately he hit an off duty cop. We ended up paying pretty heavy fines for the accident. We learned how Apple Cider is made at Cooper's Grist Mill. And we learned about hand dipped candles made on an open fire there as well. We attended the homeschool craft fair.

November held the closing ceremonies for soccer. We continue with our monthly classes. We had Thanksgiving dinner at home with just one friend over. In November Dakota decided to give his greatest gift. He gave 14 inches of his hair to make a wig for a little boy or girl who didn't have any hair.

December was a whirl of parties and baking and decorating. The month went by so fast that I barely remember it. We went to a friend's house for the afternoon of the Solstice. Dakota got to help light the Yule Log on fire. He loved that. Then we came home to see what Father Winter had put in our stockings and to open presents. We had Christmas Eve dinner at Gov's house. He cooked dinner for the whole family. Then on Christmas Day we had dinner at our house. We spent a great deal of time talking about Grandma and how much we missed her. Especially Gov. (My Father-In-Law.) This was a really hard holiday for him.

We spent New Year's Eve with my Sister-In-Law and her family and my Father-In-Law. It was a quiet evening with lots of good food and lots of Wii. At midnight we toasted the new year with a glass of champagne and confetti poppers. Then we jumped in the car to hurry home before all the drunks got on the road.

That pretty much sums up 2010 for us. May 2011 be a wonderful year for all of us. May your greatest dreams come true this year.