Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homeschooling advice?

I've been homeschooling for over 18years! I will get to retire in 4 years! My days fly by with all that has to be done, but I can tell y'all this, my boys are self sufficient! That is one of the benefits of homeschooling, well that is for most homeschooling families.
We strive to raise our kids to be leaders, to have good a work ethic, stay true to the morals and values that have been taught, family comes first, respect, love and honor...oh yes and obey. Now I don't want others to think that we don't laugh, that our home is some cold environment...Lord no honey, it is not that way at all. My family is wonderful! The boys can make me laugh at a moment's notice! They are absolutely hilarious! I love my kids so much! All of my boys are so incredibly handsome too and they have great manners. Oh I'm not the least bit prejudice of my kids am I?
The other day I was thinking about the "advice" that so many home schoolers have to give to others, especially those new home schooling moms. Their advice is the only way to do things is their way and if you sway from this narrow path way you will be "one of them".
When I first began homeschooling, being so new and literally alone I did not know what to think. I listened to anyone and everyone that had advice to give. I bought all kinds of books to read about the homeschooling topics. Topics such as learning styles, teaching styles, curriculum, discipling your children, organizing your day, organizing your home, how to get your husband involved, how to do this and that....and I overwhelmed myself trying to do what everyone else said that I was supposed to do!! No wonder I gained so much weight! I was so stressed over being the perfect family! I lost years of being me and enjoying my kids!
I had one friend who, actually several friends felt this way, but this person did not like textbooks especially a textbook for history and science. But I loved them! One day we went to a homeschool bookstore together. I had all my history and science textbooks for my kids in my hands and she gave my pile of books a look....LOL....Another friend could not understand why I bought all those textbooks either, that we should just go to the library and get everything we need. I truly wanted to be like them and write my own history and science lesson plans, make that weekly trip to the library and come home with a huge pile of books! Get home and just have all of us devouring the information that was waiting for us inside all of those books! But my life, my family was not like that! It took me years to realize this!! My kids did not learn anything from me trying to do history and science someone else's way...for someone else's family....I forgot I needed to taylor it to my family's needs not others.
Homeschooling moms are very opinionated! Ask me about how I feel about unschooling....I don't agree with it. Only because I have found too many gaps in a child's knowledge. Most of the time though it is the parent that has given up on schooling any method to their child due to disrespect from the child...the parent just gives up. Or they have this grand dream that their child will absorb all this knowledge on his/her own!! Most kids are not this way! We, the parents, have to be there every step of the way! Now I know there are some success stories about unschooling, but I am not comfortable with this method. If it worked for a family, fantastic! but don't expect me to do this.
The elementary years should be the years we are sitting by our child's side through all subjects! It is a very hard road to walk down. Teaching your child how to read, write and do math is well hard! daunting, stressful, rewarding and the benefits that you reap....I can't even describe them. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication! Patience! Love! and Time! Once they get around 5 and 6th grade you can give them some freedom and allow them to do some of their work on their own. By middle school level, they should be on their own...they should know the routine and you should expect nothing less from them. Sit down and get your work done! I'm here when you need me!
I'm so thankful that this is the road we took, home schooling. I know my boys so well! I love having them around me! They are such wonderful young men! Home schooling has afforded us to take our time with learning, to make sure they learned the skill, or method of solving and that we love each other. We are a family unit.
Now I have left out that there is one other person I helped to homeschool. That would be Kate. Man do I miss her! Kate is my step-daughter, she is a beautiful young woman! Kate would stay with her mom for 2 months then come to stay with us for about 4-5 weeks at a time. If her mom would not have homeschooled her we would not have been able to see Kate. Nor would I have developed a relationship with such a wonderful person! Matter of fact, if it were not for Kate's mom introducing me to homeschooling, I would have never considered it! Wow!
My advice to other families that might be considering homeschooling. Don't think you have to mimic what another family does. If it does not fit you, than move on, make adjustments and make life wonderful for you and your family. Don't let some mom make you feel as if you are doing something wrong because you have let your child read a certain book that she would dare not let her children read. Or watch some tv show that she feels is inappropriate....
Since I've started today's entry on homeschooling I will list my favorite curriculum:
Teaching Textbooks math program, hands down the best....
Science (well we've used them all, lol) apologia and BJU science are my favorites
History (again, I've used just about all of them) I go between abeka and BJU
Grammar (early years) Easy Grammar
Writing program (not handwriting) IEW!! The best!
Literature: use the sonlight catalog!!
Bible: variety of sources, but the Bible is the best!
Spelling: Spelling Workout
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise

Now I tweak all of this to match each child. I would love it if we could do a literature based curriculum such as sonlight or Tapestry of Grace. But my boys are not readers, they are just not. Bummer I know. But this was another area that most home school moms would brag about their kids, "Every homeschool family is suppose to love to read" did not happen with us! LOL
Well I need to end this post, it is very long and I have a party plan today!! Today is our last day for our high school IEW co-op class! This is year number 3 for us! This year I had eleven students..mostly boys, but we have a wonderful group of kids! I love everyone of them!
Till next time.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

My favorite movies to watch while sewing...

Since I am still working on the Blackford's Beauty quilt (Jared Takes a Wife) I thought I would list my favorite movies I like to have on while I'm sewing.
My all time favorites are all the Jane Austin ones!!! I love Pride And Prejudice (Masterpiece Theater), Sense and Sensibilities, Persuasion, Northanger Abby, Jane Austen Regrets. I also enjoy The Forsyte Saga!! I have both parts 1 and 2! I began watching this one this weekend while I was sewing.
Well I have to admit that I love anything with Meryl Strep and Ann Hathaway in it. So I purchased The Devil Wears Prada. Now I want to find another movie that is fashion related, not Meryl Strep movie though, Confessions of a Shopaholic! I might just have to order that one! I've been told it is very cute.
Today though, I must call the doctor. I think I have bronchitis, I feel horrible and I am coughing really bad....ugh!
As soon as I can I need to begin working on getting the patterns that I have come up with published in a magazine!
Till next time....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rain today...

Rain today, but that is not going to stop me from feeling wonderful and enjoying what the Lord has given! This morning I will be working on the whole cloth quilt. I should get most of it done...ok maybe I'm pushing I'm gonna try! This afternoon I am meeting several friends at Olive Garden. Love the breadsticks, soup and salad! Oh and I can't forget that raspberry peach iced tea!! LOVE IT!

We have 6 weeks left until Oklahoma!! I need to take some pictures of the kids in their costumes. This cast is working hard to pull off the play and make it a success.
Oh my goodness, I found this picture this morning while looking for a quilt picture. I thought it needed to go up on my blog! Look at these handsome men! All but 1 belongs to me, and the one calls me mom! LOL He is sitting at the piano, he is my friend's son...but I feed him dinner whenever he comes over, so now I count as his other mom! LOL
So my husband is standing beside the piano (all the way to the right), then we have Steve, Rick P, John, Joe (jr.) and Chris is in the background. What a bunch of guys! I love them all!
Till next time.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life is getting good!

For the past month and half I have been dragging my heavy sewing machine (it is heavy because it is a computerized machine not because it is an old singer) to play practice to help work on the girls' dresses. Well our work is done for the time this only means....more sewing time at home for me. Oh yes, and I can clean my house!!
Last night the kids' McPeakLee band was asked to play at the Waterford Senior Center's talent show. They, of course, were fantastic!! And they were asked to come back next year. Also a few of the audience took the McPeakLee cards for call backs. This is wonderful for them! The kids really do work very hard at this band. Unfortunately, I think we might loose one of the band members to college. It appears, the Peak, will be going off to college. I understand his younger brother is being trained to play the keyboard and guitar to take his place. We must keep the Peak in McPeakLee...LOL
Ah well it is time to get moving. Today is the high school class IEW class. For those of you following the blog and don't know what IEW stands for: it is home school writing class.

Take care all!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Other projects...

I have to post these two projects that I am working on. The whole cloth quilt is a sample of what I am working on for Dr. Erik, he is my chiropractor. I played for a while working up the sample piece. I wanted to make sure the tension was correct with this new thread. I had thoroughly cleaned the machine and bobbin case along with putting a new needle in...that is a hard thing to do when your eye sight is not what it used to be...and to line that needle up just right, man that can be a challenging task. But if you don't change out the needle often enough, it will get weak and break on you while you are quilting. Ask me how I know this....from being lazy! There was a lot of lint that had built up in the bobbin case from the previous project. I will not be putting the straight line designs in his quilt (the quilt, it is for his mom's b'day), that was just me having fun. I need to remember to bring the sample in to show him the colors I have chosen. The funny part, the fabric is a spring green, you cannot tell either, looks white. The thread is pear green. The backing is a sage green.
The other pictures are of the "Blackford's Beauty" also known to some as "Jared Takes a Wife" pattern from Bonnie Hunter of I originally planned on giving this quilt to a friend as an open house gift, but remembered that someone told me she decorates in asian....darm, I guess I will have to do something else with this quilt. I am going to finish it though.

Time to go get ready for my day.....till later y'all.....

One busy we go.....

Today is a very busy day! But before my day begins I wanted to get these pictures posted.
First, there is another quilter whose blog I follow and she has a "Design Wall Monday", well today I have a "Design Table Tuesday"! LOL I have been wanting to take pictures of these fabrics and projects, but just kept forgetting to do it. So here are the projects that I am working on and plan to work on soon. All of the bright colored fabrics (blues, greens and the black-white combo) are going into a quilt from Nancy Rink designs. She has a block of the month (BOM) called Galactic Explosion. Before I begin the project I wanted to make sure I had enough fabric to complete it. And I do!
Here is her website:
After our play is over (Oklahoma) I will begin my quest for doing a block a day. This is what I did when we first moved here to Michigan 3 years ago. I was very lonely when we first moved here so I decided to dive into a BOM project. I'm not lonely now, but I really really want to make this quilt!
The other picture shows a quilt that I am making for someone, I can't say who just yet. The block is called Blackford's Beauty. I found this block at Bonnie Hunter's website. She calls it "Jared Takes a Wife". I'm not a true scrappy quilter just yet, I still have to have some control over the fabric colors.

Yesterday during our middle school IEW class we were doing our stretches. Man am I sore!! I did push ups for the first time in probably 30 years!! What was I thinking!!? I have the option to say no to these things, but I am determined to loose some weight and get in shape. Speaking of IEW class, next week is the last week of classes until next school year!!! WOOOHOOO! I've been homeschooling for over 18yrs and I'm counting down the number of kids I have left here at home!
Chris graduates this year! What a kid he is! He is a great son, actually all 4 of my boys are fantastic! I will only have 2 boys left for homeschooling. Then I can retire in 4 years!!!
Well, I need to get moving, lots to do today! Need to post another post for the other pictures!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sheesh make up my mind!

Last week I was working so diligently on the whole cloth quilt did not turn out! Now I have went through several fabric choices and I am just not happy with them. This is for the new one that I am about to begin. I really want to make these whole cloth quilts look fantastic but I need for the thread tension to cooperate with me! I'm going to do a thorough cleaning of the machine, change the needle, again, and make sure that the tension is perfect. Each new thread adds a slight challenge to the project. I think the new whole cloth will come out perfect though. I've chosen softer colors this time, a sage green and a spring green. Hopefully I will be able to pin it on to the machine this morning and sew on it tonight.
This week is extremely busy. Today, other than the quilt project I need to begin, I have the middle school students for IEW class, cooking dinner for a family, picking up the bread order, delivering the dinner and bread, coming home to prepare our dinner oh yes and eat it....then begin the whole cloth quilt.
Tuesday: Meadows co-op, drama practice, then watch the kids perform at Waterford Community
Wednesday: High school IEW class, church
Thursday: NOTHING...oh did say Nothing...I'm wrong! LOL We have drama practice...darn it! on whole cloth quilt at night
Friday: Chiro. appt., run errands and finally stay home long enough to work on the whole cloth quilt.
Saturday: Come-n-Sew day!! I love this!!
Sunday...suppose to be a day of rest, but it is not lately....we have church all Sunday morning and into the afternoon preparing for the Easter program. I'm so glad that next week we are taking from Thursday to the following Monday off from school!!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quilt Designing

I'm taking lessons on quilt designing with my new software. I did not purchase the expensive program but the same company's less expensive version. So far I am enjoying it, but I've designed 3 quilts and I'm on to the 4th one and still have not got it into the program. I've only got the designs in my head! I better get them down quickly or else I'm gonna forget them! LOL

I finished the whole cloth quilt but I am very disappointed in it. The backing puckered into several spots. I could not, and did not realize, that there was a wrinkle in the backing. Even though I used the clamps to prevent that, it still wrinkled. So....I'm making another one....such excitement! I ordered a nicer thread color too and the fabric is totally different also. I'm using a more sage green, very soft looking and a really nice french motif design is on the backing fabric. I'm tempted to just use white sateen for the back and save the french looking fabric for me!

Yesterday's weather was wonderful and today's plans on being just as wonderful! Now this weekend, well, that is another whole story....cold and rainy. That is ok, we don't have to shovel rain! I'm going to enjoy my day sewing. I was hoping to find my pictures of the project that I am working on "Jared Takes a Wife". The original of the block is Blackford's Beauty. I'm going to put a different border on the quilt than what the quilt calls for. I saw someone else's quilt and they put the Delicatable Mountain block (s) for their border. Makes the quilt sing!

Happy Sewing everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Last week, I heard some noise coming from the living room. I walked into the living room and lo and behold there was Chris and Josh I. standing on my coffee table playing guitar hero! Look at how serious their faces are! LOL I told them, of course, to get off my table....boys!

Ah, another beautiful day!

I'm enjoying this weather! Today we are going to open up some windows and do some "early" spring cleaning. I'm also going to attack the last two borders of the quilt on the longarm machine!!
The two dark green images are of the whole cloth quilt that I'm about to finish. The other two, well one is of 1/4circle pieces for a variation of a drunkards path quilt and the last one is the serger I purchased from my friend!
I'm ready to go downstairs to play! Have a wonderful day to everyone!!