Thursday, January 20, 2011

Polaris Press in January

It's been tough to get back on the wagon since Christmas. I have done school, but haven't felt all that motivated about it. I am hoping this improves as we are only half-way done with the year! Right now, we are doing oceans, which is really interesting. Can you name all 5 oceans without looking? I couldn't! But now, I can. And I am not 100% sure that they are the same as they were when I was a kid. Ok, I just Googled it and it wasn't the same! They "created" a new ocean in 2000. Can you DO that?

Anyway, it's been fun. Math has been going well. We're back on Math U See for both kids now and it's going well. Natalie was complaining there for a bit, so I backed her up a little. If she was in public school, she would only be in K and I was pushing her too hard. Now that we have gone to some easier concepts, she enjoys it much more. Levi is flying along with multiplication. I think it's fun for him to learn this new concept.

I am looking for a good (inexpensive) spelling program that I can stick with. I have started a few, but not stuck with them. Dictation has worked well in helping improve spelling, but I am afraid it's not enough. Levi still wants to spell everything phonetically if he is writing it down. He's much better at spelling orally (like spelling bee style). Natalie, on the other hand, can spell just about anything! I think she pictures how she sees it written. It's amazing how different they are in this regard. I hope to find a spelling program at the Midwest Convention in March. Can't wait to go to that!

Levi is reading like crazy and I am trying to keep him interested in some good books. He likes mystery chapter books. He's not into fantasy much, which surprises me. He also loves reading the Fudge books, Magic Treehouse, and Time Warp Trio. Any suggestions on a good series for him?

Today, kids went ice skating with homeschool buddies and the little boys jumped in the bounce houses. Fun! We also got to watch the local Semi-Pro hockey team practice for a while. Seth LOVED that!

A few random things:
  • George and I started a new diet. If it works, I will give details. If not, we'll just move on and pretend it never happened!
  • George and I are planning a trip to Taiwan in May. So exciting!
  • My family will be all together around Easter. My brother and sister will both fly home with their families. Yay!!!!!
  • Next up on the agenda, Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet. Has anyone done anything fun at one? I have to plan it and haven't a clue!
  • Feel a craving to doula someone's labor and delivery sometime soon. Lots of my friends are pregnant and babies are on my brain!
Thanks for stopping by!


Dan said...

I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists. I see from your post that you are looking for spelling curriculum. One of the nice things about SpellQuizzer is that it complements just about any spelling curriculum while making Spelling practice easy.

I would love to have SpellQuizzer reviewed in Keeping Up With The Jones'. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at There's a video demo you can watch at and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another ( Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software

Debbie, Lee, Rachele and Kenny said...

Oh the is funny how each child is different. I had no idea about a new ocean...pacific, atlanic, indian, and artic is what I learned. Good to know my globe is out of date...which it was anyway because it still has the USSR on it but hey how many people still have a globe with that on it? I have babies on the brain too but mine is I want one. Fort Wayne has always had lots of babies coming...good luck with all the helping your going to do!!

Sarah said...

Wow, you are doing a lot, and having so much fun with your kids! I've lost some steam in the schooling department too.

We have a wonderful, and FREE spelling program. Every day the kids do some sort of writing (journal, letter, story, essay, newsletter to family, etc.). After they are finished, we check it for grammar, spelling, and handwriting. Any misspelled words go on their spelling list. The list gets longer each day, and everyday they are to practice writing the list. At the end of the week, we have a spelling test. Any misspelled word from the test goes on the list for the next week. I really like this because they learn to spell words that they actually use and words that are important to them. It becomes their list and they take ownership for it since the words came from them. As they get older, the words get bigger and more complex. It's also fun to see the pattern in the words they are using/misspelling. I also really like this because they don't "spell it and forget it". It's amazing how many words have been on their spelling list that show up over and over again because that child just needs more practice until they actually get it.

Sorry for the novel!