Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oregon Trail II status

Well we're on a roll here even with some days off. There has been two more completions

The Banker Alan made it with a score of 3483.

The Blacksmith Leslie made it with a score of 5,621. That has been the highest for the family so far.

We've all played as Greenhorns but now one is moving forward to the next level which I believe is Adventurer. We'll see how that goes. I hope to play today and by next week I will also try at the higher level.

I like that the game also lets you decide which month and year to start in. You have to think about weather conditions. Also there are some places that would not appear depending on the year since some towns were not settled yet.

Also, certain occupations have certain skills. There is a lot to consider and I like it that way. Makes you think through your choices.


Monday, February 25, 2008

The Oregon Trail II - History

We're still taking turns playing this. We try to do 30 minutes a day.

Today my person made it to Oregon City. So far I'm the only one (I did go over my 30 minutes today). I played as a Banker. We started off with 5 people. 1 died along the way. I did manage to make it to Oregon with 3 being OK and 1 being good. Since I am the only one who has completed I will still continue to play. This time I am a doctor named Jan. My name was MacKenzie before. This time I am also using my skill points before I head out. I can't remember what my final score was but it was in the 3000's I believe (which isn't so hot)

Anyway, just thought I would let you know how we're doing implementing games in our education.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Board Games

I'm glad to say we're still being consistent when it comes to playing family games. Yesterday we tried our hand at Labyrinth which is more of an individual game that uses Eye-Hand coordination. The furthest I got was a 4 - SO FAR!

Today we played a few rounds(?) of Backgammon. We have a bout 3 Backgammon Boards in the house. I think there is a fourth but right now in my mind I can picture the 3.

Nothing beats Family Time - Nothing!

The Oregon Trail II - History

We've started implementing Computer Games into our daily schedule. Right now we are working through The Oregon Trail II. We are working through it individually and sharing tips, etc.

It is a game we've had for about 10 years (can't remember exactly when we got it) but we've decided to give it another look. It is geared towards Ages 10 - Adults and every member of the family is allowed to give it a shot. Right now we are looking at 30 minutes per day. Yesterday was our first day working on it and wouldn't you know I didn't save my progress before I exited yesterday. That's okay, I got to start over with some knowledge made during my first attempt. This time I am playing as a banker.

Anyway, I just wanted to suggest for you not to overlook computer games as sources of education and reinforcement. Even as an adult you should not shy away from them. You may not have the time to play like the younger one but it gives you more to discuss and also what better way to relate a lesson than seeing it from their perspective.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reminder - CHN Expo - August 1-3, 2008

CHN Family Expo

CHN Family Expo dates announced for 2008!

Save the date!

Expo 2008 will be August 1-3, 2008
at the Ontario Marriott Hotel

"Trust the Parents!"

The Japanese Lessons continue

Today we started back fully with our routine. It's not to say that we did not get anything done during the time the flu tried to make itself at home here but today is the day we are 100% and completely back on task. I'm still working through my Japanese lessons. I hope to join a meetup group for Japanese Language after I finish the Hiragana for Fun book. I'm also going to sign up for Lang-8. The more advanced Japanese Language learner is already signed up and it seems like a great resource for those trying to learn other languages. I actually love the concept of Lang-8 and will probably blog more about it later.
Today I actually graded Japanese Hiragana worksheets. I used the workbook so I didn't have to know the hiragana but it was a great reinforcement for those I've learned so far and also provided motivation for me to keep learning.
As far as the Hiragana for Fun book I'm using. Today's lesson covered
n = ん
ro = ろ
ru = る
Well on to other things.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Homeschooling in the News: Pottawattamie County Spelling Bee (Iowa)

From The Daily Nonpareil

Grade level winners who participated Saturday included:

Fourth grade - Tyler Krueger of Riverside, first place, and Max Ross of St. Albert, second place.

Fifth grade - Brett Probst of Lewis Central (Titan Hill), first place; and Courtney Arterburn of AHST, second place.

Sixth grade - Tina Anderson of Riverside, first place, and RaeAnn Harbeck of Lewis Central Middle School, second place.

Seventh grade - Emily Selander of HOPE Homeschool, first place; and Jessica Helms of Walnut, second place.

Eighth grade - SteveAnne Knauss of Kirn Junior High, first place, and Tyler Culjat of Lewis Central Middle School, second place.

Definition of the Day

de·co·rum [ di káwrəm ]


1. dignity: dignity or good taste that is appropriate to a specific occasion

2. appropriateness of artistic element: the compatibility of an element such as character, form, style, or plot in a literary or artistic work with the work as a whole

[Mid-16th century. <> decorus(see decorous)]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feb. 12th Happenings

Well today I started back with my attempt to learn Japanese. With a child already learning it, I thought it would be great to pick up some of the language. I also think that it can be fun to have the tables turned a bit with your child actually correcting some of your work. I hope to show that learning never has to stop.
So today I did 3 more pages of Hiragana for Fun (A Japanese Syllabic Alphabet Workbook). We actually were able to get this workbook from a library sale in Little Tokyo. Here is the hiragana I learned today:
tsu   つ
te    て
no    の 
I am also picking up some words. I have now wrote up 2 mini-tests for me to test my skills at this point. I will be honest and let you know how I do on them. I want to make copies of them first. My goal is 90% - 100% which will show that I have mastered the lesson, not just memorized them.
This weekend I also picked up a book from the library titled Japanese Hiragana for Beginners. I will work on both of these books simutaneously.
Anyway, just wanted to give you an update. I know I need to work on my consistency. I want to make sure I am setting an example for every other "student" in this home.

Quote for the Day

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders - Abigail Van Buren

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Board Games

Yesterday was a good day (even though today it seems like sickness is trying to enter our home). We were able to play two board games and they were old favorites which never seem to get old - Backgammon and Chinese Checkers.

What about you? What was the last board game you played?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sharing some of our favorite Love Songs

May your Valentine's Day be filled with things you Love

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Christian Co-op forming - Ventura County/Los Angeles

I am always happy to hear about new resources. This was sent to my email box and I wanted to share.

Hello Ventura homeschoolers and potential homeschooling families!!

If you are interested in being a part of a new Los Angeles or Ventura
County coop chapter of First Class Homeschool Ministries, a national
Christian homeschool coop program with individual chapters being
added in cities throughout the country, please join me and the
husband and wife founders of First Class this coming Monday
afternoon, February 11th, at 3:30 p.m. at Pepperdine University in
Malibu. A brief, one-hour introduction to First Class and what it
can offer to homeschooling families in our area will take place in
Room SR-3 at the Pepperdine Law School, Room SR-3, 24255 Pacific
Coast Highway, in Malibu.

Feel free to attend whether you are interested in helping to organize
or lead coop activities in our area, or whether you merely want to
participate occasionally as a family in local First Class coop

For more information about First Class Homeschool Ministries, please


Board Games

Over the last two days we revisited a favorite - Othello and played a game that we've had for a while but never tried - The Settlers of Catan. I was actually surprised that I liked TSOC, but I did and look forward to playing again. Because we were learning it we went way over our alloted time (1 hours) which is another beauty of homeschooling. Whether it is a game or a subject we can stay on it until we get it.


**because we did go over yesterday we probably won't do any board games today so we can catch up on chores. We've been listening to an old radio show (Our Miss Brooks) that we checked out from our local library and will probably do lots more today)

Definition for the Day (Vocabulary)


-a tract of land used for burial

-a cemetery, especially a large, elaborate, or ancient one

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Our Picture of the Day

Can't think of anything more important to do today. Can you?

Another great school tie in is to work as a pollworker.

Definition for the Day (Vocabulary)


a) Relying on or derived from observation or experiments
b) Guided by practical experience and not theory, especially in medicine

Monday, February 4, 2008

Quote for the day

Science is Organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant

Board Games: Payday

Today's board game was Payday (we played 3 months - you can choose how many months to play). It is a Parker Brothers game for 2-6 players and stated for ages 8 and up. It is a good way to work on money skills and choices. If you take a loan you have to pay 10% on each payday (at the end of the month).

This game has been in the family for a while and I do look forward to playing it again. For the record - I (the adult) lost :(.

Definition of the Day

grandiose (adj.)
-characterized by greatness of scope or intent

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Week of Board Games

This past week has been a big one for us when it comes to playing games. I've said it before and I will continue to say it - I love board games and card games. We have a routine now where we play games while listening to one Left Behind CD a day. So far so good.

The games we played this past week were

1. Racko (Parker Brothers)
2. Ballpark Blast (Cranium)
3. Zeus on the Loose (Gamewright)
4. Zigity (Cranium)
5. Trouble (Milton Bradley)
6. Aggravation (Milton Bradley)

It was a great week, learning new things, practicing skills and being FAMILY


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Unit Study - Elections - A Republican perspective

This came through on a list I'm on. Full details are located at:

Here is a bit I copied and pasted from the page

Whether you hate politics or love it, this unit study makes it interesting—really!

Many homeschooling parents only vaguely understand the presidential election process. We vote in the primary (maybe), endure the endless political ads, and then vote again in the general election (probably). In contrast, other families already enjoy politics and arg … uh, discuss their views every time the extended family gathers, and yet they haven’t found a way to explain the complex process to their youngsters.

Eight years ago, a homeschooling mom, Fran Eaton, wrote "Homeschoolers for Bush 2000." In 2004, she handed it to Carol Gibbs, Melissa Carroll, and me to revamp, improve, and coordinate. This year, the material has again been enhanced, changed, and updated. Because of the exciting upgrades in the website and the new interactive feature of the program, a small fee has finally become necessary: just $5 per student or $10 per family.

Unit Study

HS for GOP (in Week 1, we’ll learn about this nickname for the Republican party: “GOP” or “Grand Old Party”), makes the process enjoyable. How?

  • Fun activities for students of all ages to get a hands-on feel for politics
  • Practical projects to understand how history affects us today
  • Interactive website to see how other homeschooling families are doing the projects

Website Features

After registration, you will receive access to:

  • Weekly lesson plans for all ages
  • Your own page here on the website to document your family’s adventures
  • Albums to upload photos and videos of your activities
  • Bulletin board forum to celebrate your successes and discuss your questions
  • Wiki editing formatting to comment on how you personalized the study’s activities for your children, or add your original ideas for projects
  • An area to post video tutorials on topics like “How to Make a Campaign Poster” or “Baking Red, White, and Blue Cookies.”

Friday, February 1, 2008

February is the Month of Love

and we LOVE our playlists!

Feeling Mellow