Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Elijah wrote a frog story.

Dakota said "Elijah is demonic", after reading this story. I laughed so hard after reading this, you never know what Elijah is going to come up with.

Elijah wrote this story in Literacy Clinic at ULM.

Poor Frogs!
By Elijah Miller
Every frog in my backyard should be very careful around my pet turtles. Any time a frog does hop by my turtles, the turtles think, "if only I could move faster... I would catch those frogs again!"

I think that these turtles are always waiting for the frogs to fall asleep because they have bitten off their little green legs before! The turtles say, "frog legs are the best!"

I thought about giving my pet turtles more food to eat, but don't you think it is fun to wait and see which frog has been chewed on?

Ask my brother, he will tell you that we both like to check out which frogs have been snacked on every day after we get up.

If only frogs could fly! I should buy them a toy airplane to escape in. Those mean turtles should give the poor frogs a break!
The End
Is that a hoot or what!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Elijah at ULM

I have mentioned Elijah and his class at the college many times and several have asked me what is he doing at college.

Graduate students at the college need children to work with. They are required to get so many clinical hours. In August of 2006, I inquired about the speech and hearing clinic. Elijah had a couple of words he pronounced odd and he was having trouble hearing rhyming words.

Elijah loved going to college! He spent 2 semesters in the speech clinic then he moved to the literacy clinic and he has completed two semesters there. Clinic is held twice a week.

In the literacy clinic they work on reading and writing. I count it as part of our schooling.

This summer Elijah has been attending the summer session 4 days a week. August 29 is the last day.

Elijah loves to tell his friends he goes to college!

My Red Headed Indian!

I have called Elijah my little red headed Indian since he was born.

This weekend Elijah played Indian and spent a whole day trying to build an Indian fort.

He built this fort on his own, but it was very small and every time he tried to get in it the tee pee fort would fall down. I felt so bad for him.

Today while Elijah was in class at college I went to Dollar Tree and got him these bamboo sticks for his tee pee fort. So this afternoon he rebuilt his fort and he was a very happy little boy.

Oh the joys of being a kid!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our new carousel at the mall.

Over the past few months our mall food court has been getting a face lift. They completed the work this month and had a grand opening and now our food court has a carousel.

We had a carousel at the mall 19 - 20 years ago, back when Jody and I were dating and yes we rode it... a lot! Actually Jody's brother worked at the fun center where the carousel was so we really did ride a lot. We also took my little brother to ride it when he was 4. Jody and I kept Cody Joe a lot and sometimes Jody kept him if mom and I were both working so he would take Cody to ride the carousel. That carousel wasn't a double decker though.

Anyway, so we heard our mall was opening the carousel earlier this month so we headed to the mall to see it on opening day. Elijah announced over and over that he was not going to ride it. That's just to silly for him. He thinks he is too old to do anything that is fun!

We got tokens for Dakota, Jessica and Jennifer (my nieces - their grown), and Hannah (my great niece - Jennifer's baby) and of course we got a token for Elijah. They had to make him ride.
After the first ride Jessica made Elijah ride again with her and Hannah. He was not happy about having to ride it again.

As they were getting on the carousel some of our homeschool friends came up to say HI. Elijah was so embarrassed that his friends saw him on that thing. It was funny to me, but Elijah was mortified the rest of the day.

Elijah has decided he does like to ride it because we have went back and rode it again.
I haven't rode it yet because I want to ride on top and there is no way Elijah is going up those stairs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turtle Racing!

I was looking for a way to sneak some writing in for Elijah tonight, so I flipped through a Story Starter booklet I picked up at Dollar Tree. I found the perfect page for him.

I told him to make up a story about a turtle race. He asked if he could race his turtles and then write about it. I was smart enough to know to get some writing out of him first so I told him to write what he thinks will happen, then he could race and write the ending.

His writing has really improved lately and he did very well with spelling the words, I only had to help with a few words. I'm glad to see that he is finally leaving a space between most of the words. He also knew to put periods at the end of sentences and capital letters at the beginning of sentences.

Elijah decided to line up some shoes to make racing lanes. He wanted the red eared slider to win so bad he raced them about 30 times until it did. That box turtle is fasssst!

August 1st will be a year that Elijah has had his little red eared slider named Rocky.
He has only had the box turtle a few months and I think his name is Timmy.

Hot enough to fry an egg?

We started out wondering if it was hot enough to fry an egg and we all agreed it was.

I would like to crack an egg on a back top road to see if it fries, but we live on a dirt road so we needed to find a way to attempt to fry an egg. After some googling we decided to make a solar oven out of pizza boxes.

The first step had to be order pizza!

Today we gathered up something to cook in our solar ovens. S'mores and peperoni pizza crackers. We had to come up with something Elijah could eat. Who knew S'mores for him would be so expensive. Rice crackers, organic dairy free chocolate and vegan marshmallows are $$$.

As soon as we got home we started making the solar ovens. Here is Dakota putting tin foil in one of the pizza boxes.

This is our attempt to fry an egg. I had to keep Elijah completely away from the egg since he is allergic.

S'mores! The three on the left are Elijah's treats.

Dakota made peperoni and cheese crackers. Of course Elijah could not have these.

We covered the boxes with Saran wrap and took them outside to sit in the sun. I thought the hot black trampoline would be a good place to put them.

When we put them out it was 93 degrees. Thirty minutes later we checked the thermometers and it was 115 degrees in the S'more box.

Chocolate and cheese were melted so we declared them done!

The s'mores were yummy, but the peperoni crackers were not so good.

We left the egg out a little longer until it reached 120 degrees. It cooked alright.

When I took this picture Dakota was holding the box down sideways, the egg was not runny at all. So we learned it is hot enough to cook an egg, but we wouldn't want to eat it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Discovering Electronics

Today after literacy clinic at the college I took Elijah to Goodwill so he could find some
electronics to "work" on.

He hit the jackpot and found this big ole phone/fax/printer thing and he was one very happy little boy that wanted to get straight home so he could start working on it. He also found a small radio and an alarm clock.

As soon as we got home he ran got his tool box and began to destroy, I mean, work on his purchases.

His tool box has some little compartments with snap lids that he keeps all the little pieces in that he takes off of his electronics. I'll have to post a picture of his electronic treasures soon.
Elijah thought it was cool to find a magnet in the telephone handset.

While sitting here typing this I thought how cool it would be to have a Discovering Electronics co-op class for little boys next year (this school year's classes are already planned). I'll have to keep that in mind!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I was not planning on doing a spelling curriculum with Elijah at this time. I don't know why, I just wasn't.

My friend, Alana, came over one night last week and she went on and on about Sequential Spelling. LOL Hi Alana! Since I do have the program I thought about giving it a try with Elijah.

So we began it 5 days ago. I have been amazed at Elijah getting almost all the words correct each day. We just finished list 5 and he spelled beginning correctly!!!
I'm so happy! We are seeing so much progress with his reading and writing.
Elijah is really proud of himself too! :)

He's a better late then early boy!

Story Telling

This year I'm trying to focus on writing for Elijah. He has enjoyed creating notebook pages and I have him to write at least one sentence on the pages he has made so far. Once he is comfortable and the sentences are coming more easily I will step that up a little for him. It's a process!

I also want to get Elijah to the point where he can write stories.
I ordered the book Story Starters by Karen Andreola.

I think this is a great book, but Elijah's not there yet. I will have Dakota to use the book because he needs to get faster at thinking up stuff to write for essays and such, so this will be a good writing exercises for him.

While reading in the book I did realize something, both of my boys probably have trouble writing stories because they have trouble making up stuff.

Let me see if I can explain what I mean. I see some kids make stuff up all the time. Not that they are really fibbing, they just make up stories because they have such good imaginations. Good writers need to be able to do that. Because my boys have never made up stories, when they sit down to write they can't think of anything to say. So any moms out there who have kids who make up stuff just to have something to say, it's really a good thing that they can do that. Your child will probably be a great writer.
The book didn't really say all that, but that is what I took from the book.

Since my boys never did the "make up a story thing" when they were younger, I'm having them to do it now. Yes, Dakota thinks I've lost it.

What we are doing is making up stories together. One of us starts and then pauses to let another person add a section and we take turns adding to the story. It's been fun and now Elijah is always asking if we can make up a story. I'm going to start letting Elijah make up stories and I'll write it down as he tells it to me. Gotta work on my short hand to be able to keep up with him.

So what I took from reading Story Starters is that to be able to write a story you need to be able to tell a story. You have to have something to say before you can write!
I wish I had understood that when Dakota was little.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Double Notebooks

You know your a homeschool mom when you get excited over a 3 ring binder!

I found this cool double binder at Wal-Mart yesterday. 2 binders in 1. It says they are sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. They were $5.96

I thought this would be cool for co-op, so I got each of the boys one.
One side is green and the other blue.
They also had pink and purple for girls.

At the check out the lady rang up 4 notebooks so I told her it was only 2. She gave me a look like I can count and I see 4 binders. I had to show her it was only 2. So if you buy one you might want to watch out for that.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nature Journals

I've been wanting to start a nature journal with Elijah. That is so right up his alley. He is all about some nature! Anyway I decided to do a nature journal class at co-op.

Nature Journals are diaries or notebooks recording your findings. It can be as detailed, colorful, and poetic as you desire. Our journals will be a speckling of pictures, notes, and poems we find that fit the season. It will become a record of our discoveries, memories, and an extension of ourselves. We will observe nature and learn to look at the details.

I ordered me the Handbook Of Nature Study by Anna Comstock and just got it in the other day so I spent some time pouring over it. I'm overwhelmed with the book. It is 2 inches thick and 887 pages!

I have also have these two books that will be fun to use with our nature studies.

This next book is from a series of books called One Small Square.
Here is a link to a list of all the books in this series.
I have three of the books, Woods, Cactus Desert and Seashore, but of course I want all of them,
especially Backyard, Pond, Swamp and Night Sky.

For our nature journals I'm thinking of 3 ring binders with copy paper 3 hole punched and some not punched, card stock, page protectors, zip lock baggies, colored pencils, clip board and a magnifing glass.
Dividers for different sections:

Here is the cover Elijah and I made for his nature journal! We can't wait to get started.

I'd love to hear from other's who have done nature journals.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


The boys enjoy going to bowling with our homeschool group the last Friday of each month. Sometimes Jody and I bowl too.

I'm so glad we are having it in the summer, it's cheap, $3 a bowler and it's in the air conditioning!

Here's Elijah trying to look like he knows what he is doing.

I see Elijah and his friend, Julianna, high fiving each other. Dakota is in the background wearing a green shirt about to bowl.

Elijah fell asleep in the van on the way home so Dakota took a picture because Elijah always says he didn't fall asleep when we say he did. Bowling wore him out!
He always has a good time at bowling.

Friday, July 4, 2008

11th Grade!

My other baby, Dakota, is going into the 11th grade.
It tears me up to think about only having Dakota at home schooling with us for 2 more years.
Where has the time gone?

Dakota has had a very relaxed schooling experience with lapbooking, notebooking and lots of projects. This past year in co-op was Dakota's first year to have a text book and it happened to be Apologia Biology. The co-op biology teacher gave a lot of homework and a test on each module. Dakota did very well, he didn't seem to have any problems with having a text book for the first time. The first semester he made a 93 A and the second semester he made a 91 A and that was without turning in all his homework the second semester. He missed a few times because of sickness with him, Elijah or both and skipped a few homework assignments.

This next year at the West Monroe co-op Dakota plans to take:
Jensen's Format Writing
World History

At the Monroe co-op he plans to take:
American Lit.
He will teach Computer Lit.

At home Dakota will have Math U See geometry and co-op homework.

Dakota will also be in our homeschool choir. Here is the BIG SHOCKER NEWS - Dakota is going to play basketball this year with our homeschool team! Did anyone fall over when they read that? It is so out of the norm for Dakota. Watch out Flames!

Dakota will be quite busy. He will also have all the Jr. and Sr. activities our homeschool group has.

I think this will leave Dakota only needing English IV and Trigonometry or Calculus for his senior year.

3rd Grade!

My baby is starting 3rd grade, how did this happen?

Elijah and I are loving notebooking! I knew he would enjoy this type of learning. We haven't done a whole lot, just kind of getting started, seems we are always so busy and not home. The key to homeschooling is being at home, but I want my kids to be well rounded and involved in things, so that is why we do a lot of Saturday and Sunday schooling and also night schooling. Jody works weekends so that fits our family. Also we are all night owls so that seems to be when we are at our best.

Since we homeschool pretty much year round and I'm NOT trying to cram information into Elijah, but rather help him develop a love for learning, our hit and miss days works for us.

So we started this notebooking adventure and I had said we would start 4 notebooks, but Elijah had a better idea. We have made a ton of notebooks. He wanted a notebook for everything he could think of. He had fun picking out all the different colored 3 ring binders. I'd love to show you a picture of each binder and the covers we made for them, but uploading pictures on dial up is a pain.

This is going to sound like a lot, but remember we don't plan to work in each one everyday and we will not be trying to complete any of them in a years time. I suspect we will work in about 2 a day and I plan for him to work in these notebooks 2 - 3 years. He's a new 3rd grader so I want him to work in these notebooks through 5th grade then start new notebooks for middle school.

Here's a list of Elijah's notebooks:
Earth and Space
World History
Nature Journal
Language Arts
American History
50 States

He also has a creative writing speckle book and I want him to start a journal soon. We also use Math U See as our math program.

In co-op Elijah will get a lot of enrichment classes between the two co-ops we are in.
At the West Monroe Co-op I plan for Elijah to take:

At the Monroe Co-op I plan for him to take:
Math Club
Nature Journals
Science Experiments

Elijah will also be in our homeschool choir and I'm sure he will continue with the Literacy Clinic at ULM. All that and he wants to play Upward Basketball!
Busy year! That's not even mentioning big brother's activities.

Basketball for Elijah

We have a great homeschool group with a cool basketball team. Last week our girl's basketball coach, Mrs. Kim, and the highschool bball players put on a basketball camp for grades 1st - 6th.

Elijah loved it! Everyday he kept his basketball in his hands all day long. I heard dribble dribble dribble over and over. I had to have him put the ball down to take a bath and to leave it by the front door so he could go to bed.

We had to go buy a new rim and backboard for our pole. That has kept Elijah busy every evening. He has improved a lot just by practicing everyday.

We also had to go buy basketball shoes and shorts by the end of the week. Gotta look cool to play bball!

This next school year he wants to play Upward Basketball. It's a Christian ministry sponsored by a local church. They pair kids up by abilities and really teach them to play basketball. He is looking forward to this starting, but I don't think it starts until about November. Until then he will be hanging out at the rec with some CHA basketball players.

Here are some pictures of Elijah during bball camp. He has so much fun, he hated for the last day to come.

**More basketball news from the Miller family coming soon! This will be a shocker!!**