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I have written about T.V. before but thought I would write about it again.

I wanted to recommend two books that I have read. They helped me understand how watching too much television, playing too many games that really don't exercise your brain can affect the paths of your brain waves. It's amazing how certain parts of your brain will not grow strong if watching too much t.v.

When I talk about watching television I'm also meaning computer and gameboy type stuff.

The Plug-In Drug: Televisions, Computer & Family is one and another Endangered Mind: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It. We don't have to agree with everything in the books. They did help me to 'see' and made me think about the time I let my children watch television and what it is doing to my children's brain.

I have also read from a fellow homeschooler (would provide a link but you have to be a member to read it) recently that too much t.v. time can also affect children's eyes. The eye muscles need exercise. When your children are playing outside building forts, running, bicycling, climbing, drawing, playing the old fashioned board games they all help the eye muscles to build good vision.

At our house most week days the children don't watch television. In fact my children rarely watch cable. We use dvds because there is not many family, child friendly shows on cable. Even the commercials aren't child friendly.

Friday night we have movie night. The children will watch the movie again Saturday. We don't watch Saturday cartoons like when I was a kid. My four younger children don't even know who Big Bird is.

My children are allowed 20-30 minutes on the computer a day. They usually play Risk or are drooling over the items at http://www.visionforum.com/. Typically they are on the computer for about 3 hours a week. To me, that is a lot but it's far less from what the average child playing video games. Actual television time is about five hours or less a week for us. Again I  think that is a lot when you add that up for a month. Like the computer it is far less than what the average American child watches which is four hours a day or more.

People have asked what our family does if we limit T.V., computer and don't own any x-box or gameboys etc. (We do have a Wii, that is used once a year maybe twice).

Boardgames that my children play are Clue, Sorry, Risk, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders etc.

I try to purchase at least four 'thinking games' usually from http://www.timeberdoodle.com/. I hit 'puzzles, and than 'Logic' from there you can find lots of fun educational games. Some of my children's favorites are Pattern Play, Police Blockcade, ZooKeepers Nightmare and Rolit. All of them you can get at Timberdoodle.

We also listen to many audio book. My goal is to buy at least 4 audio books a year. I buy many of them at Christianbooks or Amazon. For CHRISTmas I purchased a Henty audiobook, Walk With A Wolf, Adventures in Oddyssey, Elsie Dinsmore, Jonathan Park, Sea Wolf and today I purchased Great Scientist and Their Discoveries. Not only do books help with vocabulary but also imagination. With television their mind doesn't even need to work at imaging how a character looks, like they do when they listen to an audio book.

My children play outside even in the winter. It can be 20 degrees or below. Let them bundle up and play. My children go on so many adventures.

Another benefit of limiting television; your children are not 'into' the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. I truly believe that children who don't watch a lot of t.v. are more content. They don't see all the commercials enticing them that they need a certain toy to have fun. T.V. can make any toy look like it will bring lots of 'fun' into their lives. Children don't need so many toys. Brent or Lance will make a spaceship out of Legos or forts out of blocks.

My children do not feel deprived because they don't watch cable. It's so normal for them not to have the t.v. on. They don't ask to watch cable t.v. because they don't know what shows are on. I'm glad that they are not watching all the junk that I use to. ('Saved by the Bell' did nothing for me but make me feel that popularity & beauty makes one happy. I didn't learn any good character traits from it)

I'm not saying we are perfect in this area. There are times when we do watch more t.v. than we should. It is important to Lupe & I to limit and we make an effort to keep t.v. time low.

We do watch extra for school or hobbies. Mostly dvds. Like when Josh, watches his knife throwing dvd or Measure Twice, Cut Once. When everyone is sick or if I'm really sick and need to keep the little ones busy.

Hopefully next month we will get rid of cable all together.

A big factor in limiting children's t.v. watching is dad. If he's not on board it makes it a bit harder to cut down t.v. time. I'm thankful my husband has never been one to sit and watch t.v. It's rare that you'll find Lupe, in front of the tube.

Busy Friday

On Fridays we have family movie night. The children don't watch television through out the week, so movie night is something different.

Last week we watched Journey to the Center of the Earth. The children enjoyed it. It was pretty family friendly. There were a few scenes that made you jump. It was more the music than the scene. Also the boy said to his father, "I get dibs on the girl". The children were asking what that meant. We told them we'll tell them after the movie. Thank goodness the forgot. Other than that there was no bad words or barely dressed women.

I baked some chocolate chip cookies for our movie night and the children will pop some popcorn.

Speaking of baking, my children love when I bake. It's funny how it makes them feel more loved. Same with  homemade meals. Well, as homemade as it can get around here. My cooking isn't from scratch. I don't make my own noodles or sauces. I can get away with making spaghetti sauce but it's not the greatest.

Our delicious lunch!

For dinner we had a wonderful chicken salad. I cut up some greens, chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, and added some dried cranberries, cheese and some canned tangerines. I put everything in a separate bowl and let the children build their own salads.
I was going to order some cheese pizzas because we don't have much at home, but once I started pulling things from the pantry and fridge. I realized that we could have a nice meal without spending the money.

Here are some pictures of the children schooling & eating.

Annette, working hard.

Her math page.

Lance, working hard. Actually he didn't want to do school.

Caleb enjoying lunch!



Brent staying warm on a cold day.

And lastly, what five boys and one girl can do to a floor on a rainy day.

Schooling My K-3rd Graders

I was going to post some pictures but thought I would post a homeschooling post instead. Maybe I'll post pictures tonight.

I wanted to write a bit about my homeschool journey. How seasons change and we need to change with it. I'm going to go back in time to give you an idea of why we are where we are right now.

When Josh, started his Kindergarten year he was 5.4 years old.  Annette had just turned 4, Caleb 3, Brent was 2 and I was pregnant with Ethan.

We were using Sonlight Core-K. Even though I had lots of littles and was exhausted, most of his schooling was reading and some how stayed on course. I read lots of books. To tell you the truth I don't know how I survived, but I went on and used Sonlight Cores 1 & 2 as well. I would have Annette, listen is as much as possible. I was covering all kinds of subjects, history, science, read aloud and language arts.

Now fast forward to now. Josh is in 6th, Annette 4th, Caleb 3rd, Brent 2nd, Ethan 1st & Lance Pre-K.

Annette, picked-up reading and could read well by the age of 6 years. She has continued to do all her subjects. When a child reads well it's very helpful for a homeschooling mama.

Caleb & Brent can read but not where they can have a textbook of thier own. I don't have the same kind of time to do a whole Sonlight Core either.

Here is a schedule of sorts of how I school my four younger ones.

Caleb, Brent & Ethan all do math daily. Caleb & Brent do The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading daily with me. This consist of phonics, spelling, reading, writing & penmanship. We spend 30-40 minutes with PR, 30 minutes with math and maybe 10 minutes with Penmanship. Caleb & Brent can do most of their math on their own. I have to sit with Ethan.
That's all the formal schooling I do with them. History & science are done with whatever read aloud book and lots of audio books. They have learned tons of history with looking at picture books  and listening to audio books. Every year I try to purchase 3-5 audio books. They listen to Story of the World, Mystery of History, Diana Waring and many books like The Pilgrims Progress, Narnia, Robinson Crusoe, Peter Pan, The Swiss Family Robinson, Cricket in Time Square, James Harriot's Treasury for Children, Dr. Seuss, The Story of Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Little House series, Secret Garden, The Sign of the Beaver, White Fang, Sea Wolf, Wulf of the Saxon and others that I can't remember. My boys will even listen to Elsie Dinsmore. They enjoy listening to these audio books over and over during nap and bedtime. They also listen to Jonathon Park for Science.

Caleb, Brent and now Ethan have learned many of their math facts and sounds on their own. I had to sit and teach Josh & Annette, but my younger ones learn a lot through osmosis.

I start teaching the letter sounds at age 6 and so far all my children can sound out consonant, vowel, consonant words before they are 7yrs. Like I have mentioned, other than my daughter they really haven't taken off reading until past eight years old or so. That doesn't mean that they can't learn. My late readers have a very good vocabulary. I'm impressed at some of the words they use.

I guess what I'm trying to say here, is for all you homeschooling mamas out there who feel you HAVE to do it all and have a full schedule for each child (history, science, math, writing, grammar, spelling, etc.) it's okay if you find you can't keep up. The little ones learn so much just by listening and hanging around while you school the older children.

Brent hasn't had any formal geography taught but he knows where places are on the map. I didn't formally teach Caleb addition & subtraction but he knows them. Ethan, knows that if sees bubbles coming up from the ground that there is a bug down there.

Enjoy those early years. If it's raining, let them jump in the puddles. Math can wait until the rain stops.

I'm Back

It's been raining all night and is continuing through the morning. It's so pretty. Are driveway gets a bit flooded. Thankfully Lupe, had the guys put in a drain pipe when they did the foundation work.

Yesterday it rained most of the day too. It felt like a pizza night, so we ordered from Mr. Jim's Pizza. They have the best cheese pizza in my humble opinion.

We are going to play some phonogram games from our Phonogram Fun Packet, maybe I'll make some hot chocolate for the children and another cup of java for me. Yummy!

For lunch we'll have cornbread again, but today we will put lots of butter and honey on it.

Okay, back to school. The children are getting out of control with their dart guns.

What's Happening Here

Happening here at Training6Hearts4Him (I'm missing my Homeschooling6 name)..... My dear, sweet husband cashed in our investments/stocks. I know that had to be a bit hard for him. He enjoys that stuff. We are helping my father out financially and in order NOT to borrow we decided that was the best route to go. Taxes will be due on both our properties plus my dad's. We are thankful that we won't have to pay taxes for this house.

It's funny, the big thing I miss about living there is my master bath and closet. I really enjoyed having my own (with hubby of course) luxurious bath.
Like I have mentioned before, our bedroom that we have now is the size of our previous bathroom. I'm not complaining but it was nice. Loved the tub too.

We have saved a ton, by selling our house. Lupe, can now afford to hire people to help him with the apartments and the property we are now living on.

The children like it here. They love the bigger yard. Living in 700sf. is good for them. They are looking forward to the front house though. Six children in one room is a stretch. They don't complain but I know it's not easy for them.

I need to start school. Have a good Friday!!!

This and That

We are getting low on groceries. When this happens, it's time to get creative. The children love creative lunches. Today we had a Prairie lunch. I made corn bread and poured 100% Maple Syrup on it. Yummy! The children loved it. Josh ate so much that his tummy hurts. Poor guy!

This picture is for Josh.

It's raining today. We love the rain. It's wet and muddy but that doesn't stop us from enjoying the rain. I like to open the windows so we can listen to it. Lovely sound.

My Josh is a reader. I have taken many photos of Josh like this.

I'm so thankful that he can read. It's hard to believe that two years ago he could barely read The Boxcar Children and The Magic Tree House. Makes me so happy to see him reading. He reads more than Annette, now. She is a reader too but she says thick books are intimidating.

Brent is wearing a helmet that the kids bought from Vision Forum. They love that website. He is also wearing one of his favorite shirts.

Brent and I like to share a pot of coffee.

Lance wrapped in his favorite blankie.

My younger sister is so sweet. For CHRISTmas she bought us a breakfast feast from Swiss something or other. Can't remember the name. It's so funny because the pancake mix makes about 6 of our size pancakes. This year she sent us a bigger breakfast feast. It consisted of ham, bacon, maple sausage, two pancakes mixes and some breakfast cakes. I thought I took a picture but I can't find it on my camera. I was able to get a picture of one of the cakes. This will give you an idea of the size of the rest of the breakfast.

Enough pieces for everyone in the family! We get a kick out of these yummy breakfast packages that my sis sends. Believe it or not I was able to feed everyone until they were satisfied. Maybe the food was multiplied.

Thank you Auntie Reff!!!

Today we played phonogram "Go Fish" with our cards from The Phonogram Fun Packet.

The children and I  enjoy the games so much that I purchased the math & geography ones too. There is a link on a post a few threads down or you can click HERE.


Yesterday was AWANA. All the children said at least one section. This week I'm going to make it a point to practice with Ethan every day.

Brent is doing great this year. He is so motivated to finish his book. He only needs a few more pages and then he can do the review.

Caleb, has been doing most of his memorization on his own this year too! He comes to me every once in a while to make sure he is saying a word correctly. He's a reader now. Yahoo! He doesn't read fast but he can decode many words. It may take him a while or I need to say, "What does that vowel team say?", but he is doing well. He is currently reading a Magic Tree House book (grade level 2.1)

Annette, is not as motivated as last year but she works hard to memorize her book. She ended up with an older AWANA book before they made some changes. It's weird because Josh is on the same book but he has the newer one. Anyway, she is making progress and should be done by the time AWANA ends.

Josh, hmmmm, he is working through his AWANA book but is not very motivated. He likes to memorize verses that he finds and that's okay. Lupe, does require that he memorizes at least one section a week. I don't think he'll finish his book. I'll have to check were he is at to be certain.

Ethan, can't read his book but I  did tell him to bring it to me so we can go over it. He forgets but remembers two days before AWANA, so this week I'm going to write it down "AWANA with Ethan" otherwise I forget too. I keep saying every week that I'm going to go over his verses daily. Before you know it, it's bed time.

Lance, dad is working with Lance. This is how it goes.

Dad, says his verse to him three times. Then has him say it with him and after that he'll say, "Lance, say your verse."
Lance, "What you say."
Lupe, is like what, we have been going over this verse for fifteen minutes.


Children quietly finishing their school work.

Joshua, he looks so happy. He is completing Character Quality Language Arts assignment.

Annette, not so happy doing math.


And Brent. He loves his blanket.

Ethan and Lance were playing outside.

Today, we played a phonogram game. This time the person who ended up with the Peanut head card (it's really and egg) got three extra points. Josh ended up with the peanut card but Annette won the game.

Tonight is AWANA. I haven't been a very good AWANA mama this year. With Lance, I haven't been adding his elephant or lamb patches on. Yesterday, I took the time to add all his patches.
With Ethan, I don't know where his vest, patches or jewels are. He is so behind with his book. I have been going over the verse with him this week but he still can't say it. After nap, I'll review with him again. 

Bible Reader

I have an old Bible reader book. I'm not sure where I found it. I think at Half Price Books. I only have book 1 and book 3. My MIL gave me book 3.

I think they were given to children who had perfect attendance in Sunday School at one time. Here is a picture showing that one girl had three years of perfect attendance!

When you open the book you see this beautiful picture of Jesus.

Inside are Bible stories as well as character building stories of little ones.

Ethan enjoys these books and calls them his Bible. Sunday he took one to church. Today I noticed that his 'Survival' backpack didn't have his 'Bible' book in it. I asked him if he remembered to bring his book home. He just looked at me. My first thought was to get upset and say something that's not very Christ-like. (Can you tell I struggle with this) I held back because my son is more important to me than an old book. Instead I asked him to try to remember if he left it at church or not. I then asked the other children to help look for it. We couldn't find it. I thought for sure my book was gone.

I comforted myself in the fact that our church is a smaller one and maybe there will be a chance we'll get it back. All the while I kept myself under control and let the children know that although I REALLY liked the book, it was just that, a book.

 I so wanted to have a pity party, but I'm always teaching my children that they are in control of their feeling and are responsible for their choices. They can feel sorry for themselves, joyful or not, thinking of self or others. Many times I'm having to take a dose of my own advice to my children. (A good thing)

In the end we found the book still in the van. I'm thankful that I chose to NOT have a pity party or make my son feel guilty for losing a book.

As I Type

As I type I hear a hammer hitting a nail. My Sweets and all the children are in the front house getting it ready for us to live in, sometime in the near future.

My Sweets, is putting a window in our bedroom. The room has been semi insulated (I think three walls are done) the  carpet is ripped out and, well, it's just a mess. Hard to believe we it will be livable in less than a month.

When I went to go check on Lupe, Annette said, "Measure twice, cut one. That's my motto."

She cracks me up. She got that from the dvd that we watched last week. All the boys have their tools and are making all kinds of things out of the extra wood. Josh is making a table, Brent is making a tool kit as well as Annette. Ethan & Lance are measuring and hammering. Love having the children work with their dad.

Time to go, I'm playing the Phonogram Fun Packet game with Caleb.

Ethan is Learning His Phonograms

Today Ethan completed four pages of his Math Mammoth. He said, "Why am I doing so many pages?"

I told him he skipped Monday and Tuesday, so he is making up days. We did them together and most of them we did orally. After he was done with math we went over his phonograms. He knows A-Z so we practiced oo, ay, ai and a few single phonograms that have more than one sound. He did pretty good.

I haven't really started him using PR or SWR. I'm not sure which route to go. Ethan, still needs practice with his writing too. He can make his capital letters very well but I want him to learn his lowercase. A few years ago he was using some Rod & Staff workbooks and did very well. Click HERE to see. I was trying to find the post with his handwriting when he was four. He did so well. Maybe I'll find it later. I plan to transfer all the post over here eventually.

Today I'll play Phonogram Fun Packet with him too and I'll start introducing the phongrams to Lance as well!

Phonogram Fun Packet

Yesterday I mentioned that we played a game to help learn our phonograms using the Phonogram Fun Pack. I also mentioned that I get bored after a while. This happens  when I play it during our 'school' (unscheduled) time and I guess bored isn't be the correct word. More like feeling rushed. Silly, I know. When I play the game with the children after hours  it's more fun. Yesterday was a bit hectic so I felt rushed. Nothing is enjoyable to me when I feel we need to hurry.

I made it a point today not to feel rushed and we had a delightful game of Phonics Bingo and Old Maid (using phonogrmas of course!) I decided that we'll play games for the rest of the week for spelling/phonics.

Yesterday I also played Phonics Fun Packet with Josh and Caleb one-on-one and I enjoyed that. I think I played the game like, four times yesterday. It was a great way to see what Josh and Caleb need more practice on. I think it helped that I played with each child by themselves. They didn't feel like everyone was seeing what they didn't know.

Next week we will go back to our regular spelling week of completing SWR & Phonics Road.

I also purchased some of the other games since the children enjoy playing the phonogram game. I purchased the addition/subtraction, multiplication/division and the geography fun packs. Can't wait to receive them. I might make every three weeks game week. That will add some spice to our homeschooling days.


Saturday I was getting school ready for Annette. She finished her reading Light Unit 403. As I went to get 404 I realized I don't have 404. I have 405 but no 404. It must be packed away in storage or at my dad's house.

I didn't want to skip ahead because who knows what she'll miss. I don't want to put in an order in just yet Christian Light, although there are many books I would love to buy. I won't need anything until Caleb, is ready for level four math and that won't be for a few months.

I was wondering what to do, when I remembered that I have some Progeny Press Guides sitting around. I had sold some last year. I checked to see what I had left. Farmer Boy, nah, Amos Fortune looks good but I can use that one for next year, then I saw Little House on the Prairie and thought that's it! I have the cd, so I printed it all out, three hole punched it and put it in a binder. It looks really good and I love how it adds scripture and draws out godly character.

I bought this nifty binder from ACE School of Tomorrow. I was going to have Lance, use it for his Math Paces but it worked out perfectly for Annette's reading. Here is a picture of the binder holding her pages. In the back of the binder there is a pocket (originally to be used for paces) that was perfect for her book.

Everything worked out. The Progeny Press Guides usually take about 9 to 10 weeks to complete. I'll see how it goes. If she prefers the PP guides maybe I'll have her do Farmer Boy next.

By 9:00 a.m.

Lets see what has happened up until nine a.m. I have told the children not to play with balloons in the kitchen. They didn't listen. They spilled a cup of sweet tea and it wet Annette's Primer that was facing down. Oh, how I wanted to say something mean. I'm doing much better but I still struggle with that mean fleshy heart of mine. I'm thankful I didn't. I did point out that they disobeyed though.

I was going to jump in the shower and asked Josh, to go over their times tables using the stories and the dice. Brent was not acting very nice. Again, I wanted to raise my voice and say something but I didn't. I told him he can go to his room. Then I thought, no that's too fun. "Lord, what can I do?" I asked. Because I new there had to be a consequence for not being obedient.
I had him get his Primer and sit on the toilet while I took a shower. He recited his a,b,c's, read a story and two pages of words three times. When I got out he had to sit right outside the door and continue reading. When I  went to my room he had to come with me and sit in the closet (the door was open and he had light) and continue reading. I had him in the closet because I  was still dressing. Once done, I had him apologize to Josh, for not listening. Right this minute he is sitting at the kitchen table with his Primer. Still deciding what to do next. Must seek the Lord, to see if I'm done or not.

A very good thing about my children is they do obey when I tell them to do something regarding discipline. If I tell them to go to their room they will or come here they will. I'm thankful they don't go running off and not listen. Makes correcting easier. Now, my Lance, is a whole different story. We are working on him.

Need to get back to school. Time for a phonogram game.

Tuesday Morn

We are starting our Tuesday morning with studying their New England Primers. The four older ones almost have their A, B, C's memorized. Some have gone further.

We'll continue with learning some more multiplication stories and practicing the ones we have been studying the last two weeks.

Then move onto playing a game of Bingo with our phonograms.

Oh, wait, I haven't jumped in the shower yet. Yikes! I'll get the children started on their memorization and go from there.

Have a good Tuesday!

Nothing to Talk About

I was going to come back and write a post about The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading (because I love it so much) but I'm cold. My fingers aren't typing, I'm hungry and my tummy hurts. Looks like it will have to wait for another day because my brain is not working either.

Quick highlights of today. Dad, came by and brought Ethan (Nature Boy) some birthday money ($7.00) and me a hand-vac. He heard me talking to Lupe, about getting one for the younger children.

I played Phonogram Fun Pack with the children. I played one very long game with the four older children. They really enjoy it but I get bored after a while. With the older children we used all the phongrams and rule cards.
Then I played a game with Ethan. With him we used only the single phonograms and no rule cards.

I'm going to read now.


Monday Morning

I'm going through my emails when I hear the wonderful ring of my coffee maker letting me know it's ready. I pour and notice that my coffee is not brown. Did I not put enough grounds in the basket I ask myself. No, I didn't put any. I brewed water. So here I am waiting again.

Do your boys ever say this when you remind them they need to take a shower.

"Mom, I already took one this week."

Well, my dad's team lost last night. He went home in good spirits though. My dad has changed a lot over the years. Before he would have been upset. See where I get it from, must come from our Apache ancestry.

Anyway, I was very proud of him. He even said, some nice things about the other team.

I just had to get up right this moment because I forgot to put water in my coffee-maker. Will I ever drink my coffee. Hee, hee.

Off to start school. Have a nice Monday morning.


My Minnesota Viking fan dad will be over today. His team is playing. I told him I'll make his favorite meal; Chicken Enchiladas with rice. I forgot to put the beans on this morning, so no beans.

Taming the Chaos (Trash area/cart)

Today while Lupe and the children worked outside on the front house I decided to tame another area.

It started with me wanting to clean the wall where the trash and recycle bins are. I moved the trash, but soon noticed the baseboards needed to be cleaned too.

Our baseboards look funny because our apt. house use to be a garage.

Looking at my cart it looked pretty untamed too! Yikes!

As I was cleaning the baseboards and moved the cart. I noticed more chaos from under the cart.

These are the areas that we don't see and often are forgotten. Embarrassing I know.

I swept, scrubbed and organized.

Then I tackled the counters. They are still cluttered because of the limited space but everything is clean!

Oh, here are some more of my grand ideas.

I use empty containers for my coffee.

The first  from the left once held Ovaltine, 2nd Rice, 3rd was CHRISTmas candy.

Here is another candle holder. I put utensil that I often use.

Here is a nice crystal bowl that use to just sit in the cupboard. I was going to get rid of it when I decided to put my ground coffee bags in it.

Here are some pictures of the boys working outside. Annette helped too but I didn't get a picture.

Here is a picture of what will be my bedroom. Lupe, found termites and took out most of the wall and replaced the window.

Lance & Ethan acting silly.


I have more pictures but I haven't downloaded them to the computer yet. Not that you all are dying to see more pictures but their Auntie Reff enjoys them.