Monday, July 20, 2009

homeschool: calendars & noodles

We try to start out every day with a review of the calendar.

I bought a large dry erase board that allows me to recite the months of the year with the children, and all the days of the week. Each day, I write in the month that we are in, and point out any important holidays and/or birthdays and/or upcoming events.

Since I usually have to re-write this calendar once a day - since small children love to wipe off whatever I have recorded - the level of detail I include on any given day may vary.

(As may my penmanship.)

Next week we are flying back to South Carolina for my 20-year highschool reunion. But more importantly, we are flying back to South Carolina next week to see my mother and Jim, Aunt Grace and Uncle Bill, and cousins Margaret, Lisa, George, Bill and Karen.

We are so excited.

To help the children grasp the concept of time and the days remaining until our trip, once we go through the calendar, we will count how many days until we get on the plane (which will take off and land without issue and fly safely through the sky), with the use of pasta noodles.

You can do a lot more with penne than just toss it with marinara.

Since we have eight days remaining until our trip, today the children counted out eight noodles, which they then strung up. (Yes. William is in fact wearing a velvet Christmas skirt in size 2T. Just in case you were wondering, we're very casual here at home school.)

Tomorrow, we'll take one noodle off the string, leaving seven. Although we could also count out seven new noodles. Then take the eight noodles off our string and subtract seven from eight.

Either way you calculate it, we'll be one day closer to leaving.

And thus, one day closer to my next panic attack.


  1. Love William's fashion sense, definitely cutting edge.

  2. You've inspired me to pull out my calendar set from back in the day when I taught Kindergarten!! We try to start most days by talking about the name of the name of the day and what we have planned, but it takes place in a cozy chair while we're all three cuddling (which is also great and has it's bonuses), but I think E and Z are ready for a little more . . . . I am so pumped!!

    And the noodles counting idea, GREAT!! Much smarter than paper chains : )

    Thanks Jen, keep them coming please!!

  3. This is actually my first comment, but I read your blog faithfully. I can't even remember how I first stumbled across it--maybe a link from Triplet Connection? I have 11year old triplets, and I love to read your stories and reminisce about the "good ole days" of preschool (before homework, friend issues, baseball, piano lessons, peer pressure, bullying, braces, etc.). Your children are absolutely adorable, and you are a gifted writer.

    Oh yeah, the reason I finally decided to write: I am in South Carolina. Where does your mom live? Where did you go to high school? I am in Rock Hill, SC. Do you know where that is? I hope you have a wonderful trip to see your mom!

    Laura Nettles

  4. You are doing a great job with the kids. I love it. I especially love that you saved thirty thousand bucks with some yarn and some pasta. Do you even UNDERSTAND??? :)

  5. You are so creative, what a great idea for pasta. We too are really looking forward to seeing all of you. Uncle Bill keeps talking about William and how he enjoyed his visit in Calif. Mom is so excited and really preparing for your homecoming.

  6. I am going to make a pasta bracelet for Jim and I. When I tell people that you and the family are coming, they say"Where are they going to stay?" And I say, with us, of course. Where there is love, we will be there. Eva Shabkee is coming to the reunion also.
    Cannot wait to see Y'all.

  7. I love your whiteboard idea for the calendar!

    GREAT job with the homeschooling! Keep up the good work :) :)

  8. Oh, I love the whiteboard idea! We're on our 5th year homeschooling, and I know I'll never run out of inspiring and new ideas from fellow homeschool teachers!

    Love the noodle idea, too.

    Maybe William will start some new fashion trends! Hey, kilts are trendy in Scotland, right?

  9. by the way, I found your blog through Sara. :-)