Punk Rock Parents

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Homeschool Week 20: The Stolen Emerald


Language Arts: This week was all about the letter J! So of course we had to do some kind of Poppa themed craft. Louie asked for a picture of her Poppa and made the capital J his beard. I swear this kid is a comedy genius. 

Reading: This week we read another book by Jan Brett. This week we read The Hat. It was very similar to The Mitten and Louie loved all the animals in the story. We did a lot of comparing and contrasting of the stories. We also did a fun game with sight words this week. It was like a memory game with pez candy. She is going really well with her reading. I love this stage where I am still in awe that my baby can read! She has been not too thrilled to read the Bob's books to me so to make it more fun for her I told her that she could read it to Baby Ellie as a bedtime story. She LOVED that idea and I think that Ellie liked it too. 

Writing- This week we looked at giving more details to writing and also did a really cute exercise on spacing between words. Since we were talking about spacing we were given a little astronauts. After each word she taped down an astronaut. 

It's all Ellie all the time over here. 

Math- We are working on subtraction. A few worksheets to do this week. Louie has also been practicing counting up to 100. She likes to do this really loud in the car. I think the highest she has gotten was to 113. 

Social Studies- We looked at places in our community. We talked about places like hospitals, schools, post offices, and libraries. We also talked about the people who work in our community. This week in class the kids got to present what they want to be when they grow up. Of course Louie picked a veterinarian. She got to put together a poster board and a costume. She did such a great job on her presentation. I got to talk about being a Girl Scout Troop leader so I got to be there for her presentation. 

Science: We looked at the different states of matter. We looked at how water can be changed from a liquid to a solid and back. We also looked at how certain types of matter don't mix. Specifically oil and water. We made colored mustache ice cubes. We put baby oil in a container and then let the colored ice cubes melt. We saw colorful bubbles start to form. Then we noticed that the colors started to blend together. A fun and messy project. 


Language Arts- We read the next 4 chapter of The Westing Game. And those were some intense chapters. We finally found out who did it! Lots of twist and turns. We did the usual vocab and comprehension worksheets. The big project for the week was to write a mystery and made a crime scene for it. Phi wrote a great story and them made puppets and a video. Also lots of twists and turns. 

Math- We worked on word problems and dividing fractions. It was a pretty easy week and Phi seemed to do really well. Let's see what next week brings!

Social Studies- Another explorer. This is starting to get pretty boring. This week we looked at Vasco Nunez de Balboa. The Spanish explorer who first European explorer to see the Pacific Ocean. 

Science- Since Phi got her weather project done last week she had no science this week! Yes!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

5 Little Speckled Frogs

This week Louie is working on subtraction and to introduce the concept her teacher sent home a little activity with a link to a YouTube video with the 5 Little Speckled Frog song. 

This song has been a staple of kindergarten classes for well over 30 years. You don't know the song? Here you go....

Sorry. I know that will be stuck in your head all day. 

Now this little ditty will always have a special place in my heart. When I was a kindergartner it apparently was my favorite song. So much so that myself, my cousin Patty, my cousin Monica and my friend Sylvia performed it for the talent show.

Thanks for finding these pics Momma!

But my love for the speckled frogs did not die after kinder. In 4th grade, 1986,  we brought the speckled frogs back to the school talent show and they were better than ever. This time my best friend Jessica joined us and her very talented mother (she is still my liquid eyeliner applier role model!) made us all very cool speckled frog jumpers.

Seriously we look exactly the same like 30 years later. 
I believe this skit involved a jump rope. I am not sure who won the year's talent show but for the sake of this post let's say we did. (Pretty sure we didn't). I shared these pictures with Patty and Jessica yesterday and Jess reminded me about the time we leap frogged the entire length of the school field. We are not sure where this obsession with frogs came from.

Well I am happy to know that generations later this song is still being sung in classrooms. It sure did bring me a whole lot of hoppiness as a kid.

I know too cheesy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homeschool Week 19: I Repeat the Tornado Is Touching Ground!


Language Arts- This week was about the letter V and was a great way to introduce Louie to Van Halen. We taught her that David Lee Roth over Sammy Hagar all the time, every time. We also listened Veruca Salt (we always try to show her some girl rockers!) and to one of Poppa's favorite bands, The Vandals. Seeing The Vandals play Warped Tour was the only time I saw Popps actually sing along to a band. That is huge! We also did a bunch of worksheets on the letter V but really the important lesson here was the music.

Reading: We worked more on our short vowel sounds. She is reading and blending pretty well. We played a few games, did some worksheets and read books. Louie's teacher had some great fun activities this week. We also read the story "The Mitten" by Jan Brett. A cute story about a lost mitten and the creatures that find some warmth in it. We looked at sequence of events and did a few worksheets looking at the author and setting.

Writing- We worked on labeling a picture and going back and adding steps when it comes to writing out how-to sentences. This was a fun week. Louie drew a picture of our house and labeled the windows, door and roof. We need to work on using lower and upper letters correctly.

Math- We are doing addition now. We talked about the plus sign and the equal sign. Louie did really great with all the worksheets. We ended the week with a great dice game. She rolled the dice and wrote each number down and then she had to add each couple of numbers.

Social Studies- Because of the holiday we studied Martin Luther King this week. It was a bit of a challenge for me to talk about MLK in terms Louie would understand. We talked a lot about making the world a better place. Of course Louie's dream for the world involved sea otters.

Science- We jumped into the states of matter. We looked at how matter is made of particles and how the particles interact will determine is something is a solid, liquid or a gas. We did a sorting activity and Poppa and Louie made goop to look how it can act like a solid and a liquid.


Language Arts- Phi read chapters 17-20 of The Westing Game. The story is getting interesting. The connections between the 16 players and Mr. Westing are starting to reveal themselves and we are getting closer to finding out who the "murderer" is. We did the usual worksheets and this week Phi finished her Sunset Tower project. She used a poster board and made a 5 story building. 4 windows in the first 4 stories and 2 windows and a door on the bottom floor. In the 16 windows she drew each character and wrote 3 physical descriptions and 3 personality traits and 1 quote from the book to support them. The last 3 on the first floor she drew different scenes from the book with descriptions. And of course I forgot to get a picture of it.

Math- Oh math. This week we had to call my super smart sister to help out with one problem and we had a lot of issues when it came to pretty basic math. I am talking multiplying double digits and even subtracting numbers with borrowing. I have no idea what is going on but there are times when simple math is a struggle, like it is something she has never done before. After practicing a few times she would get the concept but her retention is just really weak. This goes for all subjects.

Social Studies- More explorers. This week we looked at Jacques Cartier and his travels into Canada. We looked at his voyages from France. We also looked at the different reasons why countries sent explorers to North and South America. She then had to pick one reason and write a postcard back home explaining the reason for the voyage. She choose to be an explorer from Spain heading to North America to develop a colony so that Spain could become more powerful.

Science- Severe weather. We looked at hurricane, hail storms and tornados. Her assignment was to choose one severe weather and make a project all about it. Here is Phi's.....

A full and fun week! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Homeschool Week 18: Sorting Clouds

Getting back into the swing of things was rough! But we did it and we are almost back into our groove.


Language Arts: This week was all about the letter "Ee". This came at the perfect time since Baby Ellie was just born and we are all obsessed with her. We did a lot of worksheets on the short e sound. Louie whipped through them. We worked on the -ed and -en word families.

Reading: This week we read a cute story called "Snowmen at Night", all about, you guessed it, what snowmen do at night. There were a few cute writing activities to go alone with this book. We did some pre-reading where Louie predicted what the snowmen would do. Then she wrote about what her snowman would do at night. Of course in her version her snowman is a BB-8 because everything is Star Wars.

Writing: We are back on the writing program the teacher is using and we have moved onto sentences. I loved how this week was set up. It made much more sense to me. We started with talking about how your can use sentences to show people how to do something with steps. The first day Louie drew pictures for the steps to get a drink of water. Then on day 2 we listed a bunch of things she was good at doing. Things like drawing, making her bed, getting dressed etc. Then on day three she wrote out how to sentences with pictures.

Math: We have moved on to adding numbers! We are starting with adding objects. I was worried about math with Louie because Phi has such a hard time with it. I am finding that Louie is doing pretty good. I think that Phi might be confused because she started learning math one way at her old school and then a totally new way here. Louie seems to be doing really well.

Social Studies: We are looking at different jobs in our community. Jobs that help our community run. We looked at a bunch of different jobs and Louie had to pick one community job she would want to do and start working on a presentation. She picked a veterinarian of course! She facetimed Tia Elaine to get some ideas for her outfit. A flyer was also sent home asking parents to come in a talk about their jobs. Now my j-o-b would be boring to kids but the teacher said that Girl Scout Leader would work too. So now Louie and I are both working on a presentation.

Science: Sorting and comparing objects by properties of matter. We did a few worksheets and did a few games where we sorted things. Her favorite was sorting Star Wars characters into a droid category or human category.


Language Arts: Not sure what is going in with Phi and her reading but her comprehension is really bad with "The Westing Game". I think there is just too much going on in the story and she is always trying to get through her work as fast as she can to get back to drawing. This week she read Ch. 13-16 but when it was time to work on worksheets she could not answer any questions. So we spent the weekend reading the chapters out loud and stopping every few paragraphs to go over what we read and what was happening in the story. It was so much that I started dreaming about the story. We got through the chapters and she got her worksheets completed. She also started a really fun project. She is making the 5 story tower and each window will have a player in the game along with 3 events from the book. Each window will include a list of physical traits and personality traits and a quote from the book to back up the list. This is a great long term project, I just wish we would have been given the assignment at the beginning of the book so that we don't not have to go back to look for quotes. We could have been highlighting them along the way.

Math: We continued looking at how fractions function. I liked this week because it was a good overall review for her. We are still struggling with multiplication tables. The amount of work is good. It lets us work on math everyday but only 1-2 problems.

Social Studies: We are still looking on explorers. At this point I can't even remember what history we are doing. Is it US history? I know that we are studying different explorers from Europe that colonized america and parts of south america. This week we studied Ponce de Leon as well as the relationship between the Native Americans and the Explores and how is changed over time. Phi wrote a great essay about it.

Science: Clouds. This week we looked at different types of clouds. What they look like, where they are located and the type of precipitation they bring.

In the middle of the week we got hit with some big news. Phi's teacher was offered a position she could not refuse (I can't imagine what would be better than teaching my kid. haha!) and is going to be leaving us in just 2 weeks. This hit us hard because she had been Phi's teacher for the last 3 years. After a rough start I have grown to really admire and respect her. We work well together and I really believe that our open line of communication and flexibility is a big part of Phi's success in this program. All kids need an adjustment period when introduced to a new teacher and going through that in the middle of the year is tough. We are going to have to make sure that we all get through this as best as we can.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Code Word: It's Going Down For Real

As my sisters due date got closer we made the decision that the code word for when Elaine went into labor was going to be...

"It's going down for real"

With all of us being some distance from each other we needed to know when it was for like real..real. 

A little after 9:45 on New Year's Day we got the message...

I then proceeded to yell at my family to "GET PACKED!" Why I did not have bags already packed for us is beyond me. I am going to blame the craziness of the holiday season. The four of us were in the car by 10:30 pm. We made great time and met up with my sister Cari and her family at my parents in Santa Barbara. From there we left all the little kids with Joey and Luis and Cari, Chone and I continued up the coast for another hour and a half. We made it to the hospital by 3 am and met up with my Mom and Pops. We send Pops and Chone to Elaine and Kelly's place to sleep and my Mom, Cari and I got comfortable in Elaine's hospital room. 

They had already started her on pitocin and her contractions were pretty regular. They upped her pitocin to 2 and the contractions started getting worse.

My sister Cari had Chone way back in 1999. I kind of remember her going through labor and the pain she went though. But Cari's labor did not last very long. She had Chone in just a few hours. When the twins were born she had a c-section and never really went through laboring. Watching my baby sister go through the hours of labor throughout the night was tough. Of course not as tough as actual labor but that helpless feeling I had was awful. I can only imagine what it was like for Kelly and my Mom.

Elaine eventually opted for the epidural and as she put it, it was "a whole new world". Before we knew it people started prepping for the delivery. (Weird note: one of the nurses ended up being a distant relative we had never met!)

Tiny baby hats started appearing and we knew it was just a little while longer.

Elaine had been seen by a mid-wife named Helen throughout her pregnancy. Right before it was time for delivery she asked Elaine who would be in the room. Elaine asked us what we wanted and we told her that we wanted what she wanted. She decided to have Kelly, Mom, Cari and me (and my camera) there. I was nervous and excited. Despite having had 2 kids myself I had never seen a baby be born.

Elaine started pushing at about 10:40am.

For the next hour we cheered her on. We cheered the baby on. We waited for the next contraction.

And at 11:40 am she was here.

Ellie Jess was here and we all cried and she was perfect.

She is perfect.

She is exactly what my heart needed. The moment I saw her I felt it. Last year was the hardest year I have ever been through. My family lost so many loved ones from our Flippie, my Tio Frank, Grandpa Andy, Grandpa Pancho and my sweet Tata. The pain we are all feeling and carrying with us was so heavy and real.

This tiny little squishy face was a gift to us. In just seconds of being born I could feel the weight of my sorrow lift a little. She is my reminder that life is good and although we can never replace the ones we have lost, we sometimes are blessed with a new life to love.

Ellie made Elaine and Kelly a family. She made Kelly's parents first time grandparents. She is my 4th nibling, the 6th grandchild and the 15th member of our family.

And then the love fest commenced....

The kids came in to meet the newest member of their squad. The newest member of WAN. The new board member of Do-Trans Inc. International.

Even after being awake from over 34 hours I still had to pry myself away from her. She is a doll and we are so excited and happy that she is ours.

Welcome to the world and to the family Ellie Jess.

I promise to love you like crazy. Forever and ever.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kind People and Little Chickens

Instead of giving the girls stuff for Christmas we decided to take them on a trip to Knott's Berry Farm. We went on Sunday. The day started off amazing! As we stood in line someone gave us free passes. It was a right place, right time, kindness of strangers situation! You can read the whole story HERE

As soon as we got in the park we headed to Camp Snoopy. The first ride was the Woodstock Airmail ride. We got in line and Louie was not too sure about it. She got on and up they went. As soon as the first drop happened she was terrified. It was sad but also hilarious. I was crying from laughing so hard. Of course I got a photo...

So after that experience it took A LOT of convincing to get her back on any kind of ride. This photo was taken while Phi was on a ride and Louie was very happy to not be on one.

We eventually found a slow, close to the ground, self-driven ride that was right up her alley.

Phi was game to get on every ride in Camp Snoopy.

She went on the big swings because they are her favorite. Poppa went on with her and even on a swing looked as cool as ever.

We stopped off at a photo booth. A very very small photo booth.

I think the longest line we waited in was for lunch. Since we did not have to pay for tickets we splurged and had a late lunch at Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken place. Line was LONG, but food was so good!!

When it came to the bigger rides, Phi was not about it. I tried and tried to get her on Sidewinder but she just wouldn't. My kids are super chickens when it comes to rides. They are more Snoopy on Ice watching, gift shop wandering, photo op kids.

After dark every half hour it "snows" in the middle of Knott's. The girls loved this. I only had to tell Louie twice to not eat it.

This is the second time we have taken the girls to Knott's. We went back in 2011. And both times we did not get on any big rides! Despite that we had a fantastic time!

Merry Merry Christmas My Loves....

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calavera by Duncan Tonatiuh

Our sweet friend Jan  sent us some books for Christmas. She loves books maybe more than we do! 

We were very excited to start reading. I was so excited to read the girls "Funny Bones". With the popularity of Dia de Los Muertos increasing, many people are familiar with the image of La Catrina. 

It is iconic and everywhere. But where did this image come from? This image goes back to the time of the Mexican Revolution. Jose Guadalupe Posada made this image in 1910. "Funny Bones" tells the story of this influential artist. A man who artists like Diego Rivera looked up to. 

 For my 2 kids who love Dia de los Muertos and who love to draw this book was perfect! They have asked me to read it a few times and they are working on sketches from the gorgeous illustrations.
Thank you Jan!