Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Days/Kesäpäiviä

I can't believe how fast time is flying! We are now enjoying our last days in Maine (for now), and the computer has been off for the most part. There is a lot of play and a lot of work that needs to be done. We leave Maine on Friday, and we'll be gone for about seven weeks.
No pictures of work for now, but a few of playing:

Red light/Green light game.

One of many, many water fights.

See what's about to happen here?

Yup! And the water is so cold (neighbors told us lower 60's) your arms and legs feel to shocked and numb to move.

We officially wrapped up 6th grade (Little Miss joining in the pic, of course) yesterday when we had our online portfolio interviews. There is nothing else to do now! Next homeschooling step is to register with our county for next year, which we won't do until end of summer.

More serious play: Mr. T is almost done with baseball! We had our first Little League tournament game last night, and even though it started dramatically: Mr. T got hit in the face by a wicked fastball and had quite the welt on his cheek, the game got a lot better when he sent the ball flying and scored a home run!! Yay, Mr. T!! We won the game, which means we'll play again on Wednesday. If we win, our championship game is on Friday.

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Vietämme viimeisiä päiviä täällä Mainessä (mikä on ollut kuin lapsuuden kesät mökillä Suomessa). Haikeana lähdemme perjantaina pois - noin seitsemäksi viikoksi...! Olemme yrittäneet ottaa joka hetkestä irti leikkien ja nauttien, mutta paljon on ollut töitäkin, ja edessä vielä. Nyt saimme kaikki kuudennen luokan kotikoulutyöt tehtyä, eikä tarvitse enää tehdä yhtään mitään sen eteen, helpotuksen huokaus...!

Vesileikit ja pihaleikit ovat olleet päivien kohokohtia, ja pesäpallo tietenkin, Mr. T:lle. Eilinen peli alkoi dramaattisesti - pallo osui pojan poskeen, mutta pian sen jälkeen hän sai kunniajuoksun (google käänsi home run näin?), ja peli parani siitä. Voitto tuli kotiin, ja keskiviikkona taas uusi peli.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Before The Rain/Ennen sadetta

Just a few photos from this week before it started raining.

The joys of a summer day at the camp: having a popsicle on the dock wearing pajamas.

These days are gifts..

Visitors coming by to say hello. And that mama was keeping track! Nine ducklings!
That's what I'd be doing too.. :)

Looking for interesting treasures under the rocks...

My kids are braver than I am...!


Kuvia alkuviikolta ennen kuin alkoi satamaan. Onneksi nautimme ulkonaolosta, nyt olemme saaneet kaikki rästiin jääneet sisähommat tehtyä sateen aikana.

Hyvää juhannusta Suomeen!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Portfolio Time/Kotikoulukansiot

Two cold and rainy days here in Maine have provided this homeschool mama (finally) some extra time to put together four homeschool portfolios. As we are residents in Florida, we have a few options how to wrap up our homeschool year. One of them is to have a certified teacher/evaluator in Florida take a look at our homeschool portfolios (which we are required to keep by law anyway) and write up a Certificate of Review which will be mailed to our county homeschool office to show we meet all the Florida homeschooling requirements.

I would definitely recommend all homeschool families to start on their portfolios as soon as they start homeschooling. That way special projects and samples of work can be added throughout the year, and when it is time to do the evaluations, you can just pull out your beautiful work and show off all you did that year. Even if your state doesn't require it, these portfolios would be wonderful keepsakes for you and your children.

It would be a lot of work to start from scratch right before the portfolio evaluations are due.

I know this from experience. Yes, I had to start from the beginning yesterday, and I'm sure I left out a lot of special events and outings we did as a homeschool family this year. Yes, it was a ton of work. I spent about six hours on the first portfolio, and then 2-3 hours on the next ones. Yes, I still had all the housework and cooking and everything else to do, too. No, I don't recommend this way. However, some people just work best under pressure :)

Being a techie traveling homeschool family we are going to do this a little differently. We found an evaluator in Florida who is willing to do an online evaluation! Instead of making pretty portfolio binders, I made portfolio emails and sent them off to Florida. Our evaluator is going to go through all the info, and we made appointments with her this Monday to have our interviews via video iChat. Works great, since we are in New England for the summer!

What I included in each of the portfolio emails (bare bones, since I was short on time):

1) a digital photo of our our letter of registration from our county
2) 2010 - 2011 Curriculum List (including our Monarch curriculum and co-op + extra classes)
3) a couple of digital photos of certificates earned this year
4) a link to more info about Monarch and our online classes, as well as a link to our homeschool co-op
5) curriculum samples (three from each subject: from the beginning, middle and the end). These I attached as pdf-prints from online showing the students lessons, quizzes and tests and their answers. (Very time consuming! But so glad I can pull these off Monarch easily.)
6) I also added a report card produced by Monarch (not required)
7) Daily Activities Log, which is required by law. I attached two pdf's from our travels that I had kept online, but I still need to scan a couple of pages from my handwritten notebook I have kept (but forgot in New Hampshire during our last travel). So thankful I did keep the daily log!!!
8) Lastly, a sample list of books read during last school year. Unfortunately we didn't keep a list. Fortunately my kids read a ton, so it was fairly easy to put together a list of 20-30 books for each.

Overall, I have to say the homeschooling requirements were easier in New Hampshire (where we finished our first year). I have done a little research on Maine requirements, and I think we'll stick to homeschooling in Florida ;-)


Viimeiset kaksi päivää olen puurtanut hullun lailla kotikoulukansioiden parissa. Floridan osavaltio vaatii meitä pitämään kansioita jokaisesta oppilaasta, ja vuoden lopulla meidän pitää täyttää osavaltion vaatimukset, ennen kuin voimme jatkaa tulevana vuonna. Floridassa on muistaakseni neljä eri tapaa saada kotikouluvuosi valmiiksi, me valitsimme tavan, jossa opettaja arvioi ja käy läpi meidän kansiot, ja kirjoittaa todistuksen, että on käynyt läpi meidän materiaalimme. Onneksi löysimme arvioijan, jolle voin lähettää meidän kansiot sähköpostina, ja maanantaina hän haastattelee koululaisia video iChatin kautta. Pian on saatu 6. luokka purkkiin! Yllä englanniksi listaa mitä minun piti koota kokoon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Mr. D, Mr. A, Little Miss and I decided to go kayaking today (such a gorgeous day!).

Our destination was a cove nearby with beaver dams.

Such fun to explore!

Mr. D bravely going ahead (are there mad beavers? big spiders? snakes?? swarms of mosquitoes?).

Nope, nothing of the sort. (At least where we could see.) Only extremely shallow waters and a few black flies. Our trail stopped shortly after this, and with a little difficulty (the shallow waters) we turned our kayaks around and headed back home.

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Kaksi pojista ja Pikkuneiti lähtivät tänään kanssani melontareissulle. Meillä oli oikein kunnon tutkimusreissu läheiseen lahdenpoukamaan, jossa oli majavanpesiä. Emme tienneet mitä muuta sieltä löytyy (vihaisia majavia, käärmeitä, hämähäkkejä tai ötökkäparvia?), mutta emme löytäneet muuta kuin umpikujan ja matalikkoa, joten käännyimme ympäri. Kivaa oli silti :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Snapshot {Happy Father's Day!!!}

We had major fighting today. War, in fact.

Boys vs. The Captain and Little Miss (Missy & I were busy in the kitchen).

Grandpa - which team would you have been on?? :)

Full gear was required.

There are two versions of which team won.

But everyone agreed a fun time was had by all :)

Happy Father's Day to the Captain and Grandpa! (Vaari too, although Father's Day in Finland is in November.) We are so blessed to have such wonderful men and role models in our life. Thank You!!

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Usassa vietetään tänään Isänpäivää. Meillä oli kunnon vesisota pojat vastaan Kapteeni ja Pikkuneiti (Missy ja minä leivoimme kakkua keittiössä). Ihana päivä oli, ja kohokohta ehdottomasti aamun taistelut :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Even More/Vielä enemmän

So gorgeous!

So chaotic!

Eeek!!! Even on the lakeside!!

Question: And how can I get the groceries in the house??
Answer: Passing them to a person on the other side of the "moat", then jumping over. Repeat.

I'm not complaining, though.
It is good to get a well. And a septic system.
And a swim in the freezing water. Ok, that was unrelated, but after the initial shock wore off I actually swam for a while. Instead of the split-second dip. A milestone for me. (Captain, do add a sauna on the list, please? I am a Finn, after all :)



Pihatyömaa kasvoi vaan tänään. Kaivuri alkoi kaivamaan jopa järvenpuoleista pihaa, nyyh. Ruokaostosten tuominen sisälle vaati mielenkiintoisia akrobaattitemppuja ja hyppyjä. Mutta en valita, on hyvä saada kaivo ja jätevesisysteemi. Ja nii-iin kylymä uintireissu myös. Ok, ei liity asiaan, mutta tänään pysyin vedessä niin kauan kunnes shokki meni ohi ja uin aika kauan. Oli aika ihanaa :) Sauna olisi kyllä piste iin päälle täällä....!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


We are back in Maine, and plan to stay put for the rest of the month. One side of the house is pure bliss - serene and beautiful. Loons calling. Boys fishing and kayaking. So peaceful. Unless you start listening. Or just walk to the other side of the house. When you do, you see this:

Digging with the excavator and little bobcat, people working on the well, septic system and little cabins. Trucks coming and going. Busyness. Noise.

I still think it is pure bliss.

At least it will be once the black flies go away.


Olemme Mainessa taas. Järven puolella taloa elämä on yhtä autuutta. Niin rauhallista ja kaunista. Mutta ei tarvitse kävellä kuin toiselle puolelle taloa niin löytää kunnon raksan koneineen ja meluineen.

Silti autuutta.

Ainakin tulee olemaan kunhan mäkäräiset katoavat.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sixth Grade Done/Kuudes luokka valmis!!!

Our family has utilized technology to the fullest, this year, for sure! We even wrapped up 6th grade tonight over the internet: Mr. D finished two quizzes and a book report over the (voip) phone on his computer in Maine, as mom graded it all on her computer, in Virginia. (For new readers - we use Monarch, an online curriculum, for our older students.)

Yay!!!! Feels so good. Mid-semester this Spring I realized we still had a ton to do. Especially Mr. D. I had originally set June 10th to be our last day of school, but it started to look like it was going to be either July 10th or August 10th... But, we were able to put on fast gears and some days do double work (plus the teacher may or may not have taken a few extra projects off the calendar).

Now, mom still needs to put together end-of-the-year reports for Florida... Which means at least one full day of work, if not two, but I'd say the kids are officially done with their second year of homeschooling!!

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Tänään saimme kuudennen luokan loppuun! Mahtava tunne. Toinen kotikouluvuosi nyt takana. Nyt lapset pääsevät kesälaitumille, äidin pitää vielä laittaa kokoon kansiot jokaisesta oppilaasta Floridan osavaltiota varten - että he voivat varmistaa, että kotikoululaiset oppivat tarvittavan määrän, mutta lapset saivat koulun kunnialla loppuun asti!! Jee!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Postcards from Maine/Postikortteja Mainesta

The Captain emailed these pictures to me from Maine. It apparently has been a bit chilly up there (hard to imagine in the 100F Virginia weather). I'm sure the kids were happy their wetsuits still fit them ;-) Oh, and Missy caught fish! It sounds like everyone is doing well in Maine. (Mama is glad.)

The Captain writes: "So tomorrow is a big day. We will have spray foam insulation in the cabins, well drilling, J will be digging ditches and M & H will be doing the septic..."

Hopefully by digging 300 feet down we'll get good clean water. Currently when we turn on water at our Maine house we get lake water. Hair-turning-orange-producing-clean-lake-water. Here's to hoping the well water won't have too much iron in it!


Kapteeni lähetti nämä kuvat Mainesta. Siellä on ollut aika kylmä, uskon että isot lapset olivat kiitollisia että heidän märkäpukunsa vielä mahtuvat.. Huomenna on iso päivä: pikkumökit saavat eristysvaahtoa, kaivoa (meillä tulee hiuksia-oranssiksi-värjäävää järvivettä hanoista) ja ojia kaivetaan, ja jätekaivon remontti alkaa. Kaivosta on paras tulla vähemmän rautapitoista vettä!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

HEAV Convention 2011/Kotikoulukonferenssi

Thanks to our most awesome husbands, my sister and I got to attend a homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia, this weekend. The Captain has been holding down the fort in Maine with our older kids, and my brother-in-law watched their two boys and Little Miss at my sister's house. Baby E came to the conference strapped to my sister :)

Due to time constrictions, we didn't attend any sessions, only covered the exhibit hall (over 300 booths). We peeked into the Used Curriculum Sale, but it was too overwhelming. We both looked at various Kindergarten materials, and I also looked at various 7th grade science curricula.

I am going to continue reviewing at least three science programs, but did purchase most of our Monarch curriculum, and a sample art curriculum Atelier to try over the summer. I have a feeling my kids, especially the girls, will love the art program, and will want to do a full curriculum this coming year. (Once we try it out, I'll post about it.)

Little Miss had had a pretty hard time being separated from mommy. So even though we could have spent more time browsing the expo, my sister & I headed home soon after lunch. All the kiddies were so excited to see us (maybe brother-in-law, too - no?:), and immediately started reviewing Our Father's World curriculum my sister bought. I may get the same program, or some parts of it to Little Miss, also.

This was my first homeschool convention, and yes, it was a little overwhelming. But I had been warned about that beforehand. It was so helpful to see (& touch!) books and programs, talk to people who knew their material inside and out, and who patiently listened and gave advice. A super shout-out goes to the Apologia and AOP Homeschool staff (and Linda, you were missed :)!

We decided this needs to be a yearly tradition, and next time we won't forget the chocolate!!!


Siskoni (ja pikku E:n) kanssa menimme tänä viikonloppuna kotikoulukonferenssiin. Oli ihana viettää aikaa yhdessä, ja käydä läpi eri kotikoulumatskuja. Vielä jäi pikkasen miettimistä tulevalle vuodelle, mutta tilasin suurimmaksi osaksi saman Monarch-ohjelman, jota olemme käyttäneet tänä vuonna. Tänään palasimme aika aikaisin takaisin kotiin, Pikkuneidillä oli ollut vaikeaa ilman äitiä. Kiitos miehillemme, jotka hoitivat lapsia niin että pääsimme konferenssiin! Ehdottomasti tästä jokavuotinen traditio, mutta seuraavalla kerralla ei saa unohtaa suklaata!!! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homeschool Update

We are almost done with our second homeschooling year. Our preschooler is done (yet loves to learn on an ongoing basis, so we have started some of the kindergarten material we already have), two of my sixth graders are done, and the last two are almost done with 6th grade.

Mr. T will finish this week, and Mr. D might finish this week, also. Apparently the internet connection has been a bit choppy up in Maine, and the weather actually nice, so Mr. D has been taken a lot of recess time and PE :-) Mr. T is still playing Little League baseball, which takes up a fair amount of his time.

I am really excited, though, because both boys have been getting school done, even though they are in Maine and I am in Virginia! We occasionally call and send emails & text messages to each other, and with a little help, they are mostly working independently.

We liked Switched-On-Schoolhouse last year for 5th grade (it allowed us to homeschool successfully - even though I didn't want to), but Monarch is so much better for our family. Mom's computer doesn't need to be up and running in order for the students to access their lessons, and mom can check on schoolwork from several states (or countries!) away.

For the most part we are planning to use Monarch again next year for 7th Grade, which will allow us to continue hopping between Florida and New England!

This weekend my sister and I are planning to attend HEAV Homeschool Conference in Virginia (my first homeschool conference ever!), if you are also attending and spot us there, please stop us to say hello. Here's a picture so you can recognize us :-D

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