Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frog Bog!

This was a challenging day.  Ethan my 2 year old had tons of energy then he would just start crying.  I'm going to blame it on the weather because I don't know what was going on.  Even though it was a crazy day we did get to do something a little fun.  We made Frog Bog deserts.  I found the recipe on a coupon site I visit.  The "bog" the boys and I made wasn't as pretty as it was on the coupon site but I thought it was tasty and the boys loved eating the frog eyes!

Frog Eyes

Pick One

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Half Way Through!

We have made it half way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I think I was the only one excited about this accomplishment so please be excited with me! Caleb is doing really well with this book. His reading and writing is getting better and better everyday. His favorite part is "wrecking" the letters. At the end of the lesson he writes out the letters as instructed in the book. Then once he is all done he turns the letters into people, monsters and just things. He loves it and it gives me a minute to tidy up the kitchen or fold a few clothes before we move on to our next homeschooling task or event.

Today was a very special day. We took a field trip to our front porch. In the middle of our lesson we heard a bunch of noise outside and look what we found.

It is a little hard to see but the city started doing road work on our street and they were unloading one of the huge machines right in front of our house.  The boys went crazy!  So we watched them unload and then drive down the road for a little bit.  It was a nice start to our day.  It would have been great to say we did a whole lesson on road work but we did just reach lesson 50 in our 100 Easy Lessons book and suprisingly Caleb was really excited to get back to finishing his lesson.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Classical Conversations History Timeline

It has been difficult for Caleb and I to learn the History Timeline for Classical Conversations because we could never remember the hand motions.  Let me just say You Tube is great!  I found the hand motions.  Now I just have to figure out which ones we will use. 

Hand Motions Number 1

Hand Motions Number 2

Cycle 2 Week 5 of Classical Conversations

I somewhat have this week planned out.  I've reserved my books at the library for the next two weeks.  Below are the books I placed on reserve for this week to help with our lessons.

Why Do Beers Sleep in Winter?
Bird, Butterfly, Eel
Little Red Bat

History Sentence
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc the Lily Maid

The Kingfisher Atlas of World History

Just Because We Like Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs in Action

Most of our work is memory work so I try to find books and videos that help bring the memory work to life. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting into the Homeschool Groove

This past week was a good week. A bit unorganized for my taste but overall it went really well. Myself and my children seem to have gotten over our colds and the renovation of our new home is starting to look more manageable and less overwhelming(I'm painting those walls instead of letting them cave in on me). I was able to accomplish most of the homeschooling goals I had set for Caleb and meet with a group of moms and kids in our Classical Conversations group. Plus, myself and the boys got a little creative!

The pictures were rotated during upload so put on your Yoga outfits and take a look at what we did.  First, Caleb suprised me when we woke up from his "nap".  He drew a Star Wars book for his cousin and wanted me to write the book for him.  I felt so honored! 

Next, myself and the boys built a barn.  They loved it!  I'm still finding foam flowers everywhere.

Finally, although I was not able to take pictures, I allowed Ethan to play with rice while I helped Caleb with his reading.  I received this creative idea from a homeschool mom.  It was such a great idea.  Ethan stayed busy for about 5 minutes and then I stayed busy for about 20 trying to get rice off my floor.  Next time I will get a bigger bowl and set everything up outside.  I'm learning! :)

We had a fun time at a CC family's house.  I was able to talk to two homeschooling mom's about how they go about their day.  One mom was just starting out like me and the other was a veteran.  We all did things differently so I loved hearing everything they had to say. I was able to learn so much from them and it just reminded me of how different we can be when we are homeschooling.  We all have different lives, our children learn differently and we teach differently but it works and so far it works great for my family!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Local Homeschool Groups Are So Important!

So last night I skipped out of work a bit early to hang out with some of the homeschool moms in my local homeschool group. It was relaxing and uplifting. I was able to talk, kid free, with some of the moms I pass by at church or when I am just out. Normally the conversation is, "Hi, how are you doing, what is your name again? You homeschool right and your in the homeschool group at church. Oh, I've got to go."
However, last night I was able to just chat, get encouraged, talk to moms who have been doing this a while and get some great advice. Oh, and laugh, laughter is the best medicine and after our crazy week laughter was my cure!
If you are not involved in a group I want to encourage you to get involved because they will help you on this journey of homeschooling so much. You know you will need it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Husband Is The Greatest!

Have you had one of those days? You are trying to teach a new topic to one of your children when out of no where your youngest, who was happily playing by himself, decides he needs your attention. Not just a little bit of your attention, all of it. Oh, and if he doesn't get it then he will let you and all of your neighbors know how unhappy that makes him. Today was one of those days for me. I was going over Caleb's history lesson and he was just about to "get it" when Ethan entered the room. My goodness, there was no making that child happy, blocks, crayons, markers, the piano, dancing around the room, nothing worked. Then from around the corner of my unfinished dining room my wonderful husband enetered the room. He lifted Ethan up and said, "Why don't you come spend some time with me." My mouth dropped as silence once again entered our little homeschool room. Just as quickly as the chaos came it went and Caleb and I were able to continue the lesson.
Since my husband will not be able to rescue me from my child everyday I need ideas. What do you do with your young one(s) when you are trying to focus on a topic with your older child or children and nothing seems to be working?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where Is The Substitue?

Oh my goodness, well everyone in my family except for my husband has been sick for the past two weeks. I thought everything was fine until I came down with the bug. Trying to homeschool young children while you are sick is a little difficult, but it can be done. Right now we spend about two to three hours on "school" each day. I took all of my meds. waited about 30 minutes and then I was able to accomplish my to do list for the day. Well, my homeschooling to do list. The laundry and cleaning had to wait. Since I was sick I did delay starting our math lessons. The plan was to begin Math on September 1, instead we started today, September 14. It went really well. I am using Saxon Math for my kindergartner. He has been waiting to open the "white box" with all of the manipulatives and today was the day! I let him and his brother play with the colored blocks - as stated in the teacher manual. They loved them! We also started numbering and coloring the calender. Caleb really enjoyed figuring out the days of the week, today's date and which month we are in. He is ready for all of the holiday festivities to begin so I think this is the perfect time to help him understand the calender.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Classical Education

As I was scouring through home school books trying to figure out which home shcooling method I wanted to use I noticed that although I liked something from each method the Classical Method seemed to touch on most of the areas that were important to me.

What is the Classical Homeschooling Method? Susan Wise Baur probably describes it best in her book the Well-Trained Mind. She says that it is a three part process called the Trivium. The first years of schooling, through about grade 4, are called the grammar stage. During this stage the child learns the facts. In other words, lots and lots of memorization. By fifth grade the child enters the Logic Stage. The question why is answered in the stage. The child is shown how the facts that were learned in the Grammar Stage fit together. Finally, during the high school years the child enters the Rhetoric Stage. The child is now able to use the lessons learned in the Grammar and Logic stage to write and speak with confidence.
Please browse to "What is Classical Education?" on the Well-Trained Mind website for an indepth look at the Classical Approach to learning.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Journey Begins

I have officially begun homeschooling. I attended the curriculum fairs, chose my curriculum, joined Homelife Academy, an umbrella school, and started our home school journey. My child is in kindergarten so we are focusing on the basics; reading, writing and arithmetic. We have also joined Classical Conversations to help lay the learning foundation and to provide me with support I need in my new role as a teacher.

Caleb (my kindergartner) loves it! He did attend preschool and then VPK at a private school and really misses his friends but he really enjoys being home schooled. My husband bought him a few homeschooling shirts from Homelife Academy and Caleb chooses to wear them constantly.

I think I have a pretty good schedule down, at least for now. We are in the middle of renovating and moving into a new house so once things settle down I will adjust my schedule as needed. Currently, we sit down and do a devotional together. Next we accomplish one lesson a day in the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons workbook and then read through one Bob Book a day. I usually have him read a new book each week. Lastly, we go through the memorization work outlined in the Classical Conversations workbook. I was planning on starting Saxon math last week but I think I may put it off for another week. I will keep you posted!