Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recording Today

The day flows by life a rushing river sometimes, filled with giggles and tears, failures and success. That cute phrase that she utters over and over, the one you promise you will burn into your memory, fades and with it, it's existence. How many things have gone by unnoticed or forgotten? How many precious moments have been all but erased?

 The days and years are just flying by without a second to hold on, savor. I've been reminded lately that I am the keeper of memories! As the kids get older, they will want to know and see what we did all those early years. Sometimes I struggle to think on what Jonah was like as a baby, I know what he looked like, but so many memories have ceased to exist.

 When was your earliest memory?? Preschool maybe? A few might have earlier memories, but not nearly as many as are created! So I decided I needed to make a change. And it starts with a Journal.

The entries are not eloquent or written in perfectly spaced lettering and script. They are the real life scribbles of what happens here on a daily basis. A living daily legacy of all that we did, laughed over and cried about. They aren't the inner workings of my mind and heart, but a slow recording of what my life is surrounded by. Because all too often I find myself completely lost in tomorrow, the calendar and plans laid out, instead of living here, right now, today. And when tomorrow comes, today is long forgotten.

Prayers
 praises
 struggles
 giggles
 failures
success
wonders
problems

They all deserve a place in memory, the teach us where we came from and help us in where we are going.....

Do you have a homeschooling or daily life journal? Maybe we could share some snippets of real life from that journal!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 5~Starting to Jive

So it's taken 5 weeks this year.......5 weeks! to finally feel like things are coming together for us. The beginning of each school year always seems so difficult! It always seems like we are adjusting to a new baby, moving, or this year moving people out! The beginning of a school year is difficult enough. But add in any major change and it seems to throw me completely for a loop.

This year my sister and her family moved out.....

We added Gracia in to our day of learning

TJ remained as a part of our day

We added picking Bella up from the school up the road @2

A few of us got the flu

We added soccer boy scouts and a few other things to our schedule

I almost had a nervous breakdown and gave up entirely (true story)

The charter school the kids attend made some changes, making it a little more challenging for the parents (not entirely bad, just a new adjustment)

I guess in the long run, even though we had a great summer, (and Jonah's permanent tooth survived) but I still wasn't quite ready to head back into school. But I felt pressure from the Charter school, knowing I had only a certain amount of time before the materials would need to be returned. Knowing they were starting face to face classes that we were required to be there for. Knowing that if we didn't start, that would mean we didn't finish .

I had our first 6 weeks planned.....but I was still teetering on changing History, questioning if I should be adding Geography and Art, or that other science. I was plain struggling. I hated my planner and was just over all dissatisfied with many of this year's choices. I have tried to keep reminding myself how young the kids are, how little they truly need at this age. But sometimes the responsibility of homeschooling and doing it well is overwhelming!

I'm thankful that this is the last week of our Quarter. Thankful I'll be able to refocus and make some adjustments to our routine, and possibly tweak both History and Science to make it work for us. After telling Dave about what I was looking for in a Science curriculum, and just not finding it, he actually offered to help write one! I know that sounds insane (it does to me as well considering how little time we actually have to do that!), but we are heavily praying and considering it. And I am still piecing together an Art curriculum for my kids and possibly for sharing one day.

I think that is what makes homeschooling so difficult at times. Because we get to pick and choose what our kids learn, being dissatisfied with something means I have to change it, add to it, supplement, edit.....it's both good and bad! But that is where we are. I am trying to carve out a little more time for myself these days as well. To study God's word, blog, craft.....something other than schooling, diaper changing, cleaning and cooking!

Hope this quarter is finding you well, have you had to make changes so far? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Learning Lab {Our school space}

I know it's semantics but a while ago I thought about changing the "name" of our school room into the "Learning Lab". It just sounded so much more inviting and less sterile. More free and exploratory! So here is our Learning Lab. I love that it is always a work in progress, dynamic in more ways than one! And it's also the space the kids go to everyday we don't have official "school" It's their creative space, a fun place! At first when we moved in I was hesitant to make the room a space for homeschooling. I thought about tucking our things into a spare room. But we cramming 3 desks and all the works into a little 10x10 room isn't ideal, and a bit claustrophobic. I struggled with the idea mainly because this room is the room you walk into as soon as you step into the house! It was designed as a sitting room of sorts. It was actually Dave that talked me into using the space and I'm so happy he did. After all, it's what our life is for in this season!

Our original "Learning Space" was just a corner in our dining room! 

The space at a glance.

Workpockets and work baskets.

We love the workbox system for organizing all the different activities and subjects for each child, but this work pocket idea that came to me while looking through a Lakeshore Learning catalog works fabulously! (although I ordered it off Amazon for cheaper!) Bigger activities or hands on manipulatives can be added to the work baskets.

All sorts of things fit in the pockets!


 This area also hides a computer lab for the kiddos to watch videos, play online educational games, connect to Brain Pop, etc. (This is an older photo of the area, it's changed since I've added the workpockets)


We have a circle time area. We start the day here with our Circle Time, Bible, History and Geography...it's needs some color on the walls...but that is for another time!

We were incredibly blessed by a friend who scored these desks as they were being thrown away.....God is amazing isn't He? She also gave us the Art easels in the Art Escape!

So that is about it. The only challenge to this room is that you can't close the doors on the mess! I suppose it's motivation to keep the room neat, although it's a wreck more times than it's neat!

Today we are linking up to:








and


Not Back to School Blog Hop

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Keeping Sane while Homeschooling

Alright I said it. Indirectly, yes homeschooling, if you are not careful....can drive you insane. Being a homemaker in itself has the potential for some serious craziness, but throw in the responsibilities of being a teacher~no wait make that 6 teachers~ the principal, the vice principal, curriculum support, custodian, Librarian, Health room Nurse and the PTA Committee Chairperson! I mean just the parent-teacher conferences are enough to send you packing.

Now combine those responsibilities with Household management and either you've got an engineering genius or a madhouse. And though sometimes the footprints on the wall all lead to complete chaos, for the most part these last few years have been an experiment on how to stay sane and homeschool and to do it all well. (mind you I did not say perfectly!)

The truth is you can do it all well. I am going to share with you the changes and things I've done over the years to make our homeschooling and life run relatively smoothly. This isn't a series on how to pick the best curriculum, or your state homeschooling laws, this is the nitty gritty on how to actually accomplish your school goals and manage your home, and do it well. After all no one likes being behind, but there are ways to "keep up" with it all even when you have 4 kids 6 years an under like I do! Here are some of the topics that will be covered in this series:
  • Scheduling your Days
  • House keeping
  • Laundry
  • Meal planning and prep
  • Homeschooling with toddlers and babies
  • Homeschool planning
  • Chores for littles
  • Organizing for homeschooling
  • Organizing for Life
As we go through this series, please feel free to ask questions or add your own personal tips and tricks to the mix! These are things I've found that have worked well for our family. Not that I have everything figured out, or that my house is a museum. But when you implement certain routines and tips, you can keep up with your home at a level that you can be proud of. Of course it takes diligence and hard work, but it is not an impossibility, nor does it have to be stressful! I hope you find this series helpful!

Friday, August 19, 2011

FREE Art Activities

I found this awesome website yesterday by the National Gallery of Art! It's a super fun place for the kids to experiment, create and even print out their creations! Check it out!

There is way too much on this site to really do it justice in this little space. But playing around on the site will quickly get you addicted! You can create collages, still life's, digital photo art and much more! The site uses images, people, backgrounds and objects taken from famous works of art to create your own new works of art!

Its is a great way of introducing kids to artists, styles of art, famous images and the elements of art. I have a feeling the kids will be fighting over this site......


There is fun for everyone! An idea I had was to save all of your child's creations and print them out in a book as well! How cool would that be to have your very own prints! 

Happy creating!





Homeschool Mother's Journal #......uh.......

Well it's been a few months, so let's just jump right in!

In My Life This Week.....
There are lots and lots of biiiiiiiggggg changes going on. My sister, her husband and two children are moving down the road from us! They bought a house, got the keys and are ready to start life here in the Islands as a family! We are pretty excited they are only going to be a few blocks from us (so I'll be visiting when she makes meatloaf). I'll still be watching TJ, and picking Bella up from school (literally at the end of our street). But once again in this fast paced year we will be re-arranging rooms and life. Maybe just maybe we'll actually be able to move in completely! And by move in I mean go through the oodles of boxes in the attic and set up my long lost sewing space......

In My Homeschool This Week.......
We have taken this week to slowly start the transition back into a school routine. A few weeks ago I set our schedule/routine including Liora and TJ and adding Gracia as a part of our "Tot School". But this week we've taken a laid back approach to getting into the groove of things again. From past experience I know jumping in head first causes much stress! Taking it one day at a time was about all I could handle at this point!

Monday we started off by taking a look at all our new books and supplies, Tuesday we started a little of our Circle time routine, Wednesday we did a little Math and today we did a little reading. Each day we tried to follow our schedule for the most part, taking breaks, keeping up with chores. I think I may actually be ready to start out the school year next week!

I am inspired by.......
I should say, I've been inspired to give my children their own Art Escape. I've highlighted the idea behind it as well as photos in my previous posts. I'll be sure to update everyone on the space and how it's being used!! As a former art teacher, I have to say I really miss the everyday mess of Art and creation....and I would really like to make sure my kids have a solid foundation in the Arts!

I've been inspired by my husband finding my college collection of Art Lesson plans....it's a gold mine of ideas (pre internet days!) I am kicking around the idea of writing a Scripture inspired Art Curriculum to share! One that is easy for parents to use (needing no previous "art" experience) but is also full of great ideas using simple supplies, highlighting Artists, Art History as well as Art Theory.

Questions or Thoughts I have......
Is there even a market for an Art Curriculum like I've described above??

What's working for us.......
 After 7 long years of being behind on laundry. (seriously I've never been caught up) I have finally found the secret to keeping the laundry monster at bay. This is the 4th week of my laundry baskets being empty and it's been easy.....easier than being behind on laundry all the time! And NO my family has not joined a nudist colony, although.....that might be an easier way to keep up with laundry!

I've got some plans in the works to keep up with the rest of the house as well......I may just have to share my findings if I can conquer this house management thing!

I'm reading.....
A Thousand Gifts By Ann Voscamp....still reading it. I've been trying to chew on this one word by word....it's such an amazing book, if you haven't read it yet you must.

I wondering if I am the only one who reads 5 books at a time. Really, it's a little ADD, I know, but I can't seem to stay completely interested in just one book. So I read many at one time. Makes me wonder if I am getting the full potential of each book? So what else am I reading then you ask?

.Last Child in the Woods, The Ministry of Motherhood, The Birthing House and Keeping a Quiet Heart
There, my secret is out.....

A photo to share..... 
 Our new Art Escape! The kids love it, and actually it's right outside the Master bedroom, so it's nice to be near the kids as they create and enjoy art!



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Inspired

This past weekend we went to the North Shore and watched our friends play in Summer Music Festival. It was put on by a family (of 11 kids), so musically talented, it blows you away to watch them. Most of the kids in the family play a wide variety of instruments, and when I say "play" I mean at a Master's level. Most songs are improvised and it's not uncommon for the kids to switch instruments with each other throughout the performances. If you want to be blown away....or transported to another world, spend some time on their website RonArtis.com . Not only are they musically talented, but in the visual arts as well.

They are a homeschooling family, so talented and free, and they love God so much they are amazing to be around. While we were sitting there I asked a friend, "How in the world do you raise kids like this?" her answer inspired me. She said simply, "Our children are us. They will be what we are." I could go on and on about both the intellectual as well as the spiritual implications of her insight. How they have impacted me this week. But there was one way that I was really inspired.

See, I am actually an education major....an art education major. It's been so long thought since I've felt this creative, artistic urge. And recently I've wanted to show that side of me to my own kids, awaken those abilities in them and give them some freedom to find their own creativity and gifts. So this week I started by setting up an Art Studio for them. A place where they can go whenever they want, paint, sculpt (play with play dough), create! Now I realize with some freedom with art supplies there also comes mess. But I'm learning and training them to care for the space themselves, give them the tools to not only have the supplies at their disposal but clean up as well. Over all I think it's gone fairly well this week. I know they have enjoyed the area, they've spent about 4 hours each day in the space. It has been amazing to watch them outside painting and creating.

Here is a peek at their Art Escape......
A simple little space with everything you need to create!
I am blessed with an outside covered lanai (patio), and yes we do live in a warm climate year round, so it makes it easy to mess up and clean up. (I'll share more later on indoor art areas). I was given 2 easels for art and simply added clips to hold the kids art work. A TV tray table sits in the middle to hold water, brushes and art media (paint, oil pastels, etc). All of the kids Art supplies are located in the plastic drawers on the right. We use a small camping picnic table for the kids that cleans up perfectly with a little help from a magic eraser! And I hung a rope from one post to the house, added some clothes line clips for wet paint.

Painting smocks and shirts, brushes and magic erasers!

Of course we don't have rules for what you can create, but we do for using the work space! I tried to keep the rules short and sweet (although Jonah kept saying "Rule # 49596").
1. Put on a painting shirt or smock.
2. Gather your supplies.
3. Create!
4. Clean up!
As long as they clean up their area, I love the idea of the kids creating for hours on end!

Make sure the drying rope is low enough for the kids to hang themselves!
Three drawers were enough to house paper, paints and clay!


And we are ready to create! 

So far the kids have really loved the space. I've been playing some classical music for them while they create. I hope to showcase what they have done in the future! 
If you have an art space or are inspired, leave a comment and a link to your blog, I would love to check out your Art Escape! 
I'll also be posting some ideas for indoor, less-mess art areas in the future, now go create something!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

{Homeschool} Art Series

In homeschooling we talk Math, and Language Arts, Science and History, socializing, discipline, Co-ops, groups, curriculum choices, philosophies.....but do we ever talk Art? Not crafts, making paper back puppets and glitter pens. But Art, as in Monet and Impressionism, line-shape-texture, sculpting, painting.......I am finding it's actually a tough subject to find in terms of Homeschooling. One that is disappointingly lacking in our {Homeschool} community! We know that the Arts in general have gotten a backseat in terms of funding and attention. The focus is on Math and Reading scores (subjects that are important)! I think (no, I know) that as a homeschooling parent, we can offer our children experiences far better than they would have otherwise. With a little effort and patience. So.....lets talk art.

Let me introduce this series by saying, I was an Art Major, more specifically and Art ED Major. So for years Art was my breath, my life, my love. I'll admit, I have never thought of myself as very talented, but I loved creating, doing, making, learning. Over the years of adding children and starting homeschooling, I've found myself less and less creating art, and even more so letting my kids create less than I would like.

Why? That's easy!

Art is messy. It is, there is just NO WAY around it right? Paint on clothing, play dough ground into the carpet, little tenny weeny bits of paper everywhere.....glued to the floor......

Art takes time. It takes work to get out the supplies and then clean them all up again. Sometimes it feels like it took 30 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes of art and 30 more minutes to do damage control!

Art takes talent. Even as an Art Teacher, I've had those thoughts....."how am I supposed to teach them when I can't draw myself??"  I understand it takes a little back ground knowledge to teach something, and in the area of Art it can be extremely intimidating.

To start off this series, let's discuss a little (and please feel free to link back to me in your own blogs, Facebook, twitter...)

What does art look like in your Homeschool? 

Are you using an "Art curriculum" or adding crafts to other subjects like History and Language Arts?



Where do you struggle when it comes to Art?


What would you like to see in this series? 

I've got some ideas planned for this series including:

Art Areas (setting up and maintaining an art studio for your kids)
Art Links to Artists and History
Everyday Art Ideas
Foundations of Art
Great tools and tips to have on hand

and much more! So link up, comment, discuss! I'm very excited about getting back into the stroke of things! Help spread the word to get this going!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Curriculum Round Up!

I'm always interested in what curriculum other people have chosen, mainly because I like to see what works in each family with kids of ages similar to mine. I always come across something I haven't heard of and it's fun to peek into the schoolroom of someone else! So this will be what it looks like in our "Learning Lab" this year:


Jonah (2nd grade)
  • Sonlight Core C with Grade 3 readers. I know he is only 6, but that kid can read! I am taking the grammar part of it slowly and working on introducing him to concepts, but not overwhelming him.
  • SpellWell, Explode the Code, MCP Phonics, Wordly Wise and Hooked on Phonics Master Reader
  • Handwriting without Tears and A Reason For Handwriting
  • Horizons Math 2
  • Story of the World Volume 2
  • Apologia Astronomy
  • Telling God's Story Bible Study
Ellie(Kindergarten)
  • Calvert 1st grade curriculum (we'll be using the reading, Math and Social Studies)
  • Explode the Code
  • Handwriting without Tears
  • Story of the World Vol. 2
  • Sonlight Science and Apologia Astronomy with Jonah
  • Telling God's Story Bible Study
Gracia(Preschool-age 3)

We like starting the day together in Circle Time. We go over skip counting, days of the week, tell time,
talk about the month or activities we have coming up, and a few other things (that is a whole post in itself!) We do Bible study together and then History or Geography. The kids do separate activities for Language Arts and Math and then come together again to do Science, Art, PE and those subjects. I know with kids of younger ages some of the facts and figures may go over their heads. I do believe being introduced to basic concepts and supplementing activities on their own level helps introduce them to a subject that we can build upon later!

I hope you enjoyed your view into our upcoming year! I would love to answer any questions! Hop on Over to Heart of the Matter and link up your blog!


Not Back to School Blog Hop

New schedule

I'm  the sort of person that both loves and hates being on a schedule. In one sense a schedule brings a rhythm, a security and comfort knowing what needs to be done, how it will get done and when. But on the other hand, they can get boring and monotonous! That is why summer and breaks in between are so necessary! I didn't used to but now,  I actually enjoy letting the house go a little, not rushing around trying to keep everything in it's place and on time! But as we head into the new year, I know without a doubt the laundry will pile up, the dinners not be planned well, the house a disaster if I don't plan well......so here it is, my schedule for next year.

I am hoping it will {mostly} work out. In a house full of little ones it's easy for something to go wrong differently than planned. But at least with a skeleton of a schedule we've got an action plan! It will be a little tricky some days picking Bella up from the school up the road, but she'll just join in the schedule at around 2pm. I even scheduled myself some "free time"....dreamily I might even start some sewing projects, catch up on blogging or *gasp* nap or read a book!

One thing I did notice is, I failed to schedule myself a time to shower......hmmmmm.

So how do you get yourself going from the summer lazy routine back into the busy school season? This year I've taken the slow approach. I've read you should just jump into a schedule full steam, without looking back! That has never worked for me. It actually makes the schedule more stressful. I'm not great with change, remember?

This year I've decided to go a different route. I've been easing myself into the schedule this week and next week. The following week we will hammer it down a little more with our "Week of Review" before our actual school year begins. Let me say it's been nice to ease into this school year. So how do you do it?

1. Make a Skeleton Schedule I take our routine already and write it down. What time normally do you get up, eat, school, lunch, play etc. Don't try to reinvent everything and wake the kids up at 5am. Seriously no one needs that trauma.

2. Make a To Do list. What else realistically needs to be done during the day? Laundry? Errands? Blogging? Napping!

3. Find REAL Time When you start writing all this down you will actually see where you are wasting time, where you need more time to accomplish certain tasks (that always seem to be on your to do list) Now you can start to fill in the spaces logically! For instance a huge frustration used to be cleaning. After a long day of teaching, kid rearing and meal prep I would have try once a week to clean the entire house top to bottom. Okay besides that being downright stupid for a Mom with 3 (at the time) kids under 3, I didn't even have enough time in the day to accomplish the task! But separating the cleaning throughout the week (Mopping Mondays, Toilet Tuesdays, Washy Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Foliage Friday~ uh yes, it's that cheesy) I can set aside an hour (most times I finish in less) to clean that one area. Of course throughout the day we straighten, and the kids have chores as well. But this way the floors get vacuumed and mopped once a week, the bathrooms scrubbed, etc.

4. Make it official. Yup, type it out, write it down, share it with the world (or just your family), post it somewhere, talk about it, go over it. I used publisher and have tweaked the schedule many times with the addition of new family members, saving the old printouts just for memory sake. Let everyone know of the changes that are going to happen, what is expected and how you are all going to work together.

5. Ease into it. For me jumping in head first was stressful. Going from no schedule to being "tied to a clock" wasn't a friendly experience. So this year I have been watching the clock and just trying to keep some of the appointments. Having breakfast done by 7:30, starting some laundry at 8:30, getting lunch ready, etc. I am familiarizing myself daily by glancing at what time it is and asking, "what will we be doing at this time?" This week I mainly stayed on top of meals and cleaning. By today we've had clean rooms for a week, laundry caught up and a clean house. Next week we'll add a few more things from the schedule and by the time we are ready to get back into the full swing of things everything will flow naturally!

6. Change what isn't working. Obviously it's your day and life, what you are doing has to work for you otherwise life will be stressful! Make your schedule fit your family, lifestyle, habits and hobbies.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It came and went....

Summer that is. So that's it!? In and out like a flash. I can't say we didn't enjoy our time. We took part in Awana camp, VBS, made trips to the beach and pool, lazed around, got some projects done, rearranged, reorganized and re-alized....summer is just about over! Dave is back in school and I am preparing for the start of our year! As always I have lofty goals, "School Year Resolutions" I suppose....here are a few

  • To enjoy this year more than any other year.
  • I want to have 4 days of school planned.
  • I don't want to over do it!!!!!
  • Do more Science Experiments, Art projects and Field trips! (wait didn't i say I didn't want to "over do it"?
  • I want to focus on what God has for us this year, not on what I want to accomplish!
  • I want to take each day as God gives to us.
  • I would love the kids to be involved in either music lessons, Gymnastics, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts.....
  • I should probably state again I don't want to over do it!
  • I do want to stick to a schedule or routine....
  • I want to live life, not from emergency to emergency.....life is not an emergency!
  • I want to finish this year's curriculum (I've come closer each year!)
  • I would love to be a part of a Homeschool group or co-op.....
As each year goes by and we gain more experience as a homeschooling family, I feel more and more comfortable in my skin as a parent and teacher. But each year I look forward to tweaking things just a little to get them running more smoothly. This year, there are no huge changes taking place, no babies being added to the family or moving. In a few weeks it will just be us again, and finally I'll be able to get into my own groove.

I've been getting lots of things crossed off my list like making my own planner and putting together Gracia's curriculum (Preschool!!) Planning review weeks and the first term, reorganizing the school room and making the kids portfolios from last year. Little by little we are headed into a new and exciting year!

But before we do.....maybe we'll take one more trip to the beach......

Saturday, June 4, 2011

{MORE} Startfall Giveaway!

I'm pretty excited about this giveaway for a number of reasons! First of all you don't have to be a homeschooling family for this to be a great giveaway! Any family with kids ages 2-8 will LOVE this new website! It's fun and educational and it gives your kids a way to hold on to or move ahead from what they've learned this year!

Just about any Mom you talk to has heard about and loves Starfall.com! Starfall Features Pre-reading, beginning reading and reading activities for kids ages 2 and up. The website is a great addition to any reading program! It's entertaining and educational and what is better than that?

So when the creators of Starfall started advertising MoreStarfall, well for our family we were sold on the demos alone! MoreStarfall boasts activities in:
  • Math (Songs, numbers, addition, subtraction,multiplication, division, place value, skip counting)
  • Preschool Skills (colors, shapes, ABC's)
  • Reading (Spelling, phonics, grammer)
  • Nursery Rhymes
The cost of MoreStarfall more than pays for itself! A year of MoreStarfall is $35 with the ability to verify 3 computers (this allows you to directly access the website without a login and password!) With the 4 kids in the house that will be hoggin using MoreStarfall at any given time, that means a cost of $.02 a day per child. That is very reasonable for this household!

Already the benefits of MoreStarfall have given Jonah a jump on learning his Multiplication and Division! And Ellie is free to continue being reinforced in the skills she worked on this year in K4! Most of all I love how Starfall utilizes both Auditory and Visual skills in creative and Musical ways making memorization easy!

And the best part? I've 6 Month-long Trails to giveaway to 6 Lucky households! You don't need to be a homeschooling family to benefit from this giveaway! If you've got kids ages 2-8, they will enjoy the benefits from MoreStarfall!

Mandatory Entry Requirements:
{Please leave a separate comment for each entry, a winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org}
  • Visit the MoreStarfall website and look over ALL the site has to offer! You can even sample a few of the games for free, let me know which one you like!
  • Follow my blog or subscribe in RSS feed
  • LIKE the Homeschool Hoop-La page on Facebook
Extra entries:
{please leave links in your comments for each extra entry}
  •  Update your Facebook Status and tell everyone you know about this GREAT giveaway, linking them to my blog!
  • BLOG about this giveaway!
  • VOTE for my blog by clicking on the "We're on the Fence button on my side bar!
A winner will be chosen randomly On JUNE 9th so please check back, or leave me your email address in a comment so I can get a hold of you! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

{Winner}

And the winner is of the Well Planned Day Planner is



*~Julie Lear~*


Julie, I know you are busy. But drop everything and send me your email address at keikikuddlerz@earthlink.net! I'll forward it on to the Home Educating Family and your planner will be in your hands shortly!

Thank You
To the wonderful people at Home Educating Family for sponsoring this giveaway! And thank you for making a fabulous product!
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mr. Poppers Penguins {Summer Fun Idea}

Have you read Mr. Popper's Penguins with the kids yet? If not this would be the perfect time! You've got 17days till this movie comes out!

I just requested my copy from the Public Library (since I returned the school copy yesterday!)






It's a delightful classic, it captured the imagination and interest of my children, I'm sure it will yours as well! Here is a little summary about the book:

"Mr. Popper, when not painting or papering his neighbors' walls, has a persistent penchant for penguins. A decorator by day, he's an intrepid Antarctic explorer by night--at least in his imagination. Mr. Popper resigns himself to quiet evenings at home with his family and his travel books, until one day a mysterious package arrives. Pretty soon the Poppers have a house full of penguins, an ice rink in the basement, and an ever-increasing bill for raw fish and canned shrimp. Time to take this show on the road!The Atwaters wrote this unforgettable tale in 1938, but its timeless charm shows no signs of aging. Children are invited to imagine, dream, and believe that anything is possible. An ideal read-aloud book for all ages, Mr. Popper's Penguins will have any audience rolling in the aisles. (Ages 9 to 12)"

From the movie trailer you can tell the book and film do have some differences, but what a fun way to start off summer and cross something off your summer list!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 10

In my life this week…

All I can think about is summer summer summer time! I've been hit by the lazy bug. Though I have kept up with laundry, cooking and of course keeping the kids alive (that is an important one!)

Today is Dave's last day as well! That means my husband/partner/sidekick/better half will be in the trenches here with us for weeks and weeks! Let the fun begin! The kids are always excited about summer time with Dad. What a blessing to have him here with us for large spaces of time!

In our homeschool this week…

 Okay so......we took summer a week off early. I just couldn't make it through the week. We did a few days, and the basics of Math and Reading, but I am zonked! I think we may continue to do some basics through out the summer taking weeks off here and there (like when we go to Awana Camp!) but other than that, the kids have enjoyed lots of extra play and art time. Just what we ALL need!

Today I am officially packing up our Non consumables to take back to the school.....clearing off the old shelves and waiting to fill them up for next year! I really really really can't wait to get next year's curriculum!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We've visited the pool twice this week AND I survived! The first time I braved it with 5 kids, the second time I  took all 6. Truth be told even though the oldest is only 6, we hung out in the kiddie pool boasting of a whole 18 inches of water. Only the infants could drowned in that AND when you own a variety of double strollers, your only worry is making sure both harnesses work and that the stroller fits through the gate!
My favorite thing this week was…

Surviving the pool with 6 kids was a proud moment for me! But having today be our official last day is pretty exciting! No more pressure, no more schedule for a little while.....just relaxing, planning good family fun with the kids and enjoying some down time!
What’s working/not working for us…

Summer time is really going to work for us! REALLY! I plan on getting very tan, spending a lot of unscheduled time with the kid and reading a whole bunch. MAYBE even getting out the old sewing machine and getting a few projects in!
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

What is your reading list for the summer? I want to continue story time and reading aloud.....any great suggestions? 
 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

I would love for you to scroll down and enter the giveaways I'll be hosting on my blog for the next month! One a week for the entire month of June! Check out the review below on the Well Planned Day planners, follow the directions and maybe you'll win!

Kicking off Summer with a {GIVEAWAY}!

Summer is so close I can smell the sunscreen and Charcoal.....that may be because I've take the kids to the pool 2 days in a row! What better way to kick off Summer Break than with a giveaway to help you look ahead to next year!

Homeschool Hoop-La is Hosting giveaways every week in June!

As a former Public School teacher, my planner was one of my favorite tools. I loved sitting down and filling out all those boxes neatly! So when I started homeschooling, even when Jonah was only 3, you better believe I ran our and bought a planner and started filling in those little boxes! It didn't take me long to realize that the typical teaching planner just wasn't going to work for Homeschooling. I searched for free printable planners and found some that would work, but they weren't exactly what I wanted or needed. They lacked certain elements and had ones I didn't ever use. Until I came across.......

The new 2011-2012 Planner  

Let me just start off by adding my disclaimer here: I purchased this planner based on another Review I read, from another Homeschooling Momma.And after visiting the Home Educating Website and taking a
detailed look into their planner. I was sold. I ordered the planner right away and have loved it this entire year! You can (and should!) look for yourself, but let me tell you a few of my favorite things about this planner!

First of all, it isn't just for Homeschooling. It's an all inclusive LIFE planner, and if you have been Homeschooling for any length of time you know there is no separating life from Homeschooling. Homeschooling is a part of your life, as much as grocery shopping, cooking and laundry. This planner makes that all easy and simple to incorporate!

For Household organization there are pages for Finance notes, chore cards for the kids, special contacts and more! Two of my favorite features were the perferated shopping lists that were inlcuded at the start of each month! (6 you can jot down items and easily tear out each month) Having them handy while teaching proved essential for those items you would find you needed for science of history! No more searching for that list you thought you left on the counter somewhere! I also loved that each week has a space for Priorities, a menu list for each day and a weekend list! All 3 right there! As things come up during the day, you've got your lists right there to add to or cross off!

On the Homeschooling portion of this planner, I cannot say enough about how well thought out and organized this planner truly is. All of the Homeschooling features of this planner are made with 4 children in mind. Some of the features of this planner are The Class Plan and Student Schedule, Semester Goals, sections for Books to Read, Field Trip & Enrichment Activities, Tracking monthly expenses, Attendance Records, Weekly Progress/Grade Reports, even a Perforated Report Card for each child! Really when I say they thought of everything, I mean everything! The planning for each week includes planning spaces for Bible, Math, History, Science, English as well as extra spaces for notes! I use mine for my circle time notes as well as foreign language notes!

One of my favorite extra features of this planner are the little touches that have been added. The Scripture verses on each page, the encouraging quotes, the weekly Catechism and the Monthly articles! Truth be told I had to practice some self control and wait each month to read the articles. They were so perfectly planned and encouraging right when I needed them.

So while I go and order my planner for next year, let me give YOU a chance to win something that really will help your next year in your journey of Homeschooling! Here's how:

Mandatory Entry Requirements:
{Please leave a separate comment for each entry, a winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org}
Extra entries:
{please leave links in your comments for each extra entry}
  •  Update your Facebook Status and tell everyone you know about this GREAT giveaway!
  • BLOG about this giveaway!
  • VOTE for my blog by clicking on the "We're on the Fence button on my side bar!
A winner will be chosen randomly On JUNE 1st so please check back, or leave me your email address in a comment so I can get a hold of you! 

If you don't happen to be the blessed winner of this planner, OR you just can't wait, take advantage of these great deals:

*Sign up for a FREE 7 day trial membership of the Home Educating Magazine (another great resource by the way!) and get 10% off your planner purchase!
* Purchase a Binder and Planner Bundle and save 15% right now!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Best Laid {summer} Plans

Things are rolling down around here....summer is drawing near (okay it's always summer-like weather here, I'm talking school!), and I'm wondering, as I do every year, what shall we do this year? Even though the teacher of this Homeschool Groove needs a break, I'm always  tempted to keep the routine, at least loosely.

Truth be told we didn't finish every single thing for this year, though we came A LOT closer than last year! SO should I try and get a little closer to that goal? Here are my thoughts:

  • Have a very short, 1 hour a day school day each day. Do different activities, games, reading time etc. Just to keep info fresh in their minds and growing.
  • Don't do anything at all. Just let them play and make messes for 6-8 weeks!
  • Go through Galloping the Globe (which has other subjects integrated into it)
  • Make learning available and very informal, take lots of field trips, spend lots of time at the beach!
I just don't know what to do yet! Maybe a little delight directed, finding out what the kids would like to catch up on, spending time building rockets and collecting treasures from tide pools, long visits to the Library with stacks of books to bring home.

I know some families that only take a very short break and homeschool the whole year, others take a huge summer and enjoy each other.

What are your thoughts? What are you doing this summer with your Homeschool???

Friday, May 20, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 9

In my life this week…

We are all battling little colds. Nothing too devastating but when you are talking about  a 5 month old and a 1 year old, it can make things a little more hectic! 

We are planning a great summer! It's my favorite time of year since Dave gets a summer break as well (being a High School teacher). We usually try and cram in as much fun family time as possible! The kids have already added camping, trips to the museum and planetarium and rocket construction on the list!

In our homeschool this week…

We are counting down the days of official school, and I'm planning some fun learning opportunities throughout the summer! Today we have our last Face to Face class for the kids. They'll do a review of everything they've learned this year and their teachers will "evaluate" them. I've never actually had this done, and though I know my kids very very well. I think it will be nice to have an outside opinion. I'm hoping it will help with some of my curriculum choices.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

I ventured out this week and took all 6 kids to the Botanical Gardens to learn about the sun! It was so much fun, and a lot of work! I took them down to the pond to feed the fish and ducks and literally burned around a million calories pushing the stroller and carrying TJ up a crazy hill!
My favorite thing this week was…

 Watching the kids Award night for Awana. They have worked so hard and loved hiding God's work in their hearts! We are sad to have to look for another program (the one we've been attending for years is not closing), but we are a little excited for a possible "date night" for Dave and I.....we haven't had that in years! We are praying God leads us to where we should be!
What’s working/not working for us…

A laid back school day! We are enjoying these last days of school, knowing how hard we've worked and just how much we've learned this year! I am working on making the kids yearly books (and getting to use my binding machine and laminator of course!) Last year I was freaking out about how much we hadn't done and how behind we were! This year I'm taking it all in. Looking back and realizing just how awesome this Homeschooling option really is!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

Are you doing any schooling over the summer? I have been kicking around the idea of loosely doing some schooling. But I also want to take a nice long break. Relax and do some delight directed learning! I have some ideas and fun experiements and projects "available" for the kids. I know some families who keep going the whole year and some who stop completely.....I'm not sure what I want to do yet!
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

This photo cracks me up......





The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cyber Curriculum Carnival

So I've been tossing this idea around for a while now, I figure it's time I let it out of the bag and see what response I get.

You know, being a Homeschooling Mom is a tough job, whether you are new at it or a seasoned pro! I've been asked many times both online and in person about what curriculum I use and how I went about choosing it. Looking at various websites can be so confusing and intimidating for both first time Homeschoolers OR Homeschoolers that just aren't satisfied with their current choices!

In preparation for next school year, I'll be hosting a Cyber Curriculum Fair Blog Hop and I would love for you to be a part of it!

It's relatively simple. Basically I will be promoting and hosting a Blog Hop around the blogger-sphere where  Homeschooling Bloggers take part in posting about the curriculum they use OR have created! (what talent we have in the Homeschool community!) I would love each blogger participating to create 1 or more posts for a one week period (June 6-10th) about a particular Curriculum they use and love. If you want to create posts for all 5 days highlighting different curriculum, GREAT! But each post should be dedicated to a particular curriculum. If you've already done detailed posts about a particular curriculum and would like to re-post, that is fine too! If there is something you use such as Lapbooking or Unit Studies that aren't a particular curriculum but would like to post about that, please feel welcome! My main goal here is to have a week long event that Homeschooling families can get an inside look at what is out there and how it works in a real homeschool setting! 

So what do I need from you? Email me and let me know if you are interested (keikikuddlerz@earthlink.net), what curriculum (or curricula) you would like to post about. Once I have all the entries, I will email you back with a schedule of which days you need to post on. (That way blogging is spread evenly for our readers) If you can provide links and photographs of your children using the curriculum even better! Your blog posts should also include a button linking back to my blog (that I will provide) where readers can find a directory of curriculum posts, links to your blogs, and various Giveaways. But most importantly, your honest experience with the curriculum and why you choose to use it. Reading reviews from real life Homeschooling Moms can really make a difference between making a good choice for your family and making the RIGHT choice! And you can be a part of that!

I've got some Giveaways lined up to make the week a fun one! If you would like to include a giveaway on your blog please do! 

Please feel free to spread the word along to any blogger you know that you think would be a great addition to the group! The more the merrier! I hope you consider being a part of the Cyber Fair this year and join in the Hoop-La! Thank You!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Favorite Web~Roll

I know everyone has a list of favorite sites you frequent. Anyone who knows I literally have a hundred sites bookmarked on my homepage would laugh, but I wanted to share a few of my absolute favorites with you! Maybe you've heard of these, hopefully you'll find something new as well!

::A Few Freebies::

FREE games, activities, crafts and experiments for every subject!

FREE online story books for kids

FREE Phonics program with books and printables!

FREE Christian shows, movies and episodes from the makers of Veggie Tales

FREE Bible lessons and activities perfect for homeschooling or family devotions!
FREE games in all subjects for all grade levels!

FREE Spelling,vocabulary and writing games and activities! Make your OWN lists and the site creates all activities for your child! {Read: this has revolutionized Jonah's interest in spelling!}

Just about every subject in Power Point presentations! Each subject also has links to great kids websites, videos, activities and more! I use this site ALL the time for History and Science!



::Pennies a Day::

By now you've heard of Starfall (a free site for reading) They've just opened a new site called morestarfall! And it is FABULOUS! You can verify up to 3 computers (3 users at a time) for only $35 a year. That's a mere .03 a day! And after spending a combined total of hours and hours on this new site, survey says it's worth it! 

This is a great program I've used with the kids (grades K-3rd/4th). The program cost is around $60 for a lifetime membership. You can purchase additional children and keep a record of their progress (in printable version or online viewing) You can reset lessons and start again with a new student when you need to! And if you used this code CNKSpring you can get $50 off! There is also a 60 day money back guarantee if you buy the program and don't like it!

This is a site I use on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. It has proved to be worth every.single.cent. we've spent on it. This site has every subject you can ever imagine. Printable activities, books, crafts, experiments. And it spans from PreK to 6th grade! It's a bit pricier for either $12.99 per month or $99 for year. You could literally use this site alone for your entire curriculum. The activities are correlated to State Standards and the search engine makes it easy to search for your subject by grades and specific topics. It's worth the money!


I hope you enjoy perusing through these sites! These are ones I know I spends lots of time on and they are kid tested-parent approved! Don't hesitate to ask if you have ANY questions, please comment below or share your own favorites with us! I would love to add to my bookmarks!!!!!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

End of the Year Motivation

So this school year is coming to an end. Though the nice thing about homeschooling is not having to set an official start and end date, I like to have that for my own mental marking point! But getting close to that end date for me means my motivation starts to wane a little bit. Everyday seems like the perfect day for an unschooling day! I know though, not finishing what I've started also brings a fair amount of stress. So here are a few ways to keep trucking along for these last few weeks!

1. Set an end date, and count down to it! Be bold and set an official date! Not to guilt you into finishing or put a rush order on completing this workbook or that. But to give you an end in sight! Something to look forward to! Of course that doesn't mean learning stops! Or that you can't compete any more lessons. But it means you can breathe......just a little easier.

2. Make a summer wish list, and share it with the world! I've started mine! One lazy afternoon (or if you would like the kids to get some extra spelling and writing practice) day dream about all the realistic (and unrealistic) things you'd like to do together this summer. Maybe there are field trips that got skipped over this year, something special coming up this summer, or something you've just always wanted to do. Make a nice long list and highlight a few! Decide what is realistic for your family and really make an effort to make it happen!

3. Shorten your school days, lengthen the play time. Lessons can be done in less time and still be as effective. Around here we've been concentrating on the basics and still adding our History and Science once a week and life seems more simple. The blow up pool as become a permanent fixture in the yard, the pile of towels has replaced the pile of worksheets. And still books are being read, Math facts accumulating.

4. Add more fun into your school time. We've found a few new websites to keep us motivated. I found some Computer games on History at Goodwill. I've made up Math games using flashcards and M&M's to help recognize numbers. You don't have to spend hours researching to add some more fun into what you are already doing. But changing things up a little makes a big difference sometimes!

5. Out with the old, in with the new. Grab some iced tea or iced coffee, and start making your list for next year! (maybe even hang around here for a cyber curriculum fair, TBA) and learn something new! Pack up all the old books and curriculum, spring clean your shelves, get ready for the next year.! If you can order early and start your planning now, do it! Spreading it out over weeks instead of days will be invaluable in the future months to come!

What are you doing to help motivate you to finish strong in these last weeks of the school year?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 8

.In my life this week…

We had a baby turn ONE this week! Last year on Mother's Day, at our evening service, I went in to labor. Later that night I delivered our beautiful 10 pound Liora Tresa at Home with a midwife. It was my favorite birth (so far) and so special to have that gift on Mother's Day. Of course I couldn't stop thinking about it and reviewing the experience in my mind all day on Sunday! What precious memories for me!
We've had quite the busy week around here! With a birthday, Mother's Day, my sister and I are helping decorate a wedding (lots of fun with Orchids and ribbon!) on Saturday, and of course the usual!

We also found out our regular Awana program is closing so we are prayerfully considering other churches. It's so sad because this program was on the perfect night for us and so close to our church. But God's got a plan, better than ours I'm sure!

In our homeschool this week…

We've been trucking along......we are studying Greece right now and the kids are intrigued about it all. We are also learning about the solar system. I can't wait to use my free passes for the Planetarium, it's something we've wanted to do for a while but just haven't fit it in!  

I enrolled the kids in MBTA again! Jonah will be in 2nd grade (sort of) and Ellie Kindergarten (sort of). Homeschooling is awesome like that. By age they are enrolled in those grades but by level they are all over the place! Jonah is doing 3rd/4th grade reading and Ellie is doing 1st grade. I love tailoring their education! 

Along with that I received my email of consumable items I need to return to MBTA....and the hunt is on! I KNOW everything is in this house but I've pretty free with letting the kids take the books off shelves and have them where ever they would like (mostly in bed at night) but that still makes me nervous. Last year we located everything on the list, I am sure we will this year, but I'm still nervous!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
 Oh my what a huge list this would be! We've been everywhere!  

Yesterday I took ALL 6 kids to Walmart. I was given quite the arsenal of looks carrying TJ, Liora buckled in, the 3 girls sitting on the bench (one of those multi seaters) and Jonah walking crossing things off our list. They were actually well behaved! (Maybe the temptation of having a McDonald's breakfast was enough!!) I got some compliments as well. It was actually nice to know it can be done with 6! 

I have a bridal shower tonight and the wedding tomorrow! It's been an exciting week, but I'm kinda ready for boring!
My favorite thing this week was…

Hands down Liora's Birthday. She is such a sweet and sassy girl! And I suppose since turning one she's decided it's officially time to walk all over the place, which she has been doing very well. She has also taken a liking to toilet paper and garbage cans! Luckily her favorite is the school garbage can which mostly contains pencil shavings and paper clippings, oh great the baby is eating lead!
What’s working/not working for us…

Ok, I admit. I am totally ready to end this year and start the next one! I've been making my curriculum list and checking it twice (and adding and crossing off!) I am so ready to take a nice big break this summer and regroup! I LOVE teaching the kids, I do! But the last few weeks we've been doing the bare minimum and I haven't been adding a whole lot of extras. Watching 2 more kids during the day hasn't been impossible, just busy. I want this summer to start planning units and activities so I'm not overwhelmed next year!
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

I asked before, but would anyone be interesting in being part of a Homeschooling Cyber Curriculum Fair? Would you blog hop and read reviews from other Homeschoolers about their favorite curriculum/tools/manipulatives?  Would you be interested in writing a review for a specific curriculum? I've really wanted to host a carnival, but I'd like to see if there is some interest first!
 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Jonah's thinking cap! It's actually really heavy....I don't even know how he is holding his head up!



The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Freedom

I sit here, a few feet away, in awe. And yet what happens here is so common place I'm amazed it still awes me. In actuality it takes us all of 2-3 hours to complete what others would call "school". But truth be told, the learning happens from sun up till sun down around here.

As the year comes to a close and our routines are firmly planted, I've started to loosen the reigns and watch the kids flourish. At 5 and 6 they are already becoming independent in their learning, taking control of their own learning routine and schedule. Lately I've showed Jonah the plans for the day and let him choose what he wants to work on, at his own pace. The only agreement is that it has to be done. I don't care if what order or how long he lingers on one particular subject. And when it's done, HE is done! Whether it takes him 30 minutes or 3 hours is up to him!
Without the confines of institutional schools and bell schedules, my kids are free. Free to take an hour to practice a new Math concept or finish reviewing spelling words in 10 minutes. They are free to dig into manipulatives and supplies when the mood strikes and they have an "idea" about how something works. Learning is all around, ready and available to them at any time. Because our learning happens at home, our home becomes a mecca of learning opportunities ready for the taking!

I can't count how many times I've walked in on one child sitting in our circle time nook reading science or Language Arts books. Writing stories (using phonetic spellings of course) in dry eraser. Playing Math games on the computer or creating Solar circuits. Making a craft, drawing a picture, creating some new invention.

It's a daily occurrence that our "after school" hours are filled with learning and exploring completely delight directed, child directed. The kind I know they wouldn't have the freedom to do in an institution. The kind of learning that truly lasts a life time. The kind of learning that stays with them long past the section, unit, review. The kind of learning that grows and expands on their own. The kind of learning they want to pursue and follow instead of leave behind.  It's not forced or coerced.

It's free, they are free.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butterflies and New Creations

It isn't a coincidence that our first Monarch Butterfly made it's way into the world on Easter Sunday, leaving behind an empty chrysalis home, like our Lord Jesus!

I find it amazing that the life cycle of a butterfly illustrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus so perfectly. his life (as a caterpillar) his death and pain and suffering (the caterpillar splitting his skin and becoming the pupa) and the empty Chrysalis (tomb) He left behind and continued in life!

It's also an awesome live example of the change we take on as we become Christians and live for Jesus!

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefor if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here!" 

The kids brainstormed about how the life cycle of a Butterfly is like becoming a Christian....here are their answers:

  • The two are different many ways, the caterpillar has to crawl around while a butterfly gets to fly!
  • Caterpillars aren't very pretty, a butterfly is beautiful.
  • Caterpillars eat leaves while butterflies get to drink flowers!
  • If a caterpillar doesn't turn into a butterfly, it dies. When it turns into a Butterfly it gets to live! (I thought this one was very profound)
  • A butterfly is a caterpillar that has "chosen" Jesus and new life!
  • A Butterfly leaves behind it's old life in every way and becomes something completely different!
We've been enjoying watching the life cycles. Each time Dave finds us more Crown flowers to feed the remaining caterpillars we are gifted with a few stowaways! So far we've had 3 Butterflies let go, we have 1 chrysalis in waiting and 4 more caterpillars lunching and growing!

I love homeschooling.......I love learning right along side the kids! I'd miss this if they were in school somewhere!

Caterpillar~camo

New Life!




Drying our Wings

Captain of our Catch and Release Program

Warming up on the Plumeria Tree

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 7

.In my life this week…
I survived watching all 6 kids again AND we had a successful homeschool week! Friday we added 3 more kids to the bunch and did some fun Easter activities, played in the pool and ate pizza and it wasn't even a Birthday Party!

Liora took her first steps this week, she is taking her time compared to my others! I'm enjoying a little more baby-time with her than the others gave me! 

Been doing a whole lotta reading about next year's curriculum. So many great choices!
 
In our homeschool this week…
We have been watching Caterpillars become Pupas and are awaiting our first Buttterlies of the season! Here in Hawaii companies won't send you the Butterfly eggs so we hunt down Indigenous "Crown Flowers", look for eggs and Caterpillars and then bring those home. It's always such a neat experience for the kids (and who am I kidding, myself!) Next week we are planning to make Cells out of Jello and candy! Can't wait!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to the Park this week, had a picnic and did our read alouds under the trees. Such a nice break from the norm! We had a play date Friday, Soccer Saturday morning and Egg dying this evening! Tomorrow morning brings Easter Sunrise service and time with family!

My favorite thing this week was…
Watching Liora (11 months) take her first steps into toddler-hood! I can't believe she's been in our lives for almost a year, these years go by so very quickly! 

What’s working/not working for us…
Our pocket (workbox) system is working great for us, and the kids are really doing great with having Bella and TJ with us. We are all learning flexibility and patience! 
 


Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
Have any of you been to a Homeschooling Confrence or curriculum fair? I want to host an online Curriculum Fair (a cyber fair of sorts) but wondered if any of you would be interested in sharing your experiences and opinions about your favorite resources! I think it would be extremely helpful to all Homeschoolers out there. If you are interested in a blog hop/Carnival or being a part of it, comment below and let me know! I have the end of May/Early June mapped out, your thoughts???
 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Love this quote from John Taylor Gratto this week:

"The "Curriculum of Family" if at the heart of any good life. We've gotten aay from that curriculum-it's time to return to it. It's time for a return to democracy, individuality and family."





The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal