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Woohoo, the first 3 days of school are finished!! We started on the 15th and it has been an interesting 3 days. Overall, it has been good getting back to a routine and officially kicking off Kindergarten. Of course, the last 3 days have also revealed some necessary tweaks to the schedule as mom was a bit ambitious with her schedule and didn’t account for the split pea fog that had settled into their brains. 🙂
As for curriculum:
Math – Math-U-See finishing up Primer book
Language Arts – Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, McGuffey Eclectic Primer, copywork from these items and from History/Science
History/Science – Creation Unit Study, day 1 complete and prayerfully the weekend will allow me to post what we used/did
We read some fun books during our morning read-aloud:
Brother and sister story of little brother losing items as they journey home.
A delightful rhyming story with animals and foods, the kids loved it!!
Also, as a part of our unit study, we did do a volcano experiment today.
Here is our Starbuck’s volcano, named because that is my frappuccino bottle inside that paper and modeling clay. 🙂
Here are your other supplies sans baking soda as it is already in the bottle.
Yes, our grass is pretty dead, hubby rely’s on God’s sprinkler system and it hasn’t been working in our area this year. 😉
Next week is a full week of class, so off to tweak the schedule, secure any additional library books and review what needs to return to the library. Enjoy the weekend!!
To have a separate room or not for homeschool…seems to be a hot topic in some circles. We have divided a room into part my craft room and the other is for homeschool. We do some things in there and the kids are at their desks and other things we do on the floor, the couch or outside if we feel like it. 🙂 Either way, I wanted a big 4×8 white board and they were $300 at a few online places even with the free shipping, so what is a thrifty gal to do..we already have a small board (1 side white board, other side chalk in easel format) but I wanted something bigger. I heard folks talk about making a board out of tile board, what in tarnation is that I asked, so I did what I always do when I really don’t have the mental capacity to figure something out, I called my dad. You have to understand my dad is retired and spends his time soaking up information on all kinds of topics, yet he doesn’t talk much until you hit on a topic that he likes and then you are in big trouble…we tease him that he is either constipated or has diarrhea in the chatting department…gross but true. 😉
Anyhoo, he walks around Lowe’s on a weekly basis so I figured that he had more free time on his hands than myself and he likes missions. He found the stuff and it is sometimes called tile, sometimes panel, sometimes showerboard but here is a pic of the tag at Lowe’s..
You also need to buy a piece of plywood, I figured everyone knew what that looked like. It is imperative to get some of this stuff…for the crafty, think of a hot glue gun in cold form. 🙂
Bring your goodies home and hand camera to a little girl on a stool so she can take pics of all the action. First step, screw the plywood to your wall (of course, after you have found the studs). There’s a stud in the picture, he’s only 3 though… 😀
Next, make sure you have a few extra hands
Once the board is securely screwed to your wall, apply the adhesive (technical term for glue)
While I was busy making squiggly lines, my dad pre-drilled the board – very important. Keep your holes near the edge and 3 on each side is good, here is one close-up
Then put the board up and yes the walls are white and the board is white, I am checking your eye sight. 🙂 I think we will frame the board with trim but that isn’t too high on the priority list right now. That’s mom holding up the board.
Voila, your own white board for less than $25 buckaroos (we already had screws). If you are concerned with ghosting, I have checked a few sites (amazing how many people make these things) and it seems that nail polish, ammonia and water, and Mr. Clean’s magic erasers work wonders.
You are hereby charged to go forth and make white boards because the $275 saved can be used for much important stuff like fabric, trim…oh, this is about homeschooling, I meant books, educational supplies, etc. 😉
It is hard to believe we are at the end of the week already of Randi’s wonderful Back to Homeschool Week and Tiany’s Homeschool Open House. Please join me in giving these 2 ladies extraordinaire a virtual round of applause for their efforts in coordinating these wonderful events that have afforded many of us to share what we are doing, what we have learned, how we do it and to glean the same from others…..bravo, bravo, bravo!!!
Today is about curriculum….it’s a dirty word in some circles and it doesn’t work for everyone so like with anything else, find what works for you and your family. 🙂 I shared more in my Day 2 post.
Reading – The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading combined with the McGuffey Readers, Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, and heavy use of the library. I also have some books from Reading A-Z books during their free teacher appreciation week. I also use many of these items for copywork/handwriting.
History/Geography and Science – Unit Studies
We utilize the library heavily and like to use different library reads to enhance our current course of study and I hope to start sharing some of those items here in the weeks ahead.
I want to share some goodies that I have found in my travels that may help others and like I said earlier, I would do the social network/bookmark thing but I am just not there yet, so click on the links below. 🙂
Amy at Are we there yet? has a delightful idea of making a blog for her kids. I think this is just great and will have to implement this in a few years. 🙂
The Learning Umbrella has a wonderful idea about School in a Box. Well worth a try, possibly modified, to fit your family’s needs.
Scribbit has a fun box top maze that will have you scavenging for boxes during trash day. 🙂
Enjoy and if you have some goodies, feel free to share in the comments!
I am not a veteran homeschooler but I think that no matter what stage of homeschooling you find yourself at/in, there is something that you can share with someone else.
If I knew then:
1) My learning enviornment does not have to look like the government funded school systems. That is an eye-opener to many but especially to many in my extended family. Many are educators or former educators so they have a biased and often limited view of homeschooling.
2) Schedules are not masters but suggestions. In an ideal world, everything may flow via a schedule, but my world is not ideal and yours probably isn’t either (sorry to break that to you). Fact of the matter is that somedays thing need to be adjusted, enjoy your homeschooling freedom and just adjust, it will save you a lot of frustration and your kids will be happier because you aren’t in a constant state of being freaked out. 😀
3) The library is a treasure just waiting to be discovered. Even if you didn’t enjoy it as a child, it is a wonderful place, trust me, you will see. It if full of books for the young and the old and everyone in between.
4) If at all possible, review a curriculum before purchase and do not make impulse buys based on what such and such said. Such and such doesn’t live at your house and doesn’t have your kids. 🙂 I really recommend, reviewing and reviewing, praying, listing it out and putting the list away for 2 weeks to make sure that you still feel the same way and think it is the best purchase for you and your children.
5) In the end, remember why you are doing this because you will need to call on that often when days and situations are not as ideal as you hoped they would be but please don’t give up, keep perservering, the rewards are so worth it!!! 🙂
The time is quickly approaching and while some are already ‘back to school’, others are preparing to go back to school. I am participating in 2 homeschool related weeks so I am combining them into 1 here.
Both weeks referenced above have a set of questions to answer regarding the 5 w’s and h of homeschool. I will primarily follow the schedule below for Back to Homeschool Week in that it anwsers all of the questions of the Homeschool Open House. 😀
Monday, August 6—What led to your decision to homeschool?
Why do you do what you do? What brought you to homeschooling? What factors played a part in your decision?
I have answered most of these questions in a Homeschooling Meme.
If you homeschool, feel free to join both of these homeschool weeks and make sure to link back and spread the love by visiting as many sites as you can as there is encouragement and inspiration abounding. 🙂
The schedule for the Back to Homeschool Week is as follows:
Tuesday, August 7—How do you homeschool?
Scheduling, classical education, unschooling, getting the kids to help with chores, how to be “mom” and “teacher” at the same time, special needs, teaching an advanced child, how to teach the tough subjects, teaching high school, teaching with babies and preschoolers in the house, budgeting for homeschool supplies, notebooking, etc., etc., etc…
Wednesday, August 8—Getting out there…
Extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering, sports teams, music lessons, making sure your kids have opportunities to be social, co-ops, etc., etc., etc…
Thursday, August 9—If I had only known…
What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It is also a perfect opportunity to tell us about one of those days made you want to throw in the towel. A funny story? Perfect!
Friday, August 10—Curriculum
What curriculum do you use? Where do you buy it? Have you found a “gem” that you must share with others? Was something in particular a complete failure for you and your kids?
Last Friday we went to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. The pics have been up on my flickr page but I hadn’t posted about it because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. 🙂
My parents accompanied the kids and I and we took the Metro which the kids love because that is how “daddy goes to work.” It was hot and humid, like it is now and usually is in DC in July, but I had never been to the National Zoo and was determined to go and not waste such a national treasure.
The Giant Pandas are a huge zoo attraction and all 3 were sleeping when we came through, must have been the heat and having to wear a fur coat. Here is Papa Panda – Tian Tian, I haven’t uploaded momma and baby yet, so stay tuned. I must admit that Giant Pandas are proof that there is some good in stuff that is Made in China. 🙂
If you click on any of the photos, it will take you to my photostream with the other pics as I haven’t placed a flickr sidebar on this site just yet…tsk tsk I know but remember there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
What are your rights as a parent? I guess it really depends on who/what you ask. Here in the State of Maryland, I have recently learned that my rights can be summed up as follows:
“And although a parent does have a right to control the upbringing of a child, “that right is not absolute. It must bend to the State’s duty to educate its citizens,” the state board wrote.”
This quote is from our State Board of Education as it relates to a series of lawsuits in a neighboring county regarding their health plan that deals with homosexuality. More information can be found here at the Washington Post.
While on the topic of parents rights, I came across this little ditty from the Washington Times, it is from a recent Supreme Court decision.
“While parents may have a fundamental right to decide whether to send their child to a public school, they do not have a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child.”
The article is an opinion piece by Michael Smith of Home School Legal Defense Fund and has many positives about homeschooling which if you live in Maryland may be a good idea considering your parental rights are absolute to an extent.
Article published Jul 9, 2007
Supreme Court levels playing field
July 9, 2007
Michael Smith – It is no secret that home-schooling is growing and gaining credibility as a viable educational alternative.
More and more colleges are actively recruiting home-schooled students, each year there are an estimated 50,000-plus home-school high school graduates who find work or go to college and thousands of new curriculum products have become available over the past five years. Meanwhile, the number of home-schoolers continues to grow by 7 percent to 15 percent each year, more states are reforming their laws to remove the burdens from parents who want to home educate, and home-schoolers continue to excel in national competitions as well as on standardized tests. In short, home-schooling is a major success story.
Now, for the first time, home-schooling has been recognized in an opinion by a U.S. Supreme Court justice as a viable educational alternative. Morse v. Frederick, which recently made national headlines, involves free speech and whether a public school can regulate what a student says. The 5-4 decision said that the school principal, Deborah Morse, did not violate the free speech rights of Joseph Frederick when she took down his pro-marijuana banner, which said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” The student had violated school policy and was advocating illegal drug use.
While the Home School Legal Defense Association agrees with the ruling in this specific case, it is a reminder to all families that when your child enters the public school, you have virtually ceded your parental rights to the public school.
The clearest explanation of this view was expressed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Fields v. Palmdale, when it said, “While parents may have a fundamental right to decide whether to send their child to a public school, they do not have a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child.”
This is the reason many parents have chosen to home-school, especially those parents who have a religious worldview, because they know their children will be taught secular values by the public system.
In Morse v. Frederick, however, Justice Clarence Thomas said, “If parents do not like the rules imposed by those schools, they can seek redress in school boards or legislatures; they can send their children to private schools or home school them; or they can simply move.”
This is the first time the Supreme Court specifically has recognized home-schooling as a viable educational alternative. HSLDA has worked for 24 years to advance a parent’s right to home-school and to promote home-schooling to the general public.
After 24 years, it is gratifying to read the words of a Supreme Court justice who rightfully placed home-schooling on a level playing field with public and private schools. This kind of recognition is tremendously significant to the home-school community.
It’s another step on the long road to raise home-schooling to the point where, when the terms public, private or home-school are used in the same sentence, they all will be seen as mainstream educational alternatives.
Home-schooling is a modern education success story and HSLDA urges all parents to carefully consider their educational options. Home-schooling should be front and center because it is a viable alternative that has helped hundreds of thousands of children become mature, productive citizens.
Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at 540/338-5600; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May, I shared our adventures at the Museum of Life and Science. This museum is located in Durham, NC and we were so blessed that dh had to return there for another meeting. We have truly enjoyed traveling with dh on his trips, in June we visited the Creation Museum.
In our previous 2 trips to the Museum of Life and Science, my dd has wanted a butterfly to land on her very badly. She would talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. On our visit this time, I noticed that the number of butterflies was not as plentiful as it had been on our previous visits. As a mother, I become concerned especially when my dd sits on a bench and says “butterflies, I love you please land on my finger.” We go though the butterfly exhibit and no butterflies land and we are getting ready to leave with a sad dd. The butterfly house is designed in such a way that as you prepare to exit through the doors, there are bursts of air to keep the butterflies from hitchhiking a ride. Well, there were a few determind butterflies, 1 in particular, that wanted a taste of freedom. He stayed near the door and the bursts of air kept blowing him to the floor. My dad allowed the hitchhiker to get on his finger to move him away from the door. DD took this as the opportunity to achieve her dream of a butterfly being on her finger. Here is a sequence of pictures:
I was talking with dh via cell so I had to quickly get out the camera and just start clicking and God is good because I was able to get these awesome shots.
There were some beautiful flowers inside as well and they are below:
And this one took my breath away…
Just so you don’t think all of our time was spent with butterflies and flowers even though the beauty was wel worth every minute, we did get to enjoy some other stuff.
Here is my dad aka Pop-Pop with the kids getting ready to go on the train ride.
Since our last visit, they have completed a new area and there was Ornithopter ride.
The kids enjoyed our visit!
While in Durham, even though the pool had its moments, once clean we did have some fun swimming.