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back to homeschool week

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. πŸ™‚ I shared more in my Day 2 post.

This year we will use Math-U-See for math as referenced here. This program works for my daughter and it works for me, so we are sticking to it.

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.

back to homeschoolΒ week

Today is Day 3 and it’s about getting out of the house and sometimes my hubby thinks that is all we do… πŸ˜‰

We are blessed to live outside of the nation’s capital so historic places abound as do all of the free Smithsonian museums. Even in all of this richnes, we have a tendency to sometime not venture out which I am working on changing because I feel it is a shame to waste such great learning opportunities. Hence the borrowed Nike slogan as the title of this post. πŸ˜‰

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to getting out is justifying it in the realm of defined education. The truth is learning doesn’t have to take place within the confines of the education system – that is why we homeschool….yippee!!! Everyday activities are learning opportunities and that is the binocular to be used as the kickstart to getting out of the house more often. Does it mean that sometimes work will have to be finished after school hours – yes it does but the learning and the memories from the fieldtrip last a lifetime.

The library is another place that should not be overlooked because you can truly travel the world. πŸ™‚ Get to know the local business people in your area as they are often willing to share about their trade and who knows your child might like it and get an internship/job there and what’s better than some hands-on learning. Local farmers and co-ops are also open to visits and get to knows and many are willing to do it for small groups.

In my state, some churches serve as umbrella groups and many allow you to go on their field trips even if you are not a member of their co-op. Also, if you do not have co-ops or you aren’t a member, step out of your comfort zone and ask that mom that is in the library with her kids during the day just like you, she probably homeschools. πŸ™‚

Dh had to go to Durham for work and like last year, we tagged along. Unlike last year, we added another destination – Winston Salem to see his brother and wife. I like to keep the dc busy while on these trips so I planned our day and I also overpacked other activities like library books, books on cd, educational videos and the like to make the car ride more enjoyable for the adults. πŸ™‚

While in Durham, we visited the Museum of Life and Science. We went to this museum last year but were a bit rushed so this time around the goal was spend all day and take our time. My mom accompanied us on this trip so we started off going to Wal-mart Supercenter (oh, how I wish there was one of these near me 😦 ). After purchases of lunch products and other items it was off to the museum.

If you are ever in Durham, you must check this place out. They have a butterfly conservatory that my dc have talked about for a year and they were quite excited to go back. We started off with a train ride and here is the princess next to the train.
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Of course, we went to check out the insects which are in the building with the butterflies. Here is an African Horned beetle – he was huge!
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For some reason, maybe it is just because he is 3 and a boy, ds was in his usual ornery mood.
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Magic Wings – the butterfly house – is just great. Here is a beautiful butterfly that when he is in flight, his wings are a brilliant turquoise blue and a picture of one of the little birdies running around…this one bumped into my feet.
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The museum has added a small nature park that has bears, wolves, and lemurs.
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We were only able to get these pictures once the school groups went away as the kids were way to loud to encourage the animals to come close so I was so thankful that I was not on a schedule. πŸ™‚

They are in the process of adding 2 more exhibits that look really cool. One is about wind and how it makes things moves and the other is on dinosaurs. Overall, we were totally pleased with our time there and the kids had a great time.

We journeyed to Winston-Salem and while dh played golf with his brother and SIL went to work we were left to our own devices. Based on some recommendations, we ventured to SciWorks. Once again, lunch was packed so we were ready for a visit that could last all day. Once again, the school children were present as it was raining in Winston-Salem but I can outlast them so I endured them until 1 p.m. and then just like magic they all vanished. I have nothing against school children, my issue is with the chaperones who think their job is something besides the children.

Anyhoo, SciWorks was a new experience for all of us but it was fun. A lot of different exhibits ranging from North Carolina wetlands, the human body, energy, sound, animals, and more. The princess took a picture with one of the stuffed animals, in this case a cheetah.
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One of the most exciting places for the children (and my mom and I) was the folk toys area. There was a track set up where the kids had to exert energy by swivel action of the handlebars on these little carts and my dc took to it and had the track to themselves and I even got out there and was Jeff Gordon and won. πŸ™‚ Other kids joined in and there were only a few crashes. The wooden toys really captivated my attention especially when I saw the joy the kids (mine and others) had from playing with them. The key to these toys is their simplicity. I took some pictures and I am actually toying with the idea of making some myself.
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We had a great time and it was hands-on school as we didn’t fit in much more *formal* schooling while we were away so next week should prove interesting.

For the record, I am not a fan of anything that creeps and crawls. In my house, I am known as the bug killer because if it is moving and I see it, I am going to kill it. Things that creep and crawl belong outside and if they venture inside, they surely are risking life and limb. All of that said, I do not want to pass on any issues that I have with *outside* creepy crawlies to my dc.

Today, we were working in the yard as we had mulch in the back of the pickup for almost a week now so I thought I would help dh with some yard work. Mind you, our original agreement was him-outside, me-inside but in the ebb and flow of marriage things change and we have a nice balance. I pick up the hoe (no Imus jokes) and start to cultivate the areas around certain trees and the like for him to later add mulch…you know, get up the grass, weeds, and the like. In the course of my hoeing (is that a word) I start seeing creepy crawlies and instead of screaming (can’t do that the kids are around), I invite them over in my most enthusiastic rush you don’t want to miss this voice and we examine the worms, ants, spiders and the like that are coming out of the freshly turned up earth.

Well, I decided that there was one area that had stuff growing that was just out of control so I took the hoe and went to work and I am pulling out all kinds of weeds and roots and of course more worms and other creatures. I found fat juicy worms and skinny worms, red worms, white worms, hard shell bugs, and other stuff. I take the worms out for the kids with my gloved hand and they are playing with them and watching them make their way across the driveway. Dh lifts up one of the pavers and of course that is a treasure trove (think Timon and Pumba from the Lion King). We examine all of the life underneath. Ds starts to pick up worms with his bare hands which is quite amazing as he is not one for insects/bugs.

At one point, dh is not paying attention and steps on part of “fat juicy” – that was the name given by ds. He is really concerned that dh has killed the worm, so I share with him about regeneration of the worms body and yada yada yada and fat juicy starts crawling again much to the delight of ds. The birds are chirping a lot now in the nearby trees and I told him that the birds are asking when he is going in the house so they can eat the worms so dd yells to the birds that they can come eat now if they want to and she climbs back in the pickup.

I came to the conclusion that while I am not particularly fond of said creatures that I was able to discover and observe with an open mind and I actually started to look for worms while working especially ones that were different than those that I had already pulled out. Now, we are going to get a magnifying glass and later a microscope as I am all for dissection. πŸ˜‰

Our Scripture

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. ~Psalm 1:3

Something to think about…

"I never teach my pupils: I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." ~ Albert Einstein
August 2017
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