Friday, August 30, 2013

Baseball ready

Had a good friend of ours come over and take some estimates on some electric work we needed done. Unaware, he brought his two grandsons with him. It has been along time since we had seen them. They are both the same age as our to oldest two so it did'nt take long for them to have a good game of baseball going. Of course then it was time for them to leave. So, when he came back to comete the work of course they wanted to tag along. Cooler in hand full of drinks, baseball bats, gloves...Those boys played all day! From outside, in their room, video games, watching the baseball stats on tv. It was quite entertaining having a house full of boys. I think I just got a glimmer of what it will be like in a few years when they're all teenagers taking over the place. I love it though. Finally found out my middle son will play his first year of baseball on the Tornadoes. This team has been together since t-ball and is well established. Hoping that means we may have a good winning team. He is so excited, though he did say, "Mom, please don't embarass me." lol. Sorry, buddy if you play ball your momma's gonna cheer! I have too. It's my job. I just love watching them play interact and learn some good discipline. Let alone getting to hang out with other kids not just homeschoolers. Not that I dont love other homeschoolers, I just love them getting to be around all kinds of people. Taylor plays in the fall with his same team and Timothy is likely going to play t-ball. Got to work with him though he always seems to think you run to third first. Oh well, such a fun age.

The world around us.

Went to Costco the other day and found these huge laminated maps (2ft x4ft) One of the USA and one of the World. A bargain for 15.00. I've never seen them that cheap. Then as were checking out the lady in front of us is eyeballing them, we start talking. Us homeschoolers can spot each other out from a distance. We are always the ones teaching everywhere we go. Yes, even the grocery store! Our reccent lessons are learning the value of a dollar. I have my oldest mostly looking at prices and totaling the cart. My middle son is responsible for the grocery list. Of, course the highlight is always when they guess the total at the register and caculate the change. Oh..and of course that moment when the cashier looks at your child puzzled, like "how'd you figure that out?" And of course my favorite response....a big grin followed with a "Yes, we homeschool."Lol. It's so cool getting to see other homeschoolers out and about. I believe homeschooling is a growing trend that will only continue. Got our maps put up in the living room, I just said what the hey with the home decor. We are limited in space, and I want a learning enviroment as much as possible for them. So far Timothy has told me everywhere he wants to travel and he is remembering the names of countries.(pretty awesome for a three yr old) Nolan has mapped out where Christopher Columbus sailed and will learn all the states and capitals this year. Taylor is learning world history this year, so they will be super handy for him. Let alone him and my hubby plan on tracking hurricanes. (my little weather men). Taylor has also been curious of alot of current events taking place, like mapping Syria and all the seas we currently have ships in. So fun to use that as a teaching moment to explain about other countries, the way they live their governments and to be greatful for this country we live in and the freedoms we currently have. I have to say, sometimes I under estimate that 5th grader of mine. I'm starting to believe I'am truly not smarter than a fifth grader! Seriously....this is the first year I have had to order teacher keys for all his subjects. This momma just can't wing it anymore.

In the pic: Taylor trying to find different rivers in the world.

The problem with school...

So, I was reading the other day and I have come to the conclusion the real problem in schools today is not what or how they're teaching, but the mentality people have of it.
From teaching to pass a standardized test, or teaching to make good grades, go to college. Politians to Parents seem to have the same is to give my child an education, a starter point for whatever career path they choose. However, this is half true. I believe were missing the point, it's not just about an education, school is about training them for their whole future. From careers, managing money, manners, family, etc... School is about training our children for life. Wether you homeschool or have children in public school, we cannot seperate the two. Education and life go together. You don't stop learning on the weekends or afterschool. We are constantly taking in information and learning. If you send your child to school learning has to be a joint effort the teacher and the parent. To often society seperates the two expecting the school to teach them what they need to know. As parents it is our responsibility to continue teaching them. Parents have got to get involved. It saddens me a little to see so many parents disconnected from their children.We must grasp this concept! America as a whole is failing it's children and not just the schools are to blame. Before homeschooling, I probably would have never thought much about this, as a homeschooling mother it is probably one of the biggest things I have learned. Every moment is a teaching moment. Literally. Grocery stores, zoos, parks, library, museums, we read and investigate everything. Reading = Learning =Knowledge =Power = Sucess!

Just found this tidbit, Did you know the
Owner of McDonald's
Founder of Wendy's Dave Thomas
Colonel Sandders of KFC
Founder of New York Times
Owner of Bank of America
Joseph Pultizer (Pultizer prize)
Founder of Honda

were all homeschooled! That does'nt even conclude all the Presidents that were homeschooled and tons of others! Proof it works! Well, thats my two cents for today.

Our general routine...

A normal school day in our home.

Starts off around 8am, we eat breakfast do our morning routine. My boys make their own breakfast and usually their little brother's. (cereal, toast, oatmeal) while I'm getting dressed. Sorry, I'm just one of those mom's who can't stay in her pj's all day no matter how hard I try. You say lazy mom, I say independent children and little helpers. Very handy. lol.

We start school around 830-9am. My oldest starts a little earlier, he is my early bird. So normaly, I have boys sprawled out on the living room floor, background music (contemporary christian) and little boys diligently working. I start them with Bible and then the subjects they can do independently like reading, spelling, cursive. While they do that I work with little bit on his easy peasy and workbooks. He's three so it's no pressure just whatever learning makes him happy. Sometimes we do alot, somedays we just do a letter and a sound. After this Timothy usually free plays either in his room or next to me with his writing tablet he loves. He's my artist. Then I go between Nolan and Taylor teaching the subjects they need help with like, language, math, science, & history. Ex: I teach a new math concept to Taylor, then he works a couple on his own while I show Nolan. We go back and forth like this until lunch. If one child is really struggling in an area we put that subject aside untill later in the day when we can focus on it together with fewer interuptions or I have one child take a break so I have a little extra time to teach one on one.

We normally finish all our subjects, (Bible, Language, Science, History, Math, Cursive, Spelling/Vocabulary, Reading and Phonics for Nolan) by lunch. We eat lunch and then the boys alternate free time while I grade and check off all their assignments.

Afternoon we workout, play outside, dance on the wii, whatever we feel like for the day, sometimes go to the park.

Sometime in the afternoon they have chore card responsibilites to do, when those are complete, they are officially done for the day and welcome to their beloved video games.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our "Not back to school day."

So I had this idea, since we homeschool and don't really get to do all the back to school things other kids do. I had intentions of starting our own tradition. So, on the first day of school for all the public school kids, I decided we would have a "Not back to school day." Lol. More or less just a free day to maybe go to the park or something. I love the days when most kids are at school and we kinda have free roam to things. Just a perk! Well, seeing as I have a son no names (Taylor) who has his mother's grace. We spent our morning/lunch....most of the day in the dentist office repairing a chipped front tooth! (Clumsy) good times. Fortunately he just barely knicked the nerve so they were able to do a filling for now. In three yrs he has to have a root canal and a crown put on. I know he is super relieved though. I guess were reaching the age we worry about our self image and he was'nt very fond of that chipped tooth. Lol. Needless to say, our day was more like frosty's at Wendy's and a trip to Toys R us. Maybe next year....*sigh.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Homeschool pics/organizing

Some of the pics, I previously stated I would post. For some reason they would'nt load.

1. Example of our daily assignment.    card
2. Grading/check off log
3. Book log
4. Charater building notebook.

Life Lessons

For those of you who know me or my family we are super big into baseball. We watch my boys play it, hubby played it in highschool/college. It is probably one of are favorite past times. (well, except the three yr old. Hes coming around though. :)) I did'nt realize how much the boys don't just listen to the game, but the media that follows it. We are BIG Texas Rangers fans, and my favorite player Nelson Cruz just so happens to be one at the center of allegations for steroid abuse. So, unknown to me my oldest Taylor ask me, "Mom, why did he have to do drugs?" my middle son Nolan chimes in too, "Mom, what are drugs?" Wow. Talk about a teaching moment. We really had a heart to heart, from drugs, integrity, making good decisions, to honesty and ultimately forgiveness to those who make mistakes. These are some of the topics you always wonder how your going approach with your children. So, thankful I get to be able to teach them about the world around them good and bad and hopefully direct them down the right path. It is so rewarding to use these little life lessons as huge teaching moments with my boys.

Friday, August 16, 2013

First week back, sucess.

Yeah, Week one of homeschooling done and I am so thrilled with the results! Let me start I'm still waiting on books to arrive so we are doing review work right now, just gettin in the groove. On the nights I work and Im in my super zombie sleep deprived mode I always take an index card and write assignments on them, I had done this most of last year so this year I decided I was going to do this every night for them along with a few extras. That way they can get up in the morning and get started with or without me. I have an early bird who gets up an hr or so before everyone else. Infact wed morning at 830 he was more than half way through with his assignments and made his own breakfast, I had just started making coffee. Lol. So this week I spent 10-15 each night putting assignments together. So far it's genius. Im finding that my boys are great self motivaters and love feeling in control of their school work. Next I made each of them a binder "brain" with a reading log so they are responsible for documenting what they read for the year (rewards included) as well as a check off list so each day there expected to check off what they have done and then I check it off, we do corrections  and log their grades in. (Posting pics below so you can get an idea). So far it is working well. I also have a spiral inside their binders where we are working on some character building. Seems to be an area we need a little more work in. So for instance this week it was responsibility or responsible. Monday- they wrote the def. Tues-drew a pic of someone doing something responsible. Wed- copy a Bible verse to go with. Thur- write ways you can be responsible. Fri- free day other than test. My plan is to do a different one each week and keepsake the pictures and such, sort of like a journal. How has your week been anything new and exciting??

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fun with Little bit.

This week we sent the two oldest boys to a neighboring Churches VBS. Taylor has a few friends he played baseball with there, and seeing as we had promised them they could go to a different one and then had a change of plans that week. This week has been so great for them. They have made friends, had fun, learned, not to mention Momma's had a little break. Hehe. Timothy is to young to go and Daddy got ahead with work so the first few days, we spent some quality time with Timothy. He never gets one on one time like that so it was refreshing for all of us. I think he is getting a little spoiled though. Oh well. He has run errands with Dad, gotten treats, breakfast at McDonald's, park, helped me at home, let alone having the house to himself to play. I have thourghly enjoyed my special time with him alone. He is learning so quickly and so eager to discover new things, It's awesome. I love watching them learn and grow at this age. Got school supplies this week and reorganized all my homeschool shelves and cubbies. Timothy has his own section too, and of course new colors, markers, and such. He is so excited feeling like a big boy. He is always asking me if he can do his "preschool" lol. I love it. Doing some workbooks with him, and the beginners part of easy peasy homeschool ( ). It's new to me, but so far I like what I see not to mention it's free. Easy peasy goes up through high school, so may venture that way later on with the oldest. Sticking to my original plan for this year. MCP math, Abeka for language/reading and Christian liberty for the other subjects. Nolan will be doing 3rd grade History and Science this year. 2nd in his other subjects. I love how you can move at their pace in homeschooling, no sense in waiting. Right?