Showing posts from December, 2012

There goes the plan!

Soooo, I had a bunch of stuff on my mental agenda today that we were going to finish up before Christmas.  But, we ended up cleaning our playroom instead.  My intention had been to quickly clean and then try and accomplish some schoolwork before lunch. So much for plans.  I can't tell you how often this happens.  In fact it seems like our homeschooling days rarely go as planned. One thing homeschooling has taught me is the importance of remaining flexible.   I have learned to stress less about the schoolwork and look for learning where it occurred. It took us 3 hours of work, and all 4 sets of hands but it's done and it looks so nice.  Every year around this time we go through and sort toys, move furniture, and clean out those toys no one plays with (their definition of not playing with and mine are not the same so it's always a battle). We had tons of negotiations going on today and ultimately they all agreed to get rid of 4 garbage bags of toy parts, broken

Holiday crafting party with other homeschoolers

 I had planned on having the boys help me bake some holiday treats this morning.  I don't have time for a full baking day this week but though if we made just one or two sweets each day we'd have a nice assortment by our party on Sunday with plenty of goodies left for Christmas Eve & Christmas day.   We were going to a crafting party with our homeschool group. Today we made  magic cookie bars and oatmeal scotchies.    Yum! We finished off Christmas In Camelot and then read a lovely story about polar bears called Ice Bear; In the Steps of the Polar Bear.   The illustrations were beautiful and it was a very nicely written non- fiction book. Ian and Alec played a new multiplication game called Pile It On.   Using a deck of playing cards and a die they took turns Piling it on.  Each player rolls the die twice; the first number rolled tells them how many piles to make and the second number rolled tells them  how many cards to put in each pile.  I think this game ended up being

Dino Tracks!

As much as I have TONS of work to do around here to get ready for our holiday parties I decided what we really needed was to get out of the house. We decided on a field trip to the Ecotarium.   They just opened up a new dinosaur exhibit and the boys were very excited to go check it out. We went right down to the bottom floor to check out the dinosaur exhibit. It was pretty neat.   They had a huge photograph of the floor at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill that the kids could walk on and compare their feet to the dinosaur prints.  Alec learned that scientists believe that 2- footed dinosaurs ran more like a big bird (think of an Ostrich) than a lizard.  They learned how dinosaur tracks look underwater vs in mud and got to make a bookmark of dinosaur tracks to take home.     First the boys measured and compared dinosaur tracks using a chart to see how fast different dinosaurs are thought to have traveled.  There was a small treadmill so the kids could see if

The Newtown Tragedy & Homeschooling

I had so many ways of starting off my blog running through my head this morning.  And after much wrestling with myself I decided I couldn't just ignore the tragic event that took place last week in Newtown Elementary school (as much as I might like to ignore it I just can't). I think it shook many people up around here because it was so tragic and many of my friends escorted their kids to school today with armed policemen standing guard outside. Perhaps it's like that across the nation.. I don't know. I turned my TV off, haven't watched the news and really even tried to avoid Facebook and all social media as much as possible.  I firmly believe the less known the better.  I don't want to see all the faces, names and ages... it's just too heartbreaking. Having been a teacher and now having kids of my own I just can't fathom what transpired.   I was asked by so many people "I bet you're really glad you homeschool"  and the short answer was Yes

Lazy Days of Learning... Letting Learning Happen Naturally

I came downstairs today and Ian was reading a book to Evan. Next thing I knew all three boys were playing Candyland .  While I don't think they're really learning anything "school-  like" since they all know their colors, letting them play by themselves really lets them practice their sportsmanship and cooperation.  I heard some yelling and fighting but ignored it and let them work it out themselves. They started playing with their stuffed animals and Alec recognized Ian's ray as an Eagle Ray and he pulled out the library book and proceeded to read all about the ray to Ian.   They they started comparing Ian's Eagle Ray to Alec's Hog nose Ray.  It was great! Ian read It's Christmas, David ! out loud to his brothers.  I was amazed at the amount of self- guided reading and learning taking place this morning!       We did a bit of impromptu math in the car when they tried to dive into the box of candy canes we bought.  I asked Alec how many

Holiday Baking and Crafts

We are having so much with our Christmas themed work!   I think homeschooling around Christmas time is my favorite.  We get to include so many wonderful crafts and baking projects together as school and it really helps with our holiday spirit!  Reading and Crafts:  Today we read A New Improved Santa . It's an adorable book about Santa, who's feeling old and out of date so he tried to find a new look and improve his image. It was hilarious!  I then printed out this plain man template and cut one out of manila paper for each boy to decorate and give Santa a new look; spiky hair, a goatee instead of a beard, a silly hat, etc. Whatever they wanted. I offered to pull out all my scrapbooking scrap paper, glue, markers, yarn, pom poms, whatever and I set them working.  Ian gave Santa a Mohawk, mustache, a fire/flame tank top with matching pants, brown sandals and black studded gloves.  Alec choose to cut out a bright yellow tank top and bedazzle it for Santa, a purple spiky hat,