Showing posts from March, 2013

Teaching the Value of Working Together

Gearing up for Easter dinner this weekend I wanted to clean house today.   The boys were kind enough to help-- moaning and complaining are helping right?  I was up early and got a good portion of the upstairs cleaned while the boys slept and then I put away all the stuff for the geography fair so we would have a clean table to sit at for our Easter dinner.   After breakfast I sent all the boys upstairs to get dressed, make their beds, and clean their rooms.  Ian and Alec had some laundry to fold and put away too.  Ian went right to work, he folded all his clothes, dusted his room and then offered to take the mop from me and mop the hallway and stairs! Alec was having a hard time folding all of his clothes and kept asking me to help.  I felt bad, but I said no.  I was busy cleaning and told him I would help him when I was done if he wasn't finished by then. Evan spent 20 minutes complaining that he doesn't like to clean or dust, but he eventually realized I

Rainbow Stories & Tailoring our Schedules

It's amazing what a difference a little freedom to set your own schedule for your own family will make.   We are such a happier family now that the only one dictating our schedule is.. us! We get to pick and choose which activities to fit into our day.  We decide what time we'll go to bed, what time we'll wake up and have gotten quite good at shifting things around when we want to make time for something that is important to us. Our library had a special event called Rainbow Stories last night that my younger two sons wanted to attend.   Our library often hosts themed nights filled with fun activities and stories. Our Children's librarians all dressed for rainbow night During Rainbow stories the boys were able to: Listen to Spring/rainbow stories Make fruit loop necklaces Paint with pudding Sing songs Get their faces painted Decorate and eat graham crackers with colored frosting and sprinkles,  etc.   It was great.  Evan was thrilled to run into one of his friends from

How Summer Jobs Build Up a Good Work Ethic

My oldest son has three jobs lines up for the spring and summer already!  He's a very hard worker and we've always encouraged him to work hard, take pride in his work, and do the best job he can. He goes to work most weekends with my husband and father- in - law already but is now planning on going more regularly.  There's even talk of him working a few afternoons during the week, but we'll see.  For today, he went with his great grandfather to his house to help with raking and yard work. My husband's grandparents have a large yard with lots of trees, flowers, and plants so he's going to help rake, weed, etc.  He was so excited to go too. My son loves being outdoors and really enjoys activities like raking, shoveling, and digging; especially when he's going to get paid. He's lined up a job mowing the lawn of his great great aunt that will start a bit later in the spring. He'll go with my husband to mow and rake while my husband does the weed whacking

Here Fishy Fishy! Enjoying our Day at the Aquarium

We had plans to head to the aquarium today.  Alec has been asking to get back down there and see the fish. On the drive I got a text from my sister that she was heading down there with some of our old homeschooling pals from the southern end of the state that we haven't seen in quite a while.  I handed the phone to my oldest and asked him to text back that we were already on our way.  It was such a wonderful, unexpected bonus to be able to meet friends and family at the aquarium! When we arrived the lady walked us through their membership benefits and my boys were overjoyed to hear that we could watch a 4-D movie for free and get a free cookie from the cafe-- another wonderful bonus ! We watched the beluga whales being fed, went to the ray tank to pet the rays, watched a 4- D movie called Earth from Pole to Pole then spent almost 30 minutes in the Titanic exhibit. Alec pets a ray Ian pets a ray Evan pets a ray Beluga whale feeding Ian and Alec touch an "ice berg" Playing

Back to School-- Well, A More Traditional Homeschool Approach Anyway

We are going back to a more traditional way of homeschooling rather than using the unschooling method, for now anyway.  I'm sure it could change at any point! My oldest has been complaining that it's boring "just playing" all day and has been wanting me to plan lessons again or as he put it "when are you going to start teaching us stuff again?"  So, I spent part of my day yesterday writing up a rough outline of what I'd like to accomplish this week. A huge part of why we jumped into unschooling was that the boys didn't appear to like anything I planned and I just couldn't take the complaining anymore.  However, after almost a month of unschooling they are complaining that they are bored all the time and they bicker and fight more just to have something to do.  I've decided if we're going to be plagued with complaints and fights anyway we might as well get some school stuff done too.       Today the older boys did a lesson in McRuffy for m

Evaluating Our Decision to Unschool

Today I decided to try making our own granola bars.  I've been toying with the idea of making more and more things from scratch and granola bars are one of those snacks that my boys eat on a daily basis. While the boys did help me make the granola bars, I kept thinking we should be doing more school work. I love that my boys are getting so handy around the house but I keep thinking of how Ian has asked me to start teaching them again and yet I never seem to get around to it anymore. It's the mom guilt.  Isn't it awful?! I love that it always pushes me to do better and try harder but sometimes I think it just might kill me. It's so hard to find the perfect balance between housework, school work, fun & learning (to say nothing of "me" time!).  Once again I'm looking very closely at the boys and what they do trying to find what they have learned.   Well, imagine my surprise when Ian helped me make our granola bars and figured out how to