Showing posts from May, 2015

Ladybugs and Rainbows

We had so much fun this weekend even though our weekend was mainly spent lying around the house.  Watching them go about their weekend I could see so much Unschooling/ learning happening that I just had to document it all!

On Saturday we checked our ladybug habitat and found one ladybug and many more just on the verge of emerging.

We were thankful for the macro lens on the camera though because without it I don't think we would have been able to notice the difference; they're so tiny!  The boys and I read how to care for the ladybugs once they hatch and spent a few moments preparing some raisins for the bug to eat.  We kept an eye on our butterfly habitat too since we know they're due to emerge from their chrysalis any day now.  (Science)

Evan offered to make lunch on Saturday for his brother by cooking up some scrambled eggs.  In cracking the eggs he called me over to show me that he managed to trap the yolk in the shell while letting all (and I quote) "the runny stuff…

School's Out! A Summary of our Last Homeschooling Day of the Year

My kids were happy to go through their schoolwork today.

They even did a little extra!

I'm sure it didn't hurt that they knew today was our last day before summer vacation plus we had a fun gathering planned for our afternoon.  

Reading and Language Arts: 
Evan read the last three stories in his Dick and Jane book and then completed a page in his Star Wars Reading book.

Ian and I read the next chapter in Catching Fire while Alec read another chapter in his Warriors book and spent the afternoon reading the second Amulet book.

Ian and I talked about it and decided that if he skipped ahead 8 or 10 pages and completed the review test in the back of his measurement book we'd pick back up with book 4 and let book 3 be officially finished.  But I forgot just how much the word "test" freaks him out and was dismayed, but not all that surprised, when he froze up and forgot how to do pretty much the whole thing.  I reminded him not to panic.  It wasn't a real test…

Homeschooling on the Road

Today we did a bit of schooling on the road.

We had an early morning dentist appointment and I had made up a popping pile of math reviews for each of the boys (I often save packing material from boxes we get in and write math facts on the popper for a fun review activity).  It was fun but it took longer than I thought and we didn't have enough time to get through our regular work before we needed to leave.

We often school while on the road.  We've found a few things makes this work so much more smoothly!:
Each child has a car ride bag filled with educational books, toys, a binder with worksheets and a pencil case.  They each have a small pencil sharpener and some markers (washable and dry erase).  We often put some fun sheets in plastic cases for dry erase fun.Each child had a lap desk or clipboard for the car.Audiobooks! They're a great way for us to listen to "read alouds" when mom is busy driving. Brainquest question and answer cards (or other car trivia games)…

Summer Homeschooling: Mixing Schoolwork and Summer Fun

We did a quick run through of our school work this morning and then packed up some lunches and swimming gear and headed to a nearby lake.  We were meeting up with 3 or 4 other homeschooling families and looking forward to a nice relaxing day.

While we were doing our schoolwork we saw a bald eagle circling the lake and swooping down toward our house.  It's such an amazing sight and today it really made me sit back and realize just how blessed we are. I really wouldn't change a thing.

Starting School;We try to get it all done first thing in the morning during the summer.

Ian wanted to get a jump on his schoolwork and decided to go read the next chapter in Catching Fire on his own while I finished up some chores and things around the house.  He called me in to finish reading the chapter once he had made it more than half-way through.  He gave me a great summary of what had happened and caught me up to where he left off.  He had asked for me to clarify the meaning of a few …

Preparing for Summer Break In Our Homeschool

After thinking long and hard and talking it over with just about anyone who was willing to listen we've decided this week will be our last week of school.  Apparently I'm not that decisive!

The boys are beyond thrilled but they're already planning to head back to school in July.

Seriously, I'm fine with taking a nice long break and am looking forward to having a few months off but they're already planning on more lessons after a few weeks off!

Hopefully, we'll be busy enough that we won't feel the need to dive right back into school in the middle of summer but I know we've tried to take the whole summer off before and failed.  They might not admit it but they obviously enjoy school or else why would they tell me they're bored and ask me to start planning things again?!

I already went through and counted up the remaining pages in the older two boys math books and have come to terms with the fact that we wont have everything all done and tied up nic…

Unschooling Observations

In thinking deeply about taking some real time off from schooling with the boys, it's funny how I have literally stumbled upon blog after blog about helping prevent summer slide, learning through play, letting them lead, not making EVERYTHING educational, & the importance of breaks.

 I've had people post links to YouTube videos about letting kids be idea makers.  I've also, finally, received my requested copy of Free to Learn through our library and spent all weekend reading about unschooling, learning through play, and children's intrinsic desires to learn.

Now these are all just simple posts, videos, and a book written by moms, dads, and educators alike about topics I KNOW but it's funny how these reminders seemed to appear before me just at a time I needed to see them.

 I needed these reminders and am looking forward to taking a good month or more off from school (starting in June).

This doesn't mean we won't be doing art or we won't be explorin…

Setting Goals In Our Homeschool

One thing I always try to do as we're winding down our homeschool year and I'm looking ahead to the next year is to set a few goals. 
I try not to set so many goals that I couldn't possibly meet them; much like following a planner or buying curriculum,

I don't always follow or remember to focus on my goals.

However, I still like to set some anyway in the hopes that perhaps this time I will meet them.

In setting goals I am forced to look back over the past year and see where the boys have really started blossoming and developing.

I typically look back through ALL the years of homeschooling and see the random jumps and leaps they've each taken in gaining new skills.

I think critically about our schedule and what has been working and what needs to be changed.

I ask the boys for their input and their general feeling about what we have been doing.

I have them reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and ask them what they think they can do to improve.

 I step back a…

Seeing Signs of Progress

My kids surprised the heck out of me today.

For starters they got along great all morning long.

Then they willingly did all their schoolwork.

Then they showed me in so many different ways how all of our hard work at homeschooling is really starting to pay off!

I had recorded Rise of the Guardians last night once they were in bed and upon seeing that listed this morning they all wanted to watch.  When I finally begged them to eat breakfast and get the day going they willingly worked together to make breakfast.  Evan cracked and beat the eggs, Ian made the bagels and Alec cooked up the eggs.

We had gotten another post card in last night and we read all about Georgia.  Our postcard showed the city of Atlanta and before I could even ask they told me that was in Georgia and that we have family there.  Once all the food was cooked and they settled to eat, I finished up the last of the Harry Potter book; we're completely done with the entire series!  It was a lot of fun and I…