Showing posts from August, 2015

You Might Be A Homeschooling Family If...

Here are a few ways to tell if you're a homeschooling family (just in case you aren't sure if you are or not!):

When people ask your kids what grade they're in, they turn to you with a panicked look in their eyes. The school uniform often consists of Pj's and slippers.You hear "no school today?" every time you go to the store with the kids during school hours.You get asked more questions about socialization than you can count on one hand each week.Your family vacations are more like field trips.You and your kids can turn ANYTHING into a learning lesson.  "Mom why can't I watch Pokemon as part of school? It teaches me all about science like how water and earth beat fire."None of you like to go on field trips when schools are on break because all the places are crowded and you're just not used to that.  Your kids have chores and can cook, do laundry and clean the house at very young ages; which you totally count as home economics. You enjoy ha…

Cute Little Dragon!

I decided to make my own Toothless Card.

My son requested a How To Train Your Dragon party for his birthday this year.  He got a new blanket with Hiccup and Toothless the other day and just loves his blanket so much.  It doesn't hurt that we're listening to the How to Train Your Dragon books on CD and we've seen both the movies.

Toothless is an adorable little dragon and ended up being pretty easy to make. 

Within a day or so I had tons of great party ideas after searching Pinterest for party ideas.  But I had no good invitation ideas.

Being a card-maker I was NOT going to buy any but I really wanted something that had to do with dragons or eggs or vikings.  So I kept looking and looking.

I found a few cute dinosaur and monster cards that I thought might work.  After playing around for five minutes or so I came up with the most adorable Toothless invitation.  Even if I did use some unusual tools to do it.

Isn't he just darling?!   I love when I surprise myself like that! …

Weekly Wrap- Up: Our First Week Back to School

We started back to school this week.

Sort of....

I pulled out the boys new math books and we completed a few pages but by weeks end we really only completed two days of school.  We were just so busy this week and looking forward I don't see us doing much schoolwork next week either.  It's OK though since the boys are enthusiastically learning on their own still.

Reading-- Evan read My Dog, Buddy and we practiced his sight word stacking cups. He also read Meerkats  and asked me to pick out some chapter book for him.  Alec read Meerkats (A Day in the Life: Desert Animals), finished Henry Huggins and Tombquest.  He picked out another new book series called Dragon Keeper and is already halfway through the first book of that series too. He's been reading at the beach, reading wedged into a tree at the lake, reading in the car; just reading up a storm.  Ian: finished Mockingjay and we started reading Divergent together.  He received a whole box of books from his great grandfa…

Let's go Clamming!

We were so excited for our clamming class this morning.

All our local schools were starting back up today and with everyone posting first day of school photos my kids were excited to be heading out to the beach.

But first we had to get ready and do a little "back to school" work of our own.

The boys each completed a page in their math workbooks, an addition/ subtraction review sheet and then read for a bit.   With schoolwork out of the way we packed our bags and got ready to go.

We had a few minutes to spare before we left and Evan wanted some more practice riding his bike so we headed out to the driveway.  He asked Alec to come out and watch him ride; proud to show off his new skill and share this excitement with his brother.  Alec encouraged him, cheered him on and even rode for a bit with him.  Evan did amazing and made it all the way around our driveway.

We finally piled in the car and started a new book on CD for the long drive.  We had picked up When Life Gives You…

Keeping History Fun

I was asked this past week how I teach subjects that I never really liked when I was a student. Funny thing was the person mentioned history, which was probably the only subject I truly dreaded when I was in school.

I was fearful to teach history to my kids and hear them grumbling, moaning, and dreading it too.  
History can be interesting and I so badly wanted my kids to be excited about learning everything. 
 I enjoy history now that I'm an adult and I'm not reading textbooks about it.  I find the stories interesting and compelling.  
Over the years I think I've found a few ways to make teaching history fun.

I search and search and search for wonderful engaging stories about the topic we're studying.  I make sure we have a variety of historical fiction and non- fiction stories.
 Notice I didn't say books.  I said STORIES.  
My kids have loved learning about the story behind hiSTORY.  I don't make them memorize dates and names; we focus on the sequence of eve…

Unschooling Summer Week #12

We  had a pretty quiet around here.  For once, we spent most of our week at home.  We had some friends over, ran some errands, and tried to relax.  Yet, somehow, we still managed to keep busy and learn a lot.

Art/Music-- The older two boys spent one morning making a birthday card for one of their grandmothers.  They used markers, paper cutters, rubber stamps, stickers, a paper crimper and adhesive runners.  Their cards came out beautifully and reflective of their own distinct personalities.  They all colored in their coloring books several times again this week too.  We spent several hours travelling in the car listening to various music from all of their MP3 players.  We learned about African drumming at the zoo and were reminded of bass, rhythm, beat, and the importance of listening to one another.

Reading-- We have no book on CD this week while we wait for some requested ones to come in but we're enjoying reading the Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom when we get the chance…

20 Reasons Why My Kids LOVE Homeschooling

People often ask my kids if they like homeschooling.  They'll ask the boys if they miss public school.  They'll ask if the boys miss their friends... they act like I'm holding my kids hostage or something.

 Luckily my kids have no problems telling anyone who asks that they LOVE homeschooling.

They also aren't shy to list why they enjoy homeschooling and why they did not like school.

I asked them to help me out today and here are their reasons why they love homeschooling (I tried to keep all answers in their own words as much as possible):

You don't have to do as many worksheets or school subjects in one dayMost of the lessons are fun and hands- on instead of sitting and listening to a boring book about history we can go visit someplace about history You don't have to wake up so early and you get to sleep inIf you have homeschooling friends you can see them even during the school year to just play and hang out and have fun together You can visit the zoos and stuff …

Socializing Those Homeschoolers

It's funny that even though homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds, even though there are literally hundreds of homeschool blogs and they all talk about all the activities their kids are involved in we all still get the dreaded socialization question: "Aren't you worried about their socialization?" 


  My kids are way more social now than when they were in school.  At school they often got in trouble for socializing or else their friends ended up in a different classroom and they didn't have anyone that they really "clicked" with in their classroom for that particular year.  They had a limited number of children to pick from for the most part and heaven forbid if they had different interests from the "norm."  Don't get me wrong they made friends but there were only a few kids they saw outside the school day as well.

 How do they make new friends now that we homeschool? I think that's what most people actually mean when they a…

Out of Africa: Learning About African Drumming at the Zoo

We went to the zoo this weekend.  We had a four pack of passes left and we heard that they were having a themed day all about African dances and music.  We're always looking for ways to expose the boys to other cultures and this sounded pretty neat.

We had a great time seeing all the animals and seeing all the changes they had made since our last visit.

By far our favorite experience was the drumming circle/ class.

They had extra drums for audience members to participate and both Alec and Ian got a chance to try them out.  We learned the names of the different types of drums, what they were made out, how to make the various sounds, and what countries all the players were from.

Ian correctly guessed that one set of drums were made out of trees and cow hide while we learned the other drums used goat skin; two animals that are fairly abundant in the region.  We learned about rhythm, listening to one another, playing to a beat, how to harmonize, and so much more.

At one point we even le…