Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Look Back—May 2010

 And, when we do choose to do DC, they almost always look like this on the way home: 
(NOTE: child in navy shirt is not peering, he is snoozing!!)

We had some fun friends over….boy how they have all changed!

We headed out for our first camping trip of the season. We ended up loving camping together and have plans to do more this year.

We live close enough to be able to "do DC" on Memorial Day , if we choose. We usually choose to go. We might try again this year, who knows.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back to School Part 1: Roll Call

This year will be my first year with four students. Our almost-five-year-old is just chomping at the bit to get her own school assignments and participate like the older children. So, I will oblige her J
Student roll call: Dana, age 11, grade 6. Dylan, age 9, grade 3. Nathan, age 7, grade 2 and Jenna, age 5, Kindergarten-ish.
Curriculum roll call:
Math: Abeka (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)
Language arts: Spelling Workout for grades 2, 4, 6
Handwriting: A Reason for Writing for grades K, 2, 4. Copywork from various sources for grade 6.
Grammar: Finishing Easy Grammar grade 5 for grade 6 (we started mid year) , Primary Language Lessons for grade 2, Abeka Language for grade 4

Other: World Geography Unit study utilizing resources from and . For the remaining subjects, we will be integrating a geography unit study with a world missions focus. Erica  @ Confessions of  a Homeschooler wrote Expedition Earth and we will be using it as our base. It will be the "core unit" for the K and 2 students. The older two will be adding in more from the free unit at I love, love how Ann integrates God's heart for the peoples of the world with all of the subjects here.

Extras:  a little Spanish, little music here-n-there, lots of activities with local homeschool groups and of course, team sports with our county recreation department.

Starting line: I have no idea when we will start. We have completed our yearly standardized testing and submitted those, so we are "done" from a technical level. Right now, we are just ticking away at our math from the current year and reading a good bit. When I get the itch, we will start. I don't have a starting point or finish line, we just keep learning. That's how it's supposed to be, I think. We have somehow, over the years, become year-round, eclectic homeschoolers. It is not how I set out for our school operations to work, but it is what works. We have gone through seasons of formal, school-at-home instruction, minimalist-almost-unschooling, very Charlotte Mason and sometimes Classical methods creep in. Regardless, we do a combination of them all, doing what works for each season and according to the needs of our children.

I have a few new "methods" I have created for our homeschool this year and I'll share them soon. I hope to keep our family together and yet allow the olders who want more independence have it. What I really want is for us all to learn and love to keep learning!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Re-Treasures: Hand Me Downs and Redos

I love repurposing just goes without saying that it is a bit of an extreme hobby for me.  I try to keep balance, but that term is relative in this type of situation.

1.  Bought sheet to make chair cover for daughter's vanity chair.  Loved it.
2.  Used leftovers to create this simple skirt of other daughter.  Loved it.
3.  Used embroidery piece from stained capri pants to accent.

4.  Used hand me down fabric to create shorts (ran out of elastic for waistband..will put it on my list).  Love them.  They could even be worn under skirt above for modesty.
5.  Used hand-me-down trim from mother-in-law to trim hems for a  simple, feminine look.  Love it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nature Study From Around Our Home

As I mentioned before, our homeschooling methods are very eclectic.  Some here take well to workbooks and textbooks, others are very hands-on and we somehow mesh the different styles to find a stride that works for us. 
This is an example of a nature study activity...and a day when I got the True Homeschooling Mom award.  So, we were observing the prepared slides that came with a microscope set.  I was the donor of a drop of blood for another slide, and we tried a few other things.  Then, I sent the kiddos out on a hunt to find something they thought would be interesting to view under the microscope.  We got earthworms (who wiggled and squirmed) , dust, and various other items .  But I won the award by allowing my children to swat a fly and take the corpse as their specimen.  By hand.  Yes I did!!  And they loved it.  Above, you see the wing. Our nature lover looked for the fly's suction cup feet, 600 eyes, and all else that he could recall. 
Some days, their assignments involve a nature journal entry, but I didn't want to kill the joy they got out of this by asking them to document it....they were just enjoying the discovery of it all.  That, in my opinion, is where the learning takes place.