- I am a crunchy Christian mom to four boys and one girl ♥ We are a homeschooling Family. Our family can't stay still for long. We are always on the move. Our homeschool is inspired by The Well Trained Mind, Waldorf, and a bit of Charlotte Mason. Our lives are inspired by The Word of God, Jesus, Miracles, and sunshine when we can find it.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
We have snow and it doesn't feel like Washington State, not one bit. So, very odd. But, the boys have had so much fun sledding down the big hill here.
I have a bit of due date change on my ticker. And, there is nothing better than knocking a month off!
I told my oldest he is on official Christmas Break till Dad goes back to school Jan. 5. Even then I honestly know things are going to be a bit lax around here for awhile. I don't see me getting a great big amount of energy anytime soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
See ticker in right hand corner.
We are all very excited. My wonderful husband is in charge of everything. I'm in charge of sleeping and vomiting and the occasional bath. If my laptop hadn't died I would probably be on here quite a bit. But, alas a computer by the kitchen isn't cutting it for my body right now.
I did get sea bands and that's helping. But, I'm hoping my midwife will give me some medication. I've never been so sick before.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Peacemaker is working on those Ed Emberley books...purple, orange, and green. We do some reading aloud from AO 2. Right now it's The Burgess Animal Book, Our Island Story (and sometimes we do that from Librivox because her voice is amazing), The Little Duke, and Understood Betsy (or is it understanding). Truthfully I think it's overload. We cannot do that much reading in such hefty books no matter how much we break it up. I think it will take two years to finish at this point. Which seems to be what happens...it always takes two years to finish everything. He has his own plain Jane Book of Centuries, as well. Both of the boys fight to write in them, but seriously they need to learn that writing with their own hands will not kill them. He had a melt down at church on Sunday. He was embarrassed because of how hard it was to write a letter (for a soldiers care package). Everyone was so kind and helpful for him. He did amazing. His handwriting was wonderful.
Warrior is working on letter recognition. He has been practicing writing letters and the sounds they make. We use some flashcards, blank paper, the white board, and starfall.com. He is still working on pronunciation by asking him to pronounce different words everyday. He asks us, too, and that can turn into quite a fun little game.
All the boys play outside everyday, ran or shine.
Friday, October 31, 2008
But, alas I have yet to read King Arthur. So, I'm reading it aloud.
My children have not really developed some of skills needed to accomplish the quantity and quality of work expected from Ambleside and one of my boys is special needs.
So, this week I'm planning in my schedule and I returned a few books to the library. I wanted to avoid the overwhelming feelings of getting everything done. I can't really keep track of so many readings at once and still insure the boys are 1-narrating, 2-comprehending, and 3-enjoying themselves. I know the fine line our family can tip over. I know what happens when they loose that love of learning. It's when all those great discussions and the questions disappear.
So, I'm working on limiting some of the books for Year 5 and Year 2. We can always do them later or during the summer. But, to loose joy and Great Discussions...just isn't worth it right now.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Peacemaker is about finished with MUS Alpha and we have plenty of Beta worksheets left for him to work through that book. Hopefully he will be caught up to grade level by next year.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We finished up the first two chapters of King Arthur by Howard Pyle. It's in the Ambleside Year 5 schedule, but I've been including all the boys. The younger two did wander off a bit during the second chapter today. It's a lot to take in. I did stop and ask questions or point things out. I have Prophet do mini-oral narrations every page or so. He doesn't realize it, but I'm sneaky like that.
They have done Math and Italics everyday. Prophet did some Grammar this week. Peacemaker has misplaced his Explode the Code book, but he has been doing reading practice. Warrior has done some readings from AO Year 1 with me. He is enjoying Pocahontas and the Aesop Fables. He has done amazingly well with oral narrations. I'm so happy to be starting this at a young age. I mean this is the kid who couldn't speak and still has a hard time pronouncing things.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Peacemaker worked on his reading skills. We took a walk together (just the two of us) and found a leafed tree with little pine cone looking things on it. I'll have to get my camera out there. I never noticed it before and it's a huge tree. I mean at some point in the past 18 years I would have noticed that tree.
Warrior and I had a picnic outside on a sleeping bag. He helped me prepare a psuedo-7 layer dip and some tortilla chips. I brought my second cup of coffee and a mini-bag of m&ms (I realize I never have written that before). We started reading some of the Ambleside year 1 readings together. I realize I need some more guidance to my day, so I bumped him up there. I figure he can always take more than a year (which we always seem to take with everything anyway) and perhaps he will be my first child to actually be at "grade level". We noticed some purple coneflowers in the front garden. We don't see them usually because they sit under the window. My parents have been really busy the past few years with transitions and my mom hasn't replanted anything. So, it's been survival of the fittest for the plants. It's interesting to see who is hardy.
I realized twice today that we need to set aside some nature sketching time & it would probably be a good idea to take the camera out for our daily walks.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The Prophet worked on Math U See. Multiple digit multiplication is finally clicking. He does switch up some numbers in his final answer. But, I think some practice will help him work through that. Honestly, I still do that and I have to double check my work. He did some Ambleside Year 5 readings with me, as well. This Country of Ours, Abraham Lincoln's World, and Explore the Holy Land.
No one else really got any work done. I was just too sick and I had to get groceries and vacuum the house.
We didn't get out to Costco until around 3 or maybe it was 4. So, we had burritos and nachos for dinner. We will probably have burritos and nachos for the next 4 days.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I'm always inspired by Melissa. But, mostly because she is real and inspired and she just keeps it going. She records those things I wonder if I should record.
Today it rained. My poor husband worked anyway...outside in the rain and backlash of a Washington Island.
I got some coffee on an empty stomach. It wasn't even the first press, but the second press (french press) and pumpkin pie creamer didn't cut it. Don't drink coffee on an empty stomach.
Harvest Moon and the Wii was calling, but we pushed away the call. Mom is not quite to Fall and the Boys are already to Winter.
Math U See for both boys.
The Prophet had to call his Dad in the middle of the Math Lesson. He needs major encouragement in that area. I have no idea how to persuade him to keep up the Math work.
The Peacemaker did some Ambleside Readings, Italics Handwriting, and Explode the Code.
After Dad came home, Prophet did some more Ambleside readings with Mom. I'm still doing those with him because we never did narrations before and he still needs some help with them.
The Warrior helped me make 2 pumpkin pies.
Friday, September 19, 2008
My two older boys both had stints in public school, for one reason or another. They both came home in the middle of first grade. Their teachers said they could read. But alas, they could not. They could memorize and guess really well however. Miraculously they both have picked up reading around 8 years of age. The Peacemaker can now finish a Dr. Suess off in one sitting!
I think I'll coin the term soaking in, unless someone else has already. The Peacemaker tell me repeatedly that he doesn't want to read History or Science today. We don't read very textbooky books very often. The Warrior likes to do these as read alouds so he can discuss with me. I've tried leaving The Peacemaker out of these discussions but he gets bored, frustrated and melancholy. Not sure what's going on there. But, I think he has to do with soaking it in. The years between say 6-9 really should be titled the soaking in years. The time at which children don't really want to learn, don't really like to or can understand those deep thoughts. Yet, they can play lego's, playdough and color pictures while other people converse. Most of them can sit still for a bit which is useful. I don't know what he will remember. But, I'm surprised what my oldest remembers even though I thought he wasn't listening.
Friday, September 12, 2008
But, the Peacemaker finally finished Explode the Code Book 1!!! I'm so darn proud of him, too. I don't care that he is 8 years old either. He isn't behind his schedule because he is homeschooled.
We have had bit of guidance this year. We have our favorite curriculum (you can see on the left under elements) and suggestions from Ambleside Online. My children like a good challenge and when they are busy we all get a long better. We don't push much...I tend to push more than my husband...I'm not sure that is a female thing or not. I'm just more of a bookish nerd crunchy socks in my sandals PNW kind of gal, while he is a hands on artsy surfer boy from California.
So, I thought I might put together a course of study this year. I worry about this school district a bit & while I know they can't look at my stuff...I would prefer better safe than sorry.
Which brings me to this wonderful & amazing article by Alicia on a course of study for the Preschool years. Which is where I place my youngest even though he could officially be in Kindergarten. He has had a rough time with learning to speak well. It was so difficult that even the speech therapist could never come up with anything official to label him with.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
This little frog has gigantic back legs already. The Peacemaker caught this guy among many others in the pond. These are the kinds of things they get to do now that they have more area to roam. It's a positive thing from our move.
We have, also, made apple ciders and pies from the trees. My Dad has the apple press that was used when he was a child. He has had some work done to it and new barrels made. But, isn't this great. It really does make the best cider ever. I'm trying to convince him to set it up at the farmer's market next year and press organic and/or local apples .
Plus, a litter of new baby kittens was recently born.
Here is a kitty from the previous litter.
Friday, September 5, 2008
This year we will lack the guidance of a support school and are jumping back into being "real" homeschoolers. We have moved to my hometown to get a break on our cost of living. The boys are enjoying all of the new animals and five acres to roam free.
Science is currently being filled with nature walks and an the observation of interesting creatures in the pond water aquarium their Father set up for them.
Our first week of school went very well. I didn't plan much except that everyone would do some Math, some handwriting and we would all read together. I want to keep the learning time short this year. Hopefully some pictures will show up soon.
I pray everyone is enjoying the new school year!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
This year I had to keep track of what we learn. I had to submit a plan to our "teacher" and then keep track of what we learned. Somehow I had to do all this. I wasn't really give any guidance. I think they want the homeschoolers to have freedom or not overstep our boundaries. I think I am just not that likely to share. The program, nor I am really at fault. Just a bad mesh somewhere.
I used a small notebook for this purpose that has a space for the date at the top. Plus, a separate notebook to keep track of the other stuff we did like workbook pages and reading logs that never, ever got filled in. I felt like a disaster at every meeting. I couldn't "prove" all this stuff we had been doing. If we are still here this upcoming school year (yes...we are pondering another move) then or than (I'm having a hard time with that) we are going to have to come up with something for at least the two youngest who want to be their "full-time". Full-time does not mean all day long...it just means more than 3 classes a week...or maybe it's two I can't remember.
This year I think I would like to have them do more of the work. Not totally sure though. More of a scrapbook of sorts. I just don't want all that girlie crap (I'm a tomboy surrounded by testosterone).
Perhaps blank artist journals? But, does that mean they each need one? That is overwhelming. This past year I used a very small lined notebook and I liked how portable it was. Sometimes I typed in a journal which is lost on my dead iBook (boo hoo, boo hoo, boo hoo). Could I type things out and cut & paste those? Would my children type things out & I end up cutting & pasting those?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Joy sucking is probably the number one reason our boys are not in school. And, it’s something we fight about. Perhaps we are spoiled little brats, the whole lot of us. But, my husband and I usually work pretty darn hard to rearrange our life, put off dreams and desires and then reroute and find all new dreams which include little adults. My two oldest both attended public Kindergarten and half of first grade. By the middle of first grade they were sucked dry.
My first went to Kindergarten even though I thought we would homeschool. It was close, seemed safe and it turned out he enjoyed it and I enjoyed the break. My second wanted to go to school and bless his heart the lucky little soul he got the one Queen of Kindergarten teachers. She who lives in a tiny little speck of a town. She was a gem. She actually hugged children and got down on her knee to insure they knew they were cared for. That is a teacher.
We found this beautiful map of Ancient Greece for our Notebooks & I came to the realization that I my children don't have to draw on every notebook page. They can just enjoy them and file away. They are excellent proof. In fact, they are enjoyable just to look at.
We are reading aloud The Story of the Greeks by Guerber. It's suppose to be for Ambleside Year 6. But, since we are studying Ancient Greece and Rome this summer I think it should fit in just fine here. The readings captivate the children.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Our oldest has Aspergers and a lot of workbook stuff just really bothers him. So, I'm thinking I might try Math Mammoth since the books are inexpensive along with some fun online games/tools. I think it might fit who is a lot better. He is actually quite intelligent. He understands things the first time you give it to him. So, having to repeat constantly seem beneath him (or at least he feels that way).
But, I'm not good at Math. I'm sure I could be, but I think I need to start over again from the beginning (and thanks to homeschooling my children I get to do just that!)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have a spiral bound notebook. It's for thinking. See I've spent the years since I could first write scribbling on pieces of paper and then leaving those pieces of papers everywhere.
So, I've gotten better at wasting paper. I just write in this notebook. It's mostly useless. It's not a diary. It's not full of good stuff. It's just that my brain only works well if I'm writing with my hand. So, I get it all out and eventually I write something that makes sense.
Right now it's thoughts and schedules. This year I learned a lot about my oldest and how to help him work and stay on track. He likes to be given a plan. He doesn't do well if let to his own all day. But, he doesn't like to be told what to do. Just give him a list and let him disappear.
Last year I got so overwhelmed with day to day living. I could never keep up with his lists. I don't want to worry about it every week, but I don't know if I spend a bunch of time creating something and it fails if I will then feel like a failure.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Here is a description from the HOM blog:
Biology 101: Biology According To The Days of Creation is a video series that gives an overview of Biology from the Biblical perspective. It comprises four DVDs covering Plants, Aquatics Creatures, Avian Creatures, Land Animals, Mankind and Genetics. All based on the days of creation. The total length of the series is 4 1/2 hours and a guidebook which includes quizzes accompanies the series also. The creator of this wonderful series has geared it toward 15 year olds and higher but my science loving 3rd and 4th graders loved it! Wes Olson, a Bible college graduate and homeschooling father, developed and hosted this great series. He is very knowledgeable of Biology and we absolutely loved his sense of humor.
Here is my reply for my entry:
I don't know about my favorite. We really love animals around here. But, I do have to say that I have really enjoyed learning to love the scaly creatures. I used to abhor reptiles and things similar. But, a few years back a relative brought over a friends iguana. He was almost dead and the rescue suggested putting him to sleep because they could not find a home for him. But, I couldn't help myself. I fed him, bathed him, and loved him.
He now loves me dearly. He listens to my voice. He loves to be pet on the head, just like any dog or cat. His little eyes roll back and his eyelids shut.
I've learned to love a scaly little creature. He isn't beautiful because of the harm his previous owners did, do to poor nutrition and lack of proper lighting.
But, he is our little iguana. A beautiful and remarkable creature.
Friday, June 20, 2008
This is what my 11 year old son told me today. He was sitting at the table. I was sitting on the couch with my laptop. The other boys were outside on the sidewalk. It runs along the side of the kitchen. They had the kitchen door open. At very specific times of the day we hear loud children, screeching little girls especially. It was funny at first. But, somedays it's disturbing. But, it took my sons comment to make me see why.
He told me they make them sit all day and do tricks. Then they let them out of that box. Then the children go crazy for a while. (For the record this child has attended public school.)
At least they still get recess.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I was able to get these through my local library. My 8 year old has somehow missed the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Which is partially why I'm using AO this upcoming year. AO for the younger years will help me to touch all the important things they shouldn't miss, yet still give us time to enjoy all the modern rabbit trails we like to wander around.
Back to audio books. I'm amazed that my boys like these. I just put them on and wander off and sometimes we put them on at night and turn off all the lights except for a few candles. I'm always surprised at how long they will sit and how they wander over and cannot help themselves.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Last night we were set to watch a movie. But, since we didn't get through dinner and cleanup and teeth brushing till near 10pm it just didn't happen. My dh grabbed this book from the library shelf. Not to read, but to fold paper airplanes on. I've been trying to fit these in as read alouds since we are studying Greece. The prophet (now in Year 6) removed the book from such drudgery and started to read it in the sparsely lit living room. I offered to read it aloud, but he grumbled something at me and disappeared to his room. Where he read till midnight and came to get me, so that I could tuck him into bed.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I've convinced an 11 year old man to sit outside to play his Nintendo DS.
The other two are playing with cars, robots and spaceships.
I found a shady to spot to read .
A friend once made the comment that Charlotte Mason is where Unschooling and the Classical Method meet. Her comment continues to sit and swim around in my brain. I read bits and pieces of Ms. Mason's works a few years back. Back before I found out I was accepted to the big University. The one that took up all my reading time. Ironically the English Major that snatched away my love of reading.
This quote backs up that position or so I would like to think...
It is important to understand the difference between a system and a method, because parents all too often become enamored of a system that promises development in one area--but which misses the overall growth of the entire person. A system is easier because you just follow the prescribed steps, like a recipe. But a method requires constant watchfulness over the whole being of the child, it demands more of the teacher. Who is qualified for such a mammoth task? Even the most loving, committed parent isn't physically able to be on the alert to make the most of every educable moment 24 hours a day.
But education may not require a 24-hour effort; the child is learning all the time and a few basic principles put into effect will cover the whole of the child's education. (highlighting from Heather)
quoted from Charlotte Mason in Modern English by Leslie
And, I think that's just it. If you are filling their minds with good information, mind challenging stuff then you won't have to make up discussions and force quizzes and workbook pages. Things will start to stick.
Perhaps I'm done planning and worrying for the upcoming year. I think I'll spend my summer reading CM in Modern English instead.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I think I'll keep this blog just for learning adventures this year. I still have my wordpress blog...so perhaps I'll keep that for my own personal opinions.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Many of us moms are in awe of these orderly families. Our blogs are often overlooked. Our children have too much free time and not enough proof to be interesting. While those other children are conquering Ancient History in exactly 180 days just in time for summer break...my children are savoring Aesop's Fables. I worry about it sometimes. More often when I read those blogs. And, I feel a little lost. Because I'm often stuck in between two homeschooling worlds.
How can I be an unschooler whilst my children have curriculum (and they don't always delight in using it)? How can I be a classical homeschooler when my children are the ones who asked for it and I lack a schedule that keeps us plunging through in exactly 4 year cycles. Am I lazy? Is it fair that my children get to enjoy this leisurely education?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I know I haven't been posting here at all. But, this handy blogger feature is enticing.
I'm getting fed up with trying to pick sides. I don't want to be a radical unschooler. I don't want to be a sadistic Psycho Classical Mother cramming knowledge down my childrens throats. I'm sure both sides would let me know that I'm missing something.
I've been at this long enough to see how things balance out with each of my children. They ask for some guidance and we teeter totter till we find it.
Praise God...there are others out there. Others trying to find that perfect spot.