Monday, August 30, 2010

this post was GREAT!!!

you gotta read it...it says everything I think but oh so much better!!

http://simplehomeschool.net/balancing-character-education-with-academics/

Garden giants!! well not really




our latest harvest from the garden. I havent seen carrots like these ones before!! we looked up why they grew like this and it seems like carrots usually grow this way! go figure!!

mezo america monday



So after a impromptu trip to the eye dr. because BigJ was complaining that something was in his eye all weekend (he's fine) BTW. We got back to do some history as a family. SOTW has us in mezo america. The Incas, Aztecs and Mayans. Yea I thought....I have SOOOO many cool books on this stuff! So out shopping to the garage I go and I come back with an arm full of "living books" about the mezo's and we dig in. Somehow I feel that my interest might be a bit stronger than theirs but oh well. Im interested and thats what counts right?? They held on and then after I was done yaking away for what Im sure seemed like hours to them I let them at the books and stepped back. They sniffed around for a bit and then Big J decided to make aztec headdresses that he saw in one of the books and they were off! I sure hope they are interested in these books for the rest of the week, Im going to leave them out till friday so we will see what happens.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ok so I know how this is gonna sound...

My 11 yr old just asked to unschool his math. I know I know we ARE unschoolers!! BUT my last hold out has been math because I couldnt figure out how to DO math any other way. But my heart has been leaning for a while in this area and as we were sitting down to have Bible study tonight we were discussing James 1:1-12 and considering trials joy etc etc. We were talking about what might be a trial in the next week and Big J was saying how he really does not like his math work. Well being a crazy unschooler I jumped at the opportunity to see where his mind was headed. I asked him " well if we dont do math curriculum, how are you going to teach yourself all of those complex math problems etc etc?" Well He figured that he could find out how to do those things other ways using science or history or art (his favored subjects). I have to say this really spoke to my heart. I was actually just reading in "the unschoolers handbook" that I picked up at convention last month a personal story that resonated with me. It spoke of worrying about our kids never learning "enough" math. What about the "higher" math? you know prea lgebra and above? The stuff "regular" peaple never really use? Arent we supposed to know that stuff? why, Im not exactly sure other than college courses etc. But if that is the case and he needs to now something in order to get into a specific class for his major, then he will learn it. Self motivation is a much better teacher than teaching textbooks or math u see. Big J wanted to read more about math. To understand it on a conceptual level not a algorithim a+b=c level. ( a boy after my own heart). I really want to give this a try. I think it will really work for our family. BigM LOVES her math and her workbooks but J and T not so much. They are more into the "natural learning"

Now I KNOW that God has given each of our children a natural gift. It is my job to help them grow and explore that gift while facilitating them and helping them along where they struggle. simple homeschool.net says this wonderfully..."Thankfully, it’s not all about academics. Man cannot live on books alone. We need to develop quality relationships, enjoy one another’s company, and learn to get along with one another. Better that my sons be godly garbage collectors than arrogant men with initials at the end of their names." another great quote from them is ..."good teaching isn’t filling a bottle, it’s lighting a fire."

I want to fan the flame of the love of learning. I dont want my kids to hate math or writing or whatever. And workbook pages turn me SO off....I can see how they would turn off a child. SO how to unschool math? I guess its time to find out!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

just going along

I realized I hadnt written down anything in a few weeks and since this blog is the only way I will ever remember what happened even yesterday, let alone what happened during a month of school, I figured I had better write something down! Oh well I am the only one reading this any so what does it matter? hehehe. Well life has finally settled back into routine around here. Public school started this week and the sense of routine and schedules is in the air once again. We have gotten back into the math and lang arts each day until the kids finish their summer workbooks. Once I reminded J that he didnt have to do any more LA after he finished the summer workbook he was thrilled into action and completed 6 pages! BigM as always LOVES workbooks so I doubt she will ever not be using one. SuperT is plodding along as usual. She is doing alright in the math and LA dept.s but not spectacular. It hink she willget it when she is ready but I am still having her meet with the education specailist with our charter school. I want to make sure we arent missing anything. We are using more manipulatives and Living math during the day for her, and using this new (to us) curriculum called " rocket phonics" that teaches sounds instead of names for letters. She is enjoying it and I am getting the hang of it as well. I just wish I could more easily figure out Al Abacus, right start math. Maybe its to concrete for my abstract mind to understand!! Oh well I am going to keep trying to get the abacus thingy and the math games becasue I think that is the key to SuperT's door. LittleH has been doing "school" a lot lately. I found my self rmembering when J was her age and there was only him and baby BigM. Oh how I used to spend about 45 min a day with him learning all the ABC's and 123's. We drilled and drilled and drilled poor kid.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

jammin' saturday








I just spent about 5 hours in the kitchen makin jam with the kiddoes. My kitchen looks like a fruit massacre happened in there ( it kinda did! ) I started out with plum jam and our japanese exchange student helped a lot by peeling and chopping the peaches. We made 4 batches of jam today and they turned out AWESOME. That is until the last batch anyway. i turned my back for a moment to deal with the 2 yr olds "soup" that he created with the dogs food. And in that moment my glorious beautiful yellow marmalade that was perfect in everyway...(well in my eyes anyway) went from yellow to dark brown. 4 lbs of lemons and 6 cups of white sugar down the drain. not to mention the 1 hour or so I spent of my life making it. Oh well challk it up to a learning session on how to NOT walk away from candymaking or jam making

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yea!! the veggies arent dying!




So superT went out to the garden this morning and came back with a GIANT!! zuichinni that is. Now I know that lots of other people grow giant zuichinnis and pumpkins and other things just to have giant veggies to show off. I on the other hand am just trying NOT to kill anything. So I am very exctied to see that not only have they manageds to stay alive despite my childrens best efforts to squash and mame, but are actually GROWING veggies! We have, from what I can see, 3 count them 3 watermelons and all the corn stalks are producing multiple ears. The tomatoes are a little on the squashed side from the lack of proper care and trellising. so I didnt get the hoped for over abundance of tomatoes this year. I am learning from my mistakes for next year. I even bought a backyard homesteading book that I am reading voracously while my husband laughs! I am looking forward to canning what I can (hehehe) and eating the rest. The giant zuichinni isnt good for anything but schredding for soups, bread, or anything else I want to add shredded zuichinni too! I made a "ragu" with garden yummies from the neighbors on monday and it was so good we were eating it with chips like a italian salsa!

a sad day

Well as we all know in like there is learning from happy times and from sad times. Today we had a glorius day at the river. playing and learning about the river currents and local inhabitants. When we got home, one of the neighborhood dogs a nice dog but still a dog, had gotten into our backyard and in an instant...while I was home killed carmel, BigJ's chicken. It was carnage! He is devistated. Its going to take a few days for him to start feeling better, then we will go and pick out a new group of chicks. We need a total of 10 or 12 so I havent quite decided how many to pick up. My moms heart breaks for him, but it is a teacable moment on animals and life. Scooter isnt a "bad" dog, he is an animal with insticts. We just jot REALLY lucky with our dog Buddy, who had NO instincts and thinks he's people!

too much curriculum talk;)

We have been so busy these past few weeks...doing what exactly Im not too sure. We have working on bookwork and H hasss been digging into her prek curriculum we have lying around. She has discovered the sticker book and sometimes we wont be able to find her! She will be hiding somewhere with her "school" putting stickers all over her new workbook. Thank you dollar tree! SuperT had been working with momma on her new borrowed curriculum for reading. Its called rocket phonics and so far she is REALLY liking it. I have used pretty much any curriculum out there for reading as well as no curriculum at all for SuperT's reading issues and so far no luck. We will see where this one leads. Not to say she hasnt made progress over the last year or so, its just that its glacierly slow! But slow is better than no! We had Vacation Bible School last week. so no book work then. Big J has been working on his teaching textbooks and doing GREAT! M is going along with her 4th grade lang arts and math. We will have to get a new computer for the kids so she can work on her teaching textbooks ....I feel all rashy now...too much "curriculum" talk.