Thursday, December 8, 2011

the boy REALLY likes astronomy

I couldnt be happier...tickle me PINK! He has become obsessed with the stars...he knows words that I have never heard. He is doing college based math on quasars....but get this...he hasnt even completed grade 7 math yet!! He kinda veered off of the Teaching Textbooks a while back an onward towards anything astronomy math related. I explained that a lot of this may be over his head and he will need to be patient etc. no problem...he has no problem spending HOURS figuring out a difficult problem to get the right answer to a equation about the distance between the earth and a particular star far, far away etc etc etc. LOVIN IT!! He has also taken to writing "essays" of star related things...go figure! It turns out you dont have to TEACH writing if the student actually wants to write!! I always knew this, but now I have PROOF!

And the branch from the 'essays' from the boy are that the girls are now wanting to write "essays" for themselves...or stories etc. I dont know how long this train will last but Im riding it to the station! All this, today anyway, happened while I wasnt even home...I LOVE unschooling!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Piano Day

the kids had piano today. we usually have a busier day on thursdays when there is piano. We had to run to the grocery store afterwards. the usual looks from unfamiiar faces wondering...who is this lady with all these kids and why arent they in school? no biggie. an older lady was pushing her cart and my oldest stopped what we was doing to offer a hand. she was grateful and was so suprised at the nice young man who helped her...that he was so polite! I was like oh yeah...its cuz we r homeschoolers! But I kept it to myself :) Then this afternoon J had his lego club meeting. Boys ranging from 5 to 13 were spread out over our large dining room table. The boy is a great leader and I am amazed at how all those ages work so well together, they all meshed into one legotastic body. Then it was chore time...the rooms were NASTY! all through it all there were some tuffles and a few harsh words....none too bad. I let them work it out amongst themselves. Now all are upstairs exited about tomorrows christmas parade downtown

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

unschool 11/30/11

today we did the fourth day of advent, we read samuel ch 17 and read about old st nicholas on dec 6th. the kids each did a lesson of math. J has been diving into "astronomy Math" that we found on a website looking for some math that would tie into his love of astronomy. I wanted J to see what kind of math he will need if he goes to college to become a astronomer. we found this site http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/resources/explorations/hdf/orientation/two as well as this one http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classastrolsn.html this is the pdf we downloaded that he is currently working through http://physics.bgsu.edu/~tiede/class/bmastronomy1.2.pdf T worked with expanded notation. I have no idea what M did...she was upstairs. H did basic addition and shape finding. Then I worked lesson 1 in "how to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" with H and did the same with T only we started in lesson 8. she wasnt thrilled but I used this book with J and M and it worked...so I thought I would give it a try with her...we will see how it goes.
Then we cleaned up the downstairs to we could continue putting up christmas decorations. We are still working on that now...we are missing some boxes I think:)

free of charter...well almost

We left our charter!! after 6 years or so with a public charter, my 3 oldest are now under a private affidavit. CLAY academy is the name of our school and our motto is 2 cor 4:7..."we hold this treasure in jars of CLAY to show that this all consuming power is from God and not from us" I want to make CLAY an acronym for something....either biblical, family, or homeschool related but I cant think of anything yet. Its funny after my week or so of mourning about the loss of the funding from the charter, I feel so much FREEer ....my kids are free as well1 no more silly worksheets stuffed a a random day etc so I can have something to show the school...no more doing useless busywork for the cume file etc. its nice. My kinder gardener is still enrolled so we have a few $$ worth of funding, and we get to keep all of our stuff for now...But Im feeling the call of the wild now like never before...this may be our last year in a charter...we will see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

fun day.....cool day :)

Today was such a good school day!! it turned out to be a very ordinary day, and its only 3:30 right now but I was just sitting and observing my kids this afternoon, thinking about our morning. First off, my hubbie and myself are making more of an effort to be present for our kids, we both noticed a trend of exaustion and irritation from both of us of late. we are TIRED!! and it shows. So we are making an effort to spend time in the morning before breakfast etc by ourselves and then with the family. This is new for us. The kids usually are on their own for bfast, and are free to do what they want until devotions at 10. Now we are eating or trying to eat as a family and do cleanup afterwards together. then we hang out till devotions and group time. We were actually ready for devotions at 9am!! COOL! we prayed for a church family as usual and today was the day we do 5 in a row, so we read "papa picolo" and did the art activity described in the book. We also read a chapter of the bible (judges 5 to be exact...learned about Deborah) then the kids all have a math to work on at their own pace, so they wandered off to do that. I read with little I...at least 3 books about baby animals...he loves that. And did spelling, Rocket phonics, and Dianne Crafts visual sight words with T...all in all everyone had fun before lunch. Now the kids are playing school "teaching" the 5 and 3 yr olds. and the oldest is using the computer lego creator. And rhe girls are playing family game night on Wii....all is well, all is calm...homemade pizza and dessert twists for dinner, made with help from 2 kids. lovin it!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

man...sometimes my kids are COOL :)

Ok, so, I was gone ALL day today at meetings with our area homeschool convention board....I know I know right?? an "UNSCHOOLER" on a Christian Homeschool Convention Staff?? ssshhhh.....dont tell em and I wont OK?? lol!

I get home, all hot and sweaty I might add, to find that my kids or at least the girls had been diligently working on making homemade storybooks. M has a 20 page story that she is illustrating page by page and T was working on a 10 page book. ( now remember T is th one who is REALLY struggling with learning issues right now so YEA for her!!) and little H was trying her best to remember her whole alphabet from heart with NO helps from sissies. All This was for ice cream. I think I created a monster!! I promised T some Baskin if she read a book all by herself yesterday because I had a free scooop coupon for her anyway. This created a vortex of language "stuff" where each kid was asking what they could do to earn Baskin as well. Well of course I had to come up with something!! And there was the Book making and alphabet learnin' and all the rest. I cant wait to see what a dinner date with dad will get me!! thats right, Im not ashamed to bribe my kids!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I think I am going to STRANGLE as child.......

thats IT!!!! the WHINING must stop!!! I believe I am the only one who is allowed to whine around here!!

I think that dogs are probably the only things who hear can you now... you have gone into the stratosphere child!!

Where in the world do you get this attitude from?? oh yeah...probably from me :)

what exactly IS unschooling anyway??

You know I think I like the title more for its shock value that anything....I am not really a fan of the word "unschool" it just sounds like "uncool" or something :) You know the "official" ramirez title for the way we live our life and learn should be something like "every day is a learning day and life is our classroom" but we use curriculum when it suits our needs? I dont think our family reallly fits well into any preformed idea of natural learning. but I DO think "natural learning" is the best way to describe unschoolers in general...and it sounds nicer too! I have been working through a charter school for years now...its becoming harder and harder to continue using them while educating our children in a way that suits our family without outright lying to them about what we are doing. So far I havent had to start lying, but I fear that with every passing year we may have to dissenroll. Now dont get me wrong, its not the end of the world for us to private school affidavit our kids, its just the end of funding for fun stuff like piano and karate and endless trips to rainbow resource and nasco for crafts and cool games etc.

J is going into 7th grade in our charter, a whole new world for us. They are saying that nothing will change and I hope that is true. I am very spoiled by the funding that we have recieved each semester and it has afforded us a cushy homeschool library etc. And this fall my sandwich girl will be able to get formal testging for a learning disability, which would be extremely difficult to get if we private schooled. So there is definate pluses to using a public charter. Still my heart is a bit torn, I think I would feel a bit more free and relaxed in what I know is right for my family if we had no one else to answer to. I wonder if I am REALLY as OK with it as I think I am?? It sounds wierd huh....to not really be sure houw you actually feel about something as important as your choice in home education, but Im not. Some days I am 100% and some days (like today) I'm feeling more like 40%. I think sometimes I would not require things of my children that I now ask if we private schooled. There probably wouldnt be any LA workbooks or programs after they learned to read if they didnt want them. but becuase I have to show my ES something each month, I have them use workbooks because its easier. Am I ompromising?? Yeah, probably....it it over the the line?? not today I guess. I think its probably still worth it. but I may change my mind tomorrow :0)

first day of school in July

we did "school" today, first time in a few weeks because of all the house stuff going on. I felt bad for Jonah because he had just started some hard new stuff in math before our unscheduled break and he had to start from scratch today because he had forgotten most of it :(
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Leah Lambert Ramirez on the flip side both micah and jonah decided to do some writing on their won. I tolf Micah that I would take her for a scoop of ice cream if she finished her 20 page book she wanted to write, with correct punctuation I might add. We will see how far she gets this week :) and Jonah grabbed a thesaurus and picked about 20 "hard" words to spell and define. I told him he should make a comic strip using those words ....that should be interesting!! and Tami finished reading a REAL BOOK ...star wars jar jar makes a mistake. a level 1 reader. So she got to go for ice cream at BR (its her birthday scoop for free) but she need not know that. All in all a very good start to a very HOT day!!