Sunday, October 31, 2010

My how it has changed! Homeschooling that is~

When I was a child, I use to go down into our basement and play "School". I had a chalkboard and old textbooks, I was always the teacher. I dreamed of being a teacher. It didn't change much. Most kids go from Teachers, Astronauts, Nurses, Mommies, etc. I pretty much mantained a teacher. I had no idea this is how my dream would come true and until the 1st Good day we had, I had no idea this IS my dream!
I graduated Highschool without the goal of college, started a family, and then attempted college for Deaf Studies. I thought " I can teach deaf people", but I wasn't content and it didn't work out for our family for me to stay in school. Feeling defeated I just thought, " oh well". Then Homeschooling came into play. I am a teacher. I am teaching. No I am not getting paid, but I am still doing what I love. Isn't that what its about? A Dream? A Passion? Doing what you love day after day no matter what? Times have been hard, frustrating, busy, chaos, yet joyful! Pure Joy. That is not something I believe a degree could of prepared me for. I dont think college could teach that.
We have gone from simple lesson plans- Notice the X's all over the week.

to busy, chaos! This is this coming week!

and now we have almost 1/2 a wall covered in stuff and a file folder filling up as well.

This is what a dream is. This is Homeschooling. This is me as a teacher and I LOVE it. <3

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicka Chicka 123

Today we made a math game and painted by number for Math.

Then Candice made the letters E,F, and H out of legos and play-doh for L.Arts.

I read her Chicka Chicka 123 as her "Extra" today and then we made a Apple Tree that followed the story! Pretty cute!

Science was more on Frogs, we attempted to make frogs out of paper plates. History, we talked about community again and how we walked around the community to go Trick or Treating last night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Math, H and halloween treats

We counted today with the beans and Candice did really well, then we did some painting and used Legos to make the letters E,F, and H. Legos seemed to really help. Then we got ready for Trick Or Treating, which by the way it was REALLY cold! Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!! The kids did pretty well candy wise. Im glad they enjoyed it. Tomorrow though is back to lessons and finishing up before we start on Human Body and Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Library Group & Bad Day

Today we went to the library story time group. They learned about corn. Candice had a blast!!
Then we came home and did lessons, well we tried. For some reason Candice fought with me on everything. Every. Little. Thing. Math, L.Arts. Finally I stepped away for a minute and came back. We managed to get through some of L.Arts and then we read a story. We talked about Frogs, Halloween, and then finished up community.
Tonight we are going to the Library Trick Or Treating. It should be fun. Its been hectic the last 2 days and Im sorry I dont have much to write.
Today was just a rotten day, but I found this on a blog:

On most days I thoroughly enjoy homeschooling my three kids. Most days. Then there are those OTHER days…the days I DO NOT enjoy homeschooling my three kids. On those days I find myself simply checking off boxes in our curriculum and praying the seconds morph into hours instead of minutes. For the record, those prayers have yet to be answered. In fact, the opposite seems to occur – time literally stands still.
Further proof God has a sense of humor.
Moments like these are not the proudest moments of bright, sunshiny, homeschooling parents. We don’t like to talk about them out loud…especially not to -*GASP*- non-homeschoolers.
“Do I love to homeschool? YES! I could NEVER IMAGINE doing anything else!!”
We can ALL imagine doing something else at times. Why just yesterday afternoon I imagined myself getting into my truck, driving to Starbucks, and sitting alone for two hours without a single person asking me any question other than, “Would you like another Iced Latte?”
To which I answered, “Heck, yeah!”
Y’know, just in case you were curious.
So what stops me from “calling it a day” and escaping to Starbucks (other than the fact I might still be in my pajamas) when things go sour?
I know, I know, I sound as cliche as a Hallmark card, but truthfully, love IS what stops me.

Love isn’t just a fuzzy feeling.
I love my children. I love them completely. Around here we teach that love isn’t just a “fuzzy feeling”, but that love is a VERB – an action word.
We ACT on our love when we open a door, help fold clothes, give a compliment, respectfully stay quiet when someone else is taking a test, grab the 10 lb. dictionary off the shelf for a sibling, apologize when we’ve wronged another, and in my case…keep-on keeping-on when all I want to do is throw my hands in the air and walk out of the schoolroom.
No one pays me to do this day after day.
I chose to teach my children.
I am GLAD I chose to teach my children. At the same time, honesty forces me to admit that there are some days when my meter expires waaaaay before its time.
Usually it is an accumulation of irritants that I allow to push me to my limit.
Note that I said “allow” because I’m perfectly aware I should be in control of my own behavior at all times.
Still, it can be hard.
Take yesterday, for instance – I asked a simple question in the process of working through a missed long division problem.
Me: “What is 11-3?”
Child: “9?”
Me: “9?”
Child: “7?”
Me: “7?”
Child: “8?”
Me: “8?”
Child: *silence*
Me: “Is 8 your final answer?”
Child: *considering*
Me: “Well? Is 8 your final answer?”
Child: “No, 9…yep, it’s 9.”
Me: “Nope.”
Child: “7?”
Me: “Are you kidding me?”
Child: “???”
Now honestly this wouldn’t bother me except I KNOW this child KNOWS the difference from 11 and 3. I was dealing with pure laziness and indifference.
This is about the time I wanted to go to Starbucks.
Instead, acting out of love, I turned and opened a drawer, pulled out a package of flash cards and we proceeded to back WAAAAAY up to the beginning – basic math facts.
It might have seemed like a waste of 15 minutes, but the apathy quickly dissipated and we were able to get back to work FOR REAL.
Does it always work this way?
No, not always.

When nothing works.
Some days nothing I can think to do works and productivity is at an all time low across the board. Maybe the schedule has been too full, the bedtimes have been too late, or we’ve eaten too much chili and rice – I SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW.
I can tell you it’s a rare, but real, occasion and certainly not worth the stress of pushing through.
This is when I know it is time to “call it a day” and I say it.
“Enough is enough – we are done today.”
The kids actually do not prefer this coping method because the work follows them to the next day – or pushes our 4 day school week to 5. I don’t particularly like this method either for pretty much the same reason.
Many times we’ll part for a while – each to their own room. And then, the magnetic pull that keeps us so close-knit draws us back together. The rest of the time will be spent snuggled together on the couch with a non-school-related read aloud, watching a movie, or doing our own thing – separately, but together.

and I feel the SAME way, especially today. I actually yelled at Candice because I was just beyond my limit. I felt terrible after 2 seconds and quickly apologized to her and tried working on it again, of course by then her interest was gone and we just goofed off. Not a productive day at all. I NEED to learn that shes just being stubborn. Stubborn candice and that days like this are NOT what makes up homeschooling. Kids have days like this in school, the difference is the teacher deals with it and somehow the kids listen. Mom, isnt as scary i guess. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homeschool Support

I went to one Homeschool Support group and it was a joke. It was "social hour" quite literally. I was thinking of creating my own when I got an email asking me to coming to the Mt Orab CHEC group. I was nervous and excited. I was not sure what to expect. I decided to give it a try. They meet on Tuesdays. Candice and I ended up going and it was a BLAST! They do an art project and music and lunch. Candice cant do music because shes not in 3rd grade. We will be going back. It was great! There was a little girl there Celcelia (im not spelling that right) and Candice and her are the same age.

As for school, we had a good day. I dont quite remember what all we did, it was a hectic day after group. But I know we did school.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hh success!

Today was an AWESOME day.
We started out with Math. i got this great Usborne book at the library.

Then we did L.Arts, which we worked on the letter H. We are only working on capital letters right now and then well go back and do lowercase, well candice will ask to do the little ones. Like today. I told her Big H is 2 lines from high to low and a line across to say hello! Then for little h, a line from high to low and then a rainbow. She actually did it! A PERFECT little h! She got a FREE card for that and got an extra sticker, which meant she had 4 and we could get a $1 toy! She got a sound stick!

We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom today, by the way, they make a Chicka Chicka 123 that is great! We also read The Real 3 little pigs story. I had Candice color too just to waste a bit more time. I wasnt really prepared today. We also did some worksheets on More/Less. she actually did REALLY well, especially when I had a manipulative like beans.

After that we read her insect book and we skipped History today. I also moved our school room around, just the desks so they both face me now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A new Group

I have been thinking about starting my own Homeschool group since going to the one in Milford. I just didnt find the vibe I needed/wanted. I am thinking more like LLL. I am thinking of a yahoo group (east side) and (west side). East Side meeting in Eastgate and West in Colerain. OR a general meeting at the church in Colerain. I havent decided but I know meetings would be 1x a month and then wed use the time to plan things for that month. There would not be a membership fee or anything like that. I am thinking of a group pot. We would put in money and then when we decide where we'd like yo go, divide up the pot. That way if someone doesnt have the money, they are covered. I just feel like this is on my heart. Who knows if it will happen, but its an idea.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Life of the Poal 3

Today we had to get Nathan, its my weekend for him. We all slept in a tad too late so Lessons were later than usual. I thought " Ill just include Nate in school". I had no idea what I was thinking. Its hard! Trying to get this one going, while this one does this and keep this one out of that. Crazy! Then when you finally get all three of them to do one thing, they fight over who gets to hold what, sit where, raising their hand higher. Yet, I LOVED it. I can't begin to imagine this craziness everyday, but I hope some day I can.

(ill go by each child)
Worked with the magnetic letters and rice letters (did E and F)
Wrote E and F on lined paper
Did a counting math game
drew insects in science journal
read a dinosaur book (looked at pictures)
listened to me read 2 books (trick or treating and insects)
watched Magic School Bus bug movie

Did rice letters (E&F)
Wrote E & F on lined paper
Talked about community
Did Counting math game
drew insects in science journal
listened to me read 2 books (trick or treating and insects)
watched magic school bus movie

Worked with magnetic letters
Worked with tangram type game
played with Money
Counting math game
listened to me read same 2 books
helped look for bugs outside while other wrote in science journal

Ill take some pictures of Nathans work. I am really surprised by him. I need to remember we didn't do the Insect Lapbook or candice's free card (computer game) so we will do those tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daddy, Mommy does it better

I had a doctor appointment today so Lance took over lessons. Candice was less than thrilled. She wanted me to teach her, but I couldn't. I also wanted to see how Lance did. As long as I lay everything out he does ok though and he did. They got through her lessons until of course it came to math. She counted the dinner plated but refused again to count in Math. I am going to agree with the ladies on THL and narrow it down to boredom. Next week Math is going first and we will try and revamp it up. I also want to try and get Lance to teach more so we can avoid days like today.

Last Night I was looking at a great Homeschool blog and stumbled across Lapbooking. Seriously, I have no idea why i dont find this stuff sooner. I think we are going to start doing them on field trips and for her "extra" lessons. This week we are doing one on "Bugs". Ill have her read her Ant book and watch the movie on them and then look at the pics and make her LB.
As well as that, I moved ALL of our Homeschool stuff upstairs to one room. It is no longer on a shelf, in a box, in front of the TV. It is in a small old office. Candice has a desk, Lana has a desk, Each have a shelf of school stuff. It has worked wonderfully, so far.
New set up:

          Lanas area                        Workboxes           Candices area
I am going to start including Lana into the mix of homeschooling. Perhaps I need to get it down with Candice first but I feel like if Lana at 2.5 is standing there asking me to do lessons, I should take advantage of it. Right now its mostly sensory and independent things. I will eventually include some other things. I just want her to get the basic idea. I think maybe next year or the year after she'll be ready. I just hope it doesnt cause issues between Candice and Lana. They both are going to be Homeschooled but I dont want Candice to become jealous that we are including Lana.

Homeschool Frustrations

I have found since starting homeschooling that its like a belly button. Everyone has an opinion. Mostly they are not nice. Usually its the general things:

" You went to Public school"
"What about socialization?"
"She's 4.5, she doesnt need school right now"
"When are you putting her into public school?"

The 4.5 one REALLY irks me. Who says that a 4.5 year old isnt capable of learning? Kids at her age are put into daycare and Preschool all the time, why is homeschooling different? Because I refuse to "play" with her all day and call it learning? Candice is capable of so much more than that. I have seen it. I might get frustrated at her, but what parent doesnt? Did your parents ever get mad because you got a C on a test they knew you should of got an A on? It is the same thing. I can either take it with a grain of salt and say " Thanks but no thanks" or I can finally stand up for my choice for my daughter and say exactly what I said above " Why should I settle for "play learning" when I know she can do so much more?" I haven't decided which yet. However, if you're reading this, please dont assume that a young child can't learn as much as your 5 year old or 6 year old. Don't assume I am making Candice sit here and read off of workbooks all day with little to no play or guidance. I actually chose Lessonpathways because its hands on AND play. I worry every day " Is this enough?" and I don't need more worry.

Candice has come a long way. From not knowing colors, shapes, letters, how to hold a pencil to knowing Spanish, How to write letters, How to count to 5, What a firefighter does.... she DOES learn and it is not through playing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Math frustration

Candice is refusing the last two days to do math. I know she can do it, it just frustrates me. I am thinking of switching up the schedule so Math is 1st and making History last. I just dont know how else to get her to do it.

Today we talk more about community helpers and how they help. Why would you go to the helpers? L.Arts was more on working with E and F. We made noodle art (letter E and F). She got a kick out of adding food color. Break was Go Fish. She kicked my butt, She tends to win. Science was starting to talk about Prediction. If I drop this pencil, what will happen? Surprisingly she got it right. Math was harder. I had her match up the numbers and then unscramble them, which of course took forever because she was acting as if she didnt know the numbers.

Tomorrow Lance is doing lessons and I hope it goes more smoothly. I think we'll finish the week with Math last and then next Monday start with it first.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fire station project

Today we worked more on some of last weeks concepts- Ee and Community. We also worked on our Fire Station project finally!.
History was about Community and Firefighters. We got on the computer and talked about them.

L.Arts was about the letters E and F. We wrote in Alphabet Book and then worked on writing the letter F in rice.

"Free Time" was working on her Fire Station project. We took a poster board (i cut it down) and then we pasted, cut, colored, etc on the board all about our trip to the Fire Station!

Science was skipped today

Math was learning more about the numbers 1-5 and counting- we played around with the beans.. I am going to come up with a small game for Candice to play, i think shell have fun playing it. We also played Dominoes today and worked on Matching. Matching was last weeks lesson. Then we also played Store with her play money to work on counting.
This was funny. Candice drew herself in the rice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Socialization and Books + Prizes!

by Lisa Russell

we didnt do lessons today. Lance went to urgent care so that idea went out the window, BUT i found an AWESOME website on reading! And we got our free coupons for Candice's reading list- 1 free pizza from Pizza Hut! You have to register for the below site, but its FREE. You put in the age ranges and what your kid would like to read, then it gives you a list of books to read. Candice reads the books, then takes a small quiz about it. For getting the answers right she gets points. She can then use the points to get prizes, which I have to approve! How neat!
Books & prizes- FREE

Candice's List:

0590437739Mary Had a Little LambMcMillan, Bruce; Hale, Sarah JosephbuellanimalsK
0531300137Is There Room on the Feather Bed?Westcott, Nadine B.; Moore Gray, LibbaanimalsK
0395810833Just a Little BitMunsinger, Lynn; Tompert, AnnanimalsK
0060274123Biscuit Finds a FriendCapucilli, Alyssa SatinanimalsK
0694013013From Head to ToeCarle, EricanimalsK
0688098312HoraceKeller, Hollyanimals ,
fairy tales & folklore
0689840810A Frog in the BogWilson, KarmaanimalsK
0307988481Wake up, Groundhog!Cohen, CarolanimalsK
0590050435Yikes!!!Florczak, RobertanimalsK
0064442314Go Away, DogNodset, Joan L.animalsK
0811823121Condor's EggLondon, Jonathan; Chaffee, James; Mesta, RobertanimalsK
1575054507StripePartis, JoanneanimalsK
0062051857Bark, GeorgeFeiffer, JulesanimalsK
0152019243Cook-a-Doodle-DooStevens, JanetanimalsK
0899192254Henny PennyGaldone, Paulanimals ,
fairy tales & folklore
0761309888Hare and the Tortoise, TheWard, HelenanimalsK
076361078XJust You and MeMcBratney, Sam; Bates, Ivan (Illustrator)animalsK
0694003611Goodnight MoonBrown, Margaret WiseanimalsK
0531070905Small Green SnakeGray, Libba Moore; Meade, HollyanimalsK
0688165451Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a ZooDe Groat, DianeanimalsK
0689833148Biggest Frog in Australia, TheRoth, SusananimalsK
014056750XBunny MoneyWells, Rosemary; Axler, Rachel (Editor)animalsK
0152000356To Market , To MarketMiranda, Anne; Stevens, Janetfairy tales & folkloreK
0688151787Storytellers, TheLewin, Tedpeople & placesK
0735810699Little Bunny's Sleepless NightRoth, Carol; Gorbachev, ValerianimalsK

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lesson Plans- Getting ready for the week

I thought I'd show how we get ready for the next upcoming week.
I pull out my Lesson Plan binder. Right now I have 5 weeks in it, but I need to print off more pages. I like to plan ahead in advance. You never know what will happen. I look at what Candice is suppose to learn about.

Then i pull out all of the workboxes and empty them from the last weeks things. I am still working on a portfolio to put her things in, but I think i will just use a Manilla folder for now
Then looking at my binder I put new things in each box.

Then put the boxes back on the shelves and Im all ready :)

Thats all there is to it. Look up workboxes if you havent. They can be a great help! There are a few things we need to re-do this week that I will add on to this weeks lesson, The Little "e", finish our Science Lesson, and then finish our Firestation Poster.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Encyclopedias and ABCs

Today on Freecycle I picked up a 1977 full set of World Encyclopedias. How awesome?! This will greatly help in homeschooling! We can now add another resource other than the internet!

Then today for school, we didn't do much, Lance was sick and I just wanted a day off. We did work on magnet letters. We took the fridge letters and made simple words in the pan. Then we matched up the letters. A to A, etc since I bought 2 sets of letters.We also did basic review over everything. Today is friday so Candice got a sticker (for every 4, she gets $1). Then she got a Free Card - "Special Outting". I am thinking maybe we can go somewhere tomorrow, not sure where.
We also re-vamped our set up. We have had several. I still have the workboxes but we re-did how its all set up. I moved the bookshelf from the girls room and put it next to the computer, I put the encyclopedias on top, the basket of extras on the 1st shelf, then workboxes 1-3 on the next shelf and baskets 4-5 on the bottom. Works MUCH better! I still need to get a few more supplies (craft things mostly) and then I still really want to find Candice a small desk.