Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sometimes, you need to switch things up a bit.

One of the major advantages of homeschooling is the freedom that is given to your family.  It is amazing how quickly that freedom is forgotten and a rut seems to be built {or dug}.  Money, time, stress all seem to get in the way of bringing back the fun and enjoying your children, which is one of the main reasons I decided to homeschool in the beginning.  There are numerous resources available to aide in keeping things fresh and exciting.  One site I really enjoy is  Kidsactivitiesblog.  This homeschool mom has tons of creative and inexpensive ways to keep children engaged and keep learning fun.  It is all a matter of realizing things need to be freshened up a bit and putting action behind that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Classical Conversations

Choosing a curriculum can be the most laborious part of homeschooling.  There is a ton of second guessing whether or not your choice is the correct choice for each child, and if it will work with your teaching style.  I get headaches while reading through all different materials because I can feel the stress mounting.  WHAT you choose to teach your children is kind of a big deal; these are their building blocks for their whole lives.

This year we have chosen Classical Conversations as our curriculum path.  This is a very different form of education that puts it back to a "classical" model.  Essentially all of the children learn the same basic things, allowing the older children to delve deeper into the subject than the younger.  This curriculum is very in depth and focuses on subjects that are fundamentally lacking in the public school system.  My 6 year old daughter can locate places on a world map better than Eighth graders that I know.  We are only halfway though with our first year, but I am very impressed with the quality of education that my children are receiving.  I found an article by a veteran CC family that highlights this wonderful program, you can find it here on Homegrownlearners.  She provides much more insight than I can, but I love her perspective on the whole system.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sometimes you just need a break, we call those times "Field Trips"

Being in the house daily tends to lead to monotony which can get rather lonesome and boring for all involved.  We like to break up that feeling by taking Field Trips.  I have learned that if we call them that, they sound educational.  They actually are educational, it's just that I have to do no prep work aside from driving to the location.  One of my children's favorite places to visit is the  Children's Museum of Winston Salem.  A little tip for home school families, there is a discount!  If you bring your eligibility letter, children get in for $3/each and the teacher is FREE!

All three of my children, ages 6, 8, 11, love to visit this Museum.  There is a lot of hand's on play, as well as fun climbing structures and building opportunities that really open the mind.  

One of their favorite exhibits is the mock Krispy Kreme factory.  My children love to set the timer, "make" the doughnuts, put them on the conveyor belt, box them and then load them into the truck.  I sit back in pure awe of how much enjoyment they get out of this activity.  When we visit, they usually spend about an hour right here, "making doughnuts.  
Another crowd favorite is this contraption.  This is called the Kaleidoscape and I was told by an employee that this is the only one of its kind in the US.  A woman spent her life developing the plans for this and was able to see it come together when she was in her 70s.  The structure is made of bungee cord type material.  There are multiple openings that children {and adults} can climb up into; once inside you can run free up top.  The outside of the structure has 4 balls that are out of the same material, children love to swing from them or play dodge ball.  

Some of our favorite days are spent at the Children's Museum.  It is a great place to escape the every day and reconnect as a family.

Happy Halloween!!!

Part of being a homeschool family means that you spend A LOT of time at home!  One would think this should lead to a spotless home, but quite the opposite is true.  We LIVE in our home, it is not just a transition pad.  This weekend we were free from soccer tournaments, so I took it upon myself to browse Pinterest for entryway organization.  We are hitting Fall which means coats are suddenly becoming slipcovers for our couch...not exactly the decor I'm going for.

As it would turn out, there are thousands of entryway ideas; not many that would work with this small space coming into my home from the garage.  Just when I was about to give up, I found this inspiration for a perfect solution from shanty-2-chic.  This project took a few hours (well, actually more because the finish nailer was not cooperating, I think it was still on summer break).  All in all it was a great use of a Saturday morning that was finished off with trick or treating.