Category Archives: Homeschool

Sugar Butts

I am the potty mouth in this house.  My hubby never, ever swears…well, okay, he did when the camper flipped over and he was trying to control the car…but that doesn’t count, does it?

So, when someone gets in trouble for saying a “bad” word in this house, mommy is to blame.  Sigh.

Today, Caitlyn and Sue were working on putting together some projects they received for Christmas.  Caitlyn started her catapult yesterday and teased Frazier today by launching pieces of burnt bacon.

Sue started her robot today and was having a hard time finding one of the pieces–“damn!”

“Mommy, Sue said damn.”

Sigh…time to head to their room for a chat.

“Sue, you can’t say damn.” “But I can’t find the piece I need.”  ”

“But I can’t find the piece I need.”  ”

“I know, but you can’t say that word even though mommy does.  Say, um, ‘sugar butts’ like daddy does.  Or dude.  That’s the one I like.  You can say it with emphasis.  DUDE!!!”

Insert eye roll and a big, heavy sigh.

A few minutes later she is still searching for the piece, looks over at Caitlyn and mutters, “sugar butts!!”

My work here is done.

I’ve had a couple “sugar butts” kind of days lately.  It has been raining.  I have not been running.  I am coming off two medications due to side effects.  I am recommitting myself to eat low FODMAP to control some health issues that are obnoxious and kind of hard to control.  And there is still homeschooling and its duties, May has a couple super social days in it, and another birthday for me.

Sigh and a big helping of “sugar butts.”

What is your safe word to say around kids or that your kids are allowed to say?  If you don’t have one, go ahead and have ours.  We’ll share!

Pi and Pie

Yesterday, 3/14, was Pi, 3.14, day.  Most years I remember too late that it WAS Pie/Pi day.

Not this year.

A wonderful friend put together a Pi day curriculum for me.  We practiced finding the circumference of circles using pieces of yarn and Pi.  We watched a couple YouTube videos, made Pi cootie catchers,  and a paper chain showing how there is not a number pattern in Pi.

To round out the day, the girls made an apple pie from scratch.

I did not have any of the finished product as it was full of gluten and apples, both a no-no when it comes to eating low FODMAP. So, I didn’t have any of the finished product.  Problem is, I had little nibbles of crust and apples as I helped the girls make the pie.  It’s not because I don’t know gluten and apples are a no-no according to low FODMAP eating.  I know they are, but sometimes, okay, often, I think, “all of this special eating is silly.  I don’t have food allergies so I am probably making a big deal out of nothing.”    I begin to feel ridiculous for the demands I make when it comes to food.  I tell myself I am just doing it to be a pain in the butt or feel “special,” so I stop.  I eat pie crust.  I eat sliced apples.

And then, within an hour or so, I find out eating low FODMAP is important, it does improve my life, it is worth the extra effort.  I was so sick last night I could hardly sit up during dinner.  My stomach hurt, my body was overcome with weakness.  I even had hubby take Sue to her play practice and I sat down on the couch and watched an entire movie…I have no idea when the last time was I watched a whole tv program at home, let alone a movie.  I just don’t sit that long.

Ignoring the rules of eating low FODMAP literally knocked me on my butt.  Lesson learned, for a while…

That was our day.  The Pie and the Pi of it.

The Eyes of Homeschool

Last week we started a study on eyes.  The lesson we were using wanted us to make a paper eye.  “I” decided that was not good enough for Cole Academy…I found a place that sells dissecting materials and order three cow eyeballs and a dissecting kit.

The brown box of awesomeness arrived Friday Night…the dissection was scheduled for Monday night.

And hubby was brought into the action.  He led the dissection.  I took pictures.  A perfect duo.  Frazier oversaw the whole operation.

Hubby talked them through the parts of the eyeball and taught them dissection safety.

Sue was particularly excited.

And the dissection began.

And then time for the review.

Filling in each and every part they had seen for themselves on the worksheet.

There was even a lesson on how the Iris opens and closes in response to light (but it was too dark for pictures).

Hubby has been hired as our dissection teacher.  He has already asked for a raise.  I promised to give him triple the nothing I get paid…Seems fair.

It was a great time of letting the girls “see” hands-on how they “see.”

 

A Bit of a Political Post

I originally blogged about this a couple weeks ago, but when my blog was hacked this is the one post they deleted.  I am trying to re-corral my thoughts here.

I have watched a frustrating and disturbing thing happen over the days since Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Education Secretary.  I have seen many people on Facebook declaring that they are “just” going to homeschool now.  I have seen others say “that’s why I homeschool.”  Both of those do a disservice to those who homeschool or have their children in a traditional educational setting.

“I’m just going to homeschool.”

Well, you could.  It is an option, but saying that flippantly does a disservice to those who homeschool.  Homeschoolers, just like parents who have chosen any educational option, have done so for a myriad of reasons.  I have not met a single homeschooler who has chosen to do so for just one reason.  Nothing is ever that simple.

Nor is homeschooling as easy as one day waking up and taking your child out of a traditional education setting.  Homeschoolers pour a lot of themselves, their time, and their resources into teaching their children.  We work very hard to choose the materials we will use, how we will structure our day, how we will instruct each subject, each child.

Sue is working on a Science worksheet, Patrice is telling me something…

Making the decision to homeschool is not easy.  The actual process of homeschooling is not easy.  It is not a thought or idea to be thrown around lightly.  It is deserving of much thought and consideration before it is undertaken.

“That’s why I homeschool.”

Really?  That’s why you homeschool?  Just so you don’t have to deal with public policy?

That is extremely short-sighted.

As I stated above, people homeschool for a myriad of reasons.  It is never as simple as just one factor.  And any homeschoolers that claim there is just one reason is misleading those around them.  Let me walk you through why our family has chosen to homeschool:  we want to have the flexibility of homeschooling, we have concerns about bullying in the schools in our area, we have experienced deficits in the education of our daughters, and we want their education to have a more Biblical approach.  I am sure there are some that I am missing, but you see my point, there are many, many reasons we homeschool.

I believe very strongly that all homeschoolers choose this educational lifestyle for a number of reasons.  Saying it is just for one, is not being honest or considering the whole picture.

Being a homeschooler does not free us from all oversight at the local, state and national levels.  While states vary widely in their homeschooling requirements and oversight, decisions undertaken at all levels of government have the possibility of changing how we can oversee how we educate our children.  The Secretary of Education has influence on all education within our nation and it is very possible decisions she makes will affect our rights and freedoms as homeschoolers.  When we choose to homeschool, we are not completely walking away from the educational system in our country; those who think they can do so are ignoring reality and the impact it has on the life we lead.

Education is not an us against them endeavor, no matter what type of schooling your child(ren) is getting.  Just as in so much of life, it is something to be done together, promoting respect and cooperation.

 

One Hundred Days!!!

We are 100 days smarter…well the girls are, I’m not so sure about me…

Today was our day to have fun with the 100th day of school.

We did writing activities, decorated hats, and made a paper chain.

HAPPY 100th DAY!!

 

Plants Plants Everywhere

Go ahead, ask me which subject I like to teach the least…science, yup…that’s the one.  Not that I didn’t enjoy it in school, I did.  I worked hard to understand all of it, but it paid off.  I did get to repeat one year..I know, horrors of horrors…but it wasn’t my fault–really!!  I went from one school to another.  School A was a year ahead of School B in science, so I got to repeat the class.  I liked the second teach better, so it wasn’t all bad.

So why the my hesitancy to teach science with the girls?  At first, it was because we all hated the curriculum I had.  It was so textbook heavy and quite a drag.  Now, it is more of forgetting it and pushing it aside.  It must be.  I have  a great program that is very hands on.  The girls love it.  On the days we do science, the girls all have something to tell daddy about what they learned at school.  And yet, I get lazy.

But I  have decided to turn over a new leaf.  So, it seemed appropriate to focus on plants, how they grow, what types there are, and how they enrich our lives, as we kicked off school after the new year.

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Our science activity actually said to make a plant man to grow plant hair on him…why do that, I say, when you have two chia pets in the house just waiting to grow hair?

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See that six-year-old that used to be in speech therapy?  Here she is pontificating during science about SOMETHING.  She is always talking about SOMETHING!!! (and I love it most of the time)

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In this activity, the girls made flowers, with stigmas (sticky labels), and pipe cleaner bees) to show how pollen (coffee grounds and sugar) gets carried from flower to flower.

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Yes, two K-cups that were previously shunned by the coffee drinker, were harmed in this experiment.  Who knew decaf coffee and chocolate flavored coffee would be a no-go?  It’s a risk you run when a die-hard non-coffee drinker buys the coffee.
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It has been a fun week of science.  Tomorrow we will explore how some plants produce fruit with seeds and some do not.

A Bit of Pinterest for Christmas

A friend posted a picture of melted crayon ornaments today. I have seen this many times before on Facebook and Pinterest, but always forget to make them.  There is no other excuse, I mean, we have crayons coming out our ears, I have 3 clear ornaments just waiting for a craft, and there is always our trusty hair dryer that only ever gets used for crafts.

The time was today!

First, you pull the wrappers off crayons, who doesn’t enjoy doing that. then you break them into pieces, put them in a clear ornament and heat.

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Woo hoo, finally did a craft I’ve been putting off…and it took all of 20 minutes…

Love Our Library

Yesterday, I chatted about reading.  It seems only appropriate that I gush on our library.  They have great kids programs, the librarians are all friendly.  It really is a great place.  We are there at least once a week.

Last week Patrice got her library card.

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Today she used it for the first time.

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Sue also got to have fun at the library today.  She got to read to Taylor (the dog).

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Next week we are headed there to have fun with puzzles.  We signed up for that program quite a while ago and Patrice has been driving me a little crazy asking when it is!  Hurry up Tuesday!

From there we headed to drop off our Operation Christmas Child boxes, then to our first Christmas craft show of the year.  I’d show you what we got, but it’s a Christmas present, so you’ll just have to wonder 🙂

Now to see what tomorrow brings!

All Those Words

Homeschooling, for me, brings a lot of joy and a lot of stress.  I mean, come on, it is now my responsibility to get them to learn all the things.  With reading being at the very core of all the things.

Teaching this skill, is not really a straight line type of thing.  It is very much one step forward, a thousand steps back.

Caitlyn came from the public school with a great grasp on reading.  She was driven and learning.

Sue, not so much.  She had learned none of the fundamentals or sight words in kindergarten and had no desire to learn any of it.  We worked and worked.  I tried everything.  You might even remember, that I dyed my hair to get her to read a Fancy Fancy book.

Wow.

I worked year after year to get her to read.  And now, in fourth grade, I think it has finally clicked.

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As she says, “I can read mommy’s texts now!”

Patrice has been my next one to teach how to read.  Honestly, I love to read.  I have been reading since I was very young.  I really thought teaching my girls how to read would be my favorite part of homeschooling.  It is not.

Teaching her how to read is tedious and tests all my patience.  Telling her 1,000 times what the e does the a (makes it say its name) or how to say th together is not as fun as I dreamed it would be.

But the gratification when she gets it?  Priceless.  When we first started learning to read, she refused to read any boring words, which was about half of the English language.  It was not fun, but all the sudden, one day–it clicked and she wanted to read.  She was excited about getting through the pages of her books.

I’ve been flying high ever since.

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Helping her sound out want or out is still not a joyride, but we are both having a lot more fun!

Sparks are a Flyin’

Back in August, for Caitlyn’s birthday, we got her a snap circuit kit.  It has parts and pieces for making almost 200 electricity projects.  She ignored it, for the most part, when we first got it.  I was kind of bummed.  I had heard from so many homeschoolers how great they were and how much their kids loved them.  And it was a dud with my daughter.

This week I learned that wasn’t exactly the truth.  Apparently, she had lost a key piece to the kit and was stuck.  Well, that problem has been solved.  Sue or Patrice lost our TV remote this week.  It is still missing, but while looking in one of the bedrooms, Patrice found Caitlyn’s missing piece.  Ever since, Caitlyn has been churning out project after project.

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Unfortunately, the kit, while it has the pieces and instructions to make 150+ projects, it does not have enough pieces to make the projects and keep them set up.  Each project can be made one at a time.

I have enjoyed watching her put together the various projects and my favorite part was when she looked at me today and said, “thank you for getting this for me!”

A little electric current of joy to mama’s heart!!