Thursday, February 24, 2011

This and That . . .

We have had a very fulfilling last couple of weeks. Along with our regular learning, we have been studying the solar system. We spent an afternoon building a small solar system model. Each of the planets were painted and then the model was assembled. It is the perfect size to sit nicely on a shelf. I also like that the planets rotate around the Sun. During the process, we took time to talk about the different planets and important information about them.

We have also been watching a documentary about the planets and the solar system. Each Friday, we watch a new episode and have learned so much. We have also incorporated the reading of many a book on the topic.

Ky and Bugaloo have been baking up a storm lately. They have taken over the Wednesday roll making. I just sit by and observe and add any help as needed.

Ky also decided that part of celebrating our President's birthdays was cupcakes. She did everything start to finish all on her own. Way to go Ky!!

We took a small break on President's day. We decided to forego our usual learning schedule and focus on the Presidents. I read a short history of President's Day, we watched an animated DVD of George Washington and one of Abraham Lincoln. I also read a short biography of George Washington.

The kids identified some of the Presidents by their silhouettes. For a project, we did silhouettes of each of the kids to hang in our learning space. It was a fun project and the kids were excited to see that even with just a black profile, you can still see who the person is.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Opinions Wanted . . . Ideas Needed

Ok, so I had an interesting and, some may say, crazy thought that I have been rolling around in my head for quite some time. I need opinions and thoughts from all those that this would affect or pertain to. So, to all those homeschooling families in the EASTERN IDAHO area ( or close to it), I want your opinions!!!

Here's my thought, a Homeschool Conference in Eastern Idaho. What do you think? Is this something that you would be interested in attending? Do you know of others that this would be interesting to?

I know that there are alot of homeschoolers in Eastern Idaho. Some have formed different groups or co-ops, they learn in many different ways using many different methods. Many of you have different religious or cultural backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common. We have chosen a different route for the education of our children, home education.

There is a conference put on in Boise every year at the first of June, but I can't help feeling a bit of disconnect with the wonderful people there. I also regularly attend a conference in Salt Lake City in the spring, but even though we all have the same basic goal, I still feel as though these are not the people that have the most in common with me. Wouldn't it be great to see and visit with all the many, many like minded people in our own area?

Tell me what you think and if you know of others out there, email them the link to this post/blog so I can get their input also.

Tell me things like:

Do you like the idea?
What time of year would you think is best?
What types of classes/speakers would you like to hear from?
What would you envision happening at an event like this?
Etc, etc, etc . . .

Share . . .PLEASE!!! I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy!

Balance . . .

Last week seemed to be , well, busy. We don't normally have weeks that I would describe that way, but last week surely was. We did an amazing job with our learning and other responsibilities, while weaving in a birthday, city council meeting, church meetings, a Choir performance, date night, like I said busy.

I felt like we did a great job with our learning and that it was not affected by our other activities. One fear that I always have is that we would fill our lives with so much to do that it would affect the important parts of life; learning, growing, family time, gospel time. Everything seemed to flow smoothly and with the thoughts of not overdoing things always at the forefront of our minds, we were able to keep a nice balance.

We finished our book, Johnny Tremain, and loved every bit of it. The author does an amazing job of weaving the fictional story of Johnny in with the historical story of the Revolutionary War. The characters were colorful and lifelike, the story was entertaining as well as educational. Here's what the older kids think:


" My least favorite part of the book was when Dove
used the
cracked crucible and this caused Johnny
to be injured. I liked
that Johnny was strong to go
find his own work, even though
people did not
like his injury and thought he couldn't do work.

He finally found a friend, Rab, and a job
delivering newspaper.

I liked the book alot. It made history sound
a lot more
fun and interesting. I learned
that even if you are different from

everyone, you can still make
a difference."


" I loved this book. It is about a boy, named
Johnny Tremain,
and he gets caught up in the
Revolutionary times in Boston.
My least favorite
part was when Johnny had his hand injured.

My favorite part was when Johnny rode
his horse, Goblin,
and the hard work
he put into that. I learned that you should

stay true to what you think is right."

At the end of the week, we took time to update our History timeline binder. Since this is a new undertaking, we filled in the information for much of the history we have learned in the last year and a half. It was amazing to hear the girls tell about the important people and events that we learned about with great clarity.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Just Letting It Happen . . .

You know, home educating is HARD!!! I am not going to kid around with you. Now that I have that out, I will say that days like that only happen once in a while. I, at one time, had kids that went to public school and I had days like that also. Actually, I had MORE days like that, then. Just like anything new in my life, home educating the kiddos has had many ups, a few downs, as well as some times that just remain stagnant.

I have noticed though, as of late, that the times that I just take a step back and let things happen, that is the time that things go best. I stress over things less, and I also spend less time in the "planning" of things. Albert Einstein once said,

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

I find this true on so many different levels. The times that I just "let" life happen are the times that I feel we have our best learning moments. Now, not to say that I don't have specific things for my kiddos to learn, I like a nice, organize daily schedule as much as the rest of you, but when I sit back and let the other things naturally take its course, it is magic to watch.

An example of this from our last week was;

I needed to take cookies to a church dinner. At the beginning of the day, we go over our schedule and the things that need to be done, including the "mom" things. I mentioned that I needed to get some cookies made. In the afternoon, Ky asked about the cookies, I confirmed that I needed to get some made and asked if she was interested in helping. She and Bugaloo not just helped, they took over and made two dozen, yummy coconut cookies. I took the hour to read some great books with the little ones. So natural and so smooth. This may seem like a small thing to some of you, but I was so happy, appreciative, and relieved. I was also very vindicated in some of the things that I have been teaching and giving my kids, I saw a result. But it wasn't an "academic" result, it was a life learning result and it spoke volumes.

I really NEED to let this kind of natural, learning experience happen more often. Do you have experiences like this? Enjoy!