Friday, December 17, 2010

Yes, school does still go on even when I don't take pictures or blog! :) Leili has become a little more challenging during our times when she can not be included, like say when we are using the microscope. Leili loves to get on the table when we are working! But luckily she is also now starting to enjoy somethings that are conducive to school time, like "reading" books, and coloring. She does not color much but is happy to join us at the table and hold crayons!! :)
Science, kitchen style!
So what happens when bread gets forgotten?

Look at the up close of some of the spores on the underside of the bowl, cool hu!!
School is going pretty well, we have taken a week off here and there for fun on the fly kind of learning! The planning I did during the summer has worked well, and if all goes as planned we should be starting our second quarter with the new year!
There is the Winter Edition of Rhythm of the Home up (great stuff for Solstice, and lots of other things). And the new Oak Meadow Newsletter is up, I have not read it yet!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have always planned on having something better to use as math manipulatives than our plastic pattern blocks but just never saw anything that clicked....until! I saw someone use wooden acorns! So I searched and finally found unfinished ones for .65 a piece, not bad. Then I painted them this week 15 green-ish, and 15 brown. They will be so much warmer in our hands then plastic (ya'll know how I feel about plastic right?!)!!
I LOVE the Oak Meadow math, they use the stories about the four gnomes like many Waldorf curriculums and acorns just fit right in with gnomes and squirrels and such!! In THIS pdf of an overview of the first grade curriculum on page 10 there is a continuation of the gnome story, introducing King Equal if your interested. And I found another mama's short explanation of the gnomes that I thought was really well written:
- Plus wears green, is kinda chubby, moves slowly yet is lucky at finding things, is kind-hearted and he always collects extra jewels/acorns/whatever to share with his friend Minus.
- Minus wears blue, is sorta skinny with holes in his clothes and sack - I don't think it is Waldorf but I gave him a sort of monkish, kind and holy demeanor. He constantly drops things out of his sack, but I always took the story farther - like the dropped acorn becomes the last one that a squirrel needs to feed his family of babies; or the dropped jewel ends up buying dinner for a poor family, etc.
- Times is quick and light & weightless like a flame - usually wears yellow - and he always tends to find things in groups of the same number.
- Divide wears deep red color and is very wise. He tends to help everyone divide up the jewels equally among the king's knights or divide up the acorns evenly among the squirrels - each family getting the same amount. (Remainders are fun for Minus to think of kind things to do with.)
-King or Queen Equal is your child. They get to use the acorns, the gnomes, and other things to help them find answers - at first just helping count out the manipulatives, but eventually on their own.
I think I will make some little gnomes to help us in our math too, sorry Dan another trip to the craft store!! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ahh, the many faces of homeschooling!
Isn't it GREAT!!!
The most recent Oak Meadow Newsletter is out, I really enjoyed the article about boredom (I could write my own story about the neighborhood ditch!), and the craft looks fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two weeks under our belts, only thirty four or so more to go! Whew!! Sorry I have tried 3 times to get this photo the right way to no avail, so twist your head to the side!
Here is just a little peek at the books we've been enjoying!
And finally our year on paper...
We have some really great books to help us with all this fun learning, some we own already, a couple we bought, and of course what is a homeschooler without a library card!!!
Riley is still a little bit tough to get him to read. He does well when he reads, he just does not enjoy it much yet! So right now he is working on The Boxcar Children re-done into a "graphic novel" (look it up if you have not seen one there crazy)!
Jacob is doing so well on his "word families" aka: beginning reading! And he is working so diligently on his writing that it is greatly improving!!
Sweet Fern, well many of the stories used for introducing the alphabet are the Beatrix Potter stories, Fern loves them and I love them!! Oak meadow has provided a Kindergarten story book with them all in it, but our library has those cute (and expensive) mini Potter book set. And it is just too fun to hold a cute little book, so we checked a few out!
You should be able to click on these and enlarge them to see them a bit more clearly... I am always happy to share let me know if you want any more info!!
Happy Weekend!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where are you?
We are 17 days away!
From starting our new school year!
I am still feverishly getting organized, I am working hard to keep our buying down but I do need to buy a couple books and main lesson books, guess I better get on that! :)
But here are a couple links I thought I'd share! Here is one I found off Lindafay over on Higher Up and Further In about a Great Books Curriculum, I am interested in reading this site, our college used a great books curriculum and we really liked it. Should be an interesting reading.
Also there is a new Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival up! Yea!
Hope your last days of summer lovely!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How is your Fall planning going?
Easy as pie? Hard as stones?
I am somewhere in between, reading sites like THIS and of course THIS. Looking at our Oak Meadow stuff, last year was a hard year so we will not need new Oak Meadow books. Our math, beginning reading, ABC's, and language arts will be from there. Our History, literature, nature study/science, artist and composer study, & habit/character development will be mostly Charlotte Mason inspired with some mama inspiration! :)
Many of the subjects will be learned with the whole family! But I have not put any planning on paper, I am still in the brain/reading part of my planning.
For the summer we have been reading Michelangelo by Diane Stanley along with a picture of his works (the David this week), we also started the Bard of Avon also by Diane Stanley. I am planning to also begin reading The Scottish Play, (Macbeth) from Beautiful Stories From Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit. I highly recommend reading LindaFay's articles on reading Shakespeare! I LOVE Shakespeare!!! I am dreaming of going HERE!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer has just started and we have our summer nature basket started. We have a nature basket instead of a nature table these days hopefully someday it will morph back into a table. We spent the evening of the Summer Solstice at the beach where we picked up a couple new things for our basket. Yea for summer!!

On another note with all the upheaval and homelessness we are schooling through the summer as we are painfully behind, life! So hopefully we don't get too much sunny day fever and we actually do get some work done! :) So stay tuned!!


And the BEACH EDITION of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up! Looks like good reading!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

~ The Reading Mother ~
by Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
-I had a Mother who read to me.
We're reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, what are you reading?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A couple weeks ago the local library had an Family Art Day! We went not knowing what to expect, free for all art? No they had stations and a theme. The theme was Mexican Folk Art (to go with the museum exhibit), so we got to make corn husk dolls, paper flowers, and masks. The kids had tons of fun and I think it added a couple more things to our bag of tricks, we would make them again at home (the kids want to for Day of the Dead decorations). Here is Jake making his paper flower, they were beautiful! THIS set is similar to what they had for us to use,ANOTHER and HERE is directions to make your own corn husk doll!
And the new SUMMER edition of RHYTHM OF THE HOME is up!! I love to read these!! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I know you can not see it, but Leili's shirt says, "Nature is my classroom! Homeschooling Rocks!" It was a sweet hand me down from a good friend. :)
As there are seasons in our year there are also seasons in our lives, and this season has been rough on our schooling. Don't get me wrong my kids are learning plenty just different. During times like these I am thankful for the unmindful occurrence of ending up in unschooling play groups. It helps me remember that my kids are always learning, always. So while I juggle a baby and deal with the unrest of unemployment and homelessness, I try to find comfort in knowing that this is just for a season, all too soon we will have a good rhythm and be getting a little more book learning in. Oh but as I have learned from so many cherished unschooling friends, we will leave room for the natural learning that takes place in the home. Isn't that why we homeschool?? :)
There are two Charlotte Mason Carnivals up! I can't wait to read them both!! One is a Walk in the Desert (did you see ours on our Nature Blog?), And the other Carnival Here!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I have been teaching Fern many "action songs" as they are called around here this year. And one of my favorites from when I was a kid is "Popcorn Popping On The Apricot Tree", my parents even planted a couple apricot trees outside my bedroom window! So on our recent road trip to Grandma's I was blissfully reminded of this song as it seemed her whole yard was blooming!
It seems to me that kids just don't know rhymes and songs like I did. (Unless you count the Dora theme, I don't) So I have tried to be consciously teaching my kids Mother Goose rhymes and other classic children's... knowledge? Is that the right word? Anyway here is a little popcorn popping for your enjoyment!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I have recently gotten a little bit creative with Riley and his school work. Don't get me wrong, I want to challenge him but I don't want to suffocate him. So I change things to pique his interest and draw him in. For example... Instead of making a list of thins that come from trees, I gave him my camera and asked him to take pictures of things that come from trees. He then drew a picture of it in his main lesson book.
And here is a fun project, after reading a story about a family moving west to homestead we got out Grandpa's Lincoln Logs and made a homestead of our own! Too bad all our little animal figures are in a box somewhere that would have been fun!!
Really I have taken to heart the TJed phrase of "love of learning not hate of learning", Riley knows how to write, he is pretty good at it but he just does not enjoy it. If I force it what will I accomplish? Not much more than squashing his enjoyment of learning and damage our relationship. He will write, he will learn to push himself. But he needs to first learn it is worth it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

If you remember the post a little bit past, the "ah ha" post I said that I needed to learn a few lessons, yea well sometimes I have to be reminded. :)
Our lives right now is like riding a roller coaster, fun, scary, wanting to go home... , all experienced day by day or even hour by hour. So an all in one, less books to be homeless with, mom does not have too much brain power kind of curriculum is right for us. But part of my learning was that we should never be a slave to a curriculum or philosophy, ever. So there are things I leave out, there are things I add in, and in truth if life was "normal" I would add or change a few more things. And I can see the hand of the Lord in us knowing this was right for this year, the Lord saw this year coming before we did as always! I enjoy reading other mom's homeschooling blogs to learn, get ideas, and even to just feel "normal"! But I just don't think I could label us as "Waldorf" or "Charlotte Mason" or "TJed", I pick and choose, we are us! I think there are a few labels I might use, nature based, holistic, and gentle are a couple that pop into mind. And you know the couple of mama's who have been inspiring and who I look up to did not have a label, or even a "THIS is the perfect way" because really part of being a homeschooling parent is really about doing what is right for our family and our kids. Isn't that what why we choose homeschooling in the first place?
Anyway, the latest Charlotte Mason Carnival is up, good stuff!! And there is a post about sibling fighting over at Parent Passageway, definitely we are needing this! And look at this fun Montessori catalog!!
Ta-ta for now!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jake and I have been working on word families!
We have done; AD, AG, AN, AP, AR, AT, AW, AY, & ED! Generally we draw a simple picture from our short story in our main lesson book then write the letter combination and the words from our story. But on AW day I surprised Jake and we played pin the tail on the donkey! There was a donkey in our story that said hee, HAW. I cut out tails and wrote on them our other AW words, saw, law, caw (what the crow says), & haw. He had such a fun time playing this with me, then he pasted the tails in his main lesson book and we will put one of these photos in there too! This chalk board was one a family friend made for my dad and my uncle when they where kids, I use to draw on it with my sister at my grandma's house when I was little, and now my kids have been enjoying drawing on it!

Jake loved using my handkerchief as a blindfold, I think only kids think it is fun to be blindfolded! :) Dan and I were discussing that this is a much more gentle and just plain better way to start on the reading learning than what we ended up doing with Riley. Jake does not even realize we are learning the foundation for reading, we are just doing word families!! :)