Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Redoing Our Dining Room/School Room

The older boys have been really resisting homeschooling lately.I dont think it's homeschooling in genera i think it's more of resisting school in general!!!our dining room is where i do the bulk of the little kids lesson and then in the living room i'vebeen letting the 2 oldestwork.But they'd rather pick their noses or have a tickle fight then work.So i was trying t figure out how i could make the dining room functional fr us all without any one haveing to sit on the floor to work unless they wanted to!!



This is where we id most of the schooling before at our dining room table



Photobucket
we had an area for the white board easles but it was als the junk corner too
Photobucket

So I cleared out that corner and moved our dining room table over there then put to use this other table we've just had lying around for awork station for the older boys

Photobucket

Photobucket

Hid the cubbies under the table and will soon et a tablecloth.Then used the old white shelf i found to put our sewing stuff and coloring books where the cubbies used to be.

the finished project ended up looking like this
Photobucket

I'm so happy with ho it turned out and now that i can have all kids in the same room for schooling and for redirecting!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review - HOMESCHOOL LIBRARY BUILDER

http://www.hslibrarybuilder.com

HSLB is a unique online store. Unique, in that, not only do they carry new and used books, but some of those titles are out of print books...and the prices are very reasonable.There are many other wonderful features about this store. Not only do they sell books but they also have a: fundraising program, membership program, helping hand program...and much, much more.

You can search for books by several ways: by curricula companies (Beautiful feet, Five in a Row, Sonlight, tapestry of Grace and many more), by subject (science, history..etc), by region, byage, and alphabetically.

Also if you join to be a member (which is free) you can earn book points for purchases made, for referring a friend, and linking them to your site….15 book points is equal to $1 in your account to be used towards future purchases. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

And what is even more exciting is that this month they are having a BIG BLOW OUT SALE!!!!!! They have bins marked at $1, $2, $3, and $5. You can find hundreds of books marked down from the regular prices. And you should check back often because they keep adding to the bins.

If your a book junkie like I am you better go check out Homeschool Library Builder.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Child led Learning



I love it i'm so happy!!yesterday my soon to be 4 year old came over to me and asked me to sit down and do the alphabet with her.She brought the stool over to the White board and we started with her singing the song and telling me which letter came next..you know A B C ....then she'd shout D!!Well by the time we got to O Holly said let me do the rest. So i would show her with my finger how to do the next letter and she would write it down.The only letter i had to help her with was R she was so proud of herself and i was so proud of her too.You know the best part?She asked me to help her with it and she did it with a willing spirit!!!

Photobucket

ok she looks like she has a bit of an attitude in the picture but really she was quite happy.This is her tough face!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

the oldest apple tree

Hi all. Hope everyone had a terrific week. I try to end our week with a little field trip. Today we went to see the oldest Apple tree in Washington it was planted back in the 1800's. It is believe to be the oldest tree in the northwest. The children could have been a little more enthused but they did leave with a little more history of our great state and this field trip is leading into another trip to Fort Vancouver. As this is where the seed that grew this tree came from.

Do you find that taking one field trip covers so many subjects and it is a nice change of pace from set curriculum. We came home and I bought some apples on the way home so we could examine the inside and look at the seeds and think about how long it took for this tree to grow as big as it is from such a tiny thing as this seed. This also showed me that my 6 year old was paying attention in religion as she said to me that it isnt such a miracle as God can do anything. That comment made me smile and think sometimes we dont think they are paying full attention but really they are.

Well I hope everyone has a terrific weekend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

my Intro

Just thought well I had some spare moments I would introduce us. We our a homeschooling family from Washington. We use a catholic curriculum thru Seton homestudy school.

We have an 11th grader, first grader, kindergartener, pre k, and a toddler left that we are teaching. We also have a dd that is in college studying to be a vet and 2 older sons 1 married with a lovely wife and our first granddaughter and another young man that is 25 and has disabilities.

For the month of October our school month is really busy as we do lots of field trips pumpkin patch, firestation, oldest apple tree around here and then to a old Grist Mill for a good old apple pressing. Well, ciao for now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Public Schooling on a Penny


I was reading one of the many articles that have been written about the deepening financial crisis of our country. I have to admit it's scary. For a long time I was worried about our own plight, dealing with unemployment and limited resources. Now I terrified about the broader picture of how our country will get out of this.

Anyhow, in my reading I came upon this article:

Govenor Weighs Cutting Critical Needs

This story is about the state of Maryland, but it is being repeated in other states as well. States are having to deal with the financial crisis too. With shrinking tax revenues and the inability to borrow money to fund projects, govenors are looking at ways to cut costs to make up the shortfall. As is often the case, the first target is education.

We are already at a time where funding of education is secondary to just about everything else. At least for the immediate crisis, I can't really blame states for this. If there is no money, there is no money. But it's disheartening to see education come into the crosshairs first. Ask most public educators--it's hard operating on the limited resources they have. Having funding cut is just going to make a bad situation worse.

So many homeschoolers get criticized that their children are getting an inferior education and their childrens' needs cannot be met in a home setting. Yet we have further proof that the public system is not necessarily the better option. If not for its poor structure and setting, but the fact that it is underfunded and will only be moreso if things continue on the way they are.

I have relatives and friends working in the public school system, and some of my kids still attend. This is not a cut against the good teachers who work and try to educate our children, or the schools that really try to do the best for our kids. However, this crisis is further showing the flaws in a much broken system, that is limping along, and will continue to until changes are made. Problem is, there is little money to do that, and the coffer is shrinking fast.

It's not a pleasant situation, but it is one more argument in favor of homeschooling.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Way of the Waldorf

Hello everyone this is my first post over here on the LotsOfKids Homeschooling blog.I'm so happy to be here. I'm Wendy homeschooling mother to a blended family of 6. We are starting out second year of homeschooling as a family of 8 but before this me and my kids homeschooled.

Do you ever find yourself trying to prove to other's that your kids ARE learning enough in homeschool?That you're just not lyeing about the house all day watching tv and reading comic books. This was the fear that held me back last year as I began homeschooling my 2 stepchildren as well. Add in the fact that there are 2 public school teachers in the family one being an uncle and the other being my MIL and i was a nervous wreck for my stepsons last year. Always afraid at a moments notice that my Mother In Law would decide they werent leanring enough and yank them out of the home and put them back in public school. So much of last year was spent well trying to prove that my kids could learn at home and they did. But was the stress worth it? Not in the least. I spent this summer re evaluting each childrens learning style,what they enjoyed most,and what i enjoyed most. No one even bothered to ask me if i was going to continue to homeschool and this gave me the green light to have fun with it this year and to try a WHOLE new curriculum......We chose to go the way of the Waldorf. Ok we're still using a boxed curriculum from Oak Meadow but no workbooks, no long tedious reports (although we do learn HOW to write them) lots of discussions in the household throughout the day and LOTS of hands on acitivies.


I have watched the kids blossom into a love of learning even more just in this least 2 months since we started school. The older boys are doing 5th grade and studying American History we just wrapped up reading together The Witch of Blackbird Pond and they really liked it we learned about stocks, and pilloaries, and whipping posts. About all the jobs and expectations younger kids had put on them then. They got to make johnny cakes one night for dinner that wer pretty yummy and they made Hard Tack one day for a snack (a food sailors used to eat). That was well......not so yummy. Their favorite thing to do so far though has been cross stitching. They both wrote out their initials and then filled them in with cross stitch and they enjoyed it so much they've done more on their own.









I have been spending a lot of time with the younger kids outside...and we've been working on our writing as well. I love this curriculum because you read a story or poem and then you get to draw a picture of it then you write a summary of the story. It's nice simple and easy and gets the point across. We've been slowly learning our times tables(which for 2nd grade is not bad) and really focusing on HOW a word is spelt without doing any formal spelling. I really think the kids favorite time we spend though is outside. SO as you read this i know it's really just a quick introduction to our homeschooling world, but i encourage you to think about what you and your kids enjoy doing together. Soon enough the weather will turn cold and we'll all be stuck indoors. Get out play some games ,have some fun,heck even pack up and do school outside for a day. Try to remember what i lost sight of last year....Homeschooling is not school at home it's opening the eyes to a whole new way of schooling.





"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. "-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Guitar Lessons on a Penny

It's kinda funny, because I was looking for something TOTALLY different on Google, but came upon this very cool site. Free Guitar Lessons. There is a lot of information on the site, but one of the neatest things is the author has videos to accompany the course. So you can actually see and hear how to do the chords. For those of you with kids aspiring to be guitarists, this site is a great--and inexpensive--beginning.