Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2011

our daily schedule

Today we started First grade and Prek4!!!!!!!
I started early so that I could take more breaks :)

Here is a pic of the boys in front of our new black board. First Day!:

I have been so anxious about starting this year, mostly because I am now balancing home-schooling AND  a home based business. I am happy to report that our first day went SO well! And I can attribute that to two things:

1. God laid it on my heart that I needed to buckle down, and respond to His call to have more Self-Control and Self-Discipline, and
2. Sticking like a stickler to our schedule:

I wanted to share a pic of our daily schedule that we are following, and that I have posted everywhere. In the places where you see play time and/or quiet time, that is when I work on my Interior Design Business.
Can you tell that I had a little too much fun making this schedule??
Now you see why I need a schedule! I tend to get carried away!! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why I {still} homeschool

My dear friend Edie has written THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. post about why she still home-schools.

after reading her words, I shared this story with her, and wanted to share it here as well.

All of us who scoop up our children in this way are home-schooling!

oh, love! I am bawling. Just last night at VBS, I scooped up some kids who were in their pj's at church, and I told their mom, half-jokingly, "THIS is why I homeschool. It is all about PJ's and Snuggling!!"... then a moment after I said it, I realized, it was not a joke at all. It is in the PJ's and in the snuggling that we share our love and pass on our heritage from the Lord. The truest learning. The only kind that matters...How I loved this post, my sweet friend.

How blessed and privileged I am to get to do it every day!

I hope that you will read Edie's post. Not only will you love her words, you will love her heart.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A One Hundred Day Party

Our 100th Day of School!
A 100 Day Party.
100 licks of icing. Counting 100 M&M's. Sharing "100's of things we have learned."
= tons of fun.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Classical Conversations

Today is our first day back to "CC." We are just coming off of a long winter break, and we are excited to go back and see our friends. And get back into the swing of things.

If you have never heard of Classical Conversations, I urge you to check it out. It is a classical 'method' of teaching that is used to enhance your homeschooling classroom, and it also serves as a community support for your homeschooling as well.

Once a week, we meet. Caleb is in a class with 8 other children his age, and he has a tutor. His tutor guides both the moms {or dads} and the children through the material for the week. In addition, she leads the children in a science project, an art project or music project, and a snack time. We also have the opportunity, because of CC, to have lunch as a community, followed by recess. I actually get to hang out with other homeschooling mommies {very cool ones, I might add}, once a week for lunch, while our kids play.

Classical Conversations has been an amazing experience for our family. I love how it adds structure and community to our homeschool year.

One of the greatest blessings is the community of families. To be surrounded by other moms and dads, who share the same schooling journey, is supportive and encouraging in many ways. Our son loves his class and his tutor. And I love that he has an instant community of friends... I even love that he gets a classic recess. The community experience really creates the 'best of both worlds,' for home schoolers.

Regarding the education: I can say without hesitation that the level of excellence surpasses some of the education I received in College and Grad school. And my five year old is soaking it in!
I have been amazed at how the Grammar phase of classical education really triggers his interest and confidence in learning. For example, he memorized a history sentence about Shakespeare. At five, I had never exposed him to Shakespeare directly before. And, at the time of memorizing, we did not review any understanding. I never explained to him who Shakespeare was. At least, not right then. All he knew was: "During the Renaissance period, from 1350 -1600s.....Shakespeare was a famous playwright...."

Then, recently, the subject of Shakespeare came up among adults in our home, and it caught Caleb's ear, and because he knew the Grammar, he had immediate interest in learning more. Classical learning really does take advantage of the natural ways God created us to learn.

And I must mention, our 3 year old, Christian, knows nearly as much just through hearing the CD's. CC makes it easy to teach all of these things to your children.

We are grateful to God for Classical Conversations. I just love their motto: "To know God and make him known."

Never in my wildest imagination did I think that my 5 year old would be able to do this:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Together Time

It has been a while since I have given an update on how our homeschooling is going. We have entered into our second semester, and I am definitely getting into a groove.

So, despite the fact that I am pouring most of my blogging efforts into my new online interior design endeavor {come visit me there!!}, I am really hoping to try to blog-journal a little bit more about our homeschooling experience thus far. You know. when I have spare time.

Today, I wanted to share with all of you how we start every day of homeschool together. We call it "Together Time." During together time, we establish the direction of our day and I teach group concepts.

I choose to keep our day very structured. It is what works for us... mostly because I have 2 boys, I think! And because my 5 year old, Caleb, has always thrived on structure and "knowing what comes next."

After Together Time, we move on to our workboxes. But both Together Time and Workboxes contain curriculum "meat." Here is, in general, what our Together Time looks like each day {except for Classical Conversations Day.... but that is for another post}:

  1. Clock In: The boys have Clock-In cards with their pics on them. They use these to put into a pocket that says "Clock In." We are currently on a "you have lost your privilege" break from these cards because the boys have been fighting over whose card gets to be in front.
  2. Pray: The boys say their same prayer every day. {see pic below}
  3. Daily Pledge: For now, we rotate our pledges between the American Pledge and the Pledge to the Christian flag. We do the Pledge to the Bible every day. {see pic below}
  4. Calendar Time: We identify the date and the day of the week. We also look outside and identify the weather.
  5. 100 Cup and Chart: This is a part of our My Father's World curriculum. We put a straw in a cup each day of school, and we write down what day of school it is on our 100 chart.  Once we get to a group of 10, we put a rubber band around that group and start counting by 10s. Soon, we will be celebrating our 100th day of school!
  6. Singing: This is different each day, and is curriculum led by the Reading portion of My Fathers World. I also have the boys sing some of their Classical Conversations memory work {we are singing all of the U.S. Presidents right now}. And we sing a coordinating song to our Bible Memory Verse, if one is available.
  7. Bible Time: This is when I present the Bible concepts from the Activity part of My Father's World {I know, I take it out of order. But it works for us}. We also review our Bible Memory Verse, and our Words to Remember {MFW}.
  8. Read/Write: We review our weekly letter by tracing it on our desks with our "magic fingers" and by recreating the letter using techniques from Handwriting Without Tears. We also learn new reading techniques or sight words during this time. I also do the Blend Ladder and any group reading activities from our My Father's World curriculum.
Whew. And that is just the beginning of our day! It usually takes about 30 minutes.

Actually, our days are not long. We spend about 2 hours, sometimes less, sometimes more, doing school each day. Anyway, that is our "Together Time." I hope to be sharing more about how our homeschool days go... but who knows when!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Must Have: A wise mother joining you for tea

I have to recommend these two amazing books to you. I am pouring over every word of them right now, and they are like sweet manna to a mommy's heart. I promise you will love them.

Reading a Sally Clarkson book is like sitting with a wise mother and mentor, and having her lovingly encourage you to make wise choices as a parent. "The Ministry of Motherhood" has me realigning my priorities, and changing my own images of the purpose of mothering. "The Seasons of a Mother's Heart" is a treasure of encouragement and offers inspiring examples of fruitful mothering, as well as including extra special encouragement for the homeschooling mother.

I cannot tell you what a treasure these two books have been to me:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last moments of Fall

Pics from an Apple Farm field trip. What a joy it is to be able to experience all of these things with my kiddos. {I didn't even have to sign 10 permission slips! Another reason why I love homeschooling}.

As we say goodbye to the last days of Fall, and usher in the Holidays... I think I might go get myself another bag of crisp, crunchy Autumn Apples.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looks can be deceiving

Don't things look like they are just going swimmingly at The OWL Academy today??
Such attentive and diligent little ones?

Looks can be deceiving.

What we actually had was A LOT of this:
And we sure did talk about THIS a lot:
Mommy even had a time out today.
I slammed the door to the school room and sat in the bathroom and counted to 30.

I thanked the Lord.
It went kinda like this:

"Lord, please help me to not scream at my kids.
They are driving me CRAZY. Give me patience.
{insert very deep sigh}
And thank you, Lord, that I can teach my kids.
That it is their Mommy, who loves them SO Much, who is frustrated with them. Instead of someone, who does not love them, who is frustrated.
Thank you. That I can pull up my boot-straps, take a deep breath, and continue to teach them with the highest expectations. That I care SO MUCH, and that I know what their best work can be.  That I will continue to expect their best and wait patiently for it.
May I accept that frustration is a part of learning, and NEVER say, "Oh, well." May I never say, "They probably just can't do it. Let's just move on and hope it comes later."
Thank you, Lord, that I am their teacher and their mother. I love them more than words can express.
Give me Your patience."

While it was certainly not our best homeschool day,
it was still a good day.
A day with my precious kids.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bookmark these super fun science songs

We watch these videos A LOT around here lately! By request.
{You can't imagine how much kids can memorize through song. and moms too. ahem.}

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Great Homeschool Week!

I have been meaning to write a post to share more about our schooling, and what is working well in our homeschool...
But I happen to be too busy homeschooling - {Imagine that} and loving it.

I am anticipating a little more free time as we get into the swing of things and find our rhythm. I can see that this whole Workbox thing will really help me to get free moments. Even with a 2 year old and a 5 year old. Oh, yes.

In the mean time, you can peruse these posts for my thoughts on homeschooling:
What I learned my first week of homeschooling
Our Reasons for Homeschooling
Our Goals for our Children
Love me some Workboxes
Our school has a name

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I am learning:: Our first week of Homeschooling

  1. That I made the right choice for our family this year.
  2. That I don't really have many more responsibilities, I am just doing now what I was supposed to be doing before: taking intentional time out of my day to connect with, and instruct my children. Blessing them with a steady gift of my undivided attention. Now that I am actually doing that, I am free from that nagging notion that I should have been connecting more with my precious children. 
  3. I want to teach them much, much more information than we have time for {or should I say, than their quality attention spans have time for....}
  4. Wow. I am going to have to be disciplined
  5. One word: Workboxes. This system rocks. Seriously. Already, in the first week, I can tell how this is going to be a MAJOR sanity-saver, time-saver, and productivity-improver. Not to mention, an educational benefit for my children.
  6. I don't find myself thinking: "sigh. they are growing up so fast, and I am missing out on it."
  7. These little minds are major SPONGES that LOVE to learn. I am convinced that they are being more challenged than they were in a traditional school setting - simply because I can prod them along individually to drill their work and "do their best work." They are rising to this challenge... and then some!
  8. This is Fun! The kids are having fun. I am having fun.
  9. That socialization does not have to be an issue. Soccer. Drama camp. Sunday school. Classical Conversations. Church activities. Field Trip group. {Whew. Are you tired yet from all this socialization??}
  10. That seeing your children learn, and love learning, is one of the greatest joys in life... and this has made my first week of homeschooling one of the greatest weeks of my life.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our First Day!!!!

The OWL academy had its official first day of school!!!
I cannot believe it.  Today, I homeschooled my family. It is a day I will remember forever!

I will post details of what we are doing in our homeschool, but today, let's just say I am a little worn out! And elated. This day was definitely what I had hoped it would be. Not easy. But worth every single bit of effort.

After our morning, I took the boys outside to play. While I held their hands to walk around our property, I thanked them, "Boys. Thank you so much for the privilege of getting to teach you." After a moment, Caleb said, in the most sincere 5-yr old voice, "Thank you, mommy, for the privilege of letting me listen to you about new things." I soaked it in and said, "Don't you just love being a family?" Both boys quietly said, "Yes." without skipping a beat.
True story.

Without further ado, here are just a few pictures from our very first day:
[Oh, and pay no mind to our school room. At least not to the unpainted parts. The school nook is not finished, and our parlor (the room pictured in this post) is decidedly unpainted. {it's on the list. along with others.}]

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The OWL Academy

Well, our homeschool starts its first day this coming Monday, August 30th
and, boy, are we excited!!

I can't say that I got everything done that I wanted to get done... but I just had to pick a day and go with it. SO, Monday, we are diving in.

Or, should I say "flying in?"
You see, we are the OWLs!

In this post, I announced the name of our homeschool,
and, now, I finally came up with our official "tagline" or acronym or whatever:

The OWL Academy
opportunity. wisdom. and learning.

and now, I am starting to go Owl Crazy!!
I just found this great blog with all things OWL:  My Owl Barn

And what about this Etsy artist? LeeArthaus Check out her cute stuff!

And I really want to get this digi scrap kit from Studio Bears Garten, to make homeschool creations!:

And. for the ULTIMATE in Owl love:
Click here to see a live video stream of Owl Babies!!! Now, how cute is that??

So, yes.  Now I have gone OWL crazy!! Do you know of any great OWL links????? 

A report {with pics, I'm sure} from our first day at the OWL academy will be on its way Monday!!