Sunday, October 18, 2009

I forgot

Guess I forgot to tell you about our second field trip of the week. Silly me.

Twice a month, our local performing arts center hosts a free concert in the early afternoon.

This week it was the Shasta Session Choir. The concert was only 30 minutes long, but they did a great job. The boys especially did well. They sang a little motown & had an interesting dance interpretation. =/

Cyra especially loved it, since she likes to sing.

After the concert, they offered free tours of the facility. I've been there dozens of times, but the kids have only been there a few times. Most recently we saw Handel's Messiah.

We were the only ones who took up the free tour offer. They showed us the dressing rooms, backstage area, art gallery, dance studio & theaters. Ms. Virginia, our tour guide, also gave us the low down on some of the beautiful statues.

Ms. Virginia had LOTS of questions about us weirdos who weren't in school on a Thursday afternoon. "How do you get books? Who tests your kids? Do they have friends? Are they well behaved?" I knew she was worried so I answered all of her questions. By the time we left it was like we were BFFs. Cuz. Ya know. Most of my friends are in their 80's, have perms & smell like pot roast. We hugged it out & the kids said we'd see her again in a few weeks.

Anywho - it was a fun (free) day in our homeschool life.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Free field trips

Forgive me for ignoring this blog. Please. Right now. Thanks. Now I feel better.

We went on 2 field trips this week. Yes 2. Homeschool rocks doesn't it?

First we hit The Sweet Factory at Valley River Center. Cyra is setting up a pretend business & she chose a candy shop. We went to see how they have their store set up & what sorts of candy they offer.

We did NOT go with the intent of buying any sweets. We did NOT end up getting candy corn, mini gummy bears, peachy penguins, pop rocks or flicks. No. Not us. We have will power. Yep.

We did however end up getting a tour of their storage area. The young man working let Cyra help him make change & did a great job explaining how much inventory they carry. He also gave her lots of info on how much they have to sell to make ends meet & what sort of maintenance has to be done in the store.

The girls had a great time. Obviously. And it was free. Especially since we didn't buy any candy. =/

Friday, September 4, 2009

A short story

We are using Rod & Staff English this year. It was recommended to us. It was affordable. We're loving it.

Today, Cyra's assignment included writing a short story. She had to come up w/ the main idea & some questions that she'd like answered in the body of the story. She came up with...nothing. I'm telling you, that girl sat for an hour & made up stuff to do instead of this writing assignment.

Here is her final result:

Once upon a time, I could not think of a story to write for English class. So I spent hours trying to think of something to write. I thought. I though more. I thought until lunchtime. And after lunch. I though some more. I thought until my eyeballs fell out!

The, it hit me. I would write a story about me thinking about a story to write. And this is how it goes:

Once upon a time, I could not think of a story to write for English class. So I spent hours trying to think of something to write. I thought. I though more. I thought until lunchtime. And after lunch. I though some more. I thought until my eyeballs fell out!

The, it hit me. I would write a story about me thinking about a story to write. And this is how it goes...

OK - so it's not a high quality story. But I laughed & she ended up having fun too. Good enough for now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Did I make the right choice?

No, I'm not worried if I made the right choice to homeschool or not. I still feel like it's right for my kids.

I'm worried if I chose the correct math curriculum.

I had suggestions from all over the U.S. on which curriculum to use. Some suggested Abeka. A few suggestion Singapore. Most suggested Math U See.

I went with Math U See after watching an instruction video. I felt it was presented in a way that my kids would understand. I bought Cyra the Epsilon level & the Zeta level. She tested in towards the end of Epsilon, but figured I could still use it for Kenady & Campbell later on.

Then this morning I read a blog post by Mrs. G over at Pioneer Woman. She recommended a math program called Teaching Textbooks.

I went through their website & LOVED their program. Everything seemed like so much fun. And simple to understand. And less paperwork since most of it is done online.

The cost is a bit more than Math U See, but again I would use it for the younger kids.

Let me just confess that I'm a bit of a strict mom. I like order. I like worksheets. I like instructing. Too bad this is not about me.

Problem is, I need to remember my goal in homeschooling. It was to teach my kids to teach themselves. I want them to love learning. I want them to feel success because of their hardwork.

So we will continue w/ the Math U See Epsilon level for part of this year. But as soon as I can find it on sale, I'm getting the Teaching Textbook. I'm selling the Zeta level on ebay & putting that money away to help w/ the cost of the new curriculum. Hm. That's a math lesson for the kids right there.

Who said math can't be fun?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School's out for Summer...sorta

So Alice Cooper is a little bit accurate. School's been out most of the Summer.

We had planned on doing school throughout the whole Summer to see if we really liked homeschooling. We knew right away that we did. Life hit & we've been busy for weeks now. But at least a few days a week the girls ask, no BEG, "can we have school today." I obviously oblige.

Cyra's loving her history book. She's learning about each of the Presidents still. I'm loving it too. Amazing how much I didn't pay attention in school. I was a good faker I guess. I pretty much got straight A's. Not sure how that happened.

I finally decided on a math & english curriculum. We went w/ Mathusee & Rod & Staff. We haven't started either of them though. I'm waiting until I have a few days alone next week to plan my year.

Kenady's favorite so far is math. Last week we set up "bus stops" w/ little doll houses. I gave her 5 "people" and asked her to come up w/ all the different addition sentences she could. She'd put 1 person at the first stop then divide up the rest among the other stops. She had a great time & it gave me a few minutes to help Cyra w/ her work.

So posts will be few & far between until we officially start this fall. We're kicking off our first day on Sept 8 w/ a "not going back to school" party at Splash swim center.

I'm trying to get things in order so the year will be as smooth as possible. We I could use all the prayers you're willing to give!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

John Adams

I am learning about John Adams this week. Here are 9 facts about him.
#1. He was born Oct. 30, 1735
#2. He was born in Massachusetts
#3. He was a Federalist
#4. His V.P. was Thomas Jefferson
#5. His term was March 4, 1797- March 3, 1801
#6. His son was also elected president
#7. His son's name was John Quincy Adams
#8. His wife's name was Abigail
#9. He died July 4, 1826

Tune in next time for Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by Cyra.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

George Washington

Today I learned about George Washington. Here are 9 interesting facts about him (Because I'm 9):
1.) He didn't go to college.
2.) He was made president at age 57.
3.) When he was running for president, there was no runner up.
4.) He was voted for unanimously.
5.) He died 2 years after his retirement.
6.) He was a Federalist.
7.) His V.P. was John Adams.
8.) He was born and died in Virginia.
9.) He died at age 67.

I'm doing 1 president a week. Stay tuned next week for John Adams! That's webdings for JOHN ADAMS! ~ Cyra

Why in the world would you homeschool?

I've heard this question about 2 dozen times since I've started researching homeschooling.

For one, my girls are sitting in school for hours a day being babysat. They both are above their grade level in most subjects, so they are waiting for other students a lot of the time. Child 1 is several grades above 4th in her math skills. She's thoroughly bored out of her mind.

Another reason is that I'm tired of asking them to drop their faith at the door. Once they're at school, God can no longer be mentioned & worry that after awhile they might forget to think of him too. Being 2 different people seems like it would be exhausting.

Lastly, I really enjoy a messy house. Ok, this isn't true. I'm just prepping myself for the constant chaos I hear about from the wonderful homeschooling moms I've been getting advice from.

So this will be the place I'll come to when I have something excited to say. It'll also be the place I'll come to when I need a good cry. My girls will also have the chance to journal about their experiences here, so you're guaranteed a laugh every now & again. Especially if Child 3 writes, she's only 3!