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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Check New Links

You may or may not have noticed we are featuring new links every week on the sidebar. These are sites I have found to be of higher quality. I hope also you are checking the links on our subject pages. I just added a few links to craft sites and hope to add more in the next few days. So be sure to come back and check out some pretty amazing sites.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life Goes On...

Bumps in the road of life aren't uncommon. When I face a bump, I face a choice, the choice to ride the bump out or to try to dig a way around it. I have found riding it out is usually the best policy. So that cryptic remark aside I have decided to delete my long winded and likely boring rant.

Instead I would like to turn back to the real point of my blog. Sharing with all my friends and family parts of my life and our homeschooling journey.

Today was a bad day. I found out I need surgery. I had a horrible night and life goes on. So I didn't miss the opportunity to school. Such freedom it is to see the kids faces light up with new knowledge. My daughter said her favorite subjects are now math and french. In math she is completing basic geometery so I think her new found love of it is because she likes not having to do more additon. And in french having ditched the dry program that had them glazed over I have gone back to making my own curriculum. So she is loving the more fun and creative approach. This is saying a lot really because just a month ago she was groaning about how much she hated school no matter where or how or what was done. I am impressed and pleased to see her start to show some interest. She is now trying harder to practice her reading as well which is terrific and I am seeing a marked improvement there.

Ds is struggling with probability theory in the AI class. Well... so are we it is one of the hardest things I think to learn and I am just proud that he is interested enough to try. That said we are working on catching up in English and Math.

The kids have started a wonderful little bird unit for biology. We are using the coloring pages from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. After the pages are colored and answered we are making little birds nests to depict what style of nest each bird has. At the front of the study I printed outline maps for them to use overlays with to show the range of each bird. And we are using the DK bird study books as well. All in all it may be a long unit but it is proving to be rather enjoyable. I am looking forward to getting to the bird anatomy with them.

Our homeschool association has decided to try to fundraise through a craft/bake sale for the holidays. As we live in a rather isolated area new field trips can be hard to find once all the main ideas have been done. So this is hopefully going to help us rent a bus and take it farther afield. Either way the kids are happy to see the crafting materials come out again. And I am loving the feeling of sewing by hand. Something I can only really get into during the shorter days of the year.

Still I have more planning for the school year and more to tell you...but for now I have a family who wants me.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Things

It's been busy. The kick off for our homeschool association went wonderfully despite the threat of rain. Our game of capture the flag in the woods was really enjoyed by all. The smaller kids made a pumpkin craft. When it was time to leave we handed out handmade treat boxes filled with goodies from the Oriental Trading Company.
I wish I had taken more pictures of the event but mostly it slipped my mind. If there is ever a next time I think getting a person to photograph the event would be helpful. So often as a hostess we forget to take pictures of the minute details that make the party up.

Hubby had been out of work for the past few weeks. Which is ok he used the time to get caught up with friends and to have me write up a 'honey do' list. The list sits on the fridge.....need I say more. Last night he had a job interview and got the job so we are really thrilled.

Kids are doing really well in school if we overlook the grumbling at times over having to school. I think sometimes as a homeschool parent I feel the need for stucture more then they do. I need to reaccess my methods at the end of this term to see if this 'school at home' approach is really working for us. I think I may spend the winter doing a more Charlotte Mason approach and see where that takes us. Fun is in the flexibility and the ability to experiment to find the right fit for us. I will also like to add that I am personally rather disappointed in the Donna Ward unit Courage and Conquests. It lists the books she used to create the unit. Well number one not all the books are available to me at our local library. And number two the lessons are too short and not very interesting for people who like more hands on activities included. So I have been adding a lot to the kids lessons to help make them more interesting. However I have found lesson planning has gone far smoother then the years past where I made up all of the curriculum for the kids. Also son is now plateauing on his TT's and needs more review of his calculations before he can progress successfully in the program. So we are taking a couple of weeks off from it to do just that. Both of the children are doing wonderfully with their cursive work and I hope that by the end of this year I can have DS doing his copywork in all cursive for me. French is another area of disappointment though. The curric I bought is just not working. It's too dry and the lessons lack the repitition needed for young kids to gain a working knowledge of the material. One worksheet per lesson does not reinforce enough in my opinion the lesson.  When I purchase a curriculum I would expect it to take the work of making these add ins up off of me. And although the customer service was outstanding it took a nasty turn when they decided to lambast my personal blogging. So I have left their name out and consider my business with them concluded. I hope not all curriculum companies are so touchy about one persons personal opinion being shared with other people. If my personal opinion effects their sales that much then I hold far more power then I ever realized with my small following. Sigh I guess it's true what they say you certainly can't please everyone. I know I am not pleased with that company or their curriculum.

With the Canadian Thanksgiving looming we feel the pressure to winterize outside. My pondfish need removing and rehoming. I don't even know how many are left after we put so many in the spring and they disappeared into the weeds at the bottom. And with Hubby's new job it may take him out of town so the weekend is likely to be busy packing things away from the yard.

I would like to wish all of our readers a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend even if you aren't celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend we can always find something to be thankful for.

I am thankful for God,
my hubby,
my kids,
my parents,
my friends,
 and for this life in a wonderful country.
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