Just everyday life…

Recently I’ve been asked so many homeschool questions by both homeschooling mamas and schooling mamas thinking about homeschooling and mamas that can’t even fathom homeschooling. Seems like the universe is sending loads of questions my way. Maybe to remind me I have this severely neglected blog here.

Anyhow, here is a collection of recent pics and activities in our day. Which is what most people seem to want. A fly on the wall glimpse into our days.

Most of our days start off with groggy sleepy eyed kids waking up on their own terms. Typically my son is first, he will crawl into my bed, snuggle up and read the news on his iPad (News-o-Matic app for iPad, has current affairs in kid safe articles) while I check my email and surf the web. Eventually my super sleeper daughter will wake up, she loves her snooze time! And then the kids will often play games, Legos, or some other free choice activity while I feed the chickens, rabbits, water the garden, make breakfast, etc…

image

Morning Lego time…I’m sometimes convinced they think they are clever and this is the perfect academic procrastination scheme, because as we get closer to anything resembling classroom activities, they get along super well, they start building amazing projects that a mother would never want to stop in exchange for book work! You’ve never seen such team work! ❤

image

 

image

Right now Legos, robotics, digital design are all favorites. FYI – Lego digital design is a free download that my kids love! They can design ANYTHING using ALL Lego pieces on the computer, print off their designs and have step by step directions to build their projects. And in some cases give the directions to friends to see if their friends can build their designs.

image

Some days the kiddos do their academics with ease, happy smiles, efficient flow, and all is blissful, but don’t be fooled. We have our moments when it comes to school like activities!

image

image

Can you see her enthusiasm for today’s writing and math lessons. Haha!

We have been reading this book for a more interesting math experience in addition to our more classroom like math lessons.

A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe:

Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science
by Michael S. Schneider
Link: http://amzn.com/0060926716

You can see here, the kids were intrigued by a comment in the beginning of the book about triangle numbers, square numbers, rectangle numbers. Who teaches about shape numbers? What are shape numbers? Why are they mentioned? Well my kids played around with little disc markers, trying to find out what pattern was the book talking about.

image

 

image

 

This is what they discovered:

image

Seems like something simple now looking at it, but figuring it out on your own took MUCH MORE creative brain power then their classroom like math lessons.

Hands-on activities, project based learning is MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE in our household, but it can also be more difficult to document in the event one must prove academic advancement. So to make that easy on my record keeping, my kiddos are subjected to boring old paperwork as well as hands-on projects and an overall educational lifestyle.

Here is a hands on activity that wasn’t planned SCHOOL, but was very educational. The kids and I watched a documentary on sugar and the western diet. (THAT SUGAR FILM on Netflix)

image

This spurred a family attempt to document and cut out as much processed sugar as possible. Day one, we decided to go with ZERO processed sugar grams, as we already eat a fairly low sugar diet compared to many families. (Any often times pretty colorful) here are some example meals: lots of raw fruit n veg! My son is VERY PICKY when it comes to foods, but he will eat raw fruit n veg any day, so I don’t worry about his health, just crack up when people talk about cooking. Ask me what I’m making for dinner. Long ago, I stopped cooking and started serving food types instead! Haha!
image

 

image

So back to sugar intake, day one, zero processed sugars is the goal. UPS shows up, dropping off belated EASTER BASKETS FROM GRANDMA FULL OF SUGARY GOODNESS! Soooo to not be a complete kill joy on such an exciting shipment. We decided to limit daily processed sugars which lent a hand to MORE MATH! 🙂

image

The kids had a limit of 15 grams per day. They needed to figure out how many grams of sugar were in PEEPS and other candies. How many can they have each day? Do they want two peeps or half a peep and half a box of butter cookies? They worked out every item in their baskets and labeled them with post it notes. Made charts to document their daily sugar intake.

AND THEN CAME CONSUMPTION…

image

 

We definitely count outside classes as part of school. And we are loaded up this year with extra classes! Jazz, Ballet, homeschool PE, drums, guitar, ukulele, keyboarding, yoga, horse riding, robotics, scouts, and more…

image

image

Planning to reach Eagle Scout rank takes years of prep work and a lot of learning…I definitely count scouts as school work!
image

Earning Merit Badges is often a lot like classroom work as well as combining some hands on activities. Here our son is learning/earning and environmental merit badge.

image

And of course there is always time in the day to discover too many ashes in the mini BQQ that need to become ash bombs! Which are far more powerful and messy then a dirt clod! Aka BOY HEAVEN!

image

I think our days are fairly average…some good….some not so good…but the best part about homeschooling is I get to experience so much of my kids lives with them. ❤

Advertisements

Whale Watching Field Trip

image

This week we decided to stock up on Dramamine and go whale watching! It was great fun! We watched a couple of whales for a while, traveling at roughly their same speed and expecting their spouts at the 4-6 minute mark. Very predictable, which was nice for the kids. However, the photos we captured look more like barnacle filled rocks with a poof of spray…as seen here:

image

It was much more exciting in person! And my son got some fantastic glimpses using his binoculars!

image

However, we did find (or maybe they found us?) a very playful and large pod of dolphins.

One of the dolphins my daughter named Hannah and said she could identify her by the rake marks on her back. When we got home she was thrilled to find out I captured Hannah on the camera twice!

image

Hannah is now a favorite and she wishes she could track Hannah’s life. This moment has spurred a desire to learn more about wildlife/biology.

image

We spied some lazy sea lions sleeping in the sun on a buoy.

image

The most interesting and exciting part of whale watching for my kiddos were the dolphins, by far! There were mamas, babies, fast swimmers, jumpers and curious cruisers that would look up sideways at the boat trying to figure us out.

image

image

image

image

If you are interested in learning more about whale watching (or dolphin watching haha) you can find a plethora of web sites on the web…here is a site to start with: http://www.whalewatching.com

Have fun!

Side notes: One question that came up on our drive home was how do barnacles reproduce if they are stuck on a whale or a rock? If you too were curious, here is the answer…Beware barnacles are apparently porn stars!

https://baynature.org/articles/how-do-barnacles-make-baby-barnacles/

And a great documentary to watch after a day of enjoying the beautiful ocean is: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2277946/

it is a good reminder of what we can do to keep our oceans healthy and let those barnacles continue on with their rock star parties!

Bed Head Mornings

image

As my son woke up this morning (at 9:45!) He had a bummed look on his face. I asked, what’s wrong? He replies that Charmander (a stuffed animal) gave him a smug look as he got out of bed, because Charmander gets to stay in bed all day! Little does he know, he stayed in bed roughly 3 hours longer than most school kids did this morning!

Our Week in Pictures

Not sure how many of you remember my daughters adventures with pink hair a while back…

image

The color stayed in her hair for over a year!

And stained a few things along the way!

She is finally back to a more natural color and all week she has been telling me she wants to color it blue now, or maybe purple, or possibly red…

Her friend who attends public school, told her she’s not allowed to color her hair until summer, it’s against the rules, then she remembered we homeschool…

image

Few rounds of ping-pong took place.

imageSome attempts to find new planets, stars, etc…but something was “clogging the lens”, so now the telescope is collecting dust in my entryway, along with five billion coats no one wears!

image

Reading…lots of reading this past week!

image

Dreaded worksheets!

image

Clay creations and sewing projects.

image

I told her of a local homeschooling girl who made clothes for her dog; since this is one of my daughters favorite past times and one of our dogs most dreaded duties, she promptly decided she needs to go into business with this other girl, whom she’s never met! Haha!

We went on lots of walks!

Trying to identify plants, not so good yet at this adventure!

Anyone know what this flower is?

image

Swinging stick weapons in our best rock star pose.

image

Trying to steal sticks away from the dog.

image

 Cruising up the road…we walked a ton this past week!

image

We had friends join us on our walks.

image

Of course we always have play dates with friends!

image

Time for a make over! Boys included, most of the time he is the make up artist or desperately trying to convince them they are beautiful enough to play a game of dead man on the trampoline now!

image

My son has been reading and creating a TON of these “mini weapons of mass destruction!

image

I highly recommend this book! Amazon.com has several from the series. I think the ninja version will be making its way to our house in the near future!

image

Comedy watching her attempt to saddle a tall horse! Especially with a western saddle! The english saddles are much lighter!

image

Tricycles aren’t always for toddlers!

My son found this tricycle at the horse stables and attempted to go down hills fast enough then stand up on the seat. Think there is more practice needed…and maybe a helmet?

image

Love our FLL opportunities!

image

Lego Robotics is a favorite for sure!

image

We also love chess club!

(Which ends with friends and s’mores around the fire)

image

Sidewalk walk chalk is still a ton of fun!

Another past time that isn’t  just for toddlers!

image

Adventure Time is a current favorite.

image

Climbed a few trees, Have I mention I have a couple of monkeys?

image

We ended our week with a Girl Scout camp out.

image

And a great game of “Sharks n Minnows” on an air pad…because camping apparently isn’t all “nature” anymore!?!?

image

Came home, took a nice hot bath to shed camping scuzzzz of our bods and are ready for a nice new week full of new adventures!

Horses, Swim, Performances and Playdates Oh My!

 This week actually felt fairly relaxed,

but we had plenty of adventures to keep us busy!

Trips to the museum and another chance to adore the horses!

image

image

Practicing her “walking dismount” during a vaulting lesson.

image

My fish love to swim, but their current lessons are driving me crazy! My kids WORK their teachers and get away with insanely basic level skills!

Like floating! Come on, you’re killing me here!

image

And for the first few lessons they let my cannon ball jumper sit on the edge and flop in because she seemed “scared” ugh….she jumps in ALL THE TIME during free swim!

image

Luckily my son switched classes and has a real teacher who is pushing him to perfect his strokes and teaching him the butterfly stroke!

image

My son’s Cub Scout leader demonstrated “healthy eating” and made a smoothie with his bike. Of course an auditorium full of boys couldn’t stop making he’s pooping the smoothie jokes! So when it came to tasting it….there were too many eewwww gross, you’re drinking his poop! Jokes! Boys and their bodily function humor! Do they ever out grow it?

image

We attended a fun play that sparked a reading fest in the house!

image

We also spent a lot of time going for walks and identifying plants. I had no idea how many edible plants are right in our own back yard! Nature exploring to me is one of the best parts of homeschooling!

image

image

image

And it’s always more fun when dad can join us!

image

image

image

And of course lots of Playdates….a homeschooling family must prove to the overly concerned world that we are socialized!

(Do you detect sarcasm here?) 😜

image

Our Week

Everyday we find time to laugh and on this day, we couldn’t stop laughing. My daughter was a crazy girl with the hose! She ended up bathing not only this horse but the three surrounding horses and all human beings in the vicinity! I think she might have a future career as a fire fighter! NO ONE was safe! We were all drenched!

image

image

Horse care is a big part of her responsibilities! And she LOVES it!

image

image

~~~

First Lego League http://www.firstlegoleague.org is a great group to become involved with. The kids learn so much more than Lego robotics. They learn valuable social skills, how to be part of a team and how to support not only your own team but the teams you are competing with.

image

image

~~~

image

While at the park we stumbled upon a woman who was spinning yarn and her daughter was knitting. Both of these wonderful people shared their talent and craft with our children.

Another crafty person was making balloon creations for a donation. I did not have ANY cash on me, so my children were upset they couldn’t have a balloon. However, they didn’t waste a second sulking, instead they started to problem solve! Before you knew I they had found several coins on the ground at the park and made that donation and got their balloons! I was so impressed with this balloon artists creations, I had to share! Aren’t those swans too cute!

image

More fun with friends…

image Climbing the baseball stop is always exciting!

image

During tea time, the girls found these “eggs” on this plant. If you happen to know what kind of eggs they are, feel free to comment!

image

~~~

Chess Club is another exciting adventure in our lives!

image

image

After Chess Club our host family had a lovely fire and supplied the kids with good old fashion s’mores!

image

~~~

This week our daughter tried her hand at the trumpet. She is very excited about this possibility, but I can’t tell if she’s excited about playing the trumpet or the homework of blasting her notes to wake up her brother in the morning?

image

~~~

All little girls need a “friends forever” necklace to share with a good friend. Sadly this particular friend is moving away this summer. Thank heavens for technology, they can still keep in touch.

image

More re fun with friends.

A great game of “dead man” on the trampoline…an all time favorite!

image

An interesting thought on homeschooling…

…We were at an appointment this morning and the doctor asked if we were finished with school. He seemed half shocked and half concerned. I said we have already accomplished our math and language studies, why? Turns out he was a little shocked it can be conquered so quickly compared to traditional school.

This got me thinking about our days…

I’m not sure if the Spanish Vocab CD we were listening to in the car counts as our foreign language, or if our discussion and research on ancient Egypt counts towards history or if the ancient Egyptian picture my son drew counts as art, or if the books my kids read during their free time count as language…because those are just every day occurrences. My kids don’t count those activities as SCHOOL. They only consider WORKSHEETS and WORKBOOKS to be school…

…and they hate school!

But they LOVE TO LEARN!

We’re we finished for the day? Are we ever finished for the day? I don’t think we ever stop learning! Our entire lives are educational. We were finished with our worksheets for the day!  Yes!  TGIF! But we are never finished learning, it’s a homeschoolers life to love to learn! ❤️

Mellow Week

Well I started my blog post on Thursday and forgot to finish it….wonder if I will ever get into the groove of weekly blogging? I hope so! I used to have negative thoughts about blogs, but over the years they have been helpful in many cases. This means I have to conquer a sub-conscience negative feeling toward the process and a weekly goal. I must accept the fact I’m a blogger now! Haha!

This week has been filled with lots of love, snuggles and cuddles! Mostly a mellow week.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day a smidgen early with some homeschooling friends.

image

The kids decorated cupcakes and ate way more sugar then they should have, but the mamas saved the kids from licking the frosting beaters….shhhhh it was Delicious!

image

And I found lovely notes and chocolates around the house from a secret admirer. (Who happens to need admirer as a spelling word) haha!

image

 

It was a quiet week over all, with a lot of sofa school (which translates to mama Lou reading educational books to the kids and discussing our new-found information.

My son, has been earning all his states on the app “Stack the States” during his free computer time. He loves that game and has learned so much about the various United States thru play.  Next up “Stack the Countries”

image

Another fun way we’ve been learning this week is thru the tv show “Horrible Histories.”

image

I love when education just happens in a fun and entertaining way! So much more fun then our boring old academic worksheets.

image

However a “marshmallow test” is a good incentive to finish your worksheets! (Look close there is a marshmallow taunting him)

image

We found a bush that was full of berries. I remember as a child being told to not eat the berries because they are poisonous; yet, a friend of mine thought they might be a berry you can make some sort of edible something with…

image

….so this week we have been searching thru various herb and plant books to try to discover what plant it is, and whether or not it is poisonous or useful and in many case it could be both.

image

image

We are having trouble identifying it as there are many plants with similar berries and leaves. We snapped off a bit of it today and will be taking it to the nursery for help with identification.

image

We also had fun with friends, making artwork, getting beauty treatments, building Legos, playing with transformers, over all making a giant mess of the playhouse.

image

image

Last but not least! Drum is always a lesson we are excited to go to and practice for!

image