How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

For those with skeptical family and friends, this bit of homeschooling info is always handy to have in your back pocket! 🙂

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

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Independence Day!

I have decided to start expecting more of my children. I have run a few experiments in the past regarding their basic needs. Like for example, if I don’t supply breakfast, what will happen. Will they tell me they are hungry? Will they get something to eat? Will they ask me to make them something to eat? If I don’t remind them to get dress for the day, will they stay in jammies all day? Will they get dressed to go outside and play? At what time of day will they get dressed? Will they dress appropriately for the weather? Etc…

Well my son got dressed immediately after waking up. My daughter stayed in Jammie’s the entire day. Neither of them mentioned hunger or desire for food until 2:00 in the afternoon! And I replied to their request with, “you can get a snack off the snack tray yourself or wait for me to finish what I’m doing to get you something”…they both replied they’d wait for me to get them something to eat!

This is NOT going to do IMHO! So with the help of jet lag (earlier wake up and bedtimes) I started a new routine that I hope will stick. But the process is slow and painful for mama!

This new routine involves being dressed for the day (mama Lou included) by 7am. Fixing their own breakfast under my supervision. So far they are mastering pancakes, hard-boiled eggs, and toast. The painful part comes in watching how slooooooow the process is, when I can whip out breakfast in a flash…but they have to become more independent or their future spouses will never speak to me.

We accomplish our three Rs and if we haven’t taken too long in doing so, then I toss in another subject…if the day seems to be dragging on or the work has been tough, that’s it for sit down work. We might listen to story of the world later while driving to park day for some playtime (aka socializing!)

Then we mustn’t forget lunch…grilled cheese, peanut butter & honey or jam sandwiches are what they are mastering at the moment. And again a very slooooow process of getting the step stool, plugging in the griddle, getting the butter bell, getting the butter knife, spreading the butter…oh wait need to get the bread, get the cheese, and well you know the rest…step by step…

Cleaning up after themselves is constant as all mothers know, but we are taking it to another level which requires me to be on top of two people in different rooms sometimes making multiple messes….training them to not start a new game until the other mess is cleaned up…and not just cleaned up, but put back where it belongs the way it was when it was found, is a daunting task for someone who finds it much easier to kick the kids outside to play and tidy up in peace & quiet.

While I wait for my photos to arrive, so I can share with you a great family holiday, I’m spending my days (which used to be more relaxed and easy-going) setting up a routine and teaching some independence skills to my children. The thought is once that independence kicks in, we can go back to a more relaxed mode without having to worry that my kids will never change their underwear or eat a healthy morsel of food on their own! Haha!

Quick Easy Organic and Yummy Science Experiment

Yesterday the kids wanted to know why I don’t love them eating straight butter, even though I did as a child. We talked about fat content in our diets. How fats should be in smaller amounts.

This discussion quickly moved into liquids and solids and the components of butter, where it comes from, how you make it etc…

My kids have made butter in the past so I assumed they knew all about it, but over time (even with hands on experiments) info is lost and needs a refresher. So off to the market to buy organic cream we go.

We poured a little cream into a jar (forgot the marble, some people recommend putting a marble or penny in the bottle) we gently and consistently took turns at shaking the jar.

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You can see the liquid and fat separating. Many people drain the liquid off. Some use it in other ways. (All worth researching online) We just kept on shaking haha! So we ended up with really creamy butter.

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Some folks add salt too. We were going to use this butter up on grilled cheese sandwiches so I opted for no salt.

I highly encourage you to make some butter with your kids. Its great fun and very interesting to see the different stages. Lots of opportunity for science discussions there.

I also encourage you to use organic cream. Who knows what is in our food these days with all the toxic chemicals, hormones and genetically modified foods. And worse companies that refuse to label their foods properly.

Spunky Summer Hair

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My daughter decided to go pink this summer. Every time we go out people compliment her and gush over her hair style and color. How cute, what fun, she looks so good with pink hair, I wish I could get away with that, I wish I could look so cute in pink, I love it, I wish my daughter could do that but school starts in two weeks, it’s darling!, etc..etc..etc..

Then I am often asked: What will they say when she goes back to school?

I can only reply with a chuckle and “not much!”

Of course dying ones hair pink is not the reason why we homeschool, but it is one of the many extra benefits that have popped up over the years. Like traveling in the off-season! So many little benefits to homeschooling one doesn’t even realize exist until you are enjoying a peaceful life as a homeschooler! 🙂

Sunday – Day Seven

Today I was lazy for half the day, then I got up and cleaned house. These are the types of random things I find when I go about cleaning.

A home-made kazoo

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An erosion experiment on paper clips

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A collection of rocks

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Nearly dried purple paint, and some random bit of packing foam painted purple

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All of these things are of course treasures that can not be tossed.

Here are some crystals we grew during a science experiment a couple of weeks ago, I’m finally finding a new home for this display.

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Coloring time

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Finished artwork

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We went for a family walk

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A couple of friends who loved my daughter’s hair, stopped by to have a little pink added to their hair.

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After the kids played for a LONG time outside and their mama and I enjoyed mama tea chat time, somehow they turned the evening into a dance party. (Horrible photos, iPhone flash is not the best!)

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Their dance party got so wild they broke one of my favorite antique bowls. 😦

Luckily no one was hurt! That is most important!

Once the bowl bits were cleaned up they resumed their dance party.

I think we can glue the bowl back together…I have hope! 🙂

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Kids are in bed listening to an audio story. Hubby and I are going to snuggle up and chat the night away.

Goodnight Zzz

Friday – Day Five

Well today daddy was home and that is always a nice treat!

He started the day off with a hilarious question…he is scanning the terrarium that still does not have a lizard in it, but does have a rotting strawberry and a dozen crickets.

We decided to leave the strawberry in there and do a science experiment on mold…haha…seriously, it was a decision the kids and I made on purpose…haha…that sounds so homeschooler. haha!

Anyhow, as I’m making a cup of tea, I hear him ask kindly:

Honey how long has that strawberry been in with the crickets?

It is very difficult to type out his tone of what he’s really saying thru his sweet gentle question: what he is really saying is more on the lines of…are you aware there is rotting food in the tank here? (As if I honestly would have no clue) and Do you plan on cleaning it out or just leaving it there? He is pretty disgusted…lol…

I can’t help but laugh when I reply, yes I know it’s there we are doing a science experiment, please leave it alone…haha!

My son woke up and immediately wanted an audio book.

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Today the kids had horse riding lessons. They are learning Western, English and Vaulting. Today they practice Western.

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Some stretching exercises first…

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My daughter was still sleepy…lol

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Time to ride…

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Piano lessons…

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Random playtime…

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Both my kids found this toy interesting, when they are generally geared towards a much younger audience…however, I will admit I found myself sliding the beads around a few times myself and all we need to say is I’m MUCH older than the audience that typically plays with these haha!

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After piano, my daughter wanted one on one time with daddy at the shooting range. So they went off to shoot targets and I took my son out for a frozen yogurt treat.

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When we all gathered back together, my daughter once again (has been asking for months now) asked if I will please dye her hair pink. I think about the kool-aid trick and there is no way I could get her roots with boiling hot kool-aid…so I swing into the drug store and poof there it is, her dreams of pink in a box!

Daddy misses her sweet blond hair…but girls just wanna have fun! Haha! I figure its best to express ones self under parental supervision than explode with teenage rebellion one day.

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Book time…

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A basher book on creative writing arrived in the mail and the kids were checking it out. My son will be working on creative writing a bit more this coming year.

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They always find time for jumping…

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When my husband put the rabbits in for the night, he noticed a toad trapped in the rabbit hutch. He got the kids to come see the toad. After they got a chance to pet the toad, then they released it back into nature.

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And that is all I have for you today…kids literally read themselves to sleep tonight. Everyone is out like a light…

Goodnight! Have a great weekend!

Thursday – Day Four

Well first thing this morning neither child had forgotten I promised a BEN 10 episode, so they started their day off with a cartoon. When the one was over, they were hooked and wanted more, more, more…so I figured if they worked together to clean my daughter’s room (which looked like a tornado blew thru a hoarder room) Then I would agree to another Ben 10.

 A few minutes later they came out and said they were finished. I’m pretty sure this is not the case. I ask, did you really clean up her room in that short of time? And they said, OH I THOUGHT YOU JUST WANTED A NICEPATH THRU HER ROOM…ha ha! So I look, they had neatly shoved everything to the sides so one might have a lovely path threw the disaster zone.

 With a little guidance they did a beautiful job on her room and they also worked on compromise, working together to tackle a fairly large job (giant really for a kid!) I could hear them deciding who would do what. It was pretty cute!

 A few jobs needed to be accomplished before our play dates arrived today.

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 We had two separate play dates today and to be honest I got way side tracked chatting with my mama friends to document much of today. I do have photos to share, but not a lot of “homeschooling” stuff other then SOCIALIZING…today was SOCIALIZING DAY! Ha ha! 🙂

 A little dress up time:

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Breakfast time:

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 My son is researching Ben 10 alien costumes and preparing himself for HALLOWEEN already! He will most likely change his mind a billion times, so we have a rule, I will purchase ONE costume, but if you decide you want to be something else, then you have to make the costume yourself using stuff from our dress up bin….or literally MAKE IT yourself with card board or whatever you have to use.

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 Contemplating life I suppose? I wonder if school kids get much quiet time to just think their thoughts. I know when I have a busy day it takes a lot of quiet practice to come down and feel grounded and able to just think my thoughts, so I love seeing my kids pondering life or maybe Ben 10 costumes ha ha!, but just having quiet moments to think their own personal private thoughts.

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image Son: Did you know your body is complex? You can eat upside down! (as he puts a handful of popcorn in his mouth upside down…apparently one can defy gravity in some ways)

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Play time: (trying to sort out weapons, game rules, costumes…all really important stuff!)

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Lunch Time:

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 Playing after Lunch…(mama is starting to loose steam and forgetting to document…sorry!)

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 Kids came in the room where the mama chat was going on, so I have a few photos of the games they pulled out and played…

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Then back to base camp to plot some more weapons, war tactics, game rules and strategies for conquering the other team!

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 Little break to jump on the trampoline (and it is hard to see but one kiddo is up in the tree)

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These magnets are still fascinating to him. He has had three days of processing these magnets. I know more is going on up in his brain regarding the magnets then just positive negative charges…he had that mastered when he was two! I’m guessing Thomas Edison type stuff, so I’m glad there isn’t fire involved and it’s just magnets! ha ha!

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A bit later one set of friends left and another arrived…The girls were playing with the doll house and it wasn’t really my son’s gig, so he played this game by himself in more of a puzzly way.

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 This is where I failed on documentation miserably today…I was having a nice time visiting with friends and the kids happily playing. The day got away from me… 

Dinner time… 

Bath… 

I took the kids out for an ice cream. As much as I dislike them having ice cream right before bed, I had promised it to them two days ago. I figured we should just get that promise over with and hopefully the sugar crash happens in their sleep. Ha ha!

 I’m going to snuggle up with hubby and watch whatever show he’s watching then head for bed…I hope to do a better job tomorrow. 

I’ve been thinking about it, I think I will try this again in the fall/winter when we are doing more schooly things then we do during the summer. We do school year round, but we are relaxed schoolers and the month of July we are SUPER relaxed schoolers…lol…might not be the best week, oh well, hind sight is alwasy 20/20 we’ll do it again some time down the road… 

Good night!