Learning on a Weekend?!?!

image

Here is the best part of homeschooling. The kids learn new things everyday…even on the weekend!…and even with old toys they thought they had mastered!

image

This entire weekend has been snap circuit crazy. We own several of these kits, so that means over a thousand small bits and pieces scattered all over the place in the name of educational play!

image

If you go to http://www.amazon.com and do a search for “Elenco snap circuits” you will find several choices from small beginner kits, Eco friendly kits to massively sized kits. Have fun!

 

Guinea Fowl Update

I decided to just go for it…put Shizzle and MaNizzle in the chicken coop and see what happened….

….in a nutshell they have been living together for a few days now. I wouldn’t say it is a lovely coexistence, but I do not have any complaints yet. So far the two species are sharing the same space. They contentedly ignore one another, they have a respectful fear of one another and they seem to allow one another access to all areas of the coop/run, so far…

image

I say so far, because sometimes a few days isn’t enough time to really know if they are settled. We should know more in a week or so is my guess.

Last night was the first night the guinea fowl went into the coop with the chickens at night on their own. So that was hopeful. Today was the first day they free ranged together, so we shall see how bedtime goes later tonight.

In the very near future the chicks will be released from their smaller coop (triangles shaped coop within the big chicken run) and that will be another adventure in bird integration. Fingers crossed! Knocking on wood! Prayers said! Positive vibes sent out into the cosmos!…that all goes super de duper great!!!

Life Science

We recently had to rehome of our rooster “Storm” because he was a bit too good at being a rooster. He protected his ladies too well and attacked the kids when they were collecting eggs. We were very sad about this and tried to remedy to situation, but sadly we weren’t successful.

image

We took Storm back to the breeder and swapped him for Frosty, our new rooster.

image

 

Long story short, we wanted some of Storm’s babies, so into the incubator went some of the eggs fertilized by him.

21 days later we had the best science experiment ever…getting to see life emerge.

image

These chicks were half blue orpington (Storm) and half Easter egger (Mama)

26 days later we opened up the unhatched eggs. Mostly we found icky yokes that never really took…

image

…but then we discovered two chicks that were well on their way. It was sad for the kiddos and they wanted to bury the chicks.

image

You can see one dyed before it’s yoke sack was absorbed into it’s abdominal cavity…but the other chick was ready to hatch and never pipped or unzipped for some unknown to us reason.

It was a good science lesson on how delicate life is.

The kids decided they needed to bury the chicks at the base of a tree, so they can climb up to the top and learn to fly. And because according to my daughter it takes a year to get to heaven and well the flight journey there is a long way. She’s pretty sure heaven is on a planet not discovered by humans yet.

image

Each one decided to add some sort of token for their journey before we buried the little peepers.

image

Then we came inside to celebrate the life of 8 baby chicks that did hatch.

image

Could we be lucky enough to have 8 HENS??? Lol…against the odds, but we are hoping for all hens! Frosty (our roo) doesn’t need any competition. ūüôā

It would be nice to add some more grey/blue to our colorful flock.

image

Ideally I’d love for the flock to have a plethora of colors and variations. I think when we incubate some of Frosty’s offspring we will get to add even more variety. ūüôā

Homeschool Science Rocks…it’s hands on thru the entire process!

Update On Us

We homeschool year round, but I have the summer off to some degree. My kids have planned it all out and will be dictating their routines for the most part. A few things are mandatory they must stick in here and there, drum lessons, horse riding lessons, piano lessons, volunteer work, etc…and they have decided to have specific days. ie: Monday is math day, Tuesday is history day, and so on…they plan to make their tv shows, iPad apps, board games, outdoor play, kitchen experiments, etc revolve around the theme of the day. Example, today is spanish day, so they will switch the language to spanish on the DVDs they watch and instead of their go to Pig Latin kid talk, they will attempt to speak spanish when possible, etc…

I do feel like I need to give an update since it’s been a LONG while since I’ve shared what were up to.

A while back I decided to do an experiment and give the kids what we called a “FREE WEEK”…

…in a nutshell, the kids were responsible for their sleeping times, eating times, food choices, entertainment and education. In a very free willy nilly sort of way. I was here to help them when they asked but overall they were in charge of themselves. I deleted everything from the calendar for a week. (Including canceling lessons they did not want to attend)

The point for me was to get a good idea of what they were capable of, how they handled their choices, where they still needed me to guide them, where they were more self sufficent, etc…

I do think much longer then a week is needed for a true assessment. Because a week does feel in some way like a holiday rather then a time to put on your boots and get to work.

I discovered (and more importantly THEY discovered) there were still many areas mom was very needed! Which is a good thing IMHO!

They were very curious why no friends came over to play. I asked them if they arranged any play dates. Hmmm might be the reason. Planning is needed to make things happen. Good lesson for them to learn.

Why they don’t have any clean pants. I asked if they did their laundry? Hmmmm must wash clothes in order to have clean clothes. Another good lesson…but mostly they just realized mom does the laundry and didn’t this week, so they opted to wear alternative outfits over the favorites until mom washed again. (Which spurred mom to buy separate laundry baskets for each child and unknown to them, they are slowly learning to take over their own laundry washing, drying, folding and putting away! Darn sneaky mom!)

Aside from a few really good learning opportunities/discussions. And great examples of what could be handled better, it was a blissful week for ALL of us.

We all were doing exactly what we wanted all day long for an entire week! Yes I did not hear one single bicker from the kids. They were so happy doing their own thing. I accomplished a ton because they didn’t demand as much of my attention as they normally do.

HOWEVER the amount of Minecraft they played was insane for my liking. (I fondly refer to Minecraft as Mindcrap, even though I know there are lots of great learning opportunities around the game…it’s the intensity of time suck I don’t like)

Since it was free week, I figured eventually my son would have his fill, get a neck cramp, something and stop playing…nope, he played the entire week nearly all day every day! My daughter would stop mid day and go do something else, but come back to it in the evening.

They did build some amazing structures, learned a bunch from tutorials online, took on challenges and played well in each others worlds. But like I said the intensity of the Minecraft take over was not a long term OK thing with me, so we had a little Minecraft detox the following week. We are now back on a healthy level of video games from mama’s perspective.

Aside from free week, we’ve had horse riding adventures, rock climbing adventures, and a bunch if fun with friends. Spring time always sheds away the winter chill and gets us outside and active.

image

I think repelling is what they love the most!

image

image

And shortly after this adventure they wanted to practice bouldering (no harness, height they are comfortable with jumping down from)

image

image

Recently, my daughter took some of her girl friends on a trail ride (some of her friends had never been on a horse, so you can see trail walkers near each horse for the riders safety) my son played Mindcrap with his friends (the brothers of the horse riders) it was a perfect day for all involved. Haha!

image

image

While school kids are finishing up their last few weeks of school, I hear my public school mama friends tell me about their busy end of school year calendar chaos. It reminds me how very blessed we are to be homeschooling. We are enjoying all this warm weather having fun with friends and not in a busy chaotic frenzy.

Spring is here…Fuzzy Butts and Bud Fuzz

We are sure seeing signs of spring around here.

Our fuzzy butts (aka baby chickens) are settled into their brooder. We have 13 chicks this spring. We will be eating and sharing a lot of eggs with family and friends come this fall.

This year our flock will consist of a variety of breeds, which will hopefully give us a fantastic¬†variety of colorful eggs. We sure have missed having fresh eggs in the house. Unfortunately two years ago a predator¬†made a dinner out of our entire flock one night, leaving not much evidence behind except a couple of feathers from our more¬†feisty hen…named FLOWER haha!

We are also seeing some bud break in the vineyard

—-

I’m laughing a bit, because I had thought I finished this draft and posted it eons ago…but apparently didn’t and now I can’t find the photos of our darling little fuzzy butt chicks (who are nearly grown now!) nor can I find the vineyard bud break photos…sooo here is what middle of spring looks like around here haha!

image

image

Homeschooling is apparently keeping me busy, but summer is on the way and schooling gets pretty relaxed during the summer months.

Maybe blogging more consistently will be my summer time goal? ( fingers crossed)

Do Homeschool Kids Miss Out?

Each year we have an annual homeschool cupcake decorating valentines day party. This year valentines day happen to land on a public school holiday (Presidents day) so we were able to invite both our homeschooled and public schooled friends which was a special treat.

We had about fifty people here enjoying themselves. And once again, I look around to find a bunch¬†of kids that are very well socialized and have lots of friends. (Mythbuster #1 –¬†homeschool kids have friends and are socialized!)

image

Kids were having a blast all over the place, jumping on the trampoline, zipping down the zip line, climbing trees, digging giant holes in the hillside (apparently just a few foxholes and trenches incase we reenact the war during history lessons, haha!) and decorating cupcakes. It is always such fun to see kids being kids and having a ball!

image

It is also great to see so many school kids and homeschool kids getting along. (Mythbuster #2 – that homeschool kids and school kids can’t get along.) They all cooperated and worked well together toward similar goals.

image

There were lots of various ages ranging from 2-12 and all the kids seemed helpful and able to get along with their peers, which beats yet another myth…(Mythbuster #3 – who’s a peer? same age? same interest? same capabilities? or someone you just like hanging out with regardless of differences?)

image

So as I look around and see an amazing group of kids that are very well socialized busting more homeschool myths I feel happy to know we are a part of it all. I love knowing with time the homeschoolers will show the world just how fantastic they are!

I hope anyone that is considering homeschooling understands that the lifestyle of a homeschooler is not some foreign weirdo world. Your lifestyle is up to you. Homeschooling puts the control back into your hands. Your family, home, life is once again yours.

And the answer is NO…homeschool kids do NOT miss out on anything! They have lots to celebrate!

Homeschool Mornings – A Great Reason to Homeschool!

 

Homeschool mornings make it alllll worth while! 

Every morning all over the place children are woken up early to get dressed, eat breakfast and rush off to school for the day. And every morning there are loads of homeschooling parents wondering WHY? Because as we sip our coffee or tea, our children are waking up naturally when their bodies are ready to rise. They are able to eat breakfast casually and get to their studies in a relaxed state of mind. 

Some mornings are more special then others, for example this morning we couldn’t start our school work because my daughter reallllllly wanted to play reading egg games on the iPad (Readingeggs.com) and my son really wanted to finish reading his book.¬†

Image

So we pushed our school work back a bit and I enjoyed an extra cup of tea. 

On this morning the kids insisted on making me breakfast in bed.

 Image

 

I know…you might be a little jealous of that elaborate spread…haha! But it’s moments like this impressive breakfast in bed and all the sweet sentiments that come with it I would have missed out on if my kids were already on a bus off to school.

or what about the joys of not having to read about weather in a text book, but instead go outside and experience it, taste it, see it, feel it, laugh in it, soak it up fully. 

Image

 

Image

Homeschool mornings make the days where math or spelling are challenging all worth while. All the little moments thru the day that are silly, loving, messy, huggable, laughable are far more often then the rushed, crying, stressed moments. If you are having a bad homeschool day, you have the flexibility to take the day off. Enjoy life! Enjoy your kids! 

Have a great day homeschooling today!!!