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.

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

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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.

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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…

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…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.

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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.

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

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

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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. 🙂

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

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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. 🙂

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

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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!!! 

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

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!

Wednesday – Day Three

Today was a little trickier to document because we were out and about all day here and there and everywhere, busy. Which means we are relying on my mama mind to recall our day…ha ha! (Have I mentioned in the past I’m fairly certain my memory was delivered along with my children…they might of called it a placenta, but I’m certain it was the memory section of my brain!

First thing this morning I had a SMIDGEN of mama time before my son woke up and we had to get ready to leave. I had to unfortunately urge my daughter out of bed and rush her along a bit.

While in the car (an hour drive today) My daughter was reading her insect fact book. She loves these types of books on insects, mammals, sea life, and all living creatures! She announces: I can’t believe there is a MOTH that is pink, yellow and blue…it is so beautiful and it is a MOTH! Can you believe there is a beautiful moth mom?!?! My son leans over and reads the info…he tells her, yup, it’s called a Rosy Maple Moth…

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Joke told by my kids: Do you know the difference between a preying mantis and a praying mantis? One has a bug between it’s hands. (not really sure if that is how the joke goes, but that is how they said it and they laughed!) Ha ha!

After that I listened to the music and they researched spiders. I did have to keep reminding them to look up to avoid getting car sick…sometimes reading in the car will turn them green.

A bit later I notice my son has packed the magnet toy in our car, so he’s still processing magnets and having fun with it. (I wasn’t overjoyed when the magnets fought each other and shot all over the market’s floor, but such is life when you are learning I suppose…he now understands why it’s best to leave your toys in the car)

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Directly entering Costco there are a plethora of TV’s, today was an interesting show about underwater life. Tomorrow we are supposed to research that show to see if we can get it and watch it in full. I’d happily do that over researching a cartoon we discover at the entrance of Costco.

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After our errands are complete, we meet up with some friends and play at the park, then head down to the beach. It wasn’t really beach weather, but most of our kids still enjoy it.

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I love how each kid stands so nicely in line waiting their turn. No one is cutting or complaining. It is just a peaceful cooperative queue of unsocialized homeschool kids. (Oh gees, there goes that sarcasm again, ha ha!)

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Every time we get together with other homeschoolers, I giggle to myself at how silly the whole “socialization” concern is. These kids are so well socialized. The way they work out differences and handle situations is generally very impressive.

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It is always a sensory experience to have your entire body buried under sand! And such a physical job for my daughter’s friend who was covering her up! (We can check on P.E. off for my daughter’s friend!) Ha ha!

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Not sure what they are doing, but looks fun!

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Looks like the kids have decided to play duck duck goose…

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The mamas were enjoying a relaxing adult chat while the kids were running around.

While my son was enjoying a pizza party with his super brains club (three of the kids, my son included, were graduating today) I took my daughter shopping for what she loves…jewelry!

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A little boy was selling confetti eggs (6 for a dollar) on the sidewalk, so we bought some confetti eggs and the kids had fun smashing eggs on each other’s heads!

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Well some liked doing the smashing more so then getting smashed on…ha ha!

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This would be a loving tackle, she comes off as a delicate little flower, but that is her trick…watch out, when you are least expecting it, she will get you!

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After the beach and confetti eggs, it was BATH TIME! Which always ends up becoming some sort of water explosion, I mean experiment! (I have been known to line the floor with towels, because it doesn’t matter how often you mention keep the water IN the tub to the children, that darn water still seems to leak out of the tub and all over the floor, sometimes the walls and on a rare occasion the water makes it’s way up to the ceiling!

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Deal Making time: My son wants to watch a BEN 10…the job is CLEAN YOUR ROOM…trust me it’s a big job tonight!

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We sneak in a little LIFE OF FRED MATH (my son’s choice!) He is asked to build a house with right angles and he enjoys himself so much, he decides to build a basement and a basement vent and of course he has to leave the roof off because a roof isn’t made of right angels…he takes his assignments very seriously!

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…and a little practice with nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc thru MAD LIBS (love those!)

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My daughter does some piano practice. I don’t force practice on them, but neither of them like the rush of having to complete it all last-minute, so they generally do a little here and there each day. (as you can see in the background my son is practicing head stands in the chair! Ha ha!)

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never a dull moment…kids are tucked in and it is my bedtime…goodnight 🙂

Motivation and Compromise

My son is very goal motivated. It is not my natural style of parenting to bribe my kids with a reward, but he often will come up with his own chores and rewards haha. And it works for him, so not always does my parenting style match with his personal style. We find the happy middle ground.

Right now he is in full swing of a goal motivation phase of life. He has been waking up and asking if I have a job for him. While I think of something, he beats me to it and comes up with;

“How about I earn five coins on teach me (iPad school app), then get dressed, put all my dirty clothes in the hamper, make myself breakfast, clean up my dishes and earn an egg on reading eggs (a computer reading program) is that a good enough job for one Ben 10 episode?”

As I am waking up, sipping my tea and still in my jammie’s thinking about our day, I realize welllllll that does cover some reading, math and spelling…not to mention it will buy me time to sip my tea and relax before I have to get cracking on the day ahead. Yup, sounds good to me, go for it.

He zips around and accomplishes his chores then sits down to watch his episode of Ben 10. I’m still sipping my tea and in my jammie’s…haha!

After a while, I figure I better get moving, so I get up and get ready for the day.

Side note: Way less stressful morning, then the days when we used to race around the house in a state of chaos trying to get out the door for school, often forgetting lunches, backpacks, jackets, even shoes!

Well I’m up and ready, the episode is over and he’s hoping for another job. I hand him a spray bottle and rag, he goes spot hunting on the kitchen floor, then grabs a duster and eliminates most of the surface dust in the living room. I’m not ready yet for him to watch more tv, so I send him into his room to tidy up…to avoid child labor accusations Haha…, I send him outside to jump on the trampoline and hunt for a lizard as the final part of his job.

Television, computer games, iPad apps, audio stories, are all things my son will gravitate towards if they are options. We lump them all under the title of “tech” He would happily spend the entire day tech hopping if possible.

I don’t mind technology in our life, but I do mind too much of them, and I am extremely picky on what tech is approved. A degree of educational value needs to be involved for it to be on our list of ok technology. This is the area in our lives where I do not willy nilly give in to the nag factor.

I like to see my kids physically moving their bodies, spending time outside in nature, exercising their natural curiosity and being active creative kids. So this job situation has brought about many opportunities for compromise.

Yesterday I sent the kids outside with bowls full of seeds and their job was to plant the garden beds with these seeds. Immediately my son asks if all the seeds can go into one hole. Haha! I replied with specific directions, read directly from the seed packaging. They spent a good 45 minutes outside gardening. Which was not only a job, but also part of a lesson we have been doing on GMO crops and the bees. “Vanishing Bees” is the documentary that spurred this adventure. My children have gone from fearing the bees, to wanting a bee hive in our garden.

Another side note: take note of how all these aspects of our life are intertwined…our life incorporates learning, a job, responsibility, and yet it is all enjoyable for those involved…it’s our life not a desk or a classroom where my kids learn the most. I love the saying, we learn about the real world IN the real world, not a classroom.

I’m not sure if I have a specific point to my post, but I’m not the goal oriented one in this house haha!

I do like that even though I’m not a goal oriented person, my son is and I can embrace his needs in a way that benefits his growing mind and body. And that homeschooling or parenting doesn’t have to be torture, yelling, fighting, etc….you can find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Ah ha there is my point:

Find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Unschooling In The Little Red School House

They say the first step is to admit your addiction.

So I’m going to make that first step here in this public arena!

I am an unschooling mama with an addiction to curriculum.

It is the truth, I love both worlds of homeschooling. I like to take what I like and dump the rest. There is a reason we as a family did not fit the standard school box, we see far too many flaws with that system. Homeschooling offers such a fabulous way to dump the flaws and run wild with what works for your family!

Being a homeschooler gives me a brilliant excuse to purchase some of the most amazing curriculum, manipulatives, supplies, etc. I just love back to school sales!

However, I also have a serious fondness of unschooling methods, so there is an internal battle forging on inside of me. My inner teacher, curriculum addicted self battles on with my free spirit, trust in my children, natural loving, unschooling parenting self. Hence the reason I consider myself a relaxed schooler.

I believe in the unschooling methods I’ve read about, they simply make sense. I have seen the wheels turning in my children’s minds when they are given the time and trust required to learn on their own accord. Unschooling methods bring a massive sense of peace and calmness to our lives. The kids are happy learning and living in an educational world with many new wonders around each corner.

But I struggle with how to record keep when unschooling and my husband has reservations about the unschooling method. (Which is another post for another time)

I graduated college with a degree in child development. I was being groomed to be a classroom teacher, and yet all the theories I was taught to bring into a classroom, genuinely fits the unschooling methods better.

In the modern classroom setting, a good teacher (because there are a few of them out there ya’know) simply can’t implement what they hope to accomplish. It’s just not possible. There are far too many hurdles. (But again that’s another post for another day)

I mentioned my addiction to curriculum, but I may have forgotten to mention our little red school house…I really do enjoy “playing school” when my kids are willing to “play the students” haha!

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It is the perfect place to keep our school materials and gives us a place to go and do school. A great place to keep all the record keeping administrative type things in order. A great place for the kids to “play school” with their friends. My kids enjoy being the teacher much more than the students. Haha!

Side note: I have noticed in the spirit of Charlotte Mason’s narration methods, when my children play teacher, I get a fantastic glimpse into what they know well and what still needs a little work.

I did mention the internal battle right? Yup, at some point in time I came up with “relaxed schooler” because that is what we are.

We go into the school-house and do school to fill my needs to teach, use the fabulous curriculum that has been given the stamp of approval from my kids, and have paper work for my record keeping.

However, majority of our lives are simply chocked full of relaxed style learning. I like to say: We go into the school-house to do school and when we are finished, we go out into the world and learn something. Haha!