Tag Archives: Homeschooling

VCA FUNDRAISING CLOSED

Just to let everyone know, VCA Fundraising is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest, and who supported our boys!  We wound up raising just a bit over the amount needed, and with permission of the one who sent us the overage, used it toward uniforms and a hoodie for Chris.

The Cobras have played two games so far, and their record is 1-1.  The first one was a close game, but they were beat.  The second one (last night) was a great game, and they played very well!!!!  It was a lot of fun.  Chris made his first basket, and a couple of assists, as well as a couple of steals, so he was very excited!  They have another game tonight (FOUR this week… ouch!!!), so I’ll be uploading pictures tomorrow of some of the games.

I’m in the process of creating a website to sell Event Photography (as well as the portraits and landscapes that I occassionally do).  SmugMug (where I had previously hosted my photography) was a little out of my price range this year, so I’ve had to change it over.  My new website will be:  http://eventsbykim.photoreflect.com.  I don’t have any of the photos uploaded to the website yet, but will also be working on those in coming days.  So give me a few days, and we’ll see how this one works out.  It’s less than half the cost of SmugMug, and in tough times like these, I’ve got to watch every penny.  🙂

I’ll also be posting a list of the businesses and individuals that supported Chris and VCA in our fundraising efforts, as a Thank You!!!

So, ’til next time… 🙂

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It’s official – homeschooling mom-teacher of three

our homeschoolers

After MUCH debate, and several conversations with each child and each other, Hubby and I made a monumental decision this weekend.  We are homeschooling all three children now.

I’m terrified and excited.  I know it will be good for us, both as a family and individually.  This is one step closer to our dream life.  I always wanted to be a teacher, and now I’ll be teaching my children, each in the way that they learn best.  I’ve done the research, I’ve paid careful attention.  I can do this!  We can do this!!

But I have concerns, too.  What if I can’t do as good of a job with the littles?  What if I find I don’t have the patience?  The fortitude?  The whatever-it-takes to get it done?  What if we really need me to go back to work?  I’m finding there’s a lot more nerves there than I thought there would be.  A lot more questions than answers.  But I’m also confident that it’s the right choice.  With Hubby working out of town, the responsibilities to get the kiddos where they each need to be falls on me.  I’ve already taught Kyle how to read, and Kody is well on his way.  Kyle will continue to have more doctor’s appointments than most kiddos his age, due to his allergies.  And with Daddy being out of town, it’s tougher to stick to a school schedule.  Taking all of those things into consideration, we decided that the uncertainty is worth the plunge.

If I am low on patience, then I’ll schedule more mommy-time when I can get it.  I’ll spend more time visiting family, and getting out and about to museums, the zoo, and other activities that will keep the littles occupied and still be learning activities.  I’ll also be better able to participate in some of the homeschool days activities.  If we get desperate for a second income, then I’ll find something on the night shift.  (I prefer that anyways).  I’ll still continue with my freelancing, and my other businesses to create income when and how I can that way (Avon, anyone? Barefoot Books? There’s another one in the works, but until it’s a done deal, I won’t advertise it.)  I’ve learned a lot about blogging in the last few months, and will be putting some of what I’ve learned to use there, too.  I have a book and a couple of short stories in the works.  We’ll be working together as a family to submit those and learn about the publishing process (rejection letters can be learned from, too).  We will adopt even more frugal attitudes and involve the whole family in those activities (I made laundry soap a couple of weeks ago.  We were lacking the buckets to put it in, but I’ll be trying again soon… I’m also looking to take some “refresher course” on sewing… with my mom if she’ll do it (LOL) or a course from someone local… if you know anyone in/near Victoria, please drop me a line in the comments).

Tomorrow I’ll officially withdraw the littles from school and send off our letter to the administration.  I’ll have their curriculum completed by then, a la The Well Trained Mind.

Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!  What have I gotten myself into????  LOL!!!  {Breathe, Kim… it’s going to be okay!}

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Grab my button!

Making Our Dream Life Happen

I’m so excited that I learned how to make a blog button this morning!!!  I love learning something new!  I’ll try adding it to the sidebar, but since WordPress.com doesn’t much like the buttons I try to attach (LOL), it may or may not work, so I wanted to do it in a blog post, too.  If you enjoy my blog, please grab the button and share it with people on  your own blog!  Leave me a comment, and I’ll visit your blog, too!  🙂

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Homeschool schedule today

Prince of Persia Film still

Prince of Persia film still

So, we were all planned out… Science, Math, and Bible Study in the morning (Switched on Schoolhouse), then history, Vocabulary test, and Grammar this afternoon.  We chucked it all to watch Prince of Persia, complete with discussions.  🙂  So I figure we’re covering History (we’ve learned about the Achaemenid Empire, better known as the Persian Empire), Geography (as we’ve located the Persian Empire (historically) and the current Iran on maps, Western Civilization, religion (they reference both Paganism and Christianity throughout the movie), and legends… how they have been passed down orally for years.  The discussion about legends has sparked a weekend-long discussion about other legends and predictions, 2012, and all sorts of other things.

We’ve all agreed that we’d love to see more movies like this, and on our next library trip, we’d like to look into the writings of Nostradamus and how his writings have been interpreted so that people say they have “come true”.  If we’d been home, we would have used the internet to discover more, but as we were in the car, we could only discuss things in general terms.

We would have gotten to more today, but today, Tom & Chris are learning to make Disciples Crosses (another one of my business venture ideas years ago).  😀  A Dad/Son business venture (and something that is a ministry of their faith)!!!  I LOVE it!  😀  I’ll post a few as soon as they have some made.

Can I just say again that I LOVE homeschooling?  Even when we’re not “in school”, we’re learning!!!!  As a caveat, we did this even when the kids were in public school… the learning.  It’s the passion for it that I see in him that I really love!!!  Now that he’s not “burned out” in school, he doesn’t close down his mind on the weekends, saying he doesn’t want to learn!

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Curriculum reviewed

Yesterday I reviewed Chris’s curriculum in depth, and planned out the next few weeks (once he gets back from his visit at his mom’s this week).  As expected, we have decided that we’ll loosely base our school year on our inherited ABEKA/Switched-On Schoolhouse curriculum.  It’s a very (very) thorough program, a bit too much like the traditional school for my tastes, but that means that he’ll cover everything he needs to know to get him through the 8th grade, which eases my mind.  I’ll fill in some of the holes from 7th grade as needed, and we’ll add in field trips and more hands-on learning activities to help him along the way.  I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  🙂  He seems to be anxious to get started, and yet dragging his feet at the same time, so I think we’re in the same boat.  😀

My husband and I made the decision that the twins will start Kindergarten this year at the local public school.  Kody doesn’t want to go, and keeps asking why he can’t homeschool (which is tugging at us, of course).  Kyle on the other hand, (the one who we are worried about going to school because of his allergies and consistently getting sick), desperately wants to go.  (Insert rolling eyes here).  😀  It’s hard… there’s a part of me that wants to homeschool them, because I feel so strongly about them getting the best education they can get at home… yet there’s this other part of me that feels that it is a  good idea to start them off at public school and see how they do.  It starts in two days, so we’ll see how this first week goes.

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Homeschooling… getting back in the saddle

OK, so we didn’t intend to take the summer off… and haven’t, completely.  But Chris has worked only a little on his Pre-Algebra, and we’ve done a little history and English here and there.  And that was it.

My husband and I have decided that the twins will attempt Kindergarten this year in public school.  I have mixed feelings about this.  #1, I am obviously pro-homeschooling, so I would prefer to homeschool them, mostly.  #2, I’m concerned about Kyle getting consistently sick again (when we tried Pre-K last year, Kyle attended class 50% of the time, and was sick the other 50%).  On the other hand, Kody may need an outside influence, as he doesn’t tend to “focus” when we attempt to do learning activities.  A quick example:

Last night, Kody & Kyle decided they wanted to play with their sight word flash cards.  We proceed to make our way through the deck, and within minutes, Kody is shouting “car” at every card turn.  Kyle patiently sits and sounds out the words, asking about ones he’s unfamiliar with.  Kyle crawls in my lap, and wants to continue even after we’ve gone through every card in the deck.

Tom’s middle son (Micah) also wants to move in with us, and is begging his dad to talk to his mom about it when she gets here (she should be here tomorrow, is staying a week).  This should be interesting…  BUT he wants to go to public school, too.

So we are a true blended family, with many different kids on different paths.  😛

I’m not ready for the school to dictate our schedules again… but I’m ready to get back to “normal” days.  It’s been so hot here lately (starting so early in the morning), that we all have shifted to a night schedule.  Even the little ones are awake until 1 or 2 in the morning, and want to sleep in until noon.  That way our “mornings” are spent in the house, and the evenings (which are only slightly cooler) are spent being productive… or as productive as the weather allows.  🙂

How about you?  Do you school year-round, or are you getting back in the saddle, too?  Any tips for this newbie homeschooling momma?  I can use all the help I can get!  😀

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For Parents-when too many options are a bad thing

OK, so I was pretty sure that I really preferred unschooling, with some unit studies and a few more formalized things thrown in.  Then I read The Well Trained Mind.  Now I wonder if I’m not really more of a classical education supporter?  I have to laugh at myself because I’m a very balanced and analytical person in most respects.  For example, just because I decided unschooling was the way I wanted to go, I didn’t stop reading everything I can get my hands on.  Ummm… my point?  You ask.  Of course.  My point is that I have continued reading about all different types of homeschooling education, and the more I read The Well Trained Mind, the more I believe that this is “it”.  That our children will be better educated, more well-rounded, and more analytical thinkers than if I don’t expose them to some type of structured curriculum.  As a side note, it also makes me realize that I – a confirmed, card-carrying bookworm – have not read out loud to my youngest children NEARLY enough.  They’re 5, will be six in November, so all is not lost.  But it’s something I need to be remedying NOW.

I (coincidentally?) this week received a phone call from my sister-in-law, Nikki.  She has 2 complete A Beka curricula.  One is from 8th grade (what I’m hoping to accelerate Chris to this year, which will put him in line with his age group), and the other is 10th.

I still believe that we will be an eclectic homeschooling family, as I still really enjoy the idea of unit studies, and being able to have family study time.  But incorporating a lot of classical educational models into our children’s homeschooling, I believe, is more the direction we’ll go.  I’ll teach to the A Beka curriculum (please keep in mind I haven’t even seen it yet, so that could change, very easily), supplement with ideas from A Well Trained Mind, and also keeping the mindset that I’m actively teaching my child every moment, whether by play or by activities, field trips and such.  The hardest part I see at this point, in going with a classical mindset, is the fact that he has not been taught that way in the past, and the textual base of what I’ve read of a classical education is not how he learns best.  He is, without question, a kinesthetic (hands-on) and auditory learner.  He reads well, he has good comprehension skills, but he does not learn best from a book, from what I’ve seen.  So from that point, we will need to adapt this method to suit his learning style.

I debated on posting these thoughts, because I don’t want to appear wishy-washy.  I’ve done a lot of research, and I’m still finding my way.  Technically speaking, we’re still in a period of de-schooling, and this is our first time at it.  So, one of the reasons that I decided to go ahead and post it is because as a new homeschooling mom, I have read a lot about the different methods that parents have arrived at.  I haven’t read much, though, about those who are going through the same process as me… trying to figure out what works best for their children and why.  So I hope that someday, when I really know what I’m doing (hahahaha), someone will stumble across this old post, and see my progression through all of the questioning, and see that they’re not alone if they’re suffering some of the information overload and sorting through the incredible amounts of information out there… and hopefully it will give that reader a chance to see that you can think you have it all figured out, and you can still question, adjust and make changes along the way.  I think most homeschooling parents have done it.  I know I’m in it now.  🙂

I’ve read a lot… and I do mean a LOT… so this is one of the few times I’m not going to ask what you think… because I already have too many choices.  🙂  But I will ask something… you’ve made a decision of your own.  What type of homeschooling do you do, and why did you arrive at that choice?  Oh… and have your own homeschooling blog?  I’d LOVE to see it (if I haven’t already), so please, feel free to leave a link to it.

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