Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Life and How Homeschooling Fits

I’m apart of a local Facebook group for homeschooling families and we had a someone ask how do you keep Littles occupied while working with older kids. I was a part of a busy bag swap when we lived in TX and thought I’d see if there was any interest in. There was more interest than I anticipated and I ended up organizing 2 groups. Each group had 15 people. The first group met up last Friday and next Friday the 2nd group will meet and exchange their bags! I’m happy that so many families are benefiting! Here's a small sample of the finger puppets I made! 

This week was also the first week of Awana at our church. Sweetie Girl was in Sparks last year and she is again this year. She was beyond ecstatic to get the second book! She has been waiting for months, literally since she finished her first book in March! The first several verses are ones from the other book, so I'm anticipating her finishing early again this year. The verses do get a bit harder as she goes though, so we'll see. We are planning to add practice for our verses to our school day though! Daddy is volunteering in her class this year. It’s our long day of the week with Homeschool Academy and Awana on the same day, but we’re planning to have a relaxed Thursday to make up for it.

Little Man started Cubbies this year and Mommy is volunteering in his class. Baby Boy is in the nursery and he seemed to have a great time! The whole family is involved this year and the first week went really well! I forgot to take a picture, but I'll be sure to get one in a couple of weeks with Little Man gets his book and vest! 

Sweetie Girl seems to really dislike handwriting and I’m had to really push for her to do anything that involves writing. We have a lot of friend all over the country, so one night I was trying to figure out how to make handwriting a little more enjoyable. A penpal come to mind and I started thinking about who would work for this. We have friends that we use to go to church with in TX, they moved to the East Coast and we moved to Colorado. Marriage, and all 3 of our children all happened within days to months of each other. We married 1 week after them, and each of our kids, same gender each time were all born within a year of each other. They are also homeschooling as well, so I sent my friend a message asking if their daughter would be interested in being penpals with Sweetie Girl and she said yes! Sweetie Girl sent out her first letter last week and was really excited to start writing to a friend she played with as a baby, but hasn’t seen in several years.

This weekend we went camping. The Hubs took Sweetie Girl and Little Man in the fall and we’ve been meaning to all go as a family, but with family visiting most of the summer, this was the first chance we got. We had lots of fun! It got a bit cold and I didn’t get much sleep especially after mini pooch and 2 little boys took over my sleeping bag! We hiked and played near the water! We had hot dogs and s’mores! Daddy even got to do a little fishing, though not as much as he would have liked. The kids had a blast and we’re looking forward to more camping trips in the future!




This past week, the MOPS group that I was involved in started! I love this group, because it’s the only one I’ve ever heard of that meets every week. I was invited 2 years ago, right after we moved here and went that year and last year I was on the ministry team. This year since we are homeschooling, I decided to not attend. This was a difficult decision for me, but I found we struggled to do any other school that day and it’s was more difficult to get in a routine. Sweetie Girl is also getting to old to attend. I’m missing it and have thrown around the idea of going back, but I don’t think I will. It was super fun and I loved it, but now that I’m homeschooling, I feel like I need to find something else that works for our family.

We’ve had a slow start to school this week, but since I can count our camping trip toward our school days, I figured it was ok to spend a day recouping. Sweetie girl did do some painting, cleaning and reading yesterday, so we can still count it as school.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Homeschool Academy, Changes in Science and New Readers

 Well, Wednesday was Sweetie Girl’s first day of Homeschool Academy and she LOVED it! She’s can’t wait to go back. I had a quiet relaxing day at home with the boys. Baby Boy is really just starting to want to play with the other kids more, but it was good for Little Man and Sweetie Girl to be away from each other. They missed each other and had a great evening. Tomorrow we have a back to school night.

We had a great week of school except Sweetie Girl has been fighting me on doing science. We’ve been using Apologia’s Exploring Creation Through Astronomy. From what we’ve done so far, it seems like a great curriculum, but she just isn’t getting into it. I’ve been trying to make it work since we started but it hasn’t been fun, so I started research for a different approach to science. I came across a blog of a mom who was having a similar problem with her son. The Homeschool Belle created a science curriculum using The Magic School Bus. We’re giving it a try and using some parts of the schedule. We did day 1 today and she really seemed to enjoy it. She definitely enjoying it more than astronomy, so we’ll keep using it for the time being.

Honestly, I thought I would struggle with having to make adjustments, but I’m really enjoying customizing things to make it more enjoyable for Sweetie Girl. It is so much more enjoyable for me when she’s having fun and enjoying herself. It’s honestly become one of my favorite parts of homeschooling!

For reading we’ve been using BOB Books and she really seems to like them, but we’re almost finished reading the Kindergarten & First Grade Sight Words and I was looking for ideas for what to use next. I asked on our local Facebook page for ideas and someone offered to give me a free set of 1st grade readers from BJU Press. I don’t think they are the most recent ones, but Sweetie Girl seems to bee enjoying them. There are six books and they get progressively more difficult and the stories get longer as we go. She probably read the first 5 or 6 stories when we got them on Saturday and spend quite a bit longer browsing through them.

This week The Hubs and I have training for helping with Awana at our church and next week it starts. Sweetie Girl and Little Man will be participating and Little Man is SUPER excited to get to go and Sweetie Girl has been asking when it starts since it ended in May! Baby Boy will be going as well, but he’ll just be in childcare since The Hubs and I will both be helping out. This year it’s quite the family affair. We’ll see how the boys do staying up after bedtime and how Sweetie Girl does after all day at HSA.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Going into Week 3

So yesterday we began our 3rd week of school. Sweetie Girl hasn’t been asking quite so much to do more school. One thing that I honestly thought I wouldn’t like was my lesson plans being messed up, but honestly I’ve really enjoyed adjusting things to make them more fun for her. Take spelling for example, I had printed off worksheets from k12reader.com for Sweetie Girl to work on throughout the week and she didn’t seem to like it at all, so last week I took the spelling words and wrote them on index cards and had her read each word and then spell them. We did this twice and she loved it. Just a little change, we’re using the same list of words for each week, but it’s working and she actually said that was her favorite part.

I am having a hard time getting her interested in science, but I’m brainstorming how to peak her interest. This year we were planning on doing Astronomy, but I’m thinking we may save it until a little later and see if there is something that she may be more interested in.

Last week we read the story: Three Billy Goats Gruff. Oddly enough, I have very fond memories of this story. I can remember acting it out for my grandparents with my sister and cousins and having TONS of fun! I found little puppets she could color, then she cut them out and glued them to popsicle sticks and she spent quite a while playing with them and one of our bridges from our train set! She really liked the puppets and asked for more the next time we read a story.

Today we went to an Ice Cream Social at her Homeschool group. She starts next Wednesday. She was able to meet her teacher and the art and music teachers. She got to tour the whole area and they got ice cream. It was during Little Man and Baby Boys nap time, so we weren’t able to stay and meet other families. They did amazing until the sugar from the ice cream hit and then I knew it was time to head out! We’re excited for her to start. I know she’s going to have loads of fun! I’m also excited to have a little bit of time with just the boys. I’ve been spending so much time focused on Sweetie Girl’s school, that I’m really looking forward to some time dedicated to the boys!

Someone on our local homeschool page asked how moms with Littles entertained them while they had to focus their attention on doing school. I remembered doing a busy bag swap with some ladies when we still lived in TX and I decided to see if there was any interest. I asked on the page and had so many moms interested that I ended up having to organize 2 groups. We’ve got most of the details set for the 1st group and working things out with the second. I’m really excited it’s all working out!

Last week we made Connecticut Clam Chowder to go with our geography lesson and I’ll just say, we are not clam people, but we had fun making it! This week we are making a popsicle stick suspension bridge. Sweetie Girl is SO excited to work on it! I’ve recruited the Hubs to help out! He is an amazing dad and husband!

I forgot to post this picture of our first day of school!