Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two for Tuesday.

Homeschool Creations printable packs are some of my favorite things. There is some Jesus in there...but to each his own, and I have an amazing ability to overlook that which does not apply to me personally. :) But for those of you with less of a filter for that sort of thing, just let it be known that homeschool creations is a christian site, made by a lovely homeschooling mama.

Homeschool Share free lapbooks page. Three and I did a Frog lapbook last week, to go along with the tadpole discovery in the pond, a class on Frogs that we attended at the university, and our preschool co-op discussion about Frogs. It was really nice. I hope to do more lapbooks with him, since he seemed to enjoy it too. This link is to the directory of lapbooks and is broken down by age and/or subject matter. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

My Wordy Wednesday post is going to be a discussion loosely based on some conversations I've had this week with various friends (yes, I have friends, don't act all shocked.)

Monday: Bestie, Friend and I had a discussion about the lack of "fun" in middle school. Bestie and Friend both have kids that will be entering middle school in the fall...whereas we've been in the the throws of boring for a few years now (One is completing 8th grade.) When you look at elementary curriculum choices, they are bright and brilliant and full of manipulatives and art and projects and then you hit 6th grade and they become black and white, mundane, and lacking of all enjoyment. Friend reported that she had attended a homeschooling conference and was surprised by how different even the sales pitches were when the vendors find out how old your kids are. They just assume you know what you're doing....but as she pointed out, it's her FIRST time educating a middle school-er, it's uncharted waters and she could use their help. She tried to find middle school homeschooling blogs and they just don't exist. And, why don't they exist? Because it's hard. It's hard to make it fun and interesting and bright and pretty unless you are puttin gin some SERIOUS man hours outside of teaching the basic curriculum. I know there have to be some (better than me) homeschooling families out there who are doing it--but my theory is they are just too tired to blog it. *wink* I admit, I have not made middle school interesting for my girls....and it does sadden me because I don't want them to start disliking learning, but at the same time, you're never going to love everything you have to learn and when you get to high school or college or in the work force...no one is going to sugar coat your work and go over it with a fine tooth comb and make it all more fun for you. Maybe some lessons are easier to learn now. *shrug* I do hope that high school can involve more projects and be more fun (assuming One stays home for high school...at the moment that's up in the air.) And, I hope that if we move to a computer based curriculum, which involves less planning and input and record keeping on my part it would free up more time to plan "fun" projects. Of course, One is the kind of kid who probably will hate every project I plan and just see it as more work. *eye roll*

Monday: Bestie is struggling with a child, much like One, who is less than motivated to do her lessons. Friend and I offered the advice that she has to make it clear that school is not optional. You don't get to decide you don't feel like doing it today, and if you do, you need to be prepared that there are consequences. Consequences suck. They suck for the kid, sure, but they sort of earned it. They suck for US as parents....last week, I stopped One from attending dance class (where there was going to be a celebration for their performance at competition the previous weekend) because of irresponsibility. She did understand how it was her responsibility and she hadn't lived up to her end of the deal, but she was still upset and crying...which made it really hard for me. I told her "Sometimes learning the lesson is hard." But it didn't take the sting out of it for either of us. In positive news, Bestie's child has done her school work with much less struggle the last 2 days. There's always hope.

Tuesday: Friend and I are sitting on a bench talking about homeschooling, while the kids play at the park (her K aged child is on spring break from public school.) We were discussing Kindergarten at home versus Kindergarten in school....and my philosophy on how quickly it can be done (because it's one on one....) but also how that free's up a lot of the child's time which may mean they expect you to entertain them. Especially after they've spent a year in PS Kindy where there is something going on at all times. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that. Three will be Kindergarten age in the fall. He is not the best at entertaining himself, but he doesn't expect me to do it either. I usually give him direction: Go play "this." Somehow he can't think to play with his own toys. Go figure. Then we discussed middle school struggles, how mean the kids are, and how bullying is rampant because if you tell it just gets worse! It is so frustrating to me, and I don't even have a child over there. I do have friends who have kids there, and I'm sad for them. Friend is kicking around the idea of homeschooling, as they were before K, and I'm not sure I made it sound like such an appealing option. I'm probably not the best spokeswoman.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lazy Housewife Dinner

I made the most fantastic fettuccine alfredo last night. I've made it 2 other times, but last nights was a hit out of the ballpark. I've been tweaking the recipe, and last night I was working loosely off of Emeril's Recipe.

Changes I made:

I used minced garlic instead of shallots. I added dry italian seasoning, and 1/2 a container of Philly Cooking creme savory garlic variety. Seriously. That shizz is the bomb. And SUPER easy. I used the minced garlic in the squeezy bottle. And, all that cooking this meal involved was boiling water, dumping things in and stirring. WIN.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

I loved this (above pic) when I saw it! I had to share.

Things have been chaotic lately around here...but what's new? We discovered tadpoles in our pond yesterday. Although some of them are almost frogs...so we clearly haven't been paying attention. Mostly, Three has had a cast on so we've been staying away from the water. He got his cast removed yesterday....hence, the discovery. It's quite exciting. It also made it super easy to plan next week's preschool co-op lesson. *wink* I'm in charge of all of April, except tomorrow when something special is planned.

We're out of the house almost every day...and this lends itself to not too many well planned lessons. We've been sort of flying by the seat of our pants and learning on the fly (see above photo.) I'm trying to work crafts in....like this one: Easter Bunny

But honestly, my boys don't really care that much for crafts...soooo they are just humoring their mommy's need to be crafty with them. <3

The girls are easier because I put their stuff into this program: Homeschool Tracker and updating it from one day to another is super easy, so I just put their stuff in and print it out. They are relatively independent at this point (score one for me...as this was ALWAYS a goal of mine...to have them largely independent by middle school.) I can leave in the morning, for an activity for Three and Four, and leave their assignment sheets and books on the table and about half the time I come home and they've completed their work. If they haven't it's usually because the directions that went along with an assignment (usually math) just weren't enough and they need me to help explain the concept better. It's nice. Really. Nice.

I had planned on using Switched On Schoolhouse for school this year, but money hasn't been our friend this year....and I decided that summer camp was more important for all of us (seriously, they need a week away from each other, and a week minus just one child is bliss, I tell you, BLISS!) So, summer camp over curriculum. Yep, that's how I roll. Again, see above pic. *big grin* I would still like to go the switched on schoolhouse route in the fall. We'll see.