Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling # 83

Mom is Teaching reminds us to get our physicals before starting school this fall.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What in the World?

Update #2: My picture and a response can be found at What's That Bug? Scroll down a couple of pictures and you will see my picture and their explanation.

While photographing leaves Tuesday I found this odd but beautiful site. I am assuming it is an egg of some sort. The picture does it no justice the colors were gorgeous! I think we will have to check out my friend's favorite site What's that Bug. G was trying to catch minnows when I found this so he only saw the pictures... he (and I) are very excited to check on it's progress when we go back to the park next week.

UPDATE: My good friend School for Us emailed me today with some links that may identify this beautiful mass... a gall aka wasp house. Some wasp larvae secrete a chemical which mutates the cells of the young leaf or branch and causes it to form a gall which provides food and shelter for the growing wasp. Wow! Check out these links for a better explaination and a beautiful poster.
Apples on an Oak? by Walking Prescott
Oak Galls by Handbook of Nature
Wasp Gall Poster By Ron Russo

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Identifying Trees

I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING! Oh I 'm sorry to yell but I am so excited. We spent two hours today in the park with our best friends and some new friends from our local support group. We (the mothers) spent the afternoon identifying trees while the kids drifted in and out. They explored everything. They especially enjoyed trying to catch minnows by hand in the creek. I am even more excited about what this year will bring!

Making Rubbings

The Wonderous Creek

Minnows! Minnows! Minnows!

Carnival of Homeschooling 82

Tami gathers some state flowers along with some wonderful posts in this weeks Carnival.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More thoughts from Water Horse

The conclusion of Dick King-Smith's The Water Horse did not disappoint. It was a fanciful tale which left us with many new creatures and vocabulary to research.


red grouse


curling stone

green crab
pink starfish


Up returning from a walk with his Nana, G showed me this wonderous picture he took of a Cicada emerging from it's exoskeleton. Wow... it was the first time for all three generations to see this!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling # 81

I am making my first presentation at today's teacher in service sponsored by Principled Discovery. So grab a snack and your notebook... I'll join you when I'm done.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Something to Think About..

I started the last post as an introduction to this video which I found quite thought provoking. But the former took on a life of it's own so, if you've got 5 minutes check out this video...

Are You Going to Kindergarten?

Fall is approaching and G is 5 so the "Are you going to Kindergarten?" question has been coming up a lot lately. Mostly he says no and that is it, then the person looks scandalously to me where it is my turn to say yes he's old enough but we are going to home school. Then comes a true variety of responses... OOH (take your pick of vocal range- surprised or condemning)... I couldn't do that...do you have any background in education... good for you... I don't blame you... Well, you are a teacher. It for some reason amazes me that people don't then stick around or ask for a rational. I know they are scrutinizing me in their minds... why don't they want to talk about it any further? Well here is my statement... if they'd ever listen.

I loved teaching school... I cannot picture myself teaching anywhere but in public school. I would go back to the neighborhood and families I left when I decided to stay home. Those children need loving, caring, knowledgeable, hard working teachers. And teaching those children is the first time I ever felt called to do anything in my life. Until I had my son. Now I am called to give him my best! I tried to go back to the classroom after he was born but I could not do it. I was his momma and I was suppose to be the one guiding him and enjoying his triumphs. Schools are full of teachers...some are amazing... some are not. Children are amazing.... many of their habits leave a lot to be desired. G is a polite,gregarious, empathetic, humorous, chocked full of questions boy. I don't want him to have to silently sit criss cross applesauce for 2-8 hours while the teacher corrals 18-25 (or more) other children. I want more. I don't want him to quit asking questions and wondering about life and the world for the sake of classroom management. Now I certainly won't allow him to run namby pamby and never learn self control. That is why we take part in story time, group music lessons, and sports and plan on joining Scouts or Keepers, and 4-H, and a co-op. I want to see him master essential skills rather than dabble in a myriad of "standards". I want him to study the fun stuff every teacher wishes they had time to do with their class if only... I want him to learn things for knowledge and enjoyment not for a test on Friday. I want to study for the day and be done to enjoy the rest the day has to offer not send him away for hours then spend the rest of the evening doing things to prove what they are suppose to be doing in class. I want more. I want more. I believe I can do this for my son and his future. I am sure going to give my best shot!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Finally a Kid's Meal Toy to Keep

Dana over at School for Us posted that her daughter picked up an Audiobook in her Wendy's Kid's Meal last week. Being half the country away I hoped that our local Wendy's was holding the same promotion. THEY ARE! We now have 3 of the 4 and are on a quest for Junie B Jones... I just love that girl.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The "New" Me

I saw this really cute avatarish picture at On Our Journey Westward and thought I'd try it. I love playing with this type of graphic... it's like the paper dolls I loved to play with as a little girl. The neat thing about these particular avatars is that you can animate them to dance and all sorts of funny things. I just wish I could have dressed the little boy too. But no all you could change was his skin color. G helped with my hair. I asked him if it looked like me and he said yes except for the hair... so I tried another style and called him back. He looked at it, then me, then it, then me and said yes that was more like my hair. Shuu.. .want to get it right! LOL So look in the sidebar to see G & me at the zoo.... one of our favorite places.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Water Horse

We started a fantastic new book last night... The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith. We got this book from the Library because we saw a preview for the movie at the theatre last week and it looked really interesting. We had read Smasher last winter by King-Smith and it was OK but not one of G's favorites so I wasn't sure how this one would go. The first chapter is wonderful with one of the best cliffhangers ever! Kirstie and her family go out beach combing after a huge storm and she finds an odd pod. Thinking it may be a mermaids purse, she sneaks it up to the house under some kelp. Being too big for a bucket Kirstie sneaks it into the house before bed and fills the tub with water and a whole container of salt. In the morning before opening the bathroom door she hears splashing and a strange noise.... she peers through the key hole. END OF CHAPTER ONE.
It has been a long time since G has BEGGED to continue a story... If he could read I think he would have ripped the book out of my hands.

The Chapter also left us with some great things to research and discuss....
Mermaids purse

I cannot wait to read the next chapter tonight!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling #79

Celebrate your independence with this weeks Carnival.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Groups... virtual friends

Hi... I'm C... I am addicted to Yahoo Groups (and Bloglines).

Unless you're in need of an actual physical hug, I don't know how anyone could feel alone. There are a gazillion groups out there waiting to add you to their members list and virtually hold your hand through most any situation. No, now that may be a bit sarcastic but I think these groups are wonderful. One thing I was always blessed to have when teaching was to be surrounded by resourceful, creative co-workers that I could bounce ideas off of or careen useful information from and vice versa. I really miss that. You didn't feel like you were alone in a situation or inventing the wheel. That is something that every teacher needs whether you are teaching 1 or 30. Groups can be that sounding board for you... Give it a try if you haven't already.

I belong to way to many. Here is the List...

Basically Beechick
(2) Freecycle groups
Hogwarts Summer Correspondence School
Homeschooling Boys
Kindergarten at Home
Math U See
Story of the World Vol 1 Discussion
Well-Trained Mind Discussion
Well-Trained Mind--Secular
(7) Indiana/ Local Support Groups

Formerly on
Fly Lady
Several children's literature and lesson site

If you have never belonged to a group before make sure you click on daily digest when registering or you could litereally end up with HUNDREDS of emails each day. That is truely overwhelming and not helpful.

Feeling Overwhelmed

I am really getting into the planning mode and it is starting to get overwhelming. It was the same with teaching public school... I'd start really gearing up in June and July so everything would be sorted out by August and the start of school. I am a planner and lesson planning is what I have missed most about my classroom. Only this time I am teaching a grade I have never taught - Kindergarten and I have no boundaries. Some people love new adventures... not I. Most would think no boundaries would be liberating but for me... I have too many ideas. I feel scattered. I have to stop myself and try to remember (and pray about) what is most important... what is my goal... Here's where I am so far.

Daily Lessons
Phonics Lessons-
Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
Bob Books
Study Dog
Progressive Phonics
Read Alouds
Math U See Alpha

But not only could we do a multitude of activities at home but we could join even more outside the home. I don't see where people get the idea that these kids don't have opportunities to socialize... HA. I now know why there is a session at Convention called "If this is Homeschooling Why am I always in the Car". We could be gone somewhere EVERY day. I don't want to be going all of the time. This is my biggest stressor at the moment. How to balance home lessons with outside activities that are truly beneficial. He's 5... 5... 5...

I am trying to wrap my brain around all of this. I find myself asking... Am I am trying to compensate for G being an only? Am I making sure he has ample opportunity to be around others? Breath, pray, breath...

Here are the "optional" subjects and resources I have running ramped in my mind so far...
Occasional Lessons
Nursery Rhymes
Bible Verse
Personal Information
Probably child led
Social Studies
Community Helpers

Story of the Orchestra

Outside Activity Possibilities
YMCA Sports
Music Lessons
Keepers of the Faith
Homeschool Gym Class
Gymnastics Lessons
Learning Co-ops