Cricket Magazine and Homeschool News

Cricket Magazine Mother Lode

I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember WHO brought me a huge bag full of Cricket magazine. Someone did it in the last few weeks, and I remember thanking her, but which of my wonderful friends it was I simply cannot remember.

I hang my head in shame.

In any case, today, as I was busy with rearranging furniture, tidying and organizing the upstairs, I ran across the bag full of magazines. Some are from the 90s. I immediately made room for them on a shelf directly above the homeschool books. I’ve managed to categorize all of the books into Foreign Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts and then Arts & Crafts/Miscellany.

I ended up putting the Cricket magazines directly above the Math and Foreign Language shelf. But I was curious about what the magazines typically consisted of, so I paged through one and was very impressed. I can’t wait to read it to her! This one seems to have a sailing theme, including a tale from the Marshall Islands (close enough for our studies of the Hawaiian Islands).

If she likes them, I hope to tackle a magazine a week. And then I plan on getting a subscription, it looks as if it would definitely be worthwhile.

Homeschool News

And I was amused by this news story, especially the last line which read, “The best that can be said for Common Core is that it encourages home-schooling.”

Ouch! LOL!

Such Relief

I cannot properly express the sense of relief, profound relief, that I have been experiencing as Em’s reading fluency grows daily. It has been so difficult for me to wait for this, to step back from it all and ask my husband to read with her. I had felt like such a failure, so completely incompetent, and questioned whether I was failing utterly and completely at homeschooling our daughter.

Now that I see the fluency growing, now that I have that tangible proof that the gates are opening and the key to learning is firmly in her grasp, I feel as if we are on an amazing and beneficial learning journey.

Each day I am filled with such joy and hope, sitting next to my daughter, watching her brain grow and her learning leap forward. It does not matter what grade level of reading she is at – because it is changing and improving each day. Even if she is behind her peers, she will catch up in her own time, because now she is willing to learn, and retaining so much.

I just wanted to share the joy and the relief I am feeling. Thanks for listening (well, READING)!

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Unschooling for Thursday 10/23/14

Another day of some great experiences with homeschool/unschool under our belts! Yesterday we studied the following…

Folk tales = Bust

I was disappointed to realize that my American Folklore book is way too advanced for the kiddo right now. As we ate breakfast, I rifled through it and concluded that it would be best to wait on looking at it for a couple more years. She so enjoyed the Hawaiian folk tales that I was hoping to find more for her. I’ll need to locate a book on folk tales written with her age in mind, because she enjoys them immensely.

Habitats book

I picked this book up randomly off of our homeschooling bookshelves. I think I mentioned that I’m adding in random books on a nearly daily basis in order to get some flavor, to gauge what catches her interest, and to keep ourselves open to doing new activities and learning paths. This book included some cool activities (dot-by-dot counting by 2s, letter replacement to learn names of desert dwelling animals) along with the information I read to her.

We enjoyed doing the letter/number substitution and sounding out the words for the different desert dwellers. Among them were chuckwalla and sidewinder – not average animals!

This led to…

Video of Sidewinder snake and another snake video

In order to illustrate WHY sidewinder snakes are called sidewinders, I pulled up a video on YouTube that showed Emily exactly how they move through the sand. This of course led to another video on boa constrictors and pythons and we discussed how these animals kill and eat their prey. Em considered the prospect of being suffocated to death and then eaten whole and looked rather round-eyed at the prospect.

Writing practice

The other day I talked about Em’s terrible printing (http://www.bubblews.com/news/9058740-writing-practice-and-proper-nouns) and how we discussed the need for more writing practice. I wanted it to be fun for her, so we came up with a fun sentence to write which she dictated to me and I wrote in her composition book. Her job was simply to write the sentence once.

I resisted the urge to suggest she write it several times. After all, if she does it once today, without complaint, and again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, she will get better. However, if I insisted on 2-3 repetitions every day, and she resists and hates it, and fights it, how long will it take (and how much yelling and impatience and sadness and frustration) for her to learn?

As it was, the one repetition yielded one very proud little girl. She made a ‘c’ and an ‘r’ a little big, but recognized it for herself, without me having to tell her. And she worked very hard to make the letters like I had. She WANTS to do well. I see that in her. More than the urge to please, I hope that draws pride in her ability to learn and grow. It is what I continue to emphasize throughout our days together.

Life of Fred

Next came Life of Fred and a chapter with a leaking boat. The situations are impossible and bizarre – rain and flooding when it is February and not only had been snowing earlier but was still freezing temperatures. Tiny boats that have at least three floors underneath the surface with bowling alley, library, and a kitchen. Impossible physics! But she loves the stories and is happy to continue to do the questions at the end. We did one chapter and then moved on. I highly recommend the Fred books, she is really, REALLY enjoying them.

Story of the World – Roman Gods

After a brief visit to the ancient Americas we are back in the Mediterranean and discussing Rome and the Roman empire. This part of the book focused on how the Romans used the Greek gods, but gave them different names, Jupiter instead of Zeus, Neptune instead of Poseidon, etc. It also tied back to how many of the planets in our solar system are named after Roman gods. Em continues to enjoy this book.

A New Treasury of Children’s Poetry

I have had this book since Dee was a tiny baby. It’s suffered water damage and seen better days, but the poems are all still readable. As we ate lunch I read from this book and Em enjoyed the poems. She loves for me to read to her, but it is so gratifying to see her trying her best to understand the words herself.

Toy Shopping

This might not seem like a school like experience, but it was. Em had $100 total to spend, money sent by her grandparents for her birthday and she had also brought her purse with the $20 from my husband’s cousin, along with the $5 a week profit-sharing (similar to an allowance) she has been squirreling away and not spending for several months now. I explained to her that all sales had a tax of around 8%. So not only did we have to add up the prices of the toys, but also add up how much tax would cost so that she didn’t go over her allowed amount.

She was very intent on staying under a certain amount and looked through many toys, games, and books. Picking up, and then setting down, many of them. She really loved this stuffed bear, but decided that she wasn’t willing to spend $30 on one stuffed animal (good for you, kid!) and ended up settling for these little birds that came with a roost and cage. When you pet their backs they tweet and sing a song and you can record your voice by pressing a button and they will repeat it back. She also bought a bath toy that came with its own aquarium and bands to weigh it down to different depths. She also bought a bag of Pez candies for her many dispensers.

They weren’t things I would have chosen, but they made her happy, and these choices she makes will turn out to be good ones or bad ones and she will learn from them. We spent about an hour in the store and while I did most of the adding, she was keenly aware of the growing total as we navigated the store.

In the end we left with those purchases and one extremely happy and excited little girl!

And that’s a wrap for homeschooling for yesterday!

Today is LEARN Math and Science Club and then she is going to a campout with Scouts for the night. She is very excited!

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Writing Practice and Proper Nouns

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In a recent post I mentioned that Em’s writing skills leave something to be desired. If you click on that link you will see a picture I took from her writing on a recent assignment – a hodgepodge of upper and lowercase letters, written at angles despite the presence of lines.

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First I put out a call for help on Facebook to my fellow homeschooling parents, and the first one to respond suggested just a quick writing practice, copying one or two sentences a day, would help clear things up quickly.

I had been reluctant to bring it up with Emily, mainly because she gets either defensive or discouraged, neither of which is particularly productive, and then she tries to avoid anything that involves her falling short of her own expectations of herself.

But later in the day, I said to her, “I noticed when you were writing that sometimes you use uppercase letters and sometimes you use lowercase letters. Did you know you are doing that?”

She squirmed uncomfortably, “Yeah, I’m not good at writing lowercase ‘a’ – I just can’t seem to do it right.”

“Hmmm…are you talking about the typed ‘a’ or the printed ‘a’?” I asked, remembering how difficult the typed ‘a’ could be. I wrote them both on the blackboard to illustrate.

“Both are hard,” she answered, looking troubled and sad.

“Okay. I can understand that. You haven’t had a lot of practice, and those letters can be difficult to shape at first.” I thought for a minute and then asked another question, “Hey, I just wondered something else…do you know WHEN to use an uppercase letter and when to use a lowercase letter?”

Emily shook her head again. This time it was with less sadness or embarrassment. It was something that hadn’t come up much in our learning, and so she didn’t feel lacking, she knew she didn’t know and readily admitted it.

And that spawned some sentences on the board. Me writing, first with some examples of how/when capitalization is important (the beginning of a sentence, a proper noun), and then giving her an all lowercase sentence to correct. I wrote, “i saw emily at the park near the water fountain” and asked her to correct it. She immediately pointed to the ‘I’ and her name as needing capitalization. Then I added ‘on the 4th of july.’ She didn’t catch it immediately, so I pointed to the word…

“This should be capitalized,” I said, and changed it to an uppercase ‘J’. “Why is that?”

Emily thought for a moment, “Because July is the NAME of the month.”

Capitalization UNDERSTOOD!

Then I tackled the touchy part of things. “So you don’t feel like you can write some of the letters well?”

She shook her head and looked glum. “No.”

“How do we get better at things?”

“By doing them.” She looked up at me with an expression of dread, knowing what was coming next.

“So, even if it isn’t your favorite thing, like reading wasn’t your favorite thing when you first started doing that, don’t you think that maybe practicing writing more would make you better?” I asked, “And then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, even kind of fun, like reading is now?”

Which was taking quite a leap since she still proclaims to hate reading.

Emily smiled reluctantly, “Yeah, you are right. I guess I’ll practice.”

“Just a little each day. Okay? Not a lot, maybe a sentence or two?”

She nodded and I felt a small sense of victory. I think that she is finally seeing me as her cheerleader and ally, not a tyrant. That I am trying to help her, not make her do busywork or confusing and boring work.

Together we came up with a sentence for her to practice tomorrow…it isn’t the best grammar, but it is a great start and tomorrow she will write, “One day Emily went crazy into the circus and went higher than the tent!”

Hey, whatever gets the kid writing…right?!

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A Day in the Life of an Unschooler – 10/21/14

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One of the biggest pluses of unschooling (or homeschooling for that matter) is that it is mobile. Learning happens, whether you are in a room dedicated to learning, or a library, or a car, or even at the local auto repair shop.

Today we needed to get our oil changed in the van, so I packed up some of our homeschool books and we headed out. We sat in the spacious lobby, turned our chairs away from the overly loud television, and got to work.

In order to give her as much of a sense of choice as possible, I always ask which subject/book she would like to tackle first. We had two books on Hawaii – a fairy tale and a basic facts book, Life of Fred (and corresponding notebook to write in), Paleo Bugs (something I grabbed off of the shelf), and Story of the World.

Hawaii First

When I had asked Emily a month or so ago which country or state she would like to choose, she asked for Hawaii so we ordered a stack of books on Hawaii – facts, history, information on the last royal family, and also a good share of folk tales.

She pointed to the folk tale book as her first choice for unschool today and opened it up and read the story.

Presenting not just the facts and dry history, but also the creation myths and more, helps immeasurably with her retention, as I will discuss later in this post. She seemed to truly enjoy the book and I didn’t lose her to the television in the background at all.

Life of Fred

“Let’s do FOUR chapters!” Emily demanded as I opened up the next indicated book, her Life of Fred math book, the first of four in the elementary series.

“How about we take it one chapter at a time, okay?” I said, knowing she would probably poop out after the second chapter. She did well in the first chapter but started to get frustrated and bored in the second one. “Let’s finish what we start, okay?” I asked and she reluctantly agreed, but definitely had some fun answering questions in her own way.

It appears that training for Algebra is starting early. The questions are introducing concepts like 3x + 4x and now in this chapter (and in the last one) there is the idea of ‘sets’. In question #1, the book asked for Emily to name a set. She looked at me with a quirky smile. I had expected her to follow the example of eggs and bacon listed in the text, but instead, she wrote my farts.

Yeah, that’s a set all right. A stinky set.

I’ve included a picture of her math work above. As you can see, she needs to work on her penmanship a bit. I’m trying to figure out how to tackle that in a non “you must do it this way” attitude that will have her frustrated and recalcitrant (two things she is extremely good at).

Paleo Bugs

I try to grab a random book off of the shelf on a regular basis (preferably daily). Yesterday it was Science Around the House which was a huge hit. I ended up proposing two Science Fun classes to one of the co-ops we belong to. I’ll teach those classes in January and February here at the house. In any case, when I picked up Story of the World Em said, “Wait, I want the bugs book!” So we tackled that first.

She enjoyed comparing the sizes of the creatures to her hand, or an adult human in some cases. I don’t think I would like to meet a nine-foot long millipede!

Story of the World

Story of the World would wait until after we returned from the oil change. I could tell by the squirm factor that Em needed a break, so we bought a soda, after she figured out how many quarters she would need to make $1.50 to feed to the soda machine (highway robbery!). After we returned home, as she ate her lunch and mine cooked in the toaster oven, I read two chapters on the Rise of Rome – including the story of Romulus and Remus.

As I read the part of the story describing the babies being put in a basket and sent down the river I could see she recognized the storyline. “Wait,” she said, “I remember this story.”

At the end of the section, the book drew parallels between Moses and also Sargon, the Mesopotamian ruler, and also Cyrus, who was raised by wolves. She definitely remembered those stories once I mentioned them.

Hawaii Last

And lastly, we returned to Hawaii. While she splashed in a tub (ha! Captive audience!) I read a book that discussed different interesting locales on the islands of Hawaii. As she started to drift a bit I did ask her if she wanted to continue studying Hawaii or move on to a different state or country. She indicated that she wanted to continue with Hawaii, so we will tackle the other two books we have on Hawaii on Thursday.

That’s a wrap for today!

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Unschooling for Monday, October 20th

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I have really been looking forward to this week. I am feeling more and more confident with my latest approach to unschooling the kiddo – by trying to hone in on it first thing in the morning and by offering a handful of choices. Each day is different – partially due to our different co-op commitments, day-to-day errands that need doing, as well as my cleaning biz schedule.

I’m finally back in a regular pattern after throwing my back out, and I average anywhere between 1-3 cleanings per week. I realized that, although my inclination is to go to a cleaning first, then try working in some unschool – Emily and I both do better if we tackle the schooling/learning in the morning. So I’m trying that schedule out this week.

Today was lovely. Em slept until I woke her up at 9:45, which allowed me to get some writing/marketing time in. She dressed while I read to her a Hawaiian folk tale (we are studying Hawaii per her request) and then during breakfast I wrote down the answers to Q&a A Day. We curled up on the sofa and paged through a book Scientific Experiments in the Home looking for ideas for next semester’s co-op with KC-Circle.

I’ll be proposing two classes for next semester’s co-op: Lava Lamps and Rainbow Milk in one session, and pH Indicator and Quicksand in another session. It should be fun. In addition, Emily was very interested in a few other experiments, so we will be scheduling the following into our daily learning activities in the next couple of months…

Grow a Stalactite
Salt Crystals
Rock Candy

After we finished identifying those upcoming science activities, we headed back upstairs for two chapters from Life of Fred (She really likes the book and continues to be interested in it. She asked for the second chapter!) . Then we moved on to another installment from Story of the World where I read to her a North American tale of why rabbits are so shy. She seemed to really enjoy it.

After that I read from another book on Hawaii, this covered the volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Kilauea – and the national park that includes said volcanoes.

After we had finished with all of this it was time to go eat lunch and then leave for the cleaning. As we sat at the table, she grabbed this little witch hat and happily slurped down some ramen noodles. It made me smile and think about how much I like spending time with my child. She is so fun, happy, and just a great person to be around. I love that I am able to give this time to her, to spend our days together, and I know that this kind of laidback learning couldn’t occur in an institutional setting.

I am grateful that we have found a way to homeschool, for me to work, and for our little family to spend so much time together. I know that we are all better for it.

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Re-Evaluating Priorities

I struggle every day with homeschooling. And I think it is more the IDEAL of it I struggle with, rather than the reality.

Take this past Monday, for example. Just an hour and a half of our day, and it was beautiful and perfect. There was no stress, no frustration. At the same time there were also learning challenges, smiles, and fun. Em was learning how to group numbers together for ease in adding bigger and bigger numbers together and quite obviously making a couple of leaps.

She enjoyed listening to Story of the World just as much as she enjoyed listening to Life of Fred and doing the math assignments.

And I enjoyed myself as well. One lesson easily moved to the next. I updated the history timeline after reading Story of the World, noting Alexander the Great’s reign and subsequent death. And I know that sometimes I will write in the timeline and eventually, so will Em.

Monday felt…GOOD.

And I want that more often. I realized then that I don’t need markers, or grade comparisons to tell me where she is academically. I don’t need to know if her reading level is at Kindergarten, 1st Grade or 2nd Grade level – because if she keeps practicing and reading, it will grow. At her rate, not some artificially constructed time frame.

The same goes for math, science, social studies and a host of others.

And I realize that, in order for this to continue, and to eventually build into a self-directed learning path for her, I MUST put solid time aside. So I’m going to take this on a week by week basis and plug it into my calendar instead of just trying to somehow fit it in as I’m running from here to there, which NEVER works.

This week, well, Monday and Tuesday are already over and today is LEARN. Tomorrow though I have isolated time in the afternoon – between 3-5 p.m. and on Friday afternoon from 2 – 4 p.m.

I put them in the calendar in order to make sure I didn’t see those times as “free.” After that special, focused time, THEN we can run errands and do other things. With my work schedule cleaning houses, it looks like we can do this at least two hours per day, three days per week, and sometimes more. From what I have seen of her attention span, these two hours might consist of one hour of actual study (me reading history to her, us working math problems or conducting science experiments) and then another half hour or hour of games and art.

Combine this with the two homeschool co-ops she attends, reading practice each night with her dad, and learning through the act of living, and we have a nicely working eclectic curriculum in place.

And now to get that freelance writing career off of the ground…

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Unschooling for Monday – Forget Columbus Day

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Having read the first part of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States and learned a few things about Christopher Columbus, and what a completely and total monster he truly was (rape and enslavement of women and girls, wholesale murder of those who resisted) I am happy to say that today is NOT a recognized holiday for us.

Today the kiddo was getting a fantastic treat – a day with one of her favorite best buddies, Lucy, (and her wonderful parents, Kristin and Tom) at Powerplay, with a fancypants dinner and sleepover afterwards.

But first we had some learnin’ to do.

Or should I spell that ‘larnin?

I gave her a couple of options…

  • I could read Story of the World (ancient history)
  • We could do another chapter in Life of Fred (mathematics)
  • I could read more of The Family Under the Bridge

Em first chose our Q&A a Day books while she ate breakfast, I updated those. It’s been months since we touched them, but it was nice to pick them back up again. One of the questions in her book was, “Do you ever think about having a girlfriend/boyfriend? Whom would it be?

She answered, and I dutifully wrote it down…”Derek, because he is such a sweetheart and I’m a sweetheart. We are perfect matches. He will still be that way when he grows up, I can see it in him.” I love that she said that.

And that really struck my heart because of the situation at hand. This little boy’s dad is dead and his mom is a drug addict. She was recently dating the metal scrapper across the street who, despite being a metal scrapper is actually a pretty stand up guy. He has a prison record for drugs, but has chosen to clean himself up and to try to live a better life. He was engaged to Derek’s mom, but that has apparently collapsed due to the young woman’s drug use and other issues. Recently, the woman’s mother (who she was staying with) moved and our neighbor has no idea where, and no way to see the kids. Derek is a sweet boy, very shy, but a good kid. His mom spends her food stamps and other welfare money on drugs and lets the kids go hungry. It’s pretty bad, and her mother (the grandmother) seems ineffective at dealing with it. We don’t even know if we will ever see Derek again, which has Emily pretty sad.

In any case, that sad story aside, we headed upstairs, where I have relocated most of the homeschool books except for some of the science books (they stayed in the homeschool room) and Em decided she wanted Life of Fred first.

We are now on Chapter 5 of the Apples book (the first book in the elementary series). I’m waiting, holding my breath, will the bubble burst and Em not want to do the book anymore? So far, it is “easy peasy” to quote the kiddo, but when it becomes difficult, will she lose interest? I’ve paid $60 for these four books, but if they work out, I’d happily pay twice that.

In any case, after Chapter 5 was done and she had answered the questions, we took a look at Mathmania, which is put out by Highlights. My mother-in-law sent a huge stack of them a couple of years ago and I’ve been waiting and hoping we could start to use them, because they look fun. We actually managed to do several pages and it held her interest for nearly an hour. I’ve found that, if I’m doing some of the writing and helping break it down for her, it is less intimidating. I am sure that, over time, she will take more of the initiative because she will have done it with me enough that it won’t seem as daunting.

We did this exercise…

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And then I gave her just a quick intro on division…

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We reviewed counting by twos to do this dot-to-dot…

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And this little exercise ended up on the blackboard wall. It turns out that Eliza was the youngest ape and Gordo the oldest…

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The fun part was seeing her making the leaps in addition. She is seeing how I group numbers together and progressively move through the problem. She is also becoming very familiar with carrying numbers and how that works. After this, though, it was time for Story of the World. She needed a break.

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I read one chapter, the death of Alexander the Great, who died at a very young age, just 32 years old, and a phone call that needed my attention ended our studies for the day. Her reading skills are increasing markedly with each day that passes.

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I get the rest of today sans-child and will pick her up sometime tomorrow. We will hopefully tackle more studies then. With the homeschool books now upstairs, we have a comfortable spot to read through them. Just sitting on the carpet is more comfortable than the hardwood floor! I am hoping we will make a regular practice of paging through more of the books and getting Em even more comfortable with hanging out in the library. Tonight I hope to enlist her dad’s help in moving Em’s computer upstairs. She will get a spot opposite of me at my desk and can work on her computer when I am writing.

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Life of Fred Math and Spelling at the Dinner Table

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Life of Fred Math Series

As I ushered out a visiting homeschool co-op student today there was a package waiting on the front porch.

The series I had ordered, Life of Fred, after hearing rave reviews, was waiting for us inside of the box.

I read the intro, which is written for the parent, out loud and started in on Chapter One of Apples, the first book in the series.

I read the chapter, and Emily abandoned her Legos and began listening intently. At the end of the chapter were questions for her to answer. She wrote the answers down, we checked them (they were all correctly answered) and she demanded we continue to the next chapter.

At the end of this chapter’s questions she exclaimed, “What is their obsession with the number seven? That is so last year!”

After all, she’s been eight for two whole days…

So far, Life of Fred seems like a WIN. More on this as it develops.

Spelling at the Dinner Table

I know plenty of parents spell at the dinner table and other moments when they are hoping to keep information out of little ears. We never have, and it seems that the window of opportunity has now closed. At least, if we do, it will be with the kiddo’s full involvement. Here is how the discussion this evening went.

Emily: Eww, this pasta is gross. I said I wanted it my way, not this way.

Dave: Eat it, stop being a B-R-A-T.

Emily: I’m not a brat. [leans over to me] Daddy is B-A-D.

Me: Daddy is not bad, he’s a good daddy.

Emily: He isn’t. He’s B-A-D and so is this pasta.

Me: Stop being a S-N-O-T

Emily: What does that spell?

Me: Sound it out.

Emily: I won’t sound it out, you tell me…NOW!

Me: I won’t you recalcitrant little B-R-A-T.

Dave: At least she didn’t call me a D-O-G. But really, I’m G-O-D.

Emily: [snapping] Oh please, you are NOT God.

We get along so well. Spelling all the way.

Posted in Homeschool - Language Arts, Homeschool - Mathematics | Leave a comment

Funny Stuff, Adventures in Reading

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Funny Things Kids Say

A few nights ago, torrential rains had moved in, soaking the ground, flooding the streets. And in the morning it wasn’t much better. We had a puppet show to attend at 9:45, about a half hour away, and as we turned on the house alarm and locked the door, the rain began to pour down in earnest yet again.

We ran for the van, jumped inside, and I laughed Emily’s frantic attempt to shut her umbrella while the rain poured into her side of the van.

She was flustered and, as we pulled away from the curb said, “Mama, drive slow, or else we might lose fraction!”

Fraction
Traction

Eh, close enough!

Adventures in Reading – Fun With Word Magnets

I am exploiting the newest advances in reading as often as possible with my young daughter. And recently that has included the word magnets on the fridge.

We put together silly sayings, search for words, and have a good time. I’m trying to make it into a bit of a regular thing, each time we are in the kitchen, to play around with the word magnets and come up with new combinations.

This helps immeasurably with her reading and is yet another way for us to connect words and reading with fun – something I think my daughter needs desperately to move forward into a more reading mindset.

If you have children, what are some ways you use to encourage reading?

Posted in Homeschool - Language Arts, Humor | Leave a comment

I’m Back and Thank You

No way! I haven’t posted in nearly three weeks?!

Ai carumba!

Well here is a big thank you to all of my homeschool peeps (you know who you are…or should) for all that they do and the wonderful people that they are. In the past few months I’ve had my friends (both new and old) and even a couple I just knew in passing, really step in and help me when I desperately needed it.

You are wonderful and I love you all…

It might just be me and my experiences, but I have found the homeschool community at large to be such a kind and nurturing one.

  • Perhaps it is because, after all, we like spending our days with our kids.
  • Perhaps it is because we all share that “it takes a village” mentality.
  • And perhaps I’m just really, REALLY lucky.

In the past couple of months I have had at least four situations where other moms, some who I knew well, and others not as much, have stepped in to care for my child in a time of need.

Usually it involved me being either overscheduled or sick – but the kiddo has thrived from these encounters – been taken care of, spoiled (although I have been assured by them that they did not think her capable of being spoiled – always a good sign), and entertained while I ran to an overabundance of work appointments or suffered from illness, et cetera.

Words cannot express how much these kind gestures have meant to me. They have helped me feel a part of a community far bigger than our little nuclear family unit. They have reminded me that I am not alone, that my child is liked and cared for, and that I have options and support.

From sleepovers to days out to simple trips to our co-op, they have been there. Friends, acquaintances, just fellow homeschool moms (and dads).

I guess I appreciate it more because I remember the years when I didn’t have that. It makes you thankful for the small things that many might take for granted.

Raising my child isn’t a lonely adventure – it is shared in laughter, rides offered, time and energy and kindness in all directions. And it reminds me that, when life deals me a whopper, I’m not alone.

And that is a really, REALLY good feeling.

Thank you, all of you, Bethany, Kerrie, Nicole, Sara, Kristin, Tom, Cheryl (and if I have forgotten anyone please, please PLEASE forgive me) – you have reminded me that I have some wonderful allies, friends and kind folks in the community.

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