Thursday, August 17, 2017

Homeschooling on the Go - Back to School Blog Hop!

So today's Back to Home School Blog Hop topic is "Outside the Home". This is something we kind of know a lot about. However, as I've perused through my blog, I don't seem to write about our adventures as often as I probably should.
Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017
For the last several years we have been a part of a group now called GLOW. GLOW stands for Grow and Learn on Weekdays, but it's original name was Grow and Learn on Wednesdays. And way back it was just a group of moms with their kids working together to go to learn 'what can I be when I grow up'. The idea was created by my really good friend Cindy Ivey who has blogged a lot on these adventures and you can see how it all began.  She doesn't blog as much, but she's also a Damsel in Defense consultant and has a passion to help others get protected. Now GLOW had grown to over 500 families and due to FB algorithms we had to create a new group just for the 2017 - 2018 year, which is now right at 400 families (some the same and some new.)
A field trip to the Fire Museum. 

Field Trip to a Music Academy and my son playing the trumpet from the Instrument Zoo.

We have a great group of volunteer leaders who come up with, coordinate and help lead the groups. We have divided our group into three areas (preschool, elementary, and 5th and up) for our field trips and activities. We also offer classes, play dates, and art specific days. We also have something unique that where we have a monthly topic that students will prepare an oral presentation and talk in front of the participants for 2-3 minutes on that topic.  This upcoming month we have a field trip to DNR (Department of Natural Resources) where we will be dissecting a quid and learning about sea turtle ecology. There is also another all ages field trip to a kettlecorn company, Water Missions, and a Lego bricks class.

Horse Farm field trip
Family Field trip to Historic Coast Guard ship

Another thing we have added to our schedule over the last 3.5 years is ice skating. My children are quite proficient and have pretty great skills. ;) They've also participated in the Christmas show over the last 3 years AND they participated the last 2 years in a local competition. I have been really proud of their efforts. But in order to do those shows and competitions it requires extra practice.
Arianna during a spiral during her Spring Exhibition.

Audrie doing a scratch spin.

Seanan working on his spiral during a practice session.

We attend a homeschool class on Friday mornings. The class lasts an hour, but then we usually hang out for several more hours. We pack our lunch and we pack our school work. They skate and when they need a rest we work on the one on one subjects. Then later we do our together work or we can do some of it over the weekend.

This year there is a possibility that I will be starting one or two classes where the students will come to a specified location and I will be a teacher. The parents in our group like when these are offered and it will help the students to learn certain things all together -- like Latin or cooking.

I hope this has given you a peek into how we take school 'Outside the Home'. Be sure and take LOTS of pictures while you are out and about. And remember not every child will like the same thing, but you may have to limit your activities a little or you'll be constantly going. Take time each semester or year to re-evaluate your activities. And one more word of advice ... count your activities, classes, and field trips as school. This is one of the freedoms that comes from being a homeschool family.

I do try and post more about our field trips on my Instagram page and on my Facebook blog page. You can keep in touch with us there. What do you do outside the home???

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Schedules ... not really my favorite.

Welcome to Day 3 of the annual Back to School Blog Hop. Today we will be tackling all things planning.
Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

I used to be a list taker and planner beyond what many could even handle. It would cause so much stress  to those who saw my lists. So I either had to do them where others couldn't see or just keep them in my head. I did the later, mostly.

Until recently, my planning was more of a general idea of what we needed to accomplish each year and even each semester, but then I'd try to keep it all roughly in my brain of who needed what and why.  It kind of works ... but not well. And NOT when I have a high schooler! So I knew I'd need to do a little more ACTUAL planning and writing it all down to keep track. Then this year we were blessed with being on the review for a wonderful online planner that I am still learning on how to use. I think this will be very useful for both me as a parent and for my daughter, she really likes lists as well. :)

We also have changed up our morning schedule. I felt that our group work in history and science was getting pushed aside more times then keeping with what needed to be done. So I came up with this new MORNING SCHEDULE .

I've posted it on our white board for all to see. It's also facing the kitchen table where we seem to do most of our schoolwork. I think that it will work for us more than our other "schedule" was. How do you schedule out your day?



Definitions; some are modern uses(1-3), some older(4-6)
  1. to hold the attention of (someone) pleasantly.
  2. to entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner.
  3. to cause time to pass agreeably.
  4. to keep in expectation by flattery, pretenses, etc.
  5. to engross; absorb.
  6. to puzzle; distract.

The basis for the modern usage is clear to me from the older uses and the clear reference to the Muses.  The Muses inspired mankind, and the prefix ‘a’ means to lack.  This causes me to ponder . . .

If I lack inspiration, and seek out amusement; What do I want to be distracted from? Why do I need life to be agreeable and pleasant?  Why would I want to be flattered or lied to?

As a Christian, I do not believe I should constantly strive to distract myself from the distress of the world around me, nor the tasks Christ has called me to just to seek my own pleasure.  This seems, to me, to be the goal of our modern western culture.

Your comments and response, please.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Supplies, Supplies -- What do you NEED?! - Back to School Blog Hop!

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

Today's Back to School Blog Hop topic is School Supplies.  Everyone needs school supplies. But each student might have that one or two things that they absolutely LOVE or HAVE to have. So I asked each of my children what is their most favorite item that they get at the beginning of each year or semester. This is what they each said.

Seanan - pointy crayons, colored pencils, Twistables, erasers, notebooks, more school books.

Audrie - erasers, pencils, colored pencils, sharpener, paints (You can tell that she's the artist in the family.)

Arianna - pencils, erasers, sharpener, folders, spiral bound notebooks.

Of course mom and dad had to get in on it as well. So here are our choices.

Mom - a great pen (one that writes smoothly and fluidly without smearing.), glue sticks, pencils and a GREAT sharpener (I found some really nice ones from Fiskars, which I'm hoping last the whole year.) Scissors ... sharp, trusty, and hopefully always away in their proper place. ;) And I always have tons of craft supplies - you think it, I probably have it - from toilet paper rolls to corks to twine to paper plates. And maybe the best supplies is our library card and printer!!

Dad - colored pencils, notebooks for sure, new books to read especially the ones within our time period or on the particular science topics and people we'll be studying about for the year.

When my kids were little some other items I found greatly necessary were a new box of fresh crayons (and the thick chunky ones were GREAT for little hands.) I also keep on hand scrap paper of all shapes and sizes, cardstock (pastels and brights), construction paper, hard cardboard, scissors (safety and adult), and markers!

What do YOU have to have to start the year off right?? I'd love to hear from you so leave a comment and be sure to check out the rest of those who join in on the Blog Hop!   
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