Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Good Ole' Library!

In these economic times the library has been a friend indeed to us friends in need. We make about two trips a week. My daughters read several books a week, so we are there a lot picking up and dropping off. The girls, especially my oldest, does an excellent job letting me know when it's time to go, and if we need to take a little money to pay a fine or two (we get into trouble with DVDs because they are only one week lends). 

So far this year my girls and other homschoolers have gone to the library to plant seeds on Earth Day, check out a cow's heart and to get a general heart lesson, take a poetry series class, and listen to a Jazz Trio. There may be more things, but I can't remember. We've done all these things free of charge, and sometimes they provide us with snacks. 

We used to go to the bookstore and shop online for books, but this year the library has been a huge help in my teaching efforts. We have learned about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Ancient Indian Folk tales, the Grand Canyon, the Rain Forest, Etiquette, Spanish, Passover, Greek Mythology, Magnets, George Washington, Coretta Scott King, Abe Lincoln, and Harriett Tubman.  Not to mention all the wonderful fantasy, fiction books the girls have enjoyed, plus we get to listen to great epic books in the car on CD. I can't sing the praises of the library enough, and I can't emphasize how much of a help it has been on this homeschooling journey. One little secret is that the kids might not realize is that the library is gonna keep us learning all summer long, hehehe.

One more thing, I have listened to some great music from the library as well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In Honor of Poetry Month

Because my girls are into music and singing, I encourage them to write creatively and to write poetry because I think they could easily become songwriters with these skills if they so choose. 

As a special Poetry month program My oldest daughter has been attending a free 4-hour poetry & creative writing workshop at one of the libraries in our city. She's been so excited to attend every week, I am sorry to say the class ended today. I gathered together some special gifts for the teacher because she showed such dedication to my child, and I really appreciated it.
One assignment my children have  for spelling is to write a song, poem, or story using their spelling words. My eight year old daughter sent me this poem she wrote using 8 of 20 spelling words. Hubby saw it thought I wrote it, and thought it was even advanced for me.

It's Called The Sun

A party of amazement when the light comes and visits your home you demonstrate your gentle rivers high balance and are happy it came to your address .

Running Out Of Steam

As the end of the year nears, I find myself running out of steam. I am not sure what else to teach. They seem to know everything for their grade level, and even some for the grade level above. It's starting to feel like traditional school around here (you know, the time of year when nothing is getting done but movies and field trips). Anyone else running out of steam?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cutie Booty Cakes Green Giveaway

In honor of Earth day Cutie Booty Cakes is participating in an Earth Month Giveaway sponsored by Walmart and the Eleven Moms. Go over and enter and maybe you will win some cool stuff like this.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Homeschooling as a Reflection of you...

On Saturday my 3rd grader took notes in acting class. When I saw them with all kinds of misspellings and scribble I became immediately concerned. "Oh no!" I thought. I'm a failure if she goes back to school she'll be behind (when honestly, she is ahead--she should be in the second grade). I was so sad. Bright and early this morning I demanded she work in her journal and write. She was hard at work writing about yesterday (Easter). Finally, in a tizzy I said "this is taking too long I want you done in 5 minutes." When she turned it in it was well-written with only four misspelled words. I felt like an idiot. I realized that in acting class she was writing on unlined paper with no desk and had to do it in a hurry. Everything is just fine.

My dramatic response to my child's rushed scribble made me think about how homeschooling is so tied to how we feel about ourselves as parents, as teachers, as learners ourselves, and how we feel about what we pass on genetically. When a child is in out-of-home school, parents mostly carry feelings about how his/her educational progress as it relates to them being parents, their own ability as learners and what they have passed on genetically. We homeschooling parents however, have the added burden of being teachers, so we sweat about keeping records, keeping them on track academically, and keeping up with standardized scores. I personally sometimes fear that once my children take their required standardized test that they will be grossly off, but then I have to calm myself down and realize that they are gaining skills that they wouldn't have access too at out-of-home school.

So far they can make Keynote Presentations, search anything on the internet, cook, clean the kitchen well, find any book they want at the library and put it on hold (I just take them to pick them up), my 12 year old is writing a book that is currently 26 pages, I could go on and on. Overall, I have realized that they are at level if not above, and they are gaining more knowledge than they could have in out-of-home school, plus they get to sleep in.

Here's my theme song these days.