Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We are all in this together!

Wow it has been a long time since I have posted anything. Sorry about that! Its seems like there is a ton of things going on here lately! Fall is here now (for the most part) and it has gotten me thinking about schooling, and schooling has gotten me thinking about next year! (Yes, next year already! :) Carly will be in Kindergarten and I have been tossing ideas around about the best way to teach her as this year goes on and as we enter full force into schooling next year. And in my thoughts I realized that no matter what I do, no matter what choice I make there will have to be changes, challenges, and sacrifices (ugh. I wish there was an easy way out lol). I also realize that you guys (and every other parent in the world who has to educate their child) have to deal with the challenges and sacrifices too. This made me extremely thankful for the people that I know who are there to help talk things through, who can offer ideas, and who are there to understand the fears and dreams. And that I realized is exactly what HOPE is all about. Its not necessarily about homeschooling, its about educating our kids to be the best, most well rounded, and happiest kids they can be. For most of the group that is homeschooling right now, but maybe that changes. Maybe some find a school that will work out super well for their kids, maybe someone cant handle the time demands, maybe someone has to go back to work because of family situations and cant homeschool anymore. Those thing happen everywhere, and does that mean that they are no longer welcome to HOPE? No! We are a group here to support everyone who wants a great education that will make their kids amazing people and happy in life. In fact out name means " Helping Ohio Parents Educate" not just homeschooling! So I want to encourage you to invite anyone who might need some support to come to the meetings, to visit our website, and to ask questions! We are here to share our hopes and joys, our fears and insecurities, and our successes! Just remember that we are in this together! Happy Schooling! :)
PS. I thought that this picture was funny! lol Our picnic in May was SO COLD! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Fun and Relaxing Learning

Summer is half way over and it has been a great time! I had all of these great plans to do our unit studies all year, but it hasnt exactly worked out that way! We were all set to study trees, but Carly all of a sudden got way out of control! She was crying all the time, and if she couldnt do something perfectly, then it was a store of hurricane proportions! So I backed off. She told me that she wanted to learn about Lanie ( the American Girl Doll that she bought who learns to have adventures out in her back yard). So I did that. We just played in the back yard! She loved it! We looked at our plants, planted out garden, watched out birds, and caught our bugs! She was very impressed by the Red Admiral Butterfly we caught, and we learned that it eats bird poop and rotting fruit. ( she even named it Jackson!). I cut a little house out of bushes in our yard that were dead. It was big enough for both of the girls to stand in! ( I really need to cut those bushed lol).

The other thing that really got us thinking this summer was mom's great idea to have discovery weeks. She decided that she would pick an idea and let the kids explore it on their own. So one week she did dirt and gave them tons of bowls, pans, spoons, dirt and water. They made mud pies and learned about the different consistency of mud. They played all week. The next week it was water, and they had colors, straws, bowls, tubing, buckets, corks, etc. Carly loved that so much we took the idea home and had a water kitchen out side that week too! We played with mixing colors and pouring. We also did a bubble day! Talk about fun! There were bubbles, soap, and water everywhere! This week is sculpture week and we are playing with clays! It should be fun and I cant wait to see what they come up with!

So I have learned that my ideas sometimes get in the way of learning and that Carly (I'm sure most kids) is presented with ideas and opportunities then will learn more, learn better, and have a bunch more fun in the process! I guess I need to relax a little! Its easier on me too! :) Has anyone else had any great ideas or summer fun? Let me know, I'd love to hear what you all are doing! Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Naming your mission!!!

Discovery Day Homeschool! That is the name that I am thinking of naming our homeschool. What do you all think? I think that it says what I want out homeschool to be about. Sure we need to learn all the state required stuff, but I want her to love doing it! I want her to really understand what she learns and I want, more then anything, for to never loose her enthusiasm for discovering new ideas! So this brings me to the question that I want to see if any of you have thought of, what is your mission in educating your kids? What do you want for them? I think that having a really clear idea of what you want out of your homeschooling experience. As parents out first and primary mission is to make sure that out kids are ready in the best possible way to be the best citizens they can be. How will you do this? Summer is here and now we have a chance to really prep for the fall that comes upon so fast! lol The homeschool catalogs are starting to flow in and all of a sudden the school supply list starts to grow! lol Having the goals in mind before getting into the catalogs can save a ton of time( and money ;) For me, I love doing unit studies and preparing so many different topics. I love also to have the freedom to take off and learn about whatever strikes out fancy! Our best friend is the library!!!! lol So I really encourage you to find YOUR mission, hold on to it, and let it shape all you do in your education, even if your not sure your are a homeschooler! All parents are educators and have to determine the best way to educate their family! Dont just pick the easiest thing, the cheapest thing, or the common thing without making sure that it is the best thing. Happy Educating! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I get caught up too!

Well everyone, I have just found out that I dont always practice what I preach! Yikes! Thats always a humbling thought! lol We have been hard at work doing our around the world study, and while we have been having fun, I realized that the outdoors are calling and we are both loosing interest- Fast! So mom asked why we didnt just move on and it hit me, I can!!!! Isnt that my goal in homeschooling? Isnt my goal to make sure that I am feeding her interest to learn? Well her interest is moving outside as the weather gets better. Well silly me thought that I need to finish what I planned out. Why? Cause it was all written up! Does it need to be done? No not she's only 4 and we have experienced a wide variety of cultures. Mission accomplished! Do any of you do that? Do you think you have to finish something even though everyone is board and got the point of the study a long time ago? I guess that i am not perfect after all ( bummer). This is something that I know I will need to work on as we move through the years. If we have learned what we are meant to learn then we can move on. Why beat a dead horse? That's not say that we dont need to finish things, just that if a concept has been learned then we get to try a new on. If we dont the work become a boring and horrible thing, for us and the kids.

As summer approaches I also realize that I dont need to keep schooling, but i want to. I want to keep doing new things with the girls. Pirates! That one of the things that we are going to study. Dont ask why, but Carly insists that it is something she should know. So I guess that is another sign that after experiencing the wide world and it cultures for 5 weeks now ( i guess that is a long study for a 4 year old), we are off to Neverland!!!! lol Keeping the fire is hard, but maybe a little change is all we need! So Happy Summer Schooling! Make sure that as we move into the off season that we can find something that makes us all have fun and love the learning!!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuplips, Toddlers, and Teachable Moments!

Hello everyone and I hope that there is someone at least reading this blog! :) Today I was out at the park with Julie and her kidos and we were letting the little ones play on the playground. My Lily, fearless and curious as she is, needed me to constantly watch her! She always does, so its no surprise. As usual she was eating more things then she should, dirt, sticks, rocks, etc. As I sat there thinking about how hard it is to always be trying to keep her out of things, I realized that she offered so many opportunities for me to teach her. Thats right, teach! I realized that I should be telling her about dirt (shes trying to learn about it anyway), I should tell her the color name, the textures, what grows in it, what lives it (dont eat the ant, the ant lives in the dirt). I realized that it takes more time, but think of all that she will grow up learning! At home, instead of grabbing her and yelling no when she tears apart the flowers, I should let her look and touch, I should tell her the colors she is seeing, tell her about the smells and the bees, etc. If I can really do that, first of all I'm a better parent because I'm encouraging her and paying attention to her, and second of all I'll have helped her love to learn and want to try new things (not just be afraid that mom will come racing over to yell at her! lol). To me that is what homeschooling is all about~ loving the learning and have a real excitement about life! So remember to embrace those teachable moments, not just for the older kids, but the little ones to. They are capable of far more learning then we sometimes give them credit for! Remember, Have FUN! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Miss Liberty!!!

Well I thought I would update the blog while Carly and James are out an adventure and I am home with Lily ( both of us are sick). We have started our around the world discovery days and so far its been fun! We are of course starting with the USA. and Carly now knows that it is called the United States of America! :) Yesterday we talked about the statue of Liberty and she really like her! So our craft was to make the torch and the crown. Carly was kinda into it and I wasnt sure how much she was paying attention, but when I put the crown on her and she held the torch, she stood just like Lady Liberty! It was so cute! I took one pic, but she told me that it was wrong cause she needed to hold a book too. After she got a book she made me take the pic again!

So she was paying attention! It always good when you realize that they do listen to you after all! :)

Another cute thing happened this week, Carly has decided that her life's calling is to be a teacher and teach babies! :) So she set up a school in the playroom and proceeded to teach her babies. She read stories, wrote "words" up on the little chalk board she had, and taught them to wash their hands! It was really cute to watch. I did however see bits and pieces of the lectures I give her repeated to her "kids" about sharing and being nice! 4 Year olds are SO CUTE! I hope you all are remembering to have fun too! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Preperation, Preperation!

Well we finished our Bird discovery days here! We had a ton of fun! Carly wanted to know why we did all the projects. She even said that she wanted her next birthday party to be a bird birthday! lol I guess that means it was successful! :)

So with that done I'm on to a ton of preparations! We are starting our Around the World Discovery this week. I have finally gotten my plans written down and I have been keeping the Library in business single handedly! We are starting with the USA and then moving down to Mexico. The Unit Study will take us about 8 weeks with one country a week. We have our books to ready for the next two weeks. I hope she likes it. It was her idea, so I think that she will. Each week we are going to color a paper doll, and glue it, and the flag into a "passport". We will do all of this on the first day. We are also going to look at art from the culture and we are going to cook their food. Carly told me that she wanted to learn about different kinds of people and eat like them, and write about them. So thats the plan here. Now I just need to get a world map for the wall so she can see where the countries are at in relation to each other. Any ideas of where to get a good one?

The other preparations that I'm working on is the Healthy Eating Discovery that we are doing with Julie and Caroline. We are going to learn about healthy food and what food does for our bodies! This was inspired by the "Food Revolution" show with Jamie Oliver! He showed why chicken nuggets aren't healthy by showing how they are made! Yikes! I will never eat another chicken nugget ever! lol

So that is what is happening here! There is of course the Easter Preparations to do here. The Easter Bunny comes tomorrow and Carly is Super excited! I dont know if she'll make it! lol She loves holidays! Well Happy Easter to all of you! I hope that you all have a great and blessed holiday!

Friday, March 26, 2010

So...Blog Huh?

Hi everyone,
My mom and I are kinda sharing this blog thing. I'm not really sure what I'm doing so you'll have to be understanding. Also I cant spell worth a crap! lol (and I tend to use some text speak). So I guess that I just post every so often to let you know what is happening in my little homeschool land! :)
Right now, Carly and I are doing Unit Studies and we are taking the unschooling approach to finding the next idea! This week and probably next we are doing our Bird Discovery Days! Which is all about birds. So far, we have visited the Black Swap Bird Observiory (thanks Julie), and the Ottowa National Wildlife Refuge. We have seen a bunch of birds and she has drawn several Pictures in her field notes (some without throwing her pencil once! Thats big for us!). On Wed. we made a nest out of clay and collect things all around the yard that birds whould use to make a nest. Then I found some blue green play dough in the cupboard, so she got some eggs too! Today we acctually started to read some of the HUGE stack of bird stories I got out at the library! We also practiced number recognization ans counting with sunflower seeds (birds eat them), and we did feather painting. The feather painting was fun, but Carly didnt really get that she was supposed to make lines with her feather, so she used it as a paint brush. What she ended up with looked like a nest, so we just made eggs in it with her thumb! :) It was pretty cool looking! After that she went to play with her new ideas (like Sid the Science Kid). She was a bird all afternoon. She made nests out of heir ribbons (and some of my craft ribbon too) and she used the eggs from her kitchen stuff, and she flew around looking for worms. I noticed that she was on the stairs alot and asked her why. She told me that her nest was on the steps cause it was like a branch in the trees and she didnt want the really big bird to come and eat her and her baby birds! lol I guess she is learning after all! Yeah!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I just checked out the web site and I think it is great. We are trying to support each other as we educate our children at home. We also want to encourage those who may not be able to home school, because they are still educating their children at home too. This site is set up for each of us and is meant to be a tool to learn and grow together. We may not always have the same ideas or methods, but respect for each other's differences and gifts is a key element to great communication. I think that is our main goal. To have a place where we can meet, communicate, and share ideas, so that we can fufill our vocations as mothers and teachers. I HOPE that this is the place for you.