Miss Sheri’s Little Friends

BABIES:

Henry!

Maggie!


Katie-girl loves hanging out with the babies!!
This is quite useful when I’m doing circle time with the preschoolers!

The TOTS:

Abby and Avalyn!

I love the snuggle age of these two!
They are transitioning from babies to preschool activities and it’s so adorable.

The PRESCHOOLERS:

Left to right:

Livi 3, Ainslee 3, Emery 4, Adelaide 4, Cabella 4

Bryson often helps entertain the preschoolers during floor time.

Andrew is our story time teller.

A Busy Blessing

Yes, these kiddos keep me (us) busy,
but all but one of them is part time.
I have one baby the first 3 days a week;
the other baby the last 3 days a week.
One preschooler is only here for 2 days a week;
another for 5 days a week. 
The rest are 3 or 4 days a week. 
It varies. 

Regardless of how long the days are,
life with Miss Sheri is always entertaining!

 

 

 

 

 

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Enjoying the Classics

We’ve had an ongoing theme for the year…

Read a classic; watch a movie

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Here are some of our picks that were from our Robinson Curriculum reading list;
others are simply good ole classics we have on hand. 

It takes us about a month per book to read, discuss, and then watch a correlated movie of each one. 

Homeschooling does not have to be difficult to be educational.  We didn’t have to use a study guide or workbook or a complicated scope and sequence to learn from these classic treasures.  Frankly, you don’t even need to own these… simply check your local library (or even with older relatives if you get the privilege of doing that).  I do highly recommend to avoid abridged versions (not.a.fan of the “Great illustrated classic” books).

Benefits I’ve observed from reading classic books with my children:

An increase in vocabulary

Improves their ability to comprehend

Strengthens ethics (good vs bad)

Understands history and culture in context

Recognizes to learn from past mistakes

Creates a natural desire to learn more….
which leads to rabbit trails of self-led interests.

The high quality literary content of these classic books are a treasure to explore!

It’s ingenious to be a homeschooler!

Welcome to My Life

Hello friends, family, and followers,

It has been a busy season for me and I have let a few things go in the process of gaining order and routine in other areas of my life.   Blogging was set to the side as well as some other projects that I personally enjoy.

What have we been up to?

HOMESCHOOLING

Schooling has been going pretty consistently over all.  Still following the Robinson Curriculum approach.  The boys (12 & 8) have really transitioned to self-led learning for the most part.  The 3rd grader still needs some prompting at times, but his attitude (I hate school) has had a turn around.  So after a year and a half of balking school, now he gets it done and shrugs about it, “eh, it’s easy”.  Go figure.

CHILDCARE

The fun part of parenting and homeschooling for so long, is that everything comes easier from tried and true experience.  In enters Preschool fun, Tot School, and some Baby Love.  We have a few preschoolers, 2 Tots, and 2 babies.  All but one is part time, so getting a doable “schooling” routine down for them all has taught me some more flexibility.  Some of the kids are three days a week, one is half days only, another is here for only two days a week but for 14 hour days.  Most have been with me for a couple of years now and are getting ready for “Kindergarten lessons” as they will have another year with me while turning 5 this fall/winter.    Now that I don’t have any littles of my own, and the grandkid potential is still out, I am thrilled to love on these Little Friends of mine!!

SELF CARE

So last fall I became determined to strive for health and fitness.  It has been a learning curve to try to set aside time for myself.  Fitness takes time.  It has been filled with ups, downs, and plenty of plateaus.  I am down 22 lbs as of Oct 31.  I have a long ways to go to get to a healthier me, but I’m embracing the journey.  Frankly, I am surprised at how much emotional health has to be addressed in the process of all this.

PERSONAL GOALS

I have a few writing projects on hold.  One I’ve been intentionally avoiding as God keeps persisting on it, and two others are in the works.  I am also opening myself up (mentally preparing) that speaking to an audience may also be on God’s agenda.  I’ll be letting you know how that unfolds.

THE HUBBY

Bless this man who has provided much for his family in ways beyond monetary means.  Faith, respect, integrity, fellowship, guidance… He’s such a rock in our family.  Not perfect.  None of us are; yet faithful to serve his family in hard work and dedication to provide for us always.  He’s worked hard labor for decades, runs a home-based business (The Good Life), always finds time (and energy) for his kids, and continues to love me through all my flaws.

THE KIDS

I have 6 kids (of my own).
More if I want to include teens that have lived with us in the past.

Bryson (3rd grade, the youngest) has transitioned a lot this year.  Finally out of “being the baby” mode, and is stepping up to be more helpful.  Loves documentaries; specifically anything space related.  Tends to be a sports fan like his older brothers, although he has not really expressed an interest in actually playing any sports.  He does like to work out in the garage with me, so that’s been fun!

Andrew (5th grade) has really matured this year.  He steps up to help out when needed, gets his school work done without asking (most times), has been incredibly patient with his younger brother, loves reading to the preschoolers, enjoys drawing his own comic stories.

Katie-girl (Freshman) is back at dance after a 2 year hiatus while working on some severe food sensitivity issues.  It’s good to see her back in her element.
She still has a ridiculous amount of hobbies and interests (crocheting, knitting, sewing, drawing, foreign language, make up and hair specialties, fashion, photography, etc)  As long as she gets her core school work done, she’s free to explore self-led interests as she wishes.

TJ (20 next week) works full time, helps teach at Sunday School, helps coach a local soccer team with his two older brothers, and seems to be the go-to brother when someone needs help with something.  We also call him “the baby whisperer” as he scoops up a baby when gets home from work.  They love him!

Nick (23) is getting married in June.  Woo hoo, it’s about time.  They’ve been dating 5 years now, and his fiance, Kailynn, has been a part of our family all this time.  She finished college, got her degree last year, and finally they set a date!  He’s a fire inspector, and currently coaches soccer with his brothers.

Joe (28) is happily married to such a lovely young lady.  They have bought a house.  He currently got his dream truck, and they like to do some traveling.  No grandbabies…. yet.   Fun fact:  Joe is ordained and will be doing Nick’s wedding, while TJ will be the best man.  Love that my kids can bless each other into adulthood!

As a mama of with half my kids grown, I am incredibly blessed to continue to see my kids friendships with each other flourish.  It is a treasure that on most Sundays they all come home to hang out with each other.  God is good!!!

How is your life?

Same routines?
or
new adventures?

 

 

 

I HATE SCHOOL, and How our First Few Weeks Have Been

That’s how our school year began.
We are going into our 16th year of homeschooling, and my youngest child decides to have an attitude.  Clearly it is a disorder of some sort because just the mention of said word “school” creates a strange reaction of moaning, whining, and flopping down to the ground like a slug.

SCHOOL …

How can the child not like school?  He loves learning, exploring, and frankly, learns easily.
Well, apparently it’s the word… “SCHOOL”

You see, I could of fussed back at him,
got frustrated at his lack of willingness to do school,
disciplined him for poor behavior,
but instead I looked at the pathetic behaving child
and had him cuddle up to me and we talked about the planets,
pondered some outdoor activities, and discussed his feelings.
Then I prayed.

The Answer… don’t call it “school”.
After all, LIFE is the Lesson,
and just about anything we do
is applicable to learning something.
It’s kind of why I picked L.I.F.E. Academy
as the name of our “school”.

I can easily say “hey, let’s go up and lay on my bed and you can read a book to me” and viola, 30 min of reading.  (Reading-check)
I can then say it’s time for Math, and poof he does it (math-check)

Then the real magic comes in the evenings…
tons of fun family time and no one knows it’s still “school”.

We are watching a Math-U-See video for some fun review,
but this child LOVES seeing it and then working with the manipulatives used for the lessons.
We then watch one episode of “What’s in the Bible” which is packed with facts, vocabulary, theology in a fun way.

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Next we pull out these chalkboards to review our penmanship.
It’s been quite the hit.  Write the letter mom says,
then draw a word to compliment the letter, and spell it.
Dad joins in, Sissy joins in (the highschooler).
I will slowly begin doing phonics review,
and eventually spelling games with these boards.
The creativity is endless…
for the letter “i” my youngest came up with “imagination”,
not your typical ice cream or igloo answer, lol.

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We end our evenings by reading our Jesus Freaks Devotional,
finding on the map the country that was the read about,
and pray for that country.

FRIDAYS are also open for some fun.
It’s the one day during the school week that I don’t do childcare,
and I take advantage of that time to spend more intentional with my kids.

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Because we are entering into Medieval Times for History,
I opened the era with the Byzantine period.
We read about Constatine,
while listening to Beethoven in the background,

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then we attempted Byzantine mosaic art,
each of us doing our own masterpiece.

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I also threw in a science project for fun.  Used food coloring (yellow and blue), paper towels to wick the color into the empty center cup, and obviously, we made green.  The cool part was to see the water travel through the paper towels and actually begin to fill the empty cup.

All in all, that was a fun afternoon!

And then there’s my highschooler,
who has been fabulously working at her own pace independently,
while still participating in the things I want her to join us for! 

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Her garden got attacked by moles; it’s a sad affair.
But she still got some harvest.  Those carrots though?

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Oh, and we can’t forget the preschoolers…

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The 3 yr olds are loving preschool time,
and that sweet little photo bomber in the background is just about ready to join the table at almost 15 months of age.  She loves seeing what’s going on with our Discovery Time lessons!!

And That my friends is a random look at how our school year has started so far…

It’s a bit crazy to be a homeschooler.  *smile*

L.I.F.E. Academy~ August Goals 2016

I’ll just be candid here and say that our “first” day of school was a bust.
Mistake #1 was trying to begin school the day after our fabulous 4 day camping trip.
So I put off the first day (Monday) to Tuesday, in which moods were off and we barely got our teacher-student conference cleared (you know, to explain expectations for the year) this day.  Then along comes Wednesday, and I am a huge proponent that Mom’s mood can really set the tone for the house.  Well, my mood was fine (ba ha ha), but my kids were still like in vacation hang over mode.  So, for those that don’t know, I always try to be creative and think of something fun to do on the first day, and this year wasn’t any different.  So, I came up with an Olympic theme since the Summer Olympics is under way.  I thought it was an awesome idea.  I was already to have Family Olympic games right in our backyard.  I even thought up some cool crafts and a snack idea.  However, my youngest child was on a rant.  He was NOT amused at all, thought the whole thing was “stupid”, and grumbled most the day.  Well, there ya go, homeschool reality at its finest.  So do I hang the ungrateful kid in the closet by his toes?  Or maybe just hug the child, rest together, chat about God, nature, and the planets… and ponder a new plan.

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Thursday began with some camoflauge…
and then “boot camp” began!

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Needless to say, moods were improved…

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and Monday, August 8th, our official book work will begin!

August Goals

Bible– Genesis

Literature
Bryson (3rd grade)- Family Under the Bridge
Andrew (5th grade)- Pinocchio (RC)
Katie (Freshman)- Trixie Beldon series, Mildred Elsie series (RC)
Read Aloud- Bambi (classic 1939 version)
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Language Arts
Back to basics- review sentence structure;
Capital beginnings, end marks.!?
Introduce prepositional phrases.
Boys- review penmanship skills/do copywork
Katie- daily essays

Math
The boys- review basic math facts.
focus on +, x (0-6)
Katie- review, all about fractions (+, -, x ,/)

Science
Bryson- All about Crabs
Andrew- All about Ants
Katie- All about the animal kingdom;
introduction to arthropods and crustaceans
*will also begin her seedlings for her fall garden.
Family Read aloud
Burgess Animal Book for Children;
rats, mice, & shrews.

History
The boys- Muhammad and the early years of Islam,
and details of the Arabian days.
Katie- Life of Saint Patrick

Health
Personal safety- stranger danger

American Sign Language/Spanish
family, food, animals

Fine Arts
Composer- Beethoven, Ode to Joy (Olympic march)
Art- Byzantine Mosaics
Poetry- To Laugh Often and Much by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

to win the respect of the intelligent people

and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others; 

to leave the world a bit better

whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;

to know that one life has breathed easier 

because you lived here.

This is to have succeeded.

Our Curriculum 2016-2017

The Robinson Curriculum
We choose the belief that the core foundation of education is to read, write, and do math.
If a student can build up on these 3 skills, learning becomes limitless.

Here’s our outline of what we do…

INDEPENDENT STUDIES:

Math

3rd & 5th graders-
1st semester- to solidify all four basic math facts (+, -, x, /)
2nd semester- begin Saxon 5/4

9th grader-
review Saxon 7/6, begin pre-algebra

Writing

3rd & 5th graders-
improve penmanship via copywork
build and enhance good quality paragraphs.
Daily science summaries.
*end of the year goal: 3 paragraph essay

9th grader-
3 essays per week via Book of Knowledge resource
Daily science summaries
Book reviews as literature books are completed

Language Arts

3rd & 5th graders-
McGuffey 2nd Reader for;
grammar, punctuation, vocabulary.
Prof “K” spelling

9th grader-
will use writing assignments as a tool for punctuation, grammar, spelling, & vocabulary.
RC English grammar -review as necessary

Literature

Will list specific books in our monthly goal posts.
The students will read many classic books from the RC reading list,
as well as other good quality resources.

Science

3rd grader- Christian Liberty 2nd Nature Reader,
Animal Pride series by Dave and Pat Sargent
5th grader- Christian Liberty 3rd Nature Reader
Books from the authors, Arthur Scott Bailey and Thorton Burgess
9th grader- Biology
A Child’s Story of the Animal World
The Motion of the Heart and Blood of Animals (RC)
**continue her agriculture project from the spring, introducing a fall garden to her current crop.

History

3rd & 5th graders-
A Child’s History of the World
9th grader-
Medieval History book resources from;
Robinson Curriculum, G. A. Henty, & the Landmark series

GROUP STUDIES:

Bible– Old Testament (with preschoolers too)
Devotions– Jesus Freaks by Voice of the Martyrs
*we will mark the stories locations on a map for world geography,
as well as pray for that specific country for the day.

Foreign Language

American Sign Language/Spanish-
Preschoolers/3rd & 5th grader-
Signing Time and Flip Flop Spanish (whole family Spanish)
9th grader/mom- Duolingo and Pimsleur Spanish Gold Edition I, II, & III

Fine Arts

Monday- Geography
Tuesday- Composer (of the month)
Wednesday- Artist (of the month)
Thursday- Poetry (of the month)
Friday- Nature walks

Daily read aloud List
(for the year)

The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Song of Roland (poetry)
Ivanhoe
Jungle Book
Robin Hood
Cantebury Tales
Uncle Remus

Woodworking/S.T.E.M. projects

I invested in some hands-on building kits from
Hands4Building; Their products are phenomenal
My kids will be using real (albeit miniature) tools for architectural use;
saws, blue prints, etc… My hope is that after they build the
house, furniture, bridge, windmill, fence, and wagon,
they will continue their interest onto bigger projects!

Let the fun begin….

 

 

Gardening… a.k.a. highschool agriculture credit with labs

Homeschool Science

Better yet, high school homeschool science.

Is that possible to teach from home?
Yes!  yes it is.
Yet oddly enough, that is the one subject that many folks hesitate with.  So I thought I’d share one of the many ways for your (homeschool) student to earn (science) credits towards their transcripts for their (much earned) future diploma.

My 4th child (3rd homeschooler) is
entering 9th grade in less than two weeks.
We opted to let her jump start her science “class”.

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She began with a lesson in shop class with dad teaching her how to use power tools.
At the same time she began reading these assigned books:

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And began this part of the project:

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Trays of seedlings… can you see the sprout?

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Next, soil was hauled in as Katie and Dad began setting up the netting  to protect the garden because our backyard is backed up to some beautiful woods where critters, birds, and deer roam quite freely.

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Not too bad of a start…

Meanwhile, the littles are enjoying their own garden project…

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Further along there is continued progress…

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and although we have more time to enjoy a modest harvest,
August will include starting seedlings for the fall crop.

Katie will continue to care for her garden until November.
She will journal her garden plans,
explain her theory on how it will progress,
continue to write weekly updates on the results,
and write a comparative analysis between the summer and fall garden process.

When the garden is harvested and cleaned up,
and the paperwork is in,
she will have earned her Agriculture credit w/ labs.

This is not to forget that her biology study will begin in August also,
which we will share in more detail later in the school year.
Regardless, by May she will have wrapped up two sciences to list on her high school transcripts.

One question I often get is…
How does one grade such a process?
Well, for us, attitude and effort is 50% of the grade,
the work required is the other 50%.

In other words, if I had to remind her to water her garden,
or if she were to complain about the process,
her grade would get deducted.
Gratefully, she is a hard worker who chose this task,
but we will see how she feels by November.  *smile*

See?  Science isn’t so scary, eh?
If you are (or were to homeschool),
what is the one subject that you would be hesitant to offer?

~It takes growth to be a homeschooler~