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*

Summer Schedule 2016

We’re having some fun!

Our days are full,
and there are adventures to be had!

Introducing Camp Gonnahaveablast!

Each week we will have a theme to explore.

June 13th-17th           Picnic Play
June 20th-24th         Backyard Bugs
June 27th-July 1st    Patriot Power
July 5th-8th               Creative Construction
July 1th-15th              Vacation Bible School
July 18th-22nd          Icky Sticky Ooey Gooey
July 25th-29th           Going Camping (for real)

The kids will pick camp names to use,
as well as group assigned names:
Babies- are the “Sparklers
Preschoolers- are the “Firecrackers
Primary Kids- are the “Bottle Rockets

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Monday through Wednesday is full of friends;
where most of our themed activities will take place.
Thursdays are only an extra friend or two,
so our rhythm those days will be a bit different.
I’m trying to keep Fridays open for family fun.

Our Daily Rhythm

6:30   Childcare begins to arrive
8:00   Breakfast/clean up
9:00   Indoor/Outdoor Play
10:00 Themed activities
11:30  Nature shows/or nature walk
12:00  LUNCH/clean up
1:00   Quiet time (for littles)
D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read)
Board games- mass variety
History Videos-
3:00   Snack
3:30   Creative Corner (writing supplies)
4:00   FREE play
6:00-7:00  is when childcare goes home.

Our evenings will consist of intentional family bonding, from chores to read alouds to prayer time, and yes, even watching Bob Ross, because we all become memorized at the apparently simple (not) art of nature.

How are your days flowing? 
Scheduled routines?  (our Monday-Wednesday)
Flexible and free?  (our Thursday-Saturday)
or maybe something a little in between?

Little Friends Discovery Place

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One full (pre)school year is finished. 

I started up childcare in my home once again after having 7 years off.

Let’s face it…
after having 6 kids of my own,
I have t0 admit I adore kids!
When the “baby” is no longer little,
and you know you are no longer going to have any more littles,
you borrow other peoples littles, am I right?

I enjoy these four little treasures!
Full of spunk and sass,
Loaded with giggles and generosity,
Endlessly learning through play.

My daughter also loves littles.
I just randomly find photos on my phone…
so I thought I would share.

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Katie-girl,
getting her hair done by the littles!

Followed by selfies with each girl…

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Adelaide we have had since she was a baby.  She’s just always been a part of our family.  Basically the grandchild I don’t have yet.  She loves playing with my boys.  She has been fabulous at adapting to adding “friends” to our days.  She is very generous with toys, freely expresses her feelings, and is always willing to be helpful.

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Addyson, our quiet, thoughtful one.  Somewhat likes her space, but joins activities freely.  It’s been fun to see her open up rather than hide behind her twin’s ideas.

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Brielle is a focused, goal oriented learner.  Openly shares her feelings verbally, so no guess work there, ha ha.  She likes to lead ideas (Addyson is her sister), but is also a good listener.

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Cabella is vibrantly outgoing.    A very active learner who has done well this year learning to stretch her attention span.  Loves playing with her friends!

 

and apparently, one of the babies couldn’t be left out…

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Little Miss Avalyn stops by for just a few hours a day.
Just turned 1, an agile and articulate little thing!

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Let’s not forget this little bug, Abby (Cabella’s baby sister).
Adorably cheerful and very animated!

AND because I like to add more excitement to my days, we also often enjoy other friends on occasion…

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Always sharing, always caring…

I love all these Little Friends of mine!

 

Winter is blowing by… Part 1

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January went by fast…

we had spent the month enjoying our Winter Theme.

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Our nature tree was as naked as the trees outside,
so we added our winter mitten craft to add some color.
We included some mitten games while we were at it.

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as well as having had enjoyed some hot cocoa days.
Need an easy hot cocoa recipe?
Here’s one from my daughter; enjoy
Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

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Books and winter activities were a blast,
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as we were teased by a few dustings of snow.

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Outside we adventured a few nature walks in the brisk air.

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Inside we enjoyed circle time with our preschool friends,
as well as some table time activities.

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Indeed, none of these littles are mine.
I’m not sure when it happened,
but my “littles” are no longer little.  *sigh*

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The older kids entertain themselves well.
(The two on the left are my “littles”,
see what I mean?  not.so.little)

I’m so grateful to spend my days with all these people;
littles, bigs, and the handful of moms I get to enjoy each week!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”       ― Edith Sitwell

 

Letter Cc week

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Our OCTOBER sensory bin seems to compliment the Cc week theme.

I can’t believe how much everyone of ALL ages loves this bin.
Even parents play with it; me included.  *smile*

MONDAY

Cc is for Caterpillar

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We used brown construction paper of a child’s hand and arm for a tree branch, added a cut out leaf, and created a pom pom caterpillar.

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Snack was a caterpillar (grapes) on a large romaine leaf…

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This cutie decided to be the caterpillar and eat the leaf herself!

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We then did a Color sort to Create our Caterpillars

WEDNESDAY

Cc is for Car

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Admittedly, I found this idea here at Crystal & Co.
I thought is was pretty cute!

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We then used our toy cars to roll in paint to paint with.
I was hoping for a more track like effect, but hey,
they’re preschoolers,and they had fun!

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The kids really enjoyed red light, green light.
*This is a game that I overly emphasize with my own kids, then also any kids in my care.  We start first with the signs; stop, go, slow… once the kids are familiar with the motions, we switch to “green light”, “red light”, and “yellow light”.  Eventually the signs are no longer used, but I continue the “game” randomly; in the house, on our nature walks, during outdoor play.  Soon it becomes second nature to respond when I shout “red light” as all the kids will “freeze”, then begin to play again when I say “green light”.  My reasoning on such a lesson is that it is highly effective when one is at the grocery store, in parking lots, or within crowded places to get a child to respond immediately to a request.  Ever have a kid just not paying attention, where you needed them to stop and look around before continuing on?  I have! plenty of times.  This “game” is a life saver.  Give it a try. 

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Lastly, we used chalk to draw our town,
train tracks and all.  Kids played outside for a long time.

FRIDAY

Cc is for Clouds

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I had the kids use cotton ball “clouds” to paint clouds on sky colored paper.

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We followed that simple activity with “cloud” play;
ie shaving cream on a cookie sheet!!  Fun stuff!

Fun game to follow…

“that cloud looks like….”

of course this has to be done on a somewhat clear but cloudy day.
Overcast days just aren’t the same, eh?

Normally, I would have had my older kids follow up this activity with a more in-depth concept about clouds themselves, but this day was just a whim of an idea for our youngest student, the 2 yr old.

 

Letter Bb week

There is fun to be had at Little Friends Discovery Place!
Yes, I named my preschool/daycare.
Admittedly, I have had several people lately ask how I can “do it all”,
with homeschooling, childcare, and doing a preschool co op in my home.
My response?  “Are you kidding?  I get to play all day!”
All kidding aside, I do believe it is a matter of attitude.
Simply said, I enjoy what I do.

BEES

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Honeycomb cereal to make a honey comb;
pretty fitting, right?

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Next we tossed “pollen” into the honeycomb.
Admittedly, this was a late-night, last-minute idea
that just happened to be a success.

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Then we played pin-the-bee on the hive.

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We completed our BEE activities by singing
“I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee”

I think the COOL (unphotographed) part was that we actually had captured a bee in a jar for our lesson time.  Of course we set it free when we were done.
Also, netflix has a fun Magic School Bus In a Bee Hive episode that complimented our lesson for this day.

BIRDS

For story time we read “Are you My Mother?” by Dr Seuss

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We made paper bag bird puppets, as well as pinecone bird feeders.

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Our snack was to make a bird’s nest out of pretzels,
then lay the “eggs” (grapes) on the nest.

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The kids really enjoyed playing with the bird seeds

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which unintentionally became a really cool sensory bin,
bare feet and all!

Yeah, Bb week was pretty successful!

 

Our Nature Tree

Fun For the Classroom!!

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This lovely lady painted me a “nature tree”.
Over the years I have used a paper one that is old and worn.
Now, at our new house, the tree is on the wall,
and we are ready to explore our seasons and all things nature.

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Didn’t it turn out cute? 

and because she knows me so well,
she signed her sketch of the project
and left it for me.  “love” it!

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Just sharing a little joy in my days…