And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just an overview of where we are!

So Apple has finished level 1 of Hooked on Phonics 1st grade! Woohoo! This kid is reading like nobody's business! She is going much quicker than I had anticipated. (I probably should have known) So I bought her two new workbooks about two weeks ago. Sam's Club has the best workbooks! She now has Total Math and Total Reading for first grade. So prior to this I really felt as though she was struggling with math. It is definately not her favorite subject, she finds it boring and tedious. I have tried several methods to make it fun and she just digs in her heels. She will however do her work, just moaning and groaning! So I thought she was running a little behind, however since getting the Total Math 1st grade and speaking to a kindergarten teacher from a neighboring county, I think she is doing okay!

At one time I had found a website that gave goals to strive for each schoolyear. Well the website changed and they took down the page of goals. I sort of feel like I am in the dark now. I really am not sure what I need to make sure she knows (mathmatically speaking) for this school year. The teacher I spoke with offhandly mentioned that her students in K only learn time to the o'clock. Wow! We are past the o'clock, working hard on the half hour, and have introduced :15. She can count to 100 (albeit begrudgingly), add and subtract using objects, and has begun to learn a little about fractions. Maybe she isn't behind at all!

One area that she also needs a little more prompting in is spelling. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Hooked on Phonics but the reading program doesn't help much with spelling. She can read tons of words but if you ask her to spell them, you get a blank stare. So I think after December I will buy her a spelling package.

I also am still looking for a local homeschool co-op! I don't know that I am going to find one. Faith Tutorial is huge here, and for good reason, but really isn't the best program for us. I am very jealous as I google and find large cities within a couple of hours of us that have 20+ homeschool programs! Our city has a vast percentage of homeschool students, but not a lot of organized programs. We have a local chapter that meets for curriculum sales and end of year testing and graduation, but nothing else. I will still search!

Speedy is at the beginning stages of learning letters. He can usually recognize his name. He is working on classification at playschool and seems to be doing well. He is very interested in homeschool and often asks to participate. I have bought him 2 Kumon workbooks to begin on. He is excelling at cutting! Doing much better than sister did at this age. She was writing her very long name at this age though. I am continually amazed by their differences! I really just marvel. It is amazing that they come from the same home, same parents, same environment and are complete opposites in almost everyway including learning!

I hope you are all achieving great things in your school year! I will leave you with some pics from our church's Fall Carnival! What a great time we had!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time4Learning

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A day at the Farm.....

We took an awesome field trip this morning with other homeschoolers and stay at home mommies. What a beautiful sunny day! This was our first visit to this particular farm and we were very impressed!

There was a play area

a petting zoo, a barn of horses, a special talk to learn about the horses, a country store, lots of photo ops


a nice long hayride


a pumpkin patch


'

a corn maze

and a corn box!



Fantastic Day and now we are exhausted! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tragic.....

I have a lot of thoughts and different feelings about the news media and all that they are reporting on bullying, cyber bullying, and teen suicide. I want to start by saying I think it is tragic. Anytime a child dies, it is an absolute tragedy. My heart goes out to any parents affected by the death of any child.

At the same time, I think that the media has a really bad spin on these cases. I do not sympathize with bullies, I think bullying on any level is wrong, I was bullied at different times as a child. The parents of bullies are dropping the ball, they are not teaching their children morals and ethics that they should be.

Across the board, too too many parents are giving their children open access to things they should not have access to. Children do not need open, unwatched access to the internet. Children do not need to be on social networking sites. There is no need! I have seen children as young as 6 with Facebook pages. Shame on you parents! Ridiculous! If you feel your child is old enough to have a social networking page, you need to be monitoring the content on that page, the content in their email accounts, and the time they are allowed to be online. If your children are old enough to be on the internet, you better have a computer program to block unwanted material.

I feel like many of these children are already depressed due to other areas in their lives. Whether I agree or disagree with particular lifestyle choices, many teens suffer depression and confusion. Children who are "sexting" and children who are engaging in sexual relationships (straight or gay) are dealing with much bigger issues. They are crying out for love and attention. I think it is wrong for people to place all the blame on bullies. These children have bigger issues than someone picking on them. One parent stated that her daughter's school "dropped the ball" in a sense blaming the school and the social worker at the school. Where is her blame? Why weren't the parents aware of all the issues the daughter was facing? One news website said there was no protection from cyber bullying. Sure there is, turn off the computer!!!! If a child is not online, they cannot be harassed online.

Again I think any death of a child is tragic, but let's place the blame where it belongs. To sum that all up for our lives, we are raising our children in church, showing them the word of God and His plan for their life. We are involved in our children's lives and have every intention of staying involved. We will be having many talks with our children to let them know that "sexting" and premarital sex  are totally out of line for what their lives should look like.

What do you think about these recent cases (I think the cases have always been there but are just now getting SO much media play)?

What kind of Homeschool Co-op does your town have?

I find myself wishing our city offered more. There is really only one well known homeschool program in my town. It is a Faith Tutorial. I hear great things about it and have lots of friends that use it. There are a couple of things that hold us back though. It is on the other side of our city (driving there and back wouldn't give me much time to do anything else), it is costly (esp for 2 kids). and you have to use the curriculum they recommend (great but not what we have chosen and again costly).

I really really wish we had a 2 day a week program that ran about 2 hrs, didn't cost more than $75 a child, and didn't require a particular curriculum. My thought would be that for an hour and a half kids could work on a particular subject- art, science, math, etc- in a fun classroom setting and then for an hour and a half they could do some physical activitity. Seems as though all that would be needed would be some teachers (really parents could swap out to help in an area they are proficient in) and a nice building with a few classrooms and a gym.

Do other cities offer this? Is this really a co-op? Do you use any type of outside program in your homeschooling??

:)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall has arrived...... or is it winter already???

Took Apple & Speedy to a really cool pumpkin display in town yesterday for some nice Fall pictures. Speaking of Fall last week was our first week of temps below 90 all week so we were so excited Fall had arrived. Then last night the low was 34!!!!! Hello winter????

I had 2 more pictures for you but this new wacky blogger picture thing just made them disappear so just imagine my gorgeous kids in front of more unique and arranged squash. :) lovely isn't it?

Kindergarten is FLYING by so quickly! Apple is doing amazingly still with her reading. We are still trying to find some math tricks to help her enjoy math more. I did find a couple of neat free math videos online that showed how math relates to everyday life. Not sure if it helped but she was intrigued for 2 minutes.

Speedy is well.... Speedy! He sits and enjoys homeschool for a minute or three at a time and then he is gone again! He is doing fabulous at playschool though and he enjoys it very much.

Everyday I am grateful we made the decision to homeschool. I get to watch my children learn and enjoy their company throughout the day. They are learning not only academic lessons but spiritual ones and practical home life ones as well. They have had many field trips and adventures! They have enjoyed it as well I believe!