Friday, August 29, 2008

Sonlight didn't choose us for the cover

Ah well! I personally think our picture was better than the ones chosen but I may be biased. :)

Today I am feeling out of sorts. I got some sad news so I decided to have a tea party with the girls. What better way to bring up your spirits? I would have taken pictures but Ron is out and has the camera. I guess I will have to keep these pictures in my memory.

Here is the picture we submitted to be on the cover of our homeschooling magazine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lazy Days

This week we have done nothing. Or have we?? I guess we have done a lot of things but nothing planned. I am allowed to feel lazy! I am pregnant! Ok Justifying is over :)
I have been working on another blog called I am enjoying myself.
Yesterday the girls were outside planting seeds. The evidence (packages) are still laying out in the grass. Hmm I wonder if we will sprout veggies and flowers in our driveway? Only time will tell.
I am adding a picture of Cohen here just because. He doesn't get as much time on here because..well..he is a little tornado! Always on the go. I could eat him. I think I will wait until he is awake.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our little (or more accurately .. big) visitor

What is this treat we found? Or shall we call it a delicacy? In China it sure is!
This is a Cicada bug. Do you hear those loud vibration sounds in the trees? Here is our culprit.
We researched him (and it was a him because he made sounds) and found out he doesn't bite or sting. The kids got a chance to pet him before he flew off into the trees.
This particular Cicada lives from 13-17 yrs. Can you believe it? It burrows 8 1/2 feet into the ground and is nymph for most of its life. As a nymph it eats liquid from tree and plant roots. As an adult it eats tree sap. It really is a very interesting bug!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Artistic Visions

AND here is our "art table!" As you can see it is not organized. There are shells glued onto paper, pastel drawings and marker pens in this art pile. I realized that if you go out with your children and pick up some art supplies it makes them more interested in it. Instead of the same old boring coloring books and paints, they have a whole new set of things to do.

In the other picture is something I bought through Sonlight. They are pastel crayons but when you use a paintbrush it turns into watercolor. So they can draw some art and make some of it watercolor. This has been a really big hit!!!

Learning about symmetry and some more shape names

Here we are doing a math "lesson." I put this in quotations because it isn't really a lesson. We do follow along with the schedule but it is basically having fun with math. Here we are learning about symmetry. If we fold an ellipse or a triangle we learn that it is symmetrical by folding them and placing them against a mirror.
If the girls didn't enjoy math as much as they do we would find some other way to learn it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We no longer have a kitchen table. If I were to look behind me I would see our previous eating place has turned into an art table. Colored pens, construction paper, shells glued to paper, etc...
If we are not doing art the kids are outside playing on their trampoline. (Safety net is definitely a positive!!) It has been too cold for them to swim. If it were up to the kids they would be swimming until their lips turned blue.
We are having a lazy day today. Some down time from the past few days. I have some pictures to upload onto the computer of us playing math. Since this is a lazy day I am not going to do it until tomorrow. lol
I am happy to see the kids concentration on having fun and enjoying the weather.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Unschooling and new stuff

I have been researching unschooling. What is that you ask? Unschooling is letting your child lead their learning. My role is to make sure there is plenty of readily available information at their fingertips. I find that this has opened my mind and given me more patience. Another part of my role is to always be turned "on." If they have a question I can't say.."We will look that up later." Isn't that what most of us do? I have to be willing to put down what I am doing and help find the answer. If we wait they may lose interest. By the time I get to it they won't even remember asking the question. And OH SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! What kind of bug made these eggs on these leaves? (It was a leaf beetle) What is a ledge? This was a hard one to answer! I know what a ledge is but to explain it..UGH. What does consider mean? They have soooo many questions and my mind feels like putty sometimes trying to explain. Another part of my role (I have put on myself) is creating opportunities to learn. Not all unschoolers do this but I want to. We play math and the girls LOVE that. We still do science projects (what kid doesn't love getting messy?) We will not be forcing them to sit down and do lessons. We will see how it goes.
Yesterday we went shopping for "school" supplies. It was fun. They get SO excited about glue, markers and books. You would think they were picking out lollipops or some big toy. Nope. We got some duo-tangs and Amelie has been making magazines ever since. She is drawing pictures, gluing pictures and paper clips (oh and we can't forget the shells they collected at the beach with dad!!)
Ricky hasn't shown much interest in it yet. Soon I am going to be showing them what symmetry is. They will have fun cutting and folding shapes.
Cohen got a much needed haircut yesterday by dad. We did it quickly because he doesn't like it.
Reagan is starting to stand at the coffee table. Well Ron is placing her there and she stays for a bit. I couldn't imagine her walking. She is sooo tiny!!
Oh and the best new yet!!!
Roo's cat scan results and blood work was normal. She is gaining more weight. ANNDDD drum roll please....
NO MRI!!! The paediatrician said she doesn't advise it anymore. YAY!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How and Why did we decide to homeschool?

This question was asked on another blog and thought it was an interesting question I have not yet answered on here. So here goes.

First I will answer WHY.

When we were first introduced to homeschooling we thought only strange people chose to do this. We didn't realize how common it was. We are a family who does not get babysitters and who LOVE to spend time as a family.
Whenever I thought of sending Amelie to school I had a knot in my stomach. I know all parents feel this way but I just had an added feeling of "wrongness" (if that is a word) mixed in with other emotions. When Amelie was about to start JK we decided to go to orientation. It was in a cute little classroom where all of the parents and their children came. We signed papers with all of her info. I then asked the teacher and principal a few questions. "I know that teachers are not supposed to hug their students but will you please hug Amelie if she needs one?" Yes was her response. "If she needs me or even wants me will you call me so I can either talk to her on the phone or come and get her?" This is where is all went downhill. Their response was..."They have to learn to be independent. When you go to drop her off and she is crying and holding onto your leg you just shake her off and walk away." That comment right there was the defining moment we started looking at alternatives. I would NEVER shake my crying daughter off of my leg and turn and walk away! I am her mother! Why do children need to become independent of their parents before their time? I am here for a reason. If they need a shoulder to cry on or a quick little snuggle here and there then I am going to be there! This astonishes me.
So this launches us into the next question. HOW?
I started researching. Everywhere I could find information I looked. I went to the library, went on the internet and read and read and read. This was so incredibly overwhelming! There are so many resources out there for homeschoolers. It is like a whole other language. I found a local group to secretly see if their children were "normal." (Enter eye roll here) They didn't seem to have any horns as far as I could tell. lol
And did you notice all of this time I am saying I? This is because my husband was not as enthusiastic about the idea of homeschooling as I was. Neither was Amelie actually. Amelie was excited about getting on that bus and seeing the other children.
I went online and ordered a complete curriculum to help us along our way. We chose Sonlight. We are still ordering from them but only using the books when the children show an interest. NO MORE SCHEDULES! They were not for us. You will be happy to know that my husband is just as enthusiastic about our adventures as I am now. He sees the benefits our children have. He sees the joy and love of learning in their eyes every day.
I now have many more reasons why we homeschool but that was the initial reason why we chose this lifestyle. We have stayed so close as a family it is amazing! We have the world by our hands.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cohen and his passion

We went to my cousin's wedding reception outside and they had put together a train ride. It was very creative and kept the kids busy for hours! If anyone knows Cohen they know how obsessed with trains he is! This is a funny yet cute picture of him on the train. His face looks larger than it is somehow but I wanted to show how much fun he had. I could just eat him up!

Amelie at swimming lessons

This is Amelie's 2nd year in swimming lessons. She is very confident in the water. She isn't able to swim above water yet but she has taken to swimming under water. I never had a worry with her jumping into the activities! She has always been very outgoing and ready to try anything new. Amelie and Ricky are in the same swimming class now so we don't have to go back twice. We now have a small swimming pool in our yard so they get to go in there everyday. I love to see them smile!

Ricky swims too!!

Ricky is in swimming lessons too this year. I am very surprised that she has gone in the water so willingly! She is usually more reserved and unsure. She has jumped right in to the class. Yesterday she didn't want to put her face into the water. Today she did it! She is growing more confident in the water. She really looks forward to swimming every day.