Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Fall, Y'all!!

Last week was really fun - our homeschool group got to attend Kids Day at the's nice for parents because the rides aren't open, so we didn't have to compete for our children's attention during fun lessons of dairy farming (we got to watch a farmer milk a live cow!), agriculture, and farm animals.  We also got to attend a rodeo that featured kids of all ages from 5 - 17!  They had the cutest little 5 year old barrel racer!!!

But of course, no trip to the fair would be complete without some rides, so we splurged and took them back the next night to ride the rides and take in as much fair food as their tummies could hold!  We also went back for the "real" rodeo.   It was a really fun week last week!! 

Kind of sad our little fair is over, but today made my year!!  I woke up to the most beautiful surprise this morning:  crisp air flowing through my open windows and beautiful autumn sunshine!!!  I just couldn't fathom the idea of being cooped up in the house all day, so for the kid's lunch break, I surprised them with a picnic in the park.  We brought along bread to feed the geese (sorry no pictures - my phone's battery was almost dead), and then played until it was time to go home and finish our schoolwork.

Lindsay (right) with a park friend

Getting ready to go ZOOM!!

You can do it, Addie!!!
My little Monkey Man!

 They had a BLAST!  Hope everyone was able to get outside and enjoy this beautiful day like we did!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School Time!!

Ok, so we've technically been "Back to School" since August 2nd.  I'm such a blogging slacker!!  I really do have good intentions - I really do.  I have these visions of including lesson plans followed by pictures of happy children doing cool and exciting projects.  But unfortunately for me (or should I say "fortunately for you?"), I just can't seem to find the time that I had last year!  I know this sounds really stupid, but did you know that it takes a LOT more time out of your day to homeschool 3 children than it does 1 child??  Ha! 

So to fill you in on the happenings of our first month of school.........

Addison had a GREAT first day!  She was really excited to find that she no longer has to raise her hand to ask a question.  She was even more excited to find that Mom will go back over a math problem as many times as needed until she catches on - before we move ahead.  She loves the NO HOMEWORK rule!!  (The only time they have homework is if - for whatever reason - the work doesn't get done during the day.)  But she especially loves all the math games we play - she and Trey actually tied in this multiplication review game that tested speed and knowledge.  :)  For the purpose of our Game Time, we change our names.  Addie is known as "Bob," and Trey is "Eugene."  It helps get them in Game Show Mode!  LOL!  :) 

We took a few days of our second week of school to visit the great folks of Washington, AR, as they had Craft Days at the Old Washington Fire Station/Community Center/Library.  (LOL - gotta love small towns!)  I've got to tell you - I've always loved small towns.  I grew up in a small town, and I miss it like crazy.  But the people in this tiny little town are just tooooo amazing!!  They didn't know us - we just showed up.  We weren't in their homeschool group, nor had we ever attended a function like this in their town.  But they welcomed us with open arms, treated my children as if they were their own, and taught them things like drawing and sewing.  My kids had the absolute BEST time ever while we were there, and developed what I hope to be lasting friendships with GREAT kids!  

Addie and Lindsay each sewed a stocking, and on our way home we stopped by Hancocks and bought fabric that they used to make baby doll blankets and pillows. 

Trey wasn't really into the sewing class, so I brought along my camera for him to play around with.  He took pictures of various buildings and other sights all over town, and I think they turned out pretty great!!  I might have a little photographer on my hands!!  Here are some of my favorites!

As far as lessons are concerned, we've been doing an in-depth study of Native Americans, which was not originally supposed to take as long as it is.  But once we got started, I became acutely aware that I was moving too fast to fully explain the complexities of the subject - of their heritage.  So I slowed down, and now we are learning about our Native American heritage with more excitement and interest than before.  :)  We even did our own petroglyphs during our discussion of the Anasazi.  We have moved through the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs, through the Hopewell Mound Builders, and are now starting a focus on the Iroquois. 

(Our Petroglyphs)

As previously stated, I've got a new schedule that I'm using, and it seems to be working really well.  I'm doing group lessons (Science, Bible, and History) in the morning, snacktime while I read aloud to them, and then I do 5th grade lessons until  lunch while Lindsay works on workboxes.  After an hour lunchbreak, I start Lindsay's Kindergarten "lessons" - phonics, math, reading aloud, etc.  Her "fun stuff" is reserved for the workboxes in the morning time.  We're usually done by 2:30 or 3pm.  One of her favorite math activities is the using the Logic Blocks - she sorts by thickness, color, shape, and size.  These were given to us by a family friend, and WE LOVE THEM!! 

So I guess now you're all caught up - and it is my sincere intention to keep you that way.  We have lots of plans for our school year, and can't wait for it all!!  :)