Friday, November 23, 2012

Next years curriculum

I can't be the only one already thinking about what to use next year. With the great black Friday deals today it got me looking even more than I was. Over the last two years we have found some keepers and some duds. I want to make sure I am using what is best for my child/ren and their learning styles. So I figured I would go ahead and put it out there what we are using and what we are seriously thinking of using. Science- Simple Schooling Unit studies with the online interactive. We lucked up and got this for $35 today in a black Friday sale. Spanish-Hooked of Spanish given to me by a great friend Soraya! Spelling- Soaring with spelling and voc Grammar- Growing with Grammar Writing- Winning with writing- this was a sure winner for us this yr and since they have spelling and grammar curriculum as well for a great price we decided to give them a try next year. Math- Teaching Textbooks- they are costly but every single other homeschool who has used them says you will love them and they will continue to use them. History/ Geography- Switched on School House- History is the one subject that my 8 yr old just could care less about. This yr we used a good bit of movies and hands on. I have heard great things about S.O.S. and I think it might be a good fit for her. Not so big on the fact it is religious based but I am not totally against it either. I figure if it doesn't work we will at least get our money back in resale. We will also do a bit of Home Ec and Character studies just fun simple things I have collected along the journey and are age appropriate. She is going to join a local art class for homeschool families and 4-H where she will be raising chickens. Yay free eggs,lol. Between all this and pre-school for the soon to be 4 yr old looks like we will be busy. Love every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving and Thankful

It is that time of year again where facebook is loaded down with daily post of what each person is thankful for. This yr I did not par take in that not because I'm not thankful , I am , I just don't like to follow the crowd I like to be my own person. I made one post and listed everything I could think of that morning and said if you most know here is my list,lol.

I AM THANKFUL FOR........For this journey we call life, for the belief that even when the body dies the spirit doesn't, for my husband ( my soulmate, best friend), my kids ( who hold the keys to my heart), my mother, my father, my sisters(who are my best friends), my brothers(even the stupid step brother), all the step parents I h
ave had(because they too have taught me lessons), My grandparents( because no one could ever compare to them), My aunts, My Uncles, My father and mother in-law because they are just as much to me as if I were their child, My lil brother in-law and his kick as wife Gwen, For the fact that as of right now I still live in a free country, for food, for home, for money to pay the bills, for my wild adventurous days that taught me some of the hardest lessons ever, for all those people who have played a part in making me who I am today, For a mind that never stops questioning, for the love of books, for nature, for animals, for clean water, for the fact that right now where I live bombs are not going off and my family is safe, for the stars in the sky, for the diversity of life on earth, for the sun that gives life to all, for friends who support me, for my health, for coffee( we can't forget coffee,lol), For music, for poetry, for the sound of birds in the morning, For rain and stormy nights, For sex ( yes I said sex, you know your tankful for it too), for all the men and women that protect the country, four winter, for spring, for summer, and for fall, For the beauty in the cycle of life, For ancestors, for every single hard day I have ever had in life( you learn the real lessons when it is hard), for all the spiritual teachers who have made me stop and search for my own answers, for all the little things that we take for granted, Pretty much I'm just thankful to have learned so much, felt so hard, Loved so deeply, in the 35 yrs in this life I have seen good and bad but the ride has been amazing and I would do it all over again.   

So there it is my list now on to the holiday season. We are taking most of this week off. Just doing a lot of fun stuff like making handprint ornaments for the tree. Helping cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We will watch our learn our History Thanksgiving DVD tomorrow. This weekend we will put up our tree. In my family it has always been tree goes up after Thanksgiving and comes down after The New Year. We talked about how pagan's celebrate their thanksgiving. This is part of our yr long study of the pagan religion and how it differs from our own personal beliefs . Most pagans have a celebration of thanksgiving on the fall equinox. 
Fall Equinox
  • Also called:Mabon, Michaelmas
  • dates:around September 21
  • colors:orange, red, brown, purple, blue
  • tools:cornucopia, corn, harvested crops
  • energy:appreciation & harvest
  • goddesses:Bona Dea, Land Mother
  • gods:Mabon, Sky Father
  • rituals: thanksgiving, harvest, introspection
  • customs: offerings to land, preparing for cold weather, bringing in harvest  
We learned how puritans did not really like many of our holidays we now celebrate because they believed they had pagan roots. We talked about why we see so much religious racism   and how we hope that one day people will except that everyone has their own path. I taught her the similarities of the Pagan Reed.." Do as you wish if it harm non" and how that is very much the same as " do unto others as they would do unto you" In our home we find it important to not tell our children what to believe spiritually but to give them the information to hopefully oneday make a judgement on which path is best for this life/journey they are on. We try to teach them to not judge another person or religion and to walk a mile in another man's shoes. Being in the homeschool community I know for many you feel strongly to fall the Christian path and you feel your children should be made to as well. We just don't see it that way. If they grow up to be Christians it will be because their free thinking minds lead them in that direction. So I most now add one more to my thankful list...I am thankful I live in a free country where we have the right of freedom of religion so that I do not have to force a religion on my children . I can give them the information and tools on all religions allowing them to not only explore what feels right in their hearts but a mind to make a soul choice for themselves.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wild at the Zoo Educational park from Kidquest Science Adventures

So a new member on my favebook group is starting up a business making curriculum and I am review his first product for him. I just printed out to look it over and this is what I think so far based on looks alone.... BTW his name is Jason Grooms and here is a link to his site. .... I will post my response to him on just looking it over below and I will give a better review once we actually complete the unit .....   

wow Jason so I went ahead and printed them out and I have to say I am very impressed. They are both set up very well and have a good bit of information but not so much that it feels overwhelming at all. I think it could easily be used for multiple grade levels. My 3rd grade daughter came in and said oh are we doing that tomorrow. I said sure are and she was super excited just by seeing the pictures alone( she is a huge animal lover) I love how the parent book gives you just the talking points you need to cover the material that makes my job a lot easier. Over all awesome job I will post again after we complete the unit study and I can't wait to see you create more of them.... Just so you all know this unit is on the zoo.
I have seen curriculum that are not even close to being presented as nicely as this is done. I love the photos great job there for sure. This seriously looks like something you would find off science a-z and a membership to their stuff is almost $100 a yr.    

After we had completed the before you go to the zoo part of the unit study..... So yesterday we completed the first half of the " Wild at the Zoo" educational pack and it was great. Not only did my 3rd grader learn a few things about animals and insects they we have not covered yet but my 3 yr old was able to really enjoy doing the unit with us. I printed out multiple copies so they could each have one. We learned different scientific names for different feeders. We learned a bit about classification of animals and we are very much looking forward to using the 2nd have on our trip next week to the Atlanta Zoo. Jason has made it very easy for me to turn the worksheets into a notebook that gives you multiple maps, and file pages to check off and fill in what you have learned about different animals. Again I printed off extra copies so we can have a page for each animal we see. I am so impressed with this unit study and looking forward to others he will make. I def. will be a long time customer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Time4learning Day one

Today we started our first day of our months long trial of time4learning. if you are interested in a trial of time4learning please see my earlier post for details. We started our school day off much like any other with Alyssa doing here independent work first. This is her spelling , handwriting, review worksheets, and journal writing. Then we moved onto our grammar lesson , math lesson, and our science lesson. We are right in the middle of a two month long study on the Solar system. I told her that we were going to try out time4learning and I wanted to spend this week working with her on how many lesson to do each day, moving around the website ect. We started off by learning her log in and password and how to get to the main lesson page. I told her I didn't care which order she went in but she needed to complete two lessons per subject area each day.. Just so you all know the lessons avg about 15-20 mins each so these are not extreme long lessons. Matter of fact because we only worked on review lesson(things we have already covered this yr) the lessons didn't even take that long. So far I can say not only is she loving it I am as well. She is a very visual person and seems to do well with animated lesson very much. I do wish the history and science was more visual maybe some imbedded videos or simulations would be great. I love that not all but some of the lessons have worksheets and teacher answer keys to go along with them. The grade book is awesome. Not only can you view how your child did today but you can put in a date to start and finish and see their grades and avgs. for that entire length of time. Say hello to the perfect record keeper for grades if you happen to live in a state that requires these. I am hoping that after this week she will be able to do this much more independently and I will have some free time to spend with the 3yr old. As for my first impression on day one it is a keeper and well worth the $20 a month, even if you are only using it like we are as a review supplemental add on to your normal curriculum.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moving drives me crazy

Well we have finally finished unpacking everything from the big move. House-check, garage- check, Shed- check. I finally feel like I can some what breath again except for the fact that Christmas is only a little over a month away and I have yet to have bought one single item. arrgggg!! We are loving the size of the living room and kitchen in the new house and I can't wait to decorate for Christmas. The done side to moving is we left a great homeschool group behind and I have yet to find any other homeschool families in our area. I have posted in multiple county facebook pages asking around. I even started a facebook page for the county after finding nothing. I really hope I can find more homeschoolers around us. I am going to check out the library and a few parks next week maybe we will run into some. It has been driving me crazy but that is just me worry wart afraid we will go another yr with no one to interact with. I am going to have to get out in the new community and see what kind of classes or educational opportunity might be out there. On the upside we are really close to some great Ga. attractions. There is Callaway Gardens, The Little White House, Space Museum in Columbus. So maybe we will be able to use our Tellus membership to get in free. Review

I've been invited to try Time4Learning's online education program in exchange for an honest review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so come back and read about my experience! For more information, try their lesson demos or find out how to write your own curriculum review.   

We plan to use time4learning as a supplement on top of our regular homeschool curriculum. I am hoping we will be able to do an hour or two a day. I have heard great things about this site and all it has to offer from many of my homeschool gang. Stay tuned for my up to date play by play on how it works for us and into our schedule.