Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up! Summer School

I'm a little late posting our weekly wrap-up, but here goes. Rylan and Tanyn are still really enjoying Little Hearts for His Glory. It is such a wonderful curriculum, open and go, which is what I really needed. I am scheduling challenged. This week they learned not to let fear debilitate them, by learning about Daniel in the Lion's den and Shadrach, Meschach and Abednigo. (Pretty sure those are all misspelled.) The painted a wonderful picture showing the three being protected from the fire by God's Angel.
Wednesday we had a beautiful day and decided to spend the day at the zoo. We, as usual, had a great time and enjoyed wandering around. I found some really cool Animal notebooking pages that I'll probably have the kids do, to focus their zoo time. We spend so much time there, we probably ought to make it a little more education. I made a mistake and bet Koty about an animal fact, I of course was wrong. The kid is a zoo ninja. I guess being a Zoologist might be perfect for him.

Thursday we went over to the Nature Center to wander around for a little while. They have a little education area, where Ry and Sissy decided to put on a puppet show. Very cute.

Finally, if it seems like the big boys didn't do any work, it would be because they didn't do any work. Hunter and Dakota have had a short break before we start summer school. The boys will be doing Geometry and Biology, along with the reading program offered by heart of Dakota; Drawn into the Heart of Reading. We have finished Tapestry of Grace Year 1 and decided that it really didn't work for us. I'm not organized enough for it, I guess. Heart of Dakota is putting out a curriculum this fall that we're really looking forward to. I think it will be great for Dakota and with a little tweaking will work for Hunter, the fact that it is open and go is perfect for me.

Head on over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how others spent their week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Creation or Evolution

We are really struggling with this in our homeschool right now. Jennifer over at Blogging about Boys covered this in such a wonderful way, it's about a broader worldview. I personally went through public school, was a hard-core evolutionist, wouldn't even hear the word creation without getting on my high horse. Now I would call myself a creationist, with reservations.

It seems to be about personal conviction, present the information and let my children decide with their own hearts. Dakota is a hard-core Creationist, seems closed to Evolution. Hunter is a skeptic, he really doesn't seem to buy either theory, but is open to learn. The key is certainly to give equal opportunity to both, study both, learn about both and decide from there. Go into the study with our eyes and minds wide-open.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: Molly's Money-Saving Digest (January 2010)

Molly's Money-Saving Digest was provided to me to review as my try-out for the TOS Homeschool Crew. The e-book is sold at The Old Schoolhouse Store, for $4.95 for each monthly installment. I know, you're saying to yourself, you want me to spend money to save money; I thought that too. I downloaded this e-book, thinking it just doesn't make sense to be frugal by spending money, I had another think coming.

The Digest has a lot of features that really do encourage you in frugal living, from menu planning to thrift store shopping. One of the features I enjoyed the most were the worksheets: budgets, calendars, to-do lists and finally the one that I would have never thought of, but would truly use the Clothing Inventory. I love to thrift store shop but tend to grab things that the kids don't really need, just because it's a good deal. If I had a clothing inventory I would know that Sissy probably doesn't need any shirts, but maybe could do with some shorts. I'm kind of dorky like that, but I love the idea of knowing what's in every one's dresser and what I should be looking for.

I have personally found that menu planning helps me to save money, so the menu section and recipes in this digest are really useful and fun. January, specifically; has a whole section on pie crusts and how to make them. I loved it, it will be so fun to make pies this spring and summer with my kids and have my sons make their own homemade crusts.

Finally, there is a section on how to decorate your home "on the cheap". I personally right now, have a preschooler who feels her artwork belongs on the walls, permanently; meaning she is drawing directly on the walls. Feathering my nest is the furthest thing from my mind, but on the other hand there is a great project involving frames, wire and your own photos that I thought looked really fun. Someday!

I really enjoyed Molly's Money-Saving Digest and will probably order it for myself. I loved the practical ideas, worksheets, recipes and fun that it provided; it would certainly be worth the money.

Review: "Help, Lord, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler!

This is my first review for the TOS Homeschool Crew, my try-out; so to speak. My first product to review was provided from The Old Schoolhouse magazine free of charge for the purpose of review, if you were to purchase "Lord, Help, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling High School," it would cost around $12-$13. The e-book was around 120 pages, a quick and easy read. Many times TOS gives away their e-books to the recipients of their newsletters, so head on over and check out their store and sign up for the newsletter.

I started reading this e-book with a jaundiced eye, I struggle reading about perfect people homeschooling their perfect offspring. Boy, was I in for a big surprise. Yes, this book is comprised of stories written by experienced homeschoolers; but in no way did I feel embarrassed or intimidated. I felt empowered reading these stories, each of these mom's struggled in some way to be the best "teacher" she could be; each of them depended on the Lord to empower them and enable them. 15 mothers share their heart with us in this book, from Amanda Bennett in the Introduction, to Deborah Wuehler in the Epilogue; each women shares their journey with us. It seems like everything is covered; special needs, learning styles, resistance to learning, college-bound and having no desire for college. Even different types of homeschooling are covered, distance learning, dual-enrollment, CLEP testing; if it's a type of homeschooling it seems to be covered by some mother, some where.

What I took away from reading "Help, Lord, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling High School," was to meet my child where he's at. Every child is different, each with different interests, different strengths and different needs. If we persevere, with the Lord's help we will succeed. So, as I continue in my homeschooling journey, with High School, Middle School, Kindergarten and Preschool all represented in our home (school), I will persevere. I will refer often back to this book to be lifted up and strengthened in the knowledge that many have gone before me and they are willing to reach back and lend a hand.

So, to sum it up, I loved reading this e-book. Each story touched my heart in a different way, I saw either myself or one of my children represented in each struggle; even better I saw how each difficulty was met with prayer and resolved in a real and effective way.