Block One Complete!

Untitled drawing (6)

We finished our first block last week.  I always look forward to the first block, and up until this year, I usually am ready to pull my hair out!  I actually planned for a good balance of work and “play.”  Over the summer, I made weekly work plans for each child.  Each week each child must complete 4 days of math, 4 days of spelling, copy work, and a main lesson or block.  Sims and Sawyer also have Latin.

The work plans allowed for just enough “school,'” to keep the kids’ minds flowing with new ideas, but it was not overwhelming.  In fact one week, Sims finished a good portion of his work on a Sunday evening because he had a project that he wanted to work on throughout the week.  Sawyer is doing an amazing job with the work plans.  I think that she needs to know exactly what is expected of her each week.  Parks does not worry about the work plan and continues to rely on me to get him through his work.

So what did each child complete?

Parks worked on All About Spelling, Math U See-the first 8 lessons, emotions and using words to express emotions in writing, biology, and Mr.Popper’s Penguins using Brave Writer (which included art projects, copy work, plurals, possessives).

Sawyer worked on Phonetic Zoo, Word Roots, Math U See-first 8 lessons, reading comprehension and writing work using the Brave Writer program for the book Secret of the Andes, and Ancient Incan history.  She also started her environthon class.

Sims worked on Phonetic Zoo, Word Roots, Math U See Pre algebra-first 4 lessons, biography writing using the Brave Writer program for the book A Door in the Wall, and finishing up Medieval Times.  He also started his environthon class.  Sims also learned how to take notes and to reference his work.

Overall, I think the first month went well.  Everyone remains happy and not complaining about school.  I am hoping our next block goes as well as the first.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This Moment

Originally inspired by “Soulemama“: {this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a simple, special, extraordinary (sometimes just silly) moment.

The Hardest Part of Homeschooling Link Up

I must say that I do not regularly join in blog parties, but I decided to join in one now through Simple Homeschool.  Currently, SImple Homeschool is asking bloggers to write about their hardest part of homeschooling.  Besides the obvious things of teaching three different “grades,” three different learning styles, three different personalities and trying to maintain a household, I find going against the mainstream to be my hardest part of homeschooling.

There is a general chaos in the area that we live in.  For most people, the chaos appears to be the normal.  People are up before the sun waiting on buses.  Cars with only one person per car are buzzing up and down the roads and highways trying to get to work on time.  Restaurants are filled each evening with families and people trying to get a quick meal before the evening activities.  Or  people are eating late in the evening after the activities.  Everyone around us appears to be rushing.

In addition to the chaos of schedules, comes the planning.  What sports are your children playing?  Do you plan to go back to work?  What do your kids want to do when they grow up?  What does your husband do?

I enjoy our town and our community.  The surroundings are beautiful.  We are in the southern United States.  We live in a meat and potatoes, drive around to everything, go to work and school type of area.  In the end, where do we as homeschooling, vegetarian, gluten-free, outdoorsy people fit in to this community?   We are the fish swimming up stream.  I am not trying to teach my children to be rebels or that different is better.  I am trying to teach my children to stand up for their beliefs in a respectful way and to be true to themselves.  Sometimes, this means swimming against the current which takes strength, courage, grace, patience and respect.

I love our life.  I love our choices.  I love that we get the opportunity to sit and observe nature.  We are lucky enough to take our time with projects and to get lost in our imaginary worlds.  I do not believe that everyone should homeschool, but I do think all kids should get the opportunity to be kids without the schedules and planning.  I do think that we should all be able to sit and enjoy a meal.  We should all get to know each other for ourselves and not for our careers.

Before we homeschooled, I was unaware of the chaos.  The chaos was my normal.  My job defined who I was.  After school activities and finding the best school for our kids were my main concerns.  Homeschooling opened my eyes to the insanity that exists around me.  Going against the mainstream can be lonely and tough.

(Please know that I do not mean to offend anyone with this post.  I know how lucky that I am to be able to homeschool.  And I know that I get to homeschool because of my husband who lives in the daily chaos.)

Summer is Over!

Summer is Over!

I am not even sure where to begin this post.  It feels as if it has been a really long time since I have sat in front of my computer beyond deleting mindless emails.  Our official school year started last week on August 24th.  Together we discussed goals, curriculum, expectations, plans, and life over the next nine months.

The kids jumped right into having a rhythm.  They thrive on it (I need it too but I am much more rebellious—summer come back!!!)  We started by making our front cover for our main lesson books.  As our life tends to find chaos, Wednesday found us rehabing a black racer.  He got trapped in one of those sticky mouse traps (side note: those traps are awful!!!  If you have them, please consider switching them out).  He was severely dehydrated and hungry.  We released him back out on Friday.  Hopefully, he makes a full recovery!  The best part of the first week was definitely our “Back to School” party that we hosted at Latta Plantation.  We had a terrific turn out!  The kids played in the woods.  The parents started making plans for the year.

Stump Cake-Summer is OVER!

Stump Cake-Summer is OVER!

This week, we jumped into our first blocks which included Mr.Popper’s Penguins, Secret of the Andes (Ancient Incas) and The Door in the Wall (Medieval Times).  We are also trying to squeeze in as much time on the lake as we can before it starts.  We had friends to the lake on Monday afternoon and went out with friends on their boat Wednesday afternoon.  The week ended with everyone finishing their work plans without too much moaning and groaning which meant we got to hike today.  Yep, that’s right!  Friday hikes are back!

Today, we adventured off trail down to Gar Creek at Latta Plantation to one of our favorite spots.  Over the course of this blog, you have seen MANY pictures at Gar Creek.  Today the creek looked like a jungle!  The beautiful scenery of greenery surrounded us throughout the woods!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.