Finding time for those extra curricular activities

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Well, February flew by and now we are into March! Three months down and we are all still speaking to each other.  Amazing in my mind.  The past few weeks have been slightly stressful-not because of homeschooling but because of the what next question.  February is the month that schools have their lotteries and start their campaigns for next year.  For us that means, what happens next year?  Would they be ready for a traditional school next year?  Well, as I promised to Nick-I placed all three kiddos into the lotteries for the charter schools.  As in years past, no one made it into the charter school.  The funny part is that in the past this always frustrates me; however, this year I am actually ok with it because I know that what we are doing is working.

The weeks are flying by and things are still going well for the most part.  December, January and February were pretty much filled with reading, writing and math without much thought to art, music and PE.  For next year, I need to find a balance for these.  Most of the classes are in the afternoon at the time we pick up Parks, so hopefully next year it will all come together better with the schedule.  Anyway-back to the now.  The past two weeks, the kids continued their PE class which they are still loving.  The PE class has also been beneficial to me.  I have found that homeschooling seems to be popular among those with kiddos with some type of learning disability/difference.  I have learned about many programs that work well for kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia.  I am understanding the importance of networking even as a home school mom.

The kids also started their art program at the Mint Museum.  In the previous post, I wrote about going to the Mint and doing a scavenger hunt.  This time we went and did a backpack.  First the kids pick a backpack filled with activities on a certain painting or sculpture.  Then they have to find the sculpture or painting and get to work.  THe backpack was filled with puzzles about the work of art, ideas on optical illusions, and information to get the kids looking at and discovering more about the painting.  I was very impressed with what they came up with.  We went with another family which also gave the kids the opportunity to read aloud in a group (something kids do a lot at school but so much when homeschooled) and to present their information/thoughts.  This week, the kids went back to the Mint for a pottery class which they will continue for the next 3 weeks.  I realized by how excited they were to be around art that I have been completely slack in this department.  Thank goodness their artistic side was not completely squashed. 🙂  They have been drawing and creating a lot since we went to the Mint!

The final excitement of the week came Wednesday afternoon.  Parks joined Sims and Sawyer for a class about tracking wild animals using animal tracks and excrement (nasty, yes-but they learned the proper names for each animal).  After the class, a friend of mine gave the kids a lesson in horses.  The kids learned to groom a horse and to clean the horse’s stall and how to read a horse’s mood.  Below is Sims’ paragraph on his experience.

At Latta,  I went to the barn.  I walked a horse.  First, I petted the horse.  Second, we groomed a horse.  Then we walked it.  Horses are a lot of work.

Sims has been working hard on writing a cohesive paragraph.  I was pretty excited when he wrote this spontaneously and on his own.  It is nice to see that the kids want to write or read on their own.  I think I took that for granted in the past.  I now realize how difficult it is for Sims to get his ideas on paper.  It makes all of those little notes he has written to Nick and I even more special.  The same holds true for Parks.  He loves to write us little notes and it is easy to look at them and not be impressed.  I have to remind myself how much of himself he has put into that little note.  Sawyer is my little writer.  I am enjoying her stories daily as she scribes them in her journal!

Remember to take the time to appreciate what your little one has done on his/her own!

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