Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lapbooks: Modern Greece

This was our very first lapbook and since MB isn't proficient in writing yet he felt I should be the one to write most of the labels in it. Lucky Mommy but I did make him write a few things a s well and do most of the cutting and/or gluing.

We chose Modern Greece because every month we get a Top Secret Adventures pack from Highlights Magazine featuring a different country. Our very first country was Greece and it arrived around the same time we decided to try our hand at Lapbooking so voila! By doing Modern Greece it also means we can make another Lapbook later on Ancient Greece. lol

We started with a regular green three pronged folder and just went from there. I think the pictures are probably better at explaining than I am so check them out and I'll write more after you're finished.

Okay all done? I apologize for the blurry pics one some of them but like a total amateur I didn't use the good camera like I should have.

As you can see, MonkeyBoy learned alot about Greece. He learned about the different foods, animals, ruins, statues, islands, and even a few phrases. His favorite part of it all was of course the paper dolls followed by all the animals found in Greece. He now takes the extra time to ask me to check up on Greece in the news and make sure they are doing alright. THAT is my favorite part of this whole thing.

Obviously this isn't an amazing post about our Lapbook but I figure we're still learning and I AM reading up on how to properly share your lapbook so next time I should have all kinds of fun facts, resources, and pictures but for this time we're just keeping it casual. *smile*

My little guy had fun and doing this Lapbook has led him to want to make many many more so I consider it a huge success.

I plan on adding links in this post to the resources I used so if anything in any of the pictures interested you then please check back soon. If you notice a resources of template of yours in any of the pictures then please feel free to email me so I can give proper credit. Without those who make the awesome pics and templates, mothers like me would be completely out of luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nature Journal 2009-2010

With it just being MonkeyBoy this year I figure there is no excuses for not sharing the Nature Journal he will be doing.

For MonkeyBoy's Nature Journal this year we started with a square Crayola Sketchbook then using orange colored cardstock paper we covered the front.

Next he put nature and bug stickers on the cover and we wrote "Nature Journal" in print.

I plan on adding a little button and string to the book so it will stay closed even after he adds things to it but for right now here is what it looks like...

Posts and pics of what we put INSIDE the journal coming soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Homeschooling Plans

This year is going to be a little weird for me because I will only be homeschooling my youngest son, MonkeyBoy, instead of all three heathens like usual. Big B has started college and Sis is going to a snazzy new charter school so while I will miss them at home, I really hope they both enjoy their new schools.

So with that, here is what I plan to do with MonkeyBoy but I reserve the right to vary from this list whenever I feel like it. LOL. One never knows what will catch the attention of my little ADHD child so I'm going to go with the flow whenever he wants to.

Plans For 2009-2010

Reading- I purchased a subscription to Click N' Read through Homeschoolbuyers Co-op that we have been using and will continue to use. So far it seems to be working really well and hopefully will continue to. I have also downloaded several File Folder Games that teach reading and we'll also practice during our nightly bedtime stories.

Writing- Since first learning about Copywork I have enjoyed implementing it in our homeschooling. With MonkeyBoy I plan on using several different sources for his Copywork including downloads, Beginning Reader books, his Ranger Rick magazines, and whatever else we find interesting. He will also be starting a Spelling List this year beginning with two letter words and working his way up from there.

Math- Oral addition and subtraction problems as we've been doing (the kid loves to walk around the house doing Math problems for some reason), learning about and counting money, File Folder Games I've downloaded, and a computer program I picked up.

Geography/History- We'll do Lapbooks about different countries and history, read books including the Magic Tree House series again, the Time Warp Trio books and show, do some map recognition, and the Highlights Top Secret Adventures packs we get.

Science- The local Explora museum is offering 14 weeks worth of classes starting in August so MB will be going to class once a week. I think it's a great opportunity for him to be in a class with other children his age and have another teacher besides Mommy for an hour a week. We will also be doing a Nature Journal, photo journaling our finds, doing Lapbooks on various subjects, and watch shows on National Geographic channel and Animal Planet.

This year we are also buying a microscope so we can study the various ecosystems in our area which should be a lot of fun and I hope to have MB do the homeschool version of Hogwarts School that so many friends have enjoyed with their kids.

Art- We will study several artists ending each lesson with MB doing his own version of their art, he will take a few classes at the local Art Gallery, we'll make several trips to the Albuquerque Art Museum, do a few Lapbooks, and also various crafts (such as a Toad House, stepping stones, pet rocks, etc).

Music- He'll study composers and music by listening, reading, and doing Lapbooks on them. His favorite thing in the world is Phantom of the Opera so we will probably do a Lapbook for that to make him happy. We'll also watch a few musicals and he would like to learn to play the keyboard this year.

Physical Education- He plans on joining Teeball again this fall, we take walks to our community park, exercise in the backyard, and might looking into putting him into another activity in between playing ball.

Extra- I'm going to look into Roots & Shoots for him and find badges he can earn for learning certain skills. As a family we don't agree with groups like Boy Scouts so putting him in that is out of the question. I also hope we can go on tons of Field Trips all over the place this year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

School News For All Three

Well as of yesterday Big B is a student at UNM here in New Mexico. I can't believe my boy is a college student already. *sigh* At this point he is going to start towards his degree in Geothermal/Earth Resources Engineering but will have to actually finish that degree at another university since it's not offered here. There are several colleges in the States and overseas that offer the degree so he has some wonderful options. I'm really excited for him and it's nice to see him so excited about something as well.

Sis will be starting high school at a new charter school we have that not only covers basic academics but also focuses on the Arts. She'll be able to work at her own pace on a specialized program designed just for her. I absolutely LOVE that! Sis will also have the option of taking classes like Web Design, Digital Photography, Sculpture, Oil Painting, and so on. I can't wait to see what classes she chooses for herself.

The school is also new with only 125 students in grades 7th-9th so I think it's a good way for her to transition from homeschool to a more public form of schooling. I am just so much happier with this option than the public school one for the coming years. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a pub-school hater but I am definitely a New Mexico public education hater! haha.

MonkeyBoy will be my only homeschooler this year and I'm really excited for this year. MBoy LOVES to learn and soaks up everything like a sponge so it should be an awesome adventure. I can't even say what "grade" he is going into because he's spanned across three grades right now. I love that about homeschooling!

I'm going to do a separate post on our plans for him this year so I don't make this post overly long.

So all three kids are taking their own special paths this fall when it comes to learning and I'm really very happy for them. Even though I will only still be homeschooling MonkeyBoy I plan on posting updates on all three kids on here so keep looking to check on the heathens' edjumakasion. LOL

Big B also recently got his latest 24 hour urine test results back and I posted about it on our medical blog- HERE. Feel free to read as it's pretty good news.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist

This was being passed around by some friends and supposedly came from Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1 (thank you Meg for letting me know there was a link to the actual post/page by Deborah Markus). I'm sure there are lots of fellow homeschoolers who will agree with and appreciate this "list".

1-Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2- Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3- Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4- Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5- If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6- Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7- We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8- Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9- Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10- We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11- Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12- If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13- Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14- Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15- Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16- Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17- Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18- If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19- Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20- Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21- Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22- Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23- Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24- Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25- Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And Then There Was One

I know it has been a very long time since I've posted and I guess that's because I never had much to say that I felt was exciting. At the time I stopped posting I was also reading other homeschool blogs that made everything sound so wonderful and fun. It made me feel a little lacking if that makes sense.

Obviously it wasn't the fault of the other blogs but my own problem. Also I was having alot of problems with homeschooling my oldest two kids for quite awhile and it was hard to accept that maybe homeschooling them was a mistake. :(

No matter what I tried I couldn't motivate them to want to learn anything and believe me, I tried just about everything! Finally I had to choose either to keep making myself sick by riding their butts all the time or let go and make them accept some responsibility for whether or not they learn too. Well it ended up that they didn't care either and that left us at an impasse.

In the end I made Big B take over his own schooling and placing whether or not he succeeds on him alone. Now he does the work and pushes himself while my role has become making sure he gets the books and materials he needs, taking him to things, encouraging him, and helping him get ready for college. He has come to realize that he really screwed up by not doing his best over the years and has hopefully pulled his head out now.

Every single day of schoolwork with Sis was a nightmare and it was making me physically sick. I just couldn't do it anymore and even begging, pleading, and crying wasn't working. Finally I told her that she too was on her own for the rest of this year. I would help her when she put forth effort, get the materials she needed, and do whatever I could to help but I wasn't taking the blame anymore. Unfortunately she still refuses to do anything at all and we have made the decision that she will be starting public high school in August. Until then all I can do is keep trying to get her to care more about her education.

MonkeyBoy on the other hand is flourishing and learning so much it's unreal. He loves every subject and enjoys the fun ways I've come up with to teach him. Math is fun, Science is "cool" (with help from Magic School Bus), Social Studies is "awesome" thanks to Time Warp Trio and Magic Tree House, he would rather be read to than read himself but he's catching on, writing seems to be more fun to him lately. He even sat through a documentary Hubby and I were watching today on JFK which shocked me. I kept expecting MonkeyBoy to get bored and go play but instead he asked questions about Lee Harvey Oswald, why he shot JFK, and even "The Grassy Knoll". It was really cute and so like him to do something unexpected like that plus fun to hear what things interested him. :)

So right now where we stand is that Big B is starting at UNM in the Fall, Sis is starting public High School in August, and MonkeyBoy will continue homeschooling as he is thriving at it. In the meantime I will be trying very hard to not blame myself for things not turning out the way I had hoped they would. Wish me luck! lol

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A to Z- Some A Me

I posted this meme at Life With Heathens but I figured I would share it with my homeschooling friends too. Of course, I had to clean up the language some in order to post it here...*snicker*


Accent: I honestly don't have one. I moved so often before the age of 18 that I never had enough time to pick one up.

Breakfast or no breakfast: most times I'm a no breakfast gal but some mornings I'm just a hungry witch.

Chore I don’t care for: All of them? I am an equal opportunity chore hater- I hate them all equally. *smile*

Dog or Cat: We've got three cats so I should say cat so I at least look loyal.

Essential Electronics: Computer definitely computer

Favorite Cologne: Don't have one

Gold or Silver: Both. It's all about the bling, color ain't no thang! *snort*

Handbag I carry most often: This bohemoth black leather thing

Insomnia: I gots it

Job Title: Domestic Engineer, Professional Product Reviewer, Toy Expert, anything that makes me sound more important than I really am.

Kids: Well when a man and a woman love each other... oh you mean how many do I have? Three heathens. Do you want me to finish the reproduction lesson still?

Living Arrangements: All I know is that a large hairy guy walks around my house between the hours of 8-11am and 8-10pm so I guess we have a living arrangement of sorts. He pays a large portion of the bills and sometimes I show him a little leg. *wink wink*

Most Admirable Trait: I'd rather laugh than cry?

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Getting drunk for the first time at age 11 probably wasn't a good girl thing was it?

Overnight hospital stays: Thanks to this disorder and cancer, more than I care to remember.

Phobias: heights, deep water, one of my kids dying, claustrophobia

Quote: "Your ass!"

Reason to smile: My kids

Siblings: I refuse to claim them!!! You can't make me!!

Time I wake up: Usually around 8am unless I'm sick and then it's 10am

Unusual Talent or Skill: I'd teach ya but I'd have to charge. *snicker* Okay so I really have no clue.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Sweet Potatoes

Worst Habit: It's a tie between biting my nails and drinking a 2ltr of soda a day.

X-rays: Yeah, see the "Hospital Stays" answer

Yummy Stuff: Cheesecake. It's the nectar of the Gods I tell you!!

Zoo Animal I Like Most: Hmmmm I'd say the hippo because she knows her butt is big and she's okay with that. She's an inspiration to us all... let your butt expand and you too can spend all day in the pool!

So who else is going to give this a try huh? If you don't you're a big ol' WUSSY! That's right, I said it...WOO-say! Oh geez, now I'm channeling Mrs. Fussypants. ahaha