A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- The Countdown Begins!

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Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, we’ve officially reached that point in our break when I’ve grown antsy enough to begin counting the days until we start our homeschool routine, and my kids are right there with me! The only things stopping me from starting early are the fact that we still have a ton of supplies to purchase and my kids go to VBS all week next week. It’s not your typical 2-hour VBS. They do a sports program with Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 9-12, then they are served lunch there, and finally the actual VBS program runs from 12:30-3. My kids are going to be tired next week!

Devin finally came home Tuesday after being in Atlantic City for an anime convention for several days. My brother is the one who takes her. He always cosplays Uncle Iroh from “Avatar” and is quite famous for it. My daughter always finds it funny when her 59-yr.-old uncle keeps showing up on random posts on her Tumblr feed.

Dillon has been spending a lot of time with Brendan (the oldest) this week. They’ve just been doing odds and end things like watching “Naruto”, going to comic book stores, and going for runs at the parkway. Dillon is especially excited because he and some friends are going to Dorney Park on Sunday. It’s his first time there, which I really feel bad about because I practically lived there as a kid. My dad was the maintenance foreman, so we always got free season passes until he retired. Unfortunately, prices are just too steep to take our whole family there.

Otherwise, it’s just been a normal week for the rest of us, although the kids were very involved in caring for a fledgling that fell out of a nest. Caollin kept perching it on our clothes line to “train” it how to fly. They spent the entire day with it feeding it and loving it. The next morning it wasn’t there. I’m really hoping it was able to fly away and wasn’t eaten by the neighbor’s cat…

 

There were a few rainy days that we had to spend inside, but the kids kept themselves busy making robots out of boxes and drawing with chalk pastels.

 

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Today was an especially exciting day because UPS delivered not one but three books!

Give Your Child the World, by Jamie Martin

The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book, by Dr. David Jeremiah

Hope Unfolding- Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart, by Becky Thompson

I’m seriously like a kid in a candy store when it comes to reading. So many books, so little time!

That pretty much concludes our week. I’ll continue counting down the days like I have been…25 days to go!!

What have you been up to?

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A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Summer Fun!

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Another week has flown by, and I’m telling you, I am already so antsy to begin our new homeschool year! There’s a reason for this…after years of doing lapbooking, I finally decided to look into notebooking, and I am wondering why I never checked it out before. It looks like so much fun and will be a great way to transition some of my kids into writing more often. Yay for Jimmie Lanley!

I’ve also been trying to come up with a plan for my soon-to-be 11th grader for history. He’s very hands-on and doesn’t like to read, so I’m thinking of writing a study of World Folklore for him to do for the year. (I can see a beautiful notebook for this!) We’ll see where this takes us, but for now I’m really psyched about it. I’m such a nerd. 🙂

This past Saturday I went to Family Day at my oldest son’s Military Police Reserve unit. It was fairly relaxing since the only “child” I brought with me was my 16-yr-old. It was bittersweet, though, because there was a bounce house, dart games, bubbles, and Batman! (I didn’t tell my younger kids that they missed out on Batman. Ssh!)

 

Sunday was a washout, so we weren’t able to inflate the pool, but we got it up on Monday. Boy, did the kids have fun with that! There was also quite a bit of playing in the dirt this past week, and we found a ladybug larva- I never knew there was such a thing.

We also made some butterflies with paint- thanks for the idea, Mother of 3!

 

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My oldest daughter is in Atlantic City as I write this, getting ready for an anime convention this weekend. She’s particularly excited about this one because, other than it being in Atlantic City, it’s also the first convention she’s been to in 10 months. Believe me, she was more than ready.

As for me, I just received the book With My Eyes Wide Open from UPS yesterday and have already finished it because it.was.amazing. I don’t want to give away too much, but suffice it to say, the faith of this rock star made me take a second look at my relationship with Jesus. Let’s just say that it made me pull my devotional off the shelf and dust it off with tears in my eyes. Look for a review of it in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow my hubby is planning on taking several of the kids to see the World of Warcraft movie. They’re so excited.

That’s about it for this fun-filled week. Leave a comment and tell me how yours has been!

 

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A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Evaluation Week!

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our last week of “school” has finally arrived- for real! And a new-to-us car (okay, SUV) has also finally arrived today! This past couple of weeks have been the longest days of our lives. Imagine living in a 12-person household without going grocery shopping for 10 days. 😦 Trust me, it wasn’t pretty.

Although we’ve been without transportation for most of the week, we’ve been very busy. Tomorrow morning our homeschool evaluator will be calling us for our evaluation interview, so this week has been much about the kids and I working together to choose which work samples to send to her. While it’s a lot of work, especially since I have 6 kids needing evaluations this year, it really was fun to take a look back at our year.

The Littles:

I’ve been continuing math practice with Luke (7) since his new workbook is pretty advanced for the coming year. Ireland (6) does not, technically, need the practice since she just finished Kindergarten, but this child is highly motivated and has astonished me in so many ways this week.

The other morning I drew a number line for Luke because he still needs to practice some of the more difficult addition facts. During his math time, Ireland asked me to make her a number line. I explained to her that I couldn’t help her right then because I was working with Luke, but she asked for it anyway. Then she asked me to write down some “hard” addition problems. Since I don’t like pushing kids too early, up until this point I had only worked with her on addition problems that add up to 0-5.

She sat on the floor diligently working on these problems, and I didn’t expect much because I had never shown her how a number line works. At one point I asked Luke what 7+8 was, and while he was calculating in his head, Ireland called out “15!” I asked her how she knew that. She casually replied, “The number line.” I walked over and checked her paper, and out of 20 problems, she only got 2 wrong! I was astonished.

The next day, she taught herself how to ride a bike. Again, we’ve never helped her with this. She hadn’t really been interested in it until this week when she simply got on a bike and started practicing over and over again until she could do it. Ireland is honestly the perfect example of how well children learn if they are left to figure things out for themselves. John Holt would’ve been proud. 🙂

 

The Big Kids:

Caollin, London, and Bailey have all also been continuing math. With everything going on, we haven’t done it everyday, but we get to it when we can.

Caollin’s been spending a lot of time at the creek with Dillon. This week they found a snapping turtle and a huge bullfrog. Thankfully, they did not bring them home and left them there. 🙂

London spent most of the week at my mother’s house and just came home today for her evaluation tomorrow. She had such a good time with her grandma and my uncle when she went out to eat with them and Jack Sparrow and Tinkerbell showed up. Afterwards, they went outside of the restaurant and saw a bunch of geese. London approached a goose to pet it, and it immediately fluffed up its wings and started chasing her. London was terrified, but I wish I’d have seen it. I would have been a bad mom and cracked up laughing! Later they did see why the goose was so belligerent- her babies were right up on the hill. She was just protecting them.

Tonight Bailey went to an event at the elementary school with a neighbor. He was so excited because he got two free books there.

 

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The Teens:

The teens are so happy to be finishing up their week. Devin has been busy preparing for three trips back-to-back-to-back. On Sunday, she’ll be leaving to go with a friend to the Special Olympics at Penn State. Her friend’s brother participates in the track event. They’ll be camping at a nearby campground for a few days there, after which she’ll be coming home for a day, and then setting off for an anime convention in Atlantic City. After being there for the weekend, she’ll come home for a few weeks and then head back to New Jersey for a Japanese Christian event with another friend whose mother is from Japan. Devin is a busy, busy girl!

Dillon has been another busy one! On Saturday he went to the roller rink with some friends, and practically every other day this week he’s been at the creek, which has meant no book work for him. I truly feel he’s learning more there because he’s actually interested in it. He’s still taking photographs of the wildlife and surrounding habitat. I think he may finally have found his niche!

 

Arianna has still been in homebody mode, although she did help our oldest son clean up my mom’s backyard this week. She found her Apples to Apples game this week, and we’ve played it several nights now. If you’ve never played this game, I highly encourage you to try it. It can be so hilarious if you’re playing with goofy kids like mine. 😉

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Compared to last week, this week started out just as difficult but has ended on a high note. God is good all the time, isn’t He? Here’s to hoping you have a blessed and fun weekend!

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A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Spiders and Squirrels and Snakes, Oh My!

The end of the school year is in sight, and the great outdoors are calling! (If the rain ever stops ;P) Join me for another week of highlights from There’s No Place Like Home!

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Well, we’ve now just completed the second last week of school for the Littles and the Big Kids. The Teens have another three weeks to go because they follow a more traditional school schedule. The end of the school year is a bit bittersweet for me because, while I love the summer, I do not enjoy the lack of structure from not doing our school routine everyday. Besides that, I really do enjoy our school routine, so I know that I’m going to be bored out of my mind without the hustle and bustle of the school day. Oh, well. Just plan on me posting lots of new unit studies because that’s what I usually spend my time doing when boredom sets in. I will admit, however that I am looking forward to the deep cleaning we always do the first few days of summer break because this house is a wreck.

This week was very similar to last week in that it’s been cold and, once again, I had to take five children to the dentist. Fun. No cavities this week, but one does need to see an orthodontist. Joy. Other than that, it’s been a pretty laid back week- as far as a household of twelve people can be laid back. 🙂 Now on to our week:

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The Littles

This week we started reading Madeline, which the kids have enjoyed so far. We found France, where the story takes place, on our world map and each child got their own map to place a story disk on. They also colored their own French flags, and we discussed so many different topics while reading, such as appendixes, hospital visits, steamboats, land line telephones (who would’ve thought they would be considered history in our lifetime!?), and the Eiffel Tower.

I’m going to confess that we spent a lot of time vegging out in front of the TV because it’s just been a cold, rainy week, and we really didn’t feel like venturing outside.

The Big Kids

The older kids are still working on their research/reference unit and will probably do so until the end of next week when they finish school. We read about Noah Webster and each child has been busy compiling a list of words they don’t know from our read-alouds and their silent reading selections (which, incidentally, are all the same as last week) to author their own dictionaries. Today they got to decorate the covers.

Caollin (11) did get to spend some time at the creek with Dillon (16), and she had a blast finding salamanders, crayfish, and a newt. Otherwise, they, too, have just been relaxing in the house, waiting for the sun to finally come out again.

The Teens

Schoolwork-wise, it’s really just been business as usual with these three.

Arianna (14) has been busy reading and helping with the younger kids during school time this week. On Sunday she went to see a local theater group’s performance of “Mary Poppins” with my mother. She really enjoyed it and hopes to see some more shows like it. (She recently saw “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” as well).

Dillon is still having the time of his life taking photographs and has even ventured out in this dreary weather to hone his photography skills. Here’s a sampling of what he did this week:

A few days ago he created a Facebook page for his photography, and he’s really been working hard at perfecting his skills.

Devin (17) has, once again, spent a lot of time with our oldest son this week. She’s looking forward to next month’s anime convention in Atlantic City and is busying herself with the details of what characters she’s going to cosplay. She also wants a job in the worst way, but I just haven’t gotten around to getting her a photo ID just yet.

Unfortunately, our school district does not issue school IDs to homeschoolers, which makes everything from getting a job to attending after-school events to taking SATs that much harder. I honestly believe they should begin issuing them to homeschoolers, since we do have to report to them yearly, so our kids are, technically, still students in the district, but what are you gonna do?

Anyway, this has been our week! What’s yours looked like?

 

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