Thursday, August 30, 2012

2 Weeks Down!!

Whoo Hoo!! We completed week 2 of Homeschooling!! 

I am still enjoying it very much and the boys are having a blast.  This week we tried some different times of doing school.  We did it during Isaac's nap a couple of times and other than the fact that I get no time to myself during the day it is much simpler to do school work while little guy is sleeping.  Today we went to the library in the morning.  The boys played on the little computers and then we read some books there.  We went to get a specific book I wanted for the boys called "I Need My Monster" by Amanda Noll but although the library said it was there, they could not find it today.  We picked out lots of other books to take home and one I have already read 6 times today since we got home.  "Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberly" is an instant favorite.  Also the kids loved "Interrupting Chicken" by David Ezra Stein.  Both were also pretty fun to read for adults so I give them both a thumbs up.  We got several other books but we have not read them all yet. I'll let you know what we think of them. 

It is awesome to see my kiddos learning!! Today with Kevin we began learning how to count by 2 and I was able to get him super excited by letting him do lots of writing on the white board.  I had him write the numbers 1-20 on the board then circle the numbers as he counted by 2.  We did this several times until he asked me to do word problems with him, which is what we did yesterday and he really like it!

My favorite online resource right now is Scootpad.  Both boys love it and it is 100% learning, amazing!

Some benefits we are already getting from homeschooling are:  The boys had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house on a school night!, We went to the library while everyone else was at school and got the kids section pretty much to ourselves including the computers, which my boys love but always have a hard time getting time on them.  We went to a splash pad and were one of 8 kids there, not the normal 50 that are there!  My kids are learning at a very fast pace.  They get one on one teaching and can go ahead or stay on any subject depending on their needs. We are having so much fun!

This cute alphabet caterpillar I printed from a blog called Oopsey Daisey... and use it to make caterpillar words with Kevin and for Adam he gets to put the letters in order!! I used the wiggle game with Isaac from the same I is for Insects Mommy School Packet!

More Totschool ideas for Little guy, this one is his absolute favorite he asks to do it even when school is out!! separating sponges into bowls by color with tongs!!  Who knew it was so exciting.  I now want to find sponges in different colors so he has more colors to play with.

 noodle separating!!

Another awesome drawing by MOM!!  Can you tell what our Social Studies Lesson was about?


The newest addition to our classroom.  Is it not the cutest thing on the "planet".  Anyway, my boys think it is awesome, and have been asking daily to look at it and asking where everything is on it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Entertaining the two year old!

As you might imagine homeschooling with a two year old in the house is kind of challenging!! Thanks to some awesome advise from another homeschooling mom, Kim, I have found a few activities that have helped tame little guys crazy, at least for a few minutes at a time.  Also I found this cool blog that had tons of ideas for his age.

So here is little guy transferring rice.  He loved this one!

Here he is separating straws by color into colored cups, which I was shocked at how well he did this until he got bored about 3 minutes in, but he can sort colors pretty well.

Who doesn't love stickers, especially if they are all super hero stickers?

 His activities made it possible for the other guys to get some fun learning in too.  Here is Adam matching dots to numbers.

Kevin made his own bar graph!  He then informed me he was "The Graph Master" yup, I can't make this stuff up!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Night Before Magic!!

Printing, cutting and laminating have become my favorite pastimes!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Science Project!

Pearson's Language Arts Curriculum Unit One is based on a story about a cat running away and then coming back!! (This curriculum is crazy...but we are picking and choosing and having fun with it)
Today we learned about Diagrams!!  (Ignore that terrible cat drawing, that was a kiddo request)

 Then we set out to learn more about plants!! Our first unit in Science is plants and we have tons of time to do this chapter so we get to do lots of experiments!!  Today we took apart a plant so that we could see all of its parts!  We discussed how each part of the plant is responsible for helping it grow...yay for roots, stems, leaves, and flowers...

Plant food was very interesting.

 Then we planted them in our pot of death...I only say that because I have killed everything I have planted in that thing.  You never know maybe my luck with change!

Then we wrote down our findings in our journals, or drew pictures of our findings

 A little 4 year old humor for you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day!

We definitely had first day jitters, by we I mean me, of course.  We had a blast though and aside from Isaac wanting all of everyone's attention all  morning it was super fun and enjoyable.  I stuck to my lesson plan, except I realized I had not given time for going over classroom rules and rewards and disciplines.  So we added that in after "recess".  Recess was playing upstairs since they thought it was too hot outside today!  

We began our morning with taking some super cute pics!!

 Then we went to work!  I went over the first math lesson for both of them and then gave them their projects and proceeded to feed Owen and put him down for his morning nap.

We added in the making the rules part of our day.  I had the boys tell me our rules and what should be rewards and disciplines and we thought up a way to keep track daily.  Of course it will require some creativity on my part for making a behavior chart that includes a tree and a catapillar with colors.  This chart is based on the one Kevin had in Kindergarten, he really liked it and I say, "why reinvent the wheel?"

Adam matching lowercase with capital letters

Kevin coming up with 10 "a" words
These were language arts games we played after we did our lesson.  The boys loved them both!!

I claim Success for the First Day of School at Home!! Now if anyone has ideas on how to better entertain a 2 and a half year old I am all ears!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

School Room

School starts tomorrow and we are so excited around here.  The room is complete except for some final touches that will come in time!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yes, But WHY are you doing it??

Here we go, a brand new adventure!  It is true I have decided to home school Kevin and Adam this year.  I am super excited about it and love the program we have chosen so far.  I chose to go with CHEP, it stands for Community Home Education Program.  Kevin took a summer art course at the site through the program and loved it!  This program is done through the Orange County Department of Education.  Here are some of the guidelines.

1.  We meet with our teacher , Brigette, once a month to show her our progress and ask questions.  Of course, we can call anytime in between or come see her anytime if we have more questions or need help with anything. 

2.  There are 4 sites in OC and we are going to based at the Chep North site, although, we can attend workshops at any site.

3.  There are workshops that the boys can attend and these are optional.  They have classes with children of their own class group and could be in class once a week or twice a week depending on how many workshops they have signed up for.

4.  The curriculum is FREE that is awesome

5.  There are field trips put into place once a month for specific age groups such as K-2 or 3-6 and so on so that they can go someplace for the day with kids their own ages.  These are optional as well.

okay so I know you just want to know why on Earth is a mom of 4 boys 6 and under going to take on schooling them too.

well I have several reasons and some may be controversial and some are just because I am who I am.  so here goes

I had thought about homeschooling as an option years before my kiddos came to school age you can read a blog post here to see my thoughts back then.  Over the years my life has gotten MORE fun with more kiddos and  we moved and I too have gotten older and wiser (hopefully).  So I stand by my original feelings on the difficulties of sending very young children into the school system.  By very young I am speaking of 8-9 years old and younger. In my mind children under this age are still trying decided what is right and wrong and they are still not sure.  I am not sure I want right and wrong being taught to my children by California public schools.  Now that I said that, I did send my oldest to public school for Kindergarten.  I wanted to try it out.  I wanted to see if we minded the commute because the schools next to us lack diversity which I believe is important for all children.  Sadly, 2 hours a day in the car for 1 kid was a little crazy with 3 more still at home.  Lastly, I feel like learning and getting out to museums, zoos, aquariums and such have halted at home since we have to drop #1 off and then wait to pick him up with not quite enough time to do anything in the middle and not enough time to do it after school either. There are other miscellaneous pros for homeschooling for us as well, such as my husband has every other Friday off which means we can take 3 day weekend trips with no guilt (and really isn't getting out with your family and seeing new places some of the best learning of all).  On that same note we can take homeschooling on the road like this September we will be in Lake Tahoe for a week and we will be doing school there.  We can vacation in the off season making more traveling more achievable.  ( they will make up a special packet of things to learn about in Tahoe at the site if I would like them to, I LOVE THAT)

Here we are  today and have made the decision.  We start school on Monday.  I am a little scared, a little nervous, and very excited for this year.  I love my assigned teacher at CHEP and I feel like we are doing the right thing for our family at this time.  I don't believe I will do it past elementary.  I have no will to, but if my kids really love it and it works for us, I am willing to keep an open mind. It sure is a scary thought for me at this point, though. 

This blog is going to be a journal of our schooling, of the projects we do and my thoughts and feelings while I am in the middle of it.  Here is to embarking on a new Adventure!!