Well hello…

Here it is at the end of June and I don’t think I have even had a moment to recover from this past school year.  As you know we don’t “officially” school in the summer, but spend time trying new things through camps, road trips, or some days just a hike.  But I tell ya, I haven’t even looked into my crystal ball to see what’s coming for August and that is SO unlike me.  I’m one of those that have the texts for the coming year picked out by April and by now normally have at least the first month planned, but this year (7th grade) was tough y’all.  It wasn’t just some of the academics were tough, but dealing with a middle schooler who oozes across the counter top when I mentioned the term “math”, or did everything but what needed to get done. Sigh. I’ve heard the stories about teens and maybe somewhere deep inside I thought I might escape that truth, but someone is laughing somewhere if they watched my reality show this school year.  In retrospect, I know where it could have gone better and been done differently, and believe me I am already making plans to correct that this coming year, but what I don’t know is when I am not going to feel so tired from it!  Do anyone of you homeschool but feel like you’re never home?  Yea, like that.

So here I sit, finding strength in my coffee, trying to get back on track and figure out which part of the mountain I start climbing first.  For those of you beginning the middle school years, the most unsolicited advice I can give you is to allow yourself extra time to finish assignments.  The work takes longer to process and some days the tantrums are reminiscent of a toddler (I say that lovingly).  There’s a lot of emotion here and not just from having to do schoolwork.  So I wish you the strength of a village and to keep in mind there are survivors that have come before us 🙂

Happy summer!

~Christina

 

Happy April…Already!!

March flew by that’s for sure and now we are entering the “What’s the Plan for Next Year” mode.  In our house we take homeschooling year by year, evaluate what’s working, and figure out how to revamp what is not.  Oh, and it’s the time of year all the groups I am in become swamped with hundreds of “for sale” adds overwhelming me with the massive variety of curriculum and texts out there.  Which for a few brief seconds make me panic and wonder “am I doing enough?”  Do you ever have that problem?  My first stopping point is Timberdoodle.com because I really love how they show you their suggested texts for each grade level.  This is the site where I discovered my all time favorite math curriculum, Teaching Textbooks (non-secular, very interactive, grades it for you) and my favorite history books America the Beautiful (secular, great reading, great activities for each chapter) amongst so many others.  I also pick up my science kits and other things like puzzles here. I don’t usually do the bundles but they are probably some of the best ones I’ve seen out there. So I can say we are ahead of the curve as I have already picked out what I wanted for my soon to be 7th grader and headed over to Amazon to fill in the other areas I think are needed. We are taking on few extra classes next year outside of the home in addition to choir and PE so next year should be interesting to say the least!   Now, I find myself staring out the pile trying to find encouragement to tackle what’s inside them which is exactly why we take the summer off to reboot and refresh.  Bless those who teach non-stop!

Do you have any favorite, go-to sites when you are looking in to your crystal ball for the year to come?  Share them here if so… 🙂

 

Happy New Year!

It’s that time to ramp up for school again.  We’ve enjoyed our long break off but it’s time to get back to it!  Some people started back last week, but I love to use that extra quiet time to get things organized, take down décor, let the kiddo enjoy those Christmas/Birthday gifts just a little longer.  While our out-of-home classes started up, I didn’t start our in home classes until yesterday.  Though my daughter protested (what’s new?) I started off our day with a lesson that combined equivalent fractions, with the study of earth’s layers and a discussion of plate tectonics.  All of this led to our earth layered cupcakes, which oozed during cooking, which led way to a discussion on volcanic activity.  So much accomplished and it was really fun.  Here a pic of how we did it.

  1. Start with a box of white cake mix and make according to directions.
  2. We used 5 colors (I bought the icing color mixes at JoAnne’s) and I had these nifty egg dye cups from Easter that we divided the batter into.  It helped us remember the colors we were after.
  3. After mixing the colors into the batter, we layered each color into our muffin cups and baked according to the box directions. We managed 9 cupcakes from the mixes, but had we filled the cups with less could’ve gotten them all.

Hope your first week back is great! ~ Christina

Sometimes it’s hard!!!

Wow, I’ve been gone way too long!  I’m so sorry, but this past month has really rocked and rolled.  We headed off to Disney for a nice stay and little did my kiddo know I turned Epcot into school.  I mean what better way than to visit 20 countries in 2 days?!  Here’s what she doesn’t know…  First, it was the Food & Wine Festival.  For me it’s a magical time of year when samplings from all over the world are rolled out and paired with delicious adult beverages all in bite size, small sip forms.  I’m already in a good mood the minute I hit the park.  BUT for her, this trip become about an adventure.  We got there, grabbed the “food passport” book (this little book that looks like a menu, lists the countries by food, and allows you to collect stamps from each one you’ve tried) and I set some guidelines.  We are going on an trip, we are looking to brave new cultures, new cuisines, and pretend we don’t have access to tacos and hamburgers!  She needed to pick 2 items that really challenged her and then together as a family we narrowed down the countries!  We sang in Mexico, danced in Africa, tried chocolates from Germany, tried clothing from Tokyo, watched lumberjacks carve wood in Canada, and even got henna tattoos in Morrocco!  And the food….drum roll please….her 2 picks were the Escargot Croissant rolls with garlic and parsley from France, and the Beijing roasted duck in a steamed bun with hoisin sauce.   I was sooo proud, she took a bite of both and stated loudly that she could check snails off her “bucket list” Ha!

Our family truly loves Epcot when you have the time to really partake in the people there.  Disney hosts college students in each country as part of it’s college program, so you end up with a truly unique experience. BUT with all that fun, we had to come home…

2 days after we got home all of us came down with respiratory infections, followed by bronchitis, and now the stomach bug.  Hmm, we’ve had 2 weeks off on top of Disney so this month has just dwindled down the drain..

So we’re gonna get back at it, hit the books a little harder, and hold on to some good memories!

Not Back To School Day!

Ah, it’s the end of summer and time for our schedule to start up again.  My local homeschool group (Keller Homeschoolers) kicked off the school year with a homeschool party at one of our local splash pads.  I can’t emphasize how great it is to see familiar faces and welcome new ones at gatherings like these.  It’s also a great way to find out about programs, classes, successes, and challenges of things you might be considering.  Oh, and did I mention the food.  I like food and since we all bring something, I’m pretty happy all the way around… 🙂  What are some of your traditions for kicking off school?

Summertime blues

Whew! I swear the summer just started a few weeks ago and I feel like I have looked up only to find it’s time to work out our fall schedule, make sure I have the details about upcoming field trips, and get registered for any classes we might need, and on and on! We do not school year round like some of you brave souls. But our summer is full of camps. This year we participated in a Jr. Lifeguard class, a Girl Scout Camp, and College for Kids at TCC (which is typically 3 weeks of academic classes that she self-selected but doesn’t realize it’s “school”). While we have a few parent/student class meetings to attend a littler earlier than we start, we will be officially kicking off 6th grade August 31st.  Are you guys ready?! I wonder, when you begin a new year what do you do to celebrate?