Monday, February 20, 2012


"Do you like green eggs and HAM?"

"I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and HAM!"

Would you like them
here or there?"
"I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them

“I do so like
green eggs
and HAM!

Thank you!
Thank you,

~Dr. Seuss

He is a ham.


Yay for friends and crafty games!

Trying them out!

The object was to keep a small ball of tin foil up in the air using the air through the straw.
It might need a bit of tweaking for next time...

I think they had fun trying it out anyway.

Friday, February 10, 2012


It's Friday.
After a busy couple of days..
it is nice to have a day to stay home, relax a little bit and let the kids get messy without having to worry about going out or having company etc.

Enjoy your weekend!


Another couple of thoughts on
Beware, they are jumbled.
Try to muddle through, if you dare.

Here are some beans we've been watching.
They're sprouting very nicely.
We're still learning about plants.

The kids are excited to check the growth every day.
Every couple of days we document in our notebooks.
I love the hands-on, real life, nitty gritty of homeschooling.

Someone once asked me if all that college education prepared me well for teaching my own children.
My answer?
Being a parent is the best preparation. 

Not only for teaching my own children, but I think I am (or would be) a better classroom teacher in general, after having the experiences of raising children.
On a side note, it AMAZES me (!!!) how much propaganda and personal belief college professors spout that can be really damaging to the growth of thought and complete education.
There are aspects of education and pioneers in education that were NEVER even mentioned.
Now, this is not to say that my college education was a waste.  There were some excellent courses and some caring professors and valuable field work.  Dare I say it?  I actually sometimes miss ahem* writing papers*  Gasp!  I said it. Anyway, that is ultimately not what I wanted to write about.

One of the "struggles" of homeschooling as a former classroom teacher--(is that how I should put it?) is to not bring the traditional classroom and classroom mentality into our homeschool.
I don't believe that our homeschool environment should look anything like a regimented classroom as in a public or private school (and I'm not being negative about those experiences!).  For me, sometimes it is a struggle.  I find myself expecting the same kind of responses, participation, and order while that is not at all my goal for the kids!
I don't know if I'm making sense.

As a homeschooling parent, I firmly believe that a lot of the true learning that goes on is not done while sitting at the kitchen table doing math problems or writing our science answers.  As a classroom teacher, that is what is expected. The kids sit at their desks or centers or tables either in groups or individually and we all go over the information together in various ways to retain knowledge. 

I think that interacting with the environment and the people in the environment will ultimately give us the greatest education.  Homeschooling is a great venue because it allows gentle guidance in the best possible setting--FAMILY--to achieve maximum growth, individually and collectively.  I don't have all the answers.  I Don't have all the answers.  I don't have ALL the answers.
But I love my kids.
  I want what is best for my kids. 
 I will do everything in my power, with God's help, to make sure they are fulfilled in every aspect.

Sometimes, putting aside math to build a fort is necessary.
Sometimes, letting the kids argue it out is necessary.
Sometimes, going off on a tangent can be the best possible thing.
Sometimes, getting outside first thing in the morning will be the smartest thing we did all day.

So, I think that I need to pray for more grace.

I don't want my kids to be informed automatons that can spew out facts.
I want informed thinkers.
I want educated, responsible citizens.
I want vibrant, passionate followers of Christ.
I want loving, gentle children to be loving, gentle adults.
I want morally upright, brave, self-less beings.

I want a lot.
But I think, at least I hope, that every parent wants roughly the same for their own children.
This I know:
I can't get it just right all by myself.
No way.  No how. 
In fact, I get it wrong all the time.

I'm just grateful that I have One that has all the answers
and forgiveness and grace abounding.
I am grateful for a supportive husband and family.
I am grateful for friends, homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike, who share their children and interests with us.

I find it "funny" when people ask or say things like, "Did you do school yet?" or something along those lines--because I tend to do the SAME thing.  The beauty of homeschooling however, is that school is NEVER done and is ALWAYS going on.  Whether or not we have a textbook or pencil or any other educational tool in front of us.  It is a way of life. 
And we're still working on getting it just right.

Tell me about your experiences.
How do you keep the "normal" expectations from interfering?  Or do you encourage them?

*I would also like to say, I am not committed to homeschooling my children up through high school.  I am also not committed to NOT homeschooling my children up through high school.  It fits our situation now, but things can change from moment to moment and all we can do is go from day to day..I plan to make year by year commitments... Assessing our situation at the end of each school year.  If it turns out that homeschooling is not the best fit for us as time goes on, we will certainly explore other options for education.  Every family is different, nor do I judge those who make different choices than ours.  I'm thankful for this moment and opportunity to shape my children in this moment.*


After a holiday break, we were able to get together with friends this past weekend.
Mittens were NOT needed on the brisk, but pleasant February day.
What were needed instead were BOOTS!

The kids arranged themselves so well..

The 5 year olds on the outside..

Four year olds next..

3 and (almost 3) 2 year olds in the middle..
Boys on one side, girls on the other.

The little ones didn't join.
 I don't know if they would have been able to squeeze in there anyway.

After some fun outside it was time for some fun inside.
Playing with other people's toys is just so much better.... 

Then came lunch, a story and small craft related to mittens..then we had a double treat--
hot chocolate...and in the playroom.
One minor spill..that is what they are all looking at.

We're looking forward to next time!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Here we are in February!!
What a beautiful day it was! 
 Just shy of sixty degrees, the kids had some quality outdoor time today.
That is not what this post is about, however.
Yesterday, the final day of January 2012, we took a field trip.
With friends.
It was FUN!

We went to Imagine That!!
A Children's Museum.
The kids had a blast.

I'm sorry, a lot of these pictures are crummy..but they were in motion and I was busy watching the kids..not necessarily looking for perfect photo ops.
I still do want to document though.
Here goes.

Our group (minus 2) waiting for the "magic" show.
From Left to Right, Carina, Estrella, Maisy, Landon, Rian, Travis, Silas, Michael, and Tia.
Asher and Emma were MIA for the moment.

There's Asher!
but Landon is about to make a getaway.

Reading some books while waiting for the show to start.

ALMOST ready!

Estrella and Maisy up as volunteers

Wave those wands, Ladies!!

Michael also had a chance to volunteer.
He was soo into this.
Watching him cracking up at the "magician" just made me laugh.
For this trick, Michael had to grab some "magic" out of the air and throw it across the room into a tin bucket where it would make a plink as it "fell in."
He just got such a kick out of this.
Though, I think I have to explain it a bit better that it is just an illusion and not MAGIC.
Later that night, after we were home and I put the kids to bed, I went back into Michael's bedroom and he was awake in the dark.  There was a tin domino container in the middle of the floor and Michael informed me quietly, that he was trying to do magic. 
Ya know, pull it out of the air and make it "plink" into the container!
It made me laugh.  It was very cute.

Here he actually got to go up and help.
He had to help juggle..and kept missing the ball he was supposed to catch!!

He did finally catch the ball,in case you were anxious.

After the show was over, the kids were able to pet the dove.
I forget which kid said it, but I know someone mentioned that petting the dove was their favorite part of the day.

Part of a big jungle gym type thing.

Complete with slide.
Fast slide.
I saw Rian nearly flip over coming down.
She LOVED it!


Another fun room...filled with several real and/or life-sized vehicles.
The kids could climb in them and they even had some they could try on.

Girls going for a ride!

Silas driving the firetruck!

Michael's turn!

I didn't want Travis climbing all over the big firetruck, it was pretty high up, so he went on the alternative.

Asher checking out the plane.

Estrella driving.

Rian the pilot.
She played on this for quite a long time.
(The glass could use a bit of a cleaning, eh?)

Carina gearing up.

The castle.

Silas "planting" flowers.

Sir Michael, the knight.

In the background you'll see the little gators that kept climbing over the moat.

Fitting right in.
I know its a Honda...its okay.  Really.
(Lotsa "bikers" in the family, fyi)

All my "buds" in the garden.

Love these two!

choo choo!!

The back section was pretty cool too..
There was a large room that was divided up into sections.
There was a music room (see below), a dance studio, a grocery store, an art studio, vet, dentist etc. etc.  Props to go along with each section.

Michael and Landon banging out some tunes.

Travis and Tia going shopping.


 Definitely a place we'd like to go back to.
The kids had a great time.
Can't you tell?