Monday, September 6, 2010

First Day of School

Beautiful cool weather meant school on the porch this morning. Started with learning about insects, then Aine writing insect facts in the science notebook. On to word problems in math, fables in language and learning about the globe in Social Studies. On days when Jacques is home and not in preschool, we'll keep it light.
Darrell gave Aine a pop quiz on globe facts, where the equator, southern and northern hemispheres are, land masses, poles, etc. She passed with flying colors!

After lunch, to celebrate our school kick-off and extend our exploration of insects and other animals, we went for a hike at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Grammy joined us for some fresh air.
Before our expedition, we washed and cleaned an old set of fingerpaint cups to use as specimen containers. Worked beautifully! Among our finds were feathers, nuts, tiny bones, scat from something that ate someone else (bones in it), muscadines that were tasty, spiderwebs, cicada shells and miscellaneous holes in the ground. Great day to be out!

Now we've got to label, categorize and study our finds. Fantastic!

Enjoy your day and look around while you're out walking. You never know what you might find!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ready, Set, Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so ready to get back into a routine with the kids!

Most of you know of our ups and downs this summer, traveling to Chicago and Boston for Darrell's job interviews. Still no news, so I am assuming, for now, that we're staying. It's the only way for me to stay sane.

Last year, our schooling spread out around the house and we had some trouble focusing. This year, we have converted the back porch into a schoolroom, complete with shelves and our refurbished easel, rug and rocking chair.

We must have sorted a thousand crayons, pencils, pens and markers. Pencils were sharpened, crayons were whittled down to a usable pile, with extras going to the local shelter and broken ones peeled for an upcoming project. Pens and markers were tested. Dried out markers were dipped in water to reactivate them. It really works!

Daddy Darrell donated a pile of binders from his old classes. We recycled the notes inside of each binder and relabled them with our courses. More pics coming soon as our learning space takes shape!

Best wishes with whatever back-to-school or beginning of Fall projects you are starting!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Forever Young

Someone is turning thirty-something Wednesday. Who could it be?

In honor of that someone's, something birthday, we're having a give-away! Keep reading to the bottom and you'll get your prize!

One great thing about homeschooling is that I get to live my childhood all over again. Anyone who has kids can do this by being present in the moment that their imaginations are firing away. Being home with my kids just lets me see more of it. On a recent trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Jacques chose to dress as a cowboy, with hat, chaps, and vest. As if that weren't enough, he had a cycling pack on his back and was carrying a light sabre in one hand and a phaser (with sound effects) in the other. Now, as you know, unless it happens to be October 31st, it's hard to get away with dressing like that as an adult. But it sure was a blast watching him run around all day as a Space Cowboy! Sometimes this is maddening, because my kids' imaginations tend to be quite noisy. And...I'm easily distracted and not too good with lots of noise. Sometimes I tell them Mommy's head might catch on fire if they don't quiet down. There's always a trade-off.

Remember the cart cleaning?

The prize is:

The first seven people to follow this blog (including the sweet friends who have already signed up) get a fabulous puzzle book. I'll even promise you that they haven't been written in!
Happy Birthday to the young and those who will always be young at heart!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tower of Babble

It seems that in our ever-increasing search for knowledge, we have amassed a tower of educational supplies that threatens to topple and destroy us.

My job? To sort the materials into categories: recyclables, portfolio papers, texts, workbooks, project kits, puzzles, math, art supplies, social studies, science, French, and items that can be sold at Kids' Market (MY FAVORITE CONSIGNMENT SALE EVER!), with sub-categories of what to use now and what to use later. And, somehow get it back onto the homeschool cart. Can I do it?!!!!

Oh My! Does anyone need a workbook?!!

Well, I got everything into piles. That's my bed, so I've got to finish before our early 9-10 pm bedtime! Don't know how much detail you can see, but there are:
7 giant floor puzzles
21 coloring books
33 workbooks
9 science kits
16 textbooks
9 math kits
30 reader books
6 art kits
14 table games
10 notebooks
41 Highlights books/kits

A cup of coffee, NPR, kids at Mom's house for some sunshine, and................

Yeah! A minor miracle.

Now each of those categories has it's own little shelf. Floor puzzles at the bottom so Jacques can reach them, texts and teacher guides at the he can't.
This food service rolling tower is deep enough to work as a double-sided tower.

Discovered a use for all of the little pull-out drawers on our new bookcase. Now we'll need to draw a legend to find what we need. That will be a lesson in itself.

Nice to feel like I've accomplished something.
Now let's see how long it lasts.