Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to School: Our school year

Hi Everyone,
We will head back to school in July, since this allows us to take extra time off when we need to for family visits, vacations, and just needed mental health breaks. The kids have been off since the end of May. Our plan to start off slow, doing school work two to three days a week. We will start off by learning about Ants.

We will start off the year using our workbox system, our eclectic Montessori/Project based learning style, with unschooling mixed in. This rather patchwork system seems to fit everyone's needs, so we will go with it for the 2011-2012 school year.

So, here are some things we may do:
Learn about ants
read Hey Little Ant, and discuss themes around caring for the big and little in our lives. How caring for something as small as an ant is as important as caring for our friends, our neighbors and our world.

We will continue using the blue UU Kids book.

We will begin the year by reviewing our beliefs and adding new ideas, and beliefs to our wall. At the end of the year, we created a PEACE wall that features how to solve problems calmly, how we live our UU lives, and other related ideas. This is an evolving project.

I will add books to the blog list as we continue our year. I borrowed several books from our church to read over the summer. One is Unplugging the Christmas Machine, which we will also discuss as the summer turns to Fall. I want to incorporate more ideas on how to have a festive holiday without buying into commercialism. We also borrowed several kids book, one written by Nelson Mandela.

A friend of mine is attempting to do a pagan version of bible verses for her kids, and it gave me inspiration to consider making a UU version. I remember having fun learning bible verses as a kid, and gaining a feeling of accomplishment when I was able to recite the ten commandments. I wonder how I can create this same feeling with UU beliefs?

We will also continue using Ready, Set, Happy and other character building ideas. If you decide to use this curriculum, please consider giving a donation, they are a wonderful organization. The above link gives a one page summary for the program. You can google Ready, Set, Happy for the full document.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Monday Morning Material: The Giant Jam Sandwich

Good Morning and welcome to almost Summer Vacation. In our household we take off the month of June and begin homeschooling in July. In the summer we take a very relaxed approach, schooling three days a week until September, when we get back into the full swing of things.

One great way to enter into summer vacation is with a great book. I remember reading The Giant Jam Sandwich when I was a kid, it was a favorite in the family, and it opened up the world of moral stories to me.

Homeschool Share has a lapbook available for printing on their website.

Day 1-Strawberry Picking
Read story
Day 2- Jam making
Day 3- Bread Making, Make a Giant Jam Sandwich
Day 4- Learn about wasps and bees

Jam recipe to come soon

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Common Question: No, School Today Girls?

Today is our annual yard sale trek, where we hunt down school items, household goods and any fun toys for the year. This year we have gotten our fair share of, "no school today girls?". After a brief moment, I reply, "no, we homeschool."
Now, most of the time we get positive replies, but today we got many blank stares. I chuckle to myself, since I could ask the same question to the adult, "no work today Lady?", but I don't since 1)it would be snarky and 2)it wouldn't really set the right impression.

Oh well, it isn't that people are trying to be mean, or pry into our life, they are just trying, awkwardly, to make idle conversation while cashing us out. I imagine they secretly wonder how such a normal looking family, could be one of those weird homeschoolers. Never fear, we were weird before we started homeschooling, so if and when we stop, we will still be odd.

In case you are curious to our finds- 1)hour glass, 2)view finder telescope thing, and 3)chapter books

Now, we odd ducks are off to help our church with their yard sale- and no, we actually didn't have school today, we are officially on vacation until July. It is one of the perks of homeschooling.