Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Patriarchs early this COLD a.m.

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It was fun. They'll sleep inside tonight. We ended the school week by eating homemade pizza. Both the older boys are home tonight! Yippee! We watched *Joseph King of Dreams* tonight. It seemed fitting as we studied Gen 11 - 50 this week.

Jamin seems to have got the flu. Ugh. We're watching "We Are Marshal" from Netflix.
Jared's Science Experiment

This was a bit unexpected
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School Shopping....

I suppose if we were in public school we'd spend money each fall for a few new school clothes. Last year I bought the kids homeschool t-shirts. Arielle and Nolan have worn theirs out. They asked for new ones. It seemed like a reasonable request. The older boys have outgrown homeschool t-shirts. Mike said he has enough t-shirts. I ordered these for us from Great Homeschool T- Shirts . I only wish I'd remembered to order one for Stacia. We've been very happy with the quality of these shirts and the customer service of the company. They also make tote bags and bumper stickers. All the shirts are really cute. I love the saying on Nolan's: Warning, Unsocialized Homeschooler - interact or communicate at your own risk.
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This is MY shirt

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Resourcing Your Weaknesses

I've been spending our curriculum dollars a bit differently the last few years. I couldn't have concisely told you WHY.....but now I can. ::snort::

Lee, an online friend, has recently published a DVD series which discusses homeschooling the high schooler. Lee has a business and newsletter that you may enjoy. You can find more info, as well as view a sample of the DVD here. I think Lee's DVD's would be a great resource for a homeschool support group or co-ops to have in their library. Now, I've not purchased or viewed them in their entirety, ::snort::, but from the clip and from what I know of Lee, I think they would be a treasure trove of information.

ANYWAY - I know Lee said something about how you spend your dollars - I think on the youtube clip. The phrase that has stuck in my mind is "resource your weakness". In other words you WILL naturally spend curriculum dollars on areas that interest you - your strengths. Many of us, however, avoid those areas that we aren't so great at.

THIS is what I've been doing the past couple of years. I purchased a TOTAL new math program last year - Math U See - though I have shelves of perfectly good Saxon. Why? Because for some of my children Saxon wasn't working. Math is a weak area for me, and Math U See makes it understandable.

Last year we attempted lap books. We now have lap BASKETS...lots of little booklets that we never figured out HOW or took the TIME to put into a big folder, sitting in baskets. THIS year I purchased an ASSEMBLED LAPBOOK that we only have to fill out for unit 1. I figure then we can decide if we like it enough to learn how to assemble our own. I'm resourcing my weaknesses. Don't hassle me about how easy it is to do it - it's YOUR strength. ::snort:: I really WISH I were in a co-op where there was a teacher who KNEW what she was doing to demonstrate how to make the folds and assemble the books...then I'm sure I wouldn't need to buy one already assembled...but for now - I did. LOL

I shared before how I HATE mess and disorganization....and the road I've traveled to become a funschooler has been observed by many of you...some with alarm that I'm getting soft in my old age, and some in great amusement that I'm actually buying paint and clay and making messes. ::snort:: I KNEW I needed to do more FUN and hands on things with the children. We've done better the last few years. This year, however, I began to resource my weakness. When time is short ART, hands on things - go first. I'm not consistent. I do well for the first 9 weeks and then begin to slide. THIS year I ordered history kits for the next nine weeks. We'll see how that goes.

Here Arielle unpacks our new kit on Ancient Greece and Rome from Hands and Hearts

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It becomes quite apparent that I COULD do this on my own...but having the supplies in one spot, all the little pieces ready to go...will keep me motivated to add fun even when the crunch months hit. The kids were really excited to see these arrive. I'm excited that I won't have to run to Hobby Lobby for craft things each week. LOL

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Many of these activities are ones that we'll have listed in our TOG manual...but with the supplies all here I am more likely to keep my commitment. This kit contains supplies to:
Paint a beautiful fresco
Make a relief
Create a mosaic place mat
Paint a Greek amphora
Play knucklebones
Play Roman Numerals Memory Match game
Learn to identify and sketch columns
Clean and restore an AUTHENTIC ancient Roman coin
Memorize Bible verses and principles with our exclusive Bible Truths Cards
Create lovely notebook pages with our exclusive notebook pages

I'm not sure we'll use the Bible portion - as we have things we are already doing. I'm not sure we'll make a notebook, but we'll use the notebook drawings and pages for our lapbooks and such.
I'm so glad to have seen Lee put a name to what I'd been led to do. It is making a HUGE difference in our school. We've enjoyed school so much more the past two years. The girls came home and said, "Mom - you never did all this fun stuff with US". ::snort:: No, because I was still a school at homer when they were young. LOL

If you've read this far, you deserve a reward. Here's a true confession. I threw out 3 crayons yesterday. I hate picking them up. I will do better or we will soon be crayonless once again.....can I still be a funschooler after this post, Jodi?

BTW - I am not an affiliate for any of the companies listed in this post. LOL