Teaching Textbooks

 

When You Just Want to Cry

If there’s one thing I can tell you for sure, there are days when homeschooling makes me want to cry. There are also days completely unrelated to homeschooling that make me want to cry. Parenting is tough. (Can I get an amen?)

backyard hammock-2

Some days there is a whole lot of back and forth between the kids. And by back and forth, I mean of the “not kind” variety. They are quick to get offended, but equally as fast to dish it out when the mood strikes. (Before I pick on the kids too much, that also happens in adult life too.)

Some days there are bright shining moments of laughter and camaraderie between the kids. Hours are spent together without one unkind word. The moments we all long for as parents.

backyard hammock

Today was a gorgeous day outside – almost 80 degrees and a much needed break from all the yuck and snow we literally had falling last week. The kids all headed to the backyard and set up their hammocks. Laurianna brought out her guitar and while I was sitting on the back porch, the sounds of all four kids singing together began to float through the air.

I’m sitting on our deck crying (happy tears). The kids have all their hammocks set up in the backyard, Laurianna has her guitar, and together they are singing and worshipping. You all. THIS. Yes, we did math and reading today, but ultimately this is what makes my heart the happiest. There are days when they fight. Or love fiercely and deeply. They are passionate kids and so full of life. But these – these moments are the ones that last and will be remembered, not only in my momma heart, but for years to come.

Posted by Homeschool Creations on Wednesday, 9 March 2016

(feed readers can watch the video clip here)

I sat on my deck crying. Happy tears.

You all. THIS.

While we did all of our schoolwork today, crossed the various subjects off our list, and it all looks good on paper, THIS is what makes my heart the happiest and means more than what any test or piece of paper can say.

I love what Lindsey said on Facebook when I shared the above video with you all:

“The most important and life long lessons don’t come from pencil and paper.”

There are days when the kids fight. Or love each other fiercely and deeply. They are passionate kids and so full of life.

But these – these moments are the ones that last and will be remembered, not only in my momma heart, but for years to come.

The Last Few Weeks of Summer…

School officially started for us yesterday. I suppose that technically means we have to hole up in the house and forget to have fun, but we’re still milking the last days of summer as much as we can. (We may have celebrated our first completed day by heading to the pool.)

Over the last few weeks we’ve spent time camping and doing some fun things together as a family – in short, life. If you follow my Instagram or Facebook feed you may have seen some of this, but here’s a quick peek at what we’ve been up to.

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We wrapped up our summer swim league with a long day of swimming at the final championship meet. The kids all did AMAZING! Zachary broke one of the league records and two of the kids placed first in their events. It was a great end to the season and the kids were so excited to share in the fun with their team. You can see a video clip of Zachary in his backstroke event here.

spider

We’ve watched a ginormous spider build a web right outside my bathroom window and even saw her enjoy a tasty meal (if you are brave, you can see a little video snippet of that here).

reading and snuggles

Each morning the kids come snuggle in bed with me, sometimes chatting, sometimes reading. It makes my heart so happy to see this (and makes me not want to get out of bed!).

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In just a few short weeks we are headed to Universal in Orlando for the Family Forward conference. The kids are literally counting down the days until we leave. They have been busy saving their money and working hard to earn spending money for the trip. It’s actually been a great lesson in what is worthwhile to spend your money on, especially when you see how much a sibling saves when not making seemingly small purchases like a candy bar here or a soda there (life in action!).

monarch chrysalis

The monarch caterpillars are out in full force and we have several that have already gone into the chrysalis stage. It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, there is something absolutely amazing and breathtaking watching the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. It never gets old.

night sky

Last week we took the kids to the top of a nearby mountain, laid out in the field, and watched the meteor shower together. SO much fun. Until one child had to repeatedly use the bathroom. Then not as fun. But watching it all was unbelievably awe-inspiring. (The above is my proof to the kids that a picture from my iPhone was not going to work.)

campfire building

Camping – ah, how we have missed it! We’ve had the chance to take two trips recently, Rick has been teaching the kids new fire-building techniques, and we’ve just had fun relaxing with friends.

catching crawdads

While camping, the creatures abound. The kids caught crawdads and boiled them for a little pre-dinner snack (I’d rather have lobster, thank you very much).

tree frog

At the pond/lake – little tree frogs everywhere. McKenna had one that wanted to stay with her. We also found tons of tadpoles and froglets (I may have wanted to bring some home with us), but Kaleb found many in different stages of tail development and that was so neat to see.

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And last week I spent some time sorting construction paper by color (because it’s easier to grab what you need that way). The paper was a great deal and on sale, but hindsight – I am willing to pay a little extra so that I don’t have to spend 20 minutes sorting a small pack of paper by color. Dear Crayola – please consider sorting your paper by color otherwise. Thank you very much. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Well, that’s our last few weeks in a nutshell – what have YOU been up to?

The First Two Weeks of Homeschooling

Whew!! We’ve done it and managed to get back into a groove, survive the first two weeks, and have fun in the process. (Fun is always good!)

Homeschool Collage 1

I’m so glad that I’ve been taking a few pictures here and there, because looking back is reminding me of some things that I don’t want to forget!

I’ve mentioned before that Zachary isn’t a big reader. He’s not super fond of the process and picking up books to read on his own isn’t something he enjoys. He’s read some simple chapter books, but nothing of ‘substance’ as I would call it. Not a REAL book cover-to-cover.

As part of Learning Language Arts through Literature (Orange), he just finished The Boxcar Children. Ironically, we had a copy of the book before (couldn’t find it), so I ordered a new copy. He saw the new one with a snazzy cover, picked it up right away, and said he was so glad they had updated the book. I waited until he was done to tell him it was just a new cover. Smile He has been ALL SMILES because he read it from start to finish, and I am one proud momma.

Kaleb has been SO excited to start working on Teaching Textbooks. He has the computer out before school even starts in the morning and frequently wants to work on more than one lesson. I know it’s making him feel like one of the ‘big kids’, and it’s fun to watch.

Our first day of school = funnel cake for breakfast. I know it’s not healthy (in my defense I used whole wheat flour), but it is so much fun – and it’s TRADITION!!

Laurianna is working like a champ on her high school credits. We’ve figured out a good routine for her to work on her studies, many of which she is doing independently. We got halfway through the second week when I realized I’m going to really have to start tracking grades for high school credit – ack! Part of me wants to plug my ears and pretend she isn’t that old.

And that bigger picture in the collage – just makes me happy. I wasn’t feeling well this week (hello, migraine) and laid down on the floor in the school room. Zachary picked up our science manual, pulled out all the stuff we needed to finish the lesson, and HE followed the directions to do the lesson with Kaleb. It was so sweet to watch and he did a great job. The giggles on the buoyancy experiments were hilarious.

Six Flags Field Trip

Our first week of school (ok, I’ll admit it was officially the first day of school), we took a field trip to Six Flags. The weather was gorgeous, so we jumped on the trip and used our Read to Succeed tickets the kids earned last winter. There were lots of roller coasters and spinning rides that day. And I’m feeling old after all those bumps and turns!

Home Art Studio Chinese dragon

Kaleb’s favorite part of school starting again? The art supplies are all out in full force. He’s had his eye on our Home Art Studio dvd, so I piled a tray with the supplies, he popped in the DVD and did the lesson all by himself. I love that he can be independent with it and needs very little help from me at all! Art is one of that boy’s love languages – and he definitely gets some great art projects in this way!

Another exciting part of this week? A fun interview with the Weather Channel’s morning show about my Calendar Notebook Printables. They love that kids are learning how to track weather (and I think it’s pretty cool too). You can view the clip with Maria LaRosa here if you can’t see the clip above.

 

That’s a quick peek at our first two weeks? How is your homeschool going?

 

Mary_CollageFriday weekly wrap up

 

Linking up this week with Collage Friday and Weekly Wrap-up!

Shark’s Teeth–Moments to Remember

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Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 

The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

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We dug and dug and dug.

All in all we found over 30 shark’s teeth. There may have been a few big ones found that were accidentally dropped right back into the water by a few children.

That didn’t make it any less fun or the handmade shark’s teeth necklaces any less exciting to the kids.

Who knew a sifter could be so much fun, eh?

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Ready to link up and share your moment this week?

Link up your moments to remember post below, be sure to provide a link back and be sure to use a permalink to link up your exact Moments to Remember blog post {not your blog home page}. Your post can be as simple as one photo, or as detailed as tons of photos and tons of words!  This linky is for homeschoolers, or families who are keeping their kiddos at home during the early years {we consider you homeschoolers too}.

When adding your link, just put your blog name for the title and choose an image from your post for the thumbnail.

Next week, link up with 1+1+1=1!

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What's in the Bible Coupon

These Four Faces…

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Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 

The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

These are the four faces that can make me smile, laugh, and cry. Sometimes in the span of just five minutes.

They are also the faces of the children that I am blessed to teach at home.

Kids Fall 2012-1-3

Here’s to the new school year!

__________________________________________________

Ready to link up and share your moment this week?

Link up your moments to remember post below, be sure to provide a link back and be sure to use a permalink to link up your exact Moments to Remember blog post {not your blog home page}. Your post can be as simple as one photo, or as detailed as tons of photos and tons of words!  This linky is for homeschoolers, or families who are keeping their kiddos at home during the early years {we consider you homeschoolers too}.

When adding your link, just put your blog name for the title and choose an image from your post for the thumbnail.

Next week, link up with 1+1+1=1!

 

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Grapevine Studies ~ effective and easy-to-use Bible curriculum for ages 5 to adult

Red Wagon Tutorials ~ online live feed, online recorded and DVD science classes for grades 7-12

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Spiders and Praying Mantis ~ Moments to Remember

Photobucket

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 

The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

Yesterday morning, after a great rainstorm, we really noticed a spider web on one of the bushes near our front porch. The rain had really pronounced the web. There is this amazing tunnel and apparently a rather LARGE spider that resides inside {per the observation of one of our children}.

Praying Mantis on spider web-2

We camped out on the front porch {in lui of our regular science time} to see if we could lure the big thing out. We hunted for bugs and tried to see if one would get tangled in the web. We had at least five praying mantis’ on the same bush and thought that they might be the bait.

Not so….

Praying Mantis on spider web-1

It was SO amazing watching it get a bit stuck on the web, but chew it’s way out of the strands. Sadly, we didn’t get to see the spider in action, but we’re hoping to at least catch the praying mantis in action soon.

We’ll just have to see!

I love that we have the flexibility to just sit and observe and be amazed, changing around our school day to learn more about something unrelated to what we are studying. That is SO my heart for homeschooling. :)

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Want to join in and share a fun moment? Link up your Moments to Remember at 1+1+1=1 this week!! This linky is for homeschoolers, or families who are keeping their kiddos at home during the early years {we consider you homeschoolers too}.’

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Grapevine Studies ~ effective and easy-to-use Bible curriculum for ages 5 to adult

Red Wagon Tutorials ~ online live feed, online recorded and DVD science classes for grades 7-12

Little Passports