Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

International Day of Peace!


What is more special than teaching the importance of peace to our little ones at an early age! Let Usborne share in that special moment with your child! And the lessons don't have to end with the littles, there are lessons for the older kids too! Take a walk through Usborne's books and find the perfect book for your child today!


Shawn Snowdon
Usborn Independent Consultant
Usborne Books & More

Monday, September 19, 2016

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

What could be better than sitting down with your little one and going on a pirate adventure! I know I love curling up with my little guys and exploring the seas! ARRR! 
Let me guide you to the treasures! Follow me to the treasure trove of BOOKS!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Words Of Wisdom

It is not often that I come across a post that I feel the need to ask permission to share on my own blog and Facebook, but today was JUST that day. This is something that hit close to home because I think this is something that we ALL struggle with when we first begin our homeschool journey. I know I did. As I told Marilyn, it took me two long years to break free from this terrible habit and really begin to enjoy our journey as FREE homeschoolers! This is actually our first stress free (leave out the occasional really bad day) year, and I am LOVING it. I hope Marilyn's words help you. I wish I had heeded this advice long before I did. I heard these words many times from many different people, it just took a very long time to set in.






I am not sure why moms feel they are "failing" when a child with obvious special needs acts like--a child with special needs! Or when we bring them home to homeschool, so they can "learn at their own pace", yet we feel guilty or pressured for them to stay on " grade level" (whatever on earth that means in the real scheme of things), or they "fall behind" (behind WHO, and what does it matter, if we are trying to give them an INDIVIDUALIZED education)? I feel bad because moms who do this are not recognizing the beauty of homeschool yet. Relax! Enjoy! Your homeschool never, ever has to look like "school at home" or anyone else's homeschool, and your kids never, ever have to " catch up", and you never, EVER have to feel guilty or pressure about a THING.
~Marilyn Rose
Member of

Special Needs Homeschooling Group

Thursday, September 15, 2016

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. I challenge you to do your part in informing your child on the importance of being kind to others.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen traveling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the internet.

Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:
  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.


One way to inform your children about bullying is to talk to them. You can also read to younger children about bullying. It is NEVER too early to start teaching children about bullying.

My own kids were bullied in school and this is an important topic to me. PLEASE BE AWARE of the signs of bullying, they are EASY to miss! I MISSED them for two years!




Thursday, September 8, 2016

August In Review

Ok, now that September is almost over, I am finally getting around to posting my August in review! Let me tell you what, it has been an absolutely crazy month in our house. We have had germs coming through one after another, and when we weren't sick we were so busy learning and having fun, there just is NO slowing us down. Add to that my new "job" as an Independent Consultant for Usborne Books & More (which normally won't take up much of my time, however right now I am in training), and you have days that just don't seem to have enough hours to get everything squeezed in! So, my blog took a backseat just for a minute. BUT I am back as things are slowly starting to settle back down, and I can't wait to show you what we have been up to during August. It won't be long before we will be showing you what we have done in September too!

Here is how we get BrayLyn to stay on her tummy! We took two of the legs off of Ricky's activity table that he outgrew, and the table now sits slanted so that BrayLyn can see all of the fun buttons and activities in front of her without having the toy lay flat!


Unfortunately this is how my kids month started. Genetic testing for Brandon, and an eye exam for Jacob. But both of those yucky appointments are out of the way, and we can put that day behind us!

Some days are just better than others. Today was not a good day for Jacob. That's ok Jacob, you have had a LOT of good days this month!
We are currently *trying* to learn how to use our microscope. Its a work in progress LOL. I think we could KIND of see what we were supposed to be looking at, but I am still not 100% sure LOL. We will keep working on that!

The Grandbabies are always eager to learn! Every morning they are ready to go! By 4:00 though, they are pooped and ready for naps! 


Sometimes (MOST TIMES) Math cubes are used for toys instead of math. These things hurt worse than legos  when you step on them! OUCH!


Here Jacob is using his new IXL account to practice his math skills. He is so impressed with his achievements! 


Brandon plays his music lesson! He loved it so much he got a little carried away. I had to stick some headphones on him!

The boys take science very seriously. Especially when learning about bones and muscles. Growing boys need to know about that stuff!


Time to run some of that energy off! Get out there and play boys! Oh and use those muscles that we have been talking about in science class!


Now, time for some math and writing! Good job Jacob! I love to see that smile! Keep up the good work son!


Every once in awhile we get lucky and a science lesson lands on our living room window. This day we got the opportunity to study a grasshopper up close and personal for a very long time. He let the boys touch him through the glass and study his parts for hours. I don't think he actually left until sometime in the middle of the night.




My Grandson is enjoying one of my perks as an Independent Consultant for Usborne Books & More!
He is reading The Usborne Big Book Of Big Machines, a hostess rewards book that I earned for hosting a party! 


These books are WONDERFUL! And what I never knew is that they are used in SO many Homeschool Curricula!
 
The littles and Brandon getting some much needed exercise time! I think Jacob was sick this day as well. Like I said, we have had a LOT of sick days this month.

 

Probably my FAVORITE project from August! Paper making! Oh this project was SO much fun! Even the cat wanted in on the fun! 


FINALLY a nice day outside and NOBODY was sick! We took full advantage of the day and got outside for some air! We went to the small local zoo for a walk and to take in the sights. It was so nice to get out.


 

And one last project before we go! Little Ricky has begun working his way through the alphabet, just for fun. We are not expecting him to actually learn all the letters at age 2, but he is picking up letters which is pretty dang smart! 

I thank you for joining us for August! I hope to be able to bring you our end of September before the end of October gets here HeHe!
I will try REALLY hard to get it up in a timely fashion!
If you have any questions please feel free to comment below or contact us on our facebook!


 Bye for now!






International Literacy Day


International Literacy Day serves to recognize the importance of literacy and acknowledge the need to create a globally literate community. Fight illiteracy. Buy a book for a child today!
There is nothing more exciting that watching a child learn to read. It is never to early to start reading to your baby, and kids are never to big to sit next to you and enjoy a book before bed.
Who will you gift a book to?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wow! This summer FLEW by!

Ok, I wanted to do an end of summer post, featuring all of the things we have done since our last post, but HOLY MOLY we have done SO MUCH! LOL. So I will just hit on the highlights and let you in on the changes we have made (we are SO excited to share these with you!).

We read a LOT this summer, and I do mean A LOT. It was HOT, HOT, HOT here in Kansas this summer as it is every year, so we were either in the pool, or in the house. When your in the house you have to entertain yourself and one of the best ways to do that is with a good book. This one came with a treat (Good Thinkin' Mom)!


We played math games that were really fun! Jacob won. Brandon played so many times that he had a "math" casualty LOL Get it? A MATH casualty? Ok,Ok I need to work on my jokes. 


We are always sure to keep fun in our work. Even if we can't keep every day fun and messy, we try to make sure we make at least most of the days out of the ordinary. It keeps smiles on the kids faces and they never know what to expect! 


We had plenty of swim time until our pool decided to give us a ton of trouble. We decided next year we are going to stick to the public pool once a week! We will get more use for half the price! We spent a tone of time and a LOT of money trying to keep that sucker clean. 


Oh my gosh, the kids LOVED this worksheet. I wish I could remember where I found it so I could link you all up. I really need to get better about writing this stuff down *newbie homeschooler here*, I am pretty sure we found this on Pintrest though. The boys did their math review and then checked their answers themselves using the QR code app on the phone and they LOVED LOVED LOVED it! We will be doing more of these this year! 


We managed a second camping trip in, this time at the KOA in the cabin! YAY! It was SO nice! The boys were able to bring a friend along. They spent most of the three days in the pool and ALL THREE of them learned beginner swimming!!!! YOU GO KIDS! 


4th Of July would have normally been a day of school for us as we do not usually take holidays off. We save days off for when Dad is home since he works on the truck. However this 4th of July Dad happened to be home!! YAY! The kids enjoyed spending the day doing boy stuff!
 

I know this looks like a ton of cuteness mixed in with fun and stuff, but this is SERIOUS Tot School! We worked a hard 30 minutes on colors. As you can see from these pictures, I run a tight ship around here. No ONE was allowed inside the learning area except me and small toddler Ricky, and we worked hard and serious *snicker*.   JUST KIDDING! Ricky and I started playing in the ball pit while I was on break from teaching the other kids. I decided it was a great teaching opportunity. I asked him, "Throw me a pink ball please" and he would try. Sometimes he got it right, sometimes he did not. If he got it right I would jump up and down and act silly, if he did not I would just throw it back, smile and say Try Again. He had a BLAST! Soon Sissy Girl climbed in and started throwing balls, and then Uncle Jake who is NINE joined in the fun *ehem, I mean LEARNING*. 

*Ok, it WAS cute AND FUN!*


We are just beginning to dip our toes into multiplication. Our boys aren't quite ready yet, and we are NOT the kind of parents to push our kids to "keep up" with their peers (as long as they are making progress), so we will keep trying, and when it comes easy and natural to them, then that is when we will keep going with it. Until then, we practice, a LOT with the little numbers. 


Speaking of cute and fun, look at this boy and his masterpiece! His love of colors AND trucks helped him to create THIS! By the way, can you tell he LOVES to paint? It is his favorite! Unless it is on his hands, then he wants it off right NOW! LOL


Oh, this one is one of my FAVORITES! We were/are still studying ancient times. This day we were studying ancient cave paintings. The assignment was to gather things from outside that people might have used back in those times to paint. (flowers, sticks, weeds, etc) No paintbrushes was the point. We also used real mud as some of our paint. We wished we had clay in our area to use like they did back then, but that is not available in our area so I mixed paints that look like clays they might have used back then.  Jacob finished the cave off with vines, that was his OWN touch. I was so very impressed with that detail. I love how this turned out!


This day we had an art assignment to make boats. The boys were given instructions and they were to try to follow the instructions and see if they could follow those instructions and get their boats to float. The instructions were purposely made so that everybody would have to adjust their boat according to the weight of clay, tin foil, etc. that was used on the boat. The boys did not give up and each of them ended up with a floating boat! 


Now that the boys are getting bigger, we are doing less of the younger kid arts and crafts, and starting to get into the "bigger kid" stuff (with the two bigger kids anyway, I still have the grandbabies for the cutsie crafts). This day we were working on a "how to draw" assignment. We were working on a "how to draw an ox (not that I nor my husband thought it looked like an ox but more like a cow)". I thought both of the boys did an excellent job. 


And here we are at August!!!

We just ordered some shirts to take our pictures for this years school pictures. They should be here in about 7 days or so and after that I will pick a nice, not too terribly hot day, to take school pictures for this year. BOY oh boy do our blog pictures need updated LOL!


And finally to share our news with you all. We DID end up trying out that curriculum that we were talking about in our last blog post which you can find HERE. I am happy to say that ALL of us LOVE it! The best part about it is it is 100% FREE of charge. It is amazing!
I love that all of the lessons kind of mix in with each other. For an example: if you are working on Ancient art, you are also working on ancient history, and ancient music. If you are working on a certain area of math, there are worksheets AND websites that work on the same areas, ALL free of charge! It is just a lot of fun. The reading and language arts lessons also work together. It is just an amazing website. I honestly cannot believe this is free of charge. There is a donation button, but that is totally up to you whether or not you donate. I believe in my heart a small donation here and there throughout the year is in order, but that is just my own opinion! 
Just in case you want to check this amazing website out it is Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool

*I was NOT asked to do a review, I was not asked to post a link, nor am I affiliated with this website. I did NOT receive compensation of ANY kind for doing so!*

So there you have it! The end of summer and onto our next year of full school days again!
Have fun with YOUR school year!
If YOU have a blog, we would LOVE to follow along and see how your year goes! Just post a link to your blog in the comments!








 


 



 
 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thinking of making some changes for this year.

I have not set anything in stone YET, however I am considering switching our curriculum from Time4Learning (which we still LOVE) to Easy Peasy All-in-one-Homeschool.


We still love Time4Learning, however we are paying $15.00 per kiddo per month, and we are only using the Math and Language Arts from the program. We are using outside resources for Science, Social Studies, Bible, History, and anything else we need to teach. We are also filling in gaps that Time4Learning isn't covering. I just can't justify spending that kind of money (not that it is an enormous amount, but for our already struggling family, every penny counts), but if we can cut costs, even just a bit, that is a huge plus, especially when we could be putting that money towards other homeschooling costs, maybe even fun days!

We did do a Math lesson from Easy Peasy today, and although the kids were sad that we were not doing the Time4Learning that they love so much, they couldn't deny that they loved the lesson we were working on. I am going to give the Easy Peasy about a month trial, and see if it fits our family before we decide if we will leave Time4Learning for this year. 

Wish us luck, we will see where this new adventure takes us!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer School in Full Swing

We have begun Summer School here at Snowdon Homeschool Academy. We are enjoying our shorter school days, our more relaxed schedule, but at the same time, we enjoy knowing we are racking up hours that we can use in the fall and winter when we need some time off! We have done a LOT of school work so far!


We have been studying the states of our country, and in each state we learn about foods of that state. If we happen to enjoy that food, we take the recipe from the lesson plan that we use (provided in the lesson) and make, or in this case bake that food. This weeks lesson was about Maine, and the two food choices were lobster, and blueberries. We don't care for seafood, so we chose to make the Blueberry Muffin recipe. It was delicious!

Road Trip USA Lesson Plan by Confessions of a Homeschooler


We are also going to start working on our cursive writing this summer. Our print is not that great yet, however we have heard that sometimes cursive helps print to improve, so I am hoping this will be the case here. Either way, as long as my boys can write in both print and cursive somewhat legibly when they are adults, I am happy. 


We went on a Field Trip to the Kansas Wetlands. We saw a lot of  beautiful wildlife and pretty nature. We saw some scary snakes too! 


We went on a Camping Trip and took 3 days off of school! How fun! It was a great 3 days. Perfect weather too! Only downfall was we came home with two ticks! 


Working on a Language Arts Extensions Lesson from Time4Learning


Picnic Lunch and a little socialization during the school day! 


On Memorial Day we taught the boys that the Meaning of Memorial Day was not about picnics and camping but of remembering the fallen warriors that served our country. We also wrote letters to soldiers currently serving our country and made a small donation to a program that helps soldiers.



And of course there is P.E time. Right now, the boys want to do nothing but SWIM, SWIM, AND SWIM! LOL I am certain that will wear off with time, but for now, I say, have at it! We will miss the pool in the winter! 



There is lots of reading time. We read for school time, we read for family time! We love to read! 


We visited the Santa Fe Trail Wagon Ruts on our way home from a doctors appointment! Bonus! We might have missed part of the day sitting at the computer to learn, but we got to see something really REALLY cool and learn something we might not have otherwise learned that day! Oh! And we also seen an old school house too, which was VERY cool! 






And we have had lots and lots of play with Ricky while he Tot Schools, he is just REALLY hard to take pictures of because he is SO fast! 



So as you can see we have been VERY busy! If you ever need to contact us, don't hesitate to do so! We are always happy to answer questions about how we do things and what motivates us! We also have a Facebook dedicated to our homeschooling!

Our Homeschooling Journey