Monday, July 28, 2014

Student Orientation

I cant say enough how much I love online school already! The boys attended the Student Orientation in their pajamas tonight!

Our *growing* list of Homeschool PE Activities

As the first day of school approaches, I am searching for some fun PE activities to do with the kids. I am looking for activities that do not make it feel as if the kids main goal is exercise. I want these activities to be FUN!

This list will be expanded through our first year of homeschooling to include all of the super fun activities that we try, and like. 

1. Water Balloon Target Practice:
We have tried this one out this summer and the kids absolutely love it! My kids love water balloons so we always buy several large packs of them at the beginning of each summer. We set up several "targets" to aim at. Our favorite "target" is a swimming pool basketball hoop, and some swim rings! Of course, most games of Water Balloon Target Practice end up being a game of Water Balloon Fight! 
Picking up the popped water balloons was never any fun until we made it a race to see who could pick up the most popped water balloons. Mom against Twins! 

2. Soccer: 
We do not really focus so much on rules for our games of soccer. We just have fun! 

3. Swimming:
Its always nice to take a quick dip in the pool in the middle of the day! Of course this one will only last as long as the hot days do! 

4. Balloon Volleyball:
We have not tried this one yet, but I am sure it will be a hit! This is one that can be done indoors or out! 

5. Bike Riding:
My goal for this year is to have the boys OFF of their training wheels before it gets too cold for bike riding! 

6. Talking a walk through the neighborhood.

7. Taking a jog.

8. Jump Rope

9. Wii Fit:
We will save this one for the long, cold winter ahead of us! 

10.  A visit to the park. 

11. Dribble a basketball: 
I have every intention of buying a nice big basketball net for the boys for Christmas this year. Then we can add a game of basketball to our list next year! 

12. Jump on the trampoline:
Right now we have just the small trampoline to work with, however a large trampoline is also on our list of Christmas gifts this year! 

13. Tennis:
We have a tennis court very near to our house. I fully intend on introducing tennis to my kids this year! 

14. Baseball:
We have a big field right across the street from our house, how lucky are we?! We will be using that field for many activities this year including baseball! 

15. Ride Scooters.

16. Playing Catch.

17. Badminton.

18. Target Practice with a Football:
Here is the example we found on Pintrest, we have already bought the supplies to make our very own! 

19. Races:
Boys against Mom of course, there is no competition in this one, LOL, the boys will win EVERY time! That won't stop me from trying though! 

20. Target Practice with Nerf Guns:
We could do this one indoors OR out! Just get some nerf guns (we must own about 100 of these by now) and make some targets out of household items such as painted toilet paper rolls! 

21. Washing the van:
SUPER fun for the kids, and my van gets washed in the process! Win, win! My kids often request this activity! 

22. Yard Work:
My kids are still at the age where yard work is FUN! Bonus! Raking leaves, pushing snow, pulling weeds, the list goes on and on. I'm sure I won't get lucky enough for this stage to last long, but I will take full advantage while its still FUN! 

23. "Use Your Noodle":
Cut Pool Noodles in half. 
Blow Up Some Balloons.
Set up a few laundry baskets.
See who can get the most balloons in their laundry basket using ONLY the pool noodle! 

I am POSITIVE that this list will quickly grow VERY long! This will be a list that we refer to on a daily basis. The most important thing is to keep the kids moving of course!

 There are MANY, MANY more outdoor activities that are possibilities of course, however since we are going to be using this list to choose our daily PE activities, I thought it was important to list only those ideas that I think my kids will enjoy. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Unboxing of Connections Academy Supplies (2nd Grade)

Today the twins each received a box of supplies from Connections Academy! They were very, very excited to get the boxes open and to peek inside!

(You can click on any image to see it enlarged) 

*Here is a link to our Unboxing Video which we posted to YouTube*

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Official Withdraw Day!

Today marks another important day on our way to home education! Upon completion of enrollment at Kansas Connections Academy, we have officially withdrawn our kids from their brick and mortar school! We actually completed enrollment on July 15th, however, I wanted to wait to withdraw my kids from their other school until we got shipping confirmation for our school supplies from Connections Academy.

We are now *patiently* waiting for our school supplies and text books to arrive at our doorstep! The boys are thrilled and have already planned out box opening day. LOL Of course we all want to document the occassion, so we have come to the decision that I will take video of Jacob opening his box, and I will take photos of Brandon opening his box, that way we will have both video and pictures of the exciting day!

Watch for our next post.....BOX OPENING DAY!!!! Coming soon.......................

Friday, July 18, 2014

Setting Up!

I cant believe how fast the summer is flying by. I swear it seems like last week that we were seeing the boys off to their last day of school. Wow, so much has changed over the last couple of months!

Our biggest change being of course our decision to pull our kids out of traditional schools. There are SO many reasons that brought us to our decision.
*We wanted more time with our children. It was so hard to send the kids off to school each day knowing that they would spend a majority of their day in school. By the time the boys would get home, they were so tired and crabby that it was hard to spend quality time with them. The little bit of time we did have with them was spent doing homework, which sometimes took over an hour to complete.
*We want to make sure our childs education is tailored to meet their needs. One of our boys is on the Autism spectrum. He learns at a much slower pace compared to other kids his age. He needs one on one attention that he just wasnt getting in the traditional school setting. Our other child learns at a much faster pace than other kids his age, and he was often bored at school. We want to make sure that our kids are allowed to work at their own pace and that they are happy with their education.
Those are just a couple of the many, many reasons we have decided to school our children at home. While we are not completely "homeschooling", we are taking more control over our kids education. We don't know if Connections Academy will be right for us or not, but we are willing to give it a shot. We have decided to give it a year and decide then whether we will continue with Connections Academy, or if we will take our children out of Connections and go the homeschool route instead.

As it gets closer and closer to the first day of school, we are growing more and more excited as to what wonderful things will happen this year. The most exciting part of getting ready for our new adventure is setting up our home classroom! We are not going to go crazy and remodel a room quite yet. We want to first make sure that this is the right decision for all of us. We can always go bigger and better next year! For now we are simply taking half of our livingroom and turning it into our classroom. We have just enough supplies to get us through this first year. Of course, we will be adding to our supplies with our first shipment of school supplies from Connections Academy, but other than that we are pretty much set!

Here is a photo I took today while setting up our home classroom. We purchased a small T.V stand from Wal*Mart to use as a supply shelf (We chose a T.V stand instead of a shelf because we wanted something small enough that it wouldnt take over our whole livingroom. We also liked that it has wheels so we can move the shelf around if we need to). We also bought a very cheap coffee table for the boys to use for doing school work in the livingroom. (You will also notice some of our other purchases in the photo LOL)

Once I got the T.V stand set up, I got our school supplies organized, and our desk arranged the way I like it! 

We still need to add some fun decor to the wall, but for now we at least have the basics. 

This set up will have a lot more "fun" added to it before school starts, but for just getting started I think we are doing pretty good. :) 

Oh and I added a Sand and Water Station in the garage (which is an attached garage) for indoor play on rainy days! I made this with supplies we already had at home, no extra expense! Just an old shelf from the garage with drawers from an old plastic storage container we had! Add toys that we already owned, and like magic we have a station for the boys to play at! 

Our "Quiet Spot" upstairs. (The boys also have a tent set up in the playroom that they also use for a quiet spot)

Kept this very simple so far, we will add to it as needed. I included posters, a sensory basket, and a soft blanket. 

 Items in sensory basket:
Box of tissue
Shelf Liner (my son likes the feel of this)
sensory toys
Play Doh
Relaxation Music, CD Player
Small push button light. 
S.T.A.R, Drain, Balloon, and Pretzel Instruction cards. 

S.T.A.R, Drain, Balloon, Pretzel Reminder Poster

Suggestion Poster

Feelings Poster

Calm Down Checklist.

*While some of these might seem geared towards younger children, they still work great for my 7 year old who is on the Autism Spectrum. *

Thanks for peeking at our blog, stay tuned for lots more updates throughout this year! 

Brand new blog, under construction!

Watch for our very first post soon!!!!