About Me

I'm a mom, a teacher, a student, a wife, and a scout leader. I am actually an education major currently working on my practicum in a 2nd grade classroom. I also home school my two children. I'm also a cub scout leader, a girl scout leader, and at church I'm the children's music leader. ;) I tend to stay a little busy. My state requires homeschoolers to keep a portfolio. I am going to use this blog as my portfolio.

What am I?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Teaching two!

Okay, I am hoping that I haven't lost all my readers. I used to have a lot and then I totally slacked off on updating my blog and have lost quite a few of you. Please return! I need some advice!! Okay, up until now I have just always included my toddler with the preschooler's stuff. If she wanted to participate then she did, if not then she went off and played. It was really easy. Sometimes she colored or something. Well, this fall seems like it is going to be so much more complicated. I will be homeschooling Collin for Kindergarten. In my state this means that I have to homeschool him for at least 4.5 hrs and keep a record of everything we do for each subject and a portfolio of his work. I guess I'm saying this to show that our state is a little more strict so I can't just let things slide.
At the same time, I need to teach the 3 yo more about letters and numbers and some shapes. She knows how to count and can sing the abc song and knows most of the shapes but she doesn't know the sounds letters make or what numbers look like or anything like that. She also doesn't sit still long enough for me to teach them to her. She's a busy body so I hope when she's ready she'll stop to learn. :) We will see though. hehe! So, I guess I'm wondering.... how do you teach two children? How difficult is it? What do you do?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Charlotte Mason Method

I have always found this method fascinating and I think it would be perfect for the filler time needed in the K12 program. We started using this method today and will probably continue until Collin starts Kindergarten in the fall with K12. Most of it is done with reading literature.

Here is a brief description of this method: "
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.
By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.
By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.
The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.
For example, Charlotte’s students used living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in story form by one author who has a passion for the subject. A living book makes the subject “come alive.”
She taught spelling by using passages from great books that communicate great ideas rather than just a list of words.
She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God’s creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature.
Many homeschoolers have adopted her philosophy and methods as they seek to educate the whole child, not just his or her mind."

 I don't have all the books yet that I need for it but I was able to do a lot of it today using online resources. It was really short today. I thought we'd take it easy.
Hymn: I let the kids decide and they voted on "I Am A Child of God"

Scripture: we ready a scripture and talked about how Jesus is our friend and our brother.
Recitation of poem: We worked on memorizing poetry. :) Since my kids are small we went with a classic. ;) Little Bo Peep. We only worked on the first two verses though.

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can't tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
And bring their tails behind them.

Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For still they all were fleeting.

Then up she took her little crook,
Determined for to find them;
She, found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they'd left all their tails behind 'em!

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Unto a meadow hard by--
There she espied their tails, side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks she raced;
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
That each tail should be properly placed.

Reading: Collin and I have been working on reading. We are using Teach Your Child to read in 100 Easy Lessons.
I have only heard good things about this book. My sister used it and loved it for her daughter, it's recommended in the Charlotte Mason Method and I have lots of friends who use it -- homeschool and non-homeschool. Collin really wants to read and asked me to teach him. In most of my parenting I follow the kids and do things when they are ready but that's a different post all together. :)

Nature: A lot of science in the Charlotte Mason Method is learned through nature. You go on nature walks and observe what you see. Some families draw or paint what they see or just keep a journal about it. I love this part and think it could be lots of fun. Today we went outside in search of birds. We listened for them and talked about the sounds they made and then we found them and talked about what they were, what they were probably doing and stuff like that. :) Then we used some resources like this, this, and this.

Collin and I practice some speech therapy and Tae Kwon Do in here somewhere. :) That's not really part of the curriculum. LOL! :)

Then there is History but I haven't gotten those books yet. I am going to have to buy them though b/c I can't find them at the library or at paperbackswap.com. The books we are going to start using are An Island Story and Fifty Famous Stories Retold.

We will also be doing a literature/Shakespeare subject. I'm so excited to read Shakespeare w/ my kids. We have a few books and I'll probably use one of those instead of getting a new one. Today for literature we read Jack and the Beanstalk. We used this as an opportunity to talk about how mean Jack was by stealing from the giant and how bad stealing is. It sure didn't end well for the poor giant. I mean, I know he ate little boys and all but, really? haha! I know, sorry.... again, I'm weird. =o)

Then we will have a geography and biography time. For geography we're going to be reading Paddle to the Sea. This one is available at our library so I'm going to use it from there for a while until I decide if we for sure want to use it or not. For the Biographies we are going to read about Benjamin Franklin, Buffalo Bill and George Washington. :)

Anyway... just thought that I'd share now that I have an idea of what we're doing. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homeschooled children are odd!

Okay, so I just read the greatest article called, "Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children are Odd and Yours Will Be Too!" The title itself is just funny! :) The article discusses how strange homeschooled kids are -- how they think out of the box so they don't fit the typical public school child mold. The great thing about is that a lot of them don't care. I was homeschooled and all of my friends will tell you that I am an 'anti-conformist'. If something is popular, I avoid it. If it's in fashion, I refuse to wear it. I thought it was still neat and I generally get compliments anyways. An example of my weirdness, a few months ago I cut up a pair of my jeans. I cut it into eight pieces. Then, I put it back together but in a different order with some pieces backwards and the seams on the outside. I sewed it back together as a skirt. I LOVE IT!! :) I think it's awesome. No one else has one that I've ever seen. I get some of the funnest comments from ppl. Some hate it and some love it but I don't care b/c I love it! After reading this article, I wonder if maybe that stems from my homeschooling roots. I only hope that my children will grow up to be odd. That they won't try to fit in the same mold as everyone else but be themselves and let their individuality shine through even if others don't entirely approve. Love the article and I think that every homeschool family should read it! It was awesome!! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Been a while

I know it's been a while since I've posted on here. My camera is old and pretty pathetic and we've been doing a lot of stuff based off of a curriculum and I felt bad posting it so I haven't been. However, in the fall Collin will officially be in kindergarten. My husband and I have been trying to decide what to do -- if we want to continue with the homeschooling or send him to school. We finally decided on somewhere in the middle, K12. Or, more specifically a South Carolina virtual charter school. We have already started the enrollment process. The only thing we have left is getting them documents proving we are who we say we are. It was a difficult decision for us. You can read more about that here. Apparently they have lots of conventions and things for parents and monthly outings for the kids so I'm very excited about this. I will post more about it as we get into the program. I'll give the good, the bad, and the ugly right here for everyone to see. :) I hope we are making the right choice, I feel very confident in it right now. It's just that this is such an important decision that I don't want to make the wrong one. Wish us luck!! :)