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Confession: I’ve turned into a fangirl

I had a much more serious confession that I wanted to blog about earlier today, but now I’ve changed my mind. No worries. I’ll come back to the more serious one. Cause that shit surely isn’t going away. I’m just currently more in the mood for this one.

So… My confession is that I’ve become a bit of a fangirl. Okay. Maybe not totally fangirl. I won’t be tackling anyone or asking them to sign my boobage or anything, but this has got to be the closest I’ve come to abnormal fangirly type behavior EVER, cause I’m really just not the type.

Let me back track. This is how it started….

About a month ago I was messing around on Facebook, avoiding doing the things I actually NEEDED to be doing. The normal. I’m scrolling through my wall and I notice a video someone shared called, Evolution of Beyonce by the a capella ¬†group Pentatonix. I don’t overly love Beyonce, but this wasn’t the first video I had seen by them. I had caught their Evolution of Music video before when someone shared it and it was really good. Evolution of Beyonce is exactly what started this whole mess. I loved it. I was just crazy impressed with their talent and what each one of them brought to the table. Then, I ended up spending an hour watching a bunch of their videos on their YouTube channel, and I’ve just been in a downward spiral ever since. ūüėõ

I’ve been spending less of my free time reading smut, and instead I have been obsessively watching tons of videos on YouTube featuring Pentatonix. All their performances from when they were on the show Sing Off. Live performances from their tour. ¬†And most recently I started watching the SuperFruit vlog that Mitch Grassi & Scott Hoying keep, which I find hilarious and cute. I may have developed a little crush on Mitch Grassi…

I’ve only mentioned it to Michael about 20 times in the past few days that all I want for Christmas is tickets to go see them when they come to Athens in March. You know… that way he won’t forget. And keep in mind, I don’t do concerts. I haven’t been to one in a little over 10 years, but I HAVE to be at this one.

So now it is out. If I start going crazy sharing videos you will just have to forgive me. I can’t seem to contain my love for them. :

WATCH IT! ūüėČ

 

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Bye Bye Milky Boobs

Well, it is official. After almost 7 years of breastfeeding without any downtime, my boobie-ing days are over. We are 3 days into the weaning process, and Addison is handling it very well. It was just time. And even though I have BEEN ready for this, it is definitely a little bittersweet to have this significant era of my life  over, knowing that there will be no more babies in my future.

Haden

Sweet toddler Haden. He was definitely my boobie babe. He nursed quite frequently up until the very end when I weaned him a few months shy of being 4.

Tandem Nursing

My one and only tandem nursing photo. Forgive how rough I look. ūüėČ I had just given birth about 12 hours earlier. This was our first tandem nursing session. I only lasted about 3 months before I¬†decided¬†to wean Haden.

 

Addison

A recent picture of Miss Cheeky Baby nursing. <3

 

I guess it is time to move on to a new phase in my mama life. Bye bye milky boobies!

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2013 – 2014 Curriculum Plan (So far)

Next year will be Haden’s second grade year! All my¬†researching¬†seems to be paying off because I’m¬†feeling¬†pretty solid about the choices I’ve narrowed down to so far, and I only have a couple things I still need to make a decision on.¬†So, here is the list that I promised!

Math

We will continue doing¬†mostly Living Math, and will be using a variety of resources throughout the year. So, I’ve just listed some of the things I want to add to our collection of living math tools.¬†

Miquon Math РThis will be the core of our math. We have already started using the Orange & Red Books, but will continue on throughout the rest of the series.
I Love Math Books
Logic Links
Usborne First Maths Dictionary
Learning Resources Creative Color Cubes
Citi Blocks

Plus, living math books that we will borrow from the library. ūüôā You can find book lists here, here and here.

Language Arts

I have had the hardest time making a decision here! I’ve thought that I had it all figured¬†out¬†a couple of times, only to change my mind again. I think this is it though. Hopefully….

I linked to the main website for all the Brave Writer materials below, but you can buy them at a really great discount on the¬†Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op.

Brave Writer’s The Writer’s Jungle
Brave Writer’s The Wand
Brave Writer’s Jot It Down

Handwriting Without Tears

And of course, reading TONS of books. ūüėõ

Science

Elemental Science: Elementary Biology

Required books for Biology:

Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals
DK First Human Body Encyclopedia
Plant Parts
Janice VanCleave’s Science¬†Around¬†the World
Janice VanCleave’s Biology for Every Kid

Intellego¬†Unit –¬†Evolution

History

Classical House of Learning – Grammar Stage Ancients (FREE literature-based program.) Although, this curriculum offers a reading schedule that includes Story of the World, I’ve decided to skip that, and use the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History as a supplement to the program. I may do Ancient Civilizations History Pockets with it too.

I will be borrowing most of the Required Books for the course from the library, as well as the Optional Books.

Also, we will be doing American History read-alouds throughout the year to go ahead and dip our toes into our history a bit better, until I’m ready to do a more¬†thorough¬†study. ūüôā

Geography

Intellego Unit – Maps
Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary
World GeoPuzzle 

We will probably do misc. country studies as Haden shows interest too.

Social Studies

Intellego Unit – Goods and Services
Intellego Unit – Choices and Resources

Art

We will continue using our Usborne Art Coloring Book and Draw.Write. Now.

BLAM

BLAM by Roy Lichtenstein

Spanish

I’d really like to start doing Spanish next year, but I am still undecided on what to use. I am considering using the book,¬†Getting Started with Spanish. Maybe Mango¬†if I can budget it in… I’m really not sure yet…

Others

I will be adding to our collections of field guides for Nature Study. We really like the Peterson Guides. ūüôā I’m getting¬†Peterson First Guide Rocks and Minerals¬†&¬†Peterson First Guide Caterpillars, plus maybe a couple others.

The Kids’ Book of Questions¬†–¬†This book was¬†recommended in the book,¬†Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for¬†Parenting¬†Beyond Belief,¬†which¬†is a really¬†awesome¬†book, BTW. I will be using it as a starting point towards having ¬†more thought provoking discussions with Haden and to encourage moral reasoning.

Usborne Encyclopedia of  World Religions

And (of course) we will be taking classes through our co-op next year too.

Chickens

All about chickens in Life on the Farm class.

Websites

These are all websites that we love and utilize now. Just thought I would share the love. ūüėČ

Education Unboxed РOh, the amazing things you can do with Cuisenaire Rods.
Cool Math Games¬†– Cool math games. ūüėõ
Math Playground РMore cool math games.
Living Math РThe place to check out for living math resources.
Handbook of Nature Study Blog РI love their monthly newsletters because they include fun outdoor challenge grids and free notebooking pages to go with them.
Notebooking Fairy РLots of free notebooking pages.
Homeschool Share РFREE lapbooks!

Pre-K

Addison will be 3 1/2 in the fall, so I will most¬†likely¬†start making a more concentrated effort to plan activities to do¬†with¬†her. She already tags along with Haden during school sometimes, especially¬†science. She likes to sit at the table with us and work on puzzles or pages from her cut and paste book when we are working. I’ll keep it simple, but do want to start forming a habit of thinking¬†about¬†her more than I currently do when it comes to our plans for the day. I’m thinking about buying her some sand paper letters and numbers… I’ve started a preschool Pintrest board to pull ideas from, and I will likely try to take a¬†literature-based unit study style approach with her for Pre-K, and see how that goes. The last two classes of this term at co-op she actually attended class on her own, so I’m hoping she will do that in the Fall too!

[box] So, what are your plans for next year? You know I want hear about them! :)[/box]

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Oh, the Curriculum!

And the purchasing has begun!!! Our next school year ¬†has been on my mind for the past month or so. I’ve been¬†making¬†lists, researching, crossing things off, researching some more, and adding things on…¬†I’ve got a pretty good list going, which I will probably post in the nearish future, even though it is subject to change. ūüėõ ¬†Now I get to spend my night¬†perusing¬†all these new books! And the nerd in me finds that rather exciting.

Homeschool Curriculum

A little sneak peek @ the first wave of resources we are adding to our homeschooling arsenal. ūüėČ

 

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Every Day is Earth Day

Today, on Earth Day, we (with the help of¬†friends) helped SAVE the Earth! It was really quite impressive. ūüėČ

Ready!

We ventured out to Sweetwater Creek State Park to give a little TLC.

Trash in the creek

The voices of outrage at the amount of trash in the water could be heard from afar. We really needed a boat and a net with a long pole to tackle the places that need it most. ūüôĀ Our butterfly net was not up to the task. Bummer.

Searching

We cleared the ground though.

Play time

Ah. A reward for a job well done. Cheeky looks to be basking like all the turtles we saw on the way.

Explorers

Maybe they are scouting for more trash?

Sleepy Girl

Our Earth Day adventure wore Cheeky out. She passed out on top of me eating the boobie milk and watching My Little Pony.

[box] How was your day?[/box]

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Do You Strew?

One thing I love about being a homeschooling parent is that there¬†always¬†seems to be a never-ending stream of homeschooling styles, concepts or ideas that you have yet to explore – and I am¬†always¬†on the lookout for new ideas. So, recently I stumbled across a term that is closely associated with unschooling – strewing. I was like… What. Is. That? It was kinda a DUH moment for me because it really is such a simple concept it should have¬†occurred¬†to me before. Aren’t the best ideas¬†like¬†that???!! Completely over my head¬†apparently…

Strewing effectively boils down to leaving things out for your children that will draw their attention, and encourage exploration. Genius. We seriously have all kinds of cool things in our house that my children rarely mess with, and I think that the way I keep things tidily in their place is a deterring factor.

Here are a couple of links that can explain strewing better. I could take the time to write more, but why would I when I can pass you along to someone who has already done it for me. ūüėČ

If You Strew It; They Will Come

Homeschool Strewing

So, I have been making a nightly effort to strew before I go to bed… and the results have been awesome. Every morning when we come downstairs for breakfast, my kids seem to feel drawn to things that I have left out.

 

Playdough2

Our playdough strew. I printed off a couple of playdough mats (links found here), put out some plastic animals, sea shells, rocks and feathers to go with the playdough, and they just went with it.

 

Strewing1

I pulled out all of our nature study stuff, and put it in a big basket that is now¬†sitting¬†on our fireplace. I’ve been laying out some of our rarely looked at books, and utilizing some of those easy/fun projects that I am forever pinning that I rarely actually work into our school day…

 

Strewing2

Like painting salt with colored water on black paper.

 

Not every strew has been a winner, but I can always try it again later. ūüôā I’ve been¬†working¬†on a Strewing¬†board¬†on Pintrest. Check it out!

 

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From Clay to Bricks

For once, all the Georgia Red Clay that plagues my backyard can be considered a good thing. Today, as part of our Earth unit using Elemental Science, we made some bricks.

Mud hole

Mixing water and grass clippings into our clay hole.

Our Mold

We used a cut up orange juice carton for our brick mold.

Bricks

Finished bricks!

I’m hoping they will be dry by tomorrow afternoon, so we can play with them. They are currently in the back yard surrounded by orange cones to deter anyone (dogs included) from trampling them. ūüėõ

[box] What happened in your homeschool today?[/box]

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2012-2013 Curriculum 2.0

Since my original post on our curriculum for the year (back in September), I have made a good number of changes, so I figured it was about time for an updated version!

ūüôā Here it is…

Language Arts

We left behind Time4Learning for various reasons – mostly math related issues. Now we are using How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and Haden’s progress¬†since¬†starting has been amazing, and we are only on lesson 40. I’m sure it isn’t the most¬†interesting¬†program to use out there, but it is effective and our lessons are never more than 15 minutes (usually less). I wish we had made a change sooner. As a supplement, we are using the program,¬†ClickNKids.

Math

Time4Learning¬†Kindergarten¬†curriculum worked in hands-on activities, and used living math books to reinforce concepts introduced in the online¬†lessons,¬†which really worked well for us, but that stopped in their First Grade¬†curriculum. After¬†considering¬†some various options, I decided that Living Math really is the best fit for us. So, now I am building my own lessons each week using various resources. Pintrest has really been my friend, and I’ve actually worked together a pretty¬†awesome¬†Living Math board. A little shout out for Education Unboxed too! I was so happy to find this website. Education Unboxed is filled with instructional videos on how to use Cuisenaire Rods to teach math concepts – way more than I ever could have come up with on my own.

photoTools for Living Math ūüôā

 

Science

All my original plans for science have been working out well, but I have been¬†working¬†in more¬†science¬†than I originally planned. It has¬†definitely¬†become a favorite in our house! After we started school for the year, I bought Elemental Science’s Preschool Series¬†Used because I had the opportunity, and since then have been working in parts of it on the subjects that we haven’t done much study on. It is a little¬†young¬†for him, but it has been easy to make it more meaty by using their extra recommended reading books. It uses the book Science Play, which is what I used to build the Toddler science class I just finished teaching with out co-op. (I have every intention of posting my plans soon, so others can use them.) I love that it is not textbooky. It is notebooking and activity heavy. Also, I appreciate how easy it is to use their lesson plans flexibly, and that there are additional things you can add in if the interest is there. I’m¬†planning¬†to use¬†their¬†Elementary level Biology for next year.

Elemental ScienceStudying dirt in our Exploring Earth Unit. Experiment: He collected dirt from our backyard, added water to the jar and stirred. When it settles the dirt separates into layers. He drew/colored what he saw and labeled his layers.

 

Other Stuff

We have made some other cuts too, like our Road Trip U.S.A curriculum. I doubt we will try to use this again unless Haden or Addison show interest in learning more specific¬†things¬†about individual states at some point. Now, I am winging Geography too, and using cool things I find on Pintrest. Like this video,¬†which¬†I think my kids have watched at least 25 times in the past 2 days. Enjoy! ūüėõ

That pretty much sums up our changes!¬†Everything¬†else has worked out just fine. ūüėõ Annoyingly, I feel like summer is right¬†around¬†the corner, and then I have to start¬†thinking¬†about the next school year. :/ Sigh.

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A Little Push

It has been far too long¬†since¬†my last post. Honestly, I don’t¬†know¬†what my deal is, because I can’t really say I’ve been too busy to find the time to write. Maybe it has become like¬†exercising. Since I’ve lost my momentum it has¬†become¬†hard to get back into it? Who knows. Maybe giving¬†myself a little push, I can find my way back…

Since I am here and writing I feel like I should give you an update on life, so this feels like a good¬†place¬†to insert that I am¬†quitting¬†school. Yeah, I bet everyone is totally shocked. Cause I seemed so committed and all. I really can’t think of any good reason to be doing it, and my lack of overall goal makes my motivation almost nothing.¬†Since¬†I can’t seem to justify the increased stress levels, and the whole eating¬†away of my time thing, I figured I needed to live by one of my new-ish life rules – to only be doing shit that I want to do. So school is out for now. Maybe when my kids are older, I might figure¬†out what I want to do when I grow up and all that jazz, and I can revisit that option.

So, I’m officially unschooling myself again. ūüôā

In other news I have been participating in a book club with some friends from our homeschool co-op, reading the book Daring Greatly. Brene Brown’s work is amazing, and even if you read the synopsis for the book and don’t think it is a book you want to read – do it anyways. Best advice I have ever given you. Her chapter on shame was¬†excruciating¬†to read, eye-opening and more than a little heart-breaking. It is the kind of thing that breaks you down, but at the end you are¬†thankful¬†for it. Truthfully, it is hard fior me to put into words and make any sense, so just read it.

I posted her Ted talk Listening to Shame below, which gives you a little insight into what her book is about. Watch it.

Anywho, things in the land of homeschooling have been fun and interesting… you know between the crying, whining, and fits (mostly from me). Plus, bribing¬†Addison with TV to give me 20 minutes of peace to actually work with her brother… ūüôā I have a lot of homeschooling topics I’d¬†like¬†to blog about, but I just need to sit down and do them.

Goo

Bed Time

Growing

Exploring

[box] Did I mention Addison turns 3 in two weeks???!!!![/box]