Saturday, January 28, 2012

This week in school...

I need to come up with more creative titles for these posts!! Anyway- this week seems like the week we got our groove back. Since having surgery and starting homeschool don't usually go hand-in-hand, it has been a bit of a rough start. Meltdowns from Tae saying, "I don't wanna.... ________!" You fill in the blank. It ranges from "sit here while you read the scriptures" to "be the youngest child in our family!" Wowsa. What a kid.

This week though, it hasn't been as rough. I talked to some soccer parents about homeschooling. They all like the idea, because it would free up a lot of time. I don't think they will end up doing it. (Which is just fine... I am not out to change the world.. just to do what's best for my family!)

We had 3 soccer games this week, 2 piano lessons, and numerous quizzes to make sure we were comprehending our studies this week. Here's the breakdown of what we studied:

Scriptures: 1 Nephi 14-18
History: The Early Jewish People (Abram and Sarai-now Abraham and Sarah; Jacob; Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors) Sargon and the Akkadians ( in Mesopotamia)
Science: The Skeletal System including the three smallest bones in your body (in the ear), "Dem Bones" song with lots of 'hands on' learning, and the way bones work, how they grow, how they are categorized, what the scientific names are, and how they are connected (joints and cartilage).
Math, Spelling, Phonics, Grammar, etc.: on their own levels...
Writing: Choose a biography and read it. Write a paper on the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How 's of that person.

For the writing assignment: Jenna picked Miranda Cosgrove and Addison picked Carrie Underwood and Ronald Reagan. She really wanted to please daddy, so she picked his favorite president:)

Summary: Fun times. Lots of laughs. Lots of bike riding up to the park. Learning how to play tennis. Getting our vitamin D. Lots of soccer. Lots of love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Piano and Projects!

Before I begin this post, I wanted to share my new favorite cookbook with you. (Whoever you is.... I'm really not sure anyone is reading this. If you are, please leave a comment so I know whether or not I am speaking to an audience.) It is the new "Southern Living" cookbook titled, "comfort food- a delicious trip down memory lane.) WOW! Amazing southern food recipes are found in this hardback cookbook that costs $39.95 and shipped to my doorstep today. I am in awe. Let's just say- I will be cooking up a storm and may just start at the beginning and work my way through. It is THAT awesome. I mentioned in an earlier post that we made cuneiform tablets with our names written on them. This one is Jenna's. We turned them into door hangers/necklaces. Unfortunately only Taesun's hasn't broken yet. (Boy is it weird to say that...Usually Tae's is the first one broken!)
Little man with his grown-out hair. Yuck!! Boy needs a haircut- DEFINITELY!
The kids getting ready to leave for our first day of piano lessons. We decided to take lessons from the stake president's wife (a member of our church,) who is booked solid for after and before school lessons. Since we homeschool.... we got in!! Yahoo!!
Don't my girls look old?! I cannot believe how much older Jenna is looking and we call the oldest the fun nickname, "Decade!" She doesn't protest, so I guess she kinda likes it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day

One of the perks of homeschooling is that you get to decide when you have school and when you don't. For example, my local public school is out today because of Martin Luther King Day. We are having school today. Why, you may ask? I thought this would be a good opportunity to teach my kids about why we celebrate Martin Luther King.

We started our day with pledge/prayer/scripture reading just like usual. Then we went on to memorize the following passage:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Afterwards, we watched the famous "I have a dream" speech excerpt on YouTube. The kids LOVED hearing the excerpt that we had just memorized!! We talked about what life would have been like for little African American kids growing up with racial segregation around the time of MLK. We then watched a documentary called, "Roads to Memphis" which spoke of the assassination of Martin Luther King. It has a lot of MLK's speeches shown in the documentary.

Since we live in Atlanta, we could have visited MLK's childhood home and toured it for free today, but I figured it was going to be jammed-packed. Maybe another time...

(Ideas for older homeschoolers: watching "The Help" would have been fun and informative. Reading it would have been an even better option.) If only Addi was a bit older... For now we will stick with our documentaries.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What a difference a week can bring...

So second week has come and gone at our home. Schooling was definitely tougher this week. We had "tween" drama, middle-child syndrome, five-yr-old meltdowns, and too many repairmen coming and going for mama to deal with. What a week!! On the upside- we covered parts of a cell in science; Egyptians and Sumerians and their writings in History; another unit in math and spelling; book reports began on Monday and due on the following Monday; and we even worked on how to tie our shoes with little man.

Lots of ground was covered. Lots of tears were spilt. (Confession time: even mine.) By Thursday evening, I was ready to pull my hair out. I was OVER homeschooling. Tired of all the frustrations of teaching my children, finding a piano teacher, living life with no home phone or internet most of the week, and just plain recuperating from surgery two short weeks ago, left me with only a twinge of hope concerning lesson plans for next week.

Then on Friday around noon, Rob (who was working from home that day,) decided that we could go out to eat for lunch. Off to Five Guys we went. And then it happened... I saw the kids' school that they were attending less than a month ago. There were lots of cars in the parking lot. My kids looked out the window and then....

LAUGHED. Ha Ha Ha!! Look at those poor kids stuck in school while we are spending quality time together as a family. We were done with school for the week and they were stuck within those four walls, attempting to learn for another 3 1/2 hours. We all had a good chuckle and then I realized that I LOVE HOMESCHOOL and the flexibility it brings to my family.

What a fun week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First week!

Well- homeschool got off to a good start this week despite the fact that I had surgery only days before to remove my appendix. The kids were BEGGING me to begin schooling, and so we started Monday, January 2nd... before their friends went back to school! At first, we just tried to chug along since I was pretty much immobile and couldn't sit up very well. By the third day, we were in a routine and kicking homeschool's butt!!

Our routine goes like this:

8-8:30- wake up/ brush teeth, get dressed/ clean room
10am- Say Pledge of Allegiance/ Pray/ Read 1 chapter in Book of Mormon
10:30-2pm- History (all together), Science (all together), Math (online for girls and I work with Tae one-on-one), Spelling, Grammar, Writing, and Reading (Currently, we are reading Harry Potter book 1)

So far, this week we have covered "What is History and Archaeology", "The Nomadic People", made cave paintings, (which got ruined by an apple juice spill after showing daddy), "History of Anatomy and Physiology", "Cell Structure", and lots of ABC writing and "Clock" work for Taesun.

All-in-all... a super fun week! The first day we homeschooled, a mom of a girl in Addison's old class dropped by the house and asked me lots of questions about homeschooling. The next day, I found out that two more people I know used to homeschool their kids but can't anymore due to work. The following day, another homeschool mom invited the kids and I to a "parkday" which we had to decline because I can't drive yet after the surgery. We have had lots of invitations to do projects with friends and other homeschoolers. This should be an exciting experience!

Today- we went to a local animal shelter and found out that the kids and I can volunteer there regularly. The kids can play with the dogs (not cats because of our family's allergies,) clean the cages, and help to feed the animals. I am so excited for this opportunity to teach my kids hard work. We signed all the paperwork tonight and we are looking forward to turning it in this week!