Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Countdown To End The School Year

We've begun the countdown to the end of the school year....somewhat.  Today is Samantha's ballet gala.  She's so excited.  Her older brother will be doing the Daddy-Daughter dance with her because Daddy could not get time off from work to make it.  I know, we're all disappointed about that, including Dad.  They did it together last year, and it was a tear-jerker.  Every time I watch the video, I cry.  But big brother is glad to step in and be her partner.  This will mark the end of ballet until the Fall.

We're also attending our state homeschool convention on Memorial Day weekend.  We've been waiting for this for months.  We get to stay at a beautiful hotel.  And because it's in Orlando, we'll get to visit Magic Kingdom for one day.  I've signed up our older kids for the teen camp.  They're excited about making new friends and purchasing some new books at the convention.  Every time we attend, we each buy new books for our home library.  We all love to read.  The books we find at the convention are books our local libraries and book stores don't carry, like books that are written by homeschool authors.  I'm also looking forward to attending workshops and listening to some speakers, especially on the topic of high school homeschooling.  Anyway, this will mark the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  Even though we do some homeschool through summer....but more on that on another post.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun with Language Arts and Drawing

I've discovered something new for my daughter this week.  Well, it's not really new. I used it with my older kids, who are high school level now. I kept it all these years. As I was looking through our many book shelves for books and materials we no longer use, I found our Draw Write Now books.  I remembered how much my older kids loved them.  I've recently noticed our youngest daughter has been drawing a lot, but most of her people and animals look like stick figures. So when I saw these, I thought they'd be perfect for her now. I showed her how the pages show her, step by step, how to draw. We started with a picture of a hen and her two chicks. She did so well. I had her draw it several times this week, since she learns best through repetition.  These Draw Write Now books also come with their own sketch pads that have lined paper on one side, and on the other side is the box to sketch your drawing.
Since we did the same drawing several times, I decided to have her write a story about the hen and the chicks. To help her, we borrowed some books from the library about farm animals, including hens and chicks, and did some animal lessons.  Each time she drew it, the story would progress. I helped her make up the story, helping her along the way with some dictation. She also played some of the language arts games she plays online, choosing the 'farm' category.
This Draw Write Now book is titled On The Farm.  It may take us a few months to get through this one book, but she will have learned to draw a few critters, some people, and I'll have quite a few cute stories to save for our memory book.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Homeschool High School

When I started homeschooling my oldest 12 years ago, I was so excited at the new journey which we would be embarking on. I saw it as an adventure. We joined a homeschool support group and quickly made lots of new friends. Along with these new friendships came a deeper commitment to homeschooling as we developed a greater vision for our homeschool, our kids and our family.  We never considered another alternative to educating our children, even through the challenges, and even with our child with special needs.
As my oldest got closer to starting high school, my doubts about my own abilities to homeschool high school began to emerge.  We still did not consider public school or private school.  Home is the most natural place for our children to learn.  I began to read, listen to speakers and to research online all that I could on homeschooling high school. I educated myself on the requirements, the classes available, resources and curriculum.  Now as my oldest is close to her last year of high school, we're beginning to look at homeschool-friendly colleges.  Oh, how I miss those easy elementary years!  But we're embarking on a whole new journey as our oldest gets closer to adulthood.  A whole new adventure for her and for us awaits us.