Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

January Review

I thought I’d re-cap what all we did this month, both to catch you guys up, to archive for myself, and to get back in the habit of regularly updating… I don’t know what my problem is lately, but I have not been in a blogging mood.

It’s always a bit of a struggle to get back in the groove after a break, and we had an especially long/unstructured break due to my mom’s illness and the holidays. Buckling back down into good school-habits was especially challenging for me – I got spoiled to sleeping in, but we disciplined ourselves, and got settled back into the swing of regular school day-type things pretty easily. Our main issue, I think, was shifting from the idea of being able to stay up super-late to going back to a normal(ish) bedtime and getting up earlier. If Loverly Husband ever switched to working nights, we’d all adjust to sleeping all day and being up all night just fine!

With my mom being sick for so long, we ended up skipping over the last little bit of several things – lapbooks, writing assignments and such. So we got those back out and finished them up (including the Ancient Greece Lapbook and Manatee Lapbook), then started on the Viking Adventure Lapbook from HomeschoolShare.com. Viking Adventure is a Sonlight book, and the lapbook goes chapter-by-chapter. We’re doing a little more than a chapter per week, and the boys are having a lot of fun learning to write in runes. We’re also lapbooking The Boxcar Children via Beyond Five In A Row, which is going really well.

I remember back when we first started homeschooling, we did a lot more hands-on projects; we’ve gotten away from that a bit lately, and these lapbook and story combos are offering a lot in the way of hands-on learning. One of the things we have been learning about is different types of armor, and at a field trip a few weeks ago, we came across a full suit of medieval armor. Being able to see it in person is always more of a learning experience than just looking at a picture – after getting a good look, both boys decided that they’re glad they don’t have to be knights!

Suits of armor

Over the last few weeks, our local homeschool group has really grown! We’ve added 5 new families to the group over the past month. Since our group is private, we usually meet with interested parties before adding them to the group, which has meant that at least once a week, we’ve been able to take a mid-day break and hit the coffee shop to meet a new homeschooling family.

Let’s see… field trip-wise, we’ve gone to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, (they have free admission to the main halls on Thursday, so we try to take advantage of that when we can). We got a nice surprise when we got there this last time; admission to the Butterfly Hall was discounted that day, so we got tickets for that as well. We had such a great time! And we even made it back into town in time for karate class that evening!

Butterflies

learning about energy

Looking for fossils

checking out human evolution

MASTODON!

Megalodon devouring an elephant-like creature…

The kids checking out the whole of human evolution – amazing reference!

 

Rise of the Guardians – Don’t mess with Santa Claus 😉

We took the kids for a movie day – some of us saw Rise of the Guardians, others in our group saw The Hobbit. That was fun – we took the boys to see The Hobbit a few weeks before that, so we saw Rise. I liked it; their portrayal of Santa as a tattooed, dual sword-wielding Guardian was pretty awesome.

 

The week after that, we took a holiday; Loverly Husband was off work, and the boys’ friends were out of school so we met up with them at the park. My friend PBJMom and I are working through ‘Wreck This Journal’ with some other friends of ours, and so we played journal while the kids ran around the park. We started a group called ‘Art Journalistas’ and have been egging each other on encouraging each other in our creative endeavors. We started sharing pictures of our work, and have scheduled a few meet-ups to work on them. As I write this, I actually just got back from our ‘Document Your Dinner’ dinner & coffee extravaganza. We usually all bring a bunch of art supplies and have a lot of fun with it.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

photo by Mamie Leger

photo by Mamie Leger

This past winter, I really started moving towards a more herbal-based first aid/medicine ideal, and have been experimenting with making tinctures and other herbal remedies. Some of the moms in our homeschool group have similar interests, so we organized an herbal workshop of sorts. We talked essential oils and herbs, and made an all-purpose herbal salve (beeswax, coconut oil, tea tree oil, ginger root and chamomile).

In other news, as a group, we decided that we should do some sort of volunteer/community service project each month. We chose our local Humane Society. We’ve all done our orientation training, and this month was our first official volunteer date with the Humane Society of Southeast Texas. We organized our dates for the next six months with them – the kids love going!

Photo by Jean Bennett

Photo by Jean Bennett

This week, we were supposed to go to see two theater performances, but we ended up going walking/hiking instead. I am SO READY to get back to regular hiking!! This was the first hike (more of a walk, really – though we did walk the dirt-bike trail, which is much more challenging…. so a mild hike, maybe) of the year – I am itching to really get out there. We did see one performance – the ‘True Story of the Three Little Pigs’ by Dallas Children’s Theater. It was pretty funny – I wasn’t sure of I was going to like it, but there were some parts that really made me laugh. It’s always a gamble when you see a show that’s really geared towards younger kids, but we have been attending theater shows since the boys were very young, and have rarely been disappointed. This is the first time that we were in the balcony, on the very top row – as high and far away as you can get from the stage. I never realized how steep the balcony is – they really mean ‘nosebleed’ section!

Afterwards, we spent the afternoon soaking up some Texas sun at the park. It’s been a good month!

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PeaGreen2-1-13

Feb 2, 2013

 

How’s your year starting off?
Warmly,

~h

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