Friday, September 28, 2007

So I'm Told... I Need A Break

I have a dear friend of mine who whenever I brought the subject up about home schooling the kids this past summer she would highly protest against it. "They need to learn about the real world now, " she would say. "You can't keep them with you forever, you'll cripple them...... And you need a break."
A break? But I do get some down time I explained... I have daycare at the gym and on Fridays they will go to school. I'll have at least 4 hours to myself. I also have what I call "Sanity Sessions" when Justin get's home from work. Someday's he insists I go out and just do "something" without the kids. I usually go to Target or the mall. Meet a friend for coffee. Or sometimes just take a walk. I also have bible study every other Friday where I talk with real grown-ups and everything. However, even these breaks are not enough for my friend. She is convinced that unless I get away from my "offspring" for several hours every day, I am going to permanently lose my brain. From her point of view, the whole situation is simply unhealthy for each and every one of us.
For those of you who know me and probley even to the casual observer know that I lost whatever mind I had to begin with along time ago. Ask, my husband or sisters who knew me before children. I really don't think sending my kids to school will help reclaim it. LOL
The idea that we can't cope with life's events without sending the children away is fascinating to me.

Yes, I have house work to get done and things to do and they are so much easier to do when the kids are elsewhere. On the other hand, it's probably healthier for them to know that there isn't some vacuum cleaner fairy that comes along side and makes everything nicer. Now that I don't have a house cleaner anymore:( Dishes don't just get done and put away, food doesn't cook itself, and the laundry is not a mysterious process attended to by elves. For good or bad, the children get to see me in all of my natural glory. They will learn and appreciate hard work.
I hope they will also get to experience the fun parts, like when they see me up on the roof trying to fix the heater(yes I did that, but didn't even know what i was doing or looking for once I was up there.) I hope they will learn things for me just by being around me and everyday life.
How does someone repeat the short period of time when childhood is full of the miraculous and everything is new and wondrous? I love seeing my children experience new things and learn new things. Do I really need a break from that precious AHA!!! That moment, that look in their eyes when they really understand what they've been working with? No one knows when it will arrive, I just happen to be lucky enough to be around sometimes when it does.
Sure, I have bad days. I am human, and haven't mastered the art of perfection quite yet. Bad days happen whether your children are in school or not. Stress is reality, and how we deal with that stress is an important lesson to teach our children. Now, does anyone know where I put my key's??? Im on my way to another
"Sanity Session."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nature Night (Take 2)

The great husband that I have reminded me when I woke up that it was Wednesday! (Did I mention along with his sense of humor comes some sarcasm.) We decided to give Nature Night another try.
Here are a few pictures from our night. As you can see by the look on Justin's face he is thrilled to be there. (For the second night in a row!)

What day is it anyways???

The other day, (what ever day that was) I was super busy with school, laundry, hair appointments and errands. My husband said, just remember to get some stamps while your out today. We had to send out our billing for the business. This was important because without sending out billing we don't get paid. I did everything I needed to get done that day. Except the stamps! OH,No! Justin came home from work, "did you get the stamps?" Opps! "I'm so sorry!" I said. He ended up picking some up on his way to take Austin to football practice. While they were at football I finished doing hair and started dinner.
Tonight was a fieldtrip the kids have been looking forward too. We were going to see nature at night and were going on a night hike. They were also excited because, Dad gets to come! Usually our fieldtrips are during the day while he is at work. Justin got home, loaded the kids and flashlights in the car, while I got paper plates, lots of napkins and sippy cups. We were doing dinner to go...Running late as usual. Justin looking so tired after a long day at work asks "where are we going?" opps... I forgot the directions at home and asked him with a kind and gental voice to please turn around. We drove to West Covina eating our dinner. We finally arrived to a very dark park. Hmmm... I thought were is everyone? Justin asks, "are you sure it starts at 7PM?" "Yes," I said, "The flyer read, Wierd Wednesdays from 7-9PM" He just looked at me and rolled his eyes, "Bridget it's Tuesday." I just buried my head in my hands. Thank God I have a husband with a sense of humor!

My Cheerleader, My Friend

A Friend of mine who is so encouraging wrote this:
Home schooling is parenting beyond the normal accepted call of duty. Home schooling is about mom's utilizing maximum effort to fulfill a call from God they cannot deny or ignore. The burden is in their heart. The time and sacrifice doesn't stop these parents. They are a breed set apart for a journey to walk with their children.

When I am in doubt I call her up and she always has the right words to share with me. When I talk to her on the phone I always make sure I have a pen and paper handy to write down things she has to share.
Equip your children in the ways of God. Teach your children to trust in God with their whole heart and lean not on their own understanding, but in all their ways to acknowledge Him and He will direct their paths.

Something happens to your life when you become a parent. I was only 19 when I became a parent and I can still remember the motivation I had to care for this child. It was stronger than anything I have known. I began to live my life for this child and learn to nurture this small person. I cared more, gave more, gave up my normal selfish ways, and it wasn't an effort for me it was pure joy! In fact I was driven to give the best and be the best for him.
When in doubt with my home schooling, my friend, my personal cheerleader says, "Keep the Vision"....Bridget, bring them up, bring them up! I love her!

Monday, September 24, 2007

My very excellent mother just served us nachos......please

Having a little fun with science.

An easy way to remember the order of the planets. I like to use Mnemonics in teaching the kids to remember things. I know it helped me in school and I still use little silly mnemonics of my own to help me remember things.
The kids insisted we add "please" to the end of the old phrase : My excellent mother just served us nachos" They didn't want to leave Pluto out. So they came up with please for pluto. The planet still does exist, it has just been reclassified.
Being the "VERY EXCELLENT MOTHER" that I am LOL....the kids asked if I could serve them nachos. So that is what I made them for snack. The kids got to make their own nacho's out of constuction paper too. I hope this old mnemonic will help them remember.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Help! A bully in our school

Every school has them, even ours at home. He may be only two but he's the biggest bully at our school. I pray this is just a stage Landen is going through.

Austin and his new friend Logan

Faith in her singing class......she loves to sing!

Friday School:
Every Friday the kids go to school from 8-12. Even Landen and Farrah get to go to class "daycare". Austin and Faith can take different classes throughout the year and are meeting alot of new friends. Oh, and the best part about Friday's are I have the day off!.... well kind of (just between 8-12)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Homeschoolers get out of the house!

Homeschoolers aren't just for hermits anymore. In fact we have changed the name from homeschooling to autoschooling in our family. We always seem to be on the go and always learning something new. We do follow a curriculm, I am not brave enough to follow the "unschooling" method of teaching my children, but we do like to change it up a little. I am not one to be stuck at home and never have been. Even with little infants we are out and about.
Today we started our day as a normal school day. Halfway through our morning the baby was being fussy and Austin and Faith were being distracted by Landen etc... I said everyone that's it, pack up your work and get in the car were going for a ride.
We went to the Botanical Gardens not far from our house. What a beautiful place to get away and do work. Farrah enjoyed the fresh air and Landen loved looking at all the tree's. We sat on a bench and read and the kids did their work. We spent a good 2 hours there with actual peace and quiet. Sometimes it's good to just get out of the house.

How Come?

How do birds know where south is? Why are butterfly wings so colorful? How come moths eat wool? How can a hummingbird fly both forward and backward? These are question my kids ask me. Help???
A special thank you to my sister Brianna, for buying the book Planet Earth. I will study it so I know the awnsers next time I am asked a question like, "Why are electric eels electrical?"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Make Learning Fun!

This week I decided to do something a little different with the kids for spelling. I had them write their spelling words with sidewalk chalk on our driveway. It was a fun way to help them practice their spelling words.

No Sick Days

I guess that means even for me. Can I call a sub if i don't feel good? Austin wasn't feeling good today so we took it easy but I still made him do work. What a mean teacher. Then I made him rest, rest, rest!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Why Do We Educate?

Why Do We Educate?
Some mothers in our group were talking and it got me thinking....Before we can ever begin to think about how we are to teach our children, we must decide why we are teaching them. What is a well educated child? We were asked, "Why do we want to educate your children?" Most mom's responded with series of reasons on why they did not want to enroll their children in local schools etc. Then they rephrased the question and asked, "Why do you care that your son/daughter knows anything about everything?" Most answers were something along the lines of they wanted their children to make a good living and a good education will help do that. They could afford to live happy lives etc, etc.
Sure it will! But let's take that and move forward 30 years and say your son is now a famous millionaire who can afford to travel the world. You as a mom are sitting in a nursing home. He pays your bills but only visits sporadically. He is happy but you are ignored and miserable. Would you consider yourself a success at the education you have provided? NO
After thinking to myself, "Why do I educate or Why do I care that my children know everything about anything?" Sure I want my kids to be smart and have a great career and afford to do thing that they want, but my children's SUCCESS is not determined by a degree or a dollar. A well educated child is one who knows and loves the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength and loves their neighbor as themselves." ......... and one who will not stick me in a nursing home at all:)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Peek into the Future

We attended education day at Wired Next Fest in Los Angeles for our first fieldtrip. For my future scientists they were excited to see robots, flying vehicles, Mars suits, and many other hand's on learning experiences . Over 150 different future technoligies in healthcare, entertainment, transportation and more. NASA was their with the crew from the Endeavor space shuttle that just landed from space this past Aug. We also got to see human like robots (you couldn't tell which man was a robot and which was a real human)that made eye contact and would capture our attention by using a full range of human like facial expressions... austin said, "Now, that's Freaky!" Faith enjoyed seeing a babydoll that would react to touch. If you would tickle her foot she would wiggle her toes and giggle back just like a real baby. Faith's favorite part was meeting a women with a real bionic arm and seeing how it worked. It's amazing how technology is getting more and more advanced. It's also scary in a way, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Park Day

Full Armor of God

Today, was the first park day of the year. I felt I was packing for a weekend getaway this morning just getting ready for our day outing. Austin had a group meeting at 11. Faith had her class at 12 and then we had park day at 1. I also helped watch my friends 6month old son so she could teach one of the classes. You ask how I did this??? Landen had a fever and was very GOOD all day! He was not his wild crazy self. Poor baby :(

10 Signs I'm doing a good job!

10--Your children think "writing" involves more than a text message on a cell phone.

9--Your children know that the first line of the National Anthem is not "Take me out to the ballgame."

8--Your children read without being bribed. Or threatened.

7--Your children hear about an interesting science experiment and insist on trying it for themselves, even though they already know the outcome.

6--Your dictionary never collects dust.

5--The TV news mentions a remote country and your children already know where it is located.

4--The TV news mentions a remote country that your children don't know, and they race each other to the world atlas.

3--People notice that your children get along well with each other.

2--People ask you questions about homeschooling, and your children answer for you.

1--Your children giggle and elbow each other when people ask, "What do you do about socialization?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Today we talked about September 11 in a PG kinda way. The kids made pencil flags and used them on all their work.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Coping With Monday Morning

On paper, homeschooling does not look like a grind. I get to plan my days myself. I get to be with my favorite people on earth- my kids! I can teach them at their own pace. So what's with that Monday morning clutchy feeling in the pit of my stomach???

Well here it is: I know I have taken on a big chunck of responsibility-- for the education of my children. This morning it hit me hard. For some reason today I felt more than just responsible I felt pressure.
Why? Probley because I haven't had any sleep the last couple nights. And because I know how the week can go, Someone can wake up with a stomach ace or the stinky fish water can spill all over the carpet and make the classroom stink again!...I try to "will" these things not to happen, at least not on Monday! So, on this morning I woke up not as cheery as most mornings. :) I emerged from my bedroom like a sergeant, wanting everyone in the house to march through the day. I do this because I feel the pressure to have my Monday move along and have today set a quick pace for our week ahead. We have a crazy week ahead of us with the start of football practices, new meet up groups, doctors and dentist appointments, field trips and our friday school starts. whewwww... I get tired just thinking about it!
But wait! I try to reflect. If my children were in school what would I want their teachers to be like today? I would want them to teach and follow a plan. I would also want them to do it with a smile, and to treat my kids with understanding, respect, and kindness. I would want these teachers to know that my children don't always understand the lesson, and thats OK they will understand it tomorrow. I would want my child's teacher to think about it NOT as a Monday, but instead, to see it as a special day of teaching and learning with VERY special people. -MY CHILDREN.

I have made a choice to be that teacher..I will try and remember to let go of disappointment if I do not get everything done today that I wanted. I pray I homeschool on those Monday's because it is a day I have been given, to love and teach my children.

Friday, September 7, 2007

What is a teacher?

A teacher is someone who can...

--Give a hug without getting arrested.
--Bandage a knee without calling the school nurse.
--Change a lightbulb without calling the custodian.
--Make the children wash the bathrooms.
--Have a relationship with the principal without getting fired.
--Teach a child's mind while capturing their heart.
--Teach what they believe in and believe in what they teach.
--Meet the child's need and not worry about meeting the state guidelines.
--Commit to a lifetime of work without pay.
--Pray! in class, out loud, with the children and the ACLU can't say a word.

There is is only one that can fill that job description

A teacher is a mom

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sacramento and The Gold Country

We get to see California history come to life! We have a unique opportunity to experience a two day tour of Sacramento. We have planned our field trip for May, 2008. This will give us time to raise money with our many fundraisers we have planned. Don't worry no more $15.00 wrapping paper! We will be going on a California State Capital Tour, seeing the government in action. Historic Sutter's Fort, California state railroad museum, the old Sacramento schoolhouse. Austin and Faith will get to participate in a 19th century lesson. We will also go on Wagon Rides through Old Sacramento and discover historic buildings still standing today. We also plan to visit Marshall Gold Park and see the site where gold was discovered. The last day we are their we will be doing EDT's (educational discovery tours) Living History: Tinsmith (they will make a project under the instruction of a Tinsmith, Mountain Man, how he survied and the people who helped him, and we can't forget they will end with their own chance to pan for gold!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We did it!

We made it through our first day of school! I just have to say I pray all our days go as smoothly as today went. The kids got up cleaned their rooms did their chores and ate breakfast all before 8:00am! They were so excited to start school in their new classroom. We had a fun day learning together. Even Landen and Farrah stayed on schedule!
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They both love science!