Friday, March 23, 2012

Cowboy Days 2012

As I said, we really loved our day out as a family at Cowboy Days.  It was so much fun and I am glad that we took the time to go out and explore. 
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This lady was very funny. She was the narrator of sorts for the gun fight show. She really got into it.
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There was a kids area which Mickey really likes. She has a Cowpoke training card that she gets to do some things that "real cowboys" do. It is really fun for her. It was a little more interesting this year as we spent the week learning about those cowboys.
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Some brands on the walkway in the courtyard.
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Tossing "biscuits into the Dutch oven.
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She did pretty good, I think. 
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Ring Toss
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I love her stance!
Then we had the horse rides!
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Playground Time.... Nate needed some running around time!
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He was too little to ride the real horses but this one was just fine!
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Mickey met a friend.  Not surprising
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My Daredevil
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Photographer in training…. even has daddy helping her!
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Looking down at the goats.  He likes animals too. 
Blacksmith time
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Stagecoach time
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Mickey really wanted to ride on top of the stagecoach.  She had a blast. 
Nate and I rode in the coach itself.  He hated it when we were
stopped but loved it when we were going!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cowboy Week

We continued on working on our theme for the week of Cowboys or in my daughter’s case Cowgirls.  I am learning to take one day at a time and even if the plan doesn’t come together as the picture in my head it is okay.  We had fun and most important Mickey felt that the week was a great way to prepare for Cowboy Days tomorrow at our local museum. 

When we started the week, I had no intention on making a book of Cowboys.  However, sometime this week we started putting our pages together and today we ended up with a pretty cool book for her to share. I think that sometimes when we let the creativity take the lead it ends up better than what was in our heads to start with. 

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This was an idea that we used from Busy Bee Kids Crafts, the Sunset Cowboys.  This craft we had to adapt a bit.  You use a coffee filter for the sunset part.  You are supposed to use water and food coloring to create the sunset.  The one area that made me go a different direction is “will stain fingers and clothes”.  Ummm, no this would not work for my girl.  She is extra sensitive to things staining her fingers.  She does not like to get dirty.  The other thing is I had to go searching for a image that was of a cowgirl and not a cowboy.  I found this one and I think that it works. 

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This was an idea for President’s day about President Lincoln.  But I used it for what cowboys used to live in.  The idea was from Teaching Tiny Tots.  Again, Mickey took it and added in her own mark on it.  We also decorated a boot this week.  And they are all in her book to keep and share with others. 

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No day is complete in my neck of the woods without some drama from my little man.  He wanted to color with markers too.  I thought, “why not? he is on my lap.  What could possibly go wrong?”  Yeah, do you see his green mouth?  Yes, he bit off the tip of the maker instead of coloring with it.  No more markers for this little guy. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Completed Kindergarten Reading!!!

My girl, Mickey has worked hard learning her reading.  In the Fall we switched gears and started using McRuffy reading and Math.  Mickey took it great and it has worked for us.  Today she completed her last assignment and last book of her reading!  I am so proud of her.  She is proud of her accomplishment and we are celebrating it!

I have loved working with the McRuffy curriculum.  It comes with readers for each week’s lesson and a workbook.  When we started this journey Mickey was not writing very well.  It was a struggle for us.  I am excited to say that today she is writing and pretty good for her age.  She is confident enough with her writing to start making it suit her creative mind.  There are days she makes the letters with smiley faces on every letter and some days where she makes them look like clouds.  She is also coloring a lot more in her coloring books and she is coloring in the lines and making lots of different colors.  I have to remember that this was a girl that refused to write or color because it was not perfect.  She has come a long way and I am very excited to continue this journey! 
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Mickey finishing up her very last assessment. 
This is how fun it is to homeschool,
you can wear a mask that just so happens to match with your dress.  Smile 
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So excited to hold up the completed workbooks and all the books that she had read!  Since the last week of September. 
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Isn’t that a great accomplishment!!
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My creative girl.  This is how she wanted to pose for her
”I finished Kindergarten Reading!”  She is my little dancer!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cowboy Dan

I want to thank Kindergarten Nana who writes a blog about ideas to do in Kindergarten.  On this post about Cowboys, she gave so much information and ideas on what to do for cowboy week that I have left there being incredibly thankful.  So if you would like to mosey on over there I am sure that you can find an idea or two if you are looking for ideas on what to do with your kindergarten child. 
We used the Cowboy Dan idea and it worked beautifully.  We are putting our cowboy and poem in a book that Mickey is making this week about Cowboys.  I love the poem because it explains why the cowboy wears the clothes that he does.  I do have to say that I am not sure than any cowboy I know would actually wear purple boots, or a yellow hat, or orange chaps.  But I love the creativity my little girl had.  We read the poem line by line and she put “Cowboy Dan” together. 
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If you would like the poem or the cowboy to put together head on over to Kindergarten Nana and she has these downloads all ready for you to use. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Know your limits

In life there are just some days that just don’t go as right as they could or as you want or need them to.  Everything is a struggle and you feel that you are getting to the end of your rope.  It is okay to end your schooling day early.
Today, ending our school day was the best for everyone involved.  My son has entered the terrible twos right on time well before his two year birthday.  I am not sure what it was today but he was having a bad day and this bad was affecting everyone involved.  I was growing tired of fighting him and I was either fighting him or he was crying because he didn’t get his way. 
My daughter’s school time was just being short changed.  So when it was time to go onto math, I changed directions.  I went to creative time.  Today, Mickey made her own “brand” and colored a cowboy.  We are putting it into a book.  I got to be away from the table and that made my boy happy.  I decided skipping math today was the best option available.  My son now has his momma, my girl doesn’t have to learn in a tense environment and mom did not lose her cool.  Because let’s face it, no one does well when mom loses her cool. 

It is okay if we don’t complete everything on our plan for that day.  We will get it done, just not right now.  And isn’t that the beauty of doing school at home?  We are not tied to a schedule.  We can adjust to suit the needs of everyone involved.  This is a huge benefit of homeschooling. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cowboy Week

We have many plans for this week.  We have a theme every week that is usually based on an animal.  This week is a bit of a change.  We have been going to Cowboy Days at a local museum for years.  This year will be no different we will head out there this weekend.  So I thought that this week we should do cowboy theme stuff all week.  I am looking forward to it.  I am hoping it is as fun as it is in my head. 

Mickey will also be finishing up her kindergarten reading.  Yahoo!!!!  I am so excited to be meeting this goal. I am glad that we are able to go at a pace that works for her and that she doesn’t have to be held back or pushed ahead but is right where she needs to be. 
So those are our goals this week.  I will be checking in to let you know how we did and letting you know what kind of cowboy stuff we do this week.  I know that on Saturday, Mickey will end the week with a horse ride. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Going with the Flow ~ Moments to Remember

This week was frog week.  We had lots of fun learning the life cycle of the frog.  Hobby Lobby had these cool models of eggs, tadpoles, froglets and frogs that I bought and used during the week.  The kids loved it. 

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We started off the week in the office (aka our homeschool room) and only made it one day in there.  It seems like my little guy hit the terrible two’s this week and it made the office nearly impossible to continue.  So instead of fighting it we headed off to the living room.  It made the week so much easier. 
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Nate wanted to be very involved this week.  So I often found that he would get onto sister’s chair.  And he even got to experiment with painting when we painted a frog later in the week. 
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Nate is attached to his big sister.  She likes being the important big sister.  She has a Nabi a tablet made for kids.  They listened/read books together cuddled up on the sofa. 

All in all it was a good week.  I am thankful because I was sick for all of it.  So I needed it to be an easy and good week.
I am linking my post up with Homeschool Creations and the Moments to Remember.  

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I like the Most about Homeschooling

I read a lot of blogs about homeschooling.  It makes me feel part of a community.  I read this post from Heart of the Matter asking the question what do the readers like the most about homeschooling.  The author shared their own list and I thought I would share my list. 
  1. I love being able to teach my daughter how to read.  This was something that I was most afraid of.  I was afraid because during all the moves I made as a kid I missed out on learning phonics.  I am a sight reader and often it is a roadblock for me.  So my daughter is learning to read by phonics and I am learning phonics as I teach her.  I love it! 
  2. I like the immediate feedback that it can provide my daughter. We don’t have to wait until she has completed an assignment to see if she has grasped the concept. 
  3. I like the smile on her face when she learns how to read and write a name that is so familiar to her.  The biggest thing here is the names of loved ones.
  4. Working on a pace that works for my daughter.  There are some concepts that take her a while to get while other concepts just click.  We can go as fast or as slow as she needs. 
  5. I like that my daughter gets adequate rest.  We don’t have to wake up at 6 in the morning to get her ready to leave for school at 7 to start school at 8. 
  6. We get to focus on subjects that really make her light up.  My daughter is an animal lover.  So every week along with our reading and math we focus on a particular animal.  We have theme weeks where we learn about so many animals. 
  7. I like that as my daughter stays home for school she is also developing a relationship with her brother.  He is just under 2 and I see a bond developing between them that is enhanced by the time that they spend together during the day. 
  8. I LOVE that my daughter is not coming home sick every other week.  My daughter has a way of picking up those nasty germs from her friends.  She is still exposed from her extra activities during the week but not as much as being in a classroom all day.
  9. I like how she is able to learn the way that she needs rather that whatever way works for the good of the whole classroom.  Sometimes she needs quiet but more often a song to remember a concept or a hands on activity it required to fully grasp the concept. 
  10. I like how learning Bible verses is part of our day.  I like how she sings verses that she learned months ago as she plays. 
  11. I like how I am not spending extra time and money driving back and forth to school. 
The list probably could go on and on.  I am sure there are things on the other list … “The things I don’t like about homeschooling”, but the things on this list far outweigh that list.  Who knew that the lady who was so against homeschooling would love it so much?  I keep looking at this decision and am so happy that this is working out and is the best for our family right now. I am thankful that this is something that I am able to do and could not be more pleased with our decision to homeschool.