Oct 28, 2010

Rather Unique Experiences - PART 2

Today we got to be part of another rather interesting and unique experience at the Museum of Science. We were lucky enough to attend their Space Day program where they had two incredible astronauts discussing what it takes to become a NASA employ, as well as the many people in varying positions that are needed to get the astronauts into space! Astronaut Nicholas Patrick did an incredible job explaining all aspects of space flight and had some incredible pics and video from his recent trips to the International Space Station.

We also heard from Retired Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, who is now a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, about the ZERO robotics program - a close relative of the FIRST Lego League programs.

Hearing from these two gentlemen about the incredible opportunities available, now and in the future, in these programs and with NASA was fantastic.

As always, we had a great time during the rest of our visit...

Oct 27, 2010

Rather Unique Experiences - PART 1

KM was rather excited when she learned that she would be able to be part of a live webcast event with one of her FAVORITE artists - 

Although this is something that is open to all classrooms across the country and worldwide, you have to wonder how many teachers actually have the time to allow their students to enjoy a presentation like this.

We used SnapIt! to grab some great pics of the program!

Replays of this program will be available HERE.
For more information about other scholastic programs check out - 

This is a week of unique experiences...check back tomorrow to see what else we have been up to!

Oct 25, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Day

Yesterday was pumpkin carving day at our house! We like to do it a week before Halloween so that we can enjoy them, but they don't get too rotten before hand.


Oct 24, 2010

Some things we have been thinking about lately...

So you might remember the post from just a week or so ago about KM wanting to be more independent and schedule her own week, well she has decided that she doesn't want that responsibility any longer. Personally, I thought she was doing a decent job, but she was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it and really didn't like that she was doing lessons 6 days a week instead of 4. She has asked if we can go back to the previous setup ~ me giving her the weekly list, which is broken up into four days for her ~ but instead of her doing things right off the bat in the morning, she can do them whenever she wants throughout the day. This is TOTALLY fine with me. However she wants to get her lessons done is up to her. She is starting to really understand that she is in charge of her learning.

A few days ago I was asked by a friend what I would do if KM didn't want to do "lessons" anymore and I was a bit taken aback by this one, as I had no idea what I would do and honestly had never thought of it. There have been programs that she has decided that she doesn't want to complete for whatever reason and that is totally fine. However I don't know, for sure, what I would do if she just flat out didn't want to do any of it.

I think that if she really and truly didn't want to do any lesson work, then I would talk to her and see why she felt that way and/or what her plan would be moving forward. As I also mentioned in previous posts, I truly don't feel like you can force anyone to "learn" anything. You might be able to get them to memorize something or test through something, but in order for them to truly absorb, understand and retain it, they have to be invested and interested. I don't think that my feelings on this will ever change.

Having gone to school and having always done work with me over summers and during vacations, it has just always been the norm for her to do academic studies. She really enjoys the programs that we use. She has a huge hand in the decision making process and makes the final picks on what she will be using, as she is the one that has to do it and why would I want to waste money on something that I would have to fight with her to get done. She is even liking the writing workbook that she has been doing - Spectrum Writing, Grade 8 - which is a huge find! She has goals that she has set for herself and now it is my job to help her get to reach those goals. If for some reason she has a change of heart, I will keep an open-mind and work with her in whatever manner she needs me to. 

Oct 22, 2010

Visit with the Littles

The Littles came by for a visit today so that MC could go and get the newest addition checked on...that's right she is having another one and it should be arriving early June, another Gemini on her hands! Though these two are at such fun ages, they are truly gonna have there hands full with another one!

Oct 20, 2010

Waiting for Superman - Movie Review

If your children are in school, if you are a homeschooler, if you are an unschooler, if you are a teacher, if you are a grandparent, if you care at all for the children that are being educated in this country, you NEED to see this movie!
This is not another movie bashing school teachers, this is a statistic driven, fact loaded film that shows where the true issues lie and that is in an antiquated bureaucratic system that has proven to be failing for years yet nothing has been done to fix it.
I really felt like I knew a lot about the education system in this country, but this brought me to a whole new level of aggravation, shock, and fear. Fear for the education and future of the majority of the children in this country.
There are people out there making a difference, their leadership, insight and groundbreaking courage should be admired and exemplified. Please make time to see this movie and tell EVERYONE you know to see it as well!

Oct 18, 2010

Hiking with Friends

We went on a fantastic hike today in the Blue Hills with a few of our friends and had a great time. The kids liked the tower and the scenic views - 

While I enjoyed the fresh brisk air which carried breezes of giggles and chattering of teenaged girls!

Oct 15, 2010

Loving Science Jim Shows

I know in the past I have raved and raved about Science Jim's classes, but I had to just throw a shoot out about his free shows on Fridays. He is doing some great science shows that have covered a myriad of topics each week and KM is truly loving them. You can sign up for them for free through Currclick and if you can't make the show time or want to see a previously posted one, he has them all recorded and available on Currclick as well.

Oct 12, 2010

Building Time Management Skills

We have been discussing time management skills lately and being in the right mindset to learn. It is rather difficult to truly retain and learn information if you are tired, stressed, or just not interested! We have been going through and streamlining some of the things that she is working on and KM has decided that she would like to try to work on her time management abilities.

There are often mornings were she feels as though she is just going through the motions and not really sure that she is truly learning what she is feeding into her brain. As we have done away with all forms of "busy" work, I was a bit surprised that she came to that realization on her own, but I am learning to trust her and her instincts. I am willing to give anything a try as long as I see that she is putting forth effort in her endeavors.

KM really enjoys doing her lesson work and is often inspired by the programs that she is working on to delve far deeper into areas than I ever thought she would want to. So I am going ahead with her request with all the hopes that she will succeed.

She has asked to be allowed more freedom in the scheduling of our days. Now I must say that I have never been extremely strict with our schedule in any manner. I do request that the work be completed on the day it is assigned, unless we decide to bump one or two things, but have always been more than willing to allow bumping to happen. I am not the mom that says, "No, you can't go to the - fill in the blank - because you have to finish your school work."  I feel like learning should be intertwined with life and not be the be all that ends all of our day to day life. So KM would like to have her assignments given to her all at once at the beginning of the week, rather than daily, so that she can work on them and have them completed by Sunday. CJ and I were a bit hesitant at first, but she has been showing a lot more responsibility lately and decided that if this was truly going to work, we would need to have some sort of consequence set up in the event of a crash and burn situation. We decided to compromise with her and have the assignments due on Saturday, so that if they are not done there will be no social engagements on Saturday evening and ALL work will be completed on Sunday.

I have no problem admitting that I am a bit of a control freak and I will not allow things to get pushed and pushed and pushed to the next week so that then the list of uncompleted tasks is so long that I cannot bring myself to look at it without feeling like I will throw up. I will be having enough trouble allowing the work to possibly pile up even until Saturday, but I am going to force myself to be okay with this. It is not the end of the world, it is only 8th grade!

I think that if this project is successful, she will be a much stronger independent person. I will keep you all updated on our progress. Time management skills are important at all ages and stages of life. How are you helping your child develop stronger skills in this area?

Oct 10, 2010

First Trip to the Corn Maze

DN had never been to a corn maze, so we decided to make an extra special trip this year during the Fall Festival. At this one you had to follow the map....

 The kids did a great job, once they realized it was helpful to TURN the map as you go...

We all had a great time and thought the 500lb pumpkin drop was pretty cool! 

Oct 3, 2010

Our Computer Elective

KM choose to do an elective unit on computers this session so we have been mixing and matching resources together and so far we have had an awful lot of fun taking apart an old laptop...

So far we have been using the Usborne Computer Dictionary, Usborne Computer Graphics and Animation and Brain Pop! It should be really interesting for all of us!
If you have any interesting resources to share - PLEASE DO!