May 31, 2011

Finishing up Spring Session

Although this week is our last for lessons in our spring session, KM has had a pretty light month as she finished up most of her programs - formal math, science, house building elective, environmental issues elective, etc. - in April. She will have Story of the World Volume 4 completed by the end of the week and this will give us a full month free from "book work" before we begin our summer session the first week of July. KM does have some programs finishing up during June, -  she will have her performance of Much Ado About Nothing in just under two weeks and has two more sailing classes -  but after that the last three weeks of June are WIDE OPEN!!!

I have been writing more and doing reviews for UnpluggedMom.com, so if it is quiet around here for a bit, you should totally check out all that is going on over there!!!

May 29, 2011

Some thoughts on Summer

It feels like summer these last few days, but I can't wait for the real thing, the lazy, lounging days of summer that come once "school" is out. Not our learning path - we home educate year round - but when the schooled kids get out for summer vacation almost all organized home learning events, from co-ops to park days, seem to come to a screeching halt, as we begin to wait for "them" to head back into the schools and leave the playgrounds, beaches, libraries and museums to us again in September.

WHY is this? Well I can't speak for all home learners, but for us it is an aversion to crowds, rowdy ill managed groups of people, broken and mistreated exhibits, parents yelling and threatening their children, and a general discontentment from all forms of staff at said outings - from volunteer exhibit workers to life guards to cranky ice cream scoopers.

It seems as though school gets out and EVERYONE GOES CRAZY!!! Generally the first few weeks are okay, but by the time Independence Day rolls around, they have had enough. I honestly think that the stores are do these parents a favor by having their back to school sales begin so early - IT GIVES THEM A GLIMPSE OF HOPE!

I didn't understand it when I was sending her back - every year my heart would break. Now that I don't it is even harder for me to fathom why people would have children and then long to be away from them for such extended periods of time, they miss so much of their day to day life that they hardly know their children. They get two or three standard answers to their questions with little to no insight into their actual events.

I not only love my daughter, I LIKE my daughter. I enjoy being with her. I am thrilled to experience new things with her. I have fun playing with her - that's right I PLAY with my teenager and not just video games. I know and like her friends. I am very happy to say that none of us would want it any other way. Cheers to a relaxing and peaceful summer! 

May 26, 2011

Giveaway! Friendly Chemistry Teacher & Student Edition ($100 Value)! - Freely Educate

Giveaway! Friendly Chemistry Teacher & Student Edition ($100 Value)! - Freely Educate

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes | Video on TED.com

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes | Video on TED.com





This was sent to us a few weeks ago from a friend who thought KM would enjoy this info given her interest in fashion and science. It is incredible to see such astounding connections from one area to the another! If you have never looked into TED Talks I highly recommend you check them out!

May 25, 2011

Perfect Day...

for history on the chaise - 

and exploring a river with friends - 



Finally the weather has broken!!! It was sunny and in the 70s!!!  What a beautiful day! 

Foggy Day

but at least they finally got out on the water! 

May 24, 2011

Harry Potter Murder Mystery Party

KM attended a birthday party for a friend this weekend that had a great twist - a Murder Mystery! The friend is an avid all things Potter fan, so they used the services of Murder Mystery Maniacs to create this great themed event! Once you RSVPed you were sent a character description in the mail that had an access code to go on line and get some details for your costume and character profile, but the real fun began when you arrive and are handed a sealed envelope with details of the events and your role. Everyone must stay in character and attempt to discover WHO DUNNIT!!!

Well at this party the non-permanent murderer was none other than everyone's favorite Daily Prophet journalist ---

Rita Skeeter!!!!

KM has been making it clear to everyone that she did not MURDER Ron Weasley, but simply petrified him!
The kids all had a great time and KM was a superb actress - as ALWAYS!! - Only 3 of the guests figured out it was her!


May 21, 2011

Quiet around the blogsphere

I was blog hopping around on my list of faves this morning and was rather surprised at how quiet of a week it has been. While there were a few bloggers that had some great posts like KB's cute little chicks, Robin's post on helping your child find their passion and Desiree's rant on Echo Chambers, for the most part it is pretty slim pickings out there this week. I don't know if it is the busy, busy spring keeping fingers from keyboards or the never ending dreary weather getting everyone down, but I am surely glad to know it not just me! 

May 20, 2011

UUGGGGHHHH!!!!

Rain Rain Go Away Come Again another day ---- or week ---- or next month.

The rain and mist is driving me CRAZY!!!! The sun peeked out for LITERALLY a few minutes yesterday afternoon and is gone again. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...I can't get out of this BLAH funk!

The sun will come out tomorrow ----will it? I SINCERELY HOPE SO!!!!

May 14, 2011

Bowling Comes to A Close



KM and DN had a great time at their bowling banquet today! It was much better than the stuffy dinners they have done in years past. The kids all split up and played 3 strings of Funny Bone Scotch Doubles - where you not only had to switch with your partner at different times, but you had to do things like bowl with your feet, bowl with your opposite hand, bowl through your partners legs, baby step to the line, and hold hands with your partner as you skip to bowl.





They had so much fun and soooo many laughs -


May 13, 2011

Check out the New Unplugged Mom Site!!!

 I'm honored to be a part of the NEW UnpluggedMom.com! 
Challenge the Current with us and check it out! 
www.unpluggedmom.com

May 10, 2011

Welcome to the Family

My newest niece and nephew arrived last night! 

AR - 5 lbs 8 oz - 7:49p - 5/9/11

MJ - 6 lbs 10 oz - 7:50p - 5/9/11

May 9, 2011

Sometimes things just work out

May is one of those months when EVERYTHING seems to happen at once! On top of our regular schedule KM has theater practice twice a week, has signed up for a sailing class that was too good to pass up and decided to do a Science Jim class at the last minute. We also have lots of events and spring field trips scheduled and have been wondering when the two newest Littles were going to arrive.

Well this afternoon I got back from theater a bit early - our hike went REALLY quickly and we got to theater early so we ended nearly an hour ahead of schedule - and I thought to myself here is some "extra" time to get some work done. I emptied out the bags and got things put away, changed into some sweat pants, and was ready to get down to work. First I checked my emails and saw that due to the forecast of 40 MPH winds KM's sailing class was going to be cancelled for tomorrow - YIPPEE even more free time! What luck I will be able to get ahead of the schedule! I stopped for a second and went to check the mail. When I came back in the house the phone was ringing. I answered to hear MC saying - "Hey what are you doing tomorrow?" I replied, "actually I suddenly have a free day. Why what do you need?" "Well I think my water may have broken....."

So here I sit - at my sister's - waiting to hear if my new little niece and nephew have arrived! I will be sure to let everyone know when I have heard that they have arrived.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~UPDATE - 9:32p

All is well I just got the call - 
Baby Boy - MJ was 6'10"
Baby Girl - AR was 5'8"
pretty decent sizes for three weeks early.
Mom is doing well - Dad reports that AR is beautiful and MJ is a chunker.
The littles were perfectly exhausting and I am now going to crash into the big fluffy mountain of pillows that is beckoning me from my sister's bed. 
Will be sure to post pics as soon as I can get there to take some! 


You Tube Monday - Annoying Orange - Mommy and Me

In honor of Mother's Day -


May 6, 2011

Journey North Mystery Class Locations Revealed!

Today was the big day for the Annenberg Journey North Mystery Classes to be revealed and we didn't too bad!


We were exactly right with #2, 3, & 7 and got the correct countries for #1, 5, 8 & 10. The ones that we got wrong were off by a bit more but not crazy wrong so we are happy with our results! If you joined in on the fun please let us know how you did as well in the comments section!

May 4, 2011

Race to Nowhere - Movie Review



I was able to attend a viewing of this film last week. I am not really sure if I feel fortunate to have been able to or not as I felt sick to my stomach as I was watching this movie. It was seriously disturbing to me.
 
I was with two other home ed moms - more on the unschooling side than me and with much younger children- and before the movie started we were given an article - http://www.chicagoparent.com/community/the-self-aware-parent/2011/march/let's-be-clear---what-do-we-really-want-for-our-children and as we read through it one of the mom's said to me "Are there people who really think this way? I guess I just don't encounter them." I assured here that there were.
 
The movie goes into detail about the stress that is put on children and the extremes that these children and parents are willing to go through in order to get into colleges, pass the tests and get good grades. Two of the director's own children were getting physically ill - headaches, stomach aches, insomnia - over the amount of homework and pressure that was put on them. She choose to take one of her daughter's - the one who had the most severe issues - out of the school that she was in and send her to another school. The girl stated that at first she was excited about a new school and thought that things were going to be better, but after the first week, she came to realize "it was still school". This to me was the point in the movie where I was just astonished and KEPT WAITING for someone to say they were home educating.
 
The closest case of home education was a mom who allowed her son to go to an alternative school that vaguely sounded like an umbrella school where the student had to meet with the teacher once a week, but other than that the parents just kept sending their kids to schools. The director did state that she was trying to advocate for "no homework" and they even mentioned that they got one of the schools to do "No Homework Nights", but that was it. I just don't understand it, how on earth could you continue to send your child anywhere that was making them SICK!
 
There were a few parents who had decided to not push the "college track" so strongly with there kids after they had had to send them to "stress centers" and dealt with numerous stress related disorders - anorexia, cutting, depression, etc - , but still not one of them thought why are we sending them back at all?
 
There was even a family that had a daughter who commited suicide over her math grades - I am not exaggerating, that was the reason the mom gave - and she still sends her son to school. She did say that she doesn't focus so much on his grades or his schoolwork and talks to him more about what is going on and how he is feeling, but she still sends him to school.
 
We were sitting amongst about 30 other people and for the most part - we are fairly certain - they were all teachers. We felt that way because there were many remarks throughout the movie that they thought were quite funny that we thought were disturbing and we kinda giggled and looked at each other at points that they just didn't seem to get.
 
As with Waiting for Superman, they stated a lot of facts and statistics - 93% of high school students have cheated at least once, when teachers give less or no homework the students grades improve, etc. - that are seemingly meant to awaken those who are unaware, but there is still NO solutions. They make a list of suggestions - http://www.endtherace.org/what-individuals-can-do-today - but these just seem like bandaids when you think of the damage that is being done to these kids. 
 
If there is one question that all of the parents that participated in this film should be asked it is "WHY do you continue to SEND THEM BACK?" 

May 2, 2011

You Tube Monday ----- SEMI TRUCKS WUT!?!?!!!!


For those of you who know us IRL -
 this may seem a bit funnier! 

May 1, 2011

What I am Reading - May - GCK Mom

This is a new thing I was thinking of doing. Each month we will take the time to share the book we are reading at that time. Sometimes there might be a review, others it will just be what we are reading right then! 



 I downloaded this to my kindle and have been delving into it whenever I get a chance. So far it is very well written and I am thoroughly enjoying it! If you have kids who are being home educated or even if your kids are still in school this is a great insight and understanding of teenagers!