Sep 30, 2012

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Thanks to the Smithsonian Museum Day  and the town of New Bedford promoting tourism by not charging for parking on weekends, we got to visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum for just the cost of gas - which was less than an a 1/4 of a tank!!! Gotta love a deal like that!

I had been to this museum in elementary school and it is actually one of the only field trips that I remember from school - ironically the other was to the New England Aquarium, guess I had teachers that liked marine biology! 

We had a great time and learned a lot about our local and cultural history, along with the seeing some incredible art work and enjoying this historic downtown area.


My favorite was the 18th Century Peep-Show ~~~ which is not what you might think!!! 

When you look in you see....

Sep 27, 2012

GIFT to THE NATION - Free resource from Colonial Williamsburg

~~~ Just a few days left to access this great resource!!!

We used it earlier in the month and learned a lot! There are also all sorts of free games and activities available in the kids section - HERE!

The Will of the People

from the Electronic Field Trip Series

One of the most bitter presidential campaigns in U. S. history is part of a surprising lesson for a 21st-century student. Thomas Jefferson explains how negative campaigning, partisan politics, and contested elections have been part of our political system since the earliest days of the republic. Read more

Complimentary access from Sept. 1–30, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg’s Gift to the Nation in this election year of 2012 offers students an opportunity to interact virtually with historical characters and provides teachers with unique resources to engage students in the study of citizenship and our founding democratic principles.
Statistics from the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress indicate that academic performance in history for grades 4-8 (the targeted group for Electronic Field Trips) has declined substantially over the past few years. By providing this electronic field trip without charge to schools and home school families, Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates its commitment to halt that decline.
The Electronic Field Trip, “The Will of the People,” examines the presidential election of 1800, one of the most bitter in U.S. history, and provides a surprising lesson for a 21st-century student. Thomas Jefferson explains how negative campaigning, partisan politics, and contested elections have been a part of our political system since the earliest days of the republic.
  • Available online 24/7 from September 1 to September 30, 2012
  • On-demand video streaming over the Web
  • Email Thomas Jefferson
  • Interactive online games
  • Downloadable resources, such as the teacher guide and program script (PDF)
  • Comprehensive lesson plans
We hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity to bring this exciting, relevant program into your school or home!
~~~~You are required to register in order to view these, but the form is simple and quick and I think will be well worth it!

Sep 24, 2012

You Tube Monday - "The Harms of Homeschooling" - My "Ignorant" Response

Thought I would stick to a NOT Back to School theme for September so here are some of my newest finds on home education clips from You Tube!

Sep 19, 2012

Happy 15th

Had a party last weekend and a fantastic time was had by all!!! Karaoke, Frisbee, Croquet Cupcakes and Cooking Out!!! Feel free to take a peek at the pics HERE!

She was quite excited about her Japanese themed presents this morning -

Sep 18, 2012

2012-2013 Education Plan COMPLETED!!!

We are on our summer/fall book break and I have taken some time to get things reorganized before starting our fall session. I think that I have arrived at the point where we have made the final decisions for the majority of KM's lessons for the next three sessions. AS ALWAYS nothing is set in stone, but each year I feel more comfortable and end up changing less things throughout. I take a lot of time researching and organizing in the beginning to help us feel comfortable and to allow our year to flow.

I will also continue to update the Home Education Through High School Resources page so be sure to check it out!!!

KM's Education Outline
Summer '12 – Spring '13 Sessions 

ELA - Literature Writing
Classic Fiction including - Little Women, Frankenstein, Yearling, Ethan Frome, Wrinkle in Time, Animal Farm, & Adventures of Huck Finn ~ additionally we will be watching various cinematic versions of each of these when applicable. 
Glencoe Literature Guides
Hands on Banking For Teens - Summer Only 
Applying Algebra - Fall - Spring

Chem Prep Unit 1 of GPB Chemistry Video Resources - Summer Only
Various Chemistry related videos which will be listed - HERE 

Social Sciences – U.S. History, Current Events & Geography
Will of the people - Virtual Field Trip

Health & P.E.

Youth Group
Volunteer Work
Chess Club 
Teen Advisory Group 
Shakespeare Theatre Group
Japanese from Zero!
Japanese 1 - GPB Resources 

Essentially this would be KM's 10th grade year if she were in traditional school.  KM's lighter Summer Schedule - 

and her Fall - Spring Schedule

Sep 17, 2012

You Tube Monday - Home Education - what's that all about?

Thought I would stick to a NOT Back to School theme for September so here are some of my newest finds on home education clips from You Tube!

Sep 14, 2012

Register now for Changing Planet

Register early and get a free poster in the mail!

HHMI's BioInteractive - Holiday Lectures on Science:

Has Earth changed over deep time? How did Earth shape life and life shape Earth? What does Earth's climate in the distant past tell us about the future?
Modern humans have lived on Earth for only the past 200,000 years—not even a blink of an eye in the history of a planet that is about 4.6 billion years old. Scientists have discovered a rich fossil record of animal evolution going back more than 600 million years and a much richer one of microbial life starting almost 4 billion years ago. Throughout this time, the geologic record reveals that dramatic changes have occurred to Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, climate, and land forms, which match major biological transitions. In concert, studies in biology and earth science are providing incredible insights into the forces that have shaped, and will continue to shape, life on our ever-changing planet.
Andrew H. Knoll of Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, and Daniel P. Schrag of Harvard University will guide us on an exciting exploration of the history of life on Earth and discuss present-day concerns about climate change.

Webcast Schedule
November 15 & 16, 2012

9:30 a.m.—11:00 a.m. ET
11:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m. ET
10:00 a.m.—11:30 a.m. PT
12:00 p.m.—1:00 p.m. PT

Sep 13, 2012

Complimentary Educational Resources from National Grid

I got this email today and decided to share it! We have used these materials in the past and they were really high quality!

National Grid Complimentary Resources for Educators
quotation The quality of the materials is amazing and my students are excited about them—they want to learn! I use the materials when teaching science since they address many important, related standards.
Order Classroom Resources
Meet teaching objectives with Energy Education resources
National Grid’s Energy Education Program is designed to help you meet your teaching objectives especially when it comes to energy science, safety, conservation, ethics, and environment-related topics too.
Our complimentary student books, companion teacher’s guides, and online resources:
• align with Academic Standards
   for Massachusetts, New York,
   and Rhode Island;
• save you prep time;
• address various learning
• conserve your budget—
   there’s no cost.
We offer five student books—each with an accompanying teacher’s guide that provides valuable background information, activities, discussion topics, and resources to build upon each book’s lessons—including:
Aunt Sarah and the Amazing Power Aunt Sarah and the Amazing Power
Grades K–2

This beautifully illustrated tale about three lovable kittens introduces the benefits of electricity and electric safety basics.

Your Renewable Energy World Your Renewable Energy World
Grades 3–7

Help kids become smart energy users. They’ll explore several renewable energy resources (solar, wind, hydro, ocean, biomass, geothermal), investigate the advantages and challenges of these renewable resources, and learn how to save energy at home.

Energy Efficiency World Energy Efficiency World
Grades 4–8

This book utilizes kid-friendly examples to make it easy for students to learn about the sources, forms, and uses of energy. It teaches them to make energy-efficient choices.

Electrical & Natural Gas Safety World Electrical and Natural Gas Safety World
Grades 4–6

This imaginative activity book helps teach mandated science concepts like circuits, conductors, and states of matter, while powerfully reinforcing safety.

Energy and Your Environment Energy and Your Environment
Grades 7–9

This colorful, magazine-style book explains how we get our energy from the planet and how our energy use impacts the environment.
Click here to order now

Order your complimentary classroom books
and explore a world of academic standards-based resources
If you can’t see this email click here. #9219 © 2012 Culver Media, LLC

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Culver Company, LLC
104 Bridge Rd.
Salisbury, MA 01952

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Sep 10, 2012

Random Update - "This is just our life"

So I know that things have been more than a bit quiet around here when it comes to me actually ranting or raving about what is going on and although I could say this is simply because things have been very busy lately, I don't know how true that is. I have been able to keep up with posting neat things I find and have done a few reviews here and there, but I also feel like I have begun to get to this place where things are feeling really comfortable. Don't get me wrong, I have been thrown some real wing-dingers in the last few months, but as far as our home educating goes I think we have really gotten to this place of "this is just our life."

Maybe it is that KM is getting older and really taking responsibility for her education or the fact that I am working again or that we have found the perfect balance for our family or it could be something entirely unbeknownst to me. Whatever it is I really like this place! I like not having to nag and worry about lessons being completed. I like that I can run errands and know that when I return she will have her lessons done - and maybe even a few chores! I like that we can ditch the lessons and head to the movies because we will get to the lessons tonight or later in the week or on the weekend and that is perfectly fine - with both me and her!

Now don't get me wrong, not everything is sunshine and rainbows - or as KM would say "lollipops, candy canes, rainbows and Fluttershy"! There are days when things don't go right, personalities clash, or tragedy strikes, but these do not have anything to do with our educational choices, this is just our life!

Turn the clock back 5 years and you would see a completely different household. When things went wrong, they REALLY went wrong! We didn't know what mellow was because all we did was fight over homework or behavior or chores or school behavior or getting up in the morning or going to bed on time or you name it and we probably had one whopper of a battle over it. I thought for a long time that that was just our life. That was just the way it had to be. Luckily though I had an epiphany. I knew I had to change something so I made the decision that has altered our lives to what I feel it truly should have been from the beginning!

I do not regret having sent KM to school because I truly believe that there was a reason for it - if nothing else it has made us appreciate this path so much more! I am grateful that we have been able to find our life and we can enjoy living it to the fullest each and every day! 

You Tube Monday - The Homeschool Kids Who Don't Do Anything

Thought I would stick to a NOT Back to School theme for September so here are some of my newest finds on home education clips from You Tube!

Sep 6, 2012

Movies as Literature - Not quite what I had hoped! - Official Review

Once again, I have found myself having to rework our literature program for the year. I had Movies as Literature and was already to use it this year, but after a long discussion with KM, we decided to pass on it. 

Here are the main reasons it just didn't feel like a good fit for us: 

  • It is not secular, we could have easily gotten passed that, but it could be of concern to some. 
  • It has a good deal of older films - which we both generally like, but KM was not really interested in this particular selection
  • It does feel as if it would be better suited to a group dynamic - like a movie group along the lines of a book group. 
  • The outline was a bit intensive - read the first page of lesson before you watch, watch the movie start to finish no stopping or talking, review the questions, watch the movie again to answer questions, discuss answers and review movie again to find supporting details - just seemed like a bit of an overkill to me.  

As I love the idea of this program and will definitely be putting something together myself along these lines, this one was just not what we needed. There are some great websites that have free and inexpensive educator guides for movies - and many more - I have found the best way to find them is "free movie teacher guides" or "free teacher guide" & name of whatever patricular movie you are looking for. 

Sep 4, 2012

More PROOF of just how messed up our schools are -----

This is a page from my 5 year old niece's "First Week of School" book ---

REALLY!!! How many errors can you find here? I won't even get into the fact that the teacher traced that hand, NOT my niece.....

Please excuse the poor quality of the photo! I only had my phone and COULDN'T pass this one up!!!

Sep 3, 2012