Jul 14, 2014

Welcome!!! Feel free to poke around and stay awhile!!!

This past year has been one of huge milestones and difficult transitions. As our true home education journey has come to an end I have decided to leave my blog and its archives up because there is a very steady flow of traffic coming and going through this site. I hope that you will stay awhile, poke around and see what might be of help or inspire you! There are years of incredible resources and hindsight here that I have been told is invaluable to many!!! Learning never ends and I hope that these pages help you to come to your own realizations of what education can look like. Please feel free to use any sections, repost with proper credit or pass on to anyone who might find the site useful!!!

Best of luck on your journey! I hope yours is as successful as ours has been! 

Jan 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!

It is only on New Year's Eve that a MONKEY.....

can turn into a PRINCESS!!!

She had a wonderful time at her first formal dance!!! It is so amazing how quickly she has grown!!!

Dec 9, 2013

Learner's Permit - DONE!

Second time was a charm, but she needs some serious practice!!!

Can you see the fear in her face?????

She has a long way to go, but has another stepping stone done. Next she will be taking some edX courses, choosing a driver's ed program and touring some cosmetology schools.

Dec 3, 2013

WAIT ... It's December?

I popped onto my blog this morning to hunt down a resource for a friend when I noticed that I had not posted since OCT!!! In the six years that I have been doing this, it is the one and only time that I have NOT posted for an ENTIRE month!!! That seems really bizarre to me! Yet, it is rather poignant of the status of my life - beyond hectic and shifting in a myriad of ways that I had not anticipated.

I have been rather quiet about the changes going on as they are not fully related to the main topic of home education which I try to stay focused on here, but at the same time learning is part of life and we are constantly learning from life, so as things shift we must also shift our perspective and reevaluate our priorities.

Since KM has completed her "formal" lessons and is basically making up for all the "summer vacations" she has not taken over the last few years, we have been focusing on her getting her license and taking a more responsible role within our newly single parent household. I have been working more hours and trying to get a lot of projects that were left unfinished around the property completed, which has left her to take on a lot of the regular household tasks. Although she is usually pretty good about getting things done, I do still need to make her a list and when something is NOT on the list ~~ even if it is staring her RIGHT IN THE FACE ~~ it will not get done, but we are working on this! Once we get a grip on these two things, KM can start looking for a job and applying to schools.

It feels a bit ironic that we are both arriving at a pivotal point in our lives where we need to figure out what path we want to take. My daughter is quickly coming to the point at which I became a mother, diverging from the course I thought my life was going to take and starting a multitude of shifts that have led me almost full circle to where I stood 17 years ago --- single, overwhelmed and unsure of what I want to be when I grow up! I am definitely not the same impulsive, reckless, irresponsible, foolhardy 18 year old I was then ~~~ in fact most people who know me now would be SHOCKED to hear those words connected to me in any way!!! ~~~ but I am a bit lost. Having your reality altered and identity that you have held onto for more than half your life abruptly and completely ripped away from you will do that to a person.

So I am starting to make changes. I am starting to focus a bit more on me. I am realizing that the strengths that I have always had are even stronger than I realized they could be. I am learning that independence is empowering, but asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. My daughter is learning that making the right choices isn't always easy and even when you have to make sacrifices, those resignations strengthen your character. These are life lessons that she will hold in her heart forever.

As we continue to shift, I don't know for certain what will happen here with my blog. Of course I will be leaving all the archives, resources and links open, however I cannot guarantee that I will be keeping them as up to date as I have in the past. Please continue to check back in and send people along as there really is an incredible collection of free and extremely affordable resources, along with a lot of insight, suggestions and tricks of the trade within this corner of the webosphere.

Oct 27, 2013


DID IT!!!!!

KM got the most fantastic news, she PASSED HER GED!!!!

I can't even express the amount of pride I feel for this incredible child of mine. She was so worried and concerned about the essay, but passed all her tests on the first try and averaging above average in all areas!

Her results are - 
LA, Reading - 550
LA, Writing - 530
Mathematics - 680
Science - 620
Social Studies - 630

She passed in the 91st percentile!!! Which means that only 9% of the people taking this test scored higher than she did! I don't usually like to brag, but that is pretty freaking good!!!!

So although she is technically "graduated" the learning does not stop! She will be studying for her permit retest as well as starting a psychology program this week. She has decided to try to get a job over the winter and wait, at least until next year, to apply to cosmetology school. Her future is wide open and I am so excited to see where she will go next!

Oct 20, 2013

All Done - Just waiting for results!

KM took the rest of her GED tests on Friday and after hearing that she got a 680 on her Math the previous week she is feeling like she did really well! She thought that the Science reading passages were far longer than any of the practice tests led her to believe, she took almost the entire time allotted for the Social Studies section and breezed through the Reading Comp test. Now we wait. In two weeks we can call to see if the results are in and then we have to go in person to get the results - this seems a bit bizarre but it is the rule. Will post when we hear!

Oct 13, 2013

2 down, 3 to go!

So KM made it through the first round of testing for the GED!!! She has completed the math portion and the language arts, writing and essay sections. As I am sure most of you know, the essay was what she was most concerned about, but she got a fantastic question and felt like she did a pretty good job! She took this part first and she came out looking very pale and feeling rather queasy from the stress, but once she got a snack and recapped how she did she was perked up and ready for the next test.

She went in pretty confidently to the math section. While we were waiting for the proctor to open the doors we talked about graphing - the only part of the math section that was worrying her - and our conversation went something like this -

KM - "X is horizontal and Y is vertical, right?"
Me - "Yes remember that the tail of the Y points down."
KM -" When the numbers are in the brackets is it (X,Y) or (Y,X)?"
Me - "(X,Y) they are in alphabetical order."
KM - "Why are you just giving me the hints NOW?"

Oh the things they retain and the things that seem to fly right out their heads!!!!

When she emerged from the second round of testing, I asked how she did and she seriously responded "They don't give us our results right away!" I said, " I know that, but you must have some sense of how you feel like you did." She replied, "Well I only had to guess on three of them and only had two graphing questions, so I did all that extra studying for nothing." "So you think you did pretty good then." "I guess so." Oh the enthusiasm of a 16 year old!

She has three more tests - Science, Social Studies, and Reading Comprehension - next Friday and we may be able to get the results of these tests that day. Keeping our fingers crossed for that!

Oct 3, 2013

Update - Things are leveling out... I think!

There have been a whole lot of changes going on around here. Some good and some bad, but KM and I are adjusting and finding our new normal. We have been super busy getting projects done around the house and 

We finally got KM registered for the GED and she will be taking it on 10/11 and 10/18. She is really excited and feeling confident. I was really surprised at how difficult it was to get the things that we needed and how little the testing center knew about home educators, but we did and she is studying and practicing her essays. 

KM also took her permit test, but did not pass. She got all the questions that were actually about driving correct, but she had some difficulty with the questions that were actually about laws having to do with your license - I honestly don't think I could have answered some of the questions that she missed!

Other than that we are spending a lot of time getting things done around the house, reorganizing and CLEANING OUT!!!!

Will be sure to post updates as she takes the test so STAY TUNED!!! 

Sep 19, 2013

OMG - Where did the time go????

She is 16!!!!

The time has flown by! She is kooky and crazy...

but I couldn't be more proud of the incredible person that she is becoming!!!

Hope that this year brings many more incredible adventures!!!

Sep 13, 2013

Update - Things going smoothly

We are nearing the end and things are going very smoothly. KM has been studying for the GED, we have gotten her testing dates and we are just waiting for her birthday so she can get her permit and we can register her. We are so fortunate that there is a testing center where she will be able to have three chances for testing if necessary. I had to call several in our area and the one that we are going to be using is a bit further than I would like, but they are the only one who will be having testing in Oct, Nov and Dec, before the testing changes. Many of the other sites are only doing Oct & Dec and a few were even only doing Nov, which I found rather strange and limiting. All new registrants have to be registered before Oct. 18th in order to take the current test, so we are quite lucky that she will even be able to get in before the Oct cut off.

We had a bit of an issue getting the documentation necessary for her to take the test as a 16 year old. I was shocked that so few of the people that I spoke with either had no idea what she would need as a home educated child who has never attended high school or had no idea that a letter was needed at all for a child under 18. The college that she will be using was very willing to accept whatever I could provide, but urged us to try to get a letter that states that she is "not enrolled" in the public school - as for some reason this is a requirement to take the test if you are under the age of 18. When I contacted the school neither the superintendent's office nor director of student services had any idea of what it was I was asking for. I find it rather hard to believe that no one in our school district has taken the GED as a 16 or 17 year old, but whatever. I eventually was persistent enough to get what we needed and will be registering her on the 23rd.

KM has been studying her butt off and is feeling really confident in most areas, but suddenly has begun having some issues in math, but I think she just needs to review it and will be focusing on that area for a bit. I think she will do just fine on the first time through, but it is good to know that there is the opportunity to retest available if she needs it.

Hope you are enjoying your NOT Back to School time! We have been really busy around here transitioning, reorganizing, and trying to keep everything on track. Fall always brings a lot of home ed questions and feel free to either email me, leave a question or comment in the section below or to search through the archives to find an answer to any questions you might have!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Aug 24, 2013

Quiet around here

As we are winding down our home ed journey things may be quite quiet on the blog. If I find new or interesting resources I will be sure to post them and as we get closer to the process of KM registering and taking the GED I will be sure to post about that experience as well. However for the time being feel free to hunt through the archives, scroll through my top posts - listed a bit of the way down the right sidebar - and check out all the pages of free and nearly free resources we have gathered over the years!

Aug 12, 2013

Guess who's back --- CNN Student News


That's right CNN Student News our FAVORITE current events resource will be back on the air starting Monday August 12th! If you have not checked out this fantastic FREE resource, it is the easiest way to include current events in your daily home ed life! There is a daily 10 minute broadcast that is available after Monday through Friday and gives a fantastic synopsis of U.S. as well as world events. There is also a daily curriculum and weekly 10 question quiz available for those that like that sort of thing in both web version and PDF files. Parents are welcome to subscribe as educators to get the answer key as well as some other bonus materials throughout the week! Kids are encouraged to respond and interact on the Blog: A to Z as well as by participating in polls and sending in student iReports. This will be our 4th year using CNN Student and KM loves watching it while eating her breakfast every morning! 

~~~ Please note that CNN Student News is designed for use in middle and high school classrooms. It's always a good idea for you to preview each program before showing it to students. To learn more about how to use Student News in your classroom, click here: FULL STORY

Aug 2, 2013

Fuller Craft Museum - Highland Street Free Fun Friday

I had been meaning to get to the Fuller Craft Museum for some time now. The website was rather vague, but there were a few exhibit features that seemed like they would be quite interesting, so when we saw it was participating in the Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday program we decided it was time to go.

There were a few hands-on things KM enjoyed, but most of them were not quite up her alley.

And there were a number of beautiful sculptures, sensational mosaic pieces and carved wood fixtures that were breathtaking.

It took us a little over 30 minutes to drive to the museum and we weren't even there 45 minutes before we had seen all the exhibits. We were planning to have lunch there, but the "cafe" had nothing but coffee, tea and chips ahoy cookies. This really was a bit of a disappointment. I heard from another patron that they do have some really great art programs throughout the year, but that they are quite expensive given the area. I also would NOT suggest bringing little ones as there are quite a few displays that are just open and there were a number of personnel shouting at young ones who were scooting around fragile pieces that were on pedestals in the middle of corridors - who ever thought that was a good idea should probably get a different job! I don't like to give negative reviews, but I would not plan on making a trip to Fuller Craft Museum unless you had other things to in the area.

For more information on the remaining venues that are participating in Free Fun Fridays be sure to click the link below -