Monday, September 10, 2012

History Lesson WWII

So we are still working on WWII in History. I must say, I think I probably enjoy it more than the kids, but I am TRYING to get them "into it". They have pennmanship each lesson where they have to trace a quote from that era and then write it out on their own. I really believe them writing it themselves will help them remember it, plus tracing it will help them practice neater handwriting. And being the cool mom that I am, I even let them listen to their own music instead of forcing them to listen to mine. Even though Frankie and I think it is cool to play music from that era while doing the lesson, Gracie would rather stick a hot poker in her eye.

Another project I LOVE! is using acetate laid over a map and color it in to show how rapidly land was taken over. The bottom map is before the war and the acetate shows how quickly and where Germany and it's Allies took over. Later it will show how the land was taken back......

I couldn't resist, I HAD, yes HAD to buy some magazines off ebay from that era. For the kids, mind you, to see the ads and the stories. It was super cool to see the "war time relief tips" and all the slang etc.... from back then. So far, the kids have not looked at them, but I have. I am "previewing" them for future lessons....:-)

Last week, we (and by we, I mean I made) little army hats. Before I made them, Gracie was in no way shape or form going to wear them. After I got Frankie's made, she tried to take his, so I finished hers as well...

We have started on VMAIL and care packages. I think it is an appropriate time to put together a care package for their Uncle Mike who is overseas in the Navy. I have been having them write him emails (snail mail would reallllly take too long for where he is) on a regular basis (well our goal is). While it's a far cry from VMAIL, they still get to experience how hard it is to keep writing even though he has not had time to respond every time. But I keep explaining that he still enjoys getting their letters and being able to read them even if he doesn't have time to respond right away. Some things just can't change. I'm sure when the soldiers were in the trenches fighting they didn't always have time to stop and respond to a letter. They just did when they could. Not to mention not always getting the letters right away. Even with today's technology, finding time when we are busy defending a country is still hard. We also make sure we pray for Uncle Mike each morning.

Also we are reading lessons and reading books from that era. I really hope my kids at least finish this year with a little more love for the time period than they started. There is soo much from that time that we can learn and apply to our current time. It is so important we learn from the past so we can continue to move forward. Otherwise we are stuck making the same mistakes and then some...Will share more as we go.......

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blood Spatter

So today was our first science experiment. The kids were supposed to create "blood" spatter and make it from varying heights. Then measure the drops and average them out and see how the height makes a difference.

But FIRST we must make the fake blood..... I made the recipe that was in the science book.....

Didn't look anything like any blood I've seen, but we still had to moosh it around in the baggie....yes moosh IS a scientific word in the Toth House of School....

Ya, No, still does not look like real blood....I played with the recipe but it still never quite looked like it. However I was not dedicated enough to cut myself and use the real thing, though I was tempted to poke my finger just to see how it compared....but alas, I did not.

I measured and taped off places on the fridge for them to hold the dropper at. Lined the floor with paper in case any "spatter" got any ideas of going further out and making a mess of my already dirty floor.

Finally when it came to measuring the diameter, Frankie (who was the one doing all the measuring, kept saying .5 inches. The problem was, we could see a noticable difference in sizes from the different heights, so we got into an argument about how to measure the diameter and in true homeschool fashion, I told him they can finish and remeasure when their father got home.....I am listening to them out there now and am guessing he wished he had just listened to me the first time.....Some lessons are just never learned.

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Two Days Of The New Adventure!

Getting up early is always a challenge around here and can make us a little slap happy! That being said, I will still say, Gracie was SUPER excited for the first day of our new style of learning!

Frankie, being more like his dad, while excited, was cautiously excited, more so than deliriously excited like his sister!

I think having a mascot for our classroom is PERFECT! Especially one who hates to leave my side ! Plus it just kind of represents the perks of homeschooling! However while Jasmine is ready to be our mascott, Hunter is glad the kids are "back to school" and can be left alone out in the living room!

Halfway through the day and they are still smiling, could this have something to do with the fact that I was not sure how much time things were going to take so we ended up finishing way earlier than I had planned and they ended up having ALOT more free time than me crazy, but I think so!

Remember that deliriously excited, slap happy girl, remember how I said getting up early is always a challenge for us, remember that extra "down time" I was talking about, and also remember the "perks" of homeschooling I was referring to.....ya well..... put all the above into the picture below.......

Crashed and Burned......

Second day and all is well....However we did ditch the little tables in favor for one large table that can be taken down as needed. Another thing in homeschooling is you are ever learning by trial and error.

Yes they do seem a bit old to be "coloring" still, but I figure, what better way for them to remember the flags of the different countries than to have to spend a little time coloring them. I strongly believe in the thought that they remember more the things their hands do  and the less what they just SIT listening to....letting their minds wonder.....hearing bits and pieces of what they are told....

And THAT is how our first few days were! Some things turned out great, some things need a little tweeking, but they are still coming to me saying "let the learning begin" before each class, so, either I am doing something right, or the newness just still hasn't worn off. EITHER way, only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is how we do it!

When I say I homeschool, I get all kinds of questions. Sometimes I think I probably give them a longer answer than they are looking for, because I ALWAYS have alot to say....about any subject! I can talk you into insanity, it's something I am working on. However I really talk alot when I have something I feel passionate about. Homeschooling is something I feel so passionate about and get more hooked every year. This is our third year, so imagine what I will be like by the time my kids graduate....IMAGINE what I would be like if I had started when they were young! Oh My! I may not have any friends, because I would bore them to death with my endless talking! Wait, I do that anyway, so never mind. I obviously have some very patient friends!!

Anyway, one of the things I learned this year is to document, document, document. So that my kids will have a good portfolio when they go to graduate. Since they don't really have report cards...which I love! I mean really, a child either accomplishes/learns something or they don't. Yes they can learn a little or alot about something, but in the end, they either know it or they don't. How do you put a grade on that, by how many papers they did? You can turn a completed paper in, but that does not mean you learned anything let alone retained it! ooooh! I sooo can get off track easy...

Anyway, our first year of homeschooling, my oldest was going into 6th and my youngest into 4th. I sometimes wondered if it was allowed to homeschool with less than 5 is... we are a rare breed, but we do exist! Our first year, we used videos...that were taped in a classroom, so it was basically, realllly just schooling at home. While my son could get through anything, he has amazing focus (it comes from his dad's side, as you will quickly see, MY focus is all over the place) my daughter is ALOT like her mama, and it was a struggle for her. Lots of tears, lots of uncompleted work and a lot less hair later, we realized....this is not the route for us.

So the second year, I still felt incapable to teach them myself. As many people reminded me as well.... However I was not going to give up. I heard the first year is the worst anyway. So I found another program, it was all on the computer and interactive on the computer, by interactive, I mean they played a few quirky computer games and watched little video clips. Again, my son can do anything, however I did notice he was much more easily distracted this year. My daughter, started strong, finished, well again we did not finish it all and again I lost a bit of hair....if we kept going like this, I was going to need a wig!

So this past spring we went to a homeschool conference! Oh man! I wish I had done that from the beginning! My friend did tell me to go, but I do not travel downtown (where it was held)I am too chicken! So I did not go, I made myself suffer through two years of wrong schooling! This past spring, it was on MY side of town and so I went. We bought all the sessions on MP3's. I HIGHLY reccommend doing this! For one, you can not attend every session at the same time, and also you can go back and re-listen to them over and over, PLUS if you get the flu the second day, like I did, you aren't going to miss anything!

I learned I COULD teach them myself, with some help from the books in the library and MUCH prayer to God! I also decided to try to put the FUN back into learning. So I picked things that not only did they WANT to learn, but that they NEEDED to learn, like Consumer Math, ok, they don't necessarily NEED Forensic Science, but man it IS fun to learn!!! Here is a link to my post about what we decided to use/do for school this year

From here on out, I think if people ask me about homeschooling, I will put their true interest to the test and say, here, read this blog. Because if I get started on this, we will BOTH be here forever!