Monday, December 26, 2011

Rolling down the highway...learning about America.....ROADSCHOOL TRIP!

Since we became accidental homeschoolers, I have wished we could roadschool. I think that concept is the bomb! Hope in the car, go hit the open road and learn along the way. You get to travel the places we live, stopping at your whim, learning what America is about. What better way to learn history than actually being at Custer's Last Stand, Battle of Bunker Hill or heck, even where Elvis lived because let's face it...he is The King! LOL
Unfortunately, with Hubby's job and mine....this is not a reality. But, we do take every opportunity to roadschool when we hit the road to Grandma's, take our family vacations or just travel around Portland while we run errands. We leave a little earlier so we have time to stop at our whim, or we plan stops into our schedule IF we know about them.
So..... as I sit at home with my 8th and 9th grade sons....working on yet another complex math issue....I dream of hitting it big on the Lottery and becoming a roadschooler.
I would love to hear from other homeschoolers who DO roadschool, whether like us...when you can OR all the time. I can live vicariously through you!LOL
Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Becoming a book lover.....

Growing up, reading was second nature to me. I learned to read by 4, I was reading college level by 2nd grade and reading anything I could get my hands on for the rest of my life.
I worked and volunteered in the school libraries at any school I attended. In fact, my 9th grade year I worked as extra curricular the whole year and made a goal for myself to read at least 1 book per day. I ended up reading 380 books during those 9 months of school. Part of that was traveling on a school bus for an hour+ each way 5 days a week, the rest was I was a teenager and could stay up late and read until 1 am, get 4 hours sleep and function at school the next day! LOL
Before I even had my first child, I had a collection of children's books for them. By the time my oldest son was born....I had a huge bookshelf full and read to him daily. By the time my second son came along, that had doubled. When the military moved us for the last time, we had 10 boxes of just children's books... needless to say, I hoped my boys would LOVE reading.
Neither of my boys learned to read as early as I did but they did know by the time they finished Kindergarten. I worked with them at home and they had a really good reading program at their school. One of the few things that was good about that school....but that is another story. My oldest son was not a strong reader, he was not into reading and it was a chore for him. I felt bad, I really hoped that my boys would be like their father and devourers. I tried every trick in the book, I bought books that would appeal to his interests, I bought books that were companions to movies that he liked, I even bought comic books and cartoon books in hope that it would spark his interest more....nope. I hoped that his brother being a reader and sharing a room with him would help, nope.
I thought it was a lost cause with him......
Now that he is homeschooled and we have learned how poor of a reader he was and his lack of spelling knowledge....I am thinking that a lot of that was the issue. Over the past 3+ years of being homeschooled, he has not only become a better speller and reader but he has learned to read and LOVE IT! We have a hard time telling the boys to turn off the lights at bedtime because they are reading. They never go out of the house without a book now, just like their Dad. Because you never know when you will have to sit somewhere and a book will keep you busy.
I get requests from both of them for new books, companion books to the series they found at the thrift store, wanting to go to the library to look for new books..... it just makes both of us proud that they are now book lovers!
My motto is you can never have enough books. Every Christmas and Birthday, every one of our nieces and nephews receive a new book from us. My boys get multiples, especially if I find a new series I would think they like. I cannot wait until this Christmas because of the books I bought them! I love giving them, especially when it is to book lovers!
Have you read a good book lately?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Is Spelling part of your homeschool day?

Anytime I hear spelling, I do not think of Tori Spelling..... but of winning 2nd place in the Siskiyou County Spelling Bee in 6th grade! That is my major accomplishment of my young life!LOL I lost the first place win with the STUPID word, mathematics. UGH! That should have been my first clue that Math would be the bane of my existence!LOL
I was really surprised when my own kids were in public school and I realized that spelling was not part of the curriculum. My oldest son was a horrible speller, he could barely spell his name. Something was wrong with this picture. So, when I started homeschooling them...I knew that I was definitely adding a spelling curriculum to our lesson plans.
Not only did they do the spelling on Time 4 Learning but I plugged in their lists on Spelling City so they could use them to take tests, play games and become better spellers.
It has worked because my oldest son went from barely being able to spell his name at the start of 6th grade to being able to send an email or chat with a friend via online and Mom doesn’t have to hover over him, correcting his grammar and spelling! I am so proud of him, because I know it was hard but I feel that if spelling were part of the every day curriculum in public would be better off. Nothing is worse to me, than reading a post or an email and it is written poorly, the spelling is atrocious and you know they could do better.
So, is spelling a part of your homeschool day? If so, what do you do to make it work best for you and your kids? I am always interested in other ideas!

Writing for a blog.....what to do, where to go, how to get started!

I cannot believe it has been over a year since I started writing on this blog. It was already established when I came in so it was easy to step into others shoes. I love writing for others to read!
But, I did start my own blog back in April( talking about my chaotic life of raising my own teens and homeschooling them while running a full-time childcare and teaching preschool lessons.
I had to learn how to create a blog page from scratch, set it up to my liking, add my d├ęcor, learn how to post, what the heck are widgets and how to eliminate all those comments from spammers!!
What is the easiest way to figure all this out? Take a blog writing course! I did and it helped BIG time! I went from not knowing which button to push, how did that get there and why, what the heck is this widget word you keep speaking writing, posting, deleting spammers, adding widgets, adding sponsors, adding friends blog buttons.....
I am a blog queen now! Ask me about my blog! I am very proud of myself, because I am not really a techo person....heck operating my basic cell phone is confusing sometimes....but I was able to set up my own blog!!