I interrupt your spontaneous learning…..to enforce scheduled learning…. sound crazy to anybody else?? Tell me I’m not alone. Please?

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Sketch is a builder.  Like seriously,  I think Legos are his best friends…and he prefers to build (and draw) over almost anything. Recently, while having an off  day because of my husband’s schedule,  Sketch was building with connect-y block thingies. He was so intensely focused that my son who has to eat lunch at the earliest possible time each day completely forgot about lunch and when it was placed in front of him he kept building! He was so intense.  I thoroughly loved watching him so focused on what he was doing. ..the wheels in his head turning far faster than they normally turn.

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In the back of my head I kept feeling like I should interrupt his spontaneous learning to force him into formal education….but I stopped and realized that this was one of the EXACT reasons I was homeschooling in the first place.  Sketch was learning far more building airplanes, carousels, boats and ferris wheels than he would have learned sitting and studying ancient Greece out of a text book.

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And this,  THIS is why I choose to homeschool them.  Sure I had him write out his steps and explain how it all worked BUT he did so willingly and with a smile on his face when normally he hates having to do most writing assignments!  Now we are not unschoolers by a long shot but I sure love how willing he was to work when it was a subject matter he actually loved!

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These blocks are fantastic. I had him being me the instructions and they are called Engino Blocks or just Engino. Either way I think he will be getting a set for his birthday next month.
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Art Lessons

A couple weeks ago a friend told me about a program I’ve never heard of.  (I LOVE reviewing curriculum so this was not a bad thing. ) Anyways,  as I was checking it out I noticed that their art program was like…well…AMAZING!

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(Sketch insists this looks EXACTLY like Steven Tyler. )

I LOVE art programs where you study famous paintings and the artists and you visit art museums…but I also love when the program has you actually attempting to draw and do different techniques. 

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(Pilot laughed the entire time and said his looked more like a man…so it was a whoaMan!)

The program is called DiscoveryK12. From what I’ve seen (and I’ve not looked at it all yet) it doesn’t have any art history but it has some serious art pieces it wants the kids to draw.  Some All are very VERY challenging and ambitious!  I’ve done two pieces one with Sketch and one with both Pilot and Sketch.  Neither was easy by any means. ..but it was quite fun. 

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(Mine. These were much harder than I ever imagined.

So,  despite not using the base of DiscoveryK12 for our children I think we shall continue using their art program.  (Also, my big three are using something else but with Walter in Kindergarten he’s using that as it seems fairly good for kindergarten.)

In true Gypsy fashion, our family is bracing for another move.  This one isn’t as far but it is still four states away.  So if I’m a bit absent in the next few weeks I apologize but I’m in the middle of running my business,  homeschooling and trying to find us a new place all while trying to remain semi sane! 

My children are a rather expert at moving by now.  How about your children?  Have you ever had to pack them up and move?  How did your kids cope? 

To TV or Not To TV…

We don’t have cable. I’m not a fan. Radar on the other hand is. I wasn’t raised with it, he was. Normally we have cable but we are picking ourselves up off of a rather rough 2014 and early 2015. Right now we are cable free.

I. LOVE. IT.

Now, I’d you are cable people, big tv watchers, that’s fine and dandy. I’m not knocking it. I’m definitely NOT knocking electronics…I love my internet access and I need it to run my business. That being said, I’m not a huge fan of watching tv. I totally “blame” not having it much as a kid for this one.

I bring it up though because we do have a Roku. These are pretty neat little devices and as we have Hulu, Vudu, Netflix, and AmazonPrime accounts these are great! However, our Roku is experience a lot of technical difficulties and hasn’t been working lately. Bummer. 😦 Though I feign disappointment I’m really quite ecstatic. Tonight, instead off watching tv, the kids played done imaginary Ninja Turtles…thing…I’m not sure what it was but there was done serious imagination power happening!

I. LOVED. IT.

I grew up writing stories, acting them out, building story scenes with Legos…sometimes building entire towns with Legos…and it was terrific! Though my closest sibling was seven years older than me I was never lonely because I had GOBS of imaginary things going on. (Before you ask start thinking this might have been unhealthy, it was really fantastic.) I loved reading a great story and then acting it out…reading it again and changing it to fit what I liked. Now, hearing my kids do the same thing, it’s amazing. I absolutely adore listening to their little imaginations racing away!

And because of that, my no tv stance, remains…though I know I well be outnumbered on that bid…but that’s ok too because they love watching super hero movies with their daddy on the weekends. What kind of mom to boys would I be to deny them super hero movies?

Meteor Shower

As homeschoolers, I feel, we must ought to can allow our children the freedom of staying up late and doing things other kids might not be able to do. This is one of my reasons for homeschooling our pack of little dudes.

Last night was one such night. With a meteor shower happening obviously they HAD to stay up to participate…right?? So, since we can, I allowed them to stay up. We headedoutside right around midnight, when I read they should start picking up, and they laid on the driveway and watched for them. We have lots of trees so it was a bit problematic but we all saw at least one…some of us were lucky enough to see more!! It was really enjoyable to hear how excited Bones was about the possibility of one crashing into us…and Sketch’s logic that that might definitely would annihilate the earth…regardless we had a very enjoyable night.

Now I hope you excuse me, I’m off to start my coffee drip for the day! 😉

Chemistry

This year we are studying chemistry and physics with Pilot, Sketch and Bones.Note obviously, Bones is more along for the ride, Sketch is going for a very basic understanding of the material, and Pilot is going a bit more in depth with his material.

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People, let me tell you, I HATED Physics in high school…HIGH SCHOOL (my elementary students and middle
schooler are taking a course I didn’t take until High School, man I LOVE home schooling)…when I took it, so the thought of teaching my kids physics was a bit daunting. Physics is my husband’s forte. When we started dating he was taking both advanced chemistry and physics and I was impressed I could pronounce physics (ok it wasn’t THAT bad…though I ended up having to take physics twice to get a passing grade!) So, teaching my kids physics scares the snot out of me. I will let you know how it goes as we are still working on the chemistry portion of our course.

Now, chemistry I LOVE and my husband is not crazy about it (we really are polar opposites). He would much rather do advanced physics or some crazy long equation that takes ten lines to simply write out rather than do basic chemistry. I want sure when e started how the trio would enjoy this course but I’m so impressed with them. All three love it and chemistry/physics is very quickly becoming our favorite subject each day. In fact, the boys were so sad yesterday when there was nothing assigned!

What are your kids and your favorite subjects to learn about/teach? (We are definitely science/history junkies here!)

Caffeine

Caffeine is definitely a must in our home. My husband drinks like seven one pot of coffee single-handed daily. (Our children also all enjoy coffee so I pity our coffee pot when they’re old enough to drink it regularly. We are going to need two industrial sized ones!) Depending on my mood I prefer a nice cold coke or an iced coffee with the occasional hot coffee beverage thrown in.

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I’ve been ridiculously tired lately but we are going on a trip this week so I needed to ensure I had a productive day yesterday. I am out of coke, and I’m painfully aware of how bad they are for you, so coffee it was! It always AMAZES me how much I get done with coffee pumping through my veins….now I understand why my husband drinks 50 several cups a day when I felt like SuperMom with just one cup!

So, what’s your caffeinated beverage of choice?

Window School

I’ve been wanting to get a big dry erase board. There are a few reasons for this desire and all make sense. I want it for my business. There’s lots I need to write down and have visible and the best way for that is to either get an outdated chalkboard or to get a dry erase board. Another reason is for homeschool. There are so many reasons to have a dry erase board for home school. We have the little individual ones but there are some things we do that we need a bigger one for. However bigger ones, the ones I would need/want, are a bit more expensive than what our budget allows for right now.

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However, a good friend of ours was just stuck in a hotel for a couple weeks with her two homeschooled kids and a toddler (she’s amazing, yes). Well while they were there they got window markers and instead of getting a dry erase board they just used the windows! I LOVED this idea! It was practical and fun!! My husband loved this idea because it only meant buying window markers and not a huge dry erase board. So, we bought a set to try it out and I’m sold! The boys have so much fun with the window markers and they said it’s much more fun taking notes now than ever before!

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What “oddball”tricks do you do?

Bedtime Stories

Now I’m not sure about normal as I don’t think normal is much fun per say. However, I do know that normally children love having bedtime stories.

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My monsters are no different and absolutely LOVE being read to. However, I must say it cracks me up when five year old Walter requests that I  read nonfiction books to him at night. Tonight it was one of my Usborne books.

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After he requested it I chuckled at the oddity of it, nodded, and braced for a rather long bedtime story as these books are a bit longer than just a quick sweet bedtime story. That’s okay though because it’s time with just Walter that I don’t normally get. He chose our new one: Owls

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Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that he chose that book however 7 year-old Bones choose a more typical “fairy tale” in the form of Norse Myths. That is fitting for his personality. I love that Walter LOVES to learn though. He wants to learn anything and everything he can get his hands onto and I can’t wait to see where life takes him.with an insatiable thirst for knowledge the sky is their limit and I can’t wait to see if he reaches it. If he wants to read non-fiction books at bedtime and he wants a stream of factoids swarming around in there then I will  fully support that bizarre request and read to him whichever book he brings me and love this one on one time with my Walter.

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