Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cat, Hat, Bat, Pog, Fog, Frog......

Today Samantha and I read a book today and she read part of the book with me. She learned some new words today..... bog, (mog, pog names from the book), fog, log, jog, hog, frog, dog, log, cat, sat, mat, bat, hat, rat, fat, pat, and many more. She was so excited to be able to help me read the book. The look of wonder in her eyes as she read them with me. Before we know it she will be reading books on her own.

She complained to me today that she didn't like to write in lower case letters as she doesn't do that as good as she does upper case. LOL So we talked about how the more she writes them the better she will do with them. She doesn't like it but understands that she has to write in lower case. I see a little bit of a perfectionist in her at times. Reminds me of Nick when he was learning to write.

Craft time...... She wanted to make a house for Cole since he doesn't' have one. So we got a box and decorated it. We spent a good part of the afternoon doing this. I even braved Cole and put his paw in paint and added his print to the house. And yes she is in her bathing suit, I knew this was going to be messy and I am still cleaning paint off the floor even with plastic down... but it was FUN!!!......

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Homeschool project gone bad or crazy...Added more pictures...

A few weeks back Samantha and I thought it might be a good idea to grow real grass for her Easter basket. We got the idea from a magazine called Living Crafts, spring issue 2009. It calls for wheat grass but I couldn't find any of that so we searched and searched and couldn't find anything I would want to use with Samantha... all the lawn grass we found contained chemicals. I couldn't find any organic grass UNTIL I got the bright idea to go to the pet section. LOL. A few years ago when Cole(our cat) was eating all my plants we grew him pet grass. Hmm should be good for an Easter basket right? Maybe not....
Samantha was excited. With 3 weeks before Easter we thought we should get started right away. We filled the basket with soil. We got 3 packages of the cat grass. She placed all the seeds in the basket. We followed the directions. So we covered the basket with plastic and put in the dark room until we saw grass begin to grow. We took of the plastic then placed the basket in the sun. HMMM maybe we shouldn't have done that Oh and we watered it. Cat grass is supper grow grass. In days it stood 4 inches tall. Ok not so bad you thinking right? I cut the grass. The next morning the grass was again about 3 inches tall. The day after that it was back to being 4 inches tall. Since that day it has been cut many times. And it still keeps growing like crazy. Now we just hope and pray that the grass will stay living until Easter. LOL Here is a picture of it. I cut it last night down to about 1 1/2 inches....

Here it is on Sunday...


Oh its weird too because it keeps changing color... some times it grows back light green then other times its a dark green. Weird.... Oh and the added plus cutting the grass has my allergies acting up. Yep I am allergic to whatever is released when grass is cut. Fun fun fun. But we do find this project amusing in spite of my allergies.

Picture time....

Since the last few posts have all been my ramblings and no pictures I wanted to share some of our lastest pictures with you all..... The first picture we were at Colt state park, the last 2 are from Providence Children's Mesuem.

A little of this and a little of that.....

This post is going to be all over....I have lots on my mind that I want to share....

Last night Samantha and I participated in Earth hour. This is our second year doing so. For those of you who don't know what that is go to and learn all about it. Basically you shut off all lights and power sources. We shut off the tv and computer. We cheated a little, Samantha's bedtime is 7pm and we were supposed to shut off at 8:30-9:30. So we started at 6:30 and went until we were done playing games and reading stories. Since it was still early we sat by the living room window for light. We played Operation, fancy Nancy Ooh la la tea party game, tinkerbell game, and read the Easter story. When we were done she went to bed. So I did keep with the Earth hours time too. Once she was in bed I waited for it to be 9:30 before I turned the lights and computer back on. It was a fun way for Samantha to learn about saving energy. We already recycle. She has come to terms with when she outgrows clothes or toys we donate them. Mostly to the MOPS clothing swap. Which is another way to learn to conserve. We come home from the swap with some new clothes and fun toys.

At the last mops meeting we did the Resurrections eggs for the creative activity. Samantha has had fun learning about Easter and Jesus through the eggs. Her little friend came over and we decorated paper eggs. On one I drew a cross on it. Samantha then told her friend all about Jesus while creating their eggs. It was so much fun to see my daughter talk about Jesus and this coming from her point of view.

The meeting before this we made banks for our children. I am the creative activity leader and I do have an assistant. We did this craft for our children. Each mom got 3 banks. The banks teach the kids about money each bank has a meaning.... 1 share, 2 save, and 3 spend. So in doing this we decided to give Sam an allowance if she does her chores. Steve and I sat down with her and together we decided what she could do to earn money each week. She will dust, set the table every day, sweep, and clean the bathroom sink. She has the added bonus of helping with laundry and she will earn 50 cents more for this. She had a little issue with the sharing of her money part. LOL but we were firm on if she got an allowance she was to put 10% in her share, 20% in save and the rest was for her to spend. Its been fun watching her learn about money this way. Last week she took her spend money to walmart and bought a gum ball machine. She was so happy to be using her money and doing it all herself.

Decisions and concerns.....I have been trying to decide on a curriculum and I am still not sure on what I want to go with so I am going to the homeschool convention to look at them all again. One of my concerns is we have been working on preschool/kindergarten work this year and she knows how to write her numbers up to 10 and can count high with the assistance when she hits 19 I have to remind her its 20 then on to 29 she forgets to go to 30 we do this all the way up to 90 recently. She knows all her letters and how to write them. Through the program starfall she is learning her letter sounds and can identify what letter most words begin with. So my concern is will the beginning of Kindergarten be boring for her? She is already getting bored with reviewing her letters. Part of me wants to get the kindergarten curriculum for her now and start now. She has a thirst for knowledge she is forever asking questions about everything. It was fun when she wanted to know about ant eaters the fun things we learned from that question. Her latest question was about tornado's. So we are learning about them. So maybe what I need to look at is a hands on curriculum.

Things kids say...... While decorating the paper eggs with her friend Samantha and Chloe were talking about God.... Chloe told Samantha that her teacher told her that a memo went out from the principal saying they couldn't talk about Jesus when talking about Easter at all. All that is allowed is to talk about Easter and how its about Easter bunny... now remember this is coming from a 6 year old. So Sam said to me "Mommy if I can't talk about God at school I don't want to ever go to public schools!" Sam has no idea there are private schools out there... she thinks its either public or home schooling.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Decisions, learning about God and herself, working on her letters and numbers more

Before we know it and it will be the summer again. Time soon to order our curriculum for the fall. I am trying to decided what I want to use with Samantha. I have a few recommendations from friends who homeschool. I am trying to decided between, Abeka, Horizon's, my fathers world and 5 in a row. They all are excellent curriculum's. They all teach what your child will need to know but with a different approach. Abeka and Horizon's is all workbooks. My father's world and 5 in a row is more hands on. I am not sure what to pick. I hope I make it to the home school convention so I can pick out what I want. It will be nice to pick up with curriculum and look at it. Easier to decided then a few samples on the internet.

Samantha is amazing. She keeps on trying to learn to read. She will try and sound out words all the time. Just today she was trying to sound out ladder. Funny she kept saying the d's were t's. But she did get the rest of the letters. Oh what a stubborn child she is. We have been working on writing letters some more and reviewing numbers 1-10. She is ready for more. We have been talking about Easter and what it means.

We also started a new bible devotion. She really enjoys it. I think its one of the best preschooler devotion's I have read with her so far. It's called God and Me! Devotions for Girls. Its filled with stories and activities that teachers her how to walk with God. It teachers girls how to be good friends, being fair, being sorry when you do wrong, to keep trying, self-control, Easter, Joy, being thoughtful,inner beauty and so much more.

Well off to discover more learning and fun with my little girl!

Friday, March 19, 2010

when the teacher becomes the student...

Often when we are out people will ask Samantha how old she is. She is always ready with "I'm five" holding out her hand showing 5 fingers. So cute. She really can be such an adorable kid. So after telling her age most will ask me if she is in school. I usually just say no and don't elaborate on that. If asked I might have said she just turned 5. Well not Samantha. She is proud that she is home schooled. She is excited to tell all who ask her about homeschooling from a 5 year olds point of view. Besides some concerns of family members most people we meet seem curious about it. some just say that's nice others will ask many questions. So far I only met one person who responded negatively and that was a doctor who couldn't think outside the box, even with his treatments he couldn't think beyond the normal. One mom I recently met while walking along the waterfront with Samantha was really interested in what we do. She isn't happy about the schools here. She said its too bad that she has to work full time or she would try home schooling herself. So I became the student while my daughter taught me to hold my head high and be proud of who we are. We are a home schooling family. We are happy with our life style. We Thank God that we have this opportunity to do this. So if we are to go forward and do our little bit to change the world I will follow my daughter example and be happy with who we are and tell who ever asks why she is with me during the day and not in school.
Funny though she is in school..... she learns through out the day many different subjects when we are out in the world interacting with it. As the worker at Papa Gino's said to Samantha today when she was asked how old and do you go to school. Samantha said "No I don't go to school, and I home school" The girl looked at Sam and said "yes your are in school... if your home schooled the world is your school!" Samantha loved that she said that to her.

If you don't see a post from me for a week or so its because we are in the process of switching to a different internet provider and I think they got the dates wrong when to shut us off. There was supposed to be a few days where we would have both. But I don't think so we are still waiting for the equipment to get here. I will keep you posted. We have a few fun things planned with all this nice weather.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are you kidding me?????

A friend of mine just registered her daughter for Kindergarten for the fall. Well she was told that soon they will be having Kindergarteners take the MCAS tests! Is that crazy or what? I can almost see doing it in first or second grade but kindergarten?? I don't agree with that testing anyway but kindergarteners?!?!?!?! Its crazy. So glad that we are homeschooling Samantha.... we have the choice of doing those. I choose not to.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Leprechauns have been here.....

We read a book recently on St Patrick's day and leprechauns. On Sunday we had 2 leprechaun's come to visit us. Those tricky little elf's didn't show their faces but left green paint foot prints and hand prints around our house, fun fun fun! Samantha and her friend Chloe spent Sunday afternoon looking for our little visitors. LOL Later that night Sam asked me if it was real and I couldn't lie to her so I told her no that it was me. She has been asking me questions like that for a while... is Santa real, is the Easter bunny is real. I think she knows the real answer but doesn't want to stop believing. She will admit that they are fake but doesn't' want to stop believing so tells me that they are real too.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zoo fun with Daddy

I am lucky that Steve takes a roll in teaching Samantha and takes her to activities that will help her. This Wednesday he took her to the zoo. They were having a treasure hunt based on the cartoon Dora and Deigo. They both had so much fun helping the zoo keepers looking for the missing apple. She thought it was funny that the squirrel got it! I will post pictures later.

A week before this we had fun as a family visiting The Children's museum. There was so much to learn there and have fun with. We ended up taking home a kit of magnets from the gift shop to work into our school work.

Learning on the go.... just this week Samantha and I packed a picnic lunch. We went to the water front park and did school work, ate and just had fun.

So many possibilities to learn out there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Here is an interesting article I wanted to share. Some people wonder why a parent wouldn't want to send their child to the local public schools and here is one good reason......

I can't get the link to work. Sorry. You can copy and paste it and view the article.

Recently I met this mom at the playground. She was telling me how she hated the school her son was in and is sorry she moved to MA. She was telling me that in Maine she home schooled but when moving here was told by Fall Rivers school department it was against the law to do so. So she enrolled her child in school. She then asked where does Samantha go to school. So I told her that we do home school and it is legal. I told her to search out the laws of our state. I wonder if she will go back to home schooling.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Questions and answers..........

Samantha turned 5 recently. Its so hard to believe that she is a 5 year old now. I can't believe how much she has grown in one year. She grew about 2 inches. She loves to learn., her babies, her stuff animal's, her nieces, princess's and much more. I think she is into what most 5 year olds are into. Its been interesting to see how much she has learned this fall. She asked me to teach her to read so we have been doing some work on the computer. She can sound out some words. Her first word to read was VISA. She doesn't even know what it is. She sounded it out and asked me if she was right. Just the other day she sounded out bear and a few other words.

As for activities: she does ballet, tap, jazz, baton and ice skating. We go to our mom's group, where she is in a school like setting. She is in a classroom and the "teachers" do a lesson with her, a craft then playtime. From what I have been told she is a good student. She listens, does her work and behaves herself. We do story hour at different places. The zoo has a cute one. The library has a really good story teller. She also comes to work with me once a week, this will teacher her compassion, service to others, helping the aging disabled sick people. She will learn what its like to give of yourself. She has also learned some health related things from my client... what not to do. She has even learned from some of the doctors and nurses. She was in total amazement watching my clients doctor remove the fluid from a cyst on her hand. He then showed her what was in the cyst. The dentists and hygienist talk to her and tell her all they are doing for my client. The orthopedic doctor explained some of the bones in her hand and body. The nurse talked to her about germs. I see this as a wonderful resource of information for Samantha. Things that we can expand on in the future!

Recently some family members have expressed some concern with homeschooling again. Not sure if they understand really what homeschooling is. As it can be many things. Every family does it differently. Of course there are some standards you have to go by but so many options out there for the homeschooling family. I am going to the home school convention this year again and hopefully I will be able to decide on what curriculum to go with. I thought I was all set to go with Horizons but now I am not to sure and I want to explore what else is out there.

Some answers to the questions I was asked.....
Q What about when they get to the older grades and you don't know how to do the work?
A Well for one she is only entering Kindergarten do I really need a plan for something that is many years away? But really that is what the teachers guide is for. It helps you teach them, shows you how to do it and if you still don't understand good enough to teach it there is always someone that can help you like a home school group or a co-op.
Q What about Curriculum?
A There are many out there. So many to choose from that I am having a hard time picking one and yes we will be going with a Christian one and one that is secular A friend does one called 5 in a row and I really like what I see, its a secular one. I would use this as part of her work.
Q What about socialization?
A Did you read all she does? All the classes and activities she does I believe she is getting a lot of socialization. If that isn't enough going to work with me interacting with my client, my clients doctors and family members helps her interact with people of all ages. When she is at my mom's group which meets every other week she is with about 10-12 children around her age. Also this school year coming I am joining Fall Rivers home school group.
Q What if she asks to go to school?
A Well that depends. If we are living somewhere else then it will depend on the schools there. If we still live here well then we will have to be able to afford the private school of my choice. Sorry but if some of the school teachers I know tell me not to put my child in the schools here I take that serious. Also depends on WHY she wants to go to school. Recently my neighbors niece (who lives with her) has been begging Sam to go to school with her and Samantha did ask why did I want her to home school. After weighing the pros and cons Sam has decided she still wants to home school. I know she has never been in a school situation to be able to base her decision on but really I don't think at her age its her decision yet. But if its for a opportunity that she wouldn't have homeschooling we would look for a better option for her.

If anyone has questions I would love to hear from you. Any words of advice or encouragement I would also love to hear from you. But remember we are Samantha's parents and we do what we feel is in the best interest of our family. No one has any input on our decision. Who knows what the future will bring where we will be in say 10 years but my plan is to home school her from Kindergarten to twelfth grade.

With much love

p.s. Sorry if I offended anyone about public schools. I know there are many many awesome public school teachers. I have a few teacher friends that I would be honored to have them teach my child as I know my child would learn with them and they are awesome teachers! There are also many great public schools out there. Sadly where we live the schools aren't good. But again there are many great teachers that teach here but sadly they are working with not an ideal system. I consider myself very lucky that I am able to home school Samantha. That I have that option available to me. I have a loving and supportive husband who is on my side 100% with our home school journey. I have a wonderful resource in my sister Michelle who has home schooled for 5 years or more who will help me out if I am stuck. (Right Michelle?). I have a handful of friends who are homeschooling too who I can turn to for advice, help or support. I am also lucky to have older children who agree with me on this and Nick has even offered to help out when he is living back in New England and yes Nick I will hold you to it! She will benefit to get your perspective on things. Just think of the wealth of information my family members can share with my child! Learning doesn't just happen in a classroom it happens everyday just living life!