Snow Creek Skiing near Kansas City MO

Back in February we went to Snow Creek up near Kansas City, MO for a fun day of skiing.

It was a first for most of us, although my husband has gone before, which was evident considering he was just crazy on the skis…. braving all the expert courses with ease.  (I stuck to the small hills with the kids).

Anyways,

The place was a blast. The price was affordable since we went as a homeschool group (only $25 a person), and we had so much fun, we are planning on going back each year!

If you are in the area, check them out. It doesn’t seem like much at first, it is mainly fake snow they create there, but once you put on the gear you start to feel like you are at an actual ski resort.

They offer skiing, snowboarding and tubing (on certain days).

Here is a short video I put together of our trip.

School of Rock!!!

Finally!!!!

Turner has found something he is into besides video games😉 Hey, I’m not one to hate on video games, I absolutely LOVED them as a kid. I was awesome at Mario Kart, Golden Eye, and Banjo Kazooie back in the day.

BUT

I’ve been hoping our son, Turner, would find another interest and he did. We took both kids to School of Rock back in December, and he was hooked from the first lesson. They actually say he is one of the better ones for his age and picks it up super quick.

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I’m so proud of him and also for my daughter for trying out SOR. She completed one season with them, but decided it wasn’t right for her at this time.

Here is a video of Turner playing one of his favorite parts he learned for last years show: Breaking the Law.

Here is a video of both of them. Turner on the drums, Lilly vocals.

If you have a School of Rock near you, I would recommend it to anyone. My son loves being around other musicians, working in a real band, and just playing the drums.

We just signed him up for a 2nd lesson each week closer to our town, which he also enjoys because they let him pick the song he learns. So far its been Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, and now he is on Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

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Our year so far…

We started the school year off in July after a 3 week break. The kids were ready to get back into the swing of things and I prefer them to stay on top of what they have been doing, otherwise they tend to forget (don’t we all!) 


A few things we have been doing that I’ll mention is last year we started a point system. They are awarded points for reading or completing their work. Sometimes kids, even adults, need a little extra something to get them excited. So we tried it out. An example: 1000 points for completely their Math for the day. Then when they have enough they turn in those points for things such as a pizza party with their friends or a trip to the ice cream shop. There are different levels. This worked great. 

However! 

Over the past month I’ve seemed to neglect using it. They both have over 100,000 points right now and neither of them seem to be in a hurry to use them up (even though there are some cool things they could do, like a $40 shopping spree, etc). 

So this has been out on the back burner. It worked amazing for about 4 months tho! 🤓

We have 5 huge changes this year. A few are to help us gravitate towards independence, a love of learning and unschooling. 

Number 1. 

Teaching Textbooks, finally!!!!

I love our other Math programs, but they require so much time from me and my kids weren’t really digging them. I finally splurged and bought TT4. They both complete a lesson each day. It’s graded for me. It’s engaging and I haven’t heard one complaint about it. It’s been 4 weeks. Thank you Teaching Textbooks!!!!


Number two.

Daily Journals.

I remember having a journal as a kid and I’ve read different articles why they are important to keep, so I went out and bought them each a cute journal (or diary if you will.)

I let them know that this is there’s. I won’t read it unless they ask (they haven’t). There are only 3 rules:

  1. You must write in it each day
  2. You must write out the date 
  3. You must write at least three sentences. 

They really enjoy this time. I do scan through and make sure they are following the ‘rules’ and try my best not to read it. I’m glad we started this. I think it really helps them understand how to get their thoughts on paper, learn to spell the date correctly and to express themselves in a positive manner. 

Number three.

Cursive notebook. 

I also went and bought them each a cute notebook. Turners says ‘I can do anything.’ And Lilly’s says ‘I’m a Rockstar.’

These notebooks are our new cursive books. When I was a kid my mom and I use to write back and forth Ina notebook because there were many time we weren’t hole at the same time and this was a fun way to communicate. 

Everything they write (and me) HAS to be in cursive. I wanted to switch it up this year and make it more natural. Now we write notes each day back and forth. It’s been wonderful. 

Number four. 

Three week session rotation. 

We use a three week on, one week off rotation. 

But I switched it up even more this year. 

We now rotate between Geography, Art and Cooking, History and Writing, and Science. 

It has made life so much easier, more organized, and fun!

We have completed our Geography session: studying South America and are finishing up our Art and Cooking session this week. 


I really feel we get more out of each topic since we are completely focused for three weeks. Then we take a break from it until it comes back around. History is up next and we will focus on SOTW #2, Medievil Times and writing an essay (a first for them). 

For us, we will hit each rotation three times in a ‘school year’ and have a two week review at the end. 

This has been so great! 

I also try to tie them together. For our Art session they have made globes, which they will paint and label the continents (South America/Geography)!


Number five. 

Class books and cover page. 

We have always read class books together and if there is a movie we watch it afterwards. 

What is a little different, is I’m having the kids make a cover page at the end (or you could call it a review page). 

They get a blank white paper and put the title on the top then illustrate and color a scene from the book. They can pick any part they want. They have completed the books and cover papers for Sign of the Beaver and 100 Cupboards so far. We are currently reading BFG for our class book now. I try to get one in each session. We got two books in our first session (1/13) because one was an audiobook we listened to in the car. 

At the end of the year they will have a folder with all their cover sheets to look back on. I think it’s a neat reminder

Until next time!

PaperPunk Review

My mom has a blog. You should check it out. It’s a review site, so she gives away a ton of cool things. She got PaperPunk to review last year and so she sent it over to our kids to create and have some fun. They did.

Both of my kids LOVED doing this project, and they proudly displayed their creations until they (unfortunately) fell apart… about 3 weeks later. *On a side note, if you used glue they would most likely hold to together longer.

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If you are looking for a neat birthday gift that’s original between the ages of 6 and 10, I would recommend PaperPunk. Super neat! *Added bonus: there were a TON of left over stickers so the kids enjoyed those for other projects as well. Cheers!_JAS8130

The Trash Squad

Recently we came up with an idea to go around our town and pick up trash. I know it doesn’t sound like the most amazingly fun thing to do, but actually it’s pretty cool.

Both of the kids really enjoy it, and like to see what they can find. We usually weigh our bags at the end and keep track of the biggest/heaviest/yuckiest items we find.

They created a Facebook page to keep track of what they have been doing and to hopefully encourage others to join in and pick up around their communities, as well as to not liter.

You can check out the Facebook page here with some photos of the kids. They were pretty excited the first time out and received a $2 donation from a random women driving by. She stopped and asked what we were doing, we told her picking up trash, and she said why, we said because we hate seeing the side of the road covered in garbage, then she handed the kids $2 and said thank you. It was sweet and they decided to get some ice cream after all their hard-work.

The kids came up with the name btw, we are working on getting some shirts made for them too.

The Castle, Renaissance Festival-Muskogee, OK

We had never been to a Renaissance Festival until this field trip. I came across this website a few months back and bookmarked it because I knew it was something I’d like to check out with the kids.

When we arrived and drove up towards the ‘castle’ it looked so-so, but the people helped make it a day to remember. Everyone was so kind and best of all, in character. There were so many people in costumes and all dressed up, it was really neat to see.

There were a ton of booths and shops. We enjoyed looking through them, although we didn’t really buy anything.

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We came on a ‘school day’ and got a special price of $5 a ticket, which is really good considering they are normally around $15/person. (I would have been disappointed to have paid that, but it was probably worth $10…..). I thought activities were free (for some reason) and I was wrong. Everything, besides some of the ‘shows’ (music, juggling, magic show, jousting show, etc) cost an extra fee.

Plan on spending around $50 easy for a family of four, and that was with us being tight-wads!

We really enjoyed the day, you can see most everything in about 4 hours, and we found this amazing park right down the road and had a picnic afterwards.

I would recommend visiting during their school days, I believe it’s worth the trip at least once.

 

Camping/MTN Biking at Devil’s Den

A few weeks ago we drove about 2 hours away to Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas to camp and hangout at their annual mountain bike festival. I had wanted to go last year, but we didn’t get too, so this year we made the reservations so there was no turning back. Fortunately, we also went with some friends (who also happen to be our neighbors). Each of our kids had someone to hangout with and it was great because they all seem to get along well.

The festival itself wasn’t too exciting. There weren’t a lot of booths set up, but it was fun to ride with a group of MTN bikers (even if I was one of the slower ones).

Lilly went on her first trail that weekend. At first she thought it was awesome, then she started to freak herself out, but in the end she pushed through it and ended with a smile on her face, which is all I could ask for.

Everyone had a blast, except for the undeniably COLD conditions we slept it, that was pure torture at its finest. It was actually painful. Cold camping is the opposite of fun.

Some photos to document our trip….

 

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Teach Your Monster to Read

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I just wanted to share this website because my daughter really enjoys it. I know she is 8, and she doesn’t really need this website (she reads pretty well), but we stumbled across it about two months ago and she likes getting on here almost everyday.

I can hear her laughing and squealing as the game plays out. I would say it’s probably best for ages 8 and under.

Check it out Teach Your Monster to Read