Missing Homeschool

I got to cuddle next to the kids last night and watch Miracle on 34th Street. It was so great. I feel like I haven’t spent enough time with them since they started school. I miss these moments.

The kids have been in public school for 3 weeks now.

At first, we all really liked the change. The kids made friends, they have been doing well on their work, and they said they enjoyed school. But not so much anymore.

Now our mornings are full of grumpiness and sometimes tears. They don’t have that same excitement when they wake up, and frankly, neither do I. I am on their side. I think homeschool is where they need to be, it’s just a matter of timing now. It’s going to happen. I miss them so much and teaching them and watching them grow and learning something new. I miss all that. And I’m sad when I think of all those kids in school whose parents miss out on that too. I feel more distant with both kids since they started. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives and even though it’s only been three weeks in PS, their personalities have already begun to alter, and not neccesarily for the better.

We are going to keep them in school for a little while longer. I’m thinking until Christmas break, so I have time to get our business up and going and then I can quit my job too.

Homeschool is one of the best things our family has ever done. Yes, it’s completely stressful and sometimes we have lazy days, not accomplishing much, but wow, I miss every second. I miss making breakfast with them, eating lunch at our table or maybe a picnic. I miss reading to them. I miss teaching them. I miss their smiles and laughter. I miss it all.

The saying where the grass is always greener on the other side is so true. We thought it would be better for so many reasons to put them in school, but we were wrong. We are a homeschooling family and always will be.

I am glad we tried public school out. I think it was just what we needed to give us a boost when we come back to homeschooling. The kids had started to take homeschool for granted and I believe they will appreciate the way we do things much better now.

Advertisements
Image

A Day Trip To Branson, MO

My mom runs a blog called Leahsay’s Views. She does reviews, giveaways, and even posts awesome recipes. You should check it out!

A few places in Branson, MO, including Talking Rocks Cavern, The Butterfly Palace, and the Hollywood Wax Museum wanted her blog to review them, so we spent the day visiting each place.

First up was Talking Rocks Cavern (my favorite place out of all three), however, everyone gave it two thumbs up and would go back again.

The area surrounding the cavern is really pretty. They have a small putt-putt course you could try while waiting on your tour to start, there are picnic tables outside and a play area for the kids. We spent a good hour in the gift shop looking at all the neat rocks and many other items they had. The restrooms were clean, which is a huge plus, and there is an indoor area to climb around in, which my family loved.

_jas5678

 

The tour starts at the same place it did when they first opened their doors, which is super neat. You get to hear the history of the cave and how it came to be before entering the cave itself. Once you enter you are met by a ton of narrow stairs, which I find fun, but this cave is certainly not for everyone. Anyone with any type of inability to walk through narrow, steep, sometimes slippery situations would not be able to complete the tour.

_jas5716We walked as a group to certain talking points, then stop and listen to the science and history of the cave.Our tour guide was really nice. I have been to other area caves and I would put this at the top of my list for beauty and the different rock formations you get to see. It’s not the biggest, and you see most of it right from the get go, but it was super fun. The only part that was weird was at the end of the tour where our guide turned the lights out and they had this type of colored light show set to music. The lights were fine, but the music just made it weird and unnecessary. I felt like it took away from what we were looking at. I think silence during that part would resonate more.

_jas5698

_jas5727

Talking Rocks Cavern was worth the trip, and if you are able to walk up and down narrow, steep stairs, I would highly recommend it.

14642127_10209148027991992_5417839653940558640_n

_jas5684

Next up we visited Hollywood Wax Museum.

This was Lilly’s favorite place. We all enjoyed using the props and taking photos with some of our favorite celebrities. It was a good place to kill an hour and have some cute photos to look back on.

14681699_10209150977265722_2939559786291766914_n

14724363_10209150985625931_5694796744848926790_n

_jas5736

The last place we visited was The Butterfly Palace.

We had actually been here before, so the kids knew what to expect and were excited to return. Their favorite place is the butterfly room and headed straight for it as soon as we entered the building. Most of their time was spent hunting butterflies. Then we pursued the gift shop area, the nature center, and the mirror maze. All a good time. This place is really enjoyable. highly recommend.

14724438_10209156320479299_5269731810940587934_n 14708364_10209156325359421_7383474368015995173_n

A day full of fun memories was made and thank you to all the locations for having us.

A HUGE CHANGE AROUND HERE!

Two words. Public school.

Two more words. Debt free.

We love homeschooling our kids. We have been doing it officially the last three years, and plan to continue that journey in the future. However, we also want to make a better life for us and our future. We have read Dave Ramsey‘s The Total Money Makeover many times and I listen to his podcast almost daily to help keep us on track, but something was missing. We could be out of debt (except the house) in 2-3 years with no change in our income. That’s not fast enough for me. When I get excited about something I tend to go a little crazy and want change instant. So we thought about it and the only way to pay down our debt in less than one year is for me to work more.

So that’s exactly what we plan to do.

We will send the kids to public school for this year while I help bring in extra income to get us where we want to be financially.

We are all sacrificing on some level and have discussed it to make sure everyone was on board. The kids were excited to try out a new experience for this year and understand what we are trying to do to get us to a better place. Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. That is Dave Ramsey’s motto. I repeat that to myself many times a day.

Not only are we putting the kids in school and I’ll be working more for the next 7 months like a crazy person, but we are putting everything else on hold too. There is a long list of things that I want done around the house or mini-trips we would like to take, all are hard to say no to, but we are in this 100%, so for 7 months we will buckle down and be dedicated to our new lifestyle.

We still plan on ‘homeschooling’ the kids outside of school. They will continue with their Teaching Textbooks math each day, their journals, and coding. I may even pull them out for the day if we plan an awesome field trip.

This is one small chapter of their lives and we look at it as a real-world experience, which is our main goal as parents: to give them experiences to help them grow into a well-rounded adult.

Until next time.

 

Video

Cola Geyser Science Experiment

We are wrapping up our last week of Science before our week break with a ton of experiments using this fun book I found on Amazon.

Lilly is always wanting to explode something or making something messy, so this was right up her alley.

Here is the video of them explaining in their own words what is happening. They also imported, edited, and uploaded this video, which I am stoked about. Technology is super important in our house and they had so much fun today they said it felt like they had only been doing school for 2-3 hours, but we actually pulled in a 7 hour day!!!  Which is SUPER RARE around here. Enjoy!

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.

13178762_10207820494004472_3854898689814816030_n Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.36.35 AM

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.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

To check out our other videos SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel!

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.

_JAS8093_JAS8127

_JAS8101

_JAS8106

_JAS8100_JAS8128

_JAS8119

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