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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Everyday you are learning something new

Last week was our yearly family trip to Jekyll Island Georgia. It is the one week a year that my entire family looks forward to some fun in the sun. I am a full believer that everyday you are learning and that life will always give you a new adventure to learn from. On our trip we had many new adventures and some first not just for my kids but for me and my husband as well. 






While on our trip we learned how to go crabbing. Like most people now days when you don't know how to do something you google it or watch a youtube video. We watched many and learned most people tie chicken into the crab basket. You lower the basket down into the shallow of the water and attach it to the dock. Then you wait about ten minutes and pull it up really fast usually you will have a crab or two in the basket. The crabs are kept on ice because they must be cleaned while alive. Let me tell you from our learning experience catching them is way more fun than cleaning them. It is not for those with a weak stomach. My kids really enjoyed crabbing because it is easy and some what of a faster pace than fishing.

We also learned you must throw the pregnant female crabs back. below is a picture of a pregnant female crab. The orange sack are the eggs.
My daughter Alyssa even caught one stone crab but we gave him away because his claws were a bit frightening to me,lol
If you every take a trip down to Jekyll Island don't miss out on the dolphin tours. It is a 90 min boat ride that takes you out right into the middle of a pod of dolphins. Not only was this the first time any of us has ever saw dolphins in person but it was the first boat ride for both of my youngest two children. It was also a great treat from the heat.

While on the boat ride we learned that dolphins can hold their breath for about 18-20 mins and that they will beach them selves for prey once beached the other dolphins will help get them back into the water by causing a big wave of water to reach the beached dolphin. Also that manatee live in the channel off Jekyll Island because they actually need fresh water to survive and they will swim many miles up stream out of the ocean. We were not lucky enough to get a shot of the manatee though.

Another adventure we had on vacation was an hr trip south down to Florida were we visited Amelia Island. If you are wanting to go shell collecting Amelia Island is def. your place to go. There are millions of shells not just one here or there but piles and piles of shells. Also on Amelia is Fort Clinch it is an amazing place to visit and the brick work is just jaw dropping. Fort clinch has been used in 3 wars and was last used during WWII.

So even while on a relaxing vacation you are learning and having new experiences. The more you see that life is always teaching and you are always learning the more you will relax and just enjoy the experiences.




 



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just breathe and get re-centered.

Sometimes we as homeschooling parents get lost in the mix of teaching lessons, searching out more interesting material and helping our fellow homeschooling families. We take on a very heavy load of responsibility and it can and does from time to time throw you off balance in life. We get so focused on the needs of our children and our passion for homeschooling that we forget to address our own needs in the areas of physical, emotional, and spiritual. Before I started homeschooling I had been on a 7 yr spiritual journey , a undeniable thirst for spiritual knowledge and understanding. I 100% believe that spiritual journey lead me to the convictions I feel today so strongly about homeschooling my children. Yet somewhere along the way I let my own spiritual quest fall to the back ground so that I could give homeschooling most of my attention. I took on the running of countless homeschool groups to help others. I somehow stopped having time to search for my own spiritual truths because I was so busy between helping my children and helping my fellow homeschooling families. I stopped meditating ( which was something I knew kept me spiritually and mentally healthy). I realized that I had taken on such a huge amount of work in my drive to help others that I was living one very important person out( myself).

For about a year now that voice that calling has been saying you are doing to much. You need to take a step back and re-center yourself. Remember the bigger picture and the things that are important to you. I had noticed more and more I physically felt drained. I had restless sleeping pattern, and my connection to my inner guidance was not as open as it had been in the past. Not because it had some how disappeared but I had not slowed down long enough to listen to the message in the silence. There wasn't any silence even when I would try to sleep I would be thinking of new lesson ideas, materials I wanted to get, or websites I wanted to share for the benefit of others. I was losing my ability to turn off the switch per say and to just be. Just be with the stillness that has for so many years been my source of true knowing, my guide, my God. I knew deep down that something had to give. I had to take a breath, a break, and re-center myself and my focus on my vision of the co-creating life I truly wanted. I need to get back into my spiritual practices of prayer, intention, and meditation. I needed to reconnect within so that I could truly feel I was living the divine purpose God had planned for me.






Today it hit me that I needed this as much as I need air or water. I needed to regroup and re-center. I decide the first thing was to take a leave from facebook groups for a month. We had just met our yearly attendance and a vacation was a little over a week away. The second thing I needed to do was start back up my daily morning and evening meditations and lastly to reconnect and focus my intentions on the life I wanted to co-create.

To be a good mother, a good wife, and a good teacher we also have to be good at address our own personal needs. We can't just forget to love ourselves as well and loving yourself means taking some much needed me time. It means saying I need a break to just breathe. It means taking time for your spiritual practices be it a walk or meditation. It means an hour long soak in the tub if that is what you need to rejuvenate your soul. Take the time you need to just breathe and be full of life and love and then everything else will fall into it's rightful place in your life.  




This post is a reminder not just to me put to all those out there who need to slow it down a bit and re-center yourselves. JUST BREATHE!!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

This years school materials





Math Materials Above

Geography Material Below





Grammar Material Below





Science Materials Below



Simple Lesson planning and schedules That fit

When I first started homeschooling not only did I think I had to use the same material as public schools I also thought I had to plan out our school year lesson by lesson subject by subject. I would spend weeks with all my curriculum books around me flipping through to divide the lessons by the number of days we do school. As I grew more comfortable homeschooling and realized how every little I actually used this type of lesson plan I devised my own system. It is simple not time consuming at all. For the most part curriculum wise I follow loosely Montessori/ Waldorf . Both have a good bit of flexibility and can be blended with many ages/levels. This allows me to have my kids working on the same topics at the same time in many areas. It also allows me to use my intuition when it comes to their own individual needs.  First off a make a list of topics I hope to cover in each subject. I also make a list of concepts or areas I feel each need more work in. Then I get 12 pieces of paper labeling each one with a month of the year. I add any special days like holidays or vacations that fall in that month. Then I start with the month we start our school year. This year that will be June. I list the topics to cover for each subject that month. I do not go into great detail. For ex. under science it may just say insects. Now we will dig deep into that topic but I do not write every single activity on my lesson plan. I then keep a daily log of what each child did in each area and amount of time spent.

This is an example of my weekly log


1st block(1Hr)

Circle time

Spiritual

Reading

Spelling/writing
Tuesday

animal stories

affirmation

independent

week 1
Wednesday 

insect folk

meditation

independent

week1
Thursday 

insect folk

white light or protection
independent

week1
Friday 

insect folk

meditation

independent

week 1
2nd  block lesson
 (1.5 Hrs)
Math


Grammar



Multiplication review
A+ tutor soft
 Triangles



Workbook
1pg


Multiplication review
A+ Tutor soft
 Triangles



Workbook
1pg
3rd  block lesson
 (2.5Hrs)
History

Science

Geography

Botany/ Geology


Story of the Universe 
 
Insects/ants


Gardening growth chart


Story of the Universe

Insects/ants


Gardening growth chart

Big Bang Movie


Build an ant farm

Parts of a flower cards
  
Research Big Band write paper on 

label the  parts of an ant
gardening growth chart
4th  block lesson
 (1 Hr)
Practical Life

Art

Music
Art

food prep

Big Bang art
Life

cooking

Finish Big Bang Art
Art/Life

hand washing dishes

Recorder lesson 1
Music

laundry



recorder lesson 1 review

Date:_6/17-14-6/214____Time 24_hrs  _Name__Alyssa Cater__



By writing a more general schedule and lesson plan it gives me room for all those things that come up in life that through off your week without having to rewrite my entire lesson book for the yr. BTW I do not recommending writing out more than 6-9 weeks at a time because you want to make sure your curriculum and your schedule really do work for your families needs and life. For us we only school 4 days a week and in the summer that is 3 days a week. I personally do not live in a state that requires more detailed records but if you do there are many different free homeschool record programs out there. I like A simple plan from My Mardel Homeschool  http://homeschool.mardel.com/Intro  There is also ones like Homeschooling records.com that you can input grades and attendance  http://www.homeschoolingrecords.com/  and http://www.homeschoolskedtrack.com/HomeSchool/displayLogin.do  I have found that extreme detailed lesson plans not only do not work for me and my personal needs but they need up being a complete waste of my time and effort. Blogs themselves are another easy yet fun way to record what your child/ren cover each day. You can even add in pictures of them doing it.  For those who follow more of a relaxed or unschooling style of learning blogs are great way to show the state what your children are learning.