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Monday, January 31, 2011

Mellow Monday Homeschool

Well it is Monday, again, and the last day of January already. Can you believe it. We had a very active and social weekend. Yesterday was warm, and a lot of yard work and garage cleaning got done. Today is a new theme for me Mellow Monday Homeschool. Instead of books and hard core lessons, we will be more mellow. Today we are going for a walk, Candy Land board game after lunch, Google Doodle art contest, and DJ's today was his best yet. Caitlin's best was her zoo animals on Friday. We are almost ready to send in our entries, in the middle of Feb. If you want to enter see my archives for all the details, or Google, Google Doodle. I got the coolest interactive reading website year membership for FREE, called Today is Caitlin's first day using it, and she seems to be enjoying it. If you go to the Facebook page Homeschooling for Free, you might still be able to use the code. I am unsure how long it was for. I did not have to mention this in my post to get the code, so don't worry about that. DJ also has a writing assignment due today, and if time permits he can play online math games. I don't know if anyone else is watching all the rioting in Egypt, but it is getting kind of nerve racking now.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social Saturday: 4H County Events

I know Saturday is almost over, but this is the first chance I had to do this post. Sorry for the sideways picture it is a cell phone picture and it won't rotate for some reason.

Anyways this was our first 4 H competition event, called County Events. As the name implies it is competition between 4H members in Gilchrist County. Each county holds one, and the winners in each category get to represent their county at District Events in May.

DJ's Marley picture took first place in his age group and class. Now that picture goes on to District Events. Because this was our first time it was also a learning and observation experience for us. They will definitely do some more things next year. All the kids did awesome, and what a bunch of talented kids we have here in Gilchrist County. The next event before District Events, is the County Fair, which Caitlin can enter her painting as a Clover Bud. It was a whole lot of fun, and a little bit of chaos.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Photo Friday: Hamburger Cupcakes By Roundabouts

Hamburger cupcakes, gross right? No way, these are the most delicious hamburgers. I have been teaching my kids to cook cakes and cupcakes for sometime now. DJ reads the recipe, sets the stove, measures all the ingredients, and then they both share stirring responsibilities. At first it was very messy, now they are getting good at it. DJ has learned if you add just a dash more oil the product is much more moist and fluffy.

I was offered to review Roundabouts cupcake sleeves. Of course I said yes, and was excited to do so. The biggest and only obstacle was making the frosting to be close to the bun color on the cupcake sleeve. After some research I found you can make tan frosting with white, chocolate, and a touch of red food coloring. Mine was still not as light as the bun in the Roundabout, but it was close enough. You can use sesame seeds to make the seeds on the top of the bun as well. I knew no one in my house would eat them if I did that, so we have a seedless bun. The Roundabout cupcake wrap was super easy to apply. Just peel off the sticky end, wrap it around, and voila a super fancy cupcake ideal for any themed event you may have. They have 70 plus different designs, and I have to tell you the baby shower ones are incredibly cute. Some people even said they can remove the wrap, wash it and reuse it again. I love these, what a clever idea. To view all the different cupcakes sleeves they offer, simply click the highlighted link. Get your cupcake groove on with Roundabout Cupcake Sleeves.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Free Animal and Science Curriculum At The National Zoo

If your kids are like my kids, then they love animals. We frequent the National Zoo website often, to watch the live animal cams. While I was nosing around looking what else they have to offer I found free curriculum and lesson plans covering conservation, panda bears, grasslands, urban habitats, wetlands. The conservation program is done completely online, the others you download and print. Some are for younger children but a lot are geared towards older learners. I will be using the Giant Panda lesson for both kids next year, and DJ will be doing all of them as part of his Science curriculum. Let your kids visit the National Zoo website and watch the live cams. It is FREE! While your at it let them enjoy the video of the Red Panda, below, from the National Zoo. Enjoy and happy learning!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brazil and The Amazon Rainforest

Today for Social Studies we are continuing our trip around the world. We are still learning about Brazil, and today is the Amazon Rain Forest. There are a lot of beautiful videos on Youtube of the Rain Forest, but since we are concentrating on the Amazon in Brazil, I chose these videos below. If you love the sounds of the Rain Forest, check out some of the amazing videos available. Enjoy the lovely videos.

Lesson Plans For 01/26/11:

Social Studies: Brazil's rain forest, The Story of the World Ancient Times: Chapter 16
Math: Saxon 54
Spelling: Chapter 14 put your words in alphabetical order
Language Arts: Adverbs computer games at
Reading Comprehension: With worksheet

Social Studies: Brazil's rain forest
Math: Addition
Printing Practice
Language Arts: Consonant digraphs
Words to Know: Worksheet
Find words in a group and color: Word find
Calendar work, clock work, skip counting
Number Identification and Writing

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plants, Pollination, and Photosynthesis

Continuing with our lessons about plants and pollination. This week we are covering photosynthesis. I read an interesting article in National Geographic about de-forestation and the destruction of soil. Without plants this great planet of ours can not survive. They provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe and survive. Plant a tree, plant a garden, plant something. As our population continues to grow, we will need more and more plants to feed the population, as well as give off oxygen for the population.

Lesson Plans For 01/25/11:

Science: Plants and photosynthesis
Math: Saxon 54
Spelling: Chapter 14, write each spelling word three times each
Sign Language

Science: Hibernation, plants and pollination, dinosaur lapbook, animal book, seasons lapbook
Math: Addition
Language Arts: Consonant digraphs or blends
Sight Words- with syllables game
Printing Practice
Color and find words in a group: Word find
Words to know: Worksheet
Calendar work, clock work, skip counting

Monday, January 24, 2011

Caves and The Great Plains Planet Earth

DJ has finished his lessons on biomes. I was surprised caves were not included as a biome. Caves have their own ecosystem, and structure of life. The two videos below are portions of the award winning Planet Earth series. You can view the whole hour episode for each on Youtube. I tivoed these before Christmas, and DJ will be watching them today. As beautiful as the caves episode was, I couldn't watch it all. Too many bugs and icky critters for me. The Great Plains was very good and I enjoyed it very much.

Lesson Plans For 01/24/11:

Art: Google Doodle contest entry
Writing: Fishy Monday: Moon Wrasse
Planet Earth videos
Math: Saxon 54
Spelling: Chapter 14, write each word three times each

Planet Earth
Sight words game
Math: Addition
Art: Google doodle contest entry
Rabbit care
Clock work, calendar work, skip counting

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social Saturday: Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, and Google Doodle

Today is Social Saturday, the day I tell you about upcoming social events in the N Florida and surrounding areas. The Google Doodle is not an actual social event, but I did want to share it with you. It is a drawing contest for your child to enter. Homeschoolers are eligible as well as public school students. I have already registered Caitlin, and DJ, it was easy only took a couple of minutes. They will be working on their doodles next week. You must be registered by March 2, 2011 and have your entries in by March 16, 2011. The winner gets a scholarship, and money for their school. I am assuming if one of my children win the money would go to the public school, not to our homeschool, but I am not sure. To register, read the rules, and get in your entries visit the Google Doodle Contest page.

Every year in Gainesville there is the Hoggetown Medieval Faire. It is all about Medieval Times, knights, castles, kings, princes, and princesses. I am told it is a good time. School day is on Feb 4, 2011 this year. It is a Friday, and admission is only $2.50 on this day only. We were supposed to go last year, but we had terrible thunder and wind storms on that day. Spring starts in Feb here in FL, and the storms can be nasty. Unfortunately we will not be going this year either. We will be making our second Sea World trip in Feb and there is only so much my pocketbook can handle. The discounted rate is for all students, including homeschooled children. There is a form that needs to be filled out and sent in, so don't delay. You can pay at the gate as well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Fun Friday: Caitlin And The Castle

Today for Photo Fun Friday, I am sharing an Eco-friendly Arts and Crafts project.

As some of you know we did a whole four week lesson on reducing, reusing, and recycling. So I was thrilled when I was offered to do a review on this lovely castle craft. The castle is made from 45% of post consumer materials, and is 100% recyclable. It is easy to assemble, took maybe five minutes, and comes with the paints and paint brushes to complete the project. It also come with 6 different shields for your child to paint and make their own. If your child is enchanted by knights, castles, kings, princes and princesses, then they would fall in love with this, as did Caitlin. It is also great if you happen to be studying Medieval Times in your homeschooling lessons.

As you can see from the pictures, Caitlin was prepared to paint the whole castle herself. She was having a grand time, but decided to let mom, dad, and brother help. When it was done, took a few hours total, she instantly made the castle the Littlest Pet Shop castle, and has been playing with it ever since. If you are interested in purchasing this product, or checking out the other Eco-friendly arts and crafts, be sure to click the link.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Types Of Homeschooling and What About College

I read a very interesting book that was given to me by a fellow homeschooler. She actually does not homeschool anymore, as her son is now in college. The book titled "And What About College" is by Cafi Cohen. I could not find the exact book on Amazon, but the book below is very similar in its approach. DJ will be in 6th grade next year. While I am probably still a bit early, but I want to be sure that I am prepared for what to expect. One of the very interesting things for me was the book states you should know what kind of homeschool you are when applying for college. I thought OK easy enough. I am an eclectic homeschool. But really after I read it, no I am not. I am more of a traditional homeschool, with tons of textbooks and scheduled routines. While there is nothing wrong with any type, kids do tend to get somewhat bored with just textbooks. We do other things as well, but a lot is with textbooks. I am constantly revising our lessons through the year. Changing, fixing, updating, etc. as we go along. Plus now is when I start thinking about the next year. So I did some browsing around and decided that for next year DJ will do Time4Learning, for online courses in all core subjects. I decided to do this because one, it is affordable, only 20 bucks a month. Two, they grade all the work, and keep track for later printing. I spend so much time grading papers, and man I hate language arts grading. Three he will get both textbook work, plus online classes. But, he will also do a textbook reading program, and Saxon textbook math. I decided to keep those two because I like the reading program, and we have been using Saxon so I want to stick with it. I like Saxon Math a lot. I will lay out all the awesome free Science resources I discovered online, at a later date. Since he loves Science and I want him to be challenged, I think this is the best option. Plus with church, 4H and I would like to get them both into some kind of community service or volunteering next year, I think that will make us truly eclectic. Plus, I think I will throw in a Unit Study or two, on topics they have special interests in. They would like to volunteer at the animal shelter, but since they don't like me and I don't like them, I don't see that happening. I will have to see if they can volunteer with the vet, or another animal shelter. Sometimes living in a rural area has its downfalls. If you would like to know the four main types of homeschooling and what they mean, here they are:

1- The Traditional Approach: Structured with lesson plans, textbooks, quizzes, tests, and grades.

2- Unit Studies: The child, or parent, picks a topic and then you purchase the Unit Study to go with the topic. Unit studies are nice because they teach all the subjects on one topic in depth. I actually very much like unit studies, though my kids are not always fond of them.

3- Interest Initiated Learning: Some people refer to this as un-schooling. It is very relaxed and focused on what the child wants to learn only. For example if DJ had an interest in playing the drums, I would buy him drums and his day would revolve around learning to play the drums. That is just one example, but you see that it is totally driven by the child's likes and interests.

4- The Eclectic Homeschooler: This is a combination of all they types combined in a plan that works for the child. You have textbooks, some tests and quizzes, but you also do unit studies, and interest based learning. One way we do interest based learning is through 4H, because each child picks the curriculum they are interested in learning about. Though Caitlin loves her rabbit, she has no interest in holding it as she is afraid it will scratch her. So she is still working on being comfortable with her animal to progress to being able to show it.

I want to homeschool my children right through high school, so I always have to research and learn myself. I want them to have a good education, but also have fun learning not just having to do it. That is one of the things I didn't like about school. You had to do it whether you liked it or not. It is hard to try and be sure they learn what they really need to know, yet learn more to make them college potential. Some of the things the textbooks teach are nonsense and I see no reason to teach or learn them. I do not stress these types of things and I hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the you know what.

Lesson Plans For 01/21/11:

Math: Test
Spelling: Test times two chapters
Science: Test
Writing: You have to eat one food for a whole week, blog post
Reading: Book report for Percy Jackson book 1

Reading: 3 books of choice
Math: Addition and money
Words in a sentence game: This is a new game to teach syllables, and number of words in a sentence.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Community Helpers Song and Video

If you have a child in first grade, then you know a lot of what they learn for Social Studies centers around learning about the community. Caitlin is covering Community Helpers today, and this video is very cute. You will have to read it to your child if they can't read at this level yet. It is funny because her textbook paper that covers Community Helpers has a burglar as a community helper. I got a kick out of that. Caitlin decided to hide her second notebook of site words on me, so now she is reading a book a day. We will see if she finds it, or wants to continue to read a book every single day.

Lesson Plans For 01/19/2011:

Social Studies: Chapter 15 Ancient Times, MLK JR, Map Skills
Spelling: Chapter 13 write each word three times each in cursive
Math: Saxon 54
Sign Language
Language Arts: Conjunctions

Social Studies: MLK JR, Community Helpers
Math: Addition, telling time
Printing Practice
Language Arts: Words to know, consonants
Color and find words in a group
Calendar work, clock work, skip count by twos to 40, sight words

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parts Of A Plant, and How To Grow Watermelon

Today is Science class, and today we are learning about parts of a plant, and growing plants from seeds. Speaking of growing things from seeds, next month in Feb. for a 4H contest we are going to attempt to grow the largest watermelon. The winner wins some kind of a prize. So I thought we should start learning how to grow a watermelon. I do OK when I grow fruits and vegetables, and then poof something eats it. So pest control will be our biggest issue. Lucky for me I did a review for Ecosmart and have the gardening pest control to use.

Lesson Plans For 01/18/2011:

Science: Flowers and seeds, recycled air, gazing at the sky
Spelling: Chapter 13 write each spelling word three times each
Math: Saxon 54
Sign Language
Writing: Pure description

Science: Parts of a plant, flowers and seeds, dinosaur lapbook
Printing Practice
Math: Addition, telling time
Language Arts: Words to know, consonants
Find and color words in a group
Calendar work, clock work, skip count to 40 by twos, sight words

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day

If you live in the US you should already know who Martin Luther King Jr was. Some of you not from the states have probably heard of him as well. We have a day dedicated to celebrate the life of the late great Mr King. His peaceful demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement changed this great country forever. Below you can view his most famous, I Have A Dream speech, plus a video on the life of Mr King. This will be part of our History lessons for Wednesday, as we have no school today. Hubby is feeling much better, though the sore throat lingers, and DJ was up coughing in the night. It might be a long week yet. If you would like to read a great book then you need to read, Trial, by James Patterson. It is an Alex Cross book. If you follow the Alex Cross series, then you know he is an African American in the books. Read it, it is compelling. I just finished it last night.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Ms America From Nebraska

Last night was a jam packed night for TV watching. The 2011 Ms America was crowned. Congrats to Terese Scanlan from Nebraska. The NFL playoffs continued as well with Greenbay literally spanking the Falcons. The Steelers beat out the Ravens, that looked at first like it might go into overtime. Thank goodness the Steelers won, because my husband is a baby when his team loses. Speaking of husbands and babies, my husband has been sick for three days. He is finally feeling a little bit better today. He was able to get out of bed, and eat a little bit. That is how I know my husband is really sick, if he has no appetite. I had to call off from work last night because I didn't feel safe leaving my kids while he was so incapacitated. Today is the other half of the playoff games with the Seahawks and Bears up first. I really hope the Seahawks win. I am a bit of an underdog supporter, and it would be nice for Hasselback to maybe win a Superbowl before he really can't play anymore. The Jets and Patriots round out the games for the weekend. I will route for the Jets in this one. Happy Sunday, and enjoy your football, or any other activities you may have planned.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Social Saturday at Otter Springs

I am excited about this new Saturday topic. I was asked to be an author for a new blog that will be beginning soon. It will be jointed with this blog to bring homeschoolers and the community together. The blog is not even up and running yet, but I am going to be starting Social Saturdays to practice finding info on social events in the area. I will be posting at least one event for during the week as well, for those of you who have to work weekends, and can't attend a weekend event. Please note any events I post for this topic are community events open to anyone who wishes to attend.

Today at Otter Springs park and campground, is some good old fashioned Bluegrass and Folk music. Here are the details as listed on the Chamber of Commerce website. Otter Springs Park and Campground Spring House Lodge
Be there at 7pm for real folk and bluegrass-based music performed by Dick Staber (vocal, mandolin) and Judith Chasnoff (vocal, guitar). This couple has been performing their unique brand of acoustic music since 1993. Pay at the door; park and event admission is $2/person (ages 6-59), $1/senior (60 ) and children are free. Campsites and cabins are available. For info call (352) 463-0800 for details. You can also visit the Otter Springs website for details for camping information.

Otter Springs is one of the springs, in Gilchrist County, that I have not had the pleasure of visiting yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Love T-shirts!!

If you are a stay at home or busy mom like me, then you probably live in a T-shirt. I love the comfort and freedom a T-shirt brings. offers silk screen customized T-shirts. Whether you need a shirt for a your work, a group, sports team, or just want to put a picture of your pet or kids on it, they can do the job for you.

I got this T-shirt in the mail. It is light enough to not be uncomfortably heavy, yet not too thin that you think it will fall apart as soon as you wash it. As you can see I am wearing the white one, size large. I always get a large or X-large because I like them a little loose. White can be worn with anything and everything, but they have other colors available for design purposes. What better way to advertise your business or cause, than by wearing it on a shirt or hat. Yes, they offer a variety of products for you to choose from. Give them as gifts to family and friends, and let them advertise for you. They can provide you with a large number, or small number, of the product you will need. Visit today to see their fully supply of items available to purchase.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Brief History Of Brazil

Today is actually Health class, but we are making up History class from yesterday. We have been studying various countries and have covered Canada, and Mexico. Now we start Brazil. For a brief history of Brazil the video below is cute. You can find free printable maps of Brazil here. For facts about Brazil you can go to Wikipedia. Portuguese is the official language in Brazil and here are some common terms: Bom dia; good morning, Adeus; goodbye, Obrigado; thank you, Coma esta; how are you, Sim; yes, Nao; no, Casa; house, Escola; school. Next week we will be doing the Amazon in Brazil.

DJ has been learning about the major parts and functions of the human body. He has been watching videos, all are in the archives, and reading assignments. Now I found worksheets to accompany each chapter as well. He will be doing the Heart today.

Lessons Plans For 01/13/11:

Math: Saxon 54
Health: The heart with questions
Scientist research paper on the internet
Social Studies: Chapter 14 Ancient Times, map skills, Brazil
Spelling: Review
Language Arts: Adverbs and conjunctions

Seasons lapbook: Penguin coloring page
Language Arts: Blends, plurals, consonants
Math: Addition
Health: Parts of the body for lapbook
Find and color the words: Wordsearch
Printing Practice
Over, under, in, on, across: Desert animals worksheet
Spelling: List 13
Social Studies: Brazil
Number ID
Clock work, skip counting, calendar work, months of the year, sight words

Lesson Plans For 01/14/2011:

Reading: Read 3 chapters of Percy Jackson
Spelling Test
Math Test
Writing: Blog post- imagine you are a dolphin living at Seaworld. Write a short story about your day.
Art: Draw Write Now Native Americans: The Gatherer

Reading: Crab Traps and Frog Cops
Art: Draw Write Now Native Americans; the gatherer
Art: Finish drawing the picture of the snowman for Winter season door.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yay A Snow Day!!!

Yay the kids woke up to a free day off from school due to snow! LOL no it didn't actually snow here, but GA did get hammered a couple of days ago, only an hour and a half away from us. I actually didn't make any lesson plans for today assuming I was going to need it for a conference call with my weekend job. I was right, and the kids got a free day off from school. They did have to catch up on chores including dusting, room cleaning, and the sink in their bathroom got scrubbed. It has been a rather informal week of schooling this week.

So where do you find your local school weather closings. I have found two very nice resources for such information. just type in your school and other info needed and it will give you the updated information. If you are a text fanatic you can text 242242 with your school name and address with the question school closing, and they will text you back the info you request. It is a free text if you have unlimited text in your cell phone plan.

It is freezing here in FL, so I can't imagine what it is back home in the North. Stay warm and stay safe.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DJ's Photography Contest Entry

I was asked to post the photo DJ has picked to enter into the 4H County Events contest.

This is Marley. In early November I posted about the kids friends, and our neighbors, were moving away. DJ took some pictures of his friends, and this one of their dog Marley. It is a quite lovely picture if you ask me. I am unsure if he will use this for his entry into the fair as well, or if he will choose his Sea Lion which is also very good.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The History of Photography

I have some interesting videos to share with you. You may know DJ is studying photography for 4H. The History of Photography video below is very interesting, and should be watched by everyone in my opinion. I didn't know most of what they said, up to the point about Kodak.

Tomorrow is only a half day of lessons. We have to take in DJ's entry for County Events, for 4h, and then to the park for our first playdate of the year. Science will be the main focus for tomorrow. DJ and Caitlin will be learning about trees. The three videos below will talk about common trees in nature, identifying different trees, and identifying the leaves of trees. They are all very interesting.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bullet Ants

Tomorrow we start back to school, though Monday and Tuesday will still have more socialization time than book work time. Caitlin will be continuing with her animal studies. She got an Animal Planet coloring book in her stocking, so now I don't have to print off all the animals for the book. It is a nice book with information too. Tomorrow is bullet ants. All ants are nasty, yet fascinating creatures. These particular ants have a sting so painful it feels like you have been shot with a bullet. Thank goodness they only live in Tropical Rainforests, unless of course you live or visit there. The video does not talk but is a cool virtual Rainforest camera that captures the little critters at work. There were others that were very graphic that I was not comfortable showing my six year old. I don't want her up with bad dreams, or refusing to go outside. Because we have 4H tomorrow afternoon, instead of in the evening, classes will be shortened. We will be having cooking class and baking and decorating the rest of the Christmas shape cookies for our 4H friends.

Lesson Plans For 01/10/2011:

Spelling: Review
Math: Saxon 54
Photography: Birds eye view bugs eye view see DJ's blog for photos
Writing: My Seaworld trip blog post
Sign Language

Math: Addition, number ID
Language Arts: Consonants, blends, plurals
Printing Practice
Calendar Work, clock work, sight words, skip counting
Animal Book: Bullet Ants
Spelling: List 13
Read sentences to color the picture

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Animal Hoarders On Animal Planet

Have you ever seen this show? It is about people who basically hoard or collect animals. I love animals. My kids love animals. With animal control the way it is here, and people to irresponsible to spay and neuter pets they don't really want, I can see how this could easily become so easy to do. My kids would take in every stray, if I would let them. It is especially a problem with cats. Cats mate a lot and they have kittens at least three times a year. This has been an ongoing problem here. There are a lot of stray cats. While I will not take them in, for one I am allergic, nor will I be responsible for others irresponsibility, I do leave water out there, and food if I know a momma has had kittens in my bushes. I wish I could afford to catch them and have them all fixed but I can not, it just isn't possible. I feel for these people because they start out with good intentions, like most acts of kindness, and it just spiraled out of their control. Definitely a show worth watching, and I hope I remember to watch it next week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Legality Of Homeschooling

I have heard some buzz lately about whether it is even legal or not to homeschool your child. Seems some people feel it is even child abuse to homeschool your child. So I got to thinking. Obviously it is legal. I am not into breaking the law, so yes it is completely legal. But then I wondered, why is it legal? What in the US Constitution makes homeschooling your child legal. So I did some research. Come to find out the Founding Fathers actually never addressed homeschooling, or even education in the Constitution. So it has been left up to the states to set their own laws regulating the homeschooled child. Some states have little to no laws or regulations regarding homeschooling. While other states have very strict regulations and rules. Here in FL you must send the school a letter of intent within 30 days of your decision to begin homeschooling. You must keep a log of daily activities, hence this blog. You must have your child evaluated once each year by a certified teacher, or a psychologist. I do not think the FCAT, or standardized test, can qualify as an evaluation, but I am not certain of that. Neither of my children have taken it. As for the part about people thinking it is child abuse to homeschool a child, I am sure we could pick apart every parent in this country and find something that we would find unsuitable or unsavory, so I won't even go there. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. If you are thinking of homeschooling, or you are just curious to see what I am talking about, you can visit HSLDA to see all the laws and requirements by state. Happy educating no matter what method you choose.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Land, Sea, and Air

My regular readers know that we got a one year Seaworld pass for our children for Christmas.

The cool thing is, is that Seaworld has a lovely educational website for those of you who want to learn more, or maybe can not visit Seaworld at this time. The site offers games, information about ecosystems, conservation, and a section just for teachers. It is completely free, and you do not have to purchase a ticket to use it. They have a newsletter as well, to send you updates, and new info added. To check it out, and maybe sign up for the newsletter go to the Seaworld Land Sea and Air website.

This particular picture was borrowed from the Seaworld website.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Report Cards, and Birds Fall From The Sky

Did you see this recent incident in Arkansas? It is reported that thousands of birds literally fell dead from the sky on New Years Eve 2010. View the video below to see and hear more. Very creepy if you ask me. CNN also reported that not long after the birds fell from the sky, 125 miles away there was a huge amount of fish that floated up dead. Wow!

It is time for second quarter report cards. Caitlin does not get a graded report card, but more of a progress report. She is doing well and can now skip count by twos to twenty with no prompts or manipulatives needed. She will begin going to 40 in quarter 3. She has mastered riding her bike without training wheels, and can almost completely tie her shoes on her own. She has almost completed her addition math book, and will begin subtraction in the next quarter. Reading phonetically continues to improve. I have tried to encourage her to spell phonetically but she does not want to. She wants to memorize the spelling words so they are correct. Oh to be such a perfectionist. I am overall pleased with her progress, with no real concerns at this time.

DJ's report card is as follows:

Reading Comprehension: 88, 89 last quarter.
Language Arts: 86, 92 last quarter. Mainly due to new information and needing to memorize all the things he has learned.
Spelling: 98, 100 last quarter.
Math: 86, 86 last quarter. This was a huge relief for both of us.
History: 97, 94 last quarter. He is really enjoying the Ancient Times curriculum.
Science: 91, 92 last quarter. Continues to work on giving more complete scientific answers.
Blog Writing, Art, and Sign Language: All very good with no major concerns at this time.
Handwriting remains satisfactory, but can always be improved for both children.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Free, Free, Free

If you are like me, then you love free stuff. Matter of fact so many people like free stuff, that the word FREE was one of the top keywords of 2010. Keywords are words that people type into a search engine when looking for information. One of the many reasons I started this blog, was to share all the free education resources I find on the internet. There really are a lot of them, it just takes some time to find them. I then add them to the bottom of this blog, or feature them in a post if I especially like them. That way I don't have to search all the time over and over, and my readers get the benefit of not having to search for them either. I actually enjoy searching for free things. It is kind of a challenge getting the right keywords to get the best results. I actually have many more free educational and resource sites to add, but I just haven't had time yet. There are a ton there already.

One really cool free website that I love is the HGTV Dream Home giveaway. This year the home is being built in Stowe, VT. While I would love to live in such a beautiful place, I really dislike snow. If you love the snow and you want a chance to win this home for FREE go to the HGTV Dream Home 2011 website for all the rules.

Currclick for Homeschoolers


Custom Ornamental Gates

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