Friday, September 30, 2011

This Week 9/26/11 - "And then a Wrench Got Thrown Into the Works!"

A nice little follow-up to "Douh!"  There are just some things I cannot plan for.  I can plan, oh I can plan with the best of them.  Then a wrench gets thrown in and f's everything up.  I really don't want to go into too much detail, because this is mainly a blog about our homeschooling adventures.  You see, but life happens and we have to deal with life and all it throws at us.  You know what I mean, right?  Well, it's been one of those weeks.  I was waiting to get an update on Monday, did not get it until Tuesday and it wasn't so great of an update, I declared a few days "Lazy Days" this week to deal with the update and now I'm trying to get back on track.  Blah!
All I have to say is thank goodness for the realization I came to last week about going from 2 states per week to 1 for Geography - 'cuz that helped LOADS this week!  Actually, the realization was that I'm the teacher and I can change things whenever I want to.  So that's what I did, and I kept the mindset that we can just move it to tomorrow or we don't have to do that today.  We aren't behind.  I don't think you really can be behind when you homeschool.  We just didn't get to memory, art, poetry or drawing this week.  I don't think the boys will suffer from it though.  Oh and we didn't get to our Moon Study tonight.  I have to get to bed because I'm working 13 hours tomorrow.  It can wait until Sunday.  Thank goodness for smartphone apps. 
So, this is what we were up to this week when we decided to actually get out of bed and be functioning members of society:
We hit the road on Wednesday and headed up to Oak Park to visit their library and get our mug shots taken with our banned books.

Chris working on his State Study Unit.

For Banned Book Week - Chris with Captain Underpants #1

For Banned Book Week - Cody with Hatchet

For Banned Book Week - Cody with Harry Potter

For Banned Book Week - Me with Twilight

For Banned Book Week - Me with Marked

Christian's new reading spot - whatever works!

We went to a Den Meeting.  Chris is a Wolf in Cub Scouts.  He is completing the requirements for Feats of Skills.

Cody at Basketball.  I just like the next few shots because it's them doing speed drills. 

Chris doing his State Study Unit

Nature Studies

Nature Studies

Did you know that there are Pikachu's in the trees?  Apparently they are in Chris's tree and he captured one! 

Snake skin that Cody found

Setting off smoke bombs with a friend.  (I swear I'm a good parent!)  This is GOOD socialization, right?  This is what 12 year old boys do...right? LOL

I uploaded photos from the boy's cameras (they are using our old cell phones to take pictures), this one came off of Chris's.  It just cracks me up!

This one came off of Cody's camera.  It's from last week when we were doing Nature Studies.  There is a grasshopper on Chris's arm.

Cody made apple crisps from apples he picked last weekend.

Apparently he likes it.

We went back to the fort...

and met up with some friends...

we did not end up in the ER...

He did get back down and had a blast hanging out (because 12 year old boys don't play together).
What did I learn this week?  I learned that flexibility is a must.  I read this post this week and really, REALLY tried to focus on nurturing relationships with the boys this week.  They are going to learn, they just are.  We don't live in a bubble or some void.  I have to work on our relationships.  Everything else will follow. 
This week Cody wrote his 5 paragraph essay on some Indian tribe from Massachusetts.  He said to me yesterday that he didn't think that he was going to use the states we study as a guide to what he writes on (this was not expected of him, he decided to do it).  I said "Fine, write on whatever you want."  "You mean you're not mad at me?", he asked.  "No, I could care less what you write on as long as you are writing."  Just trying to foster the relationship.  I guess his next essay will be on zombies.  Can't wait!

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Week 9/19/11 - "Douh!"

I had one of those smack palm to forehead moments today.  I'd like everyone to believe that I do have it all together, but I really don't.  So, I wanted to share my folly with you.
This is my homeschool planner.  Neat, organized and detailed.  Problem - Monday was declared a "Lazy Day" and Thursday we had basketball and a farm trip that took up pretty much the entire day.  Actually, those are not problems.  The problem is me.  The solution came by way of Dave when I was telling him today that I thought that I may need to go from 2 states per week to 1 state per week for our Geography/History lesson.  See, I planned 2 per week so we could complete Unit Studies of all 50 states within our instructional year.  Nice, neat and organized.  It's not working out though.  I want more flexibility and give.  The cool thing is that I can do that.  I just spent the last 20 minutes updating the planner accordingly through the end of December (that's as far as I am planned out right now, I'll worry about the rest of the year come Christmas Break). 
So, now on to the other stuff we did this week:
"Lazy Day" - we still had to get Geography/History in otherwise we'd be too far behind...or that was my thinking that day.  I have a new outlook now =-)

Poetry Lesson on the go.

Nature Studies

Nature Studies

Cody and Chris got our old phones to use as cameras.  They have been having a blast all week with them.  Can't wait to upload the photos from them to see what they captured.

Basketball practice.

Chris reading during basketball practice.

CHICKENS!  I so wanted a chicken - stupid village ordinances!  We are at the private farm of one of the homeschool families from the co-op I'm checking out. 

Cody and Chris at the chicken coop.  The owner of the farm is in the background.

Bees...I think I now want to keep bees.  If I can't keep chickens, I want bees!


Cody conquering his fear of bees.

Chris, who has no fear.

Chris made fast friends with a few kids from the group at the farm trip.

Cody claimed to be "shy".  But ended up meeting a handful of kids his age literally 10 minutes before we had to leave.  He's looking forward to our next outing. 

The boys were able to pick a pumpkin to take home.  I also was allowed to take a pie pumpkin home =-)  I'm going to make pumpkin bread with it.  It's one of the boys favorites. 

Chris on the zip line

Cody on the zip line.

Chris declared Friday his holiday.  One perk of declaring your own holiday is the ability to stay in your pj's all day.


Peanut butter cup shake as part of our study on Georgia.

Cranberry smoothies as part of our study on New Jersey.

Physical Education this week.

Physical Education this week.

....and we saw How I Became a Pirate at the high school Dave works at.  It was SO good!

I'll be looking for more opportunities to slow down and not be as rushed and allow flexibility as well. It's a work in process for me.