Friday, November 16, 2012

This Past Week

We went to the Adler Planetarium, here are some photos of what we've been up to:
Martinmas Lanterns

Planetarium visit














US History Memory Game


Friday, November 9, 2012

Nature Study

Today we went to a Nature Study with our Homeschool Support Group at Lake Katherine.  It's so pretty there, I love it!
The kids learned about pumpkins, harvest, seeds, life cycle of a pumpkin and then they had to do math - Chris was less than thrilled about this. 
Both boys had fun, here are some pictures from our outing











Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oh, Hey There...

Hmmmm....what have we been up to?  A lot, actually.  It's been really busy around here and I have neglected Education Anarchy.  We are homeschooling (for real, I'm serious), it's just finding the time to actually update things around here.  So, let me give you a quick run down of what we've been up to. 
It's November, so we are trying to stay focused on NOVEMBER and not think ahead to Christmas.  Our seasonal table is set up with harvest decorations.  We have gone through all of our clothing in preparation for Martinmas (which is this Sunday).  So, the plan is to donate all of our old clothes on Saturday and on Sunday the boys will receive new winter hats and gloves.  We made Martinmas lanterns a few years back out of mason jars, so they are reusable, and we will light them on Sunday. 

We have been to the Chicago History Museum, and are planning on going to the Planetarium and Field Museum this month.

That's all that I have for now.  I know, not much.  But, we are here, we are homeschooling and things are progressing well. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're Back!

I know, I was suppose to update at the end of August....I was busy.  Here is what we were up to last week, our official start of the school year (we run Labor Day to Memorial Day here).
The boys celebrated their birthdays.  Cody turned 13 on September 1st, Christian turned 8 on August 25th.  We had a party for them on Saturday, September 1st.

We celebrated the first official day of school on Wednesday, September 5th with a special breakfast and schultute cones for both boys.  They had fun little things that they can use for school work.

We started a new different reading strategy.  Both boys read for 15 minutes to me out loud and then for 30 minutes to themselves.  I've noticed that it slows them down and they are comprehending more.  This has been a big struggle for us since both boys came from a public school system that valued AR reading for prizes - which means the more books you read, regardless of comprehension, they get prizes.

Chris doing his math program on-line

This one is spoiled - she is use to us being home with her

Cody doing science

Chris reading

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Educational Anarchy is On Vacation

Our school year officially starts after Labor Day.  I'll be back at the end of August to update our plans for the coming school year.  Have a great summer!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer School

Cody is going to the high school that Dave works at for Algebra this summer.  Our plan is keep him on track to enter his Freshman year of high school taking trigonometry.  So, a couple of things have come to light with this experience:
- 6:30am wake ups do not make for a happy Cody
- He is doing really well with his class work, quizzes and homework
- He sucks at taking test (we kind of knew this)
- The vast majority of the other kids in the class are "retreads" (my term), they are taking it over because they failed it the first time. 
- Because of the above, they think that my child is a genius because he is in 7th grade and taking Algebra @@
- His nick name in class is "Jimmy Neutron"
- He has been beating him self up because he has been doing badly on the tests (reminds me a lot of the pressure he puts on himself to hit the ball in baseball)
- By the second day of class he had easily fallen back into trying to get kids to like me mode (the social pressures of being liked, ahh)
- He has fallen into the school routine nicely.  Even commenting that he likes it
- He may have test taking anxiety which could possibly need an evaluation by the time he enters high school, but for now we will work him through it

Math is my weakness.  This is no surprise and is why we pay for an online math program.  Why make Cody take math over the summer?  Because 1) we can, 2) we want to make sure he is tracking correctly and 3) why not?  I'm not all against brick and mortar schools,  I think that when they are supportive of homeschooling families within their district it can be a wonderful thing.  Unfortunately, we have not had that experience where we live.  But, we do have the resources to find it elsewhere.  Our goal is to prepare our boys - summer school for Cody is one way we are doing that.  Plus, how is it that my kid can learn, apply and demonstrate all the concepts of one semester of Algebra in 3 weeks yet it takes months to teach it normally??  Something to ponder there on the use of time...    

Friday, May 18, 2012

Road Tripping

Like I had mentioned, we are road tripping in Texas.  I made up journals for the boys, every day they are filling them out and my dad is looking them over and asking them questions.  He is a walking encyclopedia and knows tons of stuff.  In addition, they are writing post cards daily to friends back home. 
Here is just a sampeling of what we have been up to thus far on our trip.  We left last Friday, so it's been 1 week.
We stopped in Highland, IL (just north east of St. Louis) to visit my brother and his family.  This is a photo of my parents, brother & his family and Cody & Chris.

Apparently this part of Illinois is known for their foot high pies...

My brother gave this to Cody.  He served in the Air Force for 8 years.

Here are Cody and Chris on top of Monks Mound at Cahokia.

We went to The Arch

The kids grabbed a Ranger who personally took them around the Museum of Westward Expansion and explained different things to them.

She pulled out guns and let the kids fire them.

This group went up into The Arch (I did not)

We visited St. Louis Union Station

And went to see Chuck Berry's restaurant Blueberry Hill

Cody and Chris in front of the Chuck Berry statue

My brother gave this to Chris.  He was in the Air Force for 8 years.

We crossed into Missouri on Sunday

Had some interesting dinning options in Missouri as well.

Got a cowboy hat too.

This one got a cowboy hat too.

I'm a sucker for these.  This is Monday, we traveled down the same road which was The Trail of Tears, A Civil War Path and part of the Southwest Highway.  How COOL!?!

We dug for diamonds in Arkansas.

Cody found some chips

Chris found some cool rocks


We also visited Clinton's boyhood home in Hope Arkansas

Cody and Chris in the house Clinton was born in

By Monday we were FINALLY in Texas

On Tuesday, since we stayed in Waco overnight, we stopped at the Branch Davidian Marker where the Waco siege happened.

While also in Waco (and the real reason we were there) we stopped at the Dr. Pepper Museum...the BEST place on Earth!


I am one happy person!

On Tuesday we FINALLY made it to New Braunfels, which is were my parents live.

On Wednesday we saw a gecko.

These two swam

On Thursday we ran to the Scout Shop to pick up a patch for Chris

Had lunch here, at Market Square, along the River Walk in downtown San Antonio

Then we hit the Missions.  There are 4 total leading from the south up to The Alamo

This is Mission San Jose (the biggest)


This is Mission Concepcion...where the Rangers are a 1/2 hour late getting back from their lunch. (I have a National Parks Passport that we were working on getting stamped)



Mission San Juan - under renovation


Mission Espada - very pretty grounds

The boys with a Texas Ranger at The Alamo

We learned that there was one person from Illinois who died defending The Alamo

We did the River boat tour

Towers of the Americana off the River tour (LOVE this picture)

Today we went to the Schlitterbaun Waterpark

And raced frogs in the river (which we will be tubing in earlier next week)

The boys did get off easy, I'm only able to get internet access in the way corner of my parents patio, hacking (with permission) into their neighbors wifi connection.  I think the main thing that I want to do during this trip is overload the boys with tons of information and expose them to lots of different and unique places so that months, or even years from now they will be able to recall this trip and want to learn even more.