Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Walking "the Walk"~ Seeing through our Learners Eyes~

After reading an insightful blog post entitled " The Rest of the Iceberg" from over at Hilltop Homeschool ~ I was compelled  to write my own personal thoughts and experiences with our own "Iceberg" ~

We have been homeschooling for about four years now. The time really does go by quickly and within a blink of an eye it seems our once, young learners, are now fast approaching Middle School or are now classified at Upper Elementary.  Where does the time go? Even I have not been able to figure that out.

Homeschooling for us has been a real gift for my boys. We pulled the boys out when they were in 4th and 2nd grade.  The rest seems to be all behind us at this point.

Both being special needs children with multiple diagnosis' ( is there ever a child with just one? ) :) our lives can take some twists and turns. We can have really great days and some really hard days too. In the beginning there were many more hard days and those have seemingly been fewer and fewer as time has moved on and they have adjusted to home learning and learning how they need to learn.

For mom, it has been a roller coaster of pre-planning, planning and maybe some over-planning. All, I am sure, are quite normal and I have yet to meet a homeschool parent who has not experienced these things and if you are that parent, I envy you.

Over here at Learners At Home I have tried to create a place where my readers can share my "sorted out thoughts" and things I have learned along my homeschooling journey.

Today Velma's blog post was very fitting, since this morning we had been working on our history - Oak Meadow and lets just say, it wasn't going that great.  We started a new lesson on Craftsmen ( I believe it is lesson 9 or so) and my son explains he has "had it" with Colonial Life and learning all about them.
We just finished a mini-unit on the Puritans which he found interesting and sad all in one~ We ended up skipping over the writing portions and busy work that OM at times adds in to their lessons.

Then sat down to start a new read aloud- Johnny Tremain.  We had gotten through the first chapter and exhausted..lol my son was confused as to who the characters were and was looking at me wide eyed to see what my reaction would be. I let out a big SIGH.  Hmmm, it appeared not to be a very easy read aloud for us. I am not sure if anyone else has this issue in their homes, but we find some to be excellent for reading out loud and yet others like another we tried " Wind and the Willows" to be sheer agony. Anyone else encounter this?

So we set the book aside, done with our reading for the day and then went onto the "craft" that was "planned" in the lesson - Cross Stitch.. ( Oh I thought this will be interesting... ) eh hem.. try and get a boy to sit and do cross stitch... well mine anyway. So we ended up talking and looking at cross stitch samplers and the history behind it instead. I do cross stitch so he was very interested in some of the work I have done and he quickly remembered a piece we saw at Strawberry Banke at the Mason's Museum of George Washington.. that went very well.

Our day ended and I came away with the feeling of frustration and decided to have a little "chat" with my guy.
Oak Meadow was something we saved up for and he wanted terribly, having seen big brother working with the clay and doing all kinds of crafty things.. hmm, he said "I don't know if OM is for me, Mama". I quickly reminded him of the time he would do some of the activities with big brother and he wished for his own set to have. He agreed but explained ( in his own words) " I like hands on things just not crafty things". OK so I sat there... now would someone like to explain to me what is the difference at times? lol


Well to my learner lots and he began to explain and I to listen.
I often try and counsel and help other homeschool parents who become idle and have trouble with programs showing them ways of turning things inside out and upside down to meet their learners.( Which I have done with OM and will obviously now need to continue to do and just use as a "supplement" at this point, picking and choosing as we go through the lessons. )

I am finding the more years I homeschool the more frustrated I become with programs and curricula. Having the boxed in feeling that my boys seem to show while working certain programs.  At certain times changes need to be made and we need to "do our own thing". It works for us. 
Having to label ourselves as to what "kind of method" or what kind of homeschooler we are can be confining and can also be detrimental in attempting to follow a method that may be suitable and appropriate for our intentions but may not be for our learners.

Letting it go, in order to help your child feeling good about their learning and be able to rely on themselves to problem solve and find ways to be flexible and welcome change when it is needed. Some children ( often Aspies) do not do well when it comes to change, but this kind of change can be proved to be good and modeling this flexibility can be a lesson within itself.

Listening and seeing your child's needs/wants through their eyes can be at times a little scary.  We at times can feel something is just so perfect for them, only to find that perhaps it may not be "perfect" in their eyes.
We need to remain flexible, understanding and patient. I believe this is part of "walking the walk" and believing in our learners as we look at things through their eyes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Uses for Pocket Pencil Holders~

I had gotten the idea for using Pocket Pencil Holders when we worked with our Wilson Reading System. There were several magnetic tiles and sound cards to keep track of so I needed something instead of ziplock bags and rubber bands to keep track of which ones we were using ~

For many of the boys subjects we have binders (ie., Science, Language Arts, World History, American History etc... ) so I found a neat way to use pencil pocket holders in their binders for index cards, phonogram cards, or research index cards or just about anything we have to have a pocket for.  These work GREAT for re-enforcing greek/latin roots, affixes and even a place to put math fact cards if you use those. ( for the math fact cards I use a red rubber band on one that still need to be learned, yellow for caution ( those still working on ) and green for ones mastered.

These pictured here are made of canvas. I used to use plastic and would write with permanent marker on the top as to what they were for, but now I like the canvas much better.

I really found these to be very helpful and hope this helps you as well~

Changes to Workbooks? - Maybe so-

I have to say, things always seem to be changing at our home. Most especially with my youngest who seems to be evolving at this point. His reading and processing skills have really begun taking off over the summer and since then I have seen him really enjoy things he never enjoyed before and one of those things is workbooks! 

Has anyone used or seen these?  Learn at Home

I ended up shopping over the weekend at our local Job Lots Store ( love that place )  and picked up a fourth grade Learn at Home workbook. It was only 1.99 so I figured why not..
I was bored so I started reading through it one evening just wondering how these actually work, ( never used these before and had been well, somewhat skeptical to say the least) I have to tell you~ I was impressed. It is quite comprehensive. From teaching my boys for a while I could see how these could be fun and work very well with a workbook kind of learner ( left brained ). 
From what I can tell, the books go up to grade six.
 
I tend to not have those types of learners at our home, but this year has been really a change for my youngest, he cannot seem to get enough of workbooks and pages and writing.. I see him able to cross over much more this year from less Right-Brained Learning tendencies and so that is what tempted me to pick this up. I am glad I did but am wondering if we have the "time" to squeeze these things in.. I think we can I may have to skip and jump in some areas but I think he will enjoy some of the activities etc.. they are quite creative ~ 

In looking through the book I could see how many of the pages could be used to add to a mini-office and also for lapbook folds as well like the kinds of writing they give as a sample on the link I game. Cutting these out and adding them to a writing pocket for a writing lapbook could work great. 

Here is a review and summary on these workbooks that I had found. 

If you have a chance to check these out at your local Sams or Books Store you may want to check these out for your workbooking loving learners~ 

I still think we will still spin our own "style" with these but he really seemed very interested in these so I suppose we shall try this one out..... will keep you posted on how things go~ 




Sunday, August 29, 2010

Some Reflections on Home Schooling & Home Organizaiton~

Is it just me or does it seem this time of they year always brings on new ideas for organizing and re-doing things.I have been thinking more and more about organizing things. I can't seem to function correctly when things are all over the place. (stacks of books here and there or piled dishes and such) In having done some reading over this I have come to the conclusion that keeping things somewhat organized and orderly reflects how we might tend to feel inside~ for me keeping my environment fairly functional with "things in its place" helps me to feel less overwhelmed and ready to tackle a project or another day of studies etc...

It's Sunday morning, and as I sit here quietly I do what most people do at times, when it is quiet, I begin to think about all the things I need to do~ I have a long list of things to do actually as I am sure most people do. So I was sitting here thinking what might be the best way to prioritize and better keep things organized so I can clearly see what I "need" to do and what I "ought" to do ~ something further that will help keep me better on track as we move through our school year and Fall/Winter months.

Before I explain I need to back up a bit and share what has worked for me for quite some time and then my new idea will make much more sense.
If you have been a reader here at Learners at Home for a bit of time you might remember me mentioning how I use Journals for each child throughout their day and how I jot down things we work on in each subject - not just what we do but trouble areas, like for example in phonics or math etc.. I also add in the margins a bubble as a reminder for me to make a notebooking page to reinforce a new concept or find a website or lapbook fold that will help also. This idea has worked so very well in our house, it is something I really feel I will continue throughout their schooling at home.

It has worked so well that I extended the journaling to having a Home Journal Notebook.  In this notebooking I do the very same thing~ date the top and add anything I have done that I need to document. For example; calls/messages left for doctors and why, programs looking into, call backs I had made to people, orders placed.  Each entry is already dated at the top but I add the person to whom I speak with, their number and any tidbits of information I might want to remember. This has saved me quite a bit of time and energy in finding numbers and names of people, having to remember where we were at on a particular conversation and what might be pending~ its also saved me money when I have ordered things and if they had gotten things wrong I had the persons name, date and information so that it was able to be reconciled for my work~ ( very helpful when running a home business) it is refreshing to find ways to be "on top" of things.
another thought: * I should also mention that in the inside of the notebook cover I list all our doctors numbers along with medical insurance numbers and information and any other information I think I might need on hand when I am on the phone so I don't have to go looking for my wallet or information.  ( items like, school numbers, libraries numbers and account pin numbers, etc.. ) *

So as I sat here I knew I needed to write out another "to do list" for the new month.( I try and write one out for the month, this way it gives me more time to get things accomplished and I don't feel pushed to get it all in over the week.)

I decided to instead of using another piece of paper for my "to do's" that I have to go looking for or find on my clipboard - instead I would use the left side of my home journal for my to do's. This could include calls to make, errands to do etc... and I will keep this "to do " just for household things, not my business or my homeschooling work.

I think this will be a bit more handy and I will have everything in "one spot" instead of looking all over for things.

Here are some other ideas I decided on:
Homeschooling organization:

1. Keep my "to do" list on my personal laptop computer, either by using a task list or by using post it notes or maybe even a document placed on my desk top for me to pull up since much of my homeschooling work is on the computer or my computer is very needed while working/planning for homeschooling and working/assisting my groups. * update~ I started this today and found that my laptops sticky notes are perfect for doing this. I just write brief quicky notes and can add links if I need to, very handy. *

2.  Recently my friend Kris (from At Home Science Group) told me about a collaborative platform whereby you can load files online and archive them and retrieve them from all your computers in your home or from one that is not at home just by logging in. I have been playing around with this adding our OneNote Notebook pages to this and it is working much better for me than trying to sync up with Sky Drive from Windows Live.
The program I am referring to is called Dropbox, if your interested in checking it out.

3. I also just learned about a free polling resource I can use for my groups. It is called Flist ( link provided) I need sometimes to get information from my group members so that I can find better ways to help them and by learning about this online, free, easy tool I can do just that. This saves alot of email back ups on the groups asking questions etc.. so this really helped save me a bit of time.

4.  Using my new laptop has been helpful since I now have Windows 2007 and it provides "sticky notes" that I can use on my desk top to save link resources to post on my groups. Although I have to admit I am really starting to see me adding so many that now I need to find or change how I use my sticky's.. lol I think I am going a bit overboard with them now.. :O) but they are so fun and easy to use I just love it.


5. One other thing I have done is to clean my shelves off. I am getting rid of programs, books and teaching resources I just don't use and know that others may find them helpful. After many friends telling me about Paperback BookSwap I plan to go ahead and sign up and learn how to use this, since I have heard so many great advantages to using it.
With regards to cleaning off book shelves this also was helpful since I took all of my books and re-sorted them according to topic ( ie., History, Science, Classics, Series...etc..) each shelf is for a different topic and then within the topic ( for example for history I lined the books up chronologically ( ie;, World History would have Egypt first, then Romans, Greeks, etc.. and the same for American History -) I added fiction and non-fiction with in these topics so that it gives a more collaborative effort for teaching and stops me from having to look all over for a specific book to read aloud.. it has worked well.
I did the same for our Science separating by topics and the science: ( Physical Science, Life Science etc..) I also included both fiction and non-fiction books so anything that pertains to for example the human body is all going to be together.

6.  Because this is my first year primarily doing science on our own, I have started a science outline. I did try using a teacher lesson planner but as I started school with my younger learner this July I realized this was just not  me and not going to work for us.. only because some days we will go further in an area and not hit another thing and so we will be either ahead or behind and I found it to be way to confining for us. YUCK, lol so I decided on an outline which I will be sharing once I have them finished. The outline includes collaborative approach to both delight directed and also traditional study, sounds crazy but when you see it you will understand perfectly. Spine books are first listed for topics of study, then books of their choice listed for further reading ( ie, living books etc..) then Lapbook activities ( we pick and choose through these perhaps not always doing a whole lapbook) and Notebooking pages made or found with links, internet resources listed as well.  Everything there for me to pull up and check off and dig in. :) ( these all done on Microsoft's OneNote~ an interactive notebook.
* NOTE- new this year our teen will be doing "all" his written narrations within his own interactive OneNote Notebook for all topics of study. At the end of the week we will just save and print off his work to create a binder/portfolio for the end of the year. OneNote can be great for this because graphics and drawing can be added with links etc..

Home Organization:

1. Besides the shift in where I will be using my To Do list, I decided to take on Fall Cleaning this year room by room. ( this past Spring I was unable to do much cleaning due to my recuperating from my surgery I had over the winter months) As I work through each room I plan to make a list of things I might think of, or things I might need for that particular room. (ie., new curtains, a new pot/pan that I needed to purge, baskets for more order in our linen closet, lists of medicines for the winter months etc..) this I will add as a post on the frig so that I can pull it off when I am heading out to do errands and try and pick up these things as I need them.
** Fall Cleaning in our home looks somewhat like this. Room by Room as I said~ ( except I decided since having SO many windows - I have six just in my living/dining room ~ lol to do all Windows and Blinds first.  I then tackle  Woodwork first, Furniture, Appliances, Closets, Drawers, Desks, then finally floors, so inside and out of that room all has been cleaned, sorted and purged. **

2. Another idea I came up with this winter while having much time to just sit and try and heal, was in thinking about my children and things I wished for them and things I wanted to have for them as I see them getting older. One thing that stuck out with me being in the hospital for two weeks was food, lol I love to cook and all four of my boys, well as you can imagine, LOVE to eat! no surprise there right?
Well, having a mum who likes to cook helps and can make for very picky eaters, the boys tend to have many favorites to match their individual personalities so I decided to purchase some small 5x7 photo books. The ones I found and liked the best were at Walmart for approximately 5.00 each. I chose a different color for each boy to match their favorite colors and personality and am going to be hand writing the recipes that are their favorites and some that are a tradition in our home.
I think they will just love it and will be a wonderful keepsake of their mum, when I no longer can be there to make their favorites any longer~ Each photo aulbum has a picture that can be placed in the front and I hope to find a decent picture of myself to place on top just to add an even more personal touch for my wonderful men~ :)

3. Over the next several weeks of September I am planning on trying a few things to help me find a balance between home, homeschooling and work. Yes, I do work from home and hope to share more in my journey of going back to my first love, painting/art and finding that balance between work, family and teaching our children at home. Should be interesting so I shall keep you posted for sure ~

Hope some of my ideas helps to encourage you in your own efforts to become organized ~

Happy Organizing~ !

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Days are good for Beef Stew & Baking~

Zucchini Bread
Today one our learners awoke with the sniffles. Its about 54 degrees here in the lakes region of New Hampshire and it is pouring rain outside.

We decided today would be a good day to do some catching up on our read a-loud book we are reading to go along with our history and the Puritans ( The Witch Of Blackbird Pond). We snuggled and read for a while then the youngest needed some rest.

All the rain outside and not doing formal studies got me thinking about dinner and gave me an idea to get the oven going in this nice cool weather and bake something. I had left over zucchini from our local farm stand so I decided to bake some zucchini bread.  We love zucchini bread. I use a fantastic recipe from one of Paula Deen's Cookbooks ( The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook)  and it has been a favorite in our house ever since.

Here is the recipe for Paula Deen's Zucchini Bread:
yields 2 loaves~
3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour                   1 cup vegtable oil
1 1/2 teas salt                                            4 eggs, beaten
1 teas ground nutmeg                                 2/3 cup water
2 teas baking soda                                     2 cups, grated zucchini
1 teas ground cinnamon                              1 teas lemon juice
3 cups of sugar                                           1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350.Grease and flour bread pans~  Mix dry ingredients except for nuts in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, fold dry ingredients into wet bowl, and add nuts.  Bake in two loaf pans for 1hour or until done.
This bread keeps well, freezes well and improves in flavor with time.


Beef Stew with Apples
For dinner tonight I decided on Beef Stew.   I make a really different kind of beef stew, I combined a few different recipes a few years back and it seems to be a real favorite in our home.
I use sirloin tip beef cut up or sometimes stew beef approximately 1 1/2- 3/4 of a lb.  (depending on how many I am feeding ) I add to the crock pot 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and one packet of McCormick's Hunter Sauce and 3/4 of a can of water and mix well. Add one medium chopped up onion and celery  ( approximately 2/3 cup or so) and then add cinnamon flavored apple sauce to it ( about one or two of the individual packages you can buy in the store. If you don't have those just use 2 apples cut up any old way and I simmer this for a few hours on low and then about two hours before we are ready to eat I will add our carrot chunks  ( 3 carrots ) and potatoes  ( in this one I used about 5 red bliss, quartered) let simmer and add peas or anything else you prefer in your beef stew. The apples kill the bitterness of the beef flavor and give it a nice mellow flavor we enjoy so much ~ YUM, I serve it with a big salad and/or biscuits, sometimes the boys like to have it served over egg noodles also ~ :)

Off to go check my banana breads I have in the oven! Will share that recipe a bit later~ :)

      

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Part of our Oceans Unit Study~ a mini-unit on Dolphins

photo credit
We have been continuing our work with our Oceans Unit and my son was very interested in sharks and dolphins so we are doing some mini-units inside of our big Oceans Unit.

I thought I would go ahead and share some resources I am using for this mini-unit on dolphins.

We are not going too far in depth with this unit because it is a mini-unit and plan to do several other mini-units within the Oceans Unit Study.

A copy of this mini-unit can be found here. ( be sure to look for "dolphins mini-unit".

Dolphins Mini – Unit ( part of Oceans Unit Study)

Books used: “A School of Dolphins by Richard & Louis Spillsbury
                            Link for preview of book: http://tinyurl.com/2dbwpb8
This is a very basic book with large print writing and I loved it because it has some wonderful pictures of these exceptional mammals.  The book is currently out of print and I found this one at our local Ocean Job Lots Store~ you can find this book on Amazon, used for only .02 cents~ .

Literature Connection:
Island of the Blue Dolphins”, by Scott O’Dell
                                     http://eduscapes.com/newbery/61a.html - incl. webquests & activites to go along with reading the book.

Videos:  here is a listing of videos on dolphins.

Lapbooks: * templates to use for creating your own lapbook: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/lapbooking_resources.php
***************************************************************************************************
http://notebookingnook.blogspot.com/2009/10/island-of-blue-dolphins-lapbook.html this is a blog regarding the literature connection book, however, you will find many things overlap with this book and how it can tie into learning about Oceans which  is why I chose this historical fiction novel~ these links add much more depth to the book/mini dolphins unit and our Ocean Unit Study.

Notebooking Pages:
If I do create more pages I will be sure to post and add those accordingly. Mainly, we plan on just using the HSS templates along with our book to create the lapbook for the information we learn.

Link resources for learning about dolphins:
http://www.dolphins-world.com/ - more facts about dolphins
http://library.thinkquest.org/J0110024/listdolph.html - species of dolphins –(pg.5) make layer book for listing the kinds of dolphins and add to lapbook~
http://dolphins-and-more.com/what-are-the-32-types-of-dolphins.html - also for pg 5 to be used with Notebooking page on “different kinds of dolphins”.
  
Activities:
Dolphin coloring pages: http://www.coloring.ws/dolphins.htm
Idea~ use a Venn Diagram to show the difference between sharks and dolphins – do the same for whales and dolphins if you would like also.







Monday, August 23, 2010

Salem Witch Trials~ and a Delight Directed Update~

As we continue through our history we now are learning about the Puritans and their customs and so my son decided he is very interested in learning much more about the Salem Witch Trials.  I was always very interested in this particular part of 17th-century history myself~  Here is a book he is quickly reading through~"Witch Hunt", It Happened in Salem Village.   It is a quick and easy read and I was also planning on
some written narration also to go along with this book to check for understanding. If I decide to create some notebooking pages I will be sure and add those also as we need them. ~ 

Here are a few more resources :
Lessons for learning more on Salem Witch Trials
Discovery Education- Salem Witch Trials
Books about the Salem Witch Trials
A Squidoo Lens for Salem Witch Trials
Famous American Trials

Main book reading: Witch of Blackbird Pond
Literature Study: Witch of Blackbird Pond
Lesson Pathways: Witch of Blackbird Pond Lessons

Movie: The Crucible (rated PG -13)
Lesson plans and teaching resources for the Crucible.

Since October is coming near we hope to make a field trip to Salem, Massachusetts to visit Salem and learn more~
Salem Visitors Guide

Salem Witch Museum
Haunted Happenings

Our update~ so far my older son has found out that when no structure is given things can be somewhat - overwhelming. He is interested in many different areas so right now pointing him toward these areas and teaching him or I should say encouraging more interest driven learning has been needed.

We just came back from vacation and since then he has now turned 14 ~ :) He had gotten some video games with his birthday money so those have taken a bit of preference over other things, but I know this will probably be short-lived once the newness wears off, but just in case I decided to kind of give him a bit of guidance in this area and we decided that video games will/can be played after 3:00~ so the day is not just filled with video gaming :)  He reluctantly agree ( no big surprise there) but I quickly explained what his day could look like and he seemed much more comfortable after our little chat.

It didn't take long ... he came barreling down the stairs ( trust me a kid who is 155 lbs. coming down wooden stairs seems to get everyones attention). and said he loved his new game and wanted to learn all about Marco Polo - he thought it was such a cool story about him and is SOO interested in learning more.
Uncharted Among Thieves 2 ~ is the game I am referring to ( Teen rated) ( it is about a person named Nathan Drake who is trying to find Marco Polo's fleet, he fights goons, explore through India, China, Africa and solve puzzles)
Photo Credit
So for now it appears Geography and Marco Polo are in the forefront at this point.  Some resources on Marco Polo;                                                                   
Marco Polo
teaching about Marco Polo
travels of Marco Polo
Kublai Khans lost fleet

I am sure we will find more and he will do more on this so I will be sure to keep you updated. I explained to him that what he "could " do is we could take a trip to the library to see what information/books we can find and he can read all about it and add it to his One Note Notebook for his written narration~ he also plans on mapping out Marco Polo's voyages if he can as well and adding those which I mentioned can include learning about the places he explored when he was there as well - which he plans to do~ for him his favorite thing to do is to research and find out all about something and then go back and jot things down that he has learned.  He then very often goes and refers to his notes when we are at the dinner table or sitting around and fills us in with his new found information, we really love it actually ~ it makes for great dinner discussions! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back from our Family Holiday and Thoughts Ahead to our New Year for Sharing~

We have been spending some family time and had gone away on vacation for a week or so.  It was really nice to get away and enjoy some family time and just unplug for a while. I think we all need that from time to time. Just to kind of recharge our batteries and help get us ready for the coming new season.
Fall is one of our favorite times at our house. Living in New England offers many special gifts that we clearly take advantage of living up here.

With our new schedule the boys will have some time off also to enjoy our leaf exhibitions up state and apple picking/and peeling, our county fairs and pumpkins festivals. Often I think as I am driving around that I feel like I am driving into a painting because of the many colors and landscapes that begin to actually pop out at us all over the place. It is truly a blessing.

I am hoping to now get back into the swing of things after taking our break and post more frequently about our new schedules and the new balance we are working toward in our home learning. I plan to share many daily things along with everyone as we move ahead.

One thing I am planning on doing is to continue the boys daily journals ( these are notebooks I had written about previously you can find the old blog post here, in case you had missed it) with our new schedule and with trying to attempt to incorporate more delight directed learning/unschooling into our routine I still plan to list things that they learned or explored for that day or that week. I think it will be neat for me to actually be able to see on paper what they have done and can always look back at it if I ever want to add/supplement more in a given area of learning or skill.

My youngest has been doing his studies since July had started so he is moving right along.  Our teen starts back with formal studies right after Labor Day, but I already see him poking around at his things and books he has lined up to read.

He has expressed how excited and enthusiastic he is about his "new school schedule and year". I find it quite refreshing really. I think this is actually the first year I have heard him and seen him be so interested. Could it finally be after three years he is finally coming around to seeing school is much more interesting than stacks of assignments and books! I think so~ :)

We have also explored our thoughts on highschool and I plan to post many things about that as well. I just added in my side bar section under Homeschooling Beyond Elementary a section for Highschool blogs. Right now you will notice these are CM blogs, but as many of you know, we are very eclectic and you will see others there as well that I find helpful to us and so I would want to share them with all of you as well.

I want to also take a moment to extend a warm thank you to many of my readers and AKOL members for their many emails of support and prayers. They meant so much to me~   I had posted over on my AKOL Yahoo Group that I was finding a need to sort of take a break a bit and take some time to slow things down due to health reasons and it has really helped me.  I think slowing things down and taking the time out to "smell the flowers" and take more time to enjoy the day, has really brought back a renewed energy in me and has really helped me to feel much better.  I plan to do much more sharing as the weeks pass by~

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