Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Polaris Press: Fun and productive school time

Had a great time today at the park with some new homeschool friends. Yay for friends! Also had a great time at the Animal Shelter. We were really wanting to bring home a four legged friend, though. I didn't think that it would be so hard for me. I am not that much of an animal person. I think I could do cats though, if George wasn't allergic to them. The kids loved seeing the animals and learned about bite safety, which I think was very good for my kids. They don't have much fear around strange animals.

Monday, I learned that the key to a good homeschool day/week is staying at home and NO phone calls. We had a fabulous Monday! On top of getting lots of good schooling in, I also got 3 loads of laundry washed, dried AND put away!! Unheard of! I got some things planned that needed to be planned and my bookshelves mostly organized. Well, at least as of now, all the books we have can fit on some shelf. Whether they will stay there or ever get there again is an entirely different story!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 1...the kids are excited!!!

It was a wonderful, relaxed summer, and now, we are back! Polaris Academy is in session. Year-round this year, I think. I hope it will keep us from getting stressed and burned out. We actually started on August 12th. I really love my new room set up and am trying to get into the swing of the schedule. This year, we are starting at 10am and I like it! Last year, we only did the afternoon, but now I have more I want to fit in.

Our schedule:
  • 10 am Read Aloud and Vocab words
  • 10:45 Instruction on Unit Study (this could be reading, lecture, or an activity)
  • Noonish Lunch
  • 1:30pm and on: Nap time and we start doing math, dictation, Time 4 Learning, Silent Reading, and some other individual activity
It was rough at the beginning, but we are slowly settling in and getting reminded of the schedule. I had some serious whining issues. You know, the "this is too hard!!" line? So, Geo came up with a great idea. Give the kids 2 "It's too hard for me right now" cards and they can use them through the week. If the don't use them, they get a reward (donuts on Saturday). They can also earn stickers on their own for not using them. It's been good so far...a kid gets grumpy and I say, "No grumping, just give me your card." They stop and think about it, and then finish the assignment! It's much better! Mostly, this comes with math, but also some writing. Math is a struggle for us. The Math-U-See that saved us last year, is not doing so well this year. Argh. Gotta find something that works for them. I am reviewing lots to see what we have just forgotten and what we really just don't understand. We'll get there. Hope you all are enjoying your free time this school year. If you get lonely, come on over:)

Pictures of our vacation!

We always go camping Up North and have since I was little. This year we changed it up a bit and got a cabin not to far from the old campground and really enjoyed being inside. When you have a 2 year old, it just nice to have a building to be inside. We really enjoyed our week and especially being with my brother and sister-in-law and their adorable kids, which for some reason I don't have any pics of on here. We DID camp out for one night on the lawn of the cabin. We got a taste of roughing it. Ha! It was a great week!

This was the end of the trip, stopping at the Chicago cousins. So fun!

Gaming with cousins

This was the hike from "you know where". I thought it would be a great idea to go on this 2 mile hike with our group at the end of an exhausting vacation week. Ha. Seth fell asleep in the backpack and gave George a crick in his neck. I ended up carrying Sam the last half mile or so. Funny story: My absolute favorite spot in the world is on this hike. It's a grove of pine trees that sounds so peaceful is just gorgeous. Anyway, we get to this spot...a little further than half-way and George says, "This is mom's very favorite spot." By this time, the kids are whining and begging to be done and Seth is screaming his head off. Levi asks why, so, through the screaming, I lamely explain that I love it because it's so peaceful and calming:) At this point, we begin to run away because the mosquitos and biting flies are so bad. Sigh.

These pics are from a petting zoo that we rode a train out to. I am not sure which was the favorite, the train or the petting zoo. Depends on which kid you ask.

At just about any point of the week, you could find some member of my family with Smores on their face:) It was a camping staple! No wonder I noticed an 8 pound weight gain:)

This was the one beach picture I got. Our cabin was only about 8 minutes from Silver Lake and it was a really nice beach. George and I got pretty sunburned (I have NEVER itched so bad in my life!!!) but the kids loved it and swam out pretty far to a diving pontoon. I was impressed. They were pretty tired after that!

The fire pit really "made" the cabin. It was so nice to be able to cook everything in the kitchen and then make smores or just sit out and watch the fire all night. Definitely one of the best parts of the vacation!