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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our field trip today

Went on a field trip today. Took the boys up to one of the local hiking hills and did some hiking looking at plants and flowers. Christopher's best friend and his mom and brother came with us.

While walking we took a few pictures of some local plant life and tomorrow we're going to look in our books and figure out what they are.

We also found some wildlife. We got two pictures of teeny lizards, one missing his tail; and a picture of a wild female turkey that you can't see very well because she blends in quite well with the grass.

All in all it was a good day. OH! We also went to their house and met their neighbor's calf.

This is the deer hoof print we found at the beginning of our hike.

Can you see the wild turkey?

New Hampshire Court Orders Christian Homeschooled Girl to Attend Public School

From OneNewsNow

By Pete Chagnon

A Christian homeschool girl in New Hampshire has been ordered into government-run public school for having "sincerely held" religious beliefs.

An attorney working with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has filed motions with a New Hampshire court, asking it to reconsider its order to send the 10-year-old homeschooled girl into public school.

According to ADF allied attorney John Anthony Simmons, the court acknowledges that the girl in question is doing well socially and academically, but he adds that the court went too far when they determined that the girl's Christian faith was a "bit to0 sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews."

Simmons contends that parents have a "fundamental right to make educational choices for their children." However the girl's parents divorced in 1999, and she is now living with her mother who has been homeschooling the child since first grade. As part of the schooling, the young girl has been attending supplemental public school classes.

As part of parental custody hearings, a court-appointed guardian stated that the child reflected her mother's "rigidity" on questions of faith and added that girl's best interest would be served by exposure to a public school setting.

According to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Home Education is an enduring American tradition and right. ADF concludes, based on that statement, that there is no legitimate legal basis for this latest court ruling.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back in the swing of things?

We begin week three of our homeschool year tomorrow. Forget about the first DAY being stressful. Forget about the second WEEK marking the beginning of the year getting better and more organized. Here we are about to start week three and I'm STILL finding myself completely disorganized.

The funny thing is, it's mostly additional stuff that's got me going crazy. Not getting the stuff for the kids READY, because printing out the Math and Grammar stuff from CIMT (Math) and Scott Foresman (Grammar) takes all of 10 minutes.

Oh no. It's the going through the unit study and creating the list of books I need to get for the NEXT week of homeschool. Finding all of the books we've used for the PREVIOUS weeks of homeschool that need to be returned....two days ago. It's the going through the experiments books to determine which experiments to use and compile a list of the things we'll need, only to find out we don't have enough of the items to make the experiment work AND we don't have the money to purchase said items.

I need to get more organized, though. Like NOW. Especially since week seven of Creation will be coming up VERY quickly (if the last two weeks is any indicator) and I have something VERY special planned for that entire week because of the significance of the seventh day of Creation. Basically what THAT boils down to is we're no longer going to be Sabbath KEEPING Christians....we are going to be Sabbath CELEBRATING Christians.

My friend Kimberly recently bought a calendar from FlyLady. I'm thinking about purchasing it myself. It'll probably have to wait a few paychecks, especially since I have my eye on a laminator I really want to get. I'm debating it, though. I tend to do better with planner/organizer type calendars rather than wall calendars. I'm going to have to do some shopping around. I need one with LOTS of writing space.

I also need to invest in a LARGE calendar for the boys to use. Hang it on the refrigerator or something and mark each day with what needs to be done. That way I don't have to type it out every day. That gets rather tedious.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update: August 18, 2009

I am in the process of moving my unit study website. I found out that Tripod is now going "paid only", and I won't pay. And the website they are in partnership with to provide the free services really isn't very good (at least to me), far too complicated for this simpleton. ;-) So I've moved it here. I just got done transferring four weeks worth of unit study over. That was some serious work!

The boys are enjoying their new school year. This week we will have our first field trip. Well, second I suppose, since we did go "try" to watch the meteor shower the night of the 12th. We'll be heading up one of the local parks this week to look at the clouds. We'll be taking the art pads and utensils, and the camera, and having ourselves some fun doing some cloud watching. And since I have Thursday AND Friday off (as well as Saturday), we can even go two days if they want to. We'll probably go Thursday MORNING, as I want to go to the local free book exchange that day while it's open.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The end of the first week

It went pretty well this week, all things considered.

  1. I wasn't ready Sunday night and stayed up half the night getting stuff printed out.
  2. Christopher wasn't feeling well, so we only got half the classes in Tuesday.
  3. Only got a few classes done on Wednesday because it was Micheal's birthday and instead of doing some work while I'm at work, we only got a few classes done before they went to spend a few hours with their Dad.
  4. Only did Math today before they went for their weekend visit with their Dad. He's going to have them watch a couple of the videos on YouTube I have saved for the classes, though, so at least they can get that part done.
We've done a little bit of changes in Math and Grammar. Christopher is comfortable with the Grade 6 Math work, so he will remain in Grade 6. Micheal, however, is uncomfortable in Grade 4 Math AND Grammar, so we went down to Grade 3. I told him that it's okay, and that if he can pick up on the concepts he's struggling with, we can skip back up to Grade 4, it's just that we need to make sure he "gets" these concepts so that he can succeed in his future Math classes. He seemed content with that. Every now and then I may throw in a Grade 4 Math assignment, though, to challenge him more.

I'm trying to create a way for their Dad to be involved. Well, as involved as I'll let him be. I think I'm going to have to do what the schools do. I'm thinking about having a folder for each of them and when they are done with their work for the week I'll put it in their respective folders, then on the days they visit their Dad, I'll send the folders with them so he can look at the work they are doing. Then they bring back the folders and all the work when they come home (so I can keep record of it). I wish I had a fax machine or a photo copier or a scanner so I could just copy them and send him the copies. I don't entirely trust him to not lose the work.

So tell me, when does your homeschool year begin? What kind of schedule are you going to set up for your children? If you're homeschooling your children by someone you are no longer with, are they involved somehow?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Welcome To the First Day of School!

Which started 1 1/2 hours later than planned. lol

I was up so late last night getting things printed out that I couldn't get up with my alarm clock this morning. So I slept in. So did the boys.

It's not really a BIG problem with the schedule, considering the subjects we're doing before I go to work because they are the ones the boys need the most attention on really aren't that many. Math, Grammar, and Science (Tuesdays and Thursdays will add Social Studies). Handwriting, Vocabulary, the second part of Bible, and Spanish copywork they don't need me around to do and will do that while I am working. When I come home I'll take them to the park for 30-45 minutes, then come home and "grade" their papers. Or take their papers with me and grade them while the boys play. Yeah, that sounds good.

And by "grading" I mean go over and make sure it was done correctly and if it wasn't, it gets re-done the next day. I don't do "grades" on the work just yet. Right now our grading system simply consists of words of affirmation. The Dollar Tree stores in the area sell positive reinforcement stickers....Good Job! A+! Well Done! Those kinds of things. I just feel at these ages that method of grading is better than your typical letter or percentage grading. We'll start doing that in grade 7.

They've finished Math, and only needed a little bit of help. Now they are doing Grammar. I think when they're done with Grammar I'm going to have them go outside and run around for 20 minutes or so.

So even with the late start we are doing rather well as far as time goes. And the boys aren't complaining yet.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

First Day of "SCHOOL" !

Well, we start school in the morning (10th). I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. Of course, it came a lot faster than I expected, so while I'm mostly ready there are still some things I am totally NOT ready. I may be up rather late tonight just making sure I have everything organized and ready, and preparing those things which I don't have ready.

Wish me luck. The couple of months before the boys went on vacation with their Dad were a practice. Now we REALLY get into it.