Saturday, July 31, 2010

Curriculum Trickles In

From my last post you will recall that we had to change our curriculum plans.  I have many items of G an F to use that are ABeka products which have been donated to us.  So I have gone to the curriculum share site received other items for the cost of shipping alone and I managed to get a few items on eBay as well. But now I am beginning to blend curriculum.

Today I received Bob Jones Science for 1st grade and the lesson manual.  I like it so much better than the ABeka however they will compliment each other so well. 

I am not making much progress on the "school house" but have talked it over with the girls parents and they are going to help me in that room.  I think that will help create excitement for everyone involved.

This past week my daughter and I attended an orientation meeting for the Christian co-op group in our area.  Being so far out in the country it will be a drive  for several of the activities.  I hope to meet some local families in this co-op as well that perhaps a few local activities and be done together. 

That is all I have so far to put here but did not want to get out of the habit of posting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Books Are Arriving

It is a big day in our house today.  The girls are so excited as some of the books came yesterday and another shipment just arrived. 

These are the books a friend has donated to use.  So it looks like we will us A Beka and not Calvert after all.  I have looked at the books and I like them well enough but now I will have to make some lesson plans.

I know I am blessed to have such a gift given to us.  Being human I am still regretting not being able to use the Calvert program.  It will take extra effort to make up the daily lesson plans.  I can do it but fear that it will use up a few of my spoons (google spoon theory).  If I use my spoons to quickly it will effect what energy I have left during our instruction time. 

I find that I am sounding selfish but I have learned a little selfishness with my health issues actually allows me to be more giving where it matters. 

I am thankful for the gifts that have been given and will use them with joy.  The girls are THRILLED to page through their new books.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wondering if this is my idea or His

I am a very blessed woman. I have been a nurse for a very long  time.  We have been married a long time.  I have survive deadly illness events.  I have wonderful children and grandchildren.  I live a comfortable life.

Ah-Ha.  That is my issue. Generally, to be honest, I do not wonder if I will be able to feed the family, shelter us, etc...  But like many right now my budget is really tight.  So as I try to make this homeschooling idea real I keep running into obstacles.  I know enough to let things happen naturally, that if you keep trying to overcome obstacles that are placed in front of you then it is possible you are circumventing what the Lord has in store for you.

I had shelves given to me, recently desks provided and found some great items at the resale shop that are learning activity games.  I discussed with my hubby a few items that I do not seeing used much at our shop we run so now I have a huge white board for the room.  In the attic I found an activity table so we do not ruin my kitchen table.  Yes, each time a cost item comes up it has been provided.

Then time is coming upon us and we still cannot afford any real curriculum, and the parents wanted to use Calvert.  I do too.  It is just not going to happen so I am going to have to work harder and wiser to make daily learning activities. I found a lot of course on the Internet but still no TEXT BOOK learning.

UNTIL NOW.  Yesterday a friend and I were talking on the telephone and being a friend I shared my woes.  While we spoke she suddenly asked for my mailing address and then told me it was done.  I asked, "what was done"  She just mailed me her K and First Grade A Beka items. 

So the answer to the topic heading is that this is what He wants me to do.  It keeps coming naturally to us and I am so blessed by His ways.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Computer built for our classroom

My husband (kiddos grandfather) has taken several computers from out business that have been less than perfect in their functioning and built a new computer.  Now our classroom will have a dedicated computer only for our home-school experience.

We could have used my home computer fine but to be honest my computer is usually surrounded by other items like my bills or genealogy research and soon my own course work as well. 

So this is a huge money saver for me.  To put a little icing on the cake he also purchased from another business that is closing a large screen, wireless keyboard and wireless mouse that he has working with the class computer.  The more good news I get the more confident I am in this choice.

I must begin cleaning out the school house and prepare to do some painting and ceiling scrubbing.  The ceiling is all wood and high pitched so this will be a huge undertaking for this grandmother.  I think I may enlist M to help with it as he is the father of G and F which makes him young, healthy and free labor.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Donation of School Desks

Talk about your blessings!!!!  As I take these first steps towards homeschooling I have come to terms that the initial set up, like any other project one would take on, has its financial sacrifices.

As I said several days the plans have changed from the smaller bedroom to a larger building we have connected to the back deck.  I know we could just use tables just as I know we could use our kitchen space as well.  But, the girls have become excited and of course would like their own desk space.

I had decided which ones would best fit our pocket-book as well as our needs.  I have decided now to toss that idea out as a friend has several "old fashion desk" as she calls them which will fit our current needs wonderfully with the added bonus of easing the costs.

I continue to feel giddy about each new step that is taken.

Friday, July 16, 2010

APS Awareness

This blog is about the education of my grandchildren, a little about my own education advancements hopefully but I would be negligent if I did not make at least one post in my blog promoting the awareness of Antiphospholipid Syndrome.

This is an autoimmune illness that I live with. I develop blood clots spontaneously and have miraculously survived life threatening clotting events. It has an array of other common issues.

A friend and I began a non-profit to promote the awareness of this rare syndrome and you can find more on the developing web site .

Warning signs that you may have APS....history or family history of recurrent miscarriages, family history of young stroke or young heart attack, history of blood clots.  If you want to know more please message me, this is near and dear to my heart. The American APS Association has only recently gone public and I hope some day we will be able to be a visible as other awareness groups until we find a cause and a cure.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Change in my plans for the room

I have been designing our smaller 10x10 room for our "classroom".

Today my husband asked why I do not use the jacuzzi house.  WOW that is more than I planned.  It changes the "classroom"  into a small one room school house. 

The jacuzzi in this enclosed out-house has broken so it is coming out.  The house is not exactly attached to the house.  You enter my house from a back yard deck through the sliding door into the dinning room, but on the other side of the deck is a small out building.  This will be a perfect space to work with. 

There are so many possibilities.  I cannot wait to begin.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ramblings that began with a purpose but got lost in the ramble

CAN WE BEGIN SCHOOL TODAY?  That was one of the first questions this morning from both of the girls.  They are eager and ready.  I am eager but not ready. 

Last week we went to my local library to get a book, of course.  My community library is very sad, right down to the displaying the American Flag incorrectly.  The library in the girls community is only 12 minutes down the road and has so much to offer in contrast. They are from the same Shawnee System and of course I can always requests books to come in, but entering a small child's room with old books, torn pages and such was terrible. 

I had thought that a weekly library trip would be enough to keep these eager to learn girls satisfied. I was wrong. They are so eager for some real school. 

I am already reviewing with G but that is not enough.  F is like a little sponge soaking in everything G learns.  I have many items here for them to go though but our curriculum is not here.  I still have to finish the classroom.  I know I could use our kitchen table but just do not want to do that.  I am a structured person and want them to feel that structure in class and not outside of it.  If I use the kitchen I will loose my structured efforts.  Sure, many do use their kitchen but I am choosing not to do that.  As I read what is written it seems that I am not going to be open minded in a typical home school environment. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps everyone is firmly structured during lesson times.  I know that I will be flexible and not waste time on topics mastered even if the lesson plan has several more weeks of it. 

If you recall I we are going to use Calvert Curriculum which comes with lesson plans.  I am slow to be make progress in the room remodel but felt that I had until September to be finished.

Final decision is that I may begin sooner if all items are ready but for now I will review with G.  F is going to wait for Kindergarten curriculum until she has give the attention needed consistently but I am sure we will begin right after her 4th birthday.  Until then she learns through play and sisterly-osmosis.

Monday, July 5, 2010

176 Days of Attendance

I have given lots of thought and prayer to how I will comply with state requirements.  I am fortunate enough to live in Illinois (Southern Illinois) which is not strictly regulated apparently.

Hum..that says volumes about the public education as well one could conclude.

So the only law in Illinois is an attendance requirement of 176 days. If asked I am not required to provide anything more than an attendance record. I like this idea as I am not a person in favor of  "big brother" being into all my personal life.

ANYWAY. I counted the days. We will begin the day after Labor Day.  We will not attend school on Thanksgiving or the day after, we will take a break for two full weeks during Christmas Season, we will attend class on all those other holidays and teacher institute days that the public school will not.  We will not have snow days off.  On those few federal holidays that some will be off, I will build the days lessons around that theme.  On Veterans day we will participate at the Veterans Memorial in St. Louis.  I am only 45 minutes from St. Louis where there are many other opportunities to learn and still close to the local historical sites in Southern Illinois where the territory was first settled.  So many opportunities await us.

It turns out that in my plan of 176 days of attendance we will begin on Sept.7, 2010 and our last day will be May 6, 2011.  Of course learning in our home is something that happens daily.  But school is what I term "purposeful" learning.  I do not want to make school a year round program as we enjoy so much in our lives that does not involve a walled classroom.  We live in an area that is plentiful.  My neighbors happen to be a wildlife preserve and the department of natural resources as well as the Illinois Department of Conservation. 

I feel so giddy with this new opportunity but had to decide when to begin.  I will use the 176 days as my only regulation and follow it to the tee. When you remove those teacher institute days and federal and state holidays you sure can shorten a school year.