Saturday, August 30, 2008

This, That, and the Other

I'm trying to get through all the blogs this week on Homeschool Blog Awards. If you're not familiar with it, they host a weekly theme that you can blog about. Last week was the first week. This week's theme is Agendas (see mine below). Anyway, I just don't have the time this week to comment on everyone's blog and I apologize! I'm getting some great ideas though and some curiosity about new curriculum.

Both my older daughters are finally home and I feel complete again. They spent the whole summer with other family members in Atlanta. I'm really glad to have them home again. This photo was taken yesterday with, L, my MiniMe. She has new glasses so we were comparing... :)

We've had a whirlwind of "Moms" visit this week too. DH's mom came for a few days. Now my mom is visiting. We're having some great conversations. Besides my husband, my mom is my best friend. (Of course, you wouldn't have known that during my teenage years!)

I'll be gearing up with lesson plans this week. We start co-op classes after Labor Day - and our full schedule! I keep saying I'm ready for the school year but I haven't totally convinced myself of that yet.

Someone knocking on the door....time to go.....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our theme this week is Homeschool Agendas. And boy, do we have an agenda! So, let's see...where do I start?

We're involved with a great homeschool co-op and many of our classes are taught through this. It REALLY helps me since I work part time for a local radio station. Through this co-op my older girls will take:

  • Physical Science

  • Supplemental Math

  • Literature

  • Geography

  • Spanish

  • World History

At home (and work) we'll also be doing:

  • Algebra

  • Writing & Grammar

  • Health

  • Becoming a Master Student

Needless to say, they will have a very full schedule. And that's just the academics.

I have one daughter, E, who will be volunteering on the weekends at a local animal clinic. She plans to be a vet!

My 2nd daughter, L, will be attending a Strings Program twice a week in the evenings, have private lessons sometime, and hopefully modeling/acting two, three, or four times a week.

My 3rd daughter, A, will be in ballet sometime in an available hour.

That doesn't include my husband working two full time jobs and me working part time. Of course, my employer is just GREAT! He's allowing me (and another homeschooler in the office) to create a couple of homeschool rooms in the building. The kids will come to work with me and do their schoolwork while being here with me. It's ALL good!

My goal this year is to be more organized. For the first time in 10 years of homeschooling, I'm creating a homeschool planner. I'm printing a lot of the forms from Donna Young's website - she has great forms! A lot of them I will create myself.

That's about it for me & us! I look forward to seeing more blogs this time around. I didn't get through all of them last week. I'm going to try to pace myself and get through 10-15 a day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jumpin' in with both feet...

....and other various body parts. Next Monday starts our brand new school year. We're like a lot of families who wait til after Labor Day to start school. Well, in this case, ON Labor Day.

I started late this year ordering my books, though. They are trickling in and I'm frantically doing all my lesson plans as I get them. I feel completely unorganized and scattered....wait...I felt that way last year, too! Does it ever get any better?

I've been creating our schedule on my Outlook at home. I've discovered that I'm a "visual" person and I have to SEE it laid out in front of me before I "get it". And, in the contest...I mean context, of being organized, each category is a different color: orange=coop, green=work, teal=hubby's work, blue=the other homeschool group activities, beige=family time. My calendar looks like a rainbow! It's so pretty, I'm dazzled. Or maybe that's just confusion....

My daughter, L, comes home on Friday from being away all summer. I'm so excited I can barely stand myself. She's my MiniMe. Everyone calls her Little Dana. Isn't that just the cutest thing? Ok, maybe not for you, but... She's the one who plays violin. I'm such a proud mama. Over the summer, she's changed her appearance dramatically - new blonde hair and glasses!
So, getting back to getting organized... I would sure like to know what others do to get their homes or school rooms organized for the new year. I've got some ideas but I love to hear what others think.
Looking forward to the Homeschool Memoirs tomorrow!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Heavy Rains & So Much to Read!

It's raining like crazy here! The eye of the storm hasn't passed through Valdosta (where I live) but we're feeling the effects of it! It's very dark and stormy... "On a darrrk and storrrmy night...." We had a tornado touch down in a neighboring county. Surprisingly, we still have power AND satellite tv! Amazing, when we often lose power on sunny or partly cloudly days and the satellite goes out because a flock of birds flew over. It's movie night at our house - the power had BETTER stay on!
On another note: I'm really enjoying reading all the posts from the first assignment at Homeschool Blog Awards. I'm trying to get through them all.... I checked to see how many had done it after me and squealed in alarm! I'd better start reading faster or my computer better start loading the pages faster! I can't wait to read more. There are so many neat, talented, special, interesting, cool moms out there.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #1: All About You

It gets to be all about me? Really? Because, y'know, it's usually all about the kids, or hubby, or our cute little American Canine Chihuahua named Harley. But, wow! About me...hmmm...

Ok. Well, I was born in the south - Flordia, but raised in the mountains - Colorado, and I went to public school...oh - too far back...

Let's see...I'm a homeschool mom of five, three of whom are left at home (is that the correct usage of "whom"? I just can never get that right!) Two boys: 21 and 20, three girls: 15, 14, and 3. One boy, the 21 year old, has left home but the strings are still there (he works nearby) and he's given me (along with his fianceƩ) my first grandchild (Faith). The second boy joined the Air Force after we graduated him. The two older girls will be entering 9th grade in about two weeks. The youngest - well, she rules the roost and everyone else's roosts too! (She's the one on the sidebar to the right)

(That's just red lipstick that she applied herself!)

We've been homeschooling for about 10 years. My kids (at least the older four) were, unfortunately, a product of the public school system for a while. But, when the boys were approached in 6th and 7th grades about sex and drugs the decision was simple. Pull them out! We've never looked back. Since that time, our family has become a cohesive unit and my boys still love to hug me and call me "Mommy". I'm sure they'd curl up in my lap for a rock in the rocking chair if they could (but they're much bigger than me!) Well, the 20 year old has tried that! The other one is a touch more reserved.

We use a variety of curriculum. When we first started I used one of those complete curriculum that had the lesson plans all done for you. I needed that guidance! Now, I do the lesson plans myself and pick and choose which publisher for which subject I prefer. It's a lot more time consuming but, as I've always dreamed of being a teacher, I'm in my element, I guess you could say. Now, we use just about everything: Bob Jones, Prentice Hall, Alpha Omega, McDougal Littel, and some others.

It's amazing to me that over the last decade I've actually become what's commonly referred to as a "veteran" homeschool mom. And now, I even teach others "how to do it". Of course, I know for a fact that I certainly don't have all the answers and am always searching for more - hence homeschool blogging!

Let's see, what else can I tell about me. I'm an Amercian Idol fan. I actually didn't get hooked until two seasons ago when Jordin Sparks won. I voted for her and David Cook, by the way. I love to read but don't always find the time for pleasure reading anymore. It always seems to be textbooks nowadays! Which reminds me - I hope to begin my own college education in the spring - or at least continue with it. I'm one of those "some college" people.

I love to decorate cakes. I did it for an income for about seven years. I attended a local Bridal Expo and actually got paid for my wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and others. Now, I only do it occassionally. It's a love/hate relationship!

People would be very surprised (those who know me) about some of the things I've done over the years to provide an income. My husband and I both have "entrepreneurial" spirits and are constantly forming new businesses. I've done pressure washing, building model cars (yes, for a living!), custom painted motorcycles, cars, trucks, etc. (my husband's businesses mostly that I get roped into), run my own secretarial business and various other things.

I'm very much into volunteering. My husband says I have Volunteer-itis. Guess he's right. I've been a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout mom, homecshool group leader (for several different groups), a downtown revitalization committe member, and most recently a volunteer for UNICEF. I'm sure there are probably some other things I've done but I can't remember them all.

Well, that's pretty much me in a nutshell. I can't wait to read the other posts on this topic. What a great idea that Homeschool Blog Awards has come up with!

Til next time....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Human Trafficking!

This horrible situation was brought to my attention recently when I watched a Lifetime movie called Human Trafficking. I've known for many years that this existed but, like many others, just never did anything about it or looked the other way. After all, I'm only one person. How can I make a difference. But by the end of this four-hour movie, I was so outraged I began to do some research on it.

The shocking results: Approximately 14,500 to 17,500 people (mostly women and children) are trafficked to the United States each year. This trafficking includes sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery.

These women and children are people just like you and me. Many are immigrants from other countries, forced to come here by slave traders under false pretenses (a modeling job or school). But many are Americans like us - our sisters, our daughters, our cousins, our neighbors and friends!

These people suffer unspeakable brutality at the hands of their "protectors" and johns. They "work" and live in squalid conditions and are expected to perform for grueling long hours everyday.

What can we do to help? The following website gives information and suggestions on what we can do to help make a difference.
Help me spread the word!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reflections of Summer

I haven't posted in a while because life just seems to get away from me. My older girls are trickling back home - they've been away for the entire summer. We're going through some transition. One of them is home and re-learning how to do dishes and laundry again. Her grandmother did everything for her over the summer! The other daughter will be back Labor Day weekend. She spent the summer with other family members.

I was looking through some photos and video clips today and thought I'd share some that I found.

What better way to spend the summer than outside eating a melting popsicle. This is what being a kid is all about! We had an ice cream truck cruise through our subdivision and, remembering it when I was a kid, I ran out to the street and bought ice cream! Those were the days!

The video below is one I took of our new Chihuahua puppy. He found this ball that was bigger than he is! Small dogs have such huge personalities. I know - we always had big dogs (german shepards, doberman, labs). This is our first small dog. What a character!

I'd love to hear what others have been doing this summer.

Until next time!

Happy Homeschooling!