Friday, November 27, 2009

Taking Spiderwick Chronicles a step further

Hello All,

We are in the midst of Spiderwick mania here. I am putting together a "field guide" and have some ideas for some other cool things.

Is anyone out there currently craving all things Spiderwick that would like to toss some ideas back and forth and perhaps share?

I have this idea about sending my kids "real" letters from a fellow "scientist" that includes different items that the kids can put in their field guides (like a feather that came from a griffin and scales from a dragon).

anyway please email me!

I created a Lens for this with my other ideas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Confessions of an eclectic homeschooler..

Okay, I admit it. I am not the faithful type where homeschooling methods are concerned. I take bits and pieces from ANYTHING I think will be fun and engaging for the kids. This has lead me to tweak my homeschool approach a few times a year. Now, this definitely has pros and cons.

The best thing about learning so many different homeschooling methods and using them is that you really can “tailor” your child’s education to suit their learning styles, needs, and interests. I started with a mix of What Your _ Needs To Know books and Classical. My child did not thrive with the classical aspects of this arrangement. I agree that you should read unabridged classic literature, but most of the books in the outlines I saw at the time were so beyond his comprehension level that I spent more time explaining the text than reading.

When the WYNK/Classical education mix didn’t work I moved on. The next hybrid was WYNK series as a spine and a bit of Charlotte Mason. This worked well for us. Although, I still don’t adhere to them as a whole. It is kind of like me trying to use a recipe. For the life of me, I can not use one. I ALWAYS tweak the recipe! Hmm, I guess homeschooling is not the only area in my life I do this. Anyway, I love the WYNK series because it gives you a definite, “this is what _ graders should know”. I really needed this the first few years of homeschooling. Those books gave me a way to make sure that I covered all the topics “needed” for his grade. They also gave me a cheap way to get tons of subjects in one easy to use book. I think this will be the last year I will use the books (although I will still use the free lesson plans at ). I have the Core Knowledge Sequence which has an outline for each year to grade 8 and will use that instead.

The problem with researching so many different methods is second guessing yourself. This may not be a problem for some, but I find that I have issues with it. I research something and then think I am not doing everything I can or everything that my kids need. This becomes very stressful in trying to decide the “correct” course of action. Fortunately, I seem to have outgrown this. Yeah!

The future of homeschooling in our house is still unknown. My husband is not convinced in the “long haul”, so we have agreed to take it year by year. I do know that if I am still homeschooling in the next few years, I will be slipping in more of the Well Trained Mind concepts. Not as a whole (because it seems to intense to me), but mixed with Charlotte Mason, WYNK, workboxes, lapbooks, and anything else I pick up on the way.

Happy Homeschooling!

Workboxing with Charlotte Mason?

As my little princess approaches (Gasp!) kindergarten age, I am reveiwing my teaching techniques and rethinking things. I made mistakes with my son, as he was the homeschool guinea pig. Many of the teaching methods I used with him just will not fit with my attention span deprived daughter. My son would give me a solid 10-15 minutes of focus at her age. I am lucky to get her for 5 minutes.

So, I am wondering if anyone has had success with workboxes and Charlotte Mason Education?

I love a lot of Charlotte Mason's views and methods. I see Charlotte Mason education like the difference between gentling a horse rather than breaking it. CM's focus was on getting children to love learning, asking questions, and the avoidence of "spoon feeding" information.

Any thoughts on workboxes, Charlotte Mason, and combining the two would be most helpful. I will also post what I find and how I will impliment it.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Support the Troops!

Take some time out to do this!!!!

Xerox will print out a card you draft and send it to a serviceperson. It's FREE and only takes a moment.