Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homeschooling Support Group Meeting Feb 23, 2010

It was so nice to meet with you all again. I really enjoy chatting and sharing ideas with like minded families. I would like to thank all of the children who attended, I was so impressed with such a great group of children! I am so excited about this group.

Goals for this group.
  • To share ideas and resources
  • Field trips
  • Support group
  • Occasional guest speaker
  • Socialize with other homeschooling families

Old News
  • Science Fair (Have an Offer from John S. Riley, Ph.D. to Judge. While he was a Chemistry professor he judged both Middle/High School Science Fair projects as well as Undergraduate Research presentations.)
We decided that was would be GREAT! Yet, it would be much better after the group has been built up a bit.
  • Mary Jo shared her experiences from the Modesty Seminar. This sounded very exciting! Her daughter said, "We should dress modestly not only to protect our own marriages, but also to protect others marriages". What a wonderful thing to have our children learning! As we think about this, has anyone seen the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue? I asked Food lion to remove it from my child's line of vision.

New News
  • Book It Program Opens On March 1st
  • Fire Department Tour Thursday 10AM
  • Ideas For Field Trips
  • Page shared with us a series of books she reading (teenage level) called 39 Clues.

New Ideas
  • Monthly public speaking for the children.
Mary Jo said that she would like to start having the children do a monthly public speaking. This seemed like a wonderful idea. Mary Jo will be organizing this, if you are interested in having your child/children participate please let us know.
  • U pick, start planning on an event of picking strawberries. YUM!
  • It mentioned that it would help to be able to add links or documents for all to see, I am working on a way to do this.

Local Happenings
  • LoweBot: Saturday 02/27/2010
  • The Knack Science 2/27/2010 1:00pm

Resources Shared

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

So much is going on here at Sunset Learning Academy. We had a taste of nice weather on Sunday, so bright and sunny. Hubby sure was happy to be able to be riding! Monday was 66 degrees, it did however turn to rain. Today, Tuesday I noticed the tips of my flowers starting to sprout out. A few falls ago I planted Iris' and tulips. I had no idea if they would grow or not. The main reason I planted them was because my hubby was deploying yet again and I knew that in the grey of late Feb and early March I would be a bit blue and needing a smile. Well, they bloomed so beautifully that year! It was just the little thing I needed to give me a spring in my step. Now as they continue to bloom every year I continue to smile as they emerge. The years I watch them grow alone, I remember my husbands love as he helped me plant them. The years we watch them bloom together they remind me to be thankful for our time together.

Today was our second meeting for the Homeschooling support Group. I will post the happenings tomorrow. For now I will simply say that I am enjoying my time with the other families and love the networking of resources! It is so exciting to see this coming together. I also must add at this point what a WONDERFUL, well behaved, helping, caring, fun loving group of children we have within the group. Again a BIG thank you to Wheels of The Promise for use of the church.

We are in the process of learning about Australia. We have received an ebook from TOS to use and review. Watch for my review over the weekend! We are continuing our study of ABC's for the Proverb Girl. I just love this! It is teaching my daughters such wonderful morals. Some may say that some of the teaching within it are "old fashioned", I, for one, am NOT embarrassed to be a keeper of my home. We are also still learning new sign language songs. Johnny just loves it when we sign to him. The girls feel they are a bit old for the songs, Johnny is our excuse to learn them.

I have been working strongly with Lexi on habit training. She is in charge of making a well balanced meal one night a week for here on out. Nice break for me and GREAT training for her. As she nears her 18th birthday and continues her "big" plans of entering adulthood I am having a nervous breakdown about all that she still needs to learn! She has come leaps and bounds since moving in with us. I am proud of her daily. Watching her grow into a respectable young woman is such a blessing. I pray that she continues to develop her relationship with the Lord.

Tyra is trying to master her multiplication and division skills so that we may move on to a more advanced level. We are also working on handwriting and NEATNESS! Tyra is working on habit training along with Lexi. She is working on helping out around the house and taking on an active role within our family by noticing what needs done without being told. Tyra also has begun going to a Wednesday night bible study at our church. As many of you know she asked Jesus into her heart on Friday, Feb. 12th, 2010 (Lincoln's birthday). She will be singing at church this Sunday. I am very proud of her!

Johnny is finally over being sick! He has cut 2 more teeth through and now has 4 bottom teeth. His appetite is back in full force as well. He is walking around all the furniture. I just know his first steps will be soon. I wonder if he will take them while Aunt Sheila is here!

As I come to a close for today, one more thought needs to be added. I would like to say that I have a wonderful husband whom without I would be lost. He is always there for me, and has never ending love. I appreciate all that he does for me, our family, our community, and our country. I love you!

I hope all are having a wonderful week and may everyone be blessed this week!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This week....

The baby has been sick this week. it started out with a night of vomiting Monday night, then um... let's just say a messy diaper Tuesday, a crying Wednesday and now a fussy, clingy Thursday. Poor baby! He has two top front teeth trying to come in. I think this is what is the cause of all of this.

This week was full of meetings, cheer practice, bible study, and household disasters. And many more unexpected events.

With all of the above going on this week we have fallen a bit behind on our goals so it is looking like Saturday school for us! When thinking back on my life I always chuckle when I think about weekends. Once upon a time they meant no work, and party time. Then it meant no work and family time. Then a time came that weekends meant my hubby does not work and we get family time. Then for a bit while he was deployed I never knew the difference between Saturday or Wednesday. NOW, with a baby in the house, weekends mean SLEEP for me! My hubby can take over and I can nap, maybe a long bath! My husband is such a wonderful man!

This week has seemed like a disorganized mess. I feel like I am stuck in rut and need pulled out. Thank You to the Girl Scouts for these yummy cookies. They have really helped me through it! Okay, seriously it was the love from God, my husband and children that get me up every morning! But the cookies were a nice treat!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adventure of The Day

Today we had our first Homeschooling Support Group meeting. I think it went well. We had 6 families attend. While the children enjoyed getting to know one another the parents enjoyed some time to get acquainted. We have come up with many ideas for field trips, a few ideas for activities, and shared some local resources with one another. Our meetings will continue to be held at the Wheels Of Promise on Tuesday mornings beginning at 10AM. I would like to Thank Wheels Of Promise for allowing us to use the church as a meeting spot. I enjoyed getting to know all of you and your children. We had such a bright group of children there today! My family and I look forward to the next meeting and deciding upon our first field trip!

Monday, February 15, 2010

President Day Poster Board

For President's Day Tyra had to choose a president and do either a written, oral, or poster report. She chose Abraham Lincoln. She made a wonderful poster board with lots of information and even remembered to include her references! She then had to tell us all about it and everything she learned. She learned a lot during her research. This project was spiced up some when J & B Learning ( ) joined in and had her son do a poster project as well.
Both the children worked hard to make sure their poster was the best. I am looking forward to seeing who she chooses next year!

Her Favorite quote from Abraham Lincoln is, "Always bear in mind that your only resolution to succeed is more important than any other."

North Carolina Snow!

We were blessed with snow that began to fall on Friday night at around 11:00PM and continued to fall until the wee hours in the morning. Tyra stayed up Friday night to watch it come down. We put a pan out so we could collect snow to make snow cream. She finally fell asleep so that she could be energized by morning! She made snow angels,

played with Johnny,

had a snow ball fight with daddy and Socks, rode the four-wheeler,

and finished the fun up with a HUGE snowman she made with Miss. Debbie, our wonderful neighbor.

The snow really was beautiful. I must say it was nice....
I also must say I am happy that it is a rare occation here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Egypt, Moses, and Hieroglyphs

Today we continued our studies on Moses. This included more studies on Egypt, exploring the desert, and today we learned hieroglyphs! We found that there are many forms. We had fun making a poster with all of our families name on it. This has been very interesting to study since my husband lived in Cairo, Egypt for a year.

We also learned today the reason we celebrate Valentine's Day. We got great info on this link.

Today was a very good day. We got a lot done, and learned so much today! I think everyone in the family learned something new today.

Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic

Jewelry Organizer: Saturday 02/13/2010

Bring your child to Lowe's and they can build this Jewelry organizer! It's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for mom!

LoweBot: Saturday 02/27/2010

Clinics start at 10AM and are FREE!

It’s a car! It’s a robot! It’s both! Bring your child to Lowe’s and they can build this cool Lowebot!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Knack(SM) - Where Kids Discover(SM) - The Knack Free Family Event: Science Fair

The Knack(SM) - Where Kids Discover(SM) - The Knack Free Family Event: Science Fair

Monday, February 8, 2010

Homeschooling Support Group

Homeschooling Support Group


Come share your homeschooling experience, joys, and struggles with other schooling families.
A place to find new ideas, new methods, or share your ideas and methods.
Come socialize and make new friends.
Come plan and join us for group field trips.
"You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity,
he will continue the learning process as long as he lives."
Clay P. Bedford
I am a homeschooling mother of 5. I have been homeschooling for 5 years now. I love watching my children thrive as they broaden their knowledge. I have tried many different methods and have realized that what "works the best" all depends upon the child and their families situation. 
I have come to realize that my children could extend their learning even farther if we had a network of local families with similar goals and morals for their children. 
"To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society." Theodore Roosevelt
Come join us on Tuesday mornings.
When: Tuesday 10am
Where: Wheels of Promise
900 Hwy. 70 West
New Bern, NC 28560
The above is the mailing address, building is actually at the Havelock City limits it is located right across from Wells Wayside Furniture. 
Contact Information: Cindy Barker (252) 360-4894


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

So hard to teach with this distraction

Just as you are getting ready to dive into a new world of learning with you older children your preschooler says, "I am booorrreeed." Does this sound familiar to you? Or how about this scenario, all gathered around talking about your studies for the day, all the children are interested and learning with amazing attention. Until, the 4 year old starts to run crazy, screaming, throwing their arms about. Now, you have lost the attention of all.

Being young is a time of magical imagination, and exploring. Children learn through play. Young children have a strong curiosity and desire for attention.

Well, after talking to a very good friend of mine, another homeschooling mama, an idea has unfolded. She said preschool daily activity boxes and my mind filled with many wonderful thoughts. Here a few of those thoughts.

How about a daily box, bin, container of your choice?. Label each one clearly on the outside Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. (April, I am awaiting the pictures.) Make sure the container is labeled clearly and large enough to be easily read. Now we are ready to begin filling the containers with material to awake the imagination and creativity of a youngster.

Now what should we fill them with? So many ideas are running through my mind, I must slow the thoughts down to make any sense of it all. Inhale, Exhale.... okay. Maybe we should put pages in each one corresponding with the days of the week. That way they will be coloring, tracing, copying Monday on Monday, Tuesday on Tuesday etc. I would also include some pages with the child's name written upon them in each box. Do not forget anything special for the week, for example is there a holiday that week.
(Here is a good site to use)

Some other ideas would be one day of the week can be dedicated to colors. Put crayons in this box with coloring sheets. (Another good link)

Maybe some play dough in this box as well. Here is a recipe.
You could have a whole day dealing with colors, or you could divide this to one color per day.

Now shapes, again either a day for shapes or one per day. Here is a good link for shapes.
I think if I was doing a day on shapes then I would choose this day to include construction paper and scissors. If you are doing one color per day, one shape per day then make the whole box say red and circles. Then you could add a ball to this day, or anything else you come across that is red and a circle. If you are doing a day of shapes blocks would be a good thing to include within this container.

Another idea, how about a dress up day? Lets pretend we did a container for Monday of color, Tuesday was shapes, Wednesday can be dress up. Include within this box dress up clothes appropriate for your child. For example, for a boy I will include a cowboy hat, boots, a vest. Along with these I will include a song about cowboys and some coloring pages about cowboys. Would my son like to be a doctor? Maybe a pirate hat? My son might want to be a prince, I could include a crown. (made by him of course). Michael's has many inexpensive crafts that could be used.

The possibilities with dress up are endless.

If your child is old enough to work on a craft independently then maybe make the Thursday container a craft day. Include any age appropriate crafts for your child. I would set my child at a small child's table away from my other children as to not interrupt them.

Friday, now we have one more day to fill. This day could be so many different things. Maybe a puzzle day. Fill with many different puzzles, include a challenge such as a Rubik's cube. Allow them to make their own puzzle. This website tells you how to make your own photo puzzle, but you could have the child color something and make that into a puzzle as well.

Friday could also be a day to draw pictures for grandma, grandpa, etc... give the child plenty of materials to create art work that you later send to friends and family.

OR, Friday could be a day for videos. There are many videos available to teach young children Sign Language, or a foreign language. Check with your local library to see if they have DVDs that can be rented. Another idea for Friday could be a music day. Include some musical instruments.
Have no fear about spending money to buy some, there are many you can make at home. Here is a great site telling you how.

You could also include some music to learn by on this day, many titles are found on the following site.
A good Classical music for children site is

There are several other things you could do with these daily containers. These are just a few ideas. Let your imagination get away from you. Your little one will be delighted to have something new and different to play with and this will allow you the time needed to help your older children.

This idea can be adapted for even younger children as well. If you have a very young child, as I do, then you can simply divide different toys into separate labeled containers. Everyday will be a new and exciting day of new toys. This will help entertain even the youngest of sibling while you are busy with the older children.

If you have more ideas please feel free to share!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is there help for my growing chaos?

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?" — Albert Einstein

It seems as if I spend more time planning and organizing rather than actually "doing" things. So I have decided that it is once again time to stop pushing things from point A to point B and ACTUALLY get organized AGAIN!

Step one, reevaluate the "clutter". What is it that I should keep and what can I now discard?

Step two, actually throw away the unneeded extras. (I have come to realize that we are a family of pack rats.)

Now at this point I realize that I need to make some adjustments to the way I am filing and storing many supplies. So I start a list of what I have considered to be "needed" items. All I can think is how thrilled my husband is going to be to come home and see that I have emptied all the desk drawers onto the floor making it impossible to enter into our home. Even bigger thrill for him, when I tell him that I must buy this list of supplies I am attending to now.

Maybe I should look up some ideas on how to control this chaos? So now I have searched the web for ideas... most that I found wanted me to buy their book.... more planning rather than doing. I did however come across so interesting "freebies". Free is always welcome in my home. I found the following to be of interest.

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks
By Kathy von DuykePrinted in PHS #12, 1996.

Getting Organized Part 2
By Katherine Von DuykePrinted in PHS #13, 1996.

Getting Organized Part 3
By Kathy von DuykePrinted in PHS #14, 1996.

Okay, now I am feeling educated, motivated, creative! Time for the doing! Time to get ORGANIZED! As if on cue, of course, the baby now starts to fuss, the 9 year old needs a hand, and the teenager needs a ride. And so is a day in my life.

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