Monday, September 23, 2013

Kindegarten Ideas

A lot of these I got off Pinterest but followed nicely with what we were working on. Site Words are huge and we have been doing them for probably about 6-7 months now but slowly until this summer where we really bumped up after talking to my sister in Boston on what she was doing with her son Peter who is the same age as the boys. Our goal was to be up to 50 words by the end of summer but through fun activities and play. One thing I did was take parts of the newspaper (and their preschool teacher did this too) and had them highlight certain site words. They loved this!

Today we took a "Thor super hero hammer" and smashed site word I called out. Boy did they love that one!
This is a sweet prayer that is easy for kids to use when they are learning prayers and can use their hand to remember. Boys love this one and do it more at night.

I let them play teacher a lot to stump each other in Math, however it backfires sometimes and they end up fighting. GRRRRR

This one was cool I got off Pinterest for learning time. It was perfect because I was a crank ass on this raining Monday morning and I loved doing the Grouchy Lady Bugs voice when reading. Which made the boys laugh and stay engaged.

Then I had the boys, make little clocks and a big clock and we had to match it to the animal in the book that the lady bug found. Then the important part was I also made them write the word out for which bug and color the bug. It shows me we still really have to work on writing our little letters!

On the big clo

 We started senses today which they pretty much know but since they have to work on their writing skills, I would call out one of the words below on the sheet and they would have to write which sense it was under the Senses photo, then I let them try to sound out that word and cross it off on the bottom. All and all, a good "morning" with school but afternoon turned into wild Mayhem (another story).

Busy Boys!

Some of these photos are what really got me to homeschool when I saw how small of a snapshot of time we have with our little guys in their life! Especially these first 3 photo's there VPK teacher made for me for Mother's day! They were great ideas but really put it into perspective for me on all the things I used to do with them throughout the day as their teacher when they were ages 0-4/5 and how this year was so important to continue that healthy sweet foundation of prayer, morals and just pure love.  We have so much more time now with family, relaxing and being productive when it is time to get down to work.

My Favorite Flower Pots Ms. Keri made of boys for each year of their life.

UNO With The Family and Getting to see them more without rushing to get them in bed for school the next day.

A great game of SPOT IT where Grandma (83 years of age and Nic 5) beat me and my aunt!

Ice Cream with the family on a Sunday night!

More Sports with their buddy Todd!

Field Trips - Movies and Museums

 Rock Star Status! This kid love creating inventions and making things out of what we have to reach his goal. This one - A rocking Drummer! Ear plugs and all!

Learning Chest and loving it.

 Searching for bugs!

 Making sure we see our friends that go to different schools!

Learning All About Friends and What it Means to Be a good friend!


Late campouts with Grandma and thankfully, no worries about getting up early!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Each Day!

Well homeschooling is going great, although it is definitely a learning process and I have had to start acupuncture to help me keep my stress low! Somehow, having them stay home this year just feels natural. I think it is helping me because a lot of my friends (since the boys have known either from preschool or twins since they were babies) are doing it. Also, in Florida it is very main stream and "normal".
Probably what is the most annoying thing is when I see older people out at the stores and they have the  compelling need to ask me these questions ALL THE TIME when they find out my kids are in Kindergarten and out with me during the "school day":                                                                                                     
1.) Aren't you afraid of their socialization?
2.) Aren't you afraid if they go to school or work when they are older they won't know how to follow rules?                                                                                                                                                     
3.) Why on earth are you home schooling?                                                                                            
4.) Are you a teacher by trade?                                                                                                           
And with my confident but fake smile this is what I say:                                                                      "No to all questions and I want to home school. I want to be with my kids".  
* Okay, side note - My friend's with kiddos that go to school, this is NOT a DIG, honestly, I truly 100% know you want to be with your kids as much as I do! I know it whole-heartily and support your decision. I support a parents choice either way- 100%. I feel like you have to do what is best for your child, family.  I am not a over the top extremist what-so-ever. I feel strongly about it for my kids but have no feelings of negative thoughts about other kids going to school. Just wanted to clarify  that.  Never in a million years did I think I would be homeschooling or have the patience to do it.
Staying  home with the boys, I do get these annoying questions from people that are  not open minded with this and my brain immediately wants to make my mouth start running and spewing out facts about homeschooling but instead I give a simple smile and think:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1.)   Please stop asking about socialization unless you have researched this, if you know these boys, this is probably the least concern with all their friends, sports and family.
                                                                                                                                                                   2.) Please mind your business, I do not know you.                  
3.) Mind your freaking business.                                                                                                                                      
4.) Seriously, did you really just ask me about "Real life and them fitting in if they go back to school or the work place 24 years from now"?  We only have today and have no clue what will happen  tomorrow or in the future, only god knows this.  So, no I am not worried in the littlest bit about 24 years from now or even next year if we change our mind. These guys get all crazy with me and on me at times but at school settings thus far the past 3 years, they have been great, excelled and listened. They are being educated and having a good moral foundation installed in their life so again no, currently have no worries.
5.) Mind your own XYZ (swear word- fill in the blank) business!!!!                                                
However, what is super cool is all the mom's that ask me about it, they seem so interested in it and so supportive.   Many say they want or wish they could do it. Now that I am entering this new world of home schooling, so many Mom's ( at least where we live) love hearing about it and some have doubts about it but they are truly interested in how it is going. I want to write more on this experience so I will be showing lots of photos, probably complaining but hopefully sharing that it is a great experience! Hopefully! 
I also have high hopes that by showing our true experience with doing home school it will help other home school moms come up with ideas. I also have great hopes that it will maybe, just maybe break that old school of thought that kids and parents that home school are weird, not socialized, won't function in the real world, and won't fit into the workplace when they are adults. 
But I am not going to paint a beautiful rainbow of how glorious and easy it is because I do get frustrated with the boys, my house is trashed which makes me insane because pre-kids I loved having a neat house, still work some nights and weekends, get burnout out at the end of the day, not sure how I have 10 piles of clean laundry in our extra bedroom and in front to the dryer (probably because I am doing this instead), I need breaks to regroup- I know that it is going to be a fun year of good memories (thankfully I have a supportive husband, a mother in law who is helping so much with giving me breaks to rejuvenate my brain, we have family and friends who are open to it and do not judging us). It's almost like when the boys were little and I was trying to figure out how to raise twins and the insanity of it. 
It is only taking us about 1-2 hours each morning to get our work done that is done in a 7 hour school day and this includes a week of math, reading, writing, spanish, science, computers, social studies (kind of), art and bible study. This is great it only takes a short time and I can focus on each of the boys as they need it. As a new "teacher" it was hard this summer but we already have 75 days into it out of 180 days of a school year since we were able to legally start in July. It's crazy right!!!????  I have no clue if I will keep doing this, I am taking it year by year, hell 6 months at a time. We are hoping at some point to have them enrolled at a small Christian school near us, but who knows.
So to all the homeschoolers out there, as a new mommy doing it, when you get frustrated, remember we have to be easy on ourselves and take it day by day. That is one of the largest lesson's I have learned so far from friends that have been doing it and it makes for a much more happy learning experience and day! Here are some photos so far!
Our morning prayer to keep us sane!

We go  to gyms with their friends!

 They write!
 They see their old buddies after school a lot!
 Teaching them state standards and moral values.
 Our room!                        
 Learning about money and time!

 Relaxing at grandmas pool!

 Science and learning how clouds hold water. Using shaving cream on water and food dye on top. Watching it drip! 
                                             Fun with friends at parks, lakes and pools with friends that go to school and ones that are homeschooled.

Dance in the rain!
 Playing lots of sports :Lacrosse, golf lessons, ice skating (towards hockey), and karate.
 Science again, which my sister who was a chemist said quickly...GO WASH THEIR HANDS YOU SHOULD NOT MIX THOSE....opps, learning experiences for me too!

Architecture through play.

Math (thank god for my husband who made this for me one night while I was working and feeling overwelmed!

They got their own library cards! Big deal for 5 year olds.
Learning how to help and be part of our household
Christian covering his answers because he thinks Nicolas cheats.

 Learning our address with zip (the zip is what we had and have to learn! Which turned out like dark haunted houses and trees. They had to write it out, make a street with houses and address. Make a fun tree and house.

 Science- watching and deciding why the flowers turn read when they drink red water.
 Going to new places - GIGI's cupcakes after their friends got out of public schools. ..Well maybe the moms wanted to specifically try this new place.
 Math- Christian trying to stump and play teacher to Nicolas.
 Playing with site words on Ipods as little love bugs.
Hop scotch with site words for reading.