Real Blogging: Our Homeschool Room

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I read a piece of blogging advice somewhere that said you should blog about things that you would want to read yourself.  well, duh, kind of, right?  

When I thought about what I like to read, I realized I like to see real peoples homes and stuff real people have made and read about real homeschooling.  So 'real' is the operative word here.   And one post I will always read by a fellow homeschool blogger is one on their schoolroom.   

Our schoolroom is far from great, or perfect, but I am thankful for the space that can stay messy, or involved for however long we need it too.   And while taking a few pictures of it, I realized it changes each year--evolves to fit our new needs.  This year, we added an analog clock, which I read is better for kids to grasp the concept of time, a much needed bookshelf, which now houses our workboxes, and an American flag, which just makes it feel more like a real schoolroom. 

And an update on what has been working for us this year:

Right now, my kids love Electric Company, which is on PBS at 7:30 in the morning.  They are allowed to come downstairs and do 2 drills (a multiplication/math drill and a grammar drill) at 7.  If they are finished in time (they always are), they can watch their show.  School happens before breakfast, before I even hit the coffee maker start button.  I celebrate this.  

What real thing are you celebrating right now?

WIP: Sawtooth Star

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm not sure what I was thinking, except that I wanted to make my next quilt entirely of solids.  But this quilt has me making 88 sawtooth stars, which broken down, is 352 flying geese triangles. I've been working on it a little over a week (after cutting the fabric for about a month).  I now have 40 of the 88 blocks done.  The sashing will be more of the grey fabric.  

I do love the'll be perfect for winter, don't you think?

What are you working on this week?

ps, i'm linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.

Field Trip 3: Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today the DSO began their Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra series.  We went to a performance for PreK-2nd graders, where we thought we would be judged less severely for children who are not robots.  And we were not disappointed.  And did not feel judged, even though at any given time at least two of my kids were out of their seats.

Tickets were $6 and a week before the show opened, we received a package in the mail with a CD of the music, and a study guide full of great ideas for teaching kids all about the orchestra.  

And in our last two field trips, we've started two new traditions:  a family photo - because us moms are so rarely in the pictures, and lunch out - because it's easy and a good bribe for proper field trip behavior.  

I'm definitely appreciating Dallas more.  Think we may try to go to the Arboretum next while my parents are in town.  I love it in the fall!

How We Feel Successful at the End of the School Day

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I plan backwards.  Or don't plan at all.  Then write it down like I did.


I very well realize that I am in no position to offer advice on successful homeschooling, especially in this, our roughest semester.  But I have found a few small things that have made a difference in how I view our day.

One of them is backwards planning.  I keep a day planner next to me the entire time we are "schooling." (I like the Well Planned Day)  As the kids work on the different things, I write it down.  That simple.  Turns out we actually do get things done.

Thanks, christygirl, my friend in real life who shared the idea with me, it's made a big difference.

ps, just saw that all Well Planned Day planners are now 35% off with coupon code hedua927.

What makes for a successful day for you?

Field Trip 2: Dallas Children's Theater

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Last week was our field trip to the Dallas Children's Theater.  We saw Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  It was great!  We were seated on the front row, where we could see the actors sweat and spit and dance up close.  Tickets were $8 a piece and a study guide was available on their website, along with all the state education standards that the play and guide meet.
This show was an hour long performance with no intermission, but it flew by-the kids were captivated the entire time, including my 18 month old.  But even if she was fussy, it is a children's theater where I doubt you would get any looks if you had to walk around the back of the theater.  In fact, one of my friend's daughter, who is 2, got a little overwhelmed being so close to the stage.  So they moved to the back.  

One thing I had to clarify to my kids was that it was called a Children's Theater because the shows are produced for children.  The actors were all adults, however.  They still enjoyed it a lot, but I think they were surprised to see Alexander played by an adult.  

This is the first of 6 shows we have tickets for this season.  Already I'm looking forward to the next-and hoping Daddy can come with us next time (maybe take a long lunch break?)

Have you taken any field trips yet?