Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Might have a new favorite!

Some of you may not know this, but I am a Bzz Agent and I periodically try and review new products. I am loving the products I am currently testing!

I am testing some adhesives from Elmers and Cutting tools from X-acto....so far so good. The tape runner and the glue pen have come in very handy for a few homeschool projects, and the scissors made Josiah's Language Arts lesson a little more fun this morning. These shaped scissors seem sharper and easier to use than others I have tried.
Next, I need to try the glue spots and the corner rounder...hmmm...sounds like fun!

At any rate, I am pleased with the quality of the products that I've been sent (see pic above) and am excited to keep using them.

**Full disclosure....I was provided with the products to try for this study, but am otherwise not compensated in any way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First MVCA Fieldtrip

Today was a blast! The boys and I attended our first MVCA field trip which found us checking out animals at Petco, playing (and sipping coffee) at Jungle Java and learning about healthy lifestyles at Meijer.

At Petco, the boys got to pet and hold various animals.....including a baby Ball python...yikes! They loved seeing the different kinds of animals and being able to get up close and personal with them.

Our next stop was Jungle Java. I had never heard of Jungle Java before....it is a really neat place. Combine the coolest indoor play area you can imagine (complete with tunnel slides and a mini-zipline) with a hip-and-modern coffee shop/lunch spot. Some of the other MVCA moms sat and chatted while our kids became sweaty messes....and it was really enjoyable.

The last stop for the field trip was Meijer. Donna, a Meijer employee, took our group on a tour of the store. We stopped in multiple departments and learned about proper food choices and healthy lifestyles. Snacks were given out along the way, and the tour ended at the Purple Cow....Meijer's hand-dipped ice cream stand. Yum!
All in all it was a great first field trip!
Since we were in the area and I needed a few things, the boys and I ended our day in Canton with a quick trip into IKEA. I'm really not sure there's such a thing as a "quick trip" into the huge expanse of home furnishings....but we were in and out in an hour! Josiah and Trevor played in Smaland while Camden got to push the European-styled shopping cart.

Now my three little guys are tucked in bed, and we will be back at the books tomorrow....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who? Me? Never!

My role as a mother has changed again. I am a nurse, tooth-extractor, housekeeper (sometimes!), grocery shopper, head chef and now....teacher. For multiple reasons, Joel and I decided to homeschool Camden (2nd grade) and Josiah (Kindergarten) for the 2010-2011 school year. This decision was one we labored over. I stayed awake many nights thinking about how/if it would work and prayed about whether or not it would be best for our children. Although I have a teaching degree, the thought of teaching my own kids was terrifying! We would have loved to send them back to FCS, but financially it just wouldn't work. We considered enrolling the boys in our local public schools, but we weren't comfortable with that in our current area. If we lived somewhere else, maybe...but since we live where we do, it wasn't a viable option. I certainly don't mean to offend those in my area who DO send their children to the local schools....it just wasn't a fit for our family, that's all.

Once we started giving homeschooling some serious thought, I looked at several curriculum choices, including K12, Abeka and Bob Jones. While certainly less expensive than private school tuition, purchasing curriculum gave me sticker shock! We decided to use K12 Curriculum through the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy. Can I be honest here? I LOVE this format! I am truly enjoying this process with my boys. I know, I know. I've only been at this for a week (we did a few introductory lessons before the first "real" day of school) and I KNOW that there will be some rough days that come. However, I'm going to ride this wave as long as I can!

Here are a couple things that I am loving about homeschooling right now:

1. The curriculum is fantastic! It is challenging and exciting....both of the boys are really enjoying their lessons.

2. The schedule is flexible (to an extent - I plan to follow an established routine). Our planned "start time" for school is 8:30. Last night we got home late (well after bedtime) and so we started school a little later today. I love having the ability to tweak things to meet the needs of the family better.

3. I love being the one to explain to my kindergartener why the Pledge of Allegiance is important. I'm thrilled to help my 2nd grader learn units of metric measurement and discuss Clara and the Bookwagon at length. Sure, I can do all these as Mom (and should take every opportunity to teach them) but doing so as their teacher is so much fun!

4. This first week has reminded me how much I truly loved teaching as a vocation. I only taught for 3 years, but I absolutely loved it! When Camden was an infant, I really missed heading to the classroom everyday...and now I get to go back to the classroom each morning.

All in all, I'd say we're off to a terrific start! Now, if I could find a way to teach in the classroom and clean the house at the same time.....