Sunday, January 21, 2007

Meet the Masters Curriculum


My son (16) has been using the meetthemasters@home series this year, and we are really enjoying it.  The above is a landscape in pastel based on American artist, Fredrick Remington.  We really like how well rounded is this program.  It comes complete with workbook, CD for computer, period music, and if you want ,you can buy the art supplies from them.  I found all of the supplies at the local craft store.

The below picture is his pastel based on Edgar Degas also done in chalk pastels.


Besides this program, we continue to do picture studies, using Charlotte Mason style of large prints based on the artist we are studying.  The little ones are interested in the picture study and then draw with crayons on regular paper.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Renaming My Children for Privacy

I decided to rename my children for the purpose of this blog.  For now on, they will be known as the following on this site. 

My oldest DS, who is 16, will be known as Dickon Sowerby, the nature loving lad who plays such an important role in The Secret Garden.  This fits his character perfectly.

My oldest DD, who is 6, will be known as Goldilocks from The Three Little Bears.  This little one truly does have the most golden locks you ever did see.

My DS that is 4 shall be known as Tom Sawyer.  He is always up for adventure and is an all-around Southern boy.

My youngest DD (3) shall be known as Little Red Ridinghood.  She is filled with a nurturing spirit and the naivety of a young child.

I hope to figure out how to load pictures soon.  I am not sure I will figure it out before our trip next week.  There is so much laundry and packing to do.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You might be homeschooled when

This is what my teen son wrote for his writing project the other day.  He was inspired by Jeff Foxworthy, the "You Might Be a Redneck" cartoonist. Anyway, I thought it was funny so here it goes.

You might be homeschooled when:

When there are cow eyeballs on your kitchen counter waiting to be dissected.

When your Mom's china has been removed from the china cabinet to make room for art supplies and science kits.

When your Mom demands you get off the computer so she can get her fix on

When the bumper sticker on the back of the car says, "My Dad is in love with my teacher."

When there are no school days off for snow, but there are days off for Mom's stressed out and wants to clean the house.

When every family vacation is to an educational destination.

When your backyard and front sidewalk have burn marks from the latest science experiment.

When the printer at the library runs out of ink trying to print out the receipt for the 50+ books you are checking out.

When you have to have a picnic lunch on the floor because there are too many books and projects on the table.

When most of your friends have never been on a school bus and those that have have left school because it wasn't educational enough.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Karen Andreola

For those of you who do not know, Karen Andreola has written several books about how she uses the Charlotte Mason style in her homeschool.  I love her books and find them inspiring on difficult days.  I was thinking about Karen Andreola's statement that children need three things everyday -- something/someone to love, something to do, and something to think about. 

Now the SOMETHING TO LOVE is easy for my kids because they live in a family with parents and sibs.  My teen has the opportunity to love others by his volunteer work (logged about 200 hours in 2006), but I really want to give the little ones an opportunity to love others through charity work on a more regular basis.  We maintain several helping jars that the kids can find coins and put into the jar.  (Unknown to them, we hide coins around the house for them to find.)  When the jar is full it goes to that charity.  But I would like to find more things that they can actually do, a little bit hard to think of ideas for a 3, 4 and 6 year old. 

As for the SOMETHING TO DO -- that is easy with Legos, playdough, blocks, crafts and all the great things to build/create.  The only challenge is not caving in to the seduction of TV.  The television is twaddle and they are not really doing anything when they watch it, but I just can't give it up completely.  I crave that little bit of calm time every day. 

The last thing is SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.  I try to encourage this by asking the kids lots of questions, reading them books that are just a little bit over their heads so that they have to stretch themselves to narrate back, and encouraging them to use their imaginations.  One last thing -- if you haven't read A POCKETFUL OF PINECONES by Karen yet, it is great!  It is set up like a novel but gives you great ideas on how to do nature studies at the same time.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Intro to My Life

Hello!  This is my first time having a blog and I am excited about starting one.  My dh and I have been homeschooling for eight years and have loved almost every minute of it.  We started homeschooling when we were in the military, and our special needs (cardiac problems and learning disabilities) son was suffering in the public school system.  After several moves, we realized that it was a national problem, not just one particular school.  We fell in love with the Charlotte Mason educational style immediately and have used that style ever since.  We do dabble a bit in unit studies occasionally.  After years of not being able to get pregnant naturally with a second child, we became foster parents, and adopted a sibling group of two.  While we were still adopting the two, we became pregnant with our youngest dd.  Ahh, how to go from one to four kids in 17 months!!!  It was a great adventure that is just now calming down!  Our adopted children have a range of disabilities that include Reactive Attachment Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  We are blessed that all of our children are thriving, and we are learning how to teach each of our unique kids.  We hope to meet others and get great ideas.