Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wrapping up another homeschooling year!


Gosh!  It's about to be 2017...really?!

I enjoy looking back at the memories we made, the things we learned and reflect on how we can make 2017 even better!  And what better way to document that, than on our blog.

January 2016

Our Writer's Club at their Publishing Party!
"No More Writing Blues" Blog Post

We took the train downtown to visit the state capital

February 2016

We went to a local theater to enjoy their production of James and the Giant Peach

We shared Cubetto with our friends at StemEd Labs.

We built Legos with residents at a assisted living home.
Sharing the Lego Love

March 2016

We hiked with some amazing friends

We read to our elderly neighbor.

April 2016

We went on a family camping trip.

We enjoyed some putt-putt golf to learn some Math.

May 2016

We celebrated being 100 days smarter!
 How did we celebrate?

We made dioramas and taught our friends about Sharks and the Moon.

June 2016 



We GRADUATED!


 July 2016

We beat the heat by making a homemade foam machine.
How did we make this happen? Click here
We traveled to Wheeler Texas to teach at 3-day workshop for kids and their moms.
What did we do here?

August 2016

We learned at The Thinkery

We studied and learned all about the summer Olympics.

September 2016

We earned yellow belts!

We met a REAL astronaut!

October 2016 - BEST MONTH EVER!

We road-schooled to Great Sand Dunes National Park.
See more about our Road School trip.

We learned about the hydrologic cycle in Colorado.
See more about our Road School trip.

We saw "The Super Moon" over Lake George, Colorado.
See more about our Road School trip

November 2016

We found some scary dinosaurs at the Ross Perot Museum in Dallas Texas.

We read to rescue animals at the local animal shelter.

December 2016

We enjoyed our slow and sacred Advent season.

We got festive in a simple way.


Another happy and healthy year!  We wish you the best in 2017.  








Monday, November 28, 2016

Wild+Free Reflection


I've been reflecting ALOT!  (I do my best reflecting in the shower like every mom seems to)

I love looking back at our road schooling trip.  It makes my heart flutter when I think back!  That was an epic family moment of sweet memories that we will forever hold in our hearts.  We connected more than EVER as husband and wife, parent to son...as a family! Life was simple "up there".  And it seems to be easier to connect when things are simple.

After a month of bliss, we returned to LIFE.  Going here and there and everywhere!  I started to slowly disconnect from that simplicity.  I started to not find time to sit down and listen to my kids play (or fight depending on the day) like I did EVERY afternoon on the porch in Colorado.  I was quickly losing these moments because LIFE was back. (And laundry!)

I made a promise to myself upon our return.  I was going to try to maintain simplicity back in real LIFE... God clearly heard a sweet prayer that I sent up one evening in November.  God knew that this momma was hungry for connecting with my boys again.  And he knew that I needed to reflect in a place other than the shower!  LOL  

And this is how he answered that sweet prayer...

I had seen a post regarding a Wild and Free conference in Wimberley Texas...HOLY CRAP!  That's only 45 minutes away...on a ranch...all about being a mom and homeschooling!  

I was so in, but just needed a ticket (and maybe 1 more for a sweet momma friend)  I said a quick sweet prayer and left it at that ...

The happy ending to this story is that WE both ended up getting tickets and off we went, BIG Texas-sized truck and all!

This is a member of "my tribe"and awesome homeschooling momma of 3 boys!

We heard from a hand-selected bunch of Wild and Free Mommas that inspired me to the fullest!
I was blown away.
Oh this lady is one of my favorites!  The sweetest Sarah Makenzie!
https://amongstlovelythings.com/
Jodi Mockabee!!  She's pretty amazing!!!
https://www.instagram.com/jodimockabee/?hl=en

     
Rea Berg - mom, grandmother, author!  http://bfbooks.com/

And we got RC Cola's delivered by donkeys!  Texas fo'sure!

They spoke boldly about being comfortable with who YOU are as a Mom and a Homeschooler.  They shared stories with us that made us laugh and cry.  But most importantly, they made us reflect!

So I came home, ready, to become to explore a new homeschooling style.
We have read more, together!
We have explored more, together!
We have learned to slow down and enjoy...more...together!





If you look back, throughout my blogs, you can clearly see the evolution of our homeschool.  I'm not ashamed of anything that I've done.  I am just amazed at the journey it's been...and it's not over yet!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Using the World as Our Classroom - "cabin sweet cabin"

Once we got to our family cabin (our home base for 1 month), I knew that I wanted to focus on 1 thematic unit and a few individual units based on the interests of my little learners.  

Our BIG focus for the month was “The Hydrologic Cycle” aka “the water cycle”.  What better place to really understand this than in the beautiful mountains dusted with snow.

I printed out these great placemats from, none other than, the USGS.  We walked around Lake George, looking at the lovely backdrop of mountains, streams and the lake to discuss and talk about how the water got there.

Side Note:  The boys were throwing rocks into the lake the WHOLE time during this lesson/discussion.  I found the interesting!  We often tell kids to be still and listen, and sometimes that is appropriate.  But other times, let them "throw rocks in the lake" or kick the rocks in the dirt.  That's how they learn...boys need to be learning by seeing, by hearing and by doing!



When we got back to the cabin, we made a model using clay and rocks in a plastic shoe box.  I cut a hole in the lid and we added a small collider (that was my great grandmothers...so cool), along with some ice cubes.



We placed it in the sun and observed...then played...then came back to observe throughout the day!  We saw the ice melting, forming a stream down the mountain, down the rocks to form a lake!

We even left it out over night and THIS happened!!!  They were so excited to touch and feel the ice/snow that had formed over night!


THIS is Child-led learning (and child inspired)

When you have a dinosaur lover that only wants to read about dinosaurs and play with dinosaurs and talk about dinosaurs...you take him to visit DINOSAURS!


The Dinosaur Resource Center - Woodland Park Colorado

And when you have a 5 year old that is obsessed about anything that can fly.  You make some fun stops like these...

Ft. Garland Colordao

Penny Arcade -Manitou Spring, Colorado

And when you little learner is CRAZY about knowing the time, you buy him a cool watch to start teaching him how to recognize numbers.


Counting with Pinecones was HIS favorite thing to do in the mornings

At-Home Learning

When we were "out there" learning, we were right here.... 
Exploring
Cooking
Soaring...


Relaxing and Writing...

Fishing, Climbing, Observing, Listening...



...doing life as a family!


* Side Story - My great grandfather had this cabin built for his family back in 1940.  It's a magical place and means so much to me and my family.  My Mema was "one of the best"!  She was always up for simple, fun and it was always with friends or family.  I "talked" to Mema a lot this trip.  Specifically, when the boys would play the player piano in the front room or when we'd hike up to big rock every morning as a family.  Or when Mason and I made playdough in the same kitchen that her mother once cooked.  

Mema would have LOVED these boys! and they would have loved my Mema!* 


Anything else you'd like to know about our trip?  Or maybe you you have some questions about how we did this and that?

Feel free to leave a comment or email me (mommyslittlelearners@gmail.com).


#MathMonday

I love having names for our homeschool days that we can remember. Over the years, we have added these fun acronyms for days of the week...