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November 11, 2014

Egg Drop Challenge

Every once in a while we do some cool, fun, easy science experiments. Today's experiment was the egg drop challenge. We used this kit: Mad Science Egg Drop Challenge

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October 28, 2014

Scouts: Court of Honor

My Scout Today
Another Court of Honor is upon us. SS has been in scouts the last 2 years 6 months or so. It has only been 2 years and 6 months? With all the camp outs, activities, popcorn sales, I swear it has been longer.

For the he most part he is still a quiet and politeful boy young man, but has grown more comfortable around the other boys and has no issues goofing off with them.  It's amazing to see him be the young man that he is really becoming.

Yes he's still filled with a joyful and child like spirit, but he also has a bit of a serious side, a grown-up side. He has a take charge, just do it attitude. Just today the gate we use to keep Puggy, our dog, in the living room/kitchen area and away from the bedroom area of the house broke. I didn't even noticed it broke, but SS did and right away set to try to fix it. He didn't even say anything to me, he just went to work.  Last night I observe him, while helping to run games at a Halloween party with the other scouts, telling the fellow scouts where their help was needed at various stations. He just noticed the need and let others know about it.
My Scout Then

Tonight at Court of Honor SS will receive various merit badges he has earned over the last 6 months or so.  Currently he is First Class Scout, working towards a Star Scout. He just needs a few Eagle required merit badges to make Star Scout. He's working on several of them right now and is almost completed them, but just didn't get them in done for this Court of Honor. Hopefully he will have them done by next Court of Honor in the Spring.

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October 27, 2014

Enjoying a Fall Day

It's a beautiful fall day here in Northern Illinois. The sun is shining, kids go their book work done, and are enjoying some fall weather by running around the yard with our 7th month old puggle.

I think it's great that even at 12/13 they still enjoy playing games. They were playing tag with Puggy.  Do your older children still enjoy playing games? Do they still enjoy running around the yard?

Mine also enjoy the computer and tablets and other things, but it does my heart good to see them outside just playing and enjoying life and each other company.

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October 26, 2014

Cursive Writing

To teach it or not to teach it. That has been the question!

For YEARS have put off doing cursive writing. I'm not sure why, I knew I always wanted my kids to learn it, to read it, to write it. I just kept putting it off. At first it was because I felt they were not ready for it, then it was because I couldn't find resources like I liked, then it was because they were older and the resources were geared for younger kids.

I decided that at 13/12 years of age, 8th/7th grade, that there was no need to keep waiting on it. I could no longer keep putting it on the back burner. I had to address it! If we were going to do it it was going to be now or never.

So last week I borrowed resources from the library, because libraries are awesome, and we dived right in.  We are working through the workbooks I borrowed, but I also printed off a sheet with all the letters and have told the kids to just start writing in cursive and if they didn't know how to make the letters to use the sheet with all the letters as the guide.

Over all it has been going good. My husband after 3 days of writing in cursive is impressed with their penmanship. I am impressed with their penmanship. Yes we started late, but truly it hasn't been bad and their penmanship looks just as good to me as their peers that have been writing in cursive for years.  There is some minor errors they are making with connecting letters, but I'm able critique the writing and tell the kids where and how to do better.

It's a good thing to see them write in cursive. It's a good thing to see that over all their penmanship is good and they understand the mistakes they are making and able to correct them easily. It's a relief to know that even though we started cursive writing late in the game the kids are just as good at it as their peers that have been doing it for a long time. -- or at least compared to the hand writing I have seen from their homeschooled an non-homeschooled peers.  Do you teach your kids to write in cursive?

As a side note it was also a good thing to get a pat on the back from the librarian. When I was returning some the materials I borrowed she asked me how I liked them. I told her it was good, but not for us, seeing the kids are a little older. I openly admitted to her that I kept putting it off, but it was time to address it.  She said well at least you are doing it. So many schools don't even teach it now!

October 4, 2014


It's funny how after all these years that dreaded s word can still come up. It in the beginning it use to throw me through a loop and I used to get annoyed and didn't know how to answer. Now I just point out how school is not for socialization. Socializing at school means being sent to the principal office or letters home.  Think about it!  The only time a child can truly freely talk to the other children is at recess and maybe at lunch time. Although, some schools discourage talking at lunch time.

Homeschooling doesn't mean you are home all the time. There are still many of the same outlets available to homeschoolers. My kids still go to church, youth groups, scouts and chorus. Over the years they have, also, participated in sports. All of these things are after school programs. Programs that generally open themselves up to more socializing and free time with other children. Yes there are times within these programs where the kids have to listen this is especially true with sports and chorus, but relative to the time spent at these events and school there is more time for free talk or play.  Plus there are homeschool groups that offer classes, field trips, holiday parties, and just time to hang out. My kids have friends they invite over or call on the phone regularly.

Really where a child goes to school (or not go) does not prevent them form socializing. Socializing takes place in the real world around all kinds of people and situations: grocery store, other stores, scouts, sports, church, post office, doctor office, nursing homes, soup kitchens, libraries, homeschool groups, etc.

September 30, 2014

Reading! Libraries are awesome.

Good librarians make a huge difference. Over the years I have relied on the children's librarian to be a big help to me. She has always been willing to pull books for us, give us suggestions, and really has been helpful.

Recently, I asked her again for her help. Superstar needed more books to read. I everyday as part of their schooling make them read at least one hour. This one hour is in addition to what needs to be read for course work and can be whatever they want. (That way it's more enjoyable for them). Superstar was stumped on what to get next and I was at a lost of what to suggest to him. So I did what I always do, I went to the Children's librarian! She told me, nicely, that I needed to start talking to the young adult librarian. -- Well he has been crossing back and forth between both sections, but it was clear that as awesome as the Children's librarian has been to us, it was time to graduate to the next librarian.

So this morning we just did that and can I just say I am thankful that the Young Adult Librarian is just helpful. She pulled many books for Superstar. She had him read the first couple of pages, asked him questions, and within 10 minutes we didn't have one, but we had two books the boy wanted to bring home and read more!

Are your librarians awesome? What books are your teens reading?

September 26, 2014

When sickness has you down

Everyone in the house has been sick this week. Superstar, 13 now, and Web-Princess, 12, have been dealing with a nasty cough and fevers at night. They wake in the morning fever free and still coughing, but as the day goes on their fevers come back and the coughing gets worst. Hubby has been sick and so have I. It makes for a long week.

It is hard when they are sick not to get into that "oh, no we will be behind" mind set. You would think after 7 years of homeschooling I would be over that. Nope, I'm not! I think as they get older it gets harder to fight that. Especially, seeing Superstar will be high school next year. Yes, I'm just one year away from having a high schooler. As I look back at my older posting here I wonder where the heck did the time go.

How do you fight the "Oh, no I'm behind" thinking?

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