Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Curriculum

Yesterday we received our new curriculum. I have kinda made our own this year so I could take the time to make sure I purchased the best curriculum for our family and I think we found it. I have always really liked the Charolette Mason Method of homeschooling. For those of you that don't know what it is, I will explain.

Charolette Mason was a huge name in Education in England in the late 1800's-early 1900's. Her ideas were that kids learn at their own pace. They need to have lots of time being in and learning about nature. They need to be learning from what she called living books. Living Books are books that are classic and grab your attention and teach you. They can be biographies, historical fiction, historical non-fiction etc. The point is to have a real education and not just to regurgitate facts for a test and then forget them. There is a lot more to it, but that is the very basic idea.

So I saw an advertisement in a homeschooling magazine I have for and decided to check it out. They follow the Charolette Mason method and send you these amazing books and everything you need like a planner, possible schedule, and extra ideas. This year, the kids will be reading books like the original Pinochio, Pollyanna, and many other classics. In science, they will be learning about animals, plants, and planets.

As soon as the books got here, the kids went nuts! I barely had the box open before I had a million little hands grabbing them. They looked at the books for hours and have been telling everyone they see all about them. Usually when I get a curriculum I know whether or not it was a good choice and lives up to the advertisements. So far, this one does. I really think we will enjoy this one and the both the kids and I are going to learn so much. I am so excited to start the new curriculum! Yeah for homeschooling!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Top 50 reasons we homeschool

We are asked SO many times why we homeschool and the list is really too long to list every time so I narrowed it down to 50 that I will list here and hopefully that will help some of you understand why we do what we do.

Reasons I homeschool my kids
1. It is what is best for my family.
2. My kids are more advanced than their peers and need to be able to learn at their pace.
3. I get to decide what my kids are taught. There are things that my kindergartener just shouldn't know about yet.
4. I get to raise my children. Not their peers or other adults with who knows what ideas in their heads.
5. Our school district doesn't have recess and buses K-12 together and then the kids not in high school yet have to take another bus to their schools. That is a lot for 5 year olds.
6. My husband is gone with the military a lot so we get to spend more time with him when he is around by taking time off when he is here and doing more when he is gone.
7. Learning is a lifestyle for us, not an 8-3 Sept-June thing.
8. My kids get a real education with the classics and learning instead of just spitting out random facts to get by until after the test.
9. We get to go on as many field trips as we want.
10. More hands-on learning. When we learn about the tide, we go to the beach to see it.
11. My kids get a break when they need it and can continue on much longer when they want to.
12. I can choose the best curriculum for my children.
13. I get to teach my children my values, morals, and character instead of societies. Look where society is going and what it is doing to our kids. I want more for mine.
14. I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get my children dressed and fed and off to school where they are so tired they don't learn well anyway.
15. My kids are ADHD so I can break up the day however I see fit for my child's learning and attention span.
16. What I teach an older child naturally filters down to the younger child(ren) making learning must easier and faster for siblings.
17. I don't have to worry about drugs, shootings, or any number of other things schools deal with daily. As a friend of mine said, if the Amish have to worry, we all do.
18. I get to allow my child to do, think, discuss, and explore in ways not possible in a classroom setting.
19. Constant positive reinforcement and gentle correction. No abusive words or actions that scar my child's psyche. Imagine being able to learn to read while on your loving mother's lap with gentle encouragement instead of other kids teasing you.
20. My kids don't pick up swear words or other undesirable language at school.
21. My kids get to learn life skills like cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening, etc in a real home environment and not just one class in middle school.
22. My children don't have to be scared to go to school cause of a bully or teasing.
23. I am there for my children when they need to talk.
24. We get to build a really close family bond. My kids are best friends.
25. Unlimited possibilities for extracurricular activities that interest my child and they aren't limited to certain hours outside of school.
26. Socialization in the real world not just with kids their own age where they are told to sit down and shut up.
27. If my kids want to study airplanes, we study airplanes. If they want to become a paleontologist, we can study dinosaurs. They get to study what they are interested in and therefore retain more information and enjoy learning more.
28. Free one-on-one tutoring.
29. I really know my kids and who they are, not who they pretend to be.
30. My kids don't have to switch schools every time we move (which with the military is often).
31. We can vacation during the off seasons without missing out on school.
32. I am learning so much along with them.
33. We can accomplish more education in less time.
34. Education still takes place on snow days, sick days, weekends, and holidays.
35. My children beg for school on days off.
36. I get to build my children up before sending them into a world that will try to push them down. They will be more prepared for dealing with things like sexual pressure if it doesn't start at such a young age.
37. My kids start foreign languages much earlier than most public schools.
38. Don't have to pay for registration fees, supply lists, and other fees required by public schools.
39. I teach my children to be self-directed learners and not rely on their teachers to teach them in an entertaining way.
40. Homeschooled students regularly score much higher than public, private, and prep schools in tests for academics and socialization and have a high trend of completing college.
41. My kids can finish what they are doing and their thought processes without being interrupted by bells.
42. My kids don't have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and are allowed to take their medication without having to leave class. They won't be suspended for taking a tylenol for a headache or cramps.
43. Grandparent day can be any day.
44. My kids get sick a lot and would be held back some grades for missing too much school even though they are much farther advanced than their peers.
45. My kids get to pray over their food.
46. I don't have to get a note from the doctor every time my kids get sick.
47. They get to be independent thinkers instead of "herd mentality" or following the in crowd.
48. No school fund raisers!
49. My kids have the time to volunteer to help others in the community while others are stuck in school.
50. Four words: No Child Left Behind. Need I say more?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

That's what happens when a one yr old potty trains herself

I have had no thought what so ever to potty training Luci. After all, she is barely 18 months. When we moved into the house, we just put the kids potty in the kids bathroom cause it made sense. Suddenly I started noticing Luci walking around without diapers every once in a while. I would then have to go on a hunt to find the missing diaper. Usually it would be in the kids bathroom and I would find a little tinkle or something. Today, she came walking in the kitchen without a daiper and I headed into the kids bathroom and looked down and there is was, IN the potty this time. I guess she figured it all goes to the same place anyway.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Immunity anyone?

We seem to always be sick. Eden and I especially. I don't know what it is. We wash our hands constantly, eat healthy, the kids are homeschooled so they don't get bugs from there. Last Monday, I came down with some stomach bug. The pain was bad enough that Ben got off work (which is really tough in the military) to take me to the Urgent Care. I told him I didn't need to go cause they wouldn't do anything for me, but he was concerned so we went. Ofcourse, they said it was probably a bug and I just needed rest. Lol, right.

Fast forward to Friday. I started feeling a weird tickling sensation in my stomach. Then Eden started coughing. By the end of the day, Eden and Celestial had temps of 105, Israel's was 104, and mine (I NEVER have fevers!!!) was 103.5. Luci so far only has diahrea and Ben (as usual) has no symptoms. Where does he get his wonderful immunities?

Our bodies ache soooooo much and our throats hurt and I have been throwing up. Sometimes we feel like we can't even breath. I figure it must be influenza. Oh fun. And while all this is going on, Ben is in the field for three weeks so I am a single mom of sorts.

Thanks to being sick all the time, I have had to cancel the kids portrait sessions three times now. We miss church about half the time and Eden has been missing Girl Scouts. The housework is behind and so is the school work. Just think, if the kids were in public school, they would be held back a grade for too many absenses even though they are doing work way above their grade levels. Thank heavens for homeschooling.

And for those of you who don't know, we have two new additions to the family. Jezabel and Delilah.

They are both very calm and very attached to me. They won't go anywhere without me. They won't even go outside without me so when my neighbor came over to take them out for me since I am so sick, they refused.
Jezabel is the alpha female. They are sisters. They are full blooded american bulldogs. They are very obedient and the kids really love them. They are protective of the kids and when I let them out in the yard, they stay in the yard until I tell them they can leave.
Anyway, so that is what is going on with the Frahs clan now. If any of you have some immunity to share, we are in desperate need.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It actually snowed today!

For Idaho, no big deal. But for southern Alabama, BIG DEAL! It never snows here. Ben woke me up this morning telling me it was snowing and it still is! The kids were so excited. Especially Israel. He has been wanting snow so much. They played in it with our neighbor, Sara for a while, except Celestial. The poor girl has a fever and threw up on me last night so I am making her rest. She would love to play but is NOT feeling up to it and I am sure the snow will be gone by tonight if not tomorrow.

Luci's eyes were huge as she looked up and stuck her hand out. I tried to take a pic but we are watching a neighbors dog for her while she is out of town and just as I had the camera ready, he ran her over and now she won't let me put her down. But she is lovin the snow. I do not like the cold, but I do like the idea of having a day or two of snow before we go back to our spring and summer weather. I love the south. The weather is so perfect for me. The cold weather in Idaho is one of the few things that make me nervous about moving back. That and not being near big places like Atlanta and Montgomery for things to do when we need to get out. Man I love it here!