Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Classical Christian Homeschooling: A Reminder to Self

So convinced am I, that the public school system is not where my children belong, that I am willing to educated them at work in the midst of chaos much of the time. What I sometimes forget is why I prefer classical education over the traditional form set firmly in my mind by my own public school experience. However, it doesn't take much to remind myself. Lately, I have been doing just that. Rereading some books, reading new ones and discovering fresh information. I have decided I need compile a list. So here it is, my list of information on why I have decided to pursue a classical education for my own children. If you are interested in classical homeschooling or even if you are not, or if you just need to be reminded, I would encourage you to look into these resources.

Books (Read and To Read)

Essays and other Short Reads

What is Classical Education? by Susan Wise Bower
An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher A. Perrin
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers

This is a video I recently viewed. It is five hours plus! However, it is full of information and a definite defense of homeschooling, but they also encourage trivium learning.


The Well Trained Mind-Getting Started

I am sure I have merely skimmed the surface of available resources and I feel as though I must be missing something that I have seen or read in the past, but I do know that just a few of these resources was enough to convince my husband that following a classical style of homeschooling would be the best choice for us. I will probably add to this post in the future mainly to have everything in one place for easy reference. If you have additional information that you would like to share, please do...I would love to hear from you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Color Wheels

I know that this has been done over and over, but for some reason (probably because I didn't try hard enough), I couldn't find a color wheel template that I really liked. So...I made my own. This was an effort to find something to keep my children busy while I got to go to my gymnastics class. It did not work as well as I would have liked, but it has begun a fun color study. Here is the color wheel template that I created just to color or paint. I chose color to lessen the mess while I was gone. However, it may have been more entertaining (i.e. lasted longer), had I allowed paint. Another reason I chose to make my own color wheel is because, believe it or not, all I we have is a black and white printer! Yes, a print shop, where we print pictures and all we have is a bland and white laser printer! Unthinkable! but I think we shall survive! So here is my Color Wheel Template.

And, since my son was begging to do something with food coloring, and, since I saw this while searching for a template yesterday...

And, though it would have been much easier to use Mama Jenn's free download, alas the black and white printer would render them useless. So, once again another Color Wheel...in black and white. A bit of an oxymoron, though it is, it worked beautifully.

Here's how you do it.

1. Print off the Color Wheel Sheet (link below)
2. Laminate it, put it in a sleeve protector, or use packaging tape (like I did).
3. Put your Red, Yellow, and Blue food coloring in separate containers and add a little water to dilute.
4. Using an eyedropper or a straw (we couldn't find an eyedropper), drop one drop per letter indicator. For example for each R in one circle you would drop that many drops of red. Three R's, three drops of red.

5. Mix colors within each circle together with a toothpick or stir straw if you are in a coffeeshop .

6. Finally, using a paper towel or coffee filter (which I think I may like even better), carefully set it on top of the colors to soak 'em up! Here is what ours looked like.

And finally here is the Color Wheel Printable. In case you don't have a color printer as well! You may want to check out Mama Jenn for more instructions in case mine were too confusing. I won't be offended!

Thanks for reading! Until next time friends.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bugs, Bouncy Balls, and Bubble Snakes

I should be home cleaning my house. I am letting my kids spend too much time watching "The Magic School Bus" episodes on YouTube. And here I am being the "good example" still on the computer! My excuse, it is pretty poor, but I haven't updated this for a while and even though I have a pretty good excuse for that, I hear it is not a good blogger thing to do! ;) My excuse for not posting forever is this: my hard drive DIED! Totally gone! And what is worse, the backup stopped backing up some time last September!

This is pretty deflating for a graphic designer! I had oodles of tools that I used to make my life much easier. Many of the best ones are gone. There is an upside however...I have a great excuse to search for newer, funner ones! On the homeschooling side: Completely derailed!

Yup! Just like that. Not only am I now completely unorganized (because I had gone through and organized everything sometime around December), but public school got out around the same time my computer crashed. For most homeschoolers this would not be an issue, in the coffee shop its a pretty big issue especially if you plan on schooling on any level throughout the summer. I have to tell kids that they cannot play until we are done with school (i.e. kick them out the door...not always good for business). I think I may just have to start homeschooling the neighbors kids as well. I think God is working on my patience!

On the up side, a break from the computer is refreshing from time to time and makes me realize how much I need to regulate it. Mainly for myself, but also for my children. And yesterday, I did just that. After a rough morning, I decided we NEEDED to go for a nature walk. Earlier in the morning, my son decided he wanted to make an "bug" book and put pictures of bugs in it. So off he took with my D70 trying to focus on tiny little bugs. After being rather unsuccessful (either because he couldn't find any bugs, or because he could not really handle the big camera), he gave up. So on our nature walk, I took my husband's camera, the D300 (much better), and captured a few creepy crawlies.


shiny bug...


Now if we can manage to get the hubby to print them, and put a little (or a lot) of effort into figuring out what they actually are (I did not excel in entomology!), we will be in business!

Here are some other interesting sights we saw...

After the nature walk we made one of these:

and after the friends came back we all tried to make some of these homemade bouncy balls...

which turned out more like this...

We may have to try this one next time. Bonus: This one has the explanation as to what is actually happening to make the bouncy ball. I haven't looked very hard, but I have not found a good explanation for the borax version. If anyone knows, I'd love to heard it!