Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Homeschool Doodler

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
    I, as many other artist, have a habit of "doodling" or "quick drawing" at times.

    This comes from inspirations of thought like daydreaming. It could come from something you have seen (like the turtle we saw when we were leaving Five Rivers Delta and had to stop to put it in our Nature Journal), hear, smell, or even taste. Inspirations can come at anytime, any place for an artist. If your children doodle or draw a whole lot, don't let it worry you because doodling is practice for an artist. The same as readers read better and better with practice. 
    Sarah and Matthew use this method for illustrations in their Nature Journaling, Copy Work, and writing little Short Story Books.

Homeschooling is the perfect opportunity for them to learn what they love and love what they learn.
    Remember this, educators are always educating, preachers are always preaching, writers are always writing, and gossipers are always gossiping (just trying to be funny). I think you get the point, whatever your passion is, it's what you love doing and it comes naturally.

I am inspired by…
    homeschoolers, because of the way they develope a passion to educate themselves anywhere and everywhere they are. Myself and my wife, Traci, were both public schooled with low interest and grades to match. Now that we homeschool our children, we find that we ourselves have developed the same love and passion for learning.

What’s working for us…
    Sarahs my biggest doodler. She is constantly drawing all day long in between lessons and after school when she is not reading. She has came a long ways without any lessons. Sarah has taught herself to draw animals, houses, buildings, landscapes, and people all by doodling, doodling, doodling, practicing, practicing, practicing. Her dream is to write a book and do her own illustrations.
    Matthew is not far behind her with his drawings of guns, tanks, planes, animals, houses, buildings, landscapes, and people. All I do is give a little advice here and there. I have been grading their advancements in their drawings for Art lessons.
    I met a photographer who told me how blessed he was to be able to get payed to do something that he dearly loves to do. It don't get any better than this. That's why children should think about what they love to do and pursue after it for a career.

I’m praying for…
    my children to find the "will of God" for the directions and decisions in their life for their career, spouse, etc. I desire my children to be successful, God's way.

Elton

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another Day in the Big Woods

     Another great adventure has come to an end. Our journey takes us from south Alabama to north Alabama to west Georgia and back.
     First of all we go to a homecoming in Anniston, Alabama and spend the night in a hotel. Then we left from there to the mountains and campout for a few days at Cheaha State Park.


 Doug Ghee Accessible Trail is for everyone, handicapped or not. My wife is blind and loved the boardwalk.


 Great view from here at the end of the boardwalk!

 Beautiful day to picnic on a big rock in the middle of our hike.

 Matthew preparing the meat.

 Sarah preparing the new potatoes.

     It was fun, our children got to cook Hobo burgers for us over the campfire.

 The highest point in the state of Alabama, the CCC lookout tower.

A full view of the tower.

In  the top of the tower you can see a long, long way.
Then we met some homeschoolers there and exchanged email addresses. My family always loves to meet other homeschoolers where ever we go.
     Now we head for our next stop, FDR State Park in Georgia. Of course we loved it there and stayed a little longer. They had great hiking trails and campsites in the woods. Sarah and Matthew did the Jr. Rangers activity book to recieve badges.

Who's lost? Not us, we took the shortest trail to "Liberty Bell Pool."

 OK, let's take a rest, this trail seems to be longer than the sign showed.

 Our children finding answers to questions in the Jr. Ranger booklet.

      Since we are always schooling we take advantage of the nature and do our science, geography and math all along the way. Also while we there we went to Warm Springs and visited the Little White House Museum. That was so educational and fun.

 Here we are at FDR's Little White House and the blue light over our head was not on. Who can tell me why it's not on?

 Sarah at the garden fountain.

 Matthew at the garden fountain.

 Here's a model of FDR's Warm Springs Resort. It's only filled with water two times a year now.

 Our children playing around at a nostalgia museum that covered a city block in Warm Springs, GA.

Home sweet home. At least for about a week it was.
     Here we are at the last stage of our adventure, Columbus, Georgia for a walkathon for Baby J. This was a benefit walk for children with dissabilities. After the walk they had drawings for several prizes and they fed us lunch. Then we are off and on our way back home for the end of the journey. Time to rest up for a while get back into the routine of things. Hope you all have a good week of schooling!

Elton

Friday, June 24, 2011

After Dad's Day

     I was sitting here earlier enjoying a bowl of fresh hot grits with scrambled eggs & bacon bits while I pondered on the day. I decided to cook breakfast this morning since Traci's been working so hard for us.

     Of course I prepared hers and served it to her special because she is special to me. Every husband should show his wife in some sort of way that he appreciates her, don't you agree?
     Now that we have another holiday out of the way we will continue on with our summer schooling. We are mostly doing this so we can do a lot of the stuff that we don't have time for during regular school time.
     Let me share with you what homeschooling Charlotte Mason's method of learning has done for our children; Sarah reads practically everything she can get her hands on. Keeping her out of our homeschool library is the problem. These are books for our next school year. All the other children gladly let her read aloud in Sunday School & Childrens Church. She loves to help the teachers at church. She is turning into a teacher and leader at a young age. Sarah likes to entertain and read to smaller children, but we can't get her to change dirty diapers yet. Art (clay, drawing, water colors, chalk, acrylic painting & woodcrafting), writing (blog post, poems, funny stories, emails & loves doing any kind of workbooks), math, the Walton's and E.R. (Emergency Room documentaries on TV) are things she does in her own time. Constantly practicing and perfecting things she has learned from schooling and everyday life, that's our daughter.

    Matthew on the other hand likes science and history. He likes to take his toy soldiers, cars, trucks, legos, guns, wooden swords, wooden knives, dress up clothes and act out the many books we have read. Taking things apart and putting things together. This imaginative boy has lots of adventures in our backyard. Matthew loves documentary videos and audios. He remembers everything he sees and hears, but can't sit still for a minute. Always on the move, always listening, always learning, that's our son.

     That's the inside of our homeschool. It's never boring around here. There is never enough time to do all that we would like to do. Things like; reading our favourite books, writing our stories, experiments, field trips and projects, lots and lots of fun projects. Projects like a child sized Indian TeePee, minature working cannon, wooden swords, tomahawk, knives & guns, minature working catapult, minature working airplanes & a wind tunnel, 4 wheel bycicle, wooden rickshaw, wishing well & electronic gadgets just to name a few. I plan on hosting these projects here as they come. So, I hope you will keep up with us as we follow our inventive minds with projects in homeschooling!
Elton

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break Education!

   Our Spring Break could not help but to be educational,with the divers seashells, sand art, the Zoo and finally, the family night TV show was geography and science. We took a few pictures so we could share with all our Homeschooling friends. It was a little cool during the day and really cool outside at night. The wind never ceased the whole time we were there.
   To start with we never intended education that week, but it turned out that way, naturally. The first thing Sarah and Matthew did was play in the water and sand. While doing this they were also busy finding and comparing seashells and sand dollars. Back and forth showing me their latest finds. I have been shown different types, sizes, colors and shapes.
   Matthew runs and shouts with excitment, "A Cone Shell!" He didn't stop there, then he procedes in giving me a science lesson about it and the little creature in it.
   His public schooled cousins and friends just could not grasp the excitement of the moment. Their interest were getting a tan, going to the Hangout and other boys and girls. Needless to say everyone thinks our children and us are strange. I told them we just dared to be different instead of just following the fads of today. The fact is we love homeschooling!
   The sand art was fantastic! First there was a life size alligator.



A life size sea turtle.

An octopus.

Even a dog.


   It inspired us to try our hand as sand artist.

Matthew's octopus, eating a fish.


This is my wife, Traci's turtle.

Sarah's happy starfish.


   There is a zoo about two miles or so from the beach. We couldn't resist going with Matthew and Sarah's little cousins (it was their first time).
A complete animal science and nature lesson filled our children's mind. Alligators, crocodiles, lizards, iguanas, snakes and other reptiles, tigers, lions and other big cats, wolves, monkeys of all sorts, lots of birds, donkeys, goats, deer and camels too.
   The grand finale was on the last night. We relaxed around the TV set to have a little family time before bedtime. As it turns out this movie is about the whole earth having severe climatical changes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, huge hail storms, severe lighting, etc. Many, many science observations and terms.
   We are home now, back to our math, Shakespeare, reading, etc.
We love travelling and can't wait till our next field trip!

Elton

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Living Books-Education For a Lifetime!



       Living Books, as Charlotte Mason rightfully refers them to be, have a wonderful way of stirring the inventive imaginations in children and adults. In this respect living books go beyond a simple education by causing the mind to develop an ever increasing hunger for learning. This hunger for learning in return springs forth a lifetime of education.
       Take an uneducated person, whether they are young or old, if they can understand a picture book with meaning or any good literature that transfers the thoughts of the author to the reader, then the subject matter from it will educate its student with an accelerating wave of learning. While growing in wisdom the reader will advance to more and better living books to continually wet their appetite for knowledge.
       Avid readers can't help but to be transformed into their favorite character as they learn about the various subjects of Geography, Science, Nature, Inventions, Creative Writing, Art, Tools, Travel, Culture, Photography and History to name a few.  There is an endless supply of living books to venture through whichever direction you want to go.
       While surrendering yourself fully to the reading of a book, you will lose gravity of the present world you’re in. H. G. Wells will take you far into the future with The Time Machine. Go 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and explore the mysteries of the deep with Jules Verne. We love to go back in a time when you could enjoy the flowers, friends and life itself, with Anne of Green Gables. Travel the vast frontier with Laura Ingles or go whaling with Moby Dick. Learn of the morals revealed by the animals in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.
       Oh, how living books will hold your mind captive. Chapter after chapter, you just can't find a good place to stop. Your curiosity draws you deeper into the book and away from your surroundings. Here you are enjoying yourself on an island of paradise, laying on a cool smooth patch of grass by a beautiful stream of crystal clear water being filled from a symphonic waterfall flowing into it. The bird’s melodious singings are soothing to your ears. Suddenly, you hear something behind you. It's---"Mom, what are you doing? Aren't you supposed to be cooking dinner about now? Hey! Is that my library book you are reading? That book is for children you know."
       Living Books, when you take off on a reading adventure and go soaring through your imagination, don't forget to come back every once in a while. LOL
Elton

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why Does It Float?

     We have been conducting hands-on experiments in our homeschooling lately. All of us do hands-on science daily without realizing it. For example, when I'm cooking & hot grease spills on my skin, then the nerves in my burning finger sends a signal to my brain. Now suddenly I realize just how quickly heat transfers through my finger as the temperature of my skin (98 degrees ) and the temperature of the hot grease (160 degrees) try to find an equal level of temperature (129 degrees).
     So the nerves in my brain now send signals to my vocal cords and I yell, "Ouch!" At the same time a signal goes back to my finger to tell the muscles to jerk my finger back. It's OK to laugh if you want too. The human body is amazing, isn't it? This has been a mini science lesson for you. Danger! Do not try to do this! Believe me, it hurts.

     Now for our floating experiment. Matthew & Sarah each have a bowl with a pencil, plastic toy soldier, and a copper penny laying in the bottom. I asked them what they thought would float and what would sink. Sarah thinks that the pencil would float (Wood), soldier would float (Plastic), the penny would sink (Metal). Matthew on the other hand seems to think that the pencil would only float on one end because of the metal & eraser on the opposite end would tend to sink under the surface a little. He agreed with Sarah about the soldier and the penny.










     I poured water into both bowls and both pennies stayed on bottom. both pencils floated very well proving Matthew's theory wrong. We were all caught by surprise when his soldier floated and hers sank. I quickly asked them, "Why did this happen?" They both said that it was the air bubbles which were stuck all over the soldier. I said, "That was a good guess, but there was bubbles on both soldiers." Now they are confused. So I said the only logical conclusion is there must be an air bubble trapped inside the floating soldier. They both agreed to that theory and that concludes this experiment.

     Now my wife wants us to take all the toy soldiers and see how many floats or sinks. I said, "Not today, sweetheart." Maybe she will forget about it, if not then I will give you a report later. LOL.

      I will be posting our experiments from time to time. I hope you enjoyed your Homeschooling memories, I did.

Elton

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Read-A-Loud Time~How Sweet It Is!

    When is your family closest together. One of the times our family gathers together in close unity is during read-a-louds. We love this time together and I'm sure we will treasure the memories of it for a lifetime. Last night we were continuing our reading of The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. My wife, Traci, decides to sweeten things up a little bit by baking some Toll House chocolate chunk pecan cookies.




    Cookies, cold glass of milk, and a great book read by Dad to warm our hearts with growing expectations. Wonderous literature to carry us to another land, time, and culture. A book of adventure that puts you right there with Daniel as he is faced with many situations and hard decisions in life. This book has a great moral, as do all living books in the end.
    As Charlotte Mason recommends, you read a book completely, one word at a time, savoring each one from first to the very last and then wanting more. Drawing from the well of knowledge, wisdom, lessons, and morals of life.
    O, I could just go on and on, but I must not so I can write another post later. Enjoy your family at home with Homeshooling, it's worth it!
    Elton