Twice this week, we visited the botanical gardens. The first time, we "hiked" through the Alabama woodlands and the Japanese gardens.
What a cold, windy day! Our school was split into 3 groups, and there were also several other groups, and we all started at a different station and spent 15 or so minutes learning something about the Civil War before moving on to the next station. At some point, someone got backed up so each group had to wait a little bit before the group ahead of them finished. We still had 4 stations to go when all the groups decided they'd had enough and everyone left. Since we drove separately, we were able to visit one more station before the re-enactors packed up.
The only station I got pictures and videos of was this one, shooting the rifles. The guns were laid out on the ground in two rows, and the kids lined up behind them. Then the leader instructed them on how to pick up and hold the gun.
I am not a fan of modern, normal history learning. These textbooks teach what they deem most important, and they totally disregard any sense of timeline. I hated history growing up because everything just hung on nails in random spots in my brain, disconnected from everything else. It wasn't until I got into researching my genealogy that I finally saw history as one continuous story, with a beginning (Creation), middle (absolutely everything else), and end (as of yet to be determined, or "the present", whichever you'd prefer). When I saw that, I could hang all that useless info where it belonged. I determined to teach my kid history in order. It really makes sense that way!
This morning we visited the planetarium at a local college. They had a "homeschool day" where they showed a short video and the director went through a slide show of the solar system. We ran into a friend from a recent camp-out.
The show was like glorified Google Earth with a little more zooming capabilities, with some evolution sprinkled throughout. But it was fun to spend time with friends, anyway. And we got to see the brand-new footage of Mars and Pluto.
Today EJ's Trail Life group (a Christian alternative to Boy Scouts) went to Tannehill Park. I have never been, and after hearing my husband talk about all his amazing trips there as a boy, I was pretty bummed about not being able to go today. But then they came home and he told me all about it and suddenly I wasn't so bummed anymore. Turns out it's a lot less kid-friendly now a days, with a lot of the "cool" stuff (and tourist-y things) gone. At least EJ will never experience the disappointment. Judging by these pictures, I think he had a good enough time!
In English class, EJ is learning all about friendly letters. He has had to write several practice letters, both invitations and thank you letters. I absolutely love his imagination! Here is his invitation from yesterday:
Dear Club member,
Dear Club member,
Then he had to pretend he was a guest at the most recent party and he had to write a thank you note.
Dear Club Leader,
I asked him who Latin was. He said his friend's name and I corrected his spelling. He thanked me by saying, "It sure wouldn't do to go through life not knowing how to spell the name of one of my best friends!" Isn't EJ so adorable? Or am I just biased? :-)
Celebration Park with some friends
You've noticed that public school is not helping your kid. Or Christian school isn't a whole lot better than the ideals and atmosphere of public school. Or you've always wanted to homeschool, you just have no idea how to start. Then welcome, this post is for you! I will encourage you, challenge you, and guide you. Then I'll send you away, hopefully a little better equipped to do this magnificent thing of personally instilling in your child everything he needs to know to be a highly functioning adult in society. Scared yet? No need, it's not as bad as it sounds. I promise.
Depending on your reasons for homeschooling, you will probably approach this different ways. I have learned that unless it's written in black and white in the Bible (which most things are black and white), I should treat people with a healthy dose of grace and realize that if everyone were the same, a boring planet that would make. So while there is no one right way to homeschool, and other people have found smashing success using other methods, I will tell you what's worked and hasn't worked for me and my one kid. Now I sound like I have a narrow perspective. Which I don't, surprisingly. Just keep reading.
School is upon us again! I love homeschooling. This will be the second "official" year with a cover school, but except a year of Christian school when he was 4, EJ has been learning at home since he was 2.
Beginning the trek down the homeschool path can be scary. I know lots of people who homeschool their kids for every different reason. Private school tuition costs too much; they want to be in control of what their kids learn; they don't think anyone else can properly teach their kids; they just couldn't imagine being away from their kids all day. Okay, that last one I've only heard one person say, and yes, that person was me. Really, if you knew EJ, you'd say that too. :-)
I've been asked by several people for my opinion/help in selecting a cover school. First, let me say, in Alabama, if you homeschool and are not a state licensed teacher, you must have a cover school. The reason is truancy. When you take your kid out of public or private school, that school sends a letter to the Superintendent saying "this kid isn't in our school anymore." If he doesn't get a letter from another school saying "this kid is in our school now," he will come knocking on your door, possibly with DHS (or whatever the acronym is in Alabama for the child welfare social worker department). After you enroll in a cover school, they will send you a letter they have signed. You sign it and send it to the Superintendent. Scary embarrassment averted.
Second, cover schools cost money. I know it stinks. You homeschool so you don't have to pay tuition, but then you turn around and buy an entire curriculum and shell out extra for a cover school.
There are several reasons I chose ACE for my son. ACE stands for Accelerated Christian Education. Instead of one big Spelling book for the whole year (and one history book, and one Science book, you get the idea), they break the information up into 12 Paces. Here are some of my reasons why I like ACE over other curricula.
Who am I, you ask?
In 2006 I had a stroke, and every day my husband encourages me to use my remaining brain cells to the best of my ability. I love to organize, make crafts, and go on adventures (safe ones). I hope that through my blog posts, you will be encouraged to accept and make the best of challenges God throws at your life.