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Homeschooling and Field Trips

After reading Homeschool Adventures: Learning through Field Trips by Melissa Calaap, I knew field trips were going to be a regular part of our homeschool journey. Hands-on learning, experiences, talking with people on site.. that is where deep learning happens. And honestly, field trips were the best days of my own public school experience. Hello Ft Wayne Children's Zoo, Amish Acres, and Cotton Bowl Parade. My local homeschool community regularly organized park days, the occasional trip to the museum, IMAX movie, and other one-off meet-ups, but there wasn't a regular set pattern of field trips on the caliber of what I was looking for. So I had a decision to make. Did I sit and wait for others to create the opportunities I was looking for or did I do it myself? Now, coming from the public school background I came from, my first inclination was to wait for others to come up with the idea and organize it. I mean that's how it worked at the schools, right? In fact, the school a
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The What, Who, and How of Deschooling

Deschooling - What is it? Who should do it? How long does it take? How to do it? Deschooling is, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked and least talked about steps of beginning the homeschooling lifestyle. And it is one of the most important. So, what IS deschooling? Deschooling is the mindshift away from a set of beliefs including:  learning only happens in the classroom; only certified teachers can teach; learning is the transfer of knowledge from one brain to another; generally kids hate learning; kids have to be forced and/or rewarded to learn; and more. All of this untrue. Learning is as natural as breathing. And we saw it happening naturally in our infants and preschoolers, before our kids became school age and our perception of learning changed. We celebrated as our infants imitated us, experimented with sounds and movements, and achieved their successes. We encouraged, supported, and facilitated their learning. That is the mindset we adults have to get back to through desch

Learning about Home Education and Homeschooling

What is home ed? How does homeschooling work? Will my kids be behind? How do I choose a curriculum? Will my kids have friends? and more are all questions that get asked when parents start looking into home education for their children. So where is the place to go to get all this information? Where is the best place to learn about the topic of homeschool? My friend, there is not one place to go. There just isn't because home ed is as varied and individualized as the families that choose it. And even within families with multiple children, it varies. And that is one of the many, many benefits of home ed. So where to start?  And that, I can help you with. There are many, many resources for learning about home ed and they come in different media, so go with works for you, for where you are right now. And later, once you know a bit, then push yourself into something less comfortable. FILMS Class Dismissed - Self Taught -

Inspiration for a doll made of yarn

A doll made for me by my great-grandmother, possibly when I was an infant, always stored in my mother's cedar chest until she died in 2005. Then it came to me, first stored in my own cedar chest and then tucked up on a shelf in my closet. She has a bonnet made of the same yarns and stitches which has lost one of its ties. I hope it's in my sewing basket. Recently, Isabelle discovered her and is delighted with her. She is sure she can make one for herself and so it begins... taking her apart to find out how to make another.  Starting at the back where the dress has been laced closed and tied with a single strand of yarn with pom-poms attached to the ends. To get the yarn through the crochet stitches, I had to cut the pom-poms off the ends. The top of the dress is tied shut using the long end of the crochet.   The dress. Now I will be able to wash it gently in cool water and hopefully remove some of the dirt. Her panties

Community and Tribes

As I am doing some reading this morning about the importance of community, being active in a community, building a community, and then tribe - building one, the importance of having one, etc, the book Isabelle has, written by Joy Wilt, called A Kid's Guide to Making Friends comes to mind. The book talks about three types of friends: Acquaintances, Playmates, and Best friends; and how they are different from each other. It's very specific. All three types of friendships a re important and serve different roles in our lives, but it's important to recognize that they are different and require different amounts of energy and maintenance. The people writing about community and tribes aren't seeing the differences and are blending the two. At least to me. A community is a network of acquaintances, playmates, and best friends who all share a common purpose. The connections are more casual than formal and generally require a minimal amount of energy. The purpose is w


Hello. My name is Ann and I've fallen off the wagon. It has been nearly a year since I've written and followed a monthly budget. And this is a rally big deal to me because I love having a budget which sets boundaries for safe decision making and leaves me with a feeling of security.  YNAB snapshot It's past time to get the budget up and running again, so what format to ues? Kenn and I have tried some of the apps (YNAB, Mint, Every Dollar), we have used pre-formatted spreadsheets, and spreadsheets we have created ourselves, but this time, I am taking it right back down to the paper and pencil format I know and love. This is a simple tool that I first started using when I had my first apartment, 30 years ago. It is very comfortable to me.     A budget I created a few years back I actually enjoy creating the categories and writing in the amounts for budget and actual. I like doing the math, making corrections, re-allocating. It's all part of the proces

Home Educating this week

 Home educating, unlike school educating, looks different each day. I mean we do have routines - morning routine, chickens, cleaning, and laundry - but the details of each day are unique, depending on activities scheduled, energy levels, motivation, interests, and so much more.  This week we have activities planned: grocery shopping, a trip to the library, book club, a hiking meet-up, park day, and game day; but we also have a lot of free time to do whatever we choose. Lessons are planned for math, copy work (language arts), Newsademic (current events), the human body work book. We may or may not get to them each and every day. And that's ok. Life is so much more  than workbooks. Like this morning, while I am writing up this blog post, Isabelle is in her room listening to a Fabulous Five story on CD from the library, while she is getting dressed and making her bed (ok that's my plan she's actually playing with her dolls, getting them ready to go to book club).  In my v