Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are you ready for school?

     This is my 7th year home teaching.... WHAT! I had to like (cause I'm from Cali and live close to the valley) recount on my fingers.  Yep 7.  Wait let me count by grade...Still 7.  My goodness shouldn't I know what I'm doing then?  Which made me think about all I learned in the last 6 years home teaching (this year is my 7th year).   I do know .... I don't like people who make you feel bad if you don't "Home School" and I equally don't like non-homeschool people who say... "well how does your kid socialize" To them I say bugs are friends and then stare real creepy like... Good, walk away I don't like you anyway.... Wow bitter!

Ok so what I've learned about the teaching part.  I've learned a lot and have a lot organized and little systems (which I love to create).  So I thought I would share these with my 3 blog followers. 2 of which this wouldn't apply and 1 is the one telling me to put these kinds of things on my blog.  I'm still not even sure what having followers means but, I know I have 3 and I LOVE YOU 3.   You will always be my first 3!  It's right about now in my typing I wish I had someone who could follow behind me in my typing and make it pretty and read well.  I'm letting that go and pressing ahead so if you are reading this and thinking it doesn't make sense you have been called to help me I'm sure of it!  OK OK back to school.  I'm listing with pictures (cause I'm visual people) the categories of order and how I work through them.  If you see something you like let me know and I'll email you the file and you can adapt it how you like for you family!

Chores 
Yep, I love them because I'm doing something wonderful and great for my children's character.  They learn to be a part of something that means doing your share, they develop thankfulness, it will help them when they are older and life has more responsibilities, and more, but the one I really like is I DON"T HAVE TO DO IT!  So here's what we do.  We have  1) Kitchen chart (which I stole from another mom whose kids are in college actually one just graduated great guys too!) 2) Weekly chores chart.  That can change and be added to easily. I think pictures speak for themselves.

 This is just two laminated sheets held together with a brad.  Each week we spin it and everyone has new "kitchen chores".
 This is great cause I have them take off the chore after they do it and put it in the clear pocket at the bottom.   I can also print out new pictures and add to it if I need.


  

Reading

Well this is a biggie for me.  I'm first of all a special ed kid who was told I would never go to college and a C would be an A for me.  I'd love to meet that guy again and show him what I've done with my self and his theories.  I just needed to be at home learning...any hoo....I believe reading is important and SO much literally so much comes through this... and it makes my job easier as a teacher.   I use to read a lot to my kids and a lot myself and they saw me reading which is key for developing a good reader or at least has been in our home.  I still like to read it's just time now.  I've taken lot's of different resouces; Honey For A Child's Heart book, http://www.amblesideonline.org/, Ruth Beechicks books, etc and come up with reading lists for my kids grade level.  I call it their "Free Reading Booklists".  They read and then we talk about them...when they were little like Faith still is I read them to her.   I could go on and on.

You may be wondering well what about the schooling, the teaching... I'm getting to it.   This is a HUGE part of it.   It's in these two areas that most of the schooling is done and I'm not doing the doing did you notice.  I'm setting up habits.  Those habits are going to carry my children through life and long after I'm gone will still be serving them to better their lives and the lives of those around them.

3 R's

I've done it two ways. The way I set out intending to do "Home Schooling" and then I've gotten lost in the doing "School" at home.  The workbooks and sit and write till your brain is numb and you hate doing it...... Yep that's how I felt too...  I'm going back to the first.  Which I'm super condensing but they come from the Charolotte Mason/Ruth Beechick kind of thinking.  Basically playing games and learning till about junior high.  Little work times.  So I have LISTS oh I love lists.   I do lot's of different things through out the year and all that info would bore you or me typing it.  So here are a few pic's of the list's I've created to help me keep on tract while being "Masterly Inactive".

1) Top left - Breakdown of the 30 week school year and our subjects and each kid
2) Top right - Math checklist for each kid.... did you know that your kid and get math on a paper and do the busy work but they often have hard time translating that into life... like cooking, budgeting, etc.  But if you teach them math through those everyday life stuff they can easily get that paper work side... just an FYI. So I have some great math books and my mom helped me make a list of the games that go with what's on each checklist
3) Bottom left - All subjects each kid, the curriculum (if any) or programs or ideas I'm using/doing with them this year.  I tend to forget things.  My mind is a busy place.  List help me.
4) Bottom right - daily schedule so I can keep my self on track and get a break quite time is important in our house.

Math

100 Chart - made into a quilt.  Did you know you need to master math using manipulatives whether they are tangible or imagined before you can master abstract math.  Any of you feel like later in life you really understood math but as a kid it just didn't make sense?  Well that may be why.  Any way I've never used the 100 chart or number line before and I made this to help us out with it.  Each decade is all in the same style and each one's place value family is the same fabric.

 Then filled I a jar with activites to go with the 100 Quilt.  I also made bean bags and I'm excited to see what games they develop and how they figure out our number system.  I often learn or get ideas from what they try to create and then they think I'm amazing.  

These are my favorite math game books!  I just love them and I'm playing with my kids and they are learning win/win!

Reading
There is more to reading than just the free reading.  There are three parts;
1) Factual Reading - They need to know how to read recipes, signs, directions (especially directions, I can't tell you how long my husband and I spent putting that first crib together).
2) Textual Reading -  They will one day be in a class room and need to be prepared for how to excel in that environment and that is where this comes in handy.  Looking up things in a glossary, knowing the new vocabulary in a chapter, etc. (really this is the first year I'm doing it).
3) Imaginational Reading - this is our free reading.  The rest for me falls under writing.



Writing
Ruth Beechick has a great section and actually the lesson's in here book (it's the orange one pictured above).  Also, you can call this penmanship which I've used Getty & Dubay and still am with Faith.  The other two are going to do a penmanship 3 week cursive with me this year that I read about in Ruth Beechick's book.  I'm hoping it is fun!  Under writing we also do spelling, dictation, narration.  Pick wonderful quotes and say them to your kids then have them write them out.  What they spell wrong goes on a list.  When you have a good number, there you go.  You have your first spelling list to work on.  You might even discover they have a similar trait and once you conquer that understanding then they can move on.  Again I could go on.

So, I think I'm ready except there is the extra curricular actives which for me are where I loose enthusiasm.  It drains, irritates and makes me cry.  I can't do it all.  Drive you here and then you here and you need to be here and every where I have to talk with moms and listen and by the time I get home all I can do is lay face down in the bed.  This isn't good for my kids, husband or myself.  So I don't do a whole lot and I'm becoming ok with that.   So I don't have any cute charts or systems of order.  Maybe next year.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Easy Summer Romper

Looking for a quick project to dress up you or your little one?
This is super easy and quick.

Materials
Pair of elastic band shorts that fit (either for you or your little one)
Fabric depends on what size you are doing anywhere from 1/2 yard to a yard. You can use a woven but I prefer a knit for this one.. that and I had 10 yards of a denim colored knit from the $1.00 store in LA !
Elastic enough for waist and top
Sewing stuff, machine, thread, scissors, etc.
Paper & Pencils

Step 1
Lay shorts on paper and trace side seams and center front (crotch area). Front and back. Make sure when you make your short pattern you go straight up from the hem to the waist and don't taper in....the elastic will do that later. Add 1/2 in all the way around. If you are using a woven add enough for the hem. I'm using a knit so, I'll just be adding trim for my hem.



Step 2
Measure (on the subject you are making this for) from where the shorts you traced (around their waist) up to where you want the romper to go. For me it was about 8in then I added 1/2. I would say next time I'll add a full inch. Then lay out shorts pattern on fabric (folded so you cut 2 of each pattern) and measure up the 9 in. cutting straight across the top.

Step 3
Sew down center back and center front (that's the curved section).

Step 4
Then sew down side seams, the long side, then the inner thigh side seams (see photo). If you need to trim up the hem line.


Step 5
Adding elastic waist. For this I measured my daughter elastic shorts un-stretched. I had some 1/4in elastic on hand so I used that. Turn your romper inside out, then measure up from the hem the amount to where you want the elastic waist band to sit. For me I measure that from the shorts pattern I was tracing. Then pin the elastic evenly all the way around. use a zig zag stitch and stretch the elastic a little bit as you sew it.


Step 6
Adding elastic top. Measure just under arm pit around the chest then cut elastic a few inches short of that measurement. It depends on the elastic you buy. I like 3/4 or wider for holding things up. I'll also be adding straps so I doesn't have to be super tight. For this I used 3/4 in elastic so I turned down the top 1 1/2 sewed along the bottom edge and left a 1 in gap to thread the elastic in.

Step 7
Then you can add straps, sew on a ruffle, maybe some rick rack, I don't know? Get creative! My daughter found a red fake flower outside the other day so I pinned that on and she loves it.