Showing posts from 2012

A Typical Homeschool Day

(Marissa watching an online class)
You may be wondering what a typical homeschool day looks like at our house. Well, it varies! That's the beauty of homeschool. And, we are a flexible family so we love that variance. However, we do have to follow a morning schedule as the girls are both in Seminary (a scripture class for the youth of our church) and Darcie decided to dual-enroll, meaning she takes a few classes at the local high school, and continues with her online classes through Liahona Academy.

Our mornings this fall look like this:
5:30am Yikes! That's how early Darcie and I get up to get her to early morning Seminary at 6:30.
6:15am I drive Darcie to Seminary in the dark morning and I'm amazed by all the joggers out!
7:00am Marissa wakes up and gets ready for her 1st period Seminary class at the junior high.
7:35am I drive Marissa to Seminary.
8:30am I pick up Marissa from Seminary.
11:30am I pick Darcie up from the high school.

Here is our routine within that sche…

Star Academy- Part 2

This will be short and sweet, but in case you've been wondering how we are liking Star Academy, we've found them to be a nice group of families comprised of kids of all ages and mostly moms, but one or two dads also. Their main purpose is to give the teens a social experience with opportunities for leadership and friendship. I have only been involved in the younger classes as I teach one the 2nd hour and assist in 2 others, but Marissa is enjoying her classes, especially art, and I've seen Marcus chatting with other boys his age at lunch and in his last class (I assist in that class so I am there to observe him).

Our first day felt a bit awkward, but by the next week we started to feel right at home. The mom who assists in my class is very friendly and I think we will become good friends.

A couple of the moms have told me their children really enjoy my class. That is always good to hear, and I'm glad I have a small group as it helps with the prep time and keeping every…

Star Academy- Part 1

We have joined a homeschool group here in Cache Valley called Star Academy. We've never participated in a homeschool group before and we're hoping to find support and make new friends. We attended the opening social, which was a bit awkward as we are brand new and many of the families already know each other. We felt a bit shy, but we are excited for the first day. Star Academy starts up after Labor Day.

I will be teaching one class for elementary age children called, "The Secret Life of Math", based on the book
by Ann McCallum, which was loaned to me by one of the co-founders and directors of Star.  I'm only teaching it as a 6 week course and then I am teaching a dinosaur unit for the following 6 weeks. The two subjects don't really go together, but I already have several dinosaur books and other materials and one of the other books loaned to me was a Ranger Rick's Nature Scope science book entitled, Digging into Dinosaurs.

At the opening social I recieve…


It's actually Darcie's turn to write, but we have both neglected this blog lately.  I think the main reason is that we've been so busy house-hunting here in Utah.  It's been a fun, but tiring experience.  Darcie and I went out with our realtor 4 different days, and saw close to 30 homes.  Many of those homes are just a blur to us now.

Then, last week, David came out and as a family (with the realtor) we visited 5 potential homes and narrowed it down to 2 favorites and now we are negotiating the price of our top pick. With a bit of luck, we'll soon own that home.  We look forward to the day our furniture will be taken from storage and brought to that home. It has been over 5 months since we sold our house in Canada and put most of what we own into storage. That is the longest we have lived without our furniture and belongings.

Meanwhile, Zach has submitted his mission papers and we eagerly await his mission call. Where will the Lord send him? Europe? Latin America? …

Should Schools Teach Sex Ed?

In a perfect world, all parents would take responsibility for teaching such an important subject to their children instead of leaving it up to the government.  I personally do not group history, math and science with sex education.  This is one subject that I want to teach my children myself because it is tied in with our family values and religious beliefs, and falls under my parental responsibilities of teaching my children right from wrong.  Since I am going to teach my children how and why to be morally clean, than I have no use for the world, in the form of public school, to teach my children conflicting views.
At Zach and Darcie's high school, condoms were freely handed out to promote "safe sex", birth control options were thoroughly covered, consequences such as Aids and pregnancy were discussed, but abstinence was not even taught. The overall message was "sex is not bad, in fact it is a rite of teenage passage so just do it responsibly".

I teach…

Moving... Finally!

It's taken us a while, but we are actually leaving good ol' Canada! I am welcoming the change in my life. It's been great being here in Canada, and I love my friends, but I feel the need to move on and its finally happening. One of my friends who I am close to is also moving and I am really happy because then I wont miss her as much since we are both going. And we really have been here for a while, so it will be nice to leave and see other parts of the world, even if it's just Utah!

Hanging In There

It's nearing the end of February and, sigh, we are still here in Canada.  Not only are we still here, but we are still living in this awkward, cramped townhouse.  It's not that we don't like living in Canada.  It's that we are in limbo at the moment, waiting to move and settle down someplace new.  We sold our house last November and put most of our belongings into storage, including all of our furniture. I miss my own bed and my kitchen table and all of my books.  I know things could be a lot worse.  I have my health, a roof over my head, my husband has a good job, my children are amazing.  I miss my son who is away at a university in the states. He is doing so well on his own and he's preparing to serve a mission.  Really, I am deeply blessed.  I know that.  It's just...... I feel restless.  Selling our house meant finding a rental and the only rentals we could find were in a neighboring city so we moved out of familiar surroundings, moved away from our friend…

The Perfect School Day

Easy-going, no need to rush, stay-cozy-in our pajamas, linger over breakfast together-mornings.

No backpacks, no cold lunches, no need to bundle up, no bus to catch.

One child at the table, one child on her bed, both with their net- books open, watching and listening to their distance-teachers, taking notes, snacks on hand.

One child curled up beside me on the couch, library book in hand, reading me fascinating facts about his latest curiosity- Venus Flytraps.

No loud bells, no lining-up, no hall-passes, no hurry-up-and-get-to-class-or-you'll-be-tardy.

Leisurely lunches together, laughing and talking while we eat. We can have peanut-butter!

Free to go outside and play anytime we like.  Let's visit a park or museum or take a nature hike, together.

Free to stay inside if we'd prefer, warm and snug.  There's plenty to do, alone or together:
Read a classic book.
Set up a science experiment.
Work on a lapbook.
Cultivate a talent.
Play a game.
Create a work of art.

No afternoon slumps, …

5 Reasons I Homeschool

1.  At home my child is physically and spiritually safe.  God is welcome in our home.  In our home there is no profanity, no immorality, no bullying, and no peer pressure.  At home our family values and my child's self-esteem remain intact.  Do you want to know what my oldest son and daughter remember most about high school?  Hearing the f-word a million times every day, seeing kids smoke in front of the school (there was a designated spot for smoking!), a boy dropping his pants so that my daughter and others could see everything, condoms freely passed out to promote safe sex, smelling drugs in the locker room.  I can offer other examples for middle school and elementary, but I'll just end by saying that I have yet to walk into a school where I saw evidence that my child would be as nurtured, as valued and as secure as he is at home.

2. At home I can tailor my son's education to him.  I can personalize it.  I can take advantage of his preferred learning style.  My child…

2 Cute Explorers (Part 2)

If this little boy had his way, every school day would take place out in nature, at least when the weather is warm. He loves to be outside exploring this beautiful world we live in and that is how I came up with the name, "2 Cute Explorers". And I've been one of the explorers, learning or re-learning right beside him. For example, we studied frogs once and I learned all sorts of facts about frogs I never knew before.

After I had pulled Marcus out of public school, I gave him some adjustment time (also called deschooling). We spent a couple weeks just taking it easy and enjoying our time together. We went for nature walks, visited the library, played at the park. At home our favorite activity was curling up on the couch with storybooks. We also visited the only other homeschooling family I knew in our neighborhood, my friend who had inspired me to homeschool. She has a daughter my son's age and a younger son and Marcus enjoyed playing with them during the day.

It was …

2 Cute Explorers (Part 1)

This is the story of how our homeschooling journey began. It all began with my fourth and last child and a move from Arizona to Canada. Up until that point, my other three children had always attended the local public schools and in Peru they attended a private Catholic school, which is a story in and of itself.  I will probably mention some of our experiences with traditional schooling, the good, the bad and the ugly, in later posts.

My youngest son has a late birthday so the year he was 4 turning 5-years old, he was not eligible for Kindergarten in Arizona because he was not already 5 when the school year began in September.  However, the following year, when he was 5 turning 6-years old, we moved to Canada and discovered that he was suddenlytoo old for Kindergarten (hereafter referred to as only 'K') and so he was enrolled, against our better judgment, in first grade. 

It was the second week of that school year when we introduced our children to their new schools.  Our oldest…

A Strong Family

This is my family. David and I have been married for 23 years. We have 2 sons and 2 daughters.  3 words that I would use to describe our family are: close, happy and strong.  I was thinking about what a blessing that is, especially in the world we live in today.

Some see us as a unique family also because we move around a bit.  We have lived in Utah, Washington and Arizona, also Arequipa, Peru, Lima, Peru and Ontario, Canada.

If someone were to ask me what makes us such a strong, close, happy family, I would attribute the following:
1. Our faith and beliefs. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is a Christian religion that supports and values the family unit. We believe marriage doesn't have to end at death and that families can be together forever.

2. Our time together.  We spend a LOT of time together, every day.  We work, play, worship, eat and even school together.  We go on family outings and family vacations.  Sometimes the girls treat th…

Hello Twenty Twelve!

It's twenty twelve. Can you believe it? Each year seems to go by so fast! People tell me its because I am growing up. why is change and growing up always the cause? I know it is really quite simple, but sometimes I think I am just figuring that out.
I am so excited for the year! My baby sister (aka my only sister) is turning 14 in January. Old enough to go to dances! Marcus (aka Midget) is now nine and just as questioning and adventurous as ever! Me? I am doing well (in my studies and at home) and am starting to look at colleges and universities. I'm not driving (yet) which is good for both me and the road (not gonna lie, I am a bit scared of this!) and am working on three different novels at once. And none of them seem to be going anywhere soon.

Goodbye Twenty Eleven!
Hello Twenty Twelve!