Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lars and I have been going over Latin root words. Today he was to use each of the words we had in our last unit in either sentences or in a creative story. He choose to use sentences, so I thought I would challenge myself to do a short story with the words. We studied the Latin word Foli it means leaf.

There once was a man from Timbuktu. He had so much foliage he did not know what to do. Unifoliate, bifoliates, and trefoils too. They took over the yard the roof and the car to see any of these he needn't look far. "What to do? What to do?" was his cry in the night. To be honest it all gave him a real fright. Off to the nursery to see what could be done. In his arms a portfolio with pictures for proof, what could they do to make them go poof? Ahh, a defoliant is what is needed he was told. To fight this his plan would need to be bold. He would spay them and spay them till each one had exfoliated. And cover them with foil, he paced while he waited. He looked through his folios that had lots of paper then remembered something that made his thoughts waver. Among all the plants he had lambasted, was his favorite that contained his folic acid.

It is not perfect and I am not great with any type of verse but I did want to show Lars it could be done and really I thought it was fun. I hope that he continues to enjoy working with vocabulary. Here is the link to his blog post

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grand Canyon

Climbing out of our van at the Grand Canyon I realized what it means to really have your breath taken away. When I caught my first site of it I could not breath or even speak, if you know me you know that is saying something. I really could not even begin to take it all in. I remember my feelings at the time and I can remember to some degree what I saw, but I am really unable to mentally pull up the picture that I saw at that time. It is odd I remember that I was stunned but all my memory pulls up is what I saw without the emotion that went with it at the time. I am not sure how or why it is that way.

Thinking back to when I had my son when I pull up the mental images I had I feel those emotions again. I feel the panic and confusion when they said he was not breathing right. I remember the feeling of just wanting to touch him and kiss him, I do not just remember the feelings I feel that longing in my heart again. I wonder why with one thing there is that emotional memory and why with something like the Grand Canyon that it is not there. Perhaps it is that Lars is with me that the presence that I longed for is still with me. Or perhaps it is that so much emotion goes into having and carrying a child. I am not sure and just really wonder about how our emotions and memory of them are connected.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This School Year

The day after tomorrow we will take Steve to the farther airport. Lars and I are going to head to the Tampa aquarium and may take a short ride in the Bay to look at dolphins. This should be a fun time especially since Lars adores animals. There are some really good programs that will tie right to our school year.

With us choosing to do more of an interest based direction with school one of the directions that Lars is so excited about doing a unit on animal biology. He has stated that he would like to learn the deeper things about how and why specific animals do specific things. He specifically stated that he loves to learn and that he does not want to learn the little kid stuff. So it is very nice the out trip will fit into that.

I did not know how this type of change would go over or if he would just not be into it but on his own he said he would like to learn about US history but studying the major wars. How cool is that? Then he came to me and stated that he would like to learn more words so he could learn one each day and then the next week we would play hangman with them.

I then threw out an idea to him I said that we should do spelling BUT that he would pick the words and I would have to leare to learn the history of the US through the major wars. Wow how cool is thatn them too. I really struggle with spelling so this will be more for me. He knows that and is happy to help me.

We will be continuing with our same Math program. My goal is for him to get though two books at least this year, He should be very close to caught up if we do that.

Also we will be continuing our park day and it looks like a coop day will be added this year. His Art class and photography will also continue. We are also going to look into adding fencing if we are able. This will make for a busy but fun year I hope.

Steve and I were both somewhat nervous about this type of direction for homeschool, but I am feeling so much better since Lars has stated his ideas for it, and that he is excited about it.

So here is to a great year with just as much learning as last year

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Little Bit of Everything

Let's see what is going on with us lately? Well we love to travel and have done a lot of it this year. We are now in Florida. It is beautiful here. Really the heat is quite comparable to home, it is hot and humid. All though the temperature is comparable, something is different here. I am not sure it is just the humidity, that must be a part of it but there is more more than a high humidity, there is a wetness to the air. So since the temps are so hot we are not doing any major outdoor parks. We did go over to the Jungle Garden's, and we plan on going to the beach. Other than that we are sticking with indoor activities. I am going to look at local aquariums since Lars LOVES them. Steve goes back to work in just over a week. That is always a sad time. We love spending extended time together in the summer. This year the summer seemed even shorter because of our travels but it was also much more interesting and enriching. We really got to share a lot this summer not just our travels but also are hearts. We have had some very good conversations. I am learning to draw him out and really listen. I wish that were not such a challenge for me, but it really is. My thoughts rush and seem to also rush right out of my mouth. I have to put a door down on my thoughts to listen and that is a challenge. Steve has wonderful insight to share when he is drawn out. He is such and amazing gift from God. I do hope that I bless him as much as he blesses me. For Lars school year we are considering moving to more of an interest based approach. This is scary, yet he has a desire and drive to learn. He also has a decently wide range of interests that I think it will work well. I think he may be fantastic at choosing an area to learn then setting goals for his learning and for showing what he has learned. We are also deciding whether we should implement a co-op or not. Still working on that. He will continue with Art and Photography I will have to share the pictures he got of the bird diving on the lake. I thought they were pretty good. We also will stick with our Math program he still does not like Math but he seems as happy as possible with this Math. God is working on my heart and in the heart of our family. I do not yet know what he is going to do, and I am okay with that. It is odd but there is a peace when it is given over. It is not as if we are not involved in the choices but it is God who gives us the go ahead or the stop sign. I cannot wait to see what he does! I think that it really is an exciting time. The link is to the song that keeps going through my head right now. The line about stepping out on the water is speaking to my heart now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sometimes there are really no words. I mean in High School one teacher said that there was no such thing as writers block. Instead just keep putting words down and they will come. I am overwhelmed at times with all the evil things in the world. There is so much. Life is so precious, how is it that I am so blessed and other are not? I do not know the answer to this question. I just know that it is there. Then what do you do? How do you even begin to overcome anything? I mean there are children starving in this world. There are people dying of very curable diseases. There are children who sit day after day in cribs because not only are they orphans but they are in countries that are already so very poor. Yet I am blessed. How do I begin to be a blessing to others? I do not know. There are so many causes out there. Many ways to help. How do you choose one? I am sure there are many worthy causes that we could just give money to. The bigger question is, what if God is calling me to something bigger? What if He is asking me to walk down a road that I am unsure of? What if it requires more of me than I am able to give? Look at that look at all the "What Ifs." What if? What if God can do something huge through me? What if it requires all of me forever? Am I willing or am I afraid of all the what ifs? So I, and really since it involves my husband too it is we, so we stand at a crossroads or maybe it is a pinnacle one that could change us forever. One that would change us forever. Yet as we stand there the big question is "What IF'?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We are traveling through the West and having a fantastic trip. We started out in Sioux Falls. It was so beautiful to see; there we also visited some relatives. My mother is a twin and we were able to visit with my mother’s twin. It was wonderful to see them together. We saw the city including a buffalo ranch, the falls there, and a wonderful butterfly garden. It was so fantastic to see the area. Lars loved taking pictures there. I will share them as soon as I can get them uploaded. Our next big stop was Dead Wood. We stayed in a rustic but character filled hotel. The hotel had so many of the original doors and some of the wood work. It was clean with high ceilings. We spent two nights there and got our laundry done up while Steve was able to tour the museums there and he loved that. Our next stop was The Bad Lands. Oh my talk about wonder! There are no words to describe what it is like to step out of the car into another land. The rock structures, the pits, the cliffs all brought a lump to my throat and it was hard to take it all in. We are having such a great time and have seen so much more I will continue to update.

Monday, November 28, 2011


One of the things that keeps being stated concerning homeschooling is, "What about your child's social skills?" I do understand this in some ways. In other ways I do not. I think that people may picture Lars and I home alone all day everyday. I never pictured this at all so this question, and really often a form of judgement, surprises me. I know that from some people this is an honest concern. Others just use it in their armory as a list of reasons why they are against homeschooling.

I was talking to a friend who also decided to homeschool this year. During this conversation I think I was able to firm up some of my feelings on this. There are really more than one aspect of socialization. The first is what it sounds like social skills. The time spent in the company of others and in this case peers. How does Lars social time stack up against when he was in school? Well in middle school the actual social time was very limited. They had only a 15 minute recess and a half hour lunch. Then there was the time waiting for the bus. Seeing that the crazy bus took forever to get him home after the time change he had very little time to interact with the kids in the neighborhood. Between getting home between 4:30 and 4:45 and home work it left little to no time to play after school. This means for true social time Lars was getting just over 3 hours a week. That is if they actually got recess and were able to talk and socialize at lunch.

With our homeschool schedule Lars is now done when the other kids are getting off the bus. If the weather is nice they are able to play for a good period of time before dinner. Lars also has much more time to play on the weekends since our projects and work are all done during the week. We also do most of our work on a 4 day schedule and we spend about 4 hours at a local park with many other homeschoolers. There are many boys there and they have very well organized games and activities that they put together and play. This is an extended time to really be with, work with, and interact with children of various ages. We are working on plans for something inside for the colder times and times with nasty weather. When I have looked at this Lars actually gets much more social time with his peers now than he did at school.

The second part of socialization comes down to learning how to get along in society's parameters. In this is involved working with others, learning to take leadership, learning to accept leadership, and learning to get your needs met while following society's written and unwritten laws. Children in school work on these a lot; raise your hand to talk, wait in line for the bathroom, wait for a drink, don't interrupt, contribute to a project, don't goof off too much. These are all things that children are exposed to in school.

This is where I as a homeschooling mom must purposely put in items in place. Having Lars accompany me to stores often shows him how to follow many social norms. Norms such as, wait your turn, don't run in the store, don't hit others with your cart, politely ask for what you need, try your best but seek help when needed and so on. However, children learn very well when put with others. Lars is in a Lego Robotics group this year. They are working on programing a robot to solve every day problems. He works in a group of about 10 boys to do this. He is also taking homeschool classes at the zoo and COSI (a local science center). He is also in a homeschool band. When we get back from Florida he will be taking a homeschool PE class. All of these classes give him the opportunity to work in groups with others to accomplish tasks. He can emerge as a leader, a follower, or something in between. If he chooses not to carry his load he will hear about it from his peers.

He is gaining much practice with his social skills with these experiences. One of the parts I really like is that since he is not always with the same groups his role can change as he grows and changes. This allows him the freedom to try being the leader and try being the follower and feel out what each role is like. He does not get pigeon-holed into a role and feel as if he must stay in that because that is what his group of peers expects.

These are my thoughts on socialization. They will probably grow and change as we continue down out homeschool experience. We will also have to figure out what to do for the several weeks we are in Florida. I have found a group of homeschoolers there and several places that offer classes. I hope to be able to participate in these while we are there.