Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why We Homeschool

I get asked quite frequently why Ruben and I have chosen to homeschool our children. It's really a combination of multiple reasons that all boil down to the fact that it's just the right choice for our family. But if you are curious about our reasons here they are:

1. God: We have known since Buzz was a baby that we are called by God to be a homeschooling family. It was one of those things where God just put it in my mind and heart out of nowhere and we have always felt incredible peace that this is what God has chosen for our family.

2. Logistics: Ruben is in the military which means we won't be staying in one place for our children's entire school "career". Homeschooling means that they don't have to worry about being ahead of or behind their classmates when we move.

3. Family Time: Homeschooling gives us an amazing amount of freedom to spend as much quality time as a family as possible. Ruben travels frequently for work and then usually gets a few weekdays off when he returns home. Because we homeschool we can plug away while Daddy's gone and take time off to spend with him when he gets home. (Yes, we school year-round and it's not usual to do school on Saturdays as well if Ruben's away) We also want our kids to be each other's best friends and being away from each other for 8 hours each day just isn't a great way to cultivate those relationships.

4. Socialization: The question we get asked most often when someone finds out that we homeschool is- Aren't you worried about socialization? The answer? Of course we are, it's one of the reasons why we homeschool ;) Seriously though, people tend to think that having a child spend most of his waking hours in a room with thirty other children his age is the best way to learn social skills. We just don't agree. Our kids have dance friends, karate friends, church friends, neighborhood friends and friends through our homeschool group, so they have no shortage of chances to interact with other kids. They get a chance to spend time with kids and adults of all ages every day and this has made them equally comfortable around just about anyone. Just ask any my girlfriends, Boo will talk your ear off!

5: Academic: What school classroom can beat our student-teacher ratio? Homeschooling allows our kinds to learn at their own pace without have to be dragged along with classmates even if they don't yet understand a concept or having to sit and be bored if they are ahead of their peers. I can tailor lessons to meet each of my kids right where they're at.

6. Love of learning: William Butler Yeats said "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire". We want our kids to love to explore the world around them and to be excited by the discoveries they make each day. I can teach the kids what they need to do by reading great books, playing fun learning games and exploring deeper the things that interest them, no busy work or teaching to standardized tests.

7. Enjoying Childhood: We want our children to just enjoy being kids without having to worry about what their peers think is "cool". They like what they like and they are who they are.

8. Selfishness: I genuinely enjoy being with my kids! They're neat little people and spending a few hours in the evening trying to throw together dinner and rush through homework before bed just doesn't cut it for me.

I fully acknowledge that homeschooling isn't the right choice for every family. The important thing is to pray about the school situation that is right for your family and following the path that God has chosen for you. We are proud to be a homeschooling family and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
There was no theme for Muffin Tin Monday this week and I'm not in a particularly creative mood today, so I didn't make up my own:
Top row: turkey, brown rice (x2)
Middle row: string cheese, pineapple (x2)
Bottom row: pretzel sticks, pumpkin roll (x2)

They ate everything except for a few pieces of turkey, and of course Boo needed lots of ketchup for her rice :)

Happy Muffin Tin Monday!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dance Class

Twice a year Boo's dance studio has parent observation week, where parents get to sit in on class and see what the kids have been learning. Boo was really excited for me to watch her and she got a great surprise during class: Ruben showed up at the studio just in time to watch her class after being out of town for a week. Boo was thrilled!
Boo had a great time showing off her moves, but of course the highlight for her was getting to give Daddy big hugs and kisses.

Friday, November 19, 2010

4 Months Old!

Our sweet Bean is four months old! We love you baby girl!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday: Healthy Eating/Food Pyramid

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week's theme was healthy eating/food pyramid. This one wasn't difficult because I try to make healthy eating the "theme" of every meal I serve. Buzz wanted everything arranged in a pyramid shape, so I used disposible liners set on a plastic cutting board. I made two separate pyramids so that Buzz and Boo could each have their own.
Treat: white chocolate chips
Meat and Dairy: turkey rolls, string cheese
Fruits and Veggies: apple slices, carrots, bananas
Grains: whole wheat pasta, wheat toast with peanut butter (x2)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orange Belt!

Buzz spent the last two weeks testing for his orange belt in karate and Friday he had his belt presentation. He was so excited that two of his favorite people in the world, Mr. Joe and Miss Heidi, came to cheer him on!

After the belt presentation we all headed over to Pizza Hut to celebrate. The amazing Miss Lyn showed up at the restaurant with a surprise, a giant chocolate chip cookie with a smiley face on it, in honor of his achievement. How sweet is she?!? We feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

We had a great evening and we are so proud of all of the hard work Buzz put in to earning his next belt!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We had A LOT of Halloween this year. I know some people don't celebrate Halloween, but we see no problem with dressing up (though we don't allow any scary or gross costumes, and no witches, ghosts, vampires, etc.) and enjoying some candy.

First Ruben's work hosted a Halloween party. Buzz and Boo always look forward to going and playing all the games and getting their faces painted. Ruben also took Buzz and Boo to a party at Buzz's karate studio.

The night before Halloween we went to an open house hosted by a good friend (with LOTS of great food) and then headed around the corner for the Halloween parade. The kids had a blast watching the parade and of course collecting all of the candy that was given out.

The following night was trick-or-treating with friends. Buzz was Batman, Boo was a karate girl (she wore a different costume for each event), and Bean was a kitten.

Two Weeks in Review

Two weeks ago we rowed The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen. Buzz and Boo both enjoyed this story a lot. We read a lot, we've actually read most of the FIAR books before, but this was a new one for us. We were pretty laid back with this one and did most of the lessons conversationally. Boo's favorite part was learning what an onomatopoeia is and she has been pointing them out in every story we have read since then!

This past week we rowed Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. This is one of Buzz's favorite stories (we have this book). We learned about personification this week, so the kids each picked an objected, added a face, and dictated a story to me about their character.

Buzz picked a t-shirt and Boo picked a book:
Once there was a shirt called Bob. When people are asleep, he goes down to the washer and opens it and lets all of his shirt friends out. Then they have great adventures! The End

Once there was a book named Lucy. She lets people read her. She's a nice book. She has big teeth. She has a stretchy bow. She has googly eyes. She has a big nose. The End

The kids enjoyed digging deeper into one of their favorite stories. Boo read the book to herself quite a few times during the week, as well as to Bean :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday: Leaves, Trees and Harvest

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week's theme was a bit tough for me:
We had Halloween candy (it was the day after trick-or-treat of course), provolone cheese harvest moons, apple "leaves", string cheese with raisins (my attempt at corn stalks with indian corn, it didn't turn out as I imagined it would), broccoli "trees", and leaf pb & j's