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Archive for the ‘homeschool’ Category

Here’s a look at some of the things we’ve been up to in our homeschool so far this school year.  Since I blogged very little this past fall, and none at all over the holidays, I thought I’d post an update on some of the fun activities we’ve done.   Earlier in the school year when we were  learning about physical and chemical changes in Science, we did an experiment where we made Oobleck (re: Dr. Suess) which was a green goo made from cornstarch, food coloring, and water.  It was one of several we did while studying this unit, but by far the messiest and most fun.

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 Drama Queen playing with the Oobleck

At the beginning of the school year we studied volcanoes and earthquakes, we made two different models of volcanoes.  One of our own creation using homemade play clay, and the one pictured below that we made from a kit I picked up at a yard sale last summer for $2.00. 

 I’ve found that yard sales and thrift stores are great places to pick up useful items for homeschooling.  Some things, like this volcano kit,  are brand new items that kids got for gifts and never used so their moms sell them at yard sales really cheap.  It’s a great way to save money when you’re homeschooling and living on one income as we are.

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Here’s the mixture after Drama Queen poured it into the mold.

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Drama Queen painting the volcano.

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Adding the baking soda to make it erupt.

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Voila! Our volcano is erupting!

Another fun activity that is new to us this year is Girl Scouts.  We discovered a homeschool Girl Scout troop in our town that Drama Queen has joined and I am going to begin the training to become an assistant Troop Leader.  This troop has been active for the past six years and has girls ranging in age from 6 through 16(Brownies, Juniors, and Cadets), we meet the first and third Tuesday afternoon of every month. 

So far this year Drama Queen has participated in a Fall party where she dressed up as a scarecrow, and she taught the other girls in the troop (for a leadership project) how to make a cookie turkey(using Oreo cookies, Hershey’s kisses, candy corn, and icing) at Thanksgiving.  She’s also helped to decorate, and rode on, the float for our town’s annual Christmas parade (our troop was the Hillbilly Jug Band, complete with a live rooster in a cage), and has now begun the time honored tradition, selling Girl Scout cookies!  

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  Drama Queen in her Girl Scout vest at the Christmas party

Drama Queen decided she wanted to try playing basketball this year, so she has gotten involved in playing  for our local Recreation Department.  She had never played before and was pretty lost in the beginning, but she has worked hard and learned a lot. 

The other girls have been very kind to her, most of them have been playing since they were very young and are more experienced, but they have helped her and encouraged her.  It really touches my heart when I go to practices and games and see the way the other girls try to help her learn, they’ve not made fun of her or been rude to her.  As a mom, that means a lot!

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Ready for her first basketball game ever!

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Drama Queen in action on the court.

This is just a sampling of some of the things we’ve done so far this year, we’ve been busy learning and having fun.  We’re back in the groove after Christmas break and looking forward to learning lots of new things and finding more cool projects and experiments to try.

Have a great night!

Love, Velvia

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I received my first blogging award, actually I received two, from a precious blogger friend, Lorie, at Encouragement from My Heart.  The first is the Friendship Award, isn’t it adorable? 

And the second one is Sharing the Love, which is something I hope shines through in my blog, the love of our Heavenly Father, as well as love for one another.  I have been so blessed by other sisters in Christ who share their hearts through their blogs, it is my prayer that God is glorified through mine as well.  Thank you Lorie for bestowing this honor on me!

Well, our homeschooling has gotten off to a great start, we’ve had a wonderful first week so far.  I’m so pleased with the progress Drama Queen has made in the past year.  It’s difficult sometimes to measure academic success when you have a child with a learning disability, but as we begin a new school year I can see definite progress was made last year, and more importantly, that she has grown and matured spiritually.  I’m excited about what God has in store for us this school year,  I am determined to let the Holy Spirit be our guide and to not sweat the small stuff. 

I know God wants to work in me as well, He reminded me of this just today as we were making our volcano out of homemade play clay.  As we were molding the clay to form the volcano, I thought of how He wants me to be pliable in His hands so that He can mold me into the woman He wants me to be.   Even though the shaping process is rarely easy or comfortable, there’s no safer place to be than in the hands of the Father.

Have a great Friday!

Love, Velvia

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Back to School

This post will be short and sweet as I’m trying to finish up last minute details to begin homeschooling tomorrow.  Drama Queen and I will be starting a new school year tomorrow, and we’re both excited about it.  I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been enjoying the final days of our summer break and trying to get organized and prepared for school.  I’ve really missed reading my favorite blogs, and as soon as I get my act together I will be stopping by to catch up with each of you.  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer, and that this school year will be fantastic for both you and your children.

Love, Velvia

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I thought I would post an update on our homeschooling and some of the fun things we’ve been learning lately.  We just finished studying about sound in science and did several fun experiments.  Science is Drama Queen’s favorite subject and experiments make her giddy with excitement!  I’ve been trying very hard to make school more interesting for both of us, I know if I’m bored then she certainly must be.  So, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching online to find hands-on things to make learning something we both look forward to. 

 

         Can you hear me now?

Here’s Drama Queen with the old fashioned telephone I remember making when I was a kid.  We made one with paper cups and one with styrofoam cups and compared the difference in the sound.  We found that the paper cups reflected the sound, making it easier to hear, and the styrofoam cups absorbed more of the sound, making it more difficult to hear one another talking.

          Whistle while you work!

Drama Queen filled plastic soda bottles with different amounts of water and then blew across each of them to hear the varying pitch each one made.   She journaled her discoveries in her science notebook.

 

  This was DQ’s favorite experiment.

We made a panpipe from drinking straws and duct tape.  Drama Queen cut the straw to different lengths and then blew across the instrument to hear the low and high pitched sounds the panpipe made.  The sounds were not very strong, but she got the concept, which was all that mattered.

We’re now studying ecosystems in Science and tomorrow we’re taking a field trip in the afternoon to the park to study the ecosystem of the creek that runs through it.  It should be a lot of fun!

Have a great Friday!

Love, Velvia

 

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Drama Queen and I have been studying life in Colonial America in homeschooling lately and have found some really neat projects online to go along with our studies.  One of them is candle making, which we tried our hand at yesterday.  It was a lot of fun and a huge mess, but it was a great experience.  

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Here is Drama Queen shaving the wax from old candles we had around the house.  We used old crayons for the color, which of course, had to be pink!

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Drama Queen is melting the wax in a coffee can set inside a pot filled with boiling water. 

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Here she is dipping the string into the hot wax and then into cold water.   She had to dip it quite a few times in order to make the candle the size she wanted.  Her arm was tired by the time she finished.

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Voila! the finished candle.  We got tickled with the way the candle turned out, it looks like a bright pink carrot!

Homeschooling can be so rewarding and a lot of fun, and some days are wonderful.  Of course, there are days when I want to throw in the towel, but I know God has called me to this and I want to do my best.  Things go so much better when I just relax  and let Him take control!!

Have a great night!

Love, Velvia 

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Once again, God has humbled me and shown me that He has my life in the palm of His hand, even when I cannot see, or feel Him at work.  He showed me this evening that He is working on my behalf, even though I have not been exercising my faith and trusting Him to do just that.

This has been a tough week for Drama Queen and I in our homeschooling.  She has learning difficulties, so we experience our share of ups and downs, but this week it’s been more down than up.  I posted last night that I thought it was due, in part, to spring fever.  The weather is beginning to warm up and we’ve had a couple of  “not a cloud in the sky” days here.  That seemed a reasonable explanation for her lack of focus and concentration that went beyond the norm for her.

Today, however, I lost sight of that possibility and got angry with her for not paying attention when we were learning.   Honestly, after four days of dealing with this I was ready to pull my hair out.   Of course, I apologized to her for losing my cool, but I felt like a bad mom. 

This evening I took her to dance class and was talking to another mom, J., that I have developed a casual friendship with, and found out that she has been experiencing some difficulty with one of her children (who attends public school) this week also.  We were commiserating with one another when another mom, R.,who doesn’t normally stay during dance class, came in and sat down. 

I have to tell you that at first I was a little bummed because it squelched the conversation, as neither J., nor I felt comfortable continuing the conversation we were having.  And here is where God stepped in and opened my eyes to His mysterious and wonderful ways once again.  We struck up a conversation with R., and guess what, she is a homeschooling mom, and one of her children has learning difficulties also!!   

 We chatted and discovered that neither one of us has had any luck getting connected with a homeschool group in our area.  The ones in our county and nearby counties have disbanded for whatever reason, and are no longer active.  I have just begun searching again for a group to get involved with, and right before I left for dance I received an email from a homeschool group 30 miles away. This would be the closest one to us, and great news,  they are indeed a very active group and open to new members.  I promised to bring R. the information next week at dance class. 

I left dance with a lightened heart, knowing God had sent someone my way who knew exactly what I was experiencing and had been through it herself.    I know I am not alone in this venture,  God is with me always, but it’s nice to have other moms to talk to who understand where you’re coming from.  He brought these two women across my path at just the right time for us to encourage each other.  Don’t we serve an Awesome God?

Have a great night!

Love, Velvia

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 I was thinking today about how quickly January has gone by, and about the things God has been speaking to my heart.  I wrote in my prayer journal on January the 7th, “Father,  Let this new year be a year of change.  Change in my heart, my life, and my mind.”   I had no idea when I wrote that how quickly the changes would begin.  Less than two weeks after praying this, Natalie and Joey announced they were moving.  Not exactly the kind of change I had in mind, but God sees the big picture and I only get the thumbnail version.

So, now I am wondering what God has in store next.  It seems as though He has begun to lay the ground work for other changes as well.  Ashley (Hubby) and I have been discussing the possibility of putting Drama Queen back in school in the fall, and me going back to work.  We had originally thought we would homeschool at least until she went to sixth grade, but now we are wondering if God has a different plan.   If this is the direction God is leading us in, it will mean many new changes. 

I am a little overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with all that goes along with putting DQ back in school, she has learning difficulties, and it can be a daunting task dealing with teachers and counselors to make sure her needs are being met.  This was one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place, because they weren’t.  She had great teachers, but our state’s educational system is very flawed, especially where kids with learning difficulties are concerned.   So, we need to spend a lot of time in prayer before any decisions are made.

This journey we are on leads us down many different paths sometimes, and I for one, don’t usually like being taken out of my comfort zone.  I have at times balked at the changes God has brought into my life, but this time I prayed for them, so I have no right to complain, do I?  I need to find the joy in this journey God has me on and remember that my heart’s desire is to fulfill His purpose for my life. 

Have a great Friday!

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