Category Archives: Boys

#5thOnThe5th: The First 5 Weeks

5th on 5th seriesWe’ve made it through the first five weeks of our new school year and it’s been slow, but full.
The first day of every new school year never goes as planned and this year was no exception.

Seriously! In all the past 8 years of homeschooling I have never struggled so much at the beginning of the year.
Maybe it’s because we didn’t have  the usual  “snowball start,” as there were a few other people we studied to wrap up our Black History unit study from 4th grade.
I thought that it would have been perfect to save George Washington Carver for when we would have our family play with peanuts tournament, Martin Luther King Jr. for week of the city MLK Unity Parade, and Zora Neale Hurston for the week of the annual Zora festival in nearby Eatonville.
But, maybe it was a little too much too soon.
We survived. We made it through. Not as enthusiastically as I would prefer. But we made it. And that’s cause for celebration.
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KC set up workstations for himself, working his way through each task around the table

We celebrated our newly renovated local library reopening by packing up and camping out there for the whole day. I think it was a great experience because it forced the boys to rediscover different areas of the library since everything was restructured. We really liked the new compact shelving system. KC & KJ were disappointed the children’s and juvenile section didn’t get the upgraded shelving system, but I’m thankful the Librarians chose to avoid the possibility of any children “accidentally” squashing another child in-between shelves.
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FunSpot  +  GatorLand  =  GatorSpot

However,  I would definitely say that the ultimate highlight of this whole month was our unexpected field trip to FunSpot. We heard about the opportunity for free unlimited-rides armbands if you made it there for the ground breaking ceremony for the all-new GatorSpot attraction.
It was too HUGE to miss.


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2 boys, 2 gators

When the Gator handler realized they were twins he called for the other handler to bring over his gator because “twin boys need twin gators.”

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Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

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#5thOnThe5th: The 5th Day of 5th Grade




 We’re Celebrating!  It’s the 5th day of 5th grade.

5th of 5th bike ride
With an afternoon bike ride.

If you’d like to keep in touch with how that happens this year,  5th on 5th series
I’ll be keeping this series going on the 5th of each month.

Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

#5thOnThe5th: A New Year

5th on 5th series
It’s January 5th, 2015 (1/5/15) and it is the first day of 5th grade for KC & KJ here at MunroePalms Learning Centre. As usual, the 1st day NEVER goes as planned. So even though what I planned was short and light, to be followed by a trip to the Botanical Garden for a nature walk. We did not make it to the botanical garden.

What Happened?

Well, we began our day with a nature study of a different kind. When MrC. attempted to place the box of  Christmas decorations in the storage shed he discovered a couple of frogs had made themselves a winter hideaway. He immediately solicited the twins’ assistance in gently evicting these special guests. They were successful and made a comfy place for the little amphibians in a bucket. I observed from a safe distance.
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After that excitement settled down I  was able to  make progress on  reintroducing the CORE 3:  Bible, Math,  & English. Then, MrC. surprised us  all  with a trip to the pet store for new fish.
5 fish for 5th grade.

Since we didn’t have time to drive across  town to the botanical garden, I took the  boys to one of the parks close by. But, I didn’t realize that both boys also brought along their reading books. As soon as we arrived KC & KJ sat on the swings reading.wpid-wp-1422868706587.jpeg

Seriously! I had to confiscate their books and tell them to “Go Play!”

Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

 

#WingingItWisely: education plan

Have you been wondering where our 2014 Education Plan is?    I HAVE!!
We’ve always had Group Studies together
(Scripture Memory Verses, History, Geography, Science, & Electives)
and Independent Studies separately (CORE 3: Bible, Math, & English).

So, before our most drastic #CHANGE, I had already selected and purchased all of the resources for Geography, History and Science for a few years. We were set. And I do mean set. I made wise use of the funds I collected while working a temporary seasonal job. Most of the curriculum I purchased were used and priced accordingly. I also have a couple wonderful homeschool friends with whom we share & borrow freely, despite the Many Many miles between us. (USPS knows us well) 🙂
My Point:   I would have only had some minor tweaking in the Core 3 to contend with.

However, after a VERY busy summer I finally sat down to put “plan to paper” (or screen) for education plan 2014. What I discovered was that although I surely factored in the needs of all of my students in designing our previous education plans, they mainly revolved around CJ, as my oldest. Now that he’s in public school and I don’t have any Bonus Boys to hybrid homeschool, I am left with KC and KJ. My babies.
My twinnies.  Well, I guess they’re not babies anymore.
So, I’m taking the time to relish in that thought.
Spending time to know, REALLY KNOW, my twins as individuals and what their interests are.

Winging

               Winging  It

Swinging It

               &   Swinging  It

QUESTION:  What does our education plan look like, now?
ANSWER:  I Don’t Know!!!
But, I’ll figure it out…. eventually.
For now, I’m   #WingingItWisely     

Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Yeah. I know… you read the title of this post and you’re wondering where I’m going with it. Well, Who Moved My Cheese? is the title of a book. A book I read many years ago with MrC during the first few months of our marriage. It’s a book about change. The changes you go through in life and how you respond to them. So, when I began to contemplate my feelings over the recent changes in my life, these were the words that filled my brain and most accurately expressed my thoughts:

Who Moved My Cheese?

cheese

For those of you that don’t know me in real life, and maybe those who do, the past couple years have been crazy busy, in our family life, as well as our homeschool. Many changes, adjustments with me being pushed and pulled out of my comfort zone. #CHANGE
A big part happened as more and more opportunities opened up for us to encourage other parents, especially those from within our demographic, to be more proactively involved in the education of their children. We have always felt that whatever the avenue chosen: Home School, Public School, or Private School; Every set of parents should be active advocates for their children as individual students.

From that stance, quite a few opportunities began to arise for me to assist and consult with other parents deciding how best to educate their children during the current or changing season in their lives, recommending curriculum resources, or loaning some from off my bookshelves. Which also culminated in/ended up including hybrid homeschooling 2 additional boys, along with my own 3, assisting in the delivery of core academic instruction. #CHANGE

I love homeschooling and the additional time it has given me with my sons. Helping them advance in their strengths and supporting them through their academic challenges. When asked, we have always explained our choice to home-educate as “currently the best option for their educational environment.” Well, at the beginning of 2014 it began to be more evident that that particular statement no longer rang true for CJ. MrC and I had a couple small discussions (faculty conferences) about our options. My first choice was the local private school that offered Enrichment & Elective Classes on Mondays and Core Curriculum Courses Tuesday-Thursdays with an optional Study Hall on Fridays, (We do not have time for me to list all the many many reasons why I thought this was perfect.) it was not a plausible possibility.
Reasons being: I no longer had a separate vehicle since my car died (i.e. HouseBound Homeschoolers), our budget could not accommodate the financial burden that would require, we would be attempting a 2nd Semester admission, and there was already an extensive wait-list.

Walking to the Bus Stop

Walking to the Bus Stop

Then came a quick trip away for me to assist in a family multi-state relocation. The longest time for me to be separated from my husband and sons in all our lives. #CHANGE  During that time MrC took the reigns on the day-to-day operations of MunroePalms Learning Centre. (Isn’t he just Awesome?) That opportunity freed my heart and mind from being so intensely focused on our homeschool. (Isn’t it good to rest? Even for just a little while.) So, when I returned MrC was ready to discuss enrolling CJ into our local public school and I was ready to listen and follow his lead. #CHANGE

This brought about BIG CHANGES!!

  •  There has been #CHANGE for CJ: adjusting to the much longer school day, riding on the school bus, 7 different classes in 7 different classrooms with 7 new teachers, being constantly surrounded by hundreds of other children, and the demands of additional homework to be done after that already long day at school. #CHANGE
  •   There has been #CHANGE for MrC: not having as much time to interact with CJ during the weekdays, due to his work schedule, and now having to capitalize on the weekend. #CHANGE
  •   There’s even been #CHANGE for KC & KJ: who miss CJ during the day, despite the way he would do “big brother things” to purposely get on his little brother’s nerves. #CHANGE
  •   And of course, there’s been #CHANGE for me: adjusting to being apart from my oldest son (Yes. I know it’s only a few hours a day. I did say I was adjusting.), adjusting to no longer being CJ’s main academic instructor, surprisingly mourning the books, activities, field trips and curriculum I won’t have the opportunity to teach and share with him, and also surprising was dealing with the guilt of what I should’ve/could’ve done differently with him. #Major  #CHANGE

So, how do you respond to change?
Do you freeze in denial, not moving one way or the other?   Maybe.
Do you see “the bigger picture,” quickly making the necessary adjustments?   Maybe.
Or do you “take it in stride,” because you were aware, watching, observing your surroundings?   Maybe.

I look back and see how The Lord slowly and gently prepared my heart to be more open and accepting to the multitude of #CHANGE in this season. Isn’t it amazing how The Lord will bring something back to your remembrance from long ago?

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As I wrote this post, I decided I should attempt to locate this book. After a visit to my local used bookstore, I can now reread this book and better answer the question:

Who Moved My Cheese?

Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

A New Start

Last year, our first day of school got sidetracked by the appearance of a gigantic spider; the in-depth chase, hunt and subsequent slaughter of said gigantic spider; and then we never got it back together.

The first day of school NEVER goes as planned!!

So, this year I decided to start the way we ended last year, on a Tuesday. This was a strategic decision because our local discount movie theater is only $1 on Tuesdays. That’s right, I planned for things not to go according to plan. The ideal plan anyway.
Of course, there were still bumps in our day but the big points were accomplished:

»»  P.E. & Prayer in the morning: led by MrC
If only everyday could start this way. Alas, a Man must work.
»»  Science Fiction in the afternoon: “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Discussed the possibility of time travel and observations in the continuity, or lack of, within a series.
»»  Home Ec/Life Skills in the evening: Job$
They needed to be reassigned and reinstated.

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There has been quite a bit of readjusting going on here, which I’ll elaborate in another post later this week. And unlike the past 8 years of our homeschool journey I am not even close to having everything prepared, planned, or even somewhat organized. I might explain that later. But, today was a New Day. A Successful Day. With many more to come. #aNewStart #MPLC2014

Until next time, remember:
You’re Growing Greatness.

Round #2: Glasses

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 Glasses:
 When they’re not on your face,
they’re in the case!!!

That’s the Law. The rule from the first day we left the opticians office. However,  as time went on we all got a little lax in diligently following the rule.
Then a few weeks ago, someone in this photo (whose identity I’ve chosen to  protect) left their glasses on the floor right beside their bed. Late that night a loud  crunch was heard as those glass frames were crushed into 4 pieces.

Fortunately, it was only 3 months since The Rule was instituted, and so they were  still covered by the one year warranty. Hooray!

The replacements were picked up today and The Rule still applies, so let us try  this again. Round #2:
 Glasses: 
When they’re not on your face,
they’re in the case!!!

Three Things Thursday: Beginning

Three Things Thursday:

        #1.      I’m Baaacckkk!!!

I’ve had all these ideas for posts. Some I started in unpublished drafts, others I didn’t have time to jot down but then completely forgot about.
To Be Honest, I got sidetracked from my original purpose for this blog. I have made quite a few fantastic friendships through other homeschool blogs, groups and forums. These relationships are so treasured. They continue to inspire and encourage me. But, I did begin to feel a little intimidated by all their amazing designs and content. So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to “jump back in.” When I saw this image I just knew it was perfect.

        #2.     I’m Staying

I would like to say that I’ll  continue Three Things Thursdays.  Posting three things I want to share. About Anything.
But realistically speaking. I”m not a writer. I have a natural gift for editing other posts, blogs, flyers, etc.  There have been so many events I’ve wanted to share but, haven’t managed my time.  may post a few randomly. but I am here to stay. Blogging and posting oh so slowly away.

        #3.     I’m Still Loved

The highlight of my week happened today. While we were sitting together on the sofa “dvd schooling” this afternoon all three of my sons passionately discussed who had the pleasure of cuddling next to me. So, despite the fact that KC, KJ, & CJ are now old enough to wipe off my kisses or not want me to hug them in public, it filled my mummy heart to maneuver a way to snuggle with each of them for the duration of TV time.

toddler twins & meprek CJ & me

Math-Antics

I have previously mentioned our fascinating journey with math.
My oldest was using TT4 halfway through 3rd grade and doing well with it..
2 months in and our computer crashed and couldn’t get a replacement anytime soon.
so.. we tried 2 other math programs.. which was A Complete Waste of Time.
We got a new laptop for Christmas and this was one of the first things he asked for.. by the placement test he placed right back in TT4.
He is now close to halfway through TT4.
So, as our school year started up again after a few weeks “summer break” he’s now 11 beginning his 6th grade year doing TT4.
He LOVES it & is doing much better.
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It worked out WELL…. VERY WELL.
It is going so well, that the twins couldn’t wait to start using TT3.
So now, all my boys are using Teaching Textbooks math.
(Along with the Life of Fred elementary series and XtraMath.org)
There are no more school tears… not over math anyway… 😉
and we are enjoying our homeschool journey together again.

What are you using for Math?

I Just Couldn’t Miss It!

fpea 2013


That’s right!
We went to the
Florida Parent-Educators Association HomeSchool Conference
We already had this week scheduled off of school but had other plans. Close to the last minute plans changed and MrC. worked it out that we were able to go. YAY! MrC!
There were so many awesome and amazing moments (including one slight moment of panic from losing my bank card in the middle of the exhibit hall. no worries. it was later recovered). However, the MAIN MESSAGE of the weekend for ME was… Relationship.
Working Slow & Steady with EACH child at THEIR pace is…okay. Great, even.
The parent-child heart-to-heart relationship is the key that unlocks the door to learning!

My Top 5 Highlights:
Read the rest of this entry

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