Time For Learning

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Time4Learning - Day One

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Well,we are off to a bit of a rocky start.  I’m having some problems understanding the set up of our student accounts.  There is an activity scheduler so you can know what assignments your student needs to do each day - but so far I’m not finding a good way to utilize it.  Set up was confusing.

Support staff (email) has so far been excellent in responding to my many questions.  That is a good sign.

I’m guessing it is going to take some time to get to  know the set up.

We are officially starting the coursework on Monday, and I’m hoping there is an easy way to print out assignments a week at a time.

It would be nice if the program could somehow link the activity scheduler to the child’s site.  (There may be a way that I’ve just not figured out yet.) 

I’m sure it will come together as we learn how to use the program itself.

Day two on Monday.


Time For Learning

I’ve been searching to find the right curriculum for #1 son. I ran across a great opportunity from Time4Learning.  I’m really excited to let you all know about this!

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. 

My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for after school enrichment and for summer skill sharpening.

 Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

K12? Hoosier Academy?

I’m not terribly pleased with our Hoosier Academy Experience.  They are now “teaching wo the test” with such intensity that she is falling further and further behind.  I’m trying to explain to teachers that she simply cannot keep up with their “expected progress,” despite the K12 promise of individualized learning.

Last year was a great year for us.

This year, not so much.

I’m curious - have any of you had successful stories attached to K12?  This was our third year, so I was expecting a lot more.

I think it’s a bad sign when you have two different school heads before the semester break.


The Times They Are A Changing!

Well, after a hiatus attempt at online charter schools, we are back to homeschooling again.  I pulled our littlest angel in January as the school was so chaotic and not meeting her needs, that once again, I knew we could do better at home.

We are in High School mode for #1 son, and searching to find the right fit.  High school is harder than I thought it would be just time wise.  I’m checking out different options as to what we will continue with.

Allinonehighschool.com has some resources, but not a lot.  We’ve piecemeal a program together, but I’m not happy with it yet.

I know we will be working into the summer to get not the hours, but the learning done.  I’ll keep you update on how things go!


What's Going On Inside Their Head?

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Ever wonder what is going on inside your child's head?  Well, this site is a great source of information about brain development at different stages in your child's life.  I know that as a parent of children of vastly varying ages it can be difficult to understand just what is happening when, and how much to expect from each child.

This site has a great series of articles about brain development divided by school year.  I'm linking to the preschool article, but at the bottom of each article you can see links to other grades and ages. 

I was particularly impressed by their "tween" age article.  

Understanding the way your child's brain is developing can help you figure out what your child needs from you.

Those of us who homeschool obviously spend more time with our children and get to know them in a way quite different from those who send their children to more traditional schools.  Extra insight into what is happening is always welcome in my book.

My thanks to GreatSchools.org for an informative site - not only for these articles but for many others.  You might like to sign up for their blog.  I've learned a lot from them!

Till next time!



Virtual Traditional Schooling?

Our online "homeschool" charter school life begins!  We were accepted into Hoosier Academy Virtual School yesterday.  I've been watching online presentation after presentation to learn their system.  It seems to be rather similar to the Alpha Omega program, which leaves me wondering if using a canned program like SOS wouldn't be the same thing.  The good thing?  It's all free.  They supposedly send all the materials you need to you and you only need purchase regular school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, etc.

I'm  a bit confused as to why our public school angel has to pay bookrental (and I learned that students have to "share" books at times) and there is no expense to this program.

Another point - he will graduate with an accredited Indiana diploma if we use this during his high school years.  

At this point - it is all just an experiment.  I'm not sure what will be the outcome.  Perhaps having government involvement will not be what I want.  Perhaps this will work out for the best.  

I'm still having qualms about littlest angel going to traditional school.  She has some special ed issues that I hope they address.  Knowing I can pull her out and bring her back to homeschooling brings some comfort to me. 

I wish my health were better, but perhaps this year "off" will give me the time I need to regroup.  I guess we are at one day at a time.

If any of you have used the online public schooling, I'd be interested in hearing from you.  Just drop me a note on the contact page, or leave a comment.  

Till next time!


Back to School?

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Ask me how much I don't want to write this post.  Ask a homeschooling mom how it feels to put her littlest angel back in traditional school.  (Translation:  What passes for public school nowadays.)

It feels horrible.  I want to cry.  My insides are screaming at the thought.  Yes, her older brother will still be at home - doing an online school program.  That isn't what I want to have happening either.

You  see, we do a lot of pretty unstructured things.  We loosely base what we are doing on the state standards.  Quite loosely.  What we have been doing is based on following history from square one.  Some folks don't care for a classical style education.  For us - it worked.  We tied history, science, math, art. and music together.  It's helped *me* to understand and learn more as well.

So, you may be asking, why are you stopping?

I have homeschooled for over four years while dealing with significant health issues.  This year, i can no longer overlook the fact that I cannot do the things I did before.  I get tired.  I need more sleep.  I've have to force myself to keep going.  I was hoping that time off this summer would help.  

While I do feel better, I'm no where near where I need to be to start a new year.

This was a hard decision to make.  I wavered back and forth until the last sign up day.  Even then, I wasn't sure.  To be perfectly honest, I'm still not.  I don't know how she will do.  We deal with learning disabilities and some emotional problems since the death of their bio-mom.  (They are adopted and our bio-grandchildren.)

To think of her away from home 9 hours a day tugs at my heart as nothing else has.  As a Christian, I am praying for God's will in this.  Does HE want her in school?  Will I get better?  What's next?

I have no idea.  I know I am looking longingly at last years school supplies, remembering the things we had planned.  But, having a disabled mom who is unable to take them anywhere isn't fair to them either.

A difficult choice.  Stay tuned to see what happens.  I am.

The Camel's Nose

I belong to a FaceBook group that addresses the issues of Asperger's Syndrome.  A story that I had long forgot came up in a thread and I thought this might be a good place to post it.

If you have any children that try to manipulate or "widdle away at you" (as my mom used to say), you might enjoy this story.

THE CAMEL'S NOSE

(Sorry, this is very, very long.)

Once upon a time there lived a man far, far away in a very, very different land.  He lived in the desert and his only companion was his camel.  This man was a very, very poor man.  His tent was a very, very small tent.  (You must live in tents in the desert you know.)  It was so very, very tiny that he barely fit inside.

One cold night (desert nights can get very, very cold when the sun goes down) the man was curled up in his very, very tiny tent when he saw something moving outside his tent.   He could hear the camels muffled voice coming through the tent wall.  (Tent walls are very, very thin and you can easily hear things through them.)

"Oh, please master!  It is so very, very cold out tonight.  May I please come in and get warm?"  (Camel's hair is not very thick and they get chilled quite easily when the sun goes down.)  The man considered the idea and then looked around his very, very tiny tent.  

"Oh, I am sorry, my dear camel, but there is no room in this very, very tiny tent.  You are my friend and companion, but you are very, very big and my tent is very, very small," he said sadly.

The camel was quiet for a moment, and then he spoke again.  "Oh, it is so very, very cold tonight.  I'd feel ever so much better if I could just warm up the tip of my nose.  Could I please just put my nose in the tent?"

The man thought about the poor camel outside on such a very, very cold night.  (Remember, deserts get very, very cold at night after the sun goes down.)  He felt sorry for his friend, the camel.  "Yes," he said finally, "You may put the tip of your nose in the tent.  But mind you, this tent is very, very tiny."

The man saw the bottom edge of his tent start to lift and the camel slowly pushed the tip of his nose into his tent.  (Remember, a  camel's nose is very, very large and it is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose inside the bottom of a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

"Oh, thank you, my very, very kind friend," said the grateful camel.  I know I will be much warmer now."

The man went back to sleep.  Then, a short while later, he was wakened by the camel's voice again.  "Oh kind friend," said the camel. "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put my whole head inside the tent?  Then I know I will be warm."

The man thought again.  There was so little room inside his tiny, tiny tent, but his friend was so very, very cold - so once again he agreed.  Slowly the camel pushed his head into the tent.  (It is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose and his head inside the bottom of a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

"Oh, thank you my very, very kind friend," said the camel.  I know I will be much warmer now" and the man went back to sleep.  Then, a short while later he was again awakened by the camel's voice.  "Oh, kind friend," said the camel.  "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put my neck inside the tent?  Then I know I will be warm."

The man thought once more.  There was so little room inside his tiny, tiny tent, but his friend was so very, very cold - so once again he agreed.  Slowly the camel pushed his neck into the tent.  (It is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose and head and neck inside the bottom of a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

"Oh, thank you kind friend," said the camel.  I know I will be much warmer now" and the man went back to sleep.  Then, once again,  he was again awakened by the camel's voice.  "Oh, kind friend," said the camel.  "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put my shoulders and front feet inside the tent?  Then I know I will be warm."

The man looked around.  There was so little room inside his tiny, tiny tent and he would have to curl up even littler, but his friend was so very, very cold - so once again he agreed.  Slowly the camel pushed his shoulders and front feet into the tent.  (It is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose and head and neck and shoulders and front feet inside the bottom of a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

"Oh, thank you my very, very kind friend," said the camel.  I know I will be much warmer now" and the man went back to sleep.  Then, once again,  he was again awakened by the camel's voice.  "Oh, kind friend," said the camel.  "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put just half of my body inside the tent?  Then I know I will be warm."

The man looked around the tent.  There was so little room inside his tiny, tiny tent and he would have to curl up even littler, but his friend was so very, very cold - so once again he agreed for the man was a very, very kind man so he said, "I guess I could sit up and sleep and then maybe there would be room for half of your body, too.

Slowly the camel half of his body into the tent.  (It is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose and head and neck and shoulders and front feet and half of his body  inside of a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

""Oh, thank you my very, very kind friend," said the camel.  I know I will be much warmer now" and the man went back to sleep.  Then, once again,  he was again awakened by the camel's voice.  "Oh, kind friend," said the camel.  "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put all of my hump inside the tent, as well?  Then I know I will be warm."

The man looked around the tent.  It was so tiny and there was barely enough room for the two of them, but the man was a very, very kind man so he said, "I guess I could stand up and sleep and then maybe there would be room for your hump, too."

Slowly the camel pushed his hump into the tent.  (It is very, very difficult for a camel to get down on his knees to put his nose and head and neck and shoulders and front feet and half of his body and his hump inside a tent, so the camel was very, very slow.)

"Oh, thank you my very, very kind friend," said the camel.  I know I will be much warmer now" and the man went back to sleep.  Then, once again,  he was again awakened by the camel's voice.  "Oh, kind friend," said the camel.  "I am still so very, very cold.  Would I be able to put my back feet inside the tent, as well?  Then I know I will be warm."

The poor man looked around his tiny, tiny tent.  There was no more room in the tent.  What should he do?  For he was a very, very kind man, and the camel was a very, very good friend, and it was very, very cold outside.)  "Yes, you may put your back feet inside the tent.  But I am worried.  There is no room left.  You are my very, very good friend and it is so very, very cold, so we will try."

Then with a mighty shove, the camel pushed his whole body inside the tent.  The poor man had been right.  There was not enough room inside the tent for the man and the camel's nose and head and neck and shoulders and front feet and half his body and his hump and his back feet.  That mighty shove shoved the man right outside of his tent.  Now he was outside in the desert where it was very, very cold and the camel was in his  tent where it was very, very warm.

The moral to this story, my very, very dear readers? 

Never ever, ever, ever let a camel's nose inside your tent.

Sounds of Nature ... Free!


Being a frugal homeschool mom, I’m always on the lookout for new FREE things to do.  I found a new site today that had my kids occupied and learning without knowing it.  

We live in Indiana in a fairly wooded area on a small lake.  The sound of birds chirping and singing abounds.  So, when we stumbled across eNature it was a real find.  

The kids spent time taking an online challenge to determine which bird makes what call.  We all had fun.  They have a lot of other nature-related facts, games, and well - just interesting stuff.  

I SO want to move my kinds minds outdoors and away from the indoor tv, video-game-itis they’ve slowly developed.  (I’m realizing that is all many of their friends do too!) 

So, if you’re up to checking out a great site - give eNature a try!  It’s the sounds of nature for free - and will maybe move your kids outdoors too!  I love their tag line ... Bringing nature to life.  :)


HomeSchooling on Empty?


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I know there are some days when I have felt that I couldn't handle one more day of homeschooling.  Supplies aren't where they should be.  The kids minds are on everything but schoolwork.  They are cranky.  I'm cranky.  I wonder "Why in the world am I doing this?"  Then - inevitably, I head for my computer and look at my emails.  Nestled among the flood in my inbox is the blog Daily Focus by Alpha Omega.  It is often just what I need to read.  They honestly address the times we want to quit.  The difficulty of schooling at home.  Yet, by the time I'm through reading, I've a newfound encouragement to "keep on keeping on."  Alpha Omega has a decided Christian slant.  Yet, it's often just what I need to realize how important my decision to homeschool my kids was and is.  Homeschooling when you are on empty doesn't work.  Sometimes it only takes a few works to recharge and get you going again!

Homeschoolr at Pathways4change.org© deni weber 2011