Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How We Came to Homeschool {Sonlight blog party}

This is the second month of the year-long Sonlight 25th anniversary blog party.  I totally missed the first month where we were suppose to introduce our families.  So I will quickly re-cap who we are and then move into the second month task which is to say how we fell into homeschooling.  Here we go:

Andrew and I have been married for almost 11 years.  We have 3 kids; Hannah (almost 6), Ethan (almost 5) and Nathanael (just turned 1).

We spend 2 years early in our marriage teaching English in Korea and LOVED it.  This was well before we had kids and it was my first introduction to teaching and learning with kids.  I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed my students and my time there.

Look aren't they adorable.

It was in Korea that the idea for homeschooling first came to me and like most things I started researching like crazy.  I started out just wanting to familiarizing myself with all the different methods out of curiosity.  I read everything I could get my hands on about Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Unschooling, Unit Studies, Project Based, Montessori, Waldorf, and Eclectic Homeschooling.  That's that just some of the ways to homeschooling.  I soon discovered homeschooling blogs and I was able to get a feel for how actual families homeschool, what they use, and how they do it day by day.  

Out of all the methods that I read about the one that resonated most with me was the Charlotte Mason approach.  It is a literature-based approach to learning developed by the educator Charlotte Mason in England.  Her desire was to have children educated using real books that bring the subjects alive rather than dry textbooks.  Check this out if you want more of an explanation.  As I was looking further into literature based homeschooling I came across the blog "Books and Bairns" and read what a real mom had to say about life and school. That is how I cam across the company Sonlight.  I ordered their catalog the year Hannah was born and for the next several years I just poured over it until I virtually had it memorized.  I love the books they pick for each core and how easy it is to use with multiple children. 

Hannah reading one of our P3/4 books.

I'm always a little hesitant to recommend anything to other homeschooling families or people thinking about it because what works for my family won't necessarily work for another family. Sonlight fits our family and we LOVE it.  

Pulling out our new books for the year P4/5.

I love that the schedule/lesson plans are virtually open and go.  I spend less than an hour on Sunday running through the weeks materials.  Now I add to our week because I enjoy it and so do the kids.  I like to tweak things and make it my own.   We add in our own math, printing practice, and art.

One weeks schedule.

Working hard,

Click the link below to see some other families that use Sonlight.

Sonlight Blog Party

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Activities with Ben: Valentines Day

Valentines Day Activities
We had a lot of fun last Wednesday with Ben over to learn with us. We started out by reading the book "The Valentine" by FĂ©lix, Monique.  It's actually a wordless book about a little mouse who eats through a book and turns an empty page into a little house.

Afterwards, we made hand print valentines.

The finsihed Valentine, I found this idea here.

Then all three kids played for over an hour with our valentine sensory bin.  It's our rainbow rice with anything red or pink I could find around the house.

Lots of scooping and playing!

Nathanael wanted to play too.

We didn't have enough time to do it with Ben but later we also made crystal hearts.
Making a heart shape from a pipe cleaner.

Mixing up the solution (see here).

Waiting for crystals to form.  We waited overnight,

Crystal heart.

Hannah making her Valentines for school last Friday.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Family Day

Last week we went to a Family Day festival with Teresa and Kevin. They called and told us about it and I am glass because it was a lot of fun.

Climbing and playing.

Playing in the ball pit.

Making a craft.

Bike riding.

They had a yogurt bar that Ben LOVED.  Actually I think it was the blueberries he really liked.

Babies hanging together eating puffs.

Stealing rides.

Babies in strollers just taking it easy (I think it looks like they are trash talking about who has the better stroller).

Playing catch.


Teresa and Ben.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (or should have been)

....with an exception.....Nathanael has learned to climb up onto the table without help.  I came downstairs to find him on the table holding a candle.  A candle that was not lit (thankfully).  This is his hahaha look what I did face.  Okay so not much of a wordless Wednesday.  Oh well.
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