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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are the basics:

DD age 8 - Ally
DD age 5 - Annabelle
DS age 1.5 - Will

With the exception of almost a year of pre-school for Ally, only DH and I have been schooled. We are very relaxed ecclectic homeschoolers - I guess to most people we would look like unschoolers.

The "our story" sticky (or whatever it's called) at the top of the forum explains how we started hsing. Now we are homeschoolers because we love it. How lucky we were to have been *forced* into this choice! We now live near, what I understand to be, wonderful public schools, but we have NO plans of sending anyone there. As the children get older they will be in on the decision making and might, I suppose, want to try school. We'll cross that bridge if and when it comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We had a busy Friday and Saturday, so today was definately a much slower pace. We went out for brunch and ran some errands. The girls helped their father track down the Target list while I went to Toys-R-Us to begin the Christmas shopping. (Yes, I'm one of those. I like to be done before Thanksgiving.) As DH is visually impaired, the girls had to do much more reading - both words and prices - than you might imagine, so I count that as school!


They cleaned the basement so we have a fresh start for the week then played with friends all afternoon.

Ally has been very interested in cooking Mussels, so I finally got a recipe and tried it today. She loves seafood and we have been learning about ocean invertabrates since our beach vacation in August. The girls helped me prepare dinner from start to finish, and it was very interesting to cook those critters!

Off to bed with a chapter from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
 

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Hi there.
Nice to "meet" your family. You are so so ahead of me on the winter gift shopping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We had a very school-y looking morning. Some days are like that.
At the end of August the girls and I threw ourselves a tea party to discuss our plans for fall and winter. At their request, we designed what they call "American Girl Doll Circle Time." Don't ask me why it's called this, I don't know.
Each morning (theoretically):
Annabelle: Draws and cuts a shape from construction paper and writes a number as we count to 100 (triangles for multiples of 5, circles for all others). She also counts that amount of money and collects it in a special jar. The shapes are forming a snake? catapiller? up the wall along the basement stairs. When we reach 100 we'll have a "100th day of Kindergarten" party, as we did for Ally, and she'll be able to spend the money she counted and collected.

Ally: Selects single digit numbers from a beautiful cut glass pitcher (for Ally it's all about the presentation) and uses them to form 2 and 3 digit numbers which she records on a dated page and then compares, adds and subtracts. She also works on a cursive handwriting workbook she selected at the teacher's supply store.
All this takes about 15 minutes, as we enjoy hot tea or chocolate and discuss breakfast options.

For the rest of the morning they:
  • read together some of Ally's old beginning readers (Annabelle's bound and determined to learn to read!)
  • made some birthday cards we needed to mail
  • Ally made lovely and yet creepy invites for her sister's and cousin's dolls to attend a Halloween party her dolls are throwing
  • looked through a book about Ancient Greece to consider togas for Halloween costumes
  • played online with their e-fairies (it's some new Disney gimick)
After lunch we met a friend to conduct some Girl Scout business. We have a fantastic all hsing troop and I lead Annabelle and the other Daisies. All together (Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors) we have almost 30 girls.

I had planned for us to then visit the rarely open nature center at a local park, but the girls nixed that idea and we ended up looking at Halloween costumes at the party store. DH gave each girl a costume budget because the catalog costumes they were drooling over were $$$, so Ally considered all her choices carefully (she's a very contemplative person). Ally's still considering her options, but Annabelle fell in love with the first one she saw and has sworn allegience to it (she's a very decisive person!).

Quick library run to select more books. Annabelle studies books of all kinds. It's what she spends most of her private time doing. I suspect she is more of a whole word learner than a phonics driven reader, but more on that another day.
Ally selected about a dozen books on different zoo animals. She is constructing a zoo for her dolls, complete with educational signs.
Will enjoyed about one page each of any board book I could put my hands on before he was off down the aisles again.

We all played outside as the pizza dough (for dinner) was rising. Will hosed off his booster seat, which was desperately needed. My sister comes to visit soon and she would have been horrified! The girls played with neighbor children.

After dinner we skipped reading Harry Potter in favor of watching the premier of Dancing with the Stars!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wilhemina View Post
At their request, we designed what they call "American Girl Doll Circle Time." Don't ask me why it's called this, I don't know.

Very cute name! I imagine the girls are fans of the AG stories? Dd really likes some of them too.

Quote:
DH gave each girl a costume budget because the catalog costumes they were drooling over were $$$, so Ally considered all her choices carefully (she's a very contemplative person). Ally's still considering her options, but Annabelle fell in love with the first one she saw and has sworn allegience to it (she's a very decisive person!).
That's so cool to see the differences between them. My two are sometimes this way as well. So what costumes are they each considering (or planning on)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
How did you find an all-homeschooling girl scout troop? Do your girls participate in any other similar activities?
Six years ago some moms started a Daisy troop for their hsing daughters. Now those girls are Juniors. Whenever they've felt like expanding or recruiting fresh blood they advertise with local homeschool groups via e-mail loops. We found them shortly after moving to this state last year.

The girls also both attend a hs gymnastics group. Annabelle does soccer (not hs) and Ally takes private horseback riding lessons. We are also iinvolved in a loosely organized hsing group with whom we play at the park once a week and at an indoor community center once a week.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
Very cute name! I imagine the girls are fans of the AG stories? Dd really likes some of them too.
Yes they are. Ally devours the books! We are all looking forward to a NYC vacation next month built around a trip to the American Girl Place.

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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
That's so cool to see the differences between them. My two are sometimes this way as well. So what costumes are they each considering (or planning on)?

Quote:

Originally Posted by warriorprincess
I can't wait to see what costu,es your kids choose
Annabelle has picked a very regal Queen costume complete with a hoop at the bottom of the skirt - the deal clincher I think. Ally is torn between a store bought witch costume and home-making a gypsy costume. I believe the toga is meant for Will. Actually I am quite relieved at Annabelle's choice. Last year (age 4) she selected a very goth vampire costume. I had no objections on principle, but I think our new neighbors were looking a little shocked at this four year old vamp among their Disney Princesses!
 

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Quote:
At their request, we designed what they call "American Girl Doll Circle Time."
May my daughter & her Kaya' join you?! Sounds very cute!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wilhemina View Post
Six years ago some moms started a Daisy troop for their hsing daughters. Now those girls are Juniors. Whenever they've felt like expanding or recruiting fresh blood they advertise with local homeschool groups via e-mail loops. We found them shortly after moving to this state last year.
Sweet.


Quote:
Last year (age 4) she selected a very goth vampire costume. I had no objections on principle, but I think our new neighbors were looking a little shocked at this four year old vamp among their Disney Princesses!
My son went as Princess Fiona two years ago. Little boy with a buzz cut in a pretty satin princess gown, complete with tiara. "Princess Fiona is an OGRE!" he announced to all and sundry.
I think a goth vampire would probably have been easier to explain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tuesday is our early morning day. We get ready, including packed lunches and leave the house at 8:45 to get to gymnastics on time. Honest to Pete, I don't know how schooled families get off so much earlier every day!

From gymnastics we go straight to park day. The weather yesterday was gorgeous which was a bonus. We have quite a group that meets and the kids have a fantastic time playing. After lunch and more playing - that is to say playing and lunching simultaneously, they certainly never sit at the table - we divide the kids up and head off. I usually end up with a different collection (of kids) than I started with. Yesterday Ally went home with a friend and I brought two of Annabelle's home with us instead. Every now and then both girls get farmed out and Will and I have the afternoon alone.

Once we all gathered again close to dinner time the girls had their "AGD Circle Time" and we read a couple of library books waiting for DH to come home. At dinner we played fiction/non-fiction, which is more fun when we've had *separate* days.
Dinner together is very important to me for many reasons. I have a few discussion prompts to help the conversation and fiction/non-fiction is one. Each person makes 3 statements about their day, one is fiction and two are non-fiction. The others try to guess the fiction. BONUS: the girls painlessly learned those terms!
Dancing With the Stars was on again, so tv again. This is an unusual week as we don't normally watch tv after dinner. Annabelle worked on a library book while she watched.

Have any of you found your kids are like this?:
Annabelle LOVES eye-spy sort of books. She doesn't seem drawn to the eye-spy brand, but she loves hidden pictures. She also studies regular text books, sometimes those without illustrations. She has enjoyed the Leap Frog videos from time to time, and I know she learned many letter sounds by watching, but as much as she wants to learn to read, she doesn't seem willing or able to piece together letter sounds in a phonics way. She instead recognizes whole words through memorization. When she struggles with a word I think she knows I can remind her, "What's the beginning sound?," and it usually works.

I tried so hard to teach Ally to read with so many different approaches until I left her alone and she finally just started reading on her own. She's one of those that seemed to go from c-a-t to novels over night. I really don't know how she finally unlocked the secret.

I'm much more content to let Annabelle figure out what she needs. It's interesting to watch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by phathui5
Do you use any "curriculum?"
Here's a long and obnoxious answer for such an easy question: yes and no. I don't like the way the hs community tends to use the term, so yes we have a curriculum because we learn about a range of topics on a variety of subjects that I could spell out if needed. I think the most accurate definition of curriculum includes the idea that a child's curriculum is the learning that actually takes place. But no, we don't buy any boxed curriculum.

mama in the forest said:
May my daughter & her Kaya' join you?! Sounds very cute! {/quote] Come on over! Kaya can join Josefina, Felicity, and Niki.

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Originally Posted by chrissy
sounds fun at your house
Thanks! We really do have fun - most days anyway!

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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post

My son went as Princess Fiona two years ago. ... I think a goth vampire would probably have been easier to explain.

You've definately got me beat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After our morning routine and a good bit of read aloud time, I coerced and cajoled the girls into helping me do some housekeeping. They balked, I encouraged; they whined, I threatened. In the end some of what I needed done did occurred, and we went over to a friend's to play and visit.

After coming home Annabelle and I played a new LeapFrog phonics game I picked up for $5, it was pretty cute and she played me, then Ally, then alone. Ally continued work on the zoo for her dolls - she's keeping it very private, so I'm eager to see the finished product.

We all enjoyed one last bit of outside time with neighbor friends we hadn't visited with for a bit before dinner. Then baths and another peek outside at the Harvest Moon. We googled to find out why it looks so big and red, then read aloud for about 45 min. before bed (picture books, a new chapter book Annabelle wanted to try a bit of "to see if I like it," and Harry Potter).

We have a busy day today (Thursday), so I tried to get everyone to bed a bit early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We had a field trip in the morning to a historical farm. They periodically have "Farm Skills Day" and invite school groups (and others) to come and explore candle dipping, combing and spinning wool, old fashioned games, etc. I think our group was the bulk of who attended, which made it relaxed and fun for everyone.

I got up early and made breakfast bars (okay, they are cookies that are more nutritious than the average
) to take as snacks on the way home and to have for our afternoon guests.

We carpooled with friends and after dropping off mom and little one, we brought dear friend home for lunch after which we swiftly cleaned up for our Owl Pellet Party. On vacation last month we visited a wildlife rehabilitation hospitol for an excellent tour and I noticed they sold the pellets they collect from their owl patients. I bought as many as I had cash for and we invited a few hsing friends to come enjoy them with us.

We had a fantastic time finding and identifying all sorts of bones. We used DH's CCTV (aid for the visually impaired) which allowed us to blow the bones up visually on a tv screen. Why did I never think of using it for this before!!!(Another hsing mom who used to be a teacher for the visually impaired suggested it a couple of weeks ago.)

Of course the Owl Pellet Party morphed into a playdate, which was great. I got to visit with a mom whose company I really enjoy, but haven't seen in a bit.

After our friends left it was quick get a snack and get ready for Annabelle's soccer practice. We have to be ready to go when DH hits the door (he coaches) - timing is tight. Will napped in the car during practice, so I used the time oh-so-wisely by perusing the new IKEA catalog. Ally watched practice and worked on her zoo project. She announced at the end that she had, "finished my Koala work. That's three animals done."

We had Quiznos for dinner because though I got up early, I was so focused on the cookies I forgot to put in the crockpot meal I had planned.
: (that's DH throwing the tomato).

We ended the day reading from Harry Potter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can buy some at www.carolina.com - it's a science supply website.

I'm going to order some and do this again! And, I think I'll have 2-3 per kid this time because strangely two of ours seemed to be without bones. I don't think that is normal, but perhaps since these were sick or injuried owls their digestion was off?
 
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