Welcome Back…. You do strictly homeschool, right?! Uh… Uh…

This summer has been a whirlwind. We have been here there and everywhere trying to make as much out of the summer as we could. While summer isn’t over, we do have to start getting back to our regular schedule.

I’ve met alot of people this summer and had alot of conversations about homeschooling and what that means. Since so many people concern themselves with labels I thought I would clear up how we run our school at home.

I have a Master’s Degree in Post Secondary Education and spent alot of time writing and auditing curriculum. This included developing mixed media classes where a portion of the classes were online and on ground. As I took my conversations from this summer and compared it to what we do in our own home I had an aha moment. While obviously our children are still in primary school; in our home we do what could be considered a mixed media learning environment. We are enrolled full time at K12 and like the structure, curriculum and support of the teachers and staff. However, I also choose to supplement with my own lessons – generated from a variety of resources. I would say that we teach our kids mixed media via virtual and home school. (Whew! There! I said it! Now we have a label too…..)

What I find interesting is that people are so quick to label the type of education without taking the time to understand the format of it; and how it applies to what the child truly needs. Our kids need opportunities to explore subjects more (for example last year we started a virtual Science lesson about the layers of the oceans and what animals are in them; then we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about all those creepy critters on the very very very very bottom of the ocean. How did they get there? How do they see? What do they eat? Do they get cold down there? How can they make that blue light glow?) On and on the questions went, we kept looking up information. This is called understanding a child’s curiosity to learn; and NOT ignoring it. The love of learning is like a fire which must be stoked; and never squelched because of a label or particular predetermined view you have of a delivery style/type of education. Questions are the fire; the fuel is the way you respond.

Please don’t let the label of the educational delivery style deter the way you teach your children, please allow the children’s curiosity and love for learning to drive the path of the education. Ask yourself this, if you were at my home and we were doing a K12/Virtual lesson on triple digit addition – would you not allow your child to participate because it isn’t pure homeschooling? If the answer is Yes, wow – guess what all kids have to learn triple digit addition, does it matter if it comes from K12 or pure homeschooling? If the answer is NO, bravo your an open minded educator.

Be open and understand that every child learns differently, it’s all hard work but if mixed media works – don’t judge others, support others – everyone’s is on a path to educate their children and help them become strong, smart, free thinking, open, well-educated and successful adults. (And success doesn’t always mean marrying a billionaire, having a Stanford education, developing the next successful IPO and wearing a perfect Prada suit to work. For some it means virtual/homeschooling, climbing Mt. Everest and calling home for money because you’re trying to decide if you want to be a fashionista or a famous rock star).

Hope everyone has an amazing school year!! ūüôā

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Oak Meadow Curriculum Giveaway

Remember the awesome iPad Giveaway DenSchool had a couple weeks ago? What an amazing organization and now they are partnering with others to giveaway something to help prepare your curriculum for next year!

We have teamed up with DenSchool and Teaching with Cents to bring you this great giveaway from Oak Meadow! Enter today on the Giveaway Tools form below.

One lucky reader will receive a Complete Curriculum Package (of their choice) from Oak Meadow. Imagine that, everything you need for homeschooling your child next year – for FREE!

Complete Curriculum Package Review

Oak Meadow has specialized in homeschooling curriculum for 35 years! They are committed to providing creative, innovative, and child-centered educational materials that can be utilized towards every family’s needs and routine.

We believe that true intelligence arises when children are given opportunities to engage not only their heads, but their hands and hearts as well. Our curriculum includes assignments that ask children to read, write, and think, and also to paint, draw, play music, write poetry, and build things, encouraging balanced and healthy development.

Oak Meadow

Have you begun planning your next homeschooling year and not sure where to start? Stop by DenSchool to read reviews for some of your favorite curriculum packages! There, you will learn all about Oak Meadow and what this great giveaway has to offer you!

Visit DenSchool’s Oak Meadow Reviews

DenSchool has reviewed curriculum packages for Grades 3, 4, and 6 – with an 8th grade review coming in August!

Contest Information:
*This great giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, ages 18+.
*Giveaway ends on July 24th at 11:59 p.m.
*DenSchool Contributors, immediate family members, and group giveaway bloggers are not eligible to enter DenSchool giveaways.

Owens Beach

Yesterday we had a school outing with our other virtual and home school friends for an End of Year gathering at Owens Beach in Pt. Defiance. I forgot how beautiful it is and thought I would share a few pictures. There was a book exchange, journals handed out, lots of analysis of seaweed, sand castle building, exploring, looking for a giant sea star, climbing, running and lots and lots of joy! It was a great way to start the summer…. I keep hearing Dr. Seuss in the back of my head saying “Oh the places you’ll go…” I’m hoping this summer will be filled with new parks and lots of exploration.

Hope your summer gets off to a good start as well. Enjoy the learning journey!

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IPad Giveaway from DenSchool

ipad-homeschooling

‚ÄúYou have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

….and you could learn anywhere with a

brand new IPad Mini from DenSchool!

 

DenSchool makes online schooling easy breezy with FREE lesson plans, Creative Learning in a Pinch (CLIP) and tons of resources to make learning fun, creative and easy to manage.

Record keeping  & Lesson Planning · Online Courses

DenSchool provides free tools, record keeping, lesson planning, downloadable courses and live classes for homeschooling families. Record keeping can be concerning, but you can take control with fast and easy to use online tools which will help with your state’s record keeping requirement.

Summer Classes Start June 17th – (Early Bird Discount!)

This summer DenSchool will be offering self-paced, teacher supported classes. Some of the classes are Accounting, Algebra, Art, Beginner Guitar, Social Studies, English, Science, Journalism, World History….the list goes on and on. Remember these are not just for High School learners. Normally these classes are $59.00, but if you order by June 10th the cost is only $29.00; that’s more than a 50% savings!¬† These classes offer flexibility; with a 9 week format and learners are free to complete the class at their own pace taking more or less time. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all the courses.

mobileSchooling

Creative Learning in a Pinch (CLIP)

CLIP classes are free and there are some fun ones to choose from….Remember National Doughnut Day on June 7th? Oh boy we did in this house!¬† While we enjoyed the doughnuts, it would have been more fun to have a lesson. From Summer Solstice to 4th of July there are lots to choose from.

 

 

So what are you waiting for?

 

Oh the places you’ll go with an IPad Mini and

4 DenSchool Online Classes from DenSchool.com!

Ready to win? Enter here!

 

Note: This is a sponsored post by DenSchool. Please see a full disclosure on giveaways.

 

 

The Blue Mouse Movies

 

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My parents have been heading over to¬† The Blue Mouse Theater for as long as I can remember. It’s a cute little neighborhood theater in the Proctor District of Tacoma. They just recently underwent a major fundraising and transformation effort to stay open in the digital age.

They always do the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night!¬† I have been wanting to go for a while, as I’ve never seen it – so it’s on my bucket list for this summer.

This week they are showing a great movie called “The Croods”. My daughter went to go see this and said it was fantastic! It is in 3D, but she said it didn’t bother her in fact it made it more fun!

View Trailer

Monday Movie Madness is fun Рall seats are $3.00.  Be sure to check out their Facebook feed for updates on movie times.

It’s a great way to see big title movies before they leave the big screen, without the big screen price!

DIY Science Fun

I was reading a recent Blog post about doing a science experiments. We did a couple of these and we thought we would add in our own notes, just in case someone was struggling a bit.

First one was called DIY Tornado In a Jar. It was a lot of fun to create, but there was a bit of a hurdle: you must use a taller jar, like a spaghetti jar – you can not use an oblong jar, such as a glass Nutella jar. The shorter the jar the more difficult it is to get it to make the actual tornado. ūüôāIMG_4592

Second one was called floating egg. My kids thought I was crazy when I told them you could make an egg float, but sure enough it can! Make sure to mix the water to¬† IMG_4401¬†¬† IMG_4399 IMG_4400 the exact measurements otherwise it won’t work. The kids would have done this one over and over if they had a choice!

Last one for these weeks was making a potato clock. The kit can be purchased here, or at World Market. Here’s the ubber super cool (according to the twins) thing about THIS experiment: it doesn’t work on humans, but it does work in tomatoes, lemons, apples, potatoes… the list is endless. We kept the clock going for several days. Until……..air started to ripen the apples, then all you had to do was insert the nickel and copper probes into an unopened part of the vegetable or fruit, and it starts all over again.IMG_4301

Next up for us is making clean water and seeing which liquids seeds grow best in. These should be fun!

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Enjoy the summer!

Summer fun!

I’m all about sharing BLOG love and ideas, and I couldn’t pass these two ladies up. As I started writing a “to do” list for this summer of fun activities I’d like to share with the kids I ran across this post: Summer Lovin Bucket List for the Pacific NW!¬† Oh the places we will go…. some of them I forgot about, some of them we’ve done….and some I’ve had on a wish list for a while. Hopefully we can cross off a few more, and add a few of our own (like Olympic Game Farm Park in Sequim, Wa.)

As I was reading that post, I came across making Glow in the Dark Bubbles! Our twins will be all over this one, as they love to play at night. We might even do the glow sticks in the pool this year, so they can swim well into the night.

We’ve been doing a lot of work in our yard so we can spend the summer having fun and not laboring in the hot weather. our strawberry plants have finally flowered – and boy are there a ton! Yesterday the Hubs spent sometime securing a fence so the birds and the rabbits don’t chomp them down before we get a chance to. This is one of the kids favorites so it will be great for them to hop out and grab a chemical free snack. In the meantime, we’ve had a few bbqs with friends and family the last couple of weekends and have noticed the mosquitos have gotten bad. So, in an attempt to try to keep a bug free back yard…. I’m thinking of trying this homemade mosquito trap…hope it works!¬†We’re trying to attract humming birds, butterflies, lady bugs and pollinating bees; as well as¬†keep out wasps, yellow jackets and mosquitos…. the battle of the bugs! ūüôā Should be interesting….

Enjoy the day! Namaste.

Blog Hop Fun!

Happy Thursday!! Today is blog hopping day, so fun! This is my first invitation to the hop and I feel so honored that Katherine from Katherines Corner¬†asked me to join. I can’t wait to meet new people and gain new inspiration for writing. ūüôā

I couldn’t decide what my favorite thing was; I thought about cooking, kids, family, friends and all the things I love so much. Then I thought I would post about my¬†travels¬†which has became Zen…. being a Mommy.¬†I am honored to have the privilege to not only write about our personal journeys through our blog, but also learn more about other families as well by writing for Ooh Belly. ūüôā¬†¬† So, I don’t do giveaways, but what I do is write about¬†crazy cooking experiments, fun home school field trips¬†and funny Monday Listicles¬†– and Motherhood is truly my Thursday Favorite thing. ūüôā

So hopping is easy-peasy! The rules are below (yes there are just a few!). Enjoy and have fun!!

KCThursBH

Its Time For Thursday Favorite Things! Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Please share the hop with your readers and let Katherine know if you would like to co-host with her.

Remember to leave her a comment if you are a new follower so she can follow you back

Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Here are the¬†rules, yes there are rules. But just a few: Please¬†DO NOT¬†link and run…visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing at the hop.

  • Follow¬†Katherines¬†Corner¬†preferably through Email it‚Äôs on¬†her¬†right sidebar¬†(or¬†facebook,¬†¬†twitter,¬†bloglovin,¬†¬†etc. they are on her sidebar too)¬†And¬†My Blog too
  • Visit¬†as many blogs in the list as you can, please ¬†¬†¬†¬† leave a comment so they know you stopped by!
  • Share¬†the button¬†or¬†a linklback on ¬†¬†¬†¬† your post.¬†Grab the hop button code from¬†Katherines¬†button page¬†It‚Äôs always nice to have the hop button ¬†¬†¬†¬† on your post. It¬†IS NOT¬†mandatory; but a Link back to ¬†¬†¬†¬† Katherines Corner is always appreciated
  • No adult content blogs or links directly to your shops ¬†¬†¬†¬† please
  • Yes you can link giveaways ( they are everyone’s¬†favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the¬†Win¬†It Page¬†at Katherines Corner too!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here¬†to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

ENOUGH!! Mixed Messages from Female Leaders

I was watching a couple of 60 minutes articles the other day, one was of Twitter creator, Jack Dorsey. On one hand I was thinking – how forward thinking of Mr. Dorsey to not have an office making himself available. Also, how ironic, it took for him to create his company to understand the importance of communicating with his family – even if it’s only 140 characters. As a male leader he seem to have a firm grip on his business and personal direction.

On the other hand I was watching Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, thinking – how confusing. She would say she leaves at 5:30 pm and she had to become comfortable with that. She would say family and picking the right partnership is an integral part in personal success, but then she would turn to say she thought women were doing themselves a disservice by not being aggressive enough in business. Then in the same interview she was having a conversation about the outside interpretation of mentorship between male and female peers on a business trip. W-h-a-t?! I’m confused, so are you comfortable with your position as a leader and a role model for women and young girls – or are you not? Why are you seeking external approval?

While I think both these people are inspiring in their personal success, I learned a valuable lesson about why we, as women, can’t seem to deliver a clear message about leadership to the current generation of daughters.¬† The major lesson: Male role models do not discuss or seek approval for, in any fashion, their personal lives. Women role models still seem to feel they need to “make it ok” to have a personal life.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Women, in a future where we have a real opportunity to make a difference, take a cue from men – it’s o.k. to have a personal life – you don’t have to have permission to be successful –¬† you don’t need to discuss it. It’s still as if women are apologizing for living a full life and in turn choosing to run their own companies. Really? In an age where marijuana is legalized, marrying the partner of your choice is finally coming around and the gender neutral language bill is up for consideration? We’ve come so far as a society – why do women still have to seek acceptance and drag us back into the biblical age?

I think we’ve moved past Corinthians and we don’t have to remain silent any longer, or seek our husbands permission. No, ladies, you’ve gone past that and now you’re seeking the world’s permission. Just by verbalizing that’s it’s OK to leave at 5:30pm you’re seeking permission from the world for you to not feel guilty about having a life. I don’t see male leaders doing that, do you?

Here’s another thing lady leaders, while we may not all be able to afford a staff to help take care of the illness of kids or the carpool lane – guess what? The leaders of a business already know this, and they make the necessary allowances for it without giving it a second thought. Men are problem solvers – if you have a sick kid, you go home take care of the sick kid, work from home and come back when the kid is better. This is how a male thinks – if you think he thinks anything other than problem vs. solution then you fail to understand the successful male. Take a cue, if your working in a place that makes you feel as though you have to apologize for a sick kid, while your working from home making up that time – then your on the wrong path – look for a new one.

Women leaders, if you need it – maybe this will make it better: STOP apologizing – it’s O.K. to have a personal life AND be √ľber successful. Just please, for the betterment of women and daughters everywhere, STOP explaining and apologizing for it. If you need a little help take a cue from Nike and don’t second guess or overthink –¬† “Just Do It.”

Enough roaring and then apologizing for having a life. Enough shaking your fists in the air in support of women’s lib and then apologizing for leaving at 5:30. Enough saying you deserve better pay, but having to have a partner tell you to renegotiate your contract. Enough ruffling feathers to be successful and apologizing on the way up. Enough.

Young girls everywhere are watching you. They will do as you do, they will lead as you lead, they will follow as you follow. If you want them to lead, then be a leader and understand:

You.Are.Enough.

**********

I just shook my head after digesting all this information. I understand better the difference of men and women leaders. I’ve been having a lot of conversations with women who I look up to and trust their opinions about the message society has been passing out to women, mothers and daughters lately. It’s to say the least confusing if you were only to look at it superficially and not understand your own personal values.

As a parent and a woman raising daughters I have always towed the line of equal treatment for all people regardless of anything that makes them different from you – no matter what you always treat others with love and kindness, the way you would want to be treated. Always behave like a lady and say what you want – don’t speak softly and put yourself second – always speak up, without aggression, to protect yourself and others. State what you want, but don’t be rude. Be truthful and live in a way that you feel good about – so that when you look back on your life you know you’ve lived it in peace, equality and love; and the success you gained wasn’t because you apologized for it, it was because you deserved it.

‚ÄúPeace comes from within. Do not seek it without.‚ÄĚ – Buddha

100th Post: Monday Listicles – Ten Proudest Moments

Well, how appropriate that my 100th post would be a Monday Listicles. Such a great one too, although it’s difficult to wade through all the great memories and figure out which ones rank higher than the others.

Ten Proudest Moments

1.) Giving Birth to the Twizlets РI was scared to death to be at a hospital, but I made it and here they are 7.3 years latter with love, fun and their own splash of attitude.

2.) Day I Married The Hubs – We were together for 13 years and the birth of the twizlets before we got married. Neither of us was really huge on the concept of marriage, we were happy living together and being successful. My Dad and Step Mom did the same as well, until, like us they had the realization that in WA your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together, has no say in what happens to you in an emergency. Obviously today that’s changed. ūüôā

3.) Our “pup” Bunker¬†– she goes by so many names Bunk, Bunkie, Bunk the Dog –¬† The hubs named her after a Sand Bunker in Golf….she is a nervous bundle of overly excited and unconditional love. I couldn’t imagine any part of the last 11 years without her.

4.) Being a Mom –¬†If you read my post Becoming a Mom Changed Me¬†you’d know it’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t change one second of it.

5.) Completing three 5Ks in 2011 Рthey were rough, but I set the goal and I did it. I hope to do more this year or next we will see.

6.) My Cooking – I have rarely if ever followed a recipe, it’s annoying to me to be restricted by rules. Usually it works out, sometimes not so much! It always provides either a good meal or a good laugh!!

7.) HomeSchooling – I never thought I could achieve this, but I’m doing it with the support of the Hubs. Accepting my own ability to derive inspiration from my kids,¬†and being fearless has helped.

8.) This Blog – which to be honest I never thought would amount to a hill of beans. Hopefully it brings people some joy and laughter, or at least something or someone they can relate to.

9.) Our home – it’s comfy, safe and cozy – old yes, cramped yes, but it’s our first home, where we got married and where we had our babies.

10.) My Graduate Degree – I can safely say to myself that I achieved my goal. Next?