Saturday, August 19, 2017

Exploring the Shore During Low Tide

We spent Wednesday at the beach.  It was hot and sunny and while the beach was quite crowded it was the perfect day!

No one got sunburned or hurt, we saw tons of sea creatures, and we really enjoyed walking out in the water all day long.

The tide was out most of the time and we could walk our pretty far while still being able to see our feet and everything under the water.

Looking for shells and crabs

This pile of seaweed was filled with snails 

A baby crab!  

We found so many fascinating shells; just about all of which had hermit crabs inside 

Here's a crab peeking out

A completely intact shell; Evan kept speculating about what lived inside 

Starting a hole 

Help makes it go faster 

Enjoying some frozen treats at the beach

I loved the lighting and reflection off these small pools 

A shell covered in smaller shells 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Weekly Wrap- Up: The Week of All the Firsts

We had a great week of firsts.  We went on our first steam train/ riverboat ride.  We went to the beach for the first time this summer.  We saw so many new sea creatures.  We found a new place to hike; we went to check out the tri- state marker.   It was wonderful!

Friday we took a trip to the other end of the state and went on a train and riverboat ride.  It was such a fun day and we learned a lot about the history of the area.  Alec spent the entire time in the car reading his Wolves of Beyond book and even had me stop on the library on the way home to pick up the third book in the series.  He's been coloring up a storm with his color by numbers book and spent some time in the morning building Charazard with his mini Lego type set.

Saturday Alec spent most of the morning reading his wolves book while Evan watched old Pokemon cartoons and Ian hung out in his room.  As soon as we received a call from my husband we packed up and headed to his grandparents' house.  We spent a long day cleaning out and moving furniture and boxes.  There wasn't a whole lot for the boys to do and while they helped out here and there when they could they mostly spent time playing outside or, in Alec's case, reading a book.  He brought The Loser's Club with him and read the entire book!

Sunday morning found us right back at it; cleaning house and sorting through a lifetime of belongings.  The boys had packed more things to do and snacks to keep them occupied but we didn't end up staying very long.  At some point more help becomes... well.. not so helpful!  It's tough when there are so many family members with all different opinions trying to help out, clear out, and clean out and we thought it might be most helpful if we were out of the way.  The boys played around the house and ended their day with a swim in the lake and a tube ride.  Evan headed out for a sleepover and we took the older two boys out for ice cream.

With Evan not home on Monday morning, I let the boys have a day off from school and Ian began watching The Cars That Made America.  Once Evan arrived home we went to the store and tried to find him a comfy chair for his room.  We didn't find anything and once we were back home the boys all played outside for a bit.  Alec came in to work in his color by number and the next thing I knew all three boys were cleaning a room in the house! Evan worked on cleaning the garage, Alec cleaned my dining room and Ian cleaned the hallway and the foyer.  All three boys wanted extra time to play video games and watch TV and I was happy to grant them that!

It was raining Tuesday morning so we settled in for another day at home.  The boys all worked on a bit of schoolwork.  I went grocery shopping and they carried all the groceries in.  They cleaned a room each so they could play some video games. We went to the library in the afternoon and I was so surprised when Alec managed to read two of the three books I picked up for him by dinner!

We had the best time at the beach on Wednesday!  The sun was shining and since it was like low tide all day we were able to explore the shore looking for all sorts of wonderful sea creatures.  (More pictures will be shared tomorrow!).

Thursday the boys and I went hiking to the tri state marker after having worked on a bit of schoolwork in the morning.  After hiking we stopped at the library and then the boys went to play outside.  Alec tried reading his book in a few different places while Evan went swimming.  Ian played in the sand and the two older boys went on jet ski rides too.  We were thrilled when we discovered a monarch butterfly chrysalis hanging on our patio chair and we can not wait to see how changes over the next week.

Linking Up With:
Friday Frivolity – Tell a Joke Day

The Homeschool Post

Thursday, August 17, 2017

20 Ways Homeschoolers Socialize in the Real World

Re sharing an old favorite post of mine; dealing with the topic of socialization

It's funny that even though homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds, even though there are literally hundreds of homeschool blogs and they all talk about all the activities their kids are involved in we all still get the dreaded socialization question: "Aren't you worried about their socialization?" 


My kids are way more social now than when they were in school.

At school they often got in trouble for socializing or else their friends ended up in a different classroom and they didn't have anyone that they really "clicked" with in their classroom for that particular year.  

They had a limited number of children to pick from for the most part and heaven forbid if they had different interests from the "norm."  Don't get me wrong they made friends but there were only a few kids they saw outside the school day as well.

How do they make new friends now that we homeschool? 

I think that's what most people actually mean when they ask me about my kids socialization.

But really socialization is so much more than just making friends.

While friends are important socialization is the ability to relate, converse, and get along with ALL other people; not just those that were born in the same year. 

 My kids enjoy talking to adults, older kids, younger kids; pretty much anybody anywhere.  Rest assured we meet and make new friends everywhere all the time!  Really we do!

Here are a few ways my kids socialize even though we homeschool:

1. The local park- have you ever watched a group of kids at a park?  Playing side by side somehow leads to conversations and group play.  They socialize on their own terms, make up their own rules, and find ways to cooperative play together.

2. Homeschool groups and meet-ups- We're part of several different homeschool groups and that has enabled us to meet lots of new people.  We meet up with groups of homeschoolers at least a few times each month (sometimes each week!) and since new homeschoolers join our midst all the time we have lots of opportunities to make new friends. 

3. Field trips- While we often take off on our own to explore places, which we love, because my boys then have the opportunity to make connections with and ask plenty of questions with various workers we also meet up with fellow homeschoolers for group field trips too.  

4. karate- My kids have participated in several different karate schools learning various forms of martial arts.  They meet kids from public, private and other homeschool families that are also taking classes.

5. Soccer- My kids are young enough that they can still join in local team sports that are not yet organized by the school.  They have reconnected with public school acquaintances and made new friends while learning a new sport.

6. Basketball- See Soccer.

7. The beach- Much like playing at a park, my kids seem to gravitate toward other kids they meet on the beach.  Even though we typically only go to the beach in the "off" season we still meet at least a few other kids and my boys end up playing with them; building castles together, digging holes in the sand, jumping waves, and climbing rocks. 

8. Having friends over- We keep in touch with most of the friends my boys made while in public and private school by having them over to play and hang out quite frequently.  All of my boys are still in touch with friends they made in preschool & first grade!  The boys also get to have homeschool friends over during the school week and even during the school day!

9. Go over friends' houses-  see have friends over. 

10. Go to parties- We're invited to all sorts of parties; birthday parties, fourth of July parties, not back to school parties, you name it.  My kids love going to parties and always meet at least a few new people; sometimes they hit it off really well with someone and even make a new friend. 

11. Homeschool classes- We've participated in a few different classes for homeschoolers and my boys always have fun meeting new people and learning something new.

12. Summer camps- My boys have participated in a summer camp here and there and they like meeting new kids with similar interests.

13. Zoos- My kids love talking to other families when we're visiting the different zoos.  They have a lot of knowledge about animals and love to share all that they know.

14. Aquarium- see zoos.

15. Museums- My kids have fun talking with museum docents and other museum goers when we're there.  They aren't afraid to ask questions or strike up conversations.

16. On vacation- Two years in a row Alec has made friends with children from other countries while on vacation.  He loves listening to the various accents and learning about their homelands.  My kids often strike up conversations or play games with other kids in the hotel pool or waiting in lines for rides.

17. Restaurants-  Mostly my kids socialize with the waitstaff when we go out to eat but they'll strike up conversations with other people while we're waiting for a table.

18. Library- Our library sponsors many wonderful programs throughout the year and my kids love to participate in them.  They'll also look around the library every week when we go to see if they know anyone and have met up with old school friends and teachers.  They're on a first name basis with most of the librarians too.

19. Piano/ Guitar/ Music Lessons- My kids have taken music lessons off and on with various music teachers.  Occasionally they meet other students but mostly they have a great time bonding with their teacher over their passion for music.
20. Family- This last one may sound a little weird but my kids get a lot of socializing time with their family; each other, mom, dad, grandparents, cousins, great grandparents, great- great aunts, etc.  We see other family members often; more often than just holidays and special events.  

Linking Up With:
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

The Homeschool Post

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Civil Rights Movement Books For Kids

For history this year we're going to be studying the civil rights movement and I have been scouring the internet looking for some really great books for us to enjoy reading together.

My boys and I have studied slavery and the underground railroad but it was a few years ago so we'll touch back upon that a little and then keep the main focus of our lesson on the civil rights movement; the sit- ins, protests, and look at how unequal "separate but equal" really was.

Here's what I have found so far:


Who was Rosa Parks?

Who was Martin Luther King?

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

Child of the civil rights movement

The Youngest Marcher: True story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a young civil rights activist

A Tugging String

Rosa's Bus

10 True Tales: Young Civil Rights Heroes

When Thunder Comes

Heart and Soul: the Story of America and African Americans

Freedom on the Menu: the Greensboro Sit- Ins

D is for Drinking Gourd

Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King

Civil Rights Movement for Kids- A History with 21 Activities

Coretta Scott

Separate is Never Equal

If a Bus Could Talk

Sit In; How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down 

National Geographic Readers: Barak O'bama, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Story of Ruby Bridges

The Other Side

White Socks Only

Freedom Summer

A Sweet Smell of Roses

These Hands

What Was the March on Washington?

We March

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters 

Linking Up With:
Come party with us and share your WONDERFUL content at Wonderful Wednesday

Coffee and Conversation button

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

What to Read Wednesday
The Homeschool Post