Friday, October 27, 2017

Homeschool Conference

We just got home from our first homeschool conference. NCHE hosted their 33rd annual conference- it was so good!
Here are a few things I want to remember for next time:

  • take a jacket, highlighter, snacks
  • some families tailgate in the parking lot (good idea!)
  • set a budget and wishlist before going- there really is a lot available there and it's good to know how much the items you really want cost before you start adding items! 
  • there are a lot of sessions where kids will really enjoy and learn too (my kids really liked Jonathan Morrow's talks- his notes are online now.)
  • when you're picking which sessions to go to- read both the session topic and the speaker's bio and notes if they have some. I missed a few sessions that I think would have been really good and went to a couple that I probably should have missed. Not that they were bad just it's really busy time there and you can't get to all of it.
The booths I spent the most time were IEW (they were very helpful), MUS (we already knew what we wanted but was happy for a little discount), Rainbow Resource (good prices and lots of selection). Kids loved Action Math Baseball

Now some of my lessons learned from speaker. 
  • A to Z Character Healthy Homeschool:  
    • do first things first. Model good behavior. OK to put academics aside to work on character. Goal to raise spiritually sensitive, mature, responsible adults
    • start the conversation of character: when we show Christ like character, we are winsome and reach the world.
    • Use Eph 4 put off old man, put on new man, when training children. eg "you may not covet, you must be thankful."... look in Proverbs and ask God to show 
    • Attitude is everything
    • Contagious Excitement- be excited about service. Celebrate "morally great" actions/ attitudes in kids ("you did great" plate)
    • Relationships are most important- pray for each relationship in family. Tough relationship. told him over and over "God chose him for your brother because He knew he was just the right brother for you."
Teaching the Classics from Seuss to Socrates. 
  • Ask key questions starting with young children and they will continue to ask those as they read harder books. 
  • who is protagonist?
  • what does he want?
  • why can't he have it? (peel back the onion)
  • who doesn't want protagonist to have it?
  • what kind of conflict? (5 types)
  • any other conflicts?
  • when is climax? (when you know what the outcome will be_
  • what idea is the author discussing
Cindy Rollins "Mere Motherhood"/ "Morning Time" Turn off the noise

Andrew Kern "How to cultivate attention"
when soil receives seeds, it starts growth. 
Give children a riddle to solve. You pay attention to things when you have questions- allow/ teach/ encourage questions. 
1. should he have done it?
2. what should have have done? 
3. find threads to compare- river crossings throughout the Bible ...
4. how do you define it?
5. how are things related?
"Quality of attention is determined by quality of questions asked." 

Thoughtful Apology

1.I’m sorry for …

2.It was wrong because
3.In the future I will…
4.Will you forgive me?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's been so long since I blogged

I really don't even know where to start...
so much learning, growing, living, ...
where to start? why haven't I blogged?
again busy learning, growing, living, (and I've had trouble downloading pictures- which that saying "a picture is worth a 1000 words" is really true- plus pictures trigger memories.

but even if I have trouble with pics- I want to remember. (well somethings, maybe I want the glossed over memory but I do want to remember.)

I just heard a podcast talking about keeping a book journal and encouraging students (or anyone) to write down what they want to remember.

so here goes:

I want to remember
-a team of loud boys so excited after losing their last game of the season that you would have thought they'd won the championship,

-a team of boys chasing one of the coaches (James) all over the field and the other team helping catch him

-a boy sweetly reading books to his baby brother on the couch

-a big brother on his own helping younger brother with his math

-a bunch of kids huddled on the couch quietly looking at a book together

-a family reading their Bible together first thing in the morning

- a family working together in the yard and then enjoying yummy pancakes, bacon, and eggs

-a group of younger kids having fun on the sidelines while big brothers play soccer

-a group of moms and dads cheering and encouraging kids throughout the soccer season

-boys loving playing soccer in the rain after an end of season soccer dinner

-a boy sweetly helping his little sister with logic puzzles on the couch

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ski Trip

 We just got back from an amazing ski trip! We were looking forward to the trip: Homeschool Ski days with French Swiss at Appalachian Mountain but it was even better than I thought!!

 We signed up a week or so before going and made reservations Meadowbrook Inn & Suites.  (The homeschool special rate was $60 per room per night.)  We followed waze directions and it was right at 3:30 hours to get there. We arrived at 9:45 and it took most of the time until 11:15 to get ready (getting signed in, equipment, a couple bathroom breaks- the 1 hour early recommendation arrival time would probably be plenty except we have two sweet little ones who need extra help.)

 I was a little worried beforehand about hidden costs but the only ones were $1 for parking and we decided to spend $3 per child for helmet rental. Even our 22 month old and 4 year old skied. My husband stayed with our almost 2 year old while the rest of us took the 1 hour included group lesson. One son snowboarded so he went with that group. They split the skiers into age groups. I stayed with our 4 & 7 old daughters while our other boys went with the 8-12 yo group. The 3-7 year old instructor was great with the kids and I'm glad we did the lesson but it was very basic. It did have them going down the smallest bunny hill at the end. We loved the moving carpet. Instead of the old tow rope you just get on the moving carpet and ride up the bunny slopes- so easy that even our under 2 year old could get on and off by himself after a few practices.

I loved the fact that Appalachian is pretty small. I felt safe enough that the kids could go on their own on the slopes that fit their abilities. All the slopes ended in the same spot so we could see them as they came down.
 There was a restaurant inside but we packed a picnic lunch and ate on the picnic tables on the deck. We got a medium locker ($3 plus $5 deposit for the day) to store the food and other stuff there. We left our diaper bag and shoes in the racks in equipment rental room.

 Included in the homeschool rate was a one hour group lesson, skis, boots, poles rental, and 8 hours of skiing. We skied until 4:30 and were worn out! (C on bench in equipment room after skiing)

 We checked into the hotel and were happy to find a Mellow Mushroom walking distance from the hotel. We didn't walk because we were exhausted but we could have- instead we did carry on. The hotel did not have a refrigerator in the room but did have a microwave near the lobby (which we needed to heat rice bags) and hot breakfast in the morning.

While Wednesday was beautiful and in the 50s, Thursday's forecast was high of 32 and dropping throughout the day. We woke up to howling winds (30+ mph) and decided to do something indoors and then head home. So we went to Mystery Hill I'd been there as a kid and we took Keegan when he was really little. It was neat to go back with everyone!
 The bubble room was there favorite!

This was the kids' other favorite part of Mystery Hill.
This picture doesn't show it but this was pretty neat- it looks like you're flying.
Next door we saw tons of Native American artifacts and antiques from the family who founded Appalachian State

We definitely want to go skiing again! Next time we will bring more water bottles- They did have a water fountain but the stairs are no joke in ski boots so maybe keep a bottle with your shoes in the equipment room. ! If it's warm out, we'll put the lift ticket on ski bibs (so we could take off our jackets.) They do have ski bibs for rent there- I think $5 each. next time we may end a little earlier and either drive back home that night or have energy for swimming after dinner.
We might try to get a group next time for tubing too!