Friday, December 26, 2008

unschooling at its best.

My older kids were into workbooks. Ethan is so good at just FINDING things that I havent pushed the workbooks. I have some. but I am not sitting down working at them with him. Instead I put them in his room and when he thinks no one is looking there he can be found working on letters and numbers and thinking he is getting away with something. His piano is really something else. every once in awhile he starts out playing and you think OMG! HE IS PLAYING_____________!!! and then he changes and plays something else. he realy NEEDS piano lessons. so far he has taught himself to play winnie the pooh and row row row your boat. In the right environment I think he could take off with music. He used to talk about playing violin, even turning toys into tiny violins but there is just no one here to teach him. Piano would be a good place to start and he can transition to another instrument later. if I can find someone to teach it.....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

unschooling at its best

Ethan is great at unschooling. He is writing writing writing all the time, all day every day. I have to ask him to STOP writing and eat. this is very different from brother who went to PS for a few years. I used to have to pull him from under the table when I asked him to write. Ethan has taught himself to tell time. He is learning to read. I do not do much in the way of formal lessons with him. Lapbooks and occasional letter practice is about it. I read to them often. we go to story time at the library. we go to the theater. we sing shoo turkey shoo shoo. its fun. way more so than lessons.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

where do we go from here?

it was not a good homeschool day. everyone got upset. C and C didnt want to do anything. I got mad because they take the lazy way out of everything. C of course doesnt want to do any writing. he hates writing. but geez in life you will have to write stuff. and I am so not enjoying this. I so wanted a curriculum that would have it all planned out for us. I thought they would be more independent then. but I have to ride them constantly or they do nothing. I dont want to send them to PS, I really dont. But I dont feel like I am doing a very competent job here. its a battle to do anything. The little ones like lapbooks, ethan is starting to write things and sound them out by himself. but how do I get the big kids to give a shit?how do other people do it? what am I doing wrong? I would like to move toward unschooling more but my husband is so not on board with that. Reading is really difficult for C. always has been. I dont know what to do about that either. feeling very inadequate today. at one point I threw the books on the floor and said I QUIT. go to PS if you arent even going to try.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We went to the theater to see peter pan yesterday. It was a large group of homeschoolers. It was a group of us that we have dubbed the Obama Mamas. Then we went to the BRAND NEW library. It is times like these I really LOVE homeschool. Our kids get to do so many neat things. There were a bazillion other kids there from PS but I get to be with them when they discover these joys. I get to watch their faces light up. I get to explain them that when the curtain goes down but it stays dark they are just resetting the scene, it doesnt mean it's over. There were a few moments where it was kind of hectic ie when we were coming or leaving and ten bazillion kids in two straight lines, and probably one named madoline. They were like a mob! I also saw some inappropriate behavior and I just shook my head, knowing my kid isnt going to be exposed to that. not that they were outright naughty kids but I saw some gestures from the kids behind us that were just not the kind of behavior I want my kids to learn. It was a good day. They learned about theater etiquette, they learned about sets, and how they change. They got to see actors and actresses in action, rather than on tv. They got to see that so much more goes into a play than just the acting, dancing, singing. They even got to see the musicians in the pit! All in all it was fun, and educational too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

we started the pumpkin lapbooks this morning. Ethan's attention span is SO SHORT and he just had such a hard time sitting. I made him do jumping jacks to try and use up some energy so he could focus. I ordered more American Girl books, and also Oak Meadow for Cody. I am bidding on ebay on Oak Meadow for Chrysta but she wants to do lapbooking. She is working on Thomas Edison lapbook right now. I am not sure what to do with her. She is an artsy fartsy kinda girl so lapbooking is totally her thang. I could pend 175 dollars on a used OM or spend 175 on lapbook kits. I wish I wasn't so wishy washy! lol. Making these kinds of decisions are hard for me. Etan and Maia are at preschool today. Ethan was not having a great day so I was happy to see him go.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I put together a mishmash of pumpkin lapbook stuff for the kids. I also found some stuff about immigrants from sweden for a lapbook on Kirsten the American Girl. We just read about her. I ordered some more American Girl books about Kirsten, but for now we are reading Felicity(because that's what I had around) I could go to the library but our library is small and I LOVE books. Where other women would love to go out and spend money on shoes, thats me with books. I hate shoes. Give me a hundred bucks and a bookstore and I will be in heaven. Take me shoe shopping and I will grumble and whine the entire time and very likely come home with no shoes. My older two are not big readers. I am trying to get the little two into reading so they will want to and love to read. They are quite young right now and not reading on their own yet so they might later want to read them for themselves.

I also found an oak meadow set for cody. I just have to get some money to the lady. I wish he was interested in stuff besides the computer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am looking at oak meadow again. Eric just doesnt seem to think they are getting enough info. I want to go completely the opposite direction. but at least oak meadow is not too over the top. oh and get this. I sent out the computers for iq the day after I was told to. That was how many weeks ago? they called on thursday while we were gone and left a message wanting to know if we sent them back since they cant find them. HELLOOOOOOO. you wait a month to tell me you cant find them? not my problem. It was just one more "huh, they really arent very organised" moment.

Friday, September 26, 2008

this is FALL??

today was finish up things for the week and hit the beach day. it was so nice. the leaves are starting to fall, but the air was so warm we went swimming!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

back to our comfortable way of doing things

and man I love it. It is such a relief to be done with iq. I am sure that program would work for someone but it sure didnt work for us! Maybe because we had already established a way of doing things around here and not being creatures of change we didnt like the change. The kids both just wrote a paper for me. I have not yet read Cody's but Chrysta's turned out pretty well I believe! She wrote about getting a new kitten and all the things one must do to take care of it. Cody wrote about dogs and training them. I let them choose the topics. We have been focusing mainly on writing this last week or two, working on taking notes and organising notes into a paper and then making changes to the rough draft and writing a final draft.

I have been looking for a date book or assignment book or lesson plan book but have yet to find one. I can find date books that start Jan 1. But how do I record the 4 months before that!!!?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I returned the computers today via USPS. As Ethan says thanksbetogoditsover!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I did it

We are done. And I for one am relieved. They will send us a letter how to return the laptops. From here on out our homeschool adventures will not include IQAcademy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

still sucky

I am so over this program. Not sure why everyone thinks we should stick with it. I am torn. Every day she tells me she hates it and wants to go back to doing it the other way. I keep waiting for us to get our life back. I hate feeling like that. They might as well go off to PS if its going to be that way. How do I tell E who thinks they ought to stick with it? I need to get a bcakbone and just do it and say look this is what we are doing. I cant deal with this anymore. I have to do it the other way.But hey! I am a people pleaser! Oh sounds like he is home now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

one week down

they still hate it. but they finished everything for the week. I still want to send it all back. they want me to send it all back. Eric doesnt want us to. He thinks they should stick it out. I think I am more and more leaning towards unschool/homeschool. I just dont know.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

more tears today. and an assignement we just absolutely can not do as described. We have no track at our home, not at the school in our town. there is no track for her to run on. She was SO exscited to do this course but now she hates it. and it is only the second day. I am less and less happy overall. At the end of the day I will look at their grades and see how it is so far.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

so far this is needing a lot of parental involvement and guidance. Chrysta has decided she will give it a shot for a week but I think she is just doing that to pacify E and will say at the end of the week I still hate it. Maybe I will be wrong and she will change her mind. Cody did his math but nothing else so far. I had to change their classes because they had them each in one wrong class. Thursday is chrystas first live class for one of her classes. 830am. ugh. Thursday is supposed to be our day to sleep in! I really hate that I started this. I wish I would have bought a book curriculum. But now I have to deal with it for a bit. Maybe it will get easier as the week goes. I sure hope so. I need to chill a bit about the whole thing. But it is frustrating that they are expected to do things and then are not given the tools to do them. then they come to me wanting help and I cant give it to them because it hasnt been provided. ie bad links, broken movies, or just a note that says start with ______ but there is no section labeled_______ so you have to guess if x____ is the one they wanted.
Already the tears. day one. and NOT from the child we expected it from. Chrysta is in a puddle of tears after two hours of school. THAT"S not good. Cody has barely begun his day so he may be in a puddle as well shortly. She is panicing because there is a test in 5 hours. I dont know if she means after 5 hours of work or what. but she is all sorts of confuzled at the program. and they put her in the wrong math class. they put cody in the wrong social studies class. They want us to approve or deny our schedules by the end of today but the site they say to go to doesnt work, you cant link to it from the email, you cant copy it from the email(I tried) so you have to type it by memory and even though I have the address correct I still can't access it. You can call to tell them its wrong but first it was busy and then no one answered. I am ready already to be done. Ready to pack up the computers and send it all back. call the school and get the homeschool paperwork and find a book curriculum I can teach them myself. But for now I have to take E and M to preschool sign up, Chrysta to get her glassess adjusted and to sign up for soccer. She wants to just go to PS. I am not doin that though. I remember now all the reasons we pulled them out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

tomorrow is the first day of scho!ol

at IQACADEMY. I had high hopes for it but as it gets closer I dont think its so great anymore. Will give it a chance and see how it goes. but it definitely makes spontenaity a thing of the past. No more hey lets go _______ today! trips are no longer easy and/or possible. I guess if it gets too rigid or too "not us" or too "public school agenda" or whatever we can always stop and go back to regular homeschool. In a way I am wondering why I even enrolled them. I have evolved from homeschool teacher to mom who homeschools. they are not the same. I used to fret about them learning this or that and working x many hours. Now, not so much. I am more of a mind that they will learn and are learning and who cares what the ps does or says? Husband is more "they arent learning enough!AGH! The sky is falling!!" I wish I could just unenroll them and do something else. but I am committed now. So I will try it awhile and see how it goes. if they dont do well we can stop. I havent told them that is an option so they will not just say I quit at the first bump they come to.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

more IQ annoyances

I called this morning to find out about something the kids were supposed to do online but the person I spoke to knew NOTHING ABOUT THIS REQUIREMENT. she never did call me back. Also school starts for them a week from today and we still cant access webmail and blackboard is weird. There are things they are supposed to do online but they cant until the school posts them. umm time is running out here. if you want them to do it BEFORE school starts then you have to give them ACCESS before school starts. This is the first year this school is in MN so I guess there are some bugs to work out. I feel a little like this isnt going to work very well but we shall see. wait and see wait and see.

Monday, August 25, 2008

online school annoyances

well so it begins. Online school is indeed public school. Public school "parenting" has again reared its ugly head. The kids get the use of laptops(really really nice ones) while attending this school. We had to go to an orientation for the school and they talked about being appropriate. like in your art and in your writing be school appropriate. I thought to myself some of the most amazing art includes naked bodies. thats just the way it is. bodies are beautiful. but not in public school. not even online public school where no one but you and your teacher will see. I wrinkled up my nose at that lecture about being school appropriate. Now we have been getting to know the laptops and using the web with them. All kinds of things are blocked because they think they are somehow inappropriate for my kids. again they arent in school building where if they saw something everyone else would see it too. I think it should fall to the parent to police the computer. the words drugs and alcohol alone will get a site blocked for content. Context doesnt matter. the words alone are enough. I personally trust my kids to look at what they want to look at online. I trust them to come to me if there is something they dont understand or something bothers them. I do not let them have facebook and myspace accounts and I have access to their emails anytime I want so they do have SOME safeguards but its more of a personal safety in who are you communicating with rather than what are you reading or looking at. Its like book banning only on the web. its dumb dumb dumb. I am willing to suck it up and see how it goes but if anyone else is interested in using IQAcademy they might consider this aspect. Some people feel more strongly about this than I do and would push the envelope. I am mildly annoyed but willing to suck it up because the kids want to do this.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the kids school computers came but they are useless at this point because we dont have the password to get into windows. no, that wasnt included in the computer kits. Tonight is their orientation. school starts the second of Sept. Hope it goes well. Because its a public school,albeit an online school, but public nonetheless, the school here in this town says Chrysta can not play in their band. how stupid. beurocratics. always red tape. I said I dont care about grades or anything, cant we do it under the radar or something? she just wants to play flute. The answer was

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I hope this isnt a sign of things to come. I sent out all paperwork. I have returned everything I was sent. and then I got an email letter saying "enroll now!" I sent a quick note back saying arent we already enrolled? they agreed, we are and were sorry they sent the letter. This is the first year for this school in this state so I am not sure how its going to go. so far only a few minor annoyances.

Monday, August 4, 2008

more paperwork!

so far there are minor annoyances with IQacademy. things like required elective. either its required or its elective. how can it be both? and if they dont take all 6 credits they dont qualify as full time and dont get the use of the computer. And since I have only ONE computer I cant really have them both doing online school without the use of the computer loans.So they will take the basics like language arts, math, science, social studies, the required electives, and another elective. Chrysta wants to take Spanish. Cody wants to take web design. I hope this works out. Both are taking math above their grade level. Cody will take algebra 1. Chrysta will take math 8 since she did math 7 last year. I hope this goes well. I have my doubts. If it sucks the big one we can always withdraw, return the computers, and find another way to do things. But I am not telling them that is an option. I dont want them to think oh its too hard, too boring, etc and think they can just quit. I wish I could have found a secular curriculum that goes up through high school without resorting to PS. But I didnt find any that were suitable. School starts sept 2.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I guess its official. I sent off the paperwork today for IQacademy for the kids. I dont know why I am nervous about it all. I just am. Orientation and computer hand out is in August and school starts Sept2. This will be the first year since....I cant remember....that we have had an official start and end date for school. we generally work when we work and stop when we stop. Maia and Ethan I am planning to go to preschool two days(afternoons) a week. That should free me up a bit for a little bit of MY interests. I wont have to report for anyone this year. thats nice. no deadline there. Little E is not old enough to report. I am sure he will learn stuff but it wont be because I sent in a form saying so. I keep waiting for the right moment to get out some of the stuff I got for them for school. (the little ones I mean) Ethan probably needs a new backpack this year. his is wearing out. Maia's is still in great shape though because she didnt take it to school. Not sure what the heck happens to backpacks at school that wears them out so bad. You wouldnt think that popping in a couple of papers would make such an impact on the integrity of the pack. I got some new crayons and glue sticks at target this week. glue sticks were 20 cents for a 2 pack or a ten pack for 2.99. does that make any sense at all? Perhaps in convenience....I mean opening FOUR packages is just SO much work maybe someone pays extra to only open one? I dont know, sounds kind of dumb to me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I went to IQacadamy open house. I liked it for the most part. But it has its drawbacks. I suppose everything would. But right now I am thinking if I had two in school full time I would have more time and more patience. Cody doesnt want to go to school. he could do IQ and the other two could go to PS and Maia could go to preschool. I am torn. as I am every year. If the two littles were as laid back as Cody was at this age it wouldnt be so hard but they are little monsters and into EVERYTHING ALL DAY LONG. perhaps my time for homeschool is over. I dont know.
and all the way to the open house meeting I kept thinking the name Molly Jo. the woman doing the presentation was named Molly Johnson. I didnt know that until I got there. wierd.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

note to self

questions to ask when looking at schools,
is content mastery the goal or content completion?
is attendance mandatory?
you teach or I teach?
computer loan?
what grade does the school start and end with?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

school dilemma

we watched connections academy dvd and there are things I like and things I dont like. And I dont appreciate the tracking a student for college or for "life". you should be able to take the classes you want (outside of requirements for graduation) and not be mommytracked or deadended. I think that a kid who wants to take chemistry or some other college prep course but doesnt intend to go to college should have that choice. just as college bound kids should have the choice to take classes more often frequented by the not college bound. so anyways the tracking bugs me. The lady on the video bugs me too but I wouldnt have to deal with her! also if I have to do the teaching then why should I bother? Like its a public school, online, but YOU the parent teach the courses with their curriculum essentially. That bugs me. I dont think they do the laptop deal. I have but one computer and 2 kids, that isn't gonna cut it if they have to work several hours a day.

Other options I have found
mnvirtualacademy only goes through grade 11 I read somewhere.
or just go to PS but we REALLY enjoy our freedom and our local school isnt all that great.

If I have to teach it anyways then maybe I should go to and order my own curriculum

any other ideas ?

as for the wee ones I think we will keep on keepin on. Ethan is learning to read, Maia is writing her name and doing prereading stuff, and they love lapbooking. so I am not too worried about what to do with them. Chrysta can pick up another year doing whatever I come up with and then start at whatever secondary/high school I decide upon.

Monday, June 30, 2008

fret fret fret

what to do about next year. Mishmash was ok up until now but C will be in 8th grade this year and I feel like he needs something more. the other C will be in 6 and could do mishamash again just fine but I am trying to find somethng we can stick with until they graduate. (I should edit to add that we dont want to pay 300 a credit per year!) there has to be SOMETHING. We looked at some online schools. Public online schools. I just dont know which way to go. My kid is unique, he is my kid, and so far I just havent found the thing that would suit him. He absolutely abhorrs the idea of going TO school. he is ok with ps online but doesnt want to go to the building. which is fine, we have come to enjoy our freedom in hs. we can vacation when we want, day trips when we want(often!) hit the beach while everyone else is in school. If anyone reads this and has some links for me to curriculum I would gladly look at them. I am just so unsure which way to go. I need a big lightning bolt to come out of the sky with the answer attached to it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

still not sure which way to go for next year

Looked at an online school but in talking with husband I dont think that will be the best route. Husband is all "get a standardized test!" "You have to see where they compare to PS" I am more of the mind "who cares where they compare to PS. ask a PS kid about art. ask a PS kid about shakespeare." They may not be exactly on level with the ps in everything. But why does it matter as long as they are moving forward and learning? and if they dont learn X by grade X will the sky fall? what if they dont learn it until X+1? why is that a problem? THAT is why I homeschool. so we can do things at our own pace. I don't see where a Standardized test will show anything more than if they are good test takers. My one son I KNOW is not a good test taker. for one thing he has ADD. and he is NOT prone to worrying about details. If you get ONE answer in the wrong line then the rest of the entire test is off! how is THAT a measure of knowledge? We generally have used the "PASS" test. but maybe the peabody would be better. the only problem there is that you have to have someone to administer it. PASS you can do yourself. although if the only requirement is a college degree I have that covered.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

what to do for next year

I am looking at Oak meadow again but not sure I want to fork out the cash to find they still dont like it. its a lot of money!! I also already bought several things from barnes and noble. I could of course return them and that would pay for the kindergarten curriculum from oak meadow. almost. I am not sure where to go with Cody and feel I need more guidance in finding appropriate things for him to do. He didnt like oak meadow before because it was a lot of writing and a lot of reading. he is reading more now though. He also is much more willing to write than he was before. Chrysta I think could thrive on it. she is a kid who oddly enough loves to do work. especially if its work of her choosing. that doesnt always work out so well though. you cant learn to run before you can walk! If I remember though the oak meadow math was a bit on the slow side but they could keep on with the saxon math. I just dont know. It would cost almost 800 for all three. Wonder how much it is if I piece it together without the math. less maybe.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We saw something exciting!

We went to the history museum to see one of the original declaration of independence. the only one that is allowed to travel. It was neat to see it up close but it would have been more fun without the little ones. They were rambunctious to say the least. but hey we can at least say we SAW the declaration of independence up close and personal. it is not a vague idea of something written somewhere. we saw it. Now would be a good time to do a unit on the declaration but I have no energy to do that.

While there we also saw exhibits about MN sesquicentennial. I got to go through my favorite exhibit where they follow the life of one house and the many inhabitants that lived in it through the years.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Homeschool year is ending

We are getting tired of school. We have not done much in the last week or so. I find that spring gets us wanting to follow other pursuits. The young ones need to finish their apple lapooks. I also have stuff for money lapbooks if we get around to it. If we dont we can always do it next year. Cody is working on a model airplane he picked up at a rummage sale and Chrysta is baking. Ethan is happy to be outside again. Even though the weather hasnt been the greatest I would have to say, based on the color of his feet, summer has begun. His little pink feet are now blackish. He loves to be barefoot so his feet get SO DIRTY they wont come clean no matter how hard I scrub. Happens every year!= ) Maia has learned to write her name and is practicing that. Ethan is starting to read things, without knowing he is actually reading! I know we will still do things throughout the summer but we won't be tied to books and schedules. YAY! This year the "spring fever/burnout" and urge to send them to school was greater than ever before. I went to Kindergarten round up and it was a good experience for me. I know now that I will keep schooling them. I was so underimpressed with the school. It is good to know though what it is like there.