WOW! Where did this year go?

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As we come to the end of the Christmas season and the the end of another year I am trying not to reflect back too much on what has been, as much as what can be.  Yes, there has been good, really good in fact, but there has also been bad and downright ugly.  I won’t go into my thoughts on politics or celebrity deaths or whatnot, it only fuels some peoples internet-anonymity-driven fires.  That’s not what this is about.  This is about reflection of a personal nature and looking toward a future with hope and dreams and some common sense as well.  

I am excited about beginning the 2nd semester of homeschool with my 9th grader and he absolutely loves it!  The first semester went so well… I call it a success for sure!  Just gotta get printing on assignments for him starting back next week… wow time is flying isn’t it?  

I look forward to getting myself healthier, as I have slacked off in that department quite a bit.  Holidays, amiright?  You have no idea the amount of cookies and other sweet treats I created.  Too many!  That’s how many!  The smell of sugary goodies in my house was almost unbearable…hey, I said almost!  HA!  Seriously though, I have had maybe two cookies and two tiny pieces of baklava… go willpower!  

I also look forward to doing a savings jar again.  Now, it may not seem like much to some, but to us it was a good chunk of cash-ola that paid for some summertime fun!

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All I did was get a $1 plastic container from dollar tree, cover it in duct tape(yes, I has cherry duct tape…I used it for roller derby, on my skates) and then make my weekly date sheet of what to put in it and on what date.  I just put in cash once a week, starting Jan 1 with 50cents and each week increase it by 50 cents.  By the time I reach June 11, there at the bottom of my list, I will have $150 in the jar, plus whatever random change I add here and there outside of the set amount.  Now, if I choose to keep saving, at this point I will probably just add $10 a week for the rest of the year.  Much more than that and it can become a nuisance.  Like I said, to some this may seem like a tiny amount, but honestly, $410+ by the end of next year sounds amazing to me, just by throwing a little cash in a jar each week.  This may be a yearly thing for us now.  

Lastly, I look forward to being more comfortable in my own skin.  This has always been hard for me, even if I don’t show it.  I worry about what I look like, what others will think and if someone will think bad of me or laugh because of my choices in clothing, hair, etc.  Lately though, I have all but abandoned those unimportant thoughts and just went with who and what I am.  I like clothes, don’t like shopping because I am not a size 2, but guess what, I don’t have to be in order to be me.  So I shop with pride now.  I have bought clothes recently that I would never have bought before but I love them and guess what, they fit and no one stared or laughed or poked fun at me.  Not that I care now.  I have also gotten many tattoos this year(yay!) with an appointment to get another next week.  Did I ever think I would be a 40-something mom getting tatted, especially with my adult son, NO.  But there we were, a month ago, at the shop together… he paying for mine as a birthday present to me.  Awww!  Anyway, my point in all this is that THIS IS ME!  I will be me and be happy about it…it took me a long time to find my confidence.  But DAMN am I glad I did!  This year I will continue this confidence, I will continue home education for my child and I will be the cheapskate that I am, shopping sales, making my own stuff and saving every penny in a jar.  I like me.  2016 me was good, but 2017 me is gonna be GREAT!

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This is me, the CRAZYMAMA

MORE SOON…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

From CrazyMama RK!

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Homeschool HOORAY!

Well, hello again!

I have to say that the last several weeks have been filled with so much stuff going on… where do I begin?  

Firstly, let me just say that homeschool is amazing for my 15 year old!  He tested out of Algebra 1 and we are moving up to Geometry.  This is a huge step for him and I think he is excited… well, as excited as he could be about Math.  He has told me numerous times, I don’t like math…I know how to do it, I just don’t like it.  He’s funny! 

Sometimes, I doubt myself… what mom doesn’t?  But I have those moments where I wonder if he really is getting all he can from homeschool and then it smacks me in the face, when I tell someone what his schedule is like or what creative learning tools I have come up with or the places we’ve gone on field trips.  He writes much more than he would in “regular school” and he has gotten to choose the computer class he is taking, as well as what art projects he would like to work on.  He leads the way on the way he wants the schedule to go and I am fine with it as long as all work gets done.  And it Does!  I think of all this and I am like, “okay, this is the right way to go.”  Especially on days like this, when I see, academically, that he is not lacking in the least!  

Oh and an update on our little plaster projects…

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This is my little pen/pencil holder that I carved from plaster.  RCAH are the initials of our homeschool.

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This is a carved plaster pedestal that my son created specifically for a POP! figure.  He collects them and wanted a showcase spot for a special one I am guessing.  

These are finally done and as soon as I can I will post pictures of them being used for their intended purposes.

Hopefully soon I can get some time to devote to my wood art projects.  Who knows woodworking class may very well be in our homeschool future.  Hmmm, yes, I do believe it will be!  And you know I will post that here too!

UNTIL NEXT TIME!  

CRAZYMAMA  RK

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Getting Outside…the box

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One of the best things about homeschooling is the fact that we can choose whatever kind of “PE class” that we want to.  For homeschoolers, PE can look like many different things.  For instance, PE today was at a local park, where we walked and hiked a bit.  But we also saw tons of dragonflies, grasshoppers and butterflies, many kinds of birds and a few lizards.  Some days we see ducks, fish and turtles, at the pond, too.  So, its a nature walk, which falls into the Science category.  I love that!

BELOW: A FEW FRIENDS WE MET ON OUR TREK THROUGH THE PARK.

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 Even if we aren’t “studying” nature as we go, we are IN nature, observing… enjoying.  While we will have days where we head to the ice rink, the local indoor pool or bowling, taking a walk or going for a hike for a little while is just as good.  No strenuous stuff needed ALL the time!  I don’t know about other homeschoolers, but for us, over-scheduling and trying to follow other’s idea of PE, or any other class for that matter, just does not work for us.  He left the public school-type scheduling behind and jumped feet first into homeschool.  Gotta say this is much better, for everyone!

A reason my son gave me for wanting to be home schooled a few years ago… “I just don’t really like dealing with people.”  Now, that didn’t mean he is shy or reclusive, he meant he HATES dealing with other teens that act like… well… teens. LOL  You see, he cannot stand the drama, arrogance, fights… you get the picture.  He was at school to learn, he knew that and wanted to do that and learn he did.  That was never the issue.  But going into a Large high school was not his idea of the most awesome thing ever.  I don’t blame him.  He is quite happy, as we come to the end of the 3rd week of school.  We have freedom, flexibility and fun.  We study normal classes, but we also get outside every day.  He does essays and labs, but he also draws/sketches and next week, sculpting with clay and/or carving plaster.  He learns SAT words every day, but also learns various facts about a different artist each week.  Like I said, we get outside…the box.

THANKS FOR READING!  COME BACK SOON AND I MAY JUST HAVE SOME PICTURES OF OUR CLAY AND PLASTER ART PROJECTS.

cRaZyMaMa

RK~

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Field Trip Day!

Woo hoo!  Field trip day!  I always loved field trips as a kid.  I was never homeschooled, so the getting out of doing school work for the day was just as exciting as the destination!  My son, though excited to get out of doing his normal work, was much more excited to go to 2 art museums today!  It was made even more special that one of the museums, even though not listed as being on display, had 2 Van Gogh paintings.  We were both so excited, my son moreso, as Van Gogh is his absolute favorite artist.

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Paintings by Van Gogh— Enclosed Field with Plowman & Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.  The top one is my favorite!!!

 In addition to those paintings, we saw Andy Warhol prints, sculptures from every possible era, big bold artwork by Frank Stella(the modern art museum was having a retrospective of his work) and paintings by Manet, Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and so so so many more!   I just love that we have world class museums so close!

Well, that is all for me today!  Just had to share our awesome day!

 

More Later…

cRaZyMaMa

RK

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And So It Has Begun!

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Hello There!  We have officially started our homeschool year and so far, it’s going great.  With the exception of a few things that I had to print last minute (meaning I realized when my son was already working on the particular subject) we had a smooth day.  Yesterday, even though it was labor day, I had him go over all his core classes, just to get a feel for what he would be doing in the coming days.  He didn’t do any actual work in those classes, just looked over everything for an orientation of sorts.  I did have him read his Bible passages and answer 4 simple questions, as well as copy the word of the day and artist of the week in their respective journals.  We also did PE/Health yesterday as we needed to get out and exercise anyway.  Today was our first day of ALL his classes and he seems to like them.  We didn’t follow the schedule after the morning though.  He wanted to do his PE/Health stuff and then power through all other classes, in a different order, not stopping for lunch.  So, I just made him a sandwich and he just kept on working while he ate.  He likes to get things done ASAP, so this may become our norm.  Time will tell.  One thing is for sure, I am making sure we go back through and double check that he completed EACH subject.  He and I both almost skipped his World History class completely.  (Because we didn’t follow the schedule)  It wouldn’t have been a big deal if we had, as its simple enough to catch back up, but its no fun to have to do extra work the next day.  So, I wrote a reminder on our bulletin board, to double check everything.  Its a good thing for both of us!

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Our bulletin board… oh, and a messy baking rack.  Yes we homeschool in the kitchen!

I have also put a note up on our board to remind him to write his name, in cursive, and the date on every worksheet and on anything in his composition books.  Why do I do this, when he is my only “student?”  Well, the date on the work is for my sanity, so when looking back over everything I know when he completed it.  But having him put his name on it and in cursive…?  Well, I do that for him.  I want him to be able to sign, at the very least, his name, with speed and precision.  You see, I had noticed, in recent years of him being in public school, there was a sharp decline in teachers wanting students to write in cursive and even more recently a even sharper decline of teachers focusing on teaching good penmanship, print or cursive.  Everything is done on a computer, is the typical reasoning.  Another is that the teachers just don’t have the time.  I think both my boys briefly learned cursive in the 3rd grade and it wasn’t taught for very long during that year they did learn it.  After that, my oldest only had one teacher require that a paper be done in cursive.  My youngest(14) has never had a teacher request Anything be all in cursive.  This year is where that changes.  While the great majority of his work will be done on a computer, I want him to practice his ability to write neatly, in cursive.  Dying art?  Some seem to think so.  Maybe it is.  If that’s true, then I guess this is just another type of Art I’ll be teaching him this year.  

Hope you are having a great start to the school year… home school, public school, private school… whatever kind of school, make it a good one!  I will be back soon!  

Have a GREAT day!  

CrAzYmAmA

RK

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Artwork and Home School Planning

Hello again!  Whew! I have been keeping myself busy.  Even when I’m not busy, I busy myself with something or other.  For instance, I am readying myself and my son for home schooling coming up here pretty soon.  Yes, other “schools”, public, private and homeschool have already begun, but I have chosen to wait until after Labor Day.  Gasp!  Yes, the time kids Use To start back to school… that seems like a long time ago in a galaxy far far way!  Anyhoo, I figured I would share a bit of my planning and planner right here, with you.  But first I thought i would share a bit of pyrography that I have been working on.  Now, please note, this is not yet even near finished.  Much more to go with this one, but I thought I would share what I have been doing…

This is my tedious little eagle that I just HAD to do.  Its taking a bit more of my time than the usual wood burned artwork, but that’s okay, as I think this one is going to turn out really pretty. (You can even see my crossed pistols in the background, that I posted here a while back.)

Now, on to the main things I have been working on… SCHOOL!  

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(Above is my white-board(dry erase) that has the calendar, schedule, reading list, and will have the word-of-the-day and artist-of-the-week.  It is a large EXPO board that someone was getting rid of and I got it Free!  The dry erase markers, seen on the bottom left of the board, are magnetic, have an eraser on the top of each one and I found them at Dollar Tree.  3pk for a $1!  Can’t beat that!  The Lists/schedules are taped to the board using a thin duct tape I also found for $1 and can be removed easily as I need to change things out.)

I chose an online curriculum for my son, but plan to mix it up and use other things as well.  We are using All In One High School for the basis of his learning, as I have found it has many things that I believe he will both enjoy and benefit from.  This is NOT a virtual school and I don’t plan on using one of those.  I did look into it for him and his older brother started out using a virtual homeschool… though we did NOT stay with it for him.  I have many reasons for this, but mainly because it follows a school districts set plan and allows just as little flexibility with schedules as a standard, brick and mortar, public school.  You still have to attend virtual lessons at preset times(that you cannot miss), you have to go along with the exact curriculum, and you cannot slow down if you need to make sure you understand something and you can’t move ahead if you are done quickly.  Which leads me to the next point… you STILL have to spend almost as many hours a day/week as a standard school(even if you finish ALL your work in a very short amount of time) and if you don’t, you will not be in “attendance” for that day. Needless to say, that was not for my oldest when he was in school and it most certainly is Not for my youngest.  So, if I am not doing that, what am I doing, you ask?  Well, I have have chosen standard, as well as different courses from that, that you would find in a public school.  

The tentative daily schedule is as follows…

Word of the day and Artist of the week, Breakfast & Bible reading, Computer, PE/Health, Algebra 1, Oceanography, World History, English 1, ART

And in addition to the online curriculum that we will be using I am adding Word of the Day and Artist of the Week. This is quick, simple work that can be done without difficulty, but can and will be beneficial as I will choose words and artists that are different and possibly new to him.  At the end of the year he will have a brain full of an entirely new vocabulary and so many artists and their works, some that he will not have even heard of previously.

As I am making breakfast he will copy the word of the day from our white board and look up/write down it’s definition in his notebook.  He will also have to write a sentence using said word.  

Artist of the Week is similar, consisting of…

(day 1) Writing down the artist’s name from the board and looking up birth/death dates

(day 2) Writing down where they were born and died

(day 3) Writing down notable traits or facts about them

(day 4) Choosing 3 favorite works of the artist and printing them out for the notebook

(day 5) He will write down what kind of art this artist creates/created.  In addition to that, he will have to write down 2 other artists that create(d) similar types of work.  

Here is a look at the front of his assignment binder…

Note the paper taped into the left front pocket.  This is the weekly/daily schedule for him to follow.  Each week I will write one of these out and place it in his binder.  Most times things will not change, but if they do, it will be noted here.  As you can see on the right side of the binder, it starts with Bible.  This will consist of the chapters and verses that he needs to read for that day as well as 4 daily questions that he will answer on what was read.

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I also have a reading checklist(above) for his reading outside of school time.  This is very important to me as well as him.  He Loves to read so much!  At the top of his must-read list this year are all of the Harry Potter books, Armada & Ready Player One.  He has read only but a few of Harry Potter’s adventures so he wants to read them ALL, as well as his other favorites that he has read and re-read several times, Armada and Ready Player One.  I have no problem with this as long as we mix in some classic literature in there as well… and we will.  I have a LIST.  

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Here are a few things that I have included in my “teacher” binder.  I need places to put lists and calendars(above) and lots of stuff like that, as well as attendance sheets and grade sheets.(shown below) I printed these (that are a part of a really cute planner) from The Frugal Homeschooling Mom.  Check it out!

I have no idea if I will use the 6 week(not pictured), 9 week, 12 week(not pictured) or Monthly pacing guides, but I am glad I have them… you know, just in case.

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Lastly, here is just a simple attendance sheet that I will be using for those classes that require little to no actual “book work” or “normal grading”  Something just to keep us on track and so there is a record of it for that class, mainly for my peace of mind!

Well, I surely hope that you enjoyed a glimpse into my world of homeschooling.  I am sure I will be posting more very soon, especially in the few days leading up to our school start date as well as after we start.  

Have a great day!

~CrAzYmAmA~

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Back to homeSchool…

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Yep, it’s that time of year again, when moms and dads send their kiddos back to school.  And many, like me, will be venturing into homeschool.  I have done this with my older child, from preK-3rd grade.  He then attended 4th-9th in public schools until that became too much for us both and we reverted back to homeschool for the duration of his high school time.  He has since graduated and now it’s his younger brother’s turn at the high school homeschool.  With my first one, pubic school was difficult for him.  Not in a social sense, but from an actual educational standpoint, he just couldn’t learn in that environment.  And what do we do when something isn’t working… change it!  With my younger child, school has never been difficult.  He learns at a fast pace, enjoys class and does exceedingly well at everything.  But he isn’t really what you would call a social butterfly… he isn’t the kid that goes to tons of events or participates in lots of sports or plays instruments or does boys scouts.  Nope.  He does none of that. (not to slight anyone whose kids do these things, but its just not in his wheelhouse)  Public school Junior High was good for him, but he admitted that is was overwhelming to him at times, especially at first, when only a few kids from his elementary attended the same JH.  He asked me about halfway through 7th grade if he could home school in High School like his brother did.  I thought about that long and hard, and more and more it seemed like a better fit anyway.  We can work at his pace, instead of him in a class where he works faster than everyone and has to wait to move on to the next thing.  Also, he can learn more than just core classes… he’ll be learning more advanced computing skills than he’s already learned, we will be able to study a wider range and more advanced sciences and delve deeper and spend more time on Art, which just isn’t always possible in a traditional school setting.  And the age-old question of, “what about socialization?”  Well, I, as many homeschoolers do, HATE that question.  My child can be social, he just doesn’t like to do that all day every day. And No, I do not Make my child play any sports.  Why does that bother so many people, or why do I get the disapproving stare and/or the condescending “oh…” from some moms when they find out?  He has played ice hockey before, he enjoyed it, but it ran its course.  All the time and effort put into sports just wasn’t worth it to him.  

Anyway, all that was to say that we are proudly homeschooling and while I am not terribly bothered by the “well meaning” what-ifs and opinions from family members or other moms, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous.  Yes, I have my curriculum we will be using all set to go.  Yes, I have most of our school supplies bought.  Yes, I have a planner and grade book and schedule for our day.  All that being said, I am still nervous.  I want him to succeed.  I want him to love school and love the flexible schedule that will allow us to do what we want and need to do.  I want him to achieve his goal of attending college and becoming an architect.(this is the current career of choice)  I guess these are all things any parent wants for their child(ren) but in my case, the education falls to me.  This is a blessing, yes, but is also the most nerve racking thing ever!  That’s why I’m getting us ready so early, I suppose.  We aren’t starting until Sept. 6th so I have plenty of time to get it all together… including myself.  Ha!  

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Pictured above is my “grade book” for the year.  This, I am so proud of.  It’s part planner, part grade book, part calendar, part daily schedule.  I love putting things like this together.  I feel like things are better if there are plans and schedules and lists.  LOL

Oh, I also want to add, I LOVE the fact that I always over buy school and office supplies every year.  I purchased a few folders and spiral notebooks this year, because they are super cheap, went to put them away and discovered my school supply cabinet was already FULL!  I had folders and spirals and composition books and pens and pencils and… well you get the idea.  I had apparently bought a LOT last year and forgot about it.  Oh well, we’re stocked for this year and maybe next.  YAY!  

Oh, and if you haven’t already, GO BUY(and stock up on) YOUR SCHOOL SUPPLIES NOW.  This is the best time of year to score the lowest prices on all manner of supplies.  And right now, you can find everything you need, not as easy to do as we get closer to the start of school.  Also… Once school actually starts for all the public schools it becomes darn near impossible to find some of the things on the school lists.  The seasonal aisle goes from school stuff to halloween stuff in like the blink of an eye!

Anyhoo… Y’all wish me luck!  

(BTW I will be posting the occasional homeschool update in the midst of all my other blogging as well, so stay tuned for additional ramblings by me.)

HAVE A GOOD DAY!  More Soon…

RK~~~THE CraZy mAmA

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