Back to school, back to life

“The giving of love is an education in itself.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Second grade and Kindergarten!

We recently kicked off the new school year and I’m still in shock that I’m officially teaching not just Ella in second grade this year, but Gavin now in kindergarten. Three years into this already and it feels like yesterday that it all began.

I jumped into homeschooling not really knowing how to swim, but I never imagined the rewarding and truly incredible experience that treading through with faith would bring from it. I just feel grateful to have the opportunity to continue another year with it.

Though it isn’t the usual hustle and bustle normally found on a first day of school, which I fondly remember. I still like to treat it specially. A few new outfits, and setting up the desk for them to discover on the first day are a couple of ways to keep a sense of excitement about the new year! Ella also wanted her first day of school hair and we had the rare apple fritter and blueberry breakfast! 🙂

Preschooler!!

This is a glimpse of what our school/learning area consists of. They are enjoying the shared space now but in time I see us growing out of it. For now it works though and Grant definitely wants to be a part of it. Of course this is where the ‘official’ yet unofficial work gets done when it comes to workbooks and specific lessons. Still a lot of our learning happens in the kitchen, around town, or snuggled in a bed with books, to name a few of the unique learning opportunities which are what I so love about all of this!

And really these school days are not so much about me knowing exactly what a perfect education means, or possessing all the skills as the perfect teacher. What I do know is that the love I have feeds through my desire to play the biggest role in their learning at this age. Hopefully it fosters a love of learning in them that continues throughout their entire education, no matter what direction it takes in the future!

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I thought I would share this post this morning. I remember having such a love/hate relationship with the bubble sheet on those tests in school… You want to love them because they don’t require a written answer or true knowledge on the question at hand. I could essentially get away with the ‘best educated guess’ if it was something I wasn’t sure of. Or the opposite, which was hate it because the answers were so similiar that I’d end up stewing on that one answer, and over thinking it. And how much of that stewing and stressing was over something relevant in life today…that’s the real question!

Cooperative Catalyst

We know bubble sheets are unrelated to “real life”.

I think we made the “education thing” up by constructing much nonsense about the written word being the supreme method of sharing ideas and information.

I think we have forgotten that sharing experiences and doing things together are matters that (1) allow us to learn and (2) make us human.

I began asking a question of Paramedic and EMT students (HS grads/GED) to kick-start discussions about medical-legal issues. I ask them to write down the first word that comes to mind when asked “What Are You?” I ask that question three more times, and request they again write their answer down.

The answers generally deal with biological sex, sex/gender/family roles and issues, race/ethnicity, nationality and intellectual capabilities. We discuss how the answers frame their current worldviews and how their worldviews will affect their future work as EMTs and Paramedics. We then consider…

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The Kidspace Children’s Museum

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing.  What!  Is it nothing to be happy?  Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?  Never in his life will he be so busy again.  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Ever since discovering that the Kidspace Children’s Museum offers free admission on the first Tuesday of each month, I knew that we would take that opportunity at some point! Who can pass up FREE these days right?! So this month was our first time, and definitely not the last! Although the free night is only a four-hour chunk of time, it gives enough opportunity to decide if it’s worth a full day trip coming again. It was really a fun experience for all three of them! The museum has various exploring areas encouraging lots of learning which was great!

They loved the art area….

There was the giant water-color station…

Lots of little crafts going on here…

The little artist

We love to paint!!

Then it was a mosaic craft..

Great for little creative minds 🙂

The museum had all these crazy crawling/climbing spaces that even the adults could try. This one below was very cool but about half way up with Grant I was getting dizzy… Literally when you are up that narrow of a space and looking up or down is the same view it kind of freaks you out! It seemed like it never ended so we turned around!

A never-ending crawl space..

More climbing!!

Seriously there was so much to do! Like this fossil discovery area…

My little digger.

And this silly bug kitchen where the kids can play and pretend to serve the bugs meals. There were exhibits in the kitchen showing what bugs might lurk in our kitchens if we don’t keep them clean…GROSS!!

May we take your orders?!

Bug Appétit

At one point Grant ran out of the kitchen so fast yelling, “A BALL, A BALL!!!”  and this is what he had spotted…

The golf Gods have spoken to him

It was pretty cute that he saw it so randomly at the time…and if it isn’t obvious, he is obsessed with anything sports related like big-bro.

There were some very cool exhibits all around and an entire room dedicated to learning the ends and outs of science related things… life cycles, rocks and minerals, bones, shells and water life, magnetic fields… so, so much we could definitely spend an entire day there! I think the summer time will be great because there is also a huge outdoor water play area and a new addition of fun activities that is opening up soon. The day we went was raining but the kids still wanted to mess around near the water of course!

Singing in the rain

Oh yeah and the museum has a calender of events that you can plan for. The evening we came on was a cultural dance night. That was a fun show and interesting to learn about a different style of dance…

Story tellers..

So that was our experience at the Kidspace Museum and they can’t wait to go back! We love this kind of fun learning!

Till next time!