An Uncomplicated Chore System

If you’ve been parenting for any amount of time, you’ve seen the Pinterest pins and blog posts about chore charts. I’ve seen them. I’ve used them. I’ve even created one that was personalized for my unique kiddos 😉

Researching for this post, I googled “kids chore charts” and wow . There are so many options, so many. I could even pay (uhh, waste) $79 for one.  And you know where that chart would likely end up? In a pile of stuff for me to declutter when I don’t have the energy or follow-through to keep up with it.

But no more complicated systems for me!!! I recently discovered my own 2 part system that works for my kiddos. 

Back in December I realized I don’t need a complicated system. About a week before Christmas, we returned from a short vacation. We travel with a 5th wheel RV, so there’s a bit more to unpacking than just doing laundry. The boys and I had unloaded most everything from our camper, and even done some laundry.

But I still needed to do one last run through to make sure nothing important was left in our camper before we returned it to storage. I also needed to put some other things like clean sheets & blankets back in it and help the hubs winterize it.

Part 1- An incentive

It was literally 8 day till Christmas and I had not made one cookie or wrapped any presents. The boys had asked to play Batman on the Wii after lunch. We are fairly strict with screen time in our house due to the sensory needs of our oldest and our parenting style in general, so the boys have to get permission before jumping on the Wii.

I let them know they could play some AFTER they did their conditioning exercises for Tae Kwondo & AFTER they picked up random Legos and toys that had not made it back to their rooms from our trip. After lunch they started picking up some, but then got distracted by the toys they were suppose to be putting away.

My youngest was playing with our Lego Christmas train and the oldest was rebuilding a marble run with the Gravitrax system they had just received for Christmas from my in-laws. I was drinking my second cup of coffee and talking to the hubs who was still eating lunch.

Part 2- The List

As I started to remind the boys for the second or third time that they couldn’t play on the Wii until they completed the tasks I gave them, I stopped. I really didn’t want to discourage their creative play to get them on the Wii faster. So, I instead I started a list. A “To Do List” works for me, so why not for the boys I thought?

I listed the few responsibilities they had. A little while later, M finished his lunch and I finished my coffee. Before we headed out to the camper, I called the boys over and gave them the list. I told them they could continue playing as long as they wanted, but they needed to see me with the finished list before turning on the Wii.

The hubs and I headed out to the camper and left the boys happily playing. A while later, my oldest came out to the camper to tell me he needed me to hold his feet for his sit-ups. They had been working on the list. I finished what I had been helping M with and went inside to help with sit-ups. I saw that, for the most part, the legos had been put away and the gravitrax were in their box.

Our youngest informed me that he had done his mountain climbers and push ups. Our oldest had added to the end of the list “Play Wii Batman.”img_5647 (3) I was pretty  excited and, to be completely honest, surprised at how well the simple list worked.

Why it worked for us….

  1. It’s visual. I am a visual learner and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I could tell my kids ten times what they need to do, but for it to really sink it, they need to see it.
  2. It shifted the responsibility into their hands. I didn’t need to stay and nag about chores, and I could go about my own tasks without feeling like I was wasting my time hovering. The work got done and everyone moved on.
  3.  They were motivated.

Since then, I have started a notebook with a list of school work for my oldest on our homeschool days. It has worked just as well!!! What I love about this “system” is its simplicity. There is no weekly list of jobs or assignments.

There are no stickers to give out for completed jobs. Stickers that I either can’t find or forget to use. There is just what needs to be done now before we can do something else. Just yesterday, I used my incentive and list system again.

In the morning, my oldest had asked to check out a new Batman ap (incentive) he had seen in an instruction booklet of a Lego set. He also knew that it was the day he was suppose to clean his room and do some other chores. So, I started a list for each boy and let them know they could check out the new ap when they were finished.

Some chores that made the list this time like cleaning floors and vacuuming the stairs, still require my supervision so I stayed available while the boys were working.  But having the list in front of them, they plowed through their jobs without me reminding them what they still needed to do. When they were finished, they checked out the Batman game and I finished up some chores of my own.

I’m so happy about this simple system that is working for our family that I want to share. Do you have any simple systems that help manage your home? Feel free to share in the comments. 

 

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A New Year & A Refreshed Homeschool Approach

So we started back to “school” this week, and I am super excited about the next few months. We are using all of the same resources, but Christmas break gave me a chance to think about HOW we have been using them and make a new plan.

To be completely honest, in August I stumbled upon Reading Eggs & Math Seeds when I signed my youngest up for a free trial to see if it helped with his reading. (If you’re wondering, it DID!!! Highly recommend checking it out if you have a reluctant reader)

Anyway, when I realized everything the program offered, we jumped full in and, besides Grammar Galaxy and library books, it was our main “school” work for the fall. I was thrilled to not have to plan and to have more time to continue the decluttering I had been doing over the summer.

Awesome as the break from planning was, being on the computer so much is not our ideal homeschool, and I felt like we were missing out on other things. After seeing a thread on a Facebook group, I got the idea to only plan one computer based activity, per kid, per day.

So here are some highlights from our 3 day week after New Years’.

Wednesday:

My oldest researched for any updates on Nessie.

Not sure what got him thinking about Nessie, but Tuesday night he came over when I was half asleep and told me that now that he is “older” he doesn’t think Nessie is real anymore, and could he look for any updates on sightings. Sure buddy, tomorrow morning, go back to bed.

So the next morning before my youngest woke up, A was on the computer exploring http://www.lochnesssightings.com/ When his little brain was full of Nessie info, he completed a spelling lesson on Reading Eggs and then we all used Legos to talk about fractions and equivalent fractions.

Then my youngest and I read a little bit on Progressive Phonics for his daily reading practice.

Thursday:

My youngest made up his own math game. 

I planned for both boys to do a lesson on Math Seeds, but my youngest informed me he had a game he wanted to play. What you see below is what unfolded from his amazing imagination.

 

The idea of “Scare Crow Chase”, as he named it, is that each player solves a math fact and then moves their Batman or Robin the number of inches forward as the answer to the math fact. Surprise surprise, he wanted to choose his own math facts. The first one he chose was 30 + 3, so he ended up catching Scarecrow pretty quickly. We played a few times, and he said he also wants to play again with the goal of catching The Penguin 😉

His game could easily be modified for any homeschool. Choose characters of interest and if you want more focused practice use some flash cards, or take turns coming up with math facts for each other to solve.

Then both boys and I played Clumsy Thief, a fun math game that practice addition to 100. img_5597My youngest rounded out his day doing a Reading Eggs lesson and my oldest did a Reading Eggspress spelling lesson that corresponded with his spelling lesson from Wednesday.

Friday:

We played Math Noodlers for the first time.

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Math Noodlers!!!

 

I originally bought this math game as a Christmas present but decided not to put it under the tree. I broke it out Friday to check out with the boys. I honestly bought it with my youngest, who is my math lover, in mind.

But this game is AWESOME. My oldest, who is not a math fan, LOVED it game. It had him doing frog hops and standing on one leg while counting by 5s, counting backward and solving word problems. He loved it so much, he kept answering my questions for me LOL.

Both boys worked on Spelling City and my youngest read me some Lego phonics books.

You May Be Wondering, What About Handwriting???

Each of these day the boys did some fine motor work as well. My youngest is working on mazes and a color by code workbook activity. My oldest is working on a learn to draw superheros book he got from his Auntie Karen for Christmas and is also doing a variety of copywork that he actually started in his free-time.

You are probably thinking, what kind of copywork does a kid do in their free time? This is a prime example of how I follow my kids’ interest. I’m not 100% sure but I don’t even think my kid knows the term “copywork”. A couple of months ago, he started copying the Nexo Knights character names and descriptions from a library book into his journal. He never finished it, and we had to return the book to the library.

Well the other day we checked it out again, and I put it on the stack I have started of his unfinished projects. Over Christmas we read a Nate the Great and Me book where the reader is solving the mystery along with Nate. There are some Scooby Doo books like this too, and my boys have “fact trackers” where they keep track of the clues to solve the mystery.

After reading the Nate the Great book, my oldest started copying Nate’s “Tips On How To Be A Great Detective” included in the activities at the back of the book. I put that on his stack of unfinished projects as well. So each day I let him know he had some time to work on his projects. To him it wasn’t even school work, but he was getting great handwriting and endurance practice.

It was an awesome start back after Christmas break. I am super excited to continue incorporating games into our learning, and to continue following the interests of my kids to keep them excited about learning.

What do you have planned for the start of the year??? Do you have any ways that you sneak “school” into your children’s everyday activities??? Feel free to share in the comments.

 

 

A Minimalist Striving, Homeschool Mom’s Goals for 2019

It’s New Year’s Eve!!! The time of year when everyone is thinking about resolutions and goals for the new year. I have a few myself, some recurring goals and some new. Last year I intended to read more for my own enjoyment.

I started out with a vengeance plowing through several Wally Lamb books, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards, to name a few. Then mid-year I  bought Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White, and my focus changed.IMG_4846

Decluttering with a goal of minimalism has been a recurring goal of my for the past three years. I have made a ton of progress, donating lots of unused kitchen items, selling, donating & recycling LOTS of homeschool stuff and reducing my wardrobe. (I mean I live in yoga pants, so I don’t really need eight pairs of dress pants, half that I never was thrilled with in the first place).

Since the hubs just finished grad school, he is now on board with cleaning out our garage…YIPPEE! Let the purging begin!!! I actually “decluttered” my decluttering book to my sister when she was visiting over Christmas. I think her  husband was ready to clobber me as she read tidbits from the book to him out loud during their visit 😉

It just hit me that this upcoming year, my main goal is really to be more balanced in how I spend my time. I plan to write more consistently. For me, that means at least once a week. I plan to continue working on decluttering on a regular basis. I actually have four small boxes in the back of my car ready for a donation run, and I plan to continue reading for enjoyment.

Right now I have three books that I am reading on the table by my favorite chair. I

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Books I am currently reading

know three books doesn’t sound very minimalist, but only one is a chapter book. I picked up Dolphins Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey at the library last week, and am also reading A Gracious Space by Julie Bogart and Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed.

Casey’s book is an account of her two-year journey around the world to study dolphins. The book I picked up from the juvenile floor of the library where I was with the boys is actually an adaption for “young readers” of her original book 🙂 But so far it is still a great read, and I wouldn’t have even realized this if it wasn’t in small print at the bottom of the cover.

Julie Bogart’s A Gracious Space is an amazing resource for anyone looking for secular homeschool encouragement. I began the fall edition when we started school this year, and had the hubs get me the winter edition for Christmas. It is broken up into short daily reads for your homeschool journey. I typically read a day (or two days) worth while I drink my coffee in the morning.

Julie Bogart is the founder of Brave Writer and has graduated 5 homeschool kiddos. She has so much insight and wisdom. When I read her words, I feel supported and encouraged in our homeschool journey.

Brave Enough is a collection of Cheryl Strayed’s quotes from over the year. I first heard of her book Wild in a Gilmore Girls episode I was watching several years late on Netflix.  I have not seen the movie, but I did read the book last year.

When the hubs saw me reading it he said “You know she was like shooting up heroine and stuff.” I think I just said “yeah” and kept reading. My exact thoughts were “yeah, she was young and her mom died and it broke her.”

While I would say that her book of quotes is probably not a good fit for anyone offended by profanity, I am not one to judge. I too lost my Mom when I was not much older. It was just weeks before I turned 30 and I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, my Mom’s first grandchild.

I had to take care of myself and my baby, if not for myself, but for my Mom. I had to take care of her grand-baby. But that doesn’t mean my thoughts didn’t travel down self-destructive paths and sit there for way longer than was healthy for me or my family.

The what ifs of my life choices; if I had never gone out-of-state for grad school, if I had moved home when I graduated, the time I could have spent with her and the support I could have given. Maybe I would have gotten her to a doctor who could have figured out what the hell was wrong with her before it was too late. 

If I had lost her under different circumstances who knows what self-destructive choices I would have made. So no, I do not judge a woman who was brave enough to share the demons she fought when she was broken, and how she came back from it. If you are looking for something to read that is maybe outside of your comfort zone, or are traveling the path of losing a parent prematurely, I highly recommend Wild.

I’d love to hear what goals you have for the New Year??? Feel free to share in the comments. Also I’m always looking for book recommendations, so feel free to share those as well and Happy New Year to you!!!!

Homeschooling is Not Always School at Home

As a homeschool mom it seems that everywhere you look people are posting or talking about the complete curriculum they are powering through each year. I’m over here like yeah, we do a little phonics, my youngest made up his own math games & I read to my kids.

Usually I’m fairly confident in our relaxed approached, but sometimes comparison rears its ugly head and the doubt creeps in. Over the years, I’ve learned that’s when it’s time to  take a deep breath and a step back and just observe my family. Like right now, as I’m typing, they are watching Wild Life Docs & asking about the meaning of “overseas.”

This question led to the discussion that although South America is a different continent and far away, it is not overseas. My just turned 8 year old chimed in “yeah because it’s connected to North America through Central America.”

In our homeschool, we have never formally studied geography and they have never labeled each continent on a map, but my kiddos have a pretty good grasp of the layout of our earth. So how did this learning occur?

We read and watch educational series about what interests them. This year it has been endangered animals. As we learn about each animal of interest, we find their native habitat on the map. We have learned about the Southern & Northern White Rhinos of Africa, and the African Penguins that live off the coast of southern Africa.

We have learned about the Kakapos of New Zealand. My 8 year old loves lemurs, and he can also show you where Madagascar is on a map. We have read the Dolphins of Shark Bay and learned about the varying feeding habits of dolphins off the northwest coast of  Australia, to name a few. Also, when the boys ask questions like “What is overseas?”, we have conversations about their questions.

But their learning doesn’t end with our “educational” endeavors. We have an old Wii and one of the boys’ favorite games is Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip.  As you play, different mountains around the world open up for additional play. The mountains are displayed on a world map and yep, my boys first learned where South America is from opening up the Andes Mountains for snowboarding, LOL!

Officially, we took most of December off. The hubs finished grad school so we traveled to Florida for his graduation ceremony. We added a few days to the trip for some relaxing (the boys riding bikes through massive puddles and me walking the dog) and site-seeing. We stayed at the campground near Fort Pickens, a place we have visited previously and wanted to return to ever since.

On our visit to Fort Pickens we took the historical tour. My 8 yo was given permission by the tour guide to climb up and spot where the cannon currently targets. He saw that it actually now points at land, even though the fort was built to protect from sea invasions.

From this experience, he learned how the sea level has changed from the time when the fort was built. When it was built the cannon did point out to sea but the changing sea level over time has effected the present day “target” of the cannons.

When we returned home it was less than a week before Christmas. I was busy unpacking, wrapping presents and making cookies, while the boys were occupied with their Legos. We managed to squeeze in a library run and the boys literally picked out about 30 books. Some were from a series we discovered on audiobook during our road trip, but there were several animal books we will be starting in the next couple of days.

I love how our relaxed approach to homeschooling allows us to live a relaxed life while also allowing my kiddos to learn every day and everywhere. I for one cannot wait to dive into the stack of books they selected to see what learning awaits.

Awesome Audiobooks for Sensitive Kiddos

My boys are fairly sensitive to media.  A lot of things that kids their age (8-10) watch or play (Star Wars, Minecraft ) would be anxiety provoking for my kiddos, especially my oldest. For example, we rarely go to the movies, but when we do, I wait in the lobby with the boys during the previews. This is not of my choosing. It is to prevent the complete panicked shut down of our oldest.

Because of the lack of visual stimuli, read alouds and audiobooks are not as anxiety provoking for him, but there are still story-lines he wants to avoid.  Since we have come across some great kids series that both of my kiddos love, I thought this would be useful info to share for other mommas of sensitive kiddos.

Nate the Great

We listened to an eight book collection of Nate the Great on a recent car trip, and both of my boys LOVED them. They have since listened to them again while I took a nap after a morning of unpacking from said trip.

No anxiety provoking themes in any of the books we
listened to, and as a plus, there was lots of laughter!

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds

Cam Jansen has been another hit in our family. We have borrowed numerous audiobooks in the series from our online library system.

While searching for books for this post, I did come across the following titles (Mystery of the UFO, Mystery of the Monster Movie, Ghostly Mystery) that I cannot give my sensitive kiddo’s approval on. They may be fine, but he has not listened to them and aliens and monsters are some of the story-lines that cause him anxiety.

 

Calendar Mysteries & the A to Z Mysteries ,which feature the older siblings of the kids in the Calendar Mysteries, have also been well listened to by my boys.

January Joker, the first in the Calendar Mysteries series, was originally a bit much for my oldest as the story-line involved “aliens”, so we just skipped to the next story. After he had listened to and enjoyed the other books in the series, he was ready to give it another try.

A to Z Mysteries (26 Book Set)

The A to Z Mysteries also have a couple of titles that might be a bit much for sensitive kiddos (The Zombie Zone & the The Haunted Hotel are two), but again we listened to them after listening to some of the other in the series and my son was ready to give them a try.

I always let him know if we are listening or watching something that he is concerned about that we can turn it off if it starts to scare him. It gives him the courage to try to expand his listening horizons without making him completely anxious.

My final audiobook recommendation is The Boxcar Children series, pretty much any of The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 them. There are a few titles that are about ghosts so use your judgment. The couple “haunted” type books I have read aloud to my boys (rather than having them listen independently to the audiobook), so I was able to judge their readiness for it. But there are plenty of titles without any spooky references that would be perfect for audio books. Also, if you are looking for movies for sensitive kiddos, the Boxcar Children movie & the sequel, Surprise Island were hits with my boys.

We find most of our audiobooks either on CD (yes I know I am dating myself) at our local library, or through online resources our library offers. Our library is part of a county system so we are able to get books from both the county’s online system as well as our local branch’s separate online system. Make sure you are utilizing all of the free resources available to you 🙂

Do you have any recommendations of great audiobooks for sensitive kiddos??? Please feel free to share in the comments.

The Things that I Never Knew I Would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about Homeschooling

There are A LOT of things to love about homeschooling. Common reasons you hear are individualized learning, kids being able to learn at their own pace, and kids having more time to follow their interests. Yes, yes and yes. But this post is going to get into the specific day to day things that I never knew I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about homeschooling.

Number One, Top Thing I Love

We plan our schooling around our life, not our life around school. My husband is graduating from grad school in mid-December. It has been a long two, or maybe it’s been three years, with him completing school work in addition to the work he does to support our family. Specifically it has been a LONG last six months while he has been in the project phase of his degree.

You better believe he is going to walk at his graduation and we are going to be there to see it. He completed a distance learning program so it’s about a six or seven hour drive for us. We are heading out a few days early and camping at a nearby National Park we visited on a past trip. The boys have wanted to return and do some more exploring of  Fort Pickens ever since, so now is our chance and guess what. We don’t have to worry about or justify missed school days.

Number Two

My kiddos can get the rest they need. It is 8:12 am as I am typing this post. My 8 year old is still asleep. He went to bed at 8:45 last night. A bit late for him, but not super late in general.

Tuesday of this week, he was super emotional. He cried multiple times throughout the day, and at Tae Kwondo, he was close to tears once because he couldn’t remember the steps to his form. I knew something was off but wasn’t sure what.

The next morning he slept til 9 am. I don’t know why he has been needing more sleep than usual (he is usually up around 7) but I love that I can let his little body get the sleep he needs so that he can be happy and healthy.

The local school starts at 7:45. I have  no idea what time I would have to get him up if he went to school, but I know I would have a tired and grumpy kid; not great for the school, not great for our family and definitely not great for him!

Number Three- This one kind of ties into number two, but I think it deserves its own number 😉

We are not rushed in the mornings.  We can take our time and eat a healthy breakfast. We can talk about plans for the day. We can talk about dreams from the night before. The boys can spend some time building Legos, which they LOVE. I can read or write for a bit .

Beyond the general relaxed morning, homeschooling gives us time to take care of our family’s specific medical needs. My 8 year old has seasonal (fall & winter) asthma. His maintenance during this time of the year, is 3 vials of meds nebulized. This takes time, about 35 minutes.

35 minutes that I would have to wake him up earlier just so he could get the meds he needs so that he doesn’t cough non-stop throughout the day. Honestly waking him up early for this, when he obviously needs sleep (see Number Two), would feel like I was punishing him and myself for his medical condition. 

Number Four

Both of my boys have special needs. Although we have not sought out an official diagnosis (after much discussion with several of their speech therapists), they both present with symptoms of Apraxia of Speech and Auditory Processing issues. The result is severe phonological disorders. For anyone not familiar with speech diagnosis terminology, this means their conversational speech is VERY difficult to understand.

They currently receive speech services three times a week and I work with them on non-service days. Homeschooling allows us to get their services during the daytime, instead of trying to squeeze them into the after school hours. It also allows me to work with them during school hours, instead of having to spend the few hours we would have together after school not only doing homework but also trying to squeeze in their much needed daily speech practice.

Also, homeschooling protects them from the bullying I feel sure they would experience as a result of their speech disorders.

 

Number Five- Homeschooling Allows Us to Focus on our Relationships

We get to give our kids what they need. I read The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman over the summer and it was like a light bulb went off. Our 8 year old constantly seeks physical contact. He loves to cuddle and be close. He also loves to crawl on my husband when he is resting on the couch. Sometimes this is sweet, but at 80 pounds, sometimes it has been a source of uhhh, frustration.

As I was reading this book, it hit me. L’s love language is physical contact. It makes him feel loved. Now when my husband rests on the couch, he invites L to lay with him or hold his hand. It has made a huge difference.

When L and I practice his reading, something he has previously resisted,  I invite him to snuggle with me on the couch, or we sit on the floor together, him sitting between my legs and resting on me. It’s no longer a struggle to get him to work on his reading.

This physical  contact is not something he could get in a school setting. Yet, it is what has helped him progress in his reading skills in a very brief time.

My oldest feels loved when he gets to share his interests with us. Homeschooling allows me to slow down and really listen to him when he talks about the Lego movies he is planning, or the Lego book he read and  LOVED.  It allows me the time to show him that his interests are important and valued.

Our family never planned or expected to homeschool.  But doing so has given us so much joy and so many gifts. What unexpected things do you love about homeschooling? Feel free to share in the comments. 

Trusting My Kid (and That a Love of Learning IS Enough)

I think I’ve said this before. I’ve been pretty relaxed in our homeschool journey. I found a couple of podcasts (The Homeschool Sisters  & BraveWriter) that help me feel supported in this approach.  In our homeschool, we work on reading skills, math, and do a grammar curriculum the boys LOVE.

Plus, I read to the boys A LOT about all different subject matters. We watch documentaries. We go to the library A LOT. I look for community events, and learning activities I know the boys will enjoy.

Last week , we donated some time to a local organization that helps the homeless in our community. We also went to a Homeschool Hangout at a local library. The focus this month was exploring with magnets and circuits. The boys, and I, had a blast.

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Such a little smartie 🙂

At one point A was trying to power 3 light bulbs and a mini fan in a circuit. All of the lights were glowing faintly, but the fan was not running. I mentioned that I thought the circuit needed more power for everything to run, but I didn’t think it was actually capable of having more battery power added. I went out to the restroom and when I came back, the librarian pulled me aside. “Look, he got it running,” she said. A had figured out where he could connect a second battery to the circuit.

Yesterday with everyone fight colds, I planned a light school day. The boys completed their online math and then I pulled out a turkey themed punctuation activity I found at thisreadingmama.com

This fall, A has started writing stories for story competitions through our online reading

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no sitting required

program. So when I saw this punctuation activity, I knew it would be perfect for him. He loves anything hands-on and artsy. Since we don’t have a color printer, I chose the non-color option turkeys and he enjoyed coloring in the turkeys and cutting them out. 

When he finished coloring and cutting  his turkeys, I asked him if he was ready to glue them on the construction paper we were using for the activity. In a very polite tone (I note this because it was sincere, not huffy I don’t feel like doing this that we sometimes get LOL) he informed me, “No, I don’t want to glue the turkey. I thought of a new movie idea.”

Little back story… If you ask A what he wants to do when he grows up, he will tell you “I am going to make Lego movies.” I have no idea what he will end up doing, but I do know that he has an amazingly creative mind. He spends time jumping on our trampoline almost daily, and when he is jumping he is planning his movies.

I use to think he was just thinking about movies he has seen, but one day I went to get him off the trampoline to come eat lunch and he told me “But I’m not done my movie yet.” After a bit more discussion, I realized that he is actually visualizing the scenes of the movie as he is jumping, and he plans what movie he is going to “work on” during each jumping session.

He once told me, “I didn’t get as far in my movie as I planned today so can I jump more later? ” So when my sweet kiddo told me he had a new movie idea, I asked him if he wanted to jump on the trampoline to work on it or write it in his journal. I’ve been trying to get him to record all of his ideas so he will remember them in the future, but for the most part he enjoys jumping and visualizing them.

Anyway, yesterday he chose to record his idea in his journal. He wrote the title (with his IMG_5324best handwriting, YAY) and on his own got books from his room to check the spelling of words he wasn’t sure of. He also designed the cover for the movie. I couldn’t have planned a better “school” lesson for him.

 

If you look closely, you will see a little mark between the y & s in turkeys. I asked him about it and yes, it is the apostrophe to show possession. I’m not 100% sure how he learned this. It may have IMG_5325been in our grammar program this fall, or I may have mentioned in passing about showing possession at some point, but either way, seeing that in his writing made me do a fist pump.

My relaxed approach is working. He is both motivated and learning, or maybe I mean he is motivated to learn. Either way I was a happy homeschool Momma yesterday. After he was satisfied with his journal entry, he and L did get back to finishing the turkey punctuation activity.

Also pictured is the hand turkey L made while his brother was working on his movie idea. He has been talking about doing this for a couple of weeks. I think he got the idea from SciShowsKids, but I’m honestly not sure. He is in constant learning mode, coming up with so many new ideas of things to build or do, that it’s hard for me to keep up 🙂

So with Thanksgiving approaching, I reflect on the things I am thankful for. Of course I am thankful for my family, for my loving hubby & our happy and healthy kids. I am also thankful that the circumstances in our life led us to homeschooling. I love the time I get to spend with my kiddos and being able to witness and share in their learning.