Monday, July 22, 2013


Today was a beautiful day in Maine but the last week or so it has been scorching hot.  I am not a fan of the heat but I don’t complain because it won’t be long and we will be running the wood stove 24/7.  As I was cooking lunch one day earlier this week I glanced out the kitchen window to the scene pictured above.  My first thought was PUNKS but then I grabbed my camera and my phone to capture the moment before giving them heck.  Who’d a thought….chickens float and if you didn’t already know rabbits swim.  The kids had them in the pool the day before.  HEATHENS!

We planted the above bok choy on the SAME day in the same garden as the bok choy pictured below only difference is we covered the above bok choy with a row crop cover.  Unbelievable difference, huh?  Guess you know we are sold on that method of organic gardening!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I couldn’t resist the title since that is one of the most common questions I get when people find out that we home school.  I really want to say “are you for freakin’ real?”  But, generally I keep my cool and ask them how they “socialize” their children in the summer?

We are going into our 3rd year as home-schoolers and I get a lot of questions from people regarding our approach and how we got to where we are today.  So here it is in a nutshell… I posted briefly about it back in 2011 but I will recap it below.

When my daughter was in 3rd grade she did not have the best year in public school.  She did great socially and academically but she did not form a good bond with her teacher.  It made for a long school year.  About half way through she asked to be home-schooled.  We thought it over, discussed it decided to give it a try the following year.  Just before the school year started our son who was about  to go into 6th grade decided to give homeschooling a chance too.

The kids now have NO desire to return to school and honestly I am ok with that.  Well….most days I am!  My biggest threat when they are being heathens is to make them hitch a ride on the yellow bus that drives by the house daily. LOL.  On a daily basis I read the paper, glance at the news, talk to friends and I find GREAT comfort that we have chosen the route we have.  These kids thrive learning at home in the comfort of their pj’s with minimal distractions.

Country Boy and his cousin yesterday after spending a week at Camp Roosevelt.  They had an AMAZING time!

Year 1 of homeschooling I bought curriculum grade based packages through timberdoodle for their core studies and altered as I needed to meet the kids needs through the year.  I would not take that approach again but they are still a great resource for books!

Upon completion of year 1 I consulted with a homeschool coach out of southern Maine.  It was well worth our time and money!  She did our portfolio review and advised us as we prepared for year 2.

Year 2

We pieced together our core curriculum using Teaching Textbooks for math as we did in Year 1.  LOVE that program!  For writing they took an on-line class through Write-Guide throughout the entire school year corresponding with a teacher from Florida.  I can’t say enough about the one on one instruction they got through this experience.  For history we used a plethora of borrowed texts on Greek history, historical fictions, and documentaries.  For science we used Apologia.  The books are filled with amazing pictures and great information but they are ultra religious hence why I have sleeked out different texts for this coming school year.  In addition to these main texts the kids had other supplemental texts that I am too lazy to go downstairs and retrieve.  They also did lots of reading and some  field trips.  We really had a great year and I am looking forward to what this next year will bring.

We will be meeting with our home school coach in about a month.  Both the kids and I are excited to get their portfolios together and share all we did this past year.  I also have lots of questions regarding high school which will be upon as before we know it.

Flower Girl and one of her BF’s from New Hampshire.  She just left today after spending the last 11 days together.  Hard to even imagine these poor unsocialized children have friends, isn’t it?  In a week and a half we have a fresh air child visiting for 2 weeks.  She has been here twice before, we are so looking forward to her return!

Boston field trip this spring

Year 3 (grades 6 & 8) - We will once again use Teaching Textbooks for math and Write-Guide for writing.  However, for history and science we will use Oak Meadow.  I have already received FG’s science text and I really like what I see.  It is a non-religious based text with great info and graphics.  My only regret here is that I did not use these texts earlier on.  In addition to their core programs they will also have supplemental books, such as Easy Grammar texts, Math Olympiads, and more.

In reality there are so many different approaches you can take.  Kids are like sponges and given the right learning environment it is unbelievable how much they take in.  I have a good many friends and relatives that home school and we all take a different approach.  Do what works for your family…that is the beauty of it.  Foster what your children love and they will blossom!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wordless Weekend

My next post will be on …..HOMESCHOOLING