What Is Fair?

What_IS_FairMy children seem to have an unrealistic vision of what fair is. They seem to think that fair is whatever they like or seems best to them. This often leads to trouble between the siblings and, on occasion, between them and I.

Exactly what does it mean to be fair? According to the handy dictionary, it means to be in accordance with the rules or standards; just or appropriate to the circumstances; without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage. Biblically, it means to be just.

Justice means to behave according to what is morally right. Receiving justice is to receive what is earned (whether for good or ill).

Sometimes, our kids think that if one of them gets dessert, they should get dessert; whether or not they’ve eaten all their dinner. It is a popular misconception that “fair” means everyone receives the same thing. However, what it really means is that equal people should be treated equally. Fairness is often conditional on something else. To return to my example of dessert, the condition would be that if you eat dinner, you get dessert. Being treated fair here, means that the rule is applied equally. So that getting dessert is conditioned upon finishing one’s dinner.

In our homeschooling, I need to make sure my children know the rules and standards. If they are not being made aware of their goal, it would be unfair for me to expect achievement.

In our training and discipline, again it is necessary that our children know the rules and standards. I should also make sure the consequences are appropriate to the “crime”. If I am too heavy-handed, my children will rebel. If I am too gentle, the children will walk all over me; not taking their consequences seriously.

In their relationships, I need to ensure my children are never allowed to cheat or abuse their siblings; taking advantage of their size, strength, or knowledge to gain something over another.

When my children holler about their injustices, I walk them through the definition and try to point out its true meaning. When an injustice has been done, we correct the issue and try to prevent further abuse. When there is a misinterpretation of justice, we correct their thinking and help them to better understand the meaning.

As mommy and teacher, I am doing my best to be fair and just. With a Biblical, moral compass to guide me and a great love for my family, I pray I will always be the fairest in the land (or at least my house).

“Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!”
~ Psalm 106:3

📢 Chime In!: Do you find it hard to determine what is fair?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter&  Pinterest!

Art Attack: Coloring Fun

In a world of busy-ness and responsibility, it’s just as important to take few moments exploring the creative side of life. Join us as we share ideas on how to get those imaginative juices flowing and explore a world of art!

……

Summer_ArtIt’s coming; right around the corner is an entire day (sometimes two) filled to the brim with learning fun and outside exploration. That’s right, the county fair is already in the works and that means art projects and competitions galore!

While to some this might seem odd, the art competitions are our favorite part of the fair experience. We enjoy the research, the planning, the execution, and the award-winning results of our hard work! This year is no different.

There are several competitions we plan to participate in this year, all of them revolving around art. We like to start off simple and then work our way up to the more complex projects. The first competition we are checking off our list: Coloring!

Yup; you read that right! Coloring is an important art form and a competition in-and-of itself. No embellishments may be added, no painting may be done; this project is designed to test your ability to think creatively with the most basic of tools.

Out come the crayons, markers, and colored pencils; the competition page is printed; and now we are ready to get started.

Snail Competition

What can you do with a simple coloring page, besides color? Get creative; think outside the box! Instead of just coloring, discover ways to add shading. Experiment with the blending of colors to create gradients. Use stencils or a calligraphy pen to put names on the sides of the books. We’ve chosen to really think outside the box this year and use pencil rubbings to give portions of our coloring pages texture; the background, the shell of the snail, and the books might be just the place to start.

We are very encouraged and inspired this year to work even harder than previous competitions. Unlike in the past, not all entries will be receiving ribbons nor will all be displayed; only those whose work is well done. (Personally, I think this is an excellent move on the part of the organizer. Hopefully, this will help more people take these competitions seriously and make the prize-winning more meaningful.)

What are we being judged on? Neatness, cleanliness, creativity, and an adherence to rules. It is a Danish form of judging; meeting a standard and not direct competition. However, with stricter guidelines and adherence to rules, this does make ribbon winning more meaningful. (At least in my opinion.)

Time to Chime In: Do you plan to participate in your local fair competitions? Which categories will you enter?

Summer School: Fair Fun

There is nothing quite like the fair; the sights, the smells, the sounds. For schools, this is a time of discovery and learning. A time to get good and dirty. A time to step outside the classroom and have some real fun.

As in most counties and states, the L.A. County Fair comes every fall. Each year our kids eagerly await the opening week and highly anticipate all the fun to be had. For educators though, the fun can start much sooner!

Did you know that as an educator (and yes, homeschoolers are included) you can sign up for the Fair as early as April? There is a vast selection of educational experiences to explore, with curriculum to help your students get the most out of their day. Bonus: it’s free! Educators and their students enter the fair a few hours earlier than the public and the entire event is free. At our fair, they offer free milk and a Read-to-Ride program (free carnival rides for six books read). Not a bad deal!

So what does a fair in the fall have to do with our summer school? Competitions! Once our family has signed up for the Fair, we make sure to  take a look at the competitions available. How many do we want to work on? Which are feasible for the kids to do themselves (the work has to entirely be done by the students)?

We work on one project a week, making sure that we put them in a nice, safe place until they are ready to be delivered. Through working on their projects, my kids have learned diligence, orderliness, cleanliness, creativity, and much more. They have also learned the value of friendly competition.

Come fall, our family has the opportunity to spend the day taking in the sights, enjoyingsome good food, and the excitement of seeing how well they did in their competitions. All together, the Fair has been a wonderful family experience; one that our kiddos will hopefully look back on with much fondness.

A Win-Win Situation

Today, the family braved the heat in order to do our yearly trek to the LA County Fair. This year proved to be especially fun and exciting. There were major prizes won and lots of blessings all around.

After a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast, we loaded up the car and headed into the scorching heat. (Even at 9 in the morning, it’s hot!) It was well worth the soaring temps as we met several friends throughout the day and enjoyed a day of learning in the field.

2 Pixels

One of the educational exhibits this year; animation.

Aquatic Center

This exhibit had lots of info about ocean life, including sharks.

Brasil

Learning about the natural landscape of Brasil; good music too!

Chickens

Walking through the barn always teaches us lots of neat new things.

Cook Out

This gentleman does all the cooking for those in management.

Emerald City

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ celebrates it’s 75th anniversary next year.

Flying High

Me trying to be funny for my kids; hey, I gotta try!

Learning Centers

Awesome learning centers are set up all over the fair.

School House

This little 1916 school house was very charming. The gentleman inside was very pro-homeschooling.

Susie's Barn

We learned a lot about animals in the barn area; cute, cuddly, and little.

Together

The kids having lots of fun running ahead of us, attempting to get to the next fun portion of our day.

Two Princesses

My two little princesses, trying to avoid the heat and have some fun.

Wet 'n Wild

The kids convinced us to go on The Log Ride in the carnival area; I. GOT. SOAKED!

Which Way?

One of the many fun posts at the America’s Kids exhibit, which is all about literature.

Winner

Every summer we compete in the America’s Kids events. One of the big wins this year was “T’s” writing competition. Congratulations, honey!

As I said, the day was great! We went through absolutely all of the educational exhibits, some twice, and even had some extra fun. “T” won an amazing competition which was very important to her, so she is very pleased.

Part of our fun was due to free rides being earned for reading books over the summer. Even though each of the kids received six free rides (this is a huge cost savor for us, having four kids and prices being ridiculous for rides), some of the vendors actually let the kids ride a few things free! The kids had a blast and we parents even got to enjoy a few too.

After a long day, seven whole hours worth, we finally headed back home. Rest and relaxation were in order, so showers and naps it was.

Now… time for some catching up on my WP friends’ adventures and homeschooling advice.

Is anyone else heading out to their local fair this month?

A Competitive Spirit

Comic CompetitionWhile September is still a few months off, our family has already begun to prepare for the L.A. County Fair. Registration is complete, events have been outlined, and now for the real work… competitions!

Every year, our family participates in several competitions for the fair. Most of our entries come alongside the America’s Kids exhibit, which features a new theme each year. This year’s theme? A Library of Fun!

The kids and I have perused the (very) long list of entry options and narrowed down our choices. Our problem is not in finding a competition, but in not overdoing it and choosing too many!

After paring things down, our entry list includes nine different competitions. Some of these will be easy to complete (the coloring competition), while others will require more work and patience (namely the shoe decorating and the legendary sword).Color Competition

We have only two more weeks of “school” left and then summer begins. Part of our summer fun will be in getting busy with our projects. One project per week is the goal!

Working on these projects over the summer is excellent. I don’t have to be concerned about balancing these with tons of other responsibilities, it keeps us active during the warmer months, and it helps us include art into our learning (which I don’t always make time for).

Another reason I enjoy working on these over the summer? The competition entry forms aren’t due until the end of June. So, I have plenty of time to realistically evaluate how much we will actually get done, before committing myself to the task. If we do all nine; great! If not, no sweat!

All nine competition forms are currently printed and attached to my clipboard, with a handy checklist on top. At the bottom of the stack are two of our favorite fair freebies. The Read-to-Ride list, where our children read six books and write corresponding book reports to earn free rides at the fair, and our free milk pass! A day at the fair would not be complete without those two.

Decorating CompetitionNow that we have narrowed down our choices (ha, ha) and gotten ourselves organized, it is time to check our list of supplies. Once all the materials needed are gathered (most we already own; thank goodness!), we will be ready to tackle some major fun.

After a cursory glance, our favorite competition so far is the “Magic Shoe”. We are free to find any pair of shoes we like and decorate them anyway we choose. Then, we need to create a short description of who the shoe belongs to and what it does. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Shoe Decorating

Now… which storybook character should we make shoes for? Hmmm…..

Do you compete in your county fair? Which competitions do you like?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

What; Again?!

So I finally did it! Today I went out on a date with my mom. I made sure to wrap up our homeschooling day by noon and she took the day off of work; we decide to head to the fair (yes, once again, the fair). Today was very different from my previous visits though; it was just my mother and me.

We walked through some of the educational exhibits that she had yet to see and saw the flower pavilion, but mostly we just walked through the exhibitors booths and talked.

I was surprised to note that even though my intention was to simply enjoy the day, I actually came home having learned a few new things!

Learning Something New

 

The couple at this booth had previously taught us how to make homemade butter (which we have actually done since our first visit… yum!). I stopped in to let them know how much fun we had and thanked them for the inspiration. While there, I was given another lesson on making our own sun-dried tomatoes. Lesson number two, here we come!

Neat Man

This very sweet gentleman was selling the most beautiful scarves! What impressed us the most was that he was giving free lessons on creative ways to wear them. He was so thorough and patient about teaching us, that of course we had to buy something! We each came home with two scarves… thanks, mom!

No, Like This

My mom getting some hands on practice with folding a scarf. This is no simple task either! Some of these designs are quite complex.

Looking for some neat ideas on how to fold scarves? Check out some of these helpful YouTube videos:

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

Styling: Scarf Tying Ideas

Colorful

These flowers are absolutely real! Somehow I must have missed these when visiting with the family, but this time around we got a close look. They are dyed in Europe and airmailed to the fairgrounds. Specialized horticulturists dye these flowers by hand, using the xylem and phloem of the flower. Very colorful!

The day went by fast, but it was full of fun. We spent most of the afternoon together and then spent some time visiting with my mother-in-law. Not quite wanting the day to end, we all headed back to my house where we ate dinner and watched a few movies.

Needless to say, it was very late (into the new day) before I finally got this chance to sit down at my computer and catch up with the rest of the world. We had some tremendous fun; I hope we can do it again very soon.

Now… I am completely exhausted and am ready to hit the hay.

The Fairest in the Land

Gavel 2“Mom, sister won the game; it’s not fair!”

My children seem to have an unrealistic vision of what fair is. They seem to think that fair is whatever they like or seems best to them. This often leads to trouble between the siblings and, on occasion, between them and I.

Sometimes our kids think, for example, that if one of them gets dessert, they should get dessert, whether or not they’ve eaten all their dinner. It is a popular misconception that “fair” means everyone receives the same thing. However, what it really means is that equal people should be treated equally. Fairness is often conditional on something else. To return to my example of dessert, the condition would be that if you eat dinner, you get dessert. So being treated fair here, means that the rule is applied equally. So that getting dessert is conditioned upon finishing one’s dinner.

Exactly what does it mean to be fair? According to the handy dictionary, it means to be in accordance with the rules or standards; just or appropriate to the circumstances; without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage. Biblically, it means to be just.

Justice means to behave according to what is morally right. Receiving justice is to receive what is earned (whether for good or ill).

In our homeschooling, I need to make sure that my children know the rules and standards. If they are not being made aware of their goal, it would be unfair for me to expect achievement.

In our training and discipline, again it is necessary that our children know the rules and standards. I should also make sure that the consequences are appropriate to the “crime”. If I am too heavy handed, my children will rebel. If I am too gentle the children will walk all over me; not taking their consequences seriously.Gavel 2

In their relationships, I need to ensure that my children are never allowed to cheat or abuse their siblings; taking advantage of their size, strength, or knowledge to gain something over another.

When my children holler about their injustices, I walk them through the definition and try to point out its true meaning. When an injustice has been done, we correct the issue and try to prevent further abuse. When there is a misinterpretation of justice, we correct their thinking and help them to better understand the meaning.

As mommy and teacher, I am doing my best to be fair and just. With a Biblical, moral compass to guide me and a great love for my family, I pray that I will always be the fairest in the land (or at least my house).

Do you find it hard to determine what is fair?

Love A-Fair

Today we decided to once again venture out into the “real world” and do some learning. Along with our homeschool PSP, we tackled what remained of the LA County Fair.

The weather was not as nice this time; hot and sticky. The grounds were a little more crowded; Fridays usually are. Despite all that, the company was great and we conquered some areas that our family hadn’t gotten to the first time around.

Choo-ChooThe vintage trains that you can explore at the train depot. There was a neat museum too!

CabooseExploring the caboose of “Big Boy”, one of the largest engines to run on the rails.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears... Oh, my!A very educational bear show, teaching us about conservation of wildlife.

Polly Wanna Cracker?Mojo’s Jungle allowed us to view all types of exotic animals; birds, scorpions and more!

Monkey BoyThe little man, being as silly as a monkey!

Eeeewww!Just one of the many spiders on display at the fair. Little man loves his spiders!

Aaarrrggg!Who can resist a good lesson on pirates, matey? I be loving me some good fun.

Yes, Your Majesty!

A very beautiful display on Queen Elizabeth, completed with flower seeds.

VintageI enjoy vintage items, this booth was in the art center and was a treat to see.

Having FunMommy Fun

 

 

 

Trinity and I riding on G-Force! Who says mommies can’t have a little fun too? This ride was awesome!!

 

 

Bring it On

Instead of ending her day with rides, Mouse and Little Man opted to run off their energy!

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

“I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts; there they are standing in a row!” I couldn’t seem to resist these beautiful coconut shell necklaces. I bought one for myself and the girls all opted for a birthstone ring.

Our day at the fair was filled with fun, sun, and family. We love hanging out with our homeschool group, learning new things and fellowshipping. This concludes our fair trips for the year. We enjoyed every minute and can’t wait until next time!

Do you usually spend one day at the fair or do you find yourself taking a return visit?

 

 

 

Fair Competition

Well, we are finally done. All of our competitions for the L.A. County Fair are complete and, as of this morning, turned in.

The kids did a wonderful job creating all of them and did very nice work. They are proud of what they have done and that is always a good sign. In all, Trinity completed 7 projects, Noel and Angelina 6, and Joseph 4. Once the fair opens and the competition results come in, I will have to take some pictures to post. 

The only things left to complete are the Read-to-Ride book reports, which we have about halfway done. When six reports are completed, you get passes for 9 rides at the fair. With four kids attending, free carnival rides come in handy! There are two weeks left of summer, I am sure we will be able to get it done with no pressure to rush.

We are very excited to explore this year’s fair and can’t wait until it opens. Then we will be able to see what the judges thought of their work.

Summer School: Fair Fun

There is nothing quite like the fair; the sights, the smells, the sounds. For schools, this is a time of discovery and learning. A time to get good and dirty. A time to step outside the classroom and have some real fun.

As in most counties and states, the L.A. County Fair comes every fall. Each year our kids eagerly await the opening week and highly anticipate all the fun to be had. For educators though, the fun can start much sooner!

Did you know that as an educator (and yes, homeschoolers are included) you can sign up for the Fair as early as April? There is a vast selection of educational experiences to explore, with curriculum to help your students get the most out of their day. Bonus: it’s free! Educators and their students enter the fair a few hours earlier than the public and the entire event is free. At our fair, they offer free milk and a Read-to-Ride program (free carnival rides for six books read). Not a bad deal!

So what does a fair in the fall have to do with our summer school? Competitions! While the fair isn’t until August, the children’s competition entry forms are due by June 28th. The entries themselves are due by July 21. So, now is the time to get busy and get things done! For a full list of L.A. County Fair competitions, check HERE.

Once our family has signed up for the Fair, we make sure to  take a look at the competitions available. How many do we want to work on? Which are feasible for the kids to do themselves (the work has to entirely be done by the students)?

We work on one project a week, making sure that we put them in a nice, safe place until they are ready to be delivered. Through working on their projects, my kids have learned diligence, orderliness, cleanliness, creativity, and much more. They have also learned the value of friendly competition.

Come fall, our family has the opportunity to spend the day taking in the sights, enjoying some good food, and the excitement of seeing how well they did in their competitions. All together, the Fair has been a wonderful family experience; one that our kiddos will hopefully look back on with much fondness.