Location, Location

Club LocatorSummer is over and our homeschool routine is back on track. We have been schooling for about a month now; I think we are ready for the next step! Extra-curricular activities here we come!

This coming week, we will start to delve into all of those fun events that add a little extra to our homeschooling fun! The main event is the beginning of Keepers at Home; we can’t wait to get started!

It has been our privilege and our pleasure to lead a group of Keepers for the last two years. We started out in our home, but as the group’s needs grew, we moved it to our church facilities. Teaching

As coordinators, the kiddos and I have been prepping and primping, making sure everything is just right. We have prayed over the year and are excited to see where the Lord is leading.

We are looking forward to getting back into group and spending time with all our girlie friends. I am sure it will be a blessing to all of us.

Me and some of my girlsShould you be looking into a group, Keepers of the Faith has recently created a Club Locator to help you with finding a group. Take a look and see where the nearest club meets. Can’t find one? Pray about starting your own! You won’t regret it.

Now that you are back to school, what fun extra-curricular activities are you looking forward to?

The Art of a Good Portfolio

Yesterday, I mentioned that we planned a particular project for each day this week. When we start school on Monday, I want to be ready and relaxed. Today’s project… our portfolios!

When most people think of a portfolio, they think of an artist or professional showing their well crafted work in order to gain recognition or obtain employment. However, did you know that homeschoolers can have a portfolio as well?

When I first began to homeschool, I read everything I could on the laws of our state and ideas on how to keep ourselves protected. One great suggestion that was made were portfolios; simple, three-ring binders that hold all pertinent work and tests the student has done for the year. In the event it should become necessary, examples of the students’ work are on hand and available.

Yesterday, we cleaned out our homeschool cupboard and filed all of last year’s portfolios in a safe place. Today, we wanted to get our new portfolios ready to go and organized. We grabbed our three-ring binders, some dividers, pens, crayons, and markers; then, we got busy!

For the new portfolios, the first thing the kids worked on is the cover for their binders. I created a simple cover with some clip art that was available via Google. We all (I have a binder for this year too) sat down at the table and enjoyed some coloring. We had a great time, visiting and being creative.

Next, we grabbed our dividers and started getting things in place. I made sure the kids have one divider for each section:

  • Reading (I keep track of all the books they read)
  • Writing
  • Language Arts
  • Arithmetic
  • Geography
  • Spanish
  • KONOS

Lastly, I made sure to print out the children’s names and cut them into narrow strips. These were placed down the outside spine of the binder. This way the children easily recognize which binder is theirs and are able to grab them at will. Our portfolios are now ready to be filled with all sorts of learning projects and assignments. They are tucked into the homeschool cupboard, ready to be used come Monday.

Our children’s portfolios have really come in handy. When we have family over, it gives our children an opportunity to share all of the things they have been working on and how much they have learned. The portfolios have even been a great way for me to show new homeschooling moms examples of different curriculum we have tried or examples of different learning styles (as each of my children slightly vary). While I hope this never becomes necessary, in the event it should, our portfolios may also be used in court in order to show examples of our children’s progress.

Hooray! Our project for the day is complete and we are almost ready to start school on Monday. Let’s see what tomorrow brings….

Do you have “portfolios” of your children’s work? We would love to see examples!

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.

And Their “Off”…

Learning about lightbulbs

Literally!… We had no electricity from 9am till 3pm this afternoon, due to the fact that someone was working on something in our neighborhood. One day without power doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you consider that we live in Southern California, home of eternal sunshine and temperatures of 100˚ or more, and we work from home.

 

We weren’t sure what do with a whole day lacking electricity, but it turns out the Lord did! It seems we needed to learn appreciation for and the importance of electricity!

I got up a little earlier than the kiddos and made sure to pack our cooler with water bottles, a little milk, eggs, and some sandwich makings. I loaded it with ice and then (because kids tend to forget) snagged a couple of my husband’s zip ties and “locked” the fridge.

Electricity, E-lectricity
(School House Rock)

When our babies got up, the lessons began. We learned that you can’t open the fridge… no electricity! We learned you can’t use your appliances (other than our stove)… no electricity! When we finally decided we could eat potatoes and the eggs mommy put in the cooler, along with some fresh fruit, we learned that you can’t start the stove like usual. You have to light the pilot yourself, because without electricity, the mechanism won’t work. There were no lights to use the restroom… electricity! No fans to cool the house… electricity! Worst of all, no air-conditioning… electricity!

When my hubby woke up (he tends to sleep in late as he works until the wee hours of the morning), we all decided it was too hot to stay in the house. It was time to find something else to do. We decided to head over to the library, as it was our usual day, and were given a wonderful surprise. As a treat for finishing the summer reading program, the kids all received free ice cream from Cold Stone! Oh, yeah; we needed that! In addition to the ice cream, they all received a free video rental and a book to keep. We grabbed our ice cream, headed out to the splash pad, and spent the afternoon enjoying being cool.

What we resort to when we have no electricity!

Before we knew it, it was 3 o’clock and we were ready to head back home. The kids were excited to watch their rentals and the hubby and I needed to get some work done. Walking into our air-conditioned, electricity filled home was such a blessing.

Today we learned some valuable lessons. Our kids were able to see how much electricity affects our lives. They learned how to function in an electricity free environment. Most of all, we learned to appreciate a blessing we often take for granted.