Friction & Resistance

Slide DownI love how even the most humble aspects of our homeschooling can pertain to everyday life. We can find life application in just about any topic.

Today, in science, we covered friction and resistance. We spent a great deal of time doing fun, hands-on experiments and became very familiar with this realm of study.

What I loved the most about this topic was that we were able to turn it around and talk about the friction of everyday life. Not just the rubber meeting road, literally, but the daily sources of friction within our own home.

What type of force is used in our home? Are we pushing ourselves or allowing the Lord to lead? Are we pulling someone away from the tasks that they are supposed to be working on or helping them to accomplish their goal? When do we push and when do we pull?

We even took it a step further and talked about what causes friction when that force is applied. When mommy “pushes” them to get out of bed, what sort of resistance will I face? When an instruction is given, based on the amount of resistance received, how much friction is being caused? Come on Up!

To round off our lesson, we talked about various ways to smooth out our paths and make them less resistant. We openly discussed different methods of handling hard situations that could lead to friction in our home.

I could see the gears in my kids’ heads turning as we digested this last part of our science lesson. It was a new aspect to explore and definitely opened the doors of communication.

Do you ever find your science lessons leading to a life lesson?

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Full Steam Ahead

As if life isn’t already filled with “busy-ness”, our family is going to be charging full steam ahead during the next several weeks. We have a slew of activities planned and today was just the start of the all the fun!

Today we had a full schedule of events. We started off doing fall co-op with our homeschooling PSP, moved onto a library visit, rounded off with a park day, and ended with getting some paperwork done. Whew!

Marine Biology

My baby boy had a marine biology class this morning, during his co-op hours. He had lots of fun and learned quite a bit.

Speech

My oldest daughter had a speech class today. She was very uncomfortable, but she made it through. We are going to be doing some practicing before next week to help her get more comfortable.

Animal Habitats

My middle girls took an animal habitat class. Today’s lesson was on the life cycle of the frog. They even had a special visitor in class… a red bellied toad!

Math Games

I taught a class for the Kindergarten kids as well. During second period we played math games. Today’s lesson was on making tangrams and creating some neat animal shapes!

Heroes of the Bible

Second period meant Heroes of the Bible for my middle girls. They made neat notebooks and even got a cape to go with it!

Sewing

Second period was basic sewing skills for my oldest girlie. She had a lot of fun with this class.

Park Day

Just a few of our girlies who joined us at the park. It was great weather and great fellowship!

Dragons

Once again, our dragon friends graced us with their company and, once again, my youngest gal wouldn’t leave them alone!

Good Eats

My baby girl eating up her pizza. She WAS supposed to be eating her salad, but her dragon friends brought pizza to share… so… the salad was forgotten.

Our co-op classes were an absolute blast! We had so much fun and learned a lot. Thanks so much to the other teachers who helped make today special. We can’t wait for next week!

The park was awesome! The breeze was stupendous, the food was lovely, and the fellowship was sweet. I love getting together with my other mommies and listening to how their lives are going.

Today was definitely full, but it was all worth it. Now it’s time for some R&R!

If you could teach any co-op class, what class would you teach?

One Flesh

The Man and IWhether or not you homeschool, being one unit is vital to marriage. It is important to know that you are on the same page and that you support one another.

Within the context of homeschooling, I think being “one” is even more essential. Without a unity of thought and purpose, your homeschooling journey can be fraught with trouble and often treacherous.

When I am focusing on setting up our routines and planning out our year, it is wonderful to know that my husband not only knows what’s going on, but actively participates in what the children learn.

When I am doubting what should be taught and what can be glossed over, it brings peace of mind to know my husband’s thoughts. He often sees things more clearly and helps me to restructure our path.

When my children struggle with a particular subject, my husband has no problem stepping in and trying his hand.

When they fight and argue, we support each other. No one gets past one of us, without the other stepping up to take over.

In the realm of our little world, there isn’t mommy’s side and pop’s side, but our side. There  are no differing answers, but one answer. Mommy doesn’t homeschool the kids, we homeschool the kids.

It is a huge comfort to know that, when I doubt myself or my plans, he has faith in me and that these are our plans we made together. It is calming to know that we support and love each other, filling in the other’s gaps.

There is no me, there is no him; there is us!

First Park Day

Today was the first park day of the year for our homeschool PSP. I wish I could say there was a large turnout, but unfortunately only a small group showed.

For those of us who did, it was a blast! Our kids had fun running around and playing with bearded dragons, the moms were able to fellowship, and the weather was simply wonderful!

Pet Lovers

My littlest girl, her friend, and one of the bearded dragons.

 

Fun with Grandma

A few of the little girls, having fun at the park!

 

I'm Eating!

(Really, sis? I am trying to eat here!) My middle girl trying to eat her lunch, while her little sister snaps some shots.

 

The Flying Dutchman

Our dog, Dutch, hiding out and looking for scraps.

 

Sand Box Time

There was no way my little girl was letting go of this new animal! She held them from the moment they came, till the moment they left.

 

Finding Time to Write

Even in the midst of chaos, my “T” will find some opportunity to write.

 

Got 'Ya

“Let’s take each other’s picture!”

As I mentioned, there were very few people who made it to the park day today, but it was a good afternoon. We had a lot of fun and fellowship.

A new mom was invited, by a mutual friend, to join in. It was a pleasure to meet her and to help her begin her homeschooling journey. I hope that she will be back!

Does your PSP do park days or do you plan them on your own? If you have adolescents, do they attend park days? (Sometimes this can be a real challenge.)

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.

Patience, Young Paduan

"T" and II have often noticed that when my internal thermostat is not where it is supposed to be, the reason usually lies with impatience. Something didn’t get done fast enough, something didn’t get done correctly, someone didn’t listen the first time, and things of that nature.

While it would be easy to blame my circumstances for my impatience and not take responsibility, the fact is I am to blame. I am the one who has allowed myself to get to this point and I need to learn better.

It would probably be best if I learned to recognize what “sets me off” and then I can take action. Thinking back, it really all boils down to about four things:

I am running out of time: It often happens that when I cut myself short on time, I start to panic and become impatient. Where did the time go? Why didn’t we get out of here faster?

I have learned over the years to plan well, making sure to give myself extra time just in case there are unforeseen circumstances.

Something didn’t get done correctly: (Sigh) I wish I could say that whenever my kids make a mistake, I gently correct them and show them the proper way to do things. However, that would not be true. I find that I get impatient when I have to show them, time and time and time again, how something needs to be done.

The Lord has gotten my heart over this one though; how often has He had to show me something, over and over and over again? I am getting better, but at times impatience still creeps in.

Someone isn’t listening to instructions: This one is the hardest for me. I dislike having them disregard me or not follow through with something given to them. If I ask them to do something, I like it done right away. If I tell them something needs to get done, I don’t want to be given an argument.

I have come to realize that when my kids aren’t listening, the fault is mine! I need to be better training them to listen and obey. I also need to make sure that they hear my instructions clearly and understand my intentions. With work and time, it will get better.

My pride has been hurt: I think pride is the root of the problem! My pride is a sensitive thing and when my pride is pricked, I get impatient. How dare they not listen to me? How dare they drag their feet or not do it right the first time; after all, didn’t I show them the right way to do it? Why can’t they just do what I want?

I need to learn to take a step back and think things through. Very often, my kids aren’t trying to be disobedient, I have just set my expectations too high. It isn’t their fault when I haven’t planned out our day well or there are unexpected delays. I also need to remember that they are young and still learning. In time, they will do things correctly the first time and not need as much instruction. They will come to listen and obey, when they are trained to do so.

Whether it is chores, homeschooling, relationships, or work; patience is a virtue that we cannot do without. Knowing my own limits and working through them, will help me to better get a handle on my patience.

I remember hearing once, that if you ask the Lord to give you patience, He will often bring you trials by which to learn it. I pray that as I get older and mature in the Lord, I will better develop patience. That as I learn, I will be teaching my children by example.

Do you struggle with impatience, too? What usually “sets you off”?

Wasting Time?

Let's go!I distinctly remember my husband finding me at my computer, typing away and researching like mad, while our oldest girl was sitting in her onesie playing with some small toy. It seems I was searching for ways to spend some creative time with our daughter.

Yes, yes; looking back on it now, I clearly wasn’t seeing what was right in front of me! Instead of thinking about spending time with my daughter, I could actually be spending time with my daughter!

Years of experience have taught me that this tends to be true to every area of my life. I am a very task oriented person. By completing the myriad of items on my checklist, I somehow justify my existence. Little Man and Me

I find it very hard to justify sitting down on the floor and playing with blocks; there is a house that needs to be cleaned. I feel guilty about reading a book while the sun is still up; I could be doing yard work and baking fresh bread.

I have also come to realize, however, that there are many definitions of wasting time. I was wasting the short, fast years of my children’s childhood; I was focusing on the responsibilities and not the relationships.

I still find it hard to sit still when there are chores to be done. My fingers still itch to do just one last thing before I relax. However, I have also learned to compromise. I have found a way to balance my need to be useful and the need to be there for my kids.

Fun with KidsWhen I am in my home, I do chores while the kids are still sleeping or when they are working on a project. We have learned to do chores together, making it a fun experience for all of us; sometimes blaring music and dancing while we work. When the work is done, I plan things for us to do; we make greeting cards, play a game, watch a movie, or anything else the kids are interested in.

The easiest thing for me though, is leaving my house! I find that I am  better able to focus my attention on them, when we are out of my sphere of responsibility. So I plan a vast number of field trips (we probably take about twenty field trips a year), we attend park days, birthday parties, Keepers at Home, I date my kids, and aim for anything else that helps me build our relationships.

Slowly, but surely, I am retraining my mind to be less task oriented and more people oriented. I don’t always succeed. At times I still choose to file that paperwork or pull the weeds, when I could be playing a board game. I am learning though and with time I know it will become easier.Watch Your Fingers

Today we have a full day ahead of us. I have tackled whatever chores I could get to, while the kids happily played together. Now, it is time for me to get out of the house and joyfully start “wasting some time”!

Are you task oriented? How have you retrained your mind to focus on people and not problems?

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?

 

 

 

An Apple a Day

Little Man PlayingAs I mentioned in a previous post, media is limited in our home. Our children are only allowed TV and “free play” on devices from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Even then, they are limited to how much time they get. At times, it can become a little hard to uphold these rules; especially when we develop mobile apps.

My husband is part of Ayars Animation, a small company based in California that develops apps for Apple mobile devices. To date, they have completed four apps and are working on a fifth. Their first app was the classic story, Jack and the Beanstalk.iPod

Working with Ayars Animation has been loads of fun for him. He was mainly hired to handle the illustrations for the apps, but it has become much more. Now, he has become instrumental in helping to develop future apps and the fine tuning of details.

The Tree I SeeOne side effect of developing these apps has been that we are constantly testing them out. Our children are often called upon to check for “bugs” and crashes. While the kids have a blast with helping out their pop, they are taking in a little more media than we often would allow.

It also means that they are being exposed to the world of Apple. Our children know their way around any Apple device that is placed in their hands and can sync any handheld with a desktop. They know iTunes like the back of their hands and, unfortunately, are up to date on the latest and greatest kid apps available. Pirate Puzzles

We now have a large assortment of learning apps, strategy apps, game apps, and book apps; our collection growing larger every day. The minute their friends get a new app, the kids are anxious to try it out.

Cozmo's Day OffAs it is the school year, I still refrain from allowing them to play with media during the week. However, testing does need to be done. We are trying to find a balance between the two; helping out Pop and yet not have media overkill. It isn’t always easy, but we are learning as we go.

However… It is Sunday and the house is filled with the sound of technology. Now, can someone tell me how I am supposed to get the Angry Birds theme song out of my head?

The Ministry of Homeschooling

Field TripDid you know that when you are teaching and homeschooling your children, you are ministering? Yup, that’s right! You are serving the Lord through being their educator and parent.

While we love and enjoy our “home” ministry to our children, my husband and I also minister to them through our homeschool support group. We look for ways that we can make their field trips, co-ops, game nights, and any other events more enjoyable.

Today was our first homeschool meeting of the year and we had a blast! We had an opportunity to meet the new families joining in and encourage them. We were able to discuss the coming year and lay down some plans for future events. Me

My husband volunteers as photographer for the group, so student and faculty ID shots were taken today; getting the year started off right. I volunteer by handling the newsletter, yearbook, and T-Shirt orders. It looks to be a very busy, but rewarding, year!

It has been a blessing serving in the ministry of our homeschool group. We love the fellowship and the fun. Sometimes it seems they are as much family as, well, family!

Do you have a PSP that you are a part of? What part of homeschool ministry are you involved in?