Fort Worth learning

Yesterday we went to Fort Worth for an adventure. It was an awesome day! We went to the zoo, which is SO much better than the Cincinnati Zoo. We spent an amazing 5 hours there!! We never spend that long at the zoo. The kids learned about red kangaroos, penguins, different types of primates, and much more!

After the zoo we went to TCU for a romp through my old stompin’ ground and to pick up some TCU fan gear! Memaw got each kiddo a book and spent a lot of time reading to them while superintendent & I looked at clothes.

After TCU we headed to the stockyards! We got to see the cattle come down the street and Boo got to sit on a long horn named Big Jake! He and The Superintendent had so much fun on Big Jake. Koko learned about the old west. We talked about how people used to travel and how much easier it is today. I’m so glad I’m getting a chance to expose the kiddos to these incredible Texas experiences.

After the stockyards we headed to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. Everyone enjoyed an awesome meal (if you’ve never been to one I suggest you find one near you and go…today)!

On the way home we watched Happy Feet to keep Boo awake. We talked a little about the difference between the penguins there and at the Zoo. I’m sure there was a ton more we could have done with it but we were all so tired I didn’t push it.

Today we plan on hanging out at Memaw & Papaw Tom’s house and hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit down with Koko and do some “real school”. We’ve already had a golf lesson and PE time playing out in the yard with Papaw Tom.

Here are some pics from yesterday & this morning. 🙂

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Road Trip

We are in a month long vacation! Formal School has taken a bit of a back seat to life lessons and we are having a great time!! We left Ohio on Wednesday and made our way to Columbus, Indiana (home of my amazing parents)! Mimi, the kids and I went to the Commons to play and met another homeschooling family. Koko had a great time playing with the little girl and the HSing momma and I exchanged information. I look forward to connecting with them again. I do so love meeting fellow homeschoolers!!

Thursday morning we got up and headed out early. We made a few stops along the way and ended up at the Saint Louis science center. We had so much fun exploring electricity, computers, space/flying, and structures. Boo was a little afraid of the dinosaurs, but the rest of the center was awesome! The best part is that it was FREE!

After the science Center we met up with my brother’s family for dinner. It was great seeing them and the cousins enjoyed spending a little time with each other.

On Friday we went to Tulsa, OK and made our way to the air and space museum. I was most excited about this stop. The website is great and it looked very interactive. When we pulled up I was a little nervous of how small it was. We flew through it seeing all of the planes, playing on the playground, and doing every interactive thing that was available in just over an hour. We thought about heading to a children’s museum or the aquarium, but decided to splurge on a more expensive hotel that had an indoor pool. Boo is three and has never been swimming. So we stopped at Target and bought swim suits for all of us, and headed to the Holiday Inn Express in Broken Arrow. The kids (& the superintendent & I) had SO much fun!!! I can’t even put into words how much fun we had.

On Saturday we woke up and finished our trip to the great state of Texas. We just hung out with the in-laws for the rest of the day and I made Koko do a math worksheet since we weren’t doing anything remotely educational and she kept complaining about being bored.

Today has been another busy day! We started the day playing outside with the kiddos and the in-laws. Then we loaded up the van and went to Taco Bueno (yummmm)! About the time we got home it was time for a birthday bash for all the cousins!! Koko’s almost 8, Boo just turned 3 & their cousin is almost 14!! Everyone had an awesome time and is totally exhausted. Koko even got some school work in today! She did some Saxon math sheets and some education.com phonics worksheets. I hope to have her read a little bit too. School is way harder to do on the road/away from home than I thought it would be!

Tomorrow we are headed to the Fort Worth zoo & the stockyards! I’ll try to post again tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

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Second grade content standards

I said in an earlier post I would show you the spreadsheet that I made for content standards.  I used the Ohio content standards as well as the standards that came with the Weaver curriculum.  They lined up fairly well, but both had things the other was missing.  Hopefully they post right.  🙂

2nd grade

Let me know if you have any questions.   If this actually works, I’ll post our first unit soon.

What is the Seiber Style?

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Now that you know why we home educate our kiddos, you are probably wondering (if you’re a fellow homeschooler) what kind of homeschooling we do…(if you’re not a homeschooler you’re probably wondering how we socialize our children).  I’ll get to both of those questions in this post! 🙂

We are eclectic homeschoolers.  We don’t have one specific method that we use, but we very much lean towards Unit Studies.  I create my own and will be posting some of them on here in the next couple of weeks.  I finally think I’ve figured out the best way for ME to create unit studies.  Everyone is different, so you’ll have to find your own way, but I’ll tell you what I do.

The first step for me, before I even started thinking about themes for units, I made a spreadsheet with all of the Ohio second grade content standards.  I’m very new to the whole blogging thing, but I’ll try to figure out how to post the spreadsheet on here later.  Basically I have the subject and every content standard for second grade.  It took a long time to put together but I’m so glad I have it.  One of The Superintendent and my’s goals in homeschooling is to keep the kids basically on level with their public school peers.  I know there are a bunch of homeschoolers that don’t worry about this and I understand that, but for the Super and I, it makes sense.  If, God forbid, something happened to one of us, and we had to enroll the kids in public school we want them to not be lost and not have to regress.

The second step is to come up with a theme.  This is the fun part.  I sit down with Koko and we talk about what she wants to learn.  Sometimes I have to give her perimeters, such as, we need to study a person, who do you want to study?  When I did this, I gave her a list of books and a little bit of information on each of the options.  Other times, there are no restrictions and we just run with what she wants.

The third step is coming up with activities.  This part is very time consuming.  I scour the internet and library for books, articles, and activities.  I try to make sure that we have hands on activities, writing activities, listening activities and activities where she is teaching me (or Boo or the Super) what she’s learned.  Pinterest is my friend during this process.

The fourth step is checking which standards we are working on.  A lot of times I will have to modify an activity just a little to make it meet a standard.  The unit we’re currently working on is on the body.  Koko wanted to study the body.  It’s not a science standard, but the activities I chose touched on many Language Arts and Math objectives.

The fifth, and final step, is typing everything up.  I usually just have the subject, activity, and standards being worked on.  I think from now on I will also add materials for each activity so I can see it at a glance.

So that’s what we do.  We’ve tried many different curricula, but honestly I haven’t been impressed with any of them.  I guess they all have their pros and cons, but none of them have fit OUR needs.  Here’s a list of what we’ve used:
Confessions of a Homeschooler – Expedition Earth
Weaver Curriculum by Alpha Omega
Sonlight
My Father’s World
Apologia Science
The Story of the World

I’d be happy to type up a review of each of these if anyone is interested.  Just let me know.  🙂

OK you non-homeschoolers…the question has been gnawing at you this whole post…HOW do you SOCIALIZE?!?!
Sundays we have church where they’re both with other kids.
Mondays we have Co-op (it starts tomorrow)!!
Tuesdays we have dance
Wednesday is an at home school day
Thursday or Friday is FRIEND day where we have playdates with our friends
The only problem with our current schedule is that they spend TOO much time socializing. haha We have to work really hard to get school done. 🙂

Love and challenges

Recently I have had multiple people ask me about homeschooling: the good, the bad and the ugly.  I remember so clearly my first year homeschooling and the process of making that decision.  So I decided to make a list of things we love about homeschooling and things that are challenging.  

We love homeschooling because:
Our school district is less than stellar (this was our first nudge to home educate our children)
Koko definitely learns best one-on-one
We already did a ton of fun educational stuff
We can instill our values and beliefs into her life and on her heart
Homeschooling helps keep her amazing creativity alive and thriving
We’re able to witness and participate in the Ah-ha moments of life
We’re able to teach her a Christian worldview and avoid other worldviews until she’s mature enough to handle them
We get to watch Koko and Boo grow closer to each other every day
Homeschooling is a much more relaxed way of learning (at least how we homeschool is)
We have the ability to take trips whenever we want for as long as we want
We learn in real life settings on a regular basis
Less worry about bullying and school violence
Hopefully they will maintain their innocence longer
We know what she does and what she’s learning every day
Being about to tailor our day to meet our children’s needs
We don’t have to wake kids up and get them ready for school every day
REAL LIFE socialization with friends of all ages
Pajama days!

So there are some reasons that we really love homeschooling.  It has been working so well for our kiddos.  It’s amazing to watch Koko and Boo learn!  I was the first person that Koko wrote for.  The first words she read were to me and she practices reading by reading to Boo.  It’s brought our family closer together and I can’t imagine doing life any other way.  However, there are a few challenges that homeschooling brings.  Some of them are obvious, others not so much, but here’s our list of challenges.

Time management and motivation to do school – this is the hardest part for me
Choosing a curriculum – I still haven’t found one that I love and I’ve tried at least 5
Confidence that I’m doing what’s best for my kiddos
Having faith that God’s in control and it’s not all about me
Balance between fun stuff, school work, my job, and the jobs of wife, mom and teacher 

Why am I blogging?

Hi everyone,

I’m Linz, also known around here as momma or mommy.  I am married to an amazing man, who is an excellent husband and father.  He’s choosing to keep his identity on the down low for now, so I shall call him The Superintendent.  We homeschool two of the most awesome kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  My daughter, Koko, is 7 1/2 and my son, Boo, is 3.  We’ve been homeschooling Koko since kindergarten and she is now in second grade.  We love spending time together, reading, listening to music (which usually leads to dance parties), and unit studies!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’ll come back often and follow our journey.  🙂