Tag Archive | United States

Cough Cough Sneeze Sneeze

March 18-23

MARCH 23RD HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!

This was a pretty nasty cold with more and more kids getting sick. So Tuesday was not an improvement on Monday. However we did finally have our green lunch! Just as dinner.101_6525

And then… MORE SNOW!101_6527

I also finally got my labels up on the shelves. I am already seeing  this help with organization… the bane of homeschooling… you never get everything put away, there is always something on the go so if I can organize SOMEWHERE then I am going to hop up and do so!101_6529

Wednesday was doubly rough with teacher succumbing to the nasty bug. So we… rested!101_6530

We did try to get more on track on Thursday.101_6531

101_6532The twins even managed to complete their United States state books. Not much more than an introduction to each state (half a page) and such but it was a chance to see them on a smaller scale than a whole country map.101_6533

We brought out the Time Bingo game I got months ago for a dollar at Target and saw some huge leaps in the ability to read an analog clock.101_6534

We ended the week with a Family Fun Day. The usual… check out the yarn at Joann’s, run into places we had coupons for…101_6543

101_6544And a wander in one of the smaller malls.101_6537

We had toyed with going to ride on the carousal but the kids were certainly not up to that treat. Instead we went to the food court and got the kids cinnamon buns to share. That is a SUPER treat as I think it has been nearly a year since they have had something like that. I lucked out and found a Japanese place that is almost as good as Edo Japan… and something TRINITY liked! Sauce on the food and all!!!101_6540

101_6542We have our daily laundry chore to handle.101_6545

And then a movie to round off our fun day.101_6546

On Saturday we had Matt, Fran, Izzy and Henry over for afternoon snacks. Everyone gets rather excited when we know they are coming. It is really one of our best chances for play and visit for kids AND adults and I am so thankful for it.101_6549

Sunday was Sunday school and then car building. Sadly it was the twins’ turn to be absolutely out of sorts and for the first time in ages require naps without being sick!101_6552

101_6554The best way to end a sick week/weekend… quiet play! And the prayer that we ALL get better quickly!! After all spring is here… in name…

Bit of an emphasis on games lately!

Bit of an emphasis on games lately!

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Welcome to 2014

December 31- January 5

How to end a rather interesting and unusual year… (but since when has the Reinsch-Johnson family experienced a USUAL year???) Well we enjoyed some print outs from Activity Village for the 2014 New Year. I love their pages… they have number searches, colouring pages… it is just the place to go for our print out needs lately. 101_5796

Education.com (link on right) has also been helpful, though without paying I am now limited to 10 pages per month.

Education.com (link on right) has also been helpful, though without paying I am now limited to 10 pages per month.

We did up our last Wild Kratts page of the year too. Who can resist Seahorses?? Seriously cool little fish that have an amazing resemblance to horses. We may just have to do a whole on lapbook on them one of these days! 101_5798

Both of our girls had their hair in plaits. 101_5801

Our last meal of the year? White Castle! Definitely not something we would have in Alberta. I do love their chicken rings. Not so much their sliders.101_5799

The kids did not stay up until midnight but we adults did. It was calm and alcohol free for yours truly. Maybe next year we will attempt company? But really, being with Ken is all I need. 

Miss Echo figured that a new year meant a pretty dress. I have to agree… she does do fancy on a regular day with flair. 101_5802

That evening we had Chinese from the family’s favourite place The Rose Garden. Fortunes on the first day of 2014!101_5805

I was further convinced to extend our vacation from schooling. BUT the boys did do some fancy math and reading while playing Sorry. Which really meant they were only mildly sorry as they trounced each other royally. No fist fights yet!101_5806

Miss Trinity actually WANTED to do schoolwork on the second day of the year. Dot-to-Dots are a great way to practice our counting and this book she got last year from friends here in Minnesota has ones up to 50! 101_5808

On the third day of 2014 Miss Echo modeled a Christmas outfit as she showed her dollies her cooking skills. 101_5810

And with that we wrapped up our week and moved into the weekend… the first of the year. Which is ALSO the first of the month… so.. HOME DEPOT. This time to make a calendar. We are seriously in love with this free program. Apparently it is also running in Canada! 101_5812

We rounded off the weekend with a look at our microscope. A bit of science to end our holiday… and ease into schooling once again! I don’t know about the kids, but I am ready! I love the organization. 101_5813

So our year has started well. I have not come up with any resolutions BUT I have decided to continue with my happy thoughts jar. I have a little pile of happiness already but no jar to put them in yet. photo (82)

To School Year Round or Not?

Homeschooling for me has been an organic and ever changing experience. When we first started our schooling the twins were pre school age and I was adamant that we needed a set curriculum with 5 days a week during the public “school day”… I can tell you the boys were frustrated, I was bored… we had to weed out tons of things that simply did not fit our family (or our country as the best curriculum I could find was American and we were in Canada at the time). We took summer off and really were more “schooling at home” than living the homeschool life.

Our years after that flexed and changed… through pregnancy and illness, trips to the United States and more one thing became abundantly clear – taking a “full summer” off resulted in a backslide that was not only frustrating for all of us but discouraging for Mommy. It felt like we lost precious ground in our learning. Public school days on and off simply did not work for us…

So now we do a brief break here and there and half days on those lovely warm days where are afternoons are out and in the sun. Of course that can be translated into journal entries, pictures, surprise science lessons… learning in real time.

The blog site Kristen Joy Awake has a wonderful post about the concept of learning outside of the usual time structure in their post Take Your Learning Out of the Box: 5 Reasons to Homeschool Year-Round. You can read the entire post HERE. Her family has gone with an 8 weeks on 1 off rotation. That allows for extended holidays but an abbreviated summer. Either of our set ups are more than viable, as Kristen wrote: “The truth is that school can look like whatever you want it to look like when you teach at home.”

She has 5 reasons to follow the more year round process in whatever incarnation works best for your family:

  1. It keeps me from burning out. *AGREED!! breaks are very necessary!*
  2. Flexibility *this has opened us up for opportunities that we would otherwise miss as well as made it easier for us to deal with infant and toddler siblings… if you can take a shorter day in the hot then when it is cold and the babies are willing to sit and enjoy a tv show a full day is MUCH easier*
  3. It works well around holidays.
  4. Summer breaks are shorter so the kids don’t lose everything they just learned. *This has massively decreased my new year frustrations when the stuff we worked so hard to learn has not slipped away and left us with lengthy review*
  5. Continuity. *I don’t know that anyone knows how pleased I am that someone else feels the love of the routine and decrease of bored tv watchers*

It is one of the joys of homeschooling, you can tailor it to your family and find what works. So don’t feel like you HAVE TO go the year round route… don’t be intimidated by Kristen’s 8 weeks on 1 week off. Whatever version of scheduling works for you… embrace it, alter it to suit and be proud of it!! We have the freedom and that is what is important!

Enjoying our summer while we combine with it some learning! Balance!

Enjoying our summer while we combine with it some learning! Balance!