Sunday, September 29, 2013

Outside this week

This past Monday I decided to join the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge  because although my children don't watch near as much television as many other children I know the statistics made me sad. Most children spend 1200 hours a year in front of a television. This challenge is for your children to spend 1000 hours this year outside, if you break it down it's about 20 hours a week, or a little less than 3 hours a day.
Ok, this was last month but I love this pic!!!

This week's total: 22.5 hours
Total to date: 22.5 hours

This was over the last 6 days Mon - Sun.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A look at our spirited week...

This week was surely different for us than any other week this year will be! It was International Homeschool Spirit Week  and we participated every day all week. Each day was something different and I blogged and shared everything about each day all week long here and at our Facebook page Homeschool Camper  !! 

And I've decided to link-up again with my weekly wrap up at  Weekly Wrap-Up because I've had comments all week on how much people had enjoyed reading the others who posted there last week, and new readers for me! I like sharing my precious children with all of you every time I get the chance.

Monday was Pajama Day! and we sure enjoyed spending the day relaxing! Noni came over that afternoon and we had pizza for dinner, her treat, and then went and signed the children up for their swim class which is to start on the second of October.

Tuesday was Homeschool Away from Home day. And though most of our lessons were done at home we did go to nearly every riverfront park in our small town and learn about the critters around our home and some of the history surrounding our town. Tuesday is also catechism day and though the Cracker Jack's do their class inside the school building attached to our church Peanut and I did her lesson outside on a bench by the river.

Wednesday was Crazy Hair day. And the kiddos had so much fun with their wacky hair and the crowns I made for them later after lessons because ECJ couldn't really participate because his hair was too short to do anything with other than dye and I wasn't going there. 

Our big idea of the week came from these apples that were given to us a few weeks ago. We'd been given two bags and we ate the first after just rinsing and wiping them. The red on the outside of the apple would smear into the white of the apple with each bite. I was surprised to find a recipe to "clean" apples on my personal Facebook page one day and decided to attempt it on the second bag of apples. It's just good clean water that you add 1/2 cup of plain vinegar to *I added about a cup* and let sit for about 15 minutes. I swished mine every couple of minutes and then rinsed with clean water and wiped them. There was definitely a big difference in how much dye remained on the skin of the apples!!!

Thursday was Volunteer Outside the Home day. We weren't able to do a whole lot right away this day towards volunteering. My back hurt and everyone whom I called either said no due to the children's ages or have yet to call me back. ECJ did give the elderly neighbor a price quote of $5 week for cutting grass and shoveling so that she can get rid of her pricey lawn company and save more money. We also experimented with "unschooling" kind of this day because my back was aching so badly. The children used a question their father asked Peanut about her crown being round to write poems about it and draw pictures about it.

Friday (today) was Super Hero day. My children reminded me that inside each and every one of us is a super hero and we don't need costumes and super powers like super strength to be hero's. They each made me so proud to be their mother today (they do every day but it hit my heart hard today).

Earlier this week I received a HUGE compliment in the comments of   this post of mine. We've been pinned on the mommy blog hop pinterest board!!! And pinned on another site's link up board!! All because I felt a need to share with others the coping skills that I work hard with my son for his ADHD. I was not expecting this what-so-ever and it made me dance on clouds for days!!!

And in about a week's time the farmer's field my door wall looks out on has gone from the picture on the right to the picture on the left. The green of summer is surely failing and turning into the gold's and oranges of autumn! This excites me to no end as it's a changing of the seasons, a chance to change our perceptions of the world around us, and a reminder that winter is coming and we need to be industriously working towards keeping our families safe and warm in the months ahead.

* If your interested in the entire posts for each day just look through the other posts from this week. They're all there as I made sure to post every day.

** And you can join our Facebook page  Homeschool Camper  where I share not only every post I do here but other tips and pictures as often as I am able. 

Super Hero Day ... IHSW Day 5

It's the last day of International Homeschool Spirit Week   and that makes it Super Hero Day!

I had some grand ideas for today. Making capes and pin on super hero symbols for shirts. Doing "hero" poses for the camera. Writing pages about who our super hero's are.... And then the children got up and had much better ideas...

Here's our Super Pretty Pink Princess Peanut. She's the only one that chose to actually dress up for Super Hero Day, she even wore her crown from earlier this week for about half the day. Her comment to me this morning was "I am a super hero because I can show everybody love..." And she's RIGHT!!! She spent the entire day showing extra love to everyone and the super power was working great because she made each person she interacted with today feel better and feel loved.
YCJ spent about half the day trying to figure out what she wanted to be for Super Hero Day. After lunch she put on this star top and said it was her super hero uniform. That she was Cheer Girl who would go around doing good things for people and spreading her super power "Cheer Uppiness" (lol). She did it too. On our walk up to the mailbox today she picked everyone's garbage can that was on it's side and righted it, making sure it was at least a foot closer to the front steps of that person's house. Several people in the neighborhood thanked her and smiled, I'd say they got cheered up at least a bit.

ECJ came out earlier in his pj's and robe and tried to convince us that he was Camouflage Boy with the power to sleep all day. Nope. Didn't happen. He was told to get dressed and think of something else. When he came back out of his room he said "I'm AntiADHD Man! My super power is not letting ADHD beat me today." He proceeded to do all of his work until it was done, and that included the things I assigned for yesterday but that we were going to skip over! I am very proud of him for working through the distractions that were thrown at him today.

Fall is looking more and more fall-like every day. And so, of course, the children are outside playing again. What did Mommy chose as her super hero today? My children! Each and every one of them made me proud of them today and each of them became my super hero all over again today. The reminded me that playing super-hero can be fun but real super-hero's are hidden inside of each and every one of us each day!

That's the end of this year's spirit week. We had fun and we learned. It brought us closer together and made sure we enjoyed homeschooling all week. We will definitely be participating again next year when it's time for the third annual spirit week.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In the spirit ... IHSW Day 4

Day 4 of International Homeschool Spirit Week  finds us on "Volunteer Outside the Home" day.

In all honesty I had no idea what I was going to do today with the children when I went to bed last night. My back was sore and it had been a couple of long days. When I woke up this morning my back was so bad that it hurt to move and hurt to stay still. My loving husband, aka the genius, says "It's spirit week right? Why not take the day off, make some phone calls about volunteering, and let the kids try unschooling for the day." I was relieved and excited at the thought and embraced it right away.

Today also happens to be good neighbor day here in the states and I really really like being a good neighbor. Especially after finding a couple a few doors down who my husband and I get along with really well and have made friends with.

In the spirit of spirit week: In the spirit of spirit week, and because volunteering is on this season's bucket list, I made several phone calls to places around town and asked if any of them would allow us to volunteer as a family. Many of them said no because the youngest is only 5 and the rest of the places have said that they'll get back with me because I was merely interested in finding something we could do within the next few weeks. So there will definitely be an update about our volunteering.

In honor of good neighbor day: In honor of good neighbor day my son went next door to the elderly lady and offered to cut her grass and shovel her snow for only $5 a week. Saying that he'd do it for free but needs to use his dad's mower and keep gas in the tank. It's an offer that she accepted (this will allow her to fire her lawn service and still save money without having to do it herself). Beginning next week ECJ will be mowing her lawn for the rest of the season.

Unschooling?: Ok, so maybe it was more of a day off... maybe it's unschooling. I'll let you be the judge. 

I made crowns for the kids yesterday and this morning Daddy was joking around with Peanut and asked "How round is your crown?" Which sparked off poems and pictures about round crowns:

The eye glass cases are in the pictures because the girls had written their names on their crowns (YCJ had done it at the top of her page as well). I didn't correct any spelling, or ask them to redo the work as this was impromptu and fun. Each poem is cute (says a very prejudicial mamma) and the drawings are always nice.

After the poetry "lesson" I decided to see if a slow walk would help my back and took the girls with me to "go the long way and check the mail". Doing that takes about half an hour and brings us home down the two track. Nope, it didn't help my back but when I returned home it was to find several sketches that ECJ had done because he wanted to 'work" on his drawing skills. 

He sure is getting better each and every day. For a few minutes Peanut tried to make a paper air plane...

And YCJ spent a few minutes tracing circles for a drawing of her own using a paper towel tube as a template...
Sharpening a pencil...
They've been relaxed and not arguing with each other all day and have spent the last hour or so outside and probably won't come back in until dinner. *Which, by the way, takes us to a total of about 13 hours of outdoor time this week. Only 7 hours away from our weekly goal of 20 hours of outdoor time and we still have tomorrow and Saturday to go (we only started Monday).

My back is still sore and I'm not able to sit still or stand or walk for too long of periods so I keep switching what I'm doing. This little post took me forever to do because I had to keep leaving the computer.

Tomorrow is the last day of    International Homeschool Spirit Week   and it's Super Hero Day. I'll be back again to post about what we do tomorrow (spoiler: there's going to be a super princess) and post another weekly wrap up tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Next week I will be posting about the misconceptions that all homeschool parents are rich and are saints when it comes to their kids.

** You can follow us on Facebook at:    Homeschool Camper

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kinda Crazy Hair Day - IHSW Day 3

It's International Homeschool Spirit Week  this week and we're on day 3 - Crazy Hair day.

We weren't sure how we were going to participate in "Crazy Hair Day" ... I kept thinking "One of the kids doesn't have any hair for me to do anything with." I woke up this morning not knowing what in the world we were going to do about Spirit Week today. This is what I came up with for the girls...

There wasn't much to be done for Elder Cracker Jack's hair and he was feeling a little left out and so this afternoon when they'd finished their lessons then I made each of them a quick "crown" to wear and by then both of the girls had taken their hair down.

And then because the weather was so nice today in Michigan all three of them played outside and we washed the dogs.

Tomorrow is Volunteer Outside Your House Day and nope this Mama isn't sure what we're going to do about it but we'll do something and share it with all of you.

** You can follow us at :  Homeschool Camper