Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How it used to be...

It's Saturday.  Such a lovely day, and today in particular shows me what I've been missing with two kids in school.

Bit Boy is constructing an art/computing project using computer bits purchased last month at our church's rummage sale. He hopes to have it done by the NoCo Maker Faire the first weekend in October.  Lego Kid and Hot Dog are down working on the new EV3 to build a chassis for an FLL robot for Hot Dog's team to test.  They're all happy, working together, making things, and learning without even realizing it.

It hasn't been like this for a while.  Bit Boy is carrying 12 college credits, including Calculus I.  He's being academically challenged for the first time since starting school.  "I might be a 'B' Mom" he told me with concern.  Lego Kid has been enjoying the social aspect of middle school, but has been overwhelmed with the volume of homework and writing.  "Mom, will it always be like this?  Will I have any time for myself before winter break?"  Hot Dog is missing his brothers, and feeling a combination of overwhelmed and bored with a schedule that includes lessons for violin and piano, 4 hrs of FLL practice/week, chess club, jujitsu and soccer.  He says he'd like to give up FLL, but since I'm the coach, and have no older kids around to take care of him if I'm not home, he'd have to come with me anyway.  He might as well participate.  I've been feeling super busy, not with my own stuff, which has taken a back seat this year, but just with my 'work' as a taxi driver for 3 kids all going in different directions.

It's nice to have this day at home, interrupted only by a much anticipated soccer game for Hot Dog.  We used to have days like this, one after the other.  I think my teens are happy to be in school, so I'm happy for them.  But, my oh my, homeschooling is sweet.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Maker Kids

On an homeschooling list a question came up today
"Can anyone recommend some ways for me to incorporate making/engineering into our at-home time? Engineering curriculum for young kids? Resources?"

Here was my response:
The NoCo Mini-Maker Faire in Loveland is Oct. 4-5, there'll be hands on activities there for the kids, plus lots of local folks with ideas and resources.
If you don't live in Colorado, look for a Maker Faire near you.
Make Magazine has lots of projects on line, some are great for kids.
If you can afford a subscription you'd probably get some use out of the paper magazine too.  There are many projects in each vol, and many of them accessible to the layman or kids.

DIY is designed for kids and has ideas and give them the opportunity to share what they've done.
Google ran an online summer Maker Camp
My kids liked project books (because we're ancient and homeschooled before the internet was such a big part of everything)
Some favorites were
the Usborne Science Activities books Vol 1-3
Making Things, by Ann Sayre Wiseman
Science Crafts for Kids by Gwen Diehn
and  book about making musical instruments by hand.. sorry can't find the name of ti.
Remember too that "engineers" are often also artists and musicians.  That need to create runs deep.  I found that my role was to show how to safely use/ access the materials and then to just get out of the way.
Have fun!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

May's Books

Yes.  Pride and Prejudice again.  I love that book.  Also, Firelord got me a game for Mother's Day (surprise, surprise) called "Marrying Mr. Darcy".  It's a surprisingly fun little game, and Lego Kid is enamored of it, which prompted him to read P&P.  Of course I had to read it with him.  I love that my tough, ripped 6-pack 13 year old boy is reading Austen.  It gives me hope for this world.  :-D

I've discovered BookBub, a service that sorts through all the free and low cost e-books from sellers like Barnes and Nobel, Amazon, Google, etc., and sends you notices of those that are recommended according to the preferences you set.  It's made my actual pile of library books shorter, and my virtual pile of books much higher.  Give it a shot at let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bombus

Look who Hot Dog found in the basement.


Instead of doing our normal academics we've spent out morning trying to figure out exactly what kind of bumble bee this is. 

We found several websites and decided that it is Bombus Morrisoni. 








We found lots of good sites:
Western Bumble Bee Guide
Mr. E's Mysterious Bees
bumble bee dot org

And now we are learning how to get bumble bees to nest in our yard. 

We love spring!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Humph

I was writing some long blog post about the intersection of "giftedness" and school, and how a "gifted" designation doesn't matter until you're in an institutional situation.  I was somehow going to artfully point out how schools are not great even for "average" kids ( I haven't met one, but I've heard they exist).  I was going to show (not tell) how unschooling, child-led schooling, and radical tolerance are the best way to let every learner discover what works best for them.  Sigh....

But, Stephanie ever at The Deep End did it first, and better.

Humph.