Sunday, November 25, 2007

Road Trips

Our family just returned from a road trip to Iowa to see family for Thanksgiving. Now sitting in a van for 6 hours is not always a time people think of educating and making something that is meaningful. However after this road trip we have added new activities to our repertoire.

1. Mileage games - We worked with our oldest daughter on how to read mile markers. On how exit sign numbers go in order with the miles either left on the road or miles from the state line. After a while you can talk about how fast you are driving, we began with using the figure 60 mph, in other words you are driving 1 mile per minute. So that we worked on how far from one exit to the next, and how many minutes would it take. With time we progressed to 70 mph (which is how fast we where traveling).

2. License plate game - Keep a list of all the different license plates you see. If you have a copy of a US map then have the kids color in the states as you find the plates. This game is fun because you can talk about the different designs on each plate as well as where the vehicle began driving from, and where that place is located on the US map.

3. Road sign game - Keep a list of all the different road signs you see, talk about the colors of the signs, what that mean and the symbols they use.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The hidden world of the Library

The library is a place that I think many people take for granted. What other place can a person visit that has thousands and thousands of books, videos, and CD's? Well Barns and Noble I suppose but then it is going to cost you that very hard to get dollar. However, when you set foot into the library you can discover all of the above at a fraction of the cost.

I will say I am blessed with a wonderful library system. We belong to the Mid-Continent Public Library and I have to say it is wonderful. They offer on-line data base, so I can search for books we need for school and for leisure reading while at home. Once I have made my selection I can put a hold on the book and then go to my local branch and pick them up, they are waiting for me at the front desk.

I have found that if you do your research you can save your home quite a bit of money when it comes to home schooling. We currently use a history curriculum (Story of the World) and it has suggested historical reading and literature reading to accompany the text book. I have been able to find 99% of the book through the library. Through my time of searching I have not been forces to purchase any supplemental reading material for our home school.

Our library offers many wonderful programs. Every Tuesday we head to the library for Toddler Time, which is a story time program for children ages 18 months to 3 years old. So Anna and Christopher are able to go to story time, Catherine attends to and is a big helper to the little children.

For history our library has hosted events like a Veteran's Day event, where we were able to watch a Apache helicopter take off from side yard of the library. Different people where there with historical military items as well as stories to share. We even where able to create Christmas Cards for solders over seas.

So check out your library. You never know what wonderful treasures are hidden within the walls of a building few people seem to remember exist.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Brief History

So who is the lady sitting in her computer chair? Well my name is Jeanette. Every since I can remember I have always wanted to work with children. Growing up I was one of those girls who was always trying to babysit and working in the nursery at church. I knew I either wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. In high school I realized I wanted to be a teacher so I could make the school system better for children then it was for me.

I attended Park College (now Park University) from 1994 till 1998. I majored in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I ended up graduating with a BA in Elementary Education, I am two classes short of my Early Childhood degree but did not want to student teach 2 times. My concentration in Education was in the Fine Arts (music, art and theater). The reason for the Fine Arts was because at Park your concentration could be in Art or the Fine Arts and I loved my Music Professor so much that I wanted to take more classes with him so did a Fine Arts concentration.

Since I graduated in December I had a rough time getting my first teaching job, but I found one for the following school year. I was hired as the 5th and 6th grade teacher for the little rural school of Mirabile. Mirabile is one of those towns if you blink you will miss it the entire two roads. It was the perfect teaching job for a new graduate, small class size, great teachers. While teaching in Mirabile the largest my class grew to was 14 kids and the smallest was 6, a public school teacher's dream. However, with this dream came many issues. This sleepy little farming town did not know what hit it when a family moved in from the inner city of Kansas City. This family brought with it all the issues a bigger district is use to, but this little town had never seen. They brought behavior issues, hygiene issues, parental issues, and drug issues. I will never forget one day when I was teaching the young man from this family was so upset with me that he hit me in the stomach, oh did I mention I was pregnant with our first child at the time. When I first started teaching at this school I thought, this is the prefect school I would want my children taught within, until this family. This family shaped the idea that I personally felt I can do better at educating my own children.

Once my teaching contract was up in May of 2001 and Catherine was already a part of our family I never set foot back into the traditional classroom. From that point on I was to make our classroom our home.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome to our home

Welcome....welcome to our classroom. Our classroom is more then just 4 walls. Our classroom contains more then just a desk and chairs. Our classroom containers both hard flooring and carpet. Our classroom contains more then a lunch room. Our classroom contains love, joy, learning and family. Our classroom is our home. We are a home schooling family and this is our journey through homeschooling.

This is the start of blogging our adventures in teaching our children all that they need for life. We are a family of 5, Jeanette (Me - Mom), Tony (Dad), Catherine, Anna and Christopher (our kids). We live in the suburbs of KC and love it here, all 4 seasons, the city less then 10 minutes away and the country just the other direction.

Come with us along our journey of learning and growing.