Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's Take a Trip to Ralph??

Homeschooling is frought with emotions. Some days are good, other days not so good.  Any homeschool parent will tell you this, so keep in mind that not everyday will run like a well oiled machine.  But then there is the funny. And my kids never cease to bring the funny, even when they aren't trying.

Yesterday I was working with Makiah on United States geography.  She has a map section in each social studies unit. We were working on the East coast and a few midwest (everything east of the Mississippi river) states and capitals. I walked away to help Daniel with what he was doing on the computer, and this is what I hear coming from the living room:

Makiah: "Richmond, Charleston, Columbia, Tallahassee, Ralph, Jackson, Montegomery. . . ."

My ears perked up to the Ralph throw in the middle of the capitals.  I finished up with Daniel, looked at Sam and his math and there she went again, eyes closed. . . .

"Montpelier, Concord, Boston, Ralph, Columbia, Dover. . . "

I abandoned the idea of heading to the kitchen to start lunch to see what in the world she was studying that involved Ralph, but before I got there it hit me, and I started to giggle.  Raleigh.  Raleigh, North Carolina.  Instead of it being Ral-ee, she was saying it as Ralph. Well, she looked at me as if I had flipped a cog and I explained why I was laughing. She started laughing and looked at me and said, 

"Mom, that is so decepting."

I decided to head for the kitchen, after I corrected her and told her it was deceiving. Then I went and had a nice little chuckle. 

I agree with her, the English language is decepting. ~Wink~

Friday, August 3, 2012


Yes, like the rest of what seems to be millions of people, I do have a love for Pinterest.  I justify my time spent on there in one of these three ways:

"I found some delicious  and healthy recipes for our family today, can't wait to try them out."

"Look at all these fabulous crafts and crochet items I want to try out.  You know new things to make for the business."

But this is by far my favorite:

"I spent all that time on Pinterest getting ideas for school and I found so many great things, it was worth the countless little time I spent pinning." {Smile}

All joking aside, I have found countless fabulous ideas on Pinterest that I am actively using in Principle Things.  There are a lot of homeschooling bloggers using Pinterest to put there stuff out there and I am all for not reinventing the wheel.  While when it comes to creating things I don't lack in the crafts and crochet department, but creating printables and such, I'd rather get it from another homeschool mom who already did it.  I'm even willing to pay for some of it.  We gotta help each other out right?

I realize that Pinterest is huge and can be overwhelming at times but it is worth the effort if you are looking for fun and creative ideas for teaching, science project, art/craft times and so much more.  So I'm going to share a few of the things I got from Pinterest and a few that I follow that might be of help to you too.

Isn't this a fab idea for teaching parts of speech.  English was probably my least favorite subject in school (hopefully it doesn't show to badly in my blogging) followed closely by Math.  I despised learning parts of a sentence and graphing them.  I'm still not convinced there is a purpose for graphing a sentence and I've determined the answer to my question of, "how will I ever use this in life?" is this; I needed it so I could teach it to my kids.  {Laughter}  English can be dry and boring (or it was when I was being taught) so to try and ease the BLAH of English we are using this idea.  I am hoping it will bring English to life by giving it a hands on approach.

This idea here is just grand!!  We are implementing this concept just this year.  I started using it about a week ago and I use it for everything; school work, chores, directions given to my 4 year old and on and on.  It works fabulously well.  Sometimes kids, even homeschoolers have a hard time letting you know they don't understand or we assume they do and they don't.  This is a great way for your child to signal to you that they are in need of help with a concept or instructions given to them.

Behavior is an issue that every teacher, home or otherwise, will encounter is behavior issues.  I started using these little punch cards last semester.  It was great motivation for Sam (you know the child that is hyper, a wiggler and would rather do anything except what he is supposed to be doing) because he was working toward a goal.  I loved his facial expression and how proud he was when he would get a punch for good behavior that day.  I rotate out my motivators for good behavior and this is a good one. Usually the reward for a full punch card is a visit to Mom's "You Did It" Box.  I went to Dollar Tree and bought up several little toys, puzzles, books, etc and when the boys got a fully card of punches they got to pick a prize.  You would think that box was filled with gold.

Here are a few of the people I follow on Pinterest because they have awesomeness to share:

Apples 4 the Teacher
Sister Teachers
Lesson Planet
Hodge Podge Mom
Homeschool Creations
Blog She Wrote
Moms Mustard Seeds

Okay, that's enough overwhelming with you with Pinterest.  I think I have given you enough reasons to look at Pinterest, even if it's just for homeschooling stuff.  I believe in using the resources we are given.

Keep Calm and Homeschool On.