Recent Runs

So I’ve been falling behind on my blogging and I’m so sorry but we’ve literally been running our butts off. I mean literally …. I just ran my 7th race of 2017 on Saturday! Yay! Go Mom! Ok well the rest of my family ran it with me so I guess …. Yay Go US! A few years ago I could barely walk a 5k and now I’m searching the internet for races every day. It’s such an addiction! But a good one so that’s ok.

So yeah we’ve been super busy enjoying some great family time running and I just wanted to share a few pics from some of our recent races.

This past weekend we ran the Emerald Coast Mud Run together. It was so much fun and such a great cause. The course winded through trails in the woods and took you through 18 different obstacles, some of which were quite difficult. My upper body strength was so depleted by the end of the race I ended up loosing my grip and falling down an obstacle. No worries though, just a few scrapes and bruises, I’m fine. The kids had so much fun. We can’t wait to do this race again next year!

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The kids climbing some obstacles at the race. These were really high! The one my son is on is similar to the one I fell down. I was really scared for them to be up there but they did an amazing job. My inner helicopter parent was having some major anxiety issues.

My son ran the Armed Forces Kids Run just a few weeks ago. He ran 2-miles in 23 mins, which is fantastic for an 11-year old. He is such a determined young man. Once he sets his heart to something he really gives it his all. I don’t remember what I was doing at 11-years old, but it definitely wasn’t running 2-miles for fun. My daughter was sick this day so she couldn’t make it. She would’ve definitely been out there right beside him if she could’ve been.

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We ran the Sexual Assault Prevention Run together this year in April. This race is designed to bring awareness to sexual assault and the teal ribbon is the symbol of this campaign. The green shirts represent my husband’s job, which we were running together with his co-workers as a team. It was a good run and everyone did a great job!

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We ended up placing “First Family” across the finish line and got this coffee mug as a cool trophy! I wouldn’t mind if I got a new coffee mug for every run I did 😉

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In March my husband and I ran the Rock~N~Fly 5k! I love these race t-shirts, and the bibs are really neat too! This was a really high-energy race with over 2,000 runners. The race was a soul train theme so everyone was dressed so funky and the music was on point! I was jamming to the Pointer Sisters half the race!

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My husband coming across the finish line at Rock~N~Fly! He’s such a great runner and he’s super humble about it. He runs the majority of the race with me at my slow speed then finishes strong and comes back to motivate me to finish. I always do better with him by my side ❤

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In February we ran the Healthy Heart 5k with our whole family including our pup Copper! He has gotten so big since we adopted him last summer. He is so high-energy and fun! Everyone just loves to see him at races with us because he’s super fast. He actually hates for anyone to be ahead of him on the course so he will run like the wind to be first place. Those long legs do not like to be beat.

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In this race my husband placed 3rd overall male! He said that Copper actually placed 3rd and he was really 4th though. I believe it because Copper will DRAG you on the race course if you are slowing down.

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So this is just a small tid-bit of what we’ve been up to this year in the running realm. We’ve definitely got PE class checked off. Our little homeschool running club is still growing and doing amazing as well. I feel like every week we are reaching out to new members and getting people motivated and out there on the pavement. We’re actually ordering matching t-shirts soon so we will look more like a team at our group races.

I hope this blog does motivate someone to get out there and try something new. If you can’t run then start with walking. There was a time when I would be super winded after walking a 5k and I never thought I would be running. You never know who you are inspiring so give it a try and take the first step …

Stay Fit Healthy Homeschoolers!

Spring Break

Hi guys we’re back! So we’re officially back to homeschool today after a 12 day hiatus from school work. I’m not super excited about wrangling my kids up and cracking open the books this morning, but it has to be done and I’m the mom. We had such a wonderfully amazing spring break! I just wanted to share a few highlights from our trip. We actually had two spring breaks in one because we split our trip up between a family visit in SC, and a fun trip to the GA mountains!

My mother in law lives in SC so we like to go visit her at least once a year and since we’re coming up, my brother in law and his family come down. So we end up having like eleven people all squished up together in one house but we make it work. We had the best time ever! We’ve made quite a few trips to SC and every time we go there is something new and fun to do.

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Our crazy beach family enjoying the sun and surf. Ok the water was a bit chilly, but we still splashed around in it and had fun.

This visit to SC we enjoyed the Medieval Times dinner show! My daughter loves horses and my husband is a big knights of the round table fan, so I knew they would both enjoy it. My daughter was screaming so loud cheering for her favorite knight. I felt so bad for the people sitting beside her. If you ever get the chance to go DO IT! The food was delicious and the show was really entertaining.

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My knight in his shiny folding paper crown.

We got to go visit an alligator farm with lots of big gators! We’re a Florida family so we’ve been to an alligator farm before, but I’ve never seen an albino gator which was really cool! They live in a separate area from the other gators and cannot be out in the sun. Science class …. check!

My son enjoying a close up moment with the gators. He loved watching the big ones eat.

Putt-putt golf is always a favorite beachy activity! My daughter and her adorable little cousin had so much fun playing together. These two were inseparable the entire week. They ate together, went on walks together, played video games together, and even slept on the same cot. They are so cute and such good friends. I’m sure they’ll always remember these family vacations.

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I’m pretty sure nobody in our family will ever make it to the Masters, although I did make a few hole-in-ones 😉  

Grandma is such a blessing to us. She’s a really sweet grandma who completely spoils the grandkids rotten when she has them. She took all the kids to the beach and out to lunch by herself (six kids), while the big kids got to go out and have some fun together. We don’t see our CT family that often so getting to enjoy a kid-free date day together was a real treat!

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Big kid date day! We went out on a casino boat and enjoyed brunch, drinks, and lots of sunshine. My brother in law won $1000 bucks!

We said bye to our family and headed west to the Georgia mountains last Thursday. I had heard about this adorable little German themed town in the mountains and wanted to go check it out. I’m so glad we did because it was AMAZING!!! My husband grew up in Germany and he was telling us how authentic everything looked and how it was bringing back so many memories for him just to walk around and see the architecture of the town and taste the food. I’m so glad we went. We had such a great time too! Here’s a few highlights from that trip.

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The entire town of Alpine Helen, Georgia is absolutely adorable. It’s all decorated up like a German town and at night the lights come on and it’s gorgeous. I just loved walking around and going in all the cute little shops.

We went inside lots of different shops and bought some really cute souvenirs. One of my favorite spots was the Hansel and Gretel candy shop! Oh my goodness I get a sugar high just thinking about it. We got to sample all different kinds of fudge and other sweet treats. Oreos smothered in chocolate taste like heaven btw!

 This little shop has definitely inspired me to dabble in the chocolate department. I’m thinking we’re going to be making our own sweet treats later this summer 😉

The food was delicious too! They had some really neat authentic German restaurants that served rostbratwurst and German beer. Hello! My kids didn’t much care for the sausages so they had plain ole American cheeseburgers.

Our delicious dinner!

Anna Ruby Falls is the largest waterfall in Georgia and the biggest most prettiest one I’ve ever seen. We hiked to the peak of the mountain and we were just in awe of the view from the top. Unicoi State Park is breathtakingly gorgeous. I’m not sure which one I like better the beach or the mountains…

Anna Ruby Falls in Helen Georgia. I wish I could hike this every day, I could totally live here … but then again I do love being just steps away from the beach.  

Probably the most fun thing we did in Helen was the river tubing. So much fun! The famous Chattahoochee River runs down the Georgia mountains and right through the little town of Helen. It then stretches across Alabama and eventually runs into the Gulf of Mexico. We went tubing for about two miles down the river and we had a blast. We saw a few snakes and might’ve gotten stuck on a few rocks, but we had a great time.

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This was my favorite part of vacation! We started out all in tandem but we were going to slow so we broke apart and ended up racing down the river. My son won first place and dad came in last. #forevermemories

We were so blessed on this trip to be able to travel and see our family and just grow that bond and be happy together. We had perfect weather everyday and no hiccups with the drive or reservations. We get so caught up in the day to day of life that we really need that escape every once in a while. It’s so nice to not have a schedule to follow or a house to clean. Just to be able to breathe some new fresh air for a moment and relax is absolutely priceless. We’re already planning a fun trip up to Tennessee in November and I cannot wait to be on vacation again!

Happy Memories!

Money Management with Mom

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Let’s talk finances! I know it’s not such a fun topic to discuss, but something super important the kiddos need to learn. Our kids are 9 & 11, so they are definitely old enough to earn an allowance for doing their household chores and some extra jobs we task them with. They are very aware of having their own money, and they love to spend it. Every time I go to the store they are asking for something but apparently they leave their wallets at home and want mom to buy and they’ll pay me back later right …..? Wrong!

So last week we decided to devote a whole day to learning how to budget as an adult. My daughter wants to be a veterinarian and my son wants to join the military. We looked up the usual salary for those jobs and broke it down to a monthly budget. Then we made ourselves a checkbook registry and started debiting. Well there’s the obvious stuff you need to live: food, electricity, rent, a cell phone <—-of course! Then we added in the extra fun stuff you have to pay like: cable, internet, car insurance, etc. Apparently my daughter is going to hire a maid to clean your home and I’m never having grandchildren.

Well after doing this and the kids seeing what it takes to run a household and stay afloat, they started to view money differently. We stressed having a savings account and an emergency fund, but also having some fun money left over to enjoy. It was sort of a hard lesson to teach, but a necessary one. So with mom being the field trip queen that I am, of course I decided to turn this very important lesson into a field trip. I called our local bank and set up a date to have the kiddos come in an tour the bank and open their checking accounts. That’s right I said checking, not savings. They will get a debit card and be responsible for balancing their account and keeping track of their own expenses. I know it seems more conventional to open a savings account for children, but I felt the checking account will teach them much more. Of course mom and dad will monitor it and there will be certain restrictions.

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Another important topic we’ve been discussing lately is taxes. Oh fun! Trying to explain the IRS to some adults is hard enough, let alone to children. However, it’s an important lesson. I really wish I had known more about money growing up because then maybe I wouldn’t have made some of the mistakes I did. Credit was a foreign word to me at 18 years old, lets just leave it at that. I don’t want my children to be naïve and make those same mistakes. Education is key to making good life choices!

So back to taxes … We have always filed our own taxes so it was easy to pull our return up online and walk through it with the kids. Cue the tons of questions that came next … Luckily the tax site has a Q&A section for that! (Quirky mom smile and thumbs up)! Again another GREAT lesson that you don’t really think to teach your kids. I mean we only file taxes once a year and most families want to just get it done and move on, not dwell on it. However, we homeschool and we turn everything into a lesson!

So be creative and find a fun way to teach financial management. You don’t need Dave Ramsey or a fancy curriculum, you just need to be real and open about money with your kids. Let them make a few “small” bad financial decisions and turn it into a learning experience. Go tour a bank, bust out the play money, set up a pretend budget, get a few job applications and talk about salary. #realworldskills

We have so many amazing opportunities to teach our children as homeschool families. Make sure you are investing in their future!

 

Spring Shenanigans

Well spring isn’t quite upon us just yet, but we’re close enough right? I just wanted to share some of the new lessons we’re working on and give you guys a quick update on some of our newest projects! So here goes nothing …

We recently started a new social studies unit that I’m super excited about! We will be touring our beautiful country via a state by state lesson that teaches all kinds of important facts about each state. Last week we started with Alabama! The kids are enjoying it so far. I supplement the worksheets with educational videos about each state, and we talk about places we would like to visit in that state. We’ve been to Alabama quite a few times so we talked about our trip to the alligator farm and the USS Alabama. I printed the worksheets from the crafty classroom.

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For computer applications class we have been learning how to use Microsoft word, excel, and power point. We also started using http://www.typingclub.com. This is a great free resource for keyboarding practice. The kids go at their own pace and learn one new skill at a time.  The website tracks their progress and gives them a report at the end of the lesson. My children take turns practicing on the computer and spending one on one time reading with mom.

We recently went on a tour and had a science lesson at a local nature center. We enjoyed learning about local wildlife and getting to touch some of the scaly slimy reptiles. We also went on a nature hike and learned about plants and local vegetation. Mom conveniently skipped the part where we touched the snake ; ) We have been out and about exploring a lot more since the weather is finally starting to warm up a bit. We love to go on bike rides and find new hiking trails.

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We have been busy little chefs in the kitchen! I’ve been trying to introduce the kiddos to the world of home economics via good ole home cooking. They are both learning so much and having lots of fun! My son loves to grill! He’s really great at it and enjoys making dinner for the family. He can cook more now than I could when I first got married. Haha! That’s sad but so true. My daughter likes to help make desserts. Last week we enjoyed making banana pudding pops with strawberries and blueberries. Being in the kitchen with the kids is also a great opportunity to talk about healthy eating habits.

Lastly I just wanted to share some of our spring family photos that we took earlier this week. When did these kiddos get so big? I can’t believe I’ve got two pre-teens now! Just looking at these photos makes me miss the pitter patter of little feet running down the hallway. I’m so very thankful for our choice to homeschool. I get to enjoy my children being home and being with them that much more and that is a priceless commodity to me.

Hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed spring season! God Bless.

Home-Made Happiness

So last week was Valentine’s Day and it’s a day that I always loved celebrating in school when I was younger. This year though I could not get my kids excited about exchanging cards what so ever. We always go to the store and buy the box of 24 little cards and sign our name to them and try to figure out which friend to give which card too. Seems legit right? Well they were just not into doing that same old routine again this year. I know they are getting older and it seems kind of elementary to exchange little ninja turtle cards, but as a homeschool mom you know you try to hold on to that innocence for as long as possible.

So I started googling ways to make Valentine’s Day more fun and found all these super cute homemade card ideas! “Hey, we can do that!” And so we were off … construction paper, glue sticks, markers, scissors; we were fully invested in an all day crafting session. BAM! Finally got the kids excited about Valentine’s Day, or at least they were excited to be using the glue gun and crafting with mom so that made me happy. We sit at our dining room table for 3 hours putting together the most adorable little V-day cards and just talking and having a great time. Then we got the fun idea to make our own little card boxes! So we pulled can soda boxes out of the fridge and started using those imaginations! So much fun! I’ve been missing days like that seeing we’re always struggling to get our math and writing in and stay on schedule. Being creative together is so important! It’s something they’ll remember forever ❤

So I included a few of our crafting pics from last week:

 

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Being creative! Once we got started the creative juices just kept flowing. My son did such a great job on the ice cream cones and my daughter didn’t burn herself at all …. although mommy did.

 

 

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We made over 60 of these little cards to give out at a homeschool skate party last week! It says, “I scream for you”. Haha! I LOVE IT! Ok I know I’m easily excited.

 

 

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My daughter’s card box started off as a monster, then we tried to turn him into a pac-man, then finally he became a minion.

 

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That is one super awesome looking minion!

 

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My son made his box look like his Xbox. Ok so he was the only kid with a valentines day box that looked like a game system, but at least he was crafting right and all the little boys loved it.

 

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My son’s finished box! Made the controller out of a toilet paper roll!

 

 

 

So homeschooling is like the “home-made” version of school. No wonder they enjoyed these cards so much more than the prepackaged ones. I think we’ve found a tradition in our house, more home-made and less store bought from now on. I wish I had been more crafty with my children when they were younger. Embracing the idea that being crafty doesn’t mean it has to be perfect would’ve been very helpful to me like 5 years ago. But, we live and we learn together and we continue to grow as a homeschool family.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day full of love and happiness! Have a blessed day!

Homeschool Vacation

So I know we just started a new year of homeschooling, … but …. we took a little vacation from it already. Well not exactly … So last week we drove down to south Florida and spent a few days visiting LEGOLAND and Busch Gardens! My family is the definition of #themeparkjunkies. We totally love the thrill of the rides and the excitement of exploring the parks. SO MUCH FUN! The weather in South Florida in January wasn’t really that bad at all. It was a little windy but as you can see in our photos we’re all wearing shorts and short sleeves and nobody was freezing. The parks were just the right amount of crowded. We only waited 10 minutes tops in the lines and we were able to walk the whole park in about 4 hours. That’s riding every ride and exploring every little nook and cranny. Going in the off season is so much more fun than waiting in the forever long lines in the sweltering summer heat.

LEGOLAND offers an amazing homeschool discount! Seriously! I’m talking I paid $82 for my entire family to get into the park. That’s a crazy discount seeing how much the regular prices are. I love when cool places like this have great homeschool discounts. You have to call ahead and reserve your tickets and then bring proof of homeschooling to the ticket window when you pick up. The park was so much fun! My son is a HUGE lego lover and he really enjoyed it and was super inspired by all the cool creations. Did you know there are only 12 master lego builders in all the world? And master builders built all the amazing awesome creations inside LEGOLAND! Some of these gigantic lego marvels have upwards of 100,000 legos holding them together. That’s crazy! My son came home and started right away on his own little lego mini land in his bedroom. What an awesome way to inspire a child! Mom points!!!

My little guys couldn’t wait to get in the park. We were the first family there.

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Some of the super cool builds inside LEGOLAND!

 

Busch Gardens was just as equally awesome and fun as LEGOLAND. My daughter was a tad bit small to ride some the big rides so we hung out in the park while dad and my son rode the crazy scary plunging roller coasters, which was just fine with me. BG has some amazing animal interaction programs! We got to get up close and personal with penguins, cheetahs, and elephants! What a cool way to learn about animals! The guides and trainers were so knowledgeable and helpful. There I go again turning our vacation into a lesson but I can’t help it. There are so many ways to learn and I just love learning. Hands on education is absolutely my favorite. Busch Gardens has a great active duty military program and we were able to get our tickets for FREE!

Getting ready to start our Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Adventure!

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 My little girl is such an animal lover! I won’t be surprised if she grows up and decides to work at Busch Gardens.

 

I hope everyone is enjoying their 2017 school year! Next week we will be back to the daily grind of reading, writing, math, ya know all that fun stuff. Enjoy your weekend and remember it’s never to early to take a vacation!

 

Killer Kickers WIN

Hi everyone! Hope 2017 is starting off wonderfully for you all. I just wanted to share our fun idea we made happen yesterday! So we’ve got our homeschool running club up and going pretty good now, and we’ve got quite a following of faithful moms that come every week. We usually meet at a track and run together but yesterday we decided to shake things up a bit. We met at a local park on the baseball diamond and played KICKBALL together! It was so much fun! Probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Half our kids didn’t know how to play so we had to teach them and by that of course I mean TAKE THEM DOWN. Haha! Moms WON 12-9! It was really nostalgic and brought back memories of my own elementary school days when we would play kickball together. Kids don’t do that anymore in school. They don’t get to experience the rush of kicking the ball the hardest you can and then running your little legs off to make it to first base. Not everyone plays organized sports, or can afford it now a days, so how do these kids get to experience sportsmanship and learn how to be a real team player? Yesterday was as much fun as it was a lesson for our kids. I’m so truly grateful for this amazing opportunity to homeschool my children and share so many special things with them. I can’t wait for us to all play together again!

Moms celebrating our Win! Don’t let those pouty faces fool you, they were having fun. Hey they’ve got to learn to lose too right? Lol

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2016 Highlight Reel

 

This will most likely be the last blog I write in 2016 so I just wanted to take a moment and look back on the year and share some of our special highlights. We’ve been so very blessed this year and I’m so thankful for each and every precious day. On a daily basis sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re getting much done, but when you reflect back it’s amazing at what you can accomplish in a year. We’ve grown so much stronger physically and academically this year,  we’ve made some wonderful friends that we greatly cherish, and we’ve tried to give back as much as possible. 2016 has been a wonderful and happy year for my family. We are looking forward to what the new year has in store for us as a family and our homeschool. Enjoy these highlights and have a blessed day!

Field Trips Galore!

So we managed to some how squeeze in 29 field trips this year! Most were day trips and were close by, but we did make it over to Orlando and New Orleans. I think field trips are just an amazing way to share the world with your child. It’s first hand experience from the professionals that work in that field. I mean really what better way to teach them then to get up close and personal. I’m all for hands on experience! I wanted to share a few pics from our most recent trip to a deer ranch. Yes! A deer ranch! Doesn’t that sound cool? This place was not only a truly beautiful piece of property, it was also VERY educational. The care givers and ranch hands were so knowledgeable about the deer. They taught us so much that day! We got to feed wild deer from our hands! How amazing is that! We learned a bit about the different species of deer, what they eat, where they sleep, and about their behavior. This is why I love field trips! I just love to immerse the kids in different environments and tell them to go explore! We rode a hayride to the pasture where the deer feed and got to spend quite some time just hanging out and watching them. It was such a great experience! Then afterwards we got to enjoy the playground, horse rides, apple cannons, petting zoo, and a picnic lunch with our friends. What a perfect day!

Our day at the deer ranch (fitting field trip for the Christmas season)

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My daughter feeding wild deer from her hands. It took this little guy forever to warm up enough to  actually approach her.

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Just a random mom selfie

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Our chariot awaits …

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Academics

So we didn’t just field trip all year long (although that would be amazing). We actually did quite a bit of school work! Just yesterday I received an email from http://www.ixl.com/math that we have completed 7,000 math problems this year! WOW! We usually do math on Tuesdays for a 2-hour block. My children are on different math levels so we swing between 3rd and 5th grade math problems. I really love that site (www.ixl.com/math). It does a wonderful job at breaking down what each grade level needs to know by category and skill level. We’ve been using it for years.

This year we also broke out of the norm and read some classics. My kids LOVE the Wimpy Kid series and Dork Diaries, but this year we decided to read Mark Twain. We read “Tom Sawyer”, and “Huck Finn”. Both of these books were so much different from what we were accustom to reading, but it was nice to experience a different perspective. Reading Mark Twain is like teaching a history lesson. I was literally answering questions after every paragraph, and it was a much harder book to read seeing it was written in the 1800’s and people spoke differently then. However, we enjoyed them both and we made a field trip out of it (of course)! We ventured down the Mississippi River on beautiful Steamboat Natchez!

Along with what we learned at home this year, we also attended co-op where mom was the anatomy teacher! We have had such a fun time exploring human anatomy! We have learned the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and integumentary systems so far. We have also learned about nutrition and the DARE program. In the new year we are starting off with the digestive system and then we get to dissect a shark! How cool! We live in Florida so yeah we dissect sharks not frogs. haha!

Our 7000 math problems certificate of accomplishment

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Our trip down the Mississippi River onboard Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans Louisiana

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Of course being the amazing homeschool dad that he is, my husband had to give the kids a tour of the engine room and explain hydraulics

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I teach the kids at co-op using powerpoint presentations, which works great with a large classroom. So I decided to also teach the kids at home how to use powerpoint and make their own slideshows. Genius!

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In addition to anatomy the kids are also taking art and Spanish classes this year at co-op. Both the teachers are amazing ladies and the kids are enjoying the classes and having so much fun.

P.E.

Being physically fit is very important to our family. We try to eat healthy and exercise a lot! This year we participated in a homeschool group PE class that met once a week and did different fun PE activities together. We met so many fun friends in that class that we decided to branch off and start our own little homeschool running club as well. It has been a great experience to run races with our friends and see them accomplish their goals.

This year Noah has started weight lifting. He can bench almost his body weight! He’s definitely got some upper body strength. We played lots of sports this year too: soccer, tackle & flag football, gymnastics, and track! My kiddos love being active and they are super competitive.

So far this year my son has ran 10 races!

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Us trying to figure out how to use gym equipment. Haha! No actually he’s pretty good at it and he was helping out mom.

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Our homeschool running club after running the Breast Cancer 5k this year!

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My two are currently playing flag football. They both love it so much! My son plays defense and my daughter is a running back (she’s fast)!

 

Community Service

This year we have accumulated over 100 hours of community service! One place that we spend a lot of time volunteering is the USO. Since my husband is active duty and myself a veteran, I feel it’s important that we give back to those young service men and women. We like to consider ourselves good mentors and role models for them seeing we have some experience being in their shoes. Recently we volunteered to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the USO. We served over 1000 students that day! We were there setting up at 8am and the line was still going at 2pm! It was really a great experience for us and I was secretly pinching back tears the whole time.

My husband working on the turkey prep team. The USO cooked 20 turkeys!

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My little daughter just loves to volunteer. She has such a gracious and giving heart.

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The mashed potato team!

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I hope everyone has had an absolute wonderful homeschool year! I wish you many many more happy memories and fun times in 2017! Thank you all for reading my blog and commenting and just being amazing homeschool moms and dads. I appreciate all the questions and suggestions this year and just thank you for participating in the photo sharing and networking. I know it’s still a bit early but Merry Christmas and have a very Happy & Blessed New Year!

Couldn’t Do It Without Dad

So I know I’m always talking about how amazing homeschool moms are but we can’t forget about good ole dad. I totally depend on my husband for his help and guidance so often that I know I couldn’t possibly do this without him. So I just wanted to dedicate this little blog to our amazing homeschool dad whom we love so much and appreciate for everything he does for us!

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My husband was the one who was unsure about us starting homeschool four years ago when I got the crazy idea, but he quickly seen how beneficial it was for our family and jumped right onboard. Since then he’s been my right hand man, literally… He has been so supportive and involved and I’ve been so blessed with a wonderful partner in life, and the kids are really so very lucky for such a fun amazing dad.

Just last week my husband came to co-op with us and taught the middle and high school kids the DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Since this is part of his normal job he was a great candidate to teach. The kids were entertained because he has such a warm inviting personality, and he was very knowledgeable about the material. After co-op classes he stayed and served Thanksgiving dinner to the moms and kids since it was our holiday co-op party. He’s such a fun guy!

Dad teaching the DARE program and serving our dinner after classes. He jumped right in and volunteered to serve first; didn’t even get a piece of turkey for himself.

 

My husband can obviously teach the kids things that I have absolutely no knowledge of. We are firm believers of teaching our children how to be adults. We have a home economics portion to our curriculum that teaches simple things like how to manage a home, balance a checkbook, or in dad’s case … change a tire! We recently replaced all the tires on his car and the kids spent the day at the auto shop learning how to use the equipment properly and safely. See I could never teach them that. If I blow out a tire my resolve is to whip out the cell phone and frantically call for help. Ha!

I think teaching life skills to kids at an early age is so very important. Dad also teaches weight lifting at our homeschool gym class, and fishing clinics at the USO. He’s truly amazing!

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Field trips are ALWAYS more fun when dad can participate. He just has a livelihood about him that makes it more special. About a month ago our homeschool group took a field trip to the weapons hold on base. My husband being a military guy knows quite a bit about all aspects of the military, not just his particular field. So he joined us on the trip and started walking around initially as a parent and before long he ended up leading the field trip himself. He pretty much just started asking the questions that the kids wanted to know and took it from there. I can’t believe just how smart he actually is! Haha! The kids and parents had such a great time and learned SO MUCH from that hour we spent listening to him talk about the equipment. His ability to recognize his audience and cater to their level is tremendous.

Dad teaching us about how many rounds the weapons hold and firing capabilities.

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Well you know dad is very handy to have around the house of course. He can fix things better then Bob the Builder! I rely on him so much and I’m so thankful for his abilities. I’m that mom that needs a chalkboard to teach math, it just has to happen. I just need to feel that chalk in my hand. It works wonderfully! Well I didn’t have a chalkboard handy, so what did dad do when he seen that was a problem? He made me a custom chalkboard that is framed and matches my living room perfect of course! We use it all the time and when not in use I can easily hang a canvas print over it. And of course he let the kids help him make it. Wood working 101!

Very thankful for our handy dandy daddy!

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See!!! I literally couldn’t do this without him. I very heavily rely on my husband and he’s never let me down. So I hope that all those amazing homeschool moms out there take a moment and look at your wonderful husband and just tell them THANK YOU for being there for you and supporting you. I know God blessed me with him and I’m so very appreciative. He amazes me every day.

Hola Amigos!

Is anyone else teaching their children a foreign language that you aren’t quite fluent in? We’ve been learning Spanish in our home for about two years now. In high school I had four years of Spanish with the same amazing teacher so I do know the basics and have a pretty good size vocabulary; however, that’s been YEARS ago. Lol!

When we lived in Virginia my daughter took a Spanish class at co-op and she learned the basic colors, numbers, and how to greet someone. A light bulb totally went off in my head and I began to plan out a really fun Spanish curriculum and decided to keep teaching them both myself at home. I got Spanish workbooks and flash cards from the homeschool store and off we went!

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My coffee table began to look like a Spanish jeopardy board on a weekly basis. These flashcards worked amazingly!!! We’re on our second box now and each box has 250 flash cards! They have the photos on the back that represent the word. I was actually pretty amazed at how well my children memorized the words and how similar the English and Spanish languages really are. We eventually began to connect our vocabulary words with the basic colors and numbers to make sentences. El elefante es gris. Yo tengo cinco gatos. La mariposa es azul y amarillo.

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The workbooks we use are written by skill builders for ages K-5. I love these books because it has the Spanish and English word with a picture and it groups the lessons together for you perfectly. You are able to build your vocabulary every week and just flip back through for a quick review. Right now we’re learning food words in Spanish and grouping them together in sentences. Los galletas es muy bien con leche! Las fresas son buenas.

It’s amazing how things come back to you so quickly when you open a book. The more I learn the more I remember I already know! Going from being the student to the teacher has been a learning experience but a fun transition at the same time. We have all sorts of contest and games to make it fun and interesting. I usually win ; ) haha! I’m kidding. I absolutely love that we’re learning something new together. I don’t really like using the internet or videos for absorbing a new language. In my experience I’ve found that the videos teach it to fast and you don’t really get a good cumulative review. If you have a friend whose fluent in Spanish they are an amazing resource!

My children can understand so much of the Spanish language now it amazes me. When co-op is over and we’re packing up to leave I can look at my son and ask him, “donde esta hermana”, and he knows I’m asking him where is his sister (she’s my wild child). He will respond back to me in English of course, but that’s how children learn a new language by hearing and processing the words first. In the evenings I’ll tell them “ir a cepillarse los dientes” and they both run upstairs to brush their teeth. We’re working on the correct pronunciation of the words which is something I think will help them to respond more readily in Spanish.

This year they are both enrolled in Spanish at co-op as well! They have such a wonderful teacher who is doing a great job hammering down the basics they already know. We usually review what they’ve learned in co-op every week and try to build on that. That extra 40 mins in class with a different teacher is such a big help.

So go ahead and give it a shot! It’s a very slow memorization process but it’s definitely something I’m so very glad I started teaching my children. It’s also a great way to teach world geography and something they can list on a resume one day!

Que tengas un gran dia!