Leaving the Flock

Climbing, who knew!?

It seems that we have gotten into a good routine in the mornings for math, spelling, and writing. Driving proves to be the perfect time for Sebastian to read to me from his chapter book. Today after we finished our academics, we headed over to Summit Climbing Gym. Who knew this would be so much fun for the both of us! We climbed auto-baley walls. I learned to baley for Sebastian and he got to climb the boulder walls. He went for 90 minutes and could have gone longer. He worked walls over and over to try and get higher. I was so impressed! We also learned they have a Yoga class that we can take together, so we plan to try it out next week.

By late afternoon we got word of a friend’s drive to collect items for victims of Harvey. This opened the door to discuss flooding, hurricanes and how the devastation they bring affects people’s lives. It is on my to-do list to find a volunteer position (or varying ones) that we can do together. Suggestions welcome.

My heart is so full from getting to serve this boy each day. I hope he embraces my love for learning, adventure, change, and challenge.

Homeschool Resources, Leaving the Flock

Our First OFFICIAL Day

Last week was our ‘soft start’ and we selected today to be our official first day ‘back to school’. We had to make the most of playing with friends last week before they started back to public school today. We wish them all the best for a great year!!

We also met new friends in our local homeschool group. We had a two hour class of gymnasium instruction.

Gym Time
Gym Time

Today, we started the day with Minecraft math (addition and money) and added the coin names to our spelling list. While we drove, Sebastian read to me from Diary of a Minecraft Zombie. Then we went to a sword fighting/park date with more, new homeschooling friends. It is fascinating to hear everyone’s experiences and journies. Came home for lunch and an afternoon of writing, grammar and keyboarding. Sebastian made his first blog entry today publishing the final draft of his Minecraft story, ‘The Life of Steve‘. Talk about one excited kid! He could not stop jumping around after hitting ‘Publish’!

Last night I stumbled upon an article that said so well, many things I agree with regarding education. An excerpt from:

It’s Time to Rethink How We Are Educating Our Children

“The ability to adapt and learn something new should be valued above all else. Gone are the days where you pick a profession and just do that one thing for the rest of your life. People will need to know how to learn something new multiple times over in their lives. Not only because it will be the only way you’ll still be able to contribute to society, but also because our knowledge of the world and who we are is progressing incredibly quickly.”  

Sebastian's Stories

The Life of Steve 

Steve spawned in and got wood. He was going to make a house, but he made a crafting table instead. Next, he built a house and he made a sword. Then he killed a pig so he could get pork chops to eat. After dinner, he went to the desert and got sand to cook and make glass for his house. Then Alex spawned in. She just came in to see what he was doing. Steve said, “Hi!” Alex said, “Hi, Steve. What are you doing?” Steve said, “Well I just want to go mine with you.” Alex said, “Ooooooooooooooooh, OK. Come on.” They each grabbed a stone pickaxe. OK…………..yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!! They found coal and iron. Now they can make iron swords.

Steve and his house
Steve and Alex
Leaving the Flock

Soft Opening

Today was what I would like to call our ‘soft opening’. My goal for this semester is to establish where my son is at, undo some of the poor ways he has learned certain subjects (thanks, common core) and get him excited about all the things we can learn together. My son LOVES Minecraft (and now Terraria), so what better way to get him excited about math, spelling, writing, and reading than to make it all Minecraft themed. I found Minecraft workbooks and am using the pages to push us off into other subjects that they don’t cover.  For example, we completed a Minecraft math addition worksheet together. It used various Minecraft animals in it. We used those animals as our spelling list.  We translated them into Spanish, laughed as Google Translate pronounced them and practiced writing them.  We made flashcards of our words (English & Spanish) to practice this week and will have a written quiz on Friday. Then we used a composition book to start writing a story and drawing a picture using the animals and Minecraft themes. The plan is to add to it all week with the big ‘publish’ coming Friday. Today being the solar eclipse, we had fun discussing ‘everything’ eclipse. We decided to ‘view’ it through my camera using a dark filtered lens. I love photography and anytime I can practice and teach him about the camera is a fine time!

I intend to expand and build on what we did today, but so far so good. I love that he had a great day and is excited about what we will do tomorrow! As I have been planning this journey, I think the biggest favor I did for myself was allowing anything to be an acceptable start. I am here to steer the ship, but it’s his heart we will follow.

Homeschool Resources

How?

Funny before I had a child, I used to talk about ‘homeschooling my kids’ one day. Who knows in my 20’s why I thought that maybe I am a secret seer.  Over the last year, I joined a few local Facebook homeschool groups to just ‘see what they were up to’. What were they doing? What did their ‘day’ look like? How did they start? What were the requirements? SO many questions when the idea first pops into your head. After a few months of just reading and getting a comfort level with the idea, a post for a nearby convention popped up. I immediately wanted to go and plotted my course to attend, the Great Homeschool Convention.  I attended two seminars. One covered the basics and was so incredibly helpful on getting started.  One was more specific to the laws and groups in Texas.  I decided not to purchase any curriculum that day,  but rather take my time and first establish which one might be a good fit.  I was encouraged to read 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum to learn more about the options.

The time came to start sharing the education and comfort level I was gaining with my husband. We discussed the topic time and time again. Things like the influence of standardized testing in our state (STAAR) and why I am an advocate for opting-out as well as the truth behind Common Core were all high factors on our list.  I also sent him articles as they would come across my groups. Like these:  New Path to Harvard, Unschooling and Homeschool Myth. In the end, he let his faith and trust in my research and knowledge guide his blessing……so here we are – all in for 2017-18 as homeschoolers!

 In Texas, you are essentially forming your own private school in which you will teach your child the state required curriculum of five basic subjects: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship. How, when and where you choose to do that is entirely up to you.  There is no reporting or monitoring in the state of Texas. When you begin it is encouraged to brand yourself and name your school. I let my son help choose a name and create a logo…..so was born,

‘Craft the Mind Academy’

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Visit Sir Ken Robinson

 

…and it definitely isn’t a fit for our family!

Leaving the Flock

Why?

I know your number one question is…..Why?

FREEDOM! Freedom to learn when, where and how we want.

Our local school had my child for 2 school years, but sadly by the end of that second year, he had lost his love of learning.  He and I made many amazing friends during that time. We look forward to continuing those sweet friendships!

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