Tag Archives: goals and strategies

outdoor hour challenge & music ideas

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well i’m still stumbling along…but haven’t found time to blog…sorry…i’ll get back to it, i really want to be better at keeping track of things here.

but right now i wanted to post about this thing i discovered on another blog, the “outdoor hour challenge.” i am going to be starting this with my kids…since i’ve not found time to organize anything science related. i’ve not found time for a lot of things. but maeven continues to learn…and read read read…she’s whizzing through chapter books now! so time is not wasted. and life is a learning experience…and she finds her own projects to do all the time. i’m very proud of her!

anyway, i really like the idea of this outdoor hour challenge…and on another site there is a “sketch tuesday” that i’m going to start with maeve as well. here’s the latest sketch tuesday challenge. maeven will really get into this sort of thing, i think. and more art for her! (which is totally her thing)…and i am finding all sorts of ideas like this on other people’s blogs…i just have to get organized and plan them for maeve.

this got me to thinking that i would like to do something here on this blog. there’s one thing i’ve yet to find anywhere (didn’t really look though, but don’t need to)…something to help us learn new songs regularly. i know a TON of songs…with my background in preschool, my head is crammed full of them! and i continue to collect kids’ music cds, and review them on my website. i’m way behind, though…there’s a ton that i need to add.

anyway, i’m thinking of starting a song-of-the-week. for my own kids to learn, and i’ll post here so others can benefit as well. i think learning one singable song a week is a good way to start adding a bunch of music to our day. i will start compiling a list of what i want to teach them…i have so many to choose from! and i want them to be songs that can be sung without the cd. “singable songs” (will draw some from raffi, hehe)…but right now i need to go shower and get some stuff done around here. and i have a thing to writeup to take to my first discovery center board meeting tonite. (they asked me to join! i’m so excited!) i’m proposing a children’s concert to benefit TDC. got a lot of info about it already and i’ll just have to organize all that. goodness but i have so many things i’m working on!!

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school less, teach more

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i just had to share this post from a blog i subscribe to that i thought was very powerful.

being that i’ve had a hard time getting focused time with maeven for “school”, it makes me feel pretty good reading that and realizing that i do a fair amount of those things already. and i’ve been seriously wanting to get us involved in volunteering…just have to find the time to find something that will work with a 3yr old in tow. this is spurring me to look!

i do try to just kind of go where the wind blows at times when i can see that a scheduled learning session is just not gonna happen. i do check out (just got a bunch last nite at the library! and we have a membership to blockbuster…and i frequently look up documentaries on topics we are studying) educational videos, particularly documentaries (in fact, we just finished watching “arctic tale“, made by the same people that made “march of penguins“…VERY fascinating look at the lives of polar bears and walruses and such.)  and maeven and tyren both absolutely LOVE nova and nature on pbs…in fact i’ve yet to see a topic on either of those shows that my kids weren’t fascinated by (although there have been some skipped due to some graphic violence, like one on the human sacrifices of the aztecs or something like that).

trips to the library have only been stressful with tyren, but i do go regularly…and often take maeven (she’s not as enthused by the library as i would like her to be…but i think i may try out the idea to check out other libraries…that sounds like it might pique her interest!) and i regularly order books from their website. and have them send the books and movies to our library close to us…the system calls when the books are ready to pick up…i love that! and all 3 of us (even tyren!) have our own library cards…which means even more things we can check out! woohoo! and we do, all the time! fiction AND nonfiction. so i’m doing well there, i think!

i do try to use art…just this past week we got paints out again and started making messes. 🙂  and maeven has a weekly homeschool art class she attends now. and as soon as i have that big room back, i’m going to be creating an art area that both my kids will be able to thrive in! until then, i am going to try to do more with them outside, weather permitting.

i did just get the math games book, and intend to start doing math games with maeve even when we cannot do an actual lesson…so she’ll be learning even if we cannot do the actual lesson…and i’m going to make it a point to do MORE games as well…we have tons of them for pete’s sake! need to get those great discovery toys games out again! 🙂  i also am wanting to get more puzzles…found this great one that is JUST what i’ve been looking for!! a US puzzle that actually has one piece per state, shaped like the state! i’ve been searching the net for years for this! and there’s a europe one as well! 🙂   puzzles are a GREAT way to learn geography! i plan to find one for each continent and if they don’t exist, i’m going to make one! (just need to find sheet magnets).

so i’m feeling better about how things are going now…because i’ve been really frustrated that i’ve not been able to get my routine down. i have a plan, but we rarely are able to stick to it. primarily because of tyren. but not always. but if the day is already stressful because of trying to keep him entertained…or breaking up fights or whatnot….i’m not about to dive into a lesson with maeven where i’m going to have to keep him occupied elsewhere and out of our hair. it just doesn’t work well. so i’m going to try to do math at night when daddy is consistantly here and can play with tyren. hopefully that will work. i’ve been wanting to do that for awhile, it just hasn’t happened yet. but i talked to adam about it and he thinks it could work too. so we’ll see. most of the rest of the stuff i want to do with maeven i can do during the day here and there…if we can all just get well again! the kids are sick again and so things slow down.

anyway, i’m glad i read that post about school less, teach more. that makes me feel less of a failure.

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some more goals

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since i feel like blogging more, i thought i’d share a list i’m working on. i created this in the back cover of my lesson planner. i add to it when i think of more ideas. i’ve got a good list going now, so i thought i’d post it.

these are things that i want my kids to experience or be exposed to:

  • theater, especially musicals
  • diverse music–jazz (dixieland and smooth), classical, rock/pop, country, reggae, celtic, blues, gospel…and i may allow some rap, only if its not offensive and something like will smith (i HATE rap!)
  • handcrafts–woodworking, pottery, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, sewing, waldorf crafts, etc…
  • fine arts–painting, sculpting, etc…
  • languages–particularly sign language and spanish
  • many cultures–festivals, feasts, holidays, meals, music, dress, traditions, languages..
  • travel–california, the US, and the world!
  • memorization–of poetry, sayings, important writings, etc…for poetry, start with shel silverstein, dr seuss, mother goose…
  • patriotic songs–this land is your land, my country tis of thee, america the beautiful…
  • american folk songs–oh susanna, froggy went acourtin…
  • gardening
  • baking
  • cooking
  • learning to play musical instruments
  • singing songs regularly (not just listening…i need to start a songbook of all the songs i know…there’s SOOO many in my head that i need to get down so i can remember they’re there!)
  • animal care–not just pets, but livestock and large animals

that’s all i can think of for now…that’s a pretty big list! and i know i’ll think of more.

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