The 1st 2 Weeks of HIGH School….

The first 2 weeks of Keilee’s High School Adventure is in the record books and it went really well!

It was really a seamless transition back to school. Keilee was VERY ready to start back.

She loves Psychology and keeps doing all these ‘experiments’ on me. One thing she did was asked me to talk for 2 minutes without pausing while she used “Talk to Text” to record it. She said, “Mom they did it for hours in the experiment but I’m not going to make you do that”. Gee thanks babe. It was honestly harder than it looked! I did a lot of ‘and yes I’m still talking and I can’t wait until this is over’ kind of talking.  She decided to create a Facebook Page with a few friends so she could use them as guinea pigs!  I thought that was a really GREAT idea!  ;)

She loves “The History of the Ancient World”. It is SO similar to SOTW. I got the audio from Audible so she reads and listens at the same time. The Guide is very helpful too.

Algebra is ……well Algebra. I am very lucky that a dear friend gave us Saxon Algebra last year [No we didn’t finish it and plan to this semester] but we don’t love it. In trying to keep this real, we kinda despise it. Not every lesson is like this but a few are just like pulling fingernails.  I don’t know if it is so much Saxon’s fault as just “Algebra’s” fault. I am trying to figure out what to do before my television gets broken from me throwing the book through it.

She is using LifePrint for sign langauge and has honestly learned so much quickly. She keeps asking me to quiz her and it surprises me what she has learned.

But our favorite is Southern Literature. So far we have read 3 short stories; “Childhood: The Biography of a Place”;
A Southern Landscape” and “State Champions.”  We have really enjoyed them and learned so much. Words like galluses, brogans,  cutworms and citrons. We realized we saw citrons at our Farmer’s Market but didn’t know what they were. We read about a church with a gold finger pointing to the heavens and Googled it.  It is a real place.  We also read in the same story about Windsor Mansion, a beautiful plantation home that burned down in the late 1800′s.  Also a real place!  I told Keilee is reminds me of a grown up version of Five in A Row. Well at least the way we are doing it. Most of the authors so far have YouTube videos we have watched also.

1st 2nd Week AUGUST 2014

Keilee worked so hard getting her things ready for her first Market this week. She had beautiful things but there was very little turnout. She did sell a couple of things and we met an amazing homeschool family who own a nearby farm so it was all good.  I absolutely love that homeschooling gives her the time to explore these things that she loves.  I have found out over the years that a Keilee who has time to create is a much happier Keilee.  She draws so much of her energy from making beautiful things.

Recently Updated249

One thing about living here that I love is all the connections Keilee and I make.  I posted this on Instagram and really started thinking about it.  Every memory I have of things from age 9-22 are in this house.  And Keilee’s will be too.  Our Christmas morning memories will be in the same room.  She jumps up on the same kitchen counter I jumped up on.  We ride bikes down the same alley and walk the same streets.  These pictures are at the elementary school a few blocks from our house.  My brothers and I rode our bikes and had a tree house and spent hours playing here.  This is the same bridge, minus the handrails, that we played on.  Connections are beautiful. 

Recently Updated250

Keilee has decided that homeschoolers need a secret sign to use. We met one of our very good friends because Keilee insisted I asked her at Wal-Mart if they homeschooled. She was there during the day with 5 kids and her sons were actively engaging with their Mom so Keilee was sure they were homeschooled. :) She was right.

In other news I GOT A JOB!! It is a very small job with very little money. Not enough to actually completely support us but it is perfect for right now. And it could grow into something bigger. And it is with a Christian Non-Profit that has been in operation in our town for 47 years. AND it is WORK FROM HOME!!!  I will blog more about it later.

Recently Updated251

I’m going to try to be better about posting.  Honestly I totally blame Instagram.  I know everyone doesn’t have Instagram but it is just so much easier to post one picture and a small ‘post’ than to edit pictures and post on my blog.  That being said, Keilee and I LOVE going back to previous years and months to see what we were doing so I do what to keep blogging.

I hope everyone is having a great school year; if you’ve started yet that is.

Homeschooling Rocks!!!
Karen

  “Educators – like musicians, journalists, carmakers, and bankers before them – won’t know what hit them. But as sure as change is overtaking every other sector of society, it will overtake education – as well it should. Our cookie-cutter, one-pace-fits-all, test-focused system is not up to the task of teaching the creators of the new Googles.”   – Jeff Jarvis in Hacking Education

Happily linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”
Mary at “Collage Friday”  Woohoo Welcome back Mary :)
Lisa at “My Week In Review

Homeschooling High School…

We began homeschooling when Keilee was 7.  Then  everything was shiny and new and I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.  High School?? I didn’t think about high school at all.  She was 7!  Well now she is 14 and starting high school.  How did that even happen??? 

There will be no more learning History with her Webkinz.

all-friends

Or having a 1700′s day where she wears a costume, uses candles or writes with a quill.  

kei-colonial

Or making a jello cell:

kei-cell

Or learning about Ancient Greeks by dressing up in a toga.

kb-olympics3

 This year looks more ‘bookish, more ‘schoolish’ despite my efforts to talk her out of it.  She wanted to do it this way.  She found her own curriculum except for History.  She wanted Ancient History and couldn’t find a high school level class.  She also knew she wanted Southern Lit so we sat down together to plan it.  She has her daily plan all worked out.  Not every subject every day but it does all flow. 

Recently Updated247

Disclaimer: Keilee is like me, great at planning but occasionally lacking follow through. These are her plans but as a Homeschool Mom I know how often plans can change. These will I am sure. :)

Recently Updated248

Keilee’s 9th Grade 2014-2015

HISTORY:

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome We LOVE Susan Wise Bauer’s SOTW series. We used them all and loved them so I was so excited to find this. There is also an audio version!

I actually found the book but wondered how much work it would take to make lesson plans when I discovered this:
Study and Teaching Guide: The History of the Ancient World: It is like a grown up “Activities” guide for high school. It looks amazing! We are going to supplement this with movies that I found from the time periods she is studying.

SCIENCE:

Understanding Psychology: Keilee has always loved anything to do with the brain and people’s reasons for behaving a certain way. She found this used on Amazon so I ordered it. I found lesson plans and resources to go along with it here.

SOUTHERN LITERATURE

I couldn’t find a Southern Literature curriculum so we are making our own. Every book list I have found has “To Kill A Mockingbird” on it but Keilee has not only read the book and watched the movie but she played Scout in the play. My brother was very helpful because he was an English major. He gave us several suggestions. I ordered this book; “Growing Up in The South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature. I am going to pick a few of the books listed here. We are also reading short stories and poems including:

William Faulkner – Barn Burning and A Rose for Emily or The Bear
Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find
Truman Capote – A Christmas Memory
Eudora Welty – Why I live at the PO and The Worn Path
Tennessee Williams – The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire (Plays and Movies)
Fannie Flagg – Fried Green Tomatoes
James Dickey – poems (I love Animal Heaven)
Alice Walker – The Flowers; The Color Purple (Flowers is very short but makes you think)
Because of what they wrote about Twain, Poe and Ambrose Bierce are called southern writers by some. Read The Open Window or An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Bierce. Both of those are great!

 CREATIVE WRITING
Keilee has written 24 chapters of her book and will continue to work on this. She will also take a Creative Writing class with Jessica and her girls.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
We are trying to find a local class for this. Someone suggested contacting our Deaf Association and seeing if someone would be willing to teach Keilee. It would help them and her. I am waiting to hear back. In the meantime I found several websites. Lifeprint is one that I found a couple of months ago. Keilee knows the alphabet and so many words from a television show she has watched for a few years. I also found one from Start American Sign Language that looks interesting. Like most things she will have to dive in to know if it’s something she will benefit from.

AFRICA
I have so many Africa resources that Keilee will use for this study. She wants to one day live in Africa so she decided she needed to learn more about the people, the government and the country.
Some of the resources she is using are:
Africa Hands of a Child
African Lap Notes
African Countries
African Maps
Animals of The Savannah Plain
Southern Africa: Tribal Huts and Homes; Tribal Life and Nations
Water and Landforms of Africa
The A to Z of African Countries

ALGEBRA 1 SAXON  {Edited]

Sandra pointed out that I didn’t put her Math on here!  Good grief, we can’t forget our favorite subject! NOT.  We started Algebra I last year and will finish in December and start Geometry 2nd semester.  Well, that’s the plan! :)

BIBLE

We are still looking for a good Bible Study.  All the ones I have seen for Teen Girls are full of dealing with things that, thankfully, isn’t something Keilee has to deal with.

We are also watching some YouTube Channels.   One is ET The HipHop Preacher that Bene’, one of our lead pastors, recommended.  I also found a audio version of The New Testament that we are going to listen to.  $2 at a yard sale! :)

 We plan on watching tons of movies using the Teach With Movies website. I actually found this site years ago when you had to pay a small yearly fee to join but now it is FREE!! It has so many movies and teaching resources to go along with it. Check it out, I think you will really like it!

2-4 WEEK STUDIES
World Government
Major World Religion
United States Presidents [ongoing] She is making Notebook Pages on each President with information on each one. It will be put in a notebook. I won a lifetime Membership to Notebooking Pages which we LOVE!!
Mythological Creatures
Medicinal Plants

YOUTUBE CHANNELS [She watches these continuously when she is doing anything creative]  I can not tell you how much Keilee has learned from watching YouTube videos all her life.  Her knowledge of all things Science and History amazes me!!
Please watch before you let your children watch. They may not all be appropriate for all ages.

Khan Academy
Animalist News
Animal Planet
Sic Show
Smarter Every Day   We know Dustin. He lives where we live and Keilee has done plays with his brother. :)
Crash Course
The Brain Scoop
V Sauce
Horrible History
National Geographic

CURRENT EVENTS:
CNN Student News
BBC Worldnews

PHILOSOPHY

After reading  Sparklee’s post about what she is doing with her kids, the idea of a Philosophy course intrigued me.  So I did some searching and found “Philosophy for Teens” on Amazon.  I got the Kindle version.  I have never taken a Philosophy course but it looks really good.  It also talks about Socrates, Aristotle and Plato so it will go along with our Ancient History.

ARTS:

Of course she will continue with her creative endeavors. She plans on taking her Crafts to our downtown Market on Tuesdays and restocking her Etsy store in time for Christmas.

JOB SHADOWING

She has written down all the ‘job shadowing’ opportunities she wants to explore. I have found that people are very willing to share their love of what they do with kids. All you have to do is ask. The worse they can say is “No”. These will be, hopefully, a couple of days to see if it is something she would like to pursue. Some of the places she has written down are:

Newspaper
Court House
Law Office
Lab
Animal Shelter
Wildlife Refuge

She has another idea for a wonderful volunteer opportunity but we will have to see how it unfolds.

So there you have it. Keilee’s 9th Grade Year. I told her she didn’t even need me but she assures me she will.  She said, “I still need you for Algebra Mom”.  Great!  The thing I HATE most. :)  I will still do History and Southern Lit with her because I want to learn too!  I have learned so much since we started homeschooling.

I hope this is an amazing year for us all!!!

Homeschooling Rocks
Karen

My quote this post is from a Paul Simon song.  I hope this is the antithesis of how Keilee feels after her 4 years of learning at home!
“When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all”  ~Paul Simon

nbts-blog-hop-2014

Linking with:
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday

The Week of Driving and Sand and Squirrels…..

I honestly can’t remember much we have done the last few days.  A lot of home time after busy weeks.  Visiting Patsy at rehab after her surgery.  She was my Mom’s best friend and she said my Mother ‘gave’ Keilee and I to her.  Playing board games and World of Warcraft.  We are almost level 90 on WOW which means nothing to most of you probably. :)

We spent a couple of days at the pool.  They have a beach there too and Keilee played in the sand a bit.  And she created a chalk masterpiece on our driveway.  See that one white square?? It’s where Seth pressure washed it.  I can not believe the difference.  Keilee got that T-Shirt as a yard sale for .25.  It says, “Will teach Science for Food”. :)

Recently Updated244

Silly pictures are my favorite.

Recently Updated243

In other HUGE news this past week I let Keilee drive in the alley.  I told her for years I would teach her to drive when she was 12.  When she turned 12 she was MUCH too  young.  So I told her 13.  When she turned 13 she was MUCH too young.  So I told her 14.  When she turned 14 she was MUCH too young but….I finally, at 14 1/2 let her drive.  It scared me to death.  She did awesome though although 7 MPH is the fastest she went. I can not believe she is almost old enough to drive.  It seems like she was just driving her pink Barbie car around the driveway!!!

Recently Updated245

In the hugest news of all we are taking Augustus to an Wildlife Rehabilatator on Wednesday.  It is killing both of us.  This has been an amazing experience for Keilee.  And for me.  He is the sweetest thing.  I know there is going to be tears, mostly mine!!  I am the crier of the two of us.  

Recently Updated246

Keilee has all her curriculum ready for the year and most of her school supplies.  Thanks to some amazing people who blessed us I am not as worried about how to find the money for the school things she needs. 

Another summer week gone.  Is it just me or has this summer flown by??

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.  ~Author Unknown

Linking with Sylvia at “Friendship Friday” 

Days Of Summer

How can time go by so quickly??  I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since I posted here.  I keep hearing that song in my head, “Video killed the Radio Star” but I substitute, “Instagram killed my blog!”  I love Instagram.  It is quick and easy and the feedback is almost immediate.  It is a huge community of homeschool Moms, at least my Instagram is.  But I don’t want to desert my blog.  I have had this for over 6 years and I want to continue to post.

After this amount of time I just get overwhelmed.  What is ‘important’ enough to post here.  What have we done with our days that are ‘post worthy’.  Not a lot really.  We have spent huge amounts of time at the pool.  I got Keilee a waterproof case for her iPhone.  It was $10 and it works fine.  It was a necessity after a day where I got really sick at the pool and she was at the other end of the park with friends.  I texted her and called her about 31 times and she didn’t answer because she was in the water. 

Recently Updated239

We also went to Jack Daniel’s Distillery with friends.  It is a beautiful drive to Lynchburg Tennessee which is about an hour from here.  it is a totally free tour and very interesting.  See the safe?  Jack Daniels tried to open it one morning and had forgotten the combination.  He kicked it and hurt his toe which got infected and killed him!!!  Moral of the story…Temper, Temper!

Recently Updated240

Keilee has spent her days reading, Art Journaling, playing with Augustus who HAS to go soon but we so hate to make the call.  She is doing a notebook about The Presidents.  She is using Notebook Publisher and creating all her pages herself.  I won a LIFETIME Membership to this last year and we both love it.  She is her gymnastics teacher’s assistant in an all summer long gymnastics camp which she loves.  We have gone on rides in the country,  and played tons of board games.  She has planned out her entire 9th [9th???!!!!!!!] grade year which I will blog about later.  She has helped with a Drama Camp and spent tons of time with her friends.  It has been a very good Summer so far. 

Recently Updated241

We go to the Farmer’s Market each week and come home with tons of yummy produce and Sunflowers.  I just love Sunflowers!!

2014 JULY

Keilee and Emma wanted to camp out in the back yard so I borrowed a tent from Katherine.  It was surprisingly easy to put up.  She put twinkle lights, tons of pillows and blankets, her bean bag chair, tables and more.  They had a fire and roasted marshmallows.  They listened to ghost stories on YouTube because they didn’t know any!  They watched scary movies on her Macbook in the tent.  I opened my window in the bedroom so I could hear them.  I honestly didn’t think they would stay all night but they did.  They were singing songs from Wicked at 11 pm.  Many times during the night I sat out on the porch to make sure no one was murdering them in their sleep.  We don’t have a fence and I am THAT Mom.  They did sleep with Nomad so it made me feel better.  It was Nomad’s first time sleeping outside!  They all made it all night long.

Recently Updated242

We plan on ‘starting school’ on August 4th.  I have ordered all the books she needs.  She has made a list of school supplies sales and which stores have the best deals.  A lot of places have their sales on Monday so we are ready.  I am still laid off but we are good.  We did have a 2 week job so Stan sent me some money.  Thankfully it doesn’t take much for us.  The summer is passing so quickly.  It seems like it just began yesterday!!

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”  ~George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

 

Virtual to Reality…

I can’t remember the first time I commented on her blog or she commented on mine…..4 years ago? More?  I loved her blog from the beginning.  Her girls were very close to Keilee’s age and her ideas were so amazing.  It went from commenting on posts to emails very quickly.  Then phone calls.  Then there was rarely a week go by that we didn’t talk on the phone and text back and forth.  Her entire family has been so wonderful to Keilee and I and as real of friends to us as if they lived next door.

Keilee and Grace were in their first online class together the day the tornadoes of 2011 hit.  Ironically enough it was a class about weather.

Jessica got me through my Art Journal class by telling me calmly that I could do it and sending me amazing resources.  She got me through being laid off by listening to my fears and tears.   Keilee wrote and emailed and texted and FaceTimed her girls so often.  They knew and loved each others pets and they saw Augustus on the webcam and Keilee sat with me and I hugged her when their beloved Jake had to be put down. 

She sat in on Jessica’s Writing Class and learned so much.  Jess has always been SO supportive of Keilee’s writing and everything she does. 

We talked about meeting so many times.  We were actually within 50 miles of each other 2 years ago but it just didn’t work out.  This time it did.

Greg, Jessica, Grace and Lilah visited us this pass week.  To say we had fun would be such an understatement.  When they pulled into our driveway Sunday night and got out it was like we had known each other forever.  When I hugged her and her girls I was hugging dear, dear friends that just hadn’t been in the same place as me before.  We had so much fun.

We spent the first night eating and sitting outside while the girls turned cartwheels and handstands and flips. 

Recently Updated229

The next morning we headed to Pt. Mallard on what would be the hottest day of the year so far.  The girls swam and jumped the waves and rode the slides and tubes in the lazy river and more.  Jess, Greg and I sat and talked and Greg even took a little nap.  They all did great in this Alabama hot sun that they were VERY unused to.

Recently Updated230

That night we went to Big Bob Gibson’s to eat and they even tried the Brunswick Stew.  Then off to our local Concert in the Park.  I think this was my favorite time.  Everyone on a blanket sitting in the park with the Tennessee River in the background.  And the girls playing on the rail road tracks and turning cartwheels and trying to do all sorts of stunts and laughing their heads off.

Recently Updated231

I love these pictures!

Recently Updated232

And I hope you can see the joy on the girls faces in these.

Girls Park

We came back over here and ate Lemon Cake that Keilee had made and planned to go to The Space and Rocket Center the next morning before they left.

We love The Space and Rocket Center and really take for granted the fact that it is so close to us.  We walked through the exhibits and the girls climbed rock walls,  played games, rode moon buggy simulators, rode the Space Shot and more.

Recently Updated235

One final picture and it was time for them to be on their way to their next adventure.

Recently Updated236

Keilee and I drove home and talked and talked about how much we loved meeting them all.  How natural it felt to spend time with them.  How much we wished we lived closer.  It was like a vacation for us too and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Plans were made for more visits and I just know we will see them again.  Thank you Greg, Jess, Grace and Lilah for taking the time to spend time with us.  You do not know how much it meant to us.  Connecticut to Alabama just doesn’t seem as far as it did.

That’s what this virtual world is all about isn’t it?  Homeschooling can be lonely and this blogging world can bring us all closer together.  I am SO thankful that it brought Jessica and her amazing family into our lives.

Homeschool Rocks and so does meeting faraway friends!
Karen

“I dislike the phrase ‘Internet friends,’ because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not its physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us toward empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of our selves” ~John Green

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday

 

Creativity….

Creativity oozes out of her.

I have been a 14 year old girl, I have known many 14 year old girls, I have had nieces when they were 14 but I’ve never met anyone like Keilee.

She has to create. She HAS to create. When she was small she always played with her dolls or crayons when we watched TV at night. I used to tell her that I couldn’t wait until she was older so she could just sit and watch TV with me. That has yet to happen. She crochets or knits every night while we watch TV or sometimes she does Art Journaling.  Never once have I seen her sit and do nothing. I am serious, unless she is sick, she doesn’t do ‘nothing’. I am great at doing nothing. Well I usually read but that is about as creative as I get.

She amazes me. I tell her all the time that I wish I had ¼ of her energy and drive.  I wonder all the time if she would be this way if we didn’t homeschool.  I know the ‘creativity’ gene is just in her but would she have had time to foster it?  With school 8 hours and then homework would she have the hours to spend doing beautiful things?

She sees something and makes it. She doesn’t need a pattern or instructions, she just sees it and “gets” it. We were talking about how different people are yesterday. How some people have amazing talents with singing or playing an instrument and I told her that she has so many talents but the one I love is her talent for just creating….taking something and transforming it into something so cool and beautiful. I think creative people are the people who are the happiest.   Because there is ALWAYS an outlet to create.

You wouldn’t believe how many times she tells me……. “It makes me so happy to” crochet or Art Journal or whatever she is doing.

Here are some of the things she has made in the last month.

She LOVES Africa.  Her plan has always been to go there and rehabilitate wildlife animals.  She made this awesome shirt.  She made the transfer, printing it out and ironed it on.  Then she cut the fringe and beaded each one of them.  See the “Africa” and “Animals” she spelled out?  The quote is from Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Recently Updated222

These are 1.  hair bows out of tulle.  2.  2 adorable crocheted dolls she is making  [one not finished hence only 1 leg 3. A crocheted octopus that she made for a headband. 4. 2 Hippie headbands 5. She cut out a BIG “K” and used yarn to wrap about it.  She also made a bow for it.  She has it in her room.Recently Updated223

This is a large canvas that she painted Africa on.

Recently Updated224

I think this is my favorite!  She took a pair of overalls she had when she was about 10 and cut the legs off.  Then she made a tulle skirt for it and sewed it onl  I LOVE it!Recently Updated225

This is an old blue jean vest that she frayed.  Recently Updated226

Here are her latest Art Journal pages.  She does these almost every day.  My favorite is the one with Elsa and Annah from “Frozen”.  Recently Updated227

And this is just a side view of her Art Journal.  When she got this it was maybe an 1″ thick.  Now it can not close.  It is full of beautiful pages.Recently Updated228

I always love seeing what she decided to make.  And I tell her every day that I wish I loved doing things like she does.  If I did my house would look like something from “House and Garden”!!!

We have plans for a INCREDIBLY EXCITING next few days.  More on that later.  :)

Happy weekend,
Homeschool Rocks,
Karen

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  ~Maya Angelou

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

 Linking with
Sylvia at Friendship Friday

 

the next four years; homeschooling high school

Sometimes I question; don’t we all? Sometimes I wonder if this is the right path.

This really hit me when I went to my nephew’s High School Graduation. I saw all the kids in their black caps and gowns laughing and hugging each other. I watched them give speeches about special high school memories and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. I watched them all put their arms around each other and sway back and forth while singing their Alma Mater.

I glanced over at Keilee several times to see if I saw a wistfulness in her eyes. A ‘wishing I could do that” look. I asked her on the way home if she wouldn’t like to go to high school and experience things like that. She said, ‘No Mom did you hear their speeches? They thanked their parents for staying up late with them to help with homework and projects. For getting up early to take them to the bus, for helping them study for tests and for understanding when they were under stress from tests. Why in the world would I want memories like that?” I explained to her there is also fun times with groups of friends. Keilee has friends but they are more 1 or 2 people at a time. She is very much an introvert and prefers small groups. She then said, “Mom have you heard Seth talk about his friends? They argue and do stupid things and talk about each other behind their backs. They go to parties that I would hate and do things that I would never do. That isn’t the kind of friends I want.”

My girl is much smarter than I am at times. I know I have acquaintances that may question our homeschooling. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard, “But what about Prom?” like that is the end of the world. There are Proms in homeschooling but even if they weren’t it would not be an incentive to go to High School. My Prom? I didn’t go. I only wanted to go with one person and he didn’t ask me so I turned down the people who did. Am I scarred from the experience? Typing it now is the first time I have thought of it in years. Yes I had fun in high school but I did stupid things that I never want Keilee to do. There was so much peer pressure and mean girls and this was before internet and online and Apps like Yik-Yak . I can not even tell you how upset I was when I found out about this app.  I read online about how so many schools are having such a horrible time because of it.  How it was impossible to block because the school can not dictate which Apps kids have.  That is the responsibility of the parent.  Honestly I had to download it just to see.  It pulled from a certain mile radius and updated during the night.  I woke up and read some of the ‘posts’ and honestly cried my eyes out.  You don’t have to sign in with your name or anything so there is ZERO accountability.  You would not believe the things I read.  And I am NOT sheltered.  Kids are brutal to each other.  It broke my heart.   And we live 2 blocks from the high school that this App pulled information from.  The high school Keilee would go to.

Keilee actually watched a SciShow episode about teen brains. She told me that teenagers brains have not developed the ‘Whoa that is a really dumb idea” part of it until they are about 22. Like I said, she is so much smarter than I am at times.

Homeschooling High School scares me a bit. I don’t think there is a homeschool Mom out there who isn’t a bit frightened of the idea of “HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL”.  But I KNOW it can work. I read blogs and books that show that it works. It is a bit scary for me because we have always done Interest Led Homeschooling. Keilee does what she wants to do. Thankfully up until now she has always wanted to do so much. She knows what she needs but I have to have some sort of a plan for 9th grade. No it won’t look like the High School up the street but why in the world would I want it to?

I love that she learns while she is crocheting or knitting. That I go in her room and she is watching video after video about Science. That she is so full of knowledge that she learns that she never stops talking about it. She retains information unbelievably.

I think so often about the difference in my education and Keilee’s so far. I don’t remember anything I learned. On the other hand I have learned so much since I started homeschooling. I found out I have a love for history that I never had. Keilee thinks it is cool to be smart, to know things, to be a geek girl. I never remember thinking that. I made good grades; A’s and B’s except for that one time in 4th grade that I got a C in handwriting because I am left handed and my teacher didn’t understand it was hard for me to make letters the correct way. See THAT is what I remember about school. The one time I made a bad grade that I didn’t think I deserved.

The world has changed so much in the last 10 years. I don’t think Education, at least public school education has changed as fast. Why in the world would you learn dates and boring facts when you have access to Google? Ok I have heard the argument ‘but what if one day the internet is gone?” It is like I told a friend recently, if that day comes I don’t think the fact that Keilee can’t remember the exact date the Civil War began is going to be her biggest problem.

So I will spend the summer talking with Keilee and planning and doing some research. That IS what us homeschooling Moms rock at right?

Have you heard of the British philosopher Alan Watts?  He has a wonderful video.  He asked students “What would  you do if money was no object” and tells them to DO THAT!!  I wonder what homeschooling High School would look like if there were no SAT or ACT requirements?  If anyone could go to college no mater what if they wanted to learn?   THAT life is how I want Keilee to spend the next 4 years.   I know it isn’t how it really is but I want to find a way to combine her love for learning and the things she is passionate about and “their” requirements.  Is that even possible?

I hope that high school homeschool will be a lot like we have always homeschooled.  Lots of lovely learning all.the.time.

Older Pics Kei

Homeschooling High School? Pshhhhhffffffff. Of course we can.

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” ~ Grace Llewellyn

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

Ramblings…

The last week of May is here.  I can’t believe May is almost over.  Looking back I just haven’t taken many pictures this week.  Our days are slow and filled with time outside.  We haven’t really done much, although I am trying to find more free things for us to do.

Keilee and I have been spending huge amounts of time outside; walking Nomad, mowing the yard; doing art journaling outside, hula hooping in the rain and so much more.

Recently Updated218

We went to Alabama Jubilee on Memorial Day weekend.  It is always one of our favorite things to do.  We arrived around 6:00 AM and watched the balloons take flight.  It was so gorgeous.  Recently Updated220Then we went back that night to see the Balloon Glow.  It was beautiful with all the balloons glowing and they had a band that the balloons lit up to in time.  Only drawback was that is was VERY crowded and there is one road in and out so it was a bit crazy getting in and out.

Recently Updated219

Keilee decided to make a rag rug a couple of days ago.  She watched a video on how to cut the T-shirts.  She has TONS of old shirts that she has outgrown and that people have given her so she used those.  She cut them all out and rolled the material into a HUGE ball and just crocheted it.  She used 25 T-Shirts.  I LOVE the way it turned out.  She blows my mind with the things she can do.  I feel like a slug next to her! :)

Recently Updated221

Last night Seth, my nephew, graduated from High School.  It was so bittersweet.  He has always been SO important to Keilee and I and it makes me sad that he is so grown up now.  But we are very proud of him too and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.

Photo May 30, 8 12 01 AM

So there’s a quick recap of our week.  Not many wildly exciting things; just living our lives and trying to find beauty in small places. 

Thank you all for your prayers.  June will be 6 months of me being laid off.  I don’t know how we make it…..it is only with amazing friends and God’s grace. 

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. - Ulysses S. Grant

I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.Dr. Seuss

Happily linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

Co-op Showcase, Mother’s Day and Early Summer…

Wow it was hot this week.  High 80′s and gorgeous every day.  We haven’t turned on our AC yet and yes it was hot in the house.  In fact it was 87° inside one day.  I am trying to keep my electric bill low.  No I don’t plan on doing this all Summer but for now it works.  After the freezing winter we don’t mind hot.  It actually isn’t bad unless we are going somewhere.  There is nothing worse than getting ready when you are burning up!  Thursday a cold front moved in and it is downright chillyish now.

Saturday was our Co-op Showcase.  My Art Journal kids displayed their notebooks and my Drama class performed The Ugly Duckling.  They did a really good job and it was many of the kids first speaking lines.  I made sure everyone had at least a couple of lines.

Keilee did a project for the Science Fair.  She did AUGUSTUS.  She had already kept a daily journal for him and she printed out pictures, did ‘Lapbook” like info flaps and even brought Augustus.  Her project was a hit!!!  People crowded around the entire day oohing and ahhing and asking Keilee 100 questions.  I was so proud of her!  It was a perfect project for my animal loving, rehabilitator wanna be daughter!!

Recently Updated214

Mother’s Day was a lovely day.  Keilee was upset that she couldn’t buy me anything but as usual she got creative and outdid herself.

I woke that morning, as always, before Keilee. I found hearts everywhere I touched. By my bed, on the light I turn on in the kitchen, on the outside light that I flip off when I wake up, in the bathroom, on the fridge where I grab something to drink…..all together 23 hearts with the most beautiful things written on them. I asked her later how in the world did she know my routine so well since she is always still asleep.  Her response, “I just know you”.
Some of my favorites:

“Things I love about you”  [this was the first one I found by my bed]
“I love that you’re my best friend”
“I love that you love me”
“I love how you dance with me for no reason”
“I love how you help others”
“I love that you don’t need much to be happy”
“Your compassion”
“Your hope”
“I love our life”
“I love when we sit outside and enjoy Nature”
“I love when you spin in the wind”
“I I love that you love adventures”
“Your Faith is bigger than your fear”
I just loved every one of them.  I am so lucky to have her.

Mother’s Day afternoon we went to a beautiful park here.  We had a gift card from Panera that a dear friend, who I have never even met in real life, had sent us so we ran by and got a sandwich to split.  It was the BEST day and it didn’t cost us a penny except for gas.  So many people are such blessings to us. 

Recently Updated215

After church we ran to the store and on the way back she said, “Mom I want to go to that old train track one day and take a few pictures”, so I whipped into an empty store and we got out and walked over.  I can’t do anything that cost money but saying “YES” is always free.

Recently Updated216

The rest of the week was slow and lazy.  We stayed outside a lot.  We rode bikes every day and read outside and Keilee created like she always does.  I taught Keilee how to drive a riding lawn mower and sorta ran along beside her like when she learned to ride her bike without training wheels.  And there were leaps in the rain and learning outside on a quilt with Augustus soaking up some rays.  The rose is from our garden.  Keilee calls it the “Beauty and The Beast” rose.

Recently Updated217

I can’t believe it is already halfway through May.  We school year round but we do slow down on Math.  We don’t love Math. 

I would like to thank everyone for the continue prayers.  Life isn’t perfect and some days are hard but life is still good. 

Lots of plans this weekend if the weather cooperates.  It is supposed to rain Saturday and that will definitely effect our plans!!

Happy weekend all!
Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”   -  Edwin Way Teale

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” —Jill Churchill

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

 

My Mother, My Friend….

That is how she signed every card to me after I was an adult.
I love you,
Your Mother, Your Friend.

2 of the pictures are just black and white copy machine copies of old pictures.  I have the originals but just can’t handle digging through old pictures.  The black and white ones hang on my fridge.  The color one is by my computer.Photo May 08, 2 29 44 PM

 

6 years ago tomorrow my Mother died. It seems like forever ago, it seems like yesterday. I miss her every day. Every.single.day.

She died after a 4 month illness that was never really diagnosed. They ran every test in the world on her. Nothing. The death certificate says, “Failure to Thrive”. That has always made me insane. No one wanted to ‘Thrive” like my Mother.  Saying goodbye to her on May 10th, 2008 was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  She was there and then she wasn’t.  And I was Motherless.

She died at home, in the room that is now mine. It doesn’t freak me out because while she died there, she also LIVED there.

My earliest memory was of my Mother and I. We lived in a little 2 bedroom house. I was 2. I remember it snowed and she put me in a cardboard box and dragged me around the yard. We made a huge-to-me snowball and when my Daddy pulled into the driveway we rolled it into his car. I was delighted.

She loved her children and my Daddy and her Grandchildren more than anything in the world. I always knew I was her favorite child.  Maybe my brothers thought the same thing. When I was 6 she read me “The Secret Garden” during the Summer with us laying on my bed at nap time. I can remember the windows being opened and the breeze coming through and me snuggled beside her listening to this fascinating story.

When we moved to this house, I was 9. The neighborhood was full of kids and my house was the favorite place to hang out. My Mother never let a child leave her house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. She got a Ziploc bag and filled it with whatever goodies we had in the house. There were always Little Debbies.

She buried her Mom and Dad, a brother, a much loved sister and her son. She never quite got over that. She buried a Mother and Father In-Law that she loved dearly. I remember her telling me that when she and Daddy first got married she thought she was a little better than his family. She said she was young and stupid then. She was a ‘city’ girl and he was a ‘country’ boy. She said she quickly learned that his Mother was the wisest, kindest woman she had ever met. They had a special bond. I remember sitting at my Mammaw’s house and Mother cutting out beautiful paper dolls and clothes for me and me coloring them. She always drew little things on pieces of paper. She could draw beautifully but never really drew ‘big’ things.

She loved practical jokes and was forever popping out and scaring us. We had a tree house with a window and one night all the neighborhood kids were up there and she got a ladder and climbed to the second story window and knocked. I am surprised we didn’t kill ourselves getting down. She loved scary things and would always call it ‘delicious terror.’

She was the 2nd oldest of 10 children and said she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a baby brother or sister on her hip. She was a 22 year old nursing student at UAB who modeled occasionally for department stores on the weekends and Daddy was a pitcher for the Minor League Braves when they met. They knew each other 6 weeks before they got married and immediately moved to Lawton, Oklahoma for Spring Training. They returned home a few months later after my Daddy hurt his arm and could no longer play. But she always loved the Braves. She followed them every single season and knew every player’s name and their background. No one could talk when her Braves were playing.

We didn’t go to church every Sunday or honestly most Sundays because we always had to visit my Grandparents to help them out, but she was the one of the most Godly woman I have ever met. I still find pieces of paper around the house with things she had written, always in green ink, Bible verses or thoughts that she had. Each time I find one I feel like she is sending me a gift from Heaven. Her marked up Bible is one of my favorite possessions.

She would call me to tell me it was raining or cold. She called me every night to say “Good night baby”. When I moved to California she called me every single morning to make sure I was awake for work. We watched the 2nd tower fall on 9/11, over 2,000 miles from each other. I wanted to be home so badly I could taste it.

I get so envious sometimes when I see pictures of women with their Moms and I think, “Why can I not have my Mom?   Why can’t she be with us and go places with us? The last 5 years have been very hard financially for us but we live here rent free. I often wonder if my prayers to God to take care of Keilee and I meant that she had to die. I KNOW God doesn’t work that way but I have thought that before.

She drove me nuts at times. She always had advice for everything. I just wasn’t wise enough to realize that she was right. I wish I had her voice on my answering machine. My Dad remarried 4 years ago and kept the same home phone number. On my iPhone it is still a goofy picture of her with a Christmas bow on her head and it still says “Mom”. I just can’t change it. Even after 6 years.

She loved that I was homeschooling Keilee.  She never saw her perform on stage or do any of the amazing things she does but I know she would be so proud of her.  My biggest regret is that Keilee didn’t really get to know her. My Mom had been sick on and off since Keilee was 6. She remembers little things; Mom is the first person who put mascara on her and she will always have that memory but I want more. I want Keilee to know the Mother I knew. Keilee is so much like her in so many ways; she loves playing jokes on people, she loves scary things, she laughs at things that are sad to most people, she loves to go to garage sales and junking around, she loves jewelry and even has Mom’s jewelry box and all her jewelry, she can take one bite of food and know exactly what is in it and so much more.

Anytime my life was hard or I was going through anything she would tell me it would all be all right and I would always say, “Promise me?” and she would always say, “I promise”. Some days when things are so dark and hard I can almost hear her whisper, “I promise”.

I read something on Instagram this week that said, “I wish we could visit people in Heaven.”   Oh how I wish that too.

Happy Mother’s Day Momma,
I love you and miss you so,
One day…
Karen

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.   ~Unknown
“My mom is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.” Graycie Harmon

 

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday
Kris at “Weekly Wrap-Up”

 

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― A.A. Milne