Christina at Interest Led Learning interviewed Keilee last week for her blog.† We LOVE Christina’s blog and get so many great ideas from it.† She is the Mom of twin 6 year olds!
Here is the beginning of her interview…
“Today Iím so excited to share an interview I did with Keilee. Keilee is 12 and has been homeschooling for the last five or so years. Iíve learned a lot about all the creative things Keilee has been doing lately from visiting her mom Karenís blog at HomeschoolGirls.
I wanted to interview Keilee because she lives a life full of imagination, creativity and passion outside the school system. My kids are still young, so I find it so exciting to read about older kids who are doing some really cool things. (Not that we arenít too, but at a different level )”
This week was unbelievable!† After the crazy show week and the crazy FLU week, it was nice to get back to semi-normal.
First of all we saw Wicked.† To say we loved it would be a huge understatement.† It was MAGNIFICENT, SUPERB, AWESOME, BLOW OUR MINDS great.† Keilee knew every song but we didn’t know the ENTIRE story line.† She was on the edge of her seat the entire time, literally.† I would have sat through it again immediately afterwards.† Even if you don’t like Broadway shows [and HOW is that possible????] you would love “Wicked”.† I even loved the $40 T Shirt that she wanted…..ok, I didn’t love it, but I stood in line with other crazy people and happily gave up the money.†
We did so much this week I can’t even remember all of it.† There was lots of learning.† We learned about sine and cosine, we made roller coasters and more on a great site I found.† It is my resource of the week.† It is called Math Apprentice and we both learned so much.† Doncha love when YOU learn stuff too?
Keilee did some playing outside.† We are both so ready for warm weather.† Even though we didn’t have much cold.† I found this app called Fast Camera that takes about 100 or more pictures a minute and played around some with it.
We also did an experiment to find out whether atoms move faster in cold, hot or room temperature water.† [Hot in case you were wondering],
Keilee made a draw string purse which turned out very cool [it is a lot larger than it looks in this picture]†
Kei and I have been talking a lot about how important our words can be.† I have gotten into a horrible habit of saying, “Stupid”.† Everything and everybody is ‘Stupid’.† I am trying very hard to do away with that word.† And because I say it, of course Kei does.† We talked about being critical and how even though everyone needs someone to ‘vent’ to and we have each other for that; we need to be more supportive and kinder.† To help us remember Keilee made us both ‘Think’ bracelets.† Like ‘Think before you speak’.† I love the idea and am wearing mine everyday.
†We got the bracelet idea from this Monthly Newsletter called “Homeschooling Ideas- Fuel the Fire”.† Sign up for this if you haven’t.† REALLY..do it NOW.† It is awesome and I look forward to it every month.† Here is a link to this months newsletter.†† It is my other Favorite Resource this week.
There was even time for SILLY.† We do silly a lot at our house.† Don’t you?
Oh and Keilee tried out for another play “The Princess and the Pea”.† She got the role she wanted; Princess Diana Dingaling of Dingdong.† A princess who does nothing but sing and dance all day…type casting I say.† Rehearsals start next week….oy vey.†
I can’t believe the last 2 weeks have flown by so quickly.† Last week was Show Week and it was spectacular.† Yes it was hard work for both of us [I worked back stage 9 of the 10 shows], yes it was crack of dawn early mornings and late nights but we had a blast.
There were 88 kids in this show.† Some of them as young as 3 and they did a wonderful job.† Many of them had never done plays before.† All of our awesome Homeschool friends were in the play which made it more special.
Keilee did a really good job.† This role wasn’t as many lines as Scout, but it was a lot more ‘physical’ acting.† She pulled it off magnificently.† Her makeup took about 1 1/2 hours to apply and was horrible to remove.† There were TEN shows which is more than we have ever done before.
Here is the ‘Getting Into Character’ Shots.
Here are some ‘behind the scenes’ shots.† iPhone and dark.† My favorite is the Wicked Witch and Dorothy ballroom dancing.† FYI, Dorothy is homeschooled too!† We had about 15 homeschoolers in this play!† Keilee kept the munchkins occupied playing games like “Keilee Says”. 🙂
Here are a few from the actual show.† I think Esther made most of these.† Between Esther, Heather and I taking pictures I kinda forgot who was whose.† The really good ones are Esther’s and Heather’s.† The blurry ones are mine. 😉
One of the sweetest things was that all the Poppies that Keilee called up to put Dorothy, Toto and the Lion to sleep just LOVED Keilee.† They hung all over her and made her cards and got their parents to take pictures with her.† They were adorable.
And here are some of her favorite things.† She got flowers from our neighbor ladies, cards from her Poppies, 3 articles in the newspaper!, and she got to keep the banner they used for decoration at the theater.†
Keilee also had a knitting class in between shows.† Now Mom’s are contacting me and want to meet up at Hobby Lobby so Kei can show them what to buy.† Kei was almost as excited about that as the play!
Ok I edited these just for Keilee’s scenes.† She was in one more scene where she called up the Poppies but it was only about a minute.† And for some reason I have the curtain call in both videos.† And I don’t feel like fixing it so there!† Hope you enjoy. 🙂
And these are MY favorite pictures.† All from backstage. :)†
Unfortunately almost everyone got sick.† The rooms backstage are very small and everyone was coughing and sneezing and running a temperature and there was almost no way that we weren’t going to get sick.† I got sick Friday night.† I woke up during the night with a 100.8 fever and just prayed that I would feel well enough to make it through Saturday.† We had cast call at 10:30 and wouldn’t be finished until at least 9:30 that night.† I had friends that could have taken Keilee but there was NO way I wouldn’t be there.† I hadn’t even seen the show from the audience.†† So I sucked it up and made it through.† I was fine until about 7:30 and then I just felt so bad.† Then Keilee woke up with it Sunday. Kei went to the doctor and she had the flu.† I am sure I had it too but I didn’t go to the doc.† Thankfully we are both feeling better now.
WHEW!† What a 2 weeks.† First one amazing and fun, second one not so much.
Since Spring is in the air, here is one of our favorite Natures Sites:
Nature Detectives This is our favorite of all time Nature sites.† It is from the United Kingdom and has TONS AND TONS of great ideas, games, worksheets, activities and more.† Also be sure to sign up for their newsletter!
AND GUESS WHERE WE ARE GOING SUNDAY!!????????????† TO SEE WICKED!† How perfect is that?
Wicked Witch of the West: Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.
Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!
‘Learning from a lesson plan’ was pretty sketchy this week but learning was done all the same.† Life is funny like that† doncha’ think?
Yes there was a bit of the ole’ lesson plans.† She did 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks and worked on a Note Pack from Hands of A Child.† While I always loved the idea of lapbooking, Keilee never loved them.† The Note Packs are perfect for her.† She is working on one about “Owls”.†
She is also reading a biography on John F. Kennedy.† For some reason she has always been fascinated with him and his story.† She also wanted to know more about Marilyn Monroe† because we are watching a new TV show called “Smash” which is about a group of† people who are making a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.† So we talked about her and watched “Some Like It Hot”.†
Valentine’s Day was wonderful.† I made Kei heart shaped French Toast for breakfast.† She had made red velvet cupcakes for her Play friends and a heart shaped cake for the two older ladies next door.† I got her 2 Webkinz, some candy, and bubble gum [see it in her mouth? ::rolls eyes::]† for Valentine’s Day.† She made me the MOST AWESOME GIFT EVER.
We also found this and loved looking at all the “Hearts in Nature”.† These are a few of our favorites but the entire article is here.† Beautiful pictures!† Seriously this link is worth looking at.† We oohee and ahhed all over it.
1.††† Heart-shaped Tupai Island in French Polynesia
2.†††† Heart-shaped tree in a wheat field in the English countryside, UK.
3.†††† The Heart Nebula lies some 7,500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia
4.†††† Heart-shaped rock on Palm Beach, Preveli, Rethymno, Crete, Greece.
5.†††† The 130,000 square yard islet of Galesnjak
6.†††† The Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, Australia
Next week is Play Week and it is going wonderfully.† This week Keilee tried on her green makeup and wig for the first time.† The director told her she just couldn’t make her ugly enough for this role. :)†
Keilee getting her Witch Makeup, standing in front of her ‘castle’, getting her Webkinz together for a stop animation and playing our new game, “10 Days In The USA”.† We want to get the Europe version next.† We have played this hours this week.
My friend Esther sent this link out and we finally got a chance of watching it.† It is EXCELLENT and there are going to be 40 videos; one a week.† It may not be for your younger child.† I would advise watching first.† Only YOU know your child.† Keilee LOVES it and kept wanting to watch more.† She remembered so many things from our History studies. 🙂† We discussed so many things after watching this.
My child who never ceases to amaze and delight me.† Some of you know our remarkable story.† I thank God for her every day.
This was her Valentine’s gift to me.† THIS VIDEO BELOW.
She worked on it for a week.† At first she didn’t want me to post it because she said, “I sound horrible singing”.† [And she sings beautifully] She was trying to sing very quietly because I was in the other room.† I told her it was up to her and finally she agreed.† I cried when I watched it and still cry every time.† All of these things in the video she made me; a card, model of Pluto, roses made from pipe cleaners and a bracelet she made;† and gave them to me after I watched.†
NOTE: Kei and I’s ‘saying’ for as long as she could talk has been, “I love you to Pluto and Back”.
PS.† I don’t think she understands that “FINE” isn’t really something you call your Momma. ;)† God love her.
There seems to be such a trend on the blogs I read to explore “Interest Led Learning”.† I am so excited where this has led us.†Thank you to all who inspire me in blogland; Christina, Susan, Jenn, and more.†
1.††††††††††† Keilee at the eye doctor.† She is farsighted and needed glasses only for close up work.† Since she has had them her headaches have completely gone!
2.††††††††††† Kei, Chan and Jake at our Chinese New Year party!† We had such a great time with all the Moms and kids.† Great food and great friends.† Keilee is the “Year of the Dragon” so this is her year!
3.††††††††††† 2 Ingredient Strawberry Fudge.† Kei made this to take to the Chinese New Year party.† Very easy and very yummy!
1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting
1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
How to Make
Prepare a 9×9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray.
Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips.
When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly.
Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Cut into squares to serve.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
4.††††††††††† This is candy that my brother got when they cleaned out a Fallout Shelter on the Arsenal.† It came in a 55 pound can.† The label said, ìCarbohydrate Supplementî.† It was from 1963!† He looked it up and they said it was fine as long as the can was still whole and sealed.† Which it was. We shared it with our friends at the Chinese New Years Party.† So everyone ate 49 year old candy!
5.††††††††††† Keilee at Wizard of Oz practice.† With the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and a Winged Monkey
6.††††††††††† Keilee with her new glasses playing a Critical Thinking game on iPad.
7.††††††††††† Working on a craft in our cleaned up Homeschool Room.† Keilee cleaned off this table and it is now her ëCraft Tableî.
8.††††††††††† At Sci Quest exploring ìLightî
Keilee took 2 Science classes this week at Sci Quest.† Each class was 2 hours long so she got tons of good Science instructions.† Which is great because I am a little lacking in the whole ‘hands on science stuff’.† The first one was on Newton’s Laws.† They talked about the 3 laws and did lots of experiments.
All of these pictures are ones Keilee took during class on her iPhone.† She kept texting me pictures showing what they were doing! 🙂 I trained her well.
The second class was on Arthropods.† It was a dissection class.† Kei has never shown any interest in dissection but decided she would like this one because they dissected a crayfish.† She did not stop talking about it for 24 hours.† She learned so much.† They examined several Arthropods, did worksheets and then dissected a crayfish.† She got her own one to do all by herself.† She loved everything about it but the smell.† Remember that smell? I do!
†While Keilee was doing her 4 hours of science I got to sit in the break room and talk to Moms.† That place was full of HS Moms.† You could almost feel the ideas and resources bouncing around!† One of my great friends Stacey and her daughter Makalia [who decided not to take a class this time] brought this game called “10 Days In the USA”† We played it for about an hour and I loved it.† I mean loved it so much I ordered it from Amazon yesterday.
This game is my Resource of the Week.† Another Resource I found this week and LOVED is K12 Open Ed.† There are FREE ebooks for most subjects.
This has been an amazing week.† Tonight Keilee is going to a spend the night party so I expect to do a lot of reading on the couch with my doggie.† Keilee has made me promise she can Face Time me before she goes to bed.† Isn’t technology wonderful?
“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~Edwin Powell Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954
“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”† ~Wernher Von Braun
I want to live fully. I don’t want to take things for granted. I want to enjoy moments, those amazing little moments, with Keilee. Because really..isn’t that what it is all about?
Today is my Daddy’s birthday. He is in Florida for 2 months, enjoying the weather. I am sitting here on this unseasonably warm February day horribly missing my Mother. Missing her voice, her laugh, her smell, her hugs, her presence. I am in her house, the house she made into a home hoping, praying, that I am doing the same for Keilee.
She has been gone for almost 4 years.
It seems like yesterday…
It seems like forever ago…
Every day I was safe in the knowledge that she loved me. Adored me. Ours was the house where the neighborhood kids hung out. No one left my Mother’s house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. †She would take a baggie and fill it with candy and Little Debbies and gum. Every child that visited us left with a goodie bag grasped tightly in their hand.
Kids would get measured on our laundry room wall. There are years and years of measurements there….almost 40 years… She measured Keilee up until she was 7, then was unable to do it again. I carefully mark her height and feel such a connection to my Mother. I know she is watching me, smiling that I am carrying on her tradition. The wall needs painting so badly and I wouldnít paint over it for $20,000.
This is only 1/2 of it.I can’t back up enough in the tiny laundry room to get the entire wall…
She loved me unconditionally.† I never really understood that until I had Keilee. How many times I would say to her, “Mom I love those earrings, bowl, picture” and she would answer, “It’s yours”. Keilee says to me, “Mom I love those earrings” and I say, “They’re yours” and I smile.
Her joke was to kiss something when I borrowed it.† She was “kissing it goodbye”. I smile as I type that and my eyes tear up “missing” does it ever really leave us?
She called me every single morning I lived in California to make sure I was up for work. We watched the airplane crash into the 2nd tower together; her in Alabama, me in California.
She would call me every night to tell me “Goodnight my babe”.† After she got Caller ID, she answered the phone when I called †”Hello sweetie”. What I wouldnít give for one more of those calls.
She loved me, drove me crazy at times, taught me to be a better woman, slipped me her credit card to buy clothes, kissed boo boos, sacrificed, loved fiercely, called to tell me it was raining outside, woke me up every morning of my school life whispering, “Good morning sunshine”, cheered my successes, cried with me for my mistakes.† †She was a great Mother.
4 years ago this month she began getting really sick. Did I fight enough for her? Keilee and I spent February through May either at the hospital, rehabilitation, or at her house. I talked, sang, brushed her hair, brought her favorite things, made her food she loved, kissed her, stroked her face, read to her, laughed with her, talked to doctors, did research, asked a million questions
and she still died….
They never knew exactly what was wrong with her.† They called it “Failure to Thrive”. I was appalled at that.† No one ever wanted to live like my Mother did.†
I miss you Mother.† Every day.†
I wish Keilee and I could spend one more day, week, month, year, decade with you.
One day we will…
“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color.” ~W.S. Merwin, “Separation”
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran
We had a week full of Space….and it all happened just by chance.† Don’t you love weeks like that?
We were reading “100 Greatest Science Discoveries” and started following rabbit holes.† We ran across a mention ofVoyager and the Golden Record.† I didn’t have a clue what this was so we started reading about it.††
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, passed the orbit of Pluto in 1990, and left the solar system in November 2004. In about 40,000 years, it and Voyager 2 will each come to within about 1.7 light-years of two separate stars. †40,000 YEARS!!
What is so cool about this is that they both had phonograph records aboard.†† This was a huge project led by Carl Sagan.† They were made for “any intelligent extraterrestrial life or future humans.” There are greetings in 55 languages, 116 images, natural sounds and more.† I was blown away by this.† How cool is this?† You have to read more about here.†We also watched some YouTube videos about it.† This is my favorite resource of the week. †
The Golden Record has instructions on how to play it written in binary and diagrams.
On Wednesday night, we heard that they were trying to get a homeschool group together to see Orion which was on a 3 city tour.† Huntsville was one of the stops.†† They were offering a 5 hour class, complete with movies, a discussion with Rex Walheim one of the last astronauts to fly the Space Shuttle, lunch, museum tour and more.† We signed up immediately.†
We had a blast Thursday.† It was one of the best things we have done in a long time.† Our favorite part was the interview with Rex Walheim.† He was awesome and he brought tons of his photos.† They were amazing.
They talked about each of the space programs, what each cost and how that was in today’s money.† They discussed in great detail plans for Orion.
†1.††††††††† The route of Orion
2.††††††††† The PYRAMIDS from space.
3.†††††††††† Keilee asking a question during the question/answer phase.† She wanted to know if he saw The Great Wall of China.† He didn’t because of cloud cover.
4.††††††††† Rex Walheim during a space walk.
5.††††††††† Rex Walheim in the 360∞ view area of space shuttle.
6.†††††††† Their mission was to take a year’s worth of supplies to The Space Station.† Here is the Space Shuttle crew on board with Russian and Japan astronauts!
We did so many cool things!† Here are a few of my favorite shots.† Including one of Keilee at The Wizard of Oz practice.† She is a very convincing Wicked Witch.† Some of the smaller kids are scared of her!!
†1.††††††††† Exploring the Museum
2.††††††††† Riding the Space Shot!
3.††††††††† Keilee and Hope checking out the astronaut suits
4.††††††††† Wall of Fame
5.†††††††† Lunch a la cafeteria style.† Honestly so many of our kids had no clue what to do.† It was too funny.† Keilee was appalled that she was expected to eat off the tray.† She ate probably 2 bites.† She never bought her lunch in K and 1st grade.† I always made it.
6.††††††† The WICKED WITCH
7.††††††† Ringing the bell on the rock wall.
We also got to sign the Orion!†
†We were tired when we finally made it home but it was so worth it.
Here is a video of Kei and her friends riding the Space Shot.† YES it is sideways.† Please tell me if you know how to ‘straighten’ it!
Keilee wanted me to let† you know that she was NOT screaming like a girl thankyouverymuch!
Just an almost perfect week!† Gotta love when that happens.
The more I read the book “Free Range Learning” and visit unschooling/interest led blogs the more I am drawn to this.† This past week we haven’t had a lot of ‘written down plans’ but we have learned so much.
I downloaded this free book on iBooks “100 Greatest Science Discoveries of All Time”† You can get it as a pdf or in iBooks.† I just randomly read it to Keilee.† It’s awesome.† We always explore in greater detail from the initial article.
is made up of things we learned about instead of pictures of Kei ;)† Well except for the center one which shows HOW she learned all these amazing things.
Kei dictated this to me about each picture. † ††††††
1. † † † † † † Knights:† We read about the Code of Chivalry and watched several movies and documentaries about knights.† “In Search of History: The Knights Templar ” on Netflix instant was good and we also watched “King Arthur”.†
2.†††††††††††† We read about Nicholas Copernicus and how he first showed that the Sun was the center of the universe.† Until then they believed, because of Ptolemy that the Earth was the center.† We talked about this, looked up graphics and drew for an hour.
3.††††††††††† Andreas Vesalius: 1515 AD † He had the first accurate guide to human anatomy.† Before that doctors believed the teachings of Galen from 50 BC.† His published book was used in Human Anatomy for the next 300 years.
4.††††††††† “The Inch High Samuri”† We read this after reading about Samurai’s in SOTW.†
5.††††††††††† Me [Kei] on the iPad.
6.††††††††††† Galen’s drawings of the human body.† We loved learning about how people assumed the human body was for over 2000 years.†
7.†††††††††† “The Dragon Dance”† We have been reading about the Chinese New Year this week.† Lots of video watching from parts of the world.† I [Keilee] is the Year of the Dragon and we researched what each symbol represented and tried to find people we knew were born in that year to see how closely they matched.
8.†††††††††† Archimedes discovering buoyancy.† The King Hieron gave him an order to find out whether a goldsmith had cheated the king.† We loved reading this story about how he discovered buoyancy.† [*Yes he discovered it in the bathtub but I don’t think HE was bathing at the time ;)]
And MORE:†† Keilee wanted to learn about the difference in human and dog bones.† She told me that while the Femur is the longest bone in the human body, the tibia is the longest in a dog’s body. † We watched the musical, “Memphis”† and “Les Miserables” which led to discussion about the Paris Uprising.† It was a 25th Anniversary copy of the musical and it was wonderful.† She has been making Stop Animation movies like crazy.† Britney spent the night Wednesday and they made several.† She is making another one as I type.† Plus we had “Wizard of Oz” practice.† We also did 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks and she read 4 chapters in “Midwife’s Apprentice”.† We do SO much more without television it isn’t funny!
Just to smile and see something breathtaking and beautiful, go here and check out this video….
This favorite resource is a GREAT one.† It is free DVD’s and teachers resources for “Teaching Tolerance”.† I found this a few months ago.† I have received all SIX of these and while I haven’t used all of them the ones I did use are awesome.
Whew…what a week.† Was that a lot of yummy learning or what?† The best part of it is Keilee remembers things better when we ‘discuss’ it as opposed to me or her dry reading it.† This is what learning at home is all about.
Happy Weekend to my friends in blog land,
“Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other in both mind and body; to try the manners of different nations; to hear the chimes at midnight; to see sunrise in town and country; to be converted at a revival; to circumnavigate the metaphysics, write halting verses, run a mile to see a fire, and wait all day in the theatre to applaud ‘Hernani’.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
*H-Mamaís post that introduced us to ìStopAnimationî for the iPad/iPhone, that has led to HOURS and HOURS working on videos the last couple of days.† This is her first effort and she took 519 pictures for a 44 second video… More patience than I my child has… †See if you can see how she spelled out her name 😉
*Laughter, silliness, rainy days, music and dancing….
*Keilee doing ballet with a heavy metal song as inspiration….