Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carnival of Homeschooling: May Flowers Edition

April showers bring May flowers.

Has the weather where you are been as topsy-turvy as it has been here? If so, you probably received your May flowers in April and your April showers in May like we did. Here at the Carnival of Homeschooling, we may not have the power to change the weather (although it would be nice since we've gone from 70 to 90 to 50 and back to 90 in a span of about 5 days here), but we can enjoy some May blooms.

Bird of Paradise = Magnificence

Bird-watching is a popular hobby that can be done by anyone, anywhere. And the first time a child can identify a bird by sight without asking or looking in a book for help or simply by recognizing its song... magnificent!

Ornithology is a wonderful subject to unschool, but sometimes it can be a bit... unpredictable. Just as the "Bird Brains" over at Life-Led Learning.

Orange Blossom = Brings Wisdom

When you boil it all down, isn't that the homeschool parent's job? To bring wisdom? No small task.

Katherine at No Fighting, No Biting! shares just how difficult this task can be in her post abcd... where she lets us in on her pep talk to herself as she works through her anxiety over teaching her young son letter identification.

Need some help teaching your kids how to identify prime numbers? The Nerd Mom can help you with that in her post An Enhanced Sieve of Eratosthenes. (Definitely check this out and click on the link she provides in the post. I thought that the post name alone was going to make my head explode, but then I had an a-ha moment. I am definitely teaching this to my kids!)

Technology can be a wonderful tool in the imparting of wisdom. Melissa, at Bugs, Knights, and Turkeys In The Yard, shares a video explaining the difference between a Republic and a Democracy (as well as some other political philosophies) that would be a wonderful addition to a history lesson on government.

Looking to get some current events into your school day? Tatiana shares some Great News Sources at World Star Academy.

With the tightening economy, the wise choice is free materials to help us instruct our children. Serfonya shows us where to go to access free reading primers.

Much of the wisdom we share with our kids cannot be found in a textbook. As The Thinking Mothera lesson on setting priorities. discovered, a conflict over video games + a captive, car-bound audience = the perfect time for

And sometimes we are bringing wisdom as much to ourselves as to our children. But as Pamela at Blah, Blah, Blog discovered, sometimes you wish you could just go back and claim ignorance... especially where amoebas, pinworms, and parasites are involved!

Poppy = Imagination

 The creativity of my fellow human beings astounds me! Whether composing a painting, framing a photograph, spinning a tale, or sharing information in a provocative way, these people wield a mastery over art that should inspire us to creativity ourselves.

At Farm Girl Brainwaves, a homeschool student shares her review of the book After The Dancing Days.

Another homeschool student, over at Nate's Nook, shares his original short story, The McDonalds.

The Art for Homeschoolers art show may be just the inspiration you need to get your creative juices flowing. Lara, The Texas Homesteader, gives us a glimpse.

Laura Grace Weldon shares her review of the documentary Horse Boy about a homeschooling family who helps their autistic son through horse therapy.

Susan at The Expanding Life reviews the non-fiction film (she hesitates to call it a documentary) Babies.

Thyme = Strength and Courage

In the day-in and day-out education of our children, every homeschool parent could use a little thyme.

Linda, at Parent at the Helm, reminds us that when it comes to our children's educations, the buck stops with us and we need to accept responsibility (both good and bad).

Parents in the San Juan Capistrano school district, many of whom were thrust into temporary homescholing by a teacher's strike, can find a little extra encouragement and assistance from Jenny over at Home Is Where You Start From.

I tend to be a shy person, so I'd need an injection of courage before getting up the guts to give museum tours. If you'd like to exercise your courage (or you just think volunteering at your local museum would be cool), check out Museum Docenting 101 at a la mode de les Muses. (Our daughter will be the first participant in our university museum's junior docent program this coming fall... she is beyond excited!)

Homeschooling itself takes a bit of  courage and a lot of strength. That is even more true when homeschooling children with special educational needs. Heather shares some ideas on teaching special education students at TeachTechTopia.

Yellow Zinnia = Daily Remembrance

It's good to take a minute at the end of the day to think back on how far we've come and where we are going. A time to sit back, enjoy a cup of tea, and stop and smell the zinnias.

It can be hard to know exactly where you are going in your homeschooling if you haven't sat down to enumerate your philosophy of education. And as The Headmistress points out over at The Common Room, a philosophy of education is valuable beyond the homeschool room. 

Now you can head on over to Why Homeschool and challenge your newly developed educational philosophy as Janine shares her thoughts on boarding schools for foster children in the UK.

At BenMakesTen, Judy shares her list of the benefits of homeschooling which she has gleaned over the years homeschooling her ten children.

As you'll read at Lionden Landing, reflecting back can help us clarify how we are going to move ahead... including in Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic.

Cristina at Home Spun Juggling shares how a little child led them to embrace their inner unschoolers.

Head on over to Let's Play Math! where Denise shares her memories of videos that remind her (and us) that calculus can be fun!

Chrysanthemum = Cheerfulness; You're a wonderful friend

This past weekend was Mother's Day. Like may of you, I received handmade cards and handpicked flowers from my children. Don't forget to give that special friend, the one you can call on whenever you need a hug or a pep talk, a big thank you and a large bouquet of chrysanthemums just to let him/ her know how much the friendship means to you.

Barbara Frank knows how important socialization is for her kids. But she is amazed at all the wonderful people she's met through homeschooling and getting some of that socialization herself!

Sunflower = Loyalty; Wishes

When I think of summer, the sunflower is the first flower that comes to mind. Most of us as probably focused on finishing up our school year before the sunflower forts are over our children's heads but that doesn't stop us from looking ahead to our summer plans.

So don't forget to put a vase of sunflowers on the kitchen table to look at while you work on math or cook up a big pot of tomato sauce from your garden's tomatoes. Every time you look at them, think of all the wishes you have for your children... and your children can be reminded of their parents' loyalty to them and their educations.

A big thank you to all of the contributors to this week's carnival and to all of you who stop by every week to read and learn and support one another in this homeschooling journey we are on together. 

If you enjoy the carnival, please help promote it every week by linking to it on your blog. (Henry at Why Homeschooling even has some Carnival of Homeschooling images you can put on your blog to advertise the carnival to your readers. You can find them here.) And please consider contributing. For more information on how to submit a post to be included in the Carnival of Homeschooling, check here for more information.

If you would like to learn more about flowers and their meanings, go to Pioneer Thinking's The Language of Flowers. That is  where I found the meanings of the flowers included in this week's carnival.

Hope you have a bouquet of productivity and joy this week! I'll meet you all Under The Golden Apple Tree for next week's carnival!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Coming Soon: Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling

Next Tuesday, the Carnival of Homeschooling will stop here at Apollos Academy. If you would like an entry included in the carnival, follow the instructions here. Whether or not you can contribute a post this week, please make sure to stop by here next Tuesday and visit the carnival... and don't forget to bring your cotton candy!

Monday, May 03, 2010

He Collects Sea Shells By The Seashore

This past Christmas, we went to visit Frodo's parents. They live near the beach, so of course we had to go walking and collect shells on every walk. I wish I had taken pictures of the kids' collections before they pared them down! There were thousands of shells, urchins, corals, and even a starfish spread all over the floor of my in-laws' garage... and the place smelled like fish! And there was sand. Lots of lots of sand. Everywhere. Have I mentioned how much patience my in-laws have? Lots and lots of patience. Lots. Almost equal to the volume of shells and sand that was spread over their garage floor for three days in December.

This is all very interesting, you are probably thinking. But why are you mentioning your Christmas trip and patient in-laws now? It's May. This all happened four months ago!

You have a very good point. First of all, I have been very remiss in updating my blog these last 4 months, so I have a lot of stuff that has been piling up. This is one of those things, and when I am overwhelmed with lots of real work to do, I will amazingly find plenty of time to share the backlog of events here. However, this post is not as untimely as it seems because...

Terzo and I just got around to mounting his (vastly pared-down) collection a couple of weeks ago. He chose his favorite items (we let each kid bring home their favorites from the garage floor with a max of 50 items each; the rest were returned to the beach), looked up the items online and in field guides, typed labels, and glued them into the frame. Because we mounted them with hot glue, I did most of the gluing and he did all of the sticking for each item... but you get the idea.

He cannot wait until we paint his room this summer so that we can hang the display on his wall.

Good job, Terzo!

This was not only an excellent school project, btw (not that he thought of it as school; too much fun!). He also needed to mount a collection for display as a Cub Scout project. I love educational multitasking!