Sunday, August 25, 2019

Weekly Update

Pic #1...Homeschool highlights.  Science is always a favorite in our home!  Kira organized this one.  One of the great things about homeschool is that the kids get to find lessons they like, organize it and implement it. So much more than "learning".  #2...We had an Explorer's (online homeschool group park day).  It was a lot of fun with tons of kids.  They moved chess club to park day and kids came and went to play chess.  Blake and Kira love chess club and the kids involved.  #3....Scott had his first creative dramatics concert.  The school district was having a fundraiser at Adams so the kids went to sing.  It was really crowded and I brought the little kids with me and they hung in there. It was during nap time, Blake and Kira were at Karate and Tyler was doing workday for ASB so it was just Parker and Hanna with me.  Life is busy with all good things.  Proud of Scott for singing.  The songs were really high so you couldn't really hear the boys very much.  Scott says the boys try to sing really high.  Proud of him for doing it even though he was planning on just being the pianist.  It is good for him.  #4-7 I took the 4 younger kids to yogurt while Danny went to hang out with Scott and tyler at a campout.  We decided to wake up Hanna around 8:30 and scooter over to yogurt. The kids wanted to imitate Hanna's scrunchy face in the pics.  #8-10 Blake and Kira did an MMA clinic at Karate and learned to take down someone, choke and counter someone.  They had a lot of fun with smiles on their faces the entire time. Their academy is so great with kids.  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Week in Review

Homeschool is still going great.  Blake is a different kid compared to last year.  He was so unhappy and down on himself last year and this year is relatively happy.  He still has his moments but for the most part gets up and is ready to do school, doesn't get stressed when he doesn't know everything and is enjoying time with Kira and his friends.  It is so nice that Kira and Blake are homeschooling together.  It makes it easier to get work done when you are doing it with someone.  So much to be grateful for.  I really think it was the quality time we had this past year, influence of Come Follow Me and just being a little more mature.

We met with their advisor on Monday which was positive.  Jen took Blake and Kira to the pool because I was meeting with someone about running a swim clinic.  They had fun, then Kira had her crafting group which she enjoys.  On Tuesday we got to go to Water World again before it closes for the season which is always fun.  Grateful for friends who have passes to get us in.  It was so hot so we went to the pool which is always amazing.  We always go with a friend but she was on vacation so I was lonely without my friends.  LOL!  We did a fun science lab this week which Blake loved seeing the reaction of water and vinegar with different household items.  Overall, it was a great week with the kids.

Scott and Tyler both made Drumline which is exciting. Tyler made snare and Scott made Bass.  Scott was pretty bummed he didn't make snare drum but he doesn't do drums at school and only 3 people get to do snare and he is busy with Volleyball so he can't even make it to a lot of the practices. We have had a lot of talks about how he should be grateful he made drumline and so many kids didn't make it. He thinks he should only have tried out for snare and then maybe have made it but I think it all works out how it should have.  School continues to go well for them.

Danny and I went out to dinner with Isaacs on Friday night.  It was really last minute and so much fun.  We haven't gone out in so long or seen Andi and Ben in so long and had a great time,

They went to the beach on Saturday with the youth and had fun.  They played in the ocean for 45 minutes or so which I was so surprised by.  I thought it would be way too cold but they went with their wetsuits.  It was about 100 degrees here but of course about 65 in San Francisco.
Overall, a fun week!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Volleyball & extracurricular activities

Scott is doing volleyball for the first time ever.  Last year he broke his arm in October and as soon as it was healed was diagnosed with Severs Disease.  Last year was the year that he wanted to do nothing.  It was frustrating because I felt like he was missing out on all these amazing opportunities to learn and grow but chalked it up to the life of a pre-teen and realized to let him relax a bit which never happens in our home.  It is hard being injured when you are so used to being active.

We did a lot of talking about talents and utilizing your time to grow and improve and become the best person you can become.  He is in creative dramatics and was disappointed when he found out the teacher wanted him to play the piano AND sing.  He wanted to just sit there and not sing.  After a couple of weeks, it is no longer his least favorite class and while he isn't thrilled about singing, he is getting warmed up to the idea.

He decided to go out for the volleyball team.  He volunteered at a lot of girls games last year and had fun playing after the games.  I was proud of him for doing something new.  It helps that pretty much everyone is new to the sport.  His elementary school friends are on the team so it will be good for him to reunite with old friends.  They lost the first game so decided to go play at the park last night across the street which was fun.  Proud of them for trying to improve and learn.  He came home with blisters on his feet from wearing vans. I told him we need to go shopping but life is busy.  I think volleyball is such a great sport to learn. It is a great sport to play with friends, at the beach, at parks. 

He then said he was going to do cross country.  He loves running with Eric but has not been stoked about running for middle school so that made me happy.  He is such a talented runner but takes it too serious so hopefully he does it and has fun and doesn't put pressure on himself.

He is trying out for drumline with Tyler which I am proud of them for doing.  We shall see if they make it. That is tomorrow.

He is also going to do an afterschool Gate program.  He doesn't have a ton of close friends who made Gate but has some great friends who he has gotten to know through field trips and school math groups.  The first quarter is creative writing and poetry which I thought he would definitely not want to do but he asked me to sign him up.

I chalk this all up to maturity or divine intervention.

Way to Go Scott.  We are proud of you for trying new things and utilizing your time and talents!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Week 2 Homeschool HighLights

School from 8-11 and then party with friends.  That is our daily schedule.  Playing in the court with neighbors sometimes postpones our lunch playdates til 12.  It is a great incentive to get the kids work done.  Loving our curriculum.  Feeling very blessed for great learning, great friends and amazing places to visit. This week highlights...
Monday Water World, Friday Contra Loma, Temple Art from the Friend, Visit from Andrew in the Ambulance, slime, parachute making in leonardo science

Free Friday at Contra Loma

Regional Parks are celebrated 50 or something years and we are enjoying the free fridays.  This week we went to Contra Loma which is only 10 minutes away.  We decided to wait for our schools to be back in school to enjoy an uncrowded park. School in the morning and then playing at lunchtime for a few hours.  Love our school schedule.  Parker loves selfies.  

Meet of Champions Dinner

This year we had about 30 people qualify for meet of champions and 26 attend!  Was so proud of the improvement and hard work of all these kids.  Nothing beats coaching Discovery Bay.  The parents, the kids and the view!!  So proud of the AMAZING progress of the team.  The best was to see the kids excited for swimming and confident in their abilities.  It was really neat to be a part of it.  This board has worked soo hard to start this team over the past 5 years and continues to amaze me.  So grateful for all of them.  The highlights were winning the Tracy Invite, so many kids getting gold caps, seeing kids learn how to swim correctly and encouragement and smiles from all! Super pumped for East County Swimming.  I really think this is the start of something magical out here. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019


We started homeschooling the first day of public school.  A lot of people wait longer, but it was a natural start with my other kids. I also want to do a lot of exploring and field trips so like doing less crammed in learning and spreading it out.  I think learning is great and spreading out learning is great.

I am REALLY excited for the year!  I started two weeks into school last year with Blake so it was so nice to think about curriculum, what I wanted to accomplish with homeschooling and why I am homeschooling.  Blake was in CRISIS last year.  It was really hard!  I wasn't able to do much expect for help Blake.  That also meant staying home with him a lot to make his world smaller.  This year I feel like we can go and do so much more.  I will do anything for my kids, but I need to be out and about and love doing things with groups so super excited to implement more of that.  It is a balance of what works for your kids as well as you as a teacher to make it full of passion for all.

Monday and Tuesday will be learning days.  Wednesday will be at Vista Oaks.  Thursday is a social studies/science co-op I created with some friends and Friday will be a lot of field trips.  I love having a routine, but I also know a huge benefit of homeschooling it being flexible and adapting to what they week or even day brings.

I feel like we have so much more time to do things with homeschool.  Kira joined a craft group for 9-10 year olds. She and Abby are going to go together with either me or Jen while one of us watches and plays with the little kids.

I debated putting Parker in preschool again this year but felt like his preschool days were .  I am also trying to join forces with friends who have younger kids so one of us can do the activities with the older kids and the other can do something fun with the younger kids.  I hate being at places where Parker and Hanna are just waiting or bored.  I am trying to find activities that can also meet their needs.

We joined a chess club that meets at the library.  The kids loved it!  It is super low key and all levels.  They meet twice a month and rotate playing other kids.  They can play or watch, they can teach or be with their same level.  It is at the library so I can go to the library with Parker and Hanna during that time and play in the kids section with puzzles, puppets, books and play with just them.

Everyone says how public school is so good for kids socially, but I really do think that homeschool for us is filled with more true friends.  Friends you actually hang out with not just friends you see in school.  I am soooo blessed to have amazing friends who are homeschooling.  They happen to have kids my kids ages, are similar in personality that we all just help each other and love each other and parent together.  It fills my need for socializing and friends while my kids are socializing and being with friends.

Even on co-op days, I am going to try to get in a little bit of school.

We start at 810 with the pledge, a prayer, scripture reading and come follow me.  This year we are using the Good and Beautiful for Language Arts.  It isn't a ton of writing so we are going to do a book club with their co op based around Ca history and packets.  Paragraph of the week and essay of the month for Kira.  Kira loves to journal so does an online journal.  We are starting Big Life Journal which is a journey of mindfulness.  We are going to do a 2nd and 4th grade interactive grammar journals that look fun.  I think Kira will love it.

Science we are going to do with the Co-op.  I might do science of the ancient world if I feel like I want something more and have time.

Social studies we are doing ca history for 4th grade and general social studies for 2nd with famous people, government, and culture.  Super excited!  I plan to do a lot of 4th grade field trips and a book club with it.  So excited to be with great friends. We are dividing the co op into three groups- 4th and up, 2nd-3rd and 1st and down.  The kinder/preschool group is going to do music makers which died a couple of years ago. We are getting our instruments back and bringing back music makers.  It is such a fun program.

Math we are doing Singapore Math which it simple and seems to work.

We will also do spanish and piano.

Week 1 went great.  We eased into getting to know curriculum and going on adventures.

Monday we did some learning, made flags for the pledge and then headed to Chess Club at the library. We met friends to go swimming/lunch at the gym.  Jen brought Kira and Abby to craft day with about 15 other girls which was right down the street from the gym while I watched the kids at the pool.  Jen came back for the last hour and I went to the club.  Afterwards, we came home and I went swimming with Kira and Scott for County practice.

Tuesday we did school in the morning and met friends at the splash pad for lunch and play and then headed to bowling at 2, karate at 4 and swimming at 6. 

Wednesday we did school in the morning. It was early day and I hadn't been home for the other kids all week so we hung around for them.

Thursday we did school then headed to the park to do some owl learning and art before playing at the skate park with other friends and sand pit aka volleyball court.

Friday we did school then headed to walnut creek for Lindsey Wildlife to actually see the owls and other animals.  We got in for free as part as the bike free days and had a great day.  They did a ca native animals show that the kids enjoyed.  I had to go potty and get a drink with parker and we ended up watching a movie at the animal hospital in the dark which was a great break for Parker.  They re did the musuem since I have been to it and it is soo cool!  They did an amazing job.  So much hands on learning.  Fun for all ages.  Would highly recommend it to everyone.

 The best part of it all was being their with friends.  I am really extraverted and feel like homeschooling for me is the best thing because we are usually done with school by 10 or 11 and get to hang out with friends all afternoon being out and exploring.