The View from the Classroom Window

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free Old Sacramento history events!

Excerpt from an Ocean Grove vendor email:

March 19th - FREE -150th Celebration of the Pony Express
Bruce will be hosting several events this year for the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express. If you didn't know, the Pony Express ran from St. Joseph Mo. to Sacramento. You can be a part of the event as Bruce (in costume) tells the history of the Pony Express. He will be right on the very streets where if happened, 150 years ago. This is one of Bruce's free events for 2010. Plan to learn much about the Pony Express and about the little 11 year old boy, who became a Pony Express rider. He lived right here in Sacramento, and in 1860 became the youngest rider of the company. He lived to be the oldest surviving member of the Pony Express. So don't miss this chance to learn about these legendary riders.
Free Scavenger Hunt - Get those kids out of the house and take part in a scavenger hunt. Come on, homeschool kids have been inside over the holidays, right? It's time to bring them to Old Sacramento. This is sponsored by TrailMix.net. They have a wonderful store in Old Town (across from the Railroad Museum) and have developed a great hunt. You will have a great time looking for the answers to this historical study. They even have prizes at the end. They have been awarded one of the best free things to do in Sacramento by Mix 96 and Sacramento Magazine. The Old Sacramento Scavenger hunt is a working example of how families can tap into the enormous educational potential.
Dates - February 18th 2010 - March 19th 2010
Time - 10:00 & 1:00 - (two times for you to choose from)
Meeting Place - TrailMix.Net Store 116B I Street - Sacramento (they have a classroom inside the store for us to use. If it rains, we are inside) PLEASE SEND RANGER BRUCE AN EMAIL AND REGISTER. SPACE IS LIMITED AND WILL FILL FAST. DON"T JUST SHOW UP, REGISTER! SEND AN EMAIL.
Cost - Free event - love offering will be taken for Bruce
Resources available to purchase - Pony Express books from the 1950's / Mint U.S. Postage stamp from the 1960's commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pony Express. Bruce's book on the "True History of the Pony Express" $12.00 (he will autograph your copy)

Sequoia Nature Classes
Presents
March Classes
Nature, Science & Historical Adventures

Classes & Tours are hosted by Bruce Larson. I teach classes, and speak at homeschool conventions throughout the state. Classes or tours can be done in your area. I can come and bring my costumes with me, to your city. Sometimes homeschool families come to Sacramento for a historical tour. Bruce's contact information - 916-725-3630 or sparky3777@msn.com to sign up and register for classes. Be sure to contact your ES for a PO

-----------------------------------------------------
The Craddock family is planning on attending! (we are also going to attend the one the Fri before, on CA native americans (ocean grove will pay the student cost), and then head on to Sutters Fort!

Monday, January 25, 2010

hello sweet mommas!!

hello girls -- hope you are all doing great, and staying encouraged along the journey! Lisa asked me to post something (while I can) and let you know how we are doing with our home-schooling adventure. Many of you may not know - but our internet was shut down in early July 2009, after some violent riots in our province. Everything is peaceful now, but we still do not have access to the lovely internet. Without the internet - we have to get even more creative, since I can't google ideas, or find information at my fingertips. I am very thankful for the curriculum we purchased, and that everything is included for the entire year!! (I am in Thailand right now, so I am able to post)

Asia (age 6) began first grade this year, but we opted for the 2nd grade advanced readers. I am so glad - because she is soaring when it comes to reading. She will read an entire chapter book in one sitting, sometimes over 150 pages. She is not so fond of math or handwriting though. Eden (age 4) also began a Pre-K schedule, which is very flexible and fun!! She loves it, and is pushing me to learn letters and even sound out words. She has the benefit of watching her older sister learn ahead of her too. Sydney (age 3) wants to write letters, and loves being read to. I can say with assurance that they all love books!! I wish we had more exposure to sports, outdoor activities and libraries....so I encourage you to make the most of the blessings of living in Santa Cruz!

We also began a Co-op for the other 6-year-olds in our area (all 4 of them). It consists of Andrew, Linus, Emma & Asia. I team up with another mom, and we teach reading/writing, and science, and then one of the dad's teaches Physical Education (games & coordination). This is our 2nd year doing this, and it has been so motivating for the kids to see others their age, and have exposure to others teaching them. I also love that we can do hands-on experiments together and see a variety of outcomes, instead of just one!

Here is a picture of the kids playing some PE games outside. The guy in the middle is Raj, our business partner too!
As for some things I am learning:
  • don't be so rigid in scheduling school time, but stay predictable.
  • find an area they excel in - and encourage her along
  • using history as a background (with a timeline, events & people)
  • read my own books in front of my girls (family reading time)
  • ask lots of questions, encourage curiosity & wonder!!
  • cherish this time with my girls...
I hope you are having fun too!! We will try to come visit next winter (Dec 2010?).
Love you heaps, Ali

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Old School Monday--our first of 2010!

Welcome moms, to a new year of Homeschooling! Thanks to all of you who have been joining us for Old School Mondays and holiday parties the past year and a half--I hope you can all come this NEXT MONDAY January 25th to our first Old School Monday of the new year!

**If you are new to Vintage Homeschool Days and specifically Old School Mondays, please go quickly read through the original OSM posts--scroll to the bottom to start with the oldest--so you know roughly what it is all about before you read the specifics for this month.**

We have some fun activities planned for you and your kids, including:
--a short Latin lesson on parts of the body
--continuing memorizing the U.S. States via goofy songs
--some hands on learning--TBA
--some kind of get-em-movin' game in the gym

But mainly this first OSM will be for us moms, so we will give the kids lots of independent play time this month so that us moms can discuss:
--One brief aspect of the Charlotte Mason approach to education (I am hoping we can take turns this year, each mom sharing some homeschool approach that is working well for her or some education theory that is inspiring her. So I will start us off this month with something that is inspiring me.)

--What you are all hoping to see in our time together during OSM this year! So come prepared to talk about ideas and visions for what fun learning things we might do together. In particular, please consider "hosting" an activity or lesson during any OSM--the more you moms jump in as you can, the more interesting and fun OSM will be, since all of you combined are WAY more creative than just me by myself! ; ) I suggest we bring our calendars and get some moms to volunteer for the Feb and March OSM gatherings, and then you volunteers can *just plan an activity/lesson that goes along with whatever you are already learning about with your family.* It is as simple as that. : )

So, here are a few things I would like to throw out for you all to think about:
--How we might be able to break up our group during part of OSM so that the bigger kids can have a lesson/activity geared for their abilities, and the littles can have a lesson/activity geared for their energy and attention span. ; )

--I LOVE the idea of having monthly "spell downs" to give our kids incentive to be learning their spelling words, and think I have worked out the kinks of how to do it in such a large, multi-age level group. But you all need to tell me if YOU like this activity--if you would like it once a month, only occassionally, or not at all.

-- What special events do we want to have this year? I'm thinking back to last year and how much fun the Valentine's Party was--let's do another? Does anyone else have any special event ideas for the next couple of months, so we can get them on the calendar?

--What do we want to do with this website to make it most helpful and usable for everyone?

Ok, that should be plenty to get us started! We had so much fun in 2009, and this year I look forward to seeing some new faces, and more moms hosting the lessons/activities, and us doing more for the various age groups represented. Can't wait to see you all!

Remember, bring lunch for you and your kiddies, if you want. And the Abbey will be open! ; )

Please post comments to this post if you have questions, and I will gladly respond!

Baby hummingbirds!

Moms, you do not want to miss this:

http://cam.dellwo.com/

This is a live streaming of a hummingbird on her nest down in Orange County. She laid two tiny eggs and one hatched Tues morning and the second hatched this morning. It is awesome to watch! The morning the first chick hatched we got to see the mother hummingbird feed it--so cool. This is a great thing to have on for 30 minutes while you are working nearby, since you never know when she will leave the nest and you can get a glimpse of the babies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If you are talking to your kids about Haiti

I just found this excellent, easy-to-understand "presentation" on the BBC News online website about how earthquakes happen. This news site has also been a great one for photos, videos, and news stories about Haiti that were appropriate for sharing with the kids.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4126809.stm

And on the right hand sidebar, you can see that there are other animated presentations on other kinds of natural disasters, like tornadoes. This is a site I have bookmarked for coming back to when we are studying these things!