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The planning stages!

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The majority of our new stuff arrived today so it's really time to get started in the planning stages now! We drove out to get everything, saw some friends, got to pick up some free stuff hanging out in the shelves at the charter and came home with more than I was expecting! Some of our stuff this year in pictures!


Some of it looks really interesting! Can't wait to jump in and go thru everything. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it ;) ) we have a new garage door going up tomorrow and the school room/hang out room is full of garage stuff until this weekend! So It'll be a few days before I can really go thru everything and get organized. I'll do that as soon as I can and get some reviews going for some of the stuff we used last year as well!
If your trying to catch up with what the kids have been doing don't forget to check out their blog as well! Here's the link to that as well: https://lb2dadventures.blogspot.com/

Planner/Schedule etc.

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We do child led interest learning (also called unschooling in some circles) and people always seem to assume that it means we don't do planners/schedules etc.  but I've found that if we (as a family) don't have a plan than we don't have time to do anything. That's going to be especially true this year!
So I've been asked a lot lately how exactly do I plan stuff and still call it "child led interests". In a nut shell this is what I do:

Every year I ask the kids "what do you want to learn this year?" they give me a list of stuff they are interested in. After talking about each thing and getting me on the same page as they are, we start talking about books, curriculum etc that they can use to learn the items on their list.Then I start my "master list" for, well, everything! Basically the idea is that if I was sick or couldn't help them for awhile, someone could pick up this notebook and basically just step in if needed. I usually …

getting organized, slowly but surely

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Starting to get organized for the coming school year. I just got an email that the student planners for the kids are now available at franklin covey, so those will be ordered soon. They have 3 different levels for the kids. An elementary, a middle school and a high school planner. the older selections being more detailed while the younger ones are getting them prepared and used to keeping track of their work, etc. We used them last year with the kids (although I did drop the ball later in the year when I got crazy busy), so I need to make sure we keep up on them for the school year. It really helped my ADHD/dyslexic kiddo to see what was on her schedule each day/week/month and keep track of how she was doing on things so she could visibly see an improvement in area's like reading where she struggles. It helps with executive functioning as well, and learning to keep track of what needs to be done, what you'd like to get done and what is just "extra" and learn to prior…

Getting ready for next year...

Once again it looks like we will have a very busy year starting in September. I've gone thru lists of things we want for next year, the final lists will be ordered in July and should be here sometime in August so I can go thru things and see what we think. I have to admit I do hate at times ordering things without being able to really see them first hand. I'm a hold over from the non-digital book generation and still love the feeling of a book in my hands vs. a tablet. The kids have picked out some interesting things and we have (once again) changed how we will be doing things for next year. We are going back to a more hands on approach. Lots of field trips, etc. Part of it is being stir crazy after this last very (VERY) wet winter/spring.
Some of the things on our list:

REAL Science Odyssey - earth/space, life (both level 1) and then Bio level 2 and hoping that astronomy 2 comes out for the fall so we can get that as well.

Marine science, Oceanography, geography and history (…

Going afield!

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We finally have ordered our "field" gear for our mobile science lab. Which means starting next week we get to go exploring in the field! We are pretty excited! This last week we received our UV flashlight (blacklight) and have gone out at night to see how different life forms fluorescent and even taken a few pictures. We do need to head out to somewhere that we don't have any other light sources (in other words while it's dark in our front lawn etc. the street lights give off enough light that we don't get the full effect. I'll add a few pictures we've done as well (these were taken with just the ipad and not on the actual camera.)




We've been working on an ocean unit and are currently discussing and learning about the different ocean zones, and their perspective life forms. I'll include some pictures of what we have been working on for that.



We also have our chemistry stuff we are working on, currently working on atoms and then starting with the t…

Somedays make you wonder...

We started a new schedule today, and I knew it might be a pretty bad day. I even tried to mentally prepare myself for the day it COULD be. It started out pretty good actually. I had one child on the laptop doing coursera's "Greek and Roman Mythology" and the other kid on the desktop doing their "Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles". Then we moved onto a unit study for Oceans and worked on both ocean posters. Next we got started on Lunch..and then reading. Reading is where it all went wrong..Yes, Some days make you wonder! We are talking meltdowns of Epic proportions. It took awhile before she could calm herself..and then she went to her room and took a 3 hour nap.

I know it'll get better (it always does). I know a full new routine may cause some initial meltdowns. I know she gets frustrated, and then slowly starts closing down. I know it'll take a good week before she's starting to get the schedule to feel normal. I know after that she'll get …

Welcome to spring

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In the last 5 and a half months we have received as much rain as we do in a year! So it's been a very wet and somewhat icky year so far. More snow than we normally get as well! So this weekend it was time to get out of the house and enjoy a little sun! We headed to the coast for a bit of a break from the normal rain.

Our first stop as we left the house was the dollar store and their spring, beach toy aisle! Then it was off to the beach in our new car. Our old SUV had finally started having more issues than it was worth, so finding another new (new to us anyway) car was needed. Dominic loves the color (he calls it "fire engine red") and all the kids love the DVD player for long trips. I must say that I do have a love/hate relationship with the DVD player..It does make for very quiet rides when I need some quiet, but I also find that we don't discuss things as much in the car as we generally do (this may change however as the "newness" wears off).





Arriving at…