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Keeping the feet out of the water….sometimes

1 Feb


A large portion of our homeschooling right now is focusing on learning to read and write our letters and numbers.

Every day we have a journal page where Dally writes her name, her letters, any sight words she’s working on, her numbers and anything else she wants…I write on the back of it what other homeschool activities we accomplished for the day.

I just like being organized.

But….Dally is definitely…well….always questioning why we do things a certain way…

For example, why do we have to write in between the lines?

This was quite a battle for a while.

I finally figured out a way to encourage her to write inside the lines. Here’s my ultimate Homeschooling tip for the day:  I make water with a blue crayon above and below the writing line.

Now she can see where she should be writing…plus she loves those letters that get to go into the water — like baby “g”, who loves to fish! The other letters and numbers have to keep their feet out of the water….and their heads too!

It’s funny, but such a little thing can make life soooo much easier around here.


Grow, little ones, grow….

25 Jan

One of my absolutely favorite homeschool things to do with my kiddos is growing a garden. Living out here in the wide open spaces allows us to teach the girls so much about nature.

But even if we didn’t live out here, I’d still love planting things with them.

We’ve already spent the last month spending cold winter evenings cuddled up on the couch going through seed catalogues.

Come mid-February, we’ll start planting our seedlings in our windowsills.

For the next six weeks, your kiddos will drive you insane with checking the plants and wanting to water them. Oh, sometimes they may water them on their own….well, good luck with that!

Bailey likes to carry the poor little things around by their poor little necks and put them in your boots and such. What a nice squishy surprise. You can not smash a cucumber start with your innocent foot and expect it to live…..

Before long, your little tray of dirt will look like this…

There are so many lessons that you can tie this project to. Of course, there’s science. Living v. non-living. What living things need. Where our food comes from. And all about plants and seeds and how things reproduce….you get the drift.

But don’t forget that it also teaches that work reaps benefits, patience, how to care for living things, responsibility and so on.

Hey, and how can you not love that smile?

When Dad takes over homeschooling

28 Nov

Which can also be called, homeschooling the cowboy way!!!

Sometimes I take full advantage of the cowboy being home and I turn homeschool over to him for a couple of days a week. And it’s always interesting what he feels like a preschooler needs to know.

To start: How to wire a truck bed….commonly called how to keep your daughter from repeating the words you say to her mommy.

This was a learning moment for Mommy. Apparently, if you have an out of control child, there is an easy way to handle the situation.

Just stick her in a bucket.

Only a cowboy would think of that. The cowboy’s parents used to tie him onto a saddle and let the old mare walk around with him. The cowboy knows that if I happened to look out the window and see a horse walking around with our daughter tied on the back that he’d have to leave the county. Quickly.

Call me overprotective. I guess the bucket is safer.

One day, the cowboy looks forward to never having to shoe his horses again. I have an idea that’s why we have children.

He says she’s the perfect size to be a farrier. She doesn’t even have to bend over. And she has a perfect view for telling if the horse is limping. And she’s too little to mind if the hoof is covered with poop…

Then he figured it would be a great idea if she could get the horses ready and loaded for him. All he’d have to do is get in the truck and go.

Then the cowboy teaches Dally all about feeding the colts. Ironically, the safest place for a little girl in the middle of a lot of a couple dozen rowdy horses is in the feed trough. She’s too noisy to be mistaken for hay.

And since he’s been looking for a new header, he thought he’d teach Dally some of his arena skills.

Swing that rope, baby!!!

But at the end of the day, what she comes away with is much more. An appreciation for her dad, for nature and for the cowboy way. And to never squat with your spurs on.


The kitchen table and beyond

23 Nov

My kitchen table is always a mess. There was this one time, several years ago, when it was cleaned off with a nice table runner, centerpiece and candles. And then we had the kiddos.

Now it is constantly covered with crayons, watercolors, papers, craft stuff and other homeschooling materials.

Yes, I am homeschooling the kiddos. And yes, even Bailey is homeschooled at two years old. Don’t you think that every stay at home mom (or even working mom) is homeschooling their children to some extent. I mean, who teaches the kiddos their colors, to brush their teeth, the tie their shoes, to wear their underwear under their clothes? It’s just how long and how much you are homeschooling. We are in it up to our necks.

And because Dally never goes to school, we find ourselves up to our necks in stuff that needs to be put away too. Seriously, I need an entire day without the kiddos to clean this place up a bit…

At four and a half, Dally absolutely loves to sit down and write. She loves workbooks and worksheets. But after all my research and organization of what we would do for her preschool and kindergarten years of homeschooling, I am surprised to find that a lot of what we are doing isn’t at the kitchen table at all.

It’s other places.

Like in Granny’s front yard, learning all about fall. And gravity…you know, what goes up must come down.

Or hiding behind the one tree we have at our house. You know, unicorns do really exist. This one smells like cotton candy.

It’s in learning to ride a horse, catch a fish, grow a tomato and make a cake.

At Cocklebur Junction, homeschooling is so much more than what we put down on paper. It’s simply what we do.