I kind of get excited about field trips. I get excited when our field trips take all day. But I really get excited when we as a family get to take a train trip to Seattle with a group of friends. Tuesday we got to do just that!
We boarded the train early Tuesday morning at the train station here in Portland, and rode ALL the way to Seattle. It was great! My kids had friends come with them on the train. Plus there were other homeschoolers they knew from our homeschool group and another homeschool group on the same field trip. As a group, the kids played games, listened to music, and just plain hung out. The trip gave them a chance to just chill while riding the train to Seattle.
When we got to Seattle everyone piled out and headed to the station. We all kind of separated into smaller groups to go our "separate ways". The group we were in decided to go to Pike's Place. (exciting!) So we walked to the metro took their mass transit, like our max, to Waterlake stop and started to walk. We walked about a half mile maybe to Pike's place and then we separated again. Some of the ladies wanted to go for Starbuck's right away. Our small group needed lunch.
After finding lunch, which was very good, our little group wondered through the market. There was so much to see; HUGE amounts of fish, rows of flowers, gifts by the dozen, and even peppers that had been made into wreathes. (which I found intriguing)
My oldest and his friend had separated off to check out what teenage boys check out. Not sure what that looks like but I heard about an antic shop and a guitar store. While they were gone, Jacob was able to locate the first original Starbuck's. Which in reality was the only reason that he came with us to Seattle. So now our small group went to go retrieve our much needed coffee. In my opinion it was good and interesting how they have the store sent up. Nothing like any of the other stores.
We were then introduced some amazing pastries made by a local Chinese bakery. They were steamed buns with pork meat inside. The outside was sweet, not sure what the inside tasted like. My friends daughter let us taste the outside. It was very good. With our treats in hand we were back to broazing in amongst the booths. In fact one of the booths we stopped at had a sample of Ghost pepper sauce. WOOHOO it was pretty hot.
We had finished the top level market and headed down to the lower level were the shops are located. Pike's Place has a lot of unique and interesting shops to look into. In fact one of them had hand made items that Grace, Tesa and I loved. Micheal of course got a kick out of the candy shop that we passed by.
After a bit of time on the second level our group split again and my small group of teenagers and I finished paruzing the lower shops. Pretty soon after walking most of the four hours and looking at quite a bit our little group decided to head back. We picked up dinner at Subway, rode the mass transit with the other large group we had arrived with, and went back to the train station.
With our sore feet and bodies we reloaded the train in Seattle and headed back to Portland. Again it was good to see the kids hanging together playing games, talking about what they saw, listening to music, taking funny photos, and just in general having a good time. This gave us parents a chance to visit, rest, or just get caught up on some reading.
"This is what it is all about, spending time with people we know and enjoying the memories it makes."
We arrived back in Portland around 9:00pm tired, but fortunately we all have great memories to share. The kids had a blast hanging out on the train and walking around Pike's Place. All in all I would say Tuesday's all day field trip was a much needed, well deserved, and well used day.
I remember when I was in kindergarten. It was fun! It was a time for me to learn how not to fight with Joe for the toy phone, to hear my teacher read stories beause she made ALL kinds of noises, to learn how to cut with funky scissors, and to play with the playdo but not eat the playdo. Kindergarten was a chance for me to learn how to be at school and have fun.
I remember how important it was for me to play and have fun. It helped to instill in me a love for school and learning. When I started homeschooling my kids I really tried to do the same thing. Play games, read stories, put together puzzles, and interact as a family so they would know how to interact with others and to instill in them a love of learning. So young moms this is what I encourage you to do. First remember it is only kindergarten and you have a lot of years of "paperwork" to do with your kids.
Now with that said I want you to get three maybe even four baskets. One of the baskets fill with books of all kinds; big ones, small ones, wooden ones, soft ones, and maybe even some chapter books with pictures depending on the age of your kids. Another basket fill with puzzles. Now you are going to want to probably put them in gallon size bags so the pieces don't get lost. Again get all kinds; big ones, small ones, wooden ones, magnet ones, and there are some really cool ones that are three dimenstional for families with older kids. And the last basket you fill you are going to want games. Again if you have some games that might have alot of pieces get baggies to help keep things together. Don't hold back on this one either. The only limitation I would give you is to make sure all the games are educational. The fourth basket is optional, my youngest needed extra play toys around to help him sit still during reading time, so I would fill that particular basket with quiet toys he could play with while I read.
Now that you have your baskets full you can get started. You want to find a comfy corner in your house. Somewhere possibly near a couch or an open corner where you can place the baskets and a couple of bean bags. Make it your own, decorate it up with your children's art maybe even add a color mat to the area so your kids know this is their special spot. Set a approximate time, I am a very random person so it is hard for me to have a strict schedule. If you and your child/children like a stricter schedule then you can set that time. When that time comes go to your corner and just play. Get down on their level, read books, play with toys, put together puzzles, and for the most part spend time with your children.
I was very exicted this last weekend. My kids and husband got a chance to go see the Oregon Symphony practice their tribute to Ray Charles. They had SO much fun!
This time was a little different from anything they have seen, which was what made it so much fun. Instead of see them preform straight through all the music this was a rehersal. Which ment they got to hear more interaction on stage. The preformers were more laid back, and jovial. I feel so blessed that we got such an oportunity.
Any chance we get we grab at these moments. Special moments to spend together as a family to experience something new. So what are some of your special moments or experiences?
It was our choice as a family to teach our children at home, and not place them in the public system. We as a family made that choice......
I have many friends who homeschool their children, and have many friends who have their children in public school. It is a choice that each family has to make. For those that have them in public school I look at them no differently then the ones who have chosen to homeschool.
Now, if you ask me "Would you place your children in public school?" I would boldly say NO. It is not for our family, and I am not really happy with the direction the public system is going. My husband and I have made our choice.
We made our choice because of the way we feel. We felt God wanted our family to homeschool our children. It is a yearly choice until highschool, when we decided to allow each one to decide whether or not to continue as a homeschooled student. Now, you are probably wondering, "Why would you say all of this?"
Today I read a post about one man's feelings and/or opinion. In his opinion the solution to the current tragedies (the shooting in Kentucky and Clackamas) is NOT to stop shopping with them, or start homeschooling them, or generally hide them from the world. We need to love them, and show them love. Spend time with them and stay away from all the worldly distractions that are around us. I agree with him on the second point.
I love me children with all my heart. I tell them I love them all the time and spend time with them. I try not to allow the worldly influences to keep me from them. Mind you, I am not perfect and there are days that I do fall short, REALLY short. There are days I am fun to be around, and there are days that I am cranky. Like I said I am human. But the most important thing I can say is this...
I love my children enough to do what God has called our family to do. That means, just because we have chosen to homeschool does not mean we are hiding our kids from the world. It means we are trying to do what WE feel is best for them. So please don't blanket a statement that tells the world that people who homeschool are hiding their children.
It bothers me more then anything when people question our choice or claim that homeschool families are not socialized enough or they are hidden from the real world. I don't think my family nor friends appreciate it when I question the public system claiming they are exposed to the wrong influences, that they are not home enough, and the many other excuses I have heard from other families. If I have done this, I deeply apologize. It is a choice as a family to do what is best for their children.
Whether our children are home or in school the most important thing we can do is teach them that they are loved. That they are loved not just by their family but by their Heavenly Father. We has adults are called to pass on a confidence that comes from the promises given to us by God. God has placed us here for a reason, with a purpose, and to be loved.
So for all of us adults, the next time we talk about our children's education, be supportive. We are all in this together trying to raise a generation that loves one another, not hating one another. It doesn't matter where our children gets their education. What really matters for these kids is that they are loved and they know how to love in return.
It is time to start the school year again. The smell of books, paper, new pencils, and all the supplies that you need to start school. Along with it brings a feeling of happiness but also dread. I know there is a lot of work involved, but I also know it brings order to our lives. An order that all of us are longing for.
You know what I mean? Knowing that each morning, no matter what, you get up and do certain chore/subjects. Know that each afternoon you have certain activities to conquer. But most of all there is an order to our day. At this time we go to CBS, at this time we have math, and at this time we are done for the day. It brings a wave of peace to my mind.
For this year Jacob will be starting is junior year in high school and prepping for college. SCARY!!!! Grace is in 10th grade. And Mike jr. is in his last year of middle school. Some sad moments for mom. My kids are growing up. I am trying to look at the positive of the situation.
We are going to be having a exciting year. Jacob and Grace will be working through Chemistry, which I barely passed in high school. Mike will be joining a new Lego robotics group for the last time. Next year Mike will have to move on the a robotics team. And all will continue to grow in so many other ways it is mind boggling.
For now, I am going to enjoy the new smells, the new books, the new supplies, and the peace of knowing our schedule. I will deal with all the other stuff after my 10th cup of coffee.
I love my daughter. She is wonderful, beautiful, very intelligent, and well.........she is my daughter. Did I mention that she is really smart. She is. And unfortunately that can be a problem at times. It is great because she does so well in her studies, and I am able to have great conversations with her. But there is a flip side to this.
Let me give you a little background. I am going to call her, DD for short. My DD is involved in many activities both in the home, and out of the home. She volunteers, she helps with classes and takes classes, she baby sits, she has her own business, and she is involved in youth. Just recently, about three months ago, she joined Rainbow. For those that don't know, Rainbow is an organization through the Masonic Lodge that girls learn leadership, presentation, and organization skills. It was a good fit for DD.
Like most organizations Rainbow has rules/guidelines. DD and myself have been learning those guidelines. One of the guidelines happens to be on attire, and recently we had an experience with such an issue. Now remember when I told you DD was very smart. Well, this is when it gets a little difficult. At a recent event she choice to wear jeans, which in her defense she thought would be perfectly fine. I suggested that she wear her brown slacks. Remember the issue of intelligence..... DD response was, "NO mom, I know what I am doing, and I don't need to wear my slacks. I can wear my jeans." OK.
Again, I ummm..... I am not going to lie here. I STRONGLY, in my motherly way, suggested the slacks. I even went so far as to get the slacks out of her room and bring them with us in the car. She did not budge, and I kind of died on the mountain of slacks.... There really was no compromise between the two of us.
Fast forward to the end, I dropped DD off at the event and left to pick up my oldest son. Came back about hour and half later to pick her up after the concert was over. When DD got in the car I asked her how it went. DD explained that it was a "casual" Rainbow event, which meant no jeans......
She looked pretty beat up over the situation. One of the mothers who had been there gave her a disapproving look, which for DD was VERY hard to swallow. Remember she is my intellegent child. OH, and did I also mention she is my over achiever? With that said DD did not have as much fun as she could of.
It was a day of lessons for both of us. She learned that even though she thinks she may know everything it may be a good thing to listen to mom sometimes. And mom learned that I REALLY need to look at my attitude. Just because someone has a "I know" attitutde does not mean I have to have the same one.
I have been homeschooling my three kids since 2003. It has been an adventure of epic experiences through pre-school, elementary school, middle school, and now high school. There is NEVER a dull day in our house. With that said, I am glad you have joined me so you can read about our epic experiences. I promise you won't get bored.