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Our First Week Back to Homeschooling

Wow! It has been awhile since we have updated everyone. It has been a crazy few months in our house. We started with some home renovations in March and they are still on going. To say it’s been stressful is an understatement.

We started our first week of Kindergarten on June 5th, 2017, and it has been great. We are starting out slow, just so we can reaccumulate to being on a schedule and will increase the work as we go. Chief has taken to the new schedule quite nicely, and way better then I had originally expected. To help us stay on track I purchased a new Happy Planner Teacher’s Edition from Michaels. I absolutely love it. Their seasonal version as it works better for our homeschool needs, and in a sense isn’t as teachery (is that a word?). Being able to plan our week and have everything is one place has been great! Now, if only I can stay this organized all year long.

This has truly been a very eye opening week for us as well. Before Chief would be very fidgety and anxious. Not wanting to focus and concentrate on his work. But now he is doing great. We had a little bit of a tough time, because he got a cold during the first few days, and by Wednesday he was a bit tired and overwhelmed. So we did a little less work, and then finished it up later in the week. This is such a huge benefit when homeschooling. We can truly tailor the days to his needs, and there are no huge consequences if we need to take a day off or change the schedule. The one thing we do to help get ready for the school day is have some story time, where he gets to lay down and relax.

 

We started a fun science project on Monday. We are germinating Sunflower seeds in a mason jar, and then we will transplant them when they sprout and grow their roots. Chief thinks it’s so fun to watch them change. So far, 2 of our seeds have cracked and you can see a little activity. On Friday, he painted a flower pot to transplant them into, and is ready to put them in soil. This is a great summer project, even for those not in school. We are using the Sunflower Life Cycle packet from teachers pay teachers, and it was a very reasonable $3.00.

The least favorite thing we have coming up is our new daily chore chart. Ugh, who here likes to clean? Definitely not me! But, we are going to attempt a new process and hopefully it will help keep the house clean and organized. Not that we live in a pig sty, but with a rambunctious 4 year old and a dog things get messy quick! It is a HUGE job to keep the sand out of the house. Which only makes me realize just how much sand was probably in our old carpets.

 

Overall, I am so happy with how our first week back. I was expecting it to be much worse, and for Chief to be totally uninterested. Here’s to week 2!

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South Florida Science Center Visit

This week we have been visiting family in South Florida.  One of my favorite places to visit is the South Florida Science Center. This has always been a favorite place of mine. I even volunteered here 15 years ago.

Their current exhibit is called Our Body: The Universe Within, and is an exhibit of real life bodies. The bodies are preserved using a special process called polymer impregnation. The exhibit is very interesting and great for all ages. It is in no way morbid or gruesome, but they do show ALL body parts including the breast and penis. So this might be something you would want to talk about with your children before going.

We took about an hour to walk through the exhibit taking our time to examine the different types of models they had. Some were full skeletons, some were the muscles, some were veins, organs, arteries and nerves. Chief asked many questions about each item, and each area had a list of what we were looking at. This made answering his questions accurately very easy. I would have loved to share some pictures with you, but it was against the rules to take photos. I can not explain how truly amazing, and fascinating the exhibit was.

This exhibit would be perfect for any student currently learning about the human anatomy. They can actually see everything they are reading about, in person and in real life. No diagrams, no artificial pictures, or old draw pictures in a school book.

We went on a Tuesday, which lucky for us happened to also be their homeschool day. Check out their homeschool classes here.  We signed up for a class to learn about the Florida Everglades and the importance of Alligators to the ecosystem. Not only was it very informative, there was a hands on section where we got to meet and pet a baby alligator that was rescued. This was Chief’s favorite part, because come on what kid doesn’t want to pet a baby alligator!

Did you know that alligators have 5 toes on their front feet, and only 4 toes on their back feet? This was one of Chief’s favorite facts that he learned during class. We also learned that alligators lay eggs, and the temperature the eggs are at determine the sex of the baby alligators. Warm areas produce male alligators, and cool areas produce female alligators. I found this super fascinating as I just always thought the sex was determined when the egg was laid.

We also learned that without Alligators that the ecosystem in the everglades be in danger. Alligators are the largest most dangerous animal in the everglades and they help keep everything in check.

If you are ever in West Palm Beach, I highly recommend a visit to the Science Center. So much has changed over the years and they are opening up new areas every year and exhibits change every few months.

 

❤️ Brittny

P.S. If you liked this blog post, don’t forget to share with your friends and family. Also, check out our instagram page for daily updates @rubinfamilyadventures.

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Arctic Adventures Part 2

Welcome to our Arctic Adventures Part 2. We have been working with our arctic materials for a little over a month now, and chief loves them. If you have not read Part One of our adventures you can find it here.

Blubber Experiment

This was our most anticipated experiment on our Arctic Adventure. Chief and I went through his arctic animals and spoke about how they kept warm during the cold winter months. He thought that his whales would be the coldest because they live in cold water.

We went through his arctic animals and talked about how we thought they stayed warm. Of course as a 3 year old he came up with funny things like, they sleep with their mommy, they buy a sweater, they move where it is warm like Florida, etc.

Now, the best part. We did our blubber experiment and here is how it went, and what we discovered.

  • First, we filled a bowl with cold water and Chief put in his bare hands to see just how old the water is without the protection of blubber.
  • Then we put on gloves(this part is a must) to help keep our hands clean, and then I covered his hand with cooking lard. You can use Crisco, but I found that Target carried an off brand box for only $1.89 so I went with that since we would just be throwing it away.
  • Once his hand was ready, he slowly submerged his hand into the icy water. He was pretty shocked that his had was not getting cold.
  • Next, he placed his bare hand and his “blubber” hand into the cold water and told me which one was warmer. He thought this part was really cool, because to him they were the same hand. I explained to him that it was the “blubber”, like on the Polar Bear that was keeping his hand warm.
  • He played around with the water and “blubber” for a few minutes, but then our “blubber” started to fall off. I highly recommend that you wrap your hand in plastic wrap to keep the “blubber” in place.

This was a super fun and inexpensive experiment to do with him. I am always looking for hands on learning to help enhance his school days, and make things more fun.

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Arctic Flash Cards

In Part One of our Arctic Adventures I expressed my love you Safari Toob Animals. Using out Arctic toob animals I created flash cards that help with recognition, and matching.  We can use these cards to help with reading as Chief gets older.

Creating the flash cards was super simple. Using a light box with a white background I took clear pictures of each animal. I uploaded each picture into Microsoft Word and formatted the picture to the size desired. I made our card 4inx6in to make them easy to handle.

Snow Slime

We made our snow slime back in Part One. While it has lasted us for about 5 uses, it did start to turn back into a liquid state. We dumped some of the liquid out, remixed it and it was good as new.

This is one of Chief’s favorite activities, most likely because it seems messy and he can be really hands on with it. His favorite thing is to pretend that his whales, and walrus are swimming in the ocean looking for food.

 

❤️ Brittny

P.S. If you liked this, don’t forget to share with your friends and family.

 

 

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Why did you choose to homeschool?

Well, I get this questions a lot. My family is full of public school educators, and I have nothing but respect for them and their profession. I made the decision to homeschool my children many years ago. The best way I explain to people that this is a decision I have made in the best interest of my child, and my child’s future. Now the long answer to why I will home school……

Public School Education

Were you educated in a public school? My answer to this is always yes and no. I went to elementary school, 6th grade and half of 7th grade,  half of my 7th grade year was completed at home, through a hospital homebound program, and the I dropped out during my 9th grade year.

During my 7th grade year I had informed my parents that I had be sexually abused by our neighbor and I had a very hard time dealing with everything. I was terrified to leave my house, and I was terrified that I was going to be hurt for coming forward. (I now know that coming forward was the right thing to do, and I was kept safe by my parents. ) My parents and my counselors spoke and found it best for me to complete the year at home.

I went back to school for my 8th grade year and I loved it. I became president of a program at school called SADD( Students Against Destructive Decisions). Being the president of this club helped with my social skills, but my anxiety was still strong and I missed a lot of school. I finished out my 8th grade years, and entered high school and this is where things went down hill. My anxiety was terrible, I suffered from panic attacks, depressions, ptsd and more. I had a very hard time making new friends; my anxiety made me the weird girl and so much more. I ended up dropping out before the end of my high school year.

The Unexpected

Now, here comes the most amazing part! One that is always unexpected when I tell people I dropped out of school. I went back when I was 18 and got my GED, enrolled in community college and got my Associate’s of Art’s degree, and then enrolled in University where I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree.

The biggest shocker, I applied to and was accepted into Law School. It was a conditional acceptance, I had to complete a summer program first, but I was accepted. I was so proud. I talked it over with my parents and my boyfriend( at the time, now my husband) trying to decide on what I wanted to do. Would I go to law school? How would I pay for it? I didn’t receive scholarships and tuition was $75,000 per year. I ultimately decided that I would wait and I would retake my LSAT test in the next 3 years to try and up my scores to be able to receive a scholarship.

Our Decision to Homeschool

Ultimately, my Husband and I decided to start a family. I have several cardiac issues so we spoke with the doctors and they said it was better to have children while I was young, rather then later down the road. I knew before we started down this road that our future children would homeschool. I didn’t know how many children we would have, but I knew they would homeschool. We ended up with Chief, and he is our world. For his first few years he attended the Montessori school where I worked and it was a fantastic beginning to his learning. Chief is now 3.10 years old (Almost 4, where did the time go?) and doing fantastic.

We started our homeschool journey in August of this year. We are using this time to work on his letter recognition and number recognition, as he is struggling with this. We are using a few different curriculums, mainly focusing on a letter of the week with a review of all past letters. This is working well for him, and we are starting to incorporate more in each week. He proudly tells people when they ask, that he does homeschool. Which usually leads into more questions about our homeschool life, and how we go about learning. I loved educating people of the huge possibilities that homeschooling provides for children. Luckily we haven’t come across anyone super anti-homeschool as some of our friends have.

Stay tuned for more info on our curriculum and schedule.

❤️ Brittny

 

**If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, or assault you can contact RAINN or your local law enforcement agency for help. Don’t stay silent, tell your story and send your offender to jail.

 

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Homemade Homeschool

As a homeschooling family with a single income, we find our own ways to create our homeschool materials. Little man has been struggling with his recognition of letters, and tracing. So we are trying a new approach. He previously used sandpaper letters when he was in Montessori school, so here is my take on them. They are super easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. Here is what you will need:

Supplies:

Glitter Paper ( in your child’s favorite color.)

Or Precut Glitter letters (Make sure they are textured)

Hot Glue

White Card Stock

Paper Cutter

I use my Cricut to cut out my letters using the basic Arial Font, and made them about 2″ tall. You can adjust yours to whatever size you would like, or purchase the precut letters in the size you would like. I then cut out my White Card Stock into 3″ squares , then hot glued the glitter letters to the center of my card stock. They turned out great!  The total cost for the project for me was under $2. I already had the white card stock and hot glue, so I only had to purchase the glitter paper which was around $1.50.

I highly recommend that if you are a homeschooling parent that you purchase a Cricut. You don’t have to have the top of the line if you are just using it to cut out projects. I have the Explore One and I use it for homeschooling and for my online business. It is great to be able to cut things out on the fly and not have to worry about how its going to turn out. It is very helpful when the littles get older and start having projects of their own that need to be completed. They can use it to create the things needed without having to go out and specially buy items.

Here is our finished project. He loves them, and they are red which is his favorite color. He instantly started to trace the letters. I only placed out the letters that we are currently working on, so that he will not get confused. Good Luck with your projects!

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We do school in our Jammies.