Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lots More to Say!

I know I should probably do the "7 Quick Takes" Fridays, but I'm not that organized and don't always have lots to say! (at least I don't think I do)


This book "Betsy-Tacy" is Ballerina Rosie's first book for her mother-daughter book club through our homeschool group. The first meeting is tomorrow and we just finally got it at the library yesterday!! My Que was 3!! We've already read 4 chapters and hope to read another 5 today. It's a real treasure! This is the first of a series of books written about these sweet characters. The writer is from MN and said she had such a wonderful childhood that she had to write about it! I'm so glad we found this series and can't wait to read more! Ballerina Rosie is 6 and the youngest in the group, but she's very excited!
This is our stairway last year, but this is how it will look this afternoon, minus the pink truck. We do the Glory Stories Stations for Children, I love it and it gives me goosebumps and tears everytime we do them! The kids love following along and sitting on the stairs in between stations!

I started doing large letters for Mary and Babycakes, we are only up through C. They both really love doing it though! I see I might need to bring some different colors for D!


We won't have enough room for the whole alphabet (or 2 whole alphabets) in our school room so we'll have to put them in the basement!
Now, this is your homeschool advertisement warning: I am going to give a big push for homeschooling and a anti public school push. So, I don't want to offend anyone, I just am very obviously pro-homeschooling, so you might choose to skip this part, until the next group of pictures!
Jedi took his state test at the library this past weekend and I am only mentioning this because it shows how poor public schools really are. I think he's smart, but not that smart, and I certainly am not. This test is what the schools take and when people ask "why do you homeschool?" I want to pull this out and say "why would I not homeschool?" The middle row of numbers shows what grade equivalency he is at for each of those subjects. For example, total reading, he's at an 8th grade level in the first month of school. Keep in mind he's in 3rd grade. This compares to public school kids. Are public school kids really that dumb? What are teachers teaching them? Obviously not very much. Sorry this picture is so blurry (dumb camera), but the first subject is Science, Social Studies and Art. The person who tested him said it's a wide range of topics like Shakespeare (which he does not know), but he got every answer correct for Science. If I sent him to public school, he would be so bored. I've talked with other homeschool moms and they get basically the same results and are amazed at what the public schools are not teaching. This makes all the hard work so worth it.
While Jedi was taking his hour and 1/2 test, I had plenty of time to look for books for me! I found these wonderful books!! I used to get the bi-monthly Mailbox magazines when I did daycare and get so many of my craft ideas from those. Mine are so old though, these are current yearbooks, that have all the magazines in one book! They have crafts, songs, snacks, circle time, and so much more! This was all I could carry without my book bag....I'll get more next time!! The shamrocks yesterday, I got that idea from one of these!
There! I think I'm done for now.
I'm back!!! *****I must add something more about homeschooling. I truly believe that in order to do homeschooling and do it successfully, you must be called. By God that is. I really feel that call and when have my doubts (often) remember that calling. I do not believe everyone is called to homeschool and think the world needs all kinds of educated people (children) for a lot of reasons. I am in no way trying to make anyone feel guilty for not homeschooling. You must know though, that us homeschoolers are pretty strong in our convictions. We have to be in order to do what we do. I just think if you are on the fence about doing it or not, maybe these test scores will help. If you are homeschooling and feeling overwhelmed, look at those test scores and be relieved that you are doing a great job!*****
****Also: The state of MN does require yearly testing done on homeschooled children, after the age of 7. There are a few different tests to choose from. We chose (last year too) the Peabody test or the Piat (Peabody Individual Achievement Test). With this test, it is oral, and the tester (not the parent) asks a series of questions in each subject until 3 questions are answered incorrectly, then that is where they stop in that subject. It is compared to public school kids not parochial schools.******The test costs $45 and the state does not check back for the results, I know, dumb, huh? It's required though, so we do it, just in case. It is a good tool for the parents to see though.

17 comments:

  1. Jamie-I have so much respect for homeschoolers, but feel like it would be too much pressure on my kids from me...We have opted for our parish school, as I don't think the public schools do a great job either. I have a couple of homeschooling friends here who often tell me I would be great at it, but I just haven't felt that pull yet...

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  2. Jamie, that's a great way to do stations with the kids! I hadn't seen or thought of that - even though we have the same video. I have pictures of the stations, too. So easy to do...

    I haven't seen test results given in that format before. What test do you use?? We've always used the CAT from Seton.

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  3. I don't homeschool....which you know...BUT I think you do such a great job. I think Jedi is exceptional and is gifted. You are a super-duper homeschool mom. Look at all the neat projects!

    Like Therese I do not feel called to homeschool and my kids are doing well in school. I think a lot of the kids are not learning because they do not have parents. The parents are working so damn (oops slipped out) they let their kids watch waaaaaay too much TV or they are such sports fanatics that the grades slip because all they do is run from this or that. So many parents are relaxed in morals and values that kids are lost.

    The letter idea is cute.

    You can talk about homeschooling to me anytime....no offending here!

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. oops meant to say so damn hard.....not use to swearing;)

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  5. First off, I think Kissteen has a potty mouth. Bah ha ha ha ha ha!!

    Um, well, you know my story. I think home schooling is most successful when both parents are on board with it, both parents participate, AND when it's begun from the earliest years.

    We've done both - home schooling has taught them way more than public, so I agree whole heartedly with your accessment. However, my hubs isn't 100% with home schooling (he's seeing slackers - and I agree, we do slack, but it does get done - we just need to do more science and PE). Anyway, regardless of our shortcomings, home schooling has been a blessing. Putting them all back in public or private (which would be best, but it's more than half of what my hubs earns a year) means distractions and learning worldly things (again) and ugh! But, as I've said before, parents staying clued in is key.

    Thanks for the craft/teaching resource - I've bookmarked it for when I do daycare. One, I'm not taking in all-day kids (toddlers) YET - my plan is to have before and after school care kids (mostly 4th, 5th, 6th graders). I hope!

    I think you were very kind in your rhetoric, here. I'm with Kissteen, that yeah, I can handle the critics. I'd rather you be honest.

    You're blessed - smart kids!!

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  6. Wow! So many great ideas in one post!!?? Where do I even begin? Impressive test scores. By the way, when you say 'state tests' is this mandatory here in MN? I'm still learning a lot as I'm only in my first year with a Kindergartener and still acquiring more info. as I go. Love the alphabet, did you just come up with that or do you have a curriculum you go off of with the craft ideas? The Stations! Excellent idea too...we have stairs too...should do it. Never heard of the Mailbox, interesting.Thanks for the book series mention, I'm sure Lily would like it. I'm going to have to look for it. Ok, I think I covered it all. Like I said, great post...so packed full of great stuff!! ;)

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  7. I like to think I was a clean as a whistle kind of gal till I met JOT-skee! All I have learned especially my "wordly swearing" is from her! I came up with shitskee on my own=)

    (sorry jamster for causing scandel on your blogskee!)

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  8. I need more coffee...I cannot type today...I meant to say...as clean as a ...my mind!

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  9. I think the longer I homeschool, I see the reasons as to why we are homeschooling. I think my five (almost six) year old would have a hard time. Not because he couldn't do the work, but because he could, and he too would be bored. Well, David just had an accident on me...gotta run! lol!

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  10. To answer some of your questions, I did add (in red) to my post.

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  11. I remeber those Betsy-Tacy books. I read AND LOVED them as a little girl too. Mikayla is doing awesome with her 1st grade reading, it's fun to be a part of it as a homeschooler.

    I'm still working on all the things I wanted up for Lent. Got my Lamb calendar, bean jar like yours, but not much more. I just might have to print & color some stations for this year. I like the idea to have them in the stairway.

    I like your idea for the ABCs. Little 18m Sabrina just started singing them, so your project might be right on for her.

    Way to go Jedi! You did mention that he's been an advanced reader since he was a toddler, but that's incredible! Have you considered bumping him up a grade or two?

    My kids would never want to come home if they saw all you guys do over there. I finally started catching up and feeling better, getting a little creative, and then I started getting early symptoms of Gestational Diabetes. Ugh. I can't imagine how you do it all.

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  12. Thanks for answering back about the test. We aren't able to use that because there are no certified Peabody administrators in ND. Additionaly, we are required to send in our composite scores to the school district. Thankfully, we don't have to test every year, though.

    I'd really like to see how my kids do on the Peabody, though. It would be more descriptive as to where they are 'at'.

    I agree whole-heartedly with you on the calling to homeschool. It is what gets me through the tough days - because there are tough days.

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  13. my goodness you gals have quite a dialogue going on here-it's gonna take me all day to read.....and then there is the foul language....

    you ladies crack me up!

    but thanks jaimie. this was quite information!

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  14. i meant informative!
    isn't it great that someone like ME homeschools their kids?
    i can't even speak well, much less type correctly!!

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  15. Yes, I like to say to people who ask me about homeschooling ....

    If God leads you to it, He will lead your through it.

    Plus, He knows what I need and this may be the only way to my santification. ;)

    I need to do hard things, but it's so much better than not being with my kids that it is fun....make sense?

    Love the letters, too! Can't wait to see how we test this year.

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  16. I recently checked out "Betsy and Tacy" for my daughter, and we finally started it last night. (Thanks for the reminder! =) She really liked it. I think we read about 6 chapters ...

    The stations look great! I bought those prints just before Lent, but with everything going on, I haven't put them up YET. In time, right?!

    Congrats on the awesome scores! I don't homeschool, but I think it's a wonderful, beautiful thing for those called to it! We have found an incredibly amazing Catholic school for our children, and we know it's the right place for us. It's small and very traditional in its teachings. Can tell you more about it someday ...

    Happy Friday!

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  17. Okay, sorry Jamie about mine and Kissteens mess here. I am having way too much fun with you two lovely MN mommas! You have my deepest respect, of course, on so many levels. All of you do, as I see most of your commenters are those I read, too. I love your addendum "in red". I, too, feel like it's "a call" to home school. I feel called in a sense, but my hubs isn't feelin' it, so it's tension-filled. My kids test scores are higher than those of public school kid tests, too.

    God bless,
    Sarah (Jotskee)

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