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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have you Heard?

    I know many of you probably already follow, but just in case, I wanted to share:

   Michelle, over at musings of me is having a great give away. It is her newest creation, a Circus Teacher pack. It is awesome and includes lots of goodies. The main pack includes, math and literacy centers along with, writing, cooking, and art projects. Included with the give away (separate with purchase) Michelle is giving an art project with a cute little train, and kindergarten and 1st grade sight words unit. If you have not tried these packs they are great and I highly recommend them.

Property of
http://thoughtsofesme.blogspot.com/


      Lady Jey loves them. She is not good with change so these packs work out great with her because they stick with one theme throughout the week or 2, depending on how fast you work through them. The packs include work in all the "main" subjects. So we are not jumping from theme to theme throughout the day, which would be impossible with Lady Jey. She also gets excited on Sunday and can not wait until she knows what theme we will be starting on Monday. It often times turns into a guessing game, which I aways give into, so the theme is not just thrown at her on Monday, this gives her the chance to get ready for Mondays.
       Anyway go on over and enter for a chance to win this great give away. Also while there check out Michelle's other free theme packs. We will defiantly be adding this theme to our days at CA.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Castle Academy?

    I "researched" and visited MANY blogs in my attempt to start my own, and I always wondered where some of the names came from.
   So you may be wondering, Castle Academy, well the name was "born" the summer of 2009. That summer was when "that" light went off and we started our adventure, anyway I figured let's be all techy and give ourselves a name. There was not much deliberation, the kids had already chose "their" colors, which I knew from the beginning we were going to have to be color coded to keep organized. We ended up with a rainbow of colors, so our mascot, per say, became a rainbow but I also wanted to use our last name so the rainbow became a castle over the rainbow, which we use for our planners and other paper work.
     So keeping within our "mascot" we chose Castle Academy (which is a play on our last name) as our school name. After the name was chosen the perfect school motto came to mind, "where we serve the KING of kings". VOILA! It all fit perfectly!
     And so the name got transfered to the blog since this will be our unofficial record of happenings within our school years.
     So without further ado, here are the students of Castle Academy and my Heirs to HIS kingdom:

Prince
(Born Again on 5/06)

           Prince is our oldest and only son, for now, my DH keeps saying ;) He is in the 5th grade, and enjoys reading and video games. He loves reading anything that pretains to the Greek myths, which I allow only because he has a firm understanding of God in relation to these mythical characters. He struggles in Math and Spelling, so those are our areas we will emphsize in the fall. He excells in Reading, and History. And he loves Science! especially expirements ;p

Princesa
born again on 7/09

          Princesa is our oldest daughter. She is in 2nd/3rd grade. She enjoys reading, computer games, drawing, and writing. She is the little mommy of the group and enjoys her role as such. She also likes to sing and does so in church when she can get someone else to muster up enough courage to join her. Princesa has also recently been diignosed with ADHD and ODD along with other sensory issues. So we have a road of great trail and error ahead of us! She does great in all her studies and only struggles when she has a bad day with her issues. She is my first expirence through these medical issues so I am still learning.


Lady Jey
(awaiting title)

       Lady Jey is our middle daughter and is in an awkard stage. At 4 she wants so bad to be independant but still needs Mommy. She is at times jealous of baby sis, so then she wants to be a baby.  She is in pre-school (sometimes) and doing well. We are using a LOTW type study with her. We get most of her things from Erica but we also add in more sensory activites. She enjoys TV (which we limit) and wants to meet the Veggie Tales and Hermie ;) She is much of the same kind of learner and has many of the same mannerisms as Princesa so we anticipate having some of the same issues with her.

Lady Bells
(awaiting title)

           Lady Bells is our youngest, for now! Yes we want a big family (which may be uncomfortable to some). She is my tornado, a non-stop whirl wind. I was pregnaunt with her when our adventures began so she knows nothing more then everyone always being together. She is almost 2 (in july) and thinks she is 5. This year was new to Lady Jey with doing pre-school stuff but Lady Bells wanted in on everything. So I have decided, with the help of Carisa's materials over at 1+1+1=1, that she is ready for Tot School. This will be an adventure, because she is very strong willed, but we will take it one day at a time. I have learned within this short time to make it as fun as possible, especially with the littles so they think you/they are playing, while actually learning. Carisa has lots of fun stuff, check out her tot packs and if this is a little to advanced for your little one, she now has Tot letter printables, check them out in action here.

         So just in case you were wondering, that is the story behind the name. As for the children, I enjoy teaching each one, although I have to admit it is a struggle some days :) But I would not expect any less with 4 all on different learning levels and with different learning styles. There are some days when mentally I would like to throw in the towel, but looking at them and actually getting to see them grow before my eyes, I am reminded why I chose to commit heart, soul, and mind to this journey. I am also gently (sometimes shaken) reminded that this is GOD'S path for me and I know that where he puts/leads  me he will always be there for me. So it is with much prayer, guidence, and lended strenght that we as a family: make it through our days at CA!
         








Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home-schooling: OUR choice!


Hello World!





Hello, and Welcome to our madness lives. This blog was started for many purposes:
 1st as a memory for my children,
 2nd as a way to hold myself accountable,
3rd to keep records,
4th to allow those who doubt, a peek into our world,
and last but not least for enjoyment.
 I would like to introduce you to my family,  
 We are a homeschooling (I like how this is always underlined in red, like there is no such word) family of 4. Our days are filled with structured “school” lessons, life lessons, family time, and most important GOD. We strive each and everyday to walk in his will, which lead us to the reason(s) we home-school (what is the proper way to spell this anyway?)


          I image we have some of the same issues and struggles as each of you have/had that pertain to the reasons we all chose this road. My two older children attended public school before we set out on God’s path.
     Do you realize the number of hours they are way from you? Mom and Dad are here to be the most influential person in the life of their children, how can this be if the child spends a total of 6 (give or take)sleepless hours a day with his parents and a total of 9 hours within the PS system. Not to mention, those allotted hours we get are spent getting ready for school, driving to school or waiting for the bus, driving back from school (with parent if lucky), doing homework, doing what chores time allows, eating, and then getting ready to do it all again.  And believe me we almost NEVER got it all done! So, I ask, who is raising our children? After going through the higher education system to join in the ranks believe me when I say, " YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!!!" (of course I have to admint there are a few good apples put there by GOD)


        Any way back to the point, Princesa (which will be her nickname for all intense & purposes) went to PS in kindergarten where she did fairly well and was on target for everything, but the same could be said for my son whom we will call Prince. He attended PS for 4 years (K-3rd). Let’s just face it life happens and sometimes we are forced to move, and we all know PS districts are not on the same wave link. In 1st grade he was put into a system that was failing BAD! Needless to say he got way behind (which was not realized until later!). We ended up having to stay within the same school district for 2nd grade (princesa still not in school) so I chose to enroll him out of zone and we swallowed the gas bill! The school in which he attended was a “top district school” in the area, so he did well with what he had. Then 3rd grade rolls around he and Princesa attended this same school, again the gas bill!


       Third grade was the catch! We realized just how much he had drifted behind, there was NO catching up. His grades plummeted, everything from handwriting (which was never worked on outside of home) to math! For this to be a “top” school I think I had all but 2 mandatory visits with the teacher, beginning of the year and midway to the end. The last visit was to inform me that if he did not work and his math during the summer he would not understand anything and fall behind during 4th grade. (You are kidding right! YOU are going to allow him to move on AGAIN without a foundation, and oh, he did not qualify for summer school.)

        So I took this knowledge and my frustrations home, and fumed for the rest of the school year. We went shopping for workbooks to use during the summer. I planned out a hole math unit for him. In the mist of doing this a light bulb went off  "why don’t I keep them home to learn" after all we had neighbors who did this and I could always lean on them for guidance (and believe you me, I got it, sometimes more then I could stand). Plus I was not willing Princesa get pushed aside (she has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD along with some sensory issues) So I turned to God and begin praying about it. The funny thing was, I was already attending “home-school” with distance learning at UOP. I believed at the time this was God’s calling to become a elementary teacher but through the prayers for my children I realized God’s ultimate goal, My experience with the EDU system was to open my eyes to the PS environment, and to reinforce my decision to educate my children myself through the knowledge and strength of God.

        I have to admint it has been a rough 2 years. We have had everything possible we could handle thrown at us. From the non-support of family members (I’m sure most have been in the same boat), to financial issues, family crises, health issues, to the all well known burn-out. But through GOD we have stood Strong and will continue to do so! So to all who read, and you know who you are, this was not a decision taken lightly, many sleepless nights were put into this decision, but this will be the road we continue on until GOD lets me know otherwise. So sit back and enjoy the journey through our days at Castle Academy! (Where we are serving the KING of kings)


Brandy



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