Monday, May 16, 2011

A Homeschool Momma's Heaven!

As a homeschooling momma I'm always trying to find educational materials at a low price. I read all these amazing blogs & see the many awesome materials other kids have to help educate them & make their learning fun. There's also the many wonderful packets & printables I need to copy or laminate which requires some money to do.

Imagine my excitement when I heard that my local school district had a place with ALL of that stuff for FREE!!! YES! F-R-E-E FREE FREE FREE!!!! The Parent Teacher Community Resource Center is truly a homeschool momma's heaven! I am able to make copies & laminate for free! They have a workshop set up to make posters, die cut materials & so much more for me to use ALL FREE!

Then there's a learning room full of books, toys, games, & all sorts of materials I can check out (FREE) to aid our homeschooling! Now please excuse the poor quality of the pics below. I used my phone, but I wanted to capture the pure awesomeness this place offers :)

They've put together theme unit kits based on specific books or topics. The kits include some of the following: toys, books, worksheets, & many ideas to help teach about the particular theme.

They also have theme boxes from Lakeshore with themes such as ocean life, the 5 senses, bugs & insects, all about me, community helpers, transportation, etc. We checked out the ocean life box & it included lesson plans & activities ideas to expand the knowledge of ocean life, ocean stamps & a stamp pad, a mini aquarium, real sea shells & a starfish, pictures, a sorting game etc. I'll post more on that later :)

Science materials included stethoscopes, dr. kits, videos, magnifying tools etc.

Science books based on specific topics with activity ideas & worksheets included.

This is the phonics center. It's filled with various games & tools to help learners in spelling, reading, & language. The rack to the right with the bags holds many favorite children's' books & include puppets & toys for the kids the retell the story.

This summer I plan on checking out many of the musical instruments for my boys to explore! It blows my mind that they will be able to play with many different kinds at no expense to me. Music is something I hope all of my boys love!

As you can see they also have a ton of manipulatives & puzzles in various shapes & themes.

This area is full of gross motor games & activities.

All of these bags host books with activities that include toys, puppets, tapes/CDs, some include English & Spanish versions, learning ideas & much more.

There's a lot more the PTCRC has! Toys for babies & toddlers that enhance their development. A math center, books galore that are categorized by theme or popular children's author & various teaching & learning tools!

I am COMPLETELY in love with this place! They also have a "typical" school playground that we can play on, host playdates & art days, seasonal parties & carnivals, & while I'm busy using all of the resources they have to offer my kiddos get to stay in the kid zone which has a TV to watch PBS Kids, computers, books, & toys. This room is surrounded by windows so I can keep an eye on them while I work.

Here's a pic of B-man at the PTCRC Water Day.

They also offer programs for babies & toddlers & will send a specialist (FREE) each month to make sure they're developing appropriately & if there is ever a need for a speech or occupational specialist they also offer those FREE!!

This place is such a Godsend for me as a stay at home/homeschooling momma! I wonder how many other cities offer resource centers like this?

Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Beginning

Well Here it blog completely dedicated to Schoolin' The Boys :) I've been wanting to have a blog completely dedicated to our home school adventures separate from my other blog. That blog will be dedicated to my personal journeys with the Lord and this one will simply focus on what my boys are learning whether in our home school or in just regular life lessons along the way.

Many of the fun and amazing things we do I get from the various blogs I've listed on the right side of the screen. Even if you aren't a homeschooling mommy I HIGHLY recommend you checking them out! They have the funnest packs and ideas ALL kids will like and they'll be learning in the process without even knowing it!

So who are my boys?

Brady is 6 with such a sweet & sensitive spirit!
He doesn't like to hurt people's feelings & gets sad if he knows someone is mad at him. He's a BRAINIAC! Shortly after he turned 2 he learned all his colors in 1 day. So the I went on to shapes & he got those quick to. By 2 1/2 he knew all his letters & he taught himself the letters by playing with his Leap Frog refrigerator magnet!!! He LOVES to learn. He has spoiled me greatly ;P Brady is also an EXCELLENT big brother! He loves to make the little ones smile & hold & feed the baby too! Though sometimes his patience runs out with Rylan.

This is my bundle of strong willed, rough & tumble, all boy, but loves his momma, almost 3 year old! Rylan is hilarious! He enjoys being tough, but he still wants to be a baby too! Not that I mind! He LOVES to snuggle with me & in his mind there's nothing my kisses can't fix! He's very sweet to his baby brother, but holds nothing back with Brady. Rylan thinks he's as big as Brady and gets very frustrated when he can't do the same things his big brother does.

This sweet face belongs to our newest family member, Keller. He's 6 months old & like Rylan, thinks he's bigger than he is. His little legs are always moving trying to go & get after whatever he wants. He is spoiled! His brothers spoil him, I spoil him, his daddy spoils him, & everyone else too. He has a goofy big smile that melts my heart! He loves to touch my face and kiss me, but he often pinches my faces, rips the hair out of my head, & gnaws on my chin so much it hurts!

Why do we home school? No big, long reason here. I taught school the 1st 3 years of Brady's life & was able to stay home when Rylan was born. I had enrolled Brady at our church's K3 program & on the way there one morning Brady saw a big, yellow school bus. He was so excited! I went to tell him that one day he would get to ride one & before I could get a word out God stopped me! I heard Him speak so clearly, "You are going to home school." The thought had never occurred to me before! So I began researching, asking questions to other home school moms I knew and prayed, prayed, prayed!!!

A few months into K4 I was struggling with sending Brady & couldn't figure out why. So when I prayed about it the Lord told me it was time to bring him home. The next year I enrolled Rylan in a Mom's Morning Out program thinking I could get so much done those days, but the truth was, I missed him! He always threw a fit & didn't want to go, but I knew he had fun once I left. Nonetheless, I still struggled taking him each time. After confessing to my husband about how I felt he told me to bring him home too.

Every year I pray about homeschooling them, struggle with sending them to school, and God always reminds me that He has called us home. It's a journey that humbles me & scares me sometimes, but I know that this is the plan God has for us! So a day at a time & completely relying on God!

I'm so excited to share our schoolin' stories with yall! Stay tuned to see what's next!