Monday, March 9, 2015

Emma's Art

Origami Girl!

Emma has become an Origami and Kirigami fanatic. Here's a few of the fun things she's made so far:

She's discovered pinterest, and now it's all downhill. :) So much fun creativity! What kinds of things do you do for home school art?



©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fun peek at Co-op, challenges and blessings Pt. #3

Our homeschool co-op has been rolling along, and 3 of the 7 weeks are behind us. We are finding there are certain challenges to face, and lots of fun to be had. There is must be a real choice to serve others to be involved in a co-op... as there will always be those extra miles to walk. See here for the first part of this post. Read here for part two. The conclusion is below:



Co-op Challenge #3: Needing time to grow as moms and teachers, but everyone is already too busy teaching!

If the moms in our co-op are anything like me, this homeschool social opportunity isn't just for the kids. We often talk about wanting a few mom classes too,  but we are all teaching at various times, and rarely more than 3 or 4 of us are free to meet in the hall. We recognize that the camaraderie of homeschooling can be a great encouragement, but we're not sure how to tap into it when we are scattered in "the trenches" of the battlefield. 

Solution:

This semester we have tapped a few veteran homeschool moms to join us. They are moms who are ahead in the game, and some have even graduated all of their students. We set up a corner of the study hall area, with chocolate and flowers and a candle. We buy their lunch, and introduce them at opening exercises as tho they were celebrities. Then throughout the day any teaching mom who finds a free moment can stop in there and catch a few words of wisdom and encouragement, or just pray with a woman whose heart has been there. It's been a great success so far, and we hope to keep it up!

Do you have a co-op? Have you resolved some challenges? I'd love to hear what you have been dealing with too. Please share in the comments!

©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 5, 2015

In case you thought time was moving too fast...

...as I often feel on my birthday. (yep, today!) Here's a view from right out my window recently that reminds me that the "old days" aren't that far removed:


Lamentations 3:22-23  

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.



©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fun peek at Co-op, challenges and blessings Pt. #2

Our homeschool co-op has been rolling along, and 3 of the 7 weeks are behind us. We are finding there are certain challenges to face, and lots of fun to be had. There is must be a real choice to serve others to be involved in a co-op... as there will always be those extra miles to walk. See here for the first part of this post. Read below for part two!



Challenge #2: Absent Teachers
Because our co-op is made up of families offering classes and kids taking classes, we are all bearing the burden of teaching. Over half of the kids registered this semester are kids whose parents are also teaching. How do I know? Our teachers get the added perk of early registration, in hopes that more parents will offer to teach. Often times, this means that one parent is teaching 2-3 classes throughout the day. The parent in the above photo, Art D., is committed to teaching someone each and every class period. He's our PE teacher, runs opening exercises, helps his wife with several classes, and is also booked with private guitar lessons in every other free moment. We are so thankful for guys like Art! But what if Art gets sick? that's 6 class periods to fill! Then we end up with kids without a teacher, or with a substitute. I personally had to substitute in Origami one week and Boy's Bible Study the next. Each had a pretty tough crowd for me to keep up with! What an adventure this is!

What is the solution? It's hard to predict when someone will miss, and even the most devoted teacher has a surprise illness sometimes. We hope to encourage our teachers to have one "make and take" lesson pre-prepped for such a day, as well as to be thinking ahead about who can be their last minute sub. We are also going to plan for fewer parent-teachers, and more outside volunteer teachers. These non-parents are not going to have as high of a risk of sickness (admit it, our kids are the exponent on our risk factors!), and spread the teaching burden out a bit, so parents aren't teaching so many of the sessions. You can pray for us on that one, as we are still working it out!

Join me Friday for the conclusion of this group of posts!


©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fun peek at Co-op, challenges and blessings Pt. #1

Our homeschool co-op has been rolling along, and 3 of the 7 weeks are behind us. We are finding there are certain challenges to face, and lots of fun to be had. There is must be a real choice to serve others to be involved in a co-op... as there will always be those extra miles to walk.



Challenge #1: sharing the work
Whether it is a child who comes down sick at the last moment, a forgetful mommy, or a general lack of commitment (among homeschoolers? What?!?!), it seems we often have missing families during co-op. Because a co-op is exactly that: "an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit", we had divided all the "chores" of cleaning the  building, packing up the supplies, and tearing down the tables. Each family has one small part (to be specific, with 36 families... about 1/36th) of the clean up job assigned. Even our leadership team has chores. But when 5 families are missing then the 5 leadership families have double chores on top of the leadership responsibilities. This is compounded when a family who is present leaves without doing their "chore". We have had a some surprises, though. One of our private lesson teachers (a sweet young adult lady) has been adopting an unclaimed chore each week before she leaves the building. These little blessings make us encouraged.

How will we resolve it?

Next semester I think we might divide the chore cards about 30 ways, and leave 6 wild cards that say: "Pick up an absent family chore card, and pray for them as you complete their job(s)".  I pray that as we focus on loving those we serve, we will become the hands and feet of Christ. This is why we endeavored to start a Christian Co-op in the first place, right?

Join me on Wed. and Fri. for parts #2 and #3 of this series!


©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Be my Valentine?

Again this year, we had a great time sharing Gospel Valentines. 





©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Exciting things going on with our homeschool...

I'ts been a whole year since I  stepped out from the TOS Review crew. It was a a great experience for me, and such a learning time! If you click my homeschool link above you'll see, we did a LOT of great reviews. Being a part of the crew helped me get to be more excited about blogging, and about the newest and greatest homeschool curriculum. I would have never looked into Nodgrass history or downloadable unit studies from Homeschool in the Woods, had the crew not been there to introduce me.

But truly the greatest part of my year of reviews was being part of the Crew itself, an amazing bunch of 200 bloggers who worked hard together to accomplish something that was logistically huge! The leadership team lived across the entire country, but accomplished massive efforts via online collaboration. This is what inspired the adventure I'm currently wrapped up in.

Last summer a few of my homeschool mom friends began to meet and discuss what it would look like to start a Faith-based homeschool co-operative for our kids. Between us we had about 30 kids who could benefit from joint classes such as choir, art, and PE. So we planned the summer away, and then began an online collaboration, since we felt as far flung as the TOS leadership team (across the county may as well be across the nation). This proved to be incredibly efficient, and we were each able to use the special skills and talents God had given us. One to assign the classes, one to correspond with and recruit teachers, one to build forms and manage data, one to write newsletters, one to manage set up logistics, and so on. And we began to PRAY. Hard. Together. Online and in person we prayed and planned, planned and prayed.

Mammoth Hot Springs
When we opened the online registration I was on vacation. I was out of cell range in Yellowstone Park. We drove into Mammoth Hot Springs to do a bit of sightseeing, and my cell signal picked up. My phone started buzzing like crazy. My messages said that my little co-op science class was already at 36 students... and did I want to set a maximum? WOW! We had hoped for 30 students total, spread among the classes... we ended up with over 80. This semester we have almost 100, in 34 classes over a whole day every other week. We also have 4 private music instructors booked with lessons all day. This semester we added a mentor mom on campus for our co-op day, to pray with and encourage the new homeschool moms.

What an adventure this is! And what a gift! To be working closely with other Christian families to see God glorified in our efforts. I am so blessed! We will see how it goes. Expect a review  or two soon of some of the curriculum we are using in our co-op.

Holy Land Geography

Virtual Field Trip

my Tyler is getting guitar lessons!

Choir


©2012-2013 Loving and Learning on the High Plains. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://www.homeschoolhighplains.blogspot.com
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