Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's in a Name?

That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.....

or would it? ;-D

Well, we've finally done it! We've named our homeschool! Hmm... you might say, gee, whizzikers, what is this ~ the 3rd week of school & you still didn't have an official NAME?
Well, ................ it's true, we didn't have a name.
So, I put it to the kids ~ asked them what sort of a name they had in mind ~ we had submissions that ran from "Pretty Ponies", to "Stallions", "the Bleeding Eagle Academy" (part of our family coat of arms), "Kool Kangaroo's", "humble Hobbey horses, tenacious termites, voracious victors" (can you tell Daddy might have been involved?!), "the unsocialized ones", (getting very tongue in cheek, here) no-name-bag-over-the-head-school (gee might this have come from the 12 yr old?, of course, so did the pretty ponies entrance ;-D), panic rats (it's getting a little silly now!), Education Academy, Funky Fonic Fonies, (aarrrggggghh, can you say DEEEE-TTOOOXXX), the three amigos, (are we trying to name a band here or a school?), three blind mice ( they all wear glasses), simply school, science geeks, inc., ~ ( who taught these kids how to think, anyway? ;-D )

In the end, we finally lit upon this:
Eaglecrest Academy

The reason is: Our Family Coat of Arms has a bleeding eagle on it, & crest sounded better than cote, although Eaglecote had certain charm as well. Family is our main purpose here. We have a family motto, & a family oath, which we recite at the beginning of each day, along with the Pledge of Allegiance. Upholding family honor, supporting one another, and respecting our past, & those who walked before us is important to us. All these factors helped us to make the decision. Also, we decided our school name ought to have some dignity, and look right when stitched onto a shirt for our outings. (YES!, we have gone on one field trip with the embroidered name shirts! :-D It was beautiful! :-D There is a lot of value in this ~ when they were wearing a shirt with their school name & coat of arms, the kids wanted to represent well in public. Also, they got a lot less "aren't you supposed to be in school?" questions, which cut down on my daughter's stress. The switch from public to home is valuable & worthwhile, but not without stress. She still gets nervous, thinking she is somehow ~in the wrong~ for being seen about town during public school hours. ;-D)
We thought about tacking on " of Learning", "of higher Education", or "for the Gifted", but in the end, it sounded a little more pompous than we felt. (obviously, judging from previous silly entries!)
For their highschool transcripts, however, I may be tempted to add it back on ~ ;-D

So tell me ~ What is YOUR school name, and how did you come up with it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling

Today I would like to promote the Carnival of Homeschooling ~ The Cate's have put together a fantastic montage of information for anyone interested in homeschool.

There is a bastion of knowledge in these collective blogs, I highly reccomend a thorough browsing.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hands-On Geology ~ or "1 More Reason Why My Kids LOVE Homeschooling"

Our trip to Craters of the Moon

Atop one of the guided trails. It was so hot! In the air it was 97 F, on those black rocks, it was well over 115 F !!

The vast stretches of lava ~ I cannot imagine how anything lives out here, and yet it does!

Case in point, this lovely little fern does remarkably well.

Atop yet another peak. It was REALLY HOT!

The kids earned their ~Jr. Ranger~ badges & certificates, and were sworn in as official Jr. Rangers. I encourage all homeschooling parents to look into the Jr. Ranger programs available at all of the National Parks. They also have a Jr. Rangers Online :

as well as for individual parks:

You can register and earn badges, patches, and certificates, there are activites, tests, and fun, environmentally aware programs & information for the children. Any age child can participate.

This is one of the curriculum books I am using for geology this yr. It is filled with fun activities for people of all ages, and will definitely cement complex concepts in simple ways. The activites can be expounded upon for older kids, and used simply as presented for the younger set. Think plate tectonics using graham crackers & icing, making a mini ice glacier, chip mining with chocolate chip cookies, an edible mini-earth model..... tons of fun!!

Here is another excellent book for earth science. My kids have all enjoyed taking part in these activities as well.

As some of you know, this is my 3 youngest kids' first year of full-on homeschooling, and to be quite honest, my 12 yr old was NOT thrilled with the prospect. However, as the summer & year have progressed, she has become more & more excited about it. She is finally beginning to realize the opportunities available to her that simply would have been out of the question in a public school environment.

Just today she came home utterly THRILLED about her photography class. Photography is something she has always wanted to explore, but has never had the time for. Now, however, she is able to study this at length. (In a couple of days, I will post a few of the pictures she shot of our neighbor's yard. )

In fact, my two oldest are sometimes quite wistful about homeschooling, as they head off to their Jefferson Education charter school classes. Naturally, they are welcome to homeschool as well, however, they are convinced that they must go for social interaction, and I allow them this, as I believe they are mature enough to make many important decisions.

I like to allow my children the opportunities to do for themselves what they are able to do, even if it sometimes means not getting it right the first few times; in this way, they can experience both failure & success in the home, and have the proper support for both. Naturally, both we & they try our best to make INFORMED choices. Along with choices come responsibilities, and my children also know that there are always consequences, whether good or bad. I believe this instills self-reliance & independence, as well as self-confidence, gained with successes; especially if the success follows previous failure. In this way, they also learn endurance & fortitude.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pioneer History ~ hands on style!

This summer, we decided to do a unit study on Pioneer History, to coincide with July 24, Pioneer Day. We did a lot of study up and reading of pioneer history, ate some pioneer food, found out about some interesting characters in the ~Old West~, and capped it all off with a trip to Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Utah on Pioneer Day. (Complete with costumes!! )

Pony rides were attached to the ring, but still fun.

This was a nicer version of pioneer house. ( Not a soddy or a cabin :-D)

A few of the girls having fun exploring the mini-town.

Up on the veranda of the saloon.

In one of the hallways of the big hotel.

On the stairs ~ waiting for dad & sis, so we could go eat.

What a cheeser!!

Hand cart RACE!.. Going.......



And how do you get a 14 yr old, a 15 yr old, & a grown man to wear costumes? I don't know... love?... dedication to their mother?.... begrudging acknowledgement of their mother's hard work in making the costumes?......they were reluctant at first, but as soon as they stepped into the park, folks began snapping their pictures, so naturally, they enjoyed every minute of it after that!