Sunday, September 26, 2010

Preying Mantis vs. Grasshopper

While searching other homeschooling blogs, I have to admit being a little jealous about the nature stuff they seem to be witnessing. I don't often get to witness nature at work, until yesterday. Apparently, if you look you will see and mine eyes have been opened. One more great thing about homeschooling is you tend to be looking harder for lessons.

Well yesterday, as I was heading in the house from checking out my pathetic garden, I came across an incredible scene. A preying mantis seemed to be wrestling a grasshopper. I even nudged it lightly with my toe and they seem to be in a deadlock. I could swear it looked like the preying mantis had its hands around the grasshoppers neck and was in deep concentration. The grasshopper was jerking its leg, kind of twitchy like. I crouched there just mesmerized by the scene. I knew I had to get some pictures, so I ran in the house and got the camera.

When I came back, the preying mantis was munching on the grasshopper's head. You'd think gross, but I thought it was amazing. So I called the kids over from their friend's house to check it out. Before I knew it the whole neighborhood of kids came to check it out.

Since I was doing some canning, I couldn't sit and watch the whole thing unfold. But I made sure to go out and check on it about every half hour. I'm not a great photographer but I did get some decent pics. Here is how the match unfolded.

Munching on the head

The head dangling on

Now the head is gone and it is sucking out its neck

Eating of the underbelly

The leftover and discarded carcass


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One of my favorite things

One of the most interesting comment I get from people when I tell them I homeschool is, "Oh, that's cool, but I'm not smart enough to teach my kids at home." I always find this to be kind of a wierd comment. Do they think I make up the stuff from out of my head? Or come up with my own personal curriculum?

Honestly that is one thing I looked forward to about homeschooling, that I could learn new things or be reminded of things I have forgotten. Honestly, I was a lazy student growing up and I didn't try very hard in school (read: learn much), so a lot of things are new to me that really shouldn't be. I actually look forward to learning with my kids and hope I can teach it in a fun and interesting way so they don't become lazy students (like I was).

State Fair

Last week for our field trip we went to the State Fair. What's awesome is if you homeschool you only have to pay one dollar per person. What is even better is, we went on Monday and they had a family special were all kids under 12 got in free. So I paid a total of $1 (for myself) to get in. We met up with my sister and sister-in-law and their kids, who also homeschool. It was so much fun to be with family. I haven't been in so so many years, all I remembered were lots of booths and animals. I was pleasantly surprised with how much stuff there is to do at the fair. I only wished we had more time to look around, I had 4-H in the afternoon and felt somewhat rushed. Next year I will plan to stay for about 4-5 hours.

Anyway, our favorite parts were the Sea Lion show, talking to a Robot, the Creative Arts building, the Street Magician, the 4-H Building (Rextreme had an entry in Photography), the animals, and all the fun booths like BePreparedUtah.

Here is the talking Robot. He was quite funny.

A Butter Sculpture in the Creative Arts building

Rextreme standing in front of his Photograph (the small one right in the middle, you can see the blue sky and a little brown). Buford is always happy to jump in a picture. Oh so cute!

The street magician. He did a great job entertaining the kids.

The Sea Lion show was a lot of fun to watch.

We can't wait to go back next year!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Full Day

Today was huge day for us. We took the day off academically for a dunch of excursions. That's the great part of homeschooling, you can plan days like this.

We started the day by going to a homeschooling picnic in Provo Canyon. Honestly I was a bit nervous to go because I didn't expect to know anyone going. But it was awesome and just the thing I needed. It was nice talking to other homeschoolers, and seeing that they are all just normal people like me. I loved it! I'm so grateful for those that planned it. I heard that there was somewhere around 400 people who showed. My husband even had a good time and was glad other men showed up too. And the kids had a ton of fun playing in the stream.

Then, since we were in town already, we went to the BYU Museum of Fine Arts for our first field trip of the school year. The kids enjoyed this a whole lot more than I expected. They loved looking at all of the paintings, photograpy, sculptures, etc.

This is my favorite. It says it all.

The kids thought these sculptures were awesome (this was one of three), they were on the lawn outside.

This sculpture was way cooler looking in real life. My kids were mesmerized by it.

Then that evening we went to our first soccer practice/game with a local Homeschool Sports League. My kids have been looking forward to this for weeks now. With three kids it can be really expensive to put them in city sports, but this was very inexpensive and a great way to introduce them to the sport. My boys said this was their favorite part of an awesome day.

And Sneakers said she couldn't decide what her favorite part was because she loved all of it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We're having a Ball

About a week before the kids had mentioned they wanted to be homeschooled, I read an article in the newspaper about certain private schools and teachers using different types of seating in their classrooms. The one that stuck out to me were teachers who told about how they were using exercise (stability) balls in their classrooms instead of chairs. The balls helped with improving posture and keeping the kids focused, especially fidgety kids.
I loved the idea! And so when the kids mentioned that they wanted to be homeschooled I knew that I just had to get them some balls. So I took them to Walmart and let them pick out either a white or turquoise ball for just $9. It has really helped the kids get excited for the school day. As for focus and posture, I guess we will have to use them longer to know.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One of my Favorite Homeschooling Blogs

Latter-day Homeschooling

One of the greatest resources for me has been Latter-day Homeschooling. When I came upon this sight I was so ecstatic because I felt like I had hit the jack pot of what I was looking for. I have snooped on the other blogs and laughed till I cried at some of their posts. I have learned a lot and got many ideas from others linked to LDH. I'm so grateful for their support and the many articles they post. They truly inspire me. THANK YOU LATTER-DAY HOMESCHOOLING!

Thoughts on our first week

I really had expected it to be crazy the first week or so of homeschool, considering I'm new at it. I had even prepared for life to be hard and a wreck. But to be honest it has gone quite smooth. We haven't had any problems. I haven't felt like a chicken with its head cut, and I often feel this with stressful situations. It's been calm. It's almost like it was meant to be. And of course it is, this is what we told by the Spirit to do. And it feels like it too.

Anyway, we're having lots of fun with it. Let's hope it continues this way.