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Author Archives: infijess

The biggest Luboy began showing signs of boredom!

This is a sign Deschooling is coming to a close for him 🙂

Maybe…

  I don’t want to rush into anything we aren’t in a hurry here so I thought I would use this time to try out some concepts and curriculum.   So there is this concept out there in homeschooled land called workboxes. It originated HERE and you can read more about it HERE and HERE and HERE and on work folders HERE. Basically the concept is that everyday there is a set amount of things that get done and they are separated into drawers or bins.

I’m a crossroads of I don’t want to be that detailed and ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS!

           I very much support the unschooling movement but I’m struggling with how to make it fit in with my need to be scheduled kids. I came across some folders in my collection of schoolish things and thought they might make a good start for workboxes and save on space and commitment until we decided on things.

Here is Caelan’s workfolder on his desk.

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  Inside I have placed 3×5 cards temporarily to identify what is in each pocket.

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I pulled out a few things we wanted to try and made copies on the computer or included the actual book. I also am using this time to do some remedial work in different areas. This also allows for the middle Luboys to do school with us on a few subjects. So far this is working. He definitely has his favorites (Draw, Write, Now and Critical Thinking’s Mind Benders) but I think he likes having things set out for him.

The downside is general laziness. On my part if I don’t get things refreshed in his folders and on his part because he wants to jump around and do what he likes and skip what he doesn’t. I can see the benefit of actually having the bins or drawers for larger items and more of a flow. On the other hand, I really like flexibility of skipping around. Consistent, I know! It was good to try some of our different curriculums without feeling the pressure of retention. We just dabbled: History Pockets, Handwriting Without Tears, MathUSee, Random Science Workbook, Draw Write Now, Critical Thinking Mind Benders and Dr. DooRiddles, and a few other random things.

The deschooling boredom wasn’t quite ready for buckling down and summer has so many other options available, mainly the library and free bowling, so we didn’t want to worry too much about starting now. We are doing lax unit studies, watching movies and checking out books from the library on a theme and discussing them. I think when we are ready to start I will combine the folder with a set of drawers to hold larger items. I plan to make generous use of my “velcro” sticky dots and design some workbox tags. We still need to finish setting up the toddler play zone to keep the tiny Luboy entertained for school as well as a computer and listening station.

If you are thinking of starting or just starting your homeschooling journey I can now offer you this advice: take it slow. Get used to being together. Find out your children’s interests and how they learn. Don’t become overwhelmed with all of the options out there and think you need to buy something for every subject. There is no deadline. Used curriculum sale groups on facebook, garage sales, thrift stores, friends, the library, and free sources online offer plenty of options to start with. Try out different things and see if it works. Identify the hidden school in everyday things. In our world lately this has been Pokemon!


We have done it!

We have taken the plunge!

It’s something we’ve talked about for 7 years,

since the biggest Luboy was just a bump on my belly.

We are now Home’s Coolers!

(See what I did there?!?)

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Home’s Cool!

     So far we are playing a lot, getting used to all being in our tiny home together, finding what the strengths and weaknesses are, and in all manners “deschooling.” (more info here and here and some more here)

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Creating Habitats

     We were often asked when people would see pictures of our house, our kids playing, or if they were actually allowed in the house, if we homeschooled. We always answered we wish! Our kids toys have often been ordered from Learning Resources, Creative Playthings, Mindware, Plan Toys, etc. Santa knows to shop here too. The posters in the playroom include biomes, solar system, number chart, parts of speech, etc. Their idea of a fun Saturday morning of TV involves Wild Kratts, Schoolhouse Rock, Leap Frog, Eyewitness, Rock and Learn, etc. We are pretty lucky on that front. Now, don’t’ get me wrong they absolutely love their My Little Ponies, Superheros, Transformers, and Pokemon! They are big fans of LARP-ing

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Geoboards

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Thinkfun Games

      So far their favorite curriculum has been an old Wizards of the Coast Pokemon Jr. Adventure game. They only made one of these sets, though there were originally intended to be about a dozen or so all together. IT’s a mix between an RPG and the CCG. Dad leads these stories. At first he was a bit grumble about DM-ing a Pokemon story but soon he and the kids all got into it and are very sad to be almost at the end. Hey, WoTC, think we can work out those issues and publish some more?!? If you have Poke-fans this game is a must! You do need an adult or older child to handle the reading and direct the play. It’s kind of a choose your own adventure type deal. The game involves storytelling, problem solving, decision making, math, and teamwork!

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Pokemon Adventure with Dad

      Initially the real push to homeschool had to do with fundage. We were spending more in gas for school transportation than our other bills. We didn’t want to transfer schools with 9 weeks left so we figured we try out this homeschooling thing we’ve been meaning to do. The unintended results are amazing.

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Crafting Presents

       As some of you know we use the Feingold.org company to help up identify foods that are free of preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. These things make my children bounce off the walls. It also helps us avoid foods high in naturally occurring salycic acid, which makes my children emotional rage-ful wrecks. Now that they are home, we have been in better control of what goes on their plate and there have been less meltdowns and calmer children. This could also be attributed to less sensory overload and limited transitions which tend to set the kids off kilter. If they need to bounce, swing, spin, go upside down, be squeezed tight, chew on something, be alone, or anything else to manage their sensory input they can receive it immediately. They really do require an ridiculously high amount of proprioceptive and vestibular input!

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Bouncing out the Sillies in the Rain

      Whoever said Homeschool kids suffered from socialization never looked into what options are out there! We sometimes have to turn down events or playdates because we just need to stay home for a day! There are group meetups, classes, playgrounds, libraries, the zoo, museums, theatres, you name it! The added benefit is sometimes the attendees are variable so the kids are learning how to make new friends quickly and how to communicate with new people. I’m curious how we will balance our curriculum with social events but I’m not very stressed about it. I watch them have complex conversations about math, science, and history while playing at Homeschool PE or having a Minecraft LAN party. These kids are little learning sponges!

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Hanging Monkey @ Homeschool PE!

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Minecraft LAN party

In an attempt to keep up with what I find and what we are doing, I hope to write more on this blog.

Channeling my inner Doogie Howser, MD!


I think it’s time we split ways.

Library Overdrive, Kindle Cloud, Plugging in and clicking and dragging and clicking and loading and UGH!

You have become too high maintenance for me. I was excited with your potential in the beginning. You were the first to have Hulu and Netflix capabilities. You had color and animated children’s books. It was great. Then you kind of stalled out and became harder to please.

I have been wooed by Kindle Fire. Not only because I am already a Prime member but also because they now have Kindle Freetime. The ability to control which apps my kids can see and how long they can play has amazing potential!

Kindle Freetime


That’s right, snot, nose goop, boogers!

Whatever you call it we’ve got em! It’s cold and flu season and we’ve got the crud.

We are giving in and trying the snot sucker!!

Has anyone used this before? Stay tuned to see if it get’s the official Lubrarian Approved stamp!

Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator with addtional 20 Hygiene Filters

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The head Luboy is a phenomenal reader. However he is also a young boy. Six now, to be exact. He’s been reading for two years. He is also quite convinced that he will be a teenager soon.

This makes for quite the challenge to find a book for him to read. It has to be challenging enough to stimulate his reading skills but interesting enough to make him want to keep reading it. This summer he decided to start reading a Magic School Bus chapter book. He LOVES science and since the show had recently hit the Netflix airwaves he knew all of the characters. We had stumbled upon a few at Goodwill and I had them on the shelf to read later. He laid them all out and chose one about whales. He thought it would be fun to read the book and then take a deep sea boat tour out to see whales for real. I love this kid!

The reading level was a bit too high but we were reading it together and it was going well. Then his ADHD kicked in and the book was too long, and too boring, and when can we go see the whales already?!? Ugh. After that I couldn’t get him to read ANYTHING! No B.O.B. books, no Dr. Seuss, no Lego Readers, no I Spy, NOTHING! Crap. …. Crap, crap, crap. We’d been derailed! I tried the allure of shopping for new books, reading on the e-reader, on the computer, … anything. I didn’t want to push too hard and completely destroy reading for him so I laid off.

A few weeks later, while browsing the shelves at Goodwill I stumbled upon an Elephant and Piggie
book for $0.69! I have a book hoarding problem. We can discuss that later. I promise. When I came home the Luboyz all lined up to see what treasures mom had found. The head Luboy was quite put out that the bag was full of books and baby clothes. I laid the books out, knowing that he couldn’t resist the temptation to read the titles and flex those mind muscles.

He immediately recognized the Elephant and Piggie
book. He read. “Today. I. Will. Fly.” and chuckled. He reached out and touched the cover. He read it again. Then laughed and said “Pigs can’t fly.” I pretended to have something important to do in the other room and spied on him from the doorway. He looked around and opened the book. He started giggling. He sat down and read it. Complete with voices and inflection and massive amounts of drama. Then he tracked down his brothers and let them know they “HAD” to hear this story. He then read it to them. Soon he was tracking down the other Elephant and Piggie
books in the house and reading them to his brothers. Then he slowly started reading other books and writing stories again.

Victory! Mo Willems saved the Head Luboy from a life without words!! Thank you, Mo Willems!!

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My kids are picture book aficionados. Being the children of a librarian I often test new books and storytime material on them. I can judge by their reaction if the story will be a hit, if the kids will sit through it, if it will make an impression. You know you’ve found the right book when they ask for it night after night until you’ve run out of hold renewals at the public library. Without a doubt my kids love Bob Shea. It all started when I tried out Dinosaur vs. the Potty to battle a stubborn little boy’s refusal to potty learn. It worked!

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They loved it. They laughed and reenacted the story the next day.

So we tried out Dinosaur vs. Bedtime. Soon we were racing to bed, winning at each step of the routine.

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Not to be confused for Race You to Bed which actually encourages racing to bed and for a short time had my children racing to be the first one asleep. Wish that had lasted longer!

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I picked up a new book at the bookfair I’m a Shark. The cover was cute and I loved the humor proposed just on the cover.

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Once we read it at home I realized it was another Bob Shea book!

So I hit the library catalog and put in a request for any other Bob Shea book.

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One after the other the books came in and had the Luboyz stamp of awesome approval!

The latest we’ve read is Cheetah Can’t Lose.

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An adorable twist reminiscent of the tortoise and the hare. Cheetah is an over-confident bully of a winner and the cute cats have a plan to earn their way on the winner’s board. Cheetah’s insatiable desire to win at everything leads him straight into their clever trap. The humor of the situation is aimed at adults but it doesn’t take long before the kids understand it too. I particularly love that about Bob Shea’s books, they teach sarcasm, satire, and comedic timing! In the end the cat’s realize they’ve been little stinkers and share their winnings with Cheetah. I’m not sure Cheetah learns a lesson here but the kids sure did.

Next on our Bob Shea list are the following:

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