Well, Hello World!

Since we moved I am finding less and less time to blog. With all the fun stuff there is to do here, it is enough to get on and get my ‘work’ done (let alone help Carter play his Toontown game). I launched another new website with a friend this summer and have been busy promoting like crazy. Connors site is doing really well too :) Connor and Bob are both taking guitar lessons from this great guy literally 3 blocks over from us. So lucky to have found him. Connor is still liking his one day a week school. We have been out fishing a few more times. No real luck with the fish but great family time.

Below are some great pictures with some captions to tell you what else we have been up to!

Carter turned 10! Connor made the cake. Connor has gotten really into cooking lately. Thanks Grandma for helping the icing to come out right! He had a whole Batman theme going on. He got a lot of money for Build a Bear thanks to Grandma, Nicholas and Nana. He went the day after his birthday and bought three bears with plenty left over for the Fall. He is excited to go pick out a Halloween costume for one or two of them. Great gift for him, he couldn’t be happier.

Carter, me and his new friend Tony going up the chair lift to the alpine slide. Carter went up once with me and Tony and then ditched me to spend the rest of the day with Tony. He works with an awesome program based out of Winter Park that does disabled outdoor sports. The program was amazing. Not at all competitive, just fun, which fits Carter perfectly. They have amazing trips that are all accessible including camping, rafting, and horseback riding.

I absolutely love this picture of Carter on the alpine slide at Winter Park. He looks so free and full of joy. Don’t worry, Tony was actually right in front of him but he separated just for the picture. Connor and I were in the fast lane where I got rear ended and thrown out of the car. I had quite a few bruises and burns but it was all worth that incredible smile on his face! Con had a BLAST as well.

Carter being fit for his winter sit-ski. We will all take family ski lessons through the same program that we did the resort day with. Connor is so looking forward to learning how to snowboard.

Connors best friend, Connor came to spend some time with us. The boys had so much fun but it made my Connor miss ‘home’ even more. They are in the middle of the boat on this picture. I have never seen a ride soak you as much as this one. We were at Elitch Gardens which is a Six Flags amusement park. Both boys love it here. They have an little Main Street that sells Disney stuff so Carter is always happy! They have a water park here as well. We have been several times since moving here.

Connor and Connor on our back fence.

The weather is WILD here. Connor drew pictures in the hail one day. It is a toontown smilie face. We had three days of tornado warnings. One of the days we were smack in the middle of three of them with one touching down less than a mile from us at the lake.

This is Sammy the Salamander. We found him living in the playroom window well one day. He only comes out when it rains. By the size of him I am sure he has been there a very long time. We have many other wild friends. We have Sammy the Squirrel (don’t know why we named him the same) and lots of chickadees and finches. We occasionally see deer and fox next to the house. It is hard for the kids to understand that they are wild and not pets but we are trying to just observe and give them some feeders so that the kids see them more. I have gotten really into the birds which the kids think is hilarious. They call me the freaky bird lady.

Beautiful picture from 13,000 feet at Winter Park. Carter and I went up there with Tony. Carter was not real happy with this ski lift as it was much steeper than the one for the slide or skiing. The crazy thing is that kids as young as 7 can be seen mountain biking down this. Our nephew Tyler would probably have a blast doing that as he is quite the little BMXer. If you click on the picture you will see all the brown trees. This is damage from a pine beetle that is literally killing the forest in the Rocky Mountains. It is so sad to see the devastating amount of damage that has been and is being done.

Just a gorgeous picture from our back patio after a summer rain. Pretty symbolic of our time so far in Colorado. Seems like good things are starting to come out of the darker clouds!

Have a great month everyone!

Check out Carts blog to read his stories: Carters World

Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum – Learning Styles Are Everything

By Pat Fenner

After making the decision to homeschool, one of the most overwhelming choices parents face is choosing a curriculum. If you’ve been paying the least bit of attention to your children over the years, and I’ll assume you have, you begin to realize that children learn in many different ways – even children in the same family.

If you are starting to homeschool after your children have spent many years in school outside your home, it may take awhile to figure out how they learn best, because time in a public or private school can turn anyone into a “workbook” learner. Rushing into a curriculum purchase, then, is an almost instant recipe for disappointment and frustration. So sit back, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, take a deep breath, and read on before you buy that first book! (But don’t panic if you’ve already spent some money – there’s always used book sales.)

Here’s how to figure out your child’s learning style.

* Take a few weeks just watching them. Yes, I said weeks! This is a process, and the more information you collect, the clearer you will be on how to move ahead. Provide educational books (fiction and non-fiction), games, models, kits, software, etc (only limited and supervised internet surfing allowed!) and see what they gravitate towards. What do they choose to do when they have free time? What toys do they like to play with? Take good notes ~ you will not remember, trust me.

* Look at your notes and see how their choices fit into the following categories. While there are many ways to assess learning styles, this particular way is based on personality characteristics or temperament. I find it easier to use these distinctions, as they take into account how a person behaves and responds in situations outside of the school environment as well:

The Active Learner: sometimes known as the “strong-willed” child; likes hands-on activities, manipulatives, construction-type toys; most young children are in this category

The Routine Learner: best-suited toward traditional curricula; likes worksheet/workbooks and completing tasks

The Specific Learner: needs to be challenged and uses hands-on activities to deepen his understanding of concepts; well suited for learning under a mentor

The Global Learner: loves working and learning in a group; likes to read and learn about ideas in context

* Start a Word document and write a summary for yourself. If you keep this updated as your child grows and changes (some characteristics may overlap even in the same individual), you can use this when making curriculum choices each year.

Now what do I do?

Check out this resource as a starting point. Some catalog companies, such as ROCK Solid, Timberdoodle and HomeSchoolingBooks also offer assistance in choosing or evaluating curriculum choices. It’s worth the effort to take the time and understand your child’s learning style. Time spent now will pave the way for a positive and productive homeschool in the future.

Pat Fenner is a homeschooling veteran of 14 years, whose passion is to help homeschoolers in their educational and home business pursuits. Visit her blog and sign up for a free newsletter ~ Honey for Your Homeschool ~ offering tips, reviews, offers and links to help your homeschool running smoothly

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Pat_Fenner

Help Homeschoolers Raffle for Disneyland

For our 2nd Annual Not Back to School Days at Disneyland, September 15-18, 2008, we have over 1200 people registered and prepaid. Included in that registration, are 9 families that SHEA has sponsored to go on the trip who otherwise could not have afforded to do so.

To help raise the funds for this sponsorship, we received generous donations including a Carnival Cruise for a family of four (upgrades are available for larger families) a Wii game system, and an Ipod. These prizes will be awarded on September 15, 2008 during our talent show and dinner which will be held from 5-7:30pm at Disneyland’s Paradise Pier hotel Pacific Ballroom.

Tickets are still available for this spectacular show, where homeschoolers provide the entertainment while you enjoy a scrumptious buffet prepared by Disney’s chefs! Price to attend is just $33 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $20 for kids (ages 3-9). Remember, that price includes dinner AND a show!

If you are unable to attend the show, won’t you please consider assisting us with the sponsorship by purchasing a raffle ticket today? For each $5.00 donation, you will receive one entry into the drawing and you could win the cruise (next year’s family vacation would be all taken care of!), the Wii (wouldn’t that be a great gift for your family?), or the Ipod (wouldn’t that be great for yourself?).

You do not need to be present to win, just be sure your ticket purchase includes a valid address and contact information. We need to sell 1000 tickets to completely fund the 9 families, so be sure to pass this around to all your local groups and affiliates. You do not have to be a homeschooler to buy a raffle ticket!

Thanks, and to find out more about SHEA, or purchase your tickets, visit our website today:

http://www.southwest-home-education.com