Saturday, April 29, 2017

Davis' Rubber Eggs Science Experiment

One of Davis' favorite subjects has always been science and in particular he loves hands on experiments so now that we're homeschooling, we plan to do a lot of these. Since he enjoyed creating the Neighborhood Nature Tour video, we decided to set up the camera while he did this cool experiment too.

I actually saw a video of this experiment on Facebook before we did it and it was so simple that I didn't bookmark the video or website for the instructions however, I'm now seeing many variations on different science websites so we may have to revisit this one and see how the variations turn out.

As always, please feel free to leave feedback with advice or new experiments you'd like to see Davis try. Thanks for visiting and viewing his videos!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

We're Homeschooling!

Davis has been asking about being homeschooled for a couple years now and honestly it's something that I had looked into when he was still an infant but it just didn't make sense for our family until recently.

Over the last 18 months, our family has been through many big changes including Matt's job loss and recovery from alcoholism, moving in with friends for 8 months, Matt making a career change, moving into our own apartment, Davis switching schools and many other more minor changes as well.  While some of these changes were very good and some not so good, all of this has been stressful and it has definitely taken it's toll on all of us.

Davis in particular has never handled big changes as easily as some people seem to so all of this has sort of created a large amount of stress and anxiety for him. Couple that with the fact that he honestly gets bored easily in a traditional public school setting (through no fault of the public school itself or his teachers) and we made the decision to start homeschooling.

Davis learns new things very easily and therefore gets bored when the same topics are gone over repeatedly in school. Unfortunately for him, this repetition is necessary in any classroom setting as not everyone understands things as quickly and not everyone has the same learning style so most topics need to be approached from multiple angles to ensure understanding for all the students. As I stated before, Davis doesn't have the patience for this and therefore gets bored and frustrated that he cannot move forward.

All of Davis' teachers have been fantastic and I truly appreciate them and the job that they do, it's just not the right environment for Davis right now.

We originally were planning to have him finish third grade, figure out a plan for fourth grade over the summer and start homeschooling then. However, Davis has been displaying more and more anxiety over the course of the last few months.  He's always been a little behind in social skills even though he's advanced academically and I think switching schools mid-year was a bit too much for him after all that we've been through this past year.

After several weeks of school being such a big struggle for him and having to fight to even get him up in the morning and go, we decided it was best for him and our family to pull him out of school now.

We're still figuring out a solid plan for homeschool routines and curriculum choices so if anyone has any suggestions or advice, I'd love to hear from you.  With so little time left in the school year, we're mostly focusing on setting up a plan for next year's curriculum and creating routines and habits that will help us get ready for fourth grade.

For now we're spending lots of time exploring nature, reading, doing hands on science and taking advantage of the wonderful programs offered by out local public libraries and homeschool groups.

Davis has started recording videos of some science experiments and nature explorations and sharing them on YouTube.  He's only got a couple so far and we'll be sharing more specifics in upcoming posts but be sure to check out our channel to see them if you're interested and please leave feedback or ideas for new videos as he's really enjoying making them.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Neighborhood Nature Tour

Davis recently recorded a series of videos that the edited along with pictures into a YouTube video guiding people through the nature he has found in our own neighborhood. While I held the camera and showed him how to use the editing software, he did all the actual writing and directing as well as the editing to create this video.

We were really lucky to see a bald eagle and some smaller birds as well as some beautiful river views and we discovered a small creek nearby where we hope to see some other animals in the future.

He had a lot of fun filming and editing this so hopefully we will be doing more of them in the future. We would love to hear what you think of this video and if you have any advice or topics for future videos.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Beginnings!

Welcome to my newest blogging project!

I have started and worked on several blogs and gone back and forth between different platforms in an attempt to find what suits me best and I have decided that for now, using blogger for free makes the most sense for me.

At this point, if you haven't read my previous blogs you're probably wondering who I am so let me introduce myself and my family.

I'm Elizabeth and I have been married to Matt for 4 1/2 years (will be 5 in August). Together we are raising two boys, Davis who is 9 and Tyrion who is 2. (And yes, we did get his name from Game of Thrones)  We all love to read, spend time outdoors, play board games and watch movies together.

I am a work from home mom who loves Jesus, coffee, books, crafts and the outdoors. Growing up I never really imagined myself being a mom at all let alone a boy mom, but now I couldn't imagine my life any other way.

Writing is my passion so I am actively pursuing opportunities to write as much as possible in a variety of places. I enjoy creating new things to add to our home decor, trying out new recipes and reading.

Matt is a dedicated and loving husband and father who works as a disability support staff member for a couple of local non-profits. He also runs the monthly meal for the community at our church.  I think it's safe to say, one of his many passions is helping people and he is amazing at what he does.

A long-time science fiction and fantasy fan, Matt obviously loves Star Wars, Game of Thrones and many more series than I could list here. He enjoys soccer, being outdoors and playing with our boys.

Davis will be 9 in April and he is definitely growing up really quick.  This is his 3rd year in Cub Scouts and he absolutely loves it. He's a huge reader which is awesome but challenging, it's hard to keep up with the need for new books when he goes through a 500 page book in 3 to 4 days, thankfully we have some great public libraries very close by.

Currently, Davis plans to be a teacher when he grows up, preferably of either history or science.  He is forever trying to figure out how things work and asking some pretty deep questions. He's analytical and can sometimes struggle with too many quick changes in plans. He's strong willed and very smart so we have confidence that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

Tyrion turned 2 in February and he wants to do everything Davis does.  He loves to dance and is very active, he climbs everything.  Where Davis is a bit shy, Tyrion is super outgoing.  He loves books and will have us read the same one 6 times in a row, correcting us if we forget to point out something the 6th time that we pointed out the first time.

Tyrion thrives on interacting with people so we try to go to a couple different library story times every week.  He loves going to see his friends in the nursery at church every Sunday and during my Bible study class one day each week.

The main topics that I currently plan to write about on this blog are our family, parenting and marriage; kid-friendly activities including outdoor activities; our faith (both adults and kids); issues that we support or struggle with; book reviews and some product reviews if they fit into one of the other categories.

Kingdom Family Devotional by Tony and Jonathan Evans (Book Review)

The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic...