Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clare's Salon Party

For Clare's 7th birthday, we took her and 5 friends to a salon to have hair and nails done. The party lasted two hours, but it seemed more like 15 minutes, and it seemed that everybody had fun.

Clare and Theresa were first in the chairs.

Heidi and Anna

Then it was "Nail Time"

Sarah, Grace, Scott and Theresa

Glamming it up - Mary, Clare and Heidi

The Cousins - Addie, Clare, Anna and Theresa

Addie, Clare, Heidi, Anna, Theresa & Mary

Have you ever seen this much glamour in one place?

Amber, Heidi, Mary, Clare and Theresa, Addie, Anna

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Clare!

Brian's Birthday Picnic

Brian's 12'th birthday picnic...we forgot candles, so he blew out a flaming stickMost of the kids were from the swim team, so it became an informal practice

Alexa caught two different fish without using anything for bait!

Videos of the chicken fight tournament

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer videos

So this is how it goes...I don't post for 3 weeks, then I post 5 times in one day. ANYWAY, I tried to upload videos to Snapfish to share with my mom, but there was no audio attached, only static. So I'm going to post them here instead. Snapfish can stick it in their ear.

This is going to take a year.....

These first ones are of the kids at swim practice:

Brian's breast stroke

Conor's freestyle

Clare's breast, back, free and handstand

Clare's butterfly


Theresa & Twins

Oh, and I was right . . . it DID take a year.

Video: Ring Around the Rosy

Sarah tried to teach the twins how to play Ring Around The Rosy a few months ago, but this week it just clicked with them and they started to play by themselves.

Speaking of Sarah, this was taken today. She's usually a pasty white, so she just lives for the first weeks of summer to finally get some color.

The twins were sitting together today, holding a small bottle of lotion and taking turns licking it off their fingers. Check out the look on Noelle's face when she got caught!

This is me (Michele) and Theresa yesterday after swim practice.
And this one, of Clare and Theresa, was taken a week ago at Knoebel's, our awesome local amusement park.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

54 Reasons Families Choose to Homeschool

1. Be with Your Family

2. Set Your Own Schedule

3. Vacation When You Want

4. Choose curriculum that best suits the needs of your child

5. Be totally aware of the state and progress of your child's education

6. Keep your child away from unnecessary peer pressure

7. Keep your child away from the bad influence of other children

8. Love, nurture, and teach your child the character and morals you value most

9. Make learning fun

10. Make learning as "experiential" as you want

11. Don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get your child dressed and fed and off to school where they're so tired they don't learn well anyway.

12. Break up the day however you want to fit your child's learning attention span

13. Teach your child without any "assumed limitations". Teach multiple languages, develop one skill or subject--the sky's the limit

14. What you teach an older child naturally filters down to the younger child(ren) making learning must easier and faster for siblings

15. Teach at the pace and developmental stage appropriate for your child

16. Avoid educational "labeling"

17. Keep you child as far away from drugs as possible

18. Never have to worry about bomb scares or mass shootings

19. Allow your child to do think, discuss, and explore in ways not possible in a classroom setting

20. Constant positive reinforcement and gentle correction. No abusive words or actions that scar your child's psyche

21. Don't use the school system as a babysitter. You only need a few hours for learning--the rest of the day is filled with unnecessary "busy work"

22. Develop life skills such as cooking, cleaning, and organizing that are easily learned with the additional time spent at home

23. Spend as much time outdoors as you want to enjoy nature and the world around us

24. Teach the value of responsibility by providing daily jobs

25. To make money management as natural as breathing by allowing even small children to do tasks, earn money, save it, and spend it in an appropriate manner.

26. Never have your child beat up by a bully. Teach self-defense skills that will enable him to deal with any situation but not until he is mature enough to handle the emotional aspects of confrontation

27. No pressure or set "expectations" from teachers on a younger sibling that follows an older sibling in the same school

28. Be around when your child needs to talk

29. Take a break when your child needs a break

30. Bond as a family through family group activities

31. Pass on your religious beliefs and morals to your children and stay away from the "indoctrination" of other school systems

32. Teach sex education when you and how you want

33. Develop your child's imagination and teach diverse problem solving skills instead of one institutionalized method of thinking

34. Unlimited possibilities for extra curricular activities that interest your child having to live up to the expectations or skills of others.

35. Develop the individualism of your child

36. Avoid traditional school "group activities" that may leave one student doing all the work or ruining it for everyone else.

37. Never have your child feel the failure, embarrassment, or teasing from "failing" a grade

38. To keep your children out of the care, custody, and control or people you don't know and who naturally teach their philosophy of life whether they realize it or not

39. No opportunity for your child to "sluff off", "snow-blow", or "just get by" with academics

40. To have your child learn initiative naturally as there's no peer pressure or fear of embarrassing himself

41. Allow your child to have input and say in subject matter and style

42. Allow your child to focus on growth and development--not following the latest fad or being in a certain group

43. So your child will only be surrounded by people who love him, encourage him, and want the best for him.

44. Make sure your child doesn't end up graduating without knowing how to read or knowing other basic skills due to educational failings of your local schools.

45. Keep your child out of private schools that have peer pressure, teacher criticism, durgs, sex, and alcohol that your child never needs to be around

46. Avoid grading scales and testing that gives no positive benefit to your child

47. Not to give the state or federal government control of your child that they assume is theirs

48. To easily pass on your unique heritage or language to your child

49. So your child is not limited by "age" or "grade" to advance or explore academics in which they are interested or gifted

50. To teach your children to enjoy life

51. To allow your children to go to work with Mom or Dad when you all want--not just on the one "go to work with a parent holiday"

52. As many field trips as you want, to places that interest your child

53. To just take a day off when everyone feels like it

54. Flexibility to switch or experiment with different curriculum

If you found these reasons helpful and are ready to start home school, then continue at How to Homeschool

Why Public School is Better Than Homeschool

10. Most parents were educated in the underfunded public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.

9. Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic.

8. How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight off bullies on a daily basis?

7. Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.

6. Children in public schools can get more practice 'Just Saying No' to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

5. Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits.

4. Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society.

3. The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public schools can generate.

2. Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of 'Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...'

1. Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills, like how to sit still for six hours straight.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Video: Natalie going nutsy

This was one of the first videos I ever made with my digital camera, before I knew what I was doing. I didn't know how dark it would turn out, but I kept it anyway.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Video: Wading Pool Fun

It's just too stinking hot for anything else! We haven't had a baby pool like this for probably 12 years, but I caved in today. For three hours they were in and out of the pool, having great fun!

In this video, Noelle goes under, and Natalie gets stung on the toe by a wasp, which is why she comes to me crying at the end.

Poor little swollen piggy-toes...