Monday, September 18, 2017

Guest Post: Painted Rocks. .by Lisa McAfee

 My friend Lisa is helping me out again.  You know that any article that starts with the word camping is not one written by me. ~Becky

Camping is a great family activity to do in the fall since the temperatures are cooler and colorful trees can be enjoyed. I saw a facebook group called Homeschool Rocks and thought decorating and hiding rocks with encouraging words or pictures would be a fabulous idea for a fun activity while you are camping.  I have included academic areas for you in parentheses so you can see how it applies to school. :)
You Will Need:
a bucket of warm, soapy water
paper towels
a pencil
outdoor acrylic paints
paint brushes
waterproof markers
Elmer's glue
Modge Podge or some type of outdoor sealant
a plastic jar or another container
plastic grocery bags- one per person
  1. Collect First of all, you and the children collect rocks that you want to paint. The best kinds are smooth, especially for younger children since they will paint more easily.  (PE is covered since you are getting exercise hunting for rocks.)
  2. Clean After you have determined which rocks you would like to paint, clean them in a bucket filled with warm, soapy water. Rinse them and place on some paper towels to dry. The paint will adhere much better to a clean surface, and your children will be getting their dirty hands clean at the same time. (Health- Getting all that dirt and grime off is part of a healthy routine.)
  3. Paint Now it's time to bring some life to those rocks! Cover a table with newspapers, and if you have small children who might get paint in more places than the rock, cover them too (an old shirt and pants will do the trick). Depending on what design you want to create, you may want to sketch lightly on the rock before applying the paint.  If details are being added, then a waterproof marker would be helpful to use. Outdoor patio paints are preferred so the rock weathers well. Allow to dry for several hours. (art)
  1. Seal  In order for your awesome rocks to be enjoyed for a long time, a sealant such as Modge Podge should be used. This will make the designs weather resistant and shiny. NOTE: If you have used permanent markers on the rocks, apply a thin layer of glue before applying the sealant to prevent smudging. Allow to dry according to the directions on the jar. 41O7V5Vq2FL
  2. Hide No, not you, the rocks! Have the children go and hide their rocks so that fellow campers can find them. Be sure to hide them where others can find them and be mindful of not placing them where it would be a hinderance. Each person that has hidden a rock can write a clue for others to find their treasure, thus creating a scavenger hunt.  (clues- writing;  directions- math, social studies)
  3. Find Put all of the clues in a plastic jar or other container and have each participant draw out a clue until they are all gone. Give each person a plastic grocery bag. Tell everyone to see if they can locate that rock based upon the clue.  Have everyone go and search for those treasures! Help little ones who can't read.
  4. Display Enjoy all of the treasures collected by having a rock show.
Repeat this as many times as you like and consider leaving the rocks behind for others to find. 


Lisa McAfee -
I am an alumni home educator of two sons and Ohio licensed teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. I have been assessing homeschool students’ work for the past 17 years and enjoy helping empower and encourage homeschool moms with their homeschooling. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Update on Our Family

Hello Families,

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to connect with wonderful families. I love seeing your pictures, hearing about your student's milestones, and sharing with you in your hard times too. Over the years I have been privileged to connect with so many great people and hear your stories.

I wanted to update you on my family's life. On August 5 our 13 year old son told us he had a lump on his leg which led to us discovering he had Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma. We were blown away.

He has had his second round of fourteen two-week chemo treatments (3-6 days of chemo and then we are home). There will also be radiation and surgery. We are looking at 10-15 months of treatment. Our church, friends, and family are trying to help us as we navigate this new normal.

As far as portfolios, I am still accepting them and will continue to accept them for the 2016-2017 school year. It might take me a few days longer so I appreciate your patience. My plan is to still accept portfolios for the 2017-2018 season, but I may need to make modifications to my system. I will post more details in January 2018.

If you would like to keep up with our family's news you are welcome to do so through our Caring Bridge Site.

Thank you,

Becky Boerner

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guest Post: Starting School by Lisa McAfee

My sweet friend Lisa McAfee on starting school.  

Starting School 
When thinking about the first week of school, consider easing into routines and subjects. Sometimes setting a new routine can be one of the most difficult things to do after you have had a break from school.
Consider starting school midweek. As far as setting a routine for school, I always began school on Wednesday.  That way we had three days of school instead of a full week. It was an easier transition for the children AND for me.  We could get used to the routine in a more gentle way than hitting the school year full force.
Get a good night's sleep. The day will be much better if you allow time for everyone (including you, Teacher) to get a full night's rest. Going on little sleep makes it difficult to concentrate and focus. I know from personal experience! :)
Start every day at the same time. Whether you plan on starting at 8:00 or 9:00 (or later), have everyone ready to begin school and stay consistent. The first week may be begun an hour later since you are easing into things, but I actually found that when I did that my sons were not happy with me when they had to get up early the following week. Instead, I shortened the day that we finished school, and I made sure that emphasized that. lol
Eat breakfast. For years I would skip breakfast and then have to listen to my stomach gurgle and try to keep my mind on my work, all the while wishing it was lunchtime. That was not the smart and now I have my husband to thank because every morning he makes us a delicious, nutritious smoothie that he either puts on my desk or hands to me as I am flying out the door to teach. Breakfast breaks your fast and sets you on the road to teaching and learning.
Go over your schedule. I think it is good to preview the day with your daughter or son, even if you just say, "This morning we are going to be learning our numbers and practicing our ABC's."  Your child knows what is going to be happening and you have said it, providing some accountability to yourself as well.
Begin with a few subjects. As far as subjects are concerned for the first week, I just concentrated upon reading and math. I found a good read aloud book to start our day. With everyone beginning the school day on a pleasant note, we then went into math. Reviewing formerly learned concepts and providing successful experiences will set a positive tone for the year.
Celebrate the beginning of your new school year. You can end the day with a fun activity, a special dinner, or a board game your son or daughter likes to play.  Relax before going to bed so that you are ready to begin again.
You are a remarkable teacher and mother. You are going to have a great year! 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Contest: Amazon Card For the Solar Eclipse

Contest at the end of the post. Scroll to the end.  You so not need to live in Ohio or homeschool to enter to win.

I remember back in 1979 viewing the solar eclipse from my elementary playground in Kansas City. We made the pinhole cards and all stood outside with a warning that WHATEVER YOU DO, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN(!), etc., etc. I remember the sky turning a strange color and I remember our teacher being so excited she was practically bobbing up and down. It was an amazing experience, and I loved being outside for such a long period of time during the school day.

Coming up on August 21, 2017 from 2 to 3 in the afternoon, most of the US will see a full to partial solar eclipse. We will not have a full eclipse in Ohio, but it should still be pretty amazing, with the shadow of the moon crossing the nation from coast to coast. This kind of eclipse does not happen very often (last one: June 18, 1918) and is worth enjoying with our students.

Which leads me to the Ohio Homeschool Assessment summer contest. No, really! Since it has been about 40 years since I viewed my last eclipse I think we need to run a contest for a $40 Amazon card. Maybe you can use it to finish up school shopping, buy some coffee to make it through your morning, grab some books or music, or start your Christmas shopping. Any of those would be awesome!

So embrace the eclipse of 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have problems please email me.

Helpful Links and items:

NASA Total Eclipse Site eclipse information

Fox News Story

Make sure they are Prime so they ship in time.