Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Canoe Trip Pictures

Here's the whole crew. Except the camera man (Stan) who never handed off the camera.

I thought I would just post a few more pictures but don't have any comments.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Stephen, Shane, Adam, and Leonard are ready to go.

Which way are we going?

Oh, that way!

Who built this wall here?

Here's Josh unloading gear at the first campsite.

Shane and Adam are kings of the big rock.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Canoe Trip

Today we are preparing for a 50 mile canoe trip on the Missouri River for Stephen, Shane, Stan, Josh (Stan's brother), and our friends Leonerd and Adam Claar. We've ...uh...kind of... put off... a lot of the preparations, so we will be busy today. The boys have already cut up fruit and dried it to put in trail mix, and I sliced meat, cured it, and put it in the drier today for jerky. But we have to pack and put together all the rest of the food for the trip.

Our school year will be officially over tomorrow so this is a great end of year activity for the older boys. The boys finished their school work yesterday for the year, and Jessi and Jacob will be done tomorrow. The rest of us are going to have a pizza/movie party tomorrow night to celebrate.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Yet Another Plan for Next Year

I went to a home school discussion/meeting on May 16th about going from homeschool to college. The person setting it up was a 19yo unschooler that had just finished her first year of college. The only thing that her parents required her to do her entire years of being underaged was to go to a tutor for upper level math. Everything else she learned, she learned when she was interested in it and only to the point that she was interested. And she scored in the 98th percentile in the English portion of the ACT and the 50th percentile of the Math portion.

Now she has finished her first year of college. She has gotten one B and the rest A's, has started cooking club on campus, and has been invited to live in a college house (like a type of sorority I think). Being unschooled has given her a love for learning and the ability (knowledge) to pursue what she wants in life.

I have always been intrigued by unschooling. I have met kids (9-11yo) that were unschooled and were extremely intelligent and inquisitive. After going to the meeting, I realized I have been over thinking my school plans for next year. I had started to try to recreate public high school at home and planned backwards from there. We don't need to learn specific things just because that's what they do in school! We can learn what we want, when we want, how we want! I had forgotten that :)

So...I'm changing plans once again. I waited a couple of weeks to post to be able to pray and ponder and make sure this is really what we're going to do. I am going to keep all the stuff I've already bought for next year, but the only thing I will require them to do is math, be reading something (of their choice), and write something (stories, letters, journal, ...whatever :) everyday. I will still read to them--scriptures, history stories, and maybe some kind of other book. And they have to be working on church stuff (Faith in God, Duty to God, Personal Progress) and scouts.

And then...I will encourage them to research whatever they are interested in (I will help the younger ones). The reading and writing can be incorporated into this. I'm sure they will also get a lot of math practice with some of it also. They all love watching PBS type shows that teach a lot of history and science, and scouts teaches a lot of history and science.

We've discussed these changes with the kids--Stephen wants to find a way to program a game that he has been creating for the last 3 years, Shane wants to learn how to make knives, Jessi likes to learn about everything so she will just pick things as she goes along, and Jacob loves science (he's studying Botany through the summer and swimming creatures in the fall).

Stephen's game is a role playing game. He has already researched weapons in history, the history of chemistry, and geology for his game. He has been writing/typing the rules and descriptions of everything (characters, weapons, maps...). He draws maps by hand right now, and we have been talking about downloading a CAD program to assist in this. And he wants to program a computer game doing what they have been playing on paper so far.

With Shane learning about knife making it could include writing, reading, history, chemistry... And the others obviously could incorporate a lot of subjects at the same time. I just need to encourage, but not control their paths. I like to plan, so this is a hard thing to do.

Friday, June 1, 2007

My Cub Scout

Last night's pack meeting had a few bugs :)

The boys and their fathers all made bug cakes and auctioned them.