Kickbuttmama CT Science Ctr

Category: Unschoolers

What a wonderful day we had today! We hooked up with some of our co-op friends and went to Homeschool Day at the Connecticut Science Center. We arrived at about 10am and the kids made a beline for the water works exhibit. There they played for about 3o minutes. Then they took a science class from an Astro-Physcisits. They got to see things through an electron microscope! They also got to look at samples through a regular magnifying microscope and geological sample microscope. They boys and their friends really had fun looking at the samples of nerves, kidney, land of course mica and sandstone. From the class we hot footed to the 3-D theater and watched an awesome movie on Tornado Alley. My boys LOVE all things meteorological so they really enjoyed the movie (the fact that it was 3-d sure didn't hurt, either!) after the movie we headed up to some of the other exhibits. We played in the space exhibit for a while, and the robotics, then went up to the environmental exhibit and sat through their global warming stage show.

Finally at about 3 we headed on out to the Cheesecake Factory for a late lunch (and some cheesecake!)

By the time we got home (at around 5pm) we were exhausted by felt we had gotten a whole lot of educational fun out of the day! I highly recommend the science center to all sciencbuffs! 

26 September 2012, 19:21

Kickbuttmama Outdoorsy I am not!

Category: Unschoolers

Ok. I was very excited. Last week one of my HS mom friends let me know she and another HS mom friend of mine were going camping this week with their kids. She invited the kids and I along. Now, we haven't had much in the way of vacations or breaks in the last 11/2 years (since my DH was laid off. He only has till January to finish his HVAC certification, YAY!) Anywho, I wasn't sure we'd be able to do it. But, at the last minute, I was able to scramble the $$ together for one night. 

I haven't been tent camping in almost a decade. We went for a single night when my eldest was about 2. Our idea of camping is going to my in-laws hunting cabin in VT. My DH was not able to go camping with us this time, as he had finals and a wisdom tooth removal scheduled. So he dropped us off (and set up the tent for me, aww!). 

The campground was amazing! It reminded me of all the summer camps I used to go to as a kid. They had a pathetically small arcade, but that's ok since my kids had hand held video games for the evening time. But they also had: playground, swimming pool, Quinapog(sp?) river, etc. I loved that it was just us moms and kids. Our camp sites were literally feet from the river. The water was shallow and had gentle rapids. The kids were only out of the river when it was dark! Lol 

31 August 2012, 07:44

Kickbuttmama Robotics

Category: Unit Studies

I am so very excited! Greenspring Co-operative starts its fall semester in just a couple of weeks. I absolutely LOVE our co-op. I spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating, planning, organizing, picking apart, etc the classes I want to teach. I try to mix things up each semester, mostly following my kids interests and curiosity. For instance, my boys are practically vibrating with excitement over the Percy Jackson and Camp Half Blood project class we are planning for this semester. Man oh man, the projects we have come up with! From our Camp Half Blood tee shirts, gold drachmas, maps, index of Greek/Roman Deities, journal of Tartarus' worst monsters, etc. Plus things like a mirrored fan (for battling Medusa), Party Pony Bows & Arrows (those have boxing gloves instead of arrow heads). And no Greek/Roman class would be complete without making our Armor - greaves (shin protectors), vambraces (forearm guards), chest plate (we are stoked over the plans we came up with for this one!), belt, etc. Anyway, we are hoping it will be an awesome class....

This stage of planning always gets me thinking of the next semester. I would dearly love to start a robotics club. I don't have the room at my tiny apartment, but it would be AWESOME if I could find enough kids to enter the Lego Robotics competition. They release the information for the next competition in the fall. It would be awesome to compete against the public/private school teams. But it is also somewhat expensive. Between parts, programming, etc. And that's with it being a decade since I was an engineer! Things have probablyonly gotten more expensive! LOL

In a perfect world, I'd love to get one of the Lego's Mindstorms. Which are kit robots. But the cheapest is a couple hundred dollars. So, while the Mindstorms are a great learning tool before designing a completely from scratch robot, you just keep on piling on the $$. IDK, I guess I'll have to throw out some feelers when the semester starts. If I find there is interest, then we could find somewhere to meet weekly as a club, and then maybe do some fundraisers. We'll see. 

22 August 2012, 07:01

Kickbuttmama Defining Our Homeschool

Category: Unschoolers


I've gotten a lot of questions about our style of homeschool lately. People asking questions about everything from my teaching style, the kids' learning styles, curriculum choices, scheduling, etc. I've evolved over the last decade since we started this adventure. I've learned to let go of my death grip on the reigns. I'm one of those super anal, type A personalities. I like to have everything detailed and written out. I like to have pretty schedules and expectations. But after a time of banging my head against the wall - where I kept trying to fit these expectations and they didn't work, I had to ask myself, WHY? What was the point of the details, schedules, worksheets, etc. As hard as it is to admit, I finally came to the conclusion that 99% of it was for looks - so when others looked at our family/homeschool they'd think how fantastic it all is. It almost didn't matter if any of it was successful - as long as the IMAGE was successful. This was actually a shock.


17 August 2012, 13:55

Kickbuttmama Cool Shark Facts

Category: Unschoolers

We have been learning such interesting facts about sharks! 

Here are some of my fav's

1) sharks can pick up electro-magnetic pulses from miles away (even the minute electrical pulses of a human muscles contracting)
2) sharks can not swim backward! 
3) some sharks can only breathe by forward motion pushing oxygenated water into their gills, so if they have to stay immobile (like if they are caught in a net) then they can suffocate quickly
4) sharks-fin soup, found in most Chinese food resturants, actually DOES contain shark fins! Even from endangered species!! 
5) most sharks do not like the taste of human flesh, so will let go once they bite a human, but then others will act like alligators and try to drag the human to deeper water to drown and eat them.
6) a whole butt-load of sharks have been living off of the shores of my state! Gulp! I always grew up w/ the understanding that sharks didn't come to the north Atlantic because the waters were too cold...not so! Eek!
7) great whites close their eyes before biting, so just before, during, and after a bite they are 'swimming blind'

16 August 2012, 09:03

Kickbuttmama Shark Week

Category: Unit Studies

duh-duh....duh-duh...du-duh-du-duh....its baaaack!

That's right, its time to become re-acquainted with the fact that only the ultra brave (aka crazy) would swim off the coast of Aftrica! Shark Week by the Discovery Channel is back, and my boys and i are super excited! This is the type of opportunity child-led homeschoolers, like we are, look for. So we are looking forward to incorporating Sharks into our learning opportunities this week. So, here is a general outline of how we will be incorporating the!

Monday - Sharkzilla aka Megalodon. Its our opportunity to explore the giantic. Megalodon lived during the period in pre-history when predetors were massive: alligators, sharks, snakes, oh my!

13 August 2012, 09:27