Pixie Dusted Homeschool

Quite some time ago, I changed my domain to http://pixiedustedhomeschool.com.  I have had my domain here forwarded to there, but in case you have ended up here, I invite you to join me over at http://pixiedustedhomeschool.com.

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ABCs of Homeschooling – “T” is for…

ABCs of Homeschooling

We are back with Dawn over at 5 Kids and a Dog, and this week’s letter is “T”.

From a very early age, both kids had a fascination with trains.  Of course, DS8 was more into trains than his sister was.

Their first train was Thomas, and it snowballed from there.  After the kids rode behind Thomas, they wanted to see or ride any train that was near any of our travels.

DD11 even learned some of her lettering from Thomas dry erase books.

However, trains are not the real subject here.  I’m thinking more about the verb tense of the word train.  Proverbs 22:6 NKJV says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  But what does that really mean?

The dictionary defines train as, “teach a person a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.”

So, we should train our children in the way they should go by teaching them their school work, proper Christian behavior, and Biblical teaching through practice in the real world and instruction throughout their childhood.

This is the basis of our homeschool.  The reason that we are here is to help balance that school work with Christian life.  To help our children decide what they want their life to be, not just their career.

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Destination Disney – “H” is for…

Today, we are on the letter “H” with Heidi’s Destination Disney meme.  Since it appears that the oppressive heat of August is still upon us, I thought that a good “H” would be holidays.  The Christmas holiday is my favorite time of the year.  Because of different things that have happened over the last couple of years to cause changes to our vacation plans, we have been fortunate to experience the early Christmas times at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Here is one of the houses in Storybook Land Canal Boats.  It is amazing how all the little houses and villages are decorated for Christmas.

It’s a Small World at Disneyland gets its holiday makeover every year, and it is a sight to behold.

It’s a Small World is transformed with twinkling lights and holiday projections on its facade with “snow” falling at times.

Of course, we could stand for hours gazing at the icicles hanging from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but let’s hop across the country to Walt Disney World for some more Christmas holiday fun.

When we went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we were treated to the gingerbread men marching during the parade.  We also enjoyed “Holiday Wishes”, one of our favorite fireworks shows.

We took some time before tea at the Grand Floridian to see the gingerbread house.  The detail is just stunning!

We loved seeing the Osborne Spectacle of Lights.  That evening, we could have used a little heat from this fire, but alas, it was just for show.

DD11 thought that there was nothing better than looking up at the holiday lights on Cinderella’s Castle (except maybe eating in the castle).

Yes, we do love the Christmas holidays!

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Disney Flashback Friday – 8/19/2011

It’s Disney Flashback Friday with Sarah over at Magical Days with the Mouse.  Sarah is covering the D23 Expo this weekend, so please follow along with her on Twitter @MagicMouseDays for up-to-the-minute coverage.

During one of our trips to Disneyland, the kids were even more reluctant than normal to leave when it was time to go home.  We had driven, so we were able to catch just a little more time in the parks in the morning before leaving.  On our way out, we stopped to watch Mickey Mouse leading the band from the firehouse toward Main Street.  As we watched, we were treated to an unusual (to us) shadowy sight.  The sun was at Mickey’s back, and it casted a shadow of Mickey’s ears and raised baton.  It put a smile on our faces as we left under the train tracks.

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Mr. Toad on Storybook Land Canal Boats – Wordless Wednesday

Focused on the MagicEveryone seemed to like Mr. Toad last week, so I thought that I would look at Mr. Toad over on Storybook Land Canal Boats.  Like Mr. Toad, the Storybook Land Canal Boats still seem to have the mark of Walt Disney, himself.

The house of Mr. Toad's dear friend, Moley.

Toad Hall, the home of Mr. Toad.

The mural in the loading area of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

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ABCs of Homeschooling – “S” is for…

ABCs of Homeschooling

We are cruising through the alphabet (related to homeschooling) with Dawn over at 5 Kids and a Dog, and this week’s letter is “S”.

As I was thinking about the “S” words related to our homeschool…

  • Change of scenery
  • Keeping our sanity
  • Schoolwork
  • Science

I realized that I was really thinking about something more specific to our kids’ learning.  What really pertains to our school is “Seeing it the way the kids see it”.  This may sound a little different, but not every child learns the same way.  That is why we like homeschooling so much!  If a learning technique doesn’t work, we can toss it out and try a new one.

Sometimes, our children see things the way we do…

right side up.  Sometimes, they seem to see things a little differently…

upside down.  In times like these, we have to change our strategy and look for things that will interest them, so that they will be more open to thinking outside of what they see.

Obviously, both kids love Disney, so we often look for ways to integrate that into our learning.  It is amazing how much more DD11 enjoys her math if we are trying to figure out how much we should budget for food on vacation instead of doing word problems out of her math book.  Also, I try to make both kids an age/grade appropriate notebook full of activities for traveling.

We are working with DS8 to improve his writing and how he forms his letters.  I was so happy to find a dry erase board that showed how to form the letters using not only arrows but also colors.  Step one is red, step two is green, and so on.  This board makes it easier for DS8 to see which step comes next.  I have found worksheets for lettering that are Disney-themed, and using the same color scheme as the dry erase board, I trace the first letter so that he has a consistent example from board to paper.  He seems to be able to see the steps better when color is used.

We hope that you have enjoyed our “S” words.  Please click over to Dawn’s site through the link above to read the “S” posts from other homeschoolers.

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Destination Disney – “G” is for…

The Disney letter of the week is “G”, so let’s get started!

One of our favorite Disney “G” words (or names) is Goofy!

Goofy can always make a sad (or tired) face turn into a smile.

Even when Goofy is supposed to be in deep thought, he still makes me smile.

When we went to Disneyland in February, the kids and I went to Blue Sky Cellar to look at the models of The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Goofy’s Sky School.  I had to take a picture of this picture because it is “old-school” Goofy!  Note: These two rides are now open.

Do you remember Gadget from Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers?  Well, she has her own roller coaster in Toontown (at Disneyland), and my kids love this attraction.

There are so many unique things about this attraction and the queue.  For instance, Mickey’s gloved hand has to crank the coaster up the first lift.

I love the view of Toontown from the top of Gadget’s Go Coaster!  If you look on the far right of the above picture, you can seen Goofy’s hat on top of his house.

On Storybook Land Canal Boats, we can see the golden tops of the city of Agrabah from the movie Aladdin.  And speaking of Aladdin…

We can’t forget the genie in Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular.  This is our ultimate favorite Disney production of all time!  Our favorite part is when Genie monologues about current events.  He is so funny!

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Disney Flashback Friday – 8/12/2011

It’s time for Disney Flashback Friday with Sarah over at Magical Days with the Mouse. Our family had a chance to meet up with Sarah during our last trip to Disneyland, and she is such a great person.  When you read her blog, you can really see her love of Disneyland and her love of sharing Disneyland with her son.

Today, I am flashing back to DS8’s birthday trip to Disneyland during the second Year of a Million Dreams.  The night we arrived, we were wandering the inner courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel when we were approached by two cast members.  They struck up a conversation with us and asked us if we were celebrating anything special.  DS8 spoke up and said it was his birthday trip.  One of the cast members asked us where we were staying, and we told him that we were staying there at the Disneyland Hotel.  The senior cast member asked us our room number and asked us if we would mind meeting them in our room in about an hour.  We said sure, but as we returned to our room, we wondered why.

The two cast members knocked on our door.  When we opened the door, we were greeted with balloons, a stuffed Mickey for each child, and autographed pictures.  We were told that we were being moved to an upgraded room for our last two nights.  They told us what day to go down to the front desk to get our “keys” for our new room.

For a couple of days, we wondered where we were going to be moved.  On moving day, we were up bright and early getting ready to move.  On this day and the rest of our trip, it looked like this outside.

All rainy, dreary, and COLD!

When we got our new “keys” and opened our door, we were amazed!  We had been upgraded to a Mickey Mouse kid suite.  One room was like a normal hotel room with two queen beds.  The other room was ALL Mickey Mouse!

Two twin beds with Mickey Mouse bedspreads.

Mickey television with DVD player.

With it being so cold and damp, we were thankful for the DVD player.  The kids loved that they could lie on their beds and watch a movie.

Bathroom with Mickey Mouse comic strip wall.

We were surprised to see entire walls covered with comic strips of Mickey Mouse.

Mickey's hands held the toilet paper.

This was an experience that we will never forget; in fact, both kids still mention the time that they got to stay in Mickey’s room for two nights.

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Mr. Toad – Wordless Wednesday

Focused on the Magic On with Wordless Wednesday!  Well, semi-wordless, I guess.

We're always in a hurry; We have no time to stall; We've got to be there; We've got to be there; But where we can't recall.

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ABCs of Homeschooling – “Q” and “R”

ABCs of Homeschooling

I am playing catch up with the ABCs of Homeschooling, too, so I will be posting last week’s “Q” and this week’s “R” together.

So, there is nothing like a little quiet and reading.  Quite often, these two go together, so I’m glad that it happened that I had to double up on these two letters.

Sometimes, things get wild between school work, therapy appoints, and weekly errands that it is nice to slow things down and have some quiet time.  That quiet time can be so grounding and refreshing!

DS8 likes to spend his quiet time on his bouncy exercise ball playing with his legos.  He is quite adept at making modifications to his Cars lego cars, and he loves to make varying spaceship designs.  This is a calming activity for him, one that he does often.

DD11 loves to spend every moment of her quiet time reading!  She is a voracious reader.  She would read any time of the day or night.  Yes, she has been caught reading by flashlight under her blanket at night…after midnight.  I never have to tell her twice to read her lessons (except for math) because she enjoys reading so much.  What I do have problems with is her completing the written work because she is too busy reading ahead in the book.  Le sigh!

So, in a nutshell, that is what “Q” and “R” mean to us in our homeschool.  Of course, we could go back to the 3 RsReading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic.

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