Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Meeting

Hello there ladies! The December KNIGHTS meeting is coming up THIS Friday, December 4th. Anyone is welcome to attend. It will be from 2:30 to 4pm at Gretna Community Church. Please plan to bring a food pantry item as we would like to donate some food this year.


Meeting agenda:

· Start meeting and split into groups – 10 minutes

· Wrapping presents – 30 minutes

· Art/craft project – 40 min

· Closing – 10 minutes


Parents: please plan to stay and help out during the meeting.


We do need a little help this month with the projects.

Please bring:

1. Non perishable food pantry item(s)

2. Stapler(s)…….(make sure you have staples in it, please).

3. Box to wrap (shoe box, small box, etc…..no refrigerator boxes, please)

4. Wrapping paper…nothing fancy….just stuff that you have and probably won’t use.


I am looking for a few moms to coordinate some age appropriate activities for the little ones in the group as they may grow tired or not have the attention span for some of the topics this year. If you are willing to help with the little ones, please let me know as soon as possible.


See you Friday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Acting workshop



In November we went to the Rose Theatre and did an acting workshop! All the kids had a great time and the tour was fabulous!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Meeting

Gretna KNIGHTS Monthly Meeting

Please join us on Friday, November 6th from 2:30-4:00pm at Gretna Community Church. This year we will have a new theme for our meetings, but don't worry...they will continue to be kid-focused! Please do let us know if you will be coming to the meeting so we can plan accordingly (email to sbaker5@cox.net is fine)

For the 2009-2010 school year, the Gretna KNIGHTS will spend each month learning and having fun with life skills! Each month, we will have introductions, activities centered around life skills, and some open gym time. We chose life skills because, sometimes as homeschoolers, our focus tends to be on academics and issues of character development and practical life skills don't always get our attention. While we intend to take our children along side of us throughout our day, often times we are too busy getting math and history done for the day. We hope this year will help us all feel renewed and refreshed about everyday life skills!

For the November meeting, please come and learn about:
  • Table Manners
  • Setting the table
  • Playing and shuffling cards
I am looking for a few moms to coordinate some age appropriate activities for the little ones in the group as they may grow tired or not have the attention span for some of the topics this year. If you are willing to help with the little ones, please let me know.

See you on Friday!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Homeschool Orientation Meeting - October

Please pass the news that the next New Homeschooler Orientation Meeting is coming up soon!

Tuesday, Oct. 27th 5:45-7:45pm

Millard Public Library

3214 Westwood Ln
Omaha, NE 68144-3556

New homeschooler orientation meetings give new homeschoolers or families interested in homeschooling the opportunity to ask questions, obtain help with paperwork, receive lots of helpful information about resources and activities in the Omaha metro area, as well as connect with other parents who are just beginning the home education journey. Plase spread the word to those you know who are new to homeschooling it or considering it. HEN members, as well as non-members, are welcome! Call or email Shana Baker for information at sbaker5@cox.net or 332-4449. Note: please do not call the library for meeting information.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vala's Pumpkin Patch



Homeschool days at Vala's Pumpkin Patch are:
Tuesday, Oct. 6th and Tuesday, Oct. 13th

Check their website for details on cost and programs available. Click on group information and then school field trip at www.valaspumpkinpatch.com

Homeschooler Days
Tuesday, September. 29th
Tuesday, October 6th
Tuesday, October 13th

Parents and their homeschooled children may take advantage of the school group student rates and stay all day and evening. Prices vary according to the type of school tour. Apple Education, Gem Mining, and Pollination lessons need to be scheduled before 2 pm. (Call 402-332-4200 to set this up) Simply identify yourself as a Homeschool family or group. All adults are $6.50 and babies under age 2 are free. On-line booking is available for groups of 20 or more. Call for groups of less than 20 (402-332-4200)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

October Meeting

Gretna KNIGHTS Monthly Meeting

Please join us on Friday, October 2nd from 2:30-4:00pm at Gretna Community Church. This year we will have a new theme for our meetings, but don't worry...they will continue to be kid-focused! Please do let us know if you will be coming to the meeting so we can plan accordingly.

For the 2009-2010 school year, the Gretna KNIGHTS will spend each month learning and having fun with life skills! Each month, we will have introductions, activities centered around life skills, and some open gym time. We chose life skills because, sometimes as homeschoolers, our focus tends to be on academics and issues of character development and practical life skills don't always get our attention. While we intend to take our children along side of us throughout our day, often times we are too busy getting math and history done for the day. We hope this year will help us all feel renewed and refreshed about everyday life skills!

For the October meeting, please come and learn about:
  • Pledge of Allegiance and Patriotic Songs
  • Friendships
  • Introductions and Handshakes
I am looking for a few moms to coordinate some age appropriate activities for the little ones in the group as they may grow tired or not have the attention span for some of the topics this year. If you are willing to help with the little ones, please let me know.

See you in October!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Typing practice

This is a great website for typing practice! They have games and levels for all levels!
http://www.freetypinggame.net/

Friday, September 11, 2009

Great article...

I got this article in an email from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It has some great things to say and inspire us all! ENJOY!

Get this FREE!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Planetarium Field Trip - September

Friday, September 18 - 9:30-Noon


Come visit Morrill Hall and the Mueller Planetarium! You will see a show in the planetarium and then take a self-guided tour of Morrill Hall!


Mueller Planetarium is located 14th & "U" Streets in the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.


For directions and parking information, please go to their website at:

http://www.spacelaser.com/info.html


For information on what Morrill Hall has visit their floor plan page (there are 3 floors of things to explore) at:

http://www-museum.unl.edu/museum_info/third.html


Field trip for the planetarium/Morrill hall showings are $4 per child and $6 per adult. I will check on the price for preschoolers.


RSVP Required


All shows are now in the "fulldome" format.


5th graders should plan to pick one of the shows. If they choose both, we just need to make arrangements to pay for both shows.


Dawn of the Space Age

<http://www.spacelaser.com/dawn.html>

11:00am-11:45am

Re-live the excitement of the early days of space exploration, from the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Ride the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station and experience future Mars exploration.

Running time 45 minutes

Appropriate for grades 5 and up.


Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

http://www.spacelaser.com/cardboard.html>

9:45-10:20am

A fantastic adventure as two youngsters build a cardboard rocket and go on an adventure exploring the solar system.

Running time 35 minutes

Appropriate for grades 1-5

Ice Cream Social for the family

Thanks to everyone that came to the ice cream social! We had good food and good fun!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recognition

This is a great site I found today. http://www.123certificates.com/

You can make free customized printable certificates! I don't know if you do a lot of recognition for your kids, but I really think there is a lot of value in it and I should do it more! Be genuine and don't ignore things that need improvement, but if your kids are doing something well, let them know!

No matter who you are or what you do, getting recognition for your work can put a little bounce in your stride or a smile on your face. It is nice to know others appreciate what you have done! Forge ahead and tell your kids what they are doing well. If you think it is a little bit corny, try it and see what happens! Be positive and give your kids a friendly note that will fill them up and make them proud of what they do every day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to school....again!


It is time for the first day of school at Baker Benediction Academy. We plan to start our school year this coming Tuesday. You might ask, "Why Tuesday?". Well, that is the beauty of homeschooling! Jason is in a golf tournament on Monday and he wants to be part of the festivities, so we are starting Tuesday. Simple and convenient....gotta love homeschooling! I am really looking forward to this year. I love new beginnings and each school year provides us with one! We will have a 5th grader, 3rd/4th grader and a 1st grader this year. The Baker girls still get new school supplies and books, new first day outfits and pictures. However, we do recycle the back packs! The first day of school, we always do something fun like play in shaving creme and do treasure hunts and the first week of school is usually only half days to slowly ease the girls back into our schedule....again simple and convenient!

Here is to your first day of school! May it be all that you hope for and may your kids end the day glad to be homeschooled!

P.S. If things don't go as planned (as they sometimes will), don't despair! With homeschooling, you can make each day a new day! You can always bring something fun and new into the day and delight your children in a whole new way.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mud stomp - 2nd Annual!

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Mud Stomp event! We are meeting Friday, August 21st at 1pm at the Eastern Nebraska 4-h center near Gretna! Wear OLD clothes or an old swim suit and old tennis shoes or strapped sandals. Flip flops and crocs are NOT recommended! They may get lost in the mud!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home alone?

Are your kids getting close to that "magic" age of staying home alone? Have you ever wondered what the restrictions or requirements are in Nebraska for kids who stay home alone?

Well, here is a great link for the "guidelines" in Nebraska.

http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/Children_Family_Services/HomeAlone.htm

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fall Planning

The KNIGHTS group will be having a fall planning meeting in early August. If you would like to participate in the meeting or contribute in any way, please email me!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Break

The KNIGHTS group typically takes the summer off with no official group meetings or field trips. Over the summer, we hope to have a pool party, a few play dates and a lake day, so watch your email and the blog for updates!

See you in September!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Movies

Be sure to check out the summer fun section of the blog....it is down and on the right hand side. Three different theaters are doing summer movie specials for kids on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Can I get an extension, please?!?!?!

Okay...I'll admit it....this time. We didn't finish school on time. Yes, you heard me. I didn't get it done! The problem wasn't the kids, the problem was the Mom. I admittedly had too much on my plate and realized I am NOT superwoman!

Something I have asked myself in the last week....Do we have to finish our books? No, we don't have to finish our books. Even public school teachers don't always finish their books. I, however, would really like to complete the circle of our learning this year. So for me, it is not about finishing the book, it is about completing a task and accomplishing our goal. Some books we simply close and pick up in the fall (ie: art, science). Some books, however, I would like to complete and will take the time needed without pressure or stress to do that for my girls (ie: math, english and history).

So, rather than go crazy trying to "get it all done" this week, the girls and I all agreed we would simply "get an extension" on school and finish our studies next week. They actually don't seem to be too bummed about it (maybe because many of their Millard school friends are actually still in school as well!)

If you are in the same boat, don't beat yourself up. Sometimes life happens and we simply "school" around it! As homeschoolers, we don't have to live by boundaries of the public school calendar. Make your own calendar. As I read in a Teaching Home article, make a plan to "Finish strong"...on your own terms!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation

Kindergarten graduation is approaching quickly for my youngest daughter. It doesn't seem possible that we have come to this milestone already. She is so much fun to be around....very loving, witty and keeps us all on track around here! We have homeschooled her from the very beginning, so this milestone seems bigger than with my other two kids. With my oldest girls, we sent them to the local church preschool and I pretty much took it from there. With Shelby, she and I started from scratch! We had challenges along the way, the biggest of all her vision. Once we got that figured out, it all fell into place! It is just so much easier to learn to read when you can see ALL the letters the way they SHOULD be! Congratulations to all the graduates, including Shelby. You are all wonderful in God's site!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homeschool Track and Field Day

Please join us for the homeschool track and field day on Saturday, May16th. You can register online at . http://www.homeschooltrack.org/main/Login. If you haven't registered yet, please do that first. You will create a username and password that are unique. Then, you will be asked to enter the first time HEN password. Enter: omahahen. After that, you can log in and fill out the registration forms. Be sure to check out the Tips and Q&A section of the website. Email or call me if you have any questions.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

4 weeks and who is counting....

Well, we have only 4 weeks until the "official" end of school year. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have worked hard this year and learned lots about Ancient History as well as many other things! Poetry memorization was new to us this year and the girls are working hard on their final memorization practice of all their pieces! They continue to amaze and delight me with their talents!

While the end of school year is coming quickly and we will "officially" end the school year May 22nd, I still plan to covertly "do" some school over the summer and between trips to the pool. We plan to do science (while there are lots of birds and bugs to explore), art (since we can get messy in the drive way), and math facts (who doesn't need to practice those anyway) over the summer months.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring break

Yeah! Next week is spring break for the Baker family! We typically take a week long spring break during the week of April 15th since Jason is a CPA. The girls are excited and I am excited too! It is always nice to take a break from the regular schedule. Do we stop "school" completely? Yes, pretty much...unless one or two of the girls didn't finish their work from last week. We simply enjoy a break from our regular schedule so I can get a few projects done and the girls can spend some time with Jason. Enjoy your week!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pudewa handout link

Hi everyone! For me, the highlight of the conference was definitely attending the Andrew Pudewa sessions. He continually inspires me to inspire and encourage my children in their writing and speaking intiatives! It really is okay to HELP them as much as I can!

If you attended his session or not, you may be interested in checking out his handouts from the talks. Check out this link for the handouts:

http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/index.php?q=page/conference-talk-handouts

Thursday, March 26, 2009

NCHEA Homeschool Conference in Lincoln

The homeschool conference in Lincoln is tomorrow and Saturday. This is a great local conference. YOu will be refreshed and enjoy the company of other homeschool moms and dads! Check out the details at http://nchea.org/.

There is a corresponding kids conference as well! Any child ages 5-12 can attend it! My girls love the CEF conference. I trust the staff with my kids and have always been glad to send them. Details for the kids conference can be found at http://www.geocities.com/nchea4kids/. Space is usually limited so don't delay. I checked the website this morning and they still have space, so check with them to see if you can still get your kids registered or not!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I CAN do this today...

Have you ever woken up and said, "I CAN do this today" to yourself? I often do, in fact, a lot lately. My husband just kind of looks at me wondering what he should say. I think he thinks it is a trap statement...kind of like, "Do I look fat?" I just usually look at him and ask him to tell me, "Yes, you can!". That is all we need sometimes....a little affirmation that we can get through what we have on our plate today.

Today was one of those days. Mondays are usually my favorite days. They are a new start. They are fresh and bright for me. Today I was a bit overwhelmed with school, lots of laundry (why do I wait for days to put in a load anyway?), housework, helping the kids finish their science projects, Jason in the middle of tax season, planning for the track meet, planning for Kindergarten Graduation and probably 5 other things I have on my mind!

Well, I did do it today. We did complete what we needed and I do feel a little frazzled, but proud of what we did. The kids played outside, we got 2 of the 3 science projects 90% complete, the track stuff is on track as well as the Kindergarten planning. I still have lots of laundry (although less than this morning) and a messy house with magazine clippings all over thanks to my 6 year old and her animal home project. Dinner is in the oven and I can take a deep breath and know that tomorrow, I CAN do it all over again!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cool History Website

I am all about finding great resources for me as a teacher and fun things for my kids. I was searching today for a dice coloring page (no, the kids are NOT going to Vegas!). It was for a probability science fair project. Anyway, when I was doing my Internet search, I found this cool site that had all these neat resources for Roman dice games. It is a BBC site with History for Kids! ENJOY!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/forkids/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Homeschooler Orientation

I have taken on the great task of doing the New Homeschooler Orientation Meetings for HEN. I am thrilled to do this. I am excited to see all the faces of those families considering or new to homeschooling. I still remember going to my first orientation. I was so confused, excited, full of anticipation, and scared stiff! I had lots of questions and weighed all the pros and cons for the situation! If you have any practical and fun tips for new homeschoolers...be sure to post them in the comment section. Here are some good ones to start with:

Shana's Practical Tips for Homeschooling


  • Buy an electric pencil sharpener
  • Join HEN and HSLDA
  • Remember why you are doing this and write it down...you will refer to it and need it later!
  • Be flexible with your schedule...think outside the box
  • Printers and scanners can be a life saver...VERY useful
  • Let your kids move...or bounce...or roll...or read upside down
  • Have a plan for when things don't go as planned
  • Subscribe to HEN etree and HS etree (it's free)...just send "subscribe" to hsetree@gmail.com and send "subscribe" to etree@omahaHEN.org
  • Don't compare yourself to others. Do what is best for your family
  • Use the Internet...google and YouTube anything and get lots of ideas
  • Let your house go...a little bit (you cannot do it all...all the time)
  • Ask to look at curriculum...homeschoolers like to share
  • Teach your kids "life skills"
  • Get your family involved (Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Siblings)
  • Get involved in your community
  • Get involved with a support group
  • Use your public library
  • Get Dad hooked up with Family Man Ministries at http://www.familymanweb.com/
  • Pray for grace and gentleness and don't yell so much at your kids!
  • NEVER give up (from my 10 year old!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CoCo Key

A few families are meeting at CoCo Key on Monday, February 23rd! Feel free to join us! Here is the information on CoCo Key again!

Homeschool Days are on Mondays now! Homeschool families will continue to receive passes for just $8 each! Please remember this discount is not available when public schools are on a break.

Operating hours on Monday are 10am-3pm.

Homeschool discount passes may be purchased one of two ways:
  • Advanced purchase online. Visit http://tickets.cocokeywaterresort.com and enter the store name Omaha HEN. This will take you directly to your discounted tickets. Advance purchase is the only way to guarantee admission to the park at the homeschome school rate.
  • At the door. If you choose this option, please call ahead in the morning to make sure that the Homeschool discount rate is available.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine's Day Party Thank You

I wanted to send a thank out to the ladies who stepped up and helped plan the Valentine's Day Party! It was so nice to have you work together and do such a great job! I appreciate your willingness to help out and your ability to throw such a nice party for all of the kids! Thank you Mary Hughes, Heather Job, Shannon Fitzgerald and Shannon Batchelder!!!

Mom's Night Out - Lapbooking

We have a Mom's Night Out TONIGHT!

Mom's Night Details
What: Lapbooking Lesson from Lisa Whilen. Each Mom will get an Easter kit and start on their Easter lapbook.
Cost: $10
Date: Friday, February 20th
Time: 6-8:30pm
Where: Kristen New's Home

Lisa Whilen, a homeschool mom from Palmyra, will walk us through making a lapbook. She uses "In the hands of a Child" products, in addition to many other resources for her lapbooks. You will leave that night with a lapbook in hand!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mile markers

I am not sure when you started school, but we started in late August. We are starting our 22nd week of school. I can hardly believe it!?!?! More than half way done! I like tracking our progress. I like knowing where I am and where I am going. It feels good to see what we have done and it feels even better knowing the goal is almost accomplished! We tried a new history curriculum this year and LOVE it, especially our projects. Our piano curriculum is also new. All girls are having success with that...even the 6 year old with a cast! She just showed me last week that she, in fact, CAN do her piano lessons with a cast on her arm! I haven't done as much science as I had wanted, but can focus on that in the spring and early summer...when bugs and birds are actually moving! Math is going smoothly and art has actually been getting done (well, most of the time!). So, here is to 18 more weeks of diligence and fun while we make our way through another year of homeschooling together!