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Friday, December 7, 2018

Bidding Farewell To Our 41st President

This question has been asked a lot this week: Can we count the passing of President George H. W. Bush as some schooling?  

Absolutely! Since his death was announced the nation began looking back over the life and the legacy of the late president. Over the course of the last week there has been a lot of history recapping. Not to mention the history that was being made through out this week leading up to the funerals. 

- Did you know? -
 On the very first day of office 
when the elected President
begins to work, one of the first
orders of business is to sit down 
and plan out their funeral arrangements.

In our house alone we paused and took the week to focus on the life and legacy of our 41st President. We followed the media and latest news, documentaries and listen to the stories being shared from those closest to the president. I shared my own personal stories from growing up and the letter I received from him when our class had to write an essay about the campaign First Lady Barbara Bush started, 'Just Say No to Drugs.'  How many of you remember that? My essay was chosen a long with a few others and each of us received a personal letter from the President thanking us and encouraging us while praising our essays. 

Listen, what better way to learn history then to learn it hands-on. Being a part of and witnessing first hand as things play out. Years from now your kids will look back and say I remember where I was that moment... This is why I always stand by and will advocate for hands-on learning. Even some of the public schools in Texas bussed their children to route locations the train would be traveling so the children could witness history as well as pay respect to the late President. Clearly this is considered a lesson for history. So if you paused to celebrate the life, legacy and history of the late President, understand you and your family was and is still participating in school lessons. Learning does not stop once you leave the classroom...

A nation bids farewell.

 41st President of The United States of America
 George Herbert Walker Bush

On Friday, November 30, 2018, the news broke that the 41st President of the United States had died. News swept across the nation and many began to reflect back on the life and legacy of President George H. W. Bush. Nearly eight months after the passing of his wife, the late First Lady (41) Barbara Bush, they now were back together for eternity. 

On December 1, 2018 a proclamation was issued and later signed by the 45th President of the United States, President Donald J. Trump declaring that Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 would be a National Day of Mourning. All flags would be ordered to half-staff for thirty days in honor of the former President while on Wednesday all Government buildings would be closed for the nation to mourn the passing of former President George H. W. Bush. The Proclamation excerpt included that Air Force One would be designated by President Donald J. Trump to be used for a special mission that would be called "Special Mission 41".  

'Special Mission 41' would consist of the use of Air Force One departing round trip from Washington to Houston, Texas where the former Presidents remains as well as the entire family would be loaded aboard and transported back to Washington D. C. From there his remains would be transported to the State Capitol Rotunda where it would lay in state from Monday, December3, 2018 to the evening of Tuesday, December 4, 2018 for the public to come and pay their respects. 

"Mission Complete." Sully the former Presidents service dog lay 
guarding his masters casket. Sully would later stand watch a final
time on the evening of Tuesday, December 4, 2018,
 where he would then bid his master farewell one last time.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, The former President would be transferred from the State Capitol Rotunda to The Washington National Cathedral where the Presidential Funeral would take place. He would later depart the Cathedral and be escorted back to Air Force One for the finalization of 'Special Mission 41' which would transport the former President and his family back to Texas for the final funeral and burial at the Bush Presidential Library.

The Presidential funeral brought a handful of world leaders that knew the former President well including Prince Charles who was there on behalf of Queen Elizabeth who had her own health concerns. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama as well as our current President Donald J. Trump and their spouses attended. Also amidst the funeral were current Vice President Mike Pence and other former Vice Presidents, their wives, Congress and many more attended in the celebration services of the Presidential Funeral.

President George Herbert Walker Bush life and legacy was celebrated in a beautiful ceremony that included a eulogy by his son and former 43rd President George Walker Bush. Read the full eulogy by President George W. Bush here. The ceremony was a beautiful tribute to the life and legacy of the former commander in chief. There is much to highlight about the ceremony, the stories of the brave WWII hero, his loyalty to friends and family and finally his presidency, but I will let you read more about that here.

Probably the greatest thing of all that stood out to me about the former President was the role and model of LEADERSHIP. He certainly was a great leader to his family, friends and to his country. Despite any difference in opinion he may of had with many around him he still modeled 'love and respect' towards everyone. Something I think we all could learn a little more about today and model for each other. There were many great stories shared about his life and the legacy he was leaving behind during the Presidential funeral. Despite any difference in opinion one must agree this was a great Presidential leader that made his mark on history and would continue to do so even in death.

Watch the emotional eulogy from former Secretary James Baker

As the remains of the former President and his family departed the Capitol to return to Houston for the final farewell services the remaining details would unfold noting that the former President would make his mark in history again. On Thursday, December 6, 2018 the final farewell would begin in Houston where Texans would have their chance to say their good-byes to the former President. Family, close friends along with the former Presidents favorite musicians The Oak Ridge Boys and Reba McEntire paid their final tribute and respect as they bid the 41st President farewell.

After the funeral in Houston was over the remains of the former President would be escorted along with his family to the Union Pacific facility north of Houston where the former President and his family would take a 70 mile train ride to College Station. After departure at College Station he would then be escorted up the street to the Presidential Library on the University of Texas A&M for a private burial ceremony for the family.

About the Train: So what do we know about the special locomotive that will be transporting our former president? The train transporting the former 41st and 43rd President along with family is the Union Pacific Locomotive. This particular locomotive was made in Bush's honor and it was unveiled near his library as part of an exhibition in 2005. The train has the words "George Bush 41 Presidential Library and Museum" and also has the presidential seal printed on its side. Not only that the locomotive is painted like the presidential airplane, Air Force One. This particular train has been working across the country since 2005 hauling freight. The 'Special Mission' of the 'Locomotive 4141' will be to transport the remains of the former 41st President George H. W. Bush as well as the former 43rd President George W. Bush and the family to College Station where he will be escorted to his final resting place at the Bush Presidential Library. This train will consist of two-locomotives and a 11-car train. 

 The route the train will take

Former President George H. W. Bush would be the first president in almost 50 years, since President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969, to make the final journey home by train. The former president was very involved with the railroad and shared often about the memories he had traveling with his family on trains. Having this particular train transfer him to his final resting place only seemed fitting since he knew this particular route well and enjoyed traveling the country side between Houston and College Station. This particular route would also allow residents in the area to pay their respects as the train passed by. 

Take a look inside the Bush Locomotive 4141  

Although we personally were not there we did record some of the weeks tributes and ceremonies to have for our own records and historical documentation. Parts like the trains transfer ceremony, departure and arrival ceremony, the Missing Man formation and Fly Over both, were important parts of history. Again noting it has been almost 50 years since the last President elected to use a train as a part of their funeral. Also noting that there has never been a 21 Air Craft Missing Man formation fly over ever recorded in military history. (The video of the formation is below, have a tissue in hand). Also noting that on the missing man air craft, the third plane, it notes President George H. W. Bush as pilot and Barbara Bush as co-pilot, honoring both the former President and First Lady. A very beautiful week long celebration of a life well lived.

The departure of the former President for College Satation

So as you can see from this post, there is a great deal of history going on here this week as we remember our 41st President and bid him farewell. Below are some other resources about the events that unfolded honoring the former president.

Other Resources:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New To Homeschooling Tips in Brief

I thought I would go back and revisit the NEW to Homeschooling tips. So many are homeschooling today that may not be aware of the already posted information from long ago. That and there are always new tips to add. :)
In brief I want to note that homeschooling is a big, scary step that each of us has had to take at one time or an other. (It really is not as scary as it looks). The emotions you are feeling are normal we have all felt them at one time. Sit back and take a deep breath. You can handle this, I promise. You just need to relax, step out and take things one step at a time. 

First things first. If you are new to homeschooling here is what you need to know.

  •  Know your states Homeschool Guidelines. How do I find my state guidelines? At the left side of this screen near the top of my page are dropboxese. Below the first set of dropboxes is a clickable map of the US. You can select your state there or click the attached link in this post to locate your state guidelines.  HSLDA - State Laws.  I highly recommend you printing them off and keeping them in a binder where you can access them as needed. I also recommend you follow your state Homeschool Advocates Group as well as follow the HSLDA for any legislation changes. 
  • I am withdrawing my child from school, what do I need to do?  If your child is being withdrawn from a public school, you will need to submit a letter in writing on your decision to withdraw and again depending on what your state requires you will need to make sure you are within guideline requirements.
  • Be in session the required amount of days your state has set. That does not mean run your school like a public school. Your in session days can be 4 days a week or 5 days. 4 Hours a day or 8 hours a day. Mon - Fri or Tues - Sat. You decide what works for your family.
  • KEEP RECORDS of your homeschool journey.

TIPS to help you make a smooth transition:
  • Whether your withdrawing your child or just beginning. I recommend you assess your childs learning ability. Do a Learning Style test to determine their learning style. Once you have learned their learning style you can take that next step and search your curriculum out. Now a days most curriculum will note which learning style the curriculum works best with. (Always incorporate hands-on-learning in every grade. I say that because kids burn out with constant drilling.) School should be engaging and fun a long with some structured drilling. Believe it or not most kids learn better being inviolved in the lesson.
  • If you are withdrawing your student, I recommend doing a placement test. Believe it or not their is a difference in the public school curric and homeschool curric. Years ago when we brought our then 4th grader home and tested her. She tested at a 3rd grade level for most of her subjects and 4th grade for a few. The school was preparing to pass her on to 5th grade. We were baffled. Come to find out that due to the statewide mandated ISTEP testing, the required grades would spend most of the school year recapping the previous year for ISTEP preparations. This explained why our daughter was testing at 3rd/4th grade levels and not 5th grade material. So when we brought her home to homeschool, we had to reevaluate our school year and purchase more curriculum. Yup our first year was not just panic because of the first year gitters. We had two grades to work on to keep her at 5th grade material.I was livid. Being a new schooler then I thought I had to cram it all in, in one year. I want to help you to be prepared so I recommend testing your children coming out of the public schools.  You can purchase tests online or test your student at a local tutoring center.
Once you know your students placement and learning style(s) you can begin to search out the curriculum that will best suit your students.
  • NOTE: WHAT WORKS FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S FAMILY DOES NOT GURANTEE IT WILL WORK FOR YOUR FAMILY!  We all can tell you what we recommend, how our agenda is set up, our schedule and so on. But the end result is you will have to find out what works for your family. That means you may be experimenting off an on through out your school year. You may get in a groove that works a couple years and then all of a sudden you have to do some adjusting and experimenting again. We all go through it this is nothing new. If you need a short break, take it. Sit back and evaluate where the struggles are and why? Make some changes and try it again.
  • If you are already homeschooling but struggling: Take a step back, break if need be. Reevaluate your school year and make some changes. There is nothing wrong with taking a break here or there.  Some times we all need to get a clear visual of our school year.
Most importantly breathe. Take things slow a step at a time and enjoy every moment of your kiddos.  

Related posts:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

One Holiday Down

So it has been a very long while. I had to step away to an other family member with ailing health and have recently decided things are slowing to normal again and I want to get back to my blogs. I have been over on my personal blog sprucing it up and journaling my last couple of years. Now it is time to get here and work on my school blog. I am still sharing on FB and will bring more sharing here again.

So let me see.. a lot has happened since the last time I was on. My oldest graduated and went to EMT schooling and graduated there. We went through a horrindous time of getting her a job dealing with discrimination which was against her State Homeschool Diploma. We got the HSLDA involved (I’ll share more about that in an other post.) In recent news my oldest got married 5 mos ago 😦. So now it is just my 3 little ones schooling. (11, 12, & 13 yo).  I have a lot of ideas for the blog to update and spruce it up. If ya have some thoughts feel free to toss em my way. I am back and glad to be back in a state of somewhat norm from all the chaos. I thought I would pop in over here right quick and get an update as I get thingd ready for a few changes. :)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. This year has literally flown by. Now it is time to get ready for Christmas. 😦 I am slighly ready. How about you?

- Homeschool101

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Homeschooling High School With College in Mind Review -- Good Book!

Homeschooling High School With College in Mind Review
book is by Betsy Sproger

Homeschooling through High School can be tough. Especially when you are preparing for the years after High School. Our family just came through this last year graduating our oldest. I remember thinking that over the last four years of high school I had a lot of unanswered questions. And oh them transcripts! Unending lists on advice with the do and don't. Then there is the other list that was jam packed with resources to check out, it would never end.. Oy! I was bombarded with endless nights of research, questions and stress worrying about what if I don't get this right. My daughter's future is at stake here!

To be honest, the research never ends when it comes to homeschooling. Youe constantly talking with other homeschool moms/dads who are more veteran then yourself. Reading countless books and blogs to see what they went through, how to do this or that, best advice for this or that. Hey, who ever said that Homeschool does not entail a lot or work? Your work never ends! It some sick sense, it is no different then a public school's work     in the sense that we are all working to help educate and make the future be brighter for our next generation of children. 

The best part about it is when other homeschool moms take the time to make resources available and better! In homeschool there is always room for trail and error. We all learn differently through similar to different circumstances. The one thing we all should remember is we are not the only homeschool family to ever face the homeschool struggles. We all have faced it or are facing it now and to know there is someone else out there that has or is experiencing it that is willing to share from their lessons learned - is truly comforting. Which makes this resource great! A fellow homeschool mom put all of her resources and best advice together for you here in her book: Homeschool High School With College in Mind.

What's inside?
  • Researching College Entrance Requirements
  • Planning High School with College in Mind
  • Choosing High School Curriculum
  • Assigning High School Credit
  • Making Your Transcripts (Calculating the GPA, etc)
  • Electives and College
  • Writing the College Essay
  • Course Descriptions and Reference Letters
  • Preparing your Teen for College Writing
  • Nature Study and PE

This book really is loaded with detail and great information that we all could use in planning and preparing the high school years. Honestly, why wait until your student is in high school to read what you need to know about the high school years and there after? I would definitely recommend this book for middle school parents to begin reading about what is to come for their student(s). If you student is planning on College this is a good start to help get you and them there. 

In the last year our oldest graduated and has begun her new journey. She has begun her next chapter advancing in to the medical field. That entails a lot of schooling. In reading this book I saw a few extra points that we had overlooked in our research for college. Trust me it is easy to over look some things so be sure to highlight or write down all the important details. Every College has their own set of requirements to attend their school. Every College will offer your student various electives and alternatives to help get them to their destination. 

In the requirements section she encourages families to ask the college ahead of time what their requirements are for homeschoolers. Don't just assume the noted requirements on their site is all that is required.  I second this. and I will tell you why in just a second. ]   
Most Colleges will have all the requirements noted on their site, even for homeschooler's. However, there are a handful that still have not set their requirements or just have not updated them for homeschooler's and other colleges that just simply don't have any extra requirements. Why would they have extra requirements for homeschoolers? To validate your homeschooler's transcripts, some will require a few extra requirements like non-homeschool assessments,(testing outside of the homeschool area, SAT, AP. ACT or CLEP Testing or GED scores), validation in 3 other areas like Math, Science and Foreign Language, taking courses at college. 

 [ Just my note on the GED: Unless you absolutely have no other choice, I recommend using the GED as a last resort. Our state is very good about keeping our homeschoolers educated on everything as it comes out. If your state has a special homeschool advocating group, follow them! A few years ago it came out the diplomas were going to be labeled. I strongly disagree with labeling of students. It is simply wrong. Unless this changes in the future, your student will be labeled on their diploma by their learning ability. The GED labels your student as a drop-out! Some will agree and disagree on this. But what we were told by our homeschool admin here within our state, is your student will be labeled a drop out and it could effect their applications for a job down the road and or what they will be qualified for doing. So please keep that in mind when you are deciding the homeschool diploma. I recommend a diploma over a GED any day just because of this new labeling system.]

Now I know I threw ya off there a sec with that last piece of information. Why did I agree so much with her advice on asking all questions ahead of time on requirements? A friend of mine was trying to get her student enrolled in to college and followed all of the requirements on their site up to the point of enrolling. When the college (unfortunately I can not remember which one she mentioned), was set to enroll her they paused her application because it was a homeschool app and they said they couldn't approve her until their board had set the appropriate requirements for homeschoolers. Really?! Well how long could that take? She said that they were willing to hold her app as long as it took to set requirements if need be. Yes, stuff like this still is happening today regardless of how many more opt to homeschool. She had to contact the HSLDA and get them involved to help her student get in to that particular college. In the end she was approved and the school ended up with little to no requirements added for homeschoolers. So it was a win win. But like the author mentions in this book, ask ahead of time just to be safe.

Another thing I want to add that relates to this a little is the applying for job. Another friend of mine had a student apply as a tech in a dentist office. When they asked for information and HS Diploma there were issues due to the diploma being an issued diploma from her family graduating her. This particular company had no idea about the homeschool laws and was quickly educated on them after her family contacted the HSLDA. Rest assured any policy for homeschoolers was quickly updated. So be advised that there are still scenarios today that every homeschooler needs to be prepared for be it graduation, college or just simply applying for that job. As far as I am aware of there is NO law stating you have to have a state issued diploma. At least that is the case for our state. You will need to check your state laws and legistlation. Some state homeschool groups offer a homeschool graduation. If that is so for your state then in my opinion I would recommend that you go that route. It is simple to sign your child up, he/she will recieve a state sealed diploma and your student gets to participate in the whole ceremony experience which is usually quite awesome because they state goes all out to make their day super special. Should you opt to make your students diploma, I recommend that you ensure your diploma is within the update state law requirements, also make your student a copy of the updated laws to keep with their diploma. The law requirements will note the requirements for the diploma. As long as your diploma is within the laws, no company can legally descriminate against your students diploma. All things that you want to pay attention to and be prepared for.  

Like you are already doing now for your homeschool and your student. There is much planning, preparing and researching entailed in the high school years. You will need an idea of how many credits will be required for College so you can plan your high school years to ensure your student gets all the credits needed to enroll. This is something that by now you should be pretty good at doing if you are a veteran homeschooler. If you are beginning your homeschool years in highschool this will be a new process that can be somewhat stressful but you can do this. If you are removing your student from high school to homeschool, then you would need to look over their transcripts and credits already earned and work from their to ensure they have what they need for college enrolling. Again, she notes in detail through out this section in her book. She will walk you step by step through the process and for people like me that is a godsend since I am a visual learner. I rather a picture be painted then a long detail of information crammed my way. So kudos to her for doing this..

She walks you through process of step by step planning your curriculum to reach your credit limit, to planning and making your transcripts, to college essay writing, college preparing, testing, requirements and lists an unlimited amount of resources through out her book to help guide you with a step by step approach from high school to college. This is one book I can honestly say that after walking away from reading it, I was not overwhelmed with everything I just read nor was it as stressful. Though we have already graduated one student, it has given me more to go on for my next three students to come. What things I didn't know before my oldest graduated, I either learned with my oldest or I just learned reading this book. 

Listen, I have reviewed and read plenty of homeschool books over the last 10+ years then some in my research to homeschool. There are some great authors and homeschool parents offering super good advice. But honestly, some books were more complex then they needed to be. Other books were so overwhelming with detail I walked away with my head spinning and unfortunately there were some that are just not as detailed, so you walk away with more questions. 

What I love about this book is she literally is walking the reader step by step through the process as well as showing the reader what their family did. This is not one of them books that is overwhelming because it is jam-packed. It really is a helpful and insightful book.

Lastly, if you look in the back of the book you will find that she has included blank forms that you could copy and print out or use simply as a go to resource to help you:
  • Plan your highschool years
  • Curriculum planning 
  • College entry requirements
  • Record planning
  • How to make transcripts and an ideal copy of transcript        as well as other forms that will prove to be useful for your homeschool journey.

With any review I do for any author, I always note the same advice that was given to me.
Always keep in mind that what works best for one family does not gurantee it will work best for yours! This is where you need to use your trial and error and find what will work best work for you and your family. Not everyone will be able to use the same curriculum, plan the same way or grad the same way. You will have plenty of room to rearrange your schedule and curriculum to find what works for you. Experiment if you need to, time is on your side. Just don't over do yourself always changing things up. The author is sharing with the reader simply what worked for her family to get through the high school years and work towards the planning and enrolling to College.

The information in this book especially on College is subject to change at any time. A reader with a student in the middle school grades could read this for their planning down the road and once they arrive to college the requirements might be different. I only point this out because I have always heard a handfull still walk away with the questions or assume things that were not so. Which is why I note that she is encouraging you to do your research ahead of time and ask questions before you get there.

I do recommend this book as a homeschool help aid to all homeschool parents, especially that of the middle school grades and up, to get your prepared for your high school years and college preparing. It is good to know ahead of time what challenges you could face and will face during these years of homeschooling.

~ If you would like a copy of this book, you can purchase it below at the noted links ~

This book is on sale and available right now for a limited time as ebook for $3.99, Please click here for the ebook version. 

If you prepare the hardback for the high-lighting, which I recommend, you can purchase it here for $7.19 (not including shipping.)  Please click here for the paperback version.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Clean up!

If you don't see a post your hunting for it Has either been moved or deleted. We are getting things ready for a new look and adding some changes. We ask for your patience as we begin the process of reconstructing this blog.  Regular posts will be updated at the FB page and more here after some changes are updated.

Thanks for your patience

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Planets In The News

If you haven't heard, until February 20th, providing clear skies

 Amateur astronomers will be able to view the following planets lined up together.

Beginning with the moon and ending with the sun:

[Moon]   Jupiter, Mars, Saturn Venus, Mercury   [Sun] 

Tip: Jupiter is the Brightest star to the left side of the moon.  Mercury is fairly bright to closest to the sun, but can be seen clearly before sunrise. The other planets are not quite as bright.

The visual is at a some what diagonal start across the upper southwestern sky.  

Beginning in the West with the Moon and ending at sunrise with the sun of course. 

Viewing: The best time to view is at or about an hour before sunrise to sunrise. Most viewers will get a view of all of the planets briefly and they will fade in the morning sky.

The last time this happened was in 2005. This occurance will happen again in August of 2016 briefly but it will be slightly harder to view all planets. This occurance is set to happen again in or around the year 2027.

You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to view this foramtion. This can be seen with the naked eye. However, you will have a spectacular view through a telescope or binoculars.

Some resources to bookmark for later:

Download the Night Sky App  [The may or may not offer a FREE version anymore]

Happy Star Gazing!