A sea of blue amidst the hills in Texas

Springtime in Texas is so pretty.

Fortunate for us, we home school, so taking time to actually stop and smell the flowers, is part of our science lesson plans. Our primary focus this year is to learn about the state we live in, visit places along our journey, and add some science and agriculture information!

One of my favorite things this time of the year, are the blue bonnets.

photo by josh: Texas boot

Scattered all along the road side, across the towns, and among the hills are the prettiest little blue flowers. These lupines are not just spotted here in Texas, but can be seen in many parts of the world. I just love that Texas has made sure to encourage the densely seeded landscape that blankets the hills so close to Austin.

Makes driving so much more pleasant. You almost don’t mind all the traffic.

josh took this one: that’s me, taking a picture…

I really don’t remember seeing this many wild flowers back home in Florida. And wildflowers are really important to our ecosystem. They’re not just there to look pretty. They help the bee population, which are useful for pollination of other plants, and to make honey.

photo by LP – honey bee at work

Of course we don’t just have bluebonnets dotting the roadside. So many pretty wild flowers blossom and bloom during springtime. There are fields with white poppies, red Indian paintbrush, wine-cups, pink primrose, yellow star, lantana and thistle. (just to name a few)

Since we’re trying to get outdoors a bit more, and enjoy this beautiful weather, we decided to take a little family road trip to visit some of the pretty bluebonnet fields. It was a great time, just chatting in the car and visiting a few small towns along the way.

Texas is so big and vast, there’s so much to see and experience. Definitely can’t see it all in a day! LOL

Along the way we spotted cattle, steer, longhorn and even spotted Bison grazing in a field next to a road stop. Of course we tracked a path to take a snap. Texas has so much farm and ranching land. I like to see the livestock out roaming. along the way we also got to see cattle roaming freely in the fields speckled with white and blue.

We each took many photos of different areas. Spent the majority of our time in an area called the Willow City Loop – Texas Hill Country Trail. It was a near perfect day. The weather was so nice, and we disconnected from our phones (except to navigate and snap pics), and experienced a lot of fresh air.

I’m hoping we can plan a few more days like this, now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit and the flowers are popping up.

Homeschool SPRING BREAK 2019

Spring Break is something ALL kids are excited about. Yes, even homeschool kids.

Many people think that homeschooling is just sitting around in your PJ’s all day playing video games with your on line friends.

Sure, for some homeschooling families, that’s life… but not us.

We’re pretty much focused on doing lesson plans, there’s 170 of them. Similar to a traditional school system. Our focus is on Reading, Writing, Math, Language Arts, and Spelling. History and science is usually covered in our reading plans. We’re also learning about our state, again, part of our reading lessons- and part of our “outings and field-trips”.

There’s a misconception that homeschoolers are “always on vacation” and that they don’t have to do any real work. Sure I’m not big on diagraming sentences, because that’s just ludicrous… I mean when are you going to be sitting around with friends, or at a job, and NEED to diagram a sentence? That’s just silliness; but the kiddo knows all the parts of a speech and can label the hell out of a sentence!

Do we have spring break? Well, sometimes yes, and other years no. It really all depends on what we have going on at the time. That’s part of the beauty of homeschooling, having the freedom to school when you want to, and to take time off when you need to.

This year, Spring Break 2019, the kiddo has been learning about the land and animals. She’s been spending time in the great outdoors, at a friend’s farm, helping out. So even though she’s getting “time off from schoolwork” she’s still working and having fun, it’s still a learning experience.

BONUS= fresh air and animals!

So, what do you do during spring break to keep busy, have fun and always be learning?

Homeschooling a Pre-teen

horseback riding and caring for animals

We’ve been home schooling since the kiddo was three. She’s never attended a traditional education environment, and hasn’t stepped a toe into a public school . We’ve always used our world around us as a constant stream of things to learn.

When the kiddo was younger, it seemed easier to find playdates, and have exciting activities during the day.

These pre-teen and teenage years are different. There’s time on the i-Pad, sourcing information, research and gaming on the computer and reading on the kindle. Kids are so much more tech savvy these days. And with that, they seem more immersed in the digital aspect of interacting and not the face-to-face.

We’re at a bit of a crossroads, where the kiddo wants more interaction, with other like minded kids, but this pre-teen age – most of here peers aren’t as socially prepared. It’s tough.

and yes, sometimes we manage to meet up at a park, and just be kids!

But we’re managing. We’ve found a good group of homeschool kids and are getting together bi-weekly to work on parent led projects.

At home we still focus on the important things. There’s Math and Language Arts, and Creative Writing, in our reading lessons we incorporate History and a bit of Science.

What’s been good about letting my pre-teen manage her learning style is allowing her to explore career ideas, and making good decisions on how to achieve them. We focus on the WHY it’s important to create better study habits, and WHY it’s important to learn certain lessons.

Presenting the WHY, has alleviated some of the less cooperative times when homeschooling “feels like work”. It’s all a bunch of building blocks, that are creating her foundation for the years to come.

If you have a teen or pre-teen homeschooler, what sort of activities do you do to balance your days between books and activities?