Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling: The Balloon Dog Lessons

  Carnival of Homeschooling: Balloon Dog Lessons

I happen to do at least one or two workshops every year teaching balloon sculpture. I've written about one of these workshops here. It occurred to me that the lessons I've learned from teaching balloon sculpture might be applied to homeschooling, so I'm using them as part of my carnival. After all, what's a carnival without balloon animals?


1~Remember to stretch first. Stretching the balloon prepares it for twisting and decreases the likelihood that it will break before you finish. Stretching our bodies and minds prepares us for the physical and mental stresses life brings our way. A stretch after we have been working out can add to our endurance and protect us from strain. A good stretch goes a long way toward our well being.

That mental stretch can come in the form of a professional development day. We don't always realize we need that stretch until we take it.  Tea Time with Annie Kate shares thoughts about the homeschooling conference she didn't want to go to in Wow, I'm Glad I Went to that Conference!

Would you like to attend a homeschooling convention? They can be useful if you prepare for them. Barbara Frank offers helpful tips in her post, Keys to a Successful Homeschool Convention Experience (Part 1).



2~Make sure you get enough air. Air can mean those deep breaths we take when we are feeling overwhelmed or fresh air from getting out and enjoying the natural world.

I usually get some air by gardening. The Homeschool Online Blog discusses Gardening as a homeschooling activity. They learned a lot about worm composting!


While you're out, collect some dandelions! Laura Grace Weldon shares a springtime ritual in Eat Your Dandelions. Recipe included!

After you weed your yard, why not do some planting? When Dimes2Vines was ready to transplant seedlings out of egg cartons, she decided to skip bigger pots and create a hot house instead. Learn how to build your own Homemade Hoop House.

Getting air is fun! Join How Do I Homeschool for a peek at Our Homeschool Day 4/5/2012


3~Sometimes we need help. That's what the air pump is for. Homeschoolers are a resourceful group. When we have trouble understanding things, we search out information and methods to make a difficult subject accessible.

Math is a subject I needed a lot of help to understand. Over eight years ago, Denise at Let's Play Math was part of a discussion group that was trying to deepen their understanding of math and learning how to better help their students. Now she is using what she learned to offer a series on teaching homeschool math in PUFM 1.0 Introduction. Learn about Profound Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics!

Speaking of math, visual aids are often helpful when explaining concepts. Consider the hyperbolic paraboloid. á la mode de les Muses posts about her mother's new instructional math video at Yes, My Mommy's on YouTube.


Helpful advice can come from asking questions. NerdFamily Blog gets lots of questions about children who don't like to read and how to change that. NerdMom discusses this issue in The Heart of the Matter.


Help comes in many forms. Sometimes it's armor. Nadene at Practical Pages shares a beautifully detailed Bible poster she created called Armor of God ~ Young Man.


4~Be flexible, but remember your limits. Everyone has a breaking point.
As homeschoolers, we are so used to being flexible. It is easy to suddenly find you filled your calendar with activities through June!


Sometimes that flexibility involves finding new ideas to keep things fresh. Mind Games has shown great flexibility as her daughter learns to read and now she is reaching out to the homeschooling community for suggestions of activities between reading sessions. Read about her search for refocusing ideas in You Tell Me: In-Between Activities.


Flexibility has its perks. Victoria at Den School considers all of the extra bonuses her homeschooling freedom has given her. Read about her Unexpected Homeschooling Perks and maybe add some of your own in the comments!

When you are not tied to a school's schedule, the possibilities are limitless. Henry Cate at Why Homeschool writes about a recent opportunity to attend a space conference with his fifteen year old daughter. She was given a wonderful experience, and it's all thanks to Flexibility and homeschooling.

 5~Pops happen. You know the feeling. Everything is going according to plan and then suddenly: POW! If we can depend on anything in life, it is that pops happen, and how we respond to them makes all the difference. In my balloon sculpture classes, I prepare my students for the inevitable pops by having a word for them to yell, like "Ole!" It turns a potentially frightening moment into a fun surprise.


Our Curious Home had a potentially frightening moment when they lost a needle at the park. Learn how they actually found the needle in the lawn (haystacks are made of grass, right?)

When that pop happens, it helps to learn everything you can about your situation. This is where being a homeschooler comes in handy. I believe we strive to understand and deal with life's pops. Balderdash and Blokus had to deal with a diagnosis of Crohn's disease.  Learn how they are dealing with it in Boys and Home Ec.


Pops can show our commitment to what we believe in. Spiral Goddess Home School shares her inspiring story of homeschooling while technically homeless. In her words, "Homeschooling starts at home; home is definitely where your heart is. My heart lies within my kids." Learn how she continues Montessori and Classical homeschooling in Secular Thursday: Homeschooling and Homelessness.

6~Don't be afraid to grab the balloon with two hands and twist. Think of this as a metaphor for living life your way. Deciding to go against the mainstream takes courage.  It helps if you give the balloon a little squeeze as you twist it. Think of it as hugging the balloon before you help it find its form. Maybe you do this with your children, too, lovingly guiding them along their educational path.

Homeschooling parents have a knack for facilitating learning. They are willing to step out of the box to help their children understand. Sometimes you have to learn with them. Parent at the Helm knows that the key to homeschooling success is that Homeschooling Parents are INVOLVED Parents.

It helps to have a plan. Or at least guidelines. Simply Convivial decided the best way to plan out her homeschooling year all at once. You can do it too with Homeschool Planning, a year at a time: Introduction.

Grabbing life with two hands can apply to ourselves as well as our family. My dream was to publish my comics and writing. As scary as it was, I figured out what I needed to do and did it. Dave the HomeSchoolDad has written a review of my book. Check out his No School Today? A Review. It made me blush. Thanks for your support, Dave!


7~You can't make a square with a balloon. Or can you? Some things are impossible. That doesn't mean we can't try to puzzle out answers! Sometimes the challenge is enough.

Puzzling out answers can lead to great adventures. Pamela at Escape is Possible decided to research Bigfoot. Her family began with a documentary. That led to a trip to visit Bigfoot territory. Read about their adventures searching for Bigfoot.

Homeschoolers come up with unique answers. How many times have I heard concerned acquaintances ask, "What about labs?" It's a puzzle that each homeschooling family figures out in their own way.  The Tiger Chronicle did their Lab session at the pet store! There are wonderful questions at the end to help your young scientists think more deeply about their observations.


8~You can make almost any 4 legged animal from a modified dog. Be creative.

The creativity of homeschooled children never ceases to amaze me. The Holistic Homeschooler interviews her daughter in The Face of Homeschooling: Interview with Alexis. Alexis is an artistic teen who enjoys the freedom of homeschooling.

What I love about creativity is that it inspires others to be creative. Nirvana Homeschooling has been making Paper Mâché Bluebirds! Want to make some too? You can find pictures and directions in the article.


9~It's hard to be sad when you have a balloon. Something about balloons captivates the imagination. Whether they are long, bendable balloons shaped into whatever the artist can create, or simply a brightly colored round balloon floating on a breeze, balloons represent a spirit that knows no limits.

It's also hard to be sad when you have a chance to be there for your child's accomplishments. In the words of Homeschooling in Buffalo, "money can't buy the great sense of joy that can be savored almost daily by homeschooling." She writes about Homeschooling: Endless Joy for Mom.

Have your child write about those accomplishments! Mel's Mouthful on Mothering shows you how to get your kids started on journaling with How to Journal: Get Ready. She continues with How To Journal: Create a Personal Profile.

Make sure you brush your teeth for that smile! NannyPro.com has 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Care for their Teeth.

Who knows where their accomplishments will lead them? Top Colleges Online presents 10 Incredibly Successful Business Leaders Who Were Homeschooled.

Thank you for reading this edition of the carnival! If you would like to participate in next week's Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted by Christine over at Our Curious Home, send your submission by 6pm PST Monday to CarnivalOfHomeschooling@gmail.com. (Check submission requirements here.)

15 comments:

  1. What a great theme! Good work! Thank you for including my post. :)

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  2. I love how you have tied all the different submissions together so smoothly into the main theme. What a fantastic idea! Thank you for accepting my entry. :-)

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  3. Wow, I am impressed, you did an amazing job of pulling it all together in such a delightful way!

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  4. What an amazing job you did with your theme! I'm going off to read the review of your comic book. :)

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  5. I'm going to enjoy strolling through these links. Thanks for including mine!

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  6. I love the way you use analogy - a great way to present the Carnival's contributors. Dave's review of your book made me cry. Wish I had time to go to all the links. Love, Mom PS What a gorgeous picture of Chase with the square balloon!

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  7. You are so creative! What a great way to organize the carnival. Thanks for hosting and for including my post :)

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  8. Cristina, I love your thoughtful, funny, sweet way of bringing all these posts together. Can't wait to peruse!
    And, congratulations on publishing your book! We love comics, and I've always loved yours in particular, so I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
    Thanks for continually inspiring me and making me smile, too :-)

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  9. Awwww, you are all making me blush! Thank you for your kind comments, and special thanks to those who contributed, because the carnival is made possible with your support!

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  10. Thanks for including my post.

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  11. Thank you, Jenny. I'm grateful that you took the time to submit it!

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  12. What a GREAT carnival. So creative and unique. I love it!

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  13. What a creative way to tie all the submissions together! Thank you for the time you spent and for including my post.

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I have not perfected my telepathy, so please tell me what you are thinking! Feedback helps me come up with new ideas for my comics and articles.

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