Wiki Loves Monuments Contest

Until the end of this month Wiki is running a contest inviting people to submit photos of local monuments here in the US. Here's the link: Wiki Loves Monuments. There will be cash prizes and winners will be automatically submitted to the international competition. They're also encouraging people to do research and contribute to articles. Sounds like a great homeschool project to me! Honestly, sometimes the pictures I see submitted on wiki articles are dreadful and inaccurate, so this is a great way to up the ante. Yay, Wiki! If you do submit pictures, or your kids do, I'd love to hear about it and see them! Either comment here, or email me.

Homeschooling Memories and Records

In a homeschooling group I'm in one of the Moms was excited to report that her little guy had just gotten his first library card (otherwise known as his ticket to the Universe!). She's a happy, proud, and nervous first time homeschool mom, so when I said 'Be sure to take a picture of him with it', she admitted she hadn't thought of doing that. So I'm telling the rest of you: Take Pictures! There's about 173 bajillion websites (conservative estimate) to tell you all the technical stuff of how to take a beautiful picture, how to process this and that to 'make it pop' and all that jazz. Those pictures are really awesome to hang on the wall, you'll love them for years to come, but the pictures you'll get out at holidays and reunions that will get your kids giggling and saying 'Oh Yeah! Remember when we...' are the snapshots of the silly stuff they did, or working together on projects, or with their friends on field trips. The pictures that will bring a tear to your eye as a mom, because you'll wonder how that big guy with a fiance on his arm was ever the cute little kindergartner who was sooo proud of his new backpackSooo proud of the new backpack for kindergarten that he wouldn't take it off!             But do you remember when your little one finally learned to write his own name? We do... well, outside of the practice sessions in sharpie on the backs of doors, the bedroom dresser, the garage walls... You get the picture. Especially if you're a parent.Levi learns to write his name ;^) I've got a million more. Or maybe I should say megabytes more... Every school project, every field trip, and action shots of them playing sports and getting dirty. The time they held hissing cockroaches at the science center (I know, EWWW, but they're boys), stacking books to represent the heights of different mountains, making model airplanes, playing at concerts, and various science projects, as well as Luke's senior project rebuilding an old Chevy truck. Hey, moms, you don't have to hang onto every art project your kids ever made, just take pictures with the kids holding them, and maybe some while they're at work with their cute little tongues sticking out! Besides the fun memories, the other part of this is that a significant part of homeschooling involves keeping records of what you did and that you did it in order to fulfill your legal obligations. That can turn into a hefty amount of paperwork in a few years. If you scan it or digitize it by taking pictures, there's your proof, along with your journals (you keep a journal, right??). Honestly, I never had anyone ask me for anything, but I've got it all if I need it, and can slap it onto a nice little thumbdrive for any official that may want it. Two birds, one stone. And lots of great memories. 🙂 Save your time for teaching and enjoying learning together, not spending all your precious time filling out paperwork and organizers Cheryl. Have fun