Category Archives: Homeschooling

Homeschooling. Getting started?

I was chatting with a friend today about getting started with homeschooling.

I was thinking of all the things that we tell people that want to start with homeschooling. You know, you start with the basics. The laws. The requirements. The curriculum.

What you don’t tell them is that often when you are 14 years into the journey or so, you sometimes feel like you are still just learning how to begin.

I haven’t been homeschooling that long compared to some moms that I know. But, since I am what is called a “Second Generation Homeschooler”, it feels a lot longer. Not only was I homeschooled, but I was an active participant in helping or teaching my siblings as well.

I think one of the best things I can say, is “You will mess up. You will spend all that money on a set of curriculum and sometimes it just does not fit with the way your child learns. Most days will not go as you plan. But the key here is that often you are homeschooling because it was what your child needed. If you are teaching him and educating, (I don’t mean the parents that claim to homeschool and really do nothing), you are doing what they need. It might not look like the pretty picture in your head, as your son is hanging upside down reciting his times tables. But keep it up.”

What is your mantra that you would tell someone that is beginning homeschooling?

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Filed under Daily Happenings, Homeschooling, MFW

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what–but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery.

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life.

My Review:

I was not sure how well I would enjoy this book as this time period has not always been my favorite. However, Angela Hunt did not fail me. She takes a time period that is often forgotten and brings it alive in a way that you want to read more about it. This book is not a “HEA” tale, but one of suffering, pain and turmoil, woven with the beauty of words.

I loved the midwifery angle that was put in the book as well, and struggled with the constant devotion to a friend that was not really a friend. In my own life, I have struggled with that, asking myself why I might stay loyal to a friend that has not returned the favor.

In this story of Cleopatra, it would be excellent for a student in high school to read. There is little to no romance in this book, but it does contain some harsher realities of the time period, but not in graphic detail.

This book was given to me for review by Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Homeschooling

A Week away…

It is always fun to get away from home at times. I live a high stress life, which is not always enjoyable for me. But it is not really something that is going to change very soon, so I seek out ways to help me to cope in the middle of it.

Every summer, for the last four years, we volunteer at a beautiful camp in the middle of the mountains just outside East Glacier in Montana. It is rustic, by many people’s standards, but for me, it feels a little like going home.  It has the conveniences that I wish I had when we lived without electricity. The generator is set up to the run the camp when needed, but is only on for brief moments and about an hour in the evening.

I love technology, but I also hate it at the same time. My job and how I make money is linked to it, so I cannot live without it, but I love being away from it all.

When I do not have to work and have the stress of daily life pounding on me, I get a lot of reading done!

The view from the cabin. We were up near the tree line, so most of the mountains were below us as well.

20155979_10210246747664929_5164266823872110304_n.jpg20229112_10210246747224918_4438296154974285741_n.jpgMy little bedroom set up and ready for reading and napping.

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One of the daily skits! 20228257_10210246746704905_2272606574586338845_n.jpgEach cabin put on a skit as well..

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Singing time is always exuberant! 20246468_10210246742184792_3497062737534175458_n.jpg

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One of the many meals we prepared! 20229288_10210246740904760_2541237538891886057_n.jpg

 

20245756_10210246741064764_599955545030869020_n.jpgSaying goodbye to the last camper before we headed out of camp!

If you ever want a great camp experience or volunteer experience, this is a good one!

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Filed under Daily Happenings, Homeschooling

Finally Focused by James Greenblatt M.D.

 

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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About the book:

Dr. James Greenblatt has seen thousands of children and adults struggling with the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and often irritability and combativeness. Rather than simply prescribing medication for their ADHD symptoms, he tailors remedies to his patients’ individual needs, detecting and treating the underlying causes of the disorder.

Finally Focused provides proven natural and medical methods to easily treat problems such as nutritional deficiencies or excesses, dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance inside the body), sleeping difficulties, and food allergies, all of which surprisingly can cause or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s effective Plus-Minus Healing Plan, parents will first understand the reasons behind their child’s symptoms, and then be able to eliminate them by addressing the child’s unique pattern of biological weakness. Adults with ADHD can do the same for themselves. And if conventional medication is still necessary, this integrative approach will minimize or even eliminate troublesome side effects. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s expert advice, millions of children and adults with ADHD finally will get the help they need to achieve true wellness.

My Review:

I was very skeptical to read this book as I have read many, “Cure ADHD” books. This one was different. In each chapter it laid out specific and scientific reasons why certain vitamins, diets and medication help ADD and ADHD. I found a couple of things in opposition to advice given in other chapters, like the one chapter on going gluten free and then the other chapter focusing on making sure they had enough carbs and grains. The gluten free chapter seemed more faddish than science, but since it was just one chapter, I could overlook it.
I did order a box load of vitamins and have not been able to tell if it is helping or not, but I liked how he gave instructions for a time table, even when talking about cutting out foods, that if it has not changed at this point, it is not that causing the issue.

I would recommend this book to any parent with a child or an adult with ADD/ADHD.

This book is available for purchase wherever books are sold and Amazon. “Finally Focused” It also comes on audio.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Spring Fling Learning

Spring Fling Learning
By Martha Artyomenko
Spring brings its own challenges to learning, but learning to roll with it and take advantage can help keep the learning happening when everyone wants to be outside.
-Garden planning: Pull out those seed catalogs, botany books and science books and work on planning even a container garden if you live in town. Start plants in the windowsill, visit a nursery, and investigate what is starting to blossom outdoors.
-Go for a hike. Hiking can invigorate the mind, and you can find local herbs, plants, and even bones to identify.
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-Do math, reading, writing outside on the picnic table. Have snacks in the sunshine on a warmer day. Sometimes I would even take reading books to the park and we would read on the bench and then play for a bit.  Speak as to why fresh air invigorates the mind as you play outdoors. If when you get home, see if you can find a book that speaks to the benefits and writing a paragraph or journaling in a nature journal about their experience.
-Take a walk to the library. If you don’t live close enough, park a bit away and walk. Go and explore the educational set ups they have and learn what they offer. Get some new books on topics of spring, art or other interests. It can freshen up your learning.  Often libraries will offer classes on topics that can relate to your way of living as well.
-Go feed the ducks at the park. First research the diet that a duck or geese should eat and bring food accordingly. Talk about fungi and algae while observing (from a distance) the pond, and germs around there. It is a good place to see it in action.  Refer to nature or science books that you have read to get the full impact of merging science with reality.
-Tea party on the porch or in a sunny window while you read aloud. They can drink tea or even color while listening. Other times, we would build legos or work on handwriting.
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-Try some new ideas that are fresh for learning.  It might mean putting the books aside for a day and saying, “Let’s bake today. If we triple this recipe of Banana bread, how many loaves will we have?  How much butter will we need? Can we bake it all at once?”
Banana Bread (made with coconut sugar)
Yield: 2 loaves
3 c. flour (Whole wheat or white)
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
2 eggs
2 c. mashed ripe bananas
3/4 c. coconut sugar (or you can use regular white sugar)
1/2 c. cooking oil (I could have added more banana or applesauce for this, but I did not this time, if you wish to cut back and use fruit from your own garden, applesauce works well)
1 t. vanilla
Mash bananas well. Add dry ingredients and then rest of wet ingredients. Mix well. Divide between two baking loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes apx. at 350 degrees. Let cool before slicing. It was plenty sweet, and I would probably cut the coconut sugar back more if you do not mind it not as sweet.
Homemade Ice Cream can be another fun science in action treat to try. If you have an electric churn is is very simple, but a hand churned ice cream maker is even better. 
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-Audio history, science and fiction novels in the car. It keeps their brain churning even when not doing school.   
Here are a few of our favorites:
The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett (I especially liked this one when we were studying gardening as it brought the love for the earth, growing things and being outdoors to life).
These are just a few ideas for spring or summer learning for those that homeschool. It can add a fresh start to your homeschool day.

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The Power of Story

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What makes a story come alive? Is it the author? The genre? If the facts are true or false?

What is the power of story?

For me, the power of story is whether or not you can place yourself inside that story and live it. It doesn’t matter it is fiction or non-fiction, but the power of the author to draw you in and make you live it.

Were you there?

 

History is full of people’s stories. It is the story of the human race. We have long relegated it to textbooks, that detail the facts in a matter of fact way. But take those same facts, give the people a name, create a picture of the place they lived and we live it.

One of the most powerful tools in our possession is well-written, accurate historical fiction. Non-fiction is essential as well, but fiction has the power of story. It gives us the ability to place ourselves in the place of the main character and we live it with them. Instead of being told what someone else experienced, we live it.

We call this “Living History Books”. It is one of the most incredible tools at our disposal as homeschool parents and teachers. Schoolteachers have been using this for years, but over time, it took a lot of time and effort. When time is a commodity this often falls to the wayside. Historical fiction is used, but the textbooks replace it for the majority of the teaching.

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Hands-on learning is wonderful, but it takes times as well. For mothers that even are homeschooling, they find that they just don’t have the time to create that. Teachers in classrooms can do it somewhat, but then also, they run out of time to do it all the time.

The key here is they do not have to. They can give the students the tools to experience it themselves. If you give a child a stack of living books, historical fiction that makes the eras come alive to them, along with the history books, the biographies, and documentaries each one will be like they are living it themselves.

They will see themselves traveling the Oregon Trail with the Donner Party, because they have lived it with the Whitman’s, The Sager’s, and the Singing Boones. They know that some of them are fictional characters, but they also know who were the real ones. They feel like they walked through the desert, lacking water, their eyelids swelling, and feeling the taste of sand on their skin.

Their bodies know the pain that they suffered because they connected with a character, whom they lived and walked the trail with.

When the power of story is used in a positive way, it can give our children the heart to learn the stories of the past. When we teach our children the stories of the past, they will learn from it and want to prevent the suffering of the future.

So many times I have seen people, with good intentions scoff at the reading of historical fiction. They insist that too much of it will confuse the facts.

I have never found that while reading a fiction story, that I am confused about the facts. Instead, when I finish, I love reading the authors notes about what was real, where she researched, how he found this story, and what documents they went to while writing.

I end up finding myself researching the history, and looking for the tidbits on the trail of knowledge.

I remember after reading a book by Elizabeth Camden, Against the Tide, coming across an ad for syrup that was mentioned in the book. I ended up researching the facts told in the story. It was based on the facts of how orphans, in order to keep them docile, were given a cough and headache medicine commonly available at that time. What was not widely known was that it contained opium. It kept the orphans weak and docile, but also made them drug addicts. The story is well written and you see the other side of drug addiction, from an orphan, as she is grown.

Historical fiction, which is well written, teaches history in a way that no textbook alone can ever do.

Here are a couple of ways you can get the most out of your reading time for learning and loving history:

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  • Always check your facts.
  • Read several stories and opinions on the time period
  • Don’t isolate yourself to one author, explore several.
  • Certainly do not restrict yourself to encyclopedias and biographies. While a great way to learn, you need to live the story.
  • Find out the characters in the book were based on real people. Learn more about those people and how well the author did telling their story.
  • Talk to others about the story, the time period and explore if you can get them excited about it as well. If you can live the story and retell it to someone else, the book has done its job.

 
If you would like lists of books that are great historical fiction without worrying about content, check out my book list option links. I will send you lists of books that will meet your needs and help your students get excited about history.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Using Games in your Classroom

Are you tired of the same old math drills? Phonics worksheets got you down? Your students can’t figure out how to tell time because they can’t sit still long enough to do it?

 

Try some of these ideas to spice up the school day!

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It can be a fun thing to add something to your school day with games. It doesn’t always make it easy, but it can add some diversion in a mundane school day. Another thing that it can do, is teach lessons to reluctant learners without them realizing they are actually doing school.

There are many ideas on the links as well as several of my own.

 

 

Math Fact Race

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • chart paper
  • markers or crayons

Lesson Plan

Before the Lesson

Create on the board or on chart paper a grid numbered across 1 to 9 and down 1 to 9. The grid’s squares should be large enough for students to write a readable number in.

The Race

Arrange the class into two or more teams and provide each team with a grid sheet. Decide whether you want students to practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts in this game of speed. When the chart is set, say “Go!” One person on each team races to the board and fills in any square on the math facts grid. For example, if you are reinforcing addition facts, the student writes the number 6 in the square at which the 4 column and the 2 row meet (4 + 2 = 6).

Emphasize that it is important for all members of a team to watch what their teammates write. If any student on either team sees a mistake made by a teammate during the game, he or she can use his/her turn to correct that error.

 

If you make this a “quiet game,” it will hold down the “ooooo’s” that are sure to signal an error, and also further emphasize the importance of team members paying close attention to one another.

The first team to fill in all the squares on their grid is the winning team if all the answers on their chart are correct.

Extend the Lesson

Use the completed charts to reinforce the concepts being taught. For example, if you use this game to reinforce multiplication facts, you might emphasize how the charts show the pattern made by the 5 tables or 7 tables.

Assessment

The first team to fill in all the squares on their grid wins — if every answer on their chart is correct.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

Multiplication Bingo

Brief Description

Adapt the BINGO game to reinforce multiplication table skills.

Objectives

Students will

  • play a game of BINGO that requires them to accurately compute math facts.

Keywords

multiplication, multiplication tables, times tables, BINGO, game

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

Lesson Plan

Provide each student with a Multiplication BINGO card. Provide students with the answers to the multiplication fact cards you will show them and let them arrange those numbers randomly on their BINGO cards.

 

Alternate Idea: Involve Some Critical Thinking

If your students have a fair grasp of the multiplication tables, tell them which times tables the game will be based on and let them write on their cards the numbers that might be called out in the game. For example, if you tell them that the Multiplication BINGO game will be based on the 4, 5, and 6 tables, then they will have to figure out which numbers they should not write on their cards — numbers such as 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 19 since those are not solutions to any of the math facts that comprise the 4, 5, or 6 tables.

 

As you can see, the game gets more interesting as students learn more math facts. Eventually, you might plan a Multiplication BINGO game in which the entire range of math fact families — from the 2 tables to the 12 tables — is included.

Prepare a set of cards containing the math facts you’ve based this game on. Write one math fact problem on each card. Shuffle the cards. Draw and read or show the cards to students, one card at a time. As you show a card, students must do the math and put an X through the number that represents the answer if it appears on their Multiplication BINGO card.

Who will be first to call out BINGO? Verify that student’s victory by checking the math facts called out against his or her card.

After a player calls out BINGO, you might keep the game going until you learn which player will be the first to fill up his or her entire Multiplication BINGO card.

 

 

 

http://www.positive-parenting-ally.com/fun-math-games-for-kids.html

 

 

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/fire-hose-fact-practice-game/

http://www.mathfilefoldergames.com/middle-school-math-games/

File Folder Math Games for Middle SchoolIMG_3980.JPG

Grab a deck of flash cards. For every answer they get right, they get to shoot a basket in the basketball hoop.

 

Ask questions and have the answers in chalk on the fence, have them use a water gun to shoot the answers off the fence.

 

Draw a big clock on the driveway, use sand tools to make hands. Count by fives by jumping from number to number. Have the children manipulate the hands and set the time for you as you read them to them.

 

Multiplication Hopscotch can be a fun way to practice facts when they need to move and learn. Do skip counting. 6, 12, 18, 24 etc.

 

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/24927/cool-math-games-3

 

Tape the skip counting numbers for multiplication on pieces of paper with a hand print on them, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and so on. Then tape them going up on stair steps so they can place their hands on them as they walk up the stairs.

 

You can learn on the trampoline as well. You can use it as a clock, or write on it with sidewalk chalk the letters of the alphabet. Spell words and have them jump to the correct ones that spell the word. No trampoline? You can use tape with the letters on them or pieces of paper in the living room.

 

http://www.blessedlearners.com/100-free-board-games-for-learning/

 

 

 

You can fill plastic cups and mark it with fractions, 1/3. ¼, ½, and the like. Make enough of each to equal a whole of each fraction and have them match them up.

 

Lego Games for Kids

http://jdaniel4smom.com/2015/02/lego-fraction-games-kids.html#_a5y_p=3324808

 

 

Math Game Stations

http://www.teachingwithsimplicity.com/2015/03/family-math-night-for-big-kids.html

 

Fraction Game similar to Spoons

http://games4gains.com/blogs/teaching-ideas/41499524-equivalent-fractions-game-of-spoons

 

Equivalent Fraction board Game

http://deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com/2015/04/equivalent-fractions-missing-numerator.html

 

Skip Count with Legos

What you need is two different color Lego’s, about 10 of each color. If you have more of one color than the other that’s fine. Take your Lego’s and place than in two piles separated by color. For our lesson, we used green and white. You can substitute for what color you want.

 

Take your Lego’s and stack them green/white/green/white/green/white. First count to six while pointing at your individual blocks. Then count again but only pointing to the Green utilizing the skip count method. Explain to your child the white blocks are still there but since we are counting the green, we are counting faster. We know the blocks are there but because of that we can count twice as fast!

http://thefragglemomma.com/homeschooling/pre-k-homeschool-ideas/how-to-teach-skip-counting-using-legos/

 

Parts of Speech bag game. Make two paper sacks with Nouns, Verbs etc. on the outside and then write nouns and verbs on cards and sort them in the bags.

 

Card Game flip- Use any pack of cards and flip over two. You can add or multiply them times each other. You can have a competition over how many they can get with a timer.

I suggest to make a Math tub, Reading tub, and others for the age groups you need. I had one for preschool, K-2 and one for 2-6th grade etc. Then when you need games to add to your learning, you pull out those tubs with your supplies ready to go and it requires less brain power from you.

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Supplies:

Decks of cards – Dollar store

Dice

Timers

Yahzee pads

Game markers can all be found at the Imagintion Station

Laminator from Amazon or Paper Chase laminates large file folders for game boards.

Laminator for $25-  http://amzn.to/2czR6VM

Laminating pouches- $12.50 for 100 http://amzn.to/2c6fn4q

Games you can buy:

 

Great States Scramble

http://amzn.to/2bWn1nx

 

Junior Boggle

http://amzn.to/2bWmyBT

 

Scrabble Junior

http://amzn.to/2czOs2k

 

 

Sum Swamp Game- For K-1

http://amzn.to/2c5800a

 

Rory’s Story Cubes

http://amzn.to/2bWngPo

 

 

Money Bags Game 5+

http://amzn.to/2c0XKDw

 

For Spelling:

 

Scrabble- Ages 7 + http://amzn.to/2bWBnQL

 

Yahzee – 5+ http://amzn.to/2bWC78o

 

Busy Bag Ideas for K-2 Math and Reading

These were like the ones I had in the large box that I brought to class. Remember that the easiest way to collect a bunch of these is to do an exchange. You can use these plans to set up your own. There are hundreds of ideas for busy bags, boxes and file folder games online though.

http://unsolicitedadvice-n-such.blogspot.com/2011/09/math-and-reading-activity-swap-sign-up.html

 

http://unsolicitedadvice-n-such.blogspot.com/2011/07/k-2nd-gr-busy-bag-swap.html

 

Pinterest Board with Game ideas:

https://www.pinterest.com/mattie89/homeschool/

I have many other boards with lots of homeschool ideas as well to browse.

 

Organizing – Life as a Mom Planner

 

http://fishmama.com/product/organizing-life-as-mom-2016-2017/

 

The top one for $9 is the regular organizing planner and the second one is the Homeschool add on pack.

 

http://fishmama.com/product/olam-homeschool-pack-2016-2017/

 

Educational Apps

If you would like them on Apple devices, go to the app store and look them up by name and you can find them as well. This is only the tip of the iceberg, all you have to do is put in math learning, or phonics and hundreds pop up.

 

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-best-educational-apps-android/

 

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-educational-apps/

 

http://www.familyeducation.com/fun/mobile-apps/21-free-educational-apps-kids

 

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/google-android/best-kids-apps-2016-best-apps-for-children-ipad-iphone-android-3464905/

 

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/best-apps-for-kids-ages-5-8

 

 

Stack the States

http://amzn.to/2czNe7e

 

Math Apps

http://amzn.to/2bWmgeb

 

 

Reading Eggs

 

http://amzn.to/2bWnZQE

 

 

Monopoly on Kindle

http://amzn.to/2czNQK8

 

Blank foam dice

 

http://amzn.to/2bWnZQE

 

Minecraft Math Coloring book

 

http://amzn.to/2c68iRR

 

Those are just a few of the things we discussed in our class on games for learning! I hope this inspires you to go home and make or utilize some of the games you have to teach your children.

 

Here is a link to some more technology based resources as well.

https://homeschooling4boyz.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/technology-friend-or-foe-using-it-to-your-advantage-in-homeschooling/

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MFW-Creation to Greeks Week 1

This school year has been challenging. There has barely been time to breathe and live, let alone prepare for another school year.

I made the decision that we will be focusing on language arts and math, so while we are doing Creation to Greeks for history, it is going to be the enhancement of our school.

First of all, my living room looked like a tornado went off, as I pulled boxes out of old school papers, student sheets, photos and other things. It is amazing how much stuff can accumulate.

6th Grade- 

Math-Teaching Textbooks

Math Drill-Flash cards, Market Math and Times Tales

BJU English

Explode the Code

MFW Creation to Creeks

Apologia General Science

365 writing journal

8th grade

Math- Teaching Textbooks

Times Tales

BJU Writing and Grammar

MFW Creation to Greeks

Apologia General Science

365 Writing Journal

10th grade

Math-Teaching Textbooks

Ed Ready Math

Checkbook math

BJU Writing and Grammar

MFW World History and Literature

Apologia Biology

Italian

12th grade

Algebra 2

Consumer Math

Anatomy and Physiology

College Prep writing

Public speaking

American History

Singing

Russian

 

First day is done, and I am ready for the challenge of the year.

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Busy, Busy, Busy…

It seems life tends to go in spurts of busy times. For us, this is a very busy time. Generally, in May, I have a chance to breathe and relax. School is mostly over, but not this year. I have been contemplating when I will have time to fit my breakdown in.

It sounds funny, but  really, I just don’t have time to schedule it in.

We have sports that consume the first half of the school year and then the theater consumes the other half. This fulfills our P.E. and Fine Arts credits, which we use for school, but it takes a lot of time and effort. The other time, we fit in all the other subjects, but like this week, they seemed to conflict an awful lot and we were working on learning on the road. I had a son that was sitting and staring at a vocabulary worksheet blankly for almost an hour. He was worn out, tired and just could not think.

We spent today working on catch up and I am not sure if any of it sunk in, but hoping so.

We had a snafu with math with computer glitches earlier in the year, so we are still working away on math and will be hitting it harder and harder in the next while. In the last calendar year, so far, we have had three deaths in the family, or near family. We may have a fourth soon and it is hard to emotionally prepare.

This was one of the scenes from the play we were in…

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Homeschooling…when we don’t want to.

“But I hate this!”

“This is so boring!”

“This book is too hard.”

“What a dry book. I don’t want to read this anymore.”

 

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You hear complaints from your kids like that? I am sure some moms do. For me, I have heard these complaints from homeschool moms so many times lately.

“We hate such and such assigned book. It is boring, not interesting, and we didn’t want to read it, so we moved on to something we liked better.”

In theory, that sounds good. We should enjoy reading, find enjoyment in our schoolwork and all that. But when you dig a little deeper, it gets a root of a severe problem in the homeschool community.

School is still school. If we use living books to teach it, there will be books we do not like or enjoy. If you are reading a book for pleasure, and hate it, set it aside. There are plenty of other great books out there. But when it comes to school, it is different.

In displaying the attitudes that I list in the comments above, we pass those on to our children, our students. We teach them that if the textbook is too dry, too hard, too boring, it is okay to not do it. While there can be reasons to set aside a book that is a struggle to learn from, the other lesson we are teaching is a very bad one.

When someone is difficult or hard, it is okay to not persevere.

The biggest lesson I have had to learn as a homeschool parent is perseverance. I don’t always feel like teaching school. I don’t feel like reading a book that I don’t like as well as the next one.

I have had to get creative. I use Audible a lot. It really helps me and I find the boys do not complain about a book when they get to listen to the book while doing something else they enjoy. It ends up giving the feelings of enjoyment, and they are learning at the same time.

I would love to encourage mothers or fathers that are teaching, don’t teach your children to not challenge themselves. I have seen those students as they grow up, that were not challenged to read books that they did not enjoy. It is not a pretty picture. It is the generation of homeschool mothers and fathers that are encouraging stimulation at every turn.

When we seek to make everything “fun”, “Hands on” and “exciting” which are all good things, we can end up taking away valuable lessons for them as well. Patience, perseverance, endurance and most importantly, the lesson of pushing through when life is hard.

I have met people that when life is hard, they give up. Physically, mentally or emotionally. There are times when our bodies cannot handle the stress that is placed on it, but I am more talking about small stressors.

I learned something about our bodies, that if our mothers were stressed while we are pregnant, our placenta gives them the hormones and levels they need to function in a higher  stress lifestyle once they are born as well. If we never push our children or ourselves outside our comfort zone, our bodies never will be pushed to give us the supplies we need to deal with real stress when it comes. Everyone will have stress at one time.

An important lesson in school, that we can teach our children is pushing through when we don’t want to. This might mean reading that Dicken’s novel you hate, (Great Expectations was my nemesis). Or it might mean that you approach it with a lateral decision.

“Kids, this is not my favorite book. What do you think? Should we push through and see what we can get out of it or should we find another one that teaches the same thing?”

I remember a book assigned for the year that I totally disliked. I felt it was poorly written and just a dud. I pushed through and read it all and wouldn’t you know, that was their favorite book we read all year.

Your attitude about a book rubs off on your children. If you complain about reading a book, they will likely not enjoy it. If you get into it and make the boring book interesting, they will enjoy it.

Just to close, as an example, I had a young woman that taught us a couple days a week growing up. Schoolbooks were scarce and she had to use what we had. She had one of the worst science textbooks I have ever seen. It was the top level of boring. Wouldn’t you know, that somehow, through her enthusiasm and joy about the topics, made that science year the most fascinating of my elementary years. Your attitude will make a difference.

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