AUG
12
2014

Anatomy of a Homeschooling Room

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With the homeschool year starting again for us, I wanted to share some room organizing ideas with you all. I’ve previously shared my homeschool room in great detail and you can see those posts here. I even did a Homeschool Room Video Tour if you’re so inclined and have about 10 minutes to spare. But today I wanted to just highlight some of the key components of our homeschool room. Not because I think you need a dedicated homeschool room, but because I think there are definitely some important elements that will aid whatever area you’ve set aside for your educationally focused family. Is that the new politically correct term for homeschooling? “We’re educationally focused”. I don’t know. Anyhoo…I have a couple of ideas I wanted to share with you to help you get your homeschooling groove on!     1. Work Space. No matter where you choose to do school, your children will need some sort of decent space to work. This includes laying out books, … [Read more...]

AUG
11
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschooling an Only Child

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling an only child.   Sometimes when we think of homeschooling, we envision a larger family. But that’s just a stereotype; there are many families who  homeschool an only child. One thing I’ve learned over the years, is that homeschooling families are as diverse as the world we live in! Don’t be intimidated by the size of your family, large or small, you can homeschool if you are committed! Not only do you have the added benefit of truly being able to tailor your curriculum to your child, but your child will also benefit from one-on-one teaching. And since you only have one student, you’ll most likely find you can finish school a little faster than most which gives you a lot of opportunities to add in fun activities like field trips, and other hands on projects! It also gives you time to participate in other homeschooling groups which I’ll talk about below. I know … [Read more...]

AUG
04
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschooling on a Budget

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I’m back today with another helpful Homeschooling 101 post.  We’ve talked all about getting started, choosing and gathering curriculum, homeschooling through various grade levels, and today we’re talking about homeschooling on a budget.   Homeschooling is flexible in so many ways, and that includes budgetary concerns. There are many options for homeschooling on a budget. Here are some things to consider when creating a homeschooling budget: Curriculum (most likely the greatest expense) Testing Fees Printing or Copying Costs Building a Home Library School Supplies Extracurricular activities or lessons Annual State Conventions Technology Aids There are so many ways to save money and homeschool successfully. Below I’ve listed a few ideas to help get you started! Use your library Not only does the library have an expansive selection of materials, it can be successfully used to build an entire curriculum if you take the time. Along with books, … [Read more...]

JUL
28
2014

Our Curriculum Choices: 2014-2015

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Hi everyone, it’s that time of year again! And I’ve been getting tons of emails asking what we’ll be using for our 2014-2015 school year! So without further ado, here are our curriculum choices for the 2014-2015 school year.   Teeny Tot: Kindergarten Daily Learning Notebook: I'm mixing pages from my elementary and preschool notebook this year so she can write her own calendar numbers. Art: World’s Greatest Artists 2 and See the Light Art DVDs Phonics/Reading:  K4 Curriculum, Abeka K5 Letters & Sounds, Phonics Road Level 1 (A new product we’re reviewing!) Logical Thinking: Abeka K5 Think and Learn Math: Math U See Primer & Spielgaben Bible: Picture Smart Bible (Trying new this year), Grapevine Traceable Units P.E.: Family Time Fitness Other: We will be doing The Middle Ages by Homeschool in the Woods this year, and the Teeny Tot will be participating in the fun crafts and activities that go along with that, though she won’t be expected to do any … [Read more...]

JUL
21
2014

Homeschooling 101: High School

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling through highschool.   Homeschooling through the upper grades can be an overwhelming and intimidating thought that can create alarm in some of the most relaxed homeschooling parents. So I wanted to start off this post by encouraging you. YOU CAN DO IT! Aside from the academics required, your primary goal is to prepare your student for their adult life. Homeschooling can help continue to build a bond with your student, and cement your relationship during a tumultuous time in their lives. Having a parent they can count on for training and sound advice will have eternal rewards when it comes to their future. Homeschooling through high school can also allow students to experience more things without the confinements of a classroom setting. You’re free to get out and actually participate in various things that interest them, along with learning in a more hands-on fashion. You … [Read more...]

MAY
26
2014

Homeschooling 101: Babies & Toddlers

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Today we’re talking about homeschooling with babies and toddlers in tow. I know this can be a challenging time, and I encourage you to set a schedule that works for your family during this time. Don’t worry about what other families might be doing!   Homeschooling with babies and toddlers in tow is a common occurrence for homeschoolers. And while it can be slightly daunting trying to teach math while nursing a baby, and trying to occupy a busy toddler, I can assure you it can be done. As mentioned previously, flexibility is a key point in homeschooling. Depending on the year, school might need to be arranged to fit the needs of the younger ones in your home. Here are some tips and tricks to homeschooling with younger children in your midst. Include your toddler I know it might sound crazy, but my number one tip to homeschooling with toddlers is to include them in your lessons whenever possible. Even … [Read more...]

MAY
19
2014

Homeschooling 101: Standardized Testing

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It’s that time of the year again! Time for the dreaded  T E S T I N G. So for today’s Homeschooling 101 post, we’re going to dig into the details of standardized testing and homeschooling! Are you excited? You should be because I’m here to encourage homeschoolers everywhere! Testing isn’t as bad as you think, and YES YOU CAN DO IT!   As with everything, you’ll want to start by checking your state requirements to determine if standardized testing is required. Some states offer testing or yearly assessments which are less stressful for the student, so it is good to know what your requirements are. I prefer to test regardless of my state requirements because I use the tests to gauge how well my students are doing. We choose to test annually starting in 2nd grade. In my state testing is required starting in 3rd grades and every odd grade after that. I begin in 2nd grade to give my students a “trial run” test. This allows them to get used to the test itself as … [Read more...]

MAY
12
2014

Homeschooling 101: Discipline

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I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! These posts are for people who are thinking about homeschooling but don’t know where to start. They’re all about sharing information on getting started, choosing curriculum, organizing your home, and staying the course! Today we’re going to talk about homeschooling and discipline. Discipline can be a touchy subject, and so I’ll share how we do it, but please feel free to use whatever works best in your home and with your family. The key to discipline in your homeschool is to be consistent. Reward good behavior, and have consequences for poor choices.     Homeschooling is a very exciting and scary venture for most parents. And once we get over the scary part, we move into the excited phase! We pick our curriculum, organize school areas, get new supplies, and have an overall sense of thrill for our first day of school. Our children are often just as excited as we are about a fun new year! However, as … [Read more...]

MAY
05
2014

Homeschooling 101: Teaching Multiple Grades

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Today we’re going to talk about the inevitable teaching multiple grades all at the same time. It’s one of the biggest challenges in homeschooling, but fear not, it can be done!   Four children = Four Grade Levels Oh My! Depending on your homeschooling family, you may find yourself needing to teach more than one grade level simultaneously. While this may seem like an overwhelming situation, with a little preparation and patience you can successfully teach multiple grades. Here are some tips to teaching multiple grade levels at the same time. As most of you know, we have four children, and this year has been the first year that I’ve really had four different grade levels going all at once. I’m not gonna lie to you, it can slightly overwhelming! But with a little prep work and a few tips from this veteran homeschooling mama, we can make it work!   Group Work: I suggest that you try to do as … [Read more...]

APR
22
2014

Ham and White Bean Soup Recipe

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with an easy recipe for you!   Every now and then we make a spiral sliced ham for dinner, and for a long time, I just tossed the left over bone with all of that meat on it. I never could get it all off. ugh. Anyway, I’ve finally come up with a really easy and delicious Ham and White Bean Soup recipe to use up that left over ham! Interested? Read on…     Ingredients Leftover ham bone (with ham on it) 16 oz. bag of northern white beans 1/2 sweet onion finely diced Optional: diced carrot and celery (or any other veggie you like in your soup) Optional: 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar Directions: Place ham bone and beans into a stockpot and cover with water. Simmer all day on low heat. Add your onions and other veggies about 1 hour prior to eating so they cook until soft. If you want a little fresh kick to your soup add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar right at the very end. That’s it! No kidding, just put the … [Read more...]