APR
07
2014

Homeschooling 101: First Day of School

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Storage Solutions and  Organization. And today we’re going to talk about the inevitable FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!   Once your curriculum is ordered, lessons are planned, the work area is organized and ready, it’s time to start school! Typically students and teachers are excited for the first day and it’s no different in your homeschool. To help foster our excitement I let students help to set up the school room, purchase supplies, and organize their work area. Once it’s officially time to start school, everyone is excited and ready to go! Some people like to start school on a Wednesday, so they’re only doing three days the first week, then break for the weekend, and then start in on Monday with a full week of lessons. I typically start on Monday, but keep the first day light and fun. Remember, there is not one “right” way to homeschool, and what works for one … [Read more...]

MAR
31
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschool Storage Solutions

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Student Organization. And today we’re going to talk about homeschool storage solutions and a few extra things too!     Student Work Long Term Storage. The records you are required to keep will be determined by your state requirements. Most states do not make you keep everything for each year. However, many will request an attendance sheet showing hours and days completed for each student. Some states will also require a list of curriculum used each year as well. Find out what your state laws are before you delve into the practice of storing all of your student’s work. You’ll find that it adds up quickly and many of us don’t have the storage space required to keep all of everything over the years. For the time being, I have chosen to keep our work for my own fond memories. I also have a hard time throwing out a full year’s worth of sweat and tears! So for … [Read more...]

MAR
24
2014

Homeschooling 101: Student Organization

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  Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Teacher Organization, so today we’re going to talk student organization!   Organize Student Daily Workload Most of you know I’ve used some form of the workbox system developed by Sue Patrick for the past several years. I have to say that organizing our daily work has been a sanity saver for me. Put, the workbox system is a way to organize all of the daily school work for your student. You can use rolling carts, plastic crates, file folders, accordion files, or whatever else fits your needs. See a workbox video tutorial here. Here is a close up of my Vika Alex Drawer Units $79.00. There are only 5 drawers in these, so right now we’re putting two subjects in a couple of the bottom drawers. Using this organizational system, you will keep everything needed for one subject into each drawer, file folder, or whatever organizer you choose. That way … [Read more...]

MAR
17
2014

Homeschooling 101: Teacher Organization

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Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you! Last time around we discussed Gathering Curriculum, so today we’re going to talk about what to do with it!   Organizing all of those fun school supplies is my favorite part of homeschooling. Preparing your school area is not only fun, but also a wonderful way to start the year. Kids will get excited about the prospect of a new year, and you as the teacher will rest comfortably knowing that your school area is organized and ready! Prepare Your School Area: There are tons of different ways to homeschool, and with it are just as many places to homeschool. Some families do school in the kitchen, some at the library, and some outside if the weather allows. Some people even have a room or specific area of the home dedicated to homeschooling. Whatever the Lord has blessed you with; make the most of your space. You can see our homeschool room in my updated Homeschool Room Tour Wherever you … [Read more...]

MAR
11
2014

Homeschooling 101: Homeschool Conventions

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The season is upon us everyone! Homeschool Convention season that is! That’s right, all of the amazing homeschool curriculum vendors meet up to display and share all of their materials. There are usually workshops taught on various homeschooling topics by wonderful speakers to help you get started on your journey. And many even offer used sales areas for people to come and sell their used curriculum at a bargain rate! You know that’s where I get most of my materials! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post for you, and today we’re talking about how to get through a homeschool convention in style! Or at least with all your hair and sanity still intact.   Homeschool Conventions: Here are a few of my favorite  Homeschool Conventions. I can’t say enough good things about the people who put on these conventions. They pick wonderfully inspiring speakers, and really go out of their way to create a great experience for both new and veteran homeschoolers! They’re … [Read more...]

NOV
24
2013

Homeschooling 101: Gathering Curriculum

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Good morning readers! I have another post in my Homeschooling 101 series! Since we talked about choosing homeschool curriculum in the last post, today we’re going to talk about where to get all of that fun curriculum!     Once you’ve decided on the curriculum for each subject you’ll want to write your choices down on a piece of paper. (Or if you’ve purchased the Homeschooling 101 eBook there are forms included for this purpose.) Next, add prices next to each item so you can see what the cost is if you’re buying new, as well as research prices online for used items whenever possible. Having a document with all of your prices comes in very handy when searching to purchase curriculum online or at a used curriculum fair. Make sure to include what the current version of that curriculum is as well. This will also be helpful when searching for products. So where do I purchase my curriculum? I have a variety of sources, but whenever possible I purchase used homeschool … [Read more...]

OCT
27
2013

Homeschooling 101: Choosing Curriculum

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Welcome back to another post in my Homeschooling 101 series! Today we get to some of the fun stuff…choosing curriculum! Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed getting started (part 1 & part 2), planning ahead, and homeschooling methods and styles. Now today we’re going to dig in and start talking curriculum!  (This post may contain affiliate links.)   Choosing curriculum is the fun part in my opinion, but I also realize that it can be quite overwhelming with all of the zillions of choices out there! The best way I've found is to just dig in and get started! normally I’ll start with one subject and then move my way down the line. If' you’ve followed this series you’ll remember that the first part talked about choosing which topics to teach. If you missed that one you might want to check back before reading on. Once you’ve selected your subjects, choosing curriculum will be a little easier. As you begin to research, start writing down your top picks on a … [Read more...]

OCT
13
2013

Homeschooling 101: Methods & Styles

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Hello fellow homeschoolers! I’m so excited about today’s Homeschooling 101 topic because I love talking about curriculum! That said, figuring out how to setup your homeschool can also be a daunting task, and potentially overwhelming to even seasoned homeschoolers! But fear not, I’m hoping today’s post will at least help you get started.   Once you have decided which subjects you will cover for the year it’s time to start the process of picking out your curriculum. I will typically continue with curriculum that has been working for us, but will research new curriculum for things that need to be changed. If you’re new to homeschooling, this stage will probably take the longest in your planning process. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 One of my favorite places to go to get opinions on curriculum is www.HomeschoolReviews.com. This is a website where other … [Read more...]

SEP
08
2013

Homeschooling 101: Plan Ahead

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Welcome back to another post in my Homeschooling 101 series! Last week I talked about learning a few basics before starting out, and today we’re going to talk about what to teach each year.   Planning Ahead: One thing that has helped me the most in my homeschooling journey is to plan ahead. We do not choose to school year round, instead we take summer breaks. I use that time to gather all of my curriculum, organize everything, and get all of my lesson plans into my homeschooling software.  Knowing that I’m prepared for our year greatly reduces my stress level while we’re in school. And it’s much easier than trying to fly by the seat of my pants everyday. Planning ahead helps keep chaos at bay, and also allows you to feel like you’re actually accomplishing things that need to be done. It also gives you the freedom to take breaks without feeling guilty, and know when you can and can’t take a day off.   Prepare for the Year: 1. List Subjects: One of … [Read more...]

SEP
02
2013

Homeschooling 101: Getting Started Part 2

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Welcome to another post in my Homeschooling 101 series. Last week I talked about the basics of getting started, and today we’re going to continue with a few other things to take into consideration when starting out your homeschooling journey.   When Should I Start School? One of the most frequently asked questions regarding homeschooling is when to start. A few states require you start keeping records for schooling at the age of 5 but most start at the age of 6. Aside from state requirements, doing school with children younger than the state specified start age is entirely up to you. When starting to introduce more formal educational activities with students keep in mind the “big picture”. If it’s not your goal to graduate your child early, then there’s really no reason to push school on them too soon. If you think your child is ready and you are eager to start, there’s no harm in starting to initiate more structured activities with a toddler, but be careful not to push … [Read more...]