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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Whole New Outlook on my Homeschool

Wow.  Just wow.  I've been homeschooling for 12 years and I have a whole new outlook on how I will be homeschooling my son this year and future years.

This past month, I was introduced to Sarah Janisse Brown and her company called The Thinking Tree.  She has several books, and several of them are set up as journals.  Sarah learned that she has Dyslexia later in life although she always knew that she wasn't like other children in school.  From early on, she recognized her creative ability and talked her mother into homeschooling her.  In her book Life, Love & Dyslexia, she tells her story and explains how God had a plan for her and her family right from the beginning. 

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This 294 page paperback is filled with encouragement, God's plan for her, and how she became a writer of these amazing books!  One of my favorite parts of this book is how she (after convincing her mom to hs her) would go to her little house in the woods, that she built herself, and do her schooling.  She would spend all day out there, alone in the woods.  She claimed to be free from all the nonsense that she experienced in public schools.  She says that when she would sit inside a classroom (in public school) that all she could think about was being outside, in the sun, painting or drawing whatever she wanted.   See, we contain our children (yes, even us homeschool mothers) in a confined area and do 'school' daily.  Why not let the children do what they love everyday!  

She has created books called Fun-Schooling Books for those who have Dyslexia to help them learn.  Did I mention that she is a homeschooling mom of ten children?  In these fun schooling books she has such creative ways  for children to learn.  The day dreamers or slackers out there are ready to get out of their shell!  We just need to give them the opportunity to do so!  Every homeschooling mom needs to read her book Life, Love & Dyslexia.  Whether your child is dyslexic or not, it will change your whole outlook on home education!

Here are a few of my favorite Fun-Schooling Journals.  I have a running list of ones to buy for our school year.

Picturing the Past

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Charlotte Mason Homeschool Journal & Delight Directed Learning Handbook

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Christian Families Homeschooling Curriculum Delight Directed Learning Guide

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There are so many to chose from.  I read somewhere that she has over 200 books just like these listed above. Check them out on Amazon!

Sarah Janisse Brown also has a blog -

I thought I had my curriculum choices ready for this fall until I found these books.  I now will be using these for my homeschool!  

Happy homeschooling!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why we chose to homeschool & how you can too

I hear mom's say to me quite often how they wish they could homeschool their children.  I ask them why they don't and I get several different answers, but the two most popular answers I get are "I don't have the patience" and "I can't because I work for time".  So I will explain my opinion on each answer and then I will tell you why we chose to homeschool.

#1 -  "I don't have the patience"

Please don't think that I have patience with my children.  I pray almost daily for patience.  You teach your children everyday while you are home with them in the evening, after school.  Do you have patience with them then?  Some nights, maybe not.  But no one, including me, claimed that homeschool moms have patience with their children.  

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There have been several days where I have locked myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes crying and praying for the Lord to help me and give me patience and I will be starting my 13'th year of homeschooling this fall!  It's not easy, but I will tell you that it is worth it!  So don't let patience but an excuse.  You can do it and you will find me.

#2 - "I can't because I work for time"

There are several moms that work and homeschool.  I'm sure Youtube is loaded with videos on this.  However, being a homeschool mom isn't just teaching, it's delegating and felicitating.
If you have older children (that can stay home alone), you can have lesson plans all ready for them.  Explain how and what is expected of them; meaning they need to finish their work by a certain time.  If they do, give them rewards; if not, punishments.  As far as younger children go, you can do the same but have someone else stay with them during the day.  Grandma's are great for this!  Also, another homeschool mom may be willing to do this as well.  (It is legal to have someone else homeschool your children.  Just keep in mind that you are still responsible to follow all your state laws.)  

Another thought, if you truly, seriously want to homeschool your child, find a way.  Can you work from home?  Night shift?  You can always homeschool on your day's off.  In our state of WV (under the Notice Option), there are no set days or hours on which you need to homeschool.  You can homeschool 2 or 3 days a week all year around if you want.

Now, why we chose to homeschool.  There are several reasons. The first reason was because I believe the Lord instructed me to do so.  Other reasons include:  I want to be with them, I want to teach them in the way they learn (no every student learns the same way), I want learning to be fun, I want them to learn things from a Christian point of view, I want to teach them Creation not evolution, I want to chose what they learn, I don't want negative influences and peer pressure to be an issue, I want to be able to chose the environment they learn in and who they socialize with, etc.  As you can see there are several reasons why we chose to homeschool and many people have different reasons.   

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Choosing to control their environment, influences and social atmosphere is my job and responsibility.  Call me a controlling, over protective or a "helicopter" mom.  I don't care.  I made some bad choices in my younger years (just like everyone else) and I if I shelter my children from unGodly influences, they will be free to make better choices than I did or just better choices in general.  My job is to raise my children to be responsible, caring adults and support themselves and their families.  

Something I hear and read often is that homeschoolers won't be able to function and socialize in the real world as adults.  I find this both very amusing and utterly ridiculas.  If sitting behind a desk with other peers within your own age all day in a classroom is the real world, then I must have missed that boat because the real world I live in I socialize with people of all ages daily, and it's not in a confined environment with limitations on what I can say and do.  My children can hold entire conversations with other children, adults and groups.  They know how to behave in public.  They are respectful and kind.  I've seen them help strangers load groceries in their cars when needed, help a stranger clean up a mess in a food isle at a store, etc.  They function and socialize very well in public.  Have you ever heard the line, "It takes a village to raise a child"?  (I absolutely cannot stand that saying by the way.)  My response is, "Yes, I've seen the village and I'll raise my own child, thanks anyway".  

So for whatever reason why you are telling yourself that you can't  homeschool........ think about it.  Think about what you want for your children.  If you decide to keep them in public school, private school, virtual school, etc. that is your choice.  You are the parent.  Just please don't let an excuse hold you back from something that will change you and your child's future forever.  Homeschooling is great.  If you are willing to take charge of your children's education, it's totally worth it!

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Curriculum picks for 2016 - 2017 school year, 8'th grade

I thought I'd share my curriculum picks for this coming homeschool year.  However, I am still undecided on a few but this is what I have so far.  (Click on all the pics to take you to a website to purchase or find more info. out about them.)

Math -  

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At this time (8'th grade) my husband and I decided that we aren't going to teach Algebra.   I know, some of you are like "WHAT????".  Take a minute to think about that for a minute. When is the last time you used Algebra in your life?  Really.  If he decides to go to college, he'll learn it.  ;)   I didn't learn how to balance a check book, pay bills or learn anything about interest in the public school system.  Why is that?  I do know that they teach high school students on how to attempt to beat the interest on credit cards.  (Ya, sore subject for another day.)  Anyway, this is what we feel that B will apply in his life more than Algebra.  


A Reason For Science - Level H

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This science has colorful pages that will keep B's interest.  He isn't the type of student to read and answer questions.  Lets face it, that's boring anyway!  This is hands-on science with cool worksheet pages.  (You can also buy the experiment kit as well that contains all experiment supplies.)

History -

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Rush Revere!

B started this book right at the end of this past school year.  We will continue reading it and then through the series next school year. (Click on the book to take you to the website with the whole series and more info.)  He loves it!  It's funny, quirky,and keeps him in suspense waiting to see what happens in the next chapter!  Not your typical Pilgrim story.  ;)  I plan to add a Geography / map workbooks and read/learn about our Constitution more this year as well.

Bible / Reading / Character Development -

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The Purpose Driven Life by:  Rick Warren

This is great!  Can't wait to start this devotional book.  Has scripture and 365 devotionals.  

Language Arts -

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This one was tough.  I really like the Easy Grammar series, but this was so inexpensive, I couldn't pass it up.  Grammar at this point in our education plan is just to keep the basic grammar sharp in the mind.  ;)

Writing - 

We may continue 'Excellent in Writing' next year, however, I am thinking of going back to my old school method of free writing.  I had the older boys (when they were younger) write a story.  I begin with writing a few sentences.  Then hand the notebook to them so they can add 5-7 more sentences.  This goes on daily throughout the year, passing back and forth.  But then I found this......

Funschooling Books by The Thinking Tree!

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There are several types of these fun journal workbooks for ages 3-17! (Click on the pic above and it will take you to their website with tons of books and Dyslexia games and curriculum!)  This one above is more like a portfolio, but not your typical portfolio.  It lets the kids be creative and tell what they did throughout the school year!  This is a great alternative to those who put together a hand made portfolio every year.  They also have planners for homeschool moms.  So cool!

Spelling -

We will continue (and even through high school) with Spelling Power.

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So that is the game plan for this fall.  I may switch it up a bit.  I still have this on my mind, but it is expensive.

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One of the best things about homeschooling is that if you find something isn't working, ditch it, sell it, change it up!  I remember one year we changed my middle sons math 3 times in one year!  He went on to college and scored a 97% in Algebra his freshman year. So it pays to find what works for your child.  Most of the things I buy, can be resold on ebay or to fellow homeschoolers too. 

Our goal for our children is .........

#1  Love the Lord
#2  Be able to support yourself
#3  Be able to support your family
#4  Be happy in the career your choose for yourself 

So Happy Homeschooling & remember, BE CREATIVE AND LOOK FOR CURRICULUM OUT OF THE BOX!  Besides, homeschoolers can learn about anything they want! 

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