Friday, December 8, 2017

Special Edition~Reminder

This is just a reminder that tomorrow, December 9, is the FREE Winter Retreat by Andrew Pudewa and Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Special Edition~Winter Retreat

Free Winter Retreat Audio broadcast by Andrew Pudewa the creator of IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing), one of my favorite homeschool speakers! They will be live on December 9, and you can also choose for them to send you the recordings if you wish to listen to on your own schedule.

Schedule and sign up is here-

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend Edition~First Year Home Education Tips & Advice

This is dedicated to my readers who are either considering homeschooling this coming year, or have already made the decision and are looking for first year home education advice.

I started researching home schooling as soon as I found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter 11 years ago. Thankfully I had many friends who were seasoned, been there, done that home educating mamas, who were able to give me some wonderful advice and tips as a newbie mama. In the following article I am going to share a few of these, that have been extremely helpful for me.

1) In the first year do not sign up for any extra activities that you are tied to doing regularly. Sure go join a loose play group at the park. Or go to the zoo. Or go to a one time science class at the science museum. But, don't sign up for a weekly science class outside the home.

My friends told me it is extremely hard the first year for most mom's to transition to homeschooling, and extra stress of outside commitments could really weigh a person down. The suggested just getting used to homeschooling, and our own routines and rhythms the first year.

2) Do not spend a lot of money on a curricula you think you will just love, but have no idea if your child will love it or be able to actually learn from it. Never spend more money then you can afford to lose on a curricula. In other words, don't spend so much money you force yourself to use it even though you and/or your child hates it! Be adjustable enough to let go of a curricula that is not working for you, and move to something that will work for you and your child.

I remember for sure having a curricula picked out, while Lela was still inside my body! And my friend Cheryl telling me, it may work, but don't get over attached to it. If it doesn't work, don't force it. I kept that advice in mind.. and then it came time, and sure enough we used the curricula I had picked out 6 years earlier, and it was waaay to slow for Lela. And it drove me up a wall because quite frankly it was just too secular, and too much political propaganda, and that was for kindergarten! I kept pushing through, but finally said enough in 2nd grade and have been so happy to just be free since then!

3) You can do it! Jehovah gave you your children as a gift, and commands all parents to teach their children, on the road when they are walking, at night before bed, all the time we are to be instructing our children. He gives us all we need to teach our children. Even though many would like you to believe you are not good enough, you are! So try not to let doubt, get in to your thinking and cloud it.

4) You don't have to do it all at once! I pretty much unschool at this point. But, even if you want to have a very structured home school, you don't have to do it all at once. You have a full 12 months to get the things you want done, done. It takes a while to find your routine and groove. Don't overwhelm yourself the first day and first week. Start your first day and week with just one or two subjects, and then each week add another one or two. That way you aren't overwhelmed and bogged down before you even get started!

I am sure I was given a lot more advice too. But, these were the ones that stood out to me, and I kept in mind when it was time to start home educating my children. And by keeping these in mind, I must say our first year was NOT a hard adjustment, it was fun and seemed really natural and I really have enjoyed the whole experience!

Now, I'm going to add a few more things, that I have learned through my experience.

1) Children will learn no matter what, you can't stop a child from learning. Jehovah created them to learn. So you can NOT mess up!

2) Find your state laws yourself!

Do NOT trust friends, even ones who say they are homeschooling! I have heard way to many stories, of people saying they "homeschool" but in reality they are using a charter or virtual school, which are subject to public school laws. And then pass on that the parent must go by these public school laws, which are often way more regulated then homeschool laws, and the mother just wanting to homeschool is overwhelmed and defeated! When reality was/is homeschooling laws were very much with in the mothers reach! For instance one of my friends was told by another "homeschooling" mother, that she MUST be a certified teacher to legally homeschool her children. That is NOT the law in any state in the USA! So this mother just gave up and didn't even try because she was not a certified teacher. The even more sad thing about this story, this mothers state, has barely any homeschool regulations at all! ANY parent is allowed to homeschool their child, with out any permission being needed!

I highly suggest contacting your local homeschool advocacy or homeschool legal group for your state! They will have the best and most accurate laws for homeschooling in your state.

Above all else, NEVER, I repeat NEVER ask the public school system or district what the homeschool laws are. They do NOT deal with homeschool laws. They ONLY deal with public school laws. They will rarely, or rather almost never have accurate homeschool laws! It is not their job to know homeschool laws, since this is NOT their jurisdiction.

3) I wish wish wish, I had started going to homeschool conferences and conventions from the beginning. The first few years, I had the mistaken idea that it was just a place to look at and buy curricula. While you can do that. That is secondary to the wonderful educational and motivational homeschool workshops. They are priceless! Worth every penny. Seriously you can homeschool for FREE... use your library, and and all our literature... but spend money to go to the conference!

4) Read good books about child development when it comes to education. Like Ruth Beechick. Seriously knowing what is developmentally appropriate and how different that is from the school system will save you a lot of grief. So many get so upset with their children and their selves, thinking homeschooling is not working. When in reality, they are expecting developmentally inappropriate things from their children. That no matter what their child would resist because it's just not time to be learning that. BUT, if the parent relaxed and waited for when it is a better time developmentally to be learning it, there would be NO resistance. And in fact would be fun!

Ruth Beechick
Raymond Moore
John Holt
John Taylor Ghatto
Andrew Puedewa (he does excellent talks, and workshops, that I highly suggest! Pretty much above any one else for workshops! Mainly he speaks about educating boys, but believe me this information transcends to educating girls as well.)

Are all authors I highly suggest! Seriously start with any of their books, and just start reading.

5) Do NOT worry about buying a curricula the first year. Children will learn no matter what you do. So instead of spending money on curricula, spend money on experiences, like museums, zoos, etc. And spend money on mommy being educated on homeschooling! Spend money on homeschool books like from the authors above. Spend money on going to the homeschool conference local to you. Spend money on fun field trips. Go to the library and pick all the books you want for free! Sometimes even curricula books! haha But, save your money for curricula that first year. Curricula will always be there.. and you may even find you don't need one at all. BUT, even if you choose to use one.. a year is not going to make or break using it. So give yourself the freedom to just learn about homeschooling the first year with out the stress of finding the perfect curricula. You will most likely be amazed what your children learn that year!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Weekend Edition~Time for Planning!

This is the time of year that I start planning my planner for the next year. Last year, I put it off because of so many family obligations that were unplanned that sprung up. As a result, I rushed in June to make this years, and many misplacements, and even blank and backwards pages were put in! haha

So this year, I am starting early like I have done in years past.

This early in the year, I start by making a basic running list of what I want included in the planner. Later I will try to figure out the exact lay out and execution or where I place those pages in the planner.

So first this year, I have decided on a few small changes I would like however in both, and what I do like and want to keep with both aspects.

Cover art-not sure yet.

Inside cover I want to keep to this planner belongs to page.

I want to keep the attendance chart as the first page in the planner. I also want the homeschool planning schedule on the back of the attendance chart!

Right after the attendance, First put in the Curricula resource page, I think I want to put in a art like encouragement page on the back of the resource page. And a list of for homeschool play groups, and field trips, maybe also for reading books, and put those in for each 20 day segment.

Planning pages-love what I have.

Fruitage of the Spirit chart.

Bible Reading Schedule-both for Lela and the littles.

Pen Pals pages.

Give a hoot-password pages.

Library Resource pages.

Reading Log pages.

Book Resource list-design new.

A parent check list for field trips, would be awesome.

Field Trip Reference Chart, Field Trip Tracking Guide, enough field trip pages for 40 trips.

Field Service Tracking-may design my own.

Inside back cover-multiplication chart.

Outside back cover-choose art! - Maybe kids photos!

This is my basic plan for now... I will see how it comes together when I am done.

I also want to stress, I highly highly suggest reading Tina's homeschool planner suggestions. Really reading it. She has some of the very best suggestions that have made my planner much more user friendly and fun to use! Especially the spiral binding-I tried to save money the first year and use a 3 ring binder, and hated it... You can't bend back the cover, so it always has to be completely spread out, and it's heavier and harder to carry around, and just not as nice. I LOVE the really nicely, thick laminated front and back covers! LOVE! And having enough room to actually write in the planner!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Special Edition~To Russia with Love

We wrote and sent out letters on Friday to Russia. Such a good feeling to be able to help our brothers, even in such a small way. Lela wrote her own letter and did very well. I didn't take photos though, I forgot! So kicking myself about that. But, one line I remember she wrote that I loved, she came up with it all on her own, "We are a humble society.". I thought that was brilliant. So proud of her. We will keep praying that Jehovah will intercede for our brothers, and give them strength to endure what ever comes.

We also had a wonderful assembly on Saturday, and met up with wonderful friends. Don't forget, that is a entire day of instruction, reading, history, social interaction and so much more! So of course you can count that towards "school" hours and days! We learn so much at our assemblies and conventions, not to mention the spiritual strengthening and life long relationships with others who are also serving Jehovah. Seriously, could not be getting a better education.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekend Edition~What about a diploma?

This is probably one of those most asked questions. How does my child get a diploma, or do they have to get a GED to legally graduate?

Good news! When the laws made it legal for parents to home educate, by default if they are trusting the parent to educate their child/ren, they have to give them the trust/right to know and decide when that education is complete! So you do not need to have a GED.

Parent issued diplomas are legal in all of the states of the USA. If you were to reach some wall of some one not willing to accept your diploma, you can contact HSLDA lawyers and this can be fought, since it's federal law now for parent issued diplomas to be accepted just as legally as school issued diplomas.

HSLDA has a wonderful list of answers to almost all high school diploma questions.

HSLDA Diploma answers!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend Edition~Homeschool Haul


This is most my haul this year from my local homeschool convention.

Basically a run down. Some things are new, some things are used, also a few things are not shown that I ordered from Rainbow Resource because it wasn't at their booth. And during the homeschool convention there is always free shipping. So I ordered Climbing to Good English for both Belle and Lela.

What I was able to buy directly from the Rainbow Resource booth was all three children's Pentime books, for hand writing, for next year. And two new Mad Libs books. One with some original mad libs classics, and one with Peanuts! We LOVE Peanuts so couldn't pass that up!

I was able to buy Belle one new learning through sounds workbook, and one used learning through sounds workbook. They are a 2 workbook set. Saved me about 1 dollar to buy the used one. They are pretty inexpensive to begin with though. (only 2 dollars and some change).

I was able to get two Pathways readers used. One for first grade, and I think one was for 6th grade. That saved about 2 to 3 dollars per a reader.

I bought one Rod and Staff math workbook for Lela used-again it is already inexpensive new, but it still saved me a little over a dollar. Then I bought both Lela and Belle's Rod and Staff workbooks for next year new. Which Rod and Staff was having a 10 percent off sale during the convention. (they usually do in the spring time).

I bought Lela a used Rod and Staff geography book. Saved me about 3 to 4 dollars cause it had a little irregularity in the cover.

I bought RJ a boy reading book new from Rod and Staff, looked pretty good in my flip through. It was inexpensive enough if it's not for us, I can probably trade it for something else later.

I also bought the Pablo Yoder books I have been wanting for a year! I bought two different ones. I still want to get one more of his next year. So happy to of bought, The Works of His Hands, and My Father's World this year though. And the children are adoring them. We will be using his books for science. Seriously though, they want to keep reading and reading and reading his books, they keep begging just one more, just one more mommy!

The Rod and Staff booth, also wanted to cut down on some of the things they bring to the convention so had a close out on those green reading books and workbooks you see in the photo. They were about 1/4 of their regular price. But, finally a book that seemed to have easy enough wording for Belle to get right now. I've been having a hard time finding one with enough easy words for her to read, yet have a story line, and not just be meaningless. So we are hoping that will be helpful.

So far, Belle is loving doing her new math workbooks, and the Learning Through Sounds workbooks are really really helping her. I am usually not much for workbooks, but these are inexpensive, non common core, and seem to help Belle make some progress with reading. Of course they both LOVE Pentime, and now RJ has been begging to do Pentime too!

I really enjoyed the Excellence In Writing workshop, where they had us go through a sample lesson our children would do in the program. I really think that is on next years wish list!