Tag Archives: homeschool

One Person’s Boredom Is Another’s Security

This sentence in the book I just finished reading so describes my life sometimes. I’ve written about our routines and schedules again and again. Some people think that our life must be pretty boring if we are doing the same things again and again. Sometimes it does seem a little boring but I try my best to keep things interesting.

I stick with what we do because it is what works best for our family. We have three children, two who are special needs, who were adopted. They need the structure and stability of the routines we have in place to help them feel secure. So this sentence makes perfect sense to me.

As a result of these three being adopted I missed out on a lot of their younger years. Those fun years when you see their personalities being to develop and when you start to develop a sense of who they are. During these years you can learn a lot by watching them and they interact with others. I have felt at a disadvantage because I didn’t have that.

However recently I’ve been reading a few different books to help me help them to succeed. In the beginning of the book she mentions that we should all try to spend at least 15 minutes a day with each child. This is a great idea and I am working on trying to do this but it can be a difficult thing with as many children as I have.

When you are alone with your child she suggests letting them play and interact with you in whatever way that they choose. You can watch, give positive comments, and make mental notes. We can learn a lot about each child just by this simple task. This can be quite exhausting but the rewards will be immense!

This book aims to:

  • help parents identify areas of frustration. These may be due to the differences between the parent’s and child’s different learning styles.
  • help parents find positive ways to build on the natural strengths of each child.
  • help parents to teach their children to work well with others.

She suggests that we all focus on:

  • OBSERVING the patterns of behavior.
  • LISTEN to the way each person communicates.
  • EXPERIMENT with different ways to find what works and what doesn’t.
  • FOCUS on natural strengths instead of weakness for a strong foundation.
  • LEARN more about learning styles.

She also notes that it usually takes 3-5 years of studying and learning, observing, and using learning styles information before it will become second nature. Whew! That seems like forever right now but I’m gonna keep trying.

Gregorian Model of Learning Styles

This book has a variety of information related to learning styles, including the Gregorian Model of Learning Styles. I’ll admit that this seemed a little overwhelming and confusing at first but after taking a couple of the quizzes I was able to narrow down our learning styles.

My learning style is the ‘Dominant Concrete Sequential‘ while my ‘difficult child‘ is a ‘Dominant Concrete Random’.

I am semi organized most of the time and like to manage my time resourcefully. I have a method of completing tasks and like for others to use this method because I know it works. I am also very detail oriented most of the time.

After comparing the information I have a better understanding of who she is and why she acts the way she does. She is strong willed to the point of being defiant, she will refuse to cooperate which may be a result of her feeling like she doesn’t have a choice, and she likes to take risks. All of these have been problem areas but now I have a plan to help her turn these problems into ways that can help her to succeed.

So some of our issues may just be a miscommunication because we are speaking ‘different languages’. According to the author the most difficult child is the one who doesn’t think like we do!

Using the information

Now that I know what styles we are I can use this information to help in so many ways. This will help to determine how each child concentrates, studies, and learns. This can help to improve areas like Homework.

One of the suggestions that the author gives is making a deal with your child. You can give them two weeks to study at home any time, any place, and with any thing they say they need to help them get the tasks completed. All of these things should be allowed within reason of course.

After the two weeks are up the child must show an improvement in their grades or they will need to study by your rules.

Remembering information

This part of the book is very similar to the last book I read by this author. Each person remembers information in a different way. I’ll give a brief explanation below:

  • AUDITORY: learning by listening, remembering by forming sounds of words
  • VISUAL: learning by seeing and watching; using strong visual association
  • KINESTHETIC: learning by becoming physically involved and actually doing something with what’s being learned

Then we also have to consider in the GLOBAL and ANALYTIC styles as well. These affect how we understand and organize information. These also affect how we pay attention, follow directions, and manage our time.

The 7 Intelligences

Have you heard of the seven intelligences? Maybe, maybe not but there is not any one test that can accurately measure any person’s IQ because of these variances in these areas.

They are as follows:

  1. LINGUISTIC: verbal abilities. ex: journalists and poets
  2. LOGICAL – MATHEMATICAL: abilities with numbers, patterns, and logical reasoning. ex: scientists and philosophers
  3. SPATIAL: the ability to think in vivid mental pictures. ex: architectures
  4. MUSICAL: the ability to express through natural rhythm and melody.
  5. BODILY KINESTHETIC: ability of bodily movement or physical activities. ex: surgeons and actors
  6. INTERPERSONAL: the gift of understanding, appreciating, and getting along well with others.
  7. INTRAPERSONAL: this is usually expressed in solitude and is the understanding of ourselves as individuals, who and what we are, and how we fit into the grand scheme of the universe.

By learning about these different styles and intelligences we can have a better understanding of ourselves and those around us. As parents we must become ‘mulit-lingual’ in the different styles in order to help our children succeed in life.

Make medication a last resort.

I am a firm believer in this statement as is the author of this book. Too many times children are labeled with learning disorders, I know there are children who have a valid need for medications just maybe not all of the ones who are prescribed medications on a daily basis, who just need a little bit of one on one time until they can figure out what works best for them. A traditional school setting may not be the best for them.

Read the book for yourself.

Anyway, if you want to read more about these ideas and learn about your learning style or your child’s learning style then you need to check out this book ‘The Way They Learn’  written by Cynthia Ulrich TobiasYes, that is an affiliate link which helps to support our blog. You may be able to find it at your local library like I did.

Here are a few more books written by the same author:

Happy Reading!

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Amazon Back To School Lightning Deals: July 20, 2018

Here are some affiliate links to a few back to school lightning deals on Amazon with prices so low you’ll have to see them with your own eyes!

Arts and Crafts Supplies

Manipulatives

My kids love manipulatives and we have the interlocking ones but I think the wooden ones would work well too:

 

Rulers

 

Writing Supplies

Everyone needs some kind of writing utensil so here are a few that I found a deals that make it easy to stick up.

Pencils:

 

Pencil Sharpeners

 

Markers

Combo Pack

Paper

With all of these great deals on writing utensils you’ll need some paper to go along with them.

Other Supplies

This has been on my wish list for a while so I might just have to grab one at this price!

We have an Epson printer and absolutely love it.

This is another one of my wish list items right here but I just don’t have a place for it right now.

 

 

Don’t have a laminator? No problem with these self laminating sheets!

 

Many of these are for a limited time only so check them out right now!

Moon Day

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support our blog.

So here I go again…. adding some more days to those crazy and unusual days that I’ve posted about before. This would be a great way to spice up a dull summer day when the kids are complaining about being bored.

July 20th is National Moon Day. It honors the first day that man set foot on the moon back 1969. It was declared a National Moon Landing Day by President Nixon in 1971. This is a great day to teach our kids about the moon and progress NASA has made.

You can find other ideas to celebrate on my Pinterest Board Homeschool: July. You can also find other ideas for other July Holidays there as well.

I’ve also got this great book that I’ll be reading to the kids on this day.

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I’m thinking I might even get some Moon Pies and/or Astronaut Ice Cream for snack on this day to eat while they listen to the story.In addition to this book we may also check out some of these great videos and activities listed below:

Elephant Fuzz, Building Bugs, Poodle Skirts and Moon Day; A Week In Review

We have had quite the week again. Fun and crazy as usual. Keep reading to find out about some of our many adventures here in the little house on the pond. We have included affiliate links to some of the products mentioned in this post. These help to support our blog.

Monday

Elephant fuzz here, elephant fuzz there, elephant fuzz everywhere… sounds a bit like a children’s book, doesn’t it? So what is elephant fuzz? I asked the same thing when I first saw this all over the house:

 

The kids were quick to reply that it was ‘elephant fuzz’…. ok, but where did it come from? Here is the answer:

It appears that this little pillow has a hole and is leaking elephant fuzz… lol… kids come up with the darnedest things don’t they? Well, I got the hole taken care of and hopefully that’ll be the end of the elephant fuzz.

Afterwards we made some Haystack Cookies or Noodle Cookies as Mr. Awesome calls them. The kids have been eating them up!

That afternoon Jacob put his Kids Cook Real Food skills to work while helping me make a salad to go with our Red & White Pasta.

Monday our regular club dance was ‘dark’ to support a reunion dance that was being held locally. Here is a short video from the event:

 

We had a good time and got to see old friends plus we made some new ones while we were there. Afterwards we ate at Texas Roadhouse and an exceptional server named Terrence.

Tuesday

I got a call from the Florida Gardiner Scholarship telling me about a glitch in the system which had caused some of my orders to be denied… this meant I had to go back into the system and resubmit the orders… oh what fun!

I also figured out that I can ‘Air Drop’ pictures from my phone to my tablet… this makes life so much easier!

The kids are loving their new routine chart:

I am working on ordering some different magnets because the stars don’t stick very well. I may also paint or paper the board. There will be a post about this sometime in the future.

We read a chapter from the Laura Ingalls Wilder biography before bed and had a short discussion about the things we learned from the chapter. The kids are super excited about the new school year.

They were also very happy that I had ordered more of their favorite toothpaste:

We all love the lemon flavor and I love the fact that it works so great! I always buy the triple pack and the first time I ordered I bought the multipack so we could try out all the flavors. The kids didn’t care for the peppermint or cinnamon as they thought they was too spicy. Some of us older folks liked the wintergreen flavor but lemon was the majority vote.

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I actually found a little time on Tuesday to paint my nails too! Mommas need a little bit of pampering from time to time. 😊

Wednesday

Wednesday morning we changed our breakfast routine a bit. Instead of Muffins the kids had a bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of yogurt.

I’m really loving this new fruit bowl I got earlier this month. It is so much bigger than the one we had, plus it’s not as fragile. The banana holder is a great feature as well. It keeps the kids from dragging out and bruising all of the bananas just to find the ‘perfect’ apple.

While cleaning the bathroom I got a call from Walgreens …. NOT… it was a telemarketer call disguised as a local business. I HATE these kind of calls. They wanted to help me with my interest rate on a card they knew nothing about.

After politely asking a strongly accented Chris Sawyers to remove me from the list I had to threaten to report them to the authorities for FRAUD. He asked me to hold online while he removed me from the list. I did hold, with the phone muted and the receiver set on the shelf, and an hour later I was still on hold… haha Mr. Sawyers from card services you’ve won a mention on my blog. Congrats!

After our morning chores were finished we played one of the new games that we’ve gotten:

 

Bugs Building is similar to the once popular Jenga game. They had a lot of fun playing the game but then we had some major midweek meltdowns!

Luckily I still had a hidden stash of FREE chocolates…

Thursday

Hmmm… Thursday was a kinda gloomy day, very rainy and windy too. We didn’t get our laundry done because of the weather but it got finished up on Friday. We were also without power for a little while that morning.

The kids made the best of no electricity and played some board games. I think they thought they were getting out of chores but everyone had to help finish up the chores when the power came back on. Then it was time for some lunch which was Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

After I got the kids down for quiet time I got this text message from Mr. Awesome:

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Oh boy do I love these kind of messages. I dug my outfit out of the closet and got to work on making some dinner. I had planned to make Spaghetti but opted for Sloppy Joes when I realized I didn’t have any noodles.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of the Pink Cadillac Dance or our super cute outfits because my phone was acting up again.

Friday

Friday was Moon Day and we celebrated with some Moon Pies for an afternoon snack. That morning we finished up the laundry for the week and caught up on few things that needed done around the house.

After paying a couple of bills I went ahead and renewed our ABC Mouse that the kids have been begging for. They wasted no time getting on their and taking care of their virtual pets. Joey also made sure to update his avatar:

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Those glasses look almost like his and they are just too cute!

That afternoon I went to make some our favorite Cream Cheese Chicken with Rice and Green Beans only to realize I didn’t have any cream of chicken soup… I don’t know what happened when I went grocery shopping last week but I guess I didn’t do a good job. I did finish dinner and it was really good with the substitutions I made so I’ll try to get that updated recipe posted soon.

That evening we went to the square dance. Again I didn’t get any pics because my phone died but I did get that video finished. I’ll have it at the end of the post.

Saturday

I had planned to get the porch cleaned up a bit but the constant thunderstorms kept us inside. The morning was spent tidying up around the house and then we went out to eat at Golden Corral. It wasn’t the best experience and we probably won’t visit that location again but the kids enjoyed it.

After eating we headed to the movies to watch the new Ant Man movie. It was pretty good and everyone had a great time. All in all it was a good week and we are really looking forward to a great time in the upcoming week.

This week I plan to get some of the lessons entered into the Homeschool Manager app and also set a date for us to start school. I will also be working on a couple of more promo videos for square dancing as many clubs will be starting classes in September.

As far as cleaning the FlyLady missions will be in the Master Bedroom this week. I just need to do a tidying up in there so I’m not really sure how much I will get done in there. I would really like to get the porch cleaned off and have some usable space out there but the weather hasn’t been cooperating.

What are your goals for the upcoming week?

Below are some other things that we’ve done this past week and that video we put out for square dancing.

Other books we’ve read this week were:

Be A Good Dragon is a cute book about a dragon with a cold.

Yum! A Preston Pig Story is a variation of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ that kids enjoyed.

We got lots of goodies in the mail this week:

 

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I was really excited to get these books and hopefully the kids will get to use them some this weekend.

This week I also posted these posts here (which may have affiliate links to some of the products above):

We are looking forward to a new week with lots of new surprises. So far we have these activities planned.

Upcoming Events/Holidays:

Here is that video I promised:

A Look Back On The Past Week And A Peek Ahead To This Week

I honestly don’t even know what all we did last week. It seemed to have went by in such a blur. I do know that I had put out a few different posts and here are the links in case you missed them:

I hate how I sit down to write a quick little post and my internet acts up and makes it take foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…………………

But anyways let’s get back to what all we did last week…

We did get more packages from UPS and Fed Ex… the drivers pretty much know me by name and recognize me when I am out and about now… I guess that’s a good thing? Continue reading A Look Back On The Past Week And A Peek Ahead To This Week

Weekend Wrap Up: June 9, 2018

**This post does contain some affiliate links for which I may earn a small commission if a purchase is made through the link. These help to support our blog.

So this week has been really good. We’ve made a lot of progress as far as finally getting the house organized and getting our routines simplified. I feel like I can finally breathe. It has never taken me so long to get unpacked and organized after a move before. Just a word of caution to anyone trying to downsize…. it’s probably gonna be a lot harder than what you think!

We have had quite an exciting week that has been packed full of all kinds of planned and unplanned surprises. Keep reading for a brief summary of what we’ve been up to. Continue reading Weekend Wrap Up: June 9, 2018

Kirby’s Kids: 20+ FREE Homeschool Sites

Recently I came across a few, some of them new to me and some that I’d forgotten about, homeschool resources that I wanted to pass along. A lot, if not all, are FREE! Here they are:

  1. An Old Fashioned Education
  2. Ambleside Online
  3. Free World U
  4. Core Knowledge
  5. HippoCampus.org
  6. Phonics Lessons
  7. Free Reading
  8. Starfall My boys really love these activities.
  9. ABC Fast Phonics
  10. Adapted Mind
  11. Super Teacher Worksheets
  12. Khan Academy So many activities!
  13. Teach Your Monster To Read My kids loved this!
  14. Teachers Pay Teachers I love this site!
  15. Education.com
  16. Edhelper.com
  17. XtraMath
  18. ESL Writing Wizard
  19. Have Fun Teaching
  20. Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool – This truly is Easy Peasy!
  21. Discovery K12 — My kids have enjoyed using this site.
  22. Free-Ed.net
  23. Mystery Science (Regular $69.00/year but they are offering a few limited trials — less than 400 spots left so please hurry!)

Whew! That’s quite a list. I wish I’d had this when we first started our homeschooling adventures! I know there are plenty more sites that aren’t on here but I’ll pass any that I find along to you later.

Note: I have not had time to check out all of these sites for myself so I can’t positively say that they are all completely FREE but I’m sure that they offer some FREE resources.

What are your favorite homeschool sites? Let me know in the comments so I can add them to the list!

Kirby’s Kids: Homeschool June 2018 Updates

I’ve been working quite a bit lately on planning our homeschool and put out several homeschool related posts. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out you can click on the links below.

Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

Kirby’s Kids: The Who, How, Where, and When of Your Homeschool

Kirby’s Kids: Choosing, Buying, and Organizing Your Homeschool

I also put out a FREEprintable here in this post:

Kirby’s Kids: Our Favorite Homeschool Supplies and Printable Checklist

If you missed the sneak peek of some of the items for our 2018-19 school year then check out this post here.

Have you started your back to school shopping yet?  Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Homeschool June 2018 Updates

Snakes, Scholarships, Samples and a Sneak Peek — Repost

This post was posted a week or so ago but had somehow lost all of its content. I’ll give it another try and see what happens.

As many of you know we live on a pond. Not near a pond but on… like most of the house sits on stilts in the pond! This can be quite fascinating to some, especially the idea that our neighbors can swim, kayak, canoe, or jet ski over to visit. The down side to this is that snakes can also come visit quite easily.

Monday I had a slithery visitor, Mr. Black Snake, who has kept out of sight since our last run in. That’s a good thing although I’ve been very cautious when I walk out the laundry shed.

Another visitor I really don’t like are unsolicited salespeople. Whether it’s a telemarketer who calls at dinner time, an email spammer, or worse a door to door salesperson. Okay, I know they aren’t all bad but I’m not crazy about unsolicited sales tactics. Continue reading Snakes, Scholarships, Samples and a Sneak Peek — Repost

Kirby’s Kids: The Who, How, Where, and When of Your Homeschool

In the post Homeschool: Making the Decision to Homeschool we addressed the Why’s and the What’s of Homeschooling and if you are reading this post I’m guessing that you are still interested in this idea so we will get in a little bit deeper. But first I want to welcome you the ever growing Homeschool community!

You are probably chomping at the bit to find the right curriculum and resources but we have a little homework to do first.

Who will you Homeschool?

This question might seem a little silly because we know that you plan to homeschool your kids but have you given a lot of thought into this? What does he/she like to do? How do they learn best? What interests them? Do they have any special needs or concerns?

You really need to think about these questions and figure out what type of learner you have. If you have multiple children there may be a variety of different learning styles present.

There are some people who may be homeschooling grandchildren, step children, or other relatives so you probably need to check into the laws about this as well. Now would be a good time to research learning styles and teaching approaches so you can be prepared for any future challenges they may hold.

How will you Homeshool?

Another silly question, right? Not really as there are many different methods of homeschooling. The top methods include:

  • Charlotte Mason
  • Montessori
  • Ecletic/Relaxed
  • Classical
  • School At Home
  • Waldorf
  • Free Schooling
  • Unschooling

Confused yet? Don’t be just do your research and don’t be afraid to choose the wrong style because you can always change or use a mixture like we do. We use/have used a variety of all of these methods at some point in time. Do what works for you and your family. A boxed curriculum (School At Home)  may work best for one child while another may be better suited for a Montessori approach.

Each child’s needs will change as they grow and their learning style may adapt as well. Knowing a little about each of these methods could help with future planning and decisions.

Check out the internet and Pinterest for ideas and information.

Where will you Homeschool?

Yet another crazy question, I know. It is called Homeschool so you probably intend to school at home, right? Well, not everyone schools at home. Some people school on the road or on vacation. Sometimes kids travel back and forth between houses and school at both so this might not be as straightforward as it seems.

When I first started homeschooling I imagined it would look like school but at home. I tried to set up a little school area with a nice work area and a computer. Plus I had my desk where I could sit and watch the kids work. That didn’t last long.

I mean part of the reason I chose to homeschool was to make it a better environment for my kids. Making them sit still at a hard table wasn’t better. They weren’t happy and they complained, a lot. Just take a look around your house and decide where the best place might be. It probably needs to be as distraction free as possible but easily accessible too. Remember that you can always change your mind later.

As we became more comfortable with homeschooling my idea of how our homeschool should look relaxed, a lot. Most days we are found learning around the big dining table but sometimes we are piled on the bed, or the couch, or maybe sitting outside on the porch, and even the kitchen island has served as our homeschool area a time or two.

If you and your family need a structured learning space then by all means go for it, if you have the space to spare. If you are in a smaller space, like we currently are, then use the space you have. We use headphones to help drown out noises and sometimes we use cardboard dividers between the computers to provide a more personal space. It all depends on the day and what we are doing at the moment.

When will you Homeschool?

Whoa! What do I mean by when? Most people assume that homeschoolers get up early and start schoolwork. They also assume that they work for 5-6 hours or more a day on school work. This is not always the case.

When we first started I felt like we had to work several hours in order to accomplish what we should. The first program we used we would work 8-10 hours a day and still be behind. As time went on I realized that wasn’t the right program for us and we found another one to use.

Now on most days we are finished with our work in 3-4 hours a day. Some days may take longer while some may be even shorter. We also cut back our school week to 4 days a week. Gasp! I know… it felt like we were cheating at first but we found a schedule that worked for us and hopefully I’ll be able to share it with you soon.

You don’t have to homeschool like they do at school. If your kids learn better at night then homeschool in the evening. My older daughter did the majority of her work at night as she is a night owl and hated getting up early. (She now gets up early for work though.)

If your family’s schedule doesn’t work with a Monday-Friday schedule then find a schedule that works. Just keep in mind that some states have a requirements for how many days/hours that you must attend school.

Another thing to consider is that you don’t necessarily need to start school in August/September and end in May/June. You can start whenever you like and stop whenever you like. You can also plan breaks to coordinate with your schedules and vacations. Many families even school all year round to allow for longer breaks in between quarters. Do your research and try out a few ideas.

Note: Many first time homeschooling families will often do a test run during the summer to see if this is something they really want to do.

I do try to write down a tentative start/finish date so that I can keep myself accountable. I also try to pencil in important dates and events so we can plan around them.

That’s a lot of information for now and a lot to work on. If you have your notebook from the last post then use it to jot down some more notes and ideas that have come to you. Be sure to stayed tuned for the next post where I hope to cover the following:

  • Researching and Buying Homeschool Supplies
  • Setting Up a System for Organizing the Supplies
  • Finding a Planner or System for Your Homeschool

Here are a couple of books that cover these topics and more:

You can also check out my Kirby’s Kids page for some old posts and links that we have used in our homeschool.

Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

So maybe you’ve decided to try homeschooling or maybe you have already been haphazardly homeschooling and have decided to continue but you aren’t sure what to do next. Or maybe you were just browsing and came across this post by accident. No matter what your reason I’m glad you are here and invite you to follow along this little series.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced homeschooler the decision to homeschool or not can be quite overwhelming. I’ve broken it down into a few different sections to help you out. I’ve also shared a few affiliate links to some of our favorite resources.

Go ahead and grab a notebook so that you can jot down some notes as we go through this series. (I may try to make a printable checklist at some point.)

Making the Decision To Homeschool

Making the decision to homeschool can be a big one for some families and it can be quite the change for kids if they have been in public school. More and more families are choosing to homeschool for various reasons like:

  • Bullying
  • Too much homework and/or tests
  • Frustration with the school system/common core curriculum
  • Lack of control over schedules
  • Physical or mental health problems
  • Specials needs
  • Safety concerns

Just be prepared that not everyone will share you enthusiasm or agree with your choice. There are still a lot of misconceptions about homeschooling. I am sure that you will come across them as you do your research.Personally this was a great decision for our family but that is not always the case. We have had a lot of support with our decision and I do get a lot of help from time to time from my older children and other family members.

I love having the ability to decide what we will be learning, how we will learn, and when we will be learning it. I also love the fact that we can pray and talk about religion freely in our homeschool. We are also able to adjust our schedules to fit in planned and sometimes spontaneous outings to the zoo, fishing trip, or anywhere that we find interesting. Another great thing is that we can count these outings as school days!

The last year my kids where in public school I was constantly headed to the school because someone was acting up or not feeling well. One of my special needs kids had an aide that was constantly feeding him things he shouldn’t have been eating which was causing some major health concerns. Then there were several bullying issues and head lice infestations. Not too mention that the news was covered in school shootings. Enough was enough when I got an email about one of my girls needing to have a certain score on her state tests so she wouldn’t pull the rest of the class down. Talk about pressure… I mean you can’t force a child to perform over their level on a test. I pulled all of my elementary level kids out that same week and haven’t looked back.

That was five or six years ago and we’ve learned a lot since then. We made a lot of changes to our homeschool routines and the way we homeschool. We’ve had many many successes like my 6 year old recently learned his multiplication table in two weeks by following along with his older sisters. We also had our first homeschool graduate earlier this year… YAY! One down and five more to go.

Before hopping on the homeschool wagon you need to consider a few things like the fact that you will most likely be with your kids 24/7/365. Yep, this sounds like fun at first and I’m sure you have some really great ideas swimming through your head about all of the fun field trips and wonderful arts and crafts you’ll be making. In reality your house may end up looking like a herd of buffalo have trampled through on a daily basis and every surface in your house will be covered with various art projects.

Another is the time it takes to homeschool. There are a lot of programs out there where you can pretty much turn on the computer and put your kids in front of a screen to do most of their learning. For me, I prefer a more hands on approach which may be part of the reason my house is such a wreck when we are schooling. I want to make learning fun, not saying that the computer programs aren’t fun, but I want to keep them interested and I’ve really been trying to cut back on screen time around here.

Then there is all the time you will most likely spend researching how to homeschool, what curriculum to use, and looking for resources like this article you are reading unless you are lucky enough to be surrounded by others with a ton of experience. I’m telling you that I’ve been there and I’ve done it all. I’ve researched and Pinned so many things and thought I found the ‘perfect’ curriculum for the year only to find that it just doesn’t work for one or more of my kids. Now, if you only have one child to teach then it might not be so bad but it can be a lot more difficult when you have multiple children, multiple ages, and multiple grade levels. That’s the beauty of homeschooling though. You can change whenever you need to and you don’t have to use the same curriculum for every child.

All the time spent on homeschooling, researching, and planning takes away from time for other responsibilities like house work. If you have a job it may also be hard to get your schedule right at first. Now please don’t think I’m saying you can’t work and homeschool because there are many people who do. I am only saying that you should expect a learning period. There will be times of chaos and possibly times where you want to give up but push through it. Once you find a schedule that works for you and your family then you will be one step closer to your dream.

On another note homeschooling does not have to be a permanent choice either. It can be, if you decide that is what is right for you and family but there are many people who homeschool for a year or two to help their child ‘catch up’ or just homeschool through a difficult time. There are many children who successfully return to public school after homeschooling for a period of time.

Researching the State Laws

If you’re still reading this then I think its safe to say I haven’t scared you away from the idea yet. Next thing you need to do is to research your state laws regarding homeschooling. You can check out Home School Legal Defense Association for some information or check with your local school board.

It is important to find out what curriculum is acceptable and what testing, if any, is required. In some states you must have your children tested at the end of each year.

If anyone tries to discourage you, and many times they will, you can also contact local homeschooling groups who can point you in the right direction. I’m going to let you know from my experience that I was discouraged from trying to homeschool my special needs children but I knew in my heart that this was the best decision for them.

Setting Your Goals

Ok, so you are set and ready to go. Let’s set some goals for your homeschool. Don’t go overboard but don’t be too broad either. I promise this might seem like a step to skip but this will help you so much when you feel like things aren’t going well or when you need to step back and evaluate what you are doing.

Grab a notebook and write down your main goals for your homeschool. My main goals were:

  • To help each child learn on an individual basis according to their own needs.
  • To have control over what information my children were exposed to.
  • To prevent bullying and other unacceptable behavior from damaging my children.
  • To provide a positive learning experience for my children.
  • To monitor my children’s diet and habits for a healthy lifestyle.

Yours could be the same or different. Some others have homeschool goals like:

  • letting their children and themselves sleep in
  • spending more time together
  • bullying
  • learning disabilities

It doesn’t matter if they make sense to anyone else as long as they are important to you and your family.

Budgeting the Cost

The cost of homeschooling often deters some people from attempting it. I know it did me at first because I thought all of the good curriculum were the ones that were so expensive. I’ve since learned differently. To begin with you really should set a limit on how much you plan to spend as this will play a big part of deciding the how’s, what’s, where’s, and when’s to come.

Many times you can find free resources online for homeschooling like our favorites Easy Peasy All-In-One-Homeschool and Discovery K12.com. Both of these sites are FREE but do have other options and resources that you can purchase. I also supplement these with a variety of other programs like ABC Mouse, Kids Cook Real Food, KidStirKiwiCo, and Skill Trek.

You can also check yard sales and online sales for used materials. I love going to the thrift stores and finding used books and curriculum for pennies. Amazon is a great resource for finding cheap books in great condition as well as eBay. Oriental Trading also has some really great deals on resources too especially if you need multiple items of the same product.

You will also be able to watch for those before school sales that pop up at the end of the summer. I stock up as much as I can because we are forever running out of printer paper, pencils, erasers, and glue sticks. We’ll cover homeschool supplies and curriculum in another post though.

If cost is an issue for whatever reason you can also check into scholarships for your homeschoolers. I know here in Florida there are a variety of scholarships based on special needs, low income, and other criteria. This is another area where a local homeschool group could help. You also need to be sure to check your local requirements before purchasing any curriculum to make sure it meets the guidelines.

Check out this post for some our favorite resources.

Accept That You Will Have Failures and Things Will Not Go As Planned

This was probably one of the hardest things for me to accept because I was stuck in ‘public school thinking’. I was determined that everything had to happen on a certain schedule or we were failing. This put a lot of undo stress on myself and was unfair to the kiddos. Each child learns differently and on their own time schedule. That was one of the reasons I chose to homeschool in the first place but I lost sight of that at first.

It took us at least six months to a year before we finally found our groove and everything seemed to be going really well. Then when we started the next year I had added a couple more kids to the routine and we lost our groove. After a few months we found it again. Somewhere along the way this past year we lost it, maybe the fact that we moved had something to do with it? I don’t know but I think most people find their comfortable place a year or so into it. Be patient and relax when you first start out. If something really isn’t working then change it until it does work.

Be sure to spend a bit of time praying over your decision. That has been the most helpful tip that was given to me. When in doubt, I pray. When things aren’t going as well as I think they should, I pray. When I really want to switch something around but I’m too afraid to try, I pray. When my kids are struggling, I pray. After praying I always feel calmer and things just kind of seem to fall in place.

We’ve pretty much covered the why you want to homeschool in this post so in my next couple of posts I’ll try to cover most of the following and maybe a couple more:

  • How will you Homeshool?
  • Who will you Homeschool?
  • Where will you Homeschool?
  • When will you Homeschool?
  • Researching and Buying Homeschool Supplies
  • Setting Up A System for Organizing the Supplies
  • Finding a Planner or System for Your Homeschool

In the meantime I do encourage you to do some research and see if this is truly something you want to do and are able to do in your area. You can also check out a couple of these great books on Amazon for more ideas and suggestions:

I have many more books and resources I will be sharing with you all in some future posts. Until then please be sure to like this post and follow along with my blog. If you are an experienced homeschooler and have any tips or other books you’d like to suggest please comment below and I’ll be sure to make a follow up post to include them in.

Have Your Kids Went Down ‘The Slide’ This Summer?

How is everybody? Have the kids been driving you bonkers yet since they are out of school? Well, a couple of my kids haven’t finished their school work yet but hopefully they will be completely finished by Friday. As I was going through the rest of their assignments I came across a couple of links that I thought I’d share.

As many of you know I homeschool my kiddos and we like to use Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool. Most everything is FREE and so useful. They are always adding new things to the site as well and I am ever so thankful for them. My kids really love the site and all of the different resources that they provide. They have learned a lot of different subjects and various subject matter. However a lot of times our kids get so busy playing that they forget, what they’ve worked so hard to learn during the previous year, over the short summer. This can cause for a lot of trouble at the beginning of the new school year.  Continue reading Have Your Kids Went Down ‘The Slide’ This Summer?