Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Books Used for Homeschool

We've been covering the 5 Senses in Science as n intro to Creation.  Using what God gave us to appreciate it.  After that we moved onto Day 1, Light, Energy and Matter.  We are currently covering Day 2 Water and Atmosphere.

In History we were covering a lot of the Romans during the times right before, during and after Jesus' time.  We have now moved on to the Huns and Barbarians.  I have also started reading Stories of the Pilgrims for Thanksgiving.  I really like this book.

So in my list on the side, these are books that we read, or looked through to see the pictures.

Happy homeschooling!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Julius Caesar and 5 Senses: Homeschooling for September 15 - October 23, 2011

School has started up again!  I love this time of year!  What fun it is to start a new year of teaching and learning together!  Ok enough exclamation points.

The kids and I are still reading the first book of The Story of the World this year.  We are almost finished.  I know I wanted to be finished with it last year, but life happens and it just didn't work out that way.  We've tackled India just a touch, China and Rome.  The kids love learning about China so I make sure to have extra books for them in that area.

Our Rome study has been longer because it's a larger section in the book than other areas.  There's a lot to cover in Rome!  Julius Caesar is our Star of the Moment in History.  I have always enjoyed learning about Rome.  I like all History really, but Rome was always a huge attraction.  

In Science I am using a book called Science in the Creation Week by David Unfred, MSc, MBA (I have no idea what those letters after his name mean!).  I am not using all of the activities from this book, but using it mostly as a guideline and for ideas.  I have used a couple of activities and will use another this week that I tweak to make it fit for us.  But I really really like the idea of teaching Science from a Creation aspect.  Very exciting!  And this book is from grades 2-5 with the different ages separated so you can easily tell what ages to teach what.  

We started out with Using Our Senses to Explore God's Creation.  We will finish that section this week and we get to start Day 1, Light.  How exciting, yes!?  

Oh and the drawback about that book for Science is that it doesn't explain the subjects, it gives you the activities to help instill them.  But that is a plus for me in a way because that gives me more to plan, which I love to do!

For math I am using Lesson Pathways online as a guideline.  I have set up the subjects that I want each of them to learn and then I go through for the week and choose what links we will use.  After we learn a topic, there are games or videos for the kids to watch.  Then I find something relating to what they learned in their mathbooks that we use.  They are just worksheets.  Bubba is using A Beka and Stinky is using A Beka and another one.  

This year I am going to start using more things for homeschooling such as YouTube videos.  We've used it a few times, but I want to do it more.  I also want to use my Powerpoint more often and have fun creating slides and teaching the slides for the kids.  I think that I might do one for the next week of school on one of our subjects.  

We are also covering these other subjects as well: English, Language Arts, Phonics, Spelling, Reading and PE times.  But those are pretty boring to write about.  

Except for I can add that the kids and I have picked up a new hobby called Hooping.  Remember Hula Hoops?  Well we are making our own, because they are much better to use for adults and for the tricks that we are doing, and we hoop for hours on end.  It's great exercise because it uses all of your muscles at once and is like aerobic.  

In fact, if you'd like to see a video of my kids hooping, check out my Youtube page!  You can also check out Bubba's trick basketball shot that was inspired by Dude Perfect, whose videos are favorited (not sure if that's a word, but it sounds good) on my YouTube!

And one last word before I sign off.  I want help spreading the word for my new organization.  It's called Hooked on Hope Organization and I started to help families in need or to bring comfort and love to ill people.  The ultimate goal is to spread the Love and Word of Jesus Christ!  Here's my Facebook page and Blog.

On the side is my Amazon Carousel widget for the books that we read this week.  Not included are The Sense of Touch, The Sense of Taste and The Sense of Smell by Mari Schuh.

Hope to see you around all year!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Week of School Year 2011

So many things are happening so quickly.  So our first week back to school was very messed up.  I should have waited to start this coming week. 

On Monday, things went pretty good considering that I had been so busy with things that I hadn't had time to get everything ready.  But I really wanted to get started, so I did.  Little did I know that I would get a phone call that afternoon from someone at the state office offering me a temporary job as an assistant.  They wanted to do the interview right away, so it was scheduled for the next afternoon. 

On top of all of that, my Father-in-Law was also having surgery to remove an aneurysm that was located in his neck.  It had caused a stroke already and was only only about 9% of a blood flow.  That surgery was scheduled for Thursday, but he had many appointments before then and my husband was helping him.  Our week was pretty much booked up with doctor appointments, surgeries and recoveries.

Tuesday dawned and I was busy most of the day and then went to my job interview.  I was given the job.  It's only for 3 months and I have no idea what I will be doing except handling paperwork and filing.  I am not really looking forward to this, but I have to do it.  She wanted me to start the next day, but I told her about the surgery and she agreed to wait and have me come in on Monday.

Needless to say, there was no school done on Tuesday.

Wednesday was pretty much my last day to be horrifically lazy all day for a long time, so I took advantage of it and we didn't do anything but prepare for the surgery the next day.  No school was done.

Thursday dawned and we were already on our way to the hospital.  We were out of our house at about 6am so it was still dark when we left.  We were at the hospital for probably 10 hours and there was no school done on this day.

On Friday we knew that we were heading into the hospital at some point but we didn't know when.  I wanted to get a lot of the housework done before I start work tomorrow.  I did get a lot accomplished and that was nice.  But we didn't do any schoolwork.

We will just finish last week's schoolwork this week and not worry about it.  That's the beauty of homeschooling!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011 School Planning

Hello hello!  Sorry it's been so long!  Our break is almost over and I just finished the main outline planning for the school year.  We start school on the 15th and I am so excited!  I need to hurry up and finish decorating my room!

I have the majority of my school plans outlined.  The rest I am going to do further into the year to see how we are progressing.  Since I love to plan, I leave the day to day planning for the week before.  But I'm too excited to start, so I will start planning for our first week probably tonight.

I have a fun and exciting year planned!  For Science I am going to use a book called Science in the Creation Week for grades 2-5.  This looks very interesting.  I am going to add my own stuff to it so they get the ideas in concrete because the book doesn't go in depth in teaching.  It's more for some science labs and activities.    After we are done w/that book, I will be using The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett for some Social Studies I guess you'd call it.  After that, we will study missionaries. We'll also be reading Stories of the Pilgirims during Thanksgiving time.

For Phonics for Bubba, we'll keep using the Hooked on Phonics because it's working so well for us.  Stinky will finish her English book that we got her in the middle of last year by Rod & Staff and we'll get her going on a new book.

For Math I am going to use a website called Lesson Pathways.  I am basically going to follow their math program suggestions, use some of their info and add my own teaching to it. 

History we are going to finish Story of the World book 1 and start the 2nd book. 

During our Bible study we will finish reading the Bible that we're reading and then maybe move up to a higher level Bible for children.  I haven't decided yet.  Maybe just individual character profiles too.

For Language Arts so far I have planned to read: The BFG by Roald Dahl; The Boxcar Children #2 Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner; Grimm's Fairy Tales; Spy for the Night Riders by Dave & Neta Jackson; Superfudge by Judy Blume; The Queen's Smuggler by Dave & Neta Jackson, George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl and an abridge for children version of The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss.

I can't wait for school to start!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Workboxes Week 1 & 2

Before I start my post I would like to say this:  I did not read the book about workboxes before I started, so I am not using the exact system that people use.  I have looked at blogs and made up my own system as it would work for me.

I decided to try these workboxes to see if they helped to simplify my life.  For school and home.  And it did!  I am so glad that I gave this a try.  I used cereal boxes for each box, instead of using the plastic shoe tubs.  My girlfriend and I decorated the boxes ourselves.

First I sat down and decided how many boxes I would need and how many I would use for both kids or individually.  After I had that figured out, I sat down to decorate.  I have a box for Math, Bible, Science, History, English and one for my daughter.  I still need to make more boxes.  I also took macaroni & cheese boxes and used those for each child to have their own chore box.  

Last week was the first week that we used them.  We started on Monday and finished Friday.  I told the kids how to use them.  They were to go through each box and do the work included by following the lists in each one.  I have made it simpler by using color-coded paper clips to hold their work together for boxes that they have to share.

For example, they share a math box.  So I write a list for each one with their assignments for the whole week on it.  Then I put the worksheets with the list and hold them together with a paper clip. Bubba gets orange and Stinky gets yellow.  Each day, after they do their work, they put those pages on the back of the pile.

Each day when I tell them it's time to get up, they have the option of starting with whatever box they want to.  If it's a box, like history, where they have to wait for me, then they do.  They have all day long to finish their work.  It must be done by 7pm.  They have to at least do that days work, but they can work ahead if they'd like to.  At the end of the week, (Friday night at 7pm) when I check the lists, whatever is not done will be noted and privileges for the weekend will be lessened. 

Last weekend, they had a birthday party to go to, and that worked well for motivation.  If their work wasn't done by Friday night, they couldn't go to the party on Saturday.  This week, there wasn't any plans for the weekend, but they know that TV and Wii privileges will be taken away for the weekend.

This saves me from having to yell and badger them all day long to get their work done. I give them reminders during the day and that is about it.  It also makes them responsible, not me.  I have enough responsibilities to worry about.

Week 2 was this week.  I was hoping that it would not be something that just lasted for a couple of days.  It is still working great.  I have collected 2 more cereal boxes that I need to wrap and decorate.  Tomorrow I will be sitting down and gathering all of the needed supplies and lists for the week and stuffing them into their boxes.

I did borrow the idea of decorating the cereal boxes from another blogger, A Mother's Journal.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fruits and Nuts Review for Shining Dawn Books

Last week I was lucky enough to win an ebook called Fruits and Nuts to review by Shining Dawn Books.  I am so glad that I won this too!  I have read through it but let me tell you, I can't wait to try it for homeschool!

So the first thing that I loved was this was all put together with all of these different activities, before I got it!  I didn't have to plan and try to come up with activities or different materials to use.  And honestly, I wouldn't have thought of using art or music with fruit and/or nuts in it!

Having 3 pages of activities for outdoors, 4+ pages for hands on activities and just over 6 pages of writing and research ideas!  Ideas such as "Play a blindfold fruit and nut game" and the instructions are included; What is Grafting?; Which Fruits & Nuts are poisonous?" and many more!

To finish off the unit lessons there are Bible lessons, poetry, artists and picture study, books, composers & music and related internet links.  There was about 30 pages of notebooking!  Even pages to help with Nature Clubs or Co-ops and having a scavenger hunt!

Another factor that I loved was that this was perfect to use for kids of all ages.  It is extremely easy to adapt to each age group and still teach them all at the same time.

I can't wait until I can order another one of these books for a unit study.  Check them out here at Shining Dawn Books.  Fruits and Nuts is available for $8.95 and is 64 pages of wonderfully fruit filled information by Cindy West and Melissa Leach.

Marriage the Christian Way

Do you ever feel like there are times in your life when God is subtly trying to tell you something?

A few weeks ago, I took my son into the doctor for an appointment.  When I left my house and hubby, all was well.  He was going to wait for us to get home because he had a dr. appointment also.  The dr. appointment was not very long at all, one of the benefits of going in before any of the birds are singing outside. 

When the kids and I got home, we knew that Dad was gone.  We wondered where he was since he was waiting for us to go to his dr.  We searched through the house and no Dad.  I searched outside and no Dad.  There wasn't any note from him telling us where he went. 

There was evidence though that something was amiss.  His bracelets were on the table, and he wears them everyday.  Doesn't leave the house without it.  He also always is armed with his pistol, and I found that in the closet. 

I called next door to see if he was there and no one answered.  My sister-in-law lives next door.  I walked over towards the house and couldn't hear them talking.  I can always hear Greg talking through the house!  All of the lights were even off.

After searching more and not finding him, I decided that I had better start asking some questions.  I called his friend to see if he had picked him  up.  Nope, not there.  So I went over and knocked on his sister's door and woke her up.  She thought maybe he went to the hospital.  She saw that an ambulance was here, came over to see, saw Greg was sitting up and alright and went back home so he didn't have an audience.

So the kids and I came back here and called the ER by our house. 

Yep, he was there.  He had been having chest pains and called himself an ambulance.

As I sat in the hospital room with him, waiting for the results of all of the tests they were running, I was thinking about marriage.  I can be selfish a lot.  I am not always the nicest person to my husband.  There are times when I  am selfish, rude and impatient with him.  I was thinking of all these things and reminding myself that this could have been it.  This could have been the time when something went wrong and I am in this parenting thing and marriage alone. 

I started to think back to the material that I was reading from Eternal Encouragement, formerly TEACH Magazine.  I had received a bundle pack on marriage to read.  There were so many stories and uplifting articles to promote and honor marriage.  I thought back on what I had read recently and knew that I was not being the best wife that I could be.  And Greg deserved more than that.

The Marriage Bundle that I received included 5 e-books, 7 e-booklets and2 back issues from TEACH Magazine to read articles and stories about marriage, and the other 2 were audio recordings.  The value of this bundle is over $100 but you can order this for $39.99 for the electronic download version or you can order the shipped version and pay $49.99.  There are currently 19 different bundles to choose from, including topics on Character Training, Family Time, Godly Women and Homeschooling.  You can check these out on Eternal Encouragements website.

The information in these bundles are sure to be something that opens your eyes.  It is always nice to read about marriage from a Christian point of view too!  There is no slander from Mrs. Lorrie Flem about marriage.  She is nothing but positive and godly while teaching us the way to be Christian wives and mothers.  The Lord has definitely blessed her with information to share with Christian women.

I wonder if God was trying to teach me my selfishness and ungodly ways of living by Greg going into the hospital.  This event made me stop and examine my marriage and the ways that I don't live up to what God wants me to be.  My husband deserves so much more of me than I give him and this seemed like a gently push from my Heavenly Father to shape up.