Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School Jitters!

Today was our “official” first day of school. I say official because yesterday I had the bright idea of trying to start earlier than scheduled and was met with a horrific day yesterday. Naturally, I was a little hesitant about the first day of school. I stayed up prepping all night making sure everything was printed and ready to go the next day.

A couple of homeschool traditions we have in our house include taking a picture with a sign that shows the grade that they will be in this 2014-2015 school year. I also print out a questionnaire that they have to fill out which includes the types of things they like and are interested at their age.
Lightning is entering 3rd and Miss Bits Pre-K
The funniest quote of the day was when I asked Bits what she disliked and she responded, "Reading books! Boy books are gross!"

A couple of homeschool traditions we have in our house include taking a picture with a sign that shows the grade that they will be in this 2014-2015 school year. I also print out a questionnaire that they have to fill out which includes the types of things they like and are interested at their age.

This year I started a new tradition where I hid all their school supplies around the house. Each one was marked with an X, orange for Little Bits and blue for Lightning. They had a blast and it was a nice introduction to our Bible study time and talking about the Word of God being a treasure in our lives. They had a blast and it helped break up the jitters I was feeling about the first day of school.

Here are our curriculum choices for the 2014-2015 school year:

Little Bits- PreK
  • Phonics and Reading: All about Reading Level Pre-1 and seasonal Five in a Row books
  • Math- Saxon K and Right Start A- and fun math activities
  • Bible: This year we are returning to GrapeVine Studies, after trying others these by far were a good fit for our family.
  • P.E.-  100 Mile Club (Co-op)
  • Science: Apologia Anatomy and Physiology (tailored to her age)

ere are our curriculum choices for the 2014-2015 school year:

Lightning-3rd Grade
  • Bible: Grapevine Bible Study
  • Science: Apologia Anatomy and Physiology
  • Math: Right Start C and Saxon 3
  • Spelling: All About Spelling 3 and 4
  • Writing and Reading: Trying out the Blackbird and Company Book Units, something new to try to get my reader to write
  • Writing: WriteShop C
  • Grammar: Easy Grammar 3rd grade
  • Penmanship: Handwriting Without Tears
  • History: Still praying about this subject, I want to teach about missionaries but I also am interested in trying Homeschool in the Woods 
  • Other: We will be getting together with other families  once a week for a co-op and he will be taking piano lessons
Link up with the "Not" Back to School blog Hop at IHomeshool Network

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Yikes, And Then There Were Two! (Pictures from the Past)

When I started this blog what seems like a billion year ago, my son was starting pre-k and my daughter, she was a chubby little baby. But fast forward 4 years and it seems like they grew up in the blink of an eye. Literally, I am trying to wrap my brain around homeschooling a third grader and a pre-k, completely obsessed with princesses, kinda girl and I am left scratching my head and ready to run for the hills.

Proof that I am not crazy!!

I know that it is completely doable though because I have friends who homeschool 4 to 5 children at a time. Still, that small voice inside of me screams, how? I then look at the homeschool blogger rockstars for advice. The ones that I looked to for help when I first started school with my son and had no idea where to begin. The ones that have always been a wealth of knowledge include Carisa at 1+1+1=1, Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations and Confessions of A Homeschooler.

What I have learned from these women and others like them has been a great encouragement as I enter in the next part of our homeschool journey.Here are some of my thoughts that I would like to share, no I am not an expert, nor do I ever want to claim to be one but I believe what the Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 (MSG)  "Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed". I am sharing advice from seasoned homeschoolers that I have gleaned from throughout the years.

My prayer is that these words will encourage someone as they began this journey with their little ones or as they enter into a new season with a lot of unknowns and questions swirling in their head.

First, when you lose sight of what you are doing remember and even write it out, why did you began homeschooling in the first place. Write out the goals that you have for your children and then write these goals into a prayer asking the Lord to give you wisdom and direction. 

Secondly, connect with other homeschooling moms and ask a lot of questions, not just about curriculum but about life. Maybe you are about to transition into jr. high and you have a question about how to do so smoothly find a mom that has been there. Pick their brain and remember to ask for help when you just don't know.

Third and one of the most important things is when you buy that curriculum and it does not fit your child's learning style it is okay to switch. Sometimes, it takes awhile to realize this but it happens. It's okay to do your own thing. Not all children fit into one set curriculum. Again pray and the Lord will give you direction.

Last point pray. Homeschooling is hard, its harder when we try to do it on our own without being lead by the spirit and in love. I have learned this the hard way, when days would just drag on and tears were abundant. Remember this as you teach your children 1 Corinthians 13:3-7:

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end

These are more than just flowery words that well up emotions in our heart. These are words to abide by, meditate on, and allow to saturate in us  as we spend our day with the children God has entrusted in our care. Without love our home and school suffer and are bankrupt.