Monday, March 21, 2011

Curriculum woes...

Their is just too many options. I just can't seem to nail it all down. I think first grade was easy to plan and no state requirements for her. Just personal education goals. It pays to not have a compulsory attendance age until 8. This means we can do 1st & 2nd grade with out having to report. It pays to have an Aug 8th birthday here too. I am pretty set on what I am doing with her. Now on to my 4th & 8th graders. Oi! I can't decide, I really can't. I have a few ideas. I am researching hours upon hours a day. I need to make some choices, I need affordable but GOOD curriculum. So please comment and share with me what you are doing. or just tell me what I need to do.. I have always wanted to say "Let America decide" so here you go folks my children's educational future is in your hands!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Workboxes, maybe?

That is the question today. Do I want to go this route? I mean worse case scenario I end up with extra storage bins that I can use in other areas of the house. I want the transition of schooling to go smoothly as possible. I want a lot of variety and fun so that me and the kiddos don't burn out to easy. I also don't want to get myself caught up in the thought that I have to cover 10 subjects a day. I will be happy to hit 4 or 5. I want to make sure we hit the important things early so when the say drags on and we feel like calling it a day we already got the big stuff done and can beef it up the next day in other areas.

My idea of our own workbox system comes from reading a BUNCH of blogs and ideas. I have not read the official workbox book.
Here are my tentative workbox plans
1. We start are day in traditional ways
-make your bed, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, get dressed
-Family morning meeting & prayer
-Bible and character studies as a group
2. The big kids would then go to their work boxes
- These will contain a lesson/activity, an instruction card, all materials they need for said lesson/activity and a digital timer. While they get a start on this it will give me the time needed to work 1 on 1 with my 1st grader
3. Each child will have 5 boxes to start I will label them with Numbers or letters that are removable and they will have a place to put them on the wall under their accountable kids boards.
4. They will do 2 boxes and the 3rd box will be a fun box that will contain something both fun and educational and a snack or something. I may toss random treats and such in other boxes (anything to motivate right)
5. If I put a lesson in a box that I know they need my help with I will include a "mom" card so they know they can bring their assignment to me for help.
6. I do plan on staggering out personal 1 on 1 time for each child that will be the tricky part.

For my 1st grader she will have boxes too I hope that if I stagger everything out just right that she can work independently while I work on things with her big sisters.

I am sure I will revise this 100 times but I like the idea of it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Homeschooling electives are awesome. Schools offer only so many choices at home the choices are endless. My oldest daughter was a bit saddened that she wont be able to take the new digital photography class her school is offering next year. I told her why can't we do it on our own. We have two cameras and endless amounts of opportunities at home and in the world. How many photos can you take around the school? We have the world. Being a homeschool mama at heart. I see all kinds of educational opportunities hidden inside this "home digital photography class" think of the nature studies, editing 'art', science projects, critical thinking type photo hunts... etc that can all be tied into simple photography.

Some other electives you can do at home are things like sewing, cake decorating, wood shop, auto mechanics, foreign & sign language, gardening etc.

while electives are not a mandatory thing I think these types activities are important breaks in the monotony that kids sometimes feel with school work.

I'd love to hear from you and what your elective ideas are please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Adventure....

That is just what life is. Right now the adventure is figuring out our schooling for next year. I have homeschooled in the past but never 3 kids at once with a toddler in the mix. This will mark the 2nd year that my older two daughters have not been schooled at home. I have watched so many negative changes that have taken place in good girls at an excellent school. How much we taught them at home that they have seemingly lost while being in the hands of other educators. This was all we needed to flip the switch and dig back into the idea of homeschooling again. Our daughters will be in 1st, 4th & 8th grade and we will have a 2.5 year old under toe as well. Oh and did I mention we would be doing this on a shoe string budget too. So that is pretty much going to be the scope of this blog. How we homeschool a bunch of kids, in a busy life, on a little budget. I think that pretty much describes at least 70% of the homeschooling community. I have many plans and ideas and I am all about trial and error so I will share where we succeed and where we fail in hopes that will help others too. I will also share many freebies and cool finds on the web.