History through Living Books

History Through Living Books

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books 

A great way to learn history through living books is by reading biographies.  

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Biographies are boring.  They’re dry.  You can’t get interested in them.  Well we’ve got a fun new way of reading biographies for you then.  Try YWAM books.  

The series we use is Christian Heroes Then and Now.  These books focus on missionaries.  They’re a fun biography book that actually keeps you engaged and learning at the same time.  Also YWAM offers study guides to go with the books so that you can use them for a small unit study as well.  I love that my kids want to read these books and they love the books so it’s a win win.

 

Charlotte Mason History

And yes, my kids do love these books.  I recently attended a homeschool conference local to me and bought the WHOLE SET of YWAM Christian Heroes then and now.  All of them.  Every last one they have in print currently is now in our library.  I came home with these books.  Immediately my kids were unwrapping them and finding their favorite reading nooks to dig in.  History through living books.  We love it.  

Other great ways to use living books for your history is to find a book based history curriculum.  We enjoy using The Story of the World as a read aloud.  It’s a great history book that reads like a story and won’t bore your children.  They currently have four in the series.  

Another idea would be to find a curriculum that is book based that includes history.  Our favorite one to recommend would be My Father’s World.  We’re currently using this curriculum though we’re using Exploring Countries and Cultures so we’re adding in some extra history of our own.  I like that they use a book basket.  However, I do not approve or allow all of their book basket books into my home so it’s definitely something individual.  Make sure to go through and only get the ones you’re comfortable with.

Some other books we’ve enjoyed for not only learning about history but also about virtues and character traits are Profiles of Valor and Portraits of Integrity.  They’re great books that give verses to support character traits as well as a historical figure who exemplifies those traits.  I’ll do reviews on those books later on so look for those.

Other books we love to include for history and character training as well are those from Lamplighter Publishing.  Not all of their books are going to qualify as history but they do have some good ones.  Make sure and screen them to see what you think.

What do you use for history?  What do you love?  My kids are excited to start studying American History this year so I’m stockpiling books about the American Revolution for our first big read.  All the Pilgrims and Puritans as well.  Oh and got to get those Native American ones too.  My list keeps getting bigger!  Make sure to comment your suggestions for me!

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Read Alouds

We love read alouds in our house.  If you’re not familiar with the term read alouds, this refers to reading a book out loud to an audience.  In our case, I am the reader and my children are the audience.  I love homeschooling Charlotte Mason style which places a large influence on literature and using good literature in your homeschool.

So I thought I’d share with you this weeks read alouds.  And yes that’s plural.  We read more than one book a day.  In fact, we normally have 3-4 different daily read alouds.

 

homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

 

While we’re reading our books I often have a calming(Peace and calming or lavender) or focusing(vetiver and brain power are amazing) essential oil blend diffusing to make sure we are all focusing and not letting our brains wander.  The main reason I started this is that I was letting my brain wander while reading!  Yes it is possible to have a wandering brain while reading and still read well!  Also, some of my kiddos are doers.  They have to be doing something to really understand what they’re reading so they’re going to be playing with essential oil infused playdough or mega blocks.

So our breakfast read aloud is normally a more focused Christian living and guiding type book.  Lately we’ve been reading through some YWAM biography books.  Their heroes and heroines of history series is amazing.  This week we’re reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

That brings us to our second read aloud time of the day.  This is normally at lunch time.  At lunch this week we are reading The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Makes sense that we’d be starting her most famous book series while reading about her life.  This is how homeschooling Charlotte Mason style is so great!  You can read about an author and also read some of their books at the same time.  For me that’s amazing.

For our lunch read aloud we’ll go through the whole Little House series before we decide on a new series. Sometimes we just go back to book one because it’s amazing how children can pick out new things each time they listen.  I even find myself picking out things that I’d not paid attention to before when I read them as a child.

Another read aloud!  Yeap they just keep coming!  The next read aloud is for supper.  For our supper read aloud we like to read The Chronicles of Narnia.  This is our constant.  We just go from one book to the next and then back again.  So far we have skipped reading aloud The Last Battle though as it’s a bit much for our younger kiddos.  The older kids have read it on their own though and we’ve had some good discussions.

Our last read aloud comes with bedtime.  For bedtime I will read another series.  Right now we’re doing Anne of Green Gables.  We’ll go through the entire series.  Once this one is over I think Emily of New Moon will be up next.  I’ve always been a big fan of these books and love sharing them with my children.  Anne with an E is still one of my favorite characters!

What are some books that you like to read out loud to your children?  I want them to be books that will teach my children something.  Character training is so important and most of our books are going to focus on teaching while telling a vivid story.

Upcoming Blog Series!!

Upcoming Blog Series

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books

I am so excited to share with you that I’m participating in another Homeschool Review Crew blog hop!  This year we are doing a 5 Days of Homeschooling and my theme for the upcoming blog series is 5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books. 

That means that each day Monday through Friday next week you’re going to see a post from this series focusing on homeschooling with living books.  I’ll include things like 

  • what are living books?
  • how can you use living books in your homeschool?
  • popular living books for different ages
  • what are twaddle books?
  • why we don’t use twaddle books in our homeschool or even keep them in our home
  • who does this homeschool style work for?
  • what are some great homeschool curriculums to use with these books
  • and so much more!  Stay tuned!

Living Books and Learning

I’m so excited about this upcoming blog series because I really love using living books in our homeschool and I think you’re going to love learning more about what makes our home tick.  I realized that I don’t often share the nitty gritty of why we have made certain choices in our homeschool and I want to do that!  Maybe you’re a new homeschooler or maybe you’re just looking into other ways to homeschool.  Either way, come join me!  

Not only will you get to read my awesome series in the upcoming blog series but I’ll be linked up to all the other bloggers who are part of the homeschool review crew so you can read their posts as well!  It’s going to be a great week of tons of content just for you!

Here’s a synopsis of what we’ll be talking about!

“Homeschooling can be fun and rewarding utilizing the local library to help you.  We love the Charlotte Mason approach and are using her philosophy on living books versus twaddle in our homeschool.  It enrichs our lives and helps us instill good character and values into our children as they grow into young adults.”

 

 

 

 

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

Traditions within your homeschool are a wonderful part of homeschooling.  They’re something unique to you and your children that set you and your homeschool apart from all the others.  You may have traditions without even realizing it.

 

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

 

When I started thinking about traditions within our homeschool, I wasn’t sure we had any.  So I started thinking harder.  And then I asked my kids what they thought our traditions are.  Find some fun traditions we have and we’d love to hear about some traditions within your homeschool!

A fun tradition that I’ve done with my children is studying holidays and their history.  We love learning about why we celebrate certain holidays and why they are important.  It’s not only a fun tradition but also a great history lesson.  History is our favorite subject!

Something I never thought of as a tradition was my love for read alouds.  We have several different read alouds at different times in the day.  Normally we have four different read alouds going on at a time.  One at breakfast, one at lunch, one at supper, and one at bedtime.  I’ll add to this and the why of it in a separate post. 

Other traditions include doing a lot of subjects revolving around farm life.  This includes gardening and having a specific vegetable that they cultivate.  Or chores.  Farm chores are a part of our homeschool and they reach each level of chores by being responsible and keeping up with their school work.

A fun tradition we’re starting is doing a hymn study first thing in the morning.  I’m tone deaf and had always found this to be intimidating, but with technology(and me learning how to use it) I’ve finally found a way to incorporate this.  Along with the hymn study is Bible verse memorization.

Play might not make it as a tradition in your homeschool, but for us it really is.  For children play is such a part of life that it needs to be incorporated into school and into learning.  I’ve found that we learn so much more when we learn it through play and fun.  It also tends to stick in minds longer this way.

In the last year I’ve also started diffusing essential oils during our school day.  This helps with focus and attention during school.  I’ll be sharing more about this in a separate post as well.

Need some encouragement?  Check out this post too!

What about you?  Do you have any fun traditions in your homeschool?  Any traditions you want to start?

 

Math by Mastery

Math by Mastery

Math Mammoth Light Blue CD Review

 

Math By Mastery

 

There are several ways to learn and teach math when you homeschool.  You can do math by mastery, integration math, etc.  Most of our homeschool journey thus far has been using a math that is integration in nature.  It takes a new concept and teaches it, plus integrates everything they’re learned up to that point.  This means that your child is doing a new concept plus several old concepts in each lesson.  Math by mastery is giving them a new concept and having them do several of that type of problem until they have mastered it.  Simple.

For some reason, maybe because it was such a simple approach, I never used any type of math by mastery until now.  We recently received a CD in the mail.  This was not a music CD though, oh no.  This was a Math CD!!  You’re not likely to believe all the excitement my kids showed when we took this out of the package.  It was like they couldn’t wait to do school!  And in fact, they couldn’t wait!

Excitement

What could cause such a response?  Math Mammoth.  Math Mammoth is a mastery based math program(math by mastery).  We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  This CD contains all that you’ll need to teach math for grades one through seven(1-7).  Each grade contains two workbooks, books A and B.  It’s all downloadable.  You can download it from the CD onto your computer and have your child do it right there or you can print it off and put them in a binder for your child to use at their desk or table.  

I have also found that my child who is five and is in the second book of kindergarten math from another company is able to do the beginning grade one(1) math with ease.  They do mention on their website that you should have your child take at least one placement test before starting Math Mammoth as they can be a harder curriculum than others.  I did have my older children take the placement tests.  Most were placed in the same grade they had been working on but others who do struggle with math went down a grade.  I’m hope that the math by mastery technique is going to really improve their math understanding.

Math Mammoth is aligned and goes above and beyond the Common Core Standards.  I don’t look at those and they don’t mean anything to my homeschool, but I did want to share that for those who follow their guidelines.  

Math Mammoth and the Large Family

The Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD is a large homeschooling families dream.  Or at least a long hoped for dream of this mom who has ten children!  I’ve dreamt of being able to not spend so much on supplies to homeschool my brood and this is it for math!  One CD to homeschool all my children through the 7th grade.  Plus, it only costs $180.00 through the Educents website RIGHT NOW to purchase it.  

Let’s do some math.  Ten children times seven years of math each equals seventy total grades to teach(I might have just exploded my own head).  $180.00 divided by 70 grades.  That’s only $2.57 per grade per child!  You can’t buy workbooks for that price.  Trust me.  I’ve been buying them.  Less than $3 for all that I need.  Of course, if I print off materials I’m also going to have to add in paper and ink and printer wear and tear, but you get the picture!

Right now I’m homeschooling the older eight of these kids with Math Mammoth.  I’ll talk briefly about each child, their age, and where they are in Math Mammoth plus what they enjoy or dislike about the program.  I do have some children who are considered special needs due to Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD), ADD, ADHD, Dsylexia, and general delays both physical and mental.  

Kids Views

For the kids views!  I have two who are done with 4th grade math in a different curriculum.  By the placement test they had mastered most of the 4th grade but we decided to start with 4th grade Math Mammoth.  We started at the beginning which meant they could whiz through it and then slow down when they get to a concept they don’t know.  Pretty sure they’ll be in the next grade sometime this fall.  Their ages are 11(girl) and 9(boy).  My son within a few weeks already is in the second book.  He loves math and really loves doing it on the computer.

Doing math on the computer is fun.  Or at least that is what my children tell me.  Both of the above kids love doing their school on the computer and they can do it independently of me which is a plus in my book.  So while one of them is doing math the other can be working on a different subject at the table and then they switch.  They each of course think they need their own computers.  Which brings me to the fact that you can use Math Mammoth on multiple computers.  

Even More Kids Views

Next I have an 11 year old girl who is delayed.  She just finished 1st grade math.  I decided to start her in the second grade level to see how she would do.  So far she’s doing really well but does not do well doing it on the computer.  This brings out another great point that I like about Math Mammoth.  I can print!  So, I printed off the first book for her and she is working through that with her pencil.  She’s happier and learning which makes me happy.

On down the line I have a 9 year old girl who I started in 3rd grade math.  This was a bit much for her as she is also delayed and has some learning problems.  I backed her down to 2nd grade math(love the flexibility) and she’s doing much better.  Some of her work she does on the computer and then we print off extra papers for her to use if there is something she’s struggling with.

Extras

These extra papers come from the Soft-Pak math software that also comes as part of the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  There are six programs on this part of the CD and you do have to download and install it.  With Soft-Pak you get Math Maker, Math Master, Math User, True/False Math Challenger, Language Arts Master, and List Maker.  

I love being able to make my own worksheets focusing on what area that child is struggling in.  I have not explored all the add ons with the Soft-Pak but what I have used I love.  It’s great for the parent and helps enhance the learning experience for the student.

Lastly I have three students doing the 1st grade level of Math Mammoth.  They are two 8 year old boys and one 5 year old girl.  My six year old girl is not ready for this level of math yet.  All of these three students have finished or are close to having finished the kindergarten level in another math program.  They are each moving at different paces and loving getting to use the computer for their math.

Cons

I do have one issue with this program . . . . I don’t have enough computers!!  We only have one computer currently for our family and my husband also has to use it for his self employed business.  We’re looking into getting a few more computers or possibly some tablets.  This will make doing math much easier for us as more than one can do it at the same time and I won’t have any negatives about using it!

I can whole heartedly recommend Math Mammoth and math by mastery to all other homeschool families.  Particularly those who are going to be homeschooling more than one child and would like to save themselves money.  Do I think this will work for everyone?  No I do not.  In fact, I may even have some kids who would do better with a different math, but I can endorse this math program as being one that my kids enjoy and do well with. 

Homeschool Encouragement

Homeschool Encouragement

Homeschool encouragement is something every homeschool mom needs.  Face it, the days are long.  Somedays you don’t know that you’re doing the right thing or if your children are learning at all.  Other days you’re ready to throw in the towel and maybe even didn’t do school.  And yet, there are those days where everything clicks and falls into place where you know this is what you’re called to do.

 

Homeschool Encouragement

 

So how do you get the homeschool encouragement you need?  There are several ways but it all depends on your needs.  For me, a major factor is having other mom friends who homeschool.  We encourage each other.  It’s important to have homeschool mom friends who have homeschooled longer than you as well as ones new to homeschooling.

The variety in your homeschool mom friends is needed so that while you are being encouraged, you are also encouraging.  Doesn’t make sense?  Think about it.  You are encouraging the new homeschool mom because you’ve stuck with it and are at a place in their future.  Likewise the mom who has homeschooled longer than you is now encouraging you.

Homeschool encouragement can also come from reading blogs like mine and all the other TOS crew members.  We share some of the nitty gritty of our days so you know you’re not the only one struggling.

I have to say my greatest homeschool encouragement doesn’t come from a fellow homeschool mom.  It doesn’t come from my family.  In fact, it doesn’t come from a mom at all.  My greatest homeschool encouragement comes from a good friend.  She’s single, she has no kids, but she knows me and she knows the challenges I face.  She lifts me up and encourages me while also making me laugh and view myself as a person separate from just a mom or just a teacher or just a homeschool mom.  I have an identity all my own and she makes me remember that.

I do also talk to homeschool moms.  Also, I love going to a local homeschool conference every year.  This year I’m going by myself sort of.  My youngest will only be ten months old so he’s still a nursling and will be attending with me.  It’s such a wonderful encouragement to go and hear other homeschool moms talk about their journey and answer questions that I might have.

Each of us will need a different level of encouragement.  We may need several homeschool mom friends.  Maybe we need to read several blogs or homeschool help books.  Your greatest encouragement might be seeing the love of learning ignite in your child’s eyes.  I have to say that is definitely a wonderful thing.

Home Management while Homeschooling

Home Management

5 Days of Homeschool 101 -Day 3

5 Days of Homeschool 101- Home Management
Managing my home is difficult.  It really is.  Home management can be tricky.  I’m a busy mama of 10 kids ages eleven down to ten weeks.  Life is crazy.  I sometimes feel like I never get anything done because it gets undone before I’m on the next task.

I love my family though.  And I love having a clean clutter free house.  But I’ve learned I can’t have a happy family and a spotless house.  Things just don’t work that way when you have a small house and lots of people, plus two dogs and three cats.  We’re animal lovers here.  Add in living on a farm and all that brings with it and you’ve got a recipe for a dirty house.

So, how do you manage the home and the homeschool?  In our house it’s by making the two one.  All the kids have chores and one of the first things we do every morning is clean the house.  This might just be making beds and sweeping floors or it might be more indepth and mopping and deep cleaning.  Either way, the house gets clean before breakfast.  It’s a way I’ve managed to contain the mess and make myself motivated to get our school day started.

In the same sense, one of the last things we do every day is clean up.  It’s the pick up time.  Pick up the toys and put them away.  Clean up the rooms so you’re not tripping on things in the dark and you wake up to a semi clean house.  Who wants to wake up to a kitchen full of dishes?  Trust me, I have, it’s not a nice site and it tends to set the wrong tone for my whole day.

 

home management

 

Talk of cleaning brings about a key point in home management when you have a large family.  Chores.  All of my kids have chores.  Whether they’re simple like making sure your dirty clothes get in the hamper, brushing your teeth, and taking care of your dirty dishes or more complex like doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom.  Everyone in my home has chores to do.

I’ve been through some dark times while learning home to manage home and homeschool and I’d love to share my solution with you.  Part of it is above with keeping the house clean.  This means everyone pitches in.  There may be grumbling, but it saves my sanity.  I just can’t wrap my head around sitting down to devote time to schooling my children with a pile of dirty dishes in my sink and dog hair all over the floor.  I’m distracted.  And if I’m distracted my kids are too.

Planning.  Planning is another huge part of keeping a happy home and homeschool.  Home management should be a priority.  You can read about my homeschool planning but I’m also talking home planning as well.  Have a plan for your days.  For me, one of the first things I do is wash laundry and my cloth diapers.  This way I’m not rushing around at the end of the day trying to get caught up on laundry.  And because I want to get the laundry out of the way, my kids get one of their chores of taking the dirty clothes to the laundry area done as well.  

Some other things to plan are any appointments or things that are going to take you out of the home.  If you have young children you want to plan those around naptime.  You also  want to make sure and schedule your homeschool day around them or them around your homeschool routine.  Choosing curriculum is a vital part of home management and homeschool planning.  

Routines are really important for some of my children.  I have to keep a structured day for them.  Which means we keep to a similar schedule every week.  Two of my children require going to therapy once a week.  We do this on the same day every week and at the same time so that everyone knows on this day we do this.  It’s part of our routine, our schedule, and because of this our homeschool.

Likewise, I set aside Monday as our busy day.  If we need to schedule a checkup or a dentist appt I’m going to be doing that on a Monday.  My monthly grocery coop is on a Monday.  Our dance is on a Monday.  That is our running around day.  If we’re going to have a playdate or go to one of our homeschool groups that meets at a park we do that on a Friday.  But because I don’t like to do a ton of running around we don’t ever do that in the same week that we are gone on the Monday.

Which brings another important note for us in our family.  We stay home for the majority of our homeschool.  When you have ten children it’s not easy to travel.  It requires planning and packing even if it’s just for grocery shopping.  And it can be stressful for me as the mom making sure I’ve got all my children especially with all the recent news of kidnappings and child trafficking.  A parent’s worst nightmare.

So the key to keeping a happy home and happy homeschool in our house is home management.  Managing our home can be tricky and sometimes we do have to break from our routine, but in the end life is so much better when we all know what our jobs are and when/how to do them.  There have been days when we didn’t get any school done due to the house being a mess.  I’m not proud of those days.  But I’m so glad that I finally figured out what works for our family and our home.

What is your day like?  How have you worked out home management and homeschooling?  Any tips and tricks to share?  Make sure to check out the other TOS Crew blogs linked below and the Main TOS Crew Blog.

 

 


Homeschool Planning

Homeschool Planning

Day 2: 5 Days of Homeschool 101

 

5 Days of Homeschool 101- Homeschool Planning
 

Homeschool planning.  It seems daunting.  At least it always has to me.  There are so many different ways to plan for your homeschool.  So many different planners available and curriculum choices.  It’s enough to make you want to run away screaming.

I’d love to share with you how I have finally found myself in homeschool planning.  I have a large family with several school aged children which makes homeschool planning even more of a challenge for me.  Add in some of the kids having special needs when it comes to learning plus life on the farm and I’m liable to go crazy!

Some people plan out their whole year, some their month, others their week, and some even do it just day by day.  My strategy incorporates a bit of all of those together.  When we get ready to start our new year of homeschooling I look at the curriculum and find the halfway mark.  I note that down in a notebook.  That’s where I want to be mid year, so by January 1st I want us to be on that lesson or that page.  Seems simple so far right?

 

Homeschool Planning

 

Next I start out by choosing day 1.  What will be the first day of our new school year?  Most years we start on the first Monday of July since we tend to school year round.  However some years, like this year we pushed our start date back.  I needed a bit more time to recover from having a baby, which also adds a new dimension to homeschool planning!

Okay.  So we’ve got our halfway mark, we’ve got our day 1.  Now it’s time to do some planning.  I plan out the first month all at once.  That way we have a solid foundation to start with.  We’re more likely to hold to our schedule and follow through if we know that we can’t get off track or we’ll be behind so soon.  As we get to the end of the first month I start doing my planning by week.  This way I allow room for our other activities and can plan around days we’re going to need to be out of the house.

One of the fun things with homeschooling is that if I know we’re going to be gone and have a lot of driving time I can plan accordingly.  So, instead of doing workbooks or notebooking while driving we can listen to some history or science.  We can take a short field trip. There are lots of ways to add in schooling hours and keep us learning without being in the books everyday.

What about homeschool planners you ask?  I have tried a lot of them.  I’ve tried online and in print.  I prefer mine to be in print so I can write in them.  I’m a pen and paper type of girl.  Plus it gives the kids access to them as well.  My current system involves using a weekly planning book for each child while also maintaining a large calendar for me which overviews what we’re doing daily.  It may seem confusing but it works very well for us at this point in time.  

I love homeschool planners, but most don’t have space for me to plan out for 7-8 children.  Eventually I’ll need one that I can plan for ten(or more).  There are printable options that I could customize to get to that point, but I don’t seem to have the time to do that either.  Life is short, life is full, and I’m looking for an easy planning method so I don’t have to spend a full day every week planning.

That brings me to how I “cheat”.  I love to find curriculum that all the kids can use together.  Example is that for history we’re using Story of the World.  All the kids can listen to me read and participate in the question and answer session.  We then each have a notebook to record what they learned that day through drawings and writings.  It’s simple for me to plan out and yet still very educational.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my short little view of my homeschool planning.  As time allows I’m going to be giving you a visual of my monthly and weekly planning and what we use for each age and grade.  I’m still bouncing around a bit with some of my children but for the most part we’ve found our groove.

In relation to our homeschool planning check out our home management as well.  They go hand in hand.

All members of the TOS Crew who wish to are participating in this blog hop.  Feel free to go to the Main Blog Post or check out some of the blogs on the linky below.



Choosing Curriculum for your Homeschool

Choosing Curriculum

5 Days of Homeschool 101 -Day 1

Choosing curriculum is a vital part of homeschooling.  It’s right up there with deciding to homeschool.  For me it’s also an ordeal.  I overthink for one.  And of course, I really want to find something that can work for more than one child or better yet for everyone in our homeschool.

5 Days of Homeschool 101
Some subjects are easier to find a solution with.  Choosing curriculum for history is far easier than math for me.  For history I want and found something that I could use with all of my school age children that we all could understand.  It’s simple.  It’s thorough.  And best of all I can use it with everyone and then make the changes to what level their at for the discussion and extras we do.  For history we use Story of the World.  

Choosing curriculum for math is a bit more difficult.  I don’t like using lots of different companies.  I’d rather have everyone in the same company so that I myself don’t have to alter or remember which version of teaching I’m using with each child.  We’ve used lots of different math curriculum.  The one that I’ve found that works for all my children is Horizons from Alpha Omega.  I have some who are gifted in math and some who struggle but they all seem to be able to use this one.

Other math we have used and do like and recommend are Math Mammoth and CTCMath.  You can check them out in my reviews when you get a chance or research them on your own.  The concept that they both use for math is more mastery versus the integration that Horizons uses.  My children who have some special needs need the integration so they don’t forget what they’ve learned while my gifted son really enjoys the mastery method more.  Of course, he also likes that the two I mentioned here are online.  He loves getting to use the computer.

 

 

Choosing Curriculum

 

Science.  Oh science.  This subject really gives me troubles.  I finally decided to follow a Charlotte Mason approach to this and use a living science curriculum that is focusing more on nature this year.  We’re doing a lot of journalling and exploring.  Because of this we can do this one on the go and call our park play-dates field trips as well as fun. Our science is in the photo above.  We’re also adding in some Apologia Astronomy to go with the astronomy part of our Living Learning Books.

We also have to think about reading and writing, phonics and spelling.  I’ve found that the best way to teach reading to my children involves using Explode the Code.  I love it.  My kids love it.  And learning to read comes along with it.  Once my children have completed the entire Explode the Code series I start them into Learning Language Arts Through Literature.

Because we follow a more Charlotte Mason approach I love using curriculum that highlights her approach.  We use copywork that is Bible verses or other things that I want my children to memorize and learn.  It works on handwriting as well as memorization.  We also tend to add in more books and reading than most of our curriculum requires.  Libraries are one of our best friends and we have cards for four different ones.

Let’s see, what’s left?  What other curriculum do we choose?  The extras we do with each year differ a bit.  We always have some kind of music though.  All of the kids take piano lessons while my husband is also teaching them guitar.  Art is the subject that I have the most trouble with as I am severely challenged in this area.  Because of this I try to let my children do a lot of art within each subject.

Some other things to think about while choosing curriculum are your home management and homeschool planning methods.  You need to make sure that you will have the time needed in your daily schedule for the curriculum you’ve chosen.  Different curriculum require different amounts of time.

Make sure to check out all the blogs linked up below and the Main TOS Crew page for what others have to say about choosing curriculum and what’s important to them.



Homeschooling on the Go

Homeschooling on the Go

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents -Day 3 

Our family has been faced with lots of different appointments and being on the go a lot lately.  I’ve had to adjust what I’ve been doing so we can do our homeschooling on the go and at home.  I’m not a hugely flexible person so this was a bit of a challenge for me.  I rose to the challenge though and I’m sharing some of my tips and tricks now!

 

Homeschooling on the Go

 

Some fun things we’ve found to do to make homeschooling on the go easier are to invest in wipe off white boards for all the kids.  I initially thought of chalk boards, but the dust from the chalk would surely make me sneeze!  So small individual sized whiteboards with a small package of markers per row in the van is what we did.  Each child has their own board but each row in our 15 passenger van shares a package of markers.  Sometimes sharing markers may cause fights but I told the kids the alternative was one marker each.  They share fairly well now.

These whiteboards can be used for math facts.  We are working on skip counting with some of the kids and this is an awesome way to do it.  I try to have an older and a younger child in each of the rows in our van as well so the older child can help me check work.  Mostly it’s all verbal though.  

We also use our whiteboards for spelling word practice while we’re homeschooling on the go.  No one said you have to do all of your practice in books!  We’re saving the environment one workbook at a time.  .. . .well not really because we do still use our workbooks but this really is a great way to take our school with us.  

Other ways to take school with you are to have read aloud books on tape(CD) so you can listen to them as you go.  I’ve found that lots of curriculums also offer supplemental things on CD that you can listen to.  Our History curriculum that we are using(Story of the World) has their entire book on CD that you can listen to history while you drive!

 There are lots of fun ways to incorporate homeschooling on the go into your life.  If you are going to have to sit and wait for an appointment to start we love to take whatever book that child is reading with us.  They can silent read or read it aloud softly to me in the waiting areas.  Also this is a great time to work on those workbooks too!

We also love to do flashcards when we are homeschooling on the go.  I’ll make up flashcards, hole punch the corner and then you can hang them on a metal clasp or just use yarn to bind them together so the different batches stay together.  We then will have one child help the other with their cards and then reverse roles so that they can all have a chance at learning through flashcards.  I will warn you it can get loud doing this!  With 9 kids myself in our 15 passenger van there are four seats.  So we could have four different sets of flashcards going at once!  

Another fun thing to do when you’re homeschooling on the go is to read the signs going by.  Believe it or not this is great reading practice and can also do some comprehension as well.  Mainly this is for older kids and not those just learning to read considering the speed you’re passing those signs.

In the same vein as the above you can also do some counting practice on the go.  You can practice your skip counting or just practice recognizing the numbers on the signs you pass.  Those mile markers are great for practicing!  Especially if you’re working on decimal placement.

Hope you’ve enjoyed hearing some of the fun ways we keep homeschooling on the go and I’d love to hear your thoughts or fun things you do!

 

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
 

Don’t forget to check out the Main post linking us all up over on the TOS Blog.  You can also check out a few other blogs by clicking the links below.  I hope you enjoy this blog hop as much as we enjoy bringing it to you!  Don’t forget to keep up with my posts by reading them here.

 

 
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy