Balancing Homeschool and Housework

Balancing Homeschool and Housework

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents -Day 2

I don’t know about your homeschool, but mine is very time-consuming.  I have nine children.  I’m pregnant due in June.  We homeschool year round.  I have a tiny house.  My housework can pile up and my home quickly become unlivable if I don’t keep up with it.

 

Balancing Homeschool and Housework

 

It seems like all I’m ever doing is balancing homeschool and housework, or really just trying to.  It’s hard.  I won’t lie.  I have to do both at the same time and that means multi tasking.  It also means I must have a schedule.  A schedule set for when and how we do school and for when and how I do housework.

Balancing homeschool and housework is more than just making sure dirty dishes go in the dishwasher as soon as they’re done being used.  It’s more than making sure dirty laundry gets to the dirty hampers.  For me, it’s bigger things.  It’s keeping my house company ready(well good friend company at least).  It’s making sure my floors are swept at least twice a day.  It’s having a schedule for when I’m going to mop the floors.  But more than that!  It’s working in fixing meals and keeping a routine so my special needs kids aren’t floating in the breeze.

Balancing homeschool and housework isn’t just about the schooling and the cleaning.  It’s about me having time to do the things my kids love and I love.  It’s taken me several years to get to a place where I know I’m doing what I need to around the house without shirking on school and I know I’m getting done what needs to be done with school without shirking on housework. And within that delicate mix I’m also getting to spend quality time with my husband and kids.

What did I do?  

Well, for starters I realized that I couldn’t do as much of the homeschool planning as I had been doing.  I needed to make that easier on myself.  I couldn’t take a full day every week just to plan what I was going to do with my children for school.  Again, that was taking away from housework and then I’d need a full day to catch up on my housework!  It just wasn’t working.

We changed up our homeschool.  We still do school in the mornings but we don’t start until 9am.  That gives me time to get some morning chores like sweeping/vacuuming/mopping out-of-the-way and gives the kids time to get their own household chores done as well as eat breakfast.  I also do laundry daily.  This makes sure it’s not piling up on me.  My kids all have chores.  This has really helped me!  And I’ve learned to delegate more chores to my older children who can manage them.  Due to learning disabilities and delays children the same age may not be able to do the same chores, but everyone has chores they are capable of doing and they get a sense of accomplishment from doing them.  

When moms ask me how I do it all, I tell them I don’t.  And it’s true.  I don’t do it all.  My kids help me a lot.  They know that school time is for school and we have to get school done or we don’t get to go outside and play.  If school doesn’t get done we don’t go on nature walks, we don’t get to ride horses, etc.  Those are some powerful motivators!  I encourage other moms to take the time to teach their young children chores and responsibility.  

When I was in the worst of it(for me) was when I had 8 children ages 5 and under.  I was starting the older half on kindergarten or preschool but I was also trying to keep toddlers and newborns busy.  I was struggling to do anything with the house.  My house was a huge mess.  My house is so small that being a huge mess makes me depressed.  I quickly learned that I had to teach these little ones that they could help me.  Because they could.  Did you know a 5-year-old loves to help fold clothes?  That they can learn colors by helping to sort laundry?

Balancing homeschool and housework is tough guys.  I won’t lie.  But if you can get a plan in place you can do it.  That plan for me is one room a day.  I divide the rooms up so that I only have one room per day to deep clean.  That means every room gets fully cleaned once a week.  For example, on Monday I deep clean and scrub my bathroom.  It’s not neglected the rest of the week but merely surface cleaned.  One of my older girls is in charge of sweeping and picking up the bathroom daily.  On Wednesdays my kitchen gets deep cleaned.  It’s one of the few rooms that the kids don’t help with too much.  They sweep when I ask them but that’s about all.  I do a pick up of that room daily though.

Saturdays are our school free day.  That’s the day that I work on any and all housework that has gotten behind during the week.  I do bulk baking on this day.  Sunday is our day of rest and we do all kinds of fun things as a family.

 

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
 

I hope you’re enjoying this blog series and remembering to check out the Main TOS Blog to see all the other blogs who are participating.  I’m listing a few below that you can check out too.  Plus don’t forget to check out my other days in the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop.  

 

 
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie’s Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom

Homeschooling While on Bedrest

Day 1:  Homeschooling While on Bedrest

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

 

I recently had the opportunity to be on bedrest for two weeks.  I needed to keep homeschooling my kids so we don’t fall behind.  This brings a new perspective to what I do and how we do it!  So for the first day of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents that the TOS Crew members are putting on I bring you Homeschooling While on Bedrest.

 

Homeschooling While on Bedrest

 

Homeschooling takes commitment but we all know that coming in to the game.  What we don’t always understand is just how time-consuming it can be or how hard it can become.  Life throws us curve balls just to see if we can catch them I guess.

I caught such a curveball a few weeks ago.  I had some pregnancy complications which left me on bedrest for two weeks.  Homeschooling while on bedrest is not for the uncommitted.  I can tell you that.  I was committed to keeping the kids up on their schooling while I was on bedrest but that first day I really wasn’t sure how.  Not to mention the fact that I had two kids sick and wasn’t sure how to get them to the doctor!  My mom came to my rescue and took the kids to the doctor and we declared it a sick day while I figured this all out.

Homeschooling while on bedrest looked to me like me being in a reclining chair or on our couch so I could be out in our main living area.  Our living room is the largest room in the house which isn’t saying too much since we have a small house.  I knew I needed to find a way to move the kids into that room for their school or I wouldn’t be able to keep track of what they had done and what they still needed to do.

Enter solution for me!  We have a folding dining room table.  It’s not ideal but it does seat us all if barely.  We outgrew our old table and haven’t found a harvest table that meets our size requirements so we’re working with what we have.  My solution was to simply bring that folding table and our chairs into the living room with me.  So I set the kids to cleaning and sweeping the area the table would go in and getting it moved.

Once we had the table moved to the room I was resting in it made it a lot easier for me to watch the kids do their school.  They could then bring their books to me when they needed help and homeschooling while on bedrest began to seem doable.  But I still had two sick kids.  

So while I was in the chair reclining my two sick kids were on the couch resting.  The others were doing school.  The toddler was playing with her toy kitchen in a corner of the living room and the preschooler would play with her when she was done with her small bit of school.

Homeschooling while on bedrest was definitely not easy.  It’s also not something that I want to do again.  But, there is a chance I will have to.  So I’m making preparations now to make it even easier.  I think for me that’s the biggest hurdle to overcome.  I’m a planner and suddenly being thrown into something that wasn’t in my plans does not work well for me.  Having a plan in place if you’re pregnant and this does happen to you will really help your sanity and your thought process.

By thought process I mean it will help your can do attitude.  It will bring homeschooling while on bedrest from a I think  I can do this to an I know I can do this mindset.  I truly think that is the largest hurdle that has to be overcome.  Having a good support system will also help.  I have 9 children ages 2-11.  My husband works.  I was home alone all day and was overwhelmed with it all.  I mean how do you homeschool while on bedrest and take care of your home and your kids?  Thankfully my mom stepped in and came over around lunch time almost daily to help me out.  She was such a help!  I’d encourage you if you think you might have to homeschool while on bedrest to talk to other people and get a support system set up so if you need help you have it available.

 

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
 

Hope my little post helps someone else who might be faced with homeschooling while on bedrest and I’ll see you tomorrow with another installment of the 5 Days of Homeschool Tips for Parents right here!

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 the hop is five days and you should read all five of my posts!

 

Annette @ A Net In Time
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Cassandra @ A Glimpse of Normal
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
DaLynn @ Biblical Womanhood
Danielle @ Sensible Whimsy

 

 

 

This post has been shared on:  Motivation Monday, Clever Chicks link up, Modest MondayMonday of Many Blessings, Art of Homemaking, Mondays Musings, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Wise Woman Link Up, Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Get Access to ALL the Adventures in Odyssey!

It’s August, which means it’s nearly time for your kids to pack up their pencils, zip up their backpacks, and hop on the school bus. Aside from prepping them for their new teachers, new classes, or maybe even a new school, it’s important to prep their faith. Sign your whole family up for Adventures in Odyssey‘s Odyssey Adventure Club for a special price of $9.99/month. The club is an essential tool to teach your children to share their faith at school, to be bold, and to grow in their relationship with God.

I love that with this promotion you’re going to get access to ALL the Adventures in Odyssey!  You’re in for a lifetime of fun and adventure!!

 

Get Access to ALL the Adventures in Odyssey 

Join during the month of August for $9.99/month, and you’ll receive these benefits for being a member:

  • Unlimited streaming of Adventures in Odyssey library (800 episodes) retail value over $1,500 USD
  • New monthly exclusive episodes
  • Monthly Web Quests
  • Monthly Clubhouse magazine subscription (U.S. Residents Only)
  • Daily devotions based on Adventures in Odyssey episodes
  • OAC monthly member newsletter
  • OAC exclusive video stories
  • Animated Odyssey videos, Last Chance Detectives, and more!

Spend the last few weeks of summer vacation with your kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes and build their faith!

Ready to join? Head over to the website and sign up today!

My kids love Adventures in Odyssey.  We listen to the stories, we read the books, we listen to the audiobooks and watch the movies.  They pack a solid values lesson and entertain at the same time.  They have the seal of approval from this busy homeschool mama.

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  I have been provided with a free account to Adventures in Odyssey Club in exchange for my promotion of their website and club.  I have not been compensated in any other way.  This is in conjunction with Litfuse Publicity Group.

 

 

Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

My life has had a toddler in it since my oldest hit the toddle stage.  She’s now 10.  So my entire homeschool career has had a little toddler around while I’m working with the older kids.  Let’s talk today on Day 4 of Real Life Homeschool about Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler.

 

Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 

We tend to make cute little tubs that hold toys in them.  We have a tub with blocks, a tub of duplo, a tub with a baby and accessories, a tub with crayons and a coloring book/some colored paper, and several sensory activity type tubs.  Oh and we have a tub that has Thomas the Train engines in it for when she’s in a high energy must make noise time!   We also have a low shelf that contains books that she can look at and play with.  I plan on doing some posts next week about our toddler activity tubs.  There are some awesome ideas out there too!

I also keep snacks handy for the toddler.  Little things that are healthy and easy for her to eat without choking.  We get some awesome baby snacks that resemble cheerios but are actually made from veggies and fruits.  My toddlers have always loved these.  Keep a sippy cup of water in your school area as well!  Cut up grapes and put in a container in the fridge the night before and you’ve got a great little snack. 

Something that has saved my life with a toddler is babywearing.  I love to wear my babies and they love to be worn.  This seriously saves our school day when the toddler is teething or cranky or just in need of a nap.  Even if she’s in a great mood she still likes to be worn for around ten minutes at a time to have that closeness with me.

Of course, you get the fun toddler times too!  I cannot count the number of times we’ve had a toddler sitting on a school desk smack dab on top of their lesson so that they’ll pay attention to her instead of their work.  Another thing that happens countless times is the toddler deciding to take all the school books off their shelf and resort them.  So, if you visit and wonder why the 4th graders reading materials are mixed in with the kindergartener, just giggle and say “I see the toddler has been here.”

I have come to learn that Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler can be very challenging.  There are going to be days you want to pull your hair out, days where you’re looking for the closest school to put your kids in or at least a daycare for the toddler!  But there are also going to be the days where you are filled with joy at all your children have learned.  When your toddler comes over to you and can count to 10(she’s not even 2 yet!!!) or when the toddler is recognizing letters and numbers and colors and you haven’t worked with her at all yet!  Those are the moments it’s all worth it and those are the memories that will stick with you.  Though I do have to say she’s pretty adorable sitting on the kid’s school books while they give her the “yes you’re adorable now please move” look.  

So remember, mama just starting to homeschool with a toddler, you can do this.  It does get easier and the memories you’re creating will last a lifetime.
Don’t forget to check out the other days of the blog series!

Day One:  Real Life Homeschool On A Farm

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

 

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Blogs to visit on Day 4!!!

Life at Rossmont
A Stable Beginning
Happy Little Homemaker
Joyful Hearts and Faces
Day by Day in Our World
Mama’s Coffee Shop
Delightful Learning
Double O Farms
Tales of a Homeschool Family
Home Sweet Life
A Rup Life

Real Life Homeschool Year Round

I’m so glad you’re back for day three of the Real Life Homeschool Series!  Today we’re going to talk about Real Life Homeschool Year Round.

 

Real Life Homeschool Year Round

 

I tried homeschooling just during the normal school year like the public schools do, but it didn’t work for our family.  We tend to take a month-long break in the winter and smaller breaks when my husband has down time from his business(self-employed).  So, it made more sense to us as a family to school year round.  I also find that my special learners tend to forget things if they go more than a week without working at them.  With that being said we really try not to take more than a week off from the main subjects.

So for me, Real Life Homeschool Year Round was the answer.  Now don’t get me wrong.  My kids aren’t bent over notebooks and workbooks all day every day with no end in sight.  We do unit studies and whenever possible we do them outside!  Even when they were sick with the stomach bug this past month we all went out on the porch on the nice days and had read aloud and silent reading time.  I’m afraid a few times it wasn’t quite so silent as someone got sick, but such is life in a large family!

I want learning to be fun.  I want learning to be non stop.  For us, year round homeschooling is this.  We do Civil War Reenactments.  My children are learning that entire weekend.  That is more school for them even if they’re not realizing it.  They’re learning history.  They’re learning about and experiencing nature as well.  Plus I throw in some random things like doing math with helping me plan meals and measuring ingredients.  I might even be sneaky and have them read some old-time schoolbooks and do spelling words on slates.  I can be devious like that!

Like I mentioned above, Real Life Homeschool Year Round is what works best for us.  I’ve heard others do two months on and one month off.  Whatever works for you and your children is what you should!  Homeschooling is all about being able to be flexible and do what works for you.  

 Day One:  Real Life Homeschool On A Farm

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!
 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

 

Here are some blogs to hop on over to today!

Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Double O Farms
Simple Living Mama
Fried Clams and Sweet Tea
This Sweet Life
A Net In Time
Counting Pinecones
Some Call It Natural
Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Debbie’s Homeschool Corner

Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Welcome back to Day 2 of my Real Life Homeschool Blog Series!  Today we’re talking about Real Life Homeschool on One Income.  I know a lot of people are in this boat.  Several of those people I’m happy to call my friends!  We’re the mommies that stay home everyday with our children.  We not only teach them how to be kind and share but how to multiply and maybe speak a foreign language!

 

homeschooling on one income

 

My homeschool lives on one income.  If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’m a representative(or whatever the companies call them) for a few MLM companies.  I don’t do home parties or shows and rarely do facebook events.  I’m not huge on promoting them.  They are for products I love and use that I like to share with people.  I don’t normally share to make money but to say Hey I LOVE this!!!  I don’t consider that a form of income(well maybe I would if I actually made money).

So how does a large family with nine children homeschool on one income?  

Well, we’re frugal.  I love curriculum that isn’t workbook based or that allow for copying of the workbook.  The curriculum we use now is KONOS which is a unit study curriculum.  One book can be used for two to three years and you just use library books to supplement into it for teaching the lessons.  I LOVE this!  Libraries are free guys!  Use those libraries!

Unit studies are a great way to get a lot of subjects together without spending a lot of money.  I’ve written my own unit studies before and made some easy printables for my kids.  Our spelling words come from our unit study.  Our read alouds and reading time books correlate with the unit study.  Our history and science correlate with the unit study too!  And sometimes, if I’m extra creative, we can get math in there too!

Another way to have a real life homeschool on one income is to find free places to go for field trips.  A field trip can be a trip to the grocery store where your children  have helped you write the shopping list, help you find the items on the list, talk about why certain items have to be frozen or refrigerated, calculate how much money you are spending, and then help you count out the bills or change needed to pay for said groceries.

While you’re out and about on your grocery field trip, stop at the library for reading materials, have a picnic at a park, or visit a nursery to look at plants!  We get all of our school subjects in even though we’ve done none of our regular work just by learning as we go!  And we have fun too!   

So the key for me is to find resources that I can use for multiples ages without having to buy a ton of workbooks.  Those workbooks get expensive!  Also, take advantage of free activities in your area.  We live in the country but we go for nature walks on our farm and then journal what we saw, look it up to learn more about it, etc.  Local wildlife areas are great to visit as well.

I’ll share more about our homeschool and what real life is like around here in the next few days!

Don’t forget to check out my Day 1 post about Real Life Homeschooling on a Farm as well! 

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

 

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Blogs to visit on Day 2!!

For This Season
Unexpected Homeschool
For Him and My Family
As We Walk Along the Road
Growing in His Glory
Homeschool Coffee Break
Daily Life
There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Proverbial Homemaker
ElCloud Homeschool

Real Life Homeschool on a Farm

This week I’m participating in a Blog Hop with several other blogs.  We’re going to be talking about Real Life Homeschool!  For me today I’m being a bit more specific, so we’re going to chat about Real Life Homeschool on a Farm.  

 

homeschool on a farm

 

We live on a farm.  We may not have cattle and a working ranch but we do have several animals that need daily care.  My children have chores around the farm and they have to get them done in the mornings and evenings.

Some of the farm chores that my children have to do are feed and water the chickens, bottle feed the two baby lambs whose mothers didn’t care for them, care for the outside farm cats, outside dog, grain the small pen of horses(we have two pens for horses), water horses, water sheep, water goats, and gather the eggs.  Some of these are morning chores, some evening chores, and some have to be done twice.  These chores are essential.  If they don’t get done then our animals will die and no one wants that!

We also have things that happen that interrupt our school like lambing and kidding season.  We don’t normally have to assist in birth but do have to check several times a day to make sure our animals are doing okay with birthing and that the babies are cared for after  birth.  We also have a ferrier who has to come trim the horses hooves.  And then there is shearing time for the sheep in the spring when the whole family helps shear, trim hooves, worm, and give shots to the sheep.

Some people wonder how I can homeschool on top of all these chores that we have to do(that doesn’t even factor in the garden during season).  A lot of people think I’m crazy to try or should put my kids in public school so I can have a break.  For me though, I am perfectly content to raise my children on our little farm and teach them how to care for others whether they be friends in need or animals.  I believe we are building life skills just as much as we are learning how to read and do math.

A large part of our homeschool is life skills.  Learning to do their chores and knowing that others depend on them for survival prepares them for being out on their own, owning pets of their own, and having children someday.  Learning how to do their chores in a timely manner and learning that chores come before play is also a great life lesson to learn.  We can’t always do what we want when we want it.  

 

real life homeschool

 

So how do we schedule around this stuff?

Well we do and we don’t.  For daily chores, we do outside chores before breakfast or right after we eat.  Then we can do our morning school.  Feeding lambs happens three times a day and is around meal time s we’re not doing school then.  We can do any school we need to do in the afternoon without interfering with chores that happen at 5 in the evening as well.  The last bits of chores happen after dark when the chickens are shut up.  

For major farm events like lambing and shearing, we just work around them the best we can.  If my kids miss some subjects a few days because they’re watching a lamb be born or helping with all the shearing commotion I know I can mark down that they learned things even if it wasn’t in the house or in a book.  It’s real life.  It’s homeschool.  It’s our life and it’s perfect for us.

Whether we learn by feeling and doing or by reading or by seeing, everyday we’re learning.  That goes for adults as well as children.  

My kids also have inside chores but we’ll save those for next post!

Day Two:  Real Life Homeschool on One Income

Day Three:  Real Life Homeschool Year Round

Day Four:  Real Life Homeschool with a Toddler

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Real Life Homeschool on a Farm!  Now discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Here are a few specific blogs you should visit for today’s posts!

Every Bed of Roses
Ben and Me
Footprints in the Butter
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Raventhreads
Counting Our Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Ozark Ramblings
Chestnut Grove Academy
Only Passionate Curiosity
Farm Fresh Adventures

How To Teach A Foreign Language Even If You Don’t Speak It {Guest Post}

The following post titled How to Teach a Foreign Language Even if You Don’t Speak It, is a guest post by Adriana Zoder.  I was so excited when she reached out to me to guest post on my blog.  I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!  Oh and we’ve used Middlebury Interactive Languages before and LOVED it too!

 

Because I was raised in Europe, Romania to be exact, foreign languages do not seem like such a big deal to me. Granted, I have been told that I have natural abilities in that realm, but most people around me learned French and English to a certain degree. If nothing else, because these two languages were school subjects for us since the fifth grade all the way through our senior year in high school. Also, because most of the movies and TV shows we watched were in English (or French or Italian or Spanish or German). Daily exposure to other sounds de-mystified them.

 

guest post

 

That’s the secret to learning or teaching a foreign language – daily exposure to those sounds. So here’s a seven-step strategy for you to teach a foreign language in your homeschool even if you can’t remember any of the Spanish – or whatever foreign language – you “learned” in school:

1. Find a radio station online in your target language. For us with French, it’s Radio France Internationale. Turn it on for 10 minutes a day. Even if you don’t understand what in the world they are saying, your ears will start getting used to the sounds and flow and rhythm of that language. Obviously, your children must be listening to this. They are the ones that should learn it, but don’t exclude yourself. You may be surprised how you will be able to distinguish certain words after a month or so of radio listening, especially if you add.

2. YouTube videos – in the target language, of course. We watch Caillou, mostly. But there is also Léo et Popi and Tchoupi et Doudou. Not only do we get all sorts of French vocabulary, as the episodes are organized along specific themes (feelings, Christmas, friendship etc), but we also watch very polite family interactions. Let’s face it, Caillou’s parents are perfect. Their responses to Caillou’s childish actions and reactions should be gathered in a parenting book. Just saying.

 

 

If you don’t know of a show in your target language, just Google “videos in German” or whatever language you want to teach your children. My advice would be no more than 30 minutes per day of videos, no matter how quality the content is. Children must learn skills in the real world and their brains must actively engage in 3D experiences. Screen time should be minimized.

 

 

3. All this exposure to the sounds and rhythm of a foreign language would not take you far unless you had a curriculum that steadily and systematically taught you vocabulary and grammar. I wrote about how we use PetraLingua and Middlebury Interactive Languages in French, but both of these websites offer many other languages. Recently, I discovered DuoLingo, which is a free app for your phone or tablet or computer. No excuses anymore, right? It’s free.

 

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My kids learning French with Middlebury Interactive Languages

 

4. Look for play groups in your target language. Google, your local library and your local newspaper should help you locate them. Some areas will be better equipped at this than others. If nothing else, start your own. Here’s how I started my own French Play Group. Sure, I am fluent in French, but you can also do this with a local foreign language teacher or with youtube videos and an interactive language curriculum. Especially for beginners, it should be easy for you as the coordinator to keep track of their answers. Besides, many of these online curricula are self-correcting.

5. Join your local chapter of Alliance Française if your target language is French. We did and the kids enjoyed greeting people in French. Even if you don’t get anything out of it, just the fact that there is a place where your children can go and it is considered normal to say “bonjour” and “au revoir” to a real person will boost their confidence. For any other language, I would call or visit the website of an embassy of the country where they speak that language. Ask for similar organizations which work on promoting their language and culture.

6. Search your local homeschool co-ops. Sometimes there are foreign language courses offered there and some of the teachers may be native speakers. For those of you living in or near Blount County in Tennessee, the Blount Home Education Association offers French language teaching on different levels by a French national.

7. If you are fluent or at least advanced in a foreign language, read to your children in that language. Start with picture books even if your children are older. It will be short and sweet and the pictures will help with translation, which makes the work less tedious and boosts confidence. Schoenhof’s, Harvard University’s foreign language bookstore, offers free shipping on orders over $50. If you don’t know what titles to get, call them or join their Facebook page and ask. They have very friendly staff.

8. Invest in a foreign language magazine. The Bayard-Milan representative for the US will help you select an appropriate title for your children’s ages. They have magazines in French, German and Spanish.

Here’s hoping you got inspired to learn a foreign language while teaching it to your children!

 

 

 

Adriana Zoder is a homeschooling mom of two, living in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. She has published two books on Amazon, 101 Tips for Preschool at Home and 101 Tips for Kindergarten at Home(reviews of these coming soon by me–Erin!!). Get Adriana’s FREE ebook 21 Days to Jumpstart Your Homeschool at her award-winning blog,www.HomeschoolWays.com.

Martin Luther King Jr Unit Study with a Twist!

Okay, so I like doing unit studies with my kids.  We get in more than just one subject with them and the kids LOVE them!  I’m talking it’s their favorite way to learn!  So this week we’ve been working on one for Martin Luther King Jr Unit Study with a twist.  You ask now what is that twist!

 

martin luther king jr unit study

 

That twist is that we compared the plight of the black(African American) people of the time of Martin Luther King Jr with Ruth and then with Esther from the Bible.

I was challenged by Family Christian to take and use items from their store to make this unit study.  They provided me with a certificate to use to spend at their store to purchase said materials as well.  Well, when I went to the local Family Christian store I was a bit shocked that this store actually had nothing on Martin Luther King Jr at all.  They could order things for me, but that wouldn’t give me enough time to plan up a study.

So instead I found some things to compliment the study I already had in my head.  I got some Celebration printer paper at a local print shop.  I found some cute little stickers with words on them like Joy and Faith.  A sign for our wall that says Believe, a Bible study on Ruth and Esther, and lastly a CD with worship music.

Now how do all of these things relate to Martin Luther King Jr?  Just how was I going to pull them into a study?  Well the answer was simple to me!

Two words that I pulled from his famous speech I Have a Dream were joy and believe.  He spoke of verses in the Bible that contained these words.  In fact, he quoted Psalms 30:5 over six times!  

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

That verse is one that we hear a lot.  It is also one that is in many worship songs(worship cd comes in here).  We also know that Martin Luther King Jr was a Reverend and a Godly man. It stands to reason that he would have spent his days praising the Lord(we know he did).  I thin he’d approve of us listening to praise and worship music while we work on our study.

 

Believe

 

Believe.  Do you think Martin Luther King Jr believed in anything?  I think he did.  I think he believed in an equal America for all.  This is why we got the Believe plaque.  We should all believe in something and be willing to support and work towards that goal.  What we believe in could simply be believing in God and wanting to share him with everyone.  But we all need something to believe in!

Okay so the stickers are pretty easy to tie in.  They’re full of words like believe, joy, faith, and are geared towards kids.  I needed something that would tie this in for my littler kids.  They love stickers.  They also love coloring!

 

I Have A Dream

 

Coloring brings us to the printer paper.  It has a celebration type theme around the outside.  I used the printer to type I Have a Dream on the top of each page that we were going to use and then assigned my kids with the task of drawing me a picture of something they dream of.  Now my kids didn’t draw anything earth shattering.  They’re not dreaming of world peace, but they are dreaming dreams and drew them for me.

 

Ruth and Esther Bible Study

 

The last bit to incorporate was the Bible study on Ruth and Esther.  This one was probably my favorite part.  I liked everything else but I like bringing their attention to things in the Bible and how they can relate to what we’re studying.  I think both Ruth and Esther could relate to what Martin Luther King Jr wanted.  He wanted equality for his people.  He wanted all to be treated as the same.  

Wasn’t that what Esther wanted?  She wanted to save her people from being killed.  She wanted her people to be treated as equal to all the others.  She risked her own life to save her people.  I’d say she was a brave woman who also had a dream.

Ruth also was a brave woman.  She was treated unfairly because she was an outsider in a country she followed her mother in law to.  Maybe not quite as extreme as Esther’s situation, but it has a happy ending!  

As we were studying Ruth we also had to add in some fun!  Here is another of our twists.  Who knew that Veggie Tales would work with Martin Luther King Jr?  Well we connected them!  We watched Duke and the Great Pie War which relates to the tale of Ruth in the Bible.  Oh and we also watched Esther the Girl who Became Queen to tie Esther in in a way that the littler children could relate to.

 

library books

 

Now I know you’re wondering where the actual information on Martin Luther King Jr came from by now.  I checked out three books from the kids section of a local library to read with my children.  We also listened to an audio recording of his famous I Have a Dream speech.  

Last but not least.  I asked them each what a special day would be for them.  I placed those slips all in a jar and one will be drawn for what we’re going to do on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr day.  (I’ve already peeked at a few of these and they’re looking fun!)  Things range from going to the zoo, baking cookies, going to the park, and some that just aren’t things I can make happen like go visit such and such friend who happens to live a full day away!

Now here’s the fun part!  Look below for the pictures of their dreams that my children drew.  They are all proudly displayed on my refrigerator until the next art work should be done and move them to the filing bin.  I love having my fridge covered in my children’s art work!

fridge art

 

fridge art

 

fridge art

 

fridge art

 


Martin Luther King Jr. Day 40% off coupon

 

 

 

I was provided with a certificate to purchase some of the items in this post from Family Christian.  All thoughts and ideas are my own and not influenced in anyway.

blog disclosure

Beauty and the Beet #veggietales #review

Are you a Veggie Tales fan?  My kids are for sure!  They were super excited with our latest review from Family Christian!  We got to review the newest Veggie Tales Beauty and the Beet!  Talk about a great movie and a bunch of excited kids! 

 

unconditional love

 

First let me tell you about some great deals you can get with Family Christian right now!  These are limited so pay attention to the dates given!  From December 12-14 you can order your copy of Beauty and the Beet for $7.49 as part of the Doorbusters Event!  Pretty awesome price!  I’d go for that one!  If you miss that though you can purchase from December 15-24 for $9.99.  Still a great price!  After the 24th and into the new year it’ll be standard regular price.

Okay, so now that the formalities are out of the way lets talk some more about the movie and how much we enjoyed it.  You know, I’m going to say that “we” a lot.  Because it’s not just my kids that like the Veggie Tales movies, I do too!  I think they’re adorable and carry a message.  It may not always be a specific Bible verse that we can target, but it’s a great principle or life lesson that kids should know.  And who doesn’t want to learn it through cute and adorable vegetables!  Well and maybe a fruit or two.  I always was taught that tomatoes were a fruit.  

Beauty and the Beet features someone new to the world of Veggie Tales.  Kellie Pickler lends her voice to Mirabelle( the Belle of the classic Beauty and the Beast story tale) and so of course there are some Country Western type songs being sung throughout!  

In our story we follow the Veggie Tones, a family band featuring Mirabelle.  All the children in the family are in the band somehow and dad is the manager.  When they go through the mountains in bad weather to try to get to a new gig they get stranded at a run down resort where Mr Beet is the manager.  They can’t pay to stay so they work it off by cleaning, waiting tables, and singing.  Mirabelle even gives the Beast err Beet singing lessons!   But can she help to make him kind and feeling again?

The movie is approximately 56 minutes long so almost an hour of delightful sillyness with a great message.  

There are some bonus features on the disc as well.  You get behind the scenes with Kellie Pickler on playing the sweetest sweet potato, a very veggie jukebox, in the kitchen with Bob, Show You Love sing along, Deck the Halls sing along, downloadable activities, and my favorite—- Offering Unconditional Love: Family Discussion Guide.  I’m  a sucker for these discussion guides.  I love them!  They normally contain a great message and a great way to help our kids understand and retain that message.

I have nine children ages 9 and under.  They all sit and watch this.  They love it!  I think it truly is a great lesson in unconditional love for children.

 

silly songs with Larry

 

The new Silly Song with Larry is also cute and definitely silly as always.  It’s called Mac and Cheese and is all about how Larry’s ancestor invented Mac and Cheese and how he did it!

Okay so if you don’t want to see a few spoilers then please feel free to stop reading here.  Really you can stop now.  I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite parts as a mom.

Spoilers ahead.

Stop reading and go watch the movie.

Watched the movie now?

Okay so here goes!

In the movie we have a reporter.  A critic of resorts.  She gives them a one star rating because she came as someone who had no money to stay and they turned her away.  She hears good things starting to be said about the resort after the Veggie Tones come and goes back for a second review.  She is pleasantly surprised.  But the Veggie Tones aren’t there to entertain as they’re trying to get to their next gig.  The Veggie Tones decide to go back and help Mr Beet only to be involved in an avalanche.  True kindness wins out.  The kindness that Mirabelle had shown to Mr Beet, and really not just her but the whole family, has paid off and he is now a nice man who risks his own life to save them.

Great movie.  We loved it.  You will too.  Make sure to go purchase your copy.  

 

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