get started homeschool

How to Plan a Year of Memory Work Your Kids Will Love

You found lots of resources, now it's time to plan memory work, and not just learn about it. You've got to do what's best for your family. Let's work on that together.

Take all the materials from the past 4 days and put them together to plan memory work that will be effective and your kids will love and look forward to doing! Easy plan, step by step, walks you through to customize for your homeschool.

Start to plan memory work

There are some things you going to need to know before you get started.

What you're going to do. When and how you'll do it. Plus, you'll also want to know what you're going to work on at any one time.

Will you do one category for a month straight, a semester? Will you work on a different type of item each day? Will you work on 4 different items for one week straight?

Where will you store your memory work materials? How will you use them?

Since we've got lots of questions to answer, let's get started right now!

Gather Materials

I've given you 4 days of materials to use quickly and easily. All you need to do is copy each item and paste it into a word document for quick access.

Have them all in one place, separated by category.

If you're using videos for some of your memory work, be sure to write the title and url on the document for quick reference.

This may take you some time up front, but you'll be glad you did it when it comes time to use it.

 

You can do a whole year's worth all at once, or just do terms, semesters, or months at a time. Do what is going to work best for you.

Do you like to be flexible? Then do a month or two at a time.

Do you like a plan, but not too rigid? Then do it by term or semester.

Do you want to do it once and not have to think about it again? Plan the entire year in one go.

Scheduling

Okay, here's where it might get tricky.

Do you have all your materials together? Are they broken up into categories? Good.

Look through them. How often do you want to cover each category?

Here's the categories from the 4 posts in this series: Scripture, hymns, doctrines, poems, quotes, history, science, math, language arts, and extra materials.

Now, let's decide how you'll go through each category.

Wait, did you pick the categories you want to do? I'm doing all of them, personally.

Do you want to work on one category for a specific amount of time? Work on a few each day? Work on one each day, but of varied categories?

Here's what I mean.

Monthly:

  • Sept - Poems
  • Oct - Quotes
  • Nov - Scriptures
  • Dec - History
  • Jan - Language Arts
  • Feb - Poems
  • March - Quotes
  • April - Hymns
  • May - Math
  • June - Science
  • July - Doctrine
  • Aug - Extra

Multiple a day:

Each day work on:

  • Religious (either scripture, hymn, or doctrine)
  • a poem
  • a quote
  • one educational (LA, math, science, history, etc) item

Go through each until they're memorized before adding a new item from each category.

One a day:

  • Mon - religious
  • Tues - poem
  • Wed - quote
  • Thurs - educational
  • Fri - religious
  • continue the pattern

When & how long?

For my family, the ideal time to do memory work is during our Morning Time. We do a lot of our group work together in the morning to set the tone for our day, including memorization.

You can do this during a group work block, during lunch, after lunch, after dinner, or at the end of your school day.

If your schedule is hodge-podged throughout the day, then pick the time that will work WITH your schedule and not when you think you should be doing memory work.

The length of time devoted to memory work is up to you and your schedule. We do at least 5 minutes, or if we're doing multiple items, we devote 5 minutes to each category and then stop when the timer goes off.

We're switching to 5 minutes with new material and 5 minutes of reviewing older material.

 

If you want longer, do longer. You can start out doing the time you want. Give it a week for everyone to get used to it and then adjust where you see the need. Longer? Shorter?

You'd be surprised. My children love memory work and beg to work on it for longer periods of time, especially songs. I was shocked outside my mind when we started it.

 Setting it all up

There's a few different ways you can do this. We'll explore your two options (and you may come up with a different one altogether) before you get started organizing it all.

Index Cards

We started off with index cards.

You get an index card box, dividers, and index cards. We used different colors for different categories.

You can put your items on your index cards like so:

  • Hand write each passage to be memorized
  • Type it out and print it onto the index cards (can be tricky)
  • Type it out, print it on paper, cut and glue onto index cards

You'll label the dividers as DAILY, SUN-SAT (or MON-FRI), EVEN & ODD, 1-31.

Memory Binder

You can also skip the index cards and use a memory work binder.

Print out each passage on its own piece of paper.

You'll need a binder, dividers, page protectors (optional), and paper with each printed passage.

Label the dividers: DAILY, MON-FRI (or SUN-SAT), EVEN & ODD, 1-31

OR you can label them like this:

DAILY, POEMS, QUOTES, SCRIPTURES, DOCTRINE, etc of the categories you'll use. You can put the EXTRA as one category, or break it down into math, science, history, etc.

Learn & review

Now, for the DOING part of it all.

If you use the index cards or the binder here is how you learn and review.

Pull out the passage.

Read it aloud, or have a child read it aloud.

Break it up into sections and start with the first. Add the next section. Go until you think that's enough for the day or your time runs out.

We generally set aside 5 minutes to learn a new passage and then 5 minutes to review the old passages.

Now. Add this new passage to the DAILY section.

Pull out the other passages under the DAILY section. Review them for 7 days, or until they're memorized fully (even if it takes longer or shorter).

Once you've reviewed it for 7 days move it to the EVEN or ODD tab (depending on what day it is). If it's January 15th, put it under ODD. If it's the 16th, move it behind EVEN.

Now, on even days, be sure to review those behind the DAILY and EVEN tab and visa versa for odd days.

Once you're done with that for another 7 days of review (7 times with even or 7 days with odd) move it to the day of the week that it is.

Now, you'll review: DAILY, EVEN/ODD, and whatever day of the week it is. You do this for a month.

Then you move the passage behind the number day it is. If it's February 23, put it behind 23. If it's the 2nd, move it behind the 2.

Now you'll review: DAILY, EVEN/ODD, day of the week, and Day #.

You leave the passage behind the number for 12 months (you'll review it 12 times). Then move it out into another box for all the passages you've finished. You can leave them there forever, or review them as you wish to.

 

If you put it in the binder or index cards with the label DAILY and then categories here's how you do it:

Review under DAILY tab for 7 days (or until it's completely memorized). Then move it behind the category it belongs to.

Each day review one passage from each category. Mark with a bookmark, post it note, or some other method where you left off.

 

You could also do a varied version of this:

DAILY, EVEN/ODD, and then categories.

This way you'd get a bit more review with each passage before moving it to the category section.

Okay, this is all sounding super complicated, and I apologize. If you're ready to shake me until I take it all back, I don't blame you.

 

Here's a quick synopsis to hopefully explain it much better and more simply.

Pick a storage system:

A: index cards

B: memory binder (we're switching to the binder)

 

Pick a schedule system:

A. one focus at a time

B. one category a day

C. each category a day

 

Pick a "learn & review" method

A. Daily, even/odd, weekly, monthly

B. Daily, 1 from each category (daily)

C. Daily, even/odd, 1 from each category (daily)

Add it all up and you've got your final plan.

Take all the materials from the past 4 days and put them together to plan memory work that will be effective and your kids will love and look forward to doing! Easy plan, step by step, walks you through to customize for your homeschool.

Other review methods

We're pretty simple and boring and just do verbal recitation and singing. Nothing fancy. Because of this I'm going to look to some other creative geniuses and send you to them to get even better ideas.

I am planning on adding the popsicle stick review method for sure.

  1. You write actions and funny voices on each popsicle stick.
  2. A kid draws a popsicle stick before each passage to be recited.
  3. You will all do the voice or action on the stick.

So fun! Volcano voice, mouse voice, march in place, etc. I love it. It would be super fun to come up with new ideas every once in a while to add to the collection.

Solagratiamom has a great list of ideas that she's used.

I think my favorite is #12- Emotional Wreck. You have them recite their memory work while they act out an emotion. For instance, sobbing, laughing, surprised, scared, worried, etc.

Another is they get to catch a super squishy toy and squeeze and pull on it while they recite. Great for those that love to be doing things with their hands while they work.

 

Half a Hundred Acre Wood has a ton of practice ideas.

Including, write it on the dry erase board and erase a word at a time, hand motions, hide and seek and more. She has ideas broken up by category-- even better!

Brandy has even more review games for teams, co-ops, or larger families. They look like so much fun !

 

That's it!

Okay, we've been through a lot together these past 5 days. I just want to end with one last thought.

Plan Memory Work time with things that will be of great value and use to your children. Don't memorize things just for the sake of memorization.

Memorize that which teaches, inspires, uplifts, encourages, and is beautiful. Really sit and think about what you want your children to gain and know and work backwards from there.

If there's something they're struggling with start there first.

Always always always make it work FOR you. Do what you need done in your home and not what someone else (including me) tells you to do.

 

I certainly enjoyed these past 5 days and know our own memory time has vastly improved because of it. I hope it blesses you similarly.

 

Parting gift

If you haven't already....

Grab the ASL Memory Work packet

[convertkit form=4901805]

and join the challenge!

50 IN 5 challenge

 

Catch up

Main: The Best Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Work

Day 1: Improve Your Child's Relationship to God with Memory Work

Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work

Day 3: Phenomenal Poems to Rock Your Memory Work

Day 4: Brilliant Memory Work Hacks to Make Your Morning Time Transformative

 

Your Turn

Tell me your plans for memory work!!

Mwah

 

 

 

 

 

Click the picture to access the other 5-day posts!

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

Brilliant Memory Work Hacks to Make Morning Time Transformative

We've covered the traditional things to memorize, now let's talk about some unique things to add to your memory work. Be sure to include memory work done in a non-traditional way to spice up your morning time and really take full advantage of memory work. There's some fantastic resources here all in one place instead of hunting all over! Save this pin!!!

We want a full and robust morning time and really take full advantage of memory work. I know I've talked about wanting to make sure our kids knew those random tidbits of information that are important.

They may just be important for those quiz shows and games, but gosh dangit, we don't want to leave anything out. But who wants to dedicate an entire lesson, semester, or unit to random facts?

"Not I," said the cat.

 

Let's get to it.

 

Math memory work

I've created a playlist on YouTube full of 34 math videos (and more added all the time).

Here are some more things to use: 

Skip counting sheets by Homeschool Creations

Coin memory poem 

Order of operations  PEMDAS image

Cooking equivalents

Metric conversions

Roman Numbers

Pi -- this shows 1 million digits.... obviously don't memorize that much. Maybe first 30, 50, 100 digits?

Commutative, Associative, and Distributive Laws

Quadratic equation

 

Science memory work

Here's 54 science songs!

Here's more: 

Classification of living things image, explanation

Periodic Table

Newton's 3 laws

Body systems: flashcards, visuals + explanation,

 

History facts to remember

51 history and geography songs! More history to memorize: 

Declaration of Independence

Preamble

Bill of Rights

US Constitution

Gettysburg Address

Give me liberty or give me death! by Sir Patrick Henry -- one of my absolute favorite speeches.

I Have a Dream by MLK Jr.

Timelines

US states -- Join me in the 5-day challenge!

Countries of the World

Continents & Oceans

US Presidents & Vice Presidents

 

Language arts goodness

You guessed it, another playlist of videos. I add to it all the time, so be sure to save it.

Jolanthe made this fantastic set of poems from the First Language Lessons books. These books also have fantastic list of things to memorize.

Shakespeare printables to memorize from Ken Ludwig

Lots of pronouns to memorize.

Parts of speech

Multiple word lists -- this site is awesome. Even teaches you how to diagram sentences (which I love to do).

 

General educational tidbits

25 videos for you. Included are etiquette, character, calendar, ASL, and more:

 

Meal time etiquette, and another, and another

Set the table

We Choose Virtues songs and more.

ASL

 

Fun memory work gift

ASL is hands down the most fun thing to do ever.

Your kids are going to love learning ASL-- even if you don't do it as your foreign language, you can still include it in your memory work.

Adding in physical actions to things you're memorizing is the BEST to make what you're learning STICK.

I've got 2 gifts for you today.

1. Grab the packet and videos of 4 scriptures, 3 poems, 3 quotes, and 2 educational items to memorize for free here:

[convertkit form=4901805]

 

Learn all 50 states, their signs, and their locations in a LIVE 5 day challenge!

2. Join me in a challenge to learn all 50 states names, signs, AND locations in just 5 days!

Click HERE for a bit more information & to join!

Your kids will love you

Including these fun and unique resources will #1 make memory time fun, but also #2 your kids will love it!

Some of the items are harder to do-- be sure to search for songs, visuals, and materials to make it easier. Just don't overcomplicate it.

 

Come back tomorrow to see how we put all of this together and how you can make this work for your own family without overwhelming you into paralysis.

 

Mwah

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to read more 5-day series!

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

Phenomenal Poems to Rock Memory Work

Poems truly enrich and nourish your homeschool experience. Add in engaging, fun, moving, and delightful poems into your memory work. My kids really enjoyed these poems and keep asking for more!  

My feelings on poems has changed over the years.

When I was a kid I thought poems were dumb. Then I memorized Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken in 5th grade and it really struck me and has stuck with me all these years later.

I'm also still mad at my teacher for saying I didn't say the second "I" when I did! Ugh.

 

Then later on, I thought poetry was for old folks.

I was in college, and really trying to explore new interests. One day, at the library, I picked up a book on writing your own poetry. I soon became obsessed with writing poetry.

I eventually moved on, but I still remember the poems I wrote and the impact they had on me.

 

It wasn't until I found the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling did I ever think of using poetry in our homeschool.

We began incorporating Tea Time into our week and my kids, my BOYS, love it. They love and connect to the rhythm and flow and emotion of the poems they read.

There's just something that really speaks to your soul when you read a well-written poem.

 

Poems for your homeschool

 

I'm going to share some of my favorite poems for you to use in your homeschool.

I did my best to provide the text for you without violating copyright laws. I hate having to hunt down resources and having a bajillion extra steps for something I'm trying to do. I don't have the time nor patience for it.

Plus, I'm lazy enough that it wouldn't happen. I'd just file it away in the "oh this would be nice to do one day" folder and forget about it.

 

Well, not today!

I'm going to put the poems in accordion tabs so you don't have to scroll through a beast of a post. And sometimes I'll provide just links. It really just depends on how long this post becomes.

 

Robert Frost

[wc_toggle title="The Road Not Taken" layout="box"]
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

[/wc_toggle]

[wc_toggle title="Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" layout="box"]
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

[/wc_toggle]

 

More Robert Frost poems -- they also are in audio format here to read and listen to.

 


Robert Louis Stevenson

[wc_toggle title="My Shadow" layout="box"]

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,

And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.

He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Happy Thought" layout="box"]

The world is so full of a number of things,

I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="Time to Rise" layout="box"]

A birdie with a yellow bill

Hopped upon my window sill,

Cocked his shining eye and said:

"Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepy-head!"

[/wc_toggle]

 

 

More Robert Louis Stevenson poems: 

A Child's Garden of Verses and at Poet's Corner and Poet's Corner

 


Christina G. Rossetti

[wc_toggle title="Mix a Pancake" layout="box"]
Mix a pancake,
Stir a pancake,
Pop it in the pan;
Fry the pancake,
Toss the pancake—
Catch it if you can.
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Color" layout="box"]
What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!
[/wc_toggle]

 

 


William Blake

 

[wc_toggle title="To The Evening Star" layout="box"]

THOU fair-haired Angel of the Evening,

Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light

Thy bright torch of love--thy radiant crown

Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!

Smile on our loves; and, while thou drawest the

Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew

On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes

In timely sleep. Let thy West Wind sleep on

The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,

And wash the dusk with silver.--Soon, full soon,

Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,

And the lion glares through the dun forest:

The fleeces of our flocks are covered with

Thy sacred dew; protect them with thine influence!

[/wc_toggle]

 

 

More William Blake poems

 


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

[wc_toggle title="Memories" layout="box"]

OFT I remember those I have known

In other days, to whom my heart was lead

As by a magnet, and who are not dead,

But absent, and their memories overgrown

With other thoughts and troubles of my own,

As graves with grasses are, and at their head

The stone with moss and lichens so o'er spread,

Nothing is legible but the name alone.

And is it so with them? After long years.

Do they remember me in the same way,

And is the memory pleasant as to me?

I fear to ask; yet wherefore are my fears?

Pleasures, like flowers, may wither and decay,

And yet the root perennial may be.

[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="There was a little girl" layout="box"]
There was a little girl,
            Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
            When she was good,
            She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="Paul Revere's Ride" layout="box"]

 

Paul Revere's Ride

[/wc_toggle]

 


Emily Dickinson

 

[wc_toggle title="Hope is the thing with feathers" layout="box"]
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="There is no Frigate like a book" layout="box"]
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
[/wc_toggle]

More Emily Dickinson poems

 


More poems to know

[wc_toggle title="Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl" layout="box"]
The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.
He said, “Right here and everywhere my teeth require repair.”
The dentist’s face was turning white. He quivered, quaked and shook.
He muttered, “I suppose I’m going to have to take a look.”
“I want you”, Crocodile declared, “to do the back ones first.
The molars at the very back are easily the worst.”
He opened wide his massive jaws. It was a fearsome sight—
At least three hundred pointed teeth, all sharp and shining white.
The dentist kept himself well clear. He stood two yards away.
He chose the longest probe he had to search out the decay.
“I said to do the back ones first!” the Crocodile called out.
“You’re much too far away, dear sir, to see what you’re about.
To do the back ones properly you’ve got to put your head
Deep down inside my great big mouth,” the grinning Crocky said.
The poor old dentist wrung his hands and, weeping in despair,
He cried, “No no! I see them all extremely well from here!”
Just then, in burst a lady, in her hands a golden chain.
She cried, “Oh Croc, you naughty boy, you’re playing tricks again!”
“Watch out!” the dentist shrieked and started climbing up the wall.
“He’s after me! He’s after you! He’s going to eat us all!”
“Don’t be a twit,” the lady said, and flashed a gorgeous smile.
“He’s harmless. He’s my little pet, my lovely crocodile.”
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Porcupines by Marilyn Singer" layout="box"]
Hugging you takes some practice.
So I'll start out with a cactus.
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Help Wanted by Timothy Tocher" layout="box"]
Santa needs new reindeer.
The first bunch has grown old.
Dasher has arthritis;
Comet hates the cold.
Prancer's sick of staring
at Dancer's big behind.
Cupid married Blitzen
and Donder lost his mind.
Dancer's mad at Vixen
for stepping on his toes.
Vixen's being thrown out—
she laughed at Rudolph's nose.
If you are a reindeer
we hope you will apply.
There is just one tricky part:
You must know how to fly.
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="April Fool by Myra Cohn Livingston" layout="box"]
The maple syrup's full of ants.
                                    A mouse is creeping on the shelf.
                                   Is that a spider on your back?
             I ate a whole pie by myself.
The kitchen sink just overflowed.
                                   A flash flood washed away the school.
             I threw your blanket in the trash.
                                   I never lie————I————
                                                                                APRIL FOOL!
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll" layout="box"]

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand; Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

 

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Don't worry if your job is small by Anonymous *" layout="box"]

Don't worry if your job is small

And your rewards are few.

Remember that the might oak

Was once a nut like you.

[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="Blow blow thou winter wind by William Shakespeare" layout="box"]

Blow, blow, thou winter wind

Thou art not so unkind

As man's ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

 

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

 

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,

That does not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

[/wc_toggle]

 

 

William Shakespeare Sonnets

[wc_toggle title="O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman" layout="box"]
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="There was an Old Man with a beard by Edward Lear" layout="box"]
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="If by Rudyard Kipling" layout="box"]
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
[/wc_toggle]
[wc_toggle title="Sign by Shel Silverstein*" layout="box"]

Sign

[/wc_toggle]

 

[wc_toggle title="Tell Me by Shel Silverstein*" layout="box"]

Tell Me

[/wc_toggle]

 

More Shel Silverstein poems:

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Light in the Attic, The Giving Tree, Falling Up, Everything On It, A Giraffe and a Half, Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

 

Using poetry in your homeschool

It's pretty simple to use poetry in your homeschool.

  • Read it during Tea Time.
  • Memorize it during Morning Time.
  • Write your own.
  • Study poets.
  • Read a book of poems aloud as a family.

 

Make it as simple or as grand as you like. Even if you think your kids won't enjoy it, or heck, if you think you'd rather walk on shards of glass and clean up a skunk attack, find a way to read poetry.

You'll be surprised at the enrichment and mind nourishment you receive.

Just copy and paste the poems I've included here, put them in a document, hit print and put it in your binder and you're good to go.

Just pick a poem and run with it.

On Day 5 I'll share with you how to put it all together easily and without lots of searching, and thinking.

 

3 extra poems for you

If you haven't downloaded the FREE ASL memory work packet, there's 3 more reasons for you to do so today!

I've included 3 fantastic poems in the packet for you to learn to sign.

So. much. fun.

Download them today:

[convertkit form=4901805]

 

Feeling behind? Catch up:

Main: The Best Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Work

Day 1: Improve Your Child's Relationship to God with Memory Work

Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work

Come back tomorrow for Day 4.  Day 4 is here!

 

 

Mwah

 

 

 

 

Click the picture to read more 5-day series posts. 

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

75 Quotes for Memory Work

Quotes are an effective teaching tool and should be utilized in your memory work. Want to know why?

There's so much to know you worry you'll miss something that you want your kids to know. Who can recall all the life lesson you want them to learn on top of all the academic work as well?

There are so many influential quotes and thoughts to help us navigate life's storms. There are many places and people to pull quotes from. You want to cherish these golden nuggets and sprinkle them in your days.

Include quotes, thoughts, and nuggets of wisdom in your memory work to really add an extra layer of learning without tons of effort.

 

Quotes are an effective teaching tool that ought to be utilized in your homeschool. Take the time to memorize thoughts, & encouragement that inspires.

 

I have written out a bunch of quotes for you. You can just copy and paste them into a word document and print them out on index cards or pages to put into your memory work binder.

The * indicates that it is included in the ASL Memory Work free download so you can memorize it in both English and ASL.

 

Quotes from US Presidents

  1. It is impossible to rightly govern a nation with God and the Bible. - George Washington
  2. How soon we forget history... Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
  3. A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them. Which would include their own government. - George Washington
  4. If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. - George Washington
  5. The two enemies of the people are criminals and government. So let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. - Thomas Jefferson
  6. America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety. - Ronald Reagan
  7. A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have. - Thomas Jefferson
  8. Sir, my concern is not whether God is on my side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. - Abraham Lincoln
  9. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. - Abraham Lincoln
  10. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams
  11. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. - John F. Kennedy
  12. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage. - Teddy Roosevelt

Quotes from Benjamin Franklin

  1. Well done is better than well said. - Benjamin Franklin
  2. Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn. - Benjamin Franklin
  3. Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship. - Benjamin Franklin
  4. Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still; to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. - Benjamin Franklin
  5. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin
  6. He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. - Benjamin Franklin
  7. The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. - Benjamin Franklin

13 virtues: 

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others and yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order: let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Encouraging quotes

  1. Everything is hard until it's easy. Everything is easy once you know how.
  2. If you will, you can. - LaVal Call
  3. I am a child of God. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. I ought to do my duty to God and others. I will choose the right. - Charlotte Mason
  4. To the world you may be one person; but to one person you are the world. - Dr. Seuss
  5. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within. - Maya Angelou
  6. The final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. - Anne Frank
  7. I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. - Mother Teresa
  8. Stand up straight and realize who you are. That you tower over your circumstances; you are a child of God. Stand up straight. - Maya Angelou
  9. I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. - Louisa May Alcott
  10. Be a pineapple: stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.*
  11. Do the common things in life in an uncommon way. - George Washington Carver
  12. If you can't fly then fun. If you can't run then walk. If you can't walk then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. - Martin Luther King Jr.
  13. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
  14. If you let people's perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person. - George Feeny
  15. There is always hope, my friend, though it often comes in forms not looked for. The key is knowing how to see it and seizing that opportunity. - Qui-Gon Jinn
  16. May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong. - Thomas S. Monson
  17. He is not waiting to love you until after you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  18. Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. - Kid President
  19. When it rains look for rainbows, when it's dark look for stars.*
  20. Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. - C.S. Lewis
  21. God cares a lot more about who we are, and who we are becoming, than about who we once were. - Dale G. Renlund
  22. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort you and lead you with love through whatever storm you face. Thomas S. Monson
  23. Heaven is filled with those have been forgiven and those who forgive. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  24. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I'll try again tomorrow.
  25. It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.
  26. The earth has music for those who listen. - William Shakespeare
  27. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein

Instructional thoughts

  1. True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. - C.S. Lewis*
  2. Don't promise when you're happy. Don't reply when you're angry. And don't decide when you're sad.
  3. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
  4. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. - Mark Twain
  5. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.
  6. If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not people or objects. - Albert Einstein.
  7. Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
  8. Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. - George Washington Carver
  9. Be less curious about people and more about ideas. - Marie Curie
  10. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. - Thomas Edison
  11. Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense. - C.S. Lewis
  12. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
  13. It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do. - Jane Austen
  14. The 5 finger prayer: Thumb- those closest to you. Pointer- those that point you in the right direction. Middle- those that lead us. Ring- those that are weak, in trouble, or in pain. Pinkie- our prayers for ourselves & our own needs (smallest).
  15. What you allow is what will continue.
  16. We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another, and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together. - Lucy M. Smith

 

What to do with these quotes

Be sure to print the ones out that really strike you and will teach your children just what you want them to know.

Shoot, go ahead and print them all out, these will last you for a good year or two, depending on how you use them.

 

I have included 3 of these quotes in the ASL Memory Work pack. If you want to know which ones they are, they are marked with an *.

It was hard to pick which ones to share with y'all, but I think they each have such a good message for your children to learn.

For one of the quotes you'll be discussing possibilities of what it can mean for them and how they can sign it.

There is such power in discussing a meaning of a quote and how it is useful for them. Take advantage of this discussion and milk it.

 

If there is a quote that your children connect with, I'd encourage you to print it out and put it somewhere on the walls of your home to remind them of it.

You don't need to make it fancy or pretty. Just put the words up. You could even put it in a frame and then rotate them out as you find new ones. That way it doesn't become stagnant and stale.

 

Grab the ASL Memory Work pack here (it's free, my loves):

[convertkit form=4901805]

 

Did you miss Day 1?

Main: The Best Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Work

Day 1: Improve Your Child's Relationship to God with Memory Work

Come back tomorrow for Day 3!

Mwah

 

 

 

Click the picture to read more 5-day series posts. 

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

Improve Your Child's Relationship to God with Memory Work

You want your child to know and love God, to cherish the gospel in their hearts, and live its standards. Scripture memory work is the first easy step to establishing a relationship. But it's not the only step you can take with Memory Work.  

Scripture memory work, along with memorizing hymns, songs, and doctrine are the best ways to establish, nurture, and grow your child's relationship to God. This has a list of scriptures, hymns, and how to incorporate doctrine -- along with ASL memory work printables

 

Having many opportunities and lots of time to dedicate to teaching your child the gospel is one of the big reasons you decided to Homeschool. Sometimes though, you don't do as much as you'd like. Putting key concepts into your memory work will ensure it's covered and remembered.

Especially when you're not there to help your child.

 

Scripture memory work

Of course, you already know memorizing scriptures is an excellent idea.

You can start in chronological order, as these are listed below, or you can pick and choose based on what you're learning as a family.

In our home we do all of either the Old Testament or the New Testament during one school year. We make sure we are also studying from that book during the school year as well to know the stories and get the real good nuggets of information and dive deeper.

The kids are so excited when we read a verse we have memorized. You guessed it, they all want to stop and recite it together.

This has really helped them to internalize the verses they memorize because they not only memorize it, but they then connect it to the stories and prophets of old.

 

I've listed out some really good doctrinally based verses for y'all. Of course, it's really hard to choose, there are just so many amazing ones.

If I could I'd memorize chapter 11 in Hebrews.

The * indicates that this verse is included in the ASL Memory Pack y'all can download for free at the bottom of this post.

Your kids can memorize those verses in both English and American Sign Language. It's really fun, and very effective in memorizing and understanding the verses layers of meaning.

If your religion does not use these books of scripture, please substitute with the verses that are teaching a principle and lesson you want your children to know.

Of course, if you are not religious, then just skip over these verses, or go ahead and memorize those that are in keeping with your family's values and standards.

Old Testament

  1. Genesis 1:26-27
  2. Genesis 2:24
  3. Genesis 39:3
  4. Exodus 19:5-6
  5. Exodus 20:3-17
  6. Joshua 24:15
  7. 1 Samuel 16:7
  8. Psalm 24:3-4
  9. Psalm 119:105
  10. Psalm 127:3
  11. Proverbs 3:5-6*
  12. Isaiah 1:18
  13. Isaiah 5:20
  14. Isaiah 53:3-5
  15. Isaiah 58:6-7
  16. Isaiah 58:13-14
  17. Jeremiah 1:4-5
  18. Ezekiel 37:15-17
  19. Amos 3:7
  20. Malachi 3:8-10
  21. Malachi 4:5-6

New Testament

  1. Matthew 5:14-16
  2. Matthew 11:28-30
  3. Matthew 16:15-19
  4. Matthew 22:36-39
  5. Matthew 28:19-20
  6. Luke 24:36-39
  7. John 3:5
  8. John 14:6
  9. John 14:15*
  10. John 17:3
  11. Acts 2:36-38
  12. Acts 3:19-21
  13. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  14. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
  15. 1 Corinthians 15:40-42
  16. Galatians 5:22-23
  17. Ephesians 4:11-14
  18. Philippians 4:13*
  19. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
  20. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  21. Hebrews 12:9
  22. James 1:5-6*
  23. James 2:17-18
  24. 1 Peter 4;6
  25. Revelations 20:12

 

Hymns & worship songs for memory work

This was a little bit trickier since so many of us are of different faiths. Jewish, Methodist, Catholic, LDS, Presbyterian, Muslim, Baptist, and on and on and on.

I've scoured the internet for places to get free copies of the lyrics to hymns of various faiths. If you don't see your faith here, I truly apologize.

 

Lutheran 

Catholic

Methodist

Seventh Day Adventist

Baptist

LDS and LDS Kids

Presbyterian

Jewish

Ambleside Online's resources

 

Doctrines

In this world of increasing opposition to morals, values, standards, and religion it's important that we arm our children with all the knowledge, faith, and strength we can. It's good for our children to know the scriptures that we hold dear to our hearts.

It's just as important that they understand where we stand on the doctrines of our religion.

We cannot be there for our children at every step they take, temptation they face, opposition they face, or doubt they may have. We cannot decide for them, we cannot give them our testimony and faith. They have to find those for themselves.

Understanding the doctrine of their religion will give them a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding. These can lead to desire to know, which will work in their hearts to develop into hope and faith. And actions soon follow.

We'll be giving our children the tools to choose right and good and to discern wrong from right. Dark from light.

 

Scripture memory work, along with memorizing hymns, songs, and doctrine are the best ways to establish, nurture, and grow your child's relationship to God. This has a list of scriptures, hymns, and how to incorporate doctrine -- along with ASL memory work printables

How to do it

Step 1

Write down the doctrines of your faith.

Flesh out, or seek materials from your religion to aide you in this pursuit.

 

Here are some starter questions to get you thinking: 

  • Where did we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • What happens after we die?
  • What is our belief in God? Jesus Christ? The Holy Ghost?
  • What does faith mean?
  • How do we repent?
  • How are we saved?
  • What are the commandments?
  • Who do we follow as our leader-- is it a prophet, apostle, pope, etc? Where does their authority come from?
  • What is the purpose of prayer?
  • What is the correct way to pray?

 

You could go on for hours. It may take you some time, but I guarantee, the time you put into this will not be wasted.

Step 2

Once you write down your doctrines (or find them written for you) be sure to find scriptures that support the doctrines you believe.

 

Step 3

Now for the application part. 

1. Pick the doctrine you want to cover first.

2. Read it together, read the scripture references. Discuss, ask questions, pray, and dive as deep as you want. This can take as long or as short as you want. It can span a day, a few days, or even a few weeks.

3. Now, if the things you've written down are pretty lengthy, you can take it a paragraph at a time and memorize it.  Or memorize the golden nuggets first, and then come back through again at a later date and memorize more.

Be sure to memorize the scripture references along with the doctrines you memorize.

This will be so helpful and effective for your children. Should they ever need help understanding a principle they can recall what they've memorized, but then they know the scriptures that support this and will have even more evidence at their hands to guide them.

 

4. As the years go on, be sure to add more scripture references to be memorized. The scriptures are jam-packed with goodness and teaching nuggets that all connect to one another.

5. Keep a journal. Write how they connect down

This journal will be invaluable to each child as they grow and, as we often do, forget the lessons we've learned.

 

Put it all together

Putting extra effort into really making your relationship with God a top priority in your homeschool will bless your life and your children's lives in ways you cannot imagine. Things may still be hard, but you will find strength you didn't have with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by your side.

 

Gift for you

I have translated 4 scripture verses into ASL for your kids (and you) to memorize.

Why memorize in ASL? 

Well, there's something powerful about moving your body when you memorize. You memorize it faster, your recall is easier, and it's ingrained in you at a deeper level.

Learning a scripture verse in another language really encourages your children to ponder the meaning of the verse.

 

In a few of the verses I give a few options on how to sign and interpret the verse. I leave these options up to you and your children to discuss and decide upon together.

What a great teaching moment.

Having decided together you will learn together and you can bet they won't forget it.

 

You can grab them for free, along with poems, quotes, and educational bits to memorize in this box right here. You'll get access to the videos, as well as review pages to put into your memory work binder for quick access.

 

[convertkit form=4901805]

 

Check out Day 3

Mwah

 

 

 

 

Click the picture to read more amazing 5-day series.

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

The Best Step-by-Step Guide to Memory Work

You want to include memory work in your homeschool morning time, but are overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start. Check out this step-by-step guide.  

You want to include memory work but aren't sure where to even start.

There's so many possibilities to do it can be overwhelming. I've got a step-by-step guide to lead the way and eliminate the overwhelm.

Is memory work worth all the fuss and hype?

It's so easy to jump on board to the next revolutionary education idea. Let's discuss the benefits of memory work so you can decide if this is worth while for your family.

Get the brain moving

Your brain is working hard to retain and recall the information you're giving it. It's not zoned out, it's not in la-la land, it's not doing menial work.

This is the real deal of brain exercise. You can't be passive when trying to memorize something.

To gain a real, useful education you cannot be passive.

Improve memory

Your memory for everything, not just what you're memorizing improves tremendously. Your ability to retain and recall most information grows by great bounds.

If you memorize something every day for 2 years, it doesn't have to be big, but memorize it and review it regularly for 2 years you will have a photographic memory.

If I had a photographic memory I could tell you where I saw this research. But, since I haven't memorized something for 2 years straight, I can't help you there.

But! When I was in my early 20's I memorized a whole slew of scriptures, about 95 total in a year. At first, it was super hard and I just couldn't get some of those longer verses to stick.

Then, all of a sudden, I hit the point where I could memorize a verse after reading through it 4 or 5 times. It was EASY! I flew through my verses and remembered them for a long long time.

 

I'm in my early 30's now and while I didn't consistently review those passages and babies, time, and an autoimmune disease has eaten away at my memory, I do recall many of them even now.

I have recently (as in 2 weeks ago) made a goal to memorize a new verse every day for 2 years. My brain needs the workout, it needs the stimulation, and I need to gain my memory back and, honestly, I'd like to prevent further deterioration (especially with my AI disease).

Is it just me that's terrified of Alzheimer's and dementia?

 

It's been fun so far, I've done pretty good and it's been an added blessing in my life to stop and take some time for me-- and not in just a let's read a book or take a nap, but to better myself in a unique-ish way.

Real connections to materials learning

When I memorize something it really helps me to retain it when I understand it. As I memorize passages my brain is making connections to the words, to the subject matter in various ways.

It's connecting to things I already know about this topic. It's connecting to memories or experiences I've already had.

When my children memorized The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson, they really made a greater connection to that poem when they next went on a swing. They understood what he was saying and meaning. They felt it.

They even quoted it while they were swinging.

Again, you can't be passive when memorizing.

I'm sure you could try, but then, you aren't going to keep it in there for very long. Maybe long enough to pass the test, but not long enough for anything else.

 

You can do hard things

It shows yourself and your kids that they can do hard things.

These days people don't like to work. They don't like to work hard for things. That's not the case for you.

You didn't take the easy road.

You kept your kids home to teach them yourself. That's hard work. And it's the best hard work you've probably ever done. Well, when I say that I AM including being a mother to those children. Because really, you can't separate homeschooling and mothering/fathering from each other.

 

When our kids memorize various passages, they have tangible proof that they CAN indeed do hard things. They are smart, they are capable. They can do hard things.

You want to include memory work in your homeschool morning time, but are overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start. Check out this step-by-step guide.

 

The more hard things we can do, the easier the trying becomes. The safer tripping up and messing up becomes because we know we can do it, eventually, if we just keep plugging away.

That's an incredible gift to give our children.

This is a gift that will serve them far better than learning who Aristotle is or knowing the names of all the planets.

 

Foster unity

You know how children can be. There's fighting, there's the, "she's not sharing with me," or "she's looking at me,' or "he won't give me back my ball," or "he's better than me and I'm not good at that."

We want our children to love each other. We want them to be friends. We want them to learn how to work together, even if it's just for a little while.

When you memorize a passage together, you're doing it with one another. You're all starting out on the same level.

Now, some may get it faster than others, some may not.

If this is a problem, I'd do a few things.

Address the core issue. I have had this conversation with my children multiple times and I know I'll have it with them for the rest of their days.

Heck, I just learned this finally a couple years back and I'm 33.

 

Here it is *standing on my soapbox*: 

Just because someone is good at something doesn't mean you can't be either.

Just because Johnny is good at math, doesn't mean you're not good at math. Just because Jenny is good at the splits doesn't mean you can't be good at the splits.

You want to include memory work in your homeschool morning time, but are overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start. Check out this step-by-step guide.

 

Someone being good at something doesn't make us less. Someone else being talented doesn't make us less talented. Someone being an amazing writer when we're trying to be an amazing writer, doesn't mean we can't be an amazing writer also.

*stepping down*

 

 

Make it a family effort. Make it fun to cheer each other on and be supportive. Make that your family mission during memory work, to help each other.

 

You could also adjust a bit if it's really hard on someone.

I'd think of different ways to do memory work. Perhaps say we're only going to memorize this part today and work on it bit by bit so that everyone stays at the same level. I wouldn't do this forever, but maybe for a little while until they're all used to the process and it starts getting easier for the ones that struggled before.

But honestly, you don't have to adjust. Just keep at it.

Show off to naysayers

Nah, I'm just joking.

But still... there's a part of me that wishes some naysayer would try to tell me homeschooling is super lame and then BAM! my 4-year-old busts out the entire constitution or the Gettysburg address, or an entire 5-page sonnet or something ultra impressive and then they fall into a puddle of shame-goo, apologize, and whip out a checkbook to send my kids to an Ivy League school as penance.

I'll be satisfied with the shame-goo puddle, or the apology and acknowledgement of them being wrong. I don't need the Ivy League school.

Heck, our kids could get scholarships there anyway! Those schools [wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa]LURV[wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa] homeschool kids. Why? They know how to work, do hard things, use their brains, self-starters, and know how to learn.

 


5 days of goodness

 

The next 5 days will give you tons of resources for memory work, printables, and help you to plan your year out.

 

Bookmark this page so you can come back each day and not miss anything, and you can come back if you forget anything, or when you plan next year's memory work as well.

[wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa] BOOKMARK THIS POST [wc_fa icon="heart" margin_left="" margin_right=""][/wc_fa]

Day 1: Improve Your Child's Relationship to God With Memory Work

Day 2: 75 Quotes for Memory Work

Day 3: Phenomenal Poems to Rock Memory Work

Day 4: Brilliant Memory Work Hacks to Make Morning Time Transformative

Day 5: How to Plan a Year of Memory Work Your Kids Will Love

 

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Day 1 is already up, be sure to start there. If you have any questions, please, ask in the comments and I'd be more than happy to help.

 

Mwah

 

 

 

 

Click the picture to read more amazing 5-day series

5 Day Hopscotch iHN 2016

Essential Back-to-School Shopping List for Homeschool Families

It's that time again, back to homeschool shopping. To be honest, when these days roll back around I think, this is why I'm homeschooling. School supplies!!

Can I get an amen?

When I was still in school, each year, I got so excited for the new school year. I would get new supplies, new clothes, and a new start. This was the year I'd stay organized, on top of my school work, and be student of the year.

Ha!

I still feel this way, but at least I now have the skills to make most of my organizing efforts stick. Small victories matter.

 

Back-to-homeschool shopping, planning, preparing, and scheduling is the real New Year.

 

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

There are affiliate links in this post, they help run this blog and do not change the price for you.

 

Today, I'm going to share with you the 3 different levels of essential school supplies each homeschool family needs.

We'll start with the absolute most essential, then add to that the next level of essential.

Then we'll add on some great things you'll want. Then, our final level will be great things to have, but totally not necessary, but can seem essential.

Does that last one make sense? It didn't for me either, and yet, at the same time, it does.

Last, I'll talk about what didn't work for us and back to homeschool shopping for clothes.

 

 

Absolute most essential homeschool supplies

You probably have some of these on your list already, but just in case, you don't, add them in.

Take advantage of the sales as much as you can. It'll be cheaper in the long run, unless you're like our family and our budget is always the tightest right when school starts.

This is usually why we don't buy any new curriculum until October or so. I try as much as possible to take advantage of sales, but if it's not going to work for your family, it's just not. Don't stress it, don't push it, just move on.

Whew, now that that's out of the way, let's get back to business.

  1. Printer
  2. Paper and/or composition notebooks
  3. Pencils
  4. Folders
  5. Library card
  6. Books
  7. Crate (or place to store children's work)

Printer

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.55.19 PM

I have the HP LaserJet Pro 200 M251nw (here's the updated version of the same laser printer).

This is my favorite favorite supply.

The day could go to heck, things can go wrong, but I've got my trusty printer to get me through. Melodramatic, yes, but that's how I roll.

 

Since I'm super duper cheap I buy super duper cheap ink refills and they are wonderful! They last forever and the ink is the same quality as the HP brand's.

 

When this printer dies I will replace it with a laser printer with a copier. I don't know why I didn't think I'd need the copier function. Doh!

Paper & pencils

 

Composition notebooks

You can't not have them, unless you hate convenience and life.

 

Composition notebooks are used as

  • yearly journals
  • scripture study journals
  • spelling words
  • math notes
  • history
  • science
  • just for fun

In my home I have to guard the paper with a pit bull.

Since we don't have a pit bull, they are always stealing paper out of the printer, out of the supply cabinet, out of their binders, and out of my notebooks!

They even tore up their sketchbooks!

Yes, I almost fainted when I saw what they'd done.

Worse, they tore pages out of MY sketchbook. MINE!

Pages that I had drawn on.

I won't say there wasn't gnashing of teeth going on when I found my drawings covered with basketball team names, a green stick person, and cut into game pieces.

flme

Having an abundance of composition notebooks and blank paper for them to use for fun is vital for their safety my sanity. It also helps to cut the paper clutter down.

I do recycle their notebooks (after tearing out select pages for keeping) to cut down on tree deaths.

Crate

I organize each kids' completed work into the crate.

 

I have hanging folders for each kid and term.

Inside each kid's term are the subjects broken down into color-coded file folders. I check a paper and then walk over to the crate, drop it in and done. It's off my desk, and out of my life.

 

Next essentials for your homeschool shopping list

 

Dictionary and thesaurus

In Robinson Curriculum, vocabulary is huge. Using the most accurate dictionary and thesaurus is also huge.

I found some great dictionaries in a few antique stores. My next task is to find an old thesaurus instead of using the online one.

 

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

Regardless of your curriculum choice, pick up an older copy of the dictionary.

 

Reference books

We are on our way to collecting some fantastic reference books.

Bookshelves

We have 4 bookshelves in our schoolroom.

  1. Filled with fabric buckets full of books grouped by theme and age.
  2. Our preschool-toddler area.
  3. Houses our printer, morning basket, and daily work bins.
  4. Holds our curricula, reference books, strictly educational books (that I don't want little hands on), and extra supplies.

Oh! I have a storage cabinet that I store our crate in, and it will house our desk carousel.

Not essential homeschool supplies, but it sure feels like it

Laminator

Oh this is a beauty. I use this for my preschool and kindergarten items, but not as much for my older kids' stuff. A laminator is vital for younger kids.

 

 

I use these super cheap laminating sheets. They are thin, but they get the job done. If I want to make sure a certain page is sturdy I print it on card stock paper and it's perfect.

** Skip the laminator if you don't homeschool youngsters. Just find a friend with one or go to a copy shop and have them do it.

Binders

Each kid has their own binder and cute dividers.

We are going to be notebooking more this year, and use the binders for this rather than the crate. I'll find a way to bind them at the end of the year and store them in the crate, or keep them on our shelves for reference.

Index card box & cards

We use the card box, dividers, and cards for our memory work during Morning Time.

We have poems, folk songs, hymns, and scripture verses written on color-coded cards and organized into our memorization system.

Pencil sharpener

This is a definite must (contradicting myself, aren't I?)

We use this one:

I like it a lot, except that when it falls on the ground the trap door pops off and shavings get everywhere. Staining my carpet gray. No bueno.

The solution would be to duct tape the trap door closed, or get a new one, or new kids that stop dropping the dang sharpener.

We used the duct tape and kept the kids.

White board

We love our white board. We have ours mounted on the wall with velcro strips, that make it easy to take down and use in a different part of the house and then hang back up when we're done.

I keep hoping that I'll run into an awesomely gigantic one someday.

 

Desk Carousel

I ordered this beauty a few days ago. I can't wait for it to get here! I'll update this post after we use it with a picture of it in action and my thoughts.

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

Kindle Reader

We own 2 kindle readers. They're held in these great padded cases.

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

 

I was really hesitant to get a kindle, I know I prefer actual books, and they're better, but honestly, I didn't have the room to print all the books (Robinson Curriculum) and I had too many mess ups when I was printing them (user error) that I was going through paper and ink too fast. Which was costing lots of money.

In the end, the sweet deal of a price I got on them won me over in combination of the cost and time needed for printing.

Pros:

  • The kids like the novelty of their kindles.
  • They enjoy reading on them.
  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Tons of parental controls that locks out access to the internet.

Cons:

  • It's easy for them to say they're done reading without being able to verify. I have to rely on their book tests and integrity a bit more than I feel comfortable.
  • Upfront cost.

*** I really wanted to add this to the 2nd essential list, because it feels so vital to our school, and yet, if you have access to the most essential items, you don't need them.

Baskets and Bins

We use a collection of baskets and bins from the dollar spot in Target, the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and any random thing that showed up in our house one day.

I'm always changing what they're used for, and sometimes they turn into more work than they're worth.

For the most part, they are very efficient and helpful. I don't like stuff scattered about and get overwhelmed easily if it's all up in my grill.

I get bins and baskets that aren't see-through to help cut the visual clutter and store them behind doors or in bookshelves to provide containment.

 

Maps

I have two big maps, a US and a world map. They are HUGE. Much bigger than I realized when I ordered them, though if I had paid attention I would order them again. They are pretty heavy and have gotten torn on the corners from coming off the wall.

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

 

I'm going to try using this mavalus tape to see if it holds up better.

I moved them to the hallway to the school room for easier access to them and to keep the school room walls free for other goodies I want to put up. Plus, there's not much room on the walls with all the lovely windows in there

Rolls of paper

These rolls are perfect for history, science, art, and really anything you can dream of. I'm dreaming of a beautiful mural for this year. It's totally happening.

Your homeschool wish list

 

Supplies that didn't work for us

That cart everyone uses.

We had 2. I tried it 2 stinking times and they both were rickety and heaven forbid you put anything heavy in them (workbook) and the tray slipped. They eventually broke and I say good riddance.

Pocket charts.

I liked the pocket chart for our tiny space that we used to live in. I had a tiny under the stairs closet to fit everything in. It was hard.

I used the wall with pocket charts. It worked and it didn't. The pockets sagged, things got lost in there, or were just too heavy for the pocket. The kids had problems putting things back away inside them.

 

Back to school clothes

These really aren't necessary for us homeschoolers and I love that. I don't have to drop a billion dollars on "cool" clothes.

2 years ago, I did buy uniforms for the kids. These were their homeschool clothes.

Each child had:

  • A church outfit
  • Pajamas
  • 2-3 play outfits
  • 4-5 school uniforms

It was awesome. They were adorable.

It's time for back to homeschool shopping! Here's a list of the essential school supplies you need in levels of most important to that'd-be-nice-to-have. Super helpful and great resource-- totally check it out!

 

Pros: 

  • Laundry was a breeze
  • No trying to match clothes
  • Put them in the school mindset
  • Affordable

Cons: 

  • White shirts got stained easily (I have the black thumb of laundry)
  • Took time to hunt down the best deals
  • Making sure they changed outfits before playing

If I do it again, I'll have navy tops and khaki bottoms to help with stains.

Here's what I got:

 

Homeschool shopping wrap up

#1 Don't get things that work for my homeschool. Get things that work for YOU, your children, and your method.

#2 Get the most important things first, and save up for the rest. Don't compare, don't stress.

#3 Don't buy everything all at once; you want to make sure they work for you.

You can buy a dollar store version and test out bins for a certain area. If it works, eventually buy a sturdier version. If it doesn't, you're not out $50 and stuck using it out of guilt.

#4 Evaluate quarterly.

 

#5 Be sure to buy something super fun as well! Maybe some stickers, cute erasers, a new poster, or binder.

Have the Homeschool Fairy deliver it the night before school starts for an extra flair of back to school fun.

 

I wish you the best of luck and hope that this resource helps make your homeschool shopping adventure totally doable.

Your turn

What is your absolute favorite homeschool supply?

Mwah

 

 

 

 

Looking for more help with homeschool planning?

Homeschool: How to Get Started

Homeschool: How do I Plan?

120 Ideas for Back to Homeschool

Easy Plan for Your Not Back to School Party!

10 Signs You Need Homeschool Organization Help immediately

 

More school supply help?

Life-Changing-Supplies-700x700-94403

 

10 Signs You Need Homeschool Organization Help Immediately

This post may contain affiliate links. This does not change the price for you. :-) Whew. When do you know it's time to up your homeschool organization game? I've got 10 clear signs to share with you that will leave you with little doubt.

If you stick with me through all 10 signs, I've got an easy solution for you. Because, what would be the point of showing you all 10 signs and not giving you a way out of this mess?! There wouldn't be any.

 

It'd just make you sink into a pit of despair to wallow in for months and months only to come out smelling of old rotting soccer socks and a few more un-plucked whiskers on your chin.

Ew.

 

When do you know it's time to up your homeschool organization game? Here's 10 clear signs that will leave you with little doubt + an easy solution.

 

10. You're using books as your homeschool furniture

If you're using stacks of books in place of chairs, boxes of books for your desks, then it's safe to say you have a problem.

It may be time to re-think the storage of your books, or even *shudder* get rid of some.

9. You can't find the dustpan under all those cereal crumbs

If chore time is haphazard, frantic, ineffective, and the last thing you and your kids are able to get done. It just seems easier some days to shove the paper confetti your 3-year-old made out of her craft under the couch than it is to vacuum it up.

It may be time to re-do your chore systems and how you handle your day to day upkeep.

8. Your library fines are larger than your student loans

If you just found a library book that you checked out 4 months ago and are saving up each month to pay off your current library fine. If you spend all day at the library because you can't check any books out due to your overdue fine, you're going to want to establish something, anything, to save your wallet.

Homeschool Organization Sign No. 8

7. You had craft paper in your dinner last night

If there's a landfill's worth of paper on your kitchen table and no place to set your plate during dinner, then it's about time you sent half your paperwork to the burn pile, and organize the rest.

 

When do you know it's time to up your homeschool organization game? Here's 10 clear signs that will leave you with little doubt + an easy solution.

6. You accidentally threw away your child's work for this year's homeschool portfolio

If you did this... then holy crow, I'll cry with you. If your state requires a portfolio to be turned in and evaluated each year and you threw it all away by accident...

It's time to move! ;-)

5. You are considering animal sacrifice to meet this year's homeschooling goals

If your goals for each child just seem like distant dreams, if it looks like you'll never get your child to read, subtract, write his name legibly, or even flush the toilet, we're in the same boat.

You may need to re-evaluate your homeschool goals and the way you approach completing them. Or... maybe you need to set them in the first place. Whoops.

4. Your walk across the schoolroom floor always leaves a counting bear embedded in your foot

If you loathe counting bears, all types of manipulatives, and especially Lego because of all the foot injuries you've encountered over the last year, it may be time to throw them all away.

I kid.

It is time to sort them, store them, and regulate their usage in an easier manner.

3. You do school outside, not because you want to, but because there's no place to sit

If you've got a giant salt dough map on the table, a dioramas sitting on the chairs, laundry and library books on the couch, last week's projects and papers on the floor, and you're currently sprawled out on a picnic blanket on the muddy ground in your backyard... you know it's time.

Time to shove all that stuff under a match.

xspld

2. You bought the same homeschool curriculum 3 times

If you just unearthed the science curriculum that seems really familiar and then your daughter runs up to ask you a question holding the same workbook, and then... ding dong the UPS guy shows up delivering you a box of... that same science curriculum your bank account may be hurting.

You may need to do an inventory of what you have and what you need. And then... get some help on your memory loss problems.

Homeschool Organization Sign No. 2

1. You are stressed, overwhelmed, overworked, lost, burnt out, and your husband (and you) are fed up

If you're just. done. with the stress and overwhelm, but aren't sure what's wrong or what to do, and you want to give up, but you really don't want to give up, it's time for you to get some help, guidance, and support.

Homeschool Organization signs


It's way past time for you to get your homeschool organization under control

Now, I don't want you to feel bad.

I am not telling you all this as an anal-retentive organized cyborg. I am telling you this as a fellow disorganized person.

Hence the need to poke fun at myself (and you) with the exaggerated list. Well, the library fine one is pretty accurate.

 

If you're anything like me you want change, results, and you want it to be easy and as painless as possible.

The Solution

 

When do you know it's time to up your homeschool organization game? Here's 10 clear signs that will leave you with little doubt + an easy solution.

 

The Organized Homeschool Life

Let me tell you WHY it's the solution I need and then let you decide.

  1. I love Melanie Wilson. She's like totes amaze, or whatever the cool kids are saying these days. For real though, she's the real deal, genuine, and has been there (she wasn't born an organized robot, she worked at it -- minus the robot bit).
  2. It's broken up into months, then weeks, and then tasks to spread out each week.
  3. Each task is manageable, straightforward, and relevant.
  4. Each week has a theme, or area to concentrate on.
  5. Melanie encourages you to start where you need to and want to and to never feel a slave to the book. You'll never be behind.
  6. There's an awesome calendar, a month-at-a-glance printable, for you to keep close by so you never forget what's next.
  7. It's not just your actual homeschool room that's covered, but your entire homeschool life, which is really life. Your chores, schedule, marriage, goals, computer, curriculum, and more.
  8. The ideas, tips, and tricks in the book are fantastic! They are the best organization ideas in one book, with easy and simple directions to get you through each task. I think I said that already.
  9. Melanie has created extra freebies to help you even more than what's included in the book.
  10. It is working for me!

I just did a major overhaul of our homeschool room. We literally weren't even using it. We were downstairs, on the couch, floor, and kitchen table.

There's nothing wrong with that, it's just things were getting lost, crumpled, and our focus wasn't the best. Especially MY focus.

Now the room has turned into sweet sweet heavenly bliss. At least, for me. The kids are super excited to start using it this way, and I have dreams of peaceful homeschool days ahead. Well, organized homeschool days ahead. I gotta be realistic.

I would definitely encourage you to buy this book and see how it helps you get your homeschool organization under control and your life as well.

 

Mwah

 

 

 

 

gif via reactiongifs.com

90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Can you believe this homeschool year is almost over? This is about that time when so many of us are in desperate need of a homeschool refresh.  

We're tired, sluggish, stuck in a rut, and just looking for that great day when someone says it's finally okay to have BBQs and play in the pool all week long.

Until then... we've got to keep at it, amIright?

(Especially for us poor few that homeschool year round!)

 

We need a reset! A warm, fresh breeze to drift push through the stagnant air of our homeschool rooms. We need a new perspective to refresh our days, our curriculum, our approaches.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

 

The beauty of this day we live in are the incredible amounts of homeschool resources, connections, ideas, and people we can access literally within seconds.

The downside is there's just. so. much. it can make you crazy.

The iHomeschool Network has taken out the hard work of culling through the thicket of information to present us a package of resources we can trust and depend on.

Welcome The Homeschool Omnibus

This year there are 90 resources to inspire you, to refresh your homeschool, to shake it up and do something different, something creative!

  • 90 resources! 
  • Total value: $420
  • Cost is $25 (6% of the actual value)

Holy smoking cow. That's awesome stuff.

These are 90 resources I wouldn't have thought of on my own (well, except one, because that is one I made) and wouldn't have had time to go searching for.

 

[wc_button type="primary" url="http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=185_10_1_45" title="Grab it today" target="self" position="float"]Take me to the Omnibus![/wc_button]

I'm loving these homeschool resources

 

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The Organized Homeschool Life

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Homeschooling with ADHD

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Blueprints For Homeschool Science

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Science and Math: End the Struggle

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Books of History Fine Arts Pages

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Poem Collection 1

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Engineering Unit Study

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You Are Not Alone Collaborative Homeschooling

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Come back over the next 10 days to see exactly how these have refreshed our homeschool life. 

 

If you are a Charlotte Mason-er I'd check these resources out

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

If you are homeschooling high school these are some fantastic finds

 

So often many of the homeschool resources out there are for younger students and our awesome high schoolers are neglected! Well, no more!

 

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Struggling homeschoolers and New homeschoolers you're not neglected

 

Well, I did neglect you in that I didn't make a pretty picture to show you all the cool goodies there are for you. Sorry, I'm lame.

However, there are many items just for you to ease you into the homeschooling world if you're a newbie.

At your wit's end? Just don't know how to overcome this giant hurdle sitting in your schoolroom? Scared to contemplate what your next move could be? People telling you to just throw in the towel and ship them to the nearest school?

 

Don't despair! Please. First, take a deep breath and know that I feel for you. It's tough and stressful and can be overwhelming when you try to tackle all the issues you may be facing at once. There are some amazing homeschool moms that have been where you are, and many are still overcoming their own hurdles (aren't we all, really) that have offered up some help for you.

 

One of my favorites is Homeschooling with ADHD. This is something that we definitely need in our home. I have it, and I'm pretty sure a few of my kids do as well.

[wc_button type="primary" url="http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=185_10_1_45" title="Grab it today" target="self" position="float"]I want it![/wc_button]

Want to know more?

Here's an awesome catalog for you to check out each title for yourself. There's a nifty flip book for you to peruse, or just download the catalog if that is easier for you.

Is your homeschool stuck in a rut? Do you need help homeschooling high school? Here are 90 creative homeschool resources to give you a much needed refresh.

Check out the catalog. You can also click the picture to head to the catalog.

 

Over the next few days I'll be highlighting some of my absolute favorite resources and how I'm using them. Make sure to check back to see just what I have planned, and maybe you'll be just as inspired and excited as I am.

 

Full disclosure

I have a book in the Omnibus sale! I know, right!? I'm kind of amazing. ;-)

What is it, you ask? I know you're dying to know!

Master the ASL alphabet Workbook & Videos

Master the ASL Alphabet workbook and videos

Since I have a book in the sale, I get a small commission when you purchase through my link. What does this mean for you? Nothing, except for you're the sweetest, most kindest, lovingest person in the world. What does it mean for me? I get a little bit of money to keep paying for this blog. Spoiler: blogs are expensive to run.

 

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Wait! As my thanks for your kind and loving support I'll be sending you Master the ASL Numbers Workbook for FREE once it is released (end of May 2016)!

AND! I'll send you my ebook: Celebrate Your Homeschool fo' FREE

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How do you get this sweet bonus?

Purchase by clicking THIS link (or any of the pink buttons in this post) and then email me your Omnibus receipt to asldoneright @ gmail . com

 

Things to remember

This sale lasts for 10 days ONLY. There are absolutely no extensions or exceptions. At all. The Omnibus sale lasts from today, April 29th until May 8th (Sunday) at 11;59 PM Pacific time.

Cost is only $25

  • Add a DVD copy of the 90 resources for an additional $9
  • Or add a thumb drive copy (good for computers without a DVD drive) for an additional $11

The DVD and the thumb drive are mailed out May 31st.

The good thing about these two options are to keep your hard drive clear of tons of downloads. You can also set aside those resources you may not need right now (save those high school resources if your kiddos aren't yet there), and can ensure that you have a backup copy should anything happen to your beloved computer (knock on wood)!

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I love iHomeschool Network and the wonderful homeschooling mamas that are a part of it. They know their stuff and are so eager to serve and help any and all homeschool families just like them.

 

This sale is only once a year, and only 10 days. I'd hate for you to miss it!

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The Dirty Truth of The Time Required to Homeschool

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How much time is actually required to homeschool?

Nearly every time I mention I homeschool someone asks me a variation of this question.

When friends come to work with me to figure out how to get started homeschooling, this is one of their biggest concerns and questions.

 

The underlying fear:

Is this going to eat up my entire day?? Will this mean I can't do anything for myself? What if I don't have my day last long enough and ruin my children's lives? What if it's too long and I not only ruin their lives, but mine, and we'll hate homeschooling?

 

Dude. These are all valid fears and concerns.

 

How much time does homeschool really need to take? How much time do you spend worrying that you're not doing enough or you're doing too much? Let's get down to the real truth so you can get some peace. Pin this to help others in your same boat.

 

When I think of homeschooling, I probably think of it in a different way than would-be homeschoolers, new homeschoolers, and those that don't think about homeschooling other than to think of "those homeschoolers."

 

Homeschooling = life. Life-schooling.

 

How much time does homeschool really need to take? How much time do you spend worrying that you're not doing enough or you're doing too much? Let's get down to the real truth so you can get some peace. Pin this to help others in your same boat.

 

Sometimes, it's hard to separate homeschooling from life. You can have blocks of schooling, you can have bursts of schooling, but you know how life works.

 

Got a doctor or dentist appointment? Well, you go to that, and sometimes have to rearrange your routine or schedule to get it done.

 

Garbage! You don't have any food in the house except that expired can of tuna and some stale crackers. Well, you'd better hit the store before you all perish or get botulism.

 

Kids acting up? Someone wrote all over the walls, one kid dumped laundry detergent all over the floor... again. Another kid is in tears over times tables, and another is clamoring for some help with reading.

 

It happens, to everyone.

 

Do you see why I say it's nearly impossible to separate homeschool from life?

 

When you ask, how long does it really take, my answer will typically by, "oh, not long."  That's really just for those that aren't asking for application purposes.

 

Well, I may woo you into loving homeschool by telling you that it won't take long, or that it'll take as long as you'd like it to. Both aren't lies. They just don't involve the typical day-to-day road bumps.

WAIT!

Before you click out of here in a huff of disgust and disappointment, let me break down for you dirty truth of our homeschool day/life and let you see just how much time homeschooling takes for the Barlow family.

 

time to homeschool tweet 1

The BIG Breakdown of Time:

First, you need to know what curriculum we use, as it is a MAJOR factor in our day-to-day operations. My day will look completely different than someone else's day that doesn't use our curriculum.

We use Robinson Curriculum. It's pretty different than a lot of the stuff you'll see out there.

It's self-taught, simple, rigorous, and effective, with a very set schedule.

 

Time Doing Actual Homeschooling

 

Our day looks like this (in an ideal world):

7:00--  Wake up (breakfast, morning routine, quick clean up)

7:30 - 12:30-- School block (1 hour of writing, 2 hours math, 2 hours reading, 30 minutes of play/exercise)

12:30-- Lunch (eat, clean up, and a tiny bit of free time. Put down Teddy Bear for a nap)

1:30--  1 - 2 extra school items (Science, Tea Time, Geography/History, ASL, or Spanish). Done with Mama.

2:30-- The kids are encouraged to learn, explore, and do things on their own. There are no electronics (unless needed for their learning) allowed at this time.

There's also no cap or requirement to the time spent on this. I encourage them to do something. I may give them some free time first and then move back to this time allotment. However, that's dangerous because I may not always get them back on task.

 

For instance:

The Captain has a geography workbook and encyclopedia that he loves. He is obsessed with maps, and so he uses this to work on his map skills and learn all he can about them and reads his encyclopedia over and over again.

 

With RC they encourage you to do school on Saturday as well. At the very least, 2 hours of math. We haven't done this consistently, even less so since I've been so exhausted from pregnancy. We'll be picking this back up soon.

 

We have homeschool co-op once a week, that goes from 9:30 - 2:10, so that does take a whole day away from RC, so I think that I really need to do school on Saturday to make up for that entire day.  I do try to have them do an hour of math and an hour of reading after co-op, but sometimes, I just let them run around with scissors and matches instead.

 

time to homeschool tweet 2

 

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Time Spent Parenting

Isn't this really an all-day thing for every parent? Parenting is never done, unless we're all asleep and dreaming peacefully. Then, perhaps, we're taking a parenting break. Until someone decides to throw up all over their bed...

We dedicate 4 times a day to chores. Whoa Nelly! Four times!?!

Let me explain.

We have 15 minutes of chores after breakfast and lunch. Before dinner (really, before Mr. Barlow gets home) we do family chores. After dinner, we do the last bit of chores for the day.

How much time does homeschool really need to take? How much time do you spend worrying that you're not doing enough or you're doing too much? Let's get down to the real truth so you can get some peace. Pin this to help others in your same boat.

 

This way, there's not a ton of work to be done all at once and I'm not throwing death threats around just to get someone (Sweet Cheeks) to actually pick up that stinking toy after asking 8 times. Hypothetically.

Saturday is "Saturday Cleaning Day." Not my favorite. We'll wake up in the morning, and get to deep cleaning. If all goes well, we'll have it finished in 2 hours.

At least we are listening to music while we're at it!

 

Each Monday we have Family Home Evening. This is where we have a gospel lesson and activity and treat.

Each Sunday we try to have Family Council. This addresses any scheduling, any conflicts that have come up, and any behavioral work we'd like to focus on for that week.

Throughout the week we aim to spend one-on-one time with at least two kids.

Sundays we also make cookies or treats together. Sometimes we eat them and sometimes we share them with others.

Once a month we have a family activity we have picked to do. We'll either do this on a weekend or Monday night.

Discipline issues: I have been using the Love and Logic methodology for years and have loved it. I'm not always consistent, but when I am, life is sweet.

I've recently been introduced to The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change, which is written by the man who wrote our writing curriculum, and also uses RC. I love this man and his wife. They're real, kind, loving, intelligent parents and educators. I'm in the middle of reading Fred's book and am really liking it. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

For discipline, my husband and I are take-no-nonsense kind of parents. We have high expectations for our children and believe they can live up to them. We teach them to be responsible, kind, respectful, conscientious, polite, reverent, and to work hard.

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How much time planning takes

The beauty of RC is that I don't have to plan. Practically at all. We have the books printed out (or as ebooks), the math curriculum ready to go, and lots of paper and pencils.

 

Each day they grab their math books (we use Math-U-See for now) or their flashcards and they get to work. They teach themselves and they correct their own work. Anything they miss they correct.

They can write based on the curriculum we use, The Writing Course, or they do copywork (youngers), or write whatever they feel like. They hand it to me and I make some edits on the papers. I hand it back to them and they fix them.

Reading is two-fold. They work on their vocabulary/spelling from their readings and they also read. There's a huge list of books they are to read. They're printed out and I have them on our readers and tablets. They read them. We talk about them at dinner. If there's a test that goes along with the book, they take that test.

 

Anything else we do, the extra stuff is the part that takes planning.

We are using Apologia Science: Flying Creatures this year, along with the Notebook and the Junior Notebook.

We also are using their Around the World in 180 Days and workbook. This means, I need to make sure we have the supplies for the experiments and the books and resources from the library.

For art, I just need to make sure we have supplies and ideas. I'll pop over to my Pinterest art board, grab a book from the library or bookstore, or use our drawing book.

Tea Time happens once a week. I just grab a family read aloud, a poetry book, and a picture of a piece of art. It doesn't really matter which ones, I just grab it and go.

ASL, since I teach this already, I go ahead and teach it. I sometimes use my own videos, or I just sit them down and work on it.

Spanish, we are trying out a new curriculum this year, since my kids begged me to learn Spanish as well. I'm pretty excited about it, and I'll tell you all about how it's going for us really really soon! (Look forward to that post!)

Seriously, it couldn't be easier and more stress-free. It probably takes me around 20 minutes total to go through each subject for the week and write down what we need.

I try not to plan much in terms of what we'll be doing, I just focus on moving to the next part so I don't get caught up in planning since planning makes me feel like I'm choking on a hippo.

 

That's a real thing.

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Time in Outside Activities

The Captain and Little Miss are in a Homeschool Co-op. They meet once a week, it does take up a whole day (9 - 2), but it's been great for them to make friends.

Little Miss is in dance, that's once a week, for an hour.

The Captain is in basketball and that's twice a week, with a game once a week. The great thing is, Mr Barlow is his coach!

The Animal will be starting soccer next month and that's once a week practice with a game once a week as well.

The Captain wanted to be in gymnastics again this year, but I don't know why we never enrolled him. I'm not sure what to do now. If we enroll him once basketball is over (this month), will it be worth it if we can't keep it up over the summer? Summertime is usually our tight-budget time since my transcription work is only during the school year.

We don't have any other outside activities beyond that. I'll be teaching them piano (just need to paint and bring it out of the garage), and I would like to have them learn a string instrument (I know piano is a string), but goodness, the money!

My goal: each kid in a sport and musical instrument. With 6 kids, I'm going to need to start doing something illegal to make that happen!

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The BIG Summary (but not really big, big):

You can see that our time spent homeschooling technically takes up 6 hours of our day. However, add in all the other goodness, and it's your whole day.

I do have a part-time job (early in the mornings, 5 - 9 am), I blog, and I run an ASL course. I am also a volunteer at my church, working with adult women. I am always doing something with or for them each week and hold a monthly activity as well.

I have a loving husband that I try to spend as much time with as possible. I am also pregnant with #6, and that zaps my energy, along with the hashimotos and adrenal fatigue I deal with.

It's possible to homeschool AND...

  • Be YOU and pursue your goals and dreams
  • Take naps
  • For your days to be shorter than mine
  • Work
  • Cope with various health issues
  • Have a crazy life
  • Have a new baby
  • Be pregnant and throwing up constantly
  • Enjoy life

 

The dirty truth:

How much time does homeschool really need to take? How much time do you spend worrying that you're not doing enough or you're doing too much? Let's get down to the real truth so you can get some peace. Pin this to help others in your same boat.

 

How long does homeschooling take your family? What is your ideal day?

 

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HomeschoolingTimeTakes

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Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 6 & 5

You thought Homeschooling was for your family, but gosh, this wrangling and teaching and cuddling and cooking and cleaning of all these kids at the same time is terrifying.

What in the heck are you to do? Give up? Throw in the towel? Never! ...but, wow.

tips for homeschool large family 3

 

It's okay. I get it. You're right, you don't have to give up. That voice that tells you there's gotta be a way, after all you see tons of Homeschooling families pulling it off and they look sane, happy, and they're all educated. They can't all be superhuman!

 

They're not. They're just the same as you, and as me.

Check out my next two tips to get you on your way to be just as joyful, calm, sane, and intelligent.

(Did you miss the first four tips? Get tips 10 & 9. Get tips 8 & 7).

 

#6

So many large Homeschooling families have little ones running around. Those precious little ones can (and will) derail your daily homeschool schedule and plans in an instant.

Implementing plans and backup plans will ensure all of your children continue to learn even on the worst days.

 

Schedule the bulk of your activities when your youngsters are at their happiest and most agreeable times. As well as during their nap times.

You can't rely on nap times all the time.

Many kids start to outgrow nap times before you're ready, or they won't go to sleep at the time you have planned, or at all.

For instance, my youngest little guy (1 years old) seems to be happiest early in the morning and then right after dinner. Between those times it's always a guess. Sometimes he's cranky (3 teeth are breaking through right now) and sometimes he's giggly. Sometimes he wants his nap at his regular time and sometimes he decides he needs his nap an hour ahead of his usual time.

[Tweet "Plan your #homeschool times around your baby's happiest times of the day"]

I plan our mom-is-needed school time around those happy times when he's happiest playing by himself with some toys, pulling out all the wipes, or exploring the kitchen drawers.

When he needs me to pay attention to him I have the kids doing the bulk of their independent work, or other items on their daily checklists. He gets lots of mommy playtime, cuddling, and food.

Use your checklists to have older kids rotate school time and sibling time. There are times when I need to help The Animal on his reading and he needs quiet. We go downstairs to the couch and the older kids are working. One is reading to Sweet Cheeks or coloring with her. The other older kid is playing with The Baby.

 

superhuman

 

As I mentioned yesterday, each child has on their daily checklist to spend time with the younger two. It is a tremendous help to me.

Have activities, easy ones, ready for the youngsters. Set guidelines for the older little ones. My Sweet Cheeks is 3.5 and she can handle guidelines where my 1 year old will just drool on my face.

Make the activities simple, easy to put together, and in a location that is easy to access. I would suggest setting rules that these are for school time only in order to keep them from growing uninterested in that set as quick.

Fun activities for babies to preschoolers

 

Follow Rochelle Barlow's board Homeschool + PreK on Pinterest.

#5

Homeschooling families can get overrun with their long lists of things to coordinate.

They don't implement them because they're too overwhelmed to think about it or where to start. Putting systems in place is a profitable strategy because it saves time, energy, and brain cells.

We can't start losing more than we already have! ;)

easy-peasy

Set up a system for your chores. Have chore rotations, each child in charge of a chore appropriate for their age. They can do more than you realize.

Here are the chores we have our kids do:

  • Dishes: hand washing, dishwasher, putting away (started at about age 6/7)
  • Laundry: sorting, wash, dry, fold, and put away (starting at age 3)
  • Trash: collecting, taking out, picking up trash in the house (age 3+)
  • Sweep and mop (age 5+)
  • Vacuum (age 5/6+)
  • Counters, table (4+)
  • Bathrooms (7+)
  • Make beds (2+)
  • Toys, books, clutter, rooms (2+)

Set up buckets or baskets for each chore containing the supplies they need for each chore (if anything is required) and put a checklist in each chore bucket. If the chore doesn't require a bucket, have a place for checklist for that chore.

This is what you'll use to say these things need to be done correctly for this chore to be checked off. You can inspect with that checklist in hand, or have them inspect themselves.

If you want chores done a specific time each day, set up a schedule. You can set up a time of day you'd like it done in (AM, after lunch, PM) otherwise just say it needs to be done today.

ten tips large family 3 pin

Set up systems for meals.

Use a meal planner system, make lunches ahead of time, make an assembly line, make dinners ahead of time, and have your older children involved in cooking.

Organize your school area to provide a place for everything and systems for your school days. Prepare every needful thing. Set aside a weekend to do major prep work, a time slot for each week, and a few minutes each day to prep for the next day.

Have shelfs, baskets, areas, pouches, folders, and bulletin boards and more dedicated to specific school work, tools, resources, and activities. Set up areas for the kids to have access their work and supplies and any other learning activity you'd like them to do independently.

This doesn't mean spend your lifetime doing this or a lifetime worth of money to do it. Do what you can with what you have and do it in the time you have.

The more you can do ahead of time setting up the systems that work for your family the better prepared you'll be when life hits you or you're all just having one of those days.

This MP3 is great at helping you organize your home for some peace!

In summary

#6 Have definite plans and back up plans for your littles.

#5 Get organized with systems and prepare as much as you can.

Today's tips require a bit more work than the previous four. You didn't think you'd get out of working did you? Nah, I knew you were realistic.

Working today will save you tomorrow. So long as you don't overdo it and try to do it all in one day. Make sure you get help from your family.

Tomorrow's Homeschooling tips are some of my favorite! See you then.

Mwah

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 8 & 7

As a parent of a large homeschooling family you wonder if it's doable. 

There's so much to consider, to worry about. It's overwhelming.

tips for homeschool large family 2

Here are two more tips -- tested and proven -- that will aide you in your noble quest for sanity, fun, and a fabulous education for your amazing family.

#8

You've got so many things you're think about in a constant, steady stream. You've delegated jobs and responsibilities, but are concerned that after half a day it will all fizzle out to nothing more than a puddle of good intentions.

Take your list of delegated responsibilities (tip #9) and make them trackable for each person.

Make a checklist of daily tasks for each child, with a special place to keep it and a pen, marker, highlighter, sticker, or pencil set aside solely for this purpose. This is all the motivation my kids needed.

They are in charge of doing the task and marking it done.

[Tweet "Put your kids in charge of their daily tasks and they will take more ownership #homeschool #tip"]

Include tasks such as:

  • Play with the baby
  • Read to the toddler
  • Go over skip counting with Jr.

Make their daily tasks required (schoolwork, chores, and misc) to be done before anything else. Rotate their responsibilities and switch it up.

Don't confine the children to a time, unless you really need it to be done at a specific time. If you allow them greater freedom by picking the order and the time they do things in, they will cooperate more and take better ownership of their checklists.

Perhaps if they do not do things correctly, or at all, or in a timely manner you could set a schedule for that list until they prove themselves otherwise. That's up to you.

Here are two resources for checklists and daily task sheets that I have used.

Free Accountability Printable -- Heather, over at OnlyPassionateCuriosity.com has so many wonderful printables. some free, some paid, but gosh, they are cheap and worth it! We used this checklist since I found it back in November 2014. Love it!

Betsy at Notebooking Nook has a bajillion amazing and awesome goodies. Check out this great student planner pack and assignment cards. We're going to give these a whirl this year!

ten tips large family 2 pin

#7

You are homeschooling a lot of kids...at the same time. The kids all want your undivided attention...all at the same time. Foster independence in each child and have them rely on themselves more and more to learn.

This may hurt and you may want to punch me: let go of curriculum that is teacher-driven, teacher-led, teacher-powered, teacher teacher teacher. Aahhhhh!

Or come up with a great way to use it, but take out the heavy burden of doing it all always.

Your children may resist. In fact, they will.

I want my teacher back! I want you to give me the information! I don't want to do this by myself... I can't do this by myself.... MooooOOoommmmmm......!

 

Do not fall for it. Your children are brilliant. Even if they don't test high on the IQ, and in fact, you truly worry that they're really not that smart, they are. They are smart enough to do this. This is when it takes faith and trust from you to allow them this opportunity.

You're still there, you're still their teacher (or facilitator), you're just letting them take more control over their own education. This is a great way to teach choice and accountability, a great characteristic for us all.

[Tweet "Your kids may protest when you have them do more #homeschool work on their own. Don't fall for it."]

What do you do instead?

Switch to a child-led curriculum (Robinson Curriculum). Have them read more living, whole, rich books as their way of learning. Charlotte Mason method takes advantage of many living books. As do many Homeschooling methods.

Get your kids writing more. Write more papers, more poems, more journal entries. Have them start notebooking.

Give them individual work that can be done without mom hovering. I'm not saying give them busy work. I do not believe in busy work. In fact, that's one of the reasons I do not send my children to public school. 

Here are some great resources for individual work for all ages:

See? There is TONS of goodness out there. You will need to do some prep work to get this all settled and ready to go. Take a bit of time one weekend, have someone help watch the kids, or have your husband take the kids out to the park while you stay home and just focus in on getting your stuff ready to go at a moment's notice.

If you don't get it all ready you'll never use it, or you'll get so stressed in the moment that you'll curse my name and wish you'd never read this stupid blog post.

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In summary

#8 = checklists + daily tasks

#7 = independence + independent work (not busy work)

[Tweet "10 tips for #homeschooling large families. Can you guess what tips 8 and 7 are? "]

Up next

Tomorrow you'll get tips 6 & 5. I'll give you a hint: little.

Hey, if you have some great ideas to help with checklists and fostering independence, please tell me. I'm always on the hunt to add to my rotation. 

Mwah

 

 

 

 

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Top 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Large Family: Tips 10 & 9

Is homeschooling a large family really even possible?

Without losing your mind? Without becoming "that homeschool mom" that people bolt at the first sight of?

Yeah, it is.

 

tips for homeschool large family

 

I have many friends that homeschool their first two kids, love it, or get overwhelmed, and then when the third one is old enough for school they bail come August.

That's sad. Not only is it sad, but it's unnecessary.

[Tweet "#Homeschooling a large family is doable, no straightjacket required."]

If you are thinking about not homeschooling anymore because of the size of your family, just give me 5 days to show you another option.

5 Days. For 5 Days you'll get a countdown of my top tips, and things that I have used and am using for my own family. In case you are wondering, I have 5 children. I know some things.

I'm working my way from great to awesome. I'm saving my top tips for last. You've got to build up to the goodness. That doesn't mean you skip 10 - 6 because they're no good. False. They are good. It was really hard to put them in order of impact/importance; there are quite a few that I think are equal.

It's the final countdown!!!!

#10

Many large Homeschooling families feel alone, overwhelmed, and stressed. They don't know how to banish these damaging and discouraging feelings and often turn to the wrong sources. Use the free tools that are right next to you, but you may not see them as a tool and thus, dismiss them.

Learn to laugh at yourself and use humor to diffuse any negative feelings in your home and in your heart.

Using humor robs these negative feelings of their power over you.

 

When the kids' science experiment goes all sorts of wrong find something that you can laugh about; find something that you learned through this colossal gaffe and make it part of the learning process with your children. Breathe.

"Blue skies in, gray skies out." -McKenna (American Girl movie)

 

Start and end your day with sincere, earnest, and specific prayers for you, your spouse, your children, and your homeschool.

Pray for the clarity, energy, and focus you need. Pray for the support you need from your spouse, pray for each thing each of your children need. If they are struggling with writing a paper, pray for help to guide them, to encourage them, and for that child to understand, to persist, and to whatever else they need.

 

Do not isolate yourself or become a martyr. Reach out to your spouse, or anyone else to create a support system that fits you.

This is a hard one for me. I'm a mega introvert and love being alone. It's hard for me to ask for help, but I'm learning that things go so much better when I reach out for help and I make connections with other Homeschooling Mamas doing the same thing I am.

ten tips large family pin

#9

As a Homeschooling mom of a large family it often feels like we're herding cats. Stray, wild, feral cats.

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Getting everything and everyone to operate without any major kinks is necessary to avoid burn-out and stress overload. Work together and share the responsibilities to lighten your load.

Sit down and work out what needs to be done in your home, your family, and your school each day, each week, and each month. Gather the family together to discuss these items and then delegate these duties to every person in the family (except the newborn, of course).

You are a family, which means you are a team. The job of keeping the family going is everyone's.

 

Now what?

I don't like to just have ambiguous ideas thrown at me. I like directions, I like steps, I love examples.

There are a few resources I want to point out to you that you can use to help you accomplish tips #10 and #9.

hope-0

Hope For The Heart of The Homeschool Mom by Jamerrill Stewart

It has the most beautiful cover, don't you think? There are more than just pretty words in here, but actionable, helpful ideas, guidance, and encouragement specifically for those days when you question your sanity and know those angel children of yours are morphing into wild cats.

Mindset For Moms by Jamie Martin

I've followed Jamie since the beginning of time (when I started Homeschooling). This is a wonderful book that lays out a new way of thinking, acting, being for 30 days.

There are 3 MP3 that you will enjoy listening to. The titles alone grabbed me, never mind that they're excellent.

anger-0

Letting Go of Mommy Anger -- I know, right!

Discover the Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool -- perfect to go along with your daily prayers.

You Are Not Alone: Collaborate Homeschool -- now you can figure out exactly how to create that support system you need.

You can purchase each of these separately and you will be on your way to mastering the skills, the stress, the overwhelm and doubt that you have. Don't mistake, there's no shame in feeling any of these. The important part is you don't let them beat you; you don't let them win.

Come back tomorrow for tips #8 and #7: they're gonna be awesome!!

Mwah

 

 

 

 

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Easy Plan For Your Not Back To School Party!

Let's celebrate! It's time for NOT back to school.

As homeschoolers we have the greatest freedom and flexibility in our days. We've got to take advantage of this great gift and use it for a day of fun!

 

That means, a (Home) school party!

not back to school party

Let's throw a Not Back to School Party!

I've posted some questions for you to consider as you plan your party. It can really be anything that fits you.

 

What do you want from your celebration?

  • Pump your children (and yourself) up for the coming school year
  • Have a day of fun
  • Celebrate your reasons for homeschooling
  • Set the stage for your school year
  • Etc.

When will you hold your party?

  • The week (or more) before
  • The day before
  • The night before
  • The day of
  • The night of your first day

Who is coming to the party?

  • Just your family
  • Your other Homeschool friends
  • Your family
  • Your Homeschool club or co-op

What age of people is this party for?

  • All ages
  • Littles
  • Middles
  • Olders
  • Parents

What's your budget?

  • Free
  • Mostly free
  • Small budget
  • Medium
  • Extravaganza-type

How complicated?

Your budget may impact your complication. Though, it is possible to have a very involved party without spending lots of money.

  • You want a simple party
  • Somewhat involved party
  • Very involved party

Location

  • Home
  • Park
  • Community Center
  • Outdoor location
  • Museum
  • Etc

Here's an invitation for you to use

blank invite

 

Click on the picture and it'll open in a new tab. Right-click and click Save As. Next, upload it to PicMonkey to edit it and add text of your choosing. Print or email to your friends and family to invite them to your Not Back To School Party!

Activities

Large Groups

  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Water Kickball
  • Hike
  • Swim party
  • Flour tag
  • Party Games
  • Picnic

Smaller Groups

  • Party Games
  • Time capsule
  • Decorate your own journal/notebook
  • Wrap a pen/pencil
  • School photos
  • Treasure hunt
  • Hike
  • Picnic
  • Swim in the river/lake/pool
  • Painting
  • Water games

Yummy stuff to eat

  • Cookies and milk
  • Apple buffet
  • Ice cream sundae bar
  • Burgers and hotdogs
  • Chili cheese fries
  • Pizza
  • Family's favorite meal
  • Breakfast
  • Apple Pie Cupcakes
  • Confidence Cookies
  • Rice Krispie apples
  • Chocolate Kiss Pencils

Goodies

A treat to give away is always fun

  • A visit from the Homeschool Fairy (fresh fun school supplies)
  • Edible Glue
  • Lucky Charms goodie Bag
  • Gumball Ruler
  • Pencil cases
  • Snazzy notebooks
  • Membership to a museum or zoo
  • A new book (or a set of books)
  • A fun printable full of encouragement, framed

not back to school pin

Let's put it all together into two options

Party option #1

Who: Family Party

Where: Backyard

When: Afternoon/Evening of the first day

Have a few simple decorations

Red, yellow, and blue streamers, a couple grouping of balloons, and 3 mason jars filled with fresh new pencils, crayons, and colored pencils for a centerpiece.

Food

Have an apple buffet:

Apples with caramel sauce in a bowl (melt caramels with some milk/cream). Have bowls of toppings to sprinkle on your caramel apples. Can slice the apples up to make it easier to eat.

Have apple rice krispie treats, apple cupcakes, and apple juice. Lay out some savory treats as well to counter balance all the sweets: fresh veggies, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, a favorite dip, etc.

Activities

Have a treasure hunt, draw a vague map. Have them stop at several locations within the house and backyard. Have a clue at each stop. Have a prize at the end -- a box of fun art supplies or science experiment.

Decorate your own composition notebook with glue, paints, paper, and anything else you love and can find.

OR decorate your own library bag with fabric markers and paint. What Homeschooler doesn't love the library?

Each person (even the parents) fill out a survey for the year.

Make a sign displaying their grade (if you use grade levels) and take a picture and have mom take a picture holding each sign for the children's grade levels. Make sure and take a family photo as well.

Play relay races.

Make a picnic dinner together, pack it up, go to a park, on a hike, or to the backyard and eat out under the sky.

Tell each kid what you love about them, what you think their strengths are, and your hopes for them this year. Ask them what their hopes are for this school year are.

Be sure to record them either at the picnic or when you get home.

Goodies

These are the treasure they find, the things they decorate, and the centerpieces for them to keep.

[Tweet "Plan your #notbacktoschool party here! "]
Party option #2

Who: Homeschol Group

Where: Lake

When: Weekend before school starts

Food

Everybody brings their own picnic lunch

Have fun treats: pencil cupcakes, chips and dip, cut up watermelon, Rice Krispie treat apples.

Activities

Ultimate Frisbee

Water Games

  • Mattress surfing: blow up a queen-sized mattress, push it out into the water. Everyone takes turns seeing how long they can stand up in the middle of it. Longest time wins!
  • Mattress wrestling: get on that same queen-sized mattress and have two people kneel on the mattress, facing each other. Place your hands on the other person's shoulders and try to push the other one off without getting knocked off.

Make sure those that are weaker swimmers have life jackets on. If in a pool, may need help to keep the mattress away from the sides.

Swimming

Easy party games for the younger kiddos.

Goodies

A small treat bag with a few fun art supplies: tube of paint, paint brush, pencil, and mini canvas or a list of art prompts.

Confidence cookies

Thought

Optional: Have an opening or closing "speech" to welcome everyone and to give some words of encouragement for the new school year. The confidence cookies thought is a great thing to share.

 

Looking for more resources and ideas for your Not Back to School traditions and celebrations? You're in the right place!

 

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120 ideas

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Here is a post I curated for you, my lovely friend. There's a ton of not back to school party ideas, treats, gifts, and photo ideas in this post. In fact, there's 120 different ideas. Get excited.

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Keep an eye out for more ideas headed your way! And to see what we do for our own NOT Back to School Party.

The Homeschool Omnibus is here! Grab the 90 Creative Resources to Refresh Your Homeschool

Homeschool: Figuring Out Our Why

figure out why title If someone asked me five months ago why I homeschool, I'd give them, what I'd consider, a valid, concrete answer.

Then, the crisis hit.

I mean THE crisis. Of 2015.

Well, that's assuming that there won't be some other type of crisis this year. I'm an optimist.

 

And so it begins...

A dear friend of mine told me about a Waldorf charter school in our area. I was immediately intrigued. I went right home and researched it.

You have to set an appointment for an orientation to find out more about the school before you can put them on the waiting list. I signed up for it and then started researching.

See, that's what I do. I research. It's kind of a hobby of mine.

 

Along the way, I thought, "if you're going to send them to the charter school why don't you just put them in public school while you wait?"

 

I mentioned this to my husband. It started a long, trying road, to figuring out just what I wanted to do with our kids.

 

I cried. I prayed. I struggled.

I wrestled, and I mean singlet, mat, sweat.

I was wracked with guilt. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to do the right thing. Not just for the kids, but for me as well. I didn't know what that was.

 

I felt sick inside every time I thought about my children in public school. It felt wrong. Very wrong. And yet, something inside me was tempted by the prospect of free time.

I felt selfish. So so guilty and selfish.

 

I reached out to everyone I knew for help. I prayed and cried and researched some more.

VERY long story short, I came to my decision through multiple avenues.

Examining it all

I have struggled with my health for quite some time, and have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's (that's a whole other story). I work part-time as a transcriber for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I also want to expand and grow this blog and business. We want to have another baby, but I have HG when I'm pregnant, so it's hard on all of us. These were all major factors in our decision.

 

Things were looking up with my health, though. My energy was higher than I can remember it ever being. I think I've been tired since I was in high school.

 

I reached out to: family, friends, Facebook groups, moms with kids in public school, moms with kids homeschooled, etc. They all said a variety of things, all helpful, yet not what I was looking for.

 

I spent a lot of time in prayer. If I wasn't actively talking to someone, I was probably praying.

I wrote a ton of pros and cons. A ton of pros and cons. I love and hate pros and cons lists.

 

At the charter school orientation the presenter was showing developmental information on children. He said, the most influential person at this child's age was their teacher. The teacher could tell the kid that 3 + 1 = 5 and they'd believe them, no matter what their parents said.

Does that freak out anyone else?

As an ASL interpreter and transcriber, I have daily experience with classrooms and the  information taught. Suffice to say, I'm not liking it.

 

The rest of the meeting he went over all the things they did, all these things seemed revolutionary to the rest of the parents in the meeting. They all had kids in public school. I was nodding along, thinking, duh, get on with it already.

I already knew this stuff, I was already doing this stuff. I believed it, we lived it.

 

I don't know why it took me so long to realize this. I just took what we did for granted. I didn't realize what a rich life we led.

 

I also spoke with a friend that had gone through a similar crisis the year before. We talked about her experiences on both sides, her regrets, things she wouldn't change, etc.

The decision

After more thinking, I came upon my answer, slowly, yet suddenly.

 

You know what to do

 

I knew the answer all along, l'd just forgotten. I had gotten in my own way. I was so caught up with this tempting idea of having some free time. Maybe some time to nap, to read, to potentially go out with other ladies, or to go to the store without 3 of the 5 kids.

Those things weren't important, in the scheme of things. I knew how to get my free time, my alone time, my time with friends all along. I wasn't going to go out with these ladies at lunch time anyway. I can nap and read if I want to, even while homeschooling.

 

I don't have a lot of time with these kids in my home. I don't have enough time. None of us really do. Even if we get the full 18 years. Is it ever enough? I say eternity isn't enough with our angels in our arms.

 

All that anguish, guilt, turmoil, stomachache, and heartache went away when I made my choice. Or, I should say, remembered my choice.  I was filled with peace, confidence, and a surity that this was right for me and the children.

So now, when you ask me why I choose to homeschool I have an answer that reaches to my very core, my heart and my mind.

figure out why

Want to know my reasons?

  • Lots of time with my kids
  • I can pick our curriculum
  • Tailor their learning
  • Use the method that resonates with us
  • Time for a more rigorous scripture study
  • Character improvement
  • Help our family be close and strong
  • Focus on the things I want them to learn
  • Time to develop interests, hobbies, and talent
  • Good environment
  • Able to thrive in their education

We also have access to a charter school that has educational and social opportunities. We are joining a great co-op this next fall that will be a great opportunity for them to be involved with kids and other people, in addition to giving me a few hours of time with the youngsters and other things I need to do during that time.

 

This experience strengthened my resolve to homeschool and has helped me to grow and to really have set in stone what I want for our children. On top of that, I think it was a great thing to have this debate with myself so that I could find a better solution for our temperaments and our life situations.

The relief I feel is amazing. Even looking back I can't understand why it took me so long to figure it all out. Sheesh.

 

If you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of, or help sorting your thoughts, I'm here for you! For reals.

 

Your turn:

Why do you homeschool? Have you ever doubted your decision?

 

WhyWeChose

60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years + Giveaway

Holy crap. I'm going to screw up my children forever. They're never going to learn to read, they'll never be able to do simple math, much less calculus.

They're going to never have friends, be bullied in college, if they even make it into college. They're going to never find a spouse unless they're equally out-casta-able.

They won't get into college. They won't be able to do any of those stupid standardized tests. I'll be that "mother" you know, the one that everyone says "oh she homeschools -- yeah right -- that's just her excuse to stay home and do nothing."

They won't ever understand a single thing they're learning. They won't understand all those quirky things you can't find in a curriculum, but necessary life skills.

I won't ever be able to cover enough. I'm dooming my children to failure. Not just academically, but in every freakin' stinkin' blinkin' area of their miserable little lives. All because I'm homeschooling them. What a selfish beast I am.

Have you ever felt this way?

11 Tips for a Peaceful First Homeschool Year

This post may contain affiliate links. This does not effect your prices at all. See full disclosure for more details. 

It's your first year of homeschooling.

It's gonna be awesome. Or is it? Are you already overwhelmed and freaking out?

 

Do you feel like you don't have everything you need or want? Nothing is set up just right. You couldn't get that one curriculum you really had your eye on. You're budget is used all up. You aren't sure how in the world you're going to teach 3 different kids' math on 3 different levels in the same hour.

I wanted to share this with y'all.

11 tips for a peaceful first homeschool year

 

I'm not gonna blow sunshine up your bum and tell you that I've got it all together.

 

I have plans, I have my expectations, and I have my list of dreams. Everything won't go perfectly every day. I have a tendency to want to do everything right now. I don't like baby steps. I want to do it all and I want to do it all now.

It's not conducive to a peaceful life.

 

You might not need it right now, but you probably will at some point this year. Unless you have it all together all the time. If so, then go ... go to wherever perfect people hang out.

 

I have this list of reminders next to my computer at my desk to help bring me back to reality and to do it calmly.

 

#1 Baby Steps

Don't try to do it all at once! Introduce one new thing a day/a week/a month/a semester/a year.  Don't add more until you are comfortable with what you've got. If you add it and it's too much, pull back again.

#2  Make a Plan

You've gotta have a plan. Plan your year, but do it in pencil. Fill out your schedule/routine, and again, do it in pencil. Don't be a slave to your schedule. Make your schedule and plan work for you and help you.

Streamline your routines. Have a routine, have multiple routines. I recently made a month of lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. They're in my freezer ready to go. Now I've eliminated a daily chore that sucks up time and energy. The kids can now pop out their meals on their own. Time saver!!

 

Tell Your Time is a wonderful wonderful tool to help you take control and ensure that you're spending your time on exactly what you want to be doing. I'm reading it right now and will do a full review for y'all soon! So far? Love it!

#3 Make do With What You Have On Hand

Don't have a curriculum you want? What can you do to the one you do have to make it more like that one? Don't buy every little thing you think you need. Search for what you have right there.

Don't have it? Get creative and make something else work. You may find you like it better.

Borrow, borrow, borrow!

 

#4 There's No Such Thing as the Perfect Curriculum

You need to say this to yourself again.

[Tweet "There's no such thing as the perfect curriculum. #homeschool"]

Honest. It may be lacking in some small way, but does that mean you ditch it? Not unless it's REALLY not working for you. Otherwise, you can supplement as needed. Pinterest, my friends!

Most of the time you won't need to do this. You just need to stop looking for "the magic beans" that'll bring your children to genius levels and make golden eggs at the same time. Be satisfied.

 

#5 Don't Try to Do it All

This is me being a hypocrite.

Not purposefully: this is something I'm working on.

You see some family doing daily nature walks with a journal. You see another doing Geo caching, another writing daily, another lap booking, another note booking, another memorizing, copy working, and on and on and on. You cannot do every method, every curriculum, every amazing idea.

 

You cannot do it all. Nor should you.

This reminds me of one day I signed up for 3 webinars. I didn't realize they were all at the same time. I tried to listen to all 3 at the same time because I couldn't pick which one I wanted to be in the most.

At the end of the hour I was exhausted and I didn't learn anything from any of them because I couldn't listen to all 3 at the same time!

Don't try to do this with your homeschool. Pick what you REALLY want to do, what appeals to your children, and what they need at that moment. Do that. Nothing more. Then NEXT semester/year/summer try something new as an extra.

 

Trust the process of homeschooling. It works!! #homeschool

 

#6 Recruit Help

I am terrible at asking for help. I have to really really really need help in order to ask.

When I had glass in my foot and couldn't walk or drive for a month I still didn't ask for help. There I was crawling around (pregnant) getting my food, doing everything for myself. We didn't go anywhere unless Mr Barlow was taking us/the kids.

 

Ask for help! Get hubs to read at night, teach a certain class. Get Grandma or Grandpa to help you out.

You know your situation better than I do. Find someone that can help you in some small way. Even if it's just to watch the kids while you do some planning or pick up supplies.

#7 Take Breaks to Avoid Burnout

You have got to take breaks every week. Even every day.

Schedule short breaks during school hours.

Schedule a nightly break for yourself. Don't do anything except something that will recharge you.

 

Take a weekly break away from the house and kids. Just get out and breathe.

I go to Target, Barnes and Noble, antique shops, or Ashland.

 

 

If there's an afternoon or day or week that you and the kids are just done take a breather. Play some games together. Take naps. Work on a fun project. Heck, watch mindless TV for a bit. Just chill. Then come back and you'll be so glad you took that break.

 

#8 Don't Expect Perfection: From Yourself or Your Kids

Be realistic. You can't be ON all the time. You're going to have tough days, so are they. See #7.

#9 Don't Compare

Someone always comes out loser and someone winner. But at what cost? Don't do it, don't do it. No one is ever happy when comparing.

#10 Remember Your Priorities and Goals

You have those handy? No? Well, get them out, put them where you can get to them easily. If an activity doesn't fall under a priority or something to further your goal ditch it. Ditch it fast without guilt.

#11 Enjoy Yourself!

Have fun! Homeschooling is hard work, but it's the best kind of hard work!! Have fun, enjoy the process, and smile. Cheesy, I know, but oh so true.

 

 

Keep these tips in mind

Keep them in mind throughout the year and you'll avoid some traps that can keep you from enjoying your homeschool year.

 

It's gonna be a fabulous year!

Let's be here for each other and have a huge overflowing amount of fun!

 

♥ Rochelle

 

You have any tips to share?

How to Schedule Without Screaming

You know that dirty word? Schedule.

Don't you just want to slap someone (maybe me) when they say in a nasally condescending voice, "you need to have a schedule, Shelly."

I didn't say it.

 

How are you going to schedule your days?

It's not as tricky as you might think.

It's not wax-your-nether-regions painful either. (Yes, I did just say that Mama, sorry).

schedule without scream

 

Okay, you might be doing a bit of juggling and some hard-core thinking. We're in it together! *whistles kumbaya*

 

Are you a routine or a schedule type of person?  I'm a bit of a combination of the two. I'll show you what I mean in a minute, but first we've gotta get to the nitty gritty.

 

1. List Priorities

List out the things that are most important to you. Then put them in order of importance. Keep that handy when you're blocking out your time.

 

2. List Scheduled Activities

Co-op classes, club meetings, sports, music lessons, dance lessons, family items, etc.

 

3. List Out Curriculum Frequencies

Remember in our planning we said to figure out how often you're going to be doing your lessons. Are you doing spelling 2 or 3 times a week? Math 4 or 5 times a week? And on and on.

 

How many days of the week are you going to do school? 4 days or 5 days?

 

4. Get Your Work Schedule Out

Do you work outside the home? In your home?

What is your work schedule? Do you work certain days of the week? Certain times of the day?

 

5. List Outside Commitments

What are your outside commitments? What do you have going on each week? Each month? Do you have exercise classes? Training for a marathon? Book club? etc.

 

Get out a piece of paper and write time out in 30 minute increments. Use pencil!

sched 2

 

6. Fill in Items From Steps 1 - 5

Fill in all that stuff. Dance Tuesdays at 3:30, Cello lessons Friday at 1:00, Lego Club Friday at 2:00, Book Club 3rd Thursday at 7:00 PM. You get the idea.

For the once or twice a month items I will fill it in a spot at either the top or the bottom of the day of the week it happens on. So I'd put Book Club at the top of Thursday that said 3rd Thursday at 7 PM. Then later I can fill in my calendar as needed.

Don't forget to schedule in travel time!!

 

7. Best Times

Is your family early risers? Late risers? What time of day do y'all work best at?

Put the harder subjects, reading and math at the freshest times of the day. Whenever those times are for you and your child.

 

8. Meal Times and Cleanup

When do y'all eat? When do y'all want to get chores done?

 

9. Chunk Your Day

This is how I work in my routine. I put the 3 R's for the morning time. We do it in the order we feel like that day, but we do it in the morning when the kids are alert and fresh. When I am motivated and fresh. Then in the afternoon we do our remaining subjects, whatever those may be for that day. We have a checklist of things that need to be done after lunch. School, chores, exercise, cooking, dinner, free time, practice, family time, etc.

 

If you're not a routine type of person then you just schedule in when you want to do each subject.

 

10. Be Realistic

You've got to be real with yourself. How long does it take to do each item/subject? Schedule breaks, schedule free time. You can't be going going going all. day. long. or you'll crack. Don't stuff your day to bursting. You can't do everything in one day. Schedule in time for real life.

 

Be flexible. Don't be a slave to your schedule. If it's not working change it. Re-evaluate at regular intervals. Check back in with yourself maybe once a quarter or once a semester. Again -- be flexible!!

 

Now that you've got your schedule sketched out fill in your official schedule.

Here's a printable I found that I liked -- It's from DuoParadigms.com

 

Here's my schedule from last year:

schedule 1

 

We haven't officially signed up for sports and I am not sure on club meetings this year. When we get our official schedule lined up I'll do a post on it.  But my tentative schedule is as follows:

 

5 AM - 9 AM: Work (TW Transcribing, TW, Blog, Write)

8:30 AM: Kids up and getting ready on own.

9 AM: Breakfast and morning school work (Calendar, Spiritual stuff)

10 AM - 12 PM: School (the 3 R's)

12 PM - 1 PM: Lunch

1 PM - 4 PM: School and outside commitments

5 PM: Chores and Free time

6 PM: Dinner

7 PM: Chores and Free time

8 PM: Bed time for kids

9 PM - 10 PM: Work (TW, Blog, Write)

Sometime around 10 or 11 go to bed (ha!)

 

This is just our basic skeleton of a schedule, and not including scheduled activities and such. Plus, as the first few weeks unfold I'll probably tweak it a bit. I'll know more about how much time I need for each activity.

 

Do you have any scheduling tips?

Share away my friends, I love to learn from others!

♥ Rochelle

 

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venspired via photopin cc

Our 2014 - 2015 Curriculum Picks

Back to school is much more renewing to me than New Years will ever be.  

It's a time of new beginnings, renewed motivation, along with the opportunity to learn, explore, and discover.

But let's be honest, who doesn't love the smell thrill of new school supplies?!

 

The best part of being a homeschooler is when the UPS man comes to your door day after day with boxes of curriculum. It's like Christmas time. The kids get just as excited about it as I do.

 

We have a lot of fun stuff planned this year. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm also pretty nervous about it, to be honest.

 

We have a lot going on in our regular life already. I have 3 different jobs and a new baby.

I'll spare you my pity party for today. Just for today.

 

2014-15 Curriculum Picks

 

I'll start in birth order by first listing their separate work and then put what they'll do all together at the bottom.

 

The Captain

The Captain - 3rd Grade

*No, that's not his real name. I refer to my children with their "online names" for privacy and protection. There's too many creepers out there. *
 

 

Little MIss

Little Miss - 1st/2nd Grade

I always say she's 1st/2nd grade because through the charter school we do school through she's technically 1st grade. She does everything 2nd grade, except reading. Actually her math right now is finishing up 1st grade and then moving on to 2nd grade.

 

 

The Animal

The Animal - Kindergarten

I can see him breezing through his math. We're doing Kindergarten low-key. That's how I roll.

 

 

Sweet Cheeks

Sweet Cheeks - Tot School

I'm not a huge believer in doing preschool. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't stress over it. My children learn naturally on their own with the things we do and from watching their older siblings. I will have things for her to do though, to keep her busy and feeling like a big kid.

 

  • Busy Bag/Box items
  • Dry erase board and dry erase pencils
  • Dollar spot color packs and school stuff from Target
  • Coloring books - the girl loves to color
  • Legos - she builds with Legos all day long
  • Counting
  • Letter of the Week - whenever we feel like it
  • Give her mini jobs
  • Naps!

 

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear - Babyhood

He's just going to spend his time eating, sleeping, pooping, and spitting up. He'll get lots of snuggle time in. I've got a ring sling he'll spend a lot of time in.

Combined Subjects

KONOS - Volume II.

Konos is a unit study based curriculum. It covers history, science, writing, reading, character study, scripture study, art, geography, and on and on. I'm going to use their co-op this year to get used to it and have an extra layer of help and direction. Plus, it'll help me to remain accountable.

I love that it covers Kindergarten - 8th grade. I plan on going more into Konos in a later post.

 

Art

 

Music

Piano - Jon Schmidt Primer -- This is for The Captain and Little Miss. If you've heard of Piano Guys, this is their method and music to teaching piano!

Drums - Riff Academy -- I just found this online music academy. You can learn guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard for a monthly subscription. The Captain and The Animal both want to learn the drums. I may want to die. We won't be starting drums right away. We need to save up some money for a stinking drum set. I remember my cousin had a practice pad of some sort when he was younger and he used that. I thought about that, but wasn't sure if it'd be too different from learning on a real set of drums. I'll have to talk to Riff Academy for their thoughts. Do y'all know of any good options?

Other instruments -- My kids all want to play the piano and one other instrument. I think though, that for this year we'll start just on piano. TC may start drums in the spring. After that I'll see how we're doing before I add anymore in.

 

PE

Family Time Fitness

TC - He's still trying to decide between Gymnastics, Swimming (prep for swim team), and Martial Arts. He will do Basketball once the season starts up in January

LM - Gymnastics. She wants to dance as well. We may put her in Jazz or in Ballet. For now she wants gymnastics more.

TA - Gymnastics and soccer in the spring. Animal is our natural athlete. The kid can do anything. He probably runs faster than I can. It's hard to pick a sport for him.

 

Writing Project

I've got a fun writing project idea that I am setting up right now. I'll have a whole post about it for ya!

 

Adult Skills Class

I'm making a whole course up for my kids to develop adult life skills. I'll have a post about it for you as well!

 

Memorization

Each week I'll have a poem, quote, or scripture verse for the kids to memorize. We'll work on it in the morning when we go over the calendar. Nothing too flashy, just a bit to get them to learn good things and to work those brain cells.

I know KONOS has some memorization stuff as well.

 

Video Project

Each of my 3 oldest kids get to pick a special thing they want to learn this year. LM wanted art. TC wants to make his own movies and videos. TA hasn't decided yet. I'll be working with TC to make videos of all sorts. Video book reports, video presentations, tutorials, acting out stories, and showing off the new skills he's learning. He's going to die of excitement and it's gonna be awesome.  I'll give more updates on how that all goes down.

 

ASL

Gotta learn a foreign language right!? Why not learn one your parent is fluent in?

I've taught them ASL over the years and they each knew it as a baby. This year I'll be doing a more focused learning and using my own curriculum. I'll share our journey with y'all!

 

 

That's it!

 

That's it, right!? You see what I mean!?

 

On top of all this TC is in Cub Scouts this year and I always said I'd put LM in Girl Scouts (or a similar group). I may have to have her wait a year. We are in a homeschool club this year. I'm super excited about it. They do co-ops, clubs, field trips, and parties. Plus, our charter school has campus classes the kids could go to and holiday parties.

 

It's going to be hecka busy. But hecka fun!!!

 

Tomorrow I'll be going over how to schedule all this stuff so you don't rip your head off screaming.

 

What are y'all doing this year?

♥ Rochelle

120 Ideas for Back to (Home)School

Last year I found the first day of school crept up on me and I stood there without so much as a "Yay! It's the first day!"  Not even a blinkin' picture.

What kind of mother does that? This kind.

 

I was determined that I would not let this year go by without doing something special to commemorate the day. Something... anything.

Getting back to school (even if you've been doing it over the summer like us) is a fun event! It's the time of new beginnings and fresh starts.

 

As Homeschoolers back to school is just as fun and important as non-homeschoolers.

 

Enter research time! Wow, did I find some great ideas! I wanted to share them with y'all. I decided to put them in all one spot so you wouldn't have to go searching and searching like I did.

Now you'll just have to click and click.

 

120 ideas

 

Trust me, I've found some goodies for y'all!

 

 

 

Photo Ops

1. Giant Polaroid  Make your own polaroid frame photo prop.

2. Pencil Prop Cute giant pencil photo prop.

3. Chalk speech bubble  Fun DIY sign.

4. Same outfit on first and last day of school. See how they've grown!

5. Chalkboard sign  Make your own sign with a canvas and some paint. Personalize with their details.

6. Photo checklist  Not all of these photo ideas are for homeschoolers. You can adapt the list to suit your situation. Have fun with it!

7. Printable sign

8. Printable signs (put on a stick)

9. Printable sign

10. Big Letter/Number Sign Use a big wooden letter and paint it! Cute photo prop

11. Graduating year T-shirt Make a T-shirt for their graduating year and take a photo with them in it every year as they grow up.

12. Chalkboard sign A framed chalkboard.

13. Large Printable Sign This one is editable with photoshop and she printed it at a copy shop.

14. Sidewalk chalk Make a grade year sign on the sidewalk. Add in some personal details or fun pictures. Pose away!

15. Paperstrip backdrop Cute backdrop for some pop of color.

16. Mini Chalkboard Such a cute little chalkboard.

17. Mom holding all the signs of each kid Show what grades mom is teaching this year!

18. Printable Bus Sign Cute school bus sign.

19. Hashtag sign Modern #photoprintable

20. Photo props Cute photo booth-like props

 

 

Interview Your Kids

21. Interview made into a special page Ask your questions and design them into a pdf or pretty document to print and keep.

22. 21 questions to ask Great questions to ask. Put them on video or write them down. Or be crazy and do both.

23. First and Final Day Ask your kid the same questions at the start and end of the year.

24. Printable interviews Free printable for each grade level.

25. Back to school Survey Another fun set of questions.

26. K-12 Printable interviews More I tell you, more!

27. My summer printable What did you do this summer interview!

28. first and last day memory page Put your memories down on paper!

2

Celebrate it Up!!

29. You're so Sharp themed party - with printables

30. When I Grow Up Fun idea for what you want to be when you grow up party.

31. Ice Cream Party Who doesn't love ice cream? Don't answer that. I"ll just pretend I didn't see that.

32. Dessert Party Desserts people, desserts!

33. Apple Party Cute classic apple theme.

34. "Be Brave" I love this idea. Be Brave is their slogan for the year.

35. Going Places Great theme.

36. Wheels on the Bus Cute for the little ones. Even if they don't ride a bus :)

37. Coffee Date for Moms A fun celebration for the moms and dads to celebrate the start of a new year.

38. "Future is Bright" Another fun theme.

39. Milk and Cookies party Milk and cookies people, milk and cookies! Classic after school snack!

40. 50 more Celebrations Dude, my hand would've cramped if I tried to post more of these. I ♥ Naptime did it for me.

 

 

 

Special Meals

41. Lunch box notes Gotta love lunch box notes!

42. decorated lunch bag Make their brown bags look extra fun.

43. lunch survey A fun way to get to know what your kiddo has been up to at school (or wherever if they're homeschooled)

44. lunchbox notes Love fun printables!

45. lunchbox jokes Jokes! Who doesn't love a good laugh? Your kiddo could use some cheering up.

46. owl lunch bag Another fun way to decorate the classic brown bag.

47. back to school luncheon Celebrate with a special lunch. Invite some homeschool families.

48. back to school dinner Special dinner either the night before of the night of.

49. back to school breakfast Have a feast!

50. back to school bash Invite the friends over!

51. breakfast butterflies Cute special breakfast meal.

52. back to school feast !ith crowns!

Cute treat bag full of whatever goodies you want! School supplies, treats, gifts, whatevs.

 

Magical-ness

53. Back to School Fairy visit Have her visit the morning of.

54. Fairy Treat bag Have her visit the night before.

55. Magic School Bus Same idea, but it's no fairy, it's a Magic Bus, baby! *cringe* Sorry about the cheesiness.

 

 

A Little Something Fun to Give

56. First Day Ribbons Little badges for them to wear with their new grade!

57. Decorate a Composition Notebook Decorate a notebook for them to use all year long.

58. Craft Stick Bookmarks  They're designed to look like pencils, crayons, or super heroes.

59. Decorate Journals Make journals together!

60. School binders Have a special binder just for them.

61. First day Certificates These are just for your preschooler and kindergartener.

62. Smile catchers Fun little toy you can put in their lunch box. You know those folded thingys you used to say who your crush was and all that fun stuff. What's its name?

63. Back to School Mad-Libs Who doesn't love a good mad lib?

64. Washi tape bookmarks, clothespins, thumb tacks, dry erase board, and labels  Lots of cute supplies you can make with washi tape.

65. Crayon Favor Box Cute cute giant crayon stuffed with whatever treat you want to put in.

66. Button Book Marks Sweet little things!

67. Personalized Pens Decorate a boring ole pen.

68. Pencil Bag So fun, it looks like notebook paper

69. Personalized Pencil Cans In the post they aren't personalized, but you could definitely make one for each child.

70. bottle cap magnets Such a fun thing. If they have a locker, a magnet board, or anything really.

71. School supply crate A fun idea to decorate their curriculum/supply box.

72. Dry Erase Clipboard Could be a great tool for keeping them on task.

73. Printable bookmarks Cute easy bookmarks! Free!

74. mini chalkboard easels Cute little gift.

75. Survival bag Scroll down a bit in the post to see it.

76. First Day Survival Kit Gotta survive that first day!

77. pencil can with pencils Make a fun pencil can and then fill it with fun pencils!

78. Back to school pencil cases Love pencil cases!

79. notebook cover Fun way to cover a notebook.

80. Schultute A cute way to give a bunch of gifts. Could be used along with the BTS Fairy.

81. back to school bag Great idea.

82. school tools Fun fun! Fill it with whatever supplies they love.

 

 

Yummy Treats

83. Lucky Charms goody bag Cute little cereal bag.

84. Apple Cupcakes Adorbs!

85. Gumball Rulers So clever! You gotta check it out.

86. Rice Krispy Apples So simple and fun

87. Confidence Cookies I hearts and flowers this idea.

88. Edible Glue Stick What a cute idea - a fake glue stick filled with white candy!

89. lemon cake cookies Lemon. Cake. Cookies. Yummmm

90. 7-up treat Cute little saying to go along with the 7-Up!

91. bookworm cupcakes So cute. There's a couple more cupcake ideas on this post as well.

92. tic tac printables Cute little printables to put on a Tic Tac box.

93. apple cake pops So cute!

94. back to school cookies She did a fabulous job on these cookies!

95. edible crayons Such a fun idea to make together.

96. Back to school cupcakes Cupcakes! Love!!

97. hershey kiss pencils These are so cute. Big pencils but with candy instead of graphite. Win!

98. apple jelly bean treat Super cute! Jelly beans are so yummy.

99. crayon cupcakes Cupcakes made to look like crayons. Love the wrappers. Post has a party idea as well.

 

Won't Be Boxed Into a Category (a.k.a. Don't put Baby in a corner)

100. Countdown paper chain Fun free printable chain!

101. Morning routine printable Great idea to get the kids ready for their day.

102. Alphabet art Cute way to decorate your home.

103. Be Awesome Today print A fun print to keep near your kid's desk.

104. Countdown banner Another fun countdown idea.

105. Back to school printables Lots of cute and practical stuff here:  lunch checklist, refrigerator note, daily school clothes labels, and school money.

106. Printable Reading Log A fun printable to keep track of reading.

107. Crayon Wreath Make a cute wreath for your door or school room. Run out of crayons during the school year just steal one from your wreath. ;)

108. Ruler Wreath I love this wreath!

 

little miss drawings

 

Great Ideas Without a Blog Home

109. Write a letter to your child

110. Scavenger hunt for school supplies.

111. Scavenger hunt for a treat at the end. Maybe a gift, or special meal, or a gift card.

112. Make goals with your children.

113. Ask them what they want to learn this year. What are they looking forward to this year?

114. Make a list of "firsts."

115. Start a newsletter.

116. Draw or paint self-portraits.

117. Homeschool club parties -- some homeschool clubs and co-ops have back to school parties.

118. Field trips - go somewhere fun on your first day back!

119. Do something special that non-homeschoolers can't do!!

120. Go out to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

----------------------------

 

Are you exhausted? I am!

Obviously you cannot do them all. If you try I'm calling an asylum and have you committed. I'll visit once a year and bring you a shiny red apple.

 

What are your family traditions for the first day of school? What new ones will you start this year?

 

I'll report back to tell you which ones we decided to try this year!

♥ Rochelle

jonathangarcia via photopin cc