Sometimes the hustle and bustle of this world can get the best of us and cause us to start losing focus. Quite honestly, it happens to me all the time. I’m telling you, it is hard to carve out some quiet, uninterrupted time with God when you’ve got countless little ones underfoot who don’t understand the importance of giving Mom some alone time. What starts out as days can quickly turn into weeks, and then even months. And before you know it you realize that your faith journey has reached a plateau because you’ve unintentionally neglected your relationship with the Creator of the universe. Continue reading “Taste and See- 125 Daily Meditations, by John Piper”
The One Simple Solution to Saving Our Schools And Why It Will NEVER Happen
Sometimes the solutions that are the most obvious are also the most difficult for people to see. Take public education, for example. Our educational system has utilized the same methods of instruction that were instituted over 150 years ago when compulsory attendance laws were first put into place. Think about that. In all that time, the powers that be have found it completely unnecessary to rethink our country’s approach to education that was inspired by the Prussians, of all people. Continue reading “How to Save Public Schools-Teach the Way Kids Learn!!”
An Inside Look into a Typical Day of Extreme Parenting
One of the most commonly occurring themes on my homeschool posts is simplicity. A simple homeschool routine can make all the difference in the world, but I don’t want to give anyone the false impression that life in a super-size family is simple. Is that even possible??
So today I decided to write down what my day was like from the moment I woke up until right now as I’m writing this. Now obviously I couldn’t write down everything that happened or I’d never get this post finished…but I did write down just enough that you’d get a glimpse into a typical day at our house.
In order for you to have the proper perspective of what’s going on in the background throughout the day, as you’re reading what I’ve written, picture it on top of endless cries of, “Mom! Mommy! Mom, look! Mom can I have a drink? Mom, we’re out of kool-aid! Mom, he threw a sock at me…”
The day that Reins of Love, by Laurie Salisbury, arrived, we were beginning our second week of the new homeschool year. Unable to find a devotional I thought would be able to hold my 9, 10, and 12 yr. old’s attention, I was feeling a bit unprepared for our morning Bible time. Up until this point, we had been using an online children’s devotional that was a bit too deep, even for me, and we had been struggling to give the deliberation to God’s Word that it deserves.
As a mom of many, I read children’s books quite a bit. Sometimes after reading story after story, it can get monotonous because every book starts to feel similar to the rest. Characters act or look alike, and plots really seem to get repetitive. I love to read to my children, yet I want to read stories that are not only compelling to both my children and myself, but I also want them to help instill the values that our important to our family. Continue reading “Marie and Mr. Bee by Margaret Welwood”
If there’s one thing I pride myself on as a homeschooler, it’s the fact that our school routine doesn’t take up a large part of the day. This is something that’s very important to me because I firmly believe that children need unscheduled time for free play and following their interests. This is a crucial part of learning.
So imagine my chagrin at the fact that our school day didn’t end until almost 5pm yesterday. 5pm!! And this wasn’t an isolated incident. Since we’ve begun our new school year, we’ve been finishing up around 4pm everyday. Last year the latest we ever ended was around 3, so I’m really trying to figure out what this is all about. Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Why Is School Taking So Long??”
Sometimes finding a story bible that holds my younger children’s interests can be somewhat challenging. Countless times I’ve felt that I was wasting my time when reading bible stories to them because it was obvious they weren’t paying attention. They would be squirming around, fidgeting, and sometimes just staring off into space.
That is why I am so happy to have come across The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell. This isn’t just any story bible. This wonderful resource is designed specifically for younger children who, like my children, may be fidgeters, or for children who are on the brink of learning to read. Each account included in this collection is exactly the right length, colorfully illustrated, and makes use of key words which are pictures of characters, places, or objects that are important to the story and which make the story interactive for children. Continue reading “The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell”
My kids spent the week at VBS, and I feel like I was the one running around all week. We just returned from the closing picnic, where I spent over 2 hours trying to keep track of 7 kids, and I am exhausted.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with this week’s links!
Happy Monday, everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that I am officially a guest contributor on They Call Me Blessed! I’m so excited to be working with so many talented bloggers on the 30 Ways We Homeschool Blog Party. Today I’m inviting you to stop on over and read about our family’s homeschool routine, including how we do it, where, when, and what we’ve chosen for the upcoming year’s curriculum. While you’re there, think about looking back through the other posts in this series. It’s always so amazing to see the many faces of homeschool!
I think I’ve made it abundantly clear so far in this series that I don’t miss a single thing about our public school days. Not one. Today’s topic will uncover one of my biggest pet peeves about those days- having to follow their schedule.
I realize that to most people this isn’t a big deal, and they pretty much accept that this is the way it’s supposed to be. However, adjusting a crew of kids as large as mine to the school schedule was more trouble than it was worth.
There are two aspects to the school schedule that just didn’t work for us- the set-up of the school year and the hours required to be there.
Deciding the Homeschool Year Based on Your Needs
When we began homeschooling, I had no idea what I was doing, so our school year mimicked the public school calendar. I soon discovered that it just wasn’t working for us. It was difficult to go for long periods of structured school without a break, and when the breaks finally came, they were often too long and ended up setting us back.
Around this time was when I discovered homeschool blogs and found one, in particular, that talked about the six-weeks on, one-week off homeschool year. I thought it was positively brilliant and immediately decided that that was the schedule for us. And, indeed, it has been a blessing. We all get a break every few weeks and our Christmas and summer breaks are long enough to count as “vacation time” but short enough that we don’t forget everything we did.
As my older kids have, well, gotten older, however, they began to express displeasure at the fact that their breaks didn’t completely coincide with their public schooled friends. Since they work primarily on their own, I agreed to let them follow a school year that more closely resembles that of our school district’s.
As of this moment, I have three kids who homeschool from August to May, and seven that homeschool year-round. So far it’s worked out amazingly well for us. The older kids are able to make more plans with their friends, while my younger kids have the structure that we all so desperately need. It’s a win-win situation.
Homeschooling allows us the opportunity to decide what is best for our family based on our needs, and our needs alone. No other choice of education can offer this.
Choosing Your Own Homeschool Hours
I positively detested getting up in the morning when my kids were in public school. The kids were cranky- especially the older kids who require more sleep- and the entire morning was a mad rush to get out the door on time. It never failed that no matter how diligent I was about getting everyone’s stuff ready the night before, we would inevitably wake up to missing shoes, missing homework, a missing hairbrush, and missing toothbrushes.
The house would be a mess from frantically searching for everything we needed, and, shamefully, I walked the kids to school more than a few times feeling completely overwhelmed from an already horrible day and guilt-ridden for all of the shouting I had done.
Looking back, I can’t imagine how my kids must have felt being dropped off at school after a morning like that.
Then, after being in school all day, the kids would be expected to complete hours of homework on top of the seven hours they had spent in school. All too often our after-school time would be a replay of the morning.
Since homeschooling, we haven’t experienced anxiety even close to what we used to feel on our school mornings. Our mornings are laid back. The kids often watch Netflix for a little while in the morning, after which we straighten up together and have a leisurely breakfast. Our homeschool activities don’t start until around 10am (in our pajamas) and rarely last longet than 3-4 hours total for the seven youngest kids.
My teens typically wake up much later, unless it is their week to be my homeschool helper. As long as they’re awake to eat some lunch and help with our after-lunch chore time, I’m okay with that, since their school work is usually completed at night.
This works well for them because my older kids have always been night owls, especially my oldest daughter. When she was still in school, she would often only get about two hours of sleep at night because, try as she might, she could just never fall asleep until around 5am.
Our homeschool hours would probably horrify some parents, but that’s perfectly fine. As with choosing our homeschool calendar year, this aspect of it can also be completely molded to fit the individual family.
Every family is different, and there is no one right way to homeschool. As long as we keep that in mind, we’re bound to discover the homeschool schedule, approach, and routine that is right for us.
And if you ask me, that aspect of it (actually, every aspect) beats traditional schooling every. single. time.