Large Family Homeschool Nature Study Vlog | At the Canal!

It was FINALLY warm enough today for us to take a long walk at the canal. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do since June. Join us for our informal, relaxed nature study trip.

Using Charlotte Mason in Our Relaxed Homeschool

I often describe our #homeschool as relaxed with a bit of #unschooling, unit studies, and Charlotte Mason methods. While I’ve spent a ton of time addressing the unit study and unschooling aspects, I realized that I was all but ignoring the method that seems to have influenced the bulk of what we do – #charlottemason. It’s time to fix that oversight.

Gardening Books for Kids!

Can you believe that it’s July already? Yowzers, that went fast! Here in Pennsylvania, it’s been hot, hot, hot, and today was no exception.

If you’re a homeschooling family who takes a summer break, don’t miss out on the opportunity for a fantastic summertime nature study idea – gardening! Today I decided to share with you some books that will both inspire you and give you tons of ideas to get started. Continue reading “Gardening Books for Kids!”

There’s No Place Like Home: Vlogs and Livestreams

If you’ve been here before, you may be aware that besides my blog, I also have a YouTube channel

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to start sharing not only some DITL vlogs, but also to start a weekly livestream. (Thursdays at 10pm ET)

Today I’m going to share with you the links to those videos, just in case you’re interested. 😉

Thanks so much for being a part of my life, and Happy Homeschooling!

Here are my latest vlogs:

 

 

 

And here are my livestreams:

 

 

Notebooking 101: Nature Study Journals

I’ve finally reached the end of my Notebooking 101 seriesIt sure took me long enough, right??

Nature study notebooking, or nature study journals, were actually the first type of notebooking I ever heard of, yet they were the last kind we actually tried.

Go figure.

Inspired by the Charlotte Mason method, these notebooks are a beautiful keepsake for both your children and you. Find out some practical tips in my latest Notebooking 101 video.

Enjoy!

 

Homeschooling and education are my passion. It is my fervent hope to one day devote more time to creating content for you. If you’re interested in helping to make this a reality, consider supporting me on Patreon.
Thank you so much. I appreciate each and every one of you!

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Our First Official Week of Break!

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Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now that all of the kids are “officially” on break and our homeschool evaluations have been turned into the school district, the summer fun has begun!

On Saturday we had a birthday party at my mother’s house for my two youngest daughters, whose birthdays are only five days apart. All of the kids had tons of fun playing on the slip and slide…okay, maybe I did, too.

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Sunday and Monday we really didn’t do much. Unfortunately, our invitations to Memorial Day and other picnics are few and far between because people either assume that a. they won’t be able to feed all of us, or b. they’re afraid they won’t have enough room for all of us, so…we usually do end up just barbecuing in our own backyard on those days. That’s actually all right with me because I have become a bit of a homebody lately.

Devin (17) left on Sunday to spend a few days at her friend’s house (she lives an hour away). After a few days, they’ll be heading to Penn State for the Special Olympics because her friend’s brother participates in the track event. This will be her third year going with them, and she always enjoys it.

Dillon (16) is still on a quest for snakes and has been a regular attender at the creek once again. He’s also been swimming quite a bit in his friend’s pool and actually got a really nasty sunburn the other day. Hey, these kids are half-ginger- they’ll burn after five minutes in the sun wearing SPF 100!

Arianna (14) and London (10) have spent most of the week at my mom’s, although today they left to spend a few days at my brother’s house. Anything to get out of chores… 🙂

The rest of the kids have just been traipsing around the house with me. They’ve been outside quite a bit because it’s been gorgeous out. I did put up a clothes line in the yard this week because the dryer was making the house too hot. The kids are fascinated with it. You’d think it was a new iPhone or something! But, hey, I’ll take the extra help while I can.

 

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This is Violet. She always looks like she wants to hurt someone.

 

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you probably know that my kids and I are fans of Shopkins. We were really excited this week because my husband was able to get some of our very favorites off of eBay.

 

We’re expecting a few more on Saturday. It’s little things like this that make us happy!

Luke (7) earned himself a few dollars doing some extra chores, so today Caollin (11) and I walked him to Family Dollar. On the way there, he was fascinated when we found some ant hills because, apparently, he had never seen any before! (I don’t know how that’s possible considering the number of ants in our yard.) We actually found one that looked like it was made out of gravel. Now that I’ve never seen before. We had an interesting discussion about how hard ants work, the tunnels inside the ant hills, and the ant farm I had as a kid. I can see one of them requesting their own in the near future. They love bugs!

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This weekend, Dillon (16) and I will be attending Family Day with Brendan’s (22)  Army Reserve unit. While we’re there, the rest of the kiddos will be at home with my husband while he fills up their sandbox and sets up their new pool.

We’re all looking forward to a fun-filled, yet hopefully, relaxing weekend. What have you been up to?

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Spiders and Squirrels and Snakes, Oh My!

The end of the school year is in sight, and the great outdoors are calling! (If the rain ever stops ;P) Join me for another week of highlights from There’s No Place Like Home!

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Well, we’ve now just completed the second last week of school for the Littles and the Big Kids. The Teens have another three weeks to go because they follow a more traditional school schedule. The end of the school year is a bit bittersweet for me because, while I love the summer, I do not enjoy the lack of structure from not doing our school routine everyday. Besides that, I really do enjoy our school routine, so I know that I’m going to be bored out of my mind without the hustle and bustle of the school day. Oh, well. Just plan on me posting lots of new unit studies because that’s what I usually spend my time doing when boredom sets in. I will admit, however that I am looking forward to the deep cleaning we always do the first few days of summer break because this house is a wreck.

This week was very similar to last week in that it’s been cold and, once again, I had to take five children to the dentist. Fun. No cavities this week, but one does need to see an orthodontist. Joy. Other than that, it’s been a pretty laid back week- as far as a household of twelve people can be laid back. 🙂 Now on to our week:

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The Littles

This week we started reading Madeline, which the kids have enjoyed so far. We found France, where the story takes place, on our world map and each child got their own map to place a story disk on. They also colored their own French flags, and we discussed so many different topics while reading, such as appendixes, hospital visits, steamboats, land line telephones (who would’ve thought they would be considered history in our lifetime!?), and the Eiffel Tower.

I’m going to confess that we spent a lot of time vegging out in front of the TV because it’s just been a cold, rainy week, and we really didn’t feel like venturing outside.

The Big Kids

The older kids are still working on their research/reference unit and will probably do so until the end of next week when they finish school. We read about Noah Webster and each child has been busy compiling a list of words they don’t know from our read-alouds and their silent reading selections (which, incidentally, are all the same as last week) to author their own dictionaries. Today they got to decorate the covers.

Caollin (11) did get to spend some time at the creek with Dillon (16), and she had a blast finding salamanders, crayfish, and a newt. Otherwise, they, too, have just been relaxing in the house, waiting for the sun to finally come out again.

The Teens

Schoolwork-wise, it’s really just been business as usual with these three.

Arianna (14) has been busy reading and helping with the younger kids during school time this week. On Sunday she went to see a local theater group’s performance of “Mary Poppins” with my mother. She really enjoyed it and hopes to see some more shows like it. (She recently saw “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” as well).

Dillon is still having the time of his life taking photographs and has even ventured out in this dreary weather to hone his photography skills. Here’s a sampling of what he did this week:

A few days ago he created a Facebook page for his photography, and he’s really been working hard at perfecting his skills.

Devin (17) has, once again, spent a lot of time with our oldest son this week. She’s looking forward to next month’s anime convention in Atlantic City and is busying herself with the details of what characters she’s going to cosplay. She also wants a job in the worst way, but I just haven’t gotten around to getting her a photo ID just yet.

Unfortunately, our school district does not issue school IDs to homeschoolers, which makes everything from getting a job to attending after-school events to taking SATs that much harder. I honestly believe they should begin issuing them to homeschoolers, since we do have to report to them yearly, so our kids are, technically, still students in the district, but what are you gonna do?

Anyway, this has been our week! What’s yours looked like?

 

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A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Art and Election Day

It’s that time again for our end of the week review. Join me as I write again about another crazy homeschool week with ten kids!

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Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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(If you’re interested in a more detailed example of our homeschooling days, click here.)

I can’t believe another week has gone by! Time flies when you’re having fun, right?? While last week my kids were enjoying the warm weather all week, as I write this post, I’m sitting in my dining room in a sweatshirt, next to a space heater, shivering. Gotta love this fickle weather.

Anyway…this week my kids got much more book work done than last week, but we also accomplished quite a few other things, as well.

On Monday, I accidentally stumbled upon a new snack idea for the kids. Since I have to make so many waffles for breakfast at one time, I usually put them in the oven instead of the toaster. I happened to get…umm…sidetracked and forgot they were in the oven, and if there’s anything my kids hate, it’s crunchy waffles. Desperate to save some time and avoid making something else, I came upon the idea of waffles and ice cream in a chip and dip platter. (Okay, two things- I know ice cream is a horrible breakfast idea, but, hey, it was Monday :P, and the reason I thought of using the ice cream was to make my hard waffles softer. Phew! I feel much better confessing, so now I can move on…)

A desperate mom's breakfast hack!

The kids ended up really enjoying it, and I promise I will only use this idea for snacks from here on in!

On Tuesday, five of my kids had dentist appointments, so on the way home from there, I stopped by the local polling place to vote in the primary election. Since the 2-yr.-old threw up in the van (my kids always get sick after the dentist, do yours?), my oldest daughter sat with her and the 4-yr.-old while I took two of my other daughters in with me while I voted. This is an actual conversation with my 11-yr.-old as we walked through the parking lot:

Daughter: Mom, who are you going to vote for?

Me: Ted Cruz.

Daughter: Isn’t he an actor?

Me: (Cracking up) No, that’s Tom Cruise.

One hour later…

Older daughter: So who did you vote for?

Me: Tom…I mean Ted Cruz.

{Sigh}

And now on to the fun stuff:

The Littles:

The younger children finished up Lentil this week by learning about acoustics by singing in the bathroom, testing taste buds by eating sour candy, singing Fifty Nifty United States, and learning how to use shading when drawing.

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Here, my youngest decided to showcase her artistic prowess by decorating our bathroom wall.

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The Big Kids:

We’ve still been reading through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together, although all three kids have started new books for their silent reading. The 8-yr.-old is reading Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House), the 10-yr.-old is reading Dork Diaries No. 10, and the 11-yr.-old is reading Horns and Wrinkles. They’ve spent most of this week preparing for a report they’re going to be writing tomorrow and next week. We’ve also been doing lots of fun activities which emphasize how books are categorized at the library. They really seem to enjoy these and are excited for the scavenger hunt we have planned tomorrow which goes along with this theme. Besides that, they’ve been doing all kinds of art projects on their own (as they always are).

 

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Drawn by the 11-yr.-old during our Harry Potter read-aloud. This is Harry and Ron eating the candy on the train to Hogwarts.

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This was by the 10-yr.-old. All of the kids made several variations of fish and sharks and later used ribbons to tie them to long branches to look like fishing rods.

The Teens:

My 14- and 16-yr.-olds spent quite a bit of time at the creek this week looking for snakes and other critters. My son actually went there for several hours almost every single day, and this experience has motivated him to become an amateur wildlife photographer.

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One of the many photos he took.

My oldest daughter, who is turning 17 on Sunday, spent a lot of time with our oldest son, who is 22, this week. Although he is over five years older than her, they get along wonderfully, and they share many of the same friends. Tonight she went to an alternative gallery with some of her friends. She visits there several times a month and is planning on showing some of her work there in the near future. This was one of her favorite pieces she saw there today:

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Book-wise, my son is still working through several WWII books, while the 17-yr.-old is still reading Dante’s Inferno and the 14-yr.-old has started The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler. Believe it or not, neither of these books were assigned to them. They chose them on their own. 🙂

So that’s where we’re at in our homeschool right now. What have you been up to?

 

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