Our life in books

This is our eigth year of homeschooling and I finally got around to blogging about our adventures a few years ago.
I love the path that God has us on.
We get to enjoy the lightbulb moments in educating our children and have quite a few of them ourselves.

We are starting Exploration to 1850's this school year, 2012-2013 using My Father's World curriculum.
Rome to the Reformation,
Exploration to the 1850's and NOW.........

Below is the week by week of lessons for this year if you'd like to start at the beginning.
There is also a handy LABELS area that you can peek through to find a specific lesson.

Week by Week - MFW: Creation to the Greeks

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crazy personal bookmarks

A few minutes between subjects turns into this. 
THIS is how I know it's the end of the school year.

The kids pose in front of a plain background, making silly expressions like they are hanging, jumping, falling, etc. and we print them on heavy paper, laminate them, cutout, and tie on a tassle right at their hands. 
Viola- bookmarks that make you laugh every time you open the book. hehe

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Article on REAL Homeschooling - my style

As a homeschooling mom for the last 6 years, I am very often asked 

'How do you do it?'  or

 'How do you fit it all in?' 

Well, this article captures the essence of my 'technique', if you will.  As you all know, I follow a curriculum which definitely guides us to the best books, lessons and experiments in each subject. 

However, that's just for history, bible, and science! 

The day also can/does include creative writing, handwriting, math, vocabulary, spelling, Latin, Spanish, grammar, music, art, reading comprehension, and  literature just to name a few. 


I would love to cover each subject in perfect detail and not miss a note but the reality is that time does not allow for absolute thoroughness in every area. I have to make compromises. I have to pan for gold.  I have to make the lessons do-able in a day/week/year. It's my job to whittle it all down a bit.

I love learning along side my kids and often that becomes the light bulb moment where I realize that I am learning something for the first time at thirty-something and that learning is a life long endeavor. There will always more books that we can read, more details on every subject that we can study but do they need to learn them all by age 10? 
Not likely. 
Pan for gold.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting it All Done

April 27, 2012
Homeschooling mothers are some of the busiest women on the planet. Not only mothers and homemakers, but they are also primarily responsible for the day-to-day workings of the homeschool. Additionally, many homeschooling moms have much more than the national average 2.2 children. Mega-families, double-digit in number, abound in homeschool circles. How can you do it all?
You may feel like the ringmaster in a three-ring circus at times. Use these three tips in your juggling act.
A Little Each Day
Many subjects can be incorporated in a day if a small amount of time is spent on each. In just fifteen minutes you can study a painting (five minutes), listen to a piece of classical music (five minutes), and read and practice reciting a poem (five minutes). A forty-five minute read aloud time can include reading short sections of many books covering different topics rather than one chapter from a longer book. Choose several books as “Monday books,” several others as “Tuesday books,” and so on. Set a timer to remind you move to the next subject. These little bits add up quickly over time.
Find the Juicy Parts
Every purchased curriculum contains core information and some fluff. Sometimes whole lessons can be skipped. Consider your goals for your child. Is the information presented important? Do you know it? Have you ever needed to know it? Go through your child’s workbooks and tear out (or, for the faint hearted, write “skip”) on pages with skills or information that your child already knows or does not need to know. For example, in a language book my daughter used, one unit was devoted to writing plays. She read the introductory pages to familiarize herself with the form and then, as she does not desire to become a playwright, we skipped the rest of the unit. Direct your child to do only the even or odd numbered problems on a page. A bonus to this approach is that if your child does not show mastery, he can go back to the page again.
Some history curriculums seem to assume that history is your only subject. From a suggested booklist, choose one book rather than three or more. After reading, allow your child to tell rather than write answers or ask him to retell (or narrate) from the reading and skip the “comprehension” questions altogether.
Accomplish Multiple Subjects with One Task
Choose a well-written passage from a classic book and copy it and/or write it from dictation. This one task encompasses reading, literature, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage, and handwriting (or typing, if typed). If your child retells the passage in his own words (or narrates) it adds oral composition. Use the same passage for all your children. Perhaps use one sentence rather than the whole passage for younger children.
Combine history and literature or science and literature by using classic books. Create nature journals—go for a walk and draw something you have seen (P. E., science, art). Practice typing Bible verses. Group your children for content subjects—Bible, history, science, literature, fine arts. Ask an older child who could use review to drill a younger sibling on math flashcards.
Balancing the many responsibilities of a homeschooling mother is a challenge. It takes hard work and creativity to keep the plates spinning. One all-purpose solution will not eliminate the challenges of managing a household full of energetic, active children, but with grace and ingenuity, you can accomplish more than you thought possible.

—Originally published in the Homeschooling Helper e-newsletter, February 2010