Posted in 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop, Homeschool Planning, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Back to School Blog Hop (5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement) – Friday Favorites

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We have been homeschooling since our oldest son was 10 years old and he is now 22-years-old.  So over the years, we have found quite a few favorites.

My first favorite came almost as soon as we began homeschooling.  We were blessed to be in a military community with a homeschooling group that met once a week at Camp LeJeune.  When we pulled our son out of public school, I immediately signed us up for the group.  Even though our other children went to public school, there were still plenty of opportunities for them to interact as well.

Because this was a military homeschool group, the moms had a lot of helpful advice and fantastic products to recommend.  I was introduced to Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Picks that included sections for determining the parent’s teaching styles, the children’s learning styles, how to create a homeschool mission statement, suggestions for curriculum based on learning and teaching styles and more.  This book is my go-to resource when looking for information for myself or helping other homeschooling families.  I can not tell you how many times I have recommended this book.

Another one of my favorite resources is the Rainbow Resource Catalog.  From the first year we homeschooled and attended our first homeschool convention until this day, this is one of my absolute favorite resources.  If it relates to homeschooling, you are almost guaranteed to find what you are looking for in this catalog or at one of their booths at one of the homeschooling conventions.  I have spent many hours pouring over this catalog and browsing their booths through the years.

When looking for any type of art supplies, Miller Pads and Paper is my go-to company.  Their prices are incredible.  The supplies they bring to conventions are incredible.  Plus their staff is amazing.

Institute for Excellence in Writing is our favorite for writing.  Our three sons despised writing, but once we found IEW, they tolerated it if not actually enjoyed it.  Of course, our oldest will talk up a storm about the time he rode in an elevator with Mr. Andrew Pudewa and had a great conversation with him.

For math, one of our family’s favorites would have to be Life of Fred.  Our daughter started these books with the very first one for elementary school students and went all the way through the middle school books.  She loved the stories and the amount of work required.

For right now, I think that is enough of our family’s favorites, but stay tuned because I plan on this becoming a weekly post for Fridays.

If you would like to read my other posts from this series, click here.

Here are some of the others who are participating in this blog hop series.

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

 

If you would like to read the posts by other members of the Home School Review Crew for Friday Favorites, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Back to School Blog Hop – Thankful Thursday

Back to School Blog Hop - 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement- Thankful Thursdays

This week I have been participating in the Back to School Blog Hop (5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement)  for the Home School Review Crew.  This is day 4 of the Blog Hop and we are talking about being thankful.  There are so many things I am thankful for about homeschooling.

  • I am thankful for how homeschooling has allowed my children to develop deep and lasting relationships with one another.
  • I am thankful that we are able to incorporate God into everything we do.
  • I am thankful that in the three moves we have made with the Army Reserves, our children always knew I would still be their teacher.
  • I am thankful for the flexibility it allows in daily and even yearly schedules.
  • I am thankful I was able to spend so much time with our children.

If you would like to visit other members of the Home School Review Crew who are participating in this Blog Hop, here is a partial list.

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama 
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers 
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschoolin

If you would like to read all my posts in this series, click here.

If you would like to see all the Home School Review Crew members’ posts for Thankful Thursdays, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Electives, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Band, Homeschool Planning, Homeschooling

2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop – Work It In Wednesdays (5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement

 

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This week I am participating in the 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop including 5 Days of Home School Encouragement.  You can come back each day to see what we are blogging about.  Today’s topic is Work It Out Wednesdays, where we are examining how to fit in electives, social activities and more into your daily schedule.

2018 Homeschool Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop - Work-It-Out Wednesdays

As the mom of only high school students now, one of the things that cause both myself and my children concern is how to fit everything in each year.  Prior to entering high school, I took most of the decision-making and curriculum choices on myself.  At times, we would offer the children choices to select from after narrowing things down significantly.  However, our children are now in high school and have directions, talents, and gifts, so we need to figure things out based on their individual personalities and goals.

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A few weeks ago, we went to an activity fair for our area’s homeschool group.  We went partially to represent our area’s homeschool band and strings program, which our entire family is active in right now.  But we also went to find out what activities our children may want to participate in this year.  Our son already knew he wanted to play tennis, which occurs on Thursday mornings.  The Home School Band program is on Monday and Thursday afternoons.  So those two times were already out.

Our son also wants to take piano lessons and we found out there was a possibility our homeschool 4-H group would be offering piano lessons along with archery lessons and photography.  All of these are activities our son and/or daughter are interested in now. So we went to the meeting, but when we got there, we realized the times may not work for our family since these activities occur on Thursdays as well.  So it is a matter of deciding what priorities we have.  Band and strings are two activities that are non-negotiable since all four of our children (yes even our 22-year-old and our almost twenty-year-old) participate along with my husband and myself.  So that is a one-time slot that will not be taken away.

So this meant we had to decide how important archery was to our daughter.  The 4-H activities basically collide with both tennis (at least one week out of the month) and the band classes every week.  So we are still trying to figure that one out.

The photography classes have already been eliminated and so the only one who may participate in 4-H will be our daughter.  So stay tuned to see what our final decision is.

You know your children.  You know what is important to your family.  So you need to take every activity your children may want to participate in or elective they may want to take and examine it to see if the benefits make it worth fitting in at this time.

Another way of making things work is to find someone for your child to ride with or find a similar activity or class that meets at a time that is more convenient.  As far as electives go, especially at the high school level, you may decide your child could fit some of those in during the summer or do more intense classes, like college classes, for a shorter period of time.

You and your family need to decide what is important to you and go from there.  Here are some of the members of the Home School Review Crew who are participating in the Blog Hop this week, you may want to check some of them out for yourself.


Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kelly @ Hope in the Chaos
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

 

So if you would like to read my other posts from this series, click here.

If you would like to read posts from the other members of the Home School Review Crew who are participating in the Back to School Blog Hop, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Back to School Blog Hop – Take a Look Tuesdays

Welcome to day 2 of the 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop.  Today’s topic is Take a Look Tuesday.  Today I will be sharing some of our curriculum choices for this year.  We have two children still homeschooling.

Our youngest son is seventeen now and is planning on graduating by December 2019.  Currently, his coursework includes:

  • Bible -still to be determined
  • Math – CTC Math (we love this program)
  • Grammar – GrammarPlanet and Picta Dicta
  • Literature – still deciding this one as well
  • History – Notgrass World History
  • Science – Chemistry and probably Apologia’s Marine Biology
  • Band – Homeschool Band and Strings Programs along with Piano either on his own or with a teacher (still need to figure that one out)
  • Photography
  • Spelling
  • a Foreign Language

Our daughter is almost sixteen and is basically between ninth tenth grade.   Here are her subjects:

  • Bible Study with Mom or Dad – still deciding this
  • Math – CTC Math
  • History – Mystery of History along with TruthQuest History
  • Biology/Botany and then moving into Chemistry probably after the first of the year.
  • GrammarPlanet and Picta Dicta
  • Literature – to be decided
  • French
  • Homeschool Band Strings Program
  • Art Classes either online or in person

We homeschool year round, so we are still finishing up some coursework. Then whenever those courses are finished, we will begin new subjects. So stay tuned during the year to see what our choices are. Also, we do a limited or reduced school schedule during the summer, so that is why some courses are still being determined right now.

If you would like to visit the other Home School Review Crew members who are participating in this Blog Hop, here is the list.

Angie @ Run Ran Family Adventures & Learning
Annette @ A Net in Time
Ashley @ Gift of Chaos
Betty @ Let’s Get Real
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Christine @ Christine Howard
Christy @ The Simple Homemaker
Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Felicia @ Homeschool 4 Life
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama 
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers 
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about today, click here or on the graphic below.

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You can read my post for Monday here.  If you would like to read my other posts from this series, click here.

Posted in 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Home School Review Crew Blog Hop – Motivation Mondays

Dear Homeschool Mom,

If you are having what you consider a “bad start” to your week?  Or if you feel like you are failing your children (or at the minimum not doing everything you should), take a deep breath,  say a prayer and realize we have all been there and felt that way.

Homeschooling can and will look different for every family and that’s okay!  What works for one family or even one of your children versus another child may be different.  It is okay.  If you feel overwhelmed and out of sorts, take a day to just spend time reconnecting with your children.

Also, for the mom who maybe is entering your first year of high school, again take a deep breath and don’t become overwhelmed by the choices and what other homeschooling friends or acquaintances are doing.  Breath in and realize you are the one who knows your child best.  As the mom of two homeschool graduates and two in high school currently, I know it can get stressful.  But, you can do this.

If you would like to visit the other Home School Review Crew members who are participating in this Blog Hop, here is the list.

Angie @ Run Ran Family Adventures & Learning
Annette @ A Net in Time
Ashley @ Gift of Chaos
Betty @ Let’s Get Real
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Christine @ Christine Howard
Christy @ The Simple Homemaker
Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Felicia @ Homeschool 4 Life
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

If you would like to read other posts for this post, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn

God-Schooling-How-God-Intended-Children-to-Learn-by-Julie-Polanco

 Julie-Polanco-LOGO

As a homeschool mom, we all need encouragement from time to time so I was excited to read God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn written by Julie Polanco.   I remember when we first decided to homeschool our oldest son when he was in the fifth grade.  Until that point, I never would have believed our family would ever be called to homeschool.  But God had other plans for our family.  We were blessed to have a local homeschooling community to walk beside us and encourage us.  I love the ideas she presents in this book about Christian unschooling.
Julie Polanco has been a Christian since 2000. She and her husband homeschooled their children from the very beginning. Serving in the Womens’ Ministry and the Worship team for her family’s nondenominational church keeps her busy. Her first child graduated in 2016. She is a regular contributor to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and their Homeschooling with Heart blog. She is involved in the homeschooling community on a local level and through her blog and books. She also finds time to be a freelance writer.
I know there are many who begin their homeschooling journey alone and with no support.  Julie Polanco shares her heart and experiences through the book God Schooling:  How God Intended Children to Learn.  The book is broken down into two sections:  Dispelling the Myths and then the actual practice.  Many people visualize unschooling as children running around all day unsupervised and unfocused.  However, Julie Polanco illustrates how unschooling God’s Way results in children who grow and learn in the manner God intended them to learn.  Julie emphasizes throughout the book that schedules and routines are perfectly acceptable and in many cases necessary for daily life.
As I read this book, I knew Julie Polanco could relate to everything I felt and thought through the years.  I love how everything in the book revolves around God, His Will and walking in His Way.  It takes away the myths of homeschooling being simply doing things the public school way at home.  At the end of each chapter, there are questions to answer that delve deeper into what has just been read.  I found these questions to be an excellent way of helping me to think more about what I had just read.

As I read how there is Biblical support for natural learning. As we began our homeschooling journey, I knew our oldest son needed time to decompress from his experiences at the public school. He needed time to connect with our family, our God and to recapture his love of learning. So we took the time to do those things. After reading Julie Polanco’s book, I wish I could have read this book when we began our homeschooling journey. As my daughter loves to say in general (and not specifically about homeschooling), “Many mistakes have been made!” I know we did a lot right, but I wish we had the ability to go back so I could do some things differently.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the beginning through the middle of the book:

 

As I read this book, I remembered the importance of recognizing the abilities and developmental readiness of our children was more important than what some other person (educator, other professional or parent) thought my child should be doing. For example, our youngest son experienced motor skill delays growing up. So I had to recognize that certain fine motor skills that came easily to our other children would not come as easy to him. We had to adapt and become creative in what his schoolwork looked like. On the other hand, his younger sister did not have any motor skill delays, so there were things she could do easier than her brother. When they were younger, we found a homeschooling gymnastic class that all four children could participate in together. The activity, motion, and patience of the teachers brought our youngest son a long way in his motor skill development.

I love the parts where Julie talks about how children need to be in motion.  Our three sons were extremely active when they were younger.  They seemed to be in perpetual motion.  If they had attended public school, I feel like we may have been told they suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder at the least and more likely we would have been told they suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  I realized they were just growing boys who needed to be active and to be in motion.  So as Julie suggests, I made sure the boys were in motion a good part of the day.

As I read God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn, I realize how different every child is and how God created each and every one of them with His specific purpose in mind. This means each child has specific gifts and talents, He intended them to have. So I can not ignore those facts.  Given our youngest child will be turning sixteen in a few months, the later section of the book was the most relevant to our family.  I love how she went in depth about choices for beyond high school.  With three teenagers and one child in his 20s, I know everyone does not need to go to college.  Our oldest son is now working as a nursing assistant by taking a three-week course earlier this summer.  So far, I think our third son is the only one who will be attending a normal four year college program.  Here are some other quotes I loved.

I also loved how various means of keeping records are discussed inlcuding scrapbooking, journaling and more.  Obviously the more stringent the requirements are for your location will help determine how detailed your records need to be.

This book details a form of relaxed homeschooling that takes the students and families into consideration.  It is meant to develop a life-long love of learning.  So check out God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn written by Julie Polanco for yourself.For your information, the e-book version is available for half price sale through August 22, so now is the perfect time to check out this book for yourself.  If you want to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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