Posted in #write28days, family, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

#write28days – Day 19 Extracurricular Activities

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 19 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources. Today I want to talk about Extracurricular Activities.  As a homeschooling parent, I wanted our children to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.  Through the years, those activities have changed and evolved over time.

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For example, when we began our homeschooling journey we participated in Cub Scouts, Church, a Homeschool Group and our children even had the opportunity to participate in a homeschool gymnastics class.  We specifically tried to pick things that all or most of the children could do together.

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Later when we moved to western Pennsylvania, our children were part of the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit, Cub and Boy Scouts, Church functions and then our oldest son, youngest son and daughter attended a Christian dance studio.  The picture above is some of the photographs taken at the dance studio.

When we moved to central Pennsylvania, our children participated in Church activities, activities at the Salvation Army Corps we attended, Young Marines, and the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit.  Here are some photographs from events.

 

Finally, when we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas, our activities changed.  We still had a church (although not as much) and finally last year we added our local Homeschool Band program and my husband, oldest son and our daughter also did the Homeschool Strings program.  This year we are still involved in the Homeschool Band and Strings program, and my oldest and youngest sons, my husband and myself have joined our local Community Band.  Oh, our youngest son also began participating in the Homeschool Tennis Class this year.

 

The one thing we have learned through the years is to be careful about how much you allow into the schedule.  At one point we were gone six nights out of the week and it was too much for us.  We have decided not to do co-ops or similar activities because we prefer controlling the materials and subjects our children learn.  While we want them to have the opportunity to be around and to interact with others, too much can be overwhelming and make it difficult to actually get homeschooling done.

So does your family participate in any Extracurricular Activities, why or why not?  I would love to hear from you.

#write28days

 

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling

#write28days – Trisms

28 Days of

This is my 18th post for my series #write28days.  Today I want to talk about another curriculum choice we discovered at a homeschool convention.  The company is called Trisms and the specific product we used was called HistoryMakers.  You can read all about the company here.

I first fell in love with History Masterminds because it did not use a traditional textbook approach.  It is an exciting overview of World History that also includes Language Arts, Geography, Literature, IEW and more.  It covered the period from 3500 BC to the present.
I had a book that included the assignments broken down by week.  Sometimes, the children had to research an invention and draw illustrations of it.  Other times, they had to read about an artist or read a book or complete a mapping assignment.  Here is a picture I took of a sample lesson plan and the explanation about what the students were doing.

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One of my favorite parts of this middle school curriculum revolved around my ability to pick and choose resources along with having the ability to include our younger children in the learning assignments.

So if you want a curriculum that looks different from your average textbook approach to teaching and learning, check out Trisms for yourself.  They offer materials for middle school through high school.

If you have seen it, used it or would like to use it, let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

#write28days – Day 17 Unit Studies

28 Days of

Welcome to my 17th post for my series for #write28days.  Today I want to talk about Unit Studies.  With unit studies, you have the option of buying done-for-you unit studies that are simply open, acquire necessary resources and materials and go, or you have the option of creating your own unit studies for scratch.

Unit studies are thematic studies typically use a hands-on approach that keeps the interest of many students.  While we primarily used these when my children were younger, I feel they could work for any age.

The beauty of the first results from having everything already done and assembled in one resource for you.  Or at least you have the list of everything you need.  Amanda Bennett offers a variety of unit studies on her site.  She offers studies on everything from history to geography, faith, sports, science, holidays and more.

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Another company that provides unit studies is Creation Illustrated and you can read my review for the Home School Review Crew for one of their unit studies here.

So if you are looking for something that provides hands-on learning opportunities, or maybe know your children have some specific areas they want to study, or perhaps you just need a break from your normal curriculum materials, check out the idea of unit studies for yourself.  Then let me know how it goes for you.  And if you already use unit studies, I would love to hear from you as well.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

#write28days – Day 16 – Nature Studies

28 Days of

This is my 16th post of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today I want to talk about nature studies.  The best part about doing these studies is you can do them regardless of where you live.  You can do nature studies with just a notebook, pencils and anyplace outdoors.  Or lacking the ability to find somewhere outdoors to do due to surroundings or due to climate, the Internet provides a vast amount of information helpful for this study.

Whether you decide to use a formal program, elaborate notebooking pages, or free notebooking pages you find online, nature studies provide even the youngest of children a way to examine the world around them.  Another thing I loved about nature studies is that all of my children could do it together at the same time.

While there are sites that provide formal nature study resources, I do not feel they are absolutely necessary.  For our family, a blank drawing notebook, pencils, colored pencils and any place outdoors worked fine for us.  Whether we utilized our own backyard, a park, or other outdoor venues, my children could draw, take pictures to later add to their notebooks and make their own drawings of, or even pick up leaves and other items to study when we arrived home.

So if you want a simple way to explore the world around you, try some nature studies for yourself.

So if you do nature studies yourself already or decide to try them for the first time, I would love to hear from you.

Posted in #write28days, Charlotte Mason, Homeschooling

#Write28Days – Day 15 Charlotte Mason Method

28 Days of

Here is my post for the 15th day of my #Write28Days challenge.  Somehow, I managed to fail to schedule this post properly.  There are many different methods of homeschooling.  Charlotte Mason founded one method.  Charlotte Mason.  Charlotte Mason believed in educating children through living books, nature study and by developing positive habits in children.

As we began our homeschooling journey many years ago, I realized this method worked well for most of our children.  The idea of narration and copywork provided a gentle foundation for my youngest two as they began learning.  I loved how I was able to have both children work on the same materials but at their own learning level.

Being outside goes hand-in-hand with Charlotte Mason’s ideas for schooling.  My children also found this to be a wonderful way to learn and experience the world around them at the same time.

So if you want to utilize a method that does not use typical textbooks, check out Charlotte Mason and her methods for yourself.