Our Area’s Homeschool Activity Fair – Part 1

 

So we are now in our second year of living in Texas.  This week I became aware that our local homeschool organization was holding an activity fair.  So I informed my youngest two and my husband the four of us would be attending.  As we drove into the parking lot and started to get out of the vehicle, I stated I was not sure how much we would find if anything.

So imagine my surprise when we entered the room the fair was in and found a number of booths that interested my children.  I am going to break this up into two parts.  Today I am going to write about the activities our 16 (getting ready to turn 17 in October) son found at the fair.

img_0006

The first activity which really interested him was the area homeschool band.  The benefit of this is that I can also play in it as a parent.  Furthermore, our second son can play as well.  After talking with the representatives a few minutes, I picked up a flyer, added our names to the list and checked one activity to add to our schedule.  So this should be fun for us.

Clarinet

The next table to catch Nathan’s interest was one for an area Junior High/High School choir.  Nathan has a love of music and of singing, so again I knew this would be a good fit.  So I grabbed the flyer, noted the date of the informational meeting and then we moved on again.

My son then became distracted for a few minutes when one of his friends from church handed him a flyer for the group’s yearbook staff.  Involvement in that is still under consideration.  Then he was distracted by seeing the mother of that same friend.  So, of course, he had to go over and speak to her.

Then we stopped at a table where another one of my children’s friends was sitting.  We spoke to her for a few minutes before moving on to see what else we could find.

The next table to truly interest our son was the one for tennis lessons.  One of the moms we met when we first moved to Texas was on duty there.  We received the information, chatted for a few minutes and caught up a little bit.  I gave a sigh of relief when I realized they provided all the necessary equipment.  So that is one expense I do not have to worry about right away.

Untitled design

Finally, he asked if we could stop by the table for the area athletic teams – including basketball – something he has wanted to play for years.  Unfortunately, that activity is not a possibility because it will conflict with the homeschool band.  I was glad to see my son was more interested in the band instead of basketball.

Untitled design-3

So that is a summary of the activities our son is interested in for the new year.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss the activities our daughter is interested in for this year.

Review of Homeschool Buyers Co-op’s Homeschool Planet

homeschool20planet20logo_zpskpsfxaxy

Over the years I have used a variety of homeschool planners.  However, one that reaches the top of my list is Homeschool Planet. With Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op, I can do so much more than just creating assignments!  I love being a member of Homeschool Buyers Co-op for many reasons.  But this planner has to be at the top of my list.

Of course, to sign up for this marvelous planner, you first have to be a member of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  But it is free to join, and the opportunities available to members including discounted curriculum choices are fabulous.  Although you have to pay to use this planner, I love the peace of mind that comes from having everything online.  I do not have to worry about losing a paper planner or having something that spills on it and ruin it that way.

Right now, if you sign up for a new Homeschool Planet free trial, you will receive a free lesson plan of your choice from the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace.  This is an incredible value.  These already-done-for-you lesson plans provide opportunities to adapt to your schedule and your desires.  You simply purchase the lesson plan, wait the allotted time, log into your subscription to Homeschool Planet, select lesson plans and then add the lesson plan to your schedule.  You can customize it however you need it done.  The system will even tell you if there are not enough days to complete the course.  You can even choose what students will be assigned the course.  Then once the 30 day trial period is over, you can subscribe using either a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription. However, you need to subscribe by the end of June to get the free lesson plan.

For our family, I selected the Words that Matter Lesson plan because it is a complete vocabulary program that I plan to incorporate our state’s requirement of spelling into with little effort.  The fact that this is a complete lesson plan, meaning no additional books or other resources are required makes things easier.  I was able to just select it, wait the allotted time and then add it to our lesson plans and assign it to our three children still in high school.  I can not wait for our children to use this plan in the fall.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 8.48.21 AM

 

I love things that make my life simpler, and this planner does it.  It allows me to record all the events going on in our lives and even assign them to different people.  Here is a shot of part of today.

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 10.11.43 PM

I really appreciate the ability to color-code the things that are going on in our lives.  I can assign things to one family member for anything from chores to lessons to appointments and more.  With the different colors, I can easily glance at the calendar and know who is doing what.  I decided to have my calendar set to where I can see everyone’s schedule on mine.  This way I know what everyone is doing.  I am pleased that I am able to create separate logins for each member of the family.  Depending on the age of your children, you may want to allow this or not. My youngest child is going to turn 15 this year, so I plan on allowing our children to have their own access and be able to make changes to their own calendars.  Obviously, for my husband, I would do the same.  They have the ability to mark assignments as complete, which to me is a wonderful thing.

Here are some screen shots of my various family members.

Another thing I love about digital planners like this one is the ability to easily change dates for assignments without having the headaches of a paper planner.  I can easily select a subject from the planner and move assignments around if needed.  Here are some screen shots.

I definitely recommend this planner if you are looking for an easy way to keep track of everything in one place.  You can select widgets to help manage your family’s life such as shopping lists and to-do lists.  You can select widgets with a quote of the day or shopping lists, books you are reading and more.  So take a look at this wonderful program.  Do not forget by signing up now you can select a free lesson plan, but remember this offer is for a limited time. So visit Homeschool Buyers Co-op to find out more about Homeschool Planet.

If you would like to read more reviews, click here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

 

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

 

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Review for Only Passionate Curiosity’s Homeschool Rescue

homeschool20rescue201_zpsin3kdxkh

Even though I am a veteran homeschool mom of 11 years, I was blessed to work through Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity.  This is an online course designed for homeschooling mothers in mind.  No matter what the ages of the children in the home are, everyone can benefit from this program.  It is designed for moms who feel overwhelmed or inadequate in mind.  The course provides a refreshing breath of encouragement and the ability to uplift the spirits of the homeschooling mother.  One of the best parts of this program is that it includes lifetime access to the program, which I really find amazing.

As the mother of three teenagers and one son in his 20s, I found the assignments in this course relevant.  The course contains five modules that cover everything from dealing with your worst days to a curriculum check up to lesson supply organization to self-esteem and rewards, to teaching children through examples as well as teaching teens and study skills for older children.

course20content20homeschool20rescue20updated_zpsj4uuuqgb

My favorite lessons were the ones dealing with troubleshooting my homeschool.  This lets me examine our homeschool in a way that ensures the goals and ideas I have for my children are correct.  Also, the Time Management Systems and Organization section was extremely helpful.  Last March our family moved from Pennsylvania where we lived in a house that was approximately 3000 square feet to Texas where our home is less than 2000 square feet.  So organization is important.  Also, we are still trying to figure out exactly how we want to fit in our local homeschooling community.  So the lessons here provided some great suggestions and ideas.

There are several bonuses including a members-only Facebook Group where Heather of Only Passionate Curiosity interacts with the members on a personal level.  It is a great place to talk with other moms who are dealing with the same type of issues, problems or experiences that I am.

Each module contains videos to watch, transcripts to read, audio downloads, homework/workbooks, as well as resources and links for further information.  The videos were engaging and informative.  The homework was also manageable.  It is suggested to complete a module a week, but this may vary based on your own level of involvement and the details you need to include.  One of the best things I read on the Facebook members only group from Heather of Only Passionate Curiosity is the reminder this is a marathon rather than a sprint.  It is more important to complete it accurately and completely than to rush through it and not give it the attention each lesson deserves or requires.  Some lessons and homework assignments, I find would best be done with your spouse so both of you have input.

homeschool20rescue20breathe20new20life_zpsfkhiishm

Homeschool Rescue will be for sale from now through June 1 and the next “live” class runs June through July.  Because Heather at Only Passionate Curiosity wants to be able to give individualized attention to those completing the course, Homeschool Rescue will only be open at certain times of the year.  There are two levels to choose from including the e-course and the VIP level.  The VIP level includes everything the e-course contains, but also provides for three personal one on one sessions with Heather of Only Passionate Curiosity.

Here are some pictures of some screen shots of some of the lessons.

 

Here is a picture of one of the homework sheets I completed.

img_2299

I definitely recommend this program.  It is worth the money.  If you wish to read more reviews, either click here or on the image below.

 

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

 

You can find Only Passionate Curiosity and Homeschool Rescue on social media at:

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/OnlyPassionateCuriosity/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/opchomeschool/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/OPChomeschool/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/onlypassionatecuriosity/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/b/110290451358830656260/+OnlypassionatecuriosityHomeschool

 

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

 

 

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Psalm 37 4

Under typical conditions, by now we would already have been well into the swing of school and life.  But this year has been rather unusual.  First, the day after New Year’s Day, my husband was caught up with turning in a quarterly report at work.  Then he had drills at his unit.  Finally, he went to New Jersey to Fort Dix for a week for an Annual Training Conference.  On top of it all, I knew some things needed to change when we resumed schoolwork, but I just was not complete sure what I want to replace those subjects with immediately.

So I have been investigating, researching and doing more research.  Yet I really did not feel like I was getting anywhere.  I was privileged to become part of the Homeschool Review Crew so some of the upcoming review opportunities will help with some of these issues.

Every one of our children has different talents, interests, and desires. So this means every child needs to have curriculum choices that reflect those differences.  This means I constantly have to consider what works and does not work for each one.

So over the next several weeks, I will be sharing what is working and what is not working in our homeschool and how I plan on changing things to make things work better.

Off to a Slow Start

Philippians413

So my ambitious plans had our family starting our new school year last week.  We actually began last week with just math and language arts.  This year we have a 9th grader, a 10th/11th grader and a senior.Language Arts seems to be going fairly well for our three.  We are using Daily Grams again this year.  I like the way the books are laid out and the way they can complete the work including grading it by themselves.

But math once again is going to be where I desire to bang my head against a wall.  I can not find a math program I like for high school. I find programs I think we are going to like, but then things take a downward spiral.  One of these days I will find a perfect program hopefully.  But in the meantime, I am turning the math teaching over to my husband.

The plan is to start History, Writing, Literature and Latin next week along with spelling.  So that means one day this week, I will be administering spelling tests to the children.

I still need to order materials for Science and some electives to round out our year.  In the coming days I will share what each child is doing for the year.

How are things going where you are?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Laid Plans….

galatiansfivetwentytwoSo I had fantastic plans!  I had terrific plans!  I even had these wonderfully terrific, fantastic plans recorded.  I was ahead of the game.  I was ready for the year!!!!!  Yay me!  But then God decided my plans were not the plans we needed to have.  First, we wound up with some unexpected expenses, including propane for our propane tank – which fuels our stove.  This meant there was going to be a delay in purchasing the last few books we needed for our year.  But I was prepared for some minor interruptions, so it was no big deal.

I decided we would begin our new school year on September 28, 2015 as far as new subjects that we were adding to our year.  But of course,  once again these were the plans I made.  Just after it had turned Friday morning (meaning around 12 am), my husband started having pains in his abdomen that looked like when he had an attack of pancreatitis several years back.  So by 2 am, we decided we needed to go to the Emergency Room.  Having been through something similar, you would think I would have been ready for the inevitable conclusion that he was going to be admitted to the hospital, but I was not.  Nor was I in any shape prepared for the doctors to tell me his gall bladder needed to be removed.  Nor later was I ready for them to say the surgery could not be performed because of irregularities with his heart rate, EKG and a blood test.  Nor on Saturday morning, was I prepared for a surgeon to tell me my husband was not coming home – despite being told emphatically the day before by his surgical partner that we would be released that morning.

So all this leads to the fact that I am not sure when we will be able to begin those subjects.  But that is the beauty of homeschooling.  Our schedule is flexible.  I hold the keys to the calendar.  I make the decisions (well with God’s approval of course).  When life happens to be stressing you out, homeschooling doesn’t have to be stressful.  Now I am blessed that my youngest is almost 13 years old, so they are able to work fairly independently.  Plus I am also blessed that my oldest son (who is 19) decided to do a correspondence school for college – so he is home and can have a flexible start date for filling out his paperwork and beginning his schooling.

Right now we are in a holding pattern waiting and seeing what is to come on the health front for my husband.  But on the homeschool front, my children are continuing to do the 3 R’s – Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic along with history and Bible.  Then once life is back under control, or as under control as it can be, we will start the new subjects.  Since we homeschool year round, it will work out fine.

So what is going on in your world right now?