#write28days – Day 14 – Notgrass Materials

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 14 of my #write28days series.  Today, I would like to talk about Notgrass History.  For a number of years, we have used Notgrass materials.  From their middle school history programs, their high school history programs, their blog posts and Charlene Notgrass’ emails aimed at encouraging moms, we have built a lasting relationship with this company.

Through the years, we have had the privilege of talking to both Ray and Charlene Notgrass.  They both provide a friendly and knowledge of homeschooling and history in particular.

So if you are looking for Christian history materials, check out Notgrass History for yourself.

#write28days

#write28days – Reach for the Stars

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 13 of my series, #write28days, where I am posting homeschooling, helps, hints and resources.  Today I want to urge you to reach for the stars.  Do not let your preconceived ideas to limit what you and your children attempt in your homeschool.   Believe that the impossible can become possible.

Also, be willing to let your children explore what interests them.  Allow your own belief in your children rather than focusing on what limitations others place on any of you.

When you believe in your children and your children believe in themselves, they can achieve their heart’s desires.  Just like when we place limitations on ourselves and we ultimately miss untold results, we can set our children up for the same failures.  So be willing to permit your children and yourself to explore, dream and explore the possibilities.

Let me know what you try and succeed at!

#write28days

#write 28 days – Go Down Rabbit trails or holes

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 12 of my series #write28days.  Today I want to urge you to go down rabbit holes or trails – whichever you would prefer to call them.  When your children find something that really captures their attention and interest, do not be afraid to go down those paths.  Some of the best homeschooling times I remember with our children was when we abandoned the lesson plans and followed something that captured the interest of one or more of our children.

I know my children retain more and are willing to do more if they are interested in what the subject is.  They are willing to exert more energy, stay on task longer and retain more of what they are learning about than doing planned lessons.

My second son has a desire to find things out for himself.  If left to his own devices with a topic he is interested in, he never fails to come back and report on what he has learned.  However, the key for me to remember is to let him share in his own time and in his own way.

My third son loves music so he will spend hours studying, composing and even practicing instruments.  So I allow him to do this.  Recently, he even arranged a piece of music for our homeschool band that we may be performing at our Spring concert.

Our daughter loves art.  She will spend hours researching styles, techniques, and other information related to her artwork.  So I try to allow freedom and flexibility in our schedule for her to do this.

So do not be afraid to allow your children’s curiosity about something to take you on a journey.  You may love where the journey ends.

So do you find yourself going down rabbit holes or trails?  I would love to hear from you.

#write28days

 

#write28days – Dare to be Different

Copy of 28 Days of

Welcome to day 11 of my #write28days series.  Today I want to encourage you to “dare to be different”.  Our homeschooling routines and decisions do not have to mimic public school at home.  In fact, I believe, our routines should be different.  After all, we know our children best.  When we begin homeschooling, we embark on a miraculous journey that allows for creativity and more to enter our homeschools on a daily basis.

Just because students sit in rows of desks at school does not mean my children need to do that at home.  For many years, our dining room table served as the heart of our homeschool.  Also, my children frequently picked other locations within our home to work.  We need to find a rhythm and routine that works for our own family.

For some families, getting up early in the morning works best, while other families may find homeschooling later in the day works better.  Even within the same family, members might differ in their routine and homeschooling times, and that is okay.

We need to examine our own family and children to determine what works best.  So dare to be different.  Embrace the opportunities and experiences that homeschooling allows.  I would love to hear from you about how your day is going.

#write28days

 

#write28days – Remember our children are only young once

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 10 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints, and Resources.  Today I want to speak on a topic that is all too obvious in our home.  The fact is our children are only young once.  We only get to have them for a certain number of years before they grow up, move out and create lives of their own.  When we first began homeschooling our oldest was ten and our youngest was not quite four yet.  Now our oldest will turn twenty-three in June and our youngest is sixteen.

I have to wonder where the time has gone and how it has flown by.  I have some regrets about how we spent our time.  But in other ways, I have no regrets.  I regret in some ways that we took the path of active duty military.  Because this means our youngest two do not have as many tangible memories of my husband’s parent, their aunts, and uncles as well as their cousins.  But in other ways, I have no regrets we took this path because some of their experiences could never have been duplicated anywhere else.  For example, I think our children truly enjoyed our many visits to Busch Gardens where we stayed in the cabins at Fort Eustis.

img_0048

There is the time we drove from Pennsylvania to their grandparents’ home in eastern North Carolina along with three of their friends from central Pennsylvania.  The three girls saw the ocean for the very first time.

img_0709

Of course, now we are in Texas and my four children are all either playing a band instrument or a string instrument along with their father and myself.

img_1410

So my point is to enjoy your children and let your children enjoy growing up.  Do not get so caught up in looking to the future that you lose sight of the present.  Be present with them as well.  Take time to do things together as a family so you have memories for the future.  Because before you know it you go from there:

img_1349

to here:

img_0522

And there is no way to go back and recapture those moments ever again.  Enjoy your children today.  Love your children today.  Most importantly, remember God only gave us those children for a season where they truly need us.

#write28days

 

 

#write28days – Day 9 – Rainbow Resource Center

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 9 of my #write28days series, and today I want to mention one of my favorite sites of all time.  The site is the Rainbow Resource Center.  From our very first Homeschool Convention, this store has been one of my go-to choices for Homeschooling materials.  Anytime we have gone to a convention, we have been sure to stop by their booth.  From workbooks, textbooks, parental resources and more, I can typically almost everything we need there.

Every year, our family would look forward to getting their gigantic catalog in the mail.  We (or at least myself), would spend hours looking through the catalog finding things we wanted for the next school year.  When we attend a convention, it is almost certain we will spend a good bit of time at this booth.  I love the fact I can touch the materials, look through the materials, ask questions about the materials and most importantly take the materials home with me.

Of course, if you can not attend a convention in person, you can visit their website, request a catalog and even call in to ask for assistance.  So if you are looking for a Homeschool material supplier that pretty much carries a little of everything, check out Rainbow Resource Center for yourself.

If you want to read my other posts in this series, click here.

#write28days

#write28days and #fmfparty – Build

Today I am writing for both #write28days and #fmfparty and today’s topic is “Build”  Since I am blogging about homeschooling for #write28days, today I want to talk about building in regards to homeschooling.  Homeschooling provides so many opportunities for building on a daily basis.  We get to build relationships with our children.

I remember when all four of my children attended the same public school.  Our oldest was in fifth grade.  Our second son was in second grade.  Our youngest son was in kindergarten and our only daughter was in a pre-kindergarten class that met at the same school.  I would drop the oldest three off and not see them until late afternoon when I came to walk them home.  The only real interaction we had was getting them up in the morning, taking them to and from school, eating meals and while doing homework in the evenings.

However, when we began homeschooling everything changed.  We were together all the time.  My children began to spend more time with each other.  Now thirteen years later, we can go out for dinner (like we did last night) and the four who are now twenty-two, twenty, eighteen and sixteen respectively had a non-stop conversation during dinner.  I love the connection they have to each other.  When our oldest (who is a Certified Nursing Assistant) has to work a double (two shifts in a row), the other ones miss him.

While relationships within the family are important, it is important for you, the homeschooling parent to build relationships with your spouse as well as friends.  You need a community to connect with as well.

Our family participates in our local homeschool band and strings program where parents are encouraged to play as well as their children.  This gives our family time to build outside connections.

My husband, our oldest son, our youngest son and I have all joined our local community band again giving us time to build a community.  Stop. (This is where I reached the end of my five minutes, but obviously I can not stop here.)

So continuing on with my thoughts.  The Community band gives us all a chance to interact with people of all ages, there are high school students, college students, young adults, middle age adults and even senior citizens who are participating.  So I encourage you to go out and find a community outside your home, what type of community depends on your interests.  I would love to share what ideas you have, what communities you are already part of, and what types of communities you would like to find or join.

If you would like to read other posts from the #fmfparty, click here.

If you would like to read my other posts from my #write28days series, click here.

 

#write28days – Day 7

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 7 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today’s post is going to be a relatively short but very important post.  Some days it is okay to throw your lesson plans out and just spend time with your children.  Our children, just like adults, once in a while need a day to just be.  For our family, living in the south for a good portion of their lives, means no snow days. And exceptionally hot weather during the summer discourages spending a lot of time outside.

So frequently when the weather would be perfect outside – meaning mild temperatures and sunshine, we would decide to just have a day off.  Other times, we would decide to simply put aside our normal school activities and either do a craft, other hands-on activity or even just read or watch a movie together.

So do not be afraid to just enjoy your children.  As the mother of a son who will turn twenty-three this year, I assure time passes all to quickly.  Your children are only young once.

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

#write28days – Day 6 SchoolhouseTeachers.com

Copy of 28 Days of

So today is day 6 of the #write28days challenge.  So today I want to share another resource, our family really loves.  The resource is SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  There is such an incredible amount of material on the site.    From planners to a members forum to videos to information just for parents and more, there is something for every family. There are Online Classes, Online Electives, Elementary Homeschool Courses, Middle School Homeschool Courses, High School Homeschool Courses, Homeschool parent support, access to RightNow Media material, access to World Book material and even Homeschool Planners.  There is also a forum where you can connect with other homeschooling parents.

 

When I first became part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I wrote a review in January 2017 about the site.  You can read that review here.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

This site provides a wealth of information for homeschooling families.  There are online courses, elementary courses, middle school homeschool classes, and high school homeschool classes.”

When our daughter recently reaffirmed her desire to learn French I went to the website and found a French course for her.  I was really excited to find the resource so easily and within the membership.

The site is easy to navigate and the courses can be found either by grade or subject.  Our family has been very blessed by this resource.  So check out Schoolhouseteachers.com for yourself.  Whether I am looking for full courses or just something to supplement courses our children are already working on, I always check out Schoolhouseteachers.com first.

There are even forums on the site where you can connect with other homeschooling parents.  You have a choice of purchasing either a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.  I promise you will get your money’s worth out of the subscription.

If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew. click here or on the graphic below.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com-Online-Lesson-Reviews

 

 

 

 

#write28days – Day 5 Don’t Compare Yourselves to Others

Copy of 28 Days of

Welcome to day 5 of my #write28days series on Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today I want to talk about something I have even struggled with through the years.  I am sure you can understand what I am talking about – the irresistible desire to compare ourselves to others around us.

You know you attend some event, are reading online, or hear from someone else about this mother who seems to be doing everything correctly.  Her house is immaculate.  Her children do amazing activities, crafts and other homeschooling things that make you feel like you and your children are nowhere near where you should be.  Or her three-year-old is already reading.  Or whatever else has the ability to make us doubt ourselves.

Trust me when I say I have been there and done that.  It is hard not to do it.  With the Internet, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media outlets, we are constantly bombarded with seeing what appears like perfection around us.

But what works for another family may not be right for your family or my family.  As a military family, I attempt to adapt our work schedule around Dad’s military.  So when Dad is off, I know I do not have to feel guilty about not doing schoolwork those days.  Also, some of our children are not gifted in math, but they have other incredible gifts and talents to share with the world.  So I attempt to find things that suit their interests and gifts.

I also know some of my children are not morning people, so trying to start our mornings before about 9:00 am will result in a total disaster.  Also when our boys were younger, I knew they could not handle sitting in one place working in workbooks for hours at a time.  I had to mix up stationary work with work that allowed them to be free to move around as needed.  I also had to allow for them to complete some assignments orally to keep them interested and on task.

Some children may take longer to master certain concepts or reach certain levels in certain subjects.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  It is important not to push our children or even ourselves so hard to be like someone else to where we fail to accept and honor the individuals God created us to be.

So Mom or Dad, trust me when I tell you, every homeschool, every family and even every child within a family is different.  After all, God created us that way.  So it is important to remember that the differences make the world that God created.  So do not get wrapped up in the lies that just because your homeschool or your child does not look like someone else’s means you are not doing what you need to do.

So Mom or Dad, trust me when I tell you, every homeschool, every family and even every child within a family is different.  After all, God created us that way.  So it is important to remember that the differences make the world that God created.  So do not get wrapped up in the lies that just because your homeschool or your child does not look like someone else’s means you are not doing what you need to do.

Being different is okay.  Take a deep breath and accept that not every day has to be perfect.  Nor does every day have to look like the days of those who appear to be doing everything correctly.  I promise you if you asked that mom who is posting the “perfect” pictures on Instagram or blogging about their perfect day or posting on Facebook about how amazing their children are, they would tell you every day is not perfect.  Plus they may even have people they think have it more together than themselves.

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