#write28days – Day 19 Extracurricular Activities

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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

 

#write28days – Trisms

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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.

#write28days – Day 17 Unit Studies

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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.

 

 

 

#Write28Days – Day 15 Charlotte Mason Method

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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.

#write28days – Day 14 – Notgrass Materials

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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

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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

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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