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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

One of My Favorite Things about Homeschooling

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One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my children get to spend time doing things they love.  For our daughter, that means she gets to spend time on her artwork.

For my sons, they get to spend time online with cousins and friends in other states (and even another country).  I love hearing them interact with one another as they play games and talk with each other.

Another thing I love is that it gives us a chance to spend time as a family.  Sometimes this means we might go some place, like the trips we used to take each year to Busch Gardens.  Other times, it may mean we go shopping or perhaps just watch a movie at home together. All in all, homeschooling has been a blessing for our family.

So what does your family like to do?

Review of Hewitt Homeschooling’s Lighting Lit & Comp – Shakespeare Tragedies & Sonnets

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With Shakespeare Tragedies from Hewitt Homeschooling high school students develop stronger composition skills while learning literary concepts to increase understanding how to read deeply.  For quite a few years, our second son – age 18 – has enjoyed reading Shakespeare for fun.  So when I saw the opportunity this review for Hewitt Homeschooling come up, I knew we had to take this opportunity.  For the purposes of this review, we receive the Teacher’s Guide and the Student manual that is consumable.  Four additional books are required in the unabridged form.  Those books are Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.   This course is intended for students in grades 11 and 12.

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Hewitt Homeschooling offers this as a complete pack, which includes the Teacher’s Guide, the Student Guide, and the four books.  Or if you already own or can acquire the four books by William Shakespeare, you can just order the two guides.  The Student Guide is consumable.  So if you are going to have more than one student do the course, then each student will need their own student guide.

The Teacher’s Guide includes an Introduction, grading tips, and other relevant information about the course.  Checklists for various types of papers are included as well.  Grading templates are provided as well to help guide the teacher in what should be expected from their students.  I was impressed with the sample page of grading that was provided.  Here are some pictures of the inside of the Teacher’s Guide.

The student will be completing assignments including vocabulary, comprehension questions, and written papers.  Fortunately, the Teacher’s Guide provides a place to quickly and easily record all these scores in one place to make recordkeeping and scoring easy to complete. The guide also provides a weekly schedule for a semester or a year depending on your preference.  Each week the students are required to read and do certain activities. The schedules in the Teacher’s Guide clearly lay out the requirements for each week.

If you or your student prefer a daily schedule, the bullet points for each week will allow your family to adjust the expectations. For week 1, our son read the Introduction and the section on Williams Shakespeare in the guide.  So this could be done on one day.  Then the second day, he read the introduction to Unit 1, Lesson 1 for Julius Caesar.  Finally, the third day he had to read in Julius Caesar and answer the comprehension questions.  So this would easily break down into three days of work.

Here are some sample pages of the Student Guide.

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My son loves reading Shakespeare for enjoyment.  While he thought this course was well done, he would prefer to just read the book without the extra work.  But, my husband desires to learn how to analyze literature.  So this week, he has picked up the Student Guide and started reading it.  I have a feeling he will be the one to actually complete the course.  We also have two other children who may find this course in their schedule in the future.

In addition to this course, Hewitt Homeschooling offers curriculum choices for elementary students right on up to high school students.  They offer courses including Literature, Math-It, Winston-Grammar, State Chronicles and more.   One selection I would like our 14-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son to complete is their Speech Course.

Another service Hewitt Homeschooling offers is a paper evaluation service.  For a set price, your student will get up to 24 papers evaluated.  This personalized evaluation would be a welcome addition for any parents who do not wish to grade their students’ own papers.  This service is available for junior high and high school students.  All in all I have to say I was impressed with this curriculum and the idea of the paper evaluation service- even if my son was not as entralled by it as me.

If you would like to read more reviews for Shakespeare Tragedies or other choices offered by Hewitt Homeschooling, click here or on the image below.

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Blogging A to Z – “J” is for…

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So after another brief hiatus, I am back with my blogging a to z homeschooling challenge.  The letter is “J”, which for me stands for Jacob and Joseph – two of the reasons I love homeschooling and joy.

Our oldest son is about to turn 21 years old, and I can not figure out where the time has gone.  Jacob is the reason our family began homeschooling.  He was placed in a classroom with a teacher who did not care for our child in the least.  With only two fifth grade classes in the school, we did not have any options there.  Transferring him would mean transferring all of our children, which was not an option either.  Private school was an even more unreachable possibility due to finances.  So homeschooling became our choice.  Jacob began to love his siblings again versus the typical anti-sibling feelings of his friends.  He also developed an incredible bond with his baby sister, who was 4 at the time this homeschooling journey began, that continues to this day.  I have watched him excel in AWANAS, scouts (making the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012), and a heart for service that includes plans to become a Youth Pastor.  Homeschooling definitely helped this child in many ways.

Next, “J” is for Joseph, our second son.  This child began his homeschooling journey as he began the third grade, a year after we began homeschooling our oldest.  Joseph was one of those children who for the most part was a pleasure to teach.  He quickly decided he wanted to do the same things as his brother – this included receiving his rank of Eagle Scout the same day as his older brother (even though they are two years apart.  Joseph brings a lot of happiness to our home.

Finally, “J” is for the joy that comes from homeschooling.  I find great joy in being with my children each day.  I find joy in the ties that are between our four children.  Don’t get me wrong, they all have their moments, but let someone else mess with one of them and the other three will have their back.  Also, there is joy in knowing we don’t have to follow a traditional school calendar.  Instead, we tend to homeschool during the summer when it is too hot to be outside and can enjoy days off when the temperature is more pleasant.  Since we moved to Texas in 2016, this is definitely a plus.

So what does “J” bring to mind for you.  I would love to hear from you.

#BloggingAtoZ – “E” is for…..

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Well, I am back today with another entry for my #BloggingAtoZ challenge – even if it is several days late.  Being a homeschooling family, “E” for me represents enthusiasm, energy,  excitement, and eagerness.

Some days our children show great enthusiasm for what they are studying that day.  They also show enthusiasm when I schedule something special for them to do.  They show enthusiasm when they get to do something they picked out for themselves also.

“E” is also for energy.  My children exhibit an unbelievable amount of energy.  They love spending time with each other.  The limits of their imaginations show no bounds.  They truly are amazing at what they can do and how long they can do it for.

“E” is also for excitement – like the year Dad had to go to one of the resort hotels at Universal Studios and we traveled with him.  Sometimes excitement comes in the smallest forms, such as doing their homeschool lessons in a different location or by my decision to change the daily requirements once in a while.  It also comes from getting to tell someone what they have learned – especially if it is something unusual.

“E” is also for eagerness.  They show eagerness to complete something so they can move onto something else that interests them more.  They show eagerness for learning about something they chose personally.  They also show eagerness to share what they are learning with others.  They also show eagerness to lend a hand and volunteer in various capacities.

So what does “E” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

#BloggingAtoZChallenge – “D” is for….

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Here is the next post for my #BloggingAtoZchallenge.  “D” is for determination, dreams, and direction.  I have determination to see my children suceed.  For the most part my children are determined to find things they love to do in the future.  They have determination also at times however to not do what is expected of them.  But those are the times, my determination they will do what is required must become more.

“D” is also for dreams.  My children have dreams for their future. They also have times where they dream about what they wish they could do now.  We have dreams of vacations and trips we would like to take in the future. One of those dreams right now is to see the Grand Canyon before we leave Texas.  After all, we may never be this close again.

“D: is also for direction.  We all need God to direct and guide our paths.  He has provided us with gifts and talents that we must use to bring glory to Him.  My daughter, for example has incredible skill at drawing.

Our oldest son has knowledge that his direction in life is becoming a Youth pastor.  Our second son knows what direction he would like to take, but still is on the journey.  Our youngest son is still trying to figure out what direction he wants his life to take.  But I know God has plans fo r them all.  They just need to seek His guidance for directions on getting there.