#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

 

#write28days – Dare to be Different

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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 – Day 9 – Rainbow Resource Center

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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 6 SchoolhouseTeachers.com

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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 Challenge – Day 3

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Today is day 3 of my #write28days challenge. I am enjoying sharing tips, resources and other information from our homeschooling journey. Sometimes it is hard to know where to get started. And often it is just as difficult to know when to move on from a resource because something is not working. Over the years, we have tried and succeeded or tried and failed with resources that I have heard others rave about many times.  So today I want to talk about getting started in homeschooling.  Then tomorrow I will look at how to know when to move on to a different way of homeschooling, a different resource, or just changing how you use a resource.

My best advice for getting started is just to jump in and begin. In this day of technology, there are so many opportunities to preview materials online or even complete resources available online for free. It does not have to cost a lot to homeschool. Just because something is unbelievably expensive, does not mean it will work any better than free or less expensive options.

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If you happen to be blessed to have friends who homeschool, see if you can get together to look at their materials. Check with your local library. Some offer homeschool materials that you can borrow.

But just pick something and begin. Taking that first step of starting often is the hardest.

Another frequent problem is knowing when the material is not working for your child versus knowing when your child just does not want to work at all. You know your child best, so take a step back and look at the situation from knowledgable eyes. If you find yourself constantly jumping from resource to resource to resource, something else might be going on rather than the material not working. Examine what else is going on with your child, family and outside influences at the time.

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For example, one of our sons tends to enjoy being lazy. So if he does not feel like doing work, he will complain about the resource. He will attempt to convince me he is not capable of doing the work. However, I take the time to sit down with him while he attempts to work on the material I am able to see it is not an issue with the resource but the issue is with him.

On the other hand, if I sit down with him and I am able to see the resource is not explaining what our son needs to do, or if it not explaining things properly before expecting him to do the work, then I will look through the rest of the resource to see if it is only that lesson that is poorly written for my child, or if I anticipate having more problems in the future.

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All three of our sons absolutely loved a particular science resource, It worked well for all three of them. Our daughter loved and excelled with the elementary books, but then she reached the Junior High/Middle School books and it was a horrible experience for us both. So in that instance, I quickly made the decision to move on to another resource.

When you spend a lot of money on materials, it promotes difficulty, disappointment and other negative emotions about moving on to something else. Even when you do diligent research prior to buying something, things come up. Maybe life throws you a curveball that necessitates a change in the direction of your homeschool.

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

#write28days

#Write28Days Day 2 – Homeschool Conventions

 

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Welcome to day 2 of my #Write28Days Series on Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today I want to give one of my favorite things that could go under all three categories.  My selection for today is Homeschooling Conventions.  These events have become one of the most valuable, anticipated and useful items for our homeschooling journey.

The first year we homeschooled we started in September with no real idea of what we were doing.  I knew becoming part of local homeschool organizations was important.  So we joined North Carolina Home Educators (NCHE).  After talking with a number of ladies who homeschooled locally in our county, we decided to attend the NCHE convention in May.  Attending for our first time, I really did not know what to expect.  However, I can say I was glad our friends provided a lot of helpful advice.  Their greatest piece of advice was to not buy on the first day.  Instead, we took detailed notes at each booth we went to and also brought back catalogs and other paperwork to review.  Then each night, my husband and I would review our finds and discuss our thoughts.

The other part that was really helpful was attending the various sessions, especially the keynote speakers.  When we first began our homeschooling journey, my husband was not necessarily overly enthusiastic about the idea.  However, hearing Christopher Klicka speak at one of the Keynote speeches provided my husband with our “why” we were homeschooling.  From that time forward, we both realized we were doing it to bring glory to God.

So if you are a homeschooling parent who has never attended a homeschool convention, take the time, effort and energy and go explore the possibilities.  You get to see and touch curriculum first hand.  You get to speak with others at the booths who are knowledgable about the various products.  Moreover, you get the opportunity to hear inspirational, knowledgable and motivating speakers talk about being in the homeschooling trenches.

Some of our family’s favorite conventions include:  NCHE, CHAP (the Pennsylvania Homeschool organization’s convention), Great Homeschool Conventions, the South Carolina convention and Teach Them Diligently.  So check out your area and find a convention to attend.

I would love to hear from you about your experience.  If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.