Blogging A to Z – “I” is for Instruments,

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Welcome to my next installment for my 2019 Challenge for Blogging A to Z.  Today’s letter is “I”, which is for instruments.  As a result of homeschooling, our children have had an incredible opportunity to learn different musical instruments.

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For example, our oldest son has learned to play the Cello and the Upright Bass.  He has learned a lot and has shown a lot of talent.  Right now, he plays with our homeschool band and strings program along with our local community band.  What makes this really special is that our whole family participates together in the homeschool band program, even Mom and Dad!

Our second son plays the Baritone horn, which comes from him playing the Euphonium with the Salvation Army Corps Band while we were in Pennsylvania.

Our youngest son plays the alto saxophone, the bass clarinet, the flute, and viola and also experiments with the trombone and french horn.  He desires to learn percussion, the oboe, and the piano so far.

 

Finally, our daughter plays the violin.  She loves playing with her brothers.  At home, she can be heard practicing with our youngest son on pieces they want to play together.

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So for our family, “I” is for Instruments.  What comes to mind when you see the letter “I”. I would love to hear from you.

Click here to read the rest of my posts in this series.

Blogging A to Z – “H” is for Heart, Helpful and Habits

Welcome to my next installment for the Blogging A to Z Challenge for 2019.  The letter for this installment is “H”, which reminds me of Heart, Helpful, and Habits.  First, we homeschool because we want to keep our children’s hearts.  Homeschooling allows to stay connected to our children and to demonstrate our love for them.

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Second, “H” is for helpful.  Ever since the beginning of our homeschooling journey, we have met some incredible people who have been helpful – either by means of friendship, information, or opportunities.  One of the most helpful curriculum resources I ever received was from a homeschooling mom at the beginning of our journey.  You may be wondering what that resource was, so I will tell you it was Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Picks.  This book contains an incredible amount of information and insights that has helped our family through the years.

Finally, “H” is for habits. We wanted our children to develop good habits including habits involving their faith, their family, their schoolwork and their chores.  Homeschooling has helped us do that.

So what comes to mind when you see the letter “H”?  I would love to hear from you.

You can click here to read my other posts in this series.

 

Blogging A to Z – “G” is for Grateful

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter G

Welcome to my “G” post for the 2019 Blogging A to Z challenge.  “G” is for grateful.  I am so grateful for the opportunities homeschooling has provided us.

Homeschooling has allowed me to spend more time with our children and to help develop their hearts and minds.  It has allowed me to watch them build connections with one another.  I love how my four children genuinely enjoy spending time with each other.

I love the way homeschooling has allowed them to explore topics they may not have had the chance to otherwise.  For example, we have gone to numerous homeschooling conventions, taken trips when otherwise they would have been in public school, and finally to explore things that interest them.  Also, homeschooling allows me to tailor their learning to their personalities and my husband’s work schedule.  When Dad has a day off, we are able to take off as well.

So what does the letter “G” bring to mind for you?

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

#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 – 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.

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