Posted in Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

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.

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschooling

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.

 

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschooling

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.

Posted in #write28days, family, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

#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

 

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling

#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

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling

#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

 

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling

#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