Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let It Go Monday

A word of warning.

If you tell a grandparent that your daughter really likes Frozen and that she would like an Anna doll for her birthday...

Expect the grandparent to walk in to the store, find Frozentopia and buy ALL THE THINGS!

One of which will be a mini "flip open sofa."

(We won't even mention the musical snow globe wand that plays Let It Go.)

The elated Princess will of course insist on sleeping in her new sofa, snuggled under her new Frozen blanket, instead of in her perfectly functional bed.

After two nights of "restful" slumber on the floor, she will awaken early Monday morning, tired and grouchy.

Then she just might catch you tearing pages out of her math book to put into her binder and realize the terrible truth.

That you have only been tearing out every other practice page.

Skipping pages!!

And this will be the result.

Worst mother ever.  Depriving her of the joy of extra math practice pages.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homeschooling - On a Good Day


Yesterday was not a good homeschooling day.

It was one of those days when tensions are high and meltdowns are inevitable and we reach our breaking point and have to pack it all up and walk away for the day.  It was one of the "Why are we even doing this?" kind of days.

And here we were in our third week of the year having a "this day was a disaster and therefore the whole year has been a complete failure" kind of days.

The Princess is eager to learn to read.  And she pushes herself.  But she also gets frustrated easily.  It doesn't come easily and naturally to her like it did for her brother.

Things will seem fine.  She will be sounding a word out one second.  And the next.

An emotional outburst.  Breaking down in tears.  "I can't do it!"  "It's too hard."

This is the point where we close the book and walk away.

I know she is learning.  That girl is determined.  Sometimes she just pushes herself too far.  I can't seem to convince her to just chill out.  (And she is only 5.  Oh the teen years should be fun!)

She should really be in Kindergarten this year but is doing First Grade work.  Because she just couldn't stand to see her brother doing work and not join in.  I finally had to buy her books to keep her from doing his work while we weren't looking.  And even getting it right sometimes.

But she can't see how far she has come or how well she is doing.  She wants to know all the things and know them right this very second.

Which is why she becomes inconsolable when she hits a wall.

Then to top it all off The Peanut was laughing at her the entire time.  He had finished his independent work and couldn't find anything else to occupy his time.

It went something like this.  Princess sounding out a word.  Peanut laughing.  Me snapping at Peanut to find something to clean or something and quit laughing at his sister and she is doing a great job and he did exactly the same thing at her age.  Princess losing her place.  Repeat.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Does She Do It All?

Ever find yourself asking that question?

You look at another mom and she seems to have it all together.  She manages to do all the things and balances everything flawlessly.  She is perfect in every way.  So calm, cool, collected.

She is the perfect wife and mother.

She is the person who actually does the things she pins to Pinterest.  Heck, she is the one creating the things everyone else is pinning.

She is the mom who works full time from home while homeschooling her ten child prodigies.  Her genius children are also great athletes, always well behaved, polite, helpful and very popular.

She is the mom who sets the fashion trends and always looks fabulous in clothing she designed and sewed herself.  Some of the rest of us are still in pajamas and can't even find time to take a shower.  

Her impeccable house has been featured in magazines.  

She organizes events, does charity work, is in perfect shape and cooks her own delicious gourmet recipes using healthy ingredients she harvests straight from her own garden.

To top it all off she is even pretty too.  And you just can't dislike her because she is such a kind giving person.  All this and more.  She does it all effortlessly and is perfect in every way.

Don't we all feel like we know that mom?  We find ourselves asking, "how does she do it all?"

Ever been asked that question?

How do you do it all?

Believe it or not, I have.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homeschool Curriculum Planning 2014

Ya'll know how much I love the last minute, right?

Nothing motivates me more than the realization that I have literally run out of time.

Here we are.  Time for school to begin again.  My Facebook feed full of pictures of people who have already gone back to school.  The school district here started school on Monday.  Other areas started last week.  Pretty much the entire world is back to school.

But because I like to be contrary and because summer is too short.  "How can summer be over ALREADY??  I don't WANNA go back to school."  I refuse to start school before September.  No matter how hard my kids beg I remain firm in my resolve to wait.  August is my birth month and since there are no recognized holidays during the month, I have declared the entire month a holiday.  Just for me!  I also think it's silly to start school and then take a holiday after only a week or two.  So, I don't start until after Labor Day.  I also end by Memorial Day for the same reason.  It makes it easy to mark the beginning and end of school each year.

Of course, I realized yesterday that I had done exactly zero planning for this year.  I mean I guess I could put it off until Friday, or the weekend, or even early Monday morning for that matter.  It has been known to happen.  But for the sake of a wee bit of "organization" and sanity on my part, I thought I should give myself some idea of what we are doing before we do it.  And maybe a few days for books to be ordered so that maybe they could arrive toward the beginningish of the school year.

Ahem.  BTW if I can do this, anyone can.  Don't tell me YOU are too disorganized to homeschool!!

Yesterday was crisis day.  I spent all day googling and agonizing and researching and changing my mind and changing it again.  When my husband called to check in, I was in the depths of despair.  For some reason, waiting till the last minute ends up feeling stressful and rushed.  What's up with that?

I always get sucked into whatever the "latest greatest" trend is in the homeschooling universe.  Whatever program it is that "everyone" swears by, must be great.  Especially if it costs hundreds of dollars.  For one subject.  Which is way over my budget for all subjects.  But clearly it will be better than the one we are using, which works and we like, but we will obviously love the other one more and it will make my children automagically geniuses with absolutely no effort on my part!!!  So says the internets!

After an entire day of that, I think I have finally decided for absolute really and truly, surely, kinda what we will use this year.  

P.S.  It's pretty much exactly the same things we used last year.  Because when it works, why mess with it??

The Princess is in Kindergarten and the Peanut is in 2nd this year.
Many of our curriculum choices have been inspired by Angelicum Academy.  We started out using their program and have since branched off a bit but as my kids get older I plan on going back to Angelicum Academy for at least some of the subjects.  I really love their great books program.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On a Happier Note

The kids decided on Friday morning that they were just ready to be done with schoolwork once and for all so they powered through the last several pages.

That's right.

"School's out for summer.  School's out forever."

Oh not forever?

Ok, summer at least.

Yes, we do summer.  People ask me all the time if we keep doing school all year or if we take summer off.

Here's the thing.  The kids would probably be ok with doing school year round.  They would probably forget less things.  If I could get my act together and be more organized then we would probably benefit from more frequent scheduled breaks.

But because I am not that organized, we just take breaks as needed.

And I take summer off.  Mostly.

Because I need the break!

We will probably do a little summer reading stuff and maybe sprinkle a little science and history in.  You know, the fun stuff.

The Princess has already been asking me when we will be getting her new Phonics and Math book.  She complains about having to do them and a few days after she finishes everything she is ready to get started on next years work!

And now, because it's totally the thing now to take beginning and end of school year pics, I will share ours with you.

First Day of School
Last-ish Day of School

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Favorite Homeschool Item (That Isn't Pinterest)

Dwija has started a linkup asking homeschoolers to write about their favorite homeschooling item.

The answer seems pretty obvious.

Pinterest!  I mean how on earth did my mother manage to homeschool before Pinterest?  But then Cari used her super ninja blogger powers to write about it before anyone else could.

What's Up With That?


I wracked my brain.

Ok, I might have to go with my printer.
It's the best printer ever.  Dual sided printing.  Like, it sucks the paper back in and prints on the other side.  I don't have to flip it over and somehow always manage to flip it the wrong way, resulting in printing upside down or worse, back over the original side.  It's a pretty awesome printer.

Especially for printing all those great worksheets I find on Pinterest.


Well, maybe I will pick my laminator.
Love that thing.  So awesome to take the worksheets and laminate them so the kids can use dry erase markers and write on them over and over again.

Awesome for all those great worksheets I find on Pinterest.


You know what I like even better than dry erase markers?  Dry erase crayons.  They don't dry out or leak.  No spots on clothing or carpet.  Good stuff.

Especially for all those great worksheets I find on Pinterest.


Think, think, think.

I walked over to the Peanut's desk to take a look at some of the tools we use regularly.  Hoping it would trigger a stroke of genius.


His math book was on his desk along with his math manipulatives.
I do love Math-U-See.  But is that really an "item?"

Inside his desk he had his other schoolbooks.

If there was only something on his desk that we used every day and couldn't do without.

Something he used every day while sitting at that desk doing his schoolwork.

Somewhere on or in that desk.

Oh, right.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Losing My Cool

I lost it today.

The Peanut was working on his school work.

The same school work he does every day.

But today.


He suddenly forgot how to write his letters.

All of them.

He just started making random shapes slightly resembling letters.
The x's are his.
Normally, this would be my cue to say, "let's take a break."  Because we both needed one.

Instead, I pushed on.

Because he was so close to finishing the book.

Just a few more pages and we could finish today!

So, we continued.

I continued to instruct.  "Stop at the dotted line and go down."  He went up.

And I snapped.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things I Should be Doing

I should be doing the dishes.  They have piled up again.  Instead I stare at the massive crusty pile and wish them away. But they stubbornly refuse to clean themselves.

I should be cleaning the living room.  It has been overrun with all the things that belong somewhere else but somehow creep back in when I'm not looking.  Then I turn around and am greeted with a scene from a horror movie.  I should be putting all the things back where they belong.  I should be scolding my children and making them put the things back where they belong.  But I lack the energy to follow them around pointing out each item and explaining in detail how and where it should be.  Instead I watch and listen to my children blissfully playing. Totally unaware of the chaos that surrounds them.

I should be writing a blog post.  Something insightful, or eventful, or charming, or witty.  Instead I stare at a blank screen as the words refuse to form themselves.  My head swirls with tiny snippets of thought that flee like butterflies from my net.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Killing Tiny Plants

Remember my tiny plants?
We planted them.

No, not just now.  A long time ago.  I'm just getting around to telling you about it.

The kits came with "Dirt Pellets" and a packet of seeds.
Dirt "Pellet"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homeschooling: Day One

As you all know, (because you all religiously read my blog whenever I randomly decide to post something) I have been working diligently for the past couple of weeks days on and off yesterday (evening) to clean and organize our "homeschool room" so that we could officially start our first day of school today.
Moved the dresser out.  As you can see it made a HUGE difference...
Moved out and collapsed all the empty boxes.
As you can see THAT made a huge difference.  See?  FLOOR!!

Finally organizedish.  No, don't look over at the other side of the room!
 Today we woke up bright and early at 9ish am.  I know.  It's a miracle.  My kids actually slept in on the first day of school.  One of the perks of homeschooling.  I can consider it a good thing to sleep in on the first day of school!  So, after a nutritional well rounded breakfast of toast and cold hotdogs  (What? That's what they asked for!  It is too nutritional.  I put cream cheese on the toast so that's three whole food groups right there!) around 9:30ish am, we began.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Homeschool Room

This year my son is officially starting Preschool.  Because his birthday falls in October he is one year behind all his friends who started Kindergarten yesterday.  Now rather than sending my little guy off to school, wearing a backpack that is bigger than him, taking tons of pictures, and crying all the way home, (cause you know I would) I'm cheating and keeping him home with me.  HA!  Yes, I am homeschooling.

Now, technically I homeschooled him last year too.  We did nursery school.  But that was mostly fun stuff and I made sure never to burn him out.  So if he got tired of something or didn't want to do it that day we didn't.    He really already knew the things he was supposed to learn anyway but I didn't want to push him and make him hate the whole idea of school.  I figured I would just use that year as a sort of practice year to get him used to the idea.  Some days we worked for five or ten minutes.  Some days he wanted to "work" all day.  And some days we didn't crack a book though we usually at least watched an educational video and read a book.  And whenever he sat down with a book to practice drawing his letters or numbers or puzzles or whatnot my daughter would sit down with him and draw or color.  Most days he would ask to "do school" so I consider the year a success.

This year is "for real."  Not that I plan on pushing him to the point of hating or disliking school.  The curriculum only calls for about 45 minutes a day 4 days a week.  I will probably add some fun supplemental stuff too.  If something is not clicking with him we will find another way of doing it or revisit it when he is ready.  I have already had him look through his preschool reading curriculum and it looks like he is actually ready for the kindergarten so I think we will just breeze through that and move on.

We will officially start the day after Labor Day because I have this firm belief that school shouldn't start until September.  Maybe because school started in September when I was a child or possibly because my birthday month is August.  Regardless, I refuse to start school in August!

Of course, as I am getting "prepared" (and by getting prepared I really mean thinking about and planning on getting prepared) I have been obsessively stalking Pinterest and anything and everything that will help me organize and set up my Homeschool Room.