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Homeschool Memoirs: Favorite Things

This week’s meme at Homeschool Blog Awards is “Favorite Things”. We were given a start of things to work with, so here goes with mine!

Freebie sites

Forums/Book Clubs

Blog Help Sites

Kid sites – oh, my…too many to share, but here are some of my most recent favorites – my sidebar has a full list of my favorites

Memes – these might be ones that I participate in using my other blog No Ordinary Moments


Family Blogs

Homeschool Memoirs: Something New

The topic this week for Homeschool Memoirs is what’s new in the way of curriculum in our house. We gone to a little bit of a less “structured” curriculum and are doing more of a unit study approach this year.

Last year we used almost A Beka exclusively, and while A Beka has some great choices, the endless worksheets were just getting a bit to much for us, so we kept a few subjects the same (math and language and some science) and made a move to focus more on Galloping the Globe (click on the book cover to take you to their website) – a unit study on world geography. This book is the main focus of our day, even though we do spend time

This curriculum is geared for K-3/4th graders and while it involves a little more planning on my part (chosing which day to do things, etc.), it offers great ideas and resources for each country that is studied. This is not an exhaustive study of every country of the world, but includes the major countries. For our current school year, we will be studying the countries of China, Korea, Japan, India, Israel, Antarctica, the Arctic, Russia, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, and Spain. Along with some of those countries we are working in lapbooks (i.e. China: pandas; Great Britain: sheep; India: tigers) which we are getting from Homeschool Share.

Currently we are studying the countries of North and South Korea. We just wrapped up a 3 week study of China as well as a study on pandas, which I’ve posted about previously. The girls are loving what we’ve been doing, and I can say that I’ve been learning a lot myself! And when Mommy is having fun…well, the whole house is too!

Homeschool Memoirs: Agendas

Colossians 3:23 is my encouragment to myself this year: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord, rather than people.” It is so easy to get caught up in the things that I want to do and not really put full effort into the homeschooling or my kids. My attitude is so key in this endeavor – and God has blessed me with four amazing children, their desire to learn, and an opportunity to teach them and pour things into their little lives and help shape them into men and women of God.

This year we’ve taken a little detour compared to the past two years of homeschooling. Personally, I was getting tired of sooooo many worksheets, and figured if I was bored, then the kids probably were not going to be enjoying things as much either.

Math, Science, Phonice, & Language: There are some curriculum pieces we stayed with: A Beka for math, science, phonics, and language; Positive Action for Bible; and lapbooks from Homeschool Share that tie in with our studies as we go along.

Geography/Social Studies: We’ve started using Galloping the Globe as one of our primary studies. This is a great geography based curriculum and we’ve decided to study the countries over a two year span (excluding the US, which we’ll study in depth after we finish this). The plan is to study each country for about 3 weeks, tying in lapbooks as we go along (i.e. for China we will do a lapbook on pandas). Any sheets that we work on like maps, flags, etc…will all be put into a binder for us to review. We even have fun little passports that we will “stamp” everytime we enter/leave a country. Essentially, we’re doing a LOT more hands on things this year, and the girls are loving that!

Art: I have several of the books from Draw Write Now and we are incorporating those into our studies based on the countries that we are studying. The girls really enjoy drawing and journaling about the pictures that they are drawing.

Reading/Foreign Language: While I don’t have a set “reading curriculum” I try to pick books for the girls to read that either tie in with the country we are studying, or that are appropriate for their reading level. The girls and I are studying Spanish and we are using Hooked on Spanish CD’s until we get to the point that our Rosetta Stone software is a little more appropriate to use.

Zachary is also going to spend some time at a local preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays (it was an amazing deal that was hard to pass up), and we know he is going to enjoy it also! Those few hours he is gone will allow me to spend a little more hands on time with Kaleb doing “Tot School“. On Fridays we all spend the morning participating in a local co-op, so we try to keep our school week to a 4 day schedule as much as possible (that way Mommy has a little free time Friday afternoons to work on the next weeks schedule and putting blog posts together!!).

Here’s a look at our “daily schedule” (thanks Carissa for the colorful idea!!).

Read this document on Scribd: Kids Daily Schedule

One goal of mine this year is to try to take LOTS of pictures and document each week of school as we go along through blogging. For the three people that might read my blog…but for me mostly to remind myself of all the fun that we are having, the things we have done and the progress that is being made in our family.

Thanks for stopping by!!

In the Throes

I am in the midst of planning for next year. And our house does appear as though a bomb has gone off.

It’s driving me crazy, but I am truly having fun! I’ll be posting soon some of the things that I am making to start our year off (“mini-offices” for the kids), some of the things we are planning, and also the homeschool planner that I am working on for some friends.

Overwhelmed is a great word to describe my feelings at the moment – but also excited. So much to do and so little time to do it all in.

On a Little Break of Sorts

While we’ve finished this past school year and I’m busily laying out plans for next year. And sorting. And reorganizing. Gearing up.

Because the start of the school year is getting closer every day – and creeping up faster than I realize!

I am so much more excited for this upcoming year than I have been in past years. And on the flip side, so much more nervous since the “load” is intensifying some too – with first and second grade now, more subjects covered, preschool time for Zachary (and actually making a wholehearted effort at that) and also attempting a little something for Kaleb too.

Going to the homeschool convention was an amazing blessing. It got wheels turning in my head. Motivated me in many different ways and was just an encouragment overall. Enough so that I’m ready already for next year’s convention.

With my new planner in hand, I am happily planning for the upcoming year…and the time spent with our kids.

Shadow Puppets

Just a little something we’re going to try at home today. Here are some great ideas for making shadow puppets with your kids: