Saturday, August 31, 2013

Homeschool Activities....

So a friend of mine got a letter the other day from her schools superintendent. In it he asked her to provide him with 6 things, one of them being what was her plan to socialize her daughter.  I think its a big joke to even ask that. Most homeschoolers have their children out involved in many things they actually socialize more then public schooled kids.  But it did get me thinking. Just how much time does an average homeschool kid gets out compared to a normal public schooled kid.  I think that would be hard to even prove.  But I do look at what Samantha gets to do and I know that if she was in school there is no way she would do all she does.  There wouldn't be enough time or energy to do so.  I think people are so hung up on the whole socialized concept because they are beginning to realize just how well homeschooled kids do academically compared to public/ private schooled kids.

So with that said here is all my child will be doing this school year.

Mondays- Baton at CD Rec
Tuesday- Free Homeschool Ice skating at the Abby, Homeschool meet up at the park for as long as people keep going. 
Wednesday- GIRLS FOR HORSES Horsemanship workshop 2 hours spent at a farm learning all about horses and how to care for them.
Thursdays-Homeschool Co-op 3 classes each an hour Biology, History and Art. Skating at night for her lessons. 
Friday-Wow is Friday the only day we don't have something planned besides the weekends?

Starting in Oct a class at my home teaching Samantha and a few friends all about our states.

I can't forget the once a month class at the museum.    

Then here are a few things floating around in my brain that I might do with her:

  Dance lessons and/or Karate at the rec center, an art class with a group, Music class at our public school and a friend has been asking about doing the cooking class/sewing craft class at my house. 

 After you read this do you still think my child is going to be the weird  unsocialized homeschooler??? So do you think my child is not socialized enough or maybe too much?  There is no way she could do any of this if she was in school.  It does sound like a lot but if you look at it as she gets out every day just like if she was in school she isn't out more.  Just out in a different environment and situations then school. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good deals...

So in my last post I talked about procrastinating about sending in my letter of intent due to the lack of ink in my printer. I didn't think it would be cool to send it in to them in blue or another color ink.  But it paid off for me...
I went last week to buy ink but they didn't have my kind in the size I wanted to buy.  they only had the double package or the XL one.  I wanted the cheap o one.  The single package.  The XL one doesn't live up to having more like it says.  I didn't have the extra $$ to buy the double package.  

So I really need to get the letter out so I went back to Walmart and all they had again with the 2 sizes I didn't want.  But since I didn't have my own car I didn't want to drive around much.  So I bought the double package.  

When you buy the double packages at Walmart you get a gift card for $5.  Now that's a bargain.  So I actually saved money by getting it that way. Its normally $15 for one cartridge and it was going to be $25 for the double pack so this works out I got them both for $10 a piece.   I just love when I get deals.  

I am not sure if its just the HP brands the girl didn't  know.  But I have to remember this so I can get this deal again.  

So Monday my letter is going out.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My thoughts...

So just a few thoughts rattling around my mind today.....

  • I need to get more ink so I can send out my letter of intent. (yes a little procrastination going on here) the letter is written I just need to get the ink.  
  • I need to organize all the school stuff and do it NOW
  • I need to decide on what extra stuff we will be doing this fall there is so much to choose from:                               homeschool co-op, museum classes, free ice skating, field trips, art classes, music class at                   the school and so much more.
  • figure out what extra activities she will take- dance, baton, sports or ice skating
  • make a list of supplies I do need to buy
  • wondering if the new principal at the school is going to let Samantha take music like the old one did. and I wont know until school starts, he calls me and we have our yearly meeting.
This month has been a tough one with car problems and now the need to buy a new car and having no car at the moment has me very stressed.  Three weeks without an income is stressing me too.  My client took a vacation and I don't get paid while she is away.  Finding 2 new jobs. One started right away but is only every other week, cleaning someones house. Then the other job putting meds in this man's feeding tube but it doesn't start until next week sometime.  Trying to plan at least Sept school time, work time and free time with the thoughts that I don't have a car is difficult.  I hate things being so up in the air.  Trying to make it all work.  
We had a few changes in our house also this summer.  Mike(my oldest son) moved home. So we have had to rearrange all out school stuff to fit mostly in Samantha's room.  Even though I lost our school room this is where Mike belongs for now.  We did have my granddaughters visiting off and on throughout the summer. I was so much fun to have them here.  

Finding out I have Lyme had us change some summer plans.  Being in the sun too long hurt so we didn't get in as much outside fun that I had planned.  Less time in the water.  Now that I can be in the sun we only had a few really good days for it. But with a lack of car no way of getting there.  A good friend Rachel picked us up for the beach a few times. We also went to a few movies in the park nights.  

So I guess I can't complain too much about our summer.  There are many things that will have to wait for next year to do. But we still had some fun.  

We also had some good things happen... a friend gave us a perfectly good computer that she thought was messed up.  Didn't want it back when Steve fixed it himself she already bought a new one.  Finding all of Sam's curriculum at a great deal.  Most I spent pennies for.  Amazon is a great resource for homeschoolers.  

So these are the things that keep going round and round in my mind today.  I hope you all have a great weekend.    

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013-2014 CURRICULUM

So this year I am trying something new and keeping some old.

We are trying a curriculum called Heart of Dakota. Through this curriculum what I will be following is their Science, History & Spelling Fully. Then I will be using only parts of their Math, Reading & English.  I am really liking what I have read in the teachers manual. With Hearts of Dakota they suggest a math and English curriculum but you can use whatever you want to use.

Math- We will be continuing with Life of Fred and adding in worksheets and games. Most of the games I will be using is found in the HOD teachers manual.  But there are some online games I found on the Easy Peasy all in one Homeschooling website.

English- We will be using a variety of materials. Grammar Skills workbook (same company as Singapore math), Language Arts Practice Galore skill based puzzles from The Mailbox and Scholastic Read and Practice Mini-books Parts of Speech.

Phonics & ReadingModern Curriculum Press Phonics Level CHearts of Dakota reading list, and some reading comprehension workbooks I picked up.

Science, History & Spelling- We will be using Heart of Dakota and for science I will continue with our Magic school bus science kits.

CursiveCursive Writing with a Twist!

The bonus to our work will be continuing with Five in a Row. Samantha and I absolution love this curriculum.  Its so much fun to read and learn from these books.  I think instead of one week with each book we might stretch it out to 2 weeks just so we are not trying to do too much in a day.

Samantha will continue with Baton, ice skating, the once a month museum homeschool class and hopefully taking music at the school.  We are waiting to see what is offered at the local coop and looking forward to the field trips the Life group plans.

I am also going to do a once a week Geography class with some friends.  For this we will use Road Trip USA.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Pros and Cons of homeschooling...

Just to warn you this is going to be a long post.  

Recently a good friend contacted and asked me about homeschooling. Her daughter had some issues in school and she really wanted to look into homeschooling.  She asked me to be completely honest with her about the pros and cons of homeschooling.  So here is my list of what I think are the pros and cons.
I will start with the cons:
*Your with your child all the time- sometimes you just need a break and if no one is around your stuck with them LOL *You will always second guess your choice-its a sign of a good mom. you want what is best and society tells you its school. Your heart may tell you different. *some people will feel the need to tell you that your not qualified teach them- you are because your childs education is your number 1 priority. *people will actually try and test your child's knowledge. Even if the questions are not suitable for a second grader they will asked them 7th grade questions. *cost of materials-although there are a few very very good sites that offer 100% free online curriculum. You still need the craft supplies if your child is one that loves crafts. *cost of extra activities(although there are many that I would pay for even if she was in public school like dance) *cost of field trips- some places give free trips with the letter of approval from the school and many places offer discounts *for my only child getting her out and socializing with other kids outside of activities. People like to tell you that your child is going to turn out weird if she doesn't go to school or know how to get along with other children. *depending on curriculum you use planning time. This year coming will be the first year I wont have to plan I picked a curriculum that does it all for you. *after christmas break slump... many I know get it myself including. Its takes some a couple weeks to really get back in the swing of things after Christmas *the days when its not so fun and easy.... kids just like adults have off days. homeschooling isn't all fun even if pictures make it look like things run smoothly. There are many days I threaten to send her to school. LOL Yes I actually threaten that. But usually off behavior means its time for a small break or switch gears and do something different until the frustration level is down. *many times you have to go somewhere like a doctors appointment and you have no one to watch them. With my recent infection in my arm that turned out to be Lyme it was very scary for Samantha. She sat there very worried and asked the doctor if her mommy would be ok. She is the only one who saw how sick I really got.


*Your with your child all the time- Its you shaping your child's ideas and modeling what you want her to learn morally. You also develop a very close relationship with them. *Samantha has time to spend with elderly family member's and is shaping her to be a compassionate person- at least once a week my mom takes her to visit my great uncle Leo in the nursing home... she doesn't always like going but goes because she knows how much he likes seeing her. He saves all his fruit for her. (she hasn't been in a few weeks but I still think opportunities like this is what makes homeschooling special. *I choose what I want to teach her. I pick the curriculum. I follow a loose list of what each grade needs to learn but I pick it all. If something isn't working I ditch it. I threw away her math curriculum last year half way through and found something else that worked. *If she gets something quickly I don't have to stay on it until the rest of the class gets it. and just the same if something isn't clicking I can stay on it as long as needed for her to learn it. *She learns in so many different ways that I can tailor her learning to her strengths. She is a strong reader so I pick curriculum that plays on that. Her math reads like a story and she is learning. She was tested at the beginning of second grade and she was reading at the middle to end of fourth grade level. *She is a good guesser so I stay away from most online curriculum as she is able to guess without learning. *If we need to travel work can come with us she doesn't miss school. Or we can take a break and pick it back up when we are home. the trips to Mikes she would have missed too much school and we would have not been able to go. *I get to see her learn, I get to witness the lightbulb moments. I get to relearn things along with her *Its no harder then trying to do homework with a kid who has been in school all day and has to come home and do homework. Most days its easier. *It takes a lot less time to complete a day of homeschool then kids are in school. On the average if we don't have any projects planned it takes about 2 hours to do. This year it will be a little bit longer but she is getting older. * many of your daily life is considered schooling. shopping=math cooking=math and science *today there is so much out there for homeschoolers- classes at co-ops, field trips, proms, sports, in mass the schools have to allow your child to participate in everything they have to offer and still be homeschooled. free classes at community colleges that earns them real credits when they are older *they learn how to get along with people of all ages. *when your not sure on a subject other homeschoolers will help out- co-ops are good for that. the one Sam is in has many different classes and parents that will teach your child say Algebra and you teach their child something in exchange.

For me the pros outweigh the cons. I love that if I had the money today I could just take a break from school and visit Mikes family for a couple weeks. (that was before he came home) I love that she is learning so much more at home then she would ever in the public school. yet I do maintain a good relationship with our district school so I can take advantage of all my taxes have to offer... she does music and computers at school. plus we are welcome to do anything with them like field trips, concerts, sports or other classes. I love that for Samantha she hasn't learned to hate learning. She gets excited over science kits for Christmas. She will actually sneak her math book into the bathroom to read it if I tell her I have had enough of it today. Her creativity hasn't been squashed... that I can make it work when her hyperness gets the best of her and no one is telling me to get her on meds and that I never felt the push or need to have her tested.
I think the biggest con for some is the cost.... but just like anything you can pick and choose what you want to do. Split costs with other homeschoolers, get free books and kits from the libraries and so much more. If I didn't homeschool Sam she would be in private that would mean I had to go back to work full time so she could get a decent education and miss out on so much of her. I spend a fraction of the cost of a good private education on homeschooling.

I fully believe that homeschooling is a great choice for most. just like I think public or private schooling is the best choice for others and only the parents can make the decision to what is right for their child.
I would love to hear what you think is the pros and cons of homeschooling.