Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up 39, 40, 41 (3 weeks worth)

I have been horrible at posting pictures since we have been on break. So please bare with me... 
There is 3 weeks worth on today's post!

Camping, Potato Head Family(by DD), Eclipse, Fishing, Cooking out, Family Time and Riding. We have really enjoyed this break.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Laying a New Foundation - Notebooking

Love of learning.  What does that phrase mean to you?  When I began homeschooling, I figured my children would naturally love to learn.  I would not need to teach them how to do this.  Instead, my goal was to fill their minds with as much knowledge as I could possibly pour upon them.  My experiences as a public school student and teacher taught me that children could easily make it from K-12 and beyond attaining titles such as “top of their class” without truly learning anything more than how to study, memorize, and regurgitate facts.  I was one of those types of kids and I definitely wanted my children to get more than this from their education. 

Determined to set a full plate before them, I scoured over homeschooling magazines, catalogs, and websites and purchased more books and curriculums in those first couple of years than I have the last six combined.  It soon became apparent that we would need to add extra hours to our day in order to finish all of the prescribed scopes and sequences.  With schedules and assignment sheets in hand, we began to plow our way through our curriculums.  Now, obviously, we hit a few bumps in the road.  Who doesn’t?  During those years though, all skeptical eyes were upon us from family to friends to the local social worker that paid regular visits to our home (we were fostering at the time).  All bumps were neatly swept under the rug and we kept right on plowing.  From the outside looking in and according to the standardized tests, everything was great.

Eventually though, the pace and the bumps began to wear on me and I became restless about our homeschooling.  The kids, on the other hand, had adjusted fairly well.  They had grown accustomed to the long hours, the lack of playtime, and mom’s perfectionist tendencies.  However, when I finally took stock one day in what we were doing, I realized that instead of helping my children to rise above my own educational background, I had trained them to be just like me.  They were pro’s at marking off their little check boxes, filling in the blanks, and regurgitating information in nice little pre-packaged amounts.  Additionally, they had sacrificed their own interests and desires so much to this point that they really did not know how to “just be a kid”.

This was not what homeschooling was supposed to be like for our family!  What happened?  In retrospect, I know that my mistake was not in having high aspirations nor was it my perfectionist tendencies or the pressure from our skeptical audience.  The problem was I began building my children’s education without first laying a proper foundation.  I continued to add layer upon layer to our educational structure with the goal to build it as tall as possible.  Therefore, when the building became too heavy and burdensome, it all came crashing down without much more than the materials to show for all of the labor.  This is the point where those in my situation begin selling off all of the “materials” in exchange for new ones thinking that will somehow fix the problem.  Instead, we should focus our time and attention on laying that proper foundation.

So how does one go about this?  First, give yourself permission to break whatever mold your family is currently conforming to and let go of whatever is entangling you.  (Unfortunately, it took me about three years to really do this and to let go.)  Then, invest some time to research “homeschooling philosophy” online or at the library and begin writing your own philosophy of education.  This will be your foundation.  Seek ideas that will preserve the unique personalities, desires, and interests of your children as well as remain true to your family’s vision.  Define what “love of learning” means to you.  Weave this into your foundation.  You may find that your philosophy is a hodge-podge of some of the popular homeschooling philosophies floating around out there.  Perfect!  Take the best points from those that really mesh with your family and make it your own.  Having defined this for my family has freed me from my own misconceptions about education as well those from outside sources and “experts”.  It has freed my children to be kids again, opening the doors of discovery and ushering in a true love of learning that will build larger storehouses of information and wisdom than I could have ever hoped of building!

(Reprinted with permission from Debra Reed, NotebookingPages.com)


Friday, May 25, 2012

LAST NIGHT TO SAVE!!! Notebooking Pages!

Tonight is the last night to save BIG at Notebooking Pages!!! I highly recommend you do!!

6th Birthday Sale-A-Bration Details:

1) All Treasury Memberships & Renewals 25% off with coupon code = happy6th
2) All Treasury Members (& renewals) receive an extended 3 month membership (for total of 15 months in all).
3) All Treasury Members (& renewals) are entered for a chance to win one of 7 prizes (see sales page for details).
4) Special Note to Share: In June 2012, we will be releasing The Notebooking Publisher, a new web-application for creating, customizing, & copmleting your own notebooking pages. With The Notebooking Publisher, your children can create & complete their notebooking pages on the computer! The Notebooking Publisher will become a part of all active members Treasury Membership accounts when it becomes available.

Here is the awesome Notebooking Publisher!!!

Visit NotebookingPages.com to learn more about their memberships
and their new web-app, The Notebooking Publisher™


Do you Swag??

Do you Swag?? 
I have to admit I do!!! And happily. 
I am so glad a friend told me about this almost 2 years ago. Since I have earned over 45 free books. Currently I am saving for a Kindle Fire. If you don't know anything about what I'm talking about --- let me explain a little more!

I'm talking about Swag Bucks. Swag Bucks is a reward site. You use it in place of Yahoo or Google. It's perfectly safe. Let me assure you of that. I've been using almost 2 years and never encountered an issue! Swag Bucks allows web users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day - search the web, shopping at their favorite retailers, and by engaging in other activities such as phone recycling, submitting polls, and completing special offers. Swag Bucks is the only place on the web to get what you want without ever having to spend a dime.

Search & Win

You earn points. With those points you can cash in for gift cards. That's how I use Swag Bucks. I cash in my points, 450 to be exact and it honestly doesn't take me long to get there. For every 450 points I get a $5 dollar Amazon gift card. I buy a lot of our school supplies with it. 

You can load on more than one computer too! Many homes have more than one computer so that will help you earn more!

I love getting my Swag on!! You will too.
Best of all ITS ALL FREE!!!!!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Curriculum 2012/2013 Plans

So its that wonderful time of year to figure out whats working and whats not and re-evaluate.
I've been doing that since January. However this is when it gets crunch time.

This is what our thoughts are so far for 2012/2013 that will start for our homeschool in August.

Reading daily passages and talking about them. 
Going to read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelations.
The kids will have devotion time as well. 
DS1 will be using Jesus Calling. 
DD and DS2 will be doing Beginner Bible stories with Questions following.

Math U See of course! 
Don't see that one changing anytime soon!
DS1 - Zeta
DD - Gamma
DS2 - Beta  
We will supplement some topics with Math Mammoth, such as Time & Money. 

All About Spelling Level 1(DS2) & Level 3(DS1 & DD)
All About Reading Level 1 & 2(DS2)

Write Shop A(DD & DS2) and D(DS1) 
As well as using their wonderful story builder cards for writing center once a week.

Still trying to decide if we are using Progeny Press Literature Guides or Veritas Press.

Simple Schooling interactive units until November. 
Considering Gods Creation after
Lab's will come from Janice Van Cleave's wonderful books, we had been doing these once a week but we may start doing them twice a week. My kids crave experiments. When asked what they wanted more of for planning. This was it. More labs mom more!! So I will cater to that as long as I can.

Road Trip USA & Time Traveler Packs.

Unit Studies & Lapbooks
No real plan for these. DD is the only one who has requested them so I will finish those plans soon.
I will be using our entire collection of Amanda Bennett's Download N Go's we own. As well as the wonderful items from Homeschool Share.

Yes yes yes... Our new favorite. There are so many different types of notebooking. It fits all 3 kids and they enjoy it rather much. We will be doing this on a variety of topics. 

The Worlds Greatest Artist

We will work on American Sign Language more in detail this year.

Typing will become a priority.

Read Aloud Plans:
Ben and Me An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos
Rabbit Hill
Farmer Boy
By The Great Horn Spoon
The Indian in the Cupboard
Foot Prints in the Barn
Baby Island
(Maybe Stuart Little)
Can't wait to get moved and settled. Please continue to pray for our move!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Awesome Freebie Until Sunday

Over this school year we have notebooked a lot. I am planning on much more next year. 

We are still on break. We are trying to move. Hubby starts new job next Friday!! 

However I'm still trying to keep up. Pray for us please.

On to the Freebie!! This wonderful freebie is from Notebooking Nook, Its 57 wonderful pages of Farm pages.


Enjoy the freebie. I know my family will.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Break Change Of Plans

This week is suppose to be a break week 2. However we are testing this week. We had some wonderful news Friday early morning about our offer being accepted on the home we are looking to buy. Closing for the home is June 1st. So in order for us to be prepared for our test I felt we should go ahead with the testing instead of waiting until after the move. I don't want to test after moving for lots of different reasons. Such as loss of memory on school work and well lets be honest finding the tests might be hard too! I want them to be comfortable about testing and in the new home with all the change I'm not sure they would be 100%. So we are testing this week and no other normal school.

We are also packing!! 
I'm happy and sad about this. 
I'm so excited to finally own a home for my family. My husband has a better job waiting as well. We have no family within 2 hours of our current home. We have lived here for 6 years and we love it. We have wonderful friends and a great homeschool group. However parts of us want the family to be around. After all the landlord changes that started in March we started looking at different options for our living and I am so glad God totally blessed us with the opportunity to own a home. We are getting a great deal and a wonderful location for us!

Please pray for my family during this time of change. We will be schooling testing this week and probably not much after that until after the move. So if my posts are kinda irregular. You can understand why!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Simple Schooling Open House & Freebies!!

My family loves using Simple Schooling for our science needs. We won a subscription last year!  We use it almost weekly for an additional resource for science. We love the interactive website and videos. Just wanted to pass along some wonderful sales and freebies!!