Saturday, December 27, 2008

Has it been a month?

OMGosh, has it really been a month since I last posted? I had grand plans of sharing Christmas projects, and recipes, etc. Oh well, I'm sure you know how busy it gets in December...I'm honestly still trying to remember where December went!

I'm thinking of trying to do the 3o posts for 30 days where you try to post at least once a day (I think it happened in November, but I was too busy with my own school then). So I am thinking of doing it on my own now (not starting right at this moment.)

I have a lot I want to talk about but right now, I am in the middle of dinner, so it will have to wait until later! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We did a lazy day today but it was a make up for our sick days of the past few weeks.
We colored pictures of Turkeys and Cornucopias. We watched the It's America, Charlie Brown video, then read a bit about Thanksgiving and did some cool pages with themed word searches and vocabulary. All in all a fun day, but very lazy. :)

My son scared me yesterday saying he wanted to go to public school. Turns out it was just about kids. So he said if we went to the p.e. group each week instead (which we hadn't been to in a month or more) that he would be happy. I asked for at least a chance with that until after Christmas break, then we'd discuss public school again. He awoke this morning declaring that he doesn't want public school, lol. :D

My daughter, when given the option last night, instantly said "homeschool!" That's a moving on...
She made a decision today. She gets so angry at her brother for saying the word that she's trying to read aloud (they have a majority of subjects together, except for reading aloud, reading lessons and math~~although I think she could have handled 2nd grade math, lol). So she decided she wants to do 2 read aloud lessons each day to improve her reading skills. :) That's on top of the online click n read lesson we do each day. She is so dedicated to learning, she just laps it up!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Election...a little late.

Yeah, I know it's been over a week since the election. But I wanted to post some pics on here.

On Monday, the 3rd we took a field trip to see John McCain. We went to the rally and had a really good time. It was unseasonably warm that day but the kids enjoyed it.

They expected to see McCain a little bit closer, maybe actually talk to him? I think this because my son told me the night before "Scrub off my tattoo mommy, I don't want McCain to see it!" (temporary tattoo from the day before).

(We were behind the stage :( so this is the best shot I got.)

The next day we went to the poles and split up. Sis got to go with Daddy and my son with me. We showed them step by step what we were doing. Then that night we colored in states as they were called. My son was upset that Obama had won and thought he'd have to immediately start public school again. I believe he had overheard or misunderstood things that we had said before about Obama being anti-homeschool (or more pro-public school and teacher certification...same thing).
Anyway, we explained and he is fine now. ;)

(This pic ~above~wasn't taken by me but by another local hs'er, I don't want to take undue credit...mine were blurry :P)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween update:

The past week has been so busy, with this coming week promising to be even busier.
I wanted to share pics of our pumpkins, as well as pics of the happy little trick-or-treaters.
Igor, the pumpkin on the bottom was a very large pumpkin that no one wanted. If you notice his skin, it is covered with bumps and lines. There was a sign that said he needed a good home (a $20 pumpkin, marked down to $5). My husband instantly had plans to turn this big boy into Igor. Where he naturally laid on his side, we decided to work with that and make the nose the stem. The bumps and lines look like boils.

For school on Halloween we had a fun filled day. We wrote in journals about trick-or-treating and what they were going to be. Then we listened to the monster mash and other Halloween songs. After that we watched the Great Pumpkin. Then I read about the tradition of Halloween and customs, followed by a fictional story. We then worked on a craft that my son's penpal had sent to him (pictured).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Halloween!

One of our big Halloween crafts that we're doing this month is our Haunted Gingerbread House! We got it at Walmart for $8 (it's Wilson brand so you can probably get it at craft/art stores as well). It was already assembled which was really cool because we had problems last year with our Christmas Gingerbread house and keeping the roof on!
It was a goopy/messy bunch of fun! And for some reason, whenever anyone got the black icing, their mouths soon turned black as well....hmmmm...wonder why? :)

As you can tell, my son has always been interested in getting things decorated as soon as possible...the quicker to eat it my dear! haha.

His technique was to simply cover his two sides entirely with icing. It works! :)

My daughter on the other hand has that little artist thing kick in and spends so much time going over ever minuscule/minute detail. Do you see how ever candy of her door is placed just so. :)

Here is the finished Haunted House, they were very tickled with it and had so much fun doing it. Isn't that the most important thing! :)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

PenPals Are Great!

The kids are working on writing to their penpals today. They are so tickled with them and it makes them both so happy when they get letters in the mail.
To do this and make it easier for them this is our process: We read the letter we've received. Then they tell me what they want to say back. I write it in letter form for them (hopefully we'll bypass this step soon, especially as the year goes on and with practice). Then they copy it over for themselves and the rough draft I wrote for them goes in the notebook of saved work. That'll be great for the future also, they'll have the full conversations to look back on.

October is here....

Well October is here...well about a week ago. It officially feels like fall. Those apples we picked are STILL sitting in my kitchen floor. We have done a lot with them. We dehydrated a bit (didn't want to do a lot until I was sure they liked them that way). And we have made apple pie, apple dessert, cooked apples, etc. The kids have had an active part in making the recipes so they have loved that. They also love showing off their creations to family members.

We have a surprise thing for Halloween that we're doing this evening but I can't write about it yet, they want it to be a surprise. It's a little early but it was cheap at Walmart and I couldn't pass that up. I'll try to take pics and post them soon.

I have to say that of all the time we have homeschooled, so far this year is my favorite. The kids are just doing so good with all of the work. My son has FINALLY stopped fighting me over work! He typically gets it done on time. Our math program (Saxon) is working out wonderfully.

We are even successfully doing journals this year. I had introduced them to my son back in K and 1st with no luck at all. We would do a few weeks then stop because he hated it, would take hours and fought the whole way through.

My rules for journaling are simple. Just draw a pic and write a story about it. It can be about anything you want. I also don't correct for errors in spelling or grammar. This is just to get them writing freely using their thought process to think of sentences and sound out words. I did print out a few different "dictionary" type pages to have at their disposal while writing. That seems to help.

My daughter though is a perfectionist, she is very adamant about getting it right. She wants me to spell her words for her. I don't typically because I want her to think of them. That's the entire reason I printed the dictionary pages, so that they can look up words if they want to, though they don't have to!

But overall, school is going picture perfect this year! We also have penpals now and the kids are loving that! We also joined our first p.e. group! Yay! I might talk more about that later in the week after our next visit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apple Picking...

Hey there everyone. Monday and Tuesday were such good days of school. Everything went fine and I had the epiphany that there's no way we're going to be able to ONLY do 4 hours of school like last year. With Zack's math program taking an hour along with the other things I feel are important to learn, it isn't going to happen. I like the Saxon math, it's very intensive but it's what I feel he needs in order to do math and he doesn't complain. So far the only thing he doesn't like are the timed facts sheets (where he has 1 minute to answer as many of his facts problems as possible) but he's even getting used to that. :)
I'm okay with this realization though, I just had to understand that there was nothing I could cut out, or would want to. The work that they're doing is just going to take longer. So if we start at 8 (including lunch break) we'll be done around 2 and then have 1 hour for p.e. (which is play time outside OR a kids exercise video).
But anyway, onto the good stuff. We included in our school work a home ec moment of making Chili since it was chilly...I know I'm full of cheesy jokes. We picked apples yesterday after our school work was done. We had so much that we ran out of buckets and pots to put them in. The kids loved it and did so good in helping. Now today we get to do the fun stuff of figuring out what to do will allllll of these apples!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our First Field Trip....The Fair!

Today we went to the fair. It was so fun. I had read ahead of time of the schedule so I could plan what I wanted to be sure to hit.

Of course, the first stop was the exhibits with canned goods, and cakes and crafts and art. And the livestock place "Old McDonald's farm."

Then we stopped by the Reading Roost that one of the local libraries had set up. The librarian loved the kids instantly. She was raving about homeschool, said she even used to be a science teacher with the ps but hs'ers had such higher scores on testing. She read them three books (and was dressed as mother goose). I asked how many visitors she had had today because we were the only ones there and kids were passing us by and she said 0! We were the first! I hope she got more before the end of the day!!!!! I was so proud of my kids though because she first asked them 'do you all want to hear a book' and they enthusiastically said 'yeah!' (which, if you've read the post about my ds you would understand why that was shocking!).

Anyway...moving on, we had lunch then checked out the Remnant Yuchi Nation Native American Tribe and their stuff, it was so cool! The kids were really into that and (big surprise) no other kids were.
But ds loved the dart gun, he thought that was the coolest thing ever!
Then we moved to the rides, they had a good time overall. I enjoyed it myself!

I'm also including a pic of a really really cool entomology display that someone had submitted, it isn't ours but thought it was so cool we might start working on something like this in the future!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Additional note on the schedule....

I've still not got it right! I was thinking that it wouldn't take as long for math but it's averaging an hour per child now so that throws off the schedule terribly and we can't keep going much after lunch because 1) the kids are usually tired and ready to head outside and let out that energy and 2) I need to utilize that time to work on my own school work.
We've been running to 1 or 1:30 (before the hour p.e. outside) and occasionally to 2:30. I've been having some problems starting at 8 on the dot, but I am determined that it is possible and we WILL accomplish this small goal!
I spent a while last week trying to work out a new schedule and it looked good on paper, it always does, but putting it into the works today didn't work out. We didn't start until 9, then we just had a hard time starting, and a lot of interruptions. Well, at 1:30, I called it a day even though we hadn't done math. We'll hit it harder tomorrow. I am determined that I can get all of this done from 8am to 12 or 12:30. It has to be possible.
I am also working on a 4 day schedule with a 5th day for extras. My problem is that when I worked it up I didn't move much from the week to friday, instead I ADDED EXTRA STUFF! No, no! quit while you're ahead! :) I'll post the new schedule when it's perfected, if that ever happens! :P

Up to my elbows again!

Well, my school is back in full swing. I just completed the first week and already I'm tired. :)
But I'll get it done. I'm trying to work on my time management better and scheduling things right.

The kids school is going good, we're into week three with them. Zack is actually getting his work done without much fussing, day dreaming or complaining! I wonder if it's because she school year is new, he's finally mature enough to embrace what needs to be done and when, or....the threat of no games if we have problems.

My school work is still mostly packed, but I was able to get to a lot of it without unpacking boxes. Some things are still packed away and I REFUSE to open them until we've moved! ;) There are only a few subjects that we're completely improvising with.
History is one of those. We typically do Story of the World, but it's packed, so we were using a social studies book about communities and maps. Now we're moving to our Weekly Reader study on the election. It should carry us through till the actual election in November.

My new system of reading a little in a 2nd grade science text then working on lapbooking is going great! We are learning about how plants grow and change. For a science project we are growing green bean seeds. I'll post the pics soon and detail it more but the kids are loving it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

New School Year...New Look!

Well, that day has finally crept up on us. The day when summer comes to an end and it's time to break open the school books. As a child and even now it is always hard to do that when the weather outside is so perfect and sunny still!
I thought with the age of a new school year, it would be nice to change things up a bit and give the blog a new look. Give me your you like it, hate it? :)
Well, our first official day was wonderful. We only had a few problems...(for those who don't know I had packed up all of our school supplies and books) such as the frantic hunt for pencils first thing this morning! There was the typical delay with handwriting with my son but I think it will get better there. All in all, we got all things completed that I had scheduled and with some of our curriculum still packed away, we made due very well!
The main thing I fudged on was art, I just had it as part of our English which has an enrichment exercise to do an illustration for the Caterpillar poem we're memorizing.
Here is our schedule. I don't adhere to it strictly but I do try to keep close so that we are sure to get all subjects included.

8am- morning prayer and pledge of allegiance

8:05am-meeting book (Comes with our new Saxon math curriculum...includes calendar and weather recording work)

8:20am- daily studies (address/phone/shoes/character)

8:30am-DS math (DD handwriting)--we use saxon math now and a handwriting workbook from walmart but that is packed away so I'm printing things off to work on)

9:00am- DD math (DS handwriting)

9:30am- english/ grammar--First Language lessons for the Well Trained Mind

9:45am- english/spelling--Spelling Workout

10:00am- snack break/choral reading

10:15am-DS reading (DD look@books)

10:30am- DD reading (DS look@books)

10:45am- weekly reader

11:00am- history--previously Story of the World but while packed away I'm using both an elem. history book for 1st or 2nd grade in addition to the weekly reader election series.

11:25 am- science--We're using a elem. science book for 2nd grade and we are going to use it as a basis for doing lapbook work. We also have the supplemental science packet that comes with weekly readers.

11:50am- Bible lesson-- Our Disciple land workbooks are packed away so for now we're going to work on memorizing Bible book names, there are two wonderful youtube videos that have old and new Testaments in seperate videos.

12:00pm- lunch break

12:15pm- m/tu=art w/th=music - this is going to be a mix...monday will be art crafts, tuesday will be an art appreciation. Wed. will be music fun time and thurs. will be music appreciation. (We will have more or less time for this each day depending on the rest of the schedule as well as the weather, etc)
The art appreciation I have no guide for yet, I may just make it up as I go along or go through my own college art book from before and have them look at pics that corelate to what time period we're studying in history and attempt to duplicate the styles. I'm not sure yet!
For Music appreciation I found a wonderful set of DVD's from Netflix called the 'Young People's Concert' and we're borrowing them to watch for it. It's an old black and white series but very in depth.

12:30pm- exercise tape---possible...I'm debating this one. I might include it or not. If I do, we have some cool videos like Dancing with the stars and kids karate type videos. I might use this as a backup for rainy days, but I'm undecided yet.

1:00pm- p.e. outside (if weather perm)

Friday, July 25, 2008

CAT5 Scores....

Here is the break down of this scores... The first I'll list is the general subject scores. I'll list the stanine that he scored in as well as his grade equivalent....
(Stanine is the 'standard nine' which is a listing of 9 groups compared to the average). This was the 1st grade test.

Reading vocabulary- 5th stanine- 2.2 grade equivalent
reading comprehension-5th-2.4 ge
total reading- 5th-2.3
language mechanics- 5th-2.4
language expression- 5th-2.2
total language-5th-2.3
math computation-4th-2.0
math concepts and app.-5th-2.3
total mathematics-5th-2.2
total battery-5th-2.3
word analysis-5th-n/a
social studies-5th-2.2

Let me just say that science shouldn't come as a shock because my husband and I are SCIENCE JUNKIES! We spend a lot of t.v. watching time watching science channels. ;) Also, it's funny that he scored so high in social studies because we don't use the regular history that jumps around...we do classic history that follows history in it's actual time line (that means that we started with the cavemen, then on to ancients...etc...not that then jumping to Washington and U.S. History.)

If I haven't bored you enough is the full break down of the scores and what grade he made on each. I'll put an asterisk next to those it says he has mastered (not mastered is 0-50; partially mastered is 51-75; mastered is 76-100):

Reading Vocabulary:
word meaning- 76 *
words in context-85*

Reading Comprehension:
listening and understanding-50 (the lowest score)
link picture, print-99*
recall information-99*
construct meaning-99*

Language Mechanics:
Sentence, phrase, clause- 83*
writing conventions-74

Language Expressions:
sentence formation-94*

Math Computation:
add whole numbers-92*
subtract whole numbers-62 not all items attempted- (he ran out of time)

Math Concepts and Application:
data interpretation-81*

Word Analysis:
single conson/word-97*
cons. blends, digraphs-99*
sight words-98*
short vowels-74
long vowels-60

life science-90*
physical science-84*
earth and space science-85*
science process-70

Social Studies:
geographical concepts-90*
economic dimensions-89*
historical perspectives-85*
government, citizenship-97*
sociological patterns-96*

Answer to a question...

I had a comment posted on one of my posts and replied but I thought I would post it here on the main page. This is the end of the comment and my reply....

~~~...I want my own children to get a good education and be prepared for life's challenges and college. I've read some of your comments and I'm interested to know about the curriculum you use and how well you think it prepares students for the future.

July 24, 2008 9:03 PM

~~~Hello there,
The local Christian school here was a consideration for a moment but we thought the same as you. I am sure there are those that push the students and challenge them but our local one doesn't. My husband even knows first hand because he attended it once upon a time. And I remember from my high school experience that students who went there said it was 'so much easier' than public school.
Now, last year I admit that I tried to make things easier for my son. I even switched curriculum mid-year because he didn't like it. We were using Abeka for English and it was great. I loved it and it seemed fairly challenging but he didn't like it. So I changed to Switched-on Schoolhouse (SOS) by Alpha Omega publishing. It's a computer program and of course he liked it better but it was 3rd grade (that's what level they start at) so it was a little bit more advanced for him.
I decided to do the Classic curriculum style for my daughter and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I shouldn't just give my son 'the easy way out' because he wants it. So this year they are BOTH going to be doing Classic English. For this I bought the book (you can probably find it at your library) called the well trained mind which gives you a detailed explanation and guidance for the classical program. There is also a book for English called "First Language Lessons for the Well trained Mind". It goes k-2 and we're using that this coming year. I want a challenging program that will give them a good thorough basis for education.
For math I switched too late because Math-U-See wasn't for us. A lot of people love it but I don't like that it only focuses on one thing for a long time. We were working on addition for so long without even getting into subtraction and he had FORGOTTEN how to subtract just from last year. I didn't like that personally so this year we're going to give Saxon math a try, it's one of the best math programs.
I believe that if you challenge your kids, they will often be able to match your challenges. Sometimes it'll be too much but you (as the parent) know your child better than anything and know how to adjust for them.
I am hoping that as the children get older that by high school they will be able to dual enroll in some college courses to get the feel of it and help be more prepared for full time college work.
Plus, a side-note...homeschooling does provide real life experience. You can add a class of teaching your children how to balance a check book, work the family budget, manage a household, etc. This provides a foundation for learning how to deal with real life. I'm saving that for a few years down the road when they're more stable in their math skills.
They also learn how to manage their schedule by getting their household chores done, their school work (which students do become more independent with as they age) their hobbies and extra curricular classes, etc. It teaches them to realize that if they don't get those things done that it leaves less time for play time. Just like in real life 'work before play'.
I hope I answered your questions. If not, or you have more, feel free to post. :)


We got the CAT5 results and my son passed! He made in and above the 4th stanine in everything. He made between a 2.0 and a 2.5 grade level equivalent in all of his subjects. His lowest was math and that was what he tested at 2.0 in. I figured that much so I am just so happy!
I may post his exact scores soon, I'm not sure yet. But wanted to let everyone know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Last day of school pics...

I know it's a bit late, a month and a half so but I found these and wanted to post. For our last day of school we did this cute little cat keychain project. I found them at Walmart for $2 for a kit that makes 4. The kids loved it though we did have some problems getting the parts to stay together at one time so we had to glue one part then wait an hour then glue the next and so on. They loved it though.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Going Green...

Okay, so after seeing Wall-e this past weekend, I get it. I finally get it. I have been interested in recycling for a long time but I have had many road blocks...from not living in a recycling area to the people not picking it up as they were supposed to.
Anyhow, for whatever reason I haven't before, I have finally figured out the WHY of going green. I think I had held onto a misconception that going green was for hippy treehuggers (no offense of course, lol).
Anyway....I am researching it today and will start to put everything into motion to try to do our part for the world and teach the kids. It'll be a fun part of school too, I'm sure. The kids are always into fun new things like this. They loved our new 'swirly' lightbulbs. :)
My only complaint is that I keep hearing about walking or riding a bike to save on gas and emissions. They do not seem to take into account those of us who live too dang far away from town to ride a bike! If I were to ride a bike to the store then I might be back TOMORROW! :) It makes me feel bad. There isn't even a public transit thing way out here so that doesn't help. It makes me feel bad in a way but there's nothing I can do about it. Maybe I should start riding a horse....okay, maybe not. I'm afraid of heights! lol!
But anyway....we're going green. I'll keep you posted on how it's going. Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Dinosaur Named Sue!

Before the end of our school year, we got to do the coolest thing! We got to go to a museum and see the complete dinosaur skeleton of the t-rex named Sue. It was so awesome! That was the first time I think I had ever seen a dinosaur skeleton, let alone a massive t-rex. You see them in movies (computer generated of course) but you have no idea how large those things actually were until you are standing right beside of it, looking up at the thing. It was so amazing. Here are some pics that I took of her.
Homeschooling means getting to take the coolest field trips! Learn things hands on! Become part of the learning! :)

Hands on Science...

It has been a while since I posted on here. I have been trying to get caught up on things with the kids in summer break. On top of that I have been working on getting my writing career up and started.
I thought I would post a few pics I had taken towards the end of this school year.
We discovered a turtle and decided to check it out. What better way to learn about something (at least the things that don't bite or sting) than hands on. The kids loved it of course and my son wanted to keep it but I had to explain that he wasn't a pet, he was wild and wouldn't survive inside. After a little while of talking to him and examining him we released him back into the wild. Hands on science is so cool!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Official last day of School!

Well our school year has finally ended. This year seemed like it flew by.
We finished up our day with rapping up our kindergarten and 1st grade memory books. I got these from, just search for memory books. They're really cute and you just print them off and I put them in a little folder. They fill out info about their favorites and things they did this school year. It's great because years from now we'll always have it to look back at. :)
We are also finishing up with a fuzzy craft thing where you make cats out of pompoms. They are getting frustrated because they are falling apart as they're trying to construct them. I decided it would be best if we do them in sections until the glue dries and holds them together better. I think I spent $1 at Walmart on these and they make 4 so the kids were tickled to be able to do them.
For the summer I'm only going to focus on reading. We will be reading books daily and the magazines that they have gotten recently (Highlights, Zootles, and Boys life). I'm hoping to really sharpen their reading skills. We might also work on a few things like easy lapbooks on rainy days. We won't do anything difficult like our regular science lapbooking. These will be mostly laid back like character traits, maybe Bible themes, I was thinking of doing one on address and phone number. We will see. I want them to have time off but would like to throw a little something simple in there occasionally.
My son wrapped up his CAT test and we sent it off last week. We get the results back in 8 weeks so I'm still going to be a little nervous until I get it back. I think he did pretty good but where it's a percentile thing instead of just how much he missed, I won't know for sure until we receive the grades.
For now we're ready to relax. We had a difficult year and now it's time to enjoy the weather, maybe even fit some gardening in too. They are begging me to start the garden this year (we usually do a large veggie garden) so we might get to it tomorrow. :)
I love summer, but my own school is starting back next week. Hopefully one class will be much easier on me. ;D

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Classical Education...

Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to the classical education curriculum. For those who aren't really familiar with it here is a quick rundown. The classical system uses ancient Latin techniques in three stages, the first is the memorization stage where the kids retain as much fact and knowledge as possible. The second stage sets them into the motion of critical thinking. Learning how to put all of the knowledge they have retained together into logical form and the third is the rhetoric phase. This phase is where the kids are able to argue and discuss things logically and with confidence.
I love the notion of this learning style but with a sigh last year decided it wouldn't work for my son. It's a lot of work and right now he just hates work. I recently picked up the book "The Well Trained Mind" and I am considering doing this with my daughter. She loves learning and begs for work on a daily basis. On weekends she often says "Aww Man...I hate two days off!" I'm reading the book to get familiar with it this summer and hope to begin her in the fall with it.
I'm going to keep with out 'Story of the World' for history which has a classical base anyway and the lapbooking for science. I also got them both Saxon math for the fall. The main thing I want to go classical on is her literature/english/grammer.
I may incorporate small parts of this into the other subjects as well. For example I am thinking that fact memorization for math. Maybe following the outline for the science we learn. I definitely want them to learn Latin soon and more languages beyond that (studies have shown that kids languages easier in their early years).
With all of this said, however, I keep getting this nagging sensation that I am doing a disservice to my son. Doesn't he deserve to learn this in depth and strong education like she does? I mean the curriculum I chose for him is good, but if I'm doing it for her shouldn't I do it for him as well.
I know he would hate it and would complain every step of the way. So that is my conundrum. Should I teach him the classical way or not? I will still have to think about this during the summer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Wonderful Mother's Day

Mother's Day has come and gone again this year. I have to say that I had a wonderful one. The morning was filled with my kids giving me many many cards that they had made themselves and compiled to surprise me with.
The afternoon was the interesting part. We had a power outage. It ended up to be wonderful. Because it was so cold we lit lanterns and acted like we were 'camping out'. I, of course took the opportunity to give a lesson about how people used to live before power and what they would do. We spent the evening and early part of the night watching 'shows' that my children took turns putting on for us. These were hilarious comedy routines and stories acted out. They were adorable. Me and dh even got in the act by putting on our own routines with jokes and stories. Our power came back on by 9pm but we were having so much fun that we kept the lights and the t.v. off and pretended like we were still camping. We even all slept on the couch as if we were camping somewhere different. It was such a blast and probably the best mother's day ever! I loved it more than any present or any dinner destination that could have been given to me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Coming to the end...

We're moving into the home stretch. This is the last 3 weeks of school and with that come the wrapping up of the year's work. We've settled into doing testing review for now and maybe a few other things such as light lapbooking. I saw a great one on youtube that had a house with fold outs and a family tree. I was thinking of making that one and having them work on their address/phone number as well as family tree and family pics. Maybe even a little page about the family for writing practice.
Yesterday we attended our end of year library party. It was wonderful. The weather was so cooperative as we had a little pizza party and playing at the park. The kids also got a cool certificate as well as stickers and a tattoo (which one has gotten lost somehow....leaving one remaining tattoo to fight over...crossing fingers that it's in the car!!).
I also discovered a test that I can administer myself which is great news since I've had such trouble lining up a tester lately. Only problem is that I had to order it now so we can complete it in time and get our results back in time enough to send to our school board.
One final note....I got the last of next years curriculum in the mail yesterday! whoohoo, that always tickles me to know that we're ready to go when August hits. Some things like my son's english and our history that we didn't start until midyear around January will still carry over. But I'm about ready to pack up our things for this year and put it away!
I typically don't actually pack them up but hopefully we'll be moving soon so that'll be one thing less to worry about while packing/moving everything. I just hope I label it all clear enough that I'm not searching the entire house for it later. :)
This year is wrapping up nicely.
....another side note...I am thinking about changing this to a general site about my everyday life. With it I would be able to include more things such as my gardening exploits as well as my crafting and my own school work. Just a thought for now...might look more into that in a few weeks when everything settles down. This is my last week of the college spring semester and we have only 3 more weeks of school left. I'll actually have some time on my hands...don't know what I'll do with it!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another day :) on lapbooks.

Well, another beginning to the week. Things are going pretty good. My son is doing good with the test practice booklets that I bought so I am feeling a little more relieved and just a little bit less worried.
I have started writing for For anyone who is interested I posted a how-to article on easy lapbooks and there are pictures there. I am going to include the cover pics of a couple here but if you want to check them out go to and put AutumnLeavz in the search bar and it will bring back my articles. You should be able to find the lapbook one with pics and there are also some other various topics as well. I appreciate anyone checking them out. :)
Another side note...two more weeks of college left this semester! I'm so relieved but I also have an algebra final coming up so nervous about that. At least I just have to pass it and it doesn't go against my gpa at all.
I signed up for my summer and fall classes today. For the summer, just biology I. And for the fall, for now I'm going to just sign up for algebra 2 and english 2. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Curriculum problems...

Often, new homeschoolers face the same problem, purchasing the wrong curriculum. Sometimes it is hard to realize it and we want to hold onto whatever we thought was a good choice. Sometimes we don't find out until it is too late. In our case I made a bad math choice and didn't even realize it until I started to give my son a practice test for his end of year evaluation.
I found out then that he really was off base entirely. We were almost completely unprepared for the test and now we are having to spend this next two months 'teaching to the test'. I really hate that, I hate having to put so much emphasis on one subject instead of it being just another fun daily exercise. I am sure that the math choice I made would have been good if we didn't have to take a final test this year. However, since we do it just isn't going to work for us. Next year I'm switching to Saxon. I have heard a lot of great reviews about it. This time I did more research and think I'm making the right choice.
If this has happened to you, don't worry, it's easily fixable. The first step is to just step away from the curriculum. You have to admit that you have a curriculum problem. Sell it on ebay or another selling site and start over. Research, go to sites that offer curriculum reviews and make sure it is what you are looking for.
One final problem with curriculum I will mention is getting something that you love...even though it will not suit your children. I personally LOVE the idea of the classical curriculum. I would love to go through the stages of the trivium and teach the kids Latin and build on a true classical base. However, I know my kids (especially my son) would hate it! He just is not receptive to things like that. He's more hands on or computer oriented and so I go that direction. If your kids will not enjoy it or do well with it, then it will be a complete waste of time.
As my dreams of classically educated children slip away I will tearfully wave it goodbye and hold on to two small aspects of it....Chronological history and possibly Latin. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I love spring!

The weather is finally starting to warm up and I love it. The kids love it too because after work they get to go outside and play all day. Yesterday was one of those beautiful day and we just had to get outside and enjoy it. We went out and eventually ended up at our library group. The kids are loving this group and I am happy because I want them to be around kids regularly. Hopefully we can add some activities too and get regular things going soon. No remarks from anyone there this time around so that is always a good thing.
However because we spent all day out yesterday evening I have so much to do to do list is overwhelming. And I still have preparing for the test on my mind. I bought a couple of different test prep and test practice books that should get here tomorrow. I just hope it helps. I am hoping that I will be freaking out over nothing. That he will do just fine on this test but until it is complete and out of our hands I am going to do whatever possible to prepare.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Much better!

Yesterday went so much smoother than the previous days of the week. They both did their work so good and we had more time for fun 'goofy' things to do. We still had a little trouble with handwriting. They want to goof off and not do the work instead of just getting it done. I like the book we're using but I think I'm going to scale it back as well. It has sentences to copy such as "Brave Bobby buys a baseball bat." and they have to copy it 4 or 5 times. I believe I'll grant immunity, so to speak, by having them write it perfect one time and correct the errors.
We'll see how that goes this week.
I'm so anxious about the IOWA test coming up next month. With the wrong math curriculum choice on my behalf we are so far behind in this subject. I think that was part of why I was pushing him to do so much. I have a test practice booklet that we've been working through in preparation. He likes these because they are much shorter bursts of work than regular work, but the math is really knocking me down. There is so much that he should know that I'm going to have to teach him in 1 months time. It's so overwhelming and I'm afraid he'll do poorly in math because of this. It's so important for him to do good on this test because 1) he has to score at a certain level to be allowed to continue to homeschool (VA state laws) and not be put on probation next year and 2) If his test scores aren't showing results, Daddy might decide that homeschooling isn't working and put them back in school. This sounds bad but you have to understand that Daddy just wants what is best for the kids.
I think after this first year of testing I'll probably be able to calm down more about it but until then I'm a nervous wreck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A bad day...

We all have good days and bad days, it's just part of life. Yesterday was one of those bad days for me. We fought over school work until I just had to stop for the day. I was too frustrated to continue. I have figured out that my son just doesn't want to do any work period, homeschool, public where. He just doesn't want to do it! It's very aggravating because I feel like I'm constantly fussing and telling him 'do your work', 'finish your work'.
I don't think I want too much, just get your work done. Do it in a timely fashion and put in an effort.
Homeschooling isn't always the easy road because it would definitely be easier just to send him to school but I know it's not what is best for him, academically or socially. I've made some new rules, no television on at all (including t.v., games or movies) until 5 oclock in the evening. I hope this will help somewhat. I tried doing a checklist, complete the work in the specific time and you'll get a check for that subject. Get all of your checks for the day and you'll get to play your games. It worked for about a week, but I don't think it's working now. I also stream lined our curriculum, cutting math way back to around 30 minutes and english to much shorter, etc. This has cut back some of the fussing because whenever we go for longer it is just worse because their attention fades as we go on.
I saw on youtube a homeschooling mother made a goal board with sports themes and when they did a chore they got to move their 'soccer ball' (or whatever theme they were using at the time) with that on it to the goal. That might work for chores and subjects. I don't know.
I told them that they have thursday and friday to prove to me that they want to homeschool. I explained that if I was hungry I would have to make something to eat or I wouldn't be able to eat...just like they want to school at home, if they want to, then they have to do good work at home or else they won't be able to school at home.
I just hope today is a better day because this week is really getting me down!
Cross your fingers, say a prayer for us!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New library group...

Yesterday we attended our first library group. With the trouble I have had in finding a homeschool support group that fits our needs, I decided that at least the library group would be interaction. I was so proud of the kids, they both behaved so good and interacted so well. In fact they behaved better than the public school kids (it's an after school group with both homeschool and public school children).
There was one child that could not behave at all and was a year older than my son. For an entire hour I watched him running around, disrupting the class, etc. What is so funny is that after this his grandmother said to me "So they are homeschooled?" I said "yeah." and she said "Well, it's good for them to be around other kids isn't it." I was baffled at this comment. Here my kids both behaved better than her grandchild and the other public school child and if the teacher hadn't introduced them as homeschooled then no one would have even known. Yet, she still felt a need to say something like that. I was just floored with amusement and a sort of shock.
Aside from this everything went great and the kids loved it so we'll probably continue and they actually wanted to look at the books that they picked out related to the dog book they had read. That was surprising because my son usually considers reading time (time to sit quietly and look at the books that we've checked out) as torture! lol. But hopefully this will be a step in the other direction.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Mondays are usually hard because the kids are coming back from two days off and for some reason my son finds it hard to get back in the rhythm of doing work. I am almost dreading today because we are coming off of Spring break! Hopefully today will go smooth.
We celebrated a birthday this weekend and my daughter is now 5. She is so tickled to 'finally be 5!'

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My favorite site...

My favorite website has got to be the site. I am a frequent visitor to their discussion board and they have so many great printable exercises as well as ideas. They also have links to laws for every state and a run down of curriculum and methods...anything that you can think of homeschool they have! Plus the printables cover so many topics, such as every holiday, science materials, math, reading, etc.
It sounds like I'm doing a commercial, lol. But I just wanted to share my favorite resource.
The kids are enjoying spring break and I'm TRYING to get ahead in my own school work..but can't seem to do so. It seems as if I'm struggling just to stay a float in it. The main reason is because the kids have emphasized their dislike of me always having to be working on my school. So it's not that I'm unable to do that much work, it's that I shouldn't. I loaded my plate so full this semester that I'm not having a lot of free time just to be with them, it's mostly related to their own school. Next semester (after summer) I'm only going to take 3 courses and see how that goes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

But how do you teach a child how to read?

I admit, when I first started last year, the thought of teaching my children to read was terrifying. I had no clue where to start or what to do. However, I soon found out that it's not as hard as it looks. There are many wonderful websites out there that give you pages you can start with. However, my favorite is a book called "Teach your kid how to read in 100 easy lessons". This book is wonderful. It teaches phonetically and gives you 100 lessons that only last around 15 minutes a day. You curl up on the couch or wherever you and your child is comfortable and read this book. It is broken down into parts that you read aloud (instructional) and things that the child is to read. It really works and it is sooooo easy that you just have to love it! And the wonderful thing is that you can get this book for around $20! Gotta love that! ;D I even recommend this book for those who aren't planning on homeschooling but just want to give their kid an advantage before going into school, if there child is showing an can't force learning! That just leads to frustration.

Spring Break...

I didn't even know that this was spring break week.
I had previously decided to count spring break as the week before last that my son was sick and missed 4 days of school. However, I got to thinking about it and decided that wouldn't really be fair. So instead, they're going to have spring break this week but because we missed those 4 days, I'm going to give them a very small and quick lesson each day. Probably math and reading. I chose those two subjects because we are behind in math (see my previous post) and it never hurts to throw in a reading lesson with those who are learning how to read.
I look back at a year ago and think about how much he has advanced in his reading. Back then, when we first pulled him from public school, he could read simple sentences such as 'The dog is big'. Now he is reading much more advanced things. He's not quite to independent reader yet (where he can sit and read a story on his own to himself) but that doesn't look to be too far off.
My daughter even amazes me. She first started learning basic sounds last year around the same time and now can read those simple sentences easily.
I have some fun field trips planned for the remainder of the year too. Last year when we started, We went to the library more often and were doing field trips at least once a month. But this new schedule that I have us on combined with my own school didn't leave much time for field trips.
I think I'll go back to that previous schedule and try to work more field trips in. Plus for the library, I'm going to sign them up for the weekly reader club.
I have a lot of 'socialization' options that I am considering but think that it's too late in the year for a lot of them and that if I tried them all at once that we would quickly become overloaded. Instead, I'm going to add a couple to this last 2 months and add one at a time to next years schedule.
Well, enough for now...hope you're enjoying my blog. I have to start their work shortly as well as TRY to get caught up in my own...word to the wise, if you're taking your own college classes while homeschooling, start small and don't overdo it. 5 classes for me=overdoing it!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Perfect Day!

I am just so happy. I have a goal to finish our school work by at least 12. If everyone works good and does as they should we should be able to finish by lunch but often it doesn't work out that way. Today was a perfect day. I had recently dropped a math program that I didn't like. I decided to wait to start him on a new program until next year since it is so late in the school year.
The reason I decided to drop this program is that it separated everything out into two parts of the large part for addition and a slightly smaller part for subtraction. With so many delays that we have had this year he hadn't even gotten to the subtraction and I was worried that he wouldn't be able to do it for his end of year test. On top of that I wasn't too happy with the fact that things like measurements, fractions, money, etc were not even mentioned. Time was mentioned in one small additional lesson.
I just felt very dissatisfied and decided to scrap it entirely. That's the good thing about homeschool, you aren't tied to one curriculum. If something doesn't work for you, you can get rid of it until you find what does.
Anyway, after scrapping it I decided to use workbooks from walmart instead. I think next year we'll give Saxon math a try.
But I had been giving him too many of these worksheets daily to try to make up for what he had missed. This had backfired and he was spending way too long and not enjoying it at all. I scaled this back to 1 front and back page (or two if it is very easy and quick) and this is helping tremendously.
Everything went smoothly, the kids both did their work wonderfully and I am just happy to have finally been able to reach our goal. We finish their work at 11:30 this morning.
In case anyone wonders why I'm already homeschooling my daughter who is going to be 5 next year....I started last year! The reason I started is because I pulled her out of a preschool program because her personality had changed so drastically for the worse. But when she saw that her brother was doing work, of course she HAD to do it too. She does really good with it and actually BEGS to do it.
My day is wonderful. ;)


I welcome anyone who has a question about a particular topic in homeschooling, where to find something, how to do something, or just how we do something . Just post a comment and I will answer it to the best of my abilities.
Homeschool is almost like a a mentor/master relationship. When a homeschooler is first starting out it helps to find someone established to ask questions and get help whenever needed. Then down the road as that person becomes established and familiar with things, they become the one to help the next family who is just starting out. It really is wonderful if you think about it.
But, feel free to post any questions....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Science Lapbooks...

I have fallen in love with lapbooking (which is a trademarked name). Lapbooking is where you discover a subject, often in science but can be any subject (I have seen alphabet ones as well as state ones). You study that subject until you get a deeper understanding of it. For example, we just finished a body systems lapbook. In this we did various different activities about the systems (you can get complete lapbook layouts from places like or you can put them together yourself with information and free lesson plans online). Once the kids have completed the activities and various print out pages on the subject, then you assemble your book. It is really simple, starting with a file folder...
1) open it up, 2) fold the opened edges in until they meet in the middle (looks like a window shutter now) and 3) if you want you can go beyond this and tape/glue another piece as a fold down flap. 4) you simply attach with glue or tape the work outs and things like that, maybe a vocabulary list, pictures you have found on the subject, whatever. You let them have fun and put it all together. These books are great for learning but also become great for portfolios as well as keepsakes to have down the road. Also, whenever they want, they can pull them back out and refresh their memory on that subject.
Just Google 'lapbook' and you can see wonderful examples, plus I would like to take pics of ours to share with you all in the future.
What I was going to say though is that lapbooking is amazing. Because your kids are learning through this hands on process it seems to stick for them better. My son saw something the other day and said 'Look mom, this is like our mouth and our esophagus' (and he's only 6). It amazed me that he had remembered this because he usually is so busy, as all boys are, that I'm not really sure if he's paying attention sometimes. :)

Life lessons...

Life hands us some of our most wonderful lessons. Not life lessons in the sense of wright or wrong, but life lessons in that we learn just by living. Cool new things cross our path every day that the children can learn from and it's wonderful.
Today for example, I heard an odd bird sound coming from right outside of my window. I peeked out to find an odd bird that I hadn't seen before. My son grabbed his binoculars and we watched as our dog tried to chase the three weird birds around our yard...apparently they weren't flight birds or would have flown away quickly.
After watching them around the yard we decided--at my son's request--to use his birding book to look up what type of bird it was. We discovered that these birds were guinea fowls. They typically are domesticated now although some were wild. My son drew the conclusion that they must have escaped someone's farm nearby. But what a wonderful break from our daily schedule to learn about something new and something they probably will remember for a long time as well. :)
For homeschooling mothers you quickly learn to keep your eyes open for these interesting opportunities to learn, even if they are something as small as a new bug crawling across the porch or the new look to the tree in front indicating that spring is on it's way.
Often, I end up learning something new as well.

My opinion....go ahead and start HATING me now!

I am just going to state my opinion now, so you can hate me if you want to. :)
Everyone has opinions, you don't have to like mine or agree with it but I want to share.
What's wrong with society today?
I have two reason that society is going downhill. The first is that people have stopped teaching their children about God. If there is no one higher to have to account to, then what does it matter, right? No, there is and kids don't have that fear and love of God anymore. When I was a child I knew that even if I didn't get caught by my parents that God still saw me regardless. I think that helped a lot of people my age to not get into MORE trouble or the degree of trouble they are getting into these days.
My second reason...Where have the moms gone? Children are left to themselves without the loving mother waiting at home or just being there for them. Mothers now a day are too busy with their careers that they aren't home as often and when they are they are so tired and rushed that they don't have the ability to spend quality time with their children.
I don't have anything against mothers who HAVE to work such as single mothers, I give them credit. However those who can stay at home but choose not to because they are buying into the feminist movement that says they have to go out and work a full day just to be equal to a man.
I have tried the juggling career thing and have walked away. I have decided it's best for me to be where I am supposed to, taking care of my family.
I DO put in a full day of work (more than many men ever will), and I do consider myself equal to my husband and men in general. Just because I am home does not make me any less of a citizen or any less important to society. Many women say they "have to" work, I don't agree with this. People can easily survive on 1 income if they budget properly and don't spend quite so frivolously. And if it's to help pay the mortgage then try a smaller home that fits your needs. It's very possible but only for those wanting to do so. That's another concern with those wanting to homeschool who live currently on 2 incomes, they are afraid of losing that second income and I just have to say that if you want to do it enough, it's completely possible AND comfortable to do so!
I think that stay-at-home mothers are the backbone of our society and without it, we are falling apart. Again, just my humble opinion. :)

Family and Friends support...and socializing

When we first told everyone that we are homeschooling last year we got a lot of mixed reviews. Some are completely for it, they think it is a wonderful idea. Others are a little harder to convince...and I think still believe they should be in school (maybe my son takes his first IOWA test this year and gets his results they will be good and it'll put those who are opposed at ease).
There are a few others who believe it is a good idea because of the violence in schools today and because of religion being taken out of school but they also are worried about my children's socializing aspect.
I even get mixed reviews in public now, I haven't had anyone YET blatantly tell me that they disagree with it but I have had those who point out the socializing aspect.
Socializing is important, but do you really think that children need to be socialized with other kids who are hooligans!? I mean, have you seen children today? They are crazy! They have no respect for anything and no fear of authority (human-principals, police; God).
Socializing is defined as:
1) to place under government or group ownership or control. (does that really sound like what you want to do to your kids?)
2) to make fit for companionship with others; make sociable (my children are already sociable and have been for a while now. I believe they are MORE FIT for companionship than some public schoolers I know)
3) to convert or adapt to the needs of society (I think society NEEDS more kids who are taught proper manners and behavior at home, I think it NEEDS children who respect their elders and fellow man in general)
and finally 4) to take part in social activities (Homeschoolers do this).
Well, that is the exact definition of socialize for those of you who were unclear and those are my feelings on the aspect of socialization. I believe socialization is more than just being around a group of kids and being made to memorize facts to be able to pass a test...and forgetting them later.
Someone once stated that socialization is a word that was created by those opposed to homeschooling and whenever the "h" word is mentioned it is inevitable that the "s" word is going to follow.

Support Group Frustration!

Living in a small town, it is hard to find a good support group here.
Everyone knows that children need socialization ( the saying goes "I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my child"...I'll get more into socialization myths later). The best way to do this is with support groups filled with other local homeschoolers. And you also have avenues such as groups (boy/girl scouts, library groups, 4H) as well as lessons (dance, karate, music) and sports teams (and don't have to be in public schools to participate!). But I still would like to find a nice local support group.
They can range from monthly meetings where the kids get together for field trips or bowling days to weekly coop groups where the mothers each teach a class.
I have two problems, my first is that all of the groups here are AT LEAST an hour away! But, having said that, I will also say that I would make the sacrifice and drive that far if I found one I liked. My second problem is that the ones that I have found doesn't suit our needs.
One was a little closer to us but it turns out that their meetings are just for parents...I don't see the point of this. I mean, yeah it would be great to have other homeschool parents to talk to and get support from BUT I want a group for my children's socialization...not my own.
The other one that I have found that I really like is very religious based. I am religious, do not get me wrong, but if I have to sign a statement of faith saying that I go to church (Which I currently don't, I haven't found one I like yet) and then have to worry that I do not say anything against what their denomination just doesn't work for me.
Why can't we just have a group where denomination isn't an issue? Can't we all just get along and get together for our kids sakes? I am considering starting such a group where the kids can meet 1 or 2 times a month at a park and just play, just have fun and be with others.
Hopefully all of this will work out. Hopefully we'll find such a group or I'll be able to start our own...only time will tell. Until them...I'm going the club/group route for now. And yes, my children are socialized....they do play well with others. They aren't shy and aren't afraid to say hi and start a conversation with a new child that they just meet.
In my opinion, they were home with me for their entire first 5 years, and they socialize just fine!

People are STRANGE...

Sunday we went out to lunch here in our small town. There was a child that my son had previously went to school with. I wont even go into her awful behavior, yelling at her mom for 'cheating' just because she scored a goal on her in air hockey.
The funny thing is that she made her daughter read, quite loudly. It was as if she was proving to me how well her daughter was learning. I thought it was very funny. As if I had implied that she wasn't able to read in the simple action of removing my child to homeschool him.
Living in a small town EVERYONE knows that we homeschool. It's like that commercial where the girl says she called a friend and they called a friend and so on and so spreads like wild fire.
I just was baffled by this. Did she want me to have my son read aloud to show that he was just as fluent in his reading as her? I didn't. I could have had my 4 year old read to show that she could read as well, but I didn't. I just laughed to myself and went on with my business. I know my child is learning, how? Because I'm his teacher, I see the improvements on a daily basis. Do I need to confirm this by publicly displaying it to everyone? No, it's no one else's business.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Method and Curriculum...

I have thoroughly researched each Method of homeschooling. For those of you who do not know, the method is the type of homeschooling you do. Methods can be anywhere from Unschooling to Classical and all stops in between. We are what is referred to as Eclectic Homeschoolers. That means just as it sounds, that we delve into many different methods. For example, for math we use workbooks, for english Switched on Schoolhouse's computer work, for history we use "Story of the World" which is a classical study that goes Chronologically through time, for reading we use Abeka and occasionally visit reading sites on-line and for science, we lapbook (which is a trademarked name) either from my own putting together or from Hands of a child.
We use what is best for us which is not one specific method but a little of this here and a little of that there. It really just depends on what you like and what your children learn best with.
I confess.....I am a curriculum junky...don't tell anyone! If something isn't working for us, I'll give it a little more time but then I'm completely ready to throw it out (aka, sell it on ebay) and start new! That's my one problem. But whatever works and whatever will get the best results with my kids.

To Homeshool or not to homeschool, that is the question...

Homeschooling is truly an individual choice. No one can tell you whether or not homeschooling is right for you. You have to come to that conclusion on your own. But I guarantee you that many people will try to give their opinions. For some reason homeschooling is one of those topics where everyone has an opinion and will try to force it on you.
Homeschoolers run the gamut, from every walk of life you can imagine. Rich to poor, one child to many, all races, all religions to name it, there are homeschoolers.
Some choose to homeschool because they want more religion in their families lives and don't like that religion has been taken out of public schools. Some homeschool because of the current lack of safety in schools. Some homeschool because they feel their children are getting (or are going to get) lost in the cookie-cutter design of public schools. While still others homeschool because they want their children to be more advanced that what is currently offered in the form of education from public schools.
Whatever your reason, don't worry, they are valid. No matter what anyone says, your reasons to homeschool are important and have led you to wanting to homeschool or having actually started.
For us it is a combination of things. My son, who is now 6 and a half, started kindergarten last school year. If you would have asked me on his first day if I would homeschool...I probably would have looked at you as if you were crazy. That's just what I thought at the time. After half a year things definitely changed. We have a pretty good curriculum here at our local public school but it wasn't fitting my son. Like all boys his age, he was more interested in playing. We constantly received letter telling us that our son was in trouble for not sitting down, not waiting to be called on, not focusing only on his work. We were spending all of his free time after school working on homework. We live in a pretty rural area so he wasn't getting home until 4:15, then homework and reading practice then dinner which left him having to go to bed at 8pm so he could be up by 6:30. The poor little feller wasn't getting any sleep at all and absolutely no free time to play!
He went from loving going to school at first to hating it and crying about going daily. It was awful. Then throw in an older child harassing him on the bus, then his teacher telling me she was worried about him because of not wanting to do his work and next year (1st grade) was full of hours of school work and he wasn't going to be able to sit long enough to complete it.
I was through, my hubby suggested homeschooling and during the Christmas break I checked into it further. I thought I might give it a shot the next year but after his next letter home from his teacher, we decided that it was time.
I was nervous and shaking as I called his school to inform them that he wouldn't be attending any longer. I was told I needed to call the school board to find out what curriculum I needed to use. This was incorrect by the way. All I needed to do was submit my notice of intent.
I will say that I am not a lawyer so I am not liable and not in any way asking you to follow my advice here. What you need to do if you are considering homeschooling is to find out your state laws before proceeding. You can find them through a few good websites such as;, etc. just google your state homeschool laws (ie, Tennessee homeschool law) to find out more. also has a good list to see if homeschooling is right for you.
But that was a year ago, and things are continuing on smoothly...well smoothly most of the time. Just like life there are ups and downs to everything and every day is different.

Our daily schedule

This is what a typical day looks like in our home:
(more about our curriculum later)

between 7-8am-kids wake up/breakfast

around 8:30am-start the day with handwriting practice
(we use "The complete guide to handwriting" from walmart)

8:15- The 6 year old starts math

8:45ish-6yo's english

9:15-9:30ish-4 yo's math

9:50-4yo's english

10:15- 6yo's reading

10:40- 4yo's reading

11:00- History (Story of the World) for both

11:30- Science for both (lapbooking)

12:00- break for lunch

12:30...finish any of the things we didn't get done before lunch and Choral reading (me reading aloud to everyone) then p.e. outside if the weather is cooperative.

~We usually aim for this schedule which depends of course on outside interruptions, the kids willingness to work that day (some days are better, some worse), etc.
Some days we just can't get it together. All homeschoolers will tell you that some days it just seems as if some of us or all of us can not get it together and do what we need to do. On those days we just try our best and do what we can.

~I am trying to get this basic schedule shortened a little bit and stream line all of these Core subjects so I can add some fun stuff to the day. I would like to add a 15 minute Bible study, a 10 minute Character builder and a 15 minute safety/health and manners (beyond what we cover in science). I am also thinking after adding these things that I would like to add a 15 minute period to cover life skills (such as sewing/crafting for her and knot tying/outdoors skills for him...which of course both will probably end up doing both).

More about me....

Since this is a new blog, I thought I should tell you more about myself.
I am 30 years old, married for 7 years with two kids (6 and nearly two weeks). I am a homeschooler of both kids and actually homeschool myself in a way. I am pursuing a degree through on-line courses at my local college. So as you can imagine, right now I'm wishing we had 48 hour days!
I am a writer, I am hoping to work toward getting published more in the future. With all else, I haven't had as much time to write as I would have liked. But I love it and so at least get to fulfill it with this blog.
I also live in the country and raise a vegetable garden every year. It's so much fun but so much hard work too! However, once you're enjoying what you've grown yourself it's well worth it.
That's about it I believe.

Welcome to Homeschool How-To!

Hello all,
My name is Autumn. I am a homeschooling mother to a 6 year old son and nearly 5 year old daughter. I am creating this blog as a location to share what I have learned from homeschooling for over a year. I would like to be able to answer questions anyone may have regarding homeschooling and also share our day to day homeschool happenings with all those who are interested.
Homeschool rocks and is growing every day as we worry about what public schools are able to provide our children. I will be discussing why people homeschool as well as why we specifically do. What types of methods are available and what curriculum is out there. I will also be discussing the myths of homeschooling and the truths.
Check back frequently as I intend to add new content quite regularly.
Autumn :)