Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ G is for Geography

We are at it again, blogging through the alphabet! We are all the up to G now! If you have not joined us yet, you still can. All you need to do is have a post about the letter G, do you have one? Join in!! Annette from A Net in Time and I are hosting this link up every week as we work our way through the alphabet. Here are the posts I have done so far.

The letter G, I had many ideas for this one, but settled on Geography. This is a fun subject that is sometimes overlooked in the homeschool. I know I did for a while, but not anymore! And now I have three kids of different levels learning about it, so it is that much more fun!

Geography can be taught with a full curriculum or with your everyday life and living stories. You can add it in when you are learning about other things as well. These are three of the best and easiest ways to teach and add Geography into your homeschool.

Maps

Oh how I love maps. Maps are a great way to include geography into the everyday life. How? Well when you are busy reading a book and it tells you a city, state or country, you can go to the maps and see where this place is in comparison to you. This is a great way to work on geography ideas for little kids, but as they get older, you can build on this. Simply having a map on the wall opens up their minds to something bigger around them. We love our country and world maps on the walls and looking up the state map as we need it online.

Lessons

As your kids get older, you can add some books or other lessons into the equation. There are a lot of different options available when it comes to this. We enjoy the simple Daily Practice that can be found in the Daily Geography from Evan-Moor. But we really love the Everyday Explorers from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. We are currently working on USA and plan to work on Canada next. These lessons are perfect to do during our morning time as they can work for all ages from Pre-K through 12th grade. Feeling like you are actually traveling state to state and learning as you go…together, makes this our favorite way of learning geography!

Full Curriculum

When you get into the higher grades, you need to look at a full curriculum. You don't have to, but it makes it easier if that is what you want. I fell in love with North Star Geography. This is a high school level curriculum that has everything you need to make it happen. I had started it with Moe Man a few years back when it was brand new, but found that he was not ready for it yet. After looking at the suggested schedules, I have since decided that we are going to spend his Junior and Senior year working on this for a full curriculum credit. I like the idea of spreading this out over 2 years, because that is what works for us, but there is also a suggested schedule for One School year or even One Semester if you feel your child could handle this.

While we would love to travel the world and see all the geography in person, we have settled for learning about it in the homeschool room for now. What do you use for your geography studies?

Are you ready to link up your Letter G posts? I can't wait to read them!!

Hopkins Homeschool


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Blogging Through The Alphabet ~ Letter F: Faith, Family and Friends

Welcome back to another week of blogging through the alphabet! I am so glad that you have joined Annette and I again! I look forward to reading what you have to share with us! So, without further ado, here is my post on the Letter F…

Faith, Family and Friends

When it comes to homeschooling, there are a few things that are just as important as the choice in curriculum. I have learned how important these three things are this last month. For the letter F, I want to share with you about Faith, Family and Friends.

Faith

I could not go through the homeschool day, heck any day, without my faith! My faith is what makes it possible to know that I can through the crazy, stressful days. Every night we say a family prayer, thanking God for the fact that we have full tummys, a roof over our head and clothes to wear. I am reminded often of the verse from Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" This is my verse. This is what I live by. I might have a tough time some days, but when I look out my window at the bird feeder and see the plump birds eating each day, I know that there is a plan for me and my family, I know that we will be taken care of! That is faith!

Family

Oh family! I love my family. All the crazy cousins, each and every one! But what I love most is the support I get from my family. Never, not once, since my first day of homeschooling, has any of my immediate family questioned me in my choices. They supported me. When it comes to homeschooling, especially during hard times, the support of family is appreciated! These last few weeks, my mom has played a big role in the helping around our house. She has been there for us when I needed to be away, and now with follow up appointments, she is the one who is helping again. This means that gaga is the substitute teacher! She makes sure things get done, but also allows the kids to have fun.

Not only that, while it is a big thing with homeschooling, our whole extended family has stepped out to help us when we need it. Family is always there for you. They help in whatever ways they can. Whether it is helping around the house, or helping with other things, they help. Straight from daddy's favorite movie, Lilo and Stitch, "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." This is what family is for us!

Friends

I love my friends, those in real life and those who I have met on social media. Yes, I mention those on social media. Why? Because, I have found some great friends through social media, those who are there when I need them and support the choices that I make. While I have not met them, they mean just as much to me as the real life friends that I have known. You are one of them! You come here and follow my blog, you know my family, and you pray for us. That makes you a friend of mine!

Friends are just as important as family, they make me stronger by their support of what I am doing. They lend a listening ear when I need it and help me through the tough times by just being there for me. They are my happiness when I just don't know what to do next!

Now comes the fun part! What did you write about this week? What does the letter F mean for you? Share your post below!

Rules for linking up:

1.    Your post must be family friendly

2.    Your post must relate to the letter of the week, specifically focusing on the letter.

3.    Your post must include a link back to either myself or Annette at A Net In Time. Heck, we even have fun little buttons you can grab right here:

4.    Please, please, please share the love! Visit a few of the other posts, share or comment on them. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

If you do not follow these rules, we have the right to remove your link from the link up. We want this to be fun for everyone!

 



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Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ Letter E for Endurance

Momma, you know what the word endurance means. It means being able to keep going when you just want to stop. Well, not exactly, but some days it does! Working on this week of Blogging Through the Alphabet, the only thing I could think of when thinking of the letter E was Endurance.

I am super happy you are joining myself and Annette from A Net in Time for our 5th week of blogging through the alphabet. This week we are focusing on the letter E. I am super excited to share my letter with you, and cannot wait to read to what you have to share with me for your letter this week!

Dictionary.com defines endurance as: 1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc. 2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina 3. lasting quality; duration, 4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

Looking at this definition, tell me, as a homeschool mom, you have not felt any of these at some point or another! I can personally say that I have done 3 of the 4 in this last week alone.

  1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.

Many of the families that homeschool are from one income families. Finding the budget system that works to not only support the family and bills not to mention the added supplies of homeschooling, means that you must endure some hardships along the way. Sometimes the hardships are small, having to wait until payday to buy something like paper towels or paper plates. Sometimes those hardships are big, like when your main income source suddenly has surgery and you don’t have a savings set up like you have always talked about doing.

  1. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.

We may joke about our need for coffee or caffeine, heck we even have memes about how tired we get. But we know this is true. We endure during stress or fatigue, knowing that our kids need us to. We need to make sure that we have them fed and that they are learning every day. Maybe we don’t always follow the lesson plan, but we need to make sure they are learning while in the homeschool. We put ourselves to the side, knowing that one more cup of coffee will help us get through the next math lesson, and we just do it!

  1. lasting quality; duration.

Through it all, we don’t slack in the quality of learning and love we give our families. We endure and know that they deserve this and will remember this. Knowing that we love them, no matter what life is throwing at us. Knowing that we made sure they were getting the best education that we could give them and knowing that through it all, we endured and gave them the best quality that we could.

  1. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

While not every day is a trial, we know that have gone through the trials before. We know that we will go through them again. Because of our endurance, we know that we will make it through each one that comes our way. Our children will watch this. They will learn from us that even when the times were tough, we endured and pushed through. We did all that was possible through the hardship to keep our heads up. And they will remember this when their time comes, as much as we don’t want it to, we know it will. And we will watch them show the endurance they watched and learned from us!

Keep up the endurance momma! You got this!

Here are the rules to link up your own post:

1.    Your post must be family friendly

2.    Your post must relate to the letter of the week, specifically focusing on the letter.

3.    Your post must be published during the week of the link up.

4.    Your post must include a link back to either myself or Annette at A Net In Time. Heck, we even have fun little buttons you can grab right here:

Hopkins Homeschool

5.    Please, please, please share the love! Visit a few of the other posts, share or comment on them. Use the hashtag #abcBlogging when you share or comment! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

If you do not follow these rules, we have the right to remove your link from the link up. We want this to be fun for everyone!

 

 

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D is for Dedication ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Welcome back to another week of Blogging Through the Alphabet with Annette from A Net in Time and myself! We are so happy to have you back again! Has it really been a week! I have been so busy that I don't feel like it has been!

We are moving on to the Letter D today. Hmm, what can we write about that starts with the letter D? There are so many things! I really wanted to write about Daddy, but I have an update post happening shortly, so I had to think of something different.

I may have cheated, I may have asked my Facebook family to help me out! I had a lot of great ideas, and some that I will write about on other things, but for us and our homeschool the one that stood out was Dedication.

Merriam-Webster defines dedication as: a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something: the quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.

When I decided that homeschooling was our thing, I knew that I would have to be dedicated to what I was planning. I could not allow myself to stray in any way. There are a lot of things that can come up that would make this easy to do, look at this post from last week.

There is a difference between public school and homeschool. When things happen in your house and family while being a part of the public school system, you can still send your kids to school during the day, but if something comes up while homeschooling, you need to find a way to deal with this while still homeschooling your child(ren).

These things can be small, just an hour or two, or they can be large, weeks on end. No matter what they are, if you are not dedicated to what you are doing, you will not be doing it for long.

Dedication can be seen when a mom or dad becomes ill or has to be in the hospital for some time. The other parent has to pick up the slack while still making sure the children get a full education. This can be done between appointments, after supper, or even on the weekends, but just knowing that you are dedicating yourself to making sure your children complete their lessons and learning is enough!

Dedication can be seen when the days get long. Your kids don't want to do lessons anymore, they want to play outside, or hide and play video games, but you are dedicated to making sure they learn. You find ways to make sure they can learn while they are having fun doing what they want to do.

Dedication is when you wake up and just want to roll over and go back to sleep, yet you get up and warm up your coffee, sometimes 3 or more times a day just so that you can get through the day.

Dedication is when you don't care about yourself, but you know that you have to make sure your kids are taken care of and you make sure that even if it is something small, you will make sure they learn something each day!

This is dedication when it comes to homeschooling.

Have you written your Letter D post for the week? What did you write about? I would love to read it! Grab a button to share on your post and link up below! 

Hopkins Homeschool

 


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Crock Pots in our Homeschool ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Thank you for joining with Annette and I as we continue our journey Blogging Through the Alphabet! We are glad that you are here and can't wait to read what you have to share with us!

In my homeschool, we can't make it a day without using the Crockpot! This tool has helped me feed my family great food without all the prep work during the busy time of the day.

Today I want to share some of our favorite freezer meals that I can simply through in the crockpot in the morning and have supper ready in the evening!

Here are a few posts that have personally written:

10 Easy To Make Freezer Meals

A Weeks Worth of Freezer Meals

5 Freezer Meals for the Week

Freezer Meals Made Easy

Taco Tuesday Crockpot Style

And here are a few of the other recipes that we love to make using our crockpot:

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas from Cooking Classy

Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs
from The Crock Pot Ladies. By the way, this site is amazing and full of recipes!

Mississippi Pot Roast from Belle of the Kitchen. Um, if you haven't tried this roast, you need to put it in your crock pot right now!

Paula Deen's Crock Pot Potato Soup from Raining Hot Coupons. This is a meal in a bowl. I love to add ham and/or bacon to this as well.

What are some of your favorite meals to make in the crockpot?

Do you have a letter C post to share with us? Make sure you do that right here. Could you grab a button to share on your post? Thank you much!

Hopkins Homeschool

 



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B is for Bible ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet #ABCBlogging

Welcome back to the second week of Blogging Through the Alphabet which I am co-hosting with Annette from A Net From Time. You can see all my previous posts right here. This week we are focusing on the Letter B.

The Letter B can be a bunch of different things, from books to balance and behavior, but today I want to talk to you about the Bible! To our family, the Bible is a key part of the homeschool day. If we don't have Bible at the beginning of our day, it is noticeable through the entire day. But with multiple ages, and different learning styles, how do you have one bible study, or do you have multiple?

Family Style Bible Study

There are a lot of family style studies that will adjust for the different ages so that you can use one study for all your kids. One that we spent some good time using is Pryor Convictions Media, Acts, Part 1 and 2. This study was perfect when we needed it. Right away in the Introduction of these books, we are told that we should not "dumb down" the bible to the child's age. This was hard for me, but I loved the results that I would see from Little Miss all the way up to Moe Man. Within the 5-day schedule we are growing in the word, working on memory verses, map work, fun games, arts and crafts and digging deeper for the older students. They have many different books to pick from and each one seems just as great as the last!

High School Bible Study

While trying to find just the right program for Moe Man, I found the Bible Road Trip. This can easily be fit into a whole family style learning, but in our family, this is the one Moe Man loved the most. The list of extra materials to go with this program is larger than I would like, but watching my son work his way through the bible and seeing him get to know God better, is worth it to me. I set aside more in the homeschool budget for bible than I do for anything else, and this is why.

Elementary Bible Study

For that younger age where coloring is the key, we love Picture Smart Bible. You simply work through the books of the bible and color. This was a fun way to learn the bible with a friend who joined us. This was something we did once a week, and are still working on it.

Draw your way through the Bible

If you are looking for something that is a little more daily, we love the Grapevine Bible Studies. This is one of the first bible studies that the kids fell in love with. I remember Ray Ray learning how to draw "people" and finding stick figures all around the house, each one telling me a new bible story.

While I don't have a bible study plan for Baby Girl yet, I love letting her pick videos from JellyTelly.com and seeing her love on them. This is a great way to get her mind thinking about God. Knowing that she is present in all the other bible studies that happen in this house, along with watching these videos, makes me know that she has a good base starting and I love knowing this. Not to mention that we love to use videos from here to help the older kids with their lessons also.

What is it that you use for your bible study? I love hearing about new ideas and having a backup for those moments when something just isn't working.

Are you joining us in Blogging Through the Alphabet? Are you looking for more great posts about the Letter B? Check out the linky below and add your own or stop by and show some more love to the other bloggers!

Hopkins Homeschool

 

 

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Homeschooling ABCs ~ A Is For Attention

Welcome! Today is the first week of our Blogging Through the Alphabet that I am co-hosting with Annette at A Net In Time. I am so excited to be starting this fun adventure with you, and I can't wait to see what everyone has to share with us!

A Is For…Attention

This first week I want to spend some time talking about attention. Attention in our homeschool can come and go, but keeping it on the task at hand can be hard to do, epically when you have all of your fun toys right in front of you!

How does a homeschool mom keep the attention of four kids? Well, this has to be done different for each kid! This much I know for sure. I am going to share my ideas for each of my kids. You will see that each child has a different way of keeping their attention on school. The same is true for your kids.

Brain Breaks

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks

Have your heard of this fun little thing called a brain break? I remember hearing a podcast with Heather Haupet and hearing her talk about The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks. I immediately checked out the book and knew that I needed to have this in my collection! Ray Ray and Little Miss love to move. They need to move, crave movement. Giving them regular brain breaks in our daily school has helped to keep their attention on the matter on hand when I am trying to teach them something.

Goals

Another way we keep the attention focused on the task at hand when it comes to homeschooling is to set up goals. If the kids know what they are working for they work harder to reach those goals. Instead of just doing the same thing every day, they see the end of the race, they see what they are working for and I love to see the excitement when they get close to that goal. I have a reward bucket for when they reach a goal. This bucket (filled with Dollar Tree goodies) is set up where they can see it. They make plans of what they want to earn and they work to get what they want.

Days Off

We have been playing with our schedule just a little this year. Normally we would do 3 weeks, 5 days a week and take 1 full week off from school. Now that the new year is upon us, we are working on 4 days a week with 3 day weekends. You know what? This is working better for us. We still have some larger breaks planned, but taking that one day out of the running helps the kids stay focused better during the 4 days that I have lessons planned for.

Short Lessons

I love the idea of shorter lessons and breaks throughout the day. While Moe Man will sit and do his lessons non-stop, I still make him get up and walk away before we start math. Ray Ray is my child who is full of energy. He needs to always move something. This means that for me to keep his attention, I will do one lesson at a time and have him run and do other things between lessons. Yes, this takes us most of the day instead of just a few hours, but in the end we are not in an all-out fight to complete our lessons.

Listen to Your Child

You know your child the best. You can see when they are losing their attention. You know when to take a break. This is the best part, I think, of homeschooling. You can listen to your child's needs and make their learning your number one priority. Listening to your child's need will help with their attention in the long run, and you have the ability to do that in your homeschool.

Now It's Your Turn

I can't wait to see what everyone is writing about during this Blogging Through The Alphabet journey! Do you have a Letter A post that you would like to share with us? We would love to read it! Just a few simple rules (you can see all of them right here):

  • Please make sure your post is family friendly. It does not have to be about homeschool, but it does need to be family friendly.
  • When you add a link to the linky, you are giving us permission to share your post and a photo with our readers in future posts.
  • Please grab a button and add it to your post.
  • Please check out the other posts and share if you find something you love!
  • Have fun!!
Hopkins Homeschool

 

 



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Welcome to Blogging Through The Alphabet!

Blogging, it is the joy of many families out there. It is the thing that helps us tell everyone about what we do in our house. Over here at Hopkins Homeschool we talk about, can you guess? Yep, homeschool! We have been homeschooling for a few years now, and while we love to tell you all about it, some days we need some inspiration.

Inspiration can comes in many forms when it comes to homeschooling. One of those can be blog hops. Recently I teamed up with Annette from A Net In Time Homeschooling to start Blogging Through The Alphabet and we want you to join us!

So, what is Blogging Through The Alphabet?

This is a 26-week long blog hop that focuses on one letter each week. We start with the letter A and move forward until we reach Z.

How can you join?

It is simple. Each week you write a family friendly post focusing on the letter of the week. After publishing the post, you link up with our weekly linky and share some of the other posts from that week. We all love the friendly social media share!

Does each letter have a focus?

No. As long as it is family friendly, you are welcome to join us! You can focus on one topic all 26 weeks, or you can jump around what fits you. We are open to anything family, faith, homeschool or homemaking themed. As long as it is family friendly, you are welcome to participate.

I will be linking each letter to this page as it goes live. You have from Tuesday 8am CST of the current week until Saturday at midnight CST to link up your corresponding post. When you link up your post, you give us permission to feature you in an upcoming post or share your post via social media.

Each week, I will pick my top 5 favorite posts and share them on my ABCs Through The Alphabet Pinterest Board. I can’t wait to see what everyone has to share and hope you have fun with this!

The rules:

  • Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
  • When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
  • Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
  • Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
  • Please visit at least one other blog within the linky. It would be wonderful to leave a comment while you are there!
  • The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

So, if you are ready, let’s get started on this fun journey! Letter A will be set to go on Tuesday January 17, 2017. Each letter will be on the following Tuesdays. If there is a change in plans, we will let you know!

A is for Attention

Do you have an introduction post you would like to link up? Do that right here!

Hopkins Homeschool

 

 

 

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