Make Homeschooling Fun

Today I want to talk with you about making your homeschooling fun. You should be having fun, your kids should be having fun. This is not a journey that should be stressed and full of tears. Rather, you should be laughing and smiling and enjoying seeing your children learning. But how do you do this?

Make Homeschooling Fun!

While I could easily type away and tell you all these great ideas for making homeschooling fun. Followed up by me searching the web and my camera for some pictures to break up the words, I want to try something different. I want to actually talk to you about how we make homeschooling fun. So, check out my very first "vlog" post on how we make homeschooling fun!

 

What do you think? Do you have fun in your homeschool? What do you do different, or what do you add to make it more fun when you are learning? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for joining me in my first vlog post, I hope it won't be the last!!

 

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What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Homeschooling

Homeschooling, this crazy word that sends people into a panic as if they know more about you and your family than they really do. The looks, the whispers, are they really worth it? I wouldn't trade my experience for anything but there are days when I wonder what I am doing. Here are the 5 things that I wish I had known before I started homeschooling.

What I Wish I Knew Before Homeschooling

  • I wish I would have known hard it was.

I was always hearing how much fun people were having. How they could do what their children wanted and make a lesson plan from it. No one told me that this wasn’t just a simple fly by the seat of your pants to make it happen. You still have to follow your state laws, and some states are harder than others.

  • I wish I would have known that having a special needs child changes it all.

Moe Man is my oldest. He is also the hardest student I will ever have. He requires more attention then his younger siblings, and that doesn’t change because he is a teenager. In fact, this is when I find myself working more with him. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything. At least I know he is getting an education and not just being pushed along with the system.

  • I wish I would have known how much criticism I would face.

Everywhere I turn, someone has an idea of what I should be doing. I don’t let them do this, I do too much of that. But these same people don’t know my children like I do. These people are not praying for my children like I am. God is not telling these people what he wants for my children like He is doing for me. That is why I started homeschooling in the first place, He told me to, and I listened.

  • I wish I would have known how much I would be learning.

I mean, really, how can you homeschool and not learn something new? I have learned the learning styles of my children, I have learned more about writing, history and science than I ever would have cared to know, but I am having fun learning with my kids. There is so much learning to do, that sometimes even I forget we are learning since I am having too much fun!

  • I wish I would have known how much homeschooling is a great fit for our family.

No one can tell you if homeschooling is for you. They can tell you what does or doesn’t work for them, but they are not you. I have heard about the good, and the bad of homeschooling. I have seen the successes and failures of homeschooling. But I have also felt the failures and accomplishments of homeschooling.

No, homeschooling is not for everyone. You need to pray about it first. God will tell you if it is for you. You will have ups, but you will also have downs. Days when you think you made a huge mistake. Those days will be followed by times of success and accomplishment. While there is a lot I wish I would have known before homeschooling, I would not trade my experience and journey for anything.

What is the one thing you wish you would have known before you started to homeschool?

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Our Weekly Plans for November 16-20, 2015

What are we doing this week? Well a lot, and not much all at the same time! Here are my plans, but they can change quite quickly!

RayRay

This week we are readjusting our schedule, finding the things that work for us. Ray Ray is making the switch over to a more Charlotte Mason focused learning. I have found that this is the best way he learns. Last year we didn’t “do” much, yet he taught himself to read, and does all his addition and subtraction in his head. I feel that if we keep his lessons short and sweet and have fun, we will excel beyond our wildest dreams. I am already being yelled at because the Pinocchio is too different from the original book we are reading out loud.

To make this happen, I have him working from www.allinonehomeschool.com and www.amblesideonline.com With these two programs, I am not spending much of anything (they are both free resources), and we are having fun again! That is all that matters, my kids having fun while learning!

LittleMiss

Little Miss is going to be working with www.allinonehomeschool.com for her letter learning. I am also going to be adding in some sight words from Sightwords.com and let her feel happy knowing that she is starting to read. Being in preschool should be fun and games, so I am going to make that fun and games for her.

MoeMan

Moe Man…my high schooler. He has been trying to go back to the “fun” years instead of these serious years. This week I am going to be working on letting him be more independent. He likes to have me “help” him, but I don’t want him relying on me. To help him along I will be writing all his assignments down for the week. He will have the option to ask me for help during a certain amount of time each day, otherwise, he needs to get it done, with a passing grade if he wants to go out and do his own thing later. I will let you know how that goes!

Adding to all of this, we are bringing back our morning time. We have had so much time away from this, I feel icky. I am happy to have it all back and running. I got our circle/morning time printables from www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com Heather has something for everyone over there!

WeeklyPlans

What are your plans for the week? Have any field trips or fun adventures in store? I would love to hear from you!

8 Must Try Tips for Homeschooling with Little Ones

We all know that homeschooling involves the whole family. The whole family includes those little ones you have also! While we all know how our children will behave in different situations, it is great to have a list of ideas to try!

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8. Homeschool during nap time

 This is one of the easiest ideas if you have the option. That means, if you are able to:

                1. Get your little one to sleep at a regular time every day.

                2. Get your little one to sleep for a decent amount of time each day.

                3. And finally, if you only have a little bit of school that would be able to fit into that time period.

This gets difficult once you have more and older students. You are not always able to get school done in the time that your little one is sleeping. But take advantage of this time while you can!

7. Baby wearing!

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

 I love this one. If you are wearing baby, you are able to get more things done while still keeping baby happy. However, once baby gets older, you won’t always be able to do this and will have to find another idea.

6. Sensory Table/Bin

 This is one of those double edged swords in my house. We love sensory bins, but they get messy if mommy isn’t watching. A toddler or preschoolers can stay busy for any amount of time from 1 minute to 1 hour. If this is something you want to check out, I have a Pinterest Board with sensory ideas on there.

5. Netfilx

I know…the TV is not a baby sitter, but have you seen some of the shows out there? Leap Frog has some great educational episodes and our all-time favorites are Veggie Tales! Little Miss LOVES the Veggie Tales and I love knowing that she can be busy with something that I love as well for ½ an hour while I help her brothers with something.

4. Books

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

If your children are anything like Little Miss, a stack of books will give you a good chunk of time to spend with the older children. This girl of mine loves to read books, and I love to be able to spend time reading with her!

3. Coloring Books/Sheets

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

This is a great way to allow the younger children to sit down with you and keep busy at the same time. I have a Pinterest Board of fun coloring pages, and we love to find Dollar Store coloring books as prizes for good behavior. It is especially fun when mommy has some time and is able to sit down and color with them!

2. Computer Games

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

Another one of those, the computer is not the babysitter ones! I know I shouldn’t leave Little Miss alone in front of a computer for hours, but when I need to help one of the boys for a little bit and she is itching to do something, turning on a fun game really helps! We love using Stafall.com, Essential Skills Advantage, and LaLaLogic for helping her learn while still having fun!

1. Include them in your lessons!

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

 Little Miss loves being a part of school. She has since day one. We do as many lessons together as we can. These are simple, Bible, History and Read-A louds are able to be done together with each group doing work that relates to their age/grade.

I loved reading Preschoolers and Peace, which helped me learn to handle our age range within our homeschool classroom as well. If my 8 ideas are not enough, head over and check out what Kendra Fletcher has to say about homeschooling with little ones underfoot!

Do you have young ones hanging around while you homeschool? What are some ideas you use that are different from mine? I love trying new things with my little ones!

Real Life Homeschooling ~ A Day With Moe Man

RealLifeHomeschoolMoe

I am back with another Real Life Homeschooling post! Today I want to talk about a day in the life of Moe Man.

RealLifeHomeschoolMoe

Moe Man is my oldest. He spent some time in public school before starting homeschool. This has a slight effect on how he feels a day should or should not go. Moe Man also has his teenager days where nothing goes right and you will feel the wrath of his bad attitude on those days!

RealLifeHomeschoolMoe4

However most days start out with him waking up himself in the morning. I have had him waking up with an alarm clock for the last few months during the week. I feel that even though we homeschool, he needs to know how to take care of himself. This life experience also stems to the point of his needing that extra practice with his Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It’s one of the little things you don’t think about, unless you struggle with it.

Once he is up and moving, I allow for free-time. I know that if I were to try and expect a good school day, he needs time to wake up and get energy out. Our free-time lasts up to an hour depending on the day and mom’s morning! (If I had a long night with the baby, I will allow for some extra free-time so I can wake up).

Once school starts, Moe Man heads off to the school room (right off of the kitchen) and does a lot of working on his own. I have to oversee some things, and daily correcting of assignments is needed to make sure he is understanding what he is learning. We are using a lot of the Easy Peasy Homeschool lessons for Moe Man right now, so he is able to do them on his own.

RealLifeHomeschoolMoe

I plan and hope that he is able to get two hours of school done in the morning. We aim to get Bible done together first thing (sometime this happens after lunch though). I don’t make him do his lessons in any special order. I give him the free choice to do as he pleases. Right now he seems to be working on his history first though. We are using Homeschool Legacy Revolutionary Ideas (review coming soon!) as our program. Moe Man loves history and books, so this is a no brainer for him!

When lunch arrives, we work on making it together, or I make something quick. Our lunch break allows for all kids to get their energy out. We eat, and then aim for an hour outside. If the weather does not permit us to go outside, this is the time we will find some moving games for in the house. We need to find creative ways to keep our bodies busy, especially for Moe Man and his ADHD.

After lunch I plan to have Moe Man finish up his school. I hope to have it done within 2 hours. Once again, he is able to pick and choose what he wants to do and in what order. I simply have an assignment notebook, one that I print up from New Bee Homeschooler, and he marks off what has been done for the day.

RealLifeHomeschoolMoe

Once school is done, we are able to than work on our household chores and T.V. time. If a good day has been achieved, Moe Man can earn some video game time. This, in our house is a reward. I don’t like video games, and the kids love them, so we work together to make both sides happy!

So this is a typical real homeschool day for Moe Man. We don’t have set times and order to everything. In fact, today we are running half an hour late and mommy is ok with it! Part of homeschool is having the chance to do what works best!

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Treasuring Life's Blessings Double O Farms Simple Living Mama Fried Clams and Sweet Tea This Sweet Life A Net In Time Counting Pinecones Some Call It Natural Kingdom Academy Homeschool Debbie's Homeschool Corner

 


Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Real Life Homeschool – Schedules

Real Life Homeschooling Schedules

Schedules…are they needed or are they just for those type A people? When it comes to homeschooling, you may think, yes we need them. Or you may think no they are too much like public school. Either way, let me tell you about our homeschool and schedules.

Real Life Homeschooling Schedules

When we started homeschooling, I wanted to be like the public school. We HAD to start at a certain time and each subject HAD to be done in a certain order at a certain time. Wow…those days did NOT go good for us!!

Once I gave up the schedule, we had a good few weeks. Moe Man would get his school done as he pleased and I was happy to see it done by the end of the day. However, as the days went on, we each kind of pushed it a little more and a little more. Pretty soon, we were struggling to get our lessons done before bed. Daddy would come home and we would be stressed because nothing was done!

What are you to do at this point? A strict schedule does not work, no schedule does not work…bah humbug!!

It wasn’t until just recently that I was able to find a balance. I took our strict schedule and tweaked it! And then I started adding things to it (review coming soon). I knew what didn’t work, now I just needed to make that work. I took an hourly schedule and I used a pencil. Not a pen…never a pen until you figure things out, even then a pencil is better.

I decided what time I wanted my kids to wake up and what time they needed to be in bed. I wrote those times down. Then I added in our meals. Those times are a given. After that I was able to play around with the rest of the day.

I know that Moe Man needs more time to do school since he is starting to work on his high school classes…oy vey! I penciled in two hours before lunch and two hours after lunch/freetime. At first I didn’t have any order to the classes he did in whatever order he did them in. If he wanted to go outside, he would start right away at 10 am. If he was “late” to school, he lost outside time while he worked on his classes. Same with after lunch.

Since Ray Ray is younger, I penciled in an hour before lunch and an hour after lunch. Yes two hours total…which was too much it seemed.

Little Miss was learning time on the computer and one on one time with mommy in the afternoon.

This worked! We were getting somewhere! Now, I have a new way of looking at things. We are learning a new schedule. But once again, it is still an open schedule. I have started with a literacy “hour”. Moe Man is the only one who makes it a full hour here. And a numeracy “hour”. These help us get the main two subjects in. These come second to our Bible time.

Bible time is the first class we do, and we do it together. This is something I just started enforcing. We had been doing it every day, separate from each other. Now we do it together. This is helping us start our school day on the right path. Sometimes this is more for mommy than anything, but I am happy we get to share this time.

Now, for most families their schedules will be either or…but if you are just starting homeschool, or thinking of starting, I really recommend that you have an open schedule. Decide that you want to do school at this time, and ask your child which class to do first. Find out what their interests are. Once you do, save those for last! This gives them something to look forward to. Start with an OK class and finish with the favorite. Save the in between for those dreaded classes. And those are different for each child. We find it best to not have a start and finish time for each lesson. Some will go faster and others slower.

Listen to your child no matter what! Each homeschool is different. That is why we homeschool. Because each of our children learn differently. They are not a brick to fit into a mold. Let them guide you, and you go from there. They will thank you later in life!

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Here are just a few of the other bloggers on the Crew who are in the blog hop this week! Stop by and tell them I sent you!

For This Season Unexpected Homeschool For Him and My Family As We Walk Along the Road Growing in His Glory Homeschool Coffee Break Daily Life There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining Proverbial Homemaker ElCloud Homeschool


Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop


Do you have any say on schedules? I would love to hear some of your ideas! Please share them in the comments below!

Introduction to Real Life Homeschooling

Real Life Homeschooling Day 1

Oh, you homeschool? What is that like for you? I hear that more and more when I mention that I homeschool the kids. Well, this week I want to tell you about our homeschool days. Not the fun pretty pictures that I show you most of the time on the blog, but the Real Homeschooling that we go through day and night…yes, we homeschool at night too!

Real Life Homeschooling Day 1

To start the week off we are going to talk about schedules…or should I say the lack there of! You know, that fun pretty schedule that looks so wonderful, until something (real life) happens and you just can’t keep up…and yet your kids are still learning.

I also want to share with you the days of each of the kids.

Middle/High School classes with Moe Man. He does a lot on his own, and doesn’t like me taking pictures of him, but I want to share with you, what he is doing and how he is doing it.

Ray Ray is in 1st grade and loves to show off what he is doing. We will follow him for a day and show you how much different his day is from Moe Man.

Finally, we will see what Little Miss is doing in her preschool work. I will show you how the structured sit down and focus just doesn’t work for her and yet she is one smart cookie!

I hope that you will join me on this adventure and I would love to read some of your real life homeschooling adventures also!

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Here are some of the bloggers who are participating in this blog hop. Stop by and tell them that I sent you!

Every Bed of Roses Ben and Me Footprints in the Butter Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Raventhreads Counting Our Blessings Homeschooling for His Glory Ozark Ramblings Chestnut Grove Academy Only Passionate Curiosity Farm Fresh Adventures



Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop