Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Advice for Starting School

Melissa Morgner at Half Dozen Mama has some good advice about starting school. The statement stayed with me was number 4.
4. Don’t be discouraged by the tears. Yours or theirs. They will cry, most likely. You might, or will at least feel like it. It’s hard for everyone to get back into a routine. Give your children and yourself LOTS of grace.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Things that make you go hmmmmm

Saturday Smile

I found this on This Funs For You website while searching for proverbs for the kid.

The teacher of a first grade class collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Here are the results:

  • Better to be safe than . . . . . punch a 5th grader.

  • Strike while the . . . . . . bug is close.

  • It's always darkest before . . . . . . daylight savings time.

  • Never underestimate the power of . . . . . . termites.

  • You can lead a horse to water but . . . . . . how?

  • Don't bite the hand that . . . . . . looks dirty.

  • No news is . . . . . . impossible.

  • A miss is as good as a . . . . . . Mr.

  • You can't teach an old dog new . . . . . . math.

  • If you lie down with dogs, you'll . . . . . . stink in the morning.

  • Love all, trust . . . . . . me.

  • The pen is mightier than the . . . . . . pig.

  • An idle mind is . . . . . . the best way to relax.

  • Where there's smoke there's . . . . . . pollution.

  • Happy the bride who . . . . . . gets all the presents.

  • A penny saved is . . . . . . not much.

  • Two's company, three's . . . . . . the Musketeers.

  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and . . . . . . you have to blow your nose.

  • Children should be seen and not . . . . . . spanked or grounded.

  • If at first you don't succeed . . . . . . get new batteries.

  • You get out of something what you . . . . . . see pictured on the box.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just the Basics, M’am

Tricia has a great post at Heart of the Matter this morning about ramping up the school year. It speaks to my heart because that is my plan for the year.
Just the Basics, M’am

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homeschool Day Programs: Washington DC and Northern VA

Every year we miss some of the homeschool days because the dates get buried in my email pile and never get put on the calendar. This year I vowed to make at least one of these adventures and incorporate it into our lesson plan for the year. Here are our top three opportunities.

September 13–15, 2011 In Baltimore MD

Designed for homeschool families/groups (ages 5 and up), each half-day session features a different environmental theme and includes an interactive presentation, a classroom activity and/or a discovery lab. This is an opportunity for parents and students to learn together, so parents, please plan on attending with your student. Please provide the reservationist with your student’s grade level so we can plan accordingly.

September 10-25 Colonial Williamsburg

During the year, Colonial Williamsburg designates several weeks as Homeschooler Experiences. In addition to the variety of activities and programming throughout the Historic Area, special programs are scheduled for homeschool participants including a variety of hands-on opportunities. The 2011 Homeschooler Experience dates are September 10-25; 2012 Homeschooler Experience dates are February 11-26 and September 8-23 . Special rates are available during this period for homeschoolers. Groups or individuals are welcome. Sample itineraries are available.

Wednesday, November, 16, 2011

The same programs offered throughout the year for school groups will be offered to individual families during the Museum's upcoming Homeschool Days.

2011-2012 Days (registration will open in fall 2011):
Wednesday, November, 16, 2011
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We also always have to drop in on there Lego Exhibitions and build room.

They also have great curriculum kits. Re-create the Museum's design education programs in your own classroom with our curriculum kits.

So those are some of the big field trips planned for the school year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lego Fun: Lego Quest

Can not wait until September and the fun starts!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

“Not” Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Thanks to the good folks at Heart of the Matter is hosting a "Not Back-to-School Blog Hop. I so love this time of year. It has become a tradition as well as a necessity in our adventure. Because this Blog Hop always helps me organize my plans and is the skeleton for our required state yearly Notice of Intent (NOI) homeschool documentation.

The theme for this year is character building and simplicity. We did not finish some core programs last year due to hospitalization and family issues. We needed this summer off and I did not want to rush through the material in May. Some of what you see may look like a little like last year.

I will be trying something new this year. I call the concept layering. Instead of starting with all six subjects on the first day of school I am going to start with three basics and add on one additional subject in three weeks. This allows us to slowing expand the day as opposed to just jumping back into the jammed back schedule which leaves me wiped out and the family in chaos.

Here we go....

Bible and Character Development

Positive Action for Christ's program Growing with God. And weekly review with church provided material from Studio 252.

We are considering AWANA, but it may make the schedule to intense and not leave time for play dates and down time.


Will continue with Story of The World program Volume I, Ancient Times. We stopped with the Phoenicians and will be picking up with the the Greeks and Rome. Then we will move into The Story of the World Vol. 2 (The Middle Ages) with the accompanying Activity Book and CD. Volume 2 covers world history from the fall of Rome to the rise of the Renaissance (AD 400-1600).

The projects and Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History links were a big hit last year. We will start a Timeline Notebook this year and using the first week for review parts of Volume 1.

Language Arts

Sonlight Language Arts for Grade 3 will include good literature and

Includes full schedule, teaching helps, separate parent instructions with full answer and definitions, reader schedule, dictation, spelling, creative expression, and student activity sheets.”

We will still use living books from the series “ If you were” to supplement Sonlight grammar.

We began late September.


Handwriting without Tears Cursive Writing

Additional resources for literature Beyond Five In a Row and what ever takes our fancy at the library.


We went through two different mathematics curriculum last year until we found our solution with Math Mammoth.

We will add if need with lectures from Khan Academy , Math Games and Stuart J. Murphy Math Start for Visual Learners .

Fine Motor Skills/ Life Skills

This is still an area of concentration we will :


This was difficult because I did not want to max out on the states at his age. He loves playing Scrambled States of America and absorps facts fast. He is addicted to How the States Got There Shapes .

So I was going to leave states as just fun time and do one country a month for world geography using Expedition Earth: A Journey Through God’s World . We will listen to music of the country a couple of times of the four weeks and end the month with either dinner out or homemade meal from this country.

Physical Education

We are enrolled in a Homeschool Physical Education co-op class and martial arts. Whew!


Our primary resource will be Grace Abounding The Core Knowledge Anthology of African-American Literature, Music, and Art (AAALMA).

We are enrolled in a local art co-op class and visiting museum exhibits throughout the year. The National Gallery of Art has a great homeschool program were you can borrow material and get free online tours

Still need to find a music class we can afford but we will be taking part of in free concert/play venues in the area. The search is still on for individual instruction but we do have an at home drum program. As well as alternating sources with a musician month using Classics for Kids and AAALMA.

We are enrolled in a accelerated local co-op class and visiting museum exhibits throughout the year. We still have Real Science 4 Kids Pre-Level Biology to complete but we will take our time. We have a month of things to do just with the microscope.

Remember plan subject to change due to real life events.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hezekiah Walker "Faithful is Our God" Awesome Praise Break

Pressing Forward

This has been a tough summer. I was literally burned up and out. There have been months of financial struggles, close friends divorces, illness with family members and a chaotic home life. So I finally just stopped the roller coaster that is our fast paced lives and just shut down for a couple of months. Not that a mother can ever completely shut down, but we are operating on the bare basics without outside activities, classes, field trips and entertaining visitors. We needed to bring the laughter and joy back into our home and homeschool.

Most people don't understand how much energy, planning and creativity that is required to mother as well as educate a high energy, curriculum absorbing and strong willed male child. It has been a great challenge and I have loved every minute of it. So much in fact that I think we were overextended and my expectation of myself were to high. We all longed for the last day of school and did not look forward to starting up again.

It has been a season of praying, debating and doubting. There are so many changes happening in our live, community and small homeschool group. A lot of days are spent without friends and that has been my biggest concern. My prayer has always been “Am I doing what is right for him? Can I keep up the pace? Where can we find Godly friends?”

This year for the first time of our almost four year journey we seriously considered public education. At first my prayer was not directed at what was best for our child, I admit that. It was the fear of not measuring up in some way...him being that weird socially awkward kid that gets bullied .....or the kid that never had the school experience or overprotected child who later can not cope. Fear that he would be lonely and would not have friends. FEAR!

It manifested itself physically with sleepless nights, stress headaches and depression. Through it all a fellow homeschooler, my spiritual sistah kept reminding me:

2 Timothy 1:7...
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Every place I went I kept hearing this message in church and on the radio. Faith that is what was missing. Faith!

So I started to pray again. Asking for the faith to follow what God's plan for us. Because God does not want us to live in fear. It brings him no glory or joy. So we started anew with a spirit of faith. We sat down wrote out a pros and cons list and prayed over it. God began to work, not in large flashy ways but on my heart, in still quiet moments. Everyday showing me where I needed to work, labor and rejoice.

So again this year with step out on faith and move forward.

Knowing Faithful Is Our God lyrics