The Living Homeschool

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The New Plan!

This ‘school year’ has been in the planning stages since the beginning of the calendar year. I tend to have a hard time narrowing down what will work for our family and budget. It is a difficult thing to decide on what your children will be learning and what you will use to guide your teachings. After all, you want to give the best to them and want them to succeed. And with all of this weighing on a mother’s heart, it can be a very daunting task. You pray for guidance and answers while hoping your decision is the correct one.

So long story short……We are going to continue to use Horizons for math for all. It went well last year and we will use it until it no longer serves it’s purpose. Kyra is in it’s last year this year and will be ready for Algebra next year. We are  starting to look at programs that will fit our needs for next year. Any suggestions? We’re all EARS!! LOL

The younger two boys are using Learning Language Arts Through Literature, the blue and red books, for their phonics. Kyra and Zach are using Painless Grammar. And we will be utilizing copywork for penmanship for all and grammar reinforcement for the older two.

For Bible studies,we were blessed by another homeschooling family to be able to use their curriculum, Family Bible Lessons.

I ‘stumbled’ upon a GREAT history program called TruthQuest. It is based on HIStory through the ages. It is a wonderful addition to our studies and we plan to use it throughout our homeschooling  journey. Michelle Miller, the writer, has a yahoo group that you can join to ask questions before and/or after purchase of her product. The ladies on there are extremely helpful in answering any questions you might have on scheduling, implementing, etc. Michelle is also a frequent commenter and is very willing to offer help with her first-hand knowledge. I would highly recommend thus curriculum for any type of homeschooler as it can be used with all styles.(Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit studies, Unschooling, etc.) 

For geography we are going through Ann Voskamp’s: A Child’s Geography, Explore His Earth V1. It is a highly awarded and well received geography course with a Christian emphasis.

And last but not least, we have our science program, Christian Kids Explore Biology. This course presents biology the way God made it. It is user friendly and is laid out by day for you. There is a supplemental booklist in the appendices to help with digging deeper when there is interest. This is a good program for elementary students to get their ‘feet wet’ with science.

Oops! Almost forgot our nature studies. At least one day a week we are going to observe this wonderful world God made for us and expand our thoughts to paper. Sometimes we will draw what we see and label it, be it plant and/or animal. Other times we will do leaf rubbings, dry flowers, planting, crafts, etc. Whatever floats our fancy for that day. There will be days that we just go into our own backyard or maybe the park. And sometimes we will make special trips to zoos, national parks, flower or butterfly gardens, etc.

With all of this we will of course be reading from our Bible daily, along with a ‘free’ read-aloud(we are starting with On The Back of the North Wind) and one for history(We are learning from early explorers to 1800 this year).

I pray that this list will be a blessing for someone out there in cyber-space that has been looking for that ‘perfect’ thing to use in their homeschool. As for our home, we know that wherever the good Lord leads us is where we need to be. And just maybe, He might lead one of you to some of the same things for your family.

Many Blessings,

Vicki B.

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I’ve finished some books!

Since June 1st I have read Don’t Make Me Count to Three: a Mom’s Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Ginger Plowman, Sibling’s Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Parenting By The Spirit: raising godly children in a godless world by Sally Hohnberger and The Alchemist: a fable about following your dream by Paulo Coelho. And yes, I have been pouring into the parenting books lately.

Sibling’s Without Rivalry described how to get your children to get along in detail. It was written by a mother that counseled parenting  classes and it had many suggestions with plenty of  example stories. She told about some of the things she went through as a mother and followed her class in her writing.Although it did not have a christian influence, the topics were covered so well that I would recommend it for anyone looking to end the tension between siblings.

Don’t Make Me Count to Three was written by a christian mother that describes how to change your child’s heart to want to be obedient. She  described several events that took place in her home life where she applies the Bible’s teachings. She goes through the disciplining process scripturally. There are many references to different passages throughout the book and she even has a chart that has scriptures pertaining to certain issues/traits for a quick look-up. I highly recommend this book! It is one that I will refer back to often. When I get it back that is….it’s already being loaned out to a friend!

Parenting By The Spirit was read after Don’t Make Me Count To Three and I wish I had read it before. It was written “to help you be the parent you need to be” and is a parenting book that works on you first. It is biblically based and written by a christian mother to help you in your journey with parenting. She has multiple examples from her life that help to give you the skills for better parenting. It is a must read for all parents!

Last but not least, The Alchemist. This was my “free read” for the month. LOL! It turns out to be very deep and exciting. I could hardly put it down. This young man goes off in hopes to find out what a dream means and gets told that he will find a treasure near the pyramids. He meets several interesting people and goes to different lands in hopes of finding this treasure. Along the way he realizes important things about love and the world God has made. And in the end………does he get his treasure? the girl? You got to read it and find out! A worthwhile read, even if it is “just for fun”!

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5 More Days!

Well, we have 5 more days left til we leave on a plane to Florida! Kyra wakes up every morning and informs me of the countdown! The kids and I are so excited! It will be their first time….and my 2nd on a plane!

We plan on staying with my Mom(Nana) for the whole month of July. We’ll be staying at the beach for several days too, visitng Sea World, going to our old parks that the kids loved. along with visiting the different springs in the area. Not to mention 2 Family Get-2-gethers! We’ve missed everyone so much! I hope we get to see as many family as possible!

I sent our stuff already! It is actually cheaper, not to mention easier, to mail it than take on the plane. They’re charging $25 per luggage now!

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The Old Schoolhouse Facebook Fan Page!

I just recently started blogging early this year and even more recently started on Facebook, but I was hooked from the beginning. I get to let everyone know what is on my mind, what me and my family is doing and tell people about things that are important to me.

I signed up for The Old Schoolhouse Facebook Fan Page about 2 months ago, shortly after I signed on. Ever since then I have received great info on products and answers to questions that I have.(whether I was the one doing the asking or not) They give out great freebies to whomever is a fan. It’s worth it for new homeschoolers, like me, and for veterans to be involved.

Right now they are having this AWESOME special on their TOS subscription to where you receive 19 FREE gifts for new subscribers or two year renewals. The free items are alone, worth way more than the subscription. You get  free e-books, gift cards to some of your favorite curriculum sites and many other gifts that you would love. Too many to mention! BUT…it is only for the first 5,000 people!(good news-you can check to see if you can get in…so no fear!)

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The Drive-In!

On Saturday, Wyatt’s 6th Birthday, we went to a drive-in that I had just heard about. It was the kids first drive-in experience and Brian and I hadn’t gone to one since we were teenagers. The closest one is in Fayetteville, about a 20-30 minute drive. The movies that were playing were UP! and Hannah Montana. We brought our own concessions, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows for the back of the truck. The kids got comfortable in the back while Brian and I sat on chairs in front. We had a blast and it didn’t end until after midnight! Wyatt was the only one who ended up falling asleep, halfway through the second movie. LOL!

The Drive-In.

The Drive-In.

We're Watchin' The Show!

We're Watchin' The Show!

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The Kids’ Reads For Splish!

Wyatt’ list- BOB’s  books and other beginner readers.

Trey’s list- Cam Jansen series and The Bailey School Kids series, so far!

Zach’s list- his Daily Devotional book, Homer Price, Redwall, The Hardy Boys series and some of Gary Paulson’s books.

Kyra’s list- her Daily Devitional book, The House On Deer Track Trail, some of the Mandie Mysteries, The Sign Of The Beaver and Julie Of The Wolves.

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Skiafest 2009

Sunday, 6/6/09 the kids and I went to Skiafest. For those of you who haven’t heard of this event….you’re missing out!  The christian store, Skia, puts on a FREE annual music fest where several performers come and perform. This year was our first year attending the concert and it was a blast for the whole family.

We went to see Britt Nicole sing and some skaters/bikers perform their stunts. Britt Nicole was on first. And WOW! She is very talented. During her performance she stated that she felt led by the Lord to sing. She also led some devotions and prayers during her concert.  My 11yo daughter has her CD and we all know her music and listen to it.  After the concert she came out and spoke with her fans, signed autographs and took pictures. She was very down to earth and listened to my daughter. She autographed the CD and the Skiafest T-shirt. We had pictures taken with her, and her and the band.

The kids watching Britt Nicole on stage.

The kids watching Britt Nicole on stage.

Britt Nicole on stage!

Britt Nicole on stage!

Kyra with Britt Nicole and her awesome band!

Kyra with Britt Nicole and her awesome band!

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My Splish Booklist

The Old Schoolhouse is having their 2nd annual summer reading program. As most of you know, this was our first year homeschooling. So this will be our first year participating. We are excited to take part of this adventure. I am even getting in on the fun!

Now, to decide what books I want to work on for this summer………

I just finished “Don’t Make Me Count To Three”  by Ginger Plowman-a book that I will find myself reading again and again!

I need to finish Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (about half way through)

Wish List:

Keep The Siblings Lose The Rivalry by Dr. Todd Cartmell

Boundaries With Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

Christy by Catherine Marshall

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Persuasions by Jane Austin

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson

These are some wants and wishes and I invoke the right to substitute as needed. LOL

I encourage you and your family to join in the fun at  TOS Summer Readins Splash! Let me know if you are and what you’re reading lists are going to be!

I’ll be getting back to you on what the kids are wanting to read for the summer.

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It’s Official!!

My husband has just bought me the best present for my birthday! I just received 5 tickets to Florida. The kids and I are flying down to see my family for the month of July!

We can’t wait, my family can’t wait! We haven’t seen anyone, except for my mother, since we moved to NW AR a year and a half ago(it feels like forever!). We had never lived further than a 30 minute drive away until we moved here. All of us are family-sick!

We are planning on spending a lot of time at the beach, visiting our old stomping grounds(parks and springs) and visiting all of our family. Can we say “get together time”! I am hoping we will also be able to visit Sea World(can’t stop me from schoolin’).  And boy is my camera gonna be FULL!

Besides this awesome news…..Zach turns 10 May 21st! I can’t believe he’s into 2 digits now! He is growing up to be such a wonderful young man. He is so helpful to me, when I’m down on my back or not feeling good, he’ll be the first to ask to help. I am sooo proud of him!

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Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

“Why do you say this”, you ask? I don’t know…..people always say it. I guess it’s mostly people that work during the week or kids that go to school during the week. But for me, a homeschooling mom, my job doesn’t end on Friday,  or any other day for that matter! Life doesn’t have a day off, whether it’s a holiday or not. I still have to be a mom and wife and teach my kids.

When I worked fulltime I was under the assumption that when I had days off, I deserved them. Finally, I allowed God to open my eyes and I realized that I had an even more important job….my kids! They were trusted to me by God and He calls for the parents to be the educators of their children, especially spiritually. We are not to depend on others to teach our children what our beliefs are. Sunday school is great for the kids to interact with other christians but it should not be a substitute for family devotions and daily reading of the Bible. With that said, I am not perfect and there are times that I let things get in the way of our “God time”. When we are schooling it is a part of our routine. But on days where we don’t “officially” school it tends to be left out. I am not proud of that fact and I strive to get better at it.

I pray that those reading this might be encouraged to take heed our Father’s words and also strive to have their own “God time” with their family. And for those who already do…..I pray that you continue to bless His name!

Don't forget the promises!

Don't forget the promises!

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