Homeschooling

The Experimental Egg

Peach is taking Biology with a Lab, this semester.  She enjoys experiments, but sadly, they don’t always turn out the way she needs them too.

This experiment, however, exceeded our expectations!  She had place a raw egg in a glass and cover it with vinegar.  That had to sit, covered, for a few days.  In that time, the outer shell began to flake off.  Once the outer shell was completely gone (the egg is raw, mind you), she had to pour out the vinegar and then cover the egg with syrup.  That had to set covered, for a few days.

In the midst of the egg hanging out in either vinegar or syrup, she had to measure the egg each time.  Once the process was complete, the egg had shrunk considerably.  When she pulled it out of the syrup, this is what she found…a gelatinous egg where you could bing the yolk around and you could see the yolk.  It was squishy and awesome!  I’m so proud of her!

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Homeschooling

Meet Boo: Lifeskills Class

Boo is my 4th child and he is 13.  He drew high school drop out (pursuing his GED) and being a stay at home dad.  His wife makes $13/hour.  He has drawn out a small 2 bedroom/1 bath home and he wants 1 child (because that is easier).

We began his training on Monday afternoon.  We started off by going to the pharmacy (I wish I had taken a picture…will do better).  He had to walk in, talk clearly and concisely to the staff, hand them my prescription, as well as, getting 3 other filled.  We talked about why they only stock one item, at a time, of bathroom products (think cost).  What the difference is between Walmart and a drugstore.  Why people buy “expensive” things at the drugstore…what is the best thing to buy at the drugstore.  How to look for deals.  Also, just being polite and speaking up when talking to other people.

After that, we headed to the grocery store.  Had I been brilliant, I would have let him create the menu for the next couple of weeks, but I did that and made my list.  He, however, took the list, a pen and did his thing,  We talked about branding and how sometimes you pay more the brand name or the packaging.  We compared prices on the same item, 3 different brands.  I taught him how to shop for produce and fresh vegetables.

We set a limit of $200 for a 2 week period.  That includes paper products, cleaning supplies, dog food, food, etc.  He came in at $166.60.  I totally would have made him put something up if he went over budget.  Gotta learn to live within means!  It too FOREVER to get through the grocery, but it was time I got to spend with him…one on one!

As we were loading the groceries on the belt thing…I explained to him that there are good cashiers (separate your items properly and don’t overload your bags) and then there are the struggling cashiers (those that suck and smash your bread).  I told him that it was our job to make their job a bit easier….especially when I normally shop a month at a time. I can be an overwhelming presence in the grocery store.  I taught him how to group cold stuff together, freezer stuff, canned goods, boxes and always…always….load the squishy stuff last.  It makes everything go much more smoothly.

When we went to check out, I used my debit card.  He was in shock because he *thought* it was a credit card.  I explained the differences (while the little girl was checking our groceries) between the two.  Debit (or used as credit) goes directly out of my bank account…instantly…no money in account, it will decline my card.  I then asked him what I had taught him about credit cards and he gently replied “they are from the devil!”  Well done…son….well done!!!!!!

We got home and he had to hurry to put everything up.  After he got everything put up, he had to hussle to get Little Man prepared for soccer and we can’t forget his water!  He was soccer dad because every kid likes to be involved in something.  After 2 hours of waiting, he had to come home, feed LM and then put the rest of the groceries (pantry items) up.  He will take my menu list and he will separate out each meal and put the recipe items (as well as the recipe) in the boxes.  He will then place those in the pantry…when it is time to make that particular meal, he will have everything at his fingertips.

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Yes, he will be cooking (pray for me).  He made Corn Chowder and Broccoli/Cheese Soup.  Both were delicious.

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Tuesday, he attended speech therapy with Catfish.  He had to come in, sign him in, meet the therapist and shake her hand.  He had to properly introduce himself to the head of the department, as well as, an undergrad student who was taking notes.  My boy took 2 pages of notes AND he asked many questions to the head of the dept. and the grad student therapist.  He loved it!

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Wednesday, he will be going with 4 of the other children to the doctor, as well as, making sure everyone is bathed and ready for church.  Thursday is therapy and soccer again….he will do everything that I do and I will shadow him.  He was exhausted, yesterday…maybe he will have an appreciation for me 🙂 Friday, we have a down day and will probably pay bills (he will write checks, as well). Saturday, is a full day of soccer in another town about 2 hours away.  He will have to prepare snacks for everyone, make sure they are properly dressed, make sure LM has all he needs to play, get blankets and chairs and be ready to cheer!  Then everyone needs showers because Sunday is church!  Then it starts all over again 🙂

We will be going to the bank, doing some couponing, reading recipes, making phone calls, attending therapies, doctoring boo boos and he has to clean the house from top to bottom….good times people, good times.

My goal is to teach him to look people in the eyes, have a firm handshake, be prepared, be polite and to be efficient.

I will keep this blog updated as each kid represents their chosen field and I promise to add pictures!

Homeschooling

Lifeskills Class

My friend, Pam, came up with an extraordinary idea for our little homeschool people.  I know that they do similar things in public school, but the intensity of what we will be doing was created out of her experience as a teen mom, who took her daughter to school everyday.

Life is hard.  There is no way around that and in the world we live in, giving our children everything is not doing them any good.  We are setting them up for failure.  My son, 13, asked me if he could have his own room when he was 16.  Ideally, I would *love* for each of my kids to have their own space.  Realistically, the Lord has met our needs.  Do kids share rooms?  Yes, they do.  We have 3 boys in one room, 2 girls in another and then my oldest has the smallest room of the house.  It is what it is.  My kids need to learn to be grateful for what the Lord has given us…and they are, for the most part….but they do still dream big.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming!!!!!!!!!  Dreams can, one day, be turned into attainable goals and goals are a great thing to have.  Goals keep us in a place of constantly growing and changing.  There are families with way less than what we have and then there are families who have way more than we have.  The point is….is that our needs are met by the only One who can meet them!

My kids went over to Pam’s house, on Monday, and that is when she went into more detail of what they would be doing.  She had different educational options printed out on paper and thrown in a bowl.  In another bowl, she had jobs listed.  Each child randomly selected their educational status, their salary, and their jobs.  They could decide how many children they want, their type of home, etc. based on what they drew.  They jobs that they chose from were engineer, lawyer, McDonald’s worker, farmer, stay at home parent, doctor, army, and factory worker.

These are some of the things that they have to do in this class:

  • Draw their homes to scale
  • Decide on how many children they want
  • Create a budget for their bills (they will be given amounts for everyday bills like electricity, water, phone, gas, etc.)
  • We have printed out checks so they will have to learn how to write them properly (this will also teach the younger kids how to write in cursive)
  • They have check registers because Pam and I are the bank and if they overdraw their accounts, then that means more money they have to come up with.
  • They will go to a bank, for a field trip, and they will learn about savings accounts, IRAs, checking accounts, safety deposit boxes, debit cards, ATMs
  • They will learn how to save….tithe first, then (ideally) 1/2 a paycheck to savings and 1/2 to checking
  • They will learn about vehicle maintenance
  • How to go to the grocery
  • Meal planning
  • Organizational skills
  • We will have them switch jobs, in 2 weeks, but they will have to interview for it.
  • They will learn how to properly fill out job applications
  • Some kids will get to go experience court
  • The engineer will design/build things
  • At the end of the two weeks, they will write a paper about their experiences

There are so many things that we are going to have them do, that I will try and document it with posts and photos.  In a month or so, we will receive our “baby” and each child be solely responsible for that baby for 2 weeks.  We will probably continue this type of class each semester and they will have to keep the baby each semester to keep things fresh.  Our goal is to raise children who love the Lord, who love others and are responsible.

If you have any ideas on what we can incorporate, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can email me at thebarefoothomeschooler@mediacombb.net or find me on facebook under “The Barefoothomeschooler.”

Homeschooling

Good Grief

This is my convo with a certain child…

**Me noticing that child had stacked books up, as in saying “I’m done” and getting in the shower to take the hour it takes to get ready for church…all without saying a word to me**

Me:  Go get all your books and let me make sure that you are done since you have proven that you struggle with truth in the completion department.

Child:  Okay.

Me:  If any work has been purposefully skipped, not done or ignored…I reserve the right to discipline you by not allowing you to go to church tonight.  You not only have to finish said work, but you must go to bed early for the next 2 nights.

Child:  Okay

Me:  Is it safe to say that your work is not completed or skipped over.

C:  Yes.

M:  Why is your work not done

C:  i-dont-know***worst answer EVER***

M:  That is not an acceptable answer…why is your work not done.

C:  I don’t like school and I don’t want to do it.

M:  Well, you have 5 more years of it and then you can decide whether or not you want to go to college or just get a job.  As long as you can support yourself.  Why is your history not done?

C:  I don’t like the questions at the end of the chapter.  I just don’t like book work.

M: **face palm**  Well, you have proven that you cannot handle computer work and you don’t like bookwork, so what do you propose that we do?

C:  I just want to go to PS, it will be SO much easier because the teacher stands over you and gives you the answer.

M:  What would happen if you handed in your work and it wasn’t done?

C:  I’d get an F.

M:  What do you think would happen if you told your teacher that you didn’t like the questions at the end of the chapter?

C:  She would tell me to do it anyway.

M:  How is that different than from here?

C:  It will be FUNNER at school.

M:  Let’s call Jojo…a seasoned teacher and you can ask her these questions to see what her answers would be

**insert calling Jojo and her saying “that student would get a zero, I don’t care if you don’t like the book, do it anyway; no I do not stand over my students because it is 30 to 1; suck it up and get it done because if God meant for you to be an adult, you would have come out of the womb as an 18 year old”**

Cue tears.

Cue stomping.

Cue finishing schoolwork while sobbing at her desk.

Add this into another child not doing his work because “he didn’t want to try.” Then the dog peed in the floor while another dog let a poop storm hit…In.  My.  House. because she was scared non existent thunderstorm.  Not to mention the hearing aids that have to be sent back because they are not “communicating” with each other and a raging headache.

This mama is D.O.N.E. for the day.  Stick a fork in me…I am DONE!

Homeschooling

Homeschooling at its Finest

10346196_10204684306492044_8424718018886187263_nBooks a Million is one of my favorite places.  I love going and looking through the education section.  It brings me joy, happiness….and a whole lot of other adjectives.  I found this box called the Big Box of Words.  There are several different variations for different aged children.

As you can see, it is a puzzle, so each word can interlock within the other word.  It has blank puzzle pieces to add words (using dry erase markers) and each word is tabbed with different colors.  Each color represents a word type (adjectives, articles, pronouns, nouns, verbs, punctuation marks, etc).

Due to D’s learning disabilities and his dyslexia, I limit his choices.  I give him all the words that start with a capital letter, all the punctuation marks, nouns and verbs.  We are making simple sentences.  I use the blank pieces for writing his spelling words of the week.  It takes time.

There are more times than not that I want to pull my eyelashes out…but you know what?  This boy can tell you what a noun is.  He knows what a verb is.  He knows that every sentence HAS to start with a capital letter and he can put correct punctuation marks at the end.

For my older kids, I give them free reign to create sentences, as long as they know the definitions of what each thing is (what an adjective, article, adverb, etc.).  This was well worth the money I spent and I would like to get an easier version for Little Man, I just haven’t been to town to get one.

Sadly, I’m not being paid to write this review…..I haven’t been given anything for this review.  Maybe if BAM sees this, they will send me they one I’m wanting for Little Man 🙂  If not, I’m good.

Homeschooling

And the Winner is…..ME!!!!!!!!

 

It has been a TOUGH first week back at school.

We I say tough

I mean

Gnashing of teeth

Ripping my clothes

Stabbing myself in the eye with a spork

Tears

Discipline

Time Outs

Hiding under the table in a fetal position eating cheese.

I see all these beautiful posts from first time homeschoolers and I see their cute little rooms all set up and the excitement is so fun to see.

Then I think to myself, I say “self, why don’t you do all of that?”

Then I realize that most of these sweet mamas have one or two kids that they are lovingly going to teach and they are going to make great memories.

All of these children are biological, healthy, fantastic kiddos who have never seen a harsh thing in their bitty little lives.

I praise God for those sweet babies and the sacrifices that their mamas are making.

My family doesn’t share that story.

We have kids who had TOUGH beginnings.

They have seen or done more, in utero, than most adults will ever go through!

There has been no health care provided to pregnant mamas.

Drug/alcohol abuse pre and post natal

Neglect

Abuse…physical, emotional, mental, and sexual.

There have been times when they have been hungry or starving.

Some have brains that just don’t want to work like a “normal, healthy” kids brain would work.

This makes me so sad.

I praise God for them being given life.

I praise God for Him bringing them to us.

Then I want to cry because my frustration level is through the roof.

I get so upset when I say the same thing over and over and over and over again, only to be met with blank stares and confusion.

I hear

My brain doesn’t work.

I’m not smart.

I can’t do it.

It is too hard.

What is wrong with me?

I want to have a great year with book racks, full set curriculum that is the correct grade level for each kid.  I want posters and calendars.  I want a chalkboard and many manipulatives.

This is not what I have.

I have a school closet.

I have kids that are in MULTIPLE grade levels for each child.  Not one child is just in 1st grade.  They are in Pre-k, K and first because of the different needs.  One kid is in 1, 2, 3 and 4th grade for different subjects.

I have books everywhere.

Computers everywhere.

Notebooks, pencil shavings, papers strewn from here to high heaven.

Two kids flank me at the table.

One kid moves from the dining room to the living room to the master bedroom depending on the subject.

I have a rusher and one who never comes out of her bedroom.

Homeschool is not for everyone.  Public school is not for everyone.  Private school is not for everyone.  It is the conviction of the family to choose what works best for them.  Right now, in this season, I would love to bite the tires on the school bus and give up.

I know that is not what I need to do.

I will choose to praise Him in this storm.  I will lift my hands.

I will pray for Him to control my thoughts, emotions and anger outbursts.

I will pray that He keeps me sensitive to not compare myself to others and to remember that some of my kids have been gifted with some special needs.

I will hand over control to the One who holds the world in His mighty hands.

Through Him, I will overcome and this will be a successful year.

If you don’t hear from me….please make sure someone feeds and waters me.  I will be under the table.

Blessings to all you new homeschooling mamas out there!

Remember to breathe!!!!!!!!!

Homeschooling

Homeschooling and Special Needs

Can I just tell you how incredibly difficult this is…in theory and in reality.  I find myself getting frustrated beyond comprehension because, where one of my kids now is not where all my other children were at this same age.

Now, bear in mind…I do not compare my children academically or otherwise.  That would be a huge mistake and by doing that I would not be yielding to the “bents” of each child.  I embrace the differences of each child and I try to allow them to follow their passions (as long as it goes down the path of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic).

My children are usually beginning to need less supervision and more independent learning when they hit third grade.  This doesn’t mean that I do not continue to help, because I do, but I’m teaching them to rely on the brain that God gave them and the mounds of material that I have to research.  I want them to look for answers and not to find the easy way out by asking and me telling them.  I believe this is a valuable tool that they will hold onto as they get older.  I want them to work for the things that they want and to not have that thread of laziness or having things handed to them.

By fourth grade, they are pretty well independent of me.  I give them a detailed schedule of what is expected, daily and they check it off as they master it.  Quizzes, tests, or reviews are given on Fridays.  Fridays are also grading days.  If they have missed a lot, during the week, then this is the opportunity that we have, together, to find the answers and work through them and correct them.

All of that being said….I have one child with severe dyslexia, fetal alcohol syndrome, and more.  When he went to PS, for a little less than a year, he was not identified as a child with real needs (except maybe in reading, which he was not diagnosed with dyslexia until this year).  He had a reading aid, but nothing else.  He was “borderline”, therefore he fell through the cracks and since he struggled so much, he was deemed a “trouble” child.  He had a “foster kid” stamp on his forehead and that was that.

He fell tremendously behind in that year of PS.  I’m not knocking PS, at all.  I have dear friends who are excellent teachers.  I believe that there are too many kids and not enough teachers in this world!  My mom and aunt were amazing teachers.  There are simply not enough resources.  We have chosen to homeschool because this is where God wants me, at this point in my life.  This may not always be where God wants me and I am open to change and new experiences.  My kids are open to it, as well!  Right now, we are following that lamp that is laid unto our feet.

This one particular child has been looking at a picture of a forest scene for 30 minutes because he can’t think of a title for the picture.  He spent another 30 minutes looking at another picture that had three choices for the title of that picture.  2 choices were not anywhere near anything that the picture resembled.  The third choice described the picture to a tee.

Due to this child’s dyslexia, language arts is learned on a first-second grade level.  He is no where near the 4th grade level that he should be in.  This makes it difficult because this child’s younger brother is FLYING past him, academically and he is in first grade.  I don’t want to teach them together because that would highlight the fact that the older child is “not as smart” as the younger child.  The younger child, in time, could use that as a bullying tactic with the older child (if you are a family with more than one child you know full well that bullying goes on between siblings).  This can also make the older child feel different or bad about themselves.  It is a no win situation.

I find, there are more days than not, that I want to pull my eyelashes out one at a time when I sit down to teach this child. I love this child, desperately and completely…but his is SO challenging!  I cannot find a good way to get any understanding.  Everyday is a hard day.  Every.  Stinking.  Day.

We have started (since the beginning of last year) intense reading therapy at our local college.  I’m so incredibly pleased with the the director and all of the grad students who have worked with over the course of a couple of years.  It has made a huge difference.  I also choose to focus heavily on math because he is an ACE at math.  He is above his grade level and this gives him confidence that he is smart.

It makes me sad when I ask him a question and he tells me that he doesn’t know something because his brain doesn’t work right.  I have to yield to his bents….his imagination, his logic to figure things out (by that I mean building/creating things), math is excellent, a great swimmer, and an excellent shot with guns and bows/arrows.

Homeschooling special needs children is hard.  I had a monumentally bad first day back, yesterday.  Juggling one child who needs your constant attention because he is only in first grade; one who is supposed to be in 4th, but functions on a 2nd grade level; one who is in the 7th grade but takes ALL DAY LONG to finish work because of her special needs; and then there are my 8th and 11th graders who are starting new subjects and they have been diagnosed with summer brain…they have forgotten everything but their names and that they are hungry.

I wanted to cry.

Heck, I did cry.

Then, I remembered Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.

joy-comes-in-the-morning

Hope.

Eternal hope.

Today has been better.  Bug has been home to work with one kid while I have worked with another.  Gigi, who I struggled with last year so badly got all her work done and excelled tremendously!  Let me just tell you…last year, I got so frustrated with her that I bumped her down to 3rd grade math because she simply couldn’t wouldn’t do it.  Last night, as I graded her math, expecting it to be bad because she is doing 6th grade math work out of 2 different books…she did wonderfully.  So great that it made me mad (I kid you not)!  I was ranting an raving and throwing the books in Big Daddy’s face…he just stood there and looked at me and said “this is a good thing, right?”  YES, it is good….but it took us wasting a whole year to get her to do this and now she is getting it…I’m telling you, I was having a bit of a meltdown.

I’ll pull it together before Bug goes back to school/work…I will…I know I will…

God is still on the throne.

Hope.

Eternal Hope.

Homeschooling

Sample Letter of Intent to Homeschool

Send your letter within 2 weeks of your local school beginning.  It is best to send it certified mail.  In my opinion, it is also a good option to meet with your local Pupil Personnel so they can see your face and you can see their face.  Get to know this person….they are not the enemy.  They have good intentions of protecting the children of the community.  I have established a relationship with our pupil personnel and she is a fine woman who does her job well.  Now, I’m not going to say that I would invite her to come and look at my curriculum/watch my schooling/check up on me every 5 seconds without a warrant 🙂  I would, however, invite her in for a coke and a chat.  These people are not the boogie men.  They are doing their job, albeit, sometimes zealously in some cases.  Every state is different.  I encourage you to get familiar with your states laws and requirements.

 

(Center and make look all pretty your school’s name)

Your name and address

 

Current date

Insert your schools name

Insert the name of your Pupil Personnel person

Address of local board of education

 

 

To Whom it May Concern:

 

This letter is to inform you of our intent to privately enroll our children in our home school for the 2014-2015 school year. Their names and date of birth are as follows:

 

Names of children and their DOB

 

Our Homeschool is (insert name of your homeschool) at (insert address).

 

This notice is pursuant to all applicable Kentucky Revised Statutes.

The school administration, on behalf of the students enrolled therein, expressly prohibit the release of any and all information contained in this notice, including directory information as defined in 20 U.S.C.§ 1232g (a) (5) (A), without the prior written consent of the parents of the students or of the students who have reached the age of majority. See 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (a) (5) (B).

Sincerely,

Your name

Homeschooling

Getting It Ready

Over the last couple of weeks, it has been weighing on me that I’m no where NEAR ready to start school with the kids.  I have even been uttering the words public school to Big Daddy because, well, there are just days when I wish I followed the rest of the crowd.

And then, I am reminded that “I am called to be a city on a hill.”

Well, crap.

I have finally got the kids stuff printed and put in the new binders I bought them (yes, homeschoolers still enjoy back to school shopping with all the fresh pencils and packaged paper).  Today, I’ve worked through organizing the school closet, which I got side tracked and made the kids go through and deep clean their rooms.  After the rooms were clean, I cleaned the carpet (we all need to start school with a clean carpeted room).  Then, I moved back to the school closet, which I finished 🙂

I had the boys go through the front closet (consists of games, toys, and many many books).  We got that all cleaned out and gone through.  Peach went through the movies and organized them, again (not a normal pre-school activity, but hey, I say go for it.)

Tomorrow, we will finish the game closet, tackle the junk drawer and then put all the stuff back in its rightful spot in the laundry room.  I may even clean out the closets/drawers of the bathrooms.  Who knows!

I am just really in the nesting phase and I’m gearing up.  When school starts, deep cleaning/organizing is a thing of the past until we have a break.  I may even make muffins tomorrow…the possibilities are endless.

Oh!  I also got my “back to school” cut/color…my hairs are SO purple…I can not even describe.  I love love love it and I’m so thankful that the House of Style is back in business after taking time off to have baby Ande…whom I got to cuddle with today.

 

Homeschooling

Homeschooling De-Bunked

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As public schools have to be accountable to their state board of education, is there a similar administrative body in place for home-schoolers?

Every state is different, but in the state of Kentucky, the only requirement is that I send a “letter of intent to homeschool” to our Board of Education’s Pupil Personnel. I actually made an appt with our DPP and I sat down and talked with her.  It is good, for me, to see who she is and for her to see who I am.  We have a mutual respect for each other and it is a good relationship.

This type of letter is letting the DPP know of your intentions and should be sent by certified mail.  Always keep a copy for your records.  No other documentation is required by the state of KY.

That being said, I choose to test my children yearly with the standardized testing from Bob Jones University.  This is for my benefit, but it is also a “just in case” it is needed.  These scores will be useful if your child intends to go to college.

Another thing that KY requires but does not check on is school attendance.  I keep a simple calendar of days that we have school.  I mark on it any sicknesses, holidays, or field trips.  I have always followed the county school sessions as to when we have school and when we do not have school.  We need breaks too 🙂

What’s available in terms of textbooks? Who decides what book to use?

I, along with my husband, decides on curriculum.  This can vary from extremely expensive to completely free.

There are lots of conferences that can be attended that will give you a burst of encouragement and an overload of all the new an exciting things in the homeschool world.  I’ve never been keen on those events because I would be on impulse instead of heartfelt research and frugality.

Some of the more popular COMPLETE curriculum sets are:

Sonlight

Bob Jones University

Abeka

Timberdoodle

Beautiful Feet

Greenleaf Press

Tapestry of Grace

Veritas Press

LifePac

Switched on Schoolhouse

and many many many more.

FREE HOMESCHOOLING

All in One Homeschool (excellent)

Ambleside Online

Old Fashioned Homeschool

Khan Academy (excellent)

and there are several sites available to whatever need you have

KY does not have an online “virtual” school for kids to attend.  Several states do have this.  As for me, we have done a wide variety of curriculum.

How did you decide it was right to homeschool?

I will address this question in a separate post…sharing my story of how we decided to homeschool.

Was the hubby always supported and did you have to convince him?

He has always been supportive and encouraged homeschooling.  This has never been an issue for him.  I’m blessed in this regard.  Now, there was a time when my husband had to convince ME to do this 🙂  That story is for another post!

What if you do not have a college degree?  Can you still be an effective homeschooler?

You can absolutely be a successful homeschooler without a college degree.  What the Lord calls you too, He will be faithful to lead you through!

I know the kids went to school for a short time, why you decided that and what you learned from it?

Yes, my kids went to PS for a bit and to a private Christian school for a year.  The Christian school that some of the children went too was simply not my cup of tea.  My thoughts/faith/life did not match up with the expectations of this school.  I sent them because I bought into the lie that I would have a “more fun”, “easier”, “happier” life with the kids gone.  Let me just tell you…..I had a more suckier life, by far.  I did not have a peace about sending them.  I listened to well meaning people who were apparently experts on my life, though they had never put their feet under my table.  I buckled under pressure and wrote that massive check and sent them to school.  No one was happy.  It was not what the Lord had intended for my family.

Some of my kids also went to PS for a time.  This was during our adoption and I had to go back to work.  Let me just say this….PS teachers are amazing and they deal with WAY more stuff then I would ever want too.  I have nothing against our PS system.  They were there for a time that I needed them.  I am grateful.  That being said, I still did not have peace about this, though I was forcing myself to have peace.  I knew that the Lord had a plan and a purpose and if that was for them to stay in PS, then so be it.  I can be a rockstar PS parent!  I wanted to love it and I prayed that my kids would love it, but sadly….it was nine months of hell.  There were 2 of my children that were bombed with biological parent issues and that made behaviors/memories/life much harder.  I also have a special needs son, with learning disabilities, that struggled so very much.  It was much harder, having them in PS, then being home by far.  I truly believe that if the Lord meant for my kids to be there, yes…we would have had some issues…but we would have had peace.  No one had peace.  We all prayed for it and desired it but this was not what the Lord wanted and He was going to upset our apple cart until we were obedient to Him.

I have always said that I won’t do this forever and that I know that my kids will get a great education if we have to put them in PS…but for now, we do as we are told and we keep walking down the road less traveled.

 

What about college and scholarships?

Yes, your child can go to college.  Yes, you can apply to any scholarships you choose.  Yes, you can get KEES money, but that one will *only* be determined by your child’s ACT score and not by the combination of their ACT & GPA (which a PS kid would get).

My daughter started at MSU in Racer Academy as a Junior in high school.  There was no problem in her being accepted and it is an EXCELLENT thing for kids to do.  She took some online classes and some on campus classes, but by the time she graduated high school, she also had her Associate’s degree and the cost is CHEAP!

You do need to keep up with classes and have a transcript prepared and updated.  I will post a transcript shell that can simply be filled in.

What about sports?

We cannot participate in school sports.  Its just another “one of those things” that I don’t necessarily agree with, but my one person can’t make a big enough stink about it to change anything.  That being said….we do Upward basketball, church basketball, baseball in the summer and the fall, soccer, Girl Scouts (not necessarily a sport) and there is a homeschool football team that Boo will hopefully be a part of.

What supplies do you recommend?

It is all what works well for you.  I love going school supply shopping.  We get just as excited as anyone else 🙂  We have a desktop (that is now dead) and a couple of very old laptops that we use.  We don’t do much on the computer (a few kids are doing more than other).  I use ClickNkids for Catfish and Little Man (one has dyslexia and the other is just learning) and we use Khan Academy.  I also use Hooked on Phonics that utilizes the computer.  I have a tablet that I only use when we do school on the road due to therapy or doctor’s appointments.

How much do you spend homeschooling?

This has varied from year to year.   The LifePacs (I bought most on homeschoolclassifieds.com which I HIGHLY recommend) are about $200 a year.  I used this for 2 kids, this year.  The testing that I buy (Iowa Standardized Testing from Bob Jones University) is $50 per child.  I do not test until my kids get into middle school.  I have put the word out and a lot of people will contact me when they have used curriculum for sale.  Also, the local homeschool group (LAMP in Murray and PATCH in Paducah) are really good sources for buying curriculum.  Next year,  I will do LifePacs for 3 kids.  One kid will be in college and the little boys will use All In One Homeschool (cannot stress how excellent this is and how thankful I am for the sweet lady who has put in so much time and effort to provide this service).

How do u keep records?

EduTrack is something I have used in the past.  I enjoyed it because it was simple and would also allow me to print out schedules for each kid.  Now, I use more of a file system.  It makes me happy.  I print out monthly schedules (which I keep on the computer) and I put, in red, their grades.  I only grade tests.  If they miss more than 8 on anything, they have to redo it.

Do u also have to keep records of lesson plans in elementary school age?

Yes, it keeps my sanity and makes me happy.  I have a checklist of things that I do with the little boys, daily.  It is dated and I can keep good records on it.  I save everything for the year.  At the end of the year, I get a binder and I add in the binder samples of their work.  This is not needed for anyone but myself.

Do you teach all grades?

I start working with the kids when they are about 6.  This is nothing major.  We read, a lot.  We do flashcards, color, workbooks from Walmart.  I start getting a bit more serious when the kids are in third grade.  When they hit middle school is when things turn.  By this time, the kids are working independently with their own schedules…asking for help when needed.  I grade on Fridays and we do tests or make up work on Friday.

What does a typical day look like?

We get up at 8.  Kids do their chores, eat breakfast, get ready for the day.  School work begins at 9 and we work until noon.  At noon, the kids eat lunch and then they have a break until about 2.  They read, nap, watch a movie, run outside, ride horses, play games…this is their time.  If, at 2, they are not done with their work, they finish.  Most of the time, they are already done.

What about testing?

I test them in May, every year.  I start testing in middle school.  I do not before then because I think that is ridiculous. Testing is for me.  It is to help me know where they are excelling and where they need more work.  I keep all these scores.  I order them from Bob Jones University.  They send me the tests, the teacher book and an envelope to send back the tests.  I do not grade them.  BJU grades them.  I do this in a week’s time.  I do not help, at all…ever.  I hand it to them and they go to their room and they will do a section.  If I helped, it would defeat the purpose.

The questions were great…..keep on asking and I will answer them 🙂

Links that will be helpful:

allinonehomeschool.com

hslda.org

patchky.org

lamphomeschool.net

http://marshall.ca.uky.edu/4HYouthDevelopment

amblesideonline.org