Category Archives: School

Free Easter Themed Crossword Puzzle

Here, for your pleasure, is a Free Easter Themed Crossword Puzzle!  I have been homeschooling for about 20 years.  Currently, I am only homeschooling 4.5 kids (the .5 kid is a preschooler LOL).  I have graduated 2 kids, with a third graduating in May.  *Cue tears.*

In the Beginning

When I first started, we did not have a computer for a long time.  Then, when we had one, the options were limited to none.  Now, the world is quite literally my oyster.  When my kids were younger we loved worksheets, lapbooks, theme searched curriculum.  At Education.com, you can find all that and more!

Here are some Reading and Writing Worksheets that you can look over, download, and print.  At Education.com, the availability of information is from Preschool to 5th grade.  Kids older than 5th grade can also utilize these worksheets when they “forget” a concept.

Did You Know?

That crossword puzzles HELP brain function?  This article was written at UPMC, which is also the hospital that definitively corrected Hunter’s 4th diagnosis and OFFICIALLY diagnosed him…again.  I have high regards for the hospital in Pittsburgh!

So, not only is your kid having fun, but they are doing schoolwork, problem-solving, and helping their brain.  When you have kids, like I do, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, you need all the help you can get.

Free Worksheet and Answer Key

Help this bunny solve the mystery by answering the clues to this fun Easter crossword puzzle.

Easter Crossword Puzzle

Easter Crossword Answers

Here are some worksheet types to choose from:

  • Maze
  • Word search
  • Word search with images
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word scramble
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Spelling Test
  • Matching words to images
  • Word Tracer

And we have a variety of themes to choose from. Right now our seasonal themes are popular:  St. Patrick’s Day, flowers, and cute crawlies. Our other themes include school days, dinosaurs, outer space, and more.

You can see an example below.

Nitty Gritty Details

Education.com can help with families, teachers, or school districts.  The cost is totally doable in most family budgets.  There are no commitments, hidden fees, and you can cancel at any time.

Related Posts:

Pilgrim’s Progress Movie Review and Giveaway

 

 

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Homeschooling Worksheet Freebie

Lying Lips (1)

Homeschooling Worksheet Freebie is brought to you by education.com.  Kids will have a blast this winter as they practice matching words to pictures. For more READING FUN like this, check out Education.com.

Recently education.com reached out to me in order to reach more readers.  I browsed their website and was quite pleased with all that they had available.  This site goes from Preschool-5th grade.  It has several printable worksheets (and answers), as well as, a progress tracker.  There are also some online games, lesson planners, and a spot where you can let your creativity flow and plan your own lessons.

Plans to Choose From

Now, this is a paid site and the rates have recently gone up.  That being said, the prices are quite comparable to other websites that I have used.  You can choose to pay monthly ($6.50), annually ($60), or get lifetime access ($149).  One of the best parts is that it is all AD-FREE.

Here are some worksheet types to choose from:

  • Maze
  • Word search
  • Word search with images
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word Scramble
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Spelling Test
  • Matching words to images
  • Word Tracer

And we have a variety of themes to choose from. Right now our seasonal themes are popular:  snowman, mittens, winter squirrel, and Thanksgiving. Our other themes include crawly bugs, back to school, dinosaurs, outer space, and more.

Freebies:

Snowman Matching Spelling Matching List

Answers

 

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

There are things you may not know about homeschooling a child with Dyslexia   Homeschooling a child, with Dyslexia (and other learning disabilities), has been one of the most stressful, difficult, undesirable times of my life.  Dramatic?  Maybe, but it is my truth.

I was ELATED when we found out our child had dyslexia.  I mean, I giggled.  It was such a loud giggle that my child’s therapist thought I was fixing to have some sort of breakdown.  She even patted me, and I got a hearty “bless your heart.”

By the time my child was diagnosed, I had had this child in public preschool, homeschool, back to public school, and then when that crashed and burned, back to homeschooling.  I have homeschooled this child for the majority of his life, but I wanted to see if someone else could figure out what was wrong.

Luckily, our local university does specialized testing that does not cost me an arm and a leg.  Add that to the fact that his therapist (and all of the grad students) were beyond amazing with my child (and with me).

Getting Tested

Getting tested was not a hard thing to do, once we got going.  We first had him tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CapD).  That yielded the result of nothing was wrong, and his hearing was excellent.  No help, no answers.

We started therapy because I thought maybe it was depression or anxiety.  That was another plane flying into a mountain kind of moment.  It yielded no results.  Next, we tried medication for ADHD/ADD to see if that would spark something.  The meds did nothing.

It was an exhaustive list of things that we tried.  There was no amount of anything I could do or that I tried that helped him.  He was falling further and further behind, educationally, mentally, emotionally, and otherwise.

Finally an Answer

Once we got our appointment, at our local university, the therapist said she had to “score” the results.  That was when the back patting began.  I asked her why she was patting my back and had a look of sympathy on her face.  She just smiled that sweet smile and kept on patting.

She said that she could not definitively tell me anything (until the scoring was done), but she knew within 5 minutes that he was SEVERELY dyslexic.

**Cue giggles**

Working Hard

She and the grad students worked really hard with him.  He worked very hard, as well.  They did the Barton system with him, that did help.  He was “well enough” to leave intense therapy.

Since he has been out of therapy, life has been hard.  He is not progressing at an average rate, at all.  He struggles, at times, with even spelling his name.  Spelling, well that is a thing of the past.  I’ve finally yielded and bought him a spelling calculator.

We have the Dragon software, so he can “tell” stories instead of having to write them physically.  This does not help with his grammar, however…I feel like that could be a lost cause.

He does have an insatiable love of reading.  I am incredibly thankful for that aspect of his life.  He may skim over words that he doesn’t know, but he still reads.  He prefers the Encyclopedia on any type of war.

Other Issues

Other issues play into the delay that this child has, but I’m not going to go into them.  I just know that I hold onto a lot of the guilt for how behind he is.  It is not for lack of me holding him to a higher standard or for seeking outside help…it is just a mom’s guilt.

I know that I am not to blame for things his biological mom chose to do, while pregnant.  Logically, I know that, but still…I wanted to be able to fix it.  To make it better.  To help him learn.  To see him thrive.

I almost feel like I’m 1/2 way up the mountain.  I’m not sliding down the mountain, and I’m not going upwards either.  A treadmill…I’m standing on a treadmill, going THROUGH the mountain.

Here’s to all the mama’s going through the mountain.  Cheers.

The More You Know

Test for Dyslexia

Dyslexia: Symptoms and Causes

Results are In

Crack. Me. Up.

Crack. Me. Up.

I cannot stop laughing at this.

Seriously.  I may need an intervention.

Sometimes, in life, we need a little humor.  After 19 years of homeschooling (as of 2018), I have to find the humor in it because, frankly, I’m over homeschooling.

I do not say that in jest.  Homeschooling began out of fear for me.  This was a decision that my husband and I made after our local high school shooting.  Fear.  Straight up.  Not conviction, not religious reasons, no other reason than I was afraid for the life of my, then, one child.

Clearly, that didn’t work out well because I hated doing it and she hated learning.  We did put her in school and her sister for a hot minute.  That didn’t go well either, sadly.  It didn’t matter how involved I was with the school, how well I liked their teachers…it just didn’t go well.

We took them back out for a long period of time and then life happened.  Adoptions happened and it was time to try again.  This time we took a different route and put them in private school.  Uhm, well, mama and the “religious powers that be” did not play well in the sandbox together.  That was another horrible experience.

Finally, we brought them home again.  I had a different perspective, a different desire, they were excited to learn, and I was excited to teach, so here we are.  Timing is everything.  I’m blessed to have moved to an area where I have mad respect for the people at the board office.  I know several principals, teachers, substitute teachers, and more.  Now, if we choose to put them in school, it will be different.

Realistically, however, I’m also aware that I have 2 children that it would be a detriment to enroll them for several different reasons.  My third child is going to graduate in May and he is on it like Donkey Kong with his work.  I have another child that would be just fine, only he is the 1% race that just is not in my community.  Identity is a huge thing and I want him to be proud to be a strong, faith-filled boy of color.  I never want him to desire to be white.  Honoring his culture, his heritage, his beginnings are so important to us, as a family.

So here I sit, grading papers for the umpteenth time today.  I’m answering math questions, language questions, life questions…and so it goes.

Homeschooling: Letter of Intent Sample

New School Year

 

**Get your homeschooling letter of intent mailed out, friends and neighbors.  Ideally, this needs to be done 2 weeks before school starts.  It is also best to send it by certified mail.  You do not have to send a letter until your child is in 1st grade.  Any younger than that is fine, but not necessary. **

I encourage you all to reach out to your local Director of Pupil Personnel and schedule a meeting.  It takes a lot of the stigma out of the “Big Bad Wolf,” so to speak.  Just share your heart, tell that person about your family, your motivation, etc.  I had a great visit with our (new to me, but his second year) DPP.

Both of us are on the same page on so many levels.  The most important thing is the children and their well-being (not just mine, all kids).  We had an outstanding visit and a better understanding of each other.

Our public school is instituting a new program called MC at Home.  This is a program where homeschoolers can still homeschool, but the curriculum, grading, test giving, falls under the heading of the public school.  You will use their curriculum if that makes sense.

This gives new homeschoolers a chance to get their feet wet or to have the flexibility (due to whatever reasons) of homeschooling, without the stressful event of choosing the “right” curriculum.   The only drawback, as I can see it (well, there is more than one, but this one in particular), is that my children *still* cannot participate in extracurricular activities or sports.

They would be under “umbrella” of our PS, but not have some of the benefits of it.  That being said, this is still a great opportunity, and it is just the first year.  I can’t even begin to imagine how great it can be when all the kinks are worked out.

Good luck to you all!

Letter of Intent Sample Letter


School Name

Your Name

Address

 

Date

Local Board of Education address

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

This letter is to inform you of our intent to privately enroll our children in our homeschool for the 2018-2019 school year. Their names and date of birth are as follows:

List all children and their birthdates, in order.

This notice is under 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

 

Kindergarten Agenda

Kindergarten Agenda

Here is a Kindergarten Agenda.  Please realize, this is what *I* teach my kids…if they do not master a concept, we do it until they do, regardless of if they are in K or in 12th grade.  I have many kids with learning disabilities, so keep that in mind also.

  • Sight Words (Dolch word list)
  • Bob Books, beginning readers
  • Calendar and weather
  • Simple math (addition, subtraction)
  • Learning about different cultures (food, clothes, houses, family)
  • Community helpers (adding in field trips to those places)
  • Animal habitats (adding in field trips)
  • Continuing with rhyming
  • Reading poetry and writing poetry
  • Journaling… the topic of the day (Prompts)
  • LOTS of reading
  • Basic spelling (Fry word list)
  • Creating sentences
  • Story Writing
  • Basic grammar beginning (noun, verb, adjective, conjunction, article)
  • Beginning punctuation
  • Tangrams
  • Counting up to 500 or above
  • Telling time
  • Leaf collections and learning about different types of trees
  • Continuing on our rote memorization from Preschool
  • Audiobooks

New School Year: New Outlook

New School Year: New Outlook.  This year, I will have 1 married and graduated college; 1 will be a junior in college and preparing for her marriage; 1 junior, 1 senior, 2 in 6th grade, and a preschooler.

What on Earth??????!!!!!!!!!  I have been homeschooling for 19 years.

That does not even seem possible.  I’ve always been a semester at a time kind of chick and I never dreamed I would HS for this long.  Last year was tough, not gonna lie.  I was a slacker, but the kids did finish up their stuff.  Hunter was diagnosed with OMS in June 2017.  That just encompassed our lives.  This year, we are moving forward and being more aggressive (or back to normal, last year was just not normal).

Breakdown

Noah will still be working.  He will do the first half of this senior year as normal…he will take the ACT again.  Once that score gets to where it needs to be, he will be on target for college.  **Excuse me while I lay in a fetal position while eating cheese and crying.**  Grayce will be tackling 10th grade.  Realistically, it will be more of middle school review and freshman work.  She has hit a bit of a plateau in some areas.  She excels in others.  She has FASD, so we push as far as we can push, but we make sure she has life skills and the basics down.  We are looking into Job Corp or Cosmetology school for her, for her future.

The Middles

Daniel should be in the 7th grade, but he is behind.  He is considered MMD (mild mental deficiency) and FASD. He is also dyslexic, so he has always been an uphill battle.  I have a curriculum for him, that is specific for kids with dyslexia.  I’m going to supplement that with a ton of history (his strength), some science, Bible, and he is pretty on target for his math.  It is getting tougher, so we will just really make sure he has down pat what he knows.  Jude is on target, so we will trudge forward and try to keep his emerging tween attitude at bay.

And the Wee One

Hunter, I have some stuff for him, but his learning will all be memorization and lots of reading.  His memory is affected by ATLD and he can’t hold a pencil, so writing is out of the question.  He will also have his 3 hr therapies, once a week.

I hope to get up the curriculum that I will be using, this year.  I also want to add in some freebie sites that we will be using or even free apps.  I have ideas swirling and twirling around in my brain…just got to get it all out on paper and then I can write about it.

Never a dull moment!

 

 

Sample: Letter of Intent to Homeschool

Here is a Sample: Letter of Intent to Homeschool to send to your local DPP.  Please 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/him 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 school’s 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 homeschool for the 2018-2019 (or current school year) 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

Getting It Done

Getting It Done

Today, my goal is simply getting it done.  I slept in, which was glorious.  It is a rainy day, and I love sleeping in on rainy days.  We have one child dog sitting for the week, one child on a church retreat, one child at a friend’s house, and three children home just watching movies and playing.  I’m trying to sit here and ignore the fact that school starts back up on Monday.  *Sigh*  I need to let that resonate…….School.  Starts.  Monday.  Ugh.

My goal, this weekend, is to get my house put back together.  Christmas stuff has been LONG put up (I begin taking it down Christmas Day and finish up the day after), so that is not the problem.

The problem is that in 2014, I have slacked in the organizing/cleaning/keeping stuff put where they belong department.  I was aware of it all last year, but chose to ignore that still small voice that said: “get your stuff in order.”

Eventually, I will get it done.  It is wise to keep a trash bag/can and a giveaway box handy to help out.  Once the boxes are full, I put the giveaway box in the truck to drop off at a local needline and I take the garbage to the garbage.

A Few Days Ago

I tackled all but one of my kitchen cabinets. There was a point where I got them all cleaned out and reorganized them.  One drawer, however, needs to be finished.  Also, the drawer under the stove.  Then, I refilled my homemade spices (seasoning, enchilada, taco, spaghetti, ranch, onion soup mix mixes).

Some of those recipes can be found here.  This is one way that I save money.  While I’m doing that, it depletes my spices, so I made a detailed list of the things that I needed to buy in bulk at Sams.  I also need to organize/sweep out the pantry, but that is pretty much it for the kitchen.

Today

I started in the laundry room and went through every nook and cranny.  It was an intentional moment when I put every tool back in its spot.  Also, I wiped every surface and underneath surfaces and did all the laundry.  At some point, I still need to clean out the dryer hose, deep down the lint tray of the dryer and then that will be done.  It feels good.  Really really good.

All the floor mats and blankets/sheets need to be washed.  The pillows need refreshing by throwing them in the dryer on fluff with a sponge made with my homemade dryer sheets.  I will have the kids (after they strip their bedding and bring me their pillows) spray Febreze on their mattresses and flip them, if necessary.

Once their bedding is all done and smelling good, it is a good start to deep cleaning their rooms.  I also replenished all of my homemade cleaners.

Big Daddy’s Job

Big Daddy is running all my mundane errands.  He is a jewel-like that cause he knows I don’t like to get out, especially in the rain.  Furthermore, he is working on refinancing our home to get us a fixed rate.  Also, he is also picking up a kid, medicine, and doing most of the grocery shopping. We will do the rest tomorrow night at Sams.

The living room is pretty well organized and straightened. I still need to dust and clean the windows.  Also, I need to brush off the dog hair from my furniture and clean one piece of furniture.  At some point, I am going to move everything to sweep/mop underneath and make sure the school closet is done. I went on a quest to organize Big Daddy’s movie obsession and I’m thrilled that he is parting with some movies.  We still have a TON, but I got some new shelving and have them all pretty and easy to find.

I also hung pictures and set up pictures that I have been meaning to do for a while.  I have a pile on my mantle of things that people have left here, by accident.  I’m thrilled to have got rid of most of that stuff.

The dining room is the same way…just needs a good sweeping/mopping.  I want to tackle my appliance closet and the boys toy closet.  The little boys will help me with that.  It is their stuff and they need to learn how to organize their stuff so it is easier to find.  I will also wash all of their play clothes because they STINK.

Bedrooms

I cleaned the carpet upstairs, so I just need to dust and vacuum up there.  There is a deep need to rehang my curtains and put my books back where they belong instead of haphazardly stacking them everywhere.  Recently, went through my filing cabinet upstairs and shredded a lot, threw away a lot and then organized the rest.  Finally, I have all my appliance booklets in a binder to make them easier to find.  That has helped a ton.

The kids’ bedrooms need their carpets cleaned and vacuumed.  They also need to be dusted.  We need to go through and find all the socks that are mismatched or don’t have a match.  I do this frequently. We throw away holey socks and holey underwear and when there isn’t a match, I have a small laundry basket in the laundry room that I can put it in or look through.

The girls’ socks are pretty easy to weed through.  They already wear mismatched socks so that takes off a lot of pressure for me.  The boys, however, go through socks like water.  We don’t have to try on/go through clothes again because we just did that, so we are good in that department.

Schoolwork

The kids’ schoolwork is ready for them.  They each have their own buckets that house their personal stuff in it.  All the tablets are powered and ready for us.  The computer has been cleaned off and virus protection has been scanned.  Schedules are already done because I do it a year at a time.

I’ve got this…………….really, I do!!!!!!!

Off to work.  I’ll be posting my menu for the next few days tomorrow.  Don’t forget about my giveaway for THE IDENTICAL movie.  Leave a comment, with your email address, in the comments section below for a chance to win.  The drawing will happen on January 5th!

Thoughts on Lifeskills Class

Here are my thoughts on our Thoughts on Lifeskills Class for homeschooling.  This has been an interesting experiment, to say the least.

Child 1’s Job

Peach (works at McDonald’s):  We *sort of* have this ironed out.  She will be doing daily lunches, at my house.  Also, she will have to make sure the bathrooms, during the lunch hour, are clean.  Realistically, she will also have to keep the dining area clean and the kitchen clean.  She will create menus with prices.  Next, she will pull that hair back and slap on those rubber gloves.  Finally, she will cook, serve, collect money, and clean.

One day a week, she will be cooking McD type items (burgers, cheeseburgers, McChickens, fries) for our two families.  She will have to create fry holders and wrap all items appropriately.  She will be accepting checks, debits, and cash…she must learn how to count cash back.  We would like to get a field trip to a fast food place (or any restaurant) to see how things really work.  Pizza Hut is usually really good at doing this.

Child 2’s Job

Gigi (farmer):  She has had to clean out the meat chicken’s coops and the laying hen coops.  She has had to feed and water all farm animals.  Also, she has had to transfer the horse poop and work it through the garden area to prepare it for planting next year.  Then, she is weeding flower gardens and soon will be planting fall flowers.  Finally, she will learn how to feed horses/cows properly, any “how-tos” with horse maintenance.  We will be planning a field trip to a local farmer and learn how to milk cows and work tobacco farms.  She will work the yards of both families.

Child 3’s Job

Boo (stay at home dad):  We have that pretty much covered. Whatever I have to do, he does.  He will also be spending at least one day a week with Pam and her family being a stay at home dad to them…cleaning/cooking/chauffering, etc.

Child 4’s Job

Catfish (army):  He will do exercise drills, hiking, learning how to live in the woods, shoot guns…he will teach a couple of times to all the kids and every day do drills with my children.  We are going to try and plan a field trip to Ft. Campbell…we shall see on that one.  We will also be planning a field trip to the police station, ambulance service, and the fire department.  In doing that, we will bake these people cookies and create cards to show our respect and appreciation for all they do.

Child 5’s Job

Little Man (doctor):  He will take blood pressures, pulses, and blood sugars from everyone in the family, as well as Pam’s family.  He will learn how to clean out cuts, what types of creams to use on burns or cuts, how to bandage properly.  We would like to go on a field trip to a local doctors office.  We will also try to get a field trip to the health department.  They will talk about nutrition, staying healthy, how to do examines (hearing and vision), etc.

 

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