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2012-2013 Curriculum 2.0

Since my original post on our curriculum for the year (back in September), I have made a good number of changes, so I figured it was about time for an updated version! 🙂 Here it is… Language Arts We left behind Time4Learning for various reasons – mostly math related issues. Now we are using How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and Haden’s progress since starting has been amazing, and we are only on lesson 40. I’m sure it isn’t the most interesting program to use out there, but it is effective and our lessons are never more than 15 minutes (usually less). I wish we had made a change sooner. As a supplement, we are using the program, ClickNKids. Math Time4Learning Kindergarten curriculum worked in hands-on activities, and used living math books to reinforce concepts introduced in the online lessons, which really worked well for us, but that stopped in their First Grade curriculum. After considering some various options, I decided that Living Math really is the best fit for us. So, now I am building my own lessons each week using various resources. Pintrest has really been my friend, and I’ve actually worked together a pretty awesome Living Math board. A little shout out for Education Unboxed too! I was so happy to find this website. Education Unboxed is filled with instructional videos on how to use Cuisenaire Rods to teach math concepts – way more than I ever could have come up with on my own. Tools for Living Math 🙂   Science All my original plans for science have been working out well, but I have been working in more science than I originally planned. It has definitely become a favorite in our house! After we started school for the year, I bought Elemental Science’s Preschool Series Used because I had the opportunity, and since then have been working in parts of it on the subjects that we haven’t done much study on. It is a little young for him, but it has been easy to make it more meaty by using their extra recommended reading books. It uses the book Science Play, which is what I used to build the Toddler science class I just finished teaching with out co-op. (I have every intention of posting my plans soon, so others can use them.) I love that it is not textbooky. It is notebooking and activity heavy. Also, I appreciate how easy it is to use their lesson plans flexibly, and that there are additional things you can add in if the interest is there. I’m planning to use their Elementary... read more

2013!!! Here’s to getting it right!

I’m running a little behind on getting this post out. As usual, although I intended to be a blog writing machine during my break from school that hasn’t really panned out in reality. Oh, well. 2012 was a really good year for us. SO I really want more of that. I wrote these goals out over the summer in preparation for the new school year, but since I haven’t really given them much thought since then it seems like a good time to actively start trying to actually focus on them. My focus going into 2013: Keep letting go. This year my anxiety levels have been pretty minimal. I don’t want to back track. I just have to remember to not get so caught up in the day to day crap, notice how I am feeling about life and do what I need to stay happy. Let go of other people’s expectations for me, but probably more importantly the expectations I place on myself. Fight less. I really want to minimize the amount of time we (my family) spend being snappy with each other or having full out brawls, so I’m trying to pay attention to our triggers for negative behavior. Remember, I don’t have to do everything! Less is sometimes more. And sometimes less is all I have energy for so it will just have to do. These are more centrally focused on our homeschool: Be more open to on-the-fly learning. I have to be less focused on trying to plan everything out, and being MORE available to the needs of always curious children. Support more independent, student-led projects and learning, which is why I’ve completely cut Fridays out of our regularly scheduled school so that they have a free day where I can stop focusing on the stuff I feel like they need to be learning and can ask, “What would YOU like to learn about today? What do you want to explore?” Foster entire family participation in activities. I would really like to find ways to get Michael more comfortably involved in our homeschool. Today, we had one of those rather perfect homeschooling moments. While we were cooking dinner, my kids were in the back yard doing this… Later, I told Haden that what they did on the seesaw was Math, and he just looked at me all confused-like.... read more

Year 2012: A Round-up on the Blog

Another year has gone by, and while I didn’t blog nearly as much as I hoped, I still managed to write a WHOPPING 93 posts in 2012. Yeah, I was surprised by that number too. I thought it would be fun to look at some of the highlights from the year. My NUMBER 1 most visited blog from this year was…..!!!! Stand Strong and Loud: My contribution to Blog for International Women’s Day that was hosted by Gender Across Borders and CARE. This year’s theme was “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.” Following behind (in order) were… Our Next School Year: The Plan: My post on this years curriculum plan, which I should probably just write a complete update post on considering we have completely ditched Time4Learning, and are now using How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, ClickNKids, living math ideas, and Pintrest to replace it. Oh, and we ditched our Road Trip USA curriculum too. I have really been reevaluating our approach to school recently, especially since we’ve been on our Winter break. This one was originally posted on a Homeschool Blog Hop. Rethinking Education: A persuasive essay on homeschooling, outlining benefits and considerations. Our Homeschool Space: The title is pretty self-explanatory. 😛 Another one that I did on the above mentioned Homeschool Blog Hop, which is what contributed to its popularity. This is me… throwing down: My response post to the whole Chickfila controversy BULLSHIT over the summer. It is probably my favorite post from the past year. Now, I figured that I would add in a couple of honorable mentions, because even though they might not have made the top five traffic-wise on my blog, they were in MY favorites when I wrote them. And really that is more freakin’ important. Warning Snark Ahead – with a fair amount of cussing: From just last month – 5 things that I learned after the Sandy Hook shooting. Homeschooling: An Interview with My Kids: It was just so darn cute. Tit Terrorists?: My thoughts on how we (lactavists) talk about breastfeeding and approach our activism.   Get to reading the ones you missed! 😉... read more

Our 2012 Family Slideshow

For those that missed it on Facebook right before Christmas… our 2012 family photo album/slideshow! I love how this years turned out, and it is always nice to look back over your year to remember all the really great things about it. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!... read more

Scheduling Our Homeschool

Before, I mentioned  in my A Day in the Life of This Homeschoolin’ Mom post, that we don’t really have set schedule every day for school, but more like a list of goals I would like to accomplish for that day, and we just work them in at some point throughout our day. I thought I would expand on that a bit, and show you what my list of weekly goals actually looks like, so that it doesn’t sound quite so vague. I only schedule a week at a time, and usually begin my planning for the following week on Fridays. I use a weekly schedule planner that I got from the Notebooking Nook. You can find it near the end of the page in the Planning section. The layout is simple, there is enough space for me to list all the subjects that I would need for any given week, and the boxes are big enough for my writing. 😛 So, each day I schedule out the things I would like to get done on that day, and I always schedule our Fridays much lighter. Generally, we plan something out of the house on Friday anyways, but also because if we don’t get to something on a certain day, our schedule can be adjusted with work being pushed onto our Friday schedule without it being a big deal. We are usually working on school at different points between 10 and 2, but at the end of the day we probably never actually work more than 2 hours a day, and that would be on a heavier day. That is just accounting for our planned lessons or activities, and doesn’t include learning that just happens, or our reading time before bed, which could be consider “school,” but is more of a family ritual for us. Sometimes, I will completely cut something from our list if I feel like I scheduled too much, which may or may not get added into the next week’s plans. 🙂 I try my best to stay flexible with it. So…. How do you schedule your... read more

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