Homeschooling Tips To Keep You Sane

 

This is my second year homeschooling. Last year I was homeschooling my 13 year old and 6 year old daughters. I also had a 2 year old boy who turned 3. I didn’t do that much schooling with him but I had to keep him busy. Well this year I am homeschooling a 14, 6, 4, and 3 year old. I had to figure out how to be organized and fast. Now I use to be a public school teacher but homeschooling is so different. So I began reorganizing myself and my brain around how to homeschool 4 kids.

 

Here are some tips that have helped our first week to go by so smoothly:


1. Schedule – we do so much better when everyone has a schedule that they have to follow. On this blog is show you how I run each day with a schedule. http://www.homeschoolingwomenofgod.com/homeschool/resources/

2. Lesson Plans – writing out my lesson plans helps. I have noticed that some of the kids work through certain areas of school faster than others. Having two weeks of school planned out at a time, has helped me to figure out what to do next, if my kids finish something early.  http://www.homeschoolingwomenofgod.com/homeschool/resources/

3. I have play boxes that they can get out. There is everything from puzzles, to alphabet stamps, stickers, crafts,coloring books, playdough, etc. Put things in boxes that work for you and your kids. I know some parents playdough would be too messy during school time. Maybe you have older kids. You could have flash cards, games, fun puzzle books, etc. This helps to keep play time or any down time a little more constructive. It also helps keep them focused on school.

4. When it starts to get crazy, put on some music. I notice that when I have soothing music on, my kids all seem to relax. You could even spray a little lavender in the room to calm everyone down.

5. If one of your kids is really struggling in a certain subject area, I let them try something else for awhile, then come back to the subject that they had a hard time with. I did this with my 14 year old today. She just couldn’t understand her math lesson. So we did science instead. Then went back to math. She was able to calm down and figure out what she was doing wrong.

6.  When all else falls, just call it a day. It is ok if you stop homeschooling on a day that everyone is fighting, grumpy, or when you are ready to pull your hair out. Now you shouldn’t do this all the time. Then the kids will be grumpy just to get out of school. You know your kids and yourself. Do not push yourself so hard that you blow. It’s not worth it. A well rounded child comes from patience, peace and stability.

 

Remember your kids are only young once. We all have bad days, but lets make sure that there are a lot more good days than bad days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, You Need an Attitude Adjustment!!

 

I don’t know about you, but there are days that being a stay-at-home mom is not so appealing. I want to throw in the towel, go lay on the beach by myself somewhere, with no husband and no kids, and just be all alone. Soaking up the peace and quiet. Enjoying the sunshine without kids screaming and my husband tugging on me because he is horny again. And sometimes it seems like those days creep in more than other times. So the other day I asked myself, why is it that there are times when I want to give up being a stay-at-home mom? God answered with, you need an attitude adjustment.

 

Seeing it Through God’s Eyes


So many days I wake up with a check list in my head. I need to get this done and this done and this done and before the day even begins, and then, I am stressed out. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Then my kids wake up and they’ll ask me questions or want things and I will get grumpy because I feet like there is already too much on my plate. AWWWW!! (more…)

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Releasing the Mundane Homeschool Routine

release mundane homeschool routine

I do not know about your kids, but mine seem to be wound up everyday for the last few weeks. I have tried doing our subjects in a different order. I have tried playing more games and moving more as we learn school. I have even tried to cut down a little bit on how much school that we cover each day, allowing the kids to have more time to play outside. Nothing has seemed to work, until yesterday.

A New Adventure

Yesterday morning I woke up and felt like things needed to change, when it came to doing school work. The kids had really short attention spans lately. They seemed to get easily frustrated and would have a melt down more than usually. I also felt worn out and frustrated. I wanted them to get done with school faster. I wanted them to just do what I said, so that we could get school done. All around, we were a pretty angry bunch to be around. This is not how I wanted homeschooling to be. So, it was time for a new adventure.

We woke up and ate our breakfast like normal. Then we proceeded to start our Bible time and read aloud time as normal. When we were finished with our read aloud story, I announced that we were going to finish doing our school work at the library. They were so excited. Everyone helped to get all of the school supplies around, get their own lunch packed up and get themselves ready to go. We were out of the house within 15 min.

Off to the library we went. For the first 15 minutes I just let them walk around the library, choosing books and movies that they wanted to take home. We then went to story time and enjoyed wonderful stories and songs together. I let my older child sit in the back and read some of the books that she had found in the library to herself. She says that she is too old for story time. While, my youngest sat still for about 20 minutes, completely engaged with the story teller.

After story time, we went back into the library and did math, reading, writing and grammar for the day. When we were finished they walked around the library again. We decided that we wanted to start raising chickens. So we looked up the names for some chicken books that might explain what we needed to do, to get ready to raise chickens. They were so excited. Then we sat down and ate lunch together.

When lunch was over we checked all of our books and movies out. The bag felt like it weighed a 100 pounds. Then we headed out to our car. I still had one more surprise for them. I drove to Dunkin Donuts. We went inside. They each got a donut, while I got a smooth, hot decaf macchiato with caramel. It was heaven in a cup. I pulled out a card game, that we had never played before, and showed them how to play.

We sat in Dunkin Donuts for over an hour, playing our card game, enjoying our snacks and me drinking my amazing cup of coffee. It was so much fun and the kids were still learning, because the card game that we were playing made them pay attention to different numbers that matched, putting numbers in order and thinking about what to do next.

Learning New Ways

I have been so focused on keeping a schedule and making plans. Making sure that we stay on task and not allowing my kids to grow from the world around them. As I continue to grow as a homeschooling mom, I am learning more of who my kids are and how they learn best. After being a public school teacher for so long, I have only ever known one way to teach kids. But, now as I read more homeschooling blogs and look into different types of learning styles, I realize that the problem in our homeschool life lies within myself. Within my ideals of what is right and wrong. About what this world really means.

Cutest Part

The biggest realization that I have found out from homeschooling is that being book smart isn’t even half of what makes a person, a productive member of society. All those qualities of someone who is responsible, respectful, hard working, and honest are grown within the times that we learn from playing and just living life.

The most substantial improvement is that true wisdom comes from learning God’s Word. Taking the time to not only read His Word, but applying to everyday life. Making changes within myself has allowed my children to change at the same time.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal

of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what

is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

In all that we do, to raise kids that follow God with their whole heart, is all that there is. Nothing else matters. Have you ever watched a child that truly has a heart for God? It is the utmost amazing thing to watch. The love that they show in their eyes. Their true JOY in everything. Their gentleness. It is like seeing Jesus on earth. And if only that small child can grow into a teenager that defends their faith and eventually an adult who never waivers from their faith. Because, within a heart that has been wholly given to God, is a person who loves, finds peace and happiness in everything, in only a way that God could produce.

So moms as you go about your homeschooling week, remember what is important. Find new ways to have fun in homeschool. And know that you are your child’s best teacher.

May God Bless you in everything that you do,

Homeschooling Women of God

Miranda Templar

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I Am Just The Frumpy Stay-At-Home Mom

When Feeling Sexy Is No Where In Sight

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I was sitting around the fire, just my husband and I last night, drinking wine and talking, and I could not figure out for the life of me why I am not horny. I don’t feel sexy at all. I am tired, worn out and do not feel like a woman anymore. I do not understand where all of this is coming from?

Why Do I Feel Frumpy?

Two years ago God asked me to quit my job and become a homeschooling mommy. I was shocked. I didn’t want to quit my job. I loved being a public school teacher. I loved going to work everyday where I felt like I was making a difference. I got paid to be with kids, which I love. When I left my job I felt broken inside. A part of me had been lost and I didn’t know what to do.

I had my first child 10 days after I turned 19. I am now 34 four years old. I have a 15 year old daughter, a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. I feel like my whole life revolves around them and my husband. I have lost who I really am. It would be so easy to just run away and leave it all behind.

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GED Instead of a Diploma

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As a mom who homeschools, my children will not receive a diploma. We live in the state of NY and they do not recognize homeschooling as worthy of a diploma like public, private and charter schools. Since I have a child in ninth grade, I decided to sit down with our local community college personnel and talked with her about our options. It was very interesting and eye opening.

GED

My daughter, who is in ninth grade, is ahead in her math and elective courses. She is finishing up her tenth grade math course, this year and has one and a half extra credits for elective courses for next year. This will make her eligible for college math next year if she is ready. She will have to take the college placement test to see if she is capable of doing college math. The problem with all of this, is by her senior year, she will be able to take a full year of college courses. But, since she will not have a high school diploma, we would be paying for all college expenses out of pocket. That would be a good chunk of money. The local community college personnel mentioned having her take the GED test and use that as her diploma. GED stands for general education development. Most people do not want their child to take the GED test because, it brings with it the stigma that your child is less capable. But what if that isn’t the case. This test allows your child the opportunity to apply for financial aid for college. It also grants them their graduation from high school. So, why are we not taking this test more, and allowing our children to have access to the local college courses when they are ready.

Even when your child finishes all of their high school requirements and they have finished their senior year, you are still not allowed to apply for financial aid. Your child has to take one full semester of college before they can apply. The problem with applying half way through the year, is that most of the financial aid is gone. That means that you will be paying for most, if not all, of their first year of college. Financial aid is almost a first come first serve program. Granted, the money is given to families that need it the most first, but to receive any amount of financial aid, you need to apply in early spring for the following fall. Why not take the GED test to allow your child to opportunity to apply for financial aid?

TASC

In NY the test is no longer called GED, it is now the TASC test. TASC stands for test assessing secondary completion. This test was made the new standardization test in January of 2014. This test includes the new common core standards.  If you live in NY state, here is a website that will help to answer any questions that you have about the TASC test: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/ . If you do not live in NY state here is another website that will help to answer your questions: http://www.tasctest.com/.

 

Common Core

Now I know that a lot of people will bristle up, when they here the words common core. But, you need to understand that the debate is not over the standards, but the way they are trying to be implemented. You can teach your child the common core standards using any curriculum. All you need to do is print off the common core standards, for your child’s grade level, in your state. For NY state you can go to https://www.engageny.org/. Then look over the current curriculum that you are using. See if there are any holes between what your curriculum is teaching and what the common core standards are for your child at their grade level. For instance, in math your child may not start multiplication until third grade, using the current curriculum that you have. In common core it is started in second grade. You can then find lessons online that teach your child the common core standard that is missing from their curriculum.

The one difference between common core and most of the curriculum that we use, is in math. For common core they want your child to be more of a problem solver. In NY the common core math modules contain fluency test, real world word problems, hands-on questions and then worksheets for each day of math. I have found that this is the most comprehensive math program so far. I was a public school teacher for almost 9 years. I have used a variety of math programs while teaching. I like the common core math modules the most. In NY you are allowed to print of these modules no matter who you are. Go to this website and check them out for yourself: https://www.engageny.org/common-core-curriculum. But, you need to understand that they are teaching our children math in a different way from how we were taught. At first it seems weird, because it is such a change from how we learned. Take the time to look at all the grade levels in common core for math. This will help you to see why they are learning math the way that they are, and where they are to go with it.

Now reading, the skills that are being taught are great, but the reading modules in NY I do not like. You can use any book that you want with your children and still use the common core standards as a guide of what to teach them in each book. The same goes for writing.

Overview

I hope that this blog helps other families out there with their questions about common core and high school diplomas. I really recommend that you visit your state’s website page and get familiar with what the standards are. Even though we are not held to those standards the rest of the world is. So with the flexibility of choosing how and what we teach our kids, we can do this while we still follow our state’s standards.

Finally, take the time to meet with a college personnel that can help you set up a plan for your high school student. They will help you to know what classes your child can take at the local college. They will even give you options for online classes, classes at the college campus and how to make sure that you are on the right path so that your child can take these courses. Do not forget to ask them about financial aid options and mention the GED/TASC test and see what they say.

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