Friday, September 13, 2013

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Ideas for organizing your Homeschool Part II

This week in our life...

 This week we started our homeschool year.  And this year we are trying a staggered start for school. The kiddos won't start all of their courses for a few weeks. We celebrated our third daughters 8th birthday and had her official birthday party. It  is just unbelievable to me that she is 8. Speaking of birthdays, It was a rough summer with the oldest turning 15, the 2nd one hit double digits at 10 and the twins are out of diapers...oh the despair. 

 Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

    Montessori Style Preschool

  1. Get as organized as you can before the school years starts.Also make a list of everything that you did and what still needs to be done. Keep that list so the next year you can hopefully accomplish even more and do it more quickly. 
  2.  Try to buy any new curriculum you've decided to use for the new school year, as soon as you can. This way you have as much time as possible to familiarize yourself with the 'proper' use of the curriculum. Reading the Teacher's Manual before the school year can sometimes save you lots of tears! (Proper use of the curriculum is ultimately it's up to you! But I like to know how they meant it to be used before I start changing it up.)
  3. Try to buy used and save the difference; we look for everything used and try to buy things either used or discounted. 
  4. Try to stick with the same curriculum every year. I know it sounds so boring but the more familiar you are with a curriculum the better you can teach it,. You will know what field trips pertain to the curriculum if there are extras on YouTube or Netflix, which books in the library were fruitful etc... Additionally, more information will be placed on the little hooks the child created the first time they went through it, thus creating a deeper understanding and the retention of more information.
  5. Finally, don't overwork the little scholars (as is my habit).
In my homeschool this week.....
XtraMath logo

So far the biggest hit for everyone is xtramath . XtraMath is basically a computerized math drill for the children. They race the teacher and practice facts and they are really enjoying it. I like it because it produces easily understandable reports that quickly show me a students shortcomings and their strengths.It takes about 15 minutes each day. As far as I'm concerned for Grammar age kids that is 15 minutes well spent.
History Notebook 

 Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… 
This week we went to our Homeschool Encouragement and Academic Fellowship for our first real session.

My favorite thing this week was… 
 My favorite thing this week was being on a more regular schedule. Next summer I am going to be sure to create a summer schedule to keep us on track. But I've also really enjoyed listening to the biography on Newton.

My kiddos favorite thing this week was… 
Surely my children's favorite activity this week was going to co-op to see their friends.Unfortunately, only two of the five families were there but we still had a great time. My kiddos were talking about their science experiment all the way home and for the rest of the week.

Things I’m working on… 
I am still working on finalizing each students checkoff lists  and making sure I have check-off lists for each subject. Each year, I find I have forgotten to add this or that and spend a week or two making adjustments. These checkoff lists have revolutionized our homeschooling and they are well worth the effort.

What I'm Reading…
For me this category really should be what I'm listening to, which is still Isaac Newton by Gleick. I became interested in the life of Newton after previewing one of the children's biographies. Did you know that he was basically abandoned by his mother on her first husband's estate as a teenager when she went to remarry in her early 30's. That when he entered the University although his mother could have provided support for him, she again choose not to do so. It makes me wonder if these things made him more hungry for knowledge.

As a Mama of many I have found that audio books have enabled me to keep on learning! ;) Plus, I sound so sophisticated when I tell folks I'm reading an  autobiography of Issac Newton.

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  1. Kids grow to fast. But it must be nice to be out of diapers. We are trying our best to potty train our youngest. Not ready for here to grow up but I am ready for no more diapers!

    1. Yes, Emmalee you are right it is very nice for them to be out of diapers and they do grow up much too fast! Blessings,K

  2. I've used Xtra math with my 2 youngest as well. It's no-nonsense which I like! LOL The kids don't enjoy it much, but they'll thank me later when math gets harder!

    1. Yes, it is. I did not want the bells and whistles I wanted the job to get done! My kids really like it but I think it's because they get a berry shake when they master a level and they are all racing against each other.I have two kiddos that really slowed down in (5th & 6th grade math) in the amount of math they could complete and that is when I checked their fact knowledge/speed.As we've been doing Xtra math their math is becoming easier for them. You are totally right and mine are thankful.

  3. Great tips! Our oldest just turned 15, as well. Our "baby" will be double digits in a couple of months. Sniff, sniff. Have a wonderful weekend. Many blessings, Lisa

  4. I never thought of audio books for me -- I"m always thinking about them for the kids! That'd be something good to listen to while I'm in the kitchen though!! Fabulous idea!! :)

    1. That is the main place I listen to it also, it must be a Mama thing! ;)


Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

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