Friday, November 17, 2017

FREE COMPLETE MATH CURRICULUM GIVEAWAY



Recently, I was surprised with the opportunity to receive a free complete math curriculum,  titled Themeville Math.
You can watch my video where I do a show and tell over this math curriculum.
The author,  Avi Patil,  so generously gave me the complete program to try out, as a way of promoting his product in hopes of spreading the word about this NEW math curriculum. You can learn more about this new program at his website here. www.themevillemath.com 
Themeville Math is available in levels 1-5. He has plans to create higher levels.  The curriculum is referred to as levels, they don't necessarily correspond to grade level.  There is a placement test on the website,  as well as samples of each curriculum level, to guide you to the right placement for your child.
Mr.  Patil has a degree in mechanical engineering and had spent years taking college level math courses and tutoring and teaching children, as well as adults.
During that time he noticed how many different learning styles there were.  So,  he set out to create a math program.  Themeville Math is the fruit of 10 years of his hard work. 
Themeville Math combines a spiral and mastery approach. It also has some elements for the auditory learner, visual learner,  as well as the hands on learner. 
(The manipulative kit is simply-AWESOME, just saying.)
The books show step by step how to do a new math concept.  For the most part, the books are directed towards the student for self teaching, or minimal parent teaching.  The books are in black and white, so there's no need to get distracted by colors or pictures.  I feel the lessons build on previously learned skills well.  There is ample review.  I was pleasantly surprised and appreciated the variety of topics covered in the reviews, which the reviews are called "pre-lessons."
Mr.  Patil has a You Tube channel titled Themeville Math, if your interested.
If you purchase the curriculum you will have access to the short videos where he goes over each new lesson to help the child understand the topic. 
The manipulative kit is very nice.  It includes things such as a ruler,  place value chips,  clock,  money (fake bills and coins),  large vinyl unit measurement scale strip,  overlays,  100 chart,  unit blocks,  rods,  a cute container for the rods and blocks,  and more!
There are a lot of problems for each review and new lesson,  however Mr.  Patil  says, since you know your child the best only do the problems that are necessary and only the amount you feel are agreeable. 
Some children may need to do more or less problems.  Some children may or may not need to watch the videos.  Some children may or may not need to use the manipulatives.  What you choose to do, how you choose to do it,  and how much you choose to do is entirely up to you and what is best for your child. 
Now,  that you have read this and hopefully checked out those blue links within the text, watch this video where I tell you what we thought of this curriculum after my 4th grader used it for 2 weeks.  At the end of that video, as well as in the video's description box, are the details of the GIVEAWAY for this  COMPLETE MATH CURRICULUM!
That's right,  Avi Patil gave this to me for free so I'm passing along the goodness. I'm even covering the shipping charge! All you have to do to win this program is go to this video and in the comments section write,  at least a sentence, as to why you need or would really like to receive this program.
I will let comments build up for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I will have my children read through the comments and choose the person they would like to receive this.  On November 30 I will announce the winner. The one *catch is you MUST have a shipping address that is within the 48 connected United States of America, sorry Hawaii and Alaska.  
Good luck to all!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How Should A Family Celebrate Halloween?

Well, it is the beginning of October. The leaves are changing colors as the temperatures get cooler. The crisp autumn wind gently blows the leaves to the ground; while it stirs the comforting smell of earth and dry leaves around the yard.

As I type this, I am looking out of my living room window at a little bird perched on my front porch railing, or possibly more true, is that it is watching me while tilting its head as if to say, “winter’s coming, so where is my bird feeder?”

Yes, the fall season is my favorite season of all. The fall brings with it several holidays some popular and well celebrated and others not so much. One big holiday coming up will be Halloween. Everyone knows about how much fun Halloween is, but what many don’t know is how Halloween got started. Don’t worry, I’m not going to “reinvent the wheel” by telling you the history of it, no…..I’m going to give you links so you can read about it yourself. 

I grew up celebrating Halloween in the traditional way of dressing up in costumes and going from door to door saying, “TRICK OR TREAT!” That was pretty good fun. We’d get home and my parents would check the candy for safety then we could eat it. Although, I’m pretty sure they did take some chocolate. I guess I can’t blame them b/c I take my kid’s chocolate ALL-THE- TIME. Lol
I would bag up my candy, well in all honesty I threw away the colored hard candy and only kept the chocolate (that stuff is GOLD!) I would bag up what I was going to keep and hide it in my room and eat on it throughout the year. It was hard, but I always managed to have candy left up until nearly the next Halloween. My sister, however, she didn’t seem to have her candy last as long. Of course, IF, I ate some of hers that could be why. However, I’m not admitting to anything. My point is it was a fun time.

Spring forward to the present century. I’m now a married mother of two. My children also got to enjoy the fun of dressing up and trick or treating. About seven years ago, when my youngest was 2, I started to question if Halloween was ‘ok’ or not, as I am a Christian. SO, I started to do some research and I didn’t like the things I was learning. My husband and I decided to quit ‘doing’ Halloween. It actually wasn’t too big of a deal. Our kids were completely all right with the decision. We replaced Halloween with going to my sister’s or my parents’ house for a bonfire for roasting s’mores and hot dogs, complete with hay bales while all the kids ran around outside howling like coyotes at the moon. We also had the fall festival at church complete with the bonfire, good, games, and a hayride. All in all, we were happy and satisfied and didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything during this pagan holiday.

Now that we have recently moved 4 hours away from ‘home.’ What are we going to do for Halloween without a home church yet and family here???? Quite frankly we hadn’t thought about it……until two weeks ago……when our 9 year old asked if they could go trick or treating and dress up. What did I say? I answered her how EVERY mom answers things they don’t want to discuss at the moment, “I don’t know, we’ll see.” 

I talked to my husband about it and we both still felt like the traditional Halloween wasn’t right for us. He told me to do a little homeschool lesson on learning the history of Halloween and let her see it on her own for what it is. I researched Halloween and every site I was reading was basically saying the same thing. I bookmarked a couple of the more in depth sites and decided to do the little history lesson on Halloween.

As I said, I’m not going to give you the history lesson, but I do highly recommend you reading the links below for yourself. Whether or not you do Halloween or continue to do so is your own personal conviction, however it’s just good and interesting reading. A history lesson if nothing else.

I do want to make mention of a couple things I thought was interesting about Halloween.
-Originated as a Celtic pagan holiday
-Catholics created Halloween in hopes of converting the Celts
-In the New World the settlers were all mainly Protestant and Halloween was considered a Catholic holiday.
-First official citywide Halloween celebration, Minnesota 1921
-In the 1920’s and 1930’s Halloween became a secular holiday.
-With so much vandalism on Halloween nights, the holiday became geared more towards children by the 1950’s.

So, are you wondering if we’re ‘doing’ Halloween this year? Well, no. Today I read the Halloween information from both sites, listed below, to my children. I just read it the same as I do when I read our history lesson. Every so often I would stop and ask them to narrate what I just read, just to make sure they understood.

When we finished I asked them what they thought. My oldest who has thought Halloween was pagan for years now didn’t have any problems with it. My youngest said that it does sound like a pagan holiday and that we shouldn’t do it, but she would like to have the fun of dressing up.

We are going to see what we can do. She suggested that we could have some kids (we only know of one family so far) come over to our house sometime in October for a costume party, we’ll see. The church we have recently started attending is going to have a bonfire with food and a hayride at the pastor’s house Halloween weekend.

Overall, Halloween, here in our new area may not be too bad, as long as we can find some fun things to do.

Here are the sites where you can read and learn more about this holiday to decide for yourself.

I want to start the links off with a disclaimer. I am a Christian. I am not in any way, shape, or form a follower of the Jehovah Witness Organization/Movement.
However, an article I found very helpful about Halloween was on their site. I did use my own Bible to look up the scriptures they reference. I do like how they worded it b/c they use the Bible to back up their beliefs about Halloween.
What Does The Bible Say About Halloween. 
The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Human Body Study Resource

I hope this post finds you all healthy,  happy,  and settling down into a new homeschool year. 
Today started our 7th week of homeschool for the year.  It is going well and we are happy with it.  Of course,  in order to get happy we did have to make a couple changes and tweak our history curriculum. But, that's the beauty of homeschooling right? A family can change and tweak as needed to accommodate each child's learning styles and the ever changing seasonal needs of the family. 
Today I am wanting to share with you a link that was suggested to me by a woman named Ms.  Graves and her children.  The Graves family recently completed a study over the human body. The family used some resources I have on my website such as; my free printables  and my educational links, so when they came across this particular website they contacted me thinking it would be worthy to be added to my site to help others. 
The site is through Regis College,  which is in the Greater Boston area of our fine country. This link is to the Nurses Guide To The Human Body.
Within this link you will find information about each body system with additional links that will take you to many different online sites to help you further learn about that system,  organ,  or function.
These links can be anything from reading an article,  taking a quiz,  watching a video,  or some kind of interactive activity to help you learn the topic at hand.
Bottom line, if you are going to be putting together a study over the human body this year you might be interested in checking out this site,  or at least bookmarking it for future reference. 
I wish you all a happily blessed school year with much learning and even more happy memories. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Charlotte Mason Style Planner- A Wholesome Plan For a Living Education

Today I would like to share with you a Charlotte Mason inspired planner, A Wholesome Plan-For a Living Education. I have created this planner, since I will be incorporating more of an intentional Charlotte Mason approach into our homeschool.

This planner is beautifully, but simply, designed with a bird theme. There are Charlotte Mason quotes, divider pages, and a note page just to name a few.  This planner comes undated so you can enjoy it year after year. In this planner you will find a beautiful sheet to list down your studies for the upcoming school year. Following the year's studies page you will find the quarterly planner, where you can break down your studies into quarters, (each quarter has three sheets) then shortly after that you may further break down your year using the weekly or daily planner. Instructions as to how to use each page are included. In addition to the pages mentioned you will have also some extra pages such as; reading log, grade log, hour log, report card, resource list, and materials shopping list. There is even a weekly/daily planner sheet that is blank, so you can customize it to what subjects you are teaching. Print off as many of each of these sheets as you need.

I hope you enjoy using this planner. If you would like to see a sample just click on the caption under each picture. You may click here to find where to purchase.

SAMPLE


SAMPLE


SAMPLE

SAMPLE

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Incorporating Charlotte Mason and Seeing Some Changes in My Kids

In March 2017 I had made a video titled, Incorporating Charlotte Mason and Seeing Changes in My Kids. It is now the end of April, that video has been viewed many times and has several 'likes,' however, I have had a couple comments from people saying they can not hear what I was saying b/c of the white noise in the video. I do sincerely apologize for that, but I don't know why the noise is there. Because of this I thought I would do a blog post and type up what I said in the video.

If, however, you would like to see the video here are a few tips for better sound (hopefully).
1.Make sure that your COMPUTER'S volume is turned up all the way.
2. If you have external speakers then make sure their volume is turned up all the way.
3. Make sure the volume control on the actual You Tube video is turned up all the way.
4. If you are experiencing anything other than 'white noise' or static, try refreshing the page.

Here is the video, if you would like to watch it. The typed up version will follow.



In the video I mention how around the first part of February 2017 I felt like I needed to consider changing my homeschool approach, and if you're interested in hearing about that you can read about it here.

I consider myself to be an eclectic type homeschooler b/c we will use textbooks, unit studies, literature studies, online learning, etc... However, many people looking in from the outside would most likely classify me as a traditional homeschooler, since we have many textbooks and try to adhere to some sort of schedule.

After much research and thoughtful consideration, I decided that I would like to transition over to a more of a Charlotte Mason homeschooling method for next school year. I thought it would be a good idea to start incorporating Charlotte Mason into our current homeschool year, since we only had a couple months left of school.

The first of March I started to 'practice' Charlotte Mason in our homeschool and within the first day or two I saw an interesting thing happen. We started doing geography the Charlotte Mason way, here's a video. After doing our first, or second, geography lesson my youngest took a piece of paper and outlined the USA then she free handed drew in all the states! She's never shown any interest in maps or states and countries before. I feel like doing geography the Charlotte Mason way peeked her interest and that is why SHE chose to draw the country completely on her own in HER free time! It was incredible.

I am interested in identifying plants and natural healing. I share this with my children, and my oldest seems to be interested, while my youngest acts as if she couldn't care less. During the first two weeks of 'practicing Charlotte Mason' we spent so much time just reading and learning through our reading, that my youngest did something COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER for her. I have a book shelf in the living room that is filled with resource books for plants, natural healing, encyclopedias and more. My children have no books of their own on this book shelf, they NEVER get in this book shelf. She, on her own, went to my book shelf and picked up my Herb Book and just sat quietly in the chair looking through the book, reading to herself, and even told her older sister to listen as she read some things off that she thought was fascinating. I was floored! She read for a GOOD while, when she was done reading I asked her what she was reading off to her sister and she told me all about it and said that it was really neat!

We started incorporating some picture study the way Charlotte Mason suggests. My children like to draw already. After we had done a couple days worth of picture study, I noticed my youngest was spending more time on her drawings, trying to add more detail and texture to them. I feel like this is simply because of us intentionally spending time noticing details during our picture studies.

The last thing I have noticed of a change in my youngest since we began incorporating Charlotte Mason into our homeschool is bird watching. Since we have been done with our science for the school year but still had a few months left of school, I decided to start reading a living science book to them for school. I have been reading The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess.
This book is fascinating. It is written in a conversational tone between a rabbit and many different birds, namely Jenny Wren. During the conversations you learn about many, many different types of birds such as; what they look like, how they act, what their nests look like, and where they're built. We have been thoroughly enjoying this book.

We have a bird feeder outside our dining room window and we have countless birds of many different varieties visiting the feeder each and every day, and they have been for years now, so it's nothing new. Well, my youngest has been watching them more closely since we began reading this living science book. She's taken on a more interested role in them.

This whole process has been a great thing for us, I feel like I'm doing this homeschooling thing right, for our family. We are excited about continuing to transition over and what the next school year brings.

It's just amazing to watch your children grow and learn and develop interests. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

3 Vocabulary Games AND FREE Five-In-A-Row (Bingo Style) Sheets

My children and I have been taking a break from learning new vocabulary words using our vocab curriculum. What we have decided to do instead is to simply play games with our vocab words we have already learned this school year. My children have learned many words, some of which I've never even heard of in my life.
There are three games we play with our vocabulary words: vocab bingo, voca-ball, and vocab match.

Below, I will try to illustrate these three games.

You can watch my video about these games, if you want.

Five In A Row

Five In A Row


Vocabulary Bingo (Five-In-A-Row)
I created these Five-In-A-Row sheets to use for this game, however these sheets can be used for ANY other subject as well.
Print out the desired sheets.
I created some choices for you. Each sheet has the same format, only a different colored title, for those kids that want their own special color. The choices are black, purple, blue, pink, green, red, and orange.
I chose to slide our sheets into a page protector to reduce printing and therefore making the sheets reusable. I use a wet erase marker to write on the page protector. To use these for vocabulary I simply write the vocab words we've already learned, one word in each box. I read off definitions and each child takes a game piece, this can be anything such as beans or buttons (we are currently using googly eyes lol) and covers up the vocab word that they believe goes with the definition I read. The first one to get five in a row wins! It's that simple. *NOTE: You can use these sheets for ANY subject such as; spelling, math, history, etc... If you are wondering how to use them for spelling well, here's the answer. Use these in place of the traditional spelling test. If one of their spelling words is 'struck' you need to write 'struck' in one box 'sturck' in another box and a second wrong spelling in a third box. That forces them to look at each letter in order to find the correct one to cover up. Continue doing that with each spelling word. 

Five In A Row

Five In A Row
 Voca-Ball
This game is one we've played for MANY years with spelling. I took an old sock and filled it with dry beans then knotted the top. We play in the living room. The girls line up, they are one team and I'm the other team. We pick our first, second, and third bases, and home plate. I say a spelling word and toss them the ball. They catch the ball (hand and eye coordination) and attempt to spell the word. If they get it right, they throw the ball back to me and run to first base while I try to tag them. Even if I do tag them they're not out, it just makes the game more exciting. If they spell it incorrectly I say 'strike one!' They have a second and third chance, if necessary. If they spell it incorrectly each time they get 'strike three, you're out.' They go to the back of the line and the next child goes. Sometimes we do this in place of the traditional spelling test. If they misspell the word three times in a row, I count it wrong and when it's their turn again they get a new word. At the end of the game, when we have gone through all their spelling words, they are to write the misspelled words 5-10 times. Oops, looks like I got off track. I just told you how we play 'spelling baseball' instead of 'voca-ball.' Sorry. We use the exact same method for voca-ball as we do for spelling. However, instead of using spelling words I give them vocabulary words and they can tell me the definition OR I'll give the definition and they tell me the vocabulary word it goes with.

Vocab Match
This game is very similar to vocabulary bingo. I will take some cards with the definition written on one side and the word written on the other side. I will lay the cards out on the floor in four columns with three cards in each column. If all the cards are facing up with the vocab word then I will read off a definition and they have to race each other to find the card that goes with the definition I read. The opposite way to play this is by having all the cards with the definition facing up and saying a vocab word aloud, then they are to race each other to find the definition that goes with the word I said.

These are just some quick, fun, and effective little games that we play from time to time in our homeschool. I hope you enjoy these suggestions and have some fun of your own. You can take these game suggestions and tweak them to use for any subject.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Am I CHANGING My Homeschool Approach?! Part 2 of 2



I hope that you were able to follow my last post and glean something positive from it.
I actually wrote that post about a week before I posted it for public viewing. Since that time I have thought more and more about the things I mentioned in the last post. I have even considered as to whether or not the way I am doing school is the right way for US.

            I decided to look into the methods of homeschooling. I have been homeschooling for 8 years now and I know about all the methods, in the past I have even tried 3 different approaches to homeschooling. However, I thought it might be a good idea to refresh myself on them. I watched a video, one that I watched briefly a couple of years ago but never watched all the way through. The You Tube video is titled Five Flavors of Homeschooling, In this video the woman discusses the five most common/popular methods of homeschooling, then she tells about what a typical homeschool day might look like within each of the methods. Towards the end of the video she gives you a test of simple questions or statements and you write down the letters that are listed, IF you agree with the statement or question. So, just for fun I took this ‘quiz’ believing that it would show that I was a traditional type homeschooler, however the results were nearly unbelievable.

            The quiz showed that I leaned towards literature based, a Charlotte Mason type homeschooler. In fact, I didn’t even have one mark for the traditional textbook type homeschooler! I laughed and laughed and decided that quiz was totally inaccurate. I mean, come on, I teach with textbooks, for the most part, and I follow a schedule, for the most part. I learned of Charlotte Mason and her methods about six years ago but never considered it.

            The next day I was still thinking about how funny it was that I ‘leaned’ towards a Charlotte Mason, literature approach to homeschooling. Then I realized that maybe, just possibly, it wasn’t as far-fetched as I had thought. I remembered about our science we had done this past semester, Apologia: Young ExplorerSeries: Exploring Creation With Astronomy That book was written in a bit of a conversational tone with narration (i.e. Charlotte Mason style) and we loved it! Also, my youngest child’s history book, Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History would/should pass for Charlotte Mason style. It has, almost, living stories in it, map work, living books literature reading, occasional copywork, and more that Charlotte Mason encourages. So quite possibly I have been doing some of her methods and have just never ‘labeled’ it as such.

            After realizing this I decided to research, more deeply, about Ms. Mason’s methods. After a few days of really engrossing myself in it I realized that her style would allow us to accomplish everything on my Master Curriculum Guide, it should increase the chances of my children giving a good account of their homeschool experience in the future, and it should also help them to continue to enjoy homeschooling.

            I was excited. I decided to spend the next three homeschool days ‘practicing’ the Charlotte Mason approach for Bible, history, and geography. We did this approach very lightly; however, we had a great time! The kids really enjoyed it, they retained more, we were all happier, and the days were shorter. I still believe I will be doing math and language arts in a traditional textbook form, for now anyhow.

            Just for fun, I decided to have my children take that quiz from the video, I reworded it to make it apply to students, but a couple of the questions I had to omit entirely for them. They wrote the letters that corresponded with the questions/statements they agreed with. They were separate from each so that one would not influence the other. Surprisingly, their responses were in line with mine! All three of us listed literature base with the highest mark then unit studies! How incredible and strange is that!?
                       
            I felt that before I could take the next step towards intentionally and consciously approaching school using the Charlotte Masons style, that I needed to discuss this with my husband. I told him everything that I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks and things I have learned. I was so pleased and encouraged to find him excited with what he heard about Ms. Mason’s approach. He said that it all makes great sense. He was all for it. I continued to bring it up throughout the day and he continued to think it is the way to go.

            I am very excited to say that we will be intentionally incorporating Ms. Mason’s methods in our homeschool. I plan to start off small with Bible, history, and geography. I plan to continue with the textbook, traditional approach to math and language arts,…………..for now.

            I have always considered myself to be an eclectic type homeschooler b/c I pick and choose what subjects and topics from whatever publisher I decide for each of my children. However, now I have realized that I am also an eclectic type homeschooler based on the methods or my approach to my homeschooling. I use the traditional, unit studies, and am now, ‘knowingly’ throwing in Charlotte Mason as well!

            I am looking forward to this new adventure, it may take some getting used to and trying to force the public school ‘brainwashing’ mindset out of my head, but I believe it will lead to an everlasting relationship with my children and brighter tomorrows.

            I may have been having some trouble because my brain was telling me to teach one way but my heart wanted to teach another. My tip to you, if you’re struggling with your homeschool it may not be your curriculum. It could quite possibly be your approach. Just check into it and see. 

           I hope you were able to glean some helpful information out of these past two posts. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Messages From God


In my post I made public yesterday titled, "Am I Changing My Homeschool Approach?" I had listed five messages God had revealed to me while I was going through this heart and homeschool question. I had said that I would make the quotes pretty so they could be printed off, if a person would like to. I made them pretty and I have them available now. You can click on each one or download the set here.


Nurture

Interruptions

Patience

Embrace

Struggles



















Sunday, March 5, 2017

Am I CHANGING My Homeschooling Approach??!!! Part 1 of 2

When you finish reading part 1 be sure to read part 2.

            
             So there I was three-fourths the way through another, our 8th, homeschool year.
I thought everything was going well, if not great.

            I decided to watch a You Tube video and this homeschool mom started talking about how her heart is not into the way they are doing school, even though she’s been homeschooling for many years. She went on to say that their school is not how she initially envisioned it, and she feels like she needs to recommit to learning. She wants to get re-attached with nature and not have their school simply be ‘go do your work!’  

            Her words, “it’s not where my heart is” struck my heart. Those words were her opening statement to her feelings and just those six words rang true in my heart. I paused the video and thought about those six words in relation to homeschool. I went back in my mind to why we homeschool and how I originally envisioned it to be. Then I realized that even though our homeschool is good academically, and pretty decent about staying on task, it’s not how I truly want it to be. I finished watching the video and sarcastically told the woman, “Thanks a lot! I was perfectly content not knowing that I wasn’t content.” LOL

            Have you ever had those moments where life is just so busy that you really don’t even know what’s going on or if anyone is even happy doing school or not? That was me, these past few months our life circumstances have been changing and I’ve been so preoccupied with keeping up with that that our homeschool was simply becoming about just ‘get the work done.’ 

            The reason I wasn’t truly and deeply content with our homeschool is because I want there to be smiles on all of our faces whether we’re outside learning, while we’re getting our hands dirty as we do a hands-on project, or simply as the kids are coloring while I’m reading a book a loud, which we later can look back on and reminisce with fond memories.

            You see, I have beautiful, sunshiny plans where we learn all day long just through living. I have a few things that are dear to me and I feel a sense of urgency, at times, to teach my children those things. However, I am a very paper proof, organized, legalistic, ‘by the book’, on grade level, type of homeschool mom that by the time we get done with the book work there’s no time for those happy, sunshiny plans or for teaching them those extra things that I feel are important.

            I wish I could be more relaxed and let learning come naturally instead of cramming every subject and topic into their brains. That’s not what homeschool is supposed to be about. At times, I get to the point to where we are simply doing school at home. So what if they possibly outperform others, that’s not what I was originally called to do when I hearkened to the voice of the Lord and answered with, “here am I, I will obey you and teach my children your ways.”

            After all the years of homeschooling, and now with the added anxiety of the ever approaching high school years and then college, the reason as to why I am really homeschooling has been left behind and has been replaced with challenging curriculum and a schedule that insists on getting it done. Why do I have those feelings at times? Simply because I am a human being by nature, flesh and blood. I have succumbed to the fear of them ‘not being ready.’ Yes, they do need to know many academic things, definitely, but it doesn’t need to overshadow the single, most important, thing above all else, their relationship with God. We are to fear God, not man. God gave me this oh, so important job to do when he called me to teach my children. At times we stumble, fall, and fail him but he is faithful to forgive and help us back up. We need to wake up each morning and intentionally seek him in all that we do and teach what needs to be taught that day, not what the textbook says. The textbook will help us but we must seek God’s wisdom and teach our children his ways.

            I went to bed with that woman’s comment on my mind. I woke up with it on my mind. For the next week It. Was. On. My. Mind. The following week I was lying in bed, once again, thinking of my heart and homeschooling then I suddenly got an idea, but I was too tired to get up to write it down. The next morning I actually remembered what the idea was, which just remembering something the next morning is a miracle in itself, lol!

            I believe it was God whom had given me the idea and helped me proceed with it.
The next morning when I got up I titled a piece of paper with, “In the End, What Do I Want My Children to Know?” On that piece of paper I listed everything, as they came to my mind, that I want my children to have learned during their homeschool experience. Once I had listed it all and could not come up with any others, I then separated each entry into the subject that it would fall into such as Bible, math, or history, etc… I was pleasantly surprised and excited to find that the list didn’t look overwhelming, in fact it looked very doable. I also noticed that as I read through the list I felt a sense of peace and contentment even happiness and excitement. Suddenly, it felt as though I had been given a second chance to do homeschool how God had intended for ME.

            Since creating this list I have realized that I can still give them a strong Godly foundation, a sound academic education, and teach them the added things I desire to. All of this is only possible by eliminating the extra, non-essentials from our homeschool and prioritizing.
I have decided to use this list as my guide to purchase homeschool curriculum. In the future, when I am choosing curriculum for an upcoming school year I plan on just looking at my list, my Master Curriculum Guide, and choose a curriculum that will cover the items that I listed in each subject category. After looking at my list, divided into the subject categories, I don’t think finding curriculum to fit it will be a problem. If however, I do find a problem I may have to get creative and create the curriculum myself.

            About a week after I made my list of the things I want my children to have learned during our homeschool experience, I then decided to look to the future. I asked myself, “What do I want my children to say about homeschooling once they are grown?” I imagined that when they are grown and asked about what homeschooling was like they would have a happy, tender smile upon their face and would reply that homeschooling was fun. That they learned about God and developed a strong relationship with their family. I want them to say that learning took place all over, they loved it, and that they hope to homeschool their own children one day.
                         
           Today, I asked my children three questions. They were not together during these questions because I wanted to get their unique replies.

I asked:
#1- Why do you like homeschool?
They both answered the exact same thing just in a different order. They said b/c they learn about God, they feel safer being home, and their school days are shorter so they have more time to read and play.

#2-What is your favorite thing we’ve done in homeschool?
They each answered differently but the idea was the same, they enjoy the hands-on projects, actual 3-D model objects.

#3- What is your favorite subject?
My oldest replied with reading and history.
My youngest said history and math.

            I think that by using my Master Curriculum Guide, keeping their ‘grown up responses’ in mind, and knowing what they think of homeschooling at the moment should make it easier to choose curriculum for the future.

            I started having some thoughts come to my mind as I spent time looking over the things I had learned about my heart and homeschool. A person could say that these were little messages God was telling me. As these thoughts, or messages from God, flooded my mind they brought with them this sense of peace and happiness. I found myself smiling and finding calmness. I very much enjoyed these messages from God and have decided to print them out and hang them around our school area to help remind me of that peace.

            These are the messages God revealed to me. I will make these pretty against some background and post them later for you, if you want to hang them around your homeschool area as well.

“God has not called me to fill their minds with worldly knowledge, but instead nurture their whole being in Godly wisdom and truth.”

“A homeschool interruption is merely life in disguise.”

“Don’t fuss when it’s not understood
with patience it’ll turn out good.”

“Plans are a fairy tale,
embrace the moment of today.”

“Today’s struggles are merely today’s assignments.”
           
        
            If you are struggling within your homeschool for whatever reason, I encourage you to take these steps. Why don't you create your own master curriculum guide, it should help you see what is truly important to you. Quickly, look to the future and determine what you would like your children to say about their homeschool experience, once they're grown. Ask them some questions about their homeschool experience now. Below, I will show you my master curriculum guide.




-MASTER CURRICULUM GUIDE-
Pre-K-12

In the End What Do I Want My Children to Know?
Feb. 2017

BIBLE
-I want my children to have a personal relationship with God
-I want my children to pray, study, and seek the Lord faithfully
-I want my children to believe that God is everywhere, is always with them, and cares about every aspect of their lives.
-I want my children to memorize and apply the scriptures to their lives
-I want my children to be able to defend their faith
-I want my children to have good morals, values, and a Christian character
-I want my children to enjoy and desire their time with God

MATH
-I want my children to have a solid foundation in math facts and its operations
-I want my children to apply what they have learned
-I want my children to know that God established math and to feel connected with Him through math
-I want my children to see math as a fascinating living thing that’s everywhere
-I want my children to enjoy math

HISTORY
- I want my children to have an understanding of Biblical history
- I want my children to have a solid knowledge of American history
- I want my children to be knowledgeable about the government, how it works, and the election process
- I want my children to know the Constitution, its Preamble, the Declaration of Independence and their importance
- I want my children to know the many different forms of government all around the world
- I would like for my children to at least have some knowledge of all presidents
- I want my children to enjoy history

GEOGRAPHY
- I want my children to be able to read and use a map
- I want my children to know the continents, oceans, major countries and their capitals, the U.S. states and capitals, and what the environment is like all over
- I want my children to know of important landforms and landmarks
- I want my children to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation

SCIENCE/HEALTH
- I want my children to see God’s design in all fields of science and health
- I want my children to identify plants and their uses
- I want to have nature studies and nature walks
- I want my children to learn through their surroundings & have a relationship with nature
- I want my children to have a good understanding of the human body, its organs, systems, and how they all work together
- I want my children to learn about and develop healthy lifestyles
- I want my children to have hands-on learning
- I want my children to be able to dive into what interests them
- I want my children to enjoy science and health

LANGUAGE ARTS
- I want my children to be strong readers and comprehend what they read
- I want my children to enjoy reading and read rich, wholesome literature
- I want my children to write and speak well
- I want my children to have a strong vocabulary and be a great speller
- I want my children to have study, researching, and note taking skills

ELECTIVES
- I want my children to have homemaking skills
- I want my children to learn Spanish
- I want my children to learn of the different art mediums and artists and be able to experiment with those different art materials
- I want my children to be exposed to different musical compositions and enjoy
- I want my children to have the opportunity to take lessons of their choice
- I want my children to learn computer safety and be able to use the computer creatively

EXTRA
- I want my children to be able to make connections with different parts of their life
- I want my children to learn to work independently and as part of a team
- I want my children to learn how to learn
- I want my children to enjoy learning and know that learning never ends
- I want my children to have fun and enjoy their homeschool experience

    I sincerely hope that you got something out of my rather long post. If nothing else, step back, look up, and see what’s truly important. 

Click here to read part 2. 

            Have a great year!