Terri's Take... » Parenting /blog Living a Proverbs 31 Life in a Romans 1 World... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:30:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Road Trips Should Be Fun /blog/2014/05/road-trips-should-be-fun/ /blog/2014/05/road-trips-should-be-fun/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 23:16:07 +0000 /blog/?p=1842 Are you wrapping up your school year or homeschooling through the summer? Because we live in the Pacific Northwest, we take a summer break to enjoy the glorious weather. There is no place lovelier than Oregon in summer. Well, that’s what we think anyway.

As an aside, when we lived in Texas, we schooled though the summer and took longer breaks during the spring and fall when it was more fun to go outside.

Anyway, we are thinking through our summer plans and the trips that we will take. We’ve got two trips up to Washington and a trip down to California planned. Plus, we’ll go camping at least once or twice.

In any case, it looks like we’ll be spending some time in the car. We don’t mind the kids watching a movie or two, but prefer that they spend the majority of their time in the car reading good books or playing games.

How about you? Do you have any road trips planned?

You may just need some great books and activities for all that time that you will be trapped (I mean, blessed!) with your kids in the car. Even a 2-3 hour car ride can get awfully long if you do not plan some activities or bring some good books for the trip. We have hand-picked our favorite KQ resources to make the time you spend in a small, crowded space for long periods of time… well, bearable!

In fact, there are only a couple days left to get some great resources for up to 50% off. You can check it all out here:

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Perhaps you are planning now for the 2014/2015 school year already? Good for you! You can never plan too early. If you are planning / hoping to include any of these resources – What Really Happened, A Child’s Geography, Presidential Scrapbook, Star-Spangled State Book and more – this is the time to stock up! Many of these titles will not be discounted below retail prices again this year. Prices discounted from 25-50% off. Enough said… the prudent shopper will know what to do.

Here is the link to the sale again:

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Sale continues through Monday, May 19th at midnight. If you have any questions or need any assistance, write to helpdesk@kqpublishing.net.

Bon voyage and may the wind be ever at your back!

Question: What are your best tips for making family memories on a road trip?

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Kickin’ it to the Finish Line /blog/2014/05/kickin-it-to-the-finish-line/ /blog/2014/05/kickin-it-to-the-finish-line/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 19:17:44 +0000 /blog/?p=1828 We’re nearly there! Pat yourself on the back for reaching the finish line! You are a superstar – a champ! Most homeschooling parents like to take a summer break of some length even if it does not last a full 3 months. And we’re so close, we can almost touch it. But with the sun shining brightly outside and the weather warming up, it can be difficult to stay focused and finish the school year strong.

And speaking of summer, check out our Road Trip Sale if you are planning to take one this summer!

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Here are 3 ideas to add some “kick” as you approach the finish line:

1. Change it up! Do something new to keep interest high as you compete for your kids’ attention. We asked our friends on Facebook what they do to regain their children’s attention or to stop fighting for it. Here are their ideas:

  • Go outside and run!
  • Turn up the music and dance!
  • Read aloud a chapter from an engrossing book
  • Do a unit study (like the free New Zealand one here)
  • Take a hike in the woods and collect something
  • Do push-ups or laps
  • Go to the park
  • Go to the library
  • 10 minutes on the trampoline
  • Play a board game
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Do an art project
  • Watch educational videos
  • Play educational computer games
  • Play Globalmania

2. Look Up! If you have been homeschooling your kids since August or September, then you might have your head down with your shoulder to the wheel. Sometimes we are just putting one foot in front of the other, homeschooling by rote, just to get by. Sometimes that is all we can do. But I encourage you to take a deep breath and look up!

Look into the faces of your children and truly see them. Take a hard look at your schedule and determine if it needs tweaking for your final weeks of school to make it work better for you (it’s okay to lighten it up). Open your eyes to the opportunities around you and make the most of them. Sometimes we are in so much of a hurry or so determined to accomplish something, that we lose the joy. Don’t lose the joy!

3. Throw an End-of-the-Year Party! We like to throw historical feasts 2-3 times a year, with one to finish up the school year. We dress in costume, cook period appropriate dishes and follow the social customs of the day. On our final day of school, we will also give out evaluations for our students up through 8th grade and updated transcripts with grades for our high school students. It is a fun night of recognition and makes for very fond memories. These memories last throughout the summer so that the idea of starting back to school is pleasant and doesn’t produce groans from the kids.

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Question: What are you doing to finish this year strong?

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The Truth About Chores /blog/2014/02/the-truth-about-chores/ /blog/2014/02/the-truth-about-chores/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 19:32:20 +0000 /blog/?p=1780 If your home life is anything like mine, then you deal with chores and messes around the house on a constant basis. This is a fact of life for everyone, but for the homeschooling family, a messy and loud household with many opportunities for cleaning up is an ever-present reality.

How can we best manage our homes and maintain our sanity?

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Here are my 5 Best Tips for Keeping Your Home and Your Sanity:

1. Remember that this is a season!

I know that you hear it all the time, words like… “Oh, they grow up so fast!” and “This too shall pass,” and “It’s just a season.” It’s easy to just stop hearing these wise words and not really believe them anyway. As someone who has been raising kids for 20 years, I have now reached that place where I can say with emphasis, “Oh, they do grow up so fast!” But I am still raising little ones too, so I also know that 18-20 years of raising kids and helping them manage their life and messes is a long, LONG process!

Here is where I have landed on this issue… I like a clean house. I just do! But I also realize that living with children means that I will live with a little bit of a mess, sometimes a lot of big messes. My husband and I find ourselves looking forward to a home with less stuff, where everything is almost always in its place, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will miss the squeals and the fingerprints when we get there. So, we have resigned ourselves to a “lived in” look in our home, cherishing these years with all the mess and work that they bring with them.

But that doesn’t mean that we give up and decide that all is lost when it comes to keeping an orderly home. We have daily and weekly chores that must be done in our home both by us and by the children. Here’s how we tackle them and the big question that we ask ourselves when faced with an untidy or even downright messy house:

2. What Can You Do in 5 Minutes?

When I look around the house and I find it not up to my standards of clean and tidy, I try to ask myself this simple question… what can I do that would make a difference in the next 5 minutes? Sometimes, it’s doing a load of dishes or a load of laundry. Sometimes, it is clearing off the dining room table or the bathroom counter. Sometimes, it’s interrupting the kids and doing a quick 5 minute pick-up of the living room. If all you have is 5 minutes, you can make a measurable difference in one small portion of your home. Will your house be spotless in such a small amount of time? No, but you’ve made a difference.

When the children and I work together, we place bets on how long it will take us to accomplish a certain job. I usually hear the kids shout out anything between 2 and 10 minutes. We then work as quickly as we can, timing ourselves by the clock and see whose guess came the closest. We are always surprised by how quickly we can get a job done when we work together.

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This shot was candid and not staged!

3. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

You are not the housekeeper of your home, you are the homemaker. Big difference! Teaching our kids how to work is one of our primary jobs as “homemaker” and “parent”. In our home, our children have pets that they care for, daily chores to accomplish and weekly cleaning that usually gets tackled on Saturday. They also have to clean their rooms on a regular basis, but are encouraged to keep it tidy all the time (some children do a better job at this than others, that’s for sure!).

Draw up a chore chart so your children know what chores they are responsible for on a daily and weekly basis. This will make your job so much easier as you can just check the chart if kids need reminders. Better yet, they can check the chart and not even need reminders. It seems to take maturity and diligence to get them to this point of responsibility though.

4. Shoes Make You Feel More Energetic

I learned a long time ago from the Flylady (is she still around?) that wearing shoes make you feel more ready to do work. You feel more like you are “on task” with shoes on your feet. I don’t always obey this rule. I find myself wearing slippers quite often during the winter months. But I do keep this in mind if I have some significant house work to accomplish in a given hour of my day. If my husband takes the kids on a field trip or out for a hike, I will get jazzed up by the idea of an empty house, lace up my shoes, tackle extra housework in record time and then enjoy some much deserved R&R in the solitude of my empty home.

5. Get Help

After 24 years of cleaning my own home with the help of my husband and children, I did something radical (for me!). I asked my husband if I could hire a teenager to come over every other week to clean the house. We actually argued over this one because Todd felt like we were “giving up” or not managing our home well enough by employing help. He also felt that it would make life too easy for our children if someone else did so much of the heavy cleaning. After I pleaded with him for a few weeks, he gave in and allowed me to give it a try.

We now have a young lady come over twice a month to deep clean our house. I must admit that I love it! We still clean thoroughly on the off weeks that she doesn’t come, but it gives me the breathing room that I need to focus on some other things, like school and our business.

Many people cannot or would rather not hire a maid, but it is working really well for us in this “season” of my life. She does a fantastic job and she works for a smaller fee than the large housecleaning services available. So, if you find yourself drowning in housework, employ some of the tips above. I’d rather give up some of my housekeeping duties and focus more on other things that seem more important right now. Besides let’s face it, a family of 8 will always keep me plenty busy with cooking, teaching, driving, piano practicing, and listening.

Question: What are your best tips for maintaining your home and your sanity?

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Why Use “Living” Books? /blog/2014/02/why-use-living-books/ /blog/2014/02/why-use-living-books/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 05:35:21 +0000 /blog/?p=1772

Why and How You Should Use Living Books

As I write this, we are halfway through the school year. We are definitely in our groove when it comes to school and have a solid routine. Eventually though, the comfort of routine wears off and monotony settles in. How can you keep your children excited about learning? The answer is to supply them with “living books.”

So, what are “living books” and why should you use them for teaching your children? Here are some definitions of a living book:

A living book is written by a single person, a real and knowable person.

A living book is a literary expression of the author’s own ideas and love of the subject.

A living book is personal in tone and feel. It touches the heart and emotions, and the intellect.

The author of a living book addresses the reader as an intelligent and capable thinker.

In a living book, ideas are presented creatively in a way that stimulates the imagination.

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This idea of a living book stands in stark contrast to a textbook. So what then is a textbook? Read on:

A textbook is a non-literary expression of collected facts and information.

A textbook is impersonal in tone and feel. It touches only the intellect.

In a textbook, facts are presented without creativity in a way that deadens the imagination.

[Excerpted from Educating the WholeHearted Child (copyright 1994, 1996 Clay Clarkson). Used by permission. For more information, contact Whole Heart Ministries (P.O. Box 3445, Monument, CO 80132, 719-488-4466) or visit their website at www.wholeheart.org.]

Charlotte Mason, a British educator from England in the previous century, whose ideas are currently experiencing a rebirth among American home schools, wrote this in her volume 1 of The Original Homeschooling Series, “The fatal mistake is in the notion that he (the student) must learn ‘outlines’ of the whole history… just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.”

Have you ever experienced this in your home schooling adventures? You set out to cover a certain amount of history in a particular year, just to find out that your child becomes fascinated by a single character or time in history. This happened to us a couple of years ago. We were studying modern history with the goal of getting through the years 1850 to the present. I had allotted 4-5 weeks for studying the Civil War, which I thought was plenty. What I didn’t realize was how fascinated my children were to become with not only this event in history, but the general time period as well.

After 6 weeks of reading the books I had planned to read and doing the activities I had planned to do, my children were begging for more. I reluctantly gave in and let them guide their own education for a while. They chose more library books from the time period. My daughter sewed some period clothing, complete with snood and gloves. My son converted some cast-off clothing we found at Goodwill into a union soldier’s uniform. We went to a Civil War reenactment, made a soldier’s meal of hard tack and goober peas, and talked Dad into crafting some wooden rifles in the shop.

We stayed on this topic for probably a total of 9-10 weeks. Since that time, I have realized that learning does not follow a set pattern. In fact, more learning often takes place when allowed to progress naturally rather than on a set schedule. Last year, we studied the medieval time period. We were supposed to get to the year 1600, but only studied through a portion of the 15th century. And we did not get to all of the historical figures that I would have liked. But those events and people that my children gravitated toward allowed them to soak in the particular time period in history and gain more depth than if I had pushed them through on my schedule.

I am not saying that a schedule is bad. A schedule is a wonderful and necessary tool, but let it be your servant and not your master. Take the time to slow down and read “living books”. Read the first part of this article once again to remind yourself what a “living book” is and learn to identify them when browsing your library’s shelves.

I would like to conclude with a couple more quotes. Karen Andreola, author of A Charlotte Mason Companion, writes, “If we want the mind of a child to come alive, we feed him living ideas. Ideas reside in living books,…”

I am a rather eclectic homeschooling mom and do not follow the Charlotte Mason method completely. Still, I would like to end with a final word from Charlotte Mason herself:

“…the only vital method of education appears to be that children should read worthy books, many worthy books.” ~Charlotte Mason

For a list of great books to read, I would recommend that you check out these books from your library:

Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson

Valerie of Valerie’s Living Books writes, “I have chosen Living Books as my primary curriculum because I want to see my children loving learning rather than enduring an education! In this, my interest has never been in books and resources designed to entice reluctant kids with short attention spans, but rather in materials carefully written with an evident passion to challenge children, encouraging them to reason carefully and respond wholeheartedly.”

And finally, if you are studying the Ancient, Medieval, or the Colonial time period this year, do check out our book series entitled, “What Really Happened…” The authors who contributed to these books are passionate about their subject and this delight gets transferred to the student. This is a great way to introduce your children to amazing individuals from these time periods who changed the course of our world. For more details, go to: Historical Biographies.

Question: What “living” book are you engrossed in?

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10 Habits to Start the Day /blog/2013/12/10-habits-to-start-the-day/ /blog/2013/12/10-habits-to-start-the-day/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 23:39:56 +0000 /blog/?p=1719 The beginning of a new year…

I love the fact that each new year brings with it a fresh, clean slate. This year can be anything you want it to be. Well, within reason, I guess. Last January, one year ago exactly, was a life-changing month for me. I decided to make some changes in my life to improve my health, my sleep, my relationships…

No, I didn’t lose any weight (although I could afford to lose a few), but I gained some great habits… habits that I will continue into this new year. Here are a few:

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In the process of forming new habits, such as writing out a to-do list the night before, getting to bed earlier, walking daily, taking vitamins and smiling more, my sleep improved dramatically. Hugging and kissing my family always has great benefits. And spending time with my Lord is the best time ever spent.

Do you need some new habits to get your day started in the right direction? Download this printable and post it to your fridge, or pin it to your Pinterest page (click “pin it” button above) or post it to Facebook (just copy the link in your browser or click any of those little icons below). Located in these places that you frequent often, it will serve as a good reminder to continue good, healthy habits all year long.

10 Habits Printable

Question: Which habit do you want most to change/start this new year (remember, a new habit or goal should be realistic and measurable – don’t get too lofty or theoretical or it probably won’t stick.)

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The In-Between /blog/2013/08/the-in-between/ /blog/2013/08/the-in-between/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 23:35:04 +0000 /blog/?p=1536 Have you heard the phrase… living in the in-between? It’s not unlike living in the moment… It’s when you realize that you are in a place where something you have looked forward to has passed and there is a stretch of time before the next big event happens in your life. It’s the “in-between”.

The “in-between” sounds like it’s the dull place, the mundane, the everyday drudgery of life, doesn’t it? But it’s not! It is in the “in-between” that the magic happens. We just have to open our eyes to see it. Open your eyes…

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Capture it! Hold it! Embrace it! The wonder of life and love and friendship happens when nothing special is happening. How can we learn to live in the in-between? Here’s how…

3 Ways to Live in the In-Between

Maybe the big vacation is past but school has not yet started… Maybe the wedding is over and it will be years before the grandchildren arrive… Maybe the baby is now walking and talking but not yet ready for biking and hiking… Maybe you’ve finished a big project and not yet ready to start the next…

These are “in-between” times of our lives, but it doesn’t mean that our lives are on hold! It’s time to open your eyes… all 3 of them!

1. Open the eye of the poet… Look for what stirs your emotions, grab it, think on it, write it down.

2. Open the eye of the photographer… Capture those moments that stir your soul by taking a photograph or jotting it down in a notebook.

3. Open the eye of the actor… Enter the play; don’t just observe. Observation is okay some of the time, but too often we are bystanders on the stage of life when we were meant to participate. When you see the kids jumping on the trampoline, join them! When you see someone struggling, help them! When you hear someone practicing the piano, listen to him!

Here’s what happened on my ordinary, in-between afternoon:

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And then I was invited to the party!

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This was a priceless moment I nearly missed because I was so busy doing nothing too special.

Question: How can you live more fully in the in-between moments of your life?

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Scheduling the Easy Way /blog/2013/08/scheduling-the-easy-way/ /blog/2013/08/scheduling-the-easy-way/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 21:22:01 +0000 /blog/?p=1531 A 5 Step Plan!

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It’s that time of year. Everyone is gearing up for school. All of the stores are having “back to school” sales on everything from school supplies, clothing and even furniture. Parents are anxious, students are feeling dread, and everyone’s pocketbooks are getting thinner. BUT this need not be the case!

We can keep our spending under control and we can be prepared and confident for a new school year. We can even pass that enthusiasm onto our kids so that the sense of dread is replaced by a sense of anticipation and excitement. So let’s get started…

But first, take a moment to read an archived article on the subject of How Not to Overspend on Curricula if you still have some purchasing to do and then click right back here to get your scheduling plans in place.

Step 1: Plan Your Subjects

Consider the ages and grades of your school children and decide which subjects they need to study this year. Obviously, you want to cover mostly basics when your kids are still young – reading, writing and arithmetic. As they get older, you will eventually drop formal reading lessons and even handwriting assignments and begin to focus more on what they are reading and how they express themselves. Most students are ready for grammar and spelling by 3rd grade, if not earlier. Arithmetic will one day be replaced by algebra and higher math and science, history, and writing will take on greater significance in their studies as they progress through the years. At some point during your children’s education, you may want to include additional subjects such as foreign language, logic, fine arts, performing arts, music, debate, and geography. Did I miss anything?

But I hope that it is obvious that you do not want to try to cover all of these subjects with all of your students every year. It is just too overwhelming. Pick 5 or 6 subjects that your students are most in need of and let the rest go… for now. These are the subjects that my children study at these grade levels:

Grades K-2 – Reading, Handwriting, Math, and History (w/geography and narration)

Grades 3-6 – Math, Grammar (includes writing), Spelling, History and Geography, and Science

Grades 7-8 – Math, Grammar (includes writing), Spelling, Typing, History and Geography, Science and Logic

Grades 9-12 – Well, lets just say that it gets to be quite a bit more! We’ll cover higher math, writing, literature, grammar, spelling, history, science, health, fine arts, public speaking, debate, government, foreign language and various electives. But not all in one year!

By the way, we do our writing assignments across the curriculum so we do not separate it out as a separate subject. We also combine geography studies with history.  I hope that makes sense. Our children begin music lessons around Kindergarten or 1st grade and continue as long as they can stand it. (smile)

Step 2: Purchase Your Materials

Hopefully, you have already purchased the majority of the curricula, books and other materials that you plan on using this upcoming year, especially if you intend to start school sometime this next month. If you have not, then you might want to hurry up and do so and perhaps even request expedited shipping. I have not practiced what I preach as I am just ordering my school books now, but I also do not intend to start school until mid-September, so I should have plenty of time still to review the materials that will begin to arrive over the next 2-3 weeks and get my scheduling done before we start school.

If you have not decided on what curriculum you want to use, or have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 choices, then this is the time to ramp up your online and offline research and make some decisions.

Your online research includes checking out the websites of the curriculum providers that you are considering (do a Google search), reading reviews that have been posted online and asking questions on homeschool chat boards. Your offline research will include asking your friends’ opinions, visiting your local homeschool bookstore and browsing through your favorite catalogs.

Many curriculum providers offer a “trial run”, meaning if you don’t like it after 30 or 60 days then you can return it for a full refund. You may want to consider this if you are still unsure which program(s) to use for your children.

Step 3: Set Aside Some Time

Ideally, I would suggest that you find a weekend between now and when you start school to get away with your husband and get your final preparations in order. This is not exactly a cheap option, but priceless when it comes to the time that you will have to strategize with your spouse and get your goals and schedule out on paper. The place you would choose would need to fall somewhere between boring and exciting. Let me explain… if you just pick a motel down the road to “get away”, most likely the view will not inspire you nor the surroundings intrigue you when you need to take a break and get out for a walk.

On the other hand, if you choose to head for the lake with your ski boat in tow, you might not get anything accomplished because who wants to think and strategize when you can be out waterskiing! My husband and I often head for a quaint inn on the Oregon coast which has breathtaking views, fantastic restaurants and not a whole lot to do but sit on the beach or take a walk through the foaming surf. It’s an ideal place for us to talk, to dream, to set goals and to get our thoughts out on paper.

If you absolutely cannot get away for a weekend or even an overnighter, then consider scheduling an afternoon or two at the library. This will give you the time you need to focus without the constant interruptions of family life (as charming as those interruptions can be!).

Step 4: Open the Books

Bring all of the core books that you will be using this year with you on your scheduling day or weekend, as well as any teacher’s manuals that came with your chosen programs. Bring, also, any books that you will be using for the first month or so of school. The tools that you have chosen for your children’s education will help you to determine your daily and weekly schedules. Here’s how…

Let’s use a grammar book for our example. Let’s say that there are 120 lessons in the grammar book. Take 120 and divide that by 36 weeks in the school year. Your answer is 3.33 and that means that your student will have to cover 3 and 1/3 lessons per week to finish the book in one school year. What this means to me is that I will need to schedule grammar for this child at least 3-4 times per week. Perhaps a goal that you have for this child is that they catch up from last year. Then you might want to schedule 4 lessons per week. Or maybe you honestly don’t care if you finish every last lesson in the book, then 3 days should suffice. You get the idea.

How about math? Let’s say that the book only has 90 lessons. Well, 2 1/2 lessons per week may not be enough mathematical stimulation for this particular child. You may decide that you do not mind if your student gets ahead in this subject, so you bump it up to 4 lessons per week. These are decisions you will want to make for each student and each subject as you look through each of the core books and teacher’s manuals that you will be using with your children this year.

Here are some suggestions for how many lessons to cover each week, but by no means are these hard and fast rules, so make your own decisions and feel confident about them based on your own goals that you have set for your children and the books that you have chosen to use this year.

Math – 4-5 days per week

Reading/Phonics – 5 days per week

Handwriting/Copywork – 4-5 days per week

Grammar – 3-4 days per week

Spelling – 2-3 days per week

Writing – 2-3 days per week

History – 3-5 days per week

Science – 2-3 days per week

Foreign Language – 2-4 days per week

Logic – 1-2 days per week

Step 5: Write it Out!

Now, by this time, you have invested some significant thinking time. You want to get your ideas out on paper so that you can continue to use this information all year long. You don’t want to have to go through this process again this year unless you change your program or curriculum at some point during the year.

On a piece of paper, draw out boxes for a typical school week. You may not want to schedule your subjects for specific times of the day but prefer to simply schedule the order of the subjects. Either way is fine. Personally, I choose a start time for school, but after that we just keep plugging along until all of the scheduled subjects are completed for the day. We take breaks when necessary!

You can keep this schedule solely for school subjects or you may want to include chores and other weekly events on your schedule as well. Rework the schedule until you are satisfied with it and then type it up on the computer. Post your schedule once completed in a prominent place and place one in each child’s school notebooks as well. You can’t follow a schedule that you don’t see!

In the past, I have scheduled time every Sunday evening to look ahead through the books and determine exactly what each child would be doing during that particular week. I typed in page numbers and specific activities onto the individual schedules that I kept for my two school children that I had at that time. I now have four children in school along with a toddler and a baby on the way. I will not be making these specific schedules for the children every Sunday night this year, but I will be looking ahead each Sunday to see what we’ll cover during the week ahead to determine if I need any supplies, library books, etc.

Well, I hope that I haven’t overwhelmed you and that you can appreciate how scheduling your school year in advance will alleviate most of your worrying and wondering about whether you are covering all that you should be this year. But please remember that your schedule and your plan are only tools to help you. You are not a servant to them, they are servants for you. If it’s not working, revise it or ditch it altogether and start over. You are the teacher. Modify your schedule or your books to make them work for you.

Have a great school year and enjoy the process!

Question: What do you LOVE most about the beginning of a new school year? What concerns you the most?

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Homeschooling Through High School /blog/2013/08/homeschooling-through-high-school-2/ /blog/2013/08/homeschooling-through-high-school-2/#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 12:19:16 +0000 /blog/?p=1491 Facing the Giant!

Does the concept of homeschooling through high school feel like a giant looming up before you? Perhaps not too unlike David facing Goliath?

How many of you have seen the movie Facing the Giants? Do you remember the scene when Coach Grant Taylor singles out Brock and tells him to do the death crawl one more time, making him promise to give his very best? With Jeremy on his back and blindfolded, Brock gives his best effort to crawl to the 50 yard line. However, Coach Taylor doesn’t tell him when he has passed the 50 yard line and continues to ask him to give his very best and not to give up. He reminds him of his leadership ability and how he can make or break his team, depending on the effort and attitude he gives off.

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How is homeschooling through high school like facing a giant?

It’s an incredible moment, isn’t it? Movie scenes can be powerful because they tug so strongly at our emotions. This scene makes you want to stand up and cheer Brock into the end zone, doesn’t it?

Another movie scene that tugs at my emotions is from the Return of the King, when the giant nazgul looms over the fallen body of Theoden, King of Rohan, ready to strike the final death blow.

Then a warrior stands between his fallen body and the giant demon-like monster, warning it not to take a step closer to the fallen king. The nazgul hisses in reply, “No living man may kill me!”

The warrior whips off his helmet to reveal the beautiful face of Eowyn who shouts, “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my Lord and kin. Be gone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him.”

Eowyn-Return_Of_King-005

Sometimes it feels like we are facing a giant. Sometimes we feel small and like we don’t measure up to the task presented to us. Sometimes we feel like we don’t have what it takes to get the job done.

I write to you today to tell you that you do have what it takes to homeschool your teen through high school. I am here to tell you that it isn’t as hard or as GIANT of a task as it might feel to you right now. You have incredible influence and the ability to do this important task. I am excited to tell you that you CAN successfully equip your teen with a quality, real-life, well-rounded (or laser-focused) high school education capped by an official graduation by implementing four basic strategies.

Homeschooling through high school is not only DOABLE, but FRUITFUL. I am excited to break it down for you and show you how.

Todd and I have been teaching our kids at home for 15 years. We have graduated 2 of our children and have 4 more to go. I have been “teaching” high school students for the past 6 years. This year, I will not have any high schoolers under my care, as my current students are 8th, 7th, 3rd and 1st. However, starting next year, I will be once again homeschooling a high schooler and will continue to do so for the next consecutive 11 years. If I am not an expert now, I certainly will be by the time I am finished.

Opponents of homeschooling will say that your kids are going to miss out… miss out on the social life, the friendships, the prom, the sports…

If you have homeschooled for any length of time, then you know that homeschooled kids are just as socially active as traditionally schooled kids. By homeschooling through high school, our teens were able to gain valuable work experience, apprentice opportunities and shadow under experts in their field. They had the flexibility go on missions trips, do some extensive travel, apply themselves to music and serving through our church’s worship team. They also had the time available to focus on home-related skills and take some college classes.

Homeschooling through high school gives your students the freedom to pursue a real-life, well-rounded education by giving them TIME to pursue their interests and important skills. Instead of 8+ hours of instruction in the classroom and homework, they can finish their schoolwork in half the time providing the flexibility to pursue their unique interests.

Here are the four basic strategies that you will need to implement as you prepare for and home educate through high school:

  1. 1. Planning
  2. 2. Recording
  3. 3. Outsourcing
  4. 4. _________

Perhaps the last one is the most important one of all, but I’m going to taunt you by saying that you will need to attend the Homeschool Expo coming up the week of August 19-23 to get the full message. In my session on Homeschooling Through High School, I will go into detail how to implement each of these strategies so that you can successfully equip your teenager for real life, college and beyond… and award them a diploma in 4 years or less.

Get your tickets now for the Homeschool Expo!

Question: Which aspect of homeschooling through high school worries you the most? the least?

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Doorposts Giveaway /blog/2013/06/doorposts-giveaway/ /blog/2013/06/doorposts-giveaway/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 02:39:56 +0000 /blog/?p=1375 Doorposts is giving away a full Parenting Essentials package to one blessed winner. The best way to see everything that is included in this package is to visit their webpage here.

Enter the drawing here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Great Waters Press Giveaway /blog/2013/06/great-waters-press-giveaway/ /blog/2013/06/great-waters-press-giveaway/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 00:25:07 +0000 /blog/?p=1370 Check out this giveaway with three great books from Great Waters Press:

1. Raising Real Men: A Practical Guide to Equipping the Hearts and Minds of Boys without Losing or Breaking Your Own

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way?

The answer is yes.

2. A Cry From Egypt:

Have you ever wondered what life was like in ancient Egypt? As an Israelite? And a slave? Want your children to understand the Bible is history?

A required read aloud for the new Tapestry of Grace!

Used in Cornerstone Curriculum Project’s The Grand Story!

3. My Beloved and My Friend

Enter this giveaway to receive all three!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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