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Passing on a Legacy

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I was looking on my bookshelf today and found a book that I had given to my mom nearly 20 years ago. It is called Reflections from a Mother’s Heart. It is a journal that has questions for you to answer about your childhood and is broken into months of the year so you can spend a year filling it in without feeling overwhelmed.

I am such a terrible journal writer that I found a duplicate of this book next to the one I had given my mother. It was given to ME from a friend of mine in 1998! I had begun the journal, but then family came along and I obviously never got to return to it. I also totally forgot about it. lol¬†My goal is to finish this by June so it doesn’t sit on my shelf for another 19 years!

So, if you would like to leave a legacy of early childhood memories that your children can read about later and gain some insight into why you act the way you do, ūüôā perhaps consider completing a journal like this one.

I will leave you with a few questions from the journal so you can see what they are like. Of course, if questions do not pertain to you, then just skip them.

Who gave you your name and why?

Where was your childhood home located? Did you enjoy living there?

Did you have a family pet? What was its name? Describe it.

What toys did you like to play with?

Memorable Mondays

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I have been deleting photos from my phone and realized how few pictures I take! How about you? I think it might be good to have a day one a week when I just take pictures of family, friends, and events that take place around here. Oh, wait, that is Instagram! lol

Well, I don’t always remember to do that, but I do have my phone handy and it is easier for me just to download my pictures on to the computer. I will share one that I took recently with my husband when we celebrated our anniversary last week. I plan on making Memorable Mondays a regular part of my life.

What about joining me? If Monday is a bad day, pick another day, but remember to pull out your phone or camera and capture those daily moments because they all too quickly are gone. The bonus is that if you do this you will have quite a few pictures to choose when you do your portfolio review! Hey, you can even make a yearbook.

~Lisa

Less Stress December

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December Deluge is what I think this month should be called. Shopping, parties, making goodies, visiting family and friends, when are you supposed to fit schooling in? lol Here are some ideas of ways that I have tried to keep things less stressful in December.

Shorten the lessons. Instead of doing math as usual, what about having less problems by assigning the even numbered or odd numbered problems? Add a few more if your child is not getting the concept, but if they are doing well, it will be fine.

Incorporate the extras you may do this month into your schedule. Do not overload yourself and your children by thinking you can do it ALL and then some. If you do extra things this month, consider rearranging your schedule to accommodate what you want/need to do.

Use the activities as part of school. Do you go see relatives? This is a great time to listen to audio books. Stop the story at a climatic point and ask the children what they think will happen. I guarantee you will get responses. Plus, this is a way of checking comprehension (language arts). Are you going to be baking? This is a good time to have a lesson on fractions (measuring ingredients), multiplication (How many cookies are on the baking tray?), division (How many cookies do we give to 6 people?). Health is an area that moms sometimes ask me how to teach when I see them for portfolio reviews. Washing hands, cleaning surfaces, washing dishes are all ways to prevent the spreading of germs, and there you have your health lesson!

Have a great December,

~Lisa

 

 

 

Homeschool Scheduling

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-3-12-36-amIt’s already November and my intentions of keeping ahead of my lesson plans has gone by the wayside. For some reason, life just gets in the way! So, today I am going to concentrate on getting my school schedule back in order. Would you want to do this with me? Encouragement nets results, I think. ¬†It also provides an impetus for me and holds me accountable to do this since I am writing about it. ūüôā

Look at my goals. Looking at where I am currently in teaching my classes and where I need to be by winter break helps keep me on the path of forward progress. Fortunately, I am right on with two of my classes and will be back on track this week with my other class. Setting realistic goals is one of the keys to success. If I set too many then I become discouraged and feel like I am not being successful. Do you do this too? I am planning on doing two or three things on my “To Do List” today instead of five or six like I normally do. ¬†I’ll see how that goes! I can be goofy when it comes to writing a list. I put things on my list after I have done them just so I can cross them off!

How are things with your homeschool? If you are falling behind, stop and evaluate as to why this has occurred. Is it because of your schedule? Look at your school day and time you are teaching subjects. Sometimes it helps just to rearrange things. For instance, the boys and I would work on a harder subject first and mix in an easier subject afterwards. This helped to move things along instead of being bogged down, plus it gave our brains a break.

Evaluate Outside Activities.¬†¬†Right now I am evaluating ¬†changes to my schedule as I have made a commitment to do something once a week that I didn’t anticipate when I began school this year. Many a time when I was homeschooling I took on more than I should have in regards to our commitments. Are you doing a lot of running around like I was? Is school becoming a lower priority? Stop and evaluate before the new year begins. Do you have time for these other activities? Eliminate them as much as possible if you are putting them ahead of school. Of course, if you made a commitment to teach a co-op class or volunteer, finish it, but consider what you are doing¬†and what adjustments need to be made.¬†Sometimes I needed to scale back and get everything at home back in order before we could do something extra. I wasn’t always successful in doing this, thus causing undue stress, which was not a good thing!

Prepare for the School Day.¬†I get up early every day to review what topics¬†I am teaching. This means reading through lessons and preparing anything I need to teach. I also look at what else I have to do:¬†appointments, housework, grocery shopping, etc. I feel like when I have a mental picture of what I am doing for the day I am better prepared. If getting up early doesn’t work for you, looking at your school day the night before may serve you better.

Write lesson plans.¬†As long as I have all of my books and papers out I might was well dig into lessons before I put everything away. The winter break¬†will soon be here, so I am going to write my lessons to have a plan in place. I don’t like to write them out too far in advance because they may need to change. My advice is not to plan beyond two weeks because you will become frustrated and anxious if you have to change. Teaching a new concept takes time! It requires time to introduce it, time to practice what has been taught, and time to master that new idea. Oftentimes, new topics of study take more time than you originally planned for, similar to house improvement projects… ¬†lol If you plan for extra time and don’t need it, then it’s a bonus and you can teach that subject you never seem to get around to doing, such as health or art. Or, if you have everything finished, cut loose and have fun!

Speaking of lesson plans, these can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be in order to teach. I have written plans to just have the title of a book we were reading, or writing pages of the textbook the boys were studying that day. My plans have also been as elaborate as writing the steps for a science lab. Remember, they are a guide for teaching.

Don’t you love the picture at the top of the post? I would love to be there right now; I could think more clearly and evaluate my school schedule, or write my lesson plans at the end of the trail. (probably not!) Enjoy your week.

~Lisa

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

happy-thanksgiving-images-freeDear Friends and Followers, I am thankful for you as I appreciate the kind words I have received as I have been writing weekly on this blog for several years now. I just wanted to share some things that I am indeed thankful for this year in terms of homeschooling.

My husbandР without him, I would have given up and not continued to homeschool my sons through the completion of  high school.

Children– I am blessed to have two great gifts, at which one time in my life the doctor wasn’t sure if I would have to have a hysterectomy before I had my fist child.

Educational choice– I am grateful that we live in a country where we can choose the way in which we want to educate our children. Homeschooling has always been an option since my children were school age, which I am truly thankful.

Pioneers of homeschooling– I am truly in awe of the families who made homeschooling possible and stood by their convicts and through opposition to make it legal in the United States. Without them, homeschooling would not be an option.

¬†Y-O-U!¬† ¬†Thank you for reading my blog and subscribing. I hope that I bring encouragement and resources to you on your school journey.¬†Thank you, thank you, thank you¬†to¬†you¬†who have allowed me to do portfolio reviews for your family. I never take it for granted that you have asked me to review your child’s portfolio of schoolwork.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

~ Lisa