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Happy Mother’s Day!

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I know this is a day late since I post on Mondays, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and celebrate you! You don’t get enough recognition by being a homeschool mom, but I realize all the hard work you do and I applaud you! Thank you for all that you do for your husband and your children.

When you began embarking on the homeschool journey I bet you didn’t realize how involved it was going to be; I know I didn’t! You are invaluable to your family. Even though many of you do not bring home a paycheck, you are saving your family so much money. Let me take the time to point out a all of the jobs you do each day when in school and each of these salaries. (These are not random numbers; I looked them up on indeed.com)

Principal: Execute the daily schedule for your school and your student(s). Oversee the behavior of the student body and teachers. (Oh, that’s you! lol) Communicate with the superintendent, oversee daily operation of school Salary: $72,000

Curriculum director: Research, determine educational philosophy; Research, purchase, borrow, swap, trade textbooks, unit studies, videos, online programs and games, and educational apps Salary: $50,000

Teacher: Prepare lessons, teach subjects, encourage and discipline students, grade papers Salary: $50,000

Administrative Assistant: Answer phone calls, organize office Salary: $20,000

Lunchroom Cook and Staff: Plan, prepare, serve meals; clean up lunchroom Salary: $36,000

Nurse: See to the wellbeing of all the student body and staff (If you get sick, there are usually no subs for the day!), health counseling Salary: $37,000

Janitor: Clean and sanitize school, maintain school grounds Salary: $30,000

Guidance Counselor: Help student with course selections, career planning, graduation, assist with college applications, coordinate graduation ceremony Salary: $50,000

Athletic Director and Coach: Schedule games, transport students to and from practices and events, fundraising  Salary: $52,000

Bus Driver: Transport students to and from school (lol) and extra curricular events Salary: $33,000

Grand Total of combined salaries: $415,000! You are worth every penny and if I had it to give you, I would. 🙂 Thank you for working tirelessly and may times without any acknowledgement. You are a tremendous mother and your children are blessed to have you as their mom.

~Lisa

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, 🙂 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. 🙂

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