Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Schooling year round

I wasn't sure what I was going to do the rest of this school year since it has been so hard. My 12 year old spent the year suffering through depression that I didn't know about, being bullied by who she thought was her best friend, and by February attempting suicide. I mean, what do I do! I wrote on the Ambleside Online Forum and asked for advice and between that and close friends I felt comfortable stopping all curriculum and focusing on my daughters health. But knowing that she felt like she was "stupid", "doesn't know how to spell", or "know basic math" I felt like we had to continue learning.
I am so glad I did! I set up a basket of books that I know I didn't want her to miss this school year.

 We follow so I already knew which books to pick. 12 year old books are in the wicker basket and clear basket is for my 9 year old.  Basically we will finish up those books by the end of summer before we start AO year 8 and on top of that she will do math and spelling. I was afraid this year was going to be a loss and to expect her to be very behind. But we got back her CAT scores and she is actually doing great! I was very surprised but I should of known to trust Miss Charlotte Mason. If you don't know who Charlotte Mason was or how she lives on in modern home schools today, look here

We can't have a strict school schedule right now because of so many doctor appointment for my daughter but I know we can pick up a book and read at our own pace and also listen to to the many amazing books suggested by Ambleside.
I feel so good about relaxing when we need to and focusing on school as needed. I don't feel guilty about giving my daughter a few months or even a year to work on what's more important, which is herself. She needs to build her self confidence, learn to trust in friendships again, and spend quiet time in nature and being with our Lord. By the way her EOG test showed she is NOT stupid, she spells as well as a 10th grader, and is on grade level in math.  Seeing that made her smile, it made her happy, it boosted her confidence and although I don't like the end of grade testing, this year it was completely worth it!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Truth, Beauty and Goodness

 thinking about decisions today. I'm thinking about how fast they are made without thinking sometimes. As I was driving my daughter to gymnastics this morning I thought about basing my decision making on truth, beauty and goodness. This is what my thought process looked like...
Truth- Is the decision I am making a truthful decision? Is it based on lies or will it hurt someone in the end? Is it scriptural?
Beauty- will my decision turn ashes into beauty? Is it pure and well planned? Will it be well executed and not become ugly?
Goodness- Is the decision good? Meaning, Can I face God knowing the decision I made was good and just? Is it good for my soul? Is it good for those around me?

I think I need to pause once in a while and think over those things before any decision is made.

Just a few thoughts on this Saturday Morning.

Friday, June 5, 2015

When you think you have it all figured out

For so long I thought that I had things pretty much figured out. Things like, my husband will retire at 20 years from the military, I will homeschool my daughters until they graduate high school, we will save money and get out of debt (for the third time), and we will live happily ever after. I really thought these things! Of course I knew that there will be bumps on the road and maybe a fork or two. God decided he has other plans for us. My husband will not be retiring at 20 years but at 17 years and oh he will not receive a retirement because the Army doesn't have to do that unless you have been in 18 years. I will continue to homeschool my daughters but not without thoughts of finding a public school with a "Great Score" of 10 and seeing them off every morning on the big yellow bus. We are working on our debt but we are upside down on a house I begged my husband for, so it will be awhile. Will we live happily ever after? That's still up in the air but we will try as hard as we could.
This past year has been a roller coaster. Yes I know that is cliche to say but it has been.
My oldest daughter is away at college, my 12 year old was diagnosed with Depression, anxiety and Hashimotos Thyroiditis, my 9 year old spends 12-15 hours a week at gymnastics and we travel a distance to get there.
We have hit mid year and my husbands career is up in the air, my daughters depression seems to be getting better but her thyroid issues are not quite fixed, and my 9 year old is still at gymnastics. I'm scared for our family because the loss of my husbands job means a loss of health insurance. A loss of my husbands job means I may have to send my kids back to school so I can get a J-O-B. No big deal you say about the J-O-B but I haven't worked in 13 years!
I don't know what we will do. I have trust in God and trust in my husband. I trust that God will lead us through this with His absolute wisdom and love. I trust my husband will remain a hard worker and do what he needs to do to provide for us. I will continue to help in anyway I can and I will continue to homeschool unless I no longer can. I will trust in God with all my heart, soul, and mind, ask for peace that surpasses all understanding and Trust in the Lord.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Where has the time gone? A year and a half has passed and it passed swiftly. My children are ages 18, 10 and 7 now. My eighteen year old is graduating highschool this week and will be moving to our home state of California. I cant believe I wont have her here with me. I am very sad but also very proud of her independence and drive to begin somewhere else. The military base we live near and really the entire city is not the best area. I definitely do not want my daughters to stay here. I hate to be so honest but I would be lying if I said something different. As a matter of fact our city was voted in the top 20 worst places to live! Yes, we have a high crime rate and the majority of people here say they do not feel safe. So for my daughter to get out of this place is perfectly fine with me. 
My 10 year old has grown so much this last year, literally. She is as tall as me now, I am only 5"2 so it didn't take her long. She has finally caught up to her grade level in our homeschool and to that we yell, Hallelujah!! We are so excited and I feel so happy. I had stopped the presses even if that meant she was behind a while but she caught up and testing this year showed her at/and above grade level. There was a lot of tears from both of us and a lot of feeling defeated. But she came out on top and she stuck with it! My heart smiled to see the look on her face when she got her end of year test scores. I normally don't put a lot of stock in testing but because she did I decided to make a bigger deal of it this year.
My 7 year old has done great. I took her out of private school and decided to keep her home and we have gone through a few curriculum changes but as of now we are happy about where she is at. We started her out using Saxon phonics and Saxon math for first grade. But it became long and boring. So I bought myself a set of Rays Arithmetic books and we have been happily using them since. I also took out Shurley Grammar and had her start on Phonics Pathways and McGuffeys Readers. I love them! But most importantly she does too.
The past year we had come back to a style of homeschooling I pushed to the side in the beginning. I decided to dive into a Charlotte Mason, living books curriculum. We left Classical Conversations because I felt it was going too fast for my children and just wanted enjoy some of the things we were learning instead of rushing through to the next weeks memory work. I pushed CM aside originally because I had not read her works and thought it was too simple and too slow. I was completely wrong and I fell in love with this style of teaching and learning. Most people know of Charlotte Mason but if you don't here is a link
This should give you a good overview of who she was. I may go into more about her next post but right now I just wanted to give a little homeschool update.
Hopefully from now on I will remember this little blog of mine and write.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Workboxes? Will they work?

A friend of mine from our Classical Conversations group told me about workbox systems. Originally she was letting me know about them since I was struggling homeschooling my 5 year old. Since I decided to send her to private school, I never researched this system. Just this past week I decided to re-evaluate our homeschool and I thought of my friend and her workboxes. She sent me some great links and I headed off to the store. I ran around town to find the best deals but I started off at Target of course. I bought a white shoe rack and I went to the Dollar Tree for plastic bins. I could not find the right bins! I loved the bins my friend had but they were nowhere. So I bought a bin similar to a litter box (not very pretty). After getting home I finally asked my daughter what she would like to have and she liked the bin idea. I went back to Target to see if I can find some clear shoeboxes and I found another bin that caught my eye. It has 3 drawers but if I buy 3... It was a little expensive so I ran around town again looking for similar cheaper options. Target was by far the cheapest. Plus Cameron, my daughter, loved the drawer system idea. Left the store with 3 new bins!
Now when I want something I get a little obsessed over it. So I didn't go to the gym for a few days and decided to stay home and clean out my entire homeschool room. So glad my husband wasn't home because if he would have seen the process he would have freaked out! Cameron and I got to work, purging, organizing, separating curriculum int subjects like U.S history, general history books, english grammar, vocab, spelling, writing, math, animal studies, nature studies, foreign language, science, Classical Conversations and Essentials plus one are for my 5 year old to have. I searched through websites and found some free workbox printables' my favorite were There was a lot of information and they were not to babyish for my 9 year old. I started laminating everything and I finished pretty quickly. To be honest I was so excited to do this I was a little sad I was all finished. I wanted to find something else to start. bUt instead I sat in the office and enjoyed how clean it was. Yes, that may be a little weird but it was originally a mess! So here is our workbox system. Each box has a number on it with velcro. On the right of the picture there is a laminated key ring with boxes to hold the numbers and velcro tabs I printed up. The concept is Cameron starts with box 1 finishes all her work in that box and takes off the velcro 1, takes her key ring and pulls the velcro "done" tab and replaces the 1 with it. She then moves on to box 2 and repeats the same process until all the drawers are "done". We sat home Saturday and tested our system and I realized after about 3 drawers she was ready for a break so I added a "snack" tab so she knew where to go to next. At first Cameron thought that she only had to do one box a day! That made me laugh considering her #1 box only had her Saxon math in it and nothing else. But I decided to sit with her and work with her through the boxes just this one time. I also added a need help tab so she knows she will need me for that subject. So far so good! I will update you on how it goes as the weeks go by. I am very excited about it! It can tell its going to bring us structure and accountability!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Curriculum woes

I haven't written about our homeschool in a long time. So let me catch you up. I decided pretty quickly to put Emma in private school. I know all my die hard homeschool friends are surprised. Well actually I love home schooling my 9 year old so much that I presumed I would love teaching Emma. I started having a rough time with discipline and I was worn out from her behavior. I know private school won't help with this but I needed my space for a while. Well she is doing great! Loves her friends, adores her teachers and I am amazed at her learning progress!
As for Cameron I am not well organized this year but I had a few plans I knew we needed to do. Plan a: catch her up on math, my goal was to backtrack and figure out where math got away from her. Plan b: have a stronger science curriculum and not just follow Classical Conversations science. Plan c: history organized and read a lot of books based on the United States and fill in the history gaps from Classical Conversations.
Well plan a was and is a success. I had to take her all the way from 4th grade math to 2nd grade math. I am finding the areas she either forgot or got left behind in when she was in private school. Plan b science- going great! Using Apologia and having her use the notebook t comes with. We are studying the body but not in the exact cc order. Plan c history- yeah not going great :( I have had her wat h documentaries and we have tried to follow cc and fill in those gaps like studying native Americans. But I am not finding a lot in Story of the World and she doesn't care for reading too much so history has become more hands on from me. still sear hing for a better plan overall.
Classical Conversations Essentials is hard this year! But we are learn g. Yes I said we! Wow am I learning a lot!!
I was also leaning forward Saxon math any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

lazy or just relaxed?

Not sure what is going on with the Hohan Homeschool right now. I was so motivated  a few months ago and now this entire month I have been super lazy! OK, I know I was doing a lot a few months ago and I had a few comments about relaxing and finding a hobby. I understand my extreme nature too and the problem with me is finding a hobby replaces my other "hobbies". So in Lisa land the effort I was putting into research for homeschool curriculum etc.. has been replaced with a lazy, mindless tv show and working out to catch up on getting healthy and in shape. 
So, why cant I balance? Why cant I find the energy to do all those things? I want to work out, start my homeschool year and be able to take a breather to watch mindless tv on Netflix. I've wrote in the past about my issues to balance things in life. I am extreme and have been "talked" to by many people about my hyper focus in areas. I know I wouldn't let my kids be so hyper focused so what's up with me? 
Back to homeschool... I am struggling with my 5 year old and her reluctance to me being her teacher. I actually wish I could send her to kindergarten at the local classical private school so they can teach her to read! I have thought this through but the money is what's keeping me. I can then focus on my 9 year old and going through some facts she needs help with. I feel guilty for this, for thinking this. Plus I know the private school thing is not happening. My husband wont spend the money on it and so its not an option right now. 
The curriculum we started was Sing Spell Read & Write. She seems to like it a lot! But its getting her to do it especially with me. Now, I have heard the advice to make her sit and do it I am her mother she should listen but then it is not enjoyable. I have also been asked if she is ready for it. I know Emma is ready for it she gets it! She understands it, knows her alphabet, can recognize letters and writes her name and her ABC's. I know that it is just me being the one teaching her that is keeping her from moving on. 
So do I continue our summer at this pace? Taking time off and let the distractions of other kids out of school run its course? Our Classical Conversations community will start up late August do I wait til then?
I purchased all my curriculum for our second year of homeschool, I know what we need to focus on and I know distraction is a issue.
I need some advice!!!!