Monday, February 28, 2011

Can I, Will I, Shouldn't I?

Can you believe this school year is almost gone? It flew by so quickly. I cant believe I am almost through my first year of home schooling! It has been a exciting, fun, stressful year. So it's obvious my plan for my kids school year is going to be to home school them again. I started off not really wanting to home school. At the time private school was no longer a option and I had two other choices, public school or home school. The school in our area wasn't too bad. Everyone knows NC doesn't have the greatest schools unfortunately. But I did a a lot of praying and talking to other women who have had their children in both situations. So I decided to home school for 6 months to start. If I didn't like it then I could put them in public school. 
You may have thought the same way or in the process of thinking about home schooling. You are probably a little afraid and confused if you are considering it. To be honest, my thoughts were more about me. I got my high school diploma through adult education courses. I attempted college but it wasn't for me at that time. I was pretty sure there was no way I could educate my children. I also lack patience and I love to be social and spend time with friends. I knew that was going to be rare. 
But I decided to home school anyway and off I went. I love to read, so I read almost every book about the subject. I spoke to friends, visited friends "class rooms" to observe, stopped to cry, searched the Internet, and went to a home school convention, oh and cried again. 
What I learned is that there is not only one way to home school. I was surprised because I can walk into many public or private school classrooms and I can pretty much get an overall picture of whats going on. But home schooling was so different. I saw very different styles. I picked what "style" I thought I was which was traditional and planned from there. 
as I got more into the curriculum part I realized I am not traditional so it was back to the drawing bored. Ugh, I was frustrated! Some one told me to relax and spend the first year getting to know my kids. Sounds strange but it was true. My kids were gone all day and I had no clue how they learned. Were they traditional, wiggly, social, distracting  .... I had no clue. 
I spent some time trying to get to know them and I have gotten to know so much! 
I realized we are not one "style". We are completely different for every subject. I made some mistakes in my choosing this year. For example the spelling work book I chose is not for us, it is too boring. 
I found out there are so many different ways to teach. There is classical, Montessori, traditional, Charlotte Mason, independent, unschooled and eclectic just to name a few. I fell into the eclectic category. I love so many different ways and I learned how to mesh them all together so it can benefit them. Wow, this was not too scary after all. It was actually a fun process. As the year passed I learned so much and I realized no wonder there is a show called, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" I realized no, no I was not! 
Overall, the year taught me that I have to be a willing learner. The more I showed my children that I was interested in their subject too and I was learning right along side of them the more excited they became. There have been very stressful days too. I found out Cameron does not wake up in the greatest mood on Monday so we do a relaxed unschooled day on Monday. The rest off the week is our normal week. We started off taking Fridays off and that changed mid year. I learned to go with the flow and not get crazy over a strict schedule. 
The one thing I was right about was my social time with my friends alone during the week. I don't get to "hang out" alone with out the kids during the week. But  a lot of my friends also have their little ones all week long at home. I met other home school families who will get together at a drop of a hat. There are so many activities for them to do and have benefited from being around all different age ranges. 
I am not totally against public school. My soon to be 16 year old goes to a school of choice public school. She has no interest in home schooling and I am ok with that. There lies my insecurity of her teaching me and me not being able to teach her. She is smart and just as social as my other girls. I do  have to worry more about who she is getting involved with socially in high school. One great benefit of having my other kids at home, I can monitor that.  My oldest daughter plays sports and is busy with dance lessons. My home schoolers are doing the same exact things. It just shows me that home schooling is not some weird un- social activity. It is quite the opposite. 
I am looking forward to this next year and once again learning so much I had forgotten. Although the reasons for me to make this choice to home school came out of the blue. I really think it has been a blessing to our family. God works in wonderful, mysterious ways. I hope I encouraged some of you to consider educating your children at home. It is a experience that most people can never say they have had. But they should want to. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rain, rain go away or maybe not

Yep, its raining out side. Weather man predicted rain and a temperture of 75.  I do not like these days because its so warm and muggy and then there is rain. But to kill the monatony I am going to add in a few activities for the kids. We will probably have some quiet time reading and then maybe something science related. I actually think I will organize my home school library today. I know me and I can sit and watch documenteries all day long and let the kids play games on the computer. So other then that I would like to know your rainy day activites and crafts. I would love new ideas!

I found this link too.

It's early afternoon and I am updating my blog because I actually cleaned out my library! The top pic is a before picture. Nothing is in subject order and none of our literature is in order....
Now I have everything in subject order and literature is alphabetized by Author. Emma has the whole bottom row for her books. I had Cameron help me go over the alphabetizing looking up who the Authors and illustrators are.
This is a mess of preschool books I had been going through.

this was almost done. I made the top for spelling/grammar and math, the second row for CC and the bottom 2 for Emma.
and the other side is History, Science/nature, Art and foreign language
I am in love with our office again!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wearing the hat of wife

I know you probably have heard how much a mother would get paid if she actually was paid for doing her many jobs. The wage is pretty high up there! These are just a few examples of the jobs she plays... Chef, short order cook, taxi, therapist, counselor, confidant, teacher, in some cases bread winner, in some cases both mother and father, referee, cosmetologist, hair dresser, stylist, nurse, music instructor, photographer, house keeper, laundry service, day care, accountant, scheduler (receptionist) and many more. 
In all this we also have to wear the hats of wife, lover, friend, and confidant to our husbands. The reason I am reminded of this today is because well, this week has been a hard week. The kids are acting up to say the least, I have to deal with my anxiety, and I haven't been the greatest wife through this.  By the time my husband gets home I want to sleep! In my mind he has been gone all day away from the kids and I have had the most stressful part. In my mind he has had some what of a break. Although I know he is at work and I would not want to be in his shoes either but those are just my thoughts. Through my grumpiness in the evening, my extreme obsessing over next years home school curriculum and through my anxiety over the kids fighting I have forgotten my husband. 
But luckily he has not forgotten me! After receiving a text telling me how much he loves me and that I am a awesome mom and wife, I was in shock! Really? Could he really mean this? I thought he was just trying to be nice or maybe hoping for some "lovin" tonight. And that may be true in some way but why not? Why is it wrong for him to do that for those reasons? He has softened my heart on a stressful day, made me feel extremely loved and needed just by a few words on a text. 
So I must not forget the hats I wear as wife. The ones so easily forgotten. I couldn't imagine forgetting to wear one of my many hats for my children. But for my husband that's a different story. I want him to know I love him, care for him, respect him. That I am a helper to him, a lover to him and he is my whole world! Love is a choice. I need to choose to get up in the morning and prepare my kids for the day, cook for them and bathe them. I need to also choose to show my husband the respect he deserves and remember his needs in the evening. Notice I say "needs". Because over the years I have learned "lovin" is a need for men not just a want. My husband needs to feel validated, paid attention to and my top priority. But I so easily forget.
Today even in the midst of my craziness I choose to remember my man! I will put him first and pile on all those hats, for him, but most importantly for Him!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our home school days have been different the past couple of weeks. I definitely feel more creative and not too worried that my kids are "not learning enough." I think that's every home school moms fear. But I see that even when they are not sitting down to book and pencil they are learning all around them. I'm so open to different styles of learning although I do love Classical. This week so far we have went on nature walks for art and botany. We have gone out to just sit and enjoy nature. We have also learned about Ireland on line and took a Irish dance class. Studied Newtons laws of motion and did a science experiment outside. I have read to Cameron and had her narrate back to me, gone over veritas press timeline cards to commit them to memory, played spelling and math games, listened to Treasure Island on cd. Also baked granola bars while paying attention to measurements and talked about tons of different subjects.
I am sure there are many home school moms that can be more creative than me but I am pretty happy with the past couple of weeks! Mostly because I stepped up to the challenge of understanding my girls don't want to sit in front of a book right now and although that's where I'm comfortable I did things differently.
The year will be coming to an end soon and I feel great about next year. Although I wish I could say that everyday I can't but as for right now, today I can say things have been great!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day

Today is a beautiful day! We are going to do most of our home school outside by taking walks and doing nature study. But this morning we did start a couple crafts. We decided to do an overview of President Abraham Lincoln and President George Washington. With my 4 year old we searched out the coins with their faces and made log cabins with Popsicle sticks. While we do this I have been sharing little facts about them. They seem to be catching on quite fast and are not bored.

This is Emma's work, the little gap is the door, lol. She also glued a couple of pennies and made some windows. She loved this project!
This is Cameron's project, she decided she wanted to actually build a cabin. She is quite the perfectionist and so we had to stop at this point to let it dry off and give her a break. She was getting upset if it fell. We are going out for a walk around the neighborhood and look at some trees and plants and do some art work and study. Hopefully this will give her some time to "forget about it" and come back and finish. 
I love days like this! This is what I love about home school!

Here are some fun President's day activities

Saturday, February 19, 2011


When I was little I use to listen to all different kind of music. I had my older cousins around so I heard everything they listened to. I went through a Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Tiffany, The Cure, Morrisey, Break dancing and metal phase. I was definitely and still can be called sometimes, a chameleon. I made up dance routines and bought fingerless lace gloves in the 80's and early 90's. I bought V neck sweaters and used a chained wallet for my Morrissey stage. I loved teasing my hair and wearing "mc hammer' pants in the 90's. I listened to songs about love, sex and some with tons of curse words.
Eventually, I became an adult and loved music in general. I listen to music of all different genres, I am not picky. I love country, christian, pop, opera, rock n roll, classical and many others. I even listen to music  in different languages like Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Celtic and of course English.
The reason I bring this up is because my kids listen to everything. They love Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Arabic music, Country, Christian and music from Journey and Johnny Cash. Cameron my 8 year old was sent a Lady Gaga t-shirt from my mom. Nothing inappropriate but actually really cute. As she was wearing it I questioned myself on the fact that we don't really agree with Lady Gaga's well... anything. But we love her music! If I think back to my experiences I knew Madonna was "Like A Virgin," she told me to "Express yourself," and words from a guy are "Like a Prayer." I also was told to "Rock the cradle of love,"  that "Nothing else matters," Jeremy Spoke in Class," and InXS " Needed you tonight."
So many different ideas, so many different songs. But I didn't choose a life like Madonna's, or Pearl Jam, or Billy Idol and Metallica. I chose to be me!
There are also so many opinions out there from different people about what my kids should be listening to. Be it Christian music only, Classical only, Kids music only or a variety of all that is innocent. But what if I don't? What if I allow them to listen to Lady Gaga, Black eyed peas, or Bruno Mars? Should I be concerned my girls will want to wear meat or use cocaine because Bruno Mars allegedly does? Should i be concerned they will "believe" in their "beliefs?"
I believe my husband and I have done a great job so far. Of course we have issues, everyone does when it comes to parenting. But that is the process of training them.
 As I write this my 4 year old Emma is listening to a ipod and singing G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S and you know what, she hasn't asked for a jet yet!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I am not sure if I am just starting early but is there anyone else who is searching out next years curriculum? For us we don't really start "next year" my plan is to school year round. Last year I started in May but I seem to be playing catch up with my 8 year olds work because I've been very relaxed lately. Currently both of my kids are doing Classical Conversations like I mentioned on a earlier post. Cameron also uses Teaching Textbooks and just finished the 3rd grade book and will be starting 4th grade TT in a week. We also have been using Rod & Staff for grammar. We started using Simply Grammarl but I slowly started focusing on R&S because it explains everything so simply. Next year I Cam will be doing grammar at CC. But I have been searching for a  Latin curriculum and I think for Spanish we will use Rosetta Stone. Art is a challenge for me because most of the time my kids want to paint I cant even find a paint brush. I think I will have to stock up on those and not let Emma use them as magic wands.
Emma is a different story, I have no idea what I am using for her in Kindergarten. I am tossed between Horizons phonics and math, ,Veritas press phonics and Sing spell read and write . I have looked into My Fathers World but it was lacking in some areas for her. Also Learning Language Arts through Lit and I didn't like it very much. I understand Kindergarten learning should still remain fun so SSR&W looks appealing. But I love Horizons just don't know if she will. Does anyone use any of these curriculum's? Please share your experiences.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


February 17th is Random acts of Kindness day. I really never knew that until now. So I am going to be thinking about how to implement this idea into our school.  This sounds so fun and positive for the kids and I to do.  I searched it out and found it is celebrated all week long and today is bring a snack to work for everyone to share.  Well obviously my  home is my work and i m sure my kids would love some special dessert but I don't think the calories of that special dessert will love me back.
So I guess I am going to see if a opportunity rises today. Do you have any ideas? I would love to hear your comments.  I am also leaving a couple of links about it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Classical conversations

Today has been a hard day to blog since every Wednesday we are doing Classical Conversations. CC is a great option for your home schoolers. My kids love coming every week. Our day starts off at 9am with a group of other fantastic home schoolers. We pray, and watch family presentations. After, we go to class separated by age. Every week is mostly the same pattern but what we learn is different. Notice I say "we" because it's amazing all that I have learned this year so far. I sometimes wonder where the heck I was in grade school!
Here is just an example of what we are doing and learning through out the weeks:
We are learning about ww1 and ww2 right now so the kids and I memorize a history sentence like; "In 1945, after the League of Nations failed to prevent World War 2, American President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and USSR President Stalin began the United Nations."
There is of course a fun song to learn it with. Next is Latin conjugations, English pronouns, Adverbs, and conjunctions. We learn timeline with Veritas Press, study astronomy, ecology and physical science, math multiplication tables but this week we are learning easy songs for geometric formulas. Also we do art, music and bible.
Sounds busy but it is worth it!!
We have to remember that there are so many important people who learned in a classical style like:Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Washington, Gandhi, Newton, to John Locke, Abigail Adams and Joan of Arc. Wow, what a amazing list of names!!if you haven't tried classical education you should implement something. Purchase the book A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille. read a classic like Anne of green gables, or go on sites like classical Christian homeschool. Com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eating right

Today is my grocery shopping day. I plan on making an hour long trip to Whole foods, and Trader Joe's. The reason I drive so far is because I found a great importance in my families health. I am sure you think the same way. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's offer tons of varieties of healthy food. There is no way some one could walk in and walk out empty handed! We have always tried to eat healthy but this is the first time we have bought almost all our food 100% organic. 
One of the many books I am reading is Home Education The original Home schooling series written by Charlotte M. Mason. If you have never heard of Charlotte Mason I will leave a link for you. You have to get to know her! Well, not literally she was born in England in the 1800s. She wrote her books and was so ahead of her time in all aspects of eating, school, parenting and discipline. The chapter I read last night she talked about eating healthy and how important it is for our child's brain development. Umm, yes this was written around 1900!  She didn't even need a statistic! She says, "But it is not the food which is eaten, but the food which is digested, that nourishes body and brain." Also,  "Everybody knows that children should not eat pastry, or pork, or fried meats, or cheese, or rich, highly-flavoured food of any description..." She also mentions that fish is a brain food!! Wow I am sure doctors, nutritionist and such of our time think they came up with these ideas!
She is absolutely fantastic! I was so glad to have heard about her in the beginning of my home school. I have implemented many of her ideas! We only eat 100% whole wheat bread, all fruit organic unless it has a peel, cereals made by organic means, all our meat is grass fed and local, our milk and eggs and cheese are antibiotic, hormone free. This may be to extreme for you so I am suggesting that this year, start your own garden. I have an amazing friend, who has already started with gardening by planting in indoor pots. She can then transfer out doors. 
You are probably saying," Duh, Lisa, I know about gardens!" But this is just a example on how to have your kids start off eating healthier inexpensively. Some other ideas are switch up their beloved white bread. I am not trying to start a family war but 100% whole wheat is so much healthier. Take little steps! You will be amazed at what your kids will eat.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Fun

Happy Valentine's Day! I am up before the kiddos are to think about what I want to do on this day. I am not into Hallmark holidays so I don't expect much on a holiday like this. But I do want to teach my kids the meaning of love everyday! I think my goal today is to read 1 Corinthians 13 and have them narrate back to me what they heard. So hope you enjoy reading it too!
1 Corinthians 13 1:8
If i speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if i have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,,, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Sounds funny but I LOVE that scripture! Reminds me I should be those things daily. I also am leaving a link for the history behind Valentines day, just for fun. There should be some crafts included on this site.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What about their social life?

Right now I am reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille. So far it is a great book!  He makes a great point in Chapter 2 about not ignoring the question I stated above. The first question people ask when they meet a home school family is, "What about their social life?" He writes and I quote, "What people usually mean is, "Will they seem normal and well- adjusted, or backward and strange?" 
In my opinion public school is mostly social and hardly educational. It is sad and not the teachers fault at all.  It's about who is the most popular, has the prettiest eyes, & best personality. The academic leaders are considered nerds, geeks and teachers pets.
 My kids are social butterflies and have continued to be this way while home schooling. If I am social as everyone knows I am then I am sure my kids will be too. If I am a hermit that shelters my children and act abnormal and weird then my kids will probably be the same too. The question above is in itself is absurd and rude. The person asking the question should realize I and they are very capable of educating and socializing our own children. Was I not social before? Do I keep my self sheltered? Certainly not!
The lucky children in school are the ones taken under a excellent teachers wing. To help guide them in the pursuit of loving to learn. This can happen at home too! This can be you! I never thought I could or would home school my kids but I am and will continue. I was a poor student with no "excellent" teacher. But that is not stopping me!!!

Lets get it started!

So I like to talk! But does that mean I like to write? Umm not sure yet, but I'll find out! My days are crazy sometimes and yet I still want to talk about them with, well, everybody! I am not shy, no not even a little bit. I love to research and I love to learn.
Currently I am researching latin Curriculum for my 2 daughters that I homeschool. One is 8 and one is 4. Some people don't understand why I want to teach latin to my kids but after  reading up on it, I know they need it. I dont recall learning the grammar I obviously was suppose to learn. Maybe you can already tell by my writing, :0 But I want my kids to have a better education than I had and to LOVE learning!
 I do not remember my school years too much. The parts I do remember are my social life. How about you? Did you have a fantastic teacher, guidance counselor or any one else who was not of the norm? I had a great middle school counselor but all I remember about him is that he was funny and "cool." I don't remember studying something that really drew me in. I never loved learning. That is so sad when I think about it because I am now 32 and think back on my many grade school regrets.
I guess this is my main reason for home schooling my kids. I am learning right beside them and loving it!!
A great book so far... A relative let me borrow this and my 8 year old is enjoying it.