"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
--Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Homeschooling 101 Part 2

Well like I said in my last homeschooling post we are doing things a little different this year. One of the things is that we are going to school year round. There are a couple of reasons for this, one is that we live in Florida and in Florida it's VERY hot during the summer and it's not suggested that one goes out between the hours of 10:00- 3:00. Well what a perfect time to do school, wouldn't you say? We will then take off a few days here and there as needed but we do schedule the month of December off starting just after Thanksgiving. We don't stop learning however as there is much to be done in that month. Great learning skills on giving, baking, making things, hosting, etc. there are lots of life lessons in this month. Not to mention we really get to focus on the true meaning of the season.

We started officially back in around 2 weeks ago and the day we started I came down with a cold so as soon as it started it stopped. Doesn't that just figure? So we had to wait for it to make it's rounds through the family and now we are back on track.

I want to talk about recording and planning. This is my 6th year of homeschooling and for those first five years I've gotten out my handy planner with all the grids and days of the week and subject lines etc and I would get out my books and start trudging away at "planning" my year. I would get about 2 weeks done when I would stop and say " There has got to be an easier way then this!" So I had 5 years of planners with about 2 weeks written it them and then I would give up because it was to tedious. As stated in my other post, the Lord has redirected us in our homeschooling this year and one of those things was in the way I was to record our lessons. Are you ready for how easy this is?

1. I grab a 1/2"-1" binder.
2. Add some lined paper.
3. Put dividers for each child and label it with there name.

Now have it handy where ever you do school and every time they accomplish a task you log it in the binder under their name. Here is an example for my 6 year old son.
Day 1
Phonics- starting with letter sounds a, b, r, t
Math- Page 1 in math book- writing numbers through 10
Nature Study- Leaf rubbing of sea grape tree
Copywork- First line of Psalms 23
Read aloud- The Wind and the Willows

That's it. Then you would proceed with Day 2 , Day 3 , etc. This way you don't end up crossing out what you wanted to get done Monday and didn't because someone got sick and ended up doing it Thursday and now thursday is messed up and so on. No dates, just days listed. This way there is no pressure when you want to take a day off without planning it.
With my 6 year old the schedule is pretty simple and it repeats itself each day so planning is mainly figuring out what book to read next or what do we want to find outside for our nature book.
Now I have a 9th grader this year which was all new to me. First thing you need to remember is that each child is different. My 6 year old son isn't going to be interested in what my 14 year old daughter is doing when he's that age. You have to individualize what they learn. To do this I sat down with my daughter and asked her what she was interested in most. Here's here list. She likes to sew, cook, Jane Austen, flowers, blogging, modesty,etc. Now with those few things I set up a schedule for her. The only official curriculum she has is Math U See Algebra. For example: Jane Austen - this could include her reading a novel by her, learning about the regency period, which would be history, cooking is incorporating math as well, blogging is great for practicing writing, etc. Do you see where I'm going? With this approach one thing will lead into another and your interests will expand. I invested more this year in getting great books to read then in curriculum. It's a method that Charlotte Mason used in her years as a teacher. If you can find any books on her to read about her approach to homeschooling I highly recommend it. It has changed my outlook from drudgery to one of excitement. We are actually having fun this year.

I'm going to leave you with this but my next homeschooling post will be about the notebooks each kid has and I'll give you a peek inside to show you just how they are doing each one. All and all enjoy the time you have with your kids.
Please feel free to ask me specific questions you would like answered and if I can honestly answer them for you I will.


  1. Hi Kim! I know what you mean about scheduling in your planner. What I did this last year that worked better for me was to give myself weekly goals with the kids instead of writing down every little thing. Then if one day was crummy (usually 1-2 days a week) we could catch up on a good day (also 1-2 days per week) and voila! we stuck with it (more or less!). Thanks for the comment on my post at the cafe, and I love your blog title and profile. I have been so interested in homesteading too, just can't move out to the country just yet. Also I went to college in FL (my hubby's from south of Miami) so I hear you about the heat! Year-round school sounds good to me! ;)

  2. Howdie, stumbled over your blog by accident, and surprised that you're a homeschooler too.

    I've been homeschooling for 13 years and we have schooled YEAR ROUND as well. In Texas, it gets hot too, and well, quite frankly, I enjoy taking breaks when we want and going on vacations and field trips on off seasons (less crowds, and expense!)

    Nice blog! ;-)

  3. Oh, and a BIG THUMBS UP on the King James Bible!!!! ;-)


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