Proverbial Homemaker https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com Domestically challenged. Divinely equipped. Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:26:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Pastor Appreciation Printable + 25 Ideas to Bless Pastors https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/pastor-appreciation.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/pastor-appreciation.html#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:05:14 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=2983 Pastors answer a special call to ministry that is a lot of work, to say the least. A great way to do acts of service as a family is to find ways to bless your pastor! It will not only be an encouragement to him and his family, but will be a great experience for your […]

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Pastors answer a special call to ministry that is a lot of work, to say the least. A great way to do acts of service as a family is to find ways to bless your pastor! It will not only be an encouragement to him and his family, but will be a great experience for your kids during Pastor Appreciation Month or any time of the year.

Use the 25 pastor appreciation ideas in this post along with the free Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack!  

Pray for your pastor and find great ways to bless him with this Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack! Includes pastor appreciation cards with poems, prayer calendars, an "about my pastor" page, and more! 

25 Pastor Appreciation Ideas

You can find lots of gift ideas for pastors on Amazon and other stores. But it can also be an extra blessing to put some creativity into it!

  1. Pray for your pastor – Best gift ever and the most impactful, too. Help your kids learn to pray regularly for your pastor and church leadership.  
  2. Organize a group prayer effort – Choose general Scriptures of blessing or specific Scripture about pastors and teachers. Pray through those verses for your pastor and as the Spirit leads. (We love praying the Scripture!) The printable pack below has a prayer calendar and resources to help.
  3. Pastor appreciation cards – Send your pastor a card with a detailed note of appreciation and thanks. Kids can have a fun time drawing in them as well! Use the cards in the printable for an easy way to do that!
  4. “About our pastor” page – Have your kids draw a page about their pastor and what he does for the church. Include some fun facts! The printable includes a page they can use.
  5. Give a shout out – Share about your pastor and what you appreciate about him in conversations, in front of your kids, and even on social media! It not only builds him up but encourages others to appreciate their pastors as well. 
  6. Have a potluck, party, or dinner in their honor – You know there are never too many potlucks in life. 😉 Plus, it’s a good chance to have folks share what they appreciate about the pastor!
  7. Make a photo album – Compile photos of your church and the people in it into a photo album for your pastor to use as a keepsake or as praying tool. We like Chatbooks for simple ones. 
  8. Invite them to dinner – Invite your pastor and his family over for a low-key dinner or lunch. Keep it light and fun. 
  9. Bring them a homemade meal – You don’t need a reason to bring your pastor and his family a meal. Just do it to bless them! They will love it. Be sure to ask about allergies and preferences.
  10. Offer to babysit their kids for free – If they have young children, offer to watch them while they go out on a date or run errands. 
  11. Send them a food gift basket – Put together a fun gift basket or care package. This is a great one to involve the kids in and let them choose things to add!
  12. Gift them a subscription box – Find out what they like, such as coffee, favorite foods, or a hobby. Order a subscription box and surprise them!
  13. Support their coffee habit – If your pastor or his wife enjoys coffee or likes to meet with church members at coffee shops as a part of their ministry, find out which shops they frequent and send them a gift card.
  14. Support their book habit – Pastors are readers, most often. Send them a gift certificate to their favorite book shop or Amazon. Or get them that book you know they’ve been wanting!
  15. Help around the house – Offer to do some yard work or home repair, if you can, or help with other simple errands and tasks that may help, especially in challenging times. 
  16. Spring for a getaway – Pool money with other church members to pay for a weekend getaway. Pastors need rest and refreshment!
  17. Send encouraging notes – Write little notes of encouragement and occasionally include one with your offering or in the prayer box. You can find a template to get started in the printable. 
  18. Send Scripture cards – Scripture is always encouraging. Print or write 12 scripture cards and write a prayer or note of thanks on the back. Mail one every month! You can find several free ones here on Proverbial Homemaker.
  19. Shower them with affirmation – Secretly collect words of affirmation and encouragement from members in your church and present them in a decorative box or in a collage. 
  20. Encourage their family – Being supportive and encouraging of their family members can go a long way! Find ways to build them up and bless them. 
  21. Provide positive feedback – Email/tell your pastor anytime their sermon is particularly insightful or thought-provoking. Too often they just hear the criticism. 
  22. Put on a performance – Have your kids or the kids at church do a simple but fun program on the second Sunday of October (traditionally the date for Pastor Appreciation Day). Have them sing songs and read their own written out reasons why they appreciate the pastor. 
  23. Create a fun video to honor them – Have the youth or other willing adults in your church put together a video about your pastor! Record people’s thoughts and memories and put them together in a video collage. It can be sentimental, funny, or both!  
  24. Show extra grace – Pastors and their wives go through unique challenges and sacrifice much for their congregations. Be a family that gives the benefit of the doubt, heaps of grace, and plenty of understanding. 
  25. Give out of love and appreciation – It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. 🙂 Give to your pastor and church leadership in these ways without expectation of anything in return. Let the giving be the reward as you bless your pastor out of an abundance of appreciation for God’s call on their lives. 

Pray for your pastor and find great ways to bless him with this Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack! Includes pastor appreciation cards with poems, prayer calendars, an "about my pastor" page, and more!

Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack

This printable pack is to help your family or church group show appreciation for your pastor. In 1992, October became known as Pastor Appreciation Month. The second Sunday of October is Pastor Appreciation Day. 

Of course, we want to appreciate and support our pastors all year round! But occasionally it’s nice to have a special time to focus our prayers and appreciation on pastors as well. You could also consider using the ideas here to encourage others on the pastor or leadership team, teachers, and missionaries.

Here are the highlights of what you’ll find in the Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack, which you can download free below.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas List

Brainstorm ideas with your family on how you can serve your pastors and other members of your church leadership and teachers. Use the list of 25 ideas above for inspiration, but be sure to think through what would best fit your family and your pastor! 

Pastor Appreciation Cards

Three designs are available in the printable pack for pastor appreciation cards. Print them and your kids can decorate the inside and write a personal message. 

Pray for your pastor and find great ways to bless him with this Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack! Includes pastor appreciation cards with poems, prayer calendars, an "about my pastor" page, and more!

  • Card 1: Pastor Appreciation Poem – This card includes light-hearted pastor appreciation poem I wrote a long while ago for Jill over at Blessed Beyond a Doubt!
  • Card 2: PASTOR Acronym – A card thanking pastors for the many ways they serve the church.
  • Card 3: Keep Calm card – I couldn’t help myself. Lol! I made a “Keep Calm & Pastor On” card just for fun! 

Draw & Write About Your Pastor 

Have your kids draw a picture of your pastor and what he does for others. They can answer the questions on their own or with your help!

Pray for Your Pastor

Prayer calendars and checklists help your family to pray for your pastor throughout the month. Read the Scripture verses aloud and pray through them together. A sample prayer gets you started and you can build on it as the Spirit leads. If you want JUST the prayer calendar, you can download that separately here.

A fun prayer checklist for your kids is available to help them not only pray for your pastor but also teachers and other church leadership. Post this on the fridge or wall to help your kids cross off or put a sticker on things they pray for during October. Or laminate it and re-use it every month! They can write in their own prayers and thanks to pray through and put a photo or drawing of their pastor on the page, too.

Have fun with these pastor appreciation ideas! If you have more ideas to share with others, feel free to put them in the comments! I hope the Pastor Appreciation Printable Pack is a blessing to you as well. 🙂 

~ Tauna

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Fall Cleaning & Decluttering (+ Free Fall Cleaning Checklists!) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/fall-cleaning-important-spring-cleaning.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/fall-cleaning-important-spring-cleaning.html#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2020 21:19:52 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=6603 Folks often do a big purge and deep clean around spring time. Spring cleaning chatter starts as early as March! Granted, it’s a fantastic time to get a fresh start and clean house. But do you know what I have found even more helpful? Fall cleaning and decluttering!  As a busy homeschool mom, the fall […]

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Folks often do a big purge and deep clean around spring time. Spring cleaning chatter starts as early as March! Granted, it’s a fantastic time to get a fresh start and clean house. But do you know what I have found even more helpful? Fall cleaning and decluttering! 

As a busy homeschool mom, the fall is when I start settling in with more regular housework and homeschool routines after a busy summer. Right around October, however, I start to feel like I’m drowning in books and toys. That’s when I begin itching to clear out the clutter and give everything a good cleaning as we head into the winter months. It’s actually a WONDERFUL pre-holiday activity!    

Fall Cleaning VS Spring Cleaning

Is fall cleaning better? Or spring cleaning? Frankly, either is wonderful, especially for busy mamas like me who really just need to purge sometimes. But if you haven’t tried fall cleaning and decluttering, you just might want to add it to your list! Here’s why:

  • Back to School: No matter what your schooling style is, all children are “going back to school” in one way or another. Even if your children go year round, they are often still switching grades and getting new curriculum. They are probably getting school clothes or new clothes, too, as you take advantage of sales. This makes fall a great time to clean out the closets and bag up all the clothes that don’t fit and find someone to hand them down to, consign them, or even have a yard sale! 
  • More Regular Routines: As your family settles into the cooler months, refreshing your routines usually involves moving things around, simplifying, or getting a few new items. And it’s a perfect time to handle those cluttered areas that have been driving you crazy forever so you can start fresh!
  • Closing the House Up: Spring is when we clean out because we’re taking advantage of the warm weather and can throw open the doors and windows. But with the cooler weather, we close things up and winterize. Kicking it off with a freshly cleaned and decluttered home will make those winter months even more pleasant!
  • Holidays: The holidays are coming, which means our homes are going to be filled with people. One good scrub down in the fall helps keep the upkeep easier, and also allows the house to be decorated quicker. This is a time of year when we are even more engaged in hospitality, and it can be such a time and sanity saver to take a week or two to get our homes ready for visitors!
  • Christmas Presents: When the holidays come, usually that means more stuff is coming in the house, too. It’s a blessed time of giving and receiving, but if you want to keep a handle on the clutter, then make sure to do a toy purge with the kids! Making it a tradition where you choose items they can bless others with can make it a wonderful act of service for them as well. Not a bad idea to do a purge of your own things and household items, too!

What Should I Clean?

Every house is different, but the best thing to do is walk through your house room by room and jot down what YOU want to clean or declutter. Then I suggest putting a star next to the top 3 items in each room. Because — let’s face it — life happens and we usually don’t get to everything on our list. But if we got those top 3 things done in each room? That’s progress and it’s gold!

However, I know that it can be helpful to have a starting point, so here’s a list based on what I have written down for my own home. 

  • General
    • Dust everything
    • Clean ceiling fans
    • Do a freezer / fridge thaw and clean out
    • Clear off and decorate the front porch
    • Clean the walls (especially where little hands are often getting things messy)
    • Sanitize door knobs and light switches
    • Wipe down doors and door frames
    • Clean the curtains, blinds, and window tracks 
    • Change lightbulbs or stock up for when you need to
    • Change the batteries and test the smoke detectors (get a carbon monoxide alarm as well if needed)
  • Living Room
    • Vacuum the couches and chairs 
    • Vacuum floors, including under furniture
    • Shampoo carpets, if needed (mine needs it… it’s pretty bad, you guys) 
    • Clean out and rotate books 
    • Thin out, dust, and rotate decorative items
    • Pull out fall decorations (but first, you know, find them. Lol! Where are they, anyway? hmm.)  
  • Kitchen 
    • Clean inside and outside of cabinets and cupboards 
    • Clean out and organize pantry
    • Clean stove and inside oven
    • Clean out the toaster or toaster oven
    • Clean the inside, outside, and top of fridge
    • Clean under and behind appliances
    • Declutter and clean under the sink
    • Stock up on tea and coffee items for guests (or for me… just sayin’) 
    • Sweep and mop floors 
  • Dining Room
    • Scrub down and sanitize tables and chairs
    • Thin out dinnerware, serving dishes, cups, etc. and replace items when needed. (Like the spoons. Where do they GO!? Just a tip from a mama who has spoon issues: Walmart and the Dollar Store often have bins of just spoons, forks, etc.)
    • Refresh table cloths and cloth napkins if you use them 
    • Sweep and mop floors 
  • Bathrooms
    • Clean inside and outside of cabinets
    • Declutter toiletries and medicine cabinets
    • Deep clean showers and tubs
    • Deep clean toilets
    • Clean mirrors
    • Scrub counters and sinks
    • Declutter and replace damaged or missing towels
    • Replace damaged floor rugs   
    • Sweep, mop, and sanitize floors
  • Bedrooms
    • Change and wash bedding
    • Flip and vacuum mattresses
    • Pull out extra blankets for cooler weather
    • Rotate and thin out clothes and shoes (make a list of how many of each item every family members should have, and use that as a guide for decluttering) 
  • Gardening
    • Rake and mulch leaves. As you clean up leaves, make them into piles and mow over them a few times to chop them up, then use them in compost bins or just spread them over gardens as a mulch.
    • Harvest and mulch. Harvest the last of your summer crops and whatever won’t last the colder rainy fall months. If you are going to leave a bed empty until spring, plant cover crops or mulch with leaves and grass clippings. 
    • Plant a fall garden. There is still time to plant! Here is a series on fall gardening to help you get started. 
  • Winterizing
    • Check / service furnaces, stoves, and fireplaces.  Not only will it help prevent a problem in the middle of cold weather, but it is safer and can save you money!
    • Reverse the direction of ceiling fans. Many of them have a switch. One setting functions to cool down in summer and other other changes direction to help circulate warm air during colder months.
    • Clean gutters and check roof. Clear out leaves a few times during the fall and check for missing or loose pieces on the roof. One year the flashing in one area of our roof was loose and caused leaking into the kids’ room during a heavy rainfall! Not fun.
    • Winterize windows. You can add caulking around doors and windows to prevent leakage, replace them or add double-paned windows, or make your own draft stoppers (or draft snakes).   

Fall Cleaning & Decluttering Checklist

Want those checklists in a printable format? Click the image below for an instant PDF download. 

 

I hope that this list has will be helpful for you as you do your fall cleaning! 

~ Tauna

 

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Once you get things cleaned and decluttered, the challenge is keeping them that way. I hear ya, and I can help! Download my FREE decluttering pack for a unique set of printables that will help you build decluttering into your regular routines.

Get your house in order! Check out these tips for decluttering your home plus a FREE printable pack of checklists!

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Making Reformation Day Fun for Kids (With Printable Pack!) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/reformation-day-fun.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/reformation-day-fun.html#comments Sun, 13 Sep 2020 06:46:42 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=17675 October 31st is a time to remember the Reformation. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, in protest against the abuse of indulgences in the teaching and practice of the Church. It is worth remembering because the message he (and the Scripture) […]

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October 31st is a time to remember the Reformation. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, in protest against the abuse of indulgences in the teaching and practice of the Church.

It is worth remembering because the message he (and the Scripture) communicated is so essential: Salvation cannot be purchased by anything but the blood of Christ  – we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  

Make Reformation Day fun and educational for kids with these great ideas for all ages and a 130+ page printable pack for ages 2-9!

 

Ways to Make Reformation Day Fun and Educational 

If you are interested in learning more about Martin Luther, Reformation Day, and want to have some fun learning activities, too, you’re in the right place!

I have four great resources for you that will help you make Reformation Day fun and educational for your family:

1) When Lightning Struck: The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley. Go buy this now! I started reading this myself to learn more about Martin Luther and Reformation Day and it was SO good that I started over and began reading it out loud to my kids! It’s a perfect one to read during October but can be fantastic learning any time of year. You can also download this FREE discussion guide to use with your kids as you read it!

2) FREE Extensive 12-Week Unit Study for Middle & High School Kids. If you have older kids, be sure to download our FREE 12-week Martin Luther unit study written by the author of When Lightning Struck! 

3) Reformation Day Fun Printable Pack for Ages 2-9! Use our Reformation Day printable pack for a fun way to teach about this historic event! See all the details and screenshots below for more info. 

4) Make an Event of It with A Night of Reformation – Doorposts has put together a binder of everything you need to put on your choice of four different Reformation events! If you’re looking for an engaging and memorable way to replace Halloween activities entirely in your home, group, or church, this is an amazing resource. 

5. Hand Out Reformation Info and Bibles for Trick or Treaters – I LOVE this idea from The Principled Academy! They decorated their porch for the time period and set out candy with information about the Reformation wrapped around it to educate people, along with Bibles for people to take for free! 

Our Reformation Day Fun Printable Pack

We really enjoy using this resource with our kids. It makes a great homeschool activity or Sunday school lesson. In this Reformation Day printable pack, children will learn about Martin Luther, his Theses, the five Solas, and more.

This massive 131-page Reformation Day printable pack includes a variety of fun activities for children ages 2 to 9. The activities included are: 

  • Alphabet Matching Cards – These are great for learning the lowercase and uppercase letters of the alphabet.
  • Vocabulary Cards – these are great for memory/matching games as well as spelling and vocabulary.
  • Word Tracing– These pages help children learn to form letters and spell words correctly.
  • I Spy– These pages are great for counting practice.
  • Colour Matching Cards– A great way for kids to learn their colours.
  • Shadow Matching Cards– These shadow matching cards are so much fun and can be used in games such as memory/matching as well.
  • Number Puzzles – These are great for learning skip counting.
  • Size Sequencing Cards– Match the cards from smallest to biggest or the other way round.
  • What Comes Next?
  • Finish the Pattern
  • Story Writing Pages – These can be used to retell the story of Martin Luther and his 95 Theses in their own words.
  • Spot and Dot – Spot the letters and then dot them.
  • Colouring Pages– Decorate or colour as you wish and hang up to decorate your rooms.
  • Count and Clip Cards– These are great for kids learning to count and recognize numbers.
  • Cross Puzzle
  • Cross Maze
  • Cross Shade and Cut
  • Cross Connect the Dots
  • Cross Stained Glass coloring page

  • Martin Luther Page
  • Luther’s Rose / Seal coloring activity
  • The Five Solas activity
  • The 95 Theses Scroll Printable
  • Hymn – A Mighty Fortress is Our God Copywork Activity
  • Scripture Cards
  • Bible Copywork Pages– This Reformation Day printable pack includes 13 pages of Bible Verses in both King James and English Standard Versions for your child to copy and then memorize.

 

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More Parables of Jesus for Kids https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/parables-of-jesus.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/parables-of-jesus.html#respond Fri, 11 Sep 2020 07:48:43 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=26695 Throughout the New Testament, you will find many parables. Jesus used these parables to tell stories that communicated kingdom truths that are important to understand. These stories contain many valuable lessons for everyone. I love to read and discuss the parables of Jesus with my kids. We talk about how the character of God is […]

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Throughout the New Testament, you will find many parables. Jesus used these parables to tell stories that communicated kingdom truths that are important to understand. These stories contain many valuable lessons for everyone.

I love to read and discuss the parables of Jesus with my kids. We talk about how the character of God is revealed in the parable, what it tells us about us and mankind, and what the main take-away should be.  

Teach your children about the parables of Jesus! This printable pack includes 12 parables of Jesus for kids with fun activities, discussion / notebooking questions, copywork, and more.

You can go through the parables of Jesus as you read straight through the Bible. You can also spend some weeks just focusing on the parables as a part of your family devotions.

To make that easier, we have Parables of Jesus packs – volume 1 and volume 2. They go through a set of the parables of Jesus in a kid-friendly way. You can read the passage for each parable and then use the printable activities and discussion guide to go deeper. 

Parables of Jesus – Volume 2

The Parables of Jesus Volume 2 is the second pack in the Parable series. (You can find volume 1 of the Parables of Jesus here.) t contains over 50 pages of fun activities and study worksheets on twelve different parables found in the Bible. These 12 parables are:

  • The Growing Seed
  • The Two Debtors
  • The Lamp under the Bushel
  • The Ten Virgins
  • The Barren Fig Tree
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus
  • The Wicked Husbandmen
  • The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
  • New Wine into Old Wineskin
  • Counting the Cost
  • The Friend at Night
  • The Sheep and the Goats 

At the beginning of the pack are a variety of general activities. Included are:

  • Word Search – Find the Names of the Parables
  • Alphabetical Order – Write the words from the Parables in alphabetical order
  • Unscramble the Words
  • Count the Coins – Fun maths activity that works on using tally marks and counting
  • Sheep and Goats – Research sheep and goats and write some characteristics about each animal
  • Light or Darkness – Write the words into the correct columns
  • How Many Words can you make from – The Friend at Night
  • Shape Patches – Match the shape patches on the shirt to the correct shape
  • Favorite Parable
  • Crack the Code – Crack the Code to read the Bible verse relating to one of the Parables
  • Fill in the Words – Fill in the words to complete the puzzle
  • Mazes – Find the letters as you go through the maze and create a word

These activities can be done before, after or even in between completing the Parable activities. These activities are aimed at children of all ages, as they can work at their own level and pace. 

 

After the general activities pages, you’ll find a set of pages specific to each of the 12 parables:

  • Summary of the parable that Jesus told. 
  • Discussion guide / notebooking page with questions 
  • Illustration page to draw a representation of the parable 

At the end of the pack is a set of Scripture verse copywork pages in both KJV and ESV. 

How to Use Parables of Jesus – Volume 2

For each of the 12 Parables, here is what I recommend :

  1. Read the parable straight from your Bible first. (The Scripture reference is listed for your convenience.)
  2. Complete the three pages for the parable (summary, discussion/notebooking, and illustration) and the copywork page.
  3. Choose the general activity sheets from the beginning of the pack that you want your child to complete for this parable

Hints:

  • You can re-read the passage while your child completes their illustrations or activity pages.
  • Don’t try to do all these things in one day. Spread it out over a few days or even a week per parable and spend time in God’s Word!

I hope you enjoy this fun printable pack! 

Get the Parables of Jesus Printable Packs

 

 

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Easy Tips for Planning the Homeschool Year https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/planning-homeschool-year.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/planning-homeschool-year.html#respond Sun, 06 Sep 2020 07:28:42 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27275 Looking ahead into a new homeschool year can be exciting! So many possibilities and new memories to make. But it can also be intimidating to actually plan out a whole homeschool year. Well, I have good news! Planning the homeschool year doesn’t have to be hard. Just a few simple steps will get you a […]

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Looking ahead into a new homeschool year can be exciting! So many possibilities and new memories to make. But it can also be intimidating to actually plan out a whole homeschool year. Well, I have good news! Planning the homeschool year doesn’t have to be hard. Just a few simple steps will get you a good plan that is flexible, too!  

Looking ahead into the new school year and feeling overwhelmed? Get a handle on it by using these easy tips for planning the homeschool year!

Should You Plan Homeschool Lessons for the Whole Year? 

One thing that simplifies my homeschool planning is that I do NOT plan out homeschool lessons for the whole year. I don’t even plan them for a full quarter or for a full month. Instead, I choose curriculum that lends itself to being open-and-go, or at least makes glancing ahead for the week sufficient planning ahead.

I also take advantage of good weekly rhythms and routines and loop scheduling so we keep making progress without needing detailed lesson plans. If you are the type of person that prefers everything planned out for the year, check out my friend Danika’s post about how she does that. But for my yearly planning, I just follow the easy steps below! 

Easy Steps for Planning the Homeschool Year 

Here are 6 easy (or at least simple) steps for planning the homeschool year. I’ll explain each in more detail below. You can totally do this! 

  1. Decide your start and stop dates
  2. Mark holidays and vacations
  3. Plan other breaks
  4. Calculate curriculum milestones if needed
  5. Sketch the first quarter
  6. Schedule quarterly planning checkups 

To do all my plans for the year I use a year-at-a-glance calendar. You can find several online to download for free. It also helps to have some quarterly planning pages and some other worksheets that help fill that out, such as student goals and curriculum lists. The Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System is what I use, and it includes all these and more. 

Decide Your Start and Stop Dates

Whether you homeschool year round or like to follow the traditional school year schedule, it helps to decide now what your start and stop dates are. I like to do this for three reasons: 

  1. End of year celebrations. Even though we’re year-round homeschoolers, we like to do fun things to close off and start a new homeschool year.
  2. Knowing when to”level up” to a new grade.  We do this based on age, not on what curriculum they’re using since that can vary depending on the kid and the subject. Knowing what grade level your kid is in is helpful for conversation purposes, testing (if your state requires it), and high school planning. 
  3. Planning curriculum milestones. If I want to generally finish a level of curriculum in the year, it helps to know when I’m starting and stopping so I can plan checkpoints. I explain below how I do this planning. 

Frustrated with homeschool planning and need something more flexible? Come check out why this mom doesn't do ANY detailed lesson planning and how she uses rhythms and routines for homeschool planning! A great use of loop scheduling, too!

Mark Holidays and Vacations

Now go back through your year-at-a-glance and cross out any weeks that you will take off for holidays or vacations you’ve already planned.

We usually do a week or two at Christmas and Easter and one during the week of July 4th. We also like to take a week off in September just because we can. 😉   Be sure to give yourself plenty of padding days before and during holidays and vacations, too!

Plan Out Other Breaks

Take a look at the rest of the year now that those vacations and holidays are blocked off. You’re likely to see longer stretches of weeks with no breaks. Now’s the time to discuss with your spouse what other weeks you can take for breaks or vacations to split up those longer blocks. You can always pencil them in and change them later! 

Calculate Curriculum Milestones if Needed

If you’re concerned about completing a particular curriculum or level in a subject by the end of the year, you’ll want to quickly plan out milestones for completion.

For example, if you want to finish 4th grade math:

  1. Note how many lessons there are for the year.
  2. Figure out about how many lessons per week your child will do.
  3. Using your year at a glance calendar, count out how many lessons into the curriculum your child should be for each milestone of the  year.
  4. Write down what lesson number they should be near at those milestones during the year.
  5. When you get to that point in the year, you can check to see how you’re doing and accelerate or slow down your progress as needed.   

As year-round homeschoolers, I figure out where they should be at the end of each quarter. You might also choose just before winter break, spring break, and summer break as your milestones.  

Planning your year round homeschool schedule with a 4-day homeschooling routine

Sketch the First Quarter

If you do a rhythms and routines planning approach like I do, then you don’t necessarily do any lesson plans. But having a sketch of the first quarter or section of the year does help. Again, you can just jot that down in your planner or use the Rhythms and Routines Homeschool Planning System.  

When I sketch the quarter, I like to have a quick glance of what we plan to accomplish in those months. Here’s what I like to write down: 

  • Field trips we’ll try to take.
  • Curriculum milestones we plan to meet.
  • Any big vacations, events, or holidays. 
  • A note on the projects, studies, or units we want to do. 
  • Student goals, routines, or character issues we plan to work on. 
  • etc.

Schedule Quarterly Planning Check-Ups

Once I’ve got a decent plan for the year, I go to my online calendar and set up reminders that go off right before each quarter ends. Those reminders make sure I set a little time aside to evaluate how things are going and sketch out the next quarter of the year.

It also reminds me to make sure that I’ve recorded the things we actually accomplished during those months! It’s wonderful to see all the things we learned and the memories we made! 

Planning the Homeschool Year Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

That’s it! My homeschool planning for the year is fairly simple, especially once I’ve determined our goals and curriculum choices for the year. Give it a try and see if it works for you!

~ Tauna 

You Might Also Like…

Our Year-Round 4-Day Week Homeschool Schedule

Four ways to do homeschool scheduling, tips on creating your own homeschool schedule, and a peek at our year-round 4-day homeschool week! #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolplanning #homeschoolschedule

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Christ-Centered Television for Kids https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christ-centered-television-for-kids.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christ-centered-television-for-kids.html#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2020 01:11:04 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=12002 We are picky about what our kids watch on TV. We don’t have cable or TV hook up, and any movies the kids are going to watch have to be pre-screened by us. Some of the movies my 12 year old is just able to watch this year as he grows a bit in maturity, […]

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We are picky about what our kids watch on TV. We don’t have cable or TV hook up, and any movies the kids are going to watch have to be pre-screened by us. Some of the movies my 12 year old is just able to watch this year as he grows a bit in maturity, he still has to watch with his dad present. 

Now, our way of handling TV might seem strict to some, while others would choose not to allow some of the movies we do. Different parents will make different choices in this area!

However, as Christian parents you probably would love more wholesome and Christ-centered television for kids, right? Wading through the shows available in library, on Amazon, or on Netflix can be a bit discouraging because of the lack of selection. 

Great Christ-centered television for kids with the streaming service JellyTelly!

Well, I have a solution for you: Minno!

 Minno is a Streaming Video On Demand service, similar to Netflix or Hulu, with over 300 hours of Christian programming for kids and families. It is unlike any other Christian streaming service, because it is dedicated to kids and families. It was started by VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer (and was originally called JellyTelly). He also also created What’s in the Bible?, which is one of our favorite shows that we even use as a supplement to our Bible curriculum! 

Minno collects the best in Christ-centered television for kids all in one place for families to enjoy. You can try a FREE WEEK to test it out!

Here are the shows and movies that are our favorites so far: 

  • VeggieTales
  • What’s in the Bible? 
  • Superbook
  • The Torchlighters missionary stories
  • 3, 2, 1 Penguins
  • Friends and Heroes
  • Holiday shows
  • A selection of FULL feature movies
  • And more!

When it’s time for a little relaxation or a much needed break from the homeschool routine, I let my kids pick from whatever they want in JellyTelly. It’s nice not to have to worry about what they’ll land on! 

I also really like how accessible it is. I can call it up on my phone in the app, on my computer, or through streaming devices.  Here are some highlights:

  • Trusted, Biblical Content For Kids
  • Stream VeggieTales And More
  • Available On All Major Platforms
  • Enjoy On Your Favorite Device
  • Download and Go
  • Stream On Multiple Devices Simultaneously

I also want to mention that Minno has much more to offer with fantastic encouraging and practical blog posts for parents, family devotions, “church” at home for those who can’t make it in person that week, and more!  

You Might Also Like…

100+ Ideas for Screen-Free Time   

LOVE This list of screen-free activities. Has a handy FREE printable too! Great to keep on hand for those crazy days.

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Great Ways to Get Dads Involved in Homeschooling https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/getting-dads-involved-homeschooling.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/getting-dads-involved-homeschooling.html#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2020 18:15:42 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=10160 *** Hey! There is a fantastic giveaway for online engineering courses from Innovator’s Tribe at the end of this post! $49 – $69 value! *** Is it possible to get dads involved in homeschooling? Most homeschooling families have a father who is away at work all day and a mother who does most if not […]

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*** Hey! There is a fantastic giveaway for online engineering courses
from Innovator’s Tribe at the end of this post! $49 – $69 value! ***

Is it possible to get dads involved in homeschooling? Most homeschooling families have a father who is away at work all day and a mother who does most if not all of the teaching.  Working husbands usually have a much more limited amount of time that they are able to spend with their children than do stay-at-home moms.  Because of this, it can be tempting for dads to maintain a very hands-off approach when it comes to homeschooling.

But dads are extremely important in the lives of their kids.  When dads aren’t physically present in the home, our children are much less likely to reach their full potential.  Likewise, when we don’t involve them in the homeschooling of our kids, we are missing out on some huge opportunities!

The giveaway and some ads in this post are sponsored by Innovator’s Tribe. All opinions are my own. 

But how in the world do we involve them?  If you are used to doing all the things when it comes to the homeschooling week, how can you transition to having your husband fully engaged in the process? This can seem especially challenging when the work most of the day 5 or more days a week.

Well, not only is it possible for dads to be involved in homeschooling, but it will be a memorable and enjoyable experience for them and your children!

Great Ways to Get Dads Involved in Homeschooling

Leadership

Husbands are supposed to be the spiritual leaders in our homes.  Even if they aren’t able to be engaged in teaching lessons during the day, they should still be helping in regular family discipleship and in determining the materials their kids will study.  

Be intentional about involving your husband in homeschool planning, goals, and vision.  Talk to him about how things are going.  Look for his input when it comes to troubleshooting workflow issues, character problems that impact homeschooling, or what kinds of things he’d like to see your children learning.  

Occasionally ask him to look over the work your kids are producing. Encourage him to ask your children questions about what they’re learning or point out a current project or topic of study you know he’d be interested to talk about with your kids.  Don’t be afraid to ask him for help in this area.

Burning Off Extra Energy

Sometimes our kids have so much energy that they can’t sit still long enough to do their lessons.  Sometimes they are so exuberant that their moms feel worn down by the end of the day.  When dad gets home, it’s a perfect time for him to take the kids outside and run around with them.  Or to rough house with them.  Or to tickle them, tease them, and laugh with them.

Dads can be so much fun!  If they help kids to use up their extra energy and to wind down, they will be more likely to sleep well and to be able to focus the next day.  This is a HUGE contribution to our children’s education!  And it’s greatly appreciated by us moms as well.

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

 

Reading Aloud

You probably know how important it is to read books aloud to our kids.  In fact, it’s important to continue doing this even after our children are able to read competently on their own.  Hearing good literature helps to improve their vocabulary, to store complex language patterns in their brains, and to create excellent communicators. And of course, reading the Bible together should be a top priority! 

This is a simple way that dads can be involved in the learning process. If dads sit down and read aloud from the Bible or great literature to the kids after dinner, before bedtime, on weekends, or whenever it works out best for the family, this is an amazing way to lead their family as well as enrich their children’s homeschooling experience.

(Moms, we can set them up for success if this is a new habit you’re working on establishing together! Provide the time, place, book, and some popcorn or other snack.)

Building Projects

Dads are typically more excited about building go-carts, tree houses, model airplanes, and a myriad of other projects.  Sometimes, after a long day of homeschooling, it’s easier for us moms to skip these hands-on experiences.  This is a perfect time to get dads involved in homeschooling.  Ask them to take the kids out to the garage and build something that relates to their lessons.

A few years back, we were studying Medieval England and I asked my husband if he would build a trebuchet with my boys.  I was envisioning a table top version… but they ended up building something that was about 8 feet tall and could throw a bucket full of water.  It was vastly better than what I was expecting – and it became a learning experience that our boys will never forget!


Innovator’s Tribe provides online courses in technology, innovation, and engineering for grades 3-12! Click the video image to watch a review of how we used it in our homeschool. 

 


Life Skills

It’s helpful for our kids to know how to change the oil in a car, add an electrical plug to a wall, fix a leaky faucet, put up trim around a window, change a car tire, balance a checkbook, etc.  

Teaching life skills is another excellent area where us moms appreciate the help of our husbands.  And they’re great things that can be taught on nights and weekends or whenever dad is at home.

Homeschool Lessons

Occasionally, there will be times when it’s nice to have dads teach some of the core homeschool subjects.  One year, my sons were having more difficulty than normal with math so my husband took over teaching that subject for awhile.  He got them over the hump after which I was able to phase back in as the primary teacher.

They can also take the lead in special projects or experiments like biology dissections. You could ask your husband to teach the kids subjects that fall within his area of expertise, or sign the kids up for a course that your husband can go through with them, such as computer programming, car mechanics, engineering, a fun science course, a logic course, etc.  

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

Because of their busy schedules, it isn’t always easy to get dads involved in homeschooling.  But when we make the effort to have them contribute, our entire family will reap the benefits. But it IS possible!

Here are a few more ideas to check out:

  • Have kids present a project or narrate something they learned to their dad on the weekend.
  • Have them participate in a take your child to work day
  • Get a subscription kit your husband can do with your kids, such as KiwiCrate or Craftsman Crates from Raising Real Men.
  • Do hiking and nature-related field trips together as a family and turn them into nature study experiences.
  • Sign up for fun courses like these from Innovator’s Tribe, and have your husband do them with your kids once a week.
  • Use family dinner time as discussion time where kids talk about what they learned during the week. 
  • Sign up for or organize a science fair, show-and-tell, or other homeschool group activity that dads can get involved in. 
  • Get creative and brainstorm more ideas with your husband! 

Consider trying one of the above options this year and take advantage of any new opportunities that this opens up for your kids.  

You’ll notice very quickly that they will blossom spending more time learning with their dad as well as their mom.  And your husband will also enjoy being able to do his part to enrich the education of your children. 

GIVEAWAY  Your Choice of Online Mini-Courses from Innovator’s Tribe! $49 – $69 value!

 
Innovator’s Tribe provides online courses in technology, innovation, and engineering for grades 3-12! They are generously giving one winner a mini-course of their choice! ($49 – $69 value)  
Are you tired of the same old curriculum?  Give your students something new and exciting this year they will never forget!
  • Hands-on, Minds-on
  • Self-paced and fully online
  • Exciting activities and challenges using typical items found around the house
  • Using architecture, engineering and robotics to teach science

ENTER TO WIN

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends September 14th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


This post was originally a guest post by Michelle. Michelle has been married to her best friend for 18 years. She is also a homeschool mom to her two wonderful (and tall) sons. Michelle is a Christian, a fan of simple living, and a lover of chocolate. She loves her spicy chai tea in the morning and she has a hard time staying out of the snacks at night. You can find her blogging at www.homeschool-your-boys.com. Her mission is to encourage and inspire parents as they homeschool their boys. 

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Free Homeschool Prayer Calendars https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/free-prayer-calendar-for-homeschool-moms.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/free-prayer-calendar-for-homeschool-moms.html#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2020 23:52:00 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.dreamhosters.com/?p=98  Praying faithfully over your homeschool may be one of the most important things you can do – even more important than planning, choosing curriculum, or coming up with the perfect schedule. In fact, it is essential to all these areas of your homeschool! Here is a simple tool to help you do just that. Two homeschool […]

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 Praying faithfully over your homeschool may be one of the most important things you can do – even more important than planning, choosing curriculum, or coming up with the perfect schedule. In fact, it is essential to all these areas of your homeschool! Here is a simple tool to help you do just that. Two homeschool prayer lifeline calendars just for moms!
 

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and full of doubts in your homeschool, first things first, dear friends. Go to God. Fear, worry, and chaos don’t come from Him. When we are drowning in doubts and overwhelm, it’s because we’re watching the waves instead of the Savior! When you find yourself in that place, pray, pray, pray.  

Homeschool Prayer

Let’s face it: how often do we really pray for our homeschooling? For clarity, confidence, and direction in this journey? If you’re like me, you don’t pray as much as you fuss and stress and RESEARCH! 😆 Let’s turn that around! Let us be women who go to God FIRST in our homeschooling, whether it’s for big decisions or the daily tasks and struggles! It is THE MOST profitable use of our time, hands down! 

Take some time to write out your fears and worries praying through each of them as you go and submitting them to God. Ask for guidance, unity, and clear instruction. Look up some scriptures about parenting, the heart issues you or your children are struggling with, having a teachable heart, etc., and pray through one a day.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much this matters. Really dedicating my time and attention to prayer brought transformation into our homeschooling that I am so thankful for! But the thing is, as much as I write about prayer, I’m TERRIBLE at consistency. I NEED simple and helpful tools to help me remember how essential prayer is and to actually DO IT.  

Download the Free Homeschool Prayer Calendars 

So take the first steps and become a mama who prays for her homeschooling! Download the Homeschool Prayer Calendars for moms and pray daily over your homeschool. And you’ll want to check out the Scripture cards that go with the first calendar in the set!
 
Have a blessed homeschool year!
 
~ Tauna 
 

 

You Might Also Like…

Do you ever just sit back and sigh at the chaos happening during your homeschool day? Are you overwhelmed, can’t seem to finish out a lesson plan, or are just too busy trying to keep up with house and home? I’ve been there!

There is hope, dear homeschool mom! If keeping up with life and managing the chaos wreaking havoc on your homeschool, I am here to say… you can do this! 

At Proverbial Homemaker, my passion is helping moms overcome hurdles that help you thrive in their homemaking, homeschooling, and family life. These resources have been created with that in mind and are ones I use in my own home! Many moms have been blessed by them over the years and I hope you will be as well. 

 

 

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8 Ways to Teach Language Arts with Literature https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/teach-language-arts-with-literature.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/teach-language-arts-with-literature.html#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2020 20:58:59 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27292 *** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway from Learning Language Arts Through Literature at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! *** As I sit and sip on my morning coffee (#essentials), my kids are digging through a stack of books I pulled out to donate and getting all excited about them. (So typical lol.) But […]

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*** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway from Learning Language Arts Through Literature at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! ***

As I sit and sip on my morning coffee (#essentials), my kids are digging through a stack of books I pulled out to donate and getting all excited about them. (So typical lol.) But I can’t help but enjoy how they love literature and living books. Over the years we’ve developed a family culture of valuing the written word and it pays off in more ways than one!

As a homeschool mom, what’s even more satisfying is using those living books in our lessons and teaching language arts with literature. It just simplifies things because it’s a natural part our rhythms and routines for our school day.  Which of course saves so much time and energy for this mama who has a thousand spinning plates to manage.

You can use literature to teach language arts in your homeschool as well!  Here are eight ways to do it.  

Did you know you can teach language arts with literature? It's true! Simplify your homeschool by teaching language arts using living books. #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschooltips

(This post is sponsored by Learning Language Arts Through Literature. All opinions are my own.) 

1. Listening

Children are naturally drawn to storytelling. If you sit down to read aloud a living book, you’ll likely find your children thoroughly engaged. This is especially true if you act out the characters a tad bit and really get into with different voices for the characters. Right?

But even without all the flair, children hear the proper use of language—the flow, the pauses, rhythms, and the composition of organized thoughts. They learn so much just by listening to you read and will often mimic those same things in their writing or when they do their own read aloud sessions!

2. Speaking

Using narration from our living book selections is one of our family’s favorite ways to practice speaking and pre-composition skills in language arts. It’s so natural for children to share about things they find interesting or some new fact they hadn’t previously known.

Narration is basically having your children tell back in their own words what they read or heard. Younger children can narrating back after one or two sentences. Then they can slowly build up to narrating paragraphs and chapters. It’s a helpful way for me to know that they understood the reading!

Plus, it gives them the opportunities to reinforce several more things from their readings. For one, they get to practice proper use of grammar and new vocabulary words. They reorganize information into their own thoughts.  And it reinforces what they learned by teaching it to me. It’s a fantastic way for them to learn composition in a more natural way, and later they’ll be better able to organize those thoughts and get them onto paper for written assignments. 

3. Writing

Using a current living book, you may have your children do copywork from selected passages. Younger kids can work up from words to full phrases and sentences. Even older kids benefit from copywork. The Bible is a perfect source for copywork!

Around grade 3/4 we also introduce transcription and studied dictation, which is a Charlotte Mason approach that even further maximizes the benefits of copywork.  

As your children do this, they’ll use their copywork to put into practice the following:

  • Building their vocabulary 
  • Using correct capitalization 
  • Defining unfamiliar words  
  • Using proper punctuation 
  • Practicing correct spelling (Add misspelled words to a spelling list)
  • Identifying parts of speech
  • Practicing penmanship

A clear way to see another great benefit of this approach is succinctly encapsulated in the following quote:

“Write what should not be forgotten.” – Isabel Allendale

Your child will be spending more time with great ideas and various writing styles.  At the same time, they’ll be practicing the proper use of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and correct use of vocabulary. 

I already talked about how narration is important, but also note here that you can have your children write down their oral narrations to describe in their own words their understanding of the reading. We use notebooking as a tool to do that, especially for Bible and history.

Here are a few more ways you can use living books to teach writing skills: 

  • Choose a passage and teach your child how to take notes while you read. Teach them to then state or re-write the passage in their own words using those notes.
  • Choose a chapter or passage and have older kids create an outline
  • Practice organizing information by evaluating living books (or comparing two books or passages) using graphic organizers such as venn diagrams, t-charts, brainstorming maps, etc.  

Consider Learning Language Arts Through Literature

  • A complete language arts program for first grade through high school
  • An integrated approach to teaching, using quality literature lessons to teach grammar, writing mechanics, vocabulary, spelling, and other language skills
  • Reading real books instead of basal stories makes reading more attractive to the student
  • NEW 11th and 12th grade book: The Gold Book – Literary Criticism, will prepare students for college writing by guiding them through writing essays that analyze literature in several different ways 
  • Find out more here!

4. Spelling and Editing

After children copy from dictations provided from a living book, they have the opportunity to compare their copy to the original copy and correct any mistakes. In doing so, they can carefully observe their misplaced punctuation. Or perhaps they’ll see that they forgot to capitalize a letter. And they’ll be watchful of their spelling (if they misspell a word, it goes on their spelling list). All of the errors made can be corrected by your child.

This gentle approach to spelling and grammar is actually a wonderful way to teach these subjects. We do this in our homeschool and only later (4th/5th grade and up) add any additional spelling instruction if it’s needed. They will gradually build their spelling, grammar, and composition skills with copywork and dictation.

Here are more ways to teach spelling, grammar, and editing with living books: 

  • Copy or type out a passage and have your child identify parts of speech.  
  • Copy or type out a passage incorrectly and have your child identify errors in spelling, grammar, and structure. 

5. Original Language Use

Narration from living books is only one way to help children verbally express language. Another way is to have them narrate from beautiful pictures. The Charlotte Mason method of doing picture study is how we do this in our own home. It’s especially impacting if a picture study relates to something they’re currently reading about.

While your child explains what he or she studies in the picture, your child is in fact narrating. Besides that, your child is displaying their unique way of using language to express thought. Whereas when narrating directly from written material, he or she may be drawing more from the vocabulary the author chose. 

6. Reading

When teaching reading, children learn by the sounds letters make. Once the mastery of basic phonics happens, some words may be taught by “seeing it and saying it”. A couple of examples are the words the and there. That all said, it is important to keep up the practice of sounding out words.

Of course a variety of living books—fiction, poetry, history—will help with reading fluency. Not only do they whisk children into the lives of the characters and interesting locations, it creates a love for a captivating use of language. 

More ways to teach reading skills:  

  • Use the narration and writing activities mentioned above to evaluate reading comprehension.
  • Choose a passage from selected reading and have your child look up definitions of words they don’t understand.
  • Or have your child look up synonyms and antonyms in a thesaurus. 

7. Asking Questions

Intentionally giving your child room to formulate questions based on living books allows a few things to happen. Firstly, your child is able to reorganize bits of ideas and vocabulary from the author into a question. This helps your child process information he or she does understand while searching for the missing information needed for comprehension. Secondly, it develops an important learning skill of problem solving.

When you ask your child questions, this also helps your child to reorganize what he or she has read. It’s another way of helping your child process information and communicate through narration.

8. Dramatization

Sure you could have your child simply read a passage from a living book. But how much more fun is it for them to do a readers theater? Many children have a blast dressing up and acting out character roles.

This obviously encompasses reading comprehension and speaking skills. However, it also helps to develop confidence, teamwork, and gently reinforces learning in a super fun way.

Resources to Help

If you find that time is tight or you want some resources and curriculum to help make all this literature-based learning happen, here are some resources you’ll want to check out:

$62 Curriculum Giveaway: Learning Language Arts Through Literature!  

ENTER TO WIN a Learning Language Arts Through Literature student and teacher set of books for any level of your choice! ($62 value).

Here’s what you need to know about this fantastic resource: 

  • A complete language arts program for first grade through high school
  • An integrated approach to teaching, using quality literature lessons to teach grammar, writing mechanics, vocabulary, spelling, and other language skills
  • Reading real books instead of basal stories makes reading more attractive to the student
  • NEW 11th and 12th grade book: The Gold Book – Literary Criticism, will prepare students for college writing by guiding them through writing essays that analyze literature in several different ways

The goal of any language arts program should be to equip the student for a lifetime of communication through the written and spoken word. Learning Language Arts Through Literature does that! 

All levels are written for a 36 week school year. Grades 1-8 include a Teacher’s Book written in a conversational format making it easy to use with little or no preparation time for the teacher. Student Activity Books are available for the 1st – 8th grade. All levels include review activities and assessments. 

Connect with Learning Language Arts Through Literature here: 

ENTER HERE TO WIN!

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends September 5th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Homeschool Schedule Tips + Our Year-Round, 4-Day-Week https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/4-day-homeschooling-schedule.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/4-day-homeschooling-schedule.html#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2020 23:32:51 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=6600 *** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway for theMusic for Holidays and Special Days online course at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! *** Finding a good approach to your homeschool schedule can make a huge difference. Use the right method that fits your family well, and you’ll get more done and have less stress overall. […]

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*** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway for theMusic for Holidays and Special Days online course at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! ***

Finding a good approach to your homeschool schedule can make a huge difference. Use the right method that fits your family well, and you’ll get more done and have less stress overall.

But it’s not always easy to find that groove. In fact, it usually takes homeschool parents 1-3 years before they really hit their stride and have landed on a homeschool approach that works for them, including how they schedule their days and weeks.

That’s totally fine and to be expected! In fact, how you handle scheduling will likely change with different seasons. 

Four ways to do homeschool scheduling, tips on creating your own homeschool schedule, and a peek at our year-round 4-day homeschool week! #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolplanning #homeschoolschedule

In this post, I’m going to share with you the four basic methods of homeschool scheduling. Then I’ll go into some detail on how WE do our homeschool schedule, with a flexible year-round, 4-day week routine.

It’s been such a fantastic fit for us what we’ve been doing it all these years! I’ll also share some great tips and tools for how to craft a homeschool schedule that fits YOUR family’s needs best. 

Let’s get started! 

4 Methods of Homeschool Scheduling

How we schedule the year, our week, and each day. 

  • Traditional Scheduling – Think of your public school experience! You can replicate this at home (although it’s not really recommended). You follow the school calendar and generally teach every subject every day all year with electives on the side.  Homeschoolers may find this too rigid for their needs.  
  • Block scheduling – “Block scheduling” means different things depending on who you’re talking to. The general idea is organizing tasks into blocks of time.
    • Blocks in your week/year: This could mean block scheduling days (Science on Monday, History on Tuesday and Thursday, etc.), weeks (alternating a week of science with a week of history) or longer periods (science the first semester and history the second half).
    • Blocks in your day. This could be a traditional-looking schedule with each hour or two (as blocks) focused on a different subject.  Or it could mean dividing the day into blocks by the TYPE of work that is done, such as group work in the morning and individual work in the afternoon, or blocking by age range.  Block scheduling simplifies things and allows for less switching between subjects so that families can really dive into those topics.
  • Loop Scheduling This can be done with all or just some subjects. It means rotating through a list of subjects each day or week, and then when you get through it, starting back at the top. Especially helpful for younger grades, but group work can be put on a loop, as well as electives for older kids. Loop scheduling allows you to make progress with more flexibility and subjects are less likely to fall through the cracks. 
  • Checklist Scheduling – This means that each day or week you just write out a list of what your child needs to do and they work through that list. A popular suggestion for this approach is just to have a spiral notebook for each child and write a checklist of what they need to do each week/day. 

Our Year-Round Homeschool Schedule

Although some homeschool families follow the public school schedule for various reasons, just as many seem to do a year-round homeschool schedule. That’s what we use! We enjoy the benefits of year-round homeschooling and the flexibility it provides our family. 

 There are many ways of doing a year-round schedule for homeschooling:

  • Sabbath schooling – homeschool for 6 weeks then 1 week of rest and planning.
  • 4-week cycle – same approach but with 4 weeks on 1 week off (we did this for a few years).
  • Just take breaks as needed – this is what we do now, working breaks around planned vacations/holidays and whenever we need a break. 

I love this relaxed approach. It’s less stress and less planning needed. Things just sort of even out in terms of lessons, too, and we always get more than a full year’s worth of work in.

I tell ya, moms… we have a tendency to invest too much into detailed plans that we’ll end up ditching altogether when life happens. This way of doing scheduling and planning is the happy medium we’ve found that works so well for us! 


The planner I use is the Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System, available here at Proverbial Homemaker. You will love this valuable resource that walks you through setting up a rhythm-based homeschooling system that works just for you and your family. It includes a customizable planner and a video course. FIND OUT MORE

Frustrated with homeschool planning and need something more flexible? Come check out why this mom doesn't do ANY detailed lesson planning and how she uses rhythms and routines for homeschool planning! A great use of loop scheduling, too!


Our 4-Day Weekly Homeschool Schedule

Our homeschool week is a little different than most because my husband has Sunday and Monday off and does shift work with hours that change each week. So our days for dedicated learning time are Tuesday through Saturday. But this 4-day homeschooling approach will work no matter what days you have available.  We do our “normal” school time Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Saturday is our “Home Blessing” day, which is basically housework, meal prep, character focus, and life skills. I take the time to teach my kids specific tasks that are life skills, including cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening, etc. They also take on extra assigned chores to earn a commission (it helps teach them money management). It’s all homeschooling in my mind but they don’t know that. 😉 You can find out more about Home Blessing Day here and download my free planner.

Home Blessing PIN SQ

Here’s what we do for ALL the days of the week for our year-round homeschooling schedule. 

  • Sunday – Sabbath
  • Monday – Family day
  • Tuesday – Standard lesson day + Piano lessons
  • Wednesday – Standard lesson day
  • Thursday – Standard lesson day + Choir/Baseball (although those are currently cancelled)
  • Friday – Standard lesson day + Library (we may do hikes on Fridays this year instead due to restrictions)
  • Saturday – Home Blessing Day (housework, character, life skills, art, etc.)

What I love about this schedule is that I KNOW the basics will get done with our regular routine. The rest will keep progressing and adjust to life situations without derailing us from the plan. 

Our Daily Homeschool Schedule

Once you have your yearly and weekly homeschool schedule decided, it’s time to plan your daily schedule. What exactly goes into what I called a “standard lesson day” above? As usual, this depends greatly on your own family rhythms, goals, and the curriculum you’re using. 

You can use one of more of the scheduling methods I listed above to craft a schedule to meet your needs. The main thing to decide is which subjects subjects should be done every day and which ones can be done less often. Those less often subjects are the ones that will require some creativity on your part to decide where they fit best into your homeschool. 

Here’s what our regular schedule looks like and which subjects we do. Note that all our academics are done by 3-ish (more like noon for younger kids). We like read alouds, so we tend to do a lot of audiobooks and read aloud sessions in general.  

  • Breakfast: Bible & memory work
  • Morning Chores & responsibilities 
  • Group work time at the table (looping through Charlotte Mason style resources / Morning Basket) 
  • Individual work
    • The older kids do their independent work (daily work and loop schedule) and come to me with questions or any tasks that need input/instruction.
    • I spend some 1:1 time reading or playing with my preschooler. He’s more likely to stay sane if I do that. 🙂 
    • Then I sit down for 30-40 minutes of desk time with my early elementary kids (reading/writing/math).  
  • Lunch: History (Always includes read aloud, may also include coloring pages, videos, projects, etc.)
  • Older kids finish independent work (short video at 3PM for those who have finished).
  • Some days in the afternoon we do a tea time or preschool activity (but usually they all join in because it’s fun).
  • Dinner: If Daddy is working we do an audiobook literature selection.
  • Evening read aloud: About 3 days a week we do a before-bed read aloud session where the kids play with Legos or color and I rotate through a basket. We include a missionary biography and I often bring in literature selections related to our school work. 

So, we make the most use of loop scheduling. Block scheduling comes in when we use the 5th day that follows a similar schedule as above, but we swap “home blessing” work. 

Best Tools for Homeschool Schedules

If you’re working on putting together a homeschool schedule, here are some tools I recommend.  

  • Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System This includes a printable, customizable planner AND a video course that walks you through how to create a schedule that best fits your family.
  • Student Work & Habit Tracker Uses loop scheduling, goal sheets, habit trackers, and more to help your students manager their time and homeschool tasks independently. 
  • Want more planner ideas? Here is my short list of favorites. 
  • Loop scheduling – This was a game-changer for me.
  • Create a Cheat Sheet – Write out the weekly and daily schedule you’re trying to work on and post it on the wall, at eye level, wherever you’ll be sitting down with your kids. No kidding! It’s super easy and the best way to remember what in the world you were trying to do. Here’s an instant download you can use (it’s pulled from the Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System) and an example of my current one below.  
Create a daily homeschool schedule with a flexible plan!
*** Start out with a very simple rhythm and work in rotations later when you’ve had time to observe how things go. Remember, I’ve been doing this for years and this is a a cheat sheet to remind me of how I planned to work new things into our existing routines. START SIMPLE! 😀

 

Our yearly and weekly homeschool schedule is flexible, provides for low-pressure planning, helps us get things done without being a slave to the schedule… and I love it. 

How about you? What does your homeschooling week and year look like? Do you wing it, schedule it, or have something in-between? 

Music Appreciation Course Giveaway!

One of my favorite resources is Music in Our Homeschool. We use their courses during our group time rotation! They are generously giving one Proverbial Homemaker reader access to their fantastic course, Music Lessons for Holidays and Special Days ($57 value)!

Do a fun and easy music lesson with your elementary students to prepare for different holidays and special days throughout the year! 

You will love the Music Lessons for Holidays & Special Days online course! Music is such a part of our lives and can really help us prepare for the holidays we want to celebrate throughout the year. Learn about, listen to, and do activities with various songs and music which relate to holidays such as New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! Also included are fun music lessons for special days such as Star Wars Day/May the Fourth, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Dr. Seuss Day!

Each of the 36 lessons includes:

  • Information about the holiday or special day
  • Videos of the music to listen to/ watch
  • At least one printable
  • An online quiz

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends September 4th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to Choose the Perfect Homeschool Curriculum https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/choose-perfect-homeschool-curriculum.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/choose-perfect-homeschool-curriculum.html#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:42:51 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=17069 Most homeschool moms love to talk about curriculum. It’s fun! So many interesting options to research, angles to consider, and deals to find. However, some people are just overwhelmed by all the options. And regardless of how you feel about curriculum, almost everyone occasionally exhausts and confuses themselves by trying to find that “perfect” curriculum, […]

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Most homeschool moms love to talk about curriculum. It’s fun! So many interesting options to research, angles to consider, and deals to find. However, some people are just overwhelmed by all the options. And regardless of how you feel about curriculum, almost everyone occasionally exhausts and confuses themselves by trying to find that “perfect” curriculum, especially in the early years of homeschooling.

Now, there are some ways you can narrow down your options to find materials and curriculum that fit your homeschool well. We’re going to cover those here. But it’s important to remember that finding the perfect curriculum isn’t actually the goal. So here are a few things to keep in mind:  

  • There’s no perfect curriculum. (I know… I’m saying it again.) 
  • Your current goals, needs, and priorities matter. They’ll likely change over time. That’s ok. 
  • The curriculum you use and the way you teach will also change over time.  That’s ok, too. 
  • Prayerfully choose materials that seem like a good fit. (We’ll cover steps for doing that in this article.)
  • You are going to do great. Rest knowing that the Lord will give you all you need to educate your children well. 

Alright, breathe, homeschool mom! Let’s walk through some steps on how to choose great curriculum for your homeschool year. 🙌

Trying to find THE perfect homeschool curriculum for your family? You don't want to miss these tips! They come with a generous dose of freedom, too!

How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

Ok, so we now know that no curriculum is “perfect” for everyone all the time. But there are some ways to find the ones that are perfect for what you need right now. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Decide What to Teach (& review your state’s homeschool laws)
  2. Identify Your Homeschool Method/Style
  3. Take Note of Learning Styles and Needs
  4. Jot Down your Preferences and Teaching Style
  5. Set a Reasonable Budget
  6. Evaluate Curriculum Options
  7. Hold Your Plans Loosely 
  8. Rest in the Lord’s Provision  

Decide What to Teach (& review your state’s homeschool laws)  

Depending on where you live, your state may have specific requirements about what subjects you must teach. So, first make sure you know what your state homeschool laws are. For example, teaching math, language arts, and civics may be required.  

Other than that, you get to decide what is best to teach your child based on your goals and your child’s developmental stage. This can vary depending on the homeschool method you choose (which we’ll discuss next) or your general educational philosophy. 

Here’s what our family does:

  • Preschool and kinder don’t need curriculum, but we’ll use some for fun sometimes or when they want to “do school.”
  • Start teaching reading and writing when they show readiness (pretend reading/writing, ask to read and write, etc.)
  • 1st-ish grade and up – reading, handwriting, and math. Everything else covered by fun experiments, nature studies, read alouds, and oral narration (a Charlotte Mason technique).
  • 3rd/4th grader – add dictation and notebooking for language arts skills, and let them add their own electives.
  • 6th/7th and up – formal writing curriculum if needed, and have them start working into middle school science courses
  • High school – add logic, speaking, government/civics, and foreign language.  That’s the plan anyway. Our oldest is in 7th. 🙂 

Obviously, what you choose to do as far as scope and sequence can vary. Perhaps you want to do a more traditional approach. You do you!

[Read: Our Current Curriculum Choices] 

Identify Your Homeschool Method/Style

One of the best ways to narrow your curriculum search is to know your homeschool method or style. There are several to consider. Again, there’s no picking the “right” one as much as seeing which one fits your preferences and vision most, and then using that as a way to narrow down your homeschool curriculum choices and activities. 

  • Traditional: Uses textbooks, workbooks, and tests. Traditional homeschooling most closely mimics public and private school teaching.
  • Classical: Teaches children using a liberal arts education focusing on “Great Books” and classical literature OR teaches children in three stages (called the Trivium): Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.
  • Charlotte Mason: Uses living (real) books, not textbooks. Learning through narration, copy work, dictation, and real-life experiences. Emphasizes habit training, short lessons, and nature study.
  • Unit Studies: The whole family learns together. Thematic teaching of multiple subjects to multiple ages at the same time. Uses a lot of hands-on and multi-sensory activities.
  • Unschooling: Emphasizes child-led learning where the child decides what and when they learn. Does not usually follow a strict schedule or a specific curriculum.
  • And many more! See a complete summary of several homeschool methods here, including reasons why they might fit your style.

There are multiple curriculum options for each of these styles, so if you know your style then you can narrow your focus to the curriculums that align with it. My only caution is to not become locked into a particular method. There are benefits to many styles and you can certainly draw from several! This eclectic approach is what most homeschoolers eventually land in.

[Read: Homeschool Methods and Styles]

   

Take Note of Learning Styles and Needs

If you have children with special needs then you can find curriculum to help teach them well. You will also want to consider your children’s learning styles. Many kids are dominant in a particular learning style (auditory, kinesthetic, or visual).

Observing your child and identifying their main learning style will help a lot when you hit a rough patch. For example, one of my sons is a strong auditory learner. When he needed some extra help with spelling, I intentionally looked for spelling curriculum (IEW Phonetic Zoo) that fit his auditory learning style. It works well for him!

I don’t think you need to only buy curriculum that fits your children’s learning style, however. I teach multiple ages and like to teach some subjects as a group. So I choose a curriculum that fits my goals and then, when needed for a particular child, add some elements to our curriculum to fit their learning style. For example, we do group history with Biblioplan. I use the audiobook of the text for my auditory learner, have my visual learner draw something based on our read alouds, incorporate history crafts and games for my hands-on learners, etc. There’s also something to be said for children learning to learn with other styles!  

[Read: Homeschool Learning Styles]

Jot Down your Preferences and Teaching Style

When choosing curriculum, you’ll want to consider your “why” for homeschooling — your homeschool vision and goals. Having a clear vision in mind helps you narrow down the curriculum options. Your teaching style, logistical needs, and personal preferences can also come into play.

Take a moment and jot down what these factors might be. These definitely will vary by subject. 

  • Do you prefer online or paper curriculum? 
  • How much planning and preparation can you accommodate? Do you want open-and-go or to create the plans or curriculum yourself? 
  • What level of teacher involvement in each lesson? Completely independent? Some involvement? Or direct teaching of the lessons? 
  • Does worldview matter to you? 
  • Do you want to do more multi-level teaching for certain subjects?  
  • Do you want to get involved with a co-op or support group, or outsource upper level courses? 

As an example, here’s what our homeschool is like: 

  • We prefer a strong Christian worldview and most of our curriculum is designed for it. 
  • I don’t like lots of prep and planning, so most of my curriculum choices are open-and-go where we can just pick up that day and do the next thing. 
  • I also don’t like following other people’s plans or schedules 😉 so I tend to ignore charts and checklists, and won’t join a co-op. 
  • We prefer paper instead of online learning for core subjects (due to connection issues, better retention, less screen time, etc.)
  • I like to do multi-level teaching for Bible, history, literature, geography, nature study, and enrichment subjects (art, poetry, music, etc.)
  • My kids work mostly independently at their level for math, handwriting, and some language arts pieces. My middle schoolers start doing independent science and electives as well.  

It actually really helps to keep a running list of these preferences so that you can remind yourself of them when you are curriculum shopping. No matter how shiny and popular a curriculum is, it’s a waste of time and money if it’s not a good fit for you 


A Flexible Planner for a Relaxed Homeschool Year!

Get help crafting your homeschool vision, goals, routines, and more with the Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System! This customizable planner and video course will guide you through all the steps of creating a system that works best for YOU and your unique homeschool needs. Includes a curriculum planning sheet! 

The Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System helps you craft a flexible schedule for your homeschool and use a simple but effective planner to hold all the pieces together! You'll get a customizable planner and a course to guide you through each step of the way, including videos and helpful worksheets!


 Set a Reasonable Budget

Your budget is also a determining factor for which curriculum you use. Most boxed curriculums that include material for every subject are usually very expensive. But the trade-off is saved time and sanity with shopping and planning. Buying resources individually can also add up quickly, too. This is why it is important for you to know what your budget is.

Some curricula may be out of your price range and that’s okay. There are plenty of other options (including free ones) and you may very well try that one later on in your homeschool journey! We started out with free and frugal and then over time invested in resources that were important to us.

However, if you do have your heart set on a specific curriculum there are ways to get curriculum cheaper. You can buy used curriculum at conferences (vendors often run specials in their booths as well), through local support groups, in Facebook groups, on Amazon or eBay, on Homeschool Classifieds, through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op, and more. Check Thrifty Books as well. Also watch for sales from your favorite curriculum publishers. They often run them during back to school time or during Black Friday. Sign up for their email list and keep an eye out for sales or discounts. 

[Read: How to Homeschool for Free]

Evaluate Curriculum Options

Now you’re ready to take this information as your filter and start evaluating homeschool curricula. For each curriculum option, check out the product pages, samples, placement tests if applicable, and any reviews you can find. Do keep in mind that there are pros and cons for EVERY curriculum, so take glowing reviews as well as the haters with a grain of salt.   

For each curriculum, check the following:

  • Is it in your budget?
  • Does it align with your teaching style / homeschool method?
  • Does it fit your goals and preferences?
  • Does it fit your child’s learning style or needs? 

Hold Your Plans Loosely 

Choosing your homeschool curriculum can be both exciting and overwhelming. Using the guidelines outlined above can simplify the process and help you select a curriculum that will be the best fit for your family.

A word of caution. Hold your curriculum loosely. Your curriculum is a tool to help you homeschool, it is not your master. Don’t be afraid to tweak a curriculum to fit your family or to even stop using a curriculum if it is not working. 

[Read: Using Rhythms & Routines for Homeschool Planning]

Rest in the Lord 

Set aside the frantic search for the perfect homeschool curriculum. It doesn’t exist. Many tools will help you homeschool your children well, so you’re not going to “mess them up” by picking the wrong one. You’re going to do just fine. 

Prayerfully choose resources that fit your goals, needs, and priorities. What you use and how you teach will change over time and that’s ok. Flexibility is part of the beauty of homeschooling! Choose what seems reasonable and rest in the knowledge that the Lord will provide everything you need to educate your children well.

[Read: Free Tools for Homeschool Prayer]

Praying you have a blessed homeschool year!

~ Tauna

 

You Might Also Like…

Wondering how you’ll get it all done? Try loop scheduling! I’ll tell you how it works and give you a free template to use. 

Use loop scheduling for flexible and effective task management - great for homeschooling, homemaking, and more!

 

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Homeschooling with Little Ones in Tow https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-infants-toddlers-preschoolers-tow.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-infants-toddlers-preschoolers-tow.html#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2020 07:38:51 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=2388 *** Hey! There’s a big $350+ value HOMESCHOOL BUNDLE GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post you don’t want to miss! *** We have six kids, 12 and under, which means that we have a busy and blessed (and loud) household! One of my biggest challenges has been homeschooling with little ones in tow — […]

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*** Hey! There’s a big $350+ value HOMESCHOOL BUNDLE GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post you don’t want to miss! ***

We have six kids, 12 and under, which means that we have a busy and blessed (and loud) household! One of my biggest challenges has been homeschooling with little ones in tow — handling the toddlers and infants well when trying to “do school” with the olders.

After some years under my belt managing the chaos, here are several ideas to help you do the same!

Trying to homeschool with little ones in tow? Here are some tips to manage the chaos and take care of the youngers so you can "do school" with the olders!

Make Them First

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard, and the hardest to follow for some reason, is to make them first. But it’s true! I know from experience.

My youngest kids always do better when I spend some decent, focused time playing with them first. Here are some ideas to make it a habit:

  • Set a timer for 15 minutes after breakfast to focus on the youngest while the older kids clean up or play.
  • Play with toys, build a tower, or read books with them. Have a special book basket just with learning toys and books for this time together. 
  • Include them as a special helper during your morning routines! Include them on the chores, have them help you get out the supplies for the day, etc.  

Be Flexible

It may seem obvious, but being flexible is probably the biggest key to sanity here.

  • Prioritize lessons by planning the most important subjects and lessons first, so they are sure to get done even if the rest of the day doesn’t stay on track or your little one melts down and needs mama. 
  • Establish a routine. No need for strict schedules, but sketch out a good, flexible routine that you can practice to help guide your day.  
  • Have catch-up times and days for those weeks that get away from you. Move a lesson forward, do a quick lesson before bed, or make one day or afternoon a week a catch-up day if you’re concerned about getting everything done that week.   
  • Let it Go. Yes, there are times (even seasons of time) when your little ones will need more full attention and all the planned lessons for that week won’t get done. No worries, mama! You’re homeschooling for the long haul here, so everything will pan out.  

Contain Them

  • Meal times are favorite times for lessons, especially for read alouds, memory recitation, and discussions. The littlest ones are strapped into high chairs and sometimes that’s aaallll that’s keeping them from inflicting destruction.
  • Blanket time is also an awesome tool! At about 18m old, start teaching them to sit on a blanket for 5 minutes at a time and play with toys set aside for that purpose. After a while, they can work up to 30 minutes at a time and will enjoy it as well. It’s great for doctor’s appointments too!
  • Pack and Plays are great for infants or crawlers with the same basic blanket time training steps. We have one in our living room for the toddler with some toys, books, and a blanket. Even if he protests at first, he eventually settles down to snuggle or play quietly. 
  • Car rides are perfect for practicing memory work or listening to audiobooks. Make a recording where you are reading memory verses, Bible passages, or other things you’d like them to memorize.

Employ Busy Bags and Simple Activities 

Whether you call them busy bags, busy boxes, or tot trays, these can be a great way to keep your littles occupied while schooling. They are basically activities or toys set aside just for these special times to keep them entertained.

  • Be patient. Busy bags aren’t always a hit initially. Nor do littles always play along and keep themselves occupied while you’re homeschooling. Over time, however, they’ll learn when it’s time to play with the busy bags or other toys while you’re at the table with the olders.
  • Use them during blanket time. They are easily portable and contained, so they are ideal for that purpose.
  • Start simple. Some of ours include simple felt character scenes, counting bears with a small muffin pan for sorting, and geoboards with rubber bands for the preschooler. Put together interesting objects that suit the developmental stage of your child.

Use Naptime… Or Not

  • Teach during nap time for those subjects where your child needs focused attention or you just don’t want someone eating the pencils they’re trying to write with.
  • Or take that time to rest yourself, because you need that some days more than your kid needs a math lesson! And your kids will be happier if mommy is happier. Just saying.

Let Them “Do School”

  • Simple art projects in the high chair with chunky crayons, washable paint, or playdoh. 
  • Try faux school, giving them something that looks similar to what their older kids are doing makes them happy. 
  • Use a fun preschool curriculum that’s designed with play in mind! This could be something you pull together with weekly activities, or a great curriculum like A Year of Playing Skillfully.  

 

It’s certainly true that homeschooling with toddlers and babies around can be challenging. Hopefully some of the tips here have provided ideas and inspiration for your own household! At the end of the day, we can embrace the chaos knowing that not only is this just a season of life, but it is a blessed one.

While little ones may derail the best laid plans, we can model for all our children an attitude of flexibility and forbearance. In fact, having those youngest siblings around teaches our children much in the way of compassion, kindness, and patience. Homeschooling is truly a family affair!

What ideas for homeschooling with little ones would you add to the list? Let’s help our fellow homeschool moms out. 🙂 

GIVEAWAY – $351.98 Value Homeschool Bundle!

This is the final bundle giveaway of the How to Start Homeschooling series! (Really this time… I had to throw in one last one. 😉 ) Enter to win this fantastic bundle below, PLUS enter all the other giveaways linked here for the series! 

Mathematical Reasoning Curriculum Books from Critical Thinking Company ($39.99-42.99 value, each) 

Win two books or ebooks of your choice from the Mathematical Reasoning series (Full Curriculum for Toddler-Grade 9). Includes free shipping within USA.  

Forget boring math lessons and dreaded drill sheets.  These fun, colorful books use engaging lessons with easy-to-follow explanations, examples, and charts to make mathematical concepts easy to understand.  They can be used as textbooks or comprehensive workbooks with your textbooks to teach the math skills and concepts that students are expected to know in each grade—and several concepts normally taught in the next grade!

The Critical Thinking Co.™ publishes award-winning educational textbooks, activity books, e-books, and apps that help children become better problem-solvers. The approach is unique: help kids develop foundational reasoning & critical thinking skills while learning the core subjects (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies).

The curriculum is fun, easy to use, and guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores. Each lesson is infused with critical and creative thinking elements so students carefully analyze what they are learning. Deeper analysis produces deeper understanding, which results in better grades and higher test scores. Over time, students who practice critical thinking learn to apply it throughout their education and lives.

“If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless.” – Michael Baker, President

Online Art for Kids Subscription from Beyond the Stick Figure ($60 value)

Enter to win a four month subscription to Online Art for Kids! Online art courses and projects for the entire family. Get unlimited access to the ever growing library of courses and projects. Suitable for students age 5 and up. Create beautiful masterpieces and learn foundational art skills that will have you creating for years to come. Art techniques build confidence and creativity.  
 
– Great for the whole family
– Short lessons, easy to fit into your busy day
– Open and go format, no prep for mom
– Incrementally taught the way phonics or piano would be
– If you can draw a stick figure, you can learn to pain and draw
– Develop professional art techniques and skills so you can create your own masterpieces
– New courses and projects added every month
– Includes courses and projects range in price from $17-$370, but membership is just $15 per month 
 
 
Try it for FREE for the first 14 days! Check out the classes, try a project or two. If you aren’t satisfied, simply cancel your membership and owe nothing! You have nothing to lose!

Hebrew for Homeschoolers ($77 value)

If you been learning about the Biblical Feasts and the Jewish Culture, you will LOVE Hebrew for Homeschoolers! Beyond learning to read, write, and speak the language in only 4 to 10 weeks, the whole family will learn amazing facts about the culture of our Savior to help you dig deeper into God’s Word!

Lessons are fun and dynamic, including music, and hands-on project ideas.

✔Self-paced
✔Lifetime Access

Courses were designed for the whole family from kindergartners to grandparents.

Planner Super Bundle from Proverbial Homemaker ($101 value)

Win the Planner Super Bundle and get your homeschool year off to a good start!  In addition to the Proverbial Homemaker Planning System and the Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System, you’ll get our popular Loop Scheduling Workshop! Altogether this is a value of over $101 for a sweet bundle price! 

These are the systems that can bring a Christ-focused and flexible efficiency to your home. They’re designed with the busy mom in mind and will help you get more done while reducing the overwhelm! 

Student Work & Habit Tracker ($14 value) 

The Student Work & Habit Tracker is a simple tool that helps students from about 3rd-12th grade to manage their time and stay focused. They will craft meaningful goals, manage their weekly and daily work efficiently, and build in important habits. 

Most importantly, the Tracker will help them keep God’s Word at the center of their daily life, doing all in the name of the Lord. Click here for a list of pages that are included in the Student Work & Habit Tracker.

The Prayerful Homeschooler ($14 value)

The Prayerful Homeschooler is a 70-page eBook that takes you through 8 areas of your family and homeschool life and helps you pray for them. 

You’ll also find worksheets to help you pinpoint areas that need prayer the most, a 12-day homeschool mom’s prayer journal, 8 beautiful scripture coloring pages, and a 30-day prayer calendar! 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 22nd at 11:59pm PST. Each vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

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Our Current Homeschool Curriculum Choices (For 6 Kids pre-k to 7th) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/our-homeschool-curriculum-choices.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/our-homeschool-curriculum-choices.html#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2020 21:22:21 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=26077 Each year I am asked what we’re using for homeschool curriculum. I’m always happy to oblige because, let’s face it, talking about curriculum is fun! 😀 Every summer I update this post with our new curriculum choices and make note of any resources that were particularly great from past years. As always, feel free to […]

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Each year I am asked what we’re using for homeschool curriculum. I’m always happy to oblige because, let’s face it, talking about curriculum is fun! 😀

Every summer I update this post with our new curriculum choices and make note of any resources that were particularly great from past years. As always, feel free to ask me questions about the picks!

For 2020-2021, we have kids in Preschool, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 7th grade. 

Check out what we're using for homeschool curriculum in 2019-20! I'll be homeschooling a Kindergartener, 1st grader, 2nd grader, 4th grader, and 6th grader. If you're a large family homeschooling mom doing multi-level homeschooling, or you just want some great ideas for pre-K through 6th, you'll love this list! #homeschool #curriculum #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolmom #largefamilymom #multilevelhomeschooling #homeschooling 

The Context: How Our Homeschool Works

One thing to keep in mind: Every child, every family, and every homeschool is different. Actually, every year is different, too! The best thing you can do when choosing curriculum for your homeschool is to pray over those choices and remember that there is no magical, perfect curriculum out there that everyone should be using. 

Go ahead an choose what fits your needs best for now, knowing that it may (and probably will) change over time! That’s totally fine. Flexibility is one of the many blessings of homeschooling! 

What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Before I launch into our choices, it’s helpful to know a little bit about our homeschool.

  • We have 6 kids 12 and under and we take an eclectic approach to homeschooling. 
  • I like curriculum that is flexible (open-and-go when possible) and doesn’t require too much planning.
  • I prefer multi-level teaching style or resources where some independent learning can happen.
  • I also strongly prefer Christian worldview curriculum although not everything we use talks about God.
  • We do year-round homeschooling, taking breaks when we want, and generally a 4-day academic week
  • We do lots of read alouds and audiobooks, some group work, and then independent and 1:1 work.
  • Loop scheduling allows for incorporating a lot of extras.

I do flexible routines and only loosely plan. For 4 days we have a regular academic day and on the 5th day we have a “Home Blessing” which includes housework catch up, extra chores for money, life skills development, and character training. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

Here’s our basic schedule: 

  • We have “morning time” during breakfast, which includes Prayers, hymn, Bible/theology, and memory work. 
  • We have “group work” after chores, which includes a rotation through various resources including some Charlotte Mason style activities such as picture study, poetry, music, nature study, etc. 
  • Then the kids do independent work and take turns doing 1:1 work with me. 
  • The older kids have a daily task list and a loop schedule to rotate through. 
  • During lunch I read from our history.  
  • During dinner, we listen to an audiobook or do a missionary read aloud unless Dad is home, in which case we just chat.
  • Sometimes we do another read aloud or audiobook session before bed. 

That should give you a context for the resources we choose! 

Our 2020-21 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

(Red asterisk indicates new to us this year.)

Morning Time (During Breakfast)

  • Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology – My theology curriculum for ages pre-k and elementary. Once a week with some weekly memory review. Includes notebooking pages for the olders.
  • Bible Road Trip – Our staple Bible curriculum that we’ve used for years. It’s excellent and can be used for pre-k through high school.  My older kids also do the notebooking journals. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

Group Time (After Morning Chores)

These are the resources we use during those group times and read-aloud times after morning chores. For many of these, my older kids will follow up with notebooking. We don’t do this all every day. 

  • * The Homeschool Garden This is a recent find and it has been working so beautifully for us. We have the annual membership and it includes access to all the sessions (4- to 6-week themes) that include artist study, music, brushwork, nature study, poetry, tea time, and more. All my kids, from pre-k to 7th grade, enjoy the activities that come with each theme. It’s definitely a win for us!
  • * AwesomeSciTV for fun creation-based science videos – my kids especially love the Science Foundations experiment ones.  
  • Music in Our Homeschool – We use this resource CONSTANTLY. We learn hymns, preschool music, music for history, geography, and more. It’s really become a staple of our homeschool and I love it.  
  • Simply Charlotte Mason poetry study (Carl Sandburg) and picture study (Mary Cassatt).  I explain in the video how these work.  
  • No Sweat Nature Study LIVE membership – This has been such a blessing to help us stay consistent with nature studies. Definitely continuing this year! My kids all enjoy it, too. We’ll also be doing some of her NaturExplorers studies which are downloads. 
  • Dinosaurs unit from Geology for Little Eyes – we are in the middle of finishing up this hands-on science unit from Northwest Treasures. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

History, Geography, and Literature

  • BiblioPlan Year 2 (Medieval) I am really excited about using this curriculum. BiblioPlan is a 4-year history cycle that also covers literature and geography. It’s a Christian curriculum that uses lots of living books for read alouds and independent reading. It’s designed for multi-level teaching so all my kids can be studying the same thing, but with varying levels of depth and difficulty depending on their ages.  We ventured into this style of curriculum last year with Tapestry of Grace, which we really enjoyed, but I’m looking forward to the easier planning and usability, as well as features like the timeline, coloring pages, and engaging spine book. And I’m happy to still be using living books and rich family discussions so we can all learn together! 

BiblioPlan Year 2 Medieval

More Group Read Alouds and Fun Resources

  • * Fallacy Detective This is going to be a read aloud on family day when Daddy is home. He wants to be there for discussions and is rarely home during the kids school hours or regular mealtimes. 
  • * The Children’s Character Building Collection Study Guide from Grace and Truth Books – Normally we use and love Character Concepts. But we’ve had this guide and the series of books that goes with it for some time. This is the year to finally go through it together!  
  • * Places, Please! Theatre – We’re so excited about this one! My husband is a big fan of theatre from his school experience and I was excited to find out about this. It is a subscription box for homeschool families that we just signed up for! It includes bi-monthly boxes full of a script, props, and more to help your kids put on a play.   
  • YWAM Missionary Biographies – We are reading Eric Liddell right now and will also cover Adoniram Judson, Betty Greene, David Livingstone, and Henry Hudson. We’ll be using this free notebooking page.  I also purchased some of the young readers and some of their activity guides to go along with them.  

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

 

Grade Level Homeschool Curriculum Choices

7TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

Heading into middle school… what?!? 😀 This year I let my oldest choose more of his own course of study. He decided to change up his writing and science, and asked for specific electives. 

  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.  
  • * Apologia General Science with Labs- This was my son’s pick and is the newest edition of their General Science. I’ve heard great things about it! We got the Super Set that comes with supporting videos and an audio of the text as well. We will also be purchasing a lab kit to make it easy.
  • * General Science 1 from Master Books (just read and discuss) Seems crazy to do two middle school science courses, but he loved General Science 2 last year and we already had the text books, so he asked to do this as well. He only does the reading and we discuss the questions for this one – so no labs or activities. 
  • * Jump In by Writing with Sharon Watson – this is a 2-year middle school writing course. My son still likes Writing Strands from Master Books, which is what we were using before, so we’ll likely hop back to that afterward. But he asked for a change of scenery this year. I researched this one a lot. It’s a Cathy Duffy top pic, has great reviews, and is Christian. Looking forward to seeing how it goes! 
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • Phonetic Zoo from IEW – This is audio based and a mostly independent spelling program for older kids. Works well for my auditory learner. 
  • Loop Schedule
    • Visual Latin I was kind of a die hard no latin person. Lol! That just seemed so extra. But he enjoyed Word Up from Compass Classroom so much he said he’d like to try this. We’ve already started and it’s going well. I’m learning things too!
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way and exposes them to great thoughts and writing.
    • Typing lessons through Typing.com.  
    • Devotions with Mom – we are doing a “how to study the Bible” book from Kay Arthur right now and then will go back to using our favorite Doorposts materials. 
    • Photography – He’d like to continue what he started with Schoolhouse Teachers and perhaps add on other resources. 
    • * Entrepreneur Course– Visionary Entrepreneurship has some Christian entrepreneur courses for middle and high school that my oldest wants to try. 
    • Innovator’s Tribe – Great engineering courses both my older kids have enjoyed. He asked to do another one this year.
    • Masterpiece Society Art – My older two kids are going to take the drawing courses this year. We’ve loved all their courses!  Individual Courses or Membership (this is what we have – it includes all the courses)  
    • SchoolhouseTeachers  – To pull in electives and supplements to our studies, fun rabbit trails, etc.   

5TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

This daughter is my big reader and can really book it through a lot of material. But I’m keeping most of her work in a loop and plan to work with her on her writing skills more through notebooking this year. 

  • Bible Drawing Journal (OT) I created this for my daughter who is big on drawing for narrating and it’s such a win for her personal Bible study. It goes through a survey of the Old Testament and she reads a chapter a day. Then she draws about what she read and writes a little, including a prayer. I’ll need to make the New Testament version soon.  
  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.    
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.    
  • Loop Schedule 
    • Typing lessons from Typing.com
    • Devotions with Mom – we are going through some of the sex ed resources from Intoxicated on Life and Doorposts materials.   
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • * Logic of English Essentials OnlineThis is a spelling, vocabulary, and grammar curriculum for older kids. We already had the paper version of this but decided to try the free online lessons that were available during the summer. We go through the online lessons together and I dictate the spelling words to her. The online version definitely helps with the instruction piece, so we may continue with it. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way. 
    • My First Kitchen Binder for Kids My daughter has been filling this out with recipes she tries. She wants to host the tea party this year and continue adding more recipes that she finds on YouTube and tries out to help make meals for the family.
    • Masterpiece Society Art – My older two kids are going to take the drawing courses this year. We’ve loved all their courses!  Individual Courses or Membership (this is what we have – it includes all the courses)   
    • SchoolhouseTeachers  – To pull in electives and supplements to our studies, fun rabbit trails, etc.    

3rd GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

This year my daughter asked to do Grammar Galaxy, Logic of English online, and Spelling Wisdom for dictation. I also start around this grade working more with them in notebooking and teaching language arts through it. So hers will be an LA-heavy year. We may adjust things down as needed. We’ll see! 

  • Grammar Galaxy Teaches Language Arts in a gentle way with a fun space story line. She’ll be continuing with this mostly independently. 
  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.    
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.     
  • Loop Schedule: 
    • Typing lessons from Typing.com
    • Devotions with Mom – we are going through Doorposts materials.   
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • * Logic of English Essentials Online –  This is a spelling, vocabulary, and grammar curriculum for older kids. We already had the paper version of this but decided to try the free online lessons that were available during the summer. We go through the online lessons together and I dictate the spelling words to her. The online version definitely helps with the instruction piece, so we may continue with it. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way.   

2st GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

My upcoming second grader has a touch of dyslexia and is doing really well with All About Reading (he’s the only kid so far who did NOT do well with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons), so we’ll continue with that. You can read my All About Reading review here. I’m keeping his workload light. We’ll be working on some at-home speech therapy materials that were recommended to me as well.  

  • All About Reading– We’re finishing up level 1 now and will continue on to level 2. We are going at his pace, sometimes splitting lessons into two days. 
  • * STEM Challenges – My son is a hands-on kind of kid who likes to build, hammer, take apart, etc. I don’t have a resource for this at the moment,  but I am putting it here to remind me I want to gather projects, materials, kits, challenges, etc. for my son to do this year. He’ll love me for it and it will be educational! 🙂 
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book. This curriculum focuses on letter formation and Scripture copywork. 
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.   

1st GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

My 5 year old is at different places with different subjects. He’s reading at a 2rd grade level (approximately) and will be doing 2nd grade math this coming year at his pace. Otherwise he’ll be doing a few kinder-level things and joining in with his younger brother’s preschool fun activities. 🙂 

  • Daily Reading Practice – Just reading aloud and on his own each day. 
  • Simply K From Master Books. We started this pretty late in the year this past year, so we’re finishing it up. It’s more of a focus on developmental skills and life skills. He likes it! 
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.   

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM CHOICES

  • * A Year of Playing Skillfully So, all my kids are excited about this one. 😀 They’ve been fawning over the pages and activities that we get to do together. I’m most excited that it will bring a fresh sense of fun to our homeschool! Very much looking forward to incorporating this into our weeks. Review will be coming! 
  • Rod and Staff workbooks – I always have these on hand (see them here and here) for when they want to “do school” at the table with the older kids. 

I hope you find some fun ideas here to explore. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to share!

~ Tauna 

 

Wondering What Other Curriculum We’ve Used in the Past and Enjoyed?    

This isn’t a complete list. I’m working on it. 🙂 

  • Character
    • My two repeat character studies: Heart of Obedience and Anger vs. Self-Control  
    • Character Concepts (love it all) – Great resource for learning about godly character through engaging stories.
    • For Instruction in Righteousness –  for addressing behavior issues and Polished Cornerstones for girls and Plants Grown Up for boys. All from Doorposts. We still actually use these.
  • Science
  • Bible / Worldview
  • Language Arts
  • History / Geography
    • Around the World with Picture Books – This is a wonderful resource from Beautiful Feet Books that uses literature, activities, and additional resources like recommended videos to learn about geography and culture.
    • Tapestry of Grace Year 1 We tried this for 2019-20 and really enjoyed it. I love the multi-level history, geography, and literature.   
  • Math
    • Teaching Textbooks – We enjoyed this for the older kids but our internet connection tanked and was unfixable. I greatly preferred the online version to CDs (I lose CDs) so we ended up switching back to our previous curriculum. However, I think it’s a great option for kids struggling in math or upper grades. To maximize it, I recommend having your kids write out their solutions and answers before entering them into the system, deleting and re-doing any problems that got them below an 85% on a lesson, and be sure to check into the system yourself once a week to make sure things are going well.   
    • CTC Math Another good online option. Less review and less interactive, but one subscription covers all kids all levels.   

Looking for More Curriculum Reviews? 

 

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Homeschool Methods & Homeschool Styles – Which one is Right for You? https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-methods.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-methods.html#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2020 05:46:49 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27191 *** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway of the No Sweat Nature Study 3-Month Membership at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! *** If you are in your first few years of homeschooling, learning the various homeschool methods can be a helpful way to help you choose curriculum and craft your own family’s home education […]

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*** Hey! There’s a fantastic giveaway of the No Sweat Nature Study 3-Month Membership at the end of this post! Don’t miss it! ***

If you are in your first few years of homeschooling, learning the various homeschool methods can be a helpful way to help you choose curriculum and craft your own family’s home education experience. 

Of course, most likely you’ll end up designing your own methods as you learn what works best for you and your children. But understanding homeschool methods can help you narrow down the vast amount of choices available to ones that most fit your style, and give you an excellent start ting point in your homeschool journey. 

Which homeschool method is right for you? Here's your guide to understanding homeschool methods and homeschool styles to start you off right!

Every family is different, every homeschool is different, and that’s part of the beauty of homeschooling. But certain homeschool methods have become popular over time, with resources, curriculum, and even communities to help support parents wanting to use those methods to educate their children. 

Most homeschoolers become eclectic over time, pulling from various methods and materials to best suit their needs. But having a starting point can make it easier in those first few years! 

In this article, I’m going to share a summary of each of the most popular homeschool methods, a few of the lesser known but interesting homeschool styles, and then a few particularly helpful tools in the homeschool toolbox that you’ll want to consider no matter what homeschool method you choose. 

Sections in this Article

Which Homeschool Method is the BEST One? 

First, let’s just address the big question that homeschool mamas are bound to be asking themselves: Which homeschool method is the BEST one? Really, there isn’t a best method that will work for everyone equally as well. I know, right? Kind of disappointing.

The deal is, homeschool methods can appeal to people based on their goals and values, their family or personal teaching style, or the ages and stages of their kids. Those things vary wildly from family to family, so it’s impossible for anyone to say which one is really best. Resist that feeling that what works beautifully for that gal on Instagram or Susie Q homeschooler down the street is the answer for you. It might be, but either way over time you’d develop your own method of things.

 

Traditional Homeschool Method

It used to be that “traditional” homeschool curriculum was all that was available. That’s because it was the material used in private Christian schools, and those publishers slowly made those available to homeschoolers over time. Traditional homeschooling most closely mimics public and private school teaching. It involves typical schedules, textbooks or work texts, lesson plans, grading, and record keeping. 

Pros and Cons: Traditional homeschooling is probably most familiar to us who grew up in the public school system, so it’s an easier transition at first. It also provides plenty of structure and guidance. However, it can lead to burnout fast and can be very time consuming.

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • You are looking for something as close to public/private school as possible, while still independently homeschooling
  • You want to organize your day and your homeschool space like a mini school 
  • You or your student really want structure and accountability
  • You like having detailed lesson plans and schedules to follow
  • You like to use workbooks and textbooks 
  • You like tests and evaluations to measure progress

Curriculum & Resources:

Special Note: There are some public school at home programs / charter schools that are sometimes lumped into traditional homeschooling method discussions. While they do involve educating at home, those particular options are not homeschooling (by legal definition) but rather public school at home. That can be important when it comes to homeschool laws and curriculum selections allowed.

Classical Homeschool Method

The classical homeschooling method has a few important variations within it you should research if you want to dive into this method. One type is a more classical liberal arts education focusing on “Great Books” and classical literature. Another main type teaches children in three stages (called the Trivium): Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.

More detail on the Trivium, which you’ll see reflected in many classical curricula: Grammar is about learning and memorizing facts with the idea that later on context and depth will fill in the meaning or value of those facts. The Logic stage is where that knowledge from the Grammar stage is evaluated with logic and reason. In Rhetoric, maturity, wisdom, and good judgment are the focus.

Most classical homeschoolers of all varieties also focus on good literature and learning to speak and write well, and many teach Latin. As I said, there are variations and flavors within the classical method worth exploring, but that’s the gist.  

Pros and Cons: Classical education has a fairly defined pathway that can be followed. Those who are educated with this model often are good speakers and writers, and are familiar with rich literature selections. On the other hand, the style of teaching may not suit some students and homeschool families, be it the rigorous academic program, the esemphasis on rote memorization some types use, or the focus on “Great Books” that often have a humanistic worldview. Of course, they can be adapted to fit any Christian homeschooler’s goals. 

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • Logic and critical thinking are valuable to you. 
  • You want to plug into a community for accountability 
  • Studying languages is important to you, starting with classical languages
  • You want to teach history chronologically 
  • Studying the “Great Books” and good literature is important to you 

Curriculum & Resources:

 

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Method

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived from 1842–1923. The Charlotte Mason method is based on her philosophy and writings. There is a heavy emphasis on “living books.” Living books are those written by passionate authors in a way that engages the reader – not dry textbooks.  It includes short lessons, a lot of time outside observing nature (“nature study”), learning good habits, art and music study, and useful hands-on activities (“handicrafts”).  In addition to reading good literature, copywork, narration, and dictation are important exercises.

Pros and Cons: The Charlotte Mason method provides a gentle approach in the early years and overall can produce very well-read students. It is also easy to adapt materials from other methods, such as classical and unit studies, to a Charlotte Mason style. Families can find it challenging to follow a pure Charlotte Mason approach, especially with multiple ages, although there are ways to adjust it.  While some families do Charlotte Mason through high school, many bring in other types of materials in the middle and high school levels, especially for science and math.  

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • Learning through literature and reading “living books” is important to you.
  • You want a more beautiful, peaceful, and pleasant homeschool experience.
  • You want to make time outside with nature a priority.
  • You like the idea of using simple tools like journaling, narration, and dictation for teaching.
  • You want to incorporate Charlotte Mason ideas into your eclectic style homeschool.

Curriculum & Resources:

 

Unit Studies Homeschool Method

Unit studies are a fun homeschooling method that you can use completely (with perhaps the addition of math curriculum) or as a supplement. Unit studies take a block of time (a month, for example) to teach many or all subjects around a common theme that is chosen. For example, a unit study on weather could include Bible studies, science, history (famous storms), math, literature, reading, writing, etc. 

Pros and Cons: Unit studies are enjoyable and engaging, especially suited for hands-on learners. They are a great way to teach that all subjects are connected and see relationships between them around the common theme. This approach can also aid retention so kids actually remember what they learn! Usually a unit study approach is incomplete, especially past the younger years, and needs support with other methods and materials. Some unit study materials can have no common thread among the unit studies, which can be a little too scattered for some families. 

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • You want your homeschool to be fun and interesting 
  • You like the idea of moving from theme to theme to avoid boredom
  • You want to teach your children how subjects are connected  
  • You want to involve your child in planning their studies
  • You want to teach your children using free and frugal resources 

Curriculum & Resources:

 

Delight Directed / Relaxed Homeschool Method

Delight-directed learning is a homeschool method where you follow your child’s interests and then provide the materials and curriculum for them to study. Now, there’s some gray area about the definition of delight-directed learning, as well as where it starts bleeding into unschooling. But according to my friend Marcy, who graduated her son with a delight-directed approach, the main differences are as follows:

“…most homeschoolers who follow a delight-directed path do use some curriculum — especially for the 3Rs. The other big difference is that delight-directed learning can be one part of homeschooling. It’s something you can do once a week, a week at a time, or just during summer months. You can use delight-directed learning for one just one subject or all subjects. Delight-directed learning is a method of homeschooling. Unschooling is not really considered homeschooling at all. It is the opposite of “schooling.” If you unschool, you do it all the time, every day. Not just when you need a break from the regular routine or to indulge a high school elective. It’s more ‘self-directed’ than ‘delight-directed.'” – Marcy Crabtree

Pros and Cons: This can be a really fun way to explore your child’s interests and teach them how to learn in the process. It’s a less stressful and more flexible approach. I also agree with Marcy’s comment in the quote above, that you can use delight-directed learning in certain pockets of your homeschool. That’s what we do! The downsides can be a lack of structure (that can be a benefit too, depending on your goals). 

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • You or your child wants to learn a variety of topics and not be boxed in by curriculum. 
  • You want your child to love learning and remember what they learn.
  • You don’t have rigorous state requirements and want to take advantage of the freedom. 
  • You like the idea of a wonder-filled homeschool experience. 
  • You want the to provide a good education without fussing with lesson plans and detailed schedules. 

Curriculum & Resources:

 

Eclectic Homeschool Method

And here we are, in my corner of the homeschool world. 😉 I really think that most homeschoolers end up in the eclectic homeschool method, which basically means you pull resources and teaching tools from a variety of methods and adapt them to suit you. 

Pros and Cons: The eclectic homeschool method allows you the most flexibility to cater your homeschool to each child’s learning styles, goals, and needs, as well as to your teaching style. It brings the best of all the different methods and curriculum options into your homeschool. The two downsides I have seen are that it can be tempting to bounce around too much with all the options available, and that it does take more time and research on the part of the parent to decide which tools and resources to use. 

You Might Like This Homeschool Method If: 

  • You don’t want to follow someone else’s schedule or lesson plan. 
  • You want to take advantage of the benefits of several methods and tools.
  • You like the flexibility of adjusting your homeschool to fit your child’s needs as they arise.
  • You enjoy researching curriculum and homeschool methods. (It’s fun… admit it.)
  • You are comfortable with picking what works for you and aren’t tempted to try to do everything. (Ahem… this one comes with time.)

Curriculum & Resources:

  • Check out my post with all our current and favorite curriculum choices to get a peek at eclectic homeschooling. 
  • See all the resources and curriculum ideas in this post. It’s all up for grabs with eclectic homeschooling. 

 

More Homeschool Methods 

As I’ve said, in our homeschool, we incorporate pieces of all the methods I’ve discussed so far. But there are other methods you might want to consider as well.  

  • Unschooling – Although this approach doesn’t appeal to me personally, I have seen in work in some families. I suspect it depends on the family and the child. I would make sure you are meeting your homeschool laws and do some reading on the topic.  I do think that often people confuse unschooling with delight-directed schooling.  To learn more, look up the author John Holt for a place to start! 
  • Principle Approach – This approach focuses on teaching students to reason biblically through every area of life using 7 core biblical principles. The approach is applied to all subjects. Find out more about this method in this guest post or at Principled Academy
  • Montessori – This is an early education method that has a humanistic foundation but can be adapted for use in the Christian homeschool as well. It focuses on self-regulation, personal habits, providing a learning opportunities throughout the home they can choose from, and includes some delight-directed elements. If you’re interested in Montessori, I would check out Deb from Living Montessori Now. I don’t know her personally, but hers was a blog I came across early on and it was fun to see how she homeschooled.   
  • Waldorf – This method is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner and focuses on holistic education and an emphasis on movement, nature, and awareness. While some of the teaching tools of Waldorf education might be adapted for use in a Christian homeschool, parents would be wise to research the religious thoughts of the founder (including anthroposophy) as they are definitely not biblical. 
  • Reggio Emilia – This approach focuses on inquiry-based learning, investing time in in-depth projects to explore those interests, and giving children plenty of opportunities to express themselves and collaborate with others. It also includes using a variety of activities (touching, moving, listening, and observing) to explore various aspects of a certain idea or concept being learned, drawing from a multiple intelligences approach.  
  • Worldschooling – This is more of a movement of homeschoolers who have embraced the freedom of homeschooling and chosen to combine family worldwide travel with home education. It often focuses on finding learning experiences in the people and places they encounter along the way.  
  • Roadschooling – Similarly, roadschoolers have gone mobile, but by road instead of worldwide travel. They often take to RVs and travel the country. Both of these groups often incorporate other methods of homeschooling, but with the added benefit of travel and destinations.

 

Additional Tools for Your Homeschool Toolbox

In addition to methods and movements, there are certain homeschool tools that have become popular and may have a big impact on HOW you teach your children. These are used along with one or more homeschool methods described above. 

  • Co-Ops – Families often join together to form co-ops or become members of existing co-ops. There are co-ops for various homeschooling methods available. These may or may not include a fee and often come with shared teaching / activity responsibilities. 
  • Notebooking – This is one of my personal favorite tools. Notebooking is writing and/or drawing to tell in a child’s own words what they read or learned. It can be used to teach several subjects at once, including the topic being written about (history, science, etc.) as well as language arts skills.  
  • Literature-Based – You may hear homeschoolers say that they use a “literature-based” homeschool. This may mean a particular curriculum that uses literature to teach, or a method that emphasizes reading good books, such as Charlotte Mason or classical education. 
  • Box Curriculum – Many homeschoolers start out their journey by purchasing a “box curriculum,” which simply means a grade level of curriculum all from one company. Several companies, coming from different homeschool methods, provide box curriculum options.  
  • Online / Distance Learning – There are online and distance learning options available for independent homeschoolers (such as BJU Press Homeschool). Many times families will use one or two courses from these options, but many homeschoolers also do complete online/distance learning. The only thing to be aware of when you consider this option is that some online curriculum options are actually government-funded public school at home options, and that’s a different thing. Usually “charter school” “K12” and “public school at home” are phrases you’ll see to identify them. 

 

WHEW! That was a whole lot of information! I hope that it is helpful to you as you navigate all the various homeschool methods and homeschool styles available to you. 

~ Tauna


 

GIVEAWAY – No Sweat Nature Study 3-Month Membership!

One of my favorite sources of Charlotte Mason homeschooling tips and resources Our Journey Westward. One Proverbial Homemaker reader will win a 3-month membership to No Sweat Nature Study LIVE! It includes 2 live nature study sessions a month (with replays available), access to all past video sessions, free access to all the downloadable No Sweat Nature Study curriculum packs, and more! Our family really enjoys this resources and I know you will too!

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 20th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

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One Room Schoolhouse: Multi-Level Homeschooling Tips and Tricks https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/multi-level-homeschooling-tips-and-tricks.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/multi-level-homeschooling-tips-and-tricks.html#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2020 08:05:59 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=24486 *** Hey! There’s a BIG curriculum giveaway at the end of this post worth over $1,000! Don’t miss it! *** Does it ever feel like you’re juggling a thousand tasks and hundred kids, trying to get all the things done with some measure of success? As more and more kids in our families enter into […]

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*** Hey! There’s a BIG curriculum giveaway at the end of this post worth over $1,000! Don’t miss it! ***

Does it ever feel like you’re juggling a thousand tasks and hundred kids, trying to get all the things done with some measure of success? As more and more kids in our families enter into the schooling years, homeschool moms (especially the large family moms) have a unique challenge: we are trying to navigate the one room schoolhouse model and figure out how to do multi-level homeschooling!

How do you keep the tots and preschoolers busy while hand-holidng your early readers and writers and keeping the papers graded and the instruction on-point for the older kids? All without losing your sanity or just watching it fall apart? 

Well, truth be told, some days it falls apart. (Let’s just keep it real, shall we?) Teaching multiple grades can seem daunting. But the trick to making progress in spite of the “off” days is to be flexible, set realistic expectations, and employ some tried-and-true multi-level teaching tips and tricks for our version of the one room schoolhouse! 

Struggling to homeschool several ages? You'll love these multi-level homeschooling tips and tricks!

 

Multi-Level Homeschooling Tips and Tricks

There are several ideas you can try to make multi-level teaching work for you and your family. I have tried several and still employ many of these tips for teaching multiple grades. You veteran homeschool mamas, feel free to add to this list yourself in the comments! 

Do More Group Work 

When you are teaching multiple grades, it is relatively easy to find curriculum that involves a reading of some kind (text, living books, etc.) that can be done as a family during a meal. It’s a great “morning time” or “basket time” activity to do together!

During our morning basket, which is an excellent multi-level homeschooling tool, we eat breakfast and at least cover our group lessons for Bible and memory work. Then after chores we come back together for another group time rotating through art, music, nature study, etc. Afterward our older kids follow that up with extension activities that suit their level, such as drawing and/or writing about what we studied, or doing an extra reading on their own. 

Similarly, we do projects, experiments, field trips, and other group activities together to extend our learning, and then assign additional reading, notebooking, or worksheets for the older kids to deepen the learning experiences without adding more time to your own schedule!  Combining subjects and activities is a great strategy for the homeschool one room schoolhouse. 

Round Robin for Teaching Multiple Grades

While group work is helpful, there are subjects that the kids will do on their own, such as math, reading, and writing. We will all sit down at the table and they will start working. I start with my younger kids first since they only do almost an hour a day. They start working on their tasks as I bounce around the table and help each one as they need it. That could be doing a reading lesson, answering a math question, reviewing their handwriting and giving feedback, etc. 

My older kids will float in and out during the day to do any 1:1 instruction needed, do dictation, ask a question, or get direction on the next thing on their list. This round-robin type management approach may seem a little chaotic sometimes, but it’s an efficient way to get through our work quickly and keep everyone moving forward.

Use Nap Time / Quiet Time 

Every day we have quiet time (nap time if possible for the youngest children). During this time the older kids often take advantage of the quiet to finish up any independent work they didn’t complete that morning that needs more focus, and I usually have a break or some  1:1 sessions with any child who needs extra help with a subject that’s challenging for them. It’s a great way to focus since the littles aren’t needing attention!

However, I do try to keep that teaching time brief during nap time and reserve the more independent work for that slot. Why? Because I need to get other work done, take a break myself, or even take a power nap! Nobody likes being homeschooled by an exhausted mama or one who is stretched so thin she’s about to snap. So use that golden time wisely! 

Use Audiobooks

Audiobooks are one of my all-time favorite multi-level homeschooling tips and tricks. With audiobooks, my olders can spend some of that quiet time learning quietly and getting a little rest themselves while they listen and learn. When it’s meal time, which is one of our regular read-aloud times, and I. just. can’t… audiobooks to the rescue! Car rides are even better, using up that time on the road when your kids are a captive audience to learn something new or reinforce a subject.

We use all kinds of audiobooks for homeschooling, including both fiction and non-fiction. Some homeschool companies offer audio versions of their materials now, too, which is excellent! You can do the lessons together and use the audios for review, or use the audios for the main content, which is especially effective for those audio learners.  

 Have Older Kids Help Younger Kids

Begin teaching your older kids to help with the younger kids. There are many ways they can do this. They can play with or read to the preschoolers and babies, do simple math or reading practice with the younger kids, enjoy special outside time with a sibling, and more! 

Some people worry about putting too much on the older kids with this kind of approach. My feeling is that as long as I don’t rely too heavily on my older kids and treat their time with appreciation, including them in helping their siblings in these ways can be good for their character, bless their relationship with their siblings, and help them know how important they are to the overall functioning of the family! It’s a good situation, in my opinion. 

Keep the Younger Kids Occupied 

Doing group work and including your younger kids in on “lessons” when they want to is a huge help. However there are times when you just need to keep them occupied! When we have read aloud time, such as during our morning time routine I mentioned above, I have coloring books and pages on hand with crayons, pencils, and markers. When they finish eating they can color or draw while they listen to me complete the day’s morning time reading. It’s simple but it works!

Most of the time my younger children play until I call them to the table to do their own lessons with mom. They spend a lot of time in our backyard or playing around the house, and we’ve set up areas where they can play without disturbing everyone else. Mostly. I mean, I do have four boys. 

I also keep activities on hand for their own play discovery or to pull out when things are just getting too crazy and I need a little bit longer to finish with the olders.

Here are some ideas: 

  • Mini indoor trampoline 
  • Baskets of books
  • Box of musical toys
  • Box of costumes
  • Busy bags (look them up! lots of ideas) 
  • Playdoh
  • Water painting books
  • Play kitchen
  • Chalk board with chalk or little paint brushes and a little water to “paint” with
  • Bubbles
  • A bug collecting kit
  • Wikki Sticks
  • Card making supplies
  • Pinto beans and pouring containers and tools
  • Blues Clues (we try not to do screen time, but there are days…)
  • Find more ideas here!

Teach Independence 

As my kids get to be about third grade level, we work more on having them do independent learning. I still do 1:1 instruction for certain subjects, more so depending on the kid, but teaching them to do more independent time management is valuable for us all and essential for multi-level homeschooling.

They have their own loop schedule they work through and touch base with me after each assignment is complete. As they get older they don’t have to check in so much. But the idea is they do their work before their play (with reasonable breaks, of course). 

We also take advantage of some online learning options. For us it’s important to be sure not to overdo online lessons where I’m not intimately involved in their work (especially for the 11 and under ages). But we do make use of technology as a teaching tool because not only can be a blessing for mama but it can teach important computer skills.  

Be Watchful and Adjust As Needed

As with all things homeschooling, there is no one size fits all. We experiment with different resources and ideas to make multi-level homeschooling more effective, and then prayerfully observe the results.

Most often a simple tweak to how we’re doing things will fix any issues, but whether or not we use a one room school house model, I’ve learned that the best thing for my children and their individual needs is a watchful and flexible mom who can adjust their homeschool program as needed to help them thrive

GIANT Bundle Giveaway – Homeschool Curriculum to Start the Year Right!

This is our final bundle in the big How to Start Homeschooling series here on Proverbial Homemaker! Be sure to check out all the great posts and giveaways– we have 3 bundles like this one PLUS 10+ individual giveaways AND articles that give you all the info you need to launch into your homeschool year with confidence! 

*** Note: Although I look into each resource before adding it to a giveaway on my blog, unless otherwise indicated I have not thoroughly vetted all  companies or curricula and do not personally recommend them. Always prayerfully use discretion when choosing curriculum for your children. 

1 Year Membership to Schoolhouse Teachers ($224.97 value)

Schoolhouse Teachers is a resource we’ve used as a supplement in our home for years (although many families use it for their entire homeschool). It is a Christian curriculum site with hundreds of self-paced online courses for your kids ages pre-k through high school. They cover ALL ages and ALL subjects. One membership gives you access for all your kids!  It comes with some great perks, too, teacher helps, college and career planning, portfolio builder, and more. 

Charlotte Mason Bundle from Our Journey Westward ($43 value)

Want to get started with Charlotte Mason homeschooling method? This bundle from Our Journey Westward will help!  Some of our favorite nature study resources are in this store and they make a great addition to our homeschool! 

  • Masterclass: Charlotte Mason Inspired Designing a Practical Homeschool Schedule – You really can have a practical homeschool schedule that includes all the academics, several of the extras, and lots of peace and joy. Let me help you develop your perfect plan! 
  • Charlotte Mason Homeschooling in 18 Easy Lessons The Charlotte Mason homeschooling method encourages curiosity, enthusiasm and excellence learning…and in life. This book guides you step-by-step through implementing Charlotte Mason’s methods in your home.
  • NaturExplorers Nature Studies (Your Choice) – NaturExplorers nature studies were written to celebrate both the traditional Charlotte Mason style of nature study and the inquiry-based exploration of project-based learning.  Which ever style you prefer, any of the 19 studies can be perfect for you.  You simply pick and choose what you and/or your children want to.  A simple walk, nature journaling, in-depth walks, experimentation, creating models, designing research projects… enjoy nature together and learn while you do it!

State History from a Christian Perspective Bundle (Up to $49.98 value)

State History from a Christian Perspective is your source for complete state history courses for all fifty states, on all levels (age 4-grade 12, correlated so you can teach all ages together). All students make a project notebook using text and state symbol pictures that we provide, along with pictures from free tourist literature. Includes tests, quizzes, and answer key. Books can be ordered individually as well.  

Giveaway includes winner’s choice of one of the following Combo Courses:

  • 3-course combo for grades 3-12, which includes the following:
    • Our Fifty States Under God (US History via 50 states in order of statehood with a timeline and progressive map study)
    • Geography of the Fifty States (US Geography via 50 states in order of statehood correlated to the geographical regions of our country to show how much geography affected the growth and settlement of our country)
    • StateHistory from a Christian Perspective (Student Booklet on state of winner’s choice plus Master Lesson Plan Book, for student to make a project notebook on his own state
  • 2-course combo for age 4 – grade 2, which includes the following:
    • Fifty States Under God for Young Learners (color-cut-paste introduction to all 50 states in order of statehood)
    • My State History Funbook (color-cut-paste introduction to the state chosen by the winner) 

Bundle of 10 Cultural and History Books from Carole P Roman ($99.90 value)

Win this 10-book bundle from Carole P. Roman! You get your choice of any 5 books from the “If You Were Me and Lived in…” cultural children’s books AND your choice of any 5 books  from the from the “If You Were Me and Lived in…” historical series.

These unique books put the reader in the shoes of a person living in that country or time period. They will learn where they might live, what their name could be, what they would call their parents, what they would wear (historical series), their parent’s occupation (historical series), currency, food, recreation, games, and sports as well as where they would take a person visiting their country. Both series open gateways to discussions broadening a child’s perception of history and culture. 

  • If you were me and lived in… culture books take readers traveling all over the globe visiting 22 countries where they can experience customs and cultures. 
  • If you were me and lived in… historical books take readers to 10 historical time periods around the world demystifying history and making it relatable to reluctant students.  
  • Book Selections: 

1 Year Family Subscription to the eTAP Online Learning Platform from eHomeschool.org ($360.00 value)

eTap Online Learning from eHomeschool.org is a complete online learning curriculum for grades K-12. (Secular) The curriculum is aligned to the national and key state standards and includes assessment exams, lessons, and tests automatically graded by the system and recorded for you. All lessons include a variety of material, such as videos and resources, to give each student alternative ways to learn.

  • Online Curriculum for Homeschool Families
  • Flexible Learning with Self-Paced Lessons
  • Family-Friendly Pricing
  • 14-Day Trial Available

I See, I Spell, I Learn – Literacy, Reading & Spelling Program + Amazon Fire 7 ($298 value)

Win the I See, I Spell, I Learn – Literacy, Reading & Spelling Program for ages 5 and up  (Includes Physical & Digital Products + Free Amazon Fire 7″ Tablet & Free US only Shipping)!  From early childhood literacy to K-5, a comprehensive Reading & Spelling Program for all learners in K-5, homeschoolers, children with learning differences like dyslexia, and all levels of English language learners.  For a limited time, get a Free Amazon Fire 7″ Tablet with the purchase of our complete Reading & Spelling Program.

  • “No monthly subscriptions or per student fees; one time purchase for multiple, unlimited use!”
  • “Based on established ORTON-GILLINGHAM principles
  • “This program targets all important areas of language acquisition: Phonics, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Reading Fluency (including extensive practice with sight words and homophones).” 
What’s included:
PHYSICAL PRODUCTS (Free shipping via USPS Priority Shipping)
Picture Sight Words™ Flashcards (Sets 1, 2 & 3) – Qty: 3 
Picture Homophones™ Flashcards (Sets 1 & 2) – Qty: 2 
Phonics & Sight Words storybooks Levels A, B & C – Qty: 3 
(I See, I Spell, I Learn® physical products – learning materials in this program are manufactured in the USA).
 
eWORKBOOKS – DOWNLOADABLE after the order
Picture Sight Words™ eWorkbooks (for Sets 1 & 2) – Qty: 2 eWorkbooks
Picture Homophones™ eWorkbooks (for Sets 1 & 2) – Qty: 2 eWorkbooks 
Phonics & Short Vowel eWorkbooks (1 to 5) – Qty: 5 eWorkbooks* 
*(Please email us if you are a Barton tutor or a parent following the Barton program. We have Phonics & Short Vowel eWorkbooks 1 to 5 that follow the Barton program and we will email those to you for free!) 
 
Includes one FREE Amazon Fire 7 Tablet (7″ display, 16 GB) – $49 Value (For US orders only)
 
*** Note from Tauna: Curriculum purchase also comes with a free children’s book that is generically spiritual in nature that I would not recommend. Giveaway prize may not include this book. The curriculum itself is secular and looks like a great resource. 
 

 

ENTER TO WIN THE GIVEAWAY!

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 17th at 11:59pm PST. Each vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

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Learning Styles in Children (and strategies for teaching each one) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/learning-styles.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/learning-styles.html#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2020 01:18:23 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27157 *** Hey! There’s a full curriculum giveaway at the bottom of this post! Don’t miss out. *** One of the most helpful concepts in my homeschooling has been the idea of learning styles. Knowing the different learning style and which one(s) your child favors can be useful for a variety of reasons, but the main […]

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*** Hey! There’s a full curriculum giveaway at the bottom of this post! Don’t miss out. ***

One of the most helpful concepts in my homeschooling has been the idea of learning styles. Knowing the different learning style and which one(s) your child favors can be useful for a variety of reasons, but the main one is for troubleshooting curriculum or learning challenges.

The problem is, there is a lot of varying information out there on what learning styles there are whether they are really that important. In this article I’m going to explain what learning styles are, briefly describe the the most common models, and share which one has been most useful to me as a homeschool mom. I’ll also share some teaching tips that can help!

Wondering what your child’s learning style is? Find out about different learning styles and teaching tips to help with each one.

 

What are Learning Styles? 

A child’s learning style is basically a way of describing the method through which they most effectively process and learn information. Of course, there are a lot of factors that go into how your child will learn, such as their stage of development, emotional state, environment, etc. It’s not like learning styles are the deciding factor on how well your child learns something. 

When we say that someone has a particular learning style, we mean that it is their preferred method of taking in information and they are better able to learn when that method is used. You find out what your child’s learning style is through observation and seeing how they respond to methods that use different learning styles. 

Different Learning Styles

There are not only different learning styles, but there are different models for explaining them. So if you go search Google for “learning styles” you’re likely to find different ways of labeling and organizing learning styles. So which one is the best? 

  • VAK Learning Styles (3 learning styles) – The VAK is the most commonly discussed model and stands for Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (hands-on or movement). 
  • VARK Learning Styles (4 learning styles) – The next most popular model you’ll find is the VARK: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. In this model Reading/Writing as a method is called out as a separate style.
  • 7 Learning Styles (multiple intelligences theory)  The third model I’ve seen discussed most often identifies 7 styles: Visual (Spatial), Auditory (Musical), Verbal (Linguistic), Physical (Kinesthetic), Logical (Mathematical), Social (Interpersonal), and Solitary (Intrapersonal)

Now, the reason why I listed these 3 main models is to show you that there is much more to learning styles than I am going to explain here. Feel free to dig into each of these models if you want to learn more about them! 

But if you’re a busy homeschool mom like me, you probably just want to know what info is really helpful for teaching your own kids. Personally, I have found the VAK model to be completely sufficient and very useful in our homeschool, so I’m going to focus on that one here. 

VAK Learning Styles for Homeschooling 

Here is a summary of the VAK learning styles:

  • Visual learning style – Visual learners absorb and retain information better when it is presented visually. For example, animations, infographics, photos, diagrams, maps, charts, models, etc.  
  • Auditory learning style – Auditory learners do better with information that they can listen to. When they listen to a lecture, song, recitation, or even information they themselves speak out loud. 
  • Kinesthetic learning style – A kinesthetic learner learns best with a physical experience. They thrive with hands-on learning, studying while moving in some way, or even just interacting with an object (like a stress ball) while they learn. 

I think all kids start out more strongly in the kinesthetic camp. As they grow and mature, however, you’ll be able to see evidence that they favor one or more learning style.  

[Bible Drawing Notebook – Great for Visual Learners]

Why Is Knowing My Child’s Learning Style Important? 

I’m not sure I’d call learning styles “important.” They can be useful and are a handy tool in your homeschool mom toolbox. But don’t let labels and boxes dictate how you see your child and how you teach them. Most of us are a combination of all of these styles and we can all benefit from learning to learn with styles that aren’t dominant for us.  

I’ve also heard some say that learning styles aren’t really a thing – that learning styles are a myth or are outdated psychobabble that doesn’t really apply in real world learning. Well… I can’t speak to what the research is or even where the idea of learning styles came from. What I can say is that I have recognized distinct tendencies in each of my 6 kid to prefer and thrive with one of these learning styles, and have found a measure of success when I adjust materials or methods to fit their learning style better. That’s good enough for me. 

Where I find learning styles most useful is in three ways: 

  1. Troubleshooting a behavior issues – I’ve noticed that my kids who are more auditory often have a personal limit when it comes to noise in their day. The same is true of visual stimulation for my visual learners, and a too much or too little physical activity for my kinesthetic kids. It never excuses wrong behavior, but it helps me understand how best to care for and redirect them after any discipline or character instruction is given. 
  2. Troubleshooting a curriculum / learning challenge – When you hit a road block with your child, sometimes the problem can be helped by making adjustments to how you are teaching the subject to them. You can either adjust your existing curriculum to focus on their strongest learning style, or find new curriculum that is designed to focus on that learning style.
  3. Maximizing learning and retention – No matter what my child’s learning style is, I’ve become fond of materials that already incorporate all of them. My children are typically more engaged and retain the information better.    

And beyond that, understanding learning styles and observing them in my child is just one more way I can delight in my children and the unique way God created them. 

[Bible Brick Challenges – Great for Multiple Learning Styles!]

Bible Brick Challenges at Proverbial Homemaker

How Do I Know My Child’s Learning Style? 

As I mentioned, once you are familiar with the learning styles and how to spot them, you’ll start to notice different preferences and tendencies in your children. I usually start to notice them more prominently around ages 5 and up, but every kid is different. Here are some things to look for to give you clues to your child’s learning styles. 

Your child might be a visual learner if… 

  • They create word pictures to describe an idea or event.
  • They easily remember faces and places.
  • They strongly enjoy paining, drawing, and crafts.
  • Very observant, noticing things around them that others may not.
  • They like things to be listed or written down and often take notes. 
  • They strongly enjoy reading. 

Your child might be an auditory learner if…

  • They strongly enjoy music and audiobooks.
  • They are always humming or talking.
  • They have an ear for music or an attitude for playing music.
  • They remember better when they’ve heard instructions spoken out loud.
  • It’s easy for them to remember jokes and jingles.
  • They can retell a story they heard word for word.

Your child might be a kinesthetic learner if… 

  • They are very physical (wrestling, sports, hug a lot, etc.).
  • They are always fidgety (tapping a foot or pencil, tearing or folding paper, etc.).
  • They talk with their hands a lot and sometimes manipulate objects to explain an event or idea.
  • They like to build things, tear things apart, and create hands-on crafts.
  • They are always touching things around them as they walk through a mall or store. 
  • They have excellent hand-eye coordination. 

Teaching Tips for Each Learning Style 

When you find that your child favors a certain style, try these teaching tips and materials to adjust what you’re doing. See if they pay more attention and retain the information better!

I like to choose curriculum that covers all of the learning styles if possible. Even for those that don’t, you’ll find that you can easily add the ideas below to make it work for any learning style you want to focus on. 

Visual Learning Style

  • Draw diagrams and pictures to help your child understand concepts.
  • Teach your child to take notes using mind maps, diagrams, doodles, etc.
  • Use posters, maps, and timelines with graphics for learning aids.
  • Visualize spelling of words during dictation time. 
  • Visualize how an event happened and act it out or describe it.
  • Use books with detailed and vivid illustrations or photographs.
  • Include assignments with opportunities to draw and illustrate what they’ve learned.
  • Provide visual blockers (like cardboard folding panels) to help focus when distracted.
  • Use videos to help reinforce lessons being taught.
  • Have them create diagrams, dioramas, paintings, and other visual representations of what they learned.

Auditory Learning Style

  • Make good use of audiobooks and podcasts for your lessons. 
  • Have them provide oral narrations of what they learned. 
  • Always provide verbal instructions or be sure to read aloud the written instructions.
  • Use a recorder to record notes, do verbal reports and presentations, and pre-write papers.
  • Use Charlotte Mason style dictation exercises for teaching spelling and grammar.
  • Discuss literature, history, and any other readings.  
  • Use recitation to learn memory work, repeating back phrases until memorized.
  • Make and/or use songs for memory work, such as for Scripture, skip counting, geography, etc.
  • Provide noise-cancelling headphones to block out distractions. 

Kinesthetic Learning Style

  • Trace letters in the air or in foam.
  • Draw their finger under a line as they read. 
  • Jump in place or on a trampoline as they recite facts or memory work.
  • Use educational games that are active and use full body movement.
  • Allow use of a balance ball or moving chair while sitting at the table (they even sell some for this purpose).
  • Allow use of fidget toys or pencil tapping during lessons. 
  • Use learning activities that allow your child to manipulate objects (math manipulatives, letter tiles, board games, lap books, etc.)
  • Have them write out words and math problems in big figures on a whiteboard or construction paper.
  • Get some physical exercise in before sit down work.
  • Have them act out or physically demonstrate their understanding of an event or idea.
  • Provide frequent breaks with some activity.
  • Get an indoor trampoline, punching bag, or obstacle course set up for lesson breaks.
  • Use puzzles, models, crafts, and other hands-on learning as a part of your homeschool lessons.   

[Read: Busy Homeschool Mom’s Cool Bag of Tricks]

Giveaway: Full Year of Schoolhouse Teachers!

This giveaway is part of the How to Start Homeschooling series here on Proverbial Homemaker! Don’t miss ALL the giveaways. You can find them here through August 2020!

Enter to win 1 Year Membership to Schoolhouse Teachers ($224.97 value) 

Schoolhouse Teachers is a resource we’ve used as a supplement in our home for years (although many families use it for their entire homeschool). It is a Christian curriculum site with hundreds of self-paced online courses for your kids ages pre-k through high school. They cover ALL ages and ALL subjects. One membership gives you access for all your kids!  It comes with some great perks, too, teacher helps, college and career planning, portfolio builder, and more. 

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 16th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What is Deschooling and How Does it Work? https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/deschooling.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/deschooling.html#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2020 19:21:52 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27135 If you’ve started looking into homeschooling, you’ve probably come across the term “deschooling.” It’s a particularly popular suggestion when you talk amongst a group of homeschoolers about how to get started. “Be sure to take some time to deschool,” they might way. But what does that actually mean and how does deschooling work?   What […]

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If you’ve started looking into homeschooling, you’ve probably come across the term “deschooling.” It’s a particularly popular suggestion when you talk amongst a group of homeschoolers about how to get started. “Be sure to take some time to deschool,” they might way. But what does that actually mean and how does deschooling work?  

Just starting homeschooling? Consider taking some time to deschool! Deschooling helps set your homeschool up for success.

What is Deschooling?

Deschooling is a time of intentional effort on the part of parents to dump the “school” perspective from their daily life. It means shedding the public school constraints, expectations, and routines that has become such an integrated part of our culture.

Keep in mind that deschooling isn’t the same as unschooling. Deschooling is a temporary transition period or a time of purging the public school out of our heads. Unschooling is a homeschool philosophy that doesn’t provide any instruction or guidance at all and is a longer-term approach that some families take. Deschooling, however, is for the short term, and after you’re done with it you can move into whatever homeschool methods and styles you choose.

Who Needs to Deschool?

Most likely, everyone needs to deschool at some point. Here’s a list of some folks who can benefit from it:

  • Kids who have recently been pulled out of school
  • The parents who withdrew them
  • Parents who themselves attended public/private school
  • Parents who were taught using materials that were designed for private school (which is what early homeschool materials were)
  • Parents who worry or who are often told by those close to them that homeschooling is a mistake
  • Parents who feel tempted to replicate public school at home
  • Parents who are unsure what to teach and assume the government is the logical source of that information

In those early years of homeschooling journey, that list covers pretty much everyone. And, let’s admit it, homeschool moms… some of us may start to realize that even after years of homeschooling, we have drifted into a “school culture” mindset that isn’t working that well for our families right now. That’s ok. We can benefit from some deschooling at times, too!

Why is Deschooling Important?

Deschooling helps you evaluate your assumptions through the experience of living life with your children unhindered by the constraints of institutionalized schooling. It helps you more confidently answer this most important question: “What is the best education for my child and who is best suited to teach them?”

The process of deschooling can be a huge benefit to your family: 

  • Helps you practice leaning on the Lord and turning to Him in prayer for all things. This is a great time to establish a habit of homeschool prayer!
  • Allows time to establish family rhythms and routines.
  • Helps you focus on foundational discipleship, relationship, character issues first.
  • Starts you out with exploration of the interests, personality traits, and strengths of your children.
  • Helps you settle into methods and styles that are actually a good fit for you, rather than what someone else is doing.
  • Saves you time and money by keeping you from bouncing from curriculum to curriculum as often.
  • Helps avoid running to right to public school schedules, systems, styles, etc. when you hit road bumps along the homeschooling way.
  • You’ll practice stepping outside your comfort zone to find creative solutions.
  • Provides for a more peaceful transition to homeschooling.
  • Takes some of the stress and pressure down a few notches so you can actually ENJOY the time you have with your children!

Maybe you’re convinced now that this is worth a shot but aren’t sure how to actually DO this deschooling thing. Let’s dig into that next.

Just starting homeschooling? Consider taking some time to deschool! Deschooling helps set your homeschool up for success.

So, How do I Deschool?

First, make sure you know what your state homeschool laws are. If you have a high regulation state, you’ll need to work out how you are going to deschool in that context. You may consider reaching out to unschoolers in your area and asking how they handle things like attendance and subject requirements, and see if you can follow suit during your temporary deschooling time.

Once you think you’re ready to start deschooling, here are some things to keep in mind.

What to do to start deschooling: 

  • Block out time on your calendar for deschooling and choose a time when school would normally be happening.
  • Decide on a basic routine (not a time-bound schedule, but a general routine) for your days.
  • If desired, make a list of fun trips, trails to hike, life skills to explore, books to read aloud, etc. Like a bucket list.
  • Make regular dates with each kid for 1:1 time. This can be an activity out of the house or something at home that’s fun.
  • Observe your children and watch for what they enjoy, their strengths and interests, how they learn, etc.
  • When you get antsy, submit your fears and worries to the Lord. It also helps to look up more articles on deschooling and remember why you’re doing this.

What NOT to do:

  • If possible, don’t deschool over the summer or other typical school breaks. The goal is to break out of the school mindset. Not doing school during vacation is what everyone does, so trying that will simply not bring about the intended results here.
  • Don’t overplan deschooling time. Having a basic routine and some fun things to do together is great. Resist the temptation to test out homeschool schedules, sneak in formal lessons, etc. Again, don’t sabotage your efforts.
  • Don’t forget that YOU are deschooling too. Hold off on researching curriculum, methods, etc. Have a notepad to jot down those questions/ideas and then set it aside until your deschooling is over.

How long you want to deschool will depend entirely on your needs and situation. I have heard some say that 1 month for every year in the public school system. I think two to four weeks is good for those who aren’t coming out of public school but just need to reset.

Ultimately, you know yourself and your family best so I would choose what seems like a reasonable amount of time and try it. Once you see your kids relax into a good routine and you’ve moved past the constant internal pressure to “do school,” that’s a good sign.

What to After Deschooling

Ideally, now the “school” will be out of your brain and your family will be in a good routine, enjoying time together. Now’s the time to revisit your priorities and goals for homeschooling, prayerfully asking the Lord to guide you.

Look at the various methods and curriculum options out there and see which ones will be good tools for the coming year to meet your goals and priorities. Remember: you are the boss and your curriculum and methods are just tools.

Will Deschooling Solve All My Problems?

No, deschooling is not a silver bullet. You will have challenges as you find out what really works best for you and your kids, and that’s ok! That’s part of the journey, too.

You’ll still sometimes find yourselves stressing out about what the public schools are doing or what your friends are doing. Keep praying, showing yourself and your children heaps of grace, and reminding yourself that homeschooling is a lifestyle, not a curriculum.

You’ve got this, mama. Have a great homeschool year!

~ Tauna


CLOSED – Giveaway: Teach Life Skills with SkillTrek! 

Enter to win a coupon code for a resource we use in our own home: SkillTrek! 

SkillTrek Coupon Code ($34.95 Value)

Use for your choice of products from SkillTrek! My kids really enjoy the life skills lessons they provide and we put them into our older children’s homeschool loop schedules so they’re sure to happen regularly.

You can either use their online annual membership like we do or you can get SkillTrek Express downloads to focus on the levels you want. Click here to find out more about each SkillTrek option and get an idea of what skills are taught

With your $34.95 code you can get one of the SkillTrek leveled Express kits free or deeply discounted, or apply the $34.95 code toward your first year/quarter membership of the interactive online curriculum!

By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 9th at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Homeschooling Fears ~ What’s Holding You Back? https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-fears-whats-holding-back.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-fears-whats-holding-back.html#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2020 21:05:13 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=16656 *** Hey! There’s a BIG curriculum giveaway at the end of this post worth over $700! Don’t miss it! *** I polled a group of moms to find out what their greatest homeschooling fears were when they first started. I wasn’t too surprised by their answers because I had them at one time, too. Fear […]

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*** Hey! There’s a BIG curriculum giveaway at the end of this post worth over $700! Don’t miss it! ***

I polled a group of moms to find out what their greatest homeschooling fears were when they first started. I wasn’t too surprised by their answers because I had them at one time, too. Fear is a natural human emotion. It protects us from physical and psychological pain, yet it can also be paralyzing.

It’s good to research homeschooling and weigh the benefits against the risks before jumping in, but I’m hoping that by addressing your homeschooling fears, I can help you move past them into homeschooling with joy and confidence.

Struggling with doubts and homeschooling fears? Find the encouragement and confidence you need!

Some of the Most Common Homeschooling Fears

You’re not good enough. That’s what the enemy wants you to believe, but just think about that for a minute. Who loves your children more than you? Who knows your children better than you?

You aren’t a certified teacher? Research by the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) shows that homeschooled children consistently outperform students in both public and private schools. The education level of the parents makes an almost indiscernible difference, even if they’re a certified teacher.

Did you graduate high school? If you have a diploma from a public high school and you don’t feel qualified to teach your own children, what does that tell you? Even if you didn’t get a high school diploma, if you know how to read, you can teach your children. There are curriculums that provide everything you need, some even provide scripts. You don’t have to know everything. Nobody does!

Did you know how to parent before you had children? Probably not. Most of us learn on the job. Whether you realize it, or not, you’ve been homeschooling since they were born. While they were with you they learned to sit up, walk, and talk. You didn’t have to teach them all of that, just encourage them a little. It’s the same way with homeschooling. God has instilled in them the desire to explore their environment and learn. You just need to provide some resources and assistance.

       The only prerequisite for teaching your children is your love for them…Check!

Finances: Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are a lot of free resources on the internet, and there are other ways of cutting corners such as shopping garage sales and thrift stores, and buying second-hand. There are Facebook groups for homeschooling cheaply. Curriculum that allows you to teach multiple students at once helps with both finance and time management.

Public schools spend an average of $11,000 per student. Homeschool families are estimated to spend an average of about $900 per child, and many families spend far less than that. Again, homeschoolers test higher than public schooled students. It isn’t the amount of money that is spent that makes a school successful, it’s the quality time.

Time: Time management is always an issue. It’s true that you will have to learn to prioritize your responsibilities and be flexible, but you can do that, too. As your children grow up there will always be different classes and activities that have to be worked around, so it’s a skill that will come in handy. It’s an important life skill for your kids to learn, too.

Homeschooling is highly customizable. Your schedule is up to you and can be set up to accommodate parents’ work schedules, travel, and preferences. If you’re imagining sitting with your children 8-3, Monday through Friday, you don’t have to mimic the public school schedule. In fact, because the teacher/student ratio is so small, it doesn’t take near as much time on the teacher’s part. Additionally, as students get older, they become more independent and responsible for their own school work.

“I can’t be with my kids all day.” Yes, I’ve actually heard that a lot. What a sad statement! I’m not going to tell you that homeschooling will always be easy, because it won’t. What I will tell you, though, is that homeschooling changes the family dynamics. If discipline is a problem, it will be the first thing you will need to work on, and is among the advice I offer in “9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling.” If you don’t have obedience, then that is your first order of business. Children know when you don’t want to be with them. In fact, some of that negative behavior is due to a need for attention. Always being shuttled off to school and extra-curricular activities won’t do anything to help their behavior. What will help, is being around adults more and peers less, having boundaries that are firmly set, and consequences that are consistently enforced. One of the best gifts you can give your children is time with you, and caring enough about their future to mold them into people that others will enjoy being around.

Criticism/Lack of support: I would venture to say that most homeschool parents are faced with criticism and a lack of support. You and your spouse need to present a united front when it comes to family and friends that are less than supportive. The homeschooling father is the first line of defense and it’s his job to firmly let others know that this is the decision that the two of you have made and that’s that.

NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) has done a lot of research on homeschoolers and the results are all very encouraging. Showing this research to doubters may reassure them, but then again it may not. It’s up to you to be diligent in your homeschooling, and with time they will see that it works. 

If you feel that God has called you to homeschool, and that your commitment is to Him, that will give you the strength to keep going when the going gets tough. Invite Him to work through you to prepare your children for adulthood and the purpose He has planned for them.

Struggling with doubts and homeschooling fears? Find the encouragement and confidence you need!

Kids Missing Out: You are absolutely right, your kids are going to miss out on things. Things like peer pressure to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex; bullying, indoctrination, and sleep deprivation.

Seriously, though, homeschoolers have many opportunities for socialization. Homeschool support groups offer things such as proms, sports associations, band, choir, and graduation ceremonies. Additionally, homeschoolers take advantage of programs through churches and civic associations. There are opportunities in every community, you just have to seek them out. If you live rurally, as I do, you may need to drive to a larger city once a week or so, but it’s worth it. Finally, if there is something you want for your child, you can always organize it yourself. Kids need not miss out on anything just because they’re homeschooled.

“Keeping Up” and “Doing It Right: This is something else that you don’t need to worry about. In homeschooling, you are free to work at your children’s pace. They may be at a different grade level in each subject. Are they having trouble mastering a concept? Slow down and spend as much time as they need. Are they bored? Challenge them by picking up the pace. Every education has gaps, but with homeschooling, you get to choose where those gaps are. There’s no one “right” way. Every homeschool family is different, and even within one family, each child may use different resources. Again, you tailor your homeschool to suit your family’s needs. 

Some states require testing, so my advice is not to worry about it too much. Use the test results to get a better idea of your child’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as to rate their progress. But at the same time, take the results with a grain of salt. They don’t measure things that are truly important such as character traits and life skills. Standardized tests may be based on Common Core, which you probably are not using, and schools “teach to the test” to prepare their students.

Despite disadvantages, homeschoolers still outperform public schooled students. Go over some basic things with your children to prepare them, such as filling in the bubble, erasing completely if they change their answer, making sure they are on the right line/number, etc. Otherwise, just go on with your curriculum and don’t worry about what will be on the test. Try not to stress because your children will sense it and be affected by it.

College and Military: You may worry about your child being able to get into college or the military. Colleges are increasingly seeking out homeschool graduates. Homeschoolers are doing very well! There’s also help when you need it. HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) offers their members assistance in things like planning for high school, preparing transcripts, and help if you have any problems.

Graduation is still a celebrated accomplishment with homeschoolers. Your child may be able to take part in a group ceremony, or you can plan your own one-of-a-kind celebration. Beautiful announcements and diplomas can be ordered online with your homeschool’s information on them. Choose a name and motto, because they can be put on the diploma and will mean something to the graduate.

At one time, homeschoolers had to obtain a GED in order to get into the military, but thanks to the efforts of HSLDA, that has been changed and homeschool graduates are treated the same as other high school graduates.  

————

Tauna at Proverbial Homemaker can help you get started homeschooling! It can definitely seem overwhelming to navigate all the information out there on how to homeschool. Homeschooling fears are common! Tauna’s down-t0-earth insight can help. Launch into your homeschool journey with confidence with these 10 steps to getting started homeschooling.  

BUNDLE GIVEAWAY #2 – $721.94 Value!!

This is bundle 2 of 3 in the big How to Start Homeschooling series here on Proverbial Homemaker! Be sure to check out all the great posts and giveaways – we have 3 bundles like this one PLUS 10+ individual giveaways AND articles that give you all the info you need to launch into your homeschool year with confidence! 

You’re going to love Bundle Giveaway #2! Here’s what’s included:

Morning Time Session from The Homeschool Garden ($29.99 value) *One of Tauna’s Favorites!

This is one of my favorite new-t0-me resources this year! The Homeschool Garden provides everything you need for themed Charlotte Mason morning time sessions (of course, you can do them any time of the day) and include literature, nature study, art study, music, poetry, tea times, and more! We have been enjoying the beauty it adds to our homeschool and how simple it makes incorporating a Charlotte Mason approach.

You can have access to ALL the sessions in The Homeschool Garden membership. Enrollment is open through August! This is what we have and we love it! You can also purchase individual sessions if a certain theme catches your fancy or you want to try it out before buying membership.  The bundle giveaway includes WINNER’S CHOICE of any single morning time session from The Homeschool Garden.   

Year 1 Family Curriculum from Bible Road Trip ($125 value) *One of Tauna’s Favorites!  

Of all the things we can teach our children, a love for God and His Word is the highest priority. Bible Road Trip from Thinking Kids Press is the primary resource that our family uses to teach the Bible in our home! It is our favorite Bible curriculum, great for any family whether you homeschool or not and can serve as a backbone for intentional discipleship in your home. 

In this bundle you can win the family curriculum for Year 1 of Bible Road Trip! It covers all ages, pre-k through high school, and takes your family from Genesis through Esther with Bible readings, discussion questions, prayer, activities, crafts, and more. Be sure to check out the Scripture cards and Notebooking Journals that you can add to the main curriculum!  

1 Year Membership to Schoolhouse Teachers ($224.97 value)

Schoolhouse Teachers is a resource we’ve used as a supplement in our home for years (although many families use it for their entire homeschool). It is a Christian curriculum site with hundreds of self-paced online courses for your kids ages pre-k through high school. They cover ALL ages and ALL subjects. One membership gives you access for all your kids!  It comes with some great perks, too, teacher helps, college and career planning, portfolio builder, and more. 

A Year of Playing Skillfully from Homegrown Preschooler ($159 value)

A Year of Playing Skillfully is a wonder based, developmental school-year curriculum designed for children ages 3-7. Concrete themes and character traits have been carefully chosen for children to explore. Research based learning opportunities address the needs of the developing brain in the following areas: Language and Literacy, Math and Manipulatives, Science and Sensory, Art and Music, Gross Motor and Outdoor Play, and Social Emotional and Home Life.
 

Beautiful monthly printables help parents track each critical developmental area. Detailed instructions, supply and resource lists save precious time in planning for families with young children. The photo rich pages will inspire a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm for both parents and children. A Year of Playing Skillfully is the perfect resource to build a firm foundation for lifelong learning.

What people love about A Year of Playing Skillfully

– Inspires a sense of wonder
– Researched Based
– Go at your own pace 
– Character Building – we’re interested in the whole child
– Monthly Printables
– Photo Rich Pages
– Supply and Resource Lists 
 

Homemaker’s Friend 2020 & 20201 Daily Planners ($30.98 value)

Homemaker’s Depot is the home of Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner. Designed by a homemaker, this planner helps you fight off that frazzled feeling and stay focused each week. With good planning and God’s grace and guidance, you can fill your role successfully and take time for what matters most. 

Win the 2020 Planner & 2021 Planner set ($30.98 value) and join thousands of other satisfied women who use it daily. Includes: Monthly spreads for long-range planning, Weekly spreads for sketching out an entire week day by day, perforated shopping lists, weekly tasks lists, tabbed dividers and pockets inside the back cover.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature Level of Your Choice from Commonsense Press ($62 value)

Win a Teacher/Student combination of Learning Language Arts Through Literature, worth $62! You can choose any grade level between 1st and 8th. Learning Language Arts Through Literature is a literature-based curriculum that integrates all of the parts of language arts into one program.

Highlights/Features:
  • A complete language arts program for first grade through high school
  • First through eighth grade levels take an integrated approach to teaching. Using quality literature, lessons teach grammar, writing mechanics, vocabulary, spelling, and other language arts skills
  • Reading real books instead of basal stories makes reading more attractive to the student
  • 36 weekly lessons divided into easy-to-use daily plans.
  • Teacher friendly, with little or no teacher preparation needed
  • Lessons typically take less than an hour
  • Review activities follow each lesson providing additional skill practice
  • Assessments aid teachers in identifying strengths and weaknesses. 

13 Book Parts of Speech Bundle with video lessons and answer keys from Kirkwood Education ($90 value)

Kirkwood Education is a Christian online homeschool program for pre-k through 5th grade. It is a complete learning system for $1 a day. For this giveaway, Kirkwood Education is gifting one winner a 13-Book Parts of Speech Bundle with video lessons and answer keys! 

Learn More About Kirkwood Education Online Program: 

  • Kids Work Independently – Children learn at their own pace with video instruction, interactive lessons, and lots of practice exercises.
  • Works on all devices – Kirkwood Education Online works on all devices, including desktop computers, laptops, ipads, tablets, and smartphones! 
  • Preschool through Elementary Curriculum – Subjects include Preschool, Kindergarten, Reading, Vocabulary, Spelling, Phonics, Language Arts, Math, Bible Lessons, Science, and American History. Christian values are woven throughout the program. 
  • Flexibility to Homeschool in the Way that Works Best for Your Family – Parents create unique settings for each student to have their own personal course of study. Parents can choose a grade level to get started quickly, and all curriculum and settings can be easily adjusted at any time. 
  • Student Records – Never struggle with student records again! At a glance, parents can see exactly what students have accomplished, along with comprehension and mastery levels of each individual concept. All student records are available to print or download at any time.
  • Companion Workbooks – 75 Printable workbooks are available for pdf download at no additional cost. No printer? No problem! The workbook pages for each lesson can be viewed on the student’s screen, so students can complete assignments without printed workbooks.
  • Weekly Student Awards – Students earn award certificates that include a summary of student accomplishments over the past week and can be printed and presented to the student.
Pricing is a monthly subscription: $30 a month for a single student, and you can add students for $15 each. It is affordable, easy to set up, and easy to use. Have questions? Our dedicated Christian support team is there for you every step of the way. 
 
Connect with Kirkwood Education: 

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By entering this giveaway you agree to sign up for Proverbial Homemaker emails (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends August 14th at 11:59pm PST. Each vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

 

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This was originally a guest post for Proverbial Homemaker by Michelle Curren. She homeschooled for fourteen years until both of her children graduated high school. She is the author of  “9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling.” Her son is a small business owner, and her daughter is in college, majoring in Psychology. She lives with her husband on a rural homestead in the Missouri Ozarks with a menagerie of dogs, cats, and poultry. She writes at Mid-Life Blogger where she hopes to encourage the next generation of homeschooling families. Her blog can be found at http://midlifeblogger.com.

The post Homeschooling Fears ~ What’s Holding You Back? appeared first on Proverbial Homemaker.

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