Curing Spelling & Reading Problems

Speaker: Randi St. Denis
This workshop is a list of the many books and materials for the best possible teaching of a child who struggles with reading & spelling.

Evaluate Your Homeschool – What’s Working? And What’s Not?

It's time to evaluate your homeschool. What's working, what's not? And how can you make the changes that NEED to happen?

 

We are at that point in our homeschool where many of us are about half way done. We have hit the point where quite frankly we know whether we have happy homeschoolers, or if we are just floating along!

A midyear evaluation is a great idea no matter what grades you teach or how many kids you have. You do not want to start off your second half of the year with curriculum that your kids don’t like, or using materials that you can’t stand. You want to start off on the right foot!

This is why it is SO important to evaluate your homeschool and find out what’s working, and what’s not!

Talk to Your Kids

What is their favorite subject? What is their least favorite subject? What do they want more of? What do they want less of?

How do they feel with school? Bogged down? Pressured? Or overall feel okay?

Getting a vibe from your kids regarding school will let them know that you care about what they think and how they feel regarding school. It will open the doors of communication. It may also surprise you! So, be prepared!

Evaluate School Work

Do you keep grades? How are they doing overall in school? If you don’t keep grades look at their work and determine whether or not they are up to par. Are they retaining information? Or just learning it for a test?

Find out how your children are doing overall in their school work by taking the time to look through what they have done. Ask them some questions about what they have learned this year. Expect them to have forgotten some things, but overall they should have retained a good amount of information so far.

How Are YOU Doing?

How have you felt this school year? Too much? Keeping up? What’s working for you?  Maybe you need to purchase a great planner to help you keep up with everything. Maybe a better homeschool schedule will suit your family in the New Year. Maybe things are going great and you have finally got your groove J

Look over the past few months and determine how you are doing as homeschool mom. Find the positive. Give yourself a pat on the back for finishing up the first half of the year!

When it comestime to evaluate your homeschool, it is important to be flexible.  Make a list of things you want to change and things you want to stay the same. Determine a course of action for the second half of school and get to work!

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

The Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Year round homeschooling has been a debate for some time now. Some families LOVE year round school, some say NEVER! If you have been debating year round homeschooling for awhile now you may want to take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Frequent Breaks- Year round homeschoolers can run a variety of different schedules, but they all have one thing in common. Frequent breaks! This gives students and teachers time to recharge.
  • Academic Benefits- Gone is the long summer break, which can push many children back a few months. Students do not have a long gap in their education, which allows them to retain what they have learned longer.
  • Summer boredom is gone-We all love summer, but about a month in most kids are bored. Year round homeschooling puts an end to the long summer breaks and also eliminates the need for parents to find boredom busters.
  • Flexibility-Families are able to take vacation during off season times, which allows them to save money. You also have the ability to take unplanned sickness, or family events.

Cons:

  • Frequent breaks can make it difficult to get into an established routine.
  • Some kids may have a hard time knowing they are in school during the summer while their friends in public school have a break.
  • Summer camps, 4-H and Bible Schools are all traditionally done in the summer making it a little more busy (and difficult) to fit it all in.

We   have tried both year round and traditional school schedules. For us, traditional worked for a long time however now we are going year round. The key is weighing the pros and cons and finding a homeschool schedule that works for you and your family!

 

 

A Simple Christmas

Simple Christmas

The Christmas season is upon us! A time to gather around with family and friends and share great memories, and delicious food! But too many times families feel stressed instead of blessed. They feel rushed instead peaceful. This isn’t how the season is supposed to be. Christmas should be a time of peace and reflection, a time to sit and reflect on the birth of a savior. A time to enjoy peace and goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14). The past few years we have chosen to have a simple Christmas. Maybe you would like more simplicity this holiday season as well. Here are five simple tips for a simple Christmas.

  1. Trim Your Schedule– Look at your schedule for the next few weeks. What does it look like? How many days are you going to be running from one activity to another? Does your schedule add stress? If so cut some of it out. You do not have to attend every holiday party, event, parade, or gala. Pick a few and skip the rest. Your kids will thank you! We always make it a priority to stay home all day the day after Christmas. This way the kiddos can enjoy their gifts. If this is not feasible due to work schedule or something else, then make it a point to stay home Christmas evening. Or the first Saturday after the holidays. Also, write in time with YOUR family on your Christmas schedule. Schedule a day to make a new family tradition. Have a PJ party, watch a movie, or go see the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
  2. Set a Budget– Budgeting gets rid of over spending. Before you start shopping pick who you are going to buy for, and how much you plan on spending on each person. Then divide that amount buy paychecks you have left, and voila-a budget! If you find a great sale and spend a little less than your budgeted amount, don’t feel guilty! Put the money up for next Christmas, or go ahead and stock up on birthday gifts for throughout the year.
  3. Give less gifts and more time –Gifts are great, and Christmas is known as a time of gift giving. But, if money is tight, or you have NO idea what to get a person on your list, choose to give them your time! Make a gift certificate for a “spa day” or a free night of babysitting. Give a day of house cleaning to a friend or your sister. Give your mom a day to spend with you doing something she enjoys. When it comes to your children, remember they don’t need every item on their list. We really are a country of excess. When my husband was laid off a few Christmases ago we bought our kids 3 gifts each. That was it. It was good enough for baby Jesus, and it was good enough for them. They honestly didn’t mind, and we ended up making it a normal occurence.
  4. Choose Joy– Joy is an attitude, it is a choice. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to be giving, and we can choose to feel blessed, not stressed! Don’t let the holidays get you down. Choose Joy. Choose to put a smile on your face, Choose to have a simple Christmas and Choose to reflect on what really matters this holiday season.
  5. Remember the true meaning of Christmas-Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ’s coming to Earth. It is an amazing thought and one that we should instill in our children. Celebrate advent, watch the Nativity story, go to a live nativity, or local church Christmas play. Put out a nativity in your home and act out the story from Luke Chapter 2 with your children. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan, just take a few minutes this holiday season and instill the wonder of the Christmas story in your children.

I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday season and I hope these tips encourage you to have a simple Christmas.

 

 

3 Tips for Homeschool Organization

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So, you’ve decided to homeschool! Great! Maybe you’ve been at it a few years, maybe you’re new to the whole thing, but one thing’s for certain. You’ve realized how much STUFF comes along with homeschooling!

Homeschool organization is important in homeschooling, yes, you can homeschool even if you’re not organized, but being a little organized will help a lot.

Here are three tips for homeschool organization that will help you on your homeschooling organization.

Everything has a place

When it comes to your homeschool supplies, books, and materials everything needs to have a place.  Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Bookshelves-Each child can have a shelf for their school books. Keep a shelf for your teacher’s books too!
  • Drawers-Small plastic drawers like these can be a huge help in keeping a place for things like crayons, scissors and glue.
  • Bins- Bins like these are perfect for play doh, craft supplies, paint and other items.

When everything has a place you will not lose valuable time searching for items that you need!

Put Things Away

When you are done with items, put them away. Right then. Not later in the day, not when you have time, but right then. Teach your children the same thing. This eliminates the possibility of things getting lost or ruined because they have been left out. It also keeps you and your family more organized!

Find a Good Filing System

This has been HUGE for our homeschool organization. We use a simple file stacker that has 3 places. One of these is for items that need graded one for items that are graded and one for items that need to be filed in the kid’s portfolio. Having a good filing system will let you know what needs graded, it helps your kids know what’s been graded, and what they can put away, and it helps you know what you need to file for your homeschool records.

Homeschool organization does not have to be difficult. With these three simple tips you can be on your way to a more organized homeschool!

Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom.  She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.