Tag Archives: homeschooling

Homeschooling through a Layoff

Homeschooling through a layoff

At some point in your homeschool career you are bound to deal with job changes or losses. We have had this happen to us, twice. The first time I was devastated and threw all learning out the door for the 6 weeks my husband was home. At the end of the school year we had barely put a dent in our school books and I realized I had made a big mistakes. So, the second time, I knew that I could not do that again.

Homeschooling through a layoff can be tricky. After all, you are not used to having your spouse home during the day, and your routine is going to be out of whack. However, it is important that you keep “trucking” on during the layoff. Why? Here are three reasons why.

Routine is important. It is important to your kids, and it is important to your homeschool. After the intial shock of the layoff has passed, jump back into the books. If your husband is home, have him help with homeschooling. Put him in charge of a subject he may enjoy, or split the kids up and let him take the younger ones, while you focus on the older ones. Keeping your routine will help your family keep your mind off of the layoff.

It will help provide stability. Kids pick up on things and they know it is not “normal” for your spouse to be home during the day. They are probably picking up on concerns and stressors within the home, and may be worried. Continuing homeschooling through the layoff provides them with extra stability. They will know that something is still “normal”, and that all is well within their home.

Keeps your homeschooling on track. There is nothing works than getting to summer break and realizing you are 2 months “behind”. Believe me! The year we took 6 weeks off my oldest was only in preschool, so I didn’t feel obligated to run through summer, but now that my kids are older there is no way I could ditch the books for that long and not be behind. Continuing homeschooling through a layoff will ensure that you are on task all year.

Now, there is  nothing wrong with taking an impromptu day or week off when your spouse first loses their job. But, the important thing is to keep going once that initial shock or first few days are over. This will help you keep your routine, provide stability for your children and ensure that you are on track with homeschooling!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.  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.

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

 

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, it is a great time to take a look at the goals we have set for ourselves and our children. Homeschool goals are important to have because they help keep you and your kids on task for the year. It also helps you see at a glance how far each child has progressed, and what areas you may need to work on.

Now, I am not one who plans far ahead. However, I do set a few goals each year for each child. Here is an example of what some of our goals may be:

Child 1 Child 2 Child 3
Master long division Complete 30 speed drills in a minute Learn primary colors and basic shapes
Learn basic computer skills Start cursive handwriting Begin tracing name

 

How do I Set Goals?

Setting goals does not have to be hard or serious. Sit down, make a list of what you think your child needs to know and what you want to teach. This is really simple the first few years. But can get complicated once your child gets older.

If you are not sure what goals to set for your children take a look at the standards in your state. These will give you an idea as to what the other children in your state are learning. You can find this by simply typing in “State standards for…..” and then search by grade.

Pinterest also is a great resource for finding basic information about grade levels, what a child needs to know, etc. Another great resource and one of the books I recommend EVERY homeschool parent own is Rebecca Rupp’s Learning Year by Year. This book breaks down basic information that children should know each year and includes resources to help you teach it. I typically set around 10 goals for each child.

How do I Keep Goals?

After I have set the goals I have for my children, I put them on paper or on a spreadsheet. I   then come back every few months and mark of those we have mastered. This lets me know where we are, and what I need to focus on. I can also add new goals as I see fit.

If you have a hard time finding time to work on certain skills set aside a day just to focus on one goal. We did this with one of mine who had a horrible time learning to tie her shoes. We worked on it for about an hour until she completely mastered it. But, I had to mark off other items on the list and focus on just THAT goal.

 

Setting and keeping goals in your homeschool should be a priority for most families. You will know what to work on, what your children have learned, and where you need to go after a goal is met. Goals can help keep you and your kids accountable!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.   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. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, it is a great time to take a look at the goals we have set for ourselves and our children. Homeschool goals are important to have because they help keep you and your kids on task for the year. It also helps you see at a glance how far each child has progressed, and what areas you may need to work on.

Now, I am not one who plans far ahead. However, I do set a few goals each year for each child. Here is an example of what some of our goals may be:

Child 1 Child 2 Child 3
Master long division Complete 30 speed drills in a minute Learn primary colors and basic shapes
Learn basic computer skills Start cursive handwriting Begin tracing name

 

How do I Set Goals?

Setting goals does not have to be hard or serious. Sit down, make a list of what you think your child needs to know and what you want to teach. This is really simple the first few years. But can get complicated once your child gets older.

If you are not sure what goals to set for your children take a look at the standards in your state. These will give you an idea as to what the other children in your state are learning. You can find this by simply typing in “State standards for…..” and then search by grade.

Pinterest also is a great resource for finding basic information about grade levels, what a child needs to know, etc. Another great resource and one of the books I recommend EVERY homeschool parent own is Rebecca Rupp’s Learning Year by Year. This book breaks down basic information that children should know each year and includes resources to help you teach it. I typically set around 10 goals for each child.

How do I Keep Goals?

After I have set the goals I have for my children, I put them on paper or on a spreadsheet. I   then come back every few months and mark of those we have mastered. This lets me know where we are, and what I need to focus on. I can also add new goals as I see fit.

If you have a hard time finding time to work on certain skills set aside a day just to focus on one goal. We did this with one of mine who had a horrible time learning to tie her shoes. We worked on it for about an hour until she completely mastered it. But, I had to mark off other items on the list and focus on just THAT goal.

Setting and keeping goals in your homeschool should be a priority for most families. You will know what to work on, what your children have learned, and where you need to go after a goal is met. Goals can help keep you and your kids accountable!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.   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. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Homeschool Methods 101

Homeschool methods

Whether you are a new or seasoned homeschooler, I am sure you have heard of different homeschool methods. Some you may have tried out, others you may have NO clue what they are, what they mean, or why you would want to consider them.

Navigating homeschool methods can be a daunting task. There are whole books on how to choose a method that works for your family and books on each method in particular. I am not going to get into the in-depth world of homeschool methods, but would like to introduce you to each one. If one of these stand out to you, then you may want to consider looking into it a little more.

  • Charlotte Mason-Charlotte Mason was a nineteenth-century educator. Her philosophy of books is to read “real” books or “living” books instead of textbooks or other “dumbed down” pieces of literature. She encouraged nature studies and delayed learning until around the age of six. She also encouraged children to narrate what they learned. To get a better idea of Charlotte Mason check out this book.
  • Eclectic-Most homeschoolers will fall into this category. You may use textbooks for grammar and math but decide to go the “living” book route for history. You may use computer-based curricula for science, or Unit Studies on occasion.
  • Classical-I know the least about this program; I do know there is a program built around classical education called Classical Conversations. Also, those who use the classical approach tend to focus on designated stages as their children mature. For more information, I would suggest checking out the Classical Conversations website, and the Well-Trained Mind.
  • Textbook/Traditional- Exactly what it says…you will tend to use textbooks for your education. Many will use this approach for Grammar and Math, but a textbook/traditional approach will also use them for other subjects like Science and History. This method will look similar to a public school.
  • Computer-Based-There are tons of curricula out there that have some or all subjects on the computer. Typically, these programs also grade and teach the material. One popular one is Switched on School House, there is also a new free program called Easy Peasy Homeschool that is all online.
  • Online Public School-Be aware that if you use these programs, you are not homeschooling. These programs come from state money and your child is essentially a public school student. They send you all your material for free and your child will have a certified teacher overseeing his education. Popular ones include k12 and Connections Academy.
  • Unit Studies-You pick a topic and focus all your subjects on that topic. For example: If your child wants to learn about snakes, you may read books on snakes, write a paper about snakes, study snakes for science and learn the different measurements of snakes for math…you get the idea. This is typically popular with large families because all the kids can learn together. We have done this a few times when the kids have found something they are interested in and want to study it more in depth.
  • UnSchooling-Natural, self-directed learning; the child chooses the topics he wants to study and the books he wants to read. For more information check out com

If any of these methods tend to stick out to you, I encourage you to look them up for more information. Chances are you will use a few different homeschool methods throughout your homeschool career.

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.

 

 

Make Summer Learning Happen!

Make Summer Learning Happen

It is summertime for most of us. The books are closed, and summer break is here! As homeschoolers, we have luxury of understanding that learning can happen anytime, even during the summer. But, what does summer learning look like? Whatever you want it too! There are many ways to let the learning continue throughout the summer.

Science

Let your children explore your backyard, or park if you don’t have a back yard. Let them find things in nature, like twigs, rocks, bugs, flowers or whatever else they find that is interesting. They can gather their items in a bucket or jar and take them home. Let them identify what they found, study it, and let it go back into nature.

Stay up late one night and watch the stars. See if you can find the big dipper or another constellation. Talk about the stars and why you can see them some nights and not others.

Art

There is a fantastic program I found recently called Easy Peasy Homeschool. It is a free comprehensive homeschool curriculum and it is all online. They offer a once a week art lesson that my kids have really enjoyed!

Another good art idea for summer is to have a smorgasbord day. Gather all the art materials you have in your home and let the kids have a free day! See what kind of amazing creations they make J

Take your kids for a walk and let them gather a large rock. Bring it home and paint it. They can make an animal, a person, or another item of their choosing. Just make sure they wash it first!

Reading

Summer reading programs are in full force. Check your local library to see what they offer. Bookstores like Barnes and Noble also tend to offer summer reading programs throughout the summer. If you’re looking for book recommendations check out my Pinterest board for some great books!

History

With 4th of July coming up it is a great time to learn about American History. Check out some books from the library about our founding fathers. Another great resource for American History is Liberty Kids. You can get the complete series for a reasonable price on Amazon.

Talk about your local state history, and visit an area near you that you have never been to before. There are probably untapped resources within an hour or two from your home.

There are many ways to keep learning happening throughout the summer. Learning does not have to happen just during the school year, or only with a textbook. Summer learning can happen any time you want! Just make sure the kiddos don’t realize they are learning while having fun :)

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.

 

Over Twelve Great Family Read a Louds

Family Read a louds

Do you want to make sure your child gets the best education they can? Do you want to ensure that your child has a head start in academics? If so, then the most important thing you can do for your child is read to them!

A study completed years ago title, “Becoming a Nation of Readers” found that “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success is reading”. Research has also found that reading is an accrued skill. Meaning that the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Reading to a child at a young age encourages them to read later in life. It becomes a habit, it is engrained in them, and honestly it helps them to develop a love of literature.

So, what are the best read a louds for families? Here are a few of my favorites!

  1. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  3. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  4. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  7. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  8. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  9. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  10. Stuart Little by A.A. Milne
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  12. Paddington by Michael Bond

These are just a few of some of our families favorite read a louds!