Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly rundown ~ Homeschooling Week 4

Saturday we celebrated a very special Princess's 1st Birthday.

Sunday of course was spent having family time, cooking, snacking, and watching the Super Bowl.

Come Monday we weren't stressing to fit everything in anymore. We've been a bit more relaxed around here this week. The kids got a lot more of play time in. I think we were trying to get too much in on a day. It was exhausting not only for myself, but I think for the kids as well. 
As I observed them this past week playing, (while learning...life its self is a huge learning experience right?) one thing really stuck out... how great they were playing together! I watched as they helped each other solve a problem one was having. I witnessed a few surprise kind moments that made my heart just melt. I witnessed a whole Lego City being erected, Minecraft wild west being built, animals being fed and good manners being used without being reminded.
There is a sense of calmness and peace in all of our lives.
Don't get me wrong, they are far from perfect and they had a few spouts, but nothing like what we had  6 months prior.
I am very proud of the boys for achieving so much in so little time and leading the direction in their education. One thing I am strict on is sticking to daily Math, Reading, and Spelling/Writing. The rest can be done weekly. I've devised a schedule for all of the extras. I try to get in Geography, History, Art, Music, and Science two days a week and we usually spend a couple of hours on each. Once the boys get interested I can keep their attention with different actives as long as it's a more hands on approach. They are enjoying making projects and reading on their own time. A lot of "creating" has been taking place on the ole homestead.

A Creeper Club?

Nate's Blue Whale Reading Project

Jaxon learned out to make videos on his tablet.

What to do with all of the junk seed catalogs! I've called them to PLEASE stop sending me seed catalogs unless they can prove that the seeds are heirloom, GMO free. Most could not give me that guarantee, so I will stick to the few I know and trust, but what to do with all of these? 
Make a garden of our dreams and then RECYCLE!
We even got creative with our spelling list.
We started using Easy Peasy Homeschool as a supplement for all of the littles and so far so good.
Xtra Math daily for Nate.
We're still adjusting and fine tuning each boy's learning style and responses to teaching styles, but over all it was a great week.

♥♪♫•.•°*°•.¸¸♥. PEACE and LOVE .•°*° ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ 


Homeschooling with Minecraft

By now I'm sure you have heard about Minecraft.
Around our house it's Minecraft...Minecraft...Minecraft!
Before I ever come across any homeschooling with Minecraft, I would give the boys ideas to build things that correlated with subjects we were working on. Now there are dedicated safe servers, classes, Unit Studies, you name it, you can find it!
Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool has a pretty great rundown and reviews for Homeschooling with Minecraft. Be sure to check it all out on her blog. MINECRAFT!!!

♥♪♫•.•°*°•.¸¸♥. PEACE and LOVE .•°*° ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"How do I get started Homeschooling?"

Several times a week I get a private message on Facebook asking the question "How do I get started Homeschooling?" I've even had a few people ask  if I could homeschool their kids too LOL
So, I thought I'd share with you some tips I've learned along the way to help you get started homeschooling. I hope you find it be informative and encourage you that you CAN do it too!

Check the homeschooling laws

It's essential you understand the homeschool laws before you get started. While some states are very relaxed in their approach toward homeschooling, others have more rigid guidelines and regulations. The strict states require regular reporting, submission of test scores, evaluations by outside professionals and sometimes home visits by state officials. Be sure to read upon the laws in your state. Also check HSLDA.org, where you can become familiar with the specific laws, filing requirements, record-keeping expectations and other regulations in your area.

Examine your child's learning style

Consider your child's personality, strengths and weaknesses, as well as their dominant learning style. Some children are visual processors, learning best by seeing, while others are auditory processors and learn by listening. Other children do best by doing.  Think about what has worked best for your child at home and school, when it comes to learning and play. Each of my boys have different learning styles. Keeps things interesting.
A variety of other homeschooling methods are Traditional method, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic, Classical education, Montessori, Unschooling, Unit Studies, Notebooking, Waldorf, Hackschooling, and the Principle Approach and so many other ways to learn and teach. Just do some research and find the right homeschooling method for your family. I find that I incorporate a little of each learning style and my teaching method. What works one day might not work the next.

Choose a homeschooling curriculum
When it comes to curriculum, you can purchase a complete homeschool curriculum, buy text books and work book separatly, create hands on activities and projects, make lapbooks, use online classes, computer programs, and so much more. The amount of homeschooling curriculum can be overwhelming. Some curriculum can be Bible based. Common Core, which we try to avoid at all cost. We are building our own curriculum. 

Find Support

It takes a village -- even when you are homeschooling. You can find a number of homeschool support and networking resources both online and in your community. You can join a local homeschool co-op, support groups of like-minded homeschooling moms in your city, online homeschooling groups through Facebook and other websites. No two homeschooling experiences are exactly alike, you can learn a lot from homeschooling parents who have been there and done that. Be sure to network, ask questions, join support groups. Not everyday is going to run smooth and perfect. Don't over do it. The whole reasoning behind homeschooling is to do it your way. What works for one family, might not work for another. Be flexible.

Here are a few of the freebie resources and sites we are currently using or checking out:

We are trying out Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschoo right now and both my 6 and 8 year old really seem to like it.

There are many Math sites and games to keep the kiddos busy and challenged. http://xtramath.org/

Lots of cool spelling and phonic sites are out there. Spellingcity.com

Youtube videos on subjects and interest, there are videos for EVERYTHING!

Google! Google is a homeschoolers best friend. You can find tons of resources via the internet.

Utilize your local public library. Get a card and visit often.

A good  printer is a MUST! And LOTS of ink!

Enchanted Learning: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html

For reading and Phonices: Starfall.com

Pinterst! There are so many great homeschool boards you could spends months on there.

Join Facebook groups for local co ops, support groups, and curriculum. There is a Facebook group for just about everything these days.

Here is a list free resources to sift through I have post d on the blog: http://freerangeschoolin.blogspot.com/2013/11/homeschooling-for-free.html

I post alot of freebie links to my blogs FB page : https://www.facebook.com/LivingaFreeRangeLife

♥♪♫•.•°*°•.¸¸♥. PEACE and LOVE .•°*° ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥