Thursday, March 12, 2015

Waiting on Spring to Arrive

What a BEAUTIFUL couple of Spring like days we have had here in the Midwest!!!
It's been a busy first part of 2015. We welcomed our 7th son Liam Donald into the world December 23rd. He is such a cutie with so much personality already! 

Liam is almost 3 months old now.

We've pretty much hibernated (the kids and I, Daddy has to go to work LOL) much of the winter taking it easy and adjusting to our new homeschool and household schedules.
The anxiety and anticipation is building for this years homestead and schooling plans!

Oh to finally get that the greenhouse built!
I have been sitting outside enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and getting a dose of natural Vitamin D.
Filling time watching the kiddos play and daydreaming about this years gardens, new farm animals, and all of the work that needs a catching up around here!

I can't wait to get back to blogging and sharing our homestead/homeschooling journey with ya'll!
♥♪♫•.•°*°•.¸¸♥. PEACE and LOVE .•°*° ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ 

How we Homeschool with a limited budget

Kelsey asks: I was looking into homeschooling, everything I've come across is very pricy. I was wondering if homeschooling is even an option for poor people? I'm a cna. And the only income for the soon to be 4 of us. Is it possible to homeschool without choosing an arm and a leg?

I get asked this a lot! How to afford homeschooling on such a limited budget?

I was CNA also. 15 years. Hats off to you! It's a tuff job!  We have 7 boys. 5 still at home so I know your concerns all to well. We've had to cut back and do things what I call the "the hard way".

It is doable, but takes time and planning. A library card,good printer and laminator is a must.
Here's how I make it work for us. Hope this helps!

My guys are still fairly young (PreK, 1st, and 3rd) so I feel there is no need to purchase a pricey curriculum for a preschooler or Kindergartner. That's just crazy! let them be young learn and PLAY!

   I so far have not purchased any pricey curriculum. I guess you can call how we school is "Hackschooling". We are eclectic secular homeschoolers. We do a mix of classical, traditional, Charlotte Mason, Montessori education. I just can't find anything that suites our learning style completely and fills each child's needs. I find that they comprehend, read, and do math at different levels. For example my "1st grader" is doing multiplication as my 3rd grader is struggling with it. My "3rd grader" reads at a 5th-6th grade level. So most likely he has already read or studied everything in curriculum level. Some I liked, but too biblical focused for my taste.

This fall I will purchase a Math program for my then "K 2nd and 4th grader". I just don't have the time that is needed right now with a new baby seeking out those resources.
 I found Saxon Math would suite our needs and learning style, but there are several great math programs I found along the way.(Around $60 new and as low as $10 used)
There are several used curriculum sites and Facebook groups. I have also found  a lot of great used books at yard sales and Resale shops. Sometimes homeschool groups will have a yearly curriculum sale. There are also Homeschool conventions held each year.

There are so many learning styles and curriculum options out there my head was spinning! So I make up our  lesson plans and unit studies. We do copy work/writing, reading, and math daily. We try to fit in Science, Geography, History, Art and Music , but that doesn't always happen.
Everyday life is a great example of teaching. I can usually find a way to turn just about any situation into a learning experience. (sometimes the kids don't even know they are learning LOL)

 I seek out freebies via Pinterest, Homeschool blogs, Facebook, FB Groups, and Google search.
Each kid has a different learning style.  I have tailored work for each kid. We  mix up our work with documentaries, workbooks, worksheets, and free online curriculum such as: Easy Peasy Homeschool, Moby Max, Discovery K12, Xtramath, Starfall, and Kham Academy. It keeps things fresh and fun. I find the boys aren't tired, bored, and whiny like they were when we stuck to just book work. When I first started I was trying to replicate what they done in public school and I got daily meltdowns. So we did a few months of "deschooling"  When we went back into it the kids were so eager to learn. THEY got to choose what interest THEM. It made learnning so much more fun! The kids would share with one another what they were reading and learning about...so they ALL were learning! That is the greatest thing about homeschooling...the freedom to choose WHAT you want to learn about and explore. Not everyone wants to be a Dr, vet, or computer tech .

  We don't have cable. We cut that out about 6 years ago and have not missed it one bit! We purchased a ROKU for around $50 and have a subscription to Netflix which runs $8 a month and recently just trying out Amazon Prime with a free 30 day trial. I find tons of great educational programming and documentary on both. And believe it not...we don't have a cell phone either (we do have a cheapie with an hour of mins for travel or emergencies)

We use educational online games as "reward".
 The kids earn their screen time by completing school work and chores.

I did purchase a few websites such as Enchanted Learning. com ($20 yr) Worksheets.com ($20 yr) ABCMOUSE.com ($50 yr which I found a total waste of $ for my PreK...all he wanted to do was "play" on there)

Get a library card if you don't already have one.
Utilize the library!  Get books on subjects of interest.

I usually spend an hour or so each evening and  plugged in on Sunday evenings searching, seeking, and planning the following weeks lesson plans.

We also homestead. So I garden, raise my own chickens, collect eggs, raise turkeys, and hogs. The kids are out there right along with me learning those skills needed to survive real life.
I hope this has helped some. Good Luck!

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