For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, January 15, 2018

Our Current Homeschool Routine - Virtual Homeschool Fair - Week 2

For week 2 of the Virtual Homeschool Fair, which is hosted by Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, we are talking method of homeschooling.

When it comes to the how of homeschooling, and the method that we all follow, with the 20 plus blogger participating I can guarantee you, no method will be the same. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and a path unto a goal or toward a direction that each family sets for itself. For us, this encompasses academic rigor, as well as Christian values and depth of understanding of how to live in this world as Christians. To that end, earlier on we had settled on a classical education.


10 years into it, I cannot say we have been very good classical homeshooler. We did not follow the method and philosophy to a T but instead adapted it to our family's routine and rhythm. We became more relaxed classical homeschooler. I had good intentions with the Latin and Greek, but not enough discipline and it did not appeal to the boys; my oldest son did two years, the other son, one year. Memorization and copywork has not always been consistent, but present. That said, even with our method becoming more relaxed Classical homeschooling, we have been able to work toward our goal. How you may ask? By focusing on the essentials:
  • Strong emphasis in the humanities
  • Solid Math foundation
  • Instruction in logic and reasonning
  • Instruction in writing and rhetoric
  • Instruction in Biblical literacy and doctrine
  • Emphasis on critical thinking
When it comes to routine my goal has always been to steer my boys to independent work. My youngest, being an organized child by nature, picked it up early and does all his school work on his own schedule. My oldest on the other hand has had a harder time, being the procrastinater and dreamer that he is. So, with this year being his sophomore year, I had to be more hands on and work with him every night on his next day's schedule. This has been going on a week, as this is the new endeavor of this semester (since the first semester on his own did not go as planned), and he has been liking it leading to his work been completed. Success!!!!

I do not run a school at home, so the boys have lots of latitude when it comes to time. They tend to go to bed late, but I do require their work to be completed on a weekly basis. My youngest is a late riser, but self-scheduled. My oldest does not mind waking up early, so we set a schedule up for him with an early start and fluid transition time between his subjects.

We always eat dinner together, which is when we go through our catechism. We play a lot of games together and watch lots of movies or TV shows together, as my oldest is very much into movies and everything that has to do with the movie industry. I find that watching the movies and tvs shows opens up a lot of conversation and keeps the boys  aware of what our society is like and what they will have to face in the future. I do not believe in sheltering. Homeschooling is shelter enough, now they need to be taught wisdom and discernment. I love this definition I read recently:
“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
—C.H. Spurgeon
Next week I will talk more specifically about the curriculum we used and have used, but for this week, this is in broad strokes, what our routine and method consists of.

What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!

How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset






















Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SchoolhouseTeachers.com - TOS Review

I am back reviewing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew and I am thrilled to start the year with one of their wonderful product: SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I have known of SchoolhouseTeachers.com for a long time, but every time I go check it out there are always new exciting things to be discovered. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is your resource heaven for homeschoolers, and I am not exaggerating! Let me tell you why.


In this review I will be talking about all the resources and benefits you get with a Yearly Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

So what is SchoolhouseTeachers.com? SchoolhouseTeachers.com is an all in one online curriculum where home educators can find everything they need to homeschool their kids from preschool to highschool. At SchoolhouseTeachers.com you will find curriculum for all subject matter and for every levels, preschool, elementary, Middle School and High School.

When I say SchoolhouseTeachers.com has everything, here is a list of all the subjects and topics you can find resources for:
Art
French
Latin
Greek
Spanish
Language Arts
Math
Science
Computer and Technology
Bible
Drama and speech
History
Geography
Health and Fitness
Social Studies (Government, Economics, Career)
Music
Unit Studies on all the topics just listed as well as holidays and transportation

I particularly love their electives section  which includes:
Architecture
Business
Film
Accounting
Cooking
Graphic Deisgn
Photography
Image editing
Social Justice
Leadership
Homesteading


With my oldest being in grade 9, I was very interested in having him take the career course elective. Most of it is done online, so I had to set my high schooler up to SchoolhouseTeachers.com on his computer. Most of the courses work in the same way, where you have to click on each lesson of the course so as to be taken to the actual lesson page. I also printed the lesson plan and workbook for him to answer the questions in.



















If all of these were not enough, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has resources for parents, the perfect homeschool parent support. You will find help with:
  • Lesson planning and homeschool planners for everyone (which was of course my first stop!). 
  • Grading
  • Special needs 
  • E-books and courses on almost every possible topic you might need help with ranging from homeschooling to homesteading. This is a section I definitely want to explore more.
  • Menu planning
  • Charts
  • Certificates
All the resources at SchoolhouseTeachers.com are easy to find, as everything is organized by grades, or by levels, or in their appropriate categories. The whole site makes perfect sense and is easy to navigate.

Additional Areas 

SchoolhouseTeachers.com has a few other adds-on on top of the full scale curricula that it offers, and these, add even more appeal and make it really well rounded.
  •  Focused Learning Centers. These are places where they did their best to pull together all the resources available for you to address a particular subject matter. 
  • Playschool Playground. Having had a baby recently, I was excited and curious about that one. There is a lot in that section to keep your little one entertained and busy.  This area is organized by topics: Bible, Motor skills, Language Arts,  Craft and Music, Manners and Healthy Habits, Numbers, Patterns and Cognitive Skills, Science, and Social Studies. I loved the songs and nursery rhymes that I was able to play for my 9 months old, but there are also plenty of printables, games and activities to explore and use.

  • The Video Library. Not only SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers you tons of curriculum, printable lessons and activities, it also offers you a wide array of videos for every levels and subjects. You will find educational, entertaining, and engaging videos, ranging from leaning to read, to studying apologetic. If you have ever heard about RightNow Media (the Netflix of Bible study as my husband calls it), you get free access to a lot of its content through SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
  • The World Book. With SchoolhouseTeachers.com you can have access to a multitude of libraries through what is called the World Book. This is an invaluable resource. With access to many databases of articles, videos, encyclopedias, interactive resources, games and activities, research and exploration of themes and topics are literally at your finger tips. You do need a log in, which your membership provides you with, and then the world of learning becomes wide opened to you. You can browse this section by category or by grade level. Again, the preschool section was pretty cool! That said, I planned to have my older boys use this in the future for any project that they will have to work on.

  • The Literacy Center. Here you will find all the resources needed to improve reading and comprehension, all gathered in one place. I love how they provide you with a collection of downloadable books and early reader collections among all the other help, strategies and resource to help your preschool and elementary children on their road to becoming fluent readers.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com's wonder resides in the breadth of what it offers. I have not quite seen an online resource that well stocked. Yes, it is online, and for some that is a stopper, but a lot of it can be printed and just the videos and World Book access would justify the membership. This is the perfect option for homeschooling on a budget as you get everything you need in one spot. It is very well rounded and exhaustive. If you already have your curriculum set out, this is still perfect for filling gaps or complement any topic or subject. I personally am planning to have my High Schooler do the Media Socialization course, as he is very much into movies, and count it as a credit.


For more on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, read what other bloggers have to say about it and make sure to check it out on social media:

Homeschool Curriculum for Everybody - {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}



Monday, January 8, 2018

Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 - Week 1 - Why Do I Homeschool

Here we are at the start of another year and time for another Virtual Homeschool Fair with Susan@Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. This years the topics are gonna be slightly different but still the same concept of showcasing what  homeschooling looks like in different homes.

Week 1 - this week - we are talking about the reasons why we are homeschooling.

This topic is a providential one for me to be talking about at this time, as I am feeling the tiredness and weariness of 10 years of homeschooling. I feel like I have no energy or drive, and yet I know I need to persevere. Why do I feel that way? I can come up with at least five reasons which, I know will set me on a road to renewed enthusiasm and maybe encourage you in the process.


1. Time with my kids is invaluable. This was one of the main reason why we ended up homeschooling to start with. The prospect of spending time with my little ones (at that time) and not missing any of their milestones was an invaluable incentive. I have no regrets in homeschooling those tender years. I got to witness and be an essential part in all their haha moment as they developed. Now that they are older, it is not quite the same feeling, but the time that I can give to my teen and pre-teen is just as much valuable and important, if not much more. The teen years are crucial years and  just being there to see them struggle, and being able to offer a helping and encouraging hand, comfort and advice, has no match. I do not think I wan to trade that.

2. My kids were entrusted to me to educate and raise. This one appeals to the conviction that I had when I started and still possess to this day, that God gave me my boys so I can teach them, guide them and support them. Whether that be spiritually or academically they are primarily my responsibility. Just because it gets hard does not give me the right to just default, in the contrary it is a call for me to learn to trust more and more on God's strength and enabling, which he promises to give when he calls.

3. The school system has a lot left to be desired. This never fails: every time I am tempted to send one of my kids to public school, I hear, see or is confronted with something that happened or takes place in schools around me - whether from the teachers, the students or the political agendas. I know I am not a perfect teacher, I know my kids are missing out on some things offered by the public school, and sometime I feel guilty about that, but then I remember the trade off and realize that I have chosen the better part.

4. Our cultural moment is a crucial one. We live in a time where being grounded in Scripture and our Christian belief is a must. Being homeschooled allowed for my boys to get that grounding, all the while being prepared to face the world that is awaiting them. The world's agenda is so "in your face" these days and I could not bring myself in good conscience to just give up and send the boys to face it when they do not need to yet!

5. Nothing beats the flexibility and fun of homeschooling. I thing every homeschooler would tell you that this is a no-brainer. Going on vacation during the off-seasons, going on a field trip when the attractions are empty, playing at the park when it is not crowded, what's there not to love? Being on your own schedule, learning at your own pace, having concepts explained to you as many times and as many ways as needed and playing a game to learn concepts in any subjects, what child would not thrive on that?

I probably could come up with many more reasons why I know homeschooling is my path, but these are the main ones that keep me going




Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love
How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
Home Education - 10 Reasons we keep going...even when it's hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
So... Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 - Week 1 - Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time
In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Why We Homeschool - It's What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset
Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace
Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses
Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our “Homeschool” Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
It's Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully
Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter


This post is also linked up on the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Worldless Wednesday

During this past year we have had an addition in our family. He is now 8 month old and very busy.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Curriculum Line up 2017-2018

It is the end of August and School for us is starting this coming Monday. Planning for this upcoming school year has been on going since May, and hopefully I have settled on what we will be using. This year I have a 9th grader and a 7th grader. I cannot believe I will have a high schooler in the house. Time really flew by....


So what are our curriculum choices for this year?

A couple of notes before I lay the choices out:

*****Last year we switched from online Math to paper Math. Hubby did not like the idea of doing Math online and wanted the boys to do paper math, so we switched to Alpha and Omega Lifepac (which is a curriculum he has used when he was in school).

**** I am planning for my high schooler to be homeschoold all the way, so am working on a 4-year high school plan that will allow him to be well equipped to take the ACT and some AP classes comes 11th grade (which are what universities in Canada look for). Some outside grades will be nice too, so I will be thinking on maybe adding some of those in grade 12. A post on our High School plan will be forth coming in the next few months.

*** We will continue copywork from selections from The Great Books Reader.

Grade 7

Math: Alpha and Omega Lifepac grade 8 and Life of Fred Algebra with Biology.
Grammar: Continue with Analytical Grammar
Writing: Writing and Rhetoric Common Place Book 6
Science: Explore the World of Physics from Masterbooks
French: French Smart book 7 and Duolingo
Bible: Veritas Bible
History/Geography/Literature: Tapestry of Grace year 4: 20th Century
Logic: Still undecided
Electives: Piano lessons still ongoing, just started grade 7

Grade 9

Math: Lifepac - Finish grade 8 and complete grade 9
Grammar: Michael Clay Thompon Magic Lens II (maybe)
Logic: The Discovery of Deduction from Classic Academic Press
Writing: Writing and Rhetoric Common Place Book 6 and 7 Sister's Guide to High School Essay Writing series
Literature/English: Learning Language Arts Through Literature gold book - American Literature
Science: Explore The World of Physics
French: French Smart book 7 and Duolingo
Bible: Veritas Bible
History/Geography/Literature/Government/PhilosophyTapestry of Grace year 4: The Twentieth Century
SAT/CAT prep:  I-pad app and library books, as well as online prep tests from PrepScholar, the ACT website, PowerScore Test Preparation, Beasley College Prep.
Electives:
  • Violin and Music Theory
  • Film series videos from Crashcourse. Completed Film History over the summer and moved on to Film production


And there you have our curriculum line up for the year 2017-1018!



Monday, January 23, 2017

Social Science, Science and Exploring our World - Our Path

Week 4 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair is here, and it is time to talk about History, Geography, and Science. You can check Homeschooling Hearts and Minds our host for this curriculum fair to read more about it.


Social Science has been the easier school subject to cover since grade 2, when I stumbled upon Tapestry of Grace. There has been no turning back and will not be. I invested in the four years of this curriculum which is rotation based curriculum. This is our 7th year using it and we are at our 2nd rotation of year 3 (The Exploration Age).

With TOG the boys have been able to explore the World from past to present from a Geography and History perspective. The advantage of repetition offered by this curriculum is that they get to look at time from different perspective when they go over certain periods of time again. Also with TOG you cover civic as well and government which allow for the kids to really understand the world around them.

My oldest has always been into History, so it has not been a problem for him to connect the material being covered to present day events and places. He has mastered his Geography through TOG. My youngest on the other hand is not a History or Geography fan, but is learning to appreciate its value and relevance. I actually had to supplement Geography for him as he just was not into it. I used various workbooks and ESA.

I have written a lot about Tapestry of Grace on this blog, so have a look for more details about this program, especially my evaluation post about it.

When it comes to Science, I have a different story to tell. I have yet to LOVE a curriculum. A reason for that might be that I am not the science girl (even though hubby is). We have covered Science using different curriculum up to now, but with my oldest almost in High School I feel I need to be more intentional about this. This year I stumble upon ClassiQuest Science Biology, but am having trouble following through with it. Biology has been the one branch of Science the most neglected in our school. I also have Mr Q Classic Science Adv Chemistry which is next on my to do.

Here for a brief overview of our path in exploring the world around us!

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Exploring Our World this week:

Note: all links will be LIVE by Monday 1/23 at noon EST.
Notebooking Our Way through History by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Studying the Where and How by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Social Science, Science and Exploring our World - Our Path by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning History Through Fiction by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
History in Our Homeschool by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Exploring Our World Through History And Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Bringing History to Life! by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
History, Living Books and the Imagination by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Exploring our world comes in many different forms. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Bible, History and Geography by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Beyond the Books - Social Studies and Science by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Exploring the World with Living Books by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
High School History & Science without Textbooks by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Exploring the World Starting with Canada by Annette @ A Net in Time
Visit The World Through Video by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Nature Study is Our Favorite Way to Do Science by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
What A Wonderful World by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Time we got Lost in the Woods by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acres

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