homeschool favorites of 2014

Some of the following favorites are curriculum, some are resources.  Keep in mind I love switching things up.  I have loved different things at different times, for different reasons.  As I made thins list I only put things on that I have loved the WHOLE year.  What are some of your homeschool favorites?

1.  Apologia Science– I have only used the younger series.

2.  Who is God?– We just started this Bible study this year.  I love it so much!  Even my preschooler likes to listen in.

3. Sue Patrick’s Workbox System– Do I ever shut up about this?  No.  I won’t until everyone I know gives it a go.  AMAZING!!

4.  Composition Journals– We never buy the supplementary notebooks that go with our science and Bible.  We use comp.   books!  We also use them for spelling (instead of have a bunch of loose paper), Math (same reason), and as writing  journals for the older kids.

5.  Spelling Power– Have not regretting this K-12 spelling curriculum one moment.

6.  Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons– great for pre-K-2nd grade.

7.  Teaching Textbooks Math– I don’t think I can ever not have this in my life.  It grades, teaches, and is fun all-in-one!

8.  Purple Cow Laminater– I got this at Costco a few years ago for $20!  I love having a way to reuse printables I find  online.  No homeschool should be without one.

9.  Teachers Pay Teachers– My favorite resource for said printables.  There are endless FREE printables.

10.  iPoint evolution– I budgeted this into our school year.  I really wanted a METAL sharpener that could attach to the  wall, but this one was on sale at the beginning of the school year for $15.  I am actually glad to have this electric one so  the younger kids can use it without needing help.

11.  Confessions of a Homeschooler– This is a site I go to time after time.  She has wonderful printables and inspiration.

12.  Calendar Notebooks– This I have for pre-K through 6th grade.  My favorite FREE Calendar!  There are different  options for different grade levels.

13.  1Plus1Plus1Equals1– An awesome resource for montessori learning.  I love her sight words section most.

14.  You Can Read– FREE sight words lessons from the above site.  I love, love, love it!

15.  Local Library- THE best thing ever.  Free, fun, and a great place to meet other families.  Some of my closest friends  have been through storytime at the library.

I hope you found this helpful.  Please don’t forget to mention your favorites in the comments.

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keepin’ it real

As the rest of the country is on summer break, we here at the farm are beginning our schooling again.  People often ask me if we do school “all year”.  The answerProofread Writing is, yes.

We break often, as we see fit.  We don’t usually do school if anyone is sick.  Sometimes we have other things to do around the house.  This was the reason for our four-week break during the move.  Basically that was our “summer break”.

So long as we’re keepin’ it real here, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  It aint always fun to home school. *gasp*  It’s true.  During these times I remind myself that it would be just like this doing homework with them after school.  Can you relate?

Even if you’re not a homeschooling family, I’m sure you know precisely what I’m talking about.

Here’s the reality of what can happen during school…

…Sometimes we’re very pleased with ourselves…

…sometimes we don’t have our hair brushed…

…sometimes mom wants to pull out her hair, hide under the table and haul their tails off the public school.

Then, she remembers that a call to home school was never painted as smooth-sailing or easy.

This is why a few scheduled days each month aren’t completed.  We know when we all just need a deep breath.  We need to keep it real and admit that we’re not perfect students or super mom.

We fail but we keep moving forward.  We know we’re not perfect and that’s okay.  We persevere.

papers, books, teacher’s dirty looks…

Wow.  Summer flew by us far too quick. We are now back in session.  This will be the busiest year for this mama yet.  Isa is in 3rd grade now, learning cursive and all.  Andre is starting 2nd, Olivia is joining in with Kindergarten, and Miss Josephine is just beside herself with excitement as she begins preschool.  We are hustling and bustling around these parts.  Daily routines are making way to a happy steady family rythmn…at least that’s the “plan” :)

Shall I won’t mention here– in this place where I try to remember the “good” in each day– that it takes awhile for us to adjust?  Not everyone is pleased to do their work, not everyone is obedient, there are issues of respect for authority, and following directions isn’t everyone’s cup-of-tea.  We’ll get there, I know.  But sadly, amongst the papers and books, teacher has given plenty of dirty looks.

Don’t judge me.  I’m working on it.

Day by day I know we’ll all get to a place where expectations of new and wonderful lessons are on the forefront of every child’s mind. I don’t know how to achieve it, but I am making it my aim to instill a love for learning in them.  If you love to learn, you are self-motivated and curious.  I do believe this is the longest and most important lesson.  Wish me luck, or rather, pray.  Miracles happen, I’m sure of it.

What keeps your children motivated to learn?  I am praying that our switch in curriculum is the key.  Fun, memorable, unit studies are at our disposal.  Here’s to prayer and steadfastness.  It’s not easy to home school, it’s not always fun to home school, but it is this family’s calling and we’re sticking it out to the end.  Family in tote, books on shelf, Bible in hand, prayers on heart, with my loins girded…I’m heading into this sucker head-on.  Here’s to another year of learning.  *Raised coffee mug*  Yes, I’ve back-slid.  I fell off the wagon.  I’m drinking coffee.  And that’s all I got to say ’bout that.

First day of school 2011.