Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Managing Homeschooling with Ease

I thought I would give new homeschoolers some advice from the 23 years I've been engaged in this process.  The more children one is homeschooling...the more of a challenge the effort can be on our time and organization.  I have five children:  one in grad school, one a senior in college, one a senior at a Catholic high school, one a freshman at this Catholic high school, and one still homeschooled with me.  I homeschooled my four older children up until ninth grade where they enrolled in private high schools with an above par transition!

I have found that if I can help my kids focus on more knowledge with a subject at an earlier age, the easier it is to manage their homeschool endeavors at a later age.  For example, last year my first grader completed the entire Harcourt Science textbook.  We did science about three days out of the week.  I absolutely loved this book as the experiments were easy, many, and very instructional.  The textbook consisted three units with six chapters averaging about four lessons per chapter.  Here is the table-of-contents.

Harcourt Science - Life Science:  Living Things Grow and Change, Homes for Living Things; Earth Science: Exploring Earth's Surface, Space and Weather; Physical Science: Exploring Matter, Energy in Motion (This book is extremely manageable.  We complete about 4 to 6 great worksheets per lesson dispersed through out the week and conduct a simple experiment with easy to find items.  I can read the lesson and worksheets on the weekend so I can be prepared during the week.  We do not complete a lesson in one sitting.)

I covered more science that required my assistance with my college sons when they were in first through third grade also.  This gave them a big picture of what the discipline of science consisted of while they were at a young age.  It opened the door for them to engage in the subject more independently when they were older.  This also makes more time if you have any new members join your family in the future because, heaven knows, an infant depends entirely on mom.

This year since my first grader completed a efficient amount of science in first grade, we are able to take a science class in a coop that teaches one day a week rather than three days a week.  Our units are on the solar system, anatomy, magnetism, and birds.  It will cover less ground than his first year but is a more socially oriented method as he is participating in a wonderful group setting with like minded Christians.  A social setting can be a great asset if the kids are all learning similar morals and virtuous concepts.  An added benefit is that my partner in teaching has a nursing background and is a great teacher.  This gives us more time to focus on the new subjects he is pursuing this year with Latin and spelling.

Now, I've heard of some curriculums that don't even teach science in the early years.  I have experienced that this is more applicable to little girls than little boys.  My sons loved to be engaged in more hands on experiments.  My little girls were more happy just 'being.'  I can't say this is the same for every child, but I can definitely say it is the case in our specific family.

Therefore, if you have many children you are homeschooling...try to pick a subject you can teach them a bit more broadly and then the following year you can be a bit more relaxed in this area.  Science is a good choice because it can require more of a time and planning commitment.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Simple Woman's Daybook - Febuary 23, 2014

Outside my is a beautiful day here in Maryland about 50 degrees or so with the sun bright and shining on everything around.

I am thinking...that it will be nice when my hubby feels better and can take me out for Valentine's Day.

I am thankful...that one of my son's is going to Florida with some friends over the Spring break.

In the kitchen...we are going roast pork, potatoes, and veggies.

I am sweats, pink and black top, sneakers, and pony tail

I am creating...a craft for my journal writing coop where the theme is helping or caring and a craft for religious education class where we focus on the sacraments of initiation.

I am go for a walk later with hubby on this beautiful day.

I am wondering...what my friend will say when she knows... I know... she stole my customer from me.

I am looking forward to... Spring!

I am hearing...nice to hear the geese in the pond behind our house.  There are also birds chirping and the screens are open for the first time here.

Around the house... it is Sunday...a day for rest and relaxation!  We were just out on the back deck enjoying the weather and nature.  My girls are doing some homework and my seven year old was just playing in the yard with the watch dog.

I am praying...for an end to Christian persecution.

One of my favorite things...was seeing my hubby and daughters usher at Mass this morning.  We also saw my son's Godmother and her new baby.

A few plans for the rest of the continue to homeschool at an efficient pace.

Here are some recent pictures to share. 

See the Monument in the background.  My son's scout troop went to the Air and Space Museum in WDC this weekend.  They had a great time and I encourage all to go.

The seniors last swim meet together.  My daughter is third from the right.

At the swim meet together.

This is my first customer with a business venture I am on with friends.

This is our last journal writing class where we discussed God's Creation.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

It's time for A Simple Woman's Daybook for the month of February 2014.  Just click on this link to participate.

Outside my is about 30 degrees here in Maryland and a bit overcast. 

I am thinking...that it will be a nice break next week when I don't have to plan for coop or religious education classes due to the Presidents Day holiday.

I am thankful...that my second grader is enjoying learning how to write in cursive.

In the kitchen...we are going to have my hubby's lasagna again.

I am boots, blue jeans, and a purple shirt.

I am creating...a craft for the Creation project we are doing in my journal writing class.

I am my two daughters' swim meet.  It will be the last one for my senior.

I am wondering... what leader will realize that it is better to redefine civil unions rather than marriage because it respects the belief of all people rather than just a small percentage.

I am looking forward to... A big snow storm coming our way tonight.

I am hearing...nice music coming from the computer.

Around the house...we have new natural products to clean and there is a clean fresh scent in the air.

I am praying...for an end to Christian persecution.

One of my favorite things...was attending the swim team dinner.

A few plans for the rest of the to continue to clean with these new products as more are coming in the mail.  If you would like to find out more, just let me know and I'll give you a phone # and password to learn about this when I have a conference call.

Here are some recent pictures to share. 

My two daughters' swim team

Hubby and I going to swim team dinner

When did your child figure it out?  Patrick is second grade.

Blue and Gold dinner

Cub Scouts doing the hula

Networking with friends

One Patrick's favorite school pals