Tag Archive | Homeschool

Handwriting Teaching Aid

I can’t believe how much easier homeschooling is now than when I started.  I remember hours and hours of making handwriting pages for my oldest son.  I learned how to write pretty quickly in a dotted line type format.  Sheets and sheets of dotted lines of name, address, alphabet, and Bible verses.  Now I just printed off from online some handwriting pages for the week in the dotted line format.  So simple!

 

runningbarn

Check it out and see what you think.


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Heritage History Curriculum

I was given the opportunity to try out the Heritage History Curriculum.  I have used the online Heritage History previously and also had a link to it on my website sidebar.  I realize that many families are struggling to make ends meet while the mom is home to care for the children and to homeschool.  It is possible to homeschool without buying any curriculum.  There are multitudes of free online sources and with some work good resources in many libraries.  The Heritage History online site can serve as a source for many free history resources.  There is enough information available to teach history for years just from reading the many books available.  A creative parent can easily put together a valuable unit study on different time periods of history or different cultures.  The problem is it takes a creative parent and it takes time.

The Heritage History Curriculum meets the need for parents who find developing a unit study challenging or find having time to gather resources challenging.  The curriculums gather related books and provide extra resources such as timelines and maps to help the reading be more integrated with the other books.  The Young Readers Curriculum contains 86 books and a teacher’s guide.   The other curriculums contain 40 to 50 books, maps and timelines.

The Young Readers Curriculum contains books which can be easily read by my second grader who is a good reader.  Some first and second graders would do better with being read to depending on their reading ability.  Books can be printed from the cd, read from the computer directly, read in PDF format or transferred to an electronic reading device.  The other curriculums contain a variety of books from easy readers to advanced readers.  The study guides show which books are better suited to what levels.  Thus one curriculum can cover multiple grades simultaneously.

Several years ago I read Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall aloud to my children.  The first chapters have more myth and legend then actual history but the later chapters have a brief story of history written to a level easily understood by children of multiple ages.  Each chapter is just a few pages and easily read in a short time.  While not written from a specifically Christian perspective most of the books in the curriculum are written from a moral perspective and were written at a time when belief in God was common place albeit flawed in many ways.  I found I even enjoyed reading the book and learning better how names in history fit together.

My older children are studying Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries for history.  Thus the books available in the British Middle Ages Curriculum fits right in with their other studies.   They can read a living book about the subject matter that is covered in the other history curriculum.  The older children have been reading off of handheld devices long before kindles and nooks were around.  PDA’s have ridden in the car with us for around 10 years or so.  The children learned a PDA was easier than hauling several books and a book light.  Now with a kindle I can use the read text feature to have books read aloud in the car while we are traveling.  It isn’t perfect but much better than text reading was years ago.  I must say using the curriculum CD to transfer books to my kindle was so easy.  Normally I find free books from place such as Gutenberg Press and then I have to download them and send them to my kindle.  This time I just copied and pasted from one folder to another, 86 books at a time.

Thank you to Heritage History for providing me copies of the curriculum to review.

 


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An Unproductive Homeschool Day ?

We homeschool pretty much year round.  Our homeschooling is a part of our life.  School doesn’t end and then life begins, we live life and school happens as a part of the process.  However, as the mom there will be times where I will say “Monday we are going to get more serious about the schoolwork.”  Well, yesterday that was the intention.  Everyone was going to do their school more by the schedule and we were going to get lots accomplished.  Well, anyone who has homeschooled long enough knows how well that happened.  Things began accumulating before the kids were even up and add in that mom had a headache and didn’t feel well.

I won’t bore you with the details but time kept clicking away as things were dealt with as they came up.  But at 3:00 I looked at the clock and was shocked.  Three o’clock !!!!  And here we had to leave at 5:15 for a meeting!  Where did the day go?  As “drill Sergeant” moma starts to get this homeschool thing going, I actually notice what is going on in the home.

Oldest daughter is outside weeding the goldfish pond flower beds even as hot and humid as it was.

Middle son was in the garage working on his chicken tractor for his newest chicks he has hatched in the incubator.

Youngest daughter was playing her violin, without being told!

Baby Boy was sitting in his room reading a book.

Mom was in the middle of washing sheets.

So what if the Botany book didn’t get read, one daughter knows the weeds from the plants better than her old moma does.

So what if the fractions didn’t get done, one son is using them with the tape measure outside.

So what if the language arts didn’t get done, one daughter is actually practicing on her own without being told.  Something that never happened a couple of years ago enough so that I’ve thought about ending lessons for those who didn’t love it.

So what if the phonics worksheet didn’t get done, baby boy is reading and doing it because he enjoys it.

Maybe it was more productive than I thought. 🙂

 


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Spurgeon on Public Schools

Can geography teach them the way to Heaven,

or arithmetic remove their countless sins?

The more of secular knowledge our juveniles acquire,

the more will they need to be taught in the fear of the Lord.

To leave our youthful population in the hands of secular teachers,

will be to sell them to the Ishmaelites.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Charles Spurgeon


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Busy Week Ahead

Busy week coming up, but even the “little” things are very important, especially the “little” things for the “little” ones.

“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

G.K. Chesterton What’s Wrong With the World?


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Too Much Responsibility?

This was interesting to read.  Can homeschooling be too much responsibility for a parent?

I want to homeschool, but don’t want the responsibility.

Often I take a look in Google Analytics to see what brings people to Simple Homeschool. Many readers arrive after an online search, on the hunt for information about a certain topic. Common searches that bring readers here include simple homeschooling, homeschool encouragement blog, waldorf homeschooling, and making the first homeschool day special.

But my heart dropped a little when I read that a few people found this blog after typing in “want to homeschool, but don’t want the responsibility.”

Fear of responsibility on the homeschooling path isn’t uncommon. After all, so our thoughts tease, if we send the kids to school and things aren’t going well, there’s someone else to blame. But if we grasp this calling fully by the reins, we know in whose direction fingers will point if results aren’t in line with the norm.  Continue reading

Note that this isn’t written from the perspective of a believing parent. (Disclaimer: I don’t even know much about the website.)

But if a non-Christian family shouldn’t shy away from homeschooling for fear of the responsibility, doesn’t a Christian have even more responsibility for the children the Lord has given us?



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Keepers / Contenders

We have done some form of Keepers at Home / Contenders of the Faith since my oldest was in first grade.   The website Keepers of the Faith has several resources for parents or teachers to use with children of all ages.  To me this program is very similar to Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts where the children strive to learn a new skill and receive a badge for completion.  The skills for girls vary from learning the books of the Bible, sewing, table setting and cooking.  Boys skills include things such as archery, Bible reading, knots, and wood working.  There is a wide variety of character badges and skill badges.  Even when we haven’t had others to work with us on the badges we have often done many of the activities in the books.  They are useful skills and even a few things moma wishes she had learned as a child.

Below are just a few of the badges and skills that a child can work toward.

  • ABCs (3)
  • Academics  More!
  • Albums
  • Amateur Radio
  • Amphibians
  • Applique
  • Aquarium
  • Aquatic Life (1)
  • Archery (1)
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Athletics
  • Auto Care
  • Badminton
  • Baking (9)
  • Band (1)
  • Baseball
  • Basket Weaving (1)
  • Basketball
  • Beadwork (1)
  • Bee Keeping (1)
  • Bible Memory  More! (13)
  • Bible Reading  More! (1)
  • Bible Study  More!
  • Bicycling (3)
  • Biography
  • Birds (10)
  • Book Binding
  • Bowling (1)
  • Bread Baking (1)
  • Budgeting
  • Building Blocks (1)
  • Building Fun
  • Bus Worker
  • Butterflies (2)

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Chicks

It all started with the chickens laying eggs. Our larger breed chickens never go broody and want to hatch their eggs out. So we decided to incubate.

Good science project especially when it is so interesting.

We built our own incubator from an ice chest. It required lots of temperature watching because it fluctuated with the room temperature too much.

 

But low and behold the fertile eggs developed into little chicks.

We candled the eggs at night and you could see them develop. They went from dots, to a network of veins with a large prominent black dot for the eye, to bouncing around little chicks then to huge dark blobs with little visibility. We don’t have a real candler so we just used a flashlight. By the end we had four eggs that had developed and were ready to hatch.

They went into the real incubator that my son got for his birthday.

 

 

 

Then after a day or two we had pipping.

 

Hatching!

 

Little chicks. Three out of four chicks hatched. Which is good even for a broody moma chicken.

 

Since we had so few chicks we bought a few more babies to add to the brooder. We had wanted some bantam types like Silkies or Frizzles but none were available. So we ended up with six blue and black Cochins, not the little Cochins, but the huge Cochins. Sorta like Silkies on steroids with large feathered legs.

We have one egg still due to hatch in the next few days because it was started late. It was a lone egg because the chickens stopped laying when we got some really cold days.

But we attempted to incubate some eggs that had been in the refrigerator for over two weeks. Some people have had good success with incubating fertile eggs from the grocery store. Several of our older eggs weren’t fertile and I was about ready to dispose of most of them as not having developed but last night I candled one of the refrigerator eggs. There was a bouncing around little chick! If you’ve watched many ultrasound pictures that is exactly what candling eggs is like. This chick had a rhythmic up and down bounce going on. I could have watched it for hours but we can’t leave them out of the incubator for that long.

 

Who knows my son may actually be able to make some money off of his chicken business after all.

 

Need some chicks?

 


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Back to Homeschooling

We’ve had a break the past few weeks from homeschooling.  Between my husband and oldest son being off several days, everyone being sick for a week or two and new baby chicks very little has been done around here.   🙁  Time to get back to work with the chores and school work.   Lesson plans and report cards are due soon also.  Those to me are the hardest part of homeschooling; record keeping.

Here is a list of books to use for homeschooling.  They are based off of the Robinson Curriculum,  The nice thing is that these are available online for free.

Robinson Booklist



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Heritage History

Most of my children love to read and they really enjoy reading historical fiction.  A favorite historical fiction author around here is G.A. Henty, which has taught my oldest son about wars and time periods most people have no clue about.  Many of Henty’s books are available for free download in the kindle version or paperbacks are available for under $10.

We have found that history is much easier grasped when read in the form of a story and not just learning dry facts.  (I’m in the process of learning history that I never learned in public school.)  Heritage History is a free source for time lines, maps and stories about the the characters of history, even those you’ve never heard of.  The history is divided up into time periods and also into civilizations so you can go to the section about Rome and read the time line of Rome and the stories of Rome.

Warning though some history is of course violent and there are portions that are not suitable for young children. I would never just turn the younger children loose on the website.  Since most of the actual books on the site are in the public domain, if you desire you can search for the title somewhere like Project Gutenberg to download and read offline.



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