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2 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: L – Lesson Planning

Thanks for joining me today for the blogging A to Z challenge as I share my life as a working homeschool mom and blog my way through the alphabet. Visit my series landing page for all of the posts in this series. 

When I made the decision to begin homeschooling, one of the things that I fretted about was lesson planning. I knew that because I was a working mom who was outside the home for the better part of the day that having a plan in place was going to be an important part of our homeschooling success.

Lesson planning starts for me in July every year, which means any curriculum purchases need to have arrived on my doorstep by the end of June. That is not to say that I’m not open to switching things up throughout the year, as not everything we set out to do will work. But for the most part, we have our major purchases completed.

I’ve gone back and forth between paper planners and computerized schedulers. I love the paper planners. I get to use different colored pens and stickers, and many of them come complete with homeschool helps, such as a place to keep a book list, course of study, grades, etc. But because our daily schedule is aways subject to change, and it does change quite often, I love having a computerized schedule. Currently I am using the lesson planner from Homeschool Planet. It’s been exactly what I’ve needed to help us stay on course.

In July I sit down with all of my curriculum. After I figure out which days we are doing what subjects, and how many days a week we need to do each subject, I put the entire schedule for the year into my planner. It is very time consuming, but it saves me the fret and worry over feeling as if I’m not prepared. Here’s a screenshot of next week’s schedule (as of today anyway):

If we decide not to do a particular subject on a given day, I can easily move it to another day or delete it all together. Because I review a lot of quality homeschool products, I can easily add these items into our plan alongside our regular curriculum. And I just really love the scripture and quotes along the side for extra motivation.

Each Sunday night I print the week’s schedule and go over it with my son so that he knows what is coming up. I gather any materials that may be needed for art or science and leave them for him on the table. Easy as pie, right?

I’ve only use the planner to keep our daily schedule so far, but it keeps attendance and grades an has report features, all of which will come in handy as we begin high school next year! You can check out the free trial of Homeschool Planet here.

This is how we currently do lesson planning in our homeschool. How about you?

Linking up with others as we blog our way through the alphabet. Come join us!

A Net In Time Schooling
9 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: K – Keeping It Real

Thanks for joining me today for the blogging A to Z challenge as I share my life as a working homeschool mom and blog my way through the alphabet. Visit my series landing page for all of the posts in this series. 

I envy homeschool moms who actually get to stay home with their children all day. I know it’s work and I’ve heard all of the stories, but I would give anything to actually be home, sitting next to my son, while he completes his work. I do get to sit with him for some, but not enough. I am thankful he’s at an independent age, but still, I miss it.

I don’t have a place where we do school. It’s done at the kitchen table and my bookshelf of homeschool supplies/curriculum (which desperately needs organizing) is smack dab located in what I guess is our dining room.

I haven’t corrected a workbook page for over a week. Exhaustion has set in as I’m working lots of overtime at the CPA office. Tax season can kill you! But the beauty of it is that I can give my son the answer books and let him correct his own work.

I don’t keep house. I share more about how I tackle housework here.  I manage to do laundry. I can handle the kitchen. That is about it.

I’m not even sure my son eats breakfast. I make sure we have the required foods on hand (eggs, bread, milk, cereal, frozen waffles, bananas, oatmeal). Since he doesn’t wake up before I leave, who knows if he eats or not.

I choose online curriculum not only because it helps my auditory learner, but because it does all of the work for me. I love logging into my son’s History and Bible through Veritas Press and seeing what lessons he’s completed and what grade he’s getting.

We aren’t very good at getting in science experiments. We watch them on video a lot. We have two boxes of Science Expeditions yet to do. It’s just hard to fit it in. (Hence another reason it would nice to be home actually doing school with my son.)

We gave up foreign language for art. It’s just easier and a lot more fun. We are loving working through Creating A Masterpiece. You can read my review here. We are also working through Level II of ArtAchieve and I will have a review up soon. Until then, here’s our review from Level I last year.

We participate in virtual field trips. I mean, how do you “do” field trips and work? I’ve tried unsuccessfully to join a field trip group with local homeschoolers, but I don’t think I was welcomed as a full-time working parent. I couldn’t get anyone to drive my son to anything.

Some days we skip a class or two or just skip school altogether. I love the flexibility of being able to take a needed break. We all need a break, don’t we? We are supposed to have 180 full days of school under our belt between the last week of August and mid June, but I am sure we make up the days we miss along the way.

How are you keeping it real in your life? 

Linking up with others as we blog our way through the alphabet. Come join us!

A Net In Time Schooling
6 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: I & J – Interesting Journey

Thanks for joining me today for the blogging A to Z challenge as I share my life as a working homeschool mom and blog my way through the alphabet. Visit my series landing page for all of the posts in this series. 

Life has been crazy busy over the last couple of weeks. Working full time for a CPA during tax season brings long hours and a lack of brain cells. I was all set to blog my “I” letter and found out the link up had closes and we are actually on the letter J. So, I decided to combine the two. Honestly, I’m exhausted and I’m not sure how this post will turn out, but I didn’t want to skip another week.

I don’t doubt for a moment that we made the right choice for our boy. This journey with all of it’s uncertainties, twists and turns, it’s been an interesting one. It’s like I have to find my way each and every day. It seems like we are switching things up more often than not. I’ve doubted my abilities as “teacher” and “parent” at times, but I know we are making progress. And while my husband isn’t quite convinced we will homeschool him all the way through high school, I am taking it one day at a time and believing God’s best for him.

While most homeschool mom’s I know gather up their children for breakfast devotions and co-ops, I am off to work before my son is even up. I leave his schedule and he knowns exactly what I expect from him before I get home. Some days are more of a struggle, and I am working hard to try to figure out a plan that will enable us to get more time together doing school. My son as learned to be very independent and I am proud of him for this, but I feel he is in need of so much more guidance than I have the energy to give.

I often wonder if I am doing more harm than good. I second guess myself and I worry that he’s not learning what he’s supposed to be. While textbook studies have proven the areas of struggle, and reinforced his bent towards visual and auditory learning, I find myself refining all the time. One moment we are following the public school courses and the next we are doing our own thing, even just taking a step back to breathe. When I see progress in the form of facts memorized, properly written paragraphs, and art projects he didn’t think he could do, I know that we are on the right track. But I can’t help but worry sometimes if I will be able to adequately prepare him for a future as a confident and productive adult.

I don’t know how long this journey will last, but I will take all I can get. As we are bumping up against the high school years I know the level of dedication and commitment it will take. I know that it will be exhausting. I know that I will cry some tears, as I am sure the boy will. But I know that we are ready for the challenge and blessed to be able to be in charge of our son’s education.

I only want what is best for our son, so I will continue this interesting journey of homeschooling for as long as the Lord makes a way.

Linking up with others as we blog our way through the alphabet. Come join us!

A Net In Time Schooling
1 In Homeschooling/ TOS Crew Reviews

Home School Adventure Co. // A Review

We are really enjoying supplementing our homeschool curriculum with unit studies. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring and learning about Ecuador with Walking with the Waodani, the newest study from Home School Adventure Co.

Walking with the Waodani

About Walking with the Waodani

Walking with the Waodani is the newest unity study by Home School Adventures Co. For the purposes of this study I received a “preview copy” in PDF format of the first two lessons initially, followed by Lesson 3 a few days ago. Once released, the digital edition will cost about $14.95 and the print edition is expected to cost about $18.95.

Each lesson in the study incorporates history, geography, creative writing and worldview studies. Included in each lesson are:

  • Lesson Introduction – which includes the nickname of the territory that is being studied.
  • People and Places – includes maps, statitics and facts, as well as stories about persons and events related to the territory being studied.
  • Meals and Markets – some lessons include authentic Ecuadorean recipes that your student can rate as they take on the role of food critic, while other lessons describe food that only the most adventurous families would eat.
  • Animals and Agriculture – featuring plants and animals found in Ecuador’s ecosystem.
  • Worlds and Worldview – includes religious, philosophical, or ideological perspectives and influences impactingEcuador.
  • Links to websites, books an DVDs or further study.

Each lesson also includes a travel journal, complete with notebooking pages, mapping, rating a recipe, drawing an animal and creative free writing. At the end of the study are vocabulary words in a section called The Wonderful World of Words.

How We Used This Study

We managed to get through the first two lessons during the review period, allowing ourselves to take two weeks to complete one lesson. We are just beginning lesson three now.

My son read several pages of each lesson a couple of times a week. As read, he worked on the vocabulary words found in the lesson, and answered the questions from the travel journal. After he completed each lesson, he worked on the mapping and other pages located in the travel journal. Although we did not get very far with the free writing portion of the unit study just yet (my son is a reluctant writer so we opted for verbal explanation instead) I love the questions as they really put your student in the time and place, with all of their senses.

At the end of Lesson Two we moved through some of the links offered. We read an article about edible bugs, learned about a giant Anaconda, and watched the trailer for the movie, End of the Spear, which we plan to watch together as a family soon.

Our Thoughts

Overall, my son really enjoyed the Walking with the Waodani study. He loved learning about Ecuador, it’s people and culture, and is very curious about the events surrounding the missionaries who were killed there. We look forward to completing the study in the next couple of weeks and watching the movie, End of The Spear soon as a family and having further discussion.

Click here to be notified when the study becomes available.

Home School Adventure Company
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Twitter:  @HomeSchoolAdven

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3 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: H – Housework

Thanks for joining me today for the blogging A to Z challenge as I share my life as a working homeschool mom and blog my way through the alphabet. Visit my series landing page for all of the posts in this series. 

This post is all about housework…or the lack thereof. I’m not sure how a mom who stays home with her children and home schools accomplishes anything but taking care of her tiny humans. You ladies are my heroes! Let’s just say that I’ve grown accustomed to doing the bare minimum. Sadly, it shows.

I don’t have a lot of energy these days. Work is busy with tax season in full swing. Non-stop appointments, tax prep, etc. at work keeps my brain moving at full speed all day. By the time I get home, I am spent, both physically and emotionally. I have just enough energy to check in on my teen boy and see how his studies have gone for the day. I don’t want to spend my evenings picking up, doing laundry, etc. so I really don’t do too much. Then there’s the physical limitations I have with the Fibromyalgia, joint pain, planters faciities, and so on. My body just doesn’t want to move.

But in case you are wondering, I don’t live in a pig sty. I really do attempt to keep the house clean. But I do choose to enjoy my family in the evenings and spend time doing some of the things that I enjoy doing.

Here is just a small glimpse of what housework looks like for me each week.

Because my husband prepares dinner every evening, kitchen cleanup is usually my domain. Immediately after finishing dinner, I remind my children of whose turn it is to load the dishwasher and wash dishes.  I try to become more of a kitchen supervisor than take part in kitchen clean up, but sometimes I must roll up my sleeves and get my hands wet.

I try to throw a load of laundry in a couple of nights a week (including Saturday) so that I make sure we all have clean underwear. I manage to bring my clothes up to my room and throw them in a pile until I hang them up. Yes, I throw my clothes in a pile! My kids live out of laundry baskets because they refuse to fold their laundry and I don’t make them. If they want to wear wrinkled clothes, so be it.

My teen boy who is homeschooled is responsible for cleaning the downstairs bathroom weekly. He usually picks Saturdays. As long as it’s done, I don’t care when. (I clean our upstairs bathroom and the hall bath upstairs, let’s just say I never venture in there without a mask. That is my adult son’s bathroom, shared with my teen daughter and let’s just say once every few weeks I go in with full gear and do a deep clean.)

My husband is really good at project cleaning, so he will tackle the deeper cleaning, like the kitchen counters, mopping, sweeping, vacuuming as well as yard work with the help of our two boys.

I am considering paying my kids an allowance to see if I can get them to help more. Sometimes bribery is a good thing. Sure they live here and they need to do things just because they are a part of the family, I get that. But being that I’ve worked all of their lives, my children have not been trained really well as far as household chores. Could they do better? Absolutely!  Can I do better? For sure.

I’m tired and now I’m looking at all the clutter everywhere and three baskets of unfolded laundry. Time to draw a nice warm bath and soak my joints in Epson salt and settle in with a good show.

Until next time!

Linking up with others as we blog our way through the alphabet. Come join us!

A Net In Time Schooling