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4 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: G – God’s Grace

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 don’t think there is a woman on this earth who doesn’t need it.

I know I require it every day…every minute of every day.

It’s what gets me through the daily grind, giving me the strength to face my own reality.

I couldn’t do anything that I do without it.

It’s hard enough being a mom, but a full-time, working, out-side-the-home, homeschooling mom?

I cry out for it daily. I need it so desperately.

It’s His grace that covers my sin, when I’m tired and have a bad attitude toward my husband or children.

It’s His grace that let’s me know it’s okay when I don’t feel like grading homework and ask my child to do it for me.

It’s His grace that says “rest” when I’m anxious about decisions that need to be made.

It’s His grace that reminds me that He is the God of second chances when I feel like a failure.

It's His grace that reminds me that He is the God of second chances. #abcblogging Click To Tweet

It’s His grace that overwhelms me and reminds me that He’s close on those days when I just want to crawl in a hole and disappear.

My days are full, as are yours, no matter what you are doing with your life. But God promises to give an abundance of grace to those who ask.

What are you needing God’s grace for today? How can I pray for you?

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

A Net In Time Schooling
10 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: F – Fear of Failure

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 remember when my children were younger and I worked 50 hours a week in San Francisco as a legal secretary, I thought I would never be a homeschooling mom. After all, how does one work outside the home so many hours and actually make homeschooling work?

Fast forward 20 years and here I am, a homeschool mom working outside the home 40 hours a week. Back when I first felt the Lord leading us to pull our son out of school, I was so fearful that I would mess up my child. I feared he would become an anti-social hermit, locked up in the house all day. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to provide him a proper education. I was fearful that he would resent us for making this decision.

I am sure all homeschooling moms have fears from time to time for various reasons. But I think that fear is greater when your children have been in public school their whole life and then you make the decision to turn their world upside down and homeschool them because you feel it’s in their best interest.

And it is.

But I still fear.

If I allow myself to go there and think about all of the things I feel I’m not doing right, we would never accomplish anything. I have to fight hard to push my fears aside and keep taking it one day at a time. We’ve had to make many changes throughout the last two years as we’ve learned how our son learns best. I have to focus my attention on what is going well and not allow those areas of struggle to consume me. Even though this is still all so new to us, there is one thing I can do. I can pray and ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance in all aspects of our homeschooling. Once I release my fears to the Lord, peace will come.

Once I release my fear to the Lord, peace comes. #abcblogging Click To Tweet

It is better to be led by peace than to fight unfounded fears. I have to tell myself every day that what I’m doing is in my child’s best interest and that even though I may fail at times, God will shine His light in those areas that we need the most help. With God in the center, I cannot ever really fail.

It is better to be led by peace then to fight unfounded fears. #abcblogging Click To Tweet

How about you? What unfounded fears are you dealing with in this season?

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

A Net In Time Schooling
17 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: E – Encouragement

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. 

E – Encouragement

When I first began homeschooling, I relied a lot on the encouragement of other homeschooling moms that I know personaly. I looked to them for advice on curriculum choices, etc. But over the last year, most of the homeschooling mom’s that I went to for advice have graduated their students. Although they are still in my life, it’s harder to get their attention with regard to homeschooling. You know, they’ve been there, done that.

God has been so faithful to bring me encouragement through many of the homeschoolers I’ve met through blogging. These ladies are my homeschooling heroes. I’m not sure they all know who I am, but I read their blogs every day and am always encouraged. It doesn’t matter if they are homeschooling littles or teens, their wisdom and wealth of knowledge always gives me a fresh perspective.

I would like to share a few of my homeschooling heroes with you that I’ve been blessed to find on the world wide web.

Jen @ Practical By Default – Jen is one of my top homeschooling heroes. She is a working mom, like me, and still manages to homeschool. I used to feel so alone as a working homeschool mom. But not since I found Jen. Plus, she has a teenager as do I. Her site is a wealth of information that will keep you going back for more. She also runs a popular Facebook Group for working homeschool moms. If you are one of those, you have to request to join. You will be so encouraged both by her blog and the Facebook Group.

Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break – I’ve followed Kym’s blog for a while now, and have gotten to know her even more over these last couple of years as we are both on the Homeschool Review Crew. Kym shares often about what is happening in her homeschool, what curriculum they are trying, what is working, what isn’t, etc. She also has a high school student, so I’ve been reading and taking note as far as what might work for my child next year.

Kris @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers – I found this site through a Facebook share last year and have been stalking her blog ever since. Kris also has teens, and has successfully graduated another. I really enjoy reading her weekly wrap ups and tell myself I need to find a way to fit these types of posts into my crazy week. This site is full of articles on homeschooling from preschool through high school, as well as organizational tips.

Erica @ Confessions Of A Homeschooler – I found this site two years ago while searching for curriculum choices. Erica does a recap ever year of what curriculum she has chosen for her various grade level children. This past year, she had a child in 8th grade, as do I, so I’ve been following closely. Along with great curriculum choices, she shares recipes and organizational tips and runs the COAH Community, which I also gain a lot of good information from.

These are just a few of the homeschool blogs I read when I need to be encouraged as a working mom, or as a mom homeschooling a teen. Even though I’ve never met these ladies personally, I want them to know how they have encouraged me over the last two years as I’ve began this journey.

Along with these fabulous blogs, I am loving getting to know the other homeschool bloggers on the Crew. If you are looking for some great homeschool blogs to read, check out the Crew Blog Roll.  I’m having so much fun visiting the various blogs listed.

Whether a homeschooler or not, what blogs do you read for encouragement?

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

A Net In Time Schooling
Also linked up here:
Family Friday Link-Up Party
20 In Homeschooling

A Working Mom’s Homeschool Life: D – Direct Access

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. 

D – Direct Access

One of the things I enjoy most about being a homeschool mom is that I get to have direct access to things that I would otherwise have to jump through hoops to get in traditional school.

For instance, I get to have direct access to my child’s progress and grades. My daughter attends a public high school and their grading system isn’t always updated so I have to email teachers — sometimes more than once — to ask about grades/missing work and sometimes I don’t even get the courtesy of a returned email. With my son, I know exactly how he is progressing in every subject. Although I’ve chosen not to give grades in middle school, I have direct access to my planner which shows me where he’s passing and where he needs work.

Next, I get to have direct access to my child’s daily activities. Once I drop my daughter off at school, I don’t talk to her or see her again until she gets home. We may text real quick during the day, if there is something that needs immediate attention. With my son though, I pretty much know what he’s up to. Since I work outside the home, we have text “check in’s” almost daily. He asks if he can defer something until the evening, or tells me when I forgot to print out his math worksheets. I also have direct access to where he’s going on the internet at all times. I receive text alerts on my phone if he strays into the world of Minecraft when he’s supposed to be doing on line Math or Bible.

Lastly, I get direct access to resources. I love being able to browse the internet for free/low cost supplements to use in our homeschooling that can be instantly downloaded to my computer or our Kindle Fire tablet. I’ve downloaded many books for free which we have read, will read in the future. I love being able to make those choices directly myself.

If you are a homeschooler, what do you have direct access to that you love? If you aren’t, what is something that God has given you direct access to that is a blessing in your life?

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

A Net In Time Schooling
 Also linked up with my friends over at the Family Friday Link Up and Homeschool Highlights.
Family Friday Link-Up Party
Homeschool Coffee Break
8 In Homeschooling

8th Grade Mid-Year Review

Our first semester of 8th grade has officially ended. I have to say it’s gone better than expected. I’m feeling more confident in what we are doing, and I think my son is finally settling into schooling at home (after a year and a half) and is getting into synch with the day-to-day flow of what is required of him.

Today I want to share a review of our first semester as we continue on this crazy but rewarding journey.

What is working.

Can I just say how grateful I am to be able to choose the resources that work best for my son? It was late last year (7th grade) that I realized how much of an auditory/visual learner he is. For that first year of 7th grade I was so tied to textbooks and we were frustrated and didn’t accomplish much. But this year so far, we are doing well, especially in his on line learning.

Math – We are working steadily through Teaching Textbooks 7. Still a bit behind his peers, but right on par with where his level of learning is. We enjoy the fact that this curriculum has a lecture and lots of practice problems before the actual lessons. I make my son write out most of his problems (which he doesn’t like to do) so that I can see where his mistakes are. Right now he is struggling with fractions and decimals, but we are supplementing with WorkTexts from Math Mammoth (thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew) and will be posting a review soon!

ScienceGod’s Design For The Physical World by Answers in Genesis has been just enough reading material to wet his appetite for more science. We are working our way through Inventions and Technology, which is something he’s really interested in, and supplementing this course with watching episodes of Bill Nye The Science Guy on Netflix while learning about all aspects of science. We are also incorporating reading about inventors of the past (which also counts as both History and Writing). We just finished a biography outline of Benjamin Franklin.

We just ordered our very first Science Expeditions box from Little Passports (ages 9+) for more experiment fun and can’t wait to get started. You can read a great review about these boxes by my friend Jen at Practical by Default.

Bible – I really wanted to incorporate Bible into our Core Curriculum, but it has been such a struggle due to his comprehension issues. That was until we got the chance to review Veritas Press Self-Paced Bible last year for the Homeschool Review Crew. My son is eating it up and really absorbing the Word of God. You can read my review here. Although this curriculum is geared for children around 6th grade, it’s done wonders for my son. He really wants to continue, but it may be time to try to move him on to something more.

History – Because of our success with Veritas Press Bible, we bought a History module during a half-off sale last year and are steadily working our way through the period 1815 to present. He is struggling a bit still with comprehension — lots of facts and other things his brain has a hard time absorbing. But for the most part, it’s working out well.

Where we are maintaining.

Language Arts has been a struggle, I think mostly because of his reluctance to both read and write so I pretty much had to toss everything I started with out the window. We are now working through 8th grade Growing With Grammar and Soaring With Spelling, which he’s doing well at, and he is reading biographies which I choose along with a book of his choice for fun. So far, we are doing well and there have not been any major meltdowns.

Our biggest challenge.

Writing has been our one area of struggle this year. I’ve tried writing curriculums, writing prompts and journaling, and there is just such tension in getting him to write more than a sentence on a page. But when I decided to pull way back and incorporate writing in everything else, things are getting better. We will continue to write biographies and summaries while we look for the right curriculum for next year. I’m not worried about him knowing how to write a long thesis or essay, or even analyzing literature as he’s not college bound, but I would like him to be able to write a paper, with proper paragraph and sentence structure, with good grammar and spelling. If you know of something we could try for next year, I welcome your ideas.

Other Things.

Another thing we are enjoying watching on Netflix is MythBusters. Lots of fascinating episodes to fill up my son’s free time with engaging video. Also, being part of the Homeschool Review Crew again this year is giving us more opportunities to try new things, like Creating A Masterpiece and Homeschool Adventure Co., among others. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss our reviews.

That about wraps up our first semester. I can’t believe how close we are to beginning the high school years.

If you homeschool, how did your first semester go?

Linked up with Kym for Homeschool Highlights.

Homeschool Coffee Break