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Homeschooling

15 In Homeschooling

Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: Student photo and interview!

This is my second year homeschooling.  Last year was a rough one for us, as all she’s ever known up until this point is public school.  My daughter is in the 8th grade this year.  Gearing up for my third week of the “not back to school” blog hop at iHomeschool Network, I was excited to snap a current photo of my lovely girl, however, she doesn’t doesn’t like her picture taken.  Instead I was given permission to use this photo (a selfie that she took not that long ago).  Not the normal homeschool photo, but here she is!

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She also granted me the privilege of interviewing her about homeschooling.  This is honest and from the heart of one who is still adjusting to this new way of doing school.

I know last year was a huge year of transition for you.  I know it must have been hard to go from being in public school all of your life to being homeschooled. What has been the most difficult transition for you?

Not seeing my school friends has been hard.  Junior high seems really exciting, going from class to class, and participating in school activities. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

I am looking forward to homeschool co-op with my friends.  And I am looking forward to spending lots of time at church, where my mom works, helping serve the babies on staff.

What are some good things that you are experiencing about homeschooling?

I don’t get any weird teachers (although my mom can be weird at times).  I get to spend time with my cousins and my aunt during the day when my mom works.  I get to do school at night sometimes.  My mom lets me help choose curriculum and suggest field trips. Sometimes I get to watch movies as homework.  I often finish my school work in 3-4 hours, so that means I get the rest of the day to be with my friends or at church.  If I get behind, I can catch up on the weekends.

Do you still have friends, even though you are now homeschooling?  

Yes.  My best friends are all at church, so I see them a few times a week.  I sometimes miss my school friends. though.

What are some things that you get to do because you are homeschooling, that you can’t do at public school?

I get to sleep in a little and can sometimes do my school work in my pajamas.  I can take breaks when I need to, and sometimes my mom and me go shopping or for walks in the afternoon when she’s home.

What subjects are you most looking forward to this year, and why?

I really like English.  I hope to read some good literature this year.  I am also looking forward to Earth Science because there are a lot of neat experiments.

What subjects do you most struggle in?

Math is my hardest subject.  I am in Pre-Alegebra this year.  I will be using Teaching Textbooks.  I like this curriculum because it’s on the computer and it’s easy to understand.  I hope to do well in math this year.

Do you think this school year will be better for you than last year?

I think it will be about the same. I am still adjusting to being homeschooled.  My subjects are a little harder this year, but I hope to have a good year.

Are you homeschooling?  Join us at the “not-back-to-school” blog hop and share your student photos with us!

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15 In Homeschooling

Humble Beginnings: My Homeschool Space

This is the second week of the “not back to school” blog hop over at iHomeschool Network.  I debated about whether or not to show my space, because it’s not really a space dedicated for just schooling.  But, I decided that even in my humble beginnings, the Lord has a purpose for this space.

 Where we do school.

My dining room table and school supply bookcase.

My dining room table and school supply bookcase.

A large part of our schooling is done at the kitchen table, and this is where I sit and do most of my planning and correcting.  We also use the couch, and I allow my daughter (8th grade) to do some subjects upstairs in her bedroom, while listening to music.  I thought it was a little distracting at first, but it’s like cleaning your house to music, she gets so much more done.

I love this reminder on my table that each day is a gift.

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Behind my table is the bookcase that is dedicated to school curriculum and supplies.

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Here are a few close ups:

Various supplies

Various supplies

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Curriculum

Art and science supplies.

Art and science supplies.

I have this flip calendar from DaySpring that is sitting on our school shelf.  Tonight I flipped to this and was wowed by how God speaks to my heart at just the right time.

He is faithful!

He is faithful!

Next to my school bookshelf I want to set up a homeschool command center.  It’s not finished yet.  I intend to have a small table with some baskets for work to be graded, a place for my daughter and I to exchange notes, as well as some incentive charts on the wall. Above my command center area hangs this beautiful magnet board I received from Blessings Unlimited (now discontinued).  It will be a great place to hang reminders as well as motivational quotes.

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So there you have it.  My little, humble homeschool space.  I have enjoyed visiting all of the other blogs in the link up at iHomeschool Network and gaining inspiration!

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I am also linking up with my friend Lisa for Life through the lens.

8 In Homeschooling

2013-2014 Curriculum Choices – 8th Grade (Revised)

About a month or so ago, I had my curriculum all planned out.  Even posted about it here. However, after getting into the lesson planning phase, I have made just a few more tweaks.  I hope this will be final, but one never knows until we get into the school year.

Math – Teaching Textbooks Pre-Alegebra

No changes here.  We absolutely love this curriculum and my daughter does well with it.

Science – God’s Design for Heaven and Earth Science (Answers in Genesis)

No changes here as well.  We plan to use this curriculum for Earth Science this year.

History – America The Beautiful (Notgrass)

 

I am really excited to begin this curriculum.  Although this is a comprehensive curriculum which includes Bible, vocabulary, creative writing and literature, I will be utilizing the history almost exclusively.

Grammar – Abeka Grammar & Composition II

I’m still not sure how I feel about this one, after reviewing the books.  I purchased this for a fairly low price, so we are willing to give it a go.

Vocabulary – Wordly Wise 3000

We used Wordly Wise last year and my daughter loved it, so I decided to use this again for vocabulary this year.

Spelling – Building Spelling Skills

We didn’t do any spelling last year.  This looks straightforward enough, with different types of exercises during the week, with a test at the end of the unit.

Bible

These studies are from the Leading God’s Generation series.  We will start with Hearing God’s Voice, studying Proverbs and Psalm 119. You can view a sample here.  The other two books we will do this year are Thinking God’s Way (Philippians, Romans 12 and The Sermon on the Mount), and Doing God’s Will (James and topical passages). I was able to download all of the journals for about $5.00 each, saving me about $30 total!

I am still looking for a writing curriculum, something self guided that will be interesting for my reluctant writer.  I am leaning towards Core Skills Writing, Grade 8 or Writing Strands 3. Thoughts?

Linking up with iHomeschool Network’s {not} back to school blog hop.

2 In Homeschooling/ Reviews & Giveaways

Time4Writing Mid-Way Course Review

DISCLOSURE:  I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PRODUCT TO REVIEW. I WAS NOT REQUIRED TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW NOR WAS I COMPENSATED IN ANY OTHER WAY. THE OPINIONS I HAVE EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN. I AM DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH FTC REGULATIONS.

A few weeks ago, my 10 year old son (5th grade) began a summer writing course through Time4Writing.  I was skeptical at first, not of the program itself, but of my son’s ability to stay focused enough during the summer to want to continue to learn. We are at the mid-way point of the 8 week program and I have to say that it has far surpassed my expectations.

I choose the Elementary Paragraphs course for my son, because although he can stay focused long enough to write short sentences, putting together longer paragraphs are a bit of a challenge for him, especially with ADHD.

From the start, my son wanted to do the work on his own.  The instructions are easy enough for him to understand and follow so he is able to work independently.  He doesn’t want me checking his work because he likes to wait for his “teacher’s” comments.  Each lesson is done and sent by the system to his teacher for grading.  In between graded lessons there are games and other activities that help to reinforce what is learning.  The teacher returns her comments via email to my son (I read them as well) and then he corrects his work, if needed, before moving on to the next lesson.

My son reading lesson instructions.

Working through a lesson. See how focused he is!

My son is not only enjoying Time4Writing, but he is learning the art of paragraph writing!

Check back in a few weeks as I post my final review.

 

10 In Homeschooling

What’cha Doing Wednesday: Curriculum Clean Out!

Today finds me buried beneath boxes of curriculum.  A friend of mine who I attend church with is moving to Japan for the next couple of years, as her husband’s job is relocating.  She graciously gave me her curriculum to sell, not wanting any profit.  She only asked that I give one third of the proceeds to our children’s department. I didn’t have to think twice.  I am up to the challenge.  So I came home tonight and began going through the boxes.  Everything is in excellent condition.  After an hour of sorting and posting a few items, my head started to spin.

I think it will take me the rest of July to get it all sorted, organized, posted and sold.  If you are looking for anything, let me know, as I just might have it.  Some of the publishers include Abeka, BJU, Sonlight, Rod & Staff and AOP.  All grade levels.

Well, that’s what I’ve been doing.  How about you?  What’cha been doing these days?