Monday, August 31, 2009

Simple Recipes for Successful Homeschooling

Again, I am getting this information from a small pamphlet that came with one of my issues of The Old Schoolhouse magazine.

No two homeschools are exactly alike, because each family is different and each circumstance surrounding the question is unique. Homeschooling means different things to different people. For some, homeschooling is duplicating public school at home with textbooks and report cards. for others, homeschooling is just the way they live--children and adults living and learning together so that an outsider looking in wouldn't be able to see what was "home" and what was "school". Still others can be somewhere in the middle of these two.

Before you set out to provide your children's intellectual diet--their education--you will want to consider why you are doing it and what you are seeking to provide for your family.

For many homeschoolers, the most valuable benefit of homeschooling is that it strengthens their family. Homeschooling families spend a lot of time working, learning, and playing together, and strong relationships are built.

Many families like the flexibility homeschooling allows. Children can learn about things they are naturally interested in when they want to. A strict schedule does not have to be followed. Children can get an education tailored to their learning styles at a fraction of the cost of private or public school.

You might want a more "healthy" lifestyle for your children, whether you want to live closer to nature or are concerned mostly about spiritual reasons. The reasons you are going to homeschool are unique to you. The important thing is that you identify them before you prepare to homeschool.

Not only do you need to have your reasons established, but you should also decide what your commitment to homeschooling is before you start. Some people start strong but fall fast when they encounter their first difficulty. Be aware that just as a new recipe will need occasional adjustments to suit your own personal tastes, your homeschooling will encounter rocky times and require some fine-tuning.

Decide on a minumum length of time you are going to homeschool. Make a commitment to give it a go for a certain time period and then re-evaluate! Don't throw out the whole lump of dough--just change the recipe! There are so many different ways to go about teaching at home, so try something new. Different methods and ideas are worth trying so you won't burn out. Give it some time and then make some adjustments, but don't give up!

There is one more thing that comes before you begin planning lessons or purchasing schoolbooks. You need to know what the law requires. For information about legal requirements for homeschooling, you can visit Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website (there is a link on my sidebar to their website).

I will continue to answer some of the most asked questions to provide Simple Recipes for Successful Homeschooling in tomorrow's post.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Famous Homeschooler of the Week


After our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they had to submit it to the states for ratification. In order to persuade the states to ratify the federal constitution, three great men wrote The Federalist Papers, a stirring defense and explanation of America's founding document. John Jay, the eighth child of Peter and Mary Jay, was one of the authors of the book that convinced the states to ratify the Constitution.

When John was a young child, his mother taught him the rudiments of English and Latin. At the age of 14, John Jay entered college, and upon graduation was apprenticed as a lawyer. His law training later allowed him to become the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

John Jay's parents were staunch Christians and profoundly influenced their son's character in addition to his academic training. John's parents were careful to educate their children in the Word of God. John Jay later said, "In forming and settling my beliefs relative to the doctrine of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds, but such only as, on a careful examination, I found to be confirmed by the Bible."

We can thank John Jay's parents for raising a godly son who served his country with the kind of moral leadership we so desperately need today.

Again, I got this information off of HSLDA's website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our First Day of Co-Op

I know that I was going to post some more freebies today, but we had such a great first day at our homeschool co-op today that I decided to share this instead. I'll post more freebies another day.

You may or may not remember that last year I was working on finding us the best co-op for us to be a part of, instead of going to several different ones. It was just too much running and busyness. Well, co-op started today, and I am happy to say that we definitely decided on the right co-op for us, and may I also say that it is quite obvious that God had his hand in the decision. I was supposed to be helping in a class that Nicholas is in, but I expressed my dissatisfaction of that because they had asked us what classes we wanted to help with, (with the understanding that if that class's teacher is absent for any reason, the helper will need to do the teaching), and I had not put this class as something I wanted to help with. I expressed the fact that the classes that I had listed to help with were ones that I felt that I would be comfortable and capable of teaching if the teacher couldn't be there, and that since my boys are older and have me as their teacher everyday, they don't really want me so many of their classes at co-op, (and they are both in a class I am teaching, anyway).

Well, anyway, here I am babbling again. But, it ended up that a teacher who had offered to teach a Literature class for Pre-K to K backed out, so the helper said she'd teach and I was asked to be her helper, which was a twofold blessing: first, because that is something that I am completely comfortable and capable of teaching, if need be, which I have already been asked to cover two weeks in September because the teacher will be on vacation; and second, because we didn't know that we were going to have a new child in our home that is in that age group when we had co-op registration, but because I am helping in that class, so he has to be in there with me anyway, our little foster son will be able to participate in that class!

They also have a running class that Nicholas is participating during the last time frame of the day, and a gym class that Anthony is participating in during the last time frame of the day. The gym class is for Pre-K through 12th grade. They warm up together and then break up into age groups to do activities and play some games, and our foster son is able to participate in this class as well!

I am teaching a Modern Literature class to Jr./Sr. High students. We are doing the book The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. I read this book a few months ago. You may remember that I posted about it in an older post. I was so impressed by the lesson that this book has to teach that I thought it would be fun to teach it to teens. I have a class of nine students and they seemed to enjoy the story as far as we read today. I am giving them homework assignments each week as well: vocabulary words, chapters to read, and activities or writing assignments that pertain to a particular chapter.

I've been wondering what I might offer for our winter session, because we need to submit our ideas in a couple of weeks, and one of the moms came to me today and said, "I see you're teaching a lit class on The Ultimate Gift." I said, "Yes, I am." To which she responded, "I have the next book." I didn't know what she was talking about, but she pulled a book out of her bag and handed it to me and said I could read it and then give it back to her.

Apparently Jim Stovall is making a series or at least a two book set of The Ultimate Gift and there is a second one entitled The Ultimate Life. I am so excited and pleased that this lady, who barely knows me would lend me her autographed copy of The Ultimate Life. If it's as good as the first book, I know what class I can offer for our winter session! God is so good!

The boys are excited about the classes they are taking too. Nicholas is taking a science class where they are doing a lot with a microscope; he is taking a PA history class, as well as my Modern Lit. class and the running (like track) class. Anthony is extremely excited about his Geography of Israel class; and he is taking a How to Tackle a Research Paper class as well as my Modern Lit. class and the gym class.

I hope all of you have some wonderful things to enjoy in your school year this year. We can all have enjoyable school years if we keep our eyes on Christ and keep him first in our lives. And, remember, God called you to homeschool so He will enable you to keep on keeping on:)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Freebies

Email us at and we'll send you easy-to-follow directions on how to download your FREE copy of Homonyms, Synonyms & Antonyms (a $10.99 value)--the first book in our top-selling Reading FUNdamentals series! this popular book includes 48 pages of activities that will help your children understand and use homonyms, synonyms and antonyms in their reading and writing.
Science and history--subjects that make many parents weak in the knees. you can teach science and history at home! R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey and History Odyssey take out the guesswork and make you feel like a pro. But don't take our word for it; log on and try these free eBook samples.
The Kingdom Series...a riveting medieval parallel to the Bible and the NEW Knights of Arrethtrae, a companion to The Kingdom Series magic or mysticism! Read two complete chapters and listen to an unabridged, 75-minute sample of Kingdom's Dawn or Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione (available Feb. 2009) for FREE at Narrated by voice actors from Cheltenham, England, with original music and sound effects.
Overwhelmed by the thought of unit studies? Download the booklet "You CAN Do a Unit Study" and our one-week unit on the life of William Tyndale - FREE! Receive tips on being successful using unit studies and a unit study on William Tyndale, suitable for preschool through high school! Creat an account at our website and put these books in your cart. When checking out, enter this code: TOSFREE
Again, these came from The Old Schoolhouse magazine.
I'll post a few more tomorrow or Thursday.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homeschool Freebies

I received my Old Schoolhouse 2009 Homeschool Freebie Directory today online and wanted to share it with you. there are over 40 Free Gifts in this directory, so I will be sharing several throughout the week.

Specializing in lapbooks and unit studies, A Journey Through Learning is the first place homeschoolers go for all their lapbooking and unit study needs. We make lapbooking easy by providing study guides, easy to understand, color coded lapbook assembly instructions with study guide and correlating activities that your child will enjoy. Sign up for our newsletter to receive your free lapbook. look for sample pages of our various Products.
To help teach America's factual, philosophical heritage, history, and founding principles. Utilized by homeschoolers and teachers in all 50 states! Social studies, US history and government, civics, economics, geography, reading, mucis, and more. $150 value! Written by professional educators. Proven to raise social studies scores! Easy to use. No teacher training required! Award-winning design! Free K-12 Social Studies/History Lesson Plans--America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty
10th Degree - Unique, Online Science Seminars Veteran homeschool dad and college professor, Greg Landry, offers unique, Christ-centered, free, online anatomy and physiology seminars that he calls the "10th degree," for 6th-12th grade students and their parents: "There's Life in the Blood," "The Incredible Pancreas," "Working Toward Academic Excellence," and more! He also offers discounted online classes: "anatomy and Physiology," "Sports Medicine," "Pre-Biology," "Chemistry," "Forensics," etc.
Teach your kids to research the Internet using Motherboard's free Internet Scavenger Hung, from the Computer Science Pure and Simple Curriculum.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Famous Homeschooler of the Week


Michael Farris:
On May 12, 1820, a baby girl was born in Florence, Italy, to wealthy British parents. Named for the city in which she was born, Florence Nightingale was brought up to be an intelligent woman of good society. Both her mother and her father contributed to her academic and social training. While Mrs. Nightingale instructed Florence and her sister in social graces and the skill of running a large household, the girls' father taught them English grammar, history, philosophy, Latin, French, Greek, German, and Italian. Florence also received biblical training from her parents, learning to read the New Testament in its original Greek.

When she was 16, Florence heard God's call to a special life work: easing the suffering of the sick and dying. She began withdrawing from society life to concentrate on studying health and reforms for the poor.

Florence Nightingale did much to introduce sanitary nursing methods to the whole world, especially to the battlefield. Among her many public honors, she became the first woman to receive the British Order of Merit.

Florence Nightingale is just one example of a fertile mind and a pioneer spirit developed by homeschooling.

(this was copied from Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website)

Homeschooling Questions You Should Ask Part 3

As this is the beginning of your adventure, don't go it alone. It is extremely helpful to get support. A few like-minded friends or a support group will work wonders in answering your questions and offering encouragement. Keep reading and keep asking questions, and you'll be sure to find many answers.
It is important to check with Homeschool Legal Defense Association (see link on sidebar) for any questions relating to legal issues in your state and consider becoming members in order to *protect your family legally. Stay tuned in to the homeschooling community by subscribing to a good homeschooling newsletter (such as those offered on and and a quality magazine (such as The Ols Schoolhouse Magazine). A great online homeschool community and support group is available at (or here on blogspot. I know that I am not the only one on Blogspot that is a homeschool mom and is posting things about it.). Many home educators benefit greatly from hearing about how other families homeschool.

What about you, the new teacher? What do you need personally? You need to soak yourself in the Word of God and keep feeding yourself spiritually untill you are overflowing with joy and confidence. If God has called you to teach your children, His grace will be sufficient for any weakness you perceive in yourself. When you take those first steps down the homeschooling road, keep your eyes on the Author and Finisher of your children's education. The journey will be worth every effort as you see your children open up and flourish before you.

*As a member of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, if you have any legal problems arise, they will represent you without charging legal fees. My family are members ever since we began homeschooling because we do not want to take any unnecessary risks.

The note above and the information in italics are my additions. The rest is, again, directly taken from the pamphlet that I received with my Old Schoolhouse Magazine and was written by Deborah Wuehler.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homeschooling Questions You Should Ask Part 2

What type of personality is your family--are you well organized with your time, or more relaxed? Do you enjoy paperwork or nature walks? Are you project-oriented, or would you rather read good books? Are you scheduled or spontaneous? If you know the dynamics of your family and your own teaching style, you will be better able decipher what will actually work for your family.
What kind of learner is your child? Does he learn better by seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), or doing (kinesthetic)? Will he learn better with textbooks, hands-on, narration, or a combination? Look only for things that are easy for your to use and that will enhance your child's ability to learn. Get practical and make a list for each child about what he needs, and keep it basic. Don't overwhelm yourself with extras that may not be necessary.
Your family is unique--you will be different from all others in your approach, your goals, and your convictions. As you go along and find out what works in your household, your personal style will begin to emerge. What is most important is that you are in unity with your spouse and that you know the heart of God for your own family.

Let's get a little more practical. If your children are very young and you are just beginning to homeschool, you will need only a few good resources. Your children must be taught to read, so they will need some type of phonics lessons. For writing, they can begin writing simple words on lined paper or you can find a resource to help them shape their letters. You'll need a good math book that covers the basics and offers repetition for reinforcement. Or, at this age, you can do it yourself: math manipulatives can be beans or blocks. Most likely you will not need anything extra that you don't already have around the house. And, of course, you should be reading to them daily: share good books about history, science, and just plain fun reading books.
A fun way for the whole family to learn is through unit-type studies. You can make your own by allowing the children to pick a topic they are interested in and then go to the local library for many of your resources. Keep a binder of what they learn and their drawings along the way. Throw in a few field trips and you will have provided a very successful learning experience.

This again is from a pamphlet that I received with my Old Schoolhouse magazine and was written by Deborah Wuehler. I will conclude this tomorrow with GETTING SUPPORT and FOR THE TEACHER.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Am Still Posting Here

Hello Everyone. I know that I have been absent for a long time again, but the hustle and bustle of getting everything accomplished to become the approved foster parents of this wonderful, energetic little boy is finally complete, and I should be able to post here more regularly again. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

So, for today's post I am going to begin a series of posts on "Homeschooling: Questions You Should Ask?" from a little pamphlet that I received with my Old Schoolhouse magazine.

"Are you new to homeschooling and feeling a little terrified? Have you been homeschooling for a while but feel overwhelmed? Are you considering homeschooling but not sure it's the right choice?"

Perhaps you're wondering about curriculum, your teaching style, your child's learning style, or maybe just how to schedule it all in on top of the regular household duties?

First, relax and realize that God has called you to this road less traveled and He will provide what is necessary for your journey. There is no "one size fits all" in homeschooling -- no singular "right" way to provide an education for your children. there are as many varied methods as there are families who homeschool, and they are all doing the job extremely well.

It can still be overwhelming to look down that long road of homeschooling when your vantage point is the starting line. One of the first things to do is establish your thoughts and make some goals. Let's begin to answer some basic questions by asking a few more:

What are your valuse and viewpoints (your "philosophy") of education--in other words, in the long run, what is important to you and your family? What do you want the education of your children to achieve for them? Write it down. Do you want them well educated in man's wisdom in order to be able to answer every man? Do you want them well educated in God's precepts? Do you want them to eventually go to college, or do you prefer apprenticeship? Are you in favor of workbooks, or would you rather have your child's interests direct the way? What are your personal convictions? How will they fit into your educational goals?

what exactly do you want to accomplish this year with your children? What do you need in terms of books and supplies to fit with what you want to accomplish? For example, if you have a second grader who is not reading yet, your goal may be to teach that child to read. How you do that depends on the curriculum you choose, the learning style the child has, and the resources available. Will you use a book or will you make your own flash cards? Will you use a few workbook pages a day, or will you read and have them sound things out with you? Are they coming home from public or private school? They may be used to a more organized, workbook format. When you have a plan, you can begin looking at how to accomplish that plan with what curriculum, if any. sit down with your spouse to discuss and pray about your educational goals for each child each year, and then write them down.

This will be continued tomorrow with the topics: PERSONALITY, GETTING PRACTICAL, GETTING SUPPORT, and FOR THE TEACHER. This article was written by Deborah Wuehler.