Homeschooling in Florida

My journey


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I ended up switching all my hopes and plans for this year to bju online. I needed the extra help with planning and teachings, so far it’s going well. I mean, it’s not easy. The science is difficult and not easily explained. Today we reviewed cell division and the phases but totally went over her head. I probably need to take a few days to watch online youtubes on it.  Math is challenging. I enjoy world studies, but Im not sure my daughter gets it. She watches videos, reads the chapter, does the extra work and activities, we review the chapter and test, then the test…… she cant remember anything. She seems to pick up small parts here.

When I think back to 7th grade, I only have memories of peers, parties, boys and how neat my math book was. I don’t remember learning any of this stuff she is learning – and I made it through to college dean’s list -except a vague memories of cell division and my science experiment that was used by the school as what no to do the following year. ugh. My mom told me to do it on my own the day it was due so I ran to the 5&10 bought play dough with stolen quarters from my dad’s cheeseball canister and made the digestive system with play dough on a poster. I still to this day think it was good considering no parental help. Not to worry, I got in the Honors Science Society in High School for my high school science experiment. I totally manipulated my findings, but got awards.

I do love bju even though it is challenging. I don’t torture her with every single thing like the constant quizzes. We do go over them, but I don’t make her do them on her own, hoping she’ll use it to study for final test, but were still working on it.

God help me!

12 grade

Now my other daughter is in 12th grade, she finished all her high school required classes early so she is taking dual enrollment this year. Has no been an easy ride. I am SO glad I made her start college now while at home for a few classes. In her extra time she is filling out the applications for college and between you me an the fence here, I don’t want her going away. I just think she needs another year to grow up, but it’s in God’s hands. If you’re on you way to high school, here’s a heads up- Put most of your focus on SAT or ACT.  No one is really interested in my homeschool transcript even though she has worked very hard on all her classes. They will consider the grades for dual enrollment, so passing the Pert test is another priority. Get the SAT book out and go over and over and practice timed tests. Start in 8-9th grade. This is good for both getting into the college of your choice and scholarships. You don’t need to be a genius to get a perfect SAT, it takes lots of practice. However, you may also be testing against a new superdrug for add that a lot of kids are taking for the test- kids that dont need it it and only take it for the test. If your kid needs it, that’s okay. I have one daughter who qualified for the drug and extra time on tests, but I didn’t do anything about it. She is now in her 3rd year of college, yes studying is difficult for her and takes extra time, but it was my conviction not to drug her. This is who she is, who God made her to be and I’m not giving her drugs to be like everyone else. It probably would make life easier, and I could use it myself, but I’m very concerned about addiction and long term effects. If it was up to doctors, she would have been on drugs for the last 14 years. Anyways, I got off track , what i’m saying is- in today’s world when your child takes the SAT and they are not on brain altering drugs they will not score as high as those with undeserved special privileges such as longer test time and brain enhanced focused drugs- SAT now is like going to the Olympics against a player on steriods. More and more moms want to get rx for the test so they can keep up and trust me – more than you know are on it.

So one daughter is transfering to another college to finish up elementary education. Not impressed with the salary options out there for her and many of her friends graduated but have not been able to pass the teacher certification test which I find absurd!. They go through 12 years of schooling, 4 years of college, but it’s still not good enough, they need to pass a test. Maybe for that one, Ill let her take the rx so she doesnt have to take the test 5x like others. She teaches college bible study, Awana, middle school youth on sundays and thursdays at her college church group. It’s been the best having her so active in the church. She has made lots of friends and they are always doing something fun as a group. Were blessed to be close to colleges where we live so she lives at home, her choice, while finishing up college.

My 12th grader in dual enrollment who is getting ready for college stresses me out. She wants to go far far away. I have a shirt I wear on days when I can’t take it. It says “Don’t feed the trolls” Thats how I cope, I don’t entertain negativity. Don’t need it. What stress? sat scores, deadlines, fees, transcripts, gpa, recommendation letters, volunteer hours, housing – I honestly can’t wait for next year when all this will be complete. I hope next year is stress free!

My youngest in 7th grade loves being home, loves cooking and wakes up happy every day. – until math time. She is in AHG , awana, youth group, volleyball and dance.

I think my neighbor is having an affair…and I think she’s worried we saw something today. My dog got out and ran in her garage and I don’t know what was going on but she was leaning over someone in her car at 11am in her garage. So weird. Then my pool man showed up unannounced in my backyard and I was back there wearing only a tshirt and underwear. UGHHH

My day…and its only begun. Going out to dinner soon….

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Above is my favorite home school planner.  I’ve tried the other planners and online home school planners but this works best for me.  My favorite, out of all online planners was the home school manager. Click here for more info : http://homeschoolmanager.com/

The planner above can be purchased on amazon or at Ace:  https://shop.aceeducational.com/100000165-teaching-is-my-superpower-lesson-pl-tcr8298?keyword=teaching+is+my+super+power+

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I purchased Notgrass Adam to Us for my 7th grader this upcoming year.  I think its’ going to be perfect.

Last year we did Bob Jones bju Heritage studies 6 Ancient Civilizations and it was great.

Heritage studies was a good prep study for what is ahead in  Notgrass . Notgrass from Adam to us is like a detailed timeline. We did a basic overview of all civilizations last year with heritage studies and now with Notgrass we will go into more detail.

It slightly reminds me of the Classical Conversation timeline, but here they  spend one day learning each new fact on the timeline. Daily reading is just the right amount- not overwhelming with good bright pictures which, in my opinion, help keep focus.

I have planned out the first 100 days of school  in my planner, allowing for a 4 day school week. My daughter doesn’t love reading unless its something ridiculous SO I purchased the read along cd for the Adam to Us Book and I found MANY of the literature books on audible amazon and hoopla- a free audible benefit with our county library so she can read along

I looked at the time for some of the daily reading and its about 30-40 minutes of reading a day- meaning the amount of time read per day in the literature books, time based on what I saw on audible per chapter.

Notgrass History can count as History, Geography, Bible, Literature and Writing, andVocabulary

I’d say it definitely counts as history and Literature for the entire year. The mix of literature, timeline and geography are great tools for helping them understand what they are reading instead of the usual study , test, forget cycle.

Geography, in reality, probably 1/2 year of geography

Not enough writing. (We love  daily journal prompts ( a workbook purchased at a teacher store) , that sparks her creativity and I tell her there are not limits to imagination. I also try to not do so much critique but I do take note and add any misspelled words to her spelling list and reteach any grammar areas that are lacking)

Vocabulary- I made my own list with words from my plan for each week in history, literature books and added words from worldly wise 8 to keep a list of 20-22 words a week. (If you want my first 12 week list of vocabulary for notgrass history and literture, leave a message and Ill either post it or send it to you)

Bible- Bible is woven throughout the entire history timeline. There are occasional bible verses to read in the homework area each week but I don’t know if I would call it a complete curriculum. I am  working on my own curriculum now because I haven’t found anything that I like. It’s on Corinthians, I will post it when it’s complete so you can download free. I might offer it for sale if you want a bound edition with teachers edition and both bound, but also want to offer it free.

well off I go, if you have any questions on my 6th grade curriculum or 7th grade just ask!

Ive homeschooled grades 4-12, have one daughter in 3rd year of college, another daughter going into 12th grade but finished early so we are starting college dual enrollment.

God bless and remember God is always there for you so you don’t need to worry about tomorrow and dont let anyone steal your joy!

For more information:

https://history.notgrass.com/middle-school/from-adam-to-us/

https://www.bjupress.com/product/233379

 

 


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My 6th grade curriculum- Homeschool

After 3 months of researching and multiple purchases and returns, I finally have a curriculum that is perfect for my child. As a homeschool mom, I’m sure curriculums come highly recommended only to find out that it doesn’t work for you. Just because it works for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. I need order, by daughter is a HANDFUL of crazy energy – some might define her as adhd – but I say, she is who God created her , I won’t change that. I am exactly the same way so I know what works best for both of us.

This is my 3rd year homeschooling my 6th grader ( I began 5 years ago with my now college student, 3.5 years ago with my 11th grader and and finally pulled my last one out 3 years ago) I know a lot of moms are into the unschooling, but it’s not for me (yet). I need order, to-do lists, goals and planning to make life work in all aspects for me. I have my days, hours, and year planned already for this year- always allowing for a curve ball so I don’t stress out.

Here is what I have for my daughter’s 6th grade curriculum. We started 3-4 weeks ago and so far everything is moving smoothly.

Science – Abeka science and Abeka Health. I just ordered the teacher’s edition so I can follow along when we read together. I bought this used on Amazon- Abeka Science  -Observing God’s World and Abeka health for 6th grade. I like that it’s in order, easy to understand and covers all the science topics she needs to learn this year. http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=157406

  • I originally ordered Apologia, but I couldn’t get into it. I tried both Apologia Anatomy and Apologia Botany apologia. As wonderful as it sounds, and it’s great with the 2 day workweek they had, it just wasn’t for us. I didn’t like the journal or the ‘way too many things’ I had to purchase to keep up with experiments every week- it was ridiculous. Besides that, it seems more like an elective, not a full science curriculum. Science Apologia Botany Study
  • I then tried Sonlight. I loved the idea, but a few of the health (girls) books bothered me – do we really need cartoons of naked girls and boys and the hair down there – no, didn’t like…… but I tried to get over my immaturity and move on.  The curriculum annoyed me because I like things in order. I don’t like to flip around to different books and different pages on different days. I like order and it was really out of order. Also, numerous times, we couldn’t find the answer on the pages given that day so it frustrated my child (we sampled this for a few weeks in the summer before I decided I wasn’t going to use it for the year) After I ordered from Sonlight, they came up with a 4 day plan but still I like order so that’s why it’s not for us. I do like the books so I’ve incorporated them into our yearly reading. Sonlight Science F 6th grade girl
  • Abeka Science is in order and has covers everything my child needs for Science. I like it and the Health book is decent too – so far no naked pics.

History– For History, I chose Bob Jones Heritage Studies  and activity book. You don’t really need the activity book- they have a LOT of work in it, so if you do have it, I think to do every single page in the activity book would feel like torture. I have my daughter do a few I select, and we discuss other ones together and I help with the answers. I found that the teachers editions were very helpful to me in different ways – to read with her, to ask comprehension questions after we read, along with miscellaneous facts and notes  I write.  No lie, at first it all overwhelmed me, but I started out just reading with her- not following their schedule- and slowly adding things here and there. It’s a good history book, it’s in order, but I’m doing a timeline with it and somethings in the chapter are a little scattered along the timeline, but so far so good. Bob Jones Heritage Studies History 6th grade

We also add in Story of the World because I love reading it. I didn’t like Volume 1 as much as I enjoyed the others. Call me uber conservative but I think it’s pointless to teach on the gods and their ancient a make believe stories – which are probably demons- and the bible stays not to even speak their names so I thought volume 1 had a lot of that nonsense in it.Story of the World history book and workbooks

Math– Teaching Textbooks- I love, it gives me a small break and there are no tears! tantrums or crying on the floor. Maybe once in a while if it’s a bad day, there will be a meltdown, but so far, so good. I also add in different math worksheets from workbooks and online sources. I help along side her with  long multiplication and division on a boogieboard dashboard from costco, it’s like an electric wipe off board.  I do the math problems along side her until she’s ready to fly on that topic Math grade 6 TT

Reading– We liked reading spectrum last year but decided to step it up to Abeka reading. It’s good and I have a schedule to finish them all within the year. Comprehension isn’t our ‘gift’ in this home school house so the stories really need to interest us. I’m happy with the selection and it’s challenging. (voyage of discovery, Of America, Adventures in greatness and Mountain pathways) I didn’t buy anything but the student books I listed for this.  Abeka reading 6th grade

Spelling/ Vocabulary – I go back and forth between curriculum here. We have Wordly Wise, which i think is great and I mix that with Spelling Spectrum. However,  I don’t feel that Spelling Spectrum is that challenging for 6th grade so I purchased the Abeka Spelling Vocabulary (pamphlet) book. I will do Abeka spelling-vocab one week (it’s both subjects in one small pamphlet like book) and the next week I will do Spectrum and Worldly wise. I add in missed words from previous weeks until they are spelled correctly.

Wordly Wise vocabulary
Spelling Spectrum 6th grade
Abeka Spelling and Vocabulary

  • I do find that Abeka Spelling/Vocab is not so easy. There are 35 words, only one small practice sheet for the week, so you need to plan out your week to study. 35 words and definitions was a lot for my daughter, so I only give her 20-25 words because any more is too much. We have other vocabulary in week with Science, History and Reading . Abeka just seems like overkill. However, their word list is amazing so I mix it up

Grammar– I use a few workbooks for grammar. Each week I rip out what I want completed in the week. Here are a few I use:

  • Grammar and punctuation grade 6 by Evan Moor. It goes over 25 grammar rules and practice work.
  • Paragraph editing . This is my favorite. Each day I give her 1-2 paragraphs to edit. I found this is the best way to reinforce grammar and spelling. The downside to the workbook is that the answers are on the following page so I had to make copies of the pages so she doesn’t cheat.
  • Evan Moore Daily language review. Same stuff, busy work

We did analytical grammar and we enjoyed that as well.

Writing– I’m sure I need to step it up with writing, maybe in research papers for other subjects, but for now we are using 730 Journal prompts for grades 4-6. It’s a simple workbook. It’s daily creative writing 1-4 paragraphs. We use this about 3 times a day. There are 2 journal prompts for every day of the year, I let my daughter select one to write about and it’s been very enjoyable

Bible– I originally bought Kay Arthur’s books for kids but her daily work IS TOOOO MUCH. She needs to shorten it plus a lot of fluff. What a shame because she’s a good teacher. That didn’t work for us, so I down load BSF weekly bible study sheets and we read and discuss together. We’ve been in BSF before, but not now and I’m sure they’d wag a finger at me because they think no one else can teach like they can but not so. I appreciate their work and study but their schedule conflicts with ours so I can’t join their meetings this year. I do like their weekly studies. Another good sight you might like to download studies is biblestudies4u

My favorite lesson plannerTeaching is my Superpower lesson planner

I tried to plan out a 4 day school week, giving myself one day a week to catch up, visit a museum , read a new book or discover something new. I also give my schedule a 1 week break every 6 weeks for vacations, hurricanes, interruptions, sickness, catching up, etc- so we don’t get overwhelmed. By doing this, I am able to schedule out all our work to be completed by next May/ June. We started 6th grade at the end of July because I wanted to start early knowing hurricanes intensify over this next 8 weeks and that can put a hamper on homeschooling and also we are having our floors and kitchen remodeled.  I don’t want to stress over home school while listening to jackhammers, so if I need a few days off, it’s all in the schedule.

We try to begin our school day at 9:30, take a short 15 minute break around 11, lunch at 12:30-12.45. Our school day generally takes about 4 hours give or take another hour -depending on the focus abilities for that day.

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Dear busy mom….. Is your life too busy? Time to slow down and let God take control

I recently heard a home school mom say she will never say busy again. She went on to say that being too busy means ‘burdened under satan’s yoke”.

That make me stop and think, being busy is something that has consumed my life. It wasn’t until my recent brain injury, that I realized just how busy I was. My days and hours were literally non stop.As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had 3 concussion the first week of school which put life on hold and kept me at home every single day unless I had to see the doctor.Before this happened, I had every day planned.

Bofore my school year even started, I had signed up for Awana, Spanish classes, co-ops, dance, 5 month practice schedule for the Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant, soccer, spelling bees, science contests, cheer leading, youth groups, volunteering, leading bible studies , leading college prep courses, signed up for weekly workout classes with a friend not to mention meet up dates, field trips, doctor appointments ,going to the gym, keeping up with my bible blog and so much more. My calendar, like other years, was packed daily.

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When I was forced to sit home for these last 5 months, I found great value in quietness and being with my children one on one- just sitting around in our house. What was I running myself ragged ? I know there are times to step up, I know we want our children to experience everything but perhaps sometimes we should all take a time out. I kept telling myself that I needed it, but I couldn’t see a break anywhere.

It felt so freeing to say no. But wait, I don’t have a problem saying no, it was the necessary things I had problem saying no to – friend and family parties, vacations, classes, meetups, volunteer sign ups, driving places… – everything was put at a stop! a standstill. If you find yourself saying “I’m too busy” way to often, consider giving you and your family a well needed time out. Ask God for help, because if you are like me – I couldn’t imagine giving up anything.

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Although I had many painful and terrifying days while I was healing, I had more time with the Lord and more time with my family. I had to let a lot of things go, I had to trust God in all things. I was no longer in control, God was. This was especially trying with one child new to driving, she suddenly had to do all the driving on her own. I had to trust God.

A year ago, I said I can’t wait for January, I’ll be able to slow down. It didn’t happen. Then I said, I can’t wait until summer, I just want to sit on the beach and stare at the waves. It never happened. I was too busy  to meet with friends, enjoy time with the Lord and my children. What was going on?

I’ve enjoyed my time off , and occasionally when I have a good. day Ill run an errand here and there and do way too much. When I do this, I’m in bed for 2 days recovering. Maybe God is trying to slow me down. Enjoy each moment and each day, learning how to not be busy – yes, it’s something I must learn and reset my brain to do – to not be so busy.

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Dear Lord,

   Keep life from keeping me too busy to hear your leading. I don’t want to live an overburdened life, forgive me for not spending time with you when I know you were reaching out to me. Forgive me for not putting you first place with my chidren. Help me organize and balance the life you’ve given me in a way that truly honors you. I want to lead a life that you will delight in. Show me how to train my children, open my eyes to help me understand Your paths and Your leading. If there is anything in my life that is keeping me from my best, help me to break away and do what is right. Remind me to keep my thoughts on you, for give me for worrying and allowing stress to at times overwhelm me. I am reminded of your love for me, that you are always beside me. I am silenced at the magnitude of this. You, our great and Mighty God, would consider me and my family.
Keep us from being sidetracked and pulled in by  the pressures of this world. Keep our feet on the narrow path that leads to eternal life. Help me watch my words and learn to speak blessings over my children and family. Rescue us and show us the way. Thank you for your love, your kindness and the wisdom you give me. Thank you for  your Son, Jesus,

Today I am silenced and in Awe of your greatness,
In Jesus name,
Amen

 

 

 


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5th grade homeschool curriculum

I wanted to share the curriculum that worked for us this year. After many recommendation and many trials, this worked well for us this year:

  1. Math -Teaching textbooks and occasional worksheets
  2. History – Story of the World with workbook and misc. videos from library and online as well as occasional research and learning we did as we followed along with classical conversations.
  3. Bible– We went between bsf, my own home made studies and now we are doing Kay Arthur’s Lord, teach me to pray for kids
  4. Reading Comprehension – Spectrum Reading grade 5 plus miscellaneous books we enjoy reading
  5. Vocabulary -Worldly Wise book 6, you can use 5 for 5th grade, up to you. we don’t do every single activity in workbook. As long as she understands the word, I’m okay.
  6. Spelling Spectrum grade 5 – great spelling resource. I don’t stress if there are missed words, I just keep adding them in per week until she masters it.
  7. Cursive – Prescripts Cursive Medieval to Modern World – or if you are in a Classical Conversations group, use the workbook used that year
  8. Science – Library dvd, Evan Moor Daily Science grade 5, my daughter loves pinterest and we are almost daily doing new experiments. Yesterday we made homemade doggie treats and organic toothpaste for dogs.
  9. Geography – I really like the weekly geography with Classical so we try to do that often. I have a workbook “The complete book of Maps and Geography” grades 3-6. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I wonder if I’m wasting my time. Dvds from library work well too
  10. ELA – English Language Arts – Evan Moore Grammar and Punctuation grade 5, Paragraph editing by interactive learning – this is just a quick assignment daily,  Fictional Writing  by Teacher Created Recourses grades 5-8. I purchased all of these at Ace Teacher supply Store.

We also do Awana, dance, soccer and go on many field trips.

We are part a homeschool group called Classical Conversations. I like the different learning facts that we learn each week. It makes it interesting . We do a weekly science experiment, learn about famous artists and musicians as well. At home we spend extra time on one or two things that we learned in classical. This week we are focusing on World War 2 and last week we spent a lot of time on Morse Code and some of the first industrial machines. It just adds a nice touch to the the learning and I feel like we’ve covered a lot when we add in Classical conversations. I don’t worry too much about the memorizing, that’s just not our style.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Homeschool Organization

Here are some things I have that helped me stay organized

Unit shelves (I think this is best used horizontally)
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80275887/

KALLAX Shelf unit IKEA Choose whether you want to place it vertically or horizontally to use it as a shelf or sideboard.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00275848/

My bookshelf was purchased at homegoods, I can’t find it online but if you search for rolling pantry 5-7 shelves, you’ll find similar items.