Homeschooling in Florida

My journey


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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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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.


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Organize Homeschool lessons / Preparing Lessons

I recently suffered a concussion, 3 to be exact, on September 2, 2016. Today, 5 months later, I am still not able to do everything I could. Some days I can’t move or think and other days I am able to get out and do a few errands – Praise God!.  ( So if my sentences at time are off or a mispelling – I’m not 100% yet- but on my way)

If I hadn’t pre-planned during my summer months, nothing would have been done. I hope you will consider always preplanning your year, at least up to 6 months. You never know what circumstances might come your way. Along with preplanning, it is also important to begin teaching your children to do things independently . I know most moms might poopoo this, but my 10 year old can do her own laundry, clean her own room, knows her daily chores and can cook her own meals. When I was in bed unable to move for months, she was independent enough to make breakfast for the family, take care of her clothes, take care of the dog and her schoolwork. Of course, some things were on hold – things that required mommy like new words and other things, but being prepared and having taught independence to my 3 children helped me when life took a sudden turn.

We use a lot of workbooks, books, teaching textbooks and classical conversations. I say we use classical conversations lightly because we don’t get into the extreme memory of facts. I like to use it as a weekly nudge of new things. For instance, today I printed up pictures and maps about WW2, pics of atomic bombs and discussed the years and showed my daughter maps of Hiroshima, Midway, Germany and Poland, but no stress if it isn’t memorized.

 My yearly planning method:  

I noticed that if I planned  per day – it totally stressed me out. Sick days, Visitors and other interruptions messed up my schedule.  I tried an online schedule planner and it worked great for a while but going back and making changes because of interruptions became confusing.

This is what I did this year and it worked out great for me.

I purchased a teacher lesson planner

lessonplannerbook.jpg  I bought this because I like the layout of each week . Here’s link : Teaching is my Superpower lesson planner

I took each book or workbook by subject and divided it up by 32-37 weeks for school year. I decided how much needed to be done each week to finish by June 1- or mid May.

I split it in half and wrote per week what needed to be done between Sept 1- Dec 15

Click here for my weekly list, insert your own subjects :  dailyplanner   print out 6 copies, cut and glue one at start of each week. Go subject by subject planning through year – do not plan daily until you get to that week. (I didn’t do every single subject every day, I know my subject list is long – I did a little here and there to complete year, anything with cc was classical conversations, if you’re curious, FWriting is Fictional writng – a great workbook I purchased at ACE teacher store, and PEditing is a workbook on paragraph editing)

-Even when I was sick, my daughter could see the pages in subjects that needed to be done by Friday, so is we had an off day, no worries, she knew what had to be done in week.

Cut above link in 6 strips and glue into lesson planner, write what needs to be done weekly – not daily.

Here’s an example of one of my weeks. (Okay, I haven’t been the neatest this year…. I got a little fancy and made a border from American girl doll paper I had handy.)
lessonplannerpagedailyplanner1

To preplan the months, I only wrote what needed to be one per week. As the weeks came around I would fill in the days (when I was feeling okay). It made life so much easier. I didn’t do it on the above pics, but as time went on, I would highlight the most important subjects blue and all things classical yellow. To makes sure the most important things each week were completed.

Here’s an online planner Ive used in the past if you prefer to be more orderly :  Home School Manager online planner   , I met them at the FPEA conference all with many others. This was the only online lesson planner that seemed best and easiest to understand. It isn’t working for me, but it did in the past. My daughter especially liked it because she didn’t need to bother with my handwriting – which needs work. Here’s a sample of one of our printed weeks: lessonplanneronline.jpg FYI :There was a second page attached that isn’t shown

 

Anyways, just wanted to give you a nudge to preplan your year and your future. Even if life goes smoothly, preplanning will help you a lot.

Don’t forget to include 3-6 weeks during the year for holidays, vacations, sick days and catching up. Some weeks, it would put review and catch up for all subjects. If you don’t need that week, then save that time for when you need it. Mine always seemed to work out at the right times.

Don’t get frustrated, don’t get stressed. Ask God for help and He will always be with you.

I have more tips on how I organized my stuff and how I keep classical organized. I’ll try to post that soon.

God bless

 

 

 

 


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Freezer Cooking – Quick Meals for busy Moms: 7- 14 (or more) freezer meals ready

I like to prepare the meats for meals and freeze – not the entire meal.  It’s easy to make the side dishes or noodles, so this makes it easy and stress free. The cook and freeze process usually takes about 3-4 hours of my time – or seems that way….If you decide to start, start small because sometimes preparing too much (with kids running around) can be too much. I’d start with the ground meat recipes first and next time add more – chicken and turkey.

My Cooking Plan

This recipe would prepare you for 5-9 meals (or up to 13 meals if you decide to cook chicken and turkey(or a crockpot meal) also): 2 spaghetti and meatball dinners, 2 ziti meals, taco night, meatloaf, and burgers for a family of 4-5. (If you have extra meat, you can also make meat for shepherds pie, chili and picadillo – see below sauce for picadillo and recipe for chili).  There are more recipes below if you want to try to go big- If you do, get a frozen turkey breast and enough chicken breast for 3 meals.  I  like to freeze  my foods with some kind of sauce or marinade to keep them from drying out.

Ground Meat: 

I buy about $30 worth of ground beef or one large package at Costco for $25.00 ( you will need more if you want to prepare chili, picadillo and meat for shepherds pie)

Ingredients:

Ground beef, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg, seasonings, salt, taco dry flavoring, Pam, 5 cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce (or any other kind you like) and any other ingredients you prefer in you meat. These extras are optional. MIX it up!
You will also need tin foil and freezer bags .

Tools: Pan for meatballs, pan for meatloaf, skillet to brown taco meat, spatula, colander to drain grease off of meat. Sharpie pen to label

Extra ingredients you will need later for meals

spaghetti noodles, ziti noodles, mozzarella cheese to melt on top of ziti, taco shells and all the fixings, rice, peas, mash potatoes, side dishes for meatloaf (baked potato and green beans), green, red, yellow, orange peppers, garlic, onions, sofrito sauce, Fettuccine, alfredo sauce, optional: olives, raisins, bay leaf, cubed potatoes for picadillo meat extras. If you are making chili- fat free wraps and sour cream, 4+cans of diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans- red, chili seasoning, oregano, garlic, onion (see link to ww recipe below)

 

Directions:

Turn oven on to 350

Meatballs/Ziti :, begin shaping meatballs – I usually make 13 per family night. I suggest making enough for 4 meals- 2 spaghetti nights and the other two sets can be broken up to make a delicious ziti dish. After making 52 meatballs – hopefully on one tray – doesn’t matter if they touch, pour a little tomato sauce over meatballs so they don’t dry out.

Meatloaf: Shape meat for meatloaf in a small bread pan, sometimes I only make half because we don’t eat an entire meatloaf. you can make a full pan and split it in half for two meals – freeze separately. Cook time and temperature is same as meatballs above – cover pan with tin foil.

Burgers: Set aside enough meat for tacos and if any meat is left over, shape into burgers and put into oven with the meats above. I like to put a little tomato sauce on each one, it keeps it from drying out. Always cover with tin foil.

Instructions:  Cover pan with tin foil and cook all for about 45 minutes. Sometimes Ill cook the last 5-10 minutes without the tin foil.  Cut open a meatball to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. Let fully cool and put in a freezer bag – pour sauce over meatballs, seal , date and freeze. You should have 5-6 freezer bags of food.

To cook meal after freezing: for the meatballs, I put them in a pan with sauce and warm up while I cook spaghetti noodles. For Ziti, I warm up as I cook ziti noodles and cut meatballs up into smaller pieces. I mix the meat and ziti, pour tomato sauce over dish, cover with mozarella chese and put in over at 350 until cheese is melted. Serve with garlic bread. For Meatloaf, you can take out day before and that in fridge or take out that night, pour sauce over meatloaf , cover with tin foil and warm in oven.

Tacos : Heat skillet – optional brown onions and peppers before hand for more taste- brown meat for tacos, when cooked, put in taco seasoning with water, let cool . Put in freezer bag and label.

All in all you should end with 5- 7 dinners prepped. I try, for my family of 5, to try to keep each meal under $10.


Shepherds Pie and Picadillo:
  If you have extra meat,  you can make meat with gravy for shepherds pie (brown meat on skillet – mix with gravy and freeze)- serve over mashed potatoes and peas also spanish picadillo – brown meat and put mix ( put in blender – meat sauce, sofrito, peppers, onion, garlic) pour this mix over cooked meat and freeze ( some people like to add cubed cooked potatoes, raisins, olives and bay leaf to picadillo also – serve over rice with a side of black beans.

Chili – I always try to make this if I have enough meat. My kids love it and so does my husband. It’s the Weight Watchers Chili Recipe : meat, diced tomatoes, pinto beans ( we also add red kidney beans), oregano, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic, onion, peppers. I try to make about 4 servings, freeze 3 bags and serve chili the night I cook. We either eat it heated in a bowl or put in a fat free wrap with sour cream. Delish!

Ready to add more ???

Make (Crockpot) Turkey: Get up early and start the crock pot while you prep for your freezer cooking. I like to put in a small turkey breast with stock, gravy, cut potatoes, carrots – check online for recipe you like. The turkey can be cut in two usually for two separate meals.

BBQ chicken, Parmesan chicken, chicken fettuccine : Throw a chicken breast in the oven with the meats as well. Cover 4 with bbq sauce, another with parmesan and spices  and another 4 with peppers and orange juice. You can also cut them before cooking into cubes and use for dishes- salad, fettuccine, sandwiches, chicken salad, etc. You can make chicken Parmesan or chicken fettuccine. Delicious!

Extra Ideas:  I get a large bag of Peppers and another one of Onions. Cut in small pieces – chop or slice and put in freezer bags. They can be quickly added to any meal and it’s a great help. If your children don’t like peppers, onions and garlic, I have found putting them in a blender with meat sauce is delicious. Your children wont notice it at all.

I hope this helps. It makes life and dinner planning easy and stress free.

 

More Ideas for freezing”

  1. shredded carrots
  2. chopped cooked chicken breast – don’t overbake
  3. brown beef with onions
  4. brown beef with tomatoes and seasoning
  5. baking mixes for muffins or breads – dry mix
  6. pancake mix, roll mix
  7. cookie dough – in logs or small rolls
  8. pbj sandwiches
  9. meat and cheese sandwiches but no mayo
  10. apples – peel and put a little lemon on it  and freeze
  11. label everything!
  12. cream cheese and sour cream potatoes
  13. go to pinterest crock pot freezer cooking for ideas
  14. check out allrecipe.com and moneysavingmom.com
  15. use airtight containers or freezer bags from dollar store (use straw to take out air)
  16. plan you week’s menu

 

 

 

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Do Schools Kill Creativity? Sir Ken Robertson

 

 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:13-18

 

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