Homeschooling in Florida

My journey


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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.

Questions?

Comments?

Recommendations?


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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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Homeschool STEM Science Technology Engineering and Math – Stemsims and Pitsco

I went to the FPEA homeschool convention last week and found two booths with the STEM projects/curriculum.

STEMSIMS

The first was Stemsims.com it is an interactive website with simulations. I thought it was really great, so did my husband and kids.  It’s is for grades 4-12, but probably best for middle school. My 3rd grader enjoyed working with it with an adult and my 12th grader absolutely loves it. Check it out, I’ve never seen anything like it before and they have a 7 day free trial. The yearly charge is only $69, which is a great price.

From their website:

    • Over 100 interactive simulations of laboratory experiments and engineering design projects that draw grade 4-12 students into virtual worlds that promote inquiry.
    • STEM Sims place students in scenario-based, contextual learning environments where they use virtual tools to deeply explore STEM topics that matter.
    • It’s not just the simulations. You get lessons, methods, video walkthroughs and more. All designed to support a robust, minds-on STEM curriculum.
    • Research-based and classroom-tested, STEM Sims enable students and teachers to experience leading-edge, next-generation STEM topics in the context of real-world applications.
    • STEM Sims are available on a subscription basis for students at school and at home. Nothing to download or maintain.
    • STEM Sims are aligned with national (NGSS) and state (e.g., Florida) standards. For further information on specific state standards, contact STEMsims@STEMsims.com.

PITSCO

The other booth that I thought was interesting, but didn’t get a lot of time to look was PITSCO.
  This is more of a hands on STEM and Robotics program, rather than an online interactive. When I walked by the booth they handed out sample bags for the kids to create different things with the contents, my elementary daughter really loved it. You should check out the site, there is a lot to see and look at. Products are groups by grade, K-12. They have curriculum and activities for all ages.Check out this site for : Middle school engineering activites
  The web has many more sites for homeschoolers interested in Stem, also check your local library. I know our Nova Library in Davie, Florida has afterschool Stem activities as well.


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Good Study techniques – Study like a genius

The following notes were taken from a lecture “Study like a genius”  by Woody Robertson

 

  •   Studies have shown the best breakfast before learning (or taking a test) is a high protein breakfast – nuts, smoothies, etc
  • NO Caffeine! He said it was a drug ( I wanted to hide under my chair after I heard that)
  • Make sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night.  Some of history’s famous inventors and genius’ would take a short nap in the day and when they woke up (20 min) all their thoughts had sorted out and they could understand what they couldn’t before. So, if you child is drained , take a break.
  • Cardio in the morning gets the oxygen in your brain moving
  • drink water
  • use your hands as your read, you will read faster, you will have more concentration and your eyes won’t roam – which they do when your reading – you just haven’t realized it yet. You hands blocks other words and helps you keep focus
  • Always find a a quiet place – no music
  • consider learning speed reading and memorization skills. I tested myself, I read 310wpm and when I used my hand to follow along, it increased to 410wpm – pretty cool.  Drill: find something you’ve already read, reread it 2x and then another 2x and the 4th time read it normal. Take in as much info as possible. According to the speaker, if you do this drill for 3 weeks, for 16 min, 2x a day -am and pm – you will see an increased change in ability to take in more information.  I’m not convinced, but I’d love to speed read.  Maybe I’ll try it. The fastest reader today can read 50,000wpm- that’s crazy. I want to do that.
  • More tips on speed reading:  1st skim entire book, 1 page per second and run thumb down page to get an idea of what is in book. 2nd scan chapter to read 3rd – read at your pace with your hand. 4th keep your speed, if you don’t understand something, you’ll mark it with a quick pencil mark but keep going. 5th give yourself 20 minute segments of learning, take a 3-5 min change of scenery break and keep on. 6th remember! use your memory skills – what did I just read? have a mental picure -fpg file, picture and glue it in your brain – make a rhyming list to help you memorize or a story plot to help you memorize.

 

Check out the FREE audio downloads from college plus  I thought their resources were great and full of good information. Check it out , I liked the bachelors degree by 18, it gives you a lot to think about.