Homeschooling Update: Vacation to the Black Hills

We were blessed to have a few days to finally take a trip somewhere, anywhere. Bismarck is a wonderful little city, but we’ve been stuck in quarantine so long we nearly forgot how to travel. One of the fun things about homeschooling is the ability to go on trips like this whenever we feel like it, since we don’t need to wait for days off of school. However, this year has been a bit of a homeschooling trip flop so far! Usually we’ve seen half a dozen museums by August, so we attempted to make up for some lost ground by visiting the South Dakota Geological museum. We also went to drive through Bear Country in Rapid City where the bears are walking around outside next to your vehicle. It was all fun and games until Mr. Forckle, our new puppy, decided he was going to bark at the bears the entire time. Aren’t puppies so precious? With that high pitched bark and puppy breath? It was actually really cute, he was just trying to warn us of imminent danger.

We stayed in a little cabin in the Black Hills, where we talked about the history of the area and the Wild West. During some hiking we saw mule deer, a beautiful wood pecker, and chipmunks galore! It was really hot, and we ended up cutting the trip short, but we had such a great time. Learning through conversations is my favorite way to teach homeschooling, especially when Kayliegh is getting to interact with her surroundings. We had to stop at the museum gift shop, of course, where she found some great rocks and her dorky mother bought another fossil. I’m really excited about this one! I’m going to talk about it a bit on the MEGA live list today.

I know, I know…it’s not Friday. It’s Saturday. Unless you’re not reading this on Saturday, in which case it could be any day of the week really. Either way, we had a bit of an adventure driving home to North Dakota. Most of the highway from SD to ND consists of tiny two lane streets. These streets stretch between the beautiful rolling hills and miles upon miles of uninterrupted cattle grassing. You don’t see power lines, phone lines, or gas stations for most of the drive. You also hardly notice the large reservations you drive through on the way north. Those reservations all have COVID check points now, something we didn’t have to drive through to get to the Black Hills so we were certainly taken by surprise. We have an out of state license plate, so we were not allowed through their land. Instead, we traveled what was undoubtedly some of the most beautiful country we’ve seen, an hour or more out of the way of home. Thus, my carefully constructed plan to arrive home with exactly enough time to unload the truck, go live, and then get everyone to bed, was wrecked.

So today you’ll have a Saturday MEGA list! And I’ll be geeking out over my newest fossil, as well as giving some great recommendations, updates, and shout outs. I’m going to be sharing some of the fantastic work on hermeneutics done by David Knight at Exposit the Word, some listener questions, and some other great stuff as well. I hope you can join me over on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram today at 3:30 CST. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling During the Busy Seasons

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today I want to talk a little about my homeschooling patterns over these past couple months. Why those in particular? We’ve had a lot going on, soft ball season started for Kayliegh, we bought a new puppy, and I helped put on the Open Hearts in a Closed World Conference. Of course, all of that was added as our state opening back up and homeschooling events beginning again. We don’t take summers off, Kayliegh takes intermittent breaks during our moves from town to town instead. That gives her ample time to explore the new home, pick out her room, and decorate to her hearts content. So, all that is to say, with everything else going on, we were still homeschooling.

Inevitably, as homeschooling parents, you’re going to come across a season where you have less time for teaching and preparing lessons than what you’re use to. Hopefully my experience with those seasons will help you mentally prepare before it comes to that. The first thing I’d recommend is getting ready now, don’t wait until something happens. If you have extra time, plan lessons as far out in advance as you can, even if they’re primitive, and you may never use them. It’s better to have them ready and waiting, in case an emergency happens or you suddenly find yourselves face to face with double headers for the first time. I didn’t know they started them on multiple games in one day at 9-years-old but having four hours blocked off instead of two threw me for a loop. Then there was practice the following night, and her desire to learn to pitch which gave my darling husband the initiative to turn the garage into a batting cage so she could practice both hitting and pitching. All in all, I would say the new schedule includes 8 to 10 hours of softball related stuff.

The second thing that helps me through times like this is prioritizing lessons based on what needs to be taught on any given day, and what you add in because it’s fun and they like it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you take out all the fun and leave only the math, English, science, and history. What you consider to be a priority will depend on your child, what subject are they struggling in? You don’t want to skim on that area, give it the extra time if they’re excelling in something else. What are they interested in? Homeschool children tend to have a myriad of talents and skills, whether its multiple languages, crafts, instruments, or all of the above. What particular talent/skill are they focused on currently? Prioritize that over the continuation of other topics or trades. That way when you bring home a fluffy new member of your home that needs to be taken out every hour for potty training, your kiddos have the time to learn responsibility in caring for a living thing.

The last thing I recommend is clearly communicating with your homeschoolers. Let them know that time is being crunched, and you’re going to be changing things up. Talk to them about time management, ask them their opinion about where time can be used more wisely, let them share their thoughts on what classes might need more focus. Taking their suggestions to heart, letting them know you listen and appreciate their input (even if you decide that math really is more important than experimental home economics e.i. seeing how something bakes if you put in too much baking powder). This does two things for your homeschooling curriculum, first it lets your children know what their agendas are going to look like for the next couple months or so. Second, it helps them recognize that time is important, every task takes a certain amount of time and without careful attention you might end up not getting everything done. These have been helpful ways that I’ve gotten through the last couple months with so much on my plate. The conference ended yesterday, and I was tremendously honored to have been apart of it. My ministry in my home comes first, serving my husband and teaching my daughter, so if I’m going to add anything to my day I have to be careful not to do so at their expense. I hope this is helpful for all you homeschooling families, I’d love to hear about ways you’ve improved on time management in your home in the comments below. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Saturday Homeschooling Update: Doctrines and Church Fathers – Free Worksheets

Hello all, I hope this post finds you doing well! Below I’ve attached some lessons on the virgin birth, as apart of the essential doctrines series, and worksheets on Ignatius of Antioch. I’ve also linked to the extant letters from Ignatius in case anyone wants to add the reading to their lessons. I recommend Songs with Saplings to go alongside this lesson as the doctrinal worksheets include catechism questions, and SwS has adorable and instructive music to go with those questions. I hope these lessons will be a blessing, for homeschooling or Sunday school.

Virgin Birth

Ignatius of Antioch

Early Church Letters

Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius-of-Antioch-Quote

The garden has produced some more strawberries, and jalapeños, but the tomatoes are still pretty green. We added mini pumpkins, and they’ve already begun to flower! They’re really beautiful flowers, but they don’t last long before they turn into tiny green pumpkins. At this point, pulling weeds and watering them is the most exciting them that happens. Hopefully this stage of gardening will teach Kayleigh patience. It’s certainly teaching me!

Other than that, I don’t have much else to report. There’s only three games left of softball, but we found a baseball league for her age to play in the fall. This will be the first year she’s done that, and I’m excited to see what it will be like! The team of players she began with this summer had mostly never played, and it’s been amazing to watch them grow as a team together learning how to catch, throw, hit, and communicate. I’m very thankful that she’s been able to play and learn through this sport.

As she nears the end of the Little House on the Prairie books, we’re looking for something to replace it. Any and all recommendations are so very helpful! There hasn’t been much change, although Lord willing next week I’ll have a science related update. I hope you have all had a fruitful week. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved!

Saturday Homeschooling Lessons – Update and Free Resources

Hello dear friends, I hope this post finds you all doing well and having a pleasant weekend! I haven’t had a opprotunity to update you all on Kayliegh’s lessons in so long. We were cruising along in math problem free until we came to division. Thankfully my amazing husband stepped in, he seems to speak a language Kk understands better than mine. Those two have very similar ways of capturing ideas, so he’s going to help with division. I’m so thankful to God for my husband, he never complains or fuses, if there’s a problem he’s ready with a solution!

We’ve been a bit of everywhere with science lately, from tsunamis to bird flight patterns. So I’m doing the unthinkable (at least for me) and creating a spreadsheet for science in 2019. Do any of you awesome homeschooling families use spreadsheets, and if so have any tips? History has been a focus on pilgrims, with the reading of Little House on the Prairie books. Kayliegh loves the adventure, and it helps that the main characters are young girls. She’s fallen in love with Ma and Pa, and frequently tells me what they’re doing as if they were her relatives. Too cute! This has, of course, given us multiple opportunities to discuss technological advances made since then, the changes in land and law, along with the dangers early settlers faced. We’re going to back track from there into the first pilgrims. At which point, in time for Thanksgiving, we’re going to watch and discuss Monumental, Kirk Camerons documentary which follows believers fleeing home and country to find a land they can be free to worship God the way the Bible says.

Let’s skip grammar today, it’s the most saturating subject for free online curriculum. If you are struggling to find information in this area though please feel free to mention it in the comments and I’d be happy to share what sites we use. Otherwise, let me get to the fun stuff, sharing free resources! I’ve shared this before, but as it’s still being offered freely, and as Christmas is right around the corner, Ken Ham’s Answers In Genesis is still offering their Easter curriculum for free. I find nothing beneficial about sharing the birth of The Savior without sharing why. Christmas is one of those unique holidays where everyone is feeling festive, but no one talks about why. This is why every year I mix things all up and teach Kayliegh the full story. Obviously we want to be giving the Gospel to our children often, not just on Holidays, but especially at the Holidays. May I suggest to you all, as well, that now is a fantastic time to order some Gospel tracts. November is the month where Americans celebrate thankfulness, show your community what the Savior did. December is the month where everyone celebrates Christ’s birth, whether they realize it or not, show them what the Savior did. Give them the Good News!

Also, as we’ve just celebrating the 501st anniversary of the Reformation, I want to review some of our late brothers in Christ who changed the church for the better. I found this fantastic print outs here, and also will be reviewing the Amazon movies of these characters with Kk through out this month, and next month. Lastly, in-between grueling lessons or scientific lectures and research, I love to give Kayliegh the chance to take a creative break. These Days of Creation coloring pages are the perfect way to do this! It’s separate from art class in that no messes are being made, and also creates a short quiet time where she can focus on the Scripture in front of her. If you have resources you’d like to share please feel free to add them in the comment sections. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.