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: Apologetics, Gardening, and Books

Today, dear ones, I’m excited to have the first few worksheets prepared in what will, Lord willing, be an entire homeschooling unit on apologetics. I’m using Pastor Jim’s three part series on trusting the Old Testament as a guide. This is just the beginning worksheets, with some definitions and scripture reading. I can’t wait to discuss these with Kayliegh, and I hope they’ll be a blessing to other believers as well.

Apologetics for Kids

The garden is doing well, the baby pumpkins we planted are thriving and the tomatoes are going crazy. Our dill, and basil have begun to seed which means they’re done for the season. But the rosemary and thyme are still producing so we’ll have plenty of that. The mint from the greenhouse next door has infiltrated, again, which means we will still have plenty of that as well. Kayliegh’s not interested in the garden now, so many of the plants have stopped producing. She I’m tending to them until the pumpkins come along, I have a feeling that will rekindle some attention.

So long as we’re using Pastor Jim’s Old Testament for lessons, here’s also a reviewed of a child’s book here. It looks like it would be very helpful, and edifying for young people. I’m going to continue to work on the apologetics lessons, please let me know if there is an area of homeschooling studies you’d like to do but are unable to find. 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!

Homeschooling Worksheets – Essential Doctrines and Polycarp

Hello again, dear friends! I hope you’re having a blessed weekend thus far, and will be edifies and encouraged through fellowship. Below I’ve attached three lessons, along with a list of the shorter Westminster Catechism. I love this particular pdf because it comes equipped with Scriptural references. This time I’ve created a short lesson on Polycarp for anyone hoping to teach their children about the early church. I’ve included this weeks Twisted Tuesday lesson, and last weeks which was not posted. So, below is a lesson on Monotheism, the Resurrection, and Polycarp of Smyrna which includes a word-search I had way to much fun creating! I want to also create lessons on the heresies and heretics of the time, and would love your opinions on what age range that would be appropriate for. You’re thoughts are always such a tremendous blessing to me! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Polycarp of Smyrna

Montheism

Resurrection of Christ

ws_catechism

Saturday Homeschooling Update and Resources – Plants and Circuits!

Hello dear ones, and happy Saturday to you all. I hope this finds you doing well. I wanted to give you an update on what we’ve been doing in homeschool as well as some AMAZING new lessons produced by my favorite homeschooling, pastor, and lesson making machine, brother Jim! These are the most organized and detailed lessons I’ve ever found online, and he shares them free of charge. This time he did a series on plants!

Plants Lesson – Introduction – Lesson 1

Plants Lesson – Life Cycles – Lesson 2

Plants Lesson – Photosynthesis – Lesson 3

Plants Lesson – Flowers – Lesson 4

Plants Lesson – Leaves – Lesson 5

I also wanted to share with you the new circuit board Kayleigh has been creating with. Her goal is to invent something everyone needs before she’s 10, so we’re starting with the basics of computer technology. I found this super neat kit that has snap on circuits, along with wires, motors, fans, sirens, music boxes, and lights all which require the circuits to work! She’s created a couple already, and can’t wait to make one of her own. If you have a little one that loves technology or is curious about machinery, these snap on circuit kits are very helpful. If you have an older kiddo, they even have a larger kit thats a bit more complex.

This month we’ve done some assessment testing, nothing too terribly stressful, just to see where she’s at and what we need to improve on. This is the second year we’ve done this, and it’s very helpful. It’s not a timed, pass or repeat a year, nightmare giving state exam. I found some short, manageable assessments online designed for homeschoolers. Now we know we’re further ahead in some subjects that I expected, and right on pace with the others.

Per my handy dandy spreadsheet we’ll be learning about the organization of the animal kingdom this month. We’re also going to continue making our way through the Catechism questions, and learning about the PreReformers. She’s currently on the 6th book of Little House on the Prairie and reading yet again her favorite adventure book, Pilgrims Progress. That’s about all the updating I can think of, I hope these ideas, resources, and links help! Until tomorrow, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Resources and Update – Encouragement for Lessons During Holidays

Hello dear ones! It’s snowing here again, just as the previous layer was nearly melted away. It’s so beautiful, and we even went sledding for the first time in our lives. So. Much. Fun. Boy, we really missed out on something special growing up in the south. I can not wait to go again this weekend! I had no intention of getting on the sled, however in demonstrating the safest way to propel my darling daughter down a hill, I found that gravity is still fully in effect, down an entire hill I went! What does this have to do with lessons? Everything! Inertia, gravity, traction, aerodynamics, to name a few. We’re actually not covering any of those topics in science currently, but what a great opportunity to review them. This is the encouragement I want to give all my homeschooling friends out there, everything is a teachable moment. I know it can seem like the last three months of the year are a difficult time to focus. There’s so much to distract! Especially snow. Snow! That even distracts me.

Don’t be discouraged if productivity slows down a bit. Now is a great time to prepare for next year, try remembering that the end of the year is full of fun activities so that you can work your lessons around them. We have a very odd style of homeschooling, we only do lessons when Daddy is at work. Hospital shifts are 12 hours, three to four days a weeks, which gives ample days for Kayliegh to blow off steam, and play in the snow. Everyones homeschooling is different, which is just a small part of what makes it so special, no one size fits all! We tried at the beginning of the year to do lessons for just 4 hours 5 days a week, but quickly remembered why we use daddies days off as our days off. Daddy is a jungle gym. He always has been. The moment he wakes up its time for play, so it was nearly impossible to focus. If you find that your little ones are struggling to focus, especially during this time of the year, switch things up. Find what works best for you, and for them. Flexibility is a very good thing!

I also wanted to update everyone on my first ever spreadsheet, it was a huge success. The entire month of November has gone so much smoother, I’m considering working out a spread sheet for all the varies subjects Kayliegh studies. I’ve never written her lesson plans out for an entire year before, I usually cover them monthly (mentally) and write them down weekly. I feel like my brain had fifty tabs open, and I closed them all by organizing it into excel. Again, this might not be the way you choose to homeschool, and thats ok! If you use a program, or order a curriculum, thats fantastic. I create Kayliegh’s because, well one I only have the one child which makes this task much easier. Secondly, Kayliegh is all over the place on grade range, with middle school science, fourth grade social studies, third grade math, and college level reading. Lastly, without my income as a working mom, it’s better for our finances that we stick to the ‘mostly free’ path. No one size fits all! What a blessing this is!

I mentioned in the last update that we were going to learn how, why, when, and where the Puritans came over to America, and why we were celebrating Thanksgiving. That was a huge success, and Monumental has become one of her favorite movies. We watched it in 10-15 minute increments each day, and she couldn’t wait to get to it. I’m preparing for December this week by back tracking with her, looking at brothers and sisters in Christ that make up the generations between the Reformation and the Puritans. Then, in December, we’re going to cover the Reformation. I found these AWESOME coloring pages and worksheets that discuss the five solas! They’re fantastic, and free, see link below.

https://www.coloringworkbooks.com/downloads/the-reformation/

In science, according to my handy dandy spreadsheet, we’re going to be dealing with anatomy, specifically the pathophysiology of each system. I’m really excited about this one! I hope we can really focus, although it will be difficult. Not only will we be making a drive across the country to visit family, we’ll also be packing up for an end of the year move. Like I mentioned above, some months, weeks, or days, as a homeschooling family are more productive than others. We have to celebrate the small victories, while learning and improving from the failures. The goal is not to jam as much information into one day, but to genuinely teach. I know the struggle is real, and some days it feels like you’re spinning your wheels. Just know, beloved, that you are the best person to teach your children. You are giving them the most valuable gift you can give, your time. I hope, and pray, that this post is an encouragement to you all. As always, dear brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Saturday Worksheets – The Sun

I didn’t realize that I had skipped over the Sun in other worksheets for this series, I’m so sorry about that brethren! Here I’ve attached a worksheet for the Sun along with a maze. There is also some scriptural copy work. Of course, if there’s anything specific that you would like to have so homeschooling, Sunday school classes, or other lessons, please feel free to ask.

The Sun

Psalms113-3

There is also a wonderful diagram with more information here. You can also find some excellent videos here for creation science for youngsters. As always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.