Wednesday, September 20, 2017

First Day of School 2017-18

We all got up early on the first day of school and had Muffins and Juice!

 We decided to just relax and do school in our pajamas!!




Hudson & Beckham especially loved our Calendar and Weather area!  They are practicing learning their Months, Days, and Weather words! 






We bought Window Crayons and the boys love doing their math on the windows!!

New School Year 2017-2018

We started our new school year on August 14th, 2017.  We are really looking forward to this school year, it is our 7th year Homeschooling!  It is also a very significant year as Katy is a Senior in high school, so it is her last year of homeschool! (Cue the tears and sniffles!)

And to make it even more significant...the boys started Kindergarten this year!!

First Day of School Pictures:











We also started the day off with fun First Day of School festivities and gifts!


Mackenzie & Katy stayed up late the night before getting our school area all ready for the big day!




 Everyone got a new Journal notebook ad pencils and a stocked up Pencil Box!!







Thursday, October 8, 2015

Service Day #1 - Baking For Heroes!


BAKING FOR HEROES

SEPTEMBER 11th 2015

We have decided to do a Service Day one Friday a month and our first Service Day fell on September 11th, so we wanted to do something in memory of our Police and Fire Departments.


Mackenzie made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.


Katy made Snickerdoodles.



We made cards and everyone signed them.


The girls really had a great time preparing for this.
We also got to talk about September 11th and the significance of this date.



We visited 2 Fire Stations and our main Police Department.



The Firefighters at Stations 4 and 7 were so wonderful!
They didn't know we were even coming and still offered us a tour!



Hudson & Beckham were in awe of the Firefighter Lam.  
They also got to sit in the truck!


Our last stop was at the Olathe Police Department.



The Duty Officer was happy to pose for a picture with us.
Hudson was really taken with her.


We are grateful to live in a safe and caring community.  To have so many people who protect and serve our neighborhoods!  Our family appreciates all of our Firefighters and police and everyone of their families that support them in their jobs!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Homeschooling with Toddlers

Homeschooling multiple children is never an easy job, add to the mix a few toddlers and you can have a real circus on your hands.  It has not always been easy to find things for the littlest ones to do, to keep them intentionally occupied, not just busy.  But I have found that if you have a plan, you can make the days productive and pleasant for everyone!

We start out our days with breakfast and chores, then we have Bible study and Character Training with Character First.  Then I do schoolwork with the younger children and the older girls take turns working with the little boys.

We use learning tools that we have purchased and we use ideas for Practical Living, like buttoning buttons, zipping up zippers, snapping snaps.  Folding napkins, pouring rice or beans from one container into another, picking up beans or goldfish crackers with tongs, pouring water from a little pitcher into cups or bowls.  All of these tasks and a lot more are fun for toddlers and not expensive to do.



Here Katy works with the boys and their Counting Bears.


The boys love to count, sort and line up the Bears!


Here they are working on Sandpaper Letters.


Most of these learning tools were ordered from Amazon.  
They are Montessori based.


Mackenzie is going over the Magnetic Letters with them.
 

Madyson reading the BOB Books with the boys.


We also take them outside to run around.  In fact a lot of our mornings are spent finding ways to help them get their wiggles out!  
Little boys need to move their bodies about 40 minutes out of every hour!!




A lot of the ideas we use were found in the books 
"Teach Me To Do It Myself; Montessori Activities For You and Your Child" and 
"How To Raise An Amazing Child; The Montessori Way".


Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Curriculum for a New School Year!

I started this homeschooling journey in 2009, when I brought my oldest daughter Katy home for her 5th Grade year.  At the time I had four daughters in my home.  Two of them were also in elementary school and the youngest went to a pre-school/daycare.  I am a single parent, therefore I must work so I have an Accounting Firm which I am blessed to work in my home.  I specialize in Small Business and Taxes so I am fairly busy all year, but extremely busy during Tax Season.

I had intended to start homeschooling Katy in the 6th Grade, since I really didn't want her to go to Middle School.  But I changed my mind as we got closer to the end of her 4th grade year.  I had researched many different curriculum and i knew I needed one that had done all of the work for me!  I didn't really want to write my own lesson plans, plus I wasn't really sure how to start, so I knew I needed one that included everything!

I decided on Sonlight.  It is really great, so many awesome books and you can use each Core for multiple students.  We used Sonlight for the first 5 years.  I used Horizons Math for a couple of years and then we switched over to Teaching Textbooks, which I also loved!  I continued with Sonlight as I added each child to our homeschool classroom.  It was kind of a chore to keep track of all of the books, but I really had decided to keep doing Sonlight all the way through high school!  I mean, why would I change?  (I hate to change something!  I am totally the type of person who will stick with the same insurance company, cell phone provider, cable provider...toothpaste!  I just don't see why you need to change something if it is working!)

Then we hit 2015, and things started to change!  Our family was looking into another adoption, possibly adopting a large sibling group and literally doubling our family size!  So I happened to order Terri Maxwell's Managers of Their Schools.  In this wonderful book, Terri outlines all of her struggles, hard work, and tips for homeschooling a large family.  (They have 10 children.)

And Terri said they used Alpha Omega's LifePacs!  Textbooks?  I would never use Textbooks!  Those are boring, lifeless, too structured, did I mention boring?!  But you know what?  They are not boring, they are not lifeless...yes, they are very structured, but isn't structure a good thing too?  Especially when you are homeschooling 12 children at the same time?

So we ordered the Alpha Omega LifePacs!!  10th Grade, 7th Grade, 6th Grade and 2nd Grade!!  And we LOVE them!!!

Katy loves them because she likes to work independently!

Mackenzie loves them because of the Self-Tests and questions about everything she reads, she said she likes to be accountable!

Madyson loves them because she can do her lessons FAST!

Ava Marie loves them because she gets to work with Mommy still!

And Mommy loves them because they are making my girls smile and we are moving along awesomely!  Change can be good!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Day of Homeschool 2015-16

Can you believe the new school year is already here?

This year we have four in school and two in Pre-School.

Katy is now is 10th Grade.


Mackenzie is in the 7th Grade.


Madyson is in the 6th Grade.


Ava Marie is in the 2nd Grade.


Beckham & Hudson are going to Pre-School.



We started the morning with breakfast muffins and fresh new School Supplies at the table!  Who doesn't love new pencils and brand new notebooks!











I love how ready everyone was to get started on this day!  We were able to really get into the new schedule.
Getting up at 7 am, breakfast, morning chores and ready to start lessons at 9am!  Love it!


This is a good view of our homeschool area.  The girls at the big table and the little boys at their table.  The boys will be home all day on Monday and Friday, and will attend a morning pre-school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.




Happy fist Day of school to you too!