Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homeschooling and "THE Curriculum"

I thought I would go ahead and address this once and for all. There is no curriculum out there that is one-size-fits-all. I am tired of everyone bashing others because they think their curriculum is the absolute best on the market (and they probably paid a pretty penny for it too).

I personally love the flexibility that Ambleside Online affords me. I also spend $150 or less each year AND I only have to purchase these once and I have them for "free" for every other child in our home.

I posted many links on my Facebook page today. The links I posted and will post on here are the very few of hundreds I weeded through, to make sure they fit my ideals of what I wanted to do with our homeschooling experience.

I use Ambleside as our base, then I go from there. Most of the books are free to download at Project Gutenberg

I use the KJV and Geneva version to teach Bible. I found a read through the Bible list for children.

I purchased the Eclectic Education Series Cd's, which will take my children from Kindergarten all the way to college. I think that is a good deal. I also really like that they are God based books. I don't have to worry about what my children may accidentally read from day to day. These cover math, phonics, reading skill building, grammar, some science and some history.

For handwriting, I went with the same curriculum I was taught in school. D'Nealian is a much simpler type to teach and transfers easier when you start cursive.

For Nature Journaling, I have done a few things so far. In years 0-2, we learned about an animal in our science stories every week, so that was simple. Now that we are in year 3, it became a challenge until I came across these beautifully detailed coloring books on Amazon. Tabitha copies the picture, then writes about the particular plant each week.

For Health, we have struggled to find something that is not mainstream and full of things I do not think my children need to know about just yet. I have just recently had a suggestion for a AO board room discussion that I could use my homeopathic, essential oil, medicinal herb, and Nourishing Traditions book. Why had I never thought of that before? I will also use our encyclopedia health books as needed.

Music is very easy right now. I bought 2 recorders and a lesson book, which we use infrequently. I also have a beginner piano book. I also have everything from when I was younger to teach violin and flute, but that is down the road. Weekly, we work on learning hymns and listening to classical works. I also have a book we learn about composers.

I really like Art. We learn about a new famous artist, with this series of books, every few months and they draw on paper every chance they get. I really like that AO tells us NOT to do all of those fufu-ish crafts that you put together and throw away. If they want to make something, that is where handicrafts come in. If they are going to take time to make something, it had better be usable. Both children have just started a sewing curriculum that I found on Craftsy and they Rainbow Loom. Tabitha has also started to learn how to crochet.

For foreign language, the children start out learning American Sign Language. This year, I have added Latin to be started in year 3. I will probably add Spanish and French in later years, so that they have a well rounded international vocabulary.

As for workbooks, I do not let anyone write in them. We either go over them orally or I copy the pages and put in a 3 punch folder. For any writing, I print off the lined pages, until they are old enough to use the regular ruled paper.

In Ohio, testing or evaluation is required. I use this company, purely for the convenience. No filling in bubbles for us!

I feel like I am forgetting something, but this is the majority of what we do every week. I also do not follow the school year. We start our years in January and go all year with a break every 4-5 weeks depending on what is going on in our family, be it birthdays, Biblical holy days, or illnesses.

Another great free curriculum site is this. I have looked through it, but have not used any of it yet. I stays in my bookmarks for future use.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Typical Day... Updated

My how things change in 2 years! I have been going back, reading old blog posts and saw what our household schedule looked like in 2011. It has changed quite a bit, and yes people still assume I do absolutely nothing all day long. I wish!

7am Eric gets up for work and occasionally Tabitha and Grady will eat breakfast with him, then go back to bed.
10am Everyone gets up for the day, eats breakfast, laundry (usually diapers) is started
11am School work is started.
1pm lunch
2pm Finish any school work not done before lunch, Emmett naps
3pm clean something, change laundry
4pm do some sewing, crocheting or more cleaning
6pm dinner is started
8pm Eric usually gets home, unless a sales call is far away, then it's more like 10pm
10pm Tabitha and Grady go to bed (yes, they often do not get to see Eric until the weekend...)
12am - 1am Everyone else goes to bed

We still only leave the house 2-3 times a week for milk day, groceries, errands, and co-op.

I really don't know how I would get everything done if we were out constantly. It's all I can do to keep up with chores, since I have no help 95% of the time. I do not require my children to clean, except for toys and the occasional putting away of dishes. I want them to have time to be children. So, all aspects of a clean home, cooking, schooling, and sewing are on me. Yes, even on the weekend. Eric helps as much as he can, but he has many other things that need his attention when he is actually home.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Today, as the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes to a close, I am saddened yet again for all of the Christians who have yet to open their eyes and understand that they are following the path of least resistance.

If you participated in and Easter egg hunt with your children, have a beautiful basket set up for them for when they wake up, so you can lie to them that a fictional rabbit came in their home and left it over night, just so they can do what all the "other children do", you are a fraud.

Jesus never said that following him would be easy. Why do we think that if main stream does it and we give it a little twist, it is perfectly fine?

Where in the Bible does it say to make a holiday and celebrate his rising? I only see where we are supposed to celebrate his death.

I also know very few that celebrate the Bible's Holy Days, as specifically directed by God to do FOR EVER!

Too many are following the teachings of Constantine, not the Bible, unfortunately. If you don't understand what I mean, I highly recommend researching what role Constantine played in creating all of these "biblical holidays" the physical churches celebrate.

I pray anyone reading this will open their hearts and read the Bible for your teachings and stop depending on the physical churches of the world to do it for you. God gave every man, woman, and child a brain, so as I tell my children daily as we read the Bible together, USE IT!

I am blessed that God has given us the tools to learn about these things through homeschooling. I learn something new from the Bible and the curriculum we use all of the time. God gives me little pieces most of the time weekly to digest and discuss with my children. We learn things I never learned, especially going to a Christian private school for 7 years of my life, because the books written and the teachers were blinded.

May God un-blind you today and help you to see the very narrow path he has before you. Jesus did very unpopular things when he was alive, shouldn't we follow in his footsteps?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time to plant 4

It is now time to get those brassicas out into the cool weather to harden them off and get them growing in the ground.

It is also time to get the squash started and direct sow all of those root vegetables, such as radishes, beets, and carrots.