Friday, April 22, 2016

Wright Brothers Homemade Notebooking

Here is a homemade page to hopefully inspire you.  My girls seem to take more pride in their notebooking if they make it themselves, even if they have step-by-step directions.  The completed product will look different than my example, and that's the beauty of it!  I hope you like it!

If you would like a more complete unit, check out my Wright Brothers Notebooking Unit.


Friday, April 8, 2016

George Washington Homemade Notebooking

Here is the next in a series of homemade notebook inspiration.  At the bottom of the page, I shaded in the flag before the ink was dry, thus the smearing.  I've made a base page that includes the page with silhouettes of Washington and the other printable clips if you desire.  See link below for those.

I've been making up these pages myself as examples for a co-op class that we attend.  We have done some premade pages, and I just feel that these homemade ones stick more with the kids, as they become their own creation.

Stay tuned for more ideas!

George Washington base page for notebooking


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Telegraph Notebook Page

Just wanted to share one of my latest creations.  It's a homemade page, so no printables available.  I googled Samuel Morse for his portrait and then Morse code for the dots and dashes alphabet, copied them to a Word document, then printed.

I will have the kids draw and decorate the rest themselves.  I pulled the most important information about the telegraph for the bite-sized pieces of information on this page.  See image below for how to do the telegraph key (the button).  Accordion fold a slip of scrap paper for the pushing action, cut out the key shape from an index card and tape into place.  I hope your kids enjoy!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eastern Hemisphere Cultural Geography Activities

This grid schedule is meant to supplement a geography and history study of the Eastern Hemisphere.  It includes websites, art and craft projects, recipes, and suggestions for notebooking for various countries.  I didn't include every single country in the selected area of the world, but more a general area-by-area focus.  There are a lot of ideas in this guide, so pick and choose at your convenience!

If you've used my schedules before, you may find this one lighter in a couple of different areas.  I haven't scheduled many printables.  As our family moves into middle school, we need to focus more on other things.  I also haven't included a lot (if any) reading suggestions either.  We use this schedule with Sonlight®, so we decidedly don't need anymore reading.  I thought I might have extra stuff to choose from just in case we didn't like the ones they suggest.  This schedule and author are not affiliated with Sonlight®.  Check out their reading list if you need some suggestions. 

Some of the recipes and activities are from two books.  The first is called Geography Through Art.  I didn't schedule all the activities in this book just because some of them were too young for my oldest daughter and some weren't from the Eastern Hemisphere.  The second book is by the same publisher (Geography Matters) and is called Eat Your Way Around the WorldThere are plenty of other recipes and activities to keep you busy without these, though.  You can take the titles of the recipes in this book and google for recipes as well.

I want to ask that if you share this schedule, please don't just send them the PDF.  Will you kindly direct them to this blog post?  This is my heart's work, and may not be sold by anyone but me.  Thank you for that!

Eastern Hemisphere Activities Grid Schedule


Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Home Educator

Share a day in the life of your family?  Sounds kinda boring, but maybe our schedule can help someone.  We have three girls, ages 12, 10, and 8 currently.  We are quite structured in our homeschool.

We start at 8:30, and I let the girls choose which subject they want to do first, which is usually math as they want to get done with it.  They work independently in math unless a snag comes up, which we deal with.  They bring their work to me on the spot and move onto their next subject while I check their work.  This way, I don't have mountains of work to correct at the end of the day, plus they get on-the-site critique of their work and fix it right away.

Math usually takes an hour, and if the older girls haven't finished, I have them stop (because there is only so much math a person can take in one sitting) and move onto grammar, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes to do.  While they are working independently, I work with my youngest on writing and phonics one-on-one.  Youngest then moves into handwriting by herself.  If she finishes, she can take a break and get a snack or whatever she likes.

By this time, one of my older girls is usually completely done with independent work (math, handwriting, and grammar).  I move onto spelling with one of them. Then the oldest girls do writing together.  Finally, we finish spelling with the last oldest.

Usually this takes us to about 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon. After eating lunch, we finish up with history and literature with Sonlight, which usually takes about a half hour to 45 minutes for older girls and 20-30 minutes for youngest.

That's how I weave our day together.  It has changed over the years of course.  I've purposely chosen several subjects that can be done as independently as possible, while choosing other programs that take more one-on-one time with subjects that need more practice.

Check out the links below for more tips and stories from other Sonlighters!

Sonlight Blog Party


Monday, April 13, 2015

Elementary Supplement Schedule-Fall of Rome to Present

This is a first time share for this schedule.  I've used it before and had a hard copy, but I lost the PDF in my computer crash several years ago.

Anyway, I've collected videos, hands-on activities, recipes, notebook pages, and some art suggestions for Sonlight Core C®.  This schedule and this author are not affiliated with Sonlight®.

I have lots of books in our personal library, which we may or may not add, and I've included several in this schedule.  You can try to find at your library or just go ahead and substitute something else or read nothing extra at all!  More and more, I've not added anything to our Sonlight cores, especially reading.

The books that stand out as gems to me are:

  • How Children Lived by Chris and Melanie Rice
  • Geography From A to Z by Jack Knowlton
  • Story of the World Volume 2 Activity Guide by Susan Wise Bauer

With those, I think there will be plenty of supplements to keep you busy this year!  While Story of the World Volume 2 is not scheduled in this supplement outright, you will note SOTW Chapters in the lapbook and Activity Guide suggestions.  You could read those chapters in SOTW if you like.  I am really trying to simplify things, so we will actually be reading A Child's History of the World that Sonlight schedules.

Elementary Fall of Rome to Present Supplement Schedule


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Advice to New Homeschoolers

Question:  Share the best homeschooling advice you have been given. What would you advise new homeschoolers?

Man, this is a tough question. I heard a lot of advice when we first started, as we are surrounded by homeschoolers in our area.  There is so much that is just trial and error.  Maybe just a list of thoughts will be best for this question.  Numbering gives me a feeling of chaos coming into order, which may mean more to you as you begin to homeschool.  :)

  • Read.  Just read to your children.  Every day.  Even when they're babies.  Stretch yourself and read things you normally wouldn't read. 
  • You will probably buy curriculum and resources that you just won't use.  Along with this, you will probably buy too much at first.  I've only just begun to know what will and will not work, so my choices are more trimmed these days.
  • When I first started homeschooling, I was a ball of nerves and tried to fit everything into perfectly wrapped boxes, perfectly lined up, with perfectly creased edges.  Anxiety still raises its head in our homeschool, especially as high school looms, and I've realized those early days shouldn't have been such a weight on my shoulders.  Relax.  Take a day off and go hiking or swimming or whatever you like.  Go outside and marvel at the world around you.  I know, I know, you've probably heard that.  Children learn in different ways and at different speeds and if your 5-year-old isn't comprehending this or that, it really is okay.  In most cases, many children will even out in the long run.  
  • On the other hand, trust your spidey-sense too.  You know your child better than the other homeschooling mom who has been doing it for eons.
  • Read all you can about homeschooling, curriculum, forum discussions, and general homeschooling articles.  Even if you don't need a change in curriculum, just reading about the different options will give you ideas, and you can tuck the ideas away for that day when you have a problem to overcome in the trenches.
  • It will most likely be helpful to figure out what your learning style is, along with your children's learning style.  I'm very visual.  I want the words in front of my face.  Audiobooks don't cut it for me.  I must see it to internalize it.  My daughter is audio-driven.  She learns more from me reading things out loud than reading it herself.  I've had to learn how to tailor to her learning tendencies.  I have her read things out loud to herself.  Do stretch your child and yourself into the other areas of learning, though. 
  • Homeschooling isn't a race.  Just because your friend's 5-year-old is reading The Hobbit doesn't mean yours should be too.  Your kids are where they are, and if they're moving forward (and sometimes they'll stagnate for a while), it's okay.  Keep working and moving.  Dory from Nemo comes to mind, "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."  
  • Heart-problems will raise their heads, and when you're with your kids this much, you may not notice them at first.  When you finally realize that your son might be cheating, stop the boat and deal with that.  The heart issues have priority in our house, and I'm working on dealing with these things instead of ignoring them.  Sometimes I want to check the boxes off our to-do list and just get it done, but those attitudes aren't going anywhere.  I don't want my kids to just act nicely, I want their hearts to be in line with their actions.

I could probably talk for hours about this, but I think I've touched what I feel are the most important parts of homeschooling that I've learned.  Check out a wealth of information below on the other Sonlighter's blogs!


Sonlight Blog Party