Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why in the World Would I Homeschool?!

If you would have asked me fifteen years ago about homeschooling, I would have given you a blank stare and asked, "What's that?"  Homeschooling was not even on my radar.  Granted, I was really young and not thinking of even having kids yet.

When Coconut was 3, I began traveling around our city, checking out various preschools, gathering information responsibly.  All the while, in the back of my mind I wondered about that crazy homeschooling thing.  I had met several (actually many) homeschooling families in my community, and didn't even know people actually did such a thing.  I didn't look down upon those that chose to homeschool, but looked on with mild curiosity.

I informed Joey of my preschool worthiness findings, and he would nod his head.  We didn't need to think about it quite yet.  Out of the blue one day, he asked me if I would considering homeschooling.  What?!  Um, no.  Too weird, too scary, too...unknown.  I started thinking about this option more.  Wait, now its an option?!  After all, wasn't I thinking about it before Joey even mentioned it to me?  Maybe this is what we're supposed to do?

After I researched homeschooling for hours upon hours upon hours, I told Joey that why don't we just try preschool and see how it goes?  Eight years later, we're still at it.

We still take it year by year and are totally open to public school if that is what the girls need.  We're not anti-school at all, and will continue to take it year by year, evaluating each child.  Maybe one day we'll school only one at home while the other two enter school, maybe not.  We'll see.  We both agree we would like them to each try at least one year in public school, 8th or 9th grade, and we hope to give them a say in their education as they approach high school.

I am a book fiend, and I never learned so much history as though historical fiction, so Sonlight had me hooked. I tried a different curriculum one year with hands-on activities, but I found myself substituting the other curriculum's books with Sonlight books and figured I should just go back to Sonlight.  We've been sonlighting ever since.

Homeschooling has really just become a way of life for us.  It's what we do.  Right now, I can't see it another way, but that may change. 


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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free Printable Pages for Draw Write Now

We have this whole set of books, and each girl has spent hours within their pages.  Mainly we drew the pictures and didn't use the handwriting portion of the curriculum.  DD7 finished her Handwriting Without Tears book early this year, so I needed to come up with something to continue her handwriting practice.  I thought about making something up, but I don't really have time for that right now.  Enter Draw Write Now!

Not only did my girl get to pick which book to start with, she gets to draw every time we do handwriting!  So I made up these generic pages so she could make a clean and tidy book that we'll take to the office store to get spiral bound.  She's excited and I'm excited that she's interested. 

The first page is a larger 3-lined, second page is smaller 3-lined, third page is wide plain lined, and fourth page is narrow plain lined.  I am considering having my older girls, who write cursive, to copy the sentences in cursive.  They just want to draw, and the factoids and cursive handwriting practice will help them too.

Pages from Draw Write Now

Draw Write Now plain sheets


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Meet the Family

So who exactly is this homeschooling woman who does nothing but share freebies?  You may know my name is Julie and I like making printables for my family and then sharing, but how did we start homeschooling?  Why do we homeschool?  Who are we?

Okay, so maybe these aren't burning questions in your mind.  After all, when I look for free schooling materials, I'm usually in and out, thank you ma'am, goodbye.  I figure that's what most of you do as well, but Sonlight, our curriculum of choice, is having a blog party, and I thought it might be fun to engage my lack of writing ability.  I need to stretch myself.

First up, meet my family.  Joey and I have been married for 16 years, and we have three beautiful girls (astonishingly beautiful if I may say so), ages 12, 10, and 7.  We weren't supposed to be able to have children.  We were both tidily checked out by physicians, who told us our chances of conceiving naturally were "approaching zero quickly."  Lo and behold, enter pregnancy a mere two months after we were told that.  Hello Coconut!  Quickly after her birth, we had Dreamer and last, but not least, Beeps.

We've been homeschooling for 8 years now, if you count preschool.  In fact, I'm a little frazzled right now with the thought of a 7th grader next year.  We just take it one year at a time.

I'm getting ahead of myself, though.  Next month, check back to see how we came to homeschooling and why we are continuing for now.  So there you have it in a nutshell.  My family.  :)


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Friday, January 9, 2015

Missing Files

Unfortunately, HS Launch, where I stored many of my old files, has gone down.  I have no idea how to contact them to see if I can get my files back.  Normally, I have the files on my computer, but these old files were on a laptop that crashed several years ago, and I lost them. 

I'm looking at my backed up files now to see if I can restore some of my files.  Many will be lost, though.  Give me several days to go through these files, transfer them to Google Docs, and then update my pages.  I'm so sorry for this. 


First Aid Notebooking - History Style

The girls made a Civil War First Aid booklet after looking up what techniques would have been used during this time period.  It's a great notebooking idea for American history.

This first set is my 11-year-old's booklet.

The second set is my 10-year-old's booklet.


Friday, January 2, 2015

The Creative Writer - Photo-Story

This year we decided to use The Creative Writer by Boris Fishman.  We really enjoy it, and the girls are learning a lot on how to pull together a fiction piece.  One of the assignments was to tell a story through pictures only.  I gave my 11-year-old the camera and let her have at it.

The assignment in the book helped the kids narrow down a topic and what should be in it.  Here are the results!  I'm not even putting captions on the pictures except the first, as I hope (and think) the way she decided to pose herself and the owl speak for themselves.

I think she did an excellent job!

There once was a wooden owl who sprang to life...


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Olmec Notebooking Page

I decided to expand on my 2nd grader's ancient history study by exploring the Olmec people more.  Not much is know about them, so the page is short and sweet.

This page is geared toward lower elementary, so no writing is required.  There's a place to draw your own Olmec head and then a suggestion to carve it into a bar of white soap.

There's an opportunity to go off on a few bunny trails from this page as well.  Chocolate and rubber are briefly mentioned, and if there's interest, you and your kids can research those topics more.

I hope you find this useful!

Olmec notebooking page