Sunday, December 30, 2012


Have you ever made your own flash cards? I don't mean flashcards you have written out on scrap paper or even index cards. I am talking about using the internet in making flashcards. When you use you can create These online talking FlashCards allow users to study spelling and build vocabulary words in context, learn definitions, parts of speech and more.

Use the VocabualarySpellingCity activity as your own personal flashcard maker. Creating flashcards, for kids using their words list gives them un, interactive ways to study for test. Use FlashCards or create A Flashcards printable featuring your own content.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Special Needs and the Holiday's

With the holiday's here, how is schooling going? Are you still schooling? I have a friend who has a child who is special needs child and she has adjusted her schooling to his special needs learning.  With all the excitement of the lights, tree, the changes in the stores her son has trouble dealing with it all and doing school.  One of the main reasons she uses  Here is what the website states about Why works for special needs.....

Why does Time4Learning work for special needs?

Time4Learning provides a comprehensive curriculum that allows children to easily get comfortable with the system. The levels for language arts and math programs are independently set for each child. This helps children who perform or progress at vastly different levels in these major subjects. Children progress at their own rates using multisensory learning that helps each learning style. The computer is very engaging. Some children, when faced with text books or non-interactive environments, exhibit ADD/ADHD-like behavior, but, when faced with an interactive system, they are often successful in focusing and learning. The computer is impersonal so children on the Autism spectrum(specifically children with Aspergers Syndrome and high-functioning Autism) learn without the distraction of interpersonal relations.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Creative Writing

Creative Writing can be fun and or frustrating for many kids and adults. My son has a great imagination. So does my daughter. My daughter is not old enough yet to write out essays or even write out stories. But my son is old enough!  He just does not like to write or even type. He can tell you the most creative story you will ever hear but to put it on paper that is a whole other story. 

We try our best to get his stories to paper. Sometimes we succeed and other times it is harder..  There are all kinds of items that make up a great essay/story. 

  1. It All Starts With Sentence Writing
  2. Developing a Thought Through Paragraph Writing
  3. Essay Writing and Making a  Case
  4. Holding it All Together: Grammar, Usage, and Writing Mechanics
  5. Creative Strategies of Writing Enhancement 

All of these items are needed work on creative writing and for SAT writing, too. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What is Homeschooling? defines “homeschool” as: To teach one’s children at home, instead of sending them to school.

Our homeschool co-op frequently welcomes families who have just enrolled in the school district’s school-at-home program. These families usually come to realize that, although their children are being educated at home, they are not homeschooling in the traditional sense. Our co-op meetings concerning choice of curriculum, modification of lessons, and other decision-making issues just don’t apply to them. They have no curriculum choice, they aren’t allowed to modify lessons, and the decisions are made by public school personnel.

When I decided to homeschool my youngest son, who has special needs, I was approached by an acquaintance who is a teacher. She strongly suggested that I enroll my son in public school, and tried to bolster her argument by stating that, often, the teachers and therapists will provide services for children with special needs within the child’s own home. “You would still be homeschooling!” she said. I asked her if that meant I could consider my other children public schooled, as long as they sat in the school library to do their homeschool lessons. The location isn’t the point.

Lists of celebrity homeschoolers are often found on the Internet. These kids have a tutor, either at home or on a movie set. Their parents have no idea what they are studying. Are they really homeschooled?

Although I choose my children’s curriculum, grade their work, and make modifications where necessary, I do enroll them in activities taught by others, and I consider those activities part of their school program. Is my child any less homeschooled, because I choose to provide music education through piano lessons?

The term “parent directed education” has been suggested as a replacement for “homeschool”. It’s a bit awkward, but it does more accurately describe what most of us think of when we talk about homeschooling. We may enlist someone else to teach music or art, and we might enroll our students in an online class or two, but the parent determines what classes to offer and how best to provide the instruction.

So, are families who opt for public school at home “homeschoolers”? Are celebrity children who are tutored on a movie set “homeschooled”? What’s YOUR definition of homeschooling?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't take things out of Context!

Have you ever taken anything out of context? The definition of context is....

Definition of CONTEXT (from Merriam-Dictionary)

: the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning
: the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs : environmentsetting <the historical context of the war> states: Context refers to the words or sentences that surround a particular word, idea or passage which either greatly influence or outright define it.

This is a very important skill to learn while learning to read and spell. has some great games for each grade level K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th grades. No matter what your grade level or even your ability level there is a game for you to use and work with.

Even better is they are not just context games but definition games also. This also is a very important skill to have when you are learning to read and spell.  Some of the games are based on math words while others are based on books that you might be reading or have read.

Stop by and try out the context/definition games.

Lil Momma

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Art, Art, Art!!!

Most kids love Art! I know as a mom I love art! It is fun to get messy and creative all at the same time. But there is more to "Art" then just that. there is history behind art, the science behind it and even some great stories of how some art has come to be very famous today. has all the fun stuff and the history, science and great stories all wrapped up in to one. It is an all in one art curriculum.  Best of all after you learn all the educational stuff about the art, they give you assignments on how to try to create your own version of what you just learned.

There are some great art games on the computer, too. Art can more fun then you can ever imagine. Even if you are not a perfect artist. I myself am not very good at art, but with some great curriculum and fun and games my kids have become great artist.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Trouble With Letters or Numbers?

Do you have a child who seems to have trouble with reading? Or maybe a child who has trouble with math? I ask cause that trouble might have a reason. Not just that that the child does not like the subject. but the child might not be seeing things right. Dyslexia comes in all kinds of forms. Some kids have issues with all letters and numbers. Some kids only have issues with letters OR numbers. It all depends on the child. Reading comprehension seems to be the largest challenge for kids.These kids will grow up to be adults some day and have to deal with the real world. The goal as a parent (homeschool parent) is to make sure that same child who has issues with letters or numbers that they are able to get past that problem. To make life easier for them as they grow to be adults. There are many different ways out there.  But as a homeschool parent homeschool dyslexia child can be even more challenging because you know what your own child's strengths and weaknesses are more then any other person.  I give HIGH credit to any mom or dad who is willing to take on the challange of homeschooling a child w/ dyslexia. Yes, it is a challenge but it is also one of the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Seeing your child bloom.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Re-Evaluating at the end of the first Semester?

With people going into the end of the year, they are re-evaluting their kids schooling Do they want them to stay in public school, private school or even start homeschooling. Some will make list of Pro's and Con's of homeschooling.

When you read through homeschooling sites and blogs you will see how most homeschoolers are very passionate and convicted to homechool.  I have don't think I have met any homeschooler who is not convicted to homeschool.  Each Homeschooler has a reason for homeschooling. Some homeschool for for religious reasons, some for issue they where having in public school, or even they can't afford the private school anymore,.  No matter what reason you choose homeschool, I recommend you make a pro's and con's list to help you see the good and the bad. As much as I love homeschooling there are always bad parts to homeschooling. Specially when you get as the parent get stuck on a math problem and can't even help your child get past it. :^) But that is okay, there are all kinds of places and people out there to help with those things that you as a parent might have trouble with.  There is no right way or wrong on how to homeschooling.  It is what works for your family.

So if you are one of those who are looking at the end of the first semester and a change be sure to make your pro's and con's list and see what works for your family.  Oh and don't forget to include your child in this choice. (Don't let them choose friends over what is best for their education, though.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Surprise of my day!

My son totally surprised me the other day.  I know to most this would not suprise them for us it was a shock. I think he even surprised himself.

See his dad sends a bible verse to my phone via text every so often and well this time I was driving and I don't text (or read text while driving) so I handed the phone to Biggun to see what his dad had sent. It was a bible verse. He read it clear as can be w/ no stumbling nothing. Just read it straight out.

He looked at me, I looked at him (red light) and we both realized what he had done. I told him see you can read when you want to.  He responded that it has helped when I have been playing those spelling games  and vocabulary games online.  I think those have helped too.

WOW another shock. My son actually telling me something he is doing for school is helping him. I did not know what to say other then, I love you and I have always known you could read clearly if you set your mind to it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homeschool Blog Carnival

Don't miss this homeschool blog carnival! See how parents use the countdown to Christmas to hone math skills; deal with a horrible, monstrous, disastrous day; use a curriculum based on Legos; save time and money with "stashes"; and much more!

Practice, Practice,Practice.

I am always looking for practice, practice, practice for my kids. To the point that some times my kids get upset w/ me, "Do we have to do more practice?" Sometimes I feel that I over do it but I want to make sure they get it and it is in their heads. Right now we are big on English practice sheets.   Have you seen some of these great practice sheets you can use off of

Working on the computer is easier sometimes to do practice then to actually do it on paper. This is our way of trying to change up the pace. How do you change up the pace when you want your children to practice, practice, practice?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Can you homeschool highschool?

Yes we are doing 8th grade next year but high school is around the corner.   My oldest is to graduate in in 2016. I do plan on highschool homeschooling.  I know this might sound strange to some people, my family especially, but with all the extra help out there either on line, in co-ops, with friends who have friends who have kids in high school.  I think we can do it. Can I homeschool during high school.

Check out these forums that will help you answer questions or even give you some ideas on what do you can do 

Tens of thousands of homeschool graduates are at this very moment:

  • going to college
  • working as engineers, teachers, veterinarians, commercial pilots
  • volunteering as English language teachers in India
  • serving in the Navy
  • writing books
  • starting their own computer repair business
  • saving whales
  • serving as missionaries in Honduras
  • and even homeschooling their OWN children!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homeschool High School LIVE Chat!

Interested in homeschooling for high school? Head over to the Let's Homeschool High School Facebook page TODAY to join the LIVE chat at 3pm EST/2pm CST/1pm MST/12pm PST. Just click on "Live Chat", near the top of the page.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Writing and teens who HATE it!

I have always fought with my teen on writing so much over the years I am exhausted and I still have at least 5 years left with this subject. I have been blessed to have a great co-op class teacher who is taught by Mrs Betty over from Little Farm in Big City.

Yes she graduated her daughter through homeschool last year! 

She has been great in helping and being patient with him. My favorite part is she makes it more fun then I could ever even think to.  She even told her students they could write their sentences or paragraphs on chocolate if they wanted to. The funny thing is she had someone actually do it. :^) She is making it fun to learn the paragraph writing. I would love to have a writing tutor, Maybe in the future!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ask a Homeschooler!

Have you ever had a question that you wanted to ask a homeschool graduate, or a student who is currently homeschooled? Now there is a place you can do just that! Stop by and ask your questions. They will be answered promptly.

Ask a Homeschooler

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finding that routine, sometimes is really hard.....

No matter if you are a home with one mom and three kids, your home might be one mom and 10 kids or even one mom and 1 kid.  No matter what you have some days are good and other days are not so good.  It does not matter if you homeschool or send your kids to school.  Life can be over powering some times. For now lets talk about homeschooling.  Being a mom of 3 with two that are homeschooling this year and one preschooler, my world has been very crazy in the morning. Everyone wants a piece of me. Of course all at the SAME time. My 13 year old still needs me to help him with his reading, so that he can get his answer right in some subjects. My 5 year old is learning everything so she needs my help with everything. My preschooler just wants to be in the middle of everything. I try to keep him busy with activities but sometimes it is just not enough. I am thankful for when I can send one of my kids to the computer to work on either or even math games that my kids really need the extra help on.  Until we get into a routine I live for the end of our school day. When all is done and I can sit and try to relax before I have to work on dinner, house and work.

What is your routine? I would LOVE to hear how your day goes. Any extra help is always welcome. What do you do w/ your preschooler? How are you in 3 or 4 places at a time? Share please.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Crazy Homeschool Morning.

School in our house can look crazy sometimes. I have one kid (3) running up and down the hall in a diaper while I have another at the table (5) who is going right along with her school and all of a sudden she has a I can't attitude and another (13) who is doing his co-op homework and struggling  with his spelling. He keeps asking me to spell words for him. I am having him sound them out as we go but I am realizing we need to use more then we have been. I am going to need to do some spelling test online. Just to double check what he needs to work on.

What do you do for spelling? Do use a computer program, writing program, or just go with the flow?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Writing is one of my son's most hated things to do.  As most kids are like this. We are taking a sentence to sentence class at co-op but to prepare for it Biggun is working on Which Word Sentences  at  We have looked over this whole set of lessons and it is great that it is also helping him in his geography class. They have games like 10 largest US Cities and 10 Largest States.

What a great way to help my son with his sentence class at co-op but also his geography class.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Teacher Resources on

I can not believe how many teacher resources are out there.  Some are mark teachers and not homeschoolers but it is very easy to turn most classroom resources into homeschool resources.

One of my favorite resources to use is

Some of my favorite resources from the Language Arts Lessons are 

Some of my favorite resources from the Useful Word List are
Some of my favorite resources from the Articles are
Some of my favorite resources from Help and Information 

Those are some of my favorites from what are some of your?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Words, Words, Words.....

There are words every where. In every part of our life. In books, on the computer, newspapers, magazines even on TV.  Some kids look at words with enthusiasm and are ready to read the thickest book they can find.  But then there is always the children who do not want to even look at ANYTHING that has words in or on it. Give a child w/ a picture book and they are happy. We as parents want our children to like words. This leads to liking reading. But some of those words can cause a child to panic because they don't understand that is why we use root word games and all kinds of vocabulary games.  What do you use to help your child enjoy words?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How many different ways?

With the new school year starting, how many different ways or should I say paraphernalia are you going to use in your year. There are so many different things that can be used to make a perfect homeschool experience for each individual child. Always remember no child is the same. Using the text books, such as Bob Jones, might work great for child A. But then child B might not do good w/ text books instead they do better with computer type curriculum, such as  Then there is the child that learns by using LOTS of different paraphernalia to get the best out of their education. For example one subject on the computer with for english with games like working on sentence matching, another example might be a work book for math, and text book for history, while using hands on activities for science through a co-op.

There are so many different ways and teaching items out there for us to use with our kids to help them achieve their goals in school what do you use? What does your school look like. 

This would be hands on!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Do you Homeschool High School?

If you are homeschooling a high schooler, or if you are considering doing so in the future, do check out! The site was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with other high school homeschoolers and their families.

Three of my own kids have graduated from our homeschool high school, and I'm currently homeschooling a sophomore. Over and over, I've seen my children's homeschooled friends make a max exodus for the public school system when the high school years arrive.

Homeschool high school doesn't have to be intimidating. LetsHomeschoolHighSchool is a terrifice resource for parents and students. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

That oh so hated subject!

Do you and your family have a tough subject? A subject that your argue over all the time? You know that one subject that your child is constantly begging you to not do. In our house it is writing. Any kind of writing!!!! Next is reading but to ask my son to write me a paragraph is like  torture to him. Some days if you stood outside my door you would think I was hanging my son by his toe nails. 

What is it about writing? My son is very creative.  He loves to tell stories and share his hopes and dreams, but the moment you ask him to write it down he falls apart and the fight starts. I am always looking for creative writing helps. I have tried story liners, write about your day, oh how about we write our own book. So far my 13 year old nothing has worked. I am still on the hunt for the right homeschool resource or anything. Because he is behind on his reading level it is hard to assume he can handle some programs when he might not be able to keep up the classes. 

Any ideas on creative writing for a child who fights the whole time and is behind on his reading skills, I am all for any suggestions. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The use of Videos in our school.

We use lots of things in our home to help with our schooling. The older Honey gets the more she likes to color and cut sheets, use the computer and even watch educational videos 

This past week Honey started a weekly special time with a friend. They worked on the letter A. They did a few papers at the library, we did some pages as homework. We have watched ABC Song video and the ABC Balloon Song

I love all that is offered on this site. My kids do to.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Learning to read......

Learning to read is one of the scariest things in homeschooling, ok it is one of MY most scariest things in homeschooling.  I used a program with my oldest that so did not work. All it did was teach him the the letters but no phonics and he could not put any words together. So it seems like I had to teach him the same thing like 3 or 4 times. 

I am hoping that using and their learning to read program that it will make a difference. Cause I am still very scared to teach my child. See I did not join till 2nd grade and missed most of the items that are shown on this chart below. 

Reading Comprehension

I plan on using the and to help my Honey, daughter learn to read smoother then what I went through w/ my oldest, Biggun. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Games or kids on line

Did you know that there is a hangman for kids on line for kids to use with their spelling words? You can even use it w/ vocabulary words. Even if you don't want to come up w/ your own words there are all kinds a review list to play. And kids LOVE it.


Click on any list to play
 Beach Word List Ocean Word List
 Circus Word List Pets Word List
 Colors Word List Picnic Word List
 Farming Word List Shapes Word List
 Compound Words Magic Show Word List
 Goodnight Moon Math Word List
 Space Word List Zoo Word List

I encourage you to look around and see what other fun games you can find to keep your kids brains from turning to mush over the summer.

Open Minded Homeschoolers

There are so many different homeschoolers from, classical christian, unschooling, charlotte mason, secular, the list can go on and on. But not all of these homeschoolers are open minded homescoolers.   Some times it is a hunt to find others who have like train of thoughts. Some people are very set in their ways that they need to do SCHOOL AT HOME! (uggghhhh that gives me the chills just thinking of it) and others are unschoolers that let their children learn based on interested. If you are homeschooler looking for what kind of homeschooler you are please keep an open mind. Not all homeschoolers are christians, even though many are. If they are not Christians and are raising their children in an open minded secular setting, that does not mean they are the enemy to Christian Homeschoolers. Everyone thinks differently and raises their children differently. But we all have to learn 2+2=4. It just the different ways we do it.

You find that as a Christian you might learn new ways to teach your child by a secular homeschooler even a way to give it a christian feel.

The moral of this blog is to keep an open mind to ALL KINDS OF HOMESCHOOLERS!!!! Your best homeschooling friends may have a different philosophy than you do, but we can all learn from each other.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Keeping Summer learning.

With summer here, how many of you are doing school during the summer? Better yet some kind of review during the summer?

I found a great way to have lots of fun with Spelling during the summer.

Anything from Spelling Flashcards or even using alphabet soup to spell out words at lunch.

For on the run like in the car there is always Puzzle Games that you can print and take w/ you even on vacation.
Then there is board games to help keep the mind moving during the summer. More then the video games that our kids are used to. Monopoly is great for working on math and money. Then there is the game of LIFE that one has lots of skills that can be used.

Smaller kids can use games like connect for is great for counting along w/ Candy Land.

So what are you using during the summer to keep your kids brains moving???

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lazy Summer Learning

Each year around May, many of my friends say they begin dreading the long summer months with kids underfoot. As a homeschool mom, that's when I start looking forward to the mini-break our summer vacation provides. Not all homeschoolers take the summer off, but most of us modify our schedules, at least a little, during June, July, and August.

I don't want my kids to completely forget everything they've learned during the summer, so I've tried some lazy learning methods throughout the years. One of the most successful has been simply playing an educational song each day during lunch. I don't ask them to be quiet and listen. I just put the song on a loop and play it at medium volume while everyone is eating. Before we know it, everyone knows the song. Here are some of our favorites that are especially appropriate for summer learning.

Another lazy mama's method has been to read something to my children that I want them to memorize, every single day. I don't even suggest that they memorize it. I just require that they listen to me read it. It's amazing how quickly the human brain can remember something it's exposed to regularly. We've learned lots of poems, the preamble to the Constitution, a long list of prepositions, and U.S. presidents. Bedtime seems to be a good time to do this. (My younger kids like that, because it means they can stay up "a few more minutes".) If you can repeat it again at breakfast, that's even better.

Only choose one of these ideas at a time. It's summer, after all! I think part of the success has to do with the lack of pressure and the minuscule amount of time and effort involved. If it's easy, you're more likely to do it every day.

Have fun learning this summer!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fun with

If you where at the FPEA convention this past weekend you saw fist hand how worked. But if you where not able to be there, I just want to share a few details that we love about

I love that you have freedom to have your own list or go find a list someone else has put in.
I love that you can find list of words that go with curriculum that is already out there.
I love that you can turn any list into a hand writing worksheet, even cursive writing.
I love there are games like matching sentences. That help your child and they feel liket hey are having fun playing games.

There are so many things that you can do with  I would love to hear what you like about

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wrap up your school year.

This weekend is the big FPEA conference in Orlando.  Most homeschool families are wrapping up their school year.  That way when they go to conference they can purchase their curriculum for next year or even learn what is new out there. Some go for encouragement some go for the fun and fellowship. Some new people will go to learn how to homeschool.

Not sure anyone will learn all they need to know in one weekend (2 days) but if you go to any conference    of any kind you will walk away with so much information you will be processing it for ages.  Not that is a bad thing, but if you go to a conference be patient with the information you get and know it will process eventually.

So if you are at a convention or conference remember to take time to enjoy it all. Save the processing for when you get home.
Oh and if you are a the FPEA Conference this weekend be sure to stop by and meet all the great people at and

2011 FPEA
2011 FPEA
2012 FPEA

2012 FPEA

Friday, May 4, 2012

SAT Essay Writing!

It is that time of year SAT Testing! One of the biggest issues on the SAT is the ESSAY section. What do you do to prepare for the essay question on the SAT test.? What do you do for the SAT essay writing help?  I recommend that you use the Time4Writing tutor. This is a great program. Writing is a process, requiring much re-doing, which can lead to time and time and more time used by the child.

As quoted from the Page....

"An online writing tutor can help students find their distinct voice, strengthen their paragraph structures, and learn quick ways to detect errors that need to be corrected. Every minute counts during this exam, and any preparation or writing homework help that allows  students to write more quickly and strongly will make a big difference. In addition to the personalized attention of an online writing tutor, high school students have access to the free resources on theStandardized Testing page." 

"Not only does online tutoring help with schoolwork, but it also prepares homeschooling students to learn critical habits of thinking that will help them become successful and highly literate adults who excel in the art of written and oral communication."

How can you go wrong with such a great program.  SAT Essay writing is important. This program is wonderful Check it out.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Adding it Up

No, this post isn't about homeschool math. It's about homeschool survival!

When I get together with a group of homeschool moms, one of the most common topics is "getting things done". I usually take the opportunity to share the ten-minute method I like to say I "developed". The truth is, I sort of stumbled into it out of desperation.

The concept is simple. You can do almost anything for ten minutes, and ten-minute increments of time add up quickly.

I've used the ten-minute method when I've had a cranky baby, when I've been sick, and during a few times when the thought of slogging through another day seemed too daunting to face.

My second child cried almost nonstop for three months. I've never been a let-babies-cry-it-out kind of mom, but I had to get comfortable with the idea that it wasn't going to hurt her to cry for JUST TEN MINUTES. So, I would jostle and snuggle, sing and play, for fifty minutes . . . and then I'd set the timer and put her gently down, screaming or not, and make the most of my hourly ten minutes of productivity! When the timer went off, ten minutes later, the jostling began again . . . but my dishwasher was loaded, or a load of laundry had been started.

At the end of a twelve-hour day, my house was never spotless, but the essentials were done. Ten minutes, time twelve rounds of jostle-dash-repeat equals two hours of productive time!

I've done this when I've had the flu, too. Don't think I'm a martyr. I actually rest better if I'm not looking at overflowing trash cans and dirty dishes every time I open my bleary, feverish eyes. I'll swear there's something healing about a crumb-free kitchen floor. If I'm well enough to walk to the bathroom, I usually get in enough ten-minute licks at my house to keep from losing my mind.

This also works when I need a guilt-free mental health day. Curl up with a good book and read for fifty minutes. Get up and unload the dishwasher. Read for fifty more minutes. Give a kid a spelling test. Read. Vacuum the dining room. Go to bed that night feeling much better than if I had ONLY read all day, or ONLY done chores.

The essentials vary from person to person, but my own necessities are a daily shower, clean dishes, trash taken out, and clutter picked up in the main living area. If beds are made and a load of laundry done, that's a bonus. Any of those things can be done in ten minutes, adding up to another day of sanity for a busy mom.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why have homeschool statistics gone up?

Did you know in 2007 there where over 1.5 million children being homeschooled!
WOW if that was in 2007 can you imagine what the number is in 2011 or even 2012.

Why do you think the homeschool statistics have gone up?

Here are a few reason that I thought of...

  • Religious reasons -  the more they take God out of public school the more some want him in.
  • What about the violence - not just bulling but the shootings.
  • Then there is the parents nightmare of their child being taken advantage of by a teachers.

Now what about the positive reasons people homeschool. 

  • Believe it or not people do ENJOY being with their children.
  • Parents do enjoy watching their children grow and learn new things.
  • Children do enjoy learning about God from their own parents,too.

No matter how you look at it Homeschooling is growing for one reason or another. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


One thing as an adult I hate to do is to file. You know at work file folders, bills, receipts, the works.  I have never liked to file anything.  You might ask why? It is a little embarrassing, but when I was growing up I never learned my alphabet past the song. Does that make sense. Yes over the years I did have to do activities that alphabetized words and list but I really just skated by barely on that subject. I still have to go through some of the alphabet to remember where things go in order. Example where is h I have to go through abcdefgH to know it comes after g. I do this in my head all the time.  Anything that comes after M I can usually just start at mnop.... to get to where I need to go.  But still to this day can't just put something where it needs to be. I know embarrassing. I am blushing as I type this.  I share this cause I want my OWN kids to NOT have to go through this.  We really push abc games and alphabetizing games.

Do you do anything extra to teach your child alphabetizing? 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Make School Easier

Okay I am all for making school easier how about you? We have used all kind of things to school with from Charlotte Mason approach to But I have to say that no matter how good or bad my day is going; oops did I say MY day, I ment OUR day is going in OUR school, that a printable worksheet can usually bring us back to one place OR better yet get a lesson done, make the teacher, me, happy and the kids happy cause they know that once they are done that is it, no more school for the day.

Do you use printable worksheets in your schooling? Do you just throw your hands up in the air some days and say forget it you can do a worksheet or two and we will call it quit! I pray I am not the only one who has done that. ((big smile)) I am human you know and being mom and teacher can be really hard at time. Who am I kidding it is hard all the time. But worth every minute.

Example of a worksheet day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love it or Hate it = Testing?

The big "T" TESTING! Some  mom's LOVE testing time others HATE testing time.  Me I have that love/hate relationship w/ testing time. I love that I will know exactly where my kid is at the end of testing but I also hate thinking that I might have missed something when teaching them. 

Granted even the school systems screw up and miss stuff in teaching kids, so I should not worry about it so much. But I do. These are MY kids and they are MY responsibility to make sure they learn what is needed in life. Not always what is on a test, but the world wants test so we have to attempt to make the world happy too.

I love that in the state of Florida there are two different choices when you homechool and if you choose NOT to test you do not have to. But you do have to keep a portfolio to show your work for the year and how they have improved from the beginning, middle and end. There is more to it but that is the basics. 

Some families use homeschool standardized testing.  That has not been a good fit for us. We use a private tester but have also used portfolio evaluations. Love our evaluator she is very laid back. Makes Biggun feel very relaxed. But when we get to the SAT's we will most likely be doing some SAT writing tutoring to help get us through that since writing is NOT his favorite.

Would love to hear your thoughts, do you LOVE testing time or HATE testing time? 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What makes a sight word?

Sight words what makes a sight word? 

Aren't all words Sight Words if you think about it?  Once you learn to read you don't really sound out words anymore.  You just read them. You know what they are by looking at them. 

Now explain that to a new reader. Not so easy, is it? Hard for them to understand that the day will come that they will look at words and just know what they are.  Yes there will be BIG words that they will need to sound out but for the most part they will be able to look at a word to know what it is. 

How do we get to this place, this place of knowing what words are by looking at them.  There have been thousands if not millions of books written on how to teach a child to read.  Some work for some kids and some work for others.

Just like your mom always said Practice Practice Practice. I know sounds cliché' but it is true.  The more you read or even work with sight word list the easier it is to read those words. Those words become books and books become adventures and knowledge that you never new excited.

So you might ask what is a sight word? To me EVERY WORD is a sight word! Learn as many words as you can and go as far in life as you can with those words. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ABC's of Homeschooling - V

Normally I write a post on the ABC's of Homeschooling over at my other blog Five in Training For HIM. But today I thought I would try writing it over here. Hope ya'll don't mind. Yes I am from the south and Ya'll is very common in my vocabulary. Just go with it.

This weeks letter for the ABC's of Homeschooling is the letter "V" of first thing that came to my mind right now in my world of teaching reading and letters is Vowels.  There are so many things you can do with vowels.  We have played with the short vowel sound games  online.  We have play matching games with vowel/letter cards. We have used magnet on the fridge. Oh my kids favorite was when we used rocks with the letters written on them to spell things out.

Some times we will only use mostly vowels and very few letters to see how many words we can use. My oldest loves making word search games.

For the letter V this week I say Vowels are very important in every day life and how we teach our kids about them is even more important.

Link up to the ABC's

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What do you do to keep your kids SAFE on the internet?

This week lets talk about internet safety for kids. That is a big subject these days. How do we keep our kids safe. To me the number one rule of internet safety is Supervise, supervise supervise! No matter how old your children are young or teen, they need supervision on the internet.

When doing research for this blog post the top concern I kept seeing is keep your computer in public places. Keep your computer in the common area of your house. This makes it easier to supervise your children and what they are doing. 

Be involved with what your kids are doing. If they are playing a game with the others online you need to join and play too. Know what is going on at all times. Don't assume that they are dealing with other kids.

What about youtube. You gave your child permission to watch some silly video on youtube. Have you looked in the history to confirm that was all they watched. Even when you completely trust your children they are still CHILDREN! They have natural curiosity. That curiosity can lead to things that are not good for them.  Check out this forum thread where that happened to a mom and totally surprised her that it was her daughter who was looking at in appropriate things on youtube. 

I recommend you that you install a program on your computer that will help you watch your children and keep your children safe.  There are programs like Net Nanny and K9.

What do you do for internet safety in your house? I would love to hear what you do. Might be an idea I could implement in my home. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Online Book Club for Homeschoolers! is thrilled to announce the arrival of the first-ever book club featuring fictional children's books with homeschooled characters! This book club is designed BY homeschoolers, FOR homeschoolers, and is perfect for co-ops, support groups, and family studies.

Each book in the book club is studied using a mixture of worksheets, hands-on activities, and online games. Activities are available for both older and younger student groups. All books include din the book Club can be easiloy obtained, either at your local library, local book stores, or via online retailers, such as

Best of all, participation in the Book Club is ABSOLUTELY FREE! Simply come by to register, and you can access all of the book club materials immediately! While you are there, check out our large and growing list of books for homeschoolers.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Educational TV and Videos

My littles (Honey 5 years old & Moose 3 years old) are really into watching educational shows on TV or on the computer. When I say they are into them. I mean they really enjoy watching them getting involved with them. Right now Team Umizoomi and Bubble Guppys are the "it" shows on TV for my littles. I love how on Nick Jr. they share with you what the show will be teaching your child. Team Umizoomi is a math themed show.  It demonstrates how math is ever where and how it's integral to our daily life. Bubble Guppy's is a show that covers all kinds of topics from dino's to dogs and uses all kinds of ways to teach it. Such as math, science and music to name a few. My children really LOVE being able to interact with the tv during these shows. The characters on the show ask questions and my kids reply out loud to them.  Again these are great shows but there is only one problem, you have to have cable and you have to wait till they are scheduled to be shown.

So when that becomes an issue we turn to the computer for educational videos online. Just today we sat and watched every video on the website. Some of them we watch twice. Moose ended up climbing up in my lap and just dancing in my lap with the videos. At first they argued over which one to watch first. Then we ended up watching them ALL. It was so much fun to watch my children's have so much fun.  The Wheels on the Bus and the 12 Lady Bug Picnic where their favorite.

These video's go really good with the  Which we have been doing more and more of with my daughter. 

Do your littles (children) enjoy educational videos too?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Teachable Moments

The homeschool co-op my children and I belong to recently backed away from offering so many classes and educational opportunities. We members usually have more than enough school work waiting at home, and additional classes that might or might not be compatible with individual families' current study topics simply complicate things. After all, these families are home schooling because they have chosen to teach their children at home!

Instead, we have begun thinking about positive "school" experiences that we are unable to duplicate at home. Because of this, we have scheduled a monthly show-and-tell time, where students gain public speaking experience. Another monthly get-together is simply a time for our children to play in the park, without structured activity. (Think "recess".) Our annual graduation celebration, complete with caps and gowns, is always popular. Our group even had a dance last year.

Despite this attention to activities that are difficult to manage at home, we can't forget that homeschoolers are able to take advantage of "teachable moments" that could never be duplicated in a school setting. Two incidents stand out in my mind as examples of why my youngest son is homeschooled right along with the rest of my kids, despite being developmentally delayed and having some serious special needs.

I didn't think Joshua would ever learn, or even be interested in, the concept of "color". After endless rounds of color flash cards, colored blocks, and books about colors, I was convinced he wasn't "seeing" the difference, and I took him to have his eyes examined! After being assured that his vision was fine, I renewed my school-inspired methods of teaching color, without success.

We focus on one idea at a time with Joshua, so I began always referring to items by their color. "Look at the blue ball! Oh, see the brown doggie! Do you like your red truck?" Bathing him one day, I automatically started to point out the color of the water, before realizing that "transparent" might be too challenging for him. Remembering something my older kids had enjoyed, I suddenly had an idea that I, somehow, was sure would work. I dashed into the kitchen, came back with some red food coloring, and dropped a few drops into his bath water. Swishing it around, I said, "Oh, my! Your bath water is RED now." Immediately, I saw the understanding in his eyes. It felt like a Helen Keller moment, as he asked about the color of every item in our bathroom.

The following year, counting became an important skill to master. Joshua had been able to "count" to ten for quite some time, but it was simply something he had memorized. He had no understanding of quantity. Flashcards and educational games had helped him learn to recognize the numerals themselves, but they had no meaning to him.

Our house gets quite cold at night, and Joshua has sensory issues that make it difficult for him to sleep beneath a blanket. One winter evening, I decided I would put an extra sleeper over the one he usually wore, to make sure he wasn't cold while he slept. As I produced the second sleeper and began to put it over the first, he gave me a surprised look, and I seized the opportunity to point out that he was wearing TWO sleepers. Once again, the understanding that dawned was visible on his face and, that night, he was able to count the animals pictured in his bedtime story.

Neither of these were particularly brilliant ideas on my part. They popped into my mind because I had learned, without consciously realizing it, that it takes something out-of-the-ordinary to get my son's attention. As a homeschooling parent, I was there to take advantage of a teachable moment that no curriculum can offer.

I can get together with other homeschoolers to replicate traditional school experiences, but even the most expensive school can't duplicate the teachable moments we find at home. The best educated staff won't know what motivates my son the way I do. The most caring teacher can't compete with a mother's love.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spelling is it Important?

I was reading an article over on called the  Importance of Spelling  and as I read it I feel like they are talking about my son in the first paragraph. He looks at spell check as the answer to his spelling issues.

Let me go back to the beginning. My son has always struggled with reading thus he struggles with spelling too. We have tried both whole language and phonics style of learning for reading. He can read he is just behind his age/grade level. His father is not a strong reader either. I on the other hand am the strong reader in the house and love to read.

I am seeing more and more how spelling is a great help with reading. The more words he learns to spell the more words he can read. When he ask me to spell a word I try to make him attempt to spell it himself. Another way we have been working on improving his spelling is of course using but I also love the vocabulary games that are offered on too.

What do you do to help your child with spelling? Do you agree with the article on Importance of Spelling? I would love to know how you feel. Share your thought. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Games, Games, and More Games.

Games, games and more games. That seems to be all my kids want to do, play games.  Video games on the Wii and games on the DS are some of the top choices. We are trying to have all three of our children into playing more educational games. Games on the internet, games on leapfrog, even getting some educational games on the Wii and the DS.

I like to use vocabulary gamesspelling games, and even math games  online. There are so many out there that can be used in our homeschool day. 

Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun

We are trying to incorporate more board or card games too. Dominos are very popular in our house. For my little ones matching games are always lots of fun. What are some of the games that your family plays in your house? Do you use games online, board games and/or board/card games?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Where do you go for information?

Where do you go for information on homeschooling online? Do you google? Do you yahoo? Do you swagbuck search?

There are lots of search engines that will help you find information on homeschooling. One of my favorite places to get the basic information on homeschooling is through a free down loadable ebook How to Homeschool .

 This ebook is full of all kinds of great information like ...

  • Where to begin...
  • Homeschooling styles...
  • Homeschooling laws...
That is just a few of the topics in the ebook.  I also love to go to the State Forums on the forums to know what is going on in my state. 

Where do or did you get your information online about homeschooling?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Best Thing About Homeschooling...

Some people will give different answers to what the best thing about homeschooling is, but for me it is easy to answer.

The best thing about homeschooling is the FREEDOM! 

FREEDOM to do what we want when we want. To be able to have an eclectic homeschooling style. FREEDOM to use different curriculums that work with each individual child. Even better FREEDOM to use different curriculums for different subjects. How cool is that? Instead of having to use something that your child hates or just can't understand, we have the FREEDOM to change as many times as we want or to adjust what we have to work for our child. FREEDOM to do school at the table, on the bed, outside where ever works for your child on any given day. We have the FREEDOM to use Christian homeschool curriculum or secular homeschool curriculum.

The best thine about homeschooling is the FREEDOM! 

What do you thing the best thing about homeschooling is? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reviewing Using Games Online

Growing up I had the hardest time learning which word to use in certain sentences.  Words like your and you're or what about affect and effect. Sometimes I still have trouble. Usually it is with homophones.  You know those words that are pronounced the same, they have different meanings. Like to, too and two and the other words I already mentioned. I never had trouble putting the number two where it was supposed to go but the to and too, now that was a different story.

I don't want that to happen to my son.  Every so often I have him refresh his memory and work on homophone games.

So far he has been doing pretty good. He still has trouble with a few words but I can tell you keeping his mind sharp with games does help.

I know my 12 year old is a good ways away from SAT's but he also plays SAT games, too. That way we are keeping ahead of things. He has been doing good with Level 1 games.

I love how we can review in a fun way by using games online. How do you review?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Online Learning and Mobile Devices

My kids are enthusiastic online learners. We use a lot of homeschool curriculum like The kids enjoy the lessons, it saves me the job of grading their work, and they seem to retain what they learn better when they're having fun learning.

Don't let the word "home" mislead you, though. Like most "home" schoolers, we are in the car far too often. Music lessons, sporting events, and an endless number of other outside activities keep us away from home more often than we would like.

We are also voracious consumers of electronic gadgets! Mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fire are all used by one family member or another. Unfortunately, the Apple devices lack support for Flash, which is required to run Time4Learning lessons. I had often dreamed about how convenient it would be if the children could do their lessons while sitting in the dentist's office or waiting for a sibling's piano lesson to end, but that has been impossible without Flash support.

Tadah! There is now an app called "iSWiFTER" that will run Flash programs on iPad! So far, it doesn't work on iPhone, but the developers have said they are working on that. My kids have been using it for a variety of Flash-based programs, and it works wonderfully. iSWiFTER is essentially a separate browser. Use it, instead of Safari, to access the Internet on your iPad when you anticipate encountering Flash-based content (which, besides Time4Learning, includes lots of fun games and videos).

Now, iSWiFTER has developed an additional, kid-friendly browser called Rover. Think of it as iSWiFTER, packaged differently. My kids prefer this cartoon version over the original.

Because of the initial frustration with being unable to do our lessons on Apple devices, I was excited to learn that my daughter's Kindle Fire supported Flash. We optimistially packed it in with our picnic one day, intending to do school on the road. Imagine my disappointment when our lessons didn't work on this device! That evening, I learned that the default setting for Kindle Fire disallows Flash. I needed to change the settings to allow Flash programs, and then our Time4Learning lessons worked beautifully! Here's how to do it!

Touch "web" to access the browser on your Kindle Fire.

Touch the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like the top part of a rectangle, with horizontal lines in it.

Some options will pop up from the bottom, including an option for settings. Touch that one.

Scroll through the settings until you find one to enable flash. Check the box.

Press the Home key. Time4Learning lessons, and your other Flash-based content, should now work on your Kindle Fire!

As often as we use these additoinal options for completing our school work on the run, my family might have to seriously consider a replacement for the term "homeschool"!

What mobile devices have your family used to access online lessons?