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?