Happy Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last week I met with a friend and while I was sharing some deep struggles in the middle of my thought she said, “you are making the best choices you can with this situation. You are doing a good job.”

I just wanted to burst into tears…it had been months since anyone had told me I was handling anything well. Can I just say it was such sweet balm to my soul.

Most days I deal with thoughts of falling short, thoughts of inadequacy, and thoughts of being overwhelmed. How many times had I been approached with your son did this, or your daughter needs this, or could not fall asleep at night knowing I had missed opportunities or lost my temper.

I am a mother, a mother of teenagers, a mother of special needs, a working mother, and a homeschool mother. Whatever adjective you place in front of mother…we could all use some words of encouragement in this role of motherhood.

So how about this week before Mother’s Day we could take a moment and express an encouraging thought to another mother. If you want to get fancy and send a card or meet for coffee, great…but the simple sentence of “you are doing a great job of being a mom” might be the best thing a mother has heard all day, week or month.

While I am not a deep emotional writer on the subject of motherhood, I am still shocked with how moved I was when my friend told me I was doing a good job. It’s been two weeks and I am still clinging to those words.

Of course a face to face exchange would be the best choice but I know that time with other moms can be limited, sometimes sending that text or email might be the best dose of encouragement!

Join me in telling another mom this week they are doing a great job being a mom.

The Mystery of History Volume 4 SpaceShip

Mystery of History Volume 4

It’s spring and I am trying to finish a school year and plan another…my brain is overwhelmed.

But has our school year comes to a close, I do like to look back and try to evaluate the successes and failures.

WARNING* Looking back to evaluate the school year might lead to an enormous amount of mom guilt. You might need a plan on dealing with it or else you will find yourself taking on a project…and I do not mean just an ordinary project.

We are near the end of The Mystery of History Volume IV and the content matter has been challenging to my younger kids. Thankfully I focused on exposure to the topics and not mastery of content. I do love exposure because you never know when a spark will light a passion for a new topic.

So when the spark for a new passion collides with the guilt of a mom who did not complete many projects with her kids over the school year…well this happens.

The Mystery of History volume 4 Spaceship

In the corner of my front yard now resides a spaceship! Thanks to the lesson of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

  • Why yes I did drag a huge tractor tire home that was found abandoned on the side of the road.
  • Then I spray painted it silver. I found an old trampoline frame and spray painted it silver too.
  • The old frame just happened to fit perfectly on top of the tire.
  • While shopping at the local garden center I found 2 Victorian gazing balls on clearance that really resemble planets when placed next to a spaceship.
  • I think sand makes the best ground cover for any planet you would like to visit. It is a great way to leave your footprints behind.
  • Do not forget to name your spaceship. Vinyl stickers finished our project on the US.Atlantis.

Now I am sure if there was an award for the most craziest, unusual, project to complete while studying The Mystery of History volume 4…I would win…or at least get honorable mention.

 

 

 

High School Science for Non Science Students

High School Science

Planning High School Science for a non-science major. Do you have a high school student that might not have plans for college or majoring in a degree that requires in depth science classes?

My third child is starting high school in the fall and I need to plan a high school science class that meets his needs. I am not ready for him to do the Biology 101 that I planned for my daughter last year so I am constructing a general science class based on his interests.

The challenge with planning begins with my son who has processing delays and learns by doing. Often I get anxious when I construction my own high school lesson plans but I have to remember my goal is to build on his strengths. Not to mention the choices for high school science curriculum are hard to find for the non-science students.

Planning High School Science:

First I wanted to review the requirements for a high school credit. HSLDA provides some guidelines for how to calculate credits.

My goal is to construct 120 hours of high school science credit by reading, watching videos, writing, and completing projects. To keep myself from getting overwhelmed I am planning a different theme for each quarter. Which means I need to have about 30 hours for each topic.

  • Quarter 1 Gardening
  • Quarter 2 Chickens
  • Quarter 3 CSI
  • Quarter 4 Survival Skills

Since I do not have a science curriculum for a main text I am going to rely on my unit study planning skills from the early years of homeschooling. I did find a few free unit study planning forms at Teachers Pay Teachers and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.
Then the reality of too many forms overwhelms so I created a one page planner that I can use for each quarter. [Read more…]

World History Writing Prompts

World History Writing Prompts

When teaching my older kids writing we used Write Shop and 7Sisters guides to cover the needed aspects of writing.

With my younger kids who struggle with different aspects of learning I have found writing to be at the bottom of our school list. I have decided to spend the last quarter of school focusing on writing while other subjects like math go into review mode. This is a method I do often when I feel we have not had enough time on certain subject.

Then I chose world history writing prompts to be the focus of our writing. We are using The Mystery of History Volume IV and this will be a great way for them to process the serious topics covered in the book.

World History Writing Prompts

[Read more…]

Life of Fred Farming, Lesson Plan

Add Life of Fred to your Math Boards.

Add this to your Pinterest Board

Often I read questions from mothers wondering if Life of Fred can be a stand alone or does it require supplementing. I always find it hard to take a stand on any side of the matter because I do not know how their student learns. For my son, who is delayed in math, we use Life of Fred as a stand alone but I often bring in hands-on learning, extra practice sheets and math games to help reinforce the math concepts.

This blog series on Life of Fred math is sharing how I created and expanded on math ideas to help my son learn.

Since this is the 6th book in the series my son wanted a notebook page that matched the theme of the book Life of Fred Books Farming.

Life of Fred

Life of Fred Farming Printable

Life of Fred Farming Lesson Plans

[Read more…]

Homeschool Sabbatical

Homeschool Sabbatical 2

Homeschool Sabbatical…Have you ever taken one?

I think my brain is need of a leave of absence from the homeschooling life. Not that I am looking to walk away completely from homeschooling…but 15 years of lesson planning, training children and serving my family can leave a mom looking for some renewal.

Mainly I want to recharge so I can finish this race with my youngest kids as strong as I started it with my older kids. I have 7 more years of homeschooling to go!

But what would a homeschool sabbatical look like?
I sat down with paper and pencil and brainstormed some general ideas.

Homeschool Sabbatical

Homeschool Sabbatical: Brainstorming Ideas

[Read more…]

Pi Day Lesson Plans

Pi Day Lesson Plans

Yes, this year Pi Day is on a Saturday. One of the beauties of homeschooling it taking off another day in the week and doing school on Saturday.

I was excited to find many free Pi Day lesson plans. I pinned most of them on my Pi Day board.

If you are already overwhelmed with life might I suggest only buying a pie already baked and celebrating with your kids by having pie for dessert. That is how I celebrated the last two years.

Now if you have some time, a printer and a stocked pantry let the Pi Day Lesson Plans begin!

Pi Day Lesson Plans:

Food and Snacks:

  • Of course any type of pie works but keep thinking about any other foods with pie in the name or that are round in shape.
  • My kids will be doing the majority of cooking for these meals as part of our lessons.
  • Our Menu for the day:
    • Breakfast Pie Pizza
    • Quesadillas and apples for lunch
    • Shepherd’s Pie
    • Apple Pie

Music: [Read more…]

Mission Field and Medical Field

Mission Field and Medical Field

I used to dream of heading to the mission field, but instead I have landed in the medical field. While I was not asked by the pilot if I was at the correct destination; I have since come to appreciate the similarities needed to serve in both areas.

Similarities to the Mission Field and Medical Field

Why we may never lose our clothing while flying to a far away place, we will find ourselves down to the last pair of clean underwear on an extended hospital stay.

We might never experience a tribal dance but we know the joys of the 94 dance. The magic blood oxygen number that gets us closer to being off oxygen and released from the hospital.

We might not have the joy of reading road signs in a different language but we can read the the numbers on a monitor with one eye closed.

We might not have the knack for learning to say “Hello” in a different language but we can rattle off the acronyms of 20 different medical conditions while discussing a course of action and it can sound like a foreign language. [Read more…]

The Mystery of History volume 4, CC and NP

First I want to provide a quick picture tutorial on printing The Mystery of History volume 4 Challenge Cards, and yes this will work with the other volumes.

(If you are here to for notebooking pages scroll down)

How to Print The Mystery of History volume 4 Challenge Cards

Printing Challenge Cards

I have a love hate relationship with technology. If you have found yourself completely stressed by getting the challenge cards to match-up I hope these two phrases will help.

In the printer settings change the options to Short Edge and Actual Size. 

Short Edge

[Read more…]

Adjusting the Homeschool Plan

Adjusting the Homeschool Plan

I am joining the iHomeschool Network this week to discuss “Growing a Success”, whether it be a scientist, writer, doctor, missionary or …

Really, it gives me an opportunity to discuss the tagline of my blog…I Teach the Way They Learn. In other words adjusting the homeschool plan to accommodate gifts and learning delays.

Right now you are probably in one of two places in your home school…Your student knows exactly what they want to be when they grow up OR your student does not have any idea on what they want to study or do after high school.

Adjusting the Homeschool Plan for Knowing What You Want to Be:

My first two children from a young age both knew what area of study they wanted to major in at college. Once they became confident in that decision we began altering their school lessons to reflect those desires.

My oldest son, for example, has always wanted to be a meteorologist. When he was in highschool we made the choice for him to learn Latin. Since science terms comprise a large part of his studies; Latin would serve him best.

Since he was taking AP/Honors science classes we focused on history programs that only provided the basics. Now my son does like history but there is only so many hours in a school day and we focused on his science classes.

I found a Meteorology video series, bought a textbook and outlined a selective course his last year of high school. [Read more…]