Blue Christmas, Grief and Joy Combined

 

blue-christmas

Are you struggling with the joy of the season and the grief in your life? Blue Christmas?

The one thing I don’t like about social media…it only shows one moment of a person’s life.

For example…if I share a moment of homeschooling frustration will people judge homeschooling as a horrible choice?

Or…If I show this Pinterest perfect activity will people fear they can never be a success at homeschooling?

The past few months of I have struggled with being able to express that certain life events suck…yet still acknowledge that God is good.

I have sensed an underlying current that…if I vocalized that these events were horrible…then my faith was weak…I wasn’t doing a good job of praising through the storms.

The reality of my situation… COPD slowly steals quality of life… you never know when it will be a good day with breathing or a bad one. And don’t ask me to be thankful about COPD…but I will find the moments where God shows his love and care for us.

Every Wednesday I meet with my dear friend, who became a widow 6 months ago… we share moments of joy in between moments of grief. She lost her husband all of a sudden…I am losing mine moment by moment…and we think both situations stink.

blue-christmas-service

This past Sunday our church held a Blue Christmas service; both of us were unsure about going. Yet after a hard weekend taking care of Ron I texted her that I thought we should go…so we sat in the back row…ready to leave if it became to emotional.

In that sermon Pastor Kenny introduced to me the Korean concept of Han. It seems this concept doesn’t translate well…but it is the combination of sadness and hope. At that moment…he had given me a word to describe my feelings.

When we entered the service everyone was given a stone and a marker. Everyone was asked to write their grief on the rock and bring the rocks up to the altar during the service.

If I could have…I would have photographed the pile of rocks left at the foot of the cross…because it can be a comfort knowing you are not alone.

Instead of following directions…my rock came home with me.

I felt during this series of life events…I need that rock to remind me each day…I didn’t choose these events…but I can choose how to remember them.

My friend…my heart does ache for the broken hearted at Christmas time…I pray that you can find a moment of joy in between the moments of grief.

Merry Christmas…I hope 2017 allows me to return to blogging on a more regular basis.

 

Annual Sale with Bright Ideas Press

Black Friday Pumpkin Pie

 

Yes! It is time for the annual sale at Bright Ideas Press. I have been blessed with the opportunity to write and design many of the supplemental products for The Mystery of History and Illuminations.

If you have any questions you can find me in the Bright Ideas Press Facebook groups or answering questions on the Bright Ideas Press Facebook Page.

You can get 20% off most items in the store.

That means the amazing notebook pages for The Mystery of History are only $15.96 and the folderbooks are $25.60 for the full year download.

Read about supplemental products for The Mystery of History… Popular Q and A, The Mystery of History and High School, Folderbook for Volume 1, and Organizing our Notebooks.

My favorite…Illuminations can be purchased for $100.00…saving you $25.00

Not sure if Illuminations will work for your family…read my blog posts on Why I love Illuminations, What Subjects I Print, Illuminations and High School, and Illuminations, Schedules and Overwhelmed.

Civitas…my family’s new favorite game…will be on sale for $19.96. You can read about what Civitas is at the blog Civitas and World Government.

(All sale prices in this post on are my calculations and are subject to errors…thus the prices on the Bright Ideas Press website are the correct prices.)

What is NOT on sale:

  • Bundles
  • On-line classes
  • Clearance Items

bip-pumpkin-pie

 

Online Class for The Mystery of History

Online Class for The Mystery of History

Online Class for The Mystery of History Volume III

This year I had my homeschool mom radar on high alert for opportunities to help me provide all the subjects needed by my students. After weighing the options, I decided on placing one student in the live version and one student in the self-paced.

With the creating of The Mystery of History Online Academy I was excited to think of Linda Lacour Hobar as my personal instructor for history.

I am beyond elated that she will be providing new information and stories not in the book. That she will be clarifying and elaborating on difficult topics found in the lessons.

Mystery of History of Linda Hobar

Now at my house, the number one thing that slows down the homeschool momentum is not having a plan together.

The second…grading papers.

The third...especially homeschooling my boys… would be missed deadlines. Having my sons accountable to someone else for some of their subjects will keep us on track.

Online Class for The Mystery of History: The Plan

  • A syllabus was provided giving the structure of spending 3 days on the lessons.
  • The 4th day for mapwork, timelines, and activities.
  • Then the 5th day would be for watching the class and then taking the online quiz.
  • Over the weekend a chance to read books or watch movies.

[Read more…]

Planning WriteShop Book E in 3 Steps

A look at how I planned WriteShop Book E and organized our writing station.

Decide if you want to plan everything at the beginning of the year, or before each 3 week lesson. I usually assemble most of the supplies at the beginning of the year.

Then at the beginning of each lesson I cut and assemble any necessary pages. I am always afraid I am going to lose pieces so I keep things together until I am ready to teach each lesson.

If you are crunched for time you could do all 3 steps in one night or do one step each night.

Since I used the printed student worksheets and timesaver pack, I was able to prepare for the whole school year in one night!  [Read more…]

School choice, Oh the agony

 

I have no desire to have a homeschool vs. public vs. private school choice debate. Especially since I haven’t had the energy to blog since it was a rough year caring for my husband and more time has gone toward work to handle the extra medical expenses.

When You Want to Quit

But my heart is searching for which option is best for my son this coming school year. Can you relate? Are you trying to make decisions on school choices?

I really wish the pendulum would stop swinging between all the options. My depleted emotions can’t take much more.

I see friends who are quitting homeschooling..and I want to ask them why…but I don’t want them to feel like they have to defend their school choice.

Right now the grass looks so greener…I am struggling with burnout, while guilt and wearness clouds my mind. I don’t trust my mind to rationally analyze if quitting homeschooling is the right choice.

Having them in a school setting engaged from 8 am to 3 pm each day…seems like a dream of amazing hours of uninterrupted time.

But I have to remind myself that I will have to drive them there, we won’t have the freedom in our schedule, and they won’t have a choice in their school topics.

All the while I have friends looking to begin their homeschool journey frustrated by other school systems. They want me to share my 16 years of homeschooling wisdom. They think my grass looks greener.

Right now it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you find yourself…what matters is finding a way to have peace about your school choice.

If you are walking in circles trying to make the school choice…I wish I could give you an easy button…but since mine is broken…here are a few steps I am trying for myself.

My School Choice Steps:

  1. Rest. However it needs to happen…find the time. Don’t make the choice under exhaustion in the hopes of finding it. Recently I read a definition of rest that has altered my thinking.
    1. Rest: to stop using (something) so that it can be strong again. (Hello…can my mind get some strength back)
  2. Talk with another person. Don’t just seek out those who are doing your desired school choice. Maybe sitting down and listening to why a friend is still doing her school choice might remind you of a few things.
  3. Don’t second guess yourself. Honestly…once the choice is made…enjoy the journey. Remember: No rule says you can’t change your mind again in 6 months.

So who wants to meet for coffee and discuss my school choice? I finally slept two nights in a row.

Yes I did a search on quitting homeschooling…which reminded me…that often moms question their choices. I am not alone in that.

Dear Homeschool Mom Who Wants to Quit.

So You Really Want to Quit Homeschooling

Homeschooling Inspiration for When You Feel Like Quitting 

 

 

Life of Fred Honey, Extra Resources

Life of Fred Honey Extra Resources

Life of Fred Honey

We like to end each of our Life of Fred Honey lessons with games. I have found my son more engaged to learning math facts if it means beating me in a game. I try to buy a new math game for each book.

My son enjoys keeping his math notebooks. These blog posts I have written on Life of Fred Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, Edgewood, Farming,  and Goldfish have become our lesson plans for completing each book. The first two years of using Life of Fred we did so exclusively. This year we have added in another math curriculum for extra reinforcement of concepts. My son has also become more independent in working with Life of Fred now that he has math confidence.

My son asked me to create a Life of Fred Honey Notebook Page.

Life of Fred Honey

These are the extras I plan to use to help my son with concepts and to explore other topics in the Life of Fred Honey book.

Life of Fred Honey Chapter by Chapter:

Quizlet has flashcards on the vocabulary in Life of Fred Honey.

Quizlet has flashcards on the multiplication facts in Life of Fred Honey. 

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

  • On our next trip to the store or library I am going to have my son figure out how long it will take to get there. The algebraic equation is d = rt where d stands for distance (number of miles), r stands for the rate of speed (speed limit), and t stands for time (hours of travel).
  • Cardinal, Ordinal and Nominal numbers visuals to help remember the difference. Then copy or draw your own examples on the notebook page.

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

Chapter 10:

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12

  • Create your own flashcards or practice the online version

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 19:

  • Rise over Run explanation
  • End of the Book Math Party
    • I like to spend the day reviewing math facts and discussing concepts learned in the book. I usually provide a fun snack and ask for feedback from my son.

 

The Mystery of History High School Years

A glimpse at how The Mystery of History high school years worked at my house and questions to ask yourself as you plan your high school history credits.

The Mystery of History High School Years

Homeschool High School

*Please note that different states have different requirements for establishing high school credits. Please check with your state requirements when planning. If your student is college bound then check requirements from colleges they are interested in attending.

The Mystery of History is a world history curriculum. Some states require 2 or 3 credits of world history, and 1 or 2 credits of American history. The big question becomes how do you take a 4 volume series add in the need for an American history credit and create a high school transcript. Combine that with the vastly different ways to document history credits and that leaves homeschool moms wondering the best way to construct their students’ transcripts.

I have another post on how I keep track of assignments for The Mystery of History High School.

Mystery of History High School

Linda Hobar has a scope and sequence PDF for possibilities of order of high school credits.

I firmly believe that high school transcripts should reflect the strengths and interests of the students. I don’t think there is a one size fits all to planning high school history credits. You will notice that I also do not believe that every student needs an AP level course load for every subject.

For this blog post I have 4 students, who might happen to reflect my 4 children. I will describe their interests and goals and how they completed or will complete their history credits. I should also note that each child by the time they entered highschool was on their second rotation with MOH.

The Mystery of History High School Years: Student A

  • Student A is a science guy. He likes history but his goal is to graduate college and become a meteorologist. Since his course load requires classes like pre-calculus and physics, his time is limited for other classes.
  • Yes some families do MOH vol 1 and vol 2 in one year spending a semester on each volume. This works since the lessons are shorter. The Mystery of History vol 4 was not published while he was in high school but could be completed in the Senior year. In our state the requirements are 2 World History and 1 American history credit. Since his senior year was heavy in science he did not take another history credit.

The Mystery of History High School Years: Student B

[Read more…]

Early Childhood Education for High School

Early Childhood Education

Since my daughter has taken Human Development from a Christian Worldview; I was excited to add Early Childhood Education to her last semester of highschool.

I am always on the lookout for highschool classes that allow my kids to explore career opportunities. I have even put my own together based on my kids interests.

Early Childhood Education: Extras

I created a notebook page for her to record her answers to the questions from each chapter.

Early Childhood Education

I am using these timeline pages to document the people mentioned in each chapter.

My daughter has the bonus of babysitting each week where she can observe and use the lesson plans she creates for this class. I often keep a lookout on social media for fun preschool crafts. We share a Pinterest board for ideas.

The e-book does include blank page for writing lesson plans but I wanted to include a few more examples. Lesson plans can be very personal and I know my daughter knows her best style. [Read more…]

North Star Geography Online

North Star Geography Online

Have you been curious about North Star Geography online?

I have taken a few phone calls at the office on the topic and thought I should better explain what exactly the online course is all about.

North Star Geography Online: What is included?

  • Digital Copy of the book.
  • Audio files for each lesson
  • Online test grading, a passing of 70% is required to continue.
  • Communication with the author, Tyler Hogan

It does not include:

  • Videos to watch
  • Since this is self-paced and self-directed it does not include deadlines for completion.

Once you have purchased North Star Geography Online:

You will need to Login to your account. I have found the easiest way is to return to the product description and click the Login tab.

North Star Geography Online 3

The Welcome Page gives details on downloading, things you will need all year, and general ideas of how the program works. In the welcome lesson you can download and/or read files you will need all year. My son has a 3 ring binder that stores all of his completed pages. You can read my other blog posts linked at the bottom on how we have completed North Star Geography.

North Star Geography Online 1

Each lesson will have all the necessary links needed for that lesson. You can download the lesson, note taking page, map work, and activity directions.  If your teen is computer savvy they can probably put the lesson on a Kindle or iPad.

North Star Geography Online 4

Flexibility of North Star Geography Online:

[Read more…]

Bright Ideas Press, Black Friday Sale

 

I wanted to take a moment and highlight some items in the upcoming Black Friday Sale at Bright Ideas Press.

black-friday-sale-square-2015

Three Things To Consider for the Black Friday Sale:

Number 1:I think the biggest deal is on Illuminations. Actually it is the only time the program goes on sale.

With the 20% off you can purchase Illuminations for $125.00 $100.00.

If you are not sure if Illuminations is right for you, I have gathered some blog posts on the topic.

There is an Illuminations group on Facebook for extra support and encouragement.

Find a sample on the Bright Ideas Press website!

Number 2: The Mystery of History Volume IV Folderbooks are complete!

Finally, The Mystery of History Volume IV folderbooks are complete! I have been spending every working moment on completing volume 4 folderbooks.

Mystery of History vol 4 Folderbook

Now that the folderbooks are complete, the Super Supplemental for The Mystery of History volume IV is complete. I might just be a tad sad that the series is done.

Number 3: Literature Study Guides are now available

The Bright Ideas Press office has been busy creating the literature guides for sale.

Prices will range from $5 to $10…but 20% off during the Black Friday Sale!

Titles include:

More guides will be added in the next few weeks!

If you have any questions on the sale or products, please leave a comment or find me on Facebook!