Category Archives: Virtual Homeschool Fair

And the Learning Goes On, and On, and On ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

And the learning goes on

Learning never stops. And tons of things can be classified as “learning.” And we want our girls to live a life of learning. And so, the learning goes on, and on, and on, and . . . Well, you get the picture. But how do we actually do that? Imperfectly. But we try.

In some ways, we do really good. Remember my post last week on how we discuss with the girls what they want to learn or give them options to choose from for certain classes? That is one way.

Another is that we pick movies and books to share with them that we think they should know (and love, but sometimes they have their own opinions about that!). Whether it be for our weekly movie night (every Friday) or for our read alouds (whether that is over lunch or in the car on trips), we try to find new and interesting things to share with the girls. Sometimes, we are shocked when they don’t love something as much as we do (The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail) and sometimes, they love it and we get to enjoy it more than once (The Sound of Music, any of the Heirloom Audio Productions, and Little Women/Little Men/Jo’s Boys).

Yet another way is through the outside classes we take them to. All three of the girls take dance classes. One of the girls takes violin lessons. Another takes sign language classes. Another takes piano lessons. Yes, this is additional time and expense but it broadens their horizons in ways that they are interested in. And they absolutely are thriving with these “extras.”

We seek out experiences for them. We go on field trips. We go to the museum or travel to close big cities to visit museums. We go to the beach, the mountains, and visit family. We seek out history. We look for concerts and plays to attend. We are intentional about looking for things to go experience with the girls.

And, we participate highly in church. This may be the last one I talk about but it is the most important and the first when it comes to conflicts. We have an active Lads to Leaders program at our congregation. This is a program that is designed to help encourage, train, and strengthen godly leaders in the Lord’s church. We participate in a number of activities through this program at church, including Bible Bowl, puppet theater, and storyline performances. The girls write speeches, design and put up bulletin boards in classrooms, lead singing in front of ladies’ groups or children’s classes, and read God’s word for the ladies’ groups and children’s classes. We are seeing their skills, leadership, and self-esteem grow. And when we participate in a national conference each spring, the girls get to show off those skills.

Additionally, our congregation has an active youth group. There are many opportunities to serve the congregation and to assist the youth minister with activities for younger kids. There are several service activities each year and a week long mission trip each summer where the youth serve at a children’s home. They also have the opportunity to be junior counselors at a camp session for younger students. Two of the girls are old enough to participate in the youth activities and so we stay pretty busy.

But, since we want the girls to know that every facet of life has an opportunity for both service to others and personal growth, we try hard to open those doors of opportunity as often as we can.

When your family sees life as education and education as life, things overlap quite a bit. That is okay because what an experience it is!

Blessings,
At Home.

Hosted by  Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, there will be many more blogs sharing ways to include learning outside of the core subjects. Check back late Sunday (1/28) or Monday (1/29) to see the whole list.

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair button

This is the final week of the 7th Virtual Homeschool Fair. Our topic is:  Enriching Our Learning.

Note: All posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 29th.

Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

All of the Extras by Christy Schaefer @ Unexpected Homeschool

How To Explore Special Interests In Your Homeschool by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Learning outside of the box by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Putting the Heart Back into our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Adding in the Fun by Michele @Family, Faith and Fridays

The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

The Fun Parts of Homeschooling by Annette @ A Net in Time

How we add in the fun stuff. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Running – for fitness & fun by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Adding in the Extras by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

What About the Fun Stuff? by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

And the Learning Goes On, And On, And On by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Let’s See What’s Out There! (Electives and Extras) by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

 

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Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

There are so many options, so many curriculums, so many good things! How do you decide?

It can be tricky to decide what to cover and with what company and with what add-ons. But I would like to suggest to you a way to start your decisions on tricky subjects. It is not the process, not even close, but it is a start and it will reap great benefits in your home and your children’s lives. I promise.

So what is the key?

Tricky Subjects

Conversation.

Yep, that simple. Have a conversation. Start it simply – What do you want to learn about? What is of interest to you? Do you have any ideas about what you want to do?

No time frame, no curriculum boundaries, just simply finding out what each student is interested in.

When we began these discussion with each of our girls, it was somewhat eye opening. Miss J wanted to learn more about birds. She also enjoyed cutting things out and gluing them into notebooks, simple lapbook style. She also talked about wanting to read the American Girl books. So guess what? This directed us to think about how we could accommodate her interests and we came up with a few wonderful ideas.

Miss J’s personalized curriculum?

  • Birds study – This is a study that I was able to create from notebooking pages I had and handwriting quotes I found. I also included some bird coloring pages I found. I will share a post soon with more specific information about this book she created. Doing about 3 a week, it was a semester long unit.
  • Grammar Interactive Notebook – Again, this was created just for her. I found a number of resources that fit what she needed to work on or review for her grade level. I printed those on various colored pages and she created her own grammar notebook. I plan to share this soon, as well, since she has recently finished it. Again, this took about a semester.
  • History with American Girls – World War II is her favorite time period right now and she has read a number of books on the time. But with her comment about American Girl, we zoomed in on Molly. We are using a lapbooking set that I had found and saved several years ago, specific to Molly. We are also going to be making a few things that are mentioned in the Molly books. She is finishing up the reading right now and then we will have another conversation where she will share what she read about that she wants to make. I am certain food will be part of that discussion!

What did we find out in the discussion with Miss L? That she was really interested in civilizations that vanished. She was enjoying a couple of books that we had to review. She wanted to not be focused on writing all the time and she didn’t like her math. Well, the math was one we are not changing because we are seeing the need to just push forward with what we have been using (Horizons). The others, though? That we could accommodate.

  • Lost Civilizations – We determined a set of questions about each civilization that she needed to answer. They did not have to be written out but they did need to be answered so that I knew she had retained information from her research. We checked out books on one civilization at a time and she would read, write notecards, and draw pictures. She then decided she wanted to create a notebook of just the Lost Civilizations so she started one with all of the information from her previous notecards in a composition notebook. She spent time on some interactive websites and created something physical for some of the groups. She is still working through this study.
  • Girls In Science – This is the series of books that we got two of for study originally. We received architecture and meteorology. We found astronomy a few weeks later. Each book not only covers a ton of information on the branch of science but it also includes three biographies of women who are using this type of science in three different ways. She has been making notecards of information in the books as she reads and at the end of each book, she compiled that into a notebooking page that she put in a binder she keeps.

And for Miss E? Well, she pretty well had most of her subjects as a continuation of the previous year when we had this conversation (one of the year-round home school benefits and disadvantages – you have to adapt your time frame to what is needed!). But she gave good input on things and we knew what to change and what to continue, as well as allowing her to determine her own science.

  • We found that she loved the hands-on aspects of the Ancient Greece program she was using. She finished that out.
  • Since she loved the Ancient Greece so much, she will be able to continue learning about that at her own pace by using SchoolhouseTeachers.com and the Drive Thru History courses.
  • She also wanted to learn about chemistry this year, not the lab part of it but what it was. So, we went looking for options. We found a few a let her choose. She chose Friendly Chemistry, which we access through SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This is a video course that we are able to print off the textbook for. She also gets worksheet practice on electron notation and the like. There are printable tests and the course will count toward her high school credits.
  • One thing we hear each time we continue the conversation is “sign language.” She is taking her third year of instruction in sign language and loving it. This is a pretty intense course with a teacher from our congregation who really pushes her to do well. She is in the class with her best friend, which is a good incentive to work even harder. This is a point where hearing what she wants helps us to keep on track with her interests.

So, as we move forward, we have these conversations. Over and over. These discussions allow us to make decisions for the girls that not only get their basics covered but do it in a way that they find interesting. One of the reasons we are continuing geography with a 3rd grader is that she loves it. It is the first program she wants to do each day. So, Let’s Go Geography is on her schedule and she is thrilled. These are the things that make education fit the child, rather than fitting the child to the education.

I encourage you to do what you can to tailor your child’s education based on their interests. This doesn’t mean you skip the important stuff. There is plenty that is dictated to them because they don’t have a preference so they do what we require. But, when we can choose something that is of particular interest? We do. Because the girls really respond to the options.

This post is part of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Tomorrow (Sunday) I will update this part of the post with the listing of all the others who are posting on the topic of their method of homeschooling.

Blessings,
At Home.

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair button

Looking for more curriculum ideas? Visit my fellow homeschool bloggers!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 22nd.

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Freedom through nature journaling. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources – An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace

Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Choices, choices – how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Our Curriculum Needs – grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time

The Heart of Our School by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

What We Have Loved Using – Virtual Homeschool Fair -Week 3 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses

How We Homeschool Together (Our Curriculum Choices for Preschool, First, and Tenth Grade) by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

 

Learning for Life ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

Learning for Life

Our philosophy – Learning for Life

We desire that our children love learning. Not just schooling but learning. This idea is what directs many of our choices for the girls, alongside our belief in God and his infallible word. We want the girls to be excited about always learning more. We want them to seek out exciting and interesting things because they are drawn to them, not because it is required for a grade or a job.

This philosophy leads us to an eclectic style of learning. While I truly admire those who are solidly in one camp or another (Classical or Charlotte Mason or Unit study, etc.), it just isn’t me and it isn’t our family. Eclectic learning allows us to pick and choose or create what will fit our girls and their needs/interests best.

This is one reason we love being a part of Homeschool Review Crew. We have access to tons of products that tailor our girls’ education to who they are and where their path is leading. The variety of products we review gives our girls an introduction to a lot of ideas and activities that we would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. This “Crew School” as we affectionately call it gives our girls a varied and unique education.

What does Learning for Life look like? We’ll cover our current specifics, what we are currently using and doing, next week. But for this week, let’s take a little look at what Learning for Life means.

We spend time talking with the girls about what their interests are and what they want to study. We then look for or create a unit to go along with that. For this year, that means a special science study for Miss J and Miss L. There is also a special history study and literature study for Miss L.

Goals and ideas get explored that are of interest to the girls and that creates a learning cycle that builds on itself. More information brings more ideas which brings more learning.

I want to encourage you to talk with your students. Ask them what is of interest to them and work forward from there. What is interesting? What do they want to know? What do they already know? What information will pique your interest? Where do we look for that? What types of learning do you want to do (books, computer, videos, activity)?

This is where we start each time we finish a unit or curriculum. We talk through what we want to do and move forward from there. Sometimes, our ideas don’t work and we have to either rework or go looking for something else. That’s okay – it’s part of Learning for Life. Learning to reassess and recreate and reattack is all part of life.

This post is part of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Tomorrow (Sunday) I will update this part of the post with the listing of all the others who are posting on the topic of their method of homeschooling.

At Home.

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair button

What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 15th.

How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Give Us…. by Annette @ A Net in Time

A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace

Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Overhauling Our Homeschool – Adjusting our “How” to fit our “Why” by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Captain’s Log, Supplemental – Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy

So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Methods � 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

 

Because Life is Precious ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

Because Life is Precious

Life is precious. And important. And God-given.

God gave us our three sweet children to raise to follow Him. They are His children first and we are to point them towards Him.

That would be reason number one in our “why did you choose to homeschool” list. But not the only reason and not the only important one, either.

You see, we want relationships to come first. And the public school system wasn’t letting that happen. Too much focus on schoolwork, tests, and reading that wasn’t really benefiting the girls at all. Stress was beginning to creep into our children’s lives over something that wasn’t important at all. It was affecting our home and it was too early for them to deal with these things.

And right on the heels of that: we want our girls to love to learn. Their love of learning, their curiosity, was dying. Whether it was from doing boring things or from stifling their natural creativity, the girls were losing their interest, their drive, and their enjoyment of life and learning.

At Home Dad works a non-traditional schedule. This came into play very strongly in our decisions. Every other month, he barely saw the girls and we could feel that affecting that all important daddy-daughter relationship.

When we looked at these and a few additional issues, there was no other choice. God had shown us very clearly what we should do. And we knew it individually. When At Home Dad and I sat down one day, I just asked “what do you think about homeschooling the girls next year?” His answer? “I was going to ask you the same thing today.”

Asked and answered.

We talked to a couple who we value that homeschooled their children and asked questions of them. We read a few things and decided where we would begin at. And then we told the girls. They were excited! They had never really heard of homeschooling but they were pleased to try this new thing out.

And you know what? It has been a blessing time after time. All of these things here, and more, have benefited from us starting this pathway, this journey. But most of all, we have found freedom for life.

Life is precious. Don’t take the moments of it for granted. God gave us our children to bring us in his steps, his path, his way. I want my children to be pointed towards heaven, towards God, in all we do. This is our “why” for homeschooling.

Blessings,
At Home.
2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair button

 

Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST, Monday, January 8, 2018..

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love

How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays

How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Home Education – 10 Reasons we keep going…even when it’s hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

So… Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 – Week 1 – Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time

In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Why We Homeschool – It’s What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset

Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace

Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses

Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our �Homeschool� Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

It’s Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully

Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

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