Homeschool Day Boxes and How They Work!

August 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I tried this day boxes system, based on the system called, “work boxes,” which I did not like, as I am an Alfie Kohn fan, and it worked well. It works well as long as I have time to get the day boxes ready that morning early, or the night before.

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I found that the kids like new and different things in there. They despise having very similar things, day after day. I found that even a toddler has to have things, because he wants to be like the others and have something made for him to do, so he can work, too. He did get bored fast, so I must have always had very boring things in there for him. I tried to get something from each subject we were doing that day. I also put the book they are currently reading for fun, in there.

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I also put the ruler, the scissors, the glue stick, the markers, the pencil and the paper they needed for that day’s stuff, in their box. This makes it so nobody has to go look for something they need, giving them about a 100% chance of getting distracted and not coming back for quite some time!

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They really liked them and they made my job much easier during the homeschool day! One thing I did not like was that the boxes took up so much space on the table that it does not give them much space to work. I solved that by getting out a card table, but then they fought over which table they wanted to sit at. Oh, my! That’s the way kids are!

 

 

Advice for Moms with New Babies, to Help them Sleep 

May 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Do you have a new baby and trouble sleeping with the new erratic schedule? I am so sorry! Hang in there!

     I have had that problem many times, but being a mother to new babies many times has taught me a lot. I discovered over time: Calcium/Magnesium supplements, Serenity and Calms Forte will help me sleep. Lack of exercise and the effects of salt and chocolate on my system keep me from sleeping.

     Chocolate, sugar and salt will not help you sleep at night. If you have been eating salty things too much, cut down! If you eat chocolate during the day to keep you awake, or if you take in things which have the same effect (caffiene), cut down on it. Sugar during the day will keep you wired at night.

     Magnesium supplements do wonders, DoTerra essential oil Serenity is awesome. Calms forte is a milk-based homeopathic tiny pill that is all natural and helps you sleep. I love it. 

     Exercise during the day helps you sleep at night. Getting enough to eat in the day helps you sleep at night. Not having a crazy long do list helps you sleep. Not worrying helps you sleep. If you worry a lot or have a long to-do list, write a new do list that is similar to this one:

Mom’s Do-List With a New Baby

1- Get up when you have to and sleep whenever you get a chance.

2- Keep the baby (and other kids, if any) and yourself alive.

3- Shower and get dressed. Showering every day is a luxury when you have a newbie. At least get it in every other day!

4- Eat 3 healthy, balanced meals a day and feed the kids when they need it.

5- Dress and change kids when needed.

6- Pray and read scriptures.

     I do not even have a newbie anymore. I still use this list. My youngest is older. However, I still stick to this list. It keeps me sane. Having a newbie makes it extra necessary to have a do list like this one. When you have a newbie which makes it so you never get a normal 8 hour night of sleep, you just have to forget housework. Buy disposable dinnerware and buy easy to make meal items (from a can or microwave dinner or easy fresh foods) for a while. Arrange around your husband’s or a hired helper’s schedule, for regular, scheduled naptimes. If they are at the same times daily, your body will accustom itself to them.

     I also made a 24 hour clock chart every week, and wrote when the baby is awake and asleep, with the goals of:

1- knowing when I would get to go to sleep so my brain could plan on it (not just at night but in the day)

2- being able to gradually manipulate awake times so as to have sleep times for the baby, at closer to normal times

L.D.S. Preparedness, THE BASICS FIRST!!!

May 23, 2015 § 2 Comments

This is my advice regarding preparedness:

     Before you worry about a tent, a pandemic, an emergency radio and a camping stove, please do the basics. The basics recommended by the church should be your priority. Once those items are in place, then worry about all the other things people recommend for you.

First: Water 

https://www.lds.org/topics/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng

2 weeks of water

choose a water purification method and be prepared for that

https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage/drinking-water-guidelines?lang=eng

Second: Food Storage

https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage?lang=eng

3 supply of the basics of what your family normally eats which will last 30 years

The basics are the things in the food storage calculator here: 

http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm

     Why I cannot find it from the providentliving.org or on lds.org anymore, I know is because of the new law. Religious institutions cannot require of their congregations, to have certain amounts listed for food storage, anymore. If they do, they must report to the federal government how much each member of the congregation has, each year. This I learned from Jack Monnett’s  book “Awakening to Our Awful Situation.”

     About the “things your family normally eats” part: If you eat more oats than rice and more rice than bread, buy accordingly. They mean if you use jam for pb&j a lot, make jam one of the main “sugars” items you buy. If you use honey instead of sugar in your diet for sweetening, buy accordingly. However, get things you normally eat “which will last 30 years.”


Third: Financial Reserves

The link leads to this https://www.lds.org/topics/finances?lang=eng which says to:

1- Pay 10% tithing and fast offerings

2- Avoid Debt or get out of debt using a debt calculator. I recommend following the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps plan because it works very well, he is funny and his plan motivated us and got us excited so that we actually do stuff instead of just talking about it.

3- Gradually build a financial reserve which is for emergencies only

4- Teach family members financial management, budgeting, hard work and about the importance of an education

     No amount or number of months for the financial reserve is listed, so decide on this with your spouse.

Other important items:

http://providentliving.org/?lang=eng

Education

Employment

Gardening

LDS Family Services (mental, emotional, relationship health)

Physical Health

Welfare Services (when you are prepared, serve and help others)

Homeschool Book Report Questions

May 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

    

Homeschool Fiction Book Report

What is the title of the book?

Who wrote this book?

Who illustrated the book?

What is the 1st copyright date on the book?

What company published the book?

How many pages are in the book?

How many chapters are in the book?

What is the book about?

What inspiration or thoughts came to you while reading or thinking about the book?

Name something mentioned in the book that may be symbolic:

What mentioned in the book is similar to some part of your life now?

Write 4 lines from a poem, or something that could be made into a poem, which is the book.

What is a political, moral or social lesson the author may be sending to readers?

Put down a favorite quote from the book:

Describe the main character.

Describe the goals of the main character at the beginning.

What was the main character’s biggest challenge and how was it overcome?

Who or what did the main character have to go up against?

Who or what were on the side of the main character from the beginning?

How did the main character change, from the beginning to the end of the book?

Warnings from My Personal Dreams, Visions and From Personal Revelation

May 18, 2015 § 4 Comments

I have had many dreams, visions and personal revelations which I feel to share with others. Here are the things I have learned from them in summary:

1- Three free government backed programs that originate from Karl Marx and the ancient communist Russian ideas, will be introduced this year or in Winter of next year (before the end of March 2016) in the U.S. and the majority will want to sign up for and try them, since they are great and they are free. We must think of what programs we have which originated in the U.S. for the same purposes, which are better, and stick with those. We must not fall for this trick and these 3 free programs.

I must add that we will have to REMEMBER what it USED TO BE LIKE in the American, U.S. systems and the current U.S. systems competing with the Russian ones at this time will be very poorly managed and slow, so that people determined and in need will either have to resort to having a very hard time getting what is needed, or will just go sign up for the new U.S. Federal Govt. programs from Russia.

There will be some people who will not need to try for either, as they will not need either. I hope I will be in this group.

2- A government program giving us (and helping us in managing) money, for small business entrepeneurs will be tempting to many. It will also be presented before March of 2016, but will require the freedom to run the business as the individual wishes. It will appear good and awesome and innocent, but the idea is Fascist and is to be avoided at all costs! I have an entrepeneurial small business, which is why I think God warned me about this.

3- The baby boomer generation will be great at getting their children ready and prepared, but must get themselves prepared, too. The younger adults will not be so good at preparing because they will be distracted by “devices” and other such technology fads. They will need handholding to help them focus and get it done. Those born 1984 and on are included in this group. I was specifically shown “1984.” The generation in the middle of these 2 must be warned and as soon as they completely understand the warnings, they will start to get ready well and quickly. The baby boom generation will help them in their preparations while ignoring their own preparation needs.

4- God will help each of his children find exactly what they need to get or work on next, as soon as they ask for it. They will find it easily, but will have to do the work God asks them to do to get it. God will lead them right to it. Then He will lead them right to the next thing needed, etc.

5- My friend pointed this out to me about the interpretation of my dream, and I agree with it. Each individual will be led to different things besides just the basics that their family needs, so that the whole body of the saints will have collectively what is needed by all. 

6- The calamities we need to prepare for which are awful, will come whether the majority of the saints believe it will or not! These things coming to not depend on the beliefs of the saints about whether they will happen soon or not. They will happen when God knows they will happen, no matter what people think or believe.

7- There will be tent cities and we will be there with our church leadership. Not everyone will be in a tent, per se. I will be in a shack made from plywood. There will eventually be a lot of widows in the tent cities. There will be chances for dating and remarrying for single people. 

Tangible Homeschooling Perks!

May 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

This is inspired by a comment on a blog post, wherein the author has just decided to homeschool. She askes in her blog post, for people to tell her what they may be, if ther are any tangible perks to homeschooling. Why, yes, there are! There are many. Here are a few to start with.

  
1- Hugs and kisses all day long, every day, from all my kids of all ages, is tangible and delectable.

2- Knowing immediately when something is wrong and being there for them right them to dry their tears and hold their cheek to mine, is tangible.

3- My child not being told by others what to like or dislike (fads) saves tangible money.

4- Touching trees and grass and garden plants and soil with my kids is tangible.

5- Playing with my son’s curly locks while I help him with his learning, every day, all day long, is tangible.

6- Being the one who is there to do cooking, art and science experiments with my kids, is tangible.

7- Feeling the Holy Ghost and love in my home on good days when everyone is peaceful, when we are learning the gospel and learning to sing primary songs and hymns together for our daily lessons, is tangible.

8- Being able to hold my child’s hand while he learns to hold his pencil, is tangible. 

9- Having school-aged kids always sitting on my lap and around me, leaning on my chest and on my shoulders, daily, when others have their kids away from them, is tangible.

10- Touching the food my children will eat every day, is tangible.

11- Having immediate hugs, touches on the shoulder, and so forth, when I have a bad moment or a bad day, is tangible. Here is an example. I was going through a miscarriage for 6 weeks. My pre-teen daughter was always hugging me and crying with me. She was great. I cannot imagine how much tougher it would have been to go through this without her by my side! 

I could go on forever…

Teaching Empathy, the Social Emotion; High E.Q.

May 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

I highly recommend these two books I have. Get them!!!    

Life Integrated Family Education (L.I.F.E.) L.D.S. Homeschool Curriculum Review

May 13, 2015 § 1 Comment

Life School Review
Mother of 6 aged 1.5 to 13
Life School “students” aged 6, 8, 11 and 13
Experience in Homeschooling 3.5 yrs.
Usage of Life School 1 yr.
   

Above: 12 year old, Life School Spelling

  

Above: 7 year old, Life School Writing about Art History
 

Above: 10 year old, Life School Grammar


   I did not use a comprehensive curriculum before this one which included all subjects except math, theater, dance and P.E., as this one does. I designed my own curricula. This means I shopped around on the internet and locally for spelling curricula, writing curricula, math curricula, books to read, books of poetry to read, health books, geography books, history books, science books, art books, music books, music and art history books, and so forth. I typically spent 2 hours a day searching the internet for free or good priced stuff, making my own assignments/worksheets with my own ingenuity, printing, and preparing for a future day. Some days, I spent 6 hours doing these things. I also spent much time seeking co-ops, as I was drained and wanted help teaching some of the subjects. Co-Ops, I found, were more work than help. They either required cleaning and preparing for one to be at my house, or getting everyone ready to be out at someone else’s house a huge chunk of the day, which required a huge amount ot time and energy and really drained me. For a 2 hour co-op, to prepare, get ready, etcetera, it took all day long and generally forced us to go out to eat, which costs money. What did my kids do during all of my hours of planning, but watch lots of educational t.v.?  They also begged for my attention, asked when we were going to start homeschool, fought, played games and messed up the house. All of this I went through so that I could plan perfect lessons for them. These lessons were typically over so quickly that 4 hours of prep time yielded a 30 minute awesome lesson. This was daunting, but I figured that is what homeschool is, right?

     I do not use L.I.F.E. School as it was intended. It was intended to be used 5 days a week for 36 weeks and a 180 day homeschool year. I am an experienced and eclectic homeschool mom, ectlectic meaning I use more than just L.I.F.E. school and use a lot of different methods. One I use extremely often is unschooling. I took a quiz that said I do Unschooling, Montessori and Charlotte Mason styles.

     I also spent a lot of money, much of it from Harmony Ed while I was part of that (there is a blog post about what it was like and why I quit). Because of this, I have many books, supplies, dvd’s and games for my kids to learn from. I also bought an iPad last year with our tax refund in February and since, I have purchased many iPad apps. My kids use iPad apps for learning, too. 
     I still use spelling workout books and love them. I still use God’s Design for Science and love this curriculum. I still use spelling city and themathworksheetsite.com and love them. I still teach kids to read and write using the methods mentioned in my blog post about how I teach language arts. I still use a lot of the books for history mentioned in my blog post about teaching history. I still use Discover the Scriptures. Read my other blog posts to learn more about all these other methods I use.

      In addition, this year we put our house up for sale, cleaned and left the house often for showings to sell it, took time to repair and paint the house, packed, unpacked, packed again, moved, unpacked and out the house together and dealt with huge family health problems. 

     All of this are reasons why I only teach L.I.F.E. School often enough to have taught lessons 1 through 40 (the initial sample lessons) in about one year. Maybe you think that is fine or maybe you think it is pathetic, but you need to know. that we use a lot of other methods, too.

     L.I.F.E. School Curriculum has done this for me. Now how much time do I spend lesson planning and surfing the internet searching for stuff to print and file? I do this for math and do it about once a week for a couple hours. Once a year I will have to print a bunch of L.I.F.E. School lessons, about 20 of them, including all workbooks and the parent manual, hole punching it all and putting lessons in a binder. About once a week, I will read over the lessons that will come (the next 2 or 3). I generally add things, like, “Watch this dvd” or “do Discover the Old Testament lesson 11 here.” I sometimes write in, “also teach this (to the younger ones) using montessori.”

     For art lessons, I use the ones suggested, for my little kids and sometimes for everyone, about 5 % of the time. Most often, I just skip over them and then later, I teach my own art lessons, since I majored in and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art: Visual Communications and Design and my kids are way beyond the level that the lesson asks for. I think for a kindergartener, her plans are great. L.I.F.E. School art lessons go along with the lesson really well, but I do not think they teach my kids as well as I can teaching what I want to teach them. They are more advanced in art than most kids, in my opinion, because I have let them draw on the walls, draw all the time, and I teach them to watercolor when they are 6 months old. I would prefer to teach art on their individual levels. I teach them the principles and elements of design and composition and lots of art history. I use many things for Art History. They are handpicked books. I love the Usborne ones. (I am set up to sell Usborne, though I work at it 0 hours and give it 0 effort because I do not have time.) I think for the non-art-focused homeschool mom and children, the lessons in art will be grand. If you are an artist or if you have an artist for a child, the lessons will not be satisfactory.

     The lessons are not as cute or fun as some I have done in the past, but I can teach them without prep time and without stress, and they get lessons more often, If I were still trying, with 6 kids, to get cute or highly creative or highly fun lessons in, we would not have as much time together, because I would be at the computer more hours of each day and more days in each week, searching for, planning, printing, preparing, filing and storing.

     I love that I now spend more time teaching my kids instead of on searching, planning, printing and preparing. I love that even though I am extremely busy, I can just up and give a lesson out of the boue whenever I am feeling like doing so. I am very scattered and cannot stick to a schedule to save my life, but my kids are used to this.

     The person who asked for this review asked me to mention things that need improvement. Lessons 1-40 redesigned are 3 times better than the ones not redesigned yet, so I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it if all of the lessons were redesigned, also, to be like those. They have more color, they have math and “early learning” (preschool and kindergarten) lessons, they have weekly planning and weekly review pages. Some of the links do not work on the web site and it is unpredictable whether Patti will respond when I ask for things. She is sometimes right on the ball and at other times, she does not respond for a long time, if ever. She just needs more employees, in my opinion.

     I plan on using L.I.F.E. School until all my kids have done all of the lessons and years, through 8th grade, or beyond that, if needed. With the speed at which I get through the lessons, we could go all the way until my kids turn 18 and be fine.

     If you want to see what it is like on a day by day basis and see more than what the web site discusses, please either ask me a very specific question or use the sample curriculum. Using the sample curriculum will be a better way to see what the Life School Curriculum is really like and what it will be like for you in a real life, day to day setting.

     I love L.I.F.E. School for my kids aged 6, 8, 11 and 13! They love it, too. I think it does a great job teaching my kids. I learn a lot, to. I think it is the best out there for teaching combined language arts including grammar, writing and spelling. There’s also poetry, too. Today it addressed book reports, and that was pretty cool. It includes science, history and geography. It also includes music and art. It is easy to use, and you can even just “wing it” with no preparation if you want and you will still do fine. Usually, I just out of the blue say, “Please go get the LIFE School binder.” I teach the lesson either in the toddler’s room or the living room now. 

     The assignments in the kids workbooks are great. I help my kids with them. I love that they are learning to become more peaceful, more Christlike and more obedient with time as we do more LIFE School. I am so grateful that Patti put so much time into it so that I don’t have to and I can spend my time on other things, like planning the math lessons (math not included), gardening, changing diapers, breastfeeding and cleaning the house. I know that they will still get a great education in all the subjects, with little effort on my part. It is so restful. When I see how much they have progressed, it is very sweet to the soul.

     I apologize that I did not cover everything, I am a busy homeschool mom. Please understand. Thanks!

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