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!

 

 

Three Common Questions People Ask My Kids About Our Homeschool

August 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Here are 3 questions that meny people who don’t even know us very well ask my kids throughout the year.  

“What have you learned today/ this week/month/year/summer?”

Answers are like this:

“I learned about Jesus.” This answer pleases teacher in church. Why wouldn’t it please this person?

generic pleasing answer: “science.”

“nothing”

“What did you DO in homeschool today/ this week/this month?”

These are some answers my kids give: 

“nothing” 

“chores” or “cleaned the house” (this they say for sympathy from the interrogator)

“played on the wii” (this is the honest answer of my littlest one because it is all he thinks about and even if he plays for 5 minutes, it is the highlight of his day, and therefore all that he remembers).

All of these 3 responses have the potential of leading people to think awful things about me and about homeachooling, but I am now in a healthy mental state wherein I do not care what they think because I know the truth and I do not feel bad about it. I know I am doing a great job and do not feel insecure about my homeschooling methods.

The people sometimes look at me to scowl at me, make some judging face, or smile at me sincerely because my kids are just like theirs (normal) and they have no judgement for me. I like the people who respond the third way. I feel I can trust them more. 

Some look at me just for a response, as in, “What is your defense?” 

I do not defend myself because this is a tactic I feel others can use to make me feel like I have to answer to them. I know I don’t not have to answer to them and that they cannot make me feel guilt about homeschooling, so I just smile. This confuses some people and they become even more upset. I am sure these ones are thinking, “How can she not feel any remorse when her kids learn about Jesus or nothing, play the wii and are slaves all day?” 

“Do you have any friends?”

My kids usually answer, “Yes.”

This frustrates them because I think they wanted or expected an answer like, “No. My mom keeps me locked up in the house and refuses to let me meet other people and make friends.” It also frustrates them because then they realize it was a yes or no question.
So they ask the follow-up question, which is, “Oh, really?” (In a surprised tone of voice) Who are your friends. What is upsetting after that is that then people decide whether someone “counts” as a friend or not.

I have come to the conclusion that for many people, the following do not “count” as friends:

  • any homeschoolers
  • anyone of an unequal age
  • anyone of the opposite sex
  • anyone related to the child
  • any neighbor
  • anyone they met at church
  • anyone they met in playing sports or at lessons
  • anyone they do not see 5 days a week, 6.5 hours a day, 180 days of the year

In short, many people will never be satisfied in this area, so I will go with this: “You can’t please everyone, so ya, ya got ta please yourself! …..Na na na, A na a na na na….”

Home Organization: Creating Space For Food Storage

July 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

  
1: Put Buckets of Food Storage under tables and desks which you have never used a chair to sit at. It won’t use up any extra space!

Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations

July 30, 2015 § 2 Comments

I have a lot of blog posts about iPad apps at lisajacksondesign.wordpress.com.
I do use iPad apps a lot.
I use preschool prep and leap frog dvd’s.
I use netflix. I also use lifeschoolk12.com.
I use discover the book of mormon.
I use spellingcity.com (subscription level) with the spelling city app, and
themathworksheetsite.com.
I print my curriculum from lifeschoolk12.org. She does have it online, and I use the iPad for the parent manual and print the curriculum.
I also love spelling workout workbooks,
Holt and Scott Foresman math textbooks from the 90’s, and
God’s Design for Science curriculum.
I shop on Amazon for building up my library at my house. My homeschool mom planner is from Mardel.com and is called, “a simple plan.”

  

God Called Me to Homeschooling

July 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

     I have seen this in plenty of Christian Homeschool books. I did not coin the phrase in my title. However, I can testify to you that God wants me to homeschool my kids. He has told me in answer to prayers once before I started bugging my husband about it, once when my husband and I prayed together about it and many times since when I have doubted. I know this is what Heavenly Father wants me to do.

     I know that 1 Nephi 3:7 in the Book of Mormon is true. God does not tell me to do something that He will not help me to do. God WILL show me how to do this. He will guide me. He will prepare a way that I may accomplish what He has asked me to do!

     If God called you to homeschooling and you doubt, stop listening to Satan and jump in. God will help you one day at a time. You CAN do it! I promise! 

     He will guide you and answer your prayers. He will tell you ideas for how to deal with issues as they come up. However, God will not likely:

  • Bring a curriculum to your doorstep
  • Fill our your day planner
  • Force you to pray to Him
  • Tell you when your child is in Pre-School, how you can socialize her in High School
  • Find you a High School chemistry program when your child is in 3rd grade
  • Make your relatives and neighbors stop thinking homeschool is crazy
  • Teach your kids how to do their part in cleaning your house
  • Make finances easy and pain free

     He will do these things for you: When you are worried about High School when your child is not even close to High School yet, He will help you to feel better about it, perhaps by helping you meet someone whose kids are in High School, who is Homeschooling. He will:

  • Guide you to the right places in person or on the internet so you may find the right curricula
  • Help you find people to guide you, or sources, for good organizational supplies, like planners
  • Listen and answer when you pray to Him
  • Teach you how to best teach your child pre-school, by putting ideas/ people in your path to help you
  • Lead you to a good science curriculum for third grade when your child is in third grade
  • Help to soften the hearts of others slowly and gradually over time, as you are faithful and as you pray for their hearts to soften a little more to homeschooling
  • Help you to find guidance which will help you to teach your kids to do their part to clean the house
  • He will guide you to learn how to stay within a budget and work toward freedom from debt (Search for “Dave Ramsey: Financial Peace University.”)

The Cost to Homeschool a Large Family

July 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

If I were to consider not by average, but by year for my kids preschool through 12th grade, how much more or less we spend on homeschooling than what we would have spent and saved were our kids public or charter schooled, here is the breakdown. I used an online charter school, but I have counted as if I did not get reimbursed, so you can see what the cost would have been, had I paid for all of it myself.

2012-13, 3 students: I saved $1,100

2013-14, 4 students: $100

2014-15, 5 students: $1,400

After adding up costs, it added up to $1,000 per year per child. I was surprised at the cost. Then I subtracted things I would have paid for even were they in public school. After that, I started subtracting what I had saved by homeschooling. All the savings surprised me even more, as I had not previously considered those.

All this includes extra costs of housecleaning and extra costs of lunches beyond what they would be if we had them in public school. It includes homeschool retreats, homeschool group events costs, classes and lessons (including sports and lessons that most people put their kids in). I enrolled my kids in, conferences, field trips, annual family memberships to learning places, printer paper, printer, printer ink, school supplies, games and dvd’s, apps, computer, iPad, office supplies, art and craft supples, music supplies, gardening supplies and books.

This not account for loss of income I could have had coming in from my graphic design business had I not been busy with this. It does not include lessons and sports we would have still had our kids in had we not homeschooled. This does not account for family events, memberships and family field trips for learning we would have gone on even if they were in public school. I have subtracted the costs of school supplies, books and fees we would have paid were we a public schooling family, and books, supplies and DVD’s we’d have purchased even if in public school.

I encourage you to figure out how much you spend per month on all of your kids on:

  • Trendy fashion clothing and accessories you would not need if they were in homeschool
  • Toys your kids heard about at school that you had to buy them because they heard about them
  • Backpacks, binders, locker accessories, school fees and supplies you would not have to buy were they in homeschool
  • Therapy sessions and doctor visit costs that you would not have were your family homeschooling
  • Day care, extra meal expense and extra clothing you must buy for the wife to have paid work
  • What you spend on class treats, PTA donations, donations to the school, fundraisers for/ related to the school
  • School supplies you have to buy not just at the beginning of the year, but monthly (posterboard for a presentation, printer ink, note cards, supplies for making a model, science project supplies, photocopies at libraries, DVD’s or books required to rent or buy for school, sewing supplies required for school, gardening supplies, etc.
  • Gas/ Petroleum/ fuel/ electricity, to run your vehicles, to take your kids to and from school and school events

Homeschooling Middle School

July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Teaching older kids is not easy, but not hard, either. We made it. We did it. Here is a bit about what our year was like. 

  

 ^^Our Homeschool Room is now a Prep Room, because we use field trips, group activities, the whole house, and clipboards to do work on (instead of a desk, in our homeschool.

Our Year by Seasonal Quarters

Quarter 1: Fall of 2014

   We started our L.I.F.E. School Curriculum again in about mid-August. It is a comprehensive curriculum which helps me to feel confident they are learning what they need to for each level. It does not include math, though, so we had math lessons which I had to find. I like to do this, though, so it was not a big deal. 2nd Semester, I discovered that Holt Mathematics for Middle School and Scott Foresman Mathematics, were great. Textbooks are shunned by a lot of homeschool moms, but this one loves them. My child loves them, too.

     We “opened up” with out local traditional “Not Back to School Party.” This included about 50 people. It was small compared to 2013, which had at least 300 people. It was outdoors at a park. We had food and a curriculum and clothing swap. It was good to see our friends, the same friends we’d had before we moved. I think moving from one city to the next is harder on people when they do not homeschool. We did have to go to seeing our old neighbors less, which was tough, but at least our homeschool friends are still in the same county group get-togethers. It makes for a feeling of continuous belonging my kids would not have had were they in public school.

     Heavenly Father gave me a good feeling about it, so we did one semester of once a week with a local Christian Homeschooling Co-op group. It was great for me and the kids and helped us get to know others, learn a variety of subjects in fun ways and learn a lot of wonderful things. At the semester’s end, I planned on the next semester, too. Over Christmas break, I felt Heavenly Father was trying to tell me not to be in it for the next semester. I prayed a lot about it. I felt like He did not want me to participate for the 2nd Semester. I felt bad to tell the leader that I had decided not to participate after January.

     Back to August. I had a stressful conflict and medical issues with breastfeeding. My homeschooled kids got to stay with relatives and do homeschool there. I have a relative who homeschools, which was very nice at this stressful time. I cannot tell you how much I hate the system which pushes women away from breastfeeding. Although they thought it was too late to get him to like breastfeeding again, we are now breastfeeding most of the time and only using formula occasionally when I step out sometimes. Most of the time when I am gone for a long time, I pump milk while I am gone. Because of this stressful forced learning of pumping full time, I am quite good at pumping now, so that it is really not such a biggie to me. This is a blessing. I am glad my kids get to see me breastfeeding and pumping all day long, since they are not in school, so that they will know about it. This is extremely important real world knowledge all kids (boys and girls) should have.

     We continued to try to sell our house. This was a stressful time for us. There was a lot going on. It was at this time that we were really close to being able to buy a new house and sell our old one. We still had to sell, though, so there were lots of showings. This meant that a huge part of our childrens’ learning was learning to pack up things we did not need at the time, clean and home stage the house for showings, with 20 minutes to 3 hours of notice each time. My kids got extra good at cleaning and home staging fast. They also got to learn from different professionals who help with the real estatebuy and sell process. My child said at one time that being a real estate appraiser when an adult would be great. They got to watch and ask questions of the electrician, the furnace installation professional, the real estate agents and more. All of this would have been impossible had my kids been in public school. 

     We sold our old house and we had our offer accepted on the new one. We closed on both and finished packing. We moved to our new house with all the help we could get from everyone, including the kids. We unpacked and set up the house. We met our new neighbors. Even these things, my kids learned a lot from. It is hard to tell people how much learning can take place when their kids are home instead of at school. People really cannot experience it without actually taking their kids out of school. I know a lot of people think summer is like this, but it is not the same as year-round.

     Simultaneous to moving into our new house came the passing of my Uncle, whom I loved and the kids loved very much. We had been blessed in that, as a homeschool family, they had been home for each of his visits, and were here for his last visit to us. It was on a weekday during the day, so for sure, they’d have been at school, were they in public school. They got to say hi and goodbye to him more in their lives than they would have gotten to do had they been in school. This blessing is priceless! We were blessed to be able to experience our grief together  instead of having to be separated by school. I was able to talk to my kids about heaven, forever families and the resurrection, during many hours of each day. My kids got to see other relatives come visit  and got to hear them talk about our Uncle, during school hours.

     I was in charge of much of his money and this involved learning to get along with relatives who were angry with me some of the time because of misunderstandings. I dealt with learning legal matters like a non-legal trust and what to do about that. I learned how to peacefully speak to people even when I felt passionate inside, so that there was not drama. This was a very difficult time for me, as I was forced do so many really hard things at once. Learning to calmly deal with stressful family affairs was good for my 7th grader to learn by watching me and listening to me. She got to see and hear more because she was home and not in school.

     We went on LOTS of learning field trips as a family on my husband’s days off. I used to do field trips without him, but now I prefer his presence. He also prefers to be there when they have these exciting learning field trips. We went to almost everything on the SL Connect Pass. We had a TG Point Pass as well, adn used it a lot, too.


Quarter 2: Winter of 2014-15

     During the winter, we continued to fix up, u-pack, de-junk and put the house together. I got to be a presenter at a homeschool conference at the local University. My child got to attend, too, and see and hang out with her friends.

     I don’t know whether or not you know about this. In the homeschool world, there is really no Christmas break. There was one from the Co-Op. That was it. Other than that, there is none because year round, we just do formal-feeling school when we feel like it and rest when we feel like it. When we feel like being Christmassy, we do that. When we feel like some academics are in order, we do that. We do not care. We were feeling Christmassy by December 1st, so we started celebrating then. Then we did academics. Then we celebrated again. We were doing academics on Christmas eve, Chritmas and the day after because we did not need a break. My kids don’t get burnt out. They love to learn. Why stop them when they enjoy it?! We also had a homeschool Christmas Party.

     Every month starting in January, we had a homeschool get-together for LDS Homeschool families at my house. We talked about an LDS Gospel topic and shared things about it with each other. We had snacks. The kids played with each other and the moms talked. It was priceless every time. 

     January came and there was no snow still. It was warm out, too, so we hoed and shoveled the weeds up many a day, during the day, while other kids were in school. The kids learned plenty about nature in our backyard. They also played a lot of catch and tag. They also rode their bikes. Some other homeschoolers came a lot and played in the backyard with my kids. They got to see lots of birds, because we have lots of them. We continued our SL Connect pass field trips and also using our TG Point Family Pass. Those were great in January, because it was like spring and fall combined this year.

     We had a homeschool valentine party at a play park (because it was like springtime). I bought decorations and valentines for them to use.  Some of my kids got to go. We had to have some stay home with me, sick. It was sad. Oh, well. My child did get to go! I am glad that a friend gave them a ride to and from the party. After the party, my friend and I had a good talk.

     My child got to come with me to a preparedness conference and learned a lot. It was great to be there together. It was at the University locally, so she got to “get to know” the campus, which I think is good for kids.


Quarter 3: Spring of 2015

      We continued in the spring to put our new house and yard together. It involved a lot of planting and lanscaping work. The kids learned a lot in helping with all this. We continued to work on L.I.F.E. School, math, monthly get-togethers and gardening. We worked on church items, as well. Then we had swimming lessons and then baseball. We had some great homeachooling get-togethers with the local homeschool community. The kids do get lots of chances to have fun and make friends.

     My child got to got to a homeschool youth conference. They learned standards, cooperation, etiquette and got to have a dance with lots of kids. I am glad my child is old enough to attend homsechool youth events now. There are many of them available, planned by local homeschool moms, and they are great. We went to some homeschool mother and child retreats, too. 

Quarter 4: Summer of 2015

     During the summer, we have worked on putting together the house, preparing for emergencies and gardening. We have worked on math, spelling and reading. The kids have also learned lots in science and social studies, just by living life. We are nearly “finished” de-junking the house (for now) and we look forward to the eighth grade year.

Although this makes it seem like we did not do any academics and barely any socialing, real life is much better. My child got plenty of social time and has a lot of friends. Some are close friends. Others are kids she just knows as acquaintances. L.I.F.E. School teaches a whole lot. You can read about it in one of my other posts.

JPG Memes: Quotes From LDS General Authorities about LDS Homeschooling

July 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

jacob 2

Paul B Piper Seventy 2012 Secular

Heber C Kimball outline ping flowers

John Taylor grains truth

LDS Homeschooling Memes Brigham Young 1 o

Elder Dallin H. Oaks civic education

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