Oompa Loompas Chapter 16, with Math

My kids have been doing math this morning as I have read to them. Surprisingly, it helps them get it done faster, and I do not know why. It is some kind of brain thing. I think it is because they are using both sides of the brain at the same time. Maybe you could try it. It has been amazing. Of course, I did have to keep saying, “Keep doing your math.”

My Book Recommendations for Homeschooling Moms & Dads!

I often get questioned about how to deal with this or that problem and I often give book recommendations. I love reading non-fictions books which will help me with my homeschool. Here are some of my favorite recommendations, the ones I recommend most often to more homeschool moms and the ones which have influenced whatever wisdom I have with which to homeschool. Some of them, I picked up long before starting to homeschool.

“Homeschooling Day by Day,” by Kristy Howard

“The Homeschool Experiment,” by Charity Hawkins

“Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe,” by Todd Wilson

“Things We Wish We’d Known: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling,” by Diana Waring

“The Underground History of American Education,” by John Taylor Gatto

“Unschooling Rules,” Clark Aldrich

“The Learning Coach Approach,” by Linda Dobsen

“The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child’s Classroom,” by Mary Griffith

“Discover Your Child’s Learning Style,” by Mariaemma Willis, M.S. and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.

“Cooperative Learning in the Classroom,” by David W. Johnson, et.al

“Farenheit 451: A Novel,” by Ray Bradbury

“The Active Classroom Fieldbook: Success Stories From the Active Classroom,” by Ronald Nash

“Help! Around the House,” by Don Aslett

“Not For Packrats Only,” by Don Aslett

“Done!” by Don Aslett

“Unconditional Parenting,” by Alfie Kohn

“The Homework Myth,” by Alfie Kohn

“The Schools Our Children Deserve,” by Alfie Kohn

“Help! I’m Married to a Homeschool Mom,” by Todd Wilson

“Number Sense Routines,” by Jessica F. Shumway

“Spelling in Use,” by Lester L. Laminack and Katie Wood

“Whole Learning: Whole Language and Content in the Upper Grades,” by Pat Cordeiro

“The NDD Book,” by William Sears, M.D.

“How to Negotiate With Kids Even When You Think You Shouldn’t,” by Scott Brown

“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

“Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live, Too,” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

“Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach…” by Hal Edward Runkel

“A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom,” by Aline D. Wolf

“Montessori Madness,” by Trevor Eissler

“Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years,” by Elizabeth Hainstock

“Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years,” by Elizabeth Hainstock

“Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky,” by Carol Garhart Mooney

“Called Home,” by Karen DeBeus

“Superwoman Syndrome,” by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

“Toxic In-Laws,” by Susan Forward

“The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity,” by Joseph Nowinski

“Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You,” by Susan Forward

“The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk,” by Diana West, IBCLC and Lisa Marasco, M.A., IBCLC

“Numbers in Pre-School and Kindergarten,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Reinvent Arithmetic, Second Edition,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, Second Grade, 2nd Edition,” by Constance Kamii

“Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, 3rd Grade,” by Constance Kamii

“Achievement Testing in the Early Grades: The Games Grown-Ups Play,” Edited by Constance Kamii

“How to Raise a Child With a High (E.Q.) Emotional Quotient,” by Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D.

“Teaching Children Empathy, the Social Emotion: Reproducible Worksheets…” by Tonia, Ph.D., Casselman

“That’s My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character,” by Rick Johnson

(Utahns) “The Utah Adventure,” by John McCormick

“Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” by Seth Godin

“Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family,” by Mary Ostyn

“Getting to Dry: How to Help Your Child Overcome Bedwetting,” by Max Maizels

“What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions,” by Douglas A. Riley

“The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller,” by John Truby


Homeschool: History Books for Kids to Explore (Child-Led Learning)

I have not too often encountered questions on how to teach history. However, now and then I do. I love History and my kids do, too. There are a plethora of boring, biased and inaccurate ones. There are many without the right perspectives, or with perspectives which are too narrow and one-sided.

I have enjoyed buying history books which are more well-rounded, entertaining for kids and adults so we will enjoy them, and here, I will help you find them. If you are into child-led learning, you will love these as I have loved them. They do not come in a box all together. You have to order them one by one. That is what amazon.com is for! Since we homeschool, we do amazon prime. It is worth it! We pay a yearly fee and then do not have to worry about a lot of the shipping. Some of the shipping, we still have to pay (to third party sellers).

I went onto wikipedia and (yes, time-consuming, but, later, saves time) I make a list of what I wanted my kids to learn each school year. I cannot afford to buy books on everything. Amazon wish lists are for waiting, and having what you want, on the ready for when money comes. We budget an amount each pay period for education expenses. Every 2 weeks, we can spend a certain amount. It is not a lot bit not too little, either. You can decide on something like this, too.

When I am in the mood, I search up books on rach topic I want covered. I click on “look inside” and look through it. I read the description of each and readnthe reviews. I choose the book that looks the most information-packed, accurate, well-rounded, informative and entertaining for kids (not in that priority order).

Here is one example of a really great children’s book about hostory! It’s great! It was written by someone who is passionate about this topic and was illustrated with the same passion! Johann Gutenberg and the Gutenberg Press

I have told a few people about this method of mine and they have said they do not have time to go through all that, to search up thr best books. I don’t get it, because it is so much fun. Hopefully, this post will give you relief and lighten that (sarcastic) BURDEN of sifting through books. 

 You Choose Interactive History Books Series

These books are amazing! They are historical fiction and historical fact mixed. They are written in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style with real facts mixed in (you can tell by the way it is designed what is fact and what is fiction). It is a great way to see history from multiple perspectives and put yourself into that time period. My kids and I read all of the paths anyway, because we want to.

Ride Like The Wind: A Tale of the Pony Express

This one has an amazing way of telling about what it was like for pony express riders. It shows what the time period is like. The text is so well-written, I feel like I am reading one big, long, poem. I can feel the gorgeous sunsets and can taste the cowboy meals. I can feel the heat of the cowboy fire. I can feel the wind, cold and heat on my face as I ride. When I read it to my kids, we are all pony express riders, cap

Public School, Homeschool and Behavior Issues

My son used to have major behavioral and psychological issues when in public school. In a week, I noticed slight changes. In a month, I noticed more changes. After 3 months, his issues had been cut to 60% what they were when he had been in public school. After one year of homeschooling, I think the behavior issues were about 40% what they had been in public school. Now it has been almost 3 years. He is older, so, granted, that could make a difference, too, BUT I think homeschooling has made a bigger difference than age. He has behavior issues still, but they are down to about 20% what they were when he was in public school.

I wonder so often, whether they would even exist, had he never been in public school, but that does not solve anything, so I shouldn’t.

I will tell you some things that I think made a difference for my son. They are important to me. I cannot guarantee they will work for you. Every family will do different things. I am sure something here could help someone, though, so here it is.

When I began, I had already read about 6 books written by amazing author Alfie Kohn, including “Unconditional Parenting” and “The Schools Our Children Deserve,” which I recommend you start with. His books are very thick because of solid references which are in the back of the books. These take up about one third of the book. I looked at the references and used them to decide which books to read next. These were also very helpful.

I love “The NDD Book,” about how your child getting enough sleep, exercise and the right nutrition, will spfor sure affect his or her behavior. My child does get more sleep out of public school, because if, for example, we happen to stay up late on a Thursday night, visiting relatives or something, the he sleeps in the next morning (Friday). When we do an exhausting field trip, project, co-op or gathering, he eats and naps. He naps whenever he needs it and I let him, because he does not do it very often, and I have talked with him about how his body will tell him when he needs it. Usually when he has a meltdown, we feed him (that helps) and then he will go lie down for a one hour nap. When he gets up again, he is cheerful, kind, helpful, obedient, etcetera.

We have discussed what works best for him, with him. He likes this. When we forget to do this for a while, things do not work as well. He also needs regular one on one love and individual attention. Before he really “got into” reading, I used to get up in the morning and, first thing, read to him sitting in a chair in his room, to help him wake up. I read for half an hour. This helped him get out of bed cheerfully. It also helped him feel loved and helped us bond. I cannot deny that it made him love books, as well.

I teach my kids via eclectic homeschooling, and one thing included in 60 to 90% of our homeschool, depending in the day, week and month, and what is going on, is letting him learn however he wants, and whatever he wants, as long as it is within our religious standards. A lot of people call this unschooling, but I prefer to just describe it, as the “un” has such negative connotations. He learns a ton this way, and the freedom of this approach takes away a lot of behavior issues.

We also use an LDS curriculum called “L.I.F.E. School.” “L.I.F.E. Stands for Life Integrated Family Education.” The kids all get the same lesson. Then they do their work, which is similar, so they can help one another, but it is different for each grade level. I love it. It makes things so much easier for me. I do not have to do as much work to out things together for my kids to learn. The gospel is woven into every lesson. It teaches art, geography, history, science, literature, poetry, theater, reading, grammar, paleography, spelling, and many types of writing. It teaches dictionary work and research, essay

The only subject not included in this curriculum is Math. I am fine with that. I work hard at math teaching, most of the time. When I do not, I have to make up for it later.

Why we do not join Homeschool book Club Groups, knights of freedom or AYLI

I thought about them and then when I saw how many books they were supposed to read, I decided not to out my kids in them. I believe in encouraging kids to read good books, books they choose and enjoy, whether classics or not. I believe in letting them choose to read them, choose which to read, and letting them read at their own pace. There are way too many groups, like these ones, who have so many assigned books, which would take so long to read, that my kids would never get to choose what to read and would never read a classic “just for fun,” leaving them in the “I hate reading” boat, which is where they were in school!

Homeschooling & De-Junking the books (or de-cluttering the bookshelves)

Some people believe that all books should be kept. Especially if the household home educates. I am not sure where I fit in.

On one hand, books are a necessary part of educating myself and the kids, so they have to be around. On the other hand, I am a Don Aslett De-Junker, who loves to create more space. Space is amazing, and it is something we pay good money for. If you go to a real estate site and look at how much more valuable, houses with more square footage, including the garage, are, you’ll agree. Space is valuable, and houses are listed for $1,000 more, over time, with interest, for 5 more square feet of home.

So call me crazy, but, this home educating mom is prepping for the next local curriculum sale not by saving money, but by gathering books to sell. This is a mom who is fed up with the lack of space.

Truth be told, it is space I’ve had for the past 3 months, when these books have been in taped up boxes, while we’ve been trying to sell this house, so that we can pay $70,000 more than what ours would sell for, to get another 500 to 1,000 square feet to put more books into.

I loved not having as many books to sift through these past 3 months. Now that I have opened the boxes, I am thinking “AHHHHH! I can’t do this! Free me from the prison of junky books!” Because of this, I am rethinking this. Which books will we really use in the next 5 years? Which do I dream the kids will use, but know in my heart, they won’t? Which do I know we won’t use within 5 years?

Some, I will not use in the coming year. I will use them the following year or in some future year. We focused on biology this year. That means I can put away the biology books and get out the books for next year’s science focus: Space, Earth and Physical Science. This sounds  crazy to some home ed moms, who would rather I left all science out. However, I am me, and this is MY HOUSE, and I will do what I want. Not a great argument? Well, it has to be good enough and I have to stop fretting over what the other home ed moms think and be myself.

For me, it will be liberating. I have to eat lunch, though. I have been sifting books a lot today and I am shaky. I need nutrition. I have fresh broccoli and fresh mushrooms upstairs, calling to me.