How to Buy or Choose a Homeschool Curriculum

I do not recommend picking a ready made curriculum with all subjects included. I like to pick things in pieces. This for math, that for science, this for reading, that for spelling, this for history, that for writing and grammar, this for religion, that for handwriting, this for art, that for music, etc. I think it is cheaper and more tailor-fitted to you and your kids that way!

In addition, keep in mind that if you have a budget, you need to save $200 for the awesome back to school sales in July and August. I go shopping every week in those months, just for what things are on sale that week at these stores. I have to stock up for a big family, for the whole year. I do not have the luxury of having the public school provide any supplies.

If I were you, I would also plan a way to get some money for education into your monthly budget, because things will come up, year round (field trip opportunities, group events, etc.). Do not be overwhelmed by all the stuff you need, because if you make a list, it will be longer than what you can afford. Just keep in mind, that this year, you may use all the money for these, and next year, you will use all your money for those, and the next year, you will finally be able to afford this and that.

I was talking to a mom who had done it for 20 years, and it sounded like she needed nothing. She had accumulated it all, but she had been at it 20 years. You have to keep that in mind. When I started, for the first few months, all I could afford were paper packs and pencils. We did fine. Slowly and gradually, I got more and more of what was needed. I have been at it 2 and a half years and home teach 5 kids.

We just got an iPad a month ago. I love it, but do not get that as your first item. Get the basic stuff first. Make a list of all that you want or could dream of. Then put it in order of priority. Get the things at the top, first. I say, first, you need lots of school supplies, reading books, spelling workbooks, math workbooks, lots of little, separate science and history fun to read books, bookshelf, 6 ft. Tall closing cabinet, bins and plastic organizers, a wall calendar, and a white board. In the school supplies category, I recommend you get plenty of printer paper and ink, for all the stuff you will print from the web, Manila folders, staplers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, calculator, erasers, paper clips, brads, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors, watercolor sets, play dough, etc.

I have no idea what age or ages of kids you have. If your child is a high schooler, you will not need play dough, but maybe a chemistry set. I recommend the homeschool mom day planner from http://www.Mardel.com, only $20 including shipping!

iPad, The Homeschool Mom’s New Best Friend!

Although many times my husband and I feel frustrated about how difficult homeschool family life is, with our newbie, we know from experience and our other wonderful kids, that this time is precious, won’t come back, will be missed, and is worth the sacrifice. We love our newbie and all the others, too.

One thing that I found helpful for this time, is to let go of all the responsibility. I decided to let others take it off my shoulders. Who took it off my shoulders? I will tell you, and you will see.

I used to plan everything in a lot more detail. Before our newbie joined the family, part of the preparation included buying workbooks which would just be go to’s like this: “Do one lesson in your spelling book and one lesson from math. Read one science lesson and read one history lesson.” We did that for a while.

Then our whole method changed. A couple of months ago, with our tax refund money, we bought and iPad. Oh, boy, has that turned my kids off to workbooks, but I do not blame them. They can learn so much, and so much faster. They get instant feedback and instant assistance, without my helping much at all. The problem is, I only could afford one, for all of us to share (because I use it, too). Now I look forward much, to next year when we can get a second one for all of us to share!

For your information, my favorite apps are these, many for which I pay full subscription costs, which are worth every penny:

Spelling city
News-o-Matic
Brain Pop
Brain Pop Jr.
Reading Rainbow
Monkey in the Middle
Tocomail
Design Home
Mini Monet
IXL Math
Kids Academy apps
L’Escapador apps
Turbo Math
Math Board
Amazing Coin
Mr. Wolf
AdvMath
Educreations
Mad Libs
Stack the States
Stack the Countries
Google Earth

Some, I do not have full subscriptions to, but would love full subscriptions to. One of these is the IXL math, which my mom, a public school teacher, recommended to me. It is a whopping $79 a year, but a great app, really! Someday, I want to save up and get it, but I am horrible at saving up for things.

The Fourth Power (States’ Rights) and Common Core

 

Our founding fathers did not want all the power to be given to a few, to rule over many, so they created four great powers, so that each power could keep the other powers from having so much power that they could overpower the other three. They knew this was the way to maintain freedom in their new Nation, to be kept for many generations. They were thinking of their posterity, and those who would come here. They were thinking of us!

The fourth power has long ago lost its luster, given up gradually over time, by us. It is now the very weakest of the four powers because most do not know a fourth power exists. It is so weak, we don’t even teach about it in our schools. Most of us were taught in school that there are three powers for the checks and balances of the United States of America. They are called the three branches of government.

The fourth power is this: The States have rights. “AMENDMENT X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/tenth_amendment

The founding fathers knew every state was different. The states already had their own governments, currency, tariffs, and laws. The states were all founded differently. They were only 13 colonies before the Articles of Confederation was written, and they were all founded by unique groups, which had unique visions of how things should be. They wanted to maintain their group culture, their own laws and government.

Many feared that uniting under one strong Federal Power, would take too many rights from the people, and they’d have a government just like the one they had recently fought a very risky revolution, passionately, to get away from. The arguing, physical fighting and debates lasted a long time and were very intense. Getting all of those people to agree, enough to sign the constitution, one by one, was a miracle. The reason they DID come to an agreement was because the federal government would not be taking many rights. The majority of the rights, governing, decision-making and power, would remain, as stated in the 10th amendment, with the states or in the hands of the people of the nation.

I have been reading this book. http://www.amazon.com/States-Rights-Union-1776-1876-University/dp/0700612270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387407313&sr=8-1&keywords=states+rights+and+the+union

It is not so, now. The states have been losing many rights over the years, and now the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches are the only three powers most know exist, because of their great powers.

We can take our states’ rights back. Neither the U.S. of A. nor the Constitution thereof, would exist were it not for the retention of powers by the 13 original states. The fourth power was a necessary part of the founding of our country.

Each state’s powers begin with each of the States’ Constitutions, written by the Legislative Branches of each state, enforced by the Executive Branches of each state (the Governor being at the head), and the power of the Constitution translated into law and understood by, the Judicial Branches within each state.

Each state elects representatives to be sent to the United States government, in Washington D.C., each year to make laws pertaining to the entire United States and to understand and even change, the U.S. Constitution. They are the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senators representing each of our great states. These we call Congress and also “The Legislative Branch.”

This is not where the fourth power exists alone. These form only a portion of the fourth power. Another portion makes decisions at our state level. These are the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. Most people call this the “Legislature” or “the State Legislature.”

Another piece of the fourth power is the Executive Branch of the State. The National Governors Association web site (http://www.nga.org/cms/home.html) states that:

“Governors, all of whom are popularly elected, serve as the chief executive officers of the fifty states and five commonwealths and territories.

“As state managers, governors are responsible for implementing state laws and overseeing the operation of the state executive branch. As state leaders, governors advance and pursue new and revised policies and programs using a variety of tools, among them executive orders, executive budgets, and legislative proposals and vetoes.

“Governors carry out their management and leadership responsibilities and objectives with the support and assistance of department and agency heads, many of whom they are empowered to appoint. A majority of governors have the authority to appoint state court judges as well, in most cases from a list of names submitted by a nominations committee.

“Although governors have many roles and responsibilities in common, the scope of gubernatorial power varies from state to state in accordance with state constitutions, legislation, and tradition, and governors often are ranked by political historians and other observers of state politics according to the number and extent of their powers. Ranking factors may include the following.

            “Qualifications and tenure

            “Legislative—including budget and veto—authority

            “Appointment sovereignty

“Although not necessarily a ranking factor, the power to issue executive orders and take emergency actions is a significant gubernatorial responsibility that varies from state to state.”

A fourth piece of the power of the states, or the fourth power of checks and balances of the United States, remain with the Judicial Branches within each state. Each state has its own constitution and its own courts, which understand the Constitution of the State and the U.S. Constitution, and use them to debate and to judge, using these documents, which are the laws.

The Governor has great power. I am not of the opinion that “Emergency Powers” should include the power to sign an agreement that our state will accept Common Core Standards and will enact it in our schools, just because it is a “Race to the Top” and money is promised to the winners.

In November 2009, knowing that the Legislative Branches of the United States and of each state, would not be meeting until January of 2010, a “Race to the Top” was begun, states racing to sign an agreement and to implement Common Core Standards in Education, to be made Common among all of the states signing on. Money was promised to the “winners.” Lots of money was promised. Money was promised, which the Executive Branch had no right to offer, because this “stimulus” money coming in, had stopped coming in, in 2008. Nevertheless, it was offered, existing or not, to the states who would first adopt Common Core.

45 States, hurt by a bad economy, needed that money (more than they needed to retain states’ rights), and, without the power or authority to do so (because the power to make such decisions is in the Legislative Branches of each state, and they would not be meeting until January of 2010), signed the documents bringing these states into the Common Core.

These 45 states were promised the rights to amend and agree to the Common Core, once written. The first draft of the Common Core was written in March of 2010, and it was copyrighted and the legal copy within it stated that it could not be changed. This means also, that none of the 45 states could, as promised before, amend or change the Common Core.

Karen Bracken. Speaking in Tenessee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X0EFeH25bw&feature=share&list=PL9ed8s2OCD6i9XYVi3dQ6qrR3137pBkC-&index=12, said the following:

“The writing of the Common Core was paid for and headed by, Bill and Linda Gates. In 2004, Bill Gates signed an agreement to support the UNESCO (TinShipProd), which is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established in1945 in Paris, France (Wikipedia).”

Bill Gates signed agreement with UNESCO to promote their agenda, which is Agenda 21. http://www.eagleforum.org/links/UNESCO-MS.pdf Agenda 21 is very evil because it teaches and pushes things which are against Christianity and against God. One of these is the “population control agenda, which not only pushes for the reduction of those living now, but also seeks to reduce the number of children born into the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vzFeiKH1jQ&feature=share&list=PL9ed8s2OCD6i9XYVi3dQ6qrR3137pBkC-&index=40 This is very much against God’s agenda. http://www.lds.org/ensign/2005/04/strengthening-the-family-multiply-and-replenish-the-earth

In Agenda 21 http://www.earthsummit2002.org/toolkits/women/current/PovertyDocuments.txt , under Girls, Activities, 3.e., we read,

“Programmes to establish and strengthen preventive and curative health facilities, which include women-centred, women-managed, safe and effective reproductive health care and affordable, accessible, responsible planning of family size and services,…”

in 8.a. “Knowledge and experience on the part of women of the management and conservation of natural resources for incorporation in the databases and information systems for sustainable development;”

“Sustainable development refers to a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and the environment, so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. The term ‘sustainable development’ was used by the Brundtland Commission, which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[1][2]”

Later, it says in wikipedia, that “sustainable development” is a plan, which plan is the Earth Charter. http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html In the Earth Charter under I. 3. b. it states:

“Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.”

They are attempting to redefine & limit freedom as something that is “ecologically responsible.” In other words, if it is not “ecologically responsible,” it is not your right to do it!

Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Green Party, defines ecological responsibility here, by telling the world that Population Control is a responsibility belonging to all of us, and calling those who have over 2 children, “irresponsible.”

http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/next-on-the-environment-agenda-population-control.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/a21-24.htm

            In conclusion, I’d like to state that I am against common core for these reasons mainly. First, I am against it because it takes away the “fourth power” which is the states’ rights. Second, I am against it because I do not believe the Governors should be able to claim the right to voting on a way to get more money in a tough economy by giving up states’ rights to get money from the Federal Government, by stating that they were using their “Emergency Powers.” Third, Common Core is the brainchild of Bill Gates and UNESCO, UNESCO being the group which wishes to promote Agenda 21, which is against God’s agenda.

  

 

My Black Friday & Cyber Monday Plans for 2013

I see that many are not going to go out on Black Friday. You people know what you are missing (the crowds, the lines) but don’t know what you are missing (you can get 4 times the things you need, for the same budget). I use envelopes for everything. Our envelopes are ready. I have about 10 Christmas spending envelopes, all labeled with the amounts I am spending in that category. On Thursday, I will go over the ads and cut out stuff. I will tape what I have cut out, with store name written above it. I will go out on Friday after getting plenty of sleep, at about 10 a.m. So, a lot will be gone (but, crowds gone, too). There’s still a lot left, though, and you can still save a lot if you go! If you do not go until 10, you’ll save money, miss the crowds and have a great and happy day. I have found that the secondhand stores (“flea markets”) have great deals on Friday, and there’s lots of good stuff there, too! Don’t forget those on Friday! I can get lots of good clothes & books there, and at great sale prices, to boot! These stores are EMPTY on Black Friday, yet they have some of the best stuff (at least for our budget)!

I am NOT EVER going to go on Thanksgiving. I think it is a pernicious evil, to make people work on Thanksgiving.

I am also looking forward to Cyber Monday, and will make sure my Amazon wish list is ready by then. I have an amount budgeted for that day, too. Cyber Monday is great. There are no crowds to fight, although loading of pages IS SLOWER! You get it sent in the mail, which is great! There are great deals that day, like buy 3 books from this group, get one free.

Scholastic Sale $1 E-Workbooks

I am doing a sale from Scholastic today for $1 E-books.

Christmas Around the World & Etc.

Today we did potato printmaking.

We really enjoyed going to Box Elder County’s “Christmas Around the World.” I love the chance to talk with other homeschool moms and for my hubby to get to know other homeschool dads. I think it was tons of fun and good socializing with other homeschool kids. 

We really enjoyed the Charter School program we wet to wherein the kids performed. 

We really enjoyed my daughter’s dance performance. 

We really enjoyed finishing the Harry Potter series yesterday morning. 

We have learned a lot about Native American Tribes lately. 

I like that I can do math with my kids and immediately know when they don’t understand, so I can immediately help them understand. I hated waiting until parent teacher conference to hear that, by the way, for this past quarter of the year, your child has had a hard time with math, so he’s been in the lowest math group. 

I really would like to get together more with other home schooling families, and I love taking every opportunity to do so.

Yesterday, we cleaned the living room, dining room and kitchen well, together, so that we could put up the Christmas tree.

I am working on getting reimbursed for some of the school supplies I bought.

I have added 2 chapters to my novel, typed. I also have a hand-written one I have to add in. I have noticed I need to add backstory and subplot items to all of the chapters, little by little. 

Company Owner, Testimonial, & Taxes

I am really more of a company owner than a graphic designer. People who think I make money by doing graphic design are seriously mistaken. I am almost done with my income/outgo, for taxes, in excel. I really need to be better this year at this stuff. I am behind in that I haven’t paid my annual state sales tax yet. I hope I don’t have to pay a fine.

I am working on marketing, too. I am trying to get a really good brochure. I’ve just finished reading Michael Huggins’ white paper about how to make a successful brochure (for the 5th time). I have been reading “Linchpin: Are You Indespensible?” by Seth Godin, to try to figure out what my company will become. That way, I’ll know what to focus my brochure on so that I can get the business I want, in order to make my company what I want it to be.

I know more than anything, I need a testimonial. I asked my long standing, favorite and wonderful client for one.

“I’m going to get you a testimonial. I just want to get you exactly what you need,” said my client on the phone yesterday morning. I’d called about getting the ball rolling further on the business card for his second-to-be-company.
I’ve been doing everything to get a testimonial, for years, from any client. He’s been waiting because he doesn’t know if it will be good enough. He’s worried I won’t get exactly what I want from him. He wanted to know what I want from him. It is sad that in this world, there are probably companies who want their clients to give a fake testimonial. I am sad if that is what he thought I wanted.
I said, “All I want is for you to explain, as if you were talking to someone who is thinking about working with me, why you work with me. I just want you to tell the truth. Don’t make anything up! Then you can tell them what I have done to help your business.”
Then I explained why I need it. “You know,” I said, “How they say not to have all your eggs in the same basket. Well, you are my only client right now, and I need to have more clients, because if ever you didn’t have work for me to do, I would just not have work. You do understand, don’t you?”
He said yes. I got off the phone smiling, and said, “YES!” and I am really hoping for something this time. I have asked for testimonials so many times, from so many people. I just hope it really is going to happen this time!