Homeschool eBook Winners and Our Homeschool Plans

Homeschool eBook Winners and Our Homeschool Plans

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Thought you might want to know the winners of last weeks You Can Do It Too: 25 homeschool families share their stories eBook giveaway:

#14- Kelly said:

I am a teacher turned stay-at-home mom, and the idea of home schooling has always scared me just a little. I have seen it done well….and not so well. I feel as though God may be calling me in this direction, but I have so many questions, just like everyone else. We live in a small town, far from a larger city to draw resources, so I am hesitant but excited to see if this is the way God has for our family!!! Thanks for sharing this resource!

#147- Jessica said:

We have started looking into homeschooling because we want to the best for our daughter and expose her to do much of the natural world that childern miss out on in the standard classroom. My biggest question is how do you find the time to come up with the lessons and activities and teach them while being present with your kids. Thanks!

#133- Diana said:

We homeschool because I want my son to have the best foundation ~ both educational and spiritual. One of the unexpected benefits is how much more *I* have learned since we started schooling! 🙂

Congrats, ladies! I hope you enjoy the book! I’ve been reading it myself this week and have found it inspiring and helpful as I begin my 4th year of homeschooling. Reading through what others moms have to say helps to re-ignite my passion for homeschooling, and I love learning from how other moms structure their days.

For those who didn’t win, you can purchase a copy here. If you missed my post about the book, read it here.

How we really spend our days

Speaking of structuring days, this month we’re focusing on “a day in the life” of the women who make up the writing community here at Keeper of the Home. September is a time for falling back into routines, deveoping new schedules and habits for the school year, for getting organized after lazy/fun/chaotic days of summer.

I thought it may be helpful for you to read about each of our very different days. Amongst the writer here we have moms with 1 or 2 young children, moms who work part time, moms who homeschool and some who don’t, moms of many who are juggling the needs or 8 or 9 children.

I think you will each find someone whose current season of life relates to your own, as well as those who you can learn from. I also hope you can get to know each of the writers a little better as you glimpse into their lives. We’d love to hear more about your everyday life in the comments on these posts as well!

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Back to the books in our home

We are also switching gears and heading back to the books for the fall. Starting next Monday, we’ll be entering into another blessed year of home educating and I can’t wait.

Here’s a little look at what we’ll be doing this fall and winter:

Abbie (almost 8 years old) 

  • Long Story Short. This is a children’s devotional that will take us through the Old Testament. We began last year and the kids all enjoyed it a lot.
  • Teaching Textbooks 3 (this is new to us, after 3 years of Math-U-See, but she’s been trying it out and so far she LOVES it)
  • Story of the World (Book 2- Middle Ages)
  • Writing With Ease- Level 2
  • First Language Lessons (finishing Level 2 and starting 3)
  • Explode the Code (currently on book 5)
  • A Reason for Handwriting Book C (intro to cursive)
  • Spanish language (using The Easy Spanish- Junior Level so that all children can participate)
  • Lots of read alouds, plus independent novel and non-fiction reading
  • Bob Jones Science 3 (honestly, I’d rather something more interactive like Apologia, but this year I needed simple and independent)
  • Our World– this workbook covers world geography in great detail. We’ll learn the continents, countries and capital cities, as well as oceans, major rivers and mountains, and even world records (like highest waterfall, longest river, largest dessert, etc.).
  • Usborne’s Peoples of the World. This will complement the Our World workbook, as we’ll study various people groups when we reach that part of the world in our geography studies. We’ll also use this to help us pray for each of those groups.
  • Continuing with piano and drum lessons (it’s nice to have a Daddy who runs a music school), she’ll be practicing both daily as well as working on music theory.

I’m working this year at helping Abbie to be more independent in her studies and to be able to complete checklists each day. We started this skill last spring and she was definitely growing in independence and responsibility, but of course, it’s something that takes time to really develop.

I’m also planning to make time to take her out by myself once every couple of weeks, where we’ll work through a Bible study or a book about Biblical womanhood together. Sort of a mother-daughter discipleship night. I’m still looking for a good resource to use, so if you know one, please share in the comments.

Caden (5 years old) 

  • Long Story Short (all children do circle time/devotions with me, where we read the Bible and our devotional book, pray together, work on memory verses, etc.)
  • Math-U-See Primer
  • Get Ready for the Code Book A-C (early phonics/printing)
  • The Easy Spanish (same as the oldest– even the 3 year old will join us in this)
  • Plus all the regular art and crafts, math manipulatives, reading aloud, outdoor time and nature study, etc. that make this age lots of fun. We also like to come up with interesting activities based on books we read, sort of like an informal version of Five in a Row.

The 3 year old and 6 mth old are just along for the ride. I’m still figuring out this whole keep-the-toddler-entertained (and out of trouble) thing while teaching the older ones!

What are your plans for this school year?

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  1. Have you heard of Bright Lights from Sarah Mally? It’s a great bible study for young girls and moms or older girls (Titus2).

  2. I’ve been sitting my todler down at the table with my five year old. She is happy to play with a new puzzle (hand me down wooden ones from a friend’s home daycare!) and to color a worksheet (we bought her the Abeka 2s math book). I’m also purchasing math cubes and assorted shapes for both girls to use.

    1. I have a feeling that my 3 year old may be ready to sit down and join us more this year, too. She’s actually not that far behind the 5 year old in some things, so she might like learning along with us. We’ll see over the next couple weeks as we get going, I guess!

  3. Looks like a great plan! Any reason you switched from Math-U-See to TT? Lots of Language Arts. Do you use a spelling program? I haven’t found one yet.

    1. We switched because she was getting frustrated and was hitting a plateau with math. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with MUS, it just wasn’t working for this particular child anymore. She hated the manipulatives and found the instructions confusing quite often. For some reason, she likes the TT format and style better. But, I’m going back to MUS for my 5 year old, and we’ll see how he does with it.

      Yes, it’s a lot of language arts, although the cursive writing was really just thrown in there because Abbie actually wanted to do it and she asked me to buy it. But I do focus quite a bit on language arts. However, we’re not doing a formal spelling program. I figure that the phonics work in Explode the Code helps address a lot of the spelling rules anyways, and we tackle harder spelling words just through our writing and reading, and occasionally I give her tests or activities to practice difficult words. I don’t stress out about spelling, though, because I figure that a child who can read well and knows phonics well will figure out spelling without much extra effort, and so far that has been true (for this child, at least).

  4. I would be interested in any suggestions of things to do with a two year old boy. I also have a 5 month old girl. I’ve been having a tough time keeping my son out of trouble as I feed my baby girl. Also any ideas of what I could/should do with him now that school is starting for friends.

    1. I always kept a set of toddler-friendly books to be looked at JUST at nursing time. My 2.5 year old would sit next to me while I nursed and look at the “quiet time with mom” books. Sometimes instead, I would read from a children’s Bible story book while I nursed. It turned out to be a very special time for all 3 of us.

  5. I love seeing what others are using to homeschool. I have been wanting to look into Writing with Ease. It seems like a great program.

    We follow most of the suggestions at – it is a very rich curriculum and I enjoy it as much (or more) than the kids!

  6. This series has been so much fun to read so far. I have an 18 month old daughter and I am really feeling like I want to pursue homeschooling for her in the future, but I have no idea where to start or what to expect since I was public school educated the whole way through. These posts have been wonderful to see what others do as well as see resources that are used. Thanks!

  7. I would love to home school, i have two big concerns though. Firstly that i wont do a good job, miss something out thats really important 🙂 lol And the second is that by homeschooling the older child/ren, that the younger ones dont get the same experiences that the older ones enjoyed as toddlers and will have to just ‘hang around’ for long periods of the day?? How many hours in the day is actually spent on Homeschooling?? As in the time you are sat down at a table concentrating on one child. I understand that outings/playing in the garden/supermarket etc.. etc.. are all opportunities for learning too and that the toddlers could be involved then 🙂

    1. There is one misconception that you have; that it is even remotely possible to give each of your children the “same” experience. I know on the surface that you agree with me but today’s society has planted this deep seed that says we are bad parents if we “treat” any of our offspring differently. [the real solution to this, according to the world is to have one, maybe two kids at the most!] If one child needed to go through painful, grueling physical therapy, would you insist the others did the same? Well, it is the same for non-painful experiences. Don’t let it stop you from praying for God’s will in your school adventures, whether homeschooling or not.

      But here is a more useable reply
      I have homeschooled for 23 years now, no two years were like each other, even when we were using the same curricula. I have schooled with toddlers, infants, day-care kids, none of the previous and all of the previous. It becomes a lifestyle, often with mom helping from the kitchen or livingroom while the scholars are at the table working. Other times, I was sitting at the table nursing or with a toddler on my lap coloring or playing with lace cards.

      Homeschooling, itself, will be teaching by example about diligence, the excitement of learning, honoring God and so much more. You see, your little ones will be overhearing and seeing all you do. (Many hs’ers tell stories of 3 & 4 year olds blurting the answers for their 8 and 10 year old siblings – having just learned it from overhearing!)

      I also used school time for “directed play”; this was when certain toys were brought out or baskets of books, coloring or flannel graphs. My younger kids were much more able to entertain themselves and find joy in the little things than my older two were. It really was a win-win situation.

  8. We just started school this week. I’ve got a 7th grader, 5th grader and kindergartner. I felt like we had a good rhythm going the last 2 or 3 years, but adding a 3rd child who needs a lot of one on one from me has me a little stressed. Especially since I’ve retooled our language arts to try and fill in gaps for one child and challenge another. So far (only a couple days in!) they are rolling with the changes really well. But I’m finding that with the oldest in pre-algebra and the youngest unable to do much on her own, I’m definitely hopping all day!

  9. Thanks for sharing with us what you use. Great choices! I’ve never heard of Long Story Short. We’re trying Teaching Textbooks for the first time this year, just for the 11 year old, that is. She loves it so far! We have all the Story of the World volumes on CD. My oldest has listened several times. I have yet to listen to them, though! I need to. We’ve also used First Language Lessons and loved it. We still have fond memories of some of the poems. 🙂

  10. My plans are a bit interesting at the moment. I had it all planned out and then life happened and suddenly I am here and my husband is working elsewhere while we wait for our house to sell (this was very sudden for us). I am not sure how to deal with this really but I am thankful that its only one child for homeschooling out of the 3, the baby is content/content in the ergo, and that my oldest is far ahead and still so young so I can take some time off in the chaos.

    My 3 1/2 year old desperately wants to be like her sister so we are working on recognizing letters and counting 1-10. I sometimes give her food when working with her sister. The baby is usually in the ergo or sleeping. Even if I am sitting its easier in the ergo than just on my lap.

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