Getting Ready and Family Mealtime Devotions

August 31, 2009 at 10:13 am (Uncategorized)

Whew!  We made it through the first 2 weeks of Awana, the first homeschool meeting of the year, and my oldest sons birthday.  Last week was a cRaZy week!  (Did I mention we were without internet for 2 days due to a power surge, my husbands workplace had a sewage pipe break that sent him home to work those same 2 days AND we had a water main break on our street? ) Now I have six days to get things ready for the first day of school! 

A BIG thank you to the reader who sent me the link to these cool Family Mealtime Devotions from Focus on the Family!  I am going to print them out, put them in  a notebook and use them during school time with my kiddos. 

The topics are:

Wisdom From the Bible
Faith and Trust
Family
Salvation and Witnessing
Love
Following Jesus
Building Character

There are about 50 pdf files you can print on the above topics.  I really like that there is no prep time needed for these and that there is a Bible verse included for each one to back up the lesson.  I am thinking these would be a great way to start off our school day together!  (Right after breakfast of course! :^)

Okay, I am off to get busy prepping for the school year!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

P.S.  If anyone feels like praying for me I have a request.  I have misplaced my oldest sons Social Security card.  He needs it to get a driver’s permit.  We have lived in 6 houses since he was born and I have NO IDEA where his card has ended up!  (I have looked everywhere I can think of.) I have them for every other member of the family!  Sigh….I know I can get a new one, but I REALLY do not want to go to the SS office this week or ever.  :^) So I am praying for a miracle!  If you feel like joining me in prayer it would be SO appreciated!  Thanks!

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Happy 15th Birthday to my BIG BOY!!!

August 29, 2009 at 10:29 am (Uncategorized)

Today my oldest son turned 15!  WOW!!!  A year from today he can get a driver’s license and a job if he wants to!  It is surreal!  Of course to me it seems like only yesterday I was a new mom holding my precious first child for the first time.  But, the truth is I am now the mom of a BIG BOY!  LOL Now that he is 15 I have no choice other than to admit that we are firmly entrenched in the teen years!  I am pleased to report that having a teenager in the house has not been nearly as bad as people led me to believe the would be!  As a matter of fact I am thoroughly enjoying my teenager and dreading the day he leaves home! Of course being a parent to a teenager is quite different than being a mom to my little ones. 

Recently a friend of mine shared an article with me called When Your Dog Becomes a Cat.  It is a neat perspective of what it is like to suddenly have a teenager in the house!  The point of the article is that children are like dogs.  They look up to their parents with wonder and amazement, they bound into the house filled with excitement!  I well remember the days when my oldest thought I had hung the moon!  Then around the age of 13 our sweet little dog becomes a big ole house cat….sleepy, indifferent, aloof…yet still in need of care, feeding and attention on their own terms.  The article is short and was written 13 years ago when my oldest was only 2!  But, it was a great reminder to me that my son is growing up!  He is changing in the ways God intended for him too!  My job is to adjust!  I have to be aware that the sweet little puppy I raised is now a cat!  He still needs me, he just needs me to be a cat momma now!  The best thing I can do is treat him like a cat…I need to put out a bowl of food and be waiting to see what he wants from me. He does all kind of cat like things now.  He will run when I call him and jump on the counter when I tell him to sit!  :^)  He is no longer a dog who will fetch on command!  Being mom to a cat is a whole new experience for me, but that is what parenting is all about.  Just about the time I get one phase figured out we have moved to the next one!  As the saying goes…parenting is the only job that if you do it well you find yourself out of a work! 

So happy, happy birthday to my wonderful cat like son!  I treasured every moment of your dog years!  But, your cat years are just as precious and wonderful to me.  I pray God will always show me how to be the mom you need me to be! 

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

Me and my puppy 15 years ago!

My wonderful cat like son, having a goofy puppy moment on his 15th birthday!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

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Defining School

August 28, 2009 at 8:21 am (Uncategorized)

Having my nieces visit for 2 weeks early this month was a joy and I also made a lot of interesting observations.  One of the things the kids did quite a bit while the girls were here was play school. They LOVED having a "real" school room right in the house to play in!  My kids play school sometimes too, but with mine they "play homeschool".  Since my nieces go to public school there was a whole different dynamic to the game.  Playing school became much more structured!  When my kids play there is just a teacher and a student.  (Just like homeschool!)  Suddenly with my niece input school had all kinds of new things to us…like recess, a class pet, a principal, a secretary, writing on the whiteboard and homework!  I don’t spend much time thinking about traditional school, so it caught me by surprise to see how different the 2 views of "school" were. 

Another interesting observation was in listening to the girls talk about school.  My nieces are all fascinated by the concept of homeschooling.  They really wanted us to explain to them exactly what we do.  But, it’s hard because school is so interegrated into our lives that it’s hard ot tell where school stops and life begins.  When you go to a school building for a determined amount of time each day it is much clearer what you do at school!  I overheard one of my nieces quizzing my daughter on what we do for school 

It went something like this:

NIECE:  So what do you do for school?
DAUGHTER:  A lot of stuff.
NIECE: What time do you start?
DAUGHTER: It depends.
NIECE: What time are you done?
DAUGHTER: I don’t know.
NIECE:  What do you do for P.E.?
DAUGHTER: We take walks, we go swimming, we take some classes, we go to Park Day.  We do different things.
NIECE:  So what exactly do you do all day?
DAUGHTER: Pause….We do a lot of stuff, we go on a lot of field trips, we do American Girl Club too, I learn mostly from going places and doing things.
NIECE: Cool…

I thought it was such a sweet and telling conversation.  You see for us life is about learning!  We don’t segment off learning to certain hours of the day!  My children don’t associate education with going to a set place at a set time.  They just know they like to learn!  My daughter could have chosen to tell her about her Math-U-See, Explode the Code, Getty Dubay, Lapbooks, etc, etc, etc.  It’s not like we don’t use a curriculum!  But, I think in her mind it’s just all fun!  It’s hard to peg down exactly what is school and what it isn’t.  And that is just the way I have always wanted it to be!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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High School Transcript/Planning

August 25, 2009 at 8:36 am (Uncategorized)

One of the things I have been doing on my looooooong blog break is planning out my oldest sons high school years. My good friend Faye advised me to create my sons High School transcript as we go along each year of High School.  So since that is how I am planning things out, I am considering this one post.

Here is what I did to create my sons plan for High School which will eventually become his transcript.

Step 1 – Pray, ask God to guide me as I work on this important task.
Step 2 – I went to the public school website for the State I live in and looked at what is required for a state diploma.  I am not required to copy what they have done, but it gives me a good starting place.
Step 3. – Decided what classes we plan on teaching for the entire 4 years. (What History, Math, Science, Bible, etc. taking into consideration what my son wants to do with his future.  My son and husband were also involved in this planning.)
Step 4 – Insert the curriculum I use into the proper slots I have created above. (I used THIS BLOG POST to determine what credit to use for the Sonlight Cores we used for High School.)
Step 5 – Determine what grades my son has earned for classes taken.
Step 6 – Mark which classes I have taught and what he took from  other people. (This was suggested at a homeschool convention I attended over the Summer.  This will show that I wasn’t the one to determine all his grades.)
Step 7 – Mark any classes that are taken at Community College as Dual Credit. (We haven’t done any of these yet, but we plan on it in his Jr. and Sr. year.)
Step 6 – Use GPA calculator to determine his grand point average for each year.
Step 7 – BREATHE!

I am sure I will have more posts on this topic once we get to his senior year and I am creating the actual transcript.  But for now at least I have not only a plan, but a record of all he has done so far.  I feel a lot less stressed out now that I have done this.  My son was pretty happy too when he saw what he has already done and what is left to do.  :^)

Below is what we came up with so far for my son schedule wise.  He has already completed all the Freshman Credits and is ready to start his Sophomore Year! All items marked with a "?" are classes we intend to teach but have not determined the curriculum for yet.

Transcript/The Plan

English/Language Arts – 4.0 Credits:
1 – Freshman Year – 1 Credit (Sonlight 100)
2 – Sophomore Year – 1 Credit (Sonlight 200)
3 – Junior Year – 1 Credit (Sonlight 300)
4 – Senior Year – 1 Credit – (Sonlight British Literature)
Math – 5.0 Credits:
Algebra 1 – Freshman Year – 1 Credit (Teaching Textbook)
Algebra 2 – Junior Year – 1 Credit
Geometry – Sophomore Year – 1 Credit (Math-U-See)
Trigonometry – Senior Year – 1 Credit
Fourth Math Class – Personal Finance – Freshman Year – 1 Credit (Dave Ramsey Personal Finance for Christian High Schools) *
NTP
Social Studies/History 4.5 Credits:
U.S. History – Freshman Year – 1 Credit (Sonlight 100)
World History – Sophomore Year – 1 Credit (Sonlight 200)
Western Civilization/Church History – (Sonlight Core 300) – Junior Year – 1.0 Credit
U.S. Government – Freshman Year 0.5 Credit (HOAC/other)
World Geography – ?
Science – 4.0 Credits:
Biology – Freshmen Year – 1.0 Credit (Apologia)
Chemistry with Lab – Junior Year – 2.0 Credit
Physics – Sr. Year – 1.0 Credit
Economics – 0.5 Credit:
United States Economics – Sophomore Year – 0.5 Credit (HOAC/Economics in One Lesson)
Physical Education – 1.5 Credits:
?
Foreign Language – 2.0 Credits:
Japanese 1 – Freshman Year .05 Credits, Sophomore Year 0.5 Credit (Rosetta Stone)
Japanese 2 – Junior Year 0.5 Credit, Senior Year 0.5 Credit (Rosetta Stone)
Health Education – 0.5- Credit:
?
Bible 2.0 Credits:
1 –  Freshman Year – 0.5 Credit
2 – Sophomore Year – 0.5 Credit
3 – Junior Year – 0.5 Credit
4 – Sr. Year – 0.5 Credit
Technology Applications – 2.0 Credit:
A.L.I.C.E. –  Sophomore Year  – 1.0 Credit
JAVA – ?
Fine Arts – 1.0 Credit:
Art Appreciation – Sophomore Year – 1.0 Credit (HOAC/other)
Speech – .05 Credit:
?
Electives – 3.5 Credits:
Driver’s Education – Sophomore Year – 0.5 Credits  (Driver’s Ed in A Box)
Food Science – The History, Customs and Science of Food – Freshman Year – 0.5 Credit
Home Economics – Cooking and Baking 101 – Freshman- Sr. Year – 1.0 Credit
?

Total Credits = 31

Clubs/Volunteer:
Audio Visual Team – Camera Operator – Freshman through Sr. Year
Comic Writing and Spriting –
Freshman through Sr. Year
Chess Club –  Freshman  Year – Freshman Year
Cubbies Leader – Freshman through Sr. Year

* Key:
NTP = Not Parent Taught
DC = Dual Credit – Taken at Community College.
? = Curriculum undecided at this time.

Below are some pictures I took of a (SUPER SIZED!) sample transcript I liked the look of at a homeschool convention this Summer. To be honest I don’t know if I have ever seen an actual High School transcript.  (If I saw mine many, many moons ago I sure don’t remember it.)  But, I like that this one had so much info on one page.  And it sure looks official!  LOL  Mine won’t be exactly the same I am sure, but this is where I think I am heading as of right now. 



So that’s were we are for now.  I am sure there will be lot’s of changes along the way, but it feels great to have a plan! 

Click HERE for my post on freebies you can use to create a transcript.

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Planning Break

August 24, 2009 at 9:00 am (Uncategorized)

You have probably all figured out by now that I have been on a planning break! I really didn’t mean to be gone from my blog for so long, but I really, really had a lot of planning to do.  So here is what I was doing for the last week…

Organized Cubbies for the year. (I am the Co-Director of Cubbies this year.) Went through all the new and old supplies, reorganized and purged lots of old stuff.  Planned out crafts for the year.  Wrote out the Bear Hug (bible verse) Scheudle for the year and typed up various other things that needed to be created.  Made copies of everything and got ready for the first night of Cubbies! (Which was last night and LOTS of fun!)

Organinzed new local homeschool parent support group we are starting at church.  (Our first meeting is this week!  YAY!)  Had various meetings, set up plans through Dec. for meetings, etc, etc, etc.

Started organinzing American Girl Club for the new school year! (Which will start Sept. 15th.)

Planned out my oldest sons High School Education for the next 3 years and filled in his transcript as much as I can for now.

Started planning out my oldest son’s birthday, which is THIS SATURDAY!!!!

WHEW!  What a week!  I haven’t even touched our actually school planning for the coming year yet!  But, we are not starting until Sept. 8th, so I have 2 weeks to get that all planned out and the school room organized and ready to go!

It’s going to be another WiLd aNd cRaZy Year! Bring it on!!!!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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The Writing on the Blackboard

August 17, 2009 at 7:11 am (Uncategorized)

I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.
I will not put all my school year planning off until the last 2 weeks of August again.

adjusting my dunce cap…

hehehe

Happy Homeschooling Planning,

Jamin

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Freebie Friday August 14, 2009 High School Transcripts

August 15, 2009 at 8:08 am (Uncategorized)


Welcome to Freebie Friday!

Last week I wrote about freebies for the littlest homeschoolers.  This week I am jumping to the other end of the homeschool spectrum and bringing you freebies to help you create your high schoolers transcripts. I have to admit that the idea of creating a transcript was a little intimidating to me.  My oldest will be starting 10th grade this year and on the advice of a friend I have already started working on his transcript.  Thankfully a lot of homeschool mom’s have shared websites with me that are helpful when creating a transcript.  This week I am passing those along to you.

The best place to start is the HSLDA website.  They have a wonderful page called Homeschooling Thru High School that is loaded with all kinds of great info.  You will find everything from how to develop a plan for high school to choosing a curriculum to creating a transcript at this site!

Donnayoung.org offers a sample transcript to get you started as well as a list of the basics you need to include in your transcript if you want to create your own.

I really found homeschool-curriculum-savings.com helpful in working on my sons transcript.  Not only does this one tell you what to include, but also gives a brief description of what a transcript is.  (Which made me feel a little less intimidated.)

The last link I have to share is a GPA Calculator.  This is a really helpful freebie!  Enter your high schoolers grades into the website and it will automatically calculate their GPA!

Oh, and of course you are going to need a diploma for your graduate!  Here is a great free one.

I hope you have found these freebies helpful!  Even if you don’t have a high schooler yet I can tell you it happens in a blink of an eye!  It’s never too early to get prepared!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

Freebie Finder
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com

While every effort is made to ensure that the recommended sites are family friendly, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and it’s writers do not own the sites recommended.  Content and advertising can change without notice.  Please exercise caution when viewing websites.  Please check out the websites before allowing your children to view them.

This article is from this weeks issue of Freebie Friday.  If you are interested in getting the Freebie Friday Newsletter you can subscribe for free HERE.  I will pass along FREE goodies for your homeschool each week.

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Our Fun Week

August 14, 2009 at 8:29 am (Uncategorized)

We have been having a fun and BUSY week with my two 8 year old nieces visiting.  I haven’t had much time to post about what we have been doing, so here is our week in pictures….

This one was taken right before my oldest niece left to go home.  There has been A LOT of playing with American Girl dolls all week!
My 5 year old has been an amazing sport with all the girl stuff all week.  He has been the handsome prince, the girls dance partner and even their butler!  LOL

This was taken on a field trip we took this week….An Indian Tee Pee

A stilt house from Papua New Guinea. This was a museum about how different people live around the world. It was awesome!

We went to Chick-fil-a family night and the theme happened to be princesses!

We also got to go visit a friend who has over 100 birds!  My kids LOVE to go see all the birds. They sing and dance and are quite entertaining!

So that is just a bit of what we been doing this week.  We still have 3 more days to enjoy together!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Chore Sticks

August 13, 2009 at 8:44 am (Uncategorized)

When we were in Kansas my BRILLIANT niece (Who is grown and has kids of her own.) shared this fabulous idea with me! 

I haven’t made my set yet, but I WILL be doing it ASAP! What are they????
All she did was write the weekly chores that need to be done on large craft sticks.  Then each day, each family member draws a chore to do.  By the end of the week they have all been done and they start again the next week!  I love this idea!  My kids have set chores they do, but it still leaves a lot of things for me to do too.  We are going to be adding this idea to our routine! 

Here is what she has written on hers:

  • sweep and mop entry
  • clean microwave and stove
  • clean living room
  • clean family room
  • clean dining room
  • take out trash and wash trash cans
  • clean bathrooms
  • dust upstairs
  • dust downstairs
  • vacuum downstairs
  • sweep and mop kitchen
  • clean kitchen counters
  • Vacuum main floor

I love that the kids will be learning different housekeeping skills and that if there is something they don’t really like to do they are not stuck with it all the time.  Sound like a win-win to me!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Eleven Eyed Monster

August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am (Uncategorized)

In case you haven’t noticed I have been in a sewing mood!  My 5 year old wanted me to make him an Eleven Eyed Monster…So I let him help me plan it out and this is what we came up with….


The green fabric was an inspiration I got from the Dollar Store Craft Blog.  She had used this same green blanket from the Dollar Tree to make a Yoda Hat.  (Yes, I am planning on making the Yoda Hat too!  LOL)  I thought the color was PERFECT for a monster!  The button eyes also came from Dollar Tree. (All eleven were in one package.) The rest of the fabric is scraps I had on hand.  So the total cost for this was about $3.00 including the left over fiber fill I stuffed it with.

And in case anyone is wondering why eleven eyes?  My 5 year old says it’s because "Eleven eyes are better than ten!"  LOL

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

Oh, BTW we got the basic idea for the monster at They Toy Society blog.

P.S. Don’t forget you have until midnight tonight to take advantage of the TMS Special below!

Does your child need a little extra practice with those tricky multiplication facts?

or

Are the multiplication tables part of this year’s math program for the first time?

Either way, you can make learning them quick and easy with Times Tales. This program works FAST and is FUN!

Best yet, TMS is having a 72 hour Early Bird Sale where you can purchase Times Tales at a 20% discount and save $6.00!! If you’ll be doing any multiplication work this year, now is the time to buy!

Hurry! Sale ends Wednesday! 

Click the picture below to go to the website.

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