Dec 31, 2009

More Homeschooling

I've determined that the most challenging part of this process for me is knowing what I should be teaching. You'd think it would be easy to find the standards for each grade level, but not really. However...I did find a list on the World Book's website. That will help. I'm thinking I can make a little checklist for each grade, so I have some guidance as to what lessons to prepare.

I also found a great site for PreSchool and Early Elementary literature centered lessons.'snew.php I've printed the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Giving Tree, Goodnight Gorilla, and I will never NOT EVER eat a Tomato units. Going to try to do one with the girls over the weekend...we'll see how it goes. :)

Came back to add:  A dear friend helped me locate the State of IN standards for each grade for each "subject".  (Thanks!) 

Dec 30, 2009

Homeschooling Maya...our journey

OK - I really think, with the uncertainty in my job situation, and the stress she's been under at school, that Homeschool Maya next year is the right thing to do. So, I have about 6 months to prepare...first for the summer, where I will be working with both girls, and then for full time school for Maya starting in August. Hopefully this will be a good place to keep track of ideas, links, etc. I think my FIRST step should be doing reseach about how to be successful, how to approach things, and how to make it enjoyable. The rest should fall into place after that. I have a book at home called "The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start" ( ) - I guess I should start our journey there... ;)

Here's a start...

The Pioneer Woman Homeschools -
Pre-K themes, ideas, etc.
Charlotte Mason Approach - Free Curriculum
LOTS of Stuff -
More Free Stuff - AtoZ Homeschooling -

Nov 25, 2009

Why so judgemental?

So, I was talking with my friends about this Homeschooling stuff...cuz, well, they are who I go to for EVERYTHING.  Well, one friend says, "I would never do that to my children!" like if I decided to homeschool my pre-schooler I would be doing her harm and making her childhood miserable.  Now, I have a few reactions to this

1- I don't look at it ass doing something TO my children, but rather FOR my children.  Maya is MISERABLE in school...almost every ounce of me says she isn't ready to be there. 

2 - Why are some people so judgemental of homeschooling?  I get that it seems "weird" or "extreme" to some people, but seriously, how does it affect you if I, an educated, loving, caring mother, want to teach my kids myself instead of sending them to public schools where the teachers are already overwhelmed?  You would think they'd be happy that there were less kids in the class, the same tax dollars, and the same number of teachers.  Seems like a win-win for why so judgemental?

Nov 24, 2009

You CAN Homeschool AND work outside the home! Go Figure!

"Dateline: 11/21/01

by Ann Zeise

> I wish that I could stay at home and teach

> her myself but I'm a single parent and I have to work.

There is really no reason that homeschooling can't be done completely on weekends and holidays. Do the math...

Many states have some such day and/or hours per year sort of requirement that is close to 1000 hours a year.

OK -- so there are 52 weekends each year, and you and your child are probably awake, say, 14 hours a day, give or take. That's 14 x 2 x 52 or 1456 waking hours in a year's worth of weekends.

Now, if you can reasonably expect to do a little "educational" stuff on workday nights, like reading books together, playing a board game, watching some educational tv, doing something like attending a scout meeting or 4-H club, then you can EASILY homeschool your child as a working single parent.

Think of yourself more as a business manager or coach as that is how homeschooling works best anyways. Don't feel you have to act or behave like a school teacher. School teachers behave the way they do because they have 24-32 kids in front of them. They have no choice. A manager or coach has one to just a handful of people to manage. They explain what needs to be done, makes sure the "team" has the proper training and tools, and then lets them get on with their job.

Do delegate some of the educational responsibilities. The child should agree to do some things on her own when you aren't around. They should agree to read, do some "projects" in the way of art or building models and such. If your child is young, the babysitter can be expected to encourage creative activities and not plop your child in front of a tv all day. If the babysitter speaks another language, have her teach your child her language. They can bake and garden together; whatever. A teen should be expected to do some housework and have dinner ready when you get home from work.

On weekends I know you need your time to get so many chores done you don't think homeschooling would be possible, but the actually time you spend "instructing" can be fit into the normal flow of your household. Spend a little time explaining a new concept, and then let your child work on a few problems while you work on your own projects. Keep touching base.

Instead of hiring a tutor, hire a maid and then you get to get rid of the onerous chores and get to do just the "fun stuff." I know you are thinking I'm nuts, but I was a single working parent at one point, and I did just this. I hired another single mom, who was glad for the extra money, to come in for about 3 hours a week, clean the bathroom, the floors and the kitchen. It gave me so much more time to spend with my daughter it was worth it!

"Unschool" -- incorporate learning into everything you do. If you have decided that this Saturday you are going to work on your car, then that's the day you teach "basic auto mechanics" to your kid. If its your shopping day, have your child help to plan nutritious meals, shop for the best buys (explaining what parts of the plant or animal the food comes from), and later on help cook. (That covers health science, economics, biology, and the physics of cooking -- even handwriting, if they wrote out the list!)

You don't have to cover ALL the subjects every day yoursef! My mother has such lovely handwriting I delegated handwriting to her. We used to visit with her about once a month, and so she would teach Scott a few more lovely "Palmer method" letters. (Scott's older now, so those lessons aren't the focus any more, but Mom does like to tell him WWII stories and he's willing to listen to those now.)

Delegate some instruction to the scout leader, to the soccer coach, to the Sunday school teacher, to the children's theater director, to the piano teacher. Even your vet can teach your kid about the life cycle of fleas!

So, find a good sitter, enlist relatives and friends to instruct your child occassionally on whatever it is they like best, do just a little each night, "unschool" on the weekends, encourage your child to read a lot and have materials around for 'projects,' and, yes, you can homeschool -- and relatively cheaply, too.

Check out Working & Single Parents for essays by others about the concerns of single parents and those living on limited incomes."



On this "becoming me" trend...I want to become the kind of woman who homeschools her children.  Certianly it'd be cheaper than the $13,000/year private school tuition (times two!), right?  But, how could this possibly work?  Would it be possible for me to do it on my days off, and Daddy to do it on his days off?  I assume the lesson planning responsibilities would fall mainly on my shoulders, but, I would be okay with that...assuming he would, at least in some related way, follow the lessons, or at least the general concept. 

I wonder if we could make it work...must research. 

BTW...I want to live this woman's life...  She rocks. 

Nov 22, 2009

Yoplait...have no fear.

There will be no business lost to me!  The yogurt...unsuccessful.  Now, there are many points at which this process could have gone horribly wrong, perhaps I didn't scald the milk enough...perhaps I didn't let it cool long enough...perhaps it wasn't a good idea to use expired trix yogurt as "culture".  Perhaps the fact that Mr. Man turned off the oven light before he went to bed...really can't blame him...he didn't know I had an experiement going.  ;)  Anyway...I will NOT be the kind of woman who makes homemade yogurt.  Off to add yogurt to the grocery list!  :)

Nov 21, 2009

Becoming Me!

OK.  I have decided.  They can write blogs.  I can write a blog.  Right?  Right.  Julie did it in Julie and Julia.  (No.  Still haven't seen the movie and I am already stealing the idea.)  So.  My idea is.  To blog me becoming me.  You know, all those, "I wanna be the kind of woman who..."s that we torture ourselves with?  Well.  Now.  My mission impossible...I am going to (did you notice how I didn't say "I am going to TRY to"?  Good, eh?)...I AM GOING TO become all those women.  And, if after trying, I decide I don't like that woman, I will unbecome her. will become the kind of woman who...writes a blog!  :) I became the kind of woman who Makes Homemade Yogurt.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Today, I attempted to make homemade yogurt.  MANGO flavor at that!  Tomorrow I will know if I will continue to be the kind of woman who makes homemade yogurt.  TeeeHee... 

Tomorrow...I will become the kind of woman who................

Nov 18, 2009

$11.73 bfast at McDonalds

WHY is this necessary when we have a house full of food?  HOW can I make him understand that this is not sustainable for us and our budget?

Christmas is Coming

Busy Holiday Season this year...

Dec 4, Kerstonbijt at School
Dec 5-6, Joa Family Xmas in Chicago
Dec 11-17, Disney World
Dec 24-26, Martin Family Xmas at my house
Dec 26 or 27, Loperena Family Xmas

I'm already tired.  ;~)

Nov 9, 2009

Bella and Her Boyfriend

So, I'm sure I've talked about this enough that you all know that Bella has had the same boyfriend since the beginning of LAST school year...right? His name is Marc, and he's the cutest little thing. (That's Marc on the right.)

So anyway, at P/T conferences, B's teacher was telling me about how he holds her hand when it's time to walk from one activity to the next...he will brush the hair out of her face for her...he pulls her chair out for her when it's time to sit seriously...shit my HUSBAND doesn't do for me!!! So, we were at his bday party this afternoon, and Bella got hurt (bit her tongue) and came into the party room crying. Well, of COURSE...Marc was about 30 seconds behind her, and just stood there watching her to make sure she was okay. he would NOT leave her side until she stopped crying and smiled. It was SOOO sweet. Then his mom gives me a gift bag with a bday gift for Bella in it...we didn't even have a party...but she said they were out shopping and Marc saw it and HAD to get it for Bella for her birthday. It was a Disney Snowglobe with Dopey and another dwarf...OMG...she doesn't ever need to date...she's found Mr. 6 years old! <3

Oct 29, 2009

Bella's Sick

So, a 4am vomit wake-up call isn't one of the best parts of motherhood, but when your 6 year old looks at you and apologizes for puking in your bed, how can you be upset?  Can't.  At least I got to work early...5:30am.  Didn't realize quite how spooky the office is at 5:30am.  I hope I can stay awake until 3:00 to get Bella to the doctor and I hope she doesn't have the Swine Flu.  We'll see.  I'm also interested to see what other ailments we can pick up while there...I should just walk around licking everything... :~/

Oct 27, 2009

Can I BLOG everyday?

So, I think this is attempt number 3 or 4 to do a blog about the girls' lives...I've obviously failed miserably everytime...If I can come here and post regualrly for a few weeks...maybe I'll tell someone that this site actually exists... ;) <3