Monday, April 30, 2012


Thanks to Tammy over at Garden Glimpses for hosting such a great giveaway! I was the lucky winner! Check out her blog for great information and encouragement on homeschooling.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Putting Technology to Good Use

My last post talked about the uses I had found for technology in my homeschool planning. I thought that today I would show how I've put it to good use. It's not just been hours of Internet time! I've made two things. (That totally justifies the 400 hours or so I've put in, right?)

The first material I've made I found on Pinterest. It's from Education Center, but now shows the page has been moved. I can't take credit for this great idea!

TN state standards say that second graders should have a good working use of contractions. A is pretty good with them already, but these were too cute not to make.

Contraction Contractors (Since I can't get to the page, they are stuck with this cheesy name.)

Paint samples

Write the two words to be contracted in each color tile. It's OK if you have to combine two letters in one tile, but make sure the contraction letters are separate.

For this example, I used "you will."

This is a great hands-on way to practice contractions. For giggles, I made "will not," which as we know contracts to "won't." I thought this was a good way to talk about irregular contractions.

Another activity I found on Pinterest was a set of ABC Bible memorization verses. I've seen several variations of this lately, but I first found the idea on I am cheap, so I didn't go through all the supply steps they listed. I also am frugal with ink, so mine are handwritten.

ABC Bible Memorization Verses

Small notebook

As you can see, this one is pretty easy. Each verse to memorize starts with a letter of the alphabet. Then you go in order. For us, this will be a weekly activity. Any notebook will work, I'm sure!

I tried to choose verses that conveyed a particular message or story I wanted to discuss with the boys. One thing I love about homeschooling is that we can incorporate Bible study into our school day. I don't believe the Bible or religion should be taught in public school, at all, so we always did this at the end of the day. I don't think my guys were at their best, so now we can discuss this when we are all wide awake and focused!

Until next time,


Friday, April 27, 2012

Technology and Homeschooling

Remember your parents telling you, "When I was a kid...." Well, when I was a kid, we read these things called books. And when we went to the library, we pulled a drawer to find a listing of all the books available on a subject. Now they have these new fangled things called computers that do all the work. And it's great!

All this information is great, but it can also lead to over stimulation and lack of focus. Even though we haven't officially started homeschooling yet, I'm trying to put together as many unit studies as I can before the kids are home all day.

I want to teach my kids everything. I want them to know about the Bible, U.S. history, world history, chemistry, biology, literature, algebra, geometry, red-eyed tree frogs...well, everything. And the Internet lets me do that. The Internet also lets me spend hours looking up different ways to teach them everything. What ends up happening is that I lose focus on what I was originally looking to find, because I'm chasing that next thing. Then I find that hours have passed, but I've accomplished very little.

There are some really great resources out there. These are ones that I especially like:


Homeschooling A to Z

Lesson Pathways

Smithsonian Education

American Museum of Natural History

I also really love Pinterest. I've found a ton of great ideas there.

The Internet is a great tool, when used properly. I'm still a big fan of books, and there is a lot of book reading in my lesson plans too. I just have to make sure I'm not letting the Internet take over. Creating a list of learning goals is helping me with that.

How do you use technology in lesson planning/lesson delivery? I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My name is Amanda. I'm kind of a hippie. No really. I have another blog that says so. This year my husband and I decided that next school year, we would homeschool our hooligans. (They aren't really hooligans. They are actually the best kids in the world. Please don't tell them I called them hooligans. They prefer the term monsters.)

Why did we decide to homeschool? Because seriously, there are days I forget. It used to be that I couldn't wait til Monday. Spring break was a nightmare. Summer vacation was great the first few days, but then....well....not so much. Sounds like we are the perfect homeschooling candidates, right?

Well, we are. Here's why. My whole perspective on parenting changed. God opened my eyes and my heart to the fact that instead of enduring my kids' childhood, I should be enjoying it. So I did some prayer and soul-searching. And then I did some more. Turns out, I'm crazy about my kids. And they are (most days) crazy about me too. So why not spend more time with them?

Without further ado, my top reasons for homeschooling my boys:

1. More individualized attention- My oldest son needs more individual instruction. He has an amazing teacher this year. She is seriously awesome, and I know that she has done a great job. But J isn't getting what he needs. He needs more one-on-one time. I can do that with homeschooling. After regular school, he is too tired to do much reviewing. It pushes past the frustration point. Most adults don't want to work after work, so why would a kid?

2. Learning at the perfect pace- My oldest, J, needs a bit more review time. Schools now have to be so focused on standardized testing that they can't slow down as much as they might like. My youngest, A, needs less review time. Homeschooling lets both guys learn at their own pace.

3. Plenty of family time- Lots of parents have 9-5 jobs with weekends off. That works great with traditional schools. My husband is a restaurant manager. He does not ever work 9-5, and he hasn't had a weekend off in 3 years. Homeschooling allows us to spend time together with the whole family.

4. Choosing what we learn- I have always enjoyed teaching my kids stuff. We love to learn things together. Let's take advantage of that! If we want to learn about Indigo Buntings, we can!

I'm sure I could list another million reasons why we chose homeschooling. But no one would read them. And my fingers would get tired from typing. We'll leave it at that for today.

I also want to point out that while we won't start homeschooling officially until July or early August, I'm working hard at putting some lessons together. I hope this blog will be a place where we can talk about homeschooling, share ideas, and laugh about the crazy in our lives.