What are you most looking forward to this year?

TOPIC: What are you looking forward to in the new year? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions, and if so, please share one or two. Is there anything you are dreading? Any changes you have made? What are you most looking forward to this year? ANSWERS: The one New Year’s Resolution I have made this year is to "engage" more with our children. So often I pretend to listen to them while my mind is wandering off to "what to have for dinner, when can I go shopping, how would the couch look over there…?" The days go by and while these precious souls are with me constantly, I am more concerned with barking out orders and running the ship. As we look toward (probably) sending our 2 eldest to school next year I wonder where the years have gone and I begin to panic that I will no longer have unlimited time with them. So I want to make each day count and somehow remember to look them in the eyes, and listen for real and really enjoy and appreciate the amazing people they are. ------- I have had the kids make some goals for themselves for the remainder of this school year, so that's something new for us. In the past, I have been the one to set goals for them such as "learn to read" and they have been aware of the goal, but really not an active pursuer of it. They had no real sense of ownership. This year I asked the kids what they would like to aim to achieve and I was...

Personal Productivity

In September 2014 we heard Sherry Borsheim teach us about personal productivity and how the distractions of our day-to-day living can be real time-robbers (checking an email, answering the phone, maybe a little peak at Facebook). She showed us how to time-block and make a weekly schedule. It was timely to be reminded of the importance of defining our goals and purposes first, and planning with that in mind. As multi-tasking marvels, homeschooling moms can easily be pulled away from their main goals and side-tracked by the many demands of homeschooling. More content for logged in Members is available. Please log in here to...

What daily schedule do you follow?

TOPIC: What sort of daily schedule do you follow? How structured is your school time? What about chores? What tricks have you found to help you manage your time? ANSWERS: Through the years we have moved to a much less structured approach to schooling. By nature I live in the moment and have always found it hard to maintain a schedule, especially when the children were younger. Now, with 2 older kids in brick and mortar high school, and just 2 at home it seems it should be easier to stay on track. But I can’t do it; it’s just not me. So here’s our “schedule”: before lunch, the Math and piano practice needs to be done. Sometimes we do a writing project; occasionally Science or Social Studies. Mondays are piano lessons, Tuesdays is a regular childcare job at the church, Wed. to Place des Arts and Friday to musical theatre. The rest of the time we simply live life together. Dare I say that we’ve become un-schoolers? Maybe, maybe not. I feel like I am teaching all the time but a lot of it happens on the fly and a good deal of it has nothing to do with school curriculum. As to chores, our family is divided into dish crews, one son cuts the lawn once a week and the other does the recycling. We used to have laundry teams but now that the kids are older, we’re all responsible for our own. We pay whoever is willing to clean the bathrooms (not often enough!) and vacuum (also not often enough!). ------- I always tell people that...

What are some ideas for the summer?

TOPIC: What are some ideas for the summer? ANSWERS: 1) Join the summer reading club at your library. 2) Go to story time at the library. 3) Go for a family bike ride. 4) Make lemonade from fresh lemons. 5) Go to a cheap movie. 6) Plant a small garden. 7) Make smiley faces on your lunch. 8) Spend an afternoon reading under a tree. 9) Splash around in a sprinkler. 10) Hang out in a hammock. 11) Learn something new together. 12) Sew a doll’s outfit. 13) Visit a museum. 14) Go bowling. 15) Make your own ice cream. 16) Host a block party. 17) Tie-dye t-shirts. 18) Spend the day at the beach. 19) Raise butterflies. 20) Go bug-catching. 21) Press flowers. 22) Make leaf prints. 23) Raise an herb garden. 24) Take a picnic to the park. 25) Play Frisbee. 26) Paint on a canvas. 27) Paint your sidewalk or house with water. 28) Decorate your driveway with sidewalk chalk. 29) Pick berries. 30) Use your berries to make jam or a pie. 31) Have a water balloon fight. 32) Host a teddy bear picnic. 33) Swing on swings. 34) Play miniature golf. 35) Blow bubbles. 36) Go to a fireworks display. 37) Take a hike. 38) Build a campfire and make smores. 39) Camp in your own backyard. 40) Build a sand castle. 41) Swim. 42) Sleep late. 43) Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest. 44) Host a treasure or scavenger hunt. 45) Star gaze. 46) Go to a farmer’s market. 47) Set up an obstacle course in your backyard. 48) Run a lemonade stand. 49)...

What plans do you have for the summer as a homeschooling family?

TOPIC: I would really like to know what people do for the summer. How do they schedule, do they take a complete break, or only from some things? Do they find any disadvantages to the kids by taking a full summer break? ANSWERS: We have traditionally taken a full summer break, but... this year I am hoping to focus on very deliberate, yet fun, focused learning through life experiences rather than just a lazy summer. We will definitely keep going with devotions and character building. I am also hoping to do some sort of math drill practice at least a few times a month so as to keep that left side of the brain going and not lose those skills. Previously we have taken a break over the summer and 1. it doesn't make sense, life goes on, so why should the learning stop? 2. starting again in September can be such a grind after coming to a complete halt 3. the summer offers so many rich learning opportunities so we will enjoy those ------- I usually schedule a week of swimming lessons in July and a week of another type of camp in August - we have done sailing at Jericho beach, and horseback riding on the North shore. We usually have 2 weeks of holidays, so that leaves 4 weeks of lazy days. My daughter may do a little catch up if something is behind... Last summer it was math, and I usually have a couple of good books for her to read. There are lots of 'day' camps in different areas for an amazing array of...