Showing posts from May, 2020

Homeschool Room: Before

When my kids' school closed down in March, we started doing school work at the dining room table. However, with David and I also trying to work in the house during the day, the dining room very quickly became a chaotic mess.  Over the next couple of months I tried my best to organize the space and make it work; however, with everyone trying to do different things in a very small space (our house is about 1700 square feet with five bedrooms so the common living areas are pretty small), we all started to go a little crazy. While our house isn't super huge, we have a really nice sized backyard.  In our backyard we have a separate little building that my husband recently remodeled.  We had plans to turn the space into a den or playroom for the kids but, as these things go, we never really got around to doing much with the space.  That's when I realized - I could use this space as a school room.  Duh. I set the room up one afternoon with furniture we already had.  I did buy

Kids' Summer Activities: Indoor Edition

I don't know about your city, state, or country but where we live it can get very hot during the summer months.  While we do go outside every day, I also like to have an arsenal of indoor activities at the ready just in case a 100+ degree day rears its ugly head.  Here are a few of our favorite things right now. Building Toys My son, George, in particular, loves to build.  He's obsessed with Lego sets and can spend hours building with just about any building set at his disposal.  Our favorites right now are Plus Plus blocks and magnet tiles . We first bought a set of  Plus Plus blocks  back in April (for Easter) and have added to them over the last few months.  All three of my kids can build and play with these little blocks for hours.  Their current favorite thing to do is build armies of chicks that battle a giant evil rabbit, usually played by me (our first set of Plus Plus blocks was an Easter set...can you tell? ha). As for the magnet tiles , we've had

2020 Kids' Summer Schedule: Pandemic Edition

As of the time I'm writing this, my kids are still in school (well, they're still distance learning).  We have one week left and then we're free for the summer.  Summer is usually my favorite season to be a parent.  We live in Southern California so almost every summer day is hot and sunny.  That means we spend many a summer day at local museums, zoos, beaches, parks, pools, swimming lessons, and water parks.  Our county fair is also in the summer and as the kids have gotten older, we've enjoyed it more and more. This year, however, in light of COVID-19 I doubt we'll be doing any of our favorite summer things.  As our county has eased quarantine restrictions, I'm hopeful that we'll get to the beaches and parks but I'm not sure that we'll be going to any museums, zoos, pools, or water parks.  Our county fair has also, sadly but understandably, been canceled. With summer looming and absolutely no plans in the books, I know we're going

Choosing Secular Curriculum Part One: Subjects

After reading the relevant sections (first grade and third grade, specifically) of Home Learning Year by Year , I decided the first step to choosing curriculum for the 2020-2021 school year would be choosing the subjects I wanted the kids to focus on. Because they're still pretty young, I know the focus of the year will be on language arts (writing, reading, grammar) and math.  That said, I absolutely do not want to cut out the "fun" stuff -- art, science, music -- or ignore the rest -- history and geography.  Going into this, I figured that if I did it right, I could include it all.  After all, other homeschooling families seem to do it just fine. After some research (read: YouTube videos) and deliberation, I decided that my core subjects for the year will be: 1. Handwriting 2. Language Arts 3. Math 4. Science 5. Geography 6. History 7. Other - See Below For art, I'm planning on highlighting various artists throughout the year as well as incorporat

How We Got Here

Our journey to homeschooling started in March when traditional public schooling ended for my kids. I found myself at home with the weight of educating my three kids (ages 3, 5, and 8) on my shoulders.  Our public school started distance learning about four weeks into our state's shut down.  This left me with four weeks of time to fill.  I had always been curious about homeschooling and how I would do as a homeschooling mom so I decided that I would use these four weeks to test the waters.  I bought some workbooks and used other resources we already had.  We spent a lot of time doing art projects, doing puzzles, and reading aloud. The more I dabbled in homeschooling, the more I enjoyed it.  And, over the course of those four weeks, I saw my family grow closer.  My kids were all getting to play and learn together.  My husband was home more than he ever had been before.  We were absolutely relishing in all of the family time we were getting and I loved getting to steer the kids'