Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kids are almost done...... but a Homeschooling Mom never is!

As we are winding down the last few days of school...... I am working diligently on our lesson plans for our next school year, aka Fall 2011.
I would LOVE to ignore this until the last minute but.....
I will have one in High School and an Eighth Grader so I have to basically create 2 totally different set of lesson plans. More work for me so that it makes a smoother year for them!
We will definitely be doing Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Spelling. We will be using our Spelling words for online vocabulary games as well.
I think we will be expanding our Spanish and our Geography into more in depth lessons as well.
This means lots of research, talking to other homeschooling parents on both forums and in person to find what I feel is great programs that they will love and understand while learning!
For the past few years, we have really improved our schooling compared to how my boys were when I pulled them from public school but I still think we need to do more.
I want them to graduate high school and feel that they are ready for the real world whether they choose a trade school, college or just go out and work.
My job as a homeschooling parent is to give them all this info, prepare them as best as their father and I can and be proud of who they become!
I figure I should complete my lesson plans about 2 weeks before it is time to start school again!LOL

Starting a blog!

Well, my blog PreschoolersDaybyDay has been up about 6 weeks and I have to tell you... starting a blog is hard, fun, easy, confusing and satisfying! You will laugh, cry, get mad, be happy and get frustrated all within the same 20 minutes! But, when you get your first real comment and know that people are reading what you wrote.... you get this feeling like WOW!
When I decided to start my blog, it was choice of what to write about. I figured I should write about what I knew, preschoolers! And since I decided to start my preschoolers on Time 4 Learning doing the preschool games and activities section.... what better to write about than our experiences weekly on how it it going.
When you start a blog, write about something you know because the words flow out of your better. And that presents itself as something cool to read, therefore you get more readers, etc. I cannot tell people that enough when they ask.
Yes, there are weeks that I do not feel like writing. Living a normal crazy life, homeschooling, running a childcare, writing articles and being an Urban farmer all take a lot out of my day..... and some days I just want to not even look at the computer. Other days, I could write all day. I usually end up writing extra articles during this time and saving them for when I do need something and do not feel like writing!
So, if you have been thinking about writing a blog.... I suggest checking out some blog writing courses, find a blog site and do it! You will either love it or hate it, but you do not know until you try!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MUSLENRBAC........UNSCRAMBLE! Did ya get it?!

I love word games! Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Boggle, Password(that dates me doesn’t it!LOL).....
I love crosswords, word searches, word jumbles in the newspaper.
Not only does it keep your brain on track and in constant learning mode but it can be switched around and worked into your homeschool curriculum!
Think of the possibilities, spelling words, keywords, vocab words, etc. all put into game form..... your kids wouldn’t know what hit them!
We play many games here because if you do it correctly, games are educational! There are word games as mentioned above, math games like Yahtzee, geography games like Monopoly(there are MANY versions out there), etc.
So... it is safe to say that I love to use my kids spelling words and do word scrambles or unscrambles! We also play games where they have a word and then have to create as many words out of that word as possible! There are many online versions of this but you can also put pen to paper and sometimes this will drill those spelling words into the brain better than anything else!
Since we have started word games such as unscramble for their vocabulary and spelling words..... their spelling has greatly improved as well as their retention for spelling words correctly! Rarely does Mom have to double check their work or help them spell a word!
Gotta love things that do double duty!
You can do this for kids just starting out spelling and use it all the way through adulthood! Just by increasing the toughness of the words!
It also makes for easy games to pack for car trips!
Imagine the possibilities!!!!!!
*Insert evil laugh here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

math...MATH.......M-A-T-H! Next school year prep already!

And while the school year is winding down for us(2 weeks left!) I am already thinking ahead to August and our new school year 2011-2012! I imagine teachers in public school do the same thing as homeschooling parents. I am constantly checking out curriculum's, sites, ideas, forums, blogs, etc. for input on anything that might be a better help for my boys! Always planning ahead, so that when I turn around twice and the new school year is due to start.... I am reasonably ready!LOL
Math is always a big subject in this house, because despite having 2 opposite Math kids(1 loves it, 1 HATES it)... Math and Math vocabulary is something that is in use in our world constantly!
So finding programs that work for an upcoming 8th grader and a 9th grader who really needs to work on his algebra skills..... is a challenge! One I like and relish, because I love my computer time and I love a good challenge!
I have favorite folders on my computer filled with all sorts of sites I have found! Now comes the challenge, checking each one out in depth, comparing prices, reading reviews and then deciding which one will work best for my boys! And since it is a challenging year with 1 in middle school and 1 starting high school..... we may end up with 2 different programs or bouncing back and forth between several so that they get the best of Math available for each individual!
So, are you getting ready for the next school year already.... despite that you are just ending this one?! Or am I the only kooky one?!LOL