Monday, September 1, 2014

Adventures in Homeschooling Part 1

This is by far not a "how to" home school post. In fact I am just starting, so it's more a captains log of my adventures in homeschooling. I am more than grateful for any helpful tips. For those who are wondering what us odd balls do all day, here it goes:

I wake up at 7 am ( or earlier depending on when my children arise) Honestly, I know I need to get up earlier to get in more cleaning and my yoga time but I'm just not there yet. I cook breakfast for the fam. It's usually bacon and eggs. By 8 am we are all fed and cleaned up so i let the children run around like crazy while I do the dishes and laundry. This is also when i do my morning routine like oil pulling, brush teeth, brush hair ( with a different brush of course ). By 9-9:30ish Britta Marie gets cranky so i put her down for her nap. Then I find something for Boaz to do in the living room, then I set up with Julian in "our classroom."

This year I am pulling from a lot of different resources but classical conversations has really given me most of the structure we do. We aren't going to the group meetings this year to take some of the pressure off and work with nap times, but the foundations manual, website ( , and you tube clips seem like enough now anyway. So we start with our timeline song. Each week has like 7 timeline events so each day Julian draws one, two, or three depending on how focused he is. It starts small but adds up quickly. I always find some short stories on the timeline subjects he drawing so he can listen to them and decide what to draw. For the bible stories there's a cute little app I like that has a game as it tells the stories and quizzes him. It's called "Bible for Kids" and especially during the first few weeks it's been corresponding very well. We lay our pictures on the ground and put on this you tube video to sing along with and do the motions, so far this is Julian's favorite part. Then we take 5 and do jumping jacks or something to get the wiggles out.

*** Tiny Rant: I'll go ahead and put here that we are also working on reading through the bible which depending how quickly you do this, it kind of coordinates with the bible stories at the start. we are using "Investigating God's Home Volume 1 genesis-Job" by One Story Ministries. So far I love it. I was having trouble finding Children's bibles that covered everything like Cain and Able and things you don't normally find in children's books. This study guide covers it ALL word for word but is set up so the kids enjoy it. I think it's very important not to sugarcoat the bible and pedal the knock off comfortable version society today is pushing. In order to understand what Jesus did for us we have to understand how depraved everyone is. In order to understand God's love for us, we need to recognize our sinful heart's capabilities. In order for our children to recognize their heart issues it's very important they get the whole bible. They need strong roots and the armor of God so that they can defend their beliefs when questioned by peers, public school teachers (if they ever went!) , and future hippy college professors. If you only give them the Disney version of God's word their ideology will be shattered when they meet reality some day. You can't cut out the parts you don't want to talk about. Trust God and his word and read them the WHOLE bible, he is not going to give you something they can't handle. After all Ephesians 6:10-17 says: 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   
*** mmmmmk???..Rant over (for now)

 Then we do geography. Julian loves this too. For week 1 it's the continents so we sing this song . Then I believe Oceans are the same week and there was a similar you tube song of the oceans but I forgot to bookmark it and I cant find it again so I'll just post Julian singing it on my Instagram. I can't figure out how to get the videos in here with the sound on and continuous loop off so I'll post them on my Instagram for now. Look me up! my user name is brookelynne313 (I'll be the one with all the #homeschool hash tags.) Also I also ordered an inflatable globe for like $3 off amazon to explain that the Pacific Ocean is not 2 separate oceans as it looks on the map. I also wanted him to be able to understand the map and globe relationship and be able to recognize everything on each. As adults we forget that we actually had to learn this stuff but you have to explain that the earth is round and a map is a flat version that is supposed to loop back to the other side. It took Julian a while to be able to find everything on the globe where he already knew where it was on the map.

Next we do math. I have a kindergarten math book Julian is flying through so i have him do a couple pages in that each day. Then we also do the CC memory math. Right now it's mostly counting by certain numbers so for the first week we had our 24 erasable colored pencils we counted by 1, then we grouped them into 2s so he could understand, and we counted them by 2s. Math goes by quick for now! When we got to higher numbers i started using this write on Melissa and Doug mat that I bought at the grocery store for like $3. I had him count like 5 numbers then write the 5th one so he could recognize the patterns (also because the pencils weren't going high enough any more.)

Next we do Latin, Julian gets a kick out of this. The first few weeks are the same so he has it down. We watched this video for the explanation

Next is history and we kind of just do that like we do the timeline where i tell him the story that goes along with it, we read the memory sentence and he memorizes it, then he draws it. He gets wiggly here so then we do some situps or something.

English is a quick little memory thing that you just have to force feed, but as it builds week by week they pick up on the connections.

For art we have lots of fun. First week was basic shapes so I just had him draw them. second week was mirror images so we folded stuff in 1/2 and cut it.

For science the first week we sang the 7 biomes song to the tune of frere jacques. Then we watched some short youtubes on each and labeled where some our on our dry erase maps and drew some of the animals with them.

Julian will be starting violin lessons so i am skipping the tin whistle stuff because it would wake Britta up and attract Boaz as well.

By the time we get done is usually 12 or 1 and Britta Marie wakes up. We all have lunch and then get our shoes on and go to the YMCA for "recess" for the kids (and mommy). But that's another blog for my exercise schedule I guess...Anyway I know there are places that I can improve upon but for all those moms out there who are to intimidated to home school. Don't be. You can do it and now is the time! I feel like I am even getting smarter from the program so I'm sure Julian is!

***Side notes: I am buying an egg timer to set for Julian to make sure we stay on task with each subject. Honestly I should have bought one a long time ago anyway. I also hope to find some more games to get the wiggles out in between subjects as I have a feeling jumping jacks are going to get boring quickly. My sticky wall maps were off amazon and were super cheap. Because we have to move in a year I did not want to poke any holes in our wall. Also the dry erase feature is very helpful.I also bought some chalkboard stickies for memory verses and a calendar for us. I'm sure they could look prettier but for the price these will work. Everything I'm doing I know I can easily implement with Boaz next year, but this year the boy just does not have the attention span. We are also signed up for a community bible study for interaction with other people and someday we will join a home school group but this year I think we have enough on our plate. Let me know what you think! :)


  1. Love it! I love classical conversations and have a friend here in FD that is doing it with her kids and they're brilliant. Alternative ugh, I'm sure your kids will be brilliant no matter what y'all do, with their good genes!

    1. Oh, autocorrect changed what I said. It was suppose to be "although" instead of "Alternative ugh"