Monday, March 6, 2017

Respecting Differences: A Homeschool Lesson on Sitting Bull

Sometimes homeschooling makes me physically ill. 

Reading about Sitting Bull and Native Americans, etc. to my teen son Joel. And I have lots of comments but compare it to this:

It's like my neighbor Dave comes into my house and just decides he wants it and takes it and moves in and locks my fridge so my family can't eat our own food. And then he tells me to just go somewhere else, to this little stick fort he built for me out back, and that he totally won't mess with my family; he promises!!!! Then we start fighting because THAT IS MY HOUSE and then we all die. HORRIBLE! 

And I'm not sure what the Native Americans were supposed to do with CASH MONEY for selling the Black Hills (gold!) ... head down to the Sam's Club and buy some junk like white people do? (I also don't get why Grant was dying to know about gold and then word got out and he was like, "Oops, better get those miners out of there and guard them with US soldiers who might give them a hand slap!")

Talk about not respecting differences. I mean, just because the NAs were more peaceful and used their resources better and didn't worship God and Jesus, let's mess with them and wipe them out. We came here for RELIGIOUS FREEDOM and, boy, did that get twisted.

No, it's not so bad these days here, but it's more subtle. So many of us are so intolerant of someone who is not exactly like us ... let us all ponder this during Lent, religious or not, shall we?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

How to Homeschool More Than One Subject/Kid at Once for Free

Check out the books we have right now in our home: art, authors, architecture, faith, Black history, science, geography and events. That's a lot of cool FREE learning on my floor there :-)

I had my 15-year-old son Joel compose a list of the Who Was/Is books from Penguin because we are finding them to be so awesome. We do love Story of the World as well, for history for multiple ages, but it's fun to stop and read a quick biography of a person we find out about in Story of the World or just pick one up to read anytime.

I like to read these to all five kids at once and call it English and History. I like to homeschool multiple kids at a time to SAVE time and also do multiple subjects to save time ... this is how we can be more laid-back and have more time for playing outside, meeting friends at the park, etc. You can read a chapter a day or easily blow through one in a day. We normally do a chapter or two a day.

There's even a Mad Libs so you can beef up your kids' parts of speech knowledge while having fun at the same time!

If the thought of finding time to read to the kids right now freaks you out, you can assign a book to a kid to read and then have them tell the family about it orally or have them practice their report-writing skills. It's all up to you! And these are at the library so you can also homeschool for free using these resources.

Here's the list in alphabetical order by first name. I'll do another post for the "What Was" series or just add them here ... I haven't decided yet ... you let me know what you prefer :-)

Abigail Adams 
Abraham Lincoln 
Albert Einstein 
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Hamilton 
Alexander the Great 
Alfred Hitchcock 
Amelia Earhart 
Andrew Jackson 
Andy Warhol
Anne Frank
Annie Oakley
Babe Ruth 
Barack Obama 
Beatrix Potter
Beecher Stowe 
Ben Franklin 
Betsy Ross 
Bill Gates 
Blackbeard 
Bob Dylan 
Bob Marley 
Bruce Lee 
Bruce Springsteen 
Cesar Chavez
Charles Darwin 
Charles Dickens 
Charlie Chaplin 
Christopher Columbus 
Clara Barton 
Claude Monet 
Daniel Boone
Davy Crockett 
Derek Jeter
Dolly Parton 
Dr. Seuss
Earnest Shackleton 
Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt 
Elton John
Elvis Presley 
Ferdinand Magellan 
Fidel Castro
Frank Lloyd Wright 
Franklin Roosevelt 
Frederick Douglas
Frida Kahlo
Galileo 
Gandhi 
Genghis Khan 
George Lucas 
George Washington Carver 
George Washington 
Gloria Steinem 
Hail to the Chiefs 
Harriet Tubman
Harry Houdini 
Helen Keller 
Henry Ford
Hillary Clinton 
Isaac Newton 
J.K. Rowling 
J.R.R. Tolkien 
Jackie Kennedy 
Jackie Robinson 
Jacques Cousteau 
Jane Goodall
Jeff Kinney 
Jesse Owens 
Jesus 
Jim Henson 
Joan of Arc
John F. Kennedy 
Johnny Appleseed 
Jules Verne 
Julia Child 
Julius Caesar
King Tut 
Laura Ingalls Wilder 
Leonardo Da Vinci
Lewis Carroll
Louis Armstrong 
Louis Braille 
Lucille Ball
Malala Yousafzai
Marci Polo 
Maria Talchief 
Marie Antoinette 
Marie Curie 
Mark Twain 
Martin Luther King. Jr.
Maurice Sendak 
Maya Angelou 
Michael Jackson 
Michelle Obama 
Milton Bradley 
Milton Hershey 
Mother Theresa 
Muhammad Ali
Neil Armstrong 
Nelson Mandela
Pablo Picasso 
Paul Revere 
Pete Seeger 
Pope Francis
Princess Diana 
Queen Elizabeth 
Queen Victoria 
Rachel Carson 
Ralph Lauren (coming soon)
Richard Branson 
Roald Dahl 
Robert E. Lee 
Robert Ripley 
Roberto Clemente 
Ronald Reagan 
Rosa Parks 
Sacagewea 
Sally Ride 
Seabiscuit 
Sitting Bull
Sojourner Truth 
Sonia Sotamayor 
Stan Lee
Steve Erwin 
Steve Jobs 
Steven Spielberg 
Stevie Wonder (coming soon)
Susan B. Anthony 
The Beatles 
The Brothers Grimm 
The Rolling Stones 
The Three Stooges (coming soon)
The Wright Brothers 
Theodore Roosevelt 
Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Jefferson 
Ulysses S. Grant 
Venus and Serena Williams 
Walt Disney 
Wayne Gretzky 
Who was Activity Book 
Who was Mad Libs
William Shakespeare 
Winston Churchill
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Woodrow Wilson 

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Brave Writer: Your Homeschool Coach

I don’t think a whole lot about the future. I survive day by day, praying my kids learn what they need to learn to live good lives. That they learn common sense life skills and also basic math and English skills and don’t sound dumb in a convo about the Holocaust or atoms. But lately Julie bogart is on my radar a lot and she’s raised her 5 kids and homeschooled them and loved it and writes about it and podcasts and shares helpful things and encouragement and I love her style and I realized I could be a form of her when I’m older. When my kids are gone I always figured I’d of course take up quite a bit of time checking in on them and making sure I know what’s up with them (thank God for texting) and then grandkids, of course. But in my other time, when not volunteering or caring for my parents or being with aron, I knew I would keep writing. But Julie gets $25/month for this coaching community she runs. It’s brilliant. I haven’t joined but it looks neat: http://coachjuliebogart.com/. I want to be a source of homeschool encouragement to others when I survive my own journey that I am learning so much on the way. Her style is so chill. Check her out on this Homeschool Sisters podcast. She also does these great writing helps called The Brave Writer.

She doesn’t make you feel guilty for not doing everything, for having bad days, burnout, resentment, more. She can be chill because her kids are grown … she says we are homeschooling our kids for jobs that don’t even exist yet so don’t worry about them if they want to play Minecraft all day … they might be programmers for drones someday. If nothing else, you must LIKE her Facebook page and make sure you click the option to see it first in your newsfeed because she always shares helpful things that I SAVE on Facebook to read later. Encouraging things to help us on this journey that is like no other. Often I read some homeschool mom sites and I feel more frantic. I read Julie Bogart or listen to her and I feel relaxed and that trickles down to my kids and my homeschool style for sure.

I mean, check this out from her coaching website:

Late at night, do you worry about…
  • The enormity of the responsibility to educate your kids,
  • the wide disparity of information about learning,
  • the unrelenting demands of the little people in your charge,
  • the annual changes in family dynamics and hormones,
  • your natural home education fatigue
  • and (dare you admit it?) boredom?

All of us wonder: Am I doing a good enough job? How will I know?
YES! We all wonder! We pretend to have it together but we need support and ideas and help! Homeschooling in my 40s with teens is way different from when I started in my 30s with little ones! My husband sometimes travels, I'm dealing with hormones (mine and those of my teens!), I work from home, I have to come up with ideas for teaching 3 classes a week at a homeschool co-op and MORE!

Funschool February: Beat the Homeschool Slump

Every year about this time we start to get that burnt-out feeling. We've been homeschooling over 5 months and have recently survived Christmas. Spring is coming and for us that means we will be insanely busy with some of the following items. Does any of this sound familiar?

one kid with First Communion and party
one kid with Confirmation and party
a fishing trip for my husband and the boys
a trip to Royals Stadium for Scout Day
an April birthday of a kid turning 14
a son with a lawn care job, babysitting jobs, a soccer practice and playing schedule, and a reffing job
another son who is dying to play real soccer
fish frys
bake sales
St. Patrick's Day parade
co-op every Wednesday
a son in Latin every Monday
Cub and Boy Scouts meetings and activities
a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting and more that will come up like dances and lock-ins and parties

Yeah, my homeschoolers are UBER socialized. No worries there.

So I heard about the February Slump on the Homeschool Sisters podcast recently and gave myself permission to mess around a lot during February while still learning. February is going to be busy enough plus my husband going out of town for 7 days overseas. That right there told me I'll have a week to not knock ourselves out homeschooling. In fact, I think we'll just blow up the house with learning activities and then clean it all up the day before Daddy gets home!

*If you listen to this podcast, do so with paper, so head to the link above because you'll love the recommendations for fun learning with your kids. The Field Trip Zoom drove me nuts, though, because some of them are so expensive. I'm trying to get Google Expeditions on my PC but so far it's making me only do it on the phone with the tiny screen. Also check out Discovery VR, and I have you heading to a cool little thing on Hawaii, although it's not exactly a field trip.

I've joined the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community on Facebook because it's very difficult for me to sit down and play games with my kids but I need to do it ... for bonding with them and fun for them and learning happens to sneak in as well.

As a side note, check out this post over here about 17 awesome subscription boxes. I know they can get pricey, but I spend money on dumb stuff at Target that I could get at a thrift or discount store instead so if I just am mindful of my spending and keep up my proofreading from home jobs, I can swing some of these.

I signed up for a JAM subscription for my LEGO kid because the first month was free then there was a discount for the next month. You really probably only need a month to explore each class unless your kid is REALLY into something, then you can pay for another month or there is an option for $99 to mess around in a class for a whole year. Your fee does NOT include multiple classes.

Don't forget about Netflix for homeschooling. Find yourself a community on Facebook for lots of great ideas on that.

Hit the library and snuggle up and read and forget about fractions and Algebra and teaching the alphabet for a while. I have some fun musical alphabet videos I'm going to sit with my youngest and watch and my educated guess is he just might learn more from those than from weeks of me making him do ABC flash cards he dreads. Time to change it up!

I also got a bunch of those "Who Is" and "What Is" and "Who Was" books ... tons of those and they count as history and geography and reading for sure.

So many ideas! I'll be back later! Have a great homeschool day!