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About newhsmom

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee
  1. My kids love games of all kinds. For Christmas this year, they got Fluxx, Catan, Exploding Kittens, and Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. One of my favorite things about the Christmas break is all the time they have to play and just enjoy being together. I love the blog My Little Poppies for suggestions on gamschooling. https://my-little-poppies.com/gameschooling/
  2. I loved using Before Five in a Row with my older kids. With my youngest, I used The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully. I would recommend the book (THP) for anyone because of the philosophy behind how to do the early years. It was such a game changer for my homeschool and I wished it had been available when my older kids were that age. In fact, the curriculum was so much fun that my older kids always begged to be involved with the preschooler's activities. I used the curriculum for three years with my littlest and definitely felt like I got my money's worth. I am always su
  3. We vacationed in Houston a couple of summers ago. We bought the Houston City Pass and it was wonderful. We went to NASA, Museum of Natural Science, an aquarium, Houston Art Museum, and the Children's Museum. The museums in Houston are fantastic. The food was also a huge highlight of the trip. We didn't do any outdoor activities because it was entirely too hot.
  4. My oldest absolutely hated MM after doing RS A-E. I don't know if it was the format or the content. We ended up going to Singapore the following year, but she never loved anything the way she did RightStart. I know so many people have great success with MM, but that was not our experience.
  5. We have enjoyed playing the LOE games even though it isn't our phonics program. We haven't used all the games, but we have enjoyed the ones we have played. I felt like we needed to infuse some fun into our phonics program.
  6. I have a chest freezer and as soon as it goes out I will buy an upright freezer. I am a petite person and it is impossible for me to get things towards the bottom and even the middle sometimes. My MIL has an upright freezer and it is so much easier to use.
  7. I always start with humorous poetry because all kids enjoy humor. Some of our favorites include anything by Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, Douglas Florian, and Bruce Lansky. Our new favorite poetry book is I'm Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris. https://www.amazon.com/Just-Good-Rhyming-Mischievous-Grown-Ups/dp/0316266574 I will then move to other styles of poetry, but my goal is to hook kids with poetry at a very early age and these books do not disappoint.
  8. We are enjoying Masterpiece Art Society. We pay a monthly fee ($20) to access everything on their site. You can come and go at any time without any kind of pressure. You might look at their art school portion it includes instruction on drawing, watercolor, acrylics, and pastels. Alisa Gratehouse (homeschool mom and owner) is adding art sessions all the time. I heard about it from another homeschool mom and she said it was very similar to what her child was getting in private art lessons. We are able to have every child in our house working on art every month for a relatively low price. It has
  9. Give yourself the freedom to ditch any read-aloud that isn't working for your family. There are just so many wonderful books out there to chose from. The only caveat I would give would be that some books are better through audiobook because of dialect etc, but some books are just not a good fit and that is completely okay.
  10. Have you ever read Sarah Mackenize's book Teaching from Rest? It was such a game-changer in my homeschooling journey. I used to feel in bondage to my schedule and of course, I could never keep up. She talks about starting with a time budget and then only filling it to 80%. If you don't factor in that kind of margin to your life, you will burn out. This homeschooling gig is a marathon, not a sprint. Not only is this book amazing, but Sarah's masterclass at the Read Aloud Revival on Focus and Align has been completely life-giving to this weary momma. Do I still have moments where I am drownin
  11. I think you have a solid plan. Jot it Down is so much fun, so I wouldn't skip it. I think JID is perfect for 2nd grade.
  12. I just stumbled upon this website that has a wealth of sensory activities. They have free downloads and also things available for purchase. I downloaded the free sensory activities and there is a ton of things you can try with kids that are sensory-seeking. Maybe this will help. https://www.mymundaneandmiraculouslife.com/
  13. For those ages, I would recommend Jot it Down and maybe a Quiver of Arrows. Brave Writer has brought so much delight to the early years for my younger children. I did things much differently with my older kids and I have so enjoyed Julie's approach for the early years. There is a great introduction to the entire Brave Writer lifestyle in the Jot it Down curriculum. Definitely look at the online samples because they give you a really good idea about what the program is like.
  14. What Brave Writer programs are you using? My 13 year old basically completes Faltering Ownership and Arrows/Boomerangs largely by herself. We do have discussions and she will come to me if you has any questions. For the most part, she is working independently. If that is not possible, then I have heard the BW classes are wonderful.
  15. I always think of picture books by Patricia Polacco to fit this category. Here is a list of pictures books on a 3rd-5th grade reading level- http://eclectic-homeschool.com/picture-books-as-reading-books-3rd-5th-grade-level/
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