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About 2_girls_mommy

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  1. Had the same experience here. They were exactly what my artistic kiddo needed. One if mine could read Apologia and just answer questions from the book to a blank piece of paper and did just fine. The other did so much better when we added the journals. After learning that about her we now use a lit if Thinking Tree journals that can be used with any curriculum because we've learned somehow it makes a difference for her. 🙂
  2. I require a lot of sleep. I've come to realize it's not more than just my dh, but more than a lot of people. But I've always been that way. I aim to be asleep by 10:30. If I sleep straight through without waking I can be up by seven. But often I am awake off and on due to me being a light sleeper, so it's closer to eight. I don't start a schedule before eight. It's bonus time when I'm up. I also like things clean and don't have a lot of time. I spent a lot of time for a few years following the flylady plan very precisely. That helped me get into the habit of regular decluttering and having set lists in my mind. So daily- my morning routine consists of three main things- make bed, clean bathroom, start laundry. We make the bed as soon as we wake. I clean the bathroom while I'm in there the first or second time of the day. A quick wipe if sinks, counters, toilet, and a quick scrub of the toilet keeps it from getting gross. It takes two minutes. I'm in the habit of straightening everytime I go in. Shut the shower curtain. Pick up spare toys, straighten the towels, whatever. I'm in and out all day. If I see something I don't quickly. I keep cleaning materials in there. It's not a big ordeal to spray something and wipe because all I need is there. Laundry- I switch washer to dryer, start a new load and fold the one out if the dryer immediately. If intgen, the rest of the day, just pick up behind myself, have the kids pick up behind themselves, keep the dishes up (kids are trained to do this...) and maybe do another load sometime in the day things go well. I started a chore chart with the five year old as part of her school. It includes make her own bed. She knows to pick up her plate after a meal and I have her pick up her own toys throughout the day. We sweep the floors before bed and as needed after messy times throughout the day. Hard floors here. I have a list of other main chores that have to get done throughout the week. Trash is done on trash day. I change at least one bed's sheets on Monday, and have the teens change theirs, so my and my five year old's is getting done at least every other week. I mop the bathroom and kitchen floor once a week. I haven't settled into the school year to know which day works this semester yet. I dust once a week and do glass windows in some part of the house once a week. I shop two Thurs a month in paydays. I make the list and menu before that and throw out leftovers... In between set things the fridge might get dirty or the dust might get a little dusty. But if we keep picked up and stick to the routine it's livable. Set days and times help me.
  3. We did it differently for one of mine. She did physical science in 7th, biology in 8th, chemistry in 9th, advanced biology (physiology and anatomy) in 10th, astronomy in 11th leaving 12 for physics, which in the end she decided not to do. She took this route because she took whatever co-op was offering at the time and was capable of high school work from middle school on. She won't get credit for the physical science year. My next did physical in 9th, biology in 10th, will do chemistry in 11th. That leaves 12th for physics as well, but since she's only required three lab classes to fulfill the college prep program she's enrolled infir tuition waivers through our state, my guess is that she'll choose not to take physics either. I felt her physical science book included some topics that overlap into earth science, but not all. A great deal of it was intro to physics and chemistry with only a little math.
  4. Like others said, sometimes I just don't do it all. Or sometimes we do, but one thing is far less intensified. Example: I tend to emphasize history/social studies or science on separate years. We may still technically do each subject, but I'll put two years worth of emphasis in one a year. Last year was a science emphasis year for us. DD 15 had her physical science co-op with labs class. That was her official credit for the year. She did all homework for a full credit class. But our support group's theme for the year was life science for all ages. So she had monthly lecture/activity/lab days that covered biology topics and labs and participated in citizen science field work and went on monthly field trips on the topic. She chose a Thinking Tree science journal for at home and completed a self study unit on botany (which falls under biology) and completed notebooking pages, labs, and helped garden at home. Dd17 was doing astronomy for her 11th grade science course and read a text at home. Both joined the astronomy club at scouts and did a lot of labs there, built telescopes that were donated by NASA, taught the public about astronomy at public events when they joined up with the city astronomy club, and attended special events put on by the city astronomy club on special tooics. With all of that science going on, history took a backseat. Both kids just had a text they read from for the year with occasional discussions and short written assignments. The year before was a heavy Ihistory year where our theme for the year was middle ages through Renaissance . We did activities, joined up with other groups, did monthly field trips, projects, papers, speeches, etc. around history. We did two years worth in that intensive year. And all literature for the last two years was from those time period, so each ended up with a year of World history with middles ages emphasis and Work History with Renaissance emphasis. (The same goes for science. Each year has it's official credit, but the activities may overlap years or be condensed into one intense time period.) This year I'm back to a heavy history year. Luckily dd15 did a lot of her labs for biology last year, and this year is just doing an online biology class without labs. We'll wrap up the year with a lab day and complete any I think shouldn't be missed that weren't done last year, but it won't be much. Instead our support group is having a government themed year, were doing a unit study on history at home and incorporating state history into American history and modern world history, and all field trips, literature, projects, etc. Will be around government or modern history, either american or state.
  5. I have already made an addition! I picked up a copy of Character First curriculum from a used sale, and love it. It includes crafts, character studies, science, and social studies including history with each little character study. So the first two weeks of school we did R&S bible stories and coloring book. The third week we switched to the first unit from Character First, and dd loves it. She learned about deers, how ears work, paying attention to the person speaking and your current activity, plus about Abraham Lincoln. I think it is perfect for K. The one I bought only has like 9 units, so we will intersperse it with other little units from What Your Ker Needs to Know and the Bible book, and seasonal studies for the year.
  6. I actually really like the looks of several of the writing classes. Add in literature in the form of their reading lists or from one of their unit studies and I could do an English credit for a junior that I'd be happy with. I haven't used their upper level maths, but they're there. And I love many of the history selections. There is every type of elective anyone could want. I think I could pull together everything there with the library if I needed to. There is record keeping, planners, all kinds of forms and charts and helps for student and teacher. Next year I'll have a junior. I'll probably be using for her from there: Mr D's Geometry, Friendly Chemistry, Understanding Ancient History (with Drive Thru History videos,) something for English and possibly Spanish 2 if I like it this year then whatever elective she wants.
  7. Oh, and I like it for things like This Day in History writing prompts and other daily writing prompts "classes," where every once in awhile for something different in writing we'll pull something. I've used lists from them like monthly reading lists by theme and broken up by age for ideas. I printed out a bunch of managing feelings games from the special needs section which is good for all little ones, not just special needs. The more I think about it, I've used a lot, even not a lot of full classes. There is just so much on the site to pull from. It's nice to have all in one spot without a lot of searching and buying separately.
  8. I have been a member for a couple of years. I have not used it as our full curriculum, but I have been pleased for what I have used it for. Some classes are really well done. Some are done by publishers that already have a program somewhere, and they offer a few classes there for exposure. Some are done by homeschooling parents and may have less polish, but they are always improving the site. Many have lesson plans that are very easy to check off and use by the student alone. That helps a lot with planning. Some classes have video teaching. Some have interactive material, though I haven't used one yet. I joined SHT to get Mr. D's math the year odd needed geometry. With a subscription to SHT, you could get Mr. D's geometry self paced class for less than paying directly through his site. They don't offer any other Mr. D's, but it introduced us to Mr. D;s which ended up being a good fit for my odd, and we also got access to everything else on the site. That was about all I used it for the first year besides access to the online encyclopedia which is nice and watching history videos to go along with our lessons like from DriveThru History. Last year, my second year, I mainly used it for art classes and to find lessons on a particular topic when I needed something for co-op or for a short lesson. We didn't do anything as a full curriculum. I used in pieces: Drawing with Realism, Studio Art for Teens, lots from several different preschool plans when planning for co=op classes. I would just go there for ideas on whatever our theme was. Then I spent a lot of time researching what classes I could use on it this year to really get more out of it, and to save some money, since I like paying for SHT. I thought I could really use it for some classes instead of enrichment and save some money and planning time. The art classes we have used are fantastic. Some are from well known homeschool publishers, others are people I don't know. So this year I have selected for dd15: History of Fashion unit study. We are SOOOO excited for this. It is an extremely well planned out unit study for all ages. It is something I was planning on doing for her anyway, so was very happy to see they had a class. i did spend a little money on some supplementary materials to make it a full elective course for her, but it wasn't necessary. We are just basing a lot of our year around this for her. We are also using one of the Biology courses. There were actually two to choose from. One required a lot of just reading from slides online, but then included interactive quizzes. The other was a video based lecture class with the outline semi started for the student to take notes from as the lecture goes on. This is a good skill to have, and mine learns well auditorily, so I went with it. We are only on week two, and it is a creation based class which might be a turn off for some, but we have used Creation materials before and just discuss it as we go, so I am ok with it. Then it assigns reading from whatever text you have. It has lists of several popular homeschool texts, and has the pages listed for each book as to which reading applies to the lessons. Then it has its own tests and such. It has lesson plans with check off boxes that make it really clear for my dd as to what to do each day, so I think this is going to be good for us. Note- the one I chose has no labs. We will do labs and field work on our own. The other slide class included some labs I believe. So you just have to research what you want in a class and look at each one. I also chose Understanding Modern History for my 12th grader. This is a perfect, very meaty modern history course. We are going to officially call it American History in context of World History as she needs Am. History for her transcripts. It is based on reading and analyzing primary source materials which is what I wanted for her, and I don't have to do the planning. It is very well planned out and includes a ton to work with. i am toning it down a little for my 10 th grader, but using it as a guideline for both. I think some of the classes are using things that are free on the internet anyway, but it is nice to have it organized and in one place with lesson plans. It saves time and effort. There is a lot of printing for many classes, or lots of reading online. We prefer hard copies, so I did print out a lot to get ready for the year in the classes we have started. You also get a subscription to their magazine included, which is a really nice one, IMO. I need to start Algebra with my 10th grader. I am not super pleased with the Alg. they have as I will need to print from a couple of different sources, but I am going to try it. It is really just access to an online free text somewhere, but again, it is broken up into lesson plans and easy to follow. And I don't have a teacher manual to any of the Alg. texts I have lying around. I borrowed one for odd, and have since returned it. In my effort to save money I am going to at least try it. Have not started it yet, so can't say anything about it yet. I am also wanting to start spanish with both of mine. I haven't looked at their spanish yet, but they have one. I may use it in full or to supplement things I have here. We are just easing into school, and I haven't picked it yet. I do think for the price, it is well worth it, and I think a whole curriculum can be put together from it. But I have started the biology and fashion and history and love them.
  9. I like doing a co-op or homeschool group of some sort because it has something for everyone. So we d put 7th grader in that if there was also something for the littles- any type of class or even just park day get togethers. Often homeschool co-ops or support groups will be cheaper than those outside classes as well. In the case of classes at the Met, I'm sure they're great. Our city zoo has amazing camps and classes and even overnight activities for preschoolers, homeschoolers of all ages, and scouts. But I can easily teach the same material to the kids and tour the place much more cheaply with just the cost of admission. So our homeschool group does things like that. I found our zoo had educational boxes with lessons and artifacts and activities broken up by age level that I could checkout with just a deposit which was returned. The lessons were matched to state standards in science by grade level for me. I was able to teach that to homeschoolers once a month last year. We arranged field trips around our topic for the year, had films and crafts and things for the little bitties at each get together on the topic, did additional labs, and participated in some citizen science activities. I'm not a science expert at all, but we did those labs in another homeschoolers living room and it was awesome. I would probably do something like that with the art museum before I'd pay hundreds and hundreds for each kid. Budget is a big contributing factor for me. So groups that we can plan things out cheaply and that give friendships for everyone are what I want. And of course that meet my needs is a factor, which is why I always help plan the groups we are in. I get accountability and help. I'm a good planner and teacher. My friend with the big living room likes shopping and decorating. So she shops for supplies, stores them, and does the online planning on Facebook to coordinate the other members. This year we have a church to meet at monthly, but we did it in our homes last year.
  10. I have done this before. It worked great for me. I put everything related that I would be using in there, fiction and non fiction so it was all there ready to put on the shelf when I cycled back, or so that I could dig out a book when I needed it in between years. Now I have them sorted into into plastic labeled bins on shelf.
  11. I've been asking mine to mop in his spare time for days. We officially started last week, adding a ker, and still not all up and running yet. I've got contractors here finishing an update that I wanted done over the summer, but is just now getting done. My printer broke and I chose several print at home subjects this year that aren't printed. And dd17 is working on starting college, taking SAT subject tests, and trying to get ready to take her driver's license exam all at once. And the dirty floors are making me insane. He has no clue. He thinks school just happens.
  12. My youngest is the only lefty in the family. Teaching her everything has been no different from the others. She learned to cut with regular scissors at the same age they did. She did do mirror writing naturally a little, but it didn't take long to teach her left to right. I was worried too, but at 5.5 she's been easier to teach than my last five year old who was a righty.
  13. Anybody else starting? I am having the most fun with my last little ker this week, our first week back to school! We've started "ducky math," the old Rod and Staff 1st grade. She's so excited to be doing the same books her sisters did. She feels so grown up. Writing letters is a bit harder. We've got the full HWOT set of the wood pieces and little chalk board. She likes those, and we're still working through the Rod and Staff ABC set. She's in the Do It Carefully Book which has a lot of letter writing, so we're doing the actual writing practice there after the HWOT practice. We have the HWOT CDs too. My 15 year has been heard singing those times, we've listened so much this week. 🙂 We're doing the Rod and Staff Bible Stories to Color and stories and practicing her Bible verse from Sunday School. And we do her speech practice daily. We're memorizing the first poem from the Abeka Poetry for Kindergarteners. She's into a book about Ocean life that we've been reading from every night. And today we read about radio transmitters and receivers from How Things Work because she asked. Homeschool group started back up and has the theme of government for the year, so we'll do field trips, activities, crafts, and holiday parties with them. I'm so excited for her year! And exhausted thinking about fitting in my two high schoolers' schoolwork and teaching and driving them around, and my parts of the college applications for the senior... But still excited about k.
  14. My kids are dancers. They decided early they didn't want to pursue it professionally, so they've stayed with their same teacher where others have moved on who wanted to pursue more seriously. Their studio has a different focus. I won't get into it here, but it's amazing. Like others, it's their "people," their release, their exercise. I don't mind the hours they spend because I can't imagine our lives without it. This summer they did community theater for the first time- around 18 hours of practice a week on top of a summer part time job for my odd. That gave them something different to do with their dance and so much confidence. They danced in a Christian music video last spring. Hsing has allowed my dds to explore the arts and also put time into scouting which is our other main extracurricular and not feel behind in school. We use a lot of what they do in scouts as our school. I don't think either will be dancers, but I think they'll be involved in arts in some ways throughout their lives. I'm glad they've had the experiences they've had and the confidence of trying things and being part of a group doing amazing things together.
  15. On the maths- I've found it better to do flashcard review or fact practice separate from regular math period. My best years are when I can have a morning time where I sit and work through those things quickly with kid before we start "schoolwork." So if one of my goals is math fact practice I would do that for five minutes out if my morning basket with kid. Then boom. Here is the Bible verse of the day. And now watch this ten minute CNN video for kids. Kid never leaves seat. Kid is not responsible for getting out the supplies. Everything is handy ready to go in the morning basket that mom pulls out and moves through quickly. We can go quickly through a few review things, a story, and therapies for the year really quickly. Then kid has the regular time periods just for one math resource in his math period to hero track of. My ADHD and dyslexic kids have trouble keeping track of multiple things too. I have to do it.
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