KnowledgeCornerstone » Ramblings from an educator and life-long learner

Homeschool Happenings- Scheduling and Rest time

I knew I needed to have a schedule for the girls. For 2 reasons, our minds and bodies like a schedule and I am working at home, I can’t constantly be figuring out what the girls are going to do next.

I made a rough list of all of the things I wanted the girls to spend time doing. Well…I made several lists on all different pieces of paper.

I tried scheduling out the entire day, but that was obviously not going to work.

Then I decided to chunk the day and let the girls decide how much or how little time they spent on something.  The one thing I insisted on having was rest time. They must go their room and read or take a nap. There are no other options during this time. They have to stay in their room for at least 1.5 hours. Luckily my girls taught themselves time in kindergarten…so no worries on asking me if it is time to get up!

Scheduling a Rest Time for the Kids « - […] I knew I needed to have a schedule for the girls. For 2 reasons, our minds and bodies like a schedule and I am working at home, I can’t constantly be figuring out what the girls are going to do next. […]

Art Lessons

When I was young, I watched Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad on channel 8 (PBS).  I had his book Draw Squad.  And then…AND THEN… he came to visit one of the elementary schools where I lived.  Commander Mark signed my book…and he told me to keep drawing!  I did.  Eventually I became an art teacher.  (Yes, I still have that book!)


I wanted my girls to experience Commander Mark and the Draw Squad, so I started searching to see if there were old videos I could by from Amazon.  Nope.  But I did find his website…and he does sell videos…to the tune of $995.  OUCH!  Something a little more manageable is his online art videos.  I bought a family pass for 3 years.  I am shocked at what the girls can do in just a couple videos.  I would soooooo spend the money to have his DVD’s if I were teaching art in a school!

Homeschool Happenings- Book Recommendations

(My goal is for this to be a regular Wednesday posting.)

As I mentioned in a previous post…I have been wanting to teach my girls for some time now.  I had set goals to be able to do this by the time Syd was in kinder…but it never happened.  I still even have the schedule I made up that I was going to follow!  I really had no clue where to begin.

After Christmas, I was feeling pretty down, not sure that my desire to teach my girls would EVER come true!  The state was in a budget crisis and leaving a comfortable, secure job during the turmoil was not what I had planned.  I decided that I needed to focus my efforts on IF I were to ever homeschool…really…what are the things I would need to do?  Again, I did not know where to begin.

I happen to know that The Pioneer Woman had a homeschooling section on her blog.  Being the stalker that I am, I started going through the archives for information on homeschooling.  I think I read each one of her past posts, but still was not sure what to do.  Then in March, this article on When to Begin?, caught my eye.  I read EVERY.SINGLE.COMMENT.  I took notes.  And from that I bought some books.

The first book I ordered (on my Kindle) was:

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child

I still have not finished the book, but from what I have read, it is very good!  One of my biggest take-aways so far are the number of ways (curriculum) to homeschool.  I had no idea!  That got my wheels turning.  So the next book I ordered (again on a Kindle) was:

100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

Again…another one I have not finished. This one specifically goes through each type of curriculum and what they mean.  I will continue to read this one now that I have a small handle on what I think I am going to be doing.

But THIS was the book that just tickled me to my toes.  Notice it is a book and not downloaded to my Kindle.  This was one I had to have a hard copy of.  I read parts of it to Wade.

Just a little excerpt…’nough said!

Ken Conn - some people are so against memorization, but some is important so you can have context to apply understanding

Casey Chapman - WOW!!! That’s HUGE!!! I am totally with you on that one. Glad that there are some people out there that are on the same page. Thank you for posting this and everything else. I love reading your blogs and having a little girl on the way, you have really shown me the joys that I will get to have with a little girl. THANKS! 🙂

October - Isn’t it though? As educators, we are so caught up in what is being tested…that sometimes simply memorizing things works. I think that if students could spit out the Preamble to the Constitution, they might understand history a little better! (And that goes for many other things…)

Homeschooling 101

As Sydney has grown older, the more I longed to be her teacher.  That is what I was born to do!  Be a teacher!  I set goals along the way for our family…hoping some day to fulfill the dream of teaching her and eventually Stacey.  Second grade was my first goal.  I wanted to be completely out of debt by the time Syd was in 2nd grade so she would not have to take the dreaded state test the next year.

It didn’t happen.

My next goal was 5th grade.  I absolutely am bound and determined to NOT let her attend middle school.  Nothing against the school district we live in…in fact I would put it up against any district.  It is FABULOUS!  It is public education in general that I have become disenchanted with.

Everything in life happens for a reason.  Sometimes we cannot see it (and maybe not even while we are on this earth), but I have faith that there is meaning behind everything.  Back in February, I was actually presented with a couple job opportunities.  I followed my heart…which happened to also be a pretty significant pay cut.  But I knew it was the right move.

Over the last few weeks my heart has begun to flutter a bit and the path I chose to take has become very well lit.  Wade and I have worked out some details…but it looks like the girls will continue their education at home this summer…and most likely into the fall as well.

They will be working along side of me.  🙂

My goal is to document our journey.  I had no idea how much depth there was to homeschooling.  Let the fun begin!!!

Judy - You may compliment LCISD but you have made the right choice for your children. There are many wonderful teachers in the district but it’s just getting too large and complicated. You have enough social activites going on that your girls will not be at a disadvantage. The best of luck to you and Wade and the girls. I am also glad you are going to document.

I’m helping a few in the Alpine, TX, area that live over 3 hours from the nearest school and their choice to home school you can understand. I’d be very happy to hear of your experiences and so would other parents doing the same thing. Please check out the Texas Home School Network and see if you can help them with curriculum – I know you can.

Judy Curtis

jen - You should read this:
and smile at all that you have accomplished!