Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wise Woman Linkup!

 

 A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

We would love for you to link up with us---share your posts on  building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!

Now if you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









Now on with our linkup:


*********** 






 Have you gotten a chance to check out our new eBook, 



www.howtobuildastrongchristianhome.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Homeschool Multiple Children in Different Grades





 When you are a mom of several children you often get asked the old familiar question --

"How do you homeschool them all?"

In fact, I was just asked this yesterday! So today I wanted to share some tips of how we run things around here with nine children. It has changed so much when I first started out, and I am so grateful that  the Lord slowly but surely guided us through it all.

In the beginning I tried several methods, some that worked and some that failed- but eventually with a lot of prayer- I ended up with some tried and true approaches that really helped out a lot!

Here are some tips that have helped me over time:

1. Keep the stress level down low--I have learned over time that keeping the stress level low in our homeschool was a very, very good thing! I noticed I would get overly stressed when I tried to plan too much into my day, was gone from home too much, would plan a craft or project that was too intense/complicated for everyone or lasted too long, or even if I was trying to make them complete an excessive amount of work that didn't really need to be done.

2. Independent learning and group learning - There can be much said for independent learning, when older children are able to work through books and assignments on their own (with some parental oversight) it prepares them and gives them life skills for life learning and even college. We have taught our children to be independent learners when we see that they are ready for it. As for group learning--when we see there is a group of younger children about the same age, we might go through the same books like history so they can learn it all at the same time.

3. Older children help the younger -  There are times that I allow an older child to help a younger with a math problem, give a spelling test, listen to another practicing reading a book out loud, and the like. Oftentimes they will willingly volunteer to do this because they have get a sense of satisfaction teaching others what they have already learned (and it makes for great review). Not only is this helpful but it gives them a chance to review what they already know, teaches them patience, and a heart of servanthood. If you have really young children, an older child can have "playtime" scheduled into their day as they go play or read to them in another room. This encourages sibling relationships and who wouldn't like a break in their school day?

4. Take a second look at how you plan - I used to plan my homeschool schedule out in detail but with several children that can get old pretty fast. I used to dread doing it and felt like a failure if I couldn't keep up. Then one day I read an article by a veteran homeschooling mom who didn't use lesson plans but already knew how many pages needed to be completed in a day because she used the same curriculum every year. Since the core of our homeschool was like hers I began to do that too and it worked like a charm. I still plan a very quick overview of the week but now it is fast & easy and no where as overwhelming.

5. Have things to occupy the small children - Busy bags, special crafts, their own workbooks, stickers, stamps, etc. anything that will keep them distracted. A quick Google search on this topic will yield many results!



6. Think twice before you teach that lesson - Did you know that you don't have to do every problem in a book? Not only does that waste time but many times homeschool curriculum might be made for a classroom situation . Once I stopped myself from feeling guilty if I didn't, I was free to follow my own judgment. Did my children already understand his math lesson for the day? Did he have to do 30 problems to make sure he understood it? No. Cutting down on busy work helped immensely and saves time when you are teaching a crowd. This also goes for teachers guides, remember you don't have to do everything they suggest.

7. Be flexible - Having a large family can get crazy sometimes so an attitude of flexibility is so important! The baby will cry, the children might be  having a bad day (you might be too), and  the house could be falling apart so sometimes you just need to know when to call it a day! Some moms will call a reading day or throw in some educational videos on a topic they are covering. There are many other fun ways to learn and more than one way to skin a cat!

8. Some people teach their multiple children using unit studies--but several find it is hard to plan them out and end up not always being to plan them efficiently. I only use unit studies on occasion, planning them out once or twice a year if we want to do them. We mostly stick with a traditional approach because I feel it requires less planning for all the children we have and we don't use workbooks as much as you would think that we do. We also utilize online courses to help us as well--we absolutely love Teaching Textbooks for math!

9. Train your children--One of the biggest complaints I hear about homeschooling is that moms are having trouble homeschooling because their children are not listening to them (many times they get discouraged and even send them back to public school). But we need to look at this as a wonderful opportunity to resolve this issue! With homeschooling, parents can take the time to train their children so that the children are a blessing and bring peace in the home and not chaos. This is our first responsibility as parents--so put the books aside and get working on teaching obedience to your children and character.

10. Pray to the Lord to help you with your family--Every family is unique and what might work for one might not work for the other. Seek His guidance and He will help you!




Well this is all for now, but I will write a second post in the near future and break it down into more details. I hope these tips will help you in your homeschooling journey!





Teaching Duty Towards God


 "Children should be taught their duty toward God. It is their duty. That which they owe, to love Him "with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength" these things are seldom taught as they should be."  

 -Charlotte Mason


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home Education as a Way of Life


When we first started homeschooling I did it for safety reasons. We had found out that at the local elementary school the preteen girls were bringing guns to school and I didn't want to have to worry about something happening to her.

That was over 15 years ago.

But as the years passed our reasons for homeschooling have changed dramatically and now we are doing it to disciple our children and raise them up in the nurture and admonition in the Lord. Are they perfect? No, but the whole point is to direct their hearts toward God. The more hours in the day I have to do that, the more they get to learn about Him, His ways, and His desire for how they should live their lives.

Now looking back I only have one regret--that I was more intentional in the beginning. I really didn't know how to go about being consistent with teaching His word, I wasn't always motivated, and sometimes I would let academics get in the way of teaching what was really important. I lived and learned and made mistakes along the way, but in the end I have always gone back and resolved that the most important thing is that they have a relationship with the Lord. I always want to try to keep that in front of me because I realize that is all that really matters in the end.

And I want to ask you--

"What really matters in the end?" 

To me it is that my children would know and have a relationship God and that I would do all that I could to help them get there. 


Here is an inspiring  quote to challenge you if you are a home educator or thinking about becoming one:


 "Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die."



  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Homeschool Room Ideas & Inspiration for 2014!

http://www.pinterest.com/wisewomanbuilds/homeschool-rooms/

The homeschool year is about to begin for many of you and I know that you are planning, getting curriculum together, and doing all that mamas do around this time! So today I wanted to share a little inspiration on homeschool rooms since that is where the majority of homeschooling takes place.  Or maybe your family is like mine and you do homeschool every where else like on the couch, on the dining room table, on the deck, under a tree, at the library, etc. Wherever you do your school work is fine--I just hope you will be inspired our post today!

In the past we have shared plenty of homeschool room ideas and today we would like to share more than just a post of pictures with ideas but to let you know that we have created a lovely space for you to visit as often as you'd like and gain more ideas--that's right, we created a Homeschool Room Pinterest board for you to peruse!

http://www.pinterest.com/wisewomanbuilds/homeschool-rooms/ 



--I hope you are blessed by it!






Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wise Woman Linkup!


A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

We would love for you to link up with us---share your posts on  building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!

Now if you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









Now on with our linkup:



**************



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

17 Tips for Getting Homeschool Curriculum That Won't Break the Bank



Sometimes when you are starting a new homeschool year the budget might be tight and paying for expensive homeschool curriculum can sometimes be very daunting for a homeschooling mom. Just recently I was talking to someone on the phone who called for advice of where to get curriculum that wouldn't break the bank . So today I wanted to share a couple of helpful tips that will help your dollar stretch when purchasing curriculum for a new school year:

1. Build Your Bundle Homeschool Edition: I wanted to mention this first since it is time sensitive- this is a BIG sale I mentioned yesterday where you can build you own bundle of homeschool books, buy premade bundles, get free bonuses, and if you buy two you can get a whole bundle for FREE--not to mention that bundles are as high as 92% off! This amazing sale will end July 28th so be sure not to miss it--click here to check it out.

https://www.buildyourbundle.net/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=441

2. Ebay--For years I would find my usually expensive curriculum way cheaper at Ebay. Teachers guides/textbooks and answer keys are also a wonderful find here!

3. Craigslist--Check out their book, garage sale, and free section.

4. Amazon--Amazon has great items at often rock bottom prices that you can find used. Click here for homeschool curriculum  and school supplies.

5. Garage Sales--Several times I have found other homeschooling families who have had sales in my area who were getting rid of some of their books. I was able to purchase whole boxes of items--what a steal! Be sure to go when teachers are having sales too, you can find all kinds of great teaching supplies.

6.  Homeschool Support Group--Moms in your support group are great for selling off their unneeded books. If you have a homeschool support group or circle of homeschooling mom friends you could also do a book swap and/or ask them to let your borrow some books for a  year. I really like this concept of helping eachother and I like to do it frequently. This year a sweet friend gifted us with curriculum that was worth $200 that we were wanting to use this year--what a blessing!

7. Online Groups--I am part of a Facebook Homeschool trading and selling group and there is so much available at such low prices!

8. Homeschool Used Curriculum Book Sales--Find out when these are in your area and save the date. Come prepared with list in hand of what you need and be ready to make a killing.

9. Homeschool Conferences--There are booths set up at these conferences that sell used curriculum and they also usually have a table for moms to sell their used curriculum. Be sure to check it all out and compare. Sometimes they will even have FREE boxes.



10. Library--Of course it is a great place to check out all kinds of items you need from books, audio and video--but also don't forget to find out when their used book sales are on. We have purchased loads of books and readers this way, all no more than a quarter each and sometimes less than that. At my library we have access to several other local libraries in the area and can request items from all of them.

11. Design Your Own--With the availability of the internet today, many ambitious moms are taking on the task of designing their own curriculum with low or no cost. Here is a book that I recommend which talks a bit about that: Homeschooling on a Shoe String.

12. Free Websites--There are free websites like Ambleside Online one that help you teach your children through the years. There are also tons of free sites that offer free printables for all kinds of subjects from handwriting to unit studies.

13. Thrift Stores-I have heard of mothers finding workbooks, classics, art supplies and all kinds of other things here. One mother had found a math workbook for just 20 cents for her fifth grader!

14. Sell Your Books--List your unneeded homeschool items on websites to make back some extra money to buy new books/supplies for the following year. I would also hold a garage sale in the summer for this very purpose.

15. Think Outside the Box--Don't feel pressured to just use what you see in the glossy homeschool catalogs. Be creative--there is always more than one way to skin a cat! Are there books already available in your home to teach a subject? Are there resources online you could use to teach a concept? I have heard of one mom who fell on hard times and used her older childrens old workbooks for her younger children by typing the lesson for the day on her computer and printing them out as new. Smart!

16. Buy with the Future in Mind - If you are buying for several children (like we are with 9 children) you might want to buy hardcover books that can be used over and over again. Passing down books have saved us a ton especially when they are durable quality hardcover type of books. 

17. Bonus Tip--if you are a blogger you might want to consider approaching a company and exchange advertising for free curriculum or ask to do a review of an item you are interested in. (If you want to learn how to advertise on your blog, click here, I am having a sale!)

And might I also add that the most important thing that you should also do before anything here on the list is to PRAY!  

I assure you that God has answered
many a homeschooling mothers prayers and needs.

A helpful book I highly recommend would be:


This book has lots of great ideas and you can get a used copy for as low as a penny!





What other ideas would you add?

 **********

Now to those interested in the amazing Build Your Bundle Homeschool Sale please remember that it ends soon, and once it is gone it is gone for good and I would hate for you to miss this great deal as this is the first of its kind.  Also, I wanted to let you know that they even have a Mom Bundle to encourage you (our new eBook, How to Build a Strong Christian Home is in that bundle!)--they have everything from preschool, elementary, high school, Charlotte Mason and more so be sure to check it out HERE!


https://www.buildyourbundle.net/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=441





Hope this post was a blessing to you!