Curriculum Choices 2013-2014

Homeschool Curriculum Choices

See other curriculum posts here:

See our Weekly Wrap-Up posts here where I share more about what our group time together looks like, as well as a peek into Krash and PacMan’s homeschool life! I plan to start these up again soon this year!

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}


Learning with Ladybug Preschool

Ladybug ~ Pre K, age 4 1/2


Krash ~  2nd Grade, age 7


PacMan ~ 6th Grade, age 11


   Family


FAQ ~

I heard your boys are enrolled in a cyber school, how does this work?

Yes, they are and we have a VERY unique situation.  We are enrolled in a cyber school but we traditionally homeschool just like someone using Calvert who bought it from their site.  The only difference is that my kids get their supplies, curriculum, computer, printer, and MUCH support for free.  We are so incredibly blessed to have this option, it is working for us right now.  I teach them every single subject, and we use traditional Calvert texts and books…hardly anything is done online for my boys-except fun games and such we have access to.  This is another perk for us we have free access to: First in Math, Study Island, Let’s Go Learn, Brain Pop, and more.  These sites are amazing.

If you are wondering what state we live in, you can email me privately.  I just don’t publicly share the name of our specific school and location online.  Let me emphasize that all sates are different and ALL cyber schools are different. I personally do not know ANYONE else who has a situation like mine, most are much more controlled from what I have heard.  Here is a place on Calvert’s website that allows you to seek out using Calvert with a partner school in your state.

Would you use Calvert even if you didn’t get it for free through your state? 

I am not sure.  I specifically have really enjoyed Calvert from grade 2 on, which is the beginning of where I am not as comfortable teaching!  I absolutely loved Calvert last year {5th grade} and am really benefitting from the box approach in a grade I am so uncomfortable teaching! I would definitely stick with it for PacMan, it is a great fit.  For Krash I would probably change, not sure about Ladybug yet!

Why are you using All About Reading for Krash if Calvert has a good reading program within it?

Honestly-I got AAR to review and decided to review it fully to help my blog readers.  I do not need a program to teach reading, I have done it with hundreds of children and it just comes naturally for me {I am a former Kindergarten teacher for any new readers}.  Something I truly love.  I followed Calvert’s program with Pac, but still basically did my own thing, which is what I have done with Krash too.  BUT, I get tons of questions from moms who tell me that teaching reading does not come naturally for them!  They want me to recommend a program and up until now I couldn’t since I had no experience with any homeschool reading program {other than Calvert}.  I can’t recommend Calvert’s reading program separately {it is great, but it only comes with the complete box curriculum}. When given the opportunity to review AAR Level 1, I jumped at the chance, knowing this would give me the experience I needed to give my readers an opinion on this reading program-which so far is amazing and definitely what I recommend!  I used All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2 with Pac and loved it.  We went to AAS when he began struggling early on.  He has now went back to the Calvert spelling program and does fine. Our great experience with All About Spelling led me to want to review All About Reading. We loved it so we still use it to supplement!

Why are you using a secular based curriculum if you are Bible believing Christians?

Honestly we decided to give Calvert a try and we liked it, so we stuck with it. The science and history texts are definitely not Christian based, but the teacher manuals are written in a very open way, meaning they encourage you to discuss with your children based on your own worldview.  This has worked for us even better than we thought it would.

We have decided to stick with Calvert and use it as a springboard for awesome discussion about the differences in worldviews.  This has already proven to be an awesome choice for our family.  We are slowly adding Christian world view supplemental texts; we added Who is God? last year, and Evolution & Building Blocks in Science  this year.  We use these for reading, not doing addition “work” from them.  Pac is really enjoying learning both sides of the spectrum regarding beliefs about historical science and the history of our world. We feel discussing and being knowledgeable on both sides is important and will deepen our children’s faith as they learn all about the people they will be living around {who might believe differently than they do}. 

Will you enroll Ladybug in the cyber school when she is in PreK or Kindergarten?

Nope! I am handling Pre K and K on my own.  Being a former K teacher, I just really, really enjoy doing my own things for these lower grades! I will possibly enroll her in Calvert 1st grade when I feel she is ready, or I may not.  Not sure at this point when that will be. We are in no rush!

Will you always homeschool?

We believe in making this decision on a year-by-year, kid-by-kid basis.  We had no idea we would ever be homeschoolers, so we realize that we have no clue what God has in store for our family.  For now, we cannot imagine not homeschooling, and are very thankful to have been led here. Read my "Never Planned to Homeschool” post to see more of how we ended up homeschoolers!

Are you against public/private school?

Absolutely NOT!  I believe that the decision of schooling needs to be made by individual families based on so many different circumstances.  I NEVER thought we would homeschool, but now am so glad we do {although it was very rough for me the first year}.  Some homeschooling families need to go back to group education for various reasons or during different seasons of life and who knows-that may be us one day.  I know the Lord will guide us each year in making this decision and I trust He guides families individually in this area. 

Why do you homeschool?

Honestly we started because of the area we live in.  We are inner city missionaries living in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods and the schools aren’t anything to jump for joy about.  We looked into private school but it just wasn’t in the budget, and it wasn’t something we really felt called to.  We have fellow missionaries on our team who homeschool and even though at first I thought they were a bit nuts-ha ha, I now adore them and the knowledge they have shared with me.  Although the decision to homeschool was made due to circumstances, we now feel we would continue even if we had the opportunity to send our kids to a great public school.

Do you have a daily schedule or routine? How do you “do it all”?

See our A Day in Our Homeschool Series Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

We have a daily routine with anchors.  This is the most scheduled we have ever been for our school day, but I have to be or I can’t get it all in with a 6th, 2nd and Preschooler!  I give Ladybug 1 hour individually, Krash gets about 1.5 hours with me, and Pac gets 2 hours with me. They also work independently when it’s not their turn with me.

We still use a lesson plan blog for PacMan, and Krash is pretty easy going with following my lead for school, so we don’t have a super cool plan, we just get things done.  PacMan is VERY independent now and I am oh so grateful. Calvert 6th grade begins to transition students into independent learning and the manuals are written to the student.  He is thriving with this, I am very encouraged

I often get asked how I “do it all” and I wrote a post about that here if you’ve wondered my thoughts on this topic.  The post is older but still applies!

I will share our current daily routine for 2013 soon!


If you have any other general questions about our curriculum, please leave in the comments below and I will do my best to add the answers to this list!

Our Home Preschool Plan

Learning with Ladybug Preschool

After revaluating our current home preschool routine, I have developed a new one based on what I think will work better for my daughter {and me} at this time.  This plan is also subject to change at anytime as I follow her lead!  She is currently 4 1/2 years old, and you can read this post to see more about what led me to this plan.

Her actual time with me for focused learning is 1 hour per day, 5 days a week. You will see more about how that is working now in future posts, I will continue blogging in detail for her preschool year. Below is a brief list and description of the areas I have decided to focus on for her.  Much of what you see below takes pace outside of that focus hour.  For a preschooler, life is learning and these are the many ideas I plan to incorporate into her day.

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

We are basing a large part of our play based learning around our new Spielgaben toy set and the user guides, inspiration cards, and worksheets that come with it.  I was blessed beyond words to receive the complete set to review, right at the time we needed something like this most!  God provides unique surprises and I am so grateful!

Home Preschool -6590 Home Preschool -6278

 

For our letter focused work, we will be using the following…

Home Preschool Letter Hh -3167 Home Preschool Letter Jj -3938

    For developing reading skills, we will be…..READING!  Fancy huh?  I believe the best way to get a child who is as close as Ladybug is to being ready to read over that hump is simply by enjoying books together.  No pressure, no forcing from me, just fun reading snuggled up together and also plenty of free reading by herself.  She will probably cross the final reading readiness line soon, but we are in no rush! Home Preschool Letter Jj -4011

     

      She  will be using many Preschool Packs that focus around her interests and specific seasons/holidays.  She loves theme based work!

      Home Preschool Letter Jj -4005Home Preschool Letter Hh -3123

      For her independent afternoon time, she is using her All By Myself Preschool Boxes.

      All By Myself Preschool Boxes -5597

       

      For social, emotional, character development we are using Integrity Time Online  ~  Know It. We were given this curriculum to review {review/giveaway coming soon}, and it is a good fit for where she is at.  Krash {age 7} will join us for this too.  We will also be role-playing a LOT as I help her learn appropriate responses in social situations.  This is an area she really struggles in, and role playing really helps a lot.

      Integrity Time -6448

       

      For our Bible focus, we are using Songs for Saplings, Questions with Answers Volume 1, God and CreationSee our printables here.

      cover

       

      She has focused iPad learning time for about 30 minutes a day, and we are using this method to focus on certain apps I have chosen for her to use. I scheduled this in this year along with a learning DVD because I really needed 1 hour with Krash uninterrupted.

      Home Preschool Letter B -8269

       

      I am scheduling in one educational or Bible based DVD per day, using Netlix or DVDs we own. I love the new profiles on Netflix.  I loaded up her specific Queue with the learning movies I have chosen {mostly Leapfrog, & a few Veggie Tales for now}.

      photo (1)

       

      For her love of all things sensory related, artsy, creative and messy we will be doing the following.

      Summer Challenge 2013 -4708 Home Preschool -6418Home Preschool -6559 Preschool Fun -5278Preschool Fun -5716 Preschool Fun -5714

       

       

      Extra Stuff: Easy Readers on the iPad, Blue Manor eBooks & drawing lessons, Readeez Videos.  None of this is an anchor part of our plan, but all stuff we have and enjoy right now.

      I will change our plan again, I’m sure, but after a week with this new plan, she is thriving once again! I am thankful for now and will continue to follow her lead as I make educational choices for her!

      Stay tuned, I will be sharing our first week back to preschool soon!

      Curriculum Choices 2012-2013

      Homeschool Curriculum

      Finally, my updated 2012-2013 Curriculum post! See other curriculum posts here:

      See our new Weekly Wrap-Up posts here where I share more about what our group time together looks like, as well as a peek into Krash and PacMan’s homeschool life!


      Back to School 2012-1043

      Ladybug ~ Tot School, age 3 1/2

      Back to School 2012-1059Krash ~  1st, age 6

      Back to School 2012-1070PacMan ~ 5th Grade, age 10

      Back to School 2012-1030 Family

      FAQ ~

      I heard your boys are enrolled in a cyber school, how does this work?

      Yes, they are and we have a VERY unique situation.  We are enrolled in a cyber school but we traditionally homeschool just like someone using Calvert who bought it from their site.  The only difference is that my kids get their supplies, curriculum, computer, printer, and MUCH support for free.  We are so incredibly blessed to have this option, it is working for us right now.  I teach them every single subject, and we use traditional Calvert texts and books…hardly anything is done online for my boys-except fun games and such we have access to.  This is another perk for us we have free access to: First in Math, Study Island, Let’s Go Learn, Brain Pop, and more.  These sites are amazing.

      If you are wondering what state we live in, you can email me privately.  I just don’t publicly share the name of our specific school and location online.  Let me emphasize that all sates are different and ALL cyber schools are different.  I personally do not know ANYONE else who has a situation like mine {except a few who are enrolled in my particular cyber school}, most are much more controlled from what I have heard.  Here is a place on Calvert’s website that allows you to seek out using Calvert with a partner school in your state.

      Would you use Calvert even if you didn’t get it for free through your state? 

      I am not sure.  I do love it, but I think I would look into something like Sonlight or My Father’s World ~ with a more Christian backbone.  I have heard great things about those.  I also think Mystery of History and many products from Bright Ideas Press look awesome.  I would probably piece together subject by subject, although the box curriculum approach is really nice and works for us.  So, maybe I would stick with Calvert, maybe not.  I honestly don’t know!  I have NO problems with Calvert, and it has served us well since PacMan’s PreK year.  I specifically have really enjoyed Calvert from grade 2 on, which is the beginning of where I am not as comfortable teaching!  I absolutely love Calvert this year {5th grade} and am really benefitting from the box approach in a grade I am so uncomfortable teaching!

      Why are you using All About Reading for Krash if Calvert has a good reading program within it?

      Honestly-I got AAR to review and decided to review it fully to help my blog readers.  I do not need a program to teach reading, I have done it with hundreds of children and it just comes naturally for me {I am a former Kindergarten teacher for any new readers}.  Something I truly love.  I followed Calvert’s program with Pac, but still basically did my own thing, which is what I have done with Krash too.  BUT, I get tons of questions from moms who tell me that teaching reading does not come naturally for them!  They want me to recommend a program and up until now I couldn’t since I had no experience with any homeschool reading program {other than Calvert}.  I can’t recommend Calvert’s reading program separately {it is great, but it only comes with the complete box curriculum}. When given the opportunity to review AAR Level 1, I jumped at the chance, knowing this would give me the experience I needed to give my readers an opinion on this reading program-which so far is amazing and definitely what I recommend!  I used All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2 with Pac and loved it.  We went to AAS when he began struggling early on.  He has now went back to the Calvert spelling program and does fine. Our great experience with All About Spelling led me to want to review All About Reading.

      Will you enroll Ladybug in the cyber school when she is in PreK?

      Probably not, I am thinking of taking PreK-1st and doing it myself for her.  But, that may change and we may enroll her if Calvert is still available.  Being a former K teacher, I just really, really enjoy doing my own things for these lower grades!

      Will you always homeschool?

      We believe in making this decision on a year-by-year, kid-by-kid basis.  We had no idea we would ever be homeschoolers, so we realize that we have no clue what God has in store for our family.  For now, we cannot imagine not homeschooling, and are very thankful to have been led here.

      Are you against public/private school?

      Absolutely NOT!  I believe that the decision of schooling needs to be made by individual families based on so many different circumstances.  I NEVER thought we would homeschool, but now am so glad we do {although it was very rough for me the first year}.  Some homeschooling families need to go back to group education for various reasons or during different seasons of life and who knows-that may be us one day.  I know the Lord will guide us each year in making this decision and I trust He guides families individually in this area. 

      Why do you homeschool?

      Honestly we started because of the area we live in.  We are inner city missionaries living in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods and the schools aren’t anything to jump for joy about.  We looked into private school but it just wasn’t in the budget, and it wasn’t something we really felt called to.  We have fellow missionaries on our team who homeschool and even though at first I thought they were a bit nuts-ha ha, I now adore them and the knowledge they have shared with me.  Although the decision to homeschool was made due to circumstances, we now feel we would continue even if we had the opportunity to send our kids to a great public school.

      Do you have a daily schedule or routine? How do you “do it all”?

      Updated: See our A Day in Our Homeschool Series Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 {part 4 coming eventually}.

      Loosely, yes…but we seem to work better being a bit more flexible.  We know what we need to accomplish and we usually do that-but we tend to go with the flow more since Ladybug often has sassy attitude problems and throws our mornings off a bit.  We school intensely each afternoon while she naps…even if she doesn’t sleep she is in her bed from at least 1-3:00.  This afternoon quiet time is vital to our day!

      We try to keep a basic outline of a routine…Calendar Notebooks first thing, Pac upstairs to accomplish independent work while I play with the little 2 {focusing on Ladybug for at least 30 minutes each morning}.  Snack, recess, lunch… Then nap for L-bug and individual school for the boys.  We usually finish up all school around 3pm each day.  In the middle of it all we fit everything in somehow!

      We still use a lesson plan blog for PacMan, and Krash is pretty easy going with following my lead for school, so we don’t have a super cool plan, we just get things done.  I now categorize Pac’s blog by colors {green-independent, blue-possibly need help, red-with mom}. It is SO easy and we both love it.

      It is hard for me…the whole schedule thing.  We have good and bad days.  We have on and off-routine days.  We get things done most of the time and then there are days when I let the little 2 watch too many “educational” DVDs.  There are days I adore being with my kids all day long and days I wish I could bury my head in the pillow and not emerge for hours, or possibly days!  If you are struggling with creating a routine/schedule that works…know you are not alone.  I have been at this homeschooling things for 5 years now and I still struggle.  We get through yes-but it is still a struggle for me.  I often get asked how I “do it all” and I wrote a post about that here if you’ve wondered my thoughts on this topic.  The post is older but still applies!


      If you have any other general questions about our curriculum, please leave in the comments below and I will do my best to add the answers to this list!

      Curriculum Additions {and subtractions}

      Before I type up our big curriculum 2012-2013 post, I thought I would highlight the main additions and subtractions.  We are adding a few things and there are a few things I am letting go, for now.

      What I am letting go…

      I am letting our Daily Calendar Notebooks go, for now.  It isn’t something that they kids “need” right now and there are other things I am wanting to fill that time with.  They certainly may come back, but I am starting the year off with just a basic calendar time, focusing on our monthly Calendar Connections theme, some basic calendar activities mostly for Ladybug.  Nothing fancy.

      Calvert 5th Grade comes with an optional Art History class, and we have opted to not do that one.  Based on what we are adding down below, I felt it was best to not overload the kid with something he doesn’t have an interest in right now.

      Other things to be let go are to be determined, I have a few things in mind, but gotta test out the new routine before I make any concrete decisions.

       

      What are we adding?

      For PacMan

      PacMan, age 10, will be using Calvert 5th grade as his base, with the following additions {most are once a week}.

      Who is God?

      Who is God

      I bought the textbook and the notebooking journal when I was at the 2:1 Conference last spring.  Pac and I have done 2 lessons together and are both enjoying this.  In a nutshell, this is a Christian Worldview Curriculum.  You can read more about it on Apologia’s website, and down the road I will certainly share more of our thoughts!


      Home Art Studio {3rd grade DVD}

      slide2 We did a few lessons to preview last year, and loved them.  It will be a part of this year thanks to our preview! Krash also has the option to join us and has chosen to!  You can see all of our past and upcoming Home Art Studio posts here!


      Christian Heroes Series  Christian Heroes

      I found these books late last year and he read Jim Elliott over the summer, and has already started Nate Saint {by his request, he loves them}!  I hope to read these with him throughout the year, mostly to inspire conversation between us. These books are published by YWAM and you can buy them directly from their site too!YWAM

       

      For Krash

      Krash, age 6, is using Calvert 1st grade as his base and continuing with All About Reading Level 1, with the following additions.

      All About Spelling Level 1All About Spelling 1

      When Pac used Calvert 1st grade he did not do well with their spelling program.  I ended up buying AAS to try to back track with him, and it worked.  We did levels 1 and 2 together and he was good to go.  We are now back to using the Calvert spelling, as he has become a better speller.  I still think AAS is better, I just didn’t have time to do both with him.  For Krash, I am supplementing with AAS from the beginning, to be sure he doesn’t fall behind the way Pac did.  We will do Calvert’s spelling stuff too, but our main focus will be AAS.


      Draw, Write, Now

      Draw Write Now

      We have had Draw, Write, Now since Pac was younger!  Pac still enjoys drawing with these books, they are incredible.  I will use them with Krash this year, to work on basic drawing and also handwriting!  Be sure to check Amazon and the Barker Creek site before ordering to see where to get the best deal on the set!

      For All Kids

      {mostly the boys}

      Sticker USA Activity Book

      StickerUSA Activity Book picture

      We were sent this package to review and I was thrilled when I opened it!  It is a book with all of the printables, AND a cd so you can print as many copies as you need!  In the book are also flashcards and stickers to use on the pages.  If you run out of stickers and need more than one set, they give you the stickers in clipart format on the CD too!


      Continent Boxes

      Continent Boxes

      You have already seen our Europe Continent box,  I am looking forward to focusing on one continent per month this year!


      Stay tuned for our complete 2012-2013 Curriculum Choices post later this month.  Check out other homeschooling moms and their curriculum choices!

      nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2012

      Not Back to School Blog Hop

      Our Current Curriculum

      I have been working on this for months now and finally have it as done as it will get for now, I will update and change it in the future.  I hope this page helps answer some of the FAQ concerning our curriculum. There is a link to this page in my top navigational bar, under the “Homeschool Help” section.

      This list was updated April 2012.

      As we change and add/delete programs, I will come back and update this page!

      IMG_2780 IMG_2773 IMG_2799

      Ladybug  ~ Tot School, age 3

      Krash ~ In between K and 1st, age 5 1/2

      PacMan ~ 4th Grade, age 9

      Family

      • USA Geography
      • World Geography
      • New Testament Overview, from Grapevine Studies
        • This is a once a week thing we are using as our family time, it is targeted towards Krash and PacMan, but Ladybug is included too.
      • Calendar Connections
        • We are using these mostly for PacMan, but depending on the theme, Krash and Ladybug pick up on the facts too.
      • What’s in the Bible DVDs
        • We are watching the episodes together during school time and discussing them.  Ladybug obviously doesn’t really “get it”, Krash tends to pick up on some of it but needs to watch episodes repeatedly.  PacMan LOVES them the most and is really learning a lot.  I hope to continue using these on a regular basis in the future too!
      • Speekee Spanish & Boca Beth
        • Ladybug is the biggest fan of these, but these programs have helped us all pick up on some simple Spanish.
      • iPad

      FAQ ~

      I heard your boys are enrolled in a cyber school, how does this work?

      Yes, they are and we have a VERY unique situation.  We are enrolled in a cyber school but we traditionally homeschool just like someone using Calvert who bought it from their site.  The only difference is that my kids get their supplies, curriculum, computer, printer, and MUCH support for free.  We are so incredibly blessed to have this option, it is working for us right now.  I teach them every single subject, and we use traditional Calvert texts and books…hardly anything is done online for my boys-except fun games and such we have access to.  This is another perk for us we have free access to: First in Math, Study Island, Let’s Go Learn, Brain Pop, and more.  These sites are amazing.

      If you are wondering what state we live in, you can email me privately.  I just don’t publicly share the name of our specific school and location online.  Let me emphasize that all sates are different and ALL cyber schools are different.  I personally do not know ANYONE else who has a situation like mine {except those enrolled in my particular cyber school}, most are much more controlled from what I have heard.  Here is a place on Calvert’s website that allows you to seek out using Calvert with a partner school in your state.

      Would you use Calvert even if you didn’t get it for free through your state? 

      I am not sure.  I do love it, but I think I would look into something like Sonlight or My Father’s World ~ with a more Christian backbone.  I have heard great things about those.  I also think Mystery of History and many products from Bright Ideas Press look awesome.  I would probably piece together subject by subject, although the box curriculum approach is really nice and works for us.  So, maybe I would stick with Calvert, maybe not.  I honestly don’t know!  I have NO problems with Calvert, and it has served us well since PacMan’s PreK year.  I specifically have really enjoyed Calvert from grade 2 on, which is the beginning of where I am not as comfortable teaching!  I absolutely love Calvert this year {4th grade} and am really benefitting from the box approach in a grade I am so uncomfortable teaching!

      Why are you using All About Reading for Krash if Calvert has a good reading program within it?

      Honestly-I got AAR to review and decided to review it fully to help my blog readers.  I do not need a program to teach reading, I have done it with hundreds of children and it just comes naturally for me {I am a former Kindergarten teacher for any new readers}.  Something I truly love.  I followed Calvert’s program with Pac, but still basically did my own thing, which is what I have done with Krash too.  BUT, I get tons of questions from moms who tell me that teaching reading does not come naturally for them!!!  They want me to recommend a program and up until now I couldn’t since I had no experience with any homeschool reading program {other than Calvert}.  I can’t recommend Calvert’s reading program separately {it is great, but it only comes with the complete box curriculum}. When given the opportunity to review AAR Level 1, I jumped at the chance, knowing this would give me the experience I needed to give my readers an opinion on this reading program-which so far is amazing and definitely what I recommend!  I used All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2 with Pac and loved it.  We went to AAS when he began struggling early on.  He has now went back to the Calvert spelling program and does fine. Our great experience with All About Spelling led me to want to review All About Reading.

      Will you enroll Ladybug in the cyber school when she is in PreK?

      Probably not, I am thinking of taking PreK-1st and doing it myself for her.  But, that may change and we may enroll her if Calvert is still available.  Being a former K teacher, I just really, really enjoy doing my own things for these lower grades!

      Will you always homeschool?

      We believe in making this decision on a year-by-year, kid-by-kid basis.  We had no idea we would ever be homeschoolers, so we realize that we have no clue what God has in store for our family.  For now, we cannot imagine not homeschooling, and are very thankful to have been led here.

      Are you against public/private school?

      Absolutely NOT!  I believe that the decision of schooling needs to be made by individual families based on so many different circumstances.  I NEVER thought we would homeschool, but now am so glad we do {although it was very rough for me the first year}.  Some homeschooling families need to go back to group education for various reasons or during different seasons of life and who knows-that may be us one day.  I know the Lord will guide us each year in making this decision and I trust He guides families individually in this area. 

      Why do you homeschool?

      Honestly we started because of the area we live in.  We are inner city missionaries living in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods and the schools aren’t anything to jump for joy about.  We looked into private school but it just wasn’t in the budget, and it wasn’t something we really felt called to.  We have fellow missionaries on our team who homeschool and even though at first I thought they were a bit nuts-ha ha, I now adore them and the knowledge they have shared with me.  Although the decision to homeschool was made due to circumstances, we now feel we would continue even if we had the opportunity to send our kids to a great public school.

      Do you have a daily schedule or routine? How do you “do it all”?

      Updated: See our A Day in Our Homeschool Series Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 {part 4 coming soon}.

      Loosely, yes…but we seem to work better being a bit more flexible.  We know what we need to accomplish and we usually do that-but we tend to go with the flow more since Ladybug often has sassy attitude problems and throws our mornings off a bit.  We school intensely each afternoon while she naps…even if she doesn’t sleep she is in her bed from at least 1-3:00.  This afternoon quiet time is vital to our day!

      We try to keep a basic outline of a routine…Calendar Notebooks first thing, Pac upstairs to accomplish independent work while I play with the little 2 {focusing on Ladybug for at least 30 minutes each morning}.  Snack, recess, lunch… Then nap for L-bug and individual school for the boys.  We usually finish up all school around 3pm each day.  In the middle of it all we fit everything in somehow!

      We still use a lesson plan blog for PacMan, and Krash still uses workboxes.  I now categorize Pac’s blog by colors {green-independent, blue-possibly need help, red-with mom}. It is SO easy and we both love it.

      It is hard for me…the whole schedule thing.  We have good and bad days.  We have on and off-routine days.  We get things done most of the time and then there are days when I let the little 2 watch too many “educational” DVDs.  There are days I adore being with my kids all day long and days I wish I could bury my head in the pillow and not emerge for hours, or possibly days!  If you are struggling with creating a routine/schedule that works…know you are not alone.  I have been at this homeschooling things for 5 years now and I still struggle.  We get through yes-but it is still a struggle for me.  I often get asked how I “do it all” and I wrote a post about that here if you’ve wondered my thoughts on this topic.  The post is older but still applies!


      If you have any other general questions about our curriculum, please leave in the comments below and I will do my best to add the answers to this list!