Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling...One Month In...

We've been homeschooling for a month now and its been going pretty well.  I've already learned a lot and have some pros and cons that have become very apparent to me!  Here is the list I've come up with so far and I'm sure it will grow and change!

  • We have such flexibility!  We've done school on the go and Gavin and I would have missed the first 8 out 10 days of school this year if we weren't homeschooling.
  • I am with my kids 24/7. (see below)
  • There is no dress long as they are dressed!
  • I get to decide what they are going to learn, how they are going to learn, and when they are going to learn it. (see below)
  • We get to spend time with family and friends when the opportunity presents itself and take field trips wherever we want.
  • I can see them light up with excitement when I tell them we are doing a science experiment, I can push them when they are struggling with writing in their journal, I can watch their growth first hand, and I can hear their sweet prayer requests every morning!
  • I can hug, kiss, and love on my students as well as discipline them without worrying about what their parents will think!

  • There is no janitor, principal, cafeteria lady, secretary, nurse, assistant, or recess duty teachers!  I am the one and only!
  • I am with my kids 24/7. (see above)
  • We are home all of the time which means more dishes, laundry, and overall messes.  I never thought about the increased toilet paper usage!
  • I have to decide what they are going to learn, how they are going to learn, and when they are going to learn it. As a friend of mine said, you can't blame the teacher this time! (see above) 
  • There isn't enough "Me" time (but I think most moms would say that!)
  • I feel the added pressure to make sure they are the best in all categories (social, emotional, spiritual, and educational), but once again, I think most moms struggle and think about that!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I realized that I've never blogged about our newest family member...Bentley!  Gavin has been wanting a dog for a long time.  We held off until after the move and weren't sure what type of dog to get....big or small, puppy or older, new or rescue?  We settled on a smaller dog so Gavin could easily handle it and a puppy so the girls wouldn't be quite as freaked out.  We found a guy selling puppies and Gavin agreed to spend his own money on it.  He talked the guy down to $15 since he was paying for it himself.  Gavin picked him out, named him, bought the leash, collar, and dog toys.  We agreed to pay for food and vet bills.  He has done a pretty good job taking care of him.  He is awfully cute, but his is a puppy...aka a newborn that is mobile and doesn't have diapers!
He currently stays in a crate in the laundry room and isn't allowed upstairs.  When we build Gavin's room downstairs, he will be in his room.  The girls have come a long way with Bentley and Lilah is better than Macie, but as you can see below, she will hold him sometimes!

This and That


Homeschool Highlights

Yardsale Finds: The girls and I hit up a retired teacher sale and were able to get 66 items for $24.25!  The girls picked out a bunch of books and I was happy to get a lot of second grade stuff and higher level books!

 Weekly Graph: I wanted to use this graphing book that I used with my class every year, but I knew that having only five people would be no fun.  So, I enlisted some family and the response has been great!  Every Monday, I text out the question and we graph the answers as they come in.  At the end of the week, we talk about the graph.  The kids love seeing what everyone says!

 School wears this little girl out!

 Lilah's person now has a lot more parts!

 M&Ms, Frogs, and Counting Bears make Math a lot more fun!  Thanks Aunt Katie and Grammie!

 Science Catch Up Day

 School On the Go!: We've had to do school on the go due to our chaotic life.  The kids have done school in the car on the way to Riley, at Grandma's, at Grammie's, and even at Church during Adoration.  I make a checklist for each child and then pack everything they need into a backpack.  So far, the system is really working and flexibility was one of the pros of homeschooling for us!

Lilah's getting better at writing her name!

 Writing: Brainstorming Web about Pets

 Third Thursday Science: I was able to sign Macie and Gavin up for a science program at Wesselman Park.  Once a month, they go for an hour and a half.  The topic changes each month and it is pretty cheap.  It is a drop off program, so for now I get a chance to hang out with Lilah.  In January, I will be able to drop all three of them off for an hour and a half..say what!?! This first class was about water and they learned a ton and haven't stopped talking about it.  Lilah and I went to the bank, Aldi, and walked the trails while we were waiting for them.  At the end, they all came together and sang a little song.

 Locust!: Every time the kids find an interesting bug or critter, they want me to take a picture of it and send it to Uncle Gary.  Macie was so excited because she found a Locust bug that was still in its shell.  Typically, we find the empty shells.  He texted us back and told us to look up a nighthawk because they eat those.  It was a fun little mini lesson.  I love when my kids are excited about learning!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Meal Plan

In an effort to simplify and streamline my life, as well as make the kids more independent, I've come up with a new meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  I wrote out a chart that hangs on the side of the fridge and tells the kids what they need to make a "Happy Meal" for breakfast and lunch.  I've pre-portioned snacks, cereals, and lunch items.  Breakfast and snack items are in a bowl and basket in the cabinet.  Lunch stuff is already in a bag for each kid in the fridge.  Then, they are able to pick one thing from each category.  Overall, they will end up with the same stuff, just maybe not on the same day.  Today was the first day and it has been a total success!  They are so thrilled to pick their own stuff and by doing the work ahead of time, it makes my day so much less stressful and chaotic. 

Meal Plan Chart

 Picking stuff from Lunch bags in fridge

 Blue Snack Bowl and Green Breakfast Basket

Nice picnic lunch in the shade on our deck!