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Laudo Homeschool Journal

Welcome to our Homeschool Journal page.

     All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What then,      

will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. 

Luke 1:66

I hope that by documenting our progress in this Homeschool Journal format, I will be able to share with you our progress, failures, achievements, challenges and insights into what is involved in homeschooling.

We began this school year on August 3, 2008. Please check back often.

While I don't believe we have to prove ourselves, I do believe that if we openly show the world what we are doing, they will see our commitment to our children and to their futures. They will see that even though we struggle at times we are dedicated to helping our children become the best they can be and to giving them an excellent education. 

Occasionally, I will recommend a site or have a link to something that I believe is worthwhile for you to check out. To help you find those links, I am making a master list here just below the current weeks journal which will contain the site link and a description of what the site offers.


Since this page is getting rather lengthy I am starting with today a new page for the rest of this year. Here is a link to the homeschool journal 2 for the second semester of  the 2008-2009 school year.  The homeschool journal 2 will start with Day 111, February 3, 2009.  

The January 2 update and the December 31st post just below will give you an idea of how we started this semester. The posts for January-February 2 are on this page.

Please continue to read along. Thanks!


Homeschool Journal: January 2, 2009 UPDATE

Days 89,90,91 were completed on December 15th,16th and 17th. It is hard to believe we are almost to the 100th day of school mark. We have never really celebrated the 100 day mark but it does seem to be a transitory place. Perhaps this year we will acknowledge this event. How about you, do you celebrate your 100th day of school each year? What kind of activities do you do for it?

We will resume school on January 5th. Oldest will have 2 dual credit classes again with the local college this semester. In addition, we will be attempting a new type of school this semester. I am really looking forward to it and I think it will be an amazing adventure in education for all of us.

We will be building a business/website using SBI.  This school will involve local history, science, social skills, writing, art, business education, typing, journalism, creative writing, web design, research, and more and it is going to be very hands on and a lot of fun. You can see our preliminary work at Explore Southern Illinois.

If you would like to learn more about SBI or to learn about some of the tools and techniques we will be using-you can check it out at  Here is SBI
From this link you can even try some of the tools for free.

Another new aspect to our school this semester will be skill mastery. I received an email for New Year's asking me what I was going to learn this year. It discussed spending an hour a day working on a skill, just to learn something new. I have decided that the first hour of our school days will be dedicated to skill mastery.

Two of the children have picked drawing.  I kind of wished they would have picked something else but since this is certainly something that is a skill and can also be counted as a class I am letting them choose this. I am determined to master guitar chord transition and making my guitar playing sound more like music, instead of just note picking. Middle son picked origami. Another good thing about this is I will have more things to add to my Kids create page.

So I lift my pen and books to the New Year. I expect great things. Do you?

Happy New Year.

Here it is December 31st, 2008! We've been on vacation since right before Christmas. Unfortunately this means I don't remember where I left off on the schedule. Yes, we did do a couple more days before we started on vacation. So I will be checking my calendar and adding those days. I think it is a little late to try and tell you what we did on those days though...mostly the same as before.

What I want to discuss today is something extremely important. If you have visited my about me page or have been reading this journal you probably already know that I value very highly: Faith, Family and Friends. I usually refer to this as F3 or F to the power of 3 or F cubed.

However, on reflection of this past year, I feel that those things I cherish the most haven't been getting the attention they need. Therefore, I have declared 2009 to be the year of F3. What does this mean...more family time, more friend time and definitely more time with God.

I have discussed this with my family and we have made some changes. Most notably adding more family and individual time and I am no longer going to be the registrar for our local troop. There will be many more changes. Truly these are the relationships that are important to me and I value them more than any other thing.

This is not a New Year's Resolution. This is not something I can put aside or ignore when I get tired or cast aside next New Years.

This is a promise. My highest priorities are my faith, my family and my friends. To that end I will seek to strengthen those relationships.

May God's peace be with you, my friends and may you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!


Recommended Sites 

Toy and tools for science lovers -
The Homeschool Free online magazine for home educating families to
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and to input their comments on all aspects
of home school life and education.
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Homeschool Journal: Day 110- Monday, February 2, 2009

Last week's storm was quite a distraction. Today oldest has his first Pyschology exam and needs to go in early for his art class. Something about using an enlarger. They are creating a coloring book. It will be interesting to see the final product.

Today, I will attempt to get the other two refocused. The primary thing I am concerned about is with the web site they are creating. While they are doing what I am telling them to do, they are not progressing on it as much as I would like to see. So, today we will try to make a work plan with definite goals and tasks. Each task will be assigned and expected to be completed. Also, will reschedule the interview they were supposed to do last week. Will have them pick a specific time and day. I think a little more stucture is needed at this point but also want to keep in mind that they need to be able to work on this with their own ideas and initiative.

Homeschool Journal: Day 109- Friday, January 30, 2009

The college is open today even though they say their parking lot isn't fully cleared and all the other schools in the area are closed. I find this frustrating as our road hasn't even been plowed. Now granted, we have figured out a way to get him to the college but it isn't a great plan and I have concerns. Now, you might wonder why I don't just email/call the teacher and get an excused absence. Well, the problem is that this is an art class and the teacher is great but as there is no book-the assignments are illustrated and assigned during the class.

Hade the younger two children work on writing, math, history and science in the morning and reading and PE in the afternoon. I'm sure you realize P.E. involved the snow. They had to run up and down the hill to go sledding. 

Side note: He made it to class at the college and home safely-only half of the class showed up.

Homeschool Journal: Day 108- Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to school but trying to keep it relaxed. Learning is so much easier if the students are not stressing about needing to go somewhere or because something is due. We can't get out of the driveway yet so there is no where we need to go or any pressure. It is a quiet day just taking one subject at a time and then letting them play outside. I like days like this.

Had a long discussion with children today about success, work ethics, responsibilities and time management. I think these are big issues and it was a really good discussion in which I think they started to see what I am hoping for them and having them work towards.

Snow Day

1/2 DAY Homeschool Journal:  Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All the area schools are closed, even the college. And generally, I would say we're doing school anyway. Sometimes, however, it is more important to take an opportunity for some family time. I love snow. I love seeing my kids playing in the snow and having fun just spending time with each other. Sure yesterday, the schools were closed and we had school but it was mostly just drizzling and dreary and not a lot of snow. Last night it snowed and it is beautiful.

Today's school lessons were not of the traditional type. They worked on photography, art, PE and reading. Counting this as a half day.

Homeschool Journal: Day 107- Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today, most of the schools around have a snow day but I find that if outside is dreary and yucky it is a good day to stay home and get some things done.  

School went smoothly even with the husband home. It was a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of learning moments. One thing I learned a long time  ago is that there is a time to relax and enjoy the day and there is a time to buckle down and work. Today, without the stress of having to be somewhere and no outside distractions, school is actually easier.

The skilss we are working on have adjusted a bit, while I am still doing guitar, oldest now has switched to using game maker to make computer game programs and the other two, are doing origami but daughter will possibly switch to woodcarving

One thing that was really good was I took the time to sit down with oldest and lay out what the teacher is expecting in his psychology class and gave him ideas on how to study effectively for the tests.

For the website, I shared with the children and discussed how to use affiliate programs, what they are and how to evaluate them and what to consider if choosing an affiliate program to promote.

Homeschool Journal: Day 106- Monday, January 26, 2009

We started the day as usual with a quick skill session after prayers.

Daughter shared her new origami skills by teaching her girl scout troop how to make a origami butterfly.

We worked on creating a web page for the town we are profiling first on the website.
Also, went to the college in afternoon for art class and to work on the website. While there we downloaded gamemaker (new skill for oldest to practice).

Then we went onto a Keepers meeting where we visited with friends and discussed gardening and ordering seeds and ate some yummy snacks. It was a wonderful visit/meeting.

Then it was on to scouts...we cut our girl scout meeting short and turned in cookie orders because of the impending storm.

Homeschool Journal: Friday, Day 105-January 23, 2009

Sorry forgot to post here...typical school day.

Homeschool Journal: Thurday, Day 104-January 22, 2009

This has been of the best school days. It was a work in the field day for the website and it has put learning in perspective. In the morning they did book work and planned an interview. In the afternoon, we went to Crab Orchard. There they set up a tentative interview, took pictures, found a new restaurant, visited an antique store and learned some local history. There were some fascinating discussions and it was a good introduction to what I want the children to accomplish with this class.

This has also taken some preplanning skills. They needed to determine what they might need for this adventure..camera, consent forms, batteries, interview checklist, clipboard, computer etc.  Before leavinge I had a quick discussion of how I expect them to treat each other and about paying attention to interviewee.

After the trip, they now have three to four possible interview subjects, took pictures from all over town and just had a great and fun and educational day. Not your typical school day but something to aspire to reach.

Homeschool Journal: Wednesday, Day 103-January 21, 2009

Notice a routine falling into place...this seems to work for us...routine with a relaxed atmosphere to discover and explore...MWF
we spend the mornings working on skills, math, SOS subjects and other basics..then we head over to the college to use the wifi access while oldest attends his art class. We watch educational video clips for building a business, learning some basics on website building and do's and dont's.

Homeschool Journal: Tuesday, Day 102-January 20, 2009

We started today, as usual prayers and scripture. Then it was a little bit of catch up and skills practice. It was snowing and the sun shining on the snow flakes caught all three of their attentions. I used that spark of interest and had them write a creative piece for their weather page. Hopefully, they will get those posted later today. They finished writing some initial interview questions...so we will discuss the questions this afternoon and compile a standard/basic question interview list to start with...will post the weather musings and double check everyones progress. I think it is time to also start making a list of people we might want to interview.

For the moment the internet is down...so there may be a delay in posting anything. The positive thing about that is it gets my focus back on them quicker and on projects I need to do.

The negative is that if son's online class has any updates posted or assignments listed he might not get them in a timely fashion...which subsequently stresses everyone out. It the internet is not back up by this evening we may have to take a quick trip to the library.

Today is also the inauguration of our new president. This is history in the making and we will take time to watch the events today.

Homeschool Journal: MLK  Day-January 19, 2009

No official school today but took the opportunity to discuss some qualities of what makes a great leader. This lead to a discussion about being able to ask questions and acting on truth.

Then had them come up with 5 questions they could ask those we will be interviewing. Also, gave them some insights about how these interviews weren't just for them...it is important to listen to the stories and ideas and opinions of others and while you may or may not agree with them-you can accept their differences and love the person and try to understand how/why they have come to where they are in their beliefs and how they respond to things.

Oldest spent most of the morning and part of the evening working on his college assignments. I like seeing progress and I like seeing him focus on his work without me telling him what to do.

I've not felt well today. Husband, asked me if I had eaten any peanut butter products. I had eaten a reese's peanut butter cup mini the day before.  I didn't realize that the Salmonella outbreak may be extended to the candy also... quick research on symptoms and what is on the FDA recall list.
Whew-peanut butter cups not on the list yet and while I have some of the symptoms I don't have them bad enough to be concerned.  Will keep it in mind if I start feeling worse. Meanwhile, it will be an early night tonight.

Homeschool Journal: Friday, Day 101 January 16, 2009

The chicken seems to be doing a disappearing/reappearing act. I may have to start referring to her as the magic chicken of chamoflauge. We are not sure where she is going but it is rather disconcerting not knowing because of the current weather and just wildlife in general. 

We have spent a great deal of time searching for our missing hen-eventually we gave up. Then she showed herself and promptly disappeared again. This has been in some ways a valuable lesson in the study of chamoflauge. Other things we can learn from this experience-animals need our care but they are capable of fending for themselves. When it is cold outside bundle up. We've also learned about chickens molting.  I think there are more lessons coming as we observe the interactions of the rooster and the guineas and hopefully the reappearance of the hen.

Today for school besides the chicken lesson we spent the morning working on skill work (kind of getting overwhelming with the number of origami products piling up on my desk. What do I do with these works of art my son created and worked so hard on? They all look great -pictures coming soon. Also, the boys worked on their SOS cd's and all of them continued to work on their website.

Tonight is family night, part of the F3 adaptations. We will be staying home and playing games. Everyone is looking forward to the evening.

Homeschool Journal: Thursday, Day 100  January 15, 2009

Today, we have come to the realization that Basketball is not going to happen. My daughter has shown up for every practice along with one other girl and unfortunately 2 girls don't make a team.
There is a chance they can join another team, but for now basketball is over.

We seem to slipping into a schedule of spending the morning on SOS, art, math, chemistry and those type of studies and in the afternoon website work. This isn't exactly how I envisioned this working and it will mean the website will take longer than I anticipated. Is this a problem? Not really. The website will be ongoing even after the semester. On this site I added 3 more pages with a different design and layout. What I really like about building the website with the children is that they are learning how to work together better. I can see this is going to be a long process as we tweak the attitudes and enforce some guidelines but in the long run-this may be better than having them join a team sport.

Homeschool Journal: Wednesday, Day 99  January 14, 2009

Our old laptop is back-Yes! We ended up taking in two old laptops and coming back with one working and we will have to see what operating system is on it -in order to see how we can use it for school. Did discover it is not accepting the thumb drives with the USB ports-so this could be a problem.

Today we took oldest son to his college class -while there the other two children took advantage of the high speed internet and watched the site building videos. I hold onto to the hope that some day we will be able to get faster internet.

Oldest seems to be a bit concerned about the classes at the college. I know he will do well but it will take him some time to adjust. I hope he remembers what I taught him about taking notes and listening to the teacher and trying to figure out what the teacher expects.  His other online class has also started. This creates other concerns but I am trying my hardest to let him take the reigns in terms of studying and figuring out how to keep himself on track... did give him a calendar.

Homeschool Journal: Tuesday, Day 98  January 13, 2009

I do love having days when we can just stay home. These days give us a much more relaxed approach as we are not concerrned about getting somewhere and time issues. The kids just work at their own pace and we tend to focus more on any problem areas. Today had daughter complete the Math basics mini lapbook.

Even though she has already completed this in her math book-she doesn't seem to be retaining some key ideas so I am putting a hold on Algebra 1/2 for now and will have her do focus math. Meaning I will have her read/study about one type of math problem or concept and then have her practice it over and over until she begs for mercy....oh no I mean until I feel she has it down. lol

On their site, they have put up the weather page-which will need to be updated frequently but that will give them practice in updating a site page and keeping on task (both valuable skills).
Oldest is adding images to one of the main page (again great for practicing skills he has already learned.

Homeschool Journal: Monday, Day 97  January 12, 2009

Today we had the second dayclass on westward expansion. We had to leave just a little early during the afternoon projects to rush oldest over to the college campus for his class. Then we went to the library and finally home for supper. Then I had a scout leader meeting. I officially resigned from the registrar position. This is one of those F3 changes that are necessary.

The college classes for oldest started today and this is his first class in a college classroom setting. He is a little nervous and unsure of how he will do...I am confident he will be fine. With the exception of the telecourse Spanish in which he got a "B" he has gotten all "A's" in all of his college level classes for the last 3 semesters.

Homeschool Journal: Friday, Day 96  January 9, 2009

I asked the children to compose a letter to the mayors of the cities we will be featuring on our website.  It will be interesting to see what type of responses they get.
Daughter started working on a Math Basics mini lapbook, which will be the feature of this month's newsletter.

The newsletter, by the way, is coming soon. The boys will be going on a ski trip this weekend with our youth group. It is such a fun trip for them and a great opportunity to interact with others outside of family and homeschool. Daughter and I will be attending the Girl Scout cookie kickoff with our troop-the girls get to bowl and dance and eat pizza.

Homeschool Journal: Thursday, Day 95  January 8, 2009

Sometimes education is in the process. Such as in doing research. You may not find what you need but you can get a lot of information anyway. The kids spent the morning doing research for their website. This I can see is going to need a little more of my directon and attention in order to keep them focused and on task.

After lunch, we headed out to get site pictures and then on to putting F3 into practice. I went to a Keepers' meeting where we discussed seeds and plant related things and a few other things too. Then took daughter to basketball practice.  

It was a busy day, but fun.  While the learning didn't involve a bunch of textbooks-they learned different skills. This term I am making an effort to help them develop communication skills. This is another benefit of creating a site about our local area. 

Homeschool Journal: Wednesday, Day 94  January 7, 2009 

I was kind of concerned I might be getting sick. At my religion class tonight one of the children did get sick. Being homeschooled my children often escape getting what is going around, though sometimes we can't. Fortunately, I think we lucked out and won't be catching this flu this time. The boys really need to stay healthy as they will be leaving for a ski trip on Friday.

This afternoon daughter went out and photographed some molds, fungi and an assortment of oddities for the website. She also found what appears to be a deer skull. This assignment came about because in her science book she was reading about fungi and she commented on how she had seen some strange things on our property like what was in her book....
now if I can just get her to identify them. Back to the library...

We are continuing to develop content for the first county page....looking at ghost towns, cities, time capsules, towers, nickname, and Bloody Williamson.

Other things I am considering having them do is write letters to the mayors, a public attorney and  interviews with various local people. I think they will also make a directory and include local event information.

Homeschool Journal: Tuesday, Day 93  January 6, 2009

Today the younger two children were captivated by Carnivorous Creations. A school Christmas present which my daughter has been begging me to use since they opened it...I managed to hold it back until today. They dug in...literally.

Carnivorous Creations is a kit to make a terrarium for carnivorous plants. They were rather disappointed that the seeds needed to be stratified for 6 weeks in the refrigerator and that the other set of seeds are for fall plants. But by putting the date on the calendar to plant the seeds, I was able to get my daughter to put the setup back in the box. What a valuable lesson about patience and about how some things in order to work take time and extra care. I like it.

Today we also, went to the bookstore to get next semesters books for oldest child, to the library to get research books and to daughter's basketball practice. Even though we did a lot of running we also managed to work on building their first website page.

If you are interested in educational science toys-here is a great place to find them online.

Homeschool Journal: Monday, Day 92  January 5, 2009 

Well, I like it when I make an assignment and the kids cheer. Picking a skill of their choice to practice -is a hit and they like being able to do it for the first assignment after scripture/prayers.

Though there have been some changes to note: Middle son is still doing Origami, Oldest is now doing Art in general and so is daughter (however, she really is considering doing carving-but claims she can't find anything to carve on.) I am going to work on my guitar playing, Spanish and writing-I will need more than 1 hour or I may have to pick one and doing it for a week and then change or alternate it somehow so that I can work on all of them

Biggest problem with this so far, is that I am beginning to run out of space to store origami projects. lol

The boys haven't completed the SOS cd's so they will continue to work on them through this semester or until they complete them with satisfactory grades-A's.

Today we discussed what we have completed so far on the website, why we are doing this, how we will proceed, what we will do with any money we earn and some ideas about how we might be able to make money with their site.

We also covered the SBI tools and how to use them, looked at the site reports and discussed analyzing them and where I made mistakes in setting up my first site and how to avoid those same problems.

Then we worked on our business plan layout and began using the WYSIWYG web page composer.

Daughter set up two pages. Then we discovered a kink in the layout that shows up on wide screens. Oldest son and I worked on and hopefully solved this problem by comparing source codes and making adjustments. We are ready to start making pages.

Thank you. 

Homeschool Journal Week 19 - Days 84,85,86,87,88

Friday: Day 88 December 12 , 2008

It will be another short but packed school day today. Already all of the children have done a great deal of work. Oldest has completed Chemistry and is now working on History, middle son has done Geometry, writing, sign language and daughter is working on 2 lessons of math....and it isn't even 10 o'clock yet.

Why, are they so motivated? Tonight, they all get to go on electronic campouts with their scout troops...two different locations, mind you. An electronic campout is where the troop rents a cabin and everyone brings some electronic or other games and they play and eat snacks. It promises to be a lot of fun. 

At this rate they will get done with their work possibly by 1 p.m. and it will be a fast but full school day.

I wish I could capture that motivation and use it more effectively.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday: Day 87 December 11, 2008

As we are getting near to the end of the semester, I am encouring son's to double up on some of their lessons on the SOS cd's. Oldest is finished with English, Computer Applications, Geometry and so doubling up on Government and Health really shouldn't be a problem. I have also been giving oldest a few computer web design assignments...this is one area he really does well and never balks when I give him assignments.  One thing I had him work on today was trying to follow some directions on how to maintain a site in a fixed width and centered on a smaller screen while on a wide screen having the text expand to fit the screen.

About a month ago, I had tried to do this on my own and never seemed to get it right...but he seemed to understand the directions and worked through it...still have to test it, but I bet he will have done it right.

Wednesday: Day 86 December 10 , 2008

A little concerned -haven't seen middle son's writing for a couple of days...so how do I handle this?

I get mean. Well, not really mean...intense, might be a better word. On my way out the door to religion class with daughter told him he needed to show me 5 paragraphs when I get home or there would be consequences. He finished them.

He also, today experimented with making bread from a recipe in a Mother Earth News magazine article. It turned out very salty. The next batch I told him to cut back on the salt and to use regular white flour. For some reason he used whole wheat flour...not a problem but between that and the salt he wasn't able to make what he wanted to make with the dough...cinnamon rolls.

Tuesday: Day 85 December 9, 2008

Basketball practice, the library, board meeting, dentist appointments and school in the morning, today we are running.

The kids worked on school in the morning and I almost decided this should be counted as a 1/2 day of school but just before we separated after the dentist appointment I assigned the boys some work and daughter had basketball...with these completed and counted towards school, it really was a full school day afterall.

I forget that homeschools don't run always have to run on typical schedules-so they can work in the morning, take the afternoon off and finish in the evening and still put in a full day of school work. I love the flexible scheduling of homeschooling.

Monday: Day 84 December 8, 2008
Today was a dreary Monday, raining, cloudy, chilly...I just wanted to stay in bed.
Did I? No, because it was a school day and there were a list of things needing to be done, places to go and things to do...After a quick reminder to myself about what is important, I managed to convince myself that staying in bed really wasn't a good idea and would only make things worse. I must say I was very tempted but I know if I had nothing to do and staying in bed was an actually an option, I would probably be pretty depressed.

While I enjoy having things to do and places to go...it is easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. Fortunately, I know this and our school tends to be a little more relaxed and we try to fit in a few fun things that can double as educational in some way.

One year we did a literature study on holiday movies and we lapbooked plot lines, characters and interesting facts about several movies.

This year, we may be baking one afternoon for a science project, writing Christmas cards for writing practice and handwriting practice and watching, "It's a Wonderful Life" for character development or we might just take the afternoon off and do these things just for fun.

Had I thought of it sooner, today might have been a good day for this type of school. Oh well, I'm sure there will be more, dreary, rainy, cloudy and chilly Mondays to come.

Homeschool Journal Week 18 - Days 80,81,82,83

Friday: Day 83 December 5 , 2008

School was just a typical day of getting up, taking care of things, working on school work.

I am looking forward to Saturday...will be walking in the Santa parade with my girl scouts and in the evening going to a Gala with my husband.

Thursday: School Holiday December 4 , 2008

Spent today working on websites. Trying to set up the childrens site for next semester. I am excited to see how this will go....hopeful too!

Daughter has another basketball practice tonight. 

Wednesday: Day 82 December 3 , 2008

All major projects, papers, assignments are completed. 

Middle son is now doing the Geometry to supplement his other Math. He has completed Algebra I and in conjuction with the Geometry I am requiring him to do focus math problems to help him reinforce and maintain the techniques he needs to work on from Algebra.

Had religion class tonight, it went well. We were supposed to have a review class so I had them create mini lapbooks using the pictures and work they did in their books so far. Some of them turned out really nice.

Tuesday: Day 81 December 2 , 2008

Next college project is due on Thursday. Now the push is to get him to finish that project. He is so good at these type of classes (computer) I am not concerned about his ability to finish this project. He did turn it in today. Still waiting to see final grades. Now he is focusing on catching up in his other classes. Fortunately, even though he spent a great deal of time on the college classes he is not lagging to bad in his other classes. In fact, he finished his Geometry classes. The only complication is still the Chemisty..so doing back up chemistry videos. They appear to be helpful and interesting. They are from the Teaching Company. I really like their videos.

Daughter went to basketball practice today. She was hesitant to join but we decided she since she has never played a team sport that she needed to play basketball.

Monday: Day 80 December 1, 2008

The deadline for the research paper is here. It is due today. I'm not panicking because he feels confident that he has done a good job. I look it over and realize he has written a pretty decent paper. Made a few suggestions and he finished documenting it and submitted it. He got a B+.  Whew. I can breathe again. I wonder why I am so freaky about this...I suppose I just want him to do his best.

Homeschool Journal Week 17 - Days 78,79

Wednesday-Friday Thanksgiving Break

Have a great Thanksgiving!
Left on time-son worked on paper on trip up there. He managed to get to the required amount of pages and just wants me to review it.  I am so tired...I didn't sleep at all on Tuesday night and finally got up and finished cleaning and packing for the trip. We managed to leave at a decent time. Had a good trip, wonderful visit and a safe trip home.

Tuesday: Day 79 November 24 , 2008

Morning we spent helping at the soup kitchen. This is something they have all wanted to do for awhile. So we went today. I'm glad we did and we will probably go again. 

Lunch at McDonalds

Afternoon: Library...and please get that paper done. This is all I can think about. I really don't want to have to worry whether or not my eldest will get his research paper done...Pack a little, push a little, check progress, cringe.  The paper is due on Monday and we are going on vacation. The other two manage to complete their work and pack. 

Update: End of day....paper still not done, still not packed, house is a mess....not really a good scenario. I really need a break.

Monday: Day 78 November 25, 2008

Down to the wire...oldest is working on paper. I can't even look. I feel he has come so far on his own and really his confidence in writing has improved so much that hovering I know will be a bad thing.

Went to last art class this afternoon-they finished up their papier mache' projects...they look good. Daughter made a cute penguin, eldest made a nice ornament and middle son went creative with a door in the back of the head of a smiley face.

Eldest skipped scouts to work on his paper. I think that was a good choice.

Homeschool Journal Week 16 - Days 73,74,75,76,77

Friday: Day 77 November 21 , 2008

One thing that came up this week is that there is always issues to deal with. Computers crash, printers quit printing, camera screens fail, ice maker making only crushed ice and then nothing at all and those are just a few of the quirky problems with equipment...not even going to attempt to discuss the quirky problems I've had with people this week.

I am extremely glad next week is Thanksgiving and a break...but I will still be working on my site and my son will still be working on his paper and computer applications project-both are due the first week of December...does anyone else hear that clock ticking? Now, why didn't that clock go on the fritz with everything else around here?  

As for the issues...they come and they go... and we go on. We fix the camera, the computer, the printer and the ice maker and give everyone the benefit of the doubt and forgive them and ourselves, if necessary, and treat everyone else respectfully.

Thursday: Day 76 November 20, 2008

Does school stop when the teacher is sick? No, but it probably isn't the best of school days.

I've been plagued by a low grade headache all day...not bad enough to get some meds but bad enough to make me want to go back to bed and hope that with a little rest it will go away. It didn't so after several hours of trying to ignore the nagging pain, I took some meds...hasn't helped yet though. School today, still went on...but I'm just a little bit more snippy at the children than probably is necessary. Fortunately, they don't need me to read to them the directions or to even tell them what to do...they just do their work

Middle son claims he is finally able to do distance rate problems quicker but he said he still needs his notes to do so...oh well... just keep on practicing son. He will master this. How do I know this...because I am his teacher and he won't go on until he knows how to do every type of problem in that book.

Oldest is working on a deadline for his final projects -hopefully he will have a rough draft on both of them done today. 

Homeschooling -patience, perseverance and sheer determination.

Wednesday: Day 75 November 19, 2008

I really enjoy teaching, not just my own kids but other kids and adults too. This is not so much a revelation as it is a suggestion.

If you enjoy what you are doing and that happens to be teaching then your students will experience that joy second hand.....second hand learning...I like it.

On the flip side, if you dread getting up and teaching your children or learning in general that too will filter into your school day.

Homeschooling, even with the daily trials is such a great opportunity and experience. Right now, I am planning our next semester and I'm really looking forward to it...it will be a much different approach than what I've used so far but I believe it will be our best semester ever. Applied education, is what I'm calling it for the moment.  

Daughter wrote a poem today for a writing contest....it is really good. I think she has a great chance of winning at least an honorable mention. We'll see.

Downside of the day...my camera died. This is very bad news. I use my camera almost daily now with this site and just all the things we are involved in..

Tuesday:  Day 74 November 18, 2008   

Oldest had quite a day, turned in his last computer app. assignment, studied for his last test, worked on his research paper, did geometry, gathered research materials at the college library for next semester and today he received his first place award for the college writing contest and read his paper. I am proud of him. He did a wonderful job of reading his paper in front of everyone. Very nice.

The award ceremony was an interesting field trip for the other two also. They got to listen to Jazz music being played by a band, watched as an interpreters class used sign language throughout the whole ceremony, listened to poetry, a screen play and a fiction piece along with supporting their brother's achievement and listened to him read his winning essay. They also, helped gather research information at the library. When we came home they worked on the first steps of preparation for next semester. I think we are going to have a great semester of learning and fun. 

Monday: Day 73  November 17, 2008
What a busy day, day class in the morning and part of the afternoon, library, art class, supper and girl and boy scouts. While at the library we picked up research material on Illinois and dragons.

Day class was fun...I got to tell the children a little about pioneer games...no, I'm not that old but I did find some information online. One game we played used just a hoop and sticks...it was fun to watch them try to toss the hoop to each other. We managed to have fun for the whole break time without too much trouble. The kids also made Johnny cakes and they were pretty good...I may go and try to find a recipe...but for now I'll just make Jiffy cornbread. In the afternoon another mom and her mom gave a presentation on quilts. It was interesting and I had a lot of questions and can see myself quilting someday....when I need a new hobby or actually have some free time...hmmm...that may be a while.

In art, they did papier mache, something I try to avoid doing because of the mess. They like the hands-on messy stuff way- but I cringe at the mess.

Homeschool Journal Week 15 - Days 69,70,71,72

Friday: Day 72 November 14, 2008 

Today, I am just wondering about how and when you let your kids take responsibility for things? Don't get me wrong...my kids have things they are responsible for and do them.

I am talking more about that transition from student to adult. Do you ease them into or do go total immersion?

I find myself telling my oldest more and more things like- it is his decision, he has to take responsibility for his work, he has to decide what he wants to do as an adult, he has to look for those open doors and be willing to go through them.....but then I think about how I got my first jobs or how I chose my career and the university I would attend....trust me, I didn't do these things all on my own and I made a few mistakes along the way, but I did ok though.

So maybe I just need to keep up the nudging, keep up the watchfulness, keep letting him have a little more freedom and treat him more like a young adult...it's tough.

Maybe with child #2 and #3 it will be easier? I don't think so though.

What brought on this mood...my son turned in his bibliography today. While I did bring it up a few times...he basically kept himself on track and worked on it and turned it in. However, I am so determined that he must finish things before our break for Thanksgiving that I find myself pushing him to work harder on the paper and comp. application projects. I just don't see how he is going to manage it...but he is a smart kid, and on the other hand I believe he can.

On a sad note today, the computer we were using for Chemistry and for spelling came up with an error that we can't seem to fix. This was the only computer that could run the programs and also had daughter's web pages on it...I am concerned we won't get it running again. On the upside though, we do have alternate programs for both Chemistry and Spelling that we can use in the meantime. 

Thursday: Day 71 November 13, 2008

Today middle son worked on Algebra 1 focus problems and worked on distance problems again. Eldest continued to develop his bibliography for his research paper and gathering data. This was easier due to the fact that he now has the access codes for the databases from the college and can get journal information online now.

I like that he is learning how to research a topic using more technical and indepth documentation....and not just relying on the internet.

Had daughter teach me Roman numerals as part of her trying to master the concept. I'm not sure why these seem to be a problem for her but today she seemed closer to being able to explain the concepts and I know that if we continue to review them she will not have this problem for long.

Wednesday: Day 70 November 12, 2008

Oldest spent a significant part of today working on his Computer applications lesson...this one is giving him problems and is taking a long time...still not finished. Bibliography is due on Friday for his research paper, so I keep trying to nudge him along. Went to the college today and turned in the form for next semester and renewed library cards and picked up some books....they had a sale on books "All you can carry for a $1"  Who could resist that?

Added a section about Mini lapbooks to this site. I think they are great and plan to use them often. They are quick and easy.

Tuesday:   November 11, 2008   Veteran's Day: School Holiday

Thank you to all Veterans!

We appreciate your sacrifices for us and for our country. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Monday: Day 69  November 10, 2008

Had son work on the quadratic formula today...I think he's got it now!

Art class was fun again. The boys continued to work on their current projects and daughter drew a couple of pictures and worked on animal drawings.

No scouts tonight...it seems odd not to have to go anywhere extra. We did go to the library and did some cleaning and grocery shopping. Oh, the excitement. lol

I do like these nice, quiet days where we just plug along or play a little catch up or just play. It's all good.

Homeschool Journal Week 14 - Days 64,65,66,67,68

Friday: Day 68 November 7, 2008 

Gearing up for the weekend. Daughter and I are going to Fall Fest with the Girl Scouts. This will be our 3rd year going. It is always fun. Different set of girls going this year but they all seem to be good kids...so I'm not anticipating any problems.

Now I'm getting concerned about oldest son's paper....he keeps working on it...but I'm not seeing results...time to give him some parental guidance.

Apparently, he is under the impression that his teacher has told them they shouldn't be writing yet...uggg. I tried to explain to him that in order to turn in a bibliography-due next week-he has to know his sources, and pretty much what the paper is going to cover and a rough draft. I guess the bright side is now I know why he is stalling so much...wish I had figured it out sooner. Write child, write!

My daughter and other son are having fun with the dragon assignments and are writing away.

Thursday: Day 67 November 6, 2008

My middle son finally finished his Algebra 1 book. I am not convinced he has mastered the concepts on a few of the problems so I will have him do focused study on those type of problems for the rest of this month.

Daughter is busy creating dragon coloring pages for her upcoming web site...someday I'll tell you about why I'm letting her do a website on dragons. I can tell you though, she is thrilled to do writing, research and is learning some rather technical computer things.

A little thing we did today that was a bit unusual is we took a "nut break."  No, we didn't act crazy or anything like that...when I got up I could hear the birds ....this is unusual because we live in an underground house made of cement. This is the time of year that the birds swarm our trees looking for nuts, pecans and acorns mostly. So hearing the birds is my signal that the nuts are ripe and disappearing fast...so we went out to compete with the birds for the nuts...ok...that does sound a bit odd. We don't get the ones high up in the trees just the ones that the birds basically knock to the ground and the ones we can reach. Still I now have a counter full of pecans...that I need to deal with soon.
You know the saying about one bad apple...well it applies to nuts too.
Oh and the saying, the nuts don't fall far from the tree...well that is actually true too. lol

Wednesday: Day 66 November 5, 2008

Not a busy day but trying to figure out a way to get the children in my religion class excited about coming...I have a plan. (Update: I enjoyed this evenings class very much and I think the kids did too and they even learned what they were supposed to...if not we'll try again next week.)
Feel like I am really pushing oldest to work on his paper...finally pulled out the calendar and showed him how many days he really had to get it done. Not as many as he thought.

Also, trying to get him to finish up his computer applications work...same reason.

I really do not want to have him working on this over Thanksgiving break.
If that happens....I can't say what I'll be ranting about in this homeschool journal come Monday Dec. 1st.

Tuesday: Day 65  November 4, 2008

The biggest topic of today was of course, the election. I was so pleased to have to stand in line to vote.  The election was history in the making. Will my children remember this day?

I think so....I remember going with my parents when they went to vote once...so with all the media coverage, the debates and comedy performances etc. I'm pretty sure they won't forget this election anytime soon

Monday: Day 64  November 3, 2008

After the main school lessons we went to Art Class. In Art class today, they spent some time free drawing and learning how to make pictures larger using a graph and imitated ancient Indian art with rocks. All three children thoroughly enjoy these art classes.

Then it was on to the library-Girl Scout stuff for me and a magic show for daughter. Then it was on to scouts. We were all tired by the time we made it home tonight.

Homeschool Journal Week 13 - Days 59,60,61,62,63

Friday: Day 63 October 31, 2008 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Field trip today:
We went to a play today on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Then on to the library and then we spent the afternoon on Halloween creativity and art. Just a fun school day.

Took daughter trick or treating tonight. She was a bat. She designed and made her costume.

I was amazed at the many trunk or treat events at the churches. The first church trunk or treat we went to tonight was way beyond anything I would have expected....coming from this area and the whole controversy over Halloween that was prevalent a few years ago. The thing is not just one church was doing this but several. It was fun.

One thing that just amazed me was how this church had gone all out for this celebration....rock climbing wall, human bowling lane, decorations, treats, free food and concession stand and more...awesome and fun for the whole community.

This was really great though, because they had taken what many had frowned upon and made it a great outreach. I know of one person, who is considering coming back to church -not solely because of this but it certainly didn't hurt. That alone, in my opinion, made it worth every penny they spent. I love seeing how God works through people to reach others...amazing and inspiring. Happy Halloween indeed!

Thursday: Day 62 October 30, 2008

The big exam is over, the major essays have been written, it is time for a little bit more relaxed educational day for eldest....he primarily will work on getting a research topic and working on his other subjects.

Time for me to make a progress check on middle son...he has been getting hung up on math and it is a struggle to get him to ask questions...I am adamant that he learn this skill. His other subjects he works on steadily and especially his SOS subjects I need to review and check and get him started on his projects.

I basically told both the boys that SOS projects will be done for the most part in December. The benefits to this are:  reinforcing topics of study, concentrated study on material now, frees up time for college courses (done in early Dec.), gives them fun things to do in December which is typically busy and allows them to have something to look forward to in their learning atmosphere.

Tonight, daughter and I will be tie dying shirts with our Girl Scout troop. I am so glad another mom volunteered to do this at her house. This will be our uniform shirt for this year. Another mom has a machine to embroider our troop number on the shirts. This is what the girls have chosen and I'm sure they will turn out great.

Wednesday: Day 61 October 29, 2008

Today is a big exam for eldest. He is ready. It is in his Computer Applications class. This stuff comes easy to him or maybe I should say not necessarily easy but after he learns it he knows how to do it and he is willing to study it to improve...

This course offers just the right amount of challenge and skills and learning to keep him moving forward.
(Update: He received an A- on this exam. As expected, I knew he would do well.)

My daughter is to take part in a skit tonight...she is so excited about this skit, she can hardly manage not to tell us all about it. (That was a rather convoluted sentence.)

The skit she is doing is part of a celebration in religion class for All Hallows Eve-Halloween-All Saints Day. My first grade class will be doing motions to a song about how God is and has been with us from the beginning of creation to right now. This ties in with the lessons we have been studying and though it may not be a great skit/presentation...not much practice time...it reinforces the ideas in a fun way for them.

Tuesday: Day 60  October 28 ,2008

Another great day on the writing front, my son won 1st place on his personal essay that the teacher submitted into a local college writing contest. The elusive teenager smile even made an appearance today.
I'm seeing my son's confidence in his writing building every day.

This is good. This is a very good turn of events.

Same son...went on to teach me about using Excel in preparation for his exam tomorrow....while in this program we created a neat image for the writing resources page. I just added this page tonight. This is in preparation for the more detailed section on writing. I love getting new sections or even just pages up for this site. I hope you find them helpful or at least amusing.

You can see the image at Homeschool Teacher, Homeschool Mentor Writing Resources.
(The image is the one with a pie chart on it. I think he did a great job creating this image.)

Monday: Day 59  October 27, 2008

He got an A on his election report! This is so awesome, my son is starting to see that he can write and do it well. Sure, it takes him a great amount of time and a lot of rewrites, but he can do it.

That is the big news for today. Not much else to add to the homeschool journal today.

Homeschool Journal Week 12 - Days 54,55,56,57,58

Friday: Day 58 October 24, 2008

It is amazing what a little incentive can accomplish. My children wanted to go to the library today because this afternoon was a game day. I said, sure, IF...a significant portion of their subjects are done before we leave and they finish the rest when we get home. They did it and we went to the library. Well, the boys went to the library, I went to McDonalds and had a soda with my daughter and played on the internet. I tried to sneak in an educational game but she balked at my suggestion and then proceeded to pick her own. Some battles just aren't worth pursuing. lol

Making my children finish their school work and work hard to get it done so that they can go to the library may seem like an odd sort of incentive...but hey, it worked. I'm going with what works and I think you should too....within reason and logic and common sense, of course.

Decided not to go to Mom's night...I need a different kind of down time today and I am slightly avoiding night driving if possible (I really can't avoid it but....)

Thursday: Day 57 October 23, 2008
Today, was not a remarkable day, we plodded through school, nothing exciting or devastating to report. I set up My Homeschool Place. I hope you all will check it out and add a page for your homeschool. I am working on the writing section and considering interviewing a person for the Math tips page...we'll see. Are we sure we all have the same amount of time in a day? Somedays, just get away from me and not much to talk about. That is probably a good thing since I don't give myself much down time.
I know many of you can relate to that.

One great thing that some of the moms here do is to have a Mom's Night.
(I'm thinking of this because there is one tomorrow night.)

A bunch of homeschooling moms get together to eat, visit, laugh and share. I have nothing but great appreciation for the moms who put these together....whether I get to go to them or not. We need to support each other...that means different things to different people and a Mom's Night is an awesome way to give and receive support and build friendships.

Wednesday: Day 56 October 22, 2008

It's in! The final writing assignment except for the research paper, is done and has been sent to the teacher. Yes! His final paper topic was to be about the election. My son wrote about finding the truth in an election-a critical look and response to the election news via the media, news, emails and the internet in general. It turned out very nice. Now he just needs a good research topic and to write that paper. The end is in sight. I am so thrilled but I bet he is even more thrilled...even though he doesn't show it.

Why am I so happy? Because as his primary teacher, it bothers me immensely when he struggles with a subject. It plays upon my fears that I might be failing at this task to properly educate my child. My consolation, my children are doing fine both in my classes and classes taught by others. This struggle and my apprehensions with his struggle have an end in sight.

Having him write this paper has had some great positive side effects. First, it has generated a great deal of discussion about the election with out having to take sides and about finding the truth. Second, it has given me a new direction to add to this site. Through his struggles and my attempts to help him...I think I have a good idea on how to help others struggling with their writing or teaching writing. The planning has begun.
I am really excited about this...it's like starting a whole new adventure.

Tuesday: Day 55 October 21 ,2008

I have been talking about the bigger picture and last night, after a particularly long day my picture got bigger. Yesterday, was technically supposed to be a school holiday for us...it wasn't because even though we didn't do Math we did school all day. In the morning we went to another Day Class, on oceans and my eldest worked on his Computer Apps. assignment, due today. After that we went to the library to look for books, worked on writing assignments and to look for research material. Then it was on to Art class, where they are continuing their studies of the Art Masters through time. Then after a quick meal it was onto boy scouts for the boys and girl scouts for the girls.

It was a day full of education and learning...but the biggest lesson came on our way home from girl scouts.

My daughter and I on our way home...even later than expected because of a long meeting, witnessed an accident.

The biggest picture...is not about the forest or the trees.(see yesterdays homeschool journal entry) but instead about what's in the road blocking you from getting where you are going.

If you are traveling on the road of life, (I can only assume you are if you are reading this) then your final destination is the biggest picture of all.

Last night a huge black bull in the middle of a road, in a particularly dark area stopped us and another person from going on our way home. We were surrounded by a forest/trees. Ahead in the distance there was a light and between us was a large dark shape of a possible unknown/known danger. There were injuries, pain, struggles and possibly worse. Yet, we were so close to home. I so wanted to be there....especially when the big dark shape began to move.

The biggest picture to keep in mind, on your way home, do you know there are real dangers in your way? Do you know that at any moment, even when you are really close to home, one or more of these dangers can get in your way and may even prevent you from making it home? You might not even see the danger, until it is too late. What will you do then?

I can tell you how I made it home last night....and how I hope to make it to my final destination. To be honest, had I tried to do anything on my own from the moment the bull appeared in the road until I got home -I don't think the outcome would have been good. All I could do, is trust God and pray...Our Father, Thy will be done. Our Father, Thy will be done.Help me with the next step. He helped and my daughter and I arrived home safely eventually and the other person was taken to safety/help.

Not the forest, not the trees, be concerned if you must, about the darkness of what stands between you and home. The forest and trees while a part of your journey, they are not your path, your journey or your destination...so don't get lost in the woods. In case you are in the woods,  I'm tossing you a bread crumb trail...pray, trust, believe.

Tomorrow....back to a much shorter homeschool journal entry. At least, I hope it will be shorter. :)

Peace and blessings!

Monday: October 20. 2008

It is a rare person who can see both the forest and the trees. Each day is filled with trees, things we focus on and sometimes we can only see the trees....the falling trees (failing assignments), the diseased trees (oh, we have to work on this -what, you don't remember talking about this, yesterday),good trees needing pruning (good grades but not getting the concepts) or any other number of trees...we forget the forest (the big picture).

Last week, my intent was to discuss the bigger homeschooling picture. Yes, our days get monotonous, we have struggles and break throughs. Yes, we have fun days and days so stressful that we start to question our own sanity for taking on this tremendous task....but the bigger picture is that for every struggle, we go forward, we learn, our children learn and in the end...they will grow up and go into the world with an education.

That education and its quality will be determined not by how easily they can pass a test or on how many social opportunities they've had but instead will at some time be placed upon their shoulders. Did they take advantage of this great opportunity to be homeschooled? Did we as their teachers/parents help them to love to learn so that whatever we missed teaching them (public schools don't get all the information in either) they will have the tools to teach themselves or the initiative to find the answers or the knowledge to know where to look? This will be the scale that will measure our success as teachers/parents and theirs as students.

The big picture...we can not teach them everything they need to know. There are things they can only learn by experience and by interacting with other people. If we try our best (teachers and students) then we will in the end be successful.

This doesn't mean we give up in the struggles...no quite the contrary...we push on....encouraging, loving, hoping, drilling, asking because we believe that they will get it....and in the end, more important than the fact of whether they learned it or not is the fact that we loved them enough to make sure they learned as much as they are capable of learning.

The bigger picture still is this doesn't just apply to homeschoolers. I know many parents of children in public and other private schools that struggle with the same things. 

Tomorrow, an even bigger picture.

Homeschool Journal Week 11 - Days 49,50,51,52,53

Wednesday - Friday: Day 51,52,53

Once again, I can say, "All is well." We continue on with our school work. My plan had been to update this homeschool journal on Saturday with a bit about the bigger picture. But Saturday, I was hit with inspiration and added a new section to this site, called Homeschool Place. I was having so much fun with it I never got to write the update. My Homeschool Place is fun and builds off of the idea of sharing who we are and about what we are doing. This is your place to share about your homeschool. Join in.

Anyway, as a result my story was delayed until today and my big picture story got bigger on Monday.

Over the weekend, the boys spent the weekend camping with the scouts and my daughter and I spent some time together and I was able to get caught up on things a little.

Note: On Weds., Thurs. and Friday we did do school. Relatively, uneventful and a chance for eldest son to catch his breath before the next big assignments are due. He did get an A- on his book report.

Tuesday: Day 50 October 14,2008

Day 50

Now that seems like something to celebrate. Not today. Math and writing seem to be dragging us down. I know when I do the next assessment they will have improved but I am getting really tired of the struggles.
Homeschooling is not always a rosy, happy thing and days like today are very tough to endure...but the bigger picture is that I know this is what is best ....beyond a doubt, for my children.

One observation I've made is that the more frustrated I get the less amount of work gets done and there is also a direct correlation between their work and my standing over them. I wish I could say there is an easy acceptable solution. I'm tired. But I won't give up. I believe in my children and I know they can do this. I will try again.

I do know something that will help...keep them close to me, keep them focused on school and love 'em with all my heart. Sounds like a plan I might be able to follow.

Monday: Day 49 October 13, 2008
Columbus Day

Should we take it off? I debated this question and my solution was to do school but more of a focus day. Two children focused on Math and the other on Writing. We also went to the library and Art class. We even ate at the big M place. We all needed to stay in town for scouting activities and had a little time to get something to eat. The good thing...we all sat at the same table.

I am very stressed about my son's next writing assignment again. I don't know why this bothers me so much. I want him to do really well but he just can't seem to get words to come out of his head and actually reach the paper/computer. I've tried everything I can think of to help him...but yet ....he struggles. Thankfully, after this paper there is only one more essay and a research paper. Sure the papers turn out ok and the grades are acceptable but good grief....Days to write one 5 paragraph essay. I know....breathe.....breathe......

Soon we will be picking out what classes he will take next semester at the college. Anything but a writing class...please.

Homeschool Journal Week 10 - Days 44,45,46,47,48

Friday: Day 48 October 10, 2008

For better or for worse, another school week is done. Saturday, will find us cleaning and for two of the three children doing homework. Normally,  they would not have homework on the weekend but one child is catching up on Math and the other has assignments to do for his college level classes, due early next week.

Tonight and tomorrow, they will have fun....just in case you are thinking I am cruel and a total slave driver.

A few things I'd like to add today, I like lists and I like to laugh. Because of SBI, I get to see many great sites. Today, I'd like to share a site with you that is a great resource for people who like lists and links to other great homeschool websites. Check out this amazing resource
at Homeschool Curriculum and Support

I believe you will find it helpful.

As I said, I like to laugh. I just added a new page to my site that I hope you will check out about Homeschool Fun. I hope you will also consider adding your funny homeschool stories.

Thanks and I'll be back again next week to udate this Homeschool Journal page.

Oh, one more thing. I know I have mentioned SBI a few times and have not talked about it much...SBI stands for Site Build It. It is what I have been using to create this site. I love it and I truly have been enjoying my "work" if that is what you want to call it.  My first introduction to SBI was through a PDF/E-book titled WAHM-IT, The Masters Course.

If you are interested in reading more about building a business on the internet...here is a free copy for you to download.

Free PDF file

Perhaps you just want a little more information and don't want to download the free PDF file...if that is case, you can click on the image below and it will take you to a page about SBI. Enjoy.

Site Build It!

Thursday: Day 47 October 9, 2008

here is good in every day. Today was like a sigh of relief. The tough writing assignments are turned in and at least the next one will hopefully not be as troublesome. Math papers are appearing as they should, ready for me to review. School work is progressing at a steady pace. Things are
not perfect but at least acceptable. The weather is cooler and the allergies aren't too bad. The big projects I have been working on are nearly complete and I'm ready to move on to something else.

Maybe that near hyperventilating event from yesterday has gotten enough oxygen into me so that I can breathe more normally today. (I know -not quite accurate in the analogy)

It is time for me to assess where I am at in my projects, responsibilities and in teaching. The biggest gain I have had is that I realize that yes, there is good in every day, even in those extremely stressful days. There is always something that happens, that makes me grateful that I have the opportunity to homeschool. Sometimes the thing that makes me grateful is the thing that is giving me stress but that is another story for another time.

Wednesday:Day 46  October 8, 2008

I looked into my son's eyes and asked, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?" It was 8:30 p.m.. His college paper was due tonight at midnight. Just before my almost spastic question, he informed me that perhaps he was supposed to put in documentation, sources and a bibliography.

After I started breathing again, I was able to realize that it would be ok because he had already written the paper and rewritten the paper and rewritten the paper so it was basically finished and all he needed was something to back up what he was saying.

He was able to finish and get it turned in....and I told him next time to do it in the right order....research, documentation, write paper.

Fortunately, his next paper is to be a review on a movie or book....this should be easier for him. The personal experience and argumentative essays have been very difficult. But now they are done, turned in, it's over now....breathe.

Tuesday: Day 45 October7,2008

I knew this day was coming. It has happened now with all three children and I feel I should warn you. What I am going to tell you is horrible. Horrible for me to admit, horrible for my children and resulting with horrible but necessary consequences in order to complete the lesson and hopefully never repeat it.

In Math, my thing has been, they have to read the lesson, do the lesson, check the lesson, show me their work, and what they did wrong and how they fixed it. The idea behind this madness is to give them some responsibility in their education and help them to not be so reliant on having to be taught something they can learn themself. I offer assistance when they ask good and appropriate questions that demostrate they have at least tried to do the problem.

Have you guessed what happened? I knew it would. They all tried and failed to trick Mom. To say they've done the work and haven't. Trust me when I say the consequences of these actions are dealt with severely. My dear child will be repeating the first 50 lessons of the Math book and will be grounded from screen time until the lessons are completed. There will be no more Math on the couch or in the bedroom until the proof is back in the theoretical pudding.

Can this child do the work? Absolutely. Will it delay the math schedule? Not really. Fortunately, I started each of them on Saxon Math 54 in or around 2nd grade....this means my youngest who is in the 6th grade is doing Algebra 1/2 this year, my oldest is basically to the point of choosing to do Calculus or not, my middle son is finishing his Algebra 1 book and will proceed onto Algebra 2 before the end of his freshman year.
They are all accomplished in Math for their age and this just seems to be something they have to try. I usually am aware of it for quite a while before I dish out a severe punishment or have to call them on it. My hope everytime was that they wouldn't keep doing it but they do. They always do. Today, I had to call my child on it. Horrible feeling. 

I will be creating a Math Tips page soon, and this whole process and its pitfalls, reasoning and results will be discussed.

Be aware. These things happen.

Monday: Day 44 October 6, 2008

Frazzled and frustrated. That's how I started my day. Fortunately, the causes for my frustrations had nothing to do with school. Actually, the kids were all rather motivated today to get their school work done. They even gave up part of their lunch to get ready for the much anticipated art class. They have been waiting for this class to start since we registered for it in August. Another homeschool mom, who is an awesome artist, gives lessons. My kids enjoy the lessons very much.

The best part is that I was able to go and while they were having a lesson I got to sit and visit with friends. This helped alleviate much of the strain from early in the day. Sometimes you just need your friends.

As for the source of my frustration, I did what I usually do, I turned it over to God and He took care of it. I love it when that happens.
Thanks for reading and thank you to all my friends. I truly appreciate you being there for me.

Homeschool Journal Week 9 - Days 39,40,41,42,43

Today was a breakthrough day!  
These are the days we look forward to, the days that give us hope we are on the right track.

My daugther as she was doing her math, recognized that she had a problem and wanted to work on it. This is something I knew but whenever I made her to work on it, she didn't seem to get it. But today, I gave her a  easy visual method to practice and with a few minutes practice on the problem scattered through the day she has fixed her problem. SHE identified and fixed her problem!

Then my son, cheered. I went over to find out what was making him so happy and he informed me that he finally understood a concept in science that no matter how I explained it he couldn't figure it out. I told him to keep going over the material and over the examples until he understood it. That was eons ago. It took some time, but he knows it now or at least he thinks he does. 

My oldest is beginning to see that he can write. We discussed how when we first started homeschooling, mom was a little spastic, over controlling and impatient. I believe these early years and how I handled things then played a big role in his feelings about writing. I know I made mistakes. But I like to think, I was smart enough and cared too much about my children's education to let problems continue. I have worked extensively on my preconceived ideas about what they need to know, how they need to learn it and how I need to present it.

Yes, I made mistakes. On the other hand, I did some things right, too. The biggest thing I think I did right was to try to help my children foster a love for learning and giving them skills so that they can learn on their own. Today, after 10 years of homeschooling, I am seeing the fruits of that endeavor. I am thrilled. Maybe I'm not as impatient as I thought I was. Homeschooling has changed me, too.


Up until today, I have been covered up with G.S. registrations. Finally, most of them are processed and on their way to the office. YES!

Tonight I have a library meeting and last night and the night before I stayed up late working on the registrations. I am tired and my focus is a bit off.

I instructed my oldest to choose a topic and get his next outline ready. He also needs to work on the next computer applications and catch up a little on the other subjects.

The other two children have been very good this week, though a little distracted at times because my focus was elsewhere.

Today, I put together a care package for my sister who is in college. Part of that package was a DVD with pictures from various trips and things we did over the last several years and music. I  hope she likes it. That is one thing about creating this website with SBI, I have learned so much,like how to make DVD's with music. I thought I knew quite a bit about the internet, building pages, marketing etc. but I have learned so much more.

Wednesday: The teacher responded that it would probably be ok on the essay but he wouldn't know for sure until he sees it. The morning was spent polishing and tweaking the essay.
 Finally,he submitted it.

 The teacher is amazing, within a few hours it was graded. He got an A+. At least all the work my son did, and all the struggles paid off in the end. My son thinks that if I help in anyway then it isn't his essay. The teacher wants to enter it in a contest.

I don't know how to explain to my son, that had I written the essay, it would have been completely different approach, style and everything. It's like he has forgotten that he spent all those mornings and some afternoons and evenings struggling to get the outline, pick the topic, choose the points he wanted to make and the agonizing over the writing.
Maybe I should have him read this journal for the last two weeks.

I did time him when it looked like he wasn't doing anything. It was painful for me to watch. I tried to encourage him to think about what he wanted to say and how to say it and I really was not convinced this was personal enough for a personal essay.

TIP: I have found that my children do better when they have to work and focus for only a small chunk of time. They work hard and then if they meet the goal, they get a break.
For the writing assignment, I usually gave him 15 minutes to write at least 2-3 sentences. I had to keep telling him to just get the ideas on paper and this seemed the only way to get him to do that.

The other two children, seem to take a great pleasure in racing me. They like to beat me.

I have to complete a row of knitting and depending on the type of problems they have to finish 1-3 problems. This is really cool, because I get to knit and they get their math done.
Sometimes I use the timer with math -5 problems in 15 minutes.  

Tuesday:My oldest has been working almost non stop on his writing assignment. I have tried to help by offering suggestions and checking for grammar/typos etc. Together we spent the day rewriting and rewriting and checking. I am concerned it is not what the teacher wants to see for a personal essay. This is not how I would write the essay but we are working with what he has written. A girl from his class emailed asking for help and we had the chance to read her essay. It was good and more like what I would expect the essay to be like. My son sees the difference and I insist he contact the teacher to ask if what he has done is acceptable.

Monday: The weekend was tough not just for us but for friends, also. Our family prayer list for others has had many additions this week. So many are struggling and it seems there is no end in sight. I wish I could say I had a great lesson on economics today to share or that I, along with my children solved some major problem, but I don't and I can't. Instead all I have to offer is my absolute conviction, that all is going according to the plan. Thank goodness it isn't my plan. School today has gone much the same as it has for the last couple of weeks. In addition, the weather has become a distraction because it is so nice.  I did add a new page called Kids-Create. I also managed to spend a great deal of time on Girl Scout registrations.

Homeschool Journal Week 8 - Days 35,36,37,38

Friday: Like most people we look forward to the weekends, but I didn't want my oldest to be dwelling on the fact that he had two assignments for his college courses due early next week, so I had him finish his Computer Application assignment first. Then all of us spent the afternoon working on writing and rewriting and learning about writing personal essays. The weekend has turned out to be rather stressful. There have been several accidents, we learned about some of our friend's having a tough time,we had a big scouting registration event and our dog died. To help my daughter with the loss of Bear, I created a page about pets called Puppy Tales. If you get a chance, check it out. Thanks.

Thursday: Finally, a day this week that we don't have to go anywhere! The atmosphere is much more relaxed today...because there is no time constraints, and we just have to work until we get done. Oldest is still trying to come up with a topic for his next essay but I think he has settled on one that might work. I hope so. The rest of his schoolwork is done and he even had time to take some breaks outside.

The other two, I gave them a writing assignment which will show up on either the USA Geography page or the Illinois Geography page soon. They are testing a new feature where you can add a story about your favorite place in Illinois or in the USA. I hope you or your children will try it out, too. 

Wednesday: One of my favorite things about homeschooling is not having to hurry to get somewhere every morning. This morning, which is a typical example of a start to our day, I walked down the hall and my daughter, ran to me and gave me a hug. When I reached the living room, one of my sons said,  "Good morning, Mom," and came over to me and gave me a hug. My third child, met me in the kitchen, with a hug and a "Good Morning."  A few minutes later we usually start our school day with one child reading a mini Saint of the Day biography, followed by another child reading scripture and then the third reading a mediation based on the scripture. We follow that with a prayer asking God to bless our day and He does. Sure, some of our days are stressful but just having this opportunity to be with my children is worth every gray hair.

Even though today was a school holiday, my oldest had an assignment due and had to do school work. We also had a mini type field trip with several other homeschoolers who we had invited over to our farm. We explored the orchard, picked up pears and apples and black walnuts. We shared a little information about chestnuts and how to open them and identified some trees and various other outdoor curiosities. It was fun having people over to visit and explore our own backyard.

While it is fun to explore our backyard I also had the opportunity to meet a homeschooler online from the UK. She has a website that is a wonderful online magazine resource for homeschoolers including articles on homeschooling, worksheets, links to other good resources and more. Her online magazine is called The Homeschool

Monday: We had a wonderful opportunity today to get together with other families that homeschool. A good friend of mine puts together what we call "Day Class". She does an excellent job of creating and running these classes. Today's class was about rocks and minerals. While my oldest son worked on an essay, the two younger ones were learning about rocks and minerals. My friend had a helper today who presented a great deal of information. I thought it was wonderful because much of the information we had already covered last year and this served as a great review and there was some new information, too.

A couple of things that makes these types of classes really effective, are that you can limit the size of the class and add things that are hands on or more visual etc. that will cover a broad range of different learning styles. If you would like to learn more about different learning styles or test your child to find out his/her style, a website that will help you do this is Custom Homeschool Curriculum   I am going to go back soon and re-test my children.


Homeschool Journal Week 7 - Days 30,31,32,33,34

I have been working to try and make this page and all my pages better. So please forgive me-if you are following along and have been noticing the changes from day to day. Also, I'm preparing for my Girl Scout troop meeting. It's tonight.

Oldest son received a "B" in his last English Comp. paper, grammar and punctuation errors. Fortunately, this is only one paper and is not worth much towards his final grade. He will have to be much more diligent on his future assignments.

The other two have quietly worked today. I will need to check their work.
A little too quiet. They have been working steadily on coursework. Son #2 did ask questions today. Also, noticed I am a little behind on updating his SOS work. I will need to do that today.

Tuesday: Though I was feeling pretty good about our progress at the beginning of the week, I'm not too happy now. Today, was not one of our better days. None of them finished their Math today. Not even by bed time. Why? Because I was distracted and working on my web site and scouts. This of course, meant no screen time for them which was good for me. This meant the computer was free in the evening. Eldest son is writing his next English Composition assignment which is due tomorrow. After the last grade, he is really trying to improve his writing. The problem is this takes a great deal of his time.

Wednesday: I had so hoped today would be better. It didn't start off well. By noon however, everyone seemed to be moving along on their schedules. Eldest is polishing up his report and getting ready to submit it. Then he will have to play catch up in  Health and Government.
Middle son and daughter have been put on probation for screen time/play time until they can show me their Math homework is complete and caught up. This problem has gone on too long.

Thursday: Gosh, is it Thursday already? Well, I've added two new pages this week. If you would like to check them out. One is on Illinois Geography and one is about Guinea Hens.

Today, I realized whenever I am distracted, the children don't focus on their school.  My eldest did turn in his report but has been struggling to write a tiny critique. This is very difficult for me to let him make the mistakes and work this out. I know, he will get it. I just hope it is before I am totally gray. Granted I don't have far to go on that front.

The other two, heavy sigh. I know they are working but I still am having trouble getting them to show me their work when they are finished. Granted my daughter did show me her handwriting and has reported on her science and history, but where is her math?

Middle son, I must say he is trying and he did finish his Math and show it to me before it was time to play.

I am really glad tomorrow is Friday.
Friday: Today began with our prayer and scripture and meditation on the scripture as we always do but today's scripture hit me directly. It is relevant to the struggles we seem to be having daily. The meditation was very helpful. It began with, "Are you feeling discouraged? Then get your focus back on Jesus."  God was reminding me that even though we will have struggles and trials and days we want to just scream (even though we don't) that in the end we will look back and see all the good that came from those struggles.

I asked Him to bless our struggles and that we would see the good come soon.

Today, I saw good things happen in our school.

We were able to take a break and go outside and enjoy the beauty of the day. We picked up apples, pears, chestnuts and black walnuts and experienced the bounty of the Lord first hand.

The school work did get finished. The college assignment did get turned in on time and received a favorable comment from the teacher.

The children took breaks and worked hard. The day was good. No, the day was VERY good.

I feel blessed that we have the opportunity to homeschool. My hope for you is that in times when you are struggling that you too will recognize and experience your choices as blessings. That you will feel peace and joy and see the good that comes from your struggles.

Peace and have a great weekend.

Six Week Progress Check

Daughter (6th grade): Has almost read completely through her Science book. Needs to go back and answer questions. (Note: I am ok with her doing it this way because it reinforces the material over time increasing the chance she will retain the information.)

In her History book, she is about half way through the first of two books.
Math is a problem, has started the Algebra 1/2 book but we still need the answer key. We are also discovering concepts that she needs to review and study-like Roman numerals and fractions.  Have spent a few days reviewing those concepts and working through the review section in the beginning of the Algebra book.

English and Reading and Writing are her strong classes and she is doing very well in them.

Spelling is a curriculum two years above her grade level and she is about 30 lessons into it.

She did a review listen to the Primary Latin and then moved on to studying Elementary German and is enjoying it. She is using the 10 minutes a Day book. After she works through this book she will repeat the Spanish and Sign Language books.

P.E.  is too much fun. This was her first subject for much of this school year but I had to make it her last subject so that she would focus on the core subjects better.

Art is another favorite subject and she regularly without prompting works on it. Formal class starts in October.

Overall Assessment: She is doing well but needs to give more focused attention on her Math. Math needs to be the 1st subject of the day and P.E. needs to be the last.

Son (High School Freshman): For Math he still has not completed Algebra 1 mainly because he won't ask questions and just tries to struggle through the problems on his own, English composition 9 working at "A" level, Science 9 Switched on Schoolhouse  "A", Switched on Schoolhouse History 9 "B", Switched on Schoolhouse Health "A", P.E. "A", Introduction/Primary to Foreign Languages  "A" and Art (formal instruction begins in October. He is working on his own and is doing well.)

Overall Assessment: Doing well but needs to redo History and bring it up to "A"  Math needs to get finished with Algebra 1 and needs to learn to ask for help instead of struggling through the lessons. I am very glad to see his writing has improved in quality but he needs to improve his initial spelling and not rely on Spell check.

Son (High School Junior): 2 college courses, English Composition and Computer Applications, (dual credit) on schedule and working at "A" level. Switched on Schoolhouse Government at a low "A"  -a little bit behind. Switched on Schoolhouse Health at "A" level and also a little behind. Math has completed Advanced Math and about half way through a supplemental Geometry course. Switched on Schoolhouse Chemistry on schedule and at "A" level. For Art he has been helping me with the graphics for this website and a formal class will start in October.

Overall Assessment: Doing well. Need to make sure college courses don't overwhelm the days.

The Schedule has been significantly revised to fit our day to day homeschool activities. 

Homeschool Journal Week 6 - Days 25,26,27,28,29

Monday: Tonight I have a leader's meeting and I am trying to teach myself how to convert this site over to html using a new program. I am excited about it and I am hopeful to have some really great additions to the site soon. 

I also posted a new blooper video on the plarn page. You can check it out here. 

It was a breakthrough day for son #2, without me nagging he finished, checked and put his Math work on my desk.  

Oldest is worried about his English Composition class through the college and he just found out he has to write a 2-3 page paper in his other class by next week. This is tough. However, he is working on it on his own time and I believe he will do just fine.

Tuesday: I spent today creating a new web page on Aquaponics under the Summer Education section. I even made and posted a movie. It was a late finishing day...mainly because my focus wasn't on the prodding and nudging. By supper all was done.

Wednesday: I spent the morning updating this site and this page and working on Girl Scout registrations.The children have worked steadily all day. Finished Math is on my desk for son #2 and daughter is working out of an old book with review-still haven't found the answers to her book and I am unwillingly to do the Math. Oldest has been working on his writing assignments from both college classes. This is a struggle for him and it takes a long time for him to complete the assignments. It is now close to quitting time-let me check on their progress. YES! Everyone is on their last subject. 

Thursday:  This morning I was able to work a little on the site. I have two new major sections planned and it is just going to take some time to put them together but I am so excited about them. Library board meeting tonight.

Oldest has his college report due tomorrow and has been working hard on it. In the afternoon we worked together on editing and polishing and he submitted the finished work. It is tough for me to know where to draw the line between being a Mom and a Teacher when it comes to assignments from other teachers. I think I do a great job of letting them do the work but I won't let mistakes go unchecked. I look at this as getting two teachers for the price of one. However, it is hard for the children to understand, they think it is like cheating.  It isn't. What I do is go through their work and make suggestions on how to improve it.                       

                 (That is what a good parent would do, right?)

Friday: Morning meltdown. I've been sickly with a scratchy throat and tired and this morning my daughter is getting the wrong side of me. However, we did identify some things she needs to work on...

1. Taking care of library books by using a bookmark. 

2. Taking care of school books by putting them away when she is finished with them 

3. Taking care of her stuff in general.

4. Taking care of her room.

5. Roman numerals

I think the last thing is what put me over the edge. She does great with checkmark lists...maybe if I give her a list on these things she will remember to do them.  Of course, the roman numerals has been assigned for her first lesson of the day and for a repeat lesson in the afternoon and possibly an assignment for over the weekend. Not knowing them is not acceptable at this point. This may be a Math focus day for her. 

I think this is a continuation of this phase in her life where she is flitty. I hope it passes soon. Tell me it is a phase. Please. lol

For my oldest son to stay on track with his composition class, I am having him create outlines for all remaining assignments. This way he can fill in things as he thinks about them. Also, today he has to get an outline draft for both his computer application word project and for his next composition paper. He did Chemistry in the morning and will do PE later and will incorporate Art into his projects. As for Health and Government he will pick them up on Monday.


Homeschool Journal Week 5 - Days 21,22,23,24

Another short week due to the Labor Day Holiday.

This week we just didn't seem able to finish anywhere near a reasonable time. Fortunately, most of the extra activities like Youth Group and Religious Education and Scouts and activities with the homeschool group haven't kicked into full gear yet.

Therefore this is an issue we need to get a handle on immediately.

Trying new ideas:

Daughter-must complete work in front room, show work to mom and then is allowed to check on the animals. I will need to enforce this regularly. I don't know why my two youngest want to do school in their rooms and also I don't know why that bothers me. Probably because I can't keep tabs on them as well and they like their rooms because there is less noise and distractions.

I am constantly checking on them and nudging them to move a little faster...but is this a good idea? I don't think so. I really do want them to know the material not just get through it.

So I need to relax a bit and back off as long as they are working and progressing and they are doing that.

My oldest is keeping up with his college courses...though they are getting a bit more challenging and if they follow the typical course of action they will get more intense soon. He is spending a great deal of time working on them...this is putting his regular high school classes on the back burner somewhat. But again this will work out. In December, both college classes will finish early in December and he will have at least until mid January to super focus on his high school courses. He isn't really behind much so this will work out.

Middle son is working on his computer aided classes most of the morning and is doing well in them. Math, the big issues with him skipping problems and telling me he finished has been stopped. The problems were ones he didn't understand how to do very well so we worked on those and now he is happily turning in his assignments instead of hiding them in his room. Now, I just need to find the answer key to my daughter's book. Oh, Saint Anthony, please help.

Thanks for checking in. Hope you are having a wonderful week. 


Homeschool Journal Week 5 - Day 20

Our greatest challenge to completing school on time seems to be English Composition. Today, we covered writing a narrative paragraph. Once I gave them an example using sensory words, they all seemed to get it...and consequently wrote some decent rough drafts.

Math is often another challenging subject for us but two things help keep them moving on that subject. First, they need to work on Math where I can see them and second, they need to keep focused. Sometimes we use a timer to motivate them and give them limits on how long to work on a problem before moving on or asking for help

It helps

One thing I have tried in the past that helps is to work on Math for 15 minutes at a time. Then if they get a reasonable amount of problems finished they get a short break or a treat before doing another set of 15 minutes. The only drawback is someone has to keep the timers going and that is usually me.


Homeschool Journal Week 4 - Days 15,16,17,18,19

Finally! Things are going smoother. The boys have improved with the SOS system and are making steady progress through the first sections. I like the hands-on experiments and the ability to redo until they get it. They are taking better notes and looking closer at the key ideas.

My daughter's challenges with being flitty have also turned for the better. She is running out to check on the chickens and the dogs and the goat less and getting her work done. Granted not everything is perfect. We did have some very long school days-but overall the learning aspects of our day have improved and to me that is what is important. It would be nice to finish at our scheduled finish time but comparing it to a typical school I guess the extra hours would be like homework time.


Homeschool Journal Week 3 - Days 11,12,13,14 

Only 4 days this week, we celebrated a school holiday.

This week I noticed we seem to be getting into a good flow of things. The newness of SOS has worn off and the boys are becoming familiar with the format and procedures they need to do in order to pass the quizzes and assignments. My approach is they have to have an A in order to go on...this may mean an overall "A" or an "A" on a quiz, assignment or test. This has been somewhat of a struggle but they are starting to progress through the lessons at a steady rate.

The only other qualm with SOS is that it is heavy on religious ideas, some of which do not necessarily coincide with our beliefs...even though we are Christians also. This I feel is good because it helps the boys to see how others may view different ideas and how others approach developing a relationship with Jesus. It is all good.

As last week, my daughter is distracted by her concept of what she is responsible for in regards to the animals. Yes, it is her responsibility to take care of the animals but some lines will need to be drawn during school hours. The goat continues to need extensive attention though he does seem to be calming down a bit.

Also, another major concern is how my daughter treats her books and things in general. She is so flitty that she just drops things when she is done with them sometimes a few feet from where it actual belongs. This adds to the clutter and is very stressful. So I have been making a point to have her put her supplies and books away after she completes a subject. This has been an ongoing struggle for years but every little bit of reinforcement helps....I hope.

I expect these issues to clear up as we continue on with our school work. Most of the problems deal with organization and keeping a consistent focus.


Homeschool Journal End Week 2 - Days 8,9,10

For the remainder of week two we continued to have problems with distractions. On Thursday we had a very extended school day just to complete the assignments. Of course, Thursday is when the college courses started online and my focus was in getting my son on track with those. One problem we had with these classes was getting a book. I tried to buy it online and we have been waiting for it to arrive. I think this is going to be a bad seller but at this time I am still hopeful it will arrive over the weekend.

Friday wasn't much smoother but we did finish at a reasonable time.

I believe the problem is mostly a lack of focus and is complicated by us having to tweak the schedule. As we make adjustments I expect the children to find their beat and for things to go smoother.

Also, the addition of the college courses is imposing deadlines and we have to delegate computer time to meet those deadlines. It will help when we finally get the book we need and then we can better gauge our time allotments.

UPDATE ON BOOK: Tuesday- The book has still not arrived and I feel we can wait no longer. We went to the bookstore and purchased a used copy there. I will file a claim to recoup hopefully some of the money from the first purchase.

You might be wondering why we didn't do that in the first place.Couple of reasons-the first reason being we live a great distance from the college and don't get over that way often. Also, the last time I was there the used copies were in pitiful condition and they were asking 20-30 dollars more than a used copy online in fair to good condition. For the most part I have had good experiences with purchasing books online so I thought why not try to get a copy online. At that time it was two and half weeks before school was scheduled to begin.

Homeschool Journal Week 2 - Days 6 and 7

On Sunday we had the opportunity to go to St. Louis for the day. While there we visited the History Museum/Zoo, attended Mass at the Basilica, ate Kosher food, attended Fiddler on the Roof and in general explored our Christian roots. I will log this as Field Trip #1.

We arrived home well after midnight and once again our school schedule for the following started late.

Monday, I am starting to notice a trend to slip into some bad habits. My daughter is trying to flit from subject to subject. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem except that she tends to skip the ones she doesn't like...Math and Handwriting.

My son on the other hand is trying to do his work in his room instead of where I can see him and keep him on track. Again not necessarily a problem unless he slips into his allergy mode and starts zoning.

Today I received a notice that this is High alert for Ragweed. He is allergic to Ragweed.

This is a carryover battle from last year. I will continue to assess the progress and if it isn't what it needs to be then I will enforce a stricter policy.

I am unhappy that we started on time today yet it is now 2 hours past the time we should have finished. Obviously, I will need to keep a closer eye on the times and encourage them to work faster or to stop at the appointed time and finish as homework.

Sure that means they will still be doing school later than the finishing time but at least if one of them can finish earlier because they didn't have to wait for the computer or for other resources it would be worth it.

I also have been getting the dates for the Art classes, Religious Education classes, the Co-op Day Classes and Teen Nights and other activities-mainly scouts on the schedule. The calendar is filling up.

This Thursday, my oldest son's Dual-credit classes will be officially starting. Until then I will just keep the schedules the same and focus more on time management skills (theirs and mine).

I do not know how much time will be needed for those classes and I am still waiting for one of the books for the Computer Applications class to arrive. Please pray it arrives soon.

This year has had a positive development. Everyone's attitude has been very pleasant and though we've had some rough spots they are working hard. I do believe the SOS program is a good option for us right now for some of the classes. The trick is getting everybody the time they need to do their work on the computer.

SOS has been good for introducing them to regular testing and is helping them to learn how to take better notes and study for quizzes and tests.

Homeschool Journal Week One

The rest of week one was pretty much the same as the first day. I continued to have computer problems. A couple of days we had late nights the evening before and therefore started school later than I would have liked. Ultimately, it was fine.

On Thursday, I revised the schedule to hopefully make the days go smoother with the alternating uses of the computer.

The biggest problem was that I didn't seem to get the time I scheduled for me to work on this website.

The goat is also a problem. It is behaving like a toddler wanting more and more attention and company. This has to change.

We also purchased a new laptop for our oldest for when he goes away to college. Right now the computer is being used as a family computer for school. It is much better than any of the other computers we have.

On the upside, but not a homeschool issue, our new chicken laid an egg for the first time. 


Homeschool Journal SCHEDULE AND DAY ONE

One of my biggest struggles with homeschooling is trying to fit it all in and finish the books. For years, literally, I've wondered how do they do it in public schools? Do they shorten the lessons? Do they skip the reviews? Do they even finish the books?

Instead of making this an issue and stressing about it...I do what I can to make sure they learn the basics and enrich the subjects as much as possible and we finish the books. I challenge them to grow and nag and push until they do. Failure happens but it is not an option. Therefore, they repeat things until they get it, period.

Scheduling is an important facet of our school. However, I have learned that being tied to a set time frame and rigid structure doesn't work well for us.

The schedule this year may look rigid but it is not. As we progress through the year/semester we will adapt to the days as needed.


Homeschool Journal Day One

It is almost lunch time! YEAH! I've already heard,"I'm hungry."

As expected we are doing a fair amount of adapting today. However, up to 8:00 a.m. things went smoothly.

Things we had to adjust:

1. Had to reinstall Spelling for my daughter. She has already completed nine lessons for Spelling 8 which is two years ahead of her class level.

2.Had to add Student to Health

3. John A. Logan courses haven't begun yet, so we are doing review and switching and filling in on oldest student's schedule. This will be the norm until JALC classes start on the 14th.

4. Mom's computer time for site building has been interrupted with questions and by the goat.

5. Review math section for daughter is requiring more hands on instruction...but once she gets it this should ease up and she will be able to retest and go on to Pre-Algebra

6. Math for 2nd son will require more instruction also and he will have to finish the lesson after school.

7. The goat we own is very needy and gets tangled up and we are having to check on him often. This disrupts our schedule some..but what an opportunity to develop logic skills. lol

What is going well today?

1. Everyone seems happy to start school again.

2. Writing review was great. All of them remembered what we have done previously and it seems to be coming more natural for them.

3. Switched on Schoolhouse lessons are manageable and fit into the schedule.

4. Other than a few technical issues everyone is staying on schedule and not stressing.

5. It is almost lunch and there have been no serious problems. I expect the afternoon to go smoothly as the more difficult courses have been scheduled for the morning hours.


Laudo Homeschool Journal Schedule


Wake up, dress, eat, brush teeth/hair, do chores, do WII Fit body test, prayer and meditation and finish time with free reading.


B - Computer Applications (Starts JALC on 8/14)

J - 30 minute exercise, shower, Typing and Geography skills

L - Math


B - English Composition starts JALC on 8/14- currently doing review of IEW methods of writing (Only Bryan gets college credit)

J - English Composition starts JALC on 8/14- currently doing review of IEW methods of writing

L - English Composition starts JALC on 8/14- currently doing review of IEW methods of writing


B - Chemistry

J - Math

L - 30 minute exercise, shower, Typing and Geography skills


B - Math

J - Health

L - Handwriting, Spelling




B - Government

J - Science 9

L - History


B - Health and Exercise and shower

J - History 9

L - Science


Mom reads and Foreign Language practice.

Books Mom will Read throughout the year

1. Wizard of Oz the enhanced Vocabulary version

2. 100 Heroes

3. Elements

4. Rainforest

5. Bible History

6. Vocabulary books

7. Saints

Finish any incomplete assignments

Art/Scouts/Music/Youth Group activities

Thanks for checking out our Homeschool Journal. I hope it will help you with your schedule or with the day to day problems of homeschooling.


Homeschool Journal Log Preparing to Begin

In these last few days before our official start of school, I am trying to create a workable schedule. With three children of different ages and abilities and limited resources it is tricky to get everything on the schedule.

Over the years I have created several plans. Sometimes I went with lesson plans while at other times I went with the flow of the school day. I have found for our family it is best to have an organized schedule.

5 Things to Consider Before Day 1

1. Resources Available - Be prepared


What do you need? What do your children need? What do you have? What can you afford?


Do you have 3 children and 2 computers and want to teach them all to type? How will you do that?

2. Structure and Balance - Do you need it? Do you have it?

If you have more than one child chances are that you know that as individuals they are very different in their personalities and abilities. When trying to determine if you need a minute by minute lesson plan or something a little less structured you will need to consider how your child does with schedules. I try to work towards a balanced method that will work with all of my children.

3. Thinking Big Expectations- Keep them real!!

Yes, I admit I push my children. I have at times went a little too far. One year we were doing several languages along with the traditional subjects. If I intended to expect fluency in all of those languages I would have felt this was an unrealistic expectation. However, I did not expect fluency. I hoped for it yes....but expected it ...no. I did expect them to be able to recognize the languages and grasp the beginning grammar concepts and to retain the vocabulary words we covered.

My suggestions: Consider the following before adding a subject

a. Understand your reasons for covering a subject beyond the core subjects. b. Consider what you hope for them to retain? c. Is this extra work going to be a challenge for them or will it be overwhelming? d. Do you have the time and energy to explore extra subjects or do you expect them to retain only the basics?

4. Believe in Your Children

5.  Homeschooling is challenging and rewarding but if you have doubts about your school choices, understand there are always other options to pursue.



Curriculum Problems

There are numerous available curriculums and sometimes it takes time to find one that works best with your children. A few ideas about how to test a curriculum are to borrow a friends book, go to seminars, buy a used but inexpensive copy, check your local library and/or go to homeschool shows and book sales.


There are co-ops and support groups offline and online. Seek them out if you need them. Also, try to go to events sponsored by your local homeschool group.

Ask veteran homeschoolers questions. 

Most will be more than happy to help you with any homeschool problem you may have. Chances are they have worked through the very problem you are experiencing.

The next update will include our tentative schedule. I'm getting antsy to start.

Thanks for following our journal.

May God's peace be with you as you embark upon your journey.

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