Tag Archives: school at home

A salesperson I never thought I would be!

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So, it’s official… I am an Usborne Books consultant. I fought it for about 3 months and could fight the urge no longer! I am terrified, haha I will never confess to be a good saleswoman and in a past life I would have said I would never do such a thing but I am shocked by my kids love and my love for these books!

They seem to be special!!

As a homeschooler books are obviously a little more of a treasure in our home, these are the things that nourish my children’s need for knowledge when I’m at a loss for what to introduce next. They find things that expand their interest when I have given up on searching for information.

We love books but we especially have a special place in our hearts for Usborne books. Today my friend was asking me some questions about Usborne and I sent her a video of the exact book she was looking for… because we had it in our library of books. I loved this experience, I loved being able to help someone with something that I was actually passionate about and excited about sharing.

I realize this is a small blog but I still can not contain my excitement about these books. Below is a picture of one of the books I recommended to someone today. It’s called All Better! It has 5 sticky “bandaids” on the inside cover and each page has a different animal with an ouchie that the child needs to put a bandaid on. We love this book!!

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There are so many amazing books, both fiction and non-fiction for newborns to young adults, that will deepen your child’s love for reading and learning and I really do stand by them… (fyi.. I don’t stand behind many products… or any… except for turmeric, love turmeric!!!)

Anyways, I’m sure I will have my up and down battles of the aspect of selling these books but I’m really just excited to talk about them more!! So if you want to talk to me about them go right ahead, I will be here!!:)

 

 

If interested in looking through Usborne books, here is a great link to search for books, get ideas, or buys some amazing books. Usborne Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Things I learned in my First Year of Homeschooling.

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Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year.  Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.

1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!! 

To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.

I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.

2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!! 

I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right? :/

All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.

3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!

Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.

4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!

I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.

Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!

5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.

I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.

If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!

A Whole New World

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Preschool has come to an end for my oldest. The next few months will hopefully be full of fun and play and preparation for homeschooling in the fall. It will be our first year and a whole new world for us as a family.

So thankful that I am able to make the choice to homeschool and that I finally have a peace about it!!

Here’s to new beginnings and all the adventures to come!

Stay tuned for more homeschooling plans at the Lane homestead!

Lessons Learned at Home

1 month down of preschool at home and I’ve definitely learned a few things as a homeschooling newbie. I think I’ve actually learned more than my 4 year old this month although I must say he has read several sentences all on his own and we are only on lesson 15 in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons Super proud of my little 4 year old!

Anyways I started out thinking that during my little ones nap me and my preschooler would sit down and do some workbook and reading and themed activities and about a week in I realized that the attention span of a 4 year old could not hold up to my expectations. My expectations were in fact outrageous. I learned this after getting frustrated with him during his reading lesson and not only getting frustrated but letting him see that frustration which only made him get frustrated and want to quit reading even more. I was reminded that preschool is supposed to be fun. I’m supposed to be a fun teacher and getting frustrated and threatening nap time was not the type of teacher I want to be. After spending the rest of the evening feeling like a pretty crappy mom and homeschooler I decided to make a couple changes in the following areas.

DAILY STRUCTURE

While I’m all for having a schedule especially as my kiddos get older I’ve realized this month that the structure of a 4 year olds school schedule needs to not be so structured. I ended up keeping the sit down and work section of the day in our routine but now I limit that time to no more than 20 minutes. 10 minutes on workbook and then 5 to 10 minutes on reading. And after really focusing on what was getting him so antsy during his reading lessons I realized that the fist 5 to 10 lessons were too easy for him and very repetitive so I cut out a few steps here and there and didn’t repeat everything so much and now he’s much more focused and proud of himself by the end of each day.

THEMES

Honestly I hadn’t really thought about themes. I was just excited about the books and the learning but I realized very quickly that the way he needs to learn is through a more hands on approach that is made to be fun and educational. And quite frankly I was getting bored myself. So the googling began and now weekly and monthly themes are coming out of my ears. I’m so excited to dive into a certain subject and make it fun and exciting and educational all at the same time.

So while I had one very structured way of teaching in my mind it turns out it’s not what either of us needed or wanted. I kind of forgot one of the main reasons to homeschool is to make what our kids learn and how they learn fit their needs in an exciting way. I want learning to be an adventure as much as possible and I know that this isn’t always possible but while they are still young I’m gonna try my hardest to make it as exciting as I can.

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Desert Lapbook Printables

So the last few weeks have been Desert themed. We made our first lapbook which I’m kind of in love with lapbooks now. He loved getting involved with it and wants our theme to be Batman next week. I said yes to that, especially when I found lapbook printables for Batman themed preschool week online.(link posted below) My daughter is even getting involved, we are focusing on learning her letters and also getting involved in whatever theme we come up with.

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I’m even more excited now than I was before school started. The idea that we can tweek our school at home to fit all of our needs and to do it in a way that makes learning an adventure, and a fun adventure at that makes me very giddy! Super excited to see what unfolds in our school year.

Here’s to happy schooling!

Preschool Lapbook Themes

Homeschooling Newbie!

My decision to homeschool has not been an easy one. As soon as my oldest turned 2 I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wondering about it and the fact that I have one sister that homeschools and another sister that sends her kids to public school should have made my decision easier but it hasn’t. I looked at both sets of kids and they are all amazing and smart and unique in their own ways so when it finally came down to it I had to decide what was best for my family and my family alone. So the praying began and it continued for months and months and while I was trying to decide for certain my homeschooling sister told me that I will just have a peace about it either way and that it’s something that may change with every year and so I waited for that peaceful feeling that she had promised me and I waited some more and about the time that I was about to give up on it…. it arrived and boy did it feel amazing! The last 2 weeks have been lovely and crazy and a wee bit stressful. While I’ve been praying about whether or not I would homeschool I’ve also been searching through site after site of curriculums to use. Yes I know this is just preschool but I wanted it to be something fun and easy for our first year. My son is so excited about learning and school so I definitely didn’t want to disappoint! In the end I chose several different things to weave together and HOPEFULLY make a beautiful preschool year. I’m still working on getting weekly themes together but for now we are just getting into a routine that is more scheduled and that’s a victory in my book.

Here are the following things I’m doing this year to make preschool for a fairly advanced 4-year-old educational and enjoyable.

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Christian Light Education

First up is Christian Light Education which I absolutely love so far. This is something we do during our main “sit down and learn time” I purchased the kindergarten package because from what I read about the preschool package it seemed a little too young for him and I must say the Kindergarten books are perfect for him. They have 5 workbooks and 5 activity books, 30 lessons in each one. I have it planned out to where it will take up a full school year. About 3 pages a day. Can’t say enough about these books!

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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson Amazon Listing

Next is this lovely book that I happened upon by chance but I’m so happy I did. Honestly I haven’t been the happiest with the idea of memorizing site words and not learning how to sound words out to read. Love the phonics approach and this goes along with that kind of teaching. I love this book because it teaches the fundamentals, learning the sounds that letters make together. I have high hopes for these lessons and so far my son is doing very well. The reviews are absolutely amazing so we shall see. I will keep you updated!

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ABC Jesus Loves Me

Finally for our bible lessons I chose to go with ABC Jesus Love Me. I can’t say enough about this curriculum! Last year I bought these books and was pretty consistent with it but last year I used the entire curriculum. This year I’m using the 4-year-old curriculum but only the bible lessons each week. I did buy these books last year so that I wouldn’t have to go to the library all the time (and plan on using them with my younger littles) but this year I’ve decided to brave the library printers because guess what… EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE IS FREE! Yes, you heard right free. Weekly lesson plans, daily plans, printables, crafts. You can purchase a lesson plan book and most of the printables you will need just to make it easier and have it more organized which is what I did last year but it’s totally easy do without purchasing especially if you have your own printer!

A few more things I hope to add in are weekly themes which one of my resources for this is 25 Weekly Themes and some Five in a Row books and activities which I’ve heard awesome things about! I’ve also been using Homeschool Skedtrack as a planner. I was going to buy a planner but when I came across this amazing online homeschool planner I about had an attack of the giggles. I realize that this is just preschool but just having our daily plans scheduled and marked off each day, you can also go ahead and plan your year, your days off, your holidays and then it does all the hard work for you! Love it and plan to continue using it through the years!

So my homeschooling has begun! Wish me luck and happy schooling to you whether public, private or in the home!