this is my home, this is my school

Just taking a quick minute to tell you guys about a good book, This is My Home, This is My School by Jonathan Bean.

reading books

I found this book at the library and it’s such a sweet look at the author’s childhood in a homeschooling family. The artwork is unique and really nicely done as well.  It even includes some photographs at the end of his family’s homeschooling life. I just loved it!

reading books

I like it when my kids get to hear about grownups’ or other kids’ experience homeschooling– it feels validating and reminds them why this journey is so special.

Check your library for this book or you can grab it on Amazon.

I might try to make this into a little ongoing series, Book Minute, where I share a quick look at a book we like. :)

Affiliate links included; thanks for reading and for your support.

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*****

lots of school on the go (coffee shops and the library are my fave)

a new school for Gigi and feeling challenged to get into a new routine

Hallee (4) decided to pick up reading lessons again and is loving it

handmade valentines for friends

dogsitting for my parents

exploring a new park (with trails!) and working on Bobcat level of Wild Explorers Club

reading lessons (and running free) at the beach

sewing class for Gigi where she made a felt teddy bear

lots of fights over schoolwork, and hopefully even more grace and reconciliation

a new softball season (baseball starts this week!) means the best kind of P.E.

*****

This month, we started Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has been super fun, and we just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone which completely enchanted our kids. The littles got new handwriting books this month finally, and Brody is on the verge of finishing Math U See‘s Primer and beginning Alpha.

Brody has discovered graphic novels — Pokemon and Geronimo Stilton (these come in funky little novel-form and entertaining audiobooks, too) are faves.

Hallee and I have less one-on-one time together but we are still slowly working through the cheeky Stuart Little‘s adventures.

Gigi seems to have rekindled her love of American Girl books, discovering Maryellen Larkin’s books (who she shares a birthday with!), and also a newly found series about Liberty Porter, First Daughter (about the 9-year old daughter of the president, which seems like a timely read in an election year). Gigi asked me if I’d like to read the first Libery book, which I thought was cute, so I just started it. :)

We did a unit on the Revolutionary War, which included reading a book we enjoyed called Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War began. Since the kids had already seen most of Liberty’s Kids, they were familiar with many of the names and events.

*****

It hasn’t been an easy transition, having two kids and two different charter schools. We are struggling to adjust and I find myself with my eyes set on the hope of having a more regular schedule next year. My hope is to have all three in class on the same two full days (please, Lord, may it be!) so that we have three full days at home to enjoy homeschooling and feel like we are running less ragged. But in the meantime, a little more driving does have its benefits, namely more time for podcasts and listening to my Bible reading plan, and accidental naps for the littles. 😉

****

This post was inspired by Bethany at Cloistered Away, (and includes affiliate links).

 

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recognize reality

I have a lot of ideals about homeschooling. But as it turns out, we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in reality. So this year, I’ve made a few changes that while maybe not ideal in my own eyes, have made our homeschool a bit more realistic for where we are right now.

I’m still keeping those ideals tucked away in my heart– they are not abandoned– but I’m not letting them weigh me down and tell me our homeschool is a failure because we aren’t living up to them. 

I’ll apply aspects of them to areas where I can, and I’ll let them influence my decisions and function as more of a filter in my homeschool planning than a game plan.

girls at the coffee shop

What this looks like right now

As second semester began at the beginning of this month, Gigi began attending classes at a new charter school. There were a lot of reasons for this change, but the biggest result of this change is that now we are loosely following lesson plans that are given by the charter school for our at-home time.

I have balked at this type of system since we began homeschooling three and a half years ago, but the truth is, while it does not fall into the category of ideal for me, there are a lot of benefits to it, especially for Gigi.

For example, being more accountable to the school, and less to only me is something that relieves a little of the tension between the two of us. And we can still add in whatever extra stuff we want like memory work, nature study, cursive, etc. It still lets us function as an eclectic mostly-classical, Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool.

reading charlie and the chocolate factory

And I do still have the ability to substitute my own curriculum where desired (we are doing most of our own math still for example), but as it turns out, I’m actually loving the school’s literature unit that we are doing that’s based around reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and so are the kids, which is the best part).

Thinking ahead to next year, while I would ideally like my younger kids to stay where Brody is (the charter school where we’ve been since we started homeschooling), for at least the primary grades, reality tells me that having all my kids at the same school, would be better for my sanity and our family’s functioning.

We’ll see how it all shakes out, but for now I’m feeling at peace about recognizing our reality instead of being frustrated that we’re not living up to my ideals. 

This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for reading and for your support!

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#NaturePalExchange

by Nicole on January 27, 2016

in homeschool,science

Something fun that we did in the fall was take part in a swap called Nature Pal Exchange. Through Instagram I discovered this fun way to see and experience a bit of nature in another part of the country.

nature pal exchange goodies

We were paired with a family in Alabama who sent us some amazing treasures that they collected and made for us– things quite different from what we sent them (mostly beach-themed).

watercolors

We had a lot of fun adding some watercolor artwork and a map of a local nature preserve to our collection for them.

thanksgiving table with preserved leaves

Some items that were unique for us SoCal-ers were the cotton (“It’s just like a cotton ball, mama, but on a plant!”), various preserved leaves (which made lovely table decor for our Thanksgiving dinner with our Community Group), a magnolia seed pod, and cicada carcasses.

nature pal exchange

They also sent us a bunch of handmade bookmarks which have come in handy, watercolor art, and maps/postcards. It was so fun! Thank you, Ness family, for all the treasures!

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Pre-K & Kinder in 2015-2016: Curriculum

September 23, 2015

Brody is thrilled to be starting kindergarten, and at just fourteen months behind him, Hallee is officially a pre-k-er this year! After watching Brody and Hallee interact, observe and participate in the homeschooling we’ve done to this point, I’ve decided to begin teaching both of them the same material this year. I’m primarily focusing on […]

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3rd grade in 2015-2016: Curriculum

August 28, 2015

It’s hard to believe that we are going into our fourth year of homeschooling and that Gigi will be in 3rd grade! Here’s what curriculum we are planning to use this year (which could always change, of course, but this is what we’ll be starting with). For language arts and social studies we’ll be looping […]

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How I’m preparing for a new school rhythm & routine

August 15, 2015

On one hand, I’m ready for the new school year, but on the other hand, I feel like this year, and this summer have flown by. Does anyone else feel this way? I love summer so much that it’s hard to see it fade away, and yet, every year by mid-August I find myself itching […]

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Our simple plan for science: nature journaling

August 11, 2015

Gigi and I recently decided to back out of the science part of our co-op and just focus on the history part– that’s the part we really love, and science was feeling a little overwhelming. She’s pretty young still and a lot of the stuff they were doing was on her level, but not really […]

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Classical education, learning in community, and our history co-op

August 11, 2015

We’ve had an amazing first semester with our history co-op– it’s a group of about seven or eight families that go to our same public charter school and homeschool like us three days a week. On Wednesdays, we’ve been meeting together to study the middle ages together following A History Odyssey. I’ve posted quite a bit […]

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2nd grade curriculum update, 2014-2015

August 11, 2015

We’ve been plugging along for a few months now with second grade and my two little preschoolers, so I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a homeschool/curriculum update. As most of you know, we homeschool part-time, through a hybrid charter school. Gigi goes to school for enrichment 1-2 days a week. If […]

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