Why I Homeschool Our Special Needs Children

special needs children

Qualified To Homeschool Special Needs Children?

Choosing to Homeschool our Special Needs Children was probably an easier choice for us. I was already homeschooling our older two girls. Being able to choose what your children learn is something I don’t take lightly. It can be a big undertaking with all the choices you have to pick from.

Don’t be surprised if someone asks you what makes you qualified to homeschool your special needs child. Heck, I had people question me when I started homeschooling our first daughter. She had been going to public school for 2 years before I felt confident enough to homeschool. It helped to be around like-minded people that were already homeschooling.

Well, my response is always what makes you think I’m not qualified? Homeschooling my special needs child gives them the advantage of going at there own speed. Excel at subjects that they are good at without being confined to the grade level that they are in. They are not distracted by other children while trying to concentrate. Both of our children have sensory issues so they are easily distracted.

I can guarantee you that I’ve read more books and reached our options on homeschooling.I’ve reached out to others that have special needs credentials and have bought and researched so many options when it comes to curriculum. I’m definitely not bound by a certain curriculum. We go with what works until it doesn’t. Yes I do have some favorite curriculum that I recommend and if you want to learn more you can go to this link: Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

homeschooling special needs children

Yes! I Have A Rant On How Special Needs Children Are Treated

This may be a little off subject but I feel as though I need to share it. I was at a birthday party recently with both of our youngest children. They were both invited by a boy that has special needs also. I actually think most kids that were there had some sort of special needs. So obviously in good company, I’m referring to myself.

It was in an escape room. Can you imagine 8 to 10 thirteen-year-old boys plus a couple of girls that either had Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and other disorders all put together in a small room and had to figure how to get out? I’m sure the workers had a fun time watching them all trying to stay on task!

There was a couple of adults in there to make sure nothing got out of hand. Well, my daughter has high anxiety and doesn’t deal with loud noises very well. They were only five minutes in and they were opening the door and letting her out. She was crying and having a panic account. I don’t even think most of the kids even noticed. If she was going to have a meltdown then this was definitely a safe place to have one.

She got calmed down. We’ve been working on this in therapy for several years and she’s getting better on self-regulation. But actually, this is part of the story that just broke my heart. All of the mothers were sitting at a table and they were talking about kids going back to school. I was the only one there that homeschooled. I know one of the moms was a special needs teacher but not sure about anyone else.

Most of these boys were either entering Jr. High or already going. I sat there and listened to these moms describe story after story of what their kids have to endure at school. The constant bullying, teasing, just plain mental torment. There was even a mom that said her daughter was bullied extremely bad in the 3rd grade. THE 3RD GRADE!

I wanted to cry right then and there. My heart goes out to these kids. It’s hard enough being a typical kid but to have any kind of disability and then be ridiculed for it makes me so outraged! I can’t imagine being one of those moms and knowingly that my child is being picked on every day when they go to school.

I understand that families have to have 2 incomes to make ends meet. Or you are a single parent and have no choice. I get it! Not everybody can be at home to homeschool there child. I recognize that there needs to be an accountability to schools, teachers, and parents because this is absolutely an epidemic. I’m so sick and tired of hearing people saying it’s just part of being a kid.

No, being ridiculed, belittled and bullied is not part of being a kid. Disability or no disability it shouldn’t be tolerated at all! Ok, I will get off my soapbox and return to why I’m writing this post. I just want to say that I’m thankful for every day that I get to homeschool, my children!

 

Benefits Of Homeschooling My Special Needs Children

children with disabilities

So as far as being qualified to homeschool, yes you are qualified. You are the only one that knows your child better than anyone else. Actually, my children have the advantage. We can attend therapy, go to Dr’s appointments and explore other educational opportunities and it doesn’t cut into our schoolwork.

I would like to add that we do homeschool year-round. I want them to be able to retain what they have learned and be able to take off for other various things. You can do a traditional calendar or year-round. It’s a personal choice on our end.

As far as them missing out on being social with there peers, I’m not concerned and either are they. We do extracurricular activities were they are around other children. But being social isn’t something I am pressed upon. They will make friends with whom they want to in there own time. You can’t force it.

Don’t shoot the messenger! Have you seen and listened to the peers that are around your child’s age? Personally, I will pass and my kids recognize that also. They are very smart kids. They know what appropriate behavior is supposed to be and how you should act? Mine are 11 and 13 and they each other’s best friends. That’s a bond that absurdly priceless!

Simple Advice On How To Start Homeschooling Special Needs Children

Ok, let’s get on with why I homeschool my special needs children. Here you will find some details that I feel are important to know. I wish for this to help you and to make things easier.

First, you will need an understanding of how your child learns. Depending on the learning disability you may need to have them tested to see where they are at. Both of my children have been in therapy since they were born. That actually gave me the general idea of where they stood when it comes to learning.

Depending on the state you live in you may be able to get IQ Testing done at no cost. Some states allow the school district you are in to do the testing even though you homeschool. I would check with your district or state homeschooling association. Also, the HSLDA is a huge help especially when it comes to homeschooling special needs children.

I do want to be totally honest with you, in that it’s challenging at best. When you have made the decision to homeschool, let alone homeschooling a special needs child. Being flexible is an absolute must. But having a schedule of what needs to be done is also a must. I know that sounds like a contradiction but being flexible with your schedule is how I maintain my sanity!

You might or might not have a direction of where your child is at intellectually. So now what? Go with what your child’s strengths are. This helps build confidence and yours also. Try to make what you are doing fun. You will get a better-engaged child. Also, this helps build your confidence also.

Always remember your homeschool will not look like any others. Don’t compare. You can get ideas from others but build your own path.

Time Managment will also play a very important role in your homeschool. Especially when it comes to homeschooling special needs children. I wrote a post on Teaching Time Management if you want to take a look. This can help tremendously! Also, I like to teach a certain subject in  30 min give a 10 to 15 min break and then start something new. I have found it keeps my kids more focused and on task.

special needs children

Remember there will be days that you will wonder why did I ever think I could do this. This has happened more than I can count. Even when I was homeschooling our 2 typical daughters. Don’t be hard on yourself. Homeschooling can get messy and you may cry some tears. Either you or your child will have moments of giving up out of frustration.

Those tears and frustration are seeds, and those seeds grow when you see your child read or write for the first time. You may see them get excited about being able to do something on there own. Beleive me it’s all worth it.

This is something I’ve always told myself. If it didn’t get finished today, it will be there tomorrow, and that’s ok. Enjoy this time with your children. It goes by so fast, too fast. Our first 2 girls have graduated from homeschool and have careers of their own. Be kind to yourself. Reach out to other homeschool moms. That’s where I got my best advice.

We are all on this journey together and are willing to support one another! Please don’t hesitate to ask me a question. If I can’t answer it, I will find someone that does.

Here you will find the 2 links to the post I wrote on Homeschool Curriculum Ideas and To Teaching Time Management

https://domesticengineermom.com/teaching-time-management-children-learning-disabilities/

https://domesticengineermom.com/overwhelmed-by-homeschooling/

Happy Homeschooling!!!

 

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience whereby I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Big List of Fall Activities To Do In The Fall

fall activities

Things To Do In The Fall

Fall, that time of year, where everyone is outside enjoying fall activities. The season of where leaves are changing colors, the smells of apple cider and pumpkin spice fill the air. Long nature walks to enjoy and welcome in cooler weather. Watching the squirrels gather their nuts for winter.

Depending on where you live, raking leaves and jumping into them was always a fun fall activity when I was growing up. Well, not the actual raking part. Opening the doors and windows to let your house air out from being closed up from summer, is always refreshing.

This time of year is where I feel more inspired to bake and break out the crock-pot. With the changing weather, you might be bringing out the light jackets and cozy sweaters. This is also a good time to slow down, unwind, and enjoy the season. Winter will be here before you know it.

I like to use this time of year to do some heavy outside cleaning. Clean windows, spray cobwebs off the house. I don’t know about where you live, but the spiders seem to build a lot of webs around here. Oh and don’t forget about planting those fall annuals! What beautiful hues of colors.

So, I don’t know why Fall brings such nostalgia for me, but It’s my favorite season. I will stop rambling on and on about how Fall makes me feel. I’m going to share with you about all the Fall activities you can participate in and have fun with your family and friends.

Fall Craft Ideas

Here are some links for creative ideas on making fall crafts for kids.

fall craft ideas

Scarecrow craft– A simple craft idea for grade school aged kids.

Apple Paper Plate Lacing Craft– Fun lacing activity with a cute theme.

Fall Tissue Paper Tree– Kid Approved!

Popsicle Stick Fox & Leaf Fox– Cute activity for pre-schoolers.

Apple Pie Playdough– Smells good enough to eat(Please Don’t Eat!)

 

Toilet Paper Roll Leaf Stamping Fall Tree Craft– Easy-Peasy craft using things you already have at home.

Owl Craft For Kids– This craft uses a kitchen sponge to paint with. Comes with a printable template.

Button Indian Corn Craft– Easy craft using leftover buttons.

Paper Plate Sunflower Craft– Simple craft using simple items.

Mosaic Paper Acorn– Super fun fall activites for kids of all ages.

Acorn Frame– Inexpensive craft using dollar store frames.

Candy Corn Pine cones– Most people will have a Pine tree in their neighborhood or park. Or you can pick them up at a dollar store. Paint and voila! Super Cute!

Autumn Leaf Sun Catchers– an Easy craft that will make your windows sparkle.

Puffy Paint Carmel Apples– Super simple fun craft for fall activities.

Apple Stained Glass Window Decoration– Mess Free activity any parent would appreciate.

Inspired Books To Read For Fall

748656: The Berenstain Bears" Harvest Festival The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival
By Mike Berenstain / ZonderKidz
745171: The Fantastic Gifts of Fall The Fantastic Gifts of Fall
98258EB: Autumn Is for Apple Pie: God Gives Us Friends When We"re Having a Bad Day - eBook Autumn Is for Apple Pie: God Gives Us Friends When We’re Having a Bad Day – eBook

 

083104: Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore!
758198: Pumpkin Patch Blessings Pumpkin Patch Blessings
214187: God Made It for Me - Seasons - Autumn: Child"s Prayers of Thankfulness for the Things They Love Best about Autumn God Made It for Me – Seasons – Autumn: Child’s Prayers of Thankfulness for the Things They Love Best about Autumn
271246: Peter Rabbit and the Pumpkin Patch Peter Rabbit and the Pumpkin Patch
423387: Strega Nona"s Harvest Strega Nona’s Harvest
29454: Oh My, Pumpkin Pie! Oh My, Pumpkin Pie!

Fun Family Activities

Here is a list of options you can do for Fall Activities. Most of these you can do as a family or with friends. These options have either low cost or have no cost at all. Super budget friendly. Try a few this FALL!!!

fun family activities

  • Go, Apple Picking
  • Walk Through A Corn Maze
  • Take Fall Family Photos
  • Learn How To Identify Fall Leaves
  • Go On A Family Fun Picnic
  • Go, Pumpkin Picking
  • Attend A Fall Festival
  • Make Your Own Applesauce
  • Have Smores Over A Bonfire        fall craft ideas
  • Attend A Football Game
  • Take A Fall Foliage Drive
  • Go Camping
  • Rake Leaves And Jump In Them
  • Watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  • Go On A Nature Walk
  • Make A Bird Feeder With A Pine Cone
  • Host A Soup Exchange
  • Make A Fall Wreath
  • Make Pumpkin Bread
  • Roast Pumpkin Seeds
  • Make Apple Cider
  • Collect Acorns
  • Go On A Fall Scavenger Hunt
  • Tell Ghost Stories Around A Campfire
  • Read Fun Fall Themed Books
  • Have A Monster Mash Dance Party
  • Carve A Pumpkin
  • Paint Or Decorate Gordes

Fun Fall Themed Worksheets

I like to add fun printables to our Homeschool that include the seasons. It’s a fun way to include some fun into learning. Here are some links to some printable worksheets that you may find useful.

Autumn Lapbook with Study GuideAutumn Poetry Copywork and Notebooking PagesAwesome Autumn Lapbook with Study GuideAutumn Leaves - Speedy LapbookAll About Autumn LapbookAutumn Activity Book

Free Fun Fall Activity Printables

 

Fall Themed Sensory Ideas

Pumpkin Scented Moon Sand- Click Here For The Full Link Of Instructions

Pumpkin GoopAbsolutely AN AWESOME Sensory Activity

Fall Slime RecipeGreen Apple Fall Themed Slime

Monster Play DoughMake Your Own Monster Creations

Glow In The Dark Sensory BottleTons Of Fun For Sensory Learners

fall activities

Fall Themed STEAM Activities

Pumpkin Volcano– An Erupting Pumpkin can be messy but Oh So Much Fun!

3-D Spookley the Pumpkin Math Activity– Created with straws and pipe cleaners.

Building Structures with Candy Pumpkins– Build a 3-D structure out of Candy Pumpkins.

Pumpkin GeoboardSimple fun pumpkin math activity.

Light Up PumpkinSquishy Circuit Halloween Pumpkins.

Dancing CornMagical science activity the kids will love this fall. 

Fall Theme Cooking

fall themed baking

 

Fall Leaf CookiesGood Gingerbread Recipe To Start Off Your Autumn Baking.

Fall Harvest Chex MixMake this Chex mix for your next Fall Activities.

Homemade ApplesauceNothing tastes better than homemade applesauce. Go Apple Picking and turn those apples into Applesauce.

 

Fall Inspired CupcakesApple Butter Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting. YUM!

Pumpkin Mac & CheeseOoey Gooey Goodness even the kids will enjoy!

Chicken SoupNot your average chicken soup. It’s Chicken BOO-DLE Soup.

Pumpkin Tortilla SoupHealthy, hearty vegetable soup.

Carmel Apple SangriaFall Themed Sangria will be a hit at your next gathering.

Pumpkin CornbreadSimple, easy and your family will thank you!

 

Well, this concludes my list of great options for Fall Activities. I really hope you have liked what you have read and it was helpful. You can add a touch of the season to anything you do with this list of options.  The possibilities are endless.

Go out and enjoy your time with friends and family. Feel Free to leave a comment in the comment section below. As always subscribe to my email list and you will receive updates as soon as I release them. Be the first to know!

Have A Happy Fall!!!

Domestic Engineer Mom

Robbin

There are Affiliate and Referral links above to promote products that I love and recommend using. I do receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. No Cost To You.

You may also read my Policy Disclosure for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Printable Worksheets

free printable worksheets

Free Printable Worksheets – Round-Up Of Sites

There are a lot of websites that have Free Printable Worksheets. Sometimes we just need to be able to find Free Worksheets for various reasons. This kind of resource is good for supplemental use.

Also, you can use this as a resource for curriculum development. I also want to add that if you can’t find what you want for free, there are plenty of low-cost printable worksheets out there also.

You can find just about any subject or topic that you are looking for, including, coloring pages, curriculum, recipes, art projects, planners and the list just goes on. But what I want to show you today is what I use to supplement our homeschool with. Some of these sites you may have to sign up for or provide your email.

printable activities for kids

Pinterest has definitely made it easier for us to find free printable worksheets. Before Pinterest was around I would have to google and comb through many pages and sites looking for printables. It took up so much of my time!

There have been times when I needed to use free printable worksheets to save money on homeschool curriculum. I have been able to pull together some subjects that we need to study using this source.

Putting together and assembling free printable worksheets as Unit studies is a great way of using this as a curriculum resource. I also like to use this for creating note-booking pages, bullet journaling, recipe cards, chore charts and household planners.

So I’m going to dive in and show you all the wonderful sites where I find free printable worksheets. I hope you find this to be helpful for whatever printable resource you are looking for!

Kindergarten Worksheets

kindergarten worksheets

If you’re looking for all free printables for the classroom or for home use, this is the right place! A huge collection all the freebies at This Reading Mama. They’re sorted by subject so you can find them easier.

https://thisreadingmama.com

worksheets for kids

Every kind of printable you can Imagine! Get your Kindergarten Printables here.

https://planningplaytime.com

free printables for kids

The creator of this blog loves to design printables to make your life a little easier. You’ll find coloring pages, worksheets, printable quotes and so much more here on her blog. Happy printing!

https://www.pinterest.com/planesballoons/free-printable-worksheets/

free preschool printables

Simply Kinder has a collection of over 40 Free Printables. For use at home or in the classroom.

https://www.simplykinder.com

free printables

Picture-based phonemic awareness worksheets. These were created by a teacher looking for no prep worksheets and activities to foster phonemic awareness skills for her classroom.

https://www.ateachableteacher.com

 

Printable Activities For Kids

printable activities for kids

Here are all of my free printables for kids listed in one place by subject. You’ll find games, activities, and learning pages for various ages.

https://buggyandbuddy.com

If you are preparing for a road trip then you need some road games. Keep those hands and minds busy by grabbing a few of these printable worksheets to have on hand.

https://thejoysofboys.com

This is a list of over 50 activities for ages 3 – 12. Developed by Play Therapist.

https://mosswoodconnections.com

free printable worksheets

40 Free pretend play printables. pretend play is a HUGE learning opportunity for kids! It encourages them to role-play, expand their vocabulary and communication skills, practice their social skills and think about “what they might be once they grow up”.

 

https://www.kcedventures.com

This isn’t the typical website that you would think has free printables for kids. Well, they do and have a huge selection to choose from. You need to check them out!

https://www.thedatingdivas.com/

Educational Worksheets

educational worksheets

 

Finding free educational worksheets to supplement your curriculum can be really handy! I like to print them out and use them to correspond with field trips. If we are going to a particular place to learn about it, I will research for a printable worksheet to correspond. Your learning and having fun at the same time.

This is some of the websites I’ve used in the past.

This is a really good generic printable worksheet for field trips. Can be applied to any place or site you visit.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com

This is a good free printable worksheet if you are going to the zoo, nature preserve or aquarium.

https:www.teacherspayteachers.com

Kids will have fun at the grocery store with these free printables. Your kids will no longer have a reason to complain about going to the grocery store now.

https://www.123homeschool4me.com

Homeschool Blogs That Have Free Printables

Here are a few of the favorite blogs that I like to pull free printable worksheets from.

  • This site is probably my favorite. The owner and creator are fantastic, I have been following her for several years. Check her out, and you will not be disappointed.  freehomeschooldeals.com
  • Mamas Learning corner is an excellent source for printable worksheets. I just got some math worksheets from her this past week.
  • Only Passionate Curiosity Printable worksheets and printable packs.
  • https://www.reallifeathome.com Website has over 40 pages of printables. Whatever topic you are looking for, you will find it here.
  • https://www.3dinosaurs.com Another good resource for free printables that I’ve been using for several years.

Free printable Curriculum Worksheet Sites

Yes, you can Homeschool for free. There are sites where you can download and print full curriculums.

I love, love this website. The creator has put together a full list of Homeschool curriculum, resources, and printables. She has organized it by subject and grade level. I used this 2 years ago for our science curriculum. I was able to put together a full year of 2nd-grade science curriculum for our two youngest.

https://www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com

free printable worksheets

What a blessing that this homeschool site exists and works. Their mission is to help families homeschool who thought they couldn’t because of a lack of finances, a lack of time, or a lack of know-how. Others join EP just because it’s easy and fun and they’re confident of the quality of education. EP seeks to free families from the burden of pursuing the “perfect” and encourages them to let it be “enough.” Each family and each child is different and we seek to provide the resources to enable your family to be who you were meant to be.

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool

List of FREE Full Homeschooling programs online. Also offers tips and resources for busy moms.

http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/

 

educational resources

This another excellent educational resource site and have tons of options and include a lot of free printables. I’m an affiliate with them, so if you decide to even purchase from them, I will get a small commision or credit at no cost to you.

There are a lot of Free Trial Offers, Free printable worksheets, video tutorials from the publishers, and they have the best deals anywhere on a curriculum. I encourage you to check them out and spend some time looking through all the resources they have. You can click the banner below.

homeschool coop

Free Homeschool Planners and Printable List

Free Homeschool Planning Printables from the Crafty Classroom

https://thecraftyclassroom.com

The Ultimate List of Quality FREE Printable Homeschool Planners. Free printable homeschool planners allow you to plan your homeschool year for less and are the best free homeschool planners.

https://www.schoolingamonkey.com

Homeschool Planning Resources & FREE Printable Planning Pages

https://www.myjoyfilledlife.com

50+ FREE School Planner Printables for Teachers and Students! Ready to go for the upcoming school year!

https://www.shiningmom.com

Well, I really hope you have found this to be useful. I know this just scratches the surface, but it does give you a general idea of what is available. If you found this helpful please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive my latest updates, deals, and freebies.

If you like this post you might find these other posts useful: Overwhelmed By Homeschooling and How To Homeschool/ Is Homeschooling A Good Idea?

Happy Homeschooling!!!

Domestic Engineer Mom

Robbin

There are Affiliate and Referral links above to promote products that I love and recommend using. I do receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. No Cost To You.

You may also read my Policy Disclosure for details.

 

Overwhelmed By Homeschooling?

 

curriculum mapping

Overwhelmed By Homeschooling?

Hi, and yes it’s that time of year when a lot of us are feeling overwhelmed by homeschooling. Honestly, It happens to those that are just beginning or have been doing it for many years. Being a little anxious is normal. I’ve been homeschooling for 17 years, and there have been times of letting those little fears creep into my thoughts.

If you are still on the fence about homeschooling, this time of year also brings up what is going on in our society. I find it, so unbelievably upsetting to turn on the news or even hearing it on the radio that there has been another shooting in our schools. That in itself is terrifying, let alone all the bullying that is going on. Budget cuts and overcrowded schools and mounting poor performing schools what are parents supposed to do?

Homeschooling your children is a big undertaking and not to be taken lightly. But with some guidance, you can get through it and put some of those feelings of being overwhelmed by homeschooling. You will do a good job!!!

I like to compare my first year of homeschooling to learning how to ride a bike. It can be unsteady and lots of bumps and bruises along the way. As time goes on it becomes smoother, and you and your children will learn how to work together.

Well fear no more, I’m here to hopefully give you a little guidance and some tips and tricks that might be helpful for you. If this is your first year to homeschool, then I want to congratulate you and welcome to the club! What an exciting time for you and your child or children. For some, this wasn’t an easy choice for various reasons and others this has always been what you wanted to do.

Homeschooling and the Legal Side

The legal side of homeschooling is what I think scares people the most, but thankfully there are great organizations that are in place to help. The law on homeschooling can vary from state to state. First, go to HSLDA and look up your state and see what is required,  some are very homeschool friendly while others are a bit more complex.

You also need to send a letter of intent to your local school board. I know that where we live you just fill out the form online from the local school district, you’re in. If you can’t find it that way, just call your local school district office, and they should be able to help you from there.

So you have decided to homeschool and have tons of questions, right? I want to address those questions here first.

There are many questions that can factor in how you will homeschool. Do you know your child’s learning style? What style of homeschooling do you like? Where do you get your curriculum from? When should I start my year or should I homeschool year round? Why should you hold off on investing too much money in the curriculum when you start?   overwhelmed by homeschooling

Learning Styles

Ok so let’s break this down and start with a child’s learning style. I’m going to list a few styles of learning here. Some of these will depend on if you have a typical learner or child that has a learning disability. I want to point out that “Yes You Can Homeschool Your Child That Has A Learning Disability.”

Thinking about how your child learns so that you can teach to their strength. By doing this, you will help build up your child’s confidence and yours also. They will love learning and want to do more. Not only that, but they will be able to comprehend and remember what they are learning. This is an important step in knowing what to teach, picking curriculum, and how your day will look.

  1. Visual – Visual learners prefer to see something to learn or remember it.
  2. Auditory – Auditory Learners prefer hearing information to learn or remember it.
  3. Tactile-Kinesthetic learners are driven by their sense of touch. They are often very active, constantly moving and physically expressive.   They like lots of action.

So this barely scrapes the surface, and in all honesty, this only gives you a tiny amount of info. But this is all about the basics so that I will be doing a more in-depth post on this soon. You will want to sign up to receive my latest blog post. You will probably find that your child is a mix and sometimes the way they learn can change.

Homeschooling Methods

One of the major reasons many parents choose to homeschool their children is to be able to pick out their curriculum. Being able to consider your child’s learning style and staying in line with your educational goals are just some of the areas in which homeschooling offers greater flexibility than other types of schooling.

Choosing a specific educational style can provide a helpful framework when it comes to planning your curriculum choices. Here are a few you might want to explore. Don’t worry if multiple homeschool methods speak to you. You don’t have to feel like you need to pick one.

I consider our homeschool to be a mix of Eclectic and Unschooling. And that has changed many times throughout the years.

  • Charlotte Mason Homeschool The Charlotte Mason way is a method, not a curriculum, so understanding this will help you make the most of anything you choose to use as your curriculum to educate your children. With this method of educating, your children will learn how to learn, observe and process information. Learning the different aspects of this method will help you to educate the whole child, and growing an independent, self-learner.
  • Waldorf Homeschool – The Waldorf method is also used in some homeschools. Waldorf education is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner and stresses the importance of educating the whole child—body, mind, and spirit. In the early grades, there is an emphasis on arts and crafts, music and movement, and nature.
  • Montessori The Montessori method emphasizes “errorless learning,” where the children learn at their own pace and in that way develop their full potential.
  • Unschooling – In actuality, unschooling is interest lead, you don’t have to plan anything, just go with the flow
  • Classical – involves teaching based on the three stages of learning: the Grammar stage, the Logic stage, and the Rhetoric stage. The Grammar stage involves learning facts, memorization, and knowledge gathering. The Logic stage is when reasoning and logic begin to be applied to the knowledge.
  • Unit Study –“Unit studies are collections of learning activities tied to a theme. They are popular with many homeschooling families because they provide a hands-on approach to learning that incorporates subjects such as math, science, language arts, and the social sciences.
  • Eclectic – is the method used most often by homeschoolers. Eclectic homeschoolers use a little of this and a little of that, using workbooks for math, reading, and spelling, and taking an unschooling approach for the other subjects.

Homeschool schedule

As you can see, there are many ways to approach homeschooling. Keep in mind that most homeschooling families don’t follow one approach for all of their children. Feel free to take elements from each approach in a way that works best for you and your family – that’s one of the greatest perks to homeschooling there is! You can do whatever you want.

School calendars can be intimidating at first, but it is not hard. There are several ways to schedule your school year. A regular school year that follows the public school schedule or year-round schooling. There is year-round schooling, and that is what we do.

It is more flexible and has many advantages. We have more breaks for trips and just some good ole downtime. Sometimes we just need that. Also, it has become a necessity in our homeschool schedule.

The options for these two depends on what your family needs. I would take a look at your local school district web page and see what their calendar looks like. I did this for the first couple of years when we started. You can use as a guideline to help you plan.

Year-round schooling usually is a more relaxed school schedule that doesn’t follow the normal public school calendar. First make a calendar that will work for you, remember it is your school, so plan as you need to. Honestly, my calendar changes often but sometimes it’s just good to have an outline.

Pick a date to start and just go for it, you’ve got this!!!

Homeschool Planner

Scheduling can be intimidating, but keep in mind that there’s no one way to schedule your day. Every family is different, and the best schedule is one that works for your family.

For many homeschool moms, this can be a daunting task!

  • Some homeschool moms feel restricted by the rigidity of a schedule.
  • I found homeschooling in my early years I couldn’t find a schedule that consistently works for my family’s day to day schedule.
  • So many moms feel that there is to many planners out there to pick from. Picking a homeschool planner can also be a bit overwhelming.

If you are new to scheduling, or if you don’t want a rigid schedule, use just a basic framework for the day, then just fill in a few times, For example, your times could include: wake-up time, chores, school, snack time, lunch time, afternoon activities, afternoon snack, tidy up, and supper. You don’t have to include time increments.

Creating or following a daily school schedule does not have to be difficult or intimidating. Having a plan, even a small outline, in place can ensure success in your school day. Give it a try. There is no wrong way of doing it. It’s your homeschool schedule.

Here is an excellent planner option also and it’s worth checking out: Homeschool Planet has a Planner that is everything you need to organize your home and your homeschool! Get A Free Trial!!!

homeschool planner

 

Picking A Homeschool Curriculum

Picking a homeschool curriculum can be an area where some feel overwhelmed by homeschooling. I have lots of great info to share with you today! One of the many benefits of homeschooling is you get to pick the educational resources that are right for your children. I want to take some of those stressful parts away and ease your mind.

I remember when I first started, I was so overwhelmed! There were thousands of different curriculums to choose from. That hasn’t changed, but now that I have been homeschooling for many years, it has gotten much easier.

Today I am going to share with you a few tips to help you pick out the curriculum that’s best for your homeschool. If you keep the tips I have to share with you in mind; they will help you when picking out curriculum for any grade level.

Find out what your children’s interest is. What do they want to learn? I like to call this curriculum mapping. This can be a really fun time for you and your family, try not to stress too much and enjoy it!

After 17 years of homeschooling, I’ve tried a lot of curriculums!  Homeschoolers have so many great curriculum choices available to them. Which is awesome, so don’t get discouraged. Don’t let the multitude of homeschool curriculums overwhelm you!  Here’s the thing–there is no one perfect curriculum!  We all have different needs and preferences.

However, I do think it’s helpful to learn what’s working for other homeschool families! So today, I’m going to share some of my favorite homeschool curriculums. I hope you keep this in mind while you are choosing your homeschool curriculum.   educational resources

Math Curriculum

Math-U-See
This is my go-to math program. I used it for our oldest 2 girls for K-3. So I used it also for our youngest 2 but wasn’t for sure how it was going to go. They both have delayed development and have multiple learning issues. Well long story short, this was the best decision I made for them. They are both visual learners, and the manipulative blocks are a must.

Explode The Code Online This is an online math curriculum. This uses a multi-sensory approach to learning. This is a great math program because it uses video tutorials to teach your child before they attempt the problem.  The lessons are taught the traditional way, not common core aligned. I’m not a fan of common core. Our second oldest daughter used it to supplement her math for 11-12th grades. This does cover K-12. They do have a FREE TRIAL, so that’s a plus! Multigrade use also.

Math Mammoth- This a complete math curriculum that uses PDF math worktexts, workbooks. Available to be downloaded or CD Rom. This has little to no prep and can be self-taught if your child reads well. EXTRA EXTRA PLUS!!! Also, Cost Efficient.

Language Arts/Phonics

Explode The Code Online This phonics program is TOP NOTCH at BEST in my opinion. Now that it’s available online, kids can enjoy doing the lessons because it looks and feels like playtime. If you have a child that might be struggling to read, then you might want to check this out. It is a structured Orton-Gillingham based program.

Wordly Wise 3000 OnlineThis is a  Vocabulary curriculum that can be done online. We used this before with our oldest daughter, but we used the book form. A good choice for building your child’s vocabulary in conversation and reading.

Brave Writer- Writing and Language Arts curriculum that has made it easier for parents to teach. The ability to write clearly and persuasively is an essential skill in every profession. It is also one of the hardest to teach. It brings life and joy to the teaching of writing in a very relaxed way. This is going to be a new curriculum that is on our schedule this year.

Science

Science Shepard-The science Shepard curriculum covers all grade levels, and videos are short with easy to use workbooks.  This homeschool science curriculum is all planned out on a five day, 35-week course. If you have an independent learner, then this is an extra plus! You can read more here in this post I did on Science Shepard.

Supercharged Science- is a complete, self-guided, video-based online science curriculum that explains science topics to kids in a practical, real-world way, then uses step-by-step videos to guide them through every detail of activities, experiments, and projects that let them apply the concepts they just learned. Everything you need (except supplies) to give your child a complete homeschool science education.

Bright Ideas Press- is user-friendly, unabashedly Christian science curriculum includes teaching lessons, gorgeous coloring pages, hands-on time, review sheets, and an awesome supplemental book list! You can choose from Chemistry, Creation Science, Earth and Space, and Physics. Award-winning, college professors-vetted, and parent approved!

History / Geography/ Social Studies

The Mystery Of History – Complete World History curriculum that features a classical approach, chronological of historical events and Christian worldview. Although MOH was originally written for Grades 4-8, the teacher manual gives information to adapt the program for Kindergarten through high school levels, making the program ideal for multi-age teaching.

HMH History & Social Studies – Harcourt Horizons and Holt McDougal History & Social Studies guide students through history and social studies while integrating chart and graph skills, map and globe reading exercises, citizenship lessons, basic reading skills, primary source use, and other cross-curricular elements.

All In One Curriculum PKG

Horizons –  Complete sets that are engaging. Workbook curriculum filled with consumable lessons and hands-on activities. Very well put together and easy to use. Can also buy individual subjects also.

Alpha Omega Publications –  Alpha Omega products and programs include Monarch, Switched-On Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, Horizons, and The Weaver Curriculum! If you are looking for an All-In-One curriculum, this is always a good option.

These are just a few picks that I wanted to highlight for being good options. I also want to point out that these curriculum options can be found at Homeschool Buyers Co-op. I have purchased curriculum in the past and never been disappointed with what I have selected. This site provides really good discounts on anything homeschool related.

There are a lot of Free Trial Offers, video tutorials from the publishers, and they have the best deals anywhere on a curriculum. I encourage you to check them out and spend some time looking through all the resources they have. You can click the banner below.

homeschool coop

 

Free Teaching Resources

Here is a list of some educational resources I have used in the past and would recommend. This can be helpful if your budget is tight and needing to get some homeschool curriculum for free. Some of these sites you may have to join or sign up. This can be very useful when you are expecting a money crunch.

All of the links here belong to the creator or owner of the sites you will be connected to. These are suggestions that I find useful and hopefully, you will too.

  • This site is probably my favorite. The owner and creator are fantastic, and I have been following her for several years. Check her out, and you will not be disappointed.  freehomeschooldeals.com
  • Mamas Learning corner is an excellent source for printable worksheets. I just got some math worksheets from her this past week.
  • educational resources This another excellent educational resource site and have tons of options and include a lot of free printables. I’m an affiliate with them, so if you decide to even purchase from them, I will get a small commision or credit at no cost to you.
  • Only Passionate Curiosity Printable worksheets and printable packs.
  • Easy Peasy Homeschool has a free full curriculum. This is an excellent Christian homeschool curriculum design.

I know that this doesn’t even scratch the surface of whats available. This will give you a good idea of where to start looking for free printable worksheets and free teaching resources.

Homeschool Connections

Making homeschool connections or support is essential. It can be a family member, friends, extended family members. But I find the most helpful ones are:

  • Facebook Groups For Homeschooling- You can usually search for local groups just by entering your town or county
  • Pinterest- What a great resource they have become for everything about homeschooling.
  • Co-ops are also useful to belong to. This gives children an opportunity to learn about other subjects of interest and gives an excellent social outlet.
  • You can also just do an internet search for your city or state on homeschooling groups. There is usually a good amount of groups to join depending on where you live.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask anyone who homeschools. I guess depending on how busy or how often you check your email most bloggers who homeschool will answer your questions. Well, I guess I better speak for myself. Yes If you have something I can explain I will happily help you or find someone or the resource that can.
  • If you attend church, there is usually someone in your congregation who homeschools
  • If you are a single parent, you can homeschool, and I know there are support groups out there to help

Hopefully, this has taken some of your feelings of being overwhelmed by homeschooling. Of course, these are my opinions and what has worked for us. Most importantly is that you have learned and now feel you have a guideline to look back on.

So if you are on the fence or already decided, you have truly made a great decision in homeschooling your children. Don’t worry you are going to be good at this. It’s a learning process. With patience and time, you will learn your rhythm, and the kids will learn yours.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you found this helpful. Don’t forget to sign up to get my latest blog post releases.

Thank you for your time. Happy Homeschooling!!! Robbin

discovery education

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How To Homeschool/Is Homeschooling A Good Idea?

Thinking about Homeschooling?Click To Tweetbenefits of homeschooling

Learning How To Homeschool

Learning how to homeschool is all about trial and error. Usually a lot of error. So you may be asking is homeschooling a good idea for my child? Thinking about homeschooling can raise some specific questions and fears.

Do you have doubts that you can do it?  Is the fear of not knowing what you need to teach holding you back? Believe me, and I had all those fears when I was thinking about homeschooling our first daughter.

It was 18 years ago, and our oldest daughter was going to entering Kindergarten. I was a stay at home mom of 2 girls at the time, so this choice was not going to affect us financially. I didn’t know a whole lot about homeschooling. But I liked the idea of teaching what I wanted for her to learn.

So I didn’t have a plan in place, and there was still some social stigma still around about homeschooling your children. You either had to be weird and unsocial to homeschool or a religious fanatic with religious beliefs against secular learning. Of course, that was neither the case for us.

Well to make a long story short, I let fear creep in, and I buckled under pressure and put her in school. Look, here is the thing, I didn’t have much family support, except my husband. He was just as uninformed as I was. Social media wasn’t around, and the internet hadn’t been around that long and available in our homes.

I didn’t know anybody personally that was homeschooling at the time. We lived in a small town out in the country, and I didn’t know very many people. Oh, I’m sure there was info out there, but I didn’t know who to ask. So two days after school had already started I went down and enrolled her.

Oh and I’m sure I looked like a complete idiot because they asked me why she didn’t start on day one. I remember telling them that I wanted to homeschool but couldn’t get everything in place to be able to do it. The secretary at the school just looked at me with a blank stare.

Good thing this was the town my husband grew up in so they knew who I was married too. She continued to attend public school through the 1st grade.

is homeschooling a good idea

Why I Choose To Homeschool

This is where my homeschooling journey begins. We were going to a church at that time where several families homeschooled.  Our oldest daughter was in 1st grade, so this was a good opportunity for me to get myself educated on how to begin homeschooling. I don’t recall the curriculum I used during the first year.

What I do know is all the subjects were in the book, and it used the library for most of the resources. I honestly wish I could remember because it was pretty simple to use. A church member had lent it to me to use. So I would say the book was already ten years old by the time I used it. I do remember it was quite challenging for the both of us to get into the rhythm of things.

The next year came around, and I was preparing to homeschool both of my children. Our second oldest was going to be starting kindergarten. I was also pregnant with our 3rd child and preparing for a move so had a lot on my plate.

I knew I needed a curriculum that had everything planned out.  At the time when I was researching what curriculum I was going to use we were told that our 3rd child was going to born with serious medical needs.

The easy solution would have been to put both girls in public school so I could focus on our 3rd daughter’s needs. But that would go against what my heart was telling me. We would face this challenge head-on as a family and figure things out. So this leads me to choose a curriculum that would also use literature as the basis for most subjects.

Reading aloud to your children is the best way to bond and to be able to explore other cultures and reading the classics while you watch them learn at the same time. Reading opens the door to the imagination and an excellent way to open up communication with your children.

This is why I choose FIAR (Five In A Row) I could buy all the books I needed for the curriculum and not have to go to the library to get them. I don’t want to make this post about curriculum, but I want to point out what I used to make the transition easier for what was ahead. There will come times when the easiest is the best route. No fuss!

I knew in my heart that I needed to homeschool even though the road was going to be long and crooked but I had the faith that would get me through.

Benefits Of Homeschooling

You need to ask yourself these five questions

  • Why do you want to homeschool
  • Does your child or children have any learning challenges
  • Do you know your state’s requirements for homeschooling
  • If your child is already in school, do they know why you are considering homeschooling
  • What kind of support system do you have in place

We all start out with different needs for wanting to homeschool. The biggest answer to the first question is, “I know my child the best and how to homeschoolhow they learn.”

There is also the need of needing to homeschool. Wither it be poor performance of the school district your living in. Wanting to be able to control what your children are learning. Medical or special needs necessity because schools are not following through. Or bullying and the fear of rising crime in our schools. Believe me, and I’ve heard that last one more than I would ever want to.

I know this second question the best. I have 2 special needs children that have a vast variety of learning issues and medical needs. Homeschooling them has been and continued to be the best option for them. This allows them to get all the therapies they need without interfering with school. This leaves a lot more options available to them.

I can spend one on one time with them and address learning issues where they are delayed. Other people have asked me if I am trained to teach children with special needs. My answer is always “yes as a matter of fact because I am their mother and that makes me the best-qualified teacher for them. Oh yeah and also you can be a dad and have that same answer. I don’t want to leave anybody out.

Anyone that wants to homeschool can. It doesn’t matter what learning style your child has or if they have a learning disability. With all the resources we have available to us now you find a curriculum to fit any learning style.

Before you start homeschooling check with your state’s requirements because each one has their requirements. I find the best resource to find this information at is the HSLDA.

So for addressing wanting or needing to pull your child out of traditional school has a variety of reasons. First and foremost always remember “it is your right as a parent or legal guardian to choose to homeschool” and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just make sure that you communicate to your child why they are being homeschooled if they don’t understand already.

Building Homeschool Connections

Last but not least is what kind of homeschool connections or support system do you have in place. You do need a support system of some kind. It can be a family member, friends, extended family members. But I find the most helpful ones are:

  • Facebook Groups For Homeschooling- You can usually search for local groups just by entering your town or county
  • Pinterest- What a great resource they have become for everything about homeschooling.
  • Co-ops are also good to belong to. This gives children an opportunity to learn about other subjects of interest and gives a good social outlet.
  • You can also just do an internet search for your city or state on homeschooling groups. There is usually a good amount of groups to joinbuilding homeschool connections depending on where you live.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask anyone who homeschools. I guess depending on how busy or how often you check your email most bloggers who homeschool will answer your questions. Well, I guess I better speak for myself. Yes If you have something I can explain I will happily help you or find someone or the resource that can.
  • If you attend church, there is usually someone in your congregation who homeschools
  • If you are a single parent, you can homeschool, and I know there are support groups out there to help

In conclusion, I hope this answered the question of ” Is homeschooling a good idea?”  I hope that it helps to make your decision on homeschooling. I know from my experience this has been and will always be the best choice for us.

Homeschooling gives you the opportunity to bond with your child or children on a whole other level. The flexibility you have to choose in a curriculum. What style of learning your child prefers or needs. Do you want a traditional school calendar or year round one?

We prefer year round to accommodate medical appts, hospital stays, and therapies. But also they can retain the info they learn better. Enjoy these years you have to do this because I can tell you know that they go by fast. Writing this post brought up so many good memories I have of schooling my 2 older girls. That first year I didn’t know if I was cut out to do it, but we did it, and I’m still forging on.

I am adding some links on here on some recommendations for curriculum and resources so feel free to check them out! If you have any questions, please email me, and I will try to get to as soon as possible. Also, sign up for my blog updates, so you will be in the first to know.

HSLDA – State Requirements For Homeschooling

Life Of FredElementary Curriculum

Science Shepard – Great science Curriculum

Christian Liberty Press – Quick Start Curriculum Kit For Kindergarten

Mega Words – This is what I use, and also our Speech Therapist uses with both of my children. They both have learning disabilities, and my son has Dyslexia

 

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Best Homeschool Science Curriculum For The Visual Learner

earth scienceWelcome, my name is Robbin, and I want to introduce you to the Best Homeschool Science Curriculum. I’ve been homeschooling for over 17 years. I have already graduated two kids, and we have two more to go. What I love about homeschooling is that I get to choose what my kids are learning. Watching them learn has been priceless! I don’t know about you, but picking the curriculum can sometimes drive me crazy!

I will be just honest with you, I have purchased and gone through a lot of curriculum over the years. Some have been a good fit, and some haven’t been. That is just the name of the game. Most children can have a different learning style, and that was the case for us.

Science was a subject I didn’t enjoy in school so I knew I had to find a program that would engage my kids. I didn’t want them to see my lack of enthusiasm for the subject.

With our older two girls, we used Switched-On Schoolhouse, so Science for them was already in the program and computer-based. I like using a curriculum that can integrate with the computer; fewer books is a plus for me. When it came to finding a science program for our younger 2, well that was a little more complicated and took some excellent research.

Both of our youngest have learning issues, so I knew whatever we tried had to be more visual. I needed a thoroughly planned out Science curriculum that was simple and Christian based. Nothing that lasted over 30 min for total time on the subject. Wanted something that was also easy for them to follow and be able to give them a little independence. Also, a plus would be something they could use with the computer. They love using the I-pad, tablets or the computer.best homeschool science curriculum

So I came across what I think is the best homeschool science curriculum. Hands down this have been the best choice for us. Wither or not you have regular learners or a visual learner this is the science program you will want! Christian based and using God’s Words from the Bible to teach every subject!

The science Shepard curriculum covers all grade levels, and videos are short with easy to use workbooks.  This homeschool science curriculum is all planned out on a five day, 35-week course. If you have an independent learner, then this is an extra plus!

Introductory Science for Elementary Students from Science Shepherd

The Introductory Science program is designed to be used five days a week for 35 weeks. We have a couple of days of the week that the kids have therapy. Honestly, the lessons are so short that we double up on the days we are at home. Each experience comes with one or two pages of questions in the workbook. For some of the days, they have puzzles and activities.

It’s recommended for ages 6 – 11. Level A workbook is for ages 6-8, and Level B is for 9-11. The Level B workbook contains the same material as the Level A, with extra content added. All the experiments have detailed instructions. Very easy to follow and use everyday items that most households already have. My children love doing the experiments!

Super happy with the number of topics covered in this Introductory course. Every subject is broken down into 2 to 3-week sections. The course includes subjects on creation, geology, biology, astronomy, oceanography, meteorology and more! All the videos are all easy to follow and are marked, with the weeks and days all broke down to simplify things.

The DVD’s cover both Level A and B workbooks. My kids have enjoyed them. Never have an issue with them wanting to do science.

best science curriculum for elementary Science Shepherd Introductory Science Workbook Level A
homeschool science curriculum Science Shepherd Introductory Science Answer Key Level A
best curriculum for the visual learner Science Shepherd Introductory Science Workbook Level B
best science reviews Answer key Level B – Science Shepherd Introductory Science
best homeschool curriculum reviews Science DVD Set for Science Shepherd Introductory Science

Life Science For The Middle School  And Jr. High Years

Science Shepherd’s Life Science curriculum is developed for parents in mind to teach science through the middle school years. You can have the peace of mind of wondering if you are teaching them everything they need to know! Designed for independent students, but is also can be used for the child that may have learning disabilities.

This is a comprehensive step-by-step curriculum that you can teach without you needing to know the subjects. You will be able to follow along and break down each question that is covered. I wish I had this curriculum when I was in school. I probably would have liked science better.

This science curriculum comes with a student textbook, answer key and parent textbook. The books are organized very well visually. They have short readable paragraphs with full-color photos and diagrams. All vocabulary words are in bold, and you can find the definitions at the end of each chapter.

 Study questions are in short answer form and with true/false questions, with the answers found in the answer key. When your child enters this grade level, it is hard to see a science program that is so user-friendly. Thankfully it didn’t require me to have a background in science to be able to assist. You will not be disappointed with this choice for your children.

best science curriculum homeschool Life Science – Science Shepherd – 3 Book Set (Textbook, Test Book, and Answer Key)
By Scott Hardin

Science Shepard’s Biology Course

As you see this is the last edition of the courses, your child will need to finish the high school years. This will be the closest you can get to imitating, as if your child was sitting in the classroom, being taught by a science teacher. The parent manual has day-by-day instructions. No planning, jump in and get started. I haven’t found a more in-depth Biology course that is so well planned out and have high-quality content.

Everything included for this curriculum is the student textbook, parent book  & answer key. The test booklet and Science Shepherd Lab DVD and Lab Manual will also be needed. There are some supplies needed such as a microscope, and the book does include their recommendation on what to buy. Science Shepard is an excellent Christian based curriculum.

I would like to add that you can point out the schedule to your child and they can work independently. If one of your children needs more guidance, then you can be confident that you can help them follow along. This reads like a living book and not your average textbook. The student textbook has 34 chapters and over 700 pages that contain text.

The science curriculum has lots of pictures, tables, and diagrams. In each chapter, there are usually two topics, and each question is broken down. Making this an easy reading will help your child to keep there focus. Definitions are at the end of the chapters and not at the end of the book. I believe this will be the only science you will need to equip your child for college.

I love the fact that you can buy this curriculum with 100% confidence. You can use this curriculum with all your children even though they may have different learning styles. Science Shepard is the Best Homeschool Science Curriculum that can be modified to your child’s learning ability. I need to point out that each course covers many grades. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck!

I want to thank you for reading this post. Don’t forget to sign up to get my latest blog postings. HAPPY HOMESCHOOLING!!!

best science homeschool curriculum 3 Book Set For Science Shepherd Biology (Textbook, Test Book, and Answer Key), 3rd Edition
By Scott Hardin
best christian homeschool science curriculum Science Shepherd Biology Lab Manual
By Scott Hardin
Best Homeschool Science Curriculum Lab DVD – Science Shepherd Biology
By Scott Hardin

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How To Teach Personal Hygiene Using American Girl Books

Teaching Personal Hygiene using American Girl Books.

Personal Hygiene And Using American Girl Books To Teach

Personal Hygiene is a must for all parents to teach to there children, but talking about puberty is a whole other ballgame. I want to start this post out by saying that it’s not an easy task to teach our daughters what I call “the delicate areas of life.” I have 3 daughters, and they hit puberty at different ages. Their maturity levels and the way they processed their feelings could not have been the total polar opposite.

I know our first 2 had my husband running for the hills. The balance of females was 4 to 2, so he knew when not to question what was going on and just smile and carry on. Our first 2 daughters are “typical,” and our 3rd daughter has special needs with some medical complications.

Making Teaching Self-Care Easier

But when it came to talking to them about feelings, puberty, self-care, emotions, anger, and many other topics they face today. I loved using The American Girl Books. The American Girl Books have evolved over the years, but the same principles are still there. I love that they are simple and laid out to where any girl can understand, no matter what maturity level there at.

I think I recall the very first one we bought was “The Body Book For Younger Girls” for our oldest daughter when she was around 11. She was homeschooled, so she probably wasn’t getting all that lovely misinformed conversations about puberty and sex. You know “that info that girls tell each other because they have read it, watched it on TV, or an older sibling told them.”

Or even worse they get it off the internet! A perfect read for those girls who are shy and don’t really want to talk about what is going on, but still need to know the facts!

The Body Book For Younger Girls

Personal Hygiene for younger girls.

I love the content; it covers a lot. Topics ranging from changing bodies, to exercise, eating habits, and personal hygiene guidance.
It took the awkwardness away of even approaching the topics with my daughters.

Even with our special needs daughter, the book made it very clear and simple for her to follow along. It makes it clear that every girl is uniquely encountering these issues, on when what, and how it doesn’t make my daughters feel weird about the content.

Learning Positive Body Confidence And Communication

Sensitive issues about body changes have always been a hot topic around here as we were dealing with pre-puberty. I think that this is one subject where you have to take into consideration your own child’s maturity and decide how to approach these sensitive topics. The book has given my girls the courage to talk about something that they were unsure about. Having an understanding of their body now and not being afraid of the changes taking place.

Personal Hygiene and American Girl BooksI think the book has given them the courage to ask questions and even new vocabulary about the issues they would otherwise not be sure of. Learning about how to communicate, if that makes any sense. I think it also made them aware of other changes that they were not even aware of.

Good Ways Of Giving Our Daughters Self-Esteem

No matter how you decide to use this book, it is important that you not embarrass your daughter. It is also important that you are there for them and answer questions appropriately and honestly. If I ever feel that something is inappropriate to talk about, then I honestly tell them, “This isn’t something that is appropriate right now, but we will talk about it soon!”

It’s a very easy read with lots of tasteful pictures.  Q and A pages in case the girl is too shy to ask questions.  This book doesn’t talk about sex education, but it does talk about what happens with the female body as it goes through adolescence. I highly recommend this book to all parents with daughters. It’s just an easy way to talk about the female body as it “grows up.”

The Body Book For Older Girls

The 2nd book for the older girls further discusses what they will need to know to take care of themselves as they turn in to young ladies. This helps girls understand that getting older and everything changing is ok. It also helps them articulate in ways they didn’t know how to express themselves. I love that this is a continuation of the first book.

As always you be the judge where your daughter might be maturity wise. This is not a sex education book. If you have a daughter that is maturing more slowly or even a special needs child, then these books are such a huge help. I only just started introducing this one to our 3rd daughter, and she’s already 13. She is special needs, so her maturity level is not the same as with her 2 older sisters.

Personal Hygiene And Our Changing Bodies

Topics like personal hygiene, taking proper care of yourself mentally and physically. Covering topics on picking the right bra, brushing teeth, taking care of your hair, period basics, moods, peer pressure and learning to like yourself. This talks more in-depth about a young girls changing body.

The book dives in deeper on how to ask questions. Teaches them they are not alone because every girl goes through these things. We just experience changes at different times. Teaching girls that their parents are there for them and encourages them to open up. Has plenty of Q & A to discuss. I never thought Teaching Personal Hygiene could be even easier.

Personal Hygiene for older preteens using American Girl Books

I encourage parents to engage with there daughters and make this a great learning experience. Learning how to communicate when girls are younger will help them feel more trusting and open. They will continue to trust you with other topics that they may be going through. American Girl Books are absolutely hands down the easiest ways to approach topics that may be uneasy to discuss. The flow of the books is awesome!

 

There are Affiliate and Referral links below to promote products that I love and recommend using. I do receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. You may also read my Policy Disclosure for details.

580834: The Care and Keeping of You (Revised): The Body Book for Younger Girls The Care and Keeping of You (Revised): The Body Book for Younger Girls

Answer your daughter’s questions about her changing body with this best-selling head-to-toe guide! She’ll find tips, how-to’s, letters from other girls, facts from the experts, and straightforward advice on everything from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, and periods to pimples. (Does not address sexuality.) Recommended for ages 8+.

580421: The Care & Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls The Care & Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls
By Dr. Cara NattersonThis thoughtful advice book will guide girls through the next steps of growing up. Written for the slightly older girl, The Care & Keeping of You 2 follows up the original bestseller with even more in-depth details about the physical and emotional changes girls are going through. With illustrations and expert contributors, this book covers new questions about periods, her growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more. Recommended for ages 10+.

Sensory Overload/Learn How To Create Calming Solutions

sensory mats for sensory processing disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

How do you know if your child is heading for a meltdown? Well, I guess the better question is, you probably already know what a meltdown looks like. Unsure how to control it or stop it from further progressing. There are all kinds of emotions that attribute to the possibilities of meltdowns. When children don’t know the skills of how to self-regulate, situations begin to spiral out of control fast! This happens to be a skill that we all need to learn and we probably were taught when we were very young. We all need to be equipped with these coping skills and it’s very important to learn to self-regulate. This is especially hard for children with Sensory Processing Disorders and practicing it is also important. Having a calm down area is a great way to encourage and help children to learn how to self-regulate.

Knowing The Difference Of A Meltdown VS Tantrum

We all process our emotions differently and knowing from experience it is especially harder for those who have processing disorders. My daughter is 13 now and she’s getting better at regulating herself so I can say it’s getting better! I’m having to confess that I’ve not always known what to do. When the meltdowns started I just thought it was the terrible 2’s and she would grow out of it. I wasn’t oblivious to the issues, because she was developmentally delayed and had medical disorders, but to me, a meltdown was a meltdown. I wasn’t very familiar with sensory disorders. She had feeding problems because she had issues with food textures and vomited a lot!  SPD and Tantrums. Advice all parents need for Sensory Processing Disorders

Getting Advise

One day I started explaining to a therapist we had about all the temper tantrums she was having and I had even filmed them with my phone. She said that just by me talking and seeing the video that she was definitely having Sensory Overload and didn’t know how to process it. Well after giving me some info on it that’s when my eyes were opened and suddenly I really started to feel like a horrible mother because I was trying to reprimand her for a behavior that she couldn’t even process! My thinking she was just going through those terrible 2’s like both of her sisters did.

Knowing What Works

With that all being said there is a ton of info out there and lot’s of advice now. I’m so thankful for it. I think most parents find themselves in my shoes from time to time. It’s always good to hear what works and how to implement those things. With the help of therapists and recommendations from DR’s and a lot of trial and error, we have implemented a good space for her. We have created cards she carries with her clipped to her bag, laminated paper that has a list of thing to do when she’s feeling an emotion that is giving her anxiety. It’s not a 100% effective but it’s made a night and day difference in her daily living. Also what a huge difference it has had as a whole in our families life and home life.

sensory processing disorder taticle ballReal Life Story

Sensory Processing Disorders and learning techniques take a lot of practice and patience, a LOT of patience! Sorry, I’ve got to give you an example: It was me, Gabrielle and Judah and we were going to breakfast and had grocery shopping to do afterward. I had asked the kids where they wanted to go and so they decided to go to I-Hop. We had left the house, but on the way, I had mentioned a couple of other places. So we decided to avoid I-Hop and go to Cracker Barrel. Gabrielle had her mind set on a cinnamon roll. I-Hop doesn’t have cinnamon rolls so she was going to have a waffle there.

Thinking that Cracker Barrel had cinnamon rolls we went there. We sat down and started to look at the menu and we didn’t see any rolls on the list. Instantly she started crying and it wasn’t loud or anything but it was obvious something was wrong with her. So I said, “why don’t you have a blueberry muffin and fruit because you love that.” Well, that just escalates things and caused her to be more upset. I asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom so she could calm down but she declined. Needless to say, it wasn’t about the cinnamon roll, it was about the change of places and that’s why she was overwhelmed.

Bargaining Does Not Work

You see it’s really hard for children with Sensory Processing Disorders to understand and be able to deal with change like a typical person. It can be overwhelming and depending on the situation can produce a lot of different emotions. All turned out well and she had her muffin and fruit but I have a confession to make. In the middle of the meltdown I had asked her “if I gave you $5 would that make you feel better” and she could buy something in the store at Cracker Barrel. Yes, it wasn’t my finest moment but I did feel a little guilty for changing the location where we ate. I was testing her because we are definitely still in the practicing stages, but I do have to say bribing didn’t work.

Sensory meltdowns are different than just being a BRAT and wanting to get your way. I did give her the money and she did buy something. I also told her I was very proud of her for being able to calm herself at the table and not having to remove herself. Now to the recommendations that have worked for us and still are working:

There are Affiliate and Referral links below to promote products that I love and recommend using. I do receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. You may also read my Policy Disclosure for details.

 

Fun and Function have an awesome, endless amount of products to choose from. They also have a lot of various info on Sensory Needs and Advice, please check them out! You will not be disappointed! With the help of the therapist, I created a box that she could take to her room or take in the car. We call it her fidget box, this also works wonderfully for helping to calm down and process her emotions when she’s having a meltdown. Here are some of the items I would recommend and plus they have a lot more to choose from on the site also.

 

 

 

Teaching Time Management With Ease To Children

teaching time management to special needs children

Homeschooling and Time Management

Time management? Would like to say I have this down to a tee, but I don’t! I do know this though, I heavily rely on making a schedule. I personally do this only for a week at a time because our household can get unpredictable quite often. This would be the reason why!

We have 4 children, 2 typical (if that’s what you want to label them, LOL) and 2 special needs kids. Having disabilities ranging from physical disabilities, developmental delays, dyslexia, ADD, memory processing disorder, high anxiety, sensory processing issues to name just a few.

I’ve been homeschooling for 17 years, and have definitely made over 1000 mistakes along the way. Oh and yes I’m still learning because their needs change, situations change.

Learning To Handle The Day

By the time our older 2 were in 3rd grade a lot of their school was done on the computer, so they were more self-guided and I just monitored them. Both of them were able to set their own pace, knowing what they had to get done by the end of the day. So I let them just self-pace themselves. I knew they had a fairly good idea of what the concept of time was about.

There were times I had to remind them they were on a schedule, because like most kids they got distracted and veered off into another direction. They both now have graduated and one has already starting to make a career for herself. Well, the other one has had to have some pushing along to get her going in the right direction, but she will get there.

So this leads me to how I handle and manage our days of homeschooling the 2 youngest. It’s not easy I will tell you that. Most days are challenging, but we handle every issue straight on. We do have a fairly good support system in place with some of the therapists the kids see weekly. My primary goal as a parent is to see that each of my children is equipped and reaching every inspired goal they may have. I want them to be able to reach their fullest potential that they are capable of.

Teaching Time Management is one of those skills that give them the ability to be able to work independently. Time management is about more than just setting a schedule. It’s the concept of teaching about learning to follow through with the task and continuing to reinforce with a visual focus.

 The challenge of Time Management

I have found that teaching and learning Time management is not as easy as it sounds. If you are not a super organized person in the first place then you better learn fast when it comes to Homeschooling! Time management is a challenge for most anyone. One of those life skills that are not self-taught. It is a skill that has to be taught at a young age.

Understanding the concept of time can also be very challenging if you have a learning disability. So when it comes to teaching this skill you will need to understand that children may know how to read a clock or tell you the time, but have no clear idea of how to manage it.

Time management and the importance of teaching it

A Structure Is A Must!

Children with Special Needs thrive better on a structured day. This will also give them a visual direction of what is to be accomplished for the day. When you have a schedule that outlines the day’s lessons and activities your child knows what to expect. I usually try to write it out on a whiteboard so the day’s task is visible to my children. Doing this every morning lets them know you are giving them a guideline so they know what is next.

My example would be, we have 2 days a week that the kids have therapy. I finally was able to get OT, PT, and speech scheduled for both kids at the same times, so we could be home 3 days of the week where the focus is more structured.

My best advice is to be sensible and flexible when you are planning your days or weeks. There will be days and sometimes weeks that all that scheduling will somehow lose its way, but being flexible will help you get back on track and go more smoothly.

Start With One Task

Time management. Teaching a life skill to children

Depending on the age of the child you want to start out with a simple task so there will be no frustration. Make this fun for your kids. Learning is always more fun if it doesn’t look like work. The more fun you make time management, the easier it will be to for them to understand the time and how to manage the use of their time.  I like to make a list of things they can already do. This would be a list that needs to be done more effectively.

You may want to sit down together and let your child help you make the list together. I find asking them how long they think each task should take so you can adjust to your child’s ability. When it comes to chores or putting things away, It is beneficial to label where everything goes. If they can’t read put a picture of the object or items in the designating place.

So for example, when you ask them to pick up their toys you need to set a visual reminder for them to see. A visual timer works very well so they know how much time they have. Most children with disabilities have problems completing the task when they are not given, “one task directions”.

When your child starts seeing the progress, this will build their confidence and they will be able to go move on to the harder task, with maybe 2 to 3 more steps.

Don’t forget about the rewards

I really believe that rewarding them for good time management is a great motivator. This kind of rewards can be done daily or keep track of them on a chart so they can see the process. At the end of the week, you can reward them with things like extra I pad time, computer time, maybe some items from a dollar store. Dollar stores make great places to get reward prizes at!  You make that decision and make sure your children know ahead of time what the rewards are. This is a great way to motivate!

Try To Remember Simple Is Best!

Remember to keep it simple! This is a skill that’s built upon and your child will probably need lots of encouragement along the way. Don’t forget to use a chart or a list that plainly states what they are supposed to do. An absolute must in our house is a visual timer that lets kids know how long they have and also counts down so they know how much time they have left. You can click on this link to the one we personally use in our house.

When I schedule assignments for the week I only schedule for 30 min intervals. Most children with learning disabilities and focus disorders can't stay on a task longer than that. Even if I see that was headed for a MELTDOWN I just say "let's walk away, clear our head" and then continue once the frustration has settled.

I started them at a young age of practicing that, so I can really tell if it's frustration or just trying to get out of completing the task. Also, remember tomorrow is a new day and if you don't get done it will be there tomorrow.

Enjoy this time with your children and it will also make them more relaxed if you are also. Really hope this information is helpful and would love to hear from you. Leave me a message or you can email me. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank You, Robbin

 

Time management is a important skill for children

 

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Welcome to The Simple Dandy Life!

Welcome to the Life of a stay at home mom. My name is Robbin and I’m married with 4 children. I’m a stay at home momma with a whole lot to say! I so LOVE my Family and enjoy spending time with them. I don’t really have any hobbies but I do love the thought of one day being able to travel more.

I like peacocks and anything sea themed. We have 2 special needs children that require much care. So I could just say that “I’m winging it” most days! It has taken me about 44 years to become comfortable in my own skin but don’t get me wrong “I have a lot of those off days”

I’m definitely no superwoman! I want to share and offer advice on what works for us including, homeschooling, motherhood, raising special needs children, married life, eating healthier. I have lots of struggles on a weekly basis but also have learned a lot of lessons through those times.

I’m starting a blog to cover all those areas of my life in hopes to bring some encouragement to others that will find it useful. I really hope that you will follow me and encourage you to comment!

stay at home mom
Doing school at the Haven House. No REST for the WEARY!!!

Well just to add to my post from yesterday that I wrote to introduce myself and what my blog was going to be about. Well, the major update we are on our way to St Louis because our son is having some issues.

My first blog post will be put on hold until tomorrow. That’s ok I’m writing it on WordPress as my husband drives. Gotta love that multitasking! Lol! First things first, gotta take care of my baby boy. He’s 10 actually, but he’s our youngest.

I always try to see the positive in every situation! I’ve had to learn that early on with both of our youngest having special needs and medical issues. Believe me, I have my moments but I just scrape myself back together and get on with it. Got a 6-hour drive so plenty time to write.

Well, I thought I would just share that and please don’t hesitate to comment. I’ve got a whole lot of tips and advice on how to survive those times when stress wants to take a grip and hold on!

If you were wondering what the Haven House was, it’s a place for Family and Patients to stay while they are getting medical treatment or appointments. It’s for all the St. Louis area hospitals. We don’t stay there all the time, but it’s nice because they have a lot for the kids to do and more space than a Hotel. A little like Ronald McDonald house.