Customizing Homeschool

I love creating personalized plans and activities for my kids.
Actually, it is not only a passion of mine, but almost an obsession.

I remember being about 6 or 7 years old and creating learning packets for my younger sisters. Fast forward almost 40 years and I am still making packets.

And I  LOVE every single minute of it!

Every month or so, I give my readers here free copies of some of the activity packs that I have created. I am preparing a free bundle of goodies this week, so NOW is the perfect time subscribe. There will be something for kids of all ages in this "insiders gift set".

I want to invite you to join in the fun! It only takes a minute...

 Subscribe to this blog!

I will not spam you. You will simply get an email whenever I have a few minutes to share valuable homeschooling tips and encouragement.


Fine Motor Skills FREEBIE: Circle Time ActivitiesVisit my Store(click here) and Follow me (you will find the "follow me" right under my name at the top of the page.


 Why? 
I make new learning packets all the time. You will find something that helps you teach your children here! (if you have an idea of what you need, but cannot find it, let me know. I may be able to make you a customized activity pack.


Thank you for subscribing and following me!
Be sure to email me if you have an idea that you would like to see turned into a cute learning activity pack!

Organizing, Scheduling, and Managing Multiple Grades

By the second day of school I was ready to pull my hair out.
I was running ragged between our four homeschoolers.

  • Tutoring the 11th grader
  • Teaching the 4th grader
  • Guiding the 6th grader
  • Mentoring, teaching, and coaching the 7th grader

By 4:00 in the afternoon I was exhausted and I looked at the day and realized we did not get through half of what I had planned in my head.

That was the problem. All four kids schedules were in my head.
They had no clue what to do, so whenever I became distracted, so did they.

Enter Wonderful Husband. He reminded me that when our oldest (now 21 and in college) was in 7th grade we helped him create a planner. Hubby encouraged me to do the same for the boys.

The result?

    Calendar! Time Management: Student Planner and Weekly Calendar
  • After a few hours of planning, I had all four boys' school-work mapped out for a few weeks.
  • I created personal calendars for each student and organzied binders for each student.
Oh my goodness. What a difference!

I stay about 2 weeks ahead of the boys in planning, so there are no, 
"What ARE we supposed to do today" moments.

We are 4 weeks into school, and all of the boys, event he 4th grader get up and pull out their planners and get to work each day before breakfast.

The Planner:
  • Gives them control over their day. More often than not, the youngest is working before 7am so he can be done with school early.
  • Answers the question, "I am done, what should I do next?"
  • Brings me peace of mind!
Yes, it takes me a chunk of time to out lessons in advance and to schedule their weeks. But it saves so much time during the school day.


My next goal is to teach the boys how to plan out their own weeks, but that will take some serious mentoring! By the time they are in the 10th grade they need to be proficient in planning their own days.


How about you? How do you help your days run more smoothly?


Subscribe here! I have special tips and freebies for my readers!!!







Math Worksheets, and Activity Packs Ready to Go!


I created some new activity packs for you and your kiddos! Click on the images and you will be brought right to my store.


Birthday Celebration:Birthday and Learning Activites 
Fun packet to help celebrate your child's birthday. Includes wearable button, table/desk sign, paparazzi game,  and more.

If you mix food into any subject, it just tastes better. Yes, even math!



Here is a daily or weekly worksheet to help your child practice all those different forms of a number: standard form, expanded form, word form, etc.
I have included worksheets to cover fall, thanksgiving, winter, valentines, and St.Patrick's day.


Want to watch a quick overview?
Visit my YouTube channel

Books for Homeschooling: Adding Picture Books to Your Homeschooling

One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that we do not have to reproduce a classroom environment around our kitchen table. Aren't you glad?


While I was quick to throw out many "classroom-y" ideas and practices 
in my first few years of homeschooling, 
I rediscovered a classroom secret that works like magic at home...


Books. Picture books.

Many homeschoolers take advantage of their local libraries and Amazon, but how do we present those books to our children?

The Seed Was Planted
One of my homeschooling mentors mentioned how important it was to surround our children with picture books. Forget the thought that picture books are for preschoolers. Simply select books that are beautifully written and illustrated and cover topics that your children are learning about in history.

So, I took my 15 library books and out them all over the window sills in my dining room (where we "do school").

Result:

  • All of the boys were drawn to the books. (All. Even the high schooler!)
  • During breakfast, during snack, during break/free time they would wander over and grab a book to browse. There was no agenda; just enjoy the books.
  • We explored the books, talked about the pictures, and of course read the stories!


Lesson learned.
As a classroom teacher, I guess I would have collected a book-set themed for what we are studying  in history or science. I would have the books conveniently displayed all over the room and in the reading center.

I suggest to you, that as homeschoolers we need to find ways to display these books to our children as well.
  • On the kitchen table
  • On the coffee table
  • On the window sills
  • Along our white boards
  • On shelves. Displayed like they would be at a book store. If you have matching toys, stuffed animals or knick-knacks then display them with the books!
We need to simply put together a history or science themed collections and then place them before our kids. I personally use Amazon to find the books I want to put in front of our boys, then order them from our library. I always have 10-30 books checked out during the school year!


Challenge:
  • Pull 3-10 books from your shelves or the library.
  • Place them in a display-like fashion.
  • Set no agenda. In fact, you ignore them.
  • Observe your kids.


I bet you will be as amazed as I was to see the difference it makes!

Be sure to comment below and share what works for you!
If you need some book suggestions, just let me know. I would be glad to help.

Homeschool Freebie!: Notebooking Pages and Bible Road Trip GiveawayFree Samples Too!!

Another Great Give-away!!! 
Enter right now for your chance to win  by clicking on this image.
Good Luck! 
(Enter between June 16-June 27, 2014)

 




Grab some free notebooking resources before you leave! Click on the smaller image to get your free resources!


4 Homeschooling Resources: Bookmark These Home School Resources

I have quite a few new subscribers. Yeah!
I wanted to give you a quick overview of the resources I personally put together for you, so you can choose the best format to get your home school resources!


A Better Way to Homeschool Website
Subscribe to this website to the right.
You will receive an email whenever a new resource is posted
(about 1-3 times a week)


YouTube
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Here.
https://www.youtube.com/user/BetterWay2HomeschoolI am an active, home-schooling mother of 5 (our oldest is in college, our youngest is 8).
I make "how to homeschool" videos as often as I can. These videos include how to's, wisdom, inspiration, and my current custom teaching packets.




Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ABetterWayToHomeschooI am on the look out for inspiration and humor to encourage you along your homeschooling journey. Many of the things I post are terrific conversation starters for you and your children!
LIKE me on Facebook




Pinterest
I love Pinterest!
http://www.pinterest.com/thesaylers/I have a collection of homeschooling boards where I organize the incredibly inspiring resources I find in my "spare time".
I pin them for myself, so I can find inspiration at a moments notice, but also for you as well!





I have been homeschooling for well over 15 years now and currently have a 4th, 6th, 7th and 11th grader. Our oldest son is a Jr. in college.

My heart is to inspire and encourage you along your homeschooling journey.
Consider everything a buffet. 
 Not everything will be a good or perfect fit for you and your family, that is ok!

Bookmark your favorites, email me questions, and subscribe to any and all of my pages to make sure you have access to everything!!

4 Homeschool Classifieds Sites: Great Free and Discounted Homeschool Curriculum Sources

Have you begun looking for Homeschool Curriculum yet?

Many homeschooling families get "stuck" when choosing materials to use when educating their children. While I believe homeschooling should focus on educational goals rather than a list of topics to cover, we all must choose to give our children access to learning materials.

I do not know about you, but I do not like to pay anything full price for anything. This includes homeschool teaching supplies and materials.

I have pulled together a list of a few great resources for you to look through.
Be sure to bookmark this page and come back and comment on great deals you find!

Caution: Before you begin wandering through the virtual aisle of the Internet trying to decide between this math curriculum and this English program, make sure the "teachers" in your home are in unison about your homeschooling goals.

If you do not have a target, you will not hit it. Take a moment to establish your core homeschooling goal list.

            4 Homeschool Classified Websites:

1. Homeschool Classifieds

2. Homeschool Buyers Co-op
"The World's Largest Buyers Club for Homeschoolers!"

3. Second Harvest Curriculum
                              You can buy or sell used homeschool curriculum here

4. Curriculum Share
Looking for free curriculum? This site links you with other homeschoolers who are willing to share their curriculum. You just pay shipping and handling!


Do have a great resource for curriculum? Please share in the comments below!

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Summer Boredom Buster Freebie


Hi there!


Summer and Boredom go hand in hand. While kids need to experience boredom often to unlock creativity, there are moments that you will need to pull an
activity out of your hat to help them through their day.


Here is a freebie for you. Enjoy!


Summer Boredom Buster Chart and Coupons


How do you deal with Summer Boredom with your kids? 


My thoughts on boredom and creativity. 

(Cute graphics by, apple tree learning)




It's Here! A Sweet and Simple way to Talk to Your Kids about Purity, Sex, and Waiting!!




The Lord gave me this idea about 15 years ago while teaching a group of 5th graders.

My dilemma: 

How do you teach giggly, squirmy, and hormonal kids that God has a beautiful design and plan for them as it relates to sex? Just the mention of anything intimate sends kids into a panic.

God's Solution:

Puzzles!
I created this simple puzzle to explain God's design for sex and marriage to my own children. All five of our sons have been taught about intimacy and marriage this way.


Watch the video above and 
download your copy of 


Want to win a copy? Giveaway is from NOW until Monday 6/9!
a Rafflecopter giveaway