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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Getting ready

I've spent the greater majority of the last almost two months getting curriculum compiled to use for the homeschooling. It's actually quite amazing how much free stuff you can find on the internet if you just know what words to type into a search, and what groups and websites to join. I've found free curriculum for EVERYTHING I could possibly want to teach them.

Except Spanish. No curriculum. BUT I have found many places that offer free resources for the basics in Spanish. The basics will at least give me enough time to save enough money to BUY some sort of Spanish language education materials from somewhere.

The last week I've spent putting together lesson plans. Just basic ones, really, so I can keep my children's dad informed of what they are doing for school. He seems to have developed an aversion to homeschooling them, whereas in the beginning he was all for it. But now he's not, and I figure as long as I can show him that they actually WILL be learning, and keep records for myself in case I need them, maybe he'll be appeased long enough to at least give this a good, decent shot.

But getting together the lesson plans was more difficult than getting together the curriculum. First of all, I had to create a daily schedule. Not every class will be taught every day, or even every week, so first I had to decide what classes I feel my children need to have every day (such as Math), and what classes I feel wouldn't harm my children in having every other day, every other week.

That part wasn't SO hard.

Then came setting up lesson plans for each of the classes. Which is where I messed up.

I forgot that some of the classes we'll be doing weren't going to be every day things. So I ended up creating lesson plans for every day of the week for those classes. Then I printed them up and put them in the binders I have for the curriculum. And then I realized the mistake I made. So I had to go fix those classes. That was fun. NOT.

But I think I've got it all sorted out now. I still have a few classes I haven't created lesson plans for, but those classes aren't as important. Bible (which I really don't HAVE to create a lesson plan for, because the book I will be using for the first 9 weeks actually has it's own curriculum), Music, and Art. At the ages my kids are, Music and Art aren't so critical that I have to come up with curriculum for. Music could be as simple as learning a new song, Art could be as simple as creating a drawing based on another subject's lessons for that week. So I'm not too worried about those.

We're going to start Bible this week, though, instead of waiting until the 6th. On April 7 they have a field trip to view a life-size replica of the sanctuary that has come to the area for Easter. So this week we are going to be studying the Sanctuary, both the earthly and the heavenly. And on their field trip I'm going to have them take the piece of paper that lists the items in the sanctuary and write down what each of those items represents (they will be guided by a tour guide). I think it will be fun.

Then next week we'll start the lessons on the life of Jesus immediately preceeding His crucifixion, which will be completed Easter weekend. I even have the boys Easter weekend, so I'm going to be looking for a program or something that weekend to use as a field trip. If nobody has anything planned for that weekend, I'll see if I can find a children's version of the crucifixion on DVD or something. If they were in their teens I'd probably rent The Passion of the Christ, but they are too young and I don't think they could handle that much information just yet.

I think that I am going to also start including entries on free curriculum in this blog. Just in case other homeschooling moms need help finding quality educational materials and are living on a strict budget. Some things you just can't find online, but the majority of it you can. Yeah, I think I'll start doing that.

Daily Homeschool Schedule


  • Morning Worship
  • Breakfast
  • Bible
  • Break
  • Mondays/Wednesdays: English
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays: Spanish
9:45am-10am Break
  • Math
10:45am-11am Break
Week One:
  • Mondays/Wednesdays: World History/Geography
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays: Earth Science
Week Two:
  • Mondays/Wednesdays: American History/Geography
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays: Natural Science (ie, Universe)
11:45am-1pm Lunch/Recess
  • Reading
  • Spelling/Writing
1:45pm-2pm Break
  • Week One: Music
  • Week Two: Art

(entry with free links to come later)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Hike

I ended up getting the boys out and taking a hike. We took our time and followed whatever path we chose, only making a decision on which way to go when we reached a fork in the path.

It was fun. We talked about all sorts of stuff, whatever they wanted to talk about at the time. We looked at nature and talked about animals. Took some pictures of them being silly, some pictures of the scenery. Taking that hike made me think that when we get to the part about mountains and wooded areas in Science, it would be a good place for a field trip. Even if we get to a part in History about gold mining, because the hills we went hiking on sit on top of many, many mines. Sometimes, if you take the right path, you can see a few rather large, deep holes where the mines caved in. One of them even has a very old truck from the 1950's sitting in it. We have no idea how it GOT there, as the "road" is much farther down the hill, but it is still amusing nonetheless to see it. I used to have a picture of it, but I'm not sure where it is anymore. I put it somewhere online, but I have no clue where anymore.

All in all, we hiked for about 70 minutes. We took our time, let our whims lead us down the paths. And we enjoyed each other's company without worrying about school work or chores. While I enjoy the time we spend together during homeschooling, I enjoy more the time I get to spend with them relaxing (yes, hiking IS relaxing) and just having fun. And even though halfway through the hike Christopher was complaining about being tired (I forgot to pack water bottles, for one thing...for another thing, he kept running UP the hill), I could tell that he and his brother enjoyed the hike with me as much as I enjoyed the hike with them.

When we got back to the car, we were all very thirsty (because silly me forgot the water bottles) and hot, so we made a quick stop at DQ to get some water and some small ice cream cones. Topped off our little family time with a treat. And really, they deserved the ice cream. Even with the complaining from Christopher (it was very minimal and not at all whiny), they did very well on the hike. And it was a little treat from me to them.

And now that the weather is starting to get nice again, we talked about making Sabbath afternoon hikes and ice cream our "tradition". So on the Sabbaths they are not with their dad, and the weather allows for a hike, we're going back to Jacksonville and taking a Sabbath afternoon hike. We'll make an afternoon of it. I'll pack a picnic, we'll hike to the top of whatever path we choose, eat our lunch, then hike back down. It's better than sitting at home wondering what to do, or taking a nap all afternoon. It puts you directly in the middle of God's Creation, in a place where you can be together as a family (part of what I believe the Sabbath is supposed to be about), somewhere you can think about all your blessings without thinking about work, or chores, or schoolwork, or anything else that is/has been bothering you.

Today's hike truly made Sabbath a delight.

March 28, 2009

Another beautiful Sabbath day. Not a cloud in the sky. A beautiful Spring day.

We didn't go to church today. I've been not feeling well this last week and I'm still a little on the sick side, so I decided not to subject all those people to the germs I may still be spreading. Which is too bad because today was Communion Sabbath, and it looked like they had a wonderful service planned.

Since it's such a beautiful day, I may take the boys to the park down the street and kick the ball around a bit. Or maybe we'll pack a small lunch, our Bibles, and some art supplies into a backpack and take a nice Sabbath afternoon hike in Jacksonville and have a Bible study at the top of the hill over looking the city and the fields.

Yes, a beautiful day for meditation in God's creation.