2014 homeschooling schedule

I am excited for this new chapter of schooling. I made some changes that I hope and pray will work because I just don’t know if I can handle throwing out and starting over part 3. Originally we were doing 6 weeks of school and then a 2 week break. This was idea when my kids were younger, but now we are in middle school. And honestly 6 weeks isn’t enough time to fit in all the learning that we wanted to do. Basically any hands on activity and field trips got pushed to the back burner. They have burned to a crisp by now.

Plus I realized when the holidays were upon us, there just wasn’t enough time to do our regular homeschool routine and celebrate with fun activities. So, of course, all the fun was sucked out again. Also I felt like I was always rushed to shop and entertain and homeschool and EVERYTHING!!! I didn’t get to enjoy it!

Well I have found a schedule that will fix all that. January through May, we are doing school consistently with a week off in March for Spring Break. Our spring break will be different every year because we will coordinate with my oldest daughters school schedule. They will also have the occasional day off here or there.  We will wrap our school year up in May and have June and July off for summer break. Then in August we will start our new school year and homeschool strong with the occasional day off through to Thanksgiving. The week of Thanksgiving will mark our Holiday break. We will be off until after the first of the year.

This schedule is just for my older kids. My preschooler will be doing school all the time. His schedule is a little more relaxed. We usually do school 3-4 days a week. And he needs consistency to keep up with what he is learning. These breaks are the perfect time for some one on one time with mommy.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome 2014!

Oh how I have looked forward to you! So many things are going to happen this year.

My hubby turns 40. We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We have been together 12 years. Our children will turn 17, 15, 15 and 5.

But other than that I look forward to the life I am ready to live. I have spent way too much time putting things off and now I am going to do it! 

I am looking forward to blogging more because I feel like I have finally found something I love.

I am determine to take photography classes to go along with that fancy camera I got so many months ago.

I want to homeschool in a way that I see my kids love learning and flourish.

I want to get and feel healthy. I am tired of being tired and not feeling like a 32 year old.

Also I want to grow our family!

But mostly I just want to be present in my kids lives and live like it’s our last moment on Earth. As you know I have fought depression in the past and though I did good this last year, I feel like in the new year I can be even better. And after a health scare with my son, it just jump started that feel to make the most of what you are given.

So I hope all of you the best in 2014. I hope you reach your goals and I hope you will follow me on this crazy journey I call life.

 

 

My old life vs my new life

City Life vs Country Life

Stay at Home Mom vs Homeschooling Mom

I remember dropping the kids off at school and going to a PTA meeting. Then heading to the mall, Target or a restaurant for lunch. Grocery shopping with no kids was normal. I made sure all of my errands were done by the time I picked my kids up from school so I wouldn’t have to go out with all 3 of them.

But I also remember the traffic and the way our neighborhood was going down hill. Our kids had no yard to play in and even if they did I wouldn’t let them. The playground down the road was home to daily drug deals and bratty teenagers. All things my babies were not going to be exposed to.

Then again, I remember how much I loved my children’s school. How nice the teachers were. You couldn’t go ten feet without someone saying hello or good morning. The school was fantastic. Had we stayed in that area, I don’t know if I would have started homeschooling.

But then I remember the way I had to leash up my dogs and take them out one by one. I also remember how scary it was doing that in the dark.

Then we moved out here where there is no traffic except during our fair days. I have an acre and half for my kids and dogs to run in. No more leashes, drug deals and bratty teenagers (except my own).

Oh but the school, I hated it. I was supposedly part of the PTA board but they never included me. I was made to feel like I wasn’t welcomed because I was new. The teachers gossiped instead of greeting you when you walked through the halls. I remember being mortified when a teacher followed me out of a classroom to continue an argument with me. I remember being looked at with disgusted to whole rest of the year. I also remember constantly fighting with the teachers to follow my special needs child’s IEP. I also remember the way they let kids bully her because she didn’t look special needs.

And now I get up start my day with a cup of coffee. Get my oldest off to school and feel good knowing my other kids are right where they should be. Every child’s path is different. Every family’s life is different. There was a fork in the road for me and I could have stayed being the typical suburban mom or moved to country and become a totally different person.

My heart is fuller knowing I changed into someone who is not so shallow, not self absorbed and very much fighting for her kids. I wanted to fit into the whole status quo of what a suburban mom is: shopping, socializing and, yes on the outside, a good mom and wife.

But I honestly regret those years that I wasn’t home with my girls. I wish I lived out in the country from the beginning and homeschooled from Kindergarten and up. I wish I saw how fast that time was going to go by and treasured it a little more.

Better late than never though.

We have a new diagnosis!

As most of you know, I have a special needs child. I came into her life at age 3 and she was unable to talk clearly at all and not potty trained.  Compared to my daughter who was only 5 months older, she was very delayed. Once I felt comfortable to say, Hey she needs help, I started fighting for her. And I have still been fighting for a diagnosis. In an earlier post, I wrote about my frustration with getting an answer, which you can read here. Well since then we got a new doctor who really listens to me and my concerns and who actually wanted to see the results of the outside test I got done on her. Since then the word Autism has been used here and there. But nothing definite. Finally I said what is her diagnosis. I just want an answer.  As of right now, she has Asperger’s Syndrome with PDD. Now he did say this will change next year because the guidelines and titles are changing. So she will be considered under the Autism Spectrum. But I feel finally on a path to answers. And with this doctor, instead of making me feel stupid for saying I don’t think she is maturing like she should, he has told me that we won’t know what the bar limit will be for her because everyone is different. I always been made to feel like a terrible parent for not having confidence in my child that she will live a normal life but that was not reality in what I was seeing at home. I didn’t want blinders on. I wanted to know why and what to do next.  And now I feel we have finally gotten the right doctor for us. It may have taken 11 years but we are at a turning point.

Here we go again! Throwing out the plans Part 2!

Yes, that is right. I am revamping our homeschool schedule again! This is what I love about homeschooling. The fact that I can stop and change directions on a whim is empowering.

So this what we were doing in the beginning.

I was trying to fit every subject into everyday. I was also trying to do preschool like I did it back 10 years ago in a daycare center. And I was trying to follow the Florida school calendar.

This didn’t work at all!

Then I began:

Doing split scheduling like I did last year. We also started 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off, except preschool. And mostly book work.

Forget about it. With 4 kids that have dentist appointments, doctor appointments, sick days and the everyday household running, I felt like I was flying through the 6 weeks, but not accomplishing anything and rushing my kids through. I would leave out the “fun” part of homeschooling~ all the hands on stuff. And I still had a preschooler who hated school. He woke up twice and told me my school sucked and that he hated school, especially coloring. Plus with Christmas here and all the fun of that, it is hard to fit in school, fun, errands and cleaning.

So for now we are just coasting through. Working on hands on projects, finishing up books that we were reading, practicing our writing and working on Math. For Lil Man, we are making everything hands on. More learning centers, more arts and crafts, more computer and tablet time. And it has been working so far.

But beginning in 2014, we begin a whole new chapter, which the girls and I are very excited about. We are starting back to school January 6 and I will be posting more regular updates then.

Life of chaos

Well the holidays are upon us. And the reason I can tell it’s the holidays is because I can’t get a break.

First there is the Christmas shopping for the millions of family members that we have. Which I do it all. Hubby doesn’t know any other store other than Lowe’s. And he likes to pull the last minute I need a gift for so & so trick.

Then there was the fact that my car broke down on the way home from an 8 1/2 hour power shopping with my mom. And did I mention that I had groceries in the car at the moment….frozen groceries. Luckily I was 5 minutes from home so Hubby came and rescued me. Now I am without a car for a while. This is after putting it in the shop 2 weeks ago for some repairs on worn out parts on the vehicle.

Then there is the income hit that came unexpectedly. So I am having to really, really budget now and be extra frugal.

Next we move on to sickness. Of course, somebody has to be sick. My middle daughter came down with some kind of respiratory infection. Heck, even 2 out of 3 of my dogs were sick. Lysol was my best friend those 2 weeks.

Last, my youngest daughter can’t handle the holidays too well. It over stimulates her, which triggers her ticks and meltdowns. Factor in that she is a teenager and her hormones are kicking in, oh it’s been a joyous season.

Needless to say I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays:

I love the weather, but hate the chaos.

I love the decorations, but hate the amount of money I spend.

I love this season and hate to see it go.

But I also hate this season and love when it is over.

Throwing out all my planning and winging it!

We are 2 weeks in to homeschooling and I haven’t found what will work for us. It is so much harder than any of those blogs, the ones that make you feel like your not doing enough, let on. I can’t seem to balance everything. So we are trying last years schedule with some adjustments and additions.

Preschool seems to be the hardest because he wants nothing to do with it or he wants all of my attention. I can’t win really. And trying to get a 4 year old to wait is impossible.

Hopefully next week I can post how everything has worked itself out and is going smoothly.

HOPEFULLY!

 

First Day of homeschool 2013

Here are my angels on their first day.

 

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Dakota on the first day of Preschool. This was our 3rd attempt at a picture.

 

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Brianna on her first day of 6th grade.

 

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Cailin on her first day of her 8th grade gap year. She has a goofy smile because of her uncle standing behind me.

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Here they are my 2013-2014 class!

You know I still can’t believe how fast time flies. When we started our homeschool journey Cailin was going into 3rd and Brianna was in 1st and little man was just a hope and dream!

Pre-K, middle and high school

This is my life and the cause of my anxiety. The question of the last 3 months has been how in the heck am I going to homeschool 3 kids at 3 different levels without someone getting left behind or forgotten.

I have a preschooler who needs my attention to learn the basis of learning for the rest of his life. No pressure there!

I have a middle schooler who is severe special needs and is actually on a 3rd grade level.

I have a high schooler who doesn’t need as much guidance but still needs something to make it fun and engaging. Working out of a textbook day in and day out is not going to fly around here.

We are a hands on learning family. So needless to say this next year is going to be a major success or the death of me. Regardless it should make some great blog post.