Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free Homeschooling Resources

Relinquishing the Connections Academy has me nervous sometimes in making sure my kids are getting what they need from the education I will now be providing for them.  The internet is an amazing resource of free material to use for your kids so today's post will be about links.

I'm not about worksheets.  I think they sucked the life out of my kid's education.  But today, we did some school work.  There were no tears.  My son was so relieved he had time to be a kid.  What a gift.

We'll do a science experiment after lunch, and then a social studies story at bedtime.  Relief.  Joy.  These are many of the words the both of us are experiencing right now.

Anyway, off to free links.

Super Teacher Worksheets offer free worksheets.  Print them out as they are, or just browse and be inspired to write your own for your kids.

Waldorf Curriculum offers a list of free resources. I have sifted through about half of these. Some of them are heavy reading, but read it anyway! It's worth it to your kids.

The Bearth Insititute has a list of free resources and how-to videos. I know I will be checking back here frequently. For more resources, check back. I plan on openly sharing our journey. Now that we're not piled under worksheets and deadlines I am free (and so are my kids) to follow our hearts.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Connections Academy -- A Homeschooler's Review

This passed fall I enrolled my children into a free online school program at the Connections Academy.  This financially was one of our best options for charter school because...well, it's offered in my state for free.

We were very excited to get our boxes of supplies in the mail.  They shipped them quickly and neatly.  We got textbooks, workbooks, art supplies, a jump rope, and even a yoga CD for the kids to do.  I was optimistic and excited to have my kids home again.  We had missed each other tremendously the few weeks they had gone to school at the local public school.

Before I say any more about this program, I need to say this.  This is NOT a homeschool program.  This is a public school program done at home.  The work load my children had to complete each week was so much, we had a hard time keeping up each week.  My son was in their gifted program for third grade, and there were days he worked 9 hours or more and still did not complete his day's work.

I had to take attendance every day, and their teachers had to touch base with them at least once every two weeks.  If structure is what your child needs, and if they are independent workers, this program may work for you.  My children though started to hate school, they complained when it was time to do school work. Piles of worksheets had taken the fun and enjoyment out of learning.

Just this passed week, I have sent in my notice of intent to the state.  I'm pulling them out of their state funded program, and finishing the school year on my own with them.  I've been eyeing the Oak Meadow curriculum for years, and purchased my son's curricula this passed week.  He will finish out his third grade year with a slower pace.  One that enables him to look deeper on his own, and hopefully will give him a love of learning.

For my daughter, I will be trying the Christopherus curricula.  It's a heavy Waldorf inspired curricula.  Hopefully her inner spirit will shine through with creativity and joy, instead of having to do hours of worksheets every day.

I'm relieved and happy with my choices of dropping them out of the Connections Academy.  It wasn't an easy decision to come to.  In the end, I didn't want them to hate learning.  I want them to be lifelong learners.  Before I was their mother, I was a teacher...and if something isn't working as it should, it needs to be fixed.  I would love to hear if anyone has had any experiences like this, or if they've used these curricula before.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

After a troubling fall, I'm slowly returning to myself. I've been missing this blog and the regularity it brought to my life. The menu plans, the bettering of myself.... Being a solo parent has taken so much adjustment. Homeschooling as a solo parent took even more adjusting. We're getting there. I'll be talking more about our progress soon.

Today I'm talking about menu planning, because it's so good for your wallet and your kids. I'm not much of a planner, but I noticed when I took my hiatus from blogging the cost of feeding my family went up. I believe it's because I had stopped giving our menus so much thought. So onward to a new year, hopefully I will remember myself, and what this blog has meant to me over the years. Here's my menu plan. :)

For Christmas yesterday, I roasted a turkey. Some of our initial dinners will be leftovers based on that. :)

Monday: Turkey Pot Pie I'll be doing my own version of this based off this recipe. If it turns out lovely, I will post about what I have done.
Tuesday: Turkey Tetrazzini Something about this just sounds weird, but the picture they provided looks divine, so I'll be giving this a try.
Wednesday: Turkey Stew
Thursday: Leftover Buffet
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Company over...possibly eat out.
Sunday: New Year's Eve...will have to plan yummies!

For more menu plans check out Organizing Junkie!


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