What homeschool planner do I choose?

Standard

I know alot of people who I have made friends with run more of a relaxed homeschool environment with no curriculum to follow “unschool”. Let me explain why I choose a schedule, my son likes structure and schedules. He does not do well when things are out of place (unless it is my kitchen or his room haha). So for him, I follow a schedule and come up with lesson plans or unit studies. Without telling him, I run it loosely though it may have a set time for each subject but I allow him to continue in his own pace.

I am torn between 2 online planners right now. Homeschool Planet and Homeschool Tracker.

Homeschool Planet is pretty simple and easy to use. It schedules yearly, weekly, daily and monthly. You can create daily planners too for you and your child. There is widgets to use to do list, buy list, bible verses and weather. It also does a basic transcript and allows links so the student can access any links you want them to use for a lesson online. But it lacks report cards and progress.

Homeschool Tracker is some what advanced and no basic like HP. There is more of a learning curve to data entry. It doesn’t  have the pretty widgets or backgrounds. BUT it does have all the data and forms I am looking for.

Easy Basic or Advance?

I have a strong background in office work and accounting so it really is not an issue for me like some people who have no clue how to run a data base software.

I just don’t know which way to go, any suggestions in the comments below would be greatly appreciated πŸ™‚

Posted from WordPress for Android

What to do when the Devil strikes…

Standard

The kids and I have lived our own horror story from a man who has created a mess of tears and fears.

One thing I have always tried to instill in my children is forgiveness, faith and hope. By showing them how deal with certain situations and always telling them the truth.

This week the devil and his she devil came through the cracks showing their mighty horns. Trying to create fear and chaos in our home. Fear they did not succeed in but for a second, chaos and stress yes 3 days worth. Lies and allegations sent to the courts sent me scurrying for evidence to prove my innocence. My children did the same as these devils blamed them for things they did not do or say. There has been no time to think of homeschool or our normal daily routines.

Amongst all this there was a lesson, a bible lesson of sorts. Lesson of how we are to forgive our trespassers, lesson of hope and strength, lesson of how the Lord our God protects us in the time of need and a lesson on loving those who have hurt us.

My son (Bugga) of all of them is angry and hurt that lies were said, he asked why and no answer was given or excuse he was simply ignored. So to calm him we said a prayer and I told him “You have a right to be angry, but our father in heaven would want us to forgive daddy and love daddy. It is ok bugga, God will protect us as long as we do as we are asked.”

So in a way I guess we did homeschool the last 3 days but more life skills and morales.

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

Newton, Aesop Morale, Jacobs Ladder oh my!!

Standard

This week is packed with so many thinkers, doers, dreamers and creators. I am eager to see my Bugga’s face light up as he learns about each thing I have in store for him.

1st we will be studying the bible story of Jacob and how God is always with us no matter where we are in life. We will be watching videos and creating our first bible journal.

2nd we will be studying 4 astronomers, and will be making a poster board of biographies.

3rd we will be having our first Read Aloud and Narration on Aesop’s Morale’s.

4th we are attending our first homeschool kid event at the library and hopefully make a friend or 2 πŸ™‚

Fun times are ahead for us this week…

Posted from WordPress for Android

Friendship blues for Bugga

Standard

image

One thing that has always tugged at this momma ‘ s heart is watching her loving, outgoing, funny and charming little boy get passed up for being what others call weird, awkward or different.

My son has always had a difficult time making friends because he is usually 2 to 3 years behind in his normal age group. He gives his heart out on his sleeve but others retreat and say it is weird. Kids wouldn’t include him at school because he was “annoying” or wasn’t smart like them (what they considered smart). He would get bullied alot and hurt and they good old fashion sticky note on his back “kick me”. So when he makes friends he holds on tight like you would a cliff for dear life. He has no friends that he hangs out with or gets invited to or for. People think he is too hyper or too talkative. He is just a inquisitive boy who also has a the energy of 6 kids wrapped up in one.

This past weekend I watched him get picked on by one boy who he calls his best friend, he already had plans for this boy to stay the night. Prior to this boy coming over they got into a debate of selfishness over a game. So I asked him if he was sure he still wanted this friend to come. He quickly reassured me that he still wanted him to come, this is how he is he will put aside his feelings just so someone will spend time with him and he is such a forgiver. Well this boy came over and within 2 hours he was asking to go home he no longer wanted to stay the night because he became upset over something that inside is hurting him something that no child should ever hurt over (he lost a loved one to suicide short of a month ago). This tore my son’s heart out. He cried most of the night, most kids would probably stomp around or what not. But not Bugga he posted on his Facebook “Have a great weekend everyone make sure your friends are happy”, he could have easily been selfish and thought why me because he has never had anyone stay the night but he didn’t. I am really proud of my son, he is for sure not what he has been labeled “socially awkward” or the “bad kid” he is an unique one of a kind pure hearted child.

I hope that we in our homeschool journey will be able to meet and find friends who share the same unique characteristics so that he will know what a true friendship is and have many adventures with.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Flu go away!

Standard

Unfortunately the bug has come and hit me first. Why why why!

My sweet bugga has been a super momma ‘ s boy. He has been doing his Independent  Reading and Bible study every day and along extra kisses to make me better.

Thank goodness for a flexible schedule and being able to push tasks forward so we don’t have to worry about falling behind.

I somehow amongst being sick got our homeschool master binder created finally… Yay!

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

Alert! My sanity is MIA

Standard
Alert! My sanity is MIA

image

Where has my sanity gone? 12 hours today plus the whole week on and off I have been back at the drawing board rescheduling and redo’ing everything for our homeschool. This is my 3rd redo, I seriously tip my newbie hat to all of you veteran moms.

When I began homeschooling, I gathered worksheets and online games or quizzes and a few other online resources to help my son with his journey. We started with Brain Quest being our base curriculum and then supplemented with various resources. I found our first two weeks he was whipping through his work like it was nothing, at first I was like ok we started him low so it is ok.

But….!

image

Then I would start verbally quizzing him on what he learned for the day, he would stand there muttering “umm umm”. It was then I realized he could not recall and that his memory issue was a little worse than I thought. I watched him do his work, he would ask the right questions and he was getting 100% to 90% on his work. My observation was that I was not tapping into his working memory and that his brain disorder along with learning difficulties were getting in his way. It was then when I stuck the big red STOP sign in the desk (not really jk) and said we were pausing and under construction.

Construction phase:

Organize: figure out what needs to be fixed and gather it. I saw that his schedule was not allowing enough time on subjects he struggled with and too much time for what wasn’t a struggle. I also realized I was not helping his memory and attention.

Research: books, blogs, vlogs, Facebook groups, Pinterest and evaluations are GOLD

Seriously do not know what I would do without all the above, I would be so lost! If only you could see the 12 books I have in my possession from the library. I have everything from homeschool guides, IEP, special needs, Charlotte Mason to teaching kids with learning disabilities. Asked questions in FB groups for guidance and opinions. On top of all that I have gone to every blog/vlog I can find to evaluate how they schedule, make planners, teach special needs and various methods. Then gather evaluations on learning gates. Trust me these are treasure chests full of info it is a must to help you unscramble the mess going on in your head.

Tackle and Plan: this is where you take all your info you have researched and organize it into a game plan. For me it was method, planning and testing him to know what kind of learner he is.  Remember you must have a base to start from, go for method, style, planning then scheduling.

Step 1 I tested my son and found he is primarily kinesthetic (Mover and hands-on) and secondary auditory learner. Second, I found that I really liked the Charlotte Mason method it fit my son’s needs perfectly. But I didn’t stop there, I wanted to have some kind of curriculum as he loves to follow schedules so I decided to do a mix of CM and curriculum based cores ( i.e. Math, Geography, Science, Life Skills).

image

Step 2 Then I started planning out his school year (days in and days off). After conversation I found I was incorrect on my states law for the amount of time a student must be instructed (double check your states requirements) I found it is not 180 days it is actually 900 hours for his grade level. I already knew that I wanted a full year study instead of what PS does. So I broke it down to 44 weeks, 22.25 hours a week the total came out to 934.5 hours. I was over by 34.5 hours which is fine because that will be extra time in case of a sickness or we decide to do something I don’t know about.

image

Step 3 I took all his classes fixed them in my new best friend the online planner “Homeschool Planet”. Then I took all the subjects and the times, placed into an excel spreadsheet to make sure I had the times right and subjects dispersed appropriately. Plus it is a go to for my son, he likes to have access to a schedule up front in a room where he can see.

Step 4: Plan out your lessons for the week and get your add ins. I enter lessons into HP and attach any media or online game associated to help with each lesson. That way my son’s lessons daily planner is emailed to him 3am prior to him waking up each day. I also put any work that is not on the computer in his peeche folder for him the night before so it is ready for him. Also I am adding classical music “Mozart Effect”, stress balls (movement helps him focus and retain) to use during reading, studying or memorizing.

Step 5 RELAX RELAX RELAX… Give yourself a treat you made it through the redo phase again. I know I am! I still have a couple tweaks to do but I will do them over the weekend after I drink a couple coffees and watch some “mommy shows” lol

I am not super mom, I am a newbie homeschool mom who just love’s her child enough to try to give him the best opportunity to succeed. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

All 4 Bugga!!! Xoxoxoxox

image

ALL 4 Bugga!! Xoxox

Posted from WordPress for Android

Foot in mouth! :-)

Standard

Don’t you just love how you kids do something and it makes you look like a liar? Haha

The past few days I have been studying on my son’s learning gates. In my last blog post I mentioned Dysgraphia, well one of the points brought up was those with this struggle and most times avoids drawing.

I felt a light bulb come on in my head and I told my fiancΓ© that my son has never drawn or shown interested ever.

Get ready foot is about to go in my mouth……

I left for the store and came back what do I find??? My son in the living room drawing with his sister! I almost passed out. Lol

image

image

image

Kids!! Haha

Posted from WordPress for Android

Dysgraphia: A battle within and those around you

Standard

I have always been a strong advocate for my son. From day 1 of finding out that he has Complete Agensis of the Corpus Collasum and then finding out all the disorders that came with it for him. At times I feel like I am a momma bear when someone gets on him for not being able to do tasks that quote unqoute seem simple and natural for others.

Dysgraphia was one of them, it has always been a struggle for him it is like a tennis match, 1 year he is progressing and the next it regresses. What makes it worse for my son is getting loved ones, teachers and at times friends to understand that it is not that he doesn’t want to his brain just won’t let him.

His handwriting is at pre-school presently, by the time he got to 4th grade in public school with alot of help he caught up and his handwriting was 90% for his age level. Then 5th grade hit and in a blink of an eye his handwriting reversed and went to the level of pre-school. Then there is getting thought to paper, unlike a child without this disabilty he can not process written passages to thought to paper, I say it like that because in reality it takes your brain 3 steps to get something written out. First you have written passages or instructions from which you are prompted to write about. 2nd you gather in your head about what you are prompted to write about (thought) then finally 3rd processing/writing this thought out on paper, for him by the time the pencil is in motion the letters get sloppy, the words leave his memory and then he forgets what he had in thought or the subject for that he is writing about. It also involves reading, he can be reading a paragraph and within 60 seconds or sometimes less he will forget what he just read.

For a child who battles with this, it is a painful emotional struggle. They want to make the adult who is asking them of this task proud and when they try and their brain just won’t let them, they feel they are failing the adult. They are not lazy, they are not being difiant and it is so easy for any adult or person that does not understand dysgraphia to assume. The child’s self esteem will drop the more they see or hear any negative or disappointment from an adult who refuses to understand.

It is not just hard on the child it is hard on mom and dad too. Here you are looking at this child who is your miracle and someone who you love more than life struggling with so much and you can not just kiss the boo boo away. You hear people mocking your child “He is just lazy and your letting him”, “He is using his disabilty as a crutch” or “make him do it, over and over until he gets it”. It hurts to listen to people who your child admires so much tear them down because they refuse to accept your child has a disability. Then on other side of the coin you are confused at times if your child is doing it out of despite or it is his disabilty on high. It is hard believe me I know. I never stand down to anyone who tears my child down but I do have moments where I go to take an extra shower to just cry.

It is a must as a parent to educate yourself and research as much as you can every detail of your child’s disabilities. You are the only person who can advocate and be his strongest support against those who refuse to understand. Trust me in the 7 years I have been his advocate I have seen so many people refuse to understand my son from teachers, society and YES loved ones too.

Homeschool I believe will be his biggest benefit because he will have the freedom of taking his time, the repetition he needs and most of all his disabilty is recognized and accommodated at home! πŸ™‚

Posted from WordPress for Android

1 week down… We the Champs :-)

Standard

image

1st week was what I call a trial and error week. There were ups and downs, but most most of all I had the time to assess what his strengths and weaknesses were. Before we started the full pledge homeschool, he tested on mobymax placements at 4th Grade level, in normal school he is considered 6th grade. My son has a short memory, processing thought difficulties and SPD along with ADHD and Autistic tendancies that all stem from his split brain disorder. So starting him lower to me makes sense so that he can have the repetition he needs to get the information in his memory bank and fly with flying colors in the future of education πŸ™‚

We did Math, Spelling/Vocab, LA, Science, Social Studies and Bible.

~ Math seemed to be his biggest strength, he was whipping through the answers like a wiz. We may be advancing in the coming weeks in levels.

~ Spelling/Vocab seems another strength. He also got me in a laughing moment, it took me until I was 38 (39 now) to know how to spell “difintely” and this boy did it off the bat in one of his writings he got his momma on that one. Haha

image

~ Reading is a struggle I found he is struggling in the phonics portion of irregular vowels and short vowels. So we will be doing a session on phonics to increase this area.

Writing (LA) is another struggle he had a difficult time understanding what a “Personal Essay” was and how to write one including what to out in a conclusion. So I have picked up another writing book that seems to explain a little more on how to do different forms of writings.

~Science was a strength and an interest. He study a brief summary of astronomy. We will be beginning an unit study on this coming next Tuesday.

image

~Social Studies is another strength that seemed to poke at some interest. He studied the 7 continents and now wants to know more facts on each one. So we may do an around the world unit study in the future.

~Bible, he is doing lessons called “Exploring the Bible”. It is easy to understand and intriguing enough for him to want to know more.

image

He had a math test on Friday and was showing it off to everyone on his Facebook he was very proud. I finally got him to realize this is all about him and he can take his time, repeat if necessary and is in no competition with anyone. That is why I choose the name “Free 2B Me” for his school name.

I am seeing a more relaxed child, no anxiety exhibited anymore. He is eager to get up and learn, sometimes he will wake me up! Lol…It used to be such a struggle to get him to go to school, he was play sick or cry. He would phase out on his subjects or not even apply himself in class. He would hide homework at school and his completed homework he would hide also because he dreaded the grades he felt as he called “stupid”. Now it is a complete 360 and I am eager and excited for him.

I have found that with all these subjects the time I scheduled in allowance is too much or too little. So my project for this weekend is to tweak the schedule a bit to make it better fit his strengths and weaknesses. I also found a great award chart for reading to encourage independent reading. I have a few things in the works to help out through the process. Wish us luck for week #2 πŸ™‚

I would love any feedback (comment below) on how to put together a homeschool master binder, or any show and tells. I am ready to pull my hair out trying to figure out the organization lol

Posted from WordPress for Android

Beginning ~ Leads to greatness

Standard

Day 1 and 2, have been fun and with a little frustration.

image

Schedule –
I have found a great online scheduler that incorporates lesson planning (you can link online lessons to it), grading, keeps track of time spent, gives the student a daily planner to follow and check off printable and online, and much more. I am loving it so far.

image

image

Work-
I decided to follow the “Brain Quest” curriculum along with supplements to help achieve long term memory for my son. He struggles with memory so repetition is a must. When I tested him for placement he tested in 4th grade level and not 6th grade. So we started at 4th grade level for a refresher.

It seems to be going well, some subjects go quickly without issues and the others seem to take a bit explaining. Then comes the tears and frustration he complains he has to do anything from reading something to how many worksheets I chose for a subject. When it comes to reviewing his incorrect work with him he conplains, throws a fit and then crys. I had to explain several times he is in no competition with anyone and that he is working at his own progress and gets to repeat something until he gets it not like in school where he wasn’t given the chance. Need to figure out how to curb that attitude quick.

Conclusion-
I am sure as we go it will get better and we may be changing schedule up a bit. Baby steps πŸ™‚

Posted from WordPress for Android