Category Archives: Uncategorized

I have MOVED!!

Yep, I now have a NEW blogsite. WordPress.org has been a great place for me to start blogging, but there are many limits on what can be included in my posts when it comes to linking forward to amazon, affiliates, and other business opportunities.

I have since switched to a self-hosted blog through WordPress.com!

Please visit me at my NEW site:

www.HOMESCHOOLSTORY.com

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Changing Education Paradigms

Wonderful visual explaination of how our education system was developed and the problems that lie within. This was not done by some homeschooling organization….it doesn’t even mention homeschooling, but it explains the problems in the modern education system. Being a former public school teacher, I totally agree with this video. These are the initial concerns that led me to homeschooling.

It’s a bit long (11 min) but totally worth it!!

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January 19, 2012 · 11:36 pm

SquareFoot Garden – Growing Seeds

It’s been a week now and my seeds are doing great!  It’s so fun to watch how these tiny seeds grow and push through the dirt.  We are really having fun observing the teeny-tiny chives.  They are so skinny and fragile that they actually bend themselves in half to push up through the dirt…then unfold to become a perfectly straight baby plant!  A friend of mine is also growing chives and her and her children are also enjoying the amazing miracle of seeds becoming plants!

The soil:  I found a great bagged soil that I used for my seedlings.

Jungle Growth Soil

They are actually a local company to me (in Georgia) but I found their soil at Lowes.  It was the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 mix that Mel talks about in his book! The only thing that doesn’t make it a perfect Mel’s Mix is that the compost part of the soil is only from one type of compost and not a mixture of different types of compost. But for my seeds to start out in..it works great!

Here are some pictures of my seeds currently.  As they grew I propped up the covers to their seed trays with pencils.   I keep the seeds inside in a sunny location mostly, but if it’s a nice warm day, I will put them out in the sun for a few hours.    I also keep them nice and moist and water them only when the soil starts to look dry ( I never let them dry out).  I water them with warm water and just pour a little into each section.  I think the warm water makes them feel like it’s a warm summer’s day!

Seeds over the last few days

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Garden Stats:

3 Boxes made (4×4) with one more to nail together

1 box made (1×4) using this for my lettuce

A few bags of various compost purchased.  Still need more

Working on the place for my boxes…watching the sun patterns through the day to see where the best spots will be.

Seeds growing bigger each day!

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Redefining “School” in our House

When I first started homeschooling, our days would include loads of hands-on fun activities. Of course when you’re with a preschooler, it’s all hands on and fun! 🙂 We would color, cut and paste, make art projects, use manipulatives, read together, act out stories, etc…. My son was learning while enjoying the process!

Over the years, we have gotten away from the FUN part of school. We have somehow gotten to the point where “school” is our math lesson, reading and grammar lesson, etc…. and anything that is hands on, fun, creative, is to be done AFTER we finish “school”. It’s not like we never do those fun things, it’s just that they haven’t been part of the definition of “school” in our house.  We have several educational computer games like Math Blaster…but I find myself saying “No, you can’t play that until after we are done with SCHOOL.”  Or “No, put the geo blocks away.  We need to finish SCHOOL first.”

Needless to say, my son (8 years old) has developed a bad attitude toward “school”. I blame it on the way that I have labeled school for him. I’ve told him that the parts that are hardwork (lessons) are school and the parts that are fun and engagging are for AFTER school. No wonder he doesn’t leap for joy at the word SCHOOL.

That’s where workboxes come in. This whole problem with our definition of school was the primary reason I wanted to try the workboxes. It allows me to define our school day in a much more well-rounded way. Now “school” consists of our lessons (the part that isn’t always so fun) with review games/activities, hands-on stuff, and more. When I fill up the boxes for the next day, I can sit back and really SEE what the day will be. Would I look forward to that day if I were my kids? Does it provide a balance of challenging work with enjoyable learning and even some FUN?

So far so good! I can see that although it’s easy for me to create a wonderful day for my 4.5 year old, it’s harder to create a balanced day for my 8 year old. Cutting and pasting isn’t going to “cut it” for him (pardon the pun). So it has challenged me to be a better mom and teacher….to really think about what interests him, to think about how he learns and what gets his attention. It also allows me to see that I have been spending lots of one-on-one time with him as his “teacher” but not enough as his mom. I have started to include more reading together for fun books into our day. He won’t want to cuddle up with me as much as he gets older….so I’m trying to soak up all the cuddle time I can! 🙂

And it’s working. Just finishing up the week and my son’s attitude toward school is totally different. Alhtough he will still balk at certain tasks, he sees that it’s just a small part of the day and there are still many other boxes full of interesting things to do and learn! I haven’t changed any of our curriculum (same math, grammar, spelling, history, science) but he says “this school is WAY better that the other school.” So we will continue to use the workboxes and see where it takes us!

So…this weekend I’m off to the Teacher Supply Store to get inspired some more! 🙂

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Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog! I have spent countless hours on blog sites setting up accounts and trying to set up a blog. I find myself dissapointed in them and frustrated! Not enough template choices, not easy to customize, etc… so far so good here…! I have hopefully found my final blog spot!!

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