New Year part b

January 2, 2012|3:01 pm

I mentioned spending time with my children as being a New Year Resolution. Accomplishing this has already been set into motion. I am taking at least a year sabbatical from the homeschool co-op I started three years ago. This is  and was a very difficult decision to make. It was only possible by the fact that when my husband suggested it I felt a total sense of peace and the thought resonating at the time was “Yes, this is the time.”

There is a group of ladies poised to take over. They have changes they would like to see that I can respect and would maybe even like if I had joined an up and running co-op with these particular aspects already in place. Since they are changes to my “baby” it will be a lot less painful for me and less stressful for the other ladies if I am not present during the change over. And yes, this is easier to write than it will be to actually carry out. I get that. I am praying for God’s blessing and hand in all of this!

Back to my children.. so without the time it takes to set up and follow through on classes and classroom planning I have freed anywhere from 5 to 20 hours a week. Yes, you read that correctly. I often spend up to 20 hours to prep work, making phone calls and just plain crisis management of the co-op. We have some new rules and plans to enforce them that may change the crisis management portion. For all our sakes I am praying this solution works.

With that extra time I plan on actually spending the time in physical teaching time with my children. My younger ones do not remember a KONOS unit and all it entails. I want to change that. Since Pat is currently laid off we are even embarking on a unit I would think twice (or twenty times) about doing. Resourcefulness and Inquisitiveness from KONOS Volume 3. It involves simple machines , levers, and many electrical experiments. Dad has agreed (with pretend reluctance) to do these. Given the amount of questions and ideas he has handed me he is into this unit as much as the children will be once they get to start.

We are continuing our chronological history (mostly for the older children) with the VP cards memory work (for all of us)and some resources from TOG. In order to lessen my planning time we are joining the HSM program from KONOS. For $30 a month Jessica Hulcy (author) does all the lesson planning and through the use of videos teaches the teacher. Being part of a separate yahoo group just for people following the HSM Vol.# plan should keep me accountable and on track.

My plan is to be so organized that we can add in time for our handicrafts and music again. All of the children love art and some are really into quilting and knitting and crocheting. Having a dedicated time several days a week should help our productivity in these matters.

Ok I just reread this and it sounds like one of those overly ambitious never will be carried out in actual life kinds of posts. I’ll be honest with how it goes OK? I don’t think we will spend hours a day on any one activity but I do want to have several sessions scheduled that will add up to real time spent on each activity over the course of a week or month.

Still working on steps 1 and 2

July 14, 2011|9:39 pm

Praying and Prioritizing.. making plans and submitting them to the Lord. Taking ‘em back and having to do it all over again. I am making progress. I a m m a k I n g progress….. it is maybe slower than I like…. (that might be age) or it just might be meeting other people’s needs. Something I pray the Lord will let me do with a right heart and strong desire of servant-hood.  Whatever the reason, I need to to rejoice in the fact that progress has forward momentum.

One of the projects on my to do list was to create the workbooks I envisioned for my children for Tapestry of Grace. Marcia Somerville, author of TOG suggests making the books as you go and having the children put finished pages in a three ring binder and I really want to be successful with this curricula so I REALLY had planned on following her advice. Then HELLOO!!! Reality check: I lead a VERY BUSY LIFE.  I am often side tracked by family, friends, co-op, a great book.. well you get the idea. So back to the original plans:

tog notebooks 015 

First I made a book with the work pages and some of the evaluation sheets that I intend to use as research assistant sheets. I really like Year ones evaluations at the upper grammar and dialectic level for this. My children will know what information they are to be looking for as they look at the sheets. I also included the notes to students at the front of each weeks section. I put all 36 weeks in one book. While I usually like to comb bind here at home I felt that the spiral binding from Office Max with plastic covers front and back would be a good way to spend my $$.


Then I created a geography book with all of our maps for the entire year. Yes, we may not get them all done but how much better is it to be prepared and not use them?



tog notebooks 023

Now that that project is done I am on to the next one: finish the year book for our Co-op by tomorrow nights picnic. Say a prayer I get this done! I do not want disappointed children.

Check back this weekend for a post on the picnic… I hope to do a few fun things with the children.

Life this week..

July 4, 2011|7:31 pm

In my life this week…. a broken down car is really frustrating!.
In our homeschool this week… printing printing printing!
My favorite thing this week was…reading a book with my children.
What’s working/not working for us…having daddy home for the weekend was a real blessing.
I’m reading…the Moody Family series to the younger children and various education books for myself and a Catherine Coulter novel for fun. Note  I finished the Coulter book and we are on book 2 in the Moody series.
I’m praying for….wisdom in decision making for our co-op.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…Tapestry of Grace

School Again.. (those of you who do not home educate may want to skip reading my blog this month!)

July 2, 2011|9:35 am

Well I do have to say that making the decision to switch our homeschool to Tapestry of Grace has really changed my homeschool planning for the year. Last year I bought and used one unit and also bought some Teacher Trainings. Even though I have been doing this homeschool thing in various guises for quite some time now these videos really helped me focus on defining what each of my children needs to have customized for them.

The Tapestry of Grace website and the year specific yahoo groups have been fantastic resources. I have also spent a lot of time cruising blogs that are written by moms who use TOG and blog about it. I have such a plethora of ideas and for once they are already in my planner in some form or other. I have taken a few minutes to add the changes that the creative moms have made right into my planner so that when we get to those weeks I have a choice of how to do things. Or should I say my children have a choice? I am really trying to turn over a lot of responsibility and control to the children. They have long heard from me that it is their job to get an education.. my job is to facilitate that. I cannot force feed anyone an education.

Co-op is coming together and I hope to post more in the very near future about our local co-op. So many of the ladies have looked at TOG that we may even be able to incorporate some TOG classes by next year. In the meantime our 2011 / 2012 Christian Community Co-op is full of exciting classes and all of the moms who are teaching are working hard to plan an educational experience for the children.

Today’s plan is to make the workbooks for weekly evaluations for each of my children. As usual I looked at the way they are made and immediately saw a slightly different way to utilize them for a couple of my students with learning differences. I’ll try and post a pic and description later this weekend.

For those of you here in the Midwest with us.. isn’t the break from the past few days heat wonderful? I am enjoying my morning coffee immensely!