Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Adding it all up. Day 3 of The How do I teach Series.

I realize that you are awaiting for my great ideas for math curriculum, as part of our five day series.

I do have some great links & ideas I wanted to share with you.

Then life happened.

As it does most days.

It is hard being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a neighbor, a teacher not to mention the cook, maid, chauffeur, and everything else we add into our lives.

So here is my advice about math:

No matter how you try to divide yourself, you are still only one person.

So don't try to divide yourself into too many pieces.

It may mean that those that are closest to you will get only a fraction of what they deserve.

So subtract things out of your schedule. It will be okay.

Take time to add in those moments that matter and make memories that are erasable.

Make cookies & multiply the joy by sharing with others.

Zero in on what really matters.

Those years and days will add up faster than you can imagine.

We only have them for short time.

Take a minute to hold & enjoy the kids in your home. Really enjoy them!

So when your adding up all the things in your day. Subtract things out you really don't need.

Do all you can to make sure that all those seconds & minutes count.

Make them really count.

- Tiffany

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to I Teach without Spending a lot of Money: Science & Social Studies

 I want to begin by prefacing some items that I forgot to mention yesterday  in our little introduction. The first thing I need to mention is that one I don't know everything. I assume that is a given, but just in case it it not, you now know. 

 The other thing you really need to know is that my children our still fairly young, so I may have a few ideas about older grades, but if you need ideas for High School. I have few. Most of these will be directed towards 6 grade and under.

 The last you need to be aware of, is that I home school in a wonderfully relaxed state. I have a lot of freedom in what I can teach. I realize not everyone does. I feel truly blessed in what we can do in our state & hopefully can continue to do in the future.

So lets get on with it.

I hope you did your homework yesterday & wrote down a list of some of the resources you already have available to you. If you haven't done this yet, go ahead & do it now.

It's okay I can wait.


Okay not that we are all back, lets look at your list. One of the things that I feel is important to know what you already have is time. Time is precious. So if there is a resource that you can borrow from the lady down the road, it also means that it is one less thing you need to track down & prep yourself.  That alone is glorious.  So use it. For the 1st two years of homeschooling I borrowed my sisters History Curriculum that she wasn't using. It worked well for us. It made it great for me, because we learned to love that curriculum & it saved space on her shelf.

So let me give you an idea of how I begin to find my curriculum. I know now what I have, the next thing I need to figure out is what do I need to teach? Let's start with Social Studies & Science. Is there certain items mandated by my current state which I need to teach? Or do I have the freedom to choose what we will learn. Then make your list. Right now for both Science & Social Studies I have free reign. On your state website you can usually find a list by grade what items in these subjects your child needs to know. You may be able to just choose them yourself. Right now for science I have a list of 12 different subjects that I want to cover for the next year. One of those is oceanography.  

Once I have my subject I start searching for curriculum. 

I would say there are some resources that I use constantly. You will find them on every one of my lists.  Everytime. For every subject.

So lets begin with those.

1. The local Library.  They are usually free. Unless you need to get a membership to one in a town different then where you live. Then there is a small fee. They have books that cover everything. Social studies & Science. They are there. And as long as you return your books in a timely manner, they are quite affordable. 

2. The Internet. You must agree with me on that one, because you are obviously checking it out as well. A given, yes. 

3. Blogs & Pinterest. More to come on this later. 

Okay but what else?

Here are a list of some amazing deals, that are free or cheap, that can help with homeschooling science & social studies.  All you need is just your topic.

Science & Social Studies Resources:  

Lesson Pathways.  Free Resource & Lesson for K-5th. All Subjects 
 This has information on science & social studies. Gives an outline what to teach. (Free) 

This has both Science & Social Studies ideas on here. (Free)

 This is awesome website for science, & free. 

Both Science & Social Studies  
   Once again this is all free science information.

Both Science & Social Studies. 
Some items are free, some have a minimal fee.

 A variety of books that you can download & listen to for free
(Science & Social Studies)

This has tons of great reference & information for both 
science & social studies.

This has some quick & simple printouts of ideas, lessons for K-5
both for Science & Social Studies

You can download a certain number of free worksheets a month
Social Studies & Science

Surprisingly has a large number of educational videos & movies.
Both for science & social studies. 

New 2 Homeschooling has an entire lists of different movies off netflix that relates to science. Then tells you how to find other subjects as well.

This also includes Amazon Prime, Hulu, & You Tube. All of those resources as well have some fantastic videos that you can use for science & social studies to help supplement as well.

Keep in mind that there are a million different ways to gather information for curriculum  We have gotten a lot of books from library that were getting rid of them. Or school teachers that are retiring.

You can also check out local agencies. The local Game & Fish department are more than happy to share information & handouts with you if you would like to learn about wildlife.  Do you want to do a unit on plants, check out the local Master Gardeners or County Outreach Office. They will be more than happy to share with you.

My other 2 favorite places to gather ideas & curriculum & blogs. Those two alone can keep my going for hours. On Friday I will share how I use both of those to help gather & make lesson plans. I will also share links to some of my favorite blogs.

In the end my favorite place to find curriculum ideas? My kids.

 I start with whatever my kids are excited about. Dinosaurs, construction, how something works, where is Tennessee (because his friend moved there).  I always start with what they are most excited now, & try to find something that relates back to it. I use the resources listed above & I connect it back with them. They are always full of ideas, its just my job to help them find the right tools to learn more.  

So go sit down with your kids  & take a moment to discover what they really want to learn.

And then stop back in tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will cover resources we have found for Math.

Once again don't forget to check out these other amazing ladies in our series.

How Do I Teach .. 5 Day Blog Series
How Do I Teach … 5 Day Blog Series is brought to you by the following blogs:

Monday, August 19, 2013

How do I Teach??? Day 1

 I am so excited to be joining a some amazing  other ladies as we talk about various things that come up in homeschooling  in our "How Do I Teach. . . ." Series.  

       In every situation in life there are things that come up, especially in the finance department. One of my worries in when we started our homeschooling journey 3 years ago was curriculum. We had finally decided that we were going to start homeschooling, but now I needed to get curriculum. I had researched some fantastic ideas & read books & listened to other peoples advice on what is the best curriculum. There was also a local group that does home school classes & I wanted to sign my kids up. 

Then I started doing the math.  

My heart sank.

I couldn't afford these right now. We were trying to get a new business of the ground, money was a tight.

I sighed. 

I felt like a failure & I hadn't even started yet.  Now what?

That was 3 years ago, and I will admit that this year, will be the 1st year that I will actually spend money on curriculum. So the first thing  I would say to you, is remember you are not the only person who may or may not be spending money on curriculum. The size of your school year budget, will not determine the success of your home school year.

Just relax, & repeat. The size of your budget will not determine the success of your home school year. 

I have since found a lot of free to minimal resources that can go a long way in your upcoming school year. In the next few days, we will discuss different subjects  like Math, Science, Reading, Social Studies, Art, Writing, and some of my all around favorite resources. We will even give you a few ideas of how I have added some dollars to our homeschooling budget without taking anything out of our family budget.

So to get it started, I have some homework for you. Yes, homework. Tonight when your sitting down for a moment, grab a piece of paper, & start making of list. Don't think of all the things you don't have, but start making a list of all the resources you do have.

 For an example, the library, the lady down the road who also home schools her kids, maybe some old textbooks from college ect. 

Make your list & see what you have.

Then join me again tomorrow look at resources for Science & Social Studies.

I can't wait.

And check out some of these other amazing ladies who are doing it as well:.
How Do I Teach .. 5 Day Blog Series

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August - Monthly Menu

  I can't believe how fast August has arrived!! July went by way to fast. It was great to have a blogging break  & just focus on my family & other things as well.

 Nothing feels better than getting your upcoming month a little planned & scheduled out. So it is time for another Monthly Menu.

This time it is in an actual calendar form. Breakfast is the top & dinner is the bottom item. Because it is personalized to my family, you also see when we are out of town & I won't be cooking those days.

I do apologize it is a little hard to read. Click the image & it will get bigger.

If you want, just click on the image & save to your computer. Now dinner is already planned for the rest of the month. 

 Or here is just the quick list of dinner item:

August 2013 Menu
  1. Chicken enchiladas
  2. Grilled Blue Chicken & Veggies
  3. Steak & Baked Potatoes
  4. Ham & Mashed Potatoes
  5. Porcupine Meatballs
  6. Chicken Alfredo
  7. Out of Town
  8. Spaghetti & Bread sticks
  9. Italian Chicken
  10. Carnitas
  11. Roast & potatoes
  12. Out of Town
  13. Out of Town
  14. Crock pot Orange Chicken
  15. Navajo Tacos
  16. Beef Noodles
  17. Hawaiian Haystacks
  18. Pork Roast w/ Veggies
  19. Pork Chops w/ a Walnut Maple Glaze
  20. Mexican Chicken Casserole
  21. Shrimp Tacos & Sweet Rice
  22. Potato/Ham Casserole
  23. Family Reunion
  24. Family Reunion
  25. Family Reunion
  26. Parmesan Tilipia w/ Rice
  27. Beef & Broccoli Stir-fry
  28. Enchilada Pie
  29. Pasta Primavera
  30. Grilled Pork chops w/ Corn
  31. Homemade Pizza
I will start sharing some of these recipes as the month goes along as well.

I am now off to do my monthly grocery shopping. Have a great 1st day of August. (I still can't believe it is August).