Weekend homeschool links

Weekend homeschool links:

Featured Sponsors:

Registration for all seven of Great Homeschool Conventions’ 2020 conferences is now open–woot! Don’t miss the Real Mom Tour with my friends Sarah Mackenzie, Pam Barnhill, and Colleen Kessler, as well as Simple Homeschool contributor Shawna Wingert, who will also be speaking!

Use code SIMPLE2020 at checkout for $5 off a full convention registration–good thru Nov 1st!

If plowing through a math or science textbook does not fit your teen’s learning style, look into the interactive classes from My Fun Science.

Each online course is taught live by teachers with a Christian worldview, perfect for homeschool families wanting to outsource your STEM curricula. And right now all Spring 2020 classes are on sale through the end of October!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

If you found this post helpful, sign up here to receive Jamie’s FREE ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom!

5 homeschool reminders from a former classroom teacher

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

I was chatting with a friend last week about all the things she felt bad about not accomplishing, six weeks into the new school year. Like me, she homeschools. Like me, she struggles to feel a sense of progress and success.

My kids are still not in a routine.

I haven’t lesson planned on Saturdays like I thought I would.

I haven’t graded their math work for two weeks.

As she spoke, it occurred to me that she was beating herself up for things that, when I was teaching in a classroom, we all accepted was just a part of teaching.

When I shared this with her, she was stunned. Having never wanted to teach prior to homeschooling her children, she had no idea that other moms, much less other teachers, might struggle with the same thing.

5 Homeschool Reminders From A Former Classroom Teacher

Sometimes, we can be a little too focused on what happens in a traditional classroom.

For example, when my family first started homeschooling, I made the mistake of trying to replicate the very same school experience that was not working for my boys, because it was what I knew. (Ya’ll, I even rang a little bell when it was time to start or break for recess.)

While it’s important for us to lean into what is more flexible and different about homeschooling, I believe there are also some things we can learn from teachers who somehow manage a classroom of thirty smelly, sweet little ones without losing their minds.

5 Homeschool Reminders From A Former Classroom Teacher

Thinking back on my time in the classroom, and knowing how hard we are on ourselves as homeschool moms, here are five things I think can help as we consider our progress this school year.

A classroom teacher will tell you, these are just a part of the job:

1. It takes weeks to establish any real learning routine.

I read an entire book as part of my education program about this one. Cait and Kara also talked about this on a recent episode of The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. Cait said based on her experience in schools, it takes about six weeks for everyone to settle in and actually begin real learning.

Moreover, much of the initial learning is review of last year’s concepts anyway. If you are beating yourself up and already feeling behind because your September got off to a rocky start, please know, not only is this normal, but you are likely still ahead of most traditional classrooms.

5 Homeschool Reminders From A Former Classroom Teacher Shawna Wingert Simple Homeschool

2. Not every day is an academic one.

When my son was experiencing extreme school refusal his last year in public school, I distinctly remember a school day of his at the end of May.

After what felt like trauma just getting him to school, complete with meltdowns and tears on both our parts, I learned when I picked him up that they ended up watching The Lion King for most of the day because the teacher wanted to reward the kids after standardized testing.

The Lion King.

Not every day in school is an academic one. Not every day in homeschool needs to be either.

3. The holidays are nuts.

Every year, from Halloween to Winter Break, classroom teachers do what they can to keep their classrooms functional with the influx of sugar highs, family travel, returning from Thanksgiving Break and the overall sense that everyone (teacher and student alike) is just crossing off the days until Christmas.

It’s okay for your homeschool to get a little nuts as the holidays approach.

In fact, I think this is one of the sweetest parts of homeschooling our children. The holidays can become a month-long celebration of family, coziness and fun.

4. A six hour school day is not six hours of learning.

I know you have probably heard this by now, but please allow me to say it again. Just because the classroom school day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 2:00 PM, does not mean that learning is happening for six hours each day.

It doesn’t even mean that learning is happening for four hours. Most teachers agree, actual learning time is somewhere around 2.5 hours per day. (This teacher breaks down where all the time actually goes very well.)

If you are beating yourself up for not getting in as much time learning each day as you believe you “should,” please know, that standard is not based on what the majority of students experience on a daily basis.

5. One on one time is almost impossible.

While the learning time in a classroom is approximately 2.5 hours, the amount of time spent in one on one learning is virtually nonexistent. (Incidentally, this is what caused me to leave the classroom. I could see all the needs and wanted to spend time with each child to really help, but found it impossible.)

As homeschoolers, we have the luxury of individualizing our approach. Even if you have a large family and are worried that you cannot spend enough time one on one with each of your children, you are spending much more focused, valuable and individualized time by the sheer fact that they are home with you.

The benefits of this cannot be overstated. Children learn faster and in a much more child-centric manner when they are not lost in the shuffle of a large classroom of kids.

5 Homeschool Reminders From A Former Classroom Teacher Shawna Wingert Simple Homeschool

Please know, in sharing these reminders, I am not suggesting that the traditional school model should  necessarily be our reference for establishing goals in our homeschools.

The truth is, many of us homeschool because we want better for our children and wouldn’t want a classroom to be our standard anyway.

But the truth is, we are hard on ourselves, and for good reason. We want the very best for our kiddos and take seriously the responsibility of being their teacher.

It is my hope that on the days when it feels like you are behind or not doing this well, you will take heart – it may not be perfect, but your homeschool is making a significant difference for your child.

If you found this post helpful, sign up here to receive Jamie’s FREE ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom!

New Year Curriculum Planning

This post contain amazon affiliate links for convenience. Any profit made is very very small and goes into the maintenance of this blog. 

It’s my FAVORITE time of the “School year”!!!
           July!!! Back to school sales, sooo many markers, pens, and cute colors. All the things to get a school supply addict excited!  For many of us, we are just lucky that whatever we purchase, stays in our home. It doesn’t get dumped into a communal bucket, but happily rests in each one of our own children’s desk space. 

Well, that’s the easy part. Stocking up on paper, pens, and crayons is mindless fun. Scoring deals on cute staplers, tape dispensers, scissors, is even better. But what do you do about the real meat of your homeschool? 

I love to spend hours searching catalogs and websites for educational supplements, fun things that get our kids excited, new reading material, and of course, the core curriculum. In this blog series, I’ll be sharing what we have chosen for each grade by subject! When planning for three grade levels, I have to break it down this way so I make sure I don’t miss anything!

This is what happened in May… I had to purchase everything before we went on vacation to avoid late shipments. It was fast paced, and kinda scary knowing that I was on a timeline. Part of the rush in ordering was due to our educational funds needing to be spent by a certain time. And then, the UPS guy showed up with everything in one day. 

No joke… all at one time. Ha!

It was like Christmas! Each of the kids had 2 boxes each from BJU Press, and a few things from Amazon, Lego Education, and Back to The Roots.  Now that we are back from vacation and cleaning up our homeschool area, it’s going to be fun to separate everything and share how we are using these great materials! Now..on to the first subject! 
Here is our first Core Subject: Language Arts! 

I often refer to this as English, because I’m a child of the 80’s and that’s how it looked on my report cards..so that’s just what I occasionally call it. But Language Arts, or ELA usually encompasses English, Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling, and Reading.

We’ve decided to continue using BJU Press for our English & Grammar. I really love the style of the books, the ease of the Teacher Guide, and how each grade sort of follows another. For Vocabulary, my middle and high schooler are using BJU Press again, and my 4th grader is using BJU Press for Spelling. Then I added Patriotic Penmanship for the older ones to practice their handwriting, and my 4th grader will be using BJU Press Handwriting again this year (not pictured). 

4th Grade Language Arts 

For 4th Grade, I’ve got IEW for extra writing, and some other fun supplements listed below! 

8th Grade Language Arts 

For 8th Grade, we are incorporating some important literature such as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.  Then I’ve added a few other books and supplements for a broad range of study. 

10th Grade Language Arts 

Finally, for 10th Grade, we have Literature from BJU Press! I’m super excited to give that one a try. We will probably read ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘The Great Gatsby as well’

Well, that wraps up our Language Arts Curriculum. Please comment if you have questions!  Also stay tuned for our next part in this series, Math… 

Have you seen our New Logbooks??? We created these tools for each child to keep track of their progress! You can get individual designs for your kids 

Studying the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazonia is on fire!”  I read as I scrolled through Instagram.  Did I see this on the news? No.  I read this weeks ago before celebrities and news stations started sharing about the crazy big fire that is sweeping through the Amazon. Completely baffled why regular new sources weren’t sharing this, I decided we need to study this magnificent forest now.  

I’ve been gathering information and books for the unit study the entire summer. I scoured the Internet for a detailed guide, coming up scarce, and decided to make this a piece together plan. 

Why is studying the rainforest so important?  The Amazon Rainforest is the largest forest in the world. It produces 20% of Earth’s Oxygen. And it’s on fire.  It’s a protected habitat harboring thousands of creatures and organisms in its’ unique ecosystem, some of which haven’t even been identified yet.  Our planet is special.  Our countries often overlook natural disasters in other areas and only focus on earthly fixes in their own regions, but how can we expect future generations to fully embrace our planet without being taught the importance of large natural habitats no matter where they are?! 

To begin this study, we are using a Brazil guide from MyFathersWorld.com, Rainforest worksheets from education.com, and The Rainforest guide from Love at Home Education. 

Here are the books we have chosen to use: 

The games and activities we are doing: 

This one is fairly small compared to what I usually put together, but we are planning to do some Apple Activities later in the month in celebration of Johnny Appleseed Day! 

Stay tuned for upcoming details on that! 

*This blog post contains amazon affiliate links. These are placed for your convenience and I may earn a tiny commission off purchased products. 

Awesome Friday Classes for Homeschoolers in Pasadena

If you are looking for homeschool enrichment classes, try these! The Co-Op meets at St. James United Methodist Church in Pasadena on Washington Blvd. There are still openings in robotics, math, chess, geology, and more! This Friday, September 6, St. James Co-Op will have a back to school event. Click here to sign-up for classes, and for more information on this exciting program.

Additionally, most of the classes take charter school funds.

The post Awesome Friday Classes for Homeschoolers in Pasadena appeared first on Carrier Shell Curriculum.

Purchase Literature Books for California Out of the Box History Curriculum


We are pleased to announce, through our website, we are now offering books used in California Out of the Box California history curriculum. Due to requests from our customers, we are working with publishers to carry the books online. Our goal is to offer a complete literature pack; watch for this at upcoming conventions!

We now offer Valley of the Moon and Stories from Where We Live: California Coast. Click here to hit our page to purchase these books.

Author Sherry Garland has graciously signed copies of her book, Valley of the Moon. Be sure to take advantage of this special opportunity to get your copy!

Important Update – Stories From Where We Live: The California Coast

Families can purchase the paperback version, The California Coast: A Literary Field Guide, which is equivalent to the hardcover edition of Stories From Where We Live: The California Coast.

The post Purchase Literature Books for California Out of the Box History Curriculum appeared first on Carrier Shell Curriculum.

FREE 2019 Budget Calendars

It’s that time of year again! Well, maybe a little later than normal this year but I finished before December at least!  

The budget calendars are complete and ready to download. Download yours today and be sure to share them with anyone you think would be interested. 

Download your Free 2019 Budget Calendars and be ready to tackle a new year!

Below is a newer version that I created for my loyal subscribers only. This version is also free but you do have to be a subscriber to download these. By subscribing you will receive our updates and be the first to know when the new calendars are ready along with any other free printables available through out the year.

The only difference in these and the originals are that I added in a space for budgeted and actual amounts with a check off area. I also added in an interest section to the debt snowball category. Subscribe here to download these for FREE too! 

Happy budgeting in 2019!


Motivated Moms Planner Founding Members Last Call

*this post does contain affiliate links

Motivated Moms is now offering a wonderful new option in their planner system!  This is the simple chore system that I have loved for years.  This time they are offering a founding membership as there planners are being tweaked.  

Here’s what a founding membership includes:

  • An annual membership at only $9/year.
  • As long as you remain a member in good standing you will be locked into this price going forward.
  • You’ll immediately have access to ALL versions of the Motivated Moms printables inside the membership. Click here to see samples of all the versions. The 2019 planners are all inside right now!
  • An app for iOS and Android is currently in development. When it is ready, you will have access to the app at no extra charge!  You will also be involved in the development process – you’ll be asked for feedback during this time. 

This offer ends January 7, 2019, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time!

If you are unfamiliar with Motivated Moms, it is a wonderful little tool to help you stay on top of your cleaning tasks by breaking them down into little bite size chunks each day. It includes daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual tasks. I’ve been using this tool for years!  It is so simple.  

Disclaimer:  You will have to actually do the work.  If only there were a planner design that did it for you!!  Until then, I think you’ll find this one is great!  No more forgotten air vent changes and more importantly no need to try to remember when you last did it!