Our Crazy Schedule

mini van

I feel like I am busier than ever since I began to homeschool my three kids this fall.  There is so much more involved than the original thoughts I had of just teaching them math, reading, science, and history.

I want to make sure all three kids are exposed to the non-core classes so each week I am driving the kids around town so they can attend music classes, art classes, and exercise classes.  The thing I didn’t take in to account is that they would not all be interested in the same type of classes.  Hence, this is the reason why I am chauffeuring the kids all around town.

My youngest child enjoys a mixed dance and music class and, also, a drawing art class.  My older two kids take piano and guitar lessons, pottery class, and yoga class.

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A Lesson in Electricity

birmingham's best electrician

We live in an older home, and although we have done some updating throughout the years, it always seems like something is breaking or going wrong.  For instance, the other day during reading time all the lights in the classroom started flickering.  It was bright and sunny outside so I knew it wasn’t the weather causing it and none of the other lights in the house were flickering.  I waited for my husband to get home hoping that it was an easy fix, but he’s not exactly the most skilled handyman so he just shrugged and said to call an electrician.

I’m the type of person who likes to do a lot of research and investigating before I hire just anyone to come into our home and do work, so I set out to find the best electrician Birmingham AL had to offer.  I found a company that had a lot of great online reviews and when I called them the woman who answered was so friendly and polite and said she would have her best technician at our house within the hour.  Talk about fast service!

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The Land of the Free

washington dc

I was talking with a friend the other day when she mentioned that she recently returned from a trip to Washington, DC.  She was so excited as she described the interesting sites that she visited, that I decided we should plan a trip there, also. 

I am well aware that many public and private schools participate in field trips to our great nation’s capital.  I believe, as a homeschool parent, that a trip there would be very educational and beneficial to my kids, too.  One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can schedule the trip when it is convenient to us and not when it’s convenient to a traditional school calendar.  I love having the freedom to do what we want, when we want to do it and a trip to the nation’s capital will give me the opportunity to teach my kids about some of the history of how our country became the “land of the free.”

There are so many sites I want to show the kids.  We will plan to visit several Smithsonian museums, including the Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Holocaust Museum.  We will also plan to visit Arlington Cemetery and, hopefully, will be able to see the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.  Of course, we will also see several of the national monuments.  I hope we can visit the Vietnam Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial.

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Exploring New Places

grocery store lessons

There are so many things I adore about homeschooling my three children.  One of the things I like the most is the flexibility we have in our schedule and the relaxed pace we are allowed to keep.  We have time to not only study particular issues or subjects, but also take field trips together to provide for a more hands-on experience.

For example, when we study math or finance, I assign the kids a budget and a list of items we need to purchase at a store.  Once we arrive at the store, this lesson allows them to price compare, learn about sale items or discounts using percentages, and decide if they have the funds to cover the expenses.  I have found that a lesson like this one teaches different focuses of math, and also teaches them a life lesson about budgeting money.  For some people, this is not a lesson that is easily acquired.  I think many adults have had little opportunity to actually apply lessons they learned in school to real life situations.  Perhaps that is the cause of so many individuals who are facing personal debt.  I cherish the chance to teach my kids the lessons that could affect them for many years to come.

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Setting Us Up For Success

homeschool supplies

When we first made the decision to homeschool our three children, the first query we needed to answer was where to set up the kids’ workplace.  My husband tried to be helpful, but I ended up telling him I would take care of it all.  I guess I am a little bit of a control freak when it comes to certain things.  Since I was going to be the one in charge of all of the schooling, I wanted everything set up the way I wanted it to be.  Looking back, I should have let him help me more because I became pretty overwhelmed during the planning and preparation process. 

I could transform the playroom into a makeshift classroom, but I didn’t really like the idea of all of their toys and distractions being in the same room where they need to concentrate on their lessons.  I also didn’t like the idea of setting up their workspace in their bedrooms because I believe schoolwork should not be in the same vicinity as their resting place.  So, as much as I disliked the idea of transforming our dining room into a home classroom, I decided I had no other reasonable choice.  My main hesitation was not having the dining room available for formal dinners, but I knew creating a productive learning environment was so much more important.

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