Thursday, May 31, 2012

Top 5 reasons I chose to homeschool

Like I've said before, the decison to homeschool your children is a very personal one. Everyone needs to do their own research, look into their state's laws, and most importantly consider what's best for their children.
Here are my personal reasons for homeschooling my own child:

1) She gets a better education at home - I've witnessed first hand how schools are lowering their standards to cater to low achieving students; public schools are way too concerned with standardized test scores; public schools stifle kids imagination; kids are taught to blindly accept what they are being taught, instead of questioning and exploring the subjects

2) We work at her pace, which usually is faster than a public school - I noticed that a lot of time spent at school is wasted. Kids usually spend about 6 hours at school, at home, we can get the work done in half the time.

3) Learning is personalized - Homeschooled kids can explore their interests much more freely. They can delve deeper into subjects they are interested in, instead of just superficially as in school.

4) Flexibility - I love being able to make our own schedule according to the day. Sometimes we want to sleep in and we will start school late, then we'll just work a little longer too. If it's a nice day we will do a lesson in the park or library.

5) I get to spend more time with my child - This was a big one for me. We have only so much time before our kids grow up and go live their own lives. I want to spend as much time with my kids right now as I can.

I'm sure there are almost as many reasons for homeschooling as there are people actually doing it. These are just my reasons. It was with these five points in mind, that I decided homeschooling was the best choice for us right now.

I hope I can help other moms out there who are considering the homeschooling option. I'll be happy to answer any questions as best as I can. I'd love to hear from other moms.

What are your reasons for homeschooling?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1st Grade Art Project Idea - Tissue Paper Butterfly

Here's a very simple art project idea. I remember when my oldest daughter was in school and she used to make all sorts of art projects with tissue paper. So I've been thinking of doing something similar with my 6 year old. I finally went out and bought a pack of tissue paper in assorted colors. I got mine at a dollar store! The only materials you need are glue, tissue paper, a white sheet of paper, a pencil and a sharpie.

We started by drawing our butterfly. Then we traced the drawing with a Sharpie to make the borders very visible. After that we just started ripping small pieces of tissue paper, crumbling them and gluing to our picture. We did them in a pattern, but it can be done randomly as well.

If you are ever looking for a last minute or quick and easy art project, this is it!! Since it is Spring right now, this colorful butterfly fits right in with the season. I think this project would make a great rainy day activity also. Other tissue paper art ideas are flowers in a vase, a garden scene with birds, trees and flowers, a rainbow or a flag.

My daughter had so much fun "creating" her butterfly. Here are some pictures!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

End of the home school year, tying up loose ends and looking back!

Wow, this time of year gets really busy and I kind of dropped out this past week. I've been planning out our last few weeks of school. I plan on being finished with home school around Memorial Day weekend. Here'a a recap of our homeschool year.

We've covered everything I had planned for and more. We were able to move forward in Math, starting some 2nd grade concepts. Nothing too indepth, but since I had teaching opportunities I didn't want to let them go by without at least an introduction. We started with multiplication and we really went deeper with fractions.


We took our time with Math, because I think it's really important to have a strong foundation, since Math builds on itself. I feel very confident with how my daughter performed. She really loves math. She has a good grasp of Geometry, Algebra, Graphing, Fractions, Addition, Subtraction and Patterns. With addition and subtraction, she is doing two digit addition/subraction with carry over (we don't do re-grouping).


My 6 yeard old daughter is reading so well, we've moved to level 3 books and chapter books.


This year we focused on cursive. Now that is the only way she writes and does it very well. I'm so proud of her! I gave her plenty of opportunities for writing. She wrote about herself and her family. She wrote notes, cards, how to's, and tail gating on our history lesson on occupations, she made a book about different occupatations. There were many other writing assignments, I can't remember them all right now.


We covered the Water Cycle, Clouds, Recycling, we had a weather sheet that she completed everyday. We predicted the weather by looking at the clouds. We made graphs to study weather patterns. We made a rain gauge. We studied habitats, the rainforest, oceans, etc. We studied energy sources. We had fun doing science experiments in our own kitchen!

We had some rainy weather so my lessons on rocks and soil had to be postponed, so we still have to do those.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, we did a lot of geography and learned how to read a map. I also taught geographical terms, such as equator, hemispheres, etc. We also did history lessons on families throughout time, we studied how families lived in the 1800s, the 1950s, and today.

We studied cultures, especially around the holidays.


She started taking piano lessons! In art we learned about different artists such as Seurat, Degas, Edward Hopper, and Geogia O'Keefe. We did lots of art projects based on those artists and did lots of other ones on our own, like paper snow flakes, tissue paper art, etc.

We also went to museums, plays and concerts. We had a very busy first year in homeschool!! Looking back I am very happy and proud of what we accomplished. I have learned a lot too. There are things that I plan to do differently(I'll leave that to another blog entry).

The one thing I have learned is that I do not want to follow any curriculum or book to a tee. Thankfully, I had my school district's curriculum as a guideline (I didn't want to go completely alone). But it was just that, a guideline, more like suggestions. The reason that was important for me was that I wanted to make sure that my daughter had a good foundation and learned what she needed to within the state's requirements. Beyond that, we spread our wings and really took off. We liked being able to learn and explore freely without too many restrictions. Although I must say that I am very organized and like structure. I did plan out every homeschool day and week, knowing that things could change. Having that flexibility was priceless.

I started this journey saying we would do it for one year and see how things went. I had no long terms plans. But as our first homeschool year is coming to a close, I can confidently say we will continue!! I am so happy. My daughter is so happy. That's what matters.

I hope this blog has helped other homeschool parents along their own journeys. I hope my lessons helped as well. I will continue the blog throughout the summer but on a more relaxed schedule.

In the meantime, look out for my Summer Reading list!