• Read Aloud Challenge

    We decided that we would take part in the 100 book read aloud challenge. I haven’t been very consistent in doing read aloud but I wanted to change that this upcoming school year. I found this adorable journal on Amazon to help us keep a record of the books we read. The kids are excited to start using it.

    Why we decided to do this challenge.

    I need something to help me stay on track and having this journal set up as a type of challenge does the trick for me. I really want to read more often to my kids. We love that after each book we can write down our thoughts on it. Certinaly this journal will be a great memory to look back on when the kids are older.

    Benefits of reading aloud.

    Some read aloud benefits are,

    1. Learn about different cultures and times.
    2. Build vocabulary.
    3. Start conversations about hard topics. (death, war, racism)
    4. Builds empathy.
    5. Starts a love for reading.

    Our plan.

    We’ll be starting our read aloud challenge at the beginning of August. I’d like to stick with chapter books but I am not opposed to reading picture books. Along with the books I will be adding in fun crafts, treats, and lessons. After each book, I will have each child tell me what they liked most about the book. We will write it down on a dry erase board first and then come up with a way to write down the information in the journal. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to practice their writing skills. After we’ve written in the journal they can take turns drawing pictures or adding some kind of art on the pages.

    I think this is going to be a big hit in our homeschool. You can find the journal here on Amazon.

  • Blog Update

    You’ve probably realized that my blog looks very different. This is because I have switched everything over from Blogger to WordPress. I wanted to step up my blog game and I needed something that offered more options. I do like blogger and it did offer some great things, but WordPress just offers more.

    In addition to the new blog, we also have some big changes taking place at home. We’ve decided to sell our house and look for a place that is bigger. We are currently living in a 3 bedroom home with 5 children. The set up is no longer working for us and we truly do need more space. Where we will go from here we are not sure. Make sure you stay tuned for more updates.

    Overall I am excited about all the new changes on my blog as well as in our family life. You can follow along with everything on my social media accounts and right here on my Blog. On the sidebar to the right, you can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading!

  • The Good and The Beautiful Controversy | My Personal Thoughts

    If you are using The Good and The Beautiful homeschool curriculum or have been thinking about it then I’m sure you know somewhat about what is going on. If not, here is a basic rundown.
    The Good and The Beautiful is a non-denominational curriculum produced by Jenny Phillips. Jenny is part of the Latter Day Saints church. For that reason other homeschoolers are either reluctant to try the curriculum or have spoke out against it.

    My family and I personally use the curriculum, and we love it. I have yet to come across anything about the LDS religion. TGTB does a wonderful job keeping the curriculum non-denominational. I know of many other homeschoolers who love this curriculum as well and have not found anything LDS related.

    My opinion

    So, here are my thoughts on all of this. I think it is great to read reviews and hear the thoughts of others when it comes to a curriculum, but they are all just opinions. We should take opinions with a grain of salt and form our own decisions. Believe me, I am guilty of following along with what someone else is doing, and it always ends up not working out for me. You should do what works best for your children. If you are using this curriculum and enjoy it, then you should continue using it. If you are looking for reviews, look at all ends of the spectrum.

    As far as the religious beliefs of Jenny herself, it doesn’t bother me. I am careful about all curriculum, books, and tv shows that I allow my Children to view/use. As parents, we should all be careful about what we use and not be blind even if the creator of the material has the same convictions that we have. Curriculums are simply a tool we use in our homeschool and it should never rule our lives. The reviews and opinions of others should only help guide us, not make a decision for us. (that includes my opinions)

    Those are my thoughts on this topic. We do plan to use TGTB in the school year to come. I also plan to have a more detailed review of TGTB on my blog in the very near future. Make sure you subscribe to my blog and follow me on my social media accounts so you don’t miss anything!

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  • 5 Tips to Start Your Homeschool

    Here are my 5 tips to start your homeschool. These tips will help you get started on the right track and also give you a great starting point.

    1. Research your State laws.
    You need to know what your state requires of homeschool families. States are all different and have different laws. Some require testing, keeping track of hours, or schooling for 180 days. It’s important to know what your State will need from you. HSLDA is a wonderful place to find all that information.

    2. Get connected.
    Finding homeschool groups on Facebook is a great way to meet other people and ask questions. I searched for groups in my local area and ended up making some great friends.

    3. Educational approach.
    There are so many different types of homeschool methods. I recommend trying to figure out how you want to homeschool so you can easily narrow down your search for curriculum. Here are some methods to help get you started.
    Unschooling
    Eclectic
    Charlotte Mason
    Classical
    Waldorf
    Montessori
    Online Schooling

    (It’s okay if you identify with more than one of these approaches)

    4. Curriculum
    This is where homeschooling can get overwhelming. There are tons of curriculum choices out there and they all range in different prices. Don’t let this part stress you out. Before I bought any curriculum I watched YouTube videos and read online reviews. I checked out prices and made a list of all the things I would need. It helps to know how your child learns best so you can tailor their curriculum to best fit their needs. I will leave some links below of places you can find curriculum at.
    Timberdoodle
    Rainbow Resources
    Christain Book

    There are many other sites you can use, including Amazon. The three I shared are the ones that I personally use the most.

    5. Relax
    Homeschooling can be whatever you want it to be for your family. If you are pulling your kids from public school, take some time to unwind from it. Your homeschool does not need to be like public school or someone else’s homeschool. Do what works for you and your children. Chances are you will change up your schedule and even curriculum choices throughout the years of homeschooling. It’s all okay! It helps to have some good homeschool mom friends to help encourage you through these times.

    I hope you found this helpful. If you did, go ahead and give it a share! Thanks for reading.

     

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  • Why We Chose Baby Led Weaning

     

    When I first heard about baby led weaning I had no idea what it was. I assumed it just meant you let the baby decide when they are ready to eat food and wean from breastfeeding. I was kind of wrong. Baby led weaning is offering baby foods that they feed to themselves. You don’t puree anything and you don’t feed them baby food. You instead cut food into strips and let the baby feed themselves. Sound scary? Yeah, I thought so too.

    I didn’t plan to do baby led weaning. In fact, I bought everything I needed to make and store all my own homemade baby food. But when it came time for my baby to eat food, she refused it. She would smack the spoon away from her face and refuse to open her mouth. I figured she just wasn’t ready for solid foods and decided that we would wait a little longer. A few weeks would pass and I would try it again, she still refused.

    This battle went on for weeks. I finally decided to just give over and try baby led weaning. I read up on it as much as I could and even joined a great facebook group to learn more. After making myself more familiar with BLW, we gave it a try.

    We started out with avocados and it was a huge success! She took a few bites of it and played a lot with it. She had fun! There was a learning curve for my baby on how to chew food and swallow it. She did gag a lot, but she never chocked. She was slow moving with BLW. Sometimes she just wanted to play with her food, but we kept offering it to her.

    Eventually, Raegan started to eat without gagging and she learned how to chew her food. She is 10 months old and feeds herself very well. She likes all types of foods but loves anything that has carbs! (Girl after my own heart.)

    All of that to say, we chose BLW because it is what worked best for our baby. There are so many benefits to BLW and if we have another baby we would probably do BLW again.

    If you are interested in doing BLW with your baby, I highly recommend doing some research first. There are some things you do need to know before you start and some safety factors to consider. Here is the facebook group I joined that is full of very useful information, tips, recipes, and even encouragement. The group is named Baby Led Weaning for Beginners & Beyond (BLWBB)

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