Q&A with Veteran Homeschool Mothers: Part 3

Homeschooling while trying to keep little ones occupied can be frustrating and overwhelming at times.  Anita offers practical advice on this topic.  Thank you Anita for sharing your heart and wise words with us.

Question:  What did your days look like when you were trying to give instruction to the older children with the little ones constantly needing attention?  What were some favorite ways to keep younger children occupied while you taught your older children?

"So many of those days looked very chaotic at best!!  My agenda to get the assignments accomplished often clashed with God's greater agenda to sanctify my heart.  We have to learn to remember who's agenda is the most important; ours, or God's which is to remind us that we are poor, weak, and in need of Him for parenting and home-educating.  He wants us to recognize our need, boast in our weakness, and cry out to Him for strength, perseverance, wisdom, resourcefulness, and grace.  In so doing, every achievement brings glory not to us or our children, but to God who may or may not have enabled us to complete our agenda!  A good day isn't defined by a completed agenda, but by walking in the Spirit no matter what interruptions (trials) we may face.

My best days included remembering this big picture and knowing when to let go of my plans.  When I held on too tightly, anger would often be the generator of completion.  Man's anger might achieve completed lessons, but the Word says it will not bring about the righteousness of God.  Every interruption should be viewed as opportunity to model patience and grace for your children.  It's an opportunity to show the value of walking in the spirit over completed academics.

Some ideas [to occupy young children] are to rotate the older kids out to play with the younger, or save special toys for school hours, or school during naps, or train the baby to play happily in a play pen nearby, etc.. When the trial continues, stop and pray for wisdom and grace.  In this, the children learn beyond academics, they learn about the humble Christian walk and God's faithfulness."

In case you've missed the other Q&A's, click below to hear from the other veteran homeschool mothers:

Q&A with Veteran Homeschool Mothers: Part 1

Q&A with Veteran Homeschool Mothers: Part 2

  Anita is in her 21st year of home-educating in Texas!  She has schooled four children through high school graduation, and hopes to home school her 5th child five more years to complete high school as well.  Anita is excited to be a part of this blog series!

Anita is in her 21st year of home-educating in Texas!  She has schooled four children through high school graduation, and hopes to home school her 5th child five more years to complete high school as well.  Anita is excited to be a part of this blog series!

 

 

Q&A with Veteran Homeschool Mothers: Part 2

Today, we will hear from lovely Kelly about her personal home school journey.  Thank you, Kelly, for for sharing your story with us!  If you missed the last Q&A post, April's encouraging response to the same question can be found here.

Question:  Looking back on your homeschool journey, what are you glad you did, and what would you have done differently?

"Looking back over my homeschool journey, the early years were the sweetest.  There are several things I feel we did well.  I can boil our journey into 3 main points I am most grateful for: our morning devotionals, not having a T.V., and free unscheduled time.

The first was being committed to our morning devotionals.  Our non-negotiable morning routine began with good habits, which entailed morning chores; we ate breakfast afterwards (2 Thess. 3: 10 “don’t work, don’t eat), and then had our family morning devotional.  We read or memorized scripture or I presented to my children what I was learning in my own Bible study.  Sometimes it was short, sometimes it was long, and on some crazy days that is all we got done.  I wanted to model “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Not being an academic or intellectual mom I was convinced then, and still even now, that I’d never “make it” without generous portions of the Lord’s strength and His guidance and blessing.  Through the early years, I read tips and advice on ways to do devotionals better, I searched curricula and fretted over doing them “right.”  Now looking back I can see all I needed was the Bible, a little Spurgeon or Chambers and, if possible, some of my own quiet time with the Lord.  If given the opportunity to start over, I would, without a doubt, do my morning devotionals again...even if it meant that was all we would get done that day.

The second element of our journey that I would do again is limiting screen time.  I realize that this is more difficult now than ever.  When our older two were young the only time they were in front of a screen was when I was desperate for a little extra time and they watched a video.  Limited screen time was valuable for 2 reasons.  First the T.V. and internet expose the viewer to images, ideas and influences that shape our thinking without us even knowing.  I never wanted my young children to be introduced to something new without me knowing or watching too.  Early on I saw my children’s hearts and minds to be empty gardens with fertile, soft soil.  Whatever seed was planted would surely grow.  It was a mission and passion for me to carefully watch over every seed planted in those early years.  The second reason we did not have “screen time” in the early years was to provide plenty of time for mind engaging activities.  My young children were not entangled by the T.V. or internet and they had generous amounts of time to read, play music, explore and create.  Someone told me when I was a young mom that it was good to have bored children...that is when they begin to think and create on their own.  That certainly proved to be true in my homeschool journey.

The third element that I would do over in my homeschool journey is not being overly scheduled in the early years.  While outside activities are good, and it is often hard to choose, I would be vigilant over my children’s precious time.  Unscheduled, uncluttered time outside or inside with a peaceful mom is never to be undervalued.  [One outside activity that I would do again is early childhood music classes.  Music has continued to be a blessing to us through the older years and was worth the time we spent.]  Our unscheduled time was filled with reading, playing outside, creating, exploring, cooking, playing music, and enjoying being together.

There are a few things I would have done differently.  Our family struggled to find a church home and therefore had a difficult time making long lasting friends and building a network of families to walk this journey with us.  If given the opportunity to do this again, I would have looked over many of the issues we had with the churches we were involved in, get settled, and live in relationship with other families more intimately.

The other thing I would have done differently as a wife and mom is difficult to write about.  Simply put, I would have prayed more and complained/controlled less.  I am a passionate, sensitive and emotional person, and often times I would push my convictions and concerns on my husband instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work or give my husband a chance.  This created an imbalance in our home that has not born good fruit. Ultimately, it is a trust issue.  Do I trust the Lord to work out His purposes in our home?  Do I trust Him to lead my husband?  Is it up to me to “make it happen?”  Do I really believe that He will complete the good work He has begun?  Can I trust Him?

Looking back over my homeschool journey, I am so glad we did our devotionals, didn't sit in front of the screen and had generous amounts of free time.  I regret not being committed to a church home through the years and wish that I had trusted the Lord more earnestly.  I see the Lord working in each one of my educated, intelligent, thinking children in ways that only He can, and my family is beautiful inside and out.  The journey isn't over, and it has been worth every sanctifying and satisfying moment."

 Kelly has homeschooled in the state of Texas for 14 years and has four children.

Kelly has homeschooled in the state of Texas for 14 years and has four children.



Q&A with Veteran Homeschool Mothers: Part 1

We are incredibly thankful for these dear women who have given of their precious time to answer homeschooling questions!  Their responses are filled with encouragement, grace, and honesty.  We've already been deeply encouraged by them and trust you will be as well.

While these ladies would never claim to have perfect families, we wish you could meet them in person.  It's very evident that these women (along with their husbands) have been extremely intentional in the training up of their children.  Whether you homeschool or not, there is a host of wisdom packed in their responses.

There were common themes in many of the questions that were submitted,  so we narrowed them down to four.  Because every family and homeschooling experience is unique, we thought it would be most beneficial to have a variety of responses to all four questions.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be featuring multiple responses (to all four questions) from these ladies. Today, we will hear from April.

Question #1:  Looking back on your homeschool journey, what are you glad you did, and what would you have done differently?

"I am really glad I didn't give up when I was discouraged and lacking in confidence. All of us are insecure in our parenting. We love our children so much and want the very best for them. So much so that sometimes we feel like someone else (as in a "professional") could do a better job, especially when we are facing family challenges such as a move to a new home, a pregnancy, an illness, money issues etc... We feel torn with all these things clamoring for our attention and our energy quickly being used up. Then is when we are most vulnerable to the siren song of society, "Hello, this is the professional educational system calling, and we are here to help."

Bottom line is when we feel overwhelmed and "lost in the tall weeds" of expectations (whether they be personal expectations or the expectations of others) we have got to get back to the "main road."  We need to stay simple and keep the "main thing" the main thing to keep our sanity! Which brings us to the question of what is the "main thing" in raising and educating our children? Is it the proper lesson plans, the right scope and sequence? Is there a magic methodology that causes our children to excel with as little work as possible? What is it exactly that I should be doing to make this all work?

While there are practical home school ideas that can be very helpful, when it comes to overcoming that feeling of discouragement the answer does not lie in "doing" more. Chances are it is the "doing" mind-set that has led us to discouragement in the first place. The freedom and joy we seek is not going to come from a better methodology...it is not a matter of "doing," it is a matter of "being."  It is easy to get caught up in the "Performance Mama" syndrome..."How much can I juggle, keeping us all doing as much good stuff as we possibly can."  Or, it is just as easy to be the "Marathon Mama"..."I am gritting my teeth and finishing this if it kills me." The only light heartedness she feels is when she is commiserating with other women who feel like they are failing as well. After all, confessing our failures is sort of cool now, it looks like humility...but it's not. (However that's a different topic. ;-)) But you see Parenting/Homeschooling is not "all about us" and our capabilities whether good or bad. It is all about following the Lord and His commands concerning how we are to train our children.

The "main thing" is found in these familiar verses.  Deut. 6:4-9
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

First and foremost the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. To love, nurture, and care for the heart and soul of our children is to show them the character of God through the pages of Scripture and through our lives that they might come to know Him and to love Him. That is really the bottom line. This is the unique job the Lord has given to US as parents. No school, public or private, has that responsibility or could do it any better! When you feel inadequate, actually the truth is you are...we all are, but you can trust the Lord will equip you as a parent to carry out His commands. Lean on Him for wisdom, direction, and energy to accomplish what He has asked, He is more than adequate!  There is nothing as rewarding as seeing your child as a new believer begin to manifest the "fruits of the Spirit" (Gal. 5.) There is also no "discipline methodology" that will be as effective in dealing with the sin nature of your child as the work of the Holy Spirit in his or her little life!

So, RELAX and ENJOY "walking along the way" with your children. Help them to simply "love learning" and most importantly learning about our amazing Heavenly Father!  If the love for learning becomes a part of who they are then education becomes a natural way of life even after they leave home. And lastly, three important things: pray for them, stay in the Word yourself, and let your children see the character of the Lord through your walk...and keep on walking this walk even unto the next generations!"

  April h  omeschooled for 16 years in the state of Texas and has two children.

April homeschooled for 16 years in the state of Texas and has two children.

LPL's Top Educational Toy Picks on Amazon

If you need some direction picking toys for kids this year, we have a perfect list for you! We have created our own LPL store on Amazon for easy, convenient shopping! These are our top educational toy picks for elementary students, organized by subject. Have a merry Christmas and happy New Year, and have fun shopping!

LPL's Top Educational Toy Picks on Amazon

 (Source:  spiced-pumpkinn )  

(Source: spiced-pumpkinn)
 

Something They Want, Something They Need, Something They Wear, and Something They READ

Are you still choosing Christmas gifts for your little ones?  Have you bought the "stuffers" for your children's stockings?  Don’t worry! There is plenty of time before Christmas to find the perfect gifts.  In my {Jill’s} family we love this Christmas gift giving formula for our children: 

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Something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they READ.  

Each family has different gift giving traditions, but books are presents which most people love to give and receive! 

Lesson Plan Ladies have a Christmas gift for you!

December 13 through December 23, we are offering two COMPLETELY FREE products:

These complimentary downloads suggest hundreds of delightful children's picture and chapter books.  When you find the perfect books on the lists, simply click the links which will take you to Amazon.com.  How convenient!  

Merry Christmas from our homes to yours!   ~Lesson Plan Ladies

Christmas Craft--Making an Illuminated Manger

Christmas crafts are some of my favorite crafts to make every year!  The kids just recently helped me make an illuminated manger for a nativity set that had no "home".  You can see how it turned out in the photo below, and get step-by-step instructions on how to make an illuminated manger at ChristmasLightSource.com!  The making of this manger will be a memory I will cherish for years to come.  We hope you enjoy making memories of your own!  If you have projects you have made over the years and would like to share, we would love to hear about them...we may even be interested in adding them to our blog!  Let us hear from you: info@lessonplanladies.com  

Merry Christmas! ~meg

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Tips for Balancing Homeschool and Housework

Finding the perfect balance between homeschooling your children and getting everything done around the house is a tricky task—a task many moms find impossible to nail down.  We tend to do well in one area while the other slips, or vice versa.  Below are some things I reflect on when I find myself in this uneasy “see-saw” routine of balancing priorities.

1.     First Things First

When we start our day with Scripture, everything flows so much more smoothly!  Now, that is not to say we always get everything done…it’s not a promise that my house will be clean at the end of those days…but it seems our attitudes are steered that day in the appropriate direction, and the little things aren’t near as big of a deal.  Colossians 3:2 tells us, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”…and goes on to say we should put all these things aside: “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”  Just a few verses later we are told, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Once God has the appropriate place in our minds and in our hearts for the day, we are MUCH more likely to maintain a balanced poise.

2.     Prioritize

It’s not easy getting everything in the appropriate order.  Often, I put things in the wrong place!  Often, I am selfish.  I strive to put God first, husband second, children third, and myself last.  Where should household tasks of cooking, laundry, and cleaning rank in that line up?  Well, each family is different, and you should discuss the importance of each task with your husband.  Maybe one family will decide healthy meals are more important than a house that is “spic and span” every evening.  Another might decide to settle for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so the house will be clean.  Whatever you decide, make sure it works for your family, honors the Lord, and supports your family’s long-term goals.

3.     Seasons Change

Be comfortable with different seasons of life, and know that there will REGULARLY be irregularities. J Ecclesiastes 3 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Let me tell you how this looks in my home:

 A time to fix meals, and a time for everyone to fend for themselves;
A time to stay of top of laundry, and a time for the laundry bin to overflow;
A time to kill school, and a time for school to kill us;
A time to do school indoors, and a time to let my kids play outside all day;
A time to feel overwhelmed, and a time conquer;
A time to be sick, and a time to be well
A time to be quiet, and a time to be loud (maybe too much);
A time to jump around, and a time to be still;
A time to weed the garden, and time to let it be overgrown;
A time to have a clean house, and a time to let it be messy;
A time to put up Christmas decorations, and a time to take them down.

Read on in your Bible, “I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with…I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.”  How good of God, to design us knowing that we would go through many seasons, and to expect nothing buy joyful hearts in the midst of those seasons!  …although, I guess that is really the hardest part.

4.     Train your Children

Initially, it may be more work to teach your kids to do chores, but in the long run it pays off!  Kids can do all sorts of chores—unload or load dishes from the dishwasher, sort and/or wash laundry, fold clothes, put away their clothes, clean bathrooms…the list is endless.  Write down some simple things your children can do that will lighten your load and train them to do those tasks.  View this as part of their education because it is! 

5.     De-clutter

One of the most helpful things I do when I start feeling overwhelmed is clean out my clutter!  Things can be a blessing, but also a burden.  The more you have, the more you are responsible for taking care of.  Start with toys, kitchen items, kids clothes, your clothes, garage mayhem, or anything else you notice is pulling your attention away from your priorities.  If you can’t walk through your house without being distracted by something, chances are you have too much stuff!  I recommend keeping a box or bin in which you can throw unnecessary, unwanted items into at any moment. This saves me a lot of time and energy during de-cluttering. 

I hope these help you as you strive to be a better home school mom, wife, and Christian woman! ~meg

 

Introducing Our Veteran Homeschool Mothers

These wonderful ladies have graciously agreed to give of their time for our upcoming Q&A blog series.  They come with a wide array of educational philosophies, approaches toward homeschooling, and reasons for home educating their children.  Although this is an eclectic group of women, they all exemplified thoughtfulness in the homeschooling of their children and in the raising of their families.  We have much to gain from their wisdom!

We've received many wonderful questions from our followers for these veteran homeschooling mothers.  There's still time for you to participate!  What would you like to ask these ladies?  If your question is chosen, the answer will be featured on the blog and you'll be given a pre-k lesson plan of your choice (with the exception of the pre-k bundle).  E-mail your questions to: info@lessonplanladies.com

Meet our veteran homeschooling contributors:

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Sally has homeschooled for 17 years during which her three daughters also attended bilingual, public, and private schools.  Her middle child attended public high school, while the eldest and youngest graduated from homeschool.  Sally homeschooled in Colorado and Texas, along with teaching in her local co-op.  

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Anita is in her 21st year of home-educating in Texas!  She has schooled four children through high school graduation, and hopes to home school her 5th child five more years to complete high school as well.  Anita is excited to be a part of this blog series!

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Laura has homeschooled for 15 years and completed her homeschool journey in 2010.  She has 2 children; Emily was homeschooled 1st - 12th grade. Daniel was homeschooled Pre-K - 12th grade.  Laura has homeschooled in both Texas and Kansas. 

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Kelly has homeschooled in the state of Texas for 14 years and has four children.

 

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April homeschooled for 16 years in the state of Texas and has two children.

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Karen and her husband decided to homeschool after her husband completed student teaching for his degree.  What he experienced in the classroom was not what they wanted for their children.  They began attending the homeschool book fair in Arlington when their oldest was 4 years old.  They told themselves they would take one year at a time, then reevaluate whether to continue home educating.  Well, 17 years later, and still in the great state of Texas, they are finishing up their last school year with their youngest child.  Karen has a daughter working on her doctorate and two children working on their undergrad degrees.  God has truly blessed their decision, and they wouldn't change it for anything.

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Linda holds a B.S. in education. She home educated her three daughters through high school in the state of Georgia, all of whom have gone on to college to further their education.  For the last 20 years, Linda has taught high school enrichment classes such as creative writing, literature, and SAT prep for other home school students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynette was a home school pioneer, homeschooling before it was accepted in many parts.  She home schooled for 28 years in Texas and has five successful home school graduates.

 

 

 

Why D’Nealian Handwriting, or Handwriting at All?

There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not handwriting should be taught in schools due to today’s technologically advanced world.  Typing is in, Common Core no longer requires cursive to be taught in elementary grades, and many schools are dropping cursive all together(1).  Lesson Plan Ladies believe every student should learn handwriting, and we highly recommend the D’Nealian method. 

Handwriting teaches fine motor skills(2), enhances the hand-eye coordination(3), and increases the capacity for optimal brain efficiency(4)…not to mention the fact that there will always be printed forms to read and fill out, historical documents to be read, and signs and banners to be created!  An article in Psychology Today states, “Brain imaging studies show that cursive activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding(5).”  So while the debate as to whether or not cursive should be taught rages on, we say, “Teach penmanship!  Exercise those little minds!”  

We began our own children using the D’Nealian method several years ago, and have never once regretted it.  This program system offers a complete audio, visual, tactile, kinesthetic approach to handwriting(6), a claim few other writing programs can boast.  We love the fact that 87% of D’Nealian lower case printed letters are the same as their cursive versions, making the transition to cursive writing quick, and nearly effortless.   We introduce individual letters (in both print and cursive) in stroke groups, ensuring easy mastery of various letterforms.  The goal is not to produce the exact same handwriting in every student; the goal of D’Nealian is legibility.  As students grow, they will think less about HOW they write their letters and more about WHAT they are writing.

On the LPL website, you can snag a copy of the Pre-K Penmanship Book, written in D’Nealian font to perfectly coincide with our Pre-K Phonics & Spelling Lesson Plans.  Your student will be well on his or her way to writing. Using the D’Nealian method will benefit both teacher and student, and teaching handwriting will reap benefits in your children for years to come.

~meg

 

 (1) Slape, L. “Cursive Giving Way to Other Pursuits as Educators Debate Its Value.” The Daily News, Feb. 4, 2012. http://tdn.com/news/local/cursive-giving-way-to-other-pursuits-as-educators-debate-its/article_c0302938-4f94-11e1-af3a-0019bb2963f4.html

 (2) James, Karin H. an Atwood, Thea P. (2009).  The role of sensorimotor learning in the perception of letter-like forms: Tracking the causes of neural specialization for letters. Cognitive Neuropsychology.26 (1), 91-100.

 (3) “Should students learn cursive? Some states say yes.” TheStarHerald.com, November 16, 2013.  http://www.starherald.com/news/nation_world/should-students-learn-cursive-some-states-say-yes/article_fa99d785-7be0-5b87-9de9-26a24b3d9dd7.html

 (4) James, Karin H. an Atwood, Thea P. (2009).The role of sensorimotor learning in the perception of letter-like forms: Tracking the causes of neural specialization for letters. Cognitive Neuropsychology.26 (1), 91-100.

 (5) Klemm ,William D.V.M., Ph.D. “What Learning Cursive Does for Your Brain: Cursive Writing Makes Kids Smarter.” Psychology Today, March 14, 2013.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201303/what-learning-cursive-does-your-brain

 (6) Thurber, Donald. “D’Nealian Manuscript.” http://www.dnealian.com/advantages.html

Starting Your Home School Journey: Part 2

Dear Lesson Plan Ladies,

I have decided to homeschool my soon-to-be pre-k daughter using the classical model.  I have read portions of The Well Trained Mind and have enjoyed learning from it.  What do you consider the next practical steps? 

Sincerely,

Inquiring Mom 

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Dear Inquiring Mom,

You have taken a positive step in preparation for home school. Congratulations! Classical education is a wonderful way to equip your child for future excellence and success.  We love this enriching philosophy!        

Your next steps are very important legal steps.  First, go to Home School Legal Defense Association’s* website.  Here is the link: 

https://www.hslda.org/ 

Some families join HSLDA as a safe guard in case they run into home school related legal troubles.  Others join this organization to have access to a legal advocate in the case of someone squelching their home schooling rights.  Still others learn from the website and choose not to join the association. Whatever you decide, it is important to at least browse and learn from their site. 

On the HSLDA site, you will notice the “My State” section, a helpful tool for people new to or considering home education.  Click on your state to learn its particular home school laws, liberties, and responsibilities. 

Some home educating parents also desire to learn their state's public school requirements for specific grade levels.  In addition, some states require home schooled kids to take the state mandated standardized tests.  The following website will be helpful for both aforementioned categories:   

http://www.educationworld.com/standards/state/index.shtml. 

On this site, click your state to bring up its education website which contains standards and testing information. 

I know this is may not be exactly what you had in mind when you asked about your next steps.  However, these are important steps that will allow you to be an informed home school parent.  Take heart!  Once you learn the legalities of your state, the fun of home school can (and will) begin. 

Sincerely,

Lesson Plan Ladies

*HSLDA is a reputable organization.  We know there are other wonderful choices available, but LPL only have experience with this particular organization.  

Spell to Write and Read: Single Letter Phonograms Video

This short video is designed to help you teach Spell to Write and Read's basic 26 phonograms in the order which they are presented in LPL's Pre-K Phonics and Spelling Lesson Plans.  These basic letter sounds are the bedrock of SWR phonics and will lay a solid foundation for your student, launching him into reading success!  Feel free to e-mail us (info@lessonplanladies.com) with any questions you have.

 
 

Starting Your Home School Journey

Dear Lesson Plan Ladies,

I am excited at the prospect of teaching my 2 year old at home when he reaches school age.  I came across your website and liked it.  Where should I start as I begin thinking about curricula choices and homeschool planning? 

Sincerely,

Future Homeschool Mom

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Dear Future Homeschool Mom,

Deciding to home educate your child is an exciting and serious decision.  We, as home educators, have a great responsibility to our children, and with that responsibility, comes a wonderful freedom.  Parents have the privilege of choice!  

Ask yourself these questions:  What philosophy best fits my child’s and my needs? Will that philosophy be ideal in assisting me to shape a growing mind?  Does it line up with our family’s values?  What classes should I teach in each grade?  What curricula aligns with my philosophy?  How do I plan our year?  Our week?  Our day?  These are essential questions to ask.   

Lesson Plan Ladies chose to classically educate our own children.  We believe in a rigorous, systematic, developmentally appropriate approach.  This philosophy may be a fit for you, as well.  Here is a link that gives LPL’s simplified answer to the question, “What is classical education?”. 

http://lessonplanladies.com/faq-and-support/ 

As part of your research, we also suggest reading The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.  This resource offers a detailed description and specific road map for classical education. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393067084?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0393067084&linkCode=xm2&tag=lesplalad01-20

For a more detailed synopsis of The Well Trained Mind, click here:  http://www.welltrainedmind.com/about/

If you think classical education may be a fit for you and your family, there are other wonderful resources available, as well.  Please write back when you are ready for more recommendations, or simply visit LPL resource page again.  LPL are excited for you and your child as you begin planning this home schooling adventure! 

Sincerely,

Lesson Plan Ladies

 

One of those days...

I was having a challenging homeschool day with my children when this airplane flew down from upstairs and landed on the floor.  "Please Grade" it said.  After unfolding the paper airplane, I noticed a sweet little note my daughter had written me, "Dear mom, I know you have had a rough year, I am sorry I have been rough to handle.  I will try to be better."

I felt terrible.  Yes, she had been difficult that day, but I had not responded with kindness.  The LORD used her tender little heart to reveal to me my ugly one, and after lots of hugs and apologies, we had resolved to have a better day!  I can't say I will never have another one of those days, but I can pray for God's help to be patient, kind, and tender hearted toward my children.  I'm thankful for all the ways God uses my CHILDREN to make ME more like HIM. ~meg

 

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Every Minute Counts

“Mom, may we please read the Hobbit now?” asks my {Jill’s} 7 year old dear son excitedly.  He wholly enjoys diving deep into the fantastical world of fiction.  He craves adventure - Good guys.  Bad guys.  Sword fights.  And seeing light prevail in the end.  He eats books up and drinks them down like water.  My dear son is a struggling, keeping-his-head-above-water reader.  Yes, you read correctly, he's a struggling reader. 

He won’t be for long, though. 

My dear son enjoys literature read-aloud time during our home school day.  It’s his favorite.  To prepare for fluent independent reading, we practice writing, saying, and reading phonograms*.  We learn spelling rules.  He reads aloud to me books on his instructional reading level**.  We have a plan.  We are implementing it. 

Unfortunately, many educators and parents believe that reading happens naturally while they are facilitating discovery.  For some children, it does.  Others fall through the cracks.  Let's not let our children be the fallen.

Lesson Plan Ladies believe teaching reading should be methodical.  It needs to begin with listening and speaking activities like rhyming and changing beginning and end sounds.  Then it needs to continue with memorizing, saying, and spelling the 70 basic phonograms.  During this same time, spelling words and memorizing spelling rules begins.  Soon, as a product of all of the above, children begin to read words.  Then sentences.  Then paragraphs and books on their instructional reading levels.    

Reading is hard work.  My dear son sometimes gets exasperated.  Other times, he feels delighted and encouraged by his progress.  We desire to get over this learning-to-read hurdle in order for him to be effective in life, pleased with his accomplishment, and enjoy books the way he does during literature read-aloud. 

Dear Son, I love you and truly desire what is best for you which is why you may NOT skip your 20 minutes of reading tonight.  Every minute counts.  You're welcome.   

* A phonogram is a letter or combination of letters  that represent a sound.

**A book is on your child’s instructional reading level if he struggles with only 1 out of 20 words with satisfactory comprehension.

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