Stop! It’s Planner Time. 

Homeschooling is yet another excuse reason to browse Michaels and eyeball the pretty planners and pens and craft kits. Gimme it ALLLLL, please and thank you.

I managed to exercise some restraint today, and I left with only what I needed. YAAYbooo!

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A 12 month Happy Planner box set and a pack of lined/graph filler pages. (The planners are on sale this week, and you can use coupons on the accessories!)

“Don’t you already have a Happy Planner?”

I do! This new one will serve as our homeschool idea holder and record keeper. I decided to stick with this brand because I really, truly love the setup and quality.

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My original planner going strong six months in!

My original planner still looks brand new despite being flipped through several times a day and shoved into my purse regularly. It’s a tough little cookie.

The 12 month planner is perfect for our homeschool needs. I can customize the dates and begin my planner with June 2017 and end with May 2018. We plan to school year round to allow ample time for breaks when necessary and eliminate the end of year cram panic that would undoubtedly consume us.

The extra folder inserts (that I purchased months ago) will hold our association paperwork, receipts, and any other information I want to keep handy. The lined and graph pages work for reading logs, attendance charts, curricula and resource notes, contact information, co-op plans, etc. Disk style binding is the way to go!

Here’s how I plan to utilize our planner for daily use.

We’ve chosen to go with unit studies, so the note column along the left edge of the weekly pages will list our theme along with any books that correspond. 

Each day of the week has three vertical boxes. The top box will record lessons and subjects we incorporated into our weekly theme. The middle boxes will contain our Bible study topics, memory verses, service opportunities, and mini prayer journal. The bottom boxes will include our outings, friend dates, group meetings, or special projects.

Here are a few more snaps for anyone curious about this particular planner!

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A bold watercolor look.  “Best year ever!”

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Inside the cover.

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Monthly dashboard and pretty tabbed pages.

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A blank monthly view.  You fill in all dates yourself.

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It comes with all the dates you need for a full year and quite a few extra pretties.

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12 month vs 18 month.


Homeschoolers, do you use a planner?

What’s your favorite?

 

 

Are You Busy Yet? 

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Summer is almost here! And so comes the busy-ness.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately and what I will be getting into over the next few months!

My husband and I organized and catered a luncheon for a Christian lady’s conference. One girl. One oven. 500 cookies. And sooooo. much. chicken. But we nailed it and with two little kids in tow! Serving can be hard, but so rewarding.

I also finally chose our homeschool accountability association. It’s called At Home in the Lowcountry. Perfect, right? With a discounted membership fee coming up, we will be all set to legally homeschool this year for… Wait for it… $20!!

I’ve found two local co-ops for the upcoming school year, both of which are local. (A rare find!) I’m also volunteering to be an activity helper for one group. (Free membership AND mom friends? Yes, please.)  Socialization, here we come!

Aaaand I’m going to take a concealed carry permit test soon. (I have no idea how my readers feel about this topic, but I’d love to answer any questions you might have!) Between hunting, home defense, and the fun of target shooting, I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet (ahahahahahaa) and take the next step in gun ownership responsibility and firearms education.

My essential oil collection is expanding! I’ve found some new favorites, found some that are quite “ehh,” and I’ve tried some new brands. I hope to write up a post soon to share experiences and ideas!

VBS is on the horizon. A week of herding human turtles into classrooms, shaking glitter off my shirts, and innumerable “WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER YOU PEE”s. Every year, I’m exhausted beyond measure at the end, but I keep going back. Dependable or just insane? Who knows. But there’s free spaghetti, so it can’t be all that bad, right?

And I turn 30 this year.


What awesome activities and new adventures do you have coming up?

“Lowcountry Institute for Exceptional Booger Flickers” : Naming a Homeschool 

This year will be our first year legitimately homeschooling. As in… We’ll have to send official documents to people and pinky promise to actually do stuff other than watch Leapfrog on YouTube. 
I feel oddly undaunted by the thought of being the dominant educator of two real-life humans. I don’t know if I’m the calm, organized yet free spirited mom or the utterly hapless, disaster-is-imminent mom

One of the things on my mind is our school name. I know quite a few homeschool families, and every. single. one. is named LastName Academy. 

We have to be different. Obviously

I also don’t like the word academy. It makes me think of soldiers for some reason, and likening our home life or schooling philosophy to anything remotely orderly and stringent would be a farce. 

I also don’t want my children to cringe each time they have to write “Darth Vader Memorial High School” or “Academy of the Elven Fleet” or some other ridiculousness on job applications for the rest of forever. (Some people really take their homeschool names to the edge.)

However, I would like our name to be somewhat original and unique and speak to who we are. 

I’m interested in hearing what other homeschoolers have named their school. Or if you’re not a homeschooler, what would you name a family school? 

Books & Minimalism & My Opinion

This seems to be a common idea among most, minimalist or not. And I get it! I’ve always been a big reader, and as a homeschooling family, I most definitely value literature and books as a resource.

We actually have quite a few books, and I’m okay with that. My children are young and ready to absorb so much information. It would be a travesty to NOT offer them a decent book selection.

But here’s where I feel I may differ from others.

We are at max capacity for books.

There is no more room for books.

I will not be making anymore room for books.

Are you freaking out yet?

Here’s how it works in our home.

For every new book that comes in, an older or less favorable book goes out. It gets gifted or donated, never sold. I don’t even take books to Goodwill or yard sales to be sold. Books are one of those things that should be given freely if you’re able. And often, in my opinion.

As impressive as it is for one to say they have a bazillionty books in their possession, it’s not for me.

I want to own a bazillionty books too. Just not all at once. I want the books to come into my home and then pass through. I want them to be here, be loved, be read…and then be spread out into the world.

The number of books you own doesn’t say anything about your intelligence or your emotional depth. If a great quantity of them makes you happy, then I’m happy for you too! But far too often a family would be looked down upon for having 20 books while a family with 2,000 would be awed. A mom stressed out by books strewn across the floor every. single. day. is urged to keep them no matter what lest her children become idiots without that copy of Sesame Street… These perceptions are flawed.

How many books do you keep out of passion for the story and love of their intellectual value?

How many do you keep just because they’re there?

This is not a slam to those of you that love a large book collection.  If you’re disagreeing with every word I’m saying, then this isn’t about you.

But if you’re out there feeling completely overwhelmed because “you don’t just get rid of books“… If you feel painfully obligated to continue shoving books into corners and underneath beds… If you’re worried you’re somehow doing your family a disservice by destashing books… Take heart.

You’re not obligated to keep jack squat.

Even books.

The number you possess is far less important than the effort you put into the continuation of the cycle on a grand scale. Push the reading loop forward by letting the oldies go. Maintain exciting interest. Make it well known in your home that the things books contain are global yet personal, ever changing, evolving, endless, uncontainable.

They’re not only objects to collect. Books are stories, histories, education, comfort, memories, fantasies… We just pay for the paper and ink used to hold them until they fill our minds.

Passing  on the books while keeping the contents is okay. Minimal books with maximum reading is an acceptable option.

Remember that your happy doesn’t have to look like someone else’s happy.

Find your minimal.

Tracing Without Waste

I just read this post, Pre-Writing Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, by Angela at MOMtessori Life (great blog to follow!), and I want to share our family’s favorite method of tracing!

When I first started “schooling” my oldest child, I wasn’t the most wise in my methods.  I was printing off stuff like this.

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Source

This could be useful if you needed to occupy a dozen kids.  But one?

My eyes are rolling so hard at my past self.

MOMtessori Life knows what’s up.  Get a piece of paper.  Draw a line.  Boom.  Done.

But wait!  I’ve discovered another option that provides the same skill practice without sheets of paper mounding up.

Enter…The Dry Erase Marker.  Mini onesskinny oneseven SKINNIER onesbold ones, washable onescrayon ones, or even wet erase markers for the Littles prone to smudging or for the lefties.

And while dry erase boards are awesome and have their uses, there is another, even better, even cheaper option that you may not know about.

Report covers and sheet protectors.

Like these report covers or these page protectors from Avery.  I found a pack of ten report covers at WalMart for less than a dollar.

You’re welcome.

Some report covers come with a sliding bar to close the edge, others have a locking tab if you want to get fancy. Taping two of the open sides while leaving one side open to slip pages into is my preferred option.  Hellooooo, pretty washi tape!  Page protectors on the other hand, only have one open end so they require no closure.  But I’ve found that report covers are a bit sturdier.

How to use them?

Draw or write your to-be-traced stuff onto a sheet of paper, insert that sheet into the sleeve you’ve made, hand the kid a marker, and TADA!  Let the no-waste tracing begin. If you’re not into tracing, you can insert a blank sheet, a lined handwriting sheet, a page of math problems, a game blank.  Or leave one of the long sides open and slip one of these sleeves right onto a page inside of a workbook.  It’s endless.

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Insert and remove easily.

You can be even more less-waste by finding and upcycling plastic film sheets from other items you may have at home.  Some recipe books come with splatter pages that would work.  Maybe you bought a packaged toy item with a clear window film.  Trim that baby out and use it for good! Clear vinyl would also work.  You could even use an old picture frame and glass if you like to live dangerously.

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Easy peasy.

 

Happy Wednesday, y’all!