Resources for a FREE Shel Silverstein Author Study

Our homeschool is gearing up for a new author study, so I thought I would share some free resources I have compiled. I hope you and your children enjoy this study as much as I know we will!

silverstein2

I Could Never Homeschool My Kid(s)

“I don’t know how you homeschool moms do it; I could never homeschool my kids.”

As one of “those homeschool moms,” this is something I hear a lot, and the more times I hear it the more it gets under my skin. I feel like that statement makes us sound like either a bunch of weirdos, or super-human mothers who possess some level of talent that normal mothers are lacking, when in fact neither of those assertions are true. The time has come for me to set the record straight.

First of all, homeschooling parents are not weirdos. We are parents just like you who love our kids and want what’s best them. We have all arrived at the decision to homeschool by way of different paths. Some choose homeschool because their children have a special need that cannot be met in traditional school environments. Some choose homeschooling for medical or religious reasons. There are some families that do not live in a good school district, and its safer for them to educate their children at home. Some families find themselves traveling or moving a lot because of a job, and strategically homeschooling makes more sense rather than constantly uprooting their children and transferring them from one school to another. The list of reasons goes on and on. I believe the same can be said of parents who choose to send their children to a public/private/charter school. I’m certain that the list of reasons parents choose to send their kids to school is just as extensive as the list of reasons why homeschoolers choose to teach their kids at home.

That brings me to my next point: we are not Super Parents. We do not have a special gift of patience that allows us to be around our children 24/7 without ever losing our temper. We all have moments when we question our decision to homeschool. We all worry and have anxiety sometimes. There is absolutely nothing that I go through as a homeschool mom that is unique to any other parent on the face of the earth. Home educators do their best to teach their kids the same way all parents have been teaching their children from the moment they were born. It is for this reason that I believe that all parents are capable of homeschooling. When people tell me that they could never homeschool because they butt heads with their kids too much, I literally laugh out loud. I butt heads with my oldest on pretty much a daily basis, but that doesn’t prevent me from being able to homeschool! Some say they could never do it because they can’t afford homeschooling, but there are more than enough free resources out there that it can easily be done for less than what most parents spend on school supplies and a new school wardrobe each year. (If you’re interested, I address a lot more of the “reasons why I could never homeschool” here.)

So, let’s all be honest with one another, shall we? When you say you could never homeschool your children, let’s be real and admit that what you’re really saying is that you don’t want to homeschool. Not being able to do something and not wanting to do something are two very different things.

If you have any inclination whatsoever to educate your children at home, then I promise you that you are already equipped with everything you need to do it, and to do it well! 

And for a little humor, I am including my all-time favorite homeschool meme. I love it because it’s just about the closest thing to reality in this house. Enjoy! 🙂

hsmeme

Resources for a FREE Caps for Sale Book Study

Recently, I was looking at Amazon’s list of 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime and came across the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr SlobodkinaI immediately remembered reading that book in my childhood. I recalled what a favorite it was, so I decided to order a copy. Then I got to thinking that it could be super fun to do a book study with this one, so I got busy searching for free resources! I compiled a list of everything I found, and now I am sharing it with you all. I hope you have as much fun with this as I know we will!

Our Favorite iPad and iPhone Apps: Educational and Just for Fun

Many parents make use of technology to entertain children, to make learning fun, and to introduce their children to technology. I am definitely one of those moms! Here’s a list of our family’s tried-and-true favorite educational and just-for-fun apps for the iPad and iPhone. (I also plan on creating a list for Android apps, so stay tuned!) These are mostly geared toward Pre-K and Kindergarden ages. Most of them are free, and those that aren’t are generally fairly inexpensive. Enjoy!

Annie iPad

Educational Apps:

Just-for-Fun Apps:

This Breaks My Heart

I came across a video shared on my Facebook newsfeed today. If you haven’t seen it, or don’t feel like watching it, I can summarize it by saying it’s basically three moms partying at Target after sending their kids off to school for the new school year. The video begins with a mom kissing her daughter goodbye and telling her, “I love you so much!” Yet, she cannot even finish turning around before following it up by mouthing a silent but emphatic, “YES!!!” as her daughter leaves. She then joins two other moms and they head off to Target to celebrate their newfound freedom. 

I may be burned alive at the stake for saying this, but I cannot hold my tongue anymore. Every single year I see my friends counting down until the end of summer break, SO thankful to be getting their “freedom” back. Year after year, parents dread the beginning of summer break and celebrate its end. Worse yet, I know many people who have no problem making sure their children know this as well. They’re basically saying to their kids, “I can’t wait for you to back to school 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week – and I cannot possibly be happier about being rid of you! Hooray!”

Look, I get that having kids is hard. Sometimes these little blessings make us want to rip our hair out. I understand that all parents need breaks from their children for the sake of their sanity. I get that, I do! Please do not think that because I homeschool, I have acquired some magical ability to never get frustrated with my children and never wish I could have a day off. I’m human just like everyone else, and I most definitely do have rough days. My children are also human, and sometimes they fight, whine, complain, bicker, you name it. But you know what? I truly like my kids! Even on their worst days, I have no desire to rid myself of them! I enjoy being around them. I cannot imagine sending my children away for about as long as my husband is gone for work each day and being thrilled about it. I would genuinely miss them.

Maybe I am misinterpreting things, but what I get from all these Facebook posts about the excitement parents have for the beginning of the school year is that they don’t like spending a lot of time with their children, and that’s why they are happy to see them go. Their kids frustrate them and tire them out, so they want the kids out of their hair for as long as possible, as often as possible. It’s that fact that makes me very, very sad. And it makes me especially sad for the children who are made to know it.

Author/Artist Study: Eric Carle

Eric Carle is by far one of our favorite authors – AND he’s a fantastic artist! We recently decided to do a complete author/artist study, and I wanted to share the amazing resources I was able to find while scouring the internet. I hope you and your little ones enjoy this author study as much as we did!

 

If you have any other resources or experiences to share, please comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

eric-carle

How to do Nature Studies with Preschoolers

CMonNature

If you’re new to Charlotte Mason-style education, you may be struggling to figure out where and how to implement Ms. Mason’s principles in real life. One area where I personally have struggled is how to implement the concept of a natural journal with my preschoolers who are not yet reading anything more than three-letter words, and definitely not writing much. I have been on the hunt for resources (and I especially love FREE resources) that will help me teach my younger children how to love journaling about nature. I have since come across some pretty amazing things that I really wanted to share.

I hope you’re able to find some use out of these wonderful FREE resources. Enjoy your nature studies!

 

17 (More) Reasons Why I Homeschool

I have done a couple of posts now on why I choose to homeschool, citing news articles about current events that continue to reaffirm our family’s decision to educate our children at home. I have continued to compile lists of recent events in the news (the list I am giving you today is news events just from the past month!), and it never ceases to amaze me the things that are happening in public schools these days. As a mother – especially a Christian mother – I simply cannot imagine sending my child to a public school knowing these things are going on all over the country. Please, as you are going through these lists, note that these things are happening everywhere; they are not simply isolated to a few “bad” areas. I urge you, please take a step back and pray about your child(ren)’s education, and see where God leads you.

So, yet again, here are even more reasons why I choose to homeschool.

 

  1. Because I am not okay with Bill Gates video taping my children.
  2. Because no child should come home with a bloodied face on his first day of school, or EVER.
  3. Because I’m pretty sure I’d wind up in jail facing assault charges if a teacher did this to my child – especially upon finding out that the teacher wasn’t terminated for such conduct.
  4. Because children should not be pressured into making career choices at 12 and 13 years old!
  5. Because… this. I shouldn’t need to waste my time explaining why this is wrong.
  6. Because parents should not have to pay $200 (on top of all the other costs) just to see their children graduate.
  7. Because extramarital sex and teen pregnancy should not be glorified.
  8. Because this is 2014, and teachers are not allowed to beat students!
  9. Because a child should never under any circumstances be denied the right to use the bathroom.
  10. Because hard work, competition, and a drive to succeed is what this nation was founded on and should en encouraged, not discouraged.
  11. Because I will never tolerate people like this educating my children.
  12. Because my husband and I will be educating our children about sex, family planning, and what moral standards are acceptable, not teachers.
  13. Because this is so incredulous, I can’t even find the words to express the ridiculousness of the situation.
  14. Because anyone who bans the use of sunscreen on OUTDOOR field trips, in JUNE, in TEXAS, is clearly not fit to make decisions about my children’s education.
  15. Because this is the sort of thing we as parents try to protect our children from; we should not have to fear our children encountering this at school! (And because I know for a fact that my husband would do the same thing if he were in this father’s shoes.)
  16. Because there has never been a school shooting at a homeschool.
  17. Because parents of first graders (or any age, for that matter) should not have to worry about their children being exposed to heroine!

Charlotte Mason Artist Study: Edgar Degas

I have been researching and putting another artist study, this time highlighting Edgar Degas. Naturally, his ballerina paintings are a favorite among my daughters. It will be interesting to explore a little deeper into his amazing artwork! Here are some of the free resources I have uncovered. I hope you find them useful!Edgar-Degas

History:

Notebooking pages:

Crafts and Activity Ideas

Charlotte Mason Artist Study: Claude Monet

Time for another artist study! Today’s focus is Claude Monet. Here is a list of some awesome resources for creating a totally FREE Charlotte Mason-style artist study. Enjoy, and happy homeschooling!

Claude Monet

Biography:

Notebooking pages:

Activity ideas: