Friday, August 28, 2009

Homeschooling through High School

Wow! Time flies when you're having fun! I have only one more year before I have to start worrying about high school! What do we do as parents? Do we succumb to our insecurities and put our children in school? Is there anything out there that can help us prepare our children for the challenges of high school and ensure that they are highly competitive for college scholarships?

I believe it is a very obtainable goal to homeschool our high school-aged children, but it IS something that many people worry about. With the economic outlook of our current economy, many families worry about how they are going to pay for college should their child decide they want to attend. It seems to me, if we want to give our children a fighting chance, we need to provide them with a "top-notch" college-prepartory education. How do we do that? Do we put them into a traditional high school? Do we "bite the bullet" and enroll them in a college-prep private school or boarding academy? Do we continue to school them at home and hope for the best? These are the questions my husband and I have contemplated as our oldest child begins 8th grade.

A few years ago, I belonged to an international online homeschool support network. I was "introduced" to a wonderful woman by the name of Lee Binz. Lee has successfully homeschooled her two sons through high school, and she now dedicates her time to providing tips to home educators such as myself. The thing I really like is how she has such a calming way of relieving the fear monster that likes to sit on our shoulder. Take a look for yourself.

Well, I hope that I have inspired you to want to check out what Lee has to offer. If you would like to visit her site, please click here

As always, please check out the links I have in the homeschool links section. There are many links that apply to multiple grade levels, and new ones are updated on a regular basis. If you have any questions, concerns, comments or great links that you have found, please leave a comment below.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to school days

Hello all,

I actually had planned on blogging earlier than this, but as always, life happened :-). I had the wonderful privilege of chaperoning my darling daughter's youth group trip to an International Camporee that takes place every 5 years. Can we just! There were 35,000 children from all over the world that attended this week-long event, and at the end, 500 children were baptized (to include mine. Yeah!)! God is good all the time, and all the time...God is good!

Well, I'm back home, exhausted, a little under the weather, yet excited to get back into my homeschooling routine! I expect that most of you have already begun your school year (didn't this summer just fly by)?. I have spent the last few days finalizing facility locations and tweaking the syllabus of both my Anatomy and Astronomy classes, and am finally feeling confident that I have everything covered.

Yeah...right... I woke up this morning to face the day and it suddenly struck me....hmmm I haven't organized the kids classroom/playroom (currently functioning more as a playroom), there's a ton of laundry that I need to do from our trip, I haven't actually sat down and made out my school schedule yet ( I like to plan the school schedule in 30 day blocks), and oh yeah...My children did say they wanted to take Spanish this year...hmmm I should probably get right on that....

Have any of you ever felt as over-whelmed as I sound right now? Well, I have a plan... I am going to sit down with my coffee cup and my bible and have a few moments of stillness. I will let the peace and comfort of God's love wash over me and I will know that HE has already worked it all out. He knows my name, he knows my needs, and he says...Michelle, I have already taken care of all of that for you! I take comfort in that knowledge and if you are having one of those mornings, I'd like you to take comfort in that knowledge also. It's so easy to lose sight of our real purpose when we focus on all of the little details, don't you think? Take comfort and know that he is God.

I'd like to take a moment to ask all of you who are praying people, to pray for one sick little boy, Noah. He's been having quite a difficult time with his health lately, and I pray for peace and understanding for his family.

Anyway, in closing, I'd like to share a link to a free resource I found (well, part of it is free, and she charges a low yearly fee for complete access). Molly Evert is a wonderful blogger, and she has taken a lot of time and effort to develop a wonderful website that brings you many of the classic stories in audio format. I plan on checking out her site often, I hope you do too. Check out her site at:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Drum Roll Please! Free Homeschool Helps

Well, I don't know about you, but I am in full swing planning my next homeschool year. We will not be starting until after Labor Day this year due to our many obligations during August :-)

I decided that this year, I really want to make my life a little easier as I develop my business, and prepare for a year-long service project that our family will be doing. So, I've opted to do a multi-subject, year-long unit study called A World of Adventure.

Here is the description from the website "A World of Adventure, gives a year of lesson plans in a daily format. It is based on world history and covers all subjects but math, which you must supply with a program of your choice. This book tells you exactly what to do each day, which books you must check out of the library and which books are suggested. It includes hands-on activities, recipes, discussion questions and writing and project ideas. Ideas and activities for extended learning adventures are included. Lists of required materials are given at the beginning of each unit. It gives guidance where guidance is needed. It was written for those who lack the confidence or the time to put together a unit study of their own. I've done the work for you so that you can spend more time making memories with your children.

This book is written for children in grades 4-8. However, you may easily supplement or simplify the material in various areas to accommodate younger and older children. There are six units in this book, one corresponding to each historical period of study. They are: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance and Reformation, and The Age of Exploration."

Great right? Well of course, I am adding my own little twist and supplementing with Math and Science (because Science is my thing :-))

This year, I will once again be teaching Science coop classes: Anatomy (middle/early high school) and Astronomy (Elementary/Early Middle). Please keep me in prayer as I mentor these wonderful children in the ways that God has a hand in all things, and how we can explain wonderful aspects of science from a creationist viewpoint. Pray that the Lord will be a light onto my path and touch my lips so that I may speak what he desires me to reveal.

As many of you know, I really enjoy teaching using a hands-on learning approach. I was doing some research to find additional projects to do with my students, when lo and behold, I came across a terrific homeschool website. This site has so many things to help you organize your homeschool, wonderful forms and best of all, lots of free worksheets and unit studies! Yeah! What a treasure, and it was truly wonderful to find it! The website I am talking about is: Highland Heritage Homeschool.

Take some time to go through all the various units on the site; you'll be glad you did. If you are interested in finding out some more information about the unit study I mentioned earlier, check out:

Everything is done for you, you just have to get the library books and begin! Good luck with your homeschooling year, and feel free to tell me about what your plans are for this school year :-)