October 6, 2013

Notes From The Schoolroom...September 2013

The first month of our cyber/homeschooling adventure was exciting, busy, fun, and exhausting! The first few days I realized how much time I am spending on my feet, as opposed to parking myself on the couch. ; ) But seriously, it has been a true blessing. I have spent so much quality time with my kids lately and am learning right along with them.

Madison is in eleventh grade this year and is working mostly independently. She has a consumer math class that I am thrilled she is taking. So many young people I know are graduating with higher level math skills (a good thing), but no ability to complete common real life tasks such as balance a checkbook or pay taxes (not a good thing). She works ahead a lot and really lends a hand with any course I have trouble helping the other kids with. And lets be honest here...I taught second grade, and max out around fifth!

Peyton is in eighth grade this year and is my most conscientious student. She is first to work and last to finish. She is also my tech wizard, and has been able to help with all computer related issues. Amen! She has been enjoying her geometry course and not really crazy about Spanish yet. Baby steps, I guess. And since I took six years of German twenty five years ago...I'm not much help.

Rhett is in sixth grade and has made me quite happy with his efforts. He works right along with the girls, and is right on track. He enjoys using his headphones to listen to lessons, or maybe to tune us all out...I'm not sure yet. In any case, he is doing well and seems to enjoy his science class the most. He is not all that crazy about Music or Spanish either. Working on that. : )

And my little Preschool student Flynn is the only one being one hundred percent homeschooled...meaning the rest of the kids are using a curriculum laid out by the cyber school. Flynn is being taught purely by yours truly. I am making lesson plans about a month in advance. I am using a simple method with a few preschool workbooks supplemented by worksheets printed off the internet and manipulatives I already have from years of littles in my home. In other words...I'm winging it! But she is doing great. We are working on letter recognition, basic math skills and small motor development. And she loves doing her work along with the big kids. I am also adding a few thematic units each month as well. In September we completed a unit called "All About Me" and also one on apples.

We have established a pretty good schedule...morning work together starting at 9:00. Then Flynn and I prepare a small mid-morning snack. After that, the kids work independently while Flynn and I play or watch TV. Lunch is at 1:00. I have Peyton make up a lunch menu one week at a time based on our dinner menu. That way we can plan to have any leftovers for lunch. After lunch, the kids all take a walk together for some exercise and fresh air and my scheduled bathroom break...kidding... almost. Then they usually return to work on a few things before calling it a day.

Things I'm loving...
  1. Having my kids at home all day
  2. Laughing more
  3. Learning along with them
  4. Less pressure from the outside
  5. My kids working together and learning together
And a few not so much...
  1. Realizing I'm not 21 anymore
  2. Keeping Flynn busy while the kids are working when she is not and is in the mood for entertaining them : )

Here's what we have been up to this month in our classroom!

Flynn studied apples, so some apple painting was in order...

we did palm and thumb apple prints...

(which was her very first Preschool painting activity!)...

and some Johnny Appleseed painting too!

Love them all working together! : )

Our finished work is on display in the classroom.

We also worked on letter recognition...

as well as some fun coloring pages!

Our books this month continued our Back to School and fall themes. : )

Peyton's big project was to illustrate a plant cell. And true to form, she used brownies to do it! Perfect!

Hard at work. : )

We have yummy snacks every morning like this fresh fruit plate... 

some chips, salsa, and cheese...

 and this make your own S'more platter. : )

So there you have it...our first month of homeschooling all wrapped up in a few paragraphs and with a few pictures too. Thanks again for all your tips and prayers and words of encouragement. They mean so much! Keep 'em coming!


  1. Awesome! Thank you for sharing. You know..I thought I was done with hs'ing..and God has other plans..as my sons college school work has us just as involved, thank God for tutors! Blessings

  2. How fun! I always thought about homeschooling but decided it just wasn't for us. My youngest would probably love it because she is such a homebody like her mother but my oldest is a social butterfly and does not listen well to me even when I try to help with homework, it just wouldn't be worth the frustration with that one! You are so lucky to have so much time to spend with your kiddos and all the memories you guys are making are going to be amazing.

  3. Awesome! So glad to hear about the progress. Tell them all great job!

  4. I love it when homeschooling mamas share all the great work the kids are doing. Again, the food is amazing. I love the cell project. Cant remember if I showed Jonahs or not. His was made out of legos.

    So glad it is going well for you guys.

  5. "Less pressure from the outside"... I think that would be my favorite part of homeschooling. Billie Jo, I know you're working so hard but it's worth the effort; I can tell! Keep it up. Love all of it!

  6. You are such an inspiration. I love that you've incorporated the help of the other kids with things like menus and lessons for the youngers. They may be learning school lessons and life skills, but the very best thing they're learning is how to work together as a family. I love that they encourage and help one another and that you LOVE it so much. Thanks for sharing your joyous accomplishments. <3

  7. Love this post!! I love the update!! We do apple painting too!! I need to do my thankfuls...might put them in there! We do not have the wonderful snacks you do though, ours are fast, quick grab a handful of pretzels, grab a cheese stick--kind of snacks! And I SO get that "scheduled" bathroom break, at least for me!!

    I love my kids home too. I love the no outside pressure too. I love that my kids really know each other. I knew you'd be great at homeschooling, way to go Billie Jo!!

  8. What a great update! You are doing amazingly well. It sounds like days at home for everyone have been a very good change for all of you. Keep up the good work!

  9. You are such an inspiration to me, dear friend! I love how you make homeschooling fun with your children and you give them delicious snacks :) I home school my little guy and he is in 1st grade so I hope it's okay that I look up to you - you have been such a blessing to me :) Have a blessed week. Hugs!

  10. I wish I was in your school! You guys got it going on!

  11. So glad it it is going well! You are doing great! One if my dear Charlotte friends just started homeschooling her children this year and it is really fun to hear how things are going for you, too!

  12. I am so happy that your school year is going so well. What a wonderful gift you are giving to your kiddos.
    I love all of your yummy snacks!

  13. This is so inspiring. Beautiful family. Way to go!

  14. Thanks so much for the update. Looks like it's going great. How do the kids like it? I'm a little daunted by the math thing if we homeschool because that was my first area of "learning" that went out of my brain. I'll be learning right along with my kids at a certain point or grabbing help from someone more knowledgeable than me. Keep up the great work. I like the walk they take together after lunch and the cell looked awesome.


Thanks so much for saying hello!

Billie Jo