Complete review of the Common Sense Press Blue Box (1st grade) Language Arts program. Includes all materials, daily work, assessments, and how it fits in with homeschooling multiple grade levels of children at the same time.

Common Sense Press First Grade Language Arts Program Review

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There are so many curriculums out there that it’s not only hard to choose, but it can be quite overwhelming.  You want to get just the right one.  You know that once you start a program, you will do it for at least a year even if it’s bad.  And if it was bad, then you have to start all over with your research. No one wants to get the wrong curriculum for their family.  No one wants to start all over. I hope this review will leave you with a definite impression of the Common Sense Press First Grade Language Arts program that it is either perfect for you and your child, or it is not.

The new school year is upon us. How are you praying over it now before it starts?

Prayer For The New School Year

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It’s that time again.  Time to be thinking about the new school year. Even though we homeschool year round, we officially “start” the next year September 1.  That means I intentionally focus a part of my prayer time in August to praying over the new school year. My technique each year is to make a new list over my concerns for the upcoming year.  Before finalizing it though, I review my list from last year to see if it my new list needs any tweeking. I also like to look at my prayer areas from the previous year and try to realize areas in which I’ve grown.  (That’s what this site is all about–growth–right?)  I am happy to look back at my heart and realize areas that concerned me last year really don’t any more.  He’s working on me Friends!  Praise God!

When we are in a position of authority of young children, are we prepared for misbehavior? Four keys to assist with the boundary setting (and keeping) that young children need so dearly.

Setting Behavior Limits With Children

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Children, Homeschool

As adults, we will come into contact with children.  For most of us, this will be often–even if we don’t have children of our own.  And at some point, many of us will be the authority over a child or group of children. Weather we are teachers of formal school, homeschool teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, or VBS instructors–we have at least one thing in common.  There will be a difficult child, or group of difficult children.  At some point, all children misbehave. If we are the authority figure for a group of children, we realize bad behaviors are bound to happen here and there.  Are you equipped to handle this situation? Here are some questions to ask yourself in preparation before you start this journey (or if you’re already there but would like to revamp your approach).

Each homeschool is different from the next one. But sometimes we make things harder on ourselves by trying to be just like the next one. Is there something that seems a bit off in your homeschool? Have you tried taking the mornings off and doing lessons in the afternoon? See why afternoon classes make all the difference for our family.

Why Afternoon Classes Are Better For Us

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No two homeschools are alike.  They are as different as the reasoning for choosing them is.  I guess by this reasoning, ours is “normal” by lying outside the box. While most homeschoolers are up getting ready for the day and starting by 7:00, 8:00, or even 9:00, we aren’t.  We aren’t even close to that.  And it’s okay. Because evening classes just work so much better for us.

Overwhelmed by all the helpful on-line sites for homeschooling? Where do you start? Where should you start? See how I was able to start, and which sites I still use. All sites are holistic sites that fit our family values.

Homeschooling: My Favorite Preschool Sites

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If you weren’t homeschooled and don’t know anyone who is homeschooling, then it can be pretty intimidating to actually start. Fortunately in this day and age, reaching out to other homeschoolers is only the click of a mouse away.  Finding a website or two that you really enjoy can help tremendously to not only help you start, but also let you know that you are not alone. We never planned to homeschool, and neither my husband nor I were homeschooled.  We didn’t know where to start.  Do we google “preschool homeschool curriculum” and order whatever comes up?  Boy was I glad that I found some quality sites that kept me from doing that. If you don’t know where to look or begin, then let me share with you some of my favorite sites specific to preschool, and then a couple that will grow with you. 

Other homeschool mommies are always complementing me about how highly organized our homeschool is and I just laugh. If you could really see on the inside, here's what you would observe...

An Overly Organized Tight-Shipped Homeschool?

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Anyone who grew up around me or knew me as a child-less woman knew that I ran a tight ship.  Everything was done at 110%, and always early.  I was the exact opposite of a procrastinator. In fact, it was really hard for me to be spontaneous.  I felt good when things were planned.  I liked having specific work days I knew I could count on being consistent.  Bible study was always Tuesday morning.  Choir was always Wednesday evening.  Prayer group was always Friday night.  I always worked the same morning shift in the nursery.  And if I had a vacation?  It was mapped out too. So how does a person like that go from having everything scheduled and tightly ran to homeschooling several children?  I’ll tell you…

How do you homeschool your children when you have babies and toddlers that need your attention? I'll tell you how I do it.

How To Homeschool When You Have Babies and Toddlers

Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in Homeschool

When people find out we homeschool, one of the usual responses I get is, “You must be busy.”  And then their eyes dart to the little ones and add with a smile, “Really busy.” Yes 🙂 , we are.  I can’t help but smile too when they say it. Homeschooling itself isn’t that bad, really.  But trying to keep the littles occupied while we’re doing it…well that’s a challenge! Here’s how I do it.  Specifically.

I never would have thought of it, but our animal friends really add to the learning that goes on in our homeschool. Here are 8 ways they have blessed us.

How Farm Animals Bless Our Homeschool

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I’ve been asked before how homeschooling is different on a farm. Honestly, I’ve never really known how to answer that because we’ve never homeschooled anywhere else and both my husband and I attended public schools. As we fixed the baby cow’s barn area a bit this morning, it dawned on me how blessed we are to have all these animals not only as our friends, but also as learning tools for my children. Do you have farm animals? Or are any of you considering getting any farm animals?  Check out this list of how our farm friends have blessed our homeschool.

One week devotional study on God's love. Made for preK-lower elementary. Has a Love party at the end of the week. There's a lot of stuff here. This would be perfect for Valentines week.

One Week Love Devotional For PreK- Early Elementary

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Children, Homeschool

One of the advantages to using a year-round homeschool schedule, is that we have flexibility with our lessons.  For many holidays, we can take a break from tight structured learning and do some themed lessons. While we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in a huge way, we do take the week to focus on love–God’s love specifically.  I have a study I prepare for the children each year, and we end it with a Love party.  Using a week in February for this works perfectly for us. I’d love to share with you how we do it and why we do it the way we do.  And I’ll share the lesson with you as well at the end of this post.