Welcoming in the 2016 – 2017 School Year

Course_LogoHave I mentioned I’m one of those crazy, weird moms. The ones that don’t take the summer off? After a short breather, we’re back in action and ready to get the party started.

To kick the year off right and keep a digital record of our fun, here’s a quick rundown of coming attractions. A glimpse of when all the craziness takes place. A hint of the daily action. What we’re using at the table, and more.

Our 2016-2017 Yearly Schedule
A quick overview of what our year looks like. Our school days, many breaks, and holidays which demanded a day off. There’s never a dull moment here.

Our Routine
We don’t believe in strict schedules, but life without a routine would fall to pieces. Here’s what’s worked for us, and the many ways it’s changed over the years.

Our 2016-2017 Curriculum
From Bible to Oceanography; from the littles to the bigs. Here’s what we’re using and where we find the best deals.

As homeschoolers, our learning never stops; not really. We’ve been known to take field trips on weekends, learn new skills on Sunday afternoons, and study well into any given evening. It just makes sense that our ‘school’ year takes place all year round.

Through the Lord’s leading, each year has been a unique blessing. With Him guiding our family, home, and learning we can’t go wrong. May this year be focused entirely on God and His call upon our lives. May we emerge steeped in Scripture, filled with wisdom, and stronger in the faith.

📢 Chime In!: When is your summer break over?

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2015’s Top Attractions!


2015 is quickly coming to an end. Before kissing off the old year and tipping our hats to the new, let’s take a few moments to look back on all the fun we’ve had during the past twelve months.

Top Attractions of 2015

Making the Grade
You Can’t Shelter Your Children
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Homeschooling
10 Ways to Fail As A Teacher
A Scary Trend

It’s been an awesome year getting to know so many of you and learning about how the Lord is working through your homeschooling. Thank you for sharing your tips, words of wisdom, and links with us! We love having you join us in the adventure of homeschooling, and can’t wait to see what the coming year will bring.

🔔Time to Chime In: We’d love to read your top attractions of 2015! List two of your favorite posts that you’d like us to share.

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Planning The Homeschool Year: Reality, Religion, and Socialization

School-PlanningWith the close of this month, we put to rest our series, ‘Planning the Homeschool Year’! It’s been fun exploring incredible ways to organize our learning routines and better meet our family’s needs.

For those who have been following the series, thank you for stopping in and joining the fun. We appreciated hearing your feedback and learning from your life experiences. It has been wonderful sharing thoughts with you and getting to know you better.

Before we sign off for the week, and end this series, we’d like to leave you with a few posts which help in keeping our homeschooling in perspective. All were written from a homeschooling father’s perspective, my man!

Reality, Religion, and Socialization

Forcing Religion on Your Children
And They Will Not Depart From It
Homeschooled Kids Are Not Socialized and Other Stupid Myths
The Village School System
Reality: A Multiple-Choice Quiz

As the school year is just getting under way, we pray the Lord blesses each and every one of you. We pray He graces you with patience, wisdom, and an enthusiasm to continue with the adventure called homeschooling. May your year be blessed!

If you, or someone you know, is in need of a little more encouragement or help in their homeschooling adventure, please check out our various series we feature which include Homeschooling 101; Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail; and A Simplified Life.

🔔Time to Chime In: What are you most looking forward to during the coming learning year?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, &  Pinterest!

Core Issues

I am sure most of us have heard about Common Core by this point in the year. Either our friends are conversing over it, the news is reporting on it, or we have seen a multitude of posts proclaiming Common Core to be harmful.

How many of us actually know what it is though? Do we truly know what is at the heart of Common Core or are we simply taking in the “hype” and arguments being presented by other people?

I think it’s high time I researched this topic for myself and made my own choices about where I stand.

Common Core

My guy is so awesome; he helped me create this quick little illustration.

My initial concern is that my children will be expected to know information that I am not teaching. Has something drastic happened to the textbooks of which I am not aware? Aaaa! My second concern is whether or not those choices I make in curriculum will affect their testing of the SAT/ACT, should they decide to attend college.

This one decision could affect the rest of their lives.

Let me be clear, I have no problem with standards. I think guidelines are important and help us know when we are making progress. I also have no problem with updating how we learn things.

My uncertainty really stems from ignorance. I am hearing shouts from several different directions. Teachers – “Common Core is awesome!” Home schoolers – “Common Core is horrible; avoid it at all costs!”

But, what in fact IS Common Core? Is it a new method, a new set of standards, or something completely different?

When it comes to research, there are many techniques I might use. I could go buy a book, but I prefer to not spend money if I can. I could listen to a few debates (which I have), but those are filled with a lot of opinions and very little documented fact. I could read some news reports (both educational and mainstream). Or… I could do the simple thing; go straight to HSLDA!!

I really appreciate HSLDA for a multitude of reasons. They are efficient, they know their stuff, and they are always on top of things. It should come as no surprise that something like Common Core has caught their eye and information is already at our fingertips.

There is so much to be learned HERE, I could spend days reading and I probably will. To make a proper decision, I want to be fully educated before forming an opinion.

So far, I am finding several inconsistencies in the Common Core standards. How can one prepare students for college while not making literacy and proficiency also a goal? Hmmm… It is also interesting to note that several states who have already adopted this program are beginning to back out.

I am still a long way away from coming to the “core” of The Common though. I suppose what I am ultimately looking for is a list. Tell me exactly what you want these students to know. I can weed through the ballyhoo later; just give me the meat first.

I would have preferred to do this research during the summer, but it has only recently become available. So, it looks like I am going to be glued to my computer on what little downtime I have each night. I want to learn about this before the year gets too crazy so that I may take the appropriate actions, should any be needed.

I want to know for myself what Common Core is all about, and then we can make some choices for ourselves. And… (as one my childhood TV shows used to preach to us) “Knowing is Half the Battle!”

Have you researched Common Core for yourself? Does Common Core concern you?