The Beginners Guide To Homeschooling

The Beginners Guide To Homeschooling

The Beginners Guide To Homeschooling

There are many reasons that parents/caregivers decide to homeschool their children. Perhaps you’ve decided that you want to homeschool from the very start. Or maybe your child has previously attended public school where there were problems that led you to pull them out in favour of homeschooling Those problems could range from learning needs not being met, constant bullying, faith related conflicts, and so many more.

My own personal reasons stemmed from my son being bullied in 1st grade. After trying to work with the school to solve the problem, we found that their solutions (or their lack of solutions) was unacceptable. That was when we pulled our son out of public school and started homeschooling. We have been homeschooling ever since.

Whatever your reason, if you are wanting to start homeschooling, you likely have many questions on where and how to get started and what your responsibilities are. I hope to answer many of those questions for you with this article, so let’s get started.

What Are The Regulations Where You Live?

Before you actually start homeschooling you’re going to need to know what the rules and regulations are in your area regarding homeschooling. For example, we live in BC, Canada. Here we have the option of either registering, or enrolling as homeschoolers. Each of those choices has it’s own regulations that affect how we would homeschool. So we had to do a little research into our options, finding out the requirements of each one, and deciding which option would work best for our family. Some of the regulations include what content you need to teach your children at each grade level, or if you are free to teach what you like, when you like. They also include whether or not you need to report your child’s learning and attendance, and how often, and whether or not you will receive any funding towards your homeschool materials.

 

A few places to start looking for your area’s homeschooling regulations:

  • This Wikipedia article gives a good starting place to determine whether homeschooling is legal in your country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_international_status_and_statistics
  • The Homeschool Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) International website: https://hslda.org/content/hs/international/
  • You can also try searching online for your specific country/province/states regulations
  • A public school, or education centre in your area may be able to point you in the right direction to find your area’s regulations. Be aware though, that sometimes public schools may give you incorrect information as not everyone is aware of homeschooling regulations.

Do Some Research Into Homeschooling Methods And Styles

Next you will want to do a bit of research into the different methods and styles of homeschooling. From “school-at-home” to unschooling, there are many ways to homeschool your children and many variations to each style. You’ll want to find a style that works best for you and your children. But don’t worry, nothing is set in stone, and if you find that something isn’t working, you can always make some changes at any time.

So where should you start when researching homeschooling? Try some of these methods:

  • Google homeschool styles/methods. There are numerous websites and blogs out there that give some insight into the different homeschooling methods. In fact, I personally love to read the blogs of other homeschoolers to see what works for them, and see if there are strategies I can pull into my own homeschool.
  • Check YouTube. There are TONS of homeschooling families with their own channels on YouTube these days. You can find curriculum reviews, day-in-the-life series, homeschool room tours and general tips and advice too.
  • Read a book. Check out your local library or Amazon to find all kinds of books about homeschooling. 

Choose Some Curriculum

Now it is time to choose some curriculum (or none at all if that is more your style). There are so many curriculums out there that it would be hard to give suggestions as each person will learn better with different curriculums. There are all-in-one curriculums where all the subjects are included, or you could piece together multiple curriculums for different subjects. 

When I first started homeschooling with my children, we used an al-in-one, open and go curriculum to make things super easy while starting out. It made things much easier on me as the teacher because it was already assembled and planned out for me to teach. We have used My Fathers World curriculum sets (www.mfwbooks.com) for a number of years. I really loved the content and the ease of use, especially with multiple children. 

Now a days I have branched out a bit more and we are choosing different curriculum options for each subject, to bring together the best programs that work for my children. There is a bit more involved in planning of course, but it is what is working for us right now. You can see what we used for the 2018/2019 school year here: 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices (Grades 3 & 6).

The best way to find curriculum will probably be to take what you learned during the “research” step, and look up some of the curriculums mentions and recommended by others. Really take a good look and see if it will work for your family. And again, don’t think that once you choose some curriculum that you have to stick with it if it turns out it’s not working for you and your child. You can always readjust as you see what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

Find Support Through Other Homeschoolers

One of the biggest helps for me while homeschooling has been to have the support of others that are also homeschooling. When I have questions, or want to share a homeschooling “win”, or ask for advice, I often turn to a local homeschool group on Facebook. Having a group of local homeschoolers also means that we can organize get togethers and field trips with each other. We’ve been to a dairy farm, museums, fire halls, waterslides and nature walks with our homeschooling friends. It’s a nice way to not only learn together, but to relax and play together too. Even if you don’t have a local group of homeschoolers where you are, you can still find general homeschooling groups online to bounce ideas off of and get advice when you’re feeling lost.

Tips for Making a Disney Cruise More Affordable!

Tips for Making a Disney Cruise More Affordable!

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ve probably started looking into prices for a Disney cruise already. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor after seeing some of those prices! While it is true that a Disney Cruise can be quite expensive, more so than many other cruise lines, the old saying it true here, “You get what you pay for”.

In my opinion (and the opinion of many other Disney fans out there), Disney is a class above when it comes to service and family entertainment! You may be paying more, but you are getting more included for that price along with high-quality service. But don’t be discouraged about that price tag, because there are a few tips that will help to make that cost a little bit more manageable.

Tip #1: Book using a travel agent that specializes in Disney.

Travel agents might not be able to get you a lower price than if you booked directly (no one is allowed to give a discount on Disney Cruises), but they can offer cash back in the form of an On Board Credit. Essentially what this means is that the travel agent is using a portion of their commission and giving it back to you as a shipboard credit. You can use this credit once you board the ship for many things including using it to pay for gratuities, purchases on board, excursions, etc. So while an On Board Credit may not lower the actual cruise price, it will lower the amount you are paying out of pocket for onboard expenses.

A good travel agent will also check for any current promotions that Disney might be offering to make sure you are getting the best price available. They will also keep an eye on any promotions that become available after you book, to see if it can be applied to your booking.

*I would be happy to get you a free no-obligation quote for your next Disney Cruise. And yes, I do offer On Board Credits to all of my Disney Cruise clients! Please visit me at www.MouseFamilyVacations.com

Tip #2: Re-book while still onboard

This tip will only apply for your 2nd or later cruises with Disney. When you book another Disney cruise while still onboard your current cruise, Disney offers a discount and usually an onboard credit too! You can also pair this with tip #1 by letting the booking agent onboard the ship know that you are working with a travel agent and let the know the name of your agent and what company they are with while making your next booking. So while this won’t bring down the cost of your 1st cruise, it will certainly help lower the cost of your next cruise afterwards.

Tip #3: Choose a cheaper itinerary

There are some itineraries that are always going to be more expensive. One of those is Alaska, because it is a seasonal itinerary there is more demand than supply, thus a higher price tag. Instead stick to more common itineraries such as the Bahamas or the Caribbean. Mexican Riviera itineraries can be fairly reasonable as well. You can also reduce your costs by choosing a shorter itinerary. A 3 or 4 night cruise is still just as much fun as a 7 night cruise.

Along a similar thought is WHEN you choose your itinerary. You can usually find reduced pricing on September/October cruises as well as mid January and early February cruises. If your looking to save some money, I would recommend avoiding sailings in the summer months, during Spring Break and any of the holiday time cruises.

Tip #4: Choose an older ship

Disney’s has two classic ships, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic which are both awesome ships with some nice upgrades. But, because they are older than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy they are also usually cheaper. Now there are some exceptions, for instance the Disney Wonder sails the Alaskan itineraries, which as we know from the previous tip, is going to be more expensive.

Tip #5: Choose a more affordable stateroom category

Sure, a balcony stateroom is nice to have, but it certainly isn’t necessary. You are on a ship after all, there are open decks all over the place to get a good view from. Many cruisers don’t spend a whole lot of time in the cabins anyways, so the lack of a balcony, or even a porthole won’t ruin your vacation. In many cases choosing an inside stateroom will save you thousands over the cost of an outside (porthole) or balcony stateroom!

Another tip that kind of falls in line with this one is that sometimes Disney will discount some staterooms at the last minute (a month or two before the sail date) in order to fill the ship. These give you a great rate for a certain stateroom category (inside, porthole, balcony), but with some restrictions. These restrictions are usually that the booking is non-refundable, must be paid in full and you cannot choose the stateroom you want. Disney chooses the stateroom and only guarantees that it will be in the specific category you booked (or sometimes a higher category). If your flexible and are able to book without much notice, this can be a great cost saver!

Tip #6: Plan to avoid things that carry an additional charge

There are many “extras” you can add to your cruise such as excursions, upscale dining options, alcoholic beverages and more that carry an additional charge. If you plan to avoid these “extras” you’ll be able to keep your budget down. There are many free things to do in the ports of call instead of a costly excursion, or take advantage of a quieter ship and stay on board at a port or two an enjoy the many activities and entertainment already included in your cruise fare.

There are 3 different main dining rooms that you will visit throughout your cruise, along with a great buffet and pool side dining options. No need to add the additional cost of meals at the upscale dining areas that arean’t included in your fare. The service in the main dining rooms is excellent and sure to keep you happy.

These are my top 6 tips for finding the most affordable ways to cruise with Disney. Do you have any of your own tips not on this list that help you to find the best prices for your family? Share them in the comments below!

 

For all your Disney vacation needs, please visit www.MouseFamilyVacations.com

Natural Health Remedies – Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle!

Natural Health Remedies – Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle!

You knew you wanted to take charge of your health (and your family’s) when you first began learning about natural remedies.You probably even knew it wouldn’t be easy.

But you had no idea you’d be so overwhelmed and confused by how much there is to learn and all the conflicting opinions.

I’ve had the same frustrations. When I first became interested in natural health, I spent so much time researching. I squeezed our tight budget to find funds to grow our health arsenal. I often had to experiment and guess, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

Here’s the thing, though: I didn’t really have the extra time or dollars I wished I had to devote to my new goal.

I did my best with what I had, but it was hard work. And that’s why I want to make it easier for you.

What if I told you someone had already put together a complete package to get you up to speed on using herbs and essential oils safely and effectively, or even help you dig deeper into the research and learn more advanced techniques once you’ve got the basics down?

And… that package was already carefully vetted for you (saving you time) – at a price that’s way too low to miss (saving you money)?

Well, look no further, because it’s here!

Herbs and Essential Oils

 

Introducing the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle!

For six days only, everything you need (and then some) is in one fabulous package, for the most affordable price ever. (Seriously, just wait until I tell you the price.)

This year’s edition of the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle includes 28 ebooks and printables, 4 full eCourses, and 2 membership sites!

These top-quality resources cover everything you need to give you the skills and confidence to use natural remedies in your home.

You’ll get a complete library to help you:

    • Rebuild your medicine cabinet with natural remedies
    • Create beauty and skincare products without harmful ingredients
    • Treat your digestive complaints, pain, colds, and flus with everything in your medicine cabinet
    • Know which herbs are safe for pregnancy, babies and children

Discover which natural substances combat multi-drug resistance, infections and even cancer

  • Confidently prepare herbal extracts, salves, and balms
  • Liven up your meals and get major health benefits by using the right herbs
  • and so much more!

Plus, it comes with over $60 worth of bonus offers from companies you’ll love (like essential oil diffuser earrings, natural skincare, and herbal tinctures!).

You sort of need to see it to believe it, but the package includes 34 digital products and it’s worth over $560 (but you’ll get it for 95% off)!

Besides being so incredibly helpful, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering it for a short time only, the team at Ultimate Bundles is able to give you access to ALL of this… for just $29.97.

Herbs and Essential Oils

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click the “Get my copy now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a login to the online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus offers.
  3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the topic you want to tackle first and start using natural remedies!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available at this price for just six days! After Monday night, June 4th, the price goes up.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click here to learn more or buy the bundle: https://us154.isrefer.com/go/heosb2018/a8274/

It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

You want to protect your health. You shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed because it costs too much or it’s too hard to trustworthy resources that make using natural remedies easy.

Learn more or get your bundle here: https://us154.isrefer.com/go/heosb2018/a8274/

(Psst… the bundle price will go up at 11:59pm Eastern on Monday, June 4th, so don’t wait!)

Home School in the Woods – A Homeschool Review

Home School in the Woods – A Homeschool Review

Did you know that learning about history can actually be pretty fun?

Well it can! We have been playing some of the file folder games from Home School in the Woods. They now offer many of their hands-on history projects Á La Carte.

We chose two different file folder games to review: Mercenary Madness! and Journey Through the Middle Ages, both at a very reasonable price of $4.95. They are both geared toward children in grades 3 to 8. We used them with my 2nd grader and 5th grader as they are both studying this time period in our homeschool right now!

Journey Through the Middle Ages

The first game we used was Journey Through the Middle Ages. It comes as a neatly organized pdf file with full instructions on what supplies will be needed, how to print the pages (some are better to print on card stock) and how to assemble them.

Then we set off cutting out, gluing and coloring all the different components. This is a really neat part about these file folder games. Not only do you end up with a fun game to play together, but the kids get to actually make and put it together themselves (with a little help from mom).

After getting it all put together we read through the game instructions and started playing. Some of the questions were a bit tough for my 2nd and 5th graders as we haven’t covered all of the material in our personal studies yet. I went through the question cards and picked out ones they would know, or at least had a better chance of guessing at. We also threw in a couple of the harder ones for fun, and I just gave hints as needed.

The players move around the map, making their way to the different castles. At each castle, they collect a castle card. The first one to collect all the different castle cards wins!

The more we played the game, the more they started to remember the answers. It’s a really neat way to learn history trivia while feeling like play!

Both children asked to play again and again. They enjoyed the friendly competition between the two of them, and I enjoyed that they were learning something!

Mercenary Madness!

The next item we chose was Mercenary Madness! It is also a file folder style game, with the setup instructions being fairly similar to the first game. Print, color, cut and paste.

The questions in this one were a bit more challenging, as we haven’t quite gotten that far in our studies yet. But I was still able to find a good number of the questions that they have learned about, and gave hints for the others.

In this game they collect coins as they move around the board. There are Spoils and Spoilers squares, and depending on how they answer the trivia questions, they can collect or lose coins. They had a lot of fun with this game too!

The game ends when both players make it to the battlefield. The winner is determined by who has the most coins at the end. My daughter was so excited that she beat her big brother by just two coins!

More fun while learning about history!

Home School in the Woods has many other Á La Carte items available on their website. They range in price from $1.95 to $9.95, which is quite an affordable way to add a little fun to your studies if you ask me.

Of course we weren’t able to try them all for this review, but there are a couple of other ones that look really fun that I might like to try out in the future.

The Jamestown Replica would be so much fun for any young builder in your family.

The Art Of Quilling would be great for children (or even adults) who are more artistic.

For more info about Home School in the Woods, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or YouTube.

À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
Letter Of The Week – All About “E”

Letter Of The Week – All About “E”

Introducing the letter E

Watch the videos below to learn about words that start with E.
Then have your child complete the letter E worksheets.
Next you can explore some fun children’s books and find more activities through the blog links provided.

Here is my suggestion for learning the entire alphabet:

Are you ready to learn all about the alphabet? Choose one letter each week for your child to learn about. You can find the links to each letter at the bottom of this post. Use the activity links, also below, to add letter specific crafts and art throughout the week to create a light but fun learning plan.

Have Fun!

Letter “E” Videos

Printable Worksheets

Click for full size printable

“E” Books You’ll Love!

More Ideas From Other Bloggers!

Letter E activities to use with your preschooler or kindergartner from Anna at themeasuredmom.com

Letter E Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids from childfun.com

12 Letter E Activities from themaven.net

Preschool Letter E Activities from Karyn at teachbesideme.com

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Alphabet!

(Just click on each letter below)

A  B  C  D  E  F

*The following letters are coming soon!*

 G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

CursiveLogic – A Homeschool Review

CursiveLogic – A Homeschool Review

Hello there! It’s time for another homeschool review!

We’ve been pretty busy during the last few months trying out different homeschooling products to share with you, and it’s been a lot of fun! This week we will be looking at the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from the wonderful people over at CursiveLogic.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to open the mail and find these waiting for me in all their beautiful glory! (Does it make me sound weird to be so excited over homeschool things? Haha!) But before even receiving the books in the mail, I received an email with a link to an instructional webinar that explains the CursiveLogic method step by step for parents.

I thought this was wonderful! I was able to watch through the webinar and see exactly how I am supposed to work through the book with my son. So once the books did arrive, we were ready to dive right in, knowing exactly how to get started!

I decided to use CursiveLogic with my 11 year old son who is in 5th grade. He’s certainly seen cursive writing before, but has never written in cursive. I’ve always know that I want my children to learn cursive in our homeschool, but it always seemed like a daunting task and so I had been putting it on the back burner. Well there is no excuse now! CursiveLogic has fallen into our laps, and it looked like a clear and concise program to use.

CursiveLogic has a wonderful approach for learning cursive to work for kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learners. It teaches the lowercase cursive alphabet by breaking them up into four groups based on shape. Each group is taught together, using tracing, a catch-phrase, and writing the letter grouping (or string, as CursiveLogic calls it) on your own. I really like this approach. Rather than trying to teach each letter individually, students are learning them in groups, and seeing, right from the beginning, how the letters connect together. There are even dry erase pages at the end of the book so your child can practice their cursive again and again!

As you can see from the picture above, the workbook is bound at the top edge rather than the sides. With side-bound books my son usually struggles with the binding being in his way when he turns the page over. With CursiveLogic we don’t have that problem, they’ve really thought of everything!

Here are some before and during photos of my sons writing. The before sample is what his printing usually looks like. You can see that his letter sizes aren’t the same, and in the bottom line he hasn’t left space between his words. Often times he will also have what I like to call “floating” letters, where some are high and others are low.

Now you can see, after just a couple of weeks in he was already showing great progress with his cursive. No more floating letters, his letter size and spacing is improving too. I don’t doubt that it will get even neater as we continue to work through the different letter strings and he has more practice.

We also received The Art of Cursive, which is cursive instruction artfully woven into an adult coloring book! How neat is that?! Now it’s not designed to teach cursive to children, there just isn’t enough instruction for that. But it would easily help a teen or adult to learn and practice cursive. Or for those that already know cursive but like to color, it’s a great tool to really cement those cursive strokes. I have been having fun with it, using it as a nice relaxing activity once the house has quieted down for the evening, or before the kids are up in the morning. I think it could also be used as good practice tool for a young one who likes to color and draw, after they’ve already been through the workbook.

As a little bonus to our readers, CursiveLogic has given us a special discount for you!  Using the code CREW2018, you can save 20% on the Quick-Start Pack, which is the webinar + workbook combo.  The code will be active through the end of March. Enjoy!

Also, if you’d like to connect with CursiveLogic please visit them at their website: www.cursivelogic.com, or through their Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/ilovecursive/

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}
6 Simple Ways To Earn Extra Income As A Stay At Home Mom!

6 Simple Ways To Earn Extra Income As A Stay At Home Mom!

This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this blog. Thank you.

We could all use a little extra income right?

But if your a stay at home mom like me, it can be hard to find ways to earn from home while still being able to look after our little ones. But it can be done, and I’m here to share a few of the ways that I have been earning extra income, without sacrificing my family time!

Daily Rewards

Daily Rewards offers daily paid surveys, emails, games and offers. I’ve just been doing the paid emails and the occasional survey (I’m too lazy for too many surveys, lol). I’ve been watching my earnings go up slowly. It may not be a lot, but it all adds to the earnings pot! And if you’re more motivated than I am, you can fill our more surveys and do the other earning activities and you’ll see your earnings go up much quicker. If you use my referral link you can get a $5 signup bonus!
Sign up HERE with Daily Rewards!
 

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a site where you can earn SB (swagbucks) by searching the internet, completing surveys, watching videos, doing your regular online shopping, etc. Then you can redeem your SB points for gift cards to Amazon, Paypal and many others!
Sign up for Swagbicks HERE!

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

Ebates.ca

Use Ebates when making any online purchases to earn cash back! (this one is for Canadian retailers) What could be easier?
Sign up for Ebates.ca HERE!

Ebates.ca

Ebates.com

Do your regular online shopping and earn cash back! (this one is for US retailers). Once again, super simple.
Sign up for Ebates.com HERE!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Pin Affiliate Links to Pinterest

Did you know that you could be earning money just by pinning the right links?! Well you sure can!
Christina has shown me how and it’s not hard at all! I’m already watching my earnings come in!
See how YOU can earn from Pinterest too by clicking HERE!

Blogging

You’ve probably heard by now that there are many people making a substantial income from blogging these days. Even the littlest blogger can make a decent income with their blog. You will likely start out slowly as you grow your following and add in more income streams, but it is a very viable option! (Yes, some are making $10,000+ each month, but they didn’t do it overnight)

If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog I highly recommend starting one now. There is no time like the present and you can have one up and running in very little time. Check out my guide to starting a blog HERE: The Simple Steps To Starting A Blog

So there you have it. These are some of the ways that I’ve found to earn an income from home without sacrificing my family time! I’m sure there are many more ways, but these are the ones that have been working for me.

Have you found other ways to earn from home that don’t take away from your job of being mom? I’d love for you to share your experiences in the comment section!

Letter Of The Week – All About “B”

Letter Of The Week – All About “B”

Introducing the letter B

Watch the videos below to learn about words that start with B.
Then have your child complete the letter B worksheets.
Next you can explore some fun children’s books and find more activities through the blog links provided.

Here is my suggestion for learning the entire alphabet:

Are you ready to learn all about the alphabet? Choose one letter each week for your child to learn about. You can find the links to each letter at the bottom of this post. Use the activity links, also below, to add letter specific crafts and art throughout the week to create a light but fun learning plan.

Have Fun!

Letter “B” Videos

Printable Worksheets

Click for full size printable

“B Books You’ll Love!

More Ideas From Other Bloggers!

B Is for Bee Craft from AllAboutLearningPress.com

Paw Patrol To The Rescue – Letter B Printables from Priscilla at MissingOlivia.blogspot.ca

Moana Worksheets – Letter B Printables from Priscilla at MissingOlivia.blogspot.ca

Montessori Inspired Letter B Introduction from Vanessa at MamasHappyHive.com

Learn to Read Preschool Alphabet Letter B from Monica at HappyAndBlessedHome.com

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Alphabet!

(Just click on each letter below)

A  B  C  D  E  F

*The following letters are coming soon!*

 G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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