Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Home School Open House

Tiany at LESS OF ME, MORE OF HIM is hosting a Homeschool Open House!!! All are invited to participate! Go HERE, to participate!
So here is a little about my homeschooling:
I am a wife to one and mother to six, going on seven children. My oldest just turned 10 (he is in 5th grade this year). I have been homeschooling him since he was 3-years-old, so I have been homeschooling for 7 years. I also have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, a kindergartener, two preschoolers (ages 2 & 4) , and a baby on the way due on September 3rd.

At first we used very little curriculum books. I basically taught colors, shapes, letters, writing, and other important skill. I still do this for kindergarten and preschool.

However, we start out with phonics, writing, counting, letter recognition, number recognition, and Bible. I have often used the book How To Tutor: For Parents and Teachers - A Manual That Works, by Samuel L. Blumenfeld. I have also used the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I also use my Bible, lots of paper and crayons, & markers. I will write out the alphabet for the child to copy in pen and then I give them a marker or highlighter to trace the letters, this is a treat for them!

I use the Saxon Math curriculum to teach all levels of math.

We are using Shurley English for grammar.

For science, we are using Apologia Science.

And for history, writing, literature, geography, fine arts and activities, Bible Survey and Church History, government & philosophy (both of these are upper level grades), we are using the Tapestry of Grace curriculum...this is our first year with this curriculum.

For handwriting, we often use scripture and Keach's catechism.

And for physical education....our children get plenty of exercise and eventually we will teach them about sports, I'm sure.

I am not a "scheduler". I have tried to schedule my day in the past only to get frustrated with the fact that I can't get everything done quickly enough.
My "Schedule" basically looks like this:
  • Get up & dressed.
  • Breakfast for all (Hubby works at home).
  • Clean Up.
  • Homeschooling until lunch.
  • Lunch for all.
  • Clean Up.
  • Naptime for littles, and more homeschool for others.
  • Finish up school, littles awake.
  • Afternoon Chore time.
  • Freeplay/Outside for all, except littlest & Dinner prep for mom.
  • Dinner for all.
  • Clean Up.
  • Freeplay/Outside time.
  • Devotions/Bedtime.

I have a basic "to-do" list that I have memorized and I do as much of it as I can each day. If it doesn't get done one day, it will be there for me the next!

We homeschool at the kitchen table, in the living room, outside on the deck and anywhere we have a quiet place to study.
  1. Relax! Don't stress if you don't get everything done that you had intended. Your children will learn regardless and they will someday amaze you with all that they have learned.
  2. Need a break? Find a video for your children to watch that will teach them a thing or two and give your brain a rest.
  3. Make it fun! For crafts you can make cards to send to others. Teach your children about math in the kitchen by making something yummy!
  4. If you have something to read to your older children, give the younger children a picture to color while you are reading. Maybe you should purchase a special coloring book for them for such an occasion.

I have many of these. I often feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, I guess I need to take my own advice and RELAX!

I often feel unqualified as a teacher, even with a college degree. There are no manuals that teach you how to parent, and homeschooling is much the same with me. No matter how much I read, I am finding that I am learning how to homeschool as I go. It all involves experience. I was not homeschooled myself, so in a sense, I am a pioneer in my family to homeschooling.

Some days go wonderfully, while others are a flop.

My main questions are:

How do you get it all done?
Where do you get the energy to do housework after a full day of school?

I know I probably have more questions, but I must stop for now. I have homeschooling to do!



Kristi said...

What is housework? I've determined that for the most part, it will wait, but I only have a short amount of time with my little guy. Thanks for the wonderful open house!!

Melissa Markham said...

Everyone feels overwhelmed. Your must share tips and your concerns mirror my own. You need to follow your own advice (as do I) and also, don't worry about the housework. I gave up on that some time ago. My children are only with me a short while. When they grow up, the house will be spic and span.

I do encourage them to help though, we have a chore jar and when I get tired of the house being a mess, we choose chores and clean the house together. A couple of chores a day until each room is thoroughly cleaned and it doesn't take huge chunks of time and we are working together. Other than that...the house is low priority around here.

Swylv said...

you said it Kristi!!

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing and for the tips there great!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is beautiful. I two believe so much in the power of prayer!

About housekeeping, We call it Home Economics and have a school day just for that subject. This happens when I notice the piles are growing and everything is covered in dust! We also have 15 minute blast time where we pick up and put away! This works great for us because no one has to do a lot for long!

Amber said...

I can't really help you with your questions because this will be my first year to homeschool! One thing I did start doing is a chore chart. I make it a positive thing and the girls love it!

Thanks so much for inviting us into your open house!

mommaof4 said...

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your homeschool. I like Shurley English and have used it in the past and will probably use it again with the others.

I think their is times we all feel completely overwhelmed. Those are the days I usually decide we are going to go on a field trip or play outside. Sometimes you just have to shut the books. As for housework - delegate. That is my best tip. Me and the kids have a timer I set for 15 minutes and we all run around picking things up and putting them away before the timer goes off. I think they like this because they know the end is soon. I also have a chore chart for other things like vacuuming, feeding the cat and so on. I better quit I'm starting to write a blog entry in your comments.

Have a great year!

Tiany said...

Hi Heather,
Thank you for participating in “Homeschool Open House 2007”! I have had such fun putting it together but reading about your homeschools has been such fun and the real blessing!!! Thanks for the peek into your homeschool!

Hugs & Blessings,

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Great information here, thank you!

About the housework? We do it first. And in the evening, I don't sit down until I've finished what I can...'cause once I sit down after the kiddos are in bed--I'm done and not getting up for anything!

bubbebobbie said...

Congratulations! You didn't make it to the third of Sept but I did, 30 years ago! I was talking to a mom earlier this week about pre-teens and teens being mother's helpers. The moms in our church were so blessed by my daughter (Heatherlee) and her friends because they wanted to serve. So they would go to these houses and occupy (not babysit cause the mom was always there) the children so the moms could cook supper without children underfoot, have a friend for tea and enjoy uninterrupted conversations, do a Bible study or do housework. And because it was to teach them service and ministry the did it free. With your newborn, I think if someone is looking for a baby gift to give you they would find it under "merry maids"!

Congratulations again on the Birth of our daughter.
because of Jesus, Bobbie

Mrs. C said...

Thanks so much for sharing about your homeschool with us.

Although I definitely don't think that I have it "all together", things have become easier as my children are getting a little older and a bit more independent.
The Maxwell's ministry has been a big help to me, too. http://www.titus2.com

Mrs. C

Sonya said...

Housework is a tough thing to keep under control. I find it easier to do it in short intervals between school subjects. My girls are older so I have great helpers. Still, they don't always enjoy doing chores. When they finish a subject, I'll give them a chore. Once they finish that chore, they move on to another area of school. It continues that way until we are done with school for the day. At that time, we wipe down the kitchen and vacuum the house. Because we do things in short spans of time during school, this is all that has to be done during those times.