Thursday, March 10, 2016

P.O.E. Unit 1: Columbus - A library book list of places visited

The Paths of Exploration book is very well planned out and has many books we are reading from. Although, aside from when we are working on the lesson plans, we are not reading or learning about the places we visit in the stories.

The following is a list of books we plan on reading through during our Columbus unit study.





South America

Central America

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It's About Learning to Love Learning!

I love that i can slow down with my kids if they aren't catching on to something. Instead of pushing them through to the next subject just to stay on schedule or bogging them down with more homework.

My kids are learning at a pace that doesn't stress them out. They are being kids and in that process they are learning. I'm a firm believer that subject/concepts don't match up to grades or an age...they match to the child's ability and desire to learn...not matter what their grade/age.

The purpose of our homeschool is not learning everything at specific times.

Instilling a life long ability to learn what is needed. Without knowing how to self-educate, and not rely on other people to tell us what we should know, how is someone supposed to advance themselves?

We are an unhurried homeschool. We have a plan that will cover all of the vital learning concepts...just not at the same time as their public school peers.

We are individuals who need an individualized learning path. As humans we have physical and mental similarities, but each and every one of us is an individual who learns differently than each other. Even people who have the same learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) have different ways of learning.

Each one of my children has a different learning style that evolves over time. I cater to these styles. I'm constantly teaching myself, through research, how to teach my children. Part of this research is talking to my children about how they feel about what and how they are learning. I have the ultimate say on what goes on in our homeschool...but they also have the freedom to tell me what they would like to learn. They have to freedom to share ideas on how they would like to learn something. I put learning in their hands...I'm here to guide them in their exploration of learning the world around them and what they need to know to be successful, productive, adults.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

P.O.E. Unit 1 - Christopher Columbus Resources

We have just received our GeoMatters Paths of Exploration curriculum and I am loving it! Our days are going smoothly...well as smoothly as they can with an almost 9yo, 6yo, and 19mo!

Unit 1 is about Christopher Columbus. We have the student notebook that you can order, and we are enjoying doing it, but I'm not sure it includes very many projects. I also want my children to learn the true story of what happened with Mr. Columbus "discovered" America.

Fridays are our days to just explore what we've learned for the week. We do our math, reading/phonics, and bible study. Anything beyond that is exploration of what we have learned. We have read the first few chapters of Christopher Columbus: Adventurer of Faith and Courage which tells about Christopher's passion for sailing, his brother Bartholomew and their first adventure on a boat during a storm, how little food their family had because of the trade his father was in, and so much more.

There are so many learning opportunities that stem from the books we read. The learning doesn't need to just be about Christopher himself...but about ships, trading and bartering, sailing, how to read a map, etc.


-Paper Mache Globe
-Make a Compass!
-Christopher Columbus Character


-BBC Primary History Christopher Columbus
-BrainPop - Christopher Columbus


-Copywork & Worksheets
-Puzzles, crosswords, vocabulary

Free Reads


-The REAL History of Christopher Columbus (for older children, please preview before showing your children.)

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up

This week we finally receive the curriculum we ordered...GeoMatters Paths of Exploration! We are loving it. I had/have plans of using Ambleside Online next year but if POE works out for us, we may end up using AO for our loop read aloud selections.

Our dog Smokey likes to get in my chair the minute I get up--He was trying to convince my oldest son that he's the teacher now.

My daughter has been having some letter formation problems, so we are stepping back and using play dough, a tray of rice, and finger paints to 'draw' the letters. We'll get back to handwriting soon. We have plenty of time; she's only in Kindergarten.

We live in the city, so finding a place to have our weekly (seems like daily, now!) nature walks is a bit of a challenge so that it doesn't get too repetitive for the children. Today we took a walk down a path near our house and went the opposite way we normally go. The kids had a great time walking, running, noticing sounds, digging...just doing what kids love to do.

After our nature walks I have the children draw a picture and write something describing it. He even looked up "how to write the tree in Chinese" and wrote the symbols. 

His journal entry was entertaining today...

My oldest son got braces! He's 8.5; this seems so young for braces. I knew it was coming. He was born with a cleft lip and palate, which caused him to have very crooked front teeth. He will have perfect teeth by the end! This first phase is 18 months; this includes braces and an expander (he gets this placed in 3 weeks.)

The kids love to use my iPad to take pictures. We were messing around with PhotoBooth one day and these beauties were created. I could NOT stop laughing! My youngest son looks like some sort of alien mastermind with his crew ready to rule the world!

And last but not least our library book haul for today.

I linked up at:
Weekly Wrap-Up

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY (ended)! The Unhurried Homeschooler

I am always stressing over if I am doing enough work with my children each day. Growing up in the public school system and have public school teachers in my family has made it hard for myself to get out of the public school mindset of when things "should" be introduced and at what age.

I've been worried that my 8.5yo son is behind in math and my 6yo daughter is behind in reading. It's made me re-think this whole homeschooling thing...several times in fact. I would waffle between peace about what we are doing and dread that I was ruining our children.

Recently I've had a whole new vision for our homeschool. I've been blessed with being about to speak with a God fearing woman who has been homeschooling for 20+ years! Her name is Durenda Wilson and she is the author of the newly published book (print and Kindle) The Unhurried Homeschooler.


by Durrenda Wilson


Durenda Wilson has been very happily married to Darryl for 26 years and homeschooling for 20 years. They have eight awesome kids, 5 boys and 3 girls. Two are married, one is in college and the rest are still at home. Durenda is a Nana to three cuties! She writes for her own blog, Simple Nourishing Home, for The Busy Mom and Hip Homeschool Moms. She also podcasts with Heidi at The Busy Mom. She is painfully aware that she can't "do it all", she really doesn't want to and is realizing that her kids are going to be OK anyway. Her passion is simplifying, being authentic and inspiring moms to homeschool and mother in freedom and joy.

This is a wonderfully rich, quick read that is full of insight as a mother who has been there done that. She truly encourages an unhurried homeschool setting. Paying attention to the needs and wants of our children. Not letting them do whatever they want whenever they want, but paying attention to how they learn, what they want to learn, and when they want to learn. This is what she calls "being a student of our children."

In this book she talks more about why we need to slow down and learn to trust our instincts. Durenda gives a refreshing example of what homeschooling looks like in her family, while fully acknowledging, and encouraging, the reader to really find what works for their family. Inward battles and crisis are something we all deal with, points are written on both. You'll find encouragement for mothers to go through the motions of life and realize "that "school" is to revolve around home life, not home life around school."

Again, this book is wonderfully encouraging to the unsure mom who thinks she is doing too much, or those who they should be doing more!


Durenda has been kind enough to offer a SIGNED COPY to the winner! Make sure you enter below! If you would like to go ahead and purchase her book, you can find it at Amazon in print or digital versions.

Win a Signed copy of The Unhurried Homeschooler