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Alberta Home Education Association

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Anyone have the January Blues?

Well, we had a very busy Christmas and while I am looking forward to the New Year, it is sometimes easy to get discouraged and blue in January or February.  I just read The Winter Blues on the Crosswalk site and thought she made several good points that would help at this time.

I also learned years ago to keep VERY busy in January and February.  It is a great time to go full speed ahead on home schooling our children AND even to accomplish some extra projects. 

If you are feeling a bit blue, why not check out the above link OR get busy home schooling, crafting, writing, sewing, baking, playing games  Smile - It'll get you through January and February AND before you know it, spring will be almost here!{jcomments off}

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The Joy of Home Schooling our Children (AND Merry Christmas!)

Well, the countdown to Christmas has begun, although for many of us, Christmas (and celebrating our Savior) is a way of life. Home Educating our children is also a way of life for many of us.....

It's been years since Richard and I began home schooling our children AND embraced the home education life style. That decision actually changed our lives and the lives of our children. It was a *very good* decision and one that we have never regretted.

Sure - it is the path less traveled, but it has been totally worthwhile for our family. I can get a little emotional at times over all the good memories we have made, and the education we all have received. I am a different person (and mother) than I was before we started to home school. I have learned so many things in the last 20 years. AND I am totally thrilled that our graduated daughters (26 and 21) still love learning and continue their life education at this time. I am thrilled at the motivation to learn that our younger daughters (15 and 13) have as well. It really has been A WONDERFUL LIFE. (smile)

I saw a very simple blog this week that I would like to share with you. It has a lot of pictures and a short sentence under each picture, but I am still thinking about what she shared. It really spoke to me and I hope it speaks to you. Sometimes.....

And I will also take this time to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas. I always strive to remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and I hope in the midst of our busy December days, that He is the reason for the season for you, too.{jcomments off}

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A Great Question! What Counts As Home Schooling?

A friend shared "What Counts As Home Schooling?" on an elist, earlier this morning and I loved it. My response was:

Loved this article! That is how we have lived and home schooled. I can remember when we brought our oldest daughter home and thinking that home schooling only counted when we sat down at the kitchen table with workbooks. Took about 6 months to realise nature walks counted, baking and measuring counted, writing letters counted and so much more.

I'm actually beginning to think discussions matter more than we think (especially WITH our big kids) AND I try to include them every day / week. I like having a paper trail, but a lot of the best home educating is paper free. smile (I still keep a record of a lot of our discussions - what we talked about, why, and some of the comments....)
 
I would also recommend checking out this link - Include Bible Study in Your Home Schooling - That isn't the name of it, BUT that is what I got out of it. SO many of us are home educating our kids AND praying that their spiritual lives and moral character are strong. Include the Bible in your home school. Bring your faith and Christian beliefs into every discussion and every subject. Make Christianity real. As we do this, our children will grow spiritually strong in their faith and in their academics. {jcomments off}
 
 
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Have a Home School Plan that Works!

I love home schooling and think about it often each day. Smile

I am always looking for ideas and tips to make home educating work in our home. One of the best things that is working for us this fall is related to a workboxing idea I learned a few years ago. Basically, you want to break down any activity or project you want to do with your children into step by step goals. THEN have them do a *step* each day until the activity or project is done. (Kind of like eating an elephant one bite at a time. smile)

So, that is *Step* 1 for making this idea work.

Next, I made a chart for each child I was home educating this fall. I divided a page into 5 days and had 12 boxes under each day.

Then I filled in the chart for each child, with the main home schooling activities and extras I wanted them to do each day and week. *I put the activities and extras that we do together on each chart and highlighted them. *I also made sure to have a variety of activities each day - some we do together and some they each do independently.

Each girl has their chart in a page protector and marks off what is done each day with a dry erase marker. I also made a copy of each chart for me - a master copy *in case* one of the charts went missing. (AND one did already! smile)

You know, I have always had a plan for each day - but this chart helps each of our children ( I am only home educating two this year!) stay focused and motivated. They want to get done all of the items every day and work on their independent items as they wish. The chart also helps me stay focused and it is so easy to see what is done and what is left to do each day.

That is what is working for me this fall. Make sure your home school plan is working for you and yours!{jcomments off}

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Great Educational Extras Online

Wow, it is really important to know yourself, hey? I am either a *do a lot* or *do nothing* blogger. I don't do a *little* well. I have been busy - like all of you, I am sure, getting back to home schooling our children this fall. Just been busy - getting everything going and done.

BUT September has been a great month already! We have gone full speed ahead with our home educating plan. I have added in some online educational links for our girls - all of which are working well. (Both of them are already blogging - a great writing extra!

One of the first things I did this fall was this great Learning Assessment for all of us.
 
Both of our girls like Free Rice - It is great for review. They keep track of how many grains of rice they earn a day - almost always aim for 500 to 1000 grains of rice. (You earn 10 grains of rice for every right answer and the rice you earn is donated to needy people in third world countries. Neat idea.) I encourage them to try different sections often.
 
One daughter LOVES Lumosity, which is like a brain gym / logic website. It isn't a free website (most of the others mentioned here are free), but it has been a wonderful extra in our home.
 
I also signed up for a Canadian Current Events Newsletter through our Home School Board. It is pretty affordable - $20 per student. There are 3 different age categories. We have really enjoyed the discussions and activities we have done for the first newsletter. (I know I looked at the first newsletter and was praying about how to include it in our month. There are 36 pages - on 4 different topics. I realized the easiest way for us, would be to cover one topic a week and that is working really well for us! ) The first topic was on the Tsunami in Japan, and the biggest Garbage Patch in the World - out in the Ocean. That was horrific to see and has really inspired us to cut down on our plastic purchasing.
 
They also are doing a Bible Study online with http://ubdavid.org/ . It is non-denominational and looks really good. There are different levels for the different ages AND your children can do it online OR have the lessons mailed out.
 
I'm also thinking of Spark Teens, which covers nutrition, exercise tracking and more. It looks good, too.
 
They have never done this much online, but they are both older and I think all of the above websites have value. They are great extras. (Oh, and I trust our girls to do what they are supposed to be doing. ALWAYS pay attention to what your children are doing online!) Happy Home Educating!
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