Advent Calender Time is Here!

The other day, my daughter (the blondie) and I were talking about homeschooling.  She asked why she had to be homeschooled and I told her we were not happy with the school system here!  Then she said that she was happy that we homeschool and really did love it.  This came as a surprise to me because there are days (bad days) when she says she doesn’t want to homeschool or that she wants to go back to public school.  So, when she said that she loved it, I was shocked!  As we sat and talked, she rattled off some of the reasons why we are blessed to be able to homeschool:  they got to play volleyball, they had their STEM class, they get to sleep in (meaning, they are up around 7:45 and we start schooling around 9:30-10), we get to go on more then 2 field trips in a year, special activities, park day… The list could go on.  But one of the things that she didn’t realize is that since we do homeschool and don’t have to be up at 6:30 am, we can do more together as a family at night!  So, bring on the fun Advent activities!

Fun Advent Calender Activities!

Advent Calender Copyright by Holly Hedman

Advent Calender
Copyright by Holly Hedman

This year, seeing as the kids don’t have to be in bed by 7:30 pm, we are doing a couple of fun Advent activities.  The kids have been enjoying the homemade advent calender from Only Passionate Curiosity.  This Advent calender is different then the ones you buy in the store because you (the parent) can pick what goes inside of it.  Plus, it is homemade… Who doesn’t like homemade things?  Only Passionate Curiosity even gives you predetermined activities or you can write an activity a blank activity sheet that they designed for you!

Girls enjoyed stringing popcorn Copyright by Holly Hedman

Girls enjoyed stringing popcorn
Copyright by Holly Hedman

What I picked for our family: some predetermined activities and some activities I wrote.  The activities I wrote were events that we already planned, so that works out perfectly! One of the predetermined activity was to watch a Christmas movie.  I put that together with string popcorn for garland.  Made for a great memory maker type of night!

Truth In The Tinsel

Our Family Working On Our Project Copyright by Holly Hedman

Our Family Working On Our Project
Copyright by Holly Hedman

Crown Copyright by Holly Hedman

Crown
Copyright by Holly Hedman

On top of doing our Advent calender activities we are doing a 25 day Bible study that has a craft for every day!  It is called Truth In The Tinsel.  I am going to quote their website because they said it perfectly!  “Each day Truth In The Tinsel will lead you through a passage of scripture, a corresponding ornament craft and talking points for you and your kids.  It is more then a devotion– it’s meditation and hands-on learning for kids.  It is more then a craft book– it is a memory builder for your family.  It is more then an ebook– it is an experience and adventure in God’s word!”  I truly don’t think I could have explained it any better!  You could just do this as your Advent calender but I decided to do both!

Slow down this Christmas season!

Seeing as homeschool has given us the freedom, that I didn’t know I craved, we are taking the time to spend together throughout the week as a family doing special memory making Advent activities!  I hope you do too!

Wishing you a very Happy and Merry Christmas!  I hope you take time to study the Word with your family and slow down to enjoy this wonderful season!  Your kids are young only once, so go and make those special moments with them that they will cherish for a lifetime!

Merry Christmas!

Here are the links to the great activities I talked about!

Truth In Tinsel an Advent Experience For Little Hands

Truth In Tinsel an Advent Experience For Little Hands

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling.  Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family!  Also, I would love to learn from you and how you homeschool.  Please leave a comment below.  Have a Blessed Christmas season!

Advertisements

First Year of Schooling in Florida Continues

“How we became a homeschooling family” was my original title for this article.

I have to tell you, I had a whole blog article pretty much all written up about why we pulled our kids this past March from public school and are now a homeschool family, but I decided to scrap it.  As I would read over the article to proof read and add to it, I felt like all I was doing was being a “Debby Downer”.  That is not me!  Yes, the school here was not up to par with what we were used to and my girls did not have proactive teachers like we had in Tennessee.  But, the school in general is a nice, new, and is big.  They are also really good with students who have an IEP.  But as I was writing my previous blog (the one I deleted) I realized that it is our job as parents to be proactive for our kids, not the teacher.  I had a change in heart and decided to write something more positive then negative!

Vacation Time by Holly Hedman

Vacation Time by Holly Hedman

Oh my, so it begins!

With summer coming to an end (not sure that ever happens here in Florida), getting back on a schedule has been the first and foremost thing on my mind.  I am such a night owl it has been hard for me to think about having to get up earlier then my kids so I can have quiet time to drink my coffee, read the Bible, and Facebook/emails/play on my iPad.  Since we just got back from vacation, I have had a hard time going to bed before 11 pm (well, that is my normal bed time) but I have done really well with getting out of bed, with an alarm, before my kids.  This morning I was enjoying my quiet time so much I let the kids sleep in! 🙂 I love slow mornings!

Official First Day of School by Holly Hedman

Official First Day of School by Holly Hedman

Oops!  Off my schedule already.  

My plan was to have them up by 7 am so we could start by 8 am and be done by 11:30 because I am teaching a PE class for a Classical Conversations group.  Basically, I was not ready for our first 2 full days of homeschooling.  I am sure at some point in time things will run more smoothly.  I am sure I will have days where we get NOTHING done (not looking forward to that) but we will keep pressing on and moving forward!

First full week of schooling.

This weekend I am going to organize our classroom so we can start our first full week of schooling without feeling overwhelmed.  I am excited about using My Father’s World for our main curriculum.  They have it all planned out and it allows you to teach multiple aged kids at the same time!  Also from MFW, we are using Spelling Power.  For math I decided on Teaching Textbooks because I am not a math savvy person.  I also decided to use Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for Language Arts.  The homeschool group we joined has a plethora of great programs but one that stood out to us was the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.  We used the first day of STEM, which meets for over 3 hours, as our first day of school!  Luckily, our first full week will only have volleyball and CC PE for extra activities.  But in September everything starts up.  Dance two days a week, volleyball with games and practices, MOPS homeschool activities, AWANA on Wednesdays, STEM on Thursdays,  and CC PE on Fridays.  This should be interesting.  Crazily, I scheduled too many things for the afternoons but with doing that, I think it will keep us on the ball to get our work done so we don’t have to do it later in the afternoon!

I know this all seems like first timers syndrome, so much out there to do seeing as we are not tied down to the public school schedule and I am sure some of you are yelling at me through my computer telling me how crazy I am for planning so much our first year of homeschooling.  But that is me, I jump in before looking. Sometimes it end up be OH SO BAD and other times it was the best decision I could of made.  So with a little guidance from the Good Lord above we will have a great first year of school!  This is an exciting journey and I can only pray to God that He has chosen this path for us for a reason and that we (all of us) will survive! 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for taking time to read about our journey into homeschooling.  Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family!  Also, I would love to learn from you and how you homeschool.  Please leave a comment below.  Have a Blessed Day!