Saturday, February 2, 2013

Superbowl Cupcakes

My daughters and I enjoy making these football cupcakes as our Super Bowl desserts each year.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Getting Started in Homeschooling

Boy, the resources available today for those interested in schooling at home are endless. Back in the early days when I was first starting out, we had a tougher time finding like minded parents. But just as that was a good place to start back then, it remains the best place to start now.

If you are the parents of young ones, preschool age, finding other homeschool families is a good first step.
The amount of encouragement and advice you will get from other families learning at home, is invaluable to making the first big step and deciding to school at home.

If you can find a support group that meets near you, go ahead and join before your kids are school aged. When my oldest was four, I joined our first group. It felt great to be with others who could guide me on what  steps I needed to take legally to homeschool and also good resources for curriculum.

Preschool at home, supplemented with play dates and other activities is simple to achieve. Children learn so much just following you along in your day and helping when they can.

Make learning a part of play, offer some craft time and pick up some workbooks for preschoolers. Right now with a four year old I spend about 15-20 minutes a day on workbook activities and practice in writing and making sure she knows her letters and the beginnings of reading. Literally this is it. If a child is not interested, don't force it. Once my little one looses interest we are done. I have readied all four kids for school this way and they were well prepared. Play that includes pointing out letters and sounds is learning that they are not even aware of.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Subject of Socialization

In all my years of homeschooling, the most often asked question had to be about the girls' socialization.
I never really understood this as unless you kept your kid under a rock, how could they not be getting socialized. But I of course always took care in answering the question.
My girls were always busy. We had a support group, classes, Sunday school, groups we belonged to, sports, clubs. You get the idea.

I felt homeschooling offered a very balanced approach to socialization as they were often with kids and people of all ages, economic status, from other areas and not always the same kids every day. We worked with older folks doing volunteer work and also just felt comfortable spending good old days at home together. They never seemed to develop a restlessness to be on the go which is a good thing.

There are many different ways to keep kids busy and developing social skills. No one way is necessarily better than another. My kids all seemed very independent and not clingy. This is just my experience. Whether this had anything to do with the way we did things, I am not sure, but the results were good. Good old play and wearing a kid out so they don't even want to finish their donut is always a good thing.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Marshmallow Snowman

I enjoy getting to do the crafts with my youngest again. Yesterday we made a cute winter snowman made of marshmallows.

I saw this idea here. Great site by the way so check it out. Anyway, who doesn't have these things lying around right. Partial bag of stale mini marshmallows, glue, black marker and construction paper.

I first drew the snowman in pencil and let Q draw the eyes, mouth, buttons and arms. I then, one at a time covered the circles of the body with glue so she could glue the mallows on one at a time. I told her to stand them up. Great idea for working those fine motor skills.

Yep, she was proud of her marshmallow frosty.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Teach Your Child to Read the Easy Way

If you are new to homeschooling or tying to figure how to teach your child to read the easy way, I am here to tell you it does not have to be expensive. How about less than $15? And does not require a lot of time or a bunch of flash cards and learning materials. It only needs to take on book.

Hands down this is the easiest method I found for teaching my kids to read. I taught all three older girls to read with this book. No flash cards just a simple step by step program with scripted lines for parents. You don't have to hardly think but all my girls worked through this book and became excellent readers.

Early or late readers this book works either way. I taught two of the girls starting at five and one begged to learn early and was reading by four. I worked at the time and did not have time or energy for programs with lots of parts or cards or steps. Every day we could get to it, we would do one more lesson. It taught from a phonics based approach with some writing practices to be done when the lesson was completed.

I actually loaned out the book years ago and it was not returned to me so I am ordering this again to teach my youngest who is four. If she is ready we will start. Kids all learn to read at different stages.

*UPDATE..I have used this book now on as needed for 20 years. My oldest is now a RN and my second is an engineer. So don't make reading complicated especially for the struggling reader. My youngest is now 7 and we are just finishing up the book. We took it slow and I know she will be fine. Along with trips to the library and reading aloud to me, this book has taught her to read. The short lessons make it less of a struggle with a reluctant reader.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome and My Story

Welcome to Sunny Simple Homeschool. I have been blogging for a few years over at Sunny Simple Life and love it but decided to start another blog specific to homeschooling. I have been a homeschool mom for 18 years. I have four children 22, 18, 15 and four. My oldest have since gone on to college and one has graduated. My third child is in high school and next year I will officially begin again with my youngest.

I have run the gamut of curriculum, been a maverick and always compiled my own course work and filed all my own affidavits with the state. For most of the older girls lives, I also worked though now I am a stay at home mom. I thought I could share our journey and what I have learned along the way.

When we began homeschooling I knew no one who also homeschooled. It was frowned upon and looked down on by many in my family and lots of our friends. These days it is so much more accepted as the kids that have grown up and graduated have proved this is a viable and wonderful way to educate children.

So I will share my new journey at 45, starting over again and what I will do differently but also will share what I have learned bringing older kids up all the way through graduation and onto college. I have learned a lot over the years but I have never ever been sorry we did it this way. This is a wonderful way of life and that is exactly what it is.

Feel free to leave me comments and questions if you have anything specific you would like me to address. I know when I first began, the older moms in the group were a life line and constant reassurance. Thanks for stopping in and so begins a new journey for me.

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