DSST Exams- Earn College Credit at a Fraction of the Cost

this is a sponsored post

A few months back, I shared with you a great resource to help prepare a student for the CLEP test. Study.com provides a valuable resource to help your student earn college-credit at a fraction of the cost! Now, I am pleased to inform you about yet another resource available from Study.com!

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DSST Exams and Preparation

A personalized plan is now available from Study.com for students taking the DSST. With videos from experts, practice quizzes, and a personalized study plan, you can choose Study.com with confidence, along with over 30 other million students and teachers.

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With our large selection of DSST study guides, covering subjects from Astronomy to World Religion, Study.com has what it takes to help you do your very best! Our expertly-developed study guides provide you with all the content and the tools you need to succeed, including a comprehensive prep course that covers everything you need to know to pass the test. But don’t worry about having to grind through miles of dry reading and lectures; our courses are jam-packed with video lessons that are fast, fun and fully transcribed, whether you prefer to read along as you learn, or if you need to refer to the lesson text later on! To help keep you on the right track, each lesson comes with its own self-assessed mini-quiz for feedback on your progress every step of the way, while cumulative chapter tests offer an additional step of preparedness. And because our DSST courses are specially written to adhere to DSST standards, you can be sure that you’re always going over material that you’ll actually encounter on the test.”

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Biblical and Affordable Alternatives to Healthcare

Affordable and Biblical Healthcare

Samaritan Ministries

With the rising cost of healthcare these days, many of us are looking for more affordable alternatives. Premiums are doubling for countless families, out of pockets costs are higher than ever, and the endless paperwork is frustrating.This is why we are so thankful that a few years ago, we made the switch from traditional healthcare to a Christian healthcare sharing program.

There are three main healthcare sharing programs that I know of: MediShare, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Samaritan Ministries. I am going to tell you about our experience with Samaritan Ministries so that if you are seeking an insurance alternative, perhaps our experience can help you in your choice.

First I will say, hands down, without a doubt, switching to a Christian healthcare sharing program was a decision we don’t regret and, in fact, we are incredibly grateful that we made. So whichever company you choose, I am definitely in agreement that a Christian healthcare sharing program is a good choice.

We chose Samaritan Ministries a few years back when my husband decided to become self-employed. Traditional insurance was just too expensive for our family at the time, especially with the uncertainty of beginning a new chapter in our lives of self-employment. I had heard so many positive things about SM and not one negative experience, so we ultimately chose them. Between the three major groups out there, SM seemed most affordable for our family.

What is Christian Healthcare Sharing?

Christian healthcare sharing programs have been around for many years, but I think they are becoming much more widely used these days, especially with the state of insurance at present. These ministries are based on Christians sharing each other’s needs.

Samaritan Ministries states:

Health care sharing is an arrangement whereby Christians share, to assist one another with medical expenses through voluntary giving. We are not licensed or registered by any insurance board or department since we are not practicing the business of insurance. We do not assess applicants’ health risks, because neither the ministry nor the members are assuming financial liability for any other member’s risk. Unlike insurance, the focus of Samaritan Ministries’ need sharing is not on what you might receive financially if you have a need, but on how you can help others with the needs they have right now (Acts 20:35). 

Samaritan Ministries emphasizes certain Biblical principles that we believe are basic to the life of every believer and thus are foundational to the effective function of our health care sharing ministry:

  • Jesus Christ is the only adequate Provider for every need we have. He is the One Who created everything, and He is the only One Who has enough resources to meet every need. No human organization is large enough to do this—no company and no government. He gives some of His provision through human channels, but He is ultimately the only One we can trust.
  • A medical need (or any other need) involves more than money. The physical world is not all there is. Human beings are more than a collection of cells. We are made in the image of God and have needs that go beyond our physical bodies. When we have a medical need, there is more involved than money or mere physical healing. Samaritan members pray for one another for all aspects of members’ needs, and we hear daily from members with needs telling how God has answered these prayers.
  • Believers in Jesus Christ are responsible to first use the resources He has given us to meet the needs of ourselves and our families. When a need occurs that exceeds what He has provided, other members of the Body of Christ should show His love by using the resources God has given them to help in the same way they would want to be helped.
  • The local church should be the next “line of defense” to provide for the needs of its own members. SMI is intended to support and supplement this work of the local body, not replace it. We seek to avoid undermining what should be done locally. We also depend on the leaders of the local church to provide accountability for the SMI members under their care.
  • God created man as His image bearer and the crown of His creation. Right worship of God requires respecting His image in all people for all of life, including health care. The Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder,” requires the preservation of human life, and the subduing of all passions and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices which tend to the unjust taking of life. We must live according to Biblical ethics in all aspects of health care.
    (www.samaritansministries.com)

So, at the very core, we using a biblically-based program makes sense for us. We know our money is going directly to brother or sister in Christ that is in need. We are not paying the insurance companies monies that will possibly be used for things we do not agree with. Our money goes directly into the hands of the body of Christ.

How Samaritan Ministries Has Worked For Our Family

Since joining SM a few years back, we have had two major needs published. Both needs were met easily and the process was simple. We submitted the appropriate paperwork to SM and within 1-2 months, we received member’s shares directly to our home. There is something about receiving a handwritten note and a card from a member with their gift that is truly a blessing. Certainly quite different from our previous experiences with healthcare. Knowing that our family was being prayed for was priceless as well.

How We Handle Preventative Care

Since SM does not include preventative care, initially I was concerned with the costs of well-visits, immunizations, etc. for our family. However, when we did the math and realized how much we were saving on premiums, out-of-pocket costs, etc. we still came out ahead. It was easy to put the money we would be paying for those things toward well-care. Most practitioners will automatically give us a discount for paying cash as a self-pay patient. I did run into trouble with our pediatrician’s office at the beginning, who did not understand the self-pay model at all, however, that just prompted us to find a new doctor. I am thrilled we did! We actually found a faith-based family medical center that does not accept traditional insurance! They are a direct care model and it is wonderful. Truly a Godsend! They spend so much time with you, never under an hour, and treat you as a whole person, not just an insurance number. Since they do not work with insurance companies they can spend the time with you that they want, and their goal is to actually keep you from visiting so much! They aim to keep you healthy.

The direct care model works by having us pay a monthly membership fee to the doctor’s office and then all of our appointments during the month are included, plus blood draws and other procedures. It is an AMAZING model and we are thrilled to have one in our area. Plus, they are faith-based which is even better!

For times when we have had to run to a doctor off-hours (urgent care) or even an ER visit, we always receive a discount for paying cash. Often it can be 75-90% It blows my mind why anyone would have health insurance when you can save so much more with a Christian healthcare sharing plan, plus knowing that our money is only ever used in ways that agree with our ethics and morals is so important.

If you would like to know more visit:

Samaritan Ministries

 

 

If you choose Samaritan Ministries, my family would GREATLY appreciate you putting down in your membership form that The DeBeus family referred you. We can earn referral credits for our future needs! Thank you so much!

Email me anytime with questions, or comment below! I’d be happy to help your family make the switch from traditional insurance to a biblical alternative.

 

 

Homeschool Plans 2016-2017

Planning our homeschool year

Homeschool Planning

I am just getting everything together now for our new school year, which will start in September. We are going to have a 10th, 8th, 6th, and 2nd-grader. I can not get over the fact that I only have one elementary student left! (waaaah!) 😉

I will be sharing as I plan, and I have actually begun using Facebook LIVE to show you what I am doing live and in person. You can see the first few videos below:

Here is what we have so far: (please note we study the Bible as a family every day and are reading through the entire Bible. You can read about that here.)

10th grade

We are using Sonlight, somewhat 😉 I have the Instructor Guide for Core 300 and will use it for Bible (some of it…we study Bible together, but some of the books I like added in) History, and Literature/Language Arts.

Math- Math U See Geometry

Apologia Chemistry

Spanish II- Duo Lingo

Fine Arts- Drama, Cello, Orchestra, Choir, Dance- all at our local homeschool fine arts program

SAT Prep- working through SAT Prep for the Christian Student

PE/Health- Basketball and other activity

Latin- unsure of the resource yet

 

8th Grade

History- I am making a list of books to read aloud that take place throughout different countries. I want to learn about various countries this year as I incorporate history and geography for the boys. We are also going to do Eat Your Way Around the World for fun.

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Science- Apologia General Science

Math- Math U See Algebra

Computers- Graphic Design and Claymation at local homeschool program, PLUS this boy is already working on his own at home on various programs and actually interns for my husband’s business. He is a graphic design whiz! 😉

Language Arts- Queen Publishing Language Lessons book… PLUS a book list for reading literature that I still need to make

Journal Writing every day

 

Language Lessons homeschool

6th Grade

History (same as above for 8th)

Science- Exploring Creation with Astronomy from Apologia

Language Lessons for Elementary  Student

Explode the Code 5

Explode the Code

Handwriting Without Tears Cursive for extra practice

Math U See Zeta (Decimals and Percents)

Journal Writing every day

 

2nd Grade

Explode the Code Book 3

Handwriting Without Tears

Language Lessons for Elementary Students

Reading LOTS of easy readers and hopefully progressing in levels this year

Journal writing every day

Math U See Beta

Exploring Creation with Astronomy

History/Geography with the boys (see above)

 

I will share my book lists when those are complete. That is really my next step in finaliazing all of these plans.

Share your plans below!

I would love to read about them and exchange ideas!

We also do lots of real life learning here on our little hobby farm. There’s chicken and duck care, coops that always need cleaning and fixing, gardens to tend, things to fix, etc.

 

**UPDATE: I have added the following book lists as of 8.17 but am still looking for more! I am also planning on adding 1 report/project for each child per semester.

8th Grader:

Chuck Black;s Kingdom Dawn Series

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Great Brain series

6th Grader:

From the Mixed-Up Files of  Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

The Great Brain series

Farmer Boy

 

2nd Grader:

Easy Readers- we will take a trip to the library to pick out some favorites.

We will also be reading these together that we have loved with our olders:

Listen Buddy

The Little House

Katy and the Big Snow

 

 

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Our Schedule: Simple, Efficient, and Fun Extras!

What is a Typical Homeschool Day?

Daily Homeschool Schedule

With a new high schooler, 7th grader, 5th grader, and 1st grader this year, I have vowed to keep things simple and efficient. We have always followed a pretty loose routine over the years, and I generally find that when we fall somewhere in the middle of no routine and strict routine we work best. There were the years I scheduled every 15 minutes (for really young ones, mind you!) and it backfired. There were the years I didn’t have much of a schedule. Yet, I always go back to the middle road is best. We need a framework to maintain order and have predictability and stability. Yet, we are open to life getting in the way and teaching us things that are not in the lesson plan book!

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So here is our (loose) plan for the year, knowing that it can change at any moment. Also, please not that this is a typical day at home. One day a week we spend entirely out of the house at a local fine arts program for homeschoolers. Some days, my daughter works her part time job and that means driving her and waiting for her a few hours with my boys, so we will do errands, etc. Yet for the days without commitments outside of the house (and I really try to limit those), I am outlining our day here.

(and please note, what works for our family may not work for your family. Seek God is planning your schedule!)

Everyone wakes up around 7am (Daddy is up much earlier than all of us—4 or 5 am. I usually slowly rise around 6, and pray and spend time with the Lord before anything.) The kids get dressed (except for the occasional “pajama day”) and eat breakfast, etc. They are expected to have beds made and Bibles read before coming downstairs. I also begin working on my writing at this time. I work up until school time begins.

9:00 am Bible: This is family time. This year, we are working through the book of Joshua together. I usually read ahead and plan which passage will we read up to and make any notes from the commentary that I want to go over with the kids. I also will incorporate any geography and history that is in there, and any other noteworthy findings. The kids each have a Bible notebook where they can jot down what we are learning, and the littlest guy can draw while we are reading together.

After our Bible time, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on our discussion, everyone starts their individual work. This is math, language arts, etc. I work with my first grader first, because he needs me the most and he needs me to teach the most. While doing this, the others have their assignments and can begin independently. The rule is that no one can interrupt someone else’s time with mom. They are to work independently until it is their turn. Knowing they will have a turn, eliminates the constant interruptions that used to happen every time I was working with one child.

(note- the high schooler has all of her assignments for the week and works through them at her own pace. She is learning time management skills this way and independently working and learning- yet, she is free to sit in with the younger kids whenever she would like, “just for fun.”)

We work through individual work until lunch time and everyone eats together. I may even assign the kids their own days to be “in charge” of making lunch this year. I think this would be a good way to give responsibility to the older kids, and the oldest three are capable of preparing lunch.

During lunch, it is also my time to catch up on emails, throw in the laundry, clean up around the house, check my blogs, etc. This is a detail that is important because I don’t have the need to multitask these things during school time because I know I will have this time later. This break allows me to focus on non-school things and not try to do them during school time.

 

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After lunch, my high schooler continues with her work, while I do history with the younger three children. We are studying American History and this is basically many read alouds right now. Lots of good historical fiction and some other history books thrown in. I also will do science at this time with my younger two boys.

Everyone finishes up any loose ends during the afternoon and then everyone is free to go outside, or explore interests. My oldest boy is teaching himself 3D animation on the computer, using my husband’s work programs. He amazes me! He may also be found doing robotics, drawing, building something, etc.

My daughter is also working on her photography and getting up her own business site. One of our long-term goals for our children is to have entrepreneurial skills and be able to know how to own their own business someday if that is where the Lord leads. Since our family has been so blessed by owning a family business and both of us being able to work from home, we hope our children can have that option too when they are older. You can hear more about that on our podcast episode (How a Job Loss Blessed Our Family.) Anyway, she loves photography and that is certainly a skill she can use for her own business someday. We feel that right now is the best time to start a business, since she has nothing to lose and is still living at home, etc.!

We usually eat dinner around 5:30 and until it gets dark out too early, you will find us outside most evenings. Usually around 8pm, we always, always watch a show together as a family before bed. This may seem like a silly part of our routine, but honestly, it is such an important part of us because it is something we all look forward to together. We enjoy being together and we enjoy the tradition of watching something together before bed. We’re not running around in all directions- we are together. Since we don’t have cable, we find a series on DVD, Netflix, Hulu etc. Over the years, we’ve gone through the Little House on the Prairie series, Andy Griffith, Brady Bunch, Myth Busters, various Food TV shows, Shark Tank, etc. We really do enjoy our time, and usually we enjoy it with some ice cream or other treats 😉  Giving kids these kinds of traditions and stability matter to us.

Bedtime is by 9pm and we pray together and then off to bed before another day begins. As the kids have gotten older, most days are not nearly as hectic as the younger years, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Sticking to a framework for our day, that isn’t too loose or too tight, though has been a very important part to keeping things going smoothly. I find the simplest routines, with a level of predictability are just right for us.

And don’t get me wrong, some days the books are on hold because the attitudes need adjusting and the hearts need tending. Some days these are the things God is dealing with in me too! Some days I am tired, the kids are cranky, the groceries have run out and we are all a mess. Those are the days it is even more necessary that we have some kind of framework to return to the next day and continue on…

 

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool– NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon.com!

Join me as we create a community, of moms being REAL!

Real_homeschool copy copy

Join the Movement– Share with your friends, build community, and live #real.

#Real Homeschool

Share in your community what a real homeschool looks like. Let’s build a community, together, and be real.

 

You can also grab my other books on Amazon!


 

The Perfect Learning Space- Real Homeschool Series

The Perfect Learning Space

The Perfect Learning Space

 

So many times over my homeschooling years, I focused on creating our learning space- the homeschool room. It was hard not to focus on it because I would see all these pictures floating around cyberspace of beautiful rooms that screamed success! 

The rooms matched and were warm and inviting. I assumed kids must be doing lots of learning in those rooms! They were perfect.

Over the years, I have come to realize, while a beautiful room is certainly a blessing, it is not a necessity for learning to take place. 

Life is Our Classroom

Learning has taken place in our home in many different rooms–there has probably been a lesson learned in some way in every room!

Learning has taken place many, many times outdoors. God teaches us so much about Himself through nature, and we revel in the majesty of nature daily, and in each season.

Learning has taken place at friends houses, while in the store, while in the car, and on field trips. Learning has taken place in the doctor’s office, the ER, the bank, and the relator’s office. (yes, moving provides lots of lessons!)

Right now learning is taking place, on our ever expanding mini farm here in our little slice of the world.

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The list is endless…

The Year I Discovered Our Perfect Learning Space

I recently wrote in my new book, Real Homeschool: Letting Go of  the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool about the one year that we learned so much and I learned to prioritize. My husband had been laid off from his job, and we didn’t have the option to buy extras. We didn’t have to option for fancy decor. We didn’t have the option for searching Pinterest to recreate those beautiful pictures.

Our finances were tight and I knew we had to work with the bare minimum. And you know what? Without those distractions, I saw so much more clearly my purpose in all of this.

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My purpose is not to provide the best looking room, with matching decor and neatly lined shelves. My purpose isn’t about searching the internet for more ideas on how to make things look perfect.

My purpose is to raise my children in the Lord, and the circumstances around me or the school room do not define success. Without the distractions of trying to purchase extra “stuff” for our classroom, we had the most simple year, but the most successful. That was the year we used the Bibe as our main textbook as well. It was a fabulous year.

Yup. a fabulous year. When the budget didn’t allow for extras, and we just had the Bible, the library, and each other….we learned. We learned from life (and boy when Daddy is out of work and you are making major life decisions, there are certainly many lessons!).

Remember, the homeschool learning space is life all around you. Even if you have the option to make it beautiful, if you find you are focusing more on how things look, than on how things are going on the inside, take a break.

What we teach our kids matters- and if we are modeling to them our priorities, those are going to be what they will remember. If our priority is teaching His Word, and living a life that honors Him above all, we will be successful in whatever else we teach, fancy homeschool room or not.

It is not where you learn necessarily, but what you learn.

 

To read more, grab my new book Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool!

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This summer let us celebrate simple, spiritually refresh, and unplug even for a bit…refresh, renew, and refocus.

Join me as we encourage each other for simple summer—>Videos and Blog Posts

Make sure to follow along on FacebookInstagram, or sign up for our newsletter!

More ideas on Summer schooling here—>Summer School

 

 

Get My NEW Book!

 

Join me in August!

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

Shop Simply Living for Him——>SHOP

 

 

 

Yellow House Book Rental- The Answer to Buying Homeschool Curriculum

this is a sponsored post- I have been compensated for my time, but that has in no way influenced my opinions. My opinions are completely honest and true about my experience and knowledge of the company.

 

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Save money on homeschool curriculum.

With the school year winding up for us, I am already searching out curriculum for next year. Now is a great time to prepare and beat the rush of the end of summer. Now is also a great time to check out Yellow House Book Rental!

From the site:

Yellow House Book Rental is primarily a homeschool curriculum, book rental service. Although, we offer a variety of services. You can compare each one, at Yellow House Book Rental, and decide which is best for you. We know that curriculum can be very costly. We would like to help you in your homeschooling journey by providing you with several options that may fit your needs and help reduce the cost of curriculum. Choosing the right curriculum is important. We want to be here to help you with the process. Our mission is to serve the Lord through serving you!

Don’t waste money on curriculum you don’t like.

There are so many options to choose from.

You can buy used books, new books, rent books, or rent books to own. I just love the choices they offer:

1. Rent, use, return
*****
2. Rent-to-Own. If you liked what you rented, let us know
You may choose to purchase the books, minus the rental fee.
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3. Purchase your books
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4. Buy from our used curriculum market
and/or
5. Buy from us and sell it back.

6. Download your curriculum instantly
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Chance to save more

Receive 10% credit of your referrals orders
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How many times have you bought a certain curriculum, only to find out half way through the year that it isn’t a good fit?

Yellow House Book Rental makes it possible to avoid the mistake of using curriculum and then not being satisfied. They have the answer for you!  You can rent to buy and then you are not committed to the books if they don’t work out. I think that is such a valuable resource for the homeschooling family!

I have personally bought books from Yellow House Book Rental and had a wonderful experience. They are a family business, and the company is owned by a homeschooling family. Most importantly, they are a Christian company as their mission statement says they look to serve the Lord through serving the homeschooling community. I love that.

I highly recommend giving Yellow House Book Rental a try. It is truly the answer to so many curriculum worries- you don’t have to worry about what to do if the books don’t work for you! I was able to purchase our brand new Exploring Creation with Physics and Chemistry (Apologia) last year, and was satisfied completely with my purchase. I really enjoyed knowing that I could sell it back though if I wasn’t satisfied.

Make wise choices usingYellow House Book Rental! Give it a try today.

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing the Perfect Homeschool Curriculum

How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

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I spent many of our early years in our homeschool searching for the BEST curriculum or the best method of homeschooling. When those catalogs arrived in the mail, I was like a kid in a candy store! I’d pore over them for hours, dog-earing the pages, highlighting my favorites, and making my wishlist.

I’d spend even more time on the internet, comparing all of the best products out there, reading all of the reviews, and “shopping” endlessly for items, without hitting “purchase.” I would put items in the cart, remove them, and go through this seemingly endless cycle of searching for the be-all-end-all.

I have learned over the years, the perfect homeschool curriculum is the one that works for you. Once you find something that is working, STICK with it. Do not even look for anything else! It may take a few tries in the early years of homeschooling to find what is a good fit for each child, but once you do…do not, I repeat DO NOT, look elsewhere.

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We have used much of the same things for years, and for those subjects, I do not even entertain the idea of using something else. Because the truth is, there is always something better out there. All of the curriculum these days is wonderful, and if we are in the pursuit of the “perfect” one, we will never move forward.

We’ve had years where we have switched things up and have tweaked our methods a bit. For instance the year we used the Bible as our main textbook, we used practically no formal curriculum! And it was a great year at that. Read more about it here.

Then there have been years where I have had to let our more casual methods get a bit more formal as the children grew older. So while the needs change and the situations change, change with them, but do not let the pursuit of the best hinder you.

Curriculum shopping can be overwhelming. As I always say, think back to those pioneer homeschoolers of 30 years ago- they probably had access to ONE curriculum…and they succeeded. Don’t limit God. He will work no matter what you end  up choosing if you are putting HIM first in all. Seek Him and pray over your choice and trust Him to lead you in His perfect plan.

Those pioneer homeschoolers succeeded with a vision and a strong reliance on God, and because of them, we are here today. God worked immeasurably more than anyone could have imagined, through them…and their one curriculum.

 

Back to School Encouragement coming in August!

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Get My NEW Book!

 

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

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How We Homeschool Multiple Ages

How We Homeschool Multiple Ages

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

So many people ask me how we homeschool with four different age levels. This year I have an 8th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader, and kindergartner. Over the years we have always managed to homeschool different levels quite easily. In fact, I usually tell people, “I only have to homeschool FOUR children…in school the teacher is responsible for 20+ students!” 😉

Homeschooling multiple ages isn’t a new concept. Since before the modern day public school, there were moms who taught their children at home or sent them to a one-room school house. It is actually a quite natural way to learn, and if we look at it with our traditional public schooling perspective taken out the equation, we can see why.

Combining Subjects

The easiest way to make homeschooling with multiple ages work is to combine as many subjects as you can together. For years, all of my children have done science, history, nature studies, art studies, read alouds, and geography together. We read a ton of living books(for most subjects) and I choose a wide variety of levels. It always amazes me how much the younger ones retain and learn. I also realize that my older ones never feel too “old” for a picture book! 

For science, we have always used a curriculum that is designed for multiple ages. I give assignments on what we are learning based on each level, but the “meat” of the lessons are all done together.

As my children are growing, I have had to let my oldest do more independent work. She does, however, miss working with her siblings!

The Mentoring Model

My children have always worked together in many subjects and it is a great way for relationship building. The older ones can help the younger ones, and the younger ones can learn from the older ones. It is a way to learn to work with others and not just people the same age as us. 

As my older children grew older, they became able to help with much of the school work, and not necessarily because it lightened my load (although that is a perk!) but because they were learning to mentor others and how to help and teach younger ones. 

The little ones are learning so much from big brother and big sister. They are also fostering a relationship that definitely comes from living a homeschooling lifestyle. I see my little guy look up to his big brother so much- he adores him. It’s his best bro. 😉 I love the relationships that have been formed because they work together every day in some capacity.

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Dividing Up Mom’s Time

One of the lessons I learned early on in our journey was how to divide my time appropriately. After our “together” work was complete, the children would work on individual work. Each child had work for their level in math and language arts. In the beginning, I would have everyone work on math at the same time, as I tried to go back and forth between everyone trying to help. 

Big Fail.

It was distracting for me and for them. Until one day, I set the new format that we have used ever since.

I work with the very youngest first on individual work and then I work my way up to  the oldest. The key is though, that each child gets individual time with me.  The youngest child will always need me most because there is much more “teaching” involved, especially if they are not yet a reader, so they would go first. While I work with that child, the older ones begin their work. They are to do as much as they can without me. If they finish and it isn’t their turn to work with me yet, the rule is to wait quietly…they can find something fun to do or color, read, etc. But they must NOT interrupt me. 

When they know that they will get a turn, the desire to interrupt me goes away. They each can expect alone time with mommy so they don’t all feel like they have to fight for it. This has really made all the difference for many years. I am not trying to juggle each child at the same time. I generally spend anywhere from 20-40 minutes with each child individually.

It’s Not Always Roses

Is it always perfect? No. Like anything, there are definite struggles. Kids fight. Sometimes a child struggles and needs me more than usual, meaning I have to juggle times. Yet, I think homeschooling multiple grades can be doable and efficient. I wouldn’t have it any other way! The benefits of this lifestyle certainly have outweighed any of the cons.

Do you homeschool multiple ages? How do you make it work?

 

Read more about our homeschool life in my ebooks:

Real Homeschool is available on Amazon.com NOW!

Kindle and Paperback!

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