Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014 and more...

This post may contain affiliate links of products I luv and use. To see my full disclosure go here.


Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

We are excited you are joining us for another link-up, full of posts written specifically to encourage those families homeschooling older students.

Finishing Strong Homeschool Link Up

Hopefully you’ve been learning as much as we have from the amazing posts being shared!

 

Finishing Strong Link Up Tinas Dynamic Homeschool Plus thumb Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

 

Here are our favorites from last week:

Heather from Blog She Wrote loved fellow co-host Heidi’s post on Preparing your High School Student for the PSAT.

PreparingForPSAT 800x600 300x225 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

She said, “Heidi does a thorough job of preparing parents for the world of college testing. As a homeschooling parent of a 10th grader this year, we’ve already gone through one testing period and we are gearing up for another round. I appreciate the information on the breakdown of the tests as well as the timeline and prep tips.”

Heather also suggests checking with your local school system on the PSAT before getting too far. Her school system does not allow 10th graders to take the exam, so it’s best to make sure in May that a test will be set aside for them in the fall. Many schools order the tests in May.

Also, remember that the PSAT is taken during normal school hours while the SAT and ACT are take on weekends.

She also enjoyed Homeschooling High School – A Plethora of Resources from Sweetness and Light

HS HS Plethora of resources 283x300 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Heather loved the way Meredith pulled together many resources for high schooling parents. There are some faith oriented items, along with online partners to help you with high school.

“I enjoy reading about all the ways parents can offer up a unique high school experience for their teens. Thanks for the list!” says Heather.

Do you want to connect with other parents homeschooling older kids? Join our Finishing Strong Community on Google+!

Tina from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus loved To Sow A Seed from Roots and Wings.

P1430267 242x300 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Tina said, “As I reflected on graduating my first son last year, the words written in To Sow a Seed, echoed how true it is that as parents, we face a daunting task in raising our teens.”

“Gaining independence is a gradual process and the time comes soon enough for our teens to take charge of their life. Roots and wings matter.”

She also enjoyed reading Review: The Camp X Series by Eric Walters from Tea Time with Annie Kate.
camp 30 193x300 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014
As a history loving person, Tina was intrigued by this well-researched World War II series for middleschoolers. “I can’t wait to take a look at them,” she said.

 

Follow Me Linky Party Finishing Strong 300x76 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Blog Button Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014 Pinterest Button Group Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014 Google Plus Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Twitter Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014 You Tube Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Follow Group Boards Linky Party Finishing Strong 300x75 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Pinterest Button Link Up 1 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014 Google Plus Group Link Up Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014

Easy Details to Remember & Even Easier Guidelines.

    • The link up party goes live at 5:00 a.m. CST each Wednesday and stays open until the following Tuesday at 11:55 p.m.
    • Each week we will pick our favorite links as features and share them.
    • You can link up to 3 posts. Please do not link up advertising posts, or other link ups, or parties. I will remove them. Homeschool related reviews are permitted and of course all topics related to homeschooling middle to high school students.
    • Grab a button to add to your post after you link up and if you were featured, grab an “I was featured” button.
    • By linking up with us, you agree for us to share your images and give you credit of course.
    • That’s it! Glad to have you here and let’s party!
Finishing Strong Button Featured Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014
Finishing Strong Button Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #7. 04/16/2014


          

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

Curriculum Planner Must-Haves

Whether you choose to call it a curriculum planner or homeschool planner, it is a necessary organizing tool when you homeschool.  Oh sure, I have tried spread sheets, online trackers and all kinds of techie things, but I always come back to plain paper and pencil.

Every since I created my first curriculum planner and stopped trying to be something I am not by using the latest technology or gadget that is out because I thought it would be more “convenient”,  my must-haves for a curriculum planner became very clear.

I have always claimed that there is something about the physical act of writing out our day that helps me to remember where I am going and what we are doing.  I don’t have to wait for something to charge or boot up before I use it and for me my curriculum planner feels real personal when I add pictures of our past field trips and other activities we have been involved in.  It becomes a journal of our journey.

Basics, but Essentials of a Curriculum Planner

So I thought I would share a few of my must-haves because as you can see from the picture below, I kind of poke fun at myself for things that I missed each year.  And too you will notice that I don’t have every year here because it took me a few years to figure some stuff out.

Curriculum Planner Must Haves 1 thumb Curriculum Planner Must Haves

As far as the basics or essentials, here is my list:

  • I need the school year someplace on it.  You will see in picture number 1, I was so impressed that I could do a calendar over a picture that I forget the school year.
  • Talking about calendar, I know that I want multiple calendar years in my curriculum planner AND I also want a place to plan my year.  Those are two very different calendars.  One is for noting dates and the other one gives you room to plan.
  • I need undated pages.  It took me several years to figure that one out.  Did I tell you one year I wrote out EVERY lesson plan for the whole year? It took me months to do and guess what? In the first week of school, the boys got sick and I was behind already. I created stress by dating each page before I got to it.  Talk about tears.  Now, all my planner pages are numbered for organization, but not dated.  In homeschool, we have the flexibility to skip a day or two and then pick back up with our curriculum planner.  I hope you learn from my mistakes.
  • My last basic essential is that I need multiple sections to add to my planner depending on the season of homeschooling that I am in.  I need one that has objectives and one that has more tracking if I want to hold myself more accountable one year and I needed forms for both preschool and high school depending on where I was in my journey.

Curriculum Planner thumb Curriculum Planner Must Haves

But I know too that is not all I want in my curriculum planner.  The other set of must-haves has to do with design.

Once I figured that I wanted the function to stay flexible and for it to not just be a generic blank planner, I focused on the beauty of it.

Look at what I have now in my must-haves for design.

  • I want something unique each year that is NOT one huge download where all the pages are the same.  Where is the fun and creativity in that?   I must have it with a twist each year or eclectic looking so that each year it retains a unique quality.   That is why I create new curriculum planner covers each year.
  • This next one is a biggie for me and that is it has to have color.  If I spend a couple of hundred dollars on curriculum for my kids, I think I can splurge pay a few extra cents and have my curriculum planner in a color that I like looking at each day.
  • Then of course coil binding is the way to go so that it lays completely flat so I can write on it and adding a sturdy front and back cover keeps it durable during the whole year.

Curriculum Planner Organized Copy thumb Curriculum Planner Must Haves

Then of course I always keep a bag of pretties handy when I need them.

Figuring out my list of must-haves didn’t take one year or even just a couple.  It has taken years to fine tune a tool so that it becomes something I cannot possible school without.

You would think some of these things would be just a given that I  would have it in my planner, but it’s easier said than done once you start designing.

I love my pictures of my old planners so I can laugh at myself, but it also reminds me of why I love my planner and more special to me is the fact that I can share what I love with you too.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Curriculum Planner Must Haves

          
Email to a friendArticle SearchView commentsTrack comments

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

Because my husband has still not concluded all of his business, we can’t make plans for moving yet.  So that means I do need to make plans for summer homeschooling.

I have shared before how we enjoy schooling year round.  Last year was the first year in a long time that I followed a more traditional public school schedule, i.e. beginning August and ending Mayish or so because I knew it was Mr. Senior 2013’s last year.

Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler – Really!

Now that its spring and will be summer soon, I have been waffling about what we want to cover in high school for Mr. Awesome.

Making the decision to homeschool year round here in Texas is not hard to do because you don’t want to be outside too much during the heat of the day.

It just makes sense to me to school during the hot summer days and enjoy more relaxed days in spring and fall and we do.

I have two things I know for sure I will tackle with my highschooler this summer.

265 Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

We have signed up for an online writing class with Fortuigence. I really love the fact that Mr. Awesome will receive feedback from somebody else at the high school level.

When my kids were very young, I didn’t want the outside help because I wanted to form and develop their character and study habits.  As they have grown older and especially when they enter the high school years, it is a nice bonus to receive positive feedback from others because it really mimics real life.

Your child receives feedback from others, whether in a college setting or a work environment and it helps them to learn now how to accept that feedback, positive or otherwise.

The second thing I know we are going to scoot along on and focus on is our study of North Star Geography.  Because we are going to work on this through the summer we are going to savor it and plod along on it.

homeschoolhigschoolgeography north star geography updated logo thumb Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

Talking about North Star Geography, the planned release date is closer to May, 2014.

I do have a few more snapshots though of what the highschool level hands-on geography program will look like.

Here is the front cover and

Front Cover Highschool Geography North Star Geography thumb Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

here is the back cover.  They are so smokin’ hot, I love them.

back cover homeschoolhigschoolgeography north star geography updated logo thumb Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

For now, we are still using our notebooks and moving along on it.  I will be sharing more as the boys put the finishing touches on their DIY Atlas Covers.

I plan on starting our next unit study too so no rest for us though I will slow down a bit.

One more thing I wanted to remind you about and that is to remember to scoot by every Wednesday to receive encouragement from the the links posted on our Finishing Strong Link Up for Middle School and High School.

Finishing Strong Link Up Tinas Dynamic Homeschool Plus 1 thumb Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

If you are a blogger and blog about topics for that age range, be sure to link up with me too each Wednesday.  Your post will go on 7 blogs.

What about you? Have you started making plans for the summer yet?

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

Want to read some more.  Look at these posts for year round homeschooling.

What is Year Around Homeschooling? Part 1

What is Year Around Homeschooling? Part 2

Linking up @ these fabulous places:

Finishing Strong Middle & High School Linkup |

This is a blog hop and I am linking up with

LHSHS BlogHopButton 250x250 Homeschooling Through the Summer with My Highschooler

          
Email to a friendArticle SearchView commentsTrack comments

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

Free Academic School Calendar 2014-2015. 2 of 3 {Maybe}

My second choice for a free academic school calendar for your homeschool planner includes orange.  You know how crazy I am over the color and need to have my dose of it anytime of the year.  So I have to throw it in here and there when I get a chance.

Curriculum Pages for Planner

I had this pretty chevron print and knew just want to do with it.

2014 2015 academic calendar orange you glad collage thumb Free Academic School Calendar 2014 2015. 2 of 3 {Maybe}

If you’re new around here, don’t get this form confused with the planning schedule (Form {3a}) that I have too.  The Year Around School Planning Schedule has a bottom section on the page to help you plan and track your schedule.

The form today is just a “calendar” for record keeping purposes and to note dates.   I do try to help you stay organized by creating two forms for two very different purposes.

I can’t imagine just using a plain old calendar for planning your school year because there is not really a place on it to track your week like I have on the Year Around Planning Schedule form.

I gave this calendar a name too.  I know, corny but I have to love my forms too when I share them with you.

Download here 2014-2015 Academic School Year Calendar Orange You Glad

Hope you like it.  Don’t you feel just a wee bit addicted to orange today?

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Free Academic School Calendar 2014 2015. 2 of 3 {Maybe}

Have you missed any of the other forms I have created for this school year? You can grab them below!

          
Email to a friendArticle SearchView commentsTrack comments

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

Day 9. Flow of Our Day with A Unit Study Schedule. 10 Days of Diving Into Unit Studies by Creating a Unit Study Together.

Homeschoolers are anything but typical and that difference is reflected in the flow our day with a unit study schedule.

I cringe when I think about sharing “typical homeschool schedules” only because I don’t want to ever give you the impression that this is the best way for the season of homeschooling that you are in right now.

But having said that, I would rather share with you how my unit study schedule works for my day so that you see how relaxed that it can be.  I have had many schedules, even having to schedule to half-hour increments where needed.  And all of them have worked for the various stages of homeschooling that I have been at in my journey.

So sharing the groove to our unit study day, I am hoping that you see that when planning by “blocks of time” if you can, you have more control over your day.  Freedom with a block of time still gives me boundaries and helps me to plug along in the day, but it also allows me to decide if we need to focus on a previous day’s assignment or work on the next assignment in our unit study.

Unit Study Schedule thumb Day 9. Flow of Our Day with A Unit Study Schedule. 10 Days of Diving Into Unit Studies by Creating a Unit Study Together.

Too, I am an early riser and believe in the value of getting the day started early because I don’t want to waste any time.  No, we don’t have to start schooling right then, but I like having a little bit more time to enjoy quiet mornings.   Believe me, it was not always possible with little ones, but they grow up, trust me.

We start our day early most mornings with school too and I do occasionally begin our day with fun subjects like geography, history and science and especially if we feel a bit of burnout coming.

However, for a majority of our homeschooling years, we begin our morning focused on the 3 Rs.  I have read numerous articles throughout the years and we have experienced the same thing and that is my sons prime time for learning is first in the day.  Tackling tougher subjects first instead of giving left over time to them allows them to not be frustrated on such essential life-long skills.  For most kids tough subjects are usually math and some of language arts like writing.

It is especially important to me to cover math and grammar first because those subjects are harder to cover in a unit study and I don’t want them to suffer.  For the little ones, you will want to focus on phonics first as well.  Too, a fun hands-on project waiting to be done in your unit study is a great motivating factor for you for your kids to finish the skill subjects early.

Relaxing and savoring our moment with our unit study is more satisfying when I know that I don’t have to force a subject to fit. Get it done early and move on to the delight of the unit study.

It has been my experience to not labor subjects like math, grammar and phonics. If they fit in a unit study topic, then fine.  If not, always schedule time for them separately and move on to enjoying your day.

Blocks of time work for us. And I always make sure I have time to give to my youngest son if he is struggling and allow time for them to finish up an assignment that might have taken a little longer to cover.   A block type of schedule allows us longer stretches of time to set up our hands-on materials, work on them and not have to put them away right then for the day.  We can come back later in the day to work on them also.

As you can see from my schedule above, we are either together for out unit study from about 10:00 a.m.ish on or right after we finish our early lunch, which is normally around noon.

I decide each day how we will spend it depending on the previous day’s assignment.

A unit study schedule should have an ebb and flow, but be relaxed and flexible.

Do you think you can create an easy unit study schedule based on the tough subjects that you need to tackle first?

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Day 9. Flow of Our Day with A Unit Study Schedule. 10 Days of Diving Into Unit Studies by Creating a Unit Study Together.

If you missed any other post in this series, you can grab them here!

          
Email to a friendArticle SearchView commentsTrack comments

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

More Recent Articles

Curriculum I Luv & Use

Stalk Me Here too

Check it out! I have a new Google Profile page.

 


Click here to safely unsubscribe from "Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus." Click here to view mailing archives, here to change your preferences, or here to subscribePrivacy