memory master buttonIt’s time for Memory Master preparation!  Moms are drilling. Kids are reciting. Dads are encouraging.   This year Foundation students will recite 500 pieces of information they learned during Cycle 2.  According to Classical Conversation’s Foundations Guide, that’s 24 science facts, 24 history facts from the medieval period to the World Wars, all 44 (soon to be 45) presidents in chronological order, 161 historical events from Creation to modern times, Latin, English grammar and math facts! Shew!  How does a Classical Conversations’ family of one child prepare for the Memory Master’s Challenge?  The same as a family with multiples on a smaller scale.

In the Beginning:

We begin preparing for Memory Master starting with Week 1 by reciting  the week’s memory work four out of five weekdays, and allowing one day for our community.  Each week’s memory work is added so that by week 24 all memory work is reviewed daily. In addition to weekly memory work, the timeline song and the President’s song are also reviewed.

Week 12/13:

During Christmas Break (week 12/13)  we begin listening to all 24 weeks memory work, becoming familiar with the information to make retention easier.  Fridays are reserved to prepare for the Memory Challenge.  KJ orally recites all up to date memory work to ensure he knows it.  This method also helps identify what he needs to work on, and condition him for the big day, which can be exhausting.

Make it Fun:

Let’s face it, reciting memory work can be dull!  Make it fun by playing games.  One simple game to play is beat the parent (usually mom).  One parent (dad) randomly selects a piece of memory work to ask each person.  When the player is correct, he receives an M&M or penny.  Whoever has the most wins.  Kids enjoy winning any game against their parents and it builds confidence!

Here are some other cool games by CC Blogger Moms that your kid is sure to enjoy:

  • Lego Games by Stacie at Homeschooling on a Dime.  If your kid loves Legos then this game will be a hit! It’s easy to play, just roll a die, move a space, and add or subtract bricks to build a tower.
  • Jenga by Nicole at Living Out His Love.  Jenga is one of our favorite games, so this will be great for review.  I like how Nicole designed this game to use with every cycle.

Tips:

To prepare for the Memory Challenge, I copy  the Memory Master and Homework Guide for Cycle 2 including the Maps which I then laminate.   Using the laminated maps, KJ traces and labels all current geography. During Friday’s review time, I use  the  Memory Master Subject Guide to keep a tally of how well he is doing.  I don’t use the Proof Sheet at this point because it’s designed for use during final proofing.  However, it is helpful as a guide for drilling.

To manage all the Memory Master material, place it in a binder in order of the Proof Sheet with the Proof Sheet being first.  I recommend placing the Memory Masters’ Tips in the binder as well for easy access.

Another tip, which most CC moms already know, is to listen to the audio CDs while traveling!  As moms, we spend a lot of time running errands and shuttling kids.  Why not incorporate “car schooling” into our busy days?

Finally, the Memory Master Challenge is intense for both  kids and parents.  There are four stages of proofing each child must pass.  Encourage your child through each stage and praise him for a job well done.  It is truly an accomplishment no matter the outcome.

Have fun with your Memory Master Preparation.

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Homeschooling an only child

Are you teaching an Only? You’re not alone! When we returned to our homeschool community, I was surprised by the increased number of families with only one child.  Being accustom to large homeschool families, I am happy there are more of us “onlys” to support each other.  Like the mothers of many, mothers of only children have our own special challenges with teaching, curriculum, and administrative duties to name a few.

Teaching an Only:

Teaching an Only has its pros and cons.  The child has the undivided attention of mom (or dad) which means more time can be spent on the his favorite subject or the subject he struggles with the most.  However, having an Only means you are the teacher and playmate.  Any games that are played during school hours will be played with the parent which can be a pro or a con.

Curriculum for an Only:

Curriculum for an Only is not a challenge since most curriculum is designed for the use of one child.  Printing worksheets for one child is less expensive than printing for multiple children.  Some subjects may have group projects, which becomes a challenge when there is only one.  I improvise by either being KJ’s partner or skipping it entirely.

Administrative Duties for an Only:

There are administrative duties involved with homeschooling whether we like it or not.  Some states have minimum requirements for homeschoolers, while others require more.  In my home state, we are only required to provide a Letter of Intent to the local school board.  No matter what your state’s homeschool laws are, it is wise to keep detailed records. Maintain a list of curriculum used, books read, field trips, attendance, grades, and copies of any worksheets/tests and written compositions. Should there be any question related to your child’s education you will be prepared.

Attendance records and gradebooks are designed for multiples for use in a traditional classroom setting making them impractical for the homeschool of one.  Because I have not found a gradebook for one child,  I created one – complete with space to list curriculum, related field trips, and notes.  I can print one for each subject, and keep up with resources used. Everything in one place for each subject. Keeping up with the administrative duties daily or weekly will reduce the end-of-the-year scramble. Get your specially designed gradebook here.

Homeschooling an only child is not without its challenges, but it can be done and done well.  I improvise when necessary, attend field trips that are relevant to our school, and utilize our local libraries, including special events/classes to enhance KJ’s education.

If you believe you are called to homeschool your only child, but are hesitant, know that you are not alone- the Only Community is on the rise.

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Posted in Education, Homeschooling/Education | Tagged , | Comments Off on Teaching an Only? You’re Not Alone.

Fall Cleaning for ChristmasEveryone knows about Spring cleaning  after a long winter, but what about Fall cleaning to prepare for winter. My house is usually worse following the warm season than the cold. We keep the windows open as much as the weather will permit, which allows for dust and pollen to blow in landing where it may. Oh, let us not forget the baseball dirt that wanders in on cleatless socks making its residence in the laundry room – yuck!

Cleaning is a challenge when you are a working mom, a homeschooling mom, or a working-homeschooling-mom. Sadly, its a necessity that must be done.  Fall cleaning makes Christmas preparation easier because all the extras are finished.  There are several ways to approach Fall cleaning.  By zone, by room, or by small project.  What can be accomplished depends on individual style and time.  Here are three tips to get started.

BY ZONE:

A “zone” can be several areas/tasks combined together that can be completed in a day.  For example, place all bedroom window treatments in the dryer to remove any dust.  Other examples include cleaning all the blinds in the kitchen, or  all the windows upstairs or downstairs.

BY ROOM:

This is self-explanatory – pick a room and go for it.  Always start at the top cleaning your way down.  If you washed the walls in the Spring, spot cleaning may only be necessary.  Use a Swifter, microfiber pad, or the vacuum to clean any dust hanging around on the walls.  Next, move to the baseboards, then the floors, shampooing any carpet.  Remember under and behind furniture!

BY SMALL PROJECT:

This is as simple as determining how much time you have to do one small task.  For example, clean out one drawer; purge and organize; or clean under one bathroom sink.  Reserve these for  days when time is limited.

Fall cleaning should not be overwhelming, but beneficial.  When winter comes, all the doors and windows will be closed, trapping all our “dirty” secrets inside causing problems for those with allergies.   Eliminating as much as possible now, will make for a healthy and  Christmas-ready home!

To get started, download my Great Fall Cleanup Plan that guides you through from top to bottom for a winter ready home by Christmas. Choose either by Zone or Room. Remember to get the family involved! 

Happy Fall Cleaning y’all!

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I quit my job because of the economy

I did it.  I quit my job!  I’ve grown weary of being a victim of an unstable economy. The layoffs, pay cuts,  job eliminations, the uncertainty.  My family has been negatively affected by the state of the economy over the last several years.  I work in an industry that usually is not deeply affected by the economy.  But this is bad, we all know it.

In the Summer, I sat in my cube for several months hearing idle chatter about cutbacks, and possible layoffs.  I had that sinking feeling as I thought “here we go again”.  I saw the train coming, both losing and gaining momentum – will I be hit or not – yes, no, yes, no, yes, no…. You get the idea.  What do we do?   There is not a good answer.

After several weeks of discussing what to do, we decided that we did not have a good choice.  I could stay in my current position to be hit by the train that we know is coming, or be proactive and quit.   I gave my two-week notice on a Friday afternoon. (A professional courtesy that is still necessary.)  I turned off my computer and walked out the door, feeling both relieved and scared. Now what?

I’m starting my own business working from home.   I know it can be done as so many have gone before me and proved it can be done. With this life changing decision, will come changes to my blog and way of life.

  Subscribe to follow me on my new life journey.

 

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Posted in @Work | 3 Comments

“Who Moved My Pulpit?”  by Thom Rainer President & CEO of Lifeway is a necessity for leadership of any church facing changes,  whether it is changing from traditional to contemporary music or a new pastor search.

The average church member of a healthy church does not realize how the smaller local churches are struggling not only to grow, but to survive.  Because my husband serves as a relief/interim evangelist for many local churches, I have  seen the sheer devastation left behind because of disagreements, inward fighting, and the new vs. old ways of doing things.  In the eyes of those who remain, there is desperation with a glimmer of hope. These members I call the ruins – the foundation on which to rebuild.

In his latest book, Thom Rainer outlines a step-by-step plan that a Pastor, staff, and church  needs to “gently” introduce change.  Rainer discusses fives type of people a Pastor will face when “change” appears, “The Deniers”, “The Entitled”,  “The Blamers”, “The Critics” and “The Confused”.  He also gives a guide for building a coalition, being  the vision, implementing and consolidating change.

Because of the generosity of Thom Rainer and B&H Publishing, I had the opportunity to give a copy “Who Moved My Pulpit?” to several local churches who are either facing change or struggling with change. Also because of this generosity, I have FIVE copies to giveaway on my blog. Just leave a comment on the blog, Twitter or Facebook for your chance.


(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  B & H Publishing provided copies of this book for review and to giveaway.)

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Posted in Ministry, Missions | 1 Comment

If you or your kiddos are looking for a great read this summer, look no further.  Priscilla Shirer’s  “The Prince Warriors” will keep everyone on the edge of their seats with  intriguing adventures as brothers Xavier and Evan, along with their friends and  unexpected characters, go on an amazing journey!

The Prince Warriors (Prince Warriors Series #1)

Xavier and Evan are just your  average boys with the typical sibling relationship- nothing special about either…. or is there?  One night Xavier and Evan are awoken from sleep and begin an adventure they will not soon forget.  The boys-next-door brothers soon become prince warriors who find themselves in a unknown world called Ahoratos.

After the brothers and their friends are given the protection they need, all are soon sent on a journey to find their individual paths by following instructions provided by their armor. Each one must follow the instructions carefully to find their way safely through this strange and adventurous world known as Ahoratos. Danger lurks in beautiful forms of deceit making the journey more difficult.  Things are not what they seem in this world called Ahoratos.  Will all the kids make it back safely?

The story is based on Ephesians 6:10-18 and interweaves biblical truths into this adventurous story.  Within the instructions given to the prince warriors, there are elements of salvation and the Word of God.

The Prince Warriors is the best new christian children series since C. S. Lewis’ Adventures of Narnia. Visit the website with your  kids to learn more about the adventures and download an App.  The next book,  Unseen Invasion, will be available in October 2016.  Priscilla Shirer has also written a corresponding devotion, Unseen: The Prince Warriors 365 Devotional.

I truly enjoyed The Prince Warriors and recommend it for kids ages 9 and up.  I look forward to the next book, Unseen Invasion.

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Posted in Book Review, We Read | Comments Off on The Prince Warriors (Book Review)

May is Mother's Day Giveaway

Welcome to the last Mother’s Day giveaway and congratulations to Emily, the winner of Encouraging Thoughts for Women.

Drum roll please! I saved the best for last, the Devotional for Women written by Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Dorothy Kelley Patterson.  B & H Publishing provided a courtesy copy to me for my honest review.

The Devotional for Women

This devotional looks like a pocket bible so you can take it anywhere, keep it your handbag, in the car, or tucked beside the bed. There is a place to write your “personal reflection” at the end of each devotion.  There is also a reading plan in the back that aligns with the order of the devotions.  However, the daily devos are not dated so you can read it any in order you wish.   This is a good devotional for anyone who does not necessary enjoy devotionals.  It will make a great addition to your library. Enter to win by leaving a comment on my blog or Facebook and/or re-tweeting.

Many Blessing!

Posted in Encouragement | Comments Off on Winner and Last Mother’s Day Giveaway

_He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done._

A day of rest.

No blogging.
No Facebook.
No Twitter.
No email.
No Pinterest.

Just…
Peace.
Quiet.
Family.
Naps.

Unplugged Sunday.

Posted in Encouragement | Tagged , | Comments Off on Unplugged Sunday

May is Mother's Day Giveaway

Congratulations to Ashley of CreatingPreciousMoments.blogspot.com for winning Peace for a Woman’s Soul, the first of three devotionals I am giving away in May in honor of Mother’s Day!

Devotional two is Encouraging Thoughts for Women, A Devotional Journal .

This devotional journal is lovely and topic driven. There are devotions for anger, blessings, children, giving, God’s provision, guidance and prayer.  Each devotion is short and has space to write your prayers and insights.   Enter to win this devotional by commenting on this post, commenting on Facebook or retweeting.

Thanks to all you entered the first giveaway.  Please share on your social media!

Good Luck.

 

Posted in Encouragement | Tagged | 4 Comments

May is Mother's Day Giveaway

 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away THREE devotionals during the month of May, one each week for three weeks starting today.  Here we go!

Devotional One:

Peace for a Woman’s Soul
Finding Rest for Your Spirit

This devotional was written by Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll, Thelma Wells, Barbara Johnson and Sheila Walsh and others.

Enter to win by leaving a comment, retweet, or “Like” on Facebook.

Posted in Bible, Encouragement | Tagged | Comments Off on Mother’s Day Book Giveaway (1 of 3)