Friday, June 13, 2014

Homeschool lesson plans!

Ugh! These have been hard to come up with and sometimes I feel like just having one or two under my belt makes the whole process easier. I don't know if these will actually make the cut and I'm sure over time that they will get a lot better I'm sure. Lately I've been using templates from a new site but these are just from the note feature on my iPad which I am in love with.

When I first started this journey it felt impossible but with each item or task marked off my multi-page to do list it feels easier and more possible. 

Lesson plan #2 - plants/things that grow in nature  (2.5 week focus with field trip) 

Read books about plants 4 different books
sight word activities
-word bingo
-word search 

Vocabulary words:

Number #1

Lesson plan #1 -ocean life (2.5 week focus with field trip) 

Read books about sea life 3
Ocean sight word activities
-word bingo
-word search 

Vocabulary words:
Create a book using vocabulary words
Sing song about words
Color picture of each word
Write each word under picture


Handwriting- letters M-S
Sand writing
Side walk chalk
Dry erase 

Letters M-S phonics 
Songs about letters
Book about words with letters M-S

Ocean sight word traceable worksheets (7)

Ocean math worksheets
Counting sea animal work sheets
Sea shell worksheet

Math activities counting to 35 and add combos to 4 
Counting and sorting animals
Fish addition worksheet
Goldfish counting
Cupcakes -sea animals

Name, address, phone number worksheets

Whale blubber activity
Find another activity

Fine motor skills: crafts, art
Color pages (ocean related)
playdoh sea animals, and ocean stuff
Shell art

Physical education:
W-H-A-L-E basketball 
Bicycle race
Running (sprints) 

Field trip: Ventura Harbor
Lobster tank
Fish tank

Unit test: *create test*
Vocabulary test *identify a picture of each word*
Write name
Know phone number 
Count to 35, line up 35 cubes
Add combos that equal 4 

Create a book using vocabulary words
Sing song about words
Color picture of each word
Write each word under picture
Traceable's for vocabulary words 

Handwriting- letters A-F
Sand writing
Side walk chalk
Dry erase 

Letters A-F phonics 
Songs about letters
Book about words with letters A-F *create book using words and sounds

Growing sight word traceable worksheets (7)

Plant math worksheets
Counting flower work sheets
Sight word flash cards 

Math activities counting to 55 and add combos to 5
Counting and sorting sticks
Tree addition worksheet
Stick counting

Continue name, address, phone number

Grow veggie in onion, or grass
Grow flowers in a cup
Plants need water and sun to grow 

Fine motor skills: crafts, art
Color pages (unit related)
Decorate flower pots (grandparent gifts)
Flower art with handprints

Physical education:
Bicycle race
Running (sprints) 
Hop scotch
Balance on one foot

Field trip: home depot or garden department
Identify flower colors
Identify difference between flowers and trees
Pick out flowers and/or vegetables to plant at home

Nature walk:
Take pictures of different flowers and plants to make into a book
Identify hands on flowers and trees, leaves, branches, dirt etc... 
Identify colors found in nature

Emotion eggs, playing with emotion eggs properly
Using words to identify objects 
Using words that are acted out or identified in a picture
Flash cards with emotion faces

Unit test: *create test*
Vocabulary test *identify a picture of each word*
Write name
Know phone number 
Count to 55 line up 55 cubes
Add combos that equal 5
Demonstrate understanding of unit concept through vocabulary, picture identification and recreation of concept activity

Items needed for lesson: 
Disposable camera

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How does she do it?

Since I started working from home 2 years ago I have been a full time stay at home mommy during the day and have been handling my work at night, during nap time or on the weekends. I have 2 kids, a husband, job, dog, endless loads of laundry, meals that don't come from drive thrus, boxes or a microwave and a constant demand on my attention and hearing. I've got tons of balls in the air and occasionally I pull off the super mom and superwoman feat. I have at times successfully pulled off classroom duty, cupcakes, home cooked dinner, a clean home and laundry all in one day but mostly I am still in pajama pants and my husbands t shirts, with a sink full of dishes, and messy kids when my husband gets home. For the most part I don't find the stay at home mom thing that difficult, I just have rare days where I have a case of the screw-its. I don't have the luxury of a nanny or a family member that lives with us and raises our kids and handles everything that I ask. I have an amazing husband who helps, and I have great time management. Here's a few tips that I learned over the years....

1. Make time for yourself, take a break. 
Sometimes the endless "I'm hungry", "outside", and other requests will drive me nuts. I have no shame in putting on sesame street, magic school bus or any other show my oldest asks for and letting the kids mindlessly watch tv for about an hour once and awhile. I try and get up earlier than everyone so I can have some me time and focus on the day. It's important for my sanity and hearing to have a grown up time out. 

2. Get organized and stay that way. 
Around 9 months ago I finally pulled out the home management binder that had been in the back of my Suburban for awhile. It's a god send!! I have sections for to do lists, chores, calendars, finances, budget, maintence, grocery lists, menus, goals, notes and tons of things that keep us organized. I've spent a lot of time working on getting everything organized. I have laundry day where I iron the monsters my husband calls shirts, I usually spend a day deep cleaning, and one day a week sorting and purging the mess that finds it way in. 

3. Take a day off.
Every Sunday is strike day for me. I take the time to relax, play with the kids, cuddle on the couch to a Netflix marathon with my husband and don't worry about the mess the kids left, or the soda cans or beer bottles on the counters. I don't mind cleaning up our relax day on Monday. 

4. Enjoy the moment. 
I love being around my kids....well most of the time lol. I enjoy being the one to raise my kids, watching them grow and learn. When I worked outside of the house full time I wasn't the one raising my daughter, I couldn't be when I was working the majority of the time. There was a great article written by the great people at judgybitch about Who's really raising your children I loved this article! I've been on both sides of the fence, it doesn't ,after if it's a daycare center, friend or another family're not the one raising your kid when your working outside the home so much. I've missed those beautiful moments and vowed I never would again. They're only little for awhile and wholesome days I wish they'd grow up I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Some days I nail this super mom thing....there are days when everyone's has had 3 meals, the house is super clean, baths have been had, everyone is in clean clothes, laundry is done, dinner is sensational, I've made dessert from scratch and baked something from scratch, the garden has been watered, and I'm in a good mood when my husband gets home from work. There are days every ball hits the daughter has on no pants, the baby is in just a diaper, I've snapped at my husband about dinner needing to be picked up on his way home, and the kids are dangerously close to watching mommy start acting like a caged monkey at the zoo if they whine one more time. Most of the time I've got things together and am getting better and better at it. We haven't been home in almost 2 weeks and my house looks like a bomb went off right now....I've got dishes in the sink, laundry piled up, trash that needs to go out and my floors and surfaces are in desperate need of a scrubbing. When your home less than 12 hours a day for over a week things pile up, and I'm too tired when walking through the door that it's my last priority. My Suburban looks even worse than my house right now. I have an incredible amount of cargo space and it's covered in toys, shoes, clothes, trash, paperwork and everything else that could be crammed in there. My to do list for a full day at home is almost 2 pages long. I'm hoping to tackle it tomorrow while the kids watch sesame street and magic school bus a few times while I tend to laundry, dishes, trash and scrubbing. I will spend another day cooking, and baking as my reward lol. 

Adventures in homeschooling...

I've been researching homeschooling for awhile now, it's something we've talked about at great lengths. It's overwhelming and the way the information is written for the state of California is confusing...there's all this legal and technical talk about requirements about affidavits, attendance and records. I spent days trying to translate it to English, it seemed like it was written in Latin. Here's the break down of what I learned from reading, e mailing and websites dedicated to navigating the homeschool world.

1. The dreaded, confusing and intimidating private school affidavit...PSA
This is actually a really simple form that can be submitted online from the comfort in your own home while in your pajamas, with a glass of wine in my case. I found all the help I needed at
They walk you through all the questions and the correct way to answer each one. 

2. Record keeping and attendance. 
This one is a lot easier than it sounds. All you really need is some sort of record keeping system, I've decided to use a binder system for this. A simple monthly calendar is all you need, put a check mark on each day you have instruction. I have decided to go a little further and mark the start and end time of school and a check mark for completed homework. This will be the easiest way for me to track it at a glance, 2 check marks means that there was instruction that day and the homework was completed, 2 "x"s means no school or homework, and the amount of time we had school. 

Record keeping is also another easy task. I've taken a large file box with hanging file folders tabbed off for:
*Work samples
Artwork (were still parents and keep every handprint right?)
Report cards
Behavior records (I plan on being as much like a regular school as possible)
*Prior records (I've broken this down by district since she's been in 3 different districts)
Medical records and information ( schools keep emergency cards, allergy info and medications. This is simple and necessary for homeschool also) 

The "*" are required by the state of California. You don't need every piece of work completed or every test, just enough to give an idea to your child's progress, and quality of instruction/work. 

If you ever transition your child back into public school or any other accrediated school all you have to do is a quick trip to kinko's for a copy and the new school will have everything they need.
3. There are so many free resources out there on the web.
The amount of free lessons, templets, worksheets and useful resources out there, it just takes some time and digging. Here's a short list of a few of my favorites.

Supplies: - this is my personal favorite. Tons of supplies at a great price.

Homeschool laws/information/guidance for California: - this is one of the best websites or laws, information and guidance - state of California website

Lesson plans/worksheets - great math worksheets

Resources / lists of sites -this site is the best for all kinds of lesson plans, organization ideas, and worksheets

This is just a small list, do a little digging there's tons of blogs that have ideas, information and guidance all for free. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Welcome to my life...

Welcome! Here's a little about me...

I'm a 29 year old rock star wife to my husband and best friend of almost 9 years. We have two adorable little monsters, our oldest is almost 5 and has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Our son is 13 months old and he is hell on 2 feet, once he started walking he's basically taken off running...he's found his voice and babbles, screams, and expresses himself constantly. I'm a boo-boo kissing, don't kick your brother, stop pinching your sister, work at home, baking, cooking, gardening, savvy, strong, frugal, and all around badass mommy. I've got a lot of balls I'm trying to juggle on a daily basis and at times a few hit the floor for the dog to play with. 

These are my adventures...hope you enjoy them. I love feedback, ideas, comments and general input....don't be shy, leave a comment!