How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue)

This post is part of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. You can see the list of my posts for the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair here

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair introduction

 

WEEK 1: The Reasons We Homeschool

Please see the bottom of the post for a list of all the Week One Virtual Homeschool Fair Posts. 

 

How Our Homeschool Came To Be

I’m going to be really honest; I used to be pretty anti-homeschooler. I just didn’t understand why on earth anyone would want to homeschool and thought they all fit the “weird unsocialized homeschooler” stereotype. I couldn’t imagine homeschooling and had every intention of having my 2.5 kids and sending them off to school so I could go to work. Then my oldest was born, on September 7th. Meaning she would turn six just a few days after starting kindergarten. This particular child was very mature for her age from the get-go (yes, I know everyone thinks their child is smart/mature/gifted etc but she really was very mature), but she also tended to follow along with other children she was around. I was concerned that if she were the oldest in her class she would not only be bored but would follow other (younger) kids in the class and possibly pick up bad habits. (No I’m not calling all kindergarteners bad, it was just my train of thinking at the time.)

In Texas, if you homeschool kindergarten a year early and try to enroll your child in school they will still put that child in kindergarten per his/her age. However, what I was told (I have no idea if this was or still is completely accurate) was that if you homeschool through first grade they will let that child go into public school for second grade regardless of age.

I figured I could easily handle homeschooling kindergarten and first grade and then put her in school, problem solved!!

I am a researcher and relatively impulsive when it comes to jumping into something new so when my oldest was all of two-and-a-half I dove into homeschooling methods and curriculum. I found online homeschooling forums and connected with moms who had been doing it for a while. I bought boxed curriculum and individual curriculum and tried lots and lots of things. A whole new world opened up to me and the people there were not nearly as strange or unsocialized as I had imagined! I basically fell in love with homeschooling and completely forgot about the idea of putting her in school in second grade.

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair Week 1 why we homeschool; How our homeschool came to be and why we continue!

 

Why We Continue

I don’t even know where to begin with what our current reasons are for homeschooling and why I continued past my original goal of first grade. Homeschooling fits our family, I love the flexibility, and I love being my children’s primary adult influence. Here are just a few of the main reasons we homeschool:

 

Flexibility

We are a military family. We move. My husband deploys…then returns. The Army dictates when we can take a vacation. These things are tricky when kids are in school and must abide by school schedules. The Army does try to accommodate those schedules; most military members with school-age kids move during the summer or over Christmas break. But the fact that a large number of military families move during this time can make scheduling movers, getting housing, flights, etc harder due to demand. Leave is usually scheduled in the summer and over Christmas as well but when they are about to deploy or have just returned leave is generally also offered near departure and return dates which could fall anytime during the year.

Homeschooling allows us to take a break during moves and before and after deployments if that fits our family better than the traditional schedule of a school. This means we can move during slower times which makes some of those logistics easier. My kids are able to take several days off school when my husband returns or is about to leave in order to spend valuable family time with him. It also allows us to take a break when babies are born and to take vacation or travel to see family when travel is less expensive and less crowded.

A side benefit that is related to flexibility is consistency. My kids’ schooling doesn’t change when we move. We carry everything with us and pick right back up where we left off (or maybe we school during the move). We don’t have to worry about kids in the new school being in a different spot or on a different topic and we don’t have to worry about kids missing too much during the move itself.

Family Culture

I want my kids to be closer to their siblings than most other people. My husband and I want to be the primary adult influence in their lives. I want to teach them our values and beliefs interwoven into all of our lessons. This doesn’t mean we don’t ever teach them a different perspective or expose them to people with different beliefs, we do, but it is in an intentional and carefully planned way based on each child’s personality and maturity. I want to protect the culture in my home from being overly influenced by other children, families with very different values, media, and any other influence that would love to influence my children if I am not being intentional.

Individualized Education

Kids are different. They are all so different. Within my family, every single one of my children learn in a different way, at a different rate, and are motivated by and interested in different things. A school can’t cater to every single child-it just isn’t possible. At home we can follow interests, we can slow down or speed up as needed, and we can tailor education for each child to match their personalities and learning styles.

Innocence

Yep, I shelter my children and view this as a benefit of homeschooling. As I said above that doesn’t mean I don’t expose them to and discuss other ideas, beliefs, and ways of life. It means I do it when they are ready rather than on an arbitrary schedule or when their peers tell them things beyond their ability to comprehend. I believe the home should be a shelter, a safe place, where innocence is not destroyed and difficult subjects are broached carefully in a way tailored to each child.

 

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair Week 1: Why we homeschool; How our homeschool came to be and why we continue!

 

I came to homeschooling in one way but my reasons have evolved into a multifaceted approach. There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are homeschool families and those reasons change as the seasons of life change. I have always said we will homeschool for as long as it is the best option for our family. So far, it has always been the best option and I don’t foresee that changing.

 

Click here to see a list of all of my posts in the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Conference. 

 

Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love

How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays

How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Home Education – 10 Reasons we keep going…even when it’s hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

So… Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 – Week 1 – Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time

In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Why We Homeschool – It’s What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset

Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace

Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses

Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our ìHomeschoolî Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

It’s Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully

Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

 

 

 

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

I’m super excited to be participating in the Virtual Homeschool Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. I wanted to give you a quick heads up about the fair and let you know what to expect.

*Note: I originally had graphics that said there were 17 bloggers in the fair. There are actually quite a few more! I changed my graphics but your browser may still show the old graphics if you have not recently cleared your cache.

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair introduction

 

The fair starts Monday and will run through the rest of January. Each week will have a specific theme and we have a large group of amazing homeschool bloggers who will post their own unique perspective on that theme.

 

New and seasoned homeschoolers alike are sure to find ideas, inspiration, encouragement, and hopefully a little fun at this fair, and all from the comfort of your own home.

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair introduction

 

Simply visit any of the fair blogs each week and you will be able to read that post and navigate to all of the other fair posts for that theme. We will all have ALL of the posts for that week of the fair linked in our post to make it easy for you to read them all! Grab a cup of coffee and join us Monday morning (or whenever it fits into your schedule!

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair Schedule:

as the fair progresses these will each link to my own personal post for that week where you can also find the links to every other fair blog for that theme. 

Week 1 (Jan. 8th): The Reasons We Homeschool

How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue)

Week 2 (Jan. 15th): Our Method of Homeschooling

Overhauling Our Homeschool – Adjusting our “How” to fit our “Why”

Week 3 (Jan. 22nd): Our Homeschool Curriculum

How do we cover it all?

Week 4 (Jan. 29th): Enriching Our Learning

What do we do for enrichment?

 

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair introduction

 

Visit the bloggers participating in the Virtual Homeschool Fair:

Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Jenn K. @ A Peace of Mind

Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Jen Duncan @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Annette @ A Net In Time

Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Michele Pleasants @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Sarah @ Delivering Grace

 

Will you be joining us for the fair? Let me know in the comments! Want to make sure you don’t miss any of the fair? Sign up for my newsletter and you will get an email when new posts go live!

Improve Memory, Speech, and Attention with Forbrain {Review}

I was not planning to do any reviews this week since it is an extremely busy week for me but I could not pass up the opportunity to review Forbrain from Sound For Life LTD. At first, I thought I would pass on it even though it sounded like a neat device, but after reading through the website I realized this product could help every single member of my family in some way. So, I decided I could manage one review this week in exchange for these benefits!

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

I was impressed with this product from the moment I opened the box! It is packaged in a nice protective case where it is surrounded by cushioning to keep it safe. The case has a specific spot for the charging cord and information pamphlet/instructions as well. It also includes three extra microphone covers – as a mom of several small children I appreciate the thoughtfulness of including these! The case zips shut to keep everything contained. A sheet with suggested use instructions for various ages and goals is included, you can also find that information on the Forbrain website.

Forbrain, technology for speech and language difficulties, brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, reading difficulties, ADD ; ADHD, improve speech, improve attention, auditory feedback loop, bone conduction headset, sensory integration

So far I have used this device with three of my children (the other two children are too young). I intend to also use it for both myself and my husband eventually. None of my children have diagnosed attention, learning, or behavior issues except for my 6-year-old’s speech delay, but some show minor characteristics of these challenges.

My 6-year-old was a late talker and still has a very slight delay. He also tends to mumble and run his words together and isn’t always aware of his volume. He also has sensory issues which are mentioned a bit on the Forbrain website.

Forbrain, technology for speech and language difficulties, brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, reading difficulties, ADD ; ADHD, improve speech, improve attention, auditory feedback loop, bone conduction headset, sensory integration

My 8-year-old struggles with attention and focus. She is flighty and we suspect she has a slight language processing problem although that has never been diagnosed.

Forbrain, technology for speech and language difficulties, brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, reading difficulties, ADD ; ADHD, improve speech, improve attention, auditory feedback loop, bone conduction headset, sensory integration

My 12-year-old doesn’t have any obvious struggles with attention or learning although she has been “forgetting” a lot lately. For her, we used this mostly as a memorization tool and to hopefully improve memory in general.

Our homeschool curriculum consists of a large amount of memory work so that made incorporating Forbrain into our daily routines easy. I just had each child use it while working on their memory work. We already spent about 15 minutes a day on individual memory work so it fits right in.

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

We have been using Forbrain for about five weeks. The literature included and the website say to use it for a minimum of six weeks to see results. I am starting to notice benefits though. All of the kids seem to be memorizing their work faster and retaining it better. My 6-year-old was immediately able to hear his speech and correct it while wearing the device and now he notices and corrects himself while not wearing it. He is also speaking more clearly overall.

I haven’t noticed an improvement in my 8-year-old’s attention and focus yet but it seems reasonable to assume that longer use is needed to see those benefits. It does seem to help with memorizing her schoolwork and she seems to be gaining more of an awareness of her own voice and that of others.

 

Forbrain, technology for speech and language difficulties, brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, reading difficulties, ADD ; ADHD, improve speech, improve attention, auditory feedback loop, bone conduction headset, sensory integration

 

I didn’t originally plan to use this with my 12-year-old but decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it, so she has only been using it for about 3 weeks. It does help with her memorization and I think it will prove to be a very useful tool for practicing speeches and presentations as she has opportunities for those.

As I said earlier I have not used it myself or had my husband try it yet but plan to do so. I love speaking in public (yes, I know that is unusual) and hope someday to be able to give talks encouraging moms. I think using Forbrain to prepare and practice those talks will help take them to a new level as I become more aware of the inflections in my own voice and can train them to match what I am trying to convey. I also plan to have my husband try it for overall memory and hearing as his time in the service has made its mark on those areas.

Learn more and stay up-to-date on Forbrain through the following channels:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

 

This is a Review Crew review, click the graphic below to see more detailed reviews of this product:

Forbrain {Sound For Life Ltd Review}
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Gospel Tracts and Child Evangelism Tools from Let The Little Children Come {Review}

Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.  These are from the same company as the adorable Candy Box Tract I shared with you a few weeks ago. The Sampler contains 10 of their most popular evangelism tools so you can get a hands-on feel for their products and choose items that will work best in your ministry.

Let The Little Children Come

The Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack contains:

 

 

 

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks
 

Three animated tracts:

  • John 3:16
  • The True Story of Christmas
  • Where’s Everybody Going?

Two FlipAbouts

  • Gospel Buttons
  • John 3:16

Two Pop-up Tracts

  • The Lost Easter Egg
  • The Most Amazing House

Three Wordless Gospel Tools

  • Wordless Bracelet Kit
  • Silicone Salvation Bracelet (Medium)
  • Wordless Book

 

 

Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack child evangelism tools from Let The Little Children Come

 

Animated Tracts:

This set comes with three animated tracts; “John 3:16,” “The True Story of Christmas,” and “Where’s Everybody Going?” Each booklet comes with a black-striped plastic sheet. You slowly slide the sheet across each page of the booklet and the illustration appears to move. These were probably my kid’s favorite items in the pack. They just loved the moving graphics. Each booklet is also available in packs of 10.

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks

FlipAbouts:

The FlipAbouts are small cards folded cards that when turned and folded a specific way reveal different graphics. The Gospel Buttons FlipAbout reveals images representing parts of the salvation message. The John 3:16 FlipAbout has a short section of the verse on each image. Each FlipAbout is also available in packs of 20.

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks

Pop-up Tracts:

These are fun tracts set up like traditional pop-up books which make them appealing to young kids. I really like “The Lost Easter Egg” tract and the way it ties God’s love to a situation most kids can identify with. “The Most Amazing House” is a basic explanation of the plan of salvation, while it isn’t my preferred way of presenting salvation, it may work well for some. These Pop-up Tracts are each available in packs of 10.

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks

Wordless Gospel Tools:

These are variations on a classic method of sharing the Gospel in which colors are used to represent specific parts of the message. Included in this pack is a kit to make your own Gospel bracelet, a silicone Gospel bracelet, and a Wordless Gospel Book. Both bracelets come packaged with a sheet that explains the colors and shares the plan of salvation and a simple salvation prayer. Each of these items is also available in packs of 20. The silicone bracelet in the Sampler Pack is size medium but is available in small and large when ordered in sets of 20.

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks

All items except the FlipAbouts and Wordless book have the plan of salvation and a simple salvation prayer somewhere on or with the item.

Packaging and Instructions

The entire Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack came packaged in a sturdy plastic zipper pouch. Detailed instructions for each product are not included but basic instructions on how to use each item were included as well as three sample detailed instruction sheets. Full instructions and presentation suggestions for each product are available on the website under each product’s information page. Individual detailed instructions are included with each product when ordered in sets of individual products (packs of either 10 or 20). The instruction sheets include how to use the tool, what to say, questions to ask, and supporting verses to use when presenting it to children. These instructions make it easy to put this to use quickly and with minimal preparation.

Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack child evangelism tools from Let The Little Children Come

Uses

This Sampler Pack could be used in many ways. Use the sampler pack to pick out specific products to use in your ministry or event. Any of these items would be great as a lesson or incentive item in Sunday School, AWANA, or another group of children. If you have a very small group you could order a Sampler Pack for each student and present the items one at a time. This could also work for family devotionals. Simply order one pack per child and use the items one at a time as the basis for your lesson (or expand the lessons so you use one item per week). You can look up the specific instruction on the Let The Little Children Come website for the items you didn’t receive instruction sheets with. My children were extremely interested in all of the items in the pack; I won’t have any trouble holding their attention for a lesson with these tools. If doing this with a small group and ordering each child a kit you may want to give them the plastic pouch at the beginning to store the items in as they receive each one.

Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack child evangelism tools from Let The Little Children Come

These are great tools to enhance your ministry or family I hope you check them out!

Follow Let The Little Children Come on Facebook for news and updates!

 

 This is a Review Crew review, click the graphic below to see other reviews of this product!

Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools {Let the Little Children Come Reviews}
 

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