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Showing posts from 2009

MOVING BLOG TO NING

Peace Blessings Balance I have tranferred my blog entries over to my new ning "Homeschooling on a Budget and Outside of the Box" I wanted to create a space for like minded homeschoolers to connect because WHERE THERE IS UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH
PEACE

Join and connect with other like minds on your homescholing journey.

www.creativehomeschooling.ning.com


Visit Homeschooling on a Budget and Outside of the Box

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MahoganyHomeschooler.rss

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MahoganyHomeschooler.rss

Yes I am taking my blog to the next level. I will be airing in the coming weeks on blogtalk radio talking about various subjets pertaining to homeschooling.

COMING SOON!!! ~Peace~

Homescholing on a Budget

With all the boxed curriculum's and programs out you start to wonder if you can afford to homeschol. I will say that after homeschooling for the past 61/2 years I have spend very little money. You can spend as much or as little as you like depending on what you want to use. I will list a few resources and techniques we have used over the years that have saved us lots of money.

1. PUBLIC LIBRARY the library can be one of your most vital resources. It's free! You can find any book on any subject that you are working on. Most libraries are also accessible online and that's a time saver. Instead of taking hours physically searching in the library, you can find the books you want online and place them on hold so that you can go and pick them up. Alot of libraries also give homeschoolers the same advantages as teachers allowing you to tap into more resources not generally available to the public. The library is also a great way to meet other homeschoolers. You can take the oppor…

Tapping Into Your child's Learning Style

Knowing your child's learning styles will help you in deciding how you want to homeschool your children. Once you know the best ways your children are able to learn, you can then custumizr your lessons to better suite the child. YOu can then help your children to strengthen the areas they may not be as strong in. If you have multiple children, creating a one size fit all lesson plan may stunt a child's growth. You may have a set of identical twins and need to manipulate your lessons to accomadate their very different learning styles. One of the ways you can tap into their learning styles is by watching them play and how they communicate. I will list the various learning styles and how to pick upon them. (This informaton on learning styles below originally ran in the Parent to Parent column)

SPATIAL VISUAL LEARNER -- Needs and likes to visualize things; learns through images; enjoys art and drawing; reads maps, charts and diagrams well; fascinated with machines and inventions; p…

Unit Studies

Peace,
Unit studies are a great way top include all of your children while teaching around a certain topic. I incoporate a lot of unit studies in my lesson. Because of the range of ages in children, I am able to provide a themed lesson that all of my children can participate in on their own indivual level. When creating your lessons you are taking that theme and incorporating every subject from math and science to geography and art. We are currently working on an autumn themed unit study which I will be sharing in the coming weeks.


This video is a homeschooling mom giving a brief example of a unit study and lapbooking project on butterflies she has prepared for her children. I wanted to share this video as a visual example of what a unit study may consist of.

Now that We got all the Legal Stuff Out of the Way

Once you have squared all your legal requirements if any away, now the journey can really begin. This may be a little overwhelming but relax, it's not as hard as you may think it is. We all may have a concept of what school is based on our own personal experienced in the public school system. You have to in a sense deprogram yourself from the public school setting. Homeschooling does not have to be at all what we experienced growing. You can make it a fun enjoyable learning experience for you and your children. It can really be a holistic experience enlightening the mind, body and spirit. No two homes are alike. There are many different methods of homeschooling. It all depends on your family's needs and wants. Some families teach out of a boxed curriculum where the lessons are already prepared for you. In a boxed curriculum you have to do very little in terms of finding resources, however, there isn't much room for extras outside of the box. Some families, such as myself a…

The Legal Steps to Take Before Homeschooling

I know there are so many of you out there want to homeschool your children but don't really know where to start. Before you really get into the fun part of the homeschool journey, you must first cover all legal areas. It is legal to homeschool your children in all states, however the laws from state to state vary. Each state is different. Some states do not require you to report to your Board of Education or take any standardized test. some states may require you have some kind of teaching certificate, or you have to present your curriculum to the Board for review and approval. It varies, so please make sure you research the homeschooling laws. If you have a child in the public school system an d would like to withdraw them, call you child's school and ask for the necessary steps. Do not just pull them out without going through the proper procedures. It can be something as simple as writing a note. When withdrawing your children from school ask for all paper work i.e. shot rec…

Enchanted Learning

I just subscribed to www.enchantedlearning.com. It is a great site to supplement your homeschooling curriculum. It's only $20 for the ENTIRE YEAR!! You are able to click on target grade levels you need and weed out all the other unneccessary activities that don't pertain your child's working level. They also carry tons of worksheets and quizes in all the basic subjects. This site will be the best $20 investment you wil make and that's nothing when you see your children learning and loving it:)

Baby Wearing

Baby wearing is known in just about all cultures around the world for thousands of years. It is not only a convenent way to carry your child, but it is a very intimate experience between you and your baby....oh did I mention convenient??:) How many times have you tried to put down a little one to sleep and as soon as you are ready to get down to business they wake up? Carrying your baby in a sling is a very easy way of getting your work done and always being in the company of your little one. Some people say that being so attached to your child for so long will leave them to be very dependent,but it is the opposite. Children are more confident and sure of themselves as they get older because they got that love and closeness from their mother. In order to carry your baby, you don't have to spend a lot of money on a snuggly or anything like that. There are many different styles and techniques. I use about 6 yards of stretchy cotton fabric. I received a lot of inquiries on how to wra…

A Great Healthy Way to Use Left Over Rice

I am a big believer in "Waste not want Not", so we are always finding ways to make new dishes out of our left overs. We tend to always have rice left over a meal so we have come up with a great way to turn in into a breakfast dish. It filling, nutritious and the children love to help preparing it. I am not a big fan of rice pudding but the concept is pretty much the same.
We eat Indian Basmati rice, but I'm sure it Will taste great with all kinds:)

We heat up the rice add a little bit of water to soften it up. Then we use:
Soy milk - add as much as you like depending on how thick you want it.
Honey - to sweeten
Cinnamon
Margarine (we use Earth Balance)
After it's all mixed, sweetened an seasoned to taste, pour it while is nice and hot. Here comes the fun part:) The children cut up all sorts of fruit, apples, bananas,strawberries, gooseberries or whatever you like and mix them into the rice .The children are participating and being proactive in their health. Try It Out and …

Some of MY FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON MAKING YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES

When making the liquid soap I used Nubian Heritage soap and added a few drops of Tea Tree oil as it is a natural antimicrobial. The consistency is so rich you would think it came out of the stores. IT REALLY WORKS!!!!

Fun, Thrifty and Economical Homemade Items

The times we are living in today are pretty hard times and could be harder for some. Through the years my husband and I made a commitment to be as self sufficient at possible. I have found and used a lot of homemade recipes for cleaning and everyday use. They really work! I used to be skeptical thinking that in order for a cleaner to work you had to smell all the chemicals and realized that those chemicals were the very thing that were harming my family. There a very basic products you can keep in your home that are inexpensive and can be bought at just about any grocery store.

The following ingredients are

*Baking Soda
*Vinegar
*Rubbing Alcohol
*Washing Soda (can be found near laundry detergent in most stores)
*Murphy's Oil Soap (something I use on my floors but can used on any wood)
*Dr Bronners Castile Soap (can be used alone) $ sizes may vary ranging from $3 for 2oz to $50 per gallon- a Gallon can last up to a year depending on how often you use
*Bleach (I use mostly in the bathroom …

Teach Our History

My husband and I have have been on a mission to make sure that our children know "Self" and our beautiful Afirkan culture and heritage. We have come across some very deep and intellectual brethren and sistren who have made it their lifes work to open the minds eye of our people and to come back to the "Ma'at" balance. Ashra kwesi is a very deep intellectual brethren that my husband had the liberty of meeting a while back. He has a website selling his lectures. His DVDs would make great supplements to your homeschooling curriculum.

www.ashrakwesi.com



Using Reading Strategies

I am an avid reader and through my own "formal" school years have exceled in english and reading. I truly believe that a solid foundation to any academic education is reading. When I began homeschooling my eldest, we went over shapes,colors, and those sorts of things, but as soon as she showed an interest in reading at age 4 we went for it. We started her on the Hooked on Phonics program and she completed it in and was reading at at a 1st/2nd grade level by age 5. Everything was so much easier for her and she seemed to excel because she was reading on her own,able to read directions, and just wanting to read everything. Now she is at another level of reading where we are dissecting stories and other genres of text to look for meaning and understanding. We are using a list of reading strategies that are working well. We as adults probably use some of these strategies as we read. For example, you may look at the title and pictures before you begin reading a story or you may th…

Good Book to Incorporat Into Your history Lessons

This is a book that my 7 year old has been reading for history. This book is a historical fiction set during the time of the "Reconstruction Period" This book is meant for children ages 8 and up, but it depends on your child's level of understanding and reading level. It is about a 12-year-old orphaned slave who leaves South Carolina in search of a Freedmen's Bureau during the Reconstruction Period to claim the "40 acres and a mule"that was promised to them. I have compiled some subjects found in the book that can be expanded upon for further study.
Reconstruction Era
Freedman's Bureau
Emancipation Proclamation
Political Parties (Democarat/Republican etc.)
Abraham Lincoln
Carpet Baggers
Scalewags
Abolitionist
Bureau of Refugees
Freedman
Abandoned Lands
Union Leagues
Ku Klux Klan
Black Codes
Civil Rights Act
Southern Laws during slavery
There are also many vocabulary words that can be found and used for spelling and vocabulary activities. I always read a cha…