Simple Homeschooler Mission Statement

This blog, Simple Homeschooler, exists to help mothers with their most important and sacred duty of being managers of their homes. Primarily this means creating a space where her family is loved unconditionally, while at the same time she encourages the family members to take daily steps toward spiritual perfection.

Simple Homeschooler and my First Communion. Create BIG memories.
This is me on the day of my First Holy Communion

our purpose as mothers

As humans we were created to know, love and serve our Heavenly Father in this world so that we can be happy with him in the next. As mothers, the education of our children, both spiritually and academically will help us attain our eternal reward, Heaven, because fulfilling our daily duties requires the sacrificing and unselfish commitment necessary to attain true humility. Each day we die to ourselves a little more and thus move closer to a life in Christ.

The cross and our homes

Embracing our cross means striving for only the best in our homes. From creating a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, to training our children, to supporting our husbands – Trusting in Divine Providence provides that every minute of every day we are granted the opportunity to embrace our crosses for the greater glory of God.

My intention for this blog is to help younger women in the spirit of Titus 2: 3-5. That is, to “encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

What must we do to serve god

With that in mind, I will write about homemaking, specifically meal planning for large families and minimalism for controlling the clutter and creating a relaxing atmosphere. I will also write about our Traditional Catholic Faith, especially how to celebrate feast days and how to teach our children to love and serve the Lord. Finally, I will give tips on homeschooling. What has worked for us and also what has not worked for us, including scheduling, organizing, curriculum and resources.

i am here for all of you

I encourage all my readers of Simple Homeschooler

Simple Homeschooler believes children need to connect with nature and homeschool moms need a break occasionally
Getting out to explore nature gives everyone a much needed break

to contact me with questions or comments. I will endeavor to answer you each individually as well as address some of your concerns on the blog.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I pray for you all and wish you joy and peace as we travel the path of Simple Homeschooling.

~Leslie

 

Saint Patrick’s Feast Day in Our Homeschool

homeschooling saint patrick ireland
The day Amanda moved.

We absolutely love celebrating Saint Patrick’s Feast Day!

Sadly, this year we are missing our party planner extraordinaire. This past July Amanda moved all the way across the country. She was the one who really got into this holy day and did it up big. We are going to be hard-pressed to come even close to her zeal for the Patron Saint of Ireland.

SAINT PATRICK FOOD

This year we will still have the standard Beef and Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread. We will still break out our Google Playlist of Clancy Brothers and High Kings, plus a new favorite (see below). But there will definitely be an empty space where Amanda used to be. Perhaps a Skype call and some sing-alongs might help. (Wink, wink, Amanda!)

SAINT PATRICK BOOKS

So, what else do I have planned for our homeschool Saint Patrick’s Day this year? Well, there a few new books. We have not read these yet, but are looking forward to adding them to our shelves this coming week.

                                                       

Paddy and the Wolves is actually available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Look here for Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans and sign up for a free trial. After my free trial I realized that the monthly cost was well worth it for the savings it offered me. See my post on how I use Kindle Unlimited in our homeschool.

We are also trying out this lovely booklet about The Blessed Trinity from Catholic Icing. I decided to give it a try since it is only $3 and I found it to have several great ideas for us to choose from. Songs, drawings, craft ideas and stories. There is quite a bit included in this small book.

teach catholic kids about the trinity Saint Patrick's Day
PDF download Available from Catholic Icing $3.00

 

SAINT PATRICK MUSIC

And, of course, we had to purchase the new Celtic Thunder CD as soon as it was released. This has to be one of the most surprising albums I have listened to in a very long time. The songs range from traditional Irish folk songs to remakes of popular 70s and 80s songs, to broadway show classics. This is also available for unlimited streaming with Amazon (free 30 day trial available) or on your Google Playlist.

celtic thunder X irish music for Saint Patrick's Day
Music for the Feast Day

SAINT PATRICK ART

We absolutely love Nana and her chalk pastel art lessons. We had terrific results with our Advent art projects and are beginning our Spring art lessons. One of the first will be part of the Super Bundle for the Spring Semester. We will be doing the shamrocks along with the video art lesson this week.

While the Spring Semester Super Bundle is worth the price considering it is an entire semester of art lessons for the entire family, the price ($100) may be a little daunting for some of you, especially without having tried the program first. So the Shamrock lesson is also included in A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels for only $8. There is also an Easter Chalk Pastels for All Ages that we plan on continuing with for the remainder of March.

So, besides the decorations that we will get from our local Dollar General where Meghan works, that about covers our plans for this year.

SAINT PATRICK DESSERT?

I still need to decide on a dessert. I’m open for suggestions if you would like to send your ideas my way via the comments section or by email. leslie@simplehomeschooler.com I always look forward to hearing from my readers.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Also, please join me on Facebook. I’ve started a private group for followers of my blog and would love to see you there. Follow this link. I’ll be posting pictures of our Saint Patrick’s Day celebration as well as photos our art projects.

~Leslie

The Lonely Homeschooler

Have you ever wondered if you are causing your children to be forever lonely by homeschooling them? While some siblings get along just great, others seem to be the lone sheep in the family, constantly searching for a companion. A ‘bosom friend’ as Anne Shirley would say.

This article by Melody Lyons was shared to me by a good friend.

20171228_201227.jpg
A siblings ‘girls night’. Painting nails, face masks, hair styles, food and a movie.

In it she addresses every mother’s concern for her children. She affirms what I have been thinking for the past few years, ever since we pulled all of our children from our private Catholic Schools.

Melody begins with:

This article is written primarily for homeschooling parents who wonder if their kids will ever find true, Christ-centered friendships with someone of similar age… and also for those parents who avoid homeschooling because they are afraid for the same reasons. I will spoil the ending for you in this first paragraph but then you still have to read the rest of the post. The answer to your question is: Likely, but not certainly.” >>more…

This is well worth the read and I would love to know your thoughts. Either comment here or head over to my Facebook page.

~ Have a simply happy homeschool day!

Five Simple Things You Can Do Reboot a Bad Homeschool Day

All of us homeschool moms know that being teacher and mom is not an easy job. Some days we just feel like throwing in the towel. But there are ways you can turn that around and be a better homeschool mom.

#1 Read a Book Out Loud

It doesn’t need to be a long book. Simply choose one off the shelf and sit all the children down and read to them. If it’s been a particularly bad day, choose a silly book. Laughter cures many ills. Continue reading “Five Simple Things You Can Do Reboot a Bad Homeschool Day”

Participating with the National String Project

 

Five of our children are participating with the National String Project through Crane School of Music. 

The NSP “mission is to expand string education opportunities in the North Country while providing teaching experiences for university students at the Crane School of Music. Lessons and ensembles are taught by Crane music education majors with the guidance of Crane music faculty.” Continue reading “Participating with the National String Project”

Homeschoolers and the Pizza Hut Book It! Program

Our Book It! Packet arrived today!

If you didn’t already know, homeschoolers are allowed to participate in the Pizza Hut Book It! program.

As the teacher, you set a monthly reading goal for your K-6 student and if they meet the goal they receive a certificate for a free personal pan pizza. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

But, to make it even more easy, Pizza Hut has a resource page for teachers that includes printables, awards, reading prompts and much more. Go to bookitprogram.com/teachers and see what helps they have to offer.

They also are offering free audio books and ebooks to go along with their program. The three that are included for 2017-2018 are Not Normal, Judy Moody and Above World. Go check them out!

bookitbooks
Taken from Book It! Program guide

 

I printed out the monthly log from the website, not only for my K-6 students, but even for the older ones. If they read 20 minutes a day (which is not hard for homeschoolers!) they get to fill in a clock. I will have some kind of incentive for the older ones if they complete their chart also.

I’m always looking for little things like this to keep our homeschool fun. What are some of the extras you do with your kiddos? Comment below and let me know.

~Leslie

How I learned to schedule my homeschool day: See Mystie’s Work the Plan.

 

Homeschooling High School in New York

As many of my fellow NY homeschoolers probably know, homeschool laws for NY State are some of the most tedious and also, in my opinion, unfair homeschool laws on the books. In a nutshell, we are required to not only file a Letter of Intent yearly, but we also need to submit quarterly reports and turn in a year-end report. Every other year, from 4th grade onward, the year-end report must be a standardized test. (See HSLDAs Website)

It was confusing, but I figured it out over time. However, when my children reached high school age, we were introduced to even more stringent and biased rules regarding college entrance in New York for homeschooled students. When I pulled my daughter, Meghan from our local Catholic high school that her and her sisters had been attending she was in 11th grade. She still had a year and a half until graduation. And, at the time, she did not know whether she wanted to attend college or not. So, I homeschooled her, she finished her degree requirements, and I thought that was the end of it.

I was wrong. Continue reading “Homeschooling High School in New York”