Lora’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10 months, 2-, 4-, 5-, 7-, 8-. & 8- year old)

15 minutes of peaceWritten by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

It seems this “day in the life” assignment always comes around when I’m in the midst of transition or crisis, but I suppose that’s just what homeschooling is: educating our kids in the middle of Life.

Our family moved to a new house last month. My school room looks like this. Not exactly Pinterest-worthy, yet, is it?

messy school room

The good news is, despite moving, the flu, the holidays, and another cold amongst us, we’re still plugging away with school.

dayinthelife1-300x2102Our school day is divided into two chunks. We have a morning session that involves me teaching directly. Once their time with me is finished, my kids are free to play for a bit. After lunch, there is a chunk reserved for independent school work.

I’m essentially working with two levels of students: those who can read and those who can’t.
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Using YouTube for homeschooling

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Late one Sunday night while lesson planning, I discovered I’d neglected to obtain the books I needed for the following day’s lesson.

I couldn’t make it to the library and I wanted to keep us on schedule. So I did what any mother in the 21st century would do: I went to YouTube.

First, I gave myself a quick crash course on our topic:
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What to do with babies while homeschooling

With four kids who are school age and three littles who aren’t, one of the most frequent questions I get about homeschooling is “What do you do with the babies?”

My short answer? Have a plan. Everybody’s plan looks different, but in order to make it through the day, you need an easy routine that ensures all of the needs get met.

A few hints to help you plan:

1. Give your smallest children attention first.

I read this somewhere so I can’t claim credit for this thought, but it’s true. Of course, the baby’s needs have to be met before any of us can function in the morning. He makes sure of it.

But I also try and have a cuddle with my toddlers before school. Ten mintues to read a book makes them feel secure and attended to. This breeds contentment when I need to focus on their siblings.
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Lesson planning for Mac users

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of VitaFamiliae

As my children have grown, my needs in a homeschool planner have grown, too. Google Calendar is our family’s go-to for scheduling and I’ve used it successfully for several years for planning out our school work.

But when my boys were reading better and were beginning to work more independently, my needs changed a little.

  • I wanted to be able to print them an easy to understand assignment sheet.
  • I wanted to save the lessons plans I was creating and use them for future children.
  • I wanted something that was intended for homeschool plans, not something I adapted to “make it work.”

Because we are a family addicted to Apple and Mac products, my choices were limited.
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Using Pinterest for homeschool inspiration

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

A note from Jamie: This post originally published on August 8, 2011. Pinterest has grown substantially since then, and has become a popular spot for keeping track of homeschool inspiration! You can find Lora Lynn’s boards here and follow mine here if you’re so inclined. Enjoy!

Pinterest is the latest darling of social websites. It allows you to “pin” or bookmark pictures and posts that inspire you. You can then organize them into categories, creating your own lovely online bulletin board.

For homeschool moms that crawl the internet looking for craft ideas or inspiration, it’s the perfect way to keep up with each new page without creating a million bookmarks in an already crowded folder.

You can create a board for art ideas, one for curriculum favorites, and another for schoolroom inspiration.

Pinterest boards

Once you’ve pinned an item, just click on it again to be taken to the website where it originated. (Important note: if you pin items from a website or blog, make sure you are pinning from the specific post and note the entire site. Otherwise, you may not be able to find the information you wanted to save.)

Pinterest is also searchable, which means if you are on the hunt for a specific thing, like valentine crafts, you can easily find a myriad of ideas to spark your own creativity.

With the new school year ahead, here are a few ideas gleaned from Pinterest that might help you decorate your school room:
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