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Going Back to Public School plus June Student Writing Prompt

May Writing Prompt (3)

It is June and for most students that means the school year is coming to an end. Also, June is the start of the Summer season which kids look forward to but parents who need to occupy the kids do not. Whether school is still going or has ended for your student, it doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop when school stops.

Danyella’s homeschooling school year ends at the end of June but she is will be going back to public school starting the end of August. We will be using the month of July to prepare for her testing back into public school. Which she is fighting every step of the way.

This decision to go back to public school was not an easy one because of Danyella’s anxiety and difficulties in Math. At home, I am able to take the time to explain the work to her but at school the teacher may not have that time to go one on one with her. I am scared she will get lost between the kids in the school especially going into 6th grade and they will be switching classes and having multiple teachers.

On the other hand, I don’t think she is truly thriving in a homeschool setting because she fights me on doing anything and everything. I have tried to find subjects that she enjoys but she loses interest. She just wants to rush rush rush through all of her computer and written work. She tries to put the minimal amount of effort into whatever she is doing and it has caused fights between her and I.

Danyella feels that she should just be unschooled and learn when and what she wants to learn. That is not my style as a homeschooling parent. Don’t get me wrong, if unschooling works for you and your family that is great but for my child she needs the structure of a school environment. If I left her to unschool, she would sit on her iPod or watch tv all day and learn nothing to succeed when she is an adult.

In New Jersey, there is no structure for homeschooling and no monitoring unlike our neighboring Pennsylvania. So, I have had to create all of her lessons and pay for all of the materials to teach her at home. That adds up just on ink and printer paper alone. Then add the monthly fee for the homeschooling school that I found for her, workbooks, field trips, projects and other things and we easily put out $2000 a year on homeschooling.

When she goes back to public school, she will be going with her best friend and back to the first elementary school she attended where the students and teachers still remember her. I know she has anxiety about this big change in both of our lives but I think going back to this school will help her with the transition.

One thing that I will continue to have Danyella do, even when she is back in public school, is daily writing prompts. I think it is important that kids have time to write everyday whether it is journal writing or prompt writing. They need that outlet to get things out. Writing prompts have been a great way to get Danyella’s creative juices going and she doesn’t realize that she tells me things through the prompts like things that she likes/dislikes. These are things that she wouldn’t just tell me if I asked her.

Here is the June Writing Prompt which is good for 3rd-5th probably even 6th graders: June Writing Prompt PDF

May Writing Prompt (2)

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Importance of Sticking to A Schedule when Homeschooling

The Benefits of Providing a Schedulefor yourkids (1)

When I woke up this morning, I really had no idea what I was going to write about today but I did know that I wanted to start a series on homeschooling since that is now our life. The good, the bad and the ugly of homeschooling since homeschooling has a stigma attached to it.

When I homeschooled Danyella before and would go out in public during the day, the looks and questions we would get were enough to make me snap… which at times I did because I refused to send my child to a shitty public school and not learn anything when I can provide her with a useful education at home.

Something that I learned when I homeschooled Danyella before was that she is the child that needs the structure of a schedule. If I let her take a million breaks or get up and walk away from something to many times, it became a game to her. One that she used to push-off her schoolwork as long as possible. Not this time!

Photo Aug 29, 9 33 49 AM

A comment on my Instagram post of Danyella and Max while she was doing her schoolwork and Max looked sad that his buddy wasn’t playing with him really bothered the hell out of me last night and this morning so that is where this post is coming from. The comment was kinda asking, kinda implying that Danyella should get lots of breaks in the beginning to start homeschooling…. ABSOLUTELY NOT!

When public school kids go back to school, do they get lots of breaks to start their year off? NO! Most come home with homework for both themselves and their parents. Just because she is being homeschooled doesn’t mean that we just fly by the seats of our pants. We have a daily schedule of what happens from 8am-5pm everyday. We have meals, chores, school and other activities scheduled throughout our day.

Yes, she does get some free time like kids get recess BUT it’s not multiple times through the day and it is not to play with the dog because he is lonely. Teaching my child structure and a schedule is important because as adult we live by structure in order to be successful (or at least the successful adults that I know do). As parents, if we do not structure our schedules and our children’s schedules then we have chaos and chaos leads to negativity which leads to unhappy, disconnected children.

Danyella is a dancer, a competitive dancer, and is taught a schedule and structure for each of her classes and her competitive team. Each teacher has a different style for their structure but the child thrives in class when there is structure.

Whether your child is a toddler/preschooler and you are teaching them at home or if they are older and you are homeschooling, a schedule is key to keep them on track and you sane. When a child wakes up, knows what they need to do for the day and at what times, life just runs smoother and happier for entire family.

Benefits:

  1. Schedules teach structure which is important to instill for adulthood
  2. Schedules keep the expectations of the child in focus
  3. Schedules help the child understand that School is serious not a game
  4. Schedules keep parents sane
  5. Schedules help families stay on track with their life goals
  6. Schedules make for happy children which make for happy parents

What are your thoughts on keeping your child on a schedule (whether you homeschool or they attend a school)?

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Trying Homeschooling Again

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Keep scrolling for the Free Printable Planner and Reading Log!

I wasn’t expecting this past year to go the way it has with a pregnancy that has ended up complicated, a daughter who became a competition dancer, needing to move out of our house, starting college again and going down to one income. With a new baby coming, more expenses are going to be coming our way so I am trying to find ways to cut our costs down which the biggest cost was private school.

Making the decision to pull Danyella from the private school was the hardest decision because I really loved the school she was in. They had smaller class sizes and staff that were focused on the children’s education and well being.

This was something she wasn’t given at the 2 public schools that she attended. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing all public school because they are not all made equally but the 2 schools that Danyella attended were in the same sending district and were just to big and money focused rather then student focused. After seeing my daugher crying before school and after school, I couldn’t keep sending her to this school that made her miserable like that.

After a lot of research and fighting with the school district (New Jersey is one the most parent friendly homeschooling states but the school didn’t want to lose the funding they go for the student they ignored for 2 years), I decided to homeschool her for the remaining 3 months of the school year. We continued to homeschool for the next year and then my work schedule changed so we put her in an excellent private school.

Now we are in a situation that we cannot afford private school but we aren’t moving for at least another month so public school is out so we are back to homeschooling again. This time she is a little older and a lot sassier so it will be interesting… to say the least!

The past week has been about planning out the next month of course work, picking her online program and getting myself organized. I realized that I needed a planner but a school or teacher planner wouldn’t work. I needed something to be able to customize for our plans as a homeschooling team. Nothing I found on Pinterest really worked for me or had way to many pages that I just didn’t need.

All I needed was a yearly planner broken down by quarter so if we decide to keep homeschooling then we know what we are doing for the entire year, a weekly planner broken down by day and subject and a daily planner that Danyella and I organize each day with a broken down schedule and expectations. Plus I wanted to make sure she kept a log of her reading books (very important to me outside of school as well). So I made the planner myself and am offering it free to my blog readers!

I hope you enjoy the printable planner and reading log. Feel free to talk about your homeschooling experience below and click the link below to download the planner!

Free Printable Homeschooling Planner and Reading Log