Friday, June 21, 2013

What Led Us To Homeschooling?

Welcome to Country Homeschool! I like to think of us as a typical homeschooling family. However, I'm afraid to say that we are not very typical. The Country Homeschool family consists of my wonderful and hard-working husband, a 7-year old, a 5-year old, and me. We share our home with many of God's creation; including three dogs, four cats (plus several strays that share the bounty!), eight chickens, three rabbits, two hermit crabs, and a tank of fish. That is a lot of creation to take care of! As for myself, I am a former school teacher with a masters degree in education. I make homemade candles, soaps, crafts, sew, and create teaching materials.

What led us to homeschooling? It began with a little tug on my heartstrings and ended with a quick and harsh kick in the backside before I became truly aware of what God was trying to tell me. Because of this, I absolutely believe beyond any question, that God is always sending us messages. However, we fail to yield to these messages most of the time. We are too busy living our life and following our dreams to realize that maybe God has other plans for us. That's definitely what happened with us. I was too busy going from day to day, getting caught up in things that I shouldn't concern myself with, and becoming more and more oblivious to God's calling. Then, one day it happened ... God got tired of waiting for me to wake up and suddenly I was faced with the harsh reality that I was at a place where I didn't need to be anymore. That was a hard time and I was forced to reevaluate my needs and desires. I shouldn't say just my needs and desires, but I needed to look at my children's needs and my husband's needs, too. After all, it seemed that God was calling me to something that was going to impact all of us as a family unit.

Deciding to venture into homeschooling required a lot of soul searching, planning, and commitment. It required letting go of the social stigma that children needed to "go" to school. And what about socialization? Ahh! The horror! At least I can laugh about it now as I have spent the last year enjoying the fruits of my labor and seeing my children come into their own as children of God. Because of homeschooling, we have been able to find a true family identity, we have been able to reprioritize our lives, and we have enhanced our ability to hear God's calling before the next kick in the rear happens!

So, here's to hoping that you will find where God is calling you!

God Bless,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nursery Rhymes and Sight Words

Oh, nursery rhymes, where have you gone? Has anyone else noticed the decline in popularity of nursery rhymes? When I was a classroom teacher, I always used nursery rhymes to teach rhymes, rhythm, and expressive language. I had an expectation that by the time children were in kindergarten or first grade that these nursery rhymes would have been memorized, but most children had never heard them before. Sad.

Personally, I love nursery rhymes! I love the endless possibilities that they provide for learning. I love that they can be silly, introduce new vocabulary, have simple rhymes, and contain sight words ... the possibilities are endless!

I have created this nursery rhyme sight word practice packet in order to merge these wonderful possibilities into your child's learning. Here are some ideas that you can do with this packet: read the focus sight word and the nursery rhyme, find and circle or highlight the focus sight word, identify rhyming words, write the focus sight word, and illustrate or act out the nursery rhyme. I told you that nursery rhymes can provide many opportunities for learning and fun! How do you use nursery rhymes in your classroom?

God Bless,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Listening Comprehension

We have chosen to use the Sonlight Curriculum for the upcoming homeschool year. Throughout this curriculum we will participate in chapter book read alouds. I have been pondering how to make these read alouds interactive and how to assess comprehension.

While I do plan on having my children participate in a variety of activities to support the themes and lessons of the chapter books, I was also looking for something that they could do for each chapter. So, I came up with these listening comprehension sheets. There are six different pages of listening comprehension forms that were designed to go with chapter book read alouds in order to assess and evaluate the child's listening comprehension. These forms could also be used as book report forms. Each page has a place to record the book title, chapter, and a large box to create a visualization of events from the chapter. Each page has a different writing activity to complete for the chapter. As the parent, I will decide which page will be most appropriate for each chapter. I'm excited to begin using these forms during our new school year. At this time I think I will purchase pocket folders like these and place the forms in chapter order along with a child-illustrated cover and possibly other activities that we complete for each book. What do you think about my listening comprehension forms?

God Bless,


After stalking several homeschool blogs, forums, and a variety of other websites, I have decided that it was time to join in on the fun! Allow me to share a glimpse of my life with you.

We live a pretty typical country life complete with animals, harvesting, and peace and quiet. We love it and wouldn't have it any other way! We began the homeschool journey a year ago and instantly fell in love with the process and the results. We came to accept and enjoy the challenges and rewards that God has granted us.

This blog will be a place to record our homeschool journey, provide inspiration, share ideas and methods, and provide a variety of materials to other homeschooling families. Thanks for visiting and God bless!