Finding A Plan

We are now officially into week five of home school for second grade. I started out 100% clueless as to anything and everything that had to do with this topic. But now, five weeks later....maybe it may be coming together....sort of.

The first four weeks I was so hardcore to the books. I was being a very mean and strict teacher. We were doing sit down school work for eight hours a day. The first week, my daughter was excited. The second week, she got a bit more antsy. By the third and fourth week, I think we were both about to kill each other. LOL

Seriously though, I needed to wake up to reality. My husband told me why it wasn't working as I had planned in my head. My daughter is normally a good, focused seen year old. She always does what she is told and really loved school.

By the third week, she was hating school. Telling me she hated me as a teacher. I was so mean. I didn't want to listen. I felt like if we didn't get in eight hours a day, she wouldn't be smart. I wanted to cram as much knowledge as I could into her little brain. I just wanted what was best for her. But my husband opened my eyes. I wasn't teaching her second grade. I was teaching her college. And doing eight hours a day, with each subject lasting from 2-3 hours each was making her go crazy. And I see that now. I guess just because I can sit there and teach it, she can't sit there and remember everything.
I would get frustrated when I would go over a lesson and ask her questions about what we just read and she would just say "I don't know".

So now I know, it wasn't her, it was me. I was going in on this a tad too fast. So this week, for week five....I stepped back. I regrouped my ideas, my lesson plans, my schedule....everything. I needed to make it a bit more simple and do baby steps. I felt like I had so much to teach her that I didn't know how I would fit it all into just one year. But the fact is, I don't have to. She has the rest of her life to learn and I just need to teach her little by little til we get it all. Trying to teach 12 years of one subject into one week was a crazy idea. I don't even know how I thought I could possibly do it with a seven year old. But see now I can't. No one can.

So I broke down my schedule. Got it a bit more organized and cut down the time for the entire day, as well as the time per subject tremendously. This is what the new schedule looks like:
Of course, it may get shifted around some more as I start to using this schedule. But I think it will be a good start. It went a lot better today...I must say.

Home school varies from state to state. The laws are so different for each and every state in the USA. As home schoolers know, this is a critical thing you have to look into and get all the facts so you know and understand how to do it right and by the books.
In my state, the law states that you must have an accounted 1000 hours per school year. 600 of those are to be core based hours and the other 400 are non-core based hours. And also I believe there has to be a minimum of 180 days present during "school" hours.

Core subjects being Math, Science, History, Language Arts, etc....
While non-core subjects are P.E., Music, Art, Field Trips, Sports, etc....

So how I keep track is by a chart I made and write down what subject abbreviation it is, what the material is for that day, and the time it took to do each one. At the end of the week, I add up the core and non-core hours separately and then add them altogether. This way I can see our progress. I will be able to see as we get closer to the end of the year, how we are doing with our hours better.
So of course, I keep everything in binders {one for me and one for my daughter} and everything is labeled and organized nice and neat and everything has a place.

And I wish I had a room to have a classroom set up in. But that's not really able to happen just yet. So for now, we use the dining room for our school studies. I can't wait to have our own space to hang up things and make it more "classroom" like. It makes it hard also with an 8 month old and a 22 month old running around while I'm trying to teach her too. So the room setting is not so high on the priority list because we have access to everything we need in the dining room. I have a computer and printer set up, all of our books and lesson plans, and access to the living room to watch the little ones while we learn.

So here is our setting. It works for now. One day, I may get my really cool class setup.

And I finally figured out the most perfect reward system to get my daughter to want to pay attention, even when a subject is boring or not interesting. When she was attending public school, the teachers always had the kids names on a board and they had a clip attached to the name. If you had to move your clip down, it meant you had gotten in trouble. If you got to move your clip up, it meant you were doing something good and behaving well.

I knew the clip thing probably wouldn't work at home too well seeing is she seems to know how to walk on me sometimes and I let her get away with stuff too easily. So i started to think about what we did when I was little in school. For the record, I attended public school my entire life, except college. Then I attended a private college.

I remember in elementary school, the teacher gave us a checkbook and each week, we would get money deposited into our accounts. If we were good, turned in our homework on time, or aced a test....we would get money deposited into our accounts. If we misbehaved, didn't listen or follow instructions, etc......we had to withdrawal the money and write a check to the teacher for our behavior. At the end of each week, we were allowed to use our money on prizes in the classroom. 

So I decided that this would be the way to run our behavior method. So today, she got her own checkbook. I was going to design my own checks, but decided it would just be easier to scope the internet for some to use and save a bit of time instead of opening up Photoshop and Illustrator and play around for a while.

I found a very helpful site that basically was using the exact same method I remember using so it worked out perfect. And the best part....there was a tutorial for how to put the checkbook together to make it look and feel like the real deal. So now I had a plan to help teach her some math skills as well as get her to behave the entire day.

Here is how our checkbook turned out. I also created a cover for my daughter to color and apply. She had a lot of fun doing this. Of course, she only wanted to use her very favorite Monster High character, Lagoona Blue as the subject matter.
To see how to make your own checkbook, check out Cathe's Blog Just Something I Made. She has a tutorial as well as a PDF downloadable file. I took the file into Photoshop and just whited out over the information I wanted to change {such as the check numbers so I could print multiple with different numbers} and saved them. I'm so glad someone else also thought about this because it really is a cute idea. I loved it when I was little and my daughter seemed to love this reward system today as well. She was excited to pay attention and learn LOL

So far in the first five weeks, we have covered a lot of topics and issues. And I have been trying to throw in a lot of fun things in there. Such as exploring bat caves, hiking, making our own paper, painting, watching educational videos, etc....

So here are a few fun things we have began to do. I wish I would have taken photos of more of the things, but that's ok. I know my winter break, my photos will be bombarded with craft photos.
So this has begun a new adventure for us. But even with the few struggles in the beginning, I think it will work itself out as well get to find a plan through this. I have been told by so many that the first year is the hardest. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. It hasn't been horrible, just a new and different experience for us both.


Oh Hey, Friday Favorites

Howdy folks! I stumbled upon two new link ups {new to me anyway} and thought how awesome!!!! I couldn't wait to try my own post and submit it. So it's all about Friday Favs. I love how the rules are so "un" ruley. LOL is that even a word? Oh well, it is to me now.

So here are my five I decided to chat about this week :::

THAT THE DATE & PLACE FOR MY DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY PARTY HAS BEEN BOOKED

My mom and dad knew how much my daughter wanted to have her birthday at her Tawekondo center and of course, my husband and I couldn't find it in the budget to make up the cost to have the party there. So it was shocking when I was told that my parents put down the check to rent it out for her party. She is beyond excited!
She's pretty hardcore for a seven year old. She can kick some ass. I love her!

THAT I HAVE FINALLY BEGAN TO SLEEP AGAIN
Seriously, with two children under the age of two..sleep felt like it would never come. I have had three children....all whom never slept. My oldest didn't sleep through the night until she was almost four years old. Now I have my youngest two {one is 22 months old and the other 8 months old} and I seriously felt like I was going to die with neither one of them sleeping through the night and not sleeping at the same times. I was literally up 24 hours a day with some kid attached to me. 
Now, I've finally gotten the system down with a schedule. Who knew that would ever happen. But it finally did and I'm so happy to gain some sanity back.
So they aren't fully sleeping 100% through the night. But we have made so much progress.

THAT I HAVE STARTED TO FINALLY FEEL A BIT MASTERED AT THIS HOMESCHOOLING THING
We are only coming up on week five so far of our first time homeschooling. It was a bit scary in thought at the beginning. But now, I am starting to get a pattern and schedule going. Not only with my daughter and I, but with the babies as well and managing everyone all at the same time. I'm starting to be a bit more organized on lesson plans and timing. Which I hope by winter break, I will have fully mastered and become very comfortable with.

THAT THERE ARE BLACKBERRIES IN MY FRIDGE
Yes, it's the little things. I love blackberries and haven't had them in forever. Now I have tons to eat all day.


THAT I CREATED MY FIRST REAL VIDEO, EDITED IT, AND POSTED IT ON YOUTUBE
Yes, I know it's pretty nerdy of me, but I'm pretty proud of myself. It was a bit frustrating to figure out the editing and uploading and adding this and that. It's not perfect. It's probably far from it. But it's a start and I enjoyed doing it and I'm proud of myself. Not too shabby for a first time go.



Momfessionals

THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP


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Skintimate Mandarin Burst Shave Gel Review

Shaving... blah!!! Need I say more? I hate shaving my legs. I hate it so much. If I could, I would go get that super fancy expensive hair removal to have to never worry about it again. But unfortunately, since I am broke and can't afford such an awesome thing....I think I may have found a nicer, alternative with my shaving situation to be "less tortured".

Skintimate Mandarin Burst Shave Gel

So I was excited to when I received this free bottle of shave gel from CrowdTap to try out. I have to be totally honest with you. I have never used a real shaving gel before. Yes, it's true. I usually use coconut oil or just plain water. So this was a first for me. Let's see how it stood up to my liking.

Well, here is a photo of the before

OMG NOOOOOOOO HAHAHAHAHA I totally kid you. This was just a joke. These are not my legs {though I am certain my husband would say otherwise some days LOL} I had to put this picture. I couldn't resist when goggling "hairy legs"

 

Skintimate Signature Scents Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel features a refreshing fragrance of fresh mandarin, lemon and lime with six moisturizers, including antioxidant vitamin E and olive butter, to help replenish skin's natural moisture and provide unbeatable razor protection for a close, comfortable shave and healthy-feeling, smooth skin.
Skintimate Signature Scents Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel:
Unbeatable razor protection
Moisturizing
Vitamin E and olive butter

  

The first thing I noticed when I took off the lid and started to squirt some in my hand was the aroma. It had a very strong, but pleasant smell of fruits and citrus. You could really smell the citrus big time. Which isn't bad. I'm a huge fan of citrus fruits.
I then noticed the beautiful coral color. It felt like silky jelly in my hand. It was kind of fun to play around with. So then I started to apply it to my legs and it glided on very smooth and a very easy application. It instantly turned bright white. Which is really cool cause now I could finally see where I hadn't shaved and there was no concern to miss any spots or patches.

 

Why yes, that is my "so serious" selfie face LOL. I have no idea why I look so grouchy but I guess I forgot to smile. 

All in all, I really liked this product and it made my legs feel very smooth afterward. Not to mention, the fresh citrus scent lingers so you can smell a little zingy all morning. I was really happy trying this product out. And I hope the husband appreciates it too since it made me want to shave my legs this time hahaha


**Disclaimer: I was sent a free bottle of Skintimate Shave Gel from Crowdtap in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are original and completely my own.**


THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 

That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
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