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August 30, 2015

Homeschool ID cards

A question I see often is how do I get an (teacher) ID card? How do I get (student) ID card for my kids? Simple answer MAKE ONE YOURSELF!

Yes, there are sites out there that will generate one for you. Some are free; some cost a little bit of money, but honestly you don't need those sites. You can do it yourself.

First you will need some basic supplies and skills.

Now this is where some skill comes in.

  1. Picture - You will want to make the picture as basic and "school" like as possible. Do a head shot from about the shoulders up and have the background be as basic possible. Up against a plain wall is just fine. Make sure they are nice and bright too.
  2. Paper layout - You will want to use a business card layout or basic business card template if you are unsure how to do that with your word processing program you will want to google it. If you get the business card ready paper mentioned above it will have instructions on how to set up the layout (I'm not giving more details then that because every word processing program is different). However I will include a simple drawing of the typical layout below.
  3. Print your ID cards; punch out if using the business card ready card stock; if using regular card stock or regular paper cut to size.
  4. Laminate the cards with either a laminator and thermal pouches OR the self-laminating pouches

Yes, I know what what you are thinking. That's very basic Nikki! Yes it is very basic. I personally feel that is all that is truly needed. If you look at public school ID cards that is really all the information that is one them. Sometimes it may include an student ID number or a bar code and you could make that up too if you wanted.

I know many of the homeschool templates out there have a lot more information on there like address, phone number, child's birth date. Some of the even include the child's weight and other information. Honestly, that's NOT needed. You do not have to disclosed all of that information and you certainly don't need to put that all on an ID card.

The template example above is the for a student. The teacher one would be made similar just instead of the grade put teacher.  And in case if you haven't figured it out the smiley face is about where your child (or your) picture will go.

Now, why go through the hassle of making your own? Why not use one of those (homeschool) template sites that will generate one for me or even print it and mail it to me for a small fee? Well, I wouldn't use them because one they ask you to include way to much information on the card. Information I really don't want to enter into a site just to get a card or have on my ID cards.  It just protects your ID and your children's ID to make them yourself. That and self-made ones can be a little bit more personalized with color schemes you want.

Some families even have a homeschool logo that they can add to the cards to make them more personalized. Or if you have a Bible verse or tagline for your homeschool you can add that. I would add the Bible verse/tagline under the School Name and before the School Year.

Have fun playing around with this and making up your own ID cards for your homeschool.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

August 25, 2015

Cooking 101: Chicken

Many homeschoolers, like myself, consider cooking, cleaning, housekeeping apart of schooling, but more importantly life skills.  I don't care if it's boy or girl my kids will know basic housekeeping and cooking skills.

Today I had my daughter, 13, sharpen up on her cooking skills by prepping the chicken for tonight's dinner. It went something like this after I gave her some basic instructions and left her to be.

Daughter: Do we still have some surgical gloves?
Me: Why do you need surgical gloves?
Daughter: I'm not sticking my bare hands up a chicken butt! Gross!

I then told her where to find the gloves and went about my business and let her be. After a little while I get....  "Mom, should I massage the chicken before putting seasoning on it?"

I already laughing over the whole glove thing just sighed and told her if she wanted to that's fine. Are your kids doing any cooking yet? Do they not want to touch raw meat? How is teaching them life skills going?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

August 23, 2015

Family Bible Time

This is one area that I struggle with as well.  Setting up a family Bible time.  I think Lacy at Catholic Icing has some very good pointers on how to get Family Bible Time up and running. Check it out!

Reading The Bible As A Family: 5 Steps To Get Started

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

August 9, 2015

How does homeschooling work?

How does homeschooling work? How can I homeschool? What do I need to do? and other similar questions are what parents or children ask all the time especially this time of year.  Many want to homeschool but don't feel they can. Many students want to be homeschool but don't know how to approach the subject with their parents or want to know if it can be done without Mom's and Dad's approval.

Children and Teens: You need Mom and Dad (or just one parent if you live in a single parent home) or whoever your guardian is to approve and act as the administrator of your homeschooling. You can't just simply be homeschooled because you want to be.

Parents/Guardians:  Every state has it's own homeschooling laws so what you have to do in terms of registration, letter of intent, standardized testing, notifications, logging hours, number of days, are determine by your STATE laws.  So the first step would be to familiarize yourself with your STATE homeschooling laws. One resource to do this is: HSLDA State Laws

After you familiarize yourself with state laws the next step is decided what METHOD of homeschooling fits your needs or your child's needs the best. There are many different methods and one is not really better then the other.  It's just a matter of what appeals to you more and which one will fit your personality better.  It's similar to having cats or dogs or fish for pets. They are all fine animals, and more good pets, it's just some people are not cat people -- and that's okay.  Maybe your method is more of "school at home" where it is very much like school, textbooks, quizzes, worksheets, you might even have a school room. Or maybe your method is more child-led where your child picks a topic and you help facilitate that with giving them access to everything and anything they may need to go deep into that topic -- or maybe you a mix of the two or something else all together.   Knowing what your child's learning styles are might help you determine what METHOD is best too.

Once you figured out method and learning styles, or at least have a very good idea what you want it's time to look at curriculum! However before doing that. You should stop and ask  yourself a few more questions like: Cost? What I'm a willing to spend? Do I want Catholic? Christian? Secular materials?CCS (common core standard) aligned?  CCS independent? Have a little bit more of an idea of what you want before you step on to the curriculum lot. Early on in my homeschooling career I was told to think about curriculum shopping like car shopping. You don't walk unto a car lot without and idea of what it is you are looking for and what you are willing to spend.  Granted once you get on the car lot and start looking at options, prices, and what's available your budget or desires might change, but you didn't walk unto the lot blindly. You had an idea of what you were looking for.

The same is needed when curriculum shopping. You need an idea of what you are looking for before you step onto the lot! Why you might ask? Well Homeschool Roadmap which categorized resources and curriculum options by CCS statuses has over 2,600 options listed. They are always adding to the list too. So with over 2,600 options and counting available you kind of need to know what you want. Again you get an idea of what you want by knowing what method you want to use, what learning your style your child is, what you want to spend, what is your worldview (Catholic, Christian, Secular), what you want in terms of CCS (no CCS or yes CCS), etc.

How to homeschool?

  1. Know your state homeschooling laws
  2. Know what method you want to use
  3. Know your child's learning styles
  4. Have an idea what you want your curriculum to be like
  5. Buy curriculum (or not if you choose to go more 'unschooling')
  6. Just do it! 
Just do it: Might sound scary and a huge step and a big leap, but honestly you are not going to know what is like or how to do it until you just do it!  Know you won't miss your kids up, Know that you really cant fail them if you have a plan and goals and do your best to carry them out, and Know that whatever you do -- especially if you are pulling them out of public school or even private school for that matter that it will take TIME to adjust. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to give it 2 school years before you say Nay or Yay.  The first year is adjusting getting your feet wet learning about your kids styles, your styles, figuring out what works for you. The second year is more of that, but now that your feet are a little wet and you have been doing it for a bit more of a groove starts to form and you get a true sense if this going to work out for you or not!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.
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