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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 4

sensible homeschool our curriculum choices year four on chalkboard background

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If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.

Year 4 Snapshot

While we were (and still are) far from having it all figured out, Year 4 was the first year I felt noticeably more confident in our homeschooling. 

After several years of educating our kids at home, I now had some data to work with – some proof that this was working. We could look back on work from the years past and see tangible evidence that growth and learning were taking place. Phew!

Spotlight on School Supplies: Hole Reinforcement Labels

Spotlight on School Supplies Hole Reinforcement Label sheets

Heroic Halos of Helpfulness

My mom was right. Good things do come in small packages! If I remember correctly, she was referring to me, not office products, but I think the expression works here, too.

I never thought I’d have such strong feelings for tiny, donut-shaped stickers but I just love these little guys.

It’s so frustrating when a child puts their heart and soul into a detailed notebooking page only to have it torn out of their binder by a sibling. Or worse yet, on more than one occasion, my kids have dropped a binder rendering the holes of many pages useless all at once.

Never fear… hole reinforcement labels are here!!

How to Make a History Timeline

How to Make a History Timeline

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Well, it’s about time!

After years of historical knowledge going in one ear and out the other, I’ve finally found a system for learning and retaining history that works for me (and my kids, too)!

A key element of this system is making timelines. (The other elements that work for us – notebooking and using chronological curricula – I hope to talk about in future posts).

Growing up, one of the main reasons I disliked and couldn’t retain history was because I’m an “overall picture” kind of gal. But in school I had never been given the big picture of history – only out-of-order chunks. I memorized names and dates for tests. I filled in the blanks on my worksheets. I even did some fun projects. But, to my frustration (as a child) and embarrassment (as an adult), I retained very little information about the history of our world.

I don’t even like playing Trivial Pursuit for fear that my historical ignorance will be exposed! 

(oops… the truth is out now)

Thankfully, the history curricula that we’ve used so far (Tapestry of Grace Primer and Story of the World) have both suggested creating timelines to keep track of historical people and events. 

Our Curriculum Choices – Year 3

sensible homeschool our curriculum choices year three on chalkboard background

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If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1 and Year 2.

Year 3 Snapshot

Each year seems to bring something new and Year 3 was no exception. It was the first time I was homeschooling with an infant and without the support and encouragement of my dear mother-in-law who passed away only a few weeks after I had our third baby. 

But God has always been our Provider, whether it’s in the form of new insights, tangible resources, or help from friends and family. He’s consistently given us hope and a way through difficult seasons, both in homeschooling and life in general. 

Spotlight on School Supplies: Colored Index Cards

spotlight on school supplies colored index cards

Bright, Edgy and Surprisingly Useful

I never expected to use colored index cards – or any index cards for that matter – in our homeschool. I bought some in a weak moment as I drooled walked down the aisles of our local office supply store.

Side Note: If you read this blog for any length of time you’ll probably notice my fondness for office supplies. I’m not ashamed.  I’ll shout it from the rooftops…. “I LOVE OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!”  So many options! So many ways to be organized! So much potential in every package! 

*happy sigh*

Sorry, where was I? 

Oh. Right. Colored index cards. 

Spotlight on School Supplies: Magnetic Whiteboard

spotlight on school supplies magnetic whiteboard background with markers and eraser

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Never Bored with Your Board

My apologies to any chalkboard aficionados out there, but now that we’ve used whiteboards, I’ll never go back to chalkboards. Just imagine…..

  • No chalk-covered toddlers
  • No chalk dust in the air and in the carpet
  • No ear-piercing, goose-bump-causing SKREEEEEECH from wandering nails

*shudder*

Don’t get me wrong – I like a cute & trendy menu chalkboard in the kitchen just as much as the next Pinterest-perusing mom. And, of course, chalk still has its place for some activities (that place being outside). But for our day-to-day schoolwork we needed a different solution.

Spotlight on School Supplies: Laminator

spotlight on homeschool supplies laminator with laminated printable

Melting Hearts of Homeschool Moms Everywhere

One of the first memories I have of my early homeschool research is reading a handful of homeschooler’s blogs and noticing the deep affection they all had for their laminators. 

I recall thinking this was strange.  

Yet now, here I am years later, adding my voice to the chorus of homeschool moms singing an Ode to My Laminator.