The One-Armed Paper Hanger Lives!

The only things I needed to buy for school this year…and it came to less than $30! 🙂

Oh yes…I’m still here. 🙂  Things have been a whirlwind here lately, so I’m having to juggle some priorities.

As you may know, in the space of a few weeks, we candidated at a church, which called my husband as their pastor, we packed, cleaned, and moved all our stuff (with the gracious help of friends).  We then had VBS at our church (the Lord blessed with a wonderful turn out for both the children’s morning program and the teen’s evening activities).  I was corralling kids from 9 until noon, unpacking like a crazy woman all afternoon, and then back to the church for the teens from 6:30-9:30.  Very busy days!

Now, we have only a few boxes remaining in the house, and things are feeling more like home.  This past week, I put my nose to the grindstone and got (at least) the first month of lesson plans done for school…which we’ve bumped to the first week in September, all things considered.  Wow, so grateful for amazing internet tools!  I began combing through resources several months ago to set up lessons for all three kids (1st, 7th and 10th grades).  The Lord helped me to find wonderful things (every bit of it free) as well as a superabundance of things I did not need, but simply could not allow to disappear back into the abyss of  I’ll-never-find-it-again-unless-I-bookmark-it-but-how-many-things-does-a-person-really-need-in-their-favorites. So I started “Schoolin’ Swag.”

If you are on Facebook, and have an interest in homeschooling, come join the group!  We have 300+ members now, with new friends being added every day.  Each day there are new freebies, tips and deals from all over the web.  I figured it was one way to help others who were in the same boat as I was…feeling overwhelmed, combing through scads of URL’s (some dead, some great, some not so much).

I’ll just share two tools here that I have really enjoyed.  The first is from GoalForIt.  This site offers free chore charts, with lots of templates and options.  There are very cute ones, and some that are more streamlined for tweens and teens.  Here is a screen shot of our Katie’s, for example:

The kids get to choose what buttons they want for checking off their responsibilities, and they can earn “moolah” if you wish (which translates into minutes for computer time in our house).

Another tool I am grateful for is Home School, Inc.  At this free site, I have set up all my lesson plans for all three students, and the various options allow me to print attendance records, report cards, etc.  I can keep track of each student’s progress daily, and it gives them one easy place (for older students) to independently move through their day, checking off their work as they go.  I just entered instructions for each course, and URL’s for where they need to go to find their work for the day.  It required a few hours of my time, but it will help things to go much more smoothly when school has begun.  Here is a screen shot of my main page for all of our courses:

Here is a “School Today” page for our 10th grader:

This view shows here how many courses she has each day. If she clicks on “View Week,” it gives her the week’s assignments at a glance. She also has the option of clicking the down arrow on any given day to see that day’s work. The small boxes next to each date indicate if that day’s work has been complete.

So this gives you a pretty good idea about where I’ve been.  Looking forward to a great year. Once the dust settles, I’ll share more postings with you here.  TTFN! 🙂

Schoolin' Swag–Win a Copy of "If" by Amy Carmichael

I haven’t blogged much about homeschooling because for the past two years we’ve been doing a virtual academy.  This next school year, however, due to an overdose of standardized testing, our son’s special needs, and some other factors, we’ve decided to hit the “old chalk dust trail” once more.

So, in my quest for good, solid, cheap (or even better…FREE) curriculum, I began to accumulate quite a list of goodies.  I just couldn’t keep it to myself, so I started a group on Facebook called “Schoolin’ Swag”.  If you are on Facebook and are interested, just search the name and request to be added.  It is an open group.  We’ve been having a lot of fun, and already have in excess of 80 great links for helps, printables, curriculum and more!

Something else going on in the group is a contest to name our homeschool.  Currently, it is “Heeney Homeschool” (I know… *yawn*).  Join the group, offer some suggestions for our school (if we name it, we’ll get attached to it, right? 😉 ), and you may win a copy of “If” by Amy Carmichael.

Come join us!

Homeschool Freebies: Companion Study for "The Book of Virtues"

Here’s the scoop:

Patty Thompson, who runs the Shiver Academy Blog, has just completed a wonderful, HUGE project — a Unit Study Companion for the Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett, especially for homeschoolers. Each unit covers 10 of the stories/poems/essays that are included in the Book of Virtues. Each story has worksheets, notebook pages, vocabulary, character study sheets, copywork, 1-2 projects (plus a long-term project) and a Lapbook with an optional unit wrap up activity. And to top it off a full lesson plan for older kids, and a separate one for primary aged children.

The full Study is a whopping 992 pages long (!) and the download is quite large (18.93 MB) – but Patty also has links to individual units available if you just want to download them one at a time. Each unit is roughly 100 pages, but it is not required to DO all those pages. For instance, if you do the worksheets you probably shouldn’t worry about the notebook pages. If your children are young, you probably should skip the projects. If they are really young, just do the wrap up after reading the stories. In short, tweak the materials to fit your family’s needs.

Go here to join the homeschool freebie email list and have the opportunity to download your free copy of this study resource.

Free Lapbooking Resources


Here is a link for some great lapbooking resources for your homeschool.  This is a neat learning tool that I am only beginning to investigate, that may put my daughter’s love for creating and her lack of eagerness for reporting all together in a fun little package.

Have fun investigating links for over 300 free lapbooks at this site, including themes like:  cooking, money, the “Little House”  book series, ABC’s, fire safety, chemistry, lots of blank templates and more.  Click here.