Thursday, December 1, 2016

What if I am Not the Crazy One for Homeschooling High School?

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” Goethe

People look at me like I just sprouted wings when I answer YES to their question of, "Are you going to homeschool throughout high school?"

I mean, we've been doing it for 3 months now during freshman year for my oldest and it's going well. He enjoys it and doesn't want to go to "normal" high school, as one of his Catholic school friends put it. Guess what? Homeschooling might be the NEW NORMAL for a lot of people! BAM! Take that!*

Yes, it's a leap of faith but that's what we took 10 years ago when we first started. Has everyone learned to read on schedule, is everyone caught up on math, do they all know their state capitals and important historical and scientific facts? Nope. And I'm not freaking out about it as much as I used to.

The worst that happens is my youngest two need help in religious education classes and at coop with their writing and reading. For now. They will pick it up and be off and running when they are ready. I can have this kind of confidence because I saw it with my 13-year-old, my 15-year-old and also my 11-year-old who is just NOW starting to read great (thanks, honestly, to Instagram messages and postings and texting her friends).

Oh, and the other bad thing that happens is when they play a game in gym and have to know the state capitals to advance, and my kid is like, "HUH? That's what GPS and Google and your computer and phone are for and when do I ever need that information?"

I feel like I have to address the social thing, even though it's super ridiculous. My high schooler is overly socialized. Like I spend a fortune in gas socialized. He gets a full day on Wednesdays ... I'm talking 10:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. ... at our local Catholic homeschool coop and then Theology of the Body for Teens. And Mondays he takes Latin there. Then there's Boy Scouts, and he's currently the Senior Patrol Leader in his troop. Oh, and there was that field trip to the World War I museum he recently went on and that field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum (socializing AND learning at the same time ... WAHOO!). And I'm forgetting a ton of stuff. But don't worry, because even though Kansas doesn't seem to care what I do, I keep an Excel spreadsheet for my high schooler for the purposes of his transcript. I keep track of hours and he's doing great.

He has a lawn care job (when he's not soccer reffing or working at the gymnastics place or babysitting or altar serving funerals for income) and works with friends. He is always going to movies with friends and hanging out with friends and adults like extended family and there you go. Oh, and did I mention he's starting to DRIVE?

Here is a picture of him indoor rock climbing recently with a couple of girl friends:

Yes, it's weird for me to have a 15-year-old son who is starting to drive and be all independent and stuff.
All YOU have to do is Google "homeschooling high school" and check out all the bazillions of links, like:
  • Curriculum links for real books
  • Khan Academy for math and more (free!)
  • Time4Learning (what we use right now but it's glitchy so I might quit)
  • Virtual school (we've used it; free!)
  • Discovery K-12 (put your own thing together FREE)
  • Reading Eggs (we use it)
  • Math Seeds (we use it)
  • ABC
  • IXL Math
  • CTC Math
  • The math they use in public school that made my kids cry because it was timed and stressfu
  • Life of Fred (we love it)
  • The What Your (fill-in-the-blank-grade) Grader Needs to Know series through 6th grade
  • Starfall
  • Saxon, Seton, Singapore, Teaching Textbooks, Catholic Heritage Curricula
  • And about 75,000 other resources that are either free or middle-of-the-road  or costly.
And yes, question-asker, I have lots of friends who have homeschooled up until 9th grade then decided to send their kid to high school. I try to never say never these days, and I realize we could be sending a kid to high school someday. I have 5 kids and they all have different personalities and dreams and goals and wants and needs. I respect that. It's working for us right now and I am going to just be totally thrilled about that and enjoy every minute of it.

So, don't worry, Friends Who Send Your Kids to School and Family Who Sent Your Kids to School ... I got this.

*Disclaimer: I did not write this post to spark a debate. I fully realize homeschooling is not for everyone. I can't imagine my parents homeschooling me! I just wrote it to point people who ask to a post so they can read my views instead of getting the deer-in-headlights look from me because they have caught me in the middle of a busy day to ask me a very complicated question! Do I think my kids will be perfect if I homeschool them through high school? Of course not. They are subjected to some of the same temptations as any other teens, and they have hormones just like any other teens.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Earn #Swagbucks When You Join #Time4Learning

I love Swagbucks as a way to earn extra money. I take surveys, watch videos, do the daily poll, but mostly I get points when I buy things I was already going to buy. For instance, I do a lot of shopping on eBay. Let's say I spend $50 on something like books for homeschooling or pens or you name it. Then I get 50 Swagbucks back ... and sometimes they double it. I also get Swagbucks for surfing the internet, which we all do pretty much daily. Check it out! I also got Swagbucks when I signed up for Time4Learning last spring for my kids. Swagbucks are straightforwards ... it's basically a penny per buck. I usually take my Swagbucks out in PayPal cash and they are quick about it. If you are a blogger, you can also join their influencer program and sometimes get bonuses to post about Swagbucks, assuming you love it like I do :-)

Here's a promotion for Time4Learning they are running. I'll be posting more about Time4Learning on this site as we go through the program. Look for the tag on the side of the blog for Time4Learning. Thanks for reading!

 Earn Up To 2,702 SB

Earn Up To 2,702 SB!

Time4Learning is an online interactive curriculum for students PreK through 12th grade offering 1,500+ multimedia lessons, tools, teaching resources, and more. Combining the technology kids love with the education they need! Watch a 60 second video and earn 2 SB. Sign your child up and earn an extra 300 SB. Stay Subscribed for more than 2 weeks and earn an extra 600 SB and continue for more than 30 days and earn an extra 1,800 SB.*

*Disclaimer: I do receive a Swagbucks bonus when you sign up and I also get a free month of Time4Learning for my family when you join it, love it and stay with it more than 14 days :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

#KansasCity Crown Center Homeschool Week 2016

Get ready, because Crown Center Homeschool Week is coming and it's packed with fun stuff to do which is usually discounted. Keep in mind some of this stuff is already free, but you get a GIFT for going during Homeschool Week. No, we don't need more stuff in our house, but it's a good reason to get out and do something fun that's free and the gift might entice your kids to put down the Minecraft.

I do miss our Science City membership my dad and stepmom used to get for the kids, but I can't really justify $42 to go during homeschool week so we'll be avoiding that. We just went to SeaLife recently, but the Legoland pass is severely discounted ... still, for the price, all my five kids would want to do would be to ride the Harry Potter ride and watch the little movies over and over and I'm not sure it's worth it to our budget.

We went to the WWI museum recently enough that the kids are fine with not going. I am waiting for the WWII museum (not in the works, FYI). The Union Station exhibit is probably super cool but $11 per person means $66 to my family and we just can't swing it if we want to save to go to Florida next year.

We already have our Money Museum reservations because Friday is Sam's 7th birthday and he has been asking to go on a bank field trip so here ya go, kid. My kids also love Kaleidoscope no matter how old they get and we haven't done the Hallmark Visitors Center in a while.

The Coterie is pleased to offer “One youth ticket free with the purchase of a full price adult
ticket” to any performance of The Nine Who Dared: Courage in Little Rock, a uniquely
interactive drama that asks audiences to become citizens of 1957 Little Rock, AR, and
participate in a "town hall" meeting about one of the defining moments of the Civil Rights
Movement. Live on stage September 20 – October 21, 2016. Perfect for ages 12 and older.
Limit of one free ticket per order. Cannot be combined with other offers or applied to
previous purchases, and is subject to ticket availability. Call 816-474-6552 and mention
District Homeschool Week to receive discount.

Travel through the Hallmark Visitors Center and be transported to a place where a storied
past and an exciting future come to life for one of the world’s premier creative companies.
The Hallmark Visitors Center is free. For more information contact us at 816-274-3613 or Each homeschool family will receive a complimentary gift
(while supplies last).

Kaleidoscope nourishes the creative spirit. It is a place where children are invited to be
creative, have fun and feel good about their own special ideas. Kaleidoscope is a public
service of Hallmark Cards and is free. For information contact us at 816-274-8301 or Each homeschool family will receive a complimentary gift
(while supplies last).

All homeschool families will receive our special homeschool week rate of $7.00+tax per
student and $10.00+tax per adult. Monday through Friday only, our “What A Great
Experience” workshop will be offered with ticketed admission at the following times at no
extra charge:
1st Session 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm OR 2nd Session 1:45pm – 2:15 pm (weekdays only)
This offer is valid for walk-up admission only. LEGOLAND

We invite area homeschool students and families to join us for a special homeschool tour
series. All tours, regardless of age level, include a tour of our cash department where
students will look into the action of the cash operation and watch the millions of dollars that
are processed daily. Groups will be limited to the first 30 individuals that sign up in
advance. For reservations, visit
• Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Tours: Students learn about the value of coins and how
coins are made. Offered: October 3 - 5 at 10:30 AM.
• 3rd – 5th Grade Tours: Students learn the characteristics of money and use
museum iPads to take a close look at the different security features used on U.S.
currency to keep it safe from counterfeiting. Offered: October 3 and 4 at 2 PM
and October 6 at 10:30 AM.
• Family Tour: Families explore interactive exhibits that describe banking, how
people pay for things, and how monetary policy decisions impact a family's bottom
line. Offered: October 5 – 7 at 2 PM and October 7 at 10:30 AM.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is pleased to announce special activities
for Homeschool students visiting Tuesday – Friday (October 4 – 7; Closed Monday)
• A complimentary guided tour from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day of Homeschool
• A discounted rate of $3/ticket that includes a trip in the Liberty Memorial Tower for
each group member
• A free National World War I Museum and Memorial Family Guide
Tour spaces are limited and RSVP is required. Please contact the Museum Learning
Coordinator at 816-888-8113 to RSVP for a tour. Without exception, a responsible adult
must be present with students at all times at the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower and as
students wait at the base of the Tower.

All homeschool families will receive our special Homeschool Week rate of $7.00+tax per
student and $10.00+tax per adult.
Monday through Friday, our “Slip & Slime” free workshops will be offered with ticketed
admission at the following times at no extra charge:
1st Session 10:30 am – 11:00am OR 2nd Session 11:15am—11:45am
This offer is valid for walk-up admission only. SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium’s
Homeschool Week offer is valid September 26 – October 7, 2016.

Tuesday, October 4 – Sunday, October 9
*Please note all attractions will be closed on Monday, October 3.
Science City & Daily Activities: $7/person
Science Demonstrations
Maker Studio Walk Up Workshops
Science on a Sphere Shows
Featured Spark!Lab Activities
*Daily activities are included with Science City admission.
Planetarium Showings: $4/person
10:30am – One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
1pm – Stargaze Kansas City
2pm – Back to the Moon for Good
3pm – Earth, Moon and Sun
4pm – Stargaze Kansas City
10:30am – Earth, Moon and Sun
12pm – One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
1pm – Stargaze Kansas City
2pm – Back to the Moon for Good
3pm – Stargaze Kansas City
4pm – Dinosaurs at Dusk
12pm – One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
1pm – Stargaze Kansas City
2pm – Back to the Moon for Good
3pm – Stargaze Kansas City
4pm – Dinosaurs at Dusk
*All showings last 25-45 minutes.
*Add our Model Rail Experience, Building a Monument and Union Station Stories
exhibits to any attraction for FREE!
*Please check our website for more details!

Monday, October 3-Sunday, October 9
*Please note the BODY WORLDS Exhibition, will be open Monday, October 3-
Sunday, October 9
BODY WORLDS: $11/person
10am-5pm: Self-led tours (Monday-Thursday)
10am-7pm: Self-led tours (Friday & Saturday)
12pm-5pm: Self-led tours (Sunday)
*Exhibition does not include tour guide.
*Add our Model Rail Experience, Building a Monument and Union Station Stories
exhibits to any attraction for FREE!
*Please check our website for more details!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Homeschooling Mommybot Email Subscription Gets You a Free Cookbook!

Okay, so when you sign up for an email subscription (don't worry, I don't post constantly or anything like that ... who has time for that when they are homeschooling?!), I'll send you a FREE PDF of my book The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook. Just use the form on the right-hand side of the blog to sign up via MailChimp and I'll get your book to you ASAP!

Thanks for checking out Homeschooling Mommybot!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

No Homework? This Chick is Gonna Get So Fired!

I found this little gem on Facebook and loved it! I'm not saying homework is evil or anything, but I've always wondered why we can't get our work done in the 7 hours we are at school, even considering the wasted time lining up, trying to get everyone quiet, answering questions and explaining things over and over again for those who did not understand.

At our co-op, I understand giving homework for the high school kids because if you are only physically in class 1 hour a week then you need to supplement that outside of class to get a full credit on a high school transcript. But for elementary school kids? Not necessary! Middle school should have some, I suppose, just to gear them up for high school. And I understand some homework in high school to get kids ready for college.

Some families will love this new homework policy but others will just let their kids sit on video games all night instead. Some will actually spend more time with their kids but some will just check out like always.

I admire school teachers very much.  They just want to light up the lives of kids and that has to be difficult when they are sandwiched between administrators who are often out of touch and parents who are also often out of touch. It is my hope and prayer that this homework policy for this specific class makes a difference in the lives of the kids and the parents :-)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Preparing Your Homeschooling Area for a Fresh Year ... Or Just Leaving It Messy!

I've seen people posting pictures of their super clean desks for their home school year so I wanted to share mine. It's a hot mess just like my personality. That thing wrapped in a towel is a bag of frozen spinach to put on my face for a bad tooth. Oh look, there's the 30-page Excel spreadsheet printout for the seventh edition update of my book that I have to get out someday so we can make some extra money to buy more homeschool stuff. 

But first I have about four days to get out a couple of syllabi. For co-op. 

Oh yeah then there's homeschool planning for five kids for the next year. 

Can you tell I'm clinging to summer? And procrastinating?

Hey, at least I can find everything! Besides, this is more my lifestyle and work desk (the kitchen table). We homeschool mostly at the dining room table and you are not getting a photo of that anytime soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Homeschool High School Physical Education PE Lesson Plan 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Grade

So whenever I would Google something like "homeschool high school lesson plans" or anything similar, I came up with jack squat. Or something I had to pay for. And when that happens, I spend many hours working on my own lesson plans and then I know I have to share them with others for free!

This is for a Catholic homeschool co-op with about 30 kids in the class, so I had to leave some things out because of class size and the size of the gym.

I am supposed to have 2 adult helpers, so I am hoping to prep them ahead of time so we can each work with a group of 10 roughly.

I only have about 45 minutes for the class because Mass is directly afterward and we want to make sure the kids have some time to freshen up before going to church (time to change back into their uniforms, etc.). Co-op committee is working on exact wording so we are all on the same modest page. Don't need any "distractions" ... know what I mean?

The only sport I know how to play decently is baseball. So I am going to be learning some new things for sure. And then filling in with lots of random fun things that get us moving. I don't think gym class just has to be about learning new sports and how to play them because obviously it didn't work for me during all 13 years of my schooling. But I will never forget the FUN gym days when we got to play with the parachutes and just mess around MOVING OUR BODIES. Structure can be good and structure can also be stifling. I'm going to try to make it work.

I'm starting every class with stretches and 3 laps around the gym. There's your structure. I'm done. I also like to know what's going on so at the end of each class I'll let the kids know what we're doing the next week. Maybe even pop a note up in our grading system to let everyone know just for fun.

No fitness logs, nothing to read outside of class. No homework. At first I felt bad, like I wasn't being a rigorous (hate that word) enough teacher for what some of the parents want. Then I realized Harvard won't care exactly how or what I taught these kids in PE or if they kept a daily fitness log or wrote me a report on their favorite sport or athlete.

Fake homework: put your flipping phone down and go move your body the rest of the week, m'kay?

Here we go, and I'll let you know at the end of the year how it worked out! In case you're interested, here are the books I'm using, as well as online resources and also STUDENT TEACHERS, yo! I'm assessing in the first class what everyone is good at so I can have them help teach and give them some teaching experience! I will also have 2 helpers so I will find out what they already know as well.

Physical Education
Grades 7-12 Wednesdays, Third Hour
10:45-11:45 (Mass is at noon)

*You are allowed to quickly change between 2nd and 3rd hours into something appropriate for gym class. Comfortable but modest, please. I won’t work you crazy hard but you might break a sweat and if you wear a skirt for your uniform, you might want to change into long shorts or sweatpants. More direction on this will be coming from the committee so everyone is clear on what’s expected as far as clothing J Mass is at noon so I will make sure you’re out a bit early so you can get changed and be on time.

Stress the importance of physical fitness and taking care of the body God has provided for us the best we can. Running, stretching, badminton, soccer, tennis, handball, kickball, dodge ball, wall ball, jump rope, cardio, volleyball and more.

1st Semester 2016

1.      August 24
Stretching and laps and attendance
Getting to know you question activity back and forth across gym
Talk about what you do outside this class for physical fitness on a regular basis
Kickball if time

2.      August 31
Stretching and laps and attendance
Dodgeball, Kickball

3.      September 7
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Intro, Rules, Serving, Bump, Set Pass
Keep It Up (passing skills) with volleyball or beach ball

4.      September 14
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Spike & Tip, Block, Dig

5.      September 21
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Offensive and Defensive Strategies and Game Play

6.      September 28
Stretching and laps and attendance
VOLLEYBALL: Finishing up, more game play

7.      October 5
Stretching and laps and attendance
Bean Bag Fitness Challenges

8.      October 12
Stretching and laps and attendance
Bean Bag Fitness Challenges and Clean Up Your Trash

9.      October 19
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Intro, Rules, Ground stroke forehand, backhand, control

10.  October 26
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Serve, ground strokes, demo doubles games

11.  November 2
Stretching and laps and attendance
TENNIS: Volley and game play; Smash and game play
No Rules Tennis

12.  November 9
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Intro, Rules, Dribbling, Passing

13.  November 16
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Shooting, Heading (?), Trapping, Tackling

14.  November 30
Stretching and laps and attendance
SOCCER: Goaltending, Offense, Defense

15.  December 7
Stretching and laps and attendance
Volleyball, Tennis and Soccer Recap and Quiz
Hungry Hungry Hippos

16.  December 14
Stretching and laps and attendance
Parachute fun

2nd Semester 2017

1.      January 18
Stretching and laps and attendance
Partner games: king of the mountain, fake and push, toe boxing, push-up tag

2.      January 25
Stretching and laps and attendance
HANDBALL: Intro, Rules, Passing Drills and Games

3.      February 1
Stretching and laps and attendance
HANDBALL: Shooting Drills and Games, Skill Games

4.      February 8
Stretching and laps and attendance
Jump rope activities

5.      February 15
Stretching and laps and attendance
Team games: tug of war, rope jousting, etc.

6.      February 22
Stretching and laps and attendance

7.      March 8
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Intro, Rules, Ball-Handling Skills

8.      March 15
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Passing and Catching, Dribbling, Play

9.      March 22
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Lay-Up and Push Shots, Jump Shots, Play

10.  March 29
Stretching and laps and attendance
BASKETBALL: Defensive and Offensive Strategy, Play

11.  April 5
Stretching and laps and attendance
More Team-Building Games

12.  April 19
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Intro, Rules, Clear Shots

13.  April 26
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Serve, Smash, Drop & Drive Shots

14.  May 3
Stretching and laps and attendance
BADMINTON: Net Shots, Game Play

15.  May 10
Stretching and laps and attendance
Handball, Basketball and Badminton Recap and Quiz
Hungry Hungry Hippos

16.  May 17
Stretching and laps and attendance
Parachute fun


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