Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool planning looks different for every single homeschooler.  It might be pencil and paper for one, a paper planner for another, a digital calendar for yet another.

It’s no different than anything else in life: what works for me may not work for you, and that’s totally OK.

That’s why today’s link up over at iHomeschool Network rocks: it contains a plethora of posts designed to help you find the best way to do homeschool planning for your family!

Technology

I am a huge fan of technology.  Totally love it.  Touchscreens and keyboards and laptops and everything else.

I do like paper planners, but I’ve found that they just don’t work for me like they used to.  I have so much going on that I need to be able to access everything, everywhere, without having to lug around a 20 pound notebook.

This is why I decided to try to fine-tune my digital homeschool planning.

I’m always on the computer anyway, so it just seemed natural.

I didn’t find the right way at first though.  It took quite a bit of trial and error to find something that actually worked for me.

Below you will find a list of things that I’ve tried, some that I haven’t, and things others use.  It’s by no means exhaustive.

They all have their merits.  Some might work for you.  Some might not.

Either way it’s fun to look at!

Edu-Track – I’ve never personally used this, but I know of homeschoolers that love it.

Donna Young – Quite a bit of her stuff is printable, but you can work around that and make this work for you on your computer.

LessonMinder – A web-based tool for organizing your homeschool.

Homeschool Technology on Pinterest – A great set of resources for technology and homeschool planning

More Homeschool Technology on Pinterest – My homeschool tech board

My Well Planned Day – Family management, calendar management, homeschool planning and record keeping, all in one; what I use

Microsoft Excel

Dropbox

Google Drive

iCloud

What I Use Today & How I Use It

It’s taken me four years, but I’ve finally found what works for me: the My Well Planned Day Software.

It was developed for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers.  Those of us who were early-adopters had the chance to give feedback and help them build the product around what homeschoolers actually wanted.

It’s phenomenal.  It does lesson plans, calendar planning, meal planning, every aspect of your life that you need to plan, it does it.

There’s an app.  There are separate log-ins for children.  Heart. It.

But how do I use it?

Well, first I do what’s outlined in the links in this post in regard to planning our year.

Once I know what I need to plug into the planner, I set about plugging it all in.

I enter the subject, the program auto-selects the curriculum {that I’ve already entered}, then I select the date.

This program allows me to drag and drop if {when} I need to rearrange something, and it lets me grade the assignment as well.

It allows Babydoll to check off the assignment when she is done.

That’s how I do it.  It’s pretty darn simple with the use of this program.

But, I’ve also done something similar with Excel and Dropbox.  Check out those two links to see how that worked.

The Bottom Line

Make it work for you.  If you’re an iCal fiend, figure out a way to make iCal work for you.

If you’re an avid Google Calendar user, make it work.

Plus, there’s nothing saying you can only use one thing to plan.  Maybe you do the bulk of the dirty work in Excel or iCal, and then you plug it into something like My Well Planned Day.

Don’t reinvent the wheel folks.  Evaluate what you already know and love, and figure out a way to use it for your homeschool planning!

The Homeschool Classroom – Inexpensive Teacher Gifts

The Homeschool Classroom Contributor

The Homeschool Classroom ContributorI’m so excited to let you guys know that I’ve got my first contributor post up at The Homeschool Classroom!

This month we’re talking teacher gift ideas, but with a homeschool spin.  Whether it’s a sports coach, ballet teacher, or co-op assistant, there are plenty of opportunities for your child to gift someone in their life!

Go check it out and let me know what you think!

#LittleChefs Twitter Party & a Giveaway

Chef ECard

I’m sad to say that my work with Chef Boyardee is coming to a close, but we’re having one last celebration!

Get all the details below!

What: Join us for a Twitter Party to celebrate special holiday moments with family in the kitchen, inspired by The Little Chefs Project, the first-ever crowd sourced e-book on cooking with little chefs! In partnership with Chef Boyardee, The Motherhood and 40 fantastic mom bloggers have written a virtual book that will truly make you feel like a kid again. From creating family time in the kitchen to bonding over everyday and holiday fun, we have tips and recipes for creating kitchen magic with your family.

When: Thursday, December 6, 2-3 p.m. ET

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #LittleChefs hashtag to track the conversation.  You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: http://twtvite.com/littlechefs

Hashtag: #LittleChefs


Prizes: Chef Boyardee will give away five total prizes, each consisting of a Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit, coupons, a Chef hat, apron and cookie cutters.  Winners will be chosen randomly from among participants who respond correctly to trivia questions.

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann

While you’re waiting, head over to the Chef Boyardee Facebook app and make an e-recipe card.  It’s so fun!  Check mine out!

Creating a Chef Boyardee e-card

You can click here to get to the Facebook app that will take you through the creation of a fun animated e-card – your chance to get in the kitchen with Chef Hector Boiardi himself!

Just follow the instructions to create the card and watch what unfolds in the kitchen. After you see the animation, you’ll have the option to share it via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Have fun!!!

A Chef Boyardee Giveaway!

Want to win the fantastic stuff above? You’ll get:

  • Kids’ kitchen measure and prep kit
  • Kids’ recipe box
  • Scrapbook album
  • 2 Chef Boyardee chef hats
  • Chef Boyardee adult apron
  • Chef Boyardee child apron
  • Chef Boyardee pizza kit
  • Time capsule
  • 2 coupons for free Chef Boyardee Beefaroni
  • 5 Chef Boyardee recipe cards

***GIVEAWAY ENDED***

True Confessions: I am being compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are my own.

Thoughts on Being a #KotexMom

kotex-mom-badge-rvsd

Folks give a little snicker when I first tell them that I am a U by Kotex Tween Ambassador.

Sure.  I get it; it’s a little funny to talk about tampons and pads and periods.  But that humor belies a bigger problem: it’s hard for us as parents to talk about periods with our daughters.

This is the reason I wanted to be an Ambassador: I needed help bringing the subject up with my daughter.

Despite our great relationship and ability to talk with each other about just about anything, this conversation was a hard one for me.

I was putting it off.

Then I started working with U by Kotex Tween and started using all the great tools they provide:  a great website full of helpful information and cute pads, preparing for the talk and “the calendar,” thinking about the importance of having the talk, and learning to prepare my daughter for everything that comes with a period.

I felt much more prepared to have this big talk with my daughter. We did it, she was fine, and I realized I had way over-thought and over-freaked about this!

One of my favorite parts of the campaign: I began to fear this new phase of my daughter’s life a little less.

I still don’t want her to grow up, and it makes me so sad to know that in eight short years, she’ll quite possibly be gone, but I’ve learned to cherish the new aspects of our relationship.

No longer am I pushing strollers, toting diaper bags, packing snacks, or planning around nap times.  We can enjoy days out getting our hair cut and shopping, going out to lunch, heading to plays.

Do I miss the younger years? Sure.  Do I now realize that there’s so much to cherish now? Yes.  I can’t worry about what’s no longer here, otherwise I’ll miss what’s right in front of me.

Something I’m looking forward to? The great folks at U by Kotex Tween sent us a $25 gift card to have a mommy/daughter date and we’re heading to The Melting Pot this week to use it!  See, another one of those fun things!

What does all this mean for you?

I really encourage you to make peace with this aspect of your daughter’s life.  It’s a fact of life, and it would be so much better for your daughter if you prepared her for it.

U by Kotex Tween provides a variety of resources to help you and your daughter.  Many are explained in the posts I’ve linked to above, and there are even more on the Kotex site and the U by Kotex Hello Period site.  The latter has a great design and will likely appeal to your daughter.

Invest in preparing her now, before she starts her period.  Purchase supplies {the U by Kotex Tween stuff is so cute!}, make sure she knows how to use them, answer any questions.  We all know that fear of the unknown makes something scarier than it needs to be.

What tips would you share?  Have you used these resources to help facilitate a talk with your daughter?

Let me know in the comments below!

True Confessions:  I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

A Very Special Gift for a Very Special Guy #bb4me

2012-12-12_17-35-31_573

Most of you know that Mr. Sweet Phenomena was in the Navy at one point.

We never saw him because he was always out to sea.  Sad for us.

But you know what I sometimes felt even worse about?

The fact that he couldn’t do the things that he enjoyed because when he wasn’t out to sea he was trying to spend time with us, do the things I needed him to do, and do things like sleep.

This is one of the things that I love most about him being out of the Navy now: he has the time to do the things he likes.

One of those things is hunting.  And hunting involves guns.  And he just likes guns.

Not in a weird obsessive kind of way, but in an appreciating their beauty and awesomeness kind of way.

Perfect Gift for a Perfect Guy

Mr. Sweet Phenomena recently mentioned that he wanted a new BB gun.

Immediately I thought to myself: “Oh man, how awesome would it be to surprise him with one?!”

Then reality set in:  we pretty much live off of his income; he works hard and gives us everything we want and need.  But should I make a purchase like this without his knowing?

Plus, I don’t know a thing about guns or BB air pistols or anything else remotely related.

Enter Daisy Outdoor Products.

They have a phenomenal website folks.  They not only sell their products, but they strive to educate as well.

Knowing what to look for and how to select an air pistol is great, but they also are big on safety and education.

I appreciate a company that cares about the legacy they’re leaving; the people that buy their products.

Off to Academy Sports & Outdoors

We actually visited three Academy Sports while looking for the Daisy Winchester Model 11 Air Pistol.  Two of the stores showed the item in stock, but neither myself nor the employees could find it!

They had a good selection of other Daisy products, though, so we went to town finding one that would fit his needs:

  • CO2 powered
  • Multi-shot

One of the first things that struck me about the Daisy brand versus any other air pistol brand at the store was how professional everything looked.  The packaging was sturdy and clean looking and it didn’t look like it was being marketing to a prepubescent boy.

Sure, the zombies were an interesting touch to some of the other items, but I like to be able to see what I’m getting, how it’s powered, what it shoots, etc.  Not that you can pretend kill zombies…

Score, we found one!

Babydoll has everything wrapped and ready to go; we can’t wait to give it to him!

Not only is this something that he’ll enjoy and be able to make great use of, but it’s something that he can share with Babydoll.

Not this particular gun necessarily, but he can teach her all about gun safety, how guns work, best-practices {for lack of a better term}.  I’m thrilled that it’s something they can share, and it’s all because he’s home now.

Be sure to check out all of the Daisy Outdoor Products.  They have things for just about any age, and remember that they have lots of safety resources as well.

You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook!

And if you’d like to see some of the interesting stuff we found on our shopping trip, check out my Google+ album!

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Daisy. #CBias #SocialFabric #bb4me