Happy National Coffee Day

Happy National Coffee Day

The  Official Drink of Homeschool Moms

I never was a coffee drinker until I became a homeschool mom.  Too many early mornings were spent propping my face up in my hands, trying to stay awake.  I would catch myself falling asleep during the classes …..and I remembered what Hubby said about coffee.  Was he right?  Would it work?  It certainly smelled good.  

So, I went upstairs and poured myself a cup of the black liquid and tasted it.  Oh, so bitter!  It needed sugar and lots of it.  Then, it still needed something more.  I knew people put creamer in coffee, which we didn’t have.  Hubby drinks the stuff black.  I added milk and stirred it again.  This time the coffee tasted sweet and delicious.  I began to drink and drink.  It was working.  I was waking up.  I took my mug downstairs and kept drinking through the homeschool lessons.  

I was a happy homeschool mom!  Now, I was hooked on coffee.  I love this holiday.
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Fall Homeschool Field Trips


Fall brings so many wonderful things: cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, football, and the best weather for field trips!  Homeschoolers love to take advantage of this time of year for certain field trips in their region of the country.  In my VA region we have many amazing places to visit!  I never did make it to every place that I intended to visit.

One field trip that we made more than once was a beautiful natural area that everyone in our area goes to on a regular basis.  The Blue Ridge Parkway is not too far from my home and is a glorious place to see in the fall.  The trees (most years) have yellow, orange, red and purple painted leaves covering the mountains in all directions.  Driving the path is breathtaking and so enjoyable.  We always take a picnic and frisbees or footballs to pass the time.  Watching the deer and the stream makes for such a wonderful day!  The field trip can become educational by spending time at the stream and identifying animals, trees, birds and leaves.  Budding photographers will have so much fun, too.


On the way home, we also have another chance to explore a field trip at the Apple Orchard.  There is a farm tour to experience the wonderful story of Johnny Appleseed.  Tour members can do everything from petting the farm animals to picking apples to take home.  Of course, there is a farm store.  The store is filled with everything Apple- apples of every kind, applesauce, jams, jellies, breads and more.  You know we took home some delicious souvenirs of our field trip!

If you look around, you’ll find numerous fall festivals, fairs and more in your local area.  Many of these are very reasonably priced.  Get out and enjoy the wonderful fall weather with your Homeschool family or group.  It’s the best time of year!
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Homeschooling Without the Rose-Colored Glasses



Because I’ve completed my years of homeschooling, I have the benefit of hindsight.  I also like to be completely honest, and not just write to get lots of readers on my blog.  So, today I would like to talk about some of the negative things that can happen as a result of homeschooling.  They may or may not happen in your home.

Some children can grow up to be unhappy with your choice to homeschool them.  They may seem happy when they’re young and at home.  When they’re older and look back on things, their opinion may change.  Maybe they might feel that their education wasn’t adequate to prepare them for the job market or college.  They might feel that they missed out on other things in life.  I’ve personally seen these things happen.  Some children aren’t provided a top-quality education and therefore miss out on job opportunities.  I’ve seen this happen far too often, and it’s very sad.


One other thing that is a negative is that mom is also a teacher.  It’s hard to wear two distinct hats with your children.  For me, I was a certified teacher.  This made it even harder.  I felt the teacher within me very strong.  I come from a long line of teachers, and always wanted to be a teacher.  So, was I supposed to “Be” a teacher until 3, and then “Be” Mom after 3?  This was a little weird.  Over time, it got easier.  Homeschool moms have to find that middle ground.  We need to be mom, but also a firm teacher.  There should be a plan in which your “students” succeed in learning everything that is expected of them.  And, we do it with the love and understanding of a mom who really “knows” how they learn.  This enables us to teach them better than anyone else.  What a job!

No rose-colored glasses here.  It was tough job, but I loved homeschooling my children.  God bless you as you do the same.


Field Trips: Family or Group?


When you take field trips in your homeschool, do you prefer to take them with a large group or just with your family?  Most people think of a field trip as a class of same-age children walking around with their teacher and a couple of chaperones.  They have gotten off their bright yellow school bus and march into a museum in a row.  They’re all wearing name tags and the teacher leads them through the museum as a guide tells them something about each exhibit.  They move from one item to another quickly.  Some children are listening intently and others are paying attention to each other or something out the window.


Homeschool field trips in groups are almost the same.  There may not be a yellow school bus, but  some mother will be in charge and it will feel like school.  The children will be guided through the exhibits much too quickly.  Some children will want to slow down and read all the information, but they will have to leave too soon to keep up with the group.


You can see that I’m a homeschool mom at heart.  After participating in the large group field trips and our slow family field trips, I much prefer the family trips.  When our family takes a field trip, we think of them as a vacation or fun.  We love going to see a historical site or natural place.  We take our time if we see something interesting to us.  We let each child read as much as they want about what interests them.

When our youngest took his senior trip in DC, he spent most of his time in only one of the museums.  That was fine with us.  He was soaking up all he was learning there, because he loved it.  That’s what learning is all about!  Field trips aren’t for testing, they’re for fun and maybe sparking a new passion to learning.

So I say, if you can, take some field trips the slow way.  You’ll love it!
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Homeschool Memo Blog Hop

Welcome to the Homeschool Memos

Blog Hop
I hope you’ll Link Up today with your favorite posts
Homeschoolers are busy with so many different things, and I know you’re very excited about yours.  So, please share with us your favorite: posts, photos, DIY projects, lessons, field trips, recipes, reviews, giveaways, anything family-friendly that’s of interest to a homeschool family.
Homeschool Debate Team Trip
You may post as many as you would like.  I’ll be sharing the links at the Homeschool Memo Pinterest Board.  I hope you’ll visit at least two of the other posts and comment, too.  Vote for your favorite, by clicking “Like”.  The post with the most “Likes” will be featured next week.
I look forward to checking out your posts and getting to know you and your blogs, too!  Have a wonderful week!

http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=272809@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Homeschool Student Lesson Planners

One of my intentions as a homeschool teacher was to prepare them to be self-directed learners.  This would help them be able to take any course or syllabus and learn on their own.  I intentionally tried to prepare them by teaching them basic study skills and having them use their own lesson planning book.

In their junior and senior year it was very easy to begin giving the kids their own lesson planning book.  You can spend money on very nice planning books.  There are numerous types all over that you can purchase.  I just made a template with columns and squares using Office, which gave us the exact number of squares we needed per week.  I printed out the sheets that we needed and punched holes in them.  Then, we added them to a notebook.

Now, each kid had their custom planner.  Adding each class and assignment in pencil, they could see what was to be done.  They took pride in checking off their assignments.   This took the load off of mom/teacher nagging about lesson completion.  It encouraged maturity, too.  It prepares kids for college self-directed learning.  There won’t be a mom there asking, “have you done your homework?”

I noticed there was no transition for my youngest when he went to college, concerning his homework or completing things on time.   He knew how to schedule and plan his work.  I’m so glad now that he was prepared.


Why I Pushed My Kids To Succeed In Homeschool

A book could be written on this topic.  My first clarification is that my children were five years apart in age and above-average in intelligence.  Wait, I don’t say this to boast.  I believe that every child can succeed to their best level.  Because of poor health and miscarriages, I couldn’t have my children close in age.  So, I wasn’t able to teach them all together.  Each child needed their own books and separate plan.  Though there were bumps along the way, I can’t complain about any learning disabilities.  I’m very thankful to God for my children.  God knew that my health was going to be bad, and that would be enough stress.

My husband and I are both teachers and we wanted our kids to attend college, so we planned to have them prepared as much as possible.  Although I’m not able to teach math or science classes at the high-school level, I found ways to help the kids learn these subjects.  I’m really terrible at math, and knew that I couldn’t give them any help.  When they reached pre-algebra we always used a DVD Math program and a tutor.  Sometimes the tutor was 2-3 times per week.  This really paid off, because our youngest is a math major in college and doing well.

Our older two have done or are doing graduate school.  My main objective with homeschooling was to have them prepared for anything God might call them to do in their adult life.  I didn’t want them to be held back by a second-rate education.  So, we tried to make sure they took all the courses (as much as we could).

Extra-curricular activities were also available.  They could only choose one thing at a time.  This was fun, because they tried a lot of things: many different sports, musical instruments, voice, ballet, theater, and more.  Nothing really made them want to become a professional in any of these areas, (and they weren’t that talented).  But, it’s great fun, helped them make friends, wonderful exercise and they learned skills they can always enjoy!

Because we’re a Christian family, we studied the Bible.  Our kids memorized Bible verses and went on Mission trips and Youth retreats.  They earned trophies for their years of Bible memorization.

We participated in standardized testing each year, which made college entrance exams much less frightening.  Putting high standards in front of your kids is good for them.  How will they know how far they can go if we don’t expect a lot from them?  Of course, I would never expect more than they could do.  I’m always pleased with kids when they do their best.
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman