Welcome to Creative Homeschool.
I have been a home school parent of two boys for 8 years. Currently in 2011 we are doing 6th and 8th grade work. I do get asked from time to time to share some of the online resources
I have discovered as well as some of my own simple ideas
about how to make home schooling fun and creative.
Hope you will find this blog helpful.
Blessings, Margot

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lamp Post Academy

We have another blog page that I have been using to post the kids daily lessons.
It is mainly just for them with links to the various places they need to do their work.
For anyone who might want to follow along with what we are doing and see a practical examples of how we make it work. Keep in mind my youngest Cai is 9, Niah is 12 and David will soon be 14. All three kids are pretty computer savvy and are pretty able to work on their own. This is also our first year to work this way. Up to this point we have used a variety of reward systems, check lists and charts that we have tracked things like books read and other work. It has been a pretty loose system where this one is much more structured.

So far it is working well, there are a few things like the Character section that need a bit more work on my part. All three kids are working on roughly the same things. I have to help Cai with some of the areas like Biology - realizing he will not get as much out of it as the other two. The biggest key for us is if something is not working for someone we find another way to accomplish the goal that does work for them.
It is a series of on going adjustments.

Yesterday 9/8/2009- there was a question about linking verbs from grammar and I realized we needed some more explanation and practice so I found and printed that for them.
There was also need in their math for more information on metric and roman numerals and so I added posts with links where that information could be found. Plus the movie review turned into more of a group skit because we did not have a way to do the clips and commentary.
I have found it is good to have a plan but to allow for creativity and flexibility with in it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just About Ready

This year I am a bit more organized about what we will be doing. I start each year wondering what we will do and spending time praying that the Lord would help me work out a plan that will work for us. I always have to cross over that moment of overwhelm and insecurity and take that leap of faith. I remind my self and remember that God gave these particular kids to me so I know he will equip me to train them to be the people he wants them to be.
This year our loose theme is Chronicles of Narnia. It is our family read aloud book currently - we will read through the whole series. So why not make that our theme. (More on that later - I have not yet begun to decorate.)

The photos are of the white dish pans for each kid as a place to keep their school stuff. Everyone works in various places at various times so I wanted them to have a movable desk of sorts. You will notice that each bucket has a different color note books and folder. One kid gets red, one green and one blue.

So here is what we are doing and where I have found the materials that we are using. Like I said I have things a lot more organized - I am a really good fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. Since I have gained an older child who is used to school I thought it might be good to have a bit more of a plan worked out for everyone. Gotta appear like you know what you are doing after all.
Keep in mind that if something does not work we are not afraid to chuck it and try something else. Just as a side note I have probably only spent about $100 dollars for notebooks, folders, misc. supplies and a few books. I may add a full subscription to EdHelper at some point- it is worth the money. I generally find just about everything I need some where on line for free.
I love Freebie of the Day and Currclick and I know how to use the Google and other search engines. Happy homeschooling - I set aside this week to figure it all out and get ready - it will mostly run on auto pilot and kids are generally on their own to get their work done if they want to gain freedoms for things like TV, Computer and Gadgets later in the day. One child gets done quickly one takes all day and longer sometimes. Not sure what the new one will be like to deal with.

Here is the link to our daily checklist.

• Character Studies Link
My Character Journal Page
• Biology is an ABeka Book that we borrowed called Biology God's Living Creation. Each kid has a note book to answer the daily questions.
• Math - We are using the Daily Mental Math books from World Teachers press available at CBD
In addition I found the most awesome math on line tutorial video site. Kahn Academy.
• Spelling - I found a free spelling course - It looks good so we are giving it a try. Each kid has a spelling note book. I posted the spelling rules in the back and in the front are some practice ideas and the daily schedule suggested by the course.
• Grammar & Copy work are being combined - what better to copy than the grammar rules.
Reading - we use borrowed book from friends, the library plus on line reading at Google books and Project Gutenberg. They either narrate to me what they have read or do a note book page.
• Listening - I love Libravox this is great for kids that don't read so well yet. Actually all ages there is something about listening to something read to you that allows the imagination to develop. They do a note book page or narrate to me what they heard.
• Writing - I am so excited about this, first the writers club and then the challenge to write a novel in 30 days and the work books to walk you through the process at Nano Young Writers.
• Art we use the drawing exercise found at DonnaYoung.org she has an awesome site with lots of helpful planners and other helpful stuff. We also use a variety of books from the library. I have a art work space set up with tools and supplies easily at hand.
PE/ and Improv is a no brainer - go play out side, ride your bike, skate board, etc. One child wants to be involved in the Parks and Recreation Basketball and other sports programs. One wants to do bowling. For Improv I was given a book called Secrets and Surprises by Joe Wayman and Lorraine Plum. It is full of funny things to act out. All three of my kids like acting so we also audition regularly for the Spokane Children's Theater. One child is currently in rehearsals for High School Musical 2. The others were too young but auditioned anyway - its good practice.
• Unit Studies they can be found everywhere on line but we will use a lot from the site I have linked this blogger mom has done an awesome job.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Real People Note Book Pages

We are starting off the year with a Unit Study on American Indians. I made these pages to help the kids put together note book pages for real people.
They will research on line and at the local library.
There are documents like this that I made for
Chief Seattle. Chief Joseph, and Spokane Garry at

Found good info on Spokan Garry at

Chief Joseph and Chief Seattle at

I'm sure there are many others to be found but these seemed to be a good starting place for us.

Character Studies

I created this form to go along with the character studies offered at http://www.characterjournal.com/
I think we will try one character trait for every week or so. There are a lot of verses that kids can look up and supporting bible stores.
I have not decided yet if I will print these as 8.5x11 or half size sheets.

You get a decent copy by clicking on the photo of the page. A better copy can be downloaded at

Spelling and Math Finds

I found two really great sites today one for math
http://www.khanacademy.org/ offering 800 free online videos for just about every kind of math one might need to know.

The other a free 30 week spelling course http://www.splashesfromtheriver.com/spelling/index.htm

I know I will be using both of theses this year.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Lay A Table Before You

This morning I went through out house and pulled all the books I thought my husbands 13 year old son might enjoy to read. My husband asked "What are you doing?" I told him I was laying out a table of great food, books that nourished and fed our imaginations and our thoughts.
I am such a firm believer that books give us an amazing chance to see things through the eyes of others. We see their triumphs, trials, courage, hope, inspiration. It helps us to discover those things within our selves. Summer is a wonderful time to get lost in a good book. My prayer is that he will find a book that will speak. Books speak at different times in different ways. If I accomplish the goal of instilling a love of reading in my children - in that alone they will have the tools and the keys to continue to grow and learn through out their lives. If I can accomplish that love of reading during our home schooling years I will have succeeded in my task. I am having to start late with this particular child but I do believe it is never to late to learn to love to read. That being so I am laying a table before him and believe his hunger will lead him to eat from it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cool Project

I am posting this here so I can find it later when want to use it. Plus someone else might enjoy using it with their kids too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aglets = Shoe lace tips

Did you know that a shoe lace tip is called an aglet. My kids heard about aglets mentioned in a cartoon. So we had a home school day about aglets. You can see a clip from the show on U tube at http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=CVvd6iuTvSo

They searched the internet for information about aglets. We googled and came up with about 65 links and some interesting info. One of the best sites we found was http://www.shoe-lacing.com/shoelace/aglets.htm
This guy is really into aglets. This site also proves you can find just about everything on the web.

The next challenge for the boys was to build a web site promoting Aglet awareness. http://agletsarekool.webs.com is what they have managed so far. It is not quite what I had in mind. Cai took photos of all the aglets in our house. I am still hoping for some inspiring aglet poems and a bit more real content on their site. It is work in progress.

My kids are a lot more excited about the idea of building free web sites on various subjects rather than having to make a report or poster. This whole aglet thing is pretty silly however, I saw it as a fun way to try and use some of our developing skills to research, and be creative and have fun learning. I am still hoping to see some aglet art too. Maybe some aglett awareness t-shirts and bumperstickers. There are so many ways one could go on this little tanget.

I think what I find most interesting about aglets - is they are a little things that is generally taken for granted. Yet someone was bothered by fraying shoe laces enough to make and market this idea. There are so many things we take for granted every day. Aglets are kind of like elbows you really don't give them much thought unless for some reason they are not working well.

I was thinking also how aglets keep thing from fraying. I think sometimes we can get frayed and stressed and for me the aglet I need during those times is to return my foucs to Jesus.
Aglets are kind of an odd thing to consider but are there people around you that you've become so used to that they are almost taken for granted. You know like the folks that operate sound systems - they are never notcied unless they make a mistake. Its quite the thankless job. I know some moms feel like invisible aglets. Take some time to be thankful for the aglets in your life. Not just the ones on your shoe laces, but the folks that serve unnoticed day after day. Perhaps take some time to thank Jesus for the many blessings that have become so common and everyday that we have forgotten to be thankful for them.