Woodhaven Place

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Category: Homeschool

An Open and Honest Letter From a Therapy Mama: 15 Things I Wish I Had Known

Find yourself shuttling your kids to therapy -- physical, speech, occupational, vision, and more? Though the road can be lonely, you aren't alone.

Dear Fellow Therapy Mama,

I just wanted to let you know that I see you.

I see you transporting your amazing kiddo back and forth to their therapy faithfully. I see you there, tired, exhausted, worn out, beat up, and pressed in from all sides. I see you sagging your shoulders, trying to figure out how to fit it all in. You are not alone.

You’re doing an AMAZING job raising your kid and getting them to their therapy sessions.

And you know what? This is hard. This life of raising an amazing kid with extra needs is HARD. But because we love our kids fiercely, enduring this crazy is worth it.

15 Things I Wish I Had Known

As I reflect back where the last few years have taken us (especially the last 10 months), I wanted to record some of the truths/nuggets of wisdom I wish a fellow mom had shared with me at the beginning of our journey. Granted, many of these principles one really may not fully grasp until fully in the trenches. But in years from now, I want to be reflect back and remember where we’ve come from. Continue reading

Review Games: Make Drilling Facts FUN! (+ Free Downloads)

Who says learning needs to be boring? Use these easy and versatile ideas to make reviewing facts FUN. Plus, get free downloads of our best review games!

Sometimes you just need some fun to spice up the mundane parts of life. Whether you’re practicing math facts, memorizing notes on the scale, or reviewing the periodic table — games can bring a whole extra element of fun.

My son has been receiving speech therapy for awhile and our speech therapist has been a MASTER of doing “review games” — taking a fun toy, game, activity and using it as a tool to review. She has taught me how you really can use ANYTHING to make a fun game. Continue reading

Car Schooling: 29 Tips To Survive School On The Road

When I first began dreaming of homeschooling, I had this luxurious idea of my kids and I huddled around a sunlit table, pouring over books and performing perfect little experiments together while the birds chirped outside and the flowers outside garden window smiled at me.

Do you SEE that sunshine? Ah, now I look back at this photo and just LAUGH. I thought I had it all together back then.

You see, the seasons of life have a way of changing.

Not long after receiving our Celiac disease diagnoses (yes, plural), my kids began receiving Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy every week. We spent at least 6 hours a week shuttling back and forth for these [medically necessary]  events. And this didn’t include doctor visits, grocery shopping, library trips, playdates, or homeschool co-ops.

AH! I thought I was going crazy!

I quickly learned the value of Car Schooling — that is, taking homeschooling on the road.

Continue reading

Marble Money: How Our Family Handles Allowance and Chores

Marble Money: How We Handle Chores

It’s been a challenge for our family to implement any sort of chore system over the years. Part of the problem is that the systems I have tried rely heavily upon me for successful implementation.

  • I’ve tried chore charts (kid sees card, completes card, flips it over when done).
  • I’ve tried bribery (“Hey, I’ll give you 25 cents for XYZ”).
  • I’ve tried just assigning tasks willy-nilly and saying you’re-part-of-the-family-so-do-it.

While each have worked, it really required ME being mindful and constantly remembering that this system needed to be used. I didn’t like that. In a word? I needed my kids to have OWNERSHIP.  Continue reading

Handwriting Without Tears (Review + Budget Friendly Ideas)

Curriculum Review: Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears is – hands down – my favorite handwriting curriculum for little people. It’s a manuscript-style (as opposed to cursive) program that specializes in reducing all pen strokes to two basic shapes: straight lines and curves. I find this reductionist approach simplifies handwriting for little learners and makes it approachable.

If you want to read more about the HWT philosophy – which really is extremely well thought out and quite excellent – see their website. I love that the program is simple, easy to understand, approachable, consistent, affordable, and FUN. Continue reading

How To Get A Homeschool Space That Cleans Itself – Part 1

How To Get A Homeschool Space That Cleans Itself

This post is the first in a series: How To Get a Homeschool Space That Cleans Itself.

A few years ago, I came across a book that completely upturned my life called The House That Cleans Itself. It’s a simple, easy read — and insanely practical with step-by-step advice and humor, as well.

I’m the sort of person who people describe as “organized” — which is true. I love organization. However, I’m also TERRIBLE at keeping things tidy. Confession: my nickname growing up was Messy Bessie…

I hated this about myself. So I did the only thing I knew to do: I read books, scoured magazines, and looked for ways to organize better. And as you can probably guess… none of them really worked longer than a few weeks. Continue reading

Review of 6 Books Every Parent Needs To Own

You remember that game called Desert Island? (You know — the one where you pretend you’re stranded and can only take three things with you?) I detest playing that game (and not because I think it is a waste of time). Rather, it’s unrealistic. The point of the game is to name your three most precious items you couldn’t live without. But let’s be real: if I’m on a desert island, the last thing I’m really going to want is some precious memento. Give me a knife, a field guide to non-poisonous plants, and Robinson Crusoe to help keep me alive!

But I have given great thought to my book collection. When we recently sold our house, I packed away 90% of our book collection. There were only a few books that got to stay out for 6 months. Which made me think: if I lost all of our books in the move (or worse, we had a fire), what would be the first 6 books I would immediately purchase again? Continue reading

{Classical Conversations} Flip-Flap Books & Cycle Match Ups!

We love using Flip-Flap Books (especially to flesh out our Classical Conversations work at home). Check out our recommended supply list and cycle match ups!

Along with farming and homesteading, we are a home school family. We belong to a local Classical Conversations community and I am always looking for fun ways to add depth to our memory work. I use the website Teachers Pay Teachers a lot and I would like to introduce my favorite seller Simply Skilled in Second.

She has created a resource called Flip-Flap Books that my son and I both love.

Anna has a great website that explains many of her resources.

Each book has a single theme, comes with detailed easy to follow instructions, and matches up with CC memory work wonderfully! Right now we are working with books that match up with Cycle 2, but she has books that will work with all of the CC Cycles. I love this resource because it is easy to put together and looks great. Continue reading

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