Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Kindergarten Daily Binder

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I was on pinterest yesterday and saw an idea for a binder.  The one on pinterest was called a Rise and Shine binder.  I liked the idea so much, that I decided to create my own Daily Binder for my daughter.

Right now, our binder has 10 pages, but I will probably add more later on.  The binder has pages about the day of the week, the month, the year, the number of days in a week, the number of months, the season, etc.  It covers counting by 5’s and 10’s.  It has the names of the days of the week, the names of the months, numbers, and seasons.  I wanted to make a simple binder that we can work in every day, or at least on school days.  I think this binder will be a nice starting point to begin our day.  It will set a nice routine for us.

Here is the pdf file for our daily binder.

KindergartenDailyBinder (1)

I printed ours out on bright colored paper and laminated it.  Instead of laminating, you can put the pages inside sheet protectors, which is less time consuming and cheaper.  Either way, she can write on the pages with dry erase markers, then wipe it off when she’s done.  (Laminated pages can be a little harder to clean off than ones inside sheet protectors, especially for young kids.)  Laminating the pages or putting them inside sheet protectors is easier than having to print out new pages everyday, and it saves paper and ink.  I also made some laminated number cards to use with some of the pages in the binder.  I put it in a pink binder, since pink is my daughter’s favorite color.  I showed it to my daughter, and she’s ready to start using it on Monday.  Happy weekend!

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Do you have a daily binder or daily activities that you use to start your day?

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Reasons to have Homeschool IDs

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Homeschool teacher and student ids weren’t something I thought about until recently.  I would order stuff online from educational websites, and I’d think it was unfair that I couldn’t get a teacher’s discount.  I would think about how it’s unfair that my daughter won’t be able to receive student discounts at various places, like at movie theaters.  But it didn’t occur to me that we SHOULD have ids.

Then I started seeing IDs for sale on certain sites, like the Home School Legal Defense Site, and I saw free IDs that you can print out and laminate yourself on other sites.  I started thinking how beneficial it would be to have IDs.  Something kind of official stating that we homeschool.

I started to do some research and found out that at certain places you CAN get a teacher or student discount if you have a homeschool ID.  What?!  I wish I knew this sooner!  Discounts aren’t the only reason why homeschoolers should consider having IDs made, but it’s a darn good one.

Here are a few of my top reasons for having homeschool IDs:

1.  If you are ever questioned by a police officer, or other official, you can prove that you are a homeschooling family.

2.  You may be able to get special discounts for entrance at local museums, zoos, plays, and other field trip locations.

3.  You can enjoy discounts at educational stores, arts and craft stores, book stores, and office supply stores.

4.  It may be your child’s only form of ID until he/she gets a driver’s license.

5.  It makes your child happy to have an ID card they can show to people.  Somehow it validates homeschooling for some kids.

There are many options online for obtaining IDs.  I printed some off a free site and laminated them, and they came out great.  Those were really just temporary cards for us, until the ones from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) arrived.  We love our new ID cards.  The ones from HSLDA are really nice.  They are hard cards, not laminated cards.  They look very official.  They are a little pricey considering you can print your own at home, but I think it was worth it.  You can order the HSLDA cards at the site below, but they are only for HSLDA members.

https://store.hslda.org/teacher-and-student-photo-ids–hslda-members-only-c281.aspx

I’ve recently heard several stories about homeschooling parents being stopped by law officials and questioned about why their kids weren’t in school.  It sounds like having an ID card can come in quite handy in those types of situations.  The HSLDA card states that Homeschooling falls under private school laws, and it has the HSLDA information on it.  I am now carrying our cards with me in my purse, just in case.  HSLDA advises if you are ever questioned about homeschooling, to contact them immediately to make them aware of the situation.

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Do you have teacher and student IDs?  If yes, have they come in handy?  I’d love to hear how others use their cards.

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Disney World Homeschool Days

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Some homeschoolers may not know about this, but Disney World has Homeschool Days (Disney Student Seminars) twice a year.  I ran into some information about this last year, but my daughter wasn’t old enough to attend.  Since my daughter will be turning 5 this fall, I decided to look up Disney Homeschool Days for 2015.  They will be doing it again this Fall.  It appears they do one at the beginning of the year, and one at the end of the year.

When you attend Disney Homeschool Days (Disney Student Seminars), you can buy discount Disney Theme Park tickets at a HUGE savings.  If you’re a homeschooler, this seems like the perfect time to take a trip to Disney.  For instance, a regular 3 day park ticket is normally $275 for an adult (before tax).  With the Homeschool Days discount, you’ll only pay $173.74.  For a 3 day park hopper ticket. you’d normally pay $339 for an adult (before tax).  With the Homeschool Days discount, the 3 day park hopper ticket is only $200.50.  That’s a pretty good savings.  If you are taking a longer trip and need a 7 day park ticket, you’d normally pay $335 (before tax).  With the Homeschool Days Discount, you’ll only pay $232.63.  Wow, right?

The Homeschool Days only gives you discounts on park tickets.  It does not provide discounts for Disney Resorts or Dining Plans.  That’s my understanding of it, anyway.  When you attend the Homeschool Days, you are required to attend at least one seminar, which will be included in your park ticket price.  To attend more seminars, you have to pay extra.  I’ve seen prices ranging from $29-$35 for extra seminar classes.  Disney’s site lists the price for extra seminar classes as $35.

Beyond attending one seminar class, you are free to do whatever you want on your vacation.  You do not have to hang out with other homeschoolers.  You don’t have to attend any other events.  You can go about the rest of your trip as you wish.  Sounds pretty awesome to me.

If you want further information, here are some sites you can check out.

This is Disney’s site for registering for the Homeschool Days (Student Seminars):

https://www.studentguest.com/studentseminars/

Here are a few other sites listing information for 2015:

http://gatewaytomagic.blogspot.com/2014/10/disney-homeschool-days.html

http://www.amothersrandomthoughts.com/2014/11/disney-homeschool-days-now-known-as.html

http://magicalfamilyadventures.blogspot.com/2015/02/dollars-and-sense-walt-disney-world.html

http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/disney-world/

The last link is for a homeschooling site that offers group homeschooling trips.  The site registers for the Homeschool Days for you as part of their group.  I’ve read good reviews about them, and it’s a reliable site.  I actually may book my trip through them.  The regular Homeschool Days (Student Seminars) are in September and October, but Carolina Homeschooling offers their group trip in November.  They still only require you to attend one seminar, then you are free to spend your vacation however you’d like.  They also coordinate homeschool trips to Universal Studios, but this blog post is all about Disney.  Check out their site for more information on their other trips.

Hopefully, this information will be helpful to those of you that may be interested in attending Disney Homeschool Days. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to register and start planning my trip.  🙂

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Chicagoland Area Homeschool Meet Up Groups

One of my goals for this year is to get my daughter involved with homeschool groups where she can meet other homeschool kids her age.  Up until recently, she hadn’t really met other homeschoolers her age, and she was getting very curious.  Most of the kids in her dance and gymnastics classes attend traditional schools.  She’s been eager to meet homeschoolers.  So in 2015, I am making sure to make an effort to go on outings and field trips with other homeschoolers, go to homeschool gatherings, and plan activities with other homeschoolers.  Below, I will list my top 4 choices for Homeschool Meet Ups in the Chicagoland area of Illinois.

South Suburbs Homeschool Meet Up

This Meet Up is for homeschooling families looking to get together in the South Suburbs of Chicago for outings and activities.  Kids of all ages are welcome.  This Meet Up group is just getting started and is looking for new members.  It’s hard to find Meet Ups in the South Suburbs of Chicago, so this Meet Up is near and dear to me.

South Suburbs Homeschool Meetup

Richton Park, IL
2 Homeschoolers

This group is for anyone interested in getting together for affordable activities for our homeschool kids. I’m looking to plan outings to farms, zoos, parks, splash pads, natu…

Next Meetup

Children’s Museum Outing

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015, 1:00 PM
1 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Fox Valley Homeschool Meet Up

Another Meet Up group in the Chicagoland Area is in the Western Suburbs.  This meet up has been active for awhile and does a lot of activities each month.  I believe this group started in 2010, but I am not positive.  They have MANY outings and activities planned each month from play dates, park days, educational trips to restaurants, roller skating days, tours of Viking Ships, etc.  I have not fond another Homeschool Meet Up that is as active as this group.  This would probably be my top pick in the Chicagoland area for Homeschool Meet Ups simply because of the amount of activities planned each month.  There is always something going on.  On the downside, most of the outings and activities are planned in the West and Northwest Suburbs.  If you live South of Chicago, some of these outings may be a far drive for you.  I would still recommend attending at least a couple of their Meet Ups.  See the link below.

Fox Valley Homeschoolers

Naperville, IL
228 Homeschoolers

If you’re a homeschooling parent living in the Fox Valley area who is looking for fellow homeschoolers to connect with then this is the group for you!Our members have childre…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Downers Grove Homeschool Play Group

A third option is a Meet Up group located in the Downer’s Grove Area, outside of Chicago.  This Meet Up has been active for about 6 months.  They try to plan a couple activities/outings each month, but it’s been a little slow lately.  It should pick up again soon with summer being just around the corner.

Downers Grove Homeschool Playgroup

Downers Grove, IL
53 Parents

This is a play group for homeschool children and parents in Downers Grove, Woodridge, and the surrounding areas. We currently have children in the group between the ages of 5 …

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The World is Our Classroom

And last but not least is my 4th choice for Homeschool Meet Up groups.  They are located in the Western Suburbs of Chicago and tend to do most of their Meet Ups in the West and Southwest Suburbs.  What I like most about this group is they attend a lot of plays for kids.  Since my daughter is old enough now to go and enjoy plays, I am drawn to this group.  Going to see plays can be such an amazing experience for kids, and it’s something the adults can enjoy too.

The world is our classroom!

Joliet, IL
192 Members

Are you a home-school parent looking for other families to share educational trips with? Let’s get together and visit museums, cultural tours, along with parent led educationa…

Next Meetup

FLAT STANLEY

Tuesday, Apr 7, 2015, 10:00 AM
23 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Well, there you have it.  My top 4 choices for Homeschool Meet Ups in the Chicagoland Area of Illinois.  If you’re not from the Chicagoland Area, but are looking for Homeschool Meet Ups in your are, check out the website below to search for your local Meet Ups.

http://www.meetup.com

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