Wednesday, November 7, 2012

E.H.M. Review and Giveaway

  I would like to introduce Jill from Enchanted HomeschoolMom. She home-schools her two children and shares her experiences on her blog to help and inspire other homeschoolers. She also has curriculum and printables available to download on her Members Only website.

Why did you decide to home-school?  
 My husband and I never actually intended to homeschool our children. In fact I think that homeschooling in general was not even a little blip on our radar. When our son was 3 years old we had him in preschool 3 mornings a week. We wanted to ultimately give him a beginning to his education and allow him the opportunity to socialize with his peers. After several months the preschool gave my husband and I a notice out of the blue that within a few days all students would be required to attend full days 5 times days a week since this was the only way they could effectively teach the children. Really? So not only would it mean a huge increase in our weekly payments to this school, but we also questioned why at 3 years old 20 hours a week was not enough time for an education? From that point forward my husband and I both agreed that I would teach our son at home until we could find another preschool in our area that we wanted him to attend (since it had already taken us well over a year to find this preschool). Well, we never did find another preschool and our family was shown the path to the wide-open world of homeschooling.

What are some challenges you have faced while home-schooling your children?  
One of the challenges that our family has faced in our homeschooling journey includes the major opposition from family and friends on our decision to go down the path of homeschooling. We have lost friends (but gained new friends who support our homeschooling journey) and have no support from any family members, even after over 5 years of homeschooling. We are constantly told that we are making the wrong decision for our children, they are not socialized, as a non-credentialed teacher I am not properly equipped to teach the children and so on. My husband and I have learned to sweep those uneducated comments under the rug, but I would not be honest if I did not tell you that it still stings and hurts every time. Ultimately my husband and I both agree that homeschooling works for our family and our children are happy, healthy and thriving so we must be making the right decision.
We have also hit many hurdles over the years that almost brought me to my knees in self-doubt and constantly find myself questioning myself as to whether I knew what I was doing. My son Beck is a very over analytical thinker (like his Dad) and his style of learning is to listen and retain all of the information. He will not give any answer or response until he is positive that it is the right answer. In the early years this would lead me to believe that he was not properly learning skills. Then months later he had not only mastered that skill one day but also another skill I was getting concerned he did not know. My daughter Elizabeth, however, is the polar opposite and will shout out an answer, unafraid of whether it is correct or not. She has struggled with a speech impediment/lisp. We found out that because she has a lisp in a brick and mortar school she would be placed in a “special” class. So my beautiful girl who is grade levels above in her learning would be placed in a class where she would not thrive because the teacher cannot deal with a lisp in her reading skills? Honestly, when my husband and I heard that from a local speech therapist that works at our local public school it just cemented for us that we are making the right decision to homeschool.

What do you see as the biggest benefit?  
There are so many benefits from homeschooling that it is honestly hard to just choose one. I think a major benefit for any child in a homeschooling atmosphere is that they can have their education personalized to their likes and dislikes. If a child wants to learn more about dinosaurs then as their teacher you can give them months of learning all about dinosaurs while in a typical brick and mortar school your child would only be allowed a certain amount of time on that one topic. I feel that this style of education will heavily benefit them all the way through their adult lives. I also feel that homeschooling brings the family bond even closer as there are far fewer outside influences in your child’s education and overall upbringing.  You do not have to worry about what they might be learning at a brick and mortar school when the proverbial overtaxed staff is not looking.  Do not get me wrong though, my children have other friends, but as brother and sister they are in all honesty best friends. They play with one another and can count on one another for absolutely anything. There is a bond there that is so strong that it cannot be broken. It warms my heart each and every day.

What advice would you give someone who is considering home-schooling?
 If you are considering homeschooling take some time to research all avenues. When our family began our homeschooling journey we did not know anyone that homeschooled and I was not aware of the huge online presence of homeschoolers. It was scary! I always recommend picking up books at your local library, visiting several local charter homeschooling programs and if you can, talk to some homeschoolers who have several years under their belt. I do not feel like this is said enough but please always remind yourself that what works (whether routines or curriculums) for one homeschooling family may not work for another homeschooling family. Once you get your feet wet in the homeschooling world you will figure out not only your child’s learning style but also your teaching style. Don’t’ be afraid to ask laundry sized loads of questions to anyone in the homeschooling world. I wish that I had someone to guide me on my journey in the beginning because it would have made it so much easier and that is one of the main reasons that I started my blog over a year and a half ago. If I can help one other homeschooling family, save them time researching or creating a unit for their child or just give them somewhere to feel like they belong then all of my hours and time spent on my blog is worth it! If you are considering homeschooling or new to homeschooling and have a question please feel free to contact me and ask away. Without you as my readers my blog would not be as successful as it is today and I am very aware of that. I try to make sure that every question asked of me via email or Facebook always gets answered!

What sets your curriculum apart from others?
 I only create curriculums or printables that I use with my own children in our homeschooling journey. If I can find another curriculum/printable offered by another blogger/teacher/website/publisher then I use that product. I do not recreate the wheel if you will and I also see no need to create something that is already out there in cyberspace. I pride myself in having unique educational curriculums and printables. My teaching style is not cut and dry, nor is my children’s learning style. I figured out long ago that if I try I could make their learning fun, educational and memorable and still have the same end result as a cut and dry style of teaching/learning. While I have many friends that prefer the facts and nothing but the facts it just doesn’t work for our family. I pour myself into my curriculums and printables. I do not just take a template and change the subject or characters. I intend for each and every curriculum and printable I create to stand on its own legs and be unique in its own ways. I am very creative both in nature and in my teaching style and I feel that shines through in any of my creations. I have had many readers comment that coming to my version of homeschool must be like Disneyland, and I LOVE that! I also pride myself in the fact that my curriculums are meant for homeschooling families in the way that they can be taught to multiple grade levels at the same time. I myself have always found that it can really weigh on me as the teacher to have to teach separate lessons for all of the core subjects each and every day. Teaching multiple grade levels throughout a typical day gets exhausting and there are certain subjects that there is no reason that you cannot teach the children at the same time with all grade levels walking away with a new knowledge, fact, or skill.

Christmas Around The U.S.A.

Jill is extremely talented. She has several printables and curriculum for different books and themes. We started using the Christmas Around The U.S.A. curriculum. Her curriculum is very flexible too. I can envision several different ways to use this one package. It would be great to do an advent Christmas calendar leading up to Christmas. Doing two states a day, you would not be able to get very in depth with each state, but it would give you a great overview. And then start the New Year with a weeklong in-depth study of each state. You can use the Christmas overview as your starting point each week. 

The Christmas Around the U.S.A. curriculum includes some great activities and craft ideas for each state. My kids are really enjoying it and I have been able to use it to engage all five of my children, ages 5 to 16. On the front of the curriculum, she states it's for ages 3 to 103 and she is not exaggerating. We have all had so much fun with this. The kids have enjoyed it so much they don't realize they're learning. 

This really is a great way to learn about our great country. I am pleased with how well this was put together and the thought and hard work that went into it. It is very easy to use. She has a guide at the beginning to show you how to use it, then you can easily adapt it to your children's learning styles. 

To get this curriculum if you do not win the giveaway, or to get it now. Simply sign up for Jill's member's only website. It is only $15 for a lifetime membership and you get access to this and all her curriculum and prinatables.

Now for the giveaway, Jill has offered a free copy of her Christmas Around the U.S.A. to one of my readers. To enter please use the Raffelcopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also find us here at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Homeschool Blog Hop 


  1. We celebrate the usual Christmas traditions here in North Carolina! The Christmas Tree, Christmas Eve church service, family gatherings, etc.


    1. We celebrate each year with all of the family coming over for lunch/dinner, gifts, decorated tree and being together - here in Indiana.

  2. We live in Maine in the US and one tradition that we celebrate is the Advent calendar where each evening my daughter opens one of the little doors on it and gets the treat inside. Her favorite are the playmobil advent calendars.


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