Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Twelve Favorite Coffee Breaks from 2017

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Twelve Favorite Coffee Breaks from 2017 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Happy New Year!

As I've been changing over calendars, reviewing the year just past, and thinking about the year ahead, I also took some time to collect up a Coffee Break from each month over the past year to remember today. I hope you'll enjoy the look back with me.

January 2017

In January, I participated each week in the Virtual Curriculum Fair, a blog hop highlighting homeschooling methods and curricula from a great group of homeschool bloggers. The first week featured posts about our homeschool planning and methods - See How We Learn. You can see all my Virtual Curriculum Fair Posts HERE, and I do hope you'll join me and the rest of the group for this year's event, newly named the Virtual Homeschool Fair, which starts on January 8th.

This Is How We Homeschool - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 1 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #lessonplans
Don't worry - I'm not going to detail every little thing we do in our homeschool! Probably no one is that interested, and it would likely prove somewhat embarrassing to me and my student. What I will share is an overview of our planning and approach, and how we apply the plan to our everyday homeschool.

This Is How We Homeschool - Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 1 on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #hsCurriculumFair #homeschool #lessonplans

February 2017

At the beginning of 2017 I'd also decided to participate in a round of Blogging Through the Alphabet, and tried to follow a theme of Art and Architecture. Week Four of this venture was De Stijl - Blogging Through the Alphabet, in which I discussed the art movement of that name and its best-known artist, Piet Mondrian. Mondrian happens to be a favorite of my daughter's.

De Stijl - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Piet Mondrian was a founding member of De Stijl, a Dutch art movement. #ABCBlogging #art  #Mondrian

If you're not sure how to pronounce "De Stijl" you're not alone. It's Dutch, but I wasn't entirely sure I had it right either, so I checked. Hard to explain, but more or less like "da style", which is in fact what it means - "the style". De Stijl was a Dutch artistic movement and usually refers to that body of work from 1917 through 1931, characterized by pure abstraction, and a reduction to the essentials of form and color. So reduced, in fact, that it featured almost exclusively vertical and horizontal lines and black, white, and primary colors only. Kind of like this:

De Stijl - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Piet Mondrian was a founding member of De Stijl, a Dutch art movement. #ABCBlogging #art  #Mondrian

March 2017

From March I'm highlighting an art instruction website that we greatly enjoying reviewing - Creating A Masterpiece (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review). This was only one of a large number of reviews we completed for the Homeschool Review Crew. You can see all the products we reviewed in 2017 in the sidebar, and all the products we reviewed prior to that on this page. Or just look up all my reviews using the TOS Homeschool Crew Review label.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating a Masterpiece is an online art instruction program taught by master artist Sharon Hofer. It's rather like attending a fine art school, where students learn technique and are guided in creating excellent artwork that they could be proud to show off. The video instruction course has easy to follow step-by-step instructions showing students how to create high-quality art pieces using many different media, and can be used by students of all ages. Art techniques in many media are covered, and students build mastery so they can create their own projects using the techniques learned. There is a Beginners Level, with projects that can be completed in a single session of an hour or less; and Levels 1 through 5 which are progressively more challenging, building skills and introducing new media. These projects are presented in three to seven lesson sessions. And finally, there is an Art in History section, which describes the artwork of a particular artist in history, and teaches the student how to create a similar project. This section is still being developed, with new lessons coming soon.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
one okayish fish Instagram picture courtesy of KAT.
Used with permission.

April 2017

In April of each of the last several years, I've participated in the Homeschool Review Crew 5 Days of Homeschool Blog hop. My theme this past year was The Rewards of Homeschooling Teens - and yes, there certainly are rewards! The post from that blog hop that I've decided to feature here is The Reward of Conversations.

The Rewards of Homeschooling Teens - Conversations on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop hosted by HomeschoolReviewCrew.com

The teen years can be full of turmoil and changes - for teens and for their parents - but it's because they are maturing, and they have a lot they are thinking through. They may not even realize it, but they are wrestling with issues of faith, character, relationships, and worldviews; and these are important conversations to engage in. Homeschooling provides extra opportunities for parents to be available when a kid feels like talking. Because you never know when that will happen and you want to grab that moment when it presents itself. (Actually, there's something weird that happens around midnight - late at night seems to be when teens seem to get the gift of the gab. I've heard this is fairly common, and we've certainly proved it!) More conversations that build trust and relationship, and that give me a chance to get to know where they are on their faith journey and be a sounding board and safe listener; and even to speak some truth to them once in awhile.
May 2017

Time for another Homeschool Review Crew review! And it's another great art resource that we had a lot of fun working with. Draw the World with ArtAchieve! (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review)

Draw the World with ArtAchieve (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - our full review of ArtAchieve art lessons for kids for the Homeschool Review Crew

ArtAchieve is a series of online art lessons inspired by art from around the world. Each lesson includes links and information for making those cross-curricular connections between art, music, science, social studies, and language arts. The focus is on creating the art, however, and on learning and developing the skill of drawing. There's plenty of opportunity in each lesson for students to practice observing carefully and thinking creatively.
The lessons on ArtAchieve are organized into five levels, which are not necessarily related to academic grades or age, but the amount of experience students have had in art. It's recommended that those who have no background in drawing start with Level I, whether they are in first grade or high school. There's a set of free introductory lessons on the website to help you get started, as well as a free sample lesson from Level I - The Czech Cat
Draw the World with ArtAchieve (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - our full review of ArtAchieve art lessons for kids for the Homeschool Review Crew
Chinese Horse by KAT, April 2017

June 2017

In my ongoing series and link-up, Homeschool Highlights, one of my favorites was Homeschool Highlights - Big Easy Week, about my daughter's choir trip to New Orleans.

Homeschool Highlights - Big Easy Week on Homeschool Coffee Break  @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Homeschool news  . . . Although we worked on Lit and Art this week, I'm mostly counting our trip to New Orleans last weekend as our school for the week. After all, it was one big field trip with a lot of music and history, and even a little science because we went to the Aquarium of the Americas one day. Oh, I could even count some Culinary Arts, because we also went to the New Orleans School of Cooking!
July 2017

My featured July post is another from the Homeschool Highlights series. (Please stop by each week on Friday to link up the highlights from your homeschool week!) We have three important birthdays to celebrate the first week of July each year - find out more at Homeschool Highlights - Birthday Week.

Homeschool Highlights - Birthday Week on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

So I said it was birthday week, and it certainly was. We started with Canada Day on Saturday, July 1st. Canada celebrated 150 years, in case you weren't aware, so it was a big deal! It was a big deal for us here too, and we planned a dinner that featured "Canadian" food and celebrated with friends. . . . Monday was another birthday celebration, this one for Kennady's Sweet Sixteen. . . . Obviously, Tuesday was Independence Day so everyone had the day off. We had a family cookout before heading into town for fireworks in the evening.

August 2017

In August, it's time for another Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop! I'm featuring Back to Homeschool Coffee Break - Coffee and Other Essentials here, and you can check out all of my 5 Days of Back to Homeschool Coffee Breaks if you'd like.

Back to Homeschool Coffee Break - Coffee and Other Essentials - part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, here on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com and hosted by the Homeschool Review Crew @ HomeschoolReviewCrew.com

I have a confession - I don't shop the Back to School sales for notebooks and paper and pencils. I haven't for a number of years. If I happen to see something we'll need, of course I pick it up at that lower price, but for the most part, I go find school supplies when we need them, rather than when the retail people tell me I need them.
Also, we're kind of past the stage of needing glue sticks and crayons, and a new spiral notebook every September. Of course we go through our share of paper, 3-ring binders, pens, and pencils, but our list of supplies that we must have on hand looks more like this:
Coffee - I mean. Clearly, this is a must-have item. This is just such a big part of who we are and what we stand for, so the coffee is brewing each and every morning, and we're glad to stop while running errands for a coffee break too.
(There were other essentials besides coffee on my list! Go ahead and see what they were!)

September 2017

In September the emphasis is on Back to School, and keeping track of all that homeschooling is an item of concern. So here we have High School Assignment Tracking to explain how we do that.

High School Assignment Tracking on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Every school year, we spend the first few weeks adjusting to the routine and figuring out how to organize our days and keep track of all the work. We didn't think we'd have to change much from last year to this, but since we still struggled with sticking to the schedule and staying current on grading, I knew we'd have to fine tune something to make that better. We definitely needed a couple of tweaks to make it easier for Kennady to know exactly what she had to do and when, and to keep track of it all herself. Here are some of the ideas we came up with to (hopefully) stay on top of assignments this year.
Homeschool Tracker Online  -  GATE for Students

October 2017

I started into another Blogging Through the Alphabet series in October, kicking it off with Art Resource Collection (Blogging Through the Alphabet) 

Art Resource Collection (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

 I'm starting off with a round-up of some of the great art resources we've used over the years. Not only have I been homeschooling for many years, I've also been co-hosting the Virtual Refrigerator link-up for a few years. (If that's new to you, it's a weekly link-up featuring art projects.) Two of my students have enjoyed creating artwork and two . . . not so much. So needless to say, we've used a number of art instruction helps. Here are some favorites:
 ARTistic Pursuits  -  Creating a Masterpiece  -  ArtAchieve  -  SchoolhouseTeachers.com -  Geography Through Art

November 2017

Another Blogging Through the Alphabet favorite - GATE College System!

GATE College System (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

GATE College System is an interactive online college admissions tool created by Founder Pamela Donnelly and a team of 26 educators. Together they put their expertise in college counseling, GPA support and test prep into a digital system to help high schoolers learn effectively, get accepted into college, and earn financial aid. GATE's mission is to equalize access to college admissions and financial aid. The GATE platform helps students and their parents get a good handle on test prep, understanding financial aid, effective strategies for college acceptance, and it even guides students in college selection.

December 2017

In The Gift of Christmas Traditions, I shared some thoughts about the importance of traditions and how to create some new ones.

The Gift of Christmas Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

During December, my calendar tends to fill up quickly, and my pocketbook tends to empty more quickly. Our family is busy during the holiday season with all kinds of special activities and events, plus decorating and gift-giving, and often traveling. We enjoy all these things, of course, but in the busy-ness, we realized we were probably doing some of those things "just because" and not taking time to appreciate the meaning behind some of them. Leading up to December of 2014, my husband and I started really talking about family traditions that surrounded the holidays, and reflecting on those traditions that we had adopted from our own backgrounds. We decided that the childhood memories that were precious to us we wanted to pass on to our own children, but we hoped also to create something that was unique to our family. We wanted to give our children the gift of traditions.

I hope you've enjoyed looking back at these Coffee Breaks with me, and that you'll join me for many more in 2018!

This post is part of a #breakthrulinkup  at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us! This post is also linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Things, and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Blogger Loves The King said...

What a busy year! Me too.

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