Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Government Gone Wrong

Can I just tell you from the very start that I am thankful our mess-ups do not have to be irrevocable?!  One of the many glories of homeschooling (and there are plenty) is that, if at first you don't succeed, try and try again!

Good thing we can try again, because the first two times I taught Government were not huge successes.  How do I know?

My first two students, both very studious girls, took government classes in college and came back to say, "Hey, we don't feel like we had a very good foundation in government, mom.  You should look into that before the boys get to that class."

Great, now you tell me!

At least I was warned, have more knowledge than the first two times around, and knew exactly how to fix the problem.

Enter the Exploring Government Curriculum Package from Notgrass History.  I asked for it, Timberdoodle supplied, and my needs are being met!

Admittedly, it is no surprise that I would love this course.  I have reviewed material for younger students from Notgrass before and been extremely happy with it, using it for multiple children.  Once again, they did not disappoint with this two book set meant to fulfill a one semester credit for high school government.

What comes in the set?
The main textbook is a full color 455 page hardback book entitled Exploring Government. Its 75 chapters are organized into 4 parts-
  • Background to American Government
  • The United States Constitution
  • State and Local Government, Taxes and Budget
  • Issues Facing American Government Today
Varying in length from approximately 4-10 pages, each chapter begins with a famous quote, and ends with the day's assignment.  Assignments vary, but usually include a literature reading (if you are choosing this option), additional reading from the second book (discussed below) and a project assignment for that unit.  Project choices for each unit are given at the beginning of that unit and allow several options for your child to choose from.  An optional resource you can buy separately is available for daily student review if you desire.  A separate quiz and test pack can also be purchased.

The second book in the set is entitled We Hold These Truths.  Included in this book are essays, historical documents, and speeches related to government.  The 222 pages hold 49 documents- everything from the Magna Carta to a 2014 Homeland Security Review.

What's so great about Exploring Government?

Notgrass Curriculum is from a Christian point of view.  While that may not mean a lot to you, it does to me.  The controversies surrounding the government are numerous, and I appreciate a Christian point of view when they are being discussed!

It is organized! Call me old fashioned or just plain lazy, but I like lesson plans.  While this program does not have separate printed plans, there really isn't a need for them.  Each Unit begins with an overview of what will be expected from the student and each lesson is clearly divided and has the day's assignments at the end of each reading.  A student will not have any problem working through this program alone.

It can fulfill a 1/2 semester of literature.  By adding 4 carefully chosen books, you can award your student literature credit in addition to the government credit.

There are notes for parents about the literature books chosen.  I have had the unfortunate experience of being surprised by content in a book assigned to my children by other companies.  In a perfect world I would have read those books before they did, but the reality is that does not always happen.  In the short guide for parents that Notgrass supplies, they have listed what they feel could be any red flags for parents.  Examples include any questionable language or sexual themes, drinking references, or anti-Christian ideas.

The reading is thorough but to the point.  The chapters are well written and concise, without watering down the information.  Small chunks of information hold a high schoolers interest without becoming drudgery to read page upon page.

The books are beautiful.  Ok, again, may not mean anything to you, but I love a beautiful book.  I love real life pictures that expose our kids to things they may not otherwise see.  Plus, let's face it, it just makes reading more enjoyable when you can occasionally look at something other than just words.

I could go on and on, really, but you get the point!  Notgrass Exploring Govenrment will fully equip your child with a basic knowledge of government as well as the knowledge they need to succeed in a college level course.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Menu and one of our FAVORITE Chicken Recipes

Welcome back to Monday Menu, friends!  Why does it seem like my weeks just keep speeding by?  Anyone else feel the same?

This week is a slower one for me and I am excited to have some down time.  Per my goals for 2018, I am trying to enjoy each moment and not get caught up in the craziness of life.

So for this week- SIMPLE is the plan.  OK, most weeks simple is my plan, but this week you might even say boring! ;)

Monday- Hamburgers

Tuesday- Turkey Breast in the Crockpot

Wednesday- Turkey Enchiladas

Thursday- Apricot French Toast

Friday- Care Group (taking something, but not sure what yet! Maybe taco ring!)

Saturday- Nachos

Sunday- Ham and Cheese Sliders (I know this veers away from my Sunday Soup plan, but my boys asked for "fun food" for the football game, so I am trying to please.)

Here is this week's recipe- one I have had forever, but is still a favorite in our house.  Very easy to make!

Chicken in White Wine Sauce

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 35 mins


  • 3 TBSP Flour
  • 1/4  tsp. each- salt, pepper, paprika
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 5 tsp. Parmesan cheese


  1. In plastic bag, mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika- add chicken and shake to coat
  2. Brown chicken in oil 1-2 minutes per side
  3. Add broth and cooking wine and bring to a boil.
  4. Place chicken in baking dish and cover.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-30  minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving
Created using The Recipes Generator

Adding in the Fun

Welcome back to our fourth and final week of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair.  A big thank you goes out to Susan from Homeschooling Hearts and Minds for hosting this event another year.  It has been a joy to participate and I hope a blessing to you all as well.  Homeschooling can often feel lonely at times and events like this are a good reminder that we are not alone!

After talking about curriculum and the big changes we just made last week, our final subject is  Enriching Our Learning.             .

To us that means Adding in the Fun!

Yes, there is some FUN in homeschooling.  Depending on your interests, schedule and personality, the fun can look different in every homeschool.  That is one of the beauties of what we do- you can tailor your school to your family and their needs. 

Each year looks differently for us, depending on where we are currently living, what our present interests are and well, let's face it, mom's motivation.  Fun doesn't always just happen, sometimes you have to do a little planning.

Here are some things we have done in the past or are still doing:

Outside Activities-  Co-ops or just a smaller group of homeschoolers meeting is a great way to add some fun and learning in with like minded people.  We have participated in several co ops, especially when the kids were younger.  They were great fits and often offered courses my kids would not have been exposed to otherwise.  It is how one child learned to play the guitar, one learned a ton of sewing skills, and several were introduced to theater and acting.  We also recently met with a group of homeschooling friends just for a few hours of "socialization." ;)  Bowling, skating, and park dates just helped us get out of the house and enjoy our friends!

Electives-  Electives are a big part of high schoolers transcripts.  In public highschool there are a limited amount of choices and time, but with homeschooling, the doors are wide open, from classes available to even internship type programs where your kids can be exposed to new skills and ideas.  My kids have taken course like Aviation, Architecture and typing.

Art and Music-  While these subjects may be losing their way in the public school system, they are still alive and kicking in our homeschools, thank goodness!  With art programs like See the Light, ARTAchieve, Creating a Masterpiece and more, you do not have to be an artist to teach your kids art.  Music is the same way.  These days your kids can not only study composers and music basics, but can learn an instrument entirely on line!

Foreign Languages- I am not bi lingual, nor are my kids, yet, but I love foreign languages.  Well, in particular, I love Spanish!  Because we have a son who was born in Guatemala, I am adamant that my kids learn Spanish.  I do not naturally speak Spanish, therefore I have to source this out.  There are so many foreign language programs out there that are amazing but I will tell you that Homeschool Spanish Academy is our favorite.  You might also want to check out Flip Flop Spanish and Speekee if you are looking for younger kids to get started.

Field Trips- OK, confession time.  I do not love field trips.  I used to enjoy them when my kids were younger, but I just cannot find the time to fit them in now that they are older without feeling guilty about the time they take up.  BUT, I know many people utilize them, love them, and provide all kinds of learning through them.  If that is you, have at it- get out there and enjoy!

No matter the choices you make, remember- they are YOUR choices!  One of the glories of homeschooling is that you get to decide what is right for your children and the best fit for your family!  Learning and having fun CAN go hand in hand!


Links are solely to help you "see" a product.  I am not an affiliate for any of these vendors, they are just programs we use and love!

This is the final week of the 7th Virtual Homeschool Fair. Our topic is:  Enriching Our Learning.

Note: All posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 29th.
Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
All of the Extras by Christy Schaefer @ Unexpected Homeschool
How To Explore Special Interests In Your Homeschool by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning outside of the box by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Putting the Heart Back into our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Adding in the Fun by Michele @Family, Faith and Fridays
The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
The Fun Parts of Homeschooling by Annette @ A Net in Time
How we add in the fun stuff. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Running - for fitness & fun by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Adding in the Extras by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
What About the Fun Stuff? by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
And the Learning Goes On, And On, And On by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Let's See What's Out There! (Electives and Extras) by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, January 26, 2018

What Is It with Chemistry?

Seriously, ya'll!  Chemistry is hard.  Hard to learn, maybe harder to teach.  I do not know how I got through Chemistry in high school.  I must have had a terribly gracious teacher.  Or maybe just one that did NOT want to be stuck with me in class again.

So yes, here I am teaching Chemistry.  For the third time.  To a different child, mind you, not the same one three times!  My older girls managed to squeak by, but I really wanted my oldest son to "get it", not just sneak by. 


We worked with a Chemistry program the whole first semester which left me exhausted and him frustrated and on top of it all- there was no "getting it."  At all.

I knew we needed to regroup and try something new, so when Timberdoodle offered to let me review Chemistry 101, I jumped at the chance.  I will admit this program passed through my house before, but I just had never had the chance to explore it.

We are on lesson four and I am thrilled, my son is happier, and we are BOTH "getting it!"

Before I get ahead of myself, let's talk about the details.

Chemistry 101 is one of three DVD sets in the Christian based 101 Science Series.  Others include Biology and Physics.  Intended for ages 15 and older, this 4 disk set has 18 lessons divided into four sections as well as a Guidebook and Accreditation guide that you can print off for reference.  Each video runs 20-40 minutes long.  Sections include-
  • The Road to the Periodic Table
  • Chemistry Essentials
  • Meet the Elements
  • The Future

There is a chapter that you print out to correspond with each video.  There are discussion questions at the end of each lesson, as well as a quiz. 

With each lesson comes a lesson plan of sorts that shows target hours for each part, a place to write your actual time spent, and a place for the teacher to sign off when completed.

Additional activities include:  extra reading and research ideas as well as labs (which can also be viewed in the videos)   If you spend two weeks on each lesson with their suggested schedule, you can easily fulfill a high school science credit.

Our thoughts and experiences-
As I said, we had already done Chemistry for a semester and covered the main chapters we felt were important.  We are now using Chemistry 101 as a  fill in the gaps program since we only need a second semester.  We are covering all the chapters, but at a more accelerated pace.

It has been a perfect fit.  Since my son is an auditory learner, he has fully enjoyed the videos and is understanding them well.  He likes the history aspect of the program, such as information on the pioneers of Chemistry, not just the math and equation parts.  He has also said numerous times, this makes sense now.

Because he also has a chapter to read with each lesson, I know his learning is being reinforced.

For our purposes we have structured our week in this manner-
  • Monday- Watch Video
  • Tuesday- Read chapter
  • Wednesday- Do Discussion questions
  • Thursday- Take Quiz
  • Friday- Do experiments
I like that there is a check sheet for us to follow, and in each chapter there are sidebars of extra, what I would call "fun facts/tidbits" of information.  I think when you can catch a student's interest with neat things, they are more likely to stay tuned into the meat of the information.

Honestly, I wasn't sure how I would feel about this course as I am a textbook kind of gal, but I knew we were desperate and needed a change.  I wish I had not waited as long as I did to introduce this program into to our school, and look forward to using it again with our last child.

Well written, well organized and well done!  Chemistry 101 is a winner in our book!

*Timberdoodle includes Chemistry 101 in their 10 grade curriculum kit!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peaceful, Not Perfect

If you know me at all, you may already know I have a thing about perfection.  I desire a perfect house, perfect children, perfect plans, and on and on.  As you can imagine, I have been let down many times because of that unrealistic expectation.

In my quest to simply my life more and more, and in an attempt to intentionally be living the life that GOD has for me, I am ruminating on several things I want to share with you, my fellow perfectionists!

  •  Instead of trying to fit it ALL into my life, I am asking the question- Does this add value to my life?  Whether that is an activity, or a book, or even something as simple as a "thing" I want to buy, I am asking that question.  Why add stuff without adding value?

  • Is this MY plan or GOD'S?  Trust me, there is a difference.  My plan often seems pretty good, but I know by faith that God's is better.   

  • These kids belong first to GOD, then to me.  As hard as it is, I must hold loosely to them and trust that again, God has a better plan.
  • I am not, nor are my kiddos or husband, perfect.  Nor do we have to pretend to be.  We make mistakes.  We are selfish.  We are sinful.  I have to trust that God forgives us of those sins, is teaching us, and continues to draw us closer to him, despite those sins.  Our friends will have to love us as we are, the good, bad and ugly.

  • Stuff is not the answer, God is.  More things, a perfect home, whatever- it will not fill us.  Only God can and will.

  • Peace comes from God and God alone.  The Bible says in John 14:27- "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  

Friends, I long to live a peaceful life.  Not one full of perfect plans, or a perfect house, or even perfect kids.

Just one full of a perfect God!

How about you?


Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Menu and a Crockpot Favorite

How is it already Monday again?  Seriously, do you ever feel like all you do is fix food for people who won't stop eating?  I told my hubby this week that when it is just the two of us (it will come someday I tell you) I am fixing one big meal and we are eating it all week.  Check back in 10 years and see what is on our plates! ;)

Until then, I have people that need to be fed so here is another week of our menu, keeping in mind we plan simple to save time, money, and let's face it, my sanity!

Monday- Honey Teriyaki Chicken (thanks Beth!)

Tuesday- Salisbury Steak

Wednesday- Turkey Taco Cups

Thursday- Chicken Curry

Friday- Dinner out

Saturday- Mini Ham and Cheese Frittatas

Sunday- Southwestern Chicken Chowder

There happens to be no crock pot meals this week, but you know I love my crock pot and use it often.  I love the ease and the feeling of accomplishment so early in the day, and I love the smell of a home cooked meal filling the house, especially on cold days.

Because of that and because I know some of you are buried under snow again, here is a crock pot favorite we got from a friend.

Creamy Scalloped Ham and Potatoes

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 6 hourtotal time: 6 hours and 15 mins


  • 2 lbs. potatoes (about 6)
  • 2-3 cups cubed ham
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tarter


  1. Wash and thinly slice potatoes
  2. Toss potatoes in 1 cup water and cream of tarter, drain
  3. Layer potatoes, ham, and onions in crock pot
  4. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper
  5. Repeat layers!
  6. Mix melted butter with soup and pour over the top.
  7. Cook on low 6-8  hours, adding cheese the last 30 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

The Details of Curriculum

We are back with week three of our Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by my friend Susan and Homeschooling Hearts and Minds.  Last week we talked about general Homeschooling Methods, but today the subject is Curriculum.

I want to begin this post with a confession- I have dreaded writing this one!  In the past, curriculum posts have been pretty straight forward, but well, this one gets personal.

Hang in and you will see what I mean.

I am down to just two students these days which is easier in a way and slightly sad in a way.  Schooling just two is less stress, but with two girls already grown, it is a reminder of just how fast time goes by and how fast they grow!  Cherish the moments, mamas!

The oldest is easier so let's start there.  He is a high school sophomore.  In the past we have done a lot of different things but have pretty much settled into what works best for us with a few tweaks.

  •      Math- Math U See Geometry  This is new this year, but we like it and recommend it.
  •      History- Sonlight
  •      Bible- Sonlight
  •      Literature- Sonlight
  •      Science- Chemistry 101 Series and Apologia
  •      Art Appreciation- Me (yep, I put together a simple 1/2 credit course because I wanted to!)
  •      Geography- Maps of the World (Emerald Books)
  •      Writing- IEW

Simple, straight to the point, and working well.  As our kids get older we encourage independent learning to help prepare them for college.  Next year our son will begin dual credit classes at the local college and we want to make sure he can hold his own.  So far, so good!

And then it gets complicated.  And a bit messy.  And very humbling!

Our last kiddo through the pipeline is our 10 year old who is in 5th grade.  He is my strong willed child that pushes all the buttons with mom.  Put him with someone else, and they sing his praises.  Put us together and we butt heads and struggle.  A lot.

I almost put him in a private school in January.  Quite frankly, I was at my wits end.

It was not that I wanted to send him off, but I really was thinking that to preserve our mother son relationship I had no other choice.

And then a friend talked to me about the Abeka streaming program, we tried a two week trial, and we started this week.

In no way do I want to sell you on this program, but I will quickly share why we are using it and how I feel about it.

I knew he needed an accelerated program.
I knew he needed someone else to be the teacher.
I knew it was a Christian program.
I knew we had to make a change.

And how do I feel?

Humbled.  Relieved.  Frustrated.  Thankful.  You name it, I have probably felt it this week!

Funny story!  When I began teaching our oldest almost 20 years ago we lived in Florida, not far from Pensacola Christian College (where ABeka is out of) so we bought ABeka and used it.  Not the video program, but just the curriculum.  Our needs eventually changed and we sold it.  All of it.  Or gave it away in most instances.  (So yes, I just RE-BOUGHT stuff I once owned.  UGH)

After several years of trying to do school just like the public school system, I finally got the courage to just TEACH my kids, not try to reproduce a system I felt was broken in many ways.  That's how things have worked around here for a long while.

Now my kiddo stands for the pledge of allegiance, sings songs with other students, recites verses, math facts, and spelling words, plays classroom games, and more.


But guess what?  He loves it!
  • He loves the competition with the other students.
  • He stands when they do and sits when they do.
  • He is learning all the songs and memorizes things with ease.
  • He listens to the teacher without arguing about every. little. thing!
  • He is smiling more and complaining less.
  • He is so proud of himself and his work.
  • He is not just learning stuff from the books, but also learning about diligence, and doing your best, and listening skills.
And even told me he thought that going to THAT school might be neat.

With that being said, I have to remind myself this is not about me.  It is about my son.

Who is learning and growing despite my failures and shortcomings.

Yes, I can get school done with him in half the time this program takes him.  And yes, I think some of the stuff is wasting MY time.  But the bigger picture is that it is NOT wasting his time if he is learning and loving the process.  Just because I would not choose to learn that way does not mean it is not right for him.

I tell people all the time that every kid is different and therefore learns differently.  Now is the time I have to believe what I say and act on it. To do something that may not have been my first choice, but for this season clearly is the right choice.

And the bonus?  We had a peaceful week with a lot more smiles and a lot less head butting.

I call that a success.


Looking for more curriculum ideas? Visit my fellow homeschool bloggers! 

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 22nd.
Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Freedom through nature journaling. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources - An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace
Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Choices, choices - how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Our Curriculum Needs - grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time
The Heart of Our School by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Curriculum We Have Loved Using by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses
How we Homeschool Together  Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Top 5 Posts of 2017

2018 has entered my life so quickly that I have hardly had time to take a look back and reflect on this blog- something I try to do each year to evaluate where we have been, where we are, and where we want to go.

Numbers may not mean a lot to you, but for a blogger numbers are everything in many ways.  Good or bad, those numbers are often the key to success, or the demise of your blog.  Sad but true.

Years ago I decided that this blog was not a money making venture for me.  It's not that I have anything against making money, I just was not and still am not sure that is the direction I want to take.  For now I am content to write about what is on my brain and heart, as well as review homeschool materials just because I want to, not because I am getting paid to.

As you know, I am a pretty eclectic blogger.  There are not many subjects I do not cover at one point or another.  In the blogging world, many will tell you that is a recipe for disaster.  Never the less, it is my life and therefore my current formula.

After looking at the top 5 posts for 2018, it seems that formula makes most of you happy and therefore you can expect pretty much the same formula this year as well.  How else could you explain that in the top 5 you will find me blogging about my life, talking about our homeschooling, sharing a review, taking you on a cleaning and de-cluttering journey, and just sharing my heart?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?  That being said, if you have something you want to see more (or less) of in 2018 here at Family, Faith and Fridays, drop me a note and I will see what I can do!

So the Top 5 Posts of 2018?

Adoption Aggravations

Schooling Year Round While Other Kids Have Summer Break

Is there a Doctor in the House?

34 Weeks of Clean Masterpost


And just for fun- the all time most read post is one written by my oldest daughter years ago!  This post still gets read daily and it amazes me still!

Modesty- A Command, Not a Conviction

As always, we thank you for following this blog and being a part of our lives.  You are more than readers, you are friends, and I treasure YOU!

Here's to another great year together!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Menu and a Breakfast Treat

Happy Monday!  Welcome back to another week of meals!  With my girl headed off to college again, we will be back to feeding 5 for a while.  Ignore me while I go pout!

We have loved planning soup for Sunday nights- a great way to relax and have a simple meal after a big Sunday lunch. This week we are going to try to incorporate breakfast into one meal as well.  My family loves breakfast food and by having it for dinner, it is often a good way to save some money.  I will let you know how it goes over.

Monday- Spaghetti Pie

Tuesday- Pork Chop Casserole

Wednesday- B-B-Q Chicken

Thursday- Breakfast Pizza

Friday- Care Group Night (not sure what I am making to share)

Saturday- Chicken a la Orange

Sunday- Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Have a blessed week!

Breakfast Pizza

prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 6-8  oz. sausage
  • 1 c. frozen hash browns
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Spread pan with rolls
  2. Cook sausage, drain
  3. Cook hash browns in 2 tsp. butter
  4. Cook eggs in 1 tsp. butter
  5. Layer sausage, hash browns, and eggs on rolls. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Top with cheese
  7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes


* We double this recipe for a family of 6, three of which are boys!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

A Method to Our Madness

Welcome back to week 2 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds!  I hope you enjoyed last week and the 5 Reasons You will Want to Homeschool!  Today we are going to be talking about Methods of Homeschooling!

When I began teaching my kids at home almost 20 years ago, I had no idea there were "methods" of teaching or even rules for that matter.  At the time I knew of two curriculum options, ABeka and Bob Jones University, and I chose one and went for it.  ABeka won out initially though I did use BJU for a few years as well!

Now I know a bit more, and boy, have I used a bit more!

The methods are almost too numerous to list, but let me tell you about a few.

All in Ones-  These are those curriculums like Abeka and Bob Jones where you can order a complete curriculum, with all the materials you need, open the box when it arrives and then start teaching.  There are more out there like Sonlight (which I have also used for many years) and even companies like Christian Liberty Press and Timberdoodle.  Let me just say, if text books are your thing, there are many amazing companies out there.  Choose one that looks good to you and go for it!  There is much to be said for companies that provide everything for you including lesson plans, especially for a new homeschooler!

Living books/Charlotte Mason- This style is very BOOK based, usually rich with literature and living books.  Think of yourself in a library checking out books on every subject you can think of.  You will include fiction, biographies, non-fiction- anything that you can learn you will.  I know of families that practically live in their library and they LOVE it!  This method is also often very student directed.  If your child is interested in a certain subject, find books about that subject and let the sky be the limit in their learning.  My Father's World curriculum also has a very Charlotte Mason bent.

Unit Studies- This method is a neat one too, if you like to concentrate on one subject for more than a day!  Pick a subject and learn!  Take bears for example.  Use math to count bears and sort the kinds.  For science study about the kinds of bears and add geography by learning about their habitats.  Read The Bear on Hemlock Mountain for literature and diagram sentences from that book for Grammar.  Get the idea?  When you grow weary of one subject, choose another and off you go.  There are AMAZING unit studies to be found, and many people like to add journaling or lap booking to them.

Classical- Classical education is a back to the fundamentals.  There was a time when the biggest guidance for this approach was the now famous book, The Well Trained Mind.  It walks you through the stages of learning and the things your child should be learning and how to teach them.  Think Latin, and lots of reading of old, classic books and memory work.  I loved the years we used the classical approach, but I must say it wore me out because at the time I was creating my own lesson plans from scratch for 3 different grades, not to mention trying to round up all the books myself.  Now there are several companies and programs that take a classical approach AND have lesson plans and provide the books.  Veritas Press and Classical Conversations are two that come to mind.

Unschooling- Yes, you will hear this word floating around in the homeschool community, though not as much as you used to.  This is one method that makes me a bit nervous, but I have seen it done well by a few families.  They allow their kids to learn from the world around them, devoid of most "textbooks."  That is not to say they are not learning, but you will not usually find tests and quizzes or lesson plans in their homes.  They learn as they go through life, often studying within a child's interests for an extended period of time.

Overwhelmed yet?  There is no need to be.  Trust me when I say that no matter which homeschooling method you choose, your kids WILL learn!  I recommend you find what you are most comfortable with as well as the way you believe your child will learn best and go for it!

If the fit is not perfect, you can tweak and adjust as needed, or completely stop what you are doing and start with something new.

Ask me how often I have done that!

THAT will wait until next week!  See 'ya back then!


What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Methods? Go visit them to find out!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 15th.
How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Don't Assume I Don't Care

Full disclosure- I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  There. I said it. 
I keep threatening to take a social media break. Or at the very least to check it only once a day instead of the numerous times that I do but would hate to confess to.

I admit it. I have an insane and growing fear of my missing a post and then my not commenting will be interpreted as "I don’t care."

But here is the reality.
I cannot ever see everyone’s posts due to the insane way Facebook works. 
As busy as my feed is there is a real possibility I will never see your post even if I scroll for hours. 
But I know (because I am guilty of the assumption as well) that most people post something and then assume everyone that needs to has read said post. It has become the way to communicate. Got something to say?  Post it. Need to pass information? Post it. 

We put it out there for the world to see and yet we have no idea if 10 or 10,000 people have seen it. 

Trust me I know. I see the stats of my Family, Faith and Fridays FB page. Some times the people reached is 25. Sometimes, if I am lucky that day and used the right words, it is 225. Despite the fact that over 1500 follow that feed. 

And yet we just keep loading our feeds with the stuff of our lives and expecting that all of our friends now know those details.

Honestly, in a season of my life where I desperately long to slow down and be quiet, it all weighs on my mind.  I am a people pleaser you know.  I want you to know I care!

It is a privilege to be a part of people’s lives and to have the opportunity to lift them in prayer. That is the thing I love about Facebook. But surely there is a better way to do that than social media in some cases.

Call me. Write me. Text me even.  But don't assume I don't care if I do not respond to your Facebook post.  Please know that me not responding to your post is not a statement on my feelings for you or your worth.

That being said, I am trying to step back for a while and put my family before Facebook.  I will be posting for Family, Faith and Fridays and continuing my part of social media for The Homeschool Review Crew, but other than that I will be checking in just one time a day.  I need a break from the hoopla.
But friends, I am not taking a break from you. 
I am here. Reach out if you need me. Reach out if you have a prayer request. And reach out just to
chat.  I play by different rules than Facebook, and unlike them, I am not randomly choosing whom I see. I always choose you!!


Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Menu!

Happy January and welcome back to Monday Menu!

Yes, I took off last week from posting, but I assure you, I did feed the family! ;)
Now that we are back to a regular schedule and starting school back today, I am ready to post our menus again.


Monday- Chicken Stir Fry

Tuesday- Scalloped Potatoes, Ham and Cheese

Wednesday- Meatloaf

Thursday- Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Friday- Pizza Night

Saturday- Out to eat for Indian food (college daughter's request before she heads back to school!)

Sunday- Veggie, Beef and Noodle Soup

Here is a recipe we like to make and share with others!


Yield: 2- 9x13 casseroles

Italian Stuffed Shells


  • 2 boxes jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
  • 2,  26 oz. canned spaghetti sauce
  • 1 box frozen spinach, cook and drained
  • 1.5 ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each- salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C. shredded cheese


  1. Spread each 9x13 with 1/2-1 cup spaghetti sauce.
  2. Brown beef with onion, add remaining sauce and spices
  3. Stir in drained spinach
  4. Add eggs and 1 1/2 C. cheese to meat sauce
  5. Spoon meat into each shell, place in baking dishes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes


This is a great dish to eat one and freeze one, or better yet, eat one and SHARE one!
Created using The Recipes Generator