Monday, August 10, 2020

Let School Begin

Are you ready?  It is about that time when kids across the country start school.  Yes, this year looks a bit different!  If you are a parent sending your child back to school, know that we are praying for your family as you enter a new normal.  I am sure it is different and a bit scary.

For those who have decided to enter the homeschool arena, WELCOME!  We are glad you are here.  After doing this gig for 23 years I can unequivocally say it is one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made.  As a young Air Force family, we began homeschooling to allow my girls to be with their traveling dad as much as possible when he was home.  Through the years our reasons for continuing have changed, but our passion has not.

We now have two college graduates, one headed to college in a few weeks, and begin 8th grade for our youngest next week.  It is hard to believe I am teaching 8th grade for the 4th time now!  A lot has changed through the years, but rest assured some things stay the same regardless of the year, the current conditions, or the grade!

As you begin this journey let me take a minute to pass on some things I wished I had been told when I first started!

It will be OK!  First day jitters are a real thing, in you AND your student, but it will pass.  The unknown is always the hardest, but once you get into a rhythm you will be on your way.  You can do this!

There will be naysayers!  People don't always like things they do not know or understand.  It's ok. (see point one!)  Just stay in your lane and keep your eye on the goal.  Choose to stay out of debates and drama.

You are going to be the BEST teacher!  People used to ask me all of the time if I was a trained teacher.  Ummm, I am a non-trained MOM!  And no one knows or loves these kiddos as much as I do, save God!  I am pretty sure that makes me capable of teaching them.

There is help out there if you need it!  If you are fine on an island teaching, that is great.  If you need help ask for it.  Especially now, there are tons of people out there with tons of resources ready to help support you.  Don't be afraid to ask.

You do NOT need to break the bank to homeschool.  There are free programs available and no one is going to hand you a list of required back to school items to buy.  Watch out for the sale flyers- they will pull you in to buying a lot of stuff you do not need.  Children can and will learn without all the sparkle.

You do not have to maintain a traditional school schedule!  Your goal is not to re create school.  That is not homeschooling at its finest, trust me.  If you are an early riser then start early and enjoy quiet afternoons.  If your family loves to sleep in, then do so and start when everyone is fully awake. What time you start makes no difference to the learning that will take place.

Computer learning is not the end all, be all!  This is especially true for younger kids.  They need to be active, be outside, and be learning by your side.  There is a time and place for computer learning, just be careful not to fall into the trap of hours in front of a screen if you can help it.

Every child learns differently.  If you try to put a square peg in a round hole you will have problems.  Ask me how I know!  Be adaptable and be willing to make changes where needed- for your child's sanity and yours!

You are not alone.  Currently there are untold numbers of homeschoolers out there doing the same thing you are doing.  Find your tribe and stick together.

Not every day is easy, but every day is worth it!  That's my mantra- I repeat it often.  There will be bad days and there will be good days.  It's ok.  God's mercies are new every day!  Don't give up just because you have a bad day.
Get ready, get so, GO!  You can do this, mommas!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

No More Raccoon Garage

Yes, we had the garage painted black shortly after we moved in, but had not changed out the windows in them, so my kids told me they looked like raccoons.  Or pandas, depending on which child you ask.  I had all intentions of changing them out, but, as with all other things, shipping and installers were delayed. 

Finally, they came, and the difference is amazing.  I love them!

Now if that front door will ever come in. 

Other projects done-

Curtains for our dining room and our upstairs guest room.  Both were not high priority, but having that sewing project off my to-do list feels good. (OK, they still need to be hemmed, but it's close!)

I also finally got this quilt layered and quilted so I am ready for winter snuggling!  There will be a winter this year, right?! 

In preparation for two projects on our lower level, Clarke and I were able to take out this silly sink contraption the previous owners had put up for art projects I believe.  What you don't see is that when we bought it, it also had a woven grass rug around it.  Just having the thing pulled out makes me feel better.

This week I will be painting the back wall and column.  In a few weeks a kitchenette area will be added!  I am busy looking for a high table and four chairs to put where the card table currently is.  For now, Colby and I am using it for our puzzle space, but I am looking forward to having it set up for guests to use and movie night popcorn to be made.

The second project involves a bath room reno.  More on that to come!

As these initial projects start to wind down we are beginning to dream about our next projects.  Well, me mostly sharing my dreams with Clarke.  We will see where that takes us!

For someone who was a bit disappointed in having to let go of the building a house dream, I am enjoying making this place our own with updates here and there.  Feeling blessed that the Lord has allowed us to live His dream for our family- one we would have never imagined!


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Laser Chess For The Win

You know by now we are a game loving family!  Like, we play games several times a week and often Colby and I end our school day with a quick game of cards or such.  I thought my older kids loved games- but the 13 year has them all beat.  In more ways than one, since he usually DOES win!

I was thrilled to be able to add a new game to our ever growing collection, because let's face it, we have more time on our hands these days with the virus messing with our plans.  Staying at home is a blessing though when you have fun things to do with your kids!

Laser Chess is a great addition and one I have been eyeing for a while.  The name Chess held me at bay until I got the opportunity to review it for Timberdoodle.  Let's start by saying I do not, nor does anyone in our family, play chess.  And that is OK.  Because other than the fact that you are trying to "capture" someone's king and certain play pieces can do special things, this game is not like traditional chess.

Made me feel a lot better.

Did NOT help me in winning.

But it is a fun game for two people, ages 8 and up.

There are several quick ways to set up the game and then you are ready.  Each player takes turns moving one of their pieces or has the option to rotate one.  Once you do, you push the button to see where your laser beams hits.  You can take out your own man, so careful planning is needed.  Ask me how I know! If you hit your opponent's piece, they remove that piece from the board.  Again, the object is to take out their king. 

Here's where the strategy kicks in.  The pieces are mirrored and reflect the laser beam at 90 degree angles, from one piece to another.  You have to figure out how to position your men to work together to take out your opponent.  Some pieces are always safe, some reflect on two sides, and some reflect only from one side, so careful placement is needed.

I will have to admit this game is not my cup of tea as far as winning, ( I don't. Ever.) but I do enjoy playing it with my son.  Each game takes about 10-20 minutes depending on how skilled, or not, you are.  More importantly though, is all three boys in my house, to include my husband, do like it and have gotten quite good at it. It is fun to watch them strategize and problem solve!

If you are looking for a fun game to keep those kiddos busy this fall, Laser Chess is definitely one you will want to grab!  Not only will they have fun, but they are learning great problem solving skills as they play.  That's a win- win in this momma's book!

*Laser Chess is part of Timberdoodle's 7th Grade kit!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Keep It SImple

People often ask me what my number one piece of advice for homeshoolers is, and quite honestly, it is hard to choose.  There are so many things I would like to say to you new parents embarking on this adventure.  It is so hard to pick just one thing. But I do know what I wish someone had told me!

Don't make it harder than it is- keep it simple!

Yes, there is a lot of people out there with an opinion on how BEST to homeschool. 
And yes there are a lot of curriculum to choose from.
And, YES, there are all kinds of sparkly pens and paper and notebooks.
And don't get me started on the Pinterest boards!



OK, yes, you will need to choose some sort of curriculum and a pencil and some paper would be helpful, but other than that, if you need to pass on the other stuff-


I promise.

But, you say, what about all those shiny classrooms my kids are used to?

Teachers in traditional school are amazing.  Not only do they have to teach 20-30 kids at one time, but they have to hold their attention.  Brightly colored, exciting classrooms do that in some ways.

But you are only working with a few students- your kids!  No need to entertain them if that is not your thing.  Just teach them.  They will learn with OR without the sparkle.

Beautiful school specific rooms are lovely if that is what you love!  We have had several in the past 23 years of schooling and they worked well in those seasons.  But we have also had times when the kitchen table and a basket was all we had. (now, for instance!)

Here's the point- do what you need to do.  Do what works for you!  If that is something fancy- yay you!  If it is something simple- yay you!

There is no time for comparison.  Homeschooling can be challenging, especially the first year as you find your new normal.  Don't get lost in the weeds by making it harder that it is!


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Inside My Schoolroom

Pinterest moms, be forewarned!  I have had rooms like THAT, and this is not one of them!

Nor does it have to be!

For many of our homeschooling years, we have had dedicated school rooms.  I wish I had thought to take pictures of them, but way back then they were not set up to inspire my Pinterest friends, but just a space to house all of my curriculum and students! They were fun, and bright, and cheery and we loved them in that season.

But they were also visually over loading at times, took up space, and honestly, cost a lot of money.

And especially if you are teaching one student, or just for this season, they are not necessary!

Kids learn EVERYWHERE.

Including in your kitchen, bedroom, living room, back deck, or in the hammock in your yard!

And honestly, most kids like those spaces more than your Pinterest ready schoolrooms.  Really, they do!

So yes, I am in a brand new house with all kinds of space and THIS is my school room.

And this.

And this.

And this.

Basically my house- inside and out!

I do keep an area in our dining room hutch dedicated to teacher's manuals and "school supplies."  Ironically those are the same things I use as our office supplies.  I have been guilty of having about ten times that much, easily. but since beginning 34 Weeks of Clean years ago I have purged so much and realized I do not really need 400 pencils, gallons of paint and glitter, (what WAS I thinking) and stacks of notebooks.  In my quest to downsize and live simply, I have seen that our stress levels have gone down, our spending reduced, and believe it or not, we have not once not run out of supplies one time in the middle of our day.  

I house all of Colby's books currently in this oversized fabric bin from Target.

I have had that in the hutch as well, but he likes being able to just grab from the bin rather than going back and forth to the hutch so that is fine with me.  Easy peasy!

So some days we do math at the dining room table.  And sometimes we do Bible at the kitchen bar.  And sometimes we read science and history snuggled on the couch.

No matter where we are, we are learning!  And at the end of the day that is what counts!  Find what suits you and make it work.  No pressure, no stress!


Monday, July 27, 2020

Inside My Lesson Plans

How do I know what to teach?
How long should the day be?
What order do I do things in?
How does my child know what to do each day?

All valid questions!  And all pretty easy to answer, so let's jump right in!

You can and swill doubt find a TON of lesson planners out there.  There was a time when they were made specifically geared towards public school teachers, but somewhere along the way they became more open ended and homeschool friendly.  I have owned many different kinds and even used a few for a year, but honestly, I always find myself coming back to this year after year, this year included.

Yep!  A notebook. 

Seriously here's the deal.  Most curriculum comes with lesson plans, (that's how you know WHAT to teach) so you the teacher can know what to do on the next day.  And the next and the next.  Unless you are completely winging it on your own, most of the hard work is done for you.

The bigger dilemma is how to get that knowledge from you to your child.  AKA- the student.  I have been know to just use the curriculum lesson plans and make a check mark next to an assignment one it was done, but if you end up teaching multiple students multiple years, that's a lot of check marks and it gets messy! 

Not to mention some lesson plans are truly intended for a teacher and have far more information in them than your child needs and is likely to confuse or overwhelm them.

Hence, a notebook.

Each day, prior to your child sitting down for work you just list the subjects and write what they are responsible for getting done that day.  I usually write things out for a week in advance.  I have done more at one time, but sometimes life gets the best of you and you have to adjust and for me that is a lot of marking out things and re-writing things that is a waste of time.  I have learned not to get too far ahead of myself.

Each subject has a place for my child to check off once they are done. (That's how long your day should be.  All checked off- all done!)  I usually list things in the same order each day, but for the most part my child chooses what they want to do first, and so on. (Who cares what order as long as it is done!?  The exception for us would be if we ended each day in tears over the hardest subject they have been avoiding until the end.  Then I might insist we start with that subject for a while until we get our emotions under control.)  Theirs, not mine! ;)

For record purposes, I list all of the curriculum we are using in the front cover, and keep a list of all of the books we read that year in the back.  If a state ever wanted to see our "records" or attendance, I could pull it out quickly and they could easily see what we have done.

Just a side note- NO ONE has ever asked to see our records!  I have them in case, but honestly the school systems have enough on their plates usually to worry about what homeschoolers are doing.  I think through the years homeschoolers have proven their commitment to teaching and teaching well.

Anyway- the point being...if you love all things planners and fancy systems, by all means go grab one and get busy filling it in!  If it brings you joy then that is just one more way to make your day a good one.

BUT, do not feel pressured into filling in little boxes with colored pens if that is not you. 

The point of a planner is to keep a record of your day and let your student know what to do for each subject.  There is more that one way to skin a cat.   

A notebook is an easy way! ;)


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Making the First Day Special

So you have made the decision to homeschool.  You have weighed the costs, chosen curriculum and are ready for the first day. 


Let me share a secret with you.  Any first day is hard.  Whether it is the first day of work, the first day at traditional school, or the first day of homeschooling.

Nervous anticipation and unclear expectations, with a hint of excitement.  And that is just you- not the kids!  I know because I have done it about 23 times.

The BEST way I have learned to start the school year is with some kind of fun tradition.  It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but just something that says, yay us, this is going to be a fun adventure.  Remember, your kiddos are taking their cues from you- make them good ones!

Here are some ideas for you-

Have new school supplies and a few fun treats at your child's "desk" when they wake up.  We have tried to do this every year.  A few notebooks, pens and pencils, folders, stickers, even a new water bottle.  Some years I even added a few special snacks for the first week.  Especially when they were younger, they looked forward to getting up that first morning to see what was waiting for them.

Go out to breakfast.  I know several families that make a special first day breakfast, or pile their kids in the car to go out for breakfast.  What a fun way to start the day.

Buy new pajamas and school all day in them.  Hey, everyone thinks homeschoolers school in their jammies all day every day anyway, so might as well have some fun!

Take the day off.  Yep, you heard me!  Wave at the buses as they go by and surprise them by declaring it an off day!

Start with games.  Sure, they can be spelling or math games, but what kids doesn't like games?

Go on a field trip.  Many homeschoolers use Fridays as errand or field trip day.  But why not shake things up and visit your local zoo, park, or favorite business?

Take pictures of the first day.  I have to admit, I have NEVER done this and it is the one thing I wish I had done differently  Yes, they may fight you on holding that poster and posing, but they will enjoy looking back at them in years to come.

No matter how you choose to start the first day of school. I encourage you to have fun and make memories.  That is what your kids will remember once the equations and facts and figures all fade from their minds. 

School is important.
Families are more important. 


Monday, July 20, 2020

Can You Thank Me?

I am reading an amazing book called Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  It was recommended by a sweet friend and I have since texted several people a picture of it and said you need to get this book now!

So I am saying, all my friends- you need to get this book right now!

We find ourselves in a crazy time in history.  No doubt, Corona Virus is not as life-altering as some of th- things our ancestors have gone through, but for sure it is life altering in many ways.  Life as we know it is different.

Grocery shopping takes more thought and effort.
Prioritizing errands and "essential" activities takes more time.
Schools are adjusting or canceling classes.
If you wear a mask people think you are silly.
If you don't wear a mask people think you are selfish.
Opinions on how you can get the virus change everyday.
Businesses are closing their doors.
Hospitals are maxed out and so are healthcare workers.
Depression and suicides are on the rise.
Some everyday grocery and health items are hard to find.
Travel is limited and vacations are cancelled.

There doesn't seem to be much to smile and be grateful for.


Early on I saw a meme that said something to the effect of "when things get back to normal, let it be a better normal."


One of the things DeMoss reiterates in her book is that it is much easier to be grateful when things are all good or going our way.

The challenge is to be grateful when things are not going our way.  When things are hard.  When we don't understand.

Anyone else there?

The Word says to " thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ' (Eph. 5:20)


When we are grateful we feel compelled to say thank you!

God is saying "Can you thank me?"

Even when it is hard? Or hard to understand?  Even in fear?  Or sadness?  Or in the middle of a pandemic?

How can you thank the Lord today?  What are you grateful for?

For health.
Healthcare workers
Food on your table
A bed to sleep in
Delivery services and mailmen
A cool breeze
The sunrise and sunset
Teachers,Vets, Mechanics
Amazon ;)

I know my list could go on and on.  And it should!
My challenge to myself is to go to bed each night saying,

"What am I learning through this trial?"
"Yes, God, I can thank you!"

Join me and be blessed!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Planning for School

I know for many of you this is all new.  Each year you go out and buy a list of school supplies, wave goodbye as you put your child on the bus, and then wait for the bus at the end of the day to bring them back.  It has worked well for you and you and your kids have thrived.

But now this is this dumb virus wreaking havoc across the world.  And schools looks a little scarier to some.  I am sorry.

Whatever reason is bringing you to homeschooling, know that we are glad you are here.  And we are here to help you and cheer you on!  We pray you will find in time that it is not as scary as you thought, and maybe even decide that it is a blessing to your family, whether for a year or for forever.

We have been blessed by schooling our 4 kids (two college graduates, one beginning college, and one in 8th grade) for over 23 years.

I tell people all of the time, not every day is easy,
but every day is worth it!

You can do this!  Here's how...

Make the decision and don't look back!- Now is not the time to be wishy washy.  Set your mind to the task and make it happen.  Once you commit, you can let go of the stress of the decision and move forward.

Rally your kids and work together!- Kids look to us for cues on how they should feel.  Let them know this is an exciting adventure, and then make it one!  Together.

Figure out your child's learning style!- Are they hands on learners?  Do they love to read and figure out things on their own?  Do they love being taught by others, or want to snuggle on the couch with you and explore the subjects by reading all day?  Once you find out what makes your child's heart sing when it comes to learning you are ready to choose curriculum.

Register with your state- Or what ever is required where you live.  HSLDA is a good place to start to see what your state requires.  Their membership also provides you with legal protection should you ever need it.

Choose curriculum-  Yes, YOU!  Can you believe it?  YOU can choose what your child learns!  Crazy huh?  Yes, you need to find out what your state requires of homeschoolers, but then you can decide how you teach those subjects and many more.  Start with Math, Reading, Science and History and go from there.  The possibilities are endless and you never know when you will find something that excites the whole family.  Some of the fun things my kids have explored- aviation, geology, sign language, and architecture.

Some places to start looking-
Christian Book Distributors
Local homescholing groups online
Bob Jones
Easy Peasy
Schoolhouse Teachers
Bloggers- two of my favorites-
         My Joy Filled Life
         Ben and Me

Pick a start date and put it on the calendar - Many states require 180 days of learning.  Others want you to "complete" a curriculum.  Again, look at your local laws to make sure you are in compliance.  Then schedule your days on a calendar.  Here are just a few ways-
  • Monday- Thursday- Many people do this and hold Fridays for field trips, labs, or just errand day.
  • "School" schedule- This is your typical follow what the public schools are doing, holidays and all.  We elected to do this a few times when we had college kids so we could be on break when they were home for holidays.
  • Year round- Yes, learning does take place all of the time, but these learners really DO school all year, often taking larger chunks of time off for holidays or travel.
  • Sabbath school- Do school for 6 weeks and then take a week off.  This allows time to plan your next six week, travel, or just play for a week.
Schedule your day!  "Fail to plan, plan to fail"  Some people, me being one of them, love all things charts and lists.  Others are more free spirited and will go where the wind takes them.  Neither are right or wrong, they are just different.  One person's schedule may be hour by hour, while someone else's may be week by week.  Do what works for you!  Just know, one way or another- things must get done to learn!

Find a tribe, get involved and ask questions!- There have been years in which we have been quite active in co ops and various homeschool classes or groups.  There have been other years that we have existed pretty much on our own.  Each child and family has different needs and at different times.  That is ok.  But as newbie, I encourage you not to go this alone.  Especially if this is not necessarily your heart, but instead a way to get through this whole virus nonsense.  If survival is key- then survive well so you can look back on this year as a blessing, not a curse.

Remember in the end that no one knows your child like you do and no one loves your child like you do!  You can do this, they can do this and you just might find yourself enjoying it more than you thought!

Want to know what I recommend for each age?  I just blogged about it- Homeschooling Favorites for ALL Grades.


Monday, July 13, 2020

It Came Unbroken!

The master shower door, that is!

Shower door number three! 

When the box arrived I took one look at it and thought, well, we will be ordering a fourth.  It was beat up and had rips in it.  Even the delivery guy shook his head.  But praise the Lord, somehow it was in one piece. 

And yesterday Clarke spent a few hours getting it put in place.  Bye bye shower liner (that was intended to be a week fix, not a 7 week fix), hello glass doors!

Before- (though we had already removed the existing gold doors!)

Shower liner pushed to the back wall while Clarke put the frame in-

Finished product!

Needless to say, we love it and can't wait to try it out tomorrow once the caulking sets.

Now, if that front door would just show up! ;)


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Homeschool Favorites for ALL Grades

I often get asked what my favorite curriculum is for different ages.  I have to say that the list changes yearly, because let's face it, each year we are bound to find something new and improved- and yes, sometimes those things make it on my list.  There are also a handful of items that have graced my favorites list for YEARS!  After all, I have been homeschooling for over 23 years!

My two daughters have graduated from college, my oldest son starts this year and already has all but one of his general college courses completed, and our youngest beings 8th grade next month.  Point being- we have done all the grades multiple times! 

I know there are many out there that are new to homeschooling or still trying to decide if this is something you can do until the current COVID situation calms down.  I would love to give you a few words of wisdom from an OLD homeschooling mom...

YOU CAN DO THIS!  You are smart, and you are able!  And no one knows or loves your kids as much as you do.

NOT EVERY DAY IS EASY!  But every day is worth it.  You will build relationships with your kids and maybe even heal a few. 

YOU ARE NOT RUNNING A MINI VERSION OF SCHOOL!  Homeschooling and schooling at home are two different beasts.  If you are going this on your own, outside the school system, you get to call the shots.  Check out your state's legal requirements and then jump in!

IT DOES NOT TAKE ALL DAY!  Really, it doesn't.  It is dependent on how many kiddos you are teaching, their ages, your pace, and a million other details.  But you will not have the distraction of 20 other students, bath room breaks, fire drills, recess and so on!

DON'T MAKE IT COMPLICATED! If you are just trying to fill in for a year, there are many programs online as well as "all in one" programs to choose for.  They not only offer discounts for an entire level, but will have lesson plans that you can follow day to day.  Ones I would recommend you look at are-

When we began homeschooling, and for several years afterwards, we used "all in one" curriculum.  It was an easy way to get started and did not feel so intimidating.  Through the years I started finding other courses I loved and would add them to our program, sometimes doubling up subjects just to fit it all in.  After wearing myself and my kids out, I began to streamline and pick and choose with more deliberation.  Add in my years of reviewing homeschool curriculum, and I have been exposed to A LOT of programs.  I tell people often, ask me about it- I have probably used it.

That being said, yes, I do have my favorites and if I was starting all over tomorrow here is what I would use!   If I have reviewed a product in the past I have linked them to the review. Please note- I am NOT profiting off any of these products.  Just a mom sharing her experiences.

Kindergarten- Just have fun!  Really!  Learn letters, colors and explore nature!  If your kiddo love games. learn through games!  Let them help in the kitchen, talk about community helpers, read aloud daily, and snuggle a lot.  They are only young once- savor this time.  If they really want to read- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, is fun, short, and easy to use.  BOB Books are also good!  Saxon Math K is a great hands on math program and most kids find it fun to use at this level.

1st Grade-All About Reading and Reading Eggs (super fun online program your kids will LOVE!)
                  Saxon Math
                  Saxon Grammar and Writing or Here to Help Learning (online)
                  Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                  History- My Story 1 (Masterbooks)
                  READ- every book you can get your hands on!
2nd Grade- All About Reading
                    Saxon Math
                    Here to Help Learning (online)
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    History- My Story 2 (Masterbooks)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program
3rd Grade- All About Reading

                    Saxon Math
                    Hake Grammar and Writing or Here to Help Learning (online)
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    History- Elementary World History (Masterbooks)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

4th Grade- All About Reading
                    All About Spelling (very hands on) or Spelling Power (if your child is a strong speller)
                    Saxon Math AND Time Tables (simply the BEST way to learn multiplication I think!)
                    Hake Grammar and Writing or Here to Help Learning (online)
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    History- Our 50 States (Notgrass)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

5th Grade-  All About Spelling (very hands on) or Spelling Power (if your child is a strong speller)
                    Teaching Textbooks 5 (Math)
                    Hake Grammar and Writing
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    History- America the Beautiful (Notgrass)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

6th Grade - All About Spelling (very hands on) or Spelling Power (if your child is a strong speller)
                    Teaching Textbooks 6 (Math)
                    Hake Grammar and Writing
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    Memoria Press Geography I
                    History- From Adam to Us (Notgrass)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

7th Grade-  Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                    Teaching Textbooks 7 (Math)
                    Hake Grammar and Writing
                    Nancy Larson Science (non religious) or Exploring Creation Series
                    Memoria Press Geography II
                    History- Uncle Sam and You (Notgrass)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

8th Grade- Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                    Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 (Math)
                    Hake Grammar and Writing
                    Apologia General Science
                    Memoria Press Geography II
                    History- Sonlight (This is one of our favorite years that uses the A History of US series                           by  Joy Hakim)
                    READ- every book you can get your hands on! We use Sonlight's Literature Program

9th Grade- Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                    Teaching Textbooks Geometry (Math)
                    Apologia Biology or Friendly Biology
                    IEW writing
                    Foreign Language
                    US History- Sonlight or Notgrass
                    US Literature- Sonlight

10 Grade-  Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                    Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 (Math)
                    Apologia Biology
                    IEW writing
                    Foreign Language
                    World History- Sonlight of Notgrass
                    World Literature (Sonlight)

11th Grade- Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                     Teaching Textbooks Chemistry (Math)
                     Apologia Biology
                     IEW writing
                     Government and Economics- Sonlight or Notgrass
                     British Literature

12th Grade- Wordly Wise Vocabulary
                     Math U See- Stewardship (this is a consumer math class that teaches some great                                 life skills!)
                     Apologia Physics (if your child is college bound in a science or math related field only!)
                     IEW writing

Our family also incorporates Bible into each year, either using what is provided by our Sonlight curriculum, or various programs we have found along the way. I will post on some of those next week so make sure to check back!

Keep in mind, this is what has worked for us and our MY favorites.  There are SO MANY great programs out there.  Figuring out what kind of learner your child is will help you when you start looking for curriculum.  NO child is the same and their educations should never look the same as well.  Find something that they love and fits them well, and you will be on your way to having a child who loves learning!

I pray you love teaching as well!

Got questions??  Ask away!


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What Week Is It?

Seriously!  I am having a hard time keeping up.  I know we homeschooled for nine weeks under the Stay-at-home order.  Or was it a recommendation?  Who would know.

Then we moved and did about 7-8 weeks of renovations.  Or was it 9?  Who would know!?

We are still waiting for our front door, glass inserts for our garage doors, glass shower doors for our master bedroom, and the entertainment center.  A few of those things have been ordered and re ordered several times.  We have been waiting for...who would know?

And now Arizona is back tracking and implementing new closures due to the rise of Covid cases.  Really?

I am not even sure I want to know what week it is anymore.  As a matter of fact maybe we should skip straight to August and hope for better times! ;)

On a lighter note- not much to report.  We did manage to get handles put on all of our bathroom cabinets, and are still waiting, see above, on more than several things.  We have also had a few estimates done and are waiting for those to come in.  I will have to fill you in with those projects soon!

In the meantime, this month I am going to begin to plan for the start up of homeschooling to begin mid- August!  For the first time in MANY years, I will have one student!  I can hardly believe it.  Colby will be in 8th grade and I am actually really excited about this year's curriculum.  It will be an adjustment to have just him at home, but we are both eager for a change.  I am looking for a few fun things for the two of us to do together during off hours.  In additional to the puzzles!  :)  All. The. Puzzles!

So be looking for a homeschool update soon!  After I find my planner and get started!

Hugs to you all, prayers being lifted!  Stay safe and keep your eyes on God!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

House Reno- Week 7- Winding Down

It's hard to believe but we do not have much to show you this week.  Most of the week was spent just settling in some, decorating a few areas, and celebrating Colby's 13th birthday, with a weekend away to visit his sisters and some friends of his.

I mentioned this book before, but seriously, you need to get it and read it- Cozy Minimalist Home!  It is a pretty quick read, but has quite the punch.  I am so tired of STUFF, but I do not want to empty my home of everything and I certainly want to maintain that cozy feel we all love.  This book has been eye opening and a great "how-to" helper.  Hopefully my other helper (Ashton) will be up soon to hang pictures and out on the finishing touches.

Decorating touches this week-

The biggest change- KITCHEN DOORS CAME BACK!  While now I cannot find anything in the kitchen again, I love the finished look!

The remainder of our time was spent on the phone trying to resolve two issues!  The first- a now THIRD shower door has been ordered for the master bath.  Thank goodness for cheap shower curtain liners!  The first two glass doors were damaged in shipping we are told, and they keep telling us we need to cancel those orders and have a new one shipped.  Growing weary of that drama!

The second is an entertainment hutch that was ordered at the end of April that has yet to arrive.  Oh well, not entirely true.  The wrong bottom was delivered.  Without the top.  (that is still in my garage because the delivery company has yet to figure out how to come back and get it.  BUT, the same delivery company then delivered the top and bottom pieces, both literally in pieces.  I mean, broken shelves, pieces in the bottom of the box, the works.  We refused delivery and they went back.   Come to find out the manufacturer is here in AZ (the pieces shipped from Minnesota), so we have cancelled the order and found a local furniture store that is going to order the pieces for us.  Cue another 6 weeks of waiting, but at least they will make sure the pieces are in one piece before they get delivered to our house.

It would all be a comedy of errors, except it is no longer funny.  And in the meantime, the TV is still on the floor.

Good news- front door is being replaced soon, and windows in the garage door have been ordered.

Before and after pictures will be coming soon of lots of the spaces, and then I am going to stop boring you for a while

After that, phase two begins! ;)