Monday, July 4, 2011

4th grade Plan A

I call it Plan A because if this plan doesn't work I have some back ups

Bible- Polished Cornerstones by Doorposts done as a group
Math- R&S (Rod and Staff) 4
Grammar- R&S 3
Reading - Classic Selections from Ambleside and other free reading selections
Spelling- Zaner Bloser 5 on
Science- BJU (Bob Jones University) 4
History SOTW (Story of the world)
Music- Composer Studies & violin
Art- Feed My Sheep (How Great thou Art)
Language- ASL & Latin co-op
Extra Curricular- Track

I am hoping this all works for our rising 4th grader.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 2011-2012 School Room

While I may still paint and have a few things still to hang. We are pretty much done. (we are potty training so excuse the naked toddler lol)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My new library bag

Any mama who Homeschools on the cheap knows how valuable the Library is. We go every Friday. The kids look forward to our weekly library outing. We check out A LOT of books and dvd's. We don't have cable, we get no reception and we canceled netflix so the Library is it. We have a great library system and can check out several books and movies between our 4 cards. I had been taking a bag from "mixed bags" a fundraiser program that has quality shopping bags. It was functional but I wanted something that worked to store some books at home too. I have a bin that I use but that wasn't cutting it. I did a blog design for a friend and we worked a trade and I got an awesome library bag. Its called a utility bag. It has a wire around the top so it is kinda like a pop up bin too. It is perfect to transport books and keep books/dvds in too. I L-O-V-E it. It fits wonderfully in the hutch in the foyer. The company is Proverbs 31 bags. and if you are interested in one I can put you in touch with a consultant.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well, I like change...

So you may notice I change the look of my blog often. That is because I like change, and because I can. I have been doing graphic design for many years but have really been trying to step it up a bit. I am sure many Moms can relate to needing to find ways to generate additional income. I started a whole other blog just to feature my work. If you like you can check it out here. Being a homeschooling family with many children and 1 income is a common theme. So why not turn something you love into a way to earn a little extra to keep your homeschooling dreams alive. I really enjoy graphics I think my favorite aside from blog design is birth announcements and graduation announcements. Their is just something about the start of a new life in both those things and its such a joy to be apart of it. Graduation season upon us had been rewarding in so many ways. I just love seeing many homeschoolers going on to college. Knowing I have my oldest at home for a mere 5 more years brings on excitement and terror all at once. I am sure you can relate you question yourself. Am I doing enough? Is she well rounded? will she get into the college of her choice? I know that only through prayer and dedication I can help her reach her goals. It's a big job, but so glad I am blessed to be able to do it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring has Sprung

My Poor 12 year old is going on day 2 of a nasty stomach bug. I thought it would be a good idea for them to get a little fresh air so I let my 12 year old go out in the yard with her sisters and take some pics. It sure didn't last long we have a lot of bees outside. I know its a sign of spring but I could do with out them lol. We have been loosly doing photography as an elective and I really think she is improving.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today's group lesson is brought to you by the back of a box of cereal

Yeah you heard that correctly. I have always encouraged my girls to try to read the backs of cereal boxes even at a young age. I happened to find an activity we could do as a group on the back of a box this morning. I wanted to take a morning and talk about nutrition and how we take care of our bodies. This was a great jumping off point.

The activity was to make homemade playdoh and to make healthy foods to fill up the fridge made from the cereal box. The girls knowing that some fun things where coming up didn't mind so much having a good talk about nutrition and taking care of our bodies.

They really had a hard time with making items small enough for this little fridge. It was still a lot of fun. I may never have to cook breakfast again they where satisfied to know that our cereal selections are quite healthy and contain many whole grains.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Spelling...

Generally we wouldn't "do school" on a Sunday but I wanted to get some things going early this week so we can learn about & celebrate Passover this coming week. Although my kids BEG to do school work I wanted to make it fun. We did some spelling games and word searched and for our snack we had Scrabble cheez-its. They had to spell out all their spelling words then they could eat them when we where done. I put the entire box in a big silver bowl and next time I will use 2 boxes we didn't seem to have enough letters so a lot of swapping was going on. I did take a few pics :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Well, I have not bloged in a while. Lots of big changes around here. We went from preparing to "maybe" homeschool next year. To Moving out of state and starting schooling right now. It's be a roller coaster few weeks but we are all very happy. Today is day 3 of schooling days 1&2 went really well. Quite honestly much better than I expected. My 5 year old especially really REALLY loves school. She is constantly asking for more and more and more work. I have to plan lots of extras for her because she doesn't like downtime or waiting for more work when I am working with her sisters. I really thought that having a 2 year old would get in the way a lot but it has gone much smoother than expected. She enjoys "playing" school and even has her own little journal that she gets out when we do our daily journal prompts. Id say my biggest struggle is that every time I leave the school room to do a lesson with someone or just get off my feet for a few the kids mess with each other. I really need a chair for me in their and that is top on my list right now. I am really enjoying doing FIAR (five in a row) with Morgan as well as FFL (First language lessons for the well trained mind) She is such a little sponge. She is even writing her own sentences and underlining the nouns after just 1 lesson on nouns. Erynn is really excelling in math (Saxon 8/7) I have to buy more curriculum for Aria I am doing a lot of printable worksheets and such with her right now. We are gearing up to do a unit study on Ohio State history I know nothing about the state myself having never lived here before so it should be a good learning time for all of us.
Part of our New School room!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Curriculum woes...

Their is just too many options. I just can't seem to nail it all down. I think first grade was easy to plan and no state requirements for her. Just personal education goals. It pays to not have a compulsory attendance age until 8. This means we can do 1st & 2nd grade with out having to report. It pays to have an Aug 8th birthday here too. I am pretty set on what I am doing with her. Now on to my 4th & 8th graders. Oi! I can't decide, I really can't. I have a few ideas. I am researching hours upon hours a day. I need to make some choices, I need affordable but GOOD curriculum. So please comment and share with me what you are doing. or just tell me what I need to do.. I have always wanted to say "Let America decide" so here you go folks my children's educational future is in your hands!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Workboxes, maybe?

That is the question today. Do I want to go this route? I mean worse case scenario I end up with extra storage bins that I can use in other areas of the house. I want the transition of schooling to go smoothly as possible. I want a lot of variety and fun so that me and the kiddos don't burn out to easy. I also don't want to get myself caught up in the thought that I have to cover 10 subjects a day. I will be happy to hit 4 or 5. I want to make sure we hit the important things early so when the say drags on and we feel like calling it a day we already got the big stuff done and can beef it up the next day in other areas.

My idea of our own workbox system comes from reading a BUNCH of blogs and ideas. I have not read the official workbox book.
Here are my tentative workbox plans
1. We start are day in traditional ways
-make your bed, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, get dressed
-Family morning meeting & prayer
-Bible and character studies as a group
2. The big kids would then go to their work boxes
- These will contain a lesson/activity, an instruction card, all materials they need for said lesson/activity and a digital timer. While they get a start on this it will give me the time needed to work 1 on 1 with my 1st grader
3. Each child will have 5 boxes to start I will label them with Numbers or letters that are removable and they will have a place to put them on the wall under their accountable kids boards.
4. They will do 2 boxes and the 3rd box will be a fun box that will contain something both fun and educational and a snack or something. I may toss random treats and such in other boxes (anything to motivate right)
5. If I put a lesson in a box that I know they need my help with I will include a "mom" card so they know they can bring their assignment to me for help.
6. I do plan on staggering out personal 1 on 1 time for each child that will be the tricky part.

For my 1st grader she will have boxes too I hope that if I stagger everything out just right that she can work independently while I work on things with her big sisters.

I am sure I will revise this 100 times but I like the idea of it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Homeschooling electives are awesome. Schools offer only so many choices at home the choices are endless. My oldest daughter was a bit saddened that she wont be able to take the new digital photography class her school is offering next year. I told her why can't we do it on our own. We have two cameras and endless amounts of opportunities at home and in the world. How many photos can you take around the school? We have the world. Being a homeschool mama at heart. I see all kinds of educational opportunities hidden inside this "home digital photography class" think of the nature studies, editing 'art', science projects, critical thinking type photo hunts... etc that can all be tied into simple photography.

Some other electives you can do at home are things like sewing, cake decorating, wood shop, auto mechanics, foreign & sign language, gardening etc.

while electives are not a mandatory thing I think these types activities are important breaks in the monotony that kids sometimes feel with school work.

I'd love to hear from you and what your elective ideas are please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Adventure....

That is just what life is. Right now the adventure is figuring out our schooling for next year. I have homeschooled in the past but never 3 kids at once with a toddler in the mix. This will mark the 2nd year that my older two daughters have not been schooled at home. I have watched so many negative changes that have taken place in good girls at an excellent school. How much we taught them at home that they have seemingly lost while being in the hands of other educators. This was all we needed to flip the switch and dig back into the idea of homeschooling again. Our daughters will be in 1st, 4th & 8th grade and we will have a 2.5 year old under toe as well. Oh and did I mention we would be doing this on a shoe string budget too. So that is pretty much going to be the scope of this blog. How we homeschool a bunch of kids, in a busy life, on a little budget. I think that pretty much describes at least 70% of the homeschooling community. I have many plans and ideas and I am all about trial and error so I will share where we succeed and where we fail in hopes that will help others too. I will also share many freebies and cool finds on the web.