February 12, 2011

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Posted in Faith, Homechooling at 8:44 pm by Stacy

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week… I saw an end to our busyness that we have had for the last 6 weeks.   Bethel Boy’s biology class ended so we aren’t going to be in town ALL DAY on Wednesday.   Instead of “carschooling” and “library schooling” we will actually be home schooling!

In our homeschool this week… We received the log in information for our new math program from our Charter.   I’m excited to get started on it next week.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… this week we are getting a special visit from the college kid that used to live next to us.

My favorite thing this week was… realizing we are hitting a great grove with schooling.

What’s working/not working for us… joining the charter school has really worked for us.   We have a great teacher and we get to use the curriculum that I want to use, but have that support from a teacher.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have… I guess the question that comes up this time of year – what are we doing for next school year?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… I just love this video and am so thankful that Bethel Daddy chooses to dance with me everyday.


February 8, 2011

How do you do it all?

Posted in Family, Homechooling, Homemaking at 7:39 am by Stacy

We are entering a busy season of life and some days I just feel overwhelmed, especially when I look at my “to do” list.

At the first of the year we took a different direction homeschooling.  I signed up with a Charter School.   After a month, this so far has been a wonderful decision for our family.   The kids are blooming.   Bethel Boy actually got exciting about a writing class!  YES A WRITING CLASS!  I can hardly believe it myself!   We have a wonderfully supportive teacher.  She encourages me, which I desperately needed, and she has so many wonderful ideas and tips to give us.    In this last month Bethel Boy has taken a biology dissecting class where he has gotten to check out the insides of a worm, crayfish, fish and frog.   It has been the hands on learning that he has craved and that I just didn’t know how to give to him.   Bethel Girl is started reading!  She picked up a book last night and read quite a bit of it.   AMAZING!!!

But one thing I’ve been struggling with is balancing it all.   I have a part time job that requires 5 hours a week, AWANA secretary duties which amounts to about 2 hours outside of club work (and this past week even more!), basketball 3 nights a week, AWANA one night, schooling, dance, classes in town, etc.  I’m finding it really hard to keep my house clean, laundry done and folded and dishes caught up.   On top of all this Bethel Daddy has picked up some extra hours at work, so things that he used to do (helping with the house, laundry and dishes) I feel like I need to do it all because he’s working so hard for our family.

So as I look at a floor that needs desperately to be swept and a dryer full of clothes that need to be folded, two weeks of work that needs to be dealt with (I was sick last week) and kids that are asking for breakfast, I guess I need to shut down the computer and just do things one thing at a time.   It’s the only way it will all get done.

October 6, 2010

Finding a grove

Posted in Family, Homechooling at 1:04 pm by Stacy

I feel like we are *finally* finding our grove with schooling.

Workboxes are working well for us.  We just got BethelGirl set up with them and for her I’m using them loosely, mostly so she feels like she is doing school like brother.  They are working well for BethelBoy and I’m finding I don’t get asked the question “Are we done yet?” 30 times a day.

Language Arts is going as well as it can for my reluctant writer, Bethel Boy.  I’m really liking CQLA.   We are starting our 2nd week of the second session and while I’m still not doing everything that is available in each weeks lesson, I do know that Bethel Boy is learning and he’s not fighting me as much about Language Arts.

We are enjoying science, Apologia really is one of the best curriculum available and I’m so glad we are using it.   You know it’s great when you non-school loving son is talking to his public school cousin and telling the cousin how he’s learning Astronomy and how it doesn’t have “Anything to do with Star Wars”.

As always we are in love with Sonlight.   We are doing Core 1 and Bethel Boy is using Reader 2 Intermediate.  We have added Story of the World to our History and it is a great fit, the kids love the map work and coloring pages that come along with it.

Horizon Math is still working well for us and I can’t wait until Bethel Boy is able to use Teaching Textbooks.  Hopefully next year!

October 4, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday! October 4th

Posted in Family, Homechooling, Homemaking at 4:22 pm by Stacy


The weather in my neck of the woods: After having record highs last week in the high 80’s and low 90’s it’s cold and rainy with thunder storms.   Delightfully fall weather.

Things that make me happy: Getting in and finishing school early in the day instead of going into the afternoon.

Book I’m reading: I have three books going at the moment.   A light Christian fiction book, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance,  and I will Carry You

What’s on my TV today: I almost hate to admit this, but I watched Sister Wives on TLC and I’m just fascinated by it.

On the menu for dinner: I have no idea, we are going over to some friends for dinner.

On my To Do List: Clean my desk, Set up a Home Management Binder and back up the book cases.

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: I’m going to make Taco Soup tomorrow night.

In the craft basket: I’m going to make my mom some Halloween dish towels for her birthday mid month.

Looking forward to this week: Monday and Tuesday.  They are the busiest days of our week and I’m glad when AWANA is over and then we are mostly home the rest of the week.   There is lots to do around here since we are moving at the end of the month.

Tips and Tricks:
Not so much a tip, but more of a reminder to me.  The earlier I get up and the less time I spend on the computer makes for a smooth running morning and a quicker school day.

My favorite blog post this week: I don’t really have anything.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Nothing new this week.

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days: It’s ok to say “no” to good things.

On my mind: Packing and our move.  Making sure we get everything done.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: I’m trying to memorize my daughter’s verses for AWANA.  But I’m also trying to memorize Philippians 4:6-7  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.

Head on over to Sandra’s and see other HHM post.

August 19, 2010

Gearing Up Part Two

Posted in Family, Homechooling, Homemaking at 9:09 pm by Stacy

As excited as I was in July to start school I’m feeling the exact opposite to have our summer come to an end.   The last few weeks have been a wonderful time of just relaxing.  We just finished a trip to Oregon where we swam 3 or 4 times a day, did a little shopping (yeah!  no sales tax!) and visited with family.   What a perfect ending to our summer.

So now as I look at spending next week having a teacher prep week, to get ready for getting back on schedule starting August 30th, I’m trying to figure out what I want our day/week to look like.   Leave it up to our own devises and we wouldn’t do much at all.   All three of us are pretty lazy beings.

As I was taking a shower today I started to think of what I want our day to look like.  How I want it to flow.  Hopefully somewhere between my ideal day and my current lazy day we will find a balance.

So here is what my ideal day will look like:

Wake up by 5:00 – have coffee, quiet time and computer time by 6:00

6:00- get ready for the day, get dressed, start a load of laundry if needed.

7:00 – get kids moving toward getting dressed and eating breakfast.

7:30 – kids make beds and get ready for school

8:00 – 11:00 School starts – Bible, Calendar time, Handwriting, Language Arts, snack break Math free time

11 – 12 lunch and break

12 – 2:30  – quiet reading time, history and science, reading.

2:30 – Bethel Daddy gets home – prep dinner, play and do all those little things that didn’t get done yet.

While times may not be exact, but hopefully the flow will be close to what I want.   I’m going to try not to have the tv on in the morning.  I think that will help me get off the computer and the kids to get started on the day a little quicker.

August 5, 2010

Best Laid Plans

Posted in Family, Homechooling at 10:06 pm by Stacy

I’ve had all these plans about schooling through the summer.   We got off to a good start and then summer fun came calling.  We had Bethel Girl’s Birthday, the local fair, a day at the lake, AWANA training and haircuts and walks and trips to the park.   Many things on that list won’t be quite as easy to do when winter rolls around here.

So that led to all my wonderful plans to be erased from my book.  Yep,  I took the eraser to it and decided I’m only going to plan 4 weeks at a time and see where that leads me.

For now our days are spent taking walks in the morning, sleeping in (for mom at least) and relaxing and just playing.  We will start school towards the end of August.  Maybe when the traditional school starts – then again maybe we will wait till after Labor Day.

But that’s the joy of homeschooling!

July 19, 2010

It’s Happy Homemaker, Meal Plan & Mingle Monday

Posted in Faith, Family, Fun, Homechooling, Homemaking at 2:45 pm by Stacy


Our Homeschool Home

The weather in my neck of the woods: This last week it’s been HOT, HOT, HOT.  Temps in the high 90’s and staying hot all day and night.  Looks like a slight cooling trend is coming our way – mid 80’s this week.

Things that make me happy: How wonderful my husband is and how much of a hands on father he is.  He was gone one night this weekend and the kids and I missed him so much.

Book I’m reading: I’m on a  Nicholas Sparks kick right now and I just started Dear John.

What I’m enjoying on TV: I just finished watching Leap Year, it’s a little boring.  We are actually cutting the satellite today.   Both Bethel Daddy and I have decided that we all watch too much tv, that the kids are becoming dissatisfied with what they have and that we want to encourage more reading and interacting as a family.

On the menu for dinner: (I just realized that I can do Meal Plan Monday right here)  For this week I have Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Tri-tip dip sandwiches, Turkey Sloppy Joes,  and enchiladas.  We are eating at our local fair on Thursday for Bethel Girl’s 5th Birthday and Friday and Saturday we will just do leftovers/find what you can because one night I’m working at the fair selling tickets and Bethel Daddy is working at the Indian Taco Booth on Saturday night.

On my To Do List: Sew a little birthday outfit for Bethel Girl.  It’s a cute pink shorts and the top is pink and has cupcakes on it.  It’s for her to wear on her birthday.

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: This Magic Mix looks very interesting.

In the craft basket: Bethel Girl’s short and top for her birthday and hopefully I will also have time to sew her a new nightgown.  With school starting I just didn’t have enough time to sew last week.

Looking forward to this week: The whole week.  We have fun things planned.  Tuesday we are having birthday cake for Bethel Girl’s birthday with our small group, Wednesday Bethel Girl is performing for dance at the fair and on Thursday we will go to the fair and enjoy a family evening with the kids for Bethel Girl’s birthday.   That’s what she chose to do.

My favorite blog post this week: I loved this one about unexpected fruit from Mary @ Owlhaven.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers): I found a great blog this week during The HomeSchool Village Thursday Link-up.  It’s called The Architect and The Artist

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days: Parenting is hard work! (or maybe it’s heart work).

On my mind: Our pastor’s sermon from Sunday morning.  It was powerfully good! and we’ve already started making changes in how we live our life.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Head on over to Sandra’s and find more Happy Homemaker Monday and also Our Homeschool Home for Mingle Monday and over to Laura’s for Meal Plan Monday.

July 15, 2010

What grade would I get?

Posted in Faith, Homechooling at 5:14 pm by Stacy

This week over at The Homeschool Village the topic is:  How would you grade yourself homeschooling? How did your children grade you?!

If I were grading myself for our first year I would to give myself a very generous “C” for our first year, with an “A” for effort!   Last year since I was babysitting homeschooling fell to the bottom of the list a lot of times.   Academically we didn’t learn all I wanted my son to learn last year, BUT socially and about things that really matter – we learned a lot.   Bethel Boy learned a lot about the Lord.  We were so pleased as he made connections between reading the Beginner’s Bible (all the way through) and things he was learning other places.   It wasn’t that he made the connections just to Sunday School lessons or Children’s church – but he made connections to real life.

I asked Bethel Boy what grade he would give me for the past year and he said “A”.   When I asked why, he said it was because I kept doing it even with lots of distractions.    I can’t help to wonder if it is because  of the freedom of learning outside and the one on one time  of  learning or is it because they like eating hot food and watching a bit of tv during lunch each day?

As we just started our 2nd year this past Monday it will be interesting to see how we do this year.   I’m pretty pleased with how the first four days have gone.  We are all a little tired, but I’m trying to learn tricks to get us to stay motivated.   It’s amazing how much quicker a hand writing assignment gets done or all math gets completed before the timer goes off when one knows they can’t go outside until it gets done.  I have no idea what I will hold over their heads for reward when the weather gets bad.

Visit The HomeSchool Village to see how others are evaluating themselves.

June 29, 2010

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Posted in Faith, Family, Fun, Homechooling, Homemaking at 5:17 pm by Stacy

Outside my window… the sky is the perfect summer blue and the sun shining.

I am thinking… that I’m so thankful that I finally cleaned off my desk.

I am thankful for… my husband having two weeks off.

From the learning rooms…(if this applies) planning for next “year” is taking place.

From the kitchen… everything is ready for our potluck with our tonight with our small group.

I am wearing… a black t-shirt and my black and white floral skirt I made last summer.

I am creating… mini offices for my kids.

I am going… for a nice walk tomorrow with my friend.

I am reading… Beezus and Ramona with the kids.

I am hoping… that the State of California passes a budget and we get our full pay back.

I am hearing… the swamp cooler fan blowing.  Thank you Jesus for that sound and the cool breeze it produces!

Around the house… the dogs are relaxing.

One of my favorite things… being with my husband.  He really is my best friend.

A few plans for the rest of the week… are to enjoy relaxing tomorrow, birthday shopping with Bethel Daddy on Thursday and celebrating Bethel Boy’s birthday on Friday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…(add your picture here)

June 26, 2010

2010-2011 Curriculum

Posted in Family, Homechooling at 5:39 pm by Stacy

It’s just a few short weeks until we start school.  I’m so excited and I want to start now,  I know that it would be best to wait until after vacation.  I did ask Bethel Daddy if we can take school with us to the lake house so we might be starting a week early.

I should start with my favorite planning tool.  It’s The Well Planned Day Calendar.  I love how it is laid out, I love the articles that are at the beginning of each month and I all the organizational forms.   I enjoy writing out my lessons, even though I have lesson plans with our Sonlight Core 1, I love how I have everything in one place. It’s the best $24.99 that I have spent and this is the second year that I am using it.

Bible – We are using Bible Study Guide for all Ages, I think we are going to be using this in the evenings doing about 2 lessons a week.  We are using the Beginning Student Pages for Bethel Girl and Intermediate Student Pages for Bethel Boy.

Both kids will be doing AWANA and Bethel Boy will be a T&T this year and Bethel Girl will be a Sparks.

We will be reviewing verses daily using Simply Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System.

One thing I haven’t decided yet to use or not is Sonlight’s Core 1 Bible program.  I’m thinking that we will use Leading Little Ones to God as our devotion in the morning before we start school.  I’m not sure about the daily bible reading.  We will just have to see how it goes.

Math – Both kids will be using Horizon Math.  We tried a couple programs last year but this is the one that we all liked the best.   With Bethel Boy we are flying through Grade 1.  It is review for him and he only has book 2 to finish.   My goal is to have him finished and into Grade 2 by our first 8 weeks of school.  Bethel Girl is doing Grade K math.

Language Arts – Bethel boy will be using CQLA (Character Quality Language Arts).  We are using the Blue Series and are starting out with level Pre-A.  Since this is our first year using this I’m really praying that it will work for our family.  I like how it is all integrated for us.  Bethel Girl will be using Get Ready for the Code books.  I also am planning on us choosing a letter of the week that goes along with what letter we are studying in Get Ready for the Code.  Since she loves cutting and pasting and everything I’ve been saving up old magazines so she can cut things that begin with that letter out and paste them on a piece of paper.

Reading – For Bethel Boy we using Sonlight Readers 2 Intermediate and for Bethel Girl we are using Bob Books and Sonlight Readers K

Handwriting – We will be using “A Reason For Handwriting” for both kids.   Bethel Girl will be using Handwriting K and Bethel Boy will be using Handwriting B.

Science – Apologia Astronomy.   I let the kids choose what they wanted to study for science and this is what they both chose.  Bethel Boy thinks that it will make him know more about Star Wars.

History – We will be doing Core 1 history.  We started this last year, but needed to step back and concentrate on just the basics, math, reading and spelling.   I am adding on Story of the World and activities to make it a little bit more hands on.

Read Alouds – Since we started Core 1 last year we have read about half of the read alouds from that core.  I am borrowing Core K read alouds to supplement what we haven’t read from Core 1 read alouds and then we will finish up the year with the rest of the year with Core 1 read alouds.

Along with our curriculum planning I’ve also been setting some goals that I want to see each child reach.  Some of them have to do with academics, but most just have to do with a character development.

Bethel Boy’s goals:  Better penmanship, develope a love of learning, making connections to what we learn  in school with things that are happening in real life and most importantly a deeper love of the Lord.

Bethel Girl’s goals:  Learn to read, learn to submit to authority, grow in spiritual understanding and make connections with what we learn in school to things that happen in life.

Next page