Changing things up!


posted by on Schooling Resource, Update

  That’s right!  Time to change things up! Last year was filled with a lot of change for us all.  Lots of things to adjust to here.   And that includes schooling!

Eldest has found herself in a rut.  A lot of things she’s been using has been working just fine.  However, she’s gotten very “blah” about it and so we needed to find something that would, once again, excite her and pique her interest once more.  I’ve noticed that if you truly enjoy what you are doing, you are more apt to soak in the information you are trying to learn.  So, a-researching I did go.

I wanted to incorporate her love of reading and I wanted to find something that would continue to nurture the love of reading.  Enter:  Build Your Library.

I loved the Charlotte Mason style of learning but never knew how to do so with secular material, so when a friend introduced me to BYL I found it quite intriguing.

I’ve researched it, viewed samples, spoke to others that have used it and loved it and decided to take the plunge!  We have started BYL Grade 8 with the eldest.  AND I’ve started started BYL Grade 1 with my two little ones.

Because we haven’t actually delved into SoTW (Story of the World), I thought it wise to begin with Grade 1 and not jump into Grade 2 even though technically the twins will be starting 2nd grade.  From everything I’ve read, it is more level and not grade specific, so we’re good.

There are several other things that we’ll be continuing to do along with BYL.

8th Grader:
Wordly Wise online (she’s actually doing Grade 9)
Latin Alive
American History
Physics & Chemistry (using several reference books)
Writing With Skills Level 2 (almost done with 1!)

For my 2nd Graders:
Singapore Math
Explode the Code
Handwriting Without Tears

Co-op next school year for the oldest: Civics 2, Big History (Science), Speech class

Co-op for next school year for the younger two: Art within Literature and a Science Engineering class

Oldest will also be continuing Show Choir classes, 4-H interest clubs, and Nature Classes.  I will start getting the younger two involved in 4-H, as well.  And one of the twins will be starting violin lessons using the Suzuki Method.

So that’s the plan.  But, as all things, we will need to remain capable of adapting to any changes that may be needed.  One day at a time!  ;)



posted by on Update

To all my readers:  Happy Holidays!!

What a year we’ve had!  It’s been an incredibly rough year for our family.  We’re certainly hoping for a far better 2016!!

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember this post.  Sadly, we lost a wonderful woman this year.  I lost a mom and my girls lost their grandma.  That, along with other unfortunate news, we’ve been trekking along as best we can.  We’ve gathered what pieces we could, patched things up, grieved, mourned, cried, and now we’re moving on.

In the schooling arena, not as much accomplished as I would have liked but we’re doing well and I wouldn’t consider us behind.  A lot of changes were made along the way to accommodate learning styles and the crazy busy months we had.  Overall, I am feeling good.  I really wanted to keep on trekking through this holiday season and continue with school, but I couldn’t do it.

Usually our Summer is spent doing more school work so we can take off during the holiday season – usually from Thanksgiving to New Years.  However, we spent so much time helping a very sick person, hospital visits, mourning, grieving, spending time with family, etc.  that we didn’t do much.  And that’s ok.  And although I wanted to do more school over the holiday season, I realized my kids needed a sense of normalcy and changing that up would not be wise.

What have my girls learned?  They learned about mortality.  Life, death, and all that comes with it.  That’s a pretty huge thing to have to learn – especially at the young age of twelve and six.

Subject/curriculum-wise, here’s where we are:

Twelve year old is doing:
ALEKS Pre-algebra
American History – Joy Hakim along with student guide
Earth Science – hodge podge I pieced together (science encylopedia, Tarbuck college book, Powerpoint presentation – to learn note-taking skills, lots of hands-on books, lab work, etc.)
Worldly Wise online level 8
Global History – note taking skill involved
Typing practice
Getting Started with Latin
Writing with Skill level 1 (halfway through)
Creative writing (fan fiction writing all on her own!)
Classic book reading (varies – sometimes a living book based on where we are in American History, sometimes Shakespeare, etc.)
Court Cases
Art of Argument
Mosdos (depends on how whether we did a classic book or not that week)
Co-op: Civics and Art

My six year olds:
Math Mammoth grade 1
Spelling – it’s more for handwriting practice than anything else and it’s Kindergarten level
Handwriting Without Tears
Reading a bunch of different readers as both finished the 100 Easy Lessons
One of the twins is doing Sequential Spelling level 1 – I bought it on sale and wasn’t going to start it yet she saw it and begged to begin.  So begin we did!
History – flitting and floating around.
Co-op: Animals and their habitats, Traveling Around the World – learning about different cultures and lots of hands on crafty goodness!

Mostly playing, crafting, building, etc.  Six year olds being six year olds!  Having fun is our goal and aim at this age ;)

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and even greater New Year!  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”  - Neil Gaiman

Science4Us Review


posted by on Review

Science4Us asked if I could review their Early Elementary online science program.  I have actually looked at their website several times and wondered about their program, so I was so excited to be given the opportunity to test it out with my little girls.

Right off the bat, I absolutely loved the freedom to choose whether to work with Physical science, Inquiry, Life science, or Earth/Space.  This ended up being AMAZING for me because I have twins and quite frankly I was worried going through the same lesson twice in one day would be rather boring for this mom.  Luckily each of my girls chose a totally different science to learn and we ended up sitting on the couch together -all three of us!

A was working on Earth/Space and her sister would stay quiet and listen and watch while A did the activities and answered questions.  We would, however, all discuss the topics together.  Then we switched and B is working on Life Science and she would answer the questions and do the activities while A watched and listened next to us.

The girls absolutely love this program!  So much so that they wanted to do “just one more” and not want to get off.  Which, in my book, means this is a HUGE hit and the best part?  They were actually learning while having fun!

There were a few new-to-them topics and ideas.  Like the alphabetical order of words they learned in a lesson.  That was not something I had yet taught them but after doing two together, they totally ‘got it’ and did the next one all on their own.

Another favorite was the “Silly Bulls Syllables” – something that was also new to them but they picked up on rather quickly and absolutely love doing.

There are so very many wonderful aspects for this program!  I loved how it’s so visual and redundant in a way that isn’t boring or annoying.  It totally captures their attention and when daddy comes home from work, they go on and on about all that they have learned that day.  Hearing them retell what they have learned with this online program means to me that this is one science program that WORKS!

Cons?  I can only think of one con – my girls were excited and ready to answer questions but sometimes it talks too much and my girls get annoyed that they can’t ‘hit/click’ the right answer fast enough and move forward.  They need to be patient and wait for the talking to end.  Which is also a pro really – most little ones can’t read very fluently at this age so, personally, I love that it talks to the child and the child can do it themselves.  But I guess some children are just impatient (like mine! heh).  So I guess this isn’t such a huge con and it surely isn’t a make it or break it thing.

We absolutely hope to continue using this program!  It’s working and my girls are excited to learn!

Over the last 30 days, I have sat with my girls and reviewed Science4Us is an engaging,elementary science curriculum that teaches science using a fun, interactive approach. If you have your own blog and would like to review Science4Us, check out their homeschool review program.

posted by on Printables

Look what I made for my girls!

another view:

I’ve been searching high and low for something like this ever since I spotted one on Pinterest.  However, the really nice ones all cost moola and I just could not afford that right now.  I gotta say, though, after spending hours and hours tweaking and creating this, I have a lot more respect to those who request money for their printables and ready-made projects like this one and would be more than willing to pay them!

Since this is not in any way perfect, I am offering this as a FREE download to anyone who wants it for their own kids!

Here’s another pic of my girls working on theirs:

I looked online for the planets for the girls to color and cut-out.  You can even do a google map of your city/town and print that for your child.  Use your imagination, get creative!  Lots of ideas out there :)

I compiled together the files you can use.  To download the files please click here.  Enjoy!!