Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2018-2019): Our oldest child, EL, finished her formal education in May 2017. She remains at home due to her special needs, and continues to learn with us when she is able. JJ is in 10th grade this year. We intend to homeschool him through High School, and are using a variety of different curriculum choices to complete this goal.

Please feel free to follow along....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our Roman Meal

Thanks to a minor surgery for me (a lump removal in early November), a diagnosis of cancer, then a major surgery on December 11th, it's been awhile since I've done any updating on here about our school year. I am still recovering, but feeling good enough to briefly tell you that we finished our main study of Rome early in December, and finished the unit with our own version of a Roman meal...

Since the ancient Romans mainly ate finger foods while reclining, we used a card table on the floor and placed couch cushions and pillows around it. You can also see a white sheet tied around Coyote, which was his attempt at making a toga. The meal consisted of fried chicken, grapes, cheese and crackers, and lettuce salad. Even though forks were not used in ancient Rome, we did "cheat" a bit and used forks to eat our salad. But, it was all a fun little experience for our family.
We were sort of "forced" to take our Winter break early this year, due to the surgery on the 11th. So, our last day was December 7th. We will start up again early in January and begin learning about the Renaissance and Medievel Times.

Have a blessed Christmas as you remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and focus on the reason he was born!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Nomination - A Special Honor

So, yesterday, I had a surgical procedure done and am rather sore. There's not much I can do around the house as far as lifting goes, so I'm sitting here at the computer catching up on e-mails and things while my kids do their independent work. As I started going through the e-mails, I noticed another blogger I follow was nominated in the Homeschool Blog Awards.

The Homeschool Post

So, I clicked on the link to go vote for her page, as well as several others that I follow. As I browsed through all the other categories and nominations, I came across a very familiar one - SONset ACADEMY! Wow, how exciting to be nominated; and not only in one category, but in THREE:
  • Best Homeschool Mom Blog
  • Best Crafts, Plans and Projects Blog
  • Best Encourager
Whoever nominated me, THANKYOU! I am thrilled.

If you have not voted yet for your favorite blogs, you can click on the link below to get started! Polls close on November 16th.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dem Bones (and da utter parts of da human body)

Life has been moving along and keeping us pretty busy, so I haven't had much time to blog about the things we've been doing here. I'll give you a brief run-down of a few things we've covered.

We are still learning a bit about ancient Rome, and have now started reading a book about Galen, a famous Greek doctor who lived 2000 years ago. The book is called "Galen and the Gateway to Medicine."

We are also continuing our study of the human body, and have been learing about the eye, the mouth, the skin, and the skeleton.

Labeling the parts of the eye.

A paper model of the eye.

Opening the model of the eye.

Our paper model of a skeleton.
Instead of using tape to attach the bones, we used gold brads so we could make the joints move like they are supposed to. 

Here is a fun song we have been listening to about the different bones and how they are connected. The kids love it (and I guess I do, too!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Daughter's Drawing of Hoops & YoYo

About a month ago, I mentioned the Hoops & YoYo Video Maker that my kids enjoyed playing with on the computer. Since then, Road Runner began to draw the Hoops & YoYo characters. (Drawing is one of her favorite things to do). Here is one of the drawings she finished. Its such a happy picture, I just wanted to share it. NOTE:  The V's in the sky are birds flying in the distance.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Johnny Appleseed & Apple Orchard Trip

Last Wednesday (September 26) was Johnny Appleseed Day! We took some time that day to learn more about Johnny, whose real name was John Chapman. Here's a fun, old Disney short film we watched. Its only about 17 minutes long:

Then, over this past weekend, we went to visit my Mom & Dad. While we were there, the "big boys" went golfing, and Mom and I took the kids to ECKERT'S ORCHARD. They had fun rides and activities for the kids there. Then, we also rode a wagon out to the apple orchard and picked a few apples. Here are some pictures to share of our nice day there...

Me and Coyote
Crossing the covered bridge
Feeding the goats
Mom and Road Runner

Their favorite ride

Kiddie train ride
Coyote picking apples
Mom picking apples

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Sense Organs, Sense of Taste, and Sense of Smell (Week 4 & 5 RTR)

These past two weeks, for our Science, we began taking a more indepth look at the 5 senses.

This is one of several books we are using this year. This book shows us how to make simple paper models of various body parts. The instructions are easy to follow and all you need is a pair of scissors, some tape, and colored pencils.

This was the first model we made from the book above. The top page has flaps cut out of it to reveal the sense organs underneath. Coyote did a nice job coloring this one.

This second model is of the mouth and tongue. We used this to learn more about the sense of taste. Road Runner colored this one. The model has a page on top with a pair of lips. You open the lips to reveal the inside of the mouth, and another flap on top of the tongue shows where different taste buds can taste bitter, sweet, sour and salty.

We had a taste test one day using lemon juice (sour), instant coffee (bitter), sugar (sweet), salt (salty), strawberry syrup (sweet), and dill pickle juice (sour).
Another experiment revealed how the taste of juices are hard to distiguish from each other if you do not have the sense of smell to help you out.

That's as far as we made it with the senses but, in the coming weeks, we will be learning more about the other senses of hearing, seeing, and touch.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

COMPUTER CLASS: Hoops & YoYo Video Maker

A friend of mine sent me a link to a Hoops & YoYo Video Maker from Hallmark. So, one day this past week, the kids and I had "computer class" and took turns making our own videos. Coyote, of course, caught on right away and had a great time making his videos. Road Runner doesn't normally like to play games on the computer, so she just watched her brother and I make our videos at first. After she was familiar with how its all done, she decided to give it a try. She did a really great job, and had no problem maneuvering the mouse to add in the various parts of the video. She did most of it all on her own, and LOVES the final product.

Here are the links to each of the videos we made, in the order we made them. Hope you enjoy them...

Friday, September 14, 2012

WEEK 3: Temperature, Mosaic Art, Recorder Lessons, and Cheese Bites

Pictures from our week:

Science experiment about TEMPERATURE REGULATION and how our body responds. The bowl on the right is ice cold water, the bowl on the left is warm tap water, the bowl in the middle is cool tap water.

After holding their finger in the ice water and the warm water for 20 seconds, they placed them into the cool water and noticed how the cool water felt warm to their right hand after it had been in ice water, and the cool water felt cold to their left hand after it had been in warm water.

We learned about MOSAIC ART, which was popular in ancient Rome. So, we used this Magnetic Mosaics Kids set that we already had (You can find it on Amazon.com) and the kids worked together to make one of the pictures. You can see it below.

They made a sunflower.

We began RECORDER LESSONS this week, using a simple book called "Hands On Recorder," and began learning the notes of B, A, G, and E (both on the staff and on the recorder itself). Coyote is loving this and, so far, we have learned 4 new short songs. Road Runner sort of gave up after 2 days. It is just too hard for her to get her fingers positioned over the holes correctly. So, I'm not making her play anymore, but she will still be learning about the notes on the staff. Maybe we can find something else for her to play.

For Home Ec, we used a simple recipe for BAKED STRING CHEESE BITES. Coyote cut Light String Cheese into chunks while Road Runner and I mixed up the breading. I will post the recipe at the end but, here, the kids are dipping the chunks into milk, then breading them and placing them onto a cookie sheet. (Road Runner did not like this, as she doesn't like getting her hands messy, but I asked her do two or three anyway.)

After 8 minutes in the oven, this is how they came out.

Dip the cheese bites into warm pizza sauce and eat. They are delicious!

Here is the recipe for the Cheese Bites. I got it from THIS BLOG that I found on Pinterest.com, but I modified it a bit...

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned kind is best, but plain will work too.)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic
1 cup skim milk
Several Lite String Cheese sticks

NOTE:  1 tsp. of salt was a bit too salty for us, so I would recommend cutting it back to 1/2 tsp.

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Slice the cheese into chunks. Dip chunks into milk, then into the breading. (I added another step here and dipped the chunks in milk and breading a second time to help coat them really well). Place onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees. (8 minutes was perfect for us).
Let cool a bit, then dip into warmed pizza sauce.


Linked Up With:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

RTR Week 2: Julius Caesar, Brain Concentration, etc.

Here are a few pictures from
week 2 of Rome to the Reformation...

As I read about Julius Caesar and Octavius from "Augustus
Caesar's World," Coyote drew the scenes on the white board.
We learned about the left and right hemispheres of the brain
and how the left controls the right side, and vice versa.

The kids tried to pat their heads and rub their tummies
to show how it takes concentration to do things like this.
We played an Odd and Even game from ancient Roman times,
using beans (originally used with small stones).

This is a wall hanging we received from my husband's parents at Christmas. It is hanging in our school room, and we used it on Friday as we talked about being responsible by loving God and loving others.

Friday, August 31, 2012

First Week of RTR: Rome, Cells, & Scrambled Eggs for Lunch

Last Tuesday (8-21-12), as I previously mentioned, was our first day of school. The day went well. Then, Coyote came down with a fever again on Tuesday evening and was "down for the count" until Friday afternoon when his fever finally left and stayed away for good. So, this past Monday (the 27th), we started back to school again and decided to jump right in with our first week of "Rome to the Reformation." It wasn't the best day for us, because we were all tired and a little grumpy. But, we made it through without too much fuss. The rest of the week went really well. Here are a few things we did...

For History, we learned about Rome and how it began, and had an introduction to Augustus Ceasar.

For Science, we are learning about the human body, and this week's focus was on cells.

For a visual on cells, our Science book had us put lemon gelatin in a baggie and let it harden to represent the cytoplasm, then add a green grape for the nucleus. I didn't have any grapes on hand, so I improvised and used a cherry instead.

On another day, we also did a quick experiment to show how small particles are able to push through a cell membrane, but larger particles cannot. We used a mixture of dried beans and salt. Then, sifted them through a collander.

Of course, the salt sifted through the collander, and the beans remained. It was another hands-on visual to help the kids remember what they have learned.

This week (today, actually), we also began going through a weekly lesson on responsibilities. The book I am using is Lessons in Responsibility for Boys (Level 1) from the Pearables. Many of the lessons are good for both boys AND girls, so I will be reading it to both of our children whenever appropriate. The same goes for Home Economics for Homeschoolers, also by the Pearables. While originally intended for young ladies, the book can be used to help teach boys how to function in a kitchen as well.

In today's "Home Ec" Class, Road Runner learned how to make buttered toast...

And, Coyote learned how to scramble eggs...

Both kids have an allergy to eggs, so guess who had a nice lunch of scrambled eggs and toast? ME! Then, the kids also made their own lunches while I ate mine.

Over all, we had a good week and are looking forward to learning more new things next week! So, stay tuned...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today's First Day of School (2012-13) Went Well!

Yesterday was supposed to have been our first day back to school, but our youngest came down with a fever and headache on Sunday night and ended up spending all day on the couch on Monday.

Thankfully, it was a short-lived virus. So, we were able to have our first day TODAY!

This past week, I had kept reminding the kids that we would be starting school again soon, and our routine was going to become a lot more structured than it was during the Summer months. I believe this helped to prepare them for what was to come. I also let them know about a few fun things we would be doing on our first day. It ended up going VERY well.

We started our day out with the traditional pancake breakfast we have at the start of each year.

Then, I read a chapter from book 3 of The Scripture Sleuth series that a friend let us borrow. There are 5 books in the series and we have already read books 1 and 2. The kids (or, at least Coyote) were looking forward to beginning book 3, so I told them we would start it on the first day of school.

After that, I went through our new schedule/routine, including the kids' new chore charts, and showed them what to expect this year. Then, they each did a lesson in their Explode the Code books, their Math books, and did some silent reading from a new book of interest. I figured that was enough for the first day. We will add more as the days go by, and should be ready to start our main curriculum from My Father's World on Monday.

One last thing I did to help bring some excitement was make a "fidget box" this year. It is filled with miscellaneous sensory-type of toys that the kids can choose from as they listen to me during lesson times.

Most of the items came from the kids' own toybox, but I also added a few new things to make it more interesting. We have things like magnetic sculptures, squishy balls/stress balls, Thinking putty (sort of like Silly Putty), and various other little toys to keep fidgetty hands busy and little minds more open and able to pay attention.

Today went so much better than I ever expected, and I am so happy for the way the Lord continues to provide wisdom for me, as well as some much-needed encouragement. 

If you are a mom and/or a teacher, I hope your school year is off to a great start as well. What things have YOU done to help get your kids excited about starting school?