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....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Apple Orchard, Letter Writing, and Other Projects

Here are a few things we did this week:
We took a field trip to an apple orchard
with our homeschool group

Made Parmesan Tilapia
(This is quick and easy. See recipe below.)

Math on the new hardwood floor

Puppet practice
The kids are planning on performing a couple of songs at our church on Sunday night.

Letter Writing
The kids are learning how write letters - not e-mail, but actual written letters. This will help them with writing practice, spelling, sentence structure, communication with others, etc. We plan on practicing our letter writing through-out the school year so, if you are a family member or friend, you might be getting a letter in the mail at some point. Please write back if you get a chance. I know the kids would love to get some mail and read a response to the letters they write to you. 
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4 frozen Tilapia fish filets
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. lemon juice concentrate
pinch of salt and pepper
Place fish in baking pan. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Spread over the tops of frozen fish. Bake at 375 degrees F, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until golden brown and fish flakes with a fork.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Look at the Past Two Weeks

The past couple of weeks have gone well.

For History/Geography, we learned about the First Explorers:  Leif Erikson and the Vikings, Christopher Columbus, and John Cabot. We also went on a field trip to LINCOLN'S HOME in Springfield, IL. (Lincoln is totally unrelated to the first explorers, but that's okay.)

For Science, we are learning about the animal kingdom, using the MFW curriculum, as well the Animal Science paces from A.C.E.

For Math, EL is working on counting money with a Kumon workbook. JJ is currently in Developmental Mathematics book 4.    

For English, we are also using the A.C.E paces this year, and they are working out well so far.

What is really nice about the paces is that they are easy to pack up and take with us if we need to go somewhere. This past week, we had to take EL to several doctors appointments, but we took our paces along with us and both kids were still able to get at least a little bit of schoolwork in while we were gone.

For Home Economics, I am teaching the kids new skills in the kitchen, and in the laundry. Friday night, JJ had his first experience with making meatballs. He enjoyed it, and did a nice job.

He also helped make brownies for a back-to-school carnival we went to on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed being with other homeschool families.

Dart throwing

Face painting / Hand painting

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our First Week Back To School

Our first week back to a regular school routine had its ups and downs. The first day (Tuesday) went really well, as I kept it fairly light and fun. We started our day with pancakes (this has been a tradition for us for the past 3 years).

Then, I made a list on the whiteboard of the things we were going to accomplish.

1.  Introduction to our new school year (our schedule, our new curriculum, what to expect, etc.)
2.  Fill out an "About Me" page for their notebooks
3.  Handwriting
4.  Reading with Mom (this was a quick word recognition test for each of them)
5.  Get pictures ready (the kids took some pictures for a local photo contest, so we needed to get them framed and ready to take to the library.)

And, that was it. Day one down... feeling good... ready for day two!

Day two (Wednesday), was an entirely different story. I added some more work and a certain 5th grade boy had the attitude of:
1.  Why do we need to do school anyway!?
2.  This is boring!
3.  I don't like to write!
4.  This is too hard!
I kept my cool this year (unlike years past when I let my emotions get the better of me). However, I did end up firmly explaining to my son that it is a REQUIREMENT for him to do school. He could choose to cooperate with me and do school at home, or we could send him to the public school where things would be MUCH different and much less desirable for him. As we finished school that day, I was feeling like a failure as a mom and as a homeschooler; but, my son did eventually apologize for his behavior and agreed to do better.
That led us to day three (Thursday). No problems whatsoever! We finished our work with smiles and hugs. Then, took a field trip to a nearby nature center for their Homeschool Naturalist Program.

Today (Friday), we finished our first week by reviewing the 7 days of Creation, and eating a large sugar cookie decorated to look like the Earth. I remember doing something similar to this when we were doing the "Exploring Countries and Cultures" curriculum and learning about MAPS & GLOBES. It was fun to do it again.

Now, to enjoy the weekend and start fresh again on Monday morning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer is Over

Summer is over, and we start back to school tomorrow morning. I have mixed feelings about starting back. Part of me is excited about getting back into a routine and learning new things with the kids. Another part is nervous about how well things will go as far as attitudes and cooperation. Plus, we have some new curriculum choices this year. But, we will start out slow with just the basics, then gradually increase our subjects. We will see how things go, and adjust accordingly.

For our vacation this year, we did not get the chance to attend a Renaissance Fair, like I previously mentioned we had wanted to do. (Maybe we can head to a Medieval Times dinner theater later this year.) We did, however, head to my husband's home town where we went to the county fair. It had been YEARS since we had been back to the fair there. My husband had a great time reliving old memories, and making new ones with our kids.

JJ and David on the bumper cars

EL on the carrousel