Thursday, October 13, 2011

We have moved to Pioneer Journey!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Three Months!!!!

Why do newborns grow up so fast. My sweet little Xanthe is 3 months old today. She is such a sweet beautiful baby. I am loving every second. She smiles all the time now. She laughed a couple of weeks ago when we were giving her a bath. She laughed over and over during her bath and then never did it again... We did get it on video though. I am glad we did otherwise we might think we imagined it. I will post photos of my sweet baby soon.

Xanthe's Birthstory in case you are interested...
Birth Story Part 1
Birth Story Part 2
Welcome Xanthe Mae

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Butterfly Project

Day three: They have tripled in size!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My baby is growing up...

My daughter Rylee turned 7 a couple of days ago. I cannot believe how fast these seven years have flown by. I remember the anticipation when I found out that I was pregnant. That was the longest pregnancy... well technically it was the shortest... but it felt the longest. 

She is so wonderful. She has the most beautiful spirit. I love and appreciate her so much. She changed my life in unimaginable ways. I am truly so thankful that I was blessed to be her mom. Happy 7th Birthday Rylee!!! (a couple days late. :) )

I was hoping to post her 7 year old photos but I haven't taken them yet. I better get on that. 

I wrote her birth story in three parts if anybody wants to check them out. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Ceramic Place with Rylee and two missing front teeth...

I took Rylee to The Ceramic Place a couple of weeks ago after getting her two front teeth pulled. She painted an adorable horse. Today she dropped it and it broke. Tim glued it back together.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Decepticon Trap...

Nathan created this Decepticon Trap all by himself and then he showed us how it works...
 The Decepticon steps on the pointy thing and hurts himself and then a shoe hits him in the head and knocks him out. I will let you know if we catch one...


Awesome Handwriting Program!!

I was recently given the chance to review the StartWrite 6.0 Program. I have had my eye on this for a long time, so I was very excited to use it.  We love it!!

If you have not heard of it, it is a program that allows you to create custom handwriting worksheets. It is incredibly versatile.  It has many different fonts including fonts to match popular handwriting programs such as Handwriting Without Tears. You can change the size, the lines and the colors. You can add clip art, letter guidelines, letter dots and so much more. We have already found many uses.

Rylee loves to dictate stories to me while I write them. I made Rylee a story binder. Now I type her stories onto handwriting worksheets using StartWrite 6.0. I leave the top half of the page blank so that she can illustrate her stories.

She has also written letters to her grandparents using the worksheets.

We will be using this for her thank you cards after her birthday.

This year we are starting Handwriting Without Tears. I love that any worksheets I make will match the font that they are learning with the handwriting program.

Rylee has been asking to learn cursive lately so I printed a worksheet with cursive letters and she practiced away.

StartWrite offers a  free trial as well as video tutorials that you can watch to see the program in action. Check it out.

Disclaimer: I was given the StartWrite 6.0 program to review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum Picks...


These are our 2011-2012 curriculum choices as part of the Not Back-to School Blog Hop
Rylee is 6/1st grade- she will turn 7 at the beginning of the school year and Nathan is 4/Pre-K. Xanthe will be 2 months when school starts this year.

Calendar Time:
This is our breakfast/learning time:
We have little charts to fill out for weather, date, day, temperature, etc. You can take a peek at our Calendar Time Materials.

Scripture Study:
This year a lot of our history will involve Scripture Study due to the fact that we are studying Ancient History which follows closely with the Old Testament.
We will also continue reading the New Testament until January.

I have decided to use Math on the Level this year. I love this for a lot of reasons. One thing I really like is that it is non-consumable. In the long run it is very affordable. It is not open and go like Math-U-See but I think we will all really enjoy it. I plan to use this with both Rylee and Nathan if he is interested.

We will be studying Ancient History in Chronological order this year. Our main history books include...
The Mystery of History
The Story of the World: Ancient History
Genesis through Deuteronomy
Joshua through Malichi
The Story of the Ancient World
A Child's History of the World
The Usborne book of World History
We will be reading the beginning reader- Old Testament Stories. We will be watching videos from Living Scriptures: Old Testament (We love these!!) We will practice songs from the Children’s Songbook.
I have a lot of ideas for activities to go along with different parts of history. I have a pretty large booklist but that will come in a different post.

Edited to add... Draw and Write through History and Old Testament Workbook.

We will continue our State Studies. We will be using Trekking across the United States printables from Michelle over at Musings of Me and Road Trip USA that Erica created over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. We have used both and they are fantastic.
We will also use Wonder Maps.

My kids will each be building their own Timeline. It will be in a binder so that they can add pages over the years. We will use History through the Ages Timeline Figures.

Language Arts:
I had a very hard time choosing a Language Arts Curriculum. I wrote about all the LA options I was considering.

Queen Homeschool Language Lessons: This is based on Charlotte Mason Principles- Copywork, Dictation, Narration. News Flash!: This book teaches how to use the daily newspaper to teach Grammar. I haven't seen anything like it before and it would double as a good way to keep up on current events. It is designed for 1st- 3rd graders. We will also use Draw then Write and My Journals About Me: Journal prompts for young children.

Letter of the Week: We will continue our Letter of the Week program next year. This is mostly for Nathan. Rylee is a little old for the games that we used this year. She may still choose to do the younger games but I will be adding older activities for her as well. I am going to incorporate Science into our letter of the week this year. We will be studying all things nature so it should be easy to mix the two together. 

Readers will include:
 We will use Alphabetti readers. We own several "I Can Read Books" and I will buy more throughout the year. We also have all of the phonics readers for the Tag Reading systemBob Books and I See Sam Readers. We will use McGuffey ReadersFun with Dick and Jane Readers and Elson Readers (these are from the same author as Fun with Dick and Jane).

Before five in a row and Five in a Row. These have a lot of questions and activities that go along with some of our favorite stories. I wish I had bought these a couple of years ago. Fairy Tale Cookbooks: Cookbook for Young Readers. Literature Pockets: Hands on paper crafts to go along with Stories by Evan-Moore... Caldecott WinnersFolktales & FairytalesNursery Rhymes

Jeub's Complete Guide to Speech and Debate- Part of this book focuses on very young children.

We will cover famous Musicians as we come to them in our history studies. We will also study the individual instruments. I am hoping to get a piano this year so that they can begin lessons. I may start playing the Flute again to inspire Rylee. She is interested in the Violin.

Foreign Language:
I will be purchasing the Rosetta Stone Homeschool edition program. I haven't decided yet which I will purchase. Probably Greek or Spanish. I will be doing this one myself and if Rylee would like to do lessons she can.
We will continue to watch Signing Time Videos. They are so great!

Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book one for lessons. We have several Art books we will be reading. I will make a list in a separate post. Rylee really wants to learn how to draw this year. We will be using Drawing with Children as our instruction. And of course we still love to do Beautiful Junk. 

Family Read Alouds:
We will continue with "Little House on the Prairie". We may start the Lamplighter collection next.

Science: We will be learning all about Nature- a broad topic for sure. I think we will probably do this for a couple of years. I have pretty extensive book list which I will write up in another post. Some we will get from the library. Our main books will be from Apologia... Exploring Creation...


Extra Curricular:
Rylee wants to do T-Ball this year. I am considering Gymnastics and Karate for both of them as well. I am not sure. Rylee really wants to do Ballet and Ice Skating too. There is no way I am going to be able to keep all of that up. We also have our TJED homeschool group every Friday.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Curriculum: What worked this year...

My plans for this year and what actually happened...
The red is a post from my old homeschooling blog... the black is my notes on how it actually panned out...


2010-2011 Curriculum picks… a work in progress

This will probably be changed and added to a hundred times but this is the plan for now…

Nathan (3 years old):

In addition to the list below, he will be around for most of Rylee’s lessons. I am sure he will pick up some things from that too.
Basic Preschool Skills-
Cutting, gluing, coloring, shapes, colors, alphabet sounds, numbers, etc. I will mostly be using the wonderful things that have been created by Confessions of a Homeschooler as well as Home Grown Hearts. I will also be reading a lot of books and we will be playing a lot of games.

After printing all those printables I found out that you can buy ink for almost any printer on Amazon for dirt cheap. It would have cost a lot less.  We made it through the Alphabet and then about 1/2 way a second time. He loved them and wants to do them all the time.

Rylee (5 almost 6 years old):

Rylee will be welcome to participate in all of our Toddler activities as well as…
We are using Math-U-See Primer for Math.
I have to admit I find this curriculum boring. The workbooks are black and white with very little pictures. Rylee on the other hand enjoys it. I catch her watching the Math Lessons on her TV without me sometimes during the day. :) She has finished all of the lessons multiple times on the DVD. We are still catching up with the workbook.  Nathan loves to play with the blocks. I love the way it teaches to tell time.
Our choice for Science is
Exploring Creation With Astronomy (Young Explorers)
I have heard so many wonderful things about Apologia. I know that my kids and I are going to love these books.
I think a different topic would have worked better for their age. Perhaps one with animals. They loved the activities but lost interest sometimes during the reading. They still learned a lot. I loved the book and I am sure my kids will get a lot more out of it in a year or two.
Language Arts:
We will use
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers
We have already started this and I am so impressed! My daughter begs to do more then one lesson a day! We will begin the Bob books about halfway thru the book.

I am still very happy with Teach your child to read. We are still working on lessons. This may not be necessary for all children but as the lessons became harder we ended up breaking each lesson into two unless she was up for the second half. We also did lessons 1-15 twice. This is one of the wonderful things about homeschooling. You have the freedom to make things work for each individual child.
We will be using
Artistic Pursuits Book One: The Elements of Art And Composition
Drawing with Children
this year. We are starting with the preschool Artistic pursuits called:
The Way They See It: A Book for Every Parent About the Art Children Make
We will then move on to K-3 Book 1. My daughter wants to be an artist when she grows up, so I will be putting a special emphasis on art. We will also be making “Beautiful Junk” a couple of times a week. Basically I will give them “Junk” (paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, old ribbons, etc). With a little tape or glue you have “Beautiful Junk”.

We finished the way they see it. I really wasn't very impressed. If I had it to do over again, I would go straight to Artistic Pursuits: K-3- book 1. We will start that in the fall.
We never did use Drawing with Children but Rylee specifically asked me to make this a priority for next year. I definitely will.
We will use…
Stories of the Great Composers (Book & CD) (Learning Link)
We do a lot of singing and dancing as well as play with percussion instruments. So that will count as music too.

I was shocked at how much Rylee loved this. She would ask for a lesson at least once a week which is basically me reading about a composers life and then listening to music they composed. 
We will be using
Around the World in 180 Days (2-volume set)
as well as Expedition Earth from Confessions of a Homeschooler. My children are going to love filling up their passports!

We will use both of these in the future but they seemed a little old for my kids this year. Instead we started using a US State Study by Musings of Me. Very fun!!
We will be learning about American History this year. We will read books, do games, activities and make lapbooks for added enjoyment.

We didn't make it through all of the US History but we still had fun learning the earlier part of our history.
Gospel Study:
Aside from our family scripture study and Family Home Evening. We will be studying the New Testament. We will read the beginning reader- New Testament Stories. We will be watching videos fromLiving Scriptures: New Testament (We love these!!) We will practice songs from the Children’s Songbook and work on Scripture Mastery.
This pretty much went as planned. I have a few fun things up my sleeve for next year.
I will be reading a lot of picture books as well as chapter books. I will ask them to tell me what I read to them or draw a picture about what I have read.
We read tons of books. We read the "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" series and then started on the "Little House on the Prairie" series.
We will be watching Signing Time Videos  as well.
The are great, we stopped all television watching midway through the year. These became a lot more valuable to my children after that. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


 Nathan separated out the yellows...


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