Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Week of Kindergarten

My little kindergartener!

Brianna creatively spelling bird
Keira writting 5s

We are officially back to school! We have been off since about mid-December so it was nice to get back to routine. I had planned on one more week off but my mother in law comes next week and I did want to have some resemblance of order when she is here LOL.

Keira has been amazing with starting up. She was a little aprehensive but jumped right in! She was very scared that I was going to move her up out of Ms. Leanns class at MDO but I assured her that she would get to grad -gi-ate( thats how she pronounces it hehe).

Here is our set up

We start our day with the Pledge of Allegiance

Both: God and Me! Devotions for Girls
I did get the younger version. I went through though and its still appropriate for them.


Horizons Math-At the moment she is blowing through 5 worksheets a day :S

ETC Primer B-She could probably be doing ETC1 but she likes them so I went ahead and let her do the primer



Math-finishing up ABEKA. We have about 2 weeks left of that. I think I am going to stick with ABEKA with her. She seems to be doing better with that than the Horizons though she did good on both.

Phonics- Life Pac-I just paid so much for this that I feel like I have to do it. I am not really enjoying it all that much


Spelling-Spelling Grade 1

I am thinking of adding science in a few months after we are in our grove. May do a health course.

This is just our structured time. We also have loads of fun learning activities we do such as dot-to-dots, mazes, puzzles, field trips and Co-op!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why yes I do think I can...

This is going to be a vent blog. I have to do this every now and then or the person(s) who say or ask me these questions may end up getting more than they bargained for.

"You think you can educate your child better than we can?" -the public school system

Well let me answer that for you with a resounding YES! As a matter of fact I have taught, or at least been a large part of everything my child has learned up until now and I have done a great job! Further more if I have not learned enough to be able to teach my children the basics of elementary math and reading, perhaps that is why I am not putting my own children through such a sub-par education. Further more, until the public school system can boast more than a 49% graduation rate (dallas 2008) please dont tell me that I am going to do a worse job. It's just insulting.

"You want your children to have your "narrow" world views?!"-non-Christian/religious person(s)

Yes, I believe with all my heart it is my job and my responsibility to teach my children my values and morals rather than allowing the world to indoctrinate them with lies. I believe with all my heart that I have been given the responsibility to teach them the truth and that the truth will never line up with your world views. I will continue to teach them how to carry that truth through a world that will call them narrow minded and ignorant, while still holding on to their convictions.

"How will you teach them that they can be something more than a wife and a mother?"

Well, quite frankly I resent that question. As if the job I do is not as important as becoming a doctor and making lots of money. Secondly, I dont need to teach them that. The world surrounds them with "opportunity" to abandon their children and husbands in pursuit of wealth and power. Yep, thats right. I am one of those. One who believes that the best place I can be is at home raising my children and gasp! supporting my husband. I will encourage my children to get a college education, because realistically at some point they will probably need to support themselves and there is a chance that they may need to suppliment income, but I will encourage my girls to be wives and mothers when the time comes. And if they chose to work that is their decisions.

"Well I knew this one homeschooler..."

Oh oh oh just stop there, because I know about 500 public schooled kids...Right you see, that ONE homeschooler you know can not be used to judge the whole homeschool community. I know plenty of weird and socially awkward public school kids.

I wont bother with the socialization thing. Im bored with answering that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Give away!

I have 5 subscriptions to Home Education Magazine to give away!

The question this week is: What is your favorite Language Arts program? Why do you like it?

I will draw the winners next week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I finally have the photos uploaded to the computer! A few weeks ago we decided to take a homeschool co-op group trip to NASA. We had so much fun!

Its kind of dark but here is our group!

Keira had so much fun doing astronaut training.

Luke my future engineer?

Yes that is my daughter being a goober.

We of course made a solar system after we got back.

Always loving on each other.
The solar system model was a bit of a disaster, in that the girls really didnt get to do much. Wow, was it way to complicated. Despite that the girls are still very proud to have it hanging in the school room. I am thinking we are going to start Apologia if only I could get past the cost...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home Science Tools Contest Question

Todays question is for a $30 gc to Home Science Tools!!! Just answer the question and a winner will be drawn randomly. What has been your favorite science activity so far with your child(ren)?

Home Science Tools

Home Science Tools is a resource for parents, teachers, and kids who want a better experience with hands-on science. Frank and Debbie Schaner started the company in 1994, when they realized how difficult it was to find the right supplies for doing science at home with their four children. Since then, they've been committed to making science both fun and accessible for families and classrooms.
No longer in the Schaners' spare closet - where the first products were stored - Home Science Tools has expanded over the years to serve the wide range of science needs of parents and teachers throughout the country. After building a new 16,000 square foot facility in 2006, we have increased our ability to keep products in stock, so your order can be shipped the same or next business day. Our operations are also more efficient, which saves you money through low prices!
Thanks to Frank's chemical engineering background, Home Science Tools was founded with real science experience. And as the company has grown, we've gotten more excited about hands-on science. We evaluate each product we offer to make sure that it's good quality and has strong educational value so that when you order from us, you're sure of getting real tools that will encourage science exploration. (Check out our favorite products for some ideas.)
Making science hands-on and easier to do can have a significant impact for the future. As Frank says, "Our purpose at Home Science Tools is to provide families and schools with the tools they need to give their children and students a better science education. We believe our service is helping to develop today's kids into the faithful and competent scientists, medical professionals, engineers, and teachers of tomorrow."
So what does our enthusiasm about science mean for you? We don't just offer the best educational hands-on science supplies; we also guarantee your satisfaction with them. If you are at all dissatisfied with one of our products, you are welcome to return it with our 90-day return policy. And if you have questions about our products, our knowledgeable customer service team members will be glad to help! They have years of experience with our products, making them a valuable resource to answer your questions about what to use for science. You can reach our customer service team by emailing or calling 1(800) 860-6272.
We strive to provide the best "behind the scenes" service, too. Our warehouse crew works hard to make sure that your order arrives quickly - and accurately! Our total error rate is consistently well below 1% of all orders shipped. We also have a Quality Control department that carefully checks all our microscopes and other equipment before we ship it, ensuring that you get products in excellent condition.
Home Science Tools is located in Billings, Montana, along the Yellowstone River. If you're ever in town, stop by our store! (You can find directions here.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Busy weeks

When someone says to me "aren't you worried about socalization?" I want to laugh. Sometimes I actually do. Consider our week this week:

Monday-Schooling with a friend to work on our ABC Animal Notebooks and gymnastics
Tues- School then sewing with friends
Thurs-leaving for our NASA trip
Saturday-Tyler Discovery Museum

Actually, now that I think about it I am concerned that we won't actually have time to interact with anyone because we are on the go the entire time!

Off to plan our after NASA activities. Bri has been begging me for ages to make a solar system! I think her daddy is just as excited about it LOL!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The evidence

At crime scene A(where the theft occurred) the following evidence will be found: several sets of prints and a diet coke can.

At crime scene B(where the item was found) the following evidence will be found: an apple with a bite mark in it and a note with a biology assignment written on it.

Other evidence that will be included:

The lock to the cabinet will be in Diane's desk and Diane's keys

Brandie's keys will be on her desk

Juli and Ryan will be observed "getting in trouble" for not properly cleaning their classroom.

We will also interview and collect information from the suspects.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Suspects

On the Friday of our Thanksgiving party we went down as usual for lunch at 11:00am. When we returned to our classroom we found the cabinet lock missing and our microscope and its accessories missing. The entire teaching staff is on the suspect list, with only those teachers who were in the gym the entire time having an alabi. If the class can't remember which teachers were in the gym they must assume they are a suspect. There are 13 teachers, for the sake of time we will give about half of them an alabi that elimenates them from the suspect list.

Our main suspects are:

Brandie the assistant director- Brandie has the only other key to our cabinet and also has a key to get into the building and classrooms. She runs errands through out the building constantly and no one would think twice about her being inside the classroom. She was recently a bit embarrassed by the fact that we found more bacteria on her hands than on the toilet seat in the bathroom and could have taken the microscope out of revenge.

Diane the director- Diane also has a key to all of the doors in the building and could have easily asked the custodian to cut the lock off the cabinet. He would not have thought anything of it since she is the director. Diane was very interested in looking at the slides since we had found bacteria on the water fountain. She may have borrowed it to show the custodian that the waterfountain needed to be disinfected. A piece of the microscope and the uncut lock was found in Diane's desk. She says she picked it up off the floor, but perhaps she has broken the microscope and is afraid to tell us.

Ryan and Juli- Ryan and Juli teach one of the 3 year old MDO classes. Again when we did the bacteria swabs we found bacteria on one of their toys. Diane, was witnessed yelling at them for not cleaning the toys properly and Juli was over heard angrily saying that she was going to have a "word" with Anna(me) about what exactly I told Diane about the bacteria. She thinks I overstepped my boundaries by suggesting that they clean their toys a bit better.(for anyone reading this the bacteria was minimal and most of this story is fabricated specifically for this activity). Ryan and Julie could have taken the microscope out of revenge or perhaps they just wanted to see exactly what was found on their toy.

Jennifer- Jennifer conducts the younger homeschool co-op group. She feels like her class is not getting a fair chance at using it and could have taken it to use in her classroom. Jennifer denies stealing the microscope and says she over heard Diane yelling at Juli and Ryan as well as the Juli angrily saying that she was going to have a "word" with Anna(me) about what exactly I told Diane about the bacteria and that she thinks I overstepped my boundaries by suggesting that they clean their toys a bit better

Cassey and Breanne- Cassey and Breanne are the ones that discovered that the cabinet had been broken into. Breanne is in college and could have taken the microscope to use for a project with the intentions of returning it. Both Cassey and Breanne say they walked into the classroom after the microscope was already gone, but their prints were found at the scene along with another set of prints. They say they were just looking to see what had happened.


This is a work in progress so these stories will probably change a little before we actually do the activity.

Planning our CSI unit study

During the next 6 weeks our co-op will be doing Crime Scene Investigations for science using a book similar to Crime Scene Investigations. As my good friend Tracy will tell you I am a science geek, so I am more than excited to be putting together this activity. One thing it also allows me to do, is to practice my creative thinking and writing skills. Isn't it great that we get to learn right along with our kids?! I will give you instructions on how I set this activity up as well as some good resources and activities in case you decide to do one!

Starting out:

First I will divide the kids into teams. We have a small group so it will be 3 per group. Each team will have a folder prepared with the essentials they will need.
The book I have is awesome. It gives several "cases" to refer to when setting up your own. The first step is to decide on your crime! Our crime will be the theft of our beloved microscope. We did several fundraisers to be able to purchase this item, and spent about $260 on it.

Next is our suspect list:

Since our co-op is ran during the hours of the connected mother's day out we will be using those teachers in our investigation. I will assign very specific roles and hand a script to each teacher participating. The script will have a story for them to play out, either giving the teacher an alabi or making them into a suspect. Out of all of our teachers we will have 7 suspects, one being guilty of the theft. Before we start the unit I will meet with those involved to let them know their parts.

The Crime Scene:

Our crime scene will be the cabinet in our room. It is locked with a small lock so the lock will be off and the microscope missing. The crime scene will be staged with physical evidence and will need to be roped off for a few weeks while the project is going on.

Planting the evidence:

Several of our suspects will have been at the crime scene so my class will have to be very careful about documenting physical evidence. They will have to collect fingerprints and other evidence that will be placed there when I set up the crime scene. To throw the students off and to test their listening, reasoning and deduction skills, we will stage "scenes" that will be played out by the teachers. For instance, one of our suspects motive is that she got in trouble for some bacteria that our class found on her toys in the classroom. The director will come upstairs while we are headed to the computer lab and "yell" at the teachers for not cleaning the toys properly, thus giving that teacher the motive of revenge for stealing the microscope.

CSI Lab:

We will also set up a lab area. The class will need to take fingerprints, handwritting samples and so on. The lab area will be used to study the evidence. I will go into this in more detail when I have it all set up.

Fun stuff:

Our curriculum book offers alot of fun extras to do to make the unit feel more authentic. We have badges(hall passes) that allow the kids to be out of the classroom during the activity, search warrents, and even a really neat bulletin board idea. At the end of the activity we will have a presentation and each team will present who they think is guilty and why. We also have several labs that wont be directly related to our case but are realated to CSI in general.

That's it for now! I will post again as things come together. Feel free to post suggestions or even tell us about your CSI unit study. I love getting ideas from others!

Stupid in America

I watched this today. Very interesting. It's about 40 min long but I encourage anyone still deciding or those not entirely sure to use this video as part of your research.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Contest Question for $10gc to Hands of a Child

This weeks question for a $10 gc to Hands of a Child is: Do you participate in a co-op or any other enrichment program? Is there any particular reason for your choice? Just leave a comment and your name could be drawn! Drawing is this evening at 7pm central!

Are you curious about why In the Hands of a Child started producing and selling quality homeschool educational products? Well, then you've come to the right place to satisfy that curiosity!

In the Hands of a Child began in 2002 when two homeschooling moms found themselves constantly searching for the right graphics and information for their children to complete lapbooks and trying to answer the question, “What exactly is a lapbook?” Kimm Bellotto and Niki McNeil met through an online homeschool email list and after chatting, they soon discovered that they both loved lapbooks and were both looking for an easier way for homeschooling moms to pull together the necessary items for a lapbook. Those chats soon turned into a business plan and the two of them quietly “set-up shop” on the web becoming the first company to sell ready to use lapbook kits. With Niki’s creative ideas and Kimm’s creative graphics abilities, the two moms published their first unit, entitled Plant, in November 2002.

At first the only people who even knew they existed, outside of their families, was a small circle of online friends from a homeschool support eGroup. These moms began using the product and spreading the word to other homeschooling moms and slowly, but steadily, the business began to grow into what is now an internationally recognized company in the homeschooling community.

Niki and Katie met through a mutual scrapbooking hobby and when Niki mentioned that she and Kimm were looking for additional writers, the “inner author” inside Katie jumped at the chance! In 2005, Katie joined In the Hands of a Child as an author/researcher and then as a partner in the growing business. Today, the three of women share equal responsibilities; each bringing unique qualities and talents to the business with one goal in mind - to provide quality lapbooking materials for all educators while serving homeschooling families and classroom teachers looking for an easier way to put laughter and learning together in the hands of their children. Our aim is to help all educators of children of all ages and skill levels, ranging from Preschool to High School, with the use of just one type of product.

In the Hands of a Child has been greatly impacted by the homeschooling community. The vast majority of customers who purchase materials from our company are homeschoolers. In addition, Niki, Kimm, and Katie have built a strong link of communication and mutual friendship with many of our customers (mostly homeschoolers) through our on-line chats, on-line co-op groups, and yahoo email groups. We are more than grateful to be blessed with such wonderful customers and friends as the ones from the homeschool community that make up the larger part of our international customer base. While we often hear what a wonderful addition our company has been to the homeschooling community we are forever indebted to them for our tremendous success as a company.

Before In the Hands of a Child made its debut, homeschoolers had to do all of the preparation in order to pull together a lapbook. That task takes a lot of time when searching for items and/or graphics to use. Many educators do not have the time or the resources to complete this for every unit study in their curriculum. Knowing how much our own children learned and enjoyed learning in this style we knew we could meet a need for educators who want to put more of a hands-on spin to their curriculum, but were daunted by the task. We took the preparation time out of the parent/teacher job description and allowed educators to focus on the learning experience.

As the benefits of lapbooking become more well-known in all educational arenas our business continues to blossom with more and more educators looking for a simpler way to incorporate lapbooks into their daily learning experience. They come to us with relief because we are saving them from endless searches and confusing decisions about miniature books and graphic organizers, and we are giving them the opportunity to complete a project with their children that doesn’t require so much preparation that the joy fizzles out for both teacher and student. In addition, we offer custom made Lapbooking Project Packs that allow the customer the option to name the topic and grade level of the unit. We complete this within a 3-week time frame allowing customers to study a wide variety of topics of their choice, whether it is Disneyland before an upcoming vacation or The United States Navy before Uncle Greg deploys to serve our country. This is truly a one of a kind service for our customers and our custom orders have more then doubled since we began offering them.

Customers call, write, and email us on a daily basis with comments like, “This is my first year homeschooling and it has been overwhelmingly stressful trying to research all that is available and then determining what would work best for my daughter. She is a very hands-on crafty kid and worksheets just bored her. A lot of the curriculum available for purchase just didn't have enough hands-on activities to satisfy her and she dreaded "school time". I was so elated to find your site, bought all the preschool Project Packs that were available at the time… and got started right away. My daughter loved them so much she even asked to do "school" on Saturday and Sunday. I was elated. Thank you for making these wonderful resources available to us.”

All together we have published over 200 Project Packs and we continue to release new ones on a regular basis. In addition, we have added other products to our line including lapbooking supplies, craft kits, membership programs, and much more. The success of our business can be directly related to the support of the homeschooling moms, classroom teachers, and all of the children out there who use our products and continue to tell others about our company and the type of curriculum we have to offer. It is through their words, their testimonials and their efforts that we continue to grow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Contest Question for Crititcal Thinking Co

Tell us about your homechool space. Even if you don't have a designated space, tell us where you generally get your work done. Winners will be drawn randomly on Wed!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Week Another Contest!

This is a big one! The Critical Thinking Company has sponsored a $50 gift card!

For more than 50 years, our award-winning products have helped students of all abilities achieve better grades and higher test scores with highly effective lessons that sharpen the mind as they teach standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history. Our products are fun, easy to use, and guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores. We design critical thinking into reading, writing, math, science and history lessons so students carefully analyze what they are learning. Deeper analysis produces deeper understanding, which results in better grades and higher test scores. Over time, students who practice critical thinking learn to apply it throughout their education and life.
"If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless." - Michael Baker, President
We do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—we empower the mind! Our goals are higher grades, top test scores, and problem solving skills to meet all of life’s challenges. The Critical Thinking Company is recommended by Mensa, Learning Magazine, The Well Trained Mind, Dr. Toy, Creative Child Magazine, and used by Sylvan Learning Centers, Club Z In-Home Tutoring, leading U.S. public schools, and gifted & talented programs in 57 countries throughout the world. We guarantee better grades and higher test scores—or your money back.Children love our products and you'll love what our products do for your child.
HistoryThe company was founded by John Baker in 1958 under the name Midwest Publications as a math and textbook company, combining powerful logic problems with high educational and editorial standards. The Critical Thinking Co. now boasts over 200 titles in reading, writing, math, science and history, and remains a family-owned business under the guidance of John’s son, Michael Baker.
In the 1976, the company changed its name to Critical Thinking Press and Software. The name was further changed to Critical Thinking Books & Software in 1997. The current moniker, The Critical Thinking Co. was adopted in November of 2003.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bacteria Experiments

I am science geek. My major in college was Biology so I was so excited when I got to start doing science lab with the kids up at co-op! With the flu season upon us and everyone in a panic about H1N1 I decided that this would be a great week to talk about bacteria. So we ordered kits from to grow our own bacteria. We swabbed and cultured 20 samples last Wed and patiently have waited for them to grow. We had major success and the process has resulted in my BOYS(!) constantly asking to wash their hands. I definitely consider that a result! Above are a few pictures from some of our best cultures, including a water fountain, a computer keyboard and hands that had been coughed on(I know totally gross right?!).

Everyone up at co-op was so excited to see this, that we have decided to order a gram stain kit to see what kind of bacteria was growing and you can be sure that we will be making sure to disinfect the areas that we found the growth in.

I recommend this kit for all ages. Even my k-5 daughter understood what we were doing and it really gave her a visual for why we need to take special care not to spread our germs. has some health units that would suppliment this experiment nicely.

If you decide to do this experiment please take precautions and use safety glasses and masks. Remember thats bacteria thats growing in there and it can make you sick!

Curriculum Reviews

Be on the look out for reviews on various curriculum written by homeschooling parents!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Contest Question is....

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the flexability that it gives us. We do however have a basic daily schedule that we try to stick to. Today's contest question is: What is your daily schedule and are you flexible or do you like to stick to it?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Win me Tuesday October 13th-Spelling City

Have fun practicing your spelling words

Our next contest is coming up! On Tuesday I will be giving away a free upgraded membership to the spelling curriculum site !!

Here is just a bit of what that will find on

- Over 42,000 spelling words and ten learning games!- A REAL person who says each word and sentence.- Free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists.- How To Videos to explain to teachers and parents how to use A free forum and newsletter with more vocabulary and spelling resources!
- Ten spelling and vocabulary games to play online or to print.- Free printables for handwriting practice with your saved lists.- A Resources Section which highlights features and existing lists for Dolch words, compound words, sound-alikes (their, there, they're), contractions, possessives, and more.
After taking the online spelling test, students can print out a report, retake the entire test, or get tested only on spelling words that they got wrong the first time.
TeachMe spells and displays the word in ways that stimulate memory for visual and verbal learners.
Printable Games include WordSearch, UnScramble, WhichWord?, Sentence UnScramble and MissingLetter.Printable Handwriting Worksheets for combined spelling and handwriting practice can be created from any saved list (this feature only works if the list is saved). Choices includes three sizes of lines, capitals or small letters, script or cursive, and with directional arrows on or off. How cool is that?
Teachers: try our new Spelling City Parents’ Letter, available as PDFs for you to print and send home with your students' spelling word lists.

Even if you dont win be sure to go check out for lots of free spelling help!

Finishing up K-5

We started school in Janunary of last year so we are about to close out our first full year!! I am so proud of Brianna and I am proud of me! When we first started this journey the idea was just being tested. Now, a year later my husband is convinced and I am definitely convinced that this was the best way to go! I have really enjoyed watching my daughter grow and learn in a way that fostered a love for learning. Are we still working out kinks? For sure. Do we still have rough days? Definitely. But, we have seen this year bring such joy, that I have no second thoughts about continuing on homeschooling next year.

Technically, Brianna is about a semester ahead of her peers. It just worked out this way since we started in Jan instead of Aug. I have learned alot about Brianna. Brianna loves to work in workbooks, but is very easily discouraged when she really wants to master something and can't get it right away. She is slowly learning that a little practice goes along way and I have seen her really take off. Her favorite subject is math, which shouldn't suprise me because she is very musical too. She loves to sing, and often makes up her own songs, which can be quite brilliant sometimes. We also have started piano. She struggles with reading, but it goes back to the wanting to have it mastered NOW, thing. She is still eager to learn, but I find that I need to sneak in our LA into things that are a little more fun. She needs lots of praise when she has finished her books.

I am really looking forward to starting with Keira, but she isnt quite as academic as her sister so it looks like we are going to stick with the coloring sheets and dot to dots for a while. I would be happy with her just playing but she is so excited about starting that she requests sheets.

We will be having an end of the year party when my brother comes down from VA. I am so excited to be able to celebrate our accomplishments!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Contests Galore!

Most of you who follow my blog know that I also run the facebook group North Texas Homeschoolers. Well, I have talked to a few companies and have found several that are willing to sponsor some pretty cool prizes!! So if you are a North Texan Homeschooler be sure to look us up on Facebook! The first contest is today and I will be giving away a $20 gift card!!

Need a homeschool resource and need in now??? offers Ebooks, audiobooks, videos all instantly downloadable. They also offer online classes. Curriculum and Classes in a Click!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amusing "Socializing" Article

In the Kolbe Little Home Journal (Fall 2005), there is a brief item called "Homeschooling Family Finds Ways to Adapt to a Public School 'Socialization' Program." Here it is: "When my wife and I mention we are strongly considering homeschooling our children, we are without fail asked, 'But what about socialization?' Fortunately, we found a way our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the 'in' crowd, taking special care to poke fun at any physical abnormalities. Fridays will be 'Fad and Peer Pressure Day.' We will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, the most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car. Every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hall and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality.... And we have asked them to report us to the authorities in the event we mention faith, religion, or try to bring up morals and values."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Solar System

We were all laying in bed and Brianna pops up with the question "what are those bracelet things around some of the planets?" So, we are putting our ABC folder on hold long enough to explore the solar system and more specifically the rings. She has asked that we make a solar system model so we will be starting on that tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ABC Animal Notebook

We started our ABC Animal Notebooks this past week. The first thing we did was make a cover page and copy a sentence that said "My ABC Animal Notebook". I then had them draw whatever animal they wanted to in the frame. Keira Drew an Alligator.

Brianna drew a horse.
We also cut out pictures of apples and water color painted ants. We read a story from CLP's Nature Reader 1 about ants, and talked about how ants lived in a colony, have 6 legs and 2 antenna. I had them copy a sentence on the paper "Ants live in a colony".
So what does a genius 1 year old do during school time? Read the Bob Books of course!

Friday, September 11, 2009

2009-2010 Molder School Year

Well we started the new year. Well actually it was 2 weeks ago, but we are really just now into the swing of things. Everything seems to be going great! Karl had the first of many "conversations" with a family member about why we are homeschooling, but he did well with his responses.

I guess I will start out by talking about what curriculum we have chosen this year. Brianna is kind of all over the place with grade level, which is one thing I LOVE about hs'ing! I can put her where she needs to be. So we are doing some k-5 math(ABEKA left over curriculum from mothers day out), 1st grade phonics (mainly review right now, LifePac/Explode the Code and some CLP for random practice work), reading, and then we do co-op 2 times a week and the sweet teacher up there works on random things. I love that we started a bit early as far as her age (she asked to). It has totally taken some pressure off of me. We go at a pace that is just right for her and I don't feel behind. Keira is working out of a bridge book. By this time Brianna was already doing school, but Keira needs the extra time. That's just fine with me. She is not as academic as Brianna and is definitely going to be alot more hands on with her learning. Again, something I love about hs'ing is the ability for me to taylor my children's education to their needs and even their desires!

We have a field trip to the Dallas Zoo on the 23rd and then to the Fort Worth Zoo on Oct 1st. We are also planning a group trip down to NASA with our co-op! I am very excited about that. We are actually going to do a big triangle and hit Houston, San Antonio and Austin! My older kids in the co-op are doing a Texas state notebook next 6 weeks so this is perfect!

We also started Artistic Pursuits. So loving it! I love having a real art curriculum. My kids get crafts and such at co-op so its nice to do some real art at home. It also has a bit of art history mingled in so that is a great bonus.

Well I think that is about it for now. Date night here so I am off to primp! Will post pictures soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finishing up creation

We have finished studying creation! Yay! They both did really well with it, though I did have to go purchase some visusal aids. I think the lapbook really helped though. As much fun as that was I am ready to move on.

I had Brianna say the Pledge of Allegiance all by herself today. Of course with a few mispronunciations she did great! I am suprised that she actually caught on to it so fast because ::blush:: I don't always remember to have them say it.

We have been working on speed math. I don't expect alot of speed at this age but I found these speed drill sheets that work on basic math (1+1=2 and so on) and I can really see it making a difference in how she answers small addition problems. The evolution of her math skills has amazed me. We went from counting chips, to fingers, to using a number line and now she says the problem outloud and does it with no aids. So for 2+2 she would say "one, two and three, four" and get her answer that way. I imagine the next step would be instant recall on basic facts.

She also has excelled in reading. I was afraid at first, because at MDO they use Abeka and teach a different decoding system than HOP uses, but she seems to be working it out. Sometimes I get discouraged because I think of how long we have been working on something, then I have to remind myself that she is still on the very young side of five.

The book fair is coming up soon and I am so excited! I am thinking of having a look at the Life Pacs for our math for next year. I also need to have a look at some science and history. Not sure if I will add those in the winter or wait a bit longer. Then with us doing some of it up at MDO I am not sure if maybe I will just suppliment what we are doing up there. Seems less confusing that way.

I think that is it for now!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I have been super busy promoting our co-op so I have neglected blogging here. I will tell you about that at a time when I can type it all out.

We had a garage sale Saturday and raised about $250 towards our science gear!!! I really think this is going to be a big step in making our co-op unique. I really want to have a full lab set up eventually. Of course it will have to be all portable, but still it will rock!

On a personal front, we are heading forward with schooling. Keira decided she wanted to start K so I got her a phonics book and she has been working out of that. We are also lapbooking. We did a creation one today and I am very pleased. It's a bit out of the box for me. Must have taken me about 2 hours to figure out how to fold it and Keira's folds differently than Brianna's LOL. The fold is called a Pizza fold.

The pictures really should be from bottom to top. I will change them around later. Isn't it cute?!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Homeschool Schedule

Since things have changed so much since we started HSing in November (WOW, so long ago already!) I thought I would give you our current set up!

I dont start school at a particular time, mainly because Luke hasn't figured out our schedule, but we do always try to get it done in the morning.

Eat Breakfast
Get Dressed
Start school:

Pleadge of Allegiance
Girl Scout Pledge (because she is learning it for one of her petals)
Bible: Studying God's Word Book B-Right now we are learning about creation
Math-Horizon's K book 2
Reading-Spectrum and HOP K
Phonics-Spectrum K and Explode the Code B1
Writting and Penmanship-Writing with Diligence Grade 1 and she journals.

All together it takes us about 2.5 hours from start to finish with no breaks. You might be asking why we aren't doing any science or history. This is mainly because when I first started out I wanted to make sure that we were covering the three R's. Now as I have gotten more comfortable I have decided an actual curriculum is not necessary for those just yet. Next year we may add them in but I haven't decided yet. I usually try to write up our weekly lesson plan on Saturdays and even though we don't always get everything done, it at least gives us a goal to work towards.

There you have it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exploding the Code!

Ok I LOVE LOVE this book. It somehow fits perfect with what we are doing on HOP. Today Brianna had to look at the picture and then write what it was. She did this all by herself! You can not imagine how easy it is to get excited over them having these victories but it is such a blessing to see her grasping what we are doing and of course she gets so excited too!

Monday, February 9, 2009

No More Reading Woes!!

My Brianna just picked up her workbook that comes with the HOP program and read a lesson that she had never seen! She is finally understanding how to decode the words rather than just memorizing them! I am so proud!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just a quickie

Just an update on school this week.

Reading and Phonics-
Brianna made it through the next two word families in her HOP program. So we now know -at, -ap, and -an. Of course we are still working on fluency and I imagine a bit of it is memorization as opposed to actual "reading", but I consider it a start in the right direction!

Flowing as usual. We started counting to 40 and she seems to already have it down pretty well. Keira surprised me by counting to 20 with us. I guess she has learned from listening. We continue to work on addition which she excels at.

I have been terrible. We have been focusing so much on other things this week that we have only journaled once! I plan to get it back on par this coming week. She enjoys it so much.

We continue to do memorization and I have some little work sheets. I have ordered a book that teaches the basics of our beliefs that I hope to have in the next week or so.

This brings me to my final thought. Science or no science this year? Brianna and Keira both have shown an interest in the stars and planets recently so my thoughts were to maybe start Apologia come July when we start our new "semester". I am just not sure if she is ready to add anything else since we are still finding our stride. I am sure some prayer will help me make the right decision.

Monday, February 2, 2009

AT Phonics Book

Now that we are using HOP to do Brianna's Phonics I decided it would be fun to do a lapbook to go with our first lesson "at" so here it is!

Now that we are using HOP to do Brianna's Phonics I decided it would be fun to do a lapbook to go with our first lesson "at" so here it is!

Dallas Mulls Daytime Juvenile Curfew

Public Safety Committee, eight members of Dallas' City Hall, is expected to soon
discuss expanding the juvenile curfew into daylight hours in the same way that
Hurst-Euless-Bedford did in
Dallas' current juvenile curfew law only covers the hours between 11
p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturdays, the curfew
goes into effect at midnight.
Proponents of expanding the curfew want to
include the hours of 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and insist that if truancy can be
curtailed, so can crime. Mayor Pro Tem Elba Garcia said that in 2008, 63
percent of juvenile arrests took place during school hours and that the majority
of home burglaries in that year were caused by minors.
Officials with H-E-B
said unexcused absences dropped by nearly 10,000 since the curfew was
implemented in their district.
Officials with the Dallas
Independent School District
said the daytime curfew might not only cut
crime, it would increase the attendance at Dallas' schools which would increase
money from the state.
There are, of course, the standard exemptions including
those students who are traveling to and from work or for those who have
graduated early.
Under the proposed plan, parents could be fined $500 if
their child is guilty of truancy -- one part of the plan that parents are
against since some say they can't control whether or not their child stays on
Dallas plans to hold a public hearing on the matter March 25 with a
final vote scheduled for April 22.

This is not good news for homeschoolers who could end up heading to court to prove that they are enrolled in school. Pray that this either does not pass or is written in a way that will allow for those who chose to use alternate education.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Copy Work and Starting Peter Rabbit Unit Studies

We started our unit study on Peter Rabbit this week. After looking at it I realized that she wasn't going to be able to follow some of it so, we ended up going ahead and doing our math instead of stopping it this week like I had planned. Anyways, we read Peter Rabbit and did the reading comprehension questions and she blew those away! I could not believe how much of the story she could tell me. I mean little details too! I was very proud of her. We also made paper plate bunnies. They are hung on our word wall at the bottom where the grass is. Today we did some work in her new journal. This was the first time we had done this so I wasn't sure she would tolerate so much writing, but she did! She drew a picture and then we thought of a short description which I wrote and she copied. She did great.

Tomorrow is usually a day at MDO but I have a feeling we will be home so we will making cupcakes and using M&M's to decorate them while we talk about what we are thankful for.

Yes she drew that picture all by herself. The small smile is Peter and the big one Mr Mcgreggor. The other things on the ground are veggitables and fruits. In the sky we have the sun, clouds and birds.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our New Word Wall

I put up a new word wall. I think it turned out really cute and the girls loved decorating some butterflies to hang up on the wall. Our site words are on the small butterflies and the larger ones hold words that have our current sound (this week being a in cat).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beatrix Potter

We are about to start a unit study on Beatrix Potter. Specifically, we will focus on Peter Rabbit, but I am reading all of the Beatrix Potter stories I can find. This study incorporates everything into the unit study: Bible, reading, reading comprehension, writting, and math, so we will stop all other studies while we are doing this. I am really looking forward to adding this new learning opportunity into our adventures!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Socialization Myth

Since anyone who homeschools will inevitably be approached with the, "but how do they socialize?" question, I figured I would go ahead and do a blog on it. BTW I realize that some of this is may be blanket statements regarding the non-homeschooling family. There are always exceptions to the rules :)

So the myth:Homeschoolers can not be properly socialized because they do not spend the majority of their time with peers.

My answer:

Well to answer this question first we need to talk about my view on what is "proper" socialization. From the point of view I posted above proper socialization refers to a child being able to interact, adopt the behavior of the culture, and participate in group activities with their peer group. However, socialization is more than this to the homeschooling family. We view socialization as the ability to interact with all age groups;adults, peers, and younger children. Real world situations do not place us only with our own age level. When you take a job your co-workers represent a broad range of ages, and this applies to most life situations. It is therefore important that children learn to socialize across a broad spectrum of ages, social background, ethnicity and so on.

So now that we have the definition on the table on to the next question. How? How do you socialize a homeschooler. Well, most homeschoolers are involved in a variety of activities ranging from co-ops to sports. Ther are 4-H clubs, debate clubs, book clubs, art clubs, and many more clubs and organizations to participate in. Sports, even sports through the public school system, are often available for homeschoolers. Mine currently participate in ballet, karate, and gymnastics. We also attend a Mother's Day Out program, where my kids socialize with their peers. This has already shown its advantages to public school socilization. My DDs rarely hit, have never said a swear word that was heard at school, and both can carry on a conversation(age level appropriate) with an adult just as easily as they do with a child their own age. They are respectful, accepting and have no labels for other children who are different from themselves.Now, I know to some degree this has to do with them both being at an age of innocence, but I believe that for the most part homeschooling will go along way towards fostering skills for interacting with all spectrums of society.

The final question I will address: "what about when they get into the real world and people are not so nice? How will they be able to deal with that without gaining the experiences from public school?". This actually makes me cringe. The logic behind it is foreign to me. Why would I purposely expose my children to bullying and intolerance in the name of making them tougher? My job as a parent is to protect them. I am not saying I want to keep them sheltered, but I do want to control how, when and where they are exposed to such injustices. I want to be the one to teach them how to deal with things with grace and intelligence, rather than irrationality and impulse. Further more, I have no desire to have my children exposed to sex as taught by a teenage peer. Why would I leave such important information to anyone other than myself?

I personally believe that socilization, as with any other life skill, should be guided by the parents.

As a disclaimer, I don't think public school is evil. I think that as a parent I have a right to choose how I school my child, just as you do. I have chosen to homeschool my child and know that this is the best choice for us. May God guide you in making the right choice for your family, whether it be public, private or home education.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Library Skills Classes at Rockwall County Library

Rockwall County Library Skills Class

I thought this was neat. The Rockwall County Library offers a few services to homeschooled children so be sure to check it out! It is a huge library and it has a great children's section as well as private study rooms that can be used for instruction time. Where better to learn than the library?