3 weeks down…what have I learned?

31 08 2008

With three full weeks under our belts I wanted to write what I have learned.  This is not about what I have been teaching my children, but from a mama’s point of view on what I have learned to make my day go smoothly.

1. Make sure the dishwasher is empty before morning.  This way the dishes from breakfast and lunch have somewhere to go with out disturbing your morning teaching the little ones.

2. Don’t answer the phone during school time, we have an answering machine, so if it is important I can pick up while they are leaving a message, if it isn’t I will call them back….my children are the focus during this time.

3. Switch laundry in between subjects…this way it is done after school is done and during nap time I fold and put it away then.

4. Wake the baby up in the morning if they are over sleeping, this way they are ready to go down at the scheduled nap time and don’t disrupt school time.

5. Be flexible!  If you are rushing though just to get your “check list” done, then you are missing out on the best part of homeschooling.  (Watching your children learn!)  If the kids really want to talk about their story or do math longer than the time I planned for I just do it!  This time is too special.  (That doesn’t mean we jump to the next days lessons if they want to continue, I just let them continue doing the same thing over and over….more on that if you want to know why)

6. Have lunch planned out for the week.  This way I already know what they are going to have before my day begins and we aren’t running around crazy.  I have a calendar that I made (I would post it if someone tells me how to attach a word document) and I fill it in on Sundays for the entire week!  It works great for us.

7. Be prepared!   I look over everything the night before for about 5 mins. I feel more prepared in the morning.

That is all for right now, I hope that gives you some help as you start your homeschooling year.


30 08 2008

Well, we just got back from camping today and we had a blast!  We went with our friends the Ayers Family and between the two of us we had 6 children 4 years of age and under.  We were quite the site to see let me tell you.

Things we loved about camping!

1. our 1.5 mile hike through the woods…and I mean the woods!  Spiders and all (maybe this should be on the list of things Becky and Heather did not enjoy the most).

2. Playing at the beach.  The kids did soooo awesome with this! 

3. Staying up until 1 am with our friends talking around the camp fire!  The kids were all asleep and we just had a great time being adults, not just mommies and daddies.

4. The woman (Heather and I) showing how strong we are when we moved a tent UPHILL without the help of the men…they were taking the kids for a walk with the flashlights.  The walk was a hit with the boys and girl.

5. Dirt!  Well, this is not a favorite for the moms who have loads of laundry to do…but it was a favorite for the kids.  I think the dirt called their names and they went running for it.

6. The racoons had a fight on our picnic table and Heather and Derrick thought they were attacking our tent.  Those little creatures were crazy let me tell you.

7. The older kids swimming in the pool, while the babies took naps with the dads.  The kids had fun swimming and Heather and I had fun just sitting on the pool side talking.

8. Roasting hot dogs over the fire for dinner….and of course smores!

 Here are some pics of the trip…..a repeat next summer I hope!

Isaac and Dylan

Isaac and Dylan


Gracelyn with Nathan's hat on

Gracelyn with Nathan's favorite hat on









The Hike....notice Dave has Owen in a backpack carrier and Derrick has Grace on his shoulders

The Hike....notice Dave has Owen in a backpack carrier and Derrick has Grace on his shoulders


The kids earning their keep....making their own dinners

The kids earning their keep....making their own dinners


Our favorite brownies

21 08 2008

You have got to try these out!  They are the best brownies I have ever made.  I have made them a few times now and every time someone has one they ask for the recipe.  I am posting this especially for my friend Rebekah!  You always tell me to post my favorites so here is one your boys and girl will LOVE!  (you too I might add).

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup of butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Microwave 1 cup of semi sweet chips  for one minute or until melted.  (chocolate holds its shape when being melted, so stir so you don’t burn it).  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, combine four, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Beat well.  Slowly stir in melted chocolate.  Blend, gradually add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in remaining one cup semi sweet chips.  Spread into a buttered 8 inch sq. pan.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 mins.  Cool.  Dust with powered sugar if desired.


These are so chewy and yummy!  You will love them!  If you try them out let me know what you think of them!

Week 1 Day 3

13 08 2008

We are in our first week of school and on day 3 and things are going AWESOME!  Isaac keeps asking to do more and then even more!  We are making him stop after we do what we are scheduled to do for 2 reasons.  1. I don’t want him to get burned out and 2. We don’t want to go too fast that Gracelyn can’t keep up.

We really do enjoy Sonlight.  The only thing is that we switch books so quick, but we are getting used to that.  They love Handwriting without tears, even though Grace cried on the first day.  😦  Other than that it is going great….I really love the program and they “get it”.  Isaac understand why we have Frog Jump capitals and they LOVE the chalk boards!

100 Easy lessons for reading is going great just as before.  We didn’t do any of it over the summer (almost 3 months) and Isaac picked right back up on it.  We just had to review a few sounds etc (vowels, the hard ones for him).  I think he is reading at about a mid K level, at least.  Hard to tell because each state has their own grading system on reading.  In Michigan where I was taught he would be at about a .5-1 on the scale.  I am happy with that.

Math is taking some time to get back into.  The new schedule is hard to get used to, but it is working so I can not complain.  We did switch just a few things around to make the day go smoother and it worked!  So we will keep taking it one day at a time.

Just wanted to let everyone know how it is going!

Tee Ball and Wee Ball

11 08 2008

The seasons are finished!  I am a little happy and sad at the same time.  Next year they will be so grown up and the time seems to go so fast.

Gracelyn enjoyed her games, but not her practices so much.  She had a fun time with daddy (he was her coach) and she loved to run the bases!  And let me tell you she is FAST!  She was so cute with her legs going a million miles a minute!

 Gracelyn and her buddy McKay

 Grace getting ready to bat

Isaac was on the big kid team this year!  He loved being on the team…and by the pictures you will see that he LOVED being out there.  He counted down the days until his games every week.  He also has a cannon for an arm, he can throw from 3rd to first in the air and on target (most of the time).  He is a lefty when it comes to throwing but still righty at bat, we may make him a lefty at bat next year.  Dave coached Isaac’s team as well and they had a great year.

 Isaac before a game

 Isaac on first base

Isaac and his buddy Ballard