First day of school. 2011-2012

22 08 2011

We made it…..we made it….we made it….yeah!  Only 179 more days to go. 😀  Our first day went very well, I am so pleased with all that the kids did and SOOOO happy with how the younger boys handled the new schedule.  Now does that mean we had a perfect day?  NO way, but it was better than I thought it would go.

As many of you know I have a VERY hands on learner.  My little Owen (age 4) loves to have his entire body moving at all times of the day.  Sitting can be very hard for him to do, but he did great!  We do lots of moving and grovin while counting and learning how to read. 🙂

Isaac was all set for starting 2nd grade.  He is doing such a great job at reading and organizing that all I have to do is get him started and he is off! 🙂  That is a huge help when I have other children I need to help. 



















Daddy helping with our first day!Owen having art timePreschool time! The other girl in the picture is my Mother's Helper.




School year 2011-2012

11 07 2011

I still can’t believe that I have a 2nd grader, a 1st grader and a PreKer this year!!!!  The time is going so fast and for that I am so thankful to have them home with me during the day.  We changed up somethings this next year and I hope it goes a little smoother for us. 

The first thing we added was the book The Well Planned Day: A Family Homeschool Planner.  With my children doing different things at different levels and the crazy fun that comes with 4 children and number 5 in early Novemeber……..we needed some ORDER!   So, we hope this helps keep Dave and I on the same page.  This way he can walk in and pick up right where I left off if I need him too etc.

For History this year:

We will continue with Core B from Sonlight for Isaac and Grace.  We will finish weeks 18-36 this next year.  We decided last year to only do 1/2 of the sonlight Curr. in one year and we are so thankful we did!!!!  The year was much smoother and we were able to focus more time on what we were doing instead of rushing through it.  We are very happy with this decision for our family.

For Math:

We will continue moving through Math U See.  We can’t say enough good things about this math program and are so happy with the ease of use and the way the kids take to it.  This year both Isaac and Grace will be working on Beta.

For Science:

We will continue with Answers in Genesis, but will move onto God’s Design For Heaven and Earth.  Last year we were so happy with the worldview taught in this book and they way they presented other worldviews. 

For Spelling:

Here is our big change this year.  We were so unhappy with Spelling Workout last year.  We decided to start over with another program and decided to go with A Reason For Spelling book A.  Book A maybe too easy for Isaac, but we didn’t want him to have spots that he missed, so we will just go with it.  We felt like he learned almost nothing from Spelling Workout so we are going to try another approach this year.

Language Arts:

Grace and Isaac will continue with First Language Lessons Level 2 this year.  We really enjoyed the way it was taught in this book and the way the kids took to it.  You have to love when your child says, “Mom, you just said a pronoun.  That is a word used in place of a noun.”  They were both able to pull out parts of speech and give me the definitions.  We are also continuing with Writing With Ease that goes with First Language Lessons.


We will be starting Latin this year and have decided to go with Prima Latina by Leigh Lowe.  I am very excited about this book and the way it is taught.  After I read the introduction to the teacher I was amazed at what I learned about our grammar system!  I think this will be a GREAT addition to our school day.


After Isaac did the Level 2 readers in sonlight last year I was nervous about what to buy this year.  He seemed to FLY through them with no trouble and wants to read everything.  So I tapped into a wonderful lady at our church that is a reading specialist for the public school here.  She offered to test both of my school age children for reading level to give me an idea of what I should do.  Isaac tested a solid 5th grade level and Grace at a 1st grade level.  This was such a help in choosing our reading for this coming school year.  So for Isaac we will be doing Sonlight’s Level 3 Readers (which are not grade 3 readers according to many school standards) and for Grace she will do Level 1 Readers with many books chosen by Ms. Dana from our church.  I am so thankful Ms.Dana was willing to help me go through each book they would be reading and give me her thoughts on it!  Grace will also continue with Explode the Code books 4, 5 and 6 this next year.


Late last year we started New American Cursive and we will continue with it this year.  We will hopefully finish it by Thanksgiving of this next school year.  I am very happy with the way it teaches Cursive and how well my children are both doing with it.


Dave does almost all of our Bible time in our home.  He likes to mix it up with different things so it is hard for me to let you know what we will be doing.  I do know he wants to continue with Leading Little Ones to God.  Other than than I am not sure. 🙂


I do have a 4 year old this year at home and I need to make sure I am giving him the attention he needs to move into K next year……so here it goes. ( I am very nervous about have 3 homeschoolers this next year and a newborn baby, but I know my God will give me the strength to do what He has called me to do).  For reading we will start Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but will wait until January to start.  He will be doing lots of preschool workbooks and math books.  We will also be doing Sonlight 4/5 Level for him and let Ethan listen in and do things with him as well.  Owen is more of an active child and needs more moving during the day.  I think we will be doing lots of dancing and singing this year as well with him 😀


So there it is!  The list will most likely change at some point to meet our family’s needs.  I will be posting our future schedule soon; I am still working on it a bit. 🙂

File Folder Games

24 01 2011

I have heard so many things about file folder games…..but I have never really felt they would be of much value to our home school.  Most of the file folder games I had come across were only for preschool age children.  Then after talking to a friend on-line I decided to do some more investigating on these things. 

I am HOOKED!!!! We love them.  All of my children are able to work on concepts in a new and fun way.  The best part is that they are almost FREE!!! I say almost because we had to go and buy the file folders….we got 100 for 6 dollars and we had to buy laminate paper, also pretty cheap.  All in all these things are great. 

The site I used to get these great file folder games is  Here are some step by step instructions on how we put them together. 🙂 

After printing all the pages on-line I cut them out. 🙂 This is not a fun task, but it is well worth it.  Then I laminated the games pieces.

After finishing all the games pieces I moved onto the file folders.  I glued on what needed to be on the inside of the file folder.  I then laminated those as well and cut them out.

Here is Gracie playing the Rain Drop game.  This one works on the sounds PL, BL, SH and CH. 🙂

Here is the Cupcake Counting game.  This is the front of the folder.

Here is the inside of the Cupcake counting game.  Notice that the numbers are not in order, this helps the child learn the numbers and not the order.  But if you want them to learn the order then see below…… 🙂

I attached the cupcakes with the numbers with velcro 🙂 This way I can move the numbers around….I can put them in order, I can mix them up or I can put all the odd on oneside and even on the other.

This is one of my favorites!  This one is for practice with telling time. 🙂

This is the inside of Who Knows What Time it is?  The owl heads spin to show what time it is (See left hand side).  The right shows what it looks like before the child checks the answer.

Here is Isaac practicing his time telling skills. 🙂

This game is Space Rhymes 🙂 Another very fun game.

This game is for the younger child.  This is a color matching game….perfect for my youngest homeschoolers. 🙂

This is the last one I made last night….but not least!  It is Acorn Addition.  A great game to help reinforce math facts. 

I have really enjoyed making these and seeing my children enjoy them so much. They are a great game to throw in the diaper bag for waits in the dr.s office etc.  I love that I can make them custom for my children…..we are thinking of making one for skip counting and money next. 🙂 

I hope you will give them a try. Even if you don’t home school you can create these for your children to help with their current studies. 🙂  Have fun!

Recorder…..Homeschool Co-op

21 01 2011

This year we are in a home school co-op and I have to say…WE LOVE IT!!!!  We all go on Thursdays from 9:30 until 2 pm.  The kids each have 5 classes, lunch and chapel.  There are 65 families and they are all amazing. 🙂  The kids are learning so much and have enjoyed being with other children. 🙂

One class I am very happy with is Recorder class.  Isaac is learning music theory and how to play the recorder.  He is doing so well and I am very happy with the instruction that is being given to him.  This past month he played on stage for us during chapel and for the Showcase.  Here are some pics of my sweet boy. (Yes, he is that big already….if anyone knows how to slow this stage down, please let me know).  🙂

Isaac playing Hot Cross Buns on stage during chapel time.  Next to him on right is his friend Caleb.

Here Isaac is playing Mary Had a Little Lamb for showcase night. 🙂


5 12 2010

Well, now that I made that clear I can go finish what I was doing. 🙂

Just kidding , but I know I haven’t been on much.  This year for school I have made some changes. 🙂  One of those changes is that I don’t go on the computer after Dave leaves for work.  Another is I try to make sure I am playing with each of my little ones….not just in a group setting and not just during “school time”.  This may sound crazy, but in the past I have finished school with the older ones and then went  about my day.  I didn’t stop and say….Owen and Ethan need some mommy time now.

With these changes our days have been so much better.  We have also canceled our Dish Network…!  I love T.V.!!!  But to be honest with you, I don’t really want to watch it that much anymore.  I do love to watch Biggest Loser and Parenthood, which I can do online.  Other than that, we don’t really watch much T.V.   NOw I am not talking about the T.V. in general…..the kids do love screen time.  So we added Netflix and it is great.  It goes right to our Wii and the kids can watch almost all their favorite shows.  Another plus…..we don’t get ANY Christmas toy commercials!!!!  I didn’t think this would be a big deal…..but it is!!!!! 🙂  I don’t hear the….. I want this…I want that……Can I have that mommy etc. 🙂 

So, with that being said, my blog has taken a backseat. SOrry, but I am loving the time with the kids.

We are alive and doing well.  Dave is working at the Church part-time and UPS part-time still.  There are some changes coming soon, so please be in prayer for us.  His internship is almost up and we are in prayer about God’s will for our lives.  please pray for God to give my husband wisdom and for God to give me a heart for what He wants us to do in ministry. 

The kids are doing great!  Ethan is our fun-loving 15 month old…..he has a joy for life like no other.  He was a little on the later side for walking….but he is a runner now!  He signs many signs and knows several ABC’s.  He is one smart little man.

Owen… well, the energy of our home. 😀  There isn’t a dull moment when he is around.  He is counting great, doing letters and shapes.  He is a fun-loving, crazy little 3.5 year old.  This pic isn’t clear….but you can see his personality in it.

Grace is our little girl.  She is a girl 100 percent too. 🙂  She wears sparkly shoes, a dress everyday if I would let her, begs for make-up etc.  YUP I have my hands full. 🙂  She can take down a boy pretty quick with a light saber as well.  We did find out she kissed a boy…….so now we are talking about that kind of stuff…..already?  AHHHHH 🙂  She loves to be in K, she is doing awesome in Math and is reading pretty good. 🙂  Very happy with her this year in school. 🙂

Isaac is doing great in 1st grade.  I am very happy with how he is eager to learn and do new things.  He loves our homeschool co-op and is learning many things, including the Recorder.  We did have a lung scope done on him last month because of his frequent lung sicknesses.  We found out his left lung is too narrow, which allows fluid to pool in the left side causing him to get sick.  After 6 years of him being sick we finally know why. 🙂  It is livable and he is taking meds to keep the airways open on that side. (They are very small and will not grow much more).

Isaac was so excited to become an RA this year!!!


20 09 2010

This is our second time doing preschool in a set.  This means that we school two children together.  Isaac and Grace (now ages 5 and 6) did this a couple of years ago…and now we are doing it again with Ethan and Owen (ages 1 and 3).  The younger boys will do this for a couple of years 🙂

Now, what does preschool look like for us?  Well, it really isn’t much of “school” it is more like organized play with mommy :).  We usually read a book, do a craft, sing a song and play with a toy.

So, here is a look into our 30 mins. preschool play.

First mama reads us a book.  She puts me in this chair to keep me from crawling all over the place. 🙂

Today we learned about apples, so we made apple trees. 🙂  I am very proud of my work. (Mommy doesn’t know why this picture is so small).

Then we got to taste and smell an apple!  We learned a lot about apples today.  🙂

I always thought….

24 08 2010

I always thought I would be a teacher….you know the one with a big classroom of eager little ones wanting to learn.  A big chalkboard and a paycheck.  I never dreamed I would be a teacher around my own kitchen table. I never could have dreamed this life….God is soooo good to me all the time!  He amazes me how His ways are always best.

Thank you God for his opportunity with my children.  Here are some pictures of our first day of the 2010-2011 school year!!!!  It is going to be a great year, with many challenges too.  Our baby boy will be one year old on Saturday and is a very busy little man. 🙂  We now have 3 little ones doing school, which means a busier prep time for me.  All in all it is going to be good. 🙂

Isaac (age 6) in first grade.

Gracelyn (age 5) in K

Owen (age 3) in Pre-K, can’t you just see how excited he is! 🙂

Ethan (age 11 months and 3 weeks) wanted in on the fun too. 🙂

Daddy started our day off by having our Bible time. 

Here is Grace doing math.  She amazed us all with her knowledge of place values. I guess she was watching what Isaac was doing last year!

Owen had lots of fun with his math time too!

Isaac did great with his handwriting time. 🙂

School 2010-2011

5 08 2010

Can it really be August already?  Wow, this summer is flying by. 🙂  Well, we have finally ordered all of our school curr. and are almost ready to start!  I am very excited, but nervous at the same time.  I have a very active 3 year old and a very mobile almost 12 month old. 🙂 

So, I have put together a new school schedule to see if it helps us out.  I have 2 schedules….a normal day one and a back up one.  Last year I realized that I had the most trouble getting everything done when something happened in the morning.  For example a sick dr.’s appt. or a quick run to the store etc.  So I have come up with an alternate schedule for those days….I hope it helps us out. 🙂

Normal day: (We school 4 days a week at home…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  On Thursdays we all go to co-op from 9:30 til 2).

8:00 am : Breakfast and chores

9:00 am : Bible with daddy, mommy with younger 2 boys doing preschool.

9:15 am: Math with daddy, mommy with younger 2 boys doing preschool.

9:45 am: Reading with mommy, younger 2 boys have playtime together in play yard. Isaac’s reading is here. Grace’s reading is here.

10:15-10:45 am: Break and snack time

10:45: Writing, younger 2 boys have t.v. time

11:00 am: Science, younger 2 boys still have t.v. time

11:30 am: Spelling, Grace has playtime with younger 2 boys

11:45 am: Grammer

Noon-1pm: Lunch and Break

1pm: (only on Monday and Tuesday) History.  Younger 2 boys go down for a nap.

So most days we are done by 1, every other day we are done by noon. 🙂

Here is the Alternative Schedule….

8:00 am: Breakfast and chores

9:00 am: Bible with daddy

9:15 am: Math

9:45- noon : Anything that came up that has to be done….dr.’s etc.

Noon-1 pm: Lunch time and break

1:00: Spelling

1:15: Grammer

1:30: Science

2:00: Reading

2:30: Writing

2:45: History (if on a Monday or Tuesday)

So, this is so far our schedule.  We all know that with young ones you have to be flexible!  So this is an outline, one that we will try VERY hard to keep.  We will however change this up as needed.  I am hoping that having Dave home in the mornings until 1o am will help me get a good start.

Cleaning Day….

27 05 2010

I have had a lot of people ask me about my cleaning day.  For those that don’t know, I clean my entire house in one day and then just do “damage control” the rest of the week.  The reason for this is two fold….it helps sooo much with homeschooling.  I know what needs to be done and when, but it has also helped my marriage.  It ministers to my husband when he is home on the weekends…..he doens’t want me cleaning the whole weekend.  But he also likes his home to be clean and orderly.

So for those that care…here is how I do it.  You can do this lots of ways, this way just works for me.


I have a basket in the room I am cleaning with me.  I first fill it with anything that doesn’t belong in that room.  I de-clutter all counter tops and put away anything on them.

I fill both my sinks with cleaner and hot water ( I use Lysol Multi formula). I take apart my stove and put all the pieces of it in one of the sinks of cleaner and water.  I let them soak while I continue with the kitchen.  I then use a rag and the other sink of water to wash down all the cabinets in the kitchen.  (pay close attention to the door knobs and inside too).  This will usually take off any sticky fingers and drips from cooking.  I then clean all the counters with the cleaner.  I use a spray bottle mixed with vinegar and water to clean the outside of the oven, dishwasher, microwave  (also use to clean the inside too), refrigerator and stove. 

I wash and dry all the pieces to the stove and put it back together.  I then sweep the kitchen (do not wash yet).

I then move onto the bathroom.  I spray the tub with Lysol foaming cleanser and leave it to soak for a minute.  While that is soaking I use the spray bottle (mixed with vinegar and water) to spray down the toilet. Now if you have little boys (or big boys…LOL) that sometimes miss …..this will take out the pee smell!!!!!  I spray the entire area…including the wall behind the toilet. I then wipe it down with paper towel.  I clean the tub (that has been soaking in cleaner).  I then take down all towels and hand towels and remove all rugs.  These all go down to the laundry and I start them in the washer.  I then clean the mirrors and sink ( I use the spray bottle for all these).  I then sweep the floor and move onto the next room.

Next, I move onto the bedrooms.  Now, these are already straighten up (the kids have done with while I was doing the kitchen) so I just dust them ( I use the same water that I did the cabinets in the kitchen with) and swiffer the floors ( make sure you clean under each bed too)  Everything else has been done by the kids.  I also make sure I wash down the window stills etc. 

Then I move onto the school room. I don’t have to clean up much in here because the kids did it while I was cleaning the bathroom.  I do have to first straighten the 2 adult desks.  I de-clutter and put all papers away etc.  (This doesn’t take as long as it seems to do….if you do it every week the work load is light.  If you haven’t done it in a while, I would do it the night before the big clean, so you don’t get slowed down.).   I first dust the whole room…this room has sooo much dusting….it drives me crazy…LOL.  Then I sweep the floors and swiffer them.  (Do not wash the floors yet).

I then move onto the Family Room. I first dust the whole room. I clean the door wall glass (always full of little finger prints).  Don’t forget I am bringing my basket with me to every room and filling it with ANYTHING that doesn’t belong in that room.  I make sure all DVDs are put back….children’s games etc. (This also doesn’t take long because you have been cleaning up the toys at the end of every night).

Now it is time for the floors. I have already swept and swiffered each room. I now fill up my bucket and mop all the rooms.  I start in the kitchen, move to the school room and bedrooms. The bathroom is always done last in my house…I don’t like to use the water after doing the bathroom floors. I then vacuum the family room. ( Pulling out couches etc. to get under them, pulling of cushions and cleaning under them).

I now move to the basement.  The children have already cleaned up all the toys so I just do a quick dusting and vacuum.  I only clean the basement bathroom every other week.  So if that needs to be done, I do it.

I now put away all the cleaning supplies and things in my basket. 

Things to remember….if you have ciling fans, don’t forget to dust them.  If you have mirrors, make sure you clean them.  If you have rugs in other rooms, make sure you take them to the wash.

Now, put on a cup of tea and sit down and relax!!!  Enjoy your clean house for about…..15 mins. if you are lucky. 🙂

Summer Schedule……

26 05 2010

Wow!  It is almost Summer! WOOO HOOO….can I get some shout outs!!!  Come on mamas!!!! and Papas!!!!!  I LOVE summer. I love almost everything about it, there is so many things to do and see…….and the kids make it so much fun. 🙂

So, we will soon be switching from our school year schedule to our summer schedule.  This is always so hard to figure out….we want to just be out in the sun and in the water ALL day long….but I know that isn’t always best for my little ones. 🙂  So, this is very tentative!  But this is what I have so far….

8 am wake up time/ breakfast/ chores

9 am playtime

10 am Ethan morning nap/big kids do table time (summer worksheet books to keep up with school skills)/reading time

10:30 playtime/T.V time

11:30 Lunch Time

noon Ethan wakes up/ outside time for big kids

2:00 Owen rest time/ big kids play in basement or if they were swimming they can continue

3:00 snack time/ craft time or outside time ( if they have already been playing in basement at 2, then they will head outside)

5:00 Dinner (we eat early in the summer, so daddy has lots of time with us before his second job)

6:00 Family Events (bike rides, tee ball, church etc.  Depends on the night)

8:00 bathtime/storytime

9:00 bedtime

I know this schedule is VERY vague, but it is something that will give me some order in the home.  We do lots of swimming and going to the park.  So if we decide to head out for the day then we will change things around!!!

This is how I do my chores etc…..

Monday: Wash Sheets and Dave’s work clothes

Tuesday: Clean the whole house (takes about 3.5 hours) and wash all rugs and towels

Wednesday: Wash all of adult clothes

Thursday: Wash all children’s clothes (about 8-9 loads), plan out menu for next weeks meals.

Friday: clean and organize one area of the house (school room, closets etc.) Wash anything that needs to be done before the weekend. Also, I do the shopping for the next week.

*wash diapers as needed

Saturday and Sunday is family time, I try to keep cleaning to a minimum.  Just what needs to be done (kitchen, baths and toy room).  This way we get to really spend time with daddy.  I do a lot of baking on Sunday nights after church.

If I plan things out right, I can get most of my chores done before lunch (except for my big clean day, I do that from about noon to 3:30).  So we stay home that day, but the other days we can be gone by lunch if needed. 🙂