Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - September & October Happenings

Collage Oct 30

It has been a long time since I have posted A Homeschool Mother's Journal. Life has been busy, but in a good way. Another reason is that I have gotten really bad about taking pictures. My phone has about used up all of its storage and I'm too cheap to pay for extra storage so right now I am hindered in my photo taking since it usually my phone that is at hand rather than the camera. Now I have something to work on.

We completed our 9th week of school and it is going smoothly. Even after the first four weeks I felt there were going to a few things that we were going to have to drop and except for one book everything all of sudden just seemed to fall into place. Here is a run down of  what has been happening:

1. & 2.  Back in September we took an impromptu field trip to take a tour of a B-17 Flying Fortress. The girls and I walked through once, but the boys went through it at least three times. One thing we discovered is that it is not very big inside. 

3. Chantry working on his dictation for Spelling You See American Spirit

4. We canned 24 quarts of applesauce. I still have some more apples that I need to do.

5. I tried my hand at apple butter, since it is something my husband likes. I was lazy and froze it.

6. We have had a very mild fall (Thank you, Jesus!) and my pots of flowers are still very green and blooming. I took this picture last week of my Gerber daisy and it actually has more blooms than it did all summer long.

7. We have hit on a new tradition on Friday mornings--Cream of Wheat. Usually everyone has to fend for themselves for breakfast, but I made Cream of Wheat one morning early in the school year and now the kids expect it on Fridays.

8. You can't see Delani very well in this picture, but she is dying laughing. She was doing math with Caleb and they found something hilarious. I love that she gets to do this with her big brother--another great benefit of homeschooling.

9. My kids love to play games and lately it has been the game CHRONOLOGY(aff). Here Destini is beating the socks of all of us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Benjamin Franklin Quote)

In my Teen Sunday School class that I teach we have been working our way through American Heritage Series DVD Set and last Sunday this Benjamin Franklin quote was shared which made me scurry for my phone and look it up. In today's world we are being bombarded on how we are not a Christian nation and yet when you go back into the documents of our Founding Fathers you see that is not true. I am sharing this short quote from his Constitutional Address on Prayer given on June 28, 1787.

 "I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that 'except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.'"-Benjamin Franklin

Monday, October 26, 2015

What's On Your Nightstand - October

What's On Your Nightstand

October has flown by. It didn't feel like I read in very much, but I did make through 1037 pages of Gone with the Wind. I am counting that for more than one book. My November nightstand is smaller since my mom is coming for a two week visit in November. I making my goals manageable.

For November:

From September I read:
  • The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace - I know a lot of people really like this book, but I found the author's tone very overbearing and harsh. There are some great books on the market for a wife that is wanting follow God's Word that I can't recommend this one at all.
  • Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford - You don't have to be attached to your phone or technology to gain insight from this book. Excellent advice for learning to live in the moment and focus on what is important right now rather than letting your life be filled with unnecessary busyness. Excellent read!
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - So I finally made it through this very aggravating book. No, I did not like it. I can't find anything enduring about Scarlett at all. And the ending! Ugh! Yes, I knew how it ended, but reading it was still galling. I guess I am too much of a romantic and I need my books to have perfect endings. Anyhow, I did read it. I am in the know and from there we will call it good. One day I will get around to doing a more thorough review. 
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - Oh what fun! This is a re-read and as a homeschool mom this is a book I can really appreciate and it has hysterically funny parts to top it off. This tells the story of Gerald Durrell and his family who relocated to Corfu, a Greek isle. He loves natural history and spends his time wandering the island collecting and studying it to his heart's content. A fun read. (Just so you know: This is a PG read including language and drinking.)
 I listened to:
  • A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories by Richard Peck - I love this series by Richard Peck. One of my kids listened to them so I decided that I would also listen to them before they had to go back to the library. They were just as good as I remembered.
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck - Ditto and this one even made me cry and it had the perfect ending!

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Hand Free Mama)

I wasn't sure about this book, but I got it for a really good price so I grabbed it. Oh my! Is it stepping on my toes. It has give me a lot to think about.

The daily and weekly rituals of your life add up. Not only do they create your past, but they quite possibly also create the past of someone you love. What you choose to do with those moments, in addition to the value you place on them, can mean the difference in creating lasting impressions or creating none at all. p. 74

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Master Life Before It's Too Late)

My quote comes from Mastering Life Before It's Too Late: 10 Biblical Strategies for a Lifetime of Purpose by Robert J. Morgan. This was a much needed reminder--one that I'm going to write out and tape to my bathroom mirror.
 Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. -Thomas Carlyle (Kindle 4%)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Curriculum Choices for 2015-2016

Curriculum 2015-2016
We have just finished our 4th week of school and I have yet to post what we are doing this year. For some reason having older kids equals being busier and finding time to blog falls way down on the bottom of the list. We have basically delved into all of our subjects except for our fine art subjects. Here is a list of what we are doing maybe not so much for anyone's benefit but my own. So let's start with the students.

Delani 2015 
 Delani is 7 years old and is officially in 1st grade. Oregon just changed their compulsory age for school to 6 this year, but it doesn't go into effect until next year so she is the last bunch of kids who can enter 1st grade at 7. My plans for Delani last year which included learning to read were derailed, so this year that remains our focus.

Chantry 2015
 Chantry is 13 and is in 7th grade. This year he is learning to have to be more independent, especially in reading. He has always been paired together with his older sister, Destini, and again they will do a lot of the same though they may have different requirements on narrations and writing.

Destini 2015 
Destini is 15 and in 9th grade. She is my second high-schooler. My goal is to keep better records (or at least stay on top of them) than I did with her older brother. I still need to sit down and make sure I have enough credits for her this year. (Yes, I should have started off with that, but honestly I only have so much time.) Right now the work load is feeling heavy enough.

  • 1 chapter of the Bible along with the book Balancing the Sword 
  • a devotional book
  • Bible memory 
Chantry & Destini:
  • Personal Bible reading 
Language Arts: 
Reading has been a struggle for Delani. I have tried several programs with her and haven't had much success. On the flip side I also wasn't able to be very consistent with her last year so that is my big goal this year. So far so good (for being consistent--I'm not too sure about the reading).

Last year my older kids did Rod & Staff Grammar and by the end of the year I was burned out on it. So this year our grammar looks a little different.


  • We are working our way through the My Book House series. We currently are on Book 7. We also add in a lot of picture books. 
Chantry & Destini:
  • Poetry: AO suggested poets 
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott 
  • English Literature for Boys and Girls by H.E. Marshall 
  • The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch 
  • A Taste of Chaucer by Anne Malcolmson 
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams 
  • Plus a pile of AO Year 7 free reads 
  • Once we have a handle on reading we will probably add in some of AmblesideOnline's suggestion from Year 1
I know most everyone does Apologia for high school science, but it was not a favorite with my oldest and I just couldn't see Destini, who is very non-sciency, enjoying it. One thing I have learned from my first highschooler is--if the student hates it or just struggles with the curriculum then both student and parent will be miserable the entire time. So for high-school science we are approaching it with a "get it done" mentality.


History & Geography: 
For Chantry & Destini we are loosely following AmblesideOnline Year 7. The recommended book The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill. I delved into this book over the summer and really felt it wouldn't be a good fit for my kids. Since we used Mystery of History Volume 1 last year I thought we would continue on and add other books. I'm not sure how complete my list is, but for now it will suffice.

Chantry & Destini:

The Extras: 
  • Artist Study 
  • Composer Study 
  • Hymns & Folksongs 
Chantry & Destini:

  • Art, Presentation, and P.E. 
Chantry & Destini:
  • Politics & Government, Shakespeare, and Art


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