Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are you willing?

Edith Schaeffer said “Somebody has to get up early, stay up late, do more than the others, if the human garden is to be a thing of beauty.”

I found this gem here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I almost forgot! In addition to tons of time playing outside, we really love P.E. at Home. Check it out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yearly Curriculum Post

Yup. It's time again! I'm mostly done planning for this year's school. That is a good thing since I plan to start the first part of July. I like getting a jump on it so I can take off when we need to throughout the year. I am almost a year rounder, but I don't feel like I can call myself that. When May rolls around I always need a little break. That means I don't even think about school for a month. Then I start planning and get excited about it again! This year Aiden will be in 3rd, Alex in 2nd, Riley in Kindergarten, and Remy will be...enjoying being 3. Well, here is our plan for the coming year.

Bible: We'll be using the Bible for this subject of course! Still working on the details of this one. I do know that Aiden will be reading his bible by himself. We read one chapter together as a family in the morning and at night, and I read one chapter of Proverbs at lunch. We will work on scripture memory (using The Topical Memory verses) around breakfast using this oranization system. Aiden and Alex will both be using God's Great Covenant and I am excited about that. Lastly, we will be singing one hymn and one Psalm until we know them (for a month maybe?) and Sunday School type songs to have fun with the kids. Jamie Soles has kids albums that are terrific and also 3 albums on the Psalms.

Math: Saxon 3 for Aiden. Saxon 2 for Alex. I don't do the "whole shebang" with Saxon. At this age I basically just have them do the workbook pages. Everyday they usually have one sheet that is a lesson and one full sheet of problems to work quickly. I got a Comprehensive Curriculum from Sam's (for $8) for Riley to work through that has math and reading content.

: Aiden is reading the Sonlight Readers from core 3. I adore all of the Sonlight readers. Alex and Riley are at different places in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. This book is terrific. I would recommend it to anyone. Alex is also finishing the 1st grade readers and starting the 2nd grade readers from Sonlight.

Writing: Italic Handwriting and Presidential Penmanship for Aiden and Alex. The latter also covers copywork and I'll use it for dictation here and there. First Language Lessons is still a favorite of ours and we'll be using level 2 and level 3. I'm not using Writing With Ease this year even thought I liked it last year. I'm going to do the same thing that's in that book, but use content from our other subjects for copywork, dictation, and narration.

History: Sonlight core D. I'm also using Classical Conversations memory work again this year. The boys loved it and it really provided a "spine" to go along with all the great books from Sonlight. I use the Audio CD and the Memory Cards. These cards and CDs cover history, science, math, English grammar, Latin, geography locations, and U.S. Presidents (I only do the History, Science, Math, and Geography). We also use the Veritas Press History Flashcards along with a little chant to outline history. Last year we spent time learning the flashcards so this year we'll just review them with the chant once a week.

: I'm using the science Memory Work from Classical Coversations (mentioned in the History section). We'll also be doing one science experiment per week (as long as I get it together). I have a lot of kits, but I seem to have trouble pulling them out for some reason! I'm vowing to do better this year. Aiden especially is always doing little projects and making things on his own so we are not lacking in science exposure!

Art: Artistic Pursuits and Preschool Art. FYI, I got the Artistic Pursuits Book and art kit with all the supplies from Miller Pads and Paper here.

: Children's Music Masters CD's. They tell the story of the musician.His music plays in the background and continues after the narrative is over. I'll play these while the boys copy maps from Uncle Josh's Outline Maps for Geography once per week.

For Riley and Remy: I'll be using Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row. I have a few books from each list so I will use the material for the books I have. I'm also going to use the Toddler's Busy Book and the Preschooler's Busy Book.

: We decided to do Greek instead of Latin since many of the benefits are the same. Since Jeremy knows Greek this will be his subject (though I hope to learn it too!). He's going to start with the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker and Song School Greek.

Spanish: Rosetta Stone. I love this program. We are taking this very slow and basically letting the boys do it when they want to. It is their only thing on the computer this year so they think it is really fun! I do too, but can't find quite as much time to spend on it :0)

Fun: Yes, I have to schedule it in. I plan to use some of the games from Child's Play Around the World. I have some GeoPuzzles that I'm going to use. *Update-P.E. at Home is perfect for a rainy (or super hot!) day.* I'm going to try to work in Lessons in Responsibility, but it may fall by the wayside.

Well, I guess that about does it! We'll see how it goes. I revamped the way I am doing things this year by scheduling the 3 R's (Reading, Writing, and aRithmetic) first and then flexing a bit on everything else. I think that will help me be more laid back. Afterall, my philosophy is this...Teach them how to read well, write well, and do well in math and they can learn anything! Give them the tools, read to them a ton about all kinds of things, and then watch them go!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Relating to your kids.

In the Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer writes, “You cannot expect to have a close relationship with a teenager who, after all, is still the same person as the two-year-old you stuck crying into bed, the three-year-old you spanked and shoved aside, the four-year-old you wouldn’t listen to, the five-year-old you never shared beauty with, the six-year-old you found boring, or you ‘trained’ never to butt in, but never gave time to make a cozy and beautiful background out of which you could talk to him or her.” Thanks to Charlotte Siems for embedding this quote in her post Living Backwards.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

What are you aiming at?

With the kids I mean? What is your goal in parenting? Let this little gem refresh your memory. It did mine. Oh, and the author of that post has a book that is terrific. It's called Loving the Little Years and any woman that has anything to do with children could benefit from the wisdom in it's pages.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Some Inspiration

Everyone does things differently. We all have family cultures and schedules that have to be worked around. But, I think all of us would love to know God's Word better and enjoy it more. I have rounded up some links on that topic that I think you might find helpful. I know I did. Don't use them to beat yourself over the head. Rather find encouragement. Pick an area and kick it up a notch. Get into God's Word and bring your kids along for the ride.

One Habit
The Word in Many Different Ways Also read comment #14.
Making It Fun
One More About the Standard

Monday, June 06, 2011

Panamanian Rice

My friend Samantha gave me this recipe. It is a really yummy and inexpensive side dish.

Panamanian Rice

To make 4 C. of Panamanian rice


vegetable oil into a frying pan, about enough to coat the pan and maybe more. When you pour the rice in to brown it, you want the rice to be coated in vegetable oil, but not swimming in it.


1 C rice to frying pan. Brown the rice until it gets dark brown.


4 C water

1 C rice

2 t salt

Bring it to a boil and then let it boil until the water and rice are level.

Stir the rice, cover it, and turn the burner to low and let it simmer until the rest of the water simmers out.