Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using ny dating scene vs los angeles for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in Saxon K worksheets  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do the Anatomy and Physiology  if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in No Sweat Nature Study again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Baby Summary {21 Months Old}- Baby #3

Dress Up Snuggles {Baby Summary 21 months}

Poor #3 … not nearly as many updates as the first two babies.  =)

This month (June 2016) Ila turned 21 months old.  Next month, she will become a big sister!  hard to believe; we have definitely had the “she’s the baby” mentality with her.

Developmentally Ila has grown by leaps and bounds the last few months.  Here is what she is doing/saying this month:

  • says:
    • “Mi Mi” for Mister (the I says i like icky when she says it)
    • “bar” for granola bar
    • “MMMnum MMMnum” for cup (don’t ask, we don’t know why?!)
    • grape
    • apple
    • bucha (she is obssessed with Kombucha right now!)
    • “back” for having her back scratched, & brings the back scratcher to us
    • cough
    • shoes
    • bowl
    • and she just jabbers.  Lexie spoke in complete sentences at like 12 months, Mister did a lot too.  Ila has her favorite words and the rest is just jabbering. haha
  • She’s been more clingy since about 19 months old; it is a phase I am sure because despite being my little sidekick, she’s a very independent toddler that likes her space.
  • Finally enjoys me reading to HER; she has always wanted to be the one reading to ME, so night time books ended in a fit. I finally just stopped trying and though she still reads to herself all day, she will let me read to her now!
  • She loves playing dress up with big sister; she also enjoys hanging out with the older two and playing in their world
  • Plays pretend- My first two did not play a lot of pretend on their own at this age.  Ila DEFINITELY has a big imagination- she makes the knights and horses talk and play, she plays with her baby doll, dressing and undressing her, and plays with the bath toys in their own world.
  • Enjoys doing the Melissa and Doug puzzles we have, and is learning her shapes this way
  • She brings me ABC bean bags (best purchase ever!) and says some letters or letter sounds, they’re not usually right- but hey, she knows they are letters.  😉
  • She can count to 10- these things (counting, letters, etc) she just picks up from us doing homeschool and living around her.
  • Pats everyone on the back when they are coughing or sneezing (it’s allergy season ..) and is very affectionate.  When Mister or Lexie is hurt or crying she gets their lovey and brings it to them, then pats them.  =)
  • Uses her fork and spoon really well!- Mister at 7 months refused to let anyone feed him and O M GEE he was the messiest eater EVER.  Still is!  So I refused to let Ila feed herself with a spoon or fork until about 3-4 weeks ago.  And she does SO well!  She is a really neat eater and if she can’t do in neatly or easily she asks for help.  Mama’s girl 😉
  • Ila is obsessed with sitting on the potty; she doesn’t do anything on it … and she takes her diaper off all the time!  So is she ready to potty train?  Yea … she probably is.  And if I had a few days to just focus on that, she would probably be trained and done. So, I may try here soon.  It is really just a lack of me being motivated and focused than anything.
  • She gives the biggest hugs and kisses!
  • Learned to roll her tongue and does it anytime she sees her daddy (go figure)
  • She is requires a hair bow to leave her bed.  She loves them.
  • Got her first real haircut at the salon recently; I have trimmed her hair several times since she was about 3-4 months old? But decided it was time for a real haircut!
  • Loves bath time; hates having her hair washed or brushed in any way, shape, or form.  UGH it’s a nightmare trying to brush her hair most of the time.
  • Her little bow-legs are straighter.  We were supposed to go in for her well child not too long ago, and we all ended up w the stomach flu.  So we haven’t been, but since then her legs have straightened up significantly!  At her 2 yr well visit I will have the dr make sure they are looking straight/okay.  I don’t want her to have feet that turn in/knees that knock if we can fix it.  She is already destined to have terrible feet thanks to her mama and daddy, both.
  • At this point she knows all of her body parts and can name most of them
  • Still loves the dogs, chickens, calves, and cats; knows most of her animal sounds
  • Asks for me to swing her when outside
  • Dancing is one of her very favorite things- she dances in the car, in her high chair, pretty much anytime there is music on she dances.  We went to OK with J.Tom’s family and spent most of our time at the pool; Ila really enjoyed dancing to the music there.

{playing Pandora Radio on the TV}

That’s all the new on my list & that I can think of right now …

At the end of May we moved Ila out of her nursery in our room (which is just a second, biggish-closet), to big sister Lexie’s room.  And it has gone SO well!  Oh my goodness, the Lord knew we needed it to work, and it has perfectly.  Ila is in her crib, Lexie downsized to a twin bed (which she loves), and I shifted some furniture around.  It is still plenty spacious and the girls do great.  They don’t wake each other up, we have staggered bedtimes (see Ila’s schedule below), and Lexie is really good at being quiet when she needs to get up for the bathroom or anything.

Since Ila was about 13-14 months old? this has been her schedule and so far it is still working:

  • 7am wake, eat
  • 9:30-10:30 independent play in crib with KLove on and a few music toys.  She loves it!
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 down for nap, usually asleep within 20 minutes but most of the time much sooner
  • 3:00 up from nap (wakes between 2:20-3 most days but stays in bed until 3)
  • 3:30ish after snuggles with everyone, snack
  • 5:30 supper, bath, playtime
  • 6:45pm bed

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our home, but when I do turn something on for the kids, it is usually Curious George on Netflix.  Ila *loves* George and says, “ooo ooo aaaah aaaah” for monkeys.  She enjoys our animal book the most and pointing out bugs all over the place.

For naps and night time, Ila insists that she has socks on and her sleep sack (on backwards or else she unzips it). I always turn on the humidifier for white noise and the ceiling fan (she insists on that as well).

Overall, Ila has been just as happy and sweet as she was the first few months of her life. She never cried much and though she has become fussy and clingy during certain phases, in general that is not her disposition.  She is definitely the easiest-going out of all the kids so far.

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Online Homeschool Learning with ESA {a review}

ESA {online home suite} Review

With our school year coming to a close (we usually would school with a more “year round” approach, but with baby #4 coming this summer, we are taking a break and have pretty much wrapped up our daily school time) we have enjoyed taking it easy with the Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage.  For our review, we are using an online subscription for one or two students, that is good for one year.  I chose to only use it with my oldest who is almost 6.

This is an online learning program from Kindergarten to grade 6; we used the Kindergarten and 1st grade levels the most; my daughter will be in kindergarten this fall, but generally works on a higher level so this worked out perfectly for her.  The Complete Home Learning Suite includes:

  • Reading: Grades K-6
  • Language and Grammar: Grades K-6
  • Math: Grades K-6
  • Science: Grades K-3
  • Geography: Grades 4-6

How We Used ESA, and What We Thought

Mostly, we have enjoyed using the science and reading portions of the program thus far, though I cannot wait to use the rest!  I found the reading on grade 1 to be a good review of words she is already able to fluently read.  However, what I really liked were the different skills involved; matching, auditory skills, simple but foundational comprehension questions, and of course it gave her some practice on the computer.

I really like this as a supplemental program because it has helped open so many conversations for us!  Many of the topics are a nice review, but some we haven’t discussed in depth.  My student was also able to practice reading words/spelling in different ways which helps with fluency and comprehension.  She thought of each activity as a game and enjoyed adding this to her “school.”

ESA {online home suite} Review

My children have not had much exposure to the computer; they’re all still young and I don’t find it a necessity as of yet.  ESA, however, has been fun for me to implement in our homeschool.  It is simple to use, offers help, and guides students pretty smoothly through the different levels and subjects.  While I did have to help my daughter often, because she is not used to operating a computer, I felt like it was a good program to have her learn more about using the computer (we have only used a few online programs).  Students that have experience on a computer will have no problem using this supplemental program independently.

The instructions on the program are clear and concise, very easy to understand, especially for young children that need simple instructions (at least this applies to the levels we used, so I imagine all levels are equally clear).  It is also easy enough for the parent to check and view progress.

Below is a screen shot from Grade 1 Reading Sentence Punctuation lesson.  The “rule” for the lesson is shown by clicking the small purple hammer icon in the bottom right corner. The Rule will appear and can be read by the student, or aloud by the parent and discussed, depending on ability level.

Rule for Lesson

This is an example of the questions included in the lesson, after reading the Lesson Rule.

Grade 1 Reading Punctuation

The program offers different subscription services, from a monthly fee for one or more students to an annual subscription for 1 or more students.  See their pricing break down HERE.

We will continue using and enjoying Essential Skills Advantage!

Connect with ESA

 

Read more reviews from the Crew by clicking the banner below:

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TOS Disclaimer

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Accomplish ALL The Things {Simple Woman’s Daybook 23}

Outside my Window …
It is gray, cloudy, and the sun isn’t up. We have had rain for 3 days now! YAY

I am thinking…
About all the things I need to start fitting into my day: more floor time with Ila, more violin practice with Lexie, more ironing of J.Tom’s clothes (one day I will be able to afford the cleaners!), more walking, more pregnancy exercises … oh. And more menu planning (really not doing good menu planning), and more blog planning.

How’s that for thinking 😉

I am thankful…
That my husband woke up before me to make coffee and feed the baby cows. =) We have started weaning them from their milk (a little late), and boy are they pushy! We don’t let them boss us, but the taller brown one sure tries.

In the kitchen…
There is bone broth that needs to be jarred up and put in the freezer.

And coffee!

I am wearing…
A maternity dress- it is one of the really old ones from my pregnancy with Lexie. It doesn’t really fit well, but they make great house dresses now, and are comfy to sleep in. Old Navy, $10 6 years ago.

I am creating…
probably a mess of everything. I have so much to do; today is cleaning day, but I also have to work in the basement (ugh) and get ironing done. I have dresses to finish sewing before baby comes, I want to put together a small unit study for the kids on Little house in the Big Woods, because we are about to finish that, and then we are going to grow crystals. That’s creating stuff, right? =/

I am going…
I need to go to Costco this afternoon; if the Mister takes a good nap we will go get groceries and then meet the daddy for dinner out.

Did I mention I have done a really bad job about menu planning lately?

I am wondering…
If it will continue to rain and fill the pond up. We thought we had a leak … thankfully the hubby had access to a few tons of kitty litter so we spread that out where we thought the leak may be. However, it may in fact just be that we didn’t have a wet winter and our runoff is blocked a bit, and there is a huge pond next door that has to fill before ours will.

Hoping the hard heavy rain we got last night started the process. We have had slow, steady rain for 2-3 days now. It has been wonderful!
I am reading…
Oh gosh! Okay, so I have a few books on my shelf, but have only really started one. The first two are homemaking books from the library, though I think I would like to own both. and the rest are books about raising boys. Cause … my little Mister is the only Mister and I am a girl. Therefore I really know very little about raising boys.

I am hoping…
really more like praying God helps me find me the patience and energy today to accomplish all the things!

I am looking forward to…
Not having a mile long to do list! It seems to come in phases, sometimes I feel like I have it all done and everything is great (obviously, it probably really isn’t). And then sometimes I am SO. Far. Behind. Like now. =)

I am learning…
That my Mister needs freedoms, and boundaries, and more reinforcement of consequences when he breaks those boundaries.

Also, that I have let a LOT of time get by me before this baby gets here! I am 27.5 weeks already, and we have a TON of rather big things to do.

Around the house…
dusting. vacuuming. switching season clothes, packing kids clothes that are too small to save for baby, and I am always decluttering. Which right now I think we are in a pretty good place with that. Minus all these girl clothes I have to hold on to! I know I should throw them away, but I just can’t do it. We’re throwing enough away though, leaving us with a lot of space now. If anyone else needs to declutter their home, it might be worth contacting a company like 1300 Rubbish to make sure they can take the rubbish away from your home. That always makes the job easier.

A favorite quote for today…

Accomplish All the Things

One of my favorite things…
that Ila has FINALLY this week, started saying more words: red car, Lexie, mister, bear, more animal sounds, hair bow, and she pretends to read the words in books by speaking her own little baby Japanese. It is really cute.

I also LOVE that Lexie begs to take Ila outside while I am prepping meals, switching out laundry, etc. I do let her take her on the porch or to the back concrete and Lexie just loves it. So does mister- he drives Ila around in the back of his little pick up truck. She is so loved.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I think ALL the lists above should cover this one. =)

A peek into my day…
This was the other day

Out My Widow ... Life on a Farm

Simple Woman {Daybook}

Pre K and Preschool Weekly Wrap Up {April 1, 2016}

This is a Weekly Wrap up from April 1-this past week. I am a bit behind  =)

It has been a very long time since I wrote a Weekly Wrap Up Post.  Wow.

Well, I can say towards the end of winter we finally found our homeschool groove, as I came out of the first trimester nausea and exhaustion.  Now we have a simple, and effective routine just like we had before, which means we are back to much smoother days!  *thank goodness*

You may remember me posting about struggling with a rut, which I don’t think was school related, but certainly affected our school time.  We (I) came out of that and whew, life is better!

Weekly Wrap UP {April 2016} What a Typical School Morning Looks Like {www.QuietInTheChaos.com}

What a School Day Looks like

As we finish the school year (we will be schooling until about July 1st I think, maybe not that long if I can really bust out some chapter books!), we are finishing strong.  We have recently stopped driving 35 minutes every Tuesday for gymnastics, so that has freed up an entire morning, and makes our lives less hectic.  We will continue extra curricular activities with swim lessons, but they will be closer to us!

All that to say, we don’t have specific days we are doing school right now, with this new change.  But I think we are mostly back to Wednesdays being cleaning/no school day, and schooling 3-4 days a week.

On days we school it looks something like this:

  • 7am wake/breakfast/morning basket- morning basket includes: prayer, Bible, pledge, calendar, songs and finger plays (my son loves them), memory work verses and poems, possibly reading part of a read aloud depending on time
  • 8 Begin morning chores- Lexie empties dishwasher, Mister helps with laundry, I load dishwasher
  • 8:30-9:30 Depending on the weather the kids usually go outside for fresh air here, and then we begin school after that.  Sometimes it we go straight into school and they play outside afterward.  School begins with our Sonlight read alouds and history.
  • 9:30-10:30 Toddler joins us for as long as she can be relatively quiet, but usually goes to IP during this time so Lexie can read aloud and focus on harder material
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 toddler down for nap
  • 12:00-12:30 Lexie, Max and I wind down for nap with books
  • 12:30-3:00 everyone is resting/napping (this actually is more like 1-3 by the time everyone has had their nap time books read)
  • 3:00 up for the afternoon/nature walks/play in the woods/cook dinner/run errands
    • This is also when we go on nature walks specifically to support our science topic, read science books, cook and bake together, and

That’s a typical school day.

What we “do” During School Right Now (3.5, 5.5)

Right now school has been such a pleasure!  Lexie suddenly just started wanting to read everything.  EV * ER * Y * THING!  She picks up books and reads them-doesn’t matter the level; she asks for help when she needs it.  She reads words off the Netflix screen, she reads words off magazine covers, she asks Mister and Ila several times a day if they would like her to read them a book, and of course they do, so she does.

Our daily activities for school include:

  • Morning Basket for everyone (see above)

Lexie (5.5 yo)

  • Lexie’s All About Reading Level 1- either a lesson, reading from her readers, or reviewing fluency pages
  • Lexie’s Copywork/HWOT/Journaling-
    • To make her copy work, I simply write it out on a lined dry erase board like this one while I am sitting at the table.  Copywork usually comes from one of the books she is reading and includes lots of quotes, commas, etc.  In the future, (read: after baby comes) I am planning a bit different set up for her to do more work independently, so I will probably have copywork printed out for her to copy from.
    • Handwriting Without Tears is really just her doing the pages on her own.  I tell her what page, she completes it and I make sure it is nice and neat.  Again, my plan for fall is that this will turn into her independently working on the next page from an assignment sheet without my help.
    • Journaling is me simply giving her a topic, which she writes on freely in her own style.  I try to remind her of capitalization, punctuation, and spacing, but otherwise it is her own thoughts, spelling, etc.
    • She loves doing ALL of these things
  • Lexie’s Math- Saxon 1.  We pretty much just stopped doing the K book because it was too easy and although she still enjoyed it, I was bored (ha).  She really likes the Level 1, there are lots more sheets for her to do (which she LOVES) and she reads the directions to herself.  I check them and have her fix any mistakes or fill in any places she skipped on accident.  I feel like it is a great way for her to work independently, feel successful, and also learn about double checking work, etc.  We like it!


Max (3.5yo)

  • Max is doing All About Reading Pre Reading, mostly because he always asks to do school and he wants to have activities like Lexie.  This is a PERFECT fit for us because it isn’t time consuming, and he really enjoys the games, they’re developmentally appropriate for him (mostly rhyming and logic right now), and did I mention he enjoys it?  We only do this like 1-2 times a week, depending on what he is in the mood for.
  • More phonics- Mister knows his letter sounds, so sometimes we work on beginning letter sounds.  Yesterday, after we did a hands on activity and while Lexie worked on a few math sheets, Max sat in my lap and I drew pictures.  Beneath each picture I wrote letters- I asked him: what each picture was, what each letter was and its sound.  Then I asked what letter he heard at the beginning of the picture word (ex: what sound do you hear at the beginning of “flower?”)  He then gave me his answer and circled the letter.  He got every single one correct without any prompting from me!

Literacy Activity & Weekly Wrap Up {www.QuietInTheChaos.com}

 

  • Math- Mister is tagging along with Lexie’s Math and so far he is doing great! He loves it, they take turns answering questions, and he loves the hands on activities.  This week he helped create a vehicle graph and answered questions about it.  While he is doing really well with his letter sounds and literacy development, math is really his thing right now!
  • Other Activities- While I am working with Lexie on a reading lesson or giving instruction for her work, Mister really enjoys doing the Kumon workbooks and a Big Preschool activity book.  He has a book of all mazes and will literally sit there the entire time we do school and just do mazes.  Some days he just goes and plays trucks or looks at books, or plays independently with something else, and I am totally fine with that.
  • Writing- some days I will write letters on a piece of paper and he traces them; other times he just doodles and tells me about his pictures.

They both love art, listening to read alouds, talking about history, and learning about the Bible.  This spring homeschool has become such a blessing again!  Somehow, we just found our groove for now … Yes, it is surely to change, but there is a season for everything. =)

What is best is that it’s all relaxed.  My word for the year began as joy And it definitely continues to be my word of the year.  😉  However, my mantra has become relax.  I can’t find the joy, or rather feel and see it in front of me, if I can’t relax.  And that’s just what we have done.

I don’t dread any part of our school time; I don’t wish that we were doing something different.  There is a peace about it, a joy in it, and we all love it!  Even Mister tells me, “Mama, I love learning time!”  And that’s just how it should be.  I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the friend that encouraged me to step back from everything, that introduced me to podcasts (I will do a WHOLE ‘nother post on those!), for my husband encouraging me to wake early in the mornings to start my day with coffee and Jesus … it has all just played into a perfect part of our day, of which the morning is school.

So.  until July when we are done with school and a newborn is in the house, I think this is going to continue working.

What does your homeschool with your littles look like?

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

My Week in Review Link UP

Fridays on the Farm are Beautiful {Simple Woman’s Daybook 20}

Walking in the Woods

Walking through the woods; jumping in the dry part of the creek

Outside my Window …
The sun is just coming up over the trees in the front of the house.  The calves have full bellies and are resting in the barn, Thora is laying on the front porch being protector of all things, and it is SO beautiful and nice we will be reading on the front porch today.  We don’t usually do much school on Fridays, just because we don’t have to, but I always try to read lots of books and maybe throw in science or art- both which can be done outdoors!

I am thinking…
Oh, I hope we don’t lose the other two calves.  Yesterday we lost one; the biggest one, and healthiest LOOKING when we got them last Saturday.  However, he was the most sickly acting the last 5 days.  For two days he had some light scours we were treating as directed, and before running to the vet yesterday I went out to check him one more time, and he was gone.  =(

I am thankful…
That the kids weren’t devastated.  They were very supportive of their sad mama.  Lexie wanted to know if we could just turn it into beef.  =)  I cried; not so much because the calf was dead, but because I felt defeated, helpless, despite all our efforts and hard work.  Part of it, I know.  But I don’t like defeat….

In the kitchen…
Oh gosh!  It is a mess.  There are dishes from J.Tom breakfast, a pot that needs to be washed, and a skillet on the stove for me to cook our eggs this mornings.

I am wearing…
Pajama pants and a maternity shirt; I am running out of clothes that fit well.

I am creating…
Nothing.  I was crocheting, but with it being so warm I got out of the mood.  And I have started the girls some dresses, I should really finish those  😉

I am going…
To never take advantage of my computer again.  My hard drive died last week; and I was one saddened girl.  I can’t think on a teeny tiny screen (my phone) to pay bills, write blogs, and look up recipes.  I always go to my computer …

I am wondering…
What else I need to add to my list for the store today.

I am reading…
A new book, but can’t think of the title … I will come back and add it later. *edit- The Liars’ Club: A Memoir*

I am hoping…
These calves survive!

I am looking forward to…
The weekend- in the 70’s and sunny.  I am starting on my tan!

I am learning…
Although my life is pretty nice, life is hard.  Losing calves is hard.  Losing baby chicks is hard (not as hard as losing a calf…), getting up at 5:30 am is not as hard as getting up at 6:30am …

Around the house…
I need to vacuum.  Just ew!  (since the weather has been like spring, we have been tracking in LOTS of dirt.)

A favorite quote for today…

When Life Gets Hard ...

Something my Dad would say.  =)

One of my favorite things…
baby cow noses, watching the kids play in the dirt while the chickens free range, Ila’s BIG, ginormis, baby hugs, the sound of her saying, “Yes ma’am,” our new friendships with a beautiful family that lives very close by, watching the sun come up on the front porch.

pjs and chickens
A few plans for the rest of the week:
It’s Friday Y’all!

A peek into my day…
This past week: plying in the dirt and loving on the chickens

Chickens and Dirt

Simple Woman {Daybook}

Homesteading on The 40 Acre Wood: So It Begins

So It Begins: the beginning of our little homestead

watching the hummingbirds

Since I was little, maybe four or five years old, I knew I wanted to live on a farm. I dreamed of rolling hills, trees, and white fences, and of course a barn full of animals that would keep me busy. 

Though my mom, dad, brother and I lived in the suburbs, all our family lived in the country; both sets of grandparents gardened, canned, sat on porch swings, shot BB guns with us, fished from their ponds, and cooked from scratch. It was truly living the dream for my brother and me, every summer, all summer long.

 I’ve always wanted to live on a farm and that is a goal of mine till this day.

I never stopped dreaming of the farm I wanted, but I never saw it in my future. It seemed unattainable.

*Enter my husband*

My husband is a dreamer. But he isn’t a dreamer by definition- he is a dreamer that sees a dream, sets a goal, and gets ‘er done. So, maybe he is in fact a “do-er.”

About 6 years ago he told me one day we could have a little homestead.

I couldn’t see past our current situation, and told him with 100% certainty, he was crazy.

But here we are; in 2015 moving into our dream home, on land.  

By dream home, I don’t mean what most people would define as a dream home. It isn’t brand new, fancy, or big. It doesn’t have 5 bathrooms, or a bedroom for every person in the family.

(It does have my dream front porch, a lovely kitchen with a window that overlooks the back yard where my babies will play and the chickens and guineas will run around, a big gas stove perfect for canning, and a big fireplace that heats the whole house. That is my *DREAM*)

The kids love it; there is tons of room for them to run, play in the dirt, ride their bikes. They like picking tomatoes in the garden and playing with our inherited barn cats.

So It Begins: the beginning of our little homestead

What is most important to my husband and me though, is that it our kids can mostly free range on our property, safely. We can raise our family on our own land to: hunt, fish, ride 4wheelers, garden, raise our own food, and learn how to appreciate God’s hard work.

We can live slowly and simply without the busy rush, rush, rush of the rat race life so many consider their dream.

It is going to be a lot of work, but man is it all going to be worth it. I can’t wait to share updates with you all, as well as things I learn on “the farm.” We will spend the winter getting part of the barn in order for our chickens and guineas, expanding the garden, prepping firewood, and maybe working with fencing.

What to name a farm?!

We started calling it “the farm” after we started working on in the garden and yard this summer. I am trying to give it a real name, so far all I have really loved is The Forty Acre Wood- but that seems kinds silly. So we will see. =)

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2015/2016 (K5 & Preschool)

Curriculum Choices K5 & Preschool 20152015 {QuieInTheChaos.com}

Wow- I can’t believe I just typed in title! This year has truly snuck up on us; but alas, I am ready! (I think ..)

I am going to break this down by child/age. It is hard with Lexie, mainly because she is 4.5 years old, 5 in the fall, and doing a mix of kindergarten and first grade work, but is still not old enough to register for school. So while she will be doing mostly first grade and K work, I am not sure what to tell you in terms of “grade” for you to compare or look at for your child. This will be her K5 year (next year will be K6 and she will start 1st when she is 7).
I would recommend looking at the curriculum’s scope and sequence for each level, and ALWAYS do their placement test (at least look over what will be taught in that level and what prerequisite skills are needed to be successful). I will say, Lexie probably didn’t HAVE to begin with AAR Level 1, but I am SO thankful we did because she got that firm foundation before moving on. I know a few parents can get overwhelmed with the school curriculum, which is totally understandable as we’re not professional teachers and have no idea how to even do this work half the time, so seeking advice or a little help can be really useful when setting work for children. Some parents choose for their child to use a tutoring Adelaide service and others choose to use online tools, like YouTube, but whatever the method is, as long as children are learning something it’s all worthwhile.

Good foundation ALWAYS trumps advancement in my opinion, no matter the subject.

Lexie (4.5/5 in the fall, working on K and 1st Grade Level)

  • Core: Sonlight Core A– (history/cultures, geography,Bible) We did P4/5 last year and Lexie just flew through it; she never skipped a beat and I swear she still talks about some of the stories which I have long forgotten … She LOVES it, and so does Max. So we will do Core A next, and Mister (and Ila, too) will sit in with us. I plan on stretching this core 18-24 months, and using it as her “Kindergarten” year curriculum (when she is 6 and we register with the state). We are adding in LOTS of sequels, and I will probably buy the Five In A Row literature pack from RRC (I already have the teacher’s book and a few of the read alouds) to add in also to help stretch it out. This core is SO exciting; we get to begin our timeline book, learn more about geography, look at maps, and expand our learning tremendously! It will be fun!

Language Arts:

  • All About Reading Level 2– Here, AAR is going to give her all the reading skills she needs
  • All About Spelling Level 1– They suggest beginning AAS when your student starts AAR Level 2. From what I have seen this will mostly just reinforce the reading rules she already knows and teach encoding. For all intents a purposes, we will say she will be 5, which is young for a spelling program; but after looking at the scope and sequence, I think she can do it and it will help with her writing. If we aren’t ready, we can shelve it til she is =)
  • Sonlight Language Arts 1- this is really just for extra practice; I like that they include spelling words, narration, comprehension questions, and copywork so I thought we would use it mainly for that. I bought some of the readers, but not all of them. We will just see how we like it. (I don’t feel like their LA’s is “enough” for us, so we will use it as a supplement)

Math:

  • Saxon Math K– we were going to use Saxon K this past year, but I just continued on with Singapore K (early bird). Because Lexie isn’t registering for school I am going to use this as a “review,”/nail in the foundation year for math. Plus Saxon will go a bit further & deeper than Singapore did. It will start very basic, but that is fine with us. Max will probably sit in on some of the more basic lessons.

Science:

  • Elemental Science– I went around and around on our science choice for over a year. Every single time I landed back on ES. So I finally said, Okay! This is it! You may have read that we enjoy the Charlotte Mason and Classical Education models. I like teaching and organizing this way, and the kids seems to thrive learning with these models (for now), so it is a win win. ES is a classical/CM combo curriculum, and I like that! I will do another post entirely on why we chose ES some other time.

Extracurricular:

  • Gymnastics at a local gym
  • Violin lessons with a local teacher
  • ARTistic Pursuits (best art curriculum EVER)

Max (2.5/3 yo in fall) Preschool

Ah, I can’t believe I just wrote my baby will be “doing” preschool. Honestly, I am not sure where to begin with him. haha

Mister is definitely a boy- he is developing much faster physically than Lexie was at this age, and isn’t quite where she was cognitively at this age. (for instance, he just started gymnastics and is MUCH better at it than Lexie was when she was 2/5, but he isn’t reading cvc words like she was at that age, either).

  • Before Five In a Row: You know I love some BFIAR! It is easy, fun, and means lots of snuggles with my baby. He *loves* the stories and I think he will really enjoy all the activities, too. My favorite resource for all things homeschool is Rainbow Resource Center- they almost always have the best prices, and here is their literature pack. Trust me when I tell you, you cannot buy all those books, even used, at that price; many of them are also out of print so to get them brand new from RRC is pretty awesome!
  • Language Arts– I know a lot can change in just a few months, but for right now I don’t think Max is ready for ThisReadingMama’s curriculum. Whenever he is, that’s what we will use as a supplement and beginning curriculum. I think maybe by fall or Christmas he will be ready to start! Until then, we will just review a letter a week or so, and continue with BFIAR. The other option is when he is to start him on AAR Pre-Reading; I never used that with Lexie, we just did our own thing to learn those skills, so I may just teach him myself without a curriculum.
  • Math: I don’t have anything in particular ready for Max and math. We have a TON of manipulatives and will just use them to learn basic math concepts and number sense- 1:1 correlation, sorting, patterns, more/less, etc. We are already playing with some of those concepts and will just continue down that path. Also, we will work on recognizing his numbers (he surprised me the other day by recognizing way more than I thought he knew!), and counting past 20.
  • Play, Play, Play, Play, Play! We will play a LOT. He is not my desk learner; he does LOVE to join us for learning time, he enjoys sitting at the counter and writing and listening in on Lexie’s lessons, but he isn’t ready for a long stretch of school yet, and that’s A-Okay! So we will play and learn through play.
  • Sitting in- Mister will sit in on our read alouds, join us for science lessons (and probably keep his own little science notebook), and anything else he shows an interest in.
  • Extracurricular- He has started gymnastics and *loves* it. He keeps asking about violin, but unlike Lexie I don’t think he will be ready at 3. So, we will see if he still shows interest as he gets older.

That’s it! That is our curriculum choices for 2015/2016.

 

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