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 daddies and gay boys dating sites 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not Back to {Home}school-first day memories

August 16 was our first day “back to homeschool”, but it looked nothing like what most people would consider a school day. The joy of homeschool?- it doesn’t have to! We spent the day finishing the de-stemming process of this year’s elderberries, and then turned them into elderberry syrup.( I can share that recipe, soon!)

I’m not a super fun crafty mama that makes all the fun things, or plans events for the first day of homeschool.

Like most things we do around here- we try to keep it simple. We have a homestead, and there is a lot to get done this time of year (which is also why I usually school year round and take a short break in August for harvesting. But this year was just a bit different).

Most years we enjoy box day a week or 2 before school begins- this is the day that we open all our homeschool orders, and peruse the books, games, and curricula we will explore together for the next year.

Homeschool Box Day 2021

Then I get everything organized and put away for our first day. This includes organizing our Sonlight core books, tearing apart workbooks to be organized by weeks, and making everyone’s laminated weekly routines so they know what to cover each day.

The first day of our routine is usually just a school day. Our box day gets my kids pretty excited for the new school year, so we don’t typically have problems starting our homeschool days. But there are always small growing pains (mostly for me) as we get the routine down, especially on years we add a new student to the mix.

We have a rhythm that works well most days:

  • 530/600 Mama has coffee and Jesus time cause this gig requires a lot of Jesus 😉
  • 700 everyone out of bed- bedroom & farm chores
  • 730 breakfast and get baby up
  • Then I walk (or workout) while the kids play first thing, or do something farm related like massage a goat’s bloated rumen until she is better, or put up tomatoes for the freezer because they’re everywhere, or chase cows down because they escaped.
  • Then we all meet back for morning basket together
  • From there we move to table work
  • after that is lunch (usually about 1130/12:00)

Morning basket can take us a while, we do a lot of reading. Like. A lot. But that’s just how we roll; we love books and our core curriculum is literature based, so it just takes a while to get through it all. My kids color while we read and they could sit for hours to listen and discuss, I think.

This year our first “homeschool routine day” was on a Tuesday, so we met daddy for Taco Tuesday after work, and took our first day of school pics with nice clothes on 😆 normally it would just be pajamas…

We are all excited for the school year, learning new things, and reading all the books! The Kindergartener is especially enthusiastic for the start of her first real school year.

What is your first day of homeschool tradition(s)?




 

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When We Last Spoke- Streaming on Prime, now

Enter to win a free digital code for a viewing of When We Last Spoke; Leave a comment with your favorite family film.

When We Last Spoke is an award-winning, heartwarming story of faith, family, and forgiveness, based on a book by Marci Henna. This film is going to be loved by all of your family; it is packed full of humor, heartbreak and triumph for your favorite characters.

The movie reminds me of the wholesome, family friendly mini series and movies that used to come on when I was a child-no fowl language, a warm message, and something that actually keeps your attention without a bunch of unnecessary garbage thrown in. We were laughing through the whole thing, and enjoyed it so much- especially when Elvis had a Cadillac delivered. When We Last Spoke is different from other Christian films, and feels like your favorite book has been brought to life.

There’s so much we can all relate to in the film; your family is going to love it, down to the great sound track!

Watch the film on Amazon Prime or visit their website to find all the ways to view this powerful movie with the whole family.

Starring Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Cloris Leachman, and Corbin Bernsen, When We Last Spoke has won multiple awards, including Best Picture, Best Narrative, Best Supporting Actor, and more at the Crown Awards at the National Religious Broadcasters 2021 Christian Media Convention!

When We Last Spoke

 

If you’re looking for something the family can share on movie night-  don’t miss this heartwarming story of faith, family, and forgiveness. Watch it on Amazon Prime or visit our website to find all the ways to view this powerful movie with the whole
family

When We Last Spoke

Many thanks to Last Spoke Partners for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Don’t forget to enter to win your own digital code for When We Last Spoke, by leaving a comment below of your favorite family film.

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Emergent Reader Fun with one More Story {a review}


Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

You may have seen me posting about One More Story over on Instagram. This has been so much fun for our family. One More Story is an app (or website, we tried both ways, but settled on the iPad app), where children and families can enjoy being read precious picture books. There are currently over 87 books to choose from, on five different book cases, with more to come!

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

After logging in, there are different ways for children to use the program. First click on the book cover to hear the title and author/illustrator. Then:

  1. Select the book you want to read, then click the green button below it
  2. Click Bendy, the bookworm site host, to have the book read to you, and pages turned automatically
  3. Click the green arrow in the bottom right corner to have the book read to you with the pages turned manually. You will continue touching/clicking the green arrow in that spot to turn each page.
  4. Click on the I can Read badge on the left to read a book on your own, with the sound track turned off. Any word can be clicked to hear it read by the narrator. Click the E in the lower left of the text post to hear the entire text read. Children can “echo” back the words.

There are also vocabulary words for each book (woo hoo!- I see a whole creative unit to be made using books from One More Story).

In both automatic and manual modes, the words are highlighted as the narrator reads, which is a proven way to help emergent readers understand text on a page- this is similar to following the words with your finger while reading to children. Pointing to/highlighting the words in a book teaches early readers that words have meaning on a page, and that we read left to right on a page. These aren’t just valuable, they are necessary pre-reading skills for children. Thank you One More Story, for adding this into your program! Emergent readers are actively learning, while reading a book, which is just what we want as teachers.

When a book is read in the I Can Read mode (number 4 above), any word the child clicks to have read to them, is added to the My Word List. This gives a young reader the opportunity to identify, review and master words that cannot easily be sight read for them. When a word is mastered, it can be dragged on My Learned Words. The My Word List badge is displayed on the last page of a book so that children can review the words they have learned from that book! This is such a great motivator, and an easy way to see how far your children have come. (Below I’ve added the word said to the My Word List.)

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

I love that the books have background noises/music to go along with them. The stories really are brought to life in this way; it makes them more real, and reminds me a lot of watching Reading Rainbow (throw back!). Maybe that is because it is original music by Sesame Street vet Robby Merkin. These stories are books we have on our shelves, or would like to- and that’s how I know they’re high quality. No twaddle here! Plus the narrators are just delightful-so much expression and easy to understand/listen to voices.

We found a new favorite book, Rattletrap Car, by Phyllis Root. This farm family is getting ready for a trip to the beach. But on their way, first a wheel falls off, then the floor falls out, the gas tank falls off, etc. Each time there is a catastrophe, the children have a creative way of fixing the car from their packed goods. (This is the perfect chance to make a family book club/activity and enjoy some chocolate marshmallow fudge delight. Mmmm) There are so many sound words (onomatopoeia) in this book, kids are going to love it! Mine definitely did, as did I.

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

We have really enjoyed using the One More Story subscription in our home. It is going to be perfect for a cross country car ride to the beach this year with young children. We are also going to enjoy adding it in as part of our summer homeschool.

Connect with One More Story

Be sure to check out the Review Crew blog to read more reviews!One More Story Online Library Reviews

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Friday on the Farm {Babies Galore!}

We have been so blessed this year with babies on the farm. Everyone was delivered easily, born healthy, and the mamas are all good mamas.

 

It started on Mother’s Day, with Ginny giving us a buckling.  We weren’t 100% certain she was bred, but I checked her ligaments that morning, and they were gone. I thought to myself, “well, she’s probably bred…” about 2 hours later during breakfast, I looked out and a something was laying in the barn yard. Hank (an LGD) was standing over it looking and smelling. I knew a raccoon or something didn’t get in, so I ran out.  Sure enough it was a baby goat. Lady ran out and got the mama, we got them to the stall, and they’ve been prefect since.

The following day we were waiting on Wendy to kid, when we looked up and Jolene, the Hereford, was standing over her calf! He must have just hit the ground; Jolene was already doing her mama thing. He is huge, perfect, and so sweet.

That evening, Wendy had 2 bucklings (it’s a buckling year?!). Perfectly healthy, and mostly white and gray/brown. No moon spots…

40 Acre Wood: Kids on the Farm- Wendy Twins

And finally, Lucy had 2 boys, each with moon spots. Their coloring is beautiful, but I don’t have pics yet.

 

Add rain for 2 months, and that’s been spring on the farm so far.

 

 

 

 

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Friday on the Farm {LGD getting comfortable}

LGD on the Farm

After losing Huck, we decided to bring Bear out of the goat pen and into the yard with the family and chickens. At first he just hung around the gate to the goats, and slept under the chicken coop.

But after about 2 weeks he really started feeling at home. And by week 3, Bear is a pro at protecting all things chicken and child. His bark at night is so reassuring, and he loves the kids. He follows along on my walks each day, and is such a sweet boy.

We are thankful for having kept 2 of Huck’s puppies, and it sure has me wanting to have some more!

 

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Saying Goodbye to our LGD- Huck the Gentle Giant

We didn’t get to say goodbye to our Huck, but he knew we loved him. He had not been eating well the last week, so we had a vet appointment scheduled. I wasn’t too concerned. The day before he was running and playing with Flossie (the wire-haired pointing griffon) and I saw him coming out of the shop eating a bit.

Friday about 4pm, we went for a family walk in the woods to see the creek while it was full. Huck followed along, but was lagging behind, needing to take breaks, and looked like he felt terrible. I called the vet to move our appointment sooner, but they were booked. So I called another vet we have used in the past, to get an appointment for the next morning.

He was laying under his favorite tree during the late afternoon, and I loved on him, prayed over him. I continued checking on him, he would raise his head so I thought maybe he was just worn out from the walk and we would make it to the vet Saturday.

But about 11:30 Friday night I went to check on him, he was under our son’s window. He hadn’t been dead for very long, but was for certain gone.

We’ve shed so many tears, mainly me, over Huck. He was truly the very best friend, companion, and protector we could’ve asked for.  He was so young, only 3.5 (born October 24, 2017). We don’t know what happened; he was on heart worm medicine and flea and tick medicine. I know those things are 100% though… so it could’ve been that, it could’ve been a heart problem, it couldn’t been a gastro issue. We really don’t know.

So he is buried pup front in the pasture. Saturday morning our son made a cross and his daddy helped him hammer it into the ground.

Ive been struggling with the guilt- guilt of not getting him to the vet sooner, of not noticing things were that bad sooner, of not being there when he died. But I know he knew we loved him, and I know he loved us. We were so blessed to have had him.

There is no way to replace Huck, he was perfect. And I miss him so much, all day and every night. There are no more Huck barks or howls, no wet dog slobber in the morning. There are still lots of tears.

But we do need another LGD that can stay with the chickens and kids on the property. So we are going to try to train one of Huck’s puppies that we kept, to stick around the house. He is a very timid boy, and also gentle and submissive to us, and especially our 8yo son. So we will see how it goes.  If it doesn’t work out, I am sure a puppy is in our future.

 

 

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Imminent labor Signs in Cows {and Huey the Hereford}

We are excited to introduce: Huey the Hereford! (Huey, as in Huey’s restaurants in memphis)Huey the Hereford

Huey was born on Monday, March 1, 2021.

We got to watch Dolly at the beginning of her labor because the kids were playing outside and she chose to lay in the barn yard. She did move to the barn, where she was more comfortable. It’s amazing how different cows and goats are-she didn’t make a sound, not a grunt or a moo. Goats are so dramatic.

When we began watching Dolly for labor, I searched the internet high and low for all the signs we needed to look for. She had them all!

  • tail hanging to the side, due to loss of ligaments
  • tail head looked flat, almost as flat as her back
  • vulva swollen (springing)
  • that morning she lost a lot of mucus plus, but was having discharge about 2-3 days prior
  • her udder was *swollen*
  • teats were full and sticking out (strutting)
  • belly looked low/less wide
  • right before pushing she was laying on her side, letting the calf get into position, within 30 minutes she was pushing

We had a few bumps getting Huey to nurse, because mama was so full, and she became frustrated after his first failed attempts. Our friends helped us get everything started, and there’s been no problems since.

We are still waiting on Jolene to calve, she has zero signs of calving anytime soon.

Signs of Calving Huey the Hereford

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6 month (26 weeks) baby schedule/summary- Baby #5

Oh my goodness! Baby 5 is getting sooo big. The days are so much fun with him in them, we are all just in awe of his sweetness.  The boy only cries if he really has a complaint, and even then it isn’t much. He like to be in the middle of everything and has started a little signing (for “milk”). At 5 months he was over 99% on length and 88 or so on weight. He is going to be tall like his daddy.

Right now, at 27 Weeks, Sir is eating solids for 3 meals. First he nurses, then takes a bottle of supplemented formula/pumped milk, then he downs almost 2 cartons of Stage 2 baby food!  He is a big eater, to say the least. Im not making his baby food right now, I just don’t have the time. The most I do is grind oats for adding to his purees. But he doesn’t like solids from our plates yet, only purees.  He gets sooo excited to eat, but put a solid in his mouth and he isn’t a happy camper. haha

He is napping after 2 hours of wake time.

Right now his 3.5hour routine looks like this:

  • 730am- nurse, bottle, solids
  • play time with siblings in the floor/watch mama work out
  • 930- nap
  • 11am- nurse, bottle, solids
  • play time with siblings, sibling read books to him, play in floor
  • 1pm-nap
  • 230pm-nurse, bottle
  • outside play time- biggest sister pushes in stroller outside, play on picknick planet, parent wears for walk in woods
  • 430pm- nap
  • 530- up, nurse
  • 6ish solids, family time (especially loves hanging with daddy), bath some nights
  • 700pm-nurse, bottle, in bed by 73opm

Sir’s play time consists of all the things above, including time with me, being read to, laying on my bed while I get ready, being toted by siblings, etc. haha. He get SO excited when big sister puts on his coat to go walk outside. He loves being outdoors, in true Wright Baby fashion.

Developmentally, he is trying to talk. He will move his mouth while watching yours, as you talk. We practice “mama” a lot, but he isn’t quite there yet 😂 He has just started reaching for things, like his toy ball. Tummy time, belly surfing, and spinning around are so much fun right now. For about 3 weeks he started practicing rolling in his sleep, and wouldn’t roll over from his belly to back, but would just cry instead. So one of us would go in and flip him over …

But now he has started flipping over and sleeping happily on his belly. Yay! He LOVES bathtime and really gets excited to play in the water.

He is such a sweetie; we could not ask for a happier baby. He’s been such a blessing to our family.

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In the next month or 2 I expect his naps will get super messy (ie- fighting the cat nap before bed, not being able to nail down a good wake time length for the other naps, thus getting over tired), and we will take the leap to a 2-3-4 schedule. This is when baby takes a nap 2 hours after Morning Waketime, then 3 hours after that nap he takes a 2nd nap, then 4 hours after he wakes from nap, he goes to bed. This is the last nap change before dropping to 1 nap around a year old.

baby #5 has definitely been different than my others.  His naps have been a dream *knock on wood* and he is a higher sleep needs baby- meaning he needs longer naps plus his solid 12 hours at night, than typical. So he may hang out at our current routine longer than my others. By 7 months I think most of my others were on a 2-3-4 schedule ( which is definitely easier than chasing the infant optimal wake time length!).

 

 

 

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Easy Homeschool “Beauty” Resources

Maybe you’ve heard it before, “homeschooling isn’t school at home.”

It isn’t crisis schooling, or virtual school. Homeschooling goes beyond “school time.” Homeschool is where we can explore art, history, music, handicrafts, Shakespeare, astronomy, and creation without limits. These (and other) subjects are often what we call the “beauty” subjects.

Homeschool is about keeping the love of learning, that fire of curiosity God gave us at birth, lit. Homeschool mamas (and dads, too) want to educate our children well, but do it in such a way that encourages our children to be life long learners.

We have an abundance of resources at our fingertips to help add a little excitement and beauty to our homeschool.

Pic Source – CC0 Licence

What’s In The Mail Today?

My children are obsessed with getting mail. One set of grandparents sends postcards from all of their travel locations, and the kids send and receive letters to all their grandparents. How exciting! If you dont live near town, there are lots of places that sell stamps besides the post office . You can set up a writing station (my kids use a giant boot show box) with envelopes, stamps, pens and paper. Let them write to their little heart’s content. We still have a lot of practice to get writing friendly letters down, but the 9 year old has it down just about perfectly.

of course it is also a perfect way to connect with those we love.

 

Listen To That Music

 We know music is excellent for brain development so adding it into our days has been important to our family.  It can also be great to create a calming environment for children (and mom) to work, so this could be something to think about.
However, if you do have instruments in the house, then you may want to include these in your plans. After all, it’s always more fun to use our bodies, rather than just work with paper.

Something like a keyboard and an app is simple and fun. Piano Maestro is one of our favorites; my kids have learned so much by using it just 1-2 times a week. We subscribe to Practice Monkeys for violin and will soon start piano.

Some of our Favorites

Resources such as Read Aloud Revival Premium Membership, You Are an Artist!, and Audible can all be great additions to homeschool.

Encouraging a love for learning can be as simple or as involved as we want. How you educate your children is up to you. And it is beautiful!

 

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!

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