On The Farm: Wrapping Up November {2015}

So … about Thora.  She is still very much a puppy.  And while she loves to love on all of us, be near us, and generally obeys commands, she is still a puppy.

And puppies chase things and are just naughty in general.  And BIG puppies like to show their authority using their big-ness.  This particular BIG puppy likes to dig giant size holes looking for *wait for it* …

moles. (I think because the cats catch moles and she wants one for herself.)

So we have small-human sized holes in our yard now.  Which is okay, we can fill them in … but man.  She is a mess!  She sure is loyal though and definitely My girl.

November on the Farm

The laying hens and two roosters have moved out to their coop.  They really need a nicer, new coop with more room and no drafts.  But right now they seem okay, if annoyed by their damp, drafty conditions.  They are not yet free ranging … we have to do some engineering for Thora a runner before she can be introduced to them full time!

We exchanged 1 possible rooster for another 5 week old chick, but will be returning 3 other possible roosters soon for more baby chicks.  We didn’t get them before Thanksgiving because we would be traveling, and wittle baby chicks need daily care.

We came home from Thanksgiving to ice everywhere!  Everything is covered in a few inches of ice; we are just praying we keep power.

Overall, things are looking good for the winter.  The weather is back up in the 50’s which is very nice!  The kids have been playing outside, and enjoying the weekends with their daddy.  Hopefully the winter doesn’t get too bitter and windy!

How was November for your family?

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Weekly Wrap Up: October 29

Weekly Wrap-Up (10/29/15)

writing amounts using the cents sign, reading “I Can Read It: Book2”, Mister coloring blueberries on the letter B

I am so behind on weekly wrap ups, baby updates, etc.  I am so sorry y’all!  I know many of my readers really look forward to those posts, and I have been seriously slacking since the move…. and the move was over in August, so no excuses.

This is more like a monthly wrap up.

The past month the 5 year old has been working on:

  • finishing AAR Level 1-learning new sounds for letters, open/closed syllables/
  • working through Saxon K (which she LOVES, so glad I chose not to skip it!)- telling time to the hour, and writing money using the cents sign, ordering items according to price
  • Sonlight language arts for supplementing- copywork, select grammar, I Can Read It book
  • HWOT Kindergarten book-she loves this and asks to do it all the time
  • Elemental Science (I will be honest, we haven’t been hitting this every week.. but the kids *love* science!)- we recently had a lot of fun learning about diluting using mud!
  • art lessons from Artistic Pursuits- again, a favorite!
  • Sonlight Core A- history, Bible, Read alouds, and geography- right now studying medieval times, working through Moses stories, and SL missionary stories.  Our read aloud is Here’s a Penny and IT IS SO FUN!  We love it so far; we recently finished up My Father’s Dragon which was also a favorite.
  • supplementing with Grapevine Bible lessons (review coming soon!)- Lexie *loves* history, it is her other favorite part about school
  • Lots of books- she reads to me a little, and the rest of the time I am just reading to all of the kids.

My 3 year old is working through:

  • Tagging along with big sister’s books
  • AAR Pre Reading level (just recognizing letters and their sounds, which he mostly already knows because of our ABC song)
  • ThisReadingMama’s letter of the week activities-when he feels like it
  • Before Five in a Row books- the last two weeks we have focused on the letter B and have been rowing Ask Mr. Bear.  Mister has had so much fun with this book, and has especially enjoyed the rowing activities.  He is at the age where he can listen to books and focus a bit longer on activities (especially if he gets to cut or glue!), and it is truly so much fun for us as a family!
  • identifying numbers through 10- the boy is obsessed with counting, and subtracting then recounting.  I made a number line for the back of our backdoor (where all our learning charts are) and I bet he points to the numbers and counts at least 10 times a day!
  • Supplementing with Fun Time Phonics- review coming soon
  • just having fun and learning through play- lots and lots of play for everyone!

We discuss each morning: our manners, character traits, Bible, talking about being a good friend, helping others … The most important of all this, for us, is building faith, relationships, and character.  Those are our main goals.

It looks like a lot- and it would be- but we don’t do this every day.  We don’t even hit on all of this every week!  The kids are young, I am following their lead because we can.  They LOVE our Sonlight reading and on days that we don’t have it scheduled they are pretty bummed out about it.  Mister some days doesn’t want to do school with us, and I am 100% fine with that- he is learning all day long while he plays, and while we read books.

I don’t want our days to be so consumed by “we have to get this done,” that we forget why we are homeschooling, why we are trying to live simply, why we are trying to not be consumed, or super-consumers.  So the list above is like a buffet, we take from it what we need, going slowly and having fun!

Of course Ila is only 13 months old and is just tagging along, while going through her own developments.  Those will get their own post in her 1 year update (coming soon, I hope!)

We have acted out parts of stories, built castles with “dungeons,” used compasses, played with play doh, baked, spent tons of time outdoors, gone on nature walks, and read books galore.

I hope November is as much fun and full of learning for all of us as October has been!

Elemental Science Diluting


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Sonlight P4/5 Read Alouds and Weekly Wrap Up (MOY 14/15)

Well, we are in our 27th week of Sonlight P4/5 and *loving* it.  Homeschool this year has been wonderful for all of us.  This is a Middle Of Year 2014/2015 Update.

We love Sonlight and have enjoyed most of the read alouds immensely.  So far our favorites (and by “our” I mean Max-2yo and Lexie’s-4yo) have been Uncle Wiggly, Milly Molly Mandy, the art book, The Berenstain Bears’ Science Book, and they both love the Bible storybook we are using this year-101 Favorite Stories from the Bible.

I will say I was a little annoyed with the Berenstain Bears book by the time we finished reading it, but the kids loves it!  And The Favorite Stories from the Bible book is very honest and straight forward, which I love.  I only chose to skip one story, about Cain and Abel, but the rest we have read and discussed openly.  Lexie has been able to answer all the questions at the end of each story, and Max has been able to answer a few, too.  But they both ask to get it off the shelf often.

MOY Summary and Weekly Wrap Up {2014/2015} Quietinthechaos.com

Lexie’s Homeschool (4yo)

Lexie is reading so much- she brings me books from downstairs that she has read all by herself, and rereads them to me.  She is learning to read th and sh words in All About Reading.  We really love this program!

Her handwriting has improved drastically- we began writing on just blank pages (which is developmentally appropriate), moved on to large lined dry erase board, and now practice on both first grade lined dry erase board and on lined paper.  Her copywork consists of practicing letters, words, and writing simple sentences at this point.  She loves to write and writes letters to everyone about everything, for every occasion.  She also enjoys drawing pictures.  HWT has definitely helped us accomplish this!

Math is still just number sense; she has been coloring graphs, working on perception, and counting backwards.  We have also introduced number lines in a very simple manner, and she understands them.  She can do simple addition using manipulatives, but we haven’t worked on number sentences yet.  She is still only 4, so while we do things she enjoys & she would probably enjoy that, I don’t think we are ready for that yet.  To me, getting a good foundation in number sense is very important before moving on.

Science is random activities, youtube videos, books from our SL core, and anything the kids show an interest in.  We will use a science curriculum next year (Elemental Science) as an intro to sciences but we won’t do it very strictly.  It will introduce nature studies more formally, and how to keep a science notebook.

Max’s “homeschool” (2yo)

Mister loves joining us for learning time.  His favorite things are definitely: sorting by color, glueing, and using scissors.

We are working on reinforcing his letter recognition and learning to identify his numbers.   I have started introducing the “little” letters along with their “big letters” when we play around with IDing letters of the alphabet.  Lexie was just so visual; You told her what a letter was one time and she knew it.  Max doesn’t seem to learn that way, so I am trying to find his learning style.

He listens in on our read alouds and enjoys that time snuggling (or running around, building with blocks ..).  I am actually amazed when he is “writing” and coloring, he holds his markers and crayons correctly, naturally.  That was not a skill that came naturally to Lexie, I still have to correct the way she holds her pencil at times.

It has been such a mild winter, compared to the previous two years in NE.  But, I think January got confused with March, because it has been colder in Feb and march than it was in January and December.  So, outside time has been a little limited this winter.  We haven’t done any nature walks or nature studies lately.  We cannot wait for spring to finally arrive (and stick around..)!

I am planning out our curriculum for next fall.  We will continue SL P4/5 through the spring/summer, taking off the month of June for vacation, and then continue with some learning time here and there until fall.  In the fall, I plan to start Sonlight Core A with Lexie, Max will sit in while also enjoying BFIAR books.  I will use my favorite free online curriculum from ThisReadingMama, for his PreK (OMG how is it possible he will be 3?!).  Together we will all do Bible, history, and read alouds, science activities, and some art.  Then they will each have their own “work” for reading and math.

That’s it!  This is our middle of the year update; I can’t wait to see how we end this year.

How is your school year going so far?

Weekly Wrap Up {January 31}

Weekly Wrap Up {Jan 20 2015}

The past few weeks of homeschool have been great! We are on week 22 of Sonlight, I think.  This week we started reading The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook.  I have been anticipating this book ALL YEAR and I am so glad we are finally reading it.  It is precious, and the kids love it.  The chapters are plenty long to have good content, but not too long for their attention.  Of course the Lady would listen to me read all day, but even at 2 Mister will sit for quite some time!

Lexie is reading “qu” words this week in AAR, so she was very excited when I told her she can read more four letter words.  =)  She has been doing really well reading short phrases fluently for practice, and is reading the AAR Level 1 readers great!  I love watching her progress; it is so fun for both of us.  She is also ALL about writing letters to friends and family.  Every day she comes to me with a letter she has written that she wants to send off to someone- this past week it was her cousin Emily, and her friends here in York.  Last week she made cards and pictures for her gymnastics teacher .. so this is a big interest for her that we are following.  She takes her time, sounding out each word and writing the sound she hears.

In math she has been introduced to simple number lines and graphing, nothing too hard.  We are still working on writing numbers; honestly we don’t focus on math a lot at this point.  But that is okay, she’s four.  We aren’t in a rush to tackle everything!

Her interests are in reading, writing, and art right now.

Max joins us for learning time each day; he usually chooses to color with markers or sort by color- which he is still obsessed with.  I am trying to do short structured activities with him a few times a week, if he is interested.  He usually is.  We also read Max’s Before Five in A Row book each day, which makes him feel pretty special.  I am not sure which book we will read through next week.  We have spent two weeks reading the Snowy Day and doing activities for it.

This past week we read a book about the universe and solar system; so for science we will be learning about the solar system and planets.  I cannot WAIT to study this; obviously we won’t be going in depth like we would if she were in 7th grade, but we will be learning lots of great things!

Our memory work is a poem from The Children’s Book of Virtues; this is a beautiful book included in our Sonlight reading, but I highly recommend it for everyone with children!  The kids LOVE this book.  Mister is joining us for memory work also and does a really great job with each poem/verse.

Weekly Wrap Up {January 31} QuietInTheChaos.com

This coming week we will be making Valentines to mail out and continuing our Sonlight books.  We have spent a lot of time outside this month (January) as it has been unseasonably warm- in the 50s and 60s almost every day for the last 3 weeks.  Then this morning, we woke up to snow!

I can’t believe it is already February- we have so much left I want to do, read, and learn with the kids before the really warm weather gets here and we are outside all day.  Better get to planning!



Weekly Wrap Up: Fall is here 2014 {w/o October 5}

The past few weeks we have slowly been adding our learning time back into our routine.  Honestly, I could continue our break from it, but Lexie and Max both request it.  So back to it we go!

AAR manuals

We try to start our Mondays off strong, getting in as much reading and foundational lessons as possible.  This week we did good in that area; Lexie read her AAR readers like a pro, and flew through her sight words.  Since The Miss {baby Ila} was born, the hubby has been taking Lexie to gymnastics on Tuesdays.  When Ila is a few weeks older, we will spend Tuesday mornings at the children’s museum with some friends, then head from there to the gym.  Until then, J.Tom taking her works perfectly.  It allows Max and I to have some time together during Ila’s naps, too.

Wednesday is our day “off” from learning for now; I got caught up on laundry, pulled out more of Lexie’s baby clothes for Ila (if there is anything Ila will NEVER need, it is clothes!), vacuumed, and the kids did some art.  This is going to be our mid-week cleaning day.  Sometimes I can get a TON done on Wednesday, other times not so much.

Thursday we did more Sonlight reading and took a walk outside.  I wish I could say we were walking more, but honestly I haven’t found the time to get out much yet.  Between nursing Ila, then pumping for Ila, reading to the kids, and making daytime lunch/snacks there isn’t a lot of down time for me until the kids are down.  Then I get a breather, but obviously can’t go for walks!  (thankfully we have a treadmill now, so soon I will start walking/running on it.)

weekly wrap up October 2014 do a dot paints

We love Do-A-Dot paints!

This week Lexie decided to write her cousin a letter, we made snuggly pallets on the floor, kept the windows open, and I began work on the kids’ some more fall/winter clothes.  I am making Lexie a dress and a ruffle pants outfit, and for Max a few pairs of pajama pants with matching shirts.  I plan to make Ila a skirt or two to match Lexie’s clothes.

The past few weeks we have been so blessed by precious friends that have brought dinner, which has made it much easier on J.Tom and me those nights.  Then our church family (where we have been visiting for about a month before Ila was born) brought us a beautiful gift basket/storage bag with diapers, Burt’s Bees Baby products, and an outfit.  I am getting anxious to get back to church and running around town, but honestly with all the illnesses everywhere, I know we need to wait until Ila has more of an immune system- this is cold and flu season, on top of the enterovirus and possible Ebola fears going around.

Here is to a beautiful fall!

weekly wrap up October 2014 pallets

reading and snuggling on pallets

A Peek into Our PreK Day with Pictures {Crew Carnival}

Our Homeschool Day in Pictures {Quiet in the Chaos}
This week we are linking up with the Review Crew’s “Our Homeschool Day in Pictures.”  Click on the image above to read other Crew members’ posts!

This week Lexie’s reading EXPLODED!  She has been reading her AAR readers like crazy; we love this program.  I am so proud of her, but mostly I am just thankful her confidence has gone through the roof.  She will try read just about any word I point to.  We are working on using her finger to point to the words (she doesn’t like to do this, but reads much better when she does) and not using the pictures to guess what the sentence says.  As you can see, we used an envelope to cover the pictures so she will read the words first, then look at the pics.

Weekly Wrap Up: AAR


And now we do a whole lot of this ….

baby collage homeschool day


We have snacks outside, twice a day.  (I think this is their favorite thing to do …)

A peek into our preschool day


The Mister enjoys playing “connect four” and reading books.

A Peek into our Preschool


We have also been gardening (LOTS of tomatoes coming off our plants), and just adjusting to having a baby in the house.  Overall, everything is going smoothly and everyone is adjusting well!  =)

Weekly Wrap Up: September 6, 2014

{written week of September 6, 2014} Lexie has been very excited about learning time- she loves our “learning time books” (Sonlight read alouds) and doing her activities.  I had planned to sorta put school on the back burner these last few weeks before baby, but she is having no part of that This week Lexie (4) has been working on:

  • reading with AAR (she is doing great!) and sight words
  • writing numbers 1-10 with Singapore and identifying more difficult shapes (soon to be 3d shapes)
  • fine motor skills/writing & strokes HWOT
  • Bible, read alouds, and science with Sonlight
  • Bears lapbooks (she wanted to learn about bears)
  • we have also been playing with play do and Sands Alive for fine motor and creativity
  • writing words- she has “writing books” her daddy brings her from each country he visits.  She has been practicing writing out words phonetically.  It is amazing what she can write!  very proud of her

Max has also become VERY interested in our “learning time books,” aka read alouds.  He likes to climb in my lap and read with us, which is great.  He even retold a story (kinda..) to his daddy when he got home the other night.  He is also learning his shapes and we are still working on his letters.  For his birthday, my Granny got him this ABC puzzle by HAPE Toys; we *love* this puzzle because it allows him to manipulate the letters (standing them up, etc).  It is wonderful for tactile learners.  I hope to start Before Five In A Row with him after Christmas- I think he will really enjoy the stories and activities.


Enjoying AAR

Playing letter sound BINGO- part of AAR Level 1

Overall it has been a wonderful last few weeks in our homeschool, before we add another tiny human to our home!

Weekly Wrap Up: July 11, 2014

The last week we have finally gotten back into a routine form our travels to AR and TN. We got all the hard stuff (unloading, unpacking, laundry, etc) done the afternoon we got home and madly did it pay off! We had the rest of that week to menu plan, get groceries, pay bills, and just get things back in order. The last thing we want to do is find payday loans in Texas, United States. However, if we have too, we will.

The following week we started back on our learning time routine. We did a quick review and a lot of playing. We have spent all morning, every morning, outside playing in the back yard, playing in the pool, eating apples, and playing with the dog. It has been wonderful!

Here are a few snaps I managed to take during this week:

Lexie found a picture of blocks in the back of her Highlights magazine and she wanted to build what they were building. I helped her with a few pieces- but I was amazed at how well she would perceive what they had done. Some of these were HARD!:

building blocks {Quiet In The Chaos}

We have read more books this summer than I think we did while stuck inside last winter. Mister has really become obsessed with reading books, and of course Bug wants to (read or) be read to all the time.

reading together {Quiet In The Chaos}


My children *love* to be outside- we spend most of our time outside when the weather permits. Lexie had a great idea when she wanted to combine their love for books with the great outdoors!

reading in their


Our sweet Charlie girl:

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel {Quiet In The Chaos}

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel- 11 months old, July 2014


As you know, we *love* the free and fun curriculum from This Reading Mama (we use it with our AAR). Here, Lexie is working on her new sight word, “me.”

Sight Word

The week wouldn’t be complete without baking something yummy. We made (whole wheat, NO refined sugar) chocolate muffins. Lexie just had to lick the spoon. =)chocolate muffins {Quiet In The Chaos}

Last week was a lot of fun- during all this fun, we also started potty training Max. I do have some SUPER cute pictures of that, but they’re probably not appropriate for the blog. haha

Monday the painter comes to paint Lexie’s room; then the kids will start sharing a room! *so scary* Just praying they get used to each other and sleep through the night fine. Lexie wakes up needing to potty and sometimes with night terrors, so that could be a problem. After Mister’s room (aka the nursery) the nursery is painted, I can begin decorating, organizing, and playing in the nursery. YAY! Eight More weeks until baaaby!


Weekly Wrap Up: October 27, 2013 {Katy No-Pocket, Before Five in A Row}

This week we read the book,Katy No-Pocket.  Lexie really enjoyed this story.  When we read it, Max decided he needed to go get our kangaroo stuffed animal and make it “hop hop hop.”

tracing the number of syllables, the drawing of her apple,
and just some doodles with the letter L

This past week, we started clapping out syllables.  Lexie is really into words, and how they sound so I thought it was something she would either A) enjoy and understand, or B) enjoy and not really understand, or C) tell me she didn’t like it, didn’t understand it, and we would move on.

Well, she mostly understands it!  She has a hard time sometimes telling me how many times she clapped (like, she doensn’t keep count while she is clapping) but she always claps the syllables correctly … I was very proud of her!  She told me this morning, “I really like doing activities.  But syl-lal-bles are hard.”  But she continued to do them.

Here is a loose outline of our week:
BFIAR Story: Katy No Pocket (we used this lap book printable)

Memory Work: 
Psalm 118:24  “This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Naming 5 senses (review)
I’m Glad, poem by Christina Rosetti (review)

Habits/Character: Generosity
Deuteronomy 15:8, ties into Katy No Pocket
1 Timothy 6:18
Bible story Luke 16:19-31

counting syllables (LOVES this!)
Letter Aa, sight word at (review because she already knows at) but this leads up to the -at word family for next week which she also knows, but review is good.

her first name, introduce writing last name
Letter Aa, sight word at
Lexie has been requesting we write all of our names on her dry erase board, so she can trace them, spell, and read them.

fall, senses
Singapore Math Unit 2 contd. begin Unit 3
Australia (Katy No Pocket), review NSEW, north and south poles, continent song, Oceans (all review)

do a dot paints, paint on easel, sensory bath with peppermint oil, violin lessons, gymnastics,
and of course paying outside as much as possible!  =)

Max is mostly just learning his animal sounds (which he knows), reading books, doing sensory activities like the bath play, stacking blocks for fine motor skills, etc.  I think this week I may let him do messy play with dairy-free pasta.  If you have ideas for dairy free, safe, messy play for a 13 month old, let me know!

I can’t imagine Lexie without her learning time- she would be bouncing off the walls!  She just loves learning time; she craves the structure, the challenge, and the one on one time with me.  It is just so good for her, and I feel very blessed that I am able to enjoy it with her.

Family Bible is her favorite, and she loves the Noah’s Ark picture.
She loves doing the poke pages from Reading the Alphabet, and this is how she is learning her sight words.  So far she knows: look, at, I, see, and the by sight (most of the time  haha).
Poke page from Reading the Alphabet by: This Reading Mama

Later in the week we decided to cut open the pumpkins we had on the front porch, and do some exploring.  It was a LOT of fun!  Scarlet, the dog, enjoyed cleaning up the mess…


Snuggy day with babies.  Lexie likes to read to Max, when she is feeling snuggy and calm.


 A week after recovering from colds, eating sourdough pancakes and kombucha- full of probiotics to help recovery.

At the end of the week, we went for haircuts {before family pictures}.  I always enjoy getting Lexie a haircut- I love those curls short and bouncy! (and manageable!)

The night of DST, we were keeping the kids up a little later so they would sleep to regular time the next morning.  We had been wanting to take them bowling, so we chose that night to try it.  It was a HUGE hit!  We will definitely be going more often!

And that was most of our week.  As usual, Lexie did great at gymnastics and violin.  She really enjoys her time with Ms. Brianna at violin.  She gets to practice using her bow this week, so we are looking forward to that!

  Still trying to figure out Mister’s naps; he is almost ready to drop the second nap, which is causing early waking in the mornings, and it takes him longer to fall asleep at naps.  His naps determine Lexie’s learning time and activities, and also when I can get blog posts written!  I am still debating on trying to wean him onto one nap, or just going cold turkey (which is more my style…).  This weaning process makes me nervous and feels hectic, since I never know what time he will finally fall asleep or wake up.  Not fun …

And that’s it!  We are expecting lots of rain, and possible “wintery mix” today. 

Have a great week!
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