Tuesday, September 29, 2009

miss you

My life has gone from busy to crazy to overwhelming in a matter of days! I started back to working a couple days a week - which will get to be more once nov. gets here and christmas shopping starts full on!
I have really struggled with doing school on the days that i work but I have been able to do 'some' school more often than not and I am okay with that right now. When I work nights it is easier becasue our morning routine doesn't change much. Working mornings and then coming home and trying to do school is hard! The boys are excited for me to be home, they have been playing and want nothing to do with sitting down and doing school! So far I have been able to do little bits and pieces here and there but I am definately not able to get it all done!
Our Sundays have completely been sucked up by helping out at both servcies on Sunday in the Sunday School - which puts us home about 1:00. We then have to turn around and take Alex back to church at 500 for youth group. Because we live 30 minutes from church we stay in town and do groceries or just sit around and do some schoolwork int he car while I wait for him to be done at about 830!
Alex is also busy with stuff at school that doesn't necesarily require us but it is a part of our life!
We have coop every Friday morning which is exhausting for everyone!
Thursday night my husband and I are taking an Alpha class at church - phenomenal class and speaker if you ever have the chance to take it! It is kindof our 'date night'.
I have started selling some of my 'stuff' at a local coffee shop so I have to do some painting for that about once a week.
In between all that foolishness the boys want to play with friends occassionally, meals have to be made, the house has to be cleaned, clothes have to be washed, boys have to be played with, school has to be prepared and hubby has to be loved!
I have no idea how we got ourselves into this craziness but it seems like it always happens to us in the fall - every year! By January things have cooled off a little bit but then sports start....

So... the gist of all this is - don't expect to hear much from me - on a regular basis - for awhile! I do so miss you girls and I miss reading other blogs as well as writing on my own!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I thought we would just read and learn about different things from the ton of Science books I have around the house - Magic School Bus & the Lets Read & Find Out books.

I had to change my mind as we started doing this whole CM style of schooling. We do so much reading in all the other areas and the boys do so love to do experiments that I felt we needed to do Real Science instead. I read about the Apologia Elementary books, then borrowed the Flying Creatures from a friend to glance thru and see how the lessons are laid out and I was sold! Jeannie Fulbright writes with a Charlotte Mason style and the lessons seem to be so interesting, simple and fun that I broke down and ordered Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day *cheap*!!

The boys chose the Swimming animals over the Flying or Land animals!
It came tonight while I was at work and I can't wait to look through it - a little bedtime reading for mommy tonight!
I also found out that you can buy lab kits for the apologia sciences here so you don't have to scrounge around looking for that item you thought you had but you can't find and you need it for today's lesson! That will have to be me though because we can't buy the lab kit right now!!
I would love to know if any of you have done this science or have heard anything about it???
off to bed now........

Friday, September 18, 2009

We are Lovin' Charlotte

We have now had 2 Full weeks the Charlotte Mason way and it has been quite successful and fun. I actually felt good about school and didn't feel like a total failure because I didn't do this workbook page or read that page or finish everything the 'TM' told me to do! We got thru everything in short bits and pieces that really worked and kept the boys on task.

This is what our days have looked like so far:
Bible - read a chap from The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos

we have really enjoyed the story format of this book.


Review our Memory Verse - John 15:7

Family Prayer - we are praying for Grandma & Grandpa for 2 weeks

Math - we go to the table in the school room and we are trying to do it together. I sit between them and give them each direction and they can ask questions as they need to or I will help them as needed. Seems to be working! Previously I was working with each one seperately so this is different for us. This is the only place we use worksheets for now!

Phonics - we sit down with the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and do the next lesson. Stephen also has to do read some on his own which he does while I am doing phonics with Ben. This cannot be done together becasue they are both on different lessons and we use the same book for both boys!

Reading - Paddle to the Sea and some geography stuff(I found online) that goes along with the book. We do 2-3 chapters a week so it is not everyday!

History - World History is 2 days and American is 2 days. For world we just got 'A Child's History of the World' by Hillyer and started it this week. We like it so far. The beginning was total evolution so we didn't read it but we talked about why we didn't read it! They know the drill by now - it is kindof cute!
For American we started out using 'This Country of Ours' but I thought it was just too much info and the boys really want to get past the stuff we did last year and move on to the American Revolution.
So we switched to 'A Childs Story of America' and will read thru certain chapters till we get to where we left off last year and then we will slow down and read some Living Books and a mix of CSA to finish out the year. I have a lot of books on the shelf for us to read so we will be quite busy with History till the end of the year!
the Arts - each day is different - composer, artist, hymn & poetry. We have the artists pic and the current picture we are studying up in the kitchen to be seen and looked at all the time as well as the composer's pic that we are studying this term. My hubby is really enjoying the whole classical music aspect of this new way to homeschool. It just means that we have classical on all the time in the background until the teenager gets home and changes it to Toby Mac or Skillet or something completely uneducational like that!
We are studying Aaron Copland for our composer. We just listened to him last week and had him on all the time in the background. This week we actually focused on one song and laid down and listened to it and then talked about it. I also have a book called 'Getting to Know the Composers'which we will read over this term as well.
We will start studying Winslow Homer next week as our artist. We have 1 print in the kitchen that will change every 2 weeks and his pic as well so they are always visible and we are always looking at them and hopefully talking about them! Over the term we will study 6 of his pictures - 1 every 2 weeks.
We had already been listening to Holy, Holy, Holy and learning a bit about that Hymn so we will continue with that one for the rest of the Term and the boys should know it backwards and forwards by the time we are done!
We are also reading a book called 'The Story of the Orchestra' that tells about each instrument in the orchestra!
We will eventually start with Spanish 1 or 2 times a week and we will be doing Science once a week once we get the book. We are going to be doing Exploring Creation with Zoology 2 from Apologia. It is all about swimming animals and we can't wait to start!!!
Thomas is last in my schedule to end the day spendingt ime with him reading and playing a game or two but so far he doesn't want anything to do with me!!So - we will see how far Thomas gets this year!!! No rush!
I love it and I am so excited that God sent me to the places and people I needed to go to to be able to help us find a rythmn for our homeschool. This feels really good so far!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Charlotte Mason

I have heard this name quite a bit since we started homeschooling. I have even tried to read a couple of her books at one time or another. I have always been struck by her method of education in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits. I couldn't really understand what that meant and visualize how it would work so I just kept doing what we were doing!
This journey of ours into homeschooling has always been such a 'God thing' for us and it has been truly amazing to see the ways that God has led me throughout this journey. He put people into my path to help us to make this decision -people that really spoke to my heart and my desires at that point of time. He has put families in all different stages of homeschooling and all different ways of homeschooling in our path for me to be able to 'see' how they do school and for me to be able to recognize what I DON"T want to do with my boys!! Throughout the past 2 years he has put CM materials into my hands - even though I didn't quite understand all of the philosophy.
Last year I was led to this book called 'Educating the Whole-Hearted Child' by Clay & Sally Clarkson
I loved this book! Some of the scriptures and what she said about them combined with the philosophy of teaching(which I now know is CM - I didn't realize it at the time of reading this book) led us to make the decision to claim Religious Exemption from the state in regards to our household. This has been the best decision we ever made for our family second to homeschooling.
At the end of last year a friend I had known thru different meetings became a really great friend and her and I have spent many hours discussing philosophy, books, schooling and other things too! Through her I started learning about Good Books and we started reading them and the boys just love them(now I know they are Living books). This started me on another journey of questions and answers and after a couple months of reading different emails and info about Charlotte Mason I knew I loved her ideas but I wasn't quite ready to commit to her style whole hog. I still felt as if I needed a curriculum to tell me what to do and say.
So - we started the school year with lots of Good Books and another curriculum. I lasted about 2 weeks and I hated it! Now - you might remember that I had posted about using CM here and I got frustrated and said no way this is not for me! Now - this is where you can really see what a freak I am because I was gonna use this CM curric but then decided I didn't like it and switched to the one I had been looking at that told me exactly what to do and say and now I am going back to the CM curriculum! I had been seeing and reading about Charlotte Mason but I still couldn't quite wrap my head around the WAY it should be done so I bailed on it. Then I read these articles and all of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head and I realized I could do this and that this is what I have wanted for our school from the beginning! I am truly in awe of the path God takes me on to get me back to where he was leading me in the first place - DUH!!!
So - now I have been doing more reading from this AWESOME website which makes it all so simple and even has lesson plans to use!! The more I read the more I understood and the more I really felt the Lord leading us to head this way!!
I have also started reading this book - which also puts her ideals into modern day english!! I will have you know I did read this book about 2 years ago and it didn't speak to me but boy did it this time!!!

We have been doing CM whole hog this week and it has been an amazing week of school!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

AMANDA who left me a comment about buying some of the books please email me with your email address si I can hook you up if you want them!! I can't comment on oyur blog for some reason and your comment is as a no-reply so I couldn't email you!!!
Thanks chica!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Project Addiction

I have decided I have a serious problem - I am a Project Addict. I can't seem to just chill and enjoy - I am forever changing things and making them 'new'. Well - this lovely addiction of mine was fine when the boys were younger but now it has crossed over into our homeschool and it is causing problems! Wait until you see the New Classroom( i will post pics in the next day or so) I created for us in what was the living room - it is lovely and my hubby is so happy that school is not ALL OVER the kitchen table, counters and shelves - but did I 'do' school while I was rearranging all the furniture? NO!
Now - i must preface this by saying that I tend to criticize myself heavily due to a low self esteem so I am probably not as bad as i am surely about to lead you to believe!! But maybe I am and that is what the Lord is trying to get through to my hard headed self??
I have had the best time and spent many hours and some dollars we just didn't have creating all sorts of things for the workboxes and then decided not to use them. I spent HOURS poring over curriculum and trying to decide what we wanted to do this year. I even had a friend promise me she would make me stick it out for the whole year and not let me start looking around - I already am by the way! Shhhh! Don't tell! I have made schedules, routines, fun charts to check off, organized all the books on the book shelves but do we DO or use any of it? No! I have created this wonderful place for us to do school - we do prefer the couch but it is hard to do writing and such on the couch! Will it get used the way it should - probably not. Why do I do these PROJECTS but have so much trouble 'doing' school with my boys? I am really feeling like a failure right now that I can put so much time into this foolishness(knowing it is foolishness the whole time I am doing it) but not keep the tv off and stick to our school routine or schedule? I am really good about doing Bible - we have read the creation story so many times the boys have it memorized but we have barely gotten past the Tower of Babel. I don't think we have ever gotten thru a whole day of homeschool - the way I plan it or the curriculum we are using plans it! I love the stuff that our current curric has for us to do for science and some of the history stuff but I NEVER DO IT with them because we never get there!We have read creation so many times I am almost sick of it. We get started and never finish what we are supposed to do or get much done other than me reading to them. We get off the schedule in a matter of seconds and I don't know how to get back on (because nothing is written down anywhere that tells me what to do in this situation) so I ususally end up looking thru my schedules and curric and by then I have totally lost the boys. If they are playing happily I will think to myself that they are playing so well I should just let them! Where do you think i go - a project maybe? Then I get mad at them because they are interrupting what I am doing - what is that?? Hello - I only have this short time with them and God has blessed me with this incredible oppurtunity to teach and love them and I am blowing it!
Now - if I know what I am doing and I know this is not what I want to do why can't I just stop and do things differently? DUH! Praise the lord for a new chance every morning to redeem myself but the fact that I am failing over and over again and not redeeming myself is kicking my butt right now! Why can I feel so strongly about something in my heart and have such a passion and desire for it but not get to it when it is right in front of me? It is all there for me but I don't get it! What is wrong with me??
Sorry about all that but I feel better having put it out there and I truly feel the Lord puts these words into my head to share because I am NOT the only one out there who feels this way!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Books For Sale


Cleaning off the bookshelves has been fun. Boy is it a reminder of the fact that I am always looking for the grass to be greener on the other side!!!
All items are postage paid and will be sent via Media Mail

Saxon Math 1 TM $10

Saxon Math 2 TM $10 - this one i 3 hole punched and put in a binder so I will send it to you in the binder!

Horizons Math K TM $10


Considering God's Creation TM and Student Handbook - never used. Both have been 3 hole punched and will be sent in the binder. $20

Learning language Arts thru Literature the Red Book(about 1st-2nd grade). I have the TM which has obviously been used but still works! The student manual is brand new and the first 2 lessons have been done but in pencil so they are erasable. The readers that are used are also included. They have all been spiral bound together into one big book. $20




Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions or offers!!