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Celebrating a birthday today!

Celebrating a birthday today!

I’d like to wish Matthew a Happy 14th Birthday today! 14 years ago I became a mommy! He finally got an ipod touch,  we split the cost with him for his gift.  He is super excited.  There will be restrictions to what he can and can’t do on it as well as when and how long….but that is for another post on another day!

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Choosing Curriculum is stressful….what I *think* we are doing

Choosing Curriculum is stressful….what I *think* we are doing

curriculum choices 2013-2014

Wow, the amount of resources out there for a homeschooling parent is almost unlimited! It’s the time of year for me to put the finishing touches on what we will be doing next year. With 4 full fledged students along with a preschooler and baby this is super overwhelming!

I have been a Sonlight curriculum mom for 5 years now. However, this year I am taking a step back and trying to figure out how to get the 3 oldest kids to all be studying the same thing in history. I think I have finally figured that out.

This year I have a 1st, 4th, 7th and 8th grader!

History and Literature

The three oldest will be doing Notgrass’ America the Beautiful. My 4 and 6 year olds will be listening while I read the text aloud. They have been doing coloring pages I have printed out to go along with the topic we are covering. We have the privilege of reviewing it right now and we will continue it in the fall. We all really like it. However, after being with Sonlight for many years I am used to the huge book list the kids go through in the year! So, I think that I am going to go through the American History cores with Sonlight and pick some for the kids to read on their own, as well as a few that we can read aloud and incorporate Progeny Press Literature study guides.   You can read my review on them here.

Our homeschool co-op will be doing a class on the US Constitution for my middle schoolers. The older elementary school students will be doing a class on Oregon trail.


We are going to try something new this year and do the Lifepac science grade 4 for Andrew.

My oldest two will be doing Apologia Physical Science. This year we are also going to try their new notebooks that they sell.

I am currently also reviewing a Hands of a Child lap book on Dolphins, Porpoises and Wales. I think I may incorporate science using these for my first grader and preschooler. I would just download an go with what they might be interested in studying at that time.


We have used Horizons for many years and will be sticking with it.  I have found it to be a very comprehensive curriculum.  I don’t say this lightly we have tried at least 7 other curriculums!


I asked the kids what they wanted to use for Bible this year. My two oldest both really wanted to do another Sword Study from the Bible Bee.  Our whole family has been enjoying them. So I think we are going to do one of those but slow down the speed of it and complete it over the school year instead of over 12 weeks.


My kids have done Wordly Wise workbooks for the last six years.  Last year I also had them do Latin Word Roots.  We are going to continue with the Latin Word Roots but do them on the computer in game format. This comes from Critical Thinking Company. You can check it out here.


You can probably guess which company we will be using! Institute for Excellence in Writing.  Andrew will be finishing SWI A.  My oldest two will be starting the Course Continuation B.  I will be following along with Teaching Writing Structure and Style.

Along with writing Andrew will do Grammar Ace. All 3 big kids will also do Daily Language Review which includes editing, grammar, and word studies.


Faith will continue working on reading with Reading Eggs and Reading Kingdom on the computer. These either are or have been review items.  They work.  She will also be working with me on the PAL Reading and Writing Programs from Institute for Excellence in Writing.  


This post is actually for me as much as it is for you. I just needed to get it all out of my head and on paper to see how it looks and to process it all a bit.  In case you are wondering I will be ordering from Christian Book Distributors as well as Amazon.

I am really looking forward to this school year and all the things the kids will get to experience and learn about!  It’s also my prep year to get ready to dive into high school. Shudder!

A few vacation pics

A few vacation pics

We had a great 2 weeks bouncing between the beach and the pool.  Being a large family it was great to staying in one location with a kitchen.  We were able to stay in a 2 bedroom condo right on the beach.  Here is the view we woke up to every morning:


One of the days the boys and dad went kayaking with the manatees and such…sounds like it was a really cool experience. The girls and I took a long walk on the beach. One of the cool things that accidentally happened was that we found out Joy really liked photography and has an eye for it. Here are a few pictures she took the morning of our “girl walk” on the beach.

This first one was stuff washed up on the beach:

washed up on beach

Faith found this starfish. None of us had seen real one before!


Joy took this photo of one of the shells Faith found.  It is one of her favorite photos.

shell in hand

That morning we found at least 4 pairs of sunglasses that had been washed up. We thought this “giraffe” pair was cool!

Coming up in another post I will share some of my packing secrets. Yes, we packed 8 of us and all the baby stuff for a 2 week vacation in the minivan and drove!

Making Time for the Littles

Making Time for the Littles

I love my kids!

It’s hard as a homeschooling mom of many different age groups to get “equal” time with everyone! Making sure everyone is getting their schoolwork done and meals on the table, as well as feeding a newborn and changing diapers can leave a mom a little harried and little ones feeling like they aren’t getting enough “mom time”.

I remember all the neat projects and trips I took my 2 oldest on when they were little and before the rigors of homeschooling upper grades set in! I tend to feel a bit of guilt that my younger ones aren’t getting all of those same experiences. (I know, they are getting a whole bunch of different experiences my older ones never had at their ages.)

Anyways, today was a day I had some time to do some mommy time with the younger ones. Faith was sick and unble to go to our weekly homeschool co-op so we took advantage of some time together with her younger sister and baby brother!

Finger painting

Faith, Grace and I had so much fun painting.  Yes, I painted WITH them.  Sometimes I get the paints out and sit with them while they paint but today I painted too.  They thought that was so cool.

Here are some of the pictures we painted:

finger paint collage


And I had to save the best for last…Faith made this one for me:

I love my mom finger painting

I am so thankful for the time I had with them today….just them….something that doesn’t happen very often.  I took the time today to be just with them…I had plenty of things I needed to get done…but those will wait.


Yoplait Original Frozen Yogurt Bars

Yoplait Original Frozen Yogurt Bars

We were given a free gift pack from Yoplait through MyBlogSpark to sample!  The coupon we received allowed us to choose one of their new frozen treats!

Since I do most of my shopping at Aldi I had to find a time to use my coupon at Walmart!  We decided to get the Original low fat frozen yogurt bars in Strawberry Banana.  There were 10 bars in the package.

We pulled them out as a snack today…so you will have to laugh at the picture.  My kids look like orphans since we are in the middle of a musical!  But you got to feed the hungry orphans, LOL! Some of the kids really liked them, others didn’t like the banana flavor in them….I think they would have really liked just plain Strawberry!

If you are looking for a creamy treat you might want to check these out.  A serving size is 2 bars..only 110 calories and 4 grams of protein!  The new greek flavors of frozen yogurt contain 5  grams of protein per serving.  What  a fun way to get some added protein as a treat!

Thanks to Yoplait and MyBlogSpark for letting us share with you!

If you would like to find out more about Yoplait, check out their website and Facebook Pages!

Disclosure: The information, products and Yoplait gift pack were provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.