Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Weblinks

Some links that I liked this week:

Connie interview 2 of her daughters in another episode of "Small Talk With Smockity Frocks" over at Such cuteness!!!

Paige over at talks about why she Self Educates. Not only is Paige a homeschooling mom who is furthering her own education, she also writes my FAVORITE home school Science curriculum: Elemental Science. Check it out on her blog!

Over at she shares her Reading Response Journal. Such a great idea to get even the littlest ones ready for narration. While you are there you may want to join her linky "What My Child Is Reading"

Jolanthe at shares her The ABC Bunny Printable Pack. Check out her other BFIAR resources. She has tons of great stuff to share. In fact if I could have only one online resource for Pre-K/K stuff, it would be her blog!

Be sure to check out Kimberly's Weekend Links over at

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up 8/19/2001

Well, it's really more of a progress report than a wrap up. We didn't do any Science this week because we have not found a routine that allows us to get everything done. There are other subjects too that we didn't complete everything, but at least we got some done. Although this is our third year of homeschooling, this is the first year that I've done anything formal with Ladybug. So while I am trying to work with Scout, Ladybug is chomping at the bit for me to work with her, and vice verse.

Scout finished through lesson 96 in Saxon 3. She moves pretty quick through her math when she's not playing around, but after being told how to do something once, she knows it. I expect her to complete Saxon 3 (140 lessons) by the middle of next month. Ladybug did several math lessons this week, too many really. I do not want to go over stuff so fast that she forgets, I'd rather us take our time so she gets a good solid foundation. So even if she has worked ahead and completed a lesson, we will still review it if that's what lesson we should be on in our schedule. Saxon does a fair amount of review on it's own, but I don't want to skimp here.

Ladybug has finished through letter W (they are not taught in order) in her Primary Phonics K book. Once she knows a letter sound quite well she gets to color that letter and put it on her coconut tree(think Chicka Chicka Boom Boom). So far she has a  W, H, S, T, N, A, E. I'll post pictures later when the house isn't a mess, I'll probably have to hurry and snap a shot right after chores are done! She has also done LOTS of handwriting practice in those letters. Hopefully she will have a real interest in reading soon. that was the real purpose of the coconut tree.

As far as History goes, we finished through chapter 5 in Red Sails To Capri. Scouts narration has improved a great deal just this week. I think the improvement has come because I haven't tried to make her sit still and listen. Instead I have let her color timeline stickers while I read. We marked the location of Capri on our world map. Both girls were excited to see that it was in Italy, that is their favorite country of course because of how it is shaped.

This was the last week of YMCA sessions. So the girls had their last week of swimming, gymnastics, and cheer leading. there is now a two week break (a break that I REALLY need) before the next session starts.

There are other less interesting subjects of course that we worked on. Spelling, grammar, handwriting, etc...Oh, and we will switch over to Total Language Plus once I get the book The Courage of Sarah Noble from Amazon. That is the book the TLP study guide is for. Can't wait for that!

How was your week? Be sure to post about it and sign up over at:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lost In The Stacks and also Why My Husband Is "The Man"

Have you ever lost something on your bookshelves? I have lost plenty. Every year when I re-organize our school materials I find scissors, rulers, crayons, that one math worksheet Scout swore she completed, etc...This time I lost a curriculum!

Just this morning I was saying that I wanted to find an ALL INCLUSIVE Language Arts Curriculum. Well I was going to start searching the web, looking at curriculum websites, reading reviews, etc... You know. I was going to do all that, until The Man called on his lunch break. He told me he read my Brand Spanking New Blog and reminded me that I had bought that perfect curriculum. I confessed that I had completely forgotten about that and was a little embarrassed. I thanked him, of course, for remembering such a small detail (I really thought he wasn't even listening when I rambled on and on about all the cool stuff I bought at the expo). He told me not to worry, he has my back because he is "The Man"!

So back to the point....Back in March I attended the Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo and found Total Language Plus. TLP is not like anything I have ever seen. They sell novel "study guides" that include instruction in spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and writing, as well as critical thinking and communication. A good majority of their study guides are for novels that Scout and I will be reading with our Sonlight curriculum.

So there you go. I have what looks like the PERFECT ALL INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM. We'll see how it goes and maybe I'll write a review after we finish one.

Spelling/Vocabulary/Word Study

So I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't sure if I was sold on Megawords for our Spelling/Vocabulary/Word Study curriculum.  The problem I'm having is that it doesn't correlate in any way to what Scout is reading. So, although she doesn't really struggle with reading, she isn't necessarily improving either. I just doesn't make sense to continue on with a workbook that doesn't teach her what she needs in order to read and comprehend her (increasing in difficulty) books. I just really don't understand what these publishers are thinking by not combining these closely related subjects. And I don't mean combine by selling a Language Arts "package" that has 3 or 4 separate books to cover everything. What we need is an all inclusive guide/book/curriculum that covers reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, writing, and grammar. So I am on the hunt for the PERFECT ALL INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM. Let me know if there is something I should be looking at.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Curriculum

As part of the homeschool community, it’s only a matter of time before you are asked what curriculum you use. First I would like to explain why we use the curriculum we use.
When we first decided we were going to homeschool I spent hours, weeks, months on the internet, in the library, and in the bookstore researching. I, of course, found dozens of methods, and even more curriculums and products. The Man and I decided that we would not include religious studies in our school, and by the way, we will not be discussing religion on this blog. I believe religion is deeply personal and I want the focus of this blog to be about our homeschool, and maybe a little family stuff. Anyway, I kept being drawn to the classical method, so I focused my research in that area. I really wanted my girls to have a good solid education, but I still wanted room to include “modern” ideas and subjects. I read The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and was convinced that was the way to go. I mostly follow her recommendations, with just a few modifications. Our first year, 1st grade, we used her book The Story of the World Ancient Times for History.While I found the book to be interesting and easy to follow, Scout did not. She was bored and uninterested. For 2nd grade we used Tapestry of Grace. This is a wonderful curriculum and I love the idea that you buy it once and use it over and over for the duration of the school years. However, I am not good at getting books back to the library, and even when I was, there apparently is a large ToG community in my area, so the books were hard to come by. So now we are in 3rd grade. We are using Sonlight this year, and I hope this is a good solution to my previous problems with History curriculum.

So here is the curriculum we are using:

Scout, 3rd Grade

History & Readers – Sonlight Core C

Math – Finish up Saxon 3 then Saxon 5/4

Science – Elemental Science Earth Science & Astronomy

Writing – Writing With Ease Level 3 (I am using the “guide” book and taking passages from her readers vs. using the workbooks, although I may convert to workbooks when SWB has her Writing With Style curriculum published.)

Grammer – First Language Lessons Level 3

Spelling/Vocabulary/Word Study – Megawords ( This is our first year with Megawords, not sure if I’m sold. I may add in Wordly Wise later.)

Handwriting – Writing Without Tears

Enrichment Classes – We belong to a LARGE local homeschool group. Within that group there is an organized enrichment class day, we call Master’s Lyceum. Scout is thinking about taking Beginning Sketching, Our States, and Beginning Spanish.

P.E. – Our YMCA offers a plethora of classes to fulfill our P.E. needs. We have taken Gymnastics, Swimming, Soccer, and Cheerleeding in the past. We are not sure what we are doing here yet, it really depends on scheduling.

Ladybug, Kindergarten

History - Sonlight Core C tag along status

Math – Saxon 1

Science – Elemental Science Earth Science & Astronomy tag along status & Making an animal classification poster with her BFIAR books.

Handwriting – Handwriting Without Tears

Phonics – Primary Phonics ( I LOVE this phonics program, it comes with readers that correlate with what they are learning in the lessons)

Enrichment Classes – She will probably take Ballet, Five in a Row (this mom does a wonderful job of presenting 1 lesson per book) , and Curious George

P.E. – Our YMCA offers a plethora of classes to fulfill our P.E. needs. We have taken Gymnastics, Swimming, Soccer, and Cheerleeding in the past. We are not sure what we are doing here yet, it really depends on scheduling.

Hello World!

So this is my first blog post. I am a homeschooling mom of 2 girls. We will call my almost 5 year old Kindergartner Ladybug. Because, well, she calls herself that. My 8 year old 3rd grader will be known as Scout,because I LOVE To Kill A Mockingbird (and she didn’t have an opinion on what I called her). Last but not least, my husband will be known as The Man because he asks me to to do things (like “hand me a soda please”), I will say no, and he will say, jokingly, “you better do it, because I am The Man”

We started our 3rd year of homeschooling last Monday. We didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. But we are getting back into the routine I abandoned when we finished last years studies. Both girls are fairly excited about starting the new year, although, Scout is a little nervous about the increased responsibility she will have this year.

I think that’s it for now. I will post later about the curriculum we are using