Friday, May 31, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum and Calendar

Been a while since I've posted! We finished our My Father's World Adventures program earlier this month for Chelsea's 3rd grade! Pics are on my phone which the hubby has so I'll have to update with those later. We school year round. I know a lot of people are curious about it and so was I a year ago! Here's what our schedule looks like for the school year. This year will be a little different with taking August off instead of June since we have a little one due in July but here's general idea.

Our Schedule 

New year starts beginning of July (this year June)
3 weeks of school
1 week off
Taking most of December off
School year finished by the end of May.

Why do we school year round?

The main reason is because I absolutely hated the burnt out feeling I got come April and May! I didn't want to work nor did Chelsea. I felt pressured to get things done by a certain date and really wanted to avoid feeling stressed, pressured and burnt out.

One of the perks to this though is that we don't have a LONG break for them to forget much of what was learned during the year. With shorter breaks things stay fresh in the mind and aren't completely forgotten as with the 3 months off that many public and homeschools take. .

Other Thoughts

We do let the kids have their sleepovers with friends, VBS or other activities in the summer. With spreading the school year out we are able to be more relaxed about things. It still is summer after all so we don't deprive them of the fun things that come with summer. We simply work around those events.

Onto the fun stuff! Our curriculum!

Curriculum for 2013-14 School year 

Grades: 4, K and Pre-K

4th Grade
My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures a.k.a ECC  for history, Bible, science, art and music. ECC is a 1 year world geography focus which teaches children about the cultures of the countries being studied. Science is a study of animals and their habitats that correspond with the country of study. For example, rain forests and Brazil. Art projects are from Global Art which has projects for many different countries. Music teaches songs from each country using a Wee Sing CD and book. We are really excited to start this program! We enjoyed Adventures so much this past year that Chelsea wanted to start right away with ECC.

Saxon 5/4 for Math
We were blessed by the Book Samaritan this year for our math program. With my husband just starting a job a few weeks ago funds were quite tight. The Book Samaritan sent us the student text and masters to be copied along with a DIVE CD for the computer! Last year we used BJU math. We liked it but I got very frustrated with the amount of printing required from the teacher CD-Rom. In my mind if I pay $60 for a teacher book it should have ALL of the things I need and not need lots of pages printed. I'm excited to be going back to Saxon this year and Chelsea is excited for the DIVE program.

Intermediate Language Lessons for English
We used the Primary Language lessons last year and really liked it! It's a Charlotte Mason inspired program that includes dictation, picture study, writing, narration and other aspects to teach many of the needed skills.

Writing Strands 3 for Writing
This is the My Father's World suggestion for writing starting in fourth grade, We haven't used this yet but I have heard good things about it.

A Beka Readers 3rd Grade
We tried the "pick a library book to read" method last year and it's not for me. I need more structure and guidance to keep us on track. Earlier this spring I went to a curriculum night with our home school group. One of the moms had great things to say about A Beka's readers so I thought we'd give them a try.

Chelsea enjoys ballet lessons, our Keepers at Home group and co-op classes with our home school group. She is really interested in learning French so we are hoping to find something to use for that soon.


We originally planned to start kindergarten this summer but Hunter was SO eager to get started that we began early this spring. We are using My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z. Each letter of the alphabet has a theme from God's creation, most of them animals but some other things such as moon, sun, rocks and jewels. Some say it's too light for kindergarten but we love it! The lessons don't take long, my son enjoys school and is beginning to learn to blend words together. The curriculum is Charlotte Mason inspired and offers a gentler approach but he will be reading and doing basic addition by the end of the year. 

Picture from


This is the one place I'm sort of stuck! Natalie wants to do school like her older brother and sister but isn't ready for what they are doing yet. She does tag along for a lot of the fun activities and crafts of course and will get out her puzzles, coloring books or Dollar Tree workbooks while we are doing school work. I would love to be able to find printables that go along with our MFW themes!

So there you have it! Our plan for this coming school year which will start officially June 3rd for us.We are looking forward to a fun year!

What are your plans for the coming school year? What kind of schedule do you follow? Feel free to share in the comments! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

It's a wonderful day to celebrate your own mother or spend time with your family! It's not about the gifts or expensive things your husband can buy you. It's about being thankful for the Mom God gave you and the wonderful blessings in your life! Sure expensive gifts may be nice. My one request today was to go to church as a family and enjoy the day together.

Me and my blessings

If you want to have a gift for Mom today and either forgot or didn't have the money try this idea! Get a canning jar. 1 qt. works best but i used a smaller and a half recipe and it worked well too. All you put in the jar are the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, chocolate chips, brown sugar, raisins etc. Depending on the recipe you decide to use. Dress up the lid with ribbon or fabric and attach a little card with the directions on the back! Something so simple is much appreciated by Mom for mother's day! 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of the Mom's out there! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Home Made Laundry Detergent

Many of you have probably heard of people making their own laundry soap and may think like I did before I learned how. "Why would I want to take the time to do that?" and "Does it even work?"

Well about a year ago my oldest daughter and I went to our monthly Keepers at Home meeting and the topic that night was laundry. We were told to bring only a few simple ingredients to make our own laundry soap.

1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
1 Box of Borax
1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
a container to store it in OR a 5 gallon bucket for liquid soap
a grater

Picture found here 

With these simple ingredients that cost about $7 you can make your own laundry soap. Here's what I do to make mine. I use the powder. I know many prefer liquid and that's fine but for my family living in a small 3 bedroom townhouse apartment i don't have storage space for a BIG 5 gallon bucket. A small container on top of our dryer works great. 

Directions for Powder Detergent
1. Grate the fels Naptha or other natural soap of your choice. Fels Naptha can be found in the soap aisle of your grocery store for under $2.
2. Measure out 1 cup of each of the Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
3. Pour all 3 into your container and shake well. 
4. To use in your washer you only need a small amount around 1-2 tablespoons. 

Directions for Liquid
1. Just like before grate your soap.
2. Melt grated soap on the stove in a saucepan.
3. Pour melted soap, 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda into your 5 gallon bucket.
4. Fill the bucket with water.
5. Stir with a yard stick.
6. To use measure about 1 cup for each load of laundry. You can store in old laundry soap bottles if desired.

This process takes a matter of minutes and I spend under $2 a month for laundry soap unless I'm in need of a new box of Borax or washing soda. Either way that saves us a LOT of $! The even better advantage? It's ALL NATURAL! That means I can use it on my entire family's clothes without worrying about buying expensive baby soaps for the new addition coming in a few short months. 

I can also use it on my cloth diapers! I love this aspect because so many cloth diaper users buy special cloth diaper laundry soaps that aren't cheap. Or they use commercial soaps like Tide and run the risk of having build up and eventually rash or smell issues.

Are you convinced? Probably not until you give it a try yourself! Go ahead and put it to the test. Use a little on stains to remove them and use it in your washer on your clothes or cloth diapers. Let me know what you think! If you have a different recipe feel free to share it too. .

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hunter is 5 today!

My little man turns 5 today! It's hard to believe but it's here already. Just 5 short years ago I was 6 days past m due date and so ready to meet him! Now here he is at 5, sweet, loving, smart and FULL of energy!

My cute little man

1 year old

2 years old with Aunt Lauren

3 years old

4 years old

just a few days ago at our church work day


Monday, May 6, 2013

Homeschool Update

Never got the chance to update last week so here's how the past two weeks have gone for us.



These two weeks we focused on Jesus being known as The Word.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. John 1:1

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We've been learning about famous inventors like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. It always amazes me that every one of these men were told they were crazy for trying. They worked at it and now our world is so much different than it would have been had they given up!

We've continued through the states and only have 2 left! Chelsea is quite excited for Hawaii on Tuesday (shh I have something fun in the works!)

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Science studies have gone along with the inventors, learning about air from our Science in the Kitchen book. We also learned about several more birds from Birds, Nests and Eggs.


We finished our chapter on long division! Chelsea did great with it. She has a hard time remembering the subtraction part on them but with practice she'll have it down!

We also started a chapter on decimal points and learned how to change fractions like 3/10 into decimal form. This is the last chapter of our 3rd grade math!


Chelsea started Ramona the Brave and is enjoying it! We are doing half a chapter a day most days. I told her we could get some more Ramona books from the library.


Chelsea hasn't gotten it out in a while but she did this week and worked on some drawing activities.
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Last week we finished our nest unit.We practiced sequencing with bird pictures. Hunter was so proud of his book that he went and read it to his sister.
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Hunter also did his drawing page for N words He drew his sister Natalie and our friend Nicole.Too cute! 

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For the Bible part we learned that God takes care of us and keeps us safe just like the birds use their nest as a way to protect themselves and their babies.


This unit we started the hard work of blending sounds together for words! We had to take a break after a few minutes and come back to the last part. It takes a lot of focus to figure out how to blend the sounds and little man has lots of energy. The Bible theme is perfect for this task!
"I don't quit, I persevere" 

We made a turtle badge on Friday and as I took Hunter's picture he says "I like school mommy!" I love hearing that!

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One of his favorite things this week was the math page called "turtle race" He got quite excited for this one! Hunter surprised me with how well he did on figuring out the first, third, fifth turtle.

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blend ladder

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Natalie being a turtle
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Third Trimester!

28 weeks today! YAY!  Officially into the third trimester. I can't wait to meet my baby girl in July! I'm starting to feel BIG and getting hot easily. I'm sure things will get quite interesting come the hottest month of the year. For now though I'm happily enjoying feeling this little one moving around inside of me and knowing that she's growing in preparation for her arrival in about 12 weeks. It feels like a long time but I know it will be here soon! Thank you God for this wonderful blessing you are giving our family! 

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