2018-2019 Curriculum Choices

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This year I approached our curriculum  a little differently. I knew I needed and wanted this school year to be joyful, smooth and enjoyed by all. I set out with a very clear picture of what I wanted for our homeschool. My go to word is “holistic” this year. I want/need my children to be empowered spiritually, mentally and physically. This led to me having my kids help pick out what they wanted to focus on academically this year and what they wanted to use.

I can pick out any curriculum, books, worksheets for them but if they really don’t have any passion or desire what so ever to learn or study what is presented to them, nothing will be retained or have them grow. The information will be short lived, in one ear and out the other.

I am really trying to speak to their hearts this year. This is year 4 of homeschooling for us and I feel like we have finally found our homeschool path. We enjoy learning again, we enjoy learning together and apart. Now that we have that learning spark back, I don’t won’t to lose it because I decided everything for my children and didn’t listen to anything they wanted or desired. Now that doesn’t mean I am giving them everything they want or don’t want. If my boys had a choice they would never writer a paper or use a pencil.  But, they have to do both of those things almost daily, just doesn’t have to for hours on end or for things that they could care less about.

 Z, 7th grade

HistoryLayers of Learning Year 3, Living Books about Wild West and Wars (his personal choices)

Geography – Layers of Learning Year 3, Pin it Maps, Letters from Afar, and Global Guardian Project

Science – Layers of Learning Year 3, Mel Science Subscription Box, Nature Studies/Journal

Art – Layers of Learning Year 3, Art History Kids, Free styling

Language Arts:

Literature & Reading – Brave Writer Boomerang, free reads

Grammar – Grammar for the Well Trained Mind (he asked for grammar)

Writing – Brave Writer Faltering Ownership Writing Projects, Narrations

Spelling – Copy Work and Dictation, using Spelling Wisdom for dictation

MathTeaching Textbooks and Key to Series

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M, 6th grade

History – Layers of Learning Year 2, Living Books about Medieval Period and Wars (his personal choices)

GeographyLayers of Learning Year 2, Pin it Maps, Letters from Afar, and Global Guardian Project

Science – Layers of Learning Year 2, Mel Science Subscription Box, and Nature Journaling/Studies

Art – Layers of Leaning Year 2, Art History for Kids and free styling

Language Arts:

Literature & ReadingBrave Writer The Arrow and The Pouch Boomerang

Grammar – Grammar from the Well Trained Mind (we only cover a grammar comprehensively 3 times total from years 1-12, so why not as the same as his brother)

Writing – Brave Writer Faltering Ownership Writing Projects, Narrations

Spelling – Copy Work and Dictation, using Spelling Wisdom for dictation

Math – Teaching Textbooks and Key to Series

A, 1st grade

History – Layers of Learning Year 1, Our Island Story, Living Books

Geography – Layers of Learning Year 1, Pin it Maps, Letters from Afar, Global Guardian Project and Cultured Owl

Science – Layers of Learning Year 2, Exploring Nature with Children,  and Nature Journaling/ Studies

Art – Layers of Learning Year 1, Art History for Kids, free styling

Language Arts:

Literature & Reading – Brave Writer The Wand, Primary Readers, Classics and suggestions from Ambleside Online

Writing – Brave Writer Jot it Down and Writing with Ease Narration Pages

Grammar/Spelling – covered with copyworb and dictation but I don’t worry about studying until a little older

Math Simply Charlotte Mason Book 1 and Mathematical Reasoning (we will finish book A and start B)

So this is the plan for 7th, 6th and 1st grade. Will we change things up if needed, YES. But, everything seems to be going well and everybody is enjoying their picks. It may seem like a lot but it really isn’t, especially when everything its not touched everyday.

 

We do use a few more things in our group session (morning baskets). I will be writing about that shortly and how we loop all our extras without being overwhelmed.

 

 

*** I will make no from the links, they are just what we are using and love. ***

Whole30 Attempt # 3

I keep asking myself why in the world I am doing the September Whole30, I have never completed a Whole30. Ahhhhh

I keep telling myself, this time you will get to the finish line. I am in such a different situtation mentally, that I will finish this time no matter what. Also, I really want to kick my sugar habit and I think Whole30 is going to be perfect doing that for me.

So, why didn’t I complete the other two time. Well long story short the first round, I tried and lasted 11 days when I was care taking for my mother durning her throat cancer and it was bad, really bad. In and out of the hospital with a few extended stays, doctors appointments almost daily and to top it off I had hurt my shoulder at work and was fighting to get workers compensation all the while being the shuttle for 3 kids because the husband work graveyard most of the week. I wasn’t mentally prepared for Whole30 and probably really wasn’t in the right head space.

The second round only lasted 4 days, really!! I  attempted the Whole30 right after I gave birth to my fourth child. I think it would have been better if I had waited a few more months, but I tend to jump in head first. I wasn’t physically able to prepare for the Whole30, I was exhausted and tired and homeschooling my other 3 children.

So now Whole30 attempt number 3 is going to take place September 2018 and I will succeed and hopefully be able to kick my sugar addiction or at least curve the sugar cravings.  I am so excited to see what happens, to see how I feel, to see if I get that mental boost from removing sugar.

Why do Whole30 and not just stick to Keto? I have found myself on the Keto feeling great, sleeping better but I have replaced processed sugar with “natural” sugars or Keto safe sugars and MY ultimate goal for  MY health is to not need that replacing feeling. I want to have a treat because it just sounds good or its a treat, not I need something sweet and baked.

I will be planning a whole menu for myself and I will share once its done.

Looking forward to September Whole30.photo-18

Keto Baked Eggs

I didn’t always eat breakfast but now I eat breakfast every single morning. I feel such a difference mentally and physically when I take the time to eat breakfast. As a mom of 4 and always on the run I like to make breakfast that I can forget about or thats very easy and quick.

Baked eggs are super easy and once they are thrown in the oven you can forget them for a few moments to get something done or to finally drink your morning coffee that you keep rewarming.

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 Keto Baked Eggs

 Serves 4

6oz of ham or pancetta, diced

3 TBSP butter

6 TBSP heavy cream

8 eggs

8 oz gruyere cheese, grated

parsley, garnish

ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450˚.
  2. Melt butter in cast iron pan, brown ham or pancetta on stovetop – remove from heat
  3. Add cream and crack eggs over
  4. Place pan in oven
  5. Bake until eggs are set to desired  doneness
  6. Sprinkle gruyere cheese over eggs and broil until browned
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little pepper and parsley [/recipe]

Enjoy

Finishing Up 2017-2018 School Year

It is April already and the end of 2017-2018 homeschool year is coming to an end and I wanted to reflect on what we are ending our year with.

 Let me start by saying this year was hard. Homeschooling with a baby is hard and rewarding. 

Also this year seemed a little tough for us because we switched thru a lot of curriculums again, but in the end everybody is happy and we have found our comfort spot. We all feel ready to end the year strong and start a new in August with a set plan, that will probably get very little tweaking. Finally arriving at this point is such a blessing and relief and a rewarding feeling since we stuck it out thru the hard times. 

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Morning Basket:

Little House on the Prairie Series, we are currently starting On the Banks of Plum Creek and will just continue with the series

Cheaper by the Dozen

The Omnivore’s Dilemma Young Readers Edition

Wicked Plants

Peril and Peace Volume 1: Chronicles of the Ancient Church

What Really Happened in Ancient Times

Truth and Grace Memory Book 1 & 2

Elementary Geography Charlotte Mason

Under the Egg

Reading thru Beautiful Feet Books Early American Primary Jumbo pack and Intermediate Pack

Starting America’s Story Vol 1

Kinder:

Bible: The Action Storybook Bible

English: The Wand Level 1 Issue 1 –  Hop on Pop and Fox in Socks and Code A – C and follow Bravewrite Jot it Down, she also like to work in The Good and the Beautiful Primer, I bought the PDF and downloaded and printed for her

Readers: McGuffey Primer’s the Eclectic and Original, Reading Literature The Primer and, Dick and Jane, and I Can Read Books

History: Story of the World Volume 1 with Activity Book and Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans

Science: By Pond and River, Parables from Nature

Nature Study: Exploring Nature with Children

Copy Work: Draw Write Now

5th grade:

Bible/Devotion: Following reading sequence suggested in the back of his Bible for a year

English: The Arrow Book Club – currently reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler

Writing: Bravewriter Faltering Ownership Writing program, works on a monthly writing project

Copywork/Dictation/French Dictation: Bible, Bravewriter selections from books, anything that really stands out to us

Reading: I let him choose his readers, right now he is reading Lemony Snicket Series book 3 and Huckleberry Finn

Science: Elementary Science: Soil, Sea and Sky from masterbooks.com

History: World’s Story 1: The Ancients Set from masterbooks.com

Nature Study: Exploring Nature with Children

Typing and Spanish

6th grade:

Bible/Devotion: Following reading sequence suggested in the back of his Bible for a year

English: The Arrow Book Club – currently reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler

Writing: Bravewriter Faltering Ownership Writing program, works on a monthly writing project

Copywork/Dictation/French Dictation: Bible, Bravewriter selections from books, anything that really stands out to us

Reading: I let him choose his books as well, he currently is reading Lemony Snicket Book 2, The Rescuers by Margery Sharp

Science: General Science 1 from masterbooks.com

History: The World’s Story 1: The Ancients Set from masterbooks.com

Nature Study: Exploring Nature with Children

Typing and Spanish

 

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It seems like a lot but we don’t do everything everyday, that would be crazy. Some mornings we just do morning basket and have big juicy conservations and savor the moment. At sometimes I make them write more then what they want. But we have finally found curriculums and a rhythm that works for us as a family and as individuals. We are all happy, nobody is unhappy and complaining anymore and we just found our nitch and as a family that homeschools we couldn’t ask for more right now. 

Have you found your homeschool sweet spot? Are you finishing the year strong? Let me know.

Ambleside Online Are We Still Using It?

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Boys reading thru their daily reads.

 

My last post was about starting Ambleside Online and I am here to say that it didn’t work out for my family. Not because we didn’t like the books, or that we didn’t want it to work, or that we didn’t give it our best effort and time, it just wasn’t for us regrettably.

We love reading and surround ourselves with living books, but it just want enough for us. Let me just say we tried it for a full month and then had a sit down as a family, we talked about whats working, what isn’t, are we learning and enjoying ourselves. Homeschooling to me as the mom and “teacher” the learning needs to be enjoyable and fruitful. Ambleside Online just didn’t work for us for one big reason. My kids felt rushed, and had to switch gears between books a little to often for what they are capable of right now.

My oldest son E has Aspergers and ADHD/ADD, he doesn’t do well with starting and stopping to do a bunch of little things, he likes working in blocks. M the second oldest boy just didn’t like having to read so many books at once, he much would prefer to sit back and enjoy 1 or 2 books at time. And A just like’s to read her McGuffey and primer readers right now so everything else is just extra for her and she goes with it like a wildflower.

Even though Ambleside Online didn’t work for us, I am grateful we tried it or I would have always wondered if this would work for us. I don’t like living with what if. With this ultimately
failing for us and this season of life, we have come to a good place and really have found what works best for us.

Its rewarding and refreshing to try something new in our homeschooling especially if wasn’t all roses and daisies with unicorns around us. Its okay for to take a while to feel comfortable as a homeschooling family, you will always have questions floating in our mind: are you doing to little, to much, is it to much like public school, should we do Charlotte Mason, Classical and the list can go on and on with what if’s. The only way to find your answers to actually try it and see what happens. The worse that can happen is having to find something else that works for you and your family.

If Ambleside Online is on your radar I would highly recommend and give it try, it is a beautiful curriculum that works for many families.

 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

Galatians 6:9

Starting Ambleside Online Late

We have been homeschooling officially for 3 years about, and I feel like we are finally getting into a homeschool groove, who knew that it would take this long to feel confident! We have decided to go with Ambleside Online for a few reasons but mostly because its free, my kids love reading and its great literature.

We almost started this last August, but I got cold feet; with just reading books. How would that be enough? How would they actually learn from just reading living books? Why don’t we need 10,000 parts to make a curriculum whole. I was feeling like I was going to make the kids miss something because we weren’t going to buy all the new fancy curriculums that I see plastered all over the internet. We had actually bought almost all the books for year 5 and 6 and then I sold them on Facebook. Now I am kicking myself in the behind.

On one hand it is good that I actually second guessed myself, because I have learned to just trust myself and go with it. It has taken me much longer to de-school then it has taken my boys.

Now that we decided we are going to go this route, I was looking over all the years 0-7 to see what books have been missed, and to see which kid is suppose to be reading what. As I was looking I discovered that boys would be missing a lot good books that they will enjoy and learn from. So, to go with our crazy plans of changing mid year and actually focus on what we want from the rest of the year I have picked a few books from years 1 to 6 that they will read.

We have decided to finish this year with the books that we have in the house, and finish all the interesting books that I want them to cover and any that they choose next school year. Then they will do 7/8 year lite and then high school in the three plan or little quicker, depending if they decide to enroll in junior college  while still in high school.

To finish out 2017-2018 school year this is what we plan to use.

For A – year 0 ( she will be the only one on schedule) she will be reading and using:

Beatrix Potter Series

The Little House by Virginia Burton

The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Ox- Cart Man by Barbara Cooney

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman

Mother Goose Collection

Lots of Poetry

A is also using All About Reading Level 1,Reading Literature Primer and McGuffey Eclectic Primer,  a whole bunch of science readers and Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans and in math she is using Mathematical Reasoning A

For E and M  (suppose to be years 6/5, but we decided to do a mash up to finish out the year): some selections are just based on what we had in the house, we will buy recommend book for next year

Christian Liberty Reader Nature Reader #5

Paddle to the Sea H.C. Holling

Trail in the Tree by H.C. Holling

Child’s First Book of American History by Earl Schenck Miers

The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity  by Robert Cwiklik

Pocahontas by Ingri & Edgar D’Aulair

Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar D’Aulair

George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster

Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster

Greek Myths by Olivia Coolidge

Tales of Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green

Story of Inventions by Anna Claybourne 7 Adam Larkum

Math: Teaching Textbook Year 5 and 6

Each child is able to pick any self interest book at the library weekly and each child has projects they work on by themselves.

We also follow a Bravewriter literature style, which does cross over into other areas of study.

This is what is planned to finish out this year, we are excited and ready for Monday morning to start.

 

10 Veggies to Eat

Kale – Tons of fiber, vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin A.kale

Collard Greens – K – rich green that supports bone growth and reduce inflammation, contains micro-nutrient choline that can help with sleep and overall mood.

Watercress – Dietary nitrate that been shown to  help with high blood pressure.

Swiss chard – vitamin K, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Bok Choy – The glucosinolates gives bok choy its flavor, but it also has cancer fighting compounds.

Spinach – Contains potassium, vitamin K, vitamin A which helps lower blood pressure and maintain bone health.

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Arugula – Contains alphalipoic acid which a antioxidant that has been shown to lower glucose levels and help with diabetes symptoms.

Brussel Sprouts – Part of the cruciferous family, Brussel sprouts are a great source of protein, iron and potassium.

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Carrots – Beta – carotene may help with vision for people with a lack of vitamin A, the carotenoids in this root vegetable have been linked to help reduce of cancers such as lung.

Cabbage – Sulforaphane found in cabbage may show some promise to help with autism symptoms.