Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 17

I'd love to write a post saying that we had a wonderful first week of the new semester, but it wasn't.  Honestly, we had a great first day back.  With our new schedule we have to finish all of our work by 12, and I wasn't quite sure how that would all work out.  But Monday morning everyone was up and our school day went great.  It was wonderful.  The rest of the week was not like that.  Tuesday and Wednesday were rough days all around, but Thursday was better.  Some days (weeks) are like that, even in Australia.  Anyway....some great things happened this week, and I like to focus on the positive.

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 17

P.E.: We did two days of yoga and one day of Family Time Fitness.

Poetry: We started working on the poem Shoes by Louis Untermeyer.

Read Aloud: We started and finished The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmunds.

Bible: We started going through a devotional by Tim Tebow called Know Who You, Live Like it Matters.  It is set up to read a lesson a week, but we are doing a lesson a day.  I think this will be good especially for my older two. 

Geography: This week in Let's Go Geography we learned about Hungary.  The craft for the lesson was to use water color paints to paint Hungarian Folk Art cards.  The girls really enjoyed this craft and did several of these this week.


History: In America's Story we read through chapter 18 Looking West.

Science: In Science in the Age of Reason we did lesson 16 on Pieter van Musschenbroek.

Art: As part of my goal to do at least one themed hands on activity with Emmie, we picked up some picture books from the library on winter. We read the book Snow by Uri Shulevitz and then for an art project drew and colored a winter scene using chalk pastels.









Math: Christian did one lesson in MLFLE and then his Math Mammoth book on multiplication arrived and he worked through several pages of it the rest of the week.  The others did 4 lessons in their books.

Language Arts: Lily started the daily grammar lessons and did 3 lessons this week on capitalization of nouns. Christian and Anthony jumped right back into Readers in Residence reading through and answering questions on Charlotte's Web.

Spelling/Reading: Emmie finished Map 5 of Reading Eggs.  She completed lessons 30 and 31 in AAR Level 1.  Lily completed lessons 14 and 15 in AAR Level 4.  The boys completed Step 26 of AAS Level 4.

Nick has to take one class in public school to be eligible to play soccer.  He was signed up for track which he wasn't very excited about, but choices are limited for 4th block classes.  He went to track the first day and texted me 30 minutes in to ask if there was a way we could change him to something else.  He did not want to spend 1.5 hours running in track and then 2 hours running after school when soccer starts.  So we got him switched and he is taking psychology for 9 weeks and sociology for 9 weeks.  I'm not overly excited about these classes but we will see how it goes.

Tuesday the girls had gymnastics and Nick had youth.

Wednesday we had Kid's Club.


Thursday Lily had piano.


Friday Nick had a birthday!

Saturday we went to Texarkana for bowling and laser tag to celebrate Nick's birthday.



This handsome guy was hanging out with his Uncle Alex while we were checking out at Walmart Friday.  He is now crawling.

 I used my Instant Pot for the first time to make French Dip sandwiches.  It was easier then I thought it would be and they turned out so good! 



Walmart had some fabric on sale last week so we have a whole bolt of flamingo fleece.  The girls are making fleece tie blankets.




I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Our Week in Review (January 1st-7th)

My husband had to go back to work on Tuesday, but we did not start back to school this week.  I had intended on getting some extra cleaning done, but other then putting away the Christmas decorations and regular cleaning chores we didn't do much else in the way of cleaning.  We had a pretty boring, mostly relaxing kind of week.  I did spend quite a bit of time on the computer helping the children work on their 4 H record books that are due in a few weeks. 2 are completely finished. 2 are a work in progress, and the girls do not have to be completed until February so I am not at all worried about those.

The cold temps continued this week.  Tuesday morning when I went out before the children got up to check on the animals and thaw their water, it was 11 degrees.  I do wish if it had to be so cold that the children could have seen some snow, but maybe we still will get some this year.

Liam and Chelsea came to visit and he was bundled up in coat, boots, hat, and mittens.  He has learned to pull himself up so look at world!



Wednesday the girls and I went to sign up for their ballet lessons!  We are very excited about this!  A brand new studio just opened not far from my house.  When I heard about it at the end of summer I contacted the teacher asking about ballet.  She told me she planned on having a beginning ballet class in the spring semester.  When she did her registration in December I went and put Emmie on a waiting list to see if there would be enough interest.  Emmie has wanted to do ballet forever and I really wanted my girls to be able to take dance.  The instructor contacted me Tuesday to tell me she had enough little girls (4 so far) for a class and to come in and sign up.  Lily asked if she could take ballet too so they both will be in the same class starting on February 1st.  I hope they love it!!

Thursday Lily had piano lessons.  She is already halfway finished with her beginner books.


We started putting decorations away on Friday.  This is the longest I have ever left our tree up.  Usually they start dropping needles everywhere and I have to take it down, but this one didn't so we left it up.  The tree was so big, Alex had to use bolt cutters to take off some branches to be able to get it out the door!  Un-decorating is never as much fun as decorating, but we got everything cleaned up and put away by Saturday.







Saturday was my birthday.  My children made me cards and baked me a cake.  My sweet husband bought me a pretty necklace that I had admired ( I broke my necklace Christmas day), and he also got me an 8 quart Instant Pot!  I really, really wanted one of these and I hope I love it as much as the other people that I know that have one. 






We went out to eat so I wouldn't have to cook (that was the children's idea.)  Chelsea and Liam were able to join us and brought me a cute candy vase that Chelsea made.


Today I am getting ready to start back to school tomorrow!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kregel Blog Tour: Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue by Susan K Marlow

Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue are books 3 and 4 in the Circle C Stepping Stones Series by Susan K Marlow.  These books are geared for children ages 7-10 and follow the life and adventures of 9 year old Andi Carter on her ranch in California in the 1800's.  The Stepping Stones series books are chapter books that are a bot longer then the Circle C Beginnings books that follow the life of 6 year old Andi, yet easier to read then the Circle C Adventures books that follow the life of 12 year old Andi.  There is another series, Circle C Milestones that follows the life of 14-18 year old Andi.


Last spring, I had an opportunity to review the first two books in the Circle C Stepping Stones series.  My daughter, 8 year old Lily, was a big fan of the Circle C Beginnings books and was very excited that there were new Andi stories for her to read!  She loved Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top and was even more excited when I told her she would be able to read the next two books as well!


Andi Lassos Trouble is a 112 page illustrated paperback book.  In this book,  the Circle C Ranch is having a rodeo with two other ranches and the cowboys are eager to prove who is the best.  But Andi also wants to win prizes even though Chad says it is not for little kids.

Lily's favorite parts were when Sadie's dad brought some sheep for the children to ride (cattle men don't like sheep!)



In Andi to the Rescue,  Andi's teacher is sick and Mother is the substitute.  Andi can't believe it!  What will her friends think?  But soon that is the least of her worries when Andi and her mother are kidnapped by two outlaws.  They are being held in a cabin until the man can learn to read.  Andi has to escape and find help.

Lily's favorite part was when Andi escaped out the window with a knife to cut branches for a trail.



Lily loved the stories!  The books are wonderful stories that will teach your children life lessons and history as well.  Andi has problems and difficulties that your children can relate to and makes mistakes just like in real life, but she shows the development of great character traits and trust in the Lord.  The length of the chapters and the books are perfect for the 7-9 year old age range but if you have a struggling reader they can still enjoy the story by listening to someone read it aloud.  The illustrations are adorable and the inclusion of the vocabulary words and history fun is very helpful. 


On Susan K Marlow's website, you will find some great activity pages, coloring pages and more to go with each of the books!


We love the Circle C books and Lily cannot wait until the next two books release in July! If you are looking for wonderful, wholesome, historical books for your children to read, I highly recommend any books by Susan K. Marlow!


 Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of these books for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own or my family's.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Homeschool Goals for the Spring Semester

It is cold here in Arkansas! As I sit here this morning it feels like 7 outside!  And I just came in from checking on and feeding all of the outside animals.  My face still feels numb.  We are just not used to that kind of cold around here.  So I'm thankful to be able to sit in front of this for awhile.




Yesterday we woke up to this, but it didn't last long and definitely wasn't enough to build a snowman.






Saturday my girls wanted to have a tea party.  We watched the Felicity American Girl movie and in the movie Felicity is having lessons on how to be a proper young lady and serving tea is one of those lessons.  The girls requested lumps of sugar for their tea party so it would be more authentic and they wanted to make cookies and have little sandwiches.  They got my china tea pot, sugar bowl. and creamer out of the cabinet. Chelsea and the baby were at the house and Chelsea helped get everything ready for the tea party and served the tea for the girls.  It was really sweet.









This is the time of year when I start making final plans for the spring semester.  I look at where each of the children are and decide what changes need to be made for each individual and what changes need to be made for the family.  This school year has brought a lot of changes for our family.  Nick started taking a class at the public school so he will be eligible to play on the soccer team this spring.  That of course affected all of us.  We spent a lot more time out of the house and running back and forth to town.  It was a very good experience for Nick.  He enjoyed the robotics class and competing in both competitions.  This semester he is taking track.  It is a 4th block class and he will have to be in town by 1:25 every afternoon.  We will have to make some changes to our schedule to have him there each day for the month of January.  After that he will be eligible to take the skills portion of the driver test and if all goes well be able to start transporting himself.  Until then January will be a bit chaotic.

There are several things I would like to change for the spring semester.  The first one is art.  We love doing art and art projects but last semester only managed to do one the entire semester.  That needs to come back.  P.E. is another thing I have been slacking on.  It was fine when we were walking, running, skating, in the park in the mornings but when we got to Nov/Dec we stopped doing those things and had no P.E.  I need the exercise just as much (sometime more) then the children so that needs to come back as well.  Nature Studies are another thing I would like to start doing again. 

Now for each of the children.

Emmie is  6.  She is doing really well with her reading and math.  She enjoys doing All About Reading and playing Reading Eggs on my iPad.  She participates in our Bible, poetry, and geography lessons and somewhat in history and science.  One thing that I would like to do for her in the next semester is to add some kind of hands on project each week geared towards her age that the others can participate in if they want to.  So often little ones tag along with older siblings which is fine, but they also need some things at their level too and I feel like I have been missing that with Emmie. I have been looking at the Adventures with Books section on SchoolhouseTeachers.com and I think that may be a good place to start to add some fun things in for her.

Lily is 8 and gets frustrated with math.  She wants to be able to look at every new concept and immediately understand it and when she can't she gets frustrated.  But overall she is doing well in math.  She has started multiplication and division and is understanding those concepts well now that she has had some practice.  Telling time still causes her some trouble.  Reading is amazingly easy for her.  I still have her going through All About Reading Level 4 so I can hear her read aloud and make sure she understands how to pronounce the words and some of the concepts it teaches but she is moving through that level very quickly.  Lily participates in Bible, poetry, history, geography, and science with the boys.  She is learning to read and write in cursive.  Last semester she did very little language arts.  We are going to add in some daily grammar lessons also from SchoolhouseTeachers.  Lily loves her piano lessons and has started teaching Christian and Emmie how to play.

Christian is 10 and really struggles with math, specifically memorizing any kind of facts.  He understands the concepts of multiplication and division but just cannot immediately recall the facts.  We have tried flashcards, math drills, and two different things that put math facts to songs or stories and none of these have worked. So I have ordered a Master the Times Tables workbook from Math Mammoth that he will use alongside MLFLE.  Hoping it will help. Christian is a wonderful reader and speller and loves science and history.  I would also like to get back to the Thinking Like an Engineer lessons that we reviewed last semester.


Anthony 12 struggles in spelling.   I don't think it is something that will ever come easy to him but we continue to plug through the AAS lessons and I do see some improvements.  He loves to read and loves science.  He still gets the Tinker Crates every month to work on.  I would like to get him back into the Innovator's Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer lessons and also working more regularly on coding from the Codakid Minecraft that he works on occasionally.


Alex is 14.  He is using Monarch from AOP this year.  It has it's pluses and minuses like everything else but I'm not sure that I would buy it again.  At least not the entire curriculum.  After a bumpy start to the year he is doing better managing his time and getting his work done.  Rather then have him work on the assigned Bible lessons, he does a family lesson with the rest of us.  One of my biggest struggles with the curriculum is that I have never taught to pass a test or quiz and this curriculum focuses heavily on quizzes and tests.  You basically read the section and answer questions and every so many lessons take a quiz. I can unassign quizzes, tests, or anything else if I choose but its harder to tell if he is actually retaining anything.  Alex struggled and struggled with the math most of the semester.  It requires a lot of reading to learn the concept and that is not how he learns best.  Most of the questions are multiple choice and he was guessing he way through them.  One day he would score well the next day he would score terrible.  For awhile I did some supplemental worksheets from Super Teachers but then he went back to his lessons and had the same issues.  Right before the end of the semester I switched him to UnLock Math that we reviewed a few months ago.  He said he didn't like it but the truth is he may not like it but he does understand it much better.  So that is what he will be using and only using the Language Arts (which I really do like), History, and Science from Monarch.  Alex is no longer taking guitar lessons.  I do not want to battle him over them any more.  He says he wants to learn to play still, he just does not want lessons.  I hope he does keep playing on his own.

Nick is 10th grade.  Before the start of the school year he had 7 high school credits.  Last semester he earned 1 credit in Robotics from his class at the school.  In MUS Algebra 2 he has completed 16 out of 31 lessons and will earn 1 credit when he finishes it in the spring.  He has completed 6 out of 16 modules in Marine Biology and will earn one credit when he completes it (hopefully by spring.)  In Health he has completed 14 out of 16 chapters and will earn .5 credit when he finishes that in January.  In History and Bible he has completed 42 out of 150 lessons and will earn 1 credit in World History and .5 credit in Bible when he finishes that in the spring (or summer if he doesn't catch up.)  World Literature he has some work to do.  He has 8 books to read to earn his credit: The Art of War, Julius Caesar, The Imitation of Christ, A Tale of 2 Cities, The Hiding Place, Animal Farm, Bridge to the Sun,  and The Abolition of Man.  In the spring he will earn 1 credit for taking track at the school.  He will also be using ARTistic Pursuits High School Book One for .5 credit in art.


It's going to be a great spring semester!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our Week in Review (December 18th-25th)

We were off school this week because my mom and dad came from Florida to spend the week with us.

Monday morning Nick had to go to his last day of his Robotics class. I must admit that I won't miss having to get everyone up to drive him!  I left them all home with mom and dad on Monday and ran some errands while he was in school.  We picked up Liam and Chelsea so they could come spend the afternoon with us.


As the day went on I realized I was coming down with the cold that a few of the children had and by Tuesday morning felt awful. Christian wasn't feeling well either. Chelsea and the baby came back to visit but I pretty much hung out in the recliner all day and didn't pick up the baby or rock him to sleep like I usually do.  I was hoping he would not catch the cold but he did end up coming down with a runny nose and slight cough.  The girls had gymnastics that night and Nick had youth.  Mom and dad took them for me.

Wednesday we were feeling better and no one had a run a fever at all so we went to see Star Wars.  Kids loved it.  I didn't think it was as good as some of the others. 

The rest of the week and week-end was spent baking and making other Christmas treats.  I have no idea how many hours I spent in the kitchen cooking, baking, and washing dishes!!!


Lily teaching Nana how to make apple pie






We went to church Sunday morning and Sunday evening. Sunday morning we did the advent reading.  Sunday night was Christmas Eve and the candlelight service is always my favorite service of the year.

After the evening service it was snack and bed.  Our read aloud right now is The Green Ember.  I read it a year ago but they asked me to read it again because they want to read the next book.  We wrapped gifts after I was sure they were all asleep and made it to bed by midnight.

Chelsea and Cody and Liam got to the house by 7 Monday morning.  I am not going to upload all the pictures from Christmas morning (most are on my Facebook page.) But they had a great Christmas morning and were excited about their gifts. 
 Liam's present from us.

All 12 of us fit around the table, but barely.  As the family continues to grow we will have to figure out where to put everyone!
I thought I still had a high chair in the attic but I do not have one anymore so we put him in his exersaucer.

The rest of Christmas Day was spent building LEGO sets and watching Christmas movies.




Each child got a board game for Christmas.  Except Lily who I was certain I had ordered it on Amazon and discovered late Christmas Eve night that I did not.  I told her I forgot and picked up her game today.  We have been playing lots of games.

I thought this was so cute that Lily was stitching a horse with her new Felicity doll beside her while watching her Felicity movie.  She really likes this kit.  I am going to look for more for her birthday.


Mom and dad left early Tuesday morning and made it back to Florida safely.

I hope you had a great week and a wonderful Christmas!