Our Family

Our Family

Monday, September 16, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 4

I had thought that this would be our first "normal" week of the school year but then we found out Anthony had to have foot surgery so that threw that out the window.  We did work around the surgery some but he was excused from his work after Monday which meant that Christian ended up excused from his writing and spelling because we work on those together (Christian didn't mind at all.)   Anyway, on to our week in review....


Week 4 in our Homeschool

Bible: We read two chapters in the book of Luke.


History: I am so, so excited to be back in The Mystery of History!  And I received a 3rd Edition of Vol 1 to review!  It is absolutely beautiful.  I will be writing up a review on it very soon comparing to the second edition.  We read through three lessons (37, 38, and 39) on Elisha, Joel and Obadiah, and Homer.

Music Appreciation: We read through chapter 3 of Chopin's Later Years, listened to the assigned selections and read through the Tidbits of Information in the workbook.

Art: For Art History we watched a HIGASFY a video on Monet.  For a drawing lesson Lily, Christian, and Emmie completed a beginner drawing lesson from Creating a Masterpiece on owls.


Math: Everyone but Anthony did 4 days of CTC Math and Christian and Emmie did 30 minutes of Elephant Learning ( I confess I don't really get this yet they keep answering the same types of questions over and over but maybe it will make sense soon.)

Language Arts: Lily is working on Reading Eggs workbook.  Anthony and Christian worked on one lesson in Sharon Watson's Jump In.

Spelling/Reading: Christian and Anthony started step 24 in AAS Level 6 and Emmie completed lesson 46 in AAR Level 2.

Other Activities this Week

Monday the girls were excited to start back to gymnastics though they were sore the next day!

Tuesday Anthony had his foot surgery. We had to leave by 7:30 am. I was very impressed with the hospital we had never been there before.  The facility was good, the staff was very nice and they ran ahead of schedule.  He did very well (they had to out his stitches through his toe nail makes me cringe just thinking about it) and was very ready to eat a grilled cheese by the time he was released that afternoon.  He did not have any pain until Thursday and by yesterday was not hurting unless he jarred it.  He is bunking on the couch so he wont have to go up the stairs too often and has not yet left the house.  He has a surgical shoe he has to wear all the time.  We go back to the doctor on Friday to change the bandage and see how it is healing but they told me probably 3 weeks before the stitches can come out.

Alex went and shot trap that night.

Wednesday we were back to Kid's Club!  The fist day is always hectic but it went well.  We have a great group of kids this year and I'm excited about the curriculum we are using.

Thursday we had some very cute company.



And Emmie had dance.

 Friday I had to tackle Walmart we were out of everything.  My back door and side door to my van both broke.  The back door couldn't open at all and the side could only open from the outside.  It was an interesting ride home with feed and groceries piled all around the children.  I guess ten years of daily use is all those door handles can handle....

Saturday we had a birthday party and walked through the car show.


I finally sat down and ordered the rest of what we need for this school year yesterday.  I was procrastinating because I didn't want to spend any more money especially on top of the surgery but there were a few things I needed that will hopefully be here by the end of the week.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: Easy Grammar Systems



Easy Grammar Systems was developed by Wanda C. Phillips after she noticed how little understanding of grammar high school students had. They offer several different products including: Easy Grammar, Easy Grammar Plus, Daily Grams, and the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review Easy Grammar Ultimate Series:  Grade 9 with Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 Test Booklet.

The Easy Grammar Ultimate Series is designed for students in grades 8-12.  Easy Grammar Ultimate Series:  Grade 9 is a paperback teaching text that includes the student pages within it. Student pages are reproducible.  The book contains 180 daily lessons that take around 10 minutes per day to complete.  Each lessons follows a similar format.  The first section covers a capitalization concept, the second section covers punctuation.  Section three and 4 teaches, reviews, and applies different grammar concepts such as parts of speech, phrases/clauses, analogies, subject/verb agreement etc..  and the last section has a combining sentences exercise. 

Basic concepts are taught and then built upon.  There are instructions included when teaching the concept. " Capitalize the names of events and periods of time." Examples follow the instructions then the student practices what they have been taught in the exercises.  The Answer Key is included in the back of the book.  If you do not wish for your student to complete their work in the teacher book or if you have more then one student using the book and do not wish to make copies, a student workbook can be purchased.

We also received the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series:  Grade 9 Test Booklet which is also a paperback book with reproducible pages.  It contains 18 assessments to be used after every 10 lessons.  The assessments follow the same format as the lessons.  The answers are included in the book on the opposite page of the assessment so if you are not going to copy the pages for your student you will need to fold the page over or cover it with a thick sheet of paper. 

I have had my 15 year old son using Easy Grammar Ultimate Series:  Grade 9 .  He has been completing one lessons per day and the lessons take him less then 10 minutes per day.  He struggles with grammar concepts and I wanted something for him that would have plenty of review and that the lessons would be short and to the point.  The lessons in Easy Grammar are definitely short and to the point.  They do begin with basic concepts and use those concepts to build into larger concepts so if you have a high school age child that struggles they will be able to use these books and not feel lost.  I have seen an improvement of his understanding of basic grammar concepts. I do think that ordering the student book separately would be easier then trying to copy pages if you want to use the book with more then one student.  I do wish that the answers for the assessments were in the back of the book instead of on the opposite page.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: College-Ready Writing Essentials



BetterRhetor  desires to better prepare students for college.  They have created College-Ready Writing Essentials™ to equip high school juniors and seniors with the writing skills they need to avoid taking remedial courses and be successful in their college classes.  I recently had an opportunity to use and review College-Ready Writing Essentials™. Full Package.



 College-Ready Writing Essentials™  Full Package is an online course that can be accessed on a computer or mobile device.  Upon completing the course your student will be able to write a thorough, well though out, research based, persuasive essay. It has 25 lessons split up into 5 sections:

Overview (1 lesson) 

Planning (10 lessons) - The planning section covers task, audience, purpose, selecting and researching a topic, reading perceptively, defining an issue, mapping perspectives, taking a position, outlining your essay and peer reviews.

Drafting (8 lessons)- In the drafting section covers the parts of an essay: introduction, body, and conclusion, and peer reviews.

Revising (4 lessons)- Revising discusses self review and peer reviews.

Finalizing (2 lessons) Finalizing discusses finalizing your essay and college ready writing.

There is also a Resources section that has a pdf of Key Terms and a Bonus Guide to Culture of College Academics pdf. 

The lessons are written to the student and students are able to work at their own pace.  There are worksheets that need to be printed out for each lessons and examples are included.  The length of the reading varies.  Once the student has an account and logs in the course tracks which lessons they have completed.  You can easily go back to previous lessons if there is something you would like to review.

I have been working my way through the course to see if this would be a good fit for my almost 16 year old son.  One of the first challenges I had was logging in.  I could not find a log in button anywhere on the site.  So it took me awhile and clicking through several things to be able to figure it out.  Once I was able to get logged in the navigation of the actual course was very easy.  I was also able to access the course on my phone and it kept track of where I was in the course even with using different devices. I loved the ability to read on my phone though I did have to switch back to the computer to print the worksheets out.

Writing is such an important part of succeeding in college and students need to be able to communicate well to be successful in life.  I loved when I read this in one of the lessons " Learning to think carefully and communicate persuasively is not merely an academic exercise to get you through a school assignment ;it is essential to your agency- that is, your capacity for power and impact in the world."  The College-Ready Writing Essentials™   will prepare your student for any college level writing they have to do.  It is a challenging course.  The lessons are written to the student, but there is a lot to digest in each lesson.  Plenty of models and examples are included.  The course takes the student through the thinking and planning process into the actual writing and revising.  They will learn to think deeply and explain their reasoning well to their audience.


Because it is challenging and may take several days to go through one lesson. There were several lessons I completed in one day and moved right on to the next and others I really had to think through and took several days on.  Students will definitely be prepared for college level work after completing the course.

BetterRhetor offers three different packages of their course.  You can try it out with the Free Mini Course, enroll in the Full Package for $49 or purchase the Premium Package which includes additional exercises and personalized feedback from Dr. Bryant for $99.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


Monday, September 9, 2019

County Fair 2019!

We took the entire week off of school because it was County Fair Week!  It was the hottest fair I can remember in a long time.  It was mid to upper 90's on the thermometer all week not counting the heat index and it got hotter as the week went on.  Very thankful for the fans but it was still hot!!! Mon we were there 9-7 Tues- Thurs we were at there from 9am- 9 pm.  Friday we were able to leave by 1 and go home to our nice air conditioned house.  Saturday we were there until 1 and then back at 5:30 to start clean up.  We are tired!  But it was a great fair week for the children and I appreciate all of the people that work so hard to make the fair possible.


Monday morning we were putting up booths.  We put up the Nature Seekers and STEM Club and Nick and Alex also worked with the other Teen Leaders on the Teen Leader booth.  After lunch we worked on sorting chickens and worked with the goats until it was time to start weighing in animals.  We helped weigh in the hogs and the goats and sheep.




Tuesday we had to enter all of the other entries.  I use to only allow the children to enter 5 things each because that made 35 entries and it took a really, really long time to get them all in.  This year they let me tag the entries ahead of time.  The children were so proud of all of the things they worked on I told them they could enter them all.  My family had a ton of entries, especially Lily who had worked on so many sewing projects this year.

Then we washed and clipped goats and the pig.



The lamb and pig show was Tuesday night.  The pig did much better and won 2nd in Commercial and 3rd in her market class.


Wednesday we worked on the hay bale in the morning.  Chelsea brought Liam and Willow out.  We left to go to lunch in a nice air conditioned building.



After lunch the inside exhibits had been judged so we got to go see what everyone won.

Nick entered a decorated cake (1st place) 2 puzzles (one 1st one Best of Section) a dream catcher (2nd), string art (1st) and a LEGO set (1st)


Anthony entered 2 photographs (2nd and Best of Section), jam (1st), a wooden bird (1st) 2 LEGO sets (1st) and string art (2nd) Christmas Board (1st)


Alex entered a leather bracelet (Best of Section) key chain (1st) coaster (2nd) model truck (1st), cross (1st) and string art (1st)


Christian entered 2 LEGO sets (1st), zippered pouch (2nd), pillow (2nd), string art (1st) leather bracelet (2nd) key chain (1st) coaster (2nd) Christmas Board (2nd)



Emmie entered a Christmas Plate (2nd) 3 paintings (2nd and 2 1st) string art (1st) pillowcase (2nd), jam (2nd) and decorated cake (1st)


Lily entered decorated cake (1st), jam (2nd) 3 drawings (1st) 3 paintings (1st and Best of Section) soup cozy (2nd) laundry bag (1st) zippered pouch (1st) potholder (1st) fleece blanket (1st) skirt (Best of Section) string art (1st) bracelet (1st) key chain (1st), coaster (1st) table runner (1st)






Then it was time for rabbit and chicken judging.  We helped with that.  Anthony's birds won Grand, Emmie's won Reserve, and Lily's 1st.  One of Nick's rabbits didn't place.  The other won 1st and the other Grand (that rabbit was the only one of its breed.)






Next we had to get the goats ready for the goat show.


Alex won Senior Showmanship, 1st in his market class and 2n in his commercial class. ( I was working in the announcers booth for the shows so the pictures were taken from above.)

Christian won 1st in his market class and Reserve Grand Champion for Commercial.


Thursday was school group day.  Nick, Emmie, Lily, and I did chickens and rabbits.  Christian and Alex did goats.




Thursday night we helped with the cattle show.

Friday was the Premium Sale.  This is not a real sale.  Businesses donate money to the exhibitors to help with the cost of raising livestock (it costs a lot!) but the exhibitor keeps the animal.  We went home after lunch and rested and Nick went back to feed and water that evening by himself.

Saturday was the parade.

Then there was a BBQ contest that Alex entered.  He won 1st but his category was uncontested.  It was the first time they have done this at the fair and hope for more entries next year.

Clean up was Saturday night.

Today after church we tore down the booths and picked up the inside exhibits.

Our next fair is in a little over 2 weeks, but it is a shorter fair and hopefully won't be so hot!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!