Wednesday, September 21

Instructor of Human Relations

I started reading The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd this week. It is so good and I've only read the first chapter. At the end of each chapter she has a Power Point with 3 parts: Read, Pray, Do. For this chapter I had to create a job description, hence the post title.

Instructor of Human Relations
Instruct and uplift in personal character qualities that represent Christ and a love for God. Demonstrate said qualities so that they have an example to follow. Provide basic needs such as food, clothing and education. Chauffeur services at no additional cost.
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
                                                               ~ Col. 3:17 NRSV

Sunday, September 18

Four Years and Blogging

Wow, it's been 4 years since I started blogging. I wish I had something profound to blog about. Hmm... Nope, nothing. We're still in the transition period from moving. Still no place to live and time is running out. Keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, June 28

We're Here!

We are officially moved BACK to Ohio. My husband and I got here Sunday night (the kids were up here with Nana) and we finally finished unloading the Penske today.

Unfortunately, that was the first of 2 moves. We are staying with my father-in-law until we can find a bigger place for all of us (with father-in-law) to live.

Please keep us in your prayers! =)

Saturday, April 30

Celebrating My Heritage

I am 1/4 British and I am very proud of my heritage. I wanted to watch the wedding (Yes, I got up at 6am) because I knew it was history in the making. But even more so, I feel connected. It's part of MY history, not just history in general.

Saturday, April 9

Learning Journal: 4/4-4/9

MFW RtR- This week we learned about "The Birth of Islam." It was very interesting. Daddy also joined us for History this week. =)

BIBLE- We read some of Luke and the corresponding pages in Victor. We also took some time to pray for Muslims.

MEMORY VERSE- They are memorizing I Corinthians 13. This week we added verse 2. "And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."  ESV

HISTORY- I don't really like Story of the World, so I asked (on MFW forum) if there was a suitable substitution. The consensus was that there isn't. So after much research and prayer I've decided to use it anyway. This week we didn't read it though. We read the chapter about Muhammed from Famous Men of the Middle Ages. We are also reading the section on Islam from Usborne's Encyclopedia of World Religions. I made a notebook page, but we ended up not doing it - I'll explain later.

GEOGRAPHY- Map Trek v.2 Islamic Empire

SCIENCE- They are all doing some sort of science at Co-op.


TREY- EP 1: exercises 4-6.

CALEB- IP 3A: p. 10-11. Text: p. 18-23, including Practices 2A and 2B.

REBEKAH- Lessons 13-15 and Test 2


TREY- OPG lessons 37 & 38.

CALEB- LLATL Orange Lesson 2.

REBEKAH- LLATL Purple Lesson 3.

LITERATURE- For History we read Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp from Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book.Nothing like Disney's version... =)

CALEB- DaVinci chapter 7

REBEKAH- Benjamin Franklin chapter 8, Alice in Wonderland chapter 3 and Anne of Green Gables chapters 23-29. 

Back to the notebook page. They were just beginning the notebook page and we heard this terrible noise outside. I walked outside and it was hailing! Every house around here has a tin roof so it was LOUD!!

This is our house. We went to the neighbor's house when the Tornado Warning was issued. (We have no basement.)

It hailed like this 3 different times over a 3 hour period. I have never seen it this big before.

Sunday, April 3

Learning Journal: 3/28-4/1

We didn't do much this week. Zachary had an appointment with the Pediatric Cardiologist and that sort of killed our week. At his last well-check the Dr. heard a Venous Hum. It's just a vibration of the blood flowing through the veins near his heart. Nothing serious and they usually grow out of it, BUT it's most common in 3-4 year olds. Zachary is only 19 months old so Dr. wanted to make sure that it wasn't anything more serious. The cardiologist said that Zach's heart is structurally fine, the hum is innocent, no restrictions and recheck before Kindergarten. =)

TREY - Singapore 1A: Text pages 33-37, Workbook exercises 18-19.

CALEB - Singapore 3A: Intensive Practice pages 1-9.
He also read DaVinci chapter 6 and Princess and the Goblin chapters 14-16.

REBEKAH - Saxon 5/4: Investigation 1 and Lessons 11-12.
She also read Benjamin Franklin chapters 6-7 and Anne of Green Gables chapters 15-22.

Friday, April 1

Tentative Plans for 2011/12

We are moving back to Ohio in a few months. We've been in TN for 4 years and I am really going to miss it. Not to mention all of the new friends and loved ones that we will miss dearly!

I've only ever blogged in TN. I know that seems silly, but it will be a different experience. =) In my very first post I discussed why I preferred to homeschool in TN, so I won't go there again.

One thing that I absolutely loathe is preparing a Letter of Intent and Curriculum Outline. I only had to do it once, and we moved to TN before it was time for evaluations. Anyway, I'm done with that now and would like to share the outline. If you homeschool in Ohio please comment. (As a side note, I copied and pasted all of the descriptive info.)

        I.                     I. My Father’s World: Exploration to 1850 (
a.       BIBLE
                                                               i.      Study the book of James using Boy, Have I Got Problems! (Harvest House Publishers) and memorize verses from James.
                                                             ii.      Be inspired by the stories of Christians from the past using Trial and Triumph (Canon Press) and In God We Trust (Chariot Victor Publishing), which focuses on the godly faith and character of early Americans.
                                                              i.      Study world and U.S. history from the early European explorers of North America through 1850.
1.      The Last 500 Years (Usborne Books)
2.      George Washington’s World (Beautiful Feet Books)
3.      The Story of the World, Vol. 3 (Peace Hill Press)
                                                            ii.      Learn about U.S. presidents and U.S. geography with a brief trip through all 50 states.
                                                          iii.      Enjoy simple hands-on projects, map work, and timeline.
                                                           iv.      Study your own state (the final 4-6 weeks of the year) as you learn how to write a research paper.
    1. SCIENCE
                                                              i.      Explore the world of plants and animals from a Christian perspective. Includes an introduction to taxonomy.
1.      Exploring Creation with Botany (Apologia Educational Ministries)
2.      The World of Animals (Answers in Genesis)
3.      The World of Animals (Parragon Publishing)
                                                            ii.      Focus on nature journaling in your local area as you study state history at the end of the school year.
    1. ART and MUSIC
                                                              i.      Enjoy hands-on projects related to history.
                                                            ii.      Sing the great hymns of our faith and learn their stories, coordinated with this year’s history study, using Then Sings My Soul (Thomas Nelson).
                                                          iii.      Music appreciation lessons review music history and focus on Schubert, Mendelssohn and Chopin.
    1. Daily exercise routine
    2. Outdoor play
    3. Instruction on Health basics (including, but not limited to, hygiene, first aid, safety and fire prevention.
  2. MATH
    1. Saxon Math 6/5 (Saxon Publishing) - advanced divisibility concepts; multiplication; integers; prime and composite numbers; powers; roots; probability; statistics; patterns and sequences; geometry and measurements; and ratios
    2. Primary Math 4A ( Inc.) - whole numbers, numbers to 100,000; rounding off numbers, factors, multiples, multiplication and division with 2-digit numbers and by 10; adding, subtraction, mixed and improper fractions; graphs, angles, perpendicular and parallel lines, area and perimeter and more.
    3. Primary Math 4B ( Inc.) - decimals to the thousandths; four operations of decimals; measures; solid figures; volume and more.
    4. Primary Math 2A ( Inc.) - numbers, comparing, and place value to 100, addition and subtraction with/without renaming, measuring length in meters, centimeters, yards, feet and inches, measuring weight in kilograms, grams, pounds, ounces, multiplication and dividing by 2 and 3.
    5. Primary Math 2B ( Inc.) - mental addition and subtraction, multiplying and division by 4, 5, and 10, money (US currency), fractions, time, capacity, geometry and area.
    1. Learning Language Arts Through Literature – Tan (Common Sense Press) – spelling, reading, grammar, composition, research and study skills, higher order thinking skills, creative expression and penmanship
    2. Learning Language Arts Through Literature – Purple (Common Sense Press) – spelling, reading, grammar, composition, research and study skills, higher order thinking skills, creative expression/games, penmanship
    3. Learning Language Arts Through Literature – Red (Common Sense Press) – phonics, spelling, reading, grammar, composition, research and study skills, higher order thinking skills, creative expression/games, penmanship
We will be using the internet and library books for all subjects.

Saturday, March 26

Learning Journal: 3/21-3/25

MFW RtR- We tried using MFW Creation to the Greeks and it just didn't work out. I was researching curriculum for next year and decided to try MFW again. Since we are beginning the Middle Ages I decided to try to find a cheap Rome to Reformation guide and start at week 14. I have everything else, so all I needed was the guide.

BIBLE- We read the Nicene Creed each day this week and started reading Luke in chapter 5.

MEMORY VERSE- "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Cor 13:1 ESV

HISTORY- This week we learned about Justinian and Theodora. I made a notebook page for Justinian and the Byzantine Empire.

GEOGRAPHY- We used Map Trek v.2 Byzantine Empire.

SCIENCE- Right now RtR schedules a study of the Human Body. Rebekah and Caleb are doing that at Co-op so I'm not adding in science until we get to Astronomy.

MATH- There's been a few changes since last post. I've finally stopped trying to keep everyone in the same program! =)

TREY- He's starting back up with Singapore 1A. He loved it before, he just wasn't ready once it got to addition. He's ready now and doing an excellent job! He seems to "get" math, so Singapore is my first choice. Text pages 30-32 & Workbook exercises 15-17 & Extra Practice exercise 3.

CALEB- I bought Singapore 3A Text and Intensive Practice. I was just going to get the text but Caleb thrives on math puzzles and problems that really make him think. Text pages 6-17, including practices 1A, 1B, 1C.

REBEKAH- She has been thriving with Saxon 5/4 over the last couple of weeks. This week she did lessons 7-10 and Test 1.

LANGUAGE ARTS- Trey is the only one who did any this week. He did Ordinary Parent's Guide lessons 34-36. On Friday we reviewed the vowel sounds.

Wednesday, March 9

Home Education: Part I - Some Preliminary Considerations

In case you want to look them over -
*Volume 1 Study Questions*

Children are a Public Trust

"Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing up and instruction of the children -- in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. It is a great thing to be a parent: there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it."

"The children are...public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the most of them for the good of society." 

She goes on to say that the mother is the one who has the most influence on the children. I assume that this is because the mother is usually the one to stay home with them. That really puts the burden on me! Even though my husband is the Spiritual leader of this home, I am the one who interacts with them for more hours of each day. Is that why Freud always blamed the mother? =)

Mothers owe a 'thinking love' to their Children

Ms. Mason quoted Pestalozzi: "The mother is qualified... by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; ... and what is demanded of her is -- a thinking love... Maternal love is the first agent in education."

That helps put things into perspective for me. God gave me the children that He did, because He knew that we were the best match for each other. It's really hard to see that when my daughter is behind in math because I can't explain it a way for her to understand. I trust that God knows what He is doing, thought I don't always understand.

"...they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession -- that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours."

That is EXACTLY how I feel. I want to know what my children are learning, especially when it has to do with our Christian beliefs. How could I possibly trust anyone else to to give my children the best education? Only I know what is best for my children. God made us to go together, so I have to know!

The training of Children 'dreadfully defective'

Parents do need some sort of instruction on teaching children. (Hence, the reading of Home Education.) I don't think that we necessarily need to have a college degree to teach our children, but I do think that even our own education should never stop. I graduated High School and spent one year at a University. When you're doing it to pass a class, you really don't get much out of it. I've found that my education is severely lacking and have decided to become self-educated.

How Parents Usually Proceed 

"The parents' chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother's love.... They let their children alone, allowing human nature to develop on its own lines, modified by facts of environment and descent.

Nothing could be better for the child that this 'masterly inactivity,' so far as it goes. It is well he should be let grow and helped to grow according to his nature; and so long as the parents do not step in to spoil him, much good and no very evident harm comes from letting him alone."

It's very important that we let our children grow into their own personalities. They need direction, but they also need room to grow. They need to be free thinkers. As much as I don't like it, my children need to form their own opinions about things... even their faith.

--- Next Week (Wednesday, March 16) I will post on 
Part I: I. A Method Of Education ---

Sunday, March 6

Burgess Bird Book - Links & Info

I am beginning this post to compile my resources. Please keep checking back for more!

Burgess Bird Book Supplement - PDF with information and pictures of each bird
Common Birds Coloring Pages - PDF

Chapter Title links to story at

I- Jenny Wren Arrives
House Wren - info @ All About

II- The Old Orchard Bully
Chippy the Chipping Sparrow
Bully the English Sparrow

III- Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows
Sweet Voice the Vesper Sparrow
Little Friend the Song Sparrow

IV- Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty
Dotty the Tree Sparrow
Slaty the Junco
Junco Printout - Enchanted Learning

V- Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed
Welcome Robin
American Robin - Enchanted Learning
Winsome Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird - Enchanted Learning

VI- An Old Friend in a New Home
Least Flycatcher - info @ All About
Eastern Phoebe - info @ All About

VII- The Watchman of the Old Orchard
Scrapper the Kingbird
Redeye the Vireo

VIII-Old Clothes and Old Houses

IX- Longbill and Teeter

X- Red Wing and Yellow Wing

Friday, March 4

Learning Journal: 2/28-3/4

We took this week off. =)

I did have Rebekah do Key to Fractions, Book #1: pages 1-4. And realized that she is retaining ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from Teaching Textbooks. She rarely got under a 90% for the lesson, but apparently there's just something about the program that she's not getting. I don't really know what to do.

I also introduced her to Fred. She's fallen in love! =) I found some books for multiplication and division (plus a few other concepts) that seem similar to Fred. I'm toying with the idea of having her do those 2 books before trying to move on.

Stanley F. Schmidt, author of Life of Fred, claims that the upper level books are complete. Cathy Duffy, on her review website, placed Life of Fred under "Math" not "Math Supplements." This leads me to believe that maybe they are! I know that there is a lot of controversy about this, but I've got 2-3 years to decide.

Home Education: Preface

I wasn't going to blog about the Preface... and then I read it.

"...the knowledge of God is the principal knowledge, and the chief end of education." 

As parents, this has always been our main goal. If our children don't know God then nothing else matters! This is why I believe it is important for the children to learn about God within all of their "school" subjects.

"Such a theory of education, which need not be careful to call itself a system of psychology, must be in harmony with the thought movements of the age; must regard education, not as a shut off compartment, but as being as much a part of life as birth or growth, marriage or work; and it must leave the pupil attached to the world at many points of contact."

Wow! Such strong, thought provoking words! Learning should not be a separate entity. It should be a natural part of everyday life. I will admit that I struggle with that. How do I integrate schooling into our day without making it "school?" I want to instill the love of learning into our children. I never want learning to become a chore.

"...the child is a person with all the possibilities and powers included in personality."

Sometimes it is hard to remember that they really are just miniatures of us, and that they deserve the same respect.

In the Preface, Charlotte Mason summarizes her educational theories in eighteen points. These points are expanded upon throughout the book. I really like how Leslie Laurio has put them in a Modern English Paraphrase. (I am reading the original words by Ms. Mason, but I do like to compare from time to time.)

Wednesday, March 2

Home Education by CM

I've been trying to read this book for a while now, never getting past the "Preliminary Considerations." I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'm going to do it is to blog about it.

Please read along with me and comment on the appropriate posts! OR post on your blog and share the link! If I get enough interest I will set up a link list generator.

You can read it FREE from Ambleside Online.
I'm reading this Kindle version.

I'm going to read one section per week and post on Wednesdays. My first post will be Wednesday, March 9 and it will cover Some Preliminary Considerations.

Monday, February 28

Learning Journal: 2/21-2/25

I should start out by saying that Daddy lost his job on Friday, February 18, so our learning was a bit... uh... interrupted throughout the week. Good news is that he started a new job today! Only one week off, only missing one paycheck. God is good!

BIBLE- We began using the International Children's Bible Field Guide by Lawrence Richards. This week we read the first chapter: What you should know about the Bible. It was interesting. It told basically how the Bible was written and answered a few common questions. One part shared how careful the scribes were when copying the Bible. After we read the chapter we completed the "Pretend to be a scribe" activity. They had to copy John 3:16 exactly how a scribe would do it. They also had to count letters and words. It took about 20 minutes!

HISTORY- The older 2 take TN History at Co-op on Mondays. Together, we read MOH2 Lesson 22 about everyday life in the Dark Ages. That was it!

SCIENCE- All of them did science at Co-op,

LATIN- Latina Christiana I, Lesson 4. We did the lesson and drills, but not the workbook yet.

Trey (FKA: Shark) did MUS Alpha lesson 7. He's so good at Math. =)

Caleb (FKA: Crow) completed lessons 53-55 of TT4.

Rebekah (FKA: Kitten) finished lessons 98,99 and quiz 14 of TT4. I *think* I'm going to have her start Life of Fred: Fractions within the next few weeks. 

Trey - How the Leopard Got His Spots 

Caleb- Leonardo DaVinci by Emily Hahn, chapter 5
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, chapter 12
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, Cronos & Rhea

Rebekah- Benjamin Franklin of Old Philadelphia by Margaret Cousins, chapter 5
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, chapters 1-2

Trey- ETC 1, pages 44-49

Caleb- LLATL Orange, lesson 2

Rebekah- LLATL Purple, lesson 2

Trey is working on week 12 right now. Like I said earlier this week was a bit disjointed, but we got most of it done: Our Island Story, chapter 7; Trial and Triumph, chapter 3; Fifty Famous Stories, Arnold Winkelreid.

Sunday, February 20

Quick Rundown of 2010/11

It has been a long time since I posted about school. I don't think I've posted about THIS school year yet! Geesh!

One major change is that we are now a part of the local Co-op. This is their first year and it's so exciting to be involved at the beginning stages.

Shark and I are working through AOy1 together. (We're on week 10, I think.) It's going pretty well. He struggles a bit with narration, but he's improving. It's so hard to be patient with something that *I* think should be easy. He's finally reading CVC words and trying to read bigger words. He is about 1/2 done with ETC1.

He's on Lesson 7 of Math-U-See Alpha. He catches on to math very quickly, but not reading stuff so much.

Crow & Kitten started TruthQuest Middle Ages last week. We completed section 1 and did a Map Trek along with it. They also started LLATL Orange & Purple, respectively. They are both working through Teaching Textbooks 4. Kitten is almost finished as Crow is about 1/2 through.Oh, they've also completed the first 3 lessons of Latina Chistiana 1.

Mr Krabs is dying to "do school." I've started different PreK programs with him and they just weren't a good fit for us. So, we're going to read through AOy0 and add in some phonics and math. He's a new 4yo and I'm pretty sure that we will begin K work next school year, but I won't register him for K until the following year.

They are all doing a few additional things but I didn't want to completely bore you with this recap. =)

Wednesday, February 2

Carry Me Away bag

This was fun and pretty easy. I had a slight issue with the way the pattern was written, but I figured it out.=)


Thursday, January 27

"Green" Grocery Bag

Search for this at Ravelry: Crochet Save the Earth Bag

Save the Earth bag 1






Saturday, January 22

Twisted Longies

Butt Knits Twisted Cables Longies
I did these as a test knit, but unfortunately it ended up taking FOREVER to complete them. Life got in the way. Anyway, they're done now... I hope they will still fit my little guy! =)

Twisted Longies DONE

Twisted Longies CABLE

Twisted Longies CUFF

ETA: They fit!