Monday, January 31, 2011


I know I was supposed to be back on Friday to post my homeschooling answers, however just as Bones was on the mend my little KK woke up SICK.  Between tending to both of my little ones, trying to sanitize toys, and working on some preschool swap bags, I just wasn't able to get on and write this post.

So, here we go, a little Q&A of sorts.

Q: Why did you choose to homeschool?
A:  The Hubs says his #1 reason for wanting to homeschool was so that our kids could have more freedom.

I have a myriad of reasons.
  • I want my children to learn to think outside the box.  I want them to figure out the how's and the why's instead of just going along with what some stranger tells them.  Bones already has found an easier way (for him) to figure out some math problems.  This strategy isn't in the books, it's not something I was ever taught and not something I taught him.  He figured it out himself.  
  • Children are naturally curious, energetic and excited about the world that surrounds them.  They need to be given the opportunity to soak it all up, explore and learn without the constraints that traditional schooling puts on them.  
  • I want my children to learn about what interests them, not what some man on a hill dictates they learn.  Of course I will teach them the basics, from then on I'm just there for guidance. 
  • I love being with my kids.  I love watching them learn.  I love the look on Bones' face when something clicks.  I love seeing Cupcake get so incredibly proud of herself when she figures something out.
  • Public Schools suck, for a million and one reasons.  The teachers that truly care about the education the students are receiving are few and far between.  Bullies.  Terrible school lunches.  SO much wasted time.  No individuality allowed.  No God allowed.  Bones was actually sent to the principal for praying at lunch.  His teacher told him that he was not allowed to list the Bible as his daily reading because it was unacceptable.  
  • I want them to be able to work at their own pace.  If something comes easy for them, we'll review and move on.  I fit is difficult we can spend more time on it without repercussions.  This is another issue that arose during Bones' short time in PS.  He had completed all his work and chose to move on to the next lesson so he wouldn't disrupt his deskmates.  He was reprimanded for working ahead, moved 2 colors down on the behavior chart and had a note sent home to me.  :/
  • I want them to learn to do well by their own standards, not some external source like grades.  I want them to decide for themselves when something is good enough for them, not sit around and wait for a teacher to tell them if they're good enough or not.  
  • The 'socialization' excuse is crap.  Where in the real world do you interact only with people your own age in the same environment each day?  My kids spend time with people of all ages, babies to senior citizens.  We learn in all sorts of places.  Libraries, parks, museums, lakes, on the couch, at the kitchen table...pretty much anywhere and everywhere.  We do not learn cooped up at a desk for 8 hours a day.
I have many more reasons, but these are the biggest ones.  :)

Q: What curriculums are you using?
A:I have been researching homeschooling options and curriculum for  along while.  I've told y'all before that right now we're using K12 through OHVA.  We are not fond of it.  Obviously it works for some people, because it is very just isn't working for us.  The drawback to the way we're choosing to go and the curriculum we're choosing to use is that it is NOT cheap.  We are positive it will be worth it in the long run though.  Making our children's futures better is worth sacrificing a few things we want.  Anyhoo, here is the curriculum we're choosing to use...

  • Phonics:  Explode the Code  
    • For KK we're using Get Ready, Get Set, and Go
    • For Bones we're using books 1-8 as well as the Beyond the Code books
  • Reading/Literature:  Funnix/Library/Learn as we go
    • I downloaded the Funnix program for free earlier this month.  Looks pretty interesting.  We'll also be using regular books from the library and just reading what we want to read.
  • Handwriting:  A Reason for Handwriting
    • For KK we're purchasing the Kindergarten workbook, but we'll slowly ease into it if and when she's ready.  
    • For Bones, we are using book B.
  • Spelling:   A Reason for Spelling
    • Bones will be using book B.
  • English:  Shurley English
    • We are purchasing both Level One and Level Two as Shurley English can be kind of confusing if you're just thrown into it.
  • Math:  Math-U-See
    • KK will be using the Primer and will get her own set of blocks
    • Bones will be using Beta and will have his own sets of blocks
  • History:  Story of the World
    • We'll just be purchasing Volume 1 to make sure it works well for us the first year.  It will allow me to teach History at both levels, use lots of lapbooks/notebooking which both the kids seem to enjoy.
  • Science:  God's Design for Science
    • We'll be using the 'Life' books for our first year.  They cover Plant Life, Animal Life, and the Human Body.  Again, this curriculum will allow me to teach on two different levels and utilize lapbooking/notebooking.
  • Art:  Art With a Purpose
    • We'll be using ArtPacs 1-4
  • Geography:  Expedition Earth (by Confessions of a Homeschooler)
    • This will allow us to learn all about our world and the people and animals that live in it.  The songs they sing, foods they eat and how to say "hello" in each country's language.
Bones wants to take Piano lessons, and chose French as the foreign language he wants to learn.  We're also going to try and get him into Martial Arts and he will be playing sports this summer.
KK will be taking gymnastics and doing her own thing.  She loves to bang on the piano so maybe she'll choose that as her instrument as well.

I know it seems like a lot, but we won't be doing lessons in every subject, every day.  Bones helped a lot in choosing the curriculum, and he is really excited.  Like I said earlier, it is a LOT of money, and I'm sure through the years I will find less expensive/free ways to do things, or find that we don't need to follow a rigid curriculum in certain areas.  We're just getting started and have a long rad stretching out before us.  :)

Feel free to ask me any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them in an upcoming post.  :)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm baaack!

I've been away for 18 days.  I could've been back a week ago, 10 days ago, yesterday...I just don't know what to say when I come back.  Don't know if anyone is even still here.  Don't know if anyone is even caring what I have to say in the first place. ha!  WRONG!  18 lovely people are following my blog, which means 18 people DO care about what I'm saying. :D  You know how special that makes me feel?  That's more than half my class in high school, and not even half of them cared about what I had to say or what I did.  Not until I got pregnant our Sophomore year anyway.  haha  I'm just a little unsure of how you 'make an entrance' when you've been gone for a while.  A little hey y'all should suffice, right?

Well, hey y'all!  I've missed blogging.  Things have been a bit crazy.  We've got the flu in our house right now.  Everyone had been the picture of health (aside from my migraines) since we pulled Bones out of the B&M school.  We've played off and on with other homeschoolers (since regular schoolers seem to think we have the plague or something now...) We went to a new church this past Sunday (which was a-MAZ-ing!!!) and the kiddos got to play with a bunch of other kiddos.  48 hour incubation period and BAM!  Bones is down for the count.  He's doing much better today, thanks to Tamiflu and lots of rest.  He's eating a bit, back to being mouthy and using totally crazy logic that somehow makes sense and I can't say no to,  and picking on KK.  He should be well in no time.  He told me he's not even mad at the kids at church for giving him the flu, he wants to go back.  ;)

Anyhoo, just wanted to stop in real quick and let y'all know that I am indeed alive.  I will be back later today to post about some homeschooling stuff.  Many friends asked me to write a post about how/why we chose to homeschool, and what curriculum we're planning to use next year when we're through with our online public school.  I also want to show you some new things I'm doing to make my day go much easier and some time saving stuff we've implemented in our homeschooling day.

For now I must bid y'all adieu.  I have an appointment and some errands to run in the morning, so I need to get some beauty sleep.


Monday, January 10, 2011

This year...

I'm not very good at keeping resolutions.  They're made to be broken it seems, which is sad in a way...  When we make them, we fully intend to make good on them.  I think everyone desires to better themselves in some way; and the New Year offers us all a fresh, clean slate in which to get started.  We set out, buying all the fitness equipment, gym memberships, organizational tools, nicotine patches and all that we need to make good on this resolution.  We force ourselves to do it for a few weeks, and then life gets in the way and we fall off the wagon.  And then we beat ourselves up over it for the next 48 weeks.  And then January 1st comes around and we do it allllll over again.  At least that's how it goes for me...

I wrote the other day about choosing to have 'Goals for 2011' rather than making 'Resolutions'.  I"m hoping this changes my mindset when it comes to making good on them.  I don't expect a perfect outcome.  I KNOW life will get in the way, and I know some days I'll fall off the wagon.  What I've got to learn to do though is to get back up, dust myself off and climb back on. 

Anyway, without further delay-here are my 2011 goals:

Faith Goals:
   *Read the whole Bible
   *Do an in depth Bible study with others
   *Make it to church at least 2x a month

Family Goals:
   *Get our lives on a schedule (not a down to the minute schedule, but at least some sort of routine.)
   *Play with the kids and be silly at least 30 minutes a day.  (Have to admit, I am WAY too serious.)
   *Keep up with the laundry!!!

Financial Goals:
   *Go out to eat only 2x a month
   *Pay off 3 debts
   *Get at least $2500 put away for a rainy day

Fitness Goals:
   *No more soda(unless out to eat)/at least 6 cups of water a day
   *Take my vitamin
   *Go to bed while there is still an 11 on the clock, get up while there is still a 7 on the clock
   *Get Physical at least 1 hour/day at least 3x/week
   *Lose at least 30lbs by 2012

Personal Goals:
   *Read 15 books (Give me suggestions!!!)
   *Re-learn Sign Language
   *Unplug on Sundays
   *Let The Hubs do more (I am an overachiever and I get offended easily when offered help.)

Last, but certainly NOT least...I have seen many people doing a 'Word for 2011'.  I like the idea of that, but couldn't think of just a word for me to make aprt of my life in this year.  Instead, I've chosen a Bible Verse that I need to remember and incorporate into my daily life. 

Proverbs 21:19  Better for a man to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

I tend to nag.  A lot.  I tend to pick fights...a lot.  I came across this verse randomly.  I have NO idea how I found it, but it spoke VOLUMES to me.  I don't believe in coincidences, I know that every little thing that happens in my life in some way is connected to my Lord.  I KNOW that He put that verse in front of me to be laid on my heart because He knew I was struggling in this area.  In turn, I need to listen to this verse and pray on it, that I may find a way to be less quarrelsome and less nagging.

So...there we have it.  My 2011 Goals.  Wish me luck!  :D


Happy Homemaker Monday (2)

Well, it is the second Monday of the year.  How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions so far?  Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom does this little meme every Monday, and I'm going to try to link up to it as often as possible.

 The weather in my neck of the woods:
The ground is covered in snow, it's 13 degrees right now (feels like 5) and the high for today is 29.  Brrrrr....

Things that make me happy:
Hearing my kiddos laugh and play together.  Seeing something 'click' for Bones.  Watching Kayla play 'mommy' to her babies. :D

Book I'm reading:
Bible.  Going to try to read through it all this year.

What's on my TV today:
Watched 'Robocop' with The Hubs.  It was a bit gory, but I tend to like action movies.  No TV today though, it's a school day. :)

On the menu for dinner:
Something with chicken.  I'm not entirely sure yet.  It was supposed to be beans, but I forgot to soak them.

On my To Do List:

Fold Laundry
Do dishes

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I've made a variation of it before, but it just wasn't very tasty...  I need to try again.

In the craft basket:
I have several things I need to make for friends.  Make-up capes (anyone have any idea how to get started on that???), Aprons for an adult and toddler, handmade gifts for 5 friends (Facebook thing).  I also need to make some more doll clothes and get started on Barbie clothes.  Draft Dodgers as well.

Looking forward to this week:
I was looking forward to trying to get a routine established, however the Air Force threw a wrench into those plans.  The Hubs has to work nights this week (and possibly next), which means he'll be home during the day.  I am looking forward to having him allll day tomorrow though.

Tips and Tricks:
I can't think of a single one this week...

My favorite blog post this week:
A post from Andrea over at Sgt and Mrs Hub.  It is beautiful. 

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
A friend of mine! :)  Leyna at 3 men and a Lady.

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):
Came across this photo earlier...seems like SO long ago.  My baby Bones and itty bitty KK. 

Lesson learned the past few days:

That I am enough.  I don't need to be anything more-or less-than what I am.  I am exactly as God made me, and that is good enough for me. :)

On my mind:
Homeschool stuff.  We're going to be switching a lot around in the next few months, and it makes me a little nervous.  I'm super excited though!!!

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I actually have 3 verses on my heart right now, I will share 2 here and delve deeper into them in a later posting.

Proverbs 16:9  In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Friday, January 7, 2011


I had an entire post typed up and ready to go. I was proofreading it before I posted it, and then decided not to keep it. It was going to be all about the drama that seems to surround me in this little life I live... As I was reading it, I decided that if I posted it, I was just keeping the drama near me, and I wasn't doing anything to better my situation.

I've made many choices in my life. Mundane, everyday choices -- Mayo or mustard? Sweet tea or soda? Red or pink polish? Truly life altering choices -- Do I tell my mother I just had a baby? Do I keep said baby? Do I tell him I DO still love him? Do I leave everything and get married?

The choice I made today is both mundane and life altering. I am making a conscious decision to NOT let the drama affect me anymore. I choose to ignore them. I choose to be the bigger person. I choose to be myself and do what I feel is right for my family and myself-even if others disagree. I choose to not worry about what others think. I will live right near the main instigators for several years, and The Hubs is best friends with some of my other problem people. I have no choice but to put a smile on when I see them. No choice but to bite my tongue. No choice but to play nice.

I am choosing to not be friends with them any longer. It is high time I surround myself with good people. God people. :) People who accept me as I am. I refuse to sit in silence any longer while others try to make my life miserable. I'm not very good at standing up for myself. I forgot how to do that about 7 years ago-but that is a blog post for another day. I rarely stand up for anything but my children, which isn't a bad thing. I just have to learn to be assertive for myself once again. I am not a pushover. I am strongwilled. I am determined. I am stubborn!

I know this post won't make much sense to anyone. It's pretty much nonsensical rambling at this point as it is. I just needed to get it out.

I have another post in the wings, I'm just unsure of posting it. I decided in November that rather than calling my New Year's Resolutions 'resolutions', I was going to call them my 'Goals for 2011'. Seemed like a fantastic idea to me at the time. However, now we are a week into 2011 and I've not yet hit 'publish' on that post because it seems like many others in the blogosphere had the same idea. I don't want to look like a copycat... There I go again-worrying about what others think...Someday I'll get there. :D