Friday, April 3, 2015

New Printable: Animal Research Report

Some things can easily be found, others must be created.  Enjoy this FREE printable Animal Research Report!  It's a two page report (including cover) with directions on the third page.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Encouraging Word

Somebody needs to hear this today:

"We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

The astonishing fact that we were prayed for in detail by Paul, and others, so long ago gives me so much comfort and peace today.  I pray it does the same for all who read this.  

This homeschooling journey can be tough.  I know ours has certainly had its bumps in the road and some obstacles seem impossible to pass.  Our hope is in the Lord, as written in the Scriptures.  I'm overwhelmed with thanksgiving for knowing that Jesus and his disciples prayed for me!  Little me; a daughter, sister, wife, and mother of two girls.  They prayed for my work, my labor, and my endurance.  Thank you, Jesus!  No one knows our needs more than our Creator.  And He knew them before we knew them ourselves.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Not Yet Back to School

Although most of the local schools, and many homeschoolers, have hit the books in their new school year, we have not.  We aren't quite ready yet, for a number of reasons.

1.  We just aren't ready to say goodbye to Summer.  It seems to pay us such a short visit each year, so we want to extend it as long as possible!

2.  We took a later than usual vacation combined with business trips that kept us away for almost a month.  We returned in mid August still unprepared for school.

3.  Due to being away from home, I did not order some of our school books until we returned.  No books, no school!  Some are in transit now.

4.  We have one more trip planned before we can jump in with both feet.  This one is to visit out-of-state family.  Before this trip, we will go ahead with a gentle start.  After the trip, it's full-speed ahead!  At least I hope so.

There are many changes for us this year.  Our oldest is going into high school.  High school!  My, how time has quickly passed!  At first, I was scared out of my mind just thinking about high school.  I'm still a little scared, but I am blessed with comfort and assurance.  More on that later.

Since I now have a high-schooler, my kids will no longer be working together, at least not like they were previously.  I'm learning though, that in some ways, this is a good thing.  Sometimes (maybe many times), I think Emily (my oldest) would much prefer grabbing her history book to read on her own so she can get it done, rather than wait until we are all ready to read it together.

Katie will cycle back through MFW, and will begin Exploring Countries and Cultures.  She wasn't officially in school when we went through it the first time, so it will be mostly new to Katie.  I'm planning to include Emily in the geography, but I haven't figured out all those details just yet.

We aren't using MFW for high school because it didn't fit in with our entire needs package.  At co-op, Emily is enrolled in science, ancient biblical history, composition, and a finance class.  I couldn't justify paying for a packaged curriculum knowing we wouldn't use even half of it.

Purchase Exploring World History

We chose to use Notgrass World History (NWH), which happens to be what MFW uses in high school (can't veer too far off the beaten path!).  We will not likely complete the literature element of Notgrass since Emily will fulfill that in her composition class at co-op.  Based on my overview in the Notgrass books, I'm starting to see how well MFW has prepared us for high school.  More importantly, I'm witnessing God's hand in our homeschooling journey.  It's so exciting!

This brings me to mention the blessings of comfort and assurance I am feeling.  God has a unique plan in all of our lives, and He reveals pieces of it when He knows we are ready to receive them.  It's like putting a puzzle together.  Our character is built piece by piece.  Sometimes, those pieces fit the first time we try them.  Other times, they don't, and we must remove the piece and try it in another spot later on.  I'm finding this is true of some books that were introduced last year and prior, that we weren't quite ready for yet.  We had the "piece" but it just didn't fit in that place at that time.  So, we put the piece aside until we find the spot where it fits.  I feel like this is the year that some of those books will fit.  Last year, or even just months ago, I felt like a failure for not using those books.  Now, I see God's plan with them.  And it is good because God is good!

So, as we begin to begin this new school year, I'm choosing to lean more on God for guidance, support, comfort, assurance, and love, all of which I've relied too heavily on humans, including myself, to provide first.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Science Review, Part 1

What a winter we've had, and it's not over yet!  Another winter storm is predicted to hit this weekend.  If it does, and conditions are right, I hope to go out and play in the snow with my family.  I missed out on all the sledding due to illness, and as much as I ache for Spring, it is still Winter so I might as well enjoy it as much as possible.

Since I haven't posted much this year, I'm going to do a little backtracking, mostly in the way of science, but there may be a few other things sprinkled in here and there.

In Science, we've done lots of experiments mostly using two books: 100 Science Experiment and The World of Science.  I'll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves.

Water expands when it freezes...

Heat energy and weight cuts an ice cube in half...

Orange juice slushy...

Gooey slime...

Color separation...

Chemical reactions...

DNA (Apologia General Science co-op class)...

The slushy was a big hit and worked so well.  I was skeptical because only about half of our experiments pan out.  I'm glad this is one that worked for us!

Isn't science fun?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hardly a "Weekly" Wrap-Up

Sometimes, I wonder if I ran out of things to say.  Or, maybe other things just became more important.  Time might have been an issue.  The fact is, I haven't written a blog post in nearly four months.  Four months!

This blog was born out of a desire to document our homeschooling journey.  And if any of it encourages others, that's just icing on the cake.  This year, I have written very little.  Sure, I still take pictures.  And for me, that provides its own level of documentation.  But, I enjoy writing about those pictures.  At least I am pretty good at organizing them and labeling the folders I store them in on my computer.  So, maybe I'll be able to go back and realize that each picture is worth a thousand words, and the words weren't necessary during that season.

So, what have we been up to?  School.  Co-op.  Gymnastics.  Homeschool Swim & Gym.  Orchestra.  This year is a total contrast compared to last year.  So far, it's been mostly good.

In Science, we've done lots of experiments (I'll try to do a separate post with lots of pictures.)  In history, we're finding that the 1850s-Modern Times is an exciting time period to learn about.  We just entered the turn of the 20th century.  Learning about all the industrial growth and inventions has been fun.  There are so many other highlights but in an effort to speed this up and prevent a short novel from forming, I won't even attempt to remember it all right now.  Other subjects are moving along slower than I'd like, but I'm learning to try to relax and trust that it will be ok.  However, since this is January, I do plan to make some changes to prioritize what I believe is more important, rather than what I find easiest to to teach and assign.

We joined a new co-op this year.  We didn't attend one at all last year, so this is a big change.  We're only there for three classes plus lunch.  Katie loves her classes, and why wouldn't she?  Art, Gym, and Home Ec.  What's not to love?  The only class Emily likes is science, which came as a total surprise to me.  We tried doing the Apologia General Science at home last year and it just didn't fly.  When I saw that the co-op offered it as a class this year, I didn't hesitate to sign Emily up for it.  She dreaded going at first but found that she loves it.  She also has a creative writing class and study hall.  Believe it or not, she's not a fan of study hall.  She's much too active to sit quietly for an hour.  But there were no other reasonable options that hour.  She despises the creative writing class.  And that may be an understatement.  At first, I just thought her dislike of the class stemmed from her dislike of the subject itself.  Then, I began reviewing some of the work she does in class, and I'm not crazy about it myself.  I expected more writing, and more instruction.  It seems that it's a very casual class with very little expectations.  I'm not sure how we'll enter this second semester.  I've considered trying to switch her to another class, but I'm not even sure that's an option.  It's just not what either of us expected, so it's been a bit of a disappointment.

Gymnastics is going well for Emily.  We are trying to adjust to having a new coach.  It's not easy after having the same coaches for years.  We had four coaches that all left at about the same time.  I won't lie.  That's been rough.  But, we're managing.

Katie is taking homeschool gym & swim two days a week (swim one day and gym the other), and orchestra one day a week.  She absolutely loves them all!  She has met new friends and really enjoys the activity.  And I haven't really minded driving her to those activities.

I've spent the past week fighting the flu and bronchitis, so we didn't do much.  I'm just now starting to feel better.  Since we've had so much snow and cold weather, local schools have closed and delayed a lot, so orchestra was cancelled this week.  We skipped swim on Tuesday because I was sick in bed.  Hubs has been driving the kids to everything else, which gave him a greater appreciation of all I do.  That's not such a bad thing. :)

We visited my grandma a couple weeks ago to celebrate her 102nd birthday!  Yes, you saw that right - 102 years of life!  She was so happy that we took time to go see her.

No doubt, I've left a lot out.  But, that's what happens when I try to cram four months worth of living and learning into one blog post.  Life happens!

Linked up with Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Parts of Speech Printable

After searching the internet for the perfect printable that would show the basic parts of speech, I decided to make my own.  I modeled it after a dollar store poster I purchased several years ago that had been long forgotten about but just resurfaced in a closet.  Yay!

Please feel free to download the file(s) if you're interested.  Just click on the image below or go to my Printables page to download it. :)