Saturday, April 30, 2016

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices: 2016-2017

Here are our curriculum choices for Mercie, our 3rd grader.

MATH: Mercie will use Math-U-See Gamma next year.

Math-U-See Gamma Level Up Set   -

LANGUAGE ARTS: She is using Learning Language Arts Through Literature, the Yellow Book. She will read these books this year in this program: Madeline, The Courage of Sarah Noble, Meet George Washington, and The White Stallion.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature Complete Package Yellow | Main Photo (Cover)

LITERATURE: She will also be using Progeny Press Literature Guides. Here are the books and guides she will use this year.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain Progeny Press Study GuideThe Josefina Story Quilt Progeny Press Study GuideThe Drinking Gourd Progeny Press Study Guide

SCIENCE: She will be doing science this year with Silas, using Winter Promise "The World Around Me". I have changed my mind several times, but when the teachers guide came in the mail, I knew she would love this living books/hands on approach to science!

HISTORY: She will be using Story of the World Volume 1 as her main "spine". I have the Activity Guide, and will be adding at least one living book each week, one hands on activity, and the mapping and worksheets. Silas will be using this with her.
Softcover Text, Volume 1: The Ancient Times, Story of the World

ART: We are using and will continue to use Artistic Pursuits.

So - this will be her 3rd grade year! What are your 3rd grade choices?

1st Grade Curriculum Choices: 2016-2017

Silas will be in 1st grade next year! It's such an exciting age, when they're learning to read and starting to learn so much more! Here are our choices for 1st grade!

PHONICS/READING: Logic of English's Foundations. We are currently over half-way through with Foundations A, and I plan to move right through B, C, and D! I love this phonics program, and Silas is really doing well with it.

Foundations A-B Complete Set

MATH: We are using Math-U-See Primer, and when he finished we will move into Math-U-See Alpha. This also works well for Silas!

Math-U-See Alpha

SCIENCE: Silas will be using "The World Around Me" by Winter Promise. This will be our first experience with Winter Promise, and I'm excited! Their programs look fantastic.


HISTORY: Silas will be listening in to Story of the World Volume 1 with Mercie. I will be purchasing picture books for him that correspond with the lesson for the week. He will participate in mapping and Notebooking with the rest of us.

HANDWRITING: Silas will use A Reason for Handwriting K. His handwriting is not that good yet.

A Reason For Handwriting: Kindergarten--Student Worktext
I expect we'll have a wonderful 1st grade year! What are your 1st grade curriculum choices?

Friday, April 29, 2016

6th Grade Curriculum Choices for 2016-2017

Wow, I will have two middle school kids this coming school year! Hard to believe! Here are our 6th grade curriculum choices for Eli:

MATH: He is using and loving Rod and Staff 6, so we will continue using it and finish the year with it. He is only on Lesson 20, so we'll stop for the summer break and pick up where he left off when we start back.

Grade 6 Math "Understanding Mathematics" Set
LANGUAGE ARTS: He is using Learning Language Arts Through Literature, the Tan Book. The books he will read with this curriculum this year are Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Big Red, The Bronze Bow, and The Horse and His Boy.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Complete Package Tan | Main Photo (Cover)
WRITING: Eli will be using Apologia's Writers in Residence.
Writers in Residence Volume 1 Apprentice Book  -     By: Debra Bell
LITERATURE: I am going to have him complete 3 literature guides from Progeny Press.
The Call of the Wild Progeny Press Study GuideThe Door in the Wall Progeny Press Study GuideTreasure Island Study Guide Booklet
SCIENCE: Eli will have his own science this year from Master Books. He will be using Introduction to Meteorology and Astronomy.
Intro to Meteorology & Astronomy Pack, 3 Volumes The Wonders of Creation Series  -
HISTORY: Eli will complete Part One of. America the Beautiful by Notgrass. 

ART: Eli will be learning to draw with this book:
Draw the Draw 50 Way   -     By: Lee J. Ames
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum on CD-ROM   -
This is our plan for 6th grade! What are your 6th grade choices!

8th Grade Curriculum Choices for 2016-2017

I am already making plans for this coming school year! I like feeling prepared for the year - having everything purchased, binders and notebooks set up, and new school supplies ready!

Mikaela is going to be in the 8th {EIGHTH!} grade this year. I can't believe I have a child this old! For some reason, 8th grade is starting to scare me - I'm so afraid we won't be covering everything necessary for her to begin high school the next year! I may change things up a bit, but this is our tentative 8th grade plan:

MATH: She is still working through Principals of Mathematics, which is a pre-algebra course. She is about halfway through with this book. There is a second in this series, Principals of Mathematics, Book 2. We are considering using that when she is finished with Book 1. It's a solid math program that really makes her think. Some of it is really, really easy, and other parts are really, really hard!

Principles of Mathematics Book 1 Set

LANGUAGE ARTS: She just started Learning Language Arts Through Literature, the Green Book. So far, it's been really easy for her, but she enjoys it. It's a full language arts program that incorporates literature. The books she will read with this program are: Star of Light by Patricia St. John, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Complete Package Green | Main Photo (Cover)
WRITING: She is using Apologia's Writers in Residence and loves it. She will finish this program. When she is finished with WIR, I'm not sure what we'll use!

LITERATURE: Although she will be reading some great literature with LLATL, she wants some more literature! She loves to read. We were going to go with Memoria Press Literature Guide Set for 8th grade, but I am reviewing a literature study guide from Progeny Press with Mercie, my 2nd grader. I LOVE these guides even more than Memoria Press! I am going to have each of my older 3 children complete 3 of these guides this school year. The ones Mikaela wants to read and complete are:
A Wrinkle in Time Progeny Press Study GuideGreat Expectations Study GuideAcross Five Aprils Progeny Press Study Guide 
SCIENCE: She will have independent science this year with Master Books's Introduction to Oceanography and Ecology.

Intro to Oceanography & Ecology (Curriculum Pack)

HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY: Mikaela finished Part One of America the Beautiful by Notgrass this year, and she will complete Part Two this year.

ART: She wants to learn calligraphy, so she is going to use this book:

The Art of Calligraphy & Lettering

ELECTIVES: Mikaela wants to learn Spanish, so we are going to use Rosetta Stone's Spanish Course.
Rosetta Stone Spanish (Spain) Levels 1-5 Set with Audio Companion Homeschool Edition, Version 3
She loves to cook and bake, and I already give her free reign in the kitchen. She cooks dinner for the family several times a week and bakes goodies whenever she can! I don't think she needs a formal home economics course, because she is so adept and confident in the kitchen, but I do plan to write down what she cooks each week and what kitchen skills she learns from me.

She also wants to learn to use a sewing machine. I do not sew, but my mother does. I'm going to have my mom work with her over the summer {she will be staying with them for a month or so} on the basics, so she can use my sewing machine to sew. {Yes I have a sewing machine even though I can't sew.}

I think this is a well-rounded curriculum for an 8th grader! What are your middle school choices?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

52 Lists Projects: People I Admire

When I read the list title this week, I immediately thought of two people that I admire more than anyone else I know - my mom and dad.
My mom and dad are two of the most wonderful people I know! They are great parents and even better grandparents. My dad is a retired Baptist pastor, and my mom used to work at State Farm Insurance - but they are anything but "retired"!

They are missionaries to Central America - particularly Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras. They go down for weeks or months at a time and minister to the people through preaching, door to door {or hut to hut} in the villages, Bible schools for kids and adults alike, and more.

They fully trust and rely on God to provide for all of their financial needs - they have no steady income other than donations to their ministry. They down-sized their house and possessions in order to down-size their expenses. Now, that's faith in God!

I admire my parent's faith, their dedication to God and their commitment to the people of Central America. They say "yes" when God calls them to go somewhere, without hesitation.

Mom and Dad, I love you!

Check out their website:
Linking up with Chasing Slow:
52 lists with Chasing Slow

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Year in Review: 2015-2016

As the "school year" comes to a close, I usually reflect on a two simple things from the year: what worked and what didn't work. This year was a year of many many curriculum changes! I don't think we have ever swapped curriculum as much as we have this year! I was not happy with several curriculum choices {and still am not with a few}. It does make it a little harder on the kids when we make changes, but sometimes it really works for them. Being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew has brought some extra curriculum into our home to review, and some we have stuck with.


Heart of Dakota: We started the year with Heart of Dakota. I love the idea of this curriculum, and there are some great ideas and products within it, but it didn't work for us.

Fun-Schooling: We then started Fun-Schooling with journals from the Thinking Tree. Those were fun for a while, and I loved my kids using them, but my kids grew tired of them quickly, so we dropped them.

Christian Light: My oldest daughter started off with Christian Light for several subjects, but very quickly we dropped those! Not for us. Thank goodness they take returns.


BiblioPlan: I have said many, many times how much I love this program! We are on Week 12, and I love it more each week. All of the kids can sit and listen and participate to their own ability. The text is interesting and holds the kids attention!

Math-U-See: Silas has been using the Primer level and doing great with this math program! I am very impressed with it.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature: We have just started using this, but it's just what I wanted in a language arts program!

Writers in Residence: Mikaela loves this writing curriculum, and it's just the right balance of writing instruction and grammar.

Before Five in a Row & Five in a Row: Although we quit using BFIAR and FIAR, it worked wonderfully for my 3 younger kids. I plan to use FIAR with Mercie and Silas next year for their enrichment {science, history, geography, art}. I got overwhelmed trying to do BFIAR and FIAR! Lesson learned. :-)


Mikaela: She is enjoying the Memoria Press Literature Guides and Writers in Residence, two review items we received!

Eli: He started Rod and Staff math a few weeks ago, but he already loves it.

Mercie: She has been using Singapore math 2A and 2B all year and loves it! She is nearly through with 2B. She also liked FIAR.

Silas: He loves Math-U-See and looks forward to doing it each day. He also likes playing games from the Logic of English's Foundations A.


Family Learning works for us although as Mikaela moves into 8th grade, she may do her history and science independently rather than with everyone. We also employ many Charlotte Mason methods, although we are not 100% CM.

As the year comes to a close, and we prepare to spend some time off for the summer, it's fun and very helpful to reflect on the things that we used, the things we don't want to use anymore, and the things that work well.

Next, I'll be posting our tentative plan for 2016-2017!

Linking up with Blogging Through the Alphabet {Y is for Year-in-Review}:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tickle My Tummy Tuesday: Cake Mix Cookies!

My sister-in-law and good friend, Abby over at Little House on the Turnrow, and I are co-hosting a new link-up - Tickle My Tummy Tuesday! This link-up will be for any kid-friendly recipes - meals, snacks, drinks, things kids can make themselves...any recipe that kids will love!

This week, I'm sharing a simple recipe that my kids love - Cake Mix Cookies! These cookies are so easy - only 3 ingredients necessary - and so versatile - you can add anything! Here is what you need:

1 box of cake mix, any flavor - we used "Devil's Food"
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
*optional : chocolate chips, nuts, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, frosting

Simply mix all the ingredients together, drop onto a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 for around 10 minutes. These cake mix cookies are always soft and chewy - yum! The best part is the kids can totally make these by themselves.

If you've ever made these, leave me a comment telling me which cake mix you used and which goodies you added!

Devonian GREEMU Oil {TOS Review}

I have been reviewing a wonderful new skin moisturizer from Devonian the past month or so called GREEMU Oil. It has really helped my daughter and me with dry skin and frizzy hair.

Greemu Devonian Review
What is GREEMU?

That was my first question, too! GREEMU is a plant-based alternative to Emu Oil. GREEMU is used as a skin care product, hair care product, and more! It is made with macadamia seed oil, palm oil certified organic, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and rice bran oil.

How we used GREEMU

Greemu Devonian ReviewMy oldest daughter, Mikaela, and I used GREEMU in a few different ways. I have always had rough, cracked heels and dry skin - especially in the summer, when I wear sandals almost daily. I have tried many products to help with this problem, but none have worked as well as GREEMU. I can rub a tiny drop on my toes and heels in the morning, and they stay soft and smooth all day! I have also been using it after I shave my legs, and my legs stay smooth all day. In the past, my legs would feel itchy after shaving, as well as having the "ashy" look from dry skin. I rub GREEMU on my legs and the problem is gone - no itchiness or ashiness {apparently that isn't a word - oh well!}.

Mikaela and I use GREEMU in our hair a few times a week. It doesn't take but a small drop, otherwise you'll get a greasy look! It really helps smooth down the frizzy fly-away hairs and split ends. I only use it on the ends of my hair, but I can really tell a difference!

GREEMU can also be used on your scalp, if you have dry, itchy scalp. GREEMU can be used as an anti-aging effect, to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, as well helping with skin inflammation and irritation. I think GREEMU would be excellent for people with eczema or dermatitis.

What we think about GREEMU

I really love GREEMU! I am very impressed with the way my previously rough, dry feet look and feel now. I still have cracked heels, but I feel like they will heal soon. They look much better now than they did before I started using GREEMU. My legs and feet look shiny and smooth! I am also very impressed with the way our hair looks - you can't see split ends or frizzy hair anymore!

GREEMU is available through Koru Naturals. At $10.80 for a 4-oz bottle, this is a great deal! I have been using it almost daily for a month, and still have 3/4 of a bottle left! It really does not take more than a few drops. I also noticed a 20% off coupon on the website that is good through May 31, so take advantage of the coupon and buy a bottle!

Check out GREEMU on Facebook and Pinterest, where you can find some really neat products and creative ways to use them.

Greemu Devonian Review
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 25, 2016

52 List Project: Your Favorite Books

I don't have a lot of free time to read books, but over the years I have read some really amazing books. Here are my top 5 books:

1.) NLT Study Bible:

I love this Bible! It is a nice hardcover Bible with lots of informative and helpful commentary. I have used this Bible for years now; in fact, I'm on my second one! My first one's cover fell of and the binding tore. Oh well, you know the saying:

2.) The Fussy Baby Book by William Sears:
Really, any book by Dr. Sears is a great read! The Fussy Baby Book helped me get through a really tough period in my life - Titus's first year of life! He cried non-stop and was never happy. This book really, really encouraged me.
3.) Crazy Love by Francis Chan:
Wow! What an eye-opening and convicting book. This book really called me to be more in love with God. A quick, easy read {other than stopping to ask forgiveness many, many times} that I recommend.
4.) The Power of a Praying Mom by Stormie Omartin
Product Details
I read this book when my oldest daughter was young and I plan to re-read it now!
5.) David C. Cook's Journey Through the Bible:
Product Details
Although we use this as a history resource in school, I find myself perusing it throughout the day. It's full of interesting facts and colorful pictures that really make the Bible come alive!
What are your favorite books?
Linking up with my friend at Chasing Slow:
52 lists with Chasing Slow