By any accounting this blog post title might definitely be related to a needlecraft art. New Year, New Starts and WIPs sounds a bit like something directly out of a Stitch Maynia or Stitch from Stash SAL (stitch-a-long for those curious). Yet at the same time doesn’t that title ring true for a homeschool mama trekking alongside in school with her students? We need a fresh start. We need to regroup our progress and decide what is working and what efforts need to be tweaked to reach the optimal progress for us all to succeed. And then again, what about the mom blogger who wants to make a fresh and exhilarating new Year with an effort into affiliate funding and building review and other blog relations in the online community of similar mamas. While we are at it, why not throw in the prospect of new life growing deep in the womb. . .
In the past few months I have noticed a drastic change in our homeschool. It was stressing me out. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was stressing all of us out. I realized that we were having a stress-filled homeschool and I needed to stop re-evaluate and possibly take a break. In truth, we have been homeschooling for about five years now, as we started when AppleBlossom was quite young and vying for educational inspiration and exploration. We jumped right in, and I couldn’t keep up with her thirst for knowledge and budding learning skills. Teaching her has been a delight and looking forward to learning more and going deeper has been a dream to contemplate. But that is not how the last few months, or school year, has played out… There are quite a few new elements. Toddler Rascal brother in the background as well as five-year-old attention span of. . .
My oldest daughter has long said that she desires to be an artist when she grows up. She specifically wants to be a painter, but to use all sorts of mediums. Lately, she has discovered writing and asked if she could be an author. When I told her she could be both, she had glitter in her eyes with the possibilities and excitement. While we are trying to education in a Classical Christian Education manner in our homeschool, I often am trying to find ways to bring in art to let her work her artistic muscles and pursue her dreams. Art is a broad and important part of life, and fostering artistic expression in kids sets them on a positive path, whether it’s hobbyist, professional, as an outlet or pure aesthetic expression. The common thread is that it is creative, expressive, it can inspire us, and lead to. . .
Lately, I am doing a bit of upkeep behind the scenes on the blog. Pretty much our Christmas gifts have been purchased and this year it is my oldest that is getting the big gifts. Under the tree when we get to Grandmama’s house she will discover the first box of a Little Passports subscription to Science Expeditions as well as a second envelope containing the first package of a subscription to Discover the Little Passports USA Edition. So while I’m updating my affiliate links and banners, right now I’m seeing all the excitement and secretly knowing how delighted she will be to open those packages in the next few weeks!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can hardly believe that we are half way through the month of December and that much closer to starting a new year!? When I started this post the other day I was full of things to say, then I became distracted. Now, I’m sitting down to type and try again with a full battery in the laptop, but apparently, the internet has just lost connectivity, so hopefully this draft won’t disappear… Cross stitch, it’s my thing! I’m sitting down tonight to type and talk as I cannot stitch this evening. As a matter of fact, I’m not letting myself stitch at all today as I seem to have overdone it the last few days and my shoulder is hurting terribly from an apparent repetitive stitch injury. Oops! I know, I know! I just couldn’t help it though. I was finally able to. . .
While quite often we use a full curriculum, every once in a while we really want to focus on something to firmly learn a skill. This is one of the things that I adore about The Critical Thinking Co.™ and I have found myself super excited about their brand new Sentence Diagramming: Beginning (Grades: 3-12+) book. We have been doing lesson after lesson and really enjoying ourselves as well as learning and firming our language art skills previously worked on in the past as well. For the purposes of this review, we received a 68-page paperback 8×11″ book with 12 lessons through out on a beginning level. I believe there will also be a next level 1 and level 2 books available soon if they are not already available. Last year, we worked with another of their language arts books featuring Fun-Time Phonics!. In this review period, there are other homeschool families. . .
Last year, I discovered the wonder of Homeschool Legacy and the unit studies that Sharon has written to share with other parents in our own organization of teaching a particular topic in a great immersion for several weeks. Last year, from my time with The Forest for the Trees Homeschool Legacy unit-study I knew there was also a Lewis & Clark study, and this would be the perfect time to look into it! This year, we have actually been working on the Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea (7-weeks) as well as this review product Christmas Comes to America (4-weeks) Once-a-Week Unit Study. With the foundation of Homeschool Legacy’s Once-a-Week Unit Study Forest for the Trees I feel inspired about our learning possibilities and encouraged to run with enthusiasm to topics that inspire and delight. This feeling continues into my experiences with Christmas Comes to America as well! The joy. . .
I figured it has been a few weeks since my last hey, how you doing post, so that is what I’m here to do today. Last time, I checked in I was talking about our trip to the beach and how we were all recovering from my miscarriage this early summer. Well the late summer threw us for a loop as well as I found out in early October that I am pregnant again. This is the sixth time I have been pregnant and it is a realization with tons of emotions this way and that. Personally, due to the circumstances of the last few months I have to confess to quite a bit of trepidation. Only time will tell and it is all in God’s hands is it not? Here is a sneak peak… Next appointment is November 15th! I have still been cross stitching a lot and. . .
We have a busy school year. We are learning lots of subjects, but my students always want a bit more than I have time to teach. One subject that my oldest daughter really wants is the French language. It was providential timing that the Homeschool Review Crew participating in a review for Middlebury Interactive Languages. For our family, we have been blessed with access to review Elementary French 1: Grades K-2. My daughter who is the main student for this class is working mostly at a third grade level, but she is only seven years old and a complete novice at French. Add on to this the tag along of her Kindergarten sister, and this is the best course for our family. While browsing their website, I discovered that they not only have Elementary French for the primary grades, but levels of courses that go all the way up through. . .
Some days my mama-teaching brain just doesn’t want to function, but was have got to get some learning accomplished. In my opinion, that is the best time to bring out the Educeri website! Educeri ……. Educeri a division of DataWORKS is an online website full of lesson plans and lessons. In a school setting, I image they would set up well with a whiteboard program. At home, they are a great supplement, but I bet you could plan around them as well. For the purposes of our review with the Homeschool Review Crew we have been granted 12 months to the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. The subscription is open-ended as in it is good for K-12 grades and all lessons, not just a certain range! Because we came into this already into the school year, we are set for the most part with certain subjects, so I chose to use. . .
Once upon a time, I was flipping through my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and stumbled upon a recipe for meat loaf. Not only is it one recipe, but on the facing page there is another ten varieties to change it up a little with the glaze. This has become an absolute favorite of the Enginerd’s for me me to cook. I know that when he shows up with fresh veggies and two pounds of ground meat he’s asking for meat loaf. The thing that is so friendly about this recipe is that you can truly tweak it to what is available. Two pounds of ground meat. Want lean? Use turkey. Want excitement? Mix it! Some turkey with some beef or some pork with some beef. Want standard? Use ground beef. I will tell you that I prefer not along the lines of the 95/5 variety. As with meat loaf. . .
A few weeks ago, the Discovery Park Museum of America had the traveling Lewis & Clark Discovery Expedition of St. Charles visit and we went for the day to see reenactors in person and get a glimpse of what it was like for these two men. At the same time, our library gave out the recommended read for the Homeschool Book Club including Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale. All of this seemed perfect timing. Last year, from my time with The Forest for the Trees Homeschool Legacy unit-study I knew there was also a Lewis & Clark study, and this would be the perfect time to look into it! I contacted Sharon and told her of our study plans and we were soon off and ready to start collecting books! While on our trip to the Discovery Park, I let friends and other homeschool families flip through the get a. . .