Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Weeks of School 2013

I am surprised at how long I go without blogging now as I used to do it almost daily when I started it so many years ago. It started as an outlet for me during a really stressful time...I am full of joy when I say that I don't need it for that reason anymore. 

Nevertheless, I find it fun to look back on our life so many years ago to see pictures and read stories about things I have long forgotten. My husband and our children enjoy it too, so my blogging continues, albeit not as frequent as before.

The above picture speaks for itself...Chelsea started 6th grade, and Gavin is in a combination of 2nd and 3rd grade...they are 11 and 8. :)

The rules and expectations we have for our children at all times is based on Charlotte Mason's belief in how to educate children, as seen below:


I love it for it covers everything....and with that, welcome to our homeschool area (dining room):

The U.S map is from Paper's actually $4 wrapping paper and it's beautiful and can find a bunch of different maps, including the one below, here.

What they painted for me for Mother's Day, right before I was hospitalized:

The world map below is also $4 wrapping paper from the same place:

I made the behavior chart below, and you can see small versions of the Charlotte Mason "mantra". I also pinned on some prints from google images and some photos and prints I made. :) The wooden clips are from the dollar isle at Target--Chelsea is pink and Gavin is blue, and they start everyday on Great Job. The basis for moving down and up is based on the I am, I can, I ought, I will expectations. It works REALLY well.

I change this wall out every year....if you look at past homeschool years on my archives sidebar, you will see the looks I have chosen in previous years. This is what I went with this year...I designed the Bible verse print and took the photographs. This is the left of the wall as you face it.

The middle of the wall, which is the only picture that always remains. Chelsea and I LOVE Georgia O'Keeffe. :)

The right of the wall...I also designed the Bible verse print below and took all the pictures.

A close-up of my favorite $4 U.S.vintage map!

A close-up of my favorite boy....

and my favorite girl :)

Chelsea and I fell IN LOVE with this Mr. Boddington's beautifully designed covers on these classic books. Since she read all the American Girl books, and I do mean ALL more than once, we decided to move on to the classics. 

She has always been advanced in reading, so even though she is a 6th grader, we are starting to read these unabridged versions. 

We are on Little Women right now and LOVING it. It's what I am using to teach her Literature and she also attends a homeschool co-op, where she takes a Creative Writing class. Her teacher there is also using Little Women, only instead, she is using it to teach her how to write. :) 

After Little Women, we plan to read The Secret pretty is this cover?!

We plan to watch both movies when we finish. She REALLY wants to read Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and watch both those movies...but we'll see how many we get to this year; they are long books!

She is also doing Spelling Workout and Daily Grams for 6th graders.

I am using All About Reading with Gavin and this program ROCKS. It made him a reader after a couple years of failed attempts with different curriculum. This one works perfectly for him as it used all modes of learning. We are half way through Level 2, and hope to start Level 3 in the spring semester. He is also doing Spelling Workout 2 and Easy Grammar 2.

We also LOVE Handwriting Without Tears for him...he is doing level 2 printing.

He LOVES it when I read to him...we are going through the Magic Tree House series and are on book 8. It's so fun and I am teaching him reading comprehension and the story elements through these books.

We are using Beautiful Feet Books Early American History for 4th-6th graders and adore it. It's absolutely the best history curriculum I have ever laid eyes on. Since we love to read books and this history program is culminated by living books, it's the perfect fit for us. I adapt it down for Gavin and keep it at grade level for Chelsea so we do it together.

We also do Apologia Science together. We are on the third year of Zoology...we already did Swimming Creatures and Flying Creatures. This Land Animals curriculum is the last Zoology year and we have really enjoyed it (I went out of order).

Chelsea is in a Math Co-op class using this math curriculum:

and I am teaching Gavin math from the curriculum HSP (Harcourt School Publishers) but we don't have it's still coming in the mail.

Meanwhile, he is taking one co-op class called Mad Dog Math; it teaches him his math facts but in a fun and effective way...he loves it and so do I. :)

I still use these dollar isle shower caddies I found at Target several years ago...they are amazing. Those tin cans that you can find in the same isle holds their school supplies. It's so perfect....and seeing my boy write a sentence for the first time after struggling to read and write for so many years is more than perfect!

Having two serious life-threatening diseases, being hospitalized several times a year, and having way more than a boy's fair share of sick days have contributed to him being far behind in school; as if that wasn't enough, we recently discovered that he has visual processing issues. We are in the middle of creating an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) for him with the charter school we homeschool through. I am excited to see what else their Resource Specialist (RSP teacher) can do to help me teach him and help him learn.

Chelsea loves to do school....

and I have to say she is way more motivated this year than she was last year; I hope that sticks around!

We have to have lovely things around us while we do makes our hearts happy. :)

More first day probably noticed that not all these photos were taken on the same day...but that is why I titled the post, "The First Weeks of School". ;)

We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this year...I am so blessed to be their homeschooling mom!


  1. Loving the update. Makes me miss my days of homeschooling.

    Julie in NJ - retired homeschooling mom. yes you can survive homeschooling and still have some functioning brain cells left in the end. tee hee

  2. I thought something went wrong because you havent posted in so long!

  3. your homeschool area is so bright and cheery, who WOULDN'T want to go to school there!? Love your blog! thanks for sharing all your hs choices :)


I love to read your comments so thank you for leaving one. :) If you have a question for me, please leave your contact information so I can get back to you with a response.