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Showing posts from February, 2012

"A" is for "Attitude"

I am joining in on a new Link-up at Ben and Me called Blogging Through the Alphabet. Each week I will have a post with the assigned letter of the week. I think I will post mine on Wednesdays, because that's hump day and I could use something to get my mind moving at mid-week. Maybe I'll even inspire myself!


This week's letter is "A". And the first word I thought of was "Attitude". Of course my immediate thought was about how a school day goes more smoothly when your kids have good attitudes and thought maybe I would list the Top 10 ways to instill good attitudes in your students. And then it hit me ... maybe I am the one who needs the good attitude. Who, me???

So, here are my Top 10 Ways to Instill a Good Attitude in ME YOU!


1. Start your day with you and the Lord. Grab your cup of coffee (or morning beverage of choice), your Bible, your devotional, your journal and head to your favorite chair. Spend the first moments of your day reading the Word, medit…

Thinking about Schedules for 2012/2013 School Year

I have been tossing around an idea for next year's schedule, and I think I have come to a decision.

Eli and Brynne's school schedule will not coincide with Dawson's. He is insistent that he stick to the public school schedule so that he is out of school at the same time as his public school friends. Makes sense.

But I have visions of longer breaks in the school year for Eli and Brynne, and primarily me. And, I would like to start having school on Saturdays for them, as well, with Science Saturdays with their daddy. Then I was looking at the calendar and noticed that the 2012 Summer Olympics are at the end of July, which would be a perfect unit study for them. All of these things combined helped me to come up with the following schedule for next year.

We will have school Monday through Friday, as "normal", and Science Saturdays, having lessons and doing projects with their daddy. (I love the idea of including him in their schooling and in him sharing his passion o…

Yet Another Reason Why We Homeschool

Another tragedy today.

One of our deciding factors in bringing Dawson home from public school was his experience with bullying, and the fear associated with it. At the time he broke down and begged us to take him out of school, he was dealing with a bully who was already in ISS (In-School Suspension) for fighting who had sent out word that when he got out he was going to "hurt" Dawson. And for absolutely no reason.

It was during this grade (7th grade) that Dawson was trying to figure out who he was. He was finding that he was not a jock; he was not a band geek (a highly revered position in our high school); and he was not an honors student. He liked to ride his skateboard. He was a really good kid caught between the bad kids and the popular kids. He's always been friends with the unaccepted, and in middle school you don't to be one of those kids. He was so lost. He lost friends he had always had. His sister was told by one of the popular girls that Dawson was "…

America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 3: "Westward 1" Lesson Plans

This past summer, when I planned our lessons for this year, I was enthralled with how much information was in Episode 3 ~ Westward. It couldn't be done in just three weeks, as I had intended for each unit. So, I broke Westward up into two separate units: Westward 1 and Westward 2. This week I will provide the lesson plans for Westward 1. We spent three weeks on this part of the unit.

We readThe Captain's Dog by Roland Smith. We read an equal number of pages each day to cover the three-week unit (Suprisingly, Dawson did not enjoy this book as much as I thought he would. With him being such a dog-lover, I thought he would appreciate it more. But it just didn't have enough action for him. You'll find that he's hard to please when it comes to literature. I actually really enjoyed The Captain's Dog and thought it was a great piece of historical fiction.)


We watched the entire Episode 3, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and the vocabulary words…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Lacking Wisdom

I got my wisdom teeth extracted yesterday, so my wrap-up this week is going to be a little short. Daddy stayed home from work yesterday to take care of me and to act as substitute teacher. We are calling today a Sick Day because, well, I'm sick. There will just be lots of reading and educational computer games today, and even more playing. For me, I'll be in bed. I have some paresthesia because of an exposed nerve during the surgery, so I am praying that I will regain the feeling to that part of my lip and chin soon. For now, I look like a chipmunk. And, I'm pretty miserable.

Here is what our week looked like in the form of a collage:


1. Brynne continued learning about dogs this week: Portuguese Water Dogs, Boxers and Border Collies.

2. We were back into our books pretty heavy at the beginning of the week with grammar, copywork, handwriting, and math.

3. She also started a fairly significant chapter book (for her) called Poodle and Hound, and spent each afternoon reading t…

FREE Scripture Adventures Easter Lapbook

Well, let's just call this Freebie Friday! Sherri at Luv a Bargain has come through again! In a listing of 20 Fun Freebies, I came across this Easter Lapbook download by Scripture Adventures.



I always love to pause the week or so before Easter and focus on Jesus' death and resurrection in our homeschool studies.

If you would like to take advantage of this free lapbook, just click here. All you have to do is provide your name and e-mail address.

Thank you, Sherri, for helping me teach for FREE!

FREE Subscription to Newsweek Magazine

Here is a Study America Saturday prequal! (Remember, tomorrow I will have my third installment in the "America: Story of Us" lesson plans we have used this year.)

My friend Sherri at Luv a Bargain posted about this freebie opportunity through RewardsGold. If you register, refer two friends, and take a short survey about breakfast, you can receive a FREE one-year subscription to Newsweek magazine!


This is especially enticing to me, because next year for American History, Dawson will be studying Current Events and Government. With the election coming up, Newsweek will be a valuable resource! In fact, one of my plans was for him to read the magazine weekly and write short summaries of what he has read. I was planning to purchase Time Magazine, but now that I was able to get Newsweek for free, guess what we will be using instead!!

So, hop over to RewardsGold if you would like to sign up for this magazine. You will not have to give any credit card information, just a few minutes …

America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 2: "Revolution" Lesson Plans

Geez .. It's only the second post in this series and I almost forgot about it! On Thursday night, as I was packing to go out of town for the weekend, I remembered that I would need to get it ready to auto post. So, I stayed up that night to get it done.

The second episode of America: The Story of Us is "Revolution". We spent three weeks on this unit.

We read The Winter of Red Snow by  Kristiana Gregory and Yankee Doodle Boy by Joseph Plumb Martin. We read an equal number of pages each day to cover the three-week unit (The Winter of Red Snow was good, I thought, although Dawson did not enjoy it as much. It was more of a story than Yankee Doodle Boy.)



We watched Episode 2, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and the vocabulary words. These can be printed by going here. The Episode Guides are down the left hand column on the site.


All "notebooking pages" are printed from Advanced World HistoryVol. 2 from Hold that Thought!

All "America'…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Snow, Shows and Smiles that Glow

As "normal" as last week was, this week was the total opposite!

We started out Monday by declaring a Snow Day! We got a little over an inch of good snow Sunday night into Monday. And, since it will likely be all we get this year, we decided to call off school for the day and play in it!




Tuesday was Valentine's Day. Eli had his class party that afternoon.


Dawson, Brynne and I spent the morning watching some subject-based videos. Dawson watched "Frontier House" and Brynne watched the "2012 Westminster Kennel Dog Show". They also each did a Valentine activity. On Wednesday, they finished their videos.



I branched out this week and created a collage of our activities for Collage Friday with Mary at Homegrown Learners. I used a free App for my iPad called PicCollage. For some reason I have been reluctant to try collages. But, with this, it was just too easy.

1. Our family gathered together on Tuesday night and each painted a canvas, anyway we wanted, using …

More Than a Valentine

So, I went to Eli`s Valentine party at school today. This was the condition of the classroom when I got there ...


That class knows how to party!

They had a pj day, and played games and watched "Mr. Popper`s Penguins". There were snacks for about 10 classes!

What was so great, though, was watching Eli with his Valentines. The other kids in the class were tearing through them, ripping off the candy and quickly discarding the ones without. Eli, though, went through his box SLOWLY! He read each one carefully and then got up out of his seat and went to that person and THANKED each one for giving him a Valentine. He was so incredibly sweet and I was so proud of his gratitude and manners.

Experience vs. Live

We had a snow day today.

Last year we had over two feet of snow AT ONCE and were snowed in for two weeks. We. loved. it. This year, nary a flake. (Okay, a few flakes one day, but it was melted by mid-morning).

Snow boots and gloves were on clearance last week, so I stocked up on some for both the little kids for the future. But with this mild winter, the chances of us using them were slim.

Until yesterday. There was a possibility of some snow that was to come in overnight! It looked like Tulsa could get around 5 inches. At 5 a.m. this morning, there was snow on the ground, but not near what was predicted. I checked the school closings (because Eli still goes to public school) and EVERY SCHOOL IN OUR AREA WAS CLOSED ..... except for ours.

So I laid in bed and tossed and turned and remembered how excited he was before he went to bed because there might be snow to play in, and recalled how the extended forecast showed that the mild temps would be back by tomorrow afternoon so the snow wo…

America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 1: "Rebels" Lesson Plans

Here it is ... the first installment of our American History lesson plans using "America: The Story of Us" as our spine. We are currently on Episode 6 and I anticipate us at least getting through Episode 10 by the end of the school year. I hope that you find these posts helpful as you plan your lessons.

The first episode of America: The Story of Us is "Rebels". We spent three weeks on this unit.

We started reading Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone. We read an equal number of pages each day to cover the three-week unit (** highly recommend).


We watched Episode 1, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and the vocabulary words. These can be printed by going here. The Episode Guides are down the left hand column on the site.


All "notebooking pages" are printed from Advanced World HistoryVol. 2 from Hold that Thought!

All "America's Heritage" references are materials printed from America's Heritage: An Adventure in Lib…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Dogs, Dogs, DNA, more Dogs, and the Heartland

This was the first "normal" week of school that we have had in a while. That means that we were home doing school Monday through Thursday, and had our regular Co-op activities on Friday. It was a productive week, and I am ready for the weekend. We have nothing planned this weekend, other than church on Sunday, and I couldn't be happier. I'm tired! In fact, I've been on the couch since about 1 p.m.

Regular studies (and when I say "regular studies" I mean grammar, copywork, handwriting, math/algebra, critical thinking, and literature) are all progressing at a good speed. I am happy where both of the kids are at, both in how well they are doing with the material and in how far they are along in the number of completed lessons. All of these regular studies are moving along easily. Both kids know what is expected of them in these courses and do them each day with ease and independently, for the most part.

I do have to add that for Brynne, I am loving Mathema…