Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our curriculum for 2013-2014 school year

Finally!  It's here!  Our plan for the 2013-2014 school year!  I have spent weeks, and many late nights scouring the internet trying to figure out what we are going to do.  I really wanted to do Sonlight, but it's expensive and I'm not sure how great of a fit it would be for our family.  So, again, I pieced it all together!  All that scouring to realize that this is how I like to do it anyway, piece by piece.

Really not a lot has changed in some subjects.  Maybe the next level up in some cases.  We are still using a lot of our old favorites.  I've added in some online classes for April to give her something different, and hopefully a little more challenging/interesting.  Another big thing is April's Shakespeare class that she'll be doing.  This is an awesome opportunity for her that we are really excited about.  I'm hoping that between those 3 things it will give her more of a exciting/challenging year.

April 7th grade
This picture sure doesn't look like a lot, but she has quite the spread for her curriculum this year.  There are also a few things not pictured as we are waiting for the packages to come.


  • Snap circuits XP:  she finally has her own set of snap circuits!  She'll learn about computer programming with this set.
  • Story of the world vol. 1:  CD's, and activities
  • Story of the world vol 2:  CD's, and activities


  •  Shakespeare:  she will need to read, watch or listen to 17 shakespeare plays for her co-op class.  Other Shakespeare explorations at co-op including a production in the spring of 2014.  I might start her with a graphic Shakespeare like this one, Macbeth-graphic, to get her warmed up to it. 

Other studies will include

  • Scripture studies
  • Violin lessons at Music man studio (she wants to do this, we are looking into it)
  • Nature studies from the Handbook of Nature study
  • Cake decorating class

Aaron 2nd grade
Not much is new for this 2nd grader.  He's continuing most books from last year that he didn't finish.  The biggest additions to his curriculum are the Master reader program, and the typing.



  • Explode the code 1

  •  Story of the world vol. 1:  CD's 

  • Beginning Geography workbook by Evan Moore (from previous year)
Multi-subject resources:
  • Lapbooks to go along with any study
  • co-op classes
  • cub scouts when he turns 8 later in the year
  • Possible violin lessons as well

Aric Kindergarden
I am excited for this Kindergarden year.  I hope I can keep this active little boy busy with these choices!  A lot of his books are the same books his brother used.


  • Horizons math K 
Thinking skills/logic
  • Daily science grade 1
  • McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader
Language Arts:
  • Draw, Write, Now books (art and drawing too!)
Multiple subjects

  • Soccer in the Fall 
  • He wants to try taekwondo
  • swimming lessons later in the year

Alex Preschool/tot school
Preschool is my favorite age to teach. 

  • Before Five in a Row (and FIAR with his brother)
  • Big preschool workbook:  this book was purchased because he wants to steal his brother's Math book everytime we do math.  He thinks he should have a math book too.  I'm hoping this looks close enough to a math book to him :-) 
  • My first school book : by Handwriting without tears.  He will like having a "school book" of his own to do letters in
  • Lots and lots of play:  manipulatives, sensory bucket, crafts, etc.

(lessons and activities all together):

Christian liberty nature readers
Story of the world activities
Family time fitness
Nature studies
Letterboxing (something I hope to do all year long): You use clues to find a box that contains a stamp to stamp into your log book

That about wraps it up for our main curriculum.  We will probably add or take away throughout the year, and I will try to update this list as we do so.  I am looking forward to our year now that the planning part is done!  Phew!  On to the next blog hop...the room!

I am linking up with iHomeschool network's curriculum blog hop for the Not back to school blog hop during the month of August.

Your homeschooling friend,


Friday, August 9, 2013

My weekly homeschool journal: Aug. 9

HMJ SUMMER logo landscape

In my life this head is swimming with curriculum choices as I read all of the blogs linked up at curriculum week.  My oldest went off to girls' camp for a week (her first time), and while I'm happy for her, I miss her.  My chickens are gone to a new home this week (a good and sad thing).  We have 2 days to pack up for our camping trip next week.  I need to plan a menu for said camping trip, and get to the grocery store.  ....Sigh!  Feeling pulled in a lot of different directions this week!

In our homeschool this week...lots of field trips, and reading.  I am trying to focus on just reading this summer (with some science and math mixed in).  Especially for my boys.  Aaron is using this reading chart from Walking by the way.  He has 4 books that he gets to choose from each day to read.  He breezes through the Elephant and Piggie choice, those are easy for him.  The Dr. Seuss ones are not so easy.  We've also been reading through more Magic Tree house books.  Aric has started All about reading level 1.  I wanted to try it with him, and see if he's ready.  He is through lesson 4, and it has been pretty easy for him so far.  I'm going to have to get creative with word play for him though.  He gets bogged down reading words over and over again, and seems to forget how to sound them out each day.

Our new reading center.  The left box is for Aaron's book choices, and the right is Aric's all about reading books.  The white board is for all the word building tiles.
Places we're going and people we're seeing...lets see
  • we went to play with our co-op friends at the water fountains.  
  • OMSI
  • Wilsonville library to turn in summer reading and science charts. 
  • Red Robin birthday dinner for Miss April.  
  • Swimming at our local pool.
  • A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village--they had chocolate day, and we got to see and eat lots of chocolate.

My favorite thing this week was...homeschool picture day.  I can't wait to see how our pictures came out.

My kiddos favorite thing this week was...playing in a giant bubble.  A pinterest success!  It only took us all summer to get this going (ran out of tape the first try :-)  It has been sitting in our school area waiting to be finished, and we finally did it!


Things I'm working on...figuring out what we are going to do for school this year. I'm taking it slow on purpose.  I really want to be sure before I buy anything because I need to get a lot for 3 kids/levels.  Not sure when we'll be starting up.  Most likely beg-mid Sept.  Guess it all depends on how long it takes me to figure out the curriculum!

I'm cooking...a cherry pie with some fresh cherries.  I'm not very good at pies, but it was still delicious!  I also made chicken alfredo, and the kids seem to just go nuts when I make that.  I can never make enough!  Actually, that's the case with most meals these days.  3 little boys can pack away a lot of food, and they aren't even teenagers yet!  Yikes! 

I'm grateful for...a library card, and the resources we can find at the library.  I'm also thankful for a new home for our chickens, and that they are gone this week before we head out camping.  I'm thankful that I don't have to find someone to take care of them.

I rewarded my kids this week by...letting them pick out a Wii game at the Redbox on Friday.  They picked out Wreck it Ralph.

A photo, vidoe, link, or quote to share... my new planner.  Love this thing!  It's very rare that I find a planner that has exactly what I want all through out.  It even has a lot of extras like attendance records, report cards, and homeschool class plans for each child.


Here is a great video of this planner in action.  Planning the whole school year.

Linking this post up to So you call yourself a homeschooler for the weekly homeschool journal.


Friday, August 2, 2013

FIAR: Papa Piccolo

We rowed Papa Piccolo back in June.  I think this is a sweet book.  Now every time we find a flag of Italy Aric points it out.  Love the little things they catch from these "rows".

Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley is a story about an alley cat in Italy who finds 2 kittens.  He ends up adopting them and teaching them all kinds of things.  It's a cute little story.

We found Italy, and put the story disk on it.  Can you see Peter Rabbit there in the background? IMG_3601

 We also happened to watch Kiki's Delivery Service while rowing this.  Here April made the cat from the movie named Jiji.  It was fun to watch the cat in this movie as we were reading and learning about cats all week.

April's Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service

Some of the great cat books we checked out from the library:
Cat, What is that?  This one was poetic, and my 4 year-old adored this book
Cat Goes Fiddle-i-fee

Mr. Maxwell's Mouse, was a clever little tale 
Drawing cats, helped April to draw some great cat pictures.

How the CAT Swallowed Thunder, A fable of how the cat got it's purring ability

Dick Whittington and his Cat, my kiddo lost interest in this one halfway through, but it looked interesting.
Have you seen my cat? by Eric CarleIMG_3652

If you give a cat a cupcake, we always love these if you give stories. IMG_3653

Aric's lapbook.  He had very little interest in the lapbook.  So I didn't really push it.  It doesn't have much because of that.  Here is the front... IMG_3913

I included his map of Italy and his flag of Italy that he colored.  Some cat puzzles, and other mini books. IMG_3914

He painted a gondola.  We did do the color wheel activity talked about in the manual.  The cute kitten picture is a picture he had up on his wall that he wanted to take down and put in his lapbook. IMG_3915

We also watched this video about gondolas in Venice, Italy.  It was nice to have a real life example as we were talking about gondolas and what they do.

 So, that was our row of Papa Piccolo!

Linking up with Delightful Learning's

Delightful Learning


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tot school: Letter Cc

Tot school
Letter: Cc
Theme: cats

 See Tot School Printables for the printables for this unit!

Alex is 30 months old

We did this tot school week in conjunction with our Papa Piccolo Five in a row week.  It was a fun week of cats. 

Alex was happy he traced around the cat maze in his Kumon book.


We painted with cars on the Letter CcIMG_3600

His letter Cc basket all laid out.IMG_3593

He amazed me with how well he could trace these numbers!IMG_3682

3-2-1 IMG_3683 
He loved coloring the different colored cats.  IMG_3681

He was very proud to get all the links into each hole.IMG_3678

His first lapbook!  Since it was letter C, I thought it would be fitting to have a Cars tot lapbook.  He loved it.IMG_3658
 Of course the car has to ride over all the numbers!  It is Cars after all :-)IMG_3654

I am linking this up at Tot school gathering place at 1+1+1=1.
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