About Me

I'm a mom, a teacher, a student, a wife, and a scout leader. I am actually an education major currently working on my practicum in a 2nd grade classroom. I also home school my two children. I'm also a cub scout leader, a girl scout leader, and at church I'm the children's music leader. ;) I tend to stay a little busy. My state requires homeschoolers to keep a portfolio. I am going to use this blog as my portfolio.

What am I?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

First day of school

Yes, school is back in session, at least in our home. :) Remember, we do 6 terms of 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off so we only get about 4-6 weeks off for summer. My kids are now in 3rd and 5th grade! I can't believe it. Anyways, here is day 1 of school. So, here's out day until the end of school.

I generally let the kids sleep in. So, they do breakfasts around 8:30am.

At 9am we start chores. In case you're wondering about the headphones, Collin loves listening to audio books so he walks around the house all day listening to an audio book. I figure there are much worse things he could be doing so it doesn't bother me until I need to talk to him. LOL!


She often sits in this little cubby under the desk to do school work or read. 
 After math we did literature. I am currently reading The War That Saved My Life aloud to them. They are loving it. After each reading session we have an activity and discussion questions we go over.

Lunch Break!

After lunch break we go into writing (This is Collin's least favorite and can often be very stressful so we have to have a fun subject after it). In this picture they're working on persuasive essays of why the animal they chose is the best animal in the world. Ryanne chose a dog and Collin chose a manticore. 

 So, this is how I do direct instruction. Schools have smart boards, I have a laptop I plug into the television. :) It works. This was science. We're doing a unit on energy for this 6 week term because we're doing a history unit on WWII. We're going to go into nuclear energy and atomic energy later in the unit so I thought they'd fit well together. We alternate history and science -- science 3 days and history 2 days each week. 

Ryanne didn't finish all her math during math time so here she is finishing up her math worksheet.
 The kids then had to finish their chores. They went out to play. Then I fed them a quick dinner before I took Ryanne off to dance, again. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


So, I have been asked lately - several times actually - about the curriculum I use because curriculum is SO expensive. So, here's what I do, I write my own. Now, just so you know, my degree is in educational studies which means it was all about learning different methodologies of teaching and writing curriculum. Ta-da! So, that's how I saved money, I spent thousands of dollars on a degree to teach me how to write curriculum so I don't have to buy it. Make sense? Yeah, I didn't think so either. LOL!
I do buy math curriculum. I use Singapore Math.

Now, for the rest of the subjects... I normally choose a book for literature and then the rest of the topics revolve around that. So, for this next 6 weeks we are using....The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

This is what Amazon says about it:
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.

So, now let's break up the subjects:

  • Vocabulary/Spelling
  • Math
  • History
  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Science
  • ELA
I've already mentioned what I do for math so we won't even worry about that one now. Vocabulary/Spelling -- I choose words from the book. Easy peasy!
History - well, this book is set during World War 2 so we're going to learn about WWII
Literature/Writing/ELA - let's just put all these in the same section. So, for literature, obviously we're going to be reading this story. I have lots of discussion questions and writing assignments to go with it as well. (See, that includes some writing as well.) Then, for ELA (English Language Arts) we will be working on parts of speech and how to better write a paper with topic sentences and supporting details and such so there will be a lot of writing involved in there as well. This 6 week period is going to be very heavy on the writing of essays and things. We are even going to start a blog (private) for the kids to practice doing that as well. I thought it could be fun.
Science- Since this is WWII, the kids are going to start with energy and work up to nuclear energy and the atomic bomb. Collin is excited because it's going to include a tiny bit of chemistry, which he is very interested in but doesn't know a lot about yet. 

I do a lot of the lessons as power points (with videos and interactive games as well) and plug my computer into the television so they can see it well. It works great! Here's an example of a slide I made from the radioactivity lesson. 

 Here's an example of a slide from literature.
This is an example from writing. Now... let me say that I love using the animation stuff so each picture appears on there one at a time and  not until after everything has been read. I just think the animation is more fun. LOL!
So, now you have a little taste of how I am able to afford the homeschool curriculum we use. :)

There are many examples of premade curriculum that follows this same format, but it wasn't hitting the places my kids needed work and they found the books we were reading to be very boring so.... I do it myself now. :)