Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{Review} Beginning Geography

For the last month or so Treyton and I have been privileged to try out Beginning Geography, an Evan Moor product from Timberdoodle.

image This book was like a breath of fresh air for us. I had been a little stagnant in our geography studies after deciding to hold off on learning any more states and I had been wondering what to do for Geography. This book was exactly what we needed to get us through the rest of this school year. 

I had picked up a couple geography workbooks in the past but were disappointed by how limited many of them were. I didn’t think I would ever really like doing geography with a workbook, this book has changed my mind. 

IMG_0513One of the first things that I noticed about this workbook were the two fold out maps included in the back. They were very colorful and attractive, easy to store or hang on the wall. I’ve stuck them into the front of my lesson plan binder for easy access and we use them several times a week.

This is actually a 3-in-1 workbook divided into Map Skills, Landforms & Bodies of Water, and Continents & Oceans. I loved the flexibility it offered. I didn’t feel limited to teaching just one aspect of geography.

We’ve spent most of our time in the Map Skills section and I am amazed by all that Treyton has learned in a short month, spending only 5-10 minutes a day 2-3 times a week. He’s learned direction (North, South, East and West), about cross streets and finding things on a map, what a map is (and can be), the difference between a hill and mountain, parts of a hill, and five of the seven continents. IMG_0507

This is a great introductory geography book for kids Kindergarten – 2nd grade. If you would like to see more, they offer a flip-through of the first 24 pages here. It’s definitely worth checking out!

It’s reasonably priced at $10.95 and is available for purchase on the Timberdoodle site.  If you are interested in other geography products, check out their selection here.

As a side note, I have just have to say Timberdoodle is awesome!! So many of the curriculum choices I have looked at for our family are the same ones they’ve included in their curriculum kits. This is my first product review for them and I can’t wait for another one!!

To see what all Timberdoodle has, sign up for a free catalogue or visit them online at (

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team the opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, March 21, 2011

TOS Review: Brill Kid Reader’s

The Aesop Fables Brill Kids Reader’s that we got in the mail were an instant hit in our house. I didn’t have them open good before Treyton was literally “tearing through them” asking to read them to me.

Like any good mother/teacher, of course I let him. :) image We received 5 storybooks:

  • The Lion and the Mouse
  • The Fox and the Grapes
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • The Turtle and the Rabbit
  • The Fox and the Crow

There were a few unique things I noticed about these books right away. My favorite, was the blank flap that you use to cover up the illustrations while the child reads. This prevents the child from guessing words by looking at the pictures (something my son is a professional at).


image They are also very bright and colorful with large words and spacing in between.  I noticed that this did help Treyton’s flow of reading more than some other similar readers.

Also, as a little quirky side note I am a self-diagnosed “book smeller” and these books definitely pass the scent test!! I loved smelling them.

We loved these readers! Treyton LOVED Aesop’s Fables and colorful illustrations, and I thought the inside flap is an ingenious idea. I’ve never seen a reader before with a flap – and I don’t know about other kids but for Treyton, this is a FABULOUS idea!!

The five storybooks (Aesop Fables Vol. 1) resale for $37.50 and are available for purchase here.

In addition, if you already have Brill Kids Little Reader you are also able to download a free audio version of these print books.

To see what others from the TOS Crew are saying go here!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary set of these books for the purpose of my review as a part of the TOS Crew. The opinions expressed are my own, based on my family and I’s experience using this product.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 26: Volcanoes, Continents & Literature

This was a fairly short week for us, as we were busy getting ready for Audrey’s first birthday party.

Science: We worked on finishing up our volcano unit. We really enjoyed this unit and had lots of fun reading volcano books, watching a few videos and doing a couple of experiments.

We did the long awaited for volcano experiment. I didn’t tell Treyton about it, and he’s never seen anything like it before so I don’t think I need to tell you how “blown away” he was by the whole thing.


I started having him “build” the volcano with some of our old play-doh (hence the multi-colored mountain). I didn’t tell him we were going to do anything with it.


After he finished I poured in the baking soda, and had him pour in the glass (a little at a time) of food-colored dyed red vinegar.

He was shocked when it actually bubbled over, I wish I could have gotten in on camera!!

We ended up doing the experiment 4 times the first day and a few times in the days following.


He finished up his lap-journal (which I hope to post in a volcano post in the near future) by coloring a color-by-number volcano printout and painting a scene, as well as writing short narrations, of both Pompeii: Buried Alive and the Hill of Fire books we' read throughout our unit. IMG_0176

Handwriting: Treyton’s handwriting has slowly been getting sloppier and sloppier. This week I had him do a lesson from A Reason for Handwriting to correct some of his lazy strokes and improper letter formation. It helped quite a bit.

It seems as though I have to make a big deal about his handwriting for him to take it seriously. Allowing him to circle his “best ones” that he wrote and talking about his improvements – he really likes that!! And when I do it, handwriting suddenly doesn’t seem so bad to him.


Math: This was our last review-only week for addition and subtraction. I had him do the number sentence creator worksheet with the education cubes a few times throughout the week and we added some more facts to the subtraction board.

Along with this we introduced the greater than and less than symbols on the worksheet which he had so much fun with!! Of course simple numbers were “laughable” to him so Tim and I had fun coming up with a few “hard ones” (like 4,547 and 3,452) and he still flew through them!!

Bible: We had an assortment of Bible activities this week. We finished up Chapter 1 and started Chapter 2 in Who Is God? We love this book and even though it’s “slow going” it’s been an excellent devotional book for us.


We finished up the illustrating the Creation story in Treyton’s Bible Notebook and he’s read up to the 7th day of Creation in his reader.

Literature: We read 3 chapters in Pippi Longstocking this week. I am learning to read smaller portions at a time and having Treyton narrate as we go instead of trying to have him do the entire portion of what we read at the end. This has made a big difference in his ability to retain what we’ve read (makes sense right, only it took me a little too long to figure it out ;)).

Art: This week in art we did a lot of painting. We focused on mixing colors and making art “our own” – so that it shows a part of who we are and what we are thinking. IMG_0181The kids painted ceramic pigs that we got as part of our craft club – they LOVED being able to decorate their very own piggy banks. Treyton made up an entire story on his. I heard something about blue lightning, hot lava and rocks!! Sounded exciting.


Lexie was just excited to use a lot of pink and blue on hers!!

Tot School (32 Months): With Alexa we started working on recognizing numbers this week. I was (once again) surprised by what she already knew. Our first attempt at numbers we used her beloved cupcake games (she really really loves the cupcakes). I placed all the numeral cupcakes in order and then had her count and place the right number of cherry cupcakes on each numeral cupcake. IMG_0004

She easily recognized the numbers 1-3 and while she seemed like she didn’t know the ones above that I overheard her with my brother-in-law at Audrey’s party recognizing several numbers up to 8! When I asked him about it he said she got them right about 80% of the time.   IMG_0007           IMG_0008


Tot School @ 1+1+1=1

Preschool Corner @ Homeschool Creations

Weekly Wrap-Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Elementary Round-Up @ Granola Mom for God

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fighting to Succeed

 IMG_0006I don’t think it’s any secret (or surprise) that I think my son is super smart and talented. He amazes me all the time! He is one of the most inquisitive , sensitive and determined children I’ve ever met. The fact that he is halfway through a first grade curriculum in what should be his Kindergarten year speaks for itself.

But it doesn’t come easily for him.

He struggles and he fights to learn, because he wants to. He wants to be smart, he wants to read, he wants to understand and so he fights.

It breaks my heart to see that he does struggle and I wish he didn’t have to – but I love the fact that he is willing and able to and that he continues to press on.

As a mother and a teacher I try to be very careful to encourage, push and motivate without belittling, discouraging or expecting too much (or too little). It isn’t easy for either one of us, but it is the beauty of homeschooling!!

Treyton has always struggled in speech and language development. He has never allowed the speech delay to affect him much – he talks more than most kids I know, he loves to tell stories and he is very perseverant in trying to get you to understand what he is saying without getting easily frustrated. He continues to improve and while I don’t always notice it, my family has mentioned several times the improvements that they’ve seen.

His language development has not progressed as easily. I think I am partially to blame in that I didn’t focus on his language development much in the early years because I was so caught up in helping him improve his speech. I wouldn’t correct misusage or incorrect wording if I knew what he was saying, because I was just happy to be able to understand what it was that he was saying.

But this has lead to a weakness.

A few months ago (several months ago now, I guess) Treyton told Tim and I he didn’t want to go to Sunday School anymore. We said that was fine and he started going to “big church” with us. After a few weeks of this we started asking more questions.

He told us that the teacher uses “big words” and that he can’t understand what she is saying and so he gets confused. But when he looks at the other kids, they aren’t confused. This happens during craft time – before he had just told me that he didn’t like doing the crafts, which was odd because crafts are his favorite at home – but it was beginning to make sense.  IMG_0135

During our Co-op Treyton participates in three different classes (that I do not teach) but I am usually assisting in at least one of them. This has been extremely helpful to me in watching how he interacts in a classroom setting, what he is able to understand, pick-up and retain. He has done well…. but it is difficult for him.

Treyton is unable to take-in and understand (even in context)very many “large” words, or words he’s not used to hearing – words like: compare, categorize, maintain, assist, penalty (these are all examples of words in the last week I’ve seen or heard of him struggling with). Oftentimes Treyton won’t tell you right away that he doesn’t understand what you said. He doesn’t like to draw attention to the fact that he doesn’t know – so he waits. He will usually ask me later what a word means, but Treyton is not very good at remembering words (or names). So he usually can’t remember the word that he wanted to ask me about. He may try to explain it to me or say it to me but it’s pretty difficult to figure it out, later.

For me, I can usually tell when I’ve lost him or if he’s trying to figure something out – so I’ll slow down trying to give his mind a chance to figure out the word in context, or even the chance to ask me about it. If he doesn’t – I’ll ask him about it. I’ll say “Do you understand what I’m saying?” “Do you know what ____ means?” But when he’s in a classroom setting or if he’s with someone who is not as aware of his mannerisms, it goes unnoticed, which usually leads to his frustration and lack of involvement.

Though his language understanding (and usage) is the one which affects his schooling the most, is is not the only language deficiency he struggles with. He rarely uses the proper tense when speaking – he’ll say “I be doing ____” instead of “I am doing ____”. He struggles to recall a word and will often resort to describing it instead of actually remembering it, this typically flusters him which causes him to stumble over his words. He doesn’t stutter, but he will often repeat words (as fillers) as he tries to remember a word or figure out how to describe it. And all of this is in addition to the fact that his speech and pronunciation, although it is improving, it is not always the easiest to understand.

The last few weeks all of this has been heavy on my heart as I felt like I was watching Treyton fall further and further behind, without really having a “plan” on how to help him improve.

Up until now, I have been using our literature and read-alouds as our primary resource. When I read, if I come across a word that I think Treyton may not understand I’ll read it and add in my own definition, as though it were a part of the story. For example today I was reading something that had the word “assist” in it – let’s say the sentence was “Sally went to assist Paul” I would read it to say something like “Sally went to assist (which means help) Paul”. This allows Treyton to keep up with the story without stopping the flow of reading. This has helped him a lot in being able to follow-along and remember our read-alouds.

This week Tim and I (mostly Tim) have been much more deliberate in introducing and repeatedly using words that Treyton shows confusion with. For example, earlier this week in conversation the word “categorize” came up. After Tim explained what it meant he had Treyton repeat the word. Later that day something else came up and instead of using a different word Tim used categorize instead and asked Treyton “What does categorize mean?” and Treyton remembered!! IMG_0007

We’re starting slow and trying not to expect too much – Treyton could never remember the word on his own (he’s bad with recalling words and names) but by continually using a word he’s working on and asking him to tell us the meaning, I’m confident that he will eventually be able to add it into his working vocabulary.

Another thing that I remembered this week was Ruth Beechick’s book “Language and Thinking for Young Children”. In her book Ruth has lots of fun ideas (mostly games) to develop language and thinking skills. I feel encouraged again, with actual ideas to implement in our school life.

I praise God for the opportunity to work along side Treyton and that God has equipped him with the personality that he would need to overcome the challenge placed before him. I am also thankful that He has blessed me with such an amazing husband and Treyton with such an amazing father, because Tim has been a great sounding board (for me) and involved in doing his part in working with Treyton to improve his language. It’s encouraging to have a partner to work alongside of to give me new ides, keep me accountable and encourage me as a parent and a teacher and he offers the same for Treyton.

As a  teacher this has been hard, it’s hard to know what methods to use, how hard to push, how involved I should be or not be. It’s hard to know what is the right way, or even if there is a right way. I’ve had to change my approach to different subjects and topics to suit Treyton, I’ve had to get to know him and watch him, I’ve had to follow his lead and let some of my preconceived (selfish) ideas go and allow his to blossom. I’ve learned so much from him.

  As a mother, this has been hard. Pumpkin Patch This is a part of his journey that I wish I could have prevented. There’s so much I wish I could change. It’s tough. I wish I didn’t have to see his precious face when he’s embarrassed or confused by something he doesn’t understand. I wish I didn’t have to stand by and let him try to explain (on his own) to someone else what he is trying to say, when I already know what he’s saying. I wish that he talked about it more – he’s talked about it some, but usually in passing  and he doesn’t like to talk about it for very long – he knows, I know and he knows I know, and that’s enough for him. I try to let it be enough for me too.

I read something in a book (completely unrelated to teaching, parenting or language) that I felt encouraged by, and I plan to hold on to throughout this journey.

“Every person is either a victim of his situation or a victor over it. Everybody has challenges, weaknesses, failings, infirmities and problems. The question is whether or not you can overcome them. The great ones fight through...” ~John Macarthur~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TOS Crew: (Apologia) Who Is God?

image I was so excited when I received my beautiful hardback “Who is God?” book from Apologia, but, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew I was going to be harder on this review than some of my other reviews in the past, because I feel like Bible is one of the most important things we teach our children. My standards were high, as well as my expectations (knowing this was an Apologia product). I’m happy to say, I was not disappointed.

As we started to implement this book into our home school and family I was relieved by how easy it was to use and how refreshing I found the content to be. 

Product Description:

I really appreciated the introduction to the book on “How to Use This Book”, obviously each family has to make this book their own and use it according to their own schedule but how they break it down and the ideas that they give were helpful, and helped our family make the most out of the book.

The book is divided into 10 Lessons, meant to be spread out over 2 weeks – 3 days per week. Each lesson contains the same basic components:

  • The Big Idea: which contains the main topic of the lesson
  • What You Will Do: states learning objectives of the lesson
  • Short Story: not all lessons contain a short story, but several did (this was Treyton’s favorite part).
  • Think About It: thought-provoking questions to spark deep discussion.
  • Words You Need to Know: Vocabulary Words
  • Hide It in Your Heart: Bible Memory Verses
  • Integrated Learning: articles to help broaden the lesson’s concepts through different fields (art, math, science, history and more).
  • What Should I Do?: Highlights a specific godly character to be emphasized and taken from the lesson.
  • Prayer:
  • Worldview Study: an introduction to some worldview concepts to help the children understand and communicate well with the world around them.
  • House of Truth: A hands-on memory aid, a visual model constructed one step at a time as you go throughout the study.

Our Favorite Parts:

I loved how this book was able to take complex concepts and views and simplify them for us in order to explain them well. This book really does tackle some tough subjects (like “If God Created the World, Why Isn’t it Perfect?”) and does it in a way that your whole family can benefit from. I’ll be honest, this book was as good for me as it was for Treyton – reminding me several times (once again) why we do what we do. There are few things more important than instilling a Biblical Worldview in our children.

One of the most memorable moments for me was actually in one of the beginning lessons; we were talking about the importance of knowing the truth and how knowing the truth shapes the way we see the world – if you don’t see the world with “true eyes” it’s like wearing colored glasses – you’re not able to view the world as it really is. The beauty (and importance) of knowing truth is that it allows us to see clearly. IMG_0151

I had Treyton put on a pair of sunglasses to drive the point home. We talked about the way he saw certain colors with his sunglasses on and with them off. He’s brought this up several times as we went through the book on why it was important to know the truth and to stand on the truth. 

Product Review:

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s been a refreshing addition to our family worship and Bible curriculum. Treyton (age 5 1/2) has learned so much and really related to the stories that we read.

The entire approach (including the notebooking activities and hands-on elements) flowed well with how we like to do school. While the cover shouts “text book” the style is much more real-life, classical education style.

This book is recommended for ages 6-14 and while I think younger children could follow along and still glean a lot from it’s content, I find the age recommendation fairly accurate.

If you’re looking for a Bible curriculum that teaches a Biblical worldview you should definitely take a look at this series.

To Purchase:

This book is the first of the four-part ‘What We Believe’ series the first two of the four part series ‘Who is God?’ and ‘Who am I?’ have been published with the last two due to come out in 2011 and 2012.

Visit Apologia’s website to view a lesson sample and the table of contents and to purchase.

To See What Others are Saying:

Visit the TOS Crew to find out what the other TOS Crew Members have to say about this book!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for being a part of the TOS Crew, for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 24 & 25: Volcano Studies

I haven’t been doing as well as I would like with my weekly wrap-up posts, life has been busy, so for now I will continue doing what I can and combining when needed (like this time).



I can’t remember when, but we stopped going forward in our Singapore workbook and decided to camp out for a little while in subtraction in order for Treyton to master it a little better. While he was able to subtract using his fingers, he wasn’t fully comprehending why we subtract, or memorizing any of the subtraction facts. Now that we’ve taken a couple of weeks to play around with subtraction (and I literally mean “play around with”) he’s doing much better. IMG_0003We spent most of our time doing the Number Sentence Creator Worksheet I made along with some worksheets and games (some from superteacher worksheets). I think we will get back to our normal Singapore workbook next week and by week 27 we will move on to the next unit.  IMG_0023   


I’ve been having fun implementing a little bit more reading into our schedule.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday I pulled out our a few of his books and put them on our read-aloud shelf in the living room. After reading “The Foot Book” I explained, to Treyton what antonyms were and had him come up with two antonyms on his own. He then made his own Little Antonym Book from Kinderpond(????)


We also read “The Cat and the Hat” and made a Dr. Seuss hat out of poster board and construction paper. IMG_0006(An idea I got from somewhere in the blogging world, but for the life of me I can’t remember where now). IMG_0008We only made one hat, and luckily it fits Treyton’s head better because Lexie refuses to wear it ;)   IMG_0011  IMG_0013

We had picked up a book at the library called “Animal Baths”. Lexie picked it up one night over the weekend after dinner so I sat on the floor and read it to her, Treyton and Dad kept piping in with their opinions on different things we read. It was a fun read – then on Tuesday this week, Treyton was watching Cat in the Hat on PBS and wouldn’t you know it, the show was called “Bathtime” and was on Animal Baths!! Kind of a fun coincidence.

We continue to read through Pippi Longstocking, which Treyton is thoroughly enjoying.

MFW 1st Grade:

We finally started using Treyton’s Bible reader!


This was the most exciting happening this week. From this point on our Bible stories will be a part of MFW’s curriculum. We’re starting at the beginning, on day 1 of creation and working towards the New Testament church. With each Bible reader reading Treyton will narrate and illustrate the story in his very own Bible Notebook. IMG_0027

For creation the 7 days of creation we will be adding to 1 single Bible notebook page for each day.


  • Day 1 he colored half his Bible notebook page black (for dark) and left the other half white (for light).
  • Day 2 he drew water and clouds on the light side of the paper
  • Day 3 he added a brown piece of construction paper above the water and added plants and trees
  • Day 4 he put star and moon stickers on the dark side as well as a sun cut-out on the left side
  • Day 5 he added bird and fish stickers

They wanted him to draw more than he did, but he started to get frustrated by how to draw on top of what he had already drawn (for example putting fish in the water) so I allowed him to use stickers instead.



Treyton continues to memorize a verse a week in his AWANA program. For these two weeks he learned “R is for Raised 1 Corinthians 15:4 - That he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” and “K is for Keep James 2:10 – Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”


We use his memory verses for his copywork which he doesn’t really enjoy all that much but I think for him to do it once a week okay for him. It is teaching him to watch what he is doing, and to concentrate in order to not miss words or right parts more than once.


Through the TOS Crew we have gotten a lot more access to some neat on-line games. Most recently we added in a music/piano course called Kinderbach and a phonic game called Kabongo. Treyton has been loving having a little computer time throughout his week.


I recently ordered the Usborne Children’s Book of Art from a friends Usborne party and we have LOVED this new addition. We were using the “Look With Me” series, but had to return them to the library so this book came at a perfect time and has sparked a few fun conversations, and has inspired me a little more in the area of art. I’m looking forward to going through this book together and learning (and using) different art mediums.


We started a volcano unit in week 24. We were supposed to be doing the sun and moon (according to MFW) but I saw that they had a volcano week in 3 weeks and I wanted to spend longer than just a week working on Volcanoes.

As usual, we started our unit by reading several volcano books. There were several our four favorites were:

One of the first projects we did was to make an illustration of the earth's layers.  We took three different sized-colored circles and made an example of the earth’s layers (the crust, the core and the mantra). We took a picture of the earth and cut it in half to place over our layers for the “full affect”.


We talked about how volcanoes were formed, and how it’s the lava cooling over and over again that actually creates the volcanic mountain we see, but that that is not how it starts.

We took a cup, cut a hole in the bottom, put a tube of toothpaste in it, place dirt in the cup and gently squeeze out the toothpaste. As we squeezed out the toothpaste, we were able to watch the dirt rise up and form a “mountain”. A great example of how volcanoes change the earth.


I took an M&M and slammed it on the table to cause it to crack. I explained how the earth’s crust looks similar, and that the “pieces” are called plates. We talked about how it is most common for the Magma to come through the cracks and that’s what starts to form volcanoes.

We watched a few volcano movies in the first two weeks, which I had to follow up each time with the disclosure that as Christians we don’t believe in the big bang theory, and so on and so forth. But they were fun for Treyton and he really loves watching lava flowing across the screen (who doesn’t?).

I drew a picture of a volcano on a large piece of white paper and drawn in a few places to label the volcanic parts. I drew an identical picture inside of Treyton’s book for him to keep for himself. IMG_0039

I also printed off a few lapbooking pieces from Homeschool Share’s site that we added into our book. One of which was a “Where are the Volcanoes?” Map and Graph which Treyton colored.


Tot School:

IMG_0028Lexie has been participating in school even more than normal. She loves sitting with me and Treyton and listening in on whatever it is we are working on.

IMG_0087We actually had a few nice days the past two weeks so we got our bikes out and I tried to teach Lexa how to peddle. It was a great introduction, but she has a long way to go before she tones the muscles she’s going to need. She kept telling “Too hard, mama, too hard.” I can’t wait until spring so we can actually spend some time outside working on her new skills! IMG_0041She continues to work on her shapes. We are focusing mostly on circle and square right now, the two she struggles with the most. I’m not really sure why these two shapes have been so hard for her to learn, when she learned the other ones so easily. She enjoys her shape mats from Confessions of a Homeschooler, so that is what we primarily use right now. IMG_0025She also enjoys her shape coloring book, I think it makes her feel like a “big girl” to have her own workbook.

IMG_0004 She’s doing great in her counting – she counts rote to 10, and really the only time she messes up is if she concentrates too hard. I caught her counting the other day in her room and she made it to 13 with no mistakes.

One day, I took out a number activity from Confessions of a Homeschooler that I had printed a while ago and laminated. I wanted to see if she was ready to start learning/working with numerals. IMG_0013She really enjoyed working with me on them, and she recognized the number 1 already on her own. This is something I will continue to do every now and then (though only lightly until she masters her shapes a little better). IMG_0016

Alexa is a great big sister, she watches Audrey closely to make sure she isn’t hurting herself, but is also able to leave her be to just play on her own when she needs to. Audrey is really taken by Alexa and watches her closely, too. I love watching them interact.    IMG_0097


Preschool Corner @ Homeschool Creations

Tot School @ 1+1+1=1

Weekly Wrap-Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daily Schedule

While going through to organize some of my tabs, I realized that our schedule has really evolved over the last year while doing school, and I wanted to update it.

Recently our schedule has changed pretty drastically because Tim switched his schedule up at work. Instead of going in early in the morning and coming home at 4pm, he now tries to go into work at 9am and comes home at 5pm. This has made a HUGE difference in our school schedule just by having a more accountable morning routine.


This is a rough idea of what a day would like like in our home on any given weekday – as a side note: the order of our subject varies from day to day because we don’t do all of our subjects every day.

7:00 – the kids wake up, drag Tim out of bed for breakfast. I wake up at this time as well but it takes me at least 10 minutes to open my eyes and pry my creaky bones out of my soft, warm bed. Tim usually has a warm cappuccino and breakfast waiting for me when I come to the dining room. (Yes, I know how blessed I am :)) I eat pretty quickly, grab my cappuccino and head to my bedroom for a little quiet time.

8:00 – Breakfast’s  done, we get dressed and ready for the day. We do a few chores (usually laundry, dishwasher, sweep dining room, and pick up the toys in the living room floor)

8:30 – Family Devotion and Bible Story. This is the biggest change in our schedule, we used to do family devotion after dinner, but mornings free up more time at night, which has been needed due to a few more week night activities on our calendar. (This has not been happening as regularly in the last week or two because we finished our devotional and just found what we will be using from now on)

9:00 – Dad leaves for work and we officially start our school day. We usually start with our calendar, pledge, prayer and daily board 

Following the daily board I try to do a “fun” or simple activity like going through Treyton’s health book, a little holiday/seasonal craft, a short book reading, map activities, educational games (sight word memory, education cubes, geography puzzle, etc.)

This is a good time to do Tot School with Alexa (if she’s up to it) while Treyton does some memory verse copywork or a worksheet of some sort. Audrey is usually up during this time, so whatever we do we keep light, because Audrey may or may not want me to put her down ;)

10:00 Audrey goes down for her nap. This is when we do Phonics and Math. I work side-by-side with Treyton for these, so I usually get out a little game or toy for Lexie to play with while we work together.

11:00 – Science or Nature of some sort, We read a book, watch a video, go on a nature walk around the yard, do an experiment. All three of us (Treyton, Lexie and I) do this together, Audrey wakes up between 11-12

12:00 – Lunch

12:15  – Read Alouds: We usually read 4-5 books after lunch on any variety of topics. We usually have one primary Literature book and then I let the kids pick from a selection of books for the week some on our science topic of the week, some simple storybooks, some poetry, and so on.

12:45 – Playtime: The kids then have free playtime, but depending on the weather and if they’ve been in the house for too many days in a row, I try to have a craft or art project to do before naptime, on hand, just in case we need it.

2:00 – Lexie and Audrey go down for a nap. Treyton will either work on his computer typing, Mark Kistler art, legos, reading to himself, or have quiet playtime. If we weren’t able to complete phonics and math together we will sometimes do it now.

This is my ‘me time’ I either do my daily quiet time (if I don’t do it in the morning during breakfast), read, blog, shower, nap, clean up, do a load of laundry, or empty the dishwasher (you know typical mom stuff).

4:00 – Everyone is awake and hungry. We fix a little snack, often times we will read a story or play a game together. Or do something tot-school related with Alexa. If it’s nice the kids might go outside.

4:30 – Start picking up the house and thinking about dinner as well as getting the kids and myself ready if we have plans for the evening (Swimming Class, AWANA, or Small Group)

5:10 – Dad’s Home, Dinner, Clean-Up, Wrestling, Playing Games, Showing home work done, going over Treyton’s memory verse, etc. Anything and everything.

7:30 – Start getting ready for bed

8:00 – Kid’s Lights Out



Everyday: Daily Board, Math, Phonics, Bible, Read Alouds and Reading to mom

M W F: Science

M F: Art

W: Music

T Th: Geography, Health, Copywork

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Art - Pompeii: Buried Alive

image I can’t remember if I’ve posted about our current Volcano unit or not – if not, let me let you in on what we’re doing:

We’re in the middle of at the end of a three-week volcano unit.

One of the books we read a few times through this unit was “Pompeii: Buried Alive”. This week, I had Treyton narrate the story and I then wanted him to illustrate it. Instead of drawing/coloring this time, we decided to use paint.

Treyton did an INCREDIBLE job. I think we’ve found his niche!! He doesn’t always like to draw, but with painting he was much more creative and spent more time working on it.


Having Treyton paint his illustration tied in perfectly with what we have been learning in art. We just started the Usborne’s Children’s Book of Art, which begins by talking about different types of art (painting, charcoal, stamping, etc.). We then learned about oil painting and how some painters mix their own colors to paint with.


So when we started painting, I told Treyton I wanted him to color/paint his entire page, and that if he wanted he could mix his own colors. Of course, he did.


He did so great.


But never to be one to sit idly by, I also participated. I’ve never claimed to be good at art, and now you all know why – because I am crazy proud of my work here – in all seriousness, I’m fairly certain it’s the best painting I’ve every done in my entire life…. ever!!     IMG_0188