Friday, August 31, 2012


So what exactly do we do all day??  Glad you asked.  This is my 4th entry for the "Not Back to School Blog hop found at  

I am a scheduler.  I have a LOVE/Hate relationship with schedules.....I LOVE to make them and follow them but I hate how they don't always get followed and life gets in the way.  HA HA!  Over the years I have learned (and am still learning) how to be flexible (not my middle name, but my husband's). You know how people always say "don't pray for patience"  because then you will be given thing to practice being patient with.  Well instead of patience mine is flexibility.  And with 6 kids a husband with 2 non traditional jobs (meaning not the typical 8-5) and one vehicle I get to practice flexibility ALL the time.  :)  I have learned over the years to just have more of a routine and not freak out by what time the clock says.

This year we are in a season of trying to stay home regularly during the school day and focus on core  academics.  I am having to limit the number of field trips and outings, you know us unsocialized homeschoolers. (insert rolling of eyes).  Just the ages of kids this year and the struggle each of my kids seem to have with spelling and needing to practice reading.  Also we are not one of those families who can school from 9-noon and be done with everything.  Too many kids and just one of me so it takes a good chunk of our day.  At least my day anyways because the kids still get plenty of breaks but I need some one on one time each day with each one.

With out further ado here is our schedule.  Now mind you I finally came up with this about 2 weeks in to our schooling this year.  I needed to get a flow for how things were going.  So I typed this up and was all ready and excited to start it the next day when my hubby comes home and tells me he has to have band practice in our front room from 9:00-10:30 that next day!!!   Deep breaths....there is that nasty word again.....FLEXIBILITY.  Yes, I am so glad the Lord and my family have grace with me as I am definitely a work in progress. 

This is a schedule for the days we are home.  Tuesdays we are gone for PE from 9:30-11:30, Anastasia has Biology co-op every other Wednesday and Joshua has Chess club on Fridays from 9:30-11:30.  I don't make an evening schedule as that just fluxuates due to Jay's work schedule, Anastasia's volley ball, Awana's and Skate nights.  Evenings I can just go with the flow.  ;)

Daily Schedule

8:45-9:15- **Joshua and Savannah work on Journals and flash cards
                   **Natasha and Alex do calendar and letter of week with me
                     **Anastasia -  Bible till 9:35
9:15-10:30- **Workboxes
                      9:15-9:30- Alexa with me, Savannah work on Handwriting, Natasha and Jadon boxes
                      9:15-10:00 Joshua math                      **Anastasia – 9:40-10:30- Language
                      9:30-10:00- Savannah with me,  **Alexa, Natasha and Jadon boxes till 10:30
                      10:00-10:30- Joshua with me, Savannah math
10:30-11:00- Snack Break/ Swim laps
        10:35-11:25- Anastasia History with me
11:00-11:25- Language with Savannah and Alexa----Joshua Daily Gram
11:25-12:10- Science with little ones--  Anastasia - Math
12:10- Clean up for lunch
12:15-12:45- Lunch
12:45-1:35- Anastasia Science
1:00-1:40-  History
1:40-2:00- Bible with Savannah and Alexa -  Joshua Bible-  Anastasia Health
2:00-2:45- Joshua Reading , Anastasia finish health and do vocab and spelling.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Student Photo Week

Student Photo Week
Here is the "line up" for this school year.  As you will notice I am missing my oldest but I didn't want to wait any longer to post this.  I will add hers in a couple of days.  (She has been sick and not wanting her picture taken. 


  (I finally got it added)

Friday, August 17, 2012

School Room Week

New house equals new school room for us.....I miss the size of my other school room but this is working. We have never really sat all day in our school room anyways to work.  It is just kind of a starting place and then we hop from desks, to kitchen table, to couches and even the floor.  Still I like a place to house all our stuff and for hanging things. ;)

Our school room is now in what would be a formal dining room.  It is a much smaller place but it works.  The girls desks are upstairs in the hallway.  Now ask me if they every sit at them to do schoolwork. LOL  But I am not willing to part with them yet.  They like to play at them and store "stuff" in them.    Joshua's desk is in his room but he prefers the kitchen table.  Anastasia works in her room most of the day.  It is downstairs right next to the school room. So it is quiet for her but close enough to still be part of things if need be.
Here is a picture of my school room on a typical day.  I didn't clean it up for the picture.  Uggh...maybe I should have.  :)    I still love workboxes but this year I have changed things up a bit to work better for us and the space we have.  The shelving unit on the left is one of those Ikea Expedit cubbie shelves it is a 5X5.  Anastasia and Joshua house their school work in one of the cubbies this year.  They have enough extra work and like to do things in order so they have assignment check off sheets that I made up. Joshua likes to pile or stack all of his work on the table and then work through it so a cubbie works much better. The other 4 still have workboxes.  Natasha and Jadon still each only have 6.  (Theirs are in the back under the window, between the couch and blue book shelf)  I MUST fill Natasha's EVERY day or she is not happy!!!   She loves doing school and her activities.  And she flies through them.  It is hard keeping her busy!!  Jadon's is filled with activities  that one of his siblings can do with him when they have a break or are waiting for me. Savannah and Alexa's workboxes are side by side at the end of the school table .  They each have 12 but usually only 9 are filled.  Also this year the first 6 stay in the same order according to our routine and then I add some in the bottom ones as extras.
So that is our school room for this year.
Check out others at 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curriculum Week

This year feels like a new season in our homeschool journey.  I know each year is different but this year we have no little, little ones, toddlers yes but no crawlers...stick everything in your mouth babies. The majority of them school age now and I have a high schooler!! Oh my.  The last couple of years I fell into a rut using mainly a set curriculum and workbooks.  It worked but it is so not my style and passion.  I was focused on completing the books and I had to take a hard look and (with my hubby's gentle help) refocus and remind myself of the many reasons why we homeschool.  Now workbooks are not all bad and Joshua happens to really like his language and Bible workbooks. And we still use plenty of them but I allow myself a lot more freedom in assigning the work from them.  I much prefer notebooking and teaching several kids together with just changing my expectations for each one.  I  don't like be stuck in one set curriculum.

We have been going to the Arizona homeschool convention for 12 years now.  I LOVE it.  This year I went to a couple of Mary Schofield's workshops on high school and transcripts.  It was wonderful!!!  I think the most that I got out of it is that even though they are in high school you can still create curriculum to fit your student and what you are already doing.  (Can you say DUH!)  :)  So needless to say I can't recommend her book enough......

I keep reading it and reading it and re-reading it.  It has been so helpful!  I am sure you can find it on Amazon.

So what curriculum are we using?  Here is one big picture collage of some of the curriculum.

My kids have a grade level they are assigned just as if they were attending school, however the work they do can be off by a grade or two, up or down.  We are homeschoolers after all.  ;) 

Anastasia 9th Grade:  
Anastasia is very independent.  I have planned out her work for the semester but I only write out one week's assignments at a time on her assignment sheet for her each week.  Most of the day she works on her own and then we get together in the afternoon to go over things and grade anything that needs grading.

Bible: This year for the first semester she is using 9th grade (Alpha Omega) life pacs #'s 2-5.  These ones cover early church history.  Then for 2nd semester she will start with Kay Arthur's "How to Study Your Bible" and then another Bible study of her choice along with writing some papers required by her dad.  ;).   She is also serving as a Cubbie leader in Awana.
Language:  Life pacs  she is still working in 8th grade.  Spelling and language are not her strong suit.
She also started using "Apples, Daily spelling drills" for secondary students.
Math: Anastasia is so excited that Horizons math by Alpha Omega is continuing up through Algebra.  She really likes that math and is staying with it.
History:  She is using Life Pacs and for the 1st semester she is actually using the 12th grade ones and getting her semester credit of Govt.  What better time to do this than during an election year. 
Science:  Anastasia is continuing with Apologia Science and doing Biology this year.  She is in a co-op that meets twice a month to complete the labs.
Electives: Her first semester elective is Health and she is using Life Pacs.  Second semester she is taking computers and typing.

Anastasia is also on a homeschool junior varsity volleyball team this semester.

Joshua 4th Grade:  
 I am working on getting Joshua more independent.  I think it will still be a long haul.  LOL  Keeping him focused is the challenge.

Bible: Joshua is continuing with the Life Pac series for now.  He really likes it.
Language: He is also using his life pacs and a Daily Gram book.  We have also started using a journal this year.  They have to write in it three times a week. 
Math: Horizons
Reading: For reading this year he will complete different literature studies.
History: I am continuing Expedition Earth with Joshua, Savannah and Alexa.  We didn't finish it last year.
Science:  I am doing Apologia Science with all 3.  We are using notebooks and we all love it! We are finishing up Astronomy and then continuing with Zoology 1

Savannah 2nd Grade:  
 The focus for this year is READING and lots of it!  My kids seem to excel in math and struggle some in reading and spelling.  This is very humbling for me because I have always been such an avid reader.  Most subjects I am combining this year for Savannah and Alexa

Bible:  I am using Apologia's What We Believe series (Who is God?) I have had this book already and I want to do Bible together with Savannah and Alexa and Natasha is along for the ride. 
Language: We are ditching the life pacs and I and doing WriteShop A with her and Alexa.  My goal is to get part way through Level B as well.  She is also starting Daily Gram and Journal.
Spelling:  We are starting All About Spelling.  Again it is a curriculum I have had so it is time to put it to use.
Reading: For reading we are continuing with Hooked on Phonics.
Math: Horizons
History and Science: See Joshua above.  :)

Alexa 1st Grade:
My sweet, sassy Alexa this year will be both Kindergarten and 1st grade.  She just wasn't ready last year.  We got through quite a bit we really need to work on retention this year.  She is so bright and now this year we need to just focus that energy.
For her curriculum she will be doing some of the same work as Alexa and also with Natasha. 

Natasha Preschool:
Natasha is my one who begs to do school, even on Saturday!  She loves her workboxes and oh my watch out if I forget to fill them one day.  She has 6 boxes that I fill each night.  This year she will be working on Letter of the Week and K4 curriculum from Erica @  Confessions of a Homeschooler

Jadon our Toddler:
Jadon has some workboxes that he works on different activities.  I try to keep him at the table with us coloring or playing play dough.  He also plays well in his room with Lego's and blocks.  And his two hour afternoon nap helps as well!  ;)

So I will keep you posted as to how our year is going.  I can't promise weekly updates but my goal is biweekly, monthly at the minimum. 

Want to see what others are doing this year.  Join the link up at:
Not Back to School Blog Hop