July 31, 2015

July 2015 in Pictures

 tLG can now drive the 4-wheeler on her own
 Huge brush pile at K-Diddy's from trees after the storm
 tLG and Yah Yah at Uncle Fletcher's on the 4th
 Adventure sleeping in MiMi's office
 Kite Flying
 Zucchini, vacation variety
 Finally got her letters repainted and hung in her room.
 Date Night! 
 My new favorite homeschool hack - coil binding!
 Bubble Bath Fun
Our little Union soldier at Civil War Camp

July 2015 Update


After our beach trip at the end of June we hung around Birmingham for a few more days through the 4th of July weekend. They had some bad storms a week or so prior to our trip so we helped Dad with some trees that were down. We hauled limbs all day long but it was really fun to work together. Plus, Skylar can now drive the 4-wheeler all by herself! We also got to visit with my mom's side of the family and eat good too!

Now that we are back home we are trying to sneak in the last bits of summer fun before school starts back. Skylar has been to Upward Basketball Camp, Super Summer Bible School, Hike & Swim, and Civil War camp. Traveller's Rest has a great program and this was our 2nd year there. Skylar learned a lot and the kids did a drill presentation for us on the last day showing us their skills!

Mike's company had a pig roast out at Percy Priest Lake a few weekends ago. Yes, they cooked a whole hog and it turned out great! It was also nice to spend some time out on the water and meet some of the people he works with.
Many of you do not know this but, for almost a year, Mike and I have been separated. When I least expected it and under circumstances I couldn't have predicted, God was at work. He still is. After months of counseling, we felt it was the right time to move forward again, together. This past month, we recombined our lives and are working to reconcile this marriage. I dare say the hardest work is still ahead of us, but I'm more hopeful now than I have ever been before. We both have learned a lot in the last year. I'm thankful beyond words to our inner circle of people who have supported us through this journey and protected our privacy. That has meant the world to me. If you feel led, I ask that you earnestly pray for us as we continue to try to make daily choices that will help us rebuild trust and create new patterns.
Speaking of new patterns, July really has been a month of BIG changes including a decision we made to transition me out of my current job. It’s possible this could go down as the worst career move I will ever make but, as far as personal decisions, it will be remembered as one of the best! Sometimes the Lord asks us to do things that don’t make sense to anyone else. This is definitely a choice about quality of life and I’m looking forward to seeing what tasks or clients God has in store for me next. If you hear of something that sounds like a good fit for me, let me know. Details are my specialty (My Resume)!

For starters, I'm thrilled to be taking doula clients again. I’m also SUPER excited about starting 3rd grade with tLG. The last pieces of our curriculum arrived this week and we are both eager to get going, but I think we are gonna give it another week or so before our official start. I'm still holding on to summer, naturally. ;) 

Anyway, hello August! 

Click here to view more pictures from July.

July 16, 2015

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices

I can't believe we are about to embark on our THIRD year of homeschooling. We are changing things up quite a bit as far as curriculum goes and I can't wait to get started. We tinkered with the "workbook method," as I call it, at the end of last year and it worked so much better for my girl. So, here's what's on tap for 3rd grade.

SCIENCE - Apologia (Swimming Creatures)

This kid swears that she wants to be a "marine animal vet" or a "dolphin trainer" when she grows up and she's convinced that she will work at the Clearwater Animal Marine Hospital, especially after our visit last December, so this is the perfect curriculum for us. We actually did 3 lessons at the end of 2nd grade because she was so excited about it, and I loved it just as much as she did! We went with the Junior Notebooking Journal and that has also proved to be a good fit.

LANGUAGE ARTS - McGruffy (Third Grade SE) and Editor in Chief (Beginning 1)

I searched and searched and couldn't come up with a language arts curriculum that I liked. We are going to try McGruffy and see how it goes. For starters, the workbook is full color and I'm hoping that helps to make it fun because the English language can be pretty boring and semi-complicated. I elected not to use their reading program (see below) but I've added in Editor in Chief for quick grammar reviews each day.

READING - Student's Choice

I don't have any problems getting this girl to read and I want to keep it that way. Therefore reading will remain student's choice around here with frequent trips to the library. However, because we are in 3rd grade this year, I will be asking for a book report at least once a week. I printed out several freebies from Teachers Pay Teachers and she can pick and choose from those as well. For our read alouds this year we are going to be working our way through the Harry Potter series. We have a surprise trip planned for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter near the end of the school year. Shhh! ;)

MATH - Christian Light Education (200 Series)

Math is probably tLG's least favorite subject but I'm hoping to hit a home run with this new curriculum. For starters, there are multiple tiny workbooks in this series (10 to be exact). My hope is that she will get a feeling of accomplishment from completing a book, which will spur her to continue. I like that the lessons can be self-directed if needed. We technically dropped down a grade level but from all the reviews I have read CLE is more advanced than most math curriculum and stepping back isn't terribly uncommon. Regardless, the goal here is to help her enjoy learning math and we will not focus on grade level. We are continuing to work on math +/- facts over the summer with Rapid Recall so that we can hit the ground running in August.

HANDWRITING - A Reason for Handwriting and Pictures in Cursive (Book A)

We started cursive last year and tLG did really well with it so we are going to continue it this year. I'm excited about both of these books. A Reason for Handwriting includes scripture and Pictures in Cursive is an Art Study. When the RfH workbook arrived I was a little disappointed. It was bulky with a traditional binding and wouldn't lay flat, which is not productive for handwriting practice. A quick trip to my FedEx Office with a "cut & bind" option fixed us right up. This is my new favorite homeschool hack!

GEOGRAPHY - A Trip Around the World & Another Trip Around the World

History is not my favorite and I'm not sure I can handle another year of it so I'm switching gears and doing a geography / social studies approach this year. We will use these workbooks as a guide to learn about various cultures. It also means I get to incorporate fun stuff like passports, currency kits, flag stickers, and more! We will also use Globalmania for mapping practice.

That about wraps it up for 3rd grade. I'd love to hear what your curriculum plans are for this year.

*Affiliate links included because I love me some Amazon. Also, did you know that Amazon now has a "rental" program for some homeschool textbooks? This is a great alternative to buying them and you save $ too.