Tag Archives: Family

Box Day! Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Curriculum

What we are using for our 2017-2018 Homeschool Year

It’s Box Day! Our 2017-2018 homeschool curriculum has arrived!  The kids, or maybe it’s just me, have been excited awaiting the arrival of the last of our books for next year. This next year is going to be completely different, because the triplets start. I’m not going to lie, it scares the crap out of me, but we’re going to do. We’re getting ready, they’re excited, and we’re moving forward.

It took me a while to figure out just WHAT we were going to do this year. There’s not many blogs out there chronicling the antics of homeschooling triplets, especially not from the start. Most of the homeschooling families that I know of with triplets started once their kids already knew their numbers and letters.

Being that I’m not sure of the HOW of homeschooling triplets I really didn’t want to overwhelm myself and be setup for failure. I really wanted this first year to get our feet under us and figure what homeschooling triplets looks like. That said I wasn’t sure I wanted to move on to the next core (which would be D) in Sonlight.

I’m taking a different approach.

When I officially started homeschooling Avelyn (the year she turned 6) she already knew her letters and numbers, thanks to ABCMouse.com; the triplets aren’t there yet. They just turned 5 in December, so they wouldn’t even be beginning Kindergarten until the Fall, so I’m not concerned that they’re behind.

I decided that wouldn’t be progressing to Core D; we’re actually going to go backwards. Avelyn has already done Core B and C (Ave has always been on the young range for the recommended ages for each core), but she never did Core A. Some of the books we already had and some we still needed to order.

Our Homeschool Curriculum with Triplets

Here’s the breakdown or our homeschool curriculum

Math

Avelyn will continue on with Math-U-See, she will be in Beta after this year. The triplets are actually going to start in Horizon K; the reason for this is that they have no connection between visual numbers (1, 2, 3, etc) and actual quantities. They know how to count and they know quantities, but the actual numbers are arbitrary. Math-U-See Primer is just a bit beyond them. Horizon K looked like it gave them a good foundation for learning the number associations.

Science

Avelyn loved Science A last year and B this year from Sonlight, but we never did any of the science experiments…I’d like to talk to a parent that actually does the experiments on a regular basis. I still haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing with science yet. A friend of mine is interested in doing a science co-op so I might just supplement that with other books that we’ve found. Whatever we do, all the kids will be doing the same thing.

History

All of the kids will be doing Sonlight’s Core A, which is an Introduction to World Cultures and History. Yes, Avelyn has done Core B and C, which were more in depth, but I don’t think she’ll be hurting for History. The wonderful thing about Sonlight is all of the FANTASTIC read-alouds and books that are included. We have quite a few from the last two cores that we haven’t managed to finish (they include so many more books than can be read in a year).

Reading and Writing

These will each be done on their individual levels. Avelyn will continue with Explode the Code and A Reason for Handwriting, the triplets will begin with Before the Code and A Reason for Handwriting K. I am planning on adding in whatever things we need, such as ABCMouse.com. Also, we have a ton of Beginning Readers books for all of the kids to work through.

Bible

Sonlight does a great job of incorporating Bible readings, theology, and studies in their curriculum! Unfortunately, I do a REALLY bad job of keeping on top of these things as they’re dictated in the Instructor’s Guides. Really bad. Now before you’re ready to throw me under the bus, we do some of our own storybook bibles and devotionals. Right now though, I have an EXTENSIVE collection of books that I want to work through with the kids. I’d much rather save my money and use what we already have.

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Most of our curriculum is from Sonlight, the rest of it I purchase through CBD.com (Christian Book Distributor) or directly through the program (ie Math-U-See). I think we’ve done well with Sonlight and have enjoyed their structure as well as the books they use. I don’t have endless hours to pull together curriculum and plan everything out myself. I give those who do a TON of credit. I just can’t.

Our Homeschool Curriculum

This year I was trying to save money. I ended up spending $350 on what we purchased through Sonlight (the picture on the left above), and an additional $250 from CBD (on the right) for our Explode the Code and math books.  I still need to purchase Avie’s math and handwriting. I will wait until the fall to do that, but it shouldn’t be more than another $75.

For this year, I’m significantly under what we spent last year with purchasing a full prepackaged curriculum. Since I wasn’t buying a Core from Sonlight I was able to save quite a bit of money by only purchasing the books that I couldn’t get cheaper elsewhere. Some of the books we already had, some of them were significantly less buying them used. It worked out well.

Where are you in your homeschool journey?

Hope for Each Day {a Review}

My kids are in the great in between now…they’re not preschoolers there not tweens. There kind of in the middle, which means that a lot of things are either too mature or too babyish for them. We’ve very much loved our beginner’s devotionals, but the story lines are for preschoolers.IMG_5870

When I was looking at the books I could review from BookLookBloggers.com I saw that there was a new one from Billy Graham, called Hope for Each Day: 365 Devotions for Kids. It piqued my interest. It came a few days later in the mail and we all ripped it open, ready to evaluate whether this was worth it’s weight.

It’s great! We read the entry for today (February 25) and it right away grabbed Avelyn. It talked about how glass is made, transforming something something gritty (sand) into something beautiful, and how God can transform us. We skimmed through a few more and we all agreed, this was going to be a good read. It was immediately placed in the seat of honor, the window by the kitchen table.

While there aren’t any pictures to engage the youngest readers, the text and verses are more than interesting to older kids who can handle 3 minutes of a devotional without a picture. All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a great little addition to our Bible time!

*I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers program; the opinions expressed are entirely my own. You can read my disclosure policy here. This post does contain affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you.

Happy Birthday, Laura!
Sharing a Love of Laura Ingalls Widler with Your Little Ones

Today marks the 150th birthday of my first literary love, Laura Ingalls Wilder. I can’t tell you the definitive moment that I met Laura or fell in love with her spunky ways, because she has always been there. Before I was born my mom was already introducing me to Laura, through the Little House on the Prairie TV Show. It was a staple in our house; Matthew just bought me the complete series on AppleTV for Christmas.

sharing a love of laura ingalls wilder with my little ones has always been important.

Once we had moved to our own little house in the big woods of upstate New York she became even more real to me. Our winters were spent being warmed by the wood stove, the harsh realities of having to chip through ice and trudge through snow to keep ourselves and animals fed and warm. One of my absolute most favorite memories from my childhood is cozying up on the couch with my mom, hearing the storms raging outside, the fire glowing and having her read Little House on the Prairie to us.

My first “dress like your favorite author day” consisted of my donning the longest dress I had, an apron, my (very in-style) ankle books, and a saffron yellow bonnet. I still have that bonnet: My own Laura and Mary play with it now.

Sharing a Love of Laura Ingalls Wilder with your little ones

I could harp on about all the reason why Laura is stilled loved after so many years, how her story harkens to a “simpler time” in American history, but those things have all been said before. For me, it’s quite simply the story of a little girl who had a love for life and a taste for adventure.

Sharing a Love of Laura Ingalls Wilder with your little ones

She wasn’t perfect, she tried to do what she was supposed, but sometimes that just wasn’t easy or even possible. She had a fierce love for her Pa and her sisters, a tender love for her Ma and home, and such a passionate, self-giving love for Almonzo. She was brave. She was self-sufficient. She was willing to do the hard work. She embodied everything I wanted to be as I was growing up.

Sharing a Love of Laura with Your Little Ones

(The following does contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission off any purchases made through the link, at no extra cost to you. You can read my disclosure policy here.)

Avelyn has been fully indoctrinated into the world of Little House, and it was because of some fantastic books. I had wanted to start reading the books once she turned 5, but she had no desire to sit through lengthy pages with very few pictures. While searching for home school books a few years ago I happened to stumble across another series of books called My First Little House Books.Sharing a Love of Laura Ingalls Wilder with your little ones

They are picture books based on Laura’s own stories and illustrated in the exact style of Garth Williams. They have become some of our favorites to read. There are even a couple of stories about Almonzo, which we particularly love since he was born and raised in New York.

Another way to introduce your little ones is through the television series based on the books. What’s wonderful about them is that there isn’t anything in them that you need to shield your children from. There’s no surprises or inappropriate content, and it’s a show that almost everyone will love (my husband usually falls asleep during them).

While I’ve heard it mentioned in several podcasts, I’ve never looked into the audiobooks read by Cherry Jones. The experts say they’re fantastic and the best part is today the first two books about Laura (books 1 and 3) are marked down to $9.18 each.  You can be sure that I’ve added them to my amazon shopping cart.

The absolute best way to share Laura and her family with anyone is to simply read to them. Read the stories in whatever way you can that your children enjoy. The stories will stick with them and forever be something they remember, if only because you spent time with them.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Our’s was crazy-busy (there’s a reason I’ve disappeared for almost a full month!). Just before Christmas we had had the triplets fifth birthday, then Christmas, then New Years, and then we all got a lovely stomach bug that has been making it’s rounds. The last man standing was Matthew and he finally succumbed last weekend.

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There’s so much I want to be sharing with you, but I know I can’t just rush and throw it all out there. There’s the triplets Growing Up post, Peter’s 19 month post (yea, I know those are more for me than anyone else). We started finishing some major home renovation projects that I’m really excited about. Our iPhone 5C exploded and caught fire (no one was hurt). One child, he who shall not be named, decided to try and close my laptop with Legos in it (the Legos won). Needless to say my computer time has become severely limited.

I have been reading so many good books that I can’t wait to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as some of my really fun Christmas gifts. One of my friends has a fantastic new book that just came out, that I have yet to read and am so looking forward to. I started a Moms Group at our church, which is a whole other ride. It’s been crazy!

How have you been? How were your holidays? How are your families?

I hope everyone is well and I’m really looking forward, and hoping, to getting back to my space in the ether!

A Weekend Trip to Dublin: Proving to Myself that I am Capable

The end of a year often results in retrospection and the creation of new plans moving forward: Those very ideas stress the bejeezers out of me. The very idea of dissecting the good and the bad and thinking that somehow I’m going to do “me” different in the next year has, in my experience, resulted in more failures and disappointments than not.

I kind of take each year as it comes. Of course, I toy with the idea of hitting up the gym to lose those pesky last 50lbs post babies or setting up a new morning routine, but I know me…at least a little bit. Those kinds of “resolutions” just are not going to be what motivate me to do anything. I have to come to things by a much more….organic method.

I was listening to the SortaAwesome podcast while cleaning church this afternoon and they were talking about the personal growth and development that each of the hostesses experienced in 2016. I rolled my eyes, in my direction…not theirs, and though to myself: I think the only growth I had could be measured on my scale.

Then as I listened something started to whir inside of me…a few gears were beginning to tick and something began to foment in my mind. 2016 was LONG…not just long, but LOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGG! Or at least December was. December alone was incredibly hard, not for me personally, but for our family, specifically my sister (she’s been in and out of the hospital with what can only be described as a medical mystery seeing as no one knows what’s going on).

But there was January. A whole year ago.

Last January, I did something crazy and completely out of character for me…something that some would consider borderline irresponsible/crazy. At the time it was just a fun idea, a pipe dream if you will, but it quickly progressed past that into one of the greatest gifts someone could have ever given me.

My parents and sister went to Ireland last January for a 10 day vacation. I have loved Ireland since I was a tween…like L.O.V.E. it. I studied abroad there the summer of 2014, Matthew and I went in 2016. It truly is my second home, and some place I would not be at all surprised to find myself living when I grow up.

On a particularly hard Mom-Wednesday I was googling airfare on a whim, because honestly I was done with the screaming and shouting and arguing about doing school, and I found an incredible deal on airfare from JFK to Dublin. I giggled, texted Matt I was going, and chuckled. Then I kept thinking about it….my parents were scheduled to be in Dublin on Friday and come home on Sunday. And I kept thinking about it. I mentioned it to Matt. He chuckled too.

But I kept thinking about it. All. Night. Long.

I sat at the computer on Thursday morning and looked again, it was still there. I bravely mentioned it to Matthew and kind of made a joke about it, because SERIOUSLY there was no way I was going to go Ireland that night. Who does that?! Matthew texted me back a little later:

“Do you really want to go?”
“Well YEA! Who wouldn’t? But I know that’s completely unrealistic.”

30 minutes later Matthew called me, telling me to book the airfare, his mom would take the kids that night and Friday (he’d be home on the weekend). I was dumbfounded. Like seriously could NOT say anything. My hands started shaking, I was thinking the airfare would be gone, I’d do something and book the wrong thing. I started texting people to find out where to park my car, how to navigate a last minute flight out of JFK.

I managed to book the airfare and received my confirmation (hoping that my passport that would expire the following month wouldn’t be an issue).

“It’s booked. I can’t leave without saying good-bye to you first.”
“I know. I’m hurrying to get home. – My dad is going to take you to the airport.”

There were no words.

Matthew got home in time to not only see me off, but drive me to the airport too. I was off to my second home!

I landed in Dublin the following morning and walked out in the frigid sunshine, all smiles. I found the bus that I needed to take to get to where the AirBnB was that my parents were renting, hopped off, and began my meander through the city center and Trinity Colleges campus. The cold air filling my lungs, my thighs feeling frosted and warm from walking in the cold, and it was WONDERFUL!

I was completely alone without a schedule or anything else, and I had successfully navigated an international airport, and a city bus system without getting lost!

There was something that I desperately needed to learn on that trip…

While I am a wife and a mother, I am not defined solely by those things: I am a capable adult.

I am a capable adult outside of those titles, and I can do things that I’ve sort of forgotten that I could. It’s not that I became incapable at anything besides being a wife and mother, it’s that I forgot who I was as just me.