Tag Archives: Homeschool

London Town – A Weekend Adventure

Last week Matthew and I took a whirlwind weekend trip to London! We’re not as cosmopolitan as that sounds though. I had found dirt cheap airfare a few months ago, and since we were going in the “Off Season” lodging was rather cheap by any standards. We flew out on Thursday night and came home on Monday afternoon.

I’ve been through London before, but never too London. After my jaunt to Dublin last year in January, I realized that a weekend trip to a city across the pond was totally doable and didn’t leave one feeling jetlagged and out of sorts (I chalk it up to the fact that you’re not there long enough to reset your internal clock). For Matthew and I to go away for more than a few days is an impossibility, but we realize the importance of getting away together.

I had wanted to goto Paris for a weekend, but Matthew, being the more prudent of us, thought it was better to try this weekend to Europe thing in a place that at least spoke the same language as me. So much for Paris.

We had a great time in London. We saw quite a bit of the city, if not the insides at least from the outside. A hop on hop off bus tour took a lot of the guess work out regarding transportation, and kind of meandered around the more well-known parts of London. This was in no way a trip in which you could see the whole city. It’s impossible to see any city and all it’s offerings in a long weekend.

What we did see:

  • Tower of London
  • British Library
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Covent Garden
  • Globe  Theater
  • St.-Dunstan-in-the-East Ruins
  • London by Night
  • Notting Hill
  • Portobello Road
  • King’s Cross (Platform 9 3/4)
  • Leadenhall Market
  • Paddington Bear at Paddington Station
  • Kensington Palace
  • Bus tour to Warner Bros Studio’s Harry Potter Set
  • The rest of the city was seen from the open top tour bus

We had a couple of great meals:

The one thing I really wanted to share with you about this trip is don’t let time limit you.

Just because something sounds crazy, don’t let that make you afraid to do it. I really had to sell Matthew on the weekend trip to London idea, but when we were on our way home, he was so glad that we had done it.

Honestly, unless we just want to wait until all the kids are grown and out of the house and everything is perfect, it’s never going to happen. And, at that point, we might be too old and ornery and set in our ways to handle a trip like this. PEOPLE! We walked over 30 miles in 3 days! That’s not for the faint of heart!

While we’re not looking to leave the country anytime soon again, it is fantastic to know that if we spend our time researching and doing the things geared for tourists, it’s completely reasonable to see some of the fantastic cities of this world. We really looked at this as tasting a small smackerel of a country.

To try and see the whole of England, or any country, in a weekend, isn’t even possible, but it is possible to get your toes wet in another culture.

Also, this weekend jaunt (of which I hope there will be a few more) gives Matthew and I head start on what countries we want to see more of and travel with our children to. It’s our hope that in 10-12 years, we can take our family to Europe for a few months and really world-school them. Let them see the places and experience the people that we’ve only read about in books. That’s what traveling is really all about, isn’t it?

**If you follow me on Instagram (@JessicaM.White) I’m slowly sharing more of the pictures from our trip.

 

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.

~*~*~*~*~

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?

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.

 

 

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment

To me, Fall is marked by the first of October, or at the very least mid-September. We don’t have a ton of Fall books, but I’ve been slowly remedying that. I recently found another bloggers list of 50 Fall Favorites, which is expanding our own inventory, as well as listening to the Read-Aloud Revival podcast (dangerous stuff!)

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment @JessicaMWhite.com

Some people are drawn to the modern, more quirky books for children: No matter how hard I try, I am not one of those people. I want beautiful pictures, I want words like poetry, I want a story that doesn’t leave me. If you’re like that, then this list is definitely for you.

*This post does contain affiliate links: Please read my Disclosure Policy here.

What are our favorite books for Autumn…

Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney {we love ALL of her books}

Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur, Illustrated by Leslie Evans

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, Illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

Pumpkins by Mary Lyn Ray

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment @JessicaMWhite.com

The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston, Illustrated by Jim LaMarche

Bear Says Thanks by Margaret K. McElderry

The Deer in the Wood by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Little Yellow Leaf  by Carin Berger

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment @JessicaMWhite.com

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, Illustrated by Megan Lloyd

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer, Illustrated by Linda Bleck
*This book is definitely more of an “educational book”, but is still wonderful!

The Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor

Our Favorite Books for Autumn Enjoyment @JessicaMWhite.com

Now mind you, this list is not all-inclusive: I did leave out those that are more specific to Thanksgiving (another post, another day). I don’t know if it’s the colors in Fall books, or the stories of families hunkering down for the winter after bringing in the Harvest, but these are some of my absolute favorites to read.

Do you have some Fall Favorites?
What books do you and your children enjoy cozying under a blanket to read?

Introducing the White House Academy’s Homeschool Planner!

Homeschool PlannerI’m a planner addict….I don’t have any, but I love them! I will admit that I have several blank ones lying around that I’ve never used. The one planner that I DO use is my homeschool planner.

I had planned on spending lots of money on a fancy expensive planner, but I really didn’t want to part with my money, so I figured I’d see if I could do it myself…I DID!

I have it available to you on my etsy shop AND IT’s ONLY $3.00! That’s right THREE DOLLARS! There are even two versions available, one with subjects printed in and one with blank subjects.

This is my first time doing something like this, so ANY feedback you can give me would be fantastic! If there’s a mistake or something you think would work better or something you feel it’s missing, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

And THANK YOU! Thank you for checking out my planner, for sharing my etsy site and letting me know your thoughts!

Here’s the handy contact form: