September 1, 2015

Weekend of Rest

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With Kenna's birthday last weekend we wanted to take a step back and take a break as a family.  Saturday we started our morning with donuts and coffee shop coffee for the grown ups then went to the cemetary to leave flowers for our girls.  We don't have a headstone yet, but we are hoping by All Saints it will be in.

Then we headed to the Shrine for Mass and some visiting.  Took lots of pictures of my beautiful kiddos... some of which turned out nicely :)

August 31, 2015

Our Typical Homeschool Day

I commented on our Facebook page earlier this week that I notice our house is a lot cleaner during the school year.   There could be all sorts of reasons for this, but I think the main one is that, knowing how much I want to accomplish each day, I am much less likely to put things off when I have 5 minutes to wipe down a sink or whatever else.

That being said, I really do appreciate all of the work we have put into being diligent to our homeschool routines over the years.  Very little has changed or shifted other than the general maturity of all involved (and thus some of the types of work they do).  Here is our typical school day schedule.

August 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Kenna


In the midst of all of our August birthday celebrations, there is always a twinge of bittersweet.

I first feel it around Kylee's birthday when I realize how without Kenna's death I wouldn't have this absolute joy of a daughter.  This year Kylee's birthday was on a Sunday morning and I had to choke back the tears a little bit during Mass.  I've written before about how there is just something about Kylee.  To this day, without even knowing her story people comment on how simply joyful Kylee is.  Her soul is simply peaceful.   Her faith in God so deeply rooted that she faces even the most sorrowful of times with joy and confidence in His plans.

August 28, 2015

If He Had Not Come Review


If He Had Not Come is a classic Christmas story that answers a little boy's wondering about what our world would be like if there had been no first Christmas.  The classic story is retold in this volume by David Nicholson.  The question of what it would be like in our world without Jesus' birth is a good one for people of all ages to ponder.

Having not read the original version I am not clear if this is simply an updated version with new illustrations or an all out retelling.  That being said, this is not one of my favorite books I have ever reviewed.  The text to illustration ratio and layout were a little off in the ebook version I was provided and I am curious what it would have looked like in print.  Also, while it is absolutely true that hospitals, homeless shelters, orphanages and other social services have deep roots in Christian service, I think it is a vast oversimplification to say they would have ceased to exist without Christianity.

Included in the back matter of the book are discussion points for use in children's classes and beyond that could be done at home or in a group setting.  The activities have several scripture references for further study as well.

Overall I would only recommend this book with a strong caution that it should be read with your children to avoid the development of some swayed understandings.  I will choose to skip it with my kids, however, maybe asking the question without providing them with suggestions before they answer!

In exchange for an honest review, I was provided with a free copy of this book though the BookLook Bloggers Review program.

August 24, 2015

Science Co-Op Using Waseca

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We love Waseca Biomes around here.  I mean we really love their curriculum and honestly can't get enough of it.  They don't pay me to say that, I really love them that much.  I want everything in the entire catalog... yesterday.

I settle for 2-3 new things each year.

Which usually turns into 4-5 new things each semester....

This year, we decided to try something new and share Waseca with friends.  We did the Introduction to Biomes curriculum last fall (and then limped along to finish it in the spring) and wanted to do Biomes of North America this year (which does not currently seem to be available on their website, glad I grabbed it last year when MBT wrote about it as the logical step from the Intro curriculum).

August 21, 2015

2015-2016 Curriculum

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Working on "My preschool time rug"
In celebration of back to homeschool week here on the blog, this week we've covered our new planners for this year and our goals for each of our students.  Today we are going to talk nitty-gritty overview of curriculum.  Probably the biggest difference this year is that we are NOT doing a group history rotation.  I am also skipping reading comprehension for now, but I might add some in the spring.  Everyone will be participating in both a weekly science co-op with another family, Future Problem Solving, and our weekly gym co-op with a lot of other families!  I guess we will be busy.

August 19, 2015

2015-2016 Homeschool Goals

Every year I set a primary goal for each of our little school's students.  Sometimes I set life goals that go along with our completion of school, such as character building, scheduling, or other matters.

This year I have to admit that my first goal is pretty simple: I want to finish this year.  

I will tell anyone who asks me that I don't think finishing a set amount of curriculum is all that important.   That being said, when I look back at last year I simultaneously know that we did the best that we could and that our best wasn't really good enough.