Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School - Our 2014-2015 Curriculum

Yesterday was our first official day back to school!  My 6th year of homeschooling! Wow, that has gone by really really fast.  We don't really stress grade levels, but if I get technical I have a 5th, 3rd, and 1st grader.  First year really homeschooling 3.

Man, I love these cute kiddos, and I am excited to teach them all year long.  Really I am.  A few of my friends ask me how I keep them home with me all day and stay sane.  I'm going to tell you my little secret about this. Lots of people think "oh you had summer and now your kids are staying home and you have to entertain them all day, that must be really hard".  Well the truth of it is, my summer is just like your summer.  It's crazy and busy, and the kids get bored, and at times drive me crazy. We only really take a full, no school at all break, July and August.  That is actually when my kids are the hardest, they don't have  as much structure, they get bored, they beg to do this and that. We have our two family trips, and then it is time to get back to a structured day.  By mid August, I can't wait.  So my secret to being okay with having my kids home all day is STRUCTURE!  Yup, it's as easy as that.  If I structure my day, by the time we are done with school they are off and running and don't need me to entertain them anymore.  We stay busy, have fun, read, play lots of games and do a few extracurricular activities. We also get done with school around one, and by that time I think they are sick of me and they go and play for a few hours outside or play legos or games inside!

I thought I would share with you the curriculum that I chose this year.  I used to do Language Arts through K12, but really didn't like it. This year I am dong my own thing and I am so excited!

For Math for all my kids we use RightStart Mathematics and play a lot of fun Math games.
We are going to learn a little Latin through Song School Latin.
I also found some fun songs to help us memorize facts though Singin Smart.
For Spelling we using Writing Road to Reading.

Jack Jack (age 6, Technical grade 1)
Explode the Code
Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 1
Wordly Wise 3000: Book 1
The Complete Writer: Level 1 Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1 (Second Edition) (First Language Lessons)

Cowboy - age 8 (Technical Grade 3)
Explode the Code 
Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 3 Cursive
Wordly Wise 3000 Grade 3
The Complete Writer: Level Three Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 3 Student Workbook (First Language Lessons)

LaLa - age 11 (Technical Grade 5)
Learning Language Arts Through Literature: The Purple Book (5th Grade)
Wordly Wise 3000 Book 5:
Easy Grammar: Grade 5, Teacher Edition
Cursive Handwriting By Handwriting Without Tears (2013)

This year I will have my baby E, who is now 17 months, that will play and nap and eat all day!

I have my 3 year old Little Mister who will play with toys, listen to stories, play games, color, play outside and other preschool like stuff.

For our Core Subjects; Science, History and Geography, Literature, Music and Art we are using  Latterday Leaning, The Family School. We have really loved this program a lot, and are excited to continue onto year 3.
  • Art - we will be studying Renaissance and Baroque art, and the rebirth of individual expression in art. Lessons will include the lives and works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and Donatello.
  • Geography- will be an in depth study of the continent of Australia, Antactica and islands of the sea!
  • Science - we will study cytology and biology.
  • History- We will study the Reformation (Bible in English), the Renaissance, and the exploration and settling of America.
  • Literature
    • Stories from the Bible, teaching the value of faith: Peter Walking on Water
    • Poetry by Christina Rosetti and Longfellow
    • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    • Peter the Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
    • Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
    • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
My kids are also taking some Technology Classes -
Drawing, Sculpting, and Animation  & Electricity and Circuitry 

Once a week we will attend a group homeschool Co-op which my kids have loved.  There are about 15 other families and each kid takes two fun classes and then we have PE after.  

I have my boys in Karate this semester and they will participate in Soccer and Basketball in Winter and Spring
My daughter is doing Ballet and a Musical Theater Company class. She also plays the Violin with an after school Orchestra. 

We are using Hoffman Academy for piano (which I will have a blog post about next week)

So that's our year!  It might look a little crazy, or too much, or to some, too little, but I feel good about it, and yesterday went really really well.  We started schooling around 9 and were done by 1!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison - Book Review

This was a very fun read!  I love good, clean, and quick reads.  Especially if they are a little bit romantic!  This book was actually my first e-book that I have read.  I know, call me crazy, but I love paper books.  Mostly because I don't like feeling like I am looking at electronic devices during the day when I am with my kids, but I love to have my kids see me read.  When I am staring at my Kindle, the kid think I am online, or on Facebook or something and I don't want my kids to think I never read.  So I actually read this at night which is a great time to read ebooks for me.  My husband goes to bed way faster than I can shut my mind of, so reading has been what I do to shut my mind off, but he hates that I have to turn a lamp on. With ebooks I don't have to turn a lamp on!  It's been great, and I think my eyes get tired faster looking at a screen.  And I don't have to turn any pages!

Anyway, back to telling you about this book.  Rebecca Jamison and Cedar Fort Publishing & Media are pleased to announce this great new book “Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale”.  I absolutely love the book.  The characters were fun, the story was parallel to Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, but in modern times.  The love story was just enough romantic, it kept me wanting to read to find out what would happen. Lots of times these books are pretty predictable, but this one actually wan't as predictable as I thought it would be.  The chapters go back and forth between both sisters, and the things that are going on in their own minds and their lives! The story also brought about some important aspects of life that we all deal with regarding, physical disabilities, depression, struggling to find love, and even grieving, along with finding joy, love and happiness even when life is hard.  I totally recommend this book. It is excellent! 

About the book:Which is the key to love—passion or sensibility? Sensible Elly and romantic Maren are sisters trying to hold their family together in the wake of their father’s bankruptcy and death. As each unexpectedly encounters the madness and misadventures of love, will they ever find the true happiness they dream of? This modern reimagination of the Jane Austen favorite will capture your heart all over again.Sense and Sensibility blog tourAbout the author:Rebecca H. Jamison has lived on a live volcano, excavated the bones of a prehistoric mammal, and won first prize at a rigged chili cook-off. She wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Her first two published works are Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale and Emma: A Latter-day Tale. Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom. Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah. You can learn more about her at www.rebeccahjamison.comSense and Sensibility 2x3 WEBRebecca H. Jamison’s latest Jane Austen retelling is “Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale,” which was released on Aug. 12. 
This book is the third Austen re-imagining Jamison has written. “Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale” and “Emma: A Latter-day Tale” preceded in 2012 and 2013, respectively. You can purchase it here at Goodreads or Amazon

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Personalized Story Books from Meon Book

When I was a little girl one of my most favorite books I received was a book from my dad that he personalized.  I still have it, and read it to my kids all the time!  It had a sweet message in the back and he had all of my bothers and sister's names in it.  I have always wanted to make one of these personal story books for my own kids.  

I just heard about this company called Meon Book Personalized Books, that make personalized children's books!  The books come with various scenarios, such as books for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, farewells or having a new baby! They present all sorts of stories to correspond to your occasion. They currently have 4 excellent artists who have been illustrating various pictures for Meonbook.  One of the great things about these books is that you don't just replace the name with your child's, friends or relatives names, they are all personalizable. You can rewrite your own unique story. You can replace, switch, or add your favorite page.  You can also write it in another language if you want to!

Meon Books would like to offer my readers 10% off of their first order by using coupon code ALLPERSONALIZED when you check out at https://www.meonbook.net

Friday, August 22, 2014

Advantages of Teaching Your Baby Sign Language

Remember when I told you how much I love Baby Sign Language, and how awesome Signing Time videos are?  Well I saw this info graphic and had to share it with you guys.  I 100% agree with everything this says.  My daughter was signing over 100 signs by the time she was 18 months old.  My other boys also signed a little, but not as much.  It has been amazing watching all of them understand sign language and be able to communicate with me what they wanted before they could even talk!
baby sign language infographic
Do your kids know a second language?  My brother's wife is Russian and they speak both Russian and English to their baby.  Their kids are going to be super smart little munchkins!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

I have never really liked Cauliflower all that much until I started adding yummy things to it!  Cauliflower Bread Stick, Riced Cauliflower, the list goes on.  There is a lot of yummy stuff you can make with it!  These Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes are a family favorite and are super easy to make!

All you do it boil the cauliflower until soft, throw in blender to mash them, and add them to your other ingredients and BAM yummy, delicious, healthy and easy dinner or lunch for your family!

Cauliflower Cakes
{Printable Version Here}

16 oz of Cauliflower (fresh of frozen)
2-3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
¼ Cup Diced Green Onions
½-1 cup Bread Crumbs
½ t Cayenne Pepper
¼ t Salt
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray
Sour Cream (optional)

Boil Cauliflower florets for 10 mins until tender.
Drain and Mash the cauliflower in a blender while it is warm.
Stir in Cheese, Eggs, Green Onions, Bread Crumbs, Cayenne & Salt.
Use a griddle with cooking spray or pan with olive oil on medium.  
Form patties (add more cheese or bread crumbs if mixture isn’t thick enough)
Cook until golden brown on both sides. 
Add sour cream or ketchup as a side dip.

I hope you like these as much as I do.  Let me know what you think when you try them!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“Make Every Day Meaningful" by Randal Wright Book Review

I am so excited to tell you about this new book called "Make Every Day Meaningful" by  Randal Wrightpublished by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.
About the book:
Sometimes day-to-day life feels monotonous and hardly journal-worthy. But Randal Wright demonstrates how you can use experiences from your life to make better decisions, feel increased gratitude, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, more easily prepare talks and lessons, create a personal history for your posterity, and find more joy in daily life. Make the world around you—every minute of every day—your classroom.


My Thoughts:
This book came at a timely moment in my life!   Each page taught me the importance of make each day that I live a meaningful day.  Life is never going to be perfect.  It's hard, it's stressful and we have a lot to learn.  Growing up my mom and aunt always would talk about how everyday is like we are in a classroom, and that we can learn from everything that goes on in our life. We can apply the gospel to all of our experiences.  This book is just about that.  Making each day of our lives meaningful, despite what we go through.  One thing that I took away from this book is that I need to document my daily life.  That not just only I can learn, but my posterity will appreciate the stories I have to tell about making it through each day.  I love reading stories from my ancestors about their life. Especially when it is about something hard they got through.  The other day I was talking to my son about writing in his journal.  He had had a hard day and I encouraged him to write it down.  He refuse.  He said he didn't want his kids to think that he had hard days.  I then reminded him of stories we had read about our ancestors, and that it is good for our posterity to read about our hard days as well as our easy days!

This book was a life changer for me. It gave me tools to help me remember and record things, it has helped me see the importance of writing things down not only for me, but for my family!  
About the author: 

Randal Wright has been fascinated by the study of families for many years. Seeking ways to raise righteous children led to his receiving a B.S. and M.S. with emphasis in the family area and then a Ph.D. in Family Studies from Brigham Young University. He worked for many years as an Institute director for the Church Education System and taught at BYU in the religion department. He has written several books in the past on family topics including Families in Danger: Protecting Your Family in an X-rated World, Building Better Homes and Families and The Case for Chastity: Helping Youth Stay Morally Clean. He has spoken across the United States, Canada and England and has been a frequent speaker at BYU Campus Education Week and the Especially for Youth program for many years. Randal and his wife Wendy live in Austin, Texas and are the parents of five children and sixteen grandchildren.

I receive a review copy of this book.  However all opinions expressed are 100% mine!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby Bump Giveaway

Green Scene Mom - The Bumble Collection GiveawayAre you a new mommy or mom-to be? These awesome brands have created products just for you, to make welcoming your little one into the world a little easier. I are excited to partner with Green Scene Mom to be able to offer this wonderful gift collection as a fabulous giveaway!
Green Scene Mom - Bundle Organics GiveawayBundle OrganicsVariety pack of Bundle Organics prenatal juices - Kale Apple Lemon Ginger, Orange Carrot Berry Ginger, Dark Berry & Veggies

Bundle Organics is a line of pasteurized juices designed especially for expecting and new moms. The juices are made with USDA organic fruits and veggies, and fortified with OB/GYN-recommended nutrients that complement prenatal vitamins. bundleorganics.com
Green Scene Mom - The Bumble Collection GiveawayPeek-a-boo Maternity$65 gift card

Peek-a-boo provides a total wardrobe solution, starting from early pregnancy throughout nursing. We offer moms around the world a budget friendly solution. There is no need to buy maternity clothes in addition to nursing wear! Peek-a-boo's designs enable mothers to breastfeed discreetly and keep mother-baby eye contact while still looking stylish. Our items are made with the highest quality, hand-picked materials and designed to fit a woman's changing body during pregnancy and while nursing, emphasizing both comfort and style. studio-peekaboo.com
Green Scene Mom - Philips AVENT Bottles GiveawayPhilips AVENT9oz Natural Bottles

Our new bottle helps to make bottle feeding more natural for your baby and you. The nipple features an innovative petal design for natural latch on similar to the breast, making it easy for your baby to combine breast and bottle feeding. philips.com
Green Scene Mom - Philips Avent pacifiers GiveawayPhilips AVENTNight Time Pacifiers

Philips AVENT orthodontic, collapsible and symmetrical nipples respect the natural development of baby's palate, teeth and gums. All Philips AVENT pacifiers are made of silicone and are taste and odor-free. Colors are subject to change. philips.com
Green Scene Mom - Yummi Pouch GiveawayYummi PouchYummi Pouch Minis - set of 6 reusable food pouches

Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches encourage healthy snacks for active kids. They are perfect for taking homemade baby food on the go, no spoon required. Yummi Pouch Minis are easily filled through their resealable zipper opening, they're freezer & dishwasher safe, and they easily fit in a diaper bag. yummipouch.com
Green Scene Mom - It's The Balm GiveawayIt's The BalmPregnancy Pamper Kit: Belly Balm, Cooling Foot Scrub, Whipped Foot Balm and Peppermint Lip Balm

It's The Balm is an eco-friendly company that handcrafts premium natural and organic bath and beauty products. Each ingredient is selected for its genuine soothing and healing properties. Any ingredient not found in our garden is purchased from the best organic, fair-trade and environmentally-friendly distributors to protect your skin and the environment. etsy.com/shop/itsthebalm
Green Scene Mom - Baby Jack Blankets GiveawayBaby Jack Blankets14x18 sensory baby blanket

Babies adore the different textures and colors of Baby Jack sensory tab blankets, featuring a unique design of sewn shut ribbon tabs that keeps tiny fingers from getting intertwined in ribbon loops. Baby Jack Blankets are baby's first and favorite blanket. babyjackblankets.com
Green Scene Mom - Spray Pal GiveawaySpray PalDiaper cleaning accessory

The Spray Pal was invented by a cloth diapering mom and dad who were tired of cleaning up the mess caused by the diaper sprayer. It makes spraying dirty diapers easy and eliminates dirty splatter on your walls and floor. Use full water pressure on your sprayer without worry and get cloth diapers really clean. spray-pal.com
Green Scene Mom - Gentle Goodnight GiveawayGentle GoodnightStep-by-step sleep guide

Gentle Goodnight is a simple step-by-step guide that allows you to realistically apply the Dancing Sleep Method to improve your life and achieve an enjoyable way to get your baby to sleep. The Dancing Sleep Method is the process of matching your babies energy so that you can help them bring down their energy to relax into sleep. Babies need to be shown how to relax for sleep. Gentle Goodnight is a quick, loving way to get babies to sleep. amazon.com
Green Scene Mom - Pacidoodle GiveawayPacidoodle2 Pacidoodle personalized pacifiers

Pacidoodle is keeping pacifiers personal! A cute, high quality solution to accidental paci-swapping! Pacidoodle features AVENT pacifiers permanently engraved with baby's name, monogram or cute saying. pacidoodle.com

Prize Gift Collection

Open to the US - Ends 11:59PM 8/27/2014
Baby Bump Giveaway Green Scene Mom
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