Friday, July 31, 2009


I have so many projects that I want to complete before the end of summer!  As the days pass and our school year quickly approaches items are being added to the list instead of being crossing off!  Every time I attempt to clean or organize I am interrupted by kids fighting, someone needing something, crying, etc, etc.!   Anyone else have this problem?

Well, I am determined to get some things crossed on my list before we start school.

Top priority is our school/play room.  I am really embarrassed to show pictures of it, but here goes.  This is what the room looked like while we were homeschooling this year. 




This is what it looks like now! (GASP!)

School Play Room

The problem….I love the idea of a school room however this room is in our basement and it’s just not convenient.  All of our school supplies, books, and crafts seem to migrate up to the dining room table.  This room has turned into our don’t know where to put it room!  I would love to be able to move everything upstairs to our dining room but I just don’t have the space.   The plan for this next week is to spend at least 30 minutes every day getting rid of stuff we don’t need and figure out how to better use this space!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Game Plan for Little Man 2009-2010

Aiden has already been asking “Can we do school?” I don’t want things too structured but I know that I need to use some sort of curriculum to help me keep things fun and exciting for Aiden. We have been doing some Tot School and I plan on continuing our educational play. I found a great website with free curriculum from Brightly Beaming Resources. I am going to use the Preparatory Curriculum which is intended for 2-4 year olds. I printed the Lesson Plans and had it bound.Along the Way

Each week you teach about about:

    • Theme such as cows.
    • Vocabulary word that goes with the theme (ex. calf)
    • Nursery rhyme (ex. Hey diddle, diddle)
    • Letter
    • Number
    • Shape/Color

The curriculum also lists books to go with the theme. What I love about this curriculum beside that it is FREE is that you create a learning poster with everything you are teaching that week. This is a visual reminder for me to spend time each day reviewing what he is learning.

Aidens Learning Poster

I also plan on using Kumon workbooks to help with tracing, cutting and pasting. Emily LOVED these!

Cut and Paste I made some fun file folder games. I found a great, almost free to make, file folder game at The Snails Trail to teach him his name. (I love free paint swatches!)Name FF Game

I used some cute rocket die cuts from the Dollar Tree and made a number match game. Rocket FF Game

Of course we will add some fun crafts along the way!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009-2010 Curriculum

We are going to make some changes in the way we homeschool this year! I decided even before my dad passed away that this year I needed to simplify things! I don’t mean less schooling, just more fun! We have been doing unit studies and I was stressing myself, trying to put everything together and find the books I needed. At first I thought it was fun, but by the end of the year, not so much fun was going on! A stressed out mommy is not conducive to a good learning environment. So this is what we will be doing this school year for Emily:


Math-U-See Alpha –We used the Primer program last year and really liked it.


Sing, Spell, Read and Write Level 1


Winter Promise Hideaways in History – I am very excited about this program. Each week you travel to different stops all over the world, peeking in on some of the most interesting events in world history. Our core reading will be from The Story of the World (volumes 1 –4), and Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. What I love about this program is that each week you can create a learning hideaway to go with what you are learning about such as an Egyptian pyramid, medieval castle, western general store, WWII submarine, or colonial store. We won’t make a hideaway every week and some weeks we may do a doll size hideaway (lucky Barbie).


Winter Promise The World Around You


Discovering Great Artists – Winter Promise includes some art projects but I want Emily to continue learning about the styles, techniques and great artists.


Hands on Bible Explorations – 52 Fun Activities for Christian Learning – This is what came with the Winter Promise curriculum and I haven’t had a chance to really look at it yet.

Life Skills:

This is an area that I haven’t put enough effort into and now I am paying for it. I have given Emily some simple chores but I fail to follow through and make sure she is completing them properly. It so much easier to do it myself than nag remind Emily how things need to be done. I am taking more of a Charlotte Mason approach this year so we will be focusing more on chores, cooking, and having a service attitude (Uh, this is something I also need to work on).


Piano Lessons – Thank you to my mom who taught piano for over 20 years. She is teaching Emily piano.


We started using Sue Patrick’s Workbox system during the end of our school year and I plan on continuing to use it this year.

I think that covers all of the have to have subjects. We will probably include some foreign language later in the year. Like I said we are going to keep it simple. I love reading homeschool blogs and have to remind myself to stay on course and not add all of the wonderful ideas that I find.

I’ll post later on what I have planned for Aiden.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Not Guilty!

Should I feel guilty for waiting until the kids are in bed and sneaking going to McDonald’s to get a hot fudge sundae?  Wrapping it in a napkin so the kids won’t know what I’m eating? Curling up on the sofa (that they are not allowed to eat on) and keeping a book close so I can put in over the evidence if they get out of bed and have just one more question?  Well, I don’t!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yummy Lemon-Blueberry Scones


These are hands down the best and easiest scones ever!

What You’ll Need:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon  baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen

1 generous teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 dried blueberries (I used fresh)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

Optional Glaze:  Powder sugar, lemon zest and milk

What You Do:

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and    preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater;  use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal) then stir in the dried blueberries.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg and lemon zest until smooth.

4.  Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form.  Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball.  (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

5.  Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar.  Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart.  Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. 

6.  Mix together powdered sugar, small amount of milk and lemon zest and drizzle over the top of the scones. 

7.  Enjoy!

I love to fix these when Emily and I have tea, but we often have them for breakfast.



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