Sunday, November 20, 2011

Workboxes? Will they work?

A friend of mine from our Classical Conversations group told me about workbox systems. Originally she was letting me know about them since I was struggling homeschooling my 5 year old. Since I decided to send her to private school, I never researched this system. Just this past week I decided to re-evaluate our homeschool and I thought of my friend and her workboxes. She sent me some great links and I headed off to the store. I ran around town to find the best deals but I started off at Target of course. I bought a white shoe rack and I went to the Dollar Tree for plastic bins. I could not find the right bins! I loved the bins my friend had but they were nowhere. So I bought a bin similar to a litter box (not very pretty). After getting home I finally asked my daughter what she would like to have and she liked the bin idea. I went back to Target to see if I can find some clear shoeboxes and I found another bin that caught my eye. It has 3 drawers but if I buy 3... It was a little expensive so I ran around town again looking for similar cheaper options. Target was by far the cheapest. Plus Cameron, my daughter, loved the drawer system idea. Left the store with 3 new bins!
Now when I want something I get a little obsessed over it. So I didn't go to the gym for a few days and decided to stay home and clean out my entire homeschool room. So glad my husband wasn't home because if he would have seen the process he would have freaked out! Cameron and I got to work, purging, organizing, separating curriculum int subjects like U.S history, general history books, english grammar, vocab, spelling, writing, math, animal studies, nature studies, foreign language, science, Classical Conversations and Essentials plus one are for my 5 year old to have. I searched through websites and found some free workbox printables' my favorite were There was a lot of information and they were not to babyish for my 9 year old. I started laminating everything and I finished pretty quickly. To be honest I was so excited to do this I was a little sad I was all finished. I wanted to find something else to start. bUt instead I sat in the office and enjoyed how clean it was. Yes, that may be a little weird but it was originally a mess! So here is our workbox system. Each box has a number on it with velcro. On the right of the picture there is a laminated key ring with boxes to hold the numbers and velcro tabs I printed up. The concept is Cameron starts with box 1 finishes all her work in that box and takes off the velcro 1, takes her key ring and pulls the velcro "done" tab and replaces the 1 with it. She then moves on to box 2 and repeats the same process until all the drawers are "done". We sat home Saturday and tested our system and I realized after about 3 drawers she was ready for a break so I added a "snack" tab so she knew where to go to next. At first Cameron thought that she only had to do one box a day! That made me laugh considering her #1 box only had her Saxon math in it and nothing else. But I decided to sit with her and work with her through the boxes just this one time. I also added a need help tab so she knows she will need me for that subject. So far so good! I will update you on how it goes as the weeks go by. I am very excited about it! It can tell its going to bring us structure and accountability!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Curriculum woes

I haven't written about our homeschool in a long time. So let me catch you up. I decided pretty quickly to put Emma in private school. I know all my die hard homeschool friends are surprised. Well actually I love home schooling my 9 year old so much that I presumed I would love teaching Emma. I started having a rough time with discipline and I was worn out from her behavior. I know private school won't help with this but I needed my space for a while. Well she is doing great! Loves her friends, adores her teachers and I am amazed at her learning progress!
As for Cameron I am not well organized this year but I had a few plans I knew we needed to do. Plan a: catch her up on math, my goal was to backtrack and figure out where math got away from her. Plan b: have a stronger science curriculum and not just follow Classical Conversations science. Plan c: history organized and read a lot of books based on the United States and fill in the history gaps from Classical Conversations.
Well plan a was and is a success. I had to take her all the way from 4th grade math to 2nd grade math. I am finding the areas she either forgot or got left behind in when she was in private school. Plan b science- going great! Using Apologia and having her use the notebook t comes with. We are studying the body but not in the exact cc order. Plan c history- yeah not going great :( I have had her wat h documentaries and we have tried to follow cc and fill in those gaps like studying native Americans. But I am not finding a lot in Story of the World and she doesn't care for reading too much so history has become more hands on from me. still sear hing for a better plan overall.
Classical Conversations Essentials is hard this year! But we are learn g. Yes I said we! Wow am I learning a lot!!
I was also leaning forward Saxon math any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

lazy or just relaxed?

Not sure what is going on with the Hohan Homeschool right now. I was so motivated  a few months ago and now this entire month I have been super lazy! OK, I know I was doing a lot a few months ago and I had a few comments about relaxing and finding a hobby. I understand my extreme nature too and the problem with me is finding a hobby replaces my other "hobbies". So in Lisa land the effort I was putting into research for homeschool curriculum etc.. has been replaced with a lazy, mindless tv show and working out to catch up on getting healthy and in shape. 
So, why cant I balance? Why cant I find the energy to do all those things? I want to work out, start my homeschool year and be able to take a breather to watch mindless tv on Netflix. I've wrote in the past about my issues to balance things in life. I am extreme and have been "talked" to by many people about my hyper focus in areas. I know I wouldn't let my kids be so hyper focused so what's up with me? 
Back to homeschool... I am struggling with my 5 year old and her reluctance to me being her teacher. I actually wish I could send her to kindergarten at the local classical private school so they can teach her to read! I have thought this through but the money is what's keeping me. I can then focus on my 9 year old and going through some facts she needs help with. I feel guilty for this, for thinking this. Plus I know the private school thing is not happening. My husband wont spend the money on it and so its not an option right now. 
The curriculum we started was Sing Spell Read & Write. She seems to like it a lot! But its getting her to do it especially with me. Now, I have heard the advice to make her sit and do it I am her mother she should listen but then it is not enjoyable. I have also been asked if she is ready for it. I know Emma is ready for it she gets it! She understands it, knows her alphabet, can recognize letters and writes her name and her ABC's. I know that it is just me being the one teaching her that is keeping her from moving on. 
So do I continue our summer at this pace? Taking time off and let the distractions of other kids out of school run its course? Our Classical Conversations community will start up late August do I wait til then?
I purchased all my curriculum for our second year of homeschool, I know what we need to focus on and I know distraction is a issue.
I need some advice!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


4th of July weekend! Our countries birthday! I am so proud to be a American, so proud to be a soldiers wife. I love going to the parade field and watching the fireworks with friends. On top of all these special things it is my daughter's birthday! She will be 9 years old. Time flies and I cant believe how big she is now. Cameron is my sensitive daughter as a matter of fact I had to pick her up from what was suppose to be a sleep over last night. She loves being near her mommy and daddy and she is still afraid of the dark (would love advice on that).
So here are a few fun links for kids for the fourth and some pictures of my Cameron!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My month

Long time no blog... What have I been up to you ask? Well honestly I've been pretty busy, that hasn't changed. So let's see... I went to the home school conference in Winston Salem and worked at the Classical Conversations booth. I had a lot of fun and was lucky to talk to parents with children who are about my Emmas age of 5. I felt comfortable with that but was still so nervous. I'm so bad at things like that. I get nervous and my nervous tendency is to talk. Yep, I talk and talk when I'm nervous. You might think that would be a good thing and that would make it easy for me to meet new people But... I talk too much! I talk about anything and everything. People start to back away. What do I talk about? hmm, I talk about kids, what ever it is I'm doing, I can even put myself down in hopes that the person I'm talkin to will see that I'm "humble" or whatever. Like that makes me humble, oh well. So I got through that and went the next week to Classical conversations tutor training. In that case there wasn't a lot of talking on my part more insecurity and quiet because that's how I get when... I feel insecure.
Also this month I joined a Crossfit bootcamp. If you don't know what Crossfit is go to I joined with my oldest daughter who is 16 and I'm enjoying spending he time with her. Crossfit kicks our butts! I also started eating differently so I have been eating Paleo. Paleo is based off of what hunter-gatherers ate in Paleolithic times. Basically meat, veggies, fruit and some nuts. No dairy, grains, sugar or beans. I absolutely love it and feel great! I've Lost 5/6 pounds the first 3 weeks. No one in the household has jumped on the paleo band wagon intentionally but we cut a lot of carbs out of our meals and they haven't complained.
Emma started swim lessons an is doing great. Cameron got her Stanford teat scores back and they showed me where she was struggling. The areas I already knew
About but that's ok at least it confirms that I was right. We are working on her lower leveled subjects which are math and reading. She hates both subjects so I'm reading to her at night and having her practice her times tables so she can master those.
My hubby was off of work for 10 days so the kids haven't done any work but hopefully after swim lessons are over we can start again! So that is my month in a nutshell. Busy, but so far going great!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

my baby

Time sure goes by quick. My baby is 5 years old today! I know she is not a baby anymore but she is my youngest and therefore my baby still. Emma was a surprise and we thought we were done after Cameron but apparently God had other plans. 
I was so young when I had Lexi I had missed out on so much of her early years due to my selfish nature. When I had Cameron now almost 9 years ago I was still clueless but she was mine and my husbands first child together and we learned a lot. When I found out I was pregnant with Emma I cried. Not tears of joy but tears of," Wait I was done!" I have to admit the first few months were a roller coaster ride. My husband had been gone in a school and I couldn't talk to him so I had to wait a few weeks before I could finally tell him. He got a chance to call me and originally wanted to tell him in some special sort of way. But, I couldn't control my self and blurted it out on the phone. I had also been in and out of the hospital getting ultrasounds because I had been bleeding a lot. After hubby got back everything seemed to be okay and the rest of the time I had a normal pregnancy. 
On May 22nd at 12:19 am I gave birth to a beautiful 6lb 8 oz 18 inch little girl
We fell in love with her immediately! She was a great nurser and a great sleeper that first night, lol.
She spent the first 2 years seeing a Pediatric dietitian because she was failure to thrive when I took her in at 6 months. This was a shocker because I had no problems with nursing Cameron and Lexi drank formula. I continued to nurse her and when she was old enough Emma was on a full fat wonderful diet! We went to Mc Donald's weekly sometimes daily, ate heavy cream in our food, tons of mac and cheese and loved it!
Notice I say, "We ate". Yes, I ate everything she ate! The problem with my milk supply being so low was because I was hyperthyroid and didn't find out until a few years later when it puttered out and I became hypothyroid. 
This is a pic of Emma's hungry caterpillar chart. It help encourage her to eat and we would add a new green circle when she ate a meal.
Life with Emma has always been interesting! She is growing up to be quite a handful! She is smart, beautiful, hard headed, creative, independent, and mommies little girl!
I know that there were tears and fear in the beginning of my pregnancy but when I saw her sweet face that all disappeared. God knows exactly what's best for me, for my marriage and for our family! I love my sweet little Emma.

Monday, May 9, 2011

One busy mama! Understand?

I am one busy mama and you know what it's ok. My day is busy with things I do for my family and things that can better our lives. Through the years I have gotten to try out so many things that steal my attention from others.. My husband has mentioned my OCD in this area and the need to find a balance. I feel I am in a pretty comfortable routine right now and there will always be things I wished I could of gotten to or never wasted my time with on a particular day but who doesn't?
I home school, I research curriculum, drive my kids around, go on walks with them, relax with them, talk to a friend or two on the phone but sometimes that is a luxury in my day. Since hubby has been working all the time I have been pretty much a single parent. I am not always in the mood to talk on the phone when I finally get a chance to sit down, sometimes I want to veg out on Facebook with out some one instant messaging me.
We have had a busy April and May is not looking any lighter. My husband had a good friend pass away and that stopped us in our tracks recently. We had family in town, we had Stanford testing, and sometimes Sundays is a catch up day so entering the actual church building is not an option. But being in the church building doesn't make me a "better" Christian just as standing in my garage makes me a car!
I am OK with my routine right now. My friends understand me and you know what they are Like me! I don't take it personally when I haven't gotten a daily phone call or even a weekly phone call. I don't take it personally if a text is not answered right away. My friends love me an I love them I don't need constant reassurance.
Of course I want to see them, spend time with them, talk an hour on the phone with them but I have a realty and that's a life! I have 3 kids who keep me busy especially during soccer season. I have a 4 year old that is a overflowing handful.
I love you my dear friends and family! PLEASE understand I care about our relationships, and I would hope that I you get just an occasional text message saying hi or the quick FB hello that it was really the best I could do at the time.
My schedule and quite frankly hermitness won't be forever. This too shall pass!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Update 2

our tadpoles

But of course like I said we decided on lizards....
And I think we got the crazy ones!
We were also able to serve our community! Doesn't my 16 year old look ecstatic about her 8 year old sister hugging her....

Then there was my beautiful niece I got to finally meet! I fell in love with her! 
 Then Easter came! We went to church and spent the rest of the day with family. We also enjoyed a Easter egg hunt.This is a picture of their baskets filled with nature stuff. I was preparing for our trip to Virgina the next day...

LOVED the cabin! The kids had a blast even with out tv! 
At the end of that week we got home and we were able to enjoy or home school co-op field day! Our kids were very proud of their ribbons. 
I feel like it has been a while since I last blogged. I have been so busy! The past fee weeks we have had family fly out to visit with us and I was able to meet my niece for the very first time! We of course celebrated Easter and had a really nice day with family and friends. My last blog I mentioned that we went to a rv resort and did a nature study on birds. There we collected tadpoles. We brought these little critters home in water bottles and stopped by the dollar store and picked up Tupperware that we punched holes in so they can breath through the top and kept them in a little home made habitat. We added some dirt and grass to make it feel more like home.
They were doing very well and only had one casualty. But we decided that they had to go and we traded them up for lizards! So yes now we are the proud owner of two lizards name Pickle and Pepper. We went from free tadpoles and a dollar store habitat to two $6 lizards and a very expensive habitat. But the kids love them and when I'm at home on my computer I will post pictures and information.
The day after Easter our family including extended family drove up to Virginia to stay at Sunrise Cabin and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Well, maybe not so much quiet there were 9 kids and 4 adults! But peaceful I'm the sense that we had no cellular phone coverage, no tv, no wifi. It was nice to sit there and read, play board games, go outside and watch the kids collect bugs an ticks we had to pull off them (yuck). Plus there were no complaints from the kids they had a blast! Once I get home I will post pics! I'm currently writing this on my iPhone.
This week has started off with Stanford testing. Cameron and Aidan spent yesterday testing and will continue today. I'm just praying that there is no stress and trying to remember testing is not determining who my child really is an who I am as a home school mom. We are testing because we have to legally not because it determines anything about who my child is.
I will write more later! I have more to add to my last few weeks!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Early Bird...

Yesterday the 2 older kids and I went to a bird and beaks class. We drove about 45 minutes away to a camping lodge where a woman name Jan Wells holds classes for homeschoolers once a month. 
The kids and I had so much fun! We got there in the morning and didn't leave til the late afternoon. 
First let me tell you about Jan Wells. Her company is called Within these Pages, she is from New Zealand and was a elementary school teacher with 26 years of experience. Now if you are like me and hear that, we can be skeptical. The education system stinks but she was trained in New Zealand where the literacy rate was the best in the world. She was so nice and I can tell she absolutely loves what she does now!! This was our first time meeting her and her excitement was infectious. The kids were not bored at all! She prides herself on being very Charlotte Mason based with some Jan mixed in.

                                                       The kids sat through a slide show q&a about birds their beaks and were not bored! Did I say that already, heehee. I was intrigued as well. We learned that when you look at its beak you can take a good guess of what they eat. But just looking at one thing is not all there is. Field markings are important too, does it have a brown or black crown? Bars of color on it's wings? We also learned why their feet look the way they do. After a packed lunch we went out on our field study and observed the birds. The kids did some math too! They had to take a tally of the birds that were preening, swimming, climbing, perching, flying building a nest or running. There were birds everywhere so they had no problems finding them. We stopped at different points on our field trip. We noticed in which areas birds were in the air mostly, or at bird feeders or constantly working on their nest. In the process of our search my daughter found a old nest she was able to add to her treasure bag.
Jan made sure they the kids were writing and drawing in their nature books that she had them make before we went out.
On top of some great field work they were able to see butterflies, tadpoles and many other little critters. I will tell you about the tadpoles tomorrow.

There were spots that they stopped at with beautiful sitting areas and they sat quietly and observed. The moms also sat quietly and appreciated the silence and listened to the songs and chirping of the Sparrows, Robins, Mockingbirds, Cat birds, Cow birds and many others. 
When observation was over we headed back and put their tallies on a larger paper and made a bar graph. They reviewed what they learned and got some follow up activities to do this week. We are to select a species, listen to its sounds, observe weather, get some bird seed and weigh it in the morning put it out and at the end of the day weigh it again to see the average consumption, sketch the birds at the feeder and head to the library. 
It was such a fun day! The kids learned so much about birds and cant wait to head back for another class next month!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

our week

Our week has been a little crazy. The most important thing is that we had over 60 tornado's is our area yesterday! We are stationed at Fort Bragg and a lot of people lost their homes or are still with out power. Please be praying for North Carolina! We are very lucky it missed us, but the damage can be seen 10 minutes from our home. Many of our friends are displaced. 

On a lighter note, we have finished our school year this last week! We are very excited and the kids really have no idea that all the nature walks and studies we have been focusing on is actually work. They are just excited to be out and on trails. Last week we went with another family on a nature trail walk in Moore County. 4 of 5 of her boys came and 2 of my girls. What we mostly saw was a lot of controlled burning going on. But we did attempt to catch a sneaky lizard. 
Also this week we went to Clark nature Center and did a home school butterfly class. That included  ranger telling us about butterflies, doing craft and trail walking to catch them. I think the most fun we had there was in their play garden where they can dig, water plants and just play. 
This coming week we will have family in town from our home state California. I am sooo excited to meet my new little niece Brenleigh. I cant wait to hold her! We have another nature walk planned for the majority of the day on Wednesday and will be learning about birds. I love this time of year, it is gorgeous outside which is rare in NC. 

I haven't forgotten about my last blog. I was researching schedules and I am mid The Well Trained Mind book right now. This book has been so helpful and I will for sure be using a lot of it. I have also been going through, "Planning your Charlotte Mason Education," by Sonya Shafer. Her book is so easy to understand and very helpful. I most likely will be combining the two. 

I also haven't forgotten that I was suppose to be back on some sort of diet..... Well, I did Weight Watchers for 2 days, lol. I also started back on the heavy cream in my coffee :( I cant help it! I'm addicted!!  I haven't taken my dog back out on a walk because I have been busy. I mean jeez, with home schooling nature walks, family coming to town and loosing our power from a TORNADO I just haven't made it important enough.  Thank God tomorrow is a new day! 
Let me say it again, THANK YOU GOD!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teaching Three: Schedule?

Teaching Three: Schedule?: "I was looking back at my home school daily plan book. To be honest I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I had actual times and exact curric..."


I was looking back at my home school daily plan book. To be honest I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I had actual times and exact curriculum Cameron was supposed to be doing her work.
 She and I followed it pretty well I have to say. Since this was our first year home schooling I wanted to be prepared and it helped. But as I look through my planner I see between September and November things started to fall apart. There are no longer any dates or times just topics and a check mark when they are done. I am sure there are many different types of schedules out there. Some people cant get by with this sloppy "organized" schedule of mine. It would need to be printed out and very exact. Some other people are very impressed I have "something" written down! The first picture is some what organized for me, the second picture
 Is written out of pure laziness and this last picture is our schedule as of March! Hey at least I have that written in...But as you can see that's all I wrote in. The rest was done by my "helper" my 8 year old Cameron. She likes to have somewhat of a schedule and she wants to do the subjects in her order. With art always being second or third. She wrote down spelling and to be honest I didn't like her Spelling Workout book so I stopped using it and focused more on grammar. Obviously she hasn't realized that yet, lol. So what I realized is I need to get a schedule down. Maybe not necessarily for me but for her and My little soon to be 5 year old who is starting Kindergarten but is more like first grade level. You would think with my extreme personality this would be simple but it is not. I do things spur of the moment, what ever tickles my fancy. In November I was waking up sitting at the computer and looking through our books and figured out what they will be doing that day. Some things are consistent though. We do Classical Conversations so our memorization work is consistent, Teaching Textbooks is consistent on a daily basis, and usually history because that is covered in CC. 

I need to figure out A PLAN and although I probably wont be religious to it I would like a spine in which we follow. So I am going to re-read my Susan Wise Bauer book The Well Trained Mind and search around the Internet. I do see a lot of free blank printables but that's the problem they are BLANK! If I can see a schedule set up I know I can tweak it. Also I do understand all home schools are different but I just need ideas. What does your typical home school day look like? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

loosing weight 2

Loosing weight blog 2, it's been a few days since my last post and
I haven't really came up with a "plan" but I have added one thing to my day. I cut out my coffee the other morning. Okay before everyone writes that one off completely you have to understand, coffee in itself is great but I add loads of creamer. I did try a at home coffee creamer recipe and it was gross. So since I refuse to give up my daily cup of Joe I have been cutting back on the creamer little by little. It's definitely not as yummy tasting but still works to wake me up. 
I also have gone on daily walks. I am walking the dog daily and leaving the kids at home so I can walk at a faster pace. I know this is not technically a hard work out but for someone who is not motivated at all, this is working. 
I did attempt TRX with my husband's workout plan and well, I am not at that point yet. I wouldn't mind if he does Trx with me. I am sure he will I just have to ask.  I have given myself a goal date too. Not sure if I mentioned this in my last blog.  So that date is July 1st! I think its a great amount of time and y daughter is having her birthday party at the neighborhood pool that week! 
I HATE wearing a bathing suit but it looks like I may have to. This too is weird but I am more motivated after I loose a few pounds. I like to see a few pounds gone before I get fired up to attempt a harder work out. I know it should be opposite, that I should work hard, loose weight and keep going but nope I have to be different. 
As for today I am not sure what I ll do different. Hope fully go on my walk and probably have a light lunch. My breakfast was my gross tasting coffee and a bagel. Okay the bagel was bad but I love my everything bagel. I did nix the cream cheese and only added a little butter. 
Writing all this down makes me feel better! Maybe I will start changing up to two or three things a day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Loosing weight

I feel a little better after my last blog. I was able to play catch up with a couple of friends! I also was able to talk to a really good friend of mine about how I've been feeling and she was super supportive. She completely understood that this is my life right now. "This" meaning educating my children. I do feel though I still need to find a hobby so I decided that I need to loose my last 10-12 pounds. I won't mention my exact weight but I will mention that I'm at my giving birth weight and so not happy with it! I plan on doing something about it. Not sure what yet but I'm up to any ideas.
I use to love heading out to the gym and was a regular in the past. I also have done p90x, Pilates, yoga, TRX and crash diets. P90x did work but it was so hard and I burned out after I completed the DVDs. I also absolutely love Pilates but it's on the expensive side and my husband is not supportive of the money spent. TRX is great for me in a classroom environment but using it at home is not exciting to me. So what is left and how do I get motivation to even start this venture?
A friend mentioned since I homeschool I should wake up before my hubby leaves and head out on a walk by myself or our neighborhood treadmill. So I woke up early this morning and... Fell back to sleep. My first day was a total wash. Last night when no one was around I had my 4 year old take pictures of me in a bikini. I figured she wouldn't judge me :) but wow when I looked at my iPhone did I judge myself! Ugh! But am I motivated? A little bit! Those pictures are for my personal use only and not even my hubby will see them!
Don't get me wrong people, I love who I am. I am created by our Perfect God! I don't think I'm in need of a huge overhaul. I do know since I am hypo thyroid and struggle with anxiety and have heart palpitations that it's time to get healthy! My goal is to loose this weight by the 1st of July! So here I go.....

Ps... This post was written on my iPhone so I am sure there are many mistakes with my spelling and grammar. Sorry

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The last few days I have come to realize that most of my time has been consumed with home school. Examples are, next years curriculum, web sites I found, blogs I found, books I want to read or my kids to read, book stores to visit, searching ebay or amazon, budgeting to keep my husband happy on all my purchases and most of all talking about all these things all day long.
I had put together a trifold board I wanted to add to my home school and I texted a picture to a friend/ home school mom and her response was," Great but why? Girl you need to get out!" I had not realized all home school moms don't spend most of their waking hours obsessing about school!
Now, I understand that it could be this time of year. It's that time of year where we are almost finished and I am reviewing what we covered, didn't cover, started but never finished covering, and what I want to do differently next year. This can require a lot of time and thought process. The one great thing is there is always another home school mom that is in the same boat and doesn't mind obsessing over it with me.
But I feel bad in a way.. You see I have a lot of friends who do not home school and I have possibly been neglecting those friendships. I am quite sure they don't want to hear me talk about whether or not I bought the right history curriculum for the millionth time. So what do I do?
Do you my friends out there feel neglected? Or are you even reading this "home school" blog? I wish I could promise that I can talk or hang out with you and it not be a thought but that would be a lie. How do I step out of this box, just for a little while? Another fact is I love it! I love to research, to read, to shop for books and all that has to do with it. I don't find it a burden, it doesn't tire me out and I love that I am learning so much in the process. But if even a fellow home school mom finds me a bit obsessive how do I find a compromise?
John 14:27 says Jesus left us His Peace, not as the world gives but how He gives it. Let not my heart be troubled. I know this is a complete paraphrase but I read this thinking no I don't feel troubled when I obsess, lol. I feel troubled about my friends and I want people to except this is me right now. Is this a wrong attitude? When other people find a hobby or something new I sit patiently and listen to it.
So I would love to know how I can balance and if I need to right now? What am I doing for fun? Everything that I am doing right now! I love it! But I don't want to if others are feeling bad.
My God is a balanced God who is not extreme. I on the other hand am a human who is very extreme and I want to find a little piece (peace) of that balance that God is.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Call me a nerd but I'm on my office floor drooling over my newest purchases. I decided since I'm using All About Spelling and it comes with a couple dozen letter and word cards, I needed to buy a lamenator. So I made my purchase the Scotch TL901. I started it right up and start lamenting all my cards! It worked perfectly and easy. I forgot to mention apart of this purchase I also bought a paper trimmer to make my lamenting job easier. Okay, I know I'm obviously behind the times and I am not a scrapbooker so I've never used these items before. "How have you gotten by in life?" you ask. Well I just never needed it until I started to home school.
I was so excited about my lamented items I ran into my kitchen to proudly present my "new" shiny cards! To say the least no one else was as excited and in my hubby's words, " We have those at work." Well excuse me, I haven't worked in 10 years! So I went back into my home office an gleefully finished the rest of my cards. Is it just me or do you get excited about the little things every once in a while?
Also included in this Amazon purchase were 3 books. The well versed Family raising kids of faith through scripture memory by Caroline Boykin, the Great Tradiion classic readings on what it means to be an educated human being by Richard M. Gamble, and A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion by Oliver DeMille, Rachel DeMille, & Diana Jeppson. All three of these books were recommendations 2 from my mother inlaw and 1 the Great tradition from Andrew Kern at his seminar. I can not wait to start reading them. I don't know which to start with. I'm thinking all of them! At different times of the day of course.
Anything new catch your eye lately?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Random thoughts

It's midnight almost and I am sitting on the couch in the dark sipping my glass of wine and browsing the Internet. I have nothing in particular I am searching for but its the first time all day I have actual alone time. I have been so busy this week, well actually 2 weeks and I haven't had too much time with hubby. I feel so bad and I miss him. Although hubby is snoring in the next room, he seems so far away. I should probably go snuggle up next to him but he probably wont realize I am there. He too has had a very hard and stressful week. The kids are all snuggled in their beds and I can hear my dog snoring in the next room. But I am content sitting here writing out my thoughts and finally being alone. 
I knew I would give up a lot of my "alone" time when I started home schooling so I will not complain. I am just tired, and I cant seem to sleep. I have many thoughts running through my mind, like.....
Will my hubby deploy soon?
Did I make good curriculum choices?
Will my kids be OK with testing?
What time do I need to wake up in the morning?
What's the weather going to be?
Wish I could get out to California some how to visit family...
I haven't called one of my best friends today, I miss her.
Will Emma wake up tonight when I finally do fall asleep?
Hope Cams soccer game goes good tomorrow..
What's Lexis schedule?
I feel I am forgetting something I have to do tomorrow..
I want to catch up on my reading...
Can't I just have one day to rest?
Random thoughts but none the less they are still floating around my head. Seems to me that I am perfectly fine using this as a journal tonight. Why do women think so much? I guess it would be weird if a woman said she didn't. I had gone to a marriage conference a while back and the man who spoke said men have a thought process that is more like opening up one box at a time. And women have a thought process that is like many wires that connect to each other and are constantly going. He also said men have a nothing box. Oh, how I long for a nothing box! But even if I did have one I am sure I would fill it up somehow. Just the concept of a nothing box amazes me. I have so many uses for my hubby's "nothing box". He seems content to keep it empty though. Can I purposely create a nothing box for myself? But of course my first thought is what I can do with my nothing box time? I also think about how lazy I would look to other women if they knew. Oh well, the nothing box is out of the question. What are other ways women relax? That doesn't cost any money? I would love to know! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

what a fun school day!

We are having a blast at home today! We have been working on our Classical Conversations Week 22! Today's science is about light reflection and refraction. So we took a mirror, a pan, a flash light, and covered the flashlight with black construction paper and left a slit on top and saw a rainbow on the white paper. It took a few tries because we had to have the right box or in our case a pan. Our second experiment was to see their names in the mirror and talking more about reflections so we wrote their names backwards.  For English grammar we are doing coordinating conjunctions and decided we wanted to make a not so professional rock video. Yes, we are kind of in a silly mood today maybe its all the pollen. But I think we are done for the day. We did do math and geography on El Salvador and Nicaragua. We watched some videos about mission trips to the areas and read about the details of the country. 
Dont you just love days like this! When you wake up and things are already going crazy, and you choose to just go with it! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fun Weekend!

I talked about Andrew Kern's Seminar which was great. The second seminar I attended was Susan Wise Bauer and she was discussing her Well Educated Mind book. Susan Wise Bauer was nothing like I expected. She was very straight forward about not having crying babies in the area and to leave immediately with them if they do cry. She even asked us to tell anyone next to us to please take their crying babies out, of course nicely. I mean this all makes sense but not what I expected some one to say so straight forward. You can also tell she is a mother of boys. She seems very relaxed and explains things very clearly. I unfortunately left early and went shopping only because I own her Well educated Mind book and she was basically saying everything in it. So I can't give you too much information on her topic besides the fact if your read her book then you were basically at her conference. 
On the other hand I thoroughly enjoyed the vendors. I started off at one side of the hall and worked my way to the other as the weekend passed. I enjoyed the many used book vendors. I shopped and gave up quite a lot of money at these places. Some of the used stores were very expensive, actually ridiculously expensive. My grandfather owns a used book store in Temecula, CA called The Paperback Shack and I know that the prices I experienced at that conference were way over priced. I did find a couple of vendors offering good prices and I bought all my books from them. In total I left with about 40 used books! Yes I did, do not judge me! I know, I know 40 books! But I am trying to start a little library at my house and I was picking up some great classics and also some old books written in the late 1890 and early 1900s. 
You are probably thinking how the heck did I have time to visit any other vendors, but I did. I was able to pick up our Latin curriculum from Classical Academic Press, I picked out my daughters reading program and decided after a lot of thought to go with All about Spelling (which I plan on doing a blog on soon). I also picked up most of my Classical Conversations curriculum and some books on science and music. 
I love going to home school conferences and you have to admit there are some interesting people to look at. Im a people watcher, I can loose total focus on what I am doing because some one "interesting" walked by and caught my attention. It is sort of like being at Walmart. I cant wait to attend another one although I have nothing left to purchase but I would like to go hear the speakers. I saw a couple more seminars I will write about when I find my notes ;)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Classically Classical

I am here at the Greenville, SC home school convention! I am so excited to be out here and I have been having a blast. So far the best thing has been talking and meeting other home school moms. I meet them randomly in the seminars or walking around the vendor area. I have met a lot of other Classical Conversations moms from areas near by. I have also have gotten great information on curriculum or books I was holding in my hand. Women love to give their opinion, me included. I don't mind when some one happens to talk to me and they have no idea who I am. Im social, I love to talk! But I noticed some women didn't want to talk to me, haha. That is just fine, I still kept on talking to myself. 
on my first day here I decided to go to the Andrew Kern seminar. First let me note this seminar was at 8:30 am and I had stayed up the night before searching curriculum online until 1am, the hotel coffee was weak to say the least and I was exhausted. BUT Mr. Kern was funny, wide awake and inspiring. The topic was Teaching Classical Literature Classically. He first asked us why we were there and what we wanted as parents from classical education. I would love to tell you how my mind went straight to work on those thoughts but remember I was still basically sleeping. As the hour passed he discussed with us how we as parents and teachers teach from an area of anxiety. We are constantly anxious! I was shocked! No not really, haha but I completely agreed. He said we need to teach from an area of rest. An area of rest? How do I do that? Well, we should be teaching from an area in which we love. That area, overall, is education. "Education?" you say, No not education as we know it but education as it should be. Where we seek out truth, noble things, pure things, beautiful things and know God created them all! I heard Andrew Kern once say, "Are your children a product to be measured, or a soul to be nurtured?" 
Are we loving what we are teaching not the mindless facts that go into the subject but the fact that God created it? Are we expressing the good? Expressing the beautiful? Are we showing our children that education or a certain book we are reading moves us? How can we show our children that they should search out truths in the books they read and find what is pure and noble? Mr. Kern mentioned Philippians 4:8  8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Yes this scripture can be applied to our child's education! 
In the end he gave us a few pointers:
1) Stop reading so many "things" read deeply and focus. Take 1 book and fall in love with it. If you don't think you can find it keep digging. You can only find treasure if you keep digging. 
2) Just let them listen. Let them process it. 
3) Then finally, ask questions. Not manipulative questions but questions that start with the word should and compare your other reading to what you are read currently. 
I was very happy with this seminar! He was truly nice and gave me some good advice on working with my 8 year old to help her enjoy reading more. 
My next couple seminars will be Susan Wise Bauer. I had planned to go to a lot more but I spent too much time shopping. Yeah, we'll see how that goes when I get home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Greenville Here I come!

So excited about the South East home school convention. Since I was at Classical Conversations yesterday and my links didn't show up on my iphone. So today I am going to post the links and talk more about the speakers.

Dr. Susan Wise Bauer
Dr. Susan Wise Bauer has been described by our convention attendees as amazing, articulate, brilliant and practical. She is an immensely popular speaker and author, we’re honored to have Dr. Bauer as a Featured Speaker!


Jessie Wise
I am a home education consultant, speaker, and writer; my recent appearances include workshop sessions for home school conventions in Virginia, California, West Virginia, North Carolina, and elsewhere…


ken ham

Ken Ham
President and CEO, Answers in Genesis–USA & the Creation Museum Since moving to America in 1987, Australian Ken Ham—president and founder of Answers in Genesis-U.S. and the new highly acclaimed Creation Museum (with over 719,000 visitors in its first two years)—has become one of the most in-demand Christian conference speakers and talk show guests…


Amanda Bennett
Amanda Bennett is a wife, mother, homeschooling parent, speaker and author of more than 30 books for families. Holding a degree in engineering from the University of Florida, Amanda worked in engineering and professional research before turning home to raise and educate their three children.

Jeannie Fulbright
Jeannie is a mother of four with a love for God’s Word, her family, homeschooling, science, and encouraging homeschool parents. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1991, she married her husband Jeff, who is an attorney in Georgia. Throughout their marriage, Jeannie and Jeff have dedicated time to teaching and encouraging families

These are just a few I am so looking forward to hearing! I am so excited about Jessie Wise and susan Wise Bauer. I have read their books and I can read them over and over. Jim Weiss will be speaking, Cherlt Lowe author of Latina christiana, Christopher Perrin, Andrew Pudewa IEW, and lots more. There are so many options and vendors and I will be writing over the weekend to update you and hopefully share some ideas!

If you know of a curriculum I should definetly check out leave a comment and share it!