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!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I am so excited about attending the Greenville South Carolina home school conference tomorrow! I will be driving down there with my mother in law to enjoy a weekend of learning and shopping! Yes, I have to say I'm excited about purchasing curriculum. If you home school you will completely understand what I'm talking about. I am especially going to enjoy the speakers there. Some of the speakers will be, Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise, Leigh Bortin and many, many more! There will be tops about Classical education, Charlottte Mason style, organization, and oh so many more! Also to top it off Tim Hawkin will be performing! Ok, maybe I'm a little too excited but thats ok right? My hope is to attend Ken Ham's seminar, anything about IEW, Charlotte mason and classical education. I plan on spending a lot of time enjoying the vendors. I need to look into a phonics curriculum for Emma and a math curriculum. Of coarsen will be visiting the Classical Conversations booth! At the end of each day I plan on having a delicious dinner and glass of wine. Since I will be kid free, I am going to take advantage of it and catch up on some reading, and spending time with my mother in law.
My husband is going to school the kids Thursday and Friday. Please pray for him he likes things very traditional and we the Hohan girls' are very relaxed and learn by mixing subjects together, for example science and art. But I'm confident he will be just fine. As for me it's so weird not being home with them and not teaching. I hope to come home from the conference with new ideas and new enthusiasm!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Oh, Monday mornings.... My kids are not Monday morning learners they prefer to include Monday to be part of the weekend. I on the other hand don't want to miss a day of them learning so I tend to be a little pushy. My pushiness does not help and then I have a house of grumpy students that are conspiring against me. So, since today is Monday I decided to let their learning be more spontanous ala Charlotte Mason. 
This week being it's St. Patrick's day, my mother inlaw gave me a beautiful Shamrock  plant. So the Kids have been learning about the Shamrock plant, where it comes from and why it is important to this week. My daughter decided to make "smelly art." She rubbed her shamrocks inside her pictures she drew of the shamrock and made, I guess, a scratch and sniff craft. Although a shamrock doesn't really have a scent it basically smells like grass, she liked this craft and can narrate to me all she learned about it. 
My 4 year old is still sleeping! Its 10:18 am as I write this! I will let her sleep because I know what mood she will wake up in. After she wakes I will have her make a Shamrock mask and while cutting and coloring I will explain the story to her and have her narrate as best she can back to me. 
Aidan, the 10 year old I home school has his own work that his mom schedules for him but I still had him research the subject, do some art work and make a craft. He already knows a lot about St. Patrick because he went to a Catholic school. 
Does your family have a day of the week when "normal' work just won't work? What do you do on those days? Our relaxed day use to be on Fridays but mid year I realized the kids were fine on Friday and so we switched it. One of the many benefits of home schooling. When the weather is nicer, because I am a baby when it comes to cold weather, we will go on more nature walks. On our walks we bring a sketch book,  pencils and some sort of field guide. I love those days, can't wait to do that! I also plan on moving our "class room" outside to our screened in porch. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011


We spent the weekend testing out a couple of the new games we bought. The first one was You've been Sentenced! The kids and I loved this game.
The purpose of the game is to hand out 10 cards to each player, each card has words, names or places on it for example a card will have the words and, a(n), to, the, of. Each person with their set of cards has to make a grammatically correct sentence. Each word has points and at the end one with the most point wins. There are many different ways to play this game. All the ideas are in the directions. We played it the easier way to get started, without the timer and we all read our sentences and corrected them. The next day Cameron my 8 year old woke up and tried to convince her friend who slept over to play it at 7am! Her friend was not really inspired that early in the morning, haha.  My 4 year old couldn't play because she doesn't know how to read. But I gave her her own cards and she pretended to. So the other game we got was mostly for her. It is called Rory's Story cubes. Although the box says its for ages 8+ I bought this for Emma. In the box there are 9 cubes or dice I call them. Each side of a dice has a picture, for example one die has a flashlight, airplane, face, the world, an apple and a building. Emma takes all 9 dice and rolls them. Whatever pictures lands on top is what she uses to create a story with. She usually begins with "Once upon a time...". This game has been so fun. It helps spark our imaginations and the older kids don't feel like its a baby game. Story Cubes comes in a great little box to take in the car and a place in the box to roll the cubes so they don't land all over.
I have to say, we are very happy with these purchases. Do your kids play any great educational games? Do they realize how educational they are? I am always looking for board games, card games etc. I will post the links for these games underneath. They are worth buying!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do you read?

Well Yesterday I wrote a blog. Yeah, you didn't see it because I deleted somehow. I have no idea but oh well. I have been reading so many books and I am looking forward to reading many other books. Do you read? A little? A lot? Many books at a time or one for a really long time? Do you read fiction, non fiction?
As for me I read about 4 books at a time, mostly about the same subjects. I am currently reading The Core by Leigh Bortins, The Well Educated Mind, Charlotte Mason original series, A Latin centered Curriculum and some child training books here and there like The Strong Willed Child. As long as I stay on similar topics I don't struggle with the books. I am not much of a reader of fiction anymore. I do like Francine Rivers and I am starting to read Don Quixote. I am planning to read the classics soon. They intimidate me so I haven't started yet. I was hoping to find a classic reading group for other people willing to start and learn and read together. Even possibly with our kids reading too with us. Cant seem to find that right now. Not sure If I would like to start one up either.
So what is your all time favorite book? Do you have a favorite depending on the subject? Which book would you want all your friends to read? Mine of course would be the Bible but on a lighter note I love Shel Siverstein. Did you have a favorite series growing up? Were you never a reader until now? As for this last question I would love to hear from those adults who didn't like to read at a younger age but love to read now.
Cant wait to hear your book suggestions!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today seems to be going much more smoothly. I started Emma on and she seemed to like it. She did math, language arts and science and after she is done with her work they have an area called playground where she can play games. Science seemed to be a little slower in the story department. Emma caught on really quick and when it was finally ready to have her answer the question she was annoyed because she knew it and was ready to move on.  She doesnt think the math is actually math because she is having fun on it. But so far so good!
I've been reading a lot of articles about how March is a point in the year when the kids start getting bored or tired. So I am pretty sure that is whats going on in the Hohan household. Hopefully Emma will enjoy this and Cameron will stay consistent until May.
This first year of home school has been a ride. I really encourage it though, that all mothers who can, try it! So call me a hypocrite but this past year I joined a church I said I would never attend, started home schooling my kids and started on a journey I said I would never start. Funny thing is I switched to our new church and LOVE it! Odd circumstances got me started on home school and It has been amazing what the lord has showed me through it all.
I learned that I am a stronger woman than I thought I was, that forgiveness is really, really hard but necessary, that I am blessed to be in this exact place at this exact time, My past has gotten me to the point I am at even all the bad stuff, my mistakes I am making now will later teach me, That I have an amazing family and extended family, I have great friends who I can trust, and I have learned things about my children that I wouldnt of known unless I home schooled.
I dont know why I have written all this but it's not like I plan what I write. It's just whats on my heart right now in this moment. My walk with God has become so much more of a relationship than a duty. Where would I be right now if I wasn't saved? Actually to be honest I can tell you... divorced, putting me first, clueless on what a marriage is really suppose to be, and probably in a relationship that wouldnt last anyway. Wow, really its not too extreme that is the truth! God totally turned my world upside down! Jesus showed me that no I am not perfect, not suppose to be perfect and He is the way the truth and the life! God showed me in His word what a marriage is suppose to be like, what a friend is suppose to be like, what my finances are suppose to be like, what my character is suppose to be like, what my thoughts should be focused on, how to train my children, what to teach them, not to worry about tomorrow, what and who I should put my faith in, who should come first and who should come last. Plus so much more that I cant even list it all.
People can put down Christianity all they want but there is no changing my mind that everything I have learned from Jesus has only made my life better. Why be so against something so loving, helpful, honest and helps you live a better life? I dont understand or see any negative others see in this walk.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One of those days!

I am feeling very discouraged today with Emma. In the beginning of the year teaching her went so smoothly. Now it seems she has no interest and all my attempts get empty responses. I took some advice and thought she would have fun teaching me how to do her work. She always likes to be the boss so I got her work out and a book and she just whined to watch tv. I use to be able to put Netflix on in the early morning, turn it off with no complaints and do explode the code with her. We would then switch to Rod & Staff preschool series and moved on from there. But now she wants the tv on and will whine when I turn it off. She then goes into complete rebellion and says she will not do her lessons. So I wait and turn on the computer so age can do some learning activities. Her attention span with these are not great either. I feel frustrated and like I'm failing. 
Today I signed up on a site called Time 4 Learning. I paid $19.95 and she can start using it tomorrow. It's suppose to be a complete home school curriculum. To be honest Cameron seemed more interested than her but I am desperate at this point. So I will let you know how it goes. If you have any advice please help!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I am just wondering... How do you teach a child who insist on "teaching" you? Emma my 4 year old
wants to "play" teacher more than being the student. I have to admit this gets very frustrating. I will try to introduce our work for the day and instead she starts "playing" with the book as if she already knows how to do it. When I try to intervene she gets upset and shuts down. Yes, my husband and I both know Emma can be, well, difficult and somewhat prideful. She is no way our passive child. She speaks her mind at home, throws some award winning tantrums, wakes up grumpy and can be so loving and sensitive, gentle, independent, self reliant and is very smart. I can see the good and bad in all the things I listed about her. She is strong willed to a fault some times and can push my buttons like no other. But she is my baby girl and I adore her! 
Knowing all this I haven't been able to figure out how to teach her when she is in that "teacher" mood. I would love any feed back or ideas!