Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I've been trying to spend time scrapbooking lately. Just a page every couple of days. It's not much, but I hope it will help me make some progress. I'm working on photos from 2005, people. 2005! When you consider that I was actually caught up back in January of 2005, that is just very, very sad. (In my defense, I have done layouts from other years, but finally decided to concentrate on finishing up chronologically.)

I'm still using my crazy scrapbook organization chart. It really does help me keep a handle on what I have done and what still needs to be done. I'm so visual that it's a scary thing.

These are layouts I've done recently. They use Close to My Heart products for the most part. I'm still meeting with my CTMH group once a month, but these are not layouts I've done with them. (We do a 2-page layout every time we meet, learning new stamping and scrapping techniques.)

This first layout is from when Robert got his first pair of glasses. A friend couldn't believe I did a two-page layout of this one event. However, I really wanted to include pictures of the equipment used for his eye exam. I know that later in his life, everything will look different. I'd love to see how things were done when my parents had eye exams as children. Know what I mean?

I made a mistake on this layout. Originally, the word "bike" curved like the work "shop". However, when I stamped the journalling lines, I messed up, so I needed to cover that mistake. So, I changed the word "bike" to a straight line and voila! No mistake. (My scrapping group is fond of saying "There are no mistakes in scrapbooking.")

I have scrapbooked for almost 13 years now. It's something that gives me a creative outlet, and I often spend time with friends doing it. Do you have a hobby? If so, I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Books, Glorious Books

Katy, TX has the most wonderful used bookstore. While most used bookstores I've been in have mainly used romance books, Katy Budget Books has a huge variety of genres available. We used to live around the corner from the store and it's one of the things I miss most about that area of town.

Twice a year, KBB has a huge sale of their surplus used books. Prices range in price from .25 to $1.00. A sale started today and I drove down there with the kids to be there when the doors opened. I usually concentrate on the children's section of the store since that's mainly what I buy these days. I could have been there all day if I had gone through the whole store.

This is what I bought today.

The grand total for all these books was about $22.00. The most expensive book was the book of Emily Dickinson poems because it was a hardback. It was $1.00. The copy of Homer's The Odyssey is a $35.00 book. I got it for 75 cents. I'm excited about finding Otto of the Silver Hand for 35 cents. There are some books in there that the kids picked out that I would not have necessarily chosen, but for 35 cents each, I figured it was okay.

The cost of all those books new? $305.00 I definitely think it was worth the 45 minute drive.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Favorite Around Here

We love Stan Freberg. Now, most people of my generation have never heard of him. I certainly hadn't before I met Griff. We have introduced him to our children and they love him as much as we do. We spent several hours in the car yesterday and most of that time was spent laughing at his recordings.

To give you a brief summary, Stan Freberg was a comedian who made satirical recordings starting in the '50s. If you like that kind of thing, you should check him out. Our favorites are:

The United States of America (history of America)
The Very Best of Stan Freberg (Sh-Boom and The Great Pretender are my personal favorites.)

There are a lot of references to pop culture and politics of the era, so it opens up some very interesting conversations. And it is just laugh-out-loud funny.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Workbox Chart

In a comment to this post, I had a request for a copy of my log form.

This is the chart (log form) I use to record our weekly box activities. As stated previously, I put it in a page protector and use a wet erase marker to fill it in. It can be downloaded in pdf form here.

I thought I'd share what the abbreviations stand for. I hope this gives you a better idea of how I use it.

H: History - all of our history readings for the week
T: Timeline book
W: Writing (the asterisk lets me know that it requires my instruction - in this example, a new IEW unit that needs to be explained - I don't use them for items that need regular instruction, like math)
L: Literature
M: Math
FUN: anything extra that I want to add to break up the school day
FL: Foreign Language
B: Bible
HW: Handwriting
G: Geography
PS: President Slideshow - This was year-long project involving every president of the US, so it got its own abbreviation. More temporary activities would be noted a different way.
HL: Health
A: Art
C: I honestly don't remember. It must have been something we did for awhile, then quit.

Let me know if there are any other questions, or if you have trouble downloading the form.

Friday, April 30, 2010


I wonder what's been on my mind lately.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plans for 2010-2011

Along February or so, I really get the itch to start planning next year's curriculum. (I don't think I'm alone in this.) And, since I need to spread out purchases, I usually start my shopping sometimes in April. So, with no further ado, here are my choices for next year.


I've decided to go back to Sonlight. Several things led to this decision

- I have always loved Sonlight books.

- We've used it in the past with great success.

- I want Robert to have a one-year overview of history before entering high school. We haven't done the ancients since we started homeschooling 5 years ago. Finding this at the 8th grade level has been tricky.

- I want everything scheduled for me.

Robert will be doing Core Alt 7. Ruth will be doing Core 6. I gave her the option of doing either and she chose Core 6. She's my true reader, so she will enjoy having more books for the time period.

Language Arts

I have also purchased Sonlight LA 6. I've never used it before, but I wanted a different type of writing assignment, rather than the informational reports we've been doing most of this year. There seems to be quite a few complaints about the lack of writing instruction in SL's LA. We will be doing them using IEW's methods, so I'm hoping this will not be an issue. I'll be sharing our experiences with it as we combine the two.

For grammar, I've decided to have a year of review. We'll be using Daily Grams and Better Sentence Structure Through Diagramming. This will free up some time for other subjects.

Sonlight recommends Wordly Wise for vocabulary. We haven't done vocabulary work in quite awhile, so we're going to use that as well.

We'll also continue history narrations using notebook pages.


As I said before, I've decided I need to outsource science. Ruth will be taking BJU Science 7 in an outside class. Robert will be using the BJU DVDs for Science 8. I'm hoping this will take care of my deficiencies in teaching this area.


Robert will be using Lial's Basic College Mathematics. It's supposed to be a very good pre-algebra program, and I plan on using Lial's for Algebra, so it seemed like a logical choice. And, as a bonus, I can find an old edition for cheap. Ruth will probably go back to CLE, but I haven't decided for sure.


A Beka Health - very low key. We just read and discuss.

Getting Started with Latin - We quit using this at Christmas, but Ruth has asked to start using it again. Who am I to argue with a child that wants to learn Latin?

Logic - something, but haven't decided yet.

Art - This one is... complicated. We're going to use Meet the Masters again with our friends. However, I feel that we need more than that. Ruth is very talented in art and I need to encourage that more. I've looked for awhile at Harmony Fine Arts curriculum. I decided to go ahead and purchase Ancient and Medieval/Renaissance. They each have things that appeal to me. I have yet to figure out how it's going to work, but I want to use them both in some way.


The kids will continue playing their instruments. We're looking at options for an orchestra program as well.

We're going to rejoin the world of co-ops. I'm feeling the need to add more fun, social activities. This year has been kind of "blah". I've found a group that has a lot to choose from and we will most likely join them in the fall.

I think that's it. All in all, I'm very excited about next year. Now, on to finishing this year.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Love this.

You may have seen this already, but I was a little late to the game. Love it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hits and Misses (Updated)

It's only been 3 posts since I gave a 9-week review of our hits and misses. However, much time has passed, and, as the year is drawing to a close, I have a much bigger picture of what has worked and what hasn't.

Tapestry of Grace - This is a wonderful program. Having said that, over time I've found that it's just not a good fit for us. I don't feel that I, as the parent, am taking full advantage of all the wonderful things in the program. This has led to my decision to use something else next year (more on that later). I think if we were part of a co-op, it would be completely different. There is a co-op in our area, but we tried to get in this year and they turned us down because nobody in the group knew us. Really. A friend compared it to getting into a country club and I had to laugh. She's right!

I dropped TOG's literature and added CLE Reading after Christmas. This is a good, solid program, and the kids like it for the most part. (no complaints, at least, and they are getting good grades)

Math - Ruth completed Life of Fred Fractions, then Decimals and Percents. She's finishing up the year with BJU Math 6, reviewing and filling any gaps. I did find that LOF was not a good fit for Robert. He loved reading the lessons, but had difficulty seeing past the story to the math. I moved him back to CLE Math and that's gone well.

Science - Ugh. Ruth finished Apologia Elementary Zoology I, then has done some of A Beka Science 6 to finish out the year. I switched Robert to A Beka Science 7 after our struggles with Apologia. We've kind of limped through it this year. I've come to the conclusion that teaching science is a weakness of mine, and something that needs to be outsourced.

Our other hits of the year (IEW, Rod and Staff Grammar, Meet the Masters art program, workboxes, and History Scribe notebook pages) have continued to work well.

Up next... our plans for next year!

Let Try This Again.

I have been very, very absent from the blog lately, but I think about it frequently. Does that count? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm going to attempt to turn over a new leaf and blog every single day for awhile. Maybe that will get me moving again.

Life has been good here lately. Full and good. The school year is winding down (4 weeks to go!). We've already finished grammar. Our last week of history is this week. Math and science are the only two subjects that will go to the very end.

I want to do a post about hits and misses, as well as plans for next year. I also want to talk about books I've read, movies I've seen, and life in general. So, hopefully, I can find plenty to talk about in my daily postings.

Until tomorrow...