... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Joshua 24:15b
Lately, I have given a lot of thought as to what a blessing my family is. I really do love them so very much. My greatest wish is for my family for them to grow a little closer to God every day and grow more Christ like daily.
That is the reason I stayed home to homeschool my children.
I realized that if I sent them to school to learn then what could I expect from them. No teacher at school loves them as much as I do. No friend they can make at school will be their for them like their sister does. What about the negative influences?
I want the very best for the both of them. Knowing and doing the will of God is the best that I can offer to them. Public school is not going to offer that.
Of course, reading, math, science, history, etc. are important. However, if they don't know God, nothing else matters.
So, I am totally grateful that my house serves the Lord.
The first week of homeschool has been awesome! WE have had very few meltdowns. ;)
I am going start this post back to last Friday when I did a Back to Homeschool party with the girls. The party came complete with decorations, place cards and party foods. Here are some pics of the festivities.....
Now our homeschool week......
This year has been a year full of changes for our homeschool. This is our first year with My Father's World and our first year with workboxes. This is also our first year teaching two completely.
Last year, my youngest was in Kindergarten and that was not very hard to do. Being in first grade this year, there were more subjects and work to add to the mix.
I decided to do My Father's World Creation to the Greeks this year. The curriculum recommends beginning with Exploring Countries and Cultures, but we had already completed a year of a geography based study. I felt it would be over doing it to repeat.
The workbox system has been a great addition to our homeschool. You can see our workbox set up here.
Our week started off with a bang. The girls woke up early Monday ready to get started on their first day.
Flossy - 1st Grade
Princess - 5th Grade
We have really enjoyed going through creation again. We had previously talked about the days of creation; however, by focusing on 1-2 days at a time, the girls were able to get a better grasp. Also, everyday we have reviewed everything, so it has really stuck this time.
In MFW science, we have been talking about light. They particularly enjoyed an experiment that we did involving an "optical" illusion, which taught about how light enters the eye.
I added Apologia's Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology, even though My Father's World includes science, because our family loves the Exploring Creation Series. So far, we have loved this book. We have been studying ancient medicine and discoveries in medical science. We did a small experiment involving using a drop of water as a magnifying glass. We did that for probably 10 minutes because it was "cool" to the girls. :)
That is pretty much the highlights. We had alot of other routine subjects but nothing really note worthy. All in all it was a great week in our Father's world!
I am fairly certain that we never have the same homeschool day. So I'll give you a run down of a "typical" day.
I try to have everyone out of bed, dressed and ready for breakfast by 8:00. That doesn't always happen. ;)
We typically set down for breakfast together around 8:15. Breakfast really varies. Sometimes I feel more like a big breakfast, like pancakes, eggs, etc. Other times, we have cereal or frozen waffles.
After everyone eats, the girls make their beds and clean their room while I clear the table.
I try to get everyone back at the table for lessons by 8:45. Earlier is always better, but we aren't always at the top of our game.
We always start our school time with prayer and Bible first and foremost. God has to be at the heart of our homeschool or I am wasting my time.
Because we are studying Old Testament/Ancient History, I immediately do History in conjunction with our Bible time. We are using My Father's World Creation to the Greeks this year so our Bible and History time fit very well together.
Because our youngest is enthusiastic about the Pledge to the flag, we say the pledge after Bible and History.
This year, I opted to try the workbox method with the girls so following Bible and History the girls start their first workbox. I split their time up through the day with various activities that are not in a workbox, do and do not require me to help, etc. I really try to mix up our day with their workbox so that it is not predictable and boring for the girls. I also want them to have subjects so that they don't need me at the same time.
We really have some days where schedules are completely thrown out the window. My youngest has allergy shots every Monday morning. Our family works the clothes closet at our church one Tuesday a month. Of course, there is always things that come up for us. I so try not to stress when "stuff" comes up and our "schedule" gets wacky.
I try to have our day wrapped up by 2:30, but that may or may not always happen. The afternoons are filled with household chores, free time, and just plain fun. I also attempt to take the girls to the library once a week.
I like to be super organized with it all but both girls end up sick through out the year with various hospital and doctor visits. What does your family do for their day? Do you have a set schedule or do you generally "go with the flow" like we do?
After much research, thought and planning, I have completed our workboxes.
I don't have the space to implement the traditional workbox method by Sue Patrick. However, I have come up with a system that I believe will work great for our family.
Here's the plan . . . .
I have a grid for each of my daughters. It has 16 blocks. All of the blocks may not be used everyday.
Names have been covered to protect the innocent. ;)
I only have 6 shoe boxes for each girl. They will also have a folder with multiple pockets for some subjects.
Note the frogs are for Flossy, my youngest, and the lady bugs are for Princess, the oldest.
We also have science, history, bible reading and read alouds that will be done as a family. Most of these items will be planned for early morning. The boxes have velcro for the numbers and one will end up being put on for a "Work with Mom" tab. (I ended up running out of velcro; that is the only thing needed to be finished.)
As a task is completed each day, they will remove the number or activity card from their assignment grid so that they know how close they are to being done for the day.
I also found the wonderful pouches pictured above at the Dollar Tree with 3 in a pack that holds each girls' assignment grid and tags. I also have one that hold miscellaneous tags that I have.
I figured that because several subjects were completed as a family I could just put a subject tag on their grid to know come see mom when they get there. We'll see how it works out.
Yesterday my oldest came up to me and said that we needed hand soap in the bathroom. Since I didn't have anymore store-bought hand soap, I decided to use what I did have which was bar soap and make my own.
I gathered my supplies:
Cheese grater (only used for making various soaps!)
Gallon jug (for storing handsoap)
A 3 - 4 oz bar of soap (size is approximate; DOES NOT have to be exact)
Gallon of water
Note: Any soap will work. I used Ivory but you may like to use an anti-bacterial soap like Dial.
Put the large pot with a gallon of water minus one cup to allow for the bar of soap on the stove.
Allow the pot of water on to get hot. It only needs to be to steaming not boiling.
Grate the soap (If you use the smallest grater it seems to to better in my opinion)
You will end up with a pile of soap shavings like this one.
Turn the stove off once the water is hot.
Add the soap shaving to the hot water and stir until the shavings are melting well.
Once they are melted and stirred really well, put the pot of soap to the side to sit for about 24 hours. It will gel up. It may not seem like it a first but give it time; it will. After 24 hours, use a hand mixer set on low and blend the gel soap mixture. You will end up with the homemade hand soap the consistency of store-bought hand soap.
Using the funnel, pour the soap into a gallon jug for storage.
Make sure you label so everyone will know that you aren't creating a science experiment out of milk in the cabinet. :)
Notes: If your soap is a little too thick, thin with a little more water. If it is thin, it'll still be soapy enough.
Shake the jug each time you refill your dispensers just to make sure it is blended up good.
Enjoy your cheap homemade hand soap. This recipe with Ivory costs me less than $1.00 for an entire gallon.
I dread having to think each day about what to fix for the next meal. So I decided to plan my menu for the week and post it. If I have actually told people what we're having for dinner maybe I'll actually stick to it. :)
Breakfast - Cereal, toast, fruit, milk
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Open face pot roast sandwiches, steamed broccoli, sweet tea
Snack - Cinnamon Toast and Milk
Breakfast - Buck wheat pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch - Egg Salad Sandwiches, celery and carrot slices, sweet tea
Dinner - Salmon patties, rice and tomatoes, crowder peas, sweet tea
Snack - Peanut butter on graham crackers, juice
Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs, toast, fruit, milk
Lunch - Grilled Cheese, chips, water
Dinner - Taco Salad and sweet tea
Snack - Fruit salad, water
Breakfast - Oatmeal, Fruit, Milk
Lunch - Tuna Salad, Crackers, Tea
Dinner - Tropical Pork Chops, Yellow Rice, a veggie (no clue at this point), tea
Snack - 1/2 PB and J, milk
Breakfast - Cheese Grits, Toast, Milk, Juice
Lunch - Leftovers, Mac and cheese and green beans, tea
Dinner - Fish tacos, chips and salsa, tea
Snack - Jello, water
Breakfast - Breakfast Casserole, Juice
Lunch - Leftovers or sandwiches, sweet tea
Dinner - BBQ Chicken, Corn on Cob, Potato Salad, Tea
Snack - Kid's Choice :)
I had to share a fun experience with my two little beauties tonight.
Daddy is gone out of town to a conference. Princess and Flossy talked me into popcorn and a movie.
I had saw a few weeks ago somewhere how to make "homemade" microwave popcorn. The instructions sounded easy enough. Put 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in a paperbag. Add 2 tsp oil to the kernels. Roll down the top tightly and shake the kernels to cover the kernels in oil. Microwave according to your microwave.
So, I followed the instructions exactly. I also know that for our microwave we put the bag of popcorn in, turn it on 5 minutes and listen for the "pops" to slow down.
Well . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
it looked like something off of a movie. All of a sudden I noticed popcorn flying everywhere inside my microwave. Needless to say I have to work on the "technique" for this method of popcorn. At the very least, I need to find the original "recipe" and read again. Apparently there is something that I did incorrectly. Stay tuned for correct instructions or either modifications that I make to perfect this.
It really should be a frugal alternative to pre-packaged microwave popcorn.
I love freebies. It is almost a goal of mine to go through life spending as little as possible.
Recently, I met a homeschooling mom online who is struggling financially and is actually thinking of putting her children into public school.
So, I decided to compile a list of free education websites. When ever you google something like this you get alot of junk. I know that this will be a monumental task. However, I really want to help struggling moms.
Can you help in some way? Do you have a favorite freebie website?
I have seen this around blogs I visit and finally decided to join.
In my life this week…
I have been so completely frazzled. I have been sleepy, cranky and unproductive. I most definitely have not been the homemaker that I long to be.
In our homeschool this week…
I have been working on re-organizing our homeschool materials and preparing lessons. However, with my life feeling so frazzled, it has been a hard journey this week.
I am inspired by…
Delightful Order. Considering I am trying my hardest to get motivated and get my life in order for a new homeschool year, I have found so much inspiration in this blog. I haven't necessarily implemented her idea but I have found refreshment in her posts.
Questions/thoughts I have…
What do other homeschooling moms do when they feel so frazzled?
Things I’m working on…
I am trying my harded to re-organized and simplify our life, home and homeschool. I desire to place a better emphasis on God and "stuff" keeps getting in the way.
more healthy dinners. With my husband and myself attempting to get weight off and with a daughter on a low sodium diet, I have sought to prepare meals that are better for everyone.
I’m grateful for…
the opportunity to be at home with my children. Despite the fact that some days I don't have the most patience, I am so grateful that I am the one teaching them and loving them throughout the day. I am grateful that they are each others classmate.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
This is our paper stash in our school supply cabinet. I am so glad that I decided to tackle this. Now we are ready for finding everything for our school year.
I decided to link up this post with one of my favorite blogs, Delightful Order. I LOVE that blog. I find myself drooling at some of her ideas.
Being a homeschool family we have alot of school supplies.
Considering that we are starting school back August 22nd and the fact that I have been in re-organization and cleaning mode lately, I decided to tackle the mess inside our school supply cabinet.
Here is our re-purposed computer cabinet from the outside.
We had this cabinet and I needed some place to store the large amount of school supplies that we have. Unfortunately, with two little girls entering the cabinet and with me being so busy our cabinet ended up like this.
So, last night I worked on cleaning it out. I emptied every shelf of that thing. I threw stuff away that was not going to be used. I put stuff in other places that did not belong there and I ended up with this........
I think it looks great. I hope to eventually get it even more organized. I want everything labeled. For now though, I know exactly where everything is.
Do you have any ideas for how I can organize it further? I am always up for ideas.
I love homeschooling my daughters. I love the interaction I get to have with them daily. I love not having to ask how their school day was. I love picking new curriculum each year. I love not having a classroom.
Huh?!? Did I really just type that?
Our family has not been blessed with the opportunity to have a single room in our house that it is totally dedicated to our homeschool classroom. We have stuff here, there and everywhere.
We have a section of the family room for homeschool stuff.
We have a section of our dining room with supplies for the girls and a place where their workboxes will be upon completion. (Stay Tuned: That will be another post in the near future.)
(Please do not judge the mess. I'm trying to figure it all out. )
In our dining room, we also have our whiteboard and bulletin board and I will have another bookshelf as soon as my sweet husband gets one picked up from his brother's house and I do a little rearranging.
Studies are completed on the living room couch,
at the kitchen table (with the cat),
in the car, on the bed and everywhere in between that serves the purpose.
So do you have a room devoted as a classroom or is your whole house your classroom? How do you organize for school?
If you are a homeschooler, you have possibly heard about the workbox system. Well, I decided to use workboxes for the 2011-2012 school year. I don't have my system in place yet. Stay tuned for more info and pictures.
Are you a workbox user? Please comment and leave links to pictures of your system. I'd love the inspiration!
I have been so underproductive today. My poor sweet husband mowed out entire yard with a push mower. Typically it is not such a hard task but with the speed of our life lately, he has not mowed in several weeks. Thus, the grass was waist high.
Anyway, I have been L - A - Z - Y. For some reason or another, I have not wanted to do a thing.
The only productivity today has been feeding the kiddos.
Trust me I so did not need to be lazy. I have a mountain of laundry, clutter scattered around, not to mention homeschool planning to get done.
So, do you have days that you don't feel like doing anything? What do you do to get motivated?
We are getting set to start school. August 22nd will be here before I know it so I am attempting to get everything ready. Here are my curriculum choices for this year. When you write it all out, it looks like alot of work; however, there are alot of short lessons planned or things not planned everyday of the week. I'm still getting in the water on this blog business so I will try to come back later and link up my subjects with appropriate websites. (No promises however) ;)
Our core curriculum for both girls is My Father's World. And since I don't have it in me to do 2 different levels, Flossy will tag along Princess for Creation to the Greeks.
Princess - 5th Grade
Bible - MFW Creation to the Greeks & Kay Arthur 4 Kids Inductive Bible Studies & Family Bible time
History - MFW Creation to the Greeks
Science - MFW Creation to the Greeks & Apologia Exploring Creation through Anatomy
Math - Singapore 4A/4B & Math-U-See Gamma (2 reinforce her multiplication)
English - Easy Grammar 5
Spelling - A Reason for Spelling E
Reading - Progeny Press Guides
Vocabulary - English from the Roots Up & Wordly Wise
Art - God & the History of Art
Music - MFW Composer Studies & Piano & Guitar
Composition - Writing Strands Level 3
Free Reading - Book Basket Selections from back of MFW; 1000 Good Book List
Flossy - 1st Grade
Bible - The Awesome Book of Bible Facts & MFW & Family Devotions time
History - MFW Creation to the Greeks
Science - MFW Creation to the Greeks & Apologia Exploring Creation through Anatomy
Math - Singapore 1A/1B
English - First Language Lessons
Spelling - A Reason for Spelling A
Phonics - Abeka & Scholastic At Home Phonics
Art - God & the History of Art
Music - MFW Composer Studies
I have high hopes of blogging about our school year. So please let me know if your reading so I stay motivated.
So what are your curriculum choices for 2011-2012?
I've been praying lately for direction. Alot of direction.
Everything in my life has been so chaotic that I have trouble with keeping track of everything.
You know the drill . . . appointments, errands, housework, family, kids, etc. The list goes on and on.
So I have been taking a sabbatical of sorts to calm myself down. A timeout of sorts.
Our family will start a new school year on August 22nd, and as of now, I am so NOT prepared. Call it ADD, OCD or any other combination of letters that seem to describe me lately, but I AM NOT on track!
This train has derailed so to speak. Choo choo.......................
So, why am I rambling? Well, I love blogs. I love to read what other moms are doing that works in their homes, what doesn't work (so I feel a little more normal), and everything in between that moms want to share.
When I first decided to blog, I wanted to focus on living frugally, but I find myself wanting to do add stuff besides just frugal tips. So without further ado, I unveil a different perspective and name to my blog . . . Quickly a Homemaker.
Now this has not been an easy thought process. I decided to use a bit of a play on our family name (our last name is Quick), the decision for me to stay home (decided one night, resigned from my job the next day), and how life appears for my family (time flies).
I plan on continuing to focus as much frugal "stuff" as I can; however, I am going to add homemaking "stuff", mom "stuff", homeschool "stuff" and quite honestly, anything else that I find helpful.
So, if you see awkward ramblings on this blog please ignore or either use it if there is anything of value.
I am not deleting anything nor am I not going to post because "it doesn't fit" my main "topic".
I am going to try to maintain some sort of composure to my posts, but at the same time, I need to allow myself some more freedom.
The only thing that is not going to change around here is my focus on doing it all for Christ.
First and foremost, I am a child of the King. I am a stay-at-home mom to two sweet little girls and wife to a wonderful husband, who is also my best friend. I homeschool & love it. I love my family, my church, cooking, arts & crafts and living frugally.
Feel free to email me at quicklyahomemaker@ gmail.com