Saturday, September 29, 2012


So, after getting rid of all my other blogs, here I am starting a new one. I must be crazy!

This one is for all our homeschooling stuff. Not just the boys, but also my journey through WGU, where I'm enrolled to get my teaching degree.

Parents can balance working at home, working outside of the home, and homeschooling - I figured I can learn and teach my little man at the same time!

More to come....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschool Update

I missed connecting with Hip Homeschool Moms this week on their Tuesday Hip Homeschool Hop. Boo!

We are about six weeks into our school year and we've made some changes (who's surprised?), but that's how it goes around here.

Remember this picture?

Yeah, well the only thing left that we're using is actually the math. And little man is complaining about how it repeats, but we are staying the course with math. I know he needs the spiral approach with math, so he's just going to have to deal.

So, what are we using know?

Well, we are using Horizons Math. It works, and if he gets it, I don't assign every problem. That's helped calm him down a lot about the repetitiveness of it all.

We really love Alpha Omega products. I know a lot of homeschoolers think they are not advanced enough, or whatever. The small sections work great for Zach, who is ADD, so I can't say enough good things about them.

We switched from the AOP lifepacs in History, to their online offering, Monarch. This is working much better for Zach. Still small pieces, lots of videos to make it interesting - it's just his cup of tea. We also switched to Monarch for Science, and since he's asked to learn Spanish he's doing Elementary Spanish on Monarch too.

For spelling we use Spectrum spelling. We actually have used this all year too! Score! I think we've found our spelling. We are using Abeka Gods Gift of Language for Grammar and Writing. I like the fact that they are both in the same book. I don't follow the whole LA curriculum with Abeka. I just have the Grammar book and that's what we use.

So, we have a few subjects that are now computer based, but the rest are still workbooks. It's the best way for us. I've also plotted out the curriculum for next year so I can start saving for it now. The Monarch is great - but it's pricey!

I want to make it clear that Alpah Omega Publications, Abeka, and/or Spectrum have not given me anything. I paid for all my purchases myself, and this is just my opinion of why we, as a homeschooling family, use them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Favorite Things

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Homeschooling works differently for everyone, which is the beauty of it. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite homeschool things.

I'm not exactly sure how I managed to keep track of everything before this little wonder. I tried all kinds of planners - online, homemade, you name it. This just works. I balked at the cost at first, but it's well worth it. There's a place for grades, report cards, tear out shopping lists, and of course schedules. Since I have to prove what we taught all year having this in one spot is awesome.

Clipart of a large collection of colored pencils used for school projects, art classes, classroom projects, coloring, outling projects, college work, map outlining or coloring books, Click here to get more Free Clipart at

Colored pencils. These are more for me too. I grade with them and sometimes, yes, mom makes a mistake. Instead of crossing it out and making the page look all nasty and sloppy I can erase these. And I can choose any color I want. Yes, sometimes moms need to have some fun too!

A calculator. I wish I had one this big! I'm not a math whiz and never will be, so when figuring grades I have to use this. What a lifesaver!

Also recently I found a free downloadable grade spreadsheet at Five J's. Now that Zach is middle school I've started weighing his grades and this has the formulas all worked out. You can adjust it to make reports worth so much, tests worth so much, etc. Remember, not a math whiz, so I'm grateful that this was offered. I use it to make the weekly grades which I then write in my planner. 

Have a great homeschool week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ready to Move

I hate moving. I swore this move would be our last and we would just stay here in SC forever. But...

I really want to move. And not just anywhere - there are a lot of places I could go

Arizona, for example. I have family there, a sister, a niece, and a butt load of cousins for Zach. But "it's too hot there" my husband says

Utah - two nieces, some really good friends, and four seasons. "It snows there" says the old man.

Ohio - Hubby's family which means cousins for Zach. And well, family. Oddly enough, the snow here is not a factor. hmmm

And I'm not saying all those places aren't wonderful. They may even be the best states in Union. But I'm thinking I'd like to head someplace entirely new. A wild adventure that the three of us could enjoy. Where to though? Well, I narrowed it down to three places - but can I get hubby on board? Who knows? But here is where I'd like to spend the next four or ten years of my life

Honduras. Hubby has been here, but not Zach or I.
Beach front living, snorkeling, beautiful weather
what could be wrong with this place?

Belize. They speak English here, so that would make things a little easier.
Not as inexpensive as some other Central American countries but still..
this history geek would L.O.V.E. to see some of this stuff

Guatemala. OK, I honestly don't know that much about here
I guess that might be part of intrigue in going there
It would really make it a fun adventure

I know, all of you are thinking "that crazy girl - what the heck is she talking about". I know, we have an almost 12 year old, why in the world would you just pack it up and start a new life. To you I say "Why not?"

Why does everything have to be perfectly planned out? Why can't we just head out and live a new experience someplace completely new? Immerse our son in another culture - have him learn a new language first hand? Slow our roll a little. After being in/around the military our whole lives we deserve a little R&R in our lives.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Knowing what works

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I'm so jealous of the folks who homeschool without workbooks. On our homeschool journey we've spent tried a lot of money on curriculum. Sonlight, Abeka, Unit Studies, Monarch, and on and on. It really can be an expensive labor of love when you are trying to educate your own child.

When I brought my son home again this year after two years in public school, all these missteps really came in handy though. I knew what would work for us, and what to stay away from. I wish I had been given the choice to learn a la Sonlight - I would have thrived, but I'm not the one doing the work. So, here is our curriculum for this year

Yep, as you can see, all workbooks. Workbooks of all different kinds. Another lesson from all our previous mistakes! Sometimes I feel like we aren't doing it right because we are a workbook family. But in the end, it's all about making sure my son gets the best education.

I've discovered that sometimes if you're not homeschooling a certain way, other homeschoolers can be mean about it. The fact is, we are all reaching for the same goals - it's just that our kids get there in different ways. Isn't this why we homeschool? To help our kids get the best education possible?

Trial and error are part of the learning process for everyone. When you find something that works for your family - stick with it! Even if you have to cobble it together from several different places. Don't be pressured to think you need this new or different curriculum. This is my third year homeschooling and I am by no means an expert, but I no longer feel I have to justify my choices to other moms. That alone can go a long way to making a better year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Dad

Dear Daddy,

This month will mark the third month that you've been gone. How is that in less than three weeks you went from alive to gone forever? Why did you keep how sick you were such a secret from me? I'm so mad at you sometimes, I would kick you right in the butt if I could.

You knew you were sick in March when you visited, looking back I know that now. For six years we've been asking you "come down here" but no - Mr. Stubborn had to stay up in MI all by yourself and be all secretive about what was really going on. I'm so angry that your neighbor had to call me and tell me to get home - you would have rather died alone than think you were being a burden to me, your child. Stupid man. You were just going to sneak away in the middle of the night without saying anything to any of us that love you.

Yes, I'm angry at you - you would be angry if I tried to do the same thing. It's not fair that you gave all of us so little time to come see you and help you out. It's not fair that you think we are all so selfish that we wouldn't drop everything to get to you. Most of all it's not fair that your gone.

I love you Daddy - and I miss you so much.

Love, Krissy

Today I'm linking up with PYHO at Things I can't say

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No More Doubting

Today I'm linking up with Hip Homeschool Hop hosted by Hip Homeschool Moms

I started homeschooling again this year. My husband and I both felt it was the right move for Zach and even though it's been a couple years I still remember what needs to be done. Best of all I know what doesn't need to be done!

Last time we homeschooled for two years (2nd and 3rd) and by 4th grade I had lost sight of the important things. I was so caught up in making it school at home, which honestly, I thought was what I supposed to do. Those parents who used every day experiences to teach their kids weren't doing it right! I wanted my son to be one of those homeschool kids who graduated when he was 16, scored perfect on his SAT/ACT, and got the awesome scholarship to Michigan State. I pushed until my son and I could barely be in the same room. I pushed until out of frustration I threw him into Public School and called it good.

When we started this journey again, I started to panic. "There are 181 math lessons and only 180 days of school." "Oh no, his science is backordered - there's no way we can finish it all this year." I wanted to schedule all the lessons for the year and stick to that schedule. Field trips? Only after all the work was done. Fun time with friends, not this week - we're behind. Ugh. I would want to go to public school and be bullied instead of putting up with me!

Then Friday, as I was scheduling this week, this four day week, and trying to figure out how to fit five days of school in, it hit me. My 6th grader is doing 7th grade science - if we have to finish some of it next year, that's fine. We don't HAVE to finish the math book, how much is he going to lose by missing one lesson? And yes, my 6th grader is behind in spelling (not taught at ps here) and language arts (just a tough one for him), but that's ok. I don't have to squeeze two years into this year to get him on track. He is on track - his track.

Will my son graduate at 16? Nope. Will he get the scholarship and become a Spartan? Who knows? He probably won't even want to go to Michigan State. Will he have a ton of knowledge, know who he is, and be the great person I know he is? You bet.

In the end what matters most is that he is learning and growing every day. The rest will fall into place.

Until next time ~ Kris

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