Showing posts with label Not Back to School Blog Hop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Not Back to School Blog Hop. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 Not Back to School Blog Hop: Classroom

This is always my favorite part of the blog hop.  I love seeing how others set up, and use their space to educate their kids.  I have lots of pics/posts on ours all over my blog.  I am excited to share that I have a YouTube channel where I am (albeit slowly) adding videos of our room for you to actually take a tour.  I have the main wall to finish.  I have a part of it done but YouTube was being annoying so I will re-shoot that and get the others done soon.  It's been a very busy summer. We just returned from a week long trip and have been running ever since.  Please head over to my channel and take a look at what is there and be sure to subscribe so you will get the updates.  I now have ALL VIDEOS (this is the post with the videos shown) of the classroom uploaded!  Yeah!!!!  SO be sure to check those out!

My classroom has not changed at all from last year.  I will only pull out books/stuff that we finished and reload it with new goodies.  I may rearrange how I have the desks but that is yet to be determined.  Head here to last year's post to see the pics.  Otherwise-click here to see the YouTube tour.  


2105 Not Back to School Blog Hop : Curriculum

OK, so they started the Not Back to School Blog Hop early this year!  Of course, I didn't think to look when it actually started-but because we were gone for vacation for most of it-it wouldn't have mattered.  So, here I am a bit behind and so I do not have all of our curriculum ordered yet.  I usually wait til mid-August.  I try to find stuff used first, so I wait until folks are selling before I go the new route.  I have a few items pictured BUT it is by no means all of it. Look for a YouTube video (hopefully soon) where I will show what I have.  I may wait tho until I get the rest of my ordering done. Anyhoo-

I have one student.  He is 7/8/9 th -ish.  I hate to put a grade on it because each subject is different for him. This is my "hope to get to this coming year" plan but as with this past one-nothing is in stone. We have learned to go with the flow (last year was a hurricane)-this is what I hope to cover:


Continue studying great artists-Monet, Seurat, Chagall and Tiffany.  Using a variety of materials to do this.  Including See the Light Art Projects DVDs, calendars, stickers, various books from library and my collection. Notebooking is a part of this as well.


Confirmation class.  Finishing God's Great Covenant.  After that-??? I haven't decided yet. Also, memory verses.


Car/Motorcycle and small engine repair:  various books from library, notebooking and a ton of hands on training from his teacher, Mr. Dad.  


Continue with the study Around the World from last year. We have completed Australia, Antarctica and most of Asia.  There about 15 countries left to do, then we will move on to the others. Variety of materials.  Includes: Mapping the World by Heart, maps/atlases, Continent Boxes (see all my posts on those), notebooking, various books from the library on each country/continent, Around the World in 180 days curriculum and Uncle Josh's maps.  


Basically, not planned this year. He will finish the couple of books from the SL 5 series we haven't finished-then we will take a break from the regular history.  Actually, the Beautiful Feet Books History of Science is history but I am categorizing that under the science section.

Literature Arts: 
(writing, reading, spelling, handwriting, etc.)

LLATL: green and tan levels.  He is finishing up the green then we will move on when done.  
HW:  Getty-Dubay Italic (whatever he hasn't completed in book g) and Italic Character HW
Grammar:  Winston supplemental (finishing) and Advanced
Writing:  IEW level B
Reading: various books
Spelling:  IDK  yet (I have a few guides to use, like the one posted but nothing official)
Vocab:  Marie's Vocab flashcards, reading


Saxon Algebra 1/2 after he wraps up a bit from last year's text


One or two composers.  Still debating which ones.  Using various materials I already have and The Young Person's Guide to Composers.  


Beautiful Feet Books:  History of Science guide/books
includes experiments
Archaeology with some fun hands-on activities

I want to do a foreign language (I have some things about) but not sure we'll get to it.  I may wait until next year as this one is a heavy load.

That is what I hope to use/cover this coming year. Looking forward to seeing what you all are going to us too!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Not Back to School Blog Hop: Week 4-Day in the Life


Here is where I am stumped. I don't know our schedule, how to describe our day in our life or even what time it is (well I guess I can look in the corner of the 'puter to see that) and I really cannot say why.  For some reason, things have been nutty and so we have been 'schooling' in the 'winging it' mode.  That is ok though.  Somehow we managed to get just about everything I wanted him to cover handled.  I think one big factor is that we are only schooling one kid now so being super organized is not quite as necessary as when I had 2-4 kids underfoot.

Now that the boy is in Jr High, I do have to start reining it in a bit.  Since we will be going thru Sonlight 5 (Eastern Cultures) I already have a pre-made schedule via the teacher's guide.  So the history, Bible, some geography (I say that because I am covering world geo with him this year as an entire course to go along with this) and lots of reading are covered. Math is a no-brainer.  We just work thru each lesson and if he needs to speed it up or slow it down then we do just that.  I will need to devise a general layout for the world geo, artist study and his language studies.  Since we just finished school in early July and are back into the baseball season-I simply haven't thought much past that.

Heck, I haven't even ordered the stuff I need for the year.  It's just been that way lately.  But what I can share is that we don't do every subject every day. Instead we break it up to a few times per week and let it be.

Usually we stick to this basic set-up :  

T and Thurs.: math, science, geography and art/music, handwriting
W and F:  math, history and reading skills/LLATL and any scraggler type of activities
Every other Thurs. is my shopping day so I simply delete things or give him only 'you can do this without me' activities because I am gone all day.

I have been using Mondays as an office day-to figure out what I have going on, to do my grocery couponing/planning and errands. I may have to change that or beef up a couple days since we're doing a more rigorous geography study and Sonlight (which is a beefy program) but honestly-I hate to lose that day.  If I do, then I lose a weekend day and I am not going back down that road.  I was getting too burned out because I wasn't stepping away from the teacher mode. I will adapt. We always do and I find a way to preserve my office day and still get all the schooling in.

And there is our anti-schedule type of life. No planner books, no pledge, no timed seat work, no exact order or particular way to do each day-we take it as we feel it'll work that week and somehow we get along nicely.  For now.  But we'll see.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2014: Week 3-Student Photos


I am down to one student, 
have been for a couple years now-
our youngest and class comedian....  
The Boy

Now on occasion a mewy irritant, our perpetual student will arrive on the scene.  This student apparently just flunks out to stay around here and receive attention.  Not sure if there are any time limitations on how long a student can repeat/attend; but I think Cleo has long surpassed any rules on that.  She has been attending our homeschool for 15 yrs now and counting. Oy Vey!  [And yep, she is a Manx with only a button tail and she walks/hops like a bunny. :)]

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Not Back to School Blog Hop: Week 2-Classroom

For the second week of the Not-Back-To-School blog hop we are to showcase our schoolroom/education room.  I am working on a video tour and hope to have that posted before the next century. What should seemingly take but a few hours has now turned into a few days and many, many takes.  Plus I have to edit the multitude of sections I recorded, then load it to You-Tube. Once I have that complete I will get the link up for you.  For now, here are some pics of the room we use.  Of course we also utilize many areas of the house including the couch/family room and/or the kitchen but here is where we keep the bulk of our supplies and such.

I created an area to showcase our world geography that we will be focusing on for the year.  I removed the rain-gutter shelves that were on the wall and bought a whole 'lotta IKEA storage boxes to create this.

I recently made some big changes to the room by removing several things we have already used, or won't be needing for some time in order to make it less cluttered and soothing.  I also rearranged the room to freshen it up/make it feel bigger.

The new workbox area.  I removed a large shelf, re-purposed the other one for the geography area and after about a thousand different possible layouts attempts, I think I came up with something that should work.  There you have it in a nutshell-our classroom area.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: Curriculum

Don't forget to participate!  
I'd love to see what you have
chosen for your family!

Wow! It's already time to join the Not Back to School Blog Hop for this year! Frankly, we had a late ending to last year (uh-literally just finished the second week of July) so gearing back up at this point is almost too painful to contemplate! But hey, thanks for stopping by! If you are new to my blog I wanted to give you the 411 on us. We have been homeschooling for over 20 years and have graduated our first three [yep, we homeschooled high school too] and are currently winding down our adventures with our fourth child, who is at the 6/7th grade level.

We follow mostly a Charlotte Mason//Literature (with a tad of Montessori in there) method so our choices reflect those styles but we are also eclectic, so there are plenty of other little things thrown in for variety.

**I linked to where you can find out more about each product, but unless it is an Amazon link-I have no affiliation with the companies.  I just really like their stuff and thought I would share the best place I have found to get them. My best advice for anyone (especially newbies) is to buy used first, reserving new purchases for materials you cannot find that way.  Workbooks and any test booklets, etc. usually fall into that second category. Two great places for used books are Homeschool Classifieds and the Vegsource Homeschool site.   

2014 Curriculum Choices:

We will study:  van Gogh and maybe Seurat if we have time
                          no musician chosen yet

God’s Great Covenant, New Testament Book One | Main photo (Cover)Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?) Volume 2 | Main photo (Cover)
images from
I will either restart the God's Great Covenant Series: Book 1 NT I bought last year or get the second book in the Apologia series: Who Am I?  I dunno yet.  I am still trying to figure out this subject.  Again-I barely finished last year, so I haven't had time to contemplate it all and I had to put the God's Great Covenant series aside as it was just too much for him last year. This is on my "to figure out" list.


5th Grade Homeschool CurriculumSonlight Eastern Hemisphere:  This is listed for about 5th grade.  I have done this 3x already and find many of the books to be above that level so this is a good fit for most 5-8th graders.  I usually try to fit this in between 6-7th grade.  I have a much older version but it works just fine. I will be covering just the history and some of the scheduled Bible from it.

Image from

Our boy is dyslexic so he's a bit behind in the language/reading skills, so that is why some of this seems a bit lower than it should be for his age.  But that is the beauty of homeschooling-you tailor the education to the child not the other way around.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Tan Student Book | Main photo (Cover)Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading Level 2 Curriculum Set | Main photo (Cover)

Learning Language Arts Through Literature Tan Book for the main backbone. A few times per week we do the Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading Level 2 that we started early last spring. I got this used at half price through homeschoolclassifieds. We are also reviewing the All About Spelling materials I have just as an added boost.  The LLATL has some spelling but dyslexics struggle with that so I try a bunch of different things to work through this subject with him.  I will have to do a separate post on that.

Winston Grammar | Main photo (Cover)Italic Handwriting Book G 4th Edition | Main photo (Cover)

Winston Grammar: level 1.  I ran out of time to do this last year with him, so this year we'll get moving on this.
Literature books for history, those assigned from LLATL and misc. stories cover his reading. I have this from previous students, so I only need the workbook.  I also have the second level so if he flies thru this, we'll do that as well.

Handwriting is easy-he's just finishing his last Italic HW book he started in the late spring.

images from


Geography Study Guide rev | Main photo (Cover)
Mapping the World By Heart Curriculum w/ Maps | Main photo (Cover)We are covering world geography this year.  I have a whole area set up in our classroom just for this. We will do this more Montessori style using Continent Boxes (search Pinterest for ideas) and will add in Mapping the World by Heart (I have a very old guide but again-it'll do).  I may throw in a couple other books to guide us through this but haven't determined what ones I want.  I will write a post just on our geography once I get that all worked out.  But you can see the few posts I have on our Geography box and our Geography Board for more info.  We also need to do the last book, Minn of the Mississippi in the Beautiful Feet Books Geography series. We'll tackle that alongside the world geography about once or twice a week until done.

image from


Saxon Math 7/6 4ED Homeschool KIT | Main photo (Cover)Saxon 76.  I am looking at some of the Fred books (we have the Algebra one) like the fractions and such to add in for fun and for a good review.  I will try to borrow those tho, not buy them.  Otherwise, it's all Saxon.
image from


This is a new study for us and we're pretty excited about it.

Archaeology Book, Geology Book, and Intro to Archaeology & Geology Parent Lesson Planner Set | Main photo (Cover)Archaeology and Geology Pack

I am going to throw in a bunch of various hands-on stuff to really make this a fun study.  I have been picking up a few things from the dollar store, gathering goodies I already have about the home and will probably buy a kit or two like these: Dig! Discovery Kit: Maya Temple and Dig! Discover Kit: Easter Island

          Dig! Discover Maya TemplesDig! Discover Easter Island
archaeology/geology image from rainbowresource; kits images from


Spanish for Children Primer A | Main photo (Cover)Latina Christiana Student Book I | Main photo (Cover)OK, every year I try to cover Latin and every year it gets waylaid.  Maybe this year.  I will do my best to work this in.  I want to get him going on Spanish too but with his reading/spelling issues-I simply have not been able to add those to our schedule.  So for now I will just say-if we do get to it I will dust off our Latina Christiana Series.  This looks for for Spanish-I do have an old version of Powerglide for it and we could use that but this looks more engaging....Spanish for Children Primer.  I will have to go thru the Blog Hop to see what other folks are using.  So this is another TBD subject. LOL.
images from

Well that about covers it!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope I helped you find some neat things to use for your homeschool curriculum!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Just updated the Not Back to School post on the classroom but here's the Reader's Digest version

Here is the newly set up nature study table/art picture study and focal book area.  I have wanted to do this for a long time and was able to get that accomplished today. The other side of the room-well not so much but will finish that this week. (UPDATE:  this has since been removed and our geography center now takes up this area)

I literally just did a treasure hunt about the house to find doo-dads and some display things to pull this together.  Robbed a few of my decorations in the kitchen and such and then added the Safari Ltd. toob birds (backyard and a couple from the exotic b/cuz we have hummingbirds and owls around us)...added the labels so he can start remembering them.  Will have my pop scour his yard for various bird feathers (he has like a sanctuary or something in his back yard-the birds and critters know where to go for food) and those will go in a flatter basket (need to purchase) so he can check those out when we are covering birds in science (which will be right off the bat). I can add/delete as necessary and change the items per season.

 The workboxes used to be under the rain gutter book holders,
 now it displays our current studies 
and future study items 
(cannot wait to start the Laura Ingalls stuff!!!!)
 A necessity is the Mrs. Sharp's Family Traditions book! 
[Left hand corner of table] LOVE IT!
And I taped up the picture study cards I had
from when we first covered Audubon.  We'll
cover him again this year but will spend more time on 
his animal drawings for that.
 This little wood armoire is my dd's. She used it when she 
played with her American Girl Dolls-LOL
  Was just sitting in storage so had to use it.
My goal is to get a nice apothecary cabinet or 
discover chest cabinet to keep all the little fun nature things
in.  Maybe next year's budget will allow for it but for now-
just using what we have around here. 

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013: Day in the Life

The last installment for this year's NBTSBH is about what we do when we 'school'.
You can join/visit o
ther's blogs on the

When our kids were younger, I did my best to maintain a schedule that was pretty regular and wasn't changing constantly . I found my children did better when they had a pretty good idea of what was to come-which included snack/nap time, etc.  But as they grew, we had to morph to accommodate their skill levels (meaning at one time I had a baby/kindergartner/middle elementary student and upper elementary almost jr. high student) to meet the demands of a variety needs.  Then when it came time for scouting or swimming lessons or what-have-you, well, it just made sense to readjust and redefine.  So now we're at this point-one upper elementary aged student. That's it.  So we have a much more relaxed schedule. 
We're not morning peeps.  I also like to take the first hour or so after arising to do my 'office work' and pray. That includes going thru my emails, making appts, prepping or just enjoying a cup of Java without noise, or anyone too nearby.  I think I deserve that after 25 years of parenting-LOL.  I find that when I have a bit quieter morning-the rest of my day goes better which equates to a more tolerable mom and happier student.  :)

Obviously, if we have afternoon commitments (like during baseball season) we work to get his studies done by 1 pm.  That way I have a bit of time to do what needs to be done around here and he has some off time before heading out the door.  

Plus, we do not have a 9-5, M-F dad.  He travels up to 12-14 days per month then works from home the rest.  So when he is gone-I have double duties, making my workload a bit more and therefore, during those times we adjust as needed.  Because of his travel, at times we are also able to do "tag-alongs" which offers us a change of scenery but throws any 'schedule' or major book work out the door (or car window if you prefer).  
So we have no typical day but I do my darnedest to maintain a relative "must do per week" for the following:

M-F:  reading work/spelling (intense to help combat the dyslexic struggles we have going on here)
M-Thur:  Bible (sometimes Friday), Math, art projects
M, W and F:  history, geography
T, Thurs: Science, artist/musician study and if weather permitting some type of nature study activity
F:  catch up for anything I really wanted to cover but couldn't for whatever reason, crafts, art projects wrap-up, etc.

Since I have become a big couponer-I do a blitz shopping every other Thurs. and frankly, that takes pretty much most the day and when I get home I am on those weeks we'll just move any Thurs. assignments to Friday and call it even. 

Monday mornings are also my intense 'office/coupon prep time' which means no teaching from me but he'll have some easier assignments he can do nearby to occupy him.  I found the biggest route to burn-out was using all my weekend time to do school stuff when I should have just been doing home stuff and enjoying the fam. Sometimes, this is unavoidable-but I have drastically reduced that b/cuz it never left me any time to just be me.  And that was not good.  It is just too easy to be drawn back into 'prepping and organizing' and before I knew it my weekend was gone and I never got a recharge.  I learned that one after oh, about 15 years of hsing.  LOL  Now I know better.  

As for the where?  Well some of it is desk work, and usually he does that in the education room which is right nearby the fam room...or he comes to the table I am working at.  Most reading (and we do a lot cuz we use a lot of literature based curriculum) is done on the couch.  But if it is nice, we'll go outside and sit on the porch or back patio.  When we travel and nature study opportunities arise, we work right where it on a beach or nature trail, etc.  Well not on the actual trail, we might get run by a rogue biker or block the path-so we'll use nearby picnic tables and such. 

and that is a basic day in the life-
but that can all change and 
probably will! LOL

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Back To School Blog Hop 2013: Student Pics


So this week highlights the student(s) and right now all we have is one.  Hoping to change that tho, sooner than later (thru adoption)...but for now-I leave you with some pics of our boy from our recent trip.

You can join the NBtSBH 2013 and check
out what other homeschoolers have planned 
for the coming year!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013: Classroom-Keeping it real people plus UPDATE PICS

So week 2.  School room.  Yah-OK, well here is my keeping it real post for ya.

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2013It is only the second week of August and so far this summer has proven to be crazy busy. Between our two boys' birthdays in late June/early July, the exterior of our home needing to have some wood and trim replaced (by hubby), then 4 days with the painters here, then the two older kiddos moving from their shared apartment to two separate places in two opposite directions (with all of us helping), to planting a few flowers and moving some other landscaping about the yard, to packing up and heading out on a tag-a-long with dad (work) for a week around Michigan, to barely getting home to having our oldest dd's birthday (and dad's this week), to my jumping into about 3 other sewing projects for our adoption fundraising to well-life..yah-we've been pretty darn busy.

Why did I tell you all that?  Well to highlight why it is that my classroom area looks like a nuclear bomb of supplies, books, projects, papers, etc. and some more-blew off leaving the area decimated. That is why. Folks-getting the classroom ready for the coming year has been on the bottom of my 'to do' list. That is why I am posting this pic of how the room looks now. Well except for the rockets-those have been moved..but my new projects have taken over the space they created!  I kid you not.

This is about being real.  This is about how an area can become a masterpiece of chaos (albeit temporarily) in the midst of life.  And I am OK with that.  You'll be looking at some awesome rooms on your blog tour, but you won't find that here. I will get to my ever growing list of 'GET IT DONE' soon enough. Until then, I leave you with these...

I told ya it was a disaster.

If you need to see a clean/organized room-
you can check it out at the beginning of last
year when it was all pretty and neat-
Before d'explosion!

Join the fun at NBTSBH-classroom week


SO far I have rearranged the workbox/tables to create a nature study table under the rain gutter shelves. I have been wanting a nature area for a long time but never got around to actually creating one. I want (very badly) to get myself a nice unit to store all sorts of nature things but alas-not in the budget right now.  So I will make do with what I scrounged up from around the house.  I am using of all things-a doll armoire as a focal point. Just dug around the home and found little this and thats to make the table early fall inviting. I added the backyard birds from the recently purchased Safari Ltd. set and a few from the exotic ones since we have hummingbirds and have spotted owls-altho not sure about the snowy one but hey-he is representing the owl clan for us.   I am still working on the other side of the room and have decided to declutter the shelves from books and programs/curriculum that we are not using this year to clean up the look and make it feel less busy.  

Nature Study Table/Book Display plus Art Picture study prints area (using the pics we studied a few years ago when we covered J. J. Audubon who will we re-cover this year as well).