Huge Discount on Rosetta Stone – Today Only (With a free Kindle Fire HD 6!)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete set of Rosetta Stone software for such a low price!

rosetta stone with kindle fire

We’ve used Rosetta Stone with our boys (starting at 6th or 7th grade) to teach them Spanish. Asa, our oldest, used it through his senior year of college for his high school foreign language credit. Best of all though is how he used it when he went to Ecuador for a mission trip. One of the first things he told us about his trip was, “By the way, Rosetta Stone? Best thing ever!” It helped him communicate with the children in the villages they visited. He loved it! (Justus, our 15 year old, gets to go to Ecuador and use his Spanish skills this summer. So exciting!)

While finishing some Christmas shopping this morning, I saw that all the Rosetta Stone packages are only $198 today. That’s a huge discount and makes me tempted to buy another language for our boys’ schooling! Our family highly recommends this software, so I wanted to be sure you knew about the discount.

What tempts me even more is that you get a free Kindle Fire HD 6 with your Rosetta Stone purchase today. Really???? That makes this even more amazing!

Go check out this Rosetta Stone software if this is something your family would use!

Looks like the Kindle comes automatically with your purchase so you don’t have to add that to your cart separately. This is amazing! The deal is good for December 14 only.

This post contains affiliate links.

Gratituesday: Our Homeschool Basketball Team

Every year, it keeps getting better!

As you probably know, we are a soccer family. All of our boys play soccer, Matt coaches soccer, Asa and Justus referee soccer…we love soccer! When Asa was invited to play on a homeschool basketball team three years ago, we timidly stepped in. Did we want to take part in yet another activity? Would this eat up too much of our time?

The truth is, it does eat up a lot of our time between November and March. But do we regret our decision to become involved? Not even a little bit.

Asa has formed some incredible friendships with the players on the team. These are kids from all over central Nebraska. We most likely would not have met most of them if it wasn’t for basketball. 

In addition, all of our younger boys have become friends with the team’s younger siblings, playing together on the bleachers during games. They have so much fun!

The best part for me? Growing closer to the other team moms. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the friendships I have made because of this basketball team. 

We ended our season over the weekend when we went to Topeka, KS for a big tournament. Over 60 teams were there. It was one busy place! 

My favorite part of the tournament is always the large assembly on Friday afternoon where all of the teams and families come together between games. There is a little friendly court competition, then we have a short devotional time together. All of these teams may be competing for the first place trophies, but when we are all together in the gym, we know that we are all really on the same team, striving toward the same goal. It’s awesome!

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Our team did great this year, with both our girls and our boys winning first place in each of their divisions!

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Asa is #35, front left. You can’t tell in this picture, but he is now six feet tall. Wowza.

I’m so proud of these kids, and so grateful for their great attitudes and friendship with my sons. Go Falcons! (And thanks for bringing your moms along. I am so blessed by each of them.)

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Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday, please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Are Home Schooled Kids Socially Awkward? Do They Live in a Bubble?

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I am often asked if I feel that home schooled kids are “socially awkward”. In addition, a few months ago, I received this great question from a reader, Jill:

I’m debating homeschooling. My fiance’s biggest worry is that public school, for all its downsides, allows for something homeschooling does not – ample exposure to people who may not look, think, behave, or live like you. In other words, he sees homeschooling as keeping one’s child in a bubble, away from ideas and people who have a lifestyle the parents don’t agree with.

I would love a post/discussion on how true or untrue this perception is. How do homeschooling parents teach their kids to interact with others – other kids, grown-ups, other cultures, other faiths, etc. How do you prepare your child for life in the “real world” where not everyone’s cultures/values/faith/etc. matches what goes on in their own home.

These discussions are so helpful, by the way – I’m gaining great insight!

I love Jill’s thoughts and appreciate that she shared her concern.  How wise of her to give such good consideration to parenting her kids, instead of just jumping into what sounds good at the moment.

When we first decided to home school our kids (when our oldest was beginning Kindergarten 11 years ago), many asked us, “But what about their social skills?” 

It’s a valid concern. All parents want their kids to be able to grow up to be “normal”, productive adults who know how to handle real world, real life problems and situations.

So first, let me say this, which is my answer to the question, “Are home schooled kids socially awkward?”

I have known some home schooled kids who are socially awkward.  I have also known some public school kids who are socially awkward. I have known some private school kids who are socially awkward. I have known grown adults who are socially awkward. I have had coworkers who are socially awkward. I have gone to church with people who are socially awkward. I have stood in line at the grocery store with people who are socially awkward. I have had lovely conversations with people who are socially awkward.

Some people are just socially awkward. Sometimes I am socially awkward.  Sometimes all of us are socially awkward. 

And after a while, reading the word awkward over and over again just becomes awkward.

So my point is:  home school does not create a socially awkward student or adult, any more or less than public school or private school. That statement, in my opinion, is a fact. (Ha, I made myself giggle when I first wrote that sentence, which I have to admit, feels a tad bit…socially awkward.)  ;)

What about the question of home schooled kids living in a bubble?  I think this is a great question that Jill asks.  Home schooling does keep a child from some experiences that they may otherwise have if they were in a school environment. So, is this wise? Is it providing your kids with the ability to get along in the “real world” some day?

I can’t speak for all home school families – although I do think I speak for many. In our experience, we have found that while in some ways we are protecting them – in many ways we are actually preparing them. Preparing them for the “real world”. Providing experiences for them that will teach them how to deal with the elderly, the handicapped, the foreign, the younger, the older, those that look different, those that sound different, those who don’t believe in Jesus.  Our kids’ experiences just look different than they look for those who are in a schoolroom setting.

Our kids get an incredible amount of rich social interaction with all varieties of people when we go to church; when we participate in various ministries; when we invite people to our home; when they take part in many various home school and community activities and sports; when they do odd jobs for others with their dad; when they go to the bank or store or library or post office…the list is endless really.

Am I afraid my kids don’t get enough social interaction or that they live in a bubble? Absolutely not. On the contrary, I am grateful for the vast opportunities they have to develop social skills while they interact frequently with people of all varieties of ages, abilities, disabilities, and seasons in life. And I’ve gotta say – there are days I wish my kids’ social lives would slow down just a little bit so that we could get something done at home!

The real world involves all kinds of opportunities to learn and grow that a school classroom can’t always provide. And admittedly, the school classroom provides some cool things that we can’t provide at home. But we’re okay with that. No school – home, public, or private can do all and be all and provide all. 

But above all, no matter how you school your kids, the main goal should be to teach them to be servants of God.   And hey, guess what? I’ve known home schoolers who are wonderful servants. I’ve also known public school kids who are wonderful servants. I’ve known private school kids who are wonderful servants…

They all have great parents. I bet you’re one of them. :)

I am always prayerful and careful when writing a post like this. I would deeply appreciate it if you take the same kind of care as you leave a comment. There will be no kid or parent bashing allowed – whether it is related to home, public, or private school. Keep your comments kind and positive – anything less would just be downright socially awkward.  :)

Gratituesday: First Day of School Survival (and My Comments Button is WORKING!)

Today marks the first day that I have a second grader, a fifth grader, a seventh grader…and a sophomore in high school. Wowza. What happened to my babies and pre-schoolers? 

I am very proud of my boys today. They set their alarms and got up and ready for breakfast on time. They maintained good attitudes (almost) all day. They worked hard. They listened well while I read to them. They got everything done on their assignment lists. They kept to a good schedule.

Why yes, sometimes we do sit on top of the kitchen table to do our Math lessons…

It was a great day. Have I mentioned before that I love home schooling? Ah, this is the life.

This afternoon, after all of the school work was checked off the lists, we headed out for swimming lessons. Then we chased back home to get Elias off to soccer practice with Dad. And then I collapsed. I couldn’t have cooked dinner if you paid me. (Leftovers to the rescue!)  It was like someone hit me over the head with a sleepy stick. 

It may have been from my busy day, but more than likely, it was because I stayed up way too late last night trying once again to figure out what was wrong with my website that was preventing so many of you from leaving comments on my posts. That has been an issue and a half, I tell ya. For weeks, we’ve been trying to figure out the mystery of why this was happening. After many hours of work, much prayer, a few tears, and all kinds of trial and error to find the problem – I believe I finally got it figured out and taken care of last night.  Praise God! The non-techy(ish) answer to what happened is that a bunch of my coding got wonky in my sidebar widgets when we upgraded the back end of my site a few weeks ago.  Once I recognized that this was a problem, I went into all of my sidebar widgets and re-coded as necessary – until my eyes began to cross. But it worked!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how thankful I am! (And if that whole paragraph means absolutely nothing to you, that’s okay. Just be happy for me anyway.)  :)

So go ahead, leave a comment! Yay! I’ll read it in the morning, because I’m heading to bed early tonight. I have sleep to make up for and school to teach tomorrow!

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

2012-2013 Book Lists, Writing Lists, and a Little Bit of Pink (at my house?!)

You would think that “Writing” would be on the top of my list of subjects to teach my kids each year, since I absolutely love to write. It seems though, that except for some journaling and small projects here and there, Writing seems to always get pushed to the bottom of our list, trumped by Reading, Math, History, Science, and the like.

This year though:  I have a writing plan for the boys, and we will be sticking to it!

First, let me share the boys’ Reading Lists with you, such as they are right now. I plan to adapt these through the year and hopefully add to them in January. Seeing their Reading Lists will help make their Writing Assignment List make more sense. I think. At least it makes sense in my head.

Here is our partially filled book shelf. Not all of the books have been filed yet.
I’m still working on it.
  But doesn’t it look clean and organized?  :)

I typically go off of Sonlight Curriculum’s book list for our Reading, History, and Science. Their lists are wonderful, huge, and thorough, so I have found that I need to pare each list down to make Reading/History more attainable for my family.  In addition, for Asa, Matt and I hand selected some books we’ve been wanting him to read that will help shape his character and give us an opportunity to discuss topics with him that we feel are important. With each list, some of the books will be read with a parent, and some will be read independently. I didn’t type out our family “Read Aloud” book list because I’m still working on it.

Asa (Grade 10) – Studying 20th Century World History

Justus (Grade 7)  and Elias (Grade 5)

Malachi (Grade 2)

Malachi is not yet a fluent reader, but is making great strides!  We have not pushed him, and at his own pace, reading is finally start to click.  He has loved the Frog and Toad Books we started having him read this summer, so I feel that he will soon take off and plow through that list. Not to worry, I have many more books ready to add to his list once this happens. :)

I plan to read The Story of the World (Ancient Times, The Middle Ages, and Early Modern Times) to Justus, Elias, and Malachi as we study World History this year. Even though the boys are all at different grade levels, I have found that it works very well for me to study the same History subject matter with them altogether. Each of them catches and learns what they are capable of for their age. It works beautifully.

In addition, the three younger boys will be studying science together, focusing at least first semester on a Human Body unit – all books from Sonlight.

Of course, our entire family will be reading the Bible and some devotional/study books together at breakfast time each day. Asa and Justus will continue to learn Spanish from the incredible Rosetta Stone CDs. Malachi will use Miquon math books, while the other three use Teaching Textbooks at their grade level (5th, 7th, and Algebra 2). We’ll go through grammar books, phonics books, spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary books as is needed and grade level appropriate. And I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s okay. As long as they are learning how to learn, we’re good to go, right?

Now…for writing. Here  are the plans I’ve made for each boy. I will assign deadlines for each project.

Asa:

  • Write one 3-5 page paper about what you loved about your summer, what you feel God taught you, and how you feel you grew.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a subject chosen from something you’re studying in Science.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a major event you’re studying in History.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a person you’re studying in History.
  • Write one fiction story, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one poem, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one (or more) devotional, which you will present at church when the opportunity arises.
  • Write two book reviews, choosing from the first four books on your reading list. Agree? Disagree? Personal thoughts and goals?
  • Write letters and emails of encouragement as the need arises.

Justus and Elias:

  • Write a one page research paper about something you’re studying in History.
  • Write a one page research paper about something you’re studying in Science.
  • Write one poem, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one fiction story, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one song, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write dictation sentences on Mondays and Wednesdays to practice and learn good sentence structure.
  • Journal each Monday, one full page, highlighting events from the previous week.
  • Write and send cards of encouragement as the need arises, about one each week.

Malachi:

  • Journal twice each week, and illustrate.
  • Write dictation sentences on Mondays and Wednesdays to practice and learn good sentence structure.
  • Create and write fun/silly sentences with Mom, then illustrate.
  • Make cards and write notes of encouragement, at least one each week.

This is a very long post, so if you’ve stuck with me this long, you now get to see the pink I was referring to in my post title. When we purchased school supplies for the boys earlier this week, on Malachi’s list was “card making supplies” to go with his writing assignment of making and writing notes to people. (Justus and Elias got to pick out ready made notecards instead.)  I already had card-stock, and I let Malachi pick which colors he would like in his “card making kit box”. He chose green and blue, of course. But then he also chose pink “for the grandmas and aunts and ladies at church”. How sweet is he? He also chose some cupcake stickers, deciding that he may need to make treats to take people that he made cards for. I love this idea, and think it is a perfect service idea to  follow up on our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Curriculum that we’ve done the past few years.

Phew, so there you go. Hope you survived this post which was about twice as many words as I typically write in one post. I’ll try to make up for it on the next one by writing very little. No promises.  Apparently I have lots to share as we prepare for school next week! ;)

Whether you home school or not, I’d love to hear:  Are you starting school soon? Are you ready?! :)

School Room Clean-Up, School Supply Shopping, and a Trip Down Memory Lane…

It is a tradition we’ve had with our family for years. Each year, after I’ve planned our school curriculum and schedule for the year, I make each boy a list of the supplies he will need. We then head out to do our shopping. This has always helped get the boys excited for the school year to start. And then, to make the day extra special, we go out for lunch together.

Except for the “going out for lunch together” part, I wasn’t really sure how interested they would be this year in our school shopping tradition. Asa is 15, after all. He doesn’t really need crayons anymore. :)  And actually, none of the boys really needed much. We’ve purchased so many 20¢ glue sticks in past years that there was no need to add those to any list. So, instead of individual lists, I came up with a general list of what we’d need, and off we went. Sweet boys that they are, they were all super excited about our outing. (That settles it. We are totally keeping this tradition until all of them head to college, and even after that if I can get away with it. Wow, I love these kids. And I refuse to think about them going to college. It’s only three years away for Asa. STOP. I’m not going to think about it.)

Here we were yesterday, taking our traditional “picking out supplies” picture.

And now, would you like to join me for a little tour through the years? I can’t believe how much they’ve grown. I decided to go backwards, so here they are last year, 2011:

2010 (we had and extra friend with us that year) :

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2009:

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And oh my…2008. Will you just look at these sweet babies:

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And now, Asa stands almost six feet tall and speaks with a man voice. It’s unbelievable really. Did I mention that I love these kids? Allow me to wipe my eyes and blow my nose loudly while I move on with this post…

Edited to add our 2013-2014 picture:

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Before heading out yesterday for our outing, we de-cluttered the school room as well as we could. (Some of our upstairs rooms are under construction, so we have extra furniture in the school room for the time being. Therefore, I just took a picture of our very messy, piled high table. All through last year, as we finished with books, instead of being good and putting them where they went, it seems we just continued to pile them on the table. Lovely, huh?

And now…

I’m hoping to do a better job of putting books back on shelves this year. It’s not like it’s hard, you know?

Stay tuned for more updates on what I’m checking off of my Fall Preparation “to-do” list!

My “To Do” List As I Prepare for the Fall (And My Plan to Blog My Way Through the Preparations)

I know it’s only July, but I have to start preparing now if I plan to survive the busy fall season. August through October are always our busiest months of the year, as we start school, freeze and can garden produce, and juggle umpteen soccer practices and games. I love soccer season, and am so excited for it to start I can hardly stand it.   My husband helps coach our local York College ladies soccer team (I can’t wait for these gals to get back into town!), three out of four of our boys play on teams, two boys referee, and two boys are on additional traveling teams.  There are a lot of schedules to keep up with. 

I’m not complaining. I soooo love it. But at the same time, I’ve started to feel almost panicky about being away from home so much and keeping up with all of my responsibilities. My solution?  I’m praying for peace.  Panicking helps…nothing. Oh yes, I’ve proven that over and over. I’m asking God to help me relax, to use me to bless people, and to help me enjoy the ride this fall. Oh, and I’m also already starting to warn and remind my friends that in a few weeks, I will not be able to formulate cohesive thoughts or finish my sentences. I am so blessed to have friends who continue to put up with me during these busy months.

In addition to spending much time in prayer, I’m doing as much as I can now to make my homemaking and home schooling efforts easier once we’re in “the thick of it”. I decided to share my “to do” list with you, then blog my way through it during the next several days. You do want to watch me prepare for the insanity, don’t you? Yes, that’s what I thought. ;)

First, here are the home projects I’d like to complete by August 5:

  • Clean and organize our “School Room”.
  • Help the boys get their bedroom and the “Lego Room” cleaned and organized.
  • Type up book lists and writing goals for the boys for the year.
  • Take the boys on our traditional “school supply shopping, then eat lunch out” celebration. (They’ll never be too old for this, right?!)

Here are the kitchen projects I’d like to work on so that our fridge, pantry, and freezers are stocked and ready for busy days ahead:

Disclaimer:  All items on these lists are subject to change. I may not be in the mood next week to make calzones. I may instead decide to make Creamy Chicken and Rice Casseroles. Or maybe I’ll make both. Or neither. I will likely think of something in the middle of the night tomorrow that I forgot to add to my list. I’ll be sure to call you at that time so that you are aware that my list has changed. You’re welcome. I may decide that cleaning the Lego Room isn’t even worth it since it’s likely to be a mess thirty seconds after we finish. If produce becomes freezable or cannable during this next week, that will trump all else. (“Cannable” isn’t a word and spell check wants me to change it to “cannibal” but that is obviously not at all related to my plan for next week, so I am leaving it as is. We all know what I mean. I think.)  Regardless, I do plan to take lots of pictures and blog my progress. It may will be messy. Read at your own risk.

Gratituesday: Wrapping It Up

Every year is my favorite school year. This year was no exception.

I love home schooling my kids. I love all the time we get to spend together every day. I love reading piles of incredible books with them. I love having a flexible schedule. I love learning beside them. Seriously, did you know that we have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our bodies? That’s enough to go around the entire earth almost three times! Yes, I learned that today. I am getting so smart. (It is an added benefit to home schooling that the kids are getting smarter as well.)  ;)

We’ll be continuing to read all summer, but we do usually take a break from “regular school work” for a couple of months. This week, we’re wrapping up our last few math lessons and finishing the final chapters of a few books…

And then? Well, it would appear that we started a new tradition last year on our final “official” school day:  Ice Cream Cones for Breakfast.

And not the healthy, homemade ice cream either. I know. I don’t know how that even came about. But apparently I did it last year, so that’s all the boys have been talking about for the past few days. Hey, why not? We can have broccoli for lunch that day.

I am so thankful for the gift of another great school year with my kids. And…I am amazed at a God who could arrange 60,000 miles worth of blood vessels in my body with such perfection. What an amazing Creator!

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Our 2011-2012 School Year Schedule

If you’ve been reading here long, you know that I keep a very loose schedule during our school days. I like to have a general routine in place, but just about every day looks different depending on the needs of the moment.

For instance, this week our family is helping with our local Meals-on-Wheels. Matt’s been taking two boys with him each morning. We’re just rearranging the schedule a little bit to make this happen. We want our boys to understand that serving others comes first (and that they still have to get the school work done later!).

As is our tradition, we hit the store last week to purchase a few school supplies, then went out for lunch.
We’ve had this before-school tradition for at least seven years and we look forward to this treat every year!

Here, without any specific hour of the day assigned to each line item (because it truly is different each day), is what I’ve outlined for our routine this year. (Read the specifics about the curriculum we’ll be using here.)

1. I wake up first in our household. After beginning my morning with prayer and Bible reading, I use this quiet time to check email and do website work.   (one hour)

2. The boys wake up and spend time reading their Bibles while I fix breakfast. (20 minutes)

3. We eat breakfast together and during this time, I read the Bible and a devotional book to everyone. (We’re reading through the book of Matthew and More Than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell right now.)  We work together to clean up the kitchen. (one hour)

4. Asa, Justus and Elias begin working through their assigned school lessons – doing what they can do on their own (math, English, etc.). I work with Malachi on reading, phonics and math. (one hour)

5. I read History/Geography to Justus and Elias. Malachi does individual work (if possible) or plays legos. Asa continues to work on his own. (30 minutes)

6. Justus and Elias work together on their History/Geography projects (Eastern Hemisphere Explorer, adapted from Sonlight). I read History with Asa (mostly because I want to learn myself!). Malachi does puzzles or magnetics. (45 minutes)

Malachi had a great time working on these Three-Letter Words Puzzle Cards today.
I highly recommend them if you have a beginning reader. I think I got them at Walmart,
but linked them to Amazon if that’s easier for you, and so that you could see what I was talking about.

7. Matt does Spelling with Justus and Elias, then works with Asa on Science, Spelling and/or Spanish (depending on the day). Malachi is assigned to work in his Explode the Code books. I check email and take care of any pressing website work, then I work on fixing lunch. (one hour)

8. Lunchtime! Matt leads us through Bible memory work. While we eat, I read a read aloud. (I eat a little faster than my kids, by the way. That’s why I’m able to read while we have meals. Plus, this helps mealtime be a little more…calm.)  ;)

9. I read Science to Justus, Elias and Malachi, then they work on their Science Animal Project, with help from me as needed. Asa works on his own.  (30 minutes)

10. Justus and Elias have their reading time. Asa works on his own. I read to Malachi. (30 minutes)

11. Everyone finishes their assignments for the day and works together to put away books and tidy up the house. (however long this takes)

12. Downtime, Curious George time, trampoline time, mess the house back up time – for the boys. I try to get some writing done or answer emails. (2-3 hours)

13. Work together to make dinner, then eat together. We visit or read aloud while we eat.

14. Evening times look different every day depending on whether we have company, soccer games, Bible class or a free evening. Bedtime is therefore flexible, but always includes family prayer time and sometimes more reading aloud.

15. After the boys are tucked in, I do more website work while Matt gets any work done that he needs to do.

Here are all of my past home school posts if you’d like to read through them to learn more about how this works for us!

I’ll be sure to let you know if ever a day actually goes exactly according to schedule. Don’t get your hopes up.

Do you like to keep to a strict schedule each day, or do you hold a loose routine like we do?

What We’re Studying This Year (Unless You’re More Interested in Chocolate)

I realize that some of you won’t be interested in reading about our curriculum choices for this year, but since I continually receive emails from gals asking about what books we like to use in our home school, I’m going to go ahead and share our list. If looking at our book list isn’t exciting to you, perhaps you would like to take a look at our Death By Chocolate recipe? Or maybe many of you will be interested in both? Because chocolate and books – aren’t those just two of the finest creations on the planet?

Once I finally got all of our books organized, I decided to take a picture of our shelf. Enjoy it now – that shelf won’t look so organized after we start digging in. But we can pretend that it stays pretty like this. ;)

The top shelf is Asa’s (grade 9), the middle shelf belongs to Justus and Elias (grades 6 and 4) and the bottom shelf is Malachi’s (grade 1).

We’ve been schooling with Sonlight curriculum for all nine of our home schooling years – yes this begins our tenth! We love that Sonlight is literature based and that we are able to explore and learn without using textbooks. Instead, we read both fiction and non-fiction books as we work our way through History, Science, Geography and Bible. In addition, we choose what Sonlight recommends for Readers (kids reading on their own) as well as Read-Alouds (parents reading to the kids).

Here is a breakdown of our curriculum for this year:

Asa (grade 9)

Justus (grade 6) and Elias (grade 4)

Malachi (grade 1)

Next, I’ll share about our home school schedule for this year – stay tuned!

I’d love to know what your kids will be studying this year (whether you home school or not!). Also, I need to know which you like better:  Books or Chocolate?

I know, that is hardly a fair question. (And yes, your answer can be “chocolate with a side of books”).