Monday, September 21, 2020

7 Things I Learned This Summer



I’m so excited to take part in “What I Learned” hosted every quarter by, Emily P Freeman: an author, podcaster, and co-founder of Hope*Writers an online community for writers. Honestly, our summer was busier than I expected with a mini vacation aka our camping trip, starting our new 2020-21 school year, and attending my brother-in-law’s wedding in East Texas. All things considered, it’s been good to reflect over my summer as a new season is just around the corner.



7 Things I Learned this Summer



1. Covid-19 has become personal. 

Throughout the summer, this global pandemic has gradually became much more personal, because lots of people I love have had Covid-19. This disease continues to rage with little sign of letting up. As I said, some of my own family and friends have been sick with this virus. It’s been hard to be thousands of miles away feeling helpless watching those I love struggling through the challenges presented as a result of this sickness. It’s just been heartbreaking. As a result, I’ve been on bended knee on their behalf asking for healing and God’s grace to rain down on them during this time. I know God hears each and every one of my prayers and I will continue to lift them up in constant prayer. 



2. My Mom came to visit!! 
Before we started our new 2020-21 homeschool year, my Mom flew to Colorado for a week long visit!! I hadn’t seen my Mom in almost a year and I was so thankful to be able to spend time with her this summer. We played board games, ate delicious food, went shopping, and my Mom even taught the girls how to sew a pillow. They each got to pick their own fabric and Mom helped each of them make their very own small pillow. Even though it was so hot, we had an incredible visit and can’t wait to see you again. We love you to the moon an back Mom!!



3. I’ve been reading lots of books.

Do you remember my blog post last month? It was called, “Cultivating a Love for Reading” where I shared my own reading struggles. It’s been good to see how God is helping me overcome my reading struggles in some amazing ways. One of them being, I’ve read and listened to more books this summer, than any other time in my life!! I’m so thankful with God’s help, I have been able to make reading books a priority this summer. Seriously, if I can do this...anyone can!! All that being said, here are some of my very favorite non-fiction books I read this summer.


1. “Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff” by, Myquillyn Smith


2. “Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon“ by, Ray Rhodes Jr


3. “The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done” by, Kendra Adachi


4. “Educated: A Memoir” by, Tara Westover


5. “A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II” by, Sonia Purnell 



4. Camping with small kids, meant no one got any sleep.

 Back in July, after being in lockdown for several months, we thought it would be fun to take the kids camping for a few days. We all needed a break from being at home non-stop, so camping seemed like a good way to let the kids have a break while still social distancing ourselves from others. Even though we were all in one tent and up at the crack of dawn, it was fun to get away. To my surprise, the girls can’t wait to go camping again next year!!



5. My twins reached some big milestones!!

This summer, my twins turned 2 years old!! Additionally, over the past few months, they have each reached some big milestones. The twins are now in their own big girl bed and they said, “Goodbye” to their pacifiers. It’s been an exciting few months and I am so proud of them. Honestly, it’s been hard on my heart, because I still want to pretend they’re my little babies FOREVER!! Pray I can enjoy each stage of life with them, not wishing us to be too far ahead or behind. 



6. Summer haircuts are the best.

After several months of the salons being closed, things have slowly started to open up again in Colorado. As soon as they began to open up again, my sister-in-law, Hannah and I had a fun girls day going out to get out hair done. It’s been so hot here and we were each excited for a little change. My hairdresser was so kind and gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve ever experienced!! It was such a fun way to celebrate the new summer season. 



7. Josh and Katya’s Wedding!

As summer began to wind down, we got to go to Josh (my brother-in-law) and Katya’s wedding in Longview, Texas. I was nervous about the current pandemic, but so thankful we were able to go see our family and friends during this time. Of course their were challenges, but at the end of the day we’re praising the Lord for His protection over us as we traveled to and from the wedding. It was a joy to watch all my girls walk down the aisle as flower girls!! We’re thankful to be apart of Josh’s big day and so excited Katya is officially apart of our family.



Now it’s your turn, what have you learned this Summer?



Monday, August 17, 2020

Leaning into Jesus

 

One of the deepest desires of my heart, is to spend my entire life, testifying about all the ways God has brought me from death to life. Recently, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to lean into Jesus and dig deeper into the Lord through prayer, scripture, and other spiritual disciplines. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been spending time reading my Bible and in prayer. However, I want to take our relationship deeper.

As a result, I’ve been praying through all of the tools I use to foster spiritual growth in my life. Trying to decide if I should replace these items with something else or continue to use what I have in a different way. I also made a list of the disciplines I want to cultivate such as, intentional goal planning, in depth Bible study, prayer, personal journaling, gratitude, and sermon notes.


Do you long to learn more about the Lord?


If so, please look below to check out, “7 Tools to Help  You Grow in Christ”, which have helped me to get back into the groove of spending time with Jesus. These tools are helpful to get you started and guaranteed to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. These items are not “required”, so please add them to your religious to do list. Like I said, this is what works for me, so take time to pray and ask the Lord was He wants to cultivate in your life right now.



7 Tools to Help You Grow in Christ



1. ESV Bible 

(for Bible reading)


I think it’s hard to learn about Jesus without reading His word. As a result, I have several tools to help me read my Bible throughout the year. My traditional, paper copy is a pink ESV Bible. I got this Bible many years ago. At different points in time, it’s even been written on by my girls. While I study the Bible and take sermon notes, I underline Bible verses which stand out to me. I also write insights in the margins and date it, so I can remember what God taught me through my own study or from a teacher. Slowly but surely, my Bible is being filled up with incredible truths about God. If I ever get another Bible, I’lol probably get a journaling Bible, which will give me even more room to take notes!!



2. The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble Bible Reading Plan 

(for Bible reading)


A new tool I’ve been using this year is, “The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble Bible Reading Plan” on the YouVersion Bible App on my phone. The Bible Recap follows The Chronological Bible, which has been nice to listen to throughout this year. For further enrichment, I listen to The Bible Recap podcast for more insight and encouragement into the assigned daily Bible reading. I highly recommend this tool, if you’ve always wanted to read through the Bible in one year.



3. Cultivate What Matters: PowerSheets 

(for intentional goal planning)


For years, I’ve been using the Cultivate What Matters: Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner and I get so excited to dive into the prep work to see  what God has in store for me for the upcoming year. The first 50 pages of the book is the prep work where you work through what’s important to you. They help you nail down goals and brainstorm ways to work on them little by little each year. The rest of the book is broken up into months, so each month you can work through your individual to-do lists and action steps you want to take to get you closer to achieving your goal. This year, I’m thankful the Lord helped me to simplify my goals, because the goal pandemic has wrecked all sense of “normal” right now.



4. “Write the Word Journal” 

(to cultivate gratitude, prayer, in depth Bible study)


Back in 2018, when we moved to Hong Kong I wanted to get something which would help me get back into my daily Bible reading after our big move, having twins, and being a new Mom of 5 girls!! Honestly, I just needed something to help to keep me accountable. Thankfully, I already used the PowerSheets, because I follow Lara Casey (founder of Cultivate What Matters) on social media and she introduced me to their “Write the Word Journals”. During this season of life, these journals were the perfect solution for me. They weren’t daunting Bible studies, but a guided journal which would give me space to write out God’s word, spending time in prayer, writing what I was thankful for each day, and a word for the day to summarize what I had learned. To this day, I still use my Write the Word journal and I’ve even incorporated the kids version into our homeschool curriculum.



5. Give Me Jesus Journal 

(to cultivate gratitude, prayer, in depth Bible study)


Based on a friend’s recommendation, I started following Phylicia Masonheimer on Instagram. Phylicia’s love for God and His word is contagious. She offering Bible hacks, book recommendations, Biblical teaching on lots of topics, and so much more!! She also talks about the tools she uses while she studies the Bible and one of her favorites is the “Give Me Jesus Journal” from Well Watered Women Co. It’s a journal with a variety of prompts to help you dive deeper into your specific passage. Honestly, I haven’t used this journal myself, but I plan to buy one when they restock. Even though I don’t have this journal, I’m excited to apply these principles in my personal study of God’s word. 



6. My Personal Journal 

(for journaling and sermon notes)


Ever since I was little, I’ve also had a diary or journal which I would take time to write in each day. To this day, I still use a journal for writing and pouring out my heart to the Lord in written prayers. Also, I use my journal for sermon notes. I used to have a separate journal, but I’ve found it’s easier to just keep everything in the same place. Inevitably, I’m going to wondering what the pastor talked about and it’s easier to have everything all together instead of trying to keep track of even more notebooks. 



7. Val Marie Paper Rhythms (Yearly) Prayer Journal 

(for fostering prayer, written prayers, journaling, and gratitude)


I have used the Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal, recent renamed the “Rhythms” Prayer Journal, for several years. In 2018, the first year I used the prayer journal, I was inconsistent, because I would skip a month here and there. It felt wasteful!! As a result, in 2019, I didn’t order a prayer journal and just tried to use the months which were still blank in my 2018 prayer journal. Honestly, it was hard to navigate 2019 without a yearly prayer journal. I missed having this tool to help me nourish a healthy prayer life. When it came time to pre-order the 2020 yearly prayer journals, I made it a priority to invest in one again and have some extra encouragement. You all know how crazy 2020 has been and I’m so thankful I had this prayer journal to help me to continue to pray even when as chaos raged around us. All that to say, I’ve already pre-ordered my 2021 Rhythms (yearly) Prayer Journal, because I know things are harder without it.



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Now it’s your turn... 

Please leave me a comment and let me know what are your favorite tools, 

which help you grow in Christ?



Monday, August 10, 2020

August 2020 Homeschool Favorites




In celebration of our new homeschool year, I decided to share some homeschool favorites with you. Honestly, I haven’t done this in a while, so I have tons of favorites to share with you all. That being said, I’ll share some now and wait to share more in the coming months. The favorites I will share today are ones I use everyday in our homeschool and I’ve found these to be so helpful this year.


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Booster Bricks Club




All of my girls, love playing with Legos. As a result, this past Christmas we joined the Booster Bricks Club. There is a new theme each month and we work together as a family to complete the corresponding challenges. You read through the theme-based storybook, which tells you when to complete the specific challenges. There’s even a Facebook page you can join, which gives you a chance to upload pictures of your completed challenges. It may not be a curriculum. However, during the pandemic it has been a fun thing for all of us to work on while we’re cooped up inside. I can see us being apart of this club for many more year to come!!


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Homeschool Supplies Caddy 




Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things to store my girls school supplies. I’ve tried giving them their own individual pencil boxes, pretty lunch boxes, and individual bags with different supplies, like markers or crayons. Unfortunately, nothing has worked very well, because by the end of the school year my big girls dumped all the crayons and everything they didn’t want into Matilda’s bag. Oh my. 

That being said, I’ve been on the hunt for a better solution for our family. I was so excited when I found this wire caddy at Ikea in Hong Kong. I liked it some much, I even shipped it home. As a result, I’ve been collecting empty jars and containers, which I could use to hold all of the school supplies on a daily basis. This basket lives on my bookshelf and I pull it down whenever we work on school. We use what we need, clean up, and put it away when we’re done. No fighting over markers or who doesn’t want a certain color in their pencil bag. It’s been such a nice addition to our homeschool room this year.

Currently, I have scissors, rulers, sharpened pencils, crayons, colored pencils, glue, and markers in my supplies caddy.


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Musical Multiplication from The Good and the Beautiful 




My family loves music based curriculum! Which is why I’ve wanted to buy “Musical Multiplication” from The Good and the Beautiful for a while. For that reason, I just had to share this curriculum, because it is so much fun for all of my girls. We got it at the end of our previous school year and have been using it ever since. We started with Olivia and let her work through the first book with corresponding songs. It’s become such a favorite, all my girls want to take turns working through the book and singing the multiplication songs. I highly recommend this curriculum for children struggling to nail down their multiplication factors.



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Plum Paper Planner




Two years ago, when we lived in Hong Kong, my friend Shelli gave a Homeschool Planner. Honestly, it was the first time I had ever used a homeschool planner. Normally, I just used a weekly planner, which I designed and printed out at home. Each week, I would fill in what we needed to get done for school. Unfortunately, we have the worst luck with printers, so the pre-printed homeschool planner was the perfect solution when I didn’t have a printer.

All that being said, last year I couldn’t find the same type of planner, my friend had given me. As a result, I scoured the internet for the perfect planner which would work for homeschooling. After watching tons of YouTube videos and reading recommendations, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy my very first Plum Paper Planner. I loved it, because I can customize each section as needed and add homeschool sections to the back. It’s been one of my favorite homeschooling tools, so this year I bought another one. The one I got this year is a little bigger, so I have more room to write in my planner each week.


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Sonlight Reader Boxes 




 Once our girls learn to read, we transition from Sing, Spell, Read, and Write to The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts program. In addition, we pair individual The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts curriculum with Sonlight Grade Level Readers. For example, this year Olivia is using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 3 and Sonlight Grade 4 Readers. Click the link to read more about our 2020-21 Homeschool Curriculum Choices.

As a result, our girls have had stacks of Sonlight Reader books, which they work through each year. In an effort to free up some extra space off of my books shelves, I created Sonlight Reader Boxes for each of my girls. Additionally, I typed up a checklist, so as they read through their books they put a sticker on the chart. Their boxes stay at their spot on our homeschool table, so they can see the progress they’re making each day as they take time to read books out loud. This has been a huge hit with the girls and they’re excited about this fun change to our homeschool room.


What are some of your homeschool favorites this month!?


Monday, August 3, 2020

Cultivating a Love for Reading



I’ve always loved books!! This isn’t too surprising, because I come from a long line of readers. I’m so grateful for the legacy my Grandma began which has been passed down to my Mom, me, and now my girls. It’s just wonderful.

Do you want to know the truth?

Even though I love books, I haven’t always been a good reader. For a long time, I read slowly, didn’t like reading out loud, and struggled with proper pronunciation of new words. For lack of practice, I read very slowly, because I really had to pay attention in order to comprehend what was taking place in the story. Seriously, if I got called on in Sunday school to the Bible passage, I would become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. I’m not good at pronouncing all those names in the Bible, so I would pray and ask God to help me not mess up too badly. For that reason, when it was my turn to teach, I would listen to the audio Bible on my phone and learn how to pronounce the names before I needed to teach.

The struggle was real!

Additionally, I’ve felt like I never found my niche or specific genre of books which I most loved. Thankfully, in college, my friend Michelle encouraged me to read the Harry Potter series. I took one look at how long those books were, felt intimidated, and said, “No, because I wasn’t a kid anymore, which meant I couldn’t read children’s fiction anymore.” Honestly, I don’t know why I felt this way. Michelle gently explained, just because I was an adult didn’t mean I only had to read adult books. Finding out, I could still read children’s books was a huge paradigm shift for me and suddenly opened up a world of books I never had the opportunity to read when I was a kid.

My friend, continued to present her case to me about the Harry Potter books and how I would learn about the wizarding world right along with Harry Potter himself. She explained, they were a great read and I should just try the first book and if I didn’t like them I could stop. Michelle was so adamant, she took me down to Powell’s Bookstore and bought me my very own copy of “Harry Potter and the Socerers Stone”.

Leaving me without any excuses, I finally caved.

Just as Michelle said, I began to fall in love with the book and its characters!! In no time, I finished the first book and moved on to the next. I was hooked and nothing could stop me now. I was so proud of myself when I finally finished the entire series. To this day, they’re some of my favorite books of all time. Thanks friend for igniting my love of reading, which has never wavered.

After Harry Potter, I continued to read through lots of children’s and young adult fiction, which I had never read before and you can check out the list of some of my favorites below. I can’t imagine missing out on all of these incredible books!!




Fast forward to 2020...now I’m a homeschooling Mom and my job is reading out loud to my girls. Truly, only God could help me face my fears and work on being a better reader. I’ve been far from perfect, but I’m thankful for my girls love and grace as I stumble through unfamiliar words. I’m still a work in progress, so a few years ago one of my goals for the year was to cultivating a love for reading. I tried my best to read 3 good books each month. I also compete in a yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge with my hubby. Last year, I read 135 books, which included all the kids book I read to the girls. I was so proud of myself for reaching my goal and I’m praying we can pass on a love of reading to my own girls.

Normally, I read through a fiction and non-fiction at the same time, because I still feel like I’m still trying to make up for lost time as I continue reading through all kinds of books I never had the chance to read when I was a kid.

How have you been cultivating a love for reading?
Do you enjoy reading? Or do you struggle like me?

For anyone who’s struggling to sit down with an actual book, I encourage you to try listening audio books. Honestly, it took me forever to get used to audiobooks. I starting listening to podcasts, which helped me grow into larger audiobooks. As a busy Mom, this has opened up a world of amazing books, which I wouldn’t have the chance to sit down and read right now. It’s been such a blessing and gives me something to listen to while I clean, make dinner, etc.

Finally, it’s always easier for me to be excited about a book when it’s been recommended by my family or friends. That being said, if you’re trying to get back into reading, I want to give a list of incredible book recommendations as a place to start reigniting your love for reading.

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10 MUST READ  BOOKS  

1. “The Penderwick Series” by, Jeanne Birdsall
2. “The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street” by, Karina Yan Glaser 
3. “The Hunger Games Trilogy” by, Suzanne Collins 
4. “Little Women” by, Louisa May Alcott
5. “The Wild Robot” by, Peter Brown
6. “The Divergent Series” by, Veronica Roth
7. “All of a Kind Family” by, Sydney Taylor
8. “The Giver” by, Lois Lowry
9. “The Harry Potter series” by, J.K. Rowling
10. “Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime” by, Janet & Geoff Benge 


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Mom’s Morning Basket



I’m so excited to share my Mom’s Morning Basket with you!!

Several years ago, as apart of our homeschool, I decided to try something new. I got the idea from Ashlee at ‘Grace and Grit’ on YouTube. Ashlee is a homeschool Mom and she uses ‘The Morning Basket‘ technique, by Brave Writer aka Julie Bogart, with her homeschool curriculum. I really liked this idea and couldn’t wait to try it out during our 2017-18 school year. Honestly, in our family, it’s been a huge hit and to this day, we still use a morning basket.

Additionally, back in 2018, I even put a Christmas spin on our typical morning basket. To learn more about it, click the link to read, “Blogmas Series: Our Christmas Book Basket” now.

This year, I wanted to try something completely new for myself. You see, I always have my Bible, journals, books I’m reading, devotionals, and more floating around the house. There hasn’t been a central location for these items, which means I can’t always find them when I need them. It’s frustrating and takes away from my time with the Lord when I have to search all over the house for my Bible or a pen.

As a result, I thought it would be nice to buy a basket for myself where I would keep these important items in one central location. I did a quick Google search of “Mom’s Morning Basket” to see if this was even a thing and I was inspired by lots of other articles, which helped me narrow down what books to put into my Mom’s Morning basket. I’ll share more about those details below.

Immediately, I drove to Hobby Lobby, where I found the perfect basket on sale!! Seriously, it was less than $5.00. Thank you Jesus!! I was excited to bring and discover it was the perfect fit for all the books I have right now. Thank you Lord for providing just what I needed during this season.


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What’s In My Mom’s Morning Basket?? 






4.) My personal journal

5.) My ESV Bible 



8.) My pouch for pens, pencils, and Cultivate Faith Sticker Book

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In case you’re wondering, I’ve used PowerSheets for years!! They help me break down my big goals into small baby steps, so I can work on a little each month. I keep this book in my morning basket, so I can easily access my monthly tending list and record my progress on action items. Click the link to read all about, “My 2020 Cultivate What Matters: PowerSheets”.

Currently, these are the books I reach for most often and it’s nice to have them all in the same spot. Once, I finish reading my non-fiction book, I will replace it with something else. The same goes for my Write the Word journal. I’m not a huge fan of devotionals, but it’s nice to have one in my basket on busy days when I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and study the word. It’s always an encouragement of my weary soul.

One more things, during my research about Mom’s morning baskets, many of the ladies said they have a book of poetry in their basket for themselves. I don’t have one yet, but I thought it was a cool idea.

Now it’s your turn, what’s in your Mom’s Morning basket?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

2020-21 Homeschool Curriculum Choices



On Monday, July 20, we kicked off our 2020-21 school year. We typically start school sometime in July, because it provides us with some much needed structure and routine. Starting early, also always us the flexibility to take off from school when necessary without worrying about not finishing our required 35 weeks of school. On top of everything else, we’re still supposed to be social distancing, which let us to finish our previous school year more quickly than I anticipated, because extended family couldn’t come into town.

Every family is different, but this is what is working best for us right now.

Before I tell you our curriculum choices, I wanted to announce our updated homeschool name. It’s something I have been praying about since last year. Previously we were “The Newsham Academy”, but I wanted something more original that I could use for the theme of our homeschool room. Drumroll please!!



I’m so excited about our new school name “The Storybrooke Schoolhouse”, because everyone in our family loves books and reading stories together. Even my girls like our new homeschool name, so it is a win, win!! Don’t forget to follow our homeschooling adventures at #thestorybrookeschoolhouse

Without further ado, here are our curriculum choices for our brand new school year.


2020-21 Homeschool Curriculum Choices 

EVERYONE TOGETHER
When it comes to teaching my large family, I try to have as many group subjects as possible. Currently, our family does Bible, Memory Verses, History, Read-Alouds, Write the Word, and Science together. We’re excited to use Sonlight’s new Core K curriculum, which is a study of American History. Additionally, we’ve switched science curriculums from Exploring Creation to The Good and the Beautiful. The girls can’t wait to dive into our first unit study of Meteorology.

Bible, Memory Verses, History, and Read-Alouds: Sonlight Core K
Write the Word for Kids: Cultivate What Matters Write the Word for Kids: Plant Seeds of the Word
Science: The Good and the Beautiful Meteorology; Kingdoms and Classifications; and Botany
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3RD GRADE: Olivia
It’s hard to believe my girl is already in 3rd grade. Olivia is an avid reader and you can always find her nose stuck in a book. She just finished reading The Penderwicks series and can’t wait to move onto Ranger’s Apprentice and The Chronicles of Narnia. She has been excited to start her new curriculum and currently her favorite subject of typing, because she gets to work on the computer. 

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 3
Handwriting: The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting Level 3
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise Level 3000 Book 3
Creative Writing: The Good and the Beautiful Creative Writing Notebook #1
Math: Math-U-See Delta and The Good and the Beautiful Musical Multiplication
Typing: The Good and the Beautiful Typing 1
Readers: Sonlight Grade 4 Readers
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2ND GRADE:
Sophie My precious, Sophie, has such a sweet and gentle spirit. She likes to get her schoolwork work done as quickly as possible, so she can have time to do other things. She enjoys Legos, coloring, painting, reading books, and playing board games like Catan Jr. Whenever I am in the kitchen, she likes to help cook and bake. She’s also very proud of herself, because she taught herself to ride her bike one handed.

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 2 
Handwriting: The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting Level 2
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise Level 3000 Book 2
Creative Writing: The Good and the Beautiful Creative Writing Notebook #1
Math: Math-U-See Gamma and The Good and the Beautiful Musical Multiplication
Typing: The Good and the Beautiful Typing 1
Readers: Sonlight Grade 2 Readers
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KINDERGARTEN: Matilda
Last year, we started Matilda in Pre-Kindergarten and she passed with flying colors. She has learned so much already from being around Olivia and Sophie. She finished reading her very first book, which is such a great achievement for a young learner. She’s excited to start Kindergarten! Additionally, she wants to do everything just like the big girls like complete her own typing lessons and practice The Good and the Beautiful Multiplication Songs just like her sisters.

Language Arts: Sing Spell Read and Write “Off We Go” and “Raceway Book”
Handwriting: The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting K
Phonics: Explode the Code 1, 2, 3
Math: Math u See Alpha
Enrichment: Developing the Early Learner 1, 2, 3, 4
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TWO YEAR OLD TWINS:
Evelyn and Zoey Homeschooling with toddler twins is hard. I try my best to keep them occupied with a variety of fun activities like puzzles, books, coloring, a cardboard castle, shapes, and so much more! If we don’t complete all of our schoolwork, I wait until the twins nap time to play catch up and get everything else done. Honestly, I could probably do an entire blog post just about this, so let me know if you’re interested.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For more information, here are the links to the homeschool curriculum we are using this school year.

- Sonlight
- The Good and the Beautiful
- Math-U-See
- Rainbow Resource
- Cultivate What Matters


Please let me know if you have any other questions about homeschooling.


Monday, June 15, 2020

2019-20 Homeschool Year In Review



Our 2019-20 Homeschool Year felt as if we spent the entire year, homeschooling in crisis. First, we were living with my brother, then we moved to our new home, and lived under lockdown throughout the global pandemic. Honestly, my goal was to simply get school done. Don’t get me wrong, we did what was required of us. However, I didn’t elaborate or dive deeper into various topics, because we just didn’t have the time or resources. Trust me, it’s not how I expected this year to turn out.

I’m thankful the Lord allowed my girls the opportunity to work hard and complete our main Sonlight curriculum sooner than I expected, because everything else was removed from our schedule. It wasn’t ideal, but we made the most out of what we had. For this reason, I’m so excited for our upcoming 2020-21 school year and pray we will have more time for extra projects, crafts, field trips, and more!!

Below, I’m going to share some of the curriculum we loved, some of my least favorite curriculum, and our current summer plans.


CURRICULUM WE LOVED
Sing, Spell, Read & Write. Hands down, one of my very favorite curriculums, is Sing, Spell, Read, & Write!! I’m going through it for my 3rd time and I enjoy teaching it so much. This year, Matilda worked through the Kindergarten program which went through the books “All Aboard” and “On Track”. There are six readers and more short books which kids get to color themselves. My daughter is so proud of the fact, she has finished reading her very first books by herself. It’s exciting to watch her love of learning and reading blossom before my eyes. I can’t wait for us to continue to use it next year as Matilda continues to learn to read on her own.

Sonlight. Honestly, working through Sonlight Core C was exactly what I needed this year. There are several reasons why this curriculum was a great fit for us this year. The curriculum is preplanned and comes with a teacher’s guide to help me know what need to be done each day. Also, I was able to order all the books we needed for the entire year. This was very helpful, because even though we moved I already had our books and just brought the with us so we could read no matter what. Finally, it’s a curriculum I have previously used and the familiarity helped me to be able to know what was expected of me and plan accordingly. What a blessing!!


MY LEAST FAVORITE
From the time I started homeschooling my girls five years ago, I have always used “Math-U-See” for our Math curriculum. On the flip side, last year I heard a lot of great things about “Beast Academy” and decided to look into it for the girls as a way to work on mental math. We tried out their online program and my oldest daughter loved it. However, when we implemented the books at the beginning of our school year it didn’t go well at all. After a few frustrating weeks we finally switched back to Math-U-See. Maybe in the future we could use their online math program again, but for now we’ve put it on hold for now.


OUR SUMMER PLANS
We homeschool year round, so we won’t take much time off for “summer”. Last week, we finished our main Sonlight curriculum. We will still need to finish on math, science, and other review books throughout the rest of June. Then my Mom is coming to visit, so we’re going to take ten days off to spend time with her and start our new 2020-21 school year on July 13.

Not to mention, to celebrate our new school year, I’m doing a back to school series throughout the entire month of July!! I have some fun things to share with you, including our new 2020-21 curriculum choices. I’m so excited!!


Now it’s your turn!! Please leave me a comment and let me know:
 What fun activities do you have planned this summer? 

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