Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Curriculum 2014- 2015

For 2014-2015, we are doing a combination of Classically Catholic Memory (CCM), Mother Of Divine Grace (MODG), and a little of my own stuff.
This year, I will have a 6th grader and a 4th grader! Yikes, how did that happen.

Sunday~ Church & CCD
Monday~ Friday- Saint of the Day
Monday~ CCM Gamma Year Religion at our Co-op
Tuesday~  Bible History: Of the Old and New Testaments by Father Ignatius Schuster
Wednesday~ CCM Religion & Baltimore Catechism Book 2
Thursday~ Faith and Life Credo: I Believe Book 5
Friday~ Our Holy Faith Living Like Christ, In Christ Book 5

Monday~  English from the Roots Up Volume 2 at Co-op
Tuesday-Thursday~ First Language Lesson Level 4
Tuesday-Friday~ Intermediate Language Lessons by Emma Serl

Monday-CCM Latin Prayers
Tuesday-Friday~Memoria Press Prima Latina

Princess P~ All About Spelling Level 3 and Level 4
Lego Man~ MODG- How to Create a Spelling Notebook

IEW U.S. History Based Writing Lessons Volume 1

Daily Journals
Seton's Handwriting for Catholic 4 (finishing up from last year)
Catechism in Rhyme from Crusaders for Christ

Monday~ CCM Gamma Year
Tuesday~ Catholic Geography Bee
Wednesday~ Catholic Geography Bee
Thursday~ CCM Gamma Year
Friday~ Review weeks work

Monday~ CCM Gamma Year
Wednesday~ CCM Gamma Year & Pioneers and Patriots
Friday~ CCM Gamma Year & Pioneers and Patriots
History will be a combination of CCM, Pioneers & Patriots, living books, and fun activities.

State Study
Tuesday & Thursday
We will continue with our United States Scrapbook.

Monday~ CCM at Co-op
Tuesday & Thursday~ CCM Gamma Year Chemistry and Physics
                                   Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry
                                   Real Science 4 Kids Physics

Monday~ Renaissance artists at co-op
Wednesday~ Renaissance inspired art project

Art History
Monday~ Renaissance artists at co-op
Wednesday~ Renaissance artist that art project is inspired from

Monday~ Gregorian Chant~ The Chant Kit
Tuesday~ Friday Music from Renaissance Composers

Nature Study

Tuesday-Friday~Free Program from the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia
We never got around to this last year, so we will do it this year.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Answer Me This....

1. Have you ever walked out on a movie?

Yes, I was in college on a date. We went and saw a Woody Allen movie. It was horrible. I don't think we knew what the movie was about when we bought the tickets. We left after 15 minutes and went to play mini golf and pool.

2. What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?

My laptop. I hate typing on my phone and our service isn't that great.

3. Have you ever had anything stolen from you? 2nd grade I brought in a strawberry flavored lipgloss and the girl at the next desk stole it out of mine. I never did get it back. I think my mom bought me a new one.

4. Do you identify as a member of a particular ethnic group? 

Nope, I would have to claim too many. Irish, Scottish, German, English, and Native American.

5. Do you abstain from meat on Friday?

All the time during Lent, sometimes during the other times. I grew up being told that the church no longer made you abstain from meat on Fridays. I found out that it hadn't chnaged from our priest 4 years ago. Now I tend to forget that it's Friday when I am planning meals.

6. Seen anything weird lately?

A 200 pound Black bear on out back porch eating the chicken's food. He had climbed over out fence and climbed on the porch and decided to sit down and have a meal. Of course, I completely forgot to snap a picture. I was too worried about "the girls" He started walking to towards them and they were rainsing all types of ruckus. Thankfully he has not returned and he didn't eat any of the girls.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Answer Me This...Buses, Bees, and Roller Coasters

1. How often do you take public transportation?

Ummm.....never. We live out in the country, so no public transportation for me. I guess I could hop on a cow and ride it to town.
When I lived in New York, I took the bus or train all the time. It's the only way to get around in NYC.

2. How many cousins do you have?

I have 7. There are 6 girls and 1 boy. The first 5 of us girls were born with 4 years of each other. We grew up together. We were always together. It was like having 4 sisters.

3. Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, I have if a BB Gun counts. My kids have the Red Rider BB Gun, so I shoot with them sometimes. You know you just thought about A Christmas Story with little Ralphie. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

4. Do you ride roller coasters?

Sometimes, I rode the kiddie one at Dutch Wonderland recently with my kids.

I don't usually because they trigger migraines for me. The last thing I want to do is cause a migraine to come on and ruin everyone's day.

5. What's your favorite flower?

I love the Calla Lily! My goal is to add them to our flower garden next year along with an Iris bed.

6. Are you allergic to anything?


source~ wikipedia

and no wheat, rye, or barley for me.

Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year

Friday, June 27, 2014

How I Homeschool~ In Which I Interview Myself

I'm linking up with Micaela over at California to Korea in her How I Homeschool Series and blog link-up.
I am excited to be linking up since it's my goal to blog more about what we are doing in our homeschool journey this year.

So here goes!

How long have you been homeschooling?

We officially started when my son was 3, almost 4. We had him signed up for preschool and then changed our minds. I started working with him at home since he was reading and eager to learn. Because of his late birthday, he wasn't ready for kindergarten for another year, so we continued to work with him. By the time it came around for him to start school officially, he was ahead and the last thing I wanted to do was send him to school where he would be bored. We all know how bored little boys behave. It would have been a DISASTER! So homeschooling came into our radar. Before that I was under the impression, homeschoolers were weird.
So officially this is 7th year, unofficially our 8th.

How many kids do you have?

I have 2 children. A son in 6th grade and a daughter in 4th grade.

What laws are in your state regarding homeschooling? How do you meet them?

VA doesn't require too much from homeschooling parents. We have to file our notice of intent and show proof of progress every year. You can show your progress by either supplying them with CAT tests scores or by having a portfolio reviewed by a licensed teacher. We choose to do the test. It's simple to do and we order it from Seton.

If you could summarize your homeschool philosophy in one sentences or mission statement, what would it be?

Instill a love of learning and provide my children with a strong faith. If a child knows how to read and tries to discover new things, then their learning will never end. Having a strong faith will help guide them through life during the good and bad times, especially during the rough times.

What is your homeschooling style?

We follow a Charlotte Mason, Classical, and hands on approach. It varies sometimes. I'm willing to change things if they are not working. What works well for one child may not work well for another.

Do you follow any homeschool curriculum?

Over the years, we have tried lots of  "curriculums" like Seton, CHC, All About Spelling, Saxon, MUS, Story for the World, etc. Anything we didn't like I scrapped.

The first 5 years I created my own lessons. We used the library, unit studies, lap books, and crafts. We learned the basics but then threw in subjects that the kids wanted to learn about. I didn't feel like for K, 1st, or 2nd grade I really didn't a set curriculum.

Two years ago, I discovered Mater Amabilis. We loosely followed it. I took aspects of it that I liked and added them to our lessons. We followed their religion and science. We tried the Mater Amabilis history, but my kids found it boring. We then tried Story of the World, but I wanted something more Catholic.

For the past 2 years, we have used CCM. We joined a co-op that uses the program. I took the weekly topics and added more to them. We continued using the religion suggestions from Mater Amabilis on top of the CCM religion.  With CCM, it's very easy to add to it. We can make it fit our needs. I prefer not to have too much laid out for me. I like to create my own lessons.

Next year, we will be using a combination again. We won't be using Mater Amabilis next year. We will continue with CCM, but will be adding Mother Of Divine Grace. With my son heading into 6th grade next year, we have started to look into higher learning. Our plan is to enroll him in MODG for high school. So next year, we are following the CCM weekly lessons but adding recommendations from MODG for English, Spelling, History(additional reading), and Latin. We'll be using All About Spelling for my daughter.

For math, we have used Saxon in the past, but we are switching to Math U See this year. I still like Saxon, but it just wasn't working for us right now. We may switch back to it when we get to high school.
I don't want to add anymore gray hairs to my head.

What do your best homeschooling moments look like?

My best moments are when my kids whip out information that they have learned. It makes me proud (and relieved) to hear them remember stuff they learned. I think the best homeschooling moment for me was when my daughter finally caught on to the reading thing! The pride in her face and the sense of accomplishment she had was priceless. Nothing beats seeing their faces light up when they have mastered a new task. I love days when the kids are happy, eager, and full of smiles.

What do your worst homeschooling moments look like?

Our worst days include frustration, shouting, tears, feelings of failure. Days when school work isn't done until 5:00 and we started at 8:00. This is one reason why we are switching math this year. When we have days like that, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate. Sometimes you just need a break.

One thing I am trying for next year is taking a Sabbath week. We will do school for 6 weeks and then take a week off. A dear friend sent me a link to a blog about taking a Sabbath week. The mom, from the blog, talked about how God took the seventh day for rest and how she discovered they needed the same break in their schooling. During our Sabbath week, we will straighten up the house (not much fun), take field trips, and just have fun!

How do you keep any non homeschooling children busy?
Unfortunately, I don't have that problem. When I first started homeschooling my son, my daughter was only 2. She wanted to do what he was doing, so I gave her coloring pages of the letters. She practiced using scissors and glue during art. Thankfully, she only cut her hair twice.  She did puzzles, played with play doh, and her toys. One toy that she played with a lot while I taught her brother was her My First Dollhouse from Fisher Price. She LOVED that thing!

If you could give homeschooling advice to a new mom starting out, what would it be?

Don't try to do school at home, so much of learning takes place outside the classroom.
Love them. Encourage them.
Don't get caught up in what others are doing. Don't compare yourself or your children.
There is no right way to do things.
Most important be willing to change if something isn't working.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

As I look out my window...
The sky is dark and gray. It doesn't look like the sun will make an appearance today. Hopefully it will later.

Right now I am...
I am enjoying a cup of coffee, while listening to Mama cat play around in a box and Baby kitty dump her food off the counter. It seems like the cats are in rare for today.

I am thankful for....
My kids. They keep me focused and grounded when things in life are hectic and out of control. I am blessed to have them.

What I am reading....
I am currently reading Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure.

The Domestic Church: Room by Room A Study Guide for Mothers by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.

What I am listening to...
I am currently listening to various Cd's that belonged to my late grandfather. They're songs of the Big Band Era. I love listening to the old songs. They remind me of him. It's only been a few months since he passed and I miss him. Listening to the songs makes me feel close to him. I can picture him and grandmother dancing together.

What I am working on....
I am turning 3 of Princess P's outgrown dresses in to skirts for her to wear.

What's on the menu this week...
Sunday~ Hamburgers, Gluten Free Pasta Salads, Green Beans
Monday~ Spaghetti with Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs
Tuesday~ Unbelievable Chicken, Homemade Fries, and Corn
Wednesday~ Baked Pork Chops, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday~ Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs, Potato Salad, Peas
Friday~ Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Lima Beans
Saturday~ Honey Mustard Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli


A sweet baby.

Linking up with....The Littlest Way and Happy Homemaker Monday

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Answer Me This...swimsuits and dishes

1. When is the last time you got a  new bathing suit?

I actually bought a new one last year for our vacation to the Smoky Mountains. I got this one on clearance at Lands End.

I love this suit

I really like the blue and mint green. The matching skirt is so cute.

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
On my cell phone it was my mom, but on the house phone is was some number from Mississippi..probably a telemarketer. I never answer the phone for numbers I don't know. I really, REALLY despise telemarketers. Even if you add you number to the DO NOT CALL list, they still do and they always call at the worst times. 

3. If you receive communion, do you receive in the hands or on the tongue?

Growing up I was taught to receive on the tongue. During my high school years I started receiving in the hands. I just started receiving again, after a year of not receiving because of being diagnosed with Celiacs. I currently receive in the hand just out of habit. I have been praying about it and am making the switch back to the tongue. 

4. Do you have a tattoo?

Nope, never. I never really liked them. I did almost get one, mainly because everyone else was getting one. I decided against a tattoo, but got my belly button pierced instead (which I no longer have).

5. How many dinner plates do you have in you house?

I have 12 of the Pfaltzgraff Tea Rose pattern. We bought these when we were engaged at the local outlet mall. The plates have lasted, but we are down to 3 matching bowls.

In my china cabinet, I have Noritake Rothschild 5-Piece Place Setting.
They were received as wedding gifts. We have 12 place settings. I will admit, we rarely use them. They look pretty in the cabinet though.

6.Do you have an accent?

Yes and no. It depends who I am talking to. When I moved here, some of my words still had a New York sound to them. Now I think I have a more southern sound, especially to northerners.

Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Visit to Dutch Wonderland

While visiting my parents, we were able to head north to Pennsylvania and have fun at Dutch Wonderland. 

We had taken the kids awhile ago, when they were 4 and under, so they barely remembered it. In fact, I doubt they remembered it much at all, Princess P was only 1 the first time we went. A few things had changed and since they were a LOT bigger, they were able to ride the "big" kid rides.

We feed the fish as we walked over the floating bridge. These fish our huge!

They got to climb in a carriage and pretend to be Amish. There is a little display in the park about the Amish and you will see Amish on the back roads. They have such beautiful farms and I love how they take so much pride in their homes. The flowers are just breathtaking on their porches and in their yards. 

Bumper cars were a hit! Princess P was a little upset since she couldn't drive her own car. Last year in Dollywood, she was allowed to drive her own car. Different place, different rules. They had fun bumping into others. One little girl about Princess P's age just couldn't get the hang of it. She kept going around and around in the same spot. The only time she would move forward was if someone bumped her. She gave her mom and us a good laugh. I'm sure she was dizzy after the ride ended...poor thing.

We got to see the newly opened Exploration Island. The dinosaurs were cute and moved their heads and tails. Lego Man would have loved this when he was two and could name EVERY dinosaur. He liked looking at the dinosaurs, but sadly I think he is heading into being too "old" for somethings.

I think this is a great addition for little boys who LOVE dinosaurs! If you have a little man who is all about dinosaurs I would check it out!

The kids were tall enough for a roller coaster. They tried to ride one last year at Dollywood, but backed out at the last minute. The roller coaster at Dutch Wonderland is perfect for kids that are between adult rides and the kiddie rides. It's larger than a kiddie coaster but not too large that it scares them to death.
 They loved the coaster and rode it 6 times!

Maybe they will be adventurous the next time we head to a park and ride a bigger roller coaster.

They had fun and enjoyed themselves. Sadly, I think this was our last year there. They kids are just too tall for most of the rides. They must be getting those tall jeans from daddy! 

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