Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Well it's that time again!!!! We, as parents are excited but also second guessing if we have crossed all our T's and dotted all our I's for this upcoming year. Looking at new curriculum can be overwhelming and also emotionally draining. However, the Good Lord gives us the endurance and the strength to get through and seek the best education for our children. But if you are like me and many, many other moms we are searching the internet and scrolling in and out of pages in magazines for that extra something. This month my focus is to help you with ideas and share a little about what we accomplish within our home. Juggling school schedules and subjects can make it tough to get through, and in most cases, covering a large amount of material with children of so many ages can be challanging. So many people ask "How do you find the time, with 10 and expecting 11?" So many things attribute to a school year running smoothly and scheduling is vital. Routine makes all the difference and of course, flexibility as well.

                                                First and foremost: Plan, Plan, Plan                   
  • What is it you would like your children to focus on first thing?                         
  • Can you group some of your children together?
  • What is your objective for the morning, afternoon and end of day?
  • Who needs the most time and who requires more independent time?
                                                              MORNING ROUTINE
                                                               6:00 (Mom)
                                                               7:00 Older kids wake
                                                               7-7:30 Older kids beds and dressed
                                                               7:30 Older kids Breakfast
                                                               8:00 Chores older kids
                                                               8:00 younger kids wake
                                                               9:00 All chores done
                                                               9-9:30    Bible
                                                              AFTERNOON ROUTINE
                                                              10-12:00 Little kids w/ Mom
                                                              Older kids independant study time- core subjects
                                                              LUNCH 12-1:00 / clean up
                                                              Laundry after lunch/ Naps / Prayer
                                                              Independent reading / Mom reads aloud
                                                             *Mom works with older kids*
                                                              2:30 English
                                                              3:00 keyboarding
Everyone needs to be done with any work that requires moms time by 3pm. This allows me to be available to my husband after a long day at work and to start preparing dinner. If any of the kids have anything they didn't finish, they are expected to start back on their schoolwork around 7pm after several hours of free time and doing their evening chores.
                                                             * CURRICULUM*
Over the years we have used several things and tested the waters. Most have prevailed and while others crashed and burned. But homeschooling is all about trial and error. As no child ever learns the same as the next. We find it best to use our laser printer to copy almost all of our books, worksheets, etc. That also saves on cost when we buy the compatible ink cartridges from Data Bazaar. Also, we try to look for books that are a one time purchase like Spelling Power, or  Mystery of History. Of course, Ebay is great and also Amazon and most times Rainbow Resource which are all really popular sites. We basically use the same every year at this point, but i'll give you an overview of what has worked for us.
Math - Both Saxon (Teachers Cds) and Math U See  ( Sometimes we overlap the 2, to fill in any gaps in our day, just for extra busy work)

 Science - Upper grades Apologia, Abeka, Simple schooling PDF printable files ( This year its Equine Science)Christian Kids Explore, John Tiner Exploring Planet Earth and The World of Biology, Wonders of Creation Series, Biology 101 DVD'S According to the Days of Creation from Vision Forum, I Wonder Why books, Eyewitness books.
Spelling - Spelling Power and Spelling City online, All about Spelling
Even with Spelling Power we take a different approach- Mondays Type Words, Tuesdays Print Words, Wednesdays Cursive or ABC order or Use word in Sent., Thursday Pretest, Friday Test Spelling City
Phonics- The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading, Alpha Phonics, Explode the code, Bob Books, McGuffey Readers
Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting
Personal Finances - Money Matters for Kids, Money Matters for Teens
Your Checking Account, Lessons in Personal Banking
Language Arts - Shurley English, Easy Grammar, Jensen's Punctuation, Jensen's Format Writing, Learning language Arts through Literature, Analogies 1 by Arthur Liebman,
History - History For Little Pilgrims, Abeka, Mystery Of History, Story of the World, Bob Jones Geography,  A
History of Us Series, Jean Fritz books, World History Made Simple, Early American History The Teaching Company VHS, Diana Warring, Expedition Earth, a Journey through God's World
Economics- Money, Possessions and Eternity, Whatever Happened to the Penny Candy
Government- God and Government
Foreign Language - Foreign Lang. Learnables, Latin Prima and Christina from Memoria Press, ASL ( American Sign Language)
Bible - Roper Press, Little Hands to Heaven, Veritas Press, Studying God's Word and Leading Little Hands to God, The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ, Instructions In Rightousness, Proverbs for Parenting, How the Bible Came to Us. Bible Time for Kids from Calvary Chapel Curr @
Keyboarding- Mavis Beacon

This year not only did we start this blog in hopes that we would inspire but also are testing the waters with new curr. like TruthQuest for our bible time. We also have been so blessed to be a part of a coop once again on Tuesday's from 10-12. Here are some of the classes they are taking. Crafts, Beginner's Science, Footsteps of Marco polo, Entomology, Speech and Communication 101, Chemistry and Biology. I will be teaching a Sign Language class and one of my daughters will be assisting in a Crafts and Sewing class for Middle and High School Kids.  This year our older son is taking English Comp. at Trine University as a Middle College Course for his Jr. Senior Year. As always when you are a willing and able vessel the Lord will bless and use you. It's good for us to step outside of our comfort zone and learn to rely on Him, to trust that he will fill in the gaps in our school, in our parenting, and even in our time. I hope that some, if not all, the info i have shared blesses you. Always feel free to contact me or leave comments.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"In Hopes of More" was inspired by God's miracles









                                                                Brothers (Friends)
                                   A Connection like no other
                                       And a mother's touch 

In my last post my intentions were to continue talking about organization and praising your children through a system that has worked like a charm for us in our home, however my plans changed when recently we found out we are expecting #11.
So of course I wanted to center my attention on what I love the most, my children. I thought I'd share a little about my testimony so you could hopefully see the hand that Christ has laid on our particular situation. In hopes that you'll be inspired and just know that the good LORD has a plan, A PERFECT PLAN. About 9 yrs ago our living situation was much different then today. I was a full time mother and holding a full time job like most mothers today. Juggling being a wife, babysitters, parent teacher conferences and also the every day routine of homework with the kids while they were in public schools. 
Yet something was always missing, always longing for something and feeling unfulfilled. After the death of my mother-in-law life started to fall into place, for various reasons. I saw Christ through my loss and found homeschooling and the new journey of being a stay at home mother. This journey has brought me here today. 
My husband was more or less forced into having a vasectomy prior to his mothers death. Thanks to me, it wasn't what he wanted. But soon after becoming a stay at home mom with 4 young boys again, that void was still there, the longing for something more. I had Christ, a wonderful husband, 4 boys and I was home and doing what I felt I was called to do. So what was missing? Good question!!!
So long story short we decided to get the vasectomy reversed. We felt a strong conviction that we had taken this area of our lives out of Christ's hand and it wasn't ours to take. From that day forward I told Christ we were a willing and able vessel, use us as you wish. But it didn't work according to the Dr. So we decided to adopt. In hopes of getting some girls of course. So everything fell into place with our adoption. Not only did we adopt, but we adopted three sibling girls... Angelina, Ashlynn and LeAnna. Again, I felt the calling and felt I was living out the desires of Christ. Just a month after the adoption I found out I was pregnant and it was a girl, Jessah Renee. You guessed it I still felt a longing for more, something, but what? Again. So we were blessed with another wonderful pregnancy and healthy baby girl, Ava Lynn. Then a baby boy came  along, James, and I just knew it was a boy. Things were as good as they could get 5 girls, 5 boys, homeschooling is going great and life is good. 
Our love for Christ at this point is enormous and we've stuck by our word. Use us, we are willing and able. And again the Lord's timing is perfect, now expecting #11. Our perseverance, our dedication, our passions to seek the Lord in everyday life has truly prevailed.  Not that we haven't had struggles but looking at these photos has truly confirmed why I've longed and felt a void. The LORD'S plan needed to be lived out and once I submitted to him and saw the vision he has for my family, who could ever deny his graces, his love, or his choice to bless us?  We couldn't be any more thrilled to have this experience and to be able to share it with you. I hope you are touched by our story and that you share it with others. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let's get organized

This week I wanted to give all viewers an opportunity to see first hand how we incorporate all our multitude of 10 children on one chore chart. Whether you have two, 5 or 10 it works the same for every family of any size. 
First things first: Have an idea of what chores your children can handle. Don't under estimate their capability. Even our 5 yr old is on a rotating chore. Try a buddy system or the shadowing technique. I'm a firm believer that older children can then help assist in training or equipping the younger siblings by shadowing. 

Our family's monthly chore chart, a printable calender labeled with each individuals' initials.
 Steps 1-4...

From step 1-4, once you've written the initials for each day of the month, you can then make your lists of everyday chores. A number for each chore. A few of ours are listed above. Every four days our children will do the same chore on a rotating schedule. 

Number 1. for Wed. is Dishes 
Number 2. for Wed. is Laundry 
Numbers 3,4,10 for Wed. are Vacuum, Wood, and Trash Cans. All of which are in the living room. 

Our children know which chores are A.M. and P.M. ( A.M. before bible and P.M. after dinner) Some are Sundays only and even bedding being washed at the beginning of every month is posted on the chart.
Every morning you will have the benefits of your children knowing firsthand what is expected of them. Everyone working as a team. It may take a few times demonstrating what your expectation's are on each chore but the rewards will be gratifying not only to you but also to them and it allows you more time to focus on younger children and even your own daily routine or what my children refer to as "MOMMY CHORES" 
Look forward to sharing next week how to go about rewarding your children for the great job they have done. And also what steps to take when you experience poor attitudes or lack of consistency.