Saturday, September 5, 2015

                   A Moms #2 Secret Weapon in Homeschooling
                                             Spelling Binder 

In homeschooling several children of all ages I am always looking for ways to add a little spark into every new school year. My children are always excited to see what it is I will come up with next and if you are a seasoned homeschool mom you know all to well each new system is trial and error. Some things work and stay with you in your homeschool journey and then you have to adjust, rearrange, and adapt to a new year with new courses and subjects. So for our 2015 school year we have added some new perks to our Spelling Binder. Each day my children will work in their binders, and each day they have a new assignment using the same words all week.                                                              
 6 wks worth of words

So many exciting things can happen with spelling whether your taking a day and putting your words in ABC order or plugging them into a cross word puzzle you created online or looking up each word in a dictionary, typing them, writing them in cursive, stamping them. The list is endless. So the most important things is to break up each day so your child is always doing something different each day of the week.  
We love to use the lists from Spelling Power. I paid one price for this book that I can use it with each of my children. The book is formulated according to levels starting with level A and ending in level K. Starting at age 7 my children do a list a week and we have been able to use this book up through highschool because the words will increasingly get harder as they move up a level. 
Spelling Power does suggest: Say, Look, Say, Close Your Eyes, Check, Trace & Say, Write & Repeat. BUT...... the beauty of educating your children at home and you can alter your approach and Spelling City won't give you grief about it. AMEN!!!!!!

So in our home our schedule looks like this..........................
Monday - Type 
Tuesday - Print 
Wednesday - Cursive and Word Search 
Thursday - Study and Write in complete Sentence 
Friday - Take test on Spelling City 
Any words that they miss will be added to the next week for review words.

 I always make sure my kids know my expectations and can visually see what to do each of those days. Since I plan out my school by weeks they will already have their mazes in their binders. They know to go to the computer or typewriter in Monday and type their words and correct any errors and so on for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. is a wonderful site you can type in your words on test day and they say them back to you then you have the option to print off your results which my children always do in a certificate form. Also you can formulate your maze at 

Your creativity will overflow into your children and learning will become less and less of a struggle. We have had those years where my children dreaded spelling simply because it was so dull and boring each week. But I needed to see if they were capable of writing complete sentences, or using punctuation, and I wanted them to use some critical thinking but also allow them the flexibility to grab a binder and just work independently. Now having juniors and a senior student in my home I know now how important independent work is starting in 6th grade. Since I have encouraged that but also created a system that allows for them to work on their course without me hovering it gives them a sense of accomplishment. As parents our goal should be to inspire them to learn but also equipping them to be accountable to their work and to follow through with multiple tasks on their own. This works extremely well if you also have other children to work with during this time. So Secret Weapon #2 in our homeschool journey is Spelling Binder. Check out last weeks Secret Weapon #1 Helpful Hints. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

      What I've learned from my 12 children

                 The Ages and the Stages
                     From Ages 20 to 3 months

                              OUR JOURNEY ONE CHILD AT A TIME

As a mother and I wife I have taken on many titles, I have been a working mom, a preschool mom, a soccer mom, a concession stand mom, a spend the entire day at the ball field mom, a frustrated mom, a mom who has been easily angered, a mom who shed a lot of tears, a basketball mom, a milking mom ( Yes, for all those breast feeding moms) a mom who never sleeps, a homeschool mom, even a mother in law, and a mom who simply thinks I can do everything. However, all these titles have made me a better person and the mother I am today. Are you any of those moms? Do you have many of those titles in an afternoon?  I am still in several of these seasons right now in my life with 11 children still at home but I can see those days become few and far between as time goes so quickly.  Cherishing those little times that I know will go so quickly and moving on to the next phase of teens. I've traded in the title "Working mom for Home Disciplining Mom, and seen the enormous lessons I have learned through my children.  Many of which they will never know has made me who I am today.

My first child (Devin) taught me what unconditional love is and how time can go so quickly if you don't stop to enjoy it. How a mothers heart can ache at just the sweet sound of his voice now that he is grown, and married, because I miss him so much. 
And how just one leaving home can leave a void, a smile missed, a guitar solo no longer in the distance and the pure overwhelming joy a mother could only feel when he visits. Bottling every minute I get. Hoping that the next hug will hold me over till I see him again.

My second child ( Christian) taught me that even in their quiet times there are ways to get into mischief but to always strive to push your own limitation, set goals and achieve them, and in the moments you do, you know God was behind you all the way.
Of course, an older brother cherishes a playmate but that always means double trouble. And that it is possible to run a half marathon and then empty all the cupboards at home in one sitting. And that Manhood means giving his life to Christ.

My third child (Tyler) showed me I can't parent alone. More then two hands were needed and a lot of second and third breaths. That I needed the older ones to help. Everything considered round was a ball and anything tall was going to be jumped off of. Diaper changes were a wrestling match and you can no longer laugh or smile at unacceptable behavior if you wanted it to stop. Their interest can change like the wind, from fishing all hours of the day to trading in those lures for dancing shoes and several looks in the mirror. All I count as joy. And he is the sharpest dressed young man in our home.

My fourth child ( Angelina) has taught me that a mom can be more then your friend, counselor, place of safety and shelter, when you fear whats ahead. That a daughter can capture her fathers heart and melt it in minutes. That baking time can be her specialty when I'm a "Wanna be Baker" and fail miserably. After adopting three at one time you are considered a large family who is crazy enough to do so in peoples eyes. And the Lord knew what he was doing in answering prayers. And a servants heart pleases the Lord.

My fifth child ( Ashlynn) opened my eyes to six legged creatures, and the purpose God has for all of them. That learning isn't just one size fits all. Patience is key to a healthy relationship and it is possible to read a chapter book in one night. She has taught me to take a stand against those who drink while preg. and to spend my days making others aware of the affects alcohol can have on an unborn child. (A disability prior to coming into our home) That God has a purpose and he knows my hearts desire. And Parenting can be the most rewarding and yet challenging job a mother could ever do.

My sixth child (Kameron) has shown me that little boys do adore their mom when the older ones have no time left to share their day with me. And middle of the night walks in a room could mean you stepping on a sky scraper, or the Tower of Babel he built earlier that day out of legos. Bedtime prayers are still appreciated and moms lap is still a place to cuddle. That even at 12 you need mom to see your big guns, and you no longer like to be called cute. In my eyes your adorable, and forever my son.

My seventh child ( LeAnna) gave me all the tools to see I'm God Daughter, no matter my age. And princesses can be real if you just believe. Life is a fairy tale if you want it to be. Hair can have a mind of its own, and going into Walmart in your cocktail gown only means you are imagining yourself on a fashion runway, even if you are shopping with 10 of your other siblings. A painting is a masterpiece, and a masterpiece can be within a painting. 

My eighth child (Jessah) took me out of my comfort zones. Showed me what pink was all about and has made me grasp the little girly moments. Seeing life through her eyes. How looking in the mirror I see me, and hoping she makes better choices then I did in my early childhood. That it is possible to loss a dozen teeth in a week and facial expressions can make a bad day turn into uncontrollable laughter. Music can sound beautiful when little fingers are at work. And Little doesn't describe how big her heart is. Her laughter is contagious.

My ninth child ( Ava) inspires me to laugh more. That a good personality wins the hearts of many, and in one 15 minute car ride alone she will fill you in on all of the day to day activities in our home without taking a breath. Humor is good medicine and you can hang with all your brothers and still be a very girly girl. And honesty comes in all sizes. Big things come in little packages. And ruby slippers can complete any wardrobe. 

My tenth child (James) knows how to keep a mom on her toes. That in parenting you have to use all your five senses. Life has no limits, and little boys do think they have super powers and are fearless. Curly hair gets all the attention and a mischievous laugh makes you wonder what he is up to next. And strollers are a thing of the past. Mini vans no longer work for our Quiver full, 15 passengers are more fashionable. Tiny means adorable. And adjustable waist line in jeans is a must.                                                         


My eleventh child (Eli) melted my heart when there was a void, God seen my need and gave me life. It is possible to only have two hands and hold 7 children in them. Kisses are unnumbered, hugs are an every minute need. Labor can be slow even after 8. Sleep is for the birds, there will be time for that in eternity. There is a thing called "Over Stimulated." A pink car seat is not masculine and I will keep screaming until you get that. Fingers entangled in my hair is now a security blanket. And there a such thing as a big Harry the Henderson smile, that you can't help but to smiling back. 

Last but not least #12 (Liam) happy doesn't even come close to your joyful smile.... it's beyond words. A labor can be very unpredictable even after 9. A name was hard to come by and yet God's plan is bigger then ours. Adjusting is slow at 40, but possible. My body is forever transformed and yet I gave them life. It is cheaper by a dozen. My heart aches knowing you could be last. I wish the time hadn't gone so fast. 7 boys and 5 girls later, oh, the precious milestones. Forever embedded in my heart.   

I pray that my post inspires you to be the best mom you can be. Kids have a way of allowing us to see ourselves in a different light. They can tell us where our priorities are. May times I've asked and even pleaded with the Lord in regards to situations I have been in with my teens or my younger ones in their terrible twos and beyond.  The Lord has always revealed that when they had things that they needed to work on, I do too. Together we can become more like Christ and center our day to day choices on what glorifies him and in the end it will and has brought us closer as a family.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

          A Moms Secret Weapon for the 2015-2016 School Year 
                                1st A Bundle of Crazy Kids 
Starting off the school year can be a very hectic time for any family and learning to breathe is essential the first several weeks and even thereafter. A parent spends countless hours reading, researching, and seeking in hopes to find what may work this year. What may keep their little ones busy. What may help my highschooler. Believe it or not there are those years you will find a gem of an idea, a diamond in the rough. An idea so simple and yet so valuable to your homeschool journey that you must share, JUST LIKE ME!!!!!! 
                       Of course every idea is Trial and Error. 
What!!!!! Another idea you want me to try

My kids have learned that we are dedicated to educating at home. It's what works for us. Because of our dedication they are the prototypes of my madness. LOL
Every school year I accumulate a pile of papers that are considered helpful resources to refer back to when we need a little extra help, whether it be refreshing our memory or even a newly introduced concept. Either way with as many children I have or even the few you may have, as a parent you can cover a lot of material in a school year. That is where my HELPFUL HINTS BINDER has become essential in my homeschooling journey. So many times my day would be put on hold, while my children waited for me to gather more information on a concept, or to find something that would help explain that concept more clearly. An example would be english rules, converting fractions, exchanging roman numerals, breaking down the metrics, or any other type of measurements. All would be gathered in this binder. 

Each concept would be kept in a plastic sleeve and the binder kept in an area all my children would have easy access to at a moments time. This gives them a resource to refer back to and an independence to seek and find while working on their subjects. Without depending on me, or even waiting any length of time. After 11 years with my children at home this binder has grown with every new year. Each subject divided into categories. So #1 on my list of Secret Weapons is HELPFUL HINTS BINDER. 

I'm Looking forward to sharing more secrets that has made our homeschool journey a true blessing. Tune in for more in the near future. 

                          A Moms Secret Weapon while Homeschooling 11

 I've been away from my blog for sometime awaiting the birth of our son but we are excited about what the 2015-2016 school year has in store for our home. It's only our second week in our homeschool journey but after educating our children at home now for 11 years I've got lots of new ideas that will make a homeschool journey a success. From our highschoolers to our preschoolers, our quiver full allows for me to seek a wide range of ideas. Secret weapons is what this blog is all about. A bundle of 7 boys to the sweetness of 5 girls, can challenge any homeschool mom, successfully keeping little hands busy and minds shape with creative play. So what is this moms Secret Weapon? Do I have you curious enough to stay tuned in? From a Helpful Hints three ring binder, that is essential for every parent schooling at home to a Spelling Binder that will have your kids doing something different with their spelling words everyday, to our Rise and Shine Binders getting our mornings started off right. Together we can make teaching at home a blissful experience. Lets get started!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Preschool Fun




Great Homeschool Finds at the 2015 Convention
The Nature of God video series
Handy Scoops

My goal this year was to focus on busy work for my children that are ages 8, 5, 3, 2. Knowing our baby would be soon to arrive in May, I know how critical it is to find things that keep little hands busy, and yet take minimal time to prepare. I am always looking for ways to use items at home, but also have plenty of new items to balance out ones we have used numerous times. These Handy Scoops are wonderful for a rice table or a noodle table. I found these at the Arts and Education Booth. When it comes to education videos you can't go wrong with The Nature of God video Series found at Amazon.

     These Trucky 3 blocks are genius for boys who love to push and also unload things such as these colorful, odd shaped blocks. A book comes with this activity which will challenge your preschooler.
These Early Reading Comprehension books for Varied Subject Matter is available for early K through Highschool, reading, and comprehension questions are all in one. 

Mosaics for Multiplication
Explode the Code &Dr. Dooriddles

Dr. DooRiddles allow for Critical thinking and Reasoning with a "What Am I" question at the end of every riddle. They also have Spelling DooRiddles.
 Example: I will chase a mouse, & I start with C, I will chase a bird, & I end with T. 
The best gift we can give our children is the love of learning so the more excited you are and the more you search for creative ways to expand their learning, the more you will enhance their desire to become bright young Einsteins!!!!1


                         Preschool Simplicity
      How to create Learning simply with what you have at home

 With only a tin can and clothes pins, a marker and cards with numbers on them you can create a simple activity that will bring learning to life for your preschooler. As a mother of 12 children I know all to well what it costs to provide creative learning for even one child. But we don't always have to resort to purchasing something that will hold their attention.
                                       5 EASY STEPS!!!!!!!