Friday, May 20, 2016

Wow, it's been so long since I blogged. Four years of high school homeschooling have passed since I last posted!!! Where did the years go?  I always meant to get back into blogging here, just to record the memories. Guess I've always been like that....never could keep a diary up to date either. 

Last Saturday, we graduated our older daughter from homeschool.  Despite the fact that I'm still waiting on a few final essays and chapters of math!  LOL. Gotta love homeschooling!  I'm such a mean teacher!  :)

DD18 is headed off to Ireland this fall for her first semester of college, which suspiciously sounds like homeschooling on the college level!  In January 2017, she'll return to her Christian college to begin "real" college. :)  She plans on majoring in Professional Writing and hopes to become a novelist.  Over the past three years, she has really begun to develop her writing skills.  She has two novels written, along with ideas for the final book in the trilogy....not to mention a few other tales running around in her head and demanding to be put down on paper.  She reads anything and everything written by JRR Tolkien and loves stories of the Arthurian legends.  Along the way, she's also come to love Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre.  When she's not reading and writing, she grows carnivorous plants, volunteers at church, is involved in our church's puppet and stick (dowel rod) ministry, and rides her horse.  She is in her third year of the United States Pony Club and has varsity lettered for two years as an Equestrian Athlete.  She is headed to Pony Club championships this summer!

I am still homeschooling our younger daughter.  She has two more years after this one.  Over the past few years, she has moved from wanting to be a missionary in the Honduras to being a different kind of missionary: an early childhood teacher.  She has been working with the young ones in our Junior Church since she was in 6th grade.  When she's not doing schoolwork, she is reading, reading, reading!  She too is involved in our church's puppet ministry and volunteers at church. 

Both girls have discovered Goodreads and Pintrest this year, but they don't do Facebook. :)  Both set up blogs yesterday to begin their venture into the blogging world.  (Which is what prompted my return here!)

When I last blogged here, I was probably fretting about how to homeschool high school.  I found an old computer file recently with old high school plans in it for our older daughter....evidence of my fretting!  It had all four years marked out, albeit with lots of question marks.  Funny, there were so many ideas that we never did.  While it is nice to have some rough ideas for the 4 years, I ended up changing things each year to allow for interests and our schedules and reality.  Yeah, there's a lot I wish we had done, but we still did a lot of great stuff and it all worked out.  Just think....four years ago, our older daughter had no clue she would desire to become a novelist. 

Last year, we added NaNoWriMo and GoTeenWriters to our school year, and we were able to foster her love of writing.  Back when I originally wrote out plans for the upcoming high school years, I had ever even heard of those sites.  But, as she sought out good advice for a budding novelist, she found these two sites, and they have made a huge impact on her and her writing.  So they became part of our curriculum.  The flexibility of homeschooling is awesome that way!

I've still got two more years.  And, yes, I've got them all planned out in a computer file.....with lots of questions marks. Some things don't change, but I bet what we actually do in these next two years will change from the ideas I've got written today. :)  And I'm OK with that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For my friend Rebecca.....Cat Herders Day


My friend Rebecca has a blog called Herding Cats.  So, when I began researching for December's calendar for the new HSS blog, I was amused to find a day that's been set aside for Cat Herders.......that day is tomorrow, December 15.

Herding cats is an adage referring to an undertaking that is exceedingly difficult (or impossible!) because of the sheer number of uncontrollable variables involved in the task. Cat Herders Day was established to honor all those whose lives can be compared to herding cats.

Poke around Rebecca's blog....I think you'll soon see why her life is like herding cats!  (Though, overall, I'm sure she wouldn't have it any other way!)

So, Rebecca, you have a day just for you!  Come tomorrow, I hope you celebrate to the fullest!  Enjoy YOUR day!


Friday, December 9, 2011

We went to see a pre-release screening of War Horse!


Earlier this week, dd13 and I went to a pre-release screening of War Horse.  It was worth every mile of the 2.5 hour drive to get there!   It will definitely be a movie that we will own!  I'm sure that we go see it on the big screen again when it officially comes out  this CHRISTmas.

There were 3 or so curse words and some war scenes that were pretty intense (hence the PG-13 rating).  But it was not a bloody/gory movie.   It was stunning to see it on the big screen.  You felt like you were dropped in the middle of the war zone, as the theater shook with the bombing and gunfire.

In comparison to the book, they cut out a few things, added a few things, and changed others, but they did a good job.  Even knowing the story from having read the book, we still laughed, cried, and cheered.

Hope you get to go see it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homeschoolers invited to preview War Horse!

If you live in or near select large cities, you may be able to preview the upcoming movie War Horse!   It's being shown in select cities next week on Dec. 8.  Click here to see if there's a showing near you.  It's rated PG-13 because of violence (it is WWI!), so use your own judgment concerning your children's sensitivity to horses dying and war, etc.

If you can't make it to a screening, it does premier on CHRISTmas Day in theaters everywhere!

Also, watch the Homeschool Movie Club website for free, downloadable curriculum that is currently being written by the author of Apologia's Marine Biology!

School so far....

We're still plugging away at school.


We recently started Mystery of History Volume 2.  We're doing OK so far on our read aloud/video/audio list. 

The girls watched Paul, The Emissary (a tad much for them).   We finished Beric the Briton, the Jim Weiss audio that we  listen to in the car whenever we're out and about.   We have read Forbidden Gates, the story of Stephen the first martyr.   And we finished Twice Freed, the story of Philemon and Onesimus.

We are now on Pearl Maiden for our read aloud.  I read on a blog that it was pretty violent, so did some pre-reading and found it to be no worse than Beric the Briton or Twice Freed.  All three talk frankly of Christian persecution, gladiators, and the arena.  For our car audio, we have started   For the Temple (also by Jim Weiss).  Both Pearl Maiden and For the Temple deal with the destruction of the Temple in AD70.


This week we watched the second part of the Mankind section of Biology 101, so we've been studying anatomy and physiology.  Really this series is very basic and has been a good review for us.  We like the many cool facts he throws in.  LOVE the fact that it's literal-6-day-creation based!

The girls continue to do their co-op science as well.  DD14 is half way through Unit 4 of Mike Snavely's Creation or Evolution (which I'm teaching at co-op).  Truly I thought the kids would enjoy the lecture videos more than our working through their workbooks, but the workbooks generate great discussions!   DD11 continues the Science 4 Real Kids Biology with her co-op class.  Occasionally, you'll hear her practice some of the vocabulary words, like  rough endoplasmic reticulum!  What a mouth full!


We continue our Fix-It, which we do once per week.   The girls are getting better at catching errors!  We did Week 11 this week.  They are enjoying the modernized tale of The Frog Prince.

We throw in Winston Grammar now and again, mainly for review though I admit DD11 never really "got" the parts of speech before.   She's doing a bit better since starting Winston Grammar.  We did Worksheet 11 this week.


We're sailing along with Lightning LiteratureTom Sawyer is complete, as is the first section on poetry.  This week we also finished Alice in Wonderland.   I printed out Fortunately For You's Reading Records to go along with their Lightning Lit workbook pages for Alice.   We'll be moving on to The Bride of Yellow Sky, then take a break from literature until after the New Year.

Foreign Languages

DD14 continues with Getting Stated with Latin, though she's beginning to struggle with remembering all the words and forms now that so many have been introduced.  She's on lesson 63.  She doesn't want to do any other foreign language, except maybe Greek (at least Greek roots and prefixes/suffixes).  She sees no point in learning any other.  When she's done with the Getting Started book, I'm wondering if I should look into Visual Latin or The Latin Road to English Grammar????

DD11 continues with her Spanish, using and occasionally,  She loves Spanish.  I think she particularly likes seeing how much I remember from my high school classes, oh way back when!  This week I also started her on Mango,which we can access for free through our local public library.  She is thinking about majoring in Spanish when she goes to college. I'm still debating if I should get Rosetta Stone or Tell Me More for her.


DD14 continues with VideoText Algebra and Life of Fred Beginning Algebra.  Both are fairly short, so she's been able to do a lesson in each every day.  Some days she struggles, some days she doesn't.  She recently started the second module of VideoText.  She's on lesson 52 of LOF (using the Companion book).

DD11 is, at the moment, only doing Life of Fred: Fractions.  She's really struggling with it, despite the fact that we made it 2/3 through the Math-U-See Epsilon book last year.  I keep wanting to start Epsilon back up, but I had hoped LOF would be a good refresher for her.   I'm not sure when to start Epsilon again!   She has also been working through the Challenging Word Problems Book 2.  I like how it shows to break the problems if I could just get her to actually do it like they do.  Sigh.  She's half way through the book.


We have unfortunately let our PictureSmart Bible slide right now.  We've just been so busy (or sick) and it seems to be the one we slide....though the girls do ask for it!  At least they do their PBS mail order Bible studies.   We also have started our Advent readings.  We are currently reading Tabitha's Travels  from the Jotham's Journey series.  When we're done with it this year, we will have been through the trilogy TWICE!   Six years and the girls STILL love and always beg for me to read it!  New this year to our Advent traditions is our Cradle to the Cross Wreath for Advent and Lent.  These are made by Caleb Voskamp and are soooo beautiful!


The girls have both been active in their 4-H group, having more meetings than usual this time of year.  We did a fundraiser in October, and then we had another fundraiser this week!  The October fundraiser went well.  This week's didn't go as well.  While we did not have as many people attend as we had hoped, we did make $350.  We were able to purchase a personalized horse halter for each club member. The kids will also have a pizza party and be going ice skating for their CHRISTmas party this year.

The girls have also been involved with their Youth Group each week, studying the Bible and building relationships through fun and games. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grab 'em while you can....Ryann Watters: 2 hardcovers for only $10...for a limited time!

I know we've talked about these before, but if you missed out or your kids are older now, you might want to grab this deal while you can!!! My girls, my mom, and I all enjoyed the two books and look forward to the third!

If you want to read some of the books before you buy, head over to the Ryann Watters download page and read a couple chapters.

(BTW, they are going to made into movies. They started filming last year, but have since re-cast most of the lead roles (with some more well-known kids!) and have increased their budget! They are scheduled to start re-filming in April 2012. Woo hoo!)

ONLY WITH THE SPECIAL CODE until the Inventory runs out!

If you are looking for a great Christmas gift for friends, relatives or even a donation to your church or school library, you can’t beat $10 for two hardcover books… signed by the author and color bookmarkers. That’s 74% off the retail price of $37.98.

To make way for the paperback editions we are selling out the remaining hardback inventory at this special price for Christmas. Go to through the “Shop” stone and click on the 2 book Christmas Special. Then enter this code on the third page in the “Coupon” block: christmas2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cool clouds!

We ran to town one day a couple weeks ago and had to go back to get our camera!  I have never seen clouds such as these!  It was as if God was shaking a huge gray blanket and had stopped in mid ripple.   By the time we got the camera, the clouds weren't quite as amazing, but we took pictures anyway.  Truly, the camera did NOT do those clouds justice at all!