Tons of homeschool info, tips, and links. Homeschooling in Florida, plus lots of other great info. Join me on our Homeschool journey. I have been adding to this blog for almost our whole time as homeschoolers, eight years. There is an abundance of info at your fingertips.
As my children get older, I find I add less and less content to this blog. My goal in 2019 is to change that. I am setting a goal to add new content to this blog at least once a week. I may even reblog some old content, that is still relevant and interesting. I have had this blog since 2007, I think, so that is a lot of content. I only have one child left homeschooling, but we still have a lot of fun, and do a lot of things.
Please remember you can not use my content, or images without my prior approval.
I have spent much of 2018 reflecting, and researching. No, not homeschool stuff. I always do that. I have been a nurse for 31 years, and as I get older it becomes more and more demanding. I have researched all my options, and decided to start a new Health and Wellness Coach business. This is both exciting and scary. I will still work my 2 days outside of the home, and homeschool. I am only accepting up to 4 clients, and that sounds reasonable to me at this point and time. If you would like to check it out click here. Who knows maybe you need a Health Buddy.
We finished our 2nd semester on Friday before Christmas. I can tell you the changes I made at the end of the first semester are already showing progress. One thing I discovered is Caitlin decided that wearing her glasses was an option, instead of a requirement. I was wondering why her Math was good and then just fell of the cliff. She improved in Science as well, and she really enjoyed the series The Men Who Made America, on Netflix. I need to find some more interesting documentaries. She is definitely a visual learner.
Are you ready for a New Year? Do you make resolutions? Drop me a note.
I forgot about this wonderful website ABCya.com. My daughter has been struggling with remembering all the rules that go with Math. So, I have added 30 min of homework each week night, to help. Mostly through games on ABCya, I tried Adapted Math, and I liked it, but she did not find them remotely enjoyable. I mean if you have to play a Math game, might as well be somewhat fun. Fractions have been especially a pain, so playing the multiplication, and fractions games, have been especially helpful. I have also resorted to forced note taking. I hated to do this, but if she has to write down the rule, for each lesson each day, then she can just look back in her notebook and find how to do it. Me telling her all the time, is not helping her to remember. I am seeing slow, but good results so far. We will continue this as long as is needed. There are other great Math websites, but I tend to stick with what works until it no longer works. There is also Language Arts games, we just don't currently use those.
Some of you, who visit frequently probably remember I have been making jewelry, painting etc, and selling on Ebay, and Etsy for years. I recently shut down my Etsy shop completely, just not worth the time. I still have Ebay active, but am currently not actively selling there. I am starting a new adventure. I have been thinking this whole year about options for the future. I only have one more child to get through high school, and then I will need to have something to do. As I get older, the prospect of floor nursing, esp full time, seems daunting. Going back for my RN, is way too much debt, with a little more than 10 years to work. So, after much research I have decided to go into Health Coaching. If you would like to see my new Health Buddy blog, on Wordpress, please feel free to visit https://healthbuddydotblog.wordpress.com/ Maybe you need a Health Buddy.
It has been a very busy first semester, as you can see from my lack of blogging time. I really am going to try to get back into regular blogging for the new year.
DJ got a seasonal Christmas job, at a tree farm, and it is going well for him. This is a great learning experience for him, at a fairly difficult job. He is getting ready for finals for his first semester of college. I am quite proud of him. He is learning to manage his time, and his stress level, not to mention money.
Caitlin has finished up her first semester of grade 9, and her 2 strongest grades are in Language Arts, and Math. Go figure that one out, lol. She is passing all classes, but I need to see better results in History and Science. She is finding the Apologia Physical Science to be a little difficult. I was considering changing it, but have opted to enforce more studying time, instead. I know she can do this, she just needs to apply herself more. Taking notes, and studying are new to her, so I am trying to not to be too forceful. We finished up Pre Algebra, and have moved to Algebra 1 with Saxon. She hates it, but it is my choice. It gives review every day along with learning new info. That is what I want, and that is what matters, lol. She will thank me someday. I think next year I will switch to Aleks. It is 20 dollars per month, but it helped my son so much, and it takes the headache off of me some. History, well she just don't like it. We discussed the fact that I need her to pick some kind of an interest, other than shopping, and staring at Youtube on free time, since she opted not to do Drama. I think she is leaning towards horseback riding in the new year.
I am currently taking a free Microbiology course on, Saylor. I need to keep my brain healthy with some higher education lessons. I am currently debating what I want to do now that my kids will not be homeschooling in a few years. I currently am working an Alzheimers Unit, and I love it, so looking at some classes in that regards. Health coaching looks really promising. I think as a nurse, I could have an interesting niche, especially in regards to elder care.
So, this is two posts in one, because I forgot to blog last week. First picture is our History art project. The artist we studied was Grandma Moses, and you can read about her in my previous post. We finally finished our project which is painted rocks, in a folk art style, for a Fall theme fairy garden, which will be the centerpiece for our dining room table. Painting on rocks is incredibly difficult. Our next era will be the Civil War era, and I am researching artists now.
Last Monday, I took Caitlin, and one of her friends, to San Felasco State Park. There is actually another part to the park, but it was still very hot and we could only spare an hour. The trail is just over a mile long, and the girls took bunches of pictures. Great little short field trip.
As I stated in my previous post, Caitlin and I will be doing Art together this year. Probably once a week, we will study an artist, and do a remake of one of their paintings, or paint in their style. I chose Grandma Moses, quite by accident. I came across it while searching for something else. I didn't even know Grandma Moses was an artist. I often wondered where the term came from. The painting below, by Grandma Moses, is Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey. She was a folk artist, painting the images of her time when she was growing up in NY. We will do a Fall, or Halloween setting, using her method of folk art. If you would like to learn about Grandma Moses,
https://nmwa.org/explore/artist-profiles/grandma-moses-anna-mary-robertson-moses The piece below, and more of her art work can be found at,
You can find more of her art pieces by doing a simple search on Wikiart, where the piece below is located.
I can't believe my baby is in high school. I graduated one in April, and this is my last child to homeschool. I am in the lesson planning process, and I think I have the first week straight, and ready to go.
Science: Physical Science on VHSG. I am hoping to get in at least one experiment a week. I have not laid out the calendar yet, but I will be planning for an Art project, Science experiment, and hopefully enough time for some music.
Language Arts/Reading: This is basically English 1 if she were in public school. I am again using VHSG and she will start with Animal Farm. I will include writing topics, a few times a week, as supplement because she needs a lot of practice. Most of the writing assignments will center around our History lessons.
History: American History this year. We are skipping over the colonies, and American Revolution. We will start with the Constitution, which is still American Revolution, but a topic I feel didn't get covered enough in Middle School. She really likes documentaries, so I have found a ton of them on Youtube. We also use Netflix, and our regular DTV if I can find good ones. The writing assignments will be mostly short, and center around or History topics for grade 9.
Math: Continuing with Intro to Algebra on Edx. and then go from there.
French: Basic first year of French.
I will post the more interesting things we do. I am trying to get back into a regular blogging schedule this year. I use the blog for our evaluation, so the more I post the better.
First, before I start please do not solicit me in the comments, or via email for Chinese herbal treatments, or any other treatments. If you want to leave a comment pertinent to my post please do so. All others will be deleted.
If you follow this blog, then you know 1 yr ago in March, I was diagnosed with CKD. At the time my kidney was only functioning at like 40% or a little less. It took a while, and though they are still not sure why, the left kidney had actually atrophied, and become scarred, and that was the problem. It took many years for it to get to where it basically was not doing much at all to help the other kidney. Since that time, through extreme diet modification, and other healthy life changes, my kidneys have climbed back to almost stage 2. I was two points away from stage 4 when diagnosed, and 2 points away from stage 2, six months ago. You can say almost miraculous considering the left kidney will never not be atrophied, or scarred. I can't forget to mention prayer, by myself, my church family, and my immediate family. Next week I see the kidney doctor again, and I am praying so hard it will be stage 2, or even closer to stage 1. He is not optimistic, but I am. He never thought the kidneys would progress this far. So, I am going with my optimism not his pessimism. I also take Sodium Bicarb, and Vitamin D. Keeping my blood pressure, low enough, with CKD is difficult, though I have not needed any medication yet. The kidney is a complicated organ, and keeping a perfect balance is difficult, especially this time of year. I struggle to be sure I am getting enough electrolytes, fluid, and protein when I am sweating and active. It is much more difficult then when it is cold, even if I am active. So, some days in the Summer months, I feel icky, but it is usually because I have to replace some electrolytes. I listen to my body, and pay attention to what is telling me.
Pray with me for continued restoration of my kidney function. If you want to be placed on my prayer list, for whatever you may need, please comment below, and I will surely pray for you as hard as I pray for me.
This will also be a work in progress. I will add to it as I decide which choices I will be using. I have decided for 2 classes so far.
English/Literature first Semester:
I will have to update this class throughout the year, as it will depend on how long each book is. I found this cool website, Virtual Home School Group, and they offer both live and at your own pace, classes. Since I probably won't ever do live classes, at least not 9th grade, I chose Animal Farm as her first semester book. There is a free version of the book, and they share it on their website. This book is a nice easy read, and will be a good start for the new school year. There are several activities, and quizzes for this book. As this will be our first time using this website, I can not evaluate the course. Below see a picture of a book. I bought the book for a quarter at a consignment shop. It is such a cool book, and will be used for History and Writing assignments. Adapt it for your child's level of research and writing. This will give her a short research, or writing project each day. I didn't enforce homework with my first child, until his senior year. This child will have homework at least a couple of days out of the week, even if it is just to study.
Using the same website mentioned above, VHSG, I found an Apologia Physical Science class, that was at your own pace. I chose this one instead of Biology, for grade 9, because Caitlin started Earth Science at the middle of grade 8, and I think this will roll nicely together for her. You do need to have the Apologia Physical Science textbook, edition 1 or 2. You can buy it used, and if you have a Kindle, and subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it is free to read right now. Trust me I got it. This should be a full year course. I love Apologia, so I was very excited to see that is what this course used.
For 9th grade will of course be American History. This time around I decided to find an American History timeline, online, and go through what I want her to learn, that maybe she doesn't already know. Since we did the American Revolution a lot in Middle School, I will mostly be glazing over that era. However, since the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, are very important to that era, I think we will do some unit studies, or documentaries on those. I will share the links when I decide. We will be definitely starting off listening to the play, Hamilton. My kids have been begging me to listen to it, and decided to incorporate it into the first part of History. We are still on Summer break, but will be doing it in next couple of weeks, along with a unit study. Since I don't want to spend a ton of time on this musical, I decided on this unit study.I am sure we will have a lot of discussions as well.
The hardest of all to decide, and the most time consuming to consider. I think I have finally decided on the following options. We are currently working our way through Introduction to Algebra on Edx. There are about 84 days left to completion. So, over the Summer, as time allows, we will continue to work on that. I try to do a lesson a day, but somedays there is just no time. After we finish that, which will be at the beginning of the new school year, I am sure, I want her to try this class on Edx. Hopefully it will help her see Math in different ways. That course is 7 weeks long. After that, I will move her right into this Business Math course. That should complete the full year of Math for her. Dave Ramsey financial math is also a consideration, but for now I will stick with the others.
Caitlin has decided she wants to learn French for her language. She did not have to start it in 9th grade, but she chose it over other electives. These are the websites I have chosen to use. The first one, will be a quick 3 week start to her French lessons. We will also incorporate in a lot of French food, and cooking.
This will be a post that will be added to, and edited frequently over the next few weeks. I will be going through all of the things we did, and making summaries for each subject below. I probably won't add any samples of work here, as I bring them to the physical evaluation in August. This just gives me better organization, and less papers to carry with me. If the majority of the work was done online, I will share the website it was done on. I will start with the easiest. We have worked out an arrangement with my graduated son, for him to be my nanny/tutor for the next school year, and then we will go from there. Over the Summer, they will be reading Seabiscuit, walking a mile each day I work, and Math games. I am still in the planning process for the next school year, but it will all be laid out for him what to do, and when. He is taking 2 college classes in the Fall, and then we will go from there with his college work. This works out good for everyone. Here is the STAR website, where you can print off sample questions. I give her time limits for each question, and do not help her in any way with answers.
Caitlin's Reading and Writing has progressed immensely this last year. I am very proud of her, and though I still think Writing could use some work, she is finally where I think she needs to be for Grade 8, at least from a non common core perspective. See results below.
We started out the school year reading, Little House in the Big Woods. I purchased lesson books to go along with it, from Lee Giles, called Blaze New Trails. We did not get all of the projects done, but we did a good deal of them. The literature study book was a lot of fun, and I will be sharing a couple of pics from the things we did. She absolutely loved washing clothes by hand in the kiddie pool! After we finished that book, we moved on the The Hobbit. We tried it in audio version, and it was just so slow. Because, we were short on time we decided to watch the movie, which I immensely enjoyed, and will be trying to get the rest of The Lord of the Rings series somehow incorporated in coming years. I used Edx.org, and the class How to Write an Essay to help improve her writing. This is a college level course, and I didn't have her do all of the exercises, but it did help her a lot. The end product was she had to write a Thesis, an 8th grade level Thesis, lol. I gave her my expectations, and gave her 3 chances to edit, and make suggested changes. She ended up with a 75 for a score. Though I would hope for at least a B, I will take a C. I love Edx, and you will see below that I am also using it for summer Math. Just like last year, I used STAR to print off a sample of test questions. For Reading I printed 10 in total, and she got 2 wrong. We reviewed the 2 she got wrong. Her reading comprehension is immensely better than last year. Next year we will start a more intensive vocabulary curriculum. She does not like to read aloud, something else I would like to work on. There were several other small writing assignments throughout the year, all with good improvement. I have printed off 3 writing samples, that I will bring with us.
Math is a work in progress. She started the year finishing up step one of middle school Math, on Easy Peasy Homeschool. She then moved on to step 2, and was getting good grades. Apparently, however, she was not retaining the info well. When I tested her, she struggled to remember rules, and steps to follow for some basic sort of Math. So, for Summer school, she is doing, with me, Introduction to Algebra, on Edx. I had already started this course myself, weeks ago, as a refresher. I started her from the beginning, on her own account, and I do it with her. I only help her to find info, and resources, and use the curriculum. I do not help her with answers. She also now has to take notes, and keep them for review and studying. If she doesn't finish this course by the end of Summer it will roll over into 9th grade. At the end of this course, I will probably return to my favorite, which is Saxon Algebra 1, and start working our way through that. Another option,, would be Business Math, for grade 9, as she wants to own her own business someday. Since June 30th, when we began Introduction to Algebra, she has moved through about 30% of the lessons. We left off on adding fractions. Here is a link to the curriculum, https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:SchoolYourself+AlgebraX+2T2016/course/
This one is fairly easy. It is very informal. She learns the music she wants. Since she does not read music, she memorizes the chords using Youtube, and then plays the songs on the piano option of her organ. For grade 9 I will probably expand her Music lessons to include some reading music. She would like a keyboard for Christmas, also.
Caitlin's History was centered around the Little House in the Big Woods book. We did not complete all the activities, but did get a lot done, plus we watched a documentary on The Great Depression. She got all the History questions right on the STAR test questions. I think there was only 3 or 4, but she knew ones I wasn't sure she did. That was a good thing. Caitlin loves documentaries, and I will be incorporating more of them into her high school years. Hoping to find some for all subjects, not just History and Science. In the Middle School years, History and Science are not a priority class.
We started the school year learning about Weather, and what an active Fall it was. We had Hurricane Irma come plowing through here, and we had to evacuate. It was definitely an experience. She did a writing assignment about it. I still want her brother to do some experiments over the Summer with her, just haven't had time to put the info together for him yet. After we got bored with Weather, and I take it back, The Great Depression we watched, was because we were learning about dust storms, we moved on to Earth Science. She did the second half of the school year on CK12, doing Earth Science. She did quite well with it too. She likes online format much better than textbooks. I was going to have her finish it up in 9th grade, but I am transitioning her to Physical Science with Apologia, because I like Apologia, and a lot of the stuff covered is the stuff she didn't complete in Earth Science. So, they will transition together nicely. She did well on the STAR questions for Science, as well. This should show where she left off on Earth Science https://www.ck12.org/my/dashboard/#selfStudy It might not come up if it signs me out.
I think that covers the basics. I will continue to add stuff as I think of it.
I haven't blogged in so long I don't know where to start. I have been so busy with my son's homeschool graduation, new job stuff, old job stuff, and homeschooling my other child, that I just have not kept up my blogging. I have not been able to be as crafty as I like, but I have gotten some new stuff done. I started a Nurse art line, and so far 3 have been completed. Below you will see the Nurses are Wise, Owl bag. This is all my original art, and is available on a variety of items. These are great gift ideas for any nurse you know. All nurses love tote bags, lol. You can see all the wise owl items by visiting my Redbubble account. You can search my other photography and art pieces, by clicking on my Redbubble profile. You can search for Missy69 on Redbubble, also.
It is getting too hot to do any more glass etching until Fall, but I am still crocheting, and of course painting. My daughter and I are going to start doing Tie Died items. I haven't done too much new jewelry, but I am having a Memorial Day Sale, in my Etsy shop.You can check it out by clicking here. It goes until the first of June. I am loving Fairy Gardening as well. Hopefully some new items for that as well, soon. I thought I might try my hand at writing. Not sure when I will fit that in, lol.
Well we did it! DJ has successfully graduated high school, as a homeschooled child. I have to say it was a perfect day, and how often can anyone ever say that. We had a tragedy a few days before. One of our beloved church members passed, and she loved DJ so much, and all the youth. Then we had 2 police officers shot in a horrible incident. But the actual day was wonderful. We had family from out of state, his Xbox friends, that he never had met in person made the long trip to spend his special day with him. Plus, of course all of our local family, friends, and beautiful church family. DJ, and my husband gave wonderful speeches, and his sister chickened out, lol. As for me, I had all I could do to not cry let alone give an awesome speech. It was warm enough to swim, and the younger kids did. The teens mostly just hung out, as teens do. The food was awesome, and I have to give a public shout out to 2 facilities. First, a big, and huge thank you to Pastor David, and youth Pastor Allen, at Fanning Springs Community Church. They always support the kids, and are wonderful leaders, and pastors. Plus the church let us use the building for our ceremony, and Pastor David gave the Invocation. If you are in the Levy, Dixie, or Gilchrist county areas, of Florida, and you need a church with a great youth mission, check them out. Second, the Fanning Springs State Park. We rented a pavilion and the Recreation Hall. The prices were affordable, the building was lovely with a full kitchen, bathroom, deck over looking the springs, and two refrigerators. For 85 dollars you get the building from dawn to dusk. You do have to put down a 100 dollar check, which you get back after they check the building and make sure nothing was ruined, and you left it clean. They were super nice to us, and helpful. We actually did all this in April, and I am so grateful for that decision. All it has done is rain pretty much the whole month of May.
I am hoping to get back into regular blogging. I have one more child to go, and I can already tell High School is going to be a challenge for her and me. They also did their play, Shrek the Musical, so watch for a post about that. They all did amazing, and DJ now thinks he wants to get into Musical Theater when he goes to Santa Fe.
I will be posting my plans for 9th grade for Caitlin soon. Her High School years will be much different than DJ's. I have learned so much, lol.
Oh, and check out that awesome guitar cake, all hand made by a very good friend. She is amazing. I won't put her name here, but if you need an awesome theme cake, message me with your email and I will give you her info. She does it as a hobby, lol.
It is almost time for our first homeschool graduation. The program has been created, the menu created, the church booked, and the reception hall reserved. I have purchased some of the decor, but I still need to get the diploma, and get some pics done through the years. I have to check with my son to see if his girlfriend is doing the slideshow or not, and what his entrance song will be. We are keeping a very simple menu. We are not fancy, so I see no need to have a fancy party. The party is at the springs, and they have very strict rules about decorations. I will share the program details on the next post, so stay tuned if you need ideas.
I am also in the midst of starting to plan 9th grade for Caitlin next year. I have not accomplished much, lol.
Drama is really heating up now, even though the show is still 2 months away. It takes up a lot of time, but both of them really love it, and it covers their Arts credit for high school. We continue to walk at least 3 days a week to be sure to get our PE credit, and we are doing a Health course in may, only 8 hours, but it is a great class.
This is my absolute most favorite time of year, here in Florida. It is warm, but not too warm, and being outside is not uncomfortable. No bugs, no snakes, well mostly no snakes. We did see a Water Moccasin sunning itself on a big log, but we were nowhere near it. We used to do outdoor homeschooling all the time. Then, when my son hit is Junior and Senior year, it just became almost impossible with the amount of time needed to do his school work. He is a Senior this year, but has a much better control of his time spent on classes, plus he needs volunteer hours. Even though we volunteer all the time, I often forget to get signatures, so it doesn't really help. Take that into consideration if you are logging volunteer hours. Get the forms signed. Anyway he is volunteering every other Thursday. So, Caitlin and I get to explore some of our local springs while we wait for him to finish. So many things to see and learn about. I have missed our Outdoor Homeschooling days. So peaceful and relaxing. We always try to learn something new, either about the spring we are visiting, things that go on there, such as diving, wildlife, or plants. This week we are just going to the springs for fun, no school, just fun. Can't wait. When we get towards the end of the school year, I am plenty ready to relax, lol.
I have moved on to step 3 of planning our homeschool graduation. This morning I ordered his cap and gown, in the school colors he chose. I used this website. Our long distance invites have been sent out, and a general event page has been created on FB. Today, or tomorrow I will work on the rest of the invites that need to be mailed. The others will be hand delivered. If I don't complete it this week, next week I hope to have the ceremony program created.
Everything is happening so fast now. I also applied for the FAFSA, and started gathering what he needs to apply to college. I created his wood burned money/gift box, I will share that next week, as it needs to be stained. I also found a huge, heavy lovely glass mug, at the dollar tree, and am going to etch something funny on it, and have it for people to put coins or one dollar bills in. I should have that done next week, also.
If you would like me to create a wood burned keepsake box for your graduate, leave me a comment, or visit my Etsy shop to see the one created for my son, and place a custom order there.
After researching many catering websites, we have decided to buy a warmer, and do hot dogs, and a couple of salads for food. It is just so much more frugal to do that way.
It has been about a month since I last posted, and that is about right for the next step. While we are still undecided on what to do with food, want to keep it affordable, but not where we are spending the whole day cooking.
So, step 2 is doing the invitations. We decided to do our own pictures, and create the invitations. How much more homeschooled is that? DJ and his girlfriend had a ball taking the pics, and then choosing which ones they liked best. Of course I had the last say. I let him pick one, and me pick one. We did them on card stock, instead of photo paper, because it was more affordable, and I am not real sure people keep them anyways. We ordered 40 invites, with envelopes, and it only cost 33 dollars with shipping. Since we are frugal, we will have a FB invite for family and friends who don't need, or want an actual invitation. That was also created, but no invites sent yet. DJ did his invites in his school colors, royal blue, and silver, the red is just the tablecloth on my dining room table. We put RSVP info on the back. Since our church is a huge part of our family, and where the ceremony will be, we will post one invite there, and it will be in the announcements. Easy peasy this step was.
Next step is to create a program for the ceremony. I will share that when it is done. Plus, I have his wooden box for cards, and money, that I need to draw his theme on and wood burn. Again, I hope that will be soon. I probably will order his cap and gown soon, just so I am sure to get it in time. We also have to book the pavilion at the springs, so there is no mad dash to get one.