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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Daily Blog Themes for Melissa's Homeschool in 2020

Unfortunately, I caught a cold so I have been knocked out of commission for 3 days.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  In my effort to revamp this blog I have set up some themes for daily blog posts.  This does not mean I will post every day, as that is not probably going to happen.  But, I hope to do at least 3 a week.  I will do our updates in those posts as needed, as my evaluator reads this blog.  I will also be doing a post on goals for this blog for 2020.  There won't be a whole lot, but it is good to have goals.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

American Government and Civics

Friday starts our Winter Break and we are very much in need of that.  We have had a great school year so far, but are definitely ready for a break.  We take an extended break until January 6th.

When I did the American Government with DJ he loved watching the debates and all the discussion that went with it.  Caitlin, however, hates it.  She will watch but is not retaining much because she is bored.  So, I have switched it up for her a little bit.  I found, Founding Principles:  American Government, on PBS.  We just finished up the videos today.  They are short and easy to follow.   I will look for other topics on there after we come back from break. 

We are also working our way through the Bill of Rights, and the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.  We finished up with 7 today.  There has been some interesting discussion on some of the more controversial topics.  She writes each amendment in her notebook and then has to find Youtube videos to watch.  For some of them, I have chosen to have her read books.  Like for the 6th Amendment, she read, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent.  It was a short and easy read and she can never read too much.  I will be reading it this week, myself.  I don't really care what politic side they choose, my most important goal with this class is to make her aware of how important it is that every American vote. Not only is it our right, but it is also our responsibility as citizens.   My oldest child has already voted in several elections, so my goal was met with him.  How do you teach American Government and Civics?

This post contains affiliate links. 
If you would like to visit my Health Coaching blog, click here.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Whimsy on Wednesday: Winter Fairy Garden

We took an old broken wheelbarrow filled it with dirt and created a lovely Winter Fairy Garden.  This is still not done.  It sits on kind of a slant so I want the lower end to be a pond for ice skaters, and I need to find fake snow that won't harm my plants.  Maybe cotton balls will work.  I slowly add new plants as I find them.  Trader Joe's has tiny plants at various times of the year, and I can find some at Walmart.  The solar-powered fairy lights are the same ones as the ones below.  You get 2 of them, so the second set is on our front porch.  I will probably be buying more of these.  I just love them.  This can be an expensive hobby, but with patience and creativity, it can be affordable and fun.  We change it out for different seasons.  This one will stay until Spring when it is time to decorate for Easter. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Visit my other blog Health Buddy Melissa

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Homeschool Tips on Tuesday

Now that I only have one child left to homeschool, and she is 15, I don't have a whole lot to blog about for her anymore.  She doesn't care for field trips, or letting me take cute pics anymore, so I guess I will just blog about other topics.  I don't want this blog to go away after all.  It can still be useful to so many people.

So my first, and most important tip is to find out what the Homeschool Laws are in your state.  Believe it or not, they are all quite different.  Some have very few to almost no laws governing homeschoolers while others are quite strict.  After you do that you can start to decide on what and how you are going to teach it.  Here in FL, our laws are not real strict giving homeschoolers lots of freedom to teach what and how they want.  It is a great state for Unschoolers.

Watch each Tuesday for new homeschool tips.  If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I will respond.  If you spam me I will block.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Puppy and Kitten Paw Advent Calendar Nativity

The kids and I have been doing an Advent Calendar for as many years as I can remember.  We have done many different fun and interesting designs.  This year I found at a consignment store this cute Nativity with a puppy and kitten.  I had a ton of shells, so I decided to paint them with the countdown numbers and paw prints.  They lead to the Nativity.  This is a big project so I needed the whole length of the table for it.  Caitlin really thought this was a cute idea.

Do you do an Advent, or countdown to Christmas?

Monday, December 2, 2019

End of First Quarter Grade 10 Caitlin

The Friday before Thanksgiving was our last day of the first quarter.  Overall I am impressed with the progress Caitlin has made so far.  She passed her big Science test with 70%, which doesn't sound real great, but she had to take notes and study something she has never really had to do before.  I am very pleased with that grade and will just build on better skills.  She has completed 35% of the Algebra 1 A on Aleks, with the goal of being done with it by the end of January so she can move onto Algebra 1B.  We are picking up the number of hours for Math and Language Arts from 3 hours to 5 hours.  All the other classes will stay at 3 hours.  She will begin FLVS in probably February, or March for her Driving Classes, so she can get her permit in May. Our last day before Christmas Break will be December 19th.  We take an extended Christmas break because we need it. 

I will be unable to post for Fitness Friday this week, as we have shopping and wrapping to do.  But, I have started a Plank Challenge on my Health Buddy Melissa blog.  Join in with the kids if you would like to get some easy fitness this month.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Fitness Friday: Spell Your Name Fun Homeschool PE

I found this fun spell your name Fitness graphic on Pinterest.  I thought it would be a fun, affordable way to add PE to homeschool classes.  The original graphic is from here.    I think this would be fun for adults too, especially just starting out and need an easy, affordable way to start exercising. 

My other blog:  Health Buddy Melissa 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Make it Monday: Moon Phases Cookies

I found the original idea for this on Bloglovin.  I thought these were so super cute and easy.  I didn't want to use her image, though, so I found a Youtube video. Check out the one on Bloglovin too, and see how she did it.  It is different than the video.   My daughter does not like chocolate, so if we do this they will look a little different, lol.  Make it Monday!

Friday is the last day of our first quarter.  That went fast.  Yes, I say that every year. 

Visit my other blog Health Buddy Melissa

Monday, November 11, 2019

American Government: Impeachment

As we continue with American Government studies, and with Impeachment a hot topic right now, this week for History we will be focusing on Impeachment.  The book below is a Citizen's Guide to the Impeachment Process.  There is also this resource, which is free.  I found some short, but good videos on Youtube as well.  We also will be watching the Joe Biden Town Hall, as well as recording the public impeachment hearings to watch next week.  Apparently, she has already been reading up on Impeachment, which surprised me because she says she hates History. 

She is still studying for a big Oceanography test next week.  I have added Language Arts from EP Homeschool to her curriculum.  It is laid out nicely, and if I am not available to help her she can just work through the days.  We will still do Quill, and independent reading as well.

There is no change to Math.  Next week will be the end of the first grading period. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Throwback Thursday: A New Adventure For Me Updated

Last year on December 4th, I launched my new Wordpress Health Coaching blog, Health Buddy Melissa.  I gave myself all of 2019 to learn all about starting a coaching business.  My blog has grown so much, and I have learned so much.  I am still waiting for my first coaching client, but there are so many other ways to make money with a blog.  I have not upgraded yet, my goal is the end of this year, to start making money in other ways.  If you would like to work with a Health Coach to be the healthiest and happiest you can be, visit and check out my available plans page.  If you would just like to check it out and see how much it has grown click here.  To see my original post, click here

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Whimsy on Wednesday: DIY Thanksgiving Crafts for Kid's Table

We don't have enough family here to worry about a kid's table.  But, when I was a kid there was and some of these would have been super fun at the kid's table when I was a kid.

Caitlin is studying for a big Oceanography test, which she will take right before Thanksgiving break.  I am adding Language Arts on EP Highschool to our Quil, and editing assignments.  I am really pushing Language Arts with her this year.  Her least favorite, and by far the class that needs the most work.  Our first quarter also ends when Thanksgiving break starts.

You can visit my other blog at

Monday, November 4, 2019

Crochet Soap Cozy for OCC or Other Charity

Here come the holidays, ready or not.  Our church does OCC every year.  At the last minute, I decided to use up unused yarn from other projects to make soap covers.  I like the soap covers because the soap goes right in, and frees up space in the box.  My husband travelled a lot for work this year so I have 48 bars of smaller soaps.  So my goal is to make 24 soap covers with 2 bars per cover.  I have 10 more to go.  I can't find the pattern I have been using, but you can use this one.  Next month I will try making pillowcase dolls for next year.  I don't sew, so we will see how that goes. See one of my finished covers below.  These soap covers or cozies as some people call them are fast and easy, and a great service project for youth.  You can donate these to any charity you love.  I do recommend you add a bar of soap to the cozy before donating.

This week we move on to the 3rd Amendment and I will post sources for that later in the week.  All other classes are progressing along.  She will be studying for a huge Science exam now until test day which is the Friday before Thanksgiving.  Her knee is still hurting at times, so she is only walking twice a week right now.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

11 Easy DIY No Carve Pumpkins and Other Fall Foliage Home Decor

This video has some ideas that I really love, and not just for Halloween.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, some of these can be table decor for that holiday too.  I love the Mums table pieces, especially.  Some of this stuff you can get right at the Dollar Tree.  I love the Dollar Tree.  Starting in November I will be sharing some posts for Operation Christmas Child projects that I am working on.  If they are simple enough, our church will include our youth in making them for next year's campaign.  If you don't support OCC, that is ok a lot of these projects can be donated to any charity group you support.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Check out my other blog at,

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween Week 100 DIY Costume Ideas

It is Halloween week, already.  If you are creative, short on cash, or just like to make your own costume, check out the video.  She has some really cute and clever ideas.  Modify for the age of your child.  Below the video find an assortment of masks to purchase.  It is a great deal.  Store them away for Halloween's to come.  What is your kiddo going to be for Halloween?  Mine has moved away from cute and is into scary.  So she is a Zombie Bride or something of that nature. All week I will be sharing Halloween themed activities, and ideas.  We get our pumpkins tomorrow and have some really cute ideas for carving this year.

This post may contain affiliate links.

My other blog

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Whimsy Wednesday: Halloween Minute to Win It Games

We are kind of big game fans in this house.  Well, at least 3 out of 4 of us are, lol.  When we were still in 4H each week the kids would play a new Minute to Win It game as a sort of Ice Breaker.  The kids really loved these games and it really helped them learn teamwork and getting to know each other.  Click the link to go to the source of the games, let me know which ones you tried and if you loved them or not.  The image is from the source link.

Save 50% on select product(s) with promo code 50FAMILY50 on

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Why We do Halloween?

From 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?

Halloween, sometimes called All Hallows Eve, Night of the Dead, and other creepy names. But why do we really celebrate Halloween? Why, did we start Halloween? Some cultures do you use Halloween, as a celebration of the dark side. For the most part, Halloween is a fun celebration, to dress up and be someone else for a night.

Halloween started many years ago, in other countries. These other countries celebrated the end of Summer and the season of the Sun. They prepared for a season of cold, and long nights. October 31st was the day they chose to hold their festival, sometimes referred to as the Fall Festival or Harvest.

When settlers came to America, they brought their holiday customs with them. Many of the settlers came from different countries. Of course, all the customs have been joined and we have our own Halloween celebration. The most important symbol of Halloween is the Pumpkin.

The early settlers used to cut out other fruits and vegetables, and decorate them. The people of Ireland cut out and decorated Turnips. They hollowed out the Turnip and put a candle on the inside. When the Irish came to America they used big, round, orange Pumpkins, and now we have our famous Jack-O-Lantern.

Years ago, in other countries, the poor would beg for food. They were called souls, and people would give them soul cakes. The beggars would then promise that they would remember the dead.

Here, today in America children dress in silly, funny, and scary costumes and go Trick Or Treating. The receive candy, and small trinkets in their basket or pumpkin of choice.

Halloween has become a huge profit maker for American businesses, and according to early polls, people have spent more money on Halloween this year, than any other year. Some companies base their whole company on Halloween and are actually closed for the rest of the year. You can find almost any costume imaginable, now today. From celebrities to superheroes, princesses, politicians, whatever you could think of. It has become one night of fun, a night to get away from the stress of the real world and live in a fantasy. To be someone else for one night, isn't that something everyone wants?

Please remember your Halloween safety rules:

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
Wear a light on your suit, or carry a flashlight
Walk on walkways, not the street if possible
Go slow, kids run out in the street without thinking
Never eat any candy, before it has been thoroughly inspected by an adult
Have fun, isn't that the most important one

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oceanography: Videos to Learn About Tides, Currents and Waves

Today Caitlin took a break from all the Oceanography reading to watch some videos about the topics she is working on.  The Tide video was especially useful.  Tides are complicated and can be hard to understand.  The lady that explains the waves is somewhat hard to understand due to her accent, but her drawings are self-explanatory and helpful.  She then continued on with the lessons on Easy Peasy Homeschool High School.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Health Buddy Melissa

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Halloween Spider Dip Bowl

With Halloween on the way, I will be sharing lots of fun things for kids to do in an educational way.  I think cooking is a great way to learn.  I will be having Caitlin make this as we get closer to Halloween, on a Sunday when we do fun foods for Football Sunday.  I think she will have a lot of fun making this and it is super easy.  Sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and squash will be used to enjoy the dip.  This video is for homemade dough.  You can buy store-bought dough and it should still work just as good.  Making your own will help with Math skills, and you will know exactly what is in it.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fitness Friday: Walk at Home

This is a new series for this blog.  Now that my kids are teens, exercise and eating right have gone out the window to a degree.  My son, especially who is now in college, and working is struggling with a healthy diet and finding time to exercise.  I am not sure I can convince him to concentrate more on this, but I can try.

As for my 15-year-old, I still have some control over what she eats, and whether she exercises or not.  She just finished recuperating from an injured knee, so she has lost some muscle strength.  We are slowly getting back into daily walking.  I also would like her to do muscle strength and flexibility training.  Because I do not want to re-aggravate the injury progress must be slow, but steady.  Lucky for her I am a nurse and a Certified Health Coach.  The short 15-minute  walking video below is the one I started with back in January to build my own stamina and strength.  She also is starting with this video. It is a beginner video, but you will walk 1 mile in 15-minutes.  I like Leslie Sansone, because she uses four easy, basic steps that are not hard or complicated to learn.   As much as I love walking outside, we just don't get that 15-minute mile in.  It is more of a nice leisure nature walk, which I love them too.  The video is on Youtube, but if you would rather purchase the DVD, see the link below.  The Youtube video does have ads.  I do use affiliate links for some items.

If you would like to visit my Health Coach blog, click here.  Please note I am not giving medical advice.  If your doctor has advised you not to exercise then please follow that advice.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Around the World in 80 Days

This is a post for a friend who is looking for projects to go with the book.  I thought I had some resources on this blog, already, but apparently, I do not.  A lot of the resources out there are for younger kids but can be easily adapted for older kids.  I personally would do more with the culture of each place visited through research, writing and art projects.  I may actually use this for Caitlin for World History next year. Instead of making a passport, due to age, I may just have her get a passport.  Another thing I would do, for older kids, is to have them cook traditional food from each place visited.  There is a link to purchase the book below if you need it. Speaking of History, this week we start the 2nd Amendment.  This is a huge topic and we will spend several weeks on it.  I will post links for this topic later this week.  A lot of it will be video, discussions and then end with a writing assignment.  There is a debate coming up on the 15th, so that will be on our radar as well.  Caitlin is finally walking, again, so we are back to walking for PE.

These are all free resources, except for 1, and that is only $1.25.  The book is not free and is an affiliate link.  Some of these have extensive activities available and may take some time to weed through.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Twitter Share Tuesday

Come join in.  You can use any blog post, from any platform you blog on.  No offensive, or violent content, please.  It does not have to be homeschool related.  See the rules below, and post your link.

1.  Post a blog post, not your whole blog, one post you would like others to share.  Share it in the comments.  If you share a blog post you must share the other blog posts in the comments.

2.  Along with your link to your blog post, share the link to your Twitter account where you will be sharing other blog posts to.

3.  Tweet all the blog posts shared in the comments.  Come back tomorrow to be sure you got them all.

4.  This post is active until midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time.

5.  If you miss this week, come back next Tuesday to try again.

6.  Have fun!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Johnny Appleseed Day

Sept 26th is Johnny Appleseed Day.  When my kids were younger we used to have so much fun learning about Johnny Appleseed.  The keywords Johnny Appleseed were one of my most popular search terms for this blog.  Today, for Throwback Thursday, I am sharing a page of older posts on the topic of Johnny Appleseed.  Enjoy!

Johnny Appleseed

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Twitter Share Tuesday

This is a new feature for this blog and will repeat every Tuesday.  The rules are simple and it is a great way to increase exposure for your blog.  Please abide by the rules, and do not spam me in the comments. 

1.  Post a blog post, not your whole blog, one post you would like others to share.  Share it in the comments.  If you share a blog post you must share the other blog posts in the comments.

2.  Along with your link to your blog post, share the link to your Twitter account where you will be sharing other blog posts to.

3.  Tweet all the blog posts shared in the comments.  Come back tomorrow to be sure you got them all.

4.  This post is active until midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time.

5.  If you miss this week, come back next Tuesday to try again.

6.  Have fun!

Monday, September 23, 2019

The First Amendment, High School, Promote Your Blog or Business

Today, we watched a video on Youtube about Civics 101.  It was about 40 minutes, and I shared it in a previous post.  It was concise and to the point which I like especially for High School.  After watching it, and some discussion, I had Caitlin write out the 10 Amendments that make up the Bill of Rights.  Next Monday we will focus on the First Amendment.  All of my posts may contain affiliate links.

The First Amendment affords us a lot of rights.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition.  But what do all of these mean, and how do they play into society?  That is what we will be focusing on next week.  There is a short video below, and then a book you might also be interested in.  This blog is not about right or left, secular or religious.  It is about information, facts and yes even opinions.  Which brings me to the image I shared.  That is actually a painting I did.  I am a Christian, so painting Santa Claus saying Happy Holidays can be a very hot topic of conversation, and free speech, plus the freedom of religion.  Caitlin will have to pick one of the rights covered in the First Amendment and make an argument for it, or against it, and why.   I am going into depth with her much more than I did with DJ.  Because, she doesn't tend to speak up, give an opinion, or use her voice.  I am hoping these exercises will be very good for her.  My other child is very good at arguing, lol.

I have focused so much this year on starting an online Health Coaching business, plus getting ready to do some Kidney Awareness classes, that this blog has gotten neglected.  Very neglected.  I am hoping to change that by increasing readership and engagement.  I will be starting a whole host of fun promoting, and link sharing posts for other bloggers, or small business owners. Other posts will be on fun topics for you to add your ideas to and get them shared.   There will be no rules as to what blogging platform, or where you sell.  The only rule is that you have to share other items or posts.  The first one will start tomorrow with a Twitter share.  If you are interested to be sure and follow this blog and check back in tomorrow.  I haven't decided yet for the other days, and it probably won't be every day.  I hope to see you tomorrow for the Twitter blog post share.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Guest Post from Mighty Moms

Hi everyone!  I hope you are having an amazing Thursday.  Emily from Mighty Moms reached out to me to do a guest blog post on finances for teens and young adults.  I read the article and she offers some great advice.  Be sure and check out her website, too. 

A Head Start – Financial Tips for Teens and Young Adults
From first part-time jobs to college graduations, your teens and twenties offer plenty of moments of financial transition. These milestones aren’t just a sign you’re growing into an adult; they’re also a great opportunity to begin learning how to manage your money like one. Here are a few tips for the young or soon-to-be adult looking to give themselves a financial head start.
Track Your Spending and Start a Budget
It’s enormously difficult to make changes before you know what, exactly, you’re changing. For a few weeks, just keep track of where and how you spend your money. You can do this in a budget app, spreadsheet, or even just an old-school notebook.
Whichever method you use, make sure to note the date, total, and location of everything you spend. You can also make a few notes to give yourself an idea of how you might categorize that spending once you’ve reached that point. For example, next to the line tracking filling up your gas tank, you might note, “Car,” and next to a ticket to a movie, you might note, “Entertainment.”

Once you have a sense of how you spend your money, you can start trying to build a budget. Set aside a specific amount each month into your spending categories, and commit to keeping your spending within those limits. Track every purchase, and check in throughout the month to see how you’re doing. It will take practice, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail it right away.
Consider Future Expenses
Generally speaking, the younger you are, the fewer expenses you have. If you still live with your parents, your room and board are likely covered, leaving you with plenty of income. Even if you’re out of the house, you may still be years away from childcare costs, medical expenses, mortgage payments, and other future expenses.
Here are a few down-the-road items it’s wise to start saving for early:
  • Retirement – The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better a position you’ll be in once that stage rolls around. Putting 5 percent of each paycheck into an IRA or company retirement fund will set you up for financial stability in your golden years.

  • House Payments If you think you may want to own property, start saving for a down payment earlier, rather than later. When it comes time to buy, you’ll want to have enough saved up for a 20 percent down payment. Less than that, and you’ll see costly mortgage insurance added onto your regular mortgage payment.

  • Car Costs – Just like with a house, the more money you set aside for car costs, the more power you’ll have when it comes to purchasing a car. However, keep in mind that car payments aren’t the only cost associated with driving. You’ll also need to save for repairs, gas, and insurance. Auto insurance can be one of your higher expenses, particularly depending on your age and gender. Where you live and the type of car you drive can also impact how much your insurance costs, so it's best to maintain a good driving record and to even take defensive driving courses if you want to work toward lower payments.
Make Useful Goals
Once you have a sense of your budget and what kind of expenses you can expect in the future, you can start making goals. However, it’s important to make goals that are clear and detailed. A goal like “I want to save for a house” is fine, but “I want to put away at least $200 a month so that in 10 years, I’ll have at least $24,000 to go toward my down payment” is better.
Whatever goals you decide to focus on, create a clear plan for how to achieve them and stick to it. Do this, and you’ll be ready to take on the future.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Monday, September 16, 2019

Democratic Primary Debate

We are still dealing with an injured knee.  I went and got her some crutches which has made her more mobile.  Today, for History class we watched the Democratic Primary Debate from the other night.  Now she is following all candidates, including President Trump on Facebook and must look at her feed at least once a week to see what each one is saying on social media.  She is a fan of Pete Buttiegeg since Tulsi Gabbard did not make it to the debate stage.  I made the short slideshow below to help her remember the process.  It is short and sweet and there is so much more to learn about the process.  You can watch it too!  Let me know what you think.  I am very new to creating slideshows, but slowly getting better, and faster.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Week 2 of School and an Injured Knee

Well Caitlin didn't even make it through 1 week of school without an issue.  Last Wednesday she twisted her knee at church and is still not able to walk on it.  Thankfully I had a Quad Cane here that I picked up at a garage sale, just because.  She is not so greatly hobbling around on that.  The swelling has gone down significantly to almost normal, and she is wearing a knee and calf brace.  This has been a very humbling experience for her.  Learning how it feels to be helpless and need others for things you would normally do yourself.  I am doing PT with her, and hopefully, by next week she will be walking a little bit, partial weight-bearing at least.  She is still doing school, however, just no morning walks and no real chores.  Which brings me to my other life lesson she has learned, exercise is very important to ensure your body maintains strength.  She does not like exercise and complains terribly.  Maybe this will show her how important it is.

Today was our first day of grade 10 History.  We are studying Civics and Government, and the election process.  This falls in perfectly with the 2020 elections which is why I did it this way.  Today, we watched the top 4 candidates at their Climate Change town halls from last week.  I explained to Caitlin how the people bringing in the most donated money are the top candidates.  We watched Buttiegeg, Warren, Sanders, and Biden.  She has to follow all of the 10 candidates on Facebook, that made it to the end of September debates.  We do a lot of discussing and will learn more about the process as we go along.  Since we are doing one class a day we may have to skim some of the topics that come up in the coverage of the primaries.  The flashcards below will help prepare to take the Civics exam.

Tomorrow she will work on her ASL, sign language course.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Tomorrow Is Our First Day of School

We will be starting our first day of grade 10 tomorrow.  We will be trying our new daily schedule, and she will be starting Drama on Wednesday.  So, we have a full week, and I am hoping that Hurricane Dorian continues to track off the coast of Florida.  I hope it stays off the coast, period.  The poor Bahamas have just been hammered by this awful storm.

We will be starting with ASL on VHSG.  This is a free course, and at your own pace.  Right now that is all I can say about it.  The first week is preliminary stuff.  I registered her for FLVS today, so she can take Driver's Ed in January.

While Caitlin does 10th grade stuff, I will be continuing to get my Health Coaching business going, plus taking a Reiki class, and finishing up Integrative Therapies classes.  I am hoping to have at least one client by the end of the year.  Most of this year I have focused on building my following and writing good content blog posts on my Health Buddy Melissa blog.  I finished my first Guided Imagery voice recording for Better Sleep.  I hope to get more done soon.

What are you working on this week?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Preparing for the First Week of Grade 10

One week from tomorrow will be our first day of Grade 10, for Caitlin.  DJ of course has graduated and is now in college.  Caitlin, and I have decided to structure our days a little differently this year.  With me working more, and I am trying to get her to be more of an independent learner, we sat down and figured out a schedule that will work well.  I hope, lol.

Daily Schedule Grade 10:

Wake up:  8 AM
Walk or other exercise if raining:  840 AM to 9 AM
9-Noon-  Lessons for subjects listed below on corresponding day
Noon-1PM-  Lunch
1-3 PM  Drama, Chores, fun stuff, board games, socialization, volunteering, pet grooming, etc.

Monday:  History-  American Civics and Govt
Tuesday:  American Sign Language-  Virtual Home School Group
Wednesday:  Language Arts:  Various sources previously listed for PERT prep
Thursday:  Math:  Algebra 1  Aleks
Friday:  Science-  Oceanography with Lab, Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool High School

Monday, August 19, 2019

American High School Civics

Each Monday, I will try to do a post on either our History, or Language Arts.  Since the Science and Math, are not created by me, there isn't much for me to share about those subjects.

We will be studying American Civics and Government in Grade 10.  I chose this year specifically because next year is an election year.  Just like I did with my son, 4 years ago, we will follow the primaries, debates, and candidates with some hot discussion, and topics.  I can not find the book I used for my son, so I chose the video below.  If you prefer a book, the book below has the same title as the video.  We have not officially started back to school, yet, so I am getting ready.

Did you check out my new Health Coach blog, yet?  Click here, if interested. I am doing a live group session on, Better Sleep, in September, on my Health Coach blog. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Waiting for the New School Year

Well we had our evaluation last week, and all went well.  Caitlin now moves on to grade 10.  We have been discussing how we want our school days to flow, and we have come up with a unique plan, for us anyway.  She will do one class a day, for at least 3 hours a day.  We will start with a 4 day school week, with one day for friends, and socializing.  The second half of each day, will be for chores, PE, reading, etc.  She very much likes this idea, and though I am skeptical I am willing to try.

Since the last 3 years I have with my youngest are most likely going to fly by, I have been contemplating a lot what I want to do when I am an empty nester.  No, I don't want grand babies, and just sitting at home does not really appeal to me.  I also contemplate, as I get older, how much longer bedside nursing will be feasible.  This is one of the reasons I do not return for my RN.  I am 50, and the strain, and stress only gets more demanding.  While it is true, I am healthier now than I was since my daughter was born, I still don't want to kill my body.  So, at the end of last year, I started a Wordpress blog, for Health Coaching.  I finished the Health Coach Certification, Kidney Health Coach Certification, and am now taking Integrative Therapies classes.  I just finished, today, updating all of my available plans.  There is still a lot to learn about having an online coaching business, but the hardest parts are done, I think.  Now, I need some clients.  I will only work with 4 clients at a time, with the exception of the monthly group session plan.  If you would like to check out my new health coaching business, it is called, Health Buddy Melissa.  There are lots of interesting articles there to read, and I add new ones each week.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

9th Grade Homeschool Portfolio for Caitlin

This post will be viewed by our evaluator.  I will be working  on this, and updating it for the next month.  I keep some physical samples to take with us, and she also follows what we are up to on my Facebook page.  You may see affiliate links in this post.

Because it is the easiest, I will start with Math

Caitlin first did the Pre Algebra, on, which is free by the way.  She whizzed through it, and did quite well.  However, when I moved her into Saxon Algebra 1 textbook, she just didn't seem to retain any of the info she had learned.  So, I went to, and that is where we will be for the remainder of her 3 years of High School.  It is not free, 20 dollars per month.   However, it is worth every penny.  I don't have to do anything.  They send me weekly reports, and she is regularly tested on new, and old information.  So, she actually retains it.  I am all in with Aleks.

Today, I am adding the Science section of this portfolio.  When we started grade 9, we started with Apologia Physical Science.  I got it on the Kindle, with Kindle Unlimited for free, so I could not resist.  Unfortunately, Caitlin did not care for it all that much, and we did half a year, for 1/2 credit.  I then rediscovered Easy Peasy High School, and she offers a great Oceanography with Lab.  The lab part is important because it is required in Florida.  We did half of it, marked where we left off, and will finish the second half for grade 10, and the labs.  She only needs 3 Science credits, so there is plenty of time, and no need to rush.  You can purchase the Apologia textbook, on Kindle, below, it isn't free though, and the link for Oceanography is highlighted.  Science is definitely not this child's favorite topic, though she really is talking a lot about the Environment.  So, I might be able to squeeze that in, but she has to do Biology first.

Now it is time to add Language Arts.  I am so glad I keep a written log book, as well as this blog, because I had forgotten about some of the things we covered.  This is actually a requirement in Florida, so it isn't like I thought of it myself.  We started the year off using Virtual Homeschool Group website.  I actually very much like this website.  You can do live lessons, they fill up fast, so get in quick if you like that.  They start enrolling August 1st.  We opted for the at your own pace options.  We did 3 books, with the lessons on this website:  Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  We then watched a very old series based on the book.  It was quite interesting.  The Time Machine, which I did not finish reading.  My son was tasked to read this book with Caitlin.  She can read quite fine, but likes to be read to, so they would alternate, and of course discuss as they went.  Animal Farm was the third book, and there was some quite animated discussions with this book.  That took us half way through the school year.  The second half of the year we concentrated on Grammar, using  There were some writing topics thrown in for good measure, but still an area that needs much work.

She did a beginner French course, that she will receive a 1/2 credit for.  She did not retain much, and didn't show as much interest as she thought she would.  So, for grade 10 she has opted to switch to Sign Language, on Virtual Homeschool Group.  She will need to do 2 years, and she is aware of that.   Of note, I think I will do 4 classes at a time instead of 5, and make up over Summers if we need to.  It is just too long of a day with 5 classes, to do a great job, imo.

History:  We covered American History from the beginning, to World War 2.  I used no official curriculum.  Rather I found a timeline online, and found videos, books, unit studies, and various other resources to make it a little more interesting than just textbooks.  We watched the Hatfields and McCoys on Netflix, which produced a lot of conversation, from both of my children, even the one that is in college.  For Grade 10 we will be covering the elections in a Civics and Government Class.  If you prefer a more traditional type of History, see a few examples below.

Caitlin chose to not do Drama this past year, because she did not like the play choice.  She continued with her 4H group, but sadly that group had it's last year, this year.  She does not feel she will join another group.  In April we started Horseback riding, at Cavalli Farms in Jonesville.  At the end of July, she requested to stop until October, because it is just too hot.  So, she will pick it back up in October, unless she decides to do drama.  Then we will have to discuss if she thinks she can handle both.

For my part I have encouraged much more focus on Writing, Socialization, Attitude, Communication Skills, Home Skills, and Following Directions.  These are the same skills we will work on in the next school year.  In January 2020 I will sign her up to take the online Driver's Ed course, for FLVS, so after she turns 16 she can get her drivers permit.  By grade 11, I fully expect she will be able to take at least one FLVS writing class. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Photography Challenge: Orange

We have one month until our evaluation, and I have to really get going on putting it together.  I don't usually procrastinate like this, so I am feeling lazy.  If you missed the Democratic Primary Debates last week, like we did because NBC is having a fight with DirectTV, they are on Youtube.  We will be watching them there.  It will probably take us a few weeks, because they are like 6 hours long, all together, and well it is Summer Vacation.  After we watch them, Caitlin will have to pick the candidate she likes best, and follow them.  If they get kicked out of the race she will have to pick another. 

This week or photography challenge was for the color orange.  I took the lovely sunset photo, and she took a picture of a freshly picked tomato from our garden.  Next week will be yellow, and if you have been following along, yes these are the colors of the rainbow ROYGBIV.  Come on and join in.  Share your pics in the comments. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Photography Challenge: Red

So, for last week's challenge, we both had to find something red.  I love taking pictures, so I can always think of something.  Caitlin, however, is a little more of a challenge.  I think she is the only teen girl that does not take a million photos a day with her phone.  We had a ton of rain this week, of course because we had family visiting, but it produced some lovely rainbows.  Then one of our resident Cardinals was on the front porch, in the rain, eating, and Caitlin found a ladybug in her room.  So, those are the 3 photos for this week honoring the color, red.  This week will be Orange. 
We are officially on Summer Vacation, and I have to start putting together a portfolio, and making sure I am prepared for next year.  The first Presidential Debates are at the end of June.  So, Caitlin and I will be watching, and discussing those, as part of her Civics and Government Class for grade 10.  Let the fun begin, lol!

Monday, June 3, 2019

10th Grade Language Arts Option

I have actually decided on my choice for 10th grade Language Arts, for Caitlin.  After much thought, it made much sense to me to have her prepare for the PERT, using the standards she would need to know.  The PERT does not really concentrate on her writing abilities, but rather on her ability to edit someone else's writing.  I think that is perfect for her at this point, and time.  Over the Summer she will do a short, one paragraph writing assignment, so that will give her lots of practice.  She did fair, with note taking this year.  Her studying could still use some improving, and techniques besides just looking at something and trying to remember it.  Below you will find the links we will be using for both Reading Comprehension, and Writing (Editing) for grade 10.  She actually reads quite a bit, not classical literature or anything, but stuff she is interested in.  So, I guess I won't quibble with that.  Our 9th grade school year is officially over.  She just has her History final Wednesday. Oh and our photography challenge for this week is the color red.    This one looks particularly good!  This one also was a top pick of mine.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Photography Challenge: Small Backyard Creatures

We actually get lots of creatures in our yard, and over the years we have shared some of them.  It is fun to teach Science right from your own yard.  There are so many topics if you just look, and think about it.  Especially when my kids were young, this was a very easy way to teach Science.  Now that they are older, and one is in college now, I need a more structured Science curriculum.

For this week's challenge, Caitlin and I had to find a small creature in our back yard.  I found some snails, and she found this lizard.  She actually loves lizards, they don't like her taking their picture though.  She is quite good at catching them, and even had some for pets for many years.  Now that she has a cat in her room, that won't work so well. 

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day to all the men and women currently serving in the US Military.  We appreciate you!

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