Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weekly Highlights ~ New Curriculum, Pool Time and Five of My Favorite Summer Reads

May 19 - 26, 2013

This week we researched (a little more) for things we'd like to do on our vacation to the Smoky Mountains. We leave next week! We also sampled a few pages in our new curriculum for the coming year. Since warm weather finally decided to appear and  the pool isn't ice cold anymore- we spent the week week enjoying the sunshine in our backyard and splashing in the water, too.

Jonathan really likes Reading Eggs....and dirt. His laid back position playing Reading Eggs sent me into silent hysterics.  I just had to snap a few pictures. If you'll notice his pants are covered in red clay. That's because he's been busy making pottery pieces and displaying them rather creatively, too ~ in an upturned leg of our water table.
Jonathan was on a roll this week. He wanted me to take a picture of this gun and sun he drew, too. He thought it was pretty cool because they rhyme.
And here's a picture from our neighborhood pool. Jonathan learned all about a pool keeper's job. The other two enjoyed their swim time. I fondly remember a four or five year old Ryan following around the pool guy and finding out all about his job a few short years ago, too....
It was so nice having the pool to ourselves this week. ~ Now that school is out, it's staying pretty crowded.
Our friends at Homegrown Learners are big fans of Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons. We've decided to veer away from the Language Arts curriculum (BJUP) we've used for years. It's a great curriculum, but it takes up a lot of our time. I'm interested to see how this new approach works out.

I'm still undecided on a Spelling curriculum. I may stick with BJUP or I might switch to All About Spelling. We reviewed Level 1 with PAL last fall. We liked it a lot, and it is a solid program, too. Decisions.

Saxon Math is something we've used since Kindergarten and will most likely stick with it through highschool. Now that Caraline is in Saxon 5/4, we can take advantage of the DIVE Cd-Rom!
(Below is a link from where we purchased it if you've never heard of DIVE before.)
344542: Saxon Math 54, 2nd Edition DIVE CD-Rom Saxon Math 54, 2nd Edition DIVE CD-Rom
The day DIVE came in the mail Caraline sat down to try out the very first lesson. The next day she completed the second lesson, (remember this is her "summer break") and so far it's a hit!

I did search for a second edition, hardcover book. I have three little ones, and I've heard that the new edition just doesn't stand up to wear and tear like the older one. I found the full homeschool set used for $8 -  two of the tests are missing, but for $8 it won't be a big deal to make up two of my own tests.

One of our best decisions this week: we filled the sandbox with fresh sand. The kids have had a ball playing for hours in the sandbox. And yes, I have found sand in the house, too -- but it's totally worth it!
 And this is just too cute to not share. This is our two year old Boston Terrier, Betsy. I just LOVE her little face!

~ I'm eating! Over the past several weeks I've lost a total of 12 lbs. (eight of it in the first week and a half  and four more by the end of the second week, maybe the beginning of the third) but I seem to be staying steady at this new weight. We bought an ice chest to take with us to the mountains. This way, I'll be able to carry along specific sandwich meat and a few other things that I am confident eating. I never knew how tough and exhausting food allergies could be. I know a lot of friends and little ones children with allergies, but I never truly understood... until now. I'm praying for those friends and also for a few close relatives and friends with serious health issues, too.

I had lunch this week with a special friend, too. It was so good to catch up with her and talk about our homeschool plans and just life in general. I really admire this sweet lady and I'm thankful for our friendship.

I started picking up other old "friends" this week, too. These are books that I read each summer to remind me of my purpose in homeschooling and to refresh my soul.

I hope you've had a good week, too. Do you have a vacation planned for this summer? What are your favorite books to read over your summer break? 

I will leave you with this: 
I'm posting on 6/6 which happens to be the 69th anniversary of D-Day. Here's a video of Ronald Regan's speech 29 years ago and one more from him regarding our heroes and our freedom. I am so thankful my husband shared these inspiring and moving words with me tonight.

We are linking our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners' Collage Friday and Weird,Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up:
Homegrown Learners


*This post contains affiliate links to products we use and love.


  1. You all have such a great rhythm to your schooling! I hope we can get there this fall. I remember Ryan following around the pool guys, too. :)

    1. I haven't hit a great rhythm yet, Lara -- and my kids are 11 and 8! Give yourself time! ha! ;-)

    2. I still don't feel like we've hit a good rhythm... I try to just take our days moment by moment.

    3. And Lara, We need to get Mr. T and Mr. F over to our pool so that they can follow in their friends' footsteps =) We miss you guys!

  2. Hope -- your homeschool is so wonderful. The kids get the best from you because you research what works for THEM. I so admire that. I am glad we had a chance to finally get together sans children and talk school and other things, too.

    Praying for your allergies and that you'll find a new normal with all of this.

    Hugs, my friend!

    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Mary. We've been eagerly anticipating this day; your music appreciation curriculum is being released. I know it is going to be a huge blessing to the homeschooling community. You are a gifted teacher =) I'm glad I got to witness your special talent first hand.


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