Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Whirlwind Year In Review

It's been a WHIRLWIND of a year!!!

It all started in JANUARY...

We moved and took my oldest daughter out of Public school 10th grade and enrolled her into HOMESCHOOL. We joined our Umbrella School, notified the state and enrolled her in COMMUNITY COLLEGE full time. Also, she finished up some of her courses through online school.

Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly were moved to a Private Christian school that used Abeka curriculum.

MAY bought summer and we graduated my older daughter STAR CHASER from homeschool and she succussfully signed up to play Lacrosse at her Community College and was only 30 credits away from her 2 year degree.

JUNE we decided to homeschool Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer. I ordered their curriculum, joined more sites and to research curriculum.

JULY Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer started homeschool for 4th, 7th grade year and big sister, STAR CHASER helped administer their curriculum with Mom and Dad.

SEPTEMBER we realized Tiger Lilly should be moved up to 8th Grade and we started getting into our groove.

NOVEMBER Tiger Lilly and I found out about CLEP testing and prep and decided to pursue that for her high school curriculum.

DECEMBER we finished 103 of our boxed curriculum. We love it and will be using it next year since we all know it well.

Friday, December 6, 2013

This WEEK Flew By! Our 100 Days Of School.

You ever have one of those weeks where everything goes well?



I think so.

My 7th GRADER, Tiger Lilly

Well I kicked her learning up a notch and we made some changes going into 3rd Quarter.

Hours of school a day: 6.5 hrs now (with 2-30 min breaks)

Japanese: Finished up Japanese for the year
World History: Finished up for the year
Art Of Argument: Starting that after the holiday break
Humanities: Starting after the holiday
Time4Writing: Starting after the holiday
SOS English Lit and American Lit: Starting after the holiday
Java: Starting in Spring with

CLEP Test Review: Testing planned for over the summer
     Using and SpeedyPrep for
      English Composition CLEP
      Analyzing Lit CLEP
      English Lit CLEP
      American Lit CLEP
      Humanities CLEP

Core Courses Unchanged:

Algebra 1 - Abeka DVD
Algebra 1 (Lab) - Teaching Textbooks
Geometry - Thinkwell with Holt book
Geometry (Lab) - Teaching Textbooks
Earth Science - Abeka DVD
English - Abeka DVD, Analytical Grammar, Sequential Spelling
Game Design 1 & 2 - Youth Digital
Speed Reading - ACE software

SPEED RACER, 4th Grade

He is hitting all A's and B's now. With the exception of Spelling, ugh!

Hours of school a day: 3hrs with 2-15 min breaks

I've added Spanish to his day.

Classes that stayed the same: Core subjects are Abeka DVD/Streaming with books

Arithmetic (Abeka DVD, and Teaching Textbooks)
Language Arts
Penmenship (Cursive writing)
Spanish (I can read and speak in Spanish - book with dvd, and workbooks)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Meal Planning & Organizing for a Busy Working Mom

Yes, I have to admit, working outside the home has some benefits and drawbacks.

The benefit is, I get out of the house, and I get paid for it. The drawback is, I have to do everything I'd have to do for my family but in a shorter, MUCH shorter period of time. And when you throw homeschooling in there, you have the recipe for a hot mess!

Time seems to slip through my fingers. secret weapon is...organization.


Oh, back in the day when I had a much smaller family and my husband worked from home, we didn't have much of a need for large dinners. We ate badly also. Now with my Hubs and I getting older, we have to eat better.

Here's my rundown of how to have dinner prepared for your family when you have little time to prepare it.

1) Buy meats in bulk.
2) Buy frozen veggies
3) Season bulk meat, separate into portions that satisfy your family size, place those season pieces in plastic freezer bags. If you want to get fancy you can lable the days on the bags.
4) Place a small frozen bag of veggies, peppers, seasonings, even your rice or potato wedges in the bags.
5) Sunday nights take out the bags for the days of the week you plan on making dinner. Put them in the freezer to thaw.
6) For Monday night dinner, make enough on Sunday night dinner to have leftovers.
7) Tue, Wed & Thursday, either cook the contents of your dinner bags (packed with seasoned meats, rice or potato mixes, peppers and veggies) in either a crockpot (place in there in the am), an oven or on top of the stove. *Note* if you want a marinade make sure you place it in the bag with the meat either as you are freezing it or thawing it.

Viola' you look like an amazing mom with dinner on the table after a hard day of work, but with very little effort.


Well this is the one place where I get a little less type 'A' because I just can't go stir crazy over it. But the kids have a chore chart. They follow it ... most times. Must do's are all the rooms on the first floor. So when I first come home or if someone pops over, the house isn't a complete mess.

- Clean common areas daily. Assign a kid or even dad the kitchen every night.
- Have a hiding spot for excess clothes and other items
- Do a full family cleaning day/morning on Saturdays where you take the clothes, items etc out of teh hiding place for excess, deep clean bathrooms, and bedrooms.


Yeah, well dinner's on the table, now we are talking about school. As a working mom, I realized I had to keep things simple for me and the kids. Gosh I'd love to sit down and create these elaborate educational plans for my kids, but I don't have the time.

School work - Find programs that are interactive, require little administering by teacher, but allows teacher control of the materials. This year we used a boxed set. It's working out wonderfully for us, although I've seen many rants about it online, it fit our home perfectly. And where I adjusted I've gotten similar tools that were computer based.

Work boxes - Yes, they work for older students. I love the Workbox system by Sue Patrick. It even works with my 7th grader (soon to be skipped to 9th grade work next year).

Efficient - Timers are the answer. I time the kids breaks and homework time. It keeps us on track and now we have less time sucking up with overly long breaks and long work days.