Curriculum Choices for 2017-2018

This post is embarrassingly late! But better late than never, right?

We are in our 7th week of school and I am encouraged to say we have hit a smooth groove with our schedule. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I feel like I am being torn into a thousand pieces none of which that belong to me (thank you Becky for that awesome analogy at church!), but we are getting things done and I am not loosing by head every day so I am calling that a win!

I will share a more in depth look into our schedule and routine at a later date, but I did make a day in the life video last week that shares glimpses of it. You can Click HERE to watch that.

Not only is the schedule working I believe our curriculum choices are turning out to be very on point as well. Here is what are using this year!

Andrew (grade 9)

AJ is continuing in Classical Conversations Challenge Program and meets once a week with his class and a tutor to go over their work from the week. I like the community and the accountability that it provides.

  • Latin: Henele Latin
  • Science: This year he is researching famous astronomers and their life, theories, laws and contribution to their fields. He is writing reports weekly on what he has learned as well as making labeled diagrams of various theories and laws. For example last week he had to research Kepler and his three laws. He then wrote a paper describing each of  Kepler’s three laws. He is also participating in a Science Fair this year.
  • Debate: This is probably by favorite. He is researching current “hot topics” in current events such as right to life, gun control, women in the military and finding news articles that support both the affirmative and negative position. He then must form his own conclusions on them and be ready to discuss this within class with proofs and sub proofs. The second semester his class will be studying the judicial process and will be participating in a mock trial (in an actual courtroom) after several weeks learning due process.
  • Logic: He is working through two MASSIVE books: Intro to Formal Logic and Intermediate Formal Logic. Again I like that this year he is learning to think for himself not just regurgitate facts.
  • Literature/Writing – He participates in 60 minutes of SSR daily. Using the Lost Tools of Writing he is coming up with a thesis and writing a persuasive essay corresponding with his position. In the second semester he will be focusing on famous short stories and will be creating a short story of his own.
  • Math – We are still loving Teaching Textbooks and he is working on Algebra I this year.
  • Extras – Over the summer he has developed a love music. Piano, drums, guitar, ukulele and even singing. He became and amazing self taught student of piano and has amazed us by what he can place by ear and through a handful of YouTube tutorials. He JUST recently started formal lessons and and thrilled to see him move forward with this passion on his own. (We  never pushed our kids into anything they don’t show interest and/or talent in.)
  • Rube Goldberg- He a few friends are participating in the Rube Goldberg challenge this year as well.
Maddie (Grade 7)

This is Maddie’s first year in the Challenge Program and she is participating in Challenge A.

  • Latin – Henele Latin
  • Science – She is researching and writing a report on topics revolving around biology and natural science each week. Each paper has to have 2-3+ sources, a drawing and a bibliography.
  • Apologetics/Reasoning – She is addressing the topics of thinking and speaking truthfully to help her in her next year of Challenge where she will be studying formal logic and debating.
  • Cartography – She is required to draw 3 maps a day of the region of the world that she is memorizing. At the end of the year she will be able to draw the world (all continents, countries and capitols) from memory.
  • Literature/Writing – She participates in 60 minutes of SSR daily and will be writing 10 persuasive essays based upon a thesis she comes up.
  • Math – She is using Teach Textbooks as well and is in grade 7.
Faith and Michael (grade 4 and 5)
  • English – Rod and Staff, grade 4
  • IEW – US History
  • Spelling – undecided
  • Math – Teaching Textbooks, grade 4 and 5
  • Computer – Typing Instructor Platinum for kids
  • Penmanship (group – more on this later!)
Georgia (grade 2)
  • Math – Math-U-See, Beta
  • Explode the Code books for practice, review and (lets be honest here) busywork!
Ezra (Kindergarten)
Group Studies

 

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Budget Challenge Grocery Haul

I LOVE a good budgeting challenge! Its so amazing how much further we can stretch a dollar when we set our minds to it!

This month I have challenged to spend less than $1000 for our family of 10 for groceries, toiletries and household consumables! The challenge was presented by a YouTube video I saw that said that you CAN keep this amount at $100/person per month! So, I accepted to see how realistic it was! I will be keeping track of ALL my grocery purchases and let you know how I did at the end of October!

Week one

Menu:

  • Leftovers/sandwiches
  • Homemade pizza with salad
  • Grilled chicken with potatoes and veggies
  • Ham and swiss sliders with fruit/nut/yogurt
  • Chicken burrito bowls
  • Fettuccine alfredo with peas and carrots
  • Chili with cornbread

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October is finally here!

Is anyone else (besides me and Cypress over there) geeking out over that fact that its FALL?! Cause I am! Fall is by far my favorite time of year! And I am SO over the 90 degree weather. Here in Illinois we had a couple of record setting days in the mid 90’s at the end of SEPTEMBER! Talk about summer going out with a bang!

During that little heat wave Mike and I took the family to Peoria to see replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.  

Anyone else need lots of patience and oils when traveling with children? We have been in the habit of “Passing the Peace” when we get into the car for road trips! Peace oil is a favorite around here!

And with it being 9,000 degrees we stopped for ice cream along the riverfront too!

We are also 6 weeks into our homeschooling year and we are FINALLY into a grove of a good schedule and routine. I will share that as well as our curriculum choices for this year very soon!

With a new month comes new promotion for my little side business! Can I tell you now just how AMAZING it is to be able to contribute financially to our family! It was a complete God thing and the timing for committing to build with doTERRA was so divine. I will talk to you guys later about just how God fleshed out a mere miracle at the perfect timing for our family! #GodisGOOD (If you would like to know more about this company can bless your family’s wellness and finances, PLEASE reach out! I am so passionate about #momshelpingmoms! Email: afarmhousefull@gmail.com)

But first – FREE ESSENTIAL OIL PROMOS!

There are some awesome promos going on in the month of October!

If you are already a wholesale customer doTERRA is giving away THREE free oils (3 of my family’s favorite oils) with ANY 200 pv order! WHAT? You better bet the farm I am getting those oils for FREE this month! We have such a generous and giving company! What are the oils? BALANCE, SERENITY and CITRUS BLISS! Click here for a small Monday-night-class about these three oils. (I hold classes every Monday night in my oil group here – check them out!)

And you can stack them with the Product of the Month! Which means if you place your 200 PV order on your LRP (Loyalty Rewards Program) and have it shipped before the 15th you will get all three oils for free PLUS a 5ml bottle of OnGuard! Onguard is amazing this time of year as it is our immune/protective blend!

Anyone who has been on the fence about getting  starter kit and a wholesale account NOW IS THE TIME! Most starter kits qualify you for this amazing promo too! Choose the Home Essentials or Natural Solutions and you’ll be getting those three oils for free too!

Email me if you would like to talk over your options and discuss which kit would best suit your family and your checkbook! #respectthecheckbook!

On top of all that, anyone who enrolls with 200PV or higher and sets up a LRP order in November will be receiving a FREE gift from me! The Essential Life book! An AMAZING and beautiful resource and guide book on how to use each and every oil and supplement doTERRA carries! (US only because international shipping cost more than a black market kidney!)

How are you all enjoying this fall? What fun things are you up to?

 

 

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I did a “thing”

Anyone who has followed me for very long KNOWS my hair has been super long for… like…ever!

Well, on Saturday I found a couple of cute (shorter) hairstyles on Pinterest and starting thinking about lopping off my LONG hair. By Sunday I had scissors in hand and was rearing to go.

No, I don’t have cosmetology training, I am self taught… mostly through YouTube. BUT, I have been cutting my own hair for over 10 years and *most* of the time it turns out amazing.

I went for a long bob, or lob, as it is known in internet land. I probably cut it a bit longer than most lobs are, but, BABYSTEPS, yo.

Here is the final result.

I am SOOOO happy with it!

 

And if you can’t tell by the sweaty workout picture – I am finally getting back in the habit of working out regularly! These last 20 pounds of pregnancy weight are going to be GONE by the time I take my FREE trip to the Dominican! More on that later!

If your interested in seeing how I did it I actually vlogged the whole process!

 

 

Watch the video here:

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Banana Protein Pancakes

My family LOVES pancakes. And our go to recipe for them is in my cookbook HERE. But lets all be honest for a moment. Pancakes aren’t the healthiest choice and don’t contain a whole lot of protein for that morning boost.

Enter BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES! Made with a ton of eggs, fruit and NO flour, added sugar or milk! Both gluten and dairy free!

In a high power blender add:
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1-1/2 cups of rolled oats (old fashion or quick)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • (optional) 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (keep in mind this ingredient DOES contain dairy, so if you use it these will not be dairy free)
  • Yields about 16 pancakes per batch (we usually use 3-4 batches for our family of 10)

Blend until smooth. If you do not have a high power blender you can use a regular one but keep in mine your batter may be a bit lumpy. You can also substitute the 1-1/2 cups of oats for about 1 cup oat flour.

Cook as you normally would for pancakes and top with butter and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for a more traditional pancake experience.

Here is a video tutorial to go with it!

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Tent Camping with 10 People?

If you have followed us for long then you know were are a very outdoorsy family. We love being immersed in nature’s goodness which ultimately means wrapping ourselves in God’s beautiful creation. We love to hike in the woods, camp under the stars, and dig our hands in the dirt. Camping embodies all of this. I grew up camping so it means even more to me. It is a connection to my childhood and stirs so many amazing memories within me.

Now we are the parents and want to share that with our small army. And we want to do it NOW. Not when they are “older” or when they can appreciate it or enjoy it more or when it’s easier for us. NOW. Because ultimately #nowisNOW and why wait?

We almost fell into that rabbit hole of thinking last year. We took almost an entire year off from camping, albeit I was pregnant for most of that year, but still. We were in between having our old pop up camper and dreaming toward a bit larger rig for our growing family, and we put it off. WHY? Because of indecision. We didn’t (and still don’t) know what type/size of camper to get. We didn’t (and still don’t) know how much we wanted to spend on it. We even thought about replacing the van to pull it. And in confusion of the flow chart of “what about this” we didn’t step forward in anyway to make it happen. And that sucks.

Then we snapped out of it. We decided that while we wait on our decision, our budget and God’s blessing on a (quite large) purchase we wouldn’t just stop dead in our tracks. We would enjoy camping with our family and make it AWESOME until we had a clearer picture of what we should invest in. Because, in the end, the memories aren’t dependent on what kind/size of camper we get or the features it has in it. It is ONLY dependent that we GO and make those memories together.

Who else is a camping/hiking/nature family? How do you make it work?

If you’re interested in seeing what we ended up getting to use until we decide about campers, here a video that shows how we are going to get 10 people comfortably in tents!

US History Bundle!

I am SO excited to announce that my US History Bundle is DONE! It is SO amazing and I can’t wait to hear your feedback!

My US History Bundle is a FULL year of US/American History, geared toward children K-6th, but could be adapted for older kids by adding in some deeper level novels (think Grapes of Wrath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Red Badge of Courage, Etc.) and an overview of American History of your choosing.

It is flexibly scheduled for you and includes 30 weeks of US/American History

  • 30 weeks of lesson plans starting with Native Americans/Columbus and ending with America’s War on Terrorism (scheduled for either 2 day/week or 4 day/week)
  • Planned weekly source readings from spine books (Story of the World, The Making of America and The American Story)
  • Lots of Pinterest activities for varying ages that are sorted by week for your convenience
  • Geography/Mapping assignments
  • A large selection of books for family read alouds that are linked to which week the correspond to
  • Memory work for both US History and US Government
  • A large and leveled book list to help you find readers that tie in with history for your independent readers.
  • As a bonus I have also included 30 weeks of memory work for both Bible/Scripture and Math&English.
  • A 14 page resource guide that includes my favorite tips and tricks for making your year go amazing
  • All memory work is set up as printable flashcards labeled by week!

Click Here to see a sampling of what it includes!

For a limited time I am releasing my History Bundle for ONLY $6.99! A WHOLE YEAR of US History for less than a fancy coffee! I want every family to be able to enjoy a SIMPLE  classical/whole book approach to learning about US History!

 

 

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Essential Oils and Babies

The most requested class I have is the class for using essential oils on babies.  Hands down.

I am so happy to let you know that I filmed and uploaded this class for anyone who’d like a bit of information on using essential oils on babies and small children. The first half of the class is spent talking over the safety guidelines and the later half is focused on which oils to use for what and simple recipes for your nursery.

{simple reference guides to go with the class}

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out by email (afarmhousefull(at)gmail(dot)com. I would love to chat with you and help you get started with essential oils!

If you are already to get the ball rolling in your essential oil journey you can go here and follow the steps to join as a wholesale customer!

If you’d like more information on the business side of doterra please shoot message and we will connect on FB . I hold monthly “sneak peaks” that introduce the ins and outs of the business to anyone who is considering joining doTERRA with my team! To apply for the next one fill out this form and the join this group. I will approve everyone on Sunday, May 21 and the sneak peak will go from May 22-26. No obligations, just information!

Enjoy the class!

 

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Homeschool Year Wrap Up…. Hits and Misses

We are DONE with school for the year. Like early-done. Like totally-done. Like didn’t-have-to-leave-anything-off-done…. WHAAA????? What planet am I living on? This. NEVER. Happens. LIKE EVER. (Are you already sick of the work “like” in just the first paragraph of this blog?…I am like sorry!

So, what better time to do a wrap up on of the school year than when it’s fresh in my mind and I haven’t invaded my limited brain space to start FREAKING OUT ABOUT working on next year’s plans.

This year I taught 8th grade (using Classical Conversations Challenge A curriculum), 6th grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, and 1st grade.

Let’s just start with what went really well!

History – I just love Story of the World. Wholeheartedly. We like the books it recommends, the short segments and the map work. The ONLY problem I have with SOTW is their 4th book… Uggggh, I am not sure what we are going to do when we get back around to that one, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there. We used the Homeschooling in the Woods timeline figures that I bought years ago (I use them SOOOO much and I am so glad I made the investment in the whole set!)

Science – I only did 2 books when I normally do 3 per year. It worked out really well this year and the kids still got a lot out of them. We notebooked our way through them and that is always an easy yet effective way to retain information. You get to use all the different parts of your brain doing sketch journaling and it is fun; what’s not to love.

English – Grouping Michael and Faith together has been really advantageous. It allows me to teach one thing and have both utilize it. Also, Michael struggles a bit in this area, they are only a year apart in school and there is so much repetition and review in all grades you can easily lump kids together that are close in age. Last year I did 6th grade with my 5th and 7th grader (splitting the difference).

Spelling – I think we will be continuing to use the Spelling Workout Books I really like the format and the how each year it stays the same (just harder and more words). It enforces vocabulary and by the 6th grade Maddie was spelling words that I usually rely on spellcheck to figure out, but then again, I am not a strong speller, so take that as you will.

Math – Teaching Textbooks is probably what we will be sticking with although I always fall short of drilling multiplication tables and that SHOWS!!! I really need to get better at this. Anyone have a great way of having kids memorize their math facts? Flash cards, ipad drills and repetition are all I come up with. Math fact memorization is just boring. Plain and simple. But it has to be mastered so let’s put on our big girl panties and start a flash card frenzy this summer, eh?

Classical Conversations– We really loved this program for our oldest and plan to use it for our other kids as well. I am in the middle of deciding whether or not Maddie will start Challenge A this year or next, as she will have JUST turned 12 at the beginning of the school year.  AJ learned SO much, but I am afraid Latin may be a bit much for a just turned 12 year old (AJ was 13 at the start of his Challenge A year) with NO background in Latin. If we do start her next year we will be doing a summer Latin study so she at least has a little bit of experience with it. AJ struggled hard with his Latin final, although he knows SOOOO much more than he did at the beginning of the year.  He is looking forward to Challenge B next year I am I am looking forward to starting again with a bit better feel of how Classical Conversations looks and blindly trying to figure it out as we go (but that is me to a tee… #learnasido

Things that need improvement

Writing– While I LOVE Institute for Excellence in Writing I slacked at teaching it consistently. It was the subject that I tended to leave by the wayside on the days when we had too much on our plates (remember we had a baby last year… #thebabyismyexcuse!) I am planning on starting it next year with Michael (5th) and Faith (4th) although I am not sure how that will look as, like I said before, this is where Michael struggles the most. I have thought about having him keep a summer journal just to get him used to writing more and hopefully get him enjoying it.

Typing – we fell off the typing bandwagon, but I am not horribly concerned about this as most of the kids are proficient at keyboarding skills and use a computer daily for some of their school work.

Accountability – I hoping next year I am able to be a bit more organized about checking completed work thoroughly so that I can hold the kids more accountable for certain things. Accountability for them means accountability for me and last year was a tough year to keep my eye on every ball I was juggling. I think I did very well considering we had my oldest in brand new structure, I was still homeschooling my other 4, I had 2 toddlers, a newborn baby with tongue tie as well starting my new doTERRA business. Phew…

Handwriting – I LOVED having printable, renewable and super simple handwriting sheets. I DID NOT love the fact that I didn’t just PRINT THEM ALL OUT AHEAD OF TIME! But that was partly because I wasn’t done creating them. Which let me to slapping them together the morning of school that week which took more time then I had at the moment. NOTE TO SELF: I will print out a year worth of handwriting BEFORE the school year next year. I promise.

Favorite family read aloud this year: Call it Courage

Least favorite family read aloud: Samurai Tale (we didn’t even make it halfway through)

How was your year?

 

 

 

 

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