Monday, December 17, 2012

Homeschool: Update

Many of you have been asking for an update on how homeschooling is going. And in light of the recent elementary school shooting, I feel it is an appropriate time to write this post, as I sense there may be an increased interest in homeschooling because of this incident.

Before I begin, I'd like to take a moment and send my condolences to each and every family that lost their Kindergartners. There is no words that anyone can say to make your grief any less felt or any easier to manage. I pray that God can comfort you and fill the void that was once your child.

If you're wondering how I can hold onto my faith in Christ after this horrific and senseless tragedy, let me explain. I believe in free will. I believe we each have it. Without free will, there would be no purpose for love. Genuine love. If this is true, this free will thing, then it makes sense to believe that things happen every single day that aren't God's will. And if this is true, then it suffices to also say that God is there, grieving with each of us. He didn't make the shooter pull the trigger. The shooter made that "free will" decision on his own. But, He is there, in the aftermath, caring for the children that entered heaven, loving on the adults who joined them. And he is there, comforting those who mourn and are broken-hearted. I keep my faith because Jesus is my hope in this increasingly horrific world. Without hope, I've got nothing.

[Jesus] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3 NASB

In case you missed our first day of homeschool, you can read about here and compare to how we now do things. I've learned a thing or two in the past 13 weeks.

Homeschooling no longer takes us over 3 hours, but rather 1-2 hours per day.

Our mornings are filled with playing, cooking, running errands or going to the local YMCA.

After lunch, I put my 17-month old down for her nap and the Kindergartner and I begin our schoolwork.

So, our school day begins around 1PM and ends between 2-3PM.

Most days are a lot of fun with total cooperation and excitement from my student. But, occasionally, there are the rough days. The days when we both end up in tears. Luckily, those days are few and far between and a lot is learned.

Here are some things I've learned from the hard days:
  • My child lacks self-confidence at times and just needs me to be her cheerleader.
  • DD reacts to my reactions. If I start to get frustrated, so does she.
  • My child likes to pick the order of subjects, rather than me pick them for her.
  • Sometimes, she needs to be moving while I'm reading. And that's okay.
  • It's okay to not get everything done in one day. It can made up another day.
  • My child's heart, and my relationship with her, is way more important than anything she's learning.


Here's what we learned today, in the order in which my child picked her subjects to study.

Bible Memorization
We listened to this week's memory verse song on "Sing the Word: From A to Z". We're currently memorizing Isaiah 45:22.


Today, we learned how to write the letter "A". First, I wrote it on the chalkboard and then DD tried it.

Then, she built it using block lines.

Lastly, she practiced it in her workbook (which I forgot to take a picture of).

Language Arts: Creative Expression: Writing Song Lyrics

Today, my DD was instructed to come up with her own song lyrics. She had so much fun doing this! The concentration wasn't on proper punctuation or spelling, but rather to get her to practice writing and mostly to have fun doing it!


First, we watch the lesson being taught on a DVD. I pause the DVD along the way when the "teacher" asks questions, so she can answer and see if she's understanding the lesson.

After the lesson, we get out her color-coded blocks (blues are tens) and her workbook and she begins practicing what she just learned.

Some days she does all 6 pages in her workbook in 1 day. Other days, she only does 1 page. I let her go at her own pace. We're currently on week 18's lesson (and this is only week 13 of school) so you can see how quickly she's working through the lessons.

Today we learned how to add by 10's. She chose to only do 1 workbook page today.


I'm finding that the reading in our current program is a bit juvenile for my DD, meaning, she sat down one day and read through all 26 books by herself. However, I've chosen to stay with them, so that she can build confidence and master the different things she's learning with each book. We read the same book every day for 1 week, then we move on to the next book.

In her free time, though, she gets library books that are more advanced. She enjoys reading those, too.


We use 3 different books for History/Geography throughout the week, but today, we used a book called, "I Heard Good News Today" This is a book about how each of the parts of the world first heard about the Good News of Jesus Christ, among other heart warming stories about missionaries and pioneers. Today, we read about how Braille came about.

Afterwards, I had DD draw a picture of the boy who invented Braille in her timeline book.

And then we found France on our map, which is where the boy lived.


We're working our way through Egermeier's Bible Story Book. Today, we read about how the Ark of God troubled the Philistines.


Today, we read about Creepy-Crawlies, like dragonflies, bees, spiders and snails.

Afterwards, we answered some questions and did some activities in our workbook about what we had just read about.

One thing I love about the Usborne's Children's Encyclopedia is that they have a link to go to on the internet with other links to learn more about the subject they just read about. Sometimes it's through videos, sometimes it's through games, sometimes it's through reading more or looking at pictures.


At night, before bed, my DH and DD spend some time reading some of the recommended books. Tonight they read from "The Llama Who Had No Pajama" and "The House At Pooh Corner".


Many people may have questions about homeschooling, so I'd like to start a Homeschooling Q&A. Please email me at or comment on this post with your questions and I'll try to get them answered as best as I can.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 Best Food Blogger Contest

Thank you soooo much to whoever nominated me for the FriendsEat 2012 Best Food Blogger Contest! I am truly honored!

What can I win?
The winner of each category will receive a prize from the sponsor Le Creuset as well as $25 worth of FriendsEAT advertising credits.

The blog chosen as “Top Food Blogger of 2012” will receive an iPad mini and $75 worth of FriendsEAT advertising credits.

How can you vote?
People can vote with Loves. 

What are loves?
You should now see a box in the upper right corner of my blog with a "Love" button. If you click on that button, you vote that you "Love" my blog. The blogger with the most "Loves" by the end of the contest (December 17th) in each category, wins!

What is FriendsEAT?
FriendsEAT is an online social community for foodies and one of the world's leading food websites with over half million visitors per month. Started in 2006 by Antonio Evans and Blanca Valbuena, FriendsEAT has become one of the best source of what's going on in the culinary community.

Remember... Voting offically ENDS December 17th, 2012, so go vote now!