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Friday, August 29, 2014

Random 5 Back To School Style

This week we were Back to School @ Home Style !!
I thought it might be fun to share a few Random things about our First School Week.

1. The kids and I were seeing photos all over social media of kids at bus stops. We decided we wanted to take pictures and
 in our PJ's.  (my Senior this year didn't want any part of first day of school photo day. )

2. We sort of eased in to school this week doing a little math practice on UberSmart Math. We did some reading together and some art projects.

3. Each of the kids received new wipe boards. The boards this year are black and came with white pens.
I hope to order some neon markers soon to use on them. You have to have a few cool tools for School .

4. I also spent a little Money on Teachers Pay teacher. There was this really neat interactive Grammar notebook I snagged for my 8th grader. I really think it will help him to complete his grammar this year. If you are interested here is the link to the  Interactive Grammar Notebook .

5. Our first week of school was very relaxed. There wasn't to much stress and we enjoyed spending time together. Here's to another Great school Year.

Warm Blessings,


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Virtual Refrigerator- Self Portrait's

Every year as per our tradition we make self portraits. It is a fun way to see how your children improve each year but doing the simple portrait can get tiring. So we changed it up a bit this year.

This year we used large black Poster Board. The children took Elmers Glue and drew their outlines.
Then we allowed it to dry for 24 hours.

(Sweet Pea age 5)

After they dried I let the kids  use my chalks to color in their art. This was a bit messy but fun. Sweet Pea above has a little red chalk on her nose. I had to put her in the tub after this project.

(Spirit age 8)

I decided to make one too because it just sounded fun. I tried showing them that using multiple colors in the skin tone helped to give it more color. I showed them that hair isn't really one color but many mixed together. Color works that way all around us.

(My art)

(Close up of Sweet Pea's Age 5)

Spirit age 8's close up.

Jennifer the Creator of the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop has created a pinterest board of our Art. So now you can go and see all of our past art projects. Yeah... Thank you Jennifer !

Check out some of the other Bloggers co-hosting this fun Hop each week.

Now It's your turn. If you have art to share you can blog about it and link up.

Warm Blessings,


Essential Skills Advantage- Review

Essential Skills Advantage Review

Essential Skills Advantage Is an online educational tool to help your child learn basic skills in reading and language arts for children in K-6th grade.  A Monthly Subscription is $9.99 per month . This is for their premium plan.  You can use this coupon code to receive 50% off the price of one month . (Coupon code TOS50)

If you would like to try to try it out for yourself you can try the free version at ESA Learning. As a free member you will be able to access all the levels the ESA has to offer. However there will be some features that will be missing and there will be ads within the program

What will you need :Internet access
Java script
Flash Player 10 or higher
And volume on your computer

For my review purposes I was given one year of Essential Skills Advantage for my families use.  ESA sent me easy directions to log in myself and my students. You need to log in your parent account. Then you will be able to choose which portion you would like to work with. In this particular instance I used the K lessons with my budding beginner reader.
My girl is still very beginner so there were some things we weren't able to do just yet but  I can see her being able to do the entire program by the end of the year. Once you click the age category that you need you will be prompted to log in your child. You child will have a different log in so that you can keep track of his or her progress.  As you can see below there are activity guides for grades K-3, Spelling for grades 1-3, Reading comprehension for grades 4-6, vocabulary builder for 4-6, Spell master games for 4-5, Grammar for grades 3-6 and Spelling stompers.

When you log in you can choose from four levels in the  Kindergarten level (which we used)  Picture study, Auditory, Visual and Basic. Your Kindergarten student will practice skills on...

color recognition
letters of the alphabet
counting from 1-10
Visual memory and discrimination
visual association
Auditory memory and discrimination
phonemic awareness
basic concept.

Below is a screen shot of the  picture study section. As you can see below each choice are 3 stars. The three stars indicate that my child completed those section. At the very bottom you can see she skipped the word search. She isn't quite ready for word work just yet.


Below  is one of the activities called picture memory. Children are given visual pictures and then have to locate their match. As they find their math a picture begins to be revealed underneath. There are many other games for your children to play such as hearing a word and locating between 3 objects which is the correct picture.

Another example, this one from the auditory section. Down on the right of the page is an ear. You child can click the ear to hear the word again. In this case she is to locate the apple. So she would simply click the picture of the apple.

The screens I am sharing with you are very basic because my child isn't quite on to reading just yet. The basic skills sections advances a bit with some word study. We did things like finding the biggest and smallest as well as other general concepts. You can learn more about each of Learning Modules at their website.

Our Thoughts
My little girl this year from her point of view is doing "big school" She has been so excited all week to have work like the other kids. (note we used ESA longer than a week but our school year just began this week)  Her attention span sometimes Is about 5 minutes. I try to keep her busy all day but that doesn't always happen. The other day I ran out of things for her to do and she was begging me to give her more. ESA has really come in handy in these cases. For the most part she is able to work through the screens on her own. I usually tell her which ones she will be able to click and do . I have also set her up and gotten chores done like washing dishes. It has been a great way for my K child to practice some basic skills. I also find it reassuring to know that she is learning something of value in the process. It isn't just twaddle. I like that my child's screen time is educational and without the unwanted ads that often interfere with other free options. Your never sure what is going to appear. With ESA I can be sure that it is a safe learning environment for my child.

My Girl Begs me to complete ESA . She loves it and that is half the battle when educating our kids. If they love something it is certainly a keeper.

If you would like to read more reviews click the crew graphic to see some of the other grade levels ESA offers in action.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UberSmart Math Facts Software- Review

UberSmart Math Facts Review

We love as a family educating at home. There are things just like any other school that the kids love and there are things they just don't like to do. For my boys in particular that subject is spelling and the other for my younger son is Math facts. He just has not developed the number sense he should have and definitely can't match the speed of peers his age. That being said let me share with you UberSmart Software and their product UberSmart Facts.  a $24.95 value. This product would be for children K-6th or higher depending on ability of your child.

UberSmart Facts is a program that you download to your computer. You will want to make sure your computer has Windows 7, 8, XP, or Vista only. Once you download it you can use it with 8 or more students.

This program will help your child learn basic Addition,
Subtraction ,Multiplication and Division facts. Addition and Subtraction facts go up to the 9s. Multiplication and Division have the option to set it to go up to 9's-20's.
 UberSmart is like standing there holding the flash cards as your child works but in this case it is done by the computer. Your child will work on one number group at a time. In our case my son who is 8 years old started with addition. He has done addition and subtraction facts for awhile but he has not been able to master them. He first starts out with numbers added to 0, then 1, then 2 and so on. As you go each time you move higher your child has less facts to memorize. Learning the lower numbers first helps your child have success.

Before you go into a test mode or speed drill type of setting you will start out in the Learn mode. When you click the learn mode you are given options as to what facts you want to appear on your child's card. You can set it for one set say all 0s or you can set it for 0s, 1s and 2s etc...  There is an option to receive the cards in order say 0+0, 0+1 and so on or you can click the shuffle box and mix them up. The facts appears and then you click it to flip it over and see the answer. Children can practice by calling out the answer . If they don't know they can click and  flip the card over to learn the answer. Below is an example of that with multiplication facts.

 UberSmart Math Facts Review

The next tab is practice. In this section you can still choose your facts just as above and the shuffle mode. This time your child can type in their answer. They type in their answer and it says if they are correct. If the answer is incorrect it shows the entire problem and the answer to the fact. I like the visual of that from just showing the answers.

The next level is the test section. Here your child will now see what they can accomplish. The test shows you one problem at a time but gives you a visual of the problem you did before and the problem you used after. If your child does not like tests you can choose from an assessment test option or a mastery test option. Assessment testing allows you to go at your pace  so they can take their time to show what they know. This is a great option for children that stress over the word test. The mastery test is timed. As you can see below there is a bar at the bottom of the page that shares how much time you have left to answer and how far you have progressed. The time is adjustable. You are also able to skip a question if needed.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

In compete mode children answer facts and a score is kept for them to try to beat the next time around. My boys can be competitive ,as many boys can be,and liked this feature more than the rest.

A report is kept with your child scores. So you can keep track of their progress or lack thereof.

If you children are not ready for flash card style mode they can go into dot cards. The dot cards can be used on the practice mode as well as the learn mode. In the example below you see you are adding 3 dots plus 0 dots. So you would click the card with three on it and then show.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

As I mentioned above my 8 year old son used this to work on his addition facts. We worked three days a week . I can tell you that at first my son was not in love with this program but I felt that it was something we NEEDED.. and sometimes need overrides.  He just doesn't care for math in general.
However by the time the review was to be written I have begun to see an improvement in his facts. The test will tell when we get to subtraction as this is the thorn in his side. We will continue using UberSmart as long as it is working well for my son and right now I see good progression. I like this because it gets down to business . You don't have all the bells and whistles to distract from the point of your math session. For us it works.

If you would like to read other opinions about UberSmart click the crew graphic below.  

Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Friday, August 22, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

Welcome to Random 5 on Friday. Each Friday I like to share 5 random things about our week ...

1. This week we celebrated 2 Birthday. On August 19th my little one turned 5.  She is probably my last child and so it is interesting to have a life without diapers. Things are definitely different.  She had to have this mini mouse dress for her birthday. Little girls and tulle.

2. My older daughter turned 22 on Aug. 21st. I can hardly believe this women is my daughter. She will be getting married in June 2015 and this is her engagement photo.

3. We are starting school on Monday. Summer sure did fly by. As I was out an about yesterday I hit the perfect yard sale. It was a daycare center. Oh my I bought ABC stamps, Abc mats, Number mats, lacing cards and the cutest squirrel game called The sneaky sneaky squirrel. If you have little ones you just have to look it up. So cute.

4. My boys participate in 4H. I have a special post on their recent activities. Yesterday we added a new Friend to our fur ball collection. When they brought him I couldn't figure out which end was the head and which end is the bottom. He is one big fluff.

5. This weekend we have a busy weekend with Youth lock in , A baby shower and a family reunion. It should be a fun weekend.

Warm Blessings,


Happy Kids Songs - Review

Happy Kids Songs Review

This year as part of our School day we are meeting together in a morning meeting with the youngest two ages 8 and 5 to work on a Character Study. Our Bible shares a lot of Character and how as Christians we should present ourselves. I want my children to focus on those character qualities and practice them as well.

Happy Kids Songs provides children with a fun way to explore Character, Social skills and Emotional Skills all through Song. I was able to review 3 Sets of music as a digital download and the Happy Kids Workbook.

Friends And Sharing (set 1)
(5 songs, download)- $4.95

Happiness and Attitude (set 5)
(5 songs, download)- $4.95

Manners and Character (set 6)
(5 songs, download) - $.4.95

Happy Kids Songs Workbook Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social, and Emotional Skills
(physical workbook) $12.95
Ideal for Children Ages 3-8

Friends and Sharing Download
Happy Kids Songs Review

All three of the song sets present music to children sung by children. Each has catchy tunes that children will pick up on quickly and soon be singing along. The Friends and Sharing set provides you with 5 songs.
Sailing the Seven Seas- Mixes rap and singing in the chorus in an upbeat song about Consideration, Concern,Communication,Caring, Commitment,
 Communication, Curiosity and Cooperation. (The Seven C's ) It talks about what to do when things get tough and what it means to be a friend to someone.

Everybody wants to be a Friend-  This song is a bit slower and talks about what it is like to be alone and to feel left out. It shares to the shy child that they should talk to others because everybody wants to be a friend.

Sharing Friends- This song is great. My little girl needs this one. The song is about playing with more than one friend. That its good to share and play with more than two. This is a catchy tune.

Happy as Happy Can Be- This song is cute it is about things that go together but it is insinuating that friends go together. It compares it to flowers and bees and a lock and key.

Together- This is a goodbye type of song. It would be good to play this one at the end of a classroom activity in a co-op for little ones or even for a Sunday school room. It talks about being friend , begin together and saying goodbye until the next time.

Happiness and Attitude

Happy Kids Songs Review

Shake it out and Dance- Is an up beat and high energy song. I actually thought it reminded me of a song from the movie Fame. (hee hee so cute)  This song is a great one for brain breaks when the kids need to get up and get moving.  It tells the child to shake their head, feet fingers, etc... My kids love this one.

Who knows What's a Kudo- This one is about doing something nice. Helping out mom or giving a compliment. Very up beat as well and catchy tune.

I don't understand- I loved this one. Only because one day we were struggling with math and getting really upset. So I put this one on and I had giggles. It is about not understanding. The child is to ask questions and not complain. This child is inquisitive and wondering about everything. Much like the stage my five year old is in right now always asking questions.

Be Good to Yourself- This song reminds kids to have a happy attitude. That by doing so they will be being good to themselves and have a happier day.

Better Together- This song is for the child that likes to play alone. It reminds them that its good to play alone but also to play with others too.

Manners and Character
Happy Kids Songs Review

H-o-n-e-s-t-y- The song on this Set really aligned with my Character study. This particular song is about being honest and telling the truth. On occasion the younger kids tend to tell extended stories. So they learned that the truth is always the best way.

The Magic Word- Of course moms and dads you know the magic word is "please" This one reminds children to use their please words, Can I and May I . Manners today tend to be lost. I love that my kids have them.

Quirks- All of us our different and this one tells us some of the things that make each person unique. This would be a cute one to do with an All about me lesson.

The Golden Rule- This one talks about using nice words when talking to others. The old "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all."

Six Little kids-  It is a cute song about 6 little kids and their different perspectives at a circus. It teaches children to respect others views.

Happy Kids Songs Workbook Hands-on Activities to Build Character , Social and Emotional Skills
Happy Kids Songs Review
The workbook is an 125 page activity book that comes with all of the lyrics for all 8 download sets.
Along with each one your child will be able to complete an activity page or a coloring page depending on the particular song. The  activities vary per song. In some cases you might do a word search, matching, coloring, drawing, writing , fill in the blanks and so on.

In the back of the book you will find an activity guide of things you can do with each song. For example for the Sailing on the Seven C's song you find the focus which is understanding Friendship. The social and Emotional concept is listed.  Then It suggests making index cards with the seven C words written on them as an introduction to the song. It provides a bit of question and answer along with your conversation time on the C words.

You are provided with a game that goes along with the skill. For this particular song the game is Charades. To explore how actions show how we feel about ourselves.

Another activity in this section is encouraging children to make cards.  And then there was a classroom activity which we did but was to easy for everyone because we live with each other. (hee hee)
You had to write three things about yourself and then mix up the pile and guess whos belonged to whom.

There are activities such as this for each song.

My thoughts:

What I enjoyed most about these songs is that it took my children across their learning styles. It wasn't just happy tunes to listen to in the car. It taught them lessons that they can live with and use in life. The workbook provided an opportunity to hit all of my children's learning styles. The Lyrics and puzzles provided something for  the visual learner. The songs themselves provided something for the auditory learner. The arts, craft and games provided activities for my hands on learners.

Recently I read an article that said that music is the only thing that causes our entire brain to work at the same time. It just lights it up. That is definitely what we want in our homeschools . Lite up brains.

We really enjoyed the music. It was a bit of a stretch for my 8 year old. He is wanting to choose more grown up music but I definitely would like to purchase the rest of the set for my 5 year old. These were perfect for her little radio. She has a radio that you can hook mp3 music too and I was able to do that with these downloads rather easily.

There was one song my active 8 year old loved and that was the Shake it out and dance song. My son has a brain break jar with activities that are short and easy to do , So that we don't get to distracted from our lessons. They complete the activity and then move back to our book work. This is great for his busy active boy self. We added the Shake it out and dance song to the Brain break jar at his request.

I would like to use these in my Sunday school classes. Over the summer we like to make our lessons lighter. I think doing these character activities would be great. I also probably can incorporate them in our bible studies as topics match up. I have hopes to purchase and download the rest of the Song sets.

If you would like to read more reviews about Happy Kids Click the graphic below.
Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo- Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament Series- Review

Wizzy Gizmo Review

Today I'd like to introduce you to a company that is very new to me Wizzy Gizmo. Wizzy Gizmo is a company dedicated to teaching and telling stories of the bible. If your children like to listen to stories on audio then this company might be for you. They have many Audio's available for purchase. We were able to review their Fast Track Bible Pack : New Testament
  Cards a $14.99 Value. These cards can be used for all Ages.
Wizzy Gizmo Review


There are 27 Cards to the set which would be one card for each book of the New Testament Mathew all the way to Revelations. The New Testament series comes with a card that gives you an overview of all the books. There is a chart that shows you the name of the books in order, the theme , the date the book was written, the author and how many chapters are in that particular book. You will find all this information as well on each of the cards.

On the front of the individual cards you will find a brief summary of that particular book of the bible. For Example the Matthew card tells us that it was the first book of the New testament ever written. It tells of Jesus calling his disciples to come follow him. Other interesting facts such as that Mark and Luke did not mention Matthew's past as a tax collector but Matthew did ! What a demonstration of humility.

In the upper right corner you see the number of chapters, the author (in this case Matthew was a tax collector and also known as Levi)  A small timeline chart to show you when it was written. At the very bottom the general theme. In this case Jesus is the King. At the top of the card is a number so that you can order the cards by books.

On the back of the card you are given more information. It starts with an outline of what the contents are of the book and it shows you which verses you will find this information. For example Matthew starts with The Presentation of the King 1-10 and so on.

The next section shares with you the key chapters and lets you know what those are about. Such as ... 13- Parables.

The third section gives you a list of Key passages. My cards are NIV.  For example 1:23 "Behold the virgin shall be with child... Immanuel... Prophecy of virgin birth of Jesus fulfilled.

At the bottom you find Key doctrines which gives you several verses you can look up and key people.
(in this case Andew, Annas, Caiaphas, John the Baptist, Herod, Pilate, and Simon of Cyrene. 

How we used the Cards:

Our first goal was to learn the books of the bible. I laid out the cards and had the kids put them in order. You have to do this face down because there is a number order on the front of the card. We started with a couple of cards (about 4) and then would add to them each day. The kids have gotten pretty good at doing this. It has become a game to see who can go  the fastest. The younger guys are still working on the gospels.

After this we worked on reading the summaries and memorizing a few key verses. In the morning we have a group morning family meeting. During that time we would read the cards and work on the verses we wanted to learn.  The kids surprised me because they really had fun with them. There is a guide as well on the Wizzy Gizmo website sharing ideas on how to use the cards. You will find it at  Fast Track Bible Pack : New Testament scroll down a bit toward the bottom for this information. There is a list of suggested ideas by age!

I really think that these would be great as you work through your bible reading. Each card would make a wonderful opening to a bible study on that particular book and a nice review at the end looking up all the verses that are shared.

We really enjoyed the New Testament Series. I know I will use these in our homeschool and in our church environment. I can only hope and watch for the Old Testament cards.

If you want to read more reviews from Wizzy Gizmo click the graphic below. This will also include some of their audio products.  

Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Friday, August 15, 2014

Putting ART Into Your HOME

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Welcome Back to the Back to School Blog Hop.
I am excited about todays topic because I absolutely love Art and most kids love to explore different media even if they aren't the next Michelangelo. Before we talk about putting art in your homeschool I want to remind you that a few of my friends are joining in as well. Don't forget to visit them.

Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Melanie @ finchnwren
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda's Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio

I wanted to chat a little with you about putting art into your school. Yes I know what you are going to say but Nikki I don't like the mess. We don't do art, its not my thing . Or I'm not creative like you. (Ha ha I added the like you. I love art) The problem with all of these statements is... they are all about YOU.


  They aren't about your child and their learning. Don't allow your fear of art to keep you from allowing your kids to explore it.  The great thing about art is that nothing you do in art can be wrong. So grab all those art supplies and let the juices flow free. Remember you don't need a piece of art that the kids copy. Those pieces have their purposes . They are called Product art. You end up with an end piece with a desired result. Sometimes kids need to just use the tools and explore them. That is process. The end result isn't always lovely or something you want to keep but they learn so much in the process.

Another thing I often hear is we don't have time for art. When are we doing that?  Honestly there are a lot of ways to explore art across the curriculum if you don't feel like you have time for it. One way in particular is to add it to your history lesson. There Is a lot of art out there that tells the story of that time period. Just look up an artist  from the time period you are studying. Art can definitely be an enhancer to your study. You can also study the architecture of that time, the styles of clothing , pottery or jewelry.  It's a Great way to explore  history and art at the same time.

Another thing you can do is a picture study. I just joined a co-op for this year that does a picture study as part of one of their classes. What a great idea and simple too. You can do this along with your morning Calendar time. Show the children an art print and discuss what you see. Here is an example...

Say you show them Van Gogh's Starry Night.

You can have them point out the warm colors
Talk about the brush stokes
Talk about the feeling of movement
Share about the artist himself
Look at Van Gogh’s painting of Starry Night and describe what you see in the painting and how it makes you feel. Do the stars in Van Gogh’s sky have five points? How would you draw stars?
 Look at the air . Do you think it is windy or still?
How does the artist show this?

If you need help with picture study check out
Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study

Once you have created some art. No need to hide it. Share it on your blog or share it with me . I can post what you want to share on our weekly meme the Virtual Refrigerator. Each Thursday we share our child's art and link so that others can see what we are doing too.  Often the best ideas come from other homeschoolers. Take a peek at some of my friends who participate weekly as well.


Another way to add your art ...
Good News. Jennifer the Creator of the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop has created a pinterest board of our Art. So now you can go and see all of our past art projects. Yeah... Thank you Jennifer !

Another Warm Blessings,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Resouces list of Free Planners

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Back to school means planning time begins but finding the right planner can often be difficult. I have found that for the most part I have to piece together exactly what I'm looking for my notebook. I also don't want to be spending a lot of money on this tool. I like to keep my money for fun resources for the kids. Today I'm sharing Free Planner resources. Have fun putting together your planner.

Living Well Spending Less - Daily Section, Student Goals, and Quarterly planning pages

Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus - Great day at a glance page. I love this one! If I didn't already have a page for this it would be my next choice.

Proverbial Homemaker - I am in love with these pages. They work from the perspective of routines instead of schedules which is largely how I operate. I am not a slave to time by the hour. More so by our routine whether it starts a 7 am or 10 am. or even later it still begins the same. The use of canning jars is extremely creative.

Learning Tangent- Nice selection of pages Daily plan, week at a glance and more.

Everyday Snapshots- Get an 11 page editable planner by being a subscriber to Everyday Snapshots. Forms can be edited in Adobe.

Our Journey Westward- has a Charlotte Mason planner for those of you that use her style of teaching.

Money Saving Mom- Shares a free Unit study planner.

Donna Young- Has every printable imaginable for creating the perfect planner for your family.
Calendars, day at a glance, Monthly and weekly looks. Including many other forms for every subject. Shares various form they found online. There is a week at a glance page which is very colorful. Plus a unit planner. Most of the forms on the page are for a public school teacher classroom but these two forms stood out .

Handmade Home - Shares a very colorful planner. I love this but would have to have it sent to a printer or it would be to much color ink for me here at home. Very lovely though.

This should get you started and as I locate more
I will share them here. If you have a free planner please share the link in comments we would love to add your pages to our notebooks.

Warm Blessings,


Goal Writing

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Welcome to the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.
So glad to have you come to visit. I hope that you can get around to even just a few of my blog friends . Here are a some you might like to go visit...

Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Melanie @ finchnwren
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio


I am hoping to start school in almost 2 weeks but I'm a bit behind in my planning. Before I begin planning one of the things I like to do is write goals for our family. It helps me to align my values with my children's education. Aligning your values and goals sometimes seems like a difficult task. I thought You might enjoy seeing and reading how we find our start to the new school year.

Before I really start thinking about what we are going to accomplish for the year. I like to start out by writing what I want for my kids. I want a starting point on my stance and my teaching style. Something I can refer to when there are times of struggle.  I sort of ramble along and just write from the heart. Here goes...

I love my kids and I want them to know that. I don't want school to be long or boring or frustrating. I want this time with them to be enjoyable and fun. I need to have patience with them and take the time to model things explaining the steps as we go. I want them to be thinkers not just doers of what they see.  I want their core value to be loving Jesus. I need to make sure that I put his love in all that we do.

Now that I have my statements I highlight the words that stand out to me. I can break this down now to make it clearer (this was my rough draft)  and what I want to accomplish for myself as their teacher. This will be my new source when things get hard. I will look to this statement to remind me what the value is that we strive to meet.

I'm you mom and teacher lovingly guiding.
I will step back when needed and allow you to explore and learn. I will wait till you are ready for the experience and watch with hopeful eyes. I will model behavior and academic steps when needed. You will not see condensation on my face but only a loving heart. Jesus will be at the forefront of our door. He will be my example.  Always guiding and shining through in love. This experience is worth our time.

Now that I have my statement/ goal for educating them.  I can think along those lines of what I want for each child this year and how we will accomplish that. Before I begin to look at the how I have to decide on the what.

Sweet Pea (age 5 on Friday! ) - Will join our school this year with Preschool. She will have lots of hands on learning. Here are her goals in no particular order.

Self Control - wait turn to talk
Obedience - Learn to accept mommy's no's
Work on communication skills/expressing herself
Work on personal care
Work on Left to right progression
Learn to distinguish sounds, read and write letters
Practice listening to stories and sharing our own experiences about the topics.
Learn directional words
Explore books through play
Working toward playing structured games and following the rules.
Count to 20
Recognize numbers to 20
Learn shapes
Begin basic addition and subtraction skills
practice fine motor skills
Lots of exercise and movement
Work through reading her beginner bible

Spirit Age 8- Spirit will be in the 3rd grade this year. My expectations are higher for him.

Learn to take his time with tasks
Will continue with some reading aloud but will soon break off to reading silently to himself
Learn cursive this year
Practice addition and subtraction to become faster using timed math sheets
learn multiplication facts with X's tales the fun way
Begin to formally develop writing skills
work toward focusing on a task
Practice fine motor skills
Improve spelling skills
Learn about Bible through a biblical World view
Work on thinking things through and expressing the results of that thought
Work on doing small chores and complete those tasks

Superboy age 14- Superboy will be in 8th grade this year. Math is something he excels in so other than continuing that with Alg. 1 this year I have no specific goals for him. His goals lie in his writing.

Improve on spelling
Begin broadening writing skills ( I do have a writing plan ready)
Learn to express his thoughts about writings and great literature. Move his creativity to thoughts and put them down on paper.
Begin the habit of a sketchbook for his art portfolio
Begin saving various pieces of work from different multimedia. (we will touch on this this year and dig deeper next year my son has a desire for an art career)
Practice organizational skills (I have two tools to achieve this task as well)
Work on comprehension of reading material
(Plan to use Charlotte Mason techniques)

Princess age 17- Princess will graduate this year. Princess is rather self sufficient. This year she will complete requirements and should graduate. She will be taking calculus/ Trig course for math. A touch of both.

Double check requirements
Improve spelling
Learn to drive
Get a part time job
Work on volunteer opportunities with the SPCA
Look into the seeing eye dog program
Explore different career options with animals

Honestly I don't have to many goals for her she handles herself well at this point. Far from the girl who couldn't read in 2nd grade that I pulled from public school. What an amazing transition. I actually think our Senior year will be rather lax.

I hope you enjoyed my goal writing. I may come up with a few as we go. It is good to re- evaluate these goals on occasion so that you can assess where you are and need to go.

Warm Blessings,


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Rejoice in the Lord Always.