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Fun-Schooling Ethan (8th Grade)

We recently moved and are super excited about having a 'school' room again. A place to put our school books and sometimes meet for a subject that we do together.

My 8th grade son Ethan has been doing so light school using the Thinking Tree books and by light I don't mean light learning or not doing much. I mean light on subjects but with the Thinking Tree journals he covers a lot. 

We rotate the Timeline with the United States Handbook so right now his days include:

Spelling
Creative Writing
Research
Economics
Math
Texas History
How to write an adversitement
Career
Reading

Fun-Schooling with The Thinking Tree

With the Thinking Tree journals it's amazing with how much "cross-learning" they get. For instance with How to Make Money Ethan is learning about jobs, economics, and research.

With the How to Make Money Journal Ethan uses the internet and a DK book called Careers. If he wants to he can dig deeper with any of the occupations (but of course my guy doesn't, he's a reluctant learner and only does what he has too).

The Timeline of World History, history of course but he also does some copywork or writes a summary of what he read, he researches, so he's also getting some writing in there too. Of course geography is included when you add a map or globe.

Are You a Math Genius is not only a math book but creative writing too! In one chapter he has to write an advertisement for the inventions. He also has to think outside of the box when completing a math "problem" (we don't call them problems though).

He also uses ACE for Texas History and CTC Math. Once we find the rest of our curriculum that went MIA during the move we'll add in a more formal grammar and writing program.

Oh, and the Spelling Journal, Ethan is a bit on the older side but he's still searching for words and interacting with them. He was using Word Hunt but we haven't unpacked it so I pulled out the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal.

History -He spends about 40-60 minutes completing history which includes TX History. He might spend 40 minutes on the Timeline Journal or State Handbook depending which he is using that day and another 15-20 minutes on TX History.

Spelling - 10-20 minutes depending on which page (he's older a younger child would spend less time)

How to Make Money - about 40-60  minutes

Math - 60 minutes which includes Math Genius and CTC Math

Reading - 15 minutes on a book of his choosing, 15 Bible reading, and 15+ of school subject reading through history books, online, and our home library.

Bible - right now AWANA is his main Bible, I hope to have Bible Study time again with him.

This is how we are doing "light" schooling with a lot of learning going on. 


Trim Healthy Mama Baking Day (THM)

I've been making yummies again. I love the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook (THM) because:
~ recipes are pretty easy and you can usually make things using one bowl or the blender
~ even the E (carby) meals are low glycemic
~ the recipe uses things like gelatin, whey, coconut - almond - oat fiber type flours, flax, in other words flours that I can eat (and I use often)
~ many are good, there are times I'm so disappointed like with the truffles but many I love!

Since I was baking today I kinda ate not so good, hehe. It was all low glycemic and who doesn't like donuts and coffee for breakfast.
Trim Healthy Mama Donuts!
To make it sound super good for you I tell people I had two low glycemic donuts and an antioxidant rich cup of coffee, bwahahaha.

These donuts are sooo good. I wasn't expecting them to actually taste like those cake donuts at the store but they did! Annette, Caleb, Ethan, and Brent tried them and gave them a thumbs up!
Trim Healthy Mama Donuts!
Here's a recipe that might be close to the THM one I made.

For Lunch I had the Cry-no-more brownies, I know, I know, really bad but they were so yummy. I even got some veggies in too because these brownies have 3/4 cup of okra!
Trim Healthy Brownies
When I desribe to my friends what I had to lunch it sound more like this, "I had some yummy low glycemic ~ okra brownies and a mug of antioxidant & gelatin rich coffee", too funny but it's true.

I've also been drinking water and my good for me Apple Cider Vinegar drink. I add Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil and stevia.

The rest of the house is a mess with boxes because we moved a few weeks ago. I'm thankful the kitchen is unpacked because it's one of my favorite places to hang out.

I've been organizing my specialty foods too. One thing I like to do is put together the dry ingredients for smoothies, shakes, and coffee type drinks. I bought these Rubbermaid container and the are perfect for this!
I do this with muffins, cakes, and other recipes, like today, I made a donut mix by putting only the dry ingredients in a container. Later when I want to make more donuts all I need to do is pour my "donut mix" in a bowl and ad the wet ingredients.

On each of the little containers above, I put the name of the smoothie (abbreviated), the cookbook. I abbreviate THM for Trim Healthy Mama and B for Briana's, etc. and the page number. I'll have to write more about this later but that's what I've been up to, lots of baking =)

Fun-Schooling the High School Students

It's hard to believe that I'll have 4 kiddos in high school come this fall. Ethan will be a 9th grader, Brent 10th, Caleb 11th, and Annette 12th. Oh- where did the time go? Was it just yesterday we were using Rod & Staff 1st grade with Annette & Josh!

With my three boys I plan to use the Just for Teen Guys and/or the Steampunk High School Guide. It depends on the boys with which one they choose.

Our fun-schooling looks way different from Sarah's and that's okay. My boys learn better with lots of structure and textbooks (that's why I love the new high school journals because they work so well with both).
Fun Schooling the High Schooler

In my perfect fun-schooling world we'd use lots and lots and lots of books. "Real" books, like from the library or from the hundreds and hundreds that I've purchased (because you know, my kids were going to love reading). Unfortunately I have reluctant readers which puts a wrench in my fun schooling plans, haha!

I can make a beautiful basket or put together a cool container of goodies for a subject, set it out and guess what? Yup, nobody (when I say nobody, I'm talking about my 4 boys not Josh & Annette) touches it. 

So, with that said, I am still a fun-schooler even though we use textbooks like ACE and Notgrass. We are just a different kind of fun-schooling family. My high schoolers will learn lots of real life skills, read great leadership books that aren't found in your average high school curriculum, have fun baking, playing games, and kicking a soccer ball around, and of course use some Thinking Tree books and journals. 

My high schoolers will even use the new Yum-Schooling journals which reminds me, I need to order another Yum-Schooling Journal. You can watch a video of this journal HERE.
Yum Schooling from The Thinking Tree
Now, because we are more of a traditional fun-schooling family I plan to use the high school journals a little different. At first I was going to have them use the journal every day. I thought that instead of them writing in their workbooks they could sum up what they learned and write in their journals instead but then I started thinking and praying and remembering how my boys learn best. Unfortunately for this fun-schooling mama is filling out workbooks, bleh, but it is-what-it is.

Instead I'm going to have them use a days worth of pages over a week. My teen guys will write what they learned or found most interesting in each subject that week and write about it. Basically I'll use the High School journal as a portfolio. 
FUN-Schooling is Happy-Schooling. If your teens are enjoying what they are doing  and learning, I believe they will retain more, yes, even if it's a textbookish. My boys have LEGOs near by and in between lessons they are free to "play" with them. In fact having them do something like playing with LEGOS (or coloring in Thinking Tree journals) gives the brain some downtime so it's not so stressed out it will help solidify memories and information. Mental downtime is a good thing and we need to make sure our teens get plenty of if in between learning and lessons.

 There are some other Thinking Tree journals and books we'll use but I'll write about that another day!

Hope that helps all you Thinking Tree mamas that not all Fun-Schooling looks the same. I'm sure to many our way of Fun-Schooling may look more like Boredom-Schooling to you all (smile).

Remember too that season change. At times we have used the Thinking Tree journals as our main curricula and other times as more of a supplement. 

High School The Thinking Tree way =Fun-Schooling

This is a picture of Annette from yesterday. She was working hard on her history.
 Every morning she makes herself a smoothie (or at least most morning).
Annette has used Heart of Dakota since 7th grade and continues to use it but this year she's been using some of the Thinking Tree journals instead of the ones that come with the programs.

This journal is the Timeline one from the Thinking Tree. She is also using the history pages from the Portfolio and the Science Handbook. She's waiting for Sarah to finish a History Handbook.

Just For Teens - High School Journals from The Thinking Tree

I was super excited to work with Sarah to create a High School Journal. As much as I love all her journals, I wanted something more like the 10 and 12 Subject Portfolio but separated by days instead of subjects.


I also wanted my boys writing more. Especially with being in high school I really think they need to up their game in this area. The more they write the better they will become. So with that said I'm so excited to share these two Teen/High School Journals with you all!!!

Teen Thinking Tree Journals
This journal's suggested pages is 12 per day making this a 6 week journal. With this journal your child will choose from their stack of books four to read. They will also need a book for English, Math, and Science. These can be books or textbooks or both.

With one of the chosen reading books your teen will choose one to write a summary and illustrate it. I thought this would be a great way to focus on one book. I notice my kids write more when they have more space as well.
Teen Thinking Tree Journals
Using their subject books your teens will write what they learned in science and history. I think it will be fun to see illustrations of what they are learning about. The history page, your teen can draw an illustration or make a mini timeline!

If your kiddos don't like to do a whole lot of drawing they can print something from the internet and/or use timeline figures for the history side.
Teen Thinking Tree Journals
With the nature study pages I wanted my kids to write a little bit about what they saw or research what they saw (if it was an unusual bug or something) and write about it.

I know not everyone does English daily. My boys have Latin assignments and use what they learned for this page. Latin has a lot of grammar so it works out. There are a lot of grammar non textbookish types out there that your kiddos can use for this page too or have them google what they want to learn. Life of Fred Language Arts series would work great for the English page too!
Teen Thinking Tree Journals
 Math, Finances, & Economics, this page your teen can rotate. Use it for math one day, finances another, and economics a few times a week or just have them work out their math problems using this page. Make it work for your teen.

I LOVE copywork. If your teen is beyond copywork, use it for dictation. I like the idea of my boys copying things that are meaningful to them (although it doesn't always work out that way, but that's okay =)
Teens Flip to Fun Schooling!
The Film Study pages in the younger journals were too busy for my guys so I love this one. My boys can watch a tutorial, documentary, or movie and write a review about it, draw a scene, and have fun rating it.

I absolutely love the Spelling Time pages in the younger journals but I wanted to up their game by having them look for specific words.
Teens Flip to Fun Schooling!
My boys are not in to coloring much (so sad for this mama) but what I did notice is that they would add to the illustrations. In the other journals they would draw little people or add to the picture so I thought this could be another way for them to 'relax' their brains and help them to remember what they are learning.

Isaac, Sarah's eldest child drew the illustration on the left above and I absolutely love it!
Teens Flip to Fun Schooling!
Really make the journal work for your homeschool. Another way to use it (especially for a younger student) is to use the 12 pages per day, spread them out for the week. Use the Date Page this way too! Have the child fill out the Day as the first day of the week. Write the week you are on above the 'Verse or Quote' section like this, "Week 6"

Throughout the week the student can write what he's learning about in history, science, English, etc.
The Thinking Tree
Take a peek inside!

The difference between these two journals is the illustrations. The color-yourself Steampunk cover doesn't have a lot of tanks and army illustration. It has more architectural type pictures.

Also the campfire cover has the words "Just for Teen Guys" but of course gals can use it too.


You can also purchase the Color-Your-Self Steampunk one on pdf at Educents.

Teach by Example ~ Mom School Weeks 5 & 6

I combined Mom School because my family was super busy getting ready to move and now that we are moved we have lots of unpacking to do. Annette and I are also painting the kitchen and dining room too! We are super excited with our new cool color, and it's actually a cool color. After living in a small space and loving my warm cozy browns and beige I needed something that was airy, light, and breezy. Dreamy Clouds is the color we picked!

So needless to say, Mom School has been Mom Fun-Schooling, haha with all the hands on stuff like painting, shopping, and enjoying our new place.

You can all see that I'm a little late with my post too. It's obviously Wednesday not Monday, hehe. I really planned to get this post up Monday but my whole computer set up is still not so "set-up" yet. My phone is not transferring pictures either.

By the end of the day I've been too tired to read my one lonely book that wasn't even included in my original stack of books.
 Its taken me a week to finish this skinny little book, that's how busy I've been. Its never taken me a week to finish a book like this. A few hours yes, but a week! No =)
 Ethan, Lance, and I started our Critical Thinking Detective book together ~ teaching by example :)
The kids are slowly getting back into a "school" routine. Our school room is full of boxes still.

As you can see this round of Mom School has looked so different from my last. Once we are settled I'd like to do another 6 week challenge and get back to hitting the books!

How have you all been doing?
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Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day we were busy packing. We will be moving this week! Yay, we are so excited. With that said we didn't do much for Valentine's Day. Our oven stopped working a few weeks ago so we didn't even bake cookies.
 What we did do was buy the kids some yummy Krispy Kreme donuts! They loved the heart shaped ones. Yup, even my boys were "fighting" over who gets what, haha, Thankfully there were 6 heart shaped ones.
 I stayed away. I've had too many cheats during the holidays that my Triglycerides were up when I was tested a few weeks ago. So back to being super strict again. No giving in to these yummies!





Teach by Example - Mom School Week 4

Another great week of Mom School. Because we've been super busy with packing and getting things ready for the move I've downsized my Journal to the Pocket Journal this week and kept to two books.
Skinny School has been a really fun read and even though it's to help one become slim and healthy (don't let the word "skinny" deter you from picking up this book) and I've incorporated much of what is says, it was a great read. I love how each chapter is a lesson and there is a lot of great advice which I found helpful in other areas of my life.
Here's a few quotes from the book: "Put on a mind-set that you have to pay a price for your goals. You will have to make choices, giving up some good things to get the best thing." and Champions take the time to figure out what is needed, to carve the time to do it, set margins so they will have energy to accomplish their top goals . . ."
The book talked about how "Champions" just don't become champions, they work at it, they pay a price to get what they want. In the book the character Jackie wants to lose weight so she needs to give up "bad" food like sugars and bread. She eats when she's down or feeling bad about something.She needs to stop her emotional eating. The "Genie" in the book helps her by giving her better choices but it's up to her to follow through just like other things in life. I need to stay focused on my four goals for the day but it even got me thinking about our homeschool (which is another whole post).
I didn't know that I was going to reevaluate some of my own goals when I picked up Skinny School so my fun and "care-free" book that I picked because we've been so busy and I didn't really want to "think" so to speak was a book that really got me thinking =)

I also read Different ~The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him. I must say at times I feel like a mom who is not in-tuned to her kids because Sally seems amazingly in-tuned. With that said though, I see where as a mom I need to do better. Maybe I can scroll less on Facebook and play a game with the kids instead or pray more for the different needs of my children.

Reading about Nathan's life is an eye-opener. He makes this mom think. Maybe at times when one of my little ones was acting up (although my kiddos are not little anymore) maybe instead of correcting I should have did so and so, I don't know. I think I have some pretty great kids and I can't redo the past so it's forward. From here on out I can "think" hmmm, why is this child reacting to X and how should I respond?

Hopefully with moving and all the kids will see that I can still learn and fill in my pages of my Mom School stuff. Praying that they see me taking the time to read, write, and ponder ~ Teach by example!

Wow, this round of Mom School is looking so different from last years. This season instead of grabbing some of their school books and learning their history and science I am getting some much needed Now School for me. Realizing that I need to set goals, take time out from my busy day to really 'read' my kids, and SLOW.

Are you Teaching by Example and getting some Mom School done? Are you jumping in and doing some of the same assignments that your kiddos are doing or like me this round, documenting and writing what your are learning with some mom-nightstand books? Either way our children are seeing us Teach by Example. Don't forget to show them your work and what you are learning.


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Teach by Example - Mom School Week 3 (2017)

Three weeks into Mom School already!!!!
Time goes by so quickly when you're having fun =)
As our family nears the big move (that we've been waiting for, for years now) my Mom School has slowed but I was able to complete two days worth of journal pages using the Winter Girls Journal!

My Learning Something new was rereading my Trim Healthy Mama books again to learn about E meals. 

A few weeks ago my sister mentioned that she was going to give Trim Healthy Mama a go, so I decided to join her. I love eating low glycemic but have been having too many cheats lately. My hemoglobin blood test shows a slight high as well as my Triglycerides. Actually my Tryglycerides have sky rocketed! This is with me just cheating a few meals a week! Crazy what eating sugar and bread can do.

I have been reading from Different by Sally Clarkson and along with what Sarah Janisse Brown has shared, I'm really understanding Lance.  

I am adding a few books to my stack. Some easy reads because of me being busy with the move I wanted something fun. Someone recommended Skinny School, hehe.

Please share your Mom School week by linking up below.



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Teach by Example ~ Mom School (Week 2)

I'm excited week 2 of Mom School, teaching our children by example was a lot of fun. I enjoyed diving into a stack of books that I had selected. I didn't read from all of them this week but did finish Who Moved the Cheese?
Mom School ~ Teach by Example
I learned that we should be aware of things changing. I don't like change so this was a good book for me to read and I'm going to reread it to Lance via the kid's version. I believe being "aware" and expecting or knowing and preparing for change ~ that it's a good trait to have so we don't get stuck "waiting" for the cheese to come back. Sometimes I can be so stubborn with not wanting things to change, for instance with my kiddos, they are all growing up. I can either accept it or waste time (which is super precious) wishing that they would stay little. Now that would be a pity. Instead of enjoying their young adult-ness (my own word) I'm wallowing in my "no cheese" zone not wanting things to change.

This week I actually used two student journals. I added the Winter Boys Journal as well. It's pretty similar to the Winter Girls Journal but I thought since it belonged to my boys it would resonate better with them when seeing mom use it.

This page was completed in the Winter Girl Journal. I had just finished reading from Teaching from Rest.
I wanted to share pages from the Winter Boy Journal but I couldn't find it this morning (Monday). It's been a busy week of packing, (yes we are moving!!!) so it's probably under a box or something. In the journal I used the Math Time pages with my boys. We practiced our mental math. I did it on paper and worked out the math problem while they did it mentally.
Teach by Example ~ Mom School
I carry my 365 Thanksgiving Journal around with me and I jot things down that I'm thankful for. I don't use this daily like I should but do use it at least four times a week. Some days I actually complete two pages and other days I may stay on a page for a few days.

Are you Teaching by Example and getting some Mom School in? If so, please link up below, you don't have to use a Thinking Tree Journal to do Mom School, just pick up a book or your child's book, read, jot down a few things you learned (maybe fill in a timeline, use a notebooking page, etc.) and show your child that you did a little Mom School.


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