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My Eyes Hurt

I have been doing all my CHRISTmas shopping online. My eyes hurt from the computer. I'm mainly purchasing gift from Vision Forum, Christianbook & Timberdoodle. I'm not getting too many toys but more puzzle type stuff and lots of survival things. My two little guys will have lots of battles with their sword and shields

Well Lance wants to play a game!

MFW Exp1850

I was able to purchase MFW Exp1850. I'm so glad, now I can figure out what to do next year.

I am going to read Building a City on the Hill & Trial and Triumph with Josh.

An idea would be to have Josh read; The Last 500 Years, Exploring American History, In God We Trust & George Washington's World on his own. We have the audio cd for Story of the World so we can listen to that. He can also read the read aloud selection from MFW on his own too. I can read all the 2nd/3rd grade supplements along with the two books I mentioned above. About twice a week we can do all the timeline, notebooking, mapping etc. All of us would do Bible together.

We can start our morning with Bible and I can read anything else that the teacher manual, like notes and such. Then we can all split up. Josh & Annette finish their studies on their own. I can do Phonics with the youngers.
I'm still studying MFW TM but I think I can make it work. Now I need to figure out when to do The Phonics Road, The Bridge & Spell to Write & Read :)

I have some ideas for those also.

Josh & Annette: Spell to Write & Read do 20 minutes a day. Once the timer goes off, just stop :)

Caleb & Brent: Phonics Road Level 2 is broken down into three sections; Spelling/Phonics, Grammar & Reading. Each section takes about 20 minutes. Again, I'll set a timer and stop. Whether done with a lesson or not. We can always pick-up where we left off the next day.
Ethan & Lance: Phonics instruction 20 minutes a day.
If I can stick to the 'times' and not worry about completing a whole lesson I think I'll be okay.

Just recording my thoughts :)


So glad it's Friday (doing the happy dance) LOL. Before I write about our day I wanted you all to check out my sisters blog. She has lots of notebooking pages that she creates. She is way more organized then I am and creative. Her blog is so nice, clean and organized. She is very talented.

As for our homeschooling day. Today I had Caleb & Brent do copy lesson two from Wheeler's Elementary Speller. Tomorrow I'll have the spell the words orally and write them from dictation.

They also did a lesson from The Phonics Road. We are on week 11. They are doing very well with this program.

Once Josh completes Phonics Tutor. I am looking into Spell to Write and Read for him and Annette. I actually wanted to get SWR for this year but have always been intimidated by it, but now that I have used The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading I think I handle SWR I would like to add Annette. She can read very well but I still feel like she needs to go over the spelling rules. Annette started reading in 1st grade and has always been above grade level. Because of this I didn't do a 2nd year of phonics with her. She spells okay and usually misses about one word or less from Spelling Wisdom. I still feel like she should be a bit more grounded in spelling patterns and such. I'm not sure if she came across a difficult word if she would be able to decode it. Also how do I make sure she continues to progress in her reading? I think SWR would help in both areas.

Nap time is over. Gotta go.

Allergy Family

Yesterday we didn't get home until past three o'clock from the doctors office. We were all whooped from shots. Lupe, decided that we should all get the regular flu shot, plus each of us had some other shot we needed. Mine was the flu & Hepatitis shot. Everybody has sore arms or legs today.

I found out I have allergies . I told the doctor that my throat gets a tingly, itchy feeling when I sing at church (hymns) or read to the children. He checked my nose and throat, sure enough I have allergies same as the kids. I took my medicine that he prescribed and it's all ready helping. Who would have thought I had allergies. Bummer!

Ethan, has allergies too. His skin is really dry and around his eyes it's VERY dry. Skin peeling. The doctor said those are all signs of allergies, he is on med too.

I told him I think that Brent might have allergies because he sneezes so much and has had a runny nose for weeks. Sure enough; allergies.

Annette & Caleb has had allergies and are asthma since they were toddlers, so nothing new there. I was surprised about the rest of us.

On the way home we stopped at the flying chicken A.k.a Chicken Express.Now that flying chicken doesn't look too appetizing but the food is actually good

Liking My Hair! Yay!

For years I have been wanting to use a homemade shampoo consisting of Baking Soda & Water. I don't like using the shampoos from the store. All those chemicals. Because of the price of Organic and no chemical shampoos I would continue to use regular shampoo. I did buy the 'good' stuff here and there but again the price would drive me back to the chemical stuff. Sometimes the kids would not notice that the shampoo fell in the tub while they were bathing. By the time I found it half of my expensive shampoo would be gone.

I am finally taking the plunge!!! I haven't used store bought shampoo or conditioner for a month.

When we ran out of conditioner over a month ago, I decided to try using a vinegar rinse instead. I have tried before but never stuck with it for more than a few days. I mixed equal parts of vinegar and tap water. I used white vinegar because we didn't have Apple Cider Vinegar. I'm going to purchase ACV tonight and try it.

I also purchased a shampoo bar from www.virginiasoapsandscents.com The bar of soap is wonderful. I lather it up in my hands then wash my hair with it. Our bathroom is small and doesn't get much ventilation, so my shampoo bar is going faster then normal :( Next week when my bar is gone I'm going to use the Baking Soda & Water shampoo. I'm going with In A Shoe's recipe; 1quart water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. I don't have hard water but I'm still going to boil the water the water then add the baking soda. Let it cool and add to a container. Again I'm taking In A Shoes's idea and putting it in a liquid dish soap container.

With using the Shampoo bar (soon to be baking soda/water) and my vinegar rinse my hair looks so nice.

I have frizzy curly hair.I don't brush it during the day because, well, think afro. It gets very tangly. I have to take a shower everyday because once I brush my hair out it's just so frizzed.

I have tried many products and spent lots of $$$ trying to control my frizz. I was even going to get it straightened at a salon. My scalp use to itch all the time. I would use Head & Shoulders (I know, major chemicals). Now my head doesn't itch. My scalp feels so healthy. My hair looks great, I even go to the mirror just to stare. I love my hair now. Almost all my life I couldn't stand my frizzy our of control curly hair.

Regarding the vinegar rinse. You have to stick with it. At first my hair felt tangly and yucky. I'm so use to the conditioners and how it detangled and felt silky. The first two weeks are the hardest.

My morning routine:
Brush hair before jumping into the shower
Wash with shampoo bar or soda water
rinse with vinegar/water rinse. At first I was using 1/4 cup of vinegar & water. I think that's a bit much but my hair didn't dry out. I would put it in a cup and gather my hair (med-long) pile it, pour some of the vinegar rinse, let hair down and pour the remaining vinegar rinse. Massage and rinse. Most people use a spray bottle but I don't have one thus using the cup. Again, most people don't use that much of the vinegar rinse but it's worked for me. Eventually I'm going to use honey bottle (the honey is almost gone)

At the end of my shower I squeeze all water out of my hair and use Olive Oil as a leave in conditioner. I put about a quarter size in the palm of my hand, rub with other hand and finger it through my hair. Wrap hair in a towel. Once I'm done dressing and such I let my hair out of the towel pin my hair back and I'm done.

Currently I am using Olive Oil but I have read that Coconut oil works well too and I ordered some to try.

Here are some links I found that may be helpful:
Simple Mom
Natural Homemade Hair Conditioner
Nature Moms
How to Go No Poo
Dandruff Remover (this is probably why I don't have an itchy scalp.
Another Poo Free site.

Hair Conditioner-Honey you can click on the link but I'll put the instructions here too:

Mix 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup olive oil. (Use 2 tablespoons of oil if you have normal to oily hair.) Using a small amount at a time, work mixture through hair until it is evenly coated. Cover hair with a shower cap; leave on 30 minutes. Remove shower cap; shampoo well and rinse. Dry and style as usual.

Here is another Honey Conditioner this one uses buttermilk.

To add some shine mix TBS honey to 4 cups warm water. Work through damp hair. Do not rinse out.

Honey Deep Conditioning 1TBS honey & 1TBS Olive Oil, mix and warm in microwave to melt. Apply to hair. Leave in for 30 minutes then rinse out.

Next I'm looking into a face cleanser consisting of olive & caster oil

UPDATE 7/11/2014: This post has been transferred from my Homeschooling6 blog, so there are no links anymore. This site has a lot of honey recipes for hair and face. I love washing my face with straight honey. I no longer use store bought face cleanser or moisturizers.

Braces and Rambling

This morning Josh and I were able to-replace our spacers with wires. We both have braces on our upper teeth. He chose a nice blue and I went with a light pink. Wasn't too painful, thank goodness. Just feels like I have yucky, gunky stuff on my teeth. I'm sure I'll get use to it.

Joshua, is a trooper. He didn't want braces at all. He's doing great. No complaining or anything.

We didn't get too much of our school done. I did give everyone a lighter load then usual. This week is pretty busy. Today we got our braces on, tomorrow my Sweets & I go for blood test and Thursday we all have our yearly doctor appointment. Lupe, took Thursday off because by the time we are done with our doctor appointment half our day is gone. We are blessed to have a doctor who will see our whole family in one day. When we were first looking for a family doctor; not many would see us all. They would say the most we can schedule is three or four a day. Well, that doesn't work for us.

Since we moved our doctor is an hour away but worth it

My boys are so into the outdoors survival stuff. They enjoy anything army or Daniel Boonish :) Yesterday, Josh was practicing his knife throwing skills. Oh, my children are growing up.

I found some nice stuff to get the boys at Vision Forum. The only thing I don't like about ordering from VF is the 8% tax. I paid over $15.00 in tax. Oh, well, I did have a 20% off coupon and that helped. It's about the only time I buy from VF because of the tax thing. I know, cheap, cheap as my dad would say.

Our school year is going great. Everyone is happy with their curriculum. Not jumping for joy but happy.

Math Mammoth is working out great. I'll have give a review sometime. Character Quality Language Arts is working well with Caleb. My only problem is we take a little longer to finish a week. I try to sit with him everyday but sometimes things come up. Yesterday my dad came for a visit (he usually stays for 4hrs.) today Caleb has a headache and has been sleeping all day. There goes two days of CQLA.

This year I'm not stressing about our weeks. I'm taking one thing at a time. As long as we are making progress in our studies, I'm not going to lose sleep ;) With Social Studies/History & Science I figure if as long as we finish over 75% by the end of the year we'll be a-okay. I remember when I was in school, we hardly ever finished all our workbooks/textbooks. Actually, I don't remember finishing any of them. My SIL's kids are in PS and they never complete every page either. Besides my children have already been exposed to a lot more history then I ever was. Same with Science.

With math, reading, grammar and writing I'm a bit more strict. We continue some of this through the summer.



Today Caleb and I worked on his first outline using CQLA. It was so fun to do this with him. I really enjoy my time teaching Caleb. We read a picture book on David & Goliath. We had to write the title, author and when it was published. He then had to give a short summary which I wrote down, we wrote the main characters and the plot. Next wee I think we will finish it.

Caleb doesn't like reading the same passage everyday of the week but hey, it's life. We read the passage. He had to highlight the main subjects. We used an orange highlighter. He really enjoys using highlighters. Makes it more fun than just underlining or circling .

On the Well Trained Mind forum someone mentioned that they use Elementary Speller by William Henry Wheeler, so I took a peek and loved what I saw . I thought I would add it to our homeschool. Today, Brent & Caleb copied the first half of the poem, underlined the vowels and illustrated it. I love how Caleb, put different layers of soil. He made top soil and other layers under it. Brent, made a picture of a seed sleeping deep in the soil. Next week we will finish copying the poem and illustrate how the seed will wake.

Here is the first half of the poem: In the heart of a seed,

Buried deep, so deep
A dear little plant
Lay fast asleep

Caleb & Brent also finished Week 10 of The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading. They still need to practice some words but I think they will be ready for week 11 on Monday. I keep their spelling list on the wall and through out the week I drill them (weekends too). The list hangs in the kitchen so it makes it easy to remember. I just call out, "Brent, how do you spell house?"

Something great is happening at the Beltran house. Caleb is a reader. He is reading books. Yesterday he said, "Mom, the reason I don't read very well, I think it's because I'm not desperate to read."

He has not been interested until now. He wants to work at Yellowstone National Park when he grows up . He knows if he is going to work there that he must know about the plants, animals and so forth. Now he is interested in reading about animals. Yahoo! He has been reading Christian Liberty Nature Reader.

I'm so much more relaxed than I was with Josh. I look back and see how stressed out I was with Joshua. Feeling he was 'behind'. I know I did a real disservice to him. I see how I was shoving so much curriculum down his throat trying to keep at 'grade' level with his peers. By doing so I think I hindered him more than anything.

As we all know, each child is so different. We can read books like The Well Trained Mind or Never Too Early which promote early reading or Better Late Than Early or School Can Wait which is more for waiting until a chld is older. And to make it more confusing they all have their research to back-up their book. You get pulled in so many different directions. Unfortunately I found books that were bent toward reading early. I panicked when Josh wasn't reading at an early age.

It seems my boys aren't in the 'early' category and I'm fine with that now. We still start phonics instruction in 1st grade but I don't expect them to 'get it' all at that age. I see with my boys that phonics and all the spelling rules is very overwhelming for then at that age. Even though I would love to get phonics over with and be done with it after 2nd grade that it's not happening here. My boys need to continue their spelling & phonics instruction. I'm so thankful that we found The Phonics Road. This seems to be what we need. It's not cartoonish or anything, so even though the program is technically for 1st grade, my 3rd grader doesn't feel that it's babyish. No cute little animals or title. The binder cover actually looks more for the mature and grown-up .

Some of the things the children are up to these days.

  1. Joshua, is making a rope from plastic bags.
  2. Annette, is writing down all the states & capitals as well as the state birds.
  3. Caleb, is reading and loving it!
  4. Brent, loves to copy maps
  5. Ethan, continues to catch lizards.
  6. Lance, loves to act like he is reading.

CCC and MFW 1850

So many things going on. Christ-Centered Phonics is going well with Ethan. A little bit slower than I hoped. There is so much to cover in this curriculum. We are going over suffixes, and some spelling rules.

Ethan is six years old but like the rest of my boys at this age, some of this just flies over his head. Since he will eventually use The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading I am not having him master everything. It is a lot. I'm mainly concentrating on the phonics portion and of course Bible.

We usually start with going over the flashcards, then practice some blends and go over our Bible lesson. We are suppose to do a lot more but if we did EVERYTHING that is in the teacher manual; it becomes to much and Ethan gets bored. Once we are done with what's in the TM then we do the workbook pages. He enjoys the workbook. It takes us about 30 minutes. If we did everything it would be longer and we would have to break up our day.

Other times, I'll do flashcards, blends and so forth one day and do the workbook pages another. It depends on our day and how much time we have.

Regarding MFW Exp1850; I mentioned that I am not going to combine, well that is not set in stone. I would like Annette to use MFW Exp1850 in 7th grade & 1850 to Modern times for 8th (like I have it planned for Josh) so if we combine than she would be done. I know I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be, but we are not your average MFW users. As you know for the last two years we have been using textbooks . Anyway, I'm fine if we combine or not. For today it looks like we won't combine. I might find something that will be around the same time period for, Annette.

To complicate things more, I might combine my three youngest with Josh, since it's kind of like they would start Adventures. I have all the books because we used this with Josh, Annette & Caleb three years ago.

Why am I even thinking about all this? It's only November. LOL. I think it's because I want to pre read the books for MFW Exp1850, so it's got me thinking about the rest of the clan . Also Annette & Josh work well with workbooks/textbooks but Caleb I'm not so sure. For some reason Ii can't see him sitting with his textbook. I think it's because he is still learning how to read. When we did MFW Adventures Caleb really enjoyed the States sheets. I am sure he would love to go through Adventures again.....

That's it for now ;)

T4L and other Ramblings

Josh & I got our spacers on today. Josh was not happy about it. He still does not want to get braces. I told him, 'tough Twinkies" he still getting them .

Two of my spacers already busted. I'm going to have to go back tomorrow. Bummer! I haven't had anything hard or sticky. Some noodle soup, cookie & scrambled egg.


Regarding school; I think I have decided not to combine everyone with My Father's World Exploration to 1850. I have thought hard and long about this and would like to combine them for History, Science & Bible but I can't see when I can pull everyone together. I am going to do Bible together though. We can do that first thing in the morning like we do now.

Today, my dad came by. He loves visiting he grandchildren. I usually have the children do a lighter load of schoolwork on Monday because most times my dad comes and he stays for four hours. As long as we get math and language arts done with some reading we call it a school day.

The children still need to finish. once quiet time is over they'll finish their school.


The children like Time4Learning. We use it basically for Language Arts only. The program is great but I don't like how much time the children are spending in front of the computer. Annette, Caleb & Brent each spend about 20-30 minutes on their lesson and 20 minutes at the playground. The playground is online games. Some are educational and others are just for fun. Normally this would be okay since the first half is learning. What I don't like is Lance & Ethan watch all three of them. If you add that up it's a lot of watching the computer. For me computer is equal to T.V. time. I feel like half of Lance & Ethan's morning time is in front of the computer watching their siblings. I am not sure but I might pull the plug on T4L.

Annette, is doing well with it and she is the one I mainly wanted it for. I asked her if she would still like to continue with T4L. She said either way is fine. She prefers T4L because she does not have to write. She did complete all of Level 3 and has started level 4.

Caleb & Brent REALLY like it. I do like all the phonics review. Maybe we'll continue with if for this year or half the year

I don't have time to reread my post today, so I'll have to check for mistakes later.

Mr. Jims

Today we went to Mr. Jim's Pizza for lunch. We actually picked it up and took it to the park. It was pretty windy. The leaves where falling everywhere. Pretty but some of them hit your face pretty hard.

The children had fun playing. I was busy looking at the Scope & Sequence of CQLA & The Bridge. trying to figure things out. We then came home and the kiddos are napping and here I am.

As for school I still need to correct papers but other than that we are done with week 9. Amazing.

I almost forgot. Joshua, is going shooting with Lupe, this weekend. Yesterday they took a class with some men from church regarding firearms. Josh, was so excited. My boy is growing up .



Sticking With Our Curriculum Picks

I was able to purchase a used Character Quality Language Art (CQLA) program for Caleb. It's not the same color as Joshua's, so they won't be on the same character quality. It was $37.00ppd new this would have been $79.00+shipping. Normally I would just purchase it new and support the company but I want to try it out with Caleb first. He is still learning to read and all so if it doesn't work, at least I didn't spend too much.

I was going to use Christian Light LA with him but it took too long. Christian Light's LA program is really good though. I have looked at 1st-4th grade and really like how thorough it is. The program is not overwhelming for the child either. I'm really bummed that we are not using it.

Today, Caleb, is on week two of CQLA Pre-A Green. Pre-A is 2nd-3rd grade. Didn't want you to think he is doing a 'Pre' school program. They color code the levels.

This morning Caleb, had to highlight four words per sentence, write the words down and then rewrite the sentence. He also worked on prepositions. He does get tired of reading the same passage all week but hey, that's life . I don't like folding but it has to be done .

Last year I made a commitment that I am NOT going to curriculum hop anymore. I did pretty good last year, while trying to find our textbook groove. I did switch Joshua's grammar around some and Annette's reading. Last year we settled on Growing with Grammar & CLE Reading and used all Rod & Staff for history & science. It was great.

This year even though we had a rough start with The Phonics Road & Ethan, doesn't always want to do his Christ Centered Phonics; we are sticking with it. Now when the going gets tough, we aren't running to something new anymore. We are working through it.

It's great for the children because they see what they are accomplishing. Before we would start one program, switch to another, then another. I remember Josh, would feel like he never finished anything. Even though he was learning and moving forward it didn't 'look' like it to him. Last year he was happy to finish hiw workbooks

My Wedding Ring

When my Sweets and I where engaged my ring was way too big for my then slender finger. One time I was drying my hands in a public bathroom and my ring flew off. After that we had sized.

Once my fourth child was born, my ring no longer fit me. Not only was my finger not slendor anymore but either was I. My wonderful husband had it sized again.

Then after Lance our last child was born my ring was suddenly too big. My husband again had it sized because I missed wearing it.

Now unless it's cold outside my ring does not fit me . Guess it's time to lose some weight.