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My Sock Monkey Boy

A few nights ago I found Brent asleep in the living room. I think orginally he was just resting, but soon was in la-la, land.

When I came back a later to check on him he was sprawled with no hat.

My Lance

This is Lance when he is not a happy little guy.

 This is Lance sleeping.
 When I found him curled up like this, it reminded me when they were toddlers.
 It's not often I see my littles sleeping with their feet tucked under.

Day 179

Joshua, completed a Teaching Textbook lessons and only missed three problems. I'm so excited!!! I'll have him continue with Teaching Textbook for a while then go back to Systematic Math.

Annette, usually does her school work in the living room but occasionally she's come to the kitchen.
 Brent, reading his Bible. Both Brent and Caleb, are doing so much better with using Heart of Dakota, Preparing Hearts.
 Now that they are no longer complaining about the work load, our days are so much smoother and they finish in a timely manner.
 They are really excited to be done my noon. I don't have to coax them anymore either (Praise God!). Most days they open of the Guide and start on their independent work.
 Just today, Brent, said he can do all his copywork in cursive now. This was a real struggle at first. He would whine and actually cry (shocking I know). He would ask if he could do half in cursive and half in print. I agreed and in his own time he is now completing the passages in cursive. I'm so excited!!!

There were times I thought we weren't going to make it with Heart of Dakota, but I had my children stick with it and am so glad. In fact Brent, is excited about using Creation to Christ. I have been encouraging both boys to really hunker down on their reading, because I REALLY need them to read more next year. I'm swamped with the two little ones and them and over seeing the two oldest. I let them know I NEED their help. I'm sending S.O.S signals (save our school).

Ethan and I have did some Beyond school and I did some Little Hearts school with Lance. Slow and stead wins the race as they say. We sure have been slow at times but with steady progress we will reach the finish line.

Finding Time to Review

How do you find time to actually try the TOS Crew review materials with your kids in order to write a review? This was a question I was asked recently, and to tell you the truth I'm having a hard time answering it. Maybe it's because I'm still a new reviewer.

I guess the simplest answer is, I put our current program on hold for the time I'm reviewing a product.

For instance with Mathematical Reasoning, I had Caleb stop Math-U-See for the time being. Caleb, was and is almost done with Math-U-See, so I didn't get that 'behind' feeling with him. He has done well with Epsilon. He really enjoyed, {as much a child can enjoy math ;) } the change from his regular program and I think the colorfulness of it helped out too.

Another item was God's Great Covenant, again, I set aside our current Bible study which happened to be part of the Heart of Dakota program. As much as I enjoyed God's Great Covenant, I had to stop using it once the review period ended.

Currently, I'm reviewing enVisionMATH 4 with Ethan. Like Caleb, he is almost done with his current math program. Ethan, doesn't have as many subjects as the other children, so he has been doing both math programs. enVisionMath 4 daily and his current math three times a week.

I guess one of the hardest parts of reviewing is knowing that I can't continue using every, single, item. I don't want my readers to come to the conclusion that, "Oh, Linda didn't care for it because she didn't continue using it". When, in reality many of the products so far I have really liked. There will be the few that don't fit my teaching style like the Judah Bible Curriculum. I loved it, but those of you who read my blog regularly know that I need much hand holding and a good schedule. This program I could absolutely see my sister Cynthia use.

With WriteShop Jr D, once our new school year starts, we'll most likely have to stop using it, because Heart of Dakota is a very full curriculum and I don't see the boys keeping up if I add too much on their plate, but I really like WriteShop, so much so, I ordered level B to use with Ethan over the summer.

Then there is the commitment I made when accepting the responsibility to become part of  The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and to the companies that I accept items in exchange for my honest review as being part of the TOS Team. I have an obligation to TOS, the companies, and you all, and that is to use the products so I CAN write an honest and informed review.

Having six willing children helps to spread out the review items, although there are many on the Crew who have one or two children and are doing a fine job =)

Lastly, just being able to be flexible. I have my core program Heart of Dakota that I plan to continue and will work around it but knowing that I may have to let a certain part of it go temporarily, I'm okay with (like when using God's Great Covenant). Just getting in that mind-set before accepting the TOS Crew position has helped.

This has been a HUGE blessing, I enjoy receiving, using, learning, and writing up the reviews. I do intend to write a post about the process. From the time I receive the item to getting the review written.

Anyway, that's my short, long answer.

Part of Day 178

Aaack! I was suppose to have wrote this post before midnight but my hubby was busy on the computer playing one of the children's favorite game, Poptropica.
I'm finding that my two middle boys, Caleb and Brent, aren't very adventurous when it comes to writing. Real life yes. Writing an adventure story, no.

Today's WriteShop Jr. assignment was to write an adventure story using words from the noun bank. Here is Brent's story.
Me and my brother Ethan, were exploring the Amazon jungle. When we found a secret passage. It led to a cave full of diamonds. We collected a lot of diamonds and went home.

I asked Brent, where's the excitement. What about, and the boa slithered from a tree, as I backed away, I became entangled in some vines....
Using enVisionMATH 4, today's lesson Ethan, practiced finding the missing number.

 We reviewed using the bar to find some of the missing numbers. We worked many of the problems on the whiteboard. The key with this lesson is getting the child to do mental math.

Ethan, is pretty good with mental math and didn't really need the bar sample, but I wanted him to learn it anyway, you never know when it will come in handy. Actually with some of the bigger problems using the bar method above helped.

We also watched "Tigers of the Snow", I was tired today, so sitting down with all the children (except Josh) was a good thing. Lupe, came home while we were watching it and this is when Josh introduced his dad to the game Poptropica.

I would have liked to write more about our homeschooling day, but I'm super-duper tired now. I took two naps today, why am I up so late?!?

Package Day

It was a Happy Package Day for me =) My Critical Thinking Co. and Lightning Literature packages came today as well as my Professor B Math~ E-Learning class.

This is how my Critical Thinking books arrived at my doorstep. Thankfully there wasn't that much damage to the books. On one of the books, the corner is bent but that's about the extent of it.

 I'm really excited to be able to review Lightning Literature. I have only been able to scan the Teacher Guide. I tried looking at it during our lunch hour, but with six children all wanting attention and excited about something......oh and can't for get Little J too. He says, "Auntie, Auntie, I ate all my sandwich, see". He's a joy to have.

Another TOS Crew item I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to review is Professor B Math, so that came today too via an email.

Beginning Week 36

This is our last 'official' week!!! Then a two week vacation. Oh how fun.

Tomorrow I hope to accomplish:
  • Complete a Days worth of Preparing with Caleb and Brent
  • Complete a Days worth of Beyond with Ethan.
  • Complete a Days worth of Little Hearts with Lance.
  • enVisionMATH 4 with Ethan.
  • A Reason for Spelling with Ethan.
  • A Reason for Writing with Lance.
  • Phonics Pathways with Ethan.
  • Phonics Pathways with Lance.
  • WriteShop Jr. with Caleb and Brent.
  • WriteShop Primary B with Ethan (Journal entry).
If I could get the above done, it will be a good homeschooling day. (a line through an assignment means completed)
Editing to add that I didn't get all I wanted to done, but there is still tonight. Maybe I can do some reading after nap is over and have Ethan read to me too!

Either Monday or Tuesday my Critical Thinking Co. order should be here. The package has left the Dallas sort facility. Once our two week vacation is up, four of my children will start different levels of Mathematical Reasoning and I'm super excited to be able to review Professor B Math. When I ordered the Mathematical Reasoning workbooks I didn't know I would be reviewing Professor B.

Last night when I wrote this post I forgot I had an orthodontist appointment, so much for the big dreams. I'll be happy to get half of the above done ;) I was on my way to bed when I remembered. Oh well. I picked dark blue bands. I'm going to miss my pink ones =o)

Relaxing Day

It's been a nice relaxing day. I slept in till about 8:30. The night before I stayed up late organizing my blog.

By the time I woke the whole household was bustling already. My hubby was on his way out to pick up a vintage table he found at a garage sale the other day. I'll have to share a picture later. I'm the one who encouraged him to go ahead and get. It cost $150.00 and was well worth it.

We were able to fit it in our bedroom, now Lupe, has a little space to himself. Happy Father's Day my Love!!!

Most the morning was cleaning out a space for the table, that Lupe turned into a desk. Later my Sweets and I went to the grocery store for some bread, lunch meat, fried chicken, chicken salad, potato salad and cereal. Oh and Lupe wanted to get some Popsicles for the children. I couldn't find any that did not contain red dye #40 and/or high fructose corn syrup, so we settled for some fudge bars instead. The fudge bars did have corn syrup though. By the time we left Albertsons we had spent $84.84. Wow! We were suppose only have picked-up lunch, hee, hee. Oh well, we did get a few extra things that were on sale.

After lunch, Lupe took a five minute nap, then he had to get ready to go to Dallas. He took Josh and Annette. The other children and I stayed home and watched Thunderbeast. Fascinating animals!
We have watched this episode before about a year ago or so, but I never tire of the Bison. They are just amazing creatures/beast! I must warn you all, there is a mating scene.

After watching Thunderbeast via Netflix, the children are now napping. It's so quiet. Once they wake, we'll have an early dinner of sandwiches. It's too hot to use the stove.

Just for fun, here are some prices for the food we bought today:
*Simply Lemonade~$2.01 (on sale)
*Frosted Shredded Wheat (no high fructose corn syrup or dyes)~$2.50
*GM Honey Nut Cheerios~$1.41 (on sale)
*Fudgesicle Ice Cream~$3.10 (on sale)
*Frito Chips~1.99, I use these with our Taco Soup, so I stocked up, usually Fritos are $3.29 to $4.19.
*Roast Beef cut fresh on sale for $7.41lb

Editing to add that once my Sweets came home, he took us to Yogurtland. I had a gift card that my SIL gave me for mother's day and she also included a 20% off coupon. The total for all our yogurts came to $28.00 but thankfully we paid less than $20.00. We have never been to Yogurtland. It was the 'happening' place.

Once done with our yogurts we headed to Target. Brent, needs a new pair of church shoes. Poor guy has been so patient. His current church shoes squish his toes. As soon as church is out he takes them off.
We got a few more groceries for the week, Annette and Ethan, needed some pants, so we purchased a few for Annette and one for Ethan. The children got some new socks, much needed =) so our total at Target was $180.00. Yikes. Guess it's going to be beans and rice this week :p just kidding, well almost, have enough ingredients to make a few yummy meals before the plain ones are served ;o)


{Writing this up so I can post it under 2011/2012 School Plans}

Joshua~8th Grade
I thought I'd start with the oldest and work my way down. Joshua, is an 8th grader this year. Can't believe my baby will start high school next year.

Here is what Josh will use this year.
Edited to add that we have one week left of school and Joshua stuck with all except Spanish and Analytical Grammar.
Bob Jones Distance Learning via DVD for all subjects except math.

For math he will use Systematic Math starting with level 6. and 6.2.
What I like about this math program is it states on the website that level 6 can be used with grades 6, 7 and 8. There is nothing flashy about it. No little characters. Just a math teacher teaching math in front of a chalkboard and for Josh, that's a good thing. He occasionally will use Teaching Textbook 6 as well.

Art-I Can Do All Things. Hopefully he will finish this in a year. It's meant to be used over a course of three years but since Josh is older I think he can finish it sooner.
Latin Primer A
He will also start Spanish. This was included in his Bob Jones package. He wants to know Spanish so next year when he visits his grandparents in CA and they have a yard-sale he can communicate with the customers.We ended up saving Spanish for another year.
I am trying to add some copywork as well at least twice a week. I'll use selections from Queen Homeschool. I would also like to work on outlining with Josh.
I plan to add in a few things this year like:

and with the dvds
Grammar, was a hit and miss this year. I started Josh with Bob Jones, but it was too much, then AG and finally settled for R&S to finish out the year.


Annette 6th Grade:
Bible: Foundations in Romans by Simply Charlotte Mason.

For language Arts Annette, will use WinterPromise LA-6 and only the grammar portion of WP LA-4. This includes:
Spelling and Vocabulary.

Creative writing. She will meet aliens and humans who will teach her to use great word choices, fantastic sentence structure, and how to communicate clearly.
And grammar. Each week she will rewrite a passage, she will then answer questions about the passage, read grammar concepts and she will have to construct new sentences or come up with new or original word choices.
WinterPromise grammar workbooks B, C and D .
(Annette, did finish this series)
And literature. She will read:Children of the Longhouse; Almost Home; Songbird; Guns for Gen. Washington; Pirate Patriot: John P. Jones; Little House in the Big Woods; Soft Rain; Who Was Mark Twain?; The Giant Rat of Sumatra (she did read all the books)

Because this year I am having Annette, focus on Grammar, she will also take an 11 week Analytical Grammar course via dvds.

Penmanship-Classically Cursive Book 1. I am having her review cursive letters with this book. She still writes only in print. Last year, she started writing some in cursive but stopped.

I am trying to fit in Writing with Ease at least a few times a week.

For math Annette, is using Math-U-See Epsilon and Zeta.

My goal with Annette, is to get her ready for Bob Jones 7 next year. I would like for her to continue with Math-U-See but it looks like we might go the Bob Jones route using the DVDs. If it works out once our children hit Jr. High they will switch to Bob Jones.

History-America the Beautiful.
America the Beautiful Literature.

Science-A Nature Walk with Aunt Bessie.
Latin: Latin Primer A.


Edited to add that by January, we did drop WinterPromise Language Arts. We saw no need to for to continue because it was being covered with using AG, Writing with Ease, Writing with Skill and Write with World.
For writing Annette, started with a combo of WinterPromise and Writing with Ease 3. Once Writing with Skill became available, she dropped Writing with Ease and WinterPromise. The last 10 weeks of school she used a writing program that I reviewed and decided to continue with it, Write with World.
Caleb and Brent
With Caleb 5th grade and Brent 4th grade I pretty much school together. They do have separate math programs. Brent used Teaching Textbooks 5 and Caleb used Math-U-See Delta and Epsilon.
You can read what they used HERE, I kind of switched in the mid-year but I kept what they used in the post because it was used diligently for the first half of the year.

Ethan 3rd Grade

*Beyond Little Hearts
*Teaching Textbooks
*Cursive First
*Rod and Staff English 2
*Phonics Pathways

With Ethan and Lance, I switched from using WinterPromise Hideaways in History, Writing with Ease, Simply Spelling, and Leading Little Ones to God, to Heart of Dakota~Beyond with Ethan and Little Hearts with Lance.

Lance 1st Grade
*All About Reading
*Little Hearts
*A Reason for Handwriting A
*Explode the Code 1
*Math for a Living Education
Read more about his 1st Grade plans HERE.

To read my Week in Reviews plese click HERE.