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Home School in the Woods: Project Passport

I’m so proud to report that we have finished a few more stops with using Home School in the Woods Project Passport.
In this Stop the kids learned about Ancient Egyptian Art. They drew like an Egyptian!

Before We Start Our New Year . . .

I recently wrote my “Our 2015/2016 School Year” post but we are not ready to start the new school year just yet.
With Ethan and Lance there are a few things I’d like us to do before the school year starts. I also want us to ease into this year, start slow. The boys will not be in full swing until January.

I have all kinds of plans whirling in my head so let me see if I can get it all written down in a way that makes sense to y’all =)

Homeschool in the Woods: I want to finish our Egypt study and then do History Through the Ages: The
Old Testament and if we have time the New Testament.

SHOELACE BOOKS: I want to get Lance started with the Simply Language Arts program and possibly Spelling.

I am combining SHOELACE BOOKS LA-3 with Elementary Bible and Grammar. I like how Shoelace Books includes picture studies, copywork, dictation, and some fun activities like crossword puzzles, unscramble the words and so forth.

I haven’t received
Elementary Bible and Grammar yet but from the samples it looks like the student will complete 1 worksheet a week (but I could be wrong).
So right now, I want to get Lance using
Simply Language Arts 3

Brookdale House: With Ethan I want to use Write Through Early Modern History Level 2 Cursive before I have him pick-up IEW All Things Fun & Fascinating. Modern History covers copywork, dictation, color coding grammar, and narrations.

Progeny Press: Before starting our new school year I want to complete
Stone Fox literature study with Lance. I think this will be fun.

Reading Kingdom: I want both boys to use this a lot before we start our new school year.

SHOELACE BOOKS: It would be great if Ethan completed Simply Phonics 3 so that’s on my ‘to finish’ list before we start.

I guess what I would like before starting our 2016 school year is to include lots of copywork, dictation, narrations, and practice reading.

I do plan to start some of our new school curricula but slowly. I’m very excited about our new school books and all but at the same time I want to continue with our Review School theme and use what I already own (everything listed above will not cost me any $$$-except for the
Old Testament Activity Pack).

With using the above items sort gives me a relaxed school feel as well. I think we are going to have lots of fun (at least I will, ha-ha).

Limbo School

Right now we are wrapping up last years studies and getting ready for the new school year so we are kind of in limbo.

What are we doing right now?!?! Currently we are using a lot of review items.
Spelling You See
Caleb completing Spelling You See.
Spelling You See
The program prefers the child to write in print. Caleb is older and asked to do it in cursive so I thought it would be okay.
Annette is almost done with Pre Algebra from MUS.
Lance coloring one of the Ancient Egypt pages from Home School in the Woods.
Home School in the Woods
Home School in the Woods
Ethan coloring too!
Home School in the Woods

Simply Phonics by Shoelace Books

Some of my boys struggle with reading and because of this I wanted to run a simply easy to use phonics program by them.  In my search I found Simply Phonics written by Laurie Hicks from SHOELACE BOOKS.
Shoelace Books Simply Phonics
Ethan my 12 year old son is working through Simply Phonics Book 3.

Simply Phonics is a series of 3 books. I did not purchase the first two books (only the 3rd one) so I won’t go into detail about  Book 1 & Book 2.

Book 3 is for a student who has either completed Books 1 & 2 or for students who needs a refresher course and has been introduced to both short & long vowel words as well as words with vowel and consonant pairs like ‘ai, ea, ee,  or need some phonics review/refresher.
Shoelace Books
I had Ethan read each page and I marked any words he didn’t read correctly the first time so he could read them to me the next day.

We spent about 10-15 minutes reading through pages. If he were younger I’d only have him read for 10 minutes or a page or two depending on the age. Ethan is older so he can handle going through the book at a faster pace.
Simply Phonics Book 3 does use vowel sounds and diacritical marks. If you are unfamiliar with diacritical marks there is information for the teacher in the back of the book (pgs. 131-135) that will explain them.

It is encouraged to have the child write and understand the diacritical marks because it will come in handy with using the dictionary. I know when I look up a unfamiliar word in the dictionary and am not sure how to pronounce it, I look at the diacritical marks to help me.

Even if you don’t have them memorize it I do think it’s to at least introduce the diacritical marks so they are familiar with the marks.

The book includes Rapid Review & Drill pages short poems, stories, and quotes.
Here is a page showing the ir sound. Ethan and I would go over the sounds before reading. This is something he has memorized in the past but could use a refresher on.
There are a few non writing activities for instance one of the pages had Ethan find all the short vowel words.
Another way you can use Simply Phonics (especially for an older student like Ethan) is have the child copy the words. With Ethan I have him say each sound as he copied it. For instance with the word ‘charm’, he will say ‘ch’ and write ch, then say ‘ar’ and write ar, and lastly ‘m’ and write the m, then repeat the word ‘charm’.

Simply Phonics does teach that they ‘y’ in baby is the short sound of /i/. I believe this is how it was pronounced at one time but most of us would categorize it under the long /e/. I had no problem with this. I simply explained to Ethan the history of the sound and moved on.

Final thoughts about Simply Phonics:
I know Ethan is older than the target age for Simply Phonics Book 3 but it’s working out great for him. It really is a great refresher for him. He’s doing well and it certainly gives me a peace of mind knowing that he’s going over all those tough vowel combinations and reviewing the oo as in spoon, oo as in book, wor as in world, and so forth.

Simply Phonics Book 3 is available in pdf format. Laurie the author has made it affordable for everyone at $10.00! In fact with the exception of a spelling book, all books are $10.00 each!

To order you simply send $10.00 to her Paypal address which is available at her website and indicate which book you are purchasing.

Laurie also has a great spelling and Language Arts program too so you might want to take a peek at those. Her spelling program uses dictation instead of lists of words!

(There are no affiliate links or disclaimer as I purchased Simply Phonics 3 for this review)

Wordless Wednesday (Annette’s Reads)

Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Schoolhouse Review: Writing with Sharon Watson

Do you want your children to be knowledgeable and discerning readers? Do you want them to become powerful fiction writers? If so you might be interested in our latest Schoolhouse Review Crew item we were blessed with. Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide by Sharon Watson or you may know her by: Writing with Sharon Watson.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

Here is what we received:

You can find samples for each book by clicking on any of the Illuminating Literature links above.

This is a two semester course. Upon completion your child will have earned 1 credit for either Language Arts or English. The course requires 8 novels (sold separately). It’s highly advised to use the versions that the author used so page numbers and so forth will match, making it easier and more enjoyable for the students.

Illuminating Literature has 9 chapters. The first chapter being 0. Chapter 0 is a welcome chapter- helping the child understand what a literature course entails.

Chapters 1-8 introduces one of the novels: Pudd’nhead Wilson, The War of the Worlds, The Friendly Persuasion, Peter Pan, Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High, A Tale of Tow Cities, Fahrenheit 451: A Novel, and The Screwtape Letters.

Each Chapter has between 5-10 lessons for a total of 70 lessons. One Chapter can take about a month to complete if you follow the suggested schedule.


The Illuminating Literature course will teach your child:

  • Text and Context

  • Pseudonym

  • Foreshadowing

  • Conflict types

  • Protagonist and Antagonist

  • Satire, Irony, Theme

  • Genre, Mood & Tone

  • Narrative Shift, Ironic Ending, Plot Stages

  • Hero’s Journey, Voice, Style

And so much more. Your child will get an in depth study of the seven novels and one memoir. He will extensively dig into the view of the stories, the conflicts, problems, and how they solve them. I love that as the student works through the course he will compare and contrast some of the books.


The Teacher Guide contains grading grids, answers for all the discussions (very thorough answers at that!), discussion starters, scheduling, and even a book-of-the month club for teens schedule.

The Student Workbook is consumable and you will need to purchase one per student. The workbook really makes it easy for the child to work through this course. There is a “Suggested Reading & Homework Plan” check off list. We like to check things off here at Homeschooling6. We like that checked-off accomplish feel (smile).

Each lesson as a “Before You Read the Book” lesson. This gives information about the author, gets the child thinking about the time period the book was written in. As you move through the chapter lessons (before you read the book) your child will learn literary terms, there are some question & discussions that really get your child thinking about the context surrounding the novel.

Once the child has read the book they get to rate it. We haven’t finished reading the first book Pudd’nhead Wilson yet so my kiddos haven’t rated a book yet but I know they are going to love doing so.

Your child will be instructed to complete the online quizzes and survey. What really neat thing about having your child use the online version of the quizzes & survey is it grades the work! I love that.

But if you are a more pencil and paper kind of homeschooling mama you can purchase the Quiz & Answer Manual.

Once your child completes the quizzes they will return to their workbook to complete a Vocabulary Quizzola then meet with mom (or dad) to discuss the book. There are thought provoking discussion prompts and questions.

The chapter concludes with “Your Choice of Activities”. For example with the completion of Pudd’nhead Wilson your child can pick to research their genealogy, interview someone of a different ethnic or background, paint or draw some of the characters, write a short story about twins, research and write a short essay on fingerprinting, and so forth.


You don’t have to print the Novel Notebook notebook paper will suffice. But I will say the Novel Notebook is more fun and colorful than notebook paper or composition book.

When Worlds Collide Novel Notebook

How We Used Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide in our Homeschool:

I originally had planned to use this with Caleb and Brent. I purchased a second Student Workbook for Brent. He ended up taking a to California (a last minute thing). So it ended up being just Caleb and I.

Both Caleb and I have been working through When Worlds Collide together. We alternate with reading because Caleb struggles with reading still. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to do the course with him.

I also thought he’d get more out of the literature course if we met each day and completed the assignments together. If you have an average or strong reader Illuminating Literature can be done independently for the most part. Of course you’ll need to be there to discuss the book.

I also had intended to use the course 5 days a week with the boys but that didn’t happen either. I didn’t realize that Grandma E was staying for three weeks instead of one. Not a bad thing because we love having her but during her stay we were only able to meet three days each week instead of five.

Unfortunately we didn’t finish the first chapter because of the 3 day a week schedule but we both are almost done with reading the book Pudd’nhead Wilson.

The first week we completed Chapter 0 “Start Here”. The second and third week we worked our way through lessons 1-4. These first lessons were interesting because we learned a lot about Mark Twain like how he was fascinated with twins, he visited the Holy Land, and Mr. Twain (his pen name) was temperamental.

Caleb learned about conflicts against, self, another character, society, nature, God/the gods/fate, and technology. He learned that pseudonym is a false name but when talking about writers in means an assumed name a writer uses.

The literary terms Caleb was introduced to in the first chapter: Foreshadowing and Irony. He was instructed to use his Novel Notebook to record:

  • Record witty saying by Mr. Wilson. Especially ones that Caleb liked.

  • Write two examples of prejudice.

  • At least one place where Mark Twain uses foreshadowing.

  • Record something ironic.

  • Any ideas about why the Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson is, well a tragedy for Pudd’nhead Wilson

As you can see even though we didn’t finish the first chapter we did get to delve into the program.

Final thoughts:

I love how Caleb is really learning to interact with the book of Pudd’nhead Wilson with using the Novel Notebook. I am having Caleb underline, mark, and highlight what he’s suppose to look for. Once he finishes with the chapter he can then copy and record his answers in the notebook.

The ease of use is something I’m so grateful for. Sharon Watson truly made it so the course is not overwhelming. The way the lessons are divided, the suggested reading schedule, and even having the quizzes graded online at no extra cost.
Writing with Sharon Watson Review
Crew Disclaimer

Our 2015/2016 School Year

 I’m still trying to figure out my 8th and 9 grade students course work. I have a general idea (sort of, it keeps changing) but haven’t purchased anything (thankfully since I keep changing my mind).
Right now we are really still finishing up our 2015 school year. Remember I switched our year from the traditional September to June – January - November. Total flop! I think I’ll just call us year-around-homeschoolers.

I have our 2015/2016 line up but no pictures or our new books. I haven’t ordered much. In fact I don’t have any of our books right now.

5th Grade
5th Grade: Lance
(Read updates of Lance's 5th Grade year HERE)

7th Grade

For 7th grader: Ethan

8th Grade
8th Grade: Brent
  • History: either ACE PACEs or SOS
  • Science: either ACE or SOS
  • English: either ACE or SOS with Grammar Revolution
  • Spelling: Phonetic Zoo A
  • Math: Unlock Math PreAlgebra

9th Grade
 9th Grade: Caleb
  • Not sure. Still deciding between MFW, HOD, and SOS
  • Grammar: Grammar Revolution
  • Math: Teaching Textbook Algebra
  • PE: Alert Cadet

10th Grade

10th Grade: Annette

12th grade
12th Grade: Joshua

As you can see I'm still making decisions.

If you are interested in reading what others are using please visit As You Walk Along the Road's blog! Have fun reading!

Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets
Right now we are doing light school. I didn’t plan it this way but our summer ended up being a bit busier than I had thought it would be.

Right now Ethan is not only doing Review School but he’s also reviewing subjects.
Super Teacher Worksheets Spelling
Here he is completing a spelling worksheet from Super Teacher Worksheets.
Ethan hasn’t had a spelling program this past year. I wanted him to start Spelling You See but it never happened. Right now he’s using Super Teacher level C. In a few weeks he’ll start Phonetic Zoo level A.
Super Teacher Worksheets
He aced the spelling test today, wahoo for Ethan. I started with level C because I wanted to see how he does. I was going to move him to level D in a few weeks if he continued to do well but now that we’ll be reviewing Phonetic Zoo he’ll only complete a another week or two with Super Teacher Spelling.
Super Teacher Worksheets Grammar
He reviewed nouns. There were more worksheets but they didn’t make it in the photo. I think that cause and effect worksheet belongs with the reading comprehension (?).
For science we touched on the basics of organs of the human body.
Super Teacher Worksheets math
With math Ethan continues to do his CTC Math and is using Super Teacher Worksheets to review the basics. 
Super Teacher Worksheets Brain Teasers
And some brain teasers.
Super Teacher Worksheets
All the kids have been using the United States map. At least 3 times a week they are filling it out.

Ethan also completed some reading comprehension worksheets too.
And that was our Super Teacher Worksheet week.

Along with using Super Teacher Worksheets Ethan is learning about Ancient Egypt and our current read aloud is Douglas MacArthur. Earlier we studied With Lee in Virginia. We love being part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Review Schooling

I’ve been having fun reading the Orphan Train Adventures. I bought the first book A Family Apart August 4th and have been hooked ever since.
Orphan Train Adventure
There are two more books in the series that I haven’t purchased yet. The 4th book A Place to Belong had a sad ending to me. I won’t say why I thought it was sad but as always with heart wrenching storylines it kept me thinking ‘if it were me . . .” type thoughts.

Sometimes I get too much into a book or movie and will ponder for days about it.

As for school we are sort of all over the place with learning history. The kids are continuing to learn about Ancient Egypt using Home School in the Woods.
Home School in the Woods
Lance made a Cartouche and wrote his name using hieroglyphics!
It still has to dry and be painted. Hopefully it won’t get lost like the papyrus did!

The next stop we’ll learn about the Egyptian Calendar and Egyptian Numbers and Measures so stay tuned. Maybe tomorrow Homeschooling6 will get started on Stop 9.

Super Teacher Worksheets has inspired me to get my kids learning the states. Not that we haven’t in the past but I’ve never had the kiddos memorize the map (sad I know).

Super Teacher Worksheets has a blank map that we’ve been using. This is one of the great perks with having an account with Super Teacher. I love that everything is in one place. No searching the internet.
Super Teacher Worksheets
My MIL found Scrambled States of America the puzzle at the .25 Store. It had all the pieces too!
Super Teacher Worksheets
It was an easy puzzle but fun too.
Scrambled States of America
Scrambled States of America
Scrambled States of America
Scrambled States of America
I also included Netflix. Everyday we watch one episode of How the States Got Their Shapes.

Right now I’m having the two youngest kiddos take a break from regular schooling and we are using Super Teacher Worksheets for most subjects.
Super Teacher Worksheets
Super Teacher Worksheets is covering spelling, grammar, science, reading comprehension, and math.  Ethan and Caleb continue to complete a CTC Math lesson as well.
I was surprised that Lance had so much trouble with finding the sums. I thought he’d covered this already (embarrassing).

I went to his CTC Math account and found that he only completed 2 digit addition. Oh my!
I had him do the skipped lessons starting with three digit addition.
CTC Math
Super Teacher Worksheets
This week Lance is learning about abstract and concrete nouns.
Super Teacher Worksheets
Super Teacher Worksheets
Ethan is also using Super Teacher Worksheets but I’ll have to write about what he is learning another day. I haven’t taken any pictures other than the above reading comprehension sheets.
Heroes Of History
This week we also started our Unit Study from YWAM. We are learning about Douglas MacArthur:
The general began his honored army career by leading his fellow cadets at West Point and ultimately commanded all U.S. forces in Asia. Remembered especially for directing the fight against Japanese expansion during WWII and later governing the defeated Japanese people with grace and wisdom, General MacArthur won the respect of millions, both allies and enemies. (1880-1964).” <—from YWAM Website

Before starting the book about Douglas MacArthur I thought we’d read a few books that is recommended from the Unit Study Cd.