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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Year at a Glance: 2008-2009


We have 4 weeks of play time, I do not want to extend 40 weeks and I know things will happen during the year where we'll need to take time off. Another concern I have is whether each quarter should have one poem eliminated but that will be determined as we go through the weeks.

I did put dates on it but I suspect these will change as we go through the weeks as well. This is working very well for me, thank you Jennefer for the inspiration- it is a HUGE blessing!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weekly Report TOG2, Week 21

We read the Mayflower Compact this week from a reproduction (at

Starting at Plymouth, England


Landing at Cape Code, Massachusetts

What is written:
The Pilgrims grew herbs, cabbages, and onions in rows inside a fence to keep animals out.
The Wampanoag grew corn, beans, and pumpkins together, fertilized by fish.

Whew! This was a week of crafts! Although we had a lot of fun, this is isn't what we want to focus on so there will be one project a week, two if time permits. Now here's what I consider the true shining glory of our week, Camille's first written book report...

Just in case it's hard to read:

George's Marvelous Medicine

George has a Grandma that told him to stop growing. He asked Grandma how to stop growing and she said ate slugs and worms.

George made a medicine that will make her nicer.

Grandma drank the medicine and Grandma got taller and taller and she went through the roof and Grandma had to have a crane to get her out. She asked for a glass of tea, so George gave her the medicine which made her very small but nice.

It is her first independent composition, I see the errors but I'm so proud of her! I told her to write a book report on George's Marvelous Medicine that included one or two sentences about the beginning, middle and end. We discussed how every story has a problem that the author is trying to solve and how the characters change because a solution to the problem requires something to change. This was the perfect book to highlight this with. Camille chose to read this book all on her own a couple of weeks ago (? or was it one week?) and I've allowed her to chip away at it, reading 20 minutes a day.

We are working on a Bird Poster that will show all that we've learned, there should be pictures next week but they will be a "work in progress". Our bird study will be over at the end of May, I think next week we're going to be examine and identify the skeleton of a chicken to understand bird anatomy. Camille is very excited, and I'm excited because she is. I love how homeschooling allows me to be the "cool" mom in my kids' eyes.

I have not included pictures for all our other subjects this week, there is only so much time I can devote to processing pictures and very soon I won't be able to do much online b/c we'll be super busy with the move.

Oh, don't forget to scroll down to the next post, Weekly Report Preview to see the diorama of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag cooking differences.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weekly Report Preview

Full report later, we're having fun though and we've learned SO much!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Very Rare, huh?

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTP)

Your personality type is goofy, imaginative, relaxed, and brilliant.

Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 6% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Poetry Memorization (3rd Grade)

• To memorize the poem list throughout the course of the year, reviewing all previously memorized poems before starting a new one.
• Review 2nd grade poems after every other new poem.
• Discuss what the poet is saying with the poem, illustrate and copy the poem in the poetry notebook.
• This year discuss:

- simile: a figure of speech used to make a comparison between two things, usually with the words “like” "same" or “as”.

- metaphor: comparisons that show how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in one important way.

- alliteration: the repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words. ("poor but proud," "hale and hearty," "green as grass," "live and learn")

- onomatopoeia: a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object, such as "click," "clang," "buzz," or animal noises such as "oink", "quack", "flap", "slurp", or "meow".
• Read about Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Vachel Lindsay and Kenneth Grahame for poet studies, complete a notebooking page about each poet throughout the year, one per quarter.

The Poems

First Quarter, Fall
Bird Talk by Aileen Fisher | metaphor
Merry Sunshine by Anonymous | onomatopoeia
Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson | onomatopoeia
Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson
Bed in Summer* by Robert Louis Stevenson (poet biography)

Second Quarter, Winter
Animal Crackers by C. Morley | alliteration
The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson |onomatopoeia, alliteration
Furry Bear by A.A. Milne | alliteration
A Christmas Carol (move to Christmas time) |simile
Stopping by the Woods by Robert Frost (poet biography) |alliteration, metaphor

Third Quarter, Spring
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson | simile, alliteration
Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson |metaphor
The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson |alliteration
The Hayloft by Robert Louis Stevenson | alliteration, metaphor
The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poet biography) | onomatopoeia

Fourth Quarter, Summer
The Lamplighter by Robert Louis Stevenson | alliteration
Where Go the Boats by Robert Louis Stevenson | metaphor
Some One by Walter de la Mare | onomatopoeia
Song of Mr. Toad by Kenneth Grahame (poet biography) | alliteration
Psalm 100

*Bed in Summer has already been memorized but will be presented again. If I have anything identified incorrectly for metaphor, alliteration, simile and onomatopoeia, I would appreciate being corrected because in a way, this is my 3rd grade year again too.


Monday, April 21, 2008

I lost a book.

I don't lose books, I may misplace them for a while but I have scoured all our bookshelves and I cannot find our copy of The Amazing Air Balloon. I've looked everywhere and because I'm creating a care package for myself for after we move, I had to order the book so it'd be here in time. For some reason, losing this book has gotten underneath my skin. I think it's all the time I've spent recently organizing our books.

I even pulled all the Year 1 books from their storage tote and Year 2 that I've put in their tote. I have 4, 18-gal. totes, one for each year- Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4. Year 3 and 4 don't have many books other than books that I've picked up at Goodwill. I have bookshelves now dedicated to art, music, math literature, grammar, preschool, science (divided up into categories), Unit 3 of Year 2, and Unit 4 of Year 2 history. I SHOULD NOT HAVE A MISSING BOOK. Not I, no siree. I know that I will FIND this book while we're moving and I'll wonder how in the world the book ended up there. The last thing I want to do after we move is have a bad experience at the new library while I wait for 10 weeks for a title I LOST at home. So I reordered the book. Now when I first typed that I had a lot of adjectives for the noun book, lol.

My Care Package
What is it? It will include everything I'll need for the 4th quarter after we move, every subject laid out and ready to go. I would do this anyways but I'm doing it earlier than I planned because of the move. After we move, I do not want to have to plan out school or figure out much. I normally wouldn't worry about 4th quarter until our week break in-between but we'll be moving during that time. Yes, my plan is to take one week off still, just one week. For one week, I'll focus only on moving and we will be unpacked for the most part by the end of the week. We are that way.

Dh recently said that he's glad that I can't stand to live amongst boxes b/c it helps it feel like home. Here's the thing, we move in and we have people coming over constantly. Danny was 1 month old when we moved into this house. By the 3rd day of living here, we were unpacked completely with the exception of outside type stuff like sports equipment, etc. First to be unpacked is the bathroom and kitchen. It doesn't matter where things go at first b/c I will rearrrange it. The bedrooms are done after that, which we usually don't have to worry about. And truth be told, the bedrooms is happening at the same time the bathroom/kitchen is.

If I can move into a house with a 1 month old, sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, I can handle a physically-handicapped husband with two kids, a dog, two birds and homeschool stuff. It's the homeschool stuff that is the major difference of what we're moving. Lol. "It's all organized though," I told dh. "Well I hope so, I just don't know how we're going to load all those bookcases into the truck," he said. What he doesn't know is that I plan on taking apart these cheap Walmart bookcases for transport. There is more chance of damage if I don't take them apart. I just hope I can do it without damaging them. Unfortunately we won't have the money to buy nice, solid wood bookcases for a while unless I buy power tools and make them myself.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oh my, birthday rambles

Today is my 31st birthday. I'm 31. I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this stage in my life. I never dreamed *I'd* be a stay at home mom and I didn't even know what homeschooling was so I'm in foreign territory according to my 17 year old version of myself's dreams. Ha! Did you follow that?

I was going to be a journalist, working to uncover the truth in an unjust world. I wanted to write for newspapers or magazines, I never envisioned myself on television. I like the behind-the-scenes, in fact I even dreamed of being a foreign correspondent. Right out of high school, I attended community college to save money and worked full-time at the local the graphics department.

In the graphics department I learned to create advertisements and how to create a newspaper the old-fashioned way: print, cut and paste with a wax machine. I remember putting 1pt. borders around photos and making sure they were straight. After each page had been photographed to make a plate to print from, I removed all the advertisements that we had wax-pasted onto the page, by cutting them out so they could be reused if they had more than one run or filed away.

Was it my dream job? Nah. I wanted to write but I figured I was starting where I should, at the bottom. Actually the bottom would have been the circulation department. Lol, the secretary had that job. Did I say it was a small newspaper? At 18 with a head full of dreams, I was tricked into leaving the graphics department because when a fellow degreed-coworker quit that left me as seniority. Hmm, 18 years old and running the graphics department. Yeah, the editor didn't like that at all so he tricked me into entering the world of advertisement sales and hired a degreed graphics designer for the graphics department. He said that I would be able to talk to the people and get my feet wet by "being out there." Uh huh.

Let's just say I quit that job after moving into advertising sales, I was railroaded by an editor that didn't want an 18-19 year old on staff but I wasn't down for the count. I moved on to other larger newspapers, magazines and stayed in the graphics design world of publishing for about 8 years.

Now I've been out of the graphic design publishing world for 3-4 years and at 31, I'm a dinosaur. It is fast-paced, new technology each year and new techniques come with the new technology. Let's say my experience is 10 years behind where the technology is now, I'm even working from an old G4 iMac with old graphics software which used to cost $600 for the program but anyone can pick up Photoshop 6.0 for about $75 now.

I never became a journalist. I didn't finish college. Work and life experience was enough for me at the time, by 24 I was making around $35K a year, which is not small potatoes. I have to laugh at myself, I'm now at home and not making any money and contemplating a part-time job after we move. What in the world can I do? I don't have the options I used to have while I was IN the graphics field. Like I said, I'm a dinosaur. So if I want a part-time job, I'll have to look at the same jobs that teenagers and kids right out of high school are working. Sigh.

We'll see. I want to work to pay off debt and get us into a situation where we can purchase our own home. We could keep going the way we are but it would be a long road to get us in a debt-free situation. Especially with dh racking up the medical bills left and right. I haven't been to see a doctor since Danny's birth. I know, my mom has told me and told me! I just can't justify spending the money, esp. without insurance on myself like that. We've also been living in a very small town where I can't trust the medical professionals b/c I've heard of others' dr's visits through the grapevine. Yeah, I'm not going anywhere near any stirrups in THIS town. We're moving though, back to a place where you can be anonymous in a town and see a wide range of doctors if you want. Now, I just need to be able to pay for the doctor's visit.

Okay, enough rambling. I don't even know what to say now.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekly Report TOG2, Week 20

Just a picture Camille drew this week

What a week of ups and downs! In our life, we've been frantic, in our lessons we've been steady. That is such a blessing! We took last week off and it is always a fear that we won't get back into our lessons as we should after a break but taking only 1 week off is proving to be good for us. Of course come Wednesday of the week off, I wish I had another week for planning and organizing but I'm learning how to use my time wisely.

I had planned to do the following this week:
Week 1 (Apr. 14-18)

Bible: Lesson 22, Days 1-5
Math: Lessons 120-124
Poetry: Review all, Rain by Robert Louis Stevenson
French: Review Unit 1, start Unit 2
Science: Nature Study and Bird Unit Study
History: Year 2, Week 20
- Jamestown Map project
- Thirteen Colonies Map project
Prima Latina: Lesson 1
PLL: Lessons 37-40
- Past/Present, Picture Study, Composition Lesson, Composition-Description
Explode the Code 6: Lesson 5

We are behind in our math lessons, we finished lesson 120 this morning. Because we're on a timeline for our move, Camille will do lesson 121 this afternoon, lesson 122 & 123 tomorrow. Lesson 124 and 125 on Monday and we'll be caught up. We did lessons 116-121 this week, we've been consistent each day but I can't remember how we got behind in the first place. Doesn't matter now, the concepts are being learned and that is what is important.

Okay, we didn't do this either. Maybe I wasn't on the ball as much as I thought with all the chaos. We'll just pick up this week's lessons next week and I'll readjust the 3rd Quarter assignments. I have wiggle room.

Camille illustrated, copied and has been reciting "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson this week.

We've been reviewing Unit 1 this week without starting Unit 2, we're slowly moving along and that wouldn't bother me but since I'm reporting about it, it does.

We've started our Bird Study this week by watching a few United Streaming videos about birds, Junior Zoologist: Birds and Vertebrates: A First Look at Birds and using the blackline masters each videos has accompanying. We're going to spend some time reading, observing our birds (backyard & the finches) and notebooking.

This week was a lot of fun in history, we read about Jamestown and Pocahontas. This week's project was to build a map of Jamestown and even Danny got involved. If I can keep Jamestown looking nice through the move, we'll see if our new library will allow us to display all of our projects for this Unit near Thanksgiving.

Whew! This week has a lot of writing for Camille, a few compositions and I'm so proud of her for hard work. I was afraid she would think it was too much but she was very nonchalant about each assignment. "Okay, Mom." She did request that I help her with spelling words.

Camille completed Lesson 5 this week.

We have put Prima Latina on hold because our June move, I feel the move will be a major interruption in our focus and I feel it best to wait until after we move to start Prima Latina.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Exciting To Do List

Moving Checklist

8 Weeks Before • April 21-25
1. Start researching new community
2. Contact new Chamber of Commerce for new resident packet
3. Find contact information for Board of Education office for county
4. Budget for moving expenses and start collecting estimates

7 Weeks Before • April 28- May 2
1. Start pulling together medical and dental records, prescriptions and shot records.
2. Get copies of any legal and financial records you need
3. Arrange for veterinarian records to be transferred.

6 Weeks Before • May 5-9
1. Make a list of friends, relatives and businesses who need to be notified of your move. (Magazines, catalogs, etc. too)
2. Start working your way through each room taking inventory and deciding what to get rid of.
3. Start to use things that can't be moved, such as frozen foods, bleach and aerosol cleaners.
4. Make sure to have contact numbers for the people in charge of our move to the new location and find out all we can about our new home.

5 Weeks Before • May 12-16
1. Start collecting boxes and packing supplies
2. Start packing items you don't use often.
3. Plan for any long or short term storage at new location if needed.

4 Weeks Before • May 19-23
1. File a change of Address
2. Schedule disconnection of all utility services and connection of new ones. Disconnect the day after you leave and connect the day before you arrive. Check on deposit refunds.
3. Change any subscriptions, catalogs, etc.

3 Weeks Before • May 26-30
1. Make sure all library books have been returned and all dry cleaning or items for repair have been picked up. Also retrieve items out on loan.
2. Decided to keep your plants or give them away.
3. Dispose of flammables, corrosives and poisons.
4. Have automobiles serviced
5. Prepare auto registration to be transferred
6. Make an inventory of parsonage furniture, decor and items by room.
7. Check the furniture status of our new place, decide what to keep and what to get rid of. (Couches?)
8. Rearrange parsonage furniture as it was when we moved in.

2 Weeks Before • June 2-6
1. Notify creditors of your move.
2. Plan meals for the last week of move.
3. Finalize "house folder" which contains information about the house for the new resident
4. Make sure parsonage checklist has been accomplished, if not get working on it

1 Week Before • June 9-13
1. Finish packings and prepare "essentials" box. Designate several boxes and items as "last load" items. Pack suitcases separately.
2. Drain all gas and oil from mower and other motors.
3. Empty, defrost and clean refridgerator at least 24 hours before moving day. Freezer too.
4. Fill any prescriptions or medications.
5. Notify friends and family of new address and phone number.

Day Before Moving Day
1. Dog bath
2. Kids baths

Moving Day, June 18th (my specific instructions for myself)

For LOADING the Moving Truck
1. Load books boxes first, make sure what we need immediately (for 4 weeks) is clearly labeled and put aside.
2. Load the entertainment armoire covered with packing materials to protect the wood
3. Load bookcases empty, then couches and the rest of the items.
4. Keep kitchen, bathroom, toolboxes and (kids & dog) toys, and 1 immediate need clothes boxes at the end of the truck for first removal. Pack dog bowls and food at the end as well. Keep a pack of name tags!!!
5. Keep cleaning products out in separate box, vacuum and mop before closing the truck.

For Leaving the Old House
1. Clean any surfaces that were dirtied by the physical move.
2. Check everywhere for leftovers.
3. Put House Folder on kitchen counter
4. Sweep/Vacuum and then one final mop from furthest point to the door.
5. Sweep out garage and laundry room
6. Hand over the keys

For Entering the New House
1. Walk-thru before unloading to list any repairs that need to be made, designate rooms
2. Figure out dinner for the night
3. Unload moving truck, use name tags for new people helping you.
4. Check list of utilities that should be on and make necessary phone calls if they aren't.
5. Unpack kitchen and at least one bathroom first.
6. Collapse in blissful exhaustion

We moving back to the Savannah, GA area! Woo-hoo!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Presenting Jamestown

TOG 2- 20, Jamestown Map Project from
Easy Make & Learn Projects: The Pilgrims, the Mayflower & More by Donald M. Silver


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Guess what I saw!

Meet the Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
He is a non-migrator and I've seen him on and off throughout the years at this same tree but never while I had my camera. Isn't he gorgeous? Sorry about the poor photo, he moved fast after finding what he was looking for.

We have so many nests in our yard, I feel ridiculous never noticing them before this year. Sitting in our backyard is like sitting in a large atrium, being serenaded daily.

I watched Mr. Cardinal for a while this past weekend and was able to get this fabulous shot of him. He really likes fighting or playing with the Blue Jays. I learned that Blue Jay males and females look the same. I took pictures of them too but they didn't turn out, it's harder to see them in a zoomed camera shot. Have I said that I need a better camera? Lol.

I followed this butterfly around the yard for 20 minutes before he would stay still for a photo. The poor thing, a large portion of his right wing is missing but he was huge. He is a Western Tiger Swallowtail from what my Peterson First Guide to Butterflies tells me. After we move I have full intentions of planting a naturalist garden to attract birds and butterflies.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our K-8 Science

Our scope and sequence changes as it needs to, nothing is set in stone.


Science Scope by Kathryn Stout- The concepts and skills taught in grades K-12 science and health classes are arranged by topic and grade for an easy-to-use approach to teach students of all ages—including multi-levelly. Teaching tips include how to teach the scientific process and strategies in a manner that encourages children to think critically and get the most out of their explorations and experiences. By using this guide as a reference of what and how to teach, content can be covered with any resources that the student finds appealing. The teacher no longer needs to feel bound to one specific curriculum for fear of leaving educational gaps. A checklist allows convenient record keeping. Students in grades 6-12 can use this book as a working outline to find information on their own.

Other core resources: Along with nature study & journaling, subscriptions to children's science magazines (Zoobooks and Ranger Rick for right now).

Trivium Academy Science K-12

Our year is organized into four quarters, the quantity of resources may reflect that our studies change by quarter. Studies are done year-round from 40-45 weeks. Resources may change as the need changes. It is impossible to list all the resources we might use from the library or other sources throughout each year, this is an overview.

Kindergarten: We will explore the world with Galloping the Globe and use The Animal Atlas to help visually identify animals within their biomes. Culture, world geography (including introducing landforms), literature and science will be the year’s focus.

We will also start reading Mother West Wind stories or The Burgess Animal Book for Children (depending on interest) as our living science book focus for kindergarten and participate in regular nature walks and studies.

First Grade: Our study of animals will deepen and become more organized with the help of God’s Design for Life: The Animal Kingdom and our carefully selected animal encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide by George McKay to help us discover and learn about the animals of our world.

Danny’s first grade year will be Camille’s fifth grade year so he will have the opportunity to see many animals live and up close as we will be observing many live animals during the course of the year in effort to learn from them.

We will also be reading from our vast home library of animal books as we go through the God’s Design lessons.

For our living science book, we will read either Burgess Animal Book for Children or Burgess Bird Book for Children, as well as James Herriott’s Treasury for Children and our regular nature walks and studies.

Second Grade: Studies will continue to be organized by God’s Design for Life series by using The Human Body volume, which will be supplemented with Head to Toe Science by Jim Wiese where appropriate with other science books to expand on the topics we cover.

We will use the Magic School Bus World of Germs kit to explore more about germs, bacteria and viruses.

John Hudson Tiner’s Exploring the History of Medicine will be read to explore scientists biographies for scientific literacy with DK Eyewitness Medicine. We will use Spotlight in Science’s Famous Experiments kit alongside the History of Medicine, aligning them when possible.

From our study on medicine will start our Botany studies using God’s Design for Life: The World of Plants and Shanleya’s Quest by Thomas Elpel. We have many living science books for botany including Margaret Morley’s Seed-Babies and Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas.

We will also be exploring botany science topics with these 17 creative experiments with three kinds of plants. You'll find out about circadian movements, root structure, phototropism, photosynthesis, growing methods, and more. This kit is ideal for science fairs! It includes seeds (mustard, cactus, and sensitive plants), biodegradable cups, germination discs, water retention crystals, a study guide, and other items.

Also nature walks and studies will continue.

Third Grade: We will use the whole God’s Design for the Heavens and Earth series during the year supplementing with The Earth Science Book by Dinah Zike, The Geography Book by Caroline Arnold and The Space Book by Marc McCutcheon which was used in Camille’s earth science year.

We will read from our home library of wonderful books about rocks and minerals, weather and other earth science topics. Our living science book will be The Fairy-Land of Science by Arabella Buckley.

We will reuse resources that we used for Camille’s year of earth science, including Slinky Science’s Rocks and Minerals kit as well as the Awesome Forces of God’s Creations DVDs.

Nature walks & studies will continue.

Fourth Grade: This year we will explore topics as they interest us as we read The Storybook of Science by Jean Henri Fabre. Topics range from ants to metals.

Milestones in Science by Thames & Kosmos will provide more information concerning the accomplishments of over 140 scientists and civilizations. Great Inventors and Their Inventions by Frank Bachman will supplement. Nature walks & studies will continue.

At this stage in our studies, I prefer to have a textbook to refer to, I have chosen the McDougal/Littel Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science textbooks.

Fifth Grade: Animals Alive! by Dennis Holley will lead us through inquiry and observational studies of animals by phylum for an in-depth study . Ecology for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave will be used for ecology as well as a large range of children’s science books to explore the topics further.

This year will exciting yet extensive as we keep and observe live animals for a short time to learn more.

We might get Exploring Ecology by Patricia Warren for our nature studies.

Nature walks & studies will continue.

Sixth Grade: We will study the human body in more depth with Human Biology Activities Kit by John Roland with a nonfiction resource (yet to be chosen) such as How the Body Works, or another Human Body encyclopedia in addition to a life science textbook.

At this stage we will use a compound microscope, National Optical 131 compound microscope. (selection may change).

For our botany studies this year, we will use Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel with Plant Identification and Terminology and Wisconsin Fast Plants experiments. We will use our life science textbook and the Essential Atlas of Botany to guide our academic learning.

Coursework may be modified. Nature studies will continue. Scientists biographies will be chosen for independent reading.

Seventh Grade: Project Earth Science titles: Geology, Oceanography, Astronomy and Meteorology will lead our studies for earth science and astronomy.

Our academic studies will be supplemented with an earth science textbook and a chosen encyclopedia such as How the Earth Works or How the Universe Works. This may be modified.

The order of study will be Meteorology, Geology, Oceanography and finally Astronomy to finish the year.

Nature studies will continue.

Eighth grade: This year is being reserved as a year to either accomplish high school chemistry or high school biology depending on the math level that is obtained. Scientfic literacy will be an important element. General Science coursework in physical science and chemistry may also be explored. Coursework is to be determined as we near this stage, dependent on skill level, interest and dedication. Possible coursework is as follows:

Option 1: General science coursework with scientific literacy, preparing for high school work.

9th: HS Biology
10th: HS Chemistry
11th: HS Physics
12th: Optional AP coursework or study in field of interest

Option 2: High school biology or chemistry with scientific literacy.

9th: Chemistry/Biology (depending on 8th grade choice)
10th: Physics
11th: AP Biology
12th: Optional coursework depending on interest.

Option 3: Scientific literacy with main focus on mathematical learning.


The Making of This Blog

I've been asked numerous times how I made my blog. It is and always has been a 'work in progress' in my eyes. I started blogging at and since I was a graphic designer before staying at home and eventually homeschooling, I have an advantage over other 'new to blogging' users. I quickly learned how to identify elements in others' blogs and seek how they did it so I can do it on my blog as well.

I slowly learned how to read HTML and CSS code and even bought a book about it to help me. My blog is not professionally done at all, it is piecemeal. I have created all the graphic elements, the title bars are graphics that I created in Photoshop. Code elements of my blog are from seeing items at other blogs and figuring it out for myself. This means I cannot teach anyone else how to do it b/c if I were to have to do it again- I would have to relearn how to do it myself. Isn't that helpful? Lol.

The content? That's been two years in the making. I research everything, everything. I had so many bookmarks on my blog before listed individually that they cluttered up my space. Someone had mentioned and that has been a tremendous help in keeping track of all the various websites that are wonderful resources. I have thousands of websites now linked through for my own use and as a help to others. I now only list the main topics on the left sidebar and when other homeschoolers mention a link that has been helpful to them, I look at it to see if I want to add it to our bookmarks, if so - I do.

I don't write for others (well I do sometimes, like this post), I write about us for us. This is my digital scrapbook of our homeschool and life. In the beginning of blogging, I wrote to be a part of the online community, to get readers, to make friends and to be somebody. Through a lot of pitfalls, God has shown me where this is detrimental to my spiritual journey with Him and unhealthy. I no longer wish to be somebody online. I want to be somebody in my own life, to my kids and dh. Of course as soon as I developed a healthier view of myself online, that's when the blog became popular, lol.

I write from the heart, I write about what's on my mind, the decisions I'm facing and what I worry about. I write so that I don't drive my dh crazy and I have an outlet for all the ideas that pass through my little brain. I don't write about politics, homeschooling views other than my own, news happenings, or anything else than just our journey. I will at times write about what is happening in GA legislation regarding homeschooling b/c that does affect us. I did not write about the California case recently because I didn't feel it was a productive topic.

For new bloggers, write for yourself. Write for your family members, share your child(ren)'s triumphs and struggles. Make your blog your space and don't worry about how many comments or readers you have. Decide why you are blogging and make it your own. I know many mothers that have made businesses out of their blogging efforts or they blog to promote their business. I do not sell anything but I do have affiliations that help us that I make available for readers and visitors to use if they wish. They are a help to us, but I don't obsess about them- I'm grateful for each time someone does use our links to purchase something because it is a HUGE blessing for us. I do not affiliate products that I do not use myself and enjoy or solicit visitors/readers just because I can. I have received many emails from companies asking me to promote their products on my blog, but I won't do it. My blog is not a business, that is not my purpose.

I created this blog in 2006 at, it has undergone many changes and probably still more to endure but it is what I make it with all its' faults and successes. During writing this post, I have stopped to feed my children, kiss Danny b/c he scraped his knee outside and played with my dog. It has taken a while to get to the end of this post and I hope it's coherent. Lol. My life is not this blog, this blog is just an extension of my life in a very small way. Keep it in perspective.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nature Appreciation in Photos

Can you see two birds in this photo? Hint: the cardinal is looking at the blue jay.

I suspect this is the blue jay's nest, I can never see them IN it! This is a super zoom shot with my sad little EasyShare camera, only the 5th try.

I love this tree, this is where we have 3 nests right now, two cardinals and one blue jay. I will miss this tree when we move, I had removed a tree-deadly vine from it when we first moved in and every year I cut back a bush at the base of tree. I'm learning so much from this tree right now and enjoying the birds immensely.

This is what 3 acres looks like (lengthwise at least), the line in the distance is the run-off ditch which ends this yard. We live on a little hill. I think I will miss this the most, the yard and the privacy of having neighbors two lots away. We've been here 4 years. It's sad to leave but there are new adventures ahead. The dogwood trees have been especially beautiful this spring and now they are shedding their flowers like falling snow. The kids and I have witnessed the transformation with new eyes as we have seen how a dogwood tree flowers in each stage and comes to life in the spring. It's hard to believe they were bare just a month ago.