Homeschool year 2014-2015

Here's the learning line-up this year for

Cliffs of Insanity Day Academy and St. Jenn's School for exceptional teens  :D

I am homeschooling my last two kids.  At one time, I was homeschooling is looking real different these days!

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Amie 7th grade:

Math   Aleks Math online                     Bible  Apologia's World View Series, we are finishing "Who is God?"

Language Arts    Grammar Rod & Staff 4   Literature & Composition:  Outside class with Biola Star they are using: IEW writing

**Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Seminar Workbook      **The Bronze Bow -Elizabeth Speare  **various book report books
-Institute for Excellence in Writing

Science:  **Oak Meadow Science 6  and  **Quick Reads level E by Modern Curriculum Press

History  Veritas Press online History- 1850 to Present      Geography/social studies/History: online Minecraft class, reading Around the World in 80 days

P.E.  Swimming laps 3 days a week and daily 1 mile walk/runs

Art:  private art lessons                      Music:  private voice lessons

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Demi-Sky High School 9th grade

Math  Aleks Math

Bible  Apologia's World View Series, we are finishing "Who is God?"

Language Arts

Grammar Rod & Staff 4

Literature & composition outside class with Biola Star  using:

*Fundamentals of Literature Student Text,  -Bob Jones University Press       *Brief Wadsworth Handbook 7th edition

*Vocabulary from Classical Roots A    *The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy   *The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

*The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkien           *The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens      *Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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*a combination of Oak Meadow World History (using Glencoe Text book) and My Father's World 

*Minecraft online class (geography, social studies, history) using Around the World in 80 days

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Outside class with Biola Star using Abeka Lab ManualAbeka Biology

Latin:  First Form Latin -Memoria Press   -DVD's & books      Art: private art lessons

Music: private piano lessons

 Josie 11th grade at performing arts charter school

- after-schooling with First Start French -Memoria Press and  driver's ed with Automobile Club

Meg sophomore at a community college

she works several horse care jobs, at Barnes & Nobles part time and is in the police explorer's program, beside full time college classes.

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I had the best Mother's Day in my memory.  It was the best, because it was effortless. We went to church, Amie was baptized today (and she asked me to baptize her- wow)  then went to a lunch to celebrate at the church (I was supposed to bring dessert & I just picked up cookies from the grocery store bakery- win!) and then we came home and I took a nap.  Later, we had spaghetti for dinner (Sky prepared it) and I picked up bread sticks from Pat & Oscars.  After, we all went to Barnes & Nobles and hung out.  I called my grandmother around 5 to wish her a Happy Mother's Day and survey the collateral damages (see grandparents' posts/NPD/Alzheimer's/depression/disfunction/codependent...) She was weepy (another post?) and so I quickly promised her that I was coming out the next day to treat her to lunch for Mother's Day...which I wasn't planning on. I had driven down there on Friday, Wednesday and Saturday last week already. (the drive one way is over an hour)

I reported back to Sky and he asked me, "why did you promise that??" and I told him, "hey, when your grandmother is crying on the phone on Mother's day, you promise almost anything to get her to stop."  to which, Sky replied, "fair enough".

After our Barnes & Nobles outing, I called my Step-mom, wished her a happy Mother's Day and chatted.  It was a really uncomplicated day.  winning!

The final exam for the college class I am taking- is this coming week.  I can't believe the semester is practically over!  I am already registered for a class during the Summer session.  I wanted to take two classes and "get 'em done" but I don't know how things will be in grandparent-land, so yeah, just one class...

Sky and Amie are busy writing short stories for a story contest.  I love seeing them throw themselves whole-hearted into a project.  Piano recital is coming up for Amie.  Unfortunately, we have -oh-so-many-tears from Amie over this.  I promised her I'd let her quit after this recital and move on to voice lessons; but to please, soldier-on for this recital.  We still have tears.  And, I haven't cleared what I said with Sky yet.  It was a moment of mom-weakness. I'll claim insanity. or, something.  Or, I 'll just dress to get what I want, when I tell him.  (it works).

Two weeks ago, I started getting up early againand I'm now back to running and actually being, you know, productive, again.  I took the opportunity to dive more seriously back into homeschooling-   I dusted off the My Father's World curriculum on the shelf, opened the schedule and actually, you know, followed it.  It was like magic, people....we schooled.  So yeah, we can just not think real hard about the fact that it is May and I'm working on week 3 in a 36 week, we'll just see how it goes. I am enjoying our schooling again.  Demi-Sky and Amie are still working through Veritas Press History online, they will finish up with that- and we will just see what we can accomplish with My Father's World this summer.  It's really nice to be working regularly through something together again, and it is really helpful to give the kids assignment sheets each week to make sure they are moving through their work at a good pace.

There is a lot happening with the grandparent situation, update in a future post...

Here are the books I am reading right now:

and here is a funny Mother's Day short video to entertain you...

*Bring a jumper ( A mother's day video)

**jumper is a sweater in England and Australia  :)

I hope your weekend was great!!

homeschool winter days


We are finally getting back into a routine since the upheaval of Christmas vacation.  So far this week, homeschool has consisted of:

  • shopping for a new full-sized violin for Meg.  She grew out of her 3/4th size and has been playing on my old, cheap violin while we saved up for a new one.  Monday she and I went to the music shop and tried out several.  We took one home on trial, to let her teacher approve of...and she didn't like it!  I guess Meg and I flunked "tone" class...!
  •  Getting the kids used to working harder on our studies.  I've let them all slip into a routine of easy/lite work. Things are a changing here now.
  •  Meg and Josie resumed classes at Biola Star.


  • I started test-prep with Amie and Demi-Sky.  I've used Spectrum test prep workbooks before and for some reason I turned up my nose at the Buckle Down workbooks.  I can't remember what I didn't like about them now...except maybe that it has no answer key (I think you have to go online or something for it) but- we started using them and I kind of like them.  I am really liking the conversational tone and all the test taking hints/strategies they are pointing out/teaching.
  •  We are doing "Farmer Boy" as a read aloud
  • Demi is still busy with lacrosse.  They actually didn't take much time off during the holidays.
  •  Josie is neck-deep in graphic-arts work right now.  She wants to- kind of suddenly- apply to the local performing arts charter school.  She has to submit a small portfolio for round one of consideration.  It is really rather wonderful to have her so immersed in something she is passionate about.  It is kind of wonderful to have her totally "own" it all herself, nothing for me to do but encourage her and offer supplies.
  •  It's also a little terrifying for me.  I worry about how she will feel if she doesn't get in.  I worry about her getting in and not being here homeschooling.  I really, really worry I will screw something up and not get the right paperwork in or miss a deadline.  I'm on the verge of little mini-panic-attacks a few times a day over this...on the verge, not real ones. Yet.   Sometimes being Bridgit Jones is a hard burden... kidding. not.


  • We started reading Don Quixote before the holidays.  It is a wonderful illustrated version recommended by Susan Wise Bauer in Story of the World- which is one of the resources we are using in MFW this year.  Funny, I studied this book in A.P. English in High School but we didn't actually read it.  I am finding it hilarious!  Meg and Josie read parts of it at Biola Star in their text book, but they got caught up in it when I was reading it out loud the other day.
  • Today, (Wednesday) I took the show on the road and we did Math and read-aloud time at a local bagel shop for lunch.  I forgot how much fun, and how re-energizing doing homeschool out and about is...I will for sure have to set aside more time for outings that include study time.
  • Art class and piano classes, and violin class have all resumed.
  • homeschool winter days are full days.  How about you, are you getting back to a routine?

Homeschool, the week that was

Well, hello bloggy friends!  Sooo, this little thing called homeschool...we had our first week last week, right after labor day.  I wouldn't be the Bridget Jones Homeschool mom if it all went swimmingly and as planned, right?  Hold on, I won't disappoint you....


I did manage to get my new My Father's World Curriculum books set up in the homeschool bookcase.  The idea is that the kids each have their own section and can put away/ find their books themselves. (they never actually ever put their books away, so we will see how this goes)  There is also a section for books on tape, which my two youngest will be assigned daily (more on that later).  The top part of the bookshelf is not so cleaned-up, nor is the homeschool closet.  }it's how I roll.....


I bet you are all wondering how it went?  How do I like My Father's World?  I love it.  I want to marry it.  I wish I had tried it years ago.  [le sigh]

...that was a sigh of deep regret for my years wasted in nomad curriculum-land....

I love the schedules.  I love that they are bound in handy/manageable book form, not in honking big binders I can't lift.  I love that everything is on one page, and that after the schedule grid-page, there are pages listed by day that have extra notes, instructions, etc.

I love that the High School schedule is written to the student.  Josie checks off as she goes and I check in with her.  <3

The first Day went swimmingly, it was more work than my two youngers are used to.  Because I was homeschooling my bonus student, I had really pulled the punches in regards to out-put of work.  Writing was really difficult for Teddy, Demi dragged his feet about it, I really went light with them all. ( I never wanted Teddy to fill dumb or like he was lagging behind).  A full day with MFW's Exploration to 1850  plus our normal 3 R's  was really a stretch for Demi and Amie.  I felt bad that I haven't made this level of work normal for them.  I am glad that it will become normal for them.  We read about Leif Erickson on Day 1 and the kids had to write a a few sentences about him. People, it was a stretch to get two good sentences out of them.  Demi is starting 7th grade, his writing output needs to seriously jump up several notches.  I thought about my 7th grade History class and all the notes we took.  My teacher's teaching style was to fill up 3 large blackboards up with the lesson, which we copied into a notebook.  Not the greatest teaching style, maybe- though I am a visual learner and do really well memorizing information I hand worked well for me that year- but my point was that I quickly and very neatly copied pages of notes several days a week.  My 7th grader?  I can't even imagine him pulling that off.  I've decided my solution will be to narrate together about each historical person, and then to cursive write several sentences onto a whiteboard that they will need to copy neatly.  I will increase the length of these narrations as I go, so that eventually soon their output will be where it should be.

Day 1 went off perfectly, though we were very stretched (which was Tuesday because of Labor Day) Day 2 was Wednesday and it all began to unravel on this day, in typical Jenn-fashion.  We had plans for a long-awaited beach day with our cousins.  We got a tiny bit of MFW work done, our 3 R's and then hit the beach.  Our hen Dapples injured her foot, I was able to get her in to see the vet after we got back from the beach...and there ended any further school work.  Day 3-Thursday we got the 3r's done, but no MFW for the littles, I had to attend a long orientation day with Meg and Josie for their Biola Star classes. I'm not even sure I want to tell you what happened with can leave that one to your imagination, but it might have involved, or not- my teens out in the wee hours tp-ing their cousins' house and my littles staying up with them to ungodly hours because I was sick and went to bed at 8, Sky goes to bed at 10 and then chaos apparently reined without mom at the helm.  I had to drag everyone out of bed around 11 on Friday  <Maybe>


Let's jump ahead and just say that on Monday (tomorrow) we will pick up with MFW and stretch out the rest of week 1.  which actually, I like the thought of, because the work load is such a stretch for the kids, this will be a nice pace.  So yeah, I like stretching it out, but I don't like that I am stretching out because I am such a loser at finishing an actual week.

Josie finished her week 1- and then some, actually.  She had to start reading Julius Caesar, and then just finished it.  Again, I love that the schedule is self-directed to the student!

So there you have it.  I love MFW, but then again, I haven't actually finished a whole week with the I will have to do a later report on our progress. But, so far, I really like what I see.  That I could follow and finish a complete day on the schedule- as written- is actually huge for me.  With other programs, I began jumping ship mid day and started skipping books, jumping days....typical mayham.

Our lives degenerated last year and this Summer into so much unproductive directionless meandering that I had to sit down and make up daily to-do lists for my kids.  Josie's and Meg's are a weekly check-list and list MFW work, basic classes, prep for their Biola classes and music practice, exercise.  They are actually really good about doing what needs to be done, but it helps them to see it listed instead of having to ask me.  Demi and Amie's are more detailed and they have two separate lists- one for daily stuff they need to take care of like 'brush teeth' and 'make bed' (sad to say, but yeah, I have to list that) and then daily lists of school work so they can see what we have to do before their school day is over.

I hate schedules, and I hate having to type these up...but I can also see that they are going to help us get so much more done.


So lovelies, it is now late o'clock on Sunday night.  My homeschool closet is not clean, but my house is and we hosted the Bible College boys over for dinner. Summer is very quiet without them.  I do have check lists for my kids all typed out and printed up.  The daily-human-living lists for Amie and Demi go into plastic sheets and then onto a clipboard so they can check them off.  My goal for my son is no longer Latin, but just to make him human.


How is back to school going for you?  Any new curriculum loves? 


**this post is linked to Homeschool Highlights in MFW at Discover Their Gifts or 2 ladybugs and a lizard "  Homeschooling with MFW or want to see what a real day is like with MFW?  Click over and read other Homeschool Highlights!