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Homeschool Mother's Journal + ♥Day in the Life♥

In my life this {month}… 
  • planning for Elli's 6th birthday
  • winter, snow, cold {too cold for me!}

In our homeschool this {month}…
  • 3 R's and Sonlight  ~ keeping it simple so I can focus on other things this month.
  • Sonlight highlight: Reading Little House in the Big Woods, eating pancakes with real maple syrup and rolling Eliana's hair in rag curlers. 

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
  • be intentional. Sometimes school just happens around here, but when I make a conscious effort to do school, it surprisingly gets done earlier and easier and I feel better about it. 

I am inspired by…

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
  • boys' dodgeball tournament at the Y
  • movie theatre with oldest two boys to see Lincoln
  • YMCA for the boys - working, refereeing, and playing 
  • Church 
  • Costco and shopping in the "big" city 
  • Build-a-Bear for Elli's 6th 
  • my sister's to see her and her family {and her two grand-babies!}

My favorite thing this {month} was…

Eliana's birthday. We had a fun day with a Build-a-Bear theme.

What’s working/not working for us…

is: life-school with Bo and Elli. Both love to help in the kitchen.

Elli is making pancakes by herself from start to finish.
She only needs help getting the cast iron griddle on the stove
and we've had many pancake breakfasts and dinners! 

Questions/thoughts I have…

Wondering how/when blogging changed for me. I think need to blog about something that I need accountability in because then, I am motivated to blog and that is when blogging benefits me the most. For the last few years it has been Five in a Row. . . but FIAR is not my main curriculum anymore and I don't need accountability for Sonlight ~ the schedule does that for me.

Some things I am thinking about:
  • Tot School for Boaz.*
  • Project Life pages for my Before Five in a Row album {so in love with this project but I am still working on years '10, '11 and '12 for my family albums}.
*I decided to focus on this and forgot all about my post! I've been printing and laminating and ordering things since last week and I am excited. We had our first day of intentional Tot School this week!  

Things I’m working on…
  • ideas for Bo for Tot School. He is my first BOY to do tot school with and he is very different than Eliana. He is also a challenge in that he is a very busy and active boy, and he is not talking as she did at this age. {I decided what I will do!}
  • Project Life
  • FAM charting {Fertility Awareness Monitoring}

I’m reading…
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility 
  • through the Bible using the KJV Listeners Bible on my phone ~ love it! I can listen and read at the same time ~ nice for those times when I need a free hand. 
I’m cooking…
  • homemade pizza
  • chicken fried (deer) steak with gravy
  • tacos/burritos with cilantro lime rice (think Qdoba!)
  • Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread
  • pancakes with maple syrup and turkey bacon
  • boiled potatoes and cabbage (with butter, s/p, and vinegar)

I’m grateful for…
  • a package of hand crafted teas (with very fun and creative names) and herbal iron tonic in the mail from a dear friend.
  • trials from my Heavenly Father that are meant to grow me and guidance from Above 
  • friends that willingly bear my burdens ~ not only offering to pray with me, but looking up information for me and offering advice and suggestions. So, so thankful! ♥
  • grace when I get behind on answering emails ~ I am slow slow slow in getting to my computer these days... I read from my phone but I don't like to reply from it. 
  • a new kitchen faucet
  • a new fridge and dishwasher on order

I’m praying for…
  • God's will in my life.
  • His grace to be sufficient. 
  • health and safety for family and friends.

Some Day-in-the-Life photos to share…

Taken with my SLR, these are for my first spread in my Project Life 2013 album, filtered with Instagram, though I decided not to use Instagram for the spread
(decided I will just use iPhone photos for Instagram pics in my album). 

{January 3rd, 2013}
Math review. . . sigh. Not his favorite math. 

Morning stretch. 

"Brr. It's cold outside," even my phone says so.

Something warm to sip on. . . with a little raw sugar to sweeten the day. 

{+ half & half}

Buttermilk Pancakes

My Fitness Pal - app on my phone to track calories. 

Broken dishwasher = hand-washing fun.
(Going to have to replace it.)

Sleepy feet. 

Sleepy girl. 

Air drying. 

New phonogram. 

Lesson 31 ~ AAR2

"ar" words 

Key Lime Tarts ~ incentive. 

All done. 

Focusing so hard on her writing. ♥

Coffee table = my desk these days. 

Jordan's Descriptive essay ~ "The Beautiful Game."
(We switched back to Language Lessons
for the High School Student 2 for LA.)

To fill my hungry tummy.  

and to share with Bo. 

Bo "wrestling" his big brother. ♥


 Leftover pizza from boys' dodgeball meeting this afternoon.
Pizza + Dodgeball = my boys in heaven.
Me = too many calories! 

Still sleepy from his nap. 

Finally finishing the math review. 

Hurried a little through the end. . . finished for now. 


a little "reading" time on the table.

Me staring out the sunny window.  (Filtered with Afterglow)

Dodgeball game.

I give him MVP for good sportsmanship. 


Time to go home, Bo. 

Winter Rows {FI♥AR}


We rowed Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (Five in a Row Volume 1) and Snowflake Bentley (Volume 4) this past month, but in a relaxed sort of way. I choose Stopping By Woods first, since we rowed it two years ago (just before Eliana turned 4) and I wanted her to experience this book.

For our row, we reviewed alliteration, rhyme, and literary device and did the lesson on memorizing poetry.
"The peace and tranquility of the poem is comforting and the appreciation of the beauty of nature is inspiring, while the repetition at the end nearly lulls the reader to sleep." ~Five in a Row Volume 1
I really enjoyed reading this book over and over.

Malachi's copywork and illustration.

From Language Lessons for the Very Young

(We are still using SL LA2, but are taking a break until we finish All About Reading Level 2
It was this week that we did the day-in-the-life for my review/giveaway)

Malachi's memorization work. . . he used his notebook to help him with the first word of each stanza. The video is not very clear, but I am not sure why.

Science: Microscope

I pulled Snowflake Bentley off the shelf to add to this row because Malachi was keen on learning how to use a microscope.  He got the microscope out every day and asked me to read The World of the Microscope (Usborne Science and Experiments) (we have the older version) with him and do the projects and experiments.

Learning to use the microscope. 

First microscopes ~ homemade magnifying glass. 

Another activity was to look at newspaper print under the microscope. (It was supposed to look like dots, but it did not. Inkjet vs laser printer?). 

We have some prepared slides that came with the microscope, so we looked at those and Malachi drew one in his sketch book as he saw it in the microscope.

Snow Science

We did the Snowflake Impressions activity from The Kids Winter Handbook. We sprayed hairspray on a piece of glass and collected snowflakes on it. When the snowflake dries, it leaves a small impression (hard to see, though). 

We had several cross curricular connections with this row that we covered in other lessons ~ butterflies from Sonlight Science (The Salamander Room), hexagons (The Bee Tree), flowers and fruit from Sonlight Science (Core A), so this was a simple row. The only other thing I wanted to do, but didn't get to was some sort of etching project, since William Bentley etched his negatives to get the snowflakes to show up better in his photographs. I thought of glass etching or etching for print making. . . maybe another time. 


Eliana's first paper snowflake (with a coffee filter). 

Malachi made his first paper snowflake about the same age when we rowed The Snowy Day.

Our FI♥AR Recipe: "Warm Me Up Soup" and "Snowflake Dinner Rolls" (names we created)

The soup is an idea from the winter handbook above. 

Our FI♥AR Treat: Snowflake Bentley's Snowballs 

This is a suggestion in the manual. I must have read it in the manual and then forgot, but had my heart set on making these, because when I went to get the manual, I was surprised to see them in there! But, I was also surprised that this is a volume 4 row! I did the same thing as in the manual, except I did not fill the centers with marshmallow cream. (I was planning to make homemade Hostess chocolate cupcakes for Bo's birthday and didn't bother with it for the snowballs.) These taste just like the coconut cake I used to love and buy from Sweetheart Bakery. . . too many years ago. 

Messy to make. 

But, we didn't mind. :) 

Bo enjoyed them, too. :) 
Delightful Learning