Sunday, November 27, 2016

SCHOOL YEAR 2016-2017

The start of a homeschool year is always filled with excitement and concerns, but this year is especially filled with mixed feelings. This is my first year with just one learner at home. Even when I started 13 years ago, I had a kindergartener and a preschooler (with a baby on the way). My older kids, Jake, a senior, and Cate, a freshman, are both attending a STE(A)M charter school. This year Sam will be my only homeschooler.

With Sam's developmental delays stemming from Sensory Processing Disorder, focusing on his learning will be a huge benefit to him. His abilities in core subjects are "all over the place", effected by his visual tracking and fine motor challenges. He's made slow, steady progress in these areas, but he is "behind" in writing, spelling and reading comprehension. Our focus skills this coming year will be in the following areas:

❏ Improve Spelling
❏ Write 5 Paragraph Essays 
❏ Practice Formation of Cursive and Print Letters
❏ Improve Reading Comprehension

As for the rest of our studies this year:

Moby Max (continued from last year)
     Language, Vocabulary
     Reading Stories
     Reading Skills Literature
     Reading Skills Informational
     Writing Workshop
     Writing Assignments
Daily Grams Grade 6
GradeSpelling Grade 3
Word Roots A1 (Cherie A. Plant)

Saxon Math 6/5 with DIVE CD (continued from last year)
Saxon Math 7/6 with DIVE CD
Mind Benders A1 (Anita Harnadek)
Mind Benders A2 (Anita Harnadek)

Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

A History of US (Joy Hakim) Books 3-10 (continued from last year)
Sheppardsoftware USA Geography Games

Art Fraud Detective (Anna Nilsen)
Meet the Great Composers Book One (June Montgomery and Maurice Hinson)

With many things different this year, I'm both excited and anxious to see how things go. Sam doesn't enjoy organized sports and decided not to continue Boy Scouts so our schedule is "wide open" (after transporting Jake and Cate to and from school). I hope to find a homeschool group for him to participate in, but for the first time EVER we have more freedom to focus on experiences we want. Kayaking? Fishing? Library Clubs? Perhaps even a Lego Robotics Club?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 26 - 28 - The End is in Sight

It's been difficult  for me to keep up with blogging. With the warmer weather and the school year wrapping up, our focus hasn't been on school. We have lots of plans this summer, so I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to accomplish. Sometimes it's important to experience life rather than record it. But I'll certainly be around here and there, and definitely in the fall when another new year begins.

My Life in a Post (blog)

Needful Things (King), Everblade (Messenger)
Khan Academy: Pre-Algebra (94%)
CNN Student News

MobyMax: Language, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Math Fluency
Wattpad: Capitals, Punctuation, Showing Spoken Words
Cursive Copywork: 
Eragon (Paolini)
Saxon 65: Test 7 (87.5%), Lesson 40 (Fractions), Lesson 41 (Fractions Using Number Lines), Lesson 42 (Comparing Fractions), Lesson 43 (Mixed Numbers), Lesson 44 (Adding and Subtracting Fractions), Lesson 45 (Short Division), Test 8 (905), Lesson 46 (Fractions), Lesson 47 (Divison with Remainders/Mixed Numbers), Lesson 48 (Metric Scale), Lesson 49 (Inch), Lesson 50 (Fraction Pictures), Test 9 (87.5%), Lesson 51 (Compass), Lesson 52 (Mixed Measures), Lesson 53 (Expanded Notation), Lesson 54 (Informational Problems), Lesson 55 (Word Problems), Test 10 ( %)
CNN Student News

Sam finished on Lesson 13: Stars and Galaxies in Apologia Astronomy. He recorded information summaries and biographies on lined paper rather than printed notebooking pages. (I'm out of printer ink...) He's learned about: constellations, asterisms, star systems, black holes, supernovas and nebulae, variable stars, categorizing stars through temperature, size and brightness, light years, 4 types of galaxies, and God's design for the heavens. He completed a project making an astrometer and a constellation viewer. 

Then he finished his final lesson in Apologia Astronomy, Lesson 14 Space Travel where he learned about the "Space Race" between the US and Russia, Sputnik, the International Space Station, and built is own model of a space station from recycled materials.

Science? Complete!

Cate finished up Module 14: The Human Circulatory System with a 100% on her exam, and Module 15: The Lymphatic System with a 93.3%. She only has 1 more module to complete as well as a few previous experiments.

I read aloud chapters 10-30 to Sam from A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies 1600-1740 (Hakim). Our reading covered the creation of government in America with the House of Burgesses, King James of England, the Pilgrims and Puritans and Church of England, Henry Hudson and New York, Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch in New York, the Duke of York James and New Jersey, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I, William Penn and Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, 


As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly wrap-up blog hops. 
 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Have a WONDERFUL week! Happy homeschooling!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Journal Jottings of a Maine Mama - April , 2016

I haven't had much time (and truth by told ENERGY) to do much blogging lately, or even reading all the wonderful things you all blog about. My life is blessed! I simply want to enjoy every day that God has given me with my loving husband and zany kids, the new experiences, the adventures, and even the challenges.I miss writing though, and this link-up. Perhaps starting it at the beginning of the week and posting the following Monday will work...


Although we've had some days of steady, cool rain, the weather has warmed up. We are enjoying more and more sunny days. Some days we don't even have to wear jackets!

All the snow is gone. The leaves have been raked off the lawn. The downed tree branches have been gathered and stacked to burn in the fire pit. The grass is green and growing. Cate's perennials have popped up as well as the Bleeding Hearts under the crabapple tree. The brook is swollen with melted snow from the mountain. Decidious trees are leaf buds. And the birds and spring peepers are back filling the woods with songs.

After a busy morning filled with learning and errands, I'm resting in the livingroom. The windows are open and I can hear the hens clucking. Another egg? Sam is making homemade peanut butter cookies and watching Netflix. The dogs are napping on the other end of the couch.

Grocery Shop
Band Practice
Scrub Toilets

Monday: Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread and Steamed Peas
Wednesday: Leftovers - Baked Beans and Hot Dogs or Spaghetti and Meatballs and Baby Carrots and Celery Sticks
Thursday: Breakfast Pizza with White Pepper Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Cheese, and Bacon and Pineapple Chunks
Friday: Chicken Alfredo and Steamed Cauliflower/Broccoli
Saturday: Chinese Take-out
Sunday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I usually catch up on "Survivor", "The Amazing Race", "The Voice", and "Big Bang Theory" on Hulu or CBS sometime AFTER they have aired. We haven't had cable or local TV in several years now (nor Netflix). I do miss some of the shows on cable, but it's convenient to watch shows when it works for me through Hulu or CBS.

Most of you probably don't know that 3 1/2 years ago I attended the birth of my nephew Ayden. I was also there with my family when he died 50 minutes later. Ayden, the first child of my sister, arrived at 22 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. He was perfect in every way, but too early. It's been on my heart for a while to use my crochet to create special hat and blanket sets for Moms and Dads who's babies never go home through prematurity. These parents have only a few special items from their babies so they are treasured. I took a break from my 2 temperature blankets to make 2 sets for hospital donation. (If you are interested in also donating Project Robbie is a great place to start.)

The left set is for a baby about 1 pound. The hat is approximately 8" in diameter and 3 1/2" from top-to-bottom. The blanket is 17" x 17". The right set is for a baby about 2 pounds. The hat is approximately 10" in diameter and 4" top-to-bottom. The blanket is 18" x 18".

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays)and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).


It's truly been a blessing to spend a couple of overnights a month with my husband boondocking in our little camper. We've had wonderful times together: fishing, exploring waterfalls, seeing new areas. The simple pleasure of a homemade breakfast sitting near a rushing river or reading our bibles before it gets too dark at night with the ocean waves lapping the shore nearby and a campfire are special times together.

James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


I'm linking up to The Simple Woman's Daybook and Happy Homemaker are Mondays.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up: Weeks 24 & 25 - The One that Dwindles

Our 13th year of homeschooling is starting to wind down. You'll see this week that both our curriculum subjects, science and history studies have dwindled. Cati especially has wrapped up a number of subjects since my last wrap-up. As the weeks go on our weekly wrap-up posts will change, switching to "Summer Studies" for Sam around early May while Cate explores her own interests before new learning adventures at STE(A)M in the fall.

My Life in a Post (blog)

Needful Things (King), Everblade (Messenger)
Khan Academy: Pre-Algebra (93%)
CNN Student News

MobyMax: Language, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Math Fluency
Wattpad: Capitals, Punctuation, Showing Spoken Words
Cursive Copywork: 
Eragon (Paolini)
Saxon 65: Lesson 31 (Fractions: Cents/Percents), Lesson 32 (Lines), Lesson 33 (Angles), Lesson 34 (Rounding), Test 6 (95%), Lesson 35 (Dividing with Zero), Lesson 36 (Subtraction Word Problems), Lesson 37 (Fractions), Lesson 38 (Segments/Area), Lesson 39 (Polygons)
CNN Student News

Sam completed Lesson 12: Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. He started off his learning watching "All about Pluto and Dwarf Planets for Kids" and "What is the Kuiper Belt?" on You Tube. He learned about the IAU's definition of a planet and why they now classify Pluto differently, and Pluto's geographical make-up, orbit, rotation, and moons. He finished his study by learning about Pluto's frozen landscape and making Ziplock baggie ice cream with Cate. We wrapped up his study with a brief study of Kuiper and writing a biography. 

He then started Lesson 13: Stars and Galaxies. He watched "Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #26", "High Mass Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #31", "Black Holes: Crash Course Astronomy #33",  "Binary and Multiple Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #34", and "Neutron Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #32"

Cate completed Module 12: Energy and Light last week. She explored human metabolic rates, calories and food, doing a combustion experiment with a tealight candle, vinegar, baking soda, and matches, and another on body temperature. Her science vocab words are: producers, consumers, carnivore, omnivore, herbivore, and basal metabolic rate. She received a 100% on her final exam.

Then she finished Module 13: Introduction to the Process of Digestion. Vocabulary words were digestion and vitamins. She studied the parts of the digestion system and completed a stomach acid experiment. She scored at 98% on her exam.

A History of US (Hakim) is our read aloud book when we are out-and-about. This week we began book 2, A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies 1600-1740, reading chapters preface - 9. The preface included a very brief overview of biblical, African and European histories that would go on to influence the colonization of America later. We also learned about religious persecution and changes in England and Europe, and why Europeans decided to embark on New World settlements and how this effected Native American tribes such as those of Powhatan. We read about John Smith, John Wolfe, Pocahontas, and Jamestown. 


While Cate was at jazz band practice, Sam and I took a quick, chilly walk along a wooded path. It was flurrying and the brook was partially frozen again, but it got us energized to finish up math in the van.

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly wrap-up blog hops. 
 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Have a WONDERFUL week! Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Taxing Season

1. What's the last thing you did that could be described as 'taxing'?

I'm not sure what's going on with my clothes washer, but for some reason the laundry wraps around the agitator tightly every spin cycle. When it starts sounding weird, I open the lid and unwrap the laundry. And it will only spin out if I stop the spin cycle, turn the knob around 2-3 times, and restart the spin cycle. I suppose I need admit defeat and call a technician...

2. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it? 

There's nothing better (IMO) than fresh, sweet peas from the garden, ripened in the sun and still small. But if I was planning flowers, I think I would go with Lily of the Valleys. I tried once to transplant 50 bulbs, give or take, but not one popped up the following season. So much for an easy perennial!

3. April 10-16 is National Library Week...will you celebrate with a visit to your nearest library? When did you last make a trip to the library? What are you reading right now? What's one title on your want-to-read list?

Tomorrow? I finished my latest book, Dawn's Prelude by Traci Peterson, and I NEED another. Reading and crocheting are what I do, and I can't go long without either. Sometimes they are my sanity! (Well, not really, but both ARE relaxing.)

4. Share a saying or an old wives tale you heard while growing up, you believed to be true or that you paid attention to 'just in case'?

I am completely drawing a blank. I'm sure there were some old wives' tales my Mom shared or my grandparents or SOMEONE when I was growing up, but I can't think of any this sec. Can I blame it the mild headache I have?

5. Are you a fan of onions? Garlic? Ginger? What's a dish you love that contains one, two or all three items listed?

Onions and garlic go in almost every single dish that I make. Onions and garlic MUST be finely minced. I don't like chunks! Now, ginger? I use ginger in gingerbread and quick breads, but it's not something I use a lot of. Ironically though, I'm making a Crispy Chicken Romaine and Pasta Salad for dinner tonight...with a sesame ginger dressing.

6.  Where does nurturing end and indulging begin? What are some skills or qualities you think a person needs to possess in order to be viewed as mature?

A mature person is responsible, patient, kind, and caring. They are secure and confident in who they are, what they do and how they relate to others. They adapt well to different circumstances, making thoughtful decisions. And they possess a sense of humor.

7. What leading figure in any field would you like to hear speak, and why?

Er. Um. Hmm. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Would you like to see our camping and fishing adventures? You would? I started another blog just for that! I'd love more readers. Click here!

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness. Happy Hodgepodging!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge: A Spring in my Step

1. Has spring sprung in your little corner of the world? Other than the calendar how would I know? What's your favorite thing about spring?

Almost! Most of the dingy snow has melted away. Again. Every once in a while a few inches of new snow falls, but it doesn't stick around long. The road is a muddy mess during the day, but frozen in bumpy tracks overnight. The birds have returned. But the REAL sign of spring is when the peepers wake up and start singing again.

2. Besides the weather, what's put a spring in your step recently?

The camping and fishing season will be here soon! My husband has been readying the skiff, painting and remounting the motor, and I've been packing up the camper, for a new season of outdoor fun.

3. How does Easter impact you?

We haven't made plans for this Easter yet. :: shrug ::

4. I saw this somewhere on Facebook and thought it would make a fun Hodgepodge question. Which of the following would you find most disappointing...

a just stuffed taco shell breaking open and spilling out before you take the first bite? dropping a just-purchased Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts coffee? opening the peanut butter jar and finding it empty? upending onto the sidewalk a just-purchased ice cream cone? a burnt bagel popping up in your toaster when you're rushing breakfast? or cutting into an avocado and finding out it's rotten? 

Ice cream should be taken very, very seriously. A dropped cone is a cause for concern.  It would need to be replaced ASAP.

5. What's something held together with tape at your house? Or a paper clip? Or a wing and a prayer?

My van? It continues to hobble along. Or sputter along? I do need to get it back into the garage again as the RPM gauge sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Otherwise it seems to run just fine.

6. Do you feel underappreciated? In what way?

Sometimes. My husband is wonderful about supporting me and letting me know how much he appreciates all that I do. The kids? Not so much. But isn't that the way it goes? I love them to pieces, and I know someday when they are older and wiser they'll appreciate all the times I washed dishes and clothing for them.

7. What's something you'd build if you knew how?

A little cabin in the woods by a lake. With solar power and a woodstove. And maybe Wi-Fi.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness. Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Journal Jottings of a Maine Mama: March 21, 2016


Springtime in Maine is fickle! Yesterday we had bright, sunny, high 30s in the mountains. A lovely spring day! Only a few lingering piles of snow.  And today? Snow! Schools cancelled due to slippery conditions. White instead of brown and green.

Yesterday at this time I was in New Hampshire with my husband. We decided to do an all day road trip in the new-to-us campervan, heading north in Maine then over to New Hampshire and making a loop back home. About 2:30pm yesterday, I was looking at this:

Today, I am home. It snowed steady this morning, heavy, wet snow.

It's quiet. Cate and Sam are visiting family this week, enjoying time with grandparents, aunts and cousins, and watching cable. Jake is in his bedroom, watching something on his TV. The dryer is running. Baked beans are in the oven slowly soaking in that molasses. And I'm crocheting.


  • Vacuum
  • Sweep Floors
  • Dishes - In Progress
  • Laundry - Drying
  • Make Baked Beans - Baking
  • Shovel
  • Gather trash

For a while I searched for a traditional bean pot to bake up some Boston Baked Beans. It's really the only right way to make them. Crockpot beans just aren't the same. My sister gifted me a one on Christmas, along with some adorably cute little bean pot serving dishes. I found my sweet husband's late father's baked bean recipe in the family cookbook. So, dinner tomorrow is salt pork and molasses baked beans with hot dogs and salad.

"Amazing Race". Are you watching?

I took a break from my 2 temperature blankets to make a towel holder for the campervan. (Be sure to check out our camping blog HERE.) It was a super quick and easy project! You can find the instructions HERE. I used worsted weight Super Saver and a 3.5mm hook. No more towels on the floor!

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).


There are people who are put in our lives to teach us something. We may not want the lesson or the stress that comes with it, but it grows us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. As hard as it is sometimes to see, those challenging people in our lives are a true blessing.

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every  men. (Colossians 4:6)


Thanks for stopping by! I'm linking up to The Simple Woman's Daybook and Happy Homemaker are Mondays. Why not join in? Have a WONDERFUL week!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 23 - The One Marching Forward

I've decided to look for more opportunities to follow "rabbit trails"in our learning. I know that may seem strange, but I find that we often JUST stick to our textbooks, not delving into topics of interest. It would enrich our studies to take some time FROM textbooks. 

One of those "rabbit trails" this week was Shakespeare. Did you know that 2 of Uranus' moons are named after characters in 2 of his plays? It was a great opportunity for me to snag our Tales of  Shakespeare (Packer) book of the shelf, dust it off, and read aloud "King Lear". Unfortunately, Sam wasn't so fond of Shakespeare...

English Grammar 101: Lesson 8 - Verbals and Phrases (98%)
My Life in a Post (blog)
Vocab Test: List 11 (90%), List 12 (100%), List 13 (100%), List 14 (87%), List 15 (100%)
Jungle Book (Kipling), The Fault in Our Stars (Green), Needful Things (King), The Fault in Our Stars (Green)
Khan Academy: Pre-Algebra (90%)
CNN Student News

Cate finished Grammar 101, Vocab Test and Music History for the year! Her year is starting to wind down! As the weeks go on, her (and Sam's) accomplishments and subject summaries will dwindle as things are completed.

Grammar Games: Verbs and Nouns
MobyMax: Language, Math Fluency
Writing: 5 Paragraph Essay - Rough Draft
Cursive Copywork: Ecclesiastes 7:9
The Tale of Despereaux (DiCamillo), Eragon (Paolini)
Saxon 65: Test 4 (95%), Lesson 26 (Long Division), Lesson 27 (Division with Time), Lesson 28 (Number Lines), Lesson 29 (Time), Lesson 30 (Multiples of 10 and 100), Test 5 (92.5%)
Prodigy: Adding Fractions
Timed Subtraction Facts: 4:25:45/100
CNN Student News

In a quest to find a Language Arts program that will work for Sam, I decided to start up Moby Max again. He began with placement tests. Fortunately, he scored at grade level on Vocabulary and Reading, but at grade 3 for Language. I'm not surprised as learning parts of writing and reading such as nouns, capitals, and spelling are things that aren't clicking with him right now. Hopefully this new approach will bring some understanding and retention in these key areas.

Sam built a Lego Transformer, a robot that transforms into a spaceship flyer. 

Sam learned about Uranus and Neptune this week in Apologia Astronomy. Topics included Uranus' poles, methane gas, rings, moons, orbit and rotation, and it's discovery by William Herschel and his sister Caroline, and Neptune's wobbly orbit, atmosphere, rotation and revolution, and moons. He completed a notebooking page for each planet as well as a project page on Making a Cloud and a biography study on Herschel. He watched "Uranus and Neptune: Crash Course Astronomy #19" on You Tube.

Cate finished Module 11: The Human Body: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made this week in Apologia General Science. Topics included the structure of the human body, the skeletal system and skeletal muscles . She worked in her notebook, answering On Your Own questions, and completed an experiment on minerals in bones using an uncooked chicken bone and white vinegar. Her vocabulary focus was on axial skeleton, appendicular skeleton and exoskeleton.

Our history read aloud is History of US: The First Americans: Prehistory-1600 (Hakim). We finished book one. We read about King Charles I ending slavery in Spain because of Bartolome de Las Casas who fought for fair treatment of American Native Americans after being given an Indian as a slave. Unfortunately, King Charles' edict had little influence on The New World and on other Spaniards like Juan Gines de Sepulveda who believed in Aristotle's idea that some people are meant to be masters and others slaves. We learned a brief history of the Spanish Inquisition before focusing on France and it's exploration of the New World, including Canada and land claimed in America for Louis XIV called Louisiana, and the Elizabethan Age in England and Sir Walter Raleigh attempting to colonize the New World in the late 1500s.

Cate completed all 4 years of Music History on Easy Peasy Homeschool. The last 2 weeks she finished weeks 7-36, which focused on Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russian), Maurice Ravel (French), Duke Ellington (American), music of WWII, orchestration, Souza, Ravel, instrument review, musical lab, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copeland, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and John Williams.

She also went to jazz and concert band practices.


As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly wrap-up blog hops. 
 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

My homeschoolers will be enjoying some time with family for the next couple of weeks. During that time, I'll be thinking about our summer studies and loosely planning next year. Our next wrap-up will be in 3-4 weeks. See you then. Happy Homeschooling!