Tuesday, June 3, 2014

So What Is the Big Deal About Testing?

I know many people get hung up about testing their children. I don't have a problem with it but we don't start testing until 8th grade. I know that typically children take the Stanford Achievement Test every year when they are in public or private school. Our state does not require testing of homeschoolers at all.

We got Carissa's test results back on Saturday for the Stanford Achievement Test and are very pleased with her results. Carissa scored Post High School in Language, Language Mechanics, Science, and Social Science. Her only low score was in math but we knew that this was going to be her weak spot. We don't prep her for the test because we want to see where she actually is, in knowledge. I think next year her score should be better, since she will complete Algebra 1 & Geometry by then. This is her 2nd year testing. Carissa will start 10th grade in the Fall.

She will start preparing for the ACT this year. We will start preparing her for the SAT in the spring because of the new changes to the SAT test. I have received some advise on what to use to prep her. I know that you may be wondering why she is preparing for both tests. Well, Carissa is strong in language mechanics, reading and writing, which may give her a high SAT score. We plan to do practice tests at home for both the ACT and SAT test.

She is actually fine with all the testing. We asked her this year if she wanted to take the Stanford test and she said, "yes."  We want her to be comfortable and not feel pressured to test.

Monday, May 26, 2014

2nd Year of Classical Conversations

Well we made it through another year of Classical Conversations. This was a different year, since I was the director of the elementary ages. It was a lot of work and extremely rewarding. There is a tremendous fulfillment to deposit into other people. I do enjoy being there for other people as a support person. Classical Conversations is an awesome community of parents with a common goal. Our family uses a classical education model to school our children.

Some of Carissa's work

Carissa finished Challenge I this year and did a wonderful job. She completed over 20 writing assignments and a research paper on "Young Earth." She is doing well with Latin. She finished her 2nd year of Latin and will take Latin again next year. She had American Government, Debate, Algebra 1, Science, Literature, Drama, Philosophy, Latin, Writing, and Economics this year.

Here are some of the books Carissa read this year.

Nathan finished Challenge A this year and did an amazing job. He has definitely improved his studying habits. He turned in over 15 papers referring to literature or science topics. He had Latin, Literature, Writing, Natural Science, Clear Reasoning, Math, and Geography.

Shane as Charlemagne

Shane finished his 2nd year in Foundations and 1st year in Essentials. He has completed 4th grade and is doing very well in all subjects. He is definitely our most studious child. He is currently in a 7th grade math program and is due to start Pre-Alegbra in October. He really enjoys parsing and diagramming sentences. He is currently in a junior/high school program for grammar, which is Analytical Grammar. He finished up his 1st year with the Institute and Excellence in Writing program (I heard this is a high school level writing program). He completed the Medieval History-Based Writing for the year. His end of the year paper was on Charlemagne. He will have 2 more years of the IEW writing program and then move on to the Lost Tools of Writing in 7th grade. He likes writing but is too much of a perfectionist at his young age. He is also learning Latin. He has a very sharp memory, which amazes me.

Jarrett finished 2nd year in Foundations. He has completed 1st grade. He has almost completed his phonics program. He is doing 2nd grade math right now. He enjoys a lot of play time. I really just focus on Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic with him. We fit everything else in but I am flexible with an energetic child.

Schooling at home is so much work but it is so rewarding.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Everyone,

I know I have been absent for a very long time. My life is extremely busy this year. As you know, I am a director for my children's school and this has been keeping me busy. I am also a tutor and have 6 students in my class. The tutoring position will end in two weeks.

I have also been busy with helping my mom sale and buy a home. Both escrows should be closing  within the next couple of weeks. This has been very challenging, since my mom is not the easiest person to work with. This has caused me the most stress. I have had to consult attorneys and it looks like I will need to consult another one soon. I am not going into details about this but it is stressful. Maybe you can send me some prayers my way.

One last thing, Brian (my husband) had a serious accident on October 3rd. He decided to start chopping down some tree branches, in order to start building a tree house for Jarrett. The tree branch ended up pinning him for an hour. The tree branch literately snapped and ended up coming back towards him, tearing off a piece of skin in the area of his left elbow, and then settling on top of his abdomen. He was air lifted to the hospital because of internal bleeding. The doctors have told me that he is very lucky that he did not lose his left arm or his life. The wound was about an inch away from his elbow. I was told by one of the surgeons that there is a major vein running through the elbow, which could have caused major problems if severed. Basically, he could have died in that tree. Brian was in the hospital for 9 days. He had 3 surgeries and one being a skin graft. He does have some muscle damage but it should not really hinder things.

It has now been 8 weeks since the accident and Brian is doing very well. It is amazing how fast the body can heal. Brian knows it is all because of prayers. He has said the he could feel people were praying for him. Brian went back to work last week and seems to be pretty much back to functioning at 100 percent.

So I am very thankful this Thanksgiving that Brian is still here with us and our children still have a father living.

Be joyful always: pray continually: give thanks in all circumstance. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Devote yourselves to prayer. Being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

Give thanks to the Lord. Call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.  1 Chronicles 16:8

God is so good and he deserves our prayers continually. May you give thanks today and be thankful always.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How Are You Doing?

I know it has been along time since I last blogged. We or should I say, "I've"  been busy. There are some new things going on. First, I got a new laptop and my software for my pictures is on that old computer. It has been a hassle to use the old computer to blog. I need to go on there to upload our vacation pictures. We went to New Mexico for almost 2 weeks in July. It was great to see family that I have not seen in 17 years. My children got to meet their cousins for the 1st time and play with cousins from Connecticut they have not seen for a few years. My kids especially enjoyed White Sands. Don't know about White Sands, then look it up.

Second, in late May I was given the opportunity to be the director of our Classical Conversations community. I prayed about it and felt it was the right thing to do but I had to pray that God would change my husbands heart. I asked God that my husband would take Mondays off to assist me and be involved in the kids classes. Our community meets on Monday and we home school the rest of the week. God has answered my prayers. Brian will be taking Mondays off and will be getting back involved with home schooling. This is a big answer to prayer for me. Yes, now I am running two business. I believe that God will give me the grace I need to fulfill my position. This is ministry opportunity to pour into other families, to uplift and encourage them through their home school journey.

Third, Carissa started a new scoliosis treatment with a new chiropractor in July. This chiropractor uses the Pettibon system. Carissa will be done with her treatment in October. We have already seen significant improvement in her back. Her posture has improved, her headaches are gone, and she is sleeping better at night. Please pray for a complete healing. This chiropractor is a Christian and really stresses the importance that God is in charge. Praise God!! Pray for me, I need strength to get her to her appointments 3 times a week. There is a lot of driving involved. I cannot wait to see the before and after x-rays next to each other. The Pettibon system has been amazing.

So as you can see, I am pretty busy these days. I do not know how often I will be blogging this year. Please forgive my absence. I really do want to keep in touch but I don't know where to fit it in.

God Bless!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Vacation in April & May

Here is Laura Ingalls home.

Here is the "Rock House" that Laura Ingalls lived in for a short time. Her daughter Rose had it built for her mother and father.

Here are some pictures of our time in Marceline, Branson, and Mansfield.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Schooling Carissa & Shane

Here is Carissa practicing her Latin.

Carissa diagrammed the mouth and a tooth for the whole Classical Conversations school. She learned a great deal of things this past school year. We are sure proud of her for rising to the occasion and not feeling intimidated by her school work load. Carissa can map the whole world by memory and that includes cities, rivers, mountain ranges, lakes, and etc. It is amazing! She turned in 45 different papers for science and literature. She had to read  7 books and do reports on them. She finished the school year at the end of April but we school throughout the summer too.  

Shane did very well this school year. Here is a picture of him practicing his cursive writing. He has completed the 3rd grade. We are proud of his accomplishments too. He is very knowable in many things. He will be completing his 6th grade math book this summer. He will be in 7th grade math when he starts 4th grade. He is a very teachable child because he loves to learn.

Our children have finished their first year with Classical Conversations. We are so thankful that we found this program. Homeschooling has been a journey and I think we have found what we have been searching for. You may want to check them out if you are interested in Classical Christian Education.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This Past Month

It has been awhile since I last posted anything. I am still here but busy. On March 16, Jarrett received a neck injury while playing with Nathan. Nathan did get in trouble for playing rough with his brother. By the next day, Jarrett could not hold his head straight. I took him to the chiropractor a few days later and was totally not satisfied with the chiropractor that he saw. The chiropractor did not even take any x-rays to see what was injured. That night, I stayed up until 2am looking for a new chiropractor to take him to. I found one! He specializes in the Pettibon System. He has really helped Jarrett recover tremendously. Not all chiropractors are the same. Be careful of the ones who just address the symptoms and not the root problem. There is a difference. Jarrett has been in treatment going on 3 weeks and it looks like this will be his last week.

We received about 6 inches or more of snow on March 24th. Churches services were canceled due to the hazardous road conditions. It looks like they are calling for snow again for April 1st.

We are almost done with Classical Conversations for the year. We travel on Sundays about two and half hours and stay with a host family, so our children can attend classes on Mondays. It has been the best home school year for our family. This has been such a great experience. Our children have enjoyed it so much. We will surely miss all our friends we have made but we will stay in touch. I will not miss the drive. I will share more about Classical Conversations next month. There are new and exciting things happening with our homeschooling experience. We plan to do Classical Conversations next year but closer to home.

I pray that everyone has a blessed Easter! God loves us so much. Remember what the cross represents.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Snowed In

 Look how deep the snow is on our back deck.

We have 17 inches of snow on the ground. The snow storm caused some damage to some tree branches. We were out of power for about 5 hours on Tuesday. We were very fortunate to get our power back so soon. Many of our friends did not get power back until Friday. We were snowed in until our friend's father came over to blade/snow plow a part of our driveway.

The snow does make everything look beautiful but it does make a mess. Brian had to shovel so much snow, he is complaining that his back muscles are sore. 

The boys have had fun sledding and playing in the snow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

History Report

Nathan dressed up for his ancient history report presentation. He borrowed the custom. It is not exactly the time period of Alfred the Great but it was fine. This was Nathan's big presentation for the year. I think he is a natural at speaking in front of people. He never shy's away from reading his papers in class. He is doing rather good in his writing. We are very pleased with his progress.

It is amazing what your children can accomplish. 

If you have have a child that is struggling with writing then I suggest you check into the Institute in Excellence in Writing. Go here to look at their website. Next year will be using the Lost Tools of Writing, which is a different program.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Juicing is good for you but who really does this? I love juicing. Here is my latest glass of juice. I combined 4 kale leaves, parsley,a bunch of fresh wheat grass, 3/4 of a very small pineapple, 1 pear, 5 figs, and fresh ginger. This drink actually tasted really good and I did not have to put stevia in it. Yes, I do put a very small amount of stevia in some of my juice drinks. Try juicing what you have in your refrigerator. You don't need to buy any fancy veggies to make the juice. Do you have tomatoes, carrots, celery, apples, lemons, etc? Come on, I know you have something you can juice.

Try drinking a fresh glass of homemade veggie juice or eating a small salad for dinner instead of eating a big dinner. You will see the weight come off. You don't believe. Try it and see.

 Sprouting wheat grass.

This is what is left of my wheat grass. We love fresh wheat grass. It is sweet tasting. My children will eat it fresh by pulling a blade out and chewing on it.

Here are the containers I use to store a days supply of fresh juice. I don't have time to make fresh juice three times a day.