All About Reading Level 4

Getting Back into a Daily Routine

Now that we have our homeschool curriculum in place, we’ve started our new homeschool year. I am SO very thankful that we are getting back into a daily routine! While I love summer and the various things that we are able to be a part of each year, there’s something rather comforting in being back in a rhythm we are familiar with. {deep sigh}

Six Flags Read to Succeed

Yes, we started back a bit earlier than usual, but we have one week off every six weeks and a few short trips planned to keep it fun during the year. Field trips are in the works, and we may have already taken one this past week that involved roller coasters.

Has your family started back to school yet?

A Solid Meal Plan

monthly meal plan calendar

One thing that I am definitely looking forward to is a meal schedule that I can count on. No more nightly swim practices and meets or crazy {but fun} summer schedules that end up throwing all the plans out the window. Although we’ve had a rough meal plan in place the last few months, our monthly meal planner is always a HUGE help to me. 

This week we sat down as a family, and everyone picked a favorite meal for me to make next month.  After printing it out, our meal planner hangs up on the fridge – which THEN helps with the ‘What’s for dinner?” question that is asked approximately 1,569 times a day. Or maybe that’s just my kids. {grins}

Are you a fly-by-seat-of-your-pants meal planner or do you shop weekly/monthly to get it all done?

Some Sponsor Thanks for the Month

We SO appreciate the following companies – be sure to stop by their sites and check them out.

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace
 

Teach Them Diligently Conventions were created to encourage families in
discipleship, home education, and the mission of reaching the world with the
good news of Jesus Christ! We hope you’ll plan to join us in 2014!

Home Art Studio is a K-5 home art program for families that features projects designed to increase students’ love and appreciation of the visual arts. The Home Art Studio program will enhance a child’s ability to problem-solve, think creatively, and truly see the world around them. The art projects students will complete are designed to illustrate the elements and principles of art in an age-appropriate way.

Master Books is the world’s largest publisher of creation-based materials for all ages; including apologetics, homeschool curriculum and resources, reference titles, and quality children’s literature. Master Books has NEW Creation-inspired educational choices. Easy-to-use & students build a strong biblical worldview, while we’ve done all the prep work for you!

Snuggle up on the couch with your preschooler and the NEW beautifully illustrated book from Apologia, A Light for My Path. This book is based on Psalm 119 and  is an alphabet book written to help children develop an abiding love and deep respect for God’s Word.

Maestro Classics features stories set to classical music for children and families. Award winning musicians and storytellers will entertain and captivate their audience, while teaching children about classical music. Don’t miss the free curriculum guides to go with the Maestro Classics CDs!

My Reading List

While I’ve managed to read quite a bit of fiction this past month thanks to a vacation and some night time reading, I haven’t put much of a dent in my non-fiction pile. Somehow I thought there would be more time with vacation this past month, but I forgot that we’d be camping with friends…which leads to talking and not reading.

At the moment I’m holding on to a technicality since I’ve read seven books already and my goal was twelve for the year. That breaks down to one a month, so I’ll call myself even right now and start digging in more this month.

Here’s the list of books on the list and the finished ones so far:

  1. Unglued by Lysa Tyrk {done}
  2. Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae {done}
  3. Just a Minute by Wes Stafford {done}
  4. The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson {done}
  5. A Praying Life by Paul Miller {done}
  6. The Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell {done}
  7. Give Them Grace by Else Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson {reading}
  8. Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis {reading}
  9. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
  10. Everything by Mary DeMuth
  11. Platform by Michael Hyatt


Reader’s Favorite Posts from July 2013

Curious to see what others have been reading this past month? Below is a list of the ten most visited posts for the month of July 2013:
 

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Checking Things Off the To-Do List

With the calendar switching over to July, our break from school is dwindling. Our official ‘back-to-school’ start date is Monday, July 29th. It seems early, but that gives us some rest from the heat, a chance to take some decent breaks throughout the year, and be done with school toward the beginning of May 2014.

ACK!! That means I need to pull it all together in the next few weeks!

Have you figured out your start date for school yet?

Last week I spent some time planning for the upcoming year, reorganizing parts of the school room, and working on a few projects around the house. Add in some time to relax and have fun – and well, this summer has been jam packed busy.

Photo arrangement dining room

One home project was to finish up the photo shelves in our dining room. After my hubby so meticulously leveled the shelves, I only waited close to TWO MONTHS to order prints to put in the frames {sigh}.

 summer fun checklist

In one of the frames is our Summer Fun list {you can peek at our list here}. We’re using a vis-a-vis marker to check off things when we finish them. We definitely won’t have them all done by the time we start school, but summer isn’t over until September, right? {grins}

Reading for MY Brain

image

One of my goals for the year was to read 12 non-fiction books during 2013 {see my full list here}. I have to admit that I’m rather giddy to have finished 7 books on the list so far, While cleaning out my nightstand {yet again}, I came across the book Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids that I immediately picked up and added to my list. It’s a book that my hubby and I are hoping to read together along with Beyond Ordinary {a marriage book}.

Books I did finish this month – The Five Love Languages of Children and A Praying Life – both are books I would recommend!

Some Sponsor Thanks for the Month

I absolutely love being able to share giveaways with you all and have a few coming up this month for you all as well that you’ll love – so stay tuned! We SO appreciate the following companies – be sure to stop by their sites and check them out.

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace
 

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace will be traveling the US this summer to nine different cities. This marketplace will feature an incredible selection of curriculum and educational materials in a manner that will allow you to compare them side by side to help you choose what is best for your family. Find out more at www.teachthemdiligentlymarketplace.com.

Home Art Studio is a K-5 home art program for families that features projects designed to increase students’ love and appreciation of the visual arts. The Home Art Studio program will enhance a child’s ability to problem-solve, think creatively, and truly see the world around them. The art projects students will complete are designed to illustrate the elements and principles of art in an age-appropriate way.

The What We Believe series from Apologia is a Bible-based curriculum to help children learn how to use scripture as a lens through which to view the world around them. Featuring engaging stories, creative notebooking, and fun activities, this four-part series is presented in a conversational style that makes the study of God’s Word exciting and memorable.

WriteShop offers quality, parent-approved writing resources for all ages, helping new and veteran homeschoolers alike teach writing with confidence. Engaging, step-by-step lessons provide students with the building blocks of the writing process—pre-writing, brainstorming, drafting, and revising—and help you edit and evaluate their work.

Friends and Heroes reaches a new generation of media-savvy children with important stories of the Bible in a format they love – TV. Thrilling adventures stories in hand-drawn animation place stunning computer-animated Bible stories in a vivid historical context. The Friends and Heroes project includes 39 episodes with curriculum resources available for homeschoolers, churches and Christian schools.

Maestro Classics features stories set to classical music for children and families. Award winning musicians and storytellers will entertain and captivate their audience, while teaching children about classical music. Don’t miss the free curriculum guides to go with the Maestro Classics CDs!

Reader’s Favorite Posts from June 2013

Curious to see what others have been reading this past month? Below is a list of the ten most visited posts for the month of June 2013:

  1. Printables from A to Z
  2. ABC Bible Verse Flashcards
  3. Organizing Homeschool Paperwork
  4. Preschool Chore Charts
  5. Reading Challenge Charts
  6. Our Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  7. Calendar Notebook Binder Printables
  8. Our Weekly Workbox System
  9. Book Report Form and Reading Log
  10. How to Homeschool Multiple Ages

What is the ONE thing that you have to do this month to get ready for school – or are you not worrying about it til the last minute? {grins}

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Home Again, Home Again {but no more laundry, please}

Home is a lovely place to be – might I just say? Our family had a WONDERFUL month of May and an amazing vacation time together, but there is something extra special about being home in your own bed and having a normal routine {or maybe that’s just me}. The suitcases are all finally unpacked and stored. Phew.

The laundry – not as much fun.

Incidentally, I celebrated my 40th birthday this past month {yes, I am freely admitting it} and need to say that my husband ROCKS. He surprised me with some beautiful flowers and a party with a group of our friends, making it a fun night that will be remembered for a long time to come. It’s not often that I publicly thank him – but he definitely surprised me {I love you MUCH, Rick!}.

This week the two of us are headed to the Home Educator’s of Virginia homeschool conference for some browsing and purchasing the last bit of curriculum that is needed for next year. We are both excited to sit in on some workshops and get refueled for the upcoming school year. This is one of my favorite weekends each year mainly because it really re-energizes us and gets us EXCITED about all that is to come {and I LOVE it when my hubby attends with me!}.

I may {or may not be} feeling a little overwhelmed that our oldest will be in the SEVENTH GRADE this next year. Gulp. Can someone please explain to me how the time has gone by so quickly? We are {this} close to high school!!

We have a few school odds and ends to wrap up over the next little bit,  because I strongly dislike things being ‘unfinished’ {grins}. A few science lessons remaining to work on together, lots of LEGO fun to be had, and with summer looming on the horizon, there are plenty of art lessons to keep us busy when the days are too warm. BUT – testing is over, and that is a huge relief.

Tell me I’m not alone on the need to finish {most} everything…pretty please?

After this weekend, I’m pulling out my Weekly Homeschool Planner and starting to map out our upcoming school year: setting goals, choosing homeschool curriculum, and roughly planning our school days.

Have you already started planning for next year? How far ahead do you like to plan before you start?

Coming Up in May and a Thanks to the Following Sponsors

Stay tuned for the Curriculum Clean Out that starts Monday, June 3rd!! There will be curriculum giveaways linked up from all over and some guaranteed ones that you won’t want to miss!

This month I’ll also be hosting a few fun giveaways of my own and am so excited to share them with you! {but I can’t share who they are yet!!}.

We SO appreciate the following companies – be sure to stop by their sites and check them out. There’s a little something for everyone to look at.

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace
 

 

 

Teach Them Diligently Marketplace is a totally new concept in homeschool events coming to 9 cities in the summer of 2014.  It will feature an incredible selection of curriculum and educational materials in a manner that will allow you to compare them side by side to help you choose what is best for your family.  Find out more at www.teachthemdiligentlymarketplace.com.

Maestro Classics features stories set to classical music for children and families. Award winning musicians and storytellers will entertain and captivate their audience, while teaching children about classical music. Don’t miss the free curriculum guides to go with the Maestro Classics CDs!

WriteShop offers quality, parent-approved writing resources for all ages, helping new and veteran homeschoolers alike teach writing with confidence. Engaging, step-by-step lessons provide students with the building blocks of the writing process—pre-writing, brainstorming, drafting, and revising—and help you edit and evaluate their work.

ShatterPoint Entertainment – Bible stories told through the eyes of LEGO characters. Relive the 10 Plagues of Egypt, 40 Years of Wandering, and the Battle of Jericho like you’ve never seen them before! Films made by our family for your family.

The Compassion Bloggers are traveling to Nicaragua from June 18th to 22nd and would love to have you follow along {I know I will!}. See the work of Compassion International through the eyes of several bloggers and get a glimpse at how you can make the difference in the life of a child in Nicaragua.

Favorite Posts from May 2013

Curious to see what others have been reading this last month? Below is a list of the ten most visited posts over the last month:

  1. Printables from A to Z
  2. ABC Bible Verse Flashcards
  3. Preschool Chore Charts
  4. Organizing Homeschool Paperwork
  5. How to Plan Your Homeschool Day
  6. Our Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  7. How to Homeschool on a Limited Budget
  8. Our Weekly Workbox System
  9. Book Report Form and Reading Log
  10. Three Letter Word Card Printables

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Reading for MY Brain ~ My Updated Reading List

Books for Moms to Read

One of my goals for 2013 was to read more non-fiction books. Reading is something I enjoy, and I can plow through a fiction book very quickly. Non-fiction and I have a different relationship though.

Painful, to be truthful.

Part of it stems from my desire {and/or feeling of obligation} to squeeze every morsel of wisdom from the pages of the book. The other finds me in a delicate balance of trying to focus my attention long enough on intelligent words without my eyes glazing over and my brain going ‘huh’?

Please tell me I’m not alone??

While fiction allows me an ‘escape’ of sorts and doesn’t require a lot of focused attention to read, non-fiction requires me to actually engage in the book. Sometimes my brain just isn’t up to that.

SO – this year, my goal was to read a total of twelve non-fiction books. The list wasn’t completely finished when I shared my goal, although I did have at least four or five piled next to my bed to get me started. Others have been pulled from the depths of my nightstand and welcome seeing the light of day again {ahem}.

Here’s the list of books that have made it to the official list {several I hope to rope my husband into reading with me – you are reading this, aren’t you Rick?}. So far I’ve managed to read five of the books on the list and have a few in progress {because why work on just one at a time, eh?}. I’m guessing that I might slow down a bit in the summer months, so I’m trying to stay steady in my reading! {affiliate links below}

  1. Unglued by Lysa Tyrk {done}
  2. Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae {done}
  3. Just a Minute by Wes Stafford {done}
  4. The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson {done}
  5. A Praying Life by Paul Miller {reading}
  6. The Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell} {reading}
  7. Give Them Grace by Else Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson {reading}
  8. Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis {reading}
  9. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
  10. Everything by Mary DeMuth
  11. Platform by Michael Hyatt
  12. ???

What book would you recommend be added to the list as an alternate pick? Leave a comment below with your suggestion.

 

Coming Up in April 2013 and a Thanks to Our Sponsors

April finds up in the final six week stretch of school {which reminds me that I need to order our end of the year testing!!}. Stay tuned as well – I’ll be continuing the Homeschool Basics series this month and have at least four more installments planned. I’ll also be revisiting the topic of chores and our workbox folder system, so keep an eye out for those!

We so appreciate our sponsors at Homeschool Creations. This month there are several fun giveaways planned from HEAV {Home Educators of Virginia} and Little Passports {and possibly one more!}.

Be sure to stop by and visit the following companies this month as well!


HEAV Homeschool Conference T4L_Jan2013_125x125_a

Home Educators of Virginia – Celebrating 30 years of helping homeschool families, April is a month of BOUNTIFUL blessings for you! Stop by the HEAV blog for more information on 30 days of giveaways during the month of April. Registration for the convention opens this month!

Time 4 Learning - Perfect for homeschool, afterschool, and summer skill sharpening, Time4Learning’s award-winning prek to eighth grade curriculum combines the technology kids love with the education they need to make learning fun!

Little Passports – let your kids travel the US or the world without ever stepping foot out the door!! Little Passports is delivered to your mailbox monthly and provides educational games along with hands-on fun for your children, all focused on geography.

Favorite Posts in March 2013

Curious to see what others have been reading this last month? Below is a list of the ten most visited posts over the last month:

  1. ABC Bible Verse Flashcards
  2. Printables from A to Z
  3. Preschool Chore Charts
  4. Our Chore System and Chore Chart Printables
  5. St. Patrick’s Day Math Printables
  6. Angry Birds Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten
  7. Koolaid Playdough Recipe
  8. How to Make a Resurrection Garden
  9. Garden Preschool Pack
  10. Book Report Form and Reading Log

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To a Peaceful Month of March

Beyond Ordinary marriage book

You know the saying March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb? Let’s just say, I would love for it to come in and leave like a lamb. It would be fabulous for crazy to take a back seat in our house. Somehow I thought that February would be a little more peaceful in our house, but managed to forget that my hubby had a conference he was helping run sound for and would be MIA for a few days. Note to self: figure out how to PROPERLY sync our two calendars before we miss something major happening.

One thing that I am SO very excited about has been my sleeping. I know it seems trivial, but for almost the past two years, I’ve had a LOT of trouble sleeping at night – to the point that I was needing a sleep aid. This past month I have completely stopped using them {woot!!} and I cannot tell you how excited I am about that! Again, I know that it seems silly in some ways, but this has been something weighing on me huge and it is so nice to be sleeping normally!

In other news…

  • In reading non-fiction, I am making progress on THREE non-fiction books {because I can’t read one at a time and keep life simple} -  Unglued, The Praying Life, and a new one to start with my hubby called Beyond Ordinary. I’ve been sharing my favorite quotes via Instagram, which has been MUCH fun.
  • I started a few new printables, but with time crunches, it was put on the back burner. This is on the docket for THIS month once our computer woes are solved. Still transferring to a new laptop {and I forget how much I dislike doing this until I have to do it}.
  • We are back on the reading-aloud wagon!! Although I apparently grabbed the wrong book to read {a friend recommended one to me and I ordered the wrong thing}, the kids and I are still enjoying The Wide-Awake Princess and getting back into the groove of reading together.

Some Fabulous Companies to Thank


HEAV Homeschool Conference T4L_Jan2013_125x125_a Photobucket
Compass Cinemana Behold the Lamb wreath

 

2013 Virginia Homeschool Convention – June 6-8, 2013 – Home Education: A Bountiful Harvest. Keynote speakers Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. HUGE Exhibit Hall, Used Curriculum Sale, workshops, teen track, graduation, FREE how-to-begin sessions, and MORE. Practical, hands-on, and encouraging!

Time4Learning – Perfect for homeschool, afterschool, and summer skill sharpening, Time4Learning’s award-winning prek to eighth grade curriculum combines the technology kids love with the education they need to make learning fun!

Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Compass Cinema – producing story-driven media with an aim to educate and entertain through dramatic films, homeschool curriculum and training videos.

Behold the Lamb Wreath from Family Life – a gorgeous 15” metal wreath to display in your home as your family talks about the eight ‘I AM’ statements of God during the Easter season.

Plans for the Month of March

This month I will be headed to Baltimore for a Real Refreshment Retreat and am excited to meet some more online friends, catch up with a few others, and just soak up some great teaching from veteran homeschool moms. This next week we’ll also be tackling a big mini-society project for Laurianna {yikes!}, and I’ll be gearing up for a used curriculum sale with our co-op.

On the home front I am determined to actually print off some pictures that are just sitting all lonely-like on our computer. I shoot so many pictures and am horrible about printing them off!! Now that painting in our house is done {phew}, it would be great to have pictures of our family hanging up around the house, don’t you think?

On the blog front, I have some GREAT giveaways coming up for you all, a printable {or two} to share, and some other fun posts in the works that I can’t wait to share with you all!

 

What do you have planned for the month of March?

 

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Time 4 Learning – combining technology with education to make learning fun for kids!

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