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The First Two Weeks of Homeschool 2015

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While we aren’t in full school mode (a.k.a. we are weaning into a few subjects as the weeks progress), the kids were literally ready to go and in the schoolroom BEFORE me on the first day of school. They were ready to jump in and go from day one.

Kids Back to Homeschool pics 2015

And these four – well, they can drive me batty some days, but seeing these pictures literally made me cry. They are growing up too fast!! In just a few short years Laurianna will be ready for college. COLLEGE!!! What in the world??! We took these pictures just a bit before school started (nope, didn’t take first day of school pictures – dropped the ball on that too!), but I absolutely adore the pictures above and am happy to consider these their school pictures for the year.

I’ll confess. I dropped the ball and forgot to make our traditional back to school breakfast of funnel cakes. The kids still haven’t mentioned it, so maybe I can have a little grace on myself and make them as a surprise soon. (SHHH!)

That said…here’s a look at what we’ve been up to the first two weeks of our homeschool time.

Learning through Labs and Science

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry-1

Zachary is working on a separate science program this year, Christian Kids Explore Chemistry. So far it has been a great fit for him and he is enjoying the ‘lab’ part of each week. His first lab required quite a bit of writing (not his favorite thing to do) but was a pretty eye-opening look at the different ingredients in products and how many we recognize.

First 2 weeks of homeschool August 2015-36

The little boy and I are working on science all alone this year. He is rather sad that Zachary isn’t doing it along with us, but he is also excited to have some ‘mom time’ and learn more about the solar system with Nancy Larson Science 3.

Kaleb has jumped right in completely subjects, asking to do more, and was the one who couldn’t figure out WHY IN THE WORLD we weren’t doing more the very first day of school. His desire to do school is the best part of the year so far for me – because typically he is the more whiney of the bunch and doesn’t want to work on everything.

Learning Algebra…

First 2 weeks of homeschool August 2015-6

McKenna was more than a little worried about starting pre Algebra this year, so it has been wonderful to hear how much she is enjoying it (and asking to do extra lessons). We ended up finding a used version of Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra version 2.0 so it will automatically grade for her (and yay, I was able to sell my old version!).

She has several new programs this year and it’s been a mess trying to get some things transferred from one laptop to the other, but she’s been a great sport in working along with me as we figure out the curve in her new subjects too.

A Little History…


We made a last minute history switch for Laurianna to Exploring World History from Notgrass. It was exactly what I had been looking for, but the program didn’t release until mid-summer. SO glad that we made this switch! We’ll be sharing more throughout the year, but it has been a great mix of hands-on projects and textbook work for her and she is loving it!


Her first project was creating a collage of items/inventions that were specific to the country she lives in, so she made a collage shaped like the US and had a blast digging through old magazines for pictures to use. It was also very interesting to find things she thought originated in the States and where they actually were from.  Week two she had fun creating her own dough and hieroglyphics.

In case you are wondering about the stand that is propping up her book, check out this post for 3 Tools for Your Homeschool Year (and we are loving!).

A Little Music…

First 2 weeks of homeschool August 2015-46

One thing I am not is a guitarist – but the kids all are learning in bits and pieces from their dad. Laurianna pretty much taught herself to play with some instruction from Rick last year and is doing amazing, but that has brought out the other three in full force. Time to get a guitar that all the kids can use.

First 2 weeks of homeschool August 2015-7

There may also be a little puppy that is rather happy to sit at our feet all day and not have us running back and forth all the time. If only we can keep her out of the pencils!

From Mom’s Perspective

Overall the first two weeks have gone very well. Personally I feel more unprepared this year than in years past. All the curriculum is here and overall plans are in place, but things seem disjointed with Laurianna working on more independently and the rest of us trying to find a new groove as we settle into a different routine. There are still a few things I need to focus on getting lined up because I am teaching two classes this year for our high school co-op…so a bit more to think about and plan for on that end.

We are working with several new-to-us pieces of curriculum this year and my patience level with myself is fairly low. I want it all figured out yesterday (sigh). Together we’ll work through the kinks, but really are loving all we are using so far.

One of my main goals this year is to focus on the highlights and not get bogged down by the little stuff – because that is so very easy to do. There are many moments in the day that are frustrating – especially when I don’t ‘measure up’ to my own expectations. But then there is that little glimmer of hope and encouragement that reminds you of the WHY behind your efforts. Sometimes those moments seem so far and in between, but they make it incredibly worth it as both a teacher and a mom.

A little reminder for today and sharing a highlight from our week. Crazy children in the background are just and added bonus for you. You're welcome (and know that this was the 5th video because the previous ones resulted in the boys wrestling in the background, even wackier faces than what you see in this one, and more insanity). This is my life, people. Every single day. (But I do love it).

Posted by Homeschool Creations on Friday, 28 August 2015

Last week I shared a quick video clip on Facebook (with both boys being goofs in the background). Mind you, it was the FIFTH ‘take’ on the video because the boys were trying to be as goofy as they could possibly be.  It’s unedited and silly, but hopefully it will encourage you all a little bit as well.

Setting a Goal to Write Notes…


Each week I’ve also set a goal to write an encouraging note to the kids as well. I found these super cute encouragement notes from one of my friends Mary Dean Draws (she hand draws these and they are great!!), and I’ve been printing them off and putting one on each kiddo’s desk every Friday highlighting something I am proud of them for during that week. (Yes, there have only been two so far, but I printed off a stack to remind myself!).

That’s a quick overview of our first two weeks – what highlight can you share from your school time with us? Leave a comment and let’s encourage each other!

weekly wrap up

Linking up this week with Weekly Wrap-up!



3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations

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  1. So I’m totally in love with this post. Looks like the Erb family started school on such a happy, fun, special note this year! And the kids? How did they get to be giants?

  2. I love this!!!

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