Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

 This Mother's Day was fantastic!!  John and the kids all did a good job to make it really special.  It got started on Saturday when John got me some beautiful flowers.  Almost 2 weeks later they have just started to get brown and wilted. 

As with most things in our family most of Mother's Day revolved around food.  John made all the food that day.  He often (as in most of the time) takes over the meal preparation on Sunday.  This time though I was NOT allowed to help out in any way.  I tried but he kept kicking me out of the kitchen.  He made scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast with yummy muffins I bought at Sam's.  After breakfast I opened my presents and cards.  The kids all made me the cutest cards.  The kids got me a gift card to Kohl's and John bought me a a GPS.  I had asked for one for a future purchase (b-day, Christmas) so this was completely unexpected and very appreciated.  I have since used it a lot.  John even test drove it before he gave it to me.  He is now jealous of my GPS. 

For dinner John grilled steaks, made me a yummy and beautiful veggie salad (see below) a fruit salad, and roasted red potatoes.  Everything was perfection.

 The family right before dinner.

Karena had gone to Sam's with John on Saturday and decided she wanted to buy me a dessert.  At first she looked at the cakes (too expensive) and then settled on pie.  This particular pie was delicious and very interesting.  It was four fruit pies in one - cherry, peach, blueberry and apple.  They had each fruit in one quarter of the pie.  I tried a yummy combination of peach and cherry. 

I am very grateful for my wonderful family.  I love them all!  Thanks for making this Mother's Day very special.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

School Plans: 2012-2013

It has been my intention the past year and a half to focus on a more classical approach to our homeschool in regards to history and literature.  The classical method focuses on teaching history in chronological order.  By the time a student would graduate from HS they would have made at least 3 passes through each age in history.  This year was to be the medieval times.  I also wanted to make it a point to study language arts using real literature.  So here were my requirements in no particular order of importance:

1 - Must be about medieval times.
2 - Must use real books to teach the subject.  I HATE textbooks.  Ask my mom.  She'll tell you.
2 - At least for history, it must be able to be used by all 3 kids at the same time.  I wasn't going to teach the same subject 2 or 3 times a day.
3 - I must be able to afford it.
4 - I have to feel good and excited about it.
5 - It had to have a daily plan.  I have learned that having just a list of books and activities does not help me.  I need structure and organization.

I found some that fit 2 - maybe 3 of those items.  I was frustrated.  I was getting ready to settle for something I didn't like and was too expensive.  I couldn't find anything else.

BUT then a few weeks back I was reading a blog post featuring a homeschool curriculum review for Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Exploration.  It was one I remembered looking at several years ago when I first started this journey.  But the kids were too young then so I filed it away for the future.  Apparently I filed it away too well and never thought about it again.


I looked at it. It included not only history and literature but science, grammar, spelling, and geography all rolled into one amazing curriculum!  The only problem - it focuses on American history.  But after looking at it for several days I felt really good about it and really excited about it.  I decided to chuck the classical idea.  I have super high hopes for this year.  All three kids will learn side by side as we study Christopher Columbus, Jamestown, the Pilgrims, Lewis and Clark and Daniel Boone.  The only thing I have to add is cursive for the girls, some phonics for Tyler and math for everyone.  

Best part: I found it used and it was even cheaper!!!