Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School has started

We officially started school this past Monday. Now mind you we were doing bits and pieces of week 1 last week, getting a feel for the new books and some new curriculum. Looks like we will wrap up the week today a whole two days early. A good thing since I will not be functioning on Friday due to surgery.
So far the week has gone really well. The kids are enjoying world history (Ian is doing American History, just the way it worked out this year). I bought Mystery of History Vol 1 and it is a big hit here. We do 3 lessons a week with an activity for each. Time consuming? YES! But you can ask my 6 year old what Jubal did in c.5000BC and he will answer "taught music". Pretty cool eh? I have pictures of their play-dough Adam and Eve's too that I need to upload and share. And really did you know that one batch of homemade play-dough will occupy children for hours on end? Day after day? It has. I will add the recipe from Sonlight below.
Claire is using Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra this year. So far no tears over math. Now I realize it's early in the year but she is doing math on her own accord! She also grades it, watches the problems she missed done right on the computer and corrects it. She then reports to me what she did wrong and whether or not she understands why she got it wrong. I heart Teaching Textbooks.....seriously you can love curriculum :)
Speaking of curriculum and love.......
We use Sonlight as our main curriculum. Awesome company, awesome curriculum. This company is very customer oriented. A few examples. I had a book that was falling apart after minimal use and emailed them. It was a known binding issue that still wasn't fixed so they gave me a coupon towards a future purchase since sending a new book wouldn't resolve the binding issue. My daughter Avery was diagnosed with MHE about two years back and I was scared and posting prayer requests on their customer forums. The President of Sonlight sent me a personal handwritten card saying she was praying for my girl and lifting our issue before the Lord. Those are only two examples of how this company is awesome. I have made oodles of friends through their forums, some I have met in real life. In fact I had coffee with one last night as she passed through town, another showed us around Altoona, PA and fed us dinner, another fed us dinner and invited us to church when we passed through Mississippe recently. Amazing group of people. All that to say if you are a homeschooling mom or considering homeschooling or just want to check out a list of great books. Here is a little blurb about them and

* My children are getting a great education and loving it ... at least most of the time! Sonlight is a literature-based curriculum, so we read tons of great books out loud together. The kids devour plenty of books on their own, too. We stay away from boring textbooks and really engage in what we're learning. * That time spent reading together on the couch is creating some great memories--we learn so much about each other as we discuss the events, ideas and characters we discover. * With the Instructor's Guides Sonlight provides (, we can just open up the guide and do school every day without me spending much time planning. That gives us even more time to hang out ... and keep up with the laundry. * Sonlight prepares my kids to engage with the world around them. We study lots of different cultures and don't just focus on US history. My kids know that not everyone is like us, and they're learning to care about those around them with an intelligent and Christ-centered love. * Sonlight offers the best risk-free offer of anyone. You can take a whole year to use 18-weeks of a curriculum package or Instructor's Guide. If you don't love it, send it all back (used books and all) and receive a full refund of every penny you paid. Go to for more on this stress-free offer. * I get all the help I need from Sonlight's online forums, their curriculum advisors (who can help me choose which products will fit my family best) and their customer relations team. Granted, I'd love it if they also sent a personal chef to my house occasionally ... but I guess they can't do everything. I should also mention that on top of that, Sonlight has a Rewards Program I enjoy. If you decide to purchase from Sonlight, enter my Rewards ID when you register an account on their site and you'll get $5 off your first order ($50 or more). I'll get points that I can redeem at another time. My Rewards ID: TH20192205 Or just use this link: Check out for some great articles about Sonlight that may help. I particularly appreciated "27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight," "You can teach your children--with confidence--from your first day" and "How Literature-Rich Homeschooling Awakens Your Child's Natural Passion for Learning."

So check them out. Now that play dough recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1T oil
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 package any flavor kool aid

Mix all together in a sauce pan and heat stirring until mixture forms a ball. Pull out onto wax paper and knead it. Let cool and then let the kids go at it. Stores nicely in a ziploc bag for a few weeks

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