Monthly Archives: July 2012

Our First Day of Second Grade and Pre-K

I’m going to try to simplify the way I update the blog by doing a once a week update on Mondays with a few details about what we’re focusing on with a few photos. Here’s what’s on tap for our first few weeks.

Memory Verse:But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (7/30-8/10)

Hymn:Great is Thy Faithfulness (7/30-8/24)

Artist:Vincent Van Gogh (7/30-9/28)

Composer:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7/30-9/28)

Five in a Row:Henry the Castaway By Mark Taylor (studying exploration and maps) (7/30-8/10)

Pre-K Literature:All the Places to Love by Patricia Maclachlan (introducing our family study and learning about seasons and life on a farm) (7/30-8/10)

Read Aloud:Farmer boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

And here’s a peek into our wonderful first day.





Reciting their Memory Verse

Practicing our Hymn


He’s been anticipating officially learning cursive (he already knows a little). The wait is finally over!

Caroline’s Handwriting Practice



“Slap It” with Sight Words




“One more drawer to go and then I’m done!”




We completed her first notebook project this afternoon.

We’ll be doing quite a few narrations about her various family members for her notebook…today we started with one about herself.

Word of the Week


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New School Year=New Home Management Plan

Something about starting a new school year always motivates me to get organized and begin new disciplines in other areas of my life. I’m a pretty organized person already, but there are still areas where I struggle to keep a consistent plan that works long-term. I’ve been doing a study of the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart with a couple of friends and after going through the chapters on the woman’s God-given role as home builder, I was totally inspired to put together a much better plan for keeping our home in top shape so it can be a peaceful haven for our family, especially since we’re home so often. I had looked into the methods of Fly Lady several years ago, but quickly fell off the wagon because just managing life with two very small children was overwhelming enough. A few weeks ago I decided to look into it again, this time borrowing her book from the library. I quickly became really excited about implementing her ideas. They might have seemed impossible a few years ago but in my current phase of life they sound like exactly what I need!

One of the things she recommends is breaking your home into “zones” and rotating them weekly and taking 15-minute chunks of time here and there throughout the week to work on your current zone. She emphasizes that you don’t have to do it perfectly or even complete every task. Anything you can get done blesses your family more than doing nothing at all. For some reason that really resonated with me because I’ve always been an “all or nothing” type of person. If I didn’t have an hour to do one giant job, I’d do nothing instead. Previously, I had been rotating cleaning tasks weekly, but I would lump them together by type of job (such as dust EVERY room or mop ALL tile floors) and that really doesn’t work very well for an all or nothing person. It makes much more sense to me to focus my attention on a specific area in my home here an there throughout the week.

Another Fly Lady “rule” is to keep some kind of master journal or notebook with all the information you need to manage your home and organize your chores. This is something I’ve always wanted to do (I’m such a notebook type of person) but I guess I’ve just been overwhelmed and confused about exactly what to put in there. I’ve also tried using a couple different apps on my phone that supposedly keep this information handy for you but those have all come up short. I don’t know about you, but whenever I pick up my phone and look for something on it, I become very unproductive because I soon find myself being sucked into something else and wasting time. I decided for this kind of thing I needed a real tangible notebook that I could refer to on my counter throughout the day and slip back not the drawer in the evening. In about a day’s time, I put together a handy home management journal that has everything I need to stay on top of all that goes on around here. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me, knowing that nothing will be forgotten. I’m ready to take on the task of another homeschooling year while also keeping things under control in my home!

Here’s my Home Management Journal


I used dividers and broke it up into eight different categories: Routines and Schedules, To-Do Lists, Current Cleaning Zone, Cleaning Zones, Meal Plans and Shopping Lists, Bills, Home and Car Maintenance Schedule, and Misc.


“Daily Routines” are things I do regularly each day, no matter what day of the week. These are the things that keep things maintained and cleaner longer and also help me get ready for the next day of life at home[school].

I also have a schedule for each day of the week because our Mondays/Wednesdays look very different from our Tuesdays/Thursdays…and Fridays are completely unique as well.


Here’s my current zone. It’s kept in a page protector so I at the beginning of the week so I can mark what I really want to get done and then I can check the jobs off as I get them completed during my 15-minute cleanings.


The rest of my zones are in the next divider to be rotated into the current spot each week. There are five in all.

“Meal Planning and Grocery Lists”

Here’s the simple layout of my “Bills and Money” section. We do bills twice a month, at the beginning and in the middle, and additionally transfer money into various accounts at those times as well. Having this handy helps me remember when and where the money is going.



This is my “Home and Car Maintenance” section. Just having these finally written out and organized is a huge burden off of me because I have been trying to just remember this stuff and I’m always worried something important will slip my mind.


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Our Summer Writing Project

We’ve been enjoying our summer break and have just two weeks left until we start our next school year! One project Elliot and I have worked on this summer was making a “real” book. He has been dreaming of the idea for a while. He’s been inspired by his love for reading, particularly mysteries and has been planning on writing his own but he wanted more than just a stack of paper stapled together and handwritten pages. I came across Bare Books and decided it would be a great affordable way to make the finished project into a real bound book. They’re completely blank hard covered books in a variety of sizes with different numbers of page numbers. I purchased several (just had a hunch this would not be his last book) with twenty pages which worked out to be just right for this project. For about two weeks, Elliot worked feverishly on his book, writing pages and pages in his creative writing journal. The finished product was a complete story with an intro and ten chapters. He even included a moral at the end. My job was taking his written work and typing it out for him, as it would’ve surely taken him more than the entire summer to type it and he would have burned out before completing it. I wanted to make the process and fun and stress-free as possible. We pasted what I typed into the bare book, leaving blank pages for his illustrations. He’s quite proud his first book and is excited about getting to work on his next mystery.






This is his list of book titles he intends on completing someday. There are about 200 in all (these pages are covered front and back).