Back to School Pictures

First day of 8th grade!  Molly actually had school yesterday too, but that was because she is a WEB Leader (something she worked hard to earn last year, usually the job goes to 9th graders) and needed to show the 7th graders around the campus.  Today she gets to start her own classes, though she still has to wear her WEB Leader shirt.

It’s hard to believe that Molly is already in 8th grade.  She is nearly as tall as me now and she gets her braces off in about 6 weeks.  I am proud of how self-motivated she is to work hard in school.  She really wants to try out for the school soccer team, but her knee is still not in playing condition.  I’m hoping the coach will save her a spot on the team.

The rest of the kids have started school too.  It isn’t our first day per se, but we still like to be included in the picture taking.  The lack of shoes probably makes it obvious that we homeschool.  This year William is in 4th, Henry in 2nd, and Adelaide is in Kindergarten.  Oliver is in destructo mode, the “why” phase, and and almost threenager simultaneously.

William is wearing his game day jersey because the local high school is having their first home game of the season and his team gets to form the tunnel for them on the field.

Henry is currently humoring me by growing his hair out because I wanted to see what it would look like.  William doesn’t like it though and may talk Henry out of it.

Adelaide thinks teenagers are the coolest and is trying her hardest to grow up too fast.  The other day I caught her using her sparkly lip gloss as eyeshadow.

Oliver is like my clingy controlling boyfriend.  I love him dearly and he loves me and doesn’t want anyone else to touch me.  Ever.  The other kids get mad sometimes and purposely make him upset by hugging me.  He responds with punches and shoving.  We’re working on it.

Seattle Reign

Ben took Molly had a date in Seattle on Saturday.  They went out to dinner and then to a Seattle Reign game on with tickets he had given her for her birthday.  They braved the wind and rain and had a great time.

Meanwhile back at home, the littles and I attended the baptism of a friend of ours.  The storm had knocked out power at the building so the entire service was held via lamp light.  It was extremely cool and very spiritual.  Henry is now hoping that we’ll have a big snowstorm for his baptism.

We were lucky and never lost our power, though many neighbors did.  I’m really grateful we finally got our generator fixed because I feel like this may be a bad winter.

Homeschool Curriculum 2015-2016

Here it is, the big list of what I’m using to school the kids this year.  I look back at the list at the beginning of each year to help me remember what I’ve ordered in the past and what level I used for different grades.  This year I have 3 officially homeschooling with a toddler as a wild card.

William – 4th Grade – William really started to find a love of writing towards the end of last year.  I’m hoping to encourage that and help him explore some of his interests more fully.  He’s still learning that making mistakes is part of learning and that he can do hard things.

  • Saxon 6/5 – This will be my first time teaching this level of math.  However, Saxon makes it easy so I’m not anticipating any problems.
  • Evan Moor Daily Common Core Math Practice 4 – Okay, call me crazy, but I’m adding more math.  William has gotten ahead of his grade level in math, but I wanted to make sure he remembers all the stuff he’s supposed to for testing purposes.  This little book has 5 problems to do every day and the kids think it’s fun.  I like it because it shows me what we need to review.
  • Building Thinking Skills Level 2 – I thought it was time to bring this one back
  • Evan Moor Daily Language Review 4 – This is what I’m using for grammar this year.  It has 5 problems a day that offer a lot of variety.  Honestly, we burned out a bit on the 1st Language Lessons and we needed something different.
  • Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension 4 – Are you noticing a pattern?  Another Evan Moor workbook.  I like the look of their materials and this one gives me any easy way to incorporate reading comprehension regularly.  I have him read it aloud to me so I can help with pronunciation of unfamiliar words.
  • Spelling Workout E – These are great spelling books and the kids like them.
  • Evan Moor How to Write a Story 4-6 – I’ve yet to find a writing program I like and that works well with my kids.  I’m giving this one a shot this year.
  • Evan Moor Read and Understand Poetry 3-4 – I wanted to do a poetry unit this year so this is another “let’s give it a try” picks.

Henry – 2nd Grade – Henry discovered a love of reading last year.  We finally found the books that unlocked that love (it’s been different with each child) and as a results his spelling has greatly improved.  I hope to continue to feed his love of reading and to help him to develop his spelling and writing skills.  I also want to do more science because that is something Henry really loves.

Adelaide – Kindergarten – Adelaide learned to read last year, but she doesn’t consider herself a reader.  I’m hoping to increase her confidence in reading.  She loves math and the new building thinking skills (brain puzzles) book I bought her, but I also want to make sure she is getting plenty of creative play time.

  • Saxon 1 and Saxon 2 – We’ll finish up the 2nd half of Saxon 1, doing one lesson per day as opposed to last year (one lesson every other day) and then start Saxon 2.
  • Building Thinking Skills Primary Level – Addy loves doing the puzzles in this book.  It’s a new thing for her.
  • Pathway Reading – I found this little series of books and they are just the thing for Adelaide.  There are little stories broken down into chapters with sections for me to read and sections for her.  New words are listed at the bottom of the page and the illustrations are cute.  They are helping Adelaide gain confidence in her reading skills.
  • Spelling Workout A – This will be new for Addy this year and I’m interested to see how it goes.
  • Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book – Adelaide loves these books and it’s something she can do on her own.

All Together

  • A History of US Volume 1 – We have finished all 4 years of Story of the World and though I plan on rereading them, I wanted something different before starting again.  We have the 11 volume set, but plan on doing at least Volume 1 this year.
  • McGraw Hill Science – I was given some science books from a friend and that I’m going to try one out this year.  I’ve never found a science program I loved, and am always willing to try something new.  I haven’t decided whether I’ll use the grade 4 book (adjusting activities as needed for the younger kids) or the grade 3 book.
  • Reading Aloud – We incorporated this last year and it was a big hit.  Usually I would read after our PE when we were needing some time to call down.  We read through several books and it was well liked by everyone.

Co-op Classes – The kids love our co-op classes and every year they want to sign up for more classes.  This year the classes the the kids really wanted to do were early in the morning and late afternoon so I had to pick a few filler classes in between to keep us busy.  I expect we’ll drop a few classes once we get into the swing of things.  Generally I wanted them to have a science and an art class, and something of their choice.

  • William – Excellence in Writing (may drop), Mixed Clay and Glass Studio, Miniature Reflections (building a miniature castle), Geology Rocks, Elementary Game Design (computer)
  • Henry – Clay Studio, Parkour, Chess Club (his 3rd year by request), US Geography, Illustrated Journaling
  • Adelaide – Gymnastics, Spanish (at her request), Magic School Bus Science, Tap/Ballet (even though she is taking other dance classes, she wanted this one too)
  • Oliver – Construction Site Jr. – His first class!  I’ve got to break up the day some how.  This is basically a hands on play type class.  He’ll love it.
  • Casey – Hand Knit Socks – I’m probably crazy for doing this, but it would be fun to have something for me since I’m sitting there all day.  We’ll see I can bring enough activities to keep Oliver quiet and busy.

I am aware that this is a crazy amount of stuff.  I had wanted to use an all inclusive curriculum this year to simplify things (Calvert) but when it got right down to it, it was too expensive and we couldn’t afford it.  To find a happy medium, I added in more workbooks (the Evan Moor stuff) so that the kids could have more independent work.  They like the workbooks because the daily assignments can be completed quickly and they don’t feel intimidating.  After we get a few months into the school year, I may do some adjusting (I usually do), but right now I think this will work.

Never is it more tempting to send the kids all to public school than right now as I see and hear all my friends talking about how excited they are to have their kids back in school and how much they are able to get done in a day.  I admit, I am envious of the thought of having several hours every day to get my house clean, run errands, finish home improvement projects, lunch with friends, plan and and make dinner, and maybe even get a job.  But homeschooling is working for us right now.  I don’t know why and for how long, but it is.  It feels right.  Exhausting, but right.

Football Jamboree

William had his first football jamboree this morning.  I know he looks mad in this picture, but really his mouth is just full of food.  I was trying to cram a last minute snack into him before he headed into the stadium.

William was a little nervous going into this game because up until 2 days ago he had been learning to be an outside linebacker.  Then his coach switched him to tight end and William wasn’t sure he was cut out for the job.  However William did great and watching those little guys play football was so much fun!

There is one more jamboree scheduled but it is on a Sunday so William won’t be playing.  We have decided as a family, not to play any sports on Sunday.  We save Sundays for going to church, being with family, and remembering the savior.  This doesn’t always go over well with coaches and others, but it is important to us.

The skies were a little hazy from all the wild fires that are raging in Washington right now.  It has been the driest summer I can remember.  I pray that we get some rain soon.

Ouch… again

Molly took a hit during a tournament game this past weekend and had to be carried off the field.  The onsite trainer wasn’t sure what the injury was since Molly wasn’t able to move her leg much, but she did get it to make a loud “pop”.  It was the same knee that she injured several months ago, but it was a different kind of pain and in a different area of the knee.  We called our orthopedic friend that night and was able to get her in for an appointment yesterday and in the meantime she hobbled around on her crutches and knee brace from last time.

It turns out that her knee cap moved out of place and the loud “pop” was probably it moving back.  The official term is patella sublaxation.   Her knee is super swollen so she has to go back to see the doctor next week to see if enough swelling has gone done to allow for physical therapy.  She’ll be in a brace for the whole season, but should be able to play again in 3 to 6 weeks.  We’re thinking 6 weeks is more likely, but Molly is gunning for 3.  One things for sure, soccer is not for the faint of heart.



“Welcome to puberty!” — William, said loudly to Molly after we wished her a happy 13th birthday


“I’ve had disappointments in life, but science camp isn’t one of them.” — William


“Mommy there is a hole in my undies!” — Oliver, said in distress

(insert explanation from me on what the hole is used for)

“Awesome.” — Oliver, said in wonder and complete awe



William is doing tackle football this fall and practices started up this week.  For two weeks, he has practices 5 days a week for 2 hours each day.  William has never really done anything quite so rigorous and I was a little worried, but he has worked incredibly hard.  I am really proud of him!

I like that he’s trying out new sports and that he is getting to do something all his own.  I hope he has a great season and makes some good friends.