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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School – Our Routine

  A Day in the Life Week

I wrote a post awhile back about how I am more routine oriented. With that in mind we use the acronym FLOW to order our day.

Progress is born out of FLOW…
We use FLOW as an order to our day.

F – Family Needs
L – Learning Environment
O – Ordered by Routine and Habits
W – Workboxes

With the leading of the Holy Spirit we utilized our family’s needs, create learning environments, establish routines and habits, and utilize workboxes for our school subjects to allow our day to flow with order.

Over the years our family needs have dictated our schedule or routine. We had many years were a new baby came every few years and this changed our needs as a family. I have had to learn to be flexible over the years and know that depending on what “season” we were in as a family needed to be taken into account in our daily routine. If I tried to implement a schedule or routine that did not met our families needs as a whole in that season, we would all be miserable and Mama was stressed to the max - and everyone knows that if Mama isn’t happy, no one is.

One of the reasons that we decided to homeschool was to help our children develop a life long love of learning. We have tried to establish a home environment that encourages learning. When looking at curriculum or tools for teaching the academics, I want resources that will also aid in this desire to learn. I am very visual so I like to “see” what we are learning about. I have many posters, charts and lists posted around our learning environment to reinforce what we are studying. See my post on our school room.

Our day is ordered by routine. Here are copies of my girls morning routines:
image   image   image

The last few years we have been working on establishing some solid habits and have included this in our curriculum. I have made habit posters that are posted on our Calendar Wall. I will post a new one every 2-4 weeks. I have also made small icon cards that go in their chore chart so we are reminded to work on these habits.

image  image  image     

I have made a list of habits I would like us to develop. Some of these are necessary ones and some fun ones we would like to add to our life. I have also been working on changing the term we use for “chores” to “royal duties.” I have shared that our home is part of God’s Kingdom and we all have a royal purpose in helping our King.


We use a modified version of workboxes as a way to use our curriculum. Here is our workbox schedule. I have found it works best for us to use this system for our key subjects. I am using folders for each “box” or subject. I will be posting in full detail how we do this sometime in September.

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Even though I move better in the FLOW of a routine, I still like schedules and make one each year.  The time frames on the schedule have always been a goal not a slave driver.  I use to have to tell one of my children, “we are not a slave to our schedule,” when she would become frustrated that we were not doing what the schedule said at the time it said it was to be done. 

Now in a perfect world, with a perfect family this is what I would envision our day to be like, but since we have neither of these, it is somewhat of a dream.  But, I like to dream and having this as a goal helps me move forward!!!

We actually had a very light summer school schedule this year which has helped us maintain some routine. We will be starting full fledge after Labor Day.

Check out other homeschooling moms and their homeschool days!

Embracing His strength in this new school year~
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School - School Pictures

 Student Photo  Week

Over at they are hosting a Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.

This week is student photo week.  I have not taken our back to school pics yet, since we will not be officially starting school until next week.  But last year I made these for the 3 girls: 

image  image  image

The inspiration for these came from Pinterest and 1+1+1 =1.

I will be making new ones this year after we take our back to school pictures. I will post them next week along with some record keeping ideas that have worked for us.

I also love these School Memory Kit  ideas.

promo  from: Confessions of a Homeschooler

image   from: all for the boys

  from: i heart organizing

  Hope you are enjoying the start of a new school year~

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School –School Room

   School Room Week

Over at they are hosting a Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.

This week’s feature is School Rooms. As our family has grown, what was once our school room has become a bedroom, so over the years we have literally lived in our homeschool room.  Our house is one of those you walk in and say, “oh, you must homeschool.”  This definitely has its benefits – along with its drawbacks, but I would rather for the sake of contentment, dwell on the benefits.  We have what we need right in our living space and we have learned to utilize the different areas of our home to benefit our homeschooling day.

DSCN0197 I am a very visual person, so I like to see the things we are learning.  These are the doors to our “coat closet” in our kitchen.  We do not keep coats in this closet, but homeschool books and materials. On these doors are our Biography, Composer, Artist and Poet of the Month Poster Boards.  I also have a Language Arts Poster and a wall chart that we can put scriptures  or the words to a poem we are memorizing. 

 DSCN0222 DSCN0225  

DSCN0199This year we will be studying World Geography and Missions, so our Biographies will highlight the Missionary we are covering each month. We also have a world map on the kitchen wall under our “Jewish Festivals” shelf.     I use a combination of Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Lifestyle of Learning, and Unit Study approach to Homeschooling.  You will see a flair of each of these styles in the activities we incorporate in our homeschooling week.


On the side of our kitchen table, I have a little table that will house my office apprentice.  This is an awesome tool, and hopefully will help me to keep our kitchen table clear of books and curriculum this year.

Also in the kitchen I use the side of our kitchen cabinets to post our chore charts and Doorpost discipline posters.    

DSCN0201DSCN0200In our living Room is my desk and a bookshelf with items and books we use regularly.   We also have a set up for Supplies and Craft items -


One of my favorite areas in our home is our “Learning Center” -   
DSCN0202On the far left are our continent boxes - DSCN0203 

DSCN0207Each of the drawers hold items for one of the continents.  Some of the items in each box are - paper dolls, YWAM young readers Biography, Continent Book, Continent Facts sheets and maps, Little Passports activities, Highlights Top Secret Adventures, Montessori Print Cards, and Animal figures.  Each box will have some extra items in them, depending on what I have found over the years to put in them.  I am really excited to use these items full force this year as we study World Geography.  I will be posting about them and how we use these, throughout the year.

DSCN0236DSCN0221On the door to our garage (I told you we utilize every area) we have our calendar and a poster board which highlights different things we are learning.  I also post each week the Character Trait, Bible Verse and Habit we are working on.

DSCN0208We us a modified version of the Workboxes.  In the Learning Center I have crates for each of the girls in their school color. (I have color coded my kids from the very beginning of our homeschool adventure – 16 years ago) – In these crates are their binders and schedule notebooks.  
This is my Golden Girls box and binders.   DSCN0219  
DSCN0212DSCN0210 I found these folders at the $ store in each of the girls colors. I bought 6 for each of the girls to represent the 6 different areas that we cover each day.  Inside the folders are four double sided pockets.  I use each pocket to cover different elements of that subject.  For example in the Language Arts folder there would be a pocket for Spelling, Grammar, Reading/Phonics, Penmanship/Copy Work, etc.  I will also be doing a post on our workbox system in more detail soon, along with some of the forms I have made for our use of them.
DSCN0234On the side of the “Learning Center” is a pocket holder I found a few years ago at Target’s $ spot.  This works great to store their chore chart check off lists and their check in/out school signs - they flip it over then school is started and then back again after school is competed.   

Go over to the "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop to check out other families school rooms.

We are getting closer to being “back-to-school” soon~

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This is one of my all time favorite songs to worship to.  I have been know it hit the repeat button and listen and cry out to it at least 20 times over…  ask my kiddos!!!

Shane and Shane

holy design
this place in time
that i might seek and find my God
my God
Lord i want to yearn for You
i want to burn with passion
over You and only You
Lord i want to yearn
Your joy is mine
yet why am i fine
with all my singing and bringing grain
in light of Him
oh You give life and breath
through Him You give all things
in Him we live and move
that's why i sing
acts 17:25-28, hebrews 12:28-29

This song goes into the deep places of my soul…

It reminds me – that if I am focused just on the worship and serving of Him…
                                                                                I may just miss Him… 
and those places that long and yearn for His touch…
                   those places that long for Him…
                                                                 … are left empty and shallow
          …instead of overflowing and deep

This song reminds me that as I seek His face and reach out for Him…
         … I will find Him.
That in Him…  I live and move and have my being…
I yearn for that depth of living…     I yearn for that kind of movement… 
                                 I yearn for being…  in Him  ...moving in Him~
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:25-28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

Things I am thankful for this week:

yearning for my Savior
desire for more of him

all uniques son learned while a YWAM
uniques sobn home and adjusting people that relate
missionary daughter teaching again

internship for giving son
family who plays together
friends who love and pray together

healing and restoration for chruch we love
your hand in find lost souls
neighbor who loves and shares with us

laundry caught up!!!

Yearning for Him~
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Saturday, August 11, 2012


angel baptism 4

My Angel Girl has been wanting to be baptized for the past year.  A few weeks ago, they announced at youth that they were having a Baptism coming up, so she signed up for it.  Pastor Craig spoke to the group of 4 students making this decision,   about the meaning and importance of giving and living your life for Christ. It was so exciting to see each of these youth make the decision to want to follow their Savior with all their heart.
angel baptism 3angel baptism    She was so cute, all week she practiced holding her breath and plugging her nose, while I counted to 5.  Pastor Craig and Beth (our youth leader) were both at her side.  They prayed for her afterwards, I love the look on her face.  She took it all in and loved being prayed for.  She is my prayer warrior, so this part was very special.

shane baptism 1shane baptismMy unique son was asked, by one of the young men in their youth group, to be at his side when he was baptized.  This young man is a very special one, and has really embraced being a part of the youth.  It has been so fun to see him grow and want to follow the Lord, and it has been extra special to see my children just encourage and love him in all his specialness.  He comes over from time to time to hang out and I just love seeing him be able to have such special friendships.

Loving and embracing these special times in my children's lives~

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