Wednesday, July 30, 2014

School Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~and~ From my kitchen

A bountiful garden.

We've been eating a cucumber a day.  (Oh my goodness...still can't keep up.)  We have had to give them away as well.

I am thankful for ~

A new addition to our prayer life.  (Living liturgy.)   After lunch, I have encouraged each child (including myself) to have quiet, reflective prayer time, using this beautiful guide I found at Nancy's place.

I printed off a copy for all and put them inside page protectors.  We keep them by our desks or nightstands.

I am thinking about ~

My babies are growing too quickly!!

From the school room ~

Our year has taken off splendidly!

What my homeschool kids are studying for the 2014-2015 school year...

Geometry (Saxon AND I bought the teacher on disc.)

Keyboarding (Keyboarding Skills)

English  (Texts: A Tale of Two Cities, Animal Farm.  Book Analysis:  Great Expectations (Dickens), The Prince and the Pauper (Twain), The House of the Seven Gables (Hawthorne) and a research report.)

Spanish II (Spanish Now!)

Religion (Texts: Mass and the Sacraments, Catholic Morality, Understanding the Mass.)

Chemistry w/ lab (Chemistry: Precision and Design).

World History (Christ the King; Lord of History, and Historical Atlas of the World.)

PE credit - swim team

Art (Emma is signed up for an ART I course at a co-op in Dallas for grades 8-12).

English (English 8 for young Catholics - Seton)

Composition (Composition for young Catholics - Seton)

History (The History of the United States - Seton)

Math 8/7 (Saxon)

Reading (Texts: Faith and Freedom Readers, Comprehension, and Thinking Skills - all Seton)

4 Book Reports

Religion (Texts:  The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2, Witness to the Faith - Seton)

Physical Science w/ lab (Apologia)

Spelling (Spelling 8 for young Catholics - Seton)

Vocabulary (Vocabulary 8 for young Catholics - Seton)

PE - Tae Kwon Do

Art (Art 6 for young Catholics - Seton)

English (English 6 for young Catholics - Seton)

History (Texts:  Our Catholic History: Vol 1 - Seton,  Maps & Charts Level F Eastern Hemisphere - MCP) 

Math 6/5 (Saxon)

Reading (Texts:  Faith and Freedom Readers, Comprehension and Thinking Skills - all Seton)

4 Book Reports

Religion (Texts:  Religion 6 for young Catholics, Bible History for Young Catholics: Old Testament - Seton, and The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2)

Science (Zoology 3 - Apologia with a lab.  **teaming up with Stan in Science this year**)

Spelling (Spelling 6 for young Catholics - Seton)

Vocabulary (Vocabulary 6 for young Catholics - Seton)

PE - Tae Kwon Do

Art (Art 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

English (English 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

Handwriting (Handwriting 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

History (Texts:  The Catholic Faith Comes to America - Seton, Maps, Charts, and Graphs Level C Communities - MCP.)

Math 3 (Apologia)

Phonics (Phonics 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

Reading (Faith and Freedom Readers, Reading for young Catholics Comprehension - Seton)

2 book reports

Religion (Religion 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

Science (Zoology 3 - Apologia w/ lab - *He and Mabel are taking this course together.)

Spelling (Spelling 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

Vocabulary (Vocabulary 3 for young Catholics - Seton)

PE - (Troops of St. George)

What I am reading ~

(Thanks to Sarah for the advice....)

Rooted in Love: Our Calling As Catholic Women (Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle)

Roses Among Thorns: Simple Advice for Renewing Your Spiritual Journey (St. Francis de Sales)

What I am praying for ~
For a successful and fruitful school year!

For Sarah Harkins and her family.  Lord, have mercy!

What I am listening to ~

Kids helping me by checking each other's work.  (It is a team effort!)

Around my house ~

"I want to school, too!"

A picture to share ~

Have a great week!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, July 25, 2014


I started this post last weekend after David took me on a smokin' hot date - to the flea market.  Ha ha!

This month's finds ::

An early birthday present for my MIL...a bag/ purse for her walker.

The handles velcro around the front handles of her walker.

My MIL loves birds so I thought this was a perfect pattern.  ($15)

Another package of the Jet. Set. Go!  because it smells that good!  ($5)

Hard to tell, but that cantaloupe was HUGE.  ($5 from the farmer.)

Snuck this one in.  (Priceless)

And a LARGE bag of fresh kettle corn - we controlled ourselves and saved half for the kids. ($8)

Miss Sally had an AMAZING mission trip.  She was excited with her job placement, working with underprivileged children at a summer school in KC.

(Part of the group from our parish.)

On the last day, they were given a "fun day" in which their group spent it at World's of Fun in KC.

Miss Sally said there were a couple of hundred teenagers at this particular camp.  Their group had traveled the farthest.

Feast day celebration today!

To celebrate the feast of St. Christopher July 25  (patron saint of travelers), I added a new (to us) book for our collection.

This particular title, by Tomie dePaola, is out currently out of print, so I went and found a used one on Amazon.  Purchasing used books without seeing them first can be a gamble, this one came without a cover and some markings inside. 

I was a little disappointed with the outcome this time (the seller's rating of the condition should have been lower than what it was), but it still makes a nice addition to the other St. Christopher book we own...

I happen to like the illustrations in the second one much better.  (Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson)

The kids LOVE the legend of St. Christopher (you can find a short story about him here).

"Wonder not, Christopher, for not only hast thou borne the whole world on thy shoulders, but Him who created the world"—for the Christ Child, bearing in His own arms the great world, had been Christopher's burden. 

St. Christopher, pray for us!

I went ahead and chose the August feast days that we will celebrate in our home :: 

St. Philomena - August 11
St. Maximilian Kolbe - August 14
Feast of The Assumption - August 15
St. Rose of Lima  - August 23

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My First iMovie

It took me a looonnnnggg time, but I finally finished my first iMovie last weekend.

If you are bored or have time on your hands, feel free to watch.

Around the 3:48 mark, Miss Clementine entertains us with her impressive dance moves.  (And that is how she really dances.  Pinky swear.)

Enjoy the show!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Our little tradition ::  David and I write a message in a card to each child.  We place their cards on their nightstands after they fall asleep.  They find them on the morning of the first day of school :)

First Day of Class 2014  (Our 11th year of homeschooling.)

St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Scholastica, and St. Gemma, pray for all students!

St. Gregory the Great and St. John Baptist de LaSalle, pray for all teachers!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, July 21, 2014

19 Years Today!

It gets better and better with each passing year :)

Our breakfast in bed, compliments of Miss Mabel.  (Insert the sound of my beating heart!)

~  Patty  ~

Friday, July 18, 2014

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

On July 14, we celebrated the feast day of the Lily of the Mohawks.   I had ordered this DVD.

In Her Footsteps, The Story of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, is more of a documentary that takes the viewer to the beautiful woods of Albany, NY and Quebec, Canada where St. Kateri lived.  Where we did not learn more about St. Kateri, we did hear beautiful stories of her miracles.  I purchased it through Amazon, here.

The older girls watched it and liked it.  I'm not sure if early elementary age kids would sit still long enough to appreciate it.

St. Kateri, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Evolving Classroom

The last house in Illinois that we lived in, we had built ourselves.  It was an 1800 sq ft ranch-style with a full 1800 sq ft basement.  While we waited on the completion of the finished basement, Sally would school at the kitchen table, the back porch, or the living room floor.   She was only in Kindergarten.

The friend who was finishing the basement couldn't believe I'd stay home to homeschool.  He must have felt sorry for me because when I requested a (simple) school room to be built in the basement, he made THE CUTEST school room that ever was.  (He even built tray-ceilings in it.)

It was adorable! I had a reading corner, had 'real' school desks (sold to me by an old Catholic grade school) and a computer center.  There were bright-laminated posters on the walls of colors, shapes, numbers, and maps as well as an old-fashioned pencil sharpener.  It was perfect except for the notion that I had convinced myself of: in order for my homeschool to "work", I had to make it look like a brick and mortar classroom.

I truly believe the old teacher in me coupled with my lack of confidence in these early stages of homeschooling had me convinced of that.  

Then we moved to Texas in 2007.

Texas homes do not have basements.

To find the space to set up homeschooling shop, I was forced to think  outside the box.  Many Texas homes have an upstairs game room (second living room).  

Our game room would become our schooling area as well.  

I was schooling Sally and Ester (first and third grade) by this time, and decided to go with a community table/desk idea.  We found this table and chairs at IKEA.

We went from a school room to a schooling area.

We designated a couple of shelves in the walk-in toy closet for school supplies.

(For the past two years, only Miss Mabel's books have been stored there.)

I also threw a plastic shoe storage holder over the back of the closet door to house other school supplies.

I HIGHLY recommend them!!  They keep the never-ending mess cleared cleared away and out of sight!

This entire set up was only a temporary fix.  Mabel was doing her pre-school/ kindergarten work on the couch, floor, or kitchen table and Sally found it difficult to concentrate as her subject material grew harder.

The following year, we purchased a desk from Target and a chair from IKEA for Miss Sally's bedroom. 

(She's currently away at a week long camp and hasn't organized her desk yet in preparation for the school year.)

NOTE:  I wish I would have been thinking further ahead when we purchased a desk.  She has pretty much outgrown this one and ends up sitting on her bed to school.  

She also has a bookcase in her room that houses all of her High School textbooks and lesson plans.

Our family continued to evolve.  Stan the man started his formal lessons which meant there was more shifting needed.

We purchased a desk unit and chair from IKEA for Miss Ester and put it by her bed.  (Ester and Mabel share a bedroom.)

This gave the much needed quiet space for Ester to learn and grow.  Stan the man then moved to the shared table with Mabel.

Then along came Miss Clementine.  When we moved her upstairs from out of our bedroom into her own, we moved Stan's bedroom set down into David's office.  I know having to share Dad's office for a bedroom is not the best, but would you want to share an upstairs with 4 sisters when you are the only boy?  Ha ha ha.

So Stan now schools at David's office desk.  (Purchased at IKEA.)

I have another smaller closet in the upstairs living room.  Way up high on the top shelf I store books and binders that are currently not in use.  (Here's a glimpse.)

In addition to textbooks, I have 3-4 binders per grade for organizing the paperwork:  Attendance, quarter report forms, & tests binder, answer key binder, and 1-2 lesson plan binder (s).  

We have come a LONG way from that adorable school room in Illinois.  We are on the opposite end of the spectrum now with everyone having their own space, their own quiet learning area.  I NE-VER would have thought my homeschool would be "successful" without a real classroom setting.  Thank goodness that with growing confidence I realized that a real classroom setting is whatever is most conducive to your child's learning.  

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lawdy Be! It's Rain! - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Monday afternoon

A rare occurrence for our parts of Texas.

I am thankful for ~

The RAIN!!  (Just a scratch in the surface, Lord, please send more.)

My first relaxing day in 3 weeks.  No lie.

Our new flooring upstairs.

I am thinking about ~

Sally.  She left yesterday for a week long Catholic HEART Workcamp in Kansas City.

How different the house is with one child absent.  Wow! Wow!  Wow!

From the school room ~

Our school books arrived last week.

We start next week.  I always start in July. ( See my reasoning here.  I'm really not insane!)

(Checking out the science that they'll be sharing this year.)

(Little britches can hardly wait to start school, someday.)

Change in school routine.  When David owned a store front up in Illinois, the store was closed on Sundays and Mondays.  We schooled Tuesday through Saturday, taking off with him on Sundays and Mondays.

One of the stress factors for me for the past four years was not having him around as much.  He got into a habit of working Monday - Saturday.  So after discussing it, he went back to taking Mondays off and our school week will run Tuesdays-Saturdays, until David's busy season starts back up in January.

What I am reading ~

Nothing.  I've been way too busy.

What I am praying for ~

In thanksgiving for my mom's knee replacement surgery today.  She had no cartilage left and had a complete knee replacement this morning on her left knee.

For Miss Sally and all the youth and adults from our parish.

The families of these two tragic stories.  My heart just aches.  I literally have woken up from nightmares because of these :

The 22 month old Georgia boy who died after being left in a hot car.  The father has been charged with murder and second-degree child cruelty.

The drowning death of a precious two year old.  The heart ache the family must be reeling from.

*I am so sorry for being the bearer of bad news, but these tragedies have just disturbed me to my core.*

What I am listening to ~

Slovenian language!  See my mom teach us.

Matt Maher's ... All The People Said Amen

Around my house ~

After we dropped my mom off at the airport last Tuesday, we came home and prepared for the flooring guys to arrive.  The flooring guys dismantled room by room as they worked on the floors.

We lived with a topsy turvy household for 5 long days.  We used the same company from two years ago, but the install went bad this time.  (Different crew.) After ripping out and starting over in some areas, the job was finally completed last Saturday (8:30pm).    I am so so so grateful it is over.

Thought it would be fun to give a tour of our finished house update.

New carpet on the staircase, upstairs living room, hallways, and closets.  (The builder grade carpet that came with the house was so gross!)

The girls all received wood laminate in their bedrooms.  (The girls really wanted to be done with carpet in their bedrooms.)

(The new flooring makes this bedroom look SO MUCH bigger, I think.)

We started planning for this project 2  years ago.  What was really nice was that all the rooms got a thorough cleaning during this project.  (A great way to start the school year.)

Have a fantastic week!

~  Patty  ~


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