Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homeschooling 2012 -2013

I thought I would share what we are using in our homeschool this year.

Ashton 8th grade

Math - a combination of Saxon and Aleks.com
Grammar - Analytical Grammar - love it so far
Spelling - Sequential Spelling
History - Unit study on the Civil War and Streams of Civilization
Science - Apologia General Science and Physical Science
Bible - Answers for Kids
Handwriting - Handwriting without tears
Literature - a selection of books and literature studies
Writing is worked into his other subjects for now.

Cyrus Grade 4

Math - Horizon 4
Grammar - Winston Grammar with some things added
Spelling - Spelling Connections
History - Unit Study on the Civil War and Streams of Civilization
Science - Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures
Bible - Answers in Genesis
Handwriting - Handwriting without Tears
Literature - a variety of books

Genesis Grade 2

Math - Horizon 2
Grammar - Winston Grammar with some things added
Spelling - Spelling Connections
History - Unit Study on the Civil War and Streams of Civilization
Science - Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures
Bible - Answers in Genesis
Handwriting - Handwriting without Tears
Reading/Phonics - Abeka

I'm sure you noticed that all 3 do the same history and Bible.  Though it is not exactly the same for each.  Ashton gets his beefed up a bit so it is more his level.  It helps me to have at least some of their subjects together.  Cy and Gen do a lot of the same things but according to their ability or level.  In all honesty, elementary teaches the same stuff over and over just adding to the difficulty each year.  Do you really need to learn what a noun is every year or just learn it well the first time and continuously use it from there on out?

The children also take piano lessons, play sports, participate in different clubs, and take classes with our homeschool group.  We are also blessed enough to be able to travel with Joe, which provides for lots of field trips.  It has been wonderful for our study on the Civil War.  We also homeschool year round with breaks here and there.

I'm very pleased with the curriculum we are using right now.  One thing I always try to remember if it is not working for your child it is okay to not finish it and get something that does.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Tuesday my husband asked me when he got home from work, do you want to go walking in the morning?  Of course I said yes.  This is something me and Joe use to do most mornings before he started traveling so much. Frankly I missed our morning chats as we do laps at the YMCA. Since he started traveling I let myself get out of the habit.  It was good to have my motivator again.

We went walking yesterday and again today.  Yesterday we kind of got a late start but today I was back to my 4:30 a.m. wake up.  I know I'm strange but I do enjoy that early hour.  It's so quiet and peaceful at that time of day.  I'm hoping to keep it up even after Joe goes back on the road.  It's so easy to let it slide when no one is going with you.  It seems I do better when I know someone is counting on me to go with them.  I need to learn to be self motivated though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Food and Family

A few months ago I decided our family was not eating very well and decided to change it.  See what happens when you start reading things on the web.  At first I tried to make all the changes at once.  As you probably know it was a huge failure with much moaning and gnashing of teeth.  Then I decided that I would do it in steps.  First thing I did was get everyone use to eating whole grain breads.  When they started eating that without complaint, I switched our vegetables from canned to fresh or frozen.  I try to get all fresh but sometimes your selection is dictated by season so then I use frozen.  This has done pretty well.  I knew we were ready to move to our next change when I bought a can of peas out of laziness for Sunday lunch.  The kids took a bite and the complaints ensued.  Mom what did you do to the peas they taste gross,  eeewwww do I have to eat them and so on.

I had already switched our meat.  I try to buy the all natural stuff, the hormone free, and so on.  That stuff is expensive, so I always scour the meat section every time I go into the store looking for reduced meat.  I know its not fresh but at least it is affordable.  I don't think the kids even noticed this change at all.  I've also been more selective on other things I buy trying to avoid MSG.  Believe it or not I have noticed a difference in some of my children's behavior by eliminating this and I can tell when they have gotten some of it.  It takes more effort on my part in the grocery store but oh how much easier it makes my everyday life with the kids.

Now I've been eliminating pastas and potatoes and upping the veggie intake.  I still serve sweet potatoes on occasion.  We've been doing this for a few weeks now and it really is going well.  I was afraid they wouldn't be full and whining about it.  That hasn't really happened though.  I do make an effort to not cook two vegetables of the same color for dinner.  I don't know why but it seems to make a difference in the whine factor.  I've cooked two vegetables of the same color a couple of nights and they whined like I was torturing them.  Weird how things work sometimes.

What I've learned about husbands

Now this isn't something new.  I'm sure we've all heard it. The question is how many of us practice it consistently?  That is the Golden Rule - Treat others like you want to be treated.  Now if I'm honest with myself I know I tend to let it slip in several areas with my relationship with my husband.  I just get comfortable and don't put forth as much effort.  It is a constant battle to be consistent.  Let me give some examples.

I want my husband to listen when I talk to him but do I fully listen to him when he's talking to me.  Honestly not always.  I find myself doing the head nod, and the uh uh sound of agreement like I am but we all know that is not truly listening.  I found myself tuning out whenever he'd start talking about a subject I wasn't really interested in, especially when he would start getting into the details of his job.  See my husband is an controls engineer and honestly I had no clue what he was talking about and he would go into extreme detail.  I think it is an engineer thing.  The thing is I would get upset when I didn't feel he was listening to me.  It occurred to me that if I want him to listen and engage in the conversation of my choice, I would have to do the same for him.  That meant paying attention and doing some reading so I knew what he was talking about.  Now it doesn't sound like a foreign language to me.  I have a general knowledge and can carry on a relatively good conversation with him or at least ask him questions.  Don't get me wrong I don't have near the understanding of the subject as he does but at least he knows I'm listening to him.  Am I perfect at it?  Not yet but I keep working on it.

I want my husband to be considerate of me, my wants and needs.  But was I paying attention to his?  It can be simple things like asking him if he would like a drink or something when you get up to get yourself one.  Making sure he has a lunch for work or breakfast before he leaves.  It could also be big things that do require you to sacrifice like living in a hotel for 6 weeks while he travels.  Believe it or not that was a big deal to my hubby.  We recently did this.  The intention was to be with him for at least 2 to 4 weeks but turned into 6.  He wanted us to stay longer.  I think it helped him deal with the stress of his job.  But I noticed that by making those efforts to be there for him, he has started doing it in return.

I think sometimes when we have been married for awhile, we just get complacent and let things slide.  In the beginning of our marriages we tend to go through what people call the honeymoon stage where he just knows we are crazy about him because of the way we treat them.  After awhile though we tend to let kids, work, commitments, and everything else come between us.  It takes a lot of effort but I want my marriage to work so I'll keep working on the faults I see in me and the ones I know he sees in me.  Now before someone gets bent out of shape about that last comment, he does not say anything about me in a nasty or degrading way.  But if you pay attention you will pick up on things that your husband doesn't really like.  I remember sitting in our couples Sunday School class and they were talking about how women are emotion driven.  One of the examples was eating out because they didn't feel like cooking that day,  he gave me a quick side glance but never said a word about it.  It wasn't really a rebuke but I heard him.  He didn't really like getting that call can we go out to eat for dinner tonight, I really don't feel like cooking.  He has never told me no we couldn't but I did get the sense he really didn't like it.   I started trying to look at it from his perspective.  After thinking about it for awhile it kind of dawned on me.  After working all day the only thing he wants to do is come home put on some comfy clothes and relax with the family not run around town.  Honestly I'd want the same thing.  I also realized it was a waste of money because it costs more to eat out than to cook.  Besides as a housewife it is my job and how many bosses will let you tell them I didn't do it because I didn't feel like it.  Sometimes you have to do what you don't feel like doing because it is what is best.  As a benefit, my family eats more healthy and my husband feels respected because I ain't blowing his money or demanding he do things for me when he's tired.

I hope to get better at showing my hubby that I love him everyday.  Because when I honestly look at things I can't change him or others I can only change me and people respond to you by the way you treat them.