A Day in the (Homeschool) Life

Linking up with Sonlight’s monthly blog. April’s prompt: Share a day in the life of your family. What does your family’s homeschool schedule look like?

Witching Hour7:30 My son brings me the baby. This is one of his favorite things to do, so if she’s not crying, I often will leave her in her crib for him to wake up and get her out. She gets fed while I talk with her brother and wait for her sister to wake up.

8:00 Downstairs, to fix breakfast for everyone. First up is tea for me. The kids watch a 30 minute show until I finish drinking a second cup, then we all go back upstairs to get dressed for the day. Upstairs chores as well – make beds, start a load of laundry.

Reading9:00 Downstairs to get started on the day for real this time. Into the playroom to do school. We’ll start with our Bible reading, and then we’ll alternate picks. I pick Sonlight books, and check things off in our IG as I finish them. We do not ever follow it exactly. :) I also move the laundry over when I hear it buzz that the wash cycle has finished.

10:00 We’ve moved on to game time – my son alternates reading a section of his AAR lesson with playing a game. Once he finishes the AAR lesson, he’ll do his math the same way. A page of math, another game, then another page of math. The baby has also gone down for a nap, although it’s always questionable if she’ll sleep or not.

Math11:00 Wrapping up the last game now, and it’s time to go get the baby and get her changed and all of us ready to leave for my daughter’s taekwondo class. They used to both be in the same class, but my son aged out of it and is now in the “regular” classes, instead of the tot classes. It’s better for him, but a lot more time spent by me waiting and watching.

12:00 Class just ended, and now it’s our usual Monday routine – picking up lunch somewhere and bringing it home! Today is my son’s turn to pick, and he wants Arby’s.

Waiting at TKD1:00 Finishing up lunch cleanup, and then I get help folding laundry and putting it away. I’m trying to stretch things out with everyone so quiet time starts when the baby is ready to go down for her nap. That helps guarantee a real break for me. :)

2:00 Quiet time for the big kids, naptime for the baby. It was my daughter’s turn to pick which room she wanted to be in for quiet time, and she picked the play room. My son then chose to be in the TV room (the TV isn’t on, but that’s still their name for the room). He’s got a Lego set in there with him which should keep him busy, or else he’ll work his way through a stack of puzzles.

Reading Lesson3:00 Snack time! They both know how to read the clock to tell if it’s snack time. This helps prevent every-five-minute queries of “can I have a snack?” I dole out some snacks and send them outside to play.

4:00 Still outside, although they’re in and out frequently. The baby is up and we’re watching them from the front room until it’s time to get ready to go to my son’s taekwondo class. He’s responsible for making sure he has everything he needs for class – gear and uniform. He does a great job at it, and has never forgotten anything.

H playing with her friends5:00 G’s taekwondo class has just begun, and he’s thrilled that today I chose to drop him off (“like a big kid!”) and take the girls to the store around the corner. His class is 45 minutes, and if I hustle I can pick up enough to get us through the week. And if the checkout lines are long, well, there’s another class right after his and they don’t mind if he watches it for a few minutes until I get there to pick him up.

6:00 We’ve just arrived home and it’s time to unload the groceries and get dinner going. Right now I’m really wishing I’d put something in the crock pot this morning. Instead we’re having green chili enchiladas with black beans and rice. The kids both want to play a game on the computer and since it keeps them out of the way while I cook, I’m all for it. They’re alternating between a geography game, building a mummy, playing Barbie dress-up, and a race game. The first two are courtesy the links that come along with the Encyclopedia we’re reading as part of Core A.

Dinner7:00 Almost ready to eat. It got much easier to finish dinner once daddy got home at 6:30 and could take over with the baby. The kids are all back outside playing while daddy watches/joins in. Dinner won’t thrill them, and while in theory I’d have them try everything I already know this meal is too spicy for them. Instead they get leftovers and anything else I can easily scrounge together.

8:00 Wrapping up dinner clean up and setting up the dishwasher to run overnight. Then it’s time to get the baby ready for bed – she’s tired and getting cranky. The older two start their bedtime routine at 8:30, but daddy takes care of all of that.

Playing Games9:00 Kids are showered and pj’d. Now they’re playing a bit until it’s time to get in bed and turn out the lights. Time for me to get ready for bed.

10:00 This is my prime reading time, after the kids are all asleep. I just have to choose carefully lest I get sucked into a story and lose track of time!

11:00 Lights out, crossing my fingers that the baby sleeps through the night, and if she doesn’t that she’s quick to go back to sleep after eating!

Full disclosure: The pictures are pulled from several different days, as I’m not on the ball enough to get a full day’s worth taken in one day. They’re not staged at all (except for me arranging the books to show all the titles), and do represent what our days look like.

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Favorite Items from the Bundle (whether or not you care about ebooks)

I know I’ve been talking about it all week, but it is such a good deal, and it’s only available for a limited time. It’s not that often when I say definitively YOU SHOULD BUY THIS, but really? You should buy the bundle and get it all for $29.97, plus a whole lot more. Today is a mish-mash of favorite items instead of a themed grouping, so I’m just calling it “awesome stuff.”

Green Kids Crafts LogoWhat am I possibly MOST excited about? The FREE Kids Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts – this is normally $20, so yeah, it’s a good deal to get it for only the price of shipping. My kids are going to be SO thrilled to see this arrive in the mail.

What+If+You+Fly+Cream+hopeink$15 Credit to Hope Ink PLUS 2 free 8×10 Art Prints – I haven’t redeemed this yet only because I’m having so much trouble deciding which prints to choose – there are so many gorgeous ones. This is also worth more than the cost of the bundle. This picture I’m sharing? Only one of many possibilities.

Basics of Digital Photography1 free class from Craftsy. There are 24 classes to choose from, and the digital photography one I signed up for is usually $60.

14 Days to a Better Neck14 Days to a Better Neck by Fit2Be

Breastfeeding does a number on my neck (that would have seemed so strange to me before kids, so let me explain if it seems strange to you too: holding baby in my arms at the same angle all the time, and looking down at her = neck strain.) 14 Days = not overwhelming, so I’m going to try this.

Chevron Black ScarfA free scarf from Deborah & Co.

I wear scarves all the time, and picked out the black & white chevron one. They had some really pretty lace infinity scarves available as well, in addition to a beautiful coral one. I just don’t have many outfits where I would end up wearing a coral scarf. ;)

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your SoulAnd, because I can’t help but mention books, the bundle also includes How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your SoulHow To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup by Ruth Soukup

I’ve already reviewed this, and I won’t repeat myself, but it’s a fantastic resource, and well worth reading if you’re a blogger.

Tyndale RewardsSpeaking of books, don’t forget the bundle also gives you 65 Tyndale Rewards Points that can be used towards any book they offer. That’s worth $15.


But don’t wait! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.Click here for more info or to buy now.

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books on Parenting, Pregnancy, and Babies

Parenting Pregnancy BabiesThe Steady Mom's Freedom GuideThe Steady Mom’s Freedom Guide: Joyful Motherhood on Your Own TermsThe Steady Mom's Freedom Guide: Joyful Motherhood on Your Own Terms by Jamie C. Martin by Jamie Martin

A surprising hit! I’ve been underwhelmed in the past with some of her material. Maybe the timing was just wrong before, because I’m really enjoying this book, and I’m glad I didn’t skip over it. Encouraging and inspiring.

On the Road to Joyful MotherhoodOn the Road to Joyful Motherhood by Jessica Fisher

I’ve already written about this one before, and I always find Fisher’s books worth reading. Like Martin’s book above, this one is also really encouraging. (Maybe I’m in a stage where I need all the encouragement I can get?)

My Practices of MotheringMy Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering tiniesMy Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering tinies by Sarah Bessey by Sarah Bessey

Mixed feelings towards this one, but the positives are so strong that I have to include it here. It’s thoughtful and gentle, and reminded me just a bit of Loving the Little Years (which is high praise indeed.)

The Baby CompanionThe Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey through Baby’s First YearThe Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey through Baby's First Year by Jessica Wolstenholm, Dr. Andrea Johnston, and Dr. Heather Rupe by Jessica Wolstenholm, Dr. Andrea Johnston, and Dr. Heather Rupe

I have three kids. Do I really need a book focusing on the baby’s first year? Not exactly, but I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve forgotten, and a quick refresher on when exactly I should be expecting certain things to take place is helpful. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been caught off guard by the inconsolable baby, only to have her big brother point out that “hey! She’s got teeth!” Whoops. Yeah, teething. It’s a stage.

The Pregnancy CompanionThe Pregnancy Companion: A Faith Filled Guide for Your Journey to MotherhoodThe Pregnancy Companion: A Faith Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe

My pregnancy days are behind me (talk about bittersweet feelings!), but I was obsessed with reading these sorts of books with my first pregnancy, and would have devoured this one. Know anyone who might want it? I have a PDF copy I won’t be using and I’d be happy to email it to the first one who asks.

Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad?Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad? One Mom’s Journey to Overcoming Excess Lipase Activity by Rebekah Hoffer

Highlighting this one just for the FYI factor. I had *no* idea this was even a thing.


Sound good? Individually these books would sell for over $40, but right now they’re part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a collection of eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs.

Instead of paying that $43 for these titles, you can buy the bundle and get them all for $29.97, plus a whole lot more (like those resources mentioned yesterday!)

Plus, there are some great bonus offers if you purchase a bundle – like 1 FREE Kids Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts ($19.95 Value)

But don’t wait! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.Click here for more info or to buy now.

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books on Organizing and Cleaning

Cleaning and OrganizingI’ve already highlighted the cookbooks and menu plans and the faith resources that I’m excited to use from the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. Today I’m focusing on the resources related to organizing and cleaning. Oh, so necessary, and oh so easy to fall behind on or get overwhelmed by them all.

Favorite Books for Getting Organized: One Bite at a TimeOne Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider

My absolute favorite ebook on the topic. I blogged my way through it on my former blog (and briefly mentioned it here). I breifly thought about blogging through it again over here this year, and then I realized that I didn’t want to take on that project with a baby. Maybe in 2016? Highly, highly recommended.

Controlling the Spin WithinControlling the Spin Within: Managing the Mundane, Surviving the Insane by Holly Dvorak

My new discovery thanks to the bundle, and I love this book. Three ideas, all very doable, and they all are helping, since I started putting them into practice last week.

Drowning in ClutterDrowning in Clutter? Don’t Grab a Floatie…Drain the Ocean by Dana White

I read this in one sitting, and it was all I could do to not get up and start tossing stuff out. (It was bedtime, which is why I didn’t). Yes, I have clutter issues. Yes, I’m working on it. Yes, anything that helps give me a kick in the pants is very appreciated. Super motivational book if you’ve also got decluttering you need to do.

Your Simple Home HandbookYour Simple Home Handbook by Elsie Callender

This is kind of a cross between the Drowning in Clutter book and One Bite at a Time. In the very best sort of way. It’s got lots of specific examples and ideas of things to do, and the writing style and tone are lovely – kind of refreshing and inspiring all at the same time.

Paperless Home OrganizationPaperless Home Organization by Mystie Winckler

My biggest organizational issue? Paper. I am so intrigued by this idea – I love the thought of having the equivalent of my messy stacks of paper and binders turned into a tidy digital system. Would it work for me? I have no idea, but I think I’ll give it a shot.

Green Your LifeGreen Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living by Emily McClements

I was surprised at how detailed this book was – I get used to brief, under 100 page books when I get ebooks, but this one is over 250 pages packed full of information. Due to the length, I haven’t finished reading it, but what I have read is great – it works for beginners, and there’s enough info to take you past the beginning stage.


Sound good? Individually these books would sell for $35, but right now they’re part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a collection of eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs.

Instead of paying $35 for just these titles, you can buy the bundle and get them all for $29.97, plus a whole lot more (like those resources mentioned on Monday and Tuesday!)

Want still more help getting organized? The bundle includes a FREE 90-Day Pro Membership to ListPlanIt ($30 Value).

But don’t wait! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27. Click here for more info or to buy now.

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books for Strengthening My Faith and Teaching My Children

Books to Strengthen My Faith and Teach My Children about JesusYesterday I highlighted some of the cookbooks, menu plans, and other kitchen resources found in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. Today I’m mentioning the faith-related resources it includes – all of them, because they’re all wonderful!

(And if you’re wondering, yes, I bought a bundle for myself – so I’ve skimmed all of the books, and am excited to dive into them all more carefully.)

Faith Resources For Me

Abide Because It's the Secret to ThrivingAbide: Because It’s the Secret to Thriving by Elisa Pulliam

I used to have a well-established quiet time routine. And then I had kids. ;) After adding each child to the family getting back into the quiet time routine has been something I’ve had to work at. I still don’t have it down again after baby #3, and I’m going to try to work through this book to get back into the habit. Ten days – I can do this.

Life GiverLife Giver by Lara Williams

I love Lara Williams’ Bible Studies, and this is no exception. Four weeks, so it’s an easily manageable length, and on a great topic – I can’t wait to dive into this.

Live for HimLive for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning by Leigh Ann Dutton

I love planning. Love love love it. This is a great (brief) guide to planning. It’s got just enough detail to help you during your planning session, without so much extraneous fluff that wastes your time. There are also lots of helpful printables at the end of it, including a Bible reading plan with a different setup than others I’ve seen – I liked it quite a bit! It also has enough color to make it pretty, but not so much that I hate printing it and using up all my color ink.

Strengthening the Heart of a HomemakerStrengthening the Heart of a Homemaker: A Devotional Guide for Your Homemaking Journey by Kristen Smith

A nice collection of scriptures thematically arranged by homemaking topic. There are 52 verses, and printable scripture cards for them all. The additional content is fairly thin though.

Trust without BordersTrust Without Borders: A 40-Day Devotional Journey to Deepen, Strengthen, and Stretch Your Faith in GodTrust Without Borders: A 40-Day Devotional Journey to  Deepen, Strengthen, and Stretch Your Faith in God by Arabah Joy by Arabah Joy

I skimmed all of the books mentioned today, so I could share about them. Except as soon as I started reading the introduction to this one, I was pulled into it and didn’t stop until I was halfway through it. It’s really engaging and thought-provoking, and I’m looking forward to getting back to it to give it the focus it deserves.

Faith Resources To Use With My Children

31 Ways to Bless Kids with Bold FaithBlessing Kids with Bold Faith: 31 Ways to Equip Kids by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

31 inspiring ideas, many of which will work with all ages (my kids are still a little young for some of them, but we’ll be there soon enough). Even if my children’s aren’t old enough for some of these suggestions to apply, I enjoyed reading it and appreciated the push to think about what I can do now, and what I want to do later.

Discipleship a Character Curriculum Using ScriptureDiscipleship: A Character Curriculum Using Scripture by Dollie Freeman

This is an extensive resource on character training, using verses directly from the Bible. It can work with children of almost all ages – from basic copywork with younger ones, to a Bible Study and Prayer Journal for older ones. It could even work with pre-writers as memory work. It’s even got an assignement schedule to use it as a curriculum – one, two, or three-year plans of 36 weeks each.

(The only thing I don’t love about it? All the verses are KJV, and I prefer the ESV. It’s still a fabulous resource, and one I can adapt easily enough to use our preferred translation.)

How to Introduce Your Child to JesusHow to Introduce Your Child to Jesus by Jessica Smartt

This is packed with practical, easy-to-follow steps, and it’s also got a great resource list (you know I love books, and book lists.) My favorite part (besides those resource lists) is the chapter on making your child’s faith personal – with ideas on how to do that based on your child’s personality. Tailoring those teachable moments to my individual child, with ideas for what that looks like? Thank you!

The Busy Mom's Guide to Teaching CharacterThe Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character by Jenn Thorson

Lots of good information (and a great reminder of the why to teach character starts the book). You’ll want internet access to take advantage of the linked articles she points back to from her blog. Also included are 20 printable scripture character prayer cards. There is an extensive list of suggested resources at the end, which is fantastic.


Sound good? Individually these books would sell for over $50, but right now they’re part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a collection of eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs.

Instead of paying that $57 for these titles, you can buy the bundle and get them all for $29.97, plus a whole lot more (like those resources mentioned yesterday!)

And the bundle includes FREE 65 Tyndale Rewards Points to Be Used for a FREE Book or Towards Any Book of Your Choice ($15 Value). 65 Points is enough to get the book Amazing Adventures, Creative Connections, and Daring Deeds by Tim and Alison Simpson, or there are lots of others that caught my eye.

But don’t wait! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.Click here for more info or to buy now.

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books for Meal-Time Inspiration and other Kitchen Help and Ideas

Cookbooks and Meal Plans from Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2015When I was newly married, and it was just the two of us, I often struggled with dinner ideas. It was never the making of dinner that was the issue – it was figuring out what to have. I wondered how on earth I’d manage with kids and couldn’t rely on some of the weird dinners I often resorted to.

And now that I’ve got three kids? It’s still an issue, only with that added weight of responsibility. It’s one thing when I’m deciding for myself that pb & j is fine multiple nights in one week, but ideally I’d like my kids to get some more variety.

So, I am always on the lookout for new ideas for meals. Dinners especially, but since those kids like to eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks too I like ideas for those meals as well.

I mentioned awhile back that I signed up for a meal planning service, She Plans Dinner (more on this below) and while I like it and it’s been worth the price for me, I still look for other ideas (remember that breakfast/lunch/snack thing, plus I’m a nut who can’t stop searching for additional things to try).

Enter a bundle. It’s aimed at homemakers, and so there are ebooks about cleaning and organizing, but today I want to highlight the recipe and kitchen-related ebooks, because those have me very excited.

The Books I Can’t Wait To Use

Not Just TacosNot Just Tacos – A Journey Into the World of Authentic Latin American CuisineNot Just Tacos - A Journey Into the World of Authentic Latin American Cuisine by Shirley Solis by Shirley Solis

I love love love Tex-Mex/Mexican food, but rarely branch out beyond tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. It’s got anywhere from one to six recipes from multiple Latin America countries. Pupusas from El Salvador, Sofrito from Puerto Rico, Caldo de Zapallo Tierno from Paraguay – there are lots of dishes that I can’t wait to try.

(And the homeschooler in me loves how there is some information included on each of the countries, as well as an overview of the geography, peoples, and cultures represented. It could easily be used in a unit study!)

It’s also a beautiful book – lots of great photographs, and an attractive layout and design.

From Your Garden To Your Family by Stephanie CornaisFrom Your Garden to Your Family by Stephanie Cornais

I love the idea of gardening, but it hasn’t happened yet. This book makes me think this might be the year to try it a bit. She’s got a planting calendar, and some advice on getting started. There’s even information on gardening by the moon – something I’d never heard of before! And then there’s a list of recipes organized by harvest season and item. So even if I’m not gardening myself, I can take advantage of the ideas to make the most of the produce box I have delivered.

This is another one that is absolutely beautiful with gorgeous photographs. I’m always more likely to try a recipe when there’s a tempting picture accompanying it!

The Healthy Breakfast Book by Katie KimballThe Healthy Breakfast Book by Katie Kimball

We are in a major breakfast rut around here, and it’s super carb-heavy. I’m looking for ideas to branch out a bit from the toast/muffin/bagel scene.

This one is organized nicely – hot and cold breakfast ideas, but then divided even more, into prep-ahead, cook on demand, or prep the night before, etc. Even for someone like me who is in many ways a beginner at “real food” cooking found many recipes that are a good introduction to it.

Coffee Filters to Cheese Graters: Creative Ways to Use Just About Everything by Tara ZiegmontCoffee Filters to Cheese Graters: Creative Ways to Use Just About Everything by Tara Ziegmont

I opened this one wondering what on earth it was all about with that odd title and cover image.

Well what it is is all about re-purposing things in your kitchen, or as it’s subtitled “creative ways to use just about everything”. It’s almost 100 pages with ideas like “10 Ways to Use an Ice Cube Tray” and “12 Ways to Use Empty Cardboard Tubes.” Lots of fun, and I love getting my brain going to think about different ways to use what I already have. I want to dig out my Bundt pan and put it to work!

No Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelisNo Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis

Freezer cooking = super helpful, and I always am glad when I can pull something from the freezer for dinner. Having a big freezer cooking day is not happening right now for me. But to just assemble some meals and then freeze them, with no pre-cooking? That I can do.

Costco Slow Cooker Freezer Meals by Erin ChaseCostco Slow Cooker Freezer Meals by Erin Chase

I love Costco, but I don’t always take advantage of it as much as I could. A freezer plan built around shopping at Costco? I may have to try that freezer cooking day I’ve been avoiding (see above), especially because a lot of it doesn’t have to be done on ONE BIG DAY. It can be spread out over multiple days, so I may only add one meal to the freezer each day, but I’m also not trying to keep the kids occupied all day long while I work on multiple meals at once.

How did I discover these ebooks? They’re part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a collection of eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs.

And while you can always buy the above books individually, you’d pay $46 for copies of all of them.

Or you could buy the bundle and get them all for $29.97, plus a whole lot more

And the bundle includes a FREE 90-Day “Good Deal” Subscription to that dinner planning service I use, She Plans Dinner.

But don’t wait! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.Click here for more info or to buy now.

Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Homeschooling Update: Beginning Core A

We’ve finished our first two weeks of Sonlight Core A (more or less). Here were some of the highlights from the past month:

History & Geography

Usborne Children's EncyclopediaMy son LOVES the Children’s Encyclopedia. LOVES it. I catch him flipping through it on his own, and asking when we’re going to read certain pages.

One of his favorite things is the internet links included – I’ve bookmarked the encyclopedia on the computer, and he knows how to get to it and explore the links. So far his favorite things have been putting the continents/countries/cities on the globe, and playing a game where he makes a mummy.

Living Long AgoLiving Long Ago he likes, but not as much as the encyclopedia. So far there have been some fairly easy hands-on activities mentioned in LLA, but we’ve not actually owned the items we’d need to do those activities. I need to look ahead and see if I can get them, because I think they’d both like to do them.

I Heard Good News TodayI Heard Good News Today has not been a hit. I’m putting it aside to try again in a few months.

Read Alouds

(And a clarification: We don’t necessarily read all of the books in the official order given in the Core. They’re not tied into history at all, and so I will move them around and add in other books as we like. So seeing a book from the Core mentioned here doesn’t mean it’s scheduled that way.)

The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother GooseThey like The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother GooseThe Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose: A Treasury of More Than 300 Classic Nursery Rhymes, but I’m a bit burned out on Mother Goose (plus I preferred the illustrations in last year’s A Treasury of Mother GooseA Treasury of Mother Goose). I’m reading what’s scheduled, but no extra. The rhymes are making an impact on my daughter at least: she spent several days reciting Humpty Dumpty after I read it one afternoon.

The Llama Who Had No PajamaI want to hold off on a verdict for The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite PoemsThe Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Betty Fraser – we’ve read so little of it. So far the kids seem to like it, but they’re not desperate for more.

We’d already read The Boxcar Children, so I added the sequel, Surprise Island. We also read Winnie-the-Pooh, and we just started The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, No. 3)The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, No. 3) by Gertrude Chandler Warner (book #3 in the Boxcar Children series)

The Story about PingWe finished The Story about PingThe Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack. I loved it and both kids really liked it – enough so that we read it a couple of times, and then read a couple more Flack books. My son especially liked The Boats on the RiverThe Boats on the River by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve read it now, and I still don’t mind reading it again – always the sign of a good book.

The Complete Adventures of Curious GeorgeWe also finished The Complete Adventures of Curious GeorgeThe Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition by Margret and H. A. Re in one day because the kids loved it so much. Every time I finished a chapter they begged for more, and were sad when we reached the end.

Bible

Egermeier's Bible Story BookWe’re working through the Egermeier’s Bible Story BookEgermeier's Bible Story Book. The amount of reading seems fairly inconsistent on the schedule, but I’ve changed it to just read a section every day. It works. I like it more than the 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible101 Favorite Stories from the Bible in P 4/5, but not as much as the The Jesus Storybook BibleThe Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.

Math

Math Mammoth 1AWe’re moving along in Math Mammoth 1A, and just finished through page 50 (practicing adding three numbers). G also decided that he wanted a break from it and spent a few days working in his Mathematical Reasoning B book instead. I let him pick each day which one he uses.

Science

Tadpoles and FrogsWe’re doing Core A science, and have done the readings through all of week one, and half of week two. We have not watched the DVD, or done the experiments. The worksheets we’re doing orally. We’re in the midst of reading Tadpoles and Frogs, and surprisingly for an Usborne book, this one doesn’t have my son begging to finish it in one day. That’s a sign of how high my expectations are for those books that I’m shocked he just likes it and isn’t obsessively crazy over it. :)

Language Arts

Chasing HenryWhile I have Sonlight’s LA1, we haven’t done any of it so far. He’s still doing All About Reading 3 (just reached the halfway point of it and finished the first reader, Chasing Henry), and will be starting All About Spelling 2 soon (I was getting us settled into the new Core first). He’s got a handwriting book too.

The Sonlight LA seems pretty redundant from the other materials, and I’m not sure how I want to use it. At some point I’ll have him read the readers at least (maybe maybe interspersed with AAR 3 & 4?), and I’m considering going back to the LAK sheets and going over the writing assignments from it. We were inconsistent with doing them, and they seem like they’d be a good fit for him now.

PE

G had a taekwondo tournament, and finished 3rd in forms and 5th in sparring. He’s belt testing this weekend, and will hopefully pass and get his senior orange belt.

He’s also started baseball, and is right in the middle of practicing. Later this month he starts playing real games, and he can’t wait.

Art & Music

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 1I purchased Harmony Arts Grade 1 plan – it’s designed as an overview year, and is supposed to be good for those new to art and music appreciation. That would be me/us. So far we’ve done the first week of it, and I like it. It’s very doable by me, and it’s fun for the kids. It’s also inexpensive enough that I didn’t feel like I was risking a lot by trying it out.

(and a heads-up if this looks interesting to you: it’s 40% off through the end of April using the code SPRINGTHING40. That’s making me seriously consider buying next year’s program already.)

Extras

Create-a-CalendarI’m a bit disappointed in the calendar Sonlight includes – it’s a blank calendar, and the kids are supposed to add their own dates and stickers and all that. Except it’s got the months listed, and it begins in September. While that might be a typical start date in North America, I’d really have preferred the blank calendar to be completely blank, so whenever we started the Core, we could decide how we wanted to use the calendar.

Sonlight Timeline BookThe timeline though, is a HUGE hit. G wants to add figures to it every day, and we’ve only added about one a week, much to his disappointment.

We’re all taking a field trip today and touring a local ice cream place, to see how they make it. I haven’t told them what we’re doing and they are going to be so excited. I can’t wait to see their reaction. And when they find out that they’re going to get to TRY the ice cream? They are going to be ecstatic.

He’s still doing lots of Legos and puzzles. He’s already planning which Lego set he wants for his birthday, and for finishing Level 3 in reading. Until my Kindle Fire died, he was playing lots of Presidents vs. Aliens and Stack the States on it while waiting for his sister to finish her taekwondo class. I’m wondering how long I’ll be able to hold off on replacing it with another tablet – there are definitely times when it’s handy. And I was surprised at how much he picked up regarding US Geography and Presidential history from playing those games!

Beginning Core A Update 1

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Recent Readaloud: Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the PoohWinnie-the-PoohWinnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shepard by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shepard

My Sonlight Core includes the second Winnie-the-Pooh book, The House at Pooh CornerThe House at Pooh Corner (Winnie-the-Pooh) by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, but not the first one*. So I added it myself, especially since we’re not having any trouble keeping ahead of the schedule as far as readalouds goes.

I was surprised to discover how familiar the stories in this book were. I’ve seen some of Disney’s version of Winnie-the-Pooh, and I’d assumed they’d taken a lot of liberties and just used the characters and made up the adventures. At least with the first book, I recognized many (most?) of the events. How unexpected, and how fun!

The illustrations are lovely, and added to the gentle feel of the stories. This would work well as an early chapter book, especially since each chapter stands alone.

Highly recommended, although I have trouble imagining that that’s a surprise to anyone, it’s such a classic.

My verdict:
So much fun. I loved the illustrations, and I loved the familiar stories.

The kids’ verdict:
They loved it!

Publisher’s Description:
More than sixty years ago, Christopher Robin took his friend Edward Bear—who came to be known to millions as Winnie-the-Pooh—by one chubby paw and brought him unceremoniously downstairs. Pooh has endured, still slightly rotund, a Bear of Very Little Brain, but very generous of heart: the immortal creation of A. A. Milne, who wrote this book for his only son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape.

The adventures of Pooh and Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore, are timeless treasures of childhood. These tales still speak to all of us with the freshness that distinguishes true storytelling.

Book Details

Title: Winnie-the-PoohWinnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shepard
Author: A. A. Milne, illustrations by Ernest Shepard
Category: Children’s Fiction

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* And it looks like the 2015 catalog has swapped out The House at Pooh CornerThe House at Pooh Corner (Winnie-the-Pooh) by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard for Winnie-the-PoohWinnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shepard. So now it does have the first book, instead of the second one. No idea why they originally included the second one, but it does seem to make more sense to have the first included. Perhaps it’s because Tigger doesn’t appear until the second book? And the website still shows book #2 as being in the core, but my new catalog shows book #1, so I think they haven’t gotten around to updating their website. :)

Quick Lit for April 2015

Playing catch-up with reviews because as my reading pace picks up post-baby I’m getting backlogged on sharing:

April 2015 Quick Lit
Once Upon an AlphabetOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the LettersOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers by Oliver Jeffers

I grabbed this for the cover, and thought it was truly a kid’s alphabet book. Yeah, not exactly. Some of the entries for various letters are NOT ones I’d want to read to my kids as they’re surprisingly dark and even creepily morbid at times. I’m not really sure who the intended audience is for this one, but I’m glad it was a library book and I wasn’t out much more than a small amount of time, and because I pre-read it before starting it with my kids, they never knew what they were missing.

Saturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman by Harry Kemelman

The second in the series begun with Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. You could easily pick this one up without having read the first, and while there is a bit of backstory you won’t know, it’s not at all essential to the plot of this one. It still feels so dated at times, but I liked it well enough I’ve checked out the third third in the series – Sunday the Rabbi Stayed HomeSunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman.

Betrayal of TrustBetrayal of TrustBetrayal of Trust (J. P. Beaumont #19) (J. P. Beaumont Novel) by J. A. Jance by J. A. Jance

This one wasn’t my favorite – maybe I need to save Jance’s books for vacation, because I really preferred the one I read last year while traveling. Or maybe I just didn’t enjoy the teenage bullying plot line. Either way, I’ll read the next, because it’s so far into the series and I am invested in the characters, but it’s not a priority.

Lost in a Good BookLost in a Good BookLost in a Good Book (A Thursday Next Novel) by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde

Second in the Thursday Next series, and it continues the craziness of the series begun in The Eyre Affair. I’m already in the middle of book #3, The Well of Lost PlotsThe Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next Series) by Jasper Fforde, as I do like Thursday as a character, and this book ends leaving me desperate to know what happens next.

Ever After High The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale and Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them AllEver After High: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale by Shannon Hale

While I love fractured fairy tales, and I love Shannon Hale as an author, this combo of the two didn’t work for me at all. There are lots of pop-culture references/silliness in this story that grated on me, and the puns were NONSTOP. I think maybe you need to be a tween girl to fully appreciate this series, and I’m not tempted to read any more in it.

Ever After High Unfairest of Them AllApparently I’m alone in that though, because it seems like it’s a HUGE hit, and there is tons of merchandise for it. I had no idea until I was at the store looking for baseball cards for my husband’s birthday and there was a big display of Ever After High dolls and other items. (Turns out baseball cards are in the toy section. Who knew?)

Instead, read Book of a Thousand Days or The Princess Academy for better books by Hale.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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Ghost Map

Ghost MapThe Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern WorldThe Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson by Steven Johnson

Most of the book is a fascinating look at the events of the cholera epidemic in London in 1854. Fascinating, and horrifying as well. It does get a bit bogged down at times, especially related to the miasma theory of disease that was the predominant theory at the time. There’s a bit of a smugness directed at those who mistakenly held to this theory that got wearying to read.

And then there’s the epilogue, which felt jarringly tacked-on to it all. It’s all about modern risks of urban life. Once I got over the mental adjustment of jumping from 1854 to 2015 it was interesting, but still not at all a smooth transition between the two. It’s actually quite good (and sobering), but it didn’t feel like it fit that well in the book.

While I do love audio books, I’d caution anyone about listening to this with an audience. There’s a fair amount of grossness described (it was cholera after all), although much of it uses proper terms or euphemisms that younger kids might not catch so perhaps it wouldn’t matter? But they weren’t all euphemisms, and something about hearing certain words makes them extra jarring to me, as opposed to just reading them.

Another disadvantage to listening to this one would be the lack of the map! I read this on my Kindle, and that was hard enough because the map included is so hard to see on the small screen. I wished I had a hard-copy to reference, and ended up searching for the map online.

Despite the flaws, I did enjoy it and recommend, especially if you liked The American PlagueThe American Plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby or FluFlu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It by Gina Kolata, or others of that sort of historical medical account/mystery.

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