Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Starting Back to School

We started back to school on the 15th. August and Kiley started 8th grade, Haley 6th grade and my little babies are big Kindergartner's now. Oh where has the time gone? I was nervous about our homeschool days and how it would go helping Kiley and August and also doing Kindergarten with the little ones, but it has worked out fine.

Julia and Emily in their new 1st day of school clothes, with their new binders.
Big sisters drew Mario Brothers characters for them. 
Kiley and August, 1st day of 8th grade, Pre Algebra
All set to work. They are learning to their whole names.
 They are using flour in a cookie sheet to help them learn to write the letters.
August and Kiley are working on their Advanced Physical Science forces lesson.
They are building motorized electric racers.
Our first week back in school mode was tiring but exciting too. The girls were all ready to start learning again. I had an 8th grade reading list all ready to go; it included 20 different novels. Considering the public schools only read 4 a year, I figured 20 would be good. They have already read close to 5 of the books. I guess we will be expanding our list some. I have abandoned the text book thing this year, except for math. The books last year were so boring. We are doing a lot more reading with non fiction documentary books we find at the library. This provides a lot more detail into the things we are studying. 

Right now Kiley and August are learning about the Declaration of Independence. They have each chosen one of the signers and are researching and writing a report on that man. August chose John Adams and Kiley Chose John Hancock. Did you know that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4th? Neato huh? 

Our little kitty Nora is doing well, she is growing so quickly. We are trying to get her litter box trained, which she does fairly well. I am using a small aluminum cake pan because she is much too small to get into a full size one. She is still drinking formula from a bottle but I'm hoping to get her eating real food by next week. She is having fun being a kitten and is very playful now. She's such a cutie. The other day her brother came over for a play date. They were playing together liked they missed one another. 

Nora and Chino
This is Garf our big boy checking out little Nora

It's late. I'll write more soon. Good night and God bless.


Anonymous said...

You sound like you do a really careful job at homeschooling.

(BTW, our public school had the children reading 8 books over the summer alone. There are good public schools and bad. Besides, it really isn't the number of books you read--it's not quantity that matters).

Mindy said...

Oh you must be exhausted! The first week of school is exciting, but so tiring! I had a lot of difficulty in 7th and 8th grade, which were my worst years for a number of reasons, a many a teacher gave up hope I'd be smart enough to sweep a sidewalk.

I love the flour idea for teaching them to spell words, stroke of genius, that one!

I find it a little funny that August and Kiley picked John Adams and John Hancock, respectively. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the best of friends, although of course having disagreements, mostly political, but then who doesn't have a row now and then? An excellent, excellent person to look into was Abigail Adams, who was an amazing woman in her own right, as well as an amazing wife.

Good luck at the schoolhouse, looks like none of yours are putting on the 'dunce cap' much! ;)

God bless you and your husband in bringing up your little women,


Kimmie said...


I do try to be as careful as possible. I want to make sure they are getting the absolute best education they can.

I have to disagree about the quantity of books comment though. I think quantity makes a huge difference. People who read a lot are generally smarter and have better writing skills and vocabulary. A person who has only read a few books compared to a person who has read hundreds is not going to have the same level of comprehension or even imagination.


I'll check out Abigail Adams, the last I remember about her is she was big on women's lib. While I'm not against women having equal rights as far as worth, I really don't want the girls idolizing "women's lib" type women.

Taryn said...

We enjoyed the Abeka textbooks. They are praised in Home Educating with Confidence by the Boyers( Mary Pride also praises them and writes about how she and her family couldn't stop reading Abeka's 11th grade American history text. I recommend her book-The Way Home(and its sequel)subtitled,Beyond Feminism Back to Reality for you and the older girls( about $12). I also recommend Evidence Not Seen(10th grade World Lit. or any age) by Darlene Deibler Rose-a missionary memoir($7.50) at of their books are great). I enjoy their articles/book reviews. Abeka has Booker T. Washington's autobiography(11th grade American Lit. or any age) that we liked. Christian Light Publication/Education(and Rod and Staff's catalog) have good books(novels,etc. that are safe from feminism,etc.) in their catalogs. Christian Liberty Press has a Jedidiah biography my children and I liked. For girls I liked Sense and Sensibility(I didn't like Pride and Prejudice)book and movie. We liked Jane Eyre(12th grade British Literature or any age)-book and movie. I just finished reading-Fahrenheit 451 by American author Ray Bradbury-I recommend the anniversary edition.

Taryn said...

We enjoyed the Abeka books-many we ordered through Christian Liberty Press(Abeka readers,etc.). I didn't like the Jean Fritz biographies. I found a line and sometimes more, I didn't like in every one. We read her biography/memoir in the children's section of the library. has an unabridged Heidi that keeps the Christianity in(10th grade World Lit. or any age). They also have Pocahontas and Sacajawea biographies. Abeka has an abridged Swiss Family Robinson that is good for any age. We did not like the movie. Since you mentioned Thomas Jefferson-I also had to bring up Sally Hemmings(and the subject/history of miscegenation) when we discussed him(and DNA,etc.). Did Abigail Adams say,"Remember the Ladies" to her husband-I do wonder what that really meant.

Mindy said...


I'm not telling you what you should teach your children or what books to use, or how to teach them, but she is a wonderful example. You're absolutely right, Abigail Adams, was, indeed, devoted to the rights of women and children.

For instance, a woman's right to make decisions regarding she and her husband's property, should he be ill or away, as well as the right for women and those of other races to an education. Both she and her husband believed slavery (which also existed in 'the north') was gravely evil. She was a loyal, devoted wife, even when she was alone (which was frequently) that books are made with just the letters between she and her husband. Their letters were frequently about politics and the revolutionary war, as she gave the news of the homefront of the revolutionary war, while he told her about the continental congress. She had six children, including a future president, John Quincy Adams, as well as raising some of her grandchildren. She was even born IN a church, and is, to me, a lovely example of a God-fearing, intelligent, loving woman.

She is one of my role models, personally, a woman of religion, character, and intelligence, but again, it's your children and your choice to introduce her to them as you wish. Unfortunately, history is easy to 'spin' to people's liking, so for her time, she was a step forward, but I don't see her as a ardent feminist.

My favorite quote: "I acknowledge myself to be a unitarian --- believing that the Father alone is the Supreme God, and that Jesus Christ, derived his Being and all his powers and honours from his Father."

The question that always enters my mind is how they managed to keep their marriage in such a pleasant condition, given the ups and downs of their lives together. Perhaps a good question to ask August and Kiley? I'd love to know what they think, should you decide to teach them about her.

I'm praying for a wonderful school year to all of you,

God bless,


P.S. Abigail was homeschooled, despite being from a wealthy family that sent their children to the finest boarding schools!

Taryn said...

I don't know about that Unitarian religion. Just wanted to mention that as for readers-we liked the hardcover Pathway readers(grades 1-8) and the hardcover Christian Light readers(both at well as the Abeka readers at Christian Liberty Press. I also liked the CLP kindergarten readers.

Mindy said...

She 'switched' from being Methodist, her parents' religion. (Her father was a Methodist minister.) The point is, she believes and has faith in God and Jesus to guide her husband, herself, and her children, to keep them safe. It never occurred to her, personally, that she, too, would stand the test of time from her letters to her husband and friends.


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