Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up: It's Been a While

Well summer break is officially over. Kayleigh started kindergarten (sob!) three weeks ago and Mackenzie has 2 weeks of seventh grade (double sob!) under her belt. I blogged about Kayleigh's first week but didn't had time to blog about Mackenzie's. I've been busy homeschooling and being a full-time pancreas for two defective ones. So I guess I'll play a bit of catch up.

Seventh Grade


Mackenzie is still drawing her way through the book of Proverbs and loving it. You can read all about the Notgrass Draw to Learn in my REVIEW of it.

She's also doing the Bible included with her Sonlight Core G. She's happily reading through the book of Mark. The last few years have had us reading a lot in the Old Testament and she was ready to move on to the New.  She's also using the International Children's Bible Field Guide which she is finding very interesting. Lots of fascinating Bible facts.


She's finishing up Math-U-See Zeta from last year and plowing through it rather quickly. Decimals are so each for a type 1 diabetic. We use them 3-6 times a day to figure out carbs and insulin doses. Easy peasy!

Language Arts

We are working on report writing in our IEW lessons. A little mini report on elephants. Report writing is easier on my because I only get the required amount of writing instead of the 300 squillion pages she turns in for a creative writing assignment. Yay me!!!

She's also enjoying IEW's Fix-It Grammar, Tom Sawyer. The first couple of weeks have been pretty easy for her but it'll be stepping up soon. Enjoy it while it lasts girlie. Ha!


We've started off of our year with ancient Egypt. We're reading lots of different books on the subject. She is LOVE, LOVE, LOVING her current reader, Mara Daughter of the Nile. She was hoping that there would be a sequel to it but no luck. Such disappointment. lol

To add in some fun, besides reading fabulous books, she's been using the Draw and Write Through History Books that pertain to what we're studying. I'm just having her do the drawing part. She doesn't need the copy work. Her first week had her drawing some things from the creation story. The bush and the tree were her favorite drawings. She said her Adam and Eve looked weird. I thought they were cute.  I know the phot is side ways. I'm too lazy to go back and fix it. lol You'll just have to tilt your head to the right for a better view.


She is using Exploring Creation for General Science this year and it is the first year that she's doing science independently. I wasn't sure how she would take to that but she is having a blast!! I was a little nervous about her doing experiments on her own but she's been doing awesome. And buying the student notebook to go along with was a great decision. It helps her get an idea of what to focus on and it is going to be a nice record of her experiments. Sonlight really should include that in their package. (Cuz mama would've liked to have gotten free shipping from ordering through Sonlight. lol)

I have to say... She rocks the "protective eye gear!"

She did do more than one experiment over the last two weeks but it would seem that the other photos are on my camera. You might recall, from the section entitled "History", that I'm feeling lazy. That's also the reason that I'm not going to take the time to explain the experiment to you like I normally would. Being a full time pancreas for two is exhausting because it involves lots of math and very little sleep. All of which suck the short term memory right out of your head because you can only remember things like blood glucose readings, carb ratios, correction factors, and carb counts. There's only so much room in there.


We didn't do any. We started slow. Soccer should be starting soon. And I'm planning on starting Spanish and art next week. I hope. Maybe. It could happen. Possibly. We'll see. Piano starts next week. Definitely.



We finished studying Joseph with our Bible Study Guide for All Ages and have moved on to Daniel. With that change came learning the song "Daniel in the Lions Den." You know the one... "Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Daniel in the la la lions..." Huge hit!! She sings that one all of the time.

We were also reading through the Ergermeir's Bible Story Book, as part of Sonlight's Bible for Core A. It's a bit to much for her and she's not feeling it at all. So we're dropping it. Reading from the actual Bible with the Study Guide is apparently how she rules.

Don't you love being able to ditch what isn't working for your student? Homeschooling is so awesome!!!


We started it back up with lesson 9 of MUS Primer, place value. Hooray for Mr. Demme and Decimal Street!!!

Language Arts

Her All About Reading lessons continue to go well. The constant review and the game like nature of the lessons really click for her. She's got a lot of cards in her mastered pile. Go Kayleigh!!

 She is still loving The Boxcar Children. I am just thrilled that she is enjoying her first chapter book. One day she asked to make scrambled eggs for lunch like the Boxcar Children ate. So she was given the job of scrambling their eggs. Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be a tiny bit of work mixing them all up. LOL Heaven forbid!!

I should note that these eggs were NOT authentic Boxcar eggs. I added cheese to them. It had to be done and I won't apologize for it. We also ate toast. So there!

We started a new Nursery Rhyme Pocket for Little Miss Muffet. We haven't gotten very far with it yet. Just created the pocket and colored the rhyme sheet. She's excited to make a spider next week.

Curious George has entered our reading list and she is super excited about that. We've been doing some printable activities to go along with that. She loves George!


Conveniently, Kayleigh was studying ancient Egypt just like her big sister. She did quite a few "Egyptian" projects. She made "Egyptian" paper beads and made a necklace along with an "Egyptian" cuff bracelet. She also made us all Mummy Dogs for lunch.


We're supposed to be reading about weather but for the life of me I cannot find the book and it's driving me nuts. So we've been reading a bit from some of the books that were in the core when Mackenzie used it. Funny how the older ones didn't seem to go missing from the shelf.

We also are learning about frogs and we did a fun sequencing activity.


She refused to play soccer this year. It's just as well because she'd mostly sit on the sidelines and waited for snack. She's hinted at gymnastics so maybe. And her music class starts next week.

And that was our week(s). How was yours?


Linking to: The Weekly Wrap-Up, Pre-School Corner, Homeschool Mother's Journal

This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Beauty in the Heart

I was recently given an opportunity from Doorposts to review their new Bible study Beauty in the Heart: A Study of Godly Beauty for Young Women.

A study on Godly beauty is a very timely one for us as our Mackenzie is on the verge of becoming a teenager. In a world where young girls are encouraged to wear less and less, knowing God's standards for beauty is a very important topic for any parent of young girls to discuss.

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About Doorposts

Doorposts seeks to provide parents with Biblically-based parenting and character training materials. Started by a busy mom of five, Doorposts offers a variety of products designed to help you raise a Godly child. They offer products for character training, Bible studies for mom, dad, boys, girls, and the entire family, scripture memorization, and more.

Our Experience

 photo BeautyCover_zpsd1ccc789.jpgWe received the Beauty in the Heart Bible Study in print format. Mackenzie, my 12 year old daughter, was away at various summer camps for half of the review period so I decided to do the study myself and see what it's all about.

The study teaches will teach your daughter what the Bible says about modesty, serving, and humility by focusing on Ruth, Sarah, and Esther. These are things that God considers to be true beauty. Who wouldn't love this for their daughter? All I have to do is turn on the tv or log onto facebook to see that these are areas that our society isn't too concerned about these days. I want my daughters to know that God is interested in their inward appearance, not on what they wearing. That alone is enough to sell me on this study.
But there's more. And it's really neat.

This study is also designed to help your daughter learn how to study the Bible. That's not even the cool part. The cool part is how they do it.

The book is made up of nine separate studies. Each study will teach your daughter a new way to study the Bible. They will learn how to do the following types of studies:

Inductive Study
Verse Study
Character Study
Book Study
Word and Topical Study
Chapter Study

I did not know that there were so many different ways to study the Bible. This excited me so much because I learned new and different ways to study God's word. And what a great gift to give you daughter that will benefit them for their entire lives. I  LOVE it!

I love how this study gets you digging into the Word. It teaches you how to outline the content of the passage, to study the original Greek and Hebrew, gather all of Scripture's words about a particular topic, use other resources to help you study your Bible and so much more.

The creator recommend that you get a topical Bible, concordance, and colored pencils to aid you in your study. I told you that you'd be learning to dig deeper. They also recommend digital resources for your iPad if the print versions are out of your budget.

This study is definitely a step-up from the types of studies that Mackenzie has done in the past. This is no "little girl" devotional. It is going to help her grow into a young lady and lead her to a deeper relationship with the Lord.

Teaching your daughter what true beauty is and how to study the Bible in a variety of ways is a double win in my book!!!


Website: http://www.doorposts.com

Age Range: 10-12

Pricing: Pre-order for $14. Print books will ship by August 29.

And check out this special...

Use the coupon "beautystudy" during check-out and get a FREE instant download PDF when you pre-order.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meet the Students

The 2013-2014 Sonlight Academy for Girls
student roster 

Favorite Subject: Snack

Least Favorite Subject: Anything involving a pencil or crayon

Favorite Color: Rainbow

Favorite Book: Tickle Tuts Toes

Favorite Song: He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Aspirations: To drive her parents crazy!!

Loves: Rocks, My Little Pony, Food

One Word Description: Exhausting!!

Favorite Subject: Sonlight

Least Favorite Subject: Math (Although she LOVES Mr. Demme)

Favorite Color: Teal

Favorite Book: Septimus Heap series

Favorite Music: Disney Songs

Aspirations: To be Alice at Disney World (I'm not making this up.)

Loves: Reading, Instagram, Disney

One Word Description: DRAMA!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Welcome to Our School

It's time for the annual Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop, School Room Edition.  We moved this past year so we have a brand, new school room. It's radically different from our Old Room.

We just LOVE it!!! So without further ado, here's the grand tour, working counter clock-wise from the door.

To your right next to the door, you have a strange little niche. It houses a small book shelf with some of our older Sonlight Cores, my laminator (woot!), and our All About Reading board. We have a lot of book shelves and they suck up most of our wall space. So there the board sits. It works out fine for us to sit on the floor and work on reading. 

Next up, our circle time area. Those windows are my absolute favorite part of the room. So much natural light!!! Kayleigh spends a lot of time here doing calendar, Bible, and read alouds. Some storage bins from Ikea hang out there too.

We use the wall space here for Kayleigh's Bible time line cards and to show off her hard work. She loves to show her daddy what she did at school.

Next up is my desk area that I rarely use. The kid's computer is there as well as the printer. I love the photo hanger on the wall, which I use for art. You can get them at Target. So cute and many styles. 

On the other side of the piggies, Cherry and Luna, is Mackenzie's domain. I'm afraid to open her desk draw and see what lives in there. She also has a spot for her art. Kayleigh's work boxes provide a nice table for those messy piggies. Kayleigh doesn't have a desk, just a little table to work at. Next time I'm near Ikea I'm getting something bigger. I'm old and my back cannot take those little chairs for much longer.

Our book cases and storage bins. We use Sonlight and we need lots of book cases. We could actually use a few more because I've got 3 or 4 more Sonlight cores packed away for lack of room. This upsets Mackenzie because she LOVES to reread those Sonlight books. The poor dear is clearly deprived of reading material.

Last stop on the tour, the back of the room. A door to get out and a closet filled with stuff. I'd show you the inside but the pictures came out blurry and I'm too lazy to retake them. Nothing falls out when you open the doors, unless Kayleigh has been digging in there, so it's managed to stay semi-orderly.

The desks, storage units, book cases, and filing cabinet all came from Ikea. I forget what style the desks were but the storage units, with bins, are all part of the Trofast System. And the shelves are the Billy book cases. I HEART Ikea!!!!

And there you have it, The Sonlight Academy of Girls.  Thanks for visiting!!! Don't forget to tour other school rooms by clicking the blog hop graphic below!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: Draw to Learn by Notgrass

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Isn't it nice when you can combine two subjects with one resource? That's exactly what you're able to do with the Draw to Learn series from the Notgrass Company. Art and Bible study all-in-one. Awesome!!!

About Draw to Learn

The Draw to Learn series is designed to provide your student with an art curriculum and a Bible study in one easy-to-use product. Your child learns about God's truth while completing a variety of drawings.

The series contains 5 volumes, Draw to Learn Acts, Proverbs, Psalms, Letters of Paul, and Learn the Life of Jesus. Each volume contains 150 lessons and are available in print or digital format.
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It's so simple to use that your child can complete the lessons on their own. All they have to is:

Read the Bible passage.

Think about the meaning.

Draw a picture related to the passage.

Easy, right?

Our Experience

Mackenzie LOVES to draw so she was beyond thrilled when we received the print version of Draw to Learn Proverbs. The supplies that you need are minimal: a drawing pencil, a nice set of colored pencils, and, of course, the curriculum.

We started off by reading and discussing the passage together, then Mackenzie would draw a picture pertaining to the passage. Each lesson offered suggestions for what to draw. There will also suggestions at the front of the book on how to draw the pictures in general. Things like draw people first, use a model, and fill the entire page, for example.

Mackenzie was in love from the get go. Eventually, she stopped waiting for me to do the lesson with her and just did them. lol Then she'd show them to me and discuss what she learned. That method works well too.

What did Mackenzie think?

"I want to keep doing it for my Bible lessons. Forever."

Good thing they sent us the complete set in digital format. Her wish has been granted. But I would've gladly bought them all for her if they hadn't.


Website: http://www.notgrass.com/notgrass/

Age Range: All Ages

Pricing: $14.95 for print copies, $9.95 for digital format


Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up: Our Last First Week of Kindergarten

Well she went and did it. My baby started kindergarten last week. It's a bit bitter sweet as it's my last time through it. My last baby officially school age. But Mackenzie was at music camp at church so it was a good time to get Kayleigh started with out any distractions.

If you're wondering what Kayleigh is using for kindergarten click HERE.


We're working our way through Egermeier's Bible Story Book courtesy of Sonlight Core A and the Bible Study Guide for All Ages courtesy of The Review Crew. (Read my review HERE.)  Kayleigh also memorized her first Bible verse from Sing the Word: From A-Z, also from our Sonlight Core.

Check out how well she did. Don't mind her crazy hair. She was going for some curls like sissy. lol

Doesn't she look cute with her curls?


We didn't do math this week. We're starting slow. But we'll pick up where we left off in Math-U-See Primer soon. We'll be starting lesson 9, place value.

Language Arts

Well naturally we did a lot of reading, we are Sonlighter's after all. We started her very first chapter book this week, The Boxcar Children. I've been a little nervous about how well she would do with chapter books, she likes to be read to, but she is very different than Mackenzie at this age. This one
can't sit still and be quiet for very long. So I was very surprised with how well she did listening to this book. She was very interested in the characters and was angry on Friday when the book wasn't on the schedule. So we read ahead. Shew!!  I hope this trend continues.

We finished our week with a Boxcar Children snack of blueberries and cream. Yummy!!! She was so excited. Last year, after her dx of type 1 diabetes, extra snacks were a little more difficult. She was on multiple daily injections and that took away a lot of our eating freedom as we're expected to keep a more regimented schedule for meals. This year, however, both girls are now using insulin pumps and, while it has it's own set of challenges, it makes fun snacks a lot easier.

She started All About Reading Level 1. She did so awesome!! I'm so proud of her.

She started off last year really eager to read and then it fizzled out a bit so I didn't push it. The last thing I want is to make her dread school and reading.  It was a challenge for me because Mackenzie was a very early reader. She taught her self and was reading fluently before she started kindergarten. Kayleigh however is a very different creature so I didn't push her. We'd work on it when she wanted to and drop it when she wasn't interested.

Plus it breaks my mommy heart when I see kids pushed beyond their ability because big brother did this at this age or because mom has some ridiculous notion that every child should be doing the same thing thing at a certain age. The best party of homeschooling is being able to go at the child's pace and not be dictated by curriculum or age so it irks me when I see that. Okay, it also makes me want to throat punch people some times, if I'm really being honest. lol So I try really hard not to be like that so I don't have to throat punch myself or turn my kid off of learning.

I think this level is even more fun than All About Reading pre-1 and she loved that one. Level 1 has tons and tons of games and using the letter tiles just thrills Kayleigh. She had so much fun with it!!!

We also read The Story about Ping and did some activities from this cute printable pack from Royal Baloo. There was mapping, phonics, math, sequencing, and lots of other fun stuff.

Naturally, one of our year round read alouds is a Mother Goose book so I got Literature Pockets: Nursery Rhymes to add some fun crafts to our year. This week we worked on the Little Bird pocket.
She memorized the poem, made a little book, "rewrote" the poem, and made a puppet. She worked so hard to color neatly which was a pleasant surprise since she usually just makes a quick scribble and calls it good.

She's still doing things like handwriting and Explode the Code but that's not that interesting so I didn't take any pictures. lol


First up this week was dinosaurs. We were reading a bit from The Usborne Internet-Linked Children's Encyclopedia  and Kayleigh brought in dinosaurs and matched them up with the ones from the book. So cute!

She also made a dinosaur with hand print spines. Thank you pinterest.

We also talked a bit about the season and made this ADORABLE paper bag book on the seasons.  I found this awesome project over at Delightful Learning. Michelle is so clever.

Lastly she got to do her very first science experiment. She was so excited! She learned that even though something looks empty it's not. It's filled with air. All she had to do is push an empty water bottle and watch the water force the air out making bubbles. Which she did. Over and over and over and over and over. You get the idea. lol

Other Stuff

Not much other stuff going on at the moment. lol We did our art study for the week. We're working our way through the Come Look With Me series for art appreciation. First up is Come Look With Me: Exploring Landscape Art With Children. She loves to look at art so I knew she'd enjoy that.

She also did her first lesson in Draw Write Now, Book 1. Check out her chicken. Sooo cute!!! I tried to get her to color the background but she was having none of that.  Now that's the Kayleigh that I know. lol

Kayleigh had the idea to hang up her work, at least the stuff that wasn't in a book. So we now have her "Wall of Work." She likes to show it to her daddy each day so that he can see what she did. So I think that we'll keep it up for a week and then take it down over the weekend so we can start all over again the next week. And then I can just snap a picture and not have to store all of that paper. WTG Kayleigh for a great idea.

And that pretty much sums up my last first week of kindergarten. How was your week?


Linking to Homeschool Creations, Weekly Wrap-Up.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.


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