Saturday, May 19, 2007


If you've been checking, I'm so sorry I haven't been posting much here in the past few days. We finished our schoolyear on Wednesday and today my daughter and I are leaving for China for 12 days! After we return (the day after, in fact) my husband and I are going to a conference in Maryland. Fun!

If you want to check out updates (if I or my husband can post some) on my other blog in the next couple of days, I'd love for you to stop by!

Oh- and look what was in my suitcase last night:

Do you think he'll make it past security??

See you when I get back!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Okay, that was fun! Crowded, but fun. Expensive, but fun. Overwhelming, but fun.There's just nothing like being surrounded by a whole convention center full o' possibilities!

Here's what I came home with this weekend:

From the Geography Matters booth:
Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
Trail Guide to U.S. Geography Student Notebook cd-rom
Eat Your Way Through the USA
Children's Illustrated Atlas USA
The World Almanac for Kids 2007
The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007

As you can see from the above list, we will be diving into U.S. geography. This is our second rotation through world history, and the first time we studied American History we didn't really "camp out" there, as we focused on how America fits into the world's history/timeline. This time, now that they are older (6th and 8th grades), we will focus more on America's history, as well as it's geography and government.

From the Christian Liberty Press booth:
The Land of Fair Play: American Civics from a Christian Perspective
and Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers because it was on sale for $5.00. (We'll probably read it this summer.) We loved Mr. Pipes and the Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation, and I plan on reading Mr. Pipes Comes to America next year.

From the Institute for Excellence in Writing folks:
American History-Based Writing Texts cd-rom (You can see a sample here.)
I think I'll be ordering the Student Writing Intensive Continuation Course B as well, later in the summer.

We enjoyed catching up with Sr. Gamache with La Clase Divertida. After a brief foree into French, Kyle is now firmly convinced Spanish is to be his second language, so we purchased Level 3. We thoroughly enjoyed levels 1 and 2 in previous years, and I'm excited because in Level 3 they learn to share the gospel in Spanish. Sr. Gamache wrote Kyle's name down so he can help with the booth next year, so that's some extra motivation to work on his Espanol in grade seis!

I picked up my upcoming 8th grader's next level of Math, Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1.

I also took the plunge and purchased Veritas Press' Omnibus I. I love it! We aren't taking the whole plunge into it until 9th grade, but my daughter will be reading some of the secondary resources for literature next year. We will begin some of the primary resources when we go back to ancients in 9th grade. (There is an excellent review of Omnibus here, which mirrors some of my thoughts. There is also a comprehensive review of it here, which lists the primary and secondary resource titles.) For my son, I purchased Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 with the accompanying comprehension guide. It will be challenging, but he can do it. We will be following the Veritas reading selections for grade six, as I've always found them to be a good match for his interest and reading level. I'm excited about tackling some of the tougher reading with both of them.

I didn't get a good look at Tapestry of Grace, as their booth was always swarming with people. I'm thinking about a possible Omnibus/TOG combo for 7th/9th grade so I'll be looking at it further next year.

Whew! It took me almost as long to type and link everything as it took to buy it all. I just love curriculum shopping and planning. It's been a fun weekend! And now I'm ready for summer. :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Book Fair!

Taken from the Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons

I'm heading out the door in a bit to go to our annual homeschool book fair. Fun! I am looking forward to seeing what's out there, refining my thoughts about what we'll do next year, and looking at materials in person that I've read about online.

I plan on talking to the Institute for Excellence in Writing folks about the Student Writing Intensive Continuation Courses. Last year my son did SWI A, and my daughter did SWI B, so I'm trying to decide if I should get a continuation course, and if I do, if level B would suit both of them. I'm leaning toward getting SWICC level B, since it is for grades 6-8. We'll see.
I'll also be stopping by the Teaching Textbooks booth to pick up Algebra 1. I can't believe it's time for Algebra 1! We should still be in the early levels of Math U See! Oh, how time flies...
I want to stop by and look more closely at Tapestry of Grace for high school. I've never looked at it very closely. Since my son (going into 6th grade) always seems to be a perfect match for whatever Veritas Press recommends, I'll be wagging my VP catalog with me and looking for some of the books on their sixth grade list as well. I'm also looking for a good Spanish program for him, after he and I have decided that Spanish will be a better foreign language for him to pursue. I haven't settled on a science program for 8th grade yet, so we'll be scoping those out. I want to look at Trail Guide to US Geography to correspond with our American history next year.

Well, I better stop writing about it, and get to it! I'll let you know what I end up with. :)

Have a fun Friday!

Monday, May 07, 2007

In case you've been living under a rock like I have...

there's some interesting, thought-provoking blogging going on!

I think it started here. Then there was a rebuttal here. And another response here. Somewhere in all that time, this article was posted on Pulpit. If you have time, it is an excellent discussion. The links in the posts, and some of the comments make for some good reading! Of course, I have thoughts... lots of thoughts. But I'll post just this one for now:

We homeschool because of what homeschooling is, not because of what public school isn't. And I don't think everyone should homeschool. (Okay, I guess that was two thoughts...)

If my two brain cells rub together this week and I have any more thoughts on this to post, I will. I'd love to post about why we homeschool, and I will at some point (probably after I get back from China) but I touched on the public school vs. homeschool debate a few months ago in this post.

So anyway, you've probably already read all of the above links (except mine!) and I'm the last Christian homeschooling blogger to know there was a buzz going on. I'd love to know your thoughts, too. And if you've posted about it on your blog, let me know!

Wrapping Up

If you check my regular blog, you may know that last week was a difficult week for us, so I didn't get a chance to post any "homeschool happenings." Oh, homeschool was happening alright, I just didn't post about it!

In a little over two weeks, my daughter and I will be leaving for a mission trip to China, so we are in the midst of wrapping up school for the year. Last week I put all of their remaining work for the year in their weekly binders, so they know just what they need to do to finish school for the year. They can take as much or as little time to do this as they want. My daughter wants to be completely done before we go on our trip so she doesn't have anything to do (school-wise) when she gets back. My son will be staying with friends during the days while we are gone, and some of them aren't through with school yet, so I'm sure his trusty binder will accompany him. Anyway... we are on the home stretch! I posted here at The Well-Drained Mind why we are taking summer break this year, so I'm really looking forward to a summer of NO school... time to think, plan, and do other ministry work.

We have our big 'ole curriculum fair this Friday and Saturday. Last year the only thing I bought was the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum. (WELL worth it, in my opinion.) This year, I have a few more things on my list, including wanting to look at high school curriculum. (HOW can it be time for that already???) Next year will be our last year before high school, and of course you can build high school credits during eighth grade, so I suppose technicnally I will have a high schooler next year. Oh, my. I want to look at Tapestry of Grace for sure, and will be interested in other possibilities that I've read about but haven't seen in person. This week I will be reading a bunch on the Well-Trained Mind boards, refining my list. (If you don't frequent those boards, I encourage you to. It is a wise, wonderful group of moms who really know their stuff!) I'll be posting my list later in the week, as well as the overflow of my overwhelmedness when I get back. I'm sure I'll be making up other new words as well.

Have a super, super week with your kids and in your homeschool. Hang in there! Summer's coming!!


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