Monday, April 23, 2018

High School Electives

My daughter and I had a guidance counselor meeting for over an hour discussing what her interests are, plans for the future and things she would like to do and/or study.  I was shocked to learn about some of the things she wants to learn about, I had no idea!  We are both excited about the next 4 years of high school!  It looks to be an exciting time for her.

Here is the electives list, which may change as we have a meeting before each year.

Intro to Aviation
Space Technology & Engineering
Computer Courses (pretty much ALL - programming, science, IT, game/web design, etc.)
Drones & Commercial License
Outdoor Education (hiking, etc.)
Teen Entrepreneurship
Graphic Design
Business Advertising
Home Economics
Personal Finance
Driver's Ed (required course)

I had no idea she had an interest in weather!  I think that is great and will go along with getting her pilot's license. I was also surprised at the sewing choice.  She took an interest in Sociology but she wasn't sure, so we left it out.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

9th Grade High School Courses

Our daughter is already technically "in" 9th grade, although we never really counted grades, but did so for this blog to help others in searching for things to use or age-appropriate ideas.  She is already actively doing some of these courses but some we haven't started yet.

Core Subjects
English I
Algebra I
Latin I
Biology I
World History
Traditional Logic I

Intro to Aviation
Information Technology
Computer Keyboarding
(Bible, PE, Health)

Total Credits - 9.5

Extracurricular Activities
Flight Lessons/Hours
Aviation Clubs (2)
Women Aviators Camp
Church Youth Group
Church Youth Camp
Church Devotional Reading (Public Speaking)

*She doesn't need to even count Bible, PE and Health but we may include them because they are courses she is/will be taking.  Computer Keyboarding is 1/2 credit, as is Bible, and PE and Health are .25 credit each.  Every other subject is 1 full credit.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Flight Training Complete - Ready for the Skies!

Our 14yr old daughter completed her indoor flight simulation training and is ready to fly from our small airport to the next major city!  The flight instructor told us that the simulation training is actually harder than flying a real plane.  He was very impressed with how she comprehended and retained the training.  He said everything he threw at her, she picked up quickly!  He also said she flies very good.  This means a lot to me as a homeschooling mother, because it just shows that our education method worked!  He is one of many that have noticed how well educated, confident and social our daughter is.  Thanks be unto God!

This coming week she flies the plane by herself, with the flight instructor at the side if needed, but YES, she does it all herself!  Takeoff, flying, landing - the whole shebang!  We are beyond proud and ecstatic for her and that she has found her element.  I pray that God uses it for His glory and to fulfill His destiny for her.  Fly baby girl, fly!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Pathway to Become an Astronaut

My daughter has wanted to be an astronaut since 1st grade and she has never lost her interest in all things space throughout the years.  Upon questioning her about what pathway to focus on through high school, it is still a lifelong dream to be the first person/astronaut on Mars to survive and come back!  She also wants to be the first astronaut in a skirt.  She also likes the idea of being a Software Engineer or programming drones or robots.  All of these really do fit together when you think about it and there are so many roads with these interests that lead to being an astronaut.

We do believe as part of our religious beliefs that women are to marry, be homemakers and bear children.  Our daughter has also said this is her main goal in life above all but wants to learn about being an astronaut, go to space camp and be a solo software engineer on her own (without college).

We have talked about the benefits for the gospel in having a pilot's license and how it could be used if she was to marry a missionary.  I blogged about the Aviation/Aeronautics course she is going to take to fulfill that there in this post:

Why be a pilot?  Well, it is something most likely required to be an Astronaut and it pays to have that background early on.  Here are the current requirements to be an Astronaut from NASA:

So, What Does It Take to Be an Astronaut?

Astronaut requirements have changed with NASA's goals and missions. A pilot's license and engineering experience is still one route a person could take to becoming an astronaut, but it’s no longer the only one. Today, to be considered for an astronaut position, U.S. citizens must meet the following qualifications:
  1. A bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics.
  2. At least three years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion OR at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft.
  3. The ability to pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical. Distant and near visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 for each eye. The use of glasses is acceptable.

Astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications.

NASA's Astronaut Selection Board reviews the applications (a record-breaking 18,300 in 2016) and assesses each candidate's qualifications. The board then invites about 120 of the most highly qualified candidates to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for interviews. Of those interviewed, about half are invited back for a second round. Once the final astronauts are selected, they must complete a two-year training period.

With NASA's plans for the future of exploration, new astronauts will fly farther into space than ever before on lunar missions and may be the first to fly on to Mars.

High School Aviation/Aeronautics Ground School & Flying

Our daughter has decided she wants to take an Aviation/Aeronautics course, also known as Private Pilot Ground School and begin flying lessons.  In our state (probably same for others I assume), you can fly solo at age 16, and get a pilot's license at 17.  We live close to a flying school and small airport that offers this.  She will also be adding in drone lessons and get a license to operate commercial drones but first, she wants to complete the Aviation course and get some flying in.

You can find many Aviation courses online at various prices but there is also one free from NASA here:

We are paying for her course with the school because it guarantees you will pass the FAA knowledge test that is required to have before getting your license.  What she will learn in the course is:  Aerodynamics, how airplane systems work, weather to know, FAA regulations, principles of navigation, aeromedical factors, stall/spin awareness, and incident/accident reporting requirements.

My husband and I are excited she chose this because we are both veterans of the US Air Force and it only seems natural that one of our kids would have pursued aviation.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

High School Math Credits with Saxon

I'm so thankful for Art Reed and his book, Using John Saxon's Math Books.  I've owned this book and read it for the middle school years but hadn't read it for high school.  I'm glad I did because I learned that the Advanced Mathematics book, counts as 2 high school credits and will take about 2 years to complete.  I've redone our math plan for high school since learning this and cut out Calculus for 12th grade, although she may be able to start it if she finishes Advanced Mathematics early.

9th Grade - Algebra I
10th Grade - Algebra II
11th Grade - Geometry w/Advanced Algebra (1st 90 lessons of Advanced Mathematics)
12th Grade - Trigonometry & Pre-Calculus (2nd half of lessons of Advanced Mathematics)

This gives us 4 high school credits and should prepare her well for the SAT in her Senior year.  I'm hoping as she works year-round, she can finish Advanced Mathematics by the middle of 11th grade to take the PSAT.

We will continue using the Saxon Teacher CDs with each book and also adding in Art Reed's DVDs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Help for Holding Pencil Correctly - Claw Pencil Grip

My husband and I both tried for several months off and on to get my 5yr old son to hold the pencil correctly, it was a battle!  One we never won without what I'm about to tell you about.  I found out about the "Claw" pencil grips on an occupational therapy website and then was able to purchase a 6-pack for about $5 on Amazon.  Not only do they work wonderfully for Zach but they are also building up the correct muscles in his hands for holding a pencil, whereas before, with his backwards fist grip, he wasn't.  He has been using them for several months now and I'm released of my constant struggle to get him to hold his pencil correctly. 

2nd Image Credit - Amazon

Thursday, February 15, 2018

High School Bible Survey

I had planned years ago to have my daughter use Starr Meade's, The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study, for high school Bible.  I decided that I wanted to do it myself, so I went ahead and got it and I'm enjoying it a lot!  It comes with 2 books for the Old Testament, 2 for the New Testament and an answer key.  I opted not to write in it, so my daughter can use it.

Grammar for the Well Trained Mind

We are DONE with Rod and Staff English, neither one of us could take it anymore and I was so glad to see that Susan Wise Bauer had come out with a new complete grammar program!  We have been doing the first book and it is great and we really enjoy the layout and ease it will be to go through 4 years of this.  Combined with writing, this grammar program counts as a full English or Language Arts credit for high school.

Rush Revere American History Books

I hadn't heard about Rush Limbaugh's books on American history for children until about 2 weeks ago.  There are five books so far and they have challenges, activities, games and more on the website.

The main website is: 

They also have a website for homeschoolers!  It has study guides and activity pages for each book that you can download for free:

We are due to the get the first book and audiobook and excited to see what everyone is talking about as many children rave about these books.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

High School Math & English Plans

*I've revised our math plan here:

It seems very surreal that I'm writing about high school.  It seems like just the other day I was writing about what we were using for 1st grade!  I decided to go ahead and show you the progression in the subjects we have already planned the progression for, math and English:

9th - Saxon Algebra 1
10th - Saxon Algebra 2
11th - Saxon Advanced Mathematics
12th - Saxon Calculus with Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry

English (Grammar + Writing)
9th - Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind 2 & Writing With Skill 2
10th - GWTM 3 & WWS 3
11th - GWTM 4 & Institute for Excellence in Writing, basic course
12th - IEW Advanced Communication Series

*We may change the last 2 years of English writing and not do IEW but rather use Thomas Kane's
The New Oxford Guide to Writing

8th Grade Curriculum

I'm a little late in this post and that is because this has been a very different sort of year in our life and homeschooling.  We made a lot of changes with curriculum and are very happy with the new changes and we are actively setting the stage for - *gasp* - HIGH SCHOOL!  😲  I can't believe it is already upon us but it isn't as scary as I once thought.  With the Lord's help, we got this!

Bible - Memoria Press Christian Studies III

Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2 with Saxon Teacher CDs

Grammar/English - Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind 1

Writing - Writing With Skill Level 1

Vocabulary - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A & B

History - Overview of World History

Reading - Our Book List

Science - Botany in 8 lessons combined with Biology to make a High School biology credit

Logic & Latin - on hold till February

We put the brakes on logic and Latin but are picking those back up in February.  Katie also paused the Bible studies with Memoria Press Christian Studies and did her own for a year.  We are now back to doing Christian Studies III with the New Testament.  She does her own personal devotion time and then a Bible study with dad every night before bed.

We got rid of Rod and Staff English because we had had ENOUGH!  I couldn't bear it anymore and she definitely couldn't.  Then, Susan Wise Bauer put out her new grammar program: Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.  Oh my, this is a God-send!  It is a complete grammar course in 4 books and will count, combined with our writing curriculum, as a full English credit for all 4 years of high school!  We are loving it and extremely pleased to have made the switch.

For writing, we went to Writing With Skill and we are going to follow the progression of doing books 1-3 through high school with the last 2 years being IEW.  Here is a handy chart for writing for the middle and high school years using WWS.  As I said above, this combined with grammar, will complete our English credits for all of high school.

With science, I decided since I'm in school for becoming an herbalist, I would have my daughter also study along with me and finish her life science high school credit.  We decided to go with Botany in 8 Lessons, that, along with me teaching herbology with hands-on "experiments" can count as a full credit but we are combining it with other biology she has done to complete the full high school biology credit.

I plan on writing a post of the subjects we already know what we are using for high school hopefully in the next post.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Future Software Engineer & Coding

Our daughter has decided that she wants to gear her high school courses towards being a software engineer.  She has always been strong in math and then had a fascination with all things technology and robots.  I thought she would outgrow it but evidently that is what she sees herself moving towards as we enter high school next year.  Software engineers average $93,000 a year, so I think we can rest assured this isn't time wasted!

We are looking into her earning college credit while in high school as our state offers that and it is free!  She wants to work from home until she gets married and she is in the right field to do so.  I will be spending the remainder of this school year laying out just how we will go about this.

She started coding a few months ago and absolutely loves it.  Most recently she is using Python but she did other programs before moving to that one.  Here are some book she has used to self-teach herself and some of her coding.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Update On Us

I haven't taken the time to catalog all of our journeys with homeschool the past few years or so due to surgeries, miscarriages and a cross-country move!  Yes, it has been a busy time and my main goal with homeschool was just to keep pushing forward despite all the setbacks.  I'm happy to say that we finally "caught up" this month in several areas but there is no time to slow down because we are changing some things with our original long-term plans for Katie.

Katie has always been strong in math and then the past few years showed a great interest in science and technology.  She is gearing toward a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) high school plan.  Her desires for more technology courses and a life-long interest in space have me rethinking our high school plan.  This school year that we are getting ready to start next month is the year before high school (8th grade) and will determine the path for the last 4 years.

8th Grade Renaissance & Modern Book List

We will only be choosing about half of the books (poems) from this list for the year.  Also, I haven't screened all of the books either, so I won't have a final book list of what she read till the end of this school year.

Late Renaissance/ Early Modern 
  1. Adventures of Don Quixote - Dover
  2. The Complete Fairy Tales - Perrault
  3. Robinson Crusoe - Defoe
  4. Favorite Poems - Wordsworth
  5. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Coleridge
  6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle - Irving
  7. The Pied Piper of Hamelin - Browing
  8. Grimm's Fairy Tales - Grimm
  9. Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
  10. Goblin Market and Other Poems - Christina Rossetti
  11. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Twain
  12. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Verne
  13. The Raven - Poe
  1.  Kidnapped or Treasure Island - Stevenson
  2. The Man Without a Country - Hale
  3. Little Women - Alcott
  4. Sherlock Holmes stories - Doyle
  5. The Jungle Book - Kipling
  6. The Time Machine or The War of the Worlds - Wells
  7. The Call of the Wild - London
  8. The Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy
  9. Short Stories - O. Henry
  10. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery
  11. Murder on the Orient Express - Christie
  12. Gone With the Wind - Mitchell
  13. The Yearling - Rawlings
  14. The Song of Hiawatha - Longfellow
  15. The Road Not Taken - Frost
  16. Collected Poems - Cummings
  17. Poems 1919-1934 - de la Mare
  18. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems - Hughes
  19. Pygmalion - Shaw
  20. The Hiding Place - Ten Boom

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7th Grade Medieval History Book List

  1. Beowulf: A New Telling - Nye
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Tolkien
  3. The Canterbury Tales - McCaughrean
  4. The Inferno of Dante - Alighieri
  5. Saint George and the Dragon - Hodges
  6. The Sword and The Circle - Sutcliff
  7. Shakespeare Stories - Garfield

Friday, December 2, 2016

Homeschool Bookshelves

We recently moved from Washington state to Ohio and we love it here!  We have more room in our new home and are able to have a homeschool room that isn't also our dining room (so thankful for that!).  So far, I've unpacked the homeschool room and set up the bookshelves:

I've been sharing a lot of pictures of our life in our Instagram, please feel free to follow us:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stop Motion Video Production

Katie is starting a new subject, which is one of her favorite things - Technology!  She is learning how to make stop motion videos.  How these work is you take several pictures and make a video.  To me, it is a very slow task - taking a photo and then moving your prop and then taking a photo, etc.  However, it does look really cool when it is done!

Here are 2 of her beginning stop motion videos she created:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Logic Stage Outlining

Starting in the Logic Stage, which is grades 5-8, you will want to teach the child to outline.  The Well-Trained Mind explains why a slow progression of this is best as it prepares the child for high school.  Don't make it any more complicated than you should, it really is quite simple!

5th Grade - Begin to teach the child to outline once a week.  Explain that outlining is simply finding the main point (summary) in the paragraph.  You will want to choose a text from that week's history resources that the child read about the topic they found most interesting.  You will start using a text that contains 5-6 paragraphs, or one page.  Have the child take each paragraph, one at a time, and find the main point by answering the question, "What is the main thing or person and why is it or are they important?"

Example of one-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
II.   Main point of 2nd paragraph
III.  Main point of 3rd paragraph

6th Grade - Same as before but you add in subpoints under each main point, which are lettered A, B and so forth.  Use 2-4 subpoints under each main point it relates to.  Outline up to two pages.  To find the subpoints, simply write the additional information given that correlates with the main point.

Example of two-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
      B.  Second supporting point
II.  Main point of 2nd paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
      B.  Second supporting point
      C.  Third supporting point

7th Grade - Same as before and when the child has got down the two-level outline well, you can start adding in more supporting points.  These points are numbers (1, 2, etc.) that give details for the letters (A, B, etc.).  If the child isn't ready, they can hold off until the start of 8th grade.  Now the child outlines 2-3 pages.

Example of three-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
            1.  First subpoint
            2.  Second subpoint
      B.  Second supporting point
            1. First subpoint
            2. Second subpoint
II.  Main point of 2nd paragraph

8th Grade - Same as before but now outlining 3-4 pages and doing three-level outlines.

Example of three-level outline that sums it all up:

I.    Main point
      A.  Additional information about the main point.
            1.  Detail about that additional information

In The Well-Trained Mind, she states a simple question the child can ask themselves as they write the outline for supporting points - "What else is important to know in this paragraph?"  You can read the whole section on how to outline in the book on pages 297-301.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

7th Grade Curriculum Plans

I planned out our 7th grade year earlier this year and since then, I've made a few changes.  This is our tentative 7th grade plans:

Bible - Memoria Press Christian Studies IV

Logic - Memoria Press Traditional Logic I with DVD

Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2 with Saxon Teacher CDs

Grammar - Rod and Staff English 6

Vocabulary - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A & B

Latin - Henle Latin I with Memoria Press Guides & Quizzes/Tests

History - Medieval history

Reading - Medieval history book list & Classics book list

Science - Earth Science & Astronomy

6th Grade Ancient History Book List

Katie's book list for 6th grade to go along with what she is reading in her Ancient history studies:

  1. Tales of Ancient Egypt - Green
  2. The Golden Goblet - McGraw
  3. Mara, Daughter of the Nile - McGraw
  4. The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles - Colum
  5. Tales of Greek Heroes - Green
  6. The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy - Colum
  7. Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Illiad - Sutcliff
  8. Aesop's Fables - McGovern
  9. Cleopatra - Vennema
  10. The Bronze Bow - Speare
  11. The Eagle of the Ninth - Sutcliff
  12. The Silver Branch - Sutcliff

Friday, February 19, 2016

How Do You Homeschool?

A common question I have been asked over the past 7 years that I've homeschooled has been: "How do you homeschool?"  There are 2 books that I recommend and they are the KJV Bible and The Well-Trained Mind:

I've read both of these books so much and I find that tabbing is helpful and highlighting the WTM is a must.  It is that easy and almost all of the answers about life and homeschooling and are in these books!  I like seeing the whole picture of what I set out to do and both of these allow you to see that - the Bible allows you to see the whole picture of life and eternity and the WTM allows you to see the whole picture of education from birth to college.

The thing is, people won't read anymore!  That is the reason they have problems with life and God because they don't read His Word and then they have problems with homeschooling because they aren't reading the book that shows them the way.  READ!  I can't say it enough but this is my answer to those that ask how I homeschool and it works!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

6th Grade Curriculum - Index of Posts

Here is a list of posts about what curriculum we are using for 6th grade:

6th Grade Sciene - Botany, Anatomy & Zoology

For 6th grade science, we will be doing block studies of botany, anatomy and zoology.  We have several science encyclopedias and will use them as references and we have the 2014 World Book on DVD.

Our main book for botany is Usborne's World of Plants and then we will also reference our DK Nature Encyclopedia.  I have a few books on botany and a guide for Washington state plants/trees.  She will be doing activities/labs from ideas I find online or in a library book that pertains to what she is studying that week and a terrarium.

For zoology, we will be using various encyclopedias and some animal encyclopedias we own.  We have many books on different animals, insects and classification.  She will be doing activities/labs about animals that involve the microscope and a frog (plastic) dissection kit. (no books pictured)

Anatomy will be taught from our Scholastic Human Body Encyclopedia, DK Human Body Encyclopedia (this has graphic images) and combined with other books we own.  We will also be using the My Incredible Body PC program, optical science kit and anatomy coloring book.

For all the science topics we will be studying, I will be giving worksheets from Science Essentials Grades 5-6, it also includes some activities/labs.  I will also be using some free things from the internet to flesh out our studies.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

K'nex Education - Blender

Another awesome physics project from the Gears set!

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