Friday, October 18, 2019

3rd Week of 1st Grade Pics

Zach learned about Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics this week and practiced writing his name and doing stamps in these early forms of writing:

Last week he did a cave "painting" drawing - my daughter and I also contributed to show him what to do, his are the middle bottom people:

He really likes using the Counting Bears in Saxon Math to help with addition:

Thursday, October 3, 2019

1st Grade Human Body Projects

Zach is following my free 1st Grade Human Body Study.  The links aren't all working anymore because it has been so many years but we are finding enough to do to supplement.  We did a cut out skeleton project, it was in various bones and he had to put them together in the right order and glue them down.  Then, we bought the Magic School Bus Human Body kit and we have done 3 projects so far and he likes it but he LOVES the poster and stickers that we put on as we learn!

Zach's 1st Grade History Read-Aloud Reading List

We are following almost the exact same path in history that we did with our daughter many years ago when she was in 1st grade.  You can see her list here.  This list below is going to be updated as we go on the books relating to history that we read-aloud to Zach.  Zach has a very hard time paying attention, so I try and get books that I think work for him and his attention span and comprehension level, which is both less than Katie's was at this age.  These books go along with the recommendations in the Story of the World Ancient Times Activity Book.

  1. Archaeologists Dig for Clues - Duke
  2. The First Dog - Brett
  3. Little Grunt and the Big Egg - DePaola
  4. Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile - DePaola
  5. We're Sailing Down the Nile - Krebs
  6. The Nile River - Fowler

More to come as we read...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

11-Day Road Trip - 10 States!

We had the time of our lives on our 11-day road trip across 10 states!  We all learned a lot and experienced a lot and we plan on returning to New Mexico again in the future, probably our favorite place by far.  We started our trek in Ohio and traveled to these states in our loop:

New Mexico

Our main stop was New Mexico, we did the most there and then we did a couple of days in Colorado Springs.  We purchased an American the Beautiful National Parks pass for $80 and didn't have to pay admission or park entrance vehicle fees for any of the parks and it lasts for a year, so definitely worth getting!  We traveled 4,300 miles on this trip and gas only cost $370 for our Dodge Van rental, I'd say that's pretty awesome.

Here are some slideshows of things we did, I don't know why Photobucket shows the blue headline about media press - just ignore!

New Mexico - Carlsbad (Caverns), Sante Fe, Alamogordo, Placitas, Bernalillo, etc.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

High School Transcript Plan

We planned out high school together and made Katie's transcript.  I filled in grades for this year, although English I and Biology grades are almost a B and could change once she completes the courses but for now she's a straight A student!

She took so much in her 9th grade year, that she will have it pretty easy the last 2 years of high school.  This will give her time for volunteering and other activities and hobbies as she chooses.

*It should say 28.5 credits

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Zach's 1st Grade Curriculum

I can hardly believe that I'm writing up my son's 1st grade year on this blog!  When I started it 10 years ago, I was writing up my daughter's!  It is very surreal.  I'm more prepared and relaxed this time around.  I will be using pretty much the same things as I did for my daughter, with some exceptions and/or add-ons to personalize it.  I'm so glad that I saved all of my daughter's curriculum all of these years - even lugging them cross-country from Washington state to Ohio in a Penske!  I can now just spend my money on buying supplemental materials for my son, since the basics are already covered!

We are working our way through The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading already right now in K, and we will continue on with the lessons through 1st grade and hopefully finish it up before 2nd grade.

Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Reading - Continue OPGTR & Book Lists

Writing - Writing With Ease 1

Grammar - First Language Lessons 1

Math - Saxon Math 1

Spelling - All About Spelling 1 & Spelling Workout A

History - Story of the World 1

Science - Animals, Human Body and Plants

Art - Home Art Studio

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Zach's Completed Independent Reading List (Kindergarten)

This list only contains readers that Zach read by himself, not ones we read to him.

Bob Books:
Set 1 (12 readers)
Set 2 (12 readers)
Set 3 (8 readers)
Set 4

Abeka Books:
Little Owl Books 1-8
Tim Can
My Pet Tim
Gail and Sue
My Pet Fred
At the Beach
The Black Hen
My Pet Tex
Let's Play Ball

Sounds Like Reading books:
The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug
Stop, Drop, and Flop in the Slop
The Thing on the Wing Can Sing
The Nice Mice in the Rice

MCP Readers
Stan and Scott Are Twins

I will be adding to this as we go...

Saturday, February 23, 2019

10th Grade Curriculum Choices

I posted our 10th grade courses here and now will go into depth with what we are using for each.

Image Credits: RainbowResource; WinterPromise; CompuScholar; Notgrass

Core Subjects

English II - Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind RED book; Writing With Skill; Vocabulary from Classical Roots; Book List

Algebra II - Saxon Algebra 2; Saxon Teacher CD's; Art Reed DVD's

Astronomy - Survey of Astronomy pack

World History - Notgrass' Exploring World History (Book List)

Latin II - Henle Latin


Bible II - Memoria Press' Christian Studies IV; New Testament and Old Testament flashcards

Graphic Design - Schoolhouse Teacher's Graphic Design course

Game Design - CompuScholar Unity Game Programming course

Equine Studies - Equine Science

Home Economics - Christian Light's Home Economics I

Monday, February 18, 2019

10th Grade High School Courses

We've already planned out 10th grade, though we won't start till the fall.  My daughter got a lot of credits her 9th grade year, so by the time 12th grade rolls out, she barely needs any and can pursue her passions more in depth.

Core Subjects
English II
Algebra II
World History
Latin II

Graphic Design
Game Design
Equine Studies
Home Economics

Total Credits - 8
Total High School Credits - 18

Extracurricular Activities
Violin lessons
Church Youth Group
Church Devotional Reading (Public Speaking)
Horse Riding Lessons

* Graphic Design and Equine Studies are 1/2 credit, the rest are full credits.  She took 2 years of violin lessons years ago and has missed it ever since, so we are hoping to incorporate them back in if time (and money) permits with also doing horse riding lessons.

Go here to see a detailed post about what we are using for each subject:

Thursday, January 31, 2019

FREE Homeschool Graphic Design Course

My daughter has been pursuing graphic design and we recently got her a graphic artist pad.  I was looking for a course on Graphic Design for homeschoolers and found one that is essentially free if you follow these steps:

Go here to sign up for a free trial of PureFlix and you will get a 3-month, free trial to  Then, once you sign up there, you can download the Graphic Design course for free!  It retails online elsewhere for $35, so this a great deal!

Schoolhouse Teachers also has tons of courses from Preschool-12th grade!  I used to have it years ago and actually forgot about it.  Now, it has a lot more courses that look great.  Well worth the 3-month free trial!

You also get free access to World Book through Schoolhouse Teachers and a lot more.  I was glad to have come across this and we enjoy Pure Flix too, so its a great deal all around for homeschoolers!

*After the 3-month trial, if you want to sign up for Schoolhouse Teachers, you get a discount if you are an HSLDA member!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

10 Years of Cambridgeshire Academy

I started this blog in 2009 when I started homeschooling my daughter.  I tried to catalog a lot of the journey with her from Kindergarten through, currently, 9th grade!  It is proving to be a great tool for us as I look back on what we did now that I'm starting to homeschool my son as well.  It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since I started our homeschool website!

My son is gifted, so we are doing things differently, though we are still using the same curriculum as we did with my daughter - I'm adding in more to fill out his craving for learning.  We will probably finish the phonics program (4th grade level) by the end of this year, and he is only Kindergarten level.  He is immersing himself in everything he can at the moment, he is like a sponge and doesn't seem to ever get full.

I hope to continue to catalog my daughter's journey through high school and then my son's entire school journey.  One of these days, I would like to update old links from posts over the past 10 years but that isn't a big priority right now, though I have done some.

Thanks to my readers, both new and old!  Here's to a great 2019!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Grade Levels & OPGTR

These are approximations of when you have finished each grade level phonics at what lesson in "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading".  I found these online several years ago and don't remember exactly where but sharing them on here as a reference:

  • Around Lesson 60, you have taught all of the requirements of Kindergarten
  • Start 1st grade lesson material around Lesson 61
  • Start 2nd grade lesson material around Lesson 120
  • End of the book ends with 4th grade level words

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Guide to Readers & OPGTR

Here is a PDF download on my Scribd page of the guide of when your child can read what readers while using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, enjoy!

*The Sizzy Books or Fun Phonics, are free online, see my post on that here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When to Start Penmanship, Spelling & Grammar

Typically, you would start reading lessons first with The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  However, with my son, he was already writing letters and numbers before I could even teach him penmanship, much less reading!  Having a gifted son has taught me a lot - the rules don't always apply to him!

I did lay off teaching spelling and grammar until his reading is at a certain level, but he's already started asking how to spell certain words, as he likes to write everything now.  I will see how long I can hold him off from these next steps but here is the general "normal" starting times for these subjects along with the OPGTR.

  • By Lesson 115 of the OPGTR, you can start penmanship and spelling
  • After Lesson 181, the child is ready for copywork (and lesson 42 in FLL1)
  • You can start First Language Lessons 1 after Lesson 140 of the OPGTR, but make sure you don't start lesson 42 in FLL1 until you've reached Lesson 181 in OPGTR.

These are the guidelines that were listed in an FAQ that is on longer available online but I will be putting the PDF in a post coming soon or you can email me if you would like it now.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Free Sizzy Fun Phonics Readers!

There used to be a list of what phonics readers go along with each section in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  However, I couldn't find it online but you can download my PDF of it here.  On the list, they had Sizzy Fun Phonics readers and when I first went through the OPGTR with my daughter in 2009, we couldn't find those at our library, so we used the Modern Curriculum Press readers.  Now, with my son, we can't find the MCP readers, so I went looking for the others and that is when I found that you can download ALL of the Sizzy Fun Phonics readers for free!

You can download each book here or click this link to download ALL of the books in a zip file, enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

High School Biology - The Cell

My daughter loved this video about the cell, it really lays it out in an easy format and well worth watching a few times!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

9th Grade Curriculum Choices

I already posted our 9th grade plan here, but I didn't detail what we were using for each subject. Here are the choices in curriculum that we are using for each:

Core Subjects

English I - Grammar for the Well Trained Mind; Vocabulary from Classical Roots; Writing With Skill; Book list

Algebra I - Saxon Algebra I; Saxon Teacher CDs; Art Reed DVDs

Latin I - Latina Christiana I & II with DVD Teacher

Biology I - Biology; Supercharged Science, Biology 101 DVDs, Encyclopedias, books, videos, kits, etc.

American History - Notgrass American History; Encyclopedias and other books; Videos

Traditional Logic I - Memoria Press' Traditional Logic with DVD Teacher


Intro to Aviation - Flight school online & Flight hours

Information Technology - Digital Savvy (CompuScholar)

Sewing - 12-week class w/ Master Seamstress

Computer Keyboarding - Typing Instructor

Bible - MP Christian Studies III

PE/Health - Online websites about health like, exercise videos/treadmill

Total Credits - 10.5

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Standardized Test Results

We haven't done a standardized yearly test since 4th grade.  When I tested my daughter then she was several grades ahead and I just never saw the use of testing every year and it wasn't required.  I decided to go ahead and test and see how she was doing. Well, she did awesome and I don't know why I ever worried it would turn out any other way - God + Education + Love = Success!

Math was her best subject and always has been so I knew she would do well, however, I didn't know she would do THAT well LOL!  She scored 99th percentile in math and college level!  That is the highest possible score.  Saxon math is proving to be what I knew it was, an excellent math program.  I did the teaching for Saxon math 1-4 and then let the Saxon Teacher CD do the teaching for grades 5 on.  We added in Art Reed's DVDs this past year and will continue with both of these through high school.

English has always been her worst subject and I was just hoping she would actually pass.  Again, I was surprised to see she scored well above average and 11th-12th grade level!  To think she scored that well and we didn't even do past the 5th grade R&S English book.  I credit it to Susan Wise Bauer's excellent elementary programs - First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease - and her recommendations for reading.  My daughter scored at college level in reading and we followed almost all of the book lists in The Well Trained Mind.  It works!!

God makes the difference!  He WILL bless your homeschool!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Latina Christiana I & II in 9th Grade - High School

We did Prima Latina in 4th grade, I believe it was, and moved on to the first book of Latina Christiana but never made it through, it seemed to be the easiest subject to drop.  I had read that others do LC I & II in 9th grade and then move on to Henle Latin, which was our original plan of progression.  Memoria Press came out with First Form Latin and did away with LC II but I had already purchased LC II and wanted to use it.  I also didn't like that FFL would have 4 books before being able to move on to Henle 1st year.

I'm so thankful to have come across this schedule for finishing LC I in 10 weeks but I don't remember where I got it from, so I can't credit the mom who shared it.

Week 1: Lessons 1-3, First Conjugation
Week 2: Lessons 4 and 15, irregular verbs Sum and Possum
(I know these lessons are far apart in the book, but Sum and Possum are closely related and
the lessons go well together)
Week 3: Lessons 5-7, First Declension
Week 4: Lessons 8-10, Second Declension
--Insert a review week anywhere that it's necessary. Once you learn vocabulary, it should be
reviewed at *least* weekly and any problem words should be practiced daily. Once you've
covered a grammar concept, incorporate it into *daily* recitation.--
Week 5: Lessons 11 and 12, Second Declension Neuter
(a light week, good for reviewing)
Week 6: Lessons 13 and 14, Adjectives
Week 7: Lessons 16 and 17, Second Conjugation
Week 8: Lessons 18-20, Future Tense
Week 9: Lessons 21-23, Imperfect Tense
Week 10: Lessons 24 and 25, Personal Pronouns

I think the key would be doing Latin *daily* (at least five days a week, and preferably at least a
quick grammar recitation on a sixth day). LC is very gentle, and I don't think this is an
unreasonable schedule for a ninth grader. Flash cards will be a big help. We add new
flashcards and cycle out old ones as they become automatic. Each week or so, pull out the "old"
cards and go through the stack for review -- if any are missed, put them back in the daily
rotation. Post a list of grammar concepts and keywords so that daily recitation consists only of
glancing at the list and calling off the words.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Kindergarten Science - Human Body

I had bought this match-it card learning set a few years ago in preparation for when my son was ready.  I had forgot about it until he pulled it off the shelf the other day.  We separated the word cards from the picture cards and then I read each word card as he found the body part.  There were some he didn't know, like elbow, chin and heel, so it became a great beginning learning lesson the human body!  He asked some questions about the bones, specifically the ankle bones, so I got out our skeleton model and he was excited about all there is to learn! 

Homeschool Room

I updated, cleaned and organized a few things in our homeschool room.  We are ready for another year - Kindergarten and High School 😲

I organized all of our science books by category to make it easier to find a certain topic when I need it:

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

9th Grade will be the fullest year with the most credits compared to the rest of high school.  She was just so interested in doing so many things!

Core Subjects
English I
Algebra I
Latin I
Biology I
American History I

Bible I
Information Technology
Intro to Aviation & Aeronautics
Computer Keyboarding
Physical Education

Total Credits - 10

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

*Sewing, Computer Keyboarding, PE and Health are 1/2 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.