This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up ~ It’s a BOY!!!

Micah Collage

Yes, you read that right. The Caffey’s are having a BOY!!! It’s finally sinking in to me that the active baby in my belly is truly a little boy. Next week I hope to share with you my story of God’s faithfulness and timing. As you can see from the bottom picture little Micah is quite the acrobat with his feet above his head.

All is well and he is growing just perfectly, currently weighing in at 13 ounces. The scan of his belly shows no blockages or signs of problems so that is swell news. We are scheduled to have a secondary ultrasound in March at 28 weeks to make sure that things are still presenting well in his belly. McKenzie’s duodenal atresia did not present until 30 weeks so they are hoping to get a heads up if Micah has the same condition. I did opt to take a blood test recommended by my geneticist to give us a heads up of whether or not I am a recessive carrier of any of the 100 anomaly's that can be detected. It will give the girls are better understanding too as they enter into their child bearing years many, many {many} years down the road.  {the extra many is for the Lt}

20140124_222303 Last weekend Mikayla and I spent the weekend, Friday through Sunday, in the Big Apple. My Aunt Joyce accompanied us and it was quite fun! We took a train in from DC to Penn Station. It was my first time on the Amtrak and it was quite enjoyable and relaxing.  Mikayla didn’t actually compete until early Sunday morning but it was nice to be in the city and do a little shopping before the meet. It was bitter cold but we were prepared with lots of layers.

Unfortunately, Mikayla did not have the best meet Sunday morning. She ate an overabundance of bacon {6 big pieces} for breakfast and the gym was incredibly hot. Those two things did not combine well for her and she got forcibly sick.  I am proud of her for being able to complete her floor and beam routines even though she was not feeling good. Her two best events are vault and bars and she was disappointed on the way home that she could not compete those and try to reach her AA goal of a 36.00 for this meet. Here are her scores:

Beam ~ 8.425

Floor ~ 8.950

NYC Baby Micah reveal 032  warm ups

On Tuesday we got 8 inches of snow. The girls are loving it and are excited to hear that next Saturday we are expected to get more snow. As far as school has gone we have actually not done much schooling since last Thursday except co-op schooling, reading, and TOS Crew review work. Which in and of itself is plenty. I have been doing some planning and researching for next school year and I am so happy that Sonlight has said there will be a Core 500, World History for 11th/12th graders.

 snow day 129 048 snow day 129 052 snow day 129 053 snow day 129 054 

After discussing with my Aunt, the Lt and I have decided to let Madison drop General Science. In short she is super bored with it and has already been exposed to a lot of the material already. So instead of her favorite subject of Science being a nagging battle to complete  she is taking her last module test today and then Monday will start her Science Fair project for the rest of the year. The science Fair is being put on at our co-op and will count for 50% of her science grade. She is eager to get started on it and the twinkle is back in her eyes regarding science. That makes this Momma happy! Currently, our co-op offers and is planning to offer Apologia Biology next year and I am going to enroll her into that class for the fall.

snow day 129 036

I look forward to Monday and getting back into the routine of schooling before we take off for our next gymnastics meet held in Orlando, FL in mid-February. As much as I love snow I am ready for some warm weather. I am looking forward to going back to Orlando and going to Universal Studios the one place we didn’t get to visit last September.

I hope you have had a blessed week!

Homegrown Learners

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

beauty captured {16/365}

                 Madison decorated our baby reveal box for our big day on Monday.
                                                                   So excited!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

beauty captured {15/365}

bc15

I love the little people she draws

beautycaptured1final_zps2e99ad77

Essentials in Homeschooling ~ technology

homeschoolingessentials400x550_zps47e262c4

We use technology everyday in our schooling. Whether it be computer work, or working on the iPad, technology has changed the way that we do school in the last few years.

When we first started schooling at home 5 years ago we did not rely on technology. Sure Montana would play computer games like Clifford or Arthur, but she never had access to the myriad of games and learning programs available now. I do have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with all the technology we have acquired over the years but I have learned to let it be a tool and not a crutch.

Here is a list of the top 5 technology things we use daily in our homeschool.

Computers / Laptops: These are all used most frequently during the day for writing papers, using learning programs or taking online classes.

iPad, iPod, iPhone & Kindle: Wow, that’s a mouthful! McKenzie uses the iPad most frequently as she plays learning games at specific times during the day while I am helping the older girls. The Kindle has books on it that will read aloud to her also. The iPod/iPhone is frequently used as a timer or calculator.

Printer: I use my mammoth of a printer daily. Honestly I would be lost without it. When my old HP printer (7500) started giving me fits I upgraded to a new faster model, HP Officejet Pro 8600. The old one had served us well, and the new one is fabulously fast and efficient. There is nothing worse then needing to print a paper and the printer being testy.

Laminator: I have had the same laminator since 2007 when I reopened my daycare business back in WA. It’s from Lakeshore Learning {LOVE this store} and has held up for all these years of use.

TV: I mention the TV because yes we do use it during the day. Not for watching cartoons or anything but for watching Math, Latin and  Spanish lectures. Occasionally we will watch a documentary on a subject we are studying but more often than not it is for the lectures mentioned above.

Do you use technology in your homeschool? If you could only have 1 technology item what would you pick? For me I think it would be the computer because you can find so many things on it. The printer would be a close second but you can’t do much with a printer without something to print from :)

Be sure to stop by my blogging friends sites and see what they have to say today!

Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

Gena @ I Choose Joy!

Adena @ AdenaF

Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

beauty captured {14/365}

bc14

beautycaptured1final_zps2e99ad77

Wordless Wednesday collage

Wordless Wednesday FSlide

Essentials in Homeschooling ~ curriculum

homeschoolingessentials400x550_zps47e262c4

With so many choices out there it is easy to become completely overwhelmed! What learning style will you follow? Charlotte Mason, Relaxed, Classical, etc? Do you want to “boxed” program or are you going to piece your subjects together with different curriculum publishers?

A credit

If you have read this blog for awhile you will know that we are  homeschooling with a Classically Eclectic style. Does that mean we study Latin and memorize facts and tie it all together with rhetoric. Why, yes it does! Is it easy, not all the time, but it is worth it and I see the fruits of our labor as we are approaching high school graduation for our oldest daughter.

Now, we have had our struggles in these 5 short years of getting settled into our groove so to speak in regards to History curriculum. We, “ahem”, I have changed curriculum thinking one would be a better fit than the other. And I will say that at the time the switch was what we needed during our day. At the beginning 2014 we did, however, start the transition back to our original History/Literature curriculum, Sonlight, for all the girls. I have seen that the grass is not always greener on the other side and I am more determined than ever to make several Cores work for us in the fall of 2014.

I would encourage you whether you are just starting out or you’ve been at it for years to attend a homeschool conference. For me being surrounded by so many other like minded families, large and small, honestly refreshes my soul and helps me strive to do better for my girls.

HEAV

The vendor curriculum hall literally took my breathe away my very first year. The sheer volume of vendors and products to choose from is amazing. Now, I have learned to pace myself and try really hard not to make impulse buying. But hey, its going to happen and I would rather spend money on books or curriculum than other miscellaneous things.

Last year we attended our local state convention as a family and I loved that the girls were able to see that we were not in this small bubble of homeschoolers, there were thousands of people who share the same passion of educating their children at home. We were even lucky enough to see the graduation line up and one of our friends finish her schooling journey.

As I wrap up this post I wanted to tell you a few of our favorite curriculum providers. I am not an affiliate of any of the links below I just wanted to share with you what works in our schooling.

Sonlight

Classical Academic Press

Memoria Press

Rod & Staff

Homeschool Spanish Academy

Apologia

Saxon and ChalkDust Math

I hope you will join me again tomorrow and don’t forget to check out what some of my blogging friends have to say about their homeschooling essentials by visiting their links below.

Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

Gena @ I Choose Joy!

Adena @ AdenaF

Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

What’s your favorite curriculum to use in your homeschool?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

beauty captured {12/365}

bc12catnap with her ball and glove

beautycaptured1final_zps2e99ad77

Essentials in Homeschooling ~ support groups

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

This week I am participating in a blog hop with the TOS Review Crew speaking about what I think are Essentials in our homeschool. There are 88 other participates in this hop so do stop by some and read what their essentials are because we are all going to be different each day.

Today I wanted to touch on having a support system in place. Not everyone will agree with your decision to homeschool, but having a support system in place will make those rough times that much easier.

There will be days in which you wonder if you are doing the right thing?  Are your children learning enough? There will always be naysayers in life who tell you can’t do something or make you think twice. However, I can tell you from my experience that having someone you can talk to makes a huge difference.

I am blessed to have a wonderful support group of family and friends, both in real life and online. My Aunt Janice, also homeschools my cousin who is in the same grade as Madison.  We use the majority of the same curriculum, so its always nice to be able to FaceTime or talk on the phone about what’s working or not working.

I firmly believe that if you feel led by God that this is what He wants you to be doing for your children then He will see you through. Trust him to guide your paths. The rest of the week I am going to share with you about our:

Tuesday ~ Routines/Schedules

Wednesday ~ Curriculum

Thursday ~ Technology

Friday ~ Using the library/ books

Be sure to check out what some of my friends have to say are their essentials by visiting the links below and on the Review Crew blog. Be sure to come back tomorrow as I talk about our routine & schedule.

Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

Gena @ I Choose Joy!

Adena @ AdenaF

Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

Sunday, January 19, 2014

beauty captured {11/365}

bc11

Ready for some football!

AFC & NFC Championship games

beautycaptured1final_zps2e99ad77

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014