Thursday, August 27, 2015

THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   


That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

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- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
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That Friday Blog Hop

Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome To Third Grade

Can you believe the new school year is here? Summer sure went by fast! So much happened over the summer and it wasn't all that great. But that is ok. Just so much stress from moving. That killed the summer pretty much. But I'm back trying to get into the swing of things again. Trying to balance the kids, unpacking, the husband's schedule, no sleep, school, and everything life has thrown in and out around here.

I miss blogging. I hope to be able to post regularly again. I miss my readers and reading all of your blogs. That sure hasn't happened in so long I feel like I have so much catching up to do. But anyway, this was our first week back to school. And guess what?! I have a third grader this year. Third grade! Can you believe it? Seems like yesterday my little girl was born and such a tiny little baby. And now here she is, growing up before my eyes.

Our new school year started on Tuesday August 18. This year, we are going to try to get into the better swing of things as this is now our second year homeschooling. So I have an idea of what did and didn't work for us last year and a bit more knowledge in the game. So that is helpful. Plus I have found more friends and communities that are super helpful and that is a big plus!

We have decided to do a four day week this year instead of a five day week, like we did last year. My daughter decided she wanted to add more subjects per day to open up her Fridays for her own time or for any makeup work we need to do. I liked the idea as it would help me out as well. So here is the schedule we have come up with. So far, I have printed schedules for August and September. The rest of the months will get done soon as well.


 
I came up with a great idea to try out this year as well. You can see it in the September calendar and it will continue through May. Once a month, I am allowing one full week off of my schedule for school to allow my daughter to choose a schedule for us to do. This is not a week long break or vacation. This is going to still be four full days of school but she gets to choose the topics and projects we do instead of me. It can be something we have already learned about or something she wants to learn about and we haven't gotten to it yet. Whatever she chooses, I hope this makes her spark some new interests in things and has a really fun week learning her own way and methods.

So I decided to label that week as "open studies". It will vary each month what days but I figured it would be a nice break in the middle of the month for her to stop our usual thing and try something new. It may or may not work. But we shall see. You never know until you try, right?

So these are a general outline of what we are to cover each day. I then have broken it down and planned out detailed assignments for each subject. I decided this year to try out a digital planner which I have never before. Last year, I created my own that I printed out and wrote on in a binder. This year I'm doing it all digital. So this first week was a trip trying out what seemed like hundreds of planners until I decided to use LessonTrek. Since they were running a special over the summer to grab a lifetime free membership {normally $60/year}, I jumped at the chance to score it for free. And so far, I do like it. It took me some time to get going with it and figuring it out. But I do like it.

Another thing I like about it which I found almost every planner online I tried did not have, was a space to input minutes. Since my state requires 1000 hours of learning per year, I need to keep a log of how many minutes/hours we have worked on our studies. And LessonTrek had a space just for that which is nice. I wish they added up the time for you after you fill it in, but that is ok. I can do that myself. As long as I have it somewhere I can see it and not forget to put it in, I'm totally ok with adding them up myself each week.

I'm slowly learning it but this is what I have done so far with it. I zoomed out as small as I could without making it too small to see. But you get the idea of how I am trying to plan. It's still a bit new but I feel I'm getting more of the hang of it. Homeschooling is tough. I never imagined how crazy coming up with lesson plans and a curriculum would ever be.


We have some work to do this Friday only because with a new schedule, a new school year, and two little ones that constantly distract us...we still need to get in the groove of things and by next week, should have everything figured out to get things done on their scheduled days to leave Fridays open. Next week we will have Monday all filled in as well. Since we started on Tuesday, there was no need to fill anything in for this week.

I also set up a small area in the dining room for our school room. I put a chalkboard on the wall and a problem solving poster so far. I still have to hang up our dry erase board too. But I have all of our books and school supplies on a shelf next to the table and trying to still get things organized and unpacked in here. Boxes still take up the walls. We originally looked at a house we were hoping to get that had an extra room we were going to solely use for school but we weren't able to get that house. So we got another almost identical one, but it didn't have the extra room. So our dining room is now our school room for now.

Also, something else great about back to school {or homeschool} is new clothes. The kids love new clothes. But hey, I do too LOL .... anyway, so this year I found a really great site that has quality clothes and 40% funds school programs for kids. It's called Schoola {referral link}. Have you heard of it before? I hadn't until I just seemed to come across it a couple of weeks ago. So I decided to give it a try. And was so glad I did. I found some really cute clothes for my kids and they even have adult clothes too.

How it works is people donate clothes. Gently used or brand new and then Schoola puts them on their site to be purchased for a really great deal. Then a portion of a sale goes to a school to help kids keep their programs and help the schools out. I love things helping out education. I'm big into that so this site really rocked my socks.

I found a really good deal that I'll share with you. I ended up with $25 worth of clothes {four items total} and only paid $0.84  .... now tell me that isn't a deal. And my kids love their new clothes. Here is how I did it .... 

Just sign up for a free account at Schoola, and you’ll receive a FREE $15 credit. Create a custom collection, you’ll receive another free $10 credit. When you enter the promotional code GEARUP at checkout, you’ll also receive free shipping. So, between the free credit and the free shipping, you should be able to pick up at least 2-3 items of clothing for FREE!

Here is one of the dresses I snagged for my daughter. Came just in time for our first day of school. Isn't she adorable in it? And it fits her perfectly and the color is beautiful on her as well. 


So we are all set for our journey into third grade. For those of you that have kids, when did they/do they start school this year and what grade are they in? I will be sharing soon our science projects we have done this week on the water cycle in another blog post coming soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   


That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, fill out this form
That Friday Blog Hop

Saturday, August 08, 2015

I Haven't Left Just Yet, Just Buried Under Boxes

Yes, I haven't disappeared... though it would appear to be that I have. I am still here. It's been really quiet on here and all my social media pages. Why? Because we have been moving. Yes, moving..ugh dare I say that word? You may find this crazy but we move almost every year. The longest we have ever stayed in a place was two years.

You probably think I'm crazy. But it is true. I crave change. I think that has to do with the fact that I grew up an Army brat moving aorund the world constantly. When my parents retired, it made me feel almost clostraphibic to stay in a place for more than a year. I lived in my parents new home for three years {which is the longest I have ever lived in a place} until I graduated high school and moved off to Florida for college.

After college, I have been moving just about every year ever since. It's just something I have to do. I love the change and excitement of something and somewhere new. I am glad the husband doesn't mind and goes along with it. Though I love moving....I absolutely hate the process of moving. It sucks!

This is the first time I have been able to sit down and blog in such a long time. I had been packing so much in July and we spent so much time going around looking at places. I never had enough time. Especially with the kids... moving is a lot harder and more of a demand when the kids are unpacking faster than you are packing up those boxes.

Then we finally found a place and I spent a week cleaning the new place before we started to move our stuff in. It took one week and three different Uhaul trucks but we got everything in. And now, I have been having the joy of unpacking everything. Such a nightmare I tell you. 

We moved into a smaller house so of course, that even makes it more fun trying to put everything somewhere and nothing will go anywhere. The husband suggested we just throw everything away. I'm pretty much on that same page at this point. I swear, I spend hours and hours each and everyday and it feels nothing is getting done. I open a box, look through it....think where am I supposed to put this stuff?....pack it back up and push it aside...ugh the joys of moving.

Not to mention, there are so many things wrong with our place at the moment...we have had people in and out all week looking and fixing things. The kids have to sleep in the living room since there was a leak before we moved in and flooded their rooms. Now the carpet is torn up trying to dry out the floor boards so nothing can be put away or done to the back rooms at the moment.

 
I guess it could be worse. I could be this guy. Which is kind of how I feel right now anyway LOL so that isn't good.

But I'm trying to make due with everything. So our wifi wasn't on for a bit which also was a reason I wasn't on posting. But now we are back up and running... so yea!

The one thing lately that has been driving me crazy is that I cannot find our school stuff. I marked the boxes and have found all of last years school things...but where the crap are this years? I seriously cannot write up my lesson plans or go through our books and worksheets and it's driving me crazy. School starts in a week and I'm a total mess trying to figure out which freaking box this is in and where it's hiding from me at. I know it's being evil and playing mind games with me just cause it knows I need to locate it that bad. Ugh the stress of all this. Though I decided I will have to push back our start date if I can't locate the box in time. 
 
I know it has to be here somewhere....I only have about 80 million boxes left to go through. I'm bound to find it sooner or later LOL. I just feel I haven't gotten dressed in forever. All I do is unpack boxes all day until I cry in pain cause my feet hurt. Then wait til the next day.

The kids love it though. They get so excited to throw everything out of the boxes {which I don't like} because everything is fun to touch and play with {even though it's really not}.

We have actually never really unpacked since we left college. So this is a bit overwhelming. I have been finding so many things I forgot I had or even existed. Since we move so much, we never wanted to unpack fully because we knew we would just have to box it all back up again. 

So our garage has always been filled top to bottom with boxes everywhere...year after year after year going untouched or looked through. Well, since we have a smaller place and now no garage...guess what! Everything needs to be unpacked and a place found for it. Which is not going so well. But I have to make it work somehow...there will be a way.

This is actually a good thing though, even though it feels like a punishment....
Now we will be forced to get rid of the old junk and have less stuff for when we move again next time. So that is the good thing about it. But it's just so hard to figure out what to dump. I see everything and think I could use this for that or this and so on... however, I've been trying hard to not do that and toss it.

My daughter and I decided we were going to donate all her old clothes and other things like books and toys to our local children's shelter. It's called Rainbow House and it is a shelter for homeless and abused children. I think this will be a great thing for my daughter to help out and she is very happy and wants to help kids her age who aren't as lucky as she is. So we will be taking things over there that they need or could use.

So don't think I have abandoned you all. Things have just been pretty crazy around here. I hope soon, we get settled into our new place and I can get back to regular life and blogging as well.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   


That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, fill out this form
That Friday Blog Hop