Homeschooling is taking over my brain! I can hardly think about anything else these days. Which means it'll probably also be taking over my blog... *ahem*

I'm so excited to get started! Well, that's not entirely true. We have started a little already. Formal schooling, that is. Children are always learning. :)

Things we've been doing more formally are maths (don't you love how the Brits and Aussies call math "maths"?) and a little writing/spelling. Oh, and Circle Time. My girls love Circle Time.

Circle Time (sometimes called Morning Time) is a time, usually first thing in the morning, when the family learns together. Here's a great post from Brandy and whole series on it from Cindy. For our Circle Time right now we do Swedish Drills (exercise), poetry and Bible reading. Soon we'll add Hymns, artist and composer study.

Speaking of mathS, up until recently, I'd been having trouble deciding on a math program to use. There are just so many to choose from. I had it narrowed down to Math-U-See, Singapore or Saxon. Mostly because, in the circles I run in, those are the most common.

Then I came across this post from Brandy where she mentions MEP (Mathematics Enhancement Programme). I checked into it and that's what we're going to use. The things that I like about it, based on what others are saying, are:
  • it's cyclical,
  • it incorporates logic into the teaching, 
  • it's scripted, which is good for someone like *me* who struggled with math from day one, 
  • and it's FREE. Well, it's free except for the paper and ink you pay for to print the worksheets and teacher manuals. But you don't have to print everything. I'm printing it all for now until I get more comfortable with the program.
To be honest, figuring out how to teach MEP seemed a little daunting at first--there are many documents to wade through. But after reading this post, MEP 101, from Jeanne at A Peaceful Day and this one from Fisher Academy I feel more confident. I've also joined the Yahoo group and of course, the AO Forum is a huge help. So much help is available and I'm so grateful!

We did the first two lessons yesterday and it went well. I think she "gets" math (a lot more than I did at this age!) so I'm hoping MEP will be a good fit for her and the others, when the time comes. I'll try to remember to keep you posted.

Along with MEP we're going to do Life of Fred. Life of Fred is more of a living book and from what I understand LoF is great at helping children to see and understand math on whole new level. Here's an excerpt from their website (in case you didn't click over):
"These books are designed to make your child THINK!.....They learn to apply to current questions the concepts previously taught. Upon completion they will understand how math works, why it works, and how to apply it. They will know the formulas and how to apply them in real-life situations, not just situations created for a textbook."
So there you have it! More than you EVER wanted to know about what we'll be doing for maths! ;)

Now I'm off to print some more worksheets..


Weekend Links

I thought these were interesting. A little extreme, but I think that's the point?
~How to Raise a Future Victim of Abuse in 20 Easy Steps &
~How to Raise a Future Abuser in 20 Easy Steps 

Via this post from Amongst Lovely Things, I was able to listen to this wonderful talk by Cindy Rollins of Ordo Amoris regarding Morning Time. It was SO informative! If you have a basket or two of laundry to fold (and are homeschooling), I highly recommend giving it a listen. 

Seeing Children as Persons -- Charlotte Mason Institute

If you have Amazon Prime you might know how annoying it is to search for and find a book. Well, this post from Modern Mrs. Darcy has a list of good books that are available through Prime. VERY helpful!

Happy weekend!

With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” ~Isaiah 6:7


7 Quick Takes: Six Months, School and Spring

My girls are ages 5 and 3. This means that it takes approximately 2 hours for them to get dressed every. morning. I try to be a nice mom and let them pick out their own clothes, but then it turns into a fashion show. A fashion show that we don't necessarily have time for. Anyone have any advice?

Spring is finally here and it makes my heart do a little happy dance every morning. The end.

Mr. N and I were looking at selling our home and buying one in the country, but after looking at the homes that are available in our price range and finding nothing even close to what we'd like and the market being what it is, we've decided to put moving on hold for now. I've also realized that where we're at right now (a tiny, quiet town with a great park and a wonderful library down the street) isn't so bad. ;)

I'm a part of a Beth Moore study at church and we're doing the Breaking Free study. It is fantastic! I just love Beth Moore. At the risk of sounding cheesy, she really makes God's Word come alive and I just. love. it. I'm so looking forward to going through this and growing closer to the Lord.

I've started planning for our school year coming up this Fall (actually Summer--I think we're going to start in August and do school year-round with little breaks every 6 weeks or so.) I'm super excited to start and am so thankful for the great curriculum provided by Ambleside Online. It's all I want to talk about these days!

I can't believe my Little Man is SIX MONTHS OLD. Sheesh! That went fast. I absolutely LOVE this age. He's rolling around on the floor like a mad-man, "talking" and giggling so much, and we're really starting to see his personality shine through. What a blessing he is!

I have a great stack of books just waiting for me to dig in, including A Long Way Down, Excellent Woman and Crazy Busy but it seems like I'm having less and less time to read! The irony's not lost on me with that last title, by the way.

 For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


One In, One Out

We've had a few Firsts around here lately. It's been kind of fun. :)

One Out: Oldest lost her first tooth on Sunday, the 23rd!

Someone asked her about the Tooth Fairy and she immediately responded with a smile, "The tooth fairy's not real." We have never told her that, but I think because we don't "believe" in Santa Claus, she just assumed the Tooth Fairy was made up, too. Funny girl!

We have neither confirmed or denied the existence of The Tooth Fairy, so she's still on the fence. :) I think we'll just keep her guessing on this one.

One In: Secondly, I noticed Baby's first tooth two days ago!

He's been gnawing on anything he can get his hands on (mostly his hands, actually) for months now. I bought him an amber teething necklace to help with the pain several months ago and as far as I can tell, it works? One can never really know with babies. It can't hurt though!

I've also started giving him some food. He doesn't love it. That's ok though. For now, it's just practice anyway. We've tried bananas, avocados and a few kinds of baby food that we were given. I don't buy baby food because it's easier just to mash up what we're eating :) Cheaper, too. Here's a great website on feeding your baby and sort of how we go about things--Baby Led Weaning.


See the look on his face? Not interested at. all.

But if I can get you to smile...

HA! Gotcha!

Hey! That's not nice!

More? Nope. I'm done.

Can I get you to smile again?

Gotcha again!

Are we still friends?


Man, I love this baby.


Weekend Links

Here are a few of my favorite posts from around the web from last week. Happy weekend!

May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. 
~Numbers 6:25

I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical (found this via Generation Cedar)

Cookie Cutter Christian - Visionary Womanhood

Printable / Weather Lacing Cards - Wild Olive

Why I Don't Design My Own CM Curriculum - Afterthoughts

Kids Were Here - Angela Strand -- I just LOVE this idea. I'm hoping to join in!

my laundry helpers


The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller -- One of the best and shortest books I've read. Maybe ever. I've been chewing on it's message ever since I finished it a month ago.

He refers to 1 Corinthians 4:1-4 a lot in the book:

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

What if we NEVER thought of (or judged) OURSELVES? Can you even imagine what that would be like? No, you can't. Because you're human. I can't either. Because, I, too am human and not perfect. But I think it's a good goal.

I've been mulling it over in terms of what it means in some areas of my life lately, especially online, because that's where it's so easy to portray yourself as something you're not.

It's also so easy over-think everything. (Online and not.) Should I have "liked" that comment? Should I have posted that? Should I comment on that!? Etcetera! Etcetera! It becomes so much about ME, ME, ME!

I've lain (laid??) awake at night going over and over something stupid I've said to someone hoping that they weren't offended. Anyone else do that? What a waste of time and energy. I usually end up finding out that that person never gave my comment a second thought.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ~Matthew 6:7

And really, it just boils down to pride. 

I'm so concerned about "what they might think of me!" When instead, my thoughts should be of other people. Period. Not what other people think of me. Sigh. I'll get there someday maybe. Here's hoping!
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17 (emphasis mine)
This short, little book has left a big impression on me. Catherine at A Spirited Mind has a much more eloquent review of it, if you're interested. :)

Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

The Kindle version of this book is only $1.62!! And if you buy it through that link, I get a small, small commission. :) Thanks for supporting our family!