Hat Creek Ranch

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Emily hunted for Arrow heads and made a necklace from one.

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Dr. Who …




Stage Coach Ride!



The girls loved the native village tour

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Great day for a field trip!

First Week of School


Garden Sensory bin.We are doing Five in a Row book Peter Rabbit.


Back to School Pics! Aren’t they getting big? Grade 2 and Preschool.


Happy School Cake from Co-op.


Charlotte Mason and Workboxes go together now! So awesome for having Em know what she needs to do.


Grade 2 – Curriculum

Planning for grade 2 has been super difficult. We lost our beloved homeschool teacher and are switching to a new lady who seems very nice. We have changed our plans so many times already. I needed to decide what to do and how to teach. It took 2 years but I finally figured out that Emily’s learning style is auditory! This whole time I thought she was a hands on learner because she needs to touch everything. Yet all along she was an auditory learner who needed to touch everything. How exciting it is to finally know how to teach her.


So here is my plan!

Our main program will be Five in a Row. I can’t remember if I blogged about FIAR before and I’m too lazy to look, so it’s a program where you read a beautiful children’s book with rich vocabulary and imagery each day for 5 days and discuss different things about it each day. It encompasses all the subjects. Then you do little art projects or write about what you’ve learned or bake something related to the story. It’s a very beautiful way to learn and include Avery too.

Then we are doing Math Lessons for a Living Education! It’s Charlotte Mason Style math where there are plenty of stories to set up the usefulness of the math skill being taught. I’m very excited about this because Emily really needs to know the point of doing something. I know we will be reading Life of Fred books too!

We will be doing copywork of different quotes or Memory Verses from the day and working on spelling in them. Emily will read as much as possible and I’m going to read to her as much as possible. She is about at level 2 for reading and super into Calvin and Hobbes. Not my personal choice for her, but I’m content if she’s reading! I’ll have to add the book list we are going to work on later. Audio Books are becoming our best friends.

I am going to work at teaching Emily to have a strong discipline and deep joy for reading the bible in the mornings and praying on purpose. I’m not sure exactly how thats going to look yet, but I’m working on it.

We are going to stick with Story of the World for history and geography because it is simple to follow and Emily really enjoyed it. I love the style and it works for us. I really wanted to do Tapestry of Grace, but its just too big for us and really not the right style for Emily. We will do Heroes for Young Readers from YWAM too. She loves their missionary stories.

We are doing Apologia Astronomy for Science and continuing with our awesome Co-op for other Science lessons.

We are still using the Charlotte Mason Organizer and we’ve also made the switch to using a Workbox system for this year. I think it will help us keep motivated and give Emily a realistic expectation of how much work is to be done. I’m hoping it will include many more fun activities too! I haven’t fully decided how I’m going to do the system for Charlotte Mason Style, but I’m sure I’ll blog about it when we get there. Or at least blog about what isn’t working!

We will still have plenty of fidgit toys during reading and sensory bins to explore. I’m hoping to get a wiggle seat for Em for this year too.

Now that I have a pretty big plan set up, I’m excited for school to start. I love the lazy days of summer, don’t get me wrong, but this is going to be a great year!


Emily’s Birthday

For anyone who has actually read my blog all these years, I apologize for not blogging since last november!! To everyone else, no apologies just some lame excuses about business in parenting and a lack of nitroglycerin. nevermind.

Im feeling particularly whimsical today, so I felt like blogging. I miss blogging. I dont miss feeling the necessity to blog, but I miss writing silly things. Also I’ve stolen Morgans laptop and can type in peace and quiet rather than in the playroom with chaos. It turns out writing in chaos is chaotic. Maybe I’ll actually be able to work on my book. I’m halfway through the 4th edit! So here’s hoping!

It’s Emily’s birthday today. My big Girl is 7!!

I can’t believe she is so big already. She lost 3 teeth so far, which is super crazy for her being so sensitive. She has to wait until they are hanging on by a flea’s whisker before they can be pulled out. I finally bribed her with candy for the last one because it was grossing me out.

We’ve been working pretty hard on sensory and focus things with her at school and finally having success. Homeschooling is both the most rewarding thing we have tackled and one of the toughest things too. It certainly isn’t the walk in the park I was imagining when we started this whole journey a year and a half ago. I’m hoping to blog more about what things are working for her and what things aren’t so anyone who is looking for ideas might have somewhere to go!


Happy Birthday Emily!

Rainy Day Bakers

It has been raining for most of the past two weeks and I had been hanging on to summer, but then I realized I could hang on to rainy days and make the most of them instead! So we chucked together a crock pot soup and got to work on bread!

I decided to experiment with my Bread recipe from Dosi (an extra Grandma…we seem to collect them!)!

I added Dark Rye flour.  30% ish. Probably pretty heavy on the “ish”.

Then we went to work stirring and mixing and measuring and forgetting the oil…still worked!

I love homeschool practical things like teaching math with measuring cups. We still did our regular Math today too, but this way is so much more yummy!

I love making my kids help me with things that I know are a great part of a sensory diet and they just think are fun things.

I am sooo proud of my big girl. Both hands in the icky gooey dough and no freaking out at all! She has come so far from the girl who wouldn’t put a finger in playdough. If you haven’t read them yet, the “Out of Sync Child” and the “Out of Sync Child Has Fun” are super awesome for helping you figure out what sensory issues are the biggest problem and what to do about it! Read them and set up sensory diets! (special thanks to Leah for lending me those! and to her sister Jilly for the box of sensory sand!)

And the finished product was a very nice rainy day soup with bread and buns!


Five in a Row

We have long wanted to try doing a week of Five in a Row. It’s like a unit study based on a book. Basically a similar thing to what we did from Mr. Popper’s Penguins. So this week we tried it! We used the book “The Giraffe who walked to the King” by Judith St. George. That and a combination of resources from Homeschool Share.

Each day you read the story and then pull something different from it. For one of the days we studied geography and the places Zarafa traveled. Another day we talked about cultures and how they are different in different places. Emily right away picked up on the paper beaded necklaces some of the people were wearing in Africa so we had to figure out how to make some.

We had a new bible verse to study each day too and loads of neat facts to learn about giraffes. Every time I used the word ossicles, Emily corrected me and said “No mom, the cone shaped ears are called ossicones.” She also over uses the word “symbiotic” which always makes me snicker because Leah and I over used that word in high school.

Th only thing I didn’t love was the math aspect of  Five in a row. Mostly because I didn’t think it worked very well with the level she is at and I couldn’t make it work for that either.  I think the next “Row” we do will just use our Math-U-See instead. I found I could be VERY thorough on all her other subjects and I liked that.  My favorite part was that she liked it. I thought for sure she would get bored reading the same book five times, but I think she could have read it even more than that. I liked including Avery in many of the lessons too.  I think we will be doing many more “Rows”.

I am super proud of her giraffe drawing because she took a “how to draw…” picture of a horse and modified it for her giraffe.


Just to keep things exciting, in the home classroom, we’ve switched languages again! I consider it keeping Emily well rounded.

I picked up a Spanish Kids dictionary to help keep her excited about learning and try some new words out. I’m excited to try something new. I can hardly wait for next year when I get to try some new things again! I think one of the keys to helping a child learn a new language is modelling it. Like any other concept, if you do it, they will. I usually replace the words for “I want” and “I have” en Español and she picked that up without even knowing it was part of class. Now she asks if I want something of if she wants something and is using this weird kind of sign-spanglish. I doubt there is a term for it. I looked into Rosetta Stone for her, but she’s not quite there, so we will stick with a mixture for now.

Sensory Bin!

I made a toddler Sensory bin, and the girls have been enjoying it! Its full of letters, puff balls and bottle caps. Those and the usual tongs, spoons and little bags.

I love watching Avery dig in. After last weeks sensory couch fiasco, I figure, I need a bin with less dumpable stuff for a while!