Our 2013-2014 Curriculum Plan

2013_2014 curriculum

{This post contains a few affiliate links. Thank you for purchasing through my site!}

It is always a relief to get to this point every year, where the the courses are nailed down and the books are ordered! I will post a break-down of each subject and how I tackle each one in an upcoming post. I love to see how families work it all out!

We will add in our Theme of the Day Activities using this schedule:

  • Monday with the Masters
  • Creativity Tuesday
  • Around the World Wednesday
  • Poetry Tea Thursday
  • Nature Fun Friday

Our students: dd16 (11th), dd14 (9th), ds10 (5th), dd8 (3rd), dd4 (PreK)

Because I overlap curriculum for several ages, I am listing by subject instead of grade.

~ Bible ~

~ History ~

~ Geography ~

~ Science ~

~ Math ~

~ High School Electives ~

~ Writing ~

~ Grammar ~

~ Spelling ~

~ Lit/Reading ~

~ Handwriting ~

~ Pre-K ~

Note: We don’t complete all of these free lessons. I pick & choose whatever goes with our studies.  Didn’t want you to think we homeschool 24/7! ;)


We are here! We are here! We are HERE!



Those of you whole follow me on Facebook know that we just made a HUGE transition by moving from the Dallas area to the Tampa Bay area.

The past year has been a long, hard road for our family. We went into business with a friend 3 years ago and discovered (too late) that we did not have the same vision for the company. Our partner wanted out at all costs and we sadly closed the doors at the first of the year.

We have had to deal with exhaustion due to 70+ hour work weeks, a broken friendship, and untruths being spread about why the company closed. We are choosing to hold our heads high and keep our mouths closed, because anyone who really knows my husband will hopefully not believe what is being said about him.

Since the beginning, we have been praying for God to reveal His will and leave us with only one open door. He has shown Himself time and time again throughout our journey. It has been so encouraging to us, and to the many who have been praying alongside us, to see His plan unfold.


5 minutes from our house!

A job, a move, a house, a new church home … all of these things were placed in front of us through no pursuit of our own. I never dreamed that I would be pulling up my Texas roots and replanting them in Florida. Or that my kiddos would joyfully agree! Such is the grace and mercy of the Father.

I feel like we are in a whole new country, not just a few states over. We have bananas growing in our front yard!


bananas! in my front yard!!

And a flock of whatever-these-are birds stops by for breakfast every morning.


what are these?

We are loving our new adventure, and I am excited to get to share it with you!

This post is linked up to View From My Porch

Philosophy Adventure Giveaway

Philosophy Adventure set

Funny Girl will soon be starting her third year of high school, and it will be Ms. Creativity’s first.

There are so many wonderful curriculum options available these days that we have had a fairly easy time fulfilling graduation requirements. I do have a few blanks to fill in though, one of which is that tricky speech credit. 

When offered the opportunity to help launch Philosophy Adventure™–Pre-Socrates from Home School Adventure Co., I decided to first take a peek at the samples on the website. I then raced to fill out the review application!

Philosophy Adventure™–Pre-Socrates teaches 6th-12th graders how to write skillfully, think critically, and articulate clearly by studying the history of philosophy and the origins of ideas. They will learn how to cultivate and defend a biblical worldview.

**This is just an intro! I will be doing an in-depth review in August.**

Stacy Farrell, the author, has three goals for this curriculum. There is no question in my mind that she achieved them:


  • This is one of the pretty textbooks I’ve seen. The colorful layout and images are like a mini museum.
  • Each lesson is divided into short sections that are packed with information – just enough to bite off & chew on before moving on to the next idea or assignment.
  • The writing is like sitting at the feet of a storyteller.

Easy to Use

  • Clear pronunciation is given for all of those strange ancient names.
  • Every philosopher has a sidebar listing things like famous works and contemporaries.
  • Assignments are very specific and broken down into baby steps (if needed).


  • This one excites me the most! Stacy Farell has such a gentle way of encouraging excellence from her students, like reminding them to be prayerful about being ready to give an answer, or giving permission to write a “terrible” first draft. Her writing whispers, “You can do it!”.

Philosophy Adventure{Sample Lesson}

There are several formats available:

  • Complete Set with Resources CD ($89.95)
  • Reader with Resources CD ($69.95)
  • Digital Edition of reader & Resources all on CD ($49.95)
  • Digital Download ($39.95)

To celebrate the launch of Philosophy Adventure™–Pre-Socrates, I get to give away a digital download of the Complete Set –>
Reader, Student Workbook, & Teacher Resource!!
{Giveaway is open to anyone and ends Thursday, June 6th}


Want more chances to win? Click the blue guy to visit the rest of the launch team!

“If philosophy is the love of wisdom, then Philosophy Adventure is a course to love for your teen children. This captivating overview of pre-Socratic philosophers not only will help instill a love for knowledge and wisdom in your child’s heart and mind, but even more it will fuel the growing flames of faith and Christian worldview at a critical point in your child’s life.

“What makes this course especially distinctive is its trust in the Christian student—encouraging your child to interact with all knowledge (the history and views of philosophers who have shaped thinking), and then helping them to ‘make a defense…for the hope that is in you’ from Scripture and reason. Thoughtfully-designed writing, thinking, and speaking exercises biblically equip your child to make their beliefs their own. Beautifully-designed interior pages make philosophy both more appealing and easier to learn.

“This is the kind of wholehearted learning that fueled our own family’s love of learning. I heartily recommend this adventure.”

—Clay Clarkson
Whole Heart Ministries
Author of Educating the WholeHearted Child


To the Cross I Cling

Weekly Scriptures to Print


You can find a new beautiful printable scripture every Wednesday over at French Press Mornings!

{Be sure to click over to her post before pinning :)}

Take Time for the Birth of Jesus

M Book Set

The Christmas Season has a way of rushing past in a multi-color blur!
We must be intentional if we want to focus on the true gift of the season.

Grapevine Studies provides an easy, affordable way to slow down and celebrate The Birth of Christ with your children.
All you need to know is how to draw simple stick figures!

Here are a few ideas to make some memories with your study:

Put up your nativity scene little by little, each day adding the piece that matches your study.

Make a book out of your stick figures and give it to a grandparent.

Act out the bible story using your pictures as a script- even non-readers can participate!

Select a few of your favorite images and cut them out. Add them to some garland, or decorate a small tree.

Write some of your favorite verses from the study on strips of red & green paper and glue together to make a chain.

Would you like to win one?
One of my wonderful readers will win a copy of The Birth of Jesus ebook!!

Click on the giveaway button below to enter.
This is going to be a short & sweet giveaway, so don’t dilly-dally!
Ends 12/13

christmas giveaway

Moms, Are You Weary? Giveaway

bone-deep tired … hopeless … overwhelmed … angry … guilty … empty … lonely … battle-scarred … bitter … disappointed … broken … resentful … WEARY

Can you relate to any of those words?

Of course you can, you are human.

But there is Hope for the Weary Mom! I loved this devotional for tired mommas because I realized that I am not the only one who has THOSE days!! You know, the days when: baby is cranky, the older kids are arguing, you are out of that one ingredient to finish dinner, & there is no Calgon to take you away!

{Sometimes it is not just a day. Life has a way of flipping upside-down and looking nothing like you imagined. We experienced this many years ago when we lost our Elijah to Leukemia. But we have HOPE in the One who heals broken hearts and replaces dark days with Joy!}

Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGloughlin have a passion for encouraging burned-out Mommas. They have expanded their wonderful eBook and added study questions for each chapter. What a blessing it would be to go through this with friends and encourage each other in your Mommy ministry!

Being a Weary Mom is not the life that God has planned for you. He has redeemed you and restored you. Let His Grace flow freely and fill you up!

Would you like to win a pdf of Hope for the Weary Mom?
Just fill out the form below & submit!
Giveaway ends Sunday, November 11th

{You can also purchase Hope for the Weary Mom in Print or for Kindle}

Giveaway closed!!

I received a free ebook for my honest review. No other compensation was given.

What’s in the Bible? Review & Coupon Code

I kept seeing ads for the new What’s in the Bible? series, but I didn’t really give it much thought. It was when I started reading rave reviews on trusted blogs that my interest level rose a bit. I jumped at the chance to review Volume1!

What’s in the Bible? is created by Phil Vischer, of Veggie Tales fame. Unlike the silly Veggie Tales stories, this series walks through the Bible and shows how all of the characters fit together into one redemptive story.

Make no mistake, this series is ridiculous..and we loved it!

This is pretty much how it went the night we watched: An odd little character would appear onscreen and sing an odd little song – -we would look at each other with eyebrows raised, saying phrases like “What in the world?” and  “That is so bizarre!” – – then, after a moment of silence, we would burst out laughing!!

All silliness aside, the kids were actually learning something…important things! I even learned a thing or two about church history.

The What’s in the Bible? site has lots of great activities:

Some of the viewpoints on free will didn’t really mesh with what we teach, but we used it as a conversation starter to reinforce what and why we believe.

We liked them so much that I bought the whole series. And since they go along with the free Bible Roadtrip study that we are doing, I can justify the cost as part of our curriculum budget. ;)

Speaking of cost, I have a 20% off coupon code to share with you, with free shipping on orders over $15!

<<Click Here for Coupon Code>>

Have fun learning your Bible!!

I was selected for participation in this review and given the What’s in the bible DVD as a member of The Homeschool Lounge Review Team. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Things Get Exciting with Esther

My kids LOVE the story of Esther!

It has all the makings of a great adventure: a queen-in-training, bravery, suspense, secret plots, saving the kingdom

And running through it all is the thread of Faithfulness.

Esther teaches us that God has a plan, and we have a purpose. We must not be afraid to do what is right, and what we are called to do.

Grapevine Studies makes it easy to share the story of Esther with your family by simply drawing colorful stick figures. The Teacher Book has step-by-step instructions, making this an open-&-go curriculum.

Grapevine Studies has several Old Testament and New Testament studies that offer a fun way to teach Bible as a part of your homeschool, or to do as a family during an evening devotional time.

Take a look at how our family uses Grapevine Studies before bedtime.

Some of the studies have multiple levels. Here is some info from the website to help you choose a level that is a perfect fit for your family:

  • The Beginners program focuses on the main accounts of the Bible. Beginners draw two drawings per page.
  • Level 1 students are introduced to the Bible timeline and continue to learn about the major characters and events of the Bible. Level 1 students draw four drawings per page.
  • Level 2 students read more Scripture and memorize additional Bible facts. In addition to memory verses, Level 2 students also learn: Books of the Old Testament, Ten Commandments, Twelve Sons of Jacob, Books of the New Testament, The Twelve Apostles, The Apostles Creed
  • Level 3 students learn basic biblical geography and read more Scripture than the previous levels. The stick figures for Level 3 are more detailed, adding names of people and cities.
  • Level 4 students learn where the books of the Bible fit into the Bible timeline. Students also learn how to use Bible study tools including a Bible concordance, Bible dictionary, and topical Bible.
  • Level 5 studies are self-directed and do not include stick figures. In Level 5, students use inductive Bible study skills and do hands-on projects and research topics related to each lesson.

Do you have kids in multiple levels? The Level 3-4 teacher manual can also be used to teach Levels 1 and 2 by simplifying the drawings and using the Scripture reading from the oldest student book you are teaching.

Look for the purple box under each book to view a sample.

Order by August 31st & get 20% off your entire order with the code: 12BlogSun

Stick figure your way through the Bible with Grapevine Studies!!

I received a free Esther eBook for this review as a member of the Grapevine Studies Blog Team. No other compensation was given.

Strong Women

I am surrounded by strong, Godly women: my mom, my mother-in-law, my aunt, my sister, my sisters-in-law. My daughters!

I realize what a blessing it is!!

Hubby & I were talking the other day about the beauty of God’s family and it got me starting thinking about all of the Strong Women who have touched my life over the years. Their influence has been priceless.

I was a senior in high school when I met Susan. Her husband Jack was our new youth minister and everyone instantly fell in love with her. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Because there were always kids terrorizing hanging around her house, she would just carry on with her household tasks. She showed me how she folded her towels so that they would fit in a narrow cabinet – I have folded my towels that way for 20 years now!

I met Jenny for the first time when I walked into her house for my wedding shower. (She was the wife of my fiance’s boss.) They were known at church as The Family with All Those Little Kids – a whopping FOUR adorable stair-steppers! When I was a young mom, Jenny was my encourager. She told me to view it as the Terrific Twos and not the Terrible Twos.  Invaluable!!

Amy and I worked together at a Christian bookstore. She was a little younger than me and customers often thought we were sisters. We spent our days chatting away about everything under the sun. I was raised in a conservative, sometimes narrow-minded denomination and (if I remember correctly) she was Pentecostal. I was shocked to discover that we held to many of the same Truths. She never knew (until now!) that she started me on my spiritual journey. I don’t even recognize the person I was then, though I wouldn’t change it if I could.

Angela & I became friends when we shared a room with a mutual friend at a Ladies Retreat. She was the first of my friends to have a baby and I will never forget visiting her in the hospital. I walked in the door and she immediately placed baby Sarah in my arms. I felt so honored! Angela has taught me what it is to be a fighter. She is fiercely loyal and deeply compassionate.

I met Tiersa at my wedding reception, not knowing then that we would be fast friends just a few years later. She is my Soul Sister. We had fun teaching preschool together, and meeting anywhere that had a playground so that we could sneak in a Bible study. She moved away, and though we still keep in touch via Facebook, there are some days that my heart longs for her company.

I can’t imagine what my life would look like had I never met Beverly. Her husband Rick was our new preacher. She taught me to be a warrior for my kids. I have heard her say at least 100 times that we have to be INTENTIONAL with our children. Beverly whispered words of encouragement to me through our son’s illness, not knowing that years later she would journey through the same darkness with the loss of her daughter. She continues to glorify God as He calls her to speak about their grief and tell her story.
“God has called our family to do hard, so we do hard.” ~Beverly Ross

Mary is my biggest cheerleader (outside of my family)! She is a Type-A June Cleaver Superwoman. We could not be more different. :)  Her children are grown & out of the house, and she relishes her new role as Nana. We have spent many years partnered in Women’s Ministry and know that we can rely on each other. She takes her role as an elder’s wife seriously as she encourages, advises, and instructs those of us who are in the midst of motherhood.

And then there is Kelli. She was a young mom & homeschooler when our paths first crossed. We are very different, yet very much the same. We no longer live near each other, but she still regularly impacts my life. She uses her gift of writing to stretch my faith and shower grace upon my thoughts. I am a better mother because she challenges me.

I am offering up these glimpses to encourage you to be a Strong Woman.      To show you that it doesn’t take much to change someone’s life.

Gently give some needed advice … Pour God’s word out over those you love … Cheer on sisters who are not as far along in their journey as you!!

Be Strong Women