Saturday, July 1, 2017

Curriculum Choices 2017-2018

Hello, friends!

Since I love reading about all things homeschooling, especially curriculum, I thought I'd share our 2017-2018 curriculum choices. I hope to do separate reviews of each of these choices in the future.

We homeschool year-round, and so this week is the beginning of my boys' 5th and 6th grade years. Most subjects we do together and I simply tweak as needed for each boy's strengths, weaknesses, attention span, etc.

Math: We will be finishing Singapore Math Primary 4B, and then working through 5A and 5B. I anticipate my sixth grader also getting through most of 6A. This is one area where the boys are beginning to work separately.

Language Arts: Oh, how I have struggled to find LA that seems effective, efficient, and enjoyable for my boys! I think we may have finally hit on a good combo with:
  • Spelling: After trying All About Spelling and Sequential Spelling, both boys are finally doing well with Apples and Pears. We are in Book B and complete 2-5 lessons per week. I also use this as practice for handwriting and writing conventions.
  • Grammar, Vocabulary, Poetry, and Writing: I really, really struggled with understanding why grammar was important and how to teach it. When I learned it in school and as I used different grammar programs with my boys, it simply seemed to be a set of disconnected rules to memorize. My autistic son was utterly unable to understand the simplest parts of speech. And then.....drumroll, please......we found Michael Clay Thompson. We are doing the complete Town level program, excepting the literature (although I may decide to incorporate that as well.) This is the most effective part of our homeschool curriculum, and I am so glad I found it. 
  • Reading/ Literature: And, well...this is the one language arts area I have not settled on yet. Right now, we are using Sonlight readers as our main reading program, but I may tweak it considerably: swap out books, shorten some, add different questions. My younger son is an outstanding reader and can whiz through most of the readers, while my older son struggles with reading and comprehension. We get some reading instruction done through our vocab and poetry curriculum, but not enough. And I still like the idea of integrating history with reading, and fostering that love of reading. So stay tuned on this one!
Science: Science in the Beginning, by Dr. Jay Wile.

Bible: Apologia's Who is God? with some notebooking journal assignments. My older son may also do the Sonlight Bible readings and memory work, while during the traditional school year younger son works on his badges for Boys' Brigade.

History/ Geography: We are finishing Sonlight's Core D, and should work all the way through Core E, which covers American history. While I love Sonlight, it is expensive and possibly more time-consuming than is doable for us. So I may be tweaking this one as well.

Foreign language: I am still deciding if this is a worthwhile addition to our studies. If we go for it, we will try Memoria Press First Form Latin. The boys may also try the modern language of their choice on Duolingo.

We use the Anki program for all subjects, which is the most effective method I have found for memory work, as well as Xtra Math for math facts.

The boys requested "specials" from their public school days, so we will be doing physical education, music, art, library, and technology classes weekly. I'll use various resources for each of those.

 So there you have it: our current plan for 5th and 6th grades!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tea Cup Exchange Reveal (a little bit late!)

Hi, Friends!
I am....ahem...a little late on revealing what a beautiful tea cup my exchange partner sent me. 
I must confess that I have been so anxious that I was late doing this post, that I almost didn't do it at all! I felt guilty and worried, and was just driving myself crazy!

But then...

I clicked again on beautiful  Stephanie's blog, went to the reveal page, and began perusing.
And ladies? Can I just tell you what a blessing you all are?

Through all the gracious exchanges, and friendly words, and beautiful friendships and notes, I felt my worry dissipate, and realized how privileged I was to be able to participate with such a lovely group.

I am sorry this is late - I hope I may still participate again if I am able, and truly want you all to know what a blessing it is to get to know you all, and to read through all your words!

Now, onto the wonderful package the lovely Cindy from Creations by Cindy sent me!

First off - the beautiful rose cup and coaster. 
So pretty and feminine and I love roses! 
I enjoy using this mug every day during my little homeschooling breaks - a little mini-treat in the middle of the day!

 Cindy also sent me lots of little gifts along with the mug!

My absolute favorite is that gorgeous floral box...I am not sure I have ever owned anything so pretty. It is very sturdy, with a smooth metal latch and handle. 
I plan on keeping my stationary in it, and will think of Cindy every time I see it.

 So many wonderful little treasures in that treasure box:
The most delicious smelling black tea - it scented the whole package, and even now when I open my cabinet, I inhale that wonderful aroma. I'll be sad when I drink the last of it!

Delicious chocolate that my sons gladly helped me eat up, more tea, some bright and cheerful tea towels, many little bookmarks and note cards with messages from Cindy, and a terrific little devotional by Henry Blackaby.

I was truly blessed by your gifts, Cindy....thank you so much!

I was also privileged to send a package to Oliva of Oliva's Creative can see what I sent her at the link. I had so much fun reading through Oliva's blog and trying to find things that she would enjoy - it was my favorite part of this whole experience.

Thank you so much, ladies!

Have a blessed day, my friends!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bits of Spring

Do you see the buds?

God's love is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass.
-Ellen G. White

The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
-Joel 2:22

Precious friends, I pray that you feel God's love through every bit of spring popping up around you!
Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tea Cup and Mug Exchange

I am delighted to share with you a wonderful exchange hosted by the lovely Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose . Sweet Stephanie's blog has been such an encouragement to me, and her beautiful example inspires me to make this blog a place of peace, worship and encouragement. I am so excited to participate in her tea cup exchange for the very first time!

So, what is an exchange?

An exchange is a trade: you send a lovely lady a gift or package, and you receive one in return. 
In this case, you send and receive to two different ladies, making two new friends in the process. You may choose to send a tea cup or a mug, or both.

It's a marvelous way to bless someone's day, and be blessed in return.

The Enchanting Rose

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Welcome to Little Bits of Blessings! 

I am so pleased you stopped by.

I hope and pray that my words and pictures here will bless, encourage and uplift you.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8