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Saturday, November 5, 2022

High School Computer Programming Free Online Course


My sons are enjoying their elective of Computer Programming!  We are using Khan Academy's Computer Programming Course.  

The lessons are easy to follow, with video trials and fun animation as an introduction  to programming. I have added the Drawing & Animation Programming as an elective to be done after their core subjects twice a week.

There are three intro course:

  1. Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation
  2. Intro to HTML/CSS: Making webpages
  3. Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data 

If your student enjoys the Introduction course they can try an advanced course:

  1. Advanced JS: Games & Visualizations
  2. Advanced JS: Natural Simulations

  3. HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive

  4. HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive with jQuery


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Bossy Girl

Recently I noticed my sons got into the habit of describing my toddler neice as "bossy". She is an assertive girl who knows her own mind, exactly like her father. They heard my niece called this from other family members and it stuck in their mind. 

I asked my sons if they would call their cousin "bossy" if she were a little boy. They paused for awhile and one said, "I don't know, probably not. I don't think I've ever called a boy bossy."

I then explained how I had been called a "bossy girl" my entire childhood and they needed to stop calling their cousin this. I'm 39 and still struggling with my leadership gifting because I don't want to be the "bossy girl".

It didn't help I had an abusive mother who kind of messed up how I viewed women authority figures. Add in a Conservative Christian culture that confuses leadership with Lordship, and you get a woman who is scared to embrace her calling as a leader.

I know some have tried to redeem the term "bossy girl" to "girl boss", but why qualify the term boss at all? I am a leader who happens to be a female, not a female leader. 

I am a leader who submits to God, which affects how I lead. Natural leaders need to learn how to not be bad bosses, to not lord their ideas and wants over others. Leadership is not Lordship. But that doesn't mean we don't lead when called. 

All this to say, please be aware that your words stick with little girls who are showing traits of being a strong leader. It can take years to untangle the term "bossy girl" from our identity.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

What About Yourself Are You Proud of?


"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 
1 Thessalonians 5:11 

When you see something beautiful in someone else, you should speak it.  That applies to yourself too. What about yourself are you proud of? Encourage and build yourself up today.

We would never think that encouraging someone would lead to arrogance and unhealthy/toxic pride, so why don’t we allow ourselves to encourage our own hearts?  As believers we are so on guard towards unhealthy pride/hubris that we don't want to speak encouragement to ourselves. Healthy pride is really just encouragement to our hearts and minds.  

Remind yourself about a time when you did something hard.  Remember how you persevered when you could have given up.  Talk about the times you held on and walked one small step at a time through pain when you could have just sat down and let the hurt swallow you.  Think about the amazing different traits God specifically created you with to help others. We are called as believers to persevere and to encourage, so do it to yourself too. 

I'll go first.

I'm really proud that I fight for healing from trauma and abuse. I do it with counseling and the Armor of God, but so many have access to that armor and do not pick it up. They run from the battle when it doesn't feel fair, because it isn't fair. It isn't fair I have to keep fighting battles because of others' sin, but it is either fight or give up. I choose to keep fighting.

I'm also proud of the fact that I had 7lb and 6 lb twin boys vaginally. It was super scary and super hard, but I kept pushing (pun intended) and advocated for a safe delivery without a c-section, even when many thought there was no way I could do it.

Please comment and tell me something you are proud of!!!  I want to hear your encouragement!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

High School Curriculum, Tenth Grade: Switching from MFW to Sonlight


We have finally switched away from the curriculum we have used from K-9th grade!  
I still highly recommend it for K-8th, but our experience with My Father's World 9th grade curriculum pushed me to finally move to Sonlight for High School!

I have always wanted to try Sonlight, but the cost was prohibitive. Thankfully we were able to utilize the tips for homeschooling on a tight budget and rent most of it from a friend! A few items that I wasn't able to borrow or rent, we bought used on ThriftBooks



Figuring out the sequences of what to buy from Sonlight was a little confusing at first. Sonlight offers a Mix and Match Program, which is more complicated, but also much more flexible.  You pick the order your need for your student. 

Our old curriculum,  MFW high school, was much more simple: you bought 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade depending on your child. This was great when ordering, but it limited you to one level and one learning sequence. The history and literature wwere scheduled to be chronological, from Creation to Modern Times.  While this seems in theory like a great way to not have any historical gaps, you fly through reading a textbook with no time to digest what you are reading. Ninth Grade's history study was only Creation to the Greeks, so I assumed 10th grade would follow the family cycle and do Rome to Reformation, but I bought the 10th grade World History and Literature (which I sold without using) and it CRAMS all the history from Rome to Modern Times into one year.  The 11th and 12th were two long years of American History from a textbook alone.


My Father's World pricing has changed a lot since we began, a using it in Kindergarten.

I still believe when you are homeschooling a large group of multi-age students, MFW is still a a very good cost per student because of the large one classroom approach, I just can no longer say it is the most budget friendly.

My Father's World no longer has basic packages, which was extremely disappointing.  For about two years during the pandemic they had also removed the ability to order a la carte, which was extremely frustrating when I would just need one or two books from MFW, but I just checked and they finally brought it back.  Enough people must have complained. 

I had originally went with MFW over Sonlight because it was way cheaper, but for High School it didn't make sense to pay so much for items we were not going to use. Most high school homeschoolers have to buy their math, science, and electives separately anyways, so Sonlight's ability to mix and match and buy a la carte History and Literature items made it so I didn't have books we would not use, like we did with MFW 9th grade.

To make Sonlight cheaper you really do have to work at it, we used all my homeschooling on a budget tips to do it. 


The boys each have their own basket from the Dollar Tree that store their calculators, math student sheets, pencils, and any other school supplies.

The only con I have seen so far for Sonlight is the manual isn't just one simple open and go with ALL your subjects, like MFW.  Even though we didn't have the greatest 9th grade experience, I will say that NO ONE beats the simple organization of MFW teacher's manuals!  I ended up typing up our own agendas for each boy based on the open and go manual we were used to with MFW, all the subjects in one place. 

By typing our own agendas I was able to combine all their syllabus into one place. They can check off History, Literature, Math, Spanish, Electives, P.E., Co-Op Homework, and Chores all in one place.  The even have a blank spot for any other items they wanted to add. It took way too long, but I am hoping it is worth it in the long run so the boys can still just open and go each morning.  
Next year I will probably still do this, but probably won't include as many details in History and Lit Subjects.  

Classic Literature, Root Words, and American History.

The Sonlight curriculum comes with the History/Bible and Literature in one big binder, but with twins I needed to divide them so it was easier to share.  We also have a magazine file holder for them to store the living history or literature book they are currently reading next to the manuals.

American History 120
Because we are switching from MFW to Sonlight, I had to start with 120-American History to make sure we got in a solid year of American History.  While I appreciate studying history in chronological order of the MFW Family Cycle, one of my biggest criticism of MFW High School was it began with heavy archaic reading in 9th grade. 

I like that Sonlight begins with American History, a more accessible touch point for younger students than ancient contexts and cultures.  The living books provided are perfect for their age 

The manual gives insightful and specific discussion questions for them to discuss their History Spine  (A History of the US by Joy Hakim) with me daily as their teacher. This curriculum is way to teach critical thinking skills in regards to History, and I am really looking forward to the discussion we will have! 

Bible is also included in the History Binder.  

Next year we will be skipping Sonlight's 220 History of the Christian Church and proceeding to 320- 20th Century/World History.

History Books to be read

Classic Literature 230
"Stories set mostly chronologically through history, mostly by British authors, you’ll travel from first-century Israel to World War II and beyond in this 36-week program."

Sonlight's ability to mix and match really came in handy because we are skipping History 220-History of the Christian Church, but we we didn't want miss 230-Classic Literature . We will be revisiting American Literature again in 430 so I am ok skipping it for ninth and focusing on some of my favorite pieces of literature, like Dickens, Shakespeare, and Austen. 

I am really thankful for the discussion questions in the student guides so we can talk about what they are reading in a more meaningful way.  In MFW I was suppose to meet with them just once a week and just ask them about what stood out to them, but Sonlight really engages the student and parent daily to discuss what is being read.  The parent guide is helpful because it also provides answers. While I am looking forward to discussing some of the my favorites, I haven't ALL the books on the syllabus and need those answers!

Literature Books to be read


Sonlight recommends adding Worldly Wise for vocabulary practice, but we already own English from the Roots Up from when we did Creation the Greeks.  Although we did cover this book in fourth grade my boys really needed a refresher course as older and more mature students.  This books is great for life in general, but also a great opportunity to reviews etymology before PSATs at the end of sophomore year.

Math , Science, Spanish, and the Parent Binder

We have used Math U See since Kindergarten and we still love it. To see more detailed review, click on picture below.  This year we are finally into Algebra 2!

Review of Math U See

We had planned to do Chemistry after Friendly Biology , but many people recommended waiting on Chemistry until we have gotten through Algebra 2.  My husband works in Dual Enrollment in local Community College and he suggested Integrated Physics and Chemistry, a course many local highs school use before Chemistry.

"IPC consists of twelve chapters of text and twelve companion student activities. This course introduces students to the people, places and principles of physics and chemistry." 

The ordering is a little confusing because twelve chapters is actually TWO YEARS of curriculum. Once I figured that out I was able to order: Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) 1st Year Full Course Kit – Digital Download.

I bought the digital download of Lessons 1-6 because with the twins because I needed to be able to print more than one copy of each activity pages.


Because we homeschool on a tight budget, we bought an old edition of BJU Spanish 1 used from a friend.

Personal Finance
I am planning to organize a Financial Reality Fair for our local co-op. Financial Reality Fair is an immersive budgeting experience that gives students a glimpse into what it costs to live independently, and how take responsibility for personal financial decisions with the use of a Monthly Budget Tracker.
Junior high and high school students will have the opportunity to encounter some of the financial challenges they will face as an adult, such as cost of housing, entertainment, and transportation. This toolkit is flexible and can be used in a variety of educational settings, such as a homeschool cooperative or public school.

We attend a homeschool cooperative where the boys take drama, gym, and other great classes. 

They will also spend time experimenting with Graphic Design on Canva and coding on Hour of Code.

Monday, August 15, 2022

First Day of 10th Grade, Scavenger Hunt


We have begin our tenth grade, new school year and and we have stopped using the curriculum we have used since Kindergarten! 

As we get used to our new HIGH SCHOOL CURRICLUM, I wanted to start our school year with the same Back to HOMESchool Traditions we have done since Kindergarten!

After a special breakfast of cinnamon rolls, we have our annual First Day of School Scavenger Hunt! The prize at the end is always inexpensive.  It only take maybe FIVE minutes at most, so there is no worry about derailing your schedule for the day. It is OK that the clues are easy because the object of the game is NOT problem-solving hard riddles.  The object is to start the school year with fun!


The hunt was started by me handing them this clue:

Poke around the Pale Pachyderm


Second Clue was found on my white elephant statue:

Find the panda food near the pooper. 


Third Clue was found behind the bamboo plant in the bathroom:

Pop can plinkers. 


Fourth Clue was found on their BB Gun ammunition:

Partake in a snack prohibited to people with braces.



Fifth Clue was found inside our Whirley Pop popcorn maker.  This one almost tripped them up, they looked int he cabinets at the popcorn kernels and in the snack cabinet. It was fun watching them figure it out:  

Move to the machine that removes moisture.


The Prize was in the dryer!  Tis year the prize was just a ton of SNACKS! 

Name brand snacks are a luxury in our house, so I filled a bag with half a dozen random foods I knew my bottomless-pit teenagers would love to snack on during school.

For more First Day Scavenger Hunt Examples:

Friday, July 22, 2022

Print and Cursive with Minecraft

Learning Cursive with Minecraft

Print Practice with Minecraft

Take the whining out of handwriting practice with Minecraft copywork!

While I love having my kids copy classic literature, sometimes you need a fun relatble content. 


Kids learn better when the subject has meaning to them.  Kids who love Minecraft will love these worksheets.

These Cursive and Print Handwriting Worksheets are designed to give meaningful handwriting practice through copywork of names and worlds from Minecraft.


  • D'nealian Alphabet Reference Chart
  • Part 1: Upper and lower case practice
  • Part 2: Minecraft related words for copywork
  • Part 3: Minecraft related sentences for copywork

These packets are perfect for use in homeschool, classroom, during summer, or anytime your child needs handwriting practice.