April Wrap Up

April showers… will they bring May flowers?

All in all, we’ve actually had a few sunny days this month, yet we definitely have had plenty of rainfall as well.  I’m excited to see spring come in full bloom here soon.

In the meantime, school carries on consistently.  Grateful that we are staying focused, hopefully for another month before the 2017-2018 school year wraps up!

History Adventures


A few years back we were gifted almost the entire Landmark book series which are fabulously written historical books.  I find them very complimentary to the Robinson Curriculum reading list, and we blend them in often with our chronological order of studying history.   This month’s focus was Roanoke Colony and Jamestown.  Many adventures were found as we explored some native traditions and mapped the Virginia area including currents landmarks as well as rivers that were traveled in that time era.  We limited our geography focus to this area because my intention is to study the United States as we travel through early American history next year.



It’s All About Birds around here.  We had a great tree out front where we were observing a Downy woodpecker,  2 black collared doves, Stellar Jays, Chickadees, lots of Robins (they do love their worms!), and tons of Starlings.  Dad has since then pruned said tree and we are left with now going to the backyard which isn’t as window-watching friendly.  I can’t really complain because we do still have plenty of areas here to explore.


Bryson– solidifying his borrowing/carrying, as he is wrapping up his linear, liquid, and time measurements.

Andrew– continuing to get comfortable with long division, introducing decimals, and reviewing symbols and money problems.

Katie–  wrapping up ratios and geometrical volumes


Bryson– chose a fun read this month with Hank the Cowdog
Andrew– took a break
Katie– Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice



All about punctuation; commas, quotations, colon, semi colon, etc…

Andrew has invested a lot of time in his writing (which is why he took a break from literature this month).  As much as my Katie-girl reads non stop, he is writing non stop with illustrations.  This is the child that struggles with dysgraphia and dyslexia, and has overcame penmanship and is finally beginning to conquer spelling too.  It’s been a huge year of growth for him and I’m just letting him flourish in his new found hobby!!

Fine Art

Beethoven at Classics for Kids

Field Trip

Amtrak Schools on Train
Our local homeschoolers in our county from Oregon rode Amtrak to Seattle and spent the day in the Big City.  We had a blast.  Space needle, Pop Culture Park, Starbucks at Sky View building, Pike Place Market, rode the Monorail… the sun was shining, the people were friendly, and we had lots of fun!


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It’s an adventure
to be a homeschooler




Winter Term Wrap up

L.I.F.E. Academy~

We finished our winter term, and we’re ready to spring forward to new adventures.

Here’s our winter recap


History adventures:

December-  Vikings
Geography travels included Iceland, Greenland, Ireland, Norway, and Vinland (Newfoundland, Canada) and we explored the anatomy of Viking Long ships.
January- Christopher Columbus
Geography studies included learning where all the countries of Europe are, listened to a few common hymns of that time, and learned more about ships, as well as some common health issues of that era such as scurvy and melancholy.
February- Amerigo Vespucci
Geography focus was on South American countries, learned about navigation tools, constellations, and map making of the early 1500’s (before they realized New World).



We recently moved into our country homestead on Christmas day, so we’ve been learning All About Chickens; from feed, to coop clean up, to free ranging, to egg selling.

It’s definitely been an adventure, and I’m so grateful to Kailynn, who has become our Chicken Whisperer and seems to know what these crazy critters need!  Andrew has really stepped up to the coop to be an amazing helper as well.


The focus was on the 4 Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  We will actually finish up our reading of these books during the Holy Week before Easter.


Bryson– beginning multiplication, review addition/subtraction while learning carrying/borrowing, and exploring fractions.

Andrew– solidifying multiplication, intro into division, reviewing roman numerals and liquid measurements.

Katie–  exponents, roots, and radicals


Bryson– Henry Huggins, The Family Under the Bridge
Andrew– The Family Under the Bridge, The Magician’s Nephew
Katie– Joan of Arc, Giver, Night, The Mountain Between Us, The Family Nobody Wanted


December- review prepositional phrases
January- All about Nouns; common, abstract, and proper nouns
February- All about Adjectives


January- Old English Hymns; Salve Regina, TeDeum Laudamus
February- All about the composer Chopin

Katie also does additional self-led projects:

It’s helpful that Kailynn is a fabulous sister-in-law to Katie and has a degree in Graphic Design and has her own Designer business in designer illustrations (digital design , calligraphy, painting, etc).  These young ladies get to enjoy some fun projects together. 


Even with the big move in December, getting back into the school rhythm went smoothly.   We are very blessed to educate our children at home.

It’s quite the treasure to be a homeschooler!




Enjoying the Classics

We’ve had an ongoing theme for the year…

Read a classic; watch a movie


Here are some of our picks that were from our Robinson Curriculum reading list;
others are simply good ole classics we have on hand. 

It takes us about a month per book to read, discuss, and then watch a correlated movie of each one. 

Homeschooling does not have to be difficult to be educational.  We didn’t have to use a study guide or workbook or a complicated scope and sequence to learn from these classic treasures.  Frankly, you don’t even need to own these… simply check your local library (or even with older relatives if you get the privilege of doing that).  I do highly recommend to avoid abridged versions (not.a.fan of the “Great illustrated classic” books).

Benefits I’ve observed from reading classic books with my children:

An increase in vocabulary

Improves their ability to comprehend

Strengthens ethics (good vs bad)

Understands history and culture in context

Recognizes to learn from past mistakes

Creates a natural desire to learn more….
which leads to rabbit trails of self-led interests.

The high quality literary content of these classic books are a treasure to explore!

It’s ingenious to be a homeschooler!

I HATE SCHOOL, and How our First Few Weeks Have Been

That’s how our school year began.
We are going into our 16th year of homeschooling, and my youngest child decides to have an attitude.  Clearly it is a disorder of some sort because just the mention of said word “school” creates a strange reaction of moaning, whining, and flopping down to the ground like a slug.


How can the child not like school?  He loves learning, exploring, and frankly, learns easily.
Well, apparently it’s the word… “SCHOOL”

You see, I could of fussed back at him,
got frustrated at his lack of willingness to do school,
disciplined him for poor behavior,
but instead I looked at the pathetic behaving child
and had him cuddle up to me and we talked about the planets,
pondered some outdoor activities, and discussed his feelings.
Then I prayed.

The Answer… don’t call it “school”.
After all, LIFE is the Lesson,
and just about anything we do
is applicable to learning something.
It’s kind of why I picked L.I.F.E. Academy
as the name of our “school”.

I can easily say “hey, let’s go up and lay on my bed and you can read a book to me” and viola, 30 min of reading.  (Reading-check)
I can then say it’s time for Math, and poof he does it (math-check)

Then the real magic comes in the evenings…
tons of fun family time and no one knows it’s still “school”.

We are watching a Math-U-See video for some fun review,
but this child LOVES seeing it and then working with the manipulatives used for the lessons.
We then watch one episode of “What’s in the Bible” which is packed with facts, vocabulary, theology in a fun way.


Next we pull out these chalkboards to review our penmanship.
It’s been quite the hit.  Write the letter mom says,
then draw a word to compliment the letter, and spell it.
Dad joins in, Sissy joins in (the highschooler).
I will slowly begin doing phonics review,
and eventually spelling games with these boards.
The creativity is endless…
for the letter “i” my youngest came up with “imagination”,
not your typical ice cream or igloo answer, lol.


We end our evenings by reading our Jesus Freaks Devotional,
finding on the map the country that was the read about,
and pray for that country.

FRIDAYS are also open for some fun.
It’s the one day during the school week that I don’t do childcare,
and I take advantage of that time to spend more intentional with my kids.


Because we are entering into Medieval Times for History,
I opened the era with the Byzantine period.
We read about Constatine,
while listening to Beethoven in the background,

then we attempted Byzantine mosaic art,
each of us doing our own masterpiece.


I also threw in a science project for fun.  Used food coloring (yellow and blue), paper towels to wick the color into the empty center cup, and obviously, we made green.  The cool part was to see the water travel through the paper towels and actually begin to fill the empty cup.

All in all, that was a fun afternoon!

And then there’s my highschooler,
who has been fabulously working at her own pace independently,
while still participating in the things I want her to join us for! 


Her garden got attacked by moles; it’s a sad affair.
But she still got some harvest.  Those carrots though?


Oh, and we can’t forget the preschoolers…


The 3 yr olds are loving preschool time,
and that sweet little photo bomber in the background is just about ready to join the table at almost 15 months of age.  She loves seeing what’s going on with our Discovery Time lessons!!

And That my friends is a random look at how our school year has started so far…

It’s a bit crazy to be a homeschooler.  *smile*

L.I.F.E. Academy~ August Goals 2016

I’ll just be candid here and say that our “first” day of school was a bust.
Mistake #1 was trying to begin school the day after our fabulous 4 day camping trip.
So I put off the first day (Monday) to Tuesday, in which moods were off and we barely got our teacher-student conference cleared (you know, to explain expectations for the year) this day.  Then along comes Wednesday, and I am a huge proponent that Mom’s mood can really set the tone for the house.  Well, my mood was fine (ba ha ha), but my kids were still like in vacation hang over mode.  So, for those that don’t know, I always try to be creative and think of something fun to do on the first day, and this year wasn’t any different.  So, I came up with an Olympic theme since the Summer Olympics is under way.  I thought it was an awesome idea.  I was already to have Family Olympic games right in our backyard.  I even thought up some cool crafts and a snack idea.  However, my youngest child was on a rant.  He was NOT amused at all, thought the whole thing was “stupid”, and grumbled most the day.  Well, there ya go, homeschool reality at its finest.  So do I hang the ungrateful kid in the closet by his toes?  Or maybe just hug the child, rest together, chat about God, nature, and the planets… and ponder a new plan.


Thursday began with some camoflauge…
and then “boot camp” began!


Needless to say, moods were improved…


and Monday, August 8th, our official book work will begin!

August Goals

Bible– Genesis

Bryson (3rd grade)- Family Under the Bridge
Andrew (5th grade)- Pinocchio (RC)
Katie (Freshman)- Trixie Beldon series, Mildred Elsie series (RC)
Read Aloud- Bambi (classic 1939 version)

Language Arts
Back to basics- review sentence structure;
Capital beginnings, end marks.!?
Introduce prepositional phrases.
Boys- review penmanship skills/do copywork
Katie- daily essays

The boys- review basic math facts.
focus on +, x (0-6)
Katie- review, all about fractions (+, -, x ,/)

Bryson- All about Crabs
Andrew- All about Ants
Katie- All about the animal kingdom;
introduction to arthropods and crustaceans
*will also begin her seedlings for her fall garden.
Family Read aloud
Burgess Animal Book for Children;
rats, mice, & shrews.

The boys- Muhammad and the early years of Islam,
and details of the Arabian days.
Katie- Life of Saint Patrick

Personal safety- stranger danger

American Sign Language/Spanish
family, food, animals

Fine Arts
Composer- Beethoven, Ode to Joy (Olympic march)
Art- Byzantine Mosaics
Poetry- To Laugh Often and Much by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;

to win the respect of the intelligent people

and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others; 

to leave the world a bit better

whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;

to know that one life has breathed easier 

because you lived here.

This is to have succeeded.

Our Curriculum 2016-2017

The Robinson Curriculum
We choose the belief that the core foundation of education is to read, write, and do math.
If a student can build up on these 3 skills, learning becomes limitless.

Here’s our outline of what we do…



3rd & 5th graders-
1st semester- to solidify all four basic math facts (+, -, x, /)
2nd semester- begin Saxon 5/4

9th grader-
review Saxon 7/6, begin pre-algebra


3rd & 5th graders-
improve penmanship via copywork
build and enhance good quality paragraphs.
Daily science summaries.
*end of the year goal: 3 paragraph essay

9th grader-
3 essays per week via Book of Knowledge resource
Daily science summaries
Book reviews as literature books are completed

Language Arts

3rd & 5th graders-
McGuffey 2nd Reader for;
grammar, punctuation, vocabulary.
Prof “K” spelling

9th grader-
will use writing assignments as a tool for punctuation, grammar, spelling, & vocabulary.
RC English grammar -review as necessary


Will list specific books in our monthly goal posts.
The students will read many classic books from the RC reading list,
as well as other good quality resources.


3rd grader- Christian Liberty 2nd Nature Reader,
Animal Pride series by Dave and Pat Sargent
5th grader- Christian Liberty 3rd Nature Reader
Books from the authors, Arthur Scott Bailey and Thorton Burgess
9th grader- Biology
A Child’s Story of the Animal World
The Motion of the Heart and Blood of Animals (RC)
**continue her agriculture project from the spring, introducing a fall garden to her current crop.


3rd & 5th graders-
A Child’s History of the World
9th grader-
Medieval History book resources from;
Robinson Curriculum, G. A. Henty, & the Landmark series


Bible– Old Testament (with preschoolers too)
Devotions– Jesus Freaks by Voice of the Martyrs
*we will mark the stories locations on a map for world geography,
as well as pray for that specific country for the day.

Foreign Language

American Sign Language/Spanish-
Preschoolers/3rd & 5th grader-
Signing Time and Flip Flop Spanish (whole family Spanish)
9th grader/mom- Duolingo and Pimsleur Spanish Gold Edition I, II, & III

Fine Arts

Monday- Geography
Tuesday- Composer (of the month)
Wednesday- Artist (of the month)
Thursday- Poetry (of the month)
Friday- Nature walks

Daily read aloud List
(for the year)

The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Song of Roland (poetry)
Jungle Book
Robin Hood
Cantebury Tales
Uncle Remus

Woodworking/S.T.E.M. projects

I invested in some hands-on building kits from
Hands4Building; Their products are phenomenal
My kids will be using real (albeit miniature) tools for architectural use;
saws, blue prints, etc… My hope is that after they build the
house, furniture, bridge, windmill, fence, and wagon,
they will continue their interest onto bigger projects!

Let the fun begin….



Public School guests join Homeschooler’s for a Day!

We had “guest” students in class today!


Learning about Adjectives


while learning some phonics and spelling rules;
y = the long e sound


while enjoying a snack!


Next was history


Where we read that the Israelites received Manna by morning,
(cooking class for all ages, yumm)


and Quail by evenings.
(arts and crafts)

We followed up the bird topic by learning all about nest parasites;
the cow birds; Thank you Wild Kratts
(nature science)

while having pizza for lunch.

And finally…


getting ready for battle;

RECESS at it’s homeschool finest!

*Childcare does not need to be an interference to homeschool
but rather an encouragement to share the FUN!!!

Our guests were a delight,  and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the day too!