Homeschool Curriculum 2016-2017

Now that our school year is finished up for the year and Olivia will take her test for the 5th grade on June 7th in Wilson, I have already started gathering her books for next years curriculum. You can never be too prepared to have as many books and to be ready for the next school year! I am though shying away from the box curriculum this year and doing more of classical and Charlotte Mason Homeschooling instead this year. I am feeling more confident this year as Olivia’s teacher and Mom to know what works best for her.

The very first year that we homeschooled I felt really overwhelmed with what to start her out with. I didn’t know where to start her out with and what curriculum would be best for her. I did so much research on so many different starter curriculums from Bob Jones University to Abkea to Apologia. We ended up settling on Bob Jones University for Olivia because we felt it was the right fit for her. Then the next year we looked into doing Abeka for her but to buy the whole set was so expensive so we looked into doing it used as it was cheaper for us. Then we decided to put her into public school again which turned into a bad idea after all.

This past school year we redid 5th grade and did some 6th grade work as well. We did BJU again as the Box Curriculum as I still was not confident enough to do anything else and honestly I was scared to shy away from it. I was afraid that if I did shy away from it would she understand it or would she be bored from what I was trying to teach her? I was also doing school full time myself and I was feeling quite overwhelmed myself with my workload I had to do so I liked the idea of having all of the lessons planned out for me. Well let’s just say that I found that some of the items worked for us in the BJU set and then some did not! We did not do the BJU Math as it was not helping Olivia at all. We ended up doing Math-U-See with her and she loved it! She hated math when we started it with her and now she absolutely loves math!!! We plan on continuing math throughout the summer minus when we are on our mini vacation in June but she doesn’t want to stop learning math! We feel that when she starts 9th grade she will be on grade level if not advanced for it! Yay! Finally! But after this school year I have found that I don’t like dealing with the box curriculum and I would rather piece together a curriculum rather than purchase textbooks! As one child does not learn just based off of what is inside a text book but based off of what is inside books! So I feel so much more confident in what I am going to teach her and how she learns! I have learned what works for her best and what doesn’t. And how she learns too! Plus we plan on putting her in many different activities throughout the day which in return is good and plan on putting her in dance which is a good thing! So here is what we have decided on so far for next years curriculum.

History: The Story of the World: Volume 1. Olivia decided on this book for History because we love history but we felt that this could be family book we could read together. Each chapter is short but we did get the activity book for her to do the added activities to do and crafts to do as well. Then she will also be able to do the tests after each chapter too. She is very excited to get started on this and we will most likely start school in August if not July!

Science: We are still deciding on this one but we will most likely go with Apologia on this one. Just not sure which one yet.

Writing and Composition: We will be using Writers in Residence Volume 1 by Apologia. We received this as a Review and had already started using this, but we will start from the beginning again since we aren’t using BJU and it won’t conflict anything that I am teaching her. I am really excited about this one and she is excited about doing this one too!

Literature & Vocabulary: For literature we will be working on Study Guides and reading books to go along with the study guides. This will also go along with her vocabulary as well and she is very excited about reading different books during the year. She loves to read and after the horrible experience she had with BJU Reading 6 last year we decided that this was the route to go with her this year! This way she picks the books that she wants to read and she gets her literature in and vocabulary as well out of the books she is reading!

Math: we will be using Math-U-See again this year! We will finish off Delta this summer and then we will start her on Math-U-See Epsilon after she finishes that up. We have noticed that she has gone from hating math to loving math!

Bible: We will most likely do a daily devotion with Olivia on this one.

Art: We will be most likely enrolling Olivia into an Art class through the homeschool co-op locally. Also I am looking into doing a class or possibly a photography class or something. I think it is something that I can do since I do like photography. It’s something that I would need to look into doing.

That is all I can think of right now. I will update more when I can figure out more.

She Can Walk!

Olivia went to the Orthopedist last Thursday to see the fate of if she could walk on her foot yet or not. They took another x-ray of her foot to see how the healing process of it was going and to see if she was going to be able to walk on it or have to stay on the crutches some more. She got the go ahead to get rid of the crutches and to start walking on her foot. She was really scared and nervous to start doing so while there in the office so she waited until she was home to do so. She goes back to the Dr on June 3rd to see if she can get rid of the boot or if it needs to stay on for a few more weeks. She still has a lot of swelling and bruising within her foot and I thought that she would not have as much with the bruising. Especially since we are a month out from the accident happening.

Last Friday was her Homeschool Field Day and we were afraid she wasn’t going to be able to join in some of the activities and not have fun. She did get to join in several of the activies and she had a blast! She even met several new friends which was a fun time for her and there was another Olivia which was fun for both of them as they both were just a like. Crazy I know! Olivia even won 3rd place in the crab walk which was easy for her since she didn’t have to put any pressure on her foot. Just her heel. She has continued to make progress on her healing with her foot as she continues to heal slowly. Each day comes with a new challenge. Today she so far hasn’t had much pain but we also haven’t done much either which has been nice.

We also are finished with school and have been for several weeks now. She will take her final test for school on June 7th in Wilson for the State and there isn’t much she can do to prepare for it. She does however continue to work on math as it still is a challenge for her but she still loves it! Also we will continue to do it over the summer which works for us! Another thing is we plan on going to the local homeschool store to put all of our book up on consignment and look and see what books of ours didn’t sell from last year and take them home. Hopefully I will be able to sell them instead. 🙂 Also going to look around tomorrow at a few new choices for next years curriculum choices as well. We are still debating on doing Abeka or BJU. Still not sure yet of which ones.

Book of Astronomy Set Review

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review
One thing that Olivia loves is Science! She would rather do science over math any day of the week, but sometimes with the science lessons she gets bored with them. So why not mix things up a bit every few days and give her something that she shows interest in…astronomy! We were lucky enough to study the “Book of Astronomy Set” from Memoria Press. Olivia showed a great deal of interest in this book from the first day we received it and of course we had to try it out as soon as we started lessons up the next few days of receiving it.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review
Olivia and I used to look at an app on my iPhone that would allow us to view the different constellations in the night sky but it didn’t explain much on how they got their names and what not. That was something that Olivia had always wanted to know, but trying to explain it in terms that she would understand was quite difficult. Thank goodness for this book set that not only came with a Student Guide, but also came with a Teacher Guide as well. Olivia has shown great interest in reading all about the stars, constellations and learning about when they will appear in the night sky such as during the summer or winter. This was also something new to me as well in which I honestly thought you could view all the constellations during the same seasons but I was completely wrong and I was OK in admitting I was.

The Student Guide has been very helpful for Olivia and she loves writing in the book. She likes to highlight the different sections in the book that will help her along with her learning and will help her in finding the answers to the questions that will be asked after we complete the lesson for the day. We have been known to do several lessons a day because she wants to continue to learn, and who can say no to a child who is wanting to learn more about science? This book set is great for grades 3-5 but can also be used for older children who want to learn more about the stars and astronomy. Olivia is technically supposed to be in the 6th grade but after last years fiasco with the public schools we decided to hold her back and redo 5th grade. This has been a blessing for Olivia because she is learning new things that not even the public or private schools around here will even teach her until she is well into her high school years. What a blessing for us and for her. I love how it also incorporates the Greek Mythology as well since we don’t talk a lot about it in our studies right now. So this is something that is wonderful for Olivia to get a little bit more information on which I haven’t yet covered with her yet. The Teacher Guide is really nice because I can read along with her and if she has any questions, I can answer them for her or if she gets confused. I really like this book set and I think that we will continue to do these lessons over the summer! Especially since we live in the country and don’t have a lot of lights around us we can enjoy the night sky…I might even be able to talk my hubby into getting a telescope for Olivia to help her with her astronomy lessons.

You can purchase this set online for only $31.50 which I think is a great deal! Be sure to go check out their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

We did receive this Book of Astronomy Set from Memoria Press and as part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew! All of my opinions are 100% my own!

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Marky Stainless Steel 20oz Tumbler Review

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I love using my Yeti cup but sometimes it’s a little too big and bulky for me to take with me in the car. This Stainless Steel 20 oz Tumbler is the perfect size for my short trips into town or when I don’t feel like bringing out my big tumbler. I also love the Marky Tumbler because it is easy to clean compared to my other cups. I do wish the space where the drink comes out was a little smaller as when I first took a drink out of the tumbler, my water spilled a little over my shirt. But other than that it is a great tumbler to use. It does sweat compared to my other stainless steel tumblers and I was a little surprised about that because for it being a double insulated tumbler it shouldn’t sweat like my Tervis mugs or my other cups at home. So this was a little disappointing but I still will continue to use this as it is the perfect size to use while traveling, going to meet friends and add my hot or cold coffee to it and or taking into parks with me whenever we go. It will also be a lot easier to handle when we use our backpacks as well which can be a big thing for me. It does still hold the ice all day and night which for me is a big thing since I drink a lot of water during the summer months.

I did receive this product at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. I am not affiliated with the company nor was I monetarily compensated for the review. All my opinions are 100% my own. I would gladly pay full price for this product and am looking at getting my daughter one to use as it would be easier for her to handle compared to her larger one.

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Three Weeks Gone

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 3 weeks since Olivia broke her foot! She returns to the ortho this Thursday to find out if she can start to walk on it or not. It’s been a long few weeks and it’s not been easy on us and a little trying but we have made it! 
This past weekend we started making her get outside and helping take the dog out some! 

ARTistic Pursuits Inc Review

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

The one thing that I was able to cherish while attending public school was the art program! I have always enjoyed it and it seems that Olivia too has picked up in enjoying it as much as I love it! We were lucky enough to be chosen to review “4-5 Book One” from ARTistic Pursuits Inc.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review
As most of you know by now just from reading what happened to Olivia, she broke her foot! She has been miserable for almost two weeks and yet she still looks forward to working on her Art lessons for the day! I have found that ARTistic Pursuits Inc., have come up with an easy way to make the child understand and want to learn art. Art is something that should be offered to everyone and honestly even if you are horrible at drawing, it’s just being creative that an Art teacher is looking for.
The book we received to review was 4-5 Book one which is the perfect book for Olivia. She may not be the best in drawing, but she loves to color things in and blend and this was something that I enjoyed about her using the book. It’s not only informational but it’s encouraging as well. This book is recommended for ages 9+ and is about 92 pages long. Olivia said that she loved how it was easy to turn the pages and how she got to enjoy the lessons she has completed already because the book stayed put compared to some of the other books we have tried.

The other thing that k loved about this book was that each lesson is mapped out which I love.  I love how the book incorporates the history of art as well into the lessons in which I find to be very good. I loved it when I would learn about the history of a piece of art when I was in school and this was always very interesting to me. Olivia has found that it is interesting and intriguing to her in which she wants to continue to learn about more art. She has enjoyed learning to draw several of the pictures or trying to attempt to draw the pictures that are shown in the book and I have been able to teach her to blend with her color pencils and with some other pencils I had for years that my granddad gave to me, so being able to hand them down to Olivia made it all worth it to me in saving them. I am super thrilled that she is learning her line shapes, her techniques on how to draw and color and her art history. Growing up I always wanted to be either an Art Teacher or a Dance Teacher and when I didn’t become either one of them growing up, being a teacher to Olivia in homeschooling her and now am her art teacher makes me really happy. She looks forward to each day to do one or two lessons of art and tells me she can’t wait until next year when she can move onto the next book. This is a subject we plan on doing all summer long because it keeps her intrigued and it also keeps her busy! Let her continue to learn as she enjoys the summer! Please check out their Facebook page to see what else you can find that you will love about the books! They have many other books that may fit your child better!

I did receive a copy of this book from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. and part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew! All my opinions are my own!

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None Like Him Book Review

Often times I get caught up in my daily life that I forget why I am living or who I am living for. I forget that I am not living for myself but I am living for God himself. I often times shy away from the Word that he shares with us and I don’t feel that I am worthy enough to follow Him. But after reading this book, “None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing)” by Jill Wilkin it has helped me put a different perspective on life. 


This book is not only encouraging to me but it has made me realize that Gos is so very different from us and it is a good thing. If we are we’re alike then life would be boring and just so blah. We wouldn’t be so great at all we do, so why does God have to be the same just like us? Why can’t he be different and do greater things than we can?  We push through everyday just living it like we should, but if we took everyday as a new one, like there was a new adventure out the for us then that would be even better. Jill has made me realize to look at life just in the same eyes as God does and that is to take life as an adventure! Don’t let one person ruin your day or week by their actions, just live it as you would as if God was walking next to you. There is so much in this book that is so encouraging that I would hate to give it away…so I will leave it here by saying that if you think God is just like you then you need to take a step back and reevaluate your life. Go grab a copy of this book and enjoy life! This book has touched my heart where it needed to be touched for the better of the good and I am very blessed to have received it to review. Please check out their Facebook page as well! 

I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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Broken Foot

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This past Thursday night, I had ask Olivia to go downstairs to get a flashlight just in case the power decided to go out. We were dealing with some pretty good thunderstorms and the power was flickering already. So it was just a matter of time of when it would go out. As she was headed downstairs, she made the decision to not turn the lights on like she usually does and ended up missing the bottom two steps of the stairs. She lost her balance when she hit the floor in the hallway and the hit the door or door jam that leads into the office. She had a good bubble on the side of her right foot and was crying some but I missed it all. I was upstairs in the playroom where it is kind of sheltered from the rest of the house to hear anything.

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Olivia was gone for quite a while and I thought she just forgot. All I heard as far as background noise was cracks of thunder and ever now and then the dog barking back at the thunder. Then Olivis appeared dragging her foot along with an ice pack only for me to look at the foot and notice the bruising on the side of the right foot and the swelling. I could tell it was already broken and we waited it out until the morning to go see her doctor. They sent her for X-rays and then to the orthopedist that afternoon and sure enough it was broken. She is non-weight bearing for 3 weeks and she then will return on May 20th to see how much longer she has to be in the Aircast boot. Looks like the start of summer she will be taking it easy.

 

Each day day is a new challenge for her. She struggles to do an easy task for most like just standing up to brush her teeth or to use the bathroom by herself. Taking a shower on her own requires 2 people to help her and taking a bath requires help too. She is upset she cants go out and ride her bike and she can’t participate in her first homeschool field day. I’m helping out with the field day as I’m I’m the committee but I’m hoping I can find something for her to help out with or to participate in. If anything she can be my helper! A few of my friends children have broken a few bones this week as well and I pray for healing and comfort over them as well. It’s never easy seeing your child hurt and in pain. I have cried a few times this past few days because I have felt helpless over how to help Olivia with the pain. I have prayed for comfort for her and for her to be pain free. Jason has made it to the west coast and will be there for about a month and a half and it has been hard but I know he is doing this for our family! I’m glad we have iPhones so we can FaceTime!

IMG_1736 Top 10 Reasons Resort

Top 10 Reasons for Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort

IMG_1736 Top 10 Reasons Resort

I’m often asked why I stay at a Walt Disney World Resort and I often reply with the following because I love Disney World so much. But there are many other reasons as of why I stay on-site and some of the benefits are quite amazing! So I thought I would share my top 10 reasons with all my readers!

  1. You do not have to pay for parking!! Paying to park in the parks these days can be very expensive and if you are like me, I want to save as much money as I can. The fee to park now is $20 a day in the parks and so if you are staying off Disney property and you are visiting Disney World for a week and you park for say 5 days, you have just spent $100 just in parking.
  1. You can use the complimentary Disney Transportation offered. Disney Resorts have complimentary transportation. They offer Busses, Monorail and Boats depending on what Disney Resort you are staying at. So basically once you arrive at your resort if you don’t want to drive to the parks you don’t have to! I love staying at a Disney Resort because of this option!!
  1. You get extra time in the parks! The benefits of staying in a Disney World Resort is that you will either get an hour early in a Disney Theme Park or a Disney Theme Park will stay open 2 hours late for those staying in a Disney Resort. If you are not a Disney Resort Guest, you will be required to leave. The benefit of being able to stay during Extra Magic Hours is that you can continue ride your favorite rides and shop if that is what you chose to do. We take advantage of the shorter ride lines on our favorite rides.
  1. If you fly, Disney will pick you up at the airport for free and bring you to the resort & return you to the airport at the end of your vacation. I love taking advantage of using Disney’s Magical Express when flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO). Disney will pick me up at the Airport free of charge and will return you back to the airport when your vacation is over. The one thing that I love is that Disney will send you luggage tags for your luggage and when you check into the airport for you to fly down, your luggage will be delivered to your room at your resort a few hours after you arrive at your Disney Resort. I do suggest though packing a carry-on with a few things just in case you have dining reservation or if you’d like to go swimming.
  1. Staying at a Disney Resort does qualify you for a Dining Plan! If you are staying at a Disney Resort, it does quality you to get a Disney Dining plan. There are several different dining plans that you can get. If you aren’t staying on property, you don’t qualify!
  1. When you stay at a Disney Resort, you will receive a Magic band. A Disney Magic Band took the place of the “Key to your World” and gets you into your hotel room, gets you into the parks, gets you into your Fastpasses (which Fastpasses are available to everyone), gets you onto rides during Extra Magic Hours (EMH), allows you to charge things to your room, and if you have the dining plan allows you to use the dining plan and access your snack credits and get your refillable mugs. You have the choice to choose from 8 different colors of Blue, Gray, Orange, Yellow, Pink, Red, Green and now Purple! If you don’t choose then you will be given the standard color of Gray.
  1. If you purchase anything within the parks, Disney Springs you can have it delivered to your resort (free of charge). I love this service because I don’t like having to carry my purchases around with me all day long especially if I purchase it in the morning. I just go to the gift shop with my receipt and pick it up normally the next day.
  1. Resort Hopping is Free! The benefits of staying in a Disney Resort is that you can visit any Disney Resort and you can Resort Hop! I love going to visit the resort and do what a lot of other people call as “resort hopping” by riding the monorail or walking to different resorts to see what they look like and see what I like about them. Each resort has a theme and they are each different so going to see what each resort has is pretty cool. Plus, it’s free just to do it if you have some extra time to do it.
  1. Staying at a Disney Resort allows more time in the park! Staying at a Disney Resort allows you more time in the parks! Reason being is you are closer to the parks and you have more access to the parks. If you find that you are tired during the middle of the day, just take a bus back to your resort, relax by the pool, then go back to the parks for dinner and enjoy time for extra magic hours for the night.
  1. Magic is always there! Staying at a Disney Resort there is always magic around!!!

If you would like to book your Disney Vacation at a Disney Resort please contact me at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com and I would be more than happy to work with you. I will plan everything out for you including all your meals if you get the meal plan and will book all your Fastpasses for you. It’s a Stress Free Planning Vacation for you! Let the Magic Begin on this vacation planning!

Writers in Residence Review

Olivia has always loved English and writing, but trying to read her own handwriting is crazy. She isn’t strong in that way because of her Autism Spectrum Disorder and her ADHD and well sometimes her writing can be a little off in general. We were lucky enough to try out Writers in Residence from Apologia Educational Ministries.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
This is an amazing 4 day per week course that you do with your child and it is laid out in a manner that the child is able to do the lessons in no time. Olivia enjoyed the lessons and is still enjoying the lessons. We use these lessons in addition to her regular lesson in English and Handwriting to help her get some extra lessons in helping her with her writing. I love how this incorporates the Bible into the writing and the lessons which when we started up with finding a Homeschool curriculum that was on high on the list.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
The student text book is an all in one book that is the text book and the workbook all in one. I really like that because sometimes going from one book to another for Olivia can get to be just too much for her. This is good for students who are in grades 4th through 6th grades and this is perfect for Olivia to work on this year and next year. The lessons are sometimes quick and easy for Olivia and then some days they can be long for her to do. We sometimes will have to split them up into two different days for her because her hand will get tired from writing but this is something that she struggles with and the OT knows about it and we are currently working on it with her right now. Not only did we get the Student Textbook and Workbook but we also got the Answer Key as well. This was a nice surprise because we didn’t have to worry about having to come out of pocket for this or trying to go online and find the answer key. I like having this book because we can have all the answers to the questions that are needed for Olivia to the answers that she might have had to answer. Also I love the fact that both books coinside with each other and that is awesome!

 

You can purchase this product online as a set for $89.00 and I think that is a perfect price considering if you purchase them separate then it will cost you a total of $80 for the Textbook/Workbook and $15 for the Answer Key. So you are saving some money here. Apologia Educational Ministries is a wonderful company for educational purposes. We have used them for science before but had to switch Olivia because she already knew all the answers to everything she was learning in the book. Figures especially since it was on Animals. They believe in the teaching of the Bible and the teachings of Christ and we as parents believe in allowing these teachings to be taught to our children. I did receive Writers in Residence for free as a review as part of Schoolhouse Review Crew. Please check out their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram Pages for more information too!

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