Sep 27, 2017

September Homeschool Favorites

If you are a homeschooling parent you know that there are some items we couldn't live without. Things that make our children's lessons go over more smoothly, or our day run better.
Today I am going to share with you what my current homeschool favorites are.
I will leave links down below to each item. (There might be one item I can't find since I bought it at a rummage sale.)

To show off these things better I made a YouTube video. I hope you enjoy it!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using this link.

Sep 22, 2017

First Day of Fall Poetry Tea Time

Today is the first day of fall. Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it doesn't feel like fall. Usually, we have fall weather early but today it was hot, humid, and we had thunderstorms. This didn't stop us from enjoying our weekly poetry tea time, though.

Every Friday we finish up any school work that needed to get done and later we do a nature study and poetry tea time. My kids love our Fridays here and look forward to it all week. I'm happy they are so excited for it, we have so much fun together.

This week we read a few poems from Robert Frost and Where The Sidewalk Ends poetry books. This week I also added in 2 fall time books I picked up at the library, Bella's Fall Coat and Plumply, Dumply, Pumpkin.

The Robert Frost book we use is called Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost. I love the illustrations in this book and the explanations of the poems on the bottom of each poem. It makes discussions of the poems a lot easier. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a poetry book for middle school aged children and up. You can find the book here...Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost

Where The Sidewalk Ends is an excellent book for children of all ages. The poems in here are short and silly. We all enjoy reading these and the kids don't ever want me to stop reading. You can find the book here....Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings

We read poems from each of the poetry books each week. Once we finish Robert Frost poems we will start on a new Poet. I will sometimes include books or poems I find online. Before we start reading the poems we make a special treat to eat. Today that treat was chocolate chip cookies. The kids all helped to make the cookies. Brayden and Haddy were very excited for the cookies and could hardly wait for them to be done.

After the cookies were done we all sat down at the table to eat and read. I love doing this with the kids each week. It's a special time we get to spend together and their lives are enriched with poetry.

Do you do poetry tea time? What is your favorite thing about it? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear from you.

 This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using this link.

Sep 21, 2017

Exclusively Pumping Mom

My baby daughter just turned 2 months old. I know that she is still just a tiny baby but I can't help but look back at our breastfeeding journey thus far.

I started out with hopes and dreams of nursing this perfect little baby. Getting to snuggle her, watch her milky smiles, and most importantly nurse while laying down in bed. But this is not what happened for us because I'm an exclusively pumping mom. 

An exclusively pumping mom means I pump my breastmilk out and feed it to my baby through a bottle. It also means I know everything about my breast pump and love looking at reviews about other pumps. It means I wash pump parts 100x a day and need an entirely separate deep freezer for all my extra breastmilk. I work hard providing milk for my baby by pumping every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. It does become tiring but it's so worth it. 

Sometimes our breastfeeding journeys don't go as planned and that's okay. We do what is best for our baby and family. For some that are directly nursing or pumping and for others it's formula feeding. No matter how our little ones are fed one thing is true about all of us, we love our babies. 

So if your breastfeeding goals didn't pan out for you just know you are not alone. All we can do as moms are try our hardest and do our best. Don't be so hard on yourself and just enjoy your baby. 

Remember that every drop of breastmilk you have been able to give to your baby counts! 

Tell me about your breastfeeding journey. Did it go as planned? Did you meet all your goals? How do you feel about it? 
Leave me a comment below!

Sep 19, 2017

BookShark Level 7

It's so hard to believe that this is Aaliyah's last year of middle school. When did she grow up so fast? I know as parents we say that a lot but it seems so unreal that she is 13yrs old.

We pulled Aaliyah from public school last year in November. She didn't want to be pulled but I missed not having her home and felt she was missing out on so much. After a few weeks of being homeschooled and meeting new homeschool friends, she has come to love homeschool.

Last year I used a mix of different curriculum for her. This year I am using the BookShark level 7 for her. BookShark is the perfect fit for her. She loves to read and will read just about anything. We are in week 3 of BookShark and I find that I have to slow her down in her reading because she is enjoying the book selections so much.

Here is a look at all the things we have for her this year. The only thing I didn't show is her math. We use Teaching Textbooks.
Click HERE to go directly to the YouTube video. Click HERE to go directly to BookShark level 7 curriculum.

BookShark Level 2

This is our 2nd year with BookShark. Last year we used level K and level 1. It was so easy to use different levels for 1 child based on that child's needs.
So this year we are using level 2 and finishing up language arts level 1. I posted a YouTube video with a fast look at everything we received for our level 2 BookShark curriculum. You can view that video HERE or just view it on the top of this blog post.

We are a Christian family using a secular curriculum. We enjoy BookShark because they stay neutral on religious ideas and beliefs. This makes it easy for me to add in our beliefs and any Biblical curriculum I would like my kids to use. If you have not checked out BookShark I recommend you do. BookShark does all the work for you laying out each weeks lessons plans. With homeschooling 4 kids this year I need things to be as simple as possible.
You can get a full look at BookShark Level 2 by clicking HERE.

Why We Homeschool

Every family chooses to homeschool for a wide range of reasons. I believe those reasons can change and differ between each child. I made a short YouTube video of why we homeschool that you can find right HERE or watch below.

About Me

Welcome to my nest.
My name is Amanda, homeschooling mom to 5 children. Here I will write about our homeschool adventures, large family life, home cooking, and anything else mom related.

I have been a stay home mom nearly since I have been a mom. I have only worked outside of the home when our family needed it. Thankfully that was only a handful of times as I have wanted to be a stay home mom since I found out I was pregnant with our first baby.
I have been married for 12yrs. Like I said before we have 5 kids.
 Aaliyah is 13, Haylee is 11, Brayden is 8, Hadley is 4, and Raegan is just a few days shy of being 2 months old.
We have a dog named Lizzy who is an Airedale and live in a log home in the great north of Michigan.

I hope you stick around for more blog posts!

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