Monday, July 29, 2019

2019-20 Homeschool Curriculum

We are about to embark on our 7th year of homeschooling! What?! Time flies y'all. I like to share our curriculum choices for the upcoming year, so here you go.

I have happily used Tapestry of Grace for the past 5 years. I love the curriculum. I do. However, this past school year was just blah for me. I was just a little burnt out and barely treading water by the end of our school year. I knew it was time to try something fresh and new for this next school year.



I have used My Father's World in the past. I did Adventures in U.S. History with Caleb when he was in 2nd grade and I did their Kindergarten and First Grade curriculum with Benjamin. It really wasn't a touch decision to jump back in with MFW. Exploring Countries and Cultures will be unlike anything we have ever done before. I am so excited. We will get to "travel" the world while learning about different countries, the cultures, the landscapes, the food, the history, etc.

Since we will be exploring all of the different countries and cultures, I thought it would fun to supplement with a couple of subscription boxes.

We will be doing Kiwi Atlas crate. We get a box each month with a different country/culture to explore further. It will be a great addition to our curriculum. So excited.

The next addition (and the one the boys are the most excited about) is.....


Universal Yums  is a monthly subscription box that allows you to try a variety of snacks from a particular country. The box also comes with information about that country as well as the snacks included. There is also trivia games and other activities in each box. This will be a tasty supplement to our curriculum. The boys absolutely can not wait for this. They are actually begging to start school so they can get to the tasty treats!

Another easy/fun supplement was to mail letters to different embassies asking them to send more information about their country. I mailed out 13 letters to 13 different embassies.
So far, I've received amazing packets from Brazil and Australia. I'll put these aside and pull them out when we get to those countries during our school year. I got a letter from France stating that they won't be sending us anything!


 Hopefully we'll hear from some other countries in the weeks to come. 

Exploring Countries and Cultures covers most of the core needs (geography, history, literature, science, art, Bible, etc.) We do have to add a few things to make it fully complete.

In addition to the main curriculum, Caleb will also have a few additional elements since he is middle school age. He will have several extra books to read as well as writing reports on some of the countries we will be studying. 

 Math:
Both boys will continue to use Math-U-See. It's DVD driven which I like.

Writing/Composition


Caleb will continue using IEW for his writing/composition curriculum. We used it last year with great results (after trying so many other options with poor results).

Benjamin's writing program. This is a companion option through My Father's World.

Grammar:
This was recommended by MFW so we are giving it a try. It is student driven and only takes a few minutes a day. 


This is Benjamin's grammar curriculum.

Reading:

Benjamin will continue to use All About Reading and...
Spelling:



This curriculum has been a huge blessing to me. It was exactly the approach Benjamin need to boost his confidence and ability with reading and spelling. Love it!


I think that covers our plans for the school year. We will continue with our co-op on Mondays. Caleb will be taking Texas History, Life Skills, and Chess. Benjamin will be in Fitness Fun, Hands-On Design Fun, and Responding to Emergencies. 

We will be starting our school year soon so stay tuned!

Monday, July 01, 2019

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom (and other home updates)

Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I don't know if that just means we have been busy or there isn't much to report. I think it is a bit of both. I did want to to share a remodeling project we had done recently. We decided to upgrade our guest bathroom into a more wheelchair friendly bathroom for Caleb.

Before....


It was a pretty small space that needed some major updating. 
Caleb was able to get in there but just barely. His wheelchair just squeezed through the doorway and there wasn't much room once inside to turn his chair around.

We decided to have the entire space gutted so we could just start from scratch. It was a really big project but it only took about 6 full days to have it completed.

Here is the finished bathtub. We opted for a tub instead of a roll-in shower because Caleb prefers baths anyway and he manages fine getting in and out on his own. The tub does have 2 grab bars (one on each side). The shower has two heads with one of them detachable so he can use the shower feature. We also had a cubby hole installed to hold his toiletries in a place that was easily accessible.

Roll under sink. 

We had the door widened by about 6 inches which made the space feel so much bigger. We decreased the depth of the vanity and the counter top which really opened up the space. There is so much room in there now.



(Before we put up the large framed mirror)

We are really pleased with how the bathroom turned out. It got a fresh, updated look and it is more accessible for Caleb. 

Some other rooms in our house got a little love recently as well. 

Our kitchen cabinets were in major need of an update. Here's before...




We had the cabinets painted, inside and out. Here's the after...

 We (Glenn) added hardware and a nice backsplash.

We (Glenn) also put in a new microwave and dishwasher.


And....I decided to freshen up our fireplace with a limewash.
Here's the before...


 And the after...

Still working on the decor but it looks so much nicer and cleaner now. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Jared's Epic Nerf Battle 4

If you know Benjamin at all, you know that he is Nerf obsessed. He got his first Nerf blaster when he was six years old and hasn't stopped collecting since. Here is just a small glimpse of the Nerf blasters that he has (this isn't all of them, just what would fit on the board).


This Nerf obsessed child was lucky enough to attend Jared's Epic Nerf Battle this past weekend. This is an annual "EPIC" Nerf battle held at AT&T stadium. I bought tickets back in December and he has been counting down the days since.

Benjamin got the added bonus of attending a meet-n-greet on Friday night. There were only 300 tickets for this but I managed to snag a couple before they sold out. Benjamin got to meet several of his favorite Nerf YouTubers in person and get their autographs, plus a ton of free stuff.




Lord Draconical (Benjamin's Favorite Nerf YouTuber!)

On Saturday we joined 4,000 other Nerf enthusiasts at the stadium for a battle of epic proportions.

He's ready.



Organized chaos mixed with absolute madness.


Fortnite Blasters.

Benjamin enjoyed the battles but his favorite part was getting his hands on blasters that haven't even been released yet. 

He went back to the displays over and over again just to see the upcoming blasters.





He had the most fun at the end when over half of the people had left so the battles were a lot less overwhelming and you could actually see who you were shooting at. 

It was a crazy (fun) time. I was exhausted by the end of the night. Benjamin is already looking forward to next year and plans to bring a couple of buddies with him so they can have a "squad". 



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