Thought patterns, for teens (and adults!)

If you, or someone you know, struggles with negative thought patterns, this article explains proper thinking really well. *(Link at the bottom) This is something I spend a fair amount of time talking over with all my teens. But even many adults fall into a trap with their thought patterns. This psychologist & his student have really nailed it in simple terms.

As a Christian, I also remind all my teens to think how God’s LOVE would view what they are thinking/seeing/feeling, and ask themselves if they are believing negative ‘lies’ in their mind.

Teens especially need to be on guard to keep themselves from believing destructive thoughts about themselves. And they ARE ‘lies’.

I’ve shared before how one of my daughters often struggles with thoughts that she’s not pretty. This is the same daughter in the ‘Red’ costume I shared on Facebook on Halloween! If you look at her photo, you know how false that thought is! (Not that beauty is important, this is just one example I can give that is so obviously a lie.)


Our teens must learn to SEE the ‘lies’ so they can learn to see & think otherwise. It’s their best defender against even worse thoughts, like not being worthy to live… We’ve all been touched by suicide in our lives, some of us many times over. I know 3 personally, or their families, who committed suicide. I attempted to commit suicide myself when I was 15. The approximate age of my three youngest girls now.

Fight for your kids (and your own) minds! Make them aware of how to win the negative battles in their minds.

And while we’re trying to think better about ourselves, let’s do the same when ‘assessing’ others too. I see WAY too much online ‘bullying’ happening between ADULTS lately. Be kind to one another, so our children can see it in action. It seems many think its ok to rip each other apart from behind a screen. Yet we all know its destructive, and leads to hurt, sometimes… even death.

I personally feel that speaking unkindly to (or about) others online is the equivalent of drinking and driving, and thinking no one will get hurt. We ALL know drinking & driving takes lives, and people get hurt. It’s about time we realize that speaking unkindly, bullying others, participating in tearing people apart online is just as foolish. (Even on ‘famous’ people’s Facebook pages- they ARE people- Robin Williams showed us all just how human even the highest profile celebrities are!)

We can’t be unkind to one another, and never expect to truly hurt someone.

We’re just FEEDING into one another’s negative thought patterns. Do we really want to continue doing that?

Reaping what you sow.


I’ll be totally honest, my girls do not really enjoy weeding in the garden.

So…when I decided as part of their school year in the spring they would each grow their own fair sized garden plot start to finish, I expected them to complain!


Instead, they seemed excited!


It’ll be great in many ways for all of us. This years garden was overwhelming for me, I work full time hours plus homeschool, and the homestead. This will give about a third of my garden size over to them to care for.


In turn, they will be free to plant anything they would like, and watch it grow from seed to harvest! After that, preserving, cooking, and eating the foods they grow will also be a part of their learning process.

I think they are excited for a few reasons, but one is that even though they don’t like weeding, they LOVE harvesting, and they realize the work really does lead to the reward.


Even though this is our 20th homeschool year, I can honestly say I’m as excited for this upcoming year as I was on our first year!
We’re reaping what we’ve sown, in the garden and in our schooling too.

I can finally let go of a dream, happily!

Our previous home, the one we just moved out of, was the
home I had fallen in love with so long ago, the home I wanted to
move into since my husband first moved to the prairies of
Saskatchewan, the home I had asked him to go take a look at, to see
if it was possibly THE home for us, the BIG
that was so fabulous on the realtors listing was my
DREAM home. The size of the house was
fantastic, plus
there was a two car garage and 87
acres. I felt it was a piece of heaven on the prairies! When we
first moved in, I shared about my love of the great big beautiful
But… as our Long Way Home seems to have proven over and over
again this past year… It just was not meant to be. Here we are,
after our third move in one year. When we were first given our
notice to move out, I
grieved. Really,
I did. I loved
that home. What’s not to love? The kitchen was amazing. DSC_8539 The great big tub with the
great big crack that my hubby fixed, was my favorite place in the
world whenever I was stressed. I could never understand how the
previous person’s who lived there all left the tub cracked, and
unusable, when they could have enjoyed it all that time as much as
I did! DSC_8532 Don’t get me wrong, the
homestead we are in now has a LOT that I’ve enjoyed from the start,
the big barn, and the beauty of the mature yard site. As Shaylah
said the other day, it offers the best of all we loved about our BC
hobby farm, trees and trees galore of ALL sorts! Nature at it’s
finest! This, I love about our homestead. There’s also a HUGE
garden, and lots of fruit trees. I love all this about our new
homestead too! 20130429-100641.jpg However, there were things
I didn’t like so much. It’s much less land, just under 18 acres.
The home is much smaller then the home I had fallen in love with,
but in all fairness, it is still 2400 square feet, so it’s not
small by any means. 20130429-101527.jpg The house…it’s well
used, a typical prairie farm home that’s in need of a good amount
of love. The kitchen is the exact same kitchen from when the home
was built many years ago. The bedrooms are small, our bedroom
furniture won’t fit and even with half of our bedroom suite out of
the room, my husband and I are still hitting our knees on the
remaining furniture, just the bed and the dresser, every day. My
sewing room is unfinished and certainly not ‘refined’. I’m trying
my best to pretty it up, and I’m actually getting there. It’s
difficult with a rather small,
no, a
decorating budget, but I do have lots of fabric at my disposal,
and, I am creative. I have full confidence that I’ll do more then
make it work, I’ll make it beautiful. However, the house does have
it’s positives too. The fact that I even have a sewing room is
huge. Many women don’t have sewing rooms. I know that I am blessed
and I do appreciate that. The floors in the house have all been
updated and are good, even if not what I would personally choose.
Although there’s wood paneling everywhere downstairs in the
basement, the upstairs walls have all been freshly painted in
neutral colors and I have
NO desire, after
THREE moves in one year, to even
TOUCH a can of
paint, so that’s a BIG plus. And I know that just as we’ve done
before, Graydon and I will turn this well ‘used’ home into a
wonderful retreat one day. We know how, and we’ve done it well, we
can do it again! 20130502-233925.jpg I really do love the barn,
the huge shop and quonset on the property are awesome for my hubby
and son, my soon to be humongous garden is like none I’ve had or
even dreamed of, and the every loving fact that we are
FINALLY home to
stay… this week I learned a
REALLY big lesson
about watching out for what you want in life because sometimes
you’ll regret it! This past week, we had insult added to injury. To
add to the difficult task of paying for TWO homes, half way across
the country from one another, and all the bills that go along with
TWO homes, and our main income barely covers the two mortgages
alone. Then there’s the extra’s in life like FOOD for seven, often
eight people (our pre-adoptive son spends several weeks
at a time with us, we don’t hold fund raisers, or ask for aid for
this adoption)
, gas to get to work, incidentals that pop
up etc.. To add to all that, this week we received our final bills
for the BIG BEAUTIFUL home I loved so much. The electricity bill,
and the gas bill. Whoa
On top of our monthly payments for
electricity and gas that we’ve been paying all along, we were hit
with just shy of TWO thousand dollars for electricity, PLUS just
over ONE thousand dollars for gas!! In just EIGHT months of living
there! It seems the monthly payments were ‘guesstimated’ much too
low, and believe me, they were already high! I assure you, we are
NOT frivolous people! We’ve lived in many a home before, and never
had these kinds of costs!! It’s sheer craziness! I told my husband,
that extra cost may just be worth the
knowledge that I will NEVER,
EVER regret not
being able to stay in that BIG BEAUTIFUL ‘dream’ home! I am SO
happy to have had to give
my dream home now. I’ve learned my
lesson, and learned it well! BIG dreams come at a cost, one I’m not
quite willing to pay the rest of my life! I
really just wish that lesson hadn’t come at such a ‘literal’ high
And now it’s time to get back to
sewing! I tell myself in times like this, to the tune of Dory’s
song in Finding Nemo, “just keep sewing, just keep sewing…” and I
thank God, over and over again, that I LOVE what I do! So remember,
when you shop at Homestead Emporium, YOU are making our ultimate
family dream a reality. YOU have helped, and continue to help, our
family live on this wonderful new homestead of ours. My
NEW dream home.
The one YOU and good friends, have helped us to attain! The dream
home that won’t cost us an arm and a leg for the rest of our lives!
You help us get by!
YOU even help with our adoption! Even if you can never adopt a
foster child yourself, you have the knowledge that you helped
another family who could! For that, as I’ve said before, and I’ll
say it again, we are
very thankful!
We’re staying positive. We’ve gotten this far! The house in BC WILL
sell! It WILL
And then we’ll be truly living the ultimate

Great list on homeschooling, by a public school educator.

You most likely know that our family home-schools.  Seventeen years now, so I’m pretty passionate about it and like to share that passion.


I don’t share as much as I would like to sometimes, because I simply don’t care to ‘debate’ a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I know homeschooling is not everyone`s thing. My husband and I already know what`s right for our family, so there`s no need to debate from that point of view. I also don’t feel I need to push my own beliefs on another, so I do not feel a need to shout it from the rooftops and try and make others feel like how they are raising THEIR kids is wrong, or not as good as how WE choose to raise our kids. That`s just not for me to say, or decide! As parents, we all try to do our very best, and make the best decisions for OUR family.

I enjoy sharing information, articles, etc. here and there so that those who may be on the fence, or those who may be in need of encouragement in their own homeschooling endeavors, can feel supported. So I’d like to share this article below, not to debate, but for those who would benefit from reading it. If homeschooling is not for you, feel free to ignore the rest of my post!


If you`d like to read more, carry on!

The article linked below is one of the best lists regarding homeschooling that I’ve seen, and not surprisingly, written by one who works in the public school system!

Some time ago, when we had just two, and then three children, I worked from home and provided child care for several years for two teachers (I had a home day care with more children then those two), and both teachers said pretty much everything the linked article says. They always fully supported our decision to homeschool our kids and and often commented that they wished they could do the same.

I sometimes wonder if people who know us best, think they know why we homeschool. The reality is, there’s just too many reasons for us to even begin to list, and no one could possibly ever truly understand all the real reasons why unless they decided to travel in the same shoes, or traveled alongside our family for the ride, in support of our decision.

Now that our eldest is 21 years old, our second eldest is 19, and the next three are 14 and soon to be 13 (twins), I can look back and realize something.


I am not a perfect teacher. In fact, some times I am a horrible teacher. I loose my patience, I HATED teaching reading (I hate to use the word hate, but I really did not enjoy the countless hours spent listening to the same words, the same sentences, being read over and over, and over and over again. I could have almost fallen asleep through every beginning reading lesson, really, I did NOT enjoy it!)

I have promised my children that if they choose to homeschool THEIR children, and live within driving distance of our home when it`s time to teach them reading, I WILL BE THERE to give them a break because teaching a child to read is one of the very most boring, tedious tasks one can get through as a homeschooler, at least it was for THIS homeschooler! If they live too far away to drive, I guess I`ll have to fly out for a few weeks to help them get through that hump of learning to read! That`s how tedious I found teaching to read to be, especially with a couple of our kids who were very slow to catch on (one has aspergers… if you know what that means, you know I don`t need to explain further…)

However, when a child masters reading, when they really get it, THAT is one of the most wonderful experiences as a homeschooler that I have been a part of! Now that we`re FINALLY past that with ALL the kids, I rejoice almost daily that we made it through!

fish eggs

I may regret not being a perfect teacher, I may regret not always having the utmost of patience as my children`s teacher, but I will not regret homeschooling! For every bad day we`ve had, there`s been more good. For every day we fought at the table over book work, we had many more days in which we relished in the glory of God`s creation through nature walks, science experiments, and many, many, MANY day trips that we may never have done if our children were away all day.


I will never regret the memories!
The memories we have!
Photo after photo after photo of all the places we`ve been and the all the wonders we have seen!

Life is overwhelming!
There`s SO much to do, and SO little time! Our choice was to keep them home so we could do more of the things we truly cherished in life. Things besides sit-down book work and teaching to pass standardized tests!

Such a mixed blessing it is, the good, and the bad, but that pretty much sums up homeschooling! That also pretty much sums up parenting! It`s the hardest thing we can do, yet the most rewarding as well!

Remember that job interview Joshua flew to Saskatchewan for?

Well he FINALLY heard back today!


First let me back track.

Joshua, our 18 year old son, has ALWAYS loved cars, trucks, tractors, and pretty much anything else with wheels and an engine.

He’s been tinkering ever since he could walk. First with wood, then metals, and then onto vehicles.
Especially after we gave him our former family vehicle.

We called it the “suburban”.

Then it became Joshua’s, and he turned it into “The Beast”.

He even hand made the front & rear bumpers of  “The Beast”!


But, back to the story.

While Graydon (dear hubby) was first living in Saskatchewan back at the beginning of Aug. 2011, you may recall that he had been staying in a 5th wheel trailer. Once things froze up and he no longer had any plumbing, he had to find some place “indoors” to live. He could not find ANY rentals, and so he ended up staying in a ‘rented’ room in someone’s home.

While staying there, he got to know the husband and wife and learned the husband worked for non other then… John Deere.

You’d have to know my husband and son to know how delightful this is! They both collect John Deere stuffs! They’ve both LOVED John Deere all their lives. Heck, even our youngest three girls love John Deere and have John Deere farm sets, barns, and more!

In the course of conversations over the next few months, it was suggested that Joshua, our son, apply to John Deere where this gentleman works.

Hmmm… something to definitely think about! Joshua working for John Deere? This was something little boy’s dreams are made of!

John Deere has an apprenticeship program, and it was suggested that Joshua think seriously about applying at this particular John Deere for this program.

So we began to make plans. Joshua saved up for a plane ticket and hoped like heck he wasn’t wasting his money! He got on that plane and spent 5 days with hubby sight seeing, and also going for the interview.

That was back at the end of February.

One thing after another delayed him from hearing a response about whether or not he got the job.
Joshua is a barn manager here in BC, and when his boss heard he was moving to Saskatchewan, she offered him a substantial raise and a place to live if he’d consider staying on as barn manager.

I cringed.

Yet, I knew Joshua was starting to get very worried about whether or not he got the position with John Deere! He wanted the job, but if he didn’t HAVE the job, he wanted to make sure he had “A” job! He did NOT want to be without work!

It costs a lot of money to run, and care for, “The Beast”. ;)

I worried that he’d take the offer from his current boss, and all our hopes and dreams for our future TOGETHER as a family on the prairies were slowly falling apart.

Already we were moving without Alesia (our eldest dd), since she’s moving on Sunday to Ontario, to be a nanny. I just felt like I could be “ok” with letting ONE child go, but TWO?!!?!? All within ONE WEEK!?!?!

Well… today I got a call from the manager asking for Joshua. He’s off at work of course, so I texted Josh and told him to call John Deere RIGHT NOW! The manager wanted to speak with him!

And of course… as though “I” ever had any doubt, Joshua GOT THE JOB!

Starting shortly after we move, he will begin his apprenticeship as a John Deere Mechanic!!

This mother couldn’t be more thrilled!!!

And all you homeschooling mothers out there, worrying and fretting about whether or not you’re doing a ‘good enough’ job schooling your children at home. Just remember what’s MOST important. It’s not schedules, organization, or using the very best curriculum. It’s about teaching your children to LOVE learning, and being sure to offer them any opportunity to learn MORE about what they love. That’s it! Keep focused on THAT goal, and your kids will do just fine. In fact, they may do even better then that!

About ready to burst I think!

Lately, I have moments where I have to stop myself and wonder how it is that I haven’t burst yet!

There’s been SO much happening in the lives of our family lately. I wasn’t able to share any of it for quite a while but now I can begin to share a little. One thing at a time.

I am heading to the airport with our son early tomorrow morning. We have to get up in just 6 hours and 9 minutes actually, but who’s counting right?

He’s heading out to the prairies. He’ll be meeting my husband and spending a very long weekend with him. This will be Joshua’s first time to the prairies, other then the times we’ve driven through, or flown over, back and forth between Ontario and British Columbia.

On Monday Joshua is being interviewed for an apprenticeship program.

To say I am excited for my son would be to put it VERY mildly.

I can’t share a whole lot of details about what the program is exactly, but it’s in the mechanics field for a large company. He hasn’t actually gotten the ‘job’ yet, so I’m trying not to get TOO excited, but they were very impressed with his resume.

Let me just say to homeschooling mom’s everywhere, if you’re ever in doubt of what you’re doing with your children, stop, because if you truly care about your children’s education at all,  you have no reason to fear.

I don’t often brag about my kids, I probably should brag about them a whole lot more, but I guess I figure their lives speak loudly enough. However, I have to say that my son’s resume even impressed me.

He has done so much living, and learning, in his short 18 years! Anything he wants to know, because he’s been homeschooled, he’s had the time to figure it out. If he couldn’t figure it out, either he, his father, or myself found someone he could work alongside with so he COULD figure it out.

So often homeschool moms struggle with fears of doubt that weigh so very heavy on them daily. It’s a big responsibility to be in ‘charge’ of your children’s education!

But… I wouldn’t trade the responsibility of home education for anything.

So, tomorrow Joshua heads out. My husband is picking him up in the afternoon and they’ll have a few days of ‘fun’ before Monday. On their way ‘home’ from the airport they are going to do some sight seeing. On Saturday, I’m not sure what they’ll do but I’m sure my husband will want to show our son around town.

Graydon (dh) has said more then once that he’s sure all the ‘town folk’ must think he’s some crazy person with an imaginary family that he constantly talks about, yet they’ve never seen hide nor hair of in the seven months he’s lived there. Now he’ll have some proof that this family really does exist and he’s not some crazy person after all!

I had better stop here. I have to leave the house in less then 6 hours now.

Sleep… what’s that?

First week of back to school, feeling a bit like a failure

Well, maybe not a total failure, but the start of the school year just brings up SO much more then academics! And we’ve been at this 16 years! Those of you just starting out, give yourselves a pat on the back even if things aren’t going as well as you had hoped.

First off, the start of every year reminds me that schooling all three youngest together, isn’t always the easiest thing. I use the same curriculum for all three because it does keep some things simpler, and since Elsa was born in 1998 and the twins were born in 1999, technically they are only one school year apart. Plus, our curriculum is mostly unit study types, so this works out very well.

However, for those subjects we are NOT doing unit study style, math being the major one… well… let’s just say I can’t imagine a teacher trying to do this properly with THIRTY students.

I’m one mother, having a hard time juggling how to handle this, with just three.

One child wants to whip right through the math curriculum, and I HATE to say no.
The other child ‘could’ whip right through it, but can’t be bothered.
Yet another child, although she’s smart as a whip in just about every other area of schooling, can’t seem to grasp math concepts.

She’s like her mother that way.

Oh I can get math, but math concepts as taught in workbooks… forgetaboutit.


What to do, what to do? Do I let the one child whiz through?
If I do, should I push the other a little harder to whiz through along with her since I know she can?
Do I throw away the other child’s book since it’s obviously not working for her, and go with a more hands on approach for her math?
I know that “I” learn very well with the hands on approach, if she’s so much like me when it comes to math, I think this may be the best approach.

Which of course means… a change in our schooling. Already. We haven’t even been at this a full week yet.


I know it’s the best thing to do though. To try and do it any other way, would simply be futile.

This is my most favorite, and least favorite, part of homeschooling.

The fact that I can design our schooling in such a way that works best for each child. However, the reality in that is always more work, and more time, for mom. I don’t mind taking the time, or doing the work, it’s just difficult when time is in such short supply right now.

Which, brings me to the other area in which I’m feeling like a failure.


Since my husband left, it’s been like a downhilll slide or an uphill battle, constantly.

The problem is not the children either, it’s ME! And I HATE admitting that.

I’ve been such a huge grump. I’m trying hard not to be, and I do ok, but it shouldn’t be such a struggle to put a smile on my face. I know the only reason why it is such a struggle, is because I’ve allowed my attitude to get stinky.

I really need to stop that. Like RIGHT NOW!

These kids deserve so much more then an overtired, grumpy mother.

School days

With September fast approaching, I’ve been thinking lots on school and our days.

Some school days go very smoothly.

Usually this happens is if my son is working and doesn’t need any help with his own school work, and my eldest daughter doesn’t need to be driven to work in the middle of our school work.
Then I only have three kids. It seems weird some days. I’m getting more accustomed to it though.

Some days we actually finish school by 10:30, well the seat work part anyways.

Some days I print out some pretty coloring pages for our art work.

We love color around here. :)

For some extra fun we might read a book about trees and then the younger three go hunting for some of the trees they spoke about in the book.

The girls might finish off the school day with some reading.

For those of you who are into Charlotte Mason, yes, I fully realise these are ‘twaddle’.;)

I tried to get a photo of Shaylah, but she wasn’t having any of it. lol

Often, the afternoons are spent finishing up some custom orders and instock items for the biz while the girls either play together, or help out!

We’ve got a pretty good routine going. Yet, it only ever seems to go as planned about 2 or 3 days a week. Haven’t quite figured out how to change that yet. Life keeps getting in the way. ;)

What I ordered for this year’s home schooling…

On the facebook page we were discussing homeschooling and what people use. Since I mentioned I put in my order for this year’s schooling, I said I would share some more info here on the blog.
What I purchase each year can be quite random. We’ve been schooling for fifteen years, so there’s a lot of things I already have.
Here in British Columbia, Canada we are given a few choices for homeschooling. We can “enroll” our children, and they basically do the same thing at home, that the public schools are doing AT school. With this choice you are supplied with a budget and/or the text books etc. needed for each subject. Your child is also provided with teachers for each subect. Basically, it is public school at home.


Another option is to “register” your child, which is what we do. If you register, you are allotted 120.00- 150.00 per child to help you with the costs of curriculum etc..
Each year I choose to use these funds for books and other book-like activities, such as homeschool curriculum, science project kits, art kits, readers and/or novels. I also purchase things such as math manipulatives, or even foreign language lessons. Over the 12 years we have lived in BC, we have accumulated quite a library, both for my husband & I as the teachers, and for our children as the students.
This years order:
  • Building Spelling Skills (for all three of the younger girls)
  • Audubon First Field Guide – Rock & Minerals
  • Audubon First Field Guide – Birds
  • Attracting Birds(Shaylay LOVES birds, so this is mainly for her but we all learn what she learns)
  • 10 Days To Multiplication Mastery Teacher Edition & Workbooks (for all three, to strengthen their multiplication)
  • Write a Super Sentence- (I like these ‘extra’ workbooks to help the girls master anything I feel we need some extra work on.)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3: The Official Training Workbook from Adobe Systems [With CDROM] ( Classroom in a Book (Adobe)
  • Solar Cooking Science – Kit- (I remember doing this in school and loved it, I think the girls will as well. I’m sure we could make this on our own, but our lives are so busy sometimes it’s simply easier to get’er done if we order the kit)
  • The Jumbo Cookbook- (the girls ALL love cooking. No worries we miss out on Home Ec in this house!)

Penne a la Shaylah

  • Signing – How to Speak with Your Hands (ASL)- (I learned some sign language as a teen and feel it’s a very important language for our children to learn. I’m excited to get this book! The older version is the same one I used!)
  • The Jumbo Book of Space
  • Science Vocabulary Readers (these are for all the girls, but mainly Elsa. Her reading is not up to ‘snuff’ yet, so I thought it’d be a nice change to get some science readers this year)
  • The Earth
  • The Moon
  • Horse Life Cycle
  • Beautiful Birds
  • The Solar System
  • The Planets
  • Stars and Constellations
  • The Sun


  • Awesome Amphibians
  • Tornadoes!
  • Lightning!
  • Frog Life Cycle


  • Chick Life Cycle
  • Your Brain
  • Hurricanes!

fish eggs

  • Considering God’s Creation Teacher’s Manual- (we have been using this science curriculum for many years. I used it with the older two, and now with the younger three. It’s is Christian based, but very comprehensive. I’m ordering the teachers manual because my old copy has become so worn!)
  • KLUTZ – Backyard Stars- (even Alesia, our eldest, will love these books. We all enjoy learning about the night skies! I expect when we move to the Prairies we’ll learn all that much more!)
  • Space Exploration Experiment Kit
Besides what I’ve ordered, we will continue to use the Prairie PrimerThis past year we made it through Little House in the Big Woods and started on the next book near the end of the year.
We will also continue with History of the Horse. We made it through Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and just loved it. Of course it’s very fitting for this family of horse lovers/owners.
I know I’m missing other things we use, I have a very wide range of stuff I draw from right here at home. With house selling the last few years, a lot of it remains packed and every fall I go through the boxes and pull out what interests us that year. We add in anything and everything we feel like studying along the way as well. This fall I’ll add in some things about Saskatchewan and the prairies as we prepare to move there. Hopefully that will also be a part of our learning this year. A move to the prairies. My husband leaves in one week and we really don’t want our family to be split up for very long. In the meantime, we’ll be here learning as much as we can before we go.
I’ve used many many books & curriculum over the years geared towards homeschoolers. We’ve done the full gamut. Everything from full boxed curriculum such as LifePacs from Alpha Omega, Abeka, Five in a Row (one of my favorite all time curriculum!), to many, many individual subjects/books/curriculum. We’ve also used MANY unit studies over the years. SO many! Too numerous to mention, and I still have them all (packed up of course, ha!). If my children decide to homeschool their children, they’ll have a full library of homeschooling materials at their full disposal!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! 

Finally put in our order for next years school ‘stuffs’!

I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. Usually I have my order in by May, but the last few months have just seemed to FLY BY! So while I was sitting at the computer, overlooking the younger three children selling eggs at the top of the driveway, I figured I may as well do a final edit on my school book order one last time, and finish it off. Finally!


Hello, my name is Peggy (Pieternella, Pietra, depending on how brave you are in pronouncing my name)…
and I’m a curriculum & book junkie collector


It’s simply because I LOVE learning. I feel if we have the knowledge on hand for just about any topic under the sun (and over it, I’ve ordered quite a bit of space stuff this year!) then the children will never lack any knowledge they could ever desire, or need.


Some days I wish I could download all this knowledge into our brains instantly!
So many books, so little time!

Our family has been homeschooling for many years. Since our eldest daughter just turned 5. She’ll be 20 before the next school year begins. She graduated two years ago. One child down, four more to go. Joshua will graduate soon as well.Then it’ll be two down, three to go!

For the younger three, Elsa was born in 1998 and then the twins, Shaylah and Julia were born in 1999. Since Elsa has some learning issues due to Aspergers, I teach all three together for pretty much everything. The twins have surpassed her in reading, but she catches onto some mathematics quicker. It all even’s out and we simply try to work with each child more in the areas in which they need it.

Our style of homeschooling? You could probably call it ‘unschooling’. I don’t much care for labels of any kind though, simply because not a single label can ever properly fit!
So I won’t ‘officially’ call us unschoolers.


I guess if we really needed a label for our style of schooling it would be something like, “Eclectic-almost-Unschoolers”

How’s that for a label?


Eclectic: because we enjoy such a huge variety of learning styles, which in reality, is how any large-ish family should/would/could be since every person learns differently from another. I also enjoy a huge variety of teaching styles and/or curriculums. Everything from Charlotte Mason to Waldorf to even some full curriculum.


Unschoolers: because the typical public school style text books makes me want to vomit.

Sorry, I know, TMI (too much info) but it’s true. I am so sorry to anyone who may be a public school text book author/writer or anyone who may be a relative of one (which I doubt, because I think most are long gone by now, the texts are all that old!), but that’s simply my opinion. Not calling it a fact. Just saying how it is for me. If a text book writer just so happens to ever read this, feel free to ask my opinion as to WHY I feel this way. I’ll be happy to enlighten you! But one word sums it all up, life. I don’t feel any ‘life’ in text books.

And you could say an “almost” unschooler: because I enjoy well written curriculum way too much to not use it. I also REALLY enjoy instructing the children with well written curriculum. Sitting around the table together, hashing out some well written problems, or learning something new, it’s a total bonding experience.

Text books… that’s more like pulling teeth for me, and that’s not so bonding.

Last fall we decided to try a ‘real’ schooling with our son, who was 16 at the time. He was ‘registered’ with a homeschooling school. One in which you do your work via the computer, with teachers marking and grading your work, and everything else, just like “real” school. WHAT you learn is decided by the public school curriculum and that is what you follow. TO THE LETTER. No rabbit trails there.

*sigh* rabbit trails are the biggest blessing of our schooling, our learning… our lives!

I’m not a fan of ‘quitting’ but I’m also not a fan of wasting one’s time and knowing when it’s better to quit then to pretend something is actually working. You know, like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. If it had been more like trying to put a round peg into a square hole, I may have considered trying it a little longer. Maybe. At least the round peg could fit into the hole, just not quite right. But this was definitely a square peg trying to be rammed into a round hole. It just was NOT going to fit.

The biggest reason we quit? Because he was getting A’s and B’s and not learning much of anything.

Let’s just say, we learned our lesson and my son happily went back to learning his own way.

I have another reason for disliking labels, especially for homeschooling. I feel it puts learning into a ‘box’. It can also make new homeschoolers (and even old!) feel like they must be doing something wrong if they don’t quite fit into one of those neat little boxes.

A reporter for a local newspaper did an article on homeschooling and our family about 8 or 9 years ago. She asked me how many ways there is to homeschool. My reply:

“There are as many ways to homeschool, as there are homeschooling families!”

Each family needs to find their own ways. Just like with parenting. Each child, and each parent, and then each relationship between each parent and child, is all going to be different. Embrace that, and run with your differences.

The best part of homeschooling, is learning from one another. That’s probably one of my most favorite ‘side effects’ of homeschooling.

This post is getting long and I’ve been asked to share what we purchased this year, so I’ll share that in another post soon! Promise!

If you homeschool, chime in! What do you do for your schooling? How many years have you been at it? Got some great tips, share with the rest of us! Got questions, ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer or maybe someone else will know!