Valentine's Day Project for Kids






Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!

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Curriculum, Etc...

Today's blog will be about what materials I'm using with my third grader.... I must admit my tastes are changing in the four short months we have been homeschooling. I cannot stress how much we LOVE Sonlight! We are using the CORE 3 literature and history and have been so impressed. I feel like my child is getting such quality literature and is soaking up every bit of it. For the past week we have been reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond and I must admit I am enthralled with the book, too! I don't ever recall learning about the beginnings of our country is such depth at such a young age. In fact, I feel like I am learning about it for the first time. It makes me even more upset about the current healthcare legislation -- BUT, I digress.

Horizons Math has been working quite well for us, too. My daughter is not a fan of math, but I like Horizons' spiral format and how it introduces concepts slowly and keeps reviewing them for a long time. I can also say that Handwriting Without Tears is an excellent way to teach handwriting. One of my biggest gripes with the public school was the lack of penmanship instruction, so we have slowly been learning cursive, and it is so beautiful!

We are feeling our way around with the science books provided by Sonlight... I've heard some not so good things about them, and I tend to agree that the lack of hands on activities for science is disappointing. So, I've been supplementing that on my own. Both of my children love the Usborne Mysteries and Marvels of Nature internet linked book about animals. We always do science together and my five year old son loves it and gains a lot from it as well.

Sequential Spelling is our spelling text and I've been very impressed with it and it introduces smaller words and then turns them into larger words. It also presents some rather obscure words (do you know what a LOUT is?) which we have had fun looking up in the dictionary and trying to use in common speech.

I have appreciated having the time and flexibility to fully delve into some other areas that I feel are important for children to learn about. My daughter has taken art classes from a wonderful art instructor in our area, and continues to take piano lessons as well. Our community also offers a homeschool PE class, which she attends two days each week.

So, all in all I feel that we are doing great! I won't lie - it has been a difficult adjustment for me, but it is so true that after a few months you fall into a routine and everyone settles down. I hope to expand my blog posts, because I have seen some informative and encouraging homeschool bloggers out there, and I would like this to me one day!

For now, I have a five year old boy laying under the computer desk who is tickling me and pretending to be a dog to get my attention, SO.... I think it is time to go!


Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Who would have thought that last year at this time Georgia was suffering from a severe drought? Right now we are suffering from bad moods and boredom because of so much rain! If I see another day of gray, dreary drizzle with temperatures in the 40s I think I just might go crazy! Thank goodness we are headed to Naples, FL, next week to visit with my mom and dad. The kids are excited because this will be Gizmo's (our Shih Tsu) first time on vacation with us. It should be interesting. :-)

Things continue to progress well with homeschooling. I am beginning to see a whole other side of my daughter that I thought was lost somewhere in the middle of second grade, and I am so happy. We are noticing that everyone in our house is happier, more relaxed, and just enjoying each other's company so much more. I have to admit I wasn't completely sold on the idea of homeschooling at first, but I now believe it when people say you will discover so many blessings along the way and your family will be stronger because of the journey. God is good, that is for sure.

We finished a beautiful book this week, "The Secret of the Andes" that kept both Anna and I enthralled. It's very interesting to learn about the Ancient Incans and just what a sophisticated society they were. I love using the Sonlight homeschool curriculum because it does not "talk down" to children - the literature is beautiful, and the subject matter is sophisticated and solid.

My iphone is also coming in quite handy for homeschool (all the more reason I need a newer, faster, phone -- HAL!). We are doing multiplication drills on the phone and Anna can now do times tables at 35 mph. Pretty cool. Better yet -- I think I need an iPad come spring to really be the best homeschooling mom possible! Oh, and who knew you could play math games on the Wii, too? The site is Arcademicskillbuilders and it is great! I relax math instruction on Friday and ditch the workbook in lieu of games like this.

Grant continues to toodle along happily in preschool at our church - what a blessing! Today was backwards day, so he went with his shirt backwards and even read a book to me backwards this morning! He is a clever little guy. Of course, once the weekend gets here it's all about unlocking the Spear on Mario Kart - so I am sure we will work on this tomorrow and Sunday. He begins to play t-ball in just a few weeks and Hal and I are very excited to see how he likes it.

On a personal note, I think it's amazing the way God works on us throughout our lives. Over the past year I have had several glaring examples of just how NOT in control of my life I really am. First, surgery and a difficult recovery. Then, stomach problems (which took a long time to diagnose). Then (and still!), a herniated disc that causes pain every day. All of this after 37 years of perfect health. Go figure. I think God was telling me to SLOW DOWN, trust HIM, and spend more time with my precious children and time helping others. As I do these things, I am feeling so peaceful and content. And of course I have the best life partner in the world who shares all of this with me.

We continue to pray for the future of our church, as our congregation faces a difficult vote over the issue of same-sex people in leadership positions in our church. Regardless of our stand on the issue, it is bound hurt our church family and this is so sad to me. Our church is a wonderful collection of people who love each other so very much - it is sad when politics and agendas of larger bodies work to destroy that. I know many Lutheran churches are going through the same thing and it saddens me.

That's all the musings I have for this evening.... enjoy the video of my little G rocking out to the Mario Kart music!


Life in the Big City

Today was one of those days that just turned out pretty great! We decided to visit the church where Hal and I were married, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta. Our favorite pastor, Pastor Weber, has been the interim pastor there for the past year and we just now decided to pay him a visit. In addition to seeing Pastor Weber, we also enjoyed the wonderful worship experience and the joy of being in an old cathedral with a tremendous pipe organ.

After church we decided to try out a restaurant in midtown, Einsteins, which turned out to be a terrific find for us! It was quite eclectic and, living in Sharpsburg, GA, it is good to get to the "big city" and see what that's like. Now, Hal will tell you this is nothing new for him since he works downtown every day. I used to go to grad school downtown and of course lived more in town when we were first married. The kids, however, never really get to experience Atlanta, so it was fun to spend the day there.

We capped off the day with a visit to Trader Joe's. I must say I was underwhelmed by the Trader Joe's experience today! It was crowded and it seemed like a lot of the people there were in a bad mood! The best thing to come out of it was several gourmet pizzas, some cool chocolate chip cookie dunking sticks, and some frozen veggies that looked really good to me.

Once home I decided to spend some time on the homeschool schedule for the week. I am making a detailed schedule for Anna and when I looked at it I really see how much we accomplish in a week! She is check off each task as she completes it, and Hal will check her schedule at night to see that she has accomplished her work for the day. I want to provide accountability similar to public school, but I don't want us to get bogged down by it. I'll let you know how this works. I went to a great site called Chart Jungle to get the schedule form.

We are looking forward to a productive week, and getting to see my sister-in-law and some of my nieces and nephew later in the week. They are here showing their Chows at a dog show in Atlanta and hopefully we will get to go to the show and swim in the indoor pool at their hotel! My brother can't make it - he is the chaplain onboard the USS George W Bush and will be at sea.