Holidays! – Learn to Crochet

Over the next few weeks MomSCHOOL will be posting about easy and fun ways to get the kids involved in holiday preparation. Aren’t food, parties, and even gifts just that much more special when everyone has taken time to make them?  Sure, so let’s explore some fun and easy ways to make that possible!

Let’s start today by saying that making hand made needle crafts is a great and inexpensive way to teach your young ones how to “give” during the holidays. Each of my girls can crochet, even the youngest has learned the chain stitch and single crochet. Here are some super awesome tutorials to get you started!

How to Hold the Yarn

How to Make the Slip Knot

How to Chain Stitch

How to Single Crochet

Once you’ve learned these few stitches you can make ALOT of things from scarves, to dish cloths, to hair bands, to hats! Have fun and GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!

What are your Summer Homeschool Plans?

Photo: If only I could remember this in those aggravating moments!

Yes, it’s been one of those crazy years. You know… the kind where you feel like you are just making it by a hair’s breadth. There have been a lot of triumphs, but also a lot of tragedies. It’s just been a tough year. However, by God’s amazing grace (yet again) we will make it to the finish line.

As I look back over my children’s homeschool accomplishments, I realize that though they did well… we didn’t make it as far as I felt they needed to go. I’m disappointed… but I realize that it isn’t the end of the world. After all tomorrow is another day… Another great reason for homeschooling. To make up those areas in which we have a few deficits, we plan on homeschooling throughout the summer. Not a full fledged all subject homeschool endeavor… but a focused academic pursuit. Each of the kiddos has a specific area in which they have a weakness. We plan on working through that weakness during the summer, and look forward to fall finding each of them on top of their game!

First grade daughter needs to work on reading fluency. We will be doing Time4Learning Language Arts as well as some other phonics based programs.

Third grade daughter needs work on multiplication and division. We will be using some online math resources to help her gain mastery in this area.


Seventh grade twins need work on math skills and spelling. We will be using Vocabulary Spelling City and Time4Learning in those specific areas to boost their mastery levels.

Do you find yourself in this same situation? What are your plans for this summer?

Russian Children’s Picture Bible Project

ArmenianI’m so excited to share with you all a project that I think is pretty amazing. I’ve had the real pleasure of knowing Dr. Bob and Sheila Doom for over 20 years. they recently shared with me a project on which they ( as part of the Russian Bible Society) have been working. A project to reach the majority of countries and states in and around Russia.

Reaching Russian Children!

This project really caught my heart for a few reasons: 1) Eastern European and formerly communist elementary schools are now MORE open to Christian influence than the U.S. 2) These picture books are a beautiful and amazing way to reach children with the simply truths about Jesus. I know from experience that children always love books. Many of the children in these countries don’t even own one book. Just think how wonderful that would be for someone to give you your first book!

Russian Picture Bibles on their Way!

You see, these books are to be readily distributed through the local schools, amazing right? This project is ongoing, however, a first shipment was sent the beginning of March. In Fact, there were 35,000 copies going to Latvia, 9,000 to the Republic of Georgia, and 6,000 to Romania. This is an amazing beginning.


I gave to this project, and hope to give more soon. In fact, a little goes a long way because $20 will buy 8 1/2 copies of this beautifully illustrated HARD BACK book!


If you are interested in giving to this project, you may contact NETA COX via email at

If you would rather speak to someone on the phone you can call 828-681-0379. The Russian Bible Society is located in Asheville, NC and is an incorporated non-profit organization founded over 70 years ago.

Homeschool Curriculum Review – Saxon Phonics 1

We started using the Saxon phonics program this year for our first grader. It has been different from what we are used to for first grade (ABEKA). However, there are alot of good things I can say about it.

Pros – First of all it is a VERY comprehensive style of curriculum. The teachers spiral bound edition is about 3 inches thick. LOL! Each day’s work is spelled out for the teacher. It even includes verbal cues (what to say). So, for the beginning homeschooler it would be perfect to get your feet wet. It introduces letters to the first grader gradually. Each day it reviews the letters that were introduced previously and then builds on those concepts. Using the phonetic approach students are introduced to letters and learn to read all at the same time. This is definitely a new approach for me. I am used to introducing all of the alphabet one at a time – building on their sounds – and then building on consonant blends until you have words. My daughter was struggling at first, it seemed a bit too much. However, now she seems to be doing fine. I would suggest purchasing the Teaching Tools to accompany the worktext. There is a ton of great resources in this little box, and it allows us to play games and make the phonics time more interesting. She especially loves to make words out of the little letter cards that are included.

Cons – The curriculum is quite comprehensive as I mentioned before. It takes quite a while each day to cover everything that is included in the teacher’s manual. It takes us about an hour. With that in mind, there are many days that my first grader gets frustrated and tired. I usually try to break up the monotony with a “game” using the letter cards. There are alot of games that are listed in the teacher’s manual which does make it easier. The resources tools have a ton of flashcards, books, and game pieces that have to be separated and put together. This is quite time consuming.

All in all I would have to rate this curriculum very high. Though I think that ABEKA does have the reading process a little more streamlined. This curriculum if followed completely will give your beginning reader a VERY solid foundation in phonics. I believe this curriculum is great and will definitely not be a negative in our learning experience. However, with 5 other children being homeschooled – it isn’t easy to spend an entire hour on one subject. If you have plenty of time and no rush… this curriculum is perfect!

Getting back to normal…


Wow! This summer has been insane! We have done alot of travelling, and are now finally settling down and getting back to normal. We just got back from our oldest daughter’s Senior trip. She and her best friend (along with both moms) started a business venture this summer and raised the money to go to the Caribbean. We didn’t really want to cruise, but our budget limited us to that option. It was a beautiful week, and we saw some beautiful sights.

Coming back home, to a pile of laundry and a ton of stuff to get ready for school… well, it’s just a little depressing…

This Monday will be our first day of homeschool for this school term. Yep, it’s a little late, but it’s just how the cookie crumbles. I’ve initiated a few changes to our regular schedule, and of course, added and changed the kid’s classes for this year. All in all it looks like a promising year, and I will post again this coming week to let you know how things went Monday, and to tell you all about our new schedule and system. Have a great weekend!


Book Review: High School Prep Genius

highschool prep

High School Prep Genius an Academic Guide to Excellence by Jean and Judah Burk is a beneficial tool for any parent with a  student entering high school. In fact, this book really took me by surprise! I was blown away by how MUCH material was here.  Each chapter is full of amazing content and tools to help safely and successfully navigate high school with a view to your child’s future success.

What’s it all about?

Covering not only academic success this book addresses personal success as well. Using innovative methods to encourage the student to find personal areas of interest that will enable lifelong benefits. I really appreciated how this book took a step by step approach to providing everything a student needs to be successful in life.

For those homeschool families who haven’t had experience with high school yet, this would be an invaluable resource to obtain. With clear delineation of high school requirements as well as suggested courses of study, this book makes mapping out your high school plan easy. High School Prep Genius also addresses each grade of high school individually coaching the student on specific milestone goals that should be accomplished by month.

What are the pros?

As a parent I loved the way this book really encouraged  parent/student teamwork. Truly a successful high schooler is in league with his/her parents to make the most of those four years. Another indispensable aspect of the High School Prep Genius is the plethora of copiable templates and documents to help record your high schooler’s accomplishments. I would dare say, anything… and I mean anything… that you would need to track your high school progress is contained within these pages!

In addition to helping the student navigate high school waters, there are sections with an abundance of instruction on how to manage career choices, choosing a college, and creating life goals. This is truly a comprehensive look at making the transition to adult life.

What are the cons?

Well, to be honest there really weren’t that many cons. I think this book is well written and very practical. It takes into account a wide variety of students. My only thought is that they could have addressed homeschoolers in a little more depth.

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for a candid review.

Teaching History with Adventure!

summer historyYep… I make no bones about it… I love summer. Mostly because the daily boot camp that is my life on a typical school day is gone during those blissfully peaceful summer months. Yet, the teacher (and probably “Monk” tendencies) in me is concerned that my kids keep their brains active during the summer! So, I am constantly looking for ways to do this without making it seem like we are having a regular school day. This is where I love the idea of Adventure History!

During the summer we often try to brush up a bit on the history of our local areas. A great way to do this is to have a history adventure. Here are a few ways that I try to teach local history.

1) My all time fav… take a day to have a scavenger hunt! Find all of the historical landmark signs that scatter the streets of your neighborhood!

2) Visit your local Historical Society Chapter. Ours has a great website with lots of cool old pictures of our county seat. In fact, we are fortunate, our tiny little town (we are talking a post office and 3 buildings) even has their own book published!

3)Read a book together that is about history in your state. After you finish the book take a day trip to visit the setting of the story! There are some pretty neat things that you can do along those lines in our state. We live in Georgia so it’s a veritable hot bed of Civil War history! Here is a great FREEBEE site to find awesome homeschool literature!

4) Google – have an online day where you use all types of online resources… like this FREEBEE online state games! Then try to visit some of the sites that you learned about online!

I am participating in the Homeschool Friday Freebee Link up… So, buzz on over there and see what other awesome homeschool freebees are waiting for you!

Q and A about Online Homeschool

Is Online Homeschool for you?

Homeschooling is an exciting adventure, but is online homeschooling a good choice for you? It is sometimes difficult to tell until you try something if it will actually work for your homeschool or not. Online homeschooling is an option that has made homeschooling easier over the past several years. Typically, online homeschooling involves your student learning and studying online via either an online teacher or online software setup.

If I choose online homeschooling is that all I can use?

If you choose to school online, you can combine online homeschooling with other typical homeschool courses. Most online schooling allows you to pick and choose the subjects that you want to use online. In this way you can do each homeschool subject in a way that best benefits your students individual needs.

Is there a grade limit to how I use online homeschool?

There are an amazing amount of online homeschooling resources. A google search will supply you with more results than you could research in a day. Everything from regular academies that will charge you a monthly tuition and monitor your child’s achievement, to simple online software programs that allow you to manage your own child’s education. There are options in levels of instruction as far as how challenging the program is, to how many grades are offered within that online homeschooling resource.

How will I keep records using online homeschooling?

This is the easy part. Most of the time online homeschooling will automatically keep school records for you. Most of the online software is set up to grade and monitor achievement immediately. However, in cases where your online homeschool option uses real teachers the teachers will keep the grades and records for you. At the end of the course, you can take the grades that are received from the online course and add them to the transcript records that you have been keeping for your child.

Will my child be bored doing online homeschool?

Many parents worry that online homeschooling will bore their children. However, most of the time that is definitely not a concern. Most online curriculum have been designed to make it incredibly interesting for the student. The materials are typically very engaging and exciting. If you schedule your child’s day to make sure that they aren’t sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, then there should be no worries about boredom!

It’s so scary… Preparing for college

I have to admit, as I am trying to help my oldest daughter prepare for college…I’m scared. I worry that what I’ve taught her over the years in ourhomeschool, just might not be enough. I also worry that I am missing a vital step somewhere. I’m sure it might all be because she is the first to graduate from our homeschool.  The first time for anything is always scary.

My daughter is a rising senior, and wants to eventually work as a librarian. We are having difficulty finding a college that has a supporting major.  On top of all that, we need to be able to get scholarships. Sports scholarships aren’t an option, so we have been trying to beef up on ACT/SAT test scores.

Other options that we are trying to keep in mind are taking CLEP tests for some of the courses that we will be taking this year.

So, am I alone, or are there others of you that are a bit scared of the whole high school to college transition?