Back to (Home) School 2011 ~ Our School

Welcome back to the second annual “Back to (Home) School” blog carnival! It’s a month long exhibition of what works for YOU (because sometimes we all need to remind ourselves what we DO have working for us– there’s plenty of opportunity to lament over what’s NOT working.) And most of the time we all enjoy looking at what other people are doing, too. We can find great curriculum recommendations, organizing ideas, record keeping tips and other goodies by taking a minute to step outside of what *we* think and take a look at the advice that other people are offering. (I’m particularly bad about not doing that sometimes.)

And that’s my hope for this carnival, that you’d find at least one tip or piece of advice that you can really use to help your school year go even better. And I also hope that it’s fun! And that you find some new blogs and that some new followers find yours. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Our School

I’ve written about our ‘students’ before: Princess (11), Drama Queen (8) and Little Prince (5). I’ve written about their different learning styles and how I try to teach with that in mind.

What is going to be different about this year is that the kids are starting to get older, Princess is a tween (and starting to behave like one!) and we need to increasingly challenge her to grow her and teach her while also teaching her how to deal with her increasingly challenging hormones. Drama Queen’s math is going to get harder of course, but I need to gently push her to improve her handwriting and tidiness even more and I imagine that’s going to be the most difficult and trying for us. And the Little Prince, though school may not look the same for him as it did for the girls at this age, definitely needs to be encouraged to “do school” with us as much as possible – and hopefully pick up some reading skills along the way. To that end, I’m going to be the most organized and on the ball that I have ever been! (It’s been an ongoing process, a little more each year as we go. I’m getting there!)

Here’s a few things I’m putting in place this year to make sure each of my children get their needs met:

  1. Princess needs to write more! It sounds easy enough just ask her to write a lot, about anything and everything, but we didn’t remember often enough to “just do it.” So this year I’m buying a writing curriculum so that we have lesson numbers to follow and complete. (We work well when there’s a book to complete.)
  2. Drama Queen has come a long way with her handwriting but there’s still room for improvement. I’m going old school on this one — good effort with her handwriting will earn a smiley face sticker on the assignment. It’s so easy – but I know that it will motivate her.
  3. Little Prince is an active, hands on kind of guy but he’s starting to sit still a little more these days. I want him to actively explore but I also want him to start learning how to read. He gets a kick out of using books his sisters have already used so we’re going to make the most of that! I’m going to keep pulling out the McGuffey primer. It was his sister’s. ;0)
  4. I need to do better about getting all our science experiments in so I’m creating a science experiment box – a sterilite box that I already have that will hold supplies in manila envelopes labeled with their numbers. I’m working on that before school starts so that all our experiments are ready to go (minus large items like mixing bowls or staplers..)

These are just a few things, I have several new goals and ideas for this year. But I don’t want to bore y’all. =p

My overall hope for our school this year is that we can enjoy learning together, REALLY learning together, despite the hormones and the sibling rivalry and the pesky little brother. I pray that God gives me the wisdom how to deal with the parenting while doing the schooling! I pray that I succeed in teaching them about God and spiritual disciplines while teaching them about the world He created.

Now it’s your turn to link up and tell me/us about your school, your students, and/or your goals for the new year!

(P.S. I forgot to remind you that it’s okay to link up posts you’ve already written for your own blog or someone else’s back to school carnival, it’s okay! As long as it’s on topic. Thanks!)

~ You can find the Back to (Home) School, Week 2 post here.

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July 4, 2011 9:33 am

I am also trying to up the writing in our home. WIth both my 6th/8th grade boys. I am wondering what Writing Curriculum you found?

July 8, 2011 1:25 pm
Reply to  Peggy

We decided to go with Writing Strands 3 (ages 8-12) to supplement the grammar/language arts we’ll be using (The Mother Tongue by Nancy Wilson.) It arrived in the mail yesterday and I poured over every page. I already love it! It’s just the kind of thing we need to build our writing skills!

July 9, 2011 7:38 am
Reply to  Amber

Thanks. I will look into Mother Tongue. Writing Strands has some wonderful writing exercises.
Thank you also for sharing so much on your blog. I have gleaned much in a short time. Blessings.

July 15, 2011 9:29 pm
Reply to  Amber

I was just going to ask you the same question! I have heard great things about Writing Strands. :O)

July 16, 2011 7:36 am
Reply to  Shawntele

After I’d picked it I’d seen some comments about it being very simple and not very thorough or advanced so I was a little worried. After receiving it, I can say that it WOULDN’T be a good fit if your child was already very skilled at writing, it’s the 2nd book in the series and very basic, an already proficient writer would need a higher book than their age level, or maybe a different series. But for children like mine, who need to work on their basic writing skills, strengthen them, I think this is going to be perfect. It’s… Read more »

By Word of Mouth Musings
By Word of Mouth Musings
July 5, 2011 8:06 am

My homeschool section of my site is under construction, so I am just going to lurk here and soak up all the wonderful info 😉

July 8, 2011 1:23 pm

Lurking?! =p
Feel free to join in through comments, too. And once your homeschool section is back up you can link go back and link up if you want to. I’ve just changed the linky to stay open all month, as they all will so that those who join in later in the month won’t miss the ones at the beginning of the month. Hope you can “make” it! =)

July 5, 2011 10:36 am

Just “hopped” over from the HHH.

I am so glad that I happened upon your blog. I will be reading the responses to your post, as well as your subsequent posts, as I, too, am making some curriculum decisions for my 4 kiddos for the upcoming school year.

Stop by and visit my blog at

Have a blessed day,

July 8, 2011 1:20 pm
Reply to  Lisa

Thank you, I hope we get some good participation and ideas to browse through during the Back to Home School series. I’ve already had some good feedback on some books and ideas we’re going to be using this year. Feel free to join in! I’ll be hopping over to your blog, too!

July 6, 2011 8:32 am


Just found you from HHH as well. I was just thinking that I needed to write up a homeschool posting about next school year yesterday, so I will plan on participating once I get mine written.

You can visit our blog at:

This is a great idea!

God’s blessings,


July 8, 2011 1:17 pm
Reply to  Stephanie

Thank you!! I’ll hop on over to your blog!

July 6, 2011 10:37 am

Sounds great Amber! We defintely have our keepers this year, and naturally I have a list of what we’re going to use. I’ll get that post written soon and linked up! Until then, I say KUDOS to getting the science projects organized ahead of time! That has been my biggest downfall with science AND history… I don’t plan ahead enough to get the gathering, printing, etc done so we can just DO the projects. That’s one thing I plan to do better with this year. I’m going to get our lapbooks and projects copied and even cut out ahead of… Read more »

July 8, 2011 1:06 pm
Reply to  Dawn

I don’t plan ahead enough, either, and that’s always been a big problem for us. But I’m working to change that. I’ll take pictures once I get my science experiment box set up. =)

Back to (Home) School 2011, Week 2 ~ Our Curriculum and Must Haves A Classic Housewife in a Modern World
January 7, 2013 4:36 pm

[…] P.S. – If you missed it, you can still link up with Week One’s post about your school and your students! […]

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