Thursday, July 10, 2014

sharing happy



I have often felt a guilty pang sharing the happy moments.


Sharing Happy 1


Because of Trevor’s medical challenges I am very sensitive to those that are living some of the darkest moments of their lives right.this.very.moment.


Sharing Happy 2


I never want anyone to feel like I’m rubbing our “happy” in.


If that makes sense.


Sharing Happy 3


It also drives me bonkers that people see a snap-shot in time and so easily believe it represents the whole.


Trevor has many, many happy moments.


I cherish them deeply. He has taught me how to appreciate glimpses of beauty in a way that would never have been possible without him.


Sharing Happy 4


But our happy is always mingled with tragedy.




In so many of those happy moments we see glimpses of the boy he could have been…


and our hearts smile-grieve.


And long deeply for the day when Healing washes over him…and us all.


Sharing Happy 5




coupled with distorted perceptions…


could never share the whole story.


But nothing other than living IN the story can ever fully capture it.


my cuties


This past year in particular…I have been overwhelmingly drawn to embracing the happy moments. Cherishing them even more. And sharing them too.


Maybe it’s because Trevor could have died last year. Indeed, his sister still has nightmares that he did. So scary was that night.


Maybe it’s because we’ve faced some other real health scares this year as well. The kind that effect Trevor but don’t belong to him.


Sharing Happy 7


Maybe it’s because this world is so saturated with sadness and groady and bitterness on every side that sharing our happy moments with each other isn’t only sweet…


Sharing Happy 6


it’s necessary!





These thoughts have been swirling in my heart for a while. Sharing them today was inspired by this post. Which you should totally read!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How We’re Using All About Spelling Level 2: syllable marking



I made the switch from Abeka to All About Spelling this year and have zero regrets! Even though I was tempted to skip forward, I am SO happy that we started with Level 1. She sailed through the first book but it laid a great foundation AND helped us both develop our flow. Flow is important in our home.


We aim to do AAS lessons four times a week. She loves AAS because it’s one of our subjects that she knows I’m with her the whole time. She does quite of bit of independent work these days…but is a sappy head like me and still enjoys our together time.


While I glance over the lesson & prep anything that needs prepping, I’ll have her busy sorting and organizing all of our letter tiles in ABC order.


Typically, once I’m set, we’ll do a little review work. She’s a big fan of me letting her be “the teacher”!

I do have a full set of the tiles. I use and encourage others to purchase them! You really need them. And though there are ways to make your own (I’ve tried) the quality of the product is worth the investment! In fact, I’m planning to buy a second set this year! But now that we’re further along, I find myself utilizing her mini white board more often. The great thing with AAS is that you’re encouraged to be creative!


In this lesson you can see I mixed tiles with whiteboard marker.

This is a review of syllable division concepts she’s learned. She loooooves the little cards. They have really helped root the “rules” in her mind…which helps her spelling globally. It’s always so cool when you see your child generalizing (using what they learned in the real world) concepts that you’ve poured yourself into helping them catch!


Because I’m such a HUGE fan of All About Spelling I’m also an affiliate! That means if you purchase curriculum via my link – I make a small commission! 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Easy Peasy: his 7th grade language arts


I’ve had quite a few questions about how I’m using Easy Peasy with the kids. I’m sure there are a lot of moms like myself. Curious. But hesitant. Because it’s free. And anything that’s *easy peasy* AND free must not measure up, right? In love


So I thought I’d keep writing the occasional picture marathon post. I’m visual so pictures always make it better. Although, you’ll have to pardon the blurry photos. I love great photography but my new smart phone makes it waaaay too easy to snap & upload. My poor Canon Powershot SX20 is busy collecting dust.


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I’m still a fan of Sue Patrick’s workbox system. We continue to use our workbox totes. I really like Sue’s downloadable grid (free, along with other printable when you purchase her e-book).

I’ve tried a bazillion other methods of organizing and tracking their work but this one just fits us best.

So the picture above is a sample of today’s work load for my 7th Grader. I write his daily tasks – he then highlights as completed. I’m not going to line item everything listed. I really just want to focus on Easy Peasy in general…and how we’re using it for Language Arts in specific.

On line seven of his list you’ll see: EP – 60. That represents Easy Peasy Day 60. We started using Easy Peasy late in the year. He knows he needs to navigate to the Easy Peasy website then click on Level 7th and find Day 60. I expect him to complete everything listed for Day 60 minus Math & Foreign Language. We are using Easy Peasy for our Foreign Language too but he is on a different level.


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So, for today he needed to read the second part of chapter 7. He’s looooving Call of the Wild! And then take the quiz.

He then needed to write for 20 minutes. He chose to write a story using five vocab words.

I consider Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling and Grammar all part of his Language Arts program. All work related to any of those will live in this notebook.


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I quickly learned that using a notebook would help us keep his work organized & tidy. Some Easy Peasy students have a binder with tabs dividing their subjects instead.


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When applicable, I have him type his work in Word and then print it out. We then cut and paste the page into his notebook. The effect is kind of scrap book-y. He digs it.

The first weeks of Easy Peasy’s Language Arts program is always poetry. After that the focus is more literature & writing.


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There is not always printable work or even written work to add to the notebook. And really, if you don’t want the expense of printing you don’t have to print at all. You can teach your child how to screen capture and then copy & paste the screen shot into a Word doc for you to review later. It’s just easier for me, personally, to have them print out their work and keep it in a notebook.

The Easy Peasy Language Arts program can be a little confusing at first. Spelling is only occasional and consists of vocabulary words. Vocab words are taken from the current book. Grammar is spotty. Where Easy Peasy excels is the quality literature choices and the writing requirements.

Because my 7th Grader struggles with grammar I do supplement. This year we’re using Digging into Diagramming every other day & Daily Grams which we had left over from last year. I have him do his diagramming right in his notebook.  


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I am definitely an Easy Peasy fan! The more we use it – the more I’m loving it! I’m super excited for his 8th Grade Easy Peasy program which will include GrammarLand. We had started reading it aloud last year and never finished. He really enjoyed it though…so I know he’ll be excited to see it on his docket.

If you have any other Easy Peasy questions please don’t hesitate to ask me either via email or our Raising Little Rhodies facebook page.

Happy Homeschooling!




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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

purple day




Wear purple tomorrow in support of Trevy and his seizure fighter friends!

Monday, March 3, 2014

his easy peasy science notebook


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Recently I shared what her Science notebook looks like while we’re following Easy Peasy’s Zoology.

It’s only fair that I show you the 7th Grader’s notebook too.


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While there are less lapbooks for the older students…there are still some printables.

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My 7th Grader likes the look of layered lined paper. So he writes on loose leaf and then we cut & paste it in.

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We also like to find google images to match what we’re studying and print them out to add a little color to our pages.

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He is really enjoying this curriculum. Some of the things I’m loving are watching his face light up as he learns new things and watching him develop study habits as he’s encouraged to research independently.

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For instance, with the habitats he had to search a lot of the info out on his own.  He was SO into it too! Annoyingly into it! He’d stop and give me the play-by-play with each habitat! In love 

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A great supplement to go along with this course would be any of the Apologia zoology books.

We’re reading Swimming Creatures for our read aloud time and it’s a great addition.

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The more Easy Peasy we incorporate into our homeschool…the more we love it!