After seeing a friend’s picture on Facebook of her workbox setup for her homeschool, I was inspired to try it myself for our house. I had seen various posts around the internet about it, but always pretty much brushed it off because we live in a small house and currently only have one child in school.

Then I started thinking of how it might simplify things. Even though much of our curriculum is very mommy-involved yet (and as it should be for 2nd grade), I wondered how it might work for us. I also wondered how it would work with the My Father’s World curriculum (we’re doing Adventures this year, for those who are curious).

As I mentioned, we don’t have a lot of extra room around here. My solution was to get an old hanging file box, and dig out some empty hanging file folders. I printed the tags from Homeschool Creations, covered them in clear contact paper, and glued velcro to them. My goal was to figure out a system that could be put together with things we already had at the house.

The system looks good so far, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping it will help keep Samuel motivated to finish a bit more, and am really hoping it makes our days go more smoothly!

Making a gingerbread house

We made a gingerbread house as a school project last week. It was a ton of fun.

First, I bought a boxed kit from Aldi. This is probably a shock to those of you who know me really well. :laugh_tb: My thinking was that for our first time putting together a gingerbread house, we’d be better off buying a kit instead of me trying to bake and cut and assemble and not crack and. . .

Let me just tell you it was 100% worth the $6.99 I spent on it. I will be buying a kit again next year. It was so nice to be able to just open it up, lay things out for the kids, and build. It got sticky and messy, but it was so much fun. I let the kids eat some of the candy as they decorated too. . .and they were wide open and completely wild for the next hour or so. But it was so worth it.

On to the pictures!

Getting ready for the roof
Getting ready to put the roof on. Next time I will wait longer after building it before putting candy on it. Our house started to slide apart because the frosting didn’t harden enough.

Holding the roof in place

So excited

Working together
The boys started decorating while I finished piping the windows. At one point, the decorating bag I was using popped open, and that thick frosting oozed EVERYWHERE. It made a mess!

Having fun

The finished house

Putting the candy on

Those pieces are huge!

This was so much fun, and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.

First homeschool workshop

Even though this is our third year homeschooling, I haven’t been able to attend any conferences or workshops. That is about to change.

Our state accountability association (required by SC law) is hosting a workshop tomorrow about keeping homeschool records. Now that I type that out, it sounds a bit dry, but I really am excited about going. I have done my best in keeping records, but am definitely looking forward to learning about how other families do and what works well for them. I’m also excited about being able to meet other families here in SC who homeschool. Since we live on the state line, all the families I know personally that homeschool live in NC. That’s not really a problem, but their requirements are different and it will be nice to see what other families with the same requirements do.

Pumpkin picking


The kids and I went pumpkin picking last week for a field trip. It was so much fun.

When we got there, we discovered this scarecrow was wearing a bee suit.


They had an observation hive there and we all really enjoyed looking at it.


Here you can see the queen. She has a green mark on her back. I enjoyed getting to see her since I’ve never seen the queen our own hive.


We also bought a little container of raspberries. They were huge. The boys’ expressions here just crack me up!


I wish I had taken more pictures, but we were too busy actually picking the pumpkins. Maybe next time. Our babysitter came along with us, and she took more pictures than I did. The only thing is, I haven’t seen them all yet. :O)

Apple picking

We went apple picking today. It was our first field trip of the year and we really enjoyed it. A good friend of mine and her little girl came with us, and it was a lot of fun. It was just over 90 today but it was absolutely gorgeous.








Samuel really enjoyed watching a tractor that was working a couple rows away from where we were picking.




Sam watching the tractor again

The boys really enjoyed just seeing the men work.

Hi, pig!

Tomorrow’s project is to start making that 20 pounds of apples into applesauce. It is going to smell REALLY good in here!

Samuel’s first lapbook


We’re still new to lapbooking, but we’re really enjoying it so far. I’m absolutely amazed at all the resources out there for lapbooking!

This one is about ants. Our science unit for the week last week was Close to the Ground, so we decided to study ants.

The only problem is that lapbooking seems to be very addictive. Maybe it’s a good thing file folders come in boxes of 50. . . .

Bought Samuel’s books today

I bought the rest of Samuel’s homeschool books today. We’ll be using My Father’s World as our core curriculum, but we’re supplementing with A Beka for arithmetic and reading/grammar.

In the next week or two, Samuel and I will head to the store to pick out his school supplies. I saw some at Walmart today that he’d like, but figured he’d like to pick them out himself.

He’ll be in first grade this year. It’s hard to imagine this will be our third year homeschooling. He’s been asking if we can go ahead and start school soon, and I’m getting pretty excited myself.

My friend Marla directed me to some new-to-me blogs – Raising Olives and Confessions of a Homeschooler. Through those, I discovered Raising Arrows. All three look to be large families, but the suggestions there for home management and organization look great. I know I for one could use improvement in that area (despite the number of people who think I’m super organized – I still have room to improve!). I haven’t read any of the blogs at length yet, but so far, there’s been a lot of good information there. It’s so nice to read about how others homeschool, when they’ve been doing it for years and years.

Anyway – all that to say I’m getting excited for school to start!

Field trip to the zoo

We took the kids to the zoo for Samuel’s zoo animals unit. My best friend and her daughter came with us. We had a blast.

All four of the kids together – the only halfway decent picture we got!

My monkeys watching the monkeys

The boys thought this tortoise was pretty neat. Samuel wanted to ride one. Good thing we found a substitute!


My favorite part of our trip was feeding the lorakeets. Caleb didn’t care for the birds getting that close to him, but Samuel really enjoyed it.





We were having so much fun that I forgot to take very many pictures. I can’t wait to go back!

Field trip to the pet store

To close out our science unit on water, we took Samuel to the pet store. This one only sells fish and other aquarium-related pets. We went after Stephen was done with work, so our whole family was able to go.

These giant fish were called pacu. There was a sign up that said that the oldest one was discovered in 1974. Samuel wasn’t sure he liked them at first, but later loosened up around them. They were huge.

He did like looking in the goldfish pond.

We discovered that the giant catfish had a cut on its lip.

They also had a couple of sand sharks there. They were pretty feisty. I wish I would’ve thought to take a picture of them, but I didn’t. We also saw some poisonous Lion Fish and some eels, a ton of frogs, some coral and sea sponges, and other interesting fish. Samuel also enjoyed asking the staff questions (like, “How do fish sleep?”).

We bought some guppies to bring home to our own tank. Stephen and I have talked about getting fish again, and figured that this was the time to do it. I’d like to go back and get a small frog too, but that can wait. Maybe we’ll go buy it when we reach our frog unit.

It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to planning our next field trip.