Art Fun In Our Homeschool ~ 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair

Art, it is one of the most fun parts of the day for any child. Art allows your child to express themselves in a whole new way. They can be drawing, painting, sculpting, singing or making music. Art is so much more than a 3-letter word.

This is the final post in the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. If you have enjoyed this series, I highly recommend that you stop by and tell Susan thank you! She has done so much each year to make this happen, and for that I am truly grateful myself.

This week the theme is Seeking Beauty. This is anything from the Arts, Handicrafts and more. It is such a beautiful topic to end this series with. I cannot wait to tell you about the beautiful ways we include the Arts in our homeschool!

Art and handicrafts have always been a part of my life. My mom has been an example of how these can help you express yourself. I have always worn something that was hand crocheted by her and I remember watching as she wrote in calligraphy for the local radio station. This left a lasting impression of how important art is in our lives.

The kids all love art, and all in different ways. That is the joy of homeschooling, I can alter each child’s learning to their interests. And that is just what I have done over the years.

I love going to Pinterest to find ideas for art lessons. I have a board just for art ideas. I have two boards, one for arts and crafts and the second is for art study. So, what is the difference?

Art Study is an actual study of what you are doing. My Art Study board holds a lot of information to go with the studies that I have from Harmony Fine Arts. We have two of their programs and love to use them to help us learn more about art and artists in general. This is a great curriculum set if that is what you are looking for.

We have also spent time using ARTistic Pursuits. This was a lot of fun, and we had the chance to review two of their books with the Homeschool Review Crew. The lessons we learned from these books helped us open our eyes to the art all around us. This helps us take the school out of art and makes it fun to see the changing of the trees and draw the different leaves we see in the yard. Not only that, but we learn in different medias, from drawing, coloring, painting and sculpting.

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

Not only do I have the Art Study board, but I have Arts and Crafts for Kids. This board is my go to board when the kids are bored. (Are there enough boards/boreds in that sentence?) These ideas are not based off a single curriculum, rather, they are the “fun” things we do when the kids need to express themselves.

What are some fun ways you keep the beauty in your homeschool? Have you checked out these other posts yet? Make sure to stop by and add your own links of Seeking Beauty Posts!

Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.

Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool

Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres

Seeking out the beauty… by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Teaching Drawing (When You Can't Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos

Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time

Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7

Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

2017 VCF week 5 link list.txt Open with Google Docs Displaying 2017 VCF week 5 link list.txt.

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History in Our Homeschool ~ Week 4 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair

History, this is the subject that can be extremely fun, or extremely boring. The main factor in this would be how it is presented to your child and how they receive it. We have seen both ends of this and have listened to the kids as to how they learn. I am super happy to be a part of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan from Homeschooling Hearts & Minds and Week Four is all about Exploring Our World.

The boys in this house love history. Moe Man could read interesting history novels all day long. Daddy is always talking about things he has been reading, or we are watching something interesting on TV. This makes for a great base for history, but this doesn't always work for everyone.

We have looked at almost every history program. We love a lot of them, yet there are some that just didn't jive for us. Or they worked wonders with Moe man and would do nothing for Ray Ray, or vice versa. I am just starting with Little Miss and cannot imagine what will or won't work for her!

Moe Man is my reader. He wants to read or watch movies about history. He does not like doing too many activities. We tried a few unit studies and he was bored, or acted with a lot of disinterest. But if I can give him a book to read, be it a novel or a history book, he will read it. He will tell me main facts, but he won't do more than that.

This has bugged me for a while now. I really want to be able to have him do extra, but I don't want to ruin the excitement that he has for what he does do. I love that he loves history, and I love watching him do things on his own when it comes to history. This for me, is enough! Currently he is working through the World History Curriculum that we love from Christian Homeschool Hub. He loves it and I love that he loves it.

Ray Ray. This child is someone completely different than his big brother. While he loves to listen to what daddy has to say, he is not interested in the same way as Moe Man. I had Ray Ray working on using the history program from Easy Peasy, and while they add some fun and hands on activities, this was not working with him. For Ray Ray I had to come up with something that would allow him to have fun, and not feel like he was doing school. I found a few things, but there was only one thing that hit home and felt like a home run! No, this is not a simple order it up, this is a work in progress, ah, the joys of homeschooling!

For Ray Ray and Little Miss, I have been reading Rush Limbaugh's Rush Revere Series. I read all four books and fell in love. The action, the adventure, the time traveling! This was the key to grabbing his attention. While there is no lesson plan to go with these books, I have started using Unit Studies from Amanda Bennett to go with the topic at hand in each book. For this year, we will travel along with Rush Revere from the Brave Pilgrims all the way up to the Star-Spangled Banner. I cannot wait to introduce the kids to the exceptional Americans we will meet along the way and the fun of the Unit Studies that Ray Ray and Little Miss are loving right now.

What are you using for history in your homeschool? Do you focus on living history books, or unit studies, or even a combo of whatever you want to use to make it fun for your child?

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Exploring Our World this week:

Note: all links will be LIVE by Monday 1/23 at noon EST.

Notebooking Our Way through History by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Studying the Where and How by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Social Science, Science and Exploring our World – Our Path by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Learning History Through Fiction by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

History in Our Homeschool by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Exploring Our World Through History And Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Bringing History to Life! by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

History, Living Books and the Imagination by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Exploring our world comes in many different forms. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Bible, History and Geography by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Beyond the Books – Social Studies and Science by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Exploring the World with Living Books by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

High School History & Science without Textbooks by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Exploring the World Starting with Canada by Annette @ A Net in Time

Visit The World Through Video by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Nature Study is Our Favorite Way to Do Science by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

What A Wonderful World by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Time we got Lost in the Woods by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acres

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Math Resources and Programs for All Ages

As I was growing up, I love my math classes. I was busy helping my friend with her Algebra while I was still in the 6th grade. I was so excited to get started with teaching my own children math, but never expected one of them to hate it as much as I loved it!

This week we are in week three of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Susan from Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. This week we are talking about Discovering Patterns, usually in the math, science and logic areas. Today I am going to share our math resources with you.

Over the years we have tried a few different things. From games, to full curriculums to just having fun, I want to share what we have tried and what we are loving right now!

Having Fun While Learning

Both boys and Little Miss had fun listening to the stories while learning their multiplication skills with Times Tales. I love when I can find something fun to add to the learning! Another fun thing we use for math is our Tenzi Dice Game. This game has been so fun, and Little Miss is busy learning to count while playing this!

Hands On Learning

When it comes to math, it does not all have to be paper and pencil. Sometimes you need to add in some extra things. We love anything that can be hands on. We love the videos that you can find on Khan Academy or others like The Math Tutor from

Programs like Math-U-See are some great hands on way of learning math as well. This is the program that helped Moe Man get past his confusion of fractions.

Turn Learning Into A Game

While learning is sometimes hard, you can turn it into a game if you find the right program. Ray Ray loves adventures and unlocking new secrets. Programs like GPALOVEMATH is a fun one that kept him trying to unlock the next secret.

Flash Cards

Yes, plain flash cards can be a great help when working on mastering the facts of math. You can get these simple style flashcards anywhere, but you can also check out some other fun flash cards like that of UberSmart Math Facts.

What We Are Using Right Now

While we are still using some things here and there, like the UberSmart Math Facts, we are currently in a full swing of our Math Programs for the year. Moe Man is working with CK-12 Algebra 1 Concepts. I love how this offers him reading, videos and interactive math problems to work on practicing what he is learning.

Ray Ray is in the middle of Math Mammoth. While I had tried this with Moe Man without success, Ray Ray is rocking this program! This is perfect for his math brain like mine. Each unit gives us links to games that will help keep our skills up and she even has some YouTube videos to help explain new ideas to the kids.

Little Miss is in love with her math workbook from Singapore Math Essential Math. There is no real "lesson plan" for this, but a perfect program to use when just beginning. I have been using this at her pace and love it!

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences this week:

Finding Our Math Equilibrium: Our Plan for 11th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd Grades + Free Printables! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Math (doesn't) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind

When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins

Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Science & Math for Struggling Learners by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre

Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017} by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos

Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

When You Don't Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset



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Our Top Picks for Language Arts

Reading and writing. A main part of the curriculum for most students. Love it or Hate it, they have to do it. Language Arts is a curriculum that I am picky about. As part of Week Two, Playing With Words, of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, we are going to share with you our top picks for Language Arts.

I am always on the quest to find the right curriculum when it comes to reading and writing for my kids. These are fundamental to learning anything else. While I don’t have many years under my belt, I have tried quite a few different choices. I have narrowed it down for this year and I would love to share these with you today!

Baby Girl

Starting with the youngest! I love making sure I allow the kids to be able to learn at the pace that works for them. I have noticed Baby Girl wanting to be a part of our school day. I always offer her a book, or a pencil or crayon and paper. She loves both. If she is not looking at words, she is trying to copy them on the paper. I love this simple way of starting for her. Not only that, but I or someone else in the house is constantly reading to her. I love watching her tell the stories in her own language when she thinks no one is watching!

Little Miss

Little Miss is still learning her letters and their sounds.  I have learned that pushing this fundamental step will not work in my favor. I am following her lead as I did with Ray Ray and letting her tell me how much and how fast we should do.

To help her learn, I have been using the Getting Ready program on Easy Peasy. This is a great program. There is not too much, but just enough between computer and paper. I love watching her catch on to the letters and their sounds as we go. Lee has made a program that can go at whatever speed you want. Some days we do more, some days we do just the bare minimum. 

Ray Ray

Now that Ray Ray is in the 2nd grade and reading (which he taught himself how to do!), I figure this is the time to start focusing harder on the actual language arts lessons. I have been playing around with a few different programs, but finally settled on The Good and the Beautiful from Jenny Phillips.

This program has it all. It is so simple, just open and go. I love the simple ease of this, while seeing him learn so much. There are very few worksheets, but we focus on spelling, phonics and even some art study and geography. We have only just started this, but I love it and Ray Ray is not fighting me to go through his lessons. 

We had been doing Easy Peasy, and we loved it, but I love the overall picture of The Good and the Beautiful for the extras it throws in. I love that we are reading more actual books and not just following along on the computer. I love being away from the computer period. We have a spelling list. Not only that, but we are working on memorizing poetry. This is all stuff that I love to see him working on.

Not only that, but we are using the corresponding handwriting program. I love how, once again, it is simple. There is fun coloring or drawing to go along with the writing. There is no real pressure to push to fast, yet Ray Ray is working on his writing and I love that he can do this without fighting me on having to write!

Moe Man

Oh, the high-schooler. He loves to fight me as many teen boys love to push the limits with their parents. We have tried many programs and while there were a lot that I loved, we finally found one that he seems to love. 

7Sisters has a high school program, High School Literature and Composition 1A. There are 2 parts, or semesters worth of work. These combine both the literature and composition that is needed. But that is about it. There is no busy work, and this is what Moe Man loves the best. I love seeing him actually working on this subject and enjoying it!

Do you have a post about Playing With Words? We would love to read it! And if you want to read more, click on the link below!

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are writing about Playing with Words this week:

All posts will be live by Monday, January 9th at noon EST.

Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind

Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

The Readin’ and Writin’ Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time

Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7

10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

What programs are you in love with when it comes to Language Arts? I am sure we will change all of this as the kids get older, and that is the joy of homeschooling, changing when your child needs to change!

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New Year, New Goals, New School!

Welcome to the brand-new year! I have so much planned out for this year, I look forward to all the changes that I have in mind, and hope they work out for the kids like I want them to!

This month I am participating in the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair that is being hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. The theme for this first week is See How We Learn. For this week, I am going to tell you about our New Year, New Goals and New School!

Now, just because I said new school, does not mean we are going to a public or private school. No, in fact, most things will be the same. But I have new plans for our school here at home! I have made some changes to our curriculum over our two-week break and will be starting that this week. So, yes, it is like a new school year for us!

What Is Staying the Same?

While I love what we were doing, I noticed some areas that I needed to change. However, Moe Man will have most of the same classes. I have found that he is doing good where he is at with Easy Peasy High School and will keep this for him.

Little Miss will stay with Easy Peasy for her letter learning. She loves this program and I love how simple, yet effective it is for her. She is also going to continue using Singapore Essentials for her math program. We have breezed through the beginning section and now we are at the part where the learning will begin!

Baby Girl is going to keep copying all of us! She is good at this, and I love watching her try to be like the big kids. This could turn into something later with simple worksheets, but right now she is free to come and go as she pleases.

What is Going to Change?

Notice how I didn't include Ray Ray up above? He is going to be the one with the most changes this new year. I have noticed that Easy Peasy was a little too easy for him, yet I didn't want to bump him up a level yet. I found this wonderful language arts program from Jenny Phillips and love it! This is a great combination of everything for language arts and I can see Ray Ray excelling with this.

Along with this, he is going to be going back to Math Mammoth for his math lessons. He is super quick with his facts and I feel that he could and should be further along. While he is not sure about this change, he is ok since I will still allow him to play the games included with Math for Easy Peasy.

For everyone, I am adding in some character studies. I notice after Christmas every year that we seem to need a refresher for how we should be acting. I am in love with a few different ones, and don't know which one to pick. I am looking for something that I can add to our morning time basket. What do you use for your character studies?

Speaking of the morning time basket. I had intended on implementing this in the fall, but it got away from me. I plan to once again start using this and making our start of the homeschool day a good one, a focused one. I will be using the ideas and resources from Pam Barnhill and her Morning Time Basket collection.

Other Goals

Some other simple goals that we have for the year, are making sure we all drink water! Momma wants to work on getting in shape, at least some sort of shape! And I know that we all need more water! This coupled with some healthy eating and fun activities should be enough to help momma and keep the kids feeling their best as well!

I hope to add some new things to the blog this year. First, I want to let you know that I will be co-hosting a weekly link up called Blogging Through the Alphabet. This will start with the letter A on the 17th and will continue through to the letter Z.

We of course will be continuing with our reviews as part of the Homeschool Review Crew and I hope to add one more weekly post. I want to know what you would want to hear from us. What are some things you would love to read?

Next week we are going to be talking about Playing With Words. I am excited about this one! Between the 23 people, we have over 300 years of homeschool experience!

I invite you to see how my fellow bloggers learn in their homeschools (note: all posts will be live by noon EST, Jan. 2nd):

The Evolution of Our Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Us-School Because We Are Us, Not Someone Else by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
It's All About the School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Setting the Stage- the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair! by Lisa N. @ Golden Grasses
New Year, New Goals, New School! by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Homeschooling – A Glimpse into How We Do it by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Spotlight on How We Learn in Our Homeschool by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Our Unique Eclectic Homeschool  by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
How We Learn on the Go by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Home Education – 10 Ways We Make It Work by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Schedules, where would I be without them? by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Education at Our House by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Starting the Day Well by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Making a Change – Accountability and Responsibility Through Routine by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
A time to be encouraged is coming.. the Virtual Curriculum Fair by Annette @ A Net in Time
Loving the Moment! by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
Keeping Our Homeschool Organized by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Homeschool Goal Setting – Looking Forward, Looking Back by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
How We Choose Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
This Is How We Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we don't learn in our homeschool & how I don't plan {2017 Virtual Homeschool Curriculum Fair} by Meghan @ Quiet in the Chaos
Learning Our Way by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
Limping Along: Our Semi-Eclectic Approach to Homeschooling by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair: See How We Learn by Dana L @ Luv'N Lambert Life


Do you have a blog post that would fit into this theme? Share it below! I would love to check it out!


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