Our Summer Reading List

Our summer reading list for the whole family, plus a link-up!

I have always loved reading. Growing up, you could always find me with my nose stuck in a book. My kids have grown up this way also. With lots of extra-curricular activities not being able to happen this summer, we have found ourselves reading a lot more books. Check out what we have on our summer reading list!

Green Ember Series

This is a series I have wanted to read for a long time. Now that I have the full collection, we plan to read this for our family read-aloud book. I am excited to join in on the fun that I hear about from everyone else. I think my kids will love it as well!

The Dream Traveler’s Quest

This is a new series for me. I happened upon this series and I am thrilled that I grabbed them. I plan to have Ray Ray work through these four books. They are based on a boy about the same age as Ray Ray who is going on a quest to find the Five Seals of Truth. This is based on the five truths of God. I also plan to read through them quickly before I hand them over to Ray Ray.

Dork Diaries

Now this is a series way off from the first two. This is a series that Little Miss is into. She loves them and the style they are written in. They are fun and simple for her to read. I am happy that she has found her series. Seeing her grab a book and go out and read is one of my favorite things in the world.

Picture Books

Picture Books on our summer reading list

Baby Girl is in a stage, actually, she has been in a stage for a long time, where she loves to have me read her books. She is not interested in the big chapter books, so we focus on picture books. With the library here offering curbside pickup, I am able to pick up a bunch of picture books to add to our collections. This month I am excited to share with Baby Girl some of the classics that I grew up on.

Books for Mom

I have two physical books in my possession that I hope to read. This does not include my list of books on Kindle. The two physical books that I want to read this summer are Before We Were Yours and Sold on a Monday. These two books have been talked about by friends of mine. If I can get through two books, I would be grateful! I used to read all of the time for myself, now I read for the kids. Mom wants some mom reading!

I am linking up to the link-up on the Homeschool Review Crew. Share your posts, new and old, evergreen content is welcome!

Join us in the Homeschool Review Crew Social Media/Blog Challenge!

Staying Motivated in the New Year

I have taken on a new position over the last year. This is great for my family, but it also means that I have to figure out how to schedule my days to get it all done. This upcoming year, I plan to make two simple resolutions to help me work from home and keep the home somewhat normal!

Little Changes Mean Big Changes

One thing that I did not know, was that making one simple little change in my routine would have big changes following it!

Now that I am working from home, I am looking for help on how to schedule and manage our days so we can still get my work, the kids’ school, the house cleaned and food for dinner all done in one day.

In making these small change, I have come to realize that I need to make more and bigger changes in our daily life. I am looking for ways to make the day to day easier for everyone in the house!

How to Make it Work

So, how do I make it work? I rely on resources that will help me make things work. Being a part of the Homeschool Review Crew has given me the option to find products that help me in ways I never thought possible.

LisaTannerWriting Balancing Diapers and Deadlines helps me figure the basics of my working from home while homeschooling and keeping the house. This program has been awesome. It is the simple things she talks about that make huge changes in our house. She has found great techniques and gives you guidance on how to make it work, working from home while keeping the house!

MyFreezEasy has been a blessing with helping me plan meals. I love looking at Pinterest, but I get lost. I can take half a day looking at all the fun recipes and only find one or two that work for us. But when I log in to MyFreezEasy, I am able to find recipes that work, find the shopping list I need, and make a second batch of the recipe to freeze for a later date! How simple is that for a busy work at home, homeschool mom??

Motivated Moms is a great resource that allows me to make sure my house is liveable. I am not saying that it is spotless, I have four kids so I don’t expect that, but I love having a simple plan laid out for me that allows me to keep my house livable while I am busy with other things. In fact, I use this list of daily chores when my kids come to me saying they are bored. They can pick a task and complete it to help mom out.

Working from Home and Homeschooling is Possible

Over this last year, I have learned that working from home and homeschooling at the same time is possible. You need to find your groove and rely on the resources you have available, but it is possible.

I have tried to do this on my own, and I failed, miserably. But when I finally went to look for help, I found that I had some great resources to help me! These resources helped me fill in the blanks that I couldn’t figure out on my own. They filled in the gaps and allowed me to keep homeschooling and working from home at the same time.

You Can Do It

You can do it. You can work from home and homeschool. You can have a liveable home while you do it. All you need are the right resources. I recommend you check these out and see how they would work for you!

How do you homeschool and work from home without losing your mind?


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I am linking up to the Homeschool Review Crew. Find more posts to read right here: 

How We Keep Our Records and When We Give Grades

We have been busy over here at our house. Between health issues with Daddy, finding just the right curriculum for our needs, and mom starting a new job, things got put to the side. Blogging was one of those things. But, I really miss writing. When I saw this new blog hop that was coming up, I knew just what I wanted to share! Join me today as I share how we keep records, and when we decide to keep grades.

Record Keeping

When it comes to record keeping, I have tried numerous different products and programs over the years we have been homeschooling. There are online options and there are paper options. I have tried a few of each of these. Can you believe that I have two favorites, one online and one paper? Not to mention there are second bests for each of these.

I am currently homeschooling a senior in high school, a fourth grader, a second grader, and a preschooler. The age/grade of the child plays a large role in the method of our record keeping.

Online Record Keeping

I love the online record keeping, especially for Moe Man, my high school senior. When it comes to the high school ages, I need something that helps me calculate the grades and GPA. I could do this on my own, but I really don’t have time to do that, so I have opted to look for something that can help with that. That is where the online record keeping comes into play.

The first program that I used, and actually used at the beginning of our homeschool journey is My Homeschool Grades. I have been with them since they started and I am locked in on a lifetime plan. If you haven’t been with them, the pricing is really nice and isn’t that spendy. You can get a whole year for only $49.99. They offer a monthly payment plan also.

I love that this program allows you to keep track of courses, assignments, and grades. Not only that, but they give me my states laws. This is awesome when I don’t want to go to another site to make sure we are meeting all the requirements. This is something I haven’t seen with other programs and one that I really appreciate.

Moe Man is now in the independent mode. He wants to be able to access his assignments each day and mark them as done. I had previously reviewed My Homeschool Planet and their homeschool planner. I knew that there was a student log in option, and gave it a try. He loved that he was able to log in and see what he needed to do each day. I love that I don’t have to print or write up his weekly assignments. This is a program that works for both of us.

With Homeschool Planet, I am able to put in the assignments for the week, month, or semester and can change things as needed with a click of a button. This is helpful for when life happens. I am able to grade the assignments as they are completed and all grades and GPA are calculated for me. This is a win when I am busy with everything else. I don’t have to worry about anything besides logging in and doing my part each day/week.

Paper Record Keeping

While I love the online option for Moe Man, my younger kids don’t have phones or laptops to easily access the assignments each day. I also don’t need to keep track of grades for this age, just what they are doing and their attendance. So, I opted for paper record keeping for them. This also allows me to get my fix on both online and paper record keeping!

The first paper record keeper that I used was the planners from SchoolhouseTeachers. I would go in an add all the assignments online and print them out each week. This is a great option for those who want to have all the extras, plus it is included in my SchoolhouseTeachers Membership. This means I don’t have to spend extra on my record keeping, I just need to print what I need and store from there.

This year, I have started using The Well-Planned Day with Ray Ray and Little Miss. I have the Family Homeschool Planner and they each have the Student Planners, one boy version and one girl version. I don’t have to print anything, it is all right there for me to fill in. I fill out my Family Homeschool Planner for the week and transfer the assignments over to the kid’s planners. I know there is probably an easier way to do this, but right now, this works.

I am able to mark off what we do each week as we go through the week. There is a spot to keep track of weekly grades, but at this stage, I am not worried about those, see more on this in a minute. I only plan week by week, knowing that life happens and I don’t want to buy a bottle of white-out every other month. At this age, the kids love having a planner of their own to know what needs to get done each day. I love seeing that they are learning how to take on the responsibility of their school.

When To Grade

When it comes to grading in our homeschool, I have a love/hate relationship with grading. I love to have my kids striving to get better, but at the same time, I don’t want to ruin the learning fun that comes with a great curriculum. I have officially decided that I will not keep grades until the kids reach the high school grades. In my state, that is OK, so I am going to run with it. When the younger kids for a grade, I will give them what I suspect them to have, but I don’t keep a record of it.

Keeping Records and Giving Grades Round UP

Once my kids reach 9th grade, I keep track of their grades. Before this, I want them to focus on enjoying learning and not striving for a perfect page. I will help them along the way and offer corrections as needs, but rarely do I pull out a correcting pen until I need to keep grades for graduation.

I am linking up to the Homeschool Review Crew Round-Up. Check it out here for more great ideas and resources from homeschooling moms and dads like you!

What is your favorite way to keep records? When do you start grading your kids work? Let me know in the comments!

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2016 Reading List

I love the new year, with all the new goals for every area of our lives. If you can think it, you can make a goal for it! This is both good and bad, I like to look at the good parts of it, and I hope you will join me!

2016 Reading List

This week, I have been planning out what books I want to read this year. Now I am not talking about those read aloud books that you read to the kids. I am talking about the books that mom reads for mom. Those are the good books!

This year I hope to read 24 mom books. That is right, 24 books that are not for the kids or written for kids. Although one or two may be the young adult, (I do like to know what Moe Man is reading). 24 mom books means that I would want to focus on 1 book every 2 weeks. This should not be hard, but this is me we are talking about. I have put all mommy things on hold and only focused on the kids.

To me, 2 books a month that are not mom books is heaven! I used to read mommy books nonstop, then I had kids. The kids made it hard to find time for mommy. But I have plans to change that this year. Not only will I be going back to something I love, reading, but I will be showing my kids that reading is something that we all should do.

So, what books do I plan to read? Well, I have a very rough draft of what I want to read. This will change I am sure! Why? Because the library is full of wonderful books, I have books waiting on my bookshelf and Amazon is killing me with those free book deals! Yeah, those deals make me load up on books I don’t know if I will ever read! But this year I hope to put a small dent in that list!

Here is my list, with links of course!

Right now I am currently in the process of reading these two:

Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 1)

Submerged (Alaskan Courage Book #1)

These two are books that I have been trying to finish. I figure I might as well finish them with this goal/challenge that I have set up for myself.

After these two, my ideas are to read:

The Last Survivors: A Dystopian Society in a Post Apocalyptic World

Witch Is When It All Began (A Witch P.I. Mystery Book 1)

The Veritas Conflict

Deer Season (Ray Elkins Thriller Series)

Dead Wood (A Private Investigator Murder Mystery Series) (John Rockne Mysteries Book 1)

Someone Else's Daughter: Book I (A Miranda's Rights Mystery 1)

A Promise for Ellie (Daughters of Blessing Book #1)

The Thorn (The Rose Trilogy Book #1)

Once Upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart, Book 1)

The Potluck Club (The Potluck Club, Book 1)

Blueprint Homeschooling: How to Plan a Year of Home Education That Fits the Reality of Your Life

The Good Neighbor The Good Neighbor

Terms of Use

Bone Dust: A Medical Thriller (The Gina Mazzio RN Medical Thriller Series Book 5)

Finding Hope (Generations of Hope Book 1)

Death of a Dapper Snowman (Book 1 of a Humorous Cozy Murder Mystery Series): Stormy Day Mystery #1

Transfer of Power (A Mitch Rapp Novel Book 1)

The Life and Legacy of Pope John Paul II

Out of the Storm (Beacons of Hope): A Novella

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

The 'One Thing' Is ­Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything

I am hoping to read all of these books by this time next year. But, like I said…this whole free book thing from Amazon, well, that could change things in this list mighty quick!

What are your book choices for this year? Do you have a top three that you really want to read?


Our Must Read Books for 2016 {Dad & Mum's Book Stand}

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