What’s Hoppin’ at Hopkins Homeschool – January 21, 2018


Wow, another week has happened! Where did that go? I can tell you that I honestly don’t know! I have had an issue of getting myself ready for a week when I wasn’t ready for it. I had all the best intentions, but no motivation to make it happen. However, being in the homeschool way, we can make things work as we see fit!


This week started slow. Monday was a holiday that I hadn’t planned on taking off, but did anyway. After taking that day off, I felt behind for the week. I couldn’t understand, mentally, that we were on a Tuesday and not a Monday.

Tuesday was the worst Monday that I have had in a while! I didn’t have the lesson plans done for the week and the kids didn’t want to do anything if they didn’t have to. I was not happy that I was behind, which in turn caused the kids to not want to do anything.

We finally got some things done, and they actually went smoothly for how the day had started. This was a great thing. I was happy to turn my flop into a success!

But before I went to bed Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Ray Ray came downstairs, he had a tummy ache and we spent time in the bathroom until 4am. Lucky for us, he didn’t get sick, but it was no fun.

This means that Wednesday was a long day! There was very little school that got done, there was lots of water being passed around and lots of rest was required, especially for mama! I didn’t want anyone else to come down with this, and I especially didn’t want to get this.

Of course, by Thursday I had little hope for the week. Everyone was feeling better and our Minnesota weather allowed us to get outside again. We were able to spend time working on our Coping with the Cold unit study. This has been such a great way to get school in when we really don’t want to do anything.

Winter NaturExplorers 735x1102 (Pinterest)

I love how many great studies Cindy has over at Our Westward Journey. There is something for everyone and for something for every season. There is no true day by day lesson plan, but I have no problem to grab what I need when I plan my lessons out for the day. We also love how there are ideas to use this in conjunction with our Winter Time Morning Plans.

Another thing we did get done this week was our new music lessons! I love that we found a great Charlotte Mason style of music. This fits our homeschool style so much! Finding something that is simple, yet effective and all laid out for me is great. I love it!

So, this week we have had a few fails, some that we could have avoided, like me and lesson plans, and some that we couldn’t control, like the sickness. But, through this week we have been able to learn a lot. While it may not have been on our lesson plans, we did learn a lot this week!

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What’s Hoppin’ at Hopkins Homeschool – January 6, 2018

It is the first week of the New Year! What does that mean for us? We are working on getting back into the homeschool swing of things. What does that entail? Well for us it means getting back on schedule. It also means starting something new that we really seem to like!

I am starting the new year off with a plan! To have a plan, I need to have a planner that works for me. I love online planners, but I love to have something in paper and fun, colored pens! I am using The Focused Homeschool Teacher Planner to help me stay focused on all things this year!

Homeschool Teacher Planner

We have spent many years homeschooling now. I still feel like a newbie, but in the homeschooling world, I guess that I am more experienced than I would like to think. During these years, I have tried many different things. We found some we liked, others we just couldn’t stand.

The one thing that kept standing out for me, was that the kids love to read, or be read to. They love worksheets, but love to learn while living as well. Now, when I look at curriculum, I look to make sure we can use it in real life and that books are involved.

Morning Time Plans

With the start of the new year, we are going to be using the Morning Time Plans from Pam Barnhill. I love how simple these are to follow, yet how full of learning they are! We are starting the Winter Plan on Monday. I spent this last week finding what books I could from our library system and getting them sent to me.

Morning Time Plans

One of the programs used with this plan is the NaturExplorers Coping with the Cold. This is a great, goes with any style of learning, curriculum! I love the use of the books and getting outside. You can take this and use it as a Unit Study, or add it to your textbook and worksheet style of learning. I love that I can use this for multiple grades and it fits right into our homeschool!

Morning Time Plans

Now that we have had our short week of getting back into a schedule, I am excited to get going on our full swing homeschool schedule. I want to read all these books to the kids and I want to see them excited to learn new things in a fun way!

Morning Time Plans

What are you looking forward to in the new year? Do you have new plans or curriculum you want to try?

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What’s Hoppin’ at Hopkins Homeschool – November 18, 2017

The perfect homeschool starts at the same time each day. Your child comes down, eats their breakfast and asks what chores they need to do. This is followed by them sitting down and completing all their lessons without a struggle. But that doesn’t always happen!

These last two weeks have been a fast blur for us! We have been staying up late, and sleeping late. Our school schedule is off, oh no! And the kids love to fight having to sit down and work, they would rather play video games, watch TV or YouTube. Yes, I said it, I let them watch shows, and not just on the TV on the devices we have in our house. Yep, I am that mom!

Now the other week, I had waffles in the house. The kids went to bed ready for waffles for breakfast. While Ray Ray didn’t wake up that early, so at 10:30 in the morning (yes you read that right, why do you think we homeschool?) I called up that waffles were ready. My mistake!

Little did I know that Ray Ray did not pick up his room, and had numerous stuffed animals and blankets in his bed. When I called him to come from breakfast, he got his feet tangled up and fell head first out of his captain’s bed. Before hitting his head, he put his arm down to catch himself. As he says, “I stood on one arm for 2 seconds and then my elbow bend slightly backwards and I fell.” Yes, this slightly backwards bend was a great start to the day!

The cry I heard from his room…it made this momma skip two to three steps in each leap and bound I took to get to him! I just knew that something was wrong, especially when he tells me he wanted to throw up instead of having a waffle! So off to the ER we went.

Ray Ray did not like the fact that he had to tell the same story over and over again. Especially since he had not yet had anything to eat for the day. Mommy got yelled at after giving him simple fruit snacks at 1 in the afternoon, but my poor boy was hungry! Not to mention that while we were watching a cartoon in the ER room, it decided to focus on waffles…

Guess what we found out? Ray Ray broke his elbow! Yes, his elbow, not his arm, his elbow. It was not a major break, but it was a break. One that requires a cast. So, for the next 3-4 weeks, this kid is rocking a long arm cast. He is happy that is it not his writing and drawing arm, but he is not happy that he cannot get out and make snow angels when it snows, or lay on his side to sleep. But these are minor things, considering how it could have turned out!

Needless to say, my dream of getting up at a set time, getting breakfast and chores done followed by homeschool lessons without argument did not happen, I am glad that we didn’t have to have surgery! I am glad that I have another day, or week, to get things back on somewhat of a schedule! Have you had any flops or flips or Yays in your homeschool this week? I would love to hear about them in the comments below! Also, I am linking up with DoodleMom’s Homeschooling Life this week. Check out what other homeschool families have been through this week!

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What’s Hoppin’ at Hopkins Homeschool – September 15, 2017

Ok, so we have finished our second week of September. This means all the public kids are back in school and all the homeschoolers who don’t homeschool year-round are back at school what does that mean for us? Not a thing…except Moe Man had a few troubles logging in to do his online lessons last week. I am glad that they were able to spend the time needed to fix that! You never know how well your homeschool site works until the week after Labor Day!

After we got that all sorted out, we were able to get into a groove, until the end of the week when Moe Man turned 17! I think I might have cried a little, or a lot. I was not ready to accept the fact that he is now one year away from being an “adult”. How can he be that old already?? Does every mom feel this rush of fear, worry and excitement all at the same time?

Ray Ray has been busy working on his new curriculum. We have picked some full curriculum choices from The Critical Thinking Co. This is a whole new way of learning for him and I love it. It makes him think outside of the worksheet and lets him explore in a whole new way! With the way he learns and thinks, this type of curriculum is working for him!

Little Miss has been busy working on her writing and reading skills. I have loved many of her reading programs before, but right now she is trying out Reading Eggs, and you know what? She isn’t fighting me to say the words, instead she is just doing. But I will tell you more about that later! She is also super excited because I bumped her up to 1st grade this last week. Where did that time go? How can she be that old already? Yes, I had a hard week with realizing how grown up my kids have become!

Baby Girl is hanging out around the table when the kids are learning. I find fun little printables for her to work on, and the older kids help her if she seems to get stuck. She loves having the big kids help her and I love that she is learning at her own pace, but still learning!

This upcoming week, we are going to spend some time learning more about hurricanes. I have found a few good resources, one is an upcoming review of SuperTeacherWorksheets.com and the other is a unit study found right here. With all that has been on the news, it only seems smart to bring it into our homeschool as well.

Mommy is busy getting ready for the next season. I love freezer cooking and freezer meals when the times get cold, and the days short. I have been spending some time on MyFreezEasy getting some meals planned out. This site has been a great helper when I really don’t want to plan out a grocery list. It does it for me when it comes to suppers around here! My current favorite recipe is the Slow Cooker Pepperoni Chicken…um, chicken and pepperoni, two of the favorites for the picky children, means that they eat and I am happy! Have you checked this site out yet?

What is something fun you have done this last week? What are you doing in the upcoming week? If you are dealing with the aftermath of Harvey or Irma, or are dealing with the wildfires in the west, know that you are in our prayers!

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What’s Hoppin at Hopkins Homeschool – August 27, 2017

We have finished another week in our homeschool! I am not ready to be moving this fast through the year! I loved when not much was happening besides sitting back and watching the kids have fun. Now we are busy learning and adapting to the new topics. Not only that, but we are trying new things and pushing them outside their learning comfort zones.

Little Miss has been learning the word families with our use of The Crafty Classroom and the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum. She loves the fact that she knows some words now, and I have resorted back to what I used with Ray Ray and went back to the Bob Books. Have you heard of these books? They are a great way to build confidence in your child to learning how to read. They also fit in perfect with what we have learned with the R.E.A.D. Curriculum. I love matching two things together to make a perfect match for each of my children.

Last week I mentioned a change in Ray Ray’s lessons. This has been a great thing over the week. I have seen what he knows, and what he needs work on. I have been able to customize his lessons by the week as I learn more about what he needs. While he loves the computer, I love the hands on that I have been able to give him this last week. It is a little more work for me, but oh so worth it in the end!

We took a few weeks off for summer break, we had Bible camp and everyone wanted to be outside, so we took that time. Now we are ready to go full swing. Momma has gotten her schedules and forms ready. I am ready to begin the “new school year”. Yes, I say it this way, because we homeschool year-round. We do like to take those breaks, and this is the beginning of our new schedule every year.

We plan to work full steam through the next few months. This will allow us time off for Christmas without worry. We don’t have many plans to change too much in the near future. We may add a few things, but nothing will be changed as far as I know. Now this can change easily, since we are a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, but as far as I have seen, additions and not changes will be in the future for us.

This week we are planning some super cheap meals. We are tired of the same old, same old, so we are looking for some good meals that will feed six of us, picky eaters included, won’t break the bank. What are some of your favorite cheap meals for large families?

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What’s Hoppin’ at Hopkins Homeschool – August 7, 2017

Wow! We are already into August!! I don’t want this month to happen, if it does, my first born will turn 9, my oldest will be turning 17 after that, summer will be over and in the state of Minnesota that means winter will be here soon.

This past week we have been busy. We are getting back on track after our week of summer vacation. Yes, one simple week of summer vacation. Why only one? Because we take a full week off numerous times through the year. We start, and finish our lessons well before the day is over, if we wake up early. And because this year we took a lot of time off in February after Daddy came home from surgery and we needed to adjust to a new schedule.

What Are We Reading?

This past week we have been reading a few different books. Moe Man is reading Shepherd, Potter, Spy – and the Star Namer from Peggy Consolver. This is fitting in perfectly with his Bible lessons. I loved this book, and am excited for him to be reading it!

Ray Ray is reading, a lot! He is my son for sure because he can read multiple books at the same time and not have an issue with keeping them separated! He is in love with U.S. Presidential History Bites and U.S. History Bites. These are super short and to the point! But he also started Great Escapes: Mount St. Helens 1980 Fiery Eruption! This is one I want to steal from him!

Little Miss loves running around the library each week and picking out a bunch of books. This week her picks were three from The Berenstain Bears. I love when she picks out books I remember from when I was a kid! We have read The Big Road Race, Too Much Junk Food, and Go Out for the Team. I love being able to teach lessons with great stories!

Baby Girl doesn’t always pick out books when we go to the library. That is where I step in and help find some good selections for her. Our favorite this week is The Adventures of Beekle. This is such a cute little story and it had everyone stopping to listen to it!

What Are We Learning?

These last two weeks have been slow learning. We are having fun enjoying summer and only doing what we need to do. We have been having fun with trying out a few review items and just taking it easy. Have you seen our review for In the Reign of Terror? This was a great way to get some learning in while still having fun.

And no matter what we do, we always include some type of Bible study every day. We have a new one that we have had the chance to check out. Keep an eye on the blog this week to hear more about I Can Study 1 Samuel Alone With God.

What have you been up to this past week? Did you do something fun and exciting? Find a new curriculum you can’t live without? I would love to hear about it!

Homeschool Coffee Break

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High School, Summer and More…Oh My!

Notebooking Pages Free Resources

High School, Summer and More…Oh My! I just don't know what to do anymore! Do I homeschool year round, take a week off every 3 weeks or just take some time off for the summer? And this High School kid, since when do I have a high schooler?? I just don't understand where all the time has gone!

High School, Summer and More...Oh My!!

So this last week I spent some time working on our summer schedule. You know what I came up with? We are going to continue with our school through the summer. Yep, I am that mean mom. But before you burn me with those mean stares, let me explain. Our schedule will have us getting up like normal during the week days. I mean, 8:30 isn't that early. We will do our school after breakfast, and finish up by lunch. Do you know what that means? ALL afternoon to do what we want!

Summer, oh yes, the days where we spend time at the pool, right down the road from our house…literally, walking distance from our backyard. We will be riding bike to the school playground. You know, the one we can't go to during the school week, unless we wait and go on their schedule? Yeah, that one. And the times we just sit outside and take in the sights, sounds, and learning that we can do (shhh, I haven't told them they will learn while playing this summer)!

High School, Summer and More...Oh My!

Now, another thing I did this week, I hit the wall realizing that I am about to finish the first year of high school with Moe Man. I have a few things that I need to finish up on my end, but he is finishing the first year! Now, I remember the first night he spent with us, I remember the day of his adoption, his first day at Kindergarten, and the first day of homeschooling in 6th grade. But all those silly days in between, where or where did they go?

With this upcoming year, I hope to figure out what Moe Man wants to do with his future. We will continue the required classes, but I want him to start figuring out his electives and see what he plans to do in another 3 years. Wow, only 3!!

Free Notebooking Pages Sampler 

We have all been working on some great upcoming reviews. Have you heard of Essential Skills Advantage (ESA)? We love this program, and can't wait to tell you more! Moe Man started his Government class that is required using Notgrass Exploring Government. There isn't much "extra" to do with this unless you order the extra book, so I have decided to have him do some Notebooking Pages each day to show me what he is picking up on.


We are working on finishing up a new read a-loud. You know of Jerry B. Jenkins from the Left Behind Series. Well, we are reading his book The Glass Castle that he wrote with Trisha White Priebe. This book has us on the edge of our seats! Ray Ray has tried to steal it and read ahead when I am not looking!!

So there is what I am thinking about and doing this week! It has been a roller coaster of emotions realizing how fast everyone is growing, yet anticipation and excitement of what is to come. What have you been up to this last week? Are you homeschooling through the summer or taking a break?

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Our Week in Review – February 20, 2016

Here we are at the end of another week. I don't know where the time is going, but I do know that we are keeping ourselves busy. We have had so much happening already, I just don't know where to start!

First of all, we have not been just doing work. We have been having fun as well. We have a review coming up about a super fun game that we have been playing. A game that includes learning, shh don't tell!

Climbing Knights

Ray Ray and Little Miss have been having a blast reading the bible. I know, I was shocked too! But this bible is fun!

Faith Builders

Moe Man is busy learning all about American History. We are catching up on memorizing the presidents, and learning about the Civil War this past week. How fun!

AAH Lesson 3

Ray Ray is using Math Mammoth to work on his math lessons. We are working on Place Values and having a blast. I had doubts about this simple math and how bored he would get since he loves math, but we are loving this and that is all that matters to me!

Moe Man might have found his math ticket. We are working with Math U See and the Epsilon level. This is fractions, his weakest link when it comes to math. So far we are having fun, so I hope this continues.


Little Miss is loving her time searching Pinterest for new worksheets. Yes, she finds her worksheets on Pinterest, from one of my Preschool boards, and lets me know what she wants to work on. I plan to introduce her to the fun on Easy Peasy Homeschool, so we can work on her reading skills. She needs to read now that she has her own library card, I thought you knew!

Baby Girl, this little one has been teething. Do you know what that means? Yep, mom is in Zombie mode with a ton of coffee in her system. When she isn't clinging to mom, no sorry dad, she loves to sit with us and watch the big kids learn. I have a feeling this one will keep me on my toes more than the others!

Baby Girl and Daddy

So what have you kept yourself busy with this last week? Are you doing anything fun that I should try? Let me know by commenting below.


God Bless!


Homeschool Week in Review ~ January 30, 2016

Homeschool Week in Review

Where oh where did this week go? I can't believe it is Saturday already! We had a very fun and busy week this last week! I can't wait to share with you what we were up to.

Homeschool Week in Review

Moe Man has been busy working on his high school classes. I am still in shock that I have a high schooler. I know, I know, it is the middle of the school year, but the shock is just setting in! We started a new history program, All American History from Bright Ideas Press. It picks up right where we were, so we are not skipping or repeating anything. So far we are in love with this program!

Homeschool Week in Review

For his electives, Moe Man is using allinonehighschool.com. This is a great free resource. For gym he is busy in martial arts twice a week. Language arts has been Applied Grammar. This is something new and fun that we have been using. Guess what is on the reading list? Nothing, we get to pick! I love this! We are able to pick books that go along with the other subjects that we are learning and use them as a double whammy!

Math, well that is another story. He has never liked math and finding the right program has been difficult. I am hoping to finally find something, but if any of you have a great program for pre-algebra I would love to hear about it!

Ray Ray is still Ray Ray. He loves to go at his own pace and really doesn't care what I have to say half the time. His reading is out of control! He taught himself and hasn't stopped. I am having the issue of finding the right books, with the right kind of language lessons to go with them. That is why I homeschool though, to be able to find something that works for my kids, not making my kids work for the curriculum.

Homeschool Week in Review

Math is the same way with him. He can do it all in his head without a problem, but ask him to write some numbers and he freaks out. Those silly fine motor skills in a boy who just wants to move! Once again why homeschool is for us!

Homeschool Week in Review

Little Miss is the school queen. She is the opposite of both her brothers in every way shape and form. She only wants worksheets and doesn't want to do anything boring. She wants to learn and is mad when I tell her to wait a minute. If I can't get to her, she finds her own learning. Where it took her brother until 6 years old to write his name well enough for a library card, this little one mastered it by 4 for her library card! She feels about 10 times older now, and makes mom and dad love those little cuddle up moments when she is still little!

Homeschool Week in Review

Baby Girl, well she isn't baby girl anymore. We hit the one-year birthday. Right now we are in the middle of a teething marathon. While this is great for the eating situation, this means mom and dad have their hands really full with a little one who doesn't want to be set down. She loves her singing and dancing. Music is the key to her day. If there isn't music, she isn't happy.

Homeschool Week in Review

I can't wait to see what next week brings. The fun and learning we get to enjoy together. Even if they are learning different from most other kids. They are mine and they are learning just right for them!

What have you done this last week? Did you start something new in your homeschool? Did you have a memorable moment happen? Let me know with a comment below or an email, I would love to hear!

Our Weekly Plans for November 16-20, 2015

What are we doing this week? Well a lot, and not much all at the same time! Here are my plans, but they can change quite quickly!


This week we are readjusting our schedule, finding the things that work for us. Ray Ray is making the switch over to a more Charlotte Mason focused learning. I have found that this is the best way he learns. Last year we didn’t “do” much, yet he taught himself to read, and does all his addition and subtraction in his head. I feel that if we keep his lessons short and sweet and have fun, we will excel beyond our wildest dreams. I am already being yelled at because the Pinocchio is too different from the original book we are reading out loud.

To make this happen, I have him working from www.allinonehomeschool.com and www.amblesideonline.com With these two programs, I am not spending much of anything (they are both free resources), and we are having fun again! That is all that matters, my kids having fun while learning!


Little Miss is going to be working with www.allinonehomeschool.com for her letter learning. I am also going to be adding in some sight words from Sightwords.com and let her feel happy knowing that she is starting to read. Being in preschool should be fun and games, so I am going to make that fun and games for her.


Moe Man…my high schooler. He has been trying to go back to the “fun” years instead of these serious years. This week I am going to be working on letting him be more independent. He likes to have me “help” him, but I don’t want him relying on me. To help him along I will be writing all his assignments down for the week. He will have the option to ask me for help during a certain amount of time each day, otherwise, he needs to get it done, with a passing grade if he wants to go out and do his own thing later. I will let you know how that goes!

Adding to all of this, we are bringing back our morning time. We have had so much time away from this, I feel icky. I am happy to have it all back and running. I got our circle/morning time printables from www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com Heather has something for everyone over there!


What are your plans for the week? Have any field trips or fun adventures in store? I would love to hear from you!