Ten Things I Love About Homeschooling

Daddy and Rayray


I haven’t been homeschooling for a long time yet, 5 months to be exact, but I love it!!! Yes, there are some days I wonder what I am doing to myself, but those are so little compared to the perks of homeschooling. Here are my top ten reasons that I love homeschooling.

1. I love watching my kids learn through everyday experiences.

My kids are learning so much everyday just by doing things they love. We are now able to be outside more with the nice weather, and my goodness do they have questions, but I don’t mind answering them, or telling them lets look that up!

2. We go at their pace, not the school’s pace.

Having kids with special needs is hard. What’s harder is when school thinks they need to do so much each day in order to proceed. I have noticed many changes in the love for learning just by slowing down (or speeding up) in the areas that need that!

3. There are no more bullies.

Unless you count when the siblings pick on each other 🙂 All the kids feel safe and aren’t afraid to ask a question that others might think is “dumb”. We are seeing our true kids and not the ones school and other kids want them to be.

4. We can teach them about God and not get in trouble.

We don’t have to keep God out of our school. Enough said!

5. We use the style that works best for them.

Each one of our three kids is different. If that is true at home, I wonder if it’s true at public school? We are teaching each kid in a different style here at home and they are doing great at that, which brings me to number 6.

6. My kids are excelling where they weren’t before.

Jordan used to be in a math level below his grade…now that he is at home and working at his pace, using the style that works for him, he is doing grade level math!! Yay him!!

7. The kids get more beneficial sleep.

There is no get up at 5:50am to catch the bus in the mornings. The kids get to stay up late when daddy gets home and sleep in in the mornings. I know that they are getting the full amount of sleep that is required of them, and that helps them do better at school.

8. They are forming strong bonds with their siblings.

What better friend to have than one who has the same values and rules as you. All the kids love each other and you can see that. They love playing with each other and keeping each other in line. I know that this will be something they continue to do for many years in the future.

9. They are forming stronger bonds with us, their parents.

With Daddy being in the truck, there were many times when the kids just wouldn’t be able to see him because of the schedules we had to keep for public school. Now that we make our own schedule, we are able to spend more time with Daddy. If it means we do some school on Saturday because Daddy was home on Friday, we do it. The kids love being able to spend that time and not miss anything!

And finally 10. We don’t have to worry about our kids, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

This is a deep one…I don’t have to worry about my kids while they are at school. I know that we are teaching them right and wrong instead of just what is required. I know that there won’t be any physical, mental, or emotional harm done to them while they are here, and I know that we have the control over how they learn how to deal with these problems as they come in the future. I am not saying that because kids go to public school you have to be worried senseless, because 99% of the time you don’t. I am saying, with my kids and their learning styles, I feel better knowing what they are learning and having the control, with my husband, over that. Every kid is different and I feel that we were called by God to do this with ours as the best way for them to learn and succeed.


Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Life Lessons

Jordan and Grandpa


It’s Monday, we should be doing school. Instead of sitting down in front of the computer and wanting to get stuff done while the weather was nice outside, we did some life lessons today.

My great grandpa is in his upper 90s and we decided it was a nice enough day to help him out with some of his spring clean up. My kids love being with grandpa and playing outside by the lake. Grandpa also has the fun big kid “toys”. Jordan was put to work helping clean up the garbage and than moving some plants and tree branches.

Our lessons today included learning how to “socialize” with our elders. My kids were able to learn how to show respect to grandpa, and how if they didn’t, he wouldn’t stand for it and take things away…even if it was just a rope and to RayRay that meant the end of the world. But they also learned that if they listened, he would give them things they wanted, like that end of the world rope 🙂 Jordan learned how to work the 4-wheeler some more and found out that steering while in the soft grass was not easy. Grandpa told him that he would have to be moving and turning the wheel at the same time and that moving did not mean speeding across the yard!

We were using the 4-wheeler to move branches around the yard, and Jordan had to load them up and make them stay balanced, since Grandpa didn’t want to teach him how to control the trailer yet. He would balance them on the front and rear racks and have to make them stay while they traveled around the yard. Jordan also had to figure out how to “tow” one large branch that wouldn’t fit on the racks, and Grandpa refused to let him use a saw or ax to cut it.


RayRay and Little Miss didn’t get to skip out on the lessons. They were busy finding different things throughout the yard and deciding if they would float or sink once thrown into the lake. We found out that dead grass, branches and pine cones float and that rocks will sink. We than talked about how heavy the rocks were compared to the pine cones while holding one of each in each hand.

Now that we are home, it is time to do some things on the computer and rest up a little! But before we do that I wanted to let you know that we will be using Time4Writing as a summer writing program for the next couple of months.  We are excited to get started with the interactive lessons.  Our online tutor will correct our work and give us writing tips on how to sharpen our writing skills.  Come visit in a few weeks to see how we like it.

A Change in Weather


Can you believe we were supposed to get snow last night?!?!?! I am so thankful we didn’t, but it sure did get cold! After enjoying all that time outside and not needing jackets, it has been rough trying to tell the little ones they 1need to put them on again.

We pulled out our small trampoline for some energy draining today. The kids thought it was the best thing in the world, considering it has been about a year since they went on it. I like being able to pull something like that out and let it be “new” again. I had to tell J that since we weren’t outside running around, riding bike and skateboarding, we have to do regular gym class again.

It has been a little easier for everyone to focus on doing their school work now that there isn’t the temptation to want to go outside. J is doing awesome on his Social Studies, I don’t have to ask him to do that, I have to ask him to slow down. I love that he is so interested in the history of the United States right now and is talking about the things he learns throughout the day. Now if only I could get him that interested in his math. He is doing good in that too, especially since he started doing the 6th grade math they said he couldn’t do at Public School. He gets so happy when he does good and I love seeing him so happy over his accomplishment!!

RayRay has been working on some basic Kindergarten lessons, and breezing through them!! Now, if I could just get him to sit down long enough to practice writing!! I plan to enroll him in Kindergarten home school in the fall. As fun as it would be to see what he does at public school, I know that he will thrive better in an environment that suites him, just like his big brother! Both of these boys are so full of energy and I love to see them be able to move around as they need to and not get into trouble because they are not sitting still as a stick in a classroom that is full of distractions.

Little Miss is her same princess self! She has been watching during RayRay’s lessons and loves to “count” and “read”. She will count: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10…I think it is adorable and as much as I want to just love her up while she is doing that, we end up counting together after she starts. We have been checking out some easy reader books from the library and when RayRay doesn’t want to read his sight words, she will read them after I say them.

I hope the weather warms up again, and that you all have a great day!! God bless!!!

Spring is Finally Here!!


Well, Minnesota has finally decided to give us spring!! We have been having so much fun outside without the extra winter jacket bulk! It’s not very often that we can play in the snow in a t-shirt!!

We started some bean seeds, first in a plastic bag so that we could watch them root and than transferred them into cups and soil to watch them sprout and grow. The kids are having a competition over whose is growing faster! We have still been doing our “school”, only we are doing that right away in the morning and later in the afternoon. During the middle of the day when it is gorgeous out, we are outside too!! Hey, one of the benefits of homeschooling I guess 😉 I love the ability to do that with the kids. We can do whatever the day brings as long as we complete our lessons for the week.

I would like to finish the day with a prayer request for my cousin and her new son. She delivered him 4.5 weeks early and everything seemed to be going good. They soon found out that he will need heart surgery and it sounds like today will be the day. Prayers for him, mommy, daddy, all family and surgeons would be wonderful!! Thank you so much!!!

Time4Learning Review

About a month ago I got an email asking if I would like to do a review for the Time4Learning website. I jumped at the chance because I wanted to try it for my oldest son.

Our first day on the website was just setting everything up. Ray Ray was excited to be able to try something new on the computer. Since he is 4 I signed him up at the Pre-K level and found that he lost interest within the first week. I couldn't figure it out, than it hit me, it was too easy for him!! We moved him up to Kindergarten level and is always asking about doing school now!!

Now, when J took a look at the site it was just disappointment. He didn't want anything to do with it. I asked him why, telling him that I was going to do a review and wanted to know what needs to be different for him. All J would tell me was that he did it at public school and didn't like it. The next day we sat down to get started. I have him set up at the 6th grade level (except for math which we have a different program for) and had him start. All upset I was making him do it, J sat down, took a look and had a huge smile on his face. "I get to do this?!?! I didn't get to do this at school, I had to do little kid stuff on here while everyone did this!!" I was shocked!! And disappointed in the school system yet again, but happy that we may have found something to work for us!

We had some off time due to my great grandma passing, but we have loved this website every time we sit down to use it. J loves being able to move about as he needs and wants to. I love being able to pull up the grades and lessons that have been done.  We have begun using this as our complete curriculum, except math like I said earlier, and have just added some extra reading and writing assignments in with it. I also add some extra worksheets when I notice J having trouble remembering things. 

My only complaints about this whole website, is trying to figure out how many questions were on a quiz or assignment and how many J got right or wrong. Most have 10 problems and I know that 90% would mean he got 9 right, but when I am told 83% I get lost :-). I also wish there was an easier way to study for the quiz, or a better way to know which vocabulary words need to be studied.

J is out oldest and he is adopted. He deals with ADHD and FASD on a daily basis and finding school that covers what he needs AND keeps his attention has been a challenge, but Time4Learning has fixed the daily struggle for us. We are able to see what needs to be done, and the curriculum follows what the state says we need to cover, which takes the stress away from me.

After comparing prices for different full curriculum vs using this website for both of my children, we have noticed that this website would be saving us a large sum of money each year! As a family we have decided this is the website for us and our homeschool!

As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. Write your own curriculum review or learn how to use their curriculum for homeschool, after school study or summer learning.

I really did like using this website and plan on continuing with it for as long as we are able. If you are interested in signing up, let me know and I can send you a referral email.

Have you tried this webiste? What do you think about it? Do you like it, hate it or love it? I would love to know!!!

My Great Grandma




It was a long two weeks. My great grandma passed away at 92 years old. She was able to spend her last days at her house on the lake. It was a Tuesday morning after having everyone down and visiting her all weekend. We sat next to her in her room, praying with her and singing with her. We downloaded the song God Bless America and she sang it the whole time :'-) The morning she passed started out "normal". My aunt had been spending the night there and has called to update me on how it went overnight and than she left for work. Shortly after that, my great grandpa (98) went in to give grandma her good morning kiss. He than went and got his breakfast. When he went back in, she was gone.

My great grandma was a special lady to me. I spent many nights at her house on the lake with my younger brother. I loved growing up with her as a strong example of what a wife, mother, friend and grandmother is supposed to be like. My grandma is the only one who would call me "Mrs. Hopkins". I will miss those phone calls. It is because of my grandma that I know what hard work is about and what a praying woman is all about. When spending the night, I would fall asleep listening to her pray the rosary.

My daughter has her great, great grandma's middle name. When people ask what her name is, they always question the "old" middle name and I am even more proud now to tell them what it means and who it is for.

My 4 year old, Ray Ray, has been the perfect example of how open to death we have to be. He has opened my eyes in so many ways and I tear up just thinking about them. The little man tells me that grandpa doesn't live alone in his house, grandma's angel is with him. And he talks about his two grandmas and one cousin who are his angels in heaven that are waiting to spend forever with him. So sweet!

Now that we have laid my grandma to rest (with a send off of tiny bubbles, like the song she loved), we are getting ourselves back on a normal schedule for school. This week will be our first week in over two weeks that we will be on our "normal" schedule. I am hoping we transition back into this quickly and can stay on track to getting everything done early in the day so we can spend time outside, if it's not raining.

I hope you all have a good week!!

It’s A Family Time

My great grandma is 92 and she is in her final days. We haven’t been doing too much school right now and just spending time with her. I don’t have much to write, but will come back full force when we are back in a routine again.

Did You Know That?

We are learning a lot this week. It has been busy, but we are enjoying it.

First, I need to vent…my son was using our Time4Learning trial and was really upset because he didn’t like it at public school. I told him that was fine, I wanted him to use it at home and to tell me the fun and not so fun about it so I could write my review (coming up in a couple more weeks). His first day of sitting down with it and he gets all excited…”I get to do this? I never got to do that at school, I had to do the little kid stuff on there!” So I ask what the other kids in class were doing and he said the stuff he got to do right now. Now, I thought we were supposed to help kids achieve more when it came to school, not make them feel stupid and make them do below grade level stuff when “everyone” else is doing grade level. I told him he was a 6th grader and would be doing 6th grade work because of that.

Alright, now that I have that off my chest…I feel better! J-man is doing good with settling in at home and RayRay loves playing on the computer for school. We are doing a variety of things for him since he is Pre-K. Anything to do with letters, shapes and numbers seem to satisfy him. Now just to get him to start working on his writing skills…hmm.

Little Miss is just growing bigger and bigger…I love watching her as she learns new things. I can’t wait until she is ready to sit and color more than scribbles…but I love that too!!

We are learning about Nevada for geography/history right now. We have found some really fun things on SchoolHouseTeachers that have us really interested in learning more. Today was some learning about the Hoover Dam. I never thought I would get J-man to sit and enjoy reading, but he kept asking for more and more today…and finding pictures online was fun for me too!

I hope you all have a great week and stay warm!!

A day of Home Ec.


J was able to have fun yesterday. He took a class in making a “blankie” from his great grandma. He had to pick out the fabric, tell how much he needed,  pin it together and sew it. He got to do all this without his little siblings around, which was his favorite part.

Before he left we did our math and some of our reading. He wasn’t too happy about that, but than again he doesn’t care for those two subjects anyway.

For reading we are doing a unit with Old Yeller. He doesn’t care too much for it right now, but as the activities go on he may just get into it.

Math has always been tough, but we are trying a few different things there…hoping to find the one thing that clicks for him.

Little man, RayRay, has been working on his letters. We tried some new things, but he really likes anything on the computer. I don’t mind that too much, but I need him to work on his handwriting.

Little Miss loves to do everything with RayRay. She will be the smart one 🙂 When I call him for his school, she comes running and sits down with him to watch and say everything he does.  I love watching her learn from him!

Now I am off to watch my kids learn and have fun again today! It might actually be nice enough to go outside today!!

I Love Mondays!!!

Yep, it’s Monday again…and I don’t have my homeschool week planned out at all! Good thing I don’t have to turn anything in and my kids are flexible like me! We have our plan, and know the basics of what we need to do, now just to get it done!!

Today we sent daddy off to work again. We hope that he will be home as much as possible, but with him being a truck driver, we know we can only take those days as gifts from God. It sure was nice to have him home all weekend though! We spent a cloudy Saturday sitting around doing nothing at all and it felt good!!! Sunday we got a new a headboard for my oldest and him and dad got to spend time building it together!

In other news: I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

That was my weekend. Hope you all had a good weekend and may God bless you and your families!!