Spring Co-op: Week 6

We’re done! Today was the final day of our spring co-op and it went out with a bang. There was all kinds of craziness, changes, and general mayhem.

The morning started off with some pretty sleepy kids (with good reason), it progressed with most of our families out sick, picked up with some curriculum gain, and ended with my oldest girl being sick.

Even with all the craziness of the day, it was a blessing being able to see our friends for a short while. It is always lovely to fellowship and learn something new.

Spring Co-op: Week 6, #1

Yup, that’s “Mouse”. She got her hair chopped last night and is loving it.

Spring Co-op: Week 6, #2 Spring Co-op: Week 6, #3 Spring Co-op: Week 6, #4 Spring Co-op: Week 6, #5

T was joined by another girl in class (hooray, the first time this session) and we made some lovely Pac-Man and owl origami pieces; very cute!

N and Mouse had a blast in their art and PE courses. Their teacher had them finger painting (sometimes a lost art with middle aged kids), which they really enjoyed.

JAG’s teachers said he had a blast and behaved very well. (This can sometimes be a challenge for him when he plays sports and is overly competitive; we are working on this though!)

For me, the day’s bonus feature was purchasing some curriculum from another mommy in our PSP. She has a son a few years older than T and uses the same curriculum. It seems she had been holding on to some older curriculum and wanted to sell it off. I got a great deal on some of next year’s stuff and most of 8th grade. Whoopie!

It was a great morning, full of fun and laughter (even if it was a bit chaotic). This evening is our PSP’s game night, but unfortunately it seems we won’t be attending. Right after I scored some awesome deals on text books, the troop headed over to the library. Within a few moments of being there, it became very evident that T was under the weather.

Sure enough, Pop confirmed the little lady needs to be kept home and get some rest. So, the family is going to be hanging out at home and getting some much deserved downtime.

While we are a little bummed at missing out on more fellowship, I am looking forward to getting some things cleared off my plate and getting these new books organized.

What a great way to end an eventful co-op season!

Spring Co-op: Week 5

Well, another week of co-op is under our belt and what loads of fun we had! Our chess board is just about done, our art projects are completed, and origami proved to be a greater success than I thought possible.

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 1

The origami class

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 2

Art Class

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 3

Bunny Boxes from Origami

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 4

Finishing up our paper mache

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 5

Life Lessons for the high school students; balancing a checkbook, setting up a savings account, and applying for a job.

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 6

Playing in the sun

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 7

The little ones enjoying free play.

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 8

Chess boards are almost complete!

Spring Co-op: Week 5, 9

Having fun with woodshop.

We have one more week of Spring Co-op and then our calendars will be significantly more clear. But oh how we’ll miss getting together for some good, fun learning.

Spring Co-op: Week 3

Today was yet another Spring Co-op session. We had much more fun, but just as many complications as last week! (laughing)

It seems quite a few of our families were out sick, resulting in a loss of many students. My class had a total of two students today! Much more hands on assistance for them?

We pulled together and sure enough got things moving, but, wow, was it a challenge.

“T” and I came up with a game plan for her chess board and are very excited to see the end results. We’ll make sure to show you her finished product.

“N” made sure to stay off the grass this week and is feeling just fine. She and “Mouse” had a wonderful time.

Little man was dragged along to co-op, seeing as he needed the exercise and to get out of the house. He had a blast and got to run around with all the fellas.

I was still only able to snap a few pics this week, seeing as we were short-staffed and running around like mad. The kids did have a blast though, which makes it all worth while.

Week 3, Pic 1

Spanish Boxes

Week 3, Pic 2

Paper Mache

Week 3, Pic 3


Week 3, Pic 4

Wood Shop

Week 3, Pic 5

Messy Work


Co-op was followed up by park day, but only two of our families decided to join in; mine and another friend. That didn’t stop us though! We had a blast and enjoyed the beautiful, sunny, warm afternoon.

Now, I have a pile of items on my desk awaiting my perusal. I’d best get to gettin’ and then enjoy my night.

We are topping off our busy day by having some kiddos over tonight. Their parents are going on a much-needed date night! Hooray for them; they deserve it!

Spring Co-op: Week 1

Today was the first week of our Spring Co-op. The day was a busy one, but well worth the effort.

Co-op: Week 1 (1 of 4) Co-op: Week 1 (2 of 4) Co-op: Week 1 (3 of 4) Co-op: Week 1 (4 of 4)

This season I am teaching origami, which the boys are pretending to dislike, but secretly they enjoy. Unfortunately, “T” is the only girl in the class and she is not liking it one bit. She is liking her second course though, woodworking.

This season she will be learning to make a chessboard, which will be a welcome addition to the current collection we already own. She is having a great time learning and, frankly, is doing as good a job as most the older kids.

My other girlies are taking a PE course and an art course, which they are having loads of fun with as well.

It will be wonderful to see all their lovely projects when they are finished.

(For those wondering which classes the boy is taking… today he opted to stay home with Pop and play board games. Should he decide to join us next week, he will be taking a PE course as well and a sign language class.)

Our girls are very excited about playing chess with their pop. Do your children play?

Fall Co-op Part III

Today was the third week of our fall co-op. The weather was a bit chilly, we got off to a late start, and we forgot a few items… it was wonderful!

(Laughing)… How could such a bad start turn into a great day? We got to spend the day with friends, learning some new things and fellowshipping.

Marine Habitats

My middle girls’ class was on marine habitats. They loved learning about the ocean and taking home some shells.

Saying Hello

The kids stopped to take a moment, posing for the camera. Aren’t they sweet?

Egg Drop

The high school kids were still working on “out of this world” science experiments. This week they were dropping eggs from the church roof, after insulating them in their egg “ships”.

Speech and Debate

Today I was, yet again, assisting in my oldest daughter’s speech class. She is doing better each week. Today we learned about giving an apologetic speech.

Prek Marine Biology

The kindergarteners began their marine mural today. They did a marvelous job, except that my son apparently had too much fun with his glue stick. (sigh…) Boys!

Math Class

Today’s Kindergarten math class was on measuring. I had each of the kids trace around their bodies and then measure themselves. They had a lot of fun with this activity.

Bible Heroes

This week the middle girls learned about Abraham Lincoln in their class. What a great American hero!

Park and Play

We had another park day today. More moms showed up, it was awesome having so many ladies to visit with.

Playing with Friends

My little man, hanging out with some of his buddies.

Today was, yet again, another full day. We did some learning at our homeschool co-op, went to the library, went to the park, and then headed home. But the day isn’t over yet!

Now that we are showered off and smell clean, we are heading out once again. The fun never stops!

My oldest daughter is currently working on her oratory speech, which she will deliver in two weeks. If you had to give a speech to your peers, what topic would you pick?

Fall Co-op Part II

Today was day two of our Fall Co-op. The kids and I finished our morning home school routine and then sprinted out the door. We arrived just in time for devotion and a load of fun!

School Spirit

Today’s school spirit was bringing your favorite marine creature.

Animal Habitats

My middle girls learned about crickets in their habitat class today.


Cricket Cones

Building habitats for their new pet crickets.

Are You There?

The little girlies checking on their crickets. My youngest girl is in heaven with this class! She practically begged to keep her crickets. So, of course I said yes.


Math Games

My class on math games. Today we played Math Doodles (copying the original idea in the Math Doodles app).

Speak to Me

My oldest girl in her speech class. She did much better this week than she did last.


Dry Ice

Today’s science class was about dry ice! They had a lot of fun creating fun experiments.

Pin Cushion

My oldest girl’s teacher brought them all pin cushions. I thought that was very sweet of her.


Puffer Fish

In marine biology, the little ones learned about puffer and rainbow fish. They created these neat paper fish for the collage they are working on.

A Stitch in Time

My oldest girl learning some basic stitches in her sewing class.


What a Clown

Our drama class was putting on quite a show. I understand they even recorded themselves!

Today’s classes were a lot of fun! We enjoyed seeing our friends and gaining a few new pets. Let’s see what next week brings.

My oldest girl struggles with public speaking. What methods have helped your children conquer this area of home schooling?


The High School Handbook

Our oldest daughter is in sixth grade this coming August. Not one to wait until the last-minute, I wanted to spend some time this summer reading up on Junior and Senior High. I want to be fully prepared for what lies ahead. I want to know what I need now so that I am not panicking at the last-minute, worrying if I am doing something correctly or not.

To this end, our ISP principal highly recommended The High School Handbook by Mary Schofield. In The High School Handbook, Ms. Schofield does an excellent job of laying the groundwork for Jr. and Sr. High. She provides a helpful, step-by-step process to organizing your students workload, as well as ideas on how each can be implemented to their fullest. She explains, with clear reasoning, why each step is taken and how it benefits both your student and yourself. To further assist you with each step, Ms. Schofield has graciously placed helpful sample forms throughout the book, showing how her family has organized each area. She has also included blank forms for you to copy and use at your own disposal, making your job even easier. 

Ms. Schofield covers every area of Jr. and Sr. High that you could possibly imagine. If you are unsure of how to organize your classes, this book will help. If you are unsure which classes are needed to attend a university, this book will help. Need tips on grading, courses standards, transcripts, and college? This book is definitely the one for you. From Language Arts and Arithmetic, to Driver’s Ed and Work Permits, this book has something for everyone.

On a personal level, I am extremely grateful that I chose to read the book this summer. Our daughter is still in elementary school (being that we are not including sixth grade as part of “middle school”); had I waited until the summer before junior high, I might have stressed myself out with the amount of paperwork and organizing that needs to be done. However, having read the book a full year in advance, I have plenty of time to prepare whatever forms might be necessary. I have the time to systematically lay out classes and to talk with my daughter about where she feels the Lord is leading her. I very much appreciated the sections on Missionary Opportunities, Apprenticeship, and College at Home, as each of these areas are of particular interest to our family.

Our HS Outline

The High School Handbook is highly recommended for everyone with a child going into Jr. and/or Sr. High. Even if you don’t homeschool, it will help you to better understand what classes your child should be taking in their studies. It will help you prepare them for ACT and SAT exams, College Applications, and other areas common to all students. I highly recommend this book. Don’t wait until your child is about to start their higher education, help them now. You won’t regret it!

For those of you with children already in Junior or Senior High, was there a particular book(s) that you found helpful in organizing the chaos? I would love to delve into a few more books. The more ideas, the better!