Best Children’s Consignment Sale

Having just had my 5th baby (6 years after being “done”) I have realized I haven’t been as prepared as with my past children. I do not have “hand me downs” because I gave them all away.  I did not buy much, well, because I figured she could just wear diapers all the time.

Now that she is here, I would like her to look decent, but do not want to spend a lot of money.  The answer?  The BEST Children’s Consignment Sale. (Voted the best in Orlando 3 years in a row.)

My friend (who is the mother to my almost 13 year old’s BFF) has the largest, most organized, incredible consignment business.  You can sell your used items, or just go and buy.  They only accept clothes, toys, books, homeschool supplies, shoes, and more, that is in great condition.

I am excited they are selling this coming March 12th.  Just in time for spring and summer clothes shopping!

Check out the link below for more information.  Hope to see you there!



Eagle School Pictures

 A couple of months into Pine Castle Christian Academy Eagle School, things are going wonderful and the kids are loving it.  Being a first year program, we are grateful for over 30 students from elementary to high school. Classes offered include history, writing, science, and math.  New friends are being made, learning is fun, and teachers are loved. My kids count the days until they get to go to Monday classes at Eagle School.































I love when people post organization ideas and what works for them.  The following post and pictures are what is working great for me and the 6 kids I am homeschooling.

This is our school room. The picture is too dark, but it doubles as our dining room. I dream of the day that I can have an actual school room.

Each child has their own notebook. The notebooks have six slots in them. I use one slot for a schedule and the others for each day of the week.

Each child decorated their folder at the beginning of the year. Each Sunday, I insert worksheets that they kids are able to do on their own, or worksheets that I don’t want to have to find later, in the appropriate day of the week.

I tear out pages and insert in the correct day. It saves SO much time. I schedule everything out (using, print out the schedules, and go through textbooks a week in advance to have everything ready each day. There are no missing books, or missing sheets, or forgotten work since it is all in the notebooks, on the specific day, every time.

The kids know which worksheets they can grab and do on their own, and I know that anything that needs to get done is there. If we happen to not get to something, I can just move the work to the next day and make note on my schedule if needed.

All of this may not be necessary for everyone, but attempting to homeschool 6 kids and keep everyone on track could be an organizational nightmare.  This structure has been my favorite change for the year.

So what happens when they finish the work?

Each child has their own color file folder. (I do not try to keep and organize my preschoolers work). These cheap file tubs are perfect for keeping everything together. Once the year is over, I can take out bits and pieces of work over the year for a portfolio and evaluation, or I can just bring the whole tub with me and let the evaluation teacher see what she wants. I will mark them with the year, and store in the attic for a couple of years.

Each file is a separate subject. This can serve as my portfolio down the road if necessary, or like I said above, I can just keep random examples from throughout the year. It is easier for me to just file everything away, in order, by subject, and keep the whole bin. After a couple years (which is how long the state of Florida requires you to keep work) I will most likely go through and create a portfolio, or have the kids help me make a fun binder, to keep for memories.

My friend had the brilliant idea of giving my oldest daughter her own space. This is my kitchen, but we carved out a corner for her. The desk is from Ikea and can fold down. She has slowly taken more and more space over. :-)
There is a significant gap between her and the younger kids, so this has worked out nicely.

Another favorite buy for this year were the organization wall hangers from Ikea. In this picture the backpacks are hanging from them. Ikea has cups (you can see them in a couple of the other pictures) that we use for pencils, pens etc., or you can buy hooks.

There were a few other ideas that have worked well for us, but perhaps I will share in another post.  I need to give a shout out to my dear friend who is much smarter and more creative than I am and who I regularly steal ideas from.  I forget which of these ideas were mine, and which were hers, so I will just say we work well together.

Six Weeks In

I haven’t blogged in weeks.  Or maybe it is months.  I can’t keep track, which is why I haven’t been around.

We are six weeks into our school year.  I am not only homeschooling my oldest three (and trying to do a little of something with my preschooler), but I am also helping homeschool my niece and nephew.  I was nervous about how I was going to do it all, but the reality is, it is going better than I could ever dream.  We are finding things that work, some that don’t, and learning what our priorities are. The kids bicker, they compete, they work together, and I am having a blast watching it all.  Sometimes I sit back and wonder why it is I get to do this.  I can’t imagine a more rewarding job.

Some things I have learned are:

The house does not stay clean.

Some boys can sit still and work and some can’t.  Come in my home and watch them. My 2nd grade nephew can sit and work and focus (with random comments thrown in about legos), but my 2nd grade son enjoys working while standing on his chair and turning in circles.  We are working on that.

Girls want to color.  A lot.

Sharpening pencils is everyone’s favorite activity.

I am becoming the queen of multi-tasking. Teaching 6th grade math and 2nd grade language arts and kindergarten science and preschool math.  Nooooooo problem.  As long as I can randomly stand up and say “ONE AT A TIME!” loud enough that I get 10 seconds of silence to clear my mind every once in a while.

Lunch is messy.

Kids are dirty.

Cousins feel like siblings.

God’s grace is here everyday.

We don’t have it all together.  I get irritated when days don’t run smoothly. The kids fight and don’t write capital letters at the beginning of sentences, but the most important thing I have learned six weeks in, is that I love my job.  I adore all my students and actually look forward to each day.  What will I hear today?  What will I learn from them today? How many times will I silently laugh at the child that thinks every continent is Asia?

Six weeks in I am more grateful than ever for my life, and more grateful than ever for new mercy and grace every morning.


Curriculum Choices

I have had many people ask what I am doing with my kids this coming Fall.  Below are my choices for each child.

Kayla.  Entering 5th grade.

Abeka 6th Math and Singapore 5A and 5B.  Kayla just finished Saxon 65.  She did well, but overall was about a B student.  Ironically her standardized testing showed her to be way above average (and even stellar in some areas) in math even though I would have thought this was one of her hardest subjects.  I decided to do 6th grade math again (since she is only entering 5th) and solidify some concepts.  She is currently working through A Key To Series for the summer.

History/Literature: Sonlight Core F.  She will be taking a class at Pine Castle Eagle School on Mondays for this as well.

Language Arts:  Abeka and some Easy Grammar if needed.

Science: Apologia Zoology.  This will be taken at PCCA Eagle School as well.

Writing:  IEW through PCCA

Kayla requested a while back to do Latin.  She knows a couple of kids who do it and I figure that it may be good to help with vocabulary and grammar as well.  We will be doing Latin for Children A and she will be working with a friend of mine.  We may do this for two years, and after that, PJ would like to her start German.

Building Thinking Skills 2

Wyatt.  Entering 2nd.

Math:  Math in Focus 2A and 2B. Doing Singapore worksheets for extra practice.  I am excited to try this math.  I have been doing SIngapore with him and he does very well, but this has a lot more ideas for games, teaching suggestions, practice, and keeps with the standards for each grade.  Wyatt picks up on math very easily, so it is hard keeping things hard enough the the doesn’t get bored, but fun enough that he doesn’t get bored.  We will see how it goes.

History:  My Fathers World Countries and Cultures along with Galloping the Globe.  Taking a class at PCCA to go along with this.

Literature:  Sonlight 3rd grade readers.

Language Arts:  Abeka

Science: Apologia Zoology. PCCA class.

Writing:  IEW 2nd grade class at PCCA

Song School Latin

Building Thinking Skills 1

Anniston (entering K) and Danae (entering pre-K)

Math:  Singapore Earlybird.  I plan on transitioning her to Math in Focus 1 when she is ready.  She loves math, but I want to be extremely gentle for now until I know she is ready to move on. We have worked through the first book of Horizons K this year, but I want to transition to Singapore for a while.

History:  Same as Wyatt

Science:  Same as Wyatt

Phonics/Reading:  Abeka

Building Thinking Skills Beginning

For all of them I will be using Apologia Bible.

I realize that at any moment I can change this.  The curriculum that I am most certain about is Sonlight.  We have stayed with them for a few years now and love it more and more as each year passes. To cut down on the cost of all of this,  I utilize what I already have (passing down from kid to kid), the library, friends who have good deals, and buy what I think I will want for years to come.

I am one of those who really do not mind admitting when something is terrible and ditching it.  Part of the reason I homeschool is for all of us to enjoy ourselves and to instill a LOVE of learning.  As the years go on, I do learn more and more about each child and their learning style, which makes decisions a little easier.  I do prepare for changes throughout the year and don’t mind making them. There are times where something needs to be changed and there are times that I have to make them push through difficulties with certain subjects/curriculum.  The hard part is knowing which is best in a particular season.

I admire all of the families who started homeschooling around the time I was a kid and only had a couple choices for curriculum.  Although, maybe that would have made things a little easier.  :-)


These people are mine. This is my life. This is what my people look like…for now.  On a day, not far from this one, I will look back and they will be different.  My life will look different. Today I want to be grateful for these faces that will change.  Very soon.

“Isn’t it funny how day by day that nothing changes but when you look back everything is different….”
― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

Spring Break

This week is our official Spring break, but since we choose to break randomly throughout the year, we are not taking the entire week off.  We will still be making sure to do fun things like this.  Maybe a little of that.  Certainly lots of this. 

I asked each of my kids what Spring break is.  Separately, of course, so they would not feed off of each other.  I was curious if my poor, naive, home educated children even know the significance of Spring break to most people.  Here are their answers.

Danae (just turned 4 years old) – It broke?  Spring?  What is Spring?

Anniston (5 years old) – It means taking a break from Spring.  It means it is Summer.  Wait…if it is summer that means it’s my birthday!!  Is it my birthday????

(That turned into a disappointing discussion)

Wyatt (just turned 7 years old) – It means we don’t do school for the Spring!!

(Also a disappointing conversation)

Kayla (10 years old) – It should mean no school, but of course that is not true for us.  (said in a very whiny voice that should not come from a 10 year old)

So there you have it.  What I learned from my poll are a couple of things.

1. Today I will teach Danae the seasons.

2.  No matter how awesome of a mother and teacher you are, your kids will most likely not always think so.  Even after reminding them of ALL the times they get to take breaks from school when other children do not, they still think I am the worst ever for making them do a little work during Spring break. I just hope one day they will think I am sort of awesome… every once in a while…maybe.

3. Never bring up Spring break unless I plan to have one.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!