Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gotcha Days

Summer is an extremely celebratory time for our family.  In case you didn’t know, two of our children were adopted (not that I can always remember which ones!). For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Gotcha Day”, it is an adoption term that refers to the anniversary of the day that we first met and received our adoptive children.  Of course in today’s culture any word or term can be offensive, and this one is no exception.  This day can also be referred to as: Family Day, Adoption Day…whatever you prefer.

Our family prefers Gotcha Day.  We celebrate this day.  Although our daughters were adopted 3 years apart, their “Gotcha Days” are only 2 weeks apart. 

love at first siteOur first glimpse of The Queen on our Gotcha Day in 2005.

Hey Baby 

Holding The Queen for the first time!


Getting to know each other.

IMG_0987 \

The Queen today.


Our first glimpse of The Princess in 2008.


Hoping to hold her in my arms.


Getting to know all of us.


The Princess today.

There is much to celebrate. 

Starting with preparations for the celebration….


starting with a hot pink, pink crystal, Funfetti cake…


for The Princess!


And an electric blue, strawberry cake…


for The Queen.

The both received a special gift this year.  A special necklace.


Special necklaces with their birth cities, and the character for “love.”

If you are interested in a special necklace such as these, you may find them here.

Happy Gotcha Day(s) to The Queen and The Princess!

We love you so much and know what a gift you are to us.

Two children born to two different women call me Mama. The depth of the tragedy and magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me.

(I have modified this quote by Joy Landers.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

2013 – 2014 Curriculum Planning

Can you believe that it is July already?  Me neither.

This marks the end of my 4th year homeschooling.  And let me tell you I have learned a lot in those 4 years!  We have finally gotten into a pretty good groove this year.  I have three that I homeschool, and it takes some getting used to when you start adding addition children into the daily mix.

We pretty much homeschool year around.  I know lots of people like to take the summer off, and that is great!  But for our family, homeschooling year round seems to work best for many reasons.  First, we can take a leisurely approach to getting through our coursework. Second, it is HOT in southeastern NC in the summer!  No one wants to go outside for any length of time, unless it is to the beach or pool.  So, if you’re gonna hang around inside the house, you might as well make good use of some of that time.  And there is still plenty of time in the day for that!  Third, we don’t spend much time reviewing previously learned concepts as we are continuously moving forward. 

So, at this point I usually start planning for the coming school year.  Again, this is probably the best year we have had as I have discovered some things that help us all stay on track and keep things moving smoothly.

We pretty much use Accelerated Christian Education School of Tomorrow (or A.C.E.) exclusively. As I have stated before, it works for us and our family dynamics.  It is a proven curriculum that has been around for about 40 years.  If you want to learn more about this curriculum, visit: The Curriculum Choice for their review.

With that said, planning is fairly easy.  So the first thing I need is a planning sheet.


I came up with this simple table and I fill it in as I make my decisions.  It also helps me as I can note where I may already have an item.


I make one up for each child because as we all know, each child’s needs are different!


I can handwrite the info or enter  the info on the computer.  The computer is better for me as I am always printing things and then losing them!  There are a few non-A.C.E. curricula that we use.  It also allows me to plan-budget for the school year.  As you know, homeschoolers do not receive any kind of Federal or State funding (thank goodness!).  I can make purchases throughout the summer or as far ahead as I need to offset the overall cost to our family budget.

This is how the 2013 – 2014 school year is looking so far:

DSCN8027The Princess 2nd Grade

Math:   A.C.E. Math PACEs 1016 – 1024* (4th)

English:  A.C.E. English PACEs 1013 – 1024

Spelling:  A.C.E. Word Building PACEs 1013 – 1024 and/or  All About Spelling Level 1

Literature:  A.C.E. Creative Writ/Lit PACEs 1013 – 1024

Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power Plus Cursive 2nd Grade (The Princess wants to write in cursive so badly.  She is trying without any formal lessons, so I thought this would be a good mix).

Science:  A.C.E. Science PACEs 1013 – 1024 (4th)

Social Studies:  A.C.E. Social Studies PACEs 1013 – 1024 (4th)

Music:  Continue with violin lessons

Art:  Home Art Studio 2nd Grade

Bible:  AWANA, Ladybugs Bible Study group, just Mom and Me Having Tea Bible Study (6 weeks)

Foreign Language:  Local Chinese School

Keyboarding:  A.C. E. Readmaster Plus


The Queen 4th Grade

Math:   A.C.E. Math PACEs 1037 - 1048 (4th)

English:  A.C.E. English PACEs 1037 - 1048

Spelling:  A.C.E. Word Building PACEs 1037 - 1048 and/or  All About Spelling Level 1

Literature:  A.C.E. Creative Writ/Lit PACEs 1037 - 1048

Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success 4th Grade

Science:  A.C.E. Science PACEs 1037 - 1048 (4th)

Social Studies:  A.C.E. Social Studies PACEs 1037 – 1048 (4th)

Art:  Home Art Studio 2nd Grade

Bible:  AWANA, Ladybugs Bible Study group, just Mom and Me Having Tea Bible Study (6 weeks)

Keyboarding:  A.C. E. Readmaster Plus

Sports:  Upward Soccer Spring 2014; (Horseback riding ?)

adam-guitarGodzilla 9th Grade

We are contemplating enrolling Godzilla into the school at our church.  I have not finalized any curricula for him since we are undecided. It is not that I don’t want to homeschool high school. He will continue with his guitar lessons for sure!  I love having my children home all day.  I love the relationships that they have built with each other.  I will be sad to not have Godzilla home (not to mention driving into town twice a day!).  It is just determining what is best for Godzilla. 

So, there it is.