Freezer Meals in 30 minutes

What we have here is a thirty minute throw together for busy people.  It will give you dinners for a week or two depending on your preference.

It could have been in less time than that but, I wanted to cut up all the chicken into strips instead of leaving it whole.

Waking up this morning I thought to myself, it’s freezer meal time again. The enthusiastic excitement that used to come with it wasn’t joyfully bubbling up inside me. It felt like a chore.

Usually, it’s a get to work and slave for four hours and feel a sense of  grandiose motherhood and wifeyness accomplishment over being able to go grab a bag of food and throw it in the crock pot instead of everyone eating cereal. It’s nice.

Which brings up a point. Not all of these meals are just great for you. One has cream cheese in it. You have to try it. So good.

We’ll go for ‘you’re not eating cereal and this is protein caked in fat to make it have flavor’.  Sounds perfectly fine to me.

How did I get off on this? Here is the list of freezer meals that are so easy to make. No cooking. That was where I wanted to go with this.

1.  Beef and Broccoli -here’s a great recipe.

2. Ranch Chicken-this is the one with cream cheese. Here’s where I got the original recipe. (It’s Italian Chicken not Ranch) Same thing?

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 box or tub of cream cheese
  • 1 can of cream of chicken
  • 1 pkt of ranch

For this to taste good, I mean it does but it bland if you don’t add more ranch mix plus onion and garlic powder to it. Then, it tastes amazing!

3. Bourbon Chicken

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 c. water ( I used chicken broth, it was leftover)
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce. (Mine ran out so, I had to make a note on the bag to add more)
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • red pepper flakes ( I use like 5 flakes. Use however many you want) 🙂
  • 1/4 c. apple juice
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. ketchup
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar

This recipe didn’t have honey in it. I’ve tried another that does and it’s good so, I may add some when I go to cook it)

4. Chicken Fajitas -here’s a recipe. (same page as the Italian/Ranch Chicken)

  • 3- 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • Taco seasoning

The difference for me is I make my own taco seasoning and there is no need to add in the paprika, and other extras seasonings because they are already in it! If you’ve never made your own, I highly recommend trying at least once. Here is where I started my journey down making my own foods and such.  Budget Bytes. This lady knows what’s she’s doing.

I’ve adjusted it to suit our likes. Do smoked paprika though. It smells heavenly. You know, I wondered why I had never heard of it before. Like, why would someone keep this from me? Was I that sheltered? No, not really, but growing up in a small town in the Midwest isn’t really conducive to things like smoked paprika.  Or Ginger Chews.  Or pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Really. I had to move to the East Coast to learn these things existed. And they are fabulous.

Back to taco seasoning. I add 1/2 tsp. of onion powder, 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and oddly enough a 1/2 tsp. of dehydrated bell peppers. It works.

I’ll try to get some pictures up soon. Pictures of flattened frozen bags of food.  I forgot to take pictures while I was furiously slicing up the chicken into strips. It just tastes better when it’s cut up. Anybody with me on that?

To recap, that’s four freezer meal recipes. I doubled and tripled them then, threw a whole chicken in the crock pot so, that’s two more meals.  Today was productive.

Oh! Those frozen bags of food I told you I would take pictures of? They are in my new chest freezer! Sam’s Club had a great deal going on the Igloo 7.1 cubic foot chest freezer. This is my third one and I’m determined to keep it!

There’s a sack of potatoes waiting for me also. If I would just get out my oh so awesome peeler that could be a few more meals. Right now, my new freezer is half full. I have a goal of having it full. Not to where I can’t get to anything but, nicely stocked with variety kind of goal.

Homeschool curriculum for 6th grade

It’s surprising that I have changed my mind on what curriculum to use for this year. The entire ’16-’17  year I had thought I would continue with the same curriculum, just going a year up. Nope.

One that I will be sticking with for sure, I’ve already ordered it (Eeee! Waiting for it to come in the mail ) is Apologia Zoology Swimming Creatures of the 5th day. This is the 3rd year for using this series and it just works for us. The notebook is wonderful to go along with the book. I’ve considered buying the kit but, it’s expensive! I did find a kit on that was half the price. It didn’t include everything for the kit so, I’m still debating on whether it was worth it or not.

It came in the mail as you can see.

This site has videos that we will be integrating into the lessons:  Jonathan Bird’s (I’m so glad I wrote this down! I started this post a bit ago and had totally forgotten about using this site until I read it here again!)

Still a complete fan of Teaching Textbooks I wavered on this one but, in the end, I went with Saxon Math 7/6.  The need for a more intensive work, the drills, the mental math, the repetitiveness was all appealing to me and just what she needs. Might I add, that BOTH of these curriculums were created by Oklahomans. Proud of my home state.

I managed to find a great set of used books from our local homeschool resale shop. The Mommy who consigned them included two sets of the drills, tests and investigations. Good on ya other Mom.


Growing with Grammar by JacKris Publishing will be used again. Level 6. The diagramming is a lot of work but, it keeps her working and revisiting. Nice and thorough.


Instead of All About Spelling, which I still think is fabulous, it will be Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary. Also by JacKris Publishing. Our vocabulary usually took care of itself with our reading but, I wanted more intensive spelling and vocab for her this year. She can handle it.Having previously done years of phonics at school she has a good foundation for it. Each spelling word is shown in cursive form next to the regular text with a short definition. 16 list words starting with compound words. There are a full 180 days to work with here.

Again, I’m going to use the word intensive here. I’m encouraging her to do more. She’s good at spelling so I feel confident in her abilities with this. Which is why I grabbed a Wordly Wise when it was on sale for extra if needed. Really pushing that spelling and vocab this year, aren’t I? No, not really but, it’s there if we need it.


Writing: Apologia has Jump In. It states that there is enough material for two years of use. This gives me the opportunity to tailor it to our needs. It keeps things fun and light for reluctant writers.


History: All American vs. Mystery of History 2 / Story of the World 2? The winner is MOH 2 and SOTW 2. All American History will get used in 7th or 8th though.  I get into making an Excel Spreadsheet that lays out what to do each day. It includes how to mesh the two books together for corresponding chapters. I reference this website for that:

I want to figure out how to mesh Drive thru History with it also. Working on that. Will let you know about that if it happens. In the mean time, I have found a few Youtube sites that use video clips to go with each lesson for a little fun. Supplement reading will be from the library. MOH has a suggesting extra reading list in the back of the books.


Reading has become one of my favorite subjects for us. These have already been ordered and are ready and waiting with the movie to watch when we finish.

Little Women.

The Outsiders.

The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers. I also found the other books in the series that she can read when we are done with the first.

Watership Down. This one is typically read in high school but, we can always revisit it more intensely in the future if necessary. There are so many books out there. Our Co-op used Learning Language Arts through Literature-The Gold Book-British Literature- with the boys. I plan to use it for her when we get there also picking up the other two gold books, American Literature and World Literature. My plans, I have them. We will see, won’t we? They sound good at them time. Make us feel organized to have them. Do they work, pan out? Smh.

and Mary Poppins. Love this one.

Back to They have some other kits I am so excited about. We already did the blood test kits (for fun, ha!) over the summer. I thought it was fun. My daughter was tougher than her two older brothers about getting a quick little jab with a needle.

Next, is a bacteria kit. It has NOTHING to do with the science we are learning this year but, it had to happen. I’m sure I can find some way to mesh them. I am, after all, a homeschool mom.

Teaching kids the importance of washing hands and why we wash our hands. This is a good visual for that. My plan is to use some essential oils to test their claims. We’ll use hand sanitizer too but, I’m more interested in finding out about the essential oils.  I’ll be making a copy cat blend of doTerra’s On Guard and Young Living Thieves Blend to use. I’ve offered to allow any friends who want to bring their products with them to try. We shall see!

None of these are affiliate links.

Happy Homeschooling.



Camping or Go Bag Breakfast

Super Easy Camping Breakfast Idea


Whether you’re a camper or a prepper this easy breakfast idea is for you. Now, it’s not organic but, it can be if you need to be! It’s just too simple. For those who don’t want to or can’t spend alot but, love to camp or those who are trying to create a stash for the end of the world, this is for you.  It’s budget friendly. Ready?

Oatmeal and hot cocoa.

How did I come up with this grand idea? Out of need. Mainly, a need for space. Trying to shove things in a backpack isn’t easy. I’m the ‘I don’t have anything to wear when I get out of the shower’ girl that turns into the ‘It won’t all fit into my suitcase when it’s time to go on a trip’ girl.

Now, when I had a vacuum sealer, this worked so well. Someday I will have one again. Someday! It keeps your little pouches all snug and organized and preserved and whatever.

Back to my easy, quick breakfast. Oatmeal and Hot Cocoa. That is what I haven’t seen. Why? Both come in packages and only need hot water to get them going. For the hubs and teen boys I have done 2 and 2 so they get full. But really, put them in a packet and seal it up. How fantastic is that? You hear so much these days about having a 2 week supply of food, well, there ya go. Breakfast is served. You’re welcome.

I am a Sam’s Club girl cause my Daddy pays for my membership every year (thanks Dad!) so, that’s where my price break down will come from.

A 52 Count variety box of Quaker Oatmeal packets is $9.48. That’s $0.1823076923 a packet. Just to be precise.

A 60 count box of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa packets is $4.86. That’s $0.081 a packet. Again, just to be precise.

That’s a total of $14.34. Wow. That goes a long way. You’ll feel like the ninja of money finances and preparedness with that price.

Alright, if this hasn’t got you thinking than this will. That’s around $0.26 a meal or $0.52 if you’re a big eater (2 oatmeal/2 hot cocoa). Two packets of oatmeal and one packet of hot cocoa is $0.44. Whoa.

If you’re crunchy you could make your own oatmeal packets. Even your own cocoa. has a variety of oatmeal combos you can make yourself. You can find that link here.

Then, you have two other meals you can put more money into. I’ll have another post on some of my ideas for those. Anyone like jambalaya?


I’ve lost count of how many times I have forgotten the dog outside. Today, I looked out the window to see a woman picking up my dog from the open door of her SUV that she had pulled over on the side of the road. Running outside in my pajama pants that have the words ‘sexy’, ‘flirt’ and ‘cute’  all over them I met her at the end of the driveway. Now, I love these pants, they are so comfortable but, they were NEVER meant to see the light of day and the tank top I was wearing by no means matched in any way. I also had no makeup on. She was dressed like she just got done with a magazine cover shoot.

She told me “You need to do a better job” as she handed me my dog back. I couldn’t see her eyes past her fantastic sunglasses, maybe that saved me from seeing the judgment in her eyes because I could definitely hear it in her voice.  I was angry at first, her tone was condescending.   Holding back I told her thank you and turned around to walk back down the driveway with my dog. Barefoot over gravel.

Back in the house I felt the sting of her words. I was embarrassed but worse, a thought came at me with such an obvious, humiliating clarity. I couldn’t do a better job.

I’ve just started taking ginko biloba to help with my memory. My mom said it was stress that was causing my absentmindedness. This was a huge relief to me because she is the first one that would tell me to go straight to a doctor and then a neurologist if she thought there was something really wrong with me.

It first started with lapses in my ability to talk. I would say green when I meant orange. I did some research coming to the conclusion that having shingles during our move into our new house did something neurologically and that it was just temporary. I would just laugh at myself and my family did too when I’d mess things up in my speech. It didn’t seem too awful. They messed up every once in a while too. But, when I got so busy trying to do multiple things at once and couldn’t accomplish them all without forgetting what I was doing multiple times, being frustrated and then, going on a hunt for the dog I knew something was wrong. It was nagging at me but, I wanted to ignore it. I would just try harder. Do better. I took B-12, 5HTP, and  Melatonin to help calm my emotions and sleep better at night.

Crying, I called my husband and told him I couldn’t handle everything anymore. My memory loss had something to do with the mortgage company sending us letters of possible foreclosure because we haven’t made a payment in almost four months now. That we are fixing to be two and half payments behind on our only running vehicle,  we can’t pay any of our bills right now and I have been picking and choosing which ones to pay and most are two months behind.

We just borrowed money from my in laws for a chance at a job interview for my husband in Ohio and he got hired on the spot but he’s not sure he can do it. We’d already borrowed money from his sister too. The guy that comes to my house to shut off our natural gas when I can’t pay the bill is so kind.

My husband and I had been fighting for so long.  I was forced to homeschool our three kids on a whim when the local public school wouldn’t accept our two high schooler’s because the private school they had been attending was ‘unaccredited’.  They can do that. Two high schoolers. I was prepared for a 4th grader. I started volunteering at the private school to pay off the debt we still owed them and homeschool three kids. I’m grateful they allowed me to.  And clean the house, pay the bills and take care of three animals.

Around the same time we sent our vehicle off to have a new engine put in it only to fight with the mechanic just to get it back when they charged us too much and didn’t tell us the price. Learned a hard lesson, the police told us. Sure did. She told her son to get her gun after we gave her the money and she still wouldn’t let us go near our vehicle.

We bought a car that was infested with carpet beetles, stayed at a hotel with bed bugs and had 515,000 gallons of water leak under our house all at the same time. And I was the one handling all of it. Oh, that isn’t all. That’s just what I can share right now. There is more.

I decided I was being a little hard on myself and so was the unknowing lady but that wasn’t helping my dog any.

All this busy-ness and stress seemed to be a normal thing these days. I knew others who were struggling with a lot on their plates. So, why couldn’t I keep up?

Consumer stress and decision exhaustion seem to be real problems today, I do believe that. The waitress expects me to know what Coke products are when I ask what they have to drink. She looked annoyed when I told her I didn’t know what different drinks Coke produced. The lady at the vision store told me I lost my turn in line after standing there for 45 minutes because I hadn’t signed in. I didn’t see the sign. Didn’t know about the rules they had. Everybody has rules and you lose if you don’t keep up. You lose money, time, warranties, protection, etc. if you can’t keep up. Keep up. Do better. I just don’t want to anymore. I just can’t anymore.

Should I give the dog to my mom? Was that enough? I was beating myself up over the dog. There could come a time when the dog gets hit by a car, we get fined, someone decides to keep the dog. Any of that. Oh, but, was I being a good mother then? Was I being a terrible wife? How about homeschooling? That’s controversial enough without allowing others to see that I’m flawed. You have to be perfect to homeschool. So do your kids. Right? I saw another homeschool mom at the grocery store one day. She didn’t have her kid with her. I did. In the middle of the day. We looked comfortable. She looked perfect. Organized. Put together. Dang it.  And my house was dirty. Ugh. She even had one of those cute organizers in the trunk of her SUV that had separate compartments for her groceries. Yes, I looked.  They had them at Sam’s Club the other day. We put one in the cart. I put it back.

Good things were happening too though. It was a process, you know, that seemed to intertwine with the bad. A battle, something I had to fight to see. It gave me hope. Which I needed. We got a different SUV, not infested, for the same price. The hotel refunded our stay and our luggage, full price. The water mains got paid for and fixed and we weren’t charged for the overage. We sold the vehicle we got back from the mechanic and bought another one to work on and paid some bills.

My other posts share of some of the good. I enjoy homeschooling. It is wonderful. I highly recommend it.  Or, keep your kid in public school or private school. I’ve done them all and there are pros and cons to them all. But, the freedom to choose is there. Love that. Go America.

Writing a book has been a wonderful challenge that helps me learn and be creative. Having a tribe that provides support has been vital.

My faith in God will get me through this. I see it working now. I see Him working now.

I have been broken but, not in defeat.  In surrender to simplicity. To a life of taking time, learning to set boundaries, controlling my emotions and myself not other people. To finding Jesus every day and why he loved women so much. To the humility of a creative belief that I desire the hand of an omniscient God to pull me up instead of trying to do it on my own.




Trip to Ohio

Recently, we had the opportunity to tag along with my husband on a trip to Ohio. He had to go for a job interview in St. Clairsville, a small town with the interviewing company’s offices stationed there.  This is just where the offices are located and doesn’t involve a physical move  on our part.

The drive up I-77 is gorgeous. It is becoming one of my favorite drives. It was overcast and the fog rolled down to meet the tops of the mountains. I know! Pictures would have been great. Next time. There will be a next time and we will be the annoying people pulling over on the side of the road to take pictures of all the barns and dilapidated houses. I did get some from inside the car and will disperse them through out the post. Like here,  this random bridge I don’t know ’cause I didn’t ask. Anyone know?



It took over 7 hours for us to arrive at our hotel but, Grace and I have to stop frequently. More like 9.5 hours, really.  You know if you stop at Cracker Barrel and eat you have to wonder through the gift shop. I make sure to check out the back corner for the clearance section.

My mother collects salt and pepper shakers and they always seem to have some quirky little set I just have to get her.  This time it’s the whales.  So cute don’t you think?



And these. I have bought three now. One of them I will keep, hopefully. They make the greatest little gifts so, they’ve been hard to hold on to.



Making it to St. Clairsville we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Pulling into the parking lot we knew we were in the hard working country with all the work trucks in the parking lot at fairly nice hotel.  It was just one night and I was really hoping for a good room. Thankfully, it was and I slept pretty well considering. Although, I did have the weirdest dream.

Our last stay at a hotel was of nightmarish proportions that took two months to resolve. Shudder. It was a big leap of faith to try one again.

The pool was closed due to some upkeep but we hadn’t even thought of bringing our swimsuits this time so, no biggee.  My girl, Sissy, is a water baby so, she was more disappointed. But, we had other plans to make her happy.

The next morning I was up before anyone really wanting breakfast.  This one had a  free breakfast (Yay, always love that) with the cutest little older lady manning the kitchen and display. Curly dyed hair with huge glasses, I liked her immediately.

All the fruit had been snatched up already, save for a few red apples so we got muffins, cereal and cinnamon rolls. My daughter was so happy to eat cereal.  It’s been banned at our house for a year now.  My teenage boys buy it with their own money on occasion but, we’ve been doing well without it.  That’s if you ask me, they would tell you it was a form of cruel torture I doled out just to abuse them. Happy calm pic insert for cereal lovers:



It took us over 30 minutes to find the field office of the company Hubby had the interview with. The directions weren’t on any GPS. It took two men unloading food pantry items at their church with an old computer software maps program to get us there. God bless em. They were happy to help. Said they knew a good church if we moved up there. Of course they do!

The name of the church was not displayed on the side of the food pantry building but, I did some research and it was Calvary Presbyterian Church. We came across them after I said a quick little prayer asking God for help with directions. Bam, answered. Love it.

As Hubby was in his interview Sissy and I drove back to the hotel. A billboard for work boots got my attention and I felt that tug. A quiet voice said ‘Go get him some new boots’. I didn’t turn fast enough for the exit so, we went to the hotel and I just couldn’t get it off my mind. Not wanting to stay and lounge at the hotel we hopped back in the car and I started looking for this store. Their was no name on the sign, that I saw, it was a quick pass by, so I headed towards the exit, I did remember that.

Now, everything seems to be centered around I-70 and I-40 which meet and then separate and intersect again then or fifteen miles down the road again. I stayed on 40 and kept my eyes peeled. It wasn’t hard to find, they had big banners draped all across the store front advertising work gear brands. As I was trying to make up my mind, Hubby called saying he got the job! Me and the sales lady did hand signals to hurry and pick the boots that I had been eyeing as ‘the ones’. She was great.

We hid them under a blanket and I had to tell Sissy to hold off cause I wanted to mess with him a little. Needless to say he was happy that his interview went well. The guy he talked to in the waiting room that interviewed before him got the ‘we’ll call you and let you know’.

Hubby was nervous already and making us crack up in the parking lot when we dropped him off. It’s a small world in some fields and they all knew a lot of the same people. It wasn’t the ‘good old boy system’ like it used to be but, it definitely helped him feel more at home. He was hired on the spot. Bam, answered prayer.

We surprised him at a stop for gas with the new boots, which he loved. They fit too. I’m good. Yep. And they were out of the size I suggested but, had it in a wide. That too, helped. The boots tend to run snug so, I figured it was a good chance to take.

Our next plan was to stop by the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum or ‘Unofficial Lego Museum’ in Bellaire, OH but, it was closed! So sad. We were really looking forward to this part of the trip. It was one of the main reasons Sissy and I went on the trip. She took it pretty well, first, no swimming then this.  Poor thing.



We did get some school done on Tues in the car. We homeschool which makes taking her work anywhere so great (See my other post for our curriculum choices for the year) Her math CD wouldn’t work for some reason. Sissy watched movies in the car and occasionally counted semi’s or watched the AMAZING scenery with us.

I think we should all watch more sunsets. There would be a lot more calm people if we would just stop and appreciate sunsets.



It was suggested to us to stop at a Tamarack store but, we didn’t. Maybe next time, right? It’ll happen. I keep telling Hubby we’re going to get an RV and travel. He thinks I won’t last long but, who wouldn’t like taking your bathroom with you?

I could drive one. Totally.





Writing a Book

Let me tell you a story. Almost two years ago, I wrote a  YA fiction book. Around 49,000 words, no, I can tell you exactly how many, hold on a sec.

Okay, so I was wrong. 41,200 words. This book contained my heart. I’ve never worked on anything like that in my life. The characters I created were woven into my being. I knew them. The emotions I felt when I thought about their story, what they were going to go through. The tragedy, the love. Oh! Yea, well, I can’t feel it anymore.

After having my book critiqued by some other Goodreads authors I was crushed. How could they say those things? Part of me knew they were somewhat right. The other part of me felt like they enjoyed, took real pleasure in, desecrating my soul.

It wasn’t that bad. I just took it bad. Putting it on a shelf after I sat in front of my laptop day after day, opening and closing my Scrivener software, I realized I had no idea how to change my book. Being so emotionally invested blinded me to any ingenuity it would take to improve on an already great idea.

Fast forward through most of 2016, everyone wants this to happen when remembering 2016, this urge came over me to get it back out again. With a fresh set of eyes I started to go over my story. It kinda sucked. I still liked the concept and the characters but, my writing needed help.

What I decided was, structure. Structure would give me the guidelines I needed to learn to be a better writer.  My Pinterest board had 232 pins from other writers. Surely this would be a segway to an epiphany.  All of the articles, blogs and charts confused me after a while. Too many opinions. The proverb: ‘wisdom in a multitude of counselors’ has a limit to it. Although, one has truly made of difference. I will tell you more about this particular one in an upcoming post.

This is my journey to writing my first book. I won’t be alone this time.  As if the heavens opened, I believe in my case they did, the help needed dropped in my lap on Dec. 6th.  Another author gave away a grand prize publishing deal at the launch party of his new book. That’s right. They called my name. Kary Oberbrunner and his  burst on the scene. Here’s the link on my Facebook page. What a life changing moment.

This is the first post of many to come, hopefully. Surely. I have every intention of it. Really.



2016-2017 Curriculum for 5th grade

November 14, 2016

2016-2017 Curriculum for 5th Grade


Getting new curriculum in the mail is way too exciting for me. Is that normal? I think it probably is for most homeschooling moms. It’s like Christmas, almost. Last year taught me a lot and I feel more confident this year. The Cathy Duffy Review pages helped send me in directions of what to look for. We have a local Homeschool Room shop that I went to and found some of my materials. I think all the best moms sit in the floor of these places and dig into the books. 🙂 I’ve provided links to everything I talk about so you are able to put ‘eyes on it’ and do your own inspection of materials and costs.

Here’s what I wound up with:


Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day with the notebook. We used their Astronomy Textbook and Notebook last year and loved it. The notebooks include copy work in print or cursive so, that took care of handwriting for my girl. The textbook we have had for years so, I just ordered the notebooking journal. They have a junior version also and leave their suggestions for what age or grade to use for each quite open so, I had a hard time determining which one. Reading reviews helped a lot on this one. I finally was able to peruse some pages on and chose to go with the older kid version.

(Don’t be too hard on my pictures now)

*Update- We really like going through these sets. I’m keeping my eye out for the Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day for next year. There are three to this set. The last being Land Animals of the Sixth Day.

Mystery of History Volume 1. First time using this but, a friend had one and let me look through hers. I liked it. To go with it I added The Student Bible Atlas and the Historical Atlas of the World.  Now, I also bought The Story of the World. From the reviews they suggested you buy the workbook to go with it but, that just seems too much for us. I did find a chart that will be extremely helpful in having these correspond. As well as a list of other reading materials. MOH says to have a 100 pack of white 3×5 index cards, a 300 pack of assorted colors pack of 3×5 index cards, a binder for them and sewing board for the timeline you will create. Oh yea! On Youtube this homeschool Momma made 4 video lists to go with Volume 1. Most are 2 to 5 minutes long. There’s a few that are around 30 minutes.


*Update-This I will be ordering for next year again. I have my reservations about Story of the World but, for now, I will plan on using it next year also. My reservations stem from it being a worldly point of view. It makes no qualms otherwise, I knew this. My girl needs some US History in there too though so, I’m doing some research on finding a good set of books to include next year. 

Growing with Grammar Level 5. Liking the way this is set up. Scope and sequence is downloadable from their site. You surely don’t have to use theirs but it gives you an idea of what your year will look like. My girl is a lefty so having the spiral at the top of the workbook is quite thoughtful of them. They even mention it on their site. This is the Revised edition. Sadly, I picked up the 1st edition student manual used not realizing there would not be a workbook I could order to go with it. My friend snagged it up and I ordered the 2nd edition. May not be an issue for everyone but, you gotta watch that stuff. Keeps you on your toes. Just as a quick side note: I’ve tried Easy Grammar, not a fan.


*Update- We will be using this next year. The diagramming was a little tough for her but, it’s thorough.

Wordsmith Apprentice. I looked at 3 or 4 different writing programs. The holy grail Writeshop just didn’t seem to fit, maybe in a few years. The comic book theme and newspaper article journalist feel sucked me in here. Let them have fun.



*Update-She has liked this as much as I had hoped.   Growing with Grammar and this made some of the work repetitive for her  I have looked into another writing set for next year: Apologia’s Jumped In and The Lifeguard’s Locker Set. I’ll let you know if this is what I wind up with or not.

English from the Roots Up Volume 1 with flashcards. This excited me. My girl went through phonics classes up to 3rd grade. This is gonna be fun. It’s not a lengthy subject, just a quick run through or spend as much time as you want really. Saved some money on these and got them both used. Here’s a link to one’s Mom’s week by week schedule.


*Update-this takes 5 minutes. So worth it. Getting volume 2 for next year. You could do more in the future with it. I’ll keep the set for this reason.

All About Spelling Level 5. This one seemed to be such a wonderful fit because of the phonics also. She liked the set up and said she could handle the words. Hope it’s not too easy for her but, the break down of the each word is involved and what I wanted for her. If you could start off with this one at the ground floor and go through all of them your kiddo would have a wonderful rounded understanding of English spelling rules. This is the Level 5 materials only. Didn’t think we would need the interactive kit.


*Update-Yep, getting this next year too. The board with all the little letters isn’t necessary unless you just have a hands on kiddo. They have a kit you can buy for this. I made my letters out of index cards and used our train/lego table. It really just got in the way. She just writes on paper instead. 

Teaching Textbooks Math 6. Using the placements test on their website it didn’t take long for me to realize we needed to go up one for my girl. This seems to be common but, I think she would have done fine if we hadn’t. The Math 5 has a lot of multiplication which was really good for us. Drives it home. We started with Abeka 4 last year and she was frustrated. So was I. From my understanding of the way Teaching Textbooks is set up that if you keep with it they will be well rounded. So, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t cover enough of what you think it should. Her grade at the local private school was in a different place than us during math and I started to get concerned but, was appeased to realize TT covered it thoroughly through the whole course. (I taught a phonics course for one hour a day and she went to her 4th grade class for that time) Since we started with a different math I am having her continue her TT 5 through the summer. I really like this program and they are expensive so, I buy used. They do replace CD’s for $12.00 so, if you find a set that has a scratched one that won’t play, no worries. Talk them down on the price and order a new one. Oh! and if the numbers say they have been used too many times, just call. They will reset them, no charge!


*Update-Yea, for sure. Next year. Totally. Easy choice. 

For reading the plan is to do some unit studies on City of Ember, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie and whatever else she finds. I’ve found the movies to go along with the books which makes for a great comparison!


*Update- This has been one of my favorites! We started with The Secret Garden.  I suggest skimming through the chapter beforehand to find your vocabulary list to go over with your child. We liked the movie a lot. It isn’t exactly on point with the book but, it is a good adaption of it.

Then, City of Ember. Loved the book. We have the whole set. The movie is nothing like the book. Weird in fact. We were both disappointed! It does really test them in knowing the differences between the book and the movie. She really knew when something wasn’t the same. A quick Pinterest search will bring up plenty of unit studies to go with it. Some free, some for a slight fee.

A Little Princess (Spoiler Alert), we both enjoyed so much! You’ll need to skim through for a vocab list on this one too.

Again, the movie is so different. We got the Double feature of this and The Secret Garden for cheap. The movie adds a ‘story’ that is narrated by the main character of a hindu god and princess then, it changes to have the dad still alive! 

Currently, we are on Little House on the Prairie. I’ll be ordering the first season to watch when we get close to finishing. If she likes it maybe we can order more seasons. There are 9! I remember watching some as a kid.

We take turns reading aloud to each other. There is a big difference in my daughter ability to read aloud from when we started to now. The pausing and use of fluctuation in her voice has improved greatly. 

I added these a few months in. It’s a bit too advanced for her age so, we skim through it lightly. I’ll go through it again in the future. First, with The Fallacy Detective and then, The Thinking Toolbox.

(Getting better at taking pictures, yea? No more fan light glare)

The Fallacy Detective really does well to explain the fallacies and give examples. I just don’t agree with some of the examples it uses. Seems as though they might be putting their opinions in there. That may just be me. I told my daughter when I didn’t agree with their examples and skipped over some that I thought were too adult for her.  I do have Art of Argument but, I really do like the way this one is set up better.

*Update-We have slowed down on The Fallacy Detective. It has gotten to be a bit much for her understanding. We might start over at the beginning and reinforce what we have already learned. I do like them very much still which will make for great lessons in the future. We have not started on the The Thinking Toolbox yet so, I’ll let ya know what I think when we get there.

Alrighty, hope you enjoyed. This year is gonna be great.


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