Friday, August 31, 2012

American Girl Field Trip

Today was our homeschool's first field trip. Talk about a thinking "outside of the box" field trip: 
the American Girl Store!
BUT- It WAS educational:

Grace is studying American History this year through a unit study course called "Portraits of American Girlhood." It uses 7 fictional characters (7 historical American Girl dolls) to teach about the time periods in American History. Yesterday, she was reading a biography about George Washington and today we went to see the American Girl dolls and to go on their Scavenger Hunt.

Grace had to go around the store reading about the historical girls and collecting clues. Then she had a word puzzle to solve. Upon completion of the puzzles, she received a poster of the girls we are studying! 

We love learning "outside the box" and making the world our textbook!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning, Life & Lasagna

Homeschooling is going so great! The kids are loving it and I cannot believe their constant excitement and joy for learning! I can barely keep up with 3 doing multiple school subjects as they cannot wait to move onto the next workbox and see what awaits them! You'd think it was Christmas morning! Talk about jumping right into homeschooling for the first time ever!

 We have been getting our individual lessons done in the morning, alternating who is working directly with me with the other two working independently, and been ready to move onto group unit study learning after lunch. This is our time for history and science.

After all our "core" subjects are done we do either art or music. Today though, we decided to do some "home economics." Yep, we took on the kitchen. Okay, it would be important to insert here that the kitchen is my sports field. I like to be in charge and I like to do things my way. There's no "I" in team, but there is in "KITCHEN." Lol! Seriously though, I usually do my own thing and am not great about involving the crew of kids unless it's Christmas cookies or something special like that.

Today though, as a special project for our weekly state, Illinois, we used our Eat Your Way Through the USA book and took on LASAGNA! (what Illinois and lasagna have to do with each other though I'm still not sure! Isn't lasagna from Italy?!? Enlighten me if you know, okay?? Anyhow, we decided to go with it!)


Today I not only had fun cooking with my children, but they were learning. They learned about cooking of course, but it was so much more than that. They learned about measuring. They did patterns as they took turns building our lasagna. They learned about fractions as they split their topping contents into layers. They learned that learning doesn't have to come from a book. They learned lessons about love and life and I learned to let go and let OUR kitchen get dirty.

 I'd say it was a pretty great day! Thanks lasagna! And you were yummy too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Homeschooling

Welcome to our homeschool Teach Academy! 
We had a great first day today!
Here are the kids! 
My preschooler, 1st grader and 3rd grader!

Don't forget me! 
All the kiddos!

We started our day with our calendar.
The kids had fun adding the date, month, year, season and today's weather.

I also made another chart full of things we are using during calendar time.
Zoe is doing the Letter of the Week program from
and we have a few printouts from that: spanish words, color, 
a Scripture starting with the letter of the week, weather graph and address/phone.
I also added: months, days of the week, days in school (from 1+1+1=1 website),
the Pledge of Allegiance, ASL letter, 
the state of the week from our geography studies,
and a Catholic saint of the week. 

I also put together a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree 
for Zoe to hang her weekly letters on.

After calendar we started our studies.

I also decided to use the workbox system that tons have people are using! It is SO awesome!
With 3 kids doing lessons with multiple textbooks and companies it was such a great way to be organized today! After the kids completed a subject they move that number to their card. 

One assignment for reading today was for Grace and Cian to both read a "Letter 'O' Book" to Zoe!

Looking forward to a great year!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Subjects 2012-2013

We are excited for our homeschool to officially begin tomorrow! 

There are SO many styles out there for homeschooling- it can be a bit intimidating! Basically, I just did a lot of google searches to learn about the different styles such as traditional, Charlotte Mason, Classical, un-schooling, eclectic, unit studies, etc!

I also bought a great book: 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy, (no I am not getting paid in any way to recommend it, lol!) I liked this book a lot as it discussed learning styles and then helped match some of her top picks with your child(ren)'s learning style. I got some of my curriculum off her Top 101 picks!

Our first year of homeschool is definitely eclectic!! We have a science program which is based around the Charlotte Mason style, my oldest is doing a unit studies course for history, and then quite a bit of traditional style textbooks and workbooks etc! We also are trying to cover some areas of the fine arts of course too! We will all be doing calendar in the morning and I will post about it another time.

Here's a look at what the kids will be doing this year:

Grace - 3rd grade:

Religion - Sadlier's We Believe Project Disciple - Grade 3
Math-  Saxon Math - Intermediate 3
Grammer- Easy Grammer - Grade 3
Spelling - Building Spelling Skills - book 3
Reading- Reading Detective & various books each week
Handwriting - D'Nealian Handwriting Cursive Connections
Typing- BBC typing
Science- Noeo Science - Biology I
History- Portraits of American Girlhood, American Girl Historical Series, American Girl Club with CurrClick classes
Geography- I have created a little USA geography course they will all do. It is with books about the USA, a map of the USA sticker book, Eat Your Way Through the USA book, and I created a little travel passport with stamps for each state.
Spanish- Skills for Scholars - Spanish Workbook
Critical Thinking- Building Thinking Skills
Art- various books and an art class
PE- varies daily!
Piano- we are trying the Piano Is Easy series

Cian - 1st grade:

Religion- Sadlier's We Believe Project Disciple - Grade 1
Math- Horizons Math 1
Phonics/Spelling/Language/Reading/Handwriting- all in a set by McRuffy, 1st Grade SE
Science - Noeo Science - Biology I
Critical Thinking- Mind Benders
Journaling- Journaling the Rebus Way
Geography- I have created a little USA geography course they will all do. It is with books about the USA, a map the USA sticker book, Eat Your Way Through the USA book, and I created a little travel passport with stamps for each state.

Art- various books & art projects
PE- varies daily!
Piano- we are trying the Piano Is Easy series

Zoe - Preschool:

Religion- Sadlier's God's Child - 3 year old
Letter of the Week Program - I purchased this from the website

Critical Thinking- Mind Benders
Journaling- Journaling the Rebus Way

Geography- as much as she wants to be involved- I'm sure at least for the stickers & food! 

Art- various books & art projects
PE- varies daily!
Piano- we are trying the Piano Is Easy series

Ellison - age 13 months:


Well, we'll all be doing those!

I can't wait until tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2012


So I read somewhere that when you start homeschooling you should name your homeschool. I also remember that it strongly suggested that you include the whole family in the naming process. Letting everyone give their ideas as a family makes everyone feel "ownership" of your school.

I decided that I wanted to let all the kids give ideas on what we should name our homeschool.

My 3 year old daughter suggested we name it "homeschool."
My 5 year old son suggested "Mommy's school." (My oldest shot that down as it sounded as if Mommy was in school!)
My 8 year old daughter wanted to use their initials, however GCZE School is a little tough to say!
After deciding none of those would be right for us, we turned to my husband for ideas!

He came up with the perfect name! 

Teach Academy - pronounced tee-yakh 

Of course it's been a few years since he's taken Gaelic, and you are getting my translation of the phonetic sounds in print, but the word "teach" in Gaelic means "HOUSE." 

How perfect for our Irish family. How perfect for our HOME school. 


Why a blog for homeschooling?

Hi all,
This is my first attempt at a blog! Bear with me as I learn what I am doing, LOL! 

Soooo, I have quite a few reasons for wanting to do a blog about our lives and homeschooling and I thought for my first blog posting I would share them!!

*I want to create a digital keepsake/ scrapbook (like a type of yearbook) for my children.

*I want to share our journey with family and friends near and far.

*I need a place to preserve all our awesome fields trip pictures and memories!

*It's our first year homeschooling so maybe as I "learn the ropes" it might help another homeschooling newbie too!

*I want my children to be able to be challenged and learn at a level where they are academically and not according to where their birthday fell on a calendar.

*And last, but not least, a place to answer questions family and friends might have about this new path in our lives: homeschooling!

I've gotten lots of comments from family and friends about deciding to homeschool. Here are 3 I'll remember forever:

1. "Why would you want to do that?"

2. "Do you realize you'll have to be with your kids ALL the time?"

3. "Homeschooling our daughter was the best decision we've ever made and a choice we have never once regretted."

And my responses are:
1. Read my blog! I cannot wait to share all the great reasons for homeschooling! I feel God has led us to this path and He will be guiding our journey.
2. Yes! I cannot wait!
3. I think of this statement often and know that when my children are grown, I will feel the same!

I am excited and cannot wait to begin this journey! School starts Monday!