Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aaaahhhh...Sweet Winter

So yeah, it's been a while. :)

I just read my last post and ... waaaaahhhh!!! Things are going much better. Feeling great about homeschooling and continue to be blessed by this opportunity. Just had a little slump there, I guess.

Winter has definitely arrived in Iowa. We are enjoying playing in the snow and have gone sledding a few times too. We "survived" our five Christmases this month and are looking forward to getting back into a more normal routine.

Here are a few photos I took of our surroundings yesterday. I love living here!! I hope everyone had a Christmas that was full of unexpected blessings and that 2011 is a year of joy, peace and spiritual and personal growth.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We're well into our third month of school this year, our fifth year of homeschooling. I sit here feeling dejected. Dejected about homeschooling, about parenting, about being a wife, about my relationship with food, about my purpose on this earth. The devil is at work, this is for certain.

Another night of sleep interrupted by a trip to the loo and then by a barrage of thoughts that have no place being in my head at any time, let alone at 3:30 a.m. ... Until about 5:30 a.m. So when I finally go back to sleep for a time and wake up to start the day, I am groggy, grumpy, mad, sad, losing hope that I can make it through the day successfully. I don't teach as well. I don't parent as well. I don't keep the home as well. I have no energy when my husband gets home from work and then I head to my job for a three- or four-hour chunk of time many nights. And then I go to bed again. Wake up. Repeat cycle.

What is this all for? The glory of God? That's what my days should be for. But I'm not focusing on glorifying Him when I feel lethargic and near apathetic at times. I'm, frankly, self-absorbed when I feel this way. How can I get some rest? Who can I get to take care of me? Who can I get to watch my kids for a day so I can be alone? I throw a mini (sometimes larger than mini) pity party for myself.

Is this the life God planned for me? I highly doubt it.

My kids are in quiet time right now so I can have some moments to ponder our situation.

Pray. Be still. Listen.


Above all, God is reminding me to refocus. Take the focus off of me, my family, my situation. Focus on Him. Focus on Him. Focus on Him.

There are so many distractions in this world. Some on the news, some going on right in my circle of friends. And Facebook. Stinkin' Facebook. I'm not on it for long periods of time, but I do check it multiple times a day, just like my e-mail. It's just another distraction.

So here I sit, resolved to focus on God again. It's been about a month since I've done that. And not so surprisingly, it's been about a month since I've felt "less than." He is my Rock. Without Him, I will sink.

Heavenly Father, please renew a right Spirit within me and anyone else who may read this and be in need of your intervention. In Your son's precious name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

School has begun!

Had our first day of our fifth year of homeschooling yesterday. Aaah...it went so well. I am loving our version the workbox system and will be sure to blog about it soon. Being organized just does it for me. And my kids are certainly taking to our new system very well.

I feel better about homeschooling each year, and I am absolutely convinced that this is what God wants for our family at this point in our lives. I'm often asked if I will homeschool through high school, and I repeatedly answer that that is my plan, but I'm not sure what God's plan is. Who knows?

Oh, yeah. God does.

I love that our first subject every day is Bible. What a way to start the day! My kids are well aware that the first drawer they open will be Bible. My hope & prayer is that they continue to seek God first every day when they are adults and making decisions on their own.

I hope everyone's school year is going well!

Monday, August 9, 2010

{Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop: Schoolroom!

While browsing other people's blogs this morning, I was reminded that it's Schoolroom week at Heart of the Matter! Click below to get more details.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I must admit that I have a tad bit of schoolroom envy this morning. ;) Such wonderful spaces I've seen! Colorful, creative, fun! As you can see from my pictures, we haven't started school yet. Supplies remain in bins, and I've got a couple boxes of curricula waiting for me at the post office.

So we obviously do school at our kitchen table. We no longer have an extra dining area to corral the school goodies, so it's just out there. That would have bothered me back when I started homeschooling. I had desks for the kids, a bulletin board, a cabinet dedicated to "hide school" in our dedicated schoolroom. Well, we live in a smaller house now, so our options are fewer. But I love it! I'll love it even more once I get all of our curricula and organize.

This first picture is it! Like I said, everything is still in bins, but you get an idea.

We are implementing the workbox system this year. I will blog more about that later, but these are the organizers I found last week.

And finally, my favorite part of our schoolroom. . .the view. A lush Iowa bean field (and next year it will be a corn field, of course!). :) I love the feeling of openness it brings to our room, even on this humid, rainy day.

I'm really enjoying looking at everyone's setups.

Happy Monday!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

{Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I'm joining in on the fun over at Heart of the Matter!

Brandon (9) - Fourth Grade
Naomi (6) - First Grade

This will be our first subject each day that I'll be leading. We'll be using the "Choosing..." series by Kaye Freeman, starting with "Choosing Obedience." They are each 16 lessons, and I haven't decided if I'll do one lesson a week and focus on that each day or one lesson a day. Need to spend a little more time looking at the book that we just received.

Brandon: Saxon 5/4
Naomi: Saxon 1

Brandon: Easy Grammar
Naomi: Various resources

Brandon: We will continue with New American Cursive, along with copy work
Naomi: Copy work

Brandon: Daily selected readings
Naomi: We will continue with Hooked on Phonics

Brandon: Daily Spelling Practice
Naomi: Superteacherworksheets.com lessons

For both, we'll have art at least twice a week, no particular curriculum.

Brandon: Aplogia "Exploring Creation with Astronomy"
Naomi: I will modify Brandon's lessons to Naomi's level

For both, we'll be using Homeschool in the Woods, beginning with "New World Explorers." We'll also use supplemental resources.

Here is the weekly schedule for {Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Statehood Postcard Swap

If you haven't seen this post by Jacquelin over at A Stable Beginning, check it out. This is such a great, fun idea that my kids are going to enjoy so much. How exciting to get a postcard from a different state every week! Not to mention it is one way of teaching the kids about the order in which each state joined the Union. Now I'm even thinking of adding some sort of study of each of the United States and D.C. since we'll be participating in this postcard swap. I know I've got a lot to learn as well about the history of our country. :)

Anyway, even if you're not interested, perhaps you know someone who is. Please pass on the information so we can fill each state and begin our postcard swap. :)

Many blessings to you all this day!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Donna Young Printables

So as we all know, things don't always go as planned. My plan was to officially start this blog in the fall, but I found something today that I have to share, as it may help others as they prepare for the coming school year and may save some money as well!

I am continuing to get organized for the 2010-2011 school year. I had bookmarked a website that a friend recommended for some blank planner sheets. It's http://www.donnayoung.org/. Oh, my. This site is wonderful! Tons of free printables, including math sheets such as graph paper, coordinate grids, multiplication, addition & subtraction charts, scale paper, clocks (for teaching how to tell time), fraction sheets, handwriting paper, including blank colored rule sheets and traceable-letter sheets, science sheets, including nature journals, skeletal drawing for labeling, et cetera.

Okay, I need to stop and leave some surprises for you. You will find tons! I have merely scratched the surface on what is available at this website. She offers countless suggestions for each subject at all levels.

Happy browsing!!



As we approach our fifth year of homeschooling in the fall of 2010, I've decided to begin documenting our homeschool experience, mainly for the purpose of giving our family something to look back on.

Speaking of our family, allow me to introduce ourselves. I am Kari, wife of Tim and mom of Brandon & Naomi. Brandon is 8 (almost 9!) and will begin fourth grade this fall. He has always been extremely inquisitive, always asking why? how? when? how long? He is awesome in math & science and thrives in hands-on learning.

Naomi is 6 and will begin first grade this fall. She is an eager learner and enjoys learning to read and desires to continue to improve. She loves drawing, coloring & painting and is a wonderful artist.

Tim works for our county government, where he, in a nutshell, insures that elections are running properly & smoothly.

I am a work-at-home homeschool mom. I provide realtime closed captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. I have been dabbling in photography for the last few months and hope to improve my skills. But mostly, I enjoy it and desire to provide my kids with a ton of memories in case they grow up to be like their mom and all but completely forget their childhood!

I expect to begin writing about our adventures beginning this fall. However, if anything fun happens before then, I'll start sooner! :)