Q&A: answers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

make sure to watch the videos at the end that answers more questions!

#1 "I would love to know what curriculum you use and what your typical homeschool day looks like!!!! PLEASE :)"
make sure to click on the homeschooling label to look back on several posts re: our homeschool.

i have a 10, 8, 6 year old doing school work.  hank is 4 and i'm teaching him to read using 'teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons'.  dubs is 2 and loves to be read to, puzzles and just playing! 

math - horizons.  we tried teaching textbooks this year and i didn't like it.  great program just a personal preference of computer vs. workbooks.  horizans won. we're going back to it.

science - daily science.  plus this year i'm going to start stockpiling the 'in the box' experiments i just spied at hobby lobby!  over by the airplane model aisle.  

history - mystery of history (JUST bought this and switched from story of the world.)

english - rod and staff. i purchase the hardcover book for each child and have them write the answers on lined notebook paper which goes into their binder.

spelling- spelling skills workbook

reading and writing - spectrum workbook

handwriting - a reason for handwriting

as far as our schedule....i LOVE the crates we use.  each of the big kids gets a new binder every year and i print out a weekly schedule for them.  after breakfast they get going on their school work mostly independently while i clean up and keep the little guys out of the school room.  i'm always around to pop in and answer questions.  
dubs takes a nap after lunch at 1.  i'll do hank's reading lesson with him right after i lay dubs down.  then i do the bigger stuff (history, read aloud, etc.) after that with the big kids.  

#2 'What a cutie!! I would love to see some more pictures of the garden & I am still hoping for a video tour of your amazing house!'

garden post is written WITH pictures and will publish itself next!  

i've received lots of requests for video tours and i'm still contemplating how to do this.  i'm thinking i will break the house into small sections.  

#3 'i would love to see the floor plan'

i have received this question a lot! unfortunately, we're not going to share our floor plan.  i've been involved online for long enough to have heard one too many crazy stories and for safety reasons i don't really want to share the floor plan.  BUT....i hear ya! :)  i am always happy to answer specific questions and give suggestions if needed about specific floor plan flow questions.

#4  'curious if your girls bunk room has the same beds as the boys or did you do something different?'

the girl's bunk room does not have built in bunk beds. it currently has three twin beds. i have not done an update post on their room in a long time!  you can see the basic layout and the posts that i do have by clicking on the 'girl bunk room' label.

#5  How do you handle meal plans and grocery shopping!?! Do you take all the kids when you go shopping for you?

i don't really meal plan.  i keep basic meat/fish selection in the freezer (chicken breast, ground hamburger, steak and tilapia). i do like the magazine 'healthy cooking' so if i find some recipes i want to make i'll add the ingredients to my list. after several years i have figured out the staples that i need to keep on hand to make a meal that the family will enjoy.  things like:  boxed pasta, flavored bread crumbs, canned peaches, crushed tomatoes etc.  

i don't like to have a ton of everything stock piled (2 of something is plenty) and i also don't like the "big sized" things...like a huge ketchup bottle or a huge mayo.  that's just my preference. 

the kiddos have all come with me to the store and they do well.  lately though either mr. daddy or i go grocery shopping in the evening because we need the cart space! :)  someone usually comes along :)  during the day if i want to run to target or wherever i for sure will bring the kids.  they're used to running around with me and i always tell them how well they behaved when we get back in the car.   

#6  How do you shop for your kids? What stores do you love? Do you take them to the store so you know it fits? Or order online?

i shop all over!  a couple favorites are boden, tea and gymboree.  i'll also pick stuff up from target, tj maxx, marshalls and the children's place.  there is a local boutique that i like to shop at too.  

as far as taking the kiddos with me...if its shoe shopping for sure (or i'll trace their foot) but otherwise i'm comfortable picking stuff up without them.  the girls have started asking to come along shopping with me more often which i love!

for me i like:  banana republic, ann taylor, modcloth, jc penney, the buckle (for jeans), tj maxx, marshalls, boden, and local boutiques.

#7 any laundry tricks?

no.  do you?  hee hee :)  seriously...my best advice is to just do it!  man, if i let one day go by without doing at LEAST one load, the pile just grows.  so just do it.  all the time. :)

#8 Do you have help with cleaning and cooking, etc?

yes and no.  yes, the kiddos and my husband all help with everything! my husband will often take on the kitchen.  cleaning the floor doing the dishes etc.  and yes, for this summer we hired one of my husband's sisters to cook some meals for us.....awesome!!!!  

that will come to an end shortly.  i don't have a cleaning lady (i did in our previous home though....so i'm all for it!).  with my children growing older and more capable we seem to be able to stay on top of things ......MOST of the time! :)  

#9Do you have a nanny?

for the summer my husband's other sister (shout out for big families!) babysits twice a week and one weekend night for us.  i LOVE summertime!!

during the school year i have a babysitter come one day a week from 12-5.  i have done this for several years and will never go back.  it is so helpful to know that every monday or every tuesday there will be a chunk of time for appointments and errands.  

i'm also blessed with a mom and mother in law that live close by and give me breaks!

#10,11, 12 & 13 what was your journey in deciding to homeschool your children?
Have you dealt with any criticism regarding homeschooling? How do you deal with it?
What are important components that you considered when putting together your homeschooling room?
What did you wish you knew your first year of homeschooling?

when our oldest was three people started asking me where we were sending her to preschool...??!!!!  what?  we had always said we would send our children to the local christian school.  i (immaturely) thought homeschoolers stayed inside all day and wore long skirts.  :)  *news flash*  we don't!!  anyways, i was encouraged to look into homeschooling. the short story is that once i looked into it (met with other moms, went to a local support group meeting) i never looked back.  

we don't get much criticism, mostly curiosity and questions from people.  we love it so much that is fairly easy to deal with.  i just share honestly from my heart.

as far as the school room design.....i wanted natural light, a work surface type floor, a sink and storage.  

the first year of homeschooling is a treasure to me.  i received so much wonderful advice to keep it simple and not dive into a ton of stuff...but i just felt like i had to work it out for myself.  i purchased the complete k/1 curriculum from sonlight and all the math manipulatives.  we followed a schedule.  was it a little overboard?  probably.  but i had to start somewhere.  i wouldn't change a thing.  i'm just so glad we stuck with it!!

#14 Can you tell us the color of paint in your family room and the bonus room? Exterior?

check out the 'paint colors' label.

the exterior is seacoast gray by cabot stains

#15 I would love to know some of your favorite stores/resources for home decor

marshalls and tj maxx.  i really like home goods but we don't have one close to us :( .  i've also purchased items from:  target, pier one, hobby lobby, flea markets, furniture consignment shops, ballard designs, ikea,  overstock, etsy and shades of light.  i try to source items in my posts too...so looking back you might find some other stores i like :)

#16 I would love to know your favorite thrift stores.

i love the 'treasure chest' section at our local goodwill for milk glass and dishes.  there is also a couple of local furniture consignment shops that carry a good selection. i've found a couple of things on craigslist as well although its not my fave.  i also like to go to barn sales :)

*****here is a 3 part video series answering more questions!****

part one

part two

part three


  1. you are so sweet! fully enjoyed watching the videos you uploaded. supermom, indeed ;)

  2. your lil guy sure got his groove on below..so cute.

  3. I really enjoyed hearing your answers to the interesting questions posted. You seem to have a beautiful personality that comes through on the video posts, what a great life outlook you have!

  4. Thanks for the awesome information! I love your simplicity in things:-)

  5. Thank you for taking the time to share!

  6. Enjoyed reading and hearing your answers to the questions! :) I always enjoy a peak into your beautiful family and how you are doing things. Blessings! Kate

  7. Great answers! Thanks!

    I have three kids and even though we have a pool that keeps the kids busy most days...just a few minutes ago they were playing with a huge box because I got a delivery today...I had ordered a flea market ball holder from Land of Nod for the playroom. My kids were cutting and taping the huge box and climbing in and out of it and having FUN! Now they have their sleeping bags on the living room floor and are doing a pretend camp out! I totally get what you mean about your kids keeping busy! Mine are always busy and creative too! :)

    Sweet of you to make me (a Mom who struggles with laundry and meal planning) feel better! Thanks for the reminder that no one is an expert in all areas even in their home and family!

    Practically, I love the idea of hiring a babysitter one afternoon a week so I can run errands, grocery shop, go to Dr's appt each week! That was brilliant! I've been a Mom for nearly 8 years and I really need to give that a try! :)

    ~ Ali

  8. Just had the chance to fully read and watch this post. Really enjoyed it. We do much of family life the same. Good to know we aren't crazy! :)

  9. Thanks for the answers and letting us know you are not perfect. I like the comment on your dresser in the video how you just cleared it off for the recording. Makes me feel better about myself. :). If I could sneak in one question, where did you get the delicate necklace you wear all the time and what is it of? It's so pretty!

  10. Thanks for taking the time to answer so many questions and all of the info on home schooling. I am going to give the book on how to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons a try with our four year old boy.
    I know that I also asked you about the drapery fabric for your office (where you got it?)...and would still like to know if you could reply back. It would save me a huge amount of time looking for it.

  11. i found my office fabric!! it is robert allen @ home ikat fret in pewter. :) :)

  12. Thanks for taking the time to answer all those questions. You do inspire people with your realistic and relaxed approach. I totally understand not wanting to share your floor plan. I am extremely interested in how the flow of your kitchen and school room are connected to any sort of family room. I don't know if that is too personal. I'm getting ready to design our house and love the idea of the school room off of the kitchen, but can't figure out what you did exactly. Thanks!

  13. We have started to build our dream home! My husband and I have looked and looked at doors and have not agreed on a door. Then, I saw a picture of your front door on google images and there it was....our PERFECT DOOR! We both loved YOUR door and we BOTH actually agreed! Can you please share where you purchased your door?


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