Our second year of homeschool, is coming to an end, or maybe I should say, I can see the end in sight.  This year brought many challenges as we were uprooted  shortly after the school year began, and we have been traveling back and forth between Illinois and Wisconsin with my husband for his job.  Our number one priority (besides God) is family, and so this was the obvious choice. 

I added a few extras this year, and I am more then happy with them.  We did Song School Spanish and Typing Instructor.  4 of my kids, each received a certificate from typing instructor and are doing very well with this skill.  Spanish has been very fun, and something I worked on, with the younger kids 2-3 times a week.  It's from Classical Academy and incorporates music with each lesson, so naturally my kids were drawn to this.  I also had each child read as many of the classical books as they could fit in, such as: Charlotte's Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Farmer Boy.  The kids also read Helen Kellar, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman. 

My absolute favorite online site that I use is  Last year, this website was free, and this year I had to purchase a subscription for one year, but it was totally worth it.  I print extra practice worksheets almost daily for  my Kindergartener, 2nd and 3rd grader.  I also bought a membership to and my two youngest use this daily as well.  I am finding that these online sites are very educational and very fun for the kids and it introduces them to the computer as well. 

Our family loves music.  4 of the kids play the violin, two play guitar, most of us sing and we all love to sing and perform in church.  Since we travel back and forth it makes music lessons hard right now.  Molly has started giving violin lessons to the younger kids.  She has been taking lessons since she was 3 and enjoys it very much. 

I still primarily use Bob Jones for my kids.  I don't see any need to mess up a good thing, and so I will most likely stick with this curriculum as we have had success with it.

Here is a look at our school room in Wisconsin:

I have to say, the funnest thing about this past year, was the fact that our home in Wisconsin is right across the street, from a ski mountain.  We took full advantage of this, and purchased a family season pass.  All 5 kids took lessons and learned how to snowboard.  It was great fun, and a good way to get exercise.

It's been a great year, and I am so excited that we have (almost) made it through our second year!



I am just finishing up my first year of homeschool with my five children.  It took a lot of prayer and consideration before we finally decided to take it on. 

 Here is what I have learned so far:

1.  I have learned SO much this year, about myself, my children, and our family dynamic.
2.  This is tough, and it's a lot of work
3.  One day I'm so happy, life is perfect and the next day, I'm pretty sure none of my kids are going to college.  (Okay, so that's stretching it a bit, but it has it's ups and downs)
4.  I never said, I was going to do this forever.  School is an option for us, especially when they reach high school.
5.  I wouldn't trade this last year, I've had with my kids for anything in the world.
6.  Life is somehow more simple and I feel like we have this freedom, we never had before.  There is this burden lifted, that I didn't even know existed.
7.  Education isn't everything.  There is so much more to teach children, then book work.  We have studied the Bible together, more then ever before, and we are focusing a lot on character.
So that's just a tiny glimpse into the emotional journey of homeschool. 

Here is the curriculum we use:

Bob Jones:  I LOVE their reading program.  I pretty much love everything Bob Jones right now.

Horizons Math:  I have one child who struggles with Math, and this was a good choice for her this year, but looking into something different for next year.

Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse:  My oldest daughter, did all her own school with this program.  It was a LOT to take on, especially as a first year homeschooler.  She has always been a bright, straight A student and was overwhelmed with teaching herself.  I think we will go to Bob Jones for her next year.

Heroes of American History chapter books:  We loved this time of reading together.  I learned so much from these books as well. 

A glimpse into our school room:

Farm table plus church pew gives us plenty of seating and the kids are able to stretch out a bit.  This also comes in handy for family game nights, and craft time. 

Our library, located directly off the school room in an extra wide hallway.  My husband built us these shelves about a week before we started school.  I LOVE them! 

Last but not least, there is always the kitchen table....

♥  Shannon


  1. You are so very brave! Homeschooling 5, but you will NEVER regret it. Our daughter is entering 12th grade this year, we have homeschooled for every grade except 2nd, 7th, & 8th. The years I didn't homeschool I regret & believe it or not, so does she. Your babies WILL go to college...Every college our daughter has looked at it very excited about her. The over whelmed feelings some days will probably never go away (especially with 5), but it is so worth it. We found that A Beka's accredited dvd program was a nice middle ground from Alpha Omega. They are learning from a real teacher with your help, the kids always have access to tutors via the phone &/or the internet, they give lots of projects (which we love), & they give families with multiple children discounts. We have used this program every year except K & 1st grade. We LOVE it! Each subject has it's own dvd so you can arrange their day with your schedule & your child's learning style, all the testing, teachers materials, & student materials are all included. It is basically "school in a box". We travel all over the country so this makes it easy for us to keep a regular school schedule. Oh! & by the way...when you use the accredited high school program...your child gets a DIPLOMA!...not a G.E.D.! That is awesome! & they can also go to Pensicola, Florida & graduate with a cap & gown & all that jazz we mama's wanna see our babies do :o) Have a blessed day, keep your chin up, & just gained a new follower :o)

    1. Oh, thank you so much for all your encouraging words! Homeschool moms need that! I know a lot of people who use Abeka, so I will check it out. I haven't bought all of our curriculum for my two older girls yet. What do you recommend for Kindergarten? I am definitely nervous about trying to teach my 5 yr. old to read. All my other kids went to Kindergarten and already knew how to read when I started homeschooling. So happy to have you following my blog, thank you!

    2. Believe it or not, we used Hooked on Phonics & Hooked on Math for Kindergarden. I am a firm believer that 5 is waaaay too young to "make" a child "learn", so we did fun & crafty projects to encourage her. I live in Georgia & we have a website where parents can go to see what their child should know by the end of a particular grade. I went to the website & just used that as my guideline. It must have worked because when we put her in 2nd grade she scored so high on the practice CRCT (our anual standardized test), the school was afraid she would cause the entire 2nd grade to fail, because the CRCT's (& most state standardized tests) is graded on a curve. She ended up taking the 3rd grade test & passing in the top 1% of the state. My point is...If you go that route, ABeka also teaches reading & spelling through phonics, so when you're little one has to start a curriculum it won't be such a shock.

  2. Your shelves are wonderful! We are finishing our first year of homeschool as well. It is a wonderful and amazing journey! I wouldn't want it any other way! There are so many amazing curriculum choices! I love All About Spelling and Math-U-See!

    1. We are trying out some new curriculum choices this year such as Song School Spanish, Lifepacs by Alpha Omega and I added typing, which the kids love. I learn more and more as the months go on. It's a wonderful journey and you are so right... there are SO many great curriculum choices out there!!

  3. I’m sure most parents would also want to teach their children at home, if only they have the time. It certainly has its benefits. You’ll know what things your children are learning, and you can adjust the curriculum to their pace, unlike in typical schools. However, I agree with you that you can’t do this forever. At some point in the future, you’d have to let them experience school outside your home. This is so they can also develop their social interaction skills. Also, there might be more complicated subjects that they need to learn eventually. I know I can’t teach my kids physics and chemistry! Just out of curiosity, though, why did you opt for this method for them in the first place? Anyway, you have a fun classroom there. I especially love the wooden pew, chairs, and tables. They seem to be a more enjoyable set up than those seats in regular classrooms. - Earnestine Kettering

    1. This is only our second year of homeschool. So 4 out of 5 of our kids have experienced school outside the home. My two oldest have been in private, public and homeschool, and honestly we have had great experiences with all of them. We chose to homeschool, not because of the schools themselves, but because it was more convenient for us. My husband has been relocated many times in the past 6 years, and the kids have been pulled out of school more times, then I wish, so we decided this was the best choice for us. Right now, we are living between two homes, in two different states, so this gives us so much more freedom with our schedule. Also, we are able to travel as my husband travels. It's great!

  4. Shannon, Congrats on year #2. Sorry I haven't commented lately. So proud of you & your 5 littles :O) Seems you may think you can't do this forever, but if in your heart you're being led to & you want to, you can absolutely do it. Our daughter just graduated Homeschool Highschool, she's been accepted to a major university, to major in biology & minor in photography. Like Ms. Earnestine, we were in NO way qualified to teach our daughter, Chemistry, Physics, & Pre-Cal., so we found programs that helped us. You know how much I love A Beka. We homeschool because of my husband's work too & socialization was a huge factor for us. From personal experience, having a "well traveled" child is a gift that many parents dream of giving their kids. Traveling teaches them to interact with all sorts of people, as a family we discussed cultures, habits, views, etc. As parents exposing your kids to these different views allows you to prove your beliefs, morals & faith in the real world. It allows you to teach them how to "walk the walk" so to speak. After all, our main job as parent's is to teach our children how to confidently get along in the real world without us. Yes, other kids may say your kids are weird, but what we've found is that it's because they are more mature, self assured & cultured than the average kid their age, not because they are some unsocialized freaks.