Personal Finance

July 17, 2018

Credit 1


Understanding financial management concepts is an important life skill. From credit to insurance to taxes, it is imperative that the student understands the consequences of their choices. Wisely managing their money, the student becomes a citizen that is more responsible. A thorough understanding of financial concepts, with practical application through activities and projects, will enable the student to leave this course with applicable, useful skills for life. This course surveys the basic personal financial needs of most individuals and emphasizes the basics of budgeting, saving, checking, investments, credit, the wise use of insurance, and paying and preparing income tax returns. The Student will design personal and household budgets utilizing checking and savings accounts, gain knowledge in finance, debt and credit management.

After high school, the student faces a world filled with possibilities, and the more knowledge they can acquire, the higher the probability that their financial future will be secure. The student taking this course will learn to better prepare for their financial future.


Two Cents videos (PBS program on Facebook)





Week(s) in the Life (Clueless)

June 9, 2018

I am finding it hard to want to write. It is beginning to feel more and more like a chore.

When I started my blog, many years ago, it was to keep track of lessons and serve as proof if I ever needed it. With the girls filling out journals, my job has become much easier. The journals do the tracking for me. Sky lists all the videos she watches and takes notes. Little Sis fills out her pages. Both girls even take their own attendance. If I need to write a description of what the girls are working on I just need to look in their journals now.

I enjoy being able to look back over posts. I still believe I am the biggest reader of my blog. I guess I feel like it no longer serves a purpose.

When I first started writing, homeschooling was kind of a new thing. There really wasn’t much out there to help other homeschoolers. Blogging became a community. Now there is YouTube, Pinterest, and more homeschooling sites than you could ever read. You can follow homeschoolers on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.

I’m sure I will continue recording our journey. It just might not be as much.


Sky filled out her film pages for the movies Emma (Film as Literature)


and Bonnie and Clyde (Movie History).


Sky and I watched the movie Alien (Movie History) and we all watched the movie Clueless as a modern retelling of Emma.

The girls hated it. You would have thought I made them watch some boring documentary. In fact, I think they would rather have watched a boring documentary. They are products of a different generation I guess ūüėČ .

Sky and I have been watching the new BBC Sherlock series (Film as Literature) and she is really into Rick and Morty. Papa and I watched the three seasons with her. I can see why she enjoys it so much. She has been busy creating worlds and stories from both shows.

Little Sis and I have been watching America’s Next Top Model (which has been great for geography and fashion history) and Riverdale together. We still are watching Hell’s Kitchen together as a family.

Sky has been reading Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews and Little Sis and I read Who Was Julia Child. We also read about Dolley Madison from America’s First Ladies by Kathleen Krull. I am reading The Outsider by Stephen King.




Sky watched the war of 1812 on Crash Course American History. Little Sis read about it in the DK American History encyclopedia.

Little Sis learned about area and perimeter


and recreated her dream home on Minecraft. We compared the area and perimeter of our home to the one she created.


This week Learn Math Fast was all about percents.

The girls have started their own workout routine using videos from Amazon Prime and I have started one of my own (I have lost 5 pounds so far).

The pools opened over the holiday weekend and we were able to attend our favorite one with friends. The girls had their last homeschool gym until after summer vacation and Little Sis’s cheer team is practicing for Nationals.

We spotted a groundhog in our backyard the other day, so this week we learned all about them. I have never seen one in person.


We also learned about the quokka. I never even knew they existed.

Little Sis learned about sea turtles,



the panpipes, and the quene flute.

We learned about Poland from Rick Steves


and Qatar from Geography Now.


Little Sis is using the movie clueless as her fashion guide for the 90s.



Another productive week in the books.

Peace for the journey.

A Week in the Life (China)

May 26, 2018

Considering that Papa was on vacation this week we still managed to squeeze in a few lessons.

We also managed to play a few games too. We are still watching Hell’s Kitchen together as a family. This has inspired Little Sis to create her own Hell’s Kitchen in Minecraft.


We still have Minecraft on our laptop but I thought I would purchase a version for the Playstation too. While Little Sis has been busy creating her little world, Sky picked up a new game she has been busy playing too. She loves Sky Rim. It reminds her of Game of Thrones.

We have been enjoying playing Monopoly on the Wii and Yahtzee at the table as a family. I really missed our family game time.

We finally have our garden planted.

Little Sis started her Fashion through History journal this week inspired by Jane Austen.


Since her spelling words started with the letter p, I decided to take a short detour by learning about China


and panda bears.


She will continue with the rest of her spelling list next week.

Since learning about the giant panda bear this week, Little Sis and I decided to draw one from Art for Kids Hub on YouTube.


The girls attended homeschool gym and Sky and I watched the movie Cast Away as a modern retelling of Robinson Crusoe for her Film as Literature course.

Little Sis keeps an ongoing list of vocabulary words from the books we read. When the list is complete she will look up the definitions.


She finished her lessons about the tiger shark


by summarizing her discoveries.


The journals Little Sis used this week for her lessons.


She is really happy with her selections.

I discovered that Little Sis prefers reading nonfiction over watching videos as a way to learn (I am the same way), which is the complete opposite of Sky. Sky would prefer to watch a video any day over reading. Sky gets bored while reading, Little Sis gets bored by sitting and watching movies. I am glad we are at a place in our learning where both girls can learn the way that works best for them.¬†With summer quickly approaching I think we have settled nicely into our new groove. I know we are on the right path when we are constantly changing things up. Change is our normal. ūüôā

This September will mark the last school year for one child. I can’t believe I will be graduating my first homeschool student. It feels like just yesterday when the two of us journeyed down this road together. I have learned SO much since then. I may not know what her future holds, but I feel confident knowing that I did my absolute best to prepare her for the journey ahead.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) in the Life (On a Binge-Watch)

May 19, 2018

Well, here I am again. Weeks behind, so much happening I have no clue where to even start. I am sure this post will be as jumbled as my mind feels.

We had just settled into our new rhythm quite nicely when the girls came down with another viral infection (and not at the same time either). So our lessons were more scattered.

It was during this time Little Sis and I became engrossed in America’s Next Top Model, and all of the family started watching Hell’s Kitchen on Prime. I don’t get as surprised anymore at all the many learning trails these shows inspire. Little Sis and I watched a video this week on the history of Japanese fashion and The Origin¬†of Everything’s episode¬†about the history of high heels.

Little Sis was the first to be inspired by Hell’s Kitchen to plan out a day’s meals. She chose a completely vegan menu.


She chose tofu scrambled breakfast burritos with spinach and mushrooms for breakfast,


and vegan “Philly steak” sandwiches with regular¬†and sweet potato fries for dinner.


She made vegan pumpkin pie with homemade vegan whipped cream for dessert.


Everything was delicious. She is becoming quite the chef.

She also made vegan brownies and cookies and cream mug cake (not vegan).



Since on the subject of Little Sis, she had her cheer state competition. Though her team did not place, they were so close in points with the third place team that they won the wildcard bid to attend Nationals in Chicago this summer. She is very excited.

There was the usual homeschool gym and having friends over.

Sky took a CPR class and passed the certification test. She has been continuing with her independent studies.


We went to see Infinity War twice, once at the theater and once at the Drive-In with A Quiet Place.

I had a birthday and celebrated Mother’s Day by being able to read the second installment of the Roxane Weary novel series(that just happened to be¬†released on my birthday) What You Want To See by Kisten Lepionka, in one sitting. Yes, it was that good. I will try to wait patiently¬†for the next installment.

Sky and I watched Crash Course movie history episode 12, film production episode 7, and sociology episode 12 on YouTube.

We also watched the 1967 movie, Bonnie, and Clyde.

Violet’s spelling words started with the letter o, so we watched videos about opossums, the oboe, and Oman.


Little Sis and I read Who Was Jane Austen and she took notes.


Sky and I watched The School of Life video about Jane Austen on YouTube.

All of us watched the BBC 2009 adaptation of Emma.

The girls are almost finished with the fraction portion of volume 2 of Learn Math Fast. I added in grocery circular math lessons to help the girls learn how to give change without the use of a cash register.

I think that about sums everything up.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) in the Life (Busy as a Bee)

April 23, 2018

I had every intention to post regularly again, life has just been crazy busy for us.

For example, in one weekend alone, Little Sis had tumbling, from there we headed out to attend the Columbus Pride Fest, that same evening Little Sis went to a parents night out open gym with some homeschooling friends. The next day she had cheer practice.

This weekend was no different, the girls attended a tie-dye party



and Little Sis had regionals.


Her team placed first.


They are headed to state.

This then leaves me to play catch-up with everything that gets pushed aside, writing being one of those things. I personally don’t like falling behind on my blog (my OCD), because that means I have twice as much to write about and I usually forget most of it (which was the point of writing my blog, to begin with). Oh well, the girls are learning, that is what’s most important.

Little Sis’s spelling words started with the letters M and N, so she learned about monkeys.


(Art for Kids Hub YouTube.)

I should mention, now that we are kind of, mostly unschooling again. I want to point out that Little Sis is choosing to continue with the journals and is picking out the YouTube channels she wants to use.

Sky is picking out which journals and videos she wants to continue with too. Honestly, she has the majority of her core credits finished and is working on finishing up electives right now anyway. She chooses to continue with basic mathematics for personal financial reasons because she wants to. She has no plans of going into science or engineering fields, so I am not worried about it.

Both girls have different goals. I am taking the back seat and as their partner making sure those goals get met.

Anyway, monkeys, Mozambique,


(7 Facts by Sebastian Loan YouTube)

and the Mandolin. We watched music videos from Bill Monroe and Ricky Skaggs as well as Medival mandolin music. Sky still joins us for the videos and discussion to finish her Music Appreciation credit.

Little Sis chose a new drawing journal about sea creatures. So she watched a video about dolphins and we read the Magic Tree House Dolphins and Sharks guide,


and she chose to draw an orca from Art For Kids Hub.


Then, she learned about nutrias from Wildlife Facts on YouTube, watched a couple music videos about the ney instrument, and learned about Nicaragua from 7 Facts and Riveting Trip on YouTube.



We read Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien and she added notes to her core journal.


Little Sis has also been on a baking spree lately.

She made vegan no-bakes,


and Tuna Melts from the Teens Cook cookbook.


They were both delicious.

For the most part, we try to eat vegan as much as we can. However, it would be near impossible for us to be complete vegan or vegetarians with as much traveling as we do. Being able to pick up a fish sandwich in a pinch sometimes happens. The fact that our dairy and fish consumption has reduced greatly, and I mean a lot, is what truly matters to us.

Speaking of vegan, I purchased a new cookbook from one of my favorite food blogs.


I have yet to make a recipe from her blog that we have not enjoyed. As much as I like using online recipes, I like to have a collection of cookbooks on hand to plan meals from. This one has officially been added to my favorites. Honestly, it is the only vegan cookbook you need as it contains everything you would want to eat.

Little Sis wasted no time in making the chocolate chip cookie recipe.


Another hit added to the list.

Since we read the biography of Tolkien, Sky joined us for a Thug Notes summary about Beowulf and Grendel.(Film as Literature course)

Sky has been working on her own projects as well. She has been taking notes and keeping track of all the resources she uses. She too chose a new drawing journal that she likes.




She also chose a new Thinking Tree journal, like mine, for her own personal use and still using the spelling journal.

She has been keeping busy with some new art projects.




She has been playing around with a collage app too.



Peace for the journey.

Introduction to Two-Dimensional Art

April 20, 2018

Credits: a 1-semester course for 1 credit

(Fine Art or Elective)


Introduction to Two-Dimensional Art is a course where the student taking this course engages in sequential learning experiences that encompass art history, art criticism, aesthetics, production, and integrated studies and lead to the creation of portfolio quality works. The student explores historical and cultural background and connections; analyze, interpret, theorize, and make informed judgments about artwork and the nature of art; create two-dimensional works of art, reflect upon the outcomes, and revise their work; relate art to other disciplines and discover opportunities for integration; and incorporate literacy and presentational skills. They will identify ways to utilize and support art museums, galleries, studios, and community resources.




Instagram for “art criticism”










Culinary Arts 2

April 17, 2018

Elective, Credit (2)

Culinary Arts 2 prepares the student for occupations and higher education
programs of study related to the entire spectrum of careers in the food industry, including (but not limited to) food production and services; food science, dietetics, and nutrition; and baking and pastry arts.

Major topics for this advanced course include basic baking theory and skills, introduction to bread, introduction to pastry arts, nutrition, nutrition accommodations and adaptations, cost control and purchasing, and current marketing and trends.

Instruction and intensive laboratory experiences include commercial applications of principles of nutrition, aesthetic, and sanitary selection; purchasing,
storage, preparation, and service of food and food products; using and maintaining related tools and equipment; baking and pastry arts skills; managing operations in food service, food science, or hospitality establishments; providing for the dietary needs of persons with special requirements (such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low fat); and related research, development, and testing.  Advanced Culinary Arts builds upon skills and techniques learned in Culinary Arts 1.


Many different resources, such as Pinterest, blogs, and cookbooks to put together a complete meal.

Recipe Rehab





(Chili crusted tilapia with oyster dressing and roasted asparagus)


(apple pie)


(baked salmon, roasted red cabbage, and dill potatoes)


(Scandinavian Kringle)

Music Appreciation

April 12, 2018

Fine Art credit (1)

Music Appreciation is a semester course providing the student an approach to perceptive listening in order to heighten student appreciation of Western art music from the Middle-Ages to the present, NonWestern and American music, and the most recent from independent and commercial sources.

1. The student will gain an understanding of basic music concepts.

2. The student will develop listening skills and attend a variety of live music performances.

3. The student will study style periods of Western art music: Middle-Ages and
Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century.

4. The student will explore American (Folk, Religious, Pop, and Jazz) and Non-Western Music.

5. The student will become familiar with specific composers and representative works of each style period, discuss in cultural context, and conceptualize relative to history, painting, literature, philosophical ideas.

6. The student will explore the various internet and/or electronic sources of music.

By first learning about the history of instruments, starting with the accordion and working their way to the zither, the student will learn the origin of the instrument as well as how that instrument influenced music today.


Several YouTube videos instructing how each instrument is played, then watching music videos of how that instrument is being used in music today. For example, The mandolin was used during the Middle Ages but also is still being used in Bluegrass music today.

Several online resources to research the instrument’s origin. Various compact disks of recorded musical artists from Johann Sebastian Bach to Bruno Mars.

Example of work.



Weeks in the Life (Down Time)

April 6, 2018

Happy Spring!

I don’t know how the weather is in your parts, but we received¬†10 inches¬†of snow the weekend before Easter. Then it snowed again Easter night and I’ve heard we are in for another round this weekend too. I am tired of snow!

Usually, when we take off for spring break I catch up on some spring cleaning. However, this year I just wasn’t feeling it. It doesn’t feel right cleaning when I can’t open any windows. I mean, we still are using our wood stove.

I tried to prolong taking our spring break for as long as I could, the girls, however, were ready. Honestly, I was ready for a break too. Since Little Sis was off two weeks from cheer, we decided to lay off our electronics for a bit and focus on spending time together as a family.

We went bowling with Papa, played lots of games,


watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, some childhood favorite Winnie the Pooh classics, and Mr. Rogers episodes. (Mr. Rogers, 2018 needs you!)

The girls attended homeschool gym, spent some quality time with their big sister, had friends over and caught up on some baking.



While the girls were being entertained, I caught up on some reading.


I can not begin to express how much I loved this book! It was exactly what I needed to get out of my thriller slump.

First, a brief little background about myself. I love Frankenstein! I have seen every film made (including, the “inspired by” films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show,¬†Abbott, and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, and Frankenweenie ), read the book more times than I can count, and might have fangirl squealed when I saw The Frankenstein Chronicles¬†added to Netflix. I am a monster fangirl. So, when I read about this book coming out, I knew I wanted to read it and it did not disappoint.

The novel centers around Mary Jekyll, the daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll, discovering her father’s “partner” Edward Hyde may still be alive. Instead, with the help of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, she finds Diana Hyde. A serial killer is on the loose, murdering woman and stealing some of their body parts and Holmes and Watson have been brought in to investigate. Mary and Diana get dragged¬†into the investigation which leads to the discovery of Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. The ending surprises with more monster relatives (squeal). I can not wait for the sequel. The book cover is beautiful and I¬†want to own a physical copy of this novel.

For me to give a novel 5 stars mean that I will read it more than once. Would I read this book again? Yes, this is the fan fiction I have been waiting for. Is this book a masterpiece? No, not everyone will enjoy it. It helps to be a fan of the stories mentioned. Sometimes though, I crave comfort food.¬† However, if you are a fan of Victorian literature, monster stories, and want to get caught up in a world of female monster protagonists solving crimes, then I don’t see what’s not to like.

After reading this novel I was inspired to reread the originals.


I started with Sherlock Holmes himself.

Now, I am reading my favorite of favorites. I need to purchase a pretty hardback edition for my personal home library.


It is beginning to feel like old times around here. Everyone working on their own projects like when we were unschooling. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.


We had lots of discussions while on our break and I’ve made a few tweaks to our upcoming lessons. I listened to a Sandra Dodd interview on YouTube while we were off. It reminded me once again that the needs of my children come before academics. This was the whole reason I chose to homeschool in the first place.

Sky needs time to discover her interests again without me labeling everything for school. She has her whole life ahead of her. She does not need to know what she is going to do with the rest of her life, today.¬† She is learning, “always learning”.¬†She has no plans of going to a university, so her finished transcript does not need to look like she is.

That is one of the many amazing things about the freedom of homeschooling. Since we are considered a private school (in our state), we get to call the shots. It never fails to amaze me what the girls lean toward when given the freedom to do so. I want to get back behind the lens again, not be in the front dictating what to do.



Before our break, we did manage to get a few lessons in.

I mentioned Lord of the Rings, Sky filled out a movie page from her portfolio.


(Our Funschooling journals will now become what they were originally designed to do. Capture their interests.)

We also watched Crash Course Film History episode 11 about Hollywood’s golden era and watched The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Cane.


This lead to us watching Crash Course Film Criticism episode 1. We also watched the Crash Course Recess video on Film History, the Film Production episode 6 about Producers, and Crash Course Sociology episode 11.

Little Sis’s spelling book was words that started with L.

So, we learned about lions,


(Draw So Cute-YouTube)



(Geography Now-YouTube)

and listened to Lute music.

We read Who Was Nelson Mandela (Little Sis really likes this book series.)


and watched a video about the Maasai and What made the ground split open in Kenya?

Peace for the journey.

A Week in the Life (Bump in the Road)

March 9, 2018

Little Sis had a rough cheer weekend. First, she had stunt clinic for three hours, then she had her¬†practice the next day. She was exhausted. Being on an elite team has been tough. The competition is fierce. My job is to make sure it’s still worth it to her.

In my opinion, competitive sports are way overrated for children. I waited until our girls were old enough to choose what they were interested in trying. Little Sis has had girls on her team that has been in cheer since they were four. Honestly, she is just as good as they are. So many parents have said that you need to start them young. I believe children should be old enough to decide for themselves. If they really want to do something, their determination will get them caught up.

Besides the rough start to our week, Sky has been feeling a little down. To be honest, we all are. Winter has lingered a little too long, not to mention current events finding their way into our home.

Sky is going to be 18 this year. She understands what is happening around her. She also feels helpless to do anything about it. Such a large burden to be placed upon young shoulders. Just because it might be how things have always been done, does not necessarily mean they are always right.

All this to explain why we needed to unplug for awhile. This week, we decided to take a little break. The girls had homeschool gym and they were able to connect with a few of their homeschool friends. I feel like these friendships have been lacking nourishment lately. I think the girls needed a break from the norm. No cheer, no media, just fun.

I am thankful that we are able to do so.

Last week, Little Sis’s spelling words started with the letter K.

So, we learned about Kangeroos by watching Robert Irwin videos and learned how to draw one from Art for Kids Hub on YouTube.


This inspired us to read Who Was Steve Irwin and watch the episode of The Crocodile Hunter about Komodo dragons.

The girls added notes to their journals.


We learned about the kazoo by listening to the songs: Keep on Trucking, San Francisco Bay Blues, and Jazz Me Blues on YouTube.

(I am counting all these instrument videos towards Sky’s Music Appreciation¬†course.)

We also learned about Kyrgyzstan from Geography Now.


This lead to learning about the wild Pallas cat.

I made it to a current events page in my mom journal, so the girls and I watched CNN 10.





(Little Sis’s Thinking Tree Journals used this week.)

Sky and I watched the next episode of Two Cents and started reading: Don’t Break the Bank.


She watched Crash Course: Movie History episode 10 and Film Production episode 5 that was about sound.

Then we watched the movie The Jazz Singer.


She also watched Crash Course: Sociology episode 10.

Sky finished her Thinking Tree: Teach Yourself to Draw and Study and Draw Playful Pets journals. She is going to take a break from the drawing journals and start a new literary journal that I am using for her Film as Literature course.


(Sky’s Thinking Tree journals from the week.)

Again, I saw these journals getting negative feedback in one of my Facebook secular groups. Honestly, it is the only secular homeschool group that I belong to anymore. I am tired of all the negativity and drama groups bring. I also don’t have much time for Facebook anymore. I would spend twenty minutes writing a reply that I never know if the original poster receives to only have the same exact question get asked a half hour later.

We are secular homeschoolers, science is the foundation of our lessons. I started our world history course studying the big bang. I truly believe one needs to understand the world around us before we can even begin to comprehend the history of humans. However, I also understand that not everyone thinks like me, and that is okay.

Hate is hate, no matter what beliefs one might have.

My mom’s journal has a place to write a “prayer” list and the Teach Yourself to Draw journals have a quote from the bible on the instructions page. Other than that, there has been no mention of religion anywhere in the journals that we use. Some of the journals are marketed towards Christain families, they are clearly labeled in the title.

The journals are purposely left blank for your children to fill in to make their own portfolios. We get to decide how we want to use them.

Could you create and print your own journal pages? Yes. In fact, I did just that for years. However, I don’t have the time anymore to make sure I printed out all the pages I am going to need for the week. My time and sanity are worth the price of the journals.

The girls know exactly what they are supposed to do every day. The journals are made for them to do the work on their own. Maybe, that is not what you are looking for. That is okay too. I hope you find something that does work. There is plenty of curricula available to choose from, Thank goodness. There is no need to put something down just because it did not work out for you.

Peace for the journey.