Homeschool Curricula: Age 9

Leigh —  September 8, 2015 — Leave a comment

This is the week that it all begins. Summer is drawing to a close, and starting this week, it’s back to alarm clocks ringing in the mornings and folks expecting us to be out of our pajamas with hair brushed and looking presentable several days a week. This week marks a new season of coming and going, reuniting with friends we’ve missed over the summer, and well, just getting back into the swing of things.

If I’m being honest, this summer has not been my favorite. It’s been one of those seasons of life that you just grit your teeth and plow through, knowing that eventually you will come out on the other side no worse for the wear. While we are all still happy and healthy, it’s been a doozy of a summer around here, and quite frankly, I’m ready for some distraction.

So…Welcome to September! The McKibben’s are ready to ring in the new school year!

During the summer months, I try to amp up the kids’ schoolwork as much as possible. It’s the only time all year that we have days on end at home with no extra-curricular activities to tie up our schedule and pull us away, and I try to make the most of it by getting ahead in some subjects or getting caught up in others. Don’t worry…we still make time for plenty of swimming and play dates. We just have more time for school work because we don’t have other commitments to work around.

Every year about this time, I like to post a curriculum rundown of what we plan to accomplish this year at McKibben Elementary. The main reason I do this is so in three years I have some idea what I was doing with Edie when I get to do it all over again with Roark. These subjects start to run together after awhile, and some days, I’m doing good to tell you what we did yesterday. So the curricula list serves as a good reference for me. But another reason for the list is just because.You see, homeschool moms love to talk curricula. Really, it’s one of our favorite subjects when we get together, and we can spend hours debating the pros and cons of each one we’ve tried. So really, this is just another outlet for me to discuss that much loved topic of conversation.

So here is Edie’s fourth grade work load for the year: Continue Reading…

Gone Back to My Roots

Leigh —  June 11, 2015 — Leave a comment

“I’d didn’t realize until recently how much you loved animals,” Ken said to me this past weekend while we took a break from our yard work to watch the ducks in the pond.

I thought about it for a second and then said, “Oh, I’ve always loved animals,” like it was a well-known fact, but the truth is, I think I had kind of forgotten it about myself as well. If your not careful, motherhood can do that to you sometimes, make you forget who you once were before all the babies came.

For the past nine years I have been so wrapped up in wiping runny noses and sticky counter tops or fussing at kids for not knowing where their shoes are or leaving wet towels on the floor that I didn’t have time to add animals to the chaos. Pets were a luxury for people with time on their hands. Not new parents. Continue Reading…

Many moons ago when we first started looking at property, Ken had a lot of opinions about what he was looking for. He’s normally a pretty easy-going fella, but when it came to land, he was quite picky. His dream property needed to be ten or more acres, off the beaten path, out of Jefferson County, with oodles of potential.

Me, on the other hand? I only had one criteria when it came to land. I wanted water. That makes sense, right? Continue Reading…

Gimme A Break

Leigh —  April 20, 2015 — Leave a comment

Ken travels a good bit for work. Sometimes it’s just a one nighter here or there, and then other times he’ll be gone for weeks at a time. I don’t love it when he’s gone, but after fifteen years of marriage, I’ve learned to deal. I can pretty much handle the kids and the day to day duties that keep this family running, but after awhile even I have a breaking point.

I recently reached that point sometime near the end of last year (which might also help explain my lapse from blogging).

“I need a break,” I announced one evening around Christmas, “and I don’t think a date night is going to cut it. I mean, a real break where I have to get on a plane and I  have a chance to actually miss the kids.” I think it’s good for a mommy to miss her children every once in a while. It’s makes me a better mom.

That’s fine. I could use a vacation too. You plan it, and I’ll be there.

And so that’s how I found myself in Arizona a few weeks ago staring at this:Grand Canyon Continue Reading…

My Come Back Post

Leigh —  April 13, 2015 — 1 Comment

So…it’s been a while. A long while. Whenever I take a break from blogging, I always feel like I need to explain myself, some sort of excuse for my absence, but the truth is I just didn’t feel like writing. I needed a break. It wasn’t intentional or planned. One day, I just decided to stop.

See, I had kind of lost the hang of it, and blogging began to feel like another chore I had to complete. I was no longer writing because I enjoyed it or was inspired by something. In some weird way, I felt like it was expected of me and that I was letting myself down when a week or two passed between posts. I know it was pressure I was completely putting on myself, but that’s what I do.

So when I realized that my creative outlet had started to feel demanding, I revolted and said, “Nuts to this!”

For several months, I never looked back. I quit thinking about ideas for future posts, and my camera just set there in the closet, gathering dust between uses.

Then about a month ago, I stumbled onto the blog and started reading some of my old posts, and for the first time in months, I realized that I really did miss it. I love that my kids have an extended journal of their childhood, complete with pictures and funny quotes. I like that I am to recall memories better because I’ve written about them.  And when I don’t remember the details exactly, I just enter a quick search, and I can read exactly what we were feeling and doing in those moments. I know if I stop blogging for good, I am going to regret it.

So I’m back, for no reason in particular. I just decided it was finally time.

A zillion things have happened since I was last here, but here are some of the highlights: Continue Reading…