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This is Edie’s third year to be involved in American Heritage Girls. She started when she was six. AHG is an organization similar to Girl Scouts in that the girls earn badges and go to regular troop meetings.

My girl has always loved earning some badges, but lately, she’s been out of control. She’s got badges on the brain. Every time I turn around she is asking either Ken or me to explain weird stuff like the basic components of a computer and how it works (for the Computer Fun badge) or if I could arrange for her to have a tour of our local library (the Book Adventurer badge).

This past week, she earned her Cinematography badge (definitely one for Ken to be involved with and not me). One of the final requirements for this badge was for her to make a 30-second video about why she loves AHG. She wrote the script, picked out the background music, learned how to use a teleprompter, and got her first taste of video editing.

The only thing left to do now is to show her video to her troop, but I thought you guys might enjoy seeing the finished product as well.

The Video from Christmas Past

Leigh —  December 6, 2013 — 3 Comments

I am re-posting our Christmas video from last year for a couple of reasons.

1.  I’ve gained a lot of new readers in the past year, and some of you guys might not have seen it.

2.  It’s cute enough that if you did see it last year, it’s totally worth watching a second time.

I know what you’re going to ask, and no, we did not hire any professional dancers for the making of this video. It’s just me and my kids. Also, Ken was the only camera man and director, and you don’t have to tell me because I know it already.  He’s awesome.



I’ve spoken with a couple of homeschool moms that are using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons per my recommendation, and they’re frustrated with it.  They’re kids don’t like doing it, and it’s hard.  Trust me…I get it.  I understand the frustration. I used this curriculum before with Edie, and I’m currently doing it again with Roark. Teaching a kid to read takes an immense amount of patience.  Maybe even more than that.  What’s more than immense? I’m not sure, but that’s what it takes.

But don’t be discouraged!  You and your child can do it!  Yes, it’s a slow process, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as some moms are making it. You do have some control on how your child responds to it.  Don’t think you have go through every single motion in the book.  If your kid is struggling with the rhyming portion at the beginning, then talk them through it.  If it never clicks, don’t sweat it!  It will eventually, and it’s not worth killing their confidence!

Also, neither one of my kids have ever blended the sounds.  They both sound out each letter individually, pausing between each letter’s sound.  Again, don’t worry about it.  This program still works even if they never understand the concept of blending the sounds together.  Edie’s in second grade and reading at a fourth grade level, and not one time during the entire 100 Easy Lessons did she blend the sounds together.

I decided to make a video that shows all you frustrated homeschooling moms  exactly how we do a lesson.  So Roark and I sat down at the school table one afternoon last week, and we just let the camera roll.  The video is pretty slow paced in parts (unlike Ken’s normal home movies), but I really wanted to show a reading lesson from start to finish.  You’ll see he struggles with some words and isn’t having a good time, but the whole time my attitude is about positive reinforcement and keeping him focused.

I plan to write another post next week with more on helpful tips, but first I wanted to you to see how we do it.  I am not doing this for the folks that published the book.  I’m getting nothing from anyone at 100 Easy Lessons (maybe I should be! Hint, hint…). I just think the program works, and I want to encourage my fellow homeschool moms.  We gotta’ stick together and help each other out!  Hopefully just seeing somebody go through a lesson with their child will give you some encouragement.

As always, if you have any questions, I am here to help!



Roark is a Swimmer!

Leigh —  August 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

Considering this kid wouldn’t even put his face in the water two months ago, I think this is major progress for one summer.  And you know I don’t like to toot my own horn or anything, but let’s face it. I am an awesome swim teacher.

Ok, so maybe Roark should get some of the credit too.  After all, he was the one that had to overcome his fear of water touching his face.Two months ago this kid would scream if even a drop landed on his cheek, and now he’s swimming around pretending to be a fish.

His secret weapon: the mask.  I bought it at Target a month ago, and I would have paid five times the cost.  It was worth every penny.

Meet John

Leigh —  February 3, 2013 — 8 Comments

Meet John.  We’ve only known him for a short while, but already he owes us one.

I’m sure we’ll be telling the story of how we met John for years to come, not because he’s famous or anything, but more because the way we met him is pretty crazy. Continue Reading…