Month: July 2016

More Books On The Way


I am so excited, I could just spit.

We ordered Art & Science, a  curriculum that “mines the treasures of the Getty Museum to explore the many intersections of the visual arts with scientific disciplines. Full-color images of antiquities, decorative arts, drawings, manuscripts, painting, photography, and sculpture illuminate lesson plans (that are) divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels for step-by-step learning.”

We also ordered science and math books!

Thank you again {at the risk of sounding like a broken record} for everyone who has helped with our Go Fund Me goal, we would not have been able to order all these books without you! Our goal this year was to raise enough money to pay for PYCO, and music lessons, as well as curriculum and school supplies. We are hoping to start lessons in August, and get a head start on settling into a groove before the baby arrives and I take a little break. So, if you are interested in seeing what books we still need, or what supplies we could use, check out the School Supplies, and Books, Books, Books! post. I have put a stikethrough  over all the books we have already ordered. Anything without a stikethrough  is something we still need.

And, more than anything, we appreciate knowing that our friends and family are reading these posts, and are involved with how we are doing. Thanks for all the support you have given us over the last few years!

Thankful for AC, Shelley


Some Things Don’t Change


This is Meri two years ago, playing the half-size Violin as if it were a Cello. (Note the glove and flowered dress)IMG_7230

This is Meri at the beginning of the summer, when the boys started up lessons with Lia. She picked up the violin and immediately played it the same way- as if it were a cello. The only difference is, she swapped hands and gave up the glove. 😉  She also seems much more serious.

We will have to find her a tiny instrument for Christmas, or her next birthday!

Busy moving rooms around, Shelley


We Are On Our Way!


Thanks to the wonderful support of our Go Fund Me site, we have been able to purchase some of our school books for the upcoming year already! So far, we have ordered all our grammar books. We also bought the books and supplies for a new spelling curriculum that we are giving a shot this year. The initial payment for PYCO is on its way, so Vegas’s paperwork will all be in order for the upcoming season. We are very thankful and excited to learn new things this year.

Stay tuned to hear how it all shapes up! Literally, the clock is ticking.

Helping the kids sort toys into give away bags, Shelley

Student Blog Updates

IMG_6821Elvis, Axel, and America have all updated their school blog pages. Click on their names in the navigation bar above to reach them. This year we are aiming for more writing, and I am looking forward to the bits and pieces from their weeks that they will post in their own words, for you to read.

It will be a challenge to get Vegas to write anything that doesn’t involve a pen and paper, maybe his posts will just be images of his handwriting.

Working on the basement, Shelley

Swimming, etc.

IMG_6760This summer, I gave the three younger kids a swimming challenge. After “learn to swim week” at our local community center, there were areas each one needed to work on.For Elvis, he needed to work on different strokes, as well as moving away from a full face snorkel mask, and towards regular goggles.IMG_6771For Axel, his work involved gaining confidence in the water without a life jacket, and bigger kicks.IMG_6767As for America, she didn’t even get in the pool at the community center. Honestly, this didn’t worry me, since I know it’s not a fear of water, it was the uncertainty of a strange teacher. She watched, we listened, and got some ideas for things she could work on in the pool over the summer.

Elvis’s challenge: Swim without a face mask.IMG_6981

Axel’s challenge: Swim without a life jacketIMG_7256.JPG

America’s challenge: Swim with less flotation devices, and get her face wet.IMG_6980

Certainly, these challenges should take all summer….or so I thought.

It took about three swims, or one week.

Elvis is swimming and even diving without a face mask, and only goggles.

Axel is now jumping, diving, flipping, swimming, for HOURS with no life jacket at all. He is a regular fish.

America is using only a small life jacket, and has even bravely jumped in one time.

Their reward was going to Dick’s sporting goods and pick out goggles and swim shoes. They were thrilled, and have been using them constantly ever since.

We are looking forward to a summer full of swimming and sun!

Reading about writing, Shelley

Fall 2016-2017 Go Fund Me

IMG_7184Here it is folks, a new fundraising site for the upcoming school year. Did I mention we are taking a trip to the Bahamas? Just kidding. But we do have 3 official students now, as well as a PreK draw-a-holic that needs her own paper budget. In addition, Vegas has been invited to join the PYCO, and there are some hefty fees that go along with the orchestra. {no more than a year of private lessons, but it seems like a large cost up front.}

So, that is why this years fundraiser is double last year, an attempt to offset the cost of his orchestra fee. 🙂 No Bahamas.

A baby, but no Bahamas.

In the last post, I included a spreadsheet of school books and supplies that we are hoping to use next year, along with prices, so you can get a feel for what it looks like, even on a small-scale with little to no electives to purchase books for a family of students. Oregon has many benefits for a non traditional schooling setup like ours, but no state funding for educational materials outside of public school. We can’t just turn in our receipts and get a refund. If we were to enroll in a charter school or some sort of web academy, we may get a budget for supplies, but they would all belong to the state, and would have to be approved. Not my cup of tea.

Sometimes we are able to find our books used on amazon, which is fantastic, and cuts the cost down, and sometimes our other supplies are found at the goodwill or SCRAP, which also helps.

If you are able to help out even with the cost of one book, that is a huge help to us in our present situation. Thank you for taking the time to read and tolerate my yearly fundraising plea.

Our Go Fund Me Site for 2016-2017

Reading grammar books, and googling DIY laundry counters, Shelley