Sunday, January 11, 2015

Free Homeschooling Resources for Middle and High School

I remember "way back when" we first entered the middle school years as a homeschooling family. Suddenly the websites that I had routinely visited to create a special activity or worksheet seemed too young for Rocket Boy. However, I had a hard time finding new sites to visit that would help us in this new phase of homeschooling. There was either too much information, meaning I had to wade through a lot of sites to find age appropriate information, or there was too little information, meaning that I had to conduct extensive searches to find what we were looking for.

So, throughout our middle and high school years, as I found free online resources, (either on my own or through my friends and contacts) I maintained a master list so that I would be able to find these wonderful sites again.  This list now has hundreds of resources listed on it.  I've been happy to share this list through email with dozens of people, and now I'm excited to say that I am making the full list available as a page on this blog. You can find this list by selecting the "Free Homeschooling Resources" tab at the top of the page. Resources are divided by subject, with two "catch all" sections. One of those is for sites that cover multiple subjects and the other is for sites that cover subjects or topics that don't neatly fit into the subject categories. Look at the bottom of the page, too. That's where you'll find a few resources that are just for us homeschool teachers - some things I hope will make your days go a little easier.

If you find any dead links, do let me know so that I can update the list. Enjoy the variety!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I am once again participating in the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. The goal is pretty obvious - read one book each week for a year and then write a blog post about the book. Since I read over 150 books in 2014, this probably won't be a problem! If you're interested in joining, click on the link above for more information.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


The season is certainly changing right now. We've had a few days where the high temperature didn't make it out of the forties, I've found all of my sweaters and all of my fuzzy socks and have been searching for my earmuffs. My life is certainly changing in other areas as well. This is my son's senior year of high school - how did that happen so fast? He is taking some dual enrollment courses this year and is applying to university, writing scholarship essays, drawing, running a Minecraft server, going to church and keeping up with a couple of friends. I am not the primary teacher in any of his subjects this year. I am going to be "shepherding" him through a personal finance credit, but other than that, everything is outsourced. It is a strange feeling. I am not writing any lesson plans, nor am I researching curriculum to use next year. After all, that would be silly! So what am I doing? Praying, reading, quilting, petting kittens.  Wait - did you say kittens? Yes, of course! We said goodbye to our longtime cat, Bert earlier this year. In an effort to provide some company for our remaining cat, Mia, we went to a shelter to adopt a cat. We were thinking about maybe one about 18 months old. Well, we came out with two ten-week old kittens. This is what they looked like when we brought them home in June. Aren't they adorable? You'll have to check back another time for more current pictures!

Tribble June 11
Sprocket June 11
  I'm looking forward to reading some substantive books this coming year - I'm hoping to participate in a group where we read one book per week and post reviews of them, linking to a central website. I did this a few years ago and it was great to get so many ideas from the books others had reviewed. I already have quite a list of books I've been putting off reading - I can't wait to get started. Until then, I'll probably post some shorter comments or reviews on other books. I am, however, saving my best for next year when they "count." Isn't that funny? I am looking forward to writing more, to reading more and to quilting more. Most days, I am looking forward to this next phase of my life. I am at one of those rare life crossroads, in that I am fully aware that the choices I make over the next year or two will greatly impact the next twenty years or so of my life. They are choices like: do I work for pay or continue to do volunteer work? Where would I do either? Do I travel with my husband when he goes on his business trips? How much time to I devote to my hobbies? How can I use my bobbies to make a difference in the world? What can I do to take an active role in strengthening my faith, not a passive one? What will my relationship with my son be like as he starts college and begins to live more independently? How will we both change and grow after having spent so much time together over the years? Mostly, I am enjoying the journey!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Marking Time

Today is the first day of summer. It is also the 171st day of the year, which means it has been 172 days since we arrived in the PICU with our son. There have been 170 days since his last blood transfusion, 169 since he came off of the ventilator. God is so faithful! There have been no lasting effects from his illness whatsoever. Today he and I participated in a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital that took care of him. We ran into two of his nurses (not literally), which was fun for us. The fundraiser was a 5K/10K run, and believe me, I am no athlete. I was with the stroller moms in the back of the pack, which was fine with me! As we were getting ready to start, my son looked at me and said "I'm going to try to post a good time." I responded "Bye!" Well, post a good time he did! He finished in just under 35 minutes, 10th in his age group!
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…to Him be the glory" Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcome, Baby!

In March I was able to attend my very first quilting retreat. It was so much fun spending uninterrupted time at the sewing machine! I completed two quilt tops, both baby quilts for friends who are expecting babies soon. The first top I completed is for a baby girl and has these really neat ruches on five blocks - that was a first for me, but it went well. This is also the first time I did more than "stitch in the ditch" on a quilt. I traced a flower into six of the blocks using my iPad as a light box, then quilted them on my machine, feed dogs down! I also added some curvy lines to other areas of the quilt. Overall, I like the way it turned out.
The second top I completed used a line of fabric called Chantilly by Moda. I love these fabrics! The colors and patterns are so lively and they were perfect for a baby quilt when the gender of the baby is a surprise. I took the time to match the stripes, it wasn't too hard to do, but I'm so glad that there weren't many I needed to match! This quilt, with all of it's lines, begged to be quilted using "stitch in the ditch" so I complied! I tried a new sewing machine foot for quilting that has a guide for ditch stitching, but I preferred my usual foot to that one, so I will be returning it to the store. Live and learn!
I've been taking pictures on my iPhone up to this point as I had lost my charger for my camera battery. I finally purchased a replacement charger last week, so hopefully future pictures will be less fuzzy! I'm continuing in my two block of the month programs and have started my next quilt, which I am very excited about. More updates on my little corner of the quilting world will be coming shortly.