Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

I am so so so excited that you have found Thanks-GIVING For Your Whole Family! The fall months and the holiday season have always been near and dear to my heart. I love the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings- cool crisp air, pumpkin pie scented candles, marshmallow-loaded hot cocoa, a crackling fire, and all of my loved ones close at hand.

Obviously, this means I also love Thanksgiving. I get to spend time with family, and there’s always a good football game. In celebration of Thanksgiving and anticipation of Christmas, it’s generally my goal that November would be filled with acts of service that demonstrate our gratitude and worship.

A couple of years ago, I developed a schedule of thanksgiving celebration in which our family focuses much more on genuinely giving than just saying how thankful we are (which, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!). I am convinced that it creates the perfect space in our hearts to enter into worship in December.

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Elementary + Middle School Science Resource Pack

Elementary + Middle School Science Resource Pack

Sometimes you just need a few visuals to help your students get the full picture. This year, we are using a living books science curriculum from Beautiful Feet (read a review here) for my 6th grader, while my older daughter is utilizing Sabbath Mood for her 9th grade Biology 1. Both programs are beautiful, thorough and engaging. But around here, we love a great display for visual reference as well as notebooking pages.

Notebooking pages are so simple. Honestly, it’s kind of silly. Why do those engage better? I have no clue. But they DO. When my girls have a topic-specific notebook page, they just get more “into” it. Maybe it feels more official than plain old notebook paper?

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I love Jesus, but I cuss a little...

I love Jesus, but I cuss a little...

... you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.... (Romans 6:16-17; partial)


I have become obedient, from the heart, to the calling before me- the righteous standard of a perfect and holy God. Or have I? I was listening to In His Image by Jen Wilkin last night, and she gave a metaphor that crushed my toes. She said, "When we are faithful to God in smaller temptations, we build strength to face the bigger ones. No one indulges an explosive fit of anger, who has not first indulged a thousand smaller aggressions. If we habitually flee from the temptation to commit minor sins of anger and selfishness, we are less likely to fall for temptation in greater sins of anger and selfishness."

Essentially, she likens our propensity to go all in with our sins to weightlifting. We are incapable of lifting those huge sins if we haven't been training with the smaller ones all along.

Ouch.

This immediately convicted me in the areas of anger and profanity in my own life.

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All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

When I first began homeschooling, the responsibility that intimidated me more than any other was teaching my own children to read. I have always been an avid reader, and I desperately wanted to instill a love of reading in my kids. I realized very quickly, however, that my love of reading did not automatically qualify me to teach someone else HOW to read. Because I had no background in teaching reading, I knew I needed to find a program that could walk ME through the process as well as my child. We tried several different programs in the beginning, but they either bored my child to tears or proceeding so quickly that she felt overwhelmed, and I felt lost without a map. 

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Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Our entire educational endeavors surround two things in our home- nature and books. We spend our days either outside or with little ones in a lap, perusing our latest library haul. Fall is a fantastic time to make a sweet connection between those two loves. What better than a stack of books that speak to the changing of the seasons- from miserably hot to crisp and cool. Fall brings a much needed change here, after a long, humid summer and begins to usher in the excitement of the holiday seasons.

I have two things to share today. First, the book recommendations. Some are favorites in our home and others were highly recommended by Life, Abundantly readers on Facebook.

Down below the book recommendations though, you’ll find a DELIGHTFUL FREE download that includes 11 pages of super sweet, really adorably worksheets created for the K3-1st Grade crowd.

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I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am so excited to get to share about the Beautiful Feet Books' HISTORY OF SCIENCE program! If you're like me, you never really entertained the notion of a science program from the perspective of history. When I first ran across it, I thought that it might not be very hands-on (meaning all books, no experiments) or that it wouldn't be "thorough enough" since it's not specific to one area of science--like biology, chemistry, botany. 

Oh my, how I was wrong! I received this curriculum to use with my 6th grader for my honest review. She is a very hands-on kinesthetic learner, who- despite being dyslexic- learns best through real, living stories. When she is involved in a story line, she will remember every single detail of that person's life. Living books are hands-down the best way to get lasting knowledge and true education into her heart and mind forever. You do NOT have to avoid living books for a dyslexic student! 

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Getting Started: Join the Jesus in. Joy out. Challenge! (Oct 1-28)

Getting Started: Join the Jesus in. Joy out. Challenge! (Oct 1-28)

The word "joy" alone evokes a warmth in the core of my very being. Sometimes just stopping to think about the concept of joy can turn a grumpy day around. I'm like every other Mama out there who may read this post and want to join this challenge- I want joy. I crave joy. I need joy in my life.

In the good times and bad.

In chaos and in peace.

In times of new life and times of loss.

In the daily "get it all done, 1 million things on my plate" craziness of it all. 

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The Beauty of Tapestry of Grace in the Rhetoric Years (a very detailed review)

The Beauty of Tapestry of Grace in the Rhetoric Years (a very detailed review)

Homeschooling high school was always something that I looked ahead to with both excitement and fear. When my children were in elementary grades, I felt confident teaching according to a classical model, but as they grew into the middle and high school years, I felt intimidated by the challenging literature and history and by my own lack of knowledge in these areas.

I was excited to learn alongside my kids, but also afraid that I would not be qualified to teach upper level courses. I knew I would need a curriculum that could guide me as I redeemed my own education.

A dear friend had been telling me for a few years how much her family loved Tapestry of Grace, and I could see the results in her son. He was able to carry on deep discussions about topics in history, literature, philosophy, and government with such thoughtfulness and a depth of understanding that I wanted for my children and myself. I had looked at so many other classical courses for high school, but I kept feeling called back to Tapestry of Grace.

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Make Your Own Home Organization Wall {On a Budget!}

Make Your Own Home Organization Wall {On a Budget!}

I llooooooveeeee organization. I will also quickly admit that I’m not the best at “maintaining” said organization, but I am a PRO at setting it up. I have learned, over the years, with a lot of failure, that simple works best. I’ve also learned that no organizational systems matters a lick if you don’t have the self-discipline to utilize the system. Being a self-proclaimed scatterbrain AND perfectionist, wrapped all into one, creates a very interesting dichotomy that I’m confident my family total loves (not at all).

As we approached this school year, I had a vision in mind for bringing the spreadsheet system I’ve used for years into a real life, adjustable, very visible, attractive wall system. (If you’re curious about how I use a spreadsheet and generally plan our days, check out this detailed post and free spreadsheet.) I am probably the most “out of sight, out of mind” person you’ve ever met. It frustrates me immensely, but I also just accommodate this insufficiency with various tools, like my phone alarm and calendar.

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A Review of Claritas Publishing Memory Work

A Review of Claritas Publishing Memory Work

Over the past eight years of homeschooling, we have used a variety of resources for memory work. We spent five years as part a of classical, memory work focused co-op- first as participants in Classical Conversations, then in a classical co-op, which Erin founded. During those years, my oldest two children memorized amazing amounts of information about history, science, Latin, math, geography, English grammar, and world history. Now that they are in middle school and high school, I can see how all the seeds that were planted during the grammar years are producing much fruit.

As my children got older and my younger two joined us at the homeschool table, I felt that being involved in a co-op was not the best use of our time. Dedicating a full day to a co-op made it hard to complete all their other school work in the remaining four days. Despite making the difficult decision to leave our co-op, I didn’t want to leave memory work out of our curriculum. I wanted to ensure that my two younger children would have the same foundation in memory work their older siblings received.

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