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New Blog

21 Apr

A new season has come! I’m blogging again. Hope to see you soon at Joy in the Ordinary.  



scripture memory system for the family

5 Feb

I had this really great idea a few years back: memorizing Scriptures as a family.

Right.  A few revisions later, my oldest and I are memorizing chosen verses together, with dear husband participating occasionally. The younger ones are doing shorter verses. (Though right now they are working on Psalm 23 with daddy.) What has worked, with all the changes? This scripture memory file. Proven system. Here’s what ours look like:img_7356

I picked this index card box with magnetic back so that we could place it where it is accessible to everyone- the refrigerator door. Works perfectly!

Initially, I printed out the verses we are to memorize for the year, cut them out, and glued them individually on 3X5 index cards. They stay in the very back of the file box until we are ready for them.


With this system, you are doing a maximum of four verses (or chunk of scriptures) a day: the new verse that you’re still working on, and three others from past memorization. This keeps everything fresh, yet not overwhelming.

When a whole chapter is to be memorized, it is done straight from the Bible. Instead of filing the whole text, I just write the verses’ name (even listing key words) on the index card. That keeps the file manageable, and easier to flip through. (There’s a variety of shorter verses, longer chunks and whole chapters in the mix.)

The younger (4 and 5-yr-old) ones’ stack is also growing, so I will be starting a separate file for them. Until then, their recently memorized verses are kept here.


In the meantime, as I’ve been led, I am revisiting memorizing whole books at a time- starting with the letter to the Philippians, with confirmations from different places inspiration from kindred spirits:

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  (Psalm 119:11)

fun ideas for super cold days

15 Jan

A big snow day, followed by subzero temperatures three days in a row-

You’d think a homeschooling family would just stay cozy at home instead of battling the bitter cold, but the girls would not miss dance class for a little inconvenience. They even had friends over for a playdate, keeping the whole house warm while moms wrapped in blankets enjoyed tea. Today, we thought to take advantage of the super frigid temperatures to do some things fun and call it science.

First, we made snow from boiling water: Here’s the idea. We used a bigger container and did it a few times. Super fun!

Here’s another one: I’m Forever Freezing Bubbles.

Inspired by this post, we did this


to make these:


which greeted the UPS guy today.

To wrap it all up, a mug of Trader Joe’s sipping chocolate and milk. Inside, that is.

science everyday

8 Nov
  • The children are currently engrossed in this book:



  • and think that Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 is by far the most interesting of the Apologia Elementary series (though we said the same of the other books in the series in the past.)

I’m glad I get the privilege of learning with the kids.

nature study?

15 Sep

Mother said, “It’s time for a nature walk. Take the camera.

They walked around the yard and stopped to watch a bug. One took a picture of the creature.

They observed the bug some more, then walked around again. The little ones picked and observed some leaves.

They all then went inside and flipped through the insect guide. One looked at the picture in the camera, then interpreted it on a clean paper. “It definitely is a paper wasp.”

Another girl was quite satisfied with her leaf page.

On days like this when all we have got to work with is the backyard, this is nature study at its best:)

for homeschool planning sake

15 Aug

It’s that time of the year again, so I want to share with you one of our favorite homeschool tools: Homeschool Tracker.

It is a homeschool planning and record keeping software that would allow you to manage, copy and reassign or reschedule assignments. It is useful for recording field trips, attendance, readings and daily journals. You will love the printable reports.

A feature I like about it is the Reading Log where I can enter not just the books we are currently or finished reading, but also the ones we plan to read- which is helpful especially with requesting books from the library. You assign a date; otherwise it defaults to today’s, but you could always edit it. This is an excellent place to record titles that you couldn’t tackle at the moment, or the book recommendations that you need to save for another timetable or study.

The Assignment area is what we use Homeschool Tracker the most for. This is where you would plug in everything that each child need to do for the week. You could be as general or as detailed as you like, utilizing the Subject, Activity and Resource drop-downs, and the blank fields for page/lesson/chapter and for Directions. You check the assignments as they are completed.

I could go on and on, but I suggest for you to just check it out, see the pros and cons, to see if this would suit your needs. And why not? The download is totally FREE, unless you opt for the upgrade. Honestly, the Basic FREE VERSION is ample enough. Here is a helpful review (or this ) if you decide to explore more.

I am working from scratch again this year with scheduling, but for part of last year, we used Tapestry of Grace, and Homeschool Tracker worked perfectly alongside it. I would say it would do well with the other curricula out there as well.

If you are a homeschooler, what kind of planner and record keeping system do you use?

back to homeschool

4 Aug

Today is Back to (Home)School Day over here. How well did we do?

The morning started with prayers and singing unto the Lord. Including Dad, we wrote our individual homeschool expectations down on small index cards, then prayed for them. The five-year old even participated and wrote hers down with mama’s help. I’ll share hers just to bless you:

  1. Learn about God.
  2. Memorize verses.
  3. Learn to read and write.
  4. Go on field trips and meet friends.
  5. Always tell the truth, not lie.
  6. Treat people with respect.
  7. Pray for all the people in the world.

Isn’t she a keeper? I am preserving the expectation cards in my binder. It should be interesting to go back to them in a few months.

The schedule I originally drafted last year didn’t work out for very long so I decided to be more practical this time around. We managed to do morning chores, including laundry, breakfast cleanup and putting clean dishes away, among other things, before school started. On time.

Zurielle (5) is most eager to do school, so although my intention was to wait a little while for academics, we are starting some, discerning as we go along. Aliyah (11) didn’t have a drop of anticipation at all, until I started moving things around, changing the look of our homeschool corner and sprinkling some fun in the mix. When I got done, she commented that she’s actually looking forward to doing school again. Mission accomplished.

The girls liked the idea of having their books for the week in their own sturdy wire baskets that they could carry around. Aliyah is now doing a lot of her school work independent of me, so my time is mostly divided between Zurielle- who certainly demands it; Lyrica- who wants to do everything big sisters are doing; and the one we couldn’t give a schedule yet to– the baby.

It was a fun and most fulfilling morning, turning out better than I anticipated. But then Ron was home to help me. Tomorrow we will see.

We are still keeping the afternoons open for more reading, nature studies, outside activities, and lots of play and free-time. This afternoon, to celebrate back to school week, Ron took the girls to this waterpark. They very much looked forward to it, and that’s probably why they were so diligent with their tasks this morning.

Do you homeschool all day? Do you think half a day is too short? We insist on keeping the afternoons open, at least while the children are younger. They could work more vigorously and attentively in the morning, get more done in shorter time, and still have room to be inspired… to dream and to imagine. If they dawdle or allow too many distractions, then they spend the afternoon finishing up, instead of playing outside, reading a good book, or doing whatever it is they love to do.