Reflecting Back (2015-2016 Homeschool Year)

Standard

I can’t believe another homeschool year has come and gone! I think it’s good to reflect back on a year and what we’ve accomplished. This past year was spent mostly in the Arizona desert and partly at our home in Utah, and if you’ve followed me for a while than you know this is normal for us. We have a home-base in Utah, but we live for the most part, wherever my husband’s job takes us.

DSC07036

Marissa at Epcot where they have lovely displays of flowers and shrubbery. Our Disney World trip was her high school graduation trip.

It was a milestone year for Marissa. She has now graduated high school and starts at a university this fall with the plan to major in Marine Biology. And, she was accepted without a state-issued diploma, solely on her merits as a successful homeschooler with a transcript (of 18 credits, but only 15 were required) and her ACT score. I can’t help feeling a bit proud about that! I am deeply thankful to Liahona Academy for providing her English, math, science and history through excellent online courses, as well as her transcript (which made my job a lot easier!).

♥♥♥

Here are the highlights from Marissa’s senior year-

images

Her favorite read for English.

A1h5yrVJ+IL

Her favorite family read-aloud.

This book is special to us because it was our first read-aloud together when we first began our homeschooling journey and Marcus couldn’t remember the story so it was perfect to re-visit. It’s always been one of my personal favorites.

DSC07559

Her favorite craft: her fairy gardens.

DSC03370

Her favorite field trip: Tombstone, Arizona

IMG_3112

Her favorite event: Prom, where she participated in the senior-walk down a flight of stairs.

♥♥♥

DSC06447

Hanging out with Mater, at Epcot.

It was a year of excelling in math for Marcus who completed Pre-Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 1. The year before was a slower year for math as more focus was on his grammar and essay writing. So this was his math year. Hooray for homeschooling! Here are other highlights from Marcus’ seventh-grade year…

510cd0w1aUL        51ZQE83KMXL

His top two favorite read-alouds.

cell cake pics (12)

His favorite science lab: designing a cell cake.

DSC03297

His favorite field trip was also visiting Tombstone.

♥♥♥

As for me…

DSC01560

This desert scene on our homeschool room wall took us a few days to create.

I loved our desert unit…

DSC03449

And all the nature walks we took together here in the Sonoran desert. I feel we’ve embraced our life here in Arizona. ♥ Stay tuned for a planning post for our upcoming homeschool year, with just me and my son.

Family Disney Memories

Standard

We just returned from a fun-filled Disney World vacation that we shared not only with each other, but with my youngest brother and his family as well. It was really special because this was my three nieces’ and my nephew’s first Disney visit and it was also their family’s first vacation anywhere. I especially loved getting to know my two-year old nephew better (he warmed up to us which was fun) and watching my baby brother in his role as dad.:) Here are some highlights…

BeFunky Collage

Little moments. One favorite was when my niece pulled the sword in the stone. Another favorite was our character breakfast with Pooh and friends.

DSC06872

My favorite pic of my Marissa girl.

EPCOT_ENTR1_7693572648

Ha ha! We had no idea what we were acting surprised or shocked about.

MK_FAIRYTALEGARDENCHAR_7688166695

My favorite meet-and-greet was with Merida.

AK_DEDICATIONP_7689631253 AK_BRDGTOP_7691380934

It was a good break for my oldest son (on the left, next to his brother), who is experiencing some unpleasant side effects from his new medication (for his MS), but is otherwise doing well, considering his life has recently been turned upside down. I’m amazed by his positive attitude. I know it’s not easy for him. He still struggles with his energy and his reading, but his balance has improved.

♥♥♥

Thanks for caring enough to read this post! Now, back to my mounds of laundry! Do you have a fun family vacation planned? I’d love to hear about it.

The Perfect School Day

Standard

Easy going, stay cozy in our pajamas, linger over a pancake breakfast, together mornings.

No backpacks, no cold lunches, no need to bundle up, no bus to catch.

DSC03292

One daughter, comfy on her bed, laptop open, paying rapt attention to her online science teacher.

No loud bells, no lining up, no hall passes, no hurry-up-and-get-to-class-or-you’ll-be-tardy.

DSC03095

One son, at the table, creating a chalk pastel masterpiece, taking his time.

Leisurely lunches together, laughing and talking while we eat. We can have peanut butter!

DSC03205

Free to go outside anytime we like. Let’s visit a museum or take a nature walk together.

Free to stay inside if we prefer, warm and snug. There’s plenty to do, alone and together…

Dive into a unit study.

Read a classic book.

Set up a science experiment.

Cultivate a talent.

Play a game.

Create something amazing.

No afternoon slumps, no homework battles, no wondering how their day was because I shared their day and they shared mine.

The perfect school day and it took place at home.

Yellow Desert Blooms

Standard

DSC08047

DSCN5771

Could be Sweetbush. In the Sunflower family.

DSC07997

DSCN5826

DSC08013

Golden Columbine

DSC08011

Yellow Trumpetbush

I give up trying to identify the rest, haha! But I think my sweet angel grandma would be proud of me for attempting. She loved wildflowers and I remember her gardening in her flowerbeds often. She knew the names of many kinds of flowers. My kids gave me a Sonoran desert wildflower field guide for Mother’s Day. It’s a neat book because it separates the flowers by color.:) How are you at identifying the wildflowers in your area?