Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule

I know most families are just now finishing up their 2021-2022 school year and looking forward to a few months off but we aren’t like most families. We’ve decided to adopt more of a year-round school schedule which allows us more flexibility to take time off whenever we need a break or have something important or unexpected come up… which has happened a lot lately!

We have it planned so that we can take a one-week break every three weeks or so with a two-week break around Christmas and at the end of our school year. We can adjust this as needed, for example, we could complete six weeks of school and take a two-week break if needed. Or we could have two weeks of school with a break and then have four weeks… we have a little bit of flexibility for whatever we need to do without feeling ‘rushed’ to get finished.

We finished our 2021-2022 school year back in March and I was tempted to take a few months off and not start back until August/September but I know from past experiences that this doesn’t go well and that it takes FOREVER to get a couple of the kids back into the school routine. You can read more about last year’s curriculum and routines HERE. Last year was pretty crazy but we adapted and we survived!

Last year I switched to some Living Education Books from Master Books for our Language Arts and Math and we absolutely loved them so we went with them again for this year. We used some materials that we already had on hand and I ordered a few new things to go along with our studies. So far, everything has been working out well and many of the studies have been overlapping/going right along with each other which has been really nice as it helps to reinforce what we are learning and gives a little bit of review as well.

I also have another post with activities that we use for little miss (20 months old right now.)

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Homeschool Activities for a 1 to 2-year-old and Our Daily Schedule plus a Weekly Preschool Schedule

How in the world do we keep little miss occupied so we can get some school work done?

Homeschooling any number of kids can be difficult at times but when you add a baby or toddler to the mix it can get really crazy. Some days are easier than others as she is pretty good at keeping herself entertained but other days she can be extremely clingy and doesn’t want to be ‘left out’. We have to come up with some clever tricks to keep her entertained at times and sometimes we just take turns having someone play with her to keep her happy, although we don’t give in to every little whine or cry because sometimes she will figure out a way to entertain herself without us.

We have the basic routines that we have tried to stick to, even through the rough year that we had last year. During our numerous in-patient stays, I did my best to keep her routine as similar to our home routine as I could. It was difficult but it helped us both tremendously. Big sister also kept the kiddos at home on a regular schedule and that helped keep some of the chaos to a minimum.

Now that we are home and doing well we really had to get a little bit stricter with our routines as we’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. Shyanne missed her big brothers and sisters and they missed her but sometimes they get on each other’s nerves just as all siblings do. It’s a normal part of having a big family but it can lead to many distractions which are not good when we need to get certain things accomplished.

The basic areas we try to include in her daily schedule are:

  • Life Skills/Character Development
  • Language/Communication
  • Math
  • Science/STEM/Sensory
  • PT/OT (Gross/Fine Motor Skills)
  • Art/Music
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The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!

I have done more than my fair share of research on Down Syndrome and ways to help with development when my older son came into our family. I never expected that ten years later we would be blessed with another very special addition. When we learned of her diagnosis I began researching more and buying more books geared towards babies and younger children.

We all know that our brains and central nervous system dictate all of our functions so I was terrified of her multiple diagnoses and many of the doctors were not very optimistic either. I knew I would need as many tools and resources as I could find to help her reach her full potential.

With certain disabilities like Down Syndrome and Dandy-Walker Malformation, the brain can be adversely affected. Both of these conditions usually cause some degree of developmental delays along with various health issues. The degree of disability will vary from individual to individual so there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy program to use. When you add in the diagnosis of Hydrocephalus with chromosomal abnormalities and other birth defects there is an even greater chance of severe delays and disabilities.

Even with all of my other research, I’d never even heard of neuroplasticity training before Shyanne was born but I had been doing some research for therapy ideas when I came across this book. (Maybe I had read it somewhere but forgot?) I wish I’d had this book for my first child as I could’ve learned ways to help all of my children with their development.

Ten Fingers Ten Toes Twenty Things Everyone Needs to Know: Neuroplasticity for Children** by Karen Pryor PT DPT Ph.D. 

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10 Smart Ways To Spend That Tax Refund

This post might be a little bit late to catch some of you but I do believe that with the various delays the IRS has had this year, there may be many who haven’t gotten their tax refunds yet. If you have, maybe you haven’t spent it and you are trying to think of sensible ways to spend it. Here are a few of the things that we are using ours on:

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com
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Jumping Back Into Normal… well, almost

It’s been such a blessing to be home for the past few months. We have been trying to put the events from last year in our memory but the reality is that we will never be able to completely forget the health scare that we faced with our little one. It has helped us to see just how truly blessed we are to have such a beautiful family and we have been reminded of just how precious life is… and how quickly things can change.

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Shyanne’s Bell Ringing at UF Shands Children’s Hospital

How We Pack For Extended Hospital Stays

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long while but it seems that I just never have enough time to get it started or completed. I’m going to try to dedicate 10-15 minutes/day until it’s written. I’ll also add to the post as needed. This was actually started a few months ago but I just now got around to finishing it.

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Shyanne’s 1st Heartiversary

Hey y’all, I know I’ve been a bit MIA and I apologize. It’s been really crazy around here and I’ve been in the hospital more than out with Shyanne as she goes through chemo. She is currently on Day 13 of Round 5 with one more round to go! You can read her latest update here.

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School Lessons Coming Soon!

I wrote the other day about how we’ve been doing some remote learning of sorts. I also mentioned that I had ordered some new curriculum and I think I’ve figured out how to keep it organized… I’ll just post the assignments and links to the videos I want the kiddos to watch on our blog like I did with some of our other studies. Maybe someone else will find this helpful in their homeschool. I do plan on getting those Little House on the Prairie lessons finished up in the future.

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Counting our blessings

This was actually meant to publish back in March but for one reason or another it didn’t. A lot has happened since then … the biggest thing being Shyanne’s leukemia diagnosis.

Hey everybody! We hope you all are doing well… everyone here is doing pretty good.

The kiddos have been catching up on school work. They’ve not been too happy to double up in some lessons but they are getting it done. One of the younger boys said that he knows we need to work a bit harder to catch up for the days when we didn’t do anything because we were going through a ‘crisis’. That just goes to show that kids know more than they let on.

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Depression Tips

I saw this post on Facebook the other day and I thought it was such good advice:

DEPRESSION TIPS

Shower.

Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.

Moisturize everything.

Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48 hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire dermis.

Put on clean, comfortable clothes.

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Our recent Amazon purchases

As you all know I’ve always been partial to Amazon because you don’t need to leave your house, or couch, to get what you need. While this isn’t always a good thing to have everything just a click away it has been very useful during this COVID pandemic. Here are just a few of our favorite purchases lately:

Baby

Isn’t this the cutest?
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