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.)

Continue reading “Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule”

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

Easy Chia Pudding

This recipe is pretty easy to make and I’m sure you could adjust it in many ways to suit your taste. I love that this is full of fiber, protein, and lots of healthy fats that little bodies and brains need!

I’m not sure how long this will keep in the fridge as I need to make a new batch every 3 to 4 days because my kiddos just gobble it up! Little miss loves this for breakfast or a snack.

Continue reading “Easy Chia Pudding”

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. 

Continue reading “The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!”

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

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.

Continue reading “Counting our blessings”

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?
Continue reading “Our recent Amazon purchases”

Colds, a collapsed well, and some deep cleaning

It’s New Year’s Eve and I, along with many others, will be glad to be putting 2020 behind me. It was a rough year in so many ways. We did have quite a few good things that came from it, like our beautiful baby girl, but it seemed like something new and even more ominous was lurking behind every corner.

Such a cutie!
Continue reading “Colds, a collapsed well, and some deep cleaning”

Is Santa Real? … That is the question

I saw this explanation in one of my Facebook groups and I love it…

For those of you questioning the way to tell your children about Santa Claus, here is a sweet story on combining that with training. Delete if inappropriate for this group.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit Grandma on the day my brother dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” he jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted, “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kirby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kirby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,

HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care…

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

☆Copied and pasted from another page.

Scars will fade…

Now before you read this please know that I know I’m not the first nor the last woman to have a c-section. I knew going into the latter part of the pregnancy that this was most likely the way we would deliver. I mean I even got a date for our planned c-section.

I thought I was prepared.

I did my research, asked tons of questions, and tried to prepare myself as best I could and I’m so glad I did that. In actuality though nothing can prepare you completely for something like this.

I’m not going into a lot of details right now about the events that led up to Miss Shyanne’s birth but I can say I’d do it a hundred times over if I had too!

Yesterday marked one week since we went to the hospital and delivered. They had put a covering, bio guard?, over the incision so I had not seen it… I’ve definitely felt it though.

When I took my shower last night the covering was starting to come off so I took it off… the doctors had told me it would soon. I couldn’t see the scar because there’s a bit of flabby belly still there and honestly, I was a bit afraid to look.

Continue reading “Scars will fade…”

She’s Here!

Hey y’all! I’m so so sorry that I kinda just dropped off the social media for a bit. The past few months have been very hard as this pregnancy took so much out of me but we are so happy to announce that the wait is over!

Just before midnight on July 8th Ms. Shyanne came screaming into this world via c-section. Although we were as ready as we thought we could be we weren’t quite expecting her to be here right then.

She weighed in at 8lbs and 1 oz and she was 19 1/2 inches long. They also determined that she was around 36 weeks when she delivered.

She is in the NICU due to some of her prenatal diagnosis. She has already breezed through one surgery and is making daily progress towards coming home although we know there will be more surgeries to come.

While the pregnancy seemed so chaotic from the beginning with all the negativity because of my age and then diagnosis after diagnosis for our little girl, (Just this last month we learned of her duodenal atresia which resulted in severe polyhydramnios and then we were ultimately admitted for preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome.), we feel so blessed to have this precious addition to our family.

I will try to finish up some of the posts related to her prenatal issues as well as a more detailed post about her birth and NICU stays but for now I’m just going to try to focus on life at home and recovering so that I can be ready to take care of our little one when she comes home.

We have been posting updates and tons of pictures on our personal FB pages if you’d like to follow us. I’ll also try to start posting on Instagram more regularly as well.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and most of all for your prayers and please keep us in your prayers as we know the next few months will be quite crazy around here.

Shyanne’s Story: Unexpected News

Well, today (May 13) has been a bit on the emotional side. I’m not even sure where to start but many of you that have followed our blog know that this pregnancy has been full of surprises:

An Unexpected Journey

Sometimes You Just Need To Let The Tears Flow

Finding Joy In The Difficult Days

Our little Wonder Woman… some good news! Continue reading “Shyanne’s Story: Unexpected News”