Christ, Coffee, and Chaos

Striving to capture our homeschool adventure as we endeavor to walk the narrow path.

Curriculum and Routine For 1st Grade and PreK

We plan to start school July 31st and we’re trying out sabbath schooling which is school for 6 weeks followed by a week long break. I’ve changed my mind again (I do that) and we’re starting our first history cycle with Story of The World and corresponding Artistic Pursuits lessons. We’ll also be doing interest-led science as well as Bible as a family while keeping the skill subjects separate. Además, I’ve been completely revamping our Spanish studies. John is my writer and lover of languages while Mary wants to do school with her older brother but is not interested in a challenge at this time.


John: Reading Lessons Through LiteratureEvan-Moor Grammar & Punctuation and homemade copywork.

Together: Jot It Down including poetry memorization, word play, big juicy conversations and story telling.


John: Getting Started With Spanish as an introduction to grammar and daily copywork.

Mary: Learning to read in Spanish first using Fluent Forever’s Pronunciation Trainer.

Together: Fluent Forever lifestyle utilizing homemade ANKI decks, Salsa (free), radio, and a literature list to be determined. We will continue to pull from this list as we’ve loved all of it so far. 


John: Song School Greek


John: He’s taken an interest in Japanese which is not only a total shocker, but a completely foreign language to me which I have extremely little experience with. I’m going to work on the hiragana alphabet with him while I get my barrings.


John: School Arithmetics Book 1 ($Free)

Mary: After she finishes MEP Reception she will move on to Singapore Earlybird.


Together: Explorer’s Bible Study with varied evening devotionals and Heroes for Young Readers with the Activity Guide.


John: Selected Readings From The Well Trained Mind and Story of the World.

Together: Story of The World Volume I with the Activity Guide.


John: Let’s Read and Find Out Level 1 and Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1.

Together: Apologia Astronomy as a read aloud only and audiobooks by Thornton Burgess ($ | Free).


Together: Artistic Pursuits will be done formally alongside Story of The World because the K-3 series is in chronological order, but my children have constant access to art supplies and how to books which tend to occupy much of their free time. We are also reading through the artist and composer series by Mike Venezia.

Teacher Resources:

The Well Trained MindHandbook of Nature Study ($ | Free), Knowing & Teaching Elementary MathematicsFluent ForeverJot It Down, and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner.

The Routine:

They wake up around 7 after I’ve had my personal Bible time and worked out. We typically grab a quick snack, read some poetry and head out the door for a two mile nature walk. If we decide that’s not a good idea they take advantage of the aforementioned art supplies, GeoPuzzles, Snap Circuits or library books while I play around on the computer get housework done.

After our walk we have a well deserved, protein rich breakfast while John or I lead the devotional and we go over new memory work. Right now we’re learning 10,000 Razones, The Ten Commandments Poem, and family phone numbers.

Following is showers and and the baby takes a nap while we have screen time (gasp!). Usually John plays with Google Earth or Adobe Illustrator while Mary watches, or they watch Magic School Bus in Spanish.

After the baby has effectively fallen asleep we have school. I get John started on things he can do solo first so I can work with Mary for about 5 minutes before John and I finish up. Then we listen to music, audiobooks, or recorded memory work while I do housework.

Sometime around 11 we all get back together for yoga, read alouds, and structured activities like science projects or art until lunch, followed by quiet time.

Spanish Lessons Through Literature

I had not originally intended to teach my children to read in Spanish until they were older but my son had other plans when it came to his academics, as per usual. I was fortunate to learn about a new program called Spanish Lessons Through Literature which is right up my son’s alley.

There are several courses available by Renai Ruiz, aka Maestra Renai. We’ve only taken the alphabet class which is FREE, (Oops! Apparently not free anymore due to company policy) and the shapes class, which is less free but awfully close! This woman knows her Spanish and you can pay a lot more to get a lot less. Not only was she professional and fun, but the class had other students and was interactive! As soon as we signed on two of the students began talking about a class they had taken previously together, despite the fact that these children lived in separate states. John (6) who adores geography thought that was just fabulous.

The shapes class covered shapes as the main content, but each class begins and ends with a song which would be nice to memorize and sing in the car. So much material is covered that the teacher emails you a handout to review and further explain content.

1st Grade: Thinking Out Loud

I’ve begun planning out next year and like the look of things so far. I had originally intended to begin our first 4 year cycle in 1st grade, but I think my daughter would benefit from it if we waited until she was in kindergarten and could participate. I strongly considered Berean Builders Science, but have decided to line it up with our second history cycle so all of my students can benefit from it.


Reading Lessons Through Literature Level 1 2Xwk
Homemade Copywork 3Xwk

Ray’s New Intellectual Arithmetic  (Free Version Here) 1Xwk*
School Arithmetics Book One (Free Version Here) 4Xwk

Homemade Greek & Spanish 5Xwk

Tapestry Of Grace Primer 3Xwk
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding 1Xwk
Artistic Pursuits 1Xwk

Memory Work:
CC Foundations Guide
Fighter Verses**
Hymns For a Kids Heart
English and Spanish poetry

Book Basket:

Supports for TOG & BFSU

YWAM Heroes for Young Readers
The Ology
Leading Little Ones To God
The Church History ABCs
Wisdom & The Millers
Ahora Puedo Leer Mi Biblia

Tales From Shakespeare
Books from Suppose The Wolf Were an Octopus
Various poetry books

Canta de Colores

A Child’s Book of Character Building
Question Mark

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader

Beethoven Who?

*These are oral exercises which will take less time than the worksheets in School Arithmetics. I believe it will be perfect for Mondays when memory work is introduced because of the time we will need to cover the new memory work.
I promise I’m not torturing my child, I just like options.

**Never mind; I didn’t realize how expensive this is! There are free coloring pages all over the web. So far I like these.

17 in 2017

There was a thing going around the internet for a while where people made plans to do 17 things throughout the year. I thought it was a neat idea and I like the list that I came up with. I know that I should have posted this January 1st but I have decided that January was my free trial month and that 2017 starts today. Here are my 17 for 2017.

1. Learn to cook a signature dish.
2. Improve my handwriting.
3. Be in family pictures.

4. Internet free lent.
5. Visit a national park.
6. Watch a sunrise with the kids.
7. Learn to sing a classic Spanish song.
8. Do 100 pushups without stopping.
9. Run 5 miles without stopping.
10. Leave notes with positive thoughts on random cars.
11. Master the Tai Cheng sequence.
12. Develop a morning and evening yoga routine.
13. Pay off one credit card.
14. No new TV shows for 2017. I currently have 2 and one has been cancelled.
15. Become better acquainted with the Old Testament.
16. Spend a weekend at the beach.
17. Take a drawing course.

The Beginning of My Greek Journey

Learning Koine Greek

I began the journey of learning Koine Greek over a year ago, but between the fact that my companions do not take the expedition as seriously as I do and the fact that my recent pregnancy was plagued with nightly migraines, I have acquired very little understanding of the language. As of late I have begun moving forward on my own memorizing both vocabulary and grammar, as well as deepening my proficiency with English grammar as I am a product of California public schools.

Choosing A Greek Curriculum

I chose Basics of Biblical Greek by William Mounce because I only cared for the ability to read scripture and it seemed like the most efficient way to do so. I regret not using CAP’s Greek Alphabet Code Cracker first as I didn’t realize what a hang up the alphabet would be for me in the beginning. I hear it can be completed in a month. I use the free ANKI deck which is quite well done, as well as a Greek New Testament that I try to read from every day. Other supplemental materials I haven’t tried include a reader, audiobook, and audio vocabulary review. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics is supposedly an excellent follow up to BBG, but I have yet to hold it in my hands so I have no opinion. Mounce’s site is difficult to navigate at first but is a plethora of free resources.


Things unrelated to BBG that I haven’t tried:

Reading Koine (workbook, looks fantastic!)

The Potter’s School (Greek & Hebrew)

Greek 101 from TGC (a focus on Homeric Greek)


A Reading Course in Homeric Greek (also not Koine, but deserves an honorable mention)

Free resources 1 & 2


‘Twas The Night Before Jesus Came’

‘Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house

Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter.
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said “it’s not here” my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound.
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call
We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!


-Author Unknown


My Crisis Of Homeschool aka Our Kindergarten Curriculum

A crisis? In kindergarten? What does this bode for my future?

I was so looking forward to all of my wonderful plans until I discovered that my son isn’t going to learn as much or enjoy school as much as he could, if I were to follow through with them. Shocking, I know. As it stands we’re continuing with the same resources for skill subjects, but using a book basket for content subjects. I’ll tell you what we’re doing now and update at the end of the year.

Bible: Egermeier’s Bible Story Book with memory work. We’ve done John 1:1-5, Psalm 23 and are now working on Matthew 5.

Language Arts: Reading Lessons Through Literature twice a week and English Lessons Through Literature three times a week.

Math and Logic: Ray’s Primary Arithmetic with Cuisenaire Rods and RightStart games, and Developing The Early Learner.

Foreign Language: Hey Andrew! for Greek and Memrise for Spanish as well as Pio Peep! for memory work. We also read, listen to and watch lots of Spanish because I’m trying to make it a lifestyle.

Art: Drawing With Children.

History, Geography, and Science: This is where the book basket comes in. Right now we’re enjoying the Let’s Read and Find Out Series, The Big Book of History and picks from Sonlight’s PK curriculum and Core A but I will give a full list at the end of the year.

School: What We’re Doing Now

For us school consists of reading, math and memory work. Other than that I have this smorgasbord of educational materials and toys that we can use during school, not during school, in the car, or take to church while I’m working. I wanted to share my smorgasbord. I recommend everything I’m including in this post.


Reading Lessons Through Literature: phonogram review everyday, 3 spelling words a week, copywork of his choice on non spelling days, 5 minutes a day.

Math: Miquon, Rays or playing with the rods: his choice, at least 3 times a week, 5-15 minutes.

Memory work: Bible verses, everyday, 2ish minutes.


Bible For Kids app from You Version (great retention)

Jesus Storybook Bible (sparks great conversations)

My ABC Bible Versus


20th Century Children’s Book Treasury (SL 3/4)

Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics (SL 3/4)

Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes (SL 3/4)


Cuisenaire Rods (huge recommendation!)

Developing The Early Learner


Classical Conversations Timeline Song (amazing resource!)


Geopuzzles (everyone should own this, my son’s political geography knowledge is beyond that of most adults)


Magic School Bus (available on YouTube)

Snap Circuits

Foreign Language:


Favorite books in Spanish


Since I’m church secretary I know what songs we’re going to sing in church and I teach him those with a YouTube playlist.

Daddy teaches piano on demand (Step by Step, the oooooooold version)


Art For Kids Hub (free)

Arttango (free)

The Big Yellow Drawing Book


Lincoln Logs

Magnatiles (they have played with these everyday for over a year)

Wooden train tracks


How I Do Once A Month Cooking

Once a month cooking. It’s actually more like once a month prep work. I like my meals fresh. Our menu plan is based on the purchase of meat because it is the most expensive and we purchase it in bulk at discount pricing, usually from New Seasons and Costco.


1. Decide on meat purchase.

2. Find recipes, usually a combination of old favorites and new ones I found on Pinterest.

3. Decide on menu plan. We plan 4 meals a week that I cook, one of which is vegetarian, and live on leftovers the rest of the week. We always have taco soup and burgers on standby. We do not eat this on Monday, this on Tuesday, and this on Wednesday, we eat this, then this, then this. The food runs out when it runs out.

4. Create the shopping list. Buy EVERYTHING except for fresh fruits and veggies. We go to Costco once a month and get apples, oranges, salad stuff, carrots, etc. To make the shopping list I have 2 pieces of paper, one for Winco and one for Costco, divided by a giant cross. The 4 areas represent the 4 areas of the store. Add things by recipe so you buy as much in bulk as possible.


5. Go shopping.

Because we’re out of EVERYTHING!!!


6. Prepare food. I do not cook anything except for casseroles I plan to freeze, and meat for certain soups. All of my meat, veggies, soup etc. goes in freezer bags or Pyrex dishes uncooked so that it is as freshly made as possible. Everything that is reserved for a recipe, but was not opened gets a sticker on it to show that it’s off limits. If we bought an 8 pack of cream of mushroom soup but only need six then only six get stickers and the other two are available for days when my husband wants to do something creative. This way we always have what we need and never need to run to the store.

It’s easier than most people make it. You don’t have to cook everything twice, you don’t have to go to 7 different stores and you don’t have to have it all down to a science. We’ve made mistakes and had chicken for 2 weeks. Matt’s had to stop at the store for a can of tomato paste. It’s OK. It’s still a much better lifestyle than cooking everyday, unless you love cooking. We eat better and cheaper than most, with less effort.

I Suppose It’s Time For a PreK Update

I mentioned our plans in my last post, but things have evolved and I wanted to share what we actually do on a daily basis.

First we pray and read a Bible story from Beloved Bible Stories, The Jesus Storybook Bible, or The Family-Time Bible in Pictures. This takes no more than 5 minutes.

Then we do our memory work which takes about 5 minutes:

His Getty-Dubay Italics Handwriting takes about 2 minutes.

We are using Education Unboxed which is free, and the RightStart Activities for AL Abacus for math concepts. This takes as long as he likes.

Casually we watch The Magic School Bus, Salsa or El Mickey Mouse, and do Pinterest style art. I also plan to soon implement Drawing With Children. We read for about an hour a day, and Daddy’s teaching him piano on demand. Our favorite things are Cuisienaire Rods, Sketchbooks (so they can watch their progression and build upon old ideas), Reading Lessons Through Literature phonogram cards, and almost every book mentioned on the AO list, in Sonlight 3/4, or by Dr. Seuss. We also love our Appletters and plan to purchase Spanish Banana Grams.

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