2015-2016 Planners are ready!

It’s been almost a year since I last posted… oops.  I’m just not a good blogger!  I’d love to change that this year!  This was initially our adoption blog, which then changed to a school blog when we couldn’t blog about our adoption process due to foster care restrictions.  Anyway, here’s a few bullet points about what we’ve been up to this past year:

  • I finished tutoring my 3rd year of Essentials (love that class!)
  • My oldest achieved memory master for the 3rd time (woohoo!  trifecta accomplished!)

aaaannnndddd most importantly….

We finished our foster/adoption process and are now the proud parents of TWO beautiful daughters!

I will be composing some posts in a few weeks about our process of adopting through the foster system now that it’s finally – hallelujah! – OVER, and also a post on our perspective of having our homeschool life on display for what seems like every state worker in the state of Louisiana.  But I know that’s not why you’re here today.  You’re here because of planners.

Yes, planners.  Plural.  You guys gave me lots of feedback last year, and I listened and tried to incorporate the best suggestions and constructive criticisms I received.  I hope you are happy with the offerings this year!  Let’s get to it.

First off, new background design.  This year I went with quatrefoil.  I am a sucker for a good quatrefoil pattern.  I hope you guys love it too!


This is the cover page and the full calendar page (calendar similar to the previous years’ planners).  I use the calendar to record how many days we’ve “done” school.  I also have the boxes at the bottom where you can color code certain dates – holidays, birthdays, field trips, co-op days, etc.  I will have an alternate CC-themed cover included in the planning pages download on CC Connected.

Now let’s talk about the types of planners I made this year!  I have FOUR to choose from!

Each planner has a two-page spread of the full monthly calendar.  I left the Scripture verses about wisdom on there for this year.  I love having these little reminders about the source of our wisdom!


Now for the different planner styles!

First up is the Traditional Multi-Subject Planner, similar to what I’ve made in the past.


I did make a few modifications to this one this year, specifically with the subjects down the side.  (Can I just say I hate using the word “subjects” – learning so much about Challenge has made me really dislike that word, but I don’t really know what else to call it and still have it make sense.)

The subjects listed on the tabs this year are:

  • Bible/devotion (I realized how much I needed this one myself when I didn’t have a place to record what we were studying!)
  • Math
  • Language Arts (I figured this could be used for spelling/phonics & grammar, or EEL assignments for Essentials students)
  • Reading/writing (any assigned reading and writing, or IEW papers for Essentials students)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Projects/Field Trips

Each month has the Monday-Friday layout, with 4 “check off” dots in each box so you can assign a color to each student or put different assignments next to the dots to check off.

The second type of planner is just like the one above, except all the subject tabs are blank.  This is the Multi-Subject Blank Planner.  This way you have the freedom to fill in your own subjects based on what you do in your personal homeschool (see below!).


The dates are still completed for this planner, so the only thing you’ll have to fill in is the subject tabs!

The third type of planner is the Block Planner.  This is the planner I will personally be using this year.


The vision behind this planner is based on how I did my personal homeschool last year.  We reviewed our CC memory work every day, but I wanted to take a day per subject to drill deeper because my daughter was asking great questions and wanting to know more about what we were learning in the memory work.  I was overwhelmed trying to “add on” to the memory work daily, but by taking one day to focus on history, one day to focus on science, etc., we were able to go deeper in her studies without mom feeling completely overwhelmed and anxious!

This planner is broken down into the basic daily subjects, then there are “blocks” (hence the name of the planner) for in-depth study on different days.

Daily subjects:

  • Bible/devotion
  • Math
  • Language Arts (I figured this could be used for spelling/phonics & grammar, or EEL assignments for Essentials students)
  • Reading/writing (any assigned reading and writing, or IEW papers for Essentials students)
  • Projects/Field Trips

Block subjects:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts

For the blocks, you can pick which day you’d like to do which subject.  For our personal homeschool, we would combine a couple of block subjects since we spent one day a week at our CC Community.

And finally, the fourth planner is the Blank Block Planner.  This is the same layout at the Block Planner, except the subjects are blank.  You can pick and choose what to study daily and what to study once or twice a week.


So those are the four types of planners!  I hope you can find one to suit your needs for this upcoming year!

Each planner runs from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.  The calendar pages are numbered for ease of printing.  If you begin printing with the first page (the yearly calendar all on one page), the whole calendar should print correctly when set to print front & back.  It is designed so that the big month pages should face each other, and then each set of weekly pages should face each other (Monday-Wednesday on the left hand side, Thursday, Friday, & checklists on the right hand side).

Now let’s take a look at the extra pages!  These are the same pages as last year, just updated with the quatrefoil background that I am loving this year!


There are pages to record field trips and important reminders in monthly format.


A page for recording books that have been read and a sheet for you to jot down ideas, inspiration, websites, etc.


Daily schedules.  This came in SO handy for me last year!  I sat down over the summer and planned out our days (I had to print a new sheet for each day we weren’t at our CC Community!).  It was really tough juggling taking our youngest to her different foster care appointments and doctor visits and still trying to educate my oldest.  I scheduled us down to the minute.  Did I stick to it religiously?  No, of course not!  But having that framework helped our family tremendously!  I used the blank one, but there is a prefilled hourly schedule included in the download also.


Scripture verses & SOAP.  If your kids are in any kind of Bible drill, AWANA, etc. or you’ve made Scripture memory a discipline in your home, this is a great page to record the verses your child(ren) are memorizing.  The SOAP page is a method of Bible study that I use with my oldest, as a way to teach her how to study God’s Word more in-depth.  This can be used daily or when your kids come across tricky passages and you want them to dig deeper.


Curriculum expenses & goals.  I made the curriculum expense sheet because I needed a single place to record all my expenditures (I’m sure there’s an app for that somewhere, but I personally like writing stuff down and keeping it all in one place!).  There are two versions of the goal sheet: one you can personalize with a name, and one like is pictured above.  Setting goals early in the year is a great way to get your kids to take ownership of the things that are important to them, and sometimes it helps to have a tangible reminder of those goals.  :)


Chore chart & cleaning schedule.  The chore chart can be printed and laminated or slipped into a dry-erase envelope or page protector to be used over and over.  I still struggle with making sure my oldest is doing what is required of her, so I need to be better at implementing that in our home.  I made the cleaning schedule page to help you keep track of your to-do’s around the home.  I always forget things like rotating mattresses or cleaning ceiling fans (blech) so it’s good for me to have a place to write it down so I can remember when those things need to be done!


Menu planning & shopping list.  Because we’re not just home educators, we’re stewards of our homes, too.  I created the menu planning page to be printed front & back, and that the shopping list could be cut off for easy use.  I did not break down the boxes into breakfast/lunch/dinner because I know not everyone plans every meal (myself included – I only plan dinners because we do cereal or eggs for breakfast and sandwiches or soup for lunch every day).  That way you can customize it to your family’s needs.

There are also some plain notes pages included in the extra pages download.

All of these extra pages will be included with the download you purchase.  I did not number the “extras” pages because I know some will be used more than once, some will be printed once and laminated, etc.  The extras are completely customizable for your planner.  Print and choose what you’d like to use!

These planners are for sale in my Etsy shop.  I’ve linked them in each description above, but here are the links again:

Traditional Multi-Subject Planner

Traditional Multi-Subject Blank Planner

Block Planner

Blank Block Planner

If you come across any typos in the planners, please let me know so I can fix them!  I’ve created almost 600 pages so there’s bound to be some errors somewhere!


1. This can be printed at home and then bound at an office supply store for around $5 (I think Office Depot is $4.50) or you can hole punch it and put it in a binder.

2. When you print, make sure your printer is set to “fit printable area” (or similar setting). If you set it to actual size, you’ll lose the pretty quatrefoil border.

And I know what your next question is… CC Cycle 1 planning pages???  They are in process!  I will get them completed and uploaded to CC Connected soon.  :)

Thank you for all your emails and support!  I have been so excited to do this again this year.  I’ve been working since January on these 4 planners because I really wanted to create something that would work for my fellow homeschool parents!  I hope you LOVE them!  And if you have suggestions for anything else for the “Extras” pages, let me know!

Thank you, kind CC and homeschooling friends!  You are the best!!!

Cycle 3 Anatomy Printables are up on CC Connected!

Hi friends!  Just a quick note to let you know that the science printables for Cycle 3 are all uploaded to CC Connected!  I’ve only got previews of weeks 1-12 in this post, but all 24 weeks are uploaded.  I’ll do a post of weeks 13-24 soon – I’m just really tired right now (been up since 5 AM to go to a conference with my director to represent CC – it was fun but now I’m s-l-e-e-p-y!).

As always, these can be found on CC Connected by searching under Cycle 3, Science, my user name (tara504), or all three.  And the teal splotches are not on the files uploaded to CC Connected.  Enjoy!













2014-2015 Cycle 3 Planner is Ready!

Hi friends!

Guess what?  The new planner is finished!

This one has been a whirlwind to get finished.  Actually, I wasn’t even planning to have it done this soon (no time!  baby at home!  preparing to train the Essentials tutors at practicum!) but my friend Hollie put a little bird in my ear that she really wanted to have it done in time for their practicum (which begins tomorrow) and if I could get it done, she’d be happy to show it off to everyone at her practicum.  That’s a pretty hard offer to resist, right?  ;)  All joking aside, it was good motivation to get it done and not stress myself out throughout the month of June (when my husband will be gone on a work trip to Baltimore and then a mission trip to Peru).  And now it’s finished and I’m pumped.  I didn’t think it was possible for me to love it more than last year’s, but I truly do.  I don’t know how I’m going to top it for next year.  But enough sentiment – let’s get to the planner!  Wanna take a peek inside?



(My printed pages – photo taken by my hubby)  :)

First up, the cover and the main calendar page (where you record school days for state requirements)


Next, we have the calendar itself.  Just like last year, there is the dual-page monthly calendar with the goals/to-do list column…


… and then weekly pages, with the days of the week, mini calendar, weekly goals/to-do’s, and book list (who DOESN’T need a place to list their desired library/Amazon books???)


And that’s the calendar – every week from July 2014-June 2015.


(I love the colors!  I need lots of color in my life.)  :)

This year I’ve added some new pages to help you with your homeschooling and homekeeping needs.  Let’s go through those now, and I’ll share why I’ve made them and how I’ll be using them in our homeschool this year.  Some pages will only require one copy; others might require multiple copies depending on your number of children or planned use for the pages.

First up is a dual-page spread to record field trips and outings.  Here in New Orleans, we’re part of four different homeschooling groups, and keeping track of all the field trips and outings is tough, especially when some things are planned way in advance.  These pages help keep all the field trips centrally located and keep me from forgetting the October field trip that was scheduled way back in August.


Same thing with important reminders.  Registration forms due, tuition due, annual camping trip, etc. etc. etc.  The best description for these pages is Help Tara Not Forget Stuff.  :)


Next up is the daily schedule page.  I made two of these – one with pre-made times (if your day usually runs from 6AM to 10PM) and one that is blank.  Both are included in the download.  Since it’s always a struggle to get my daughter out of bed before 9AM, I’ll give you three guesses which page I’ll be using personally.  :)


Next up are goals.  The pages are almost identical unless you want to personalize the page per student.


Next up is the curriculum expenditures page.  Now, I know I’m the only person who is so disorganized with our homeschool expenses that I would need a place to literally write down every single expense so I’m not scrambling around like a crazy person come tax time.  BUT, just in case there’s someone else out there who also finds herself scrambling at tax time, here’s a handy-dandy sheet to record your expenses.  (And can we meet for coffee and bond over the fact that we’re both scramblers?  Hmm, that makes us sound like some sort of egg by-product.)  :)

The resources and references page is simply a place to jot down awesome things that you see/hear, because unfortunately real life doesn’t have a “pin this!” button.  I can’t tell you how many awesome conversations with other homeschool moms I’ve had over lunch at CC or at the park and the only thing I have to record their wisdom & ideas is a crumpled up napkin from the bottom of my purse.


Next up is the reading list.  I included this as a way to edify my daughter and show her her progress throughout the year.  The beauty of this is I can print as many copies as possible so she can keep filling in those blanks.:)

There are also notes pages.  Those are self-explanatory.  :)


I also included some pages for helping my daughter with Bible study.  We use the SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) method for Bible study, and it’s been a huge blessing for us.  Since it has blessed us so much, I included a page for you to use with your children.  Obviously this is a page that would require multiple copies.

The other page is a place to record verses memorized.  I know many of us – especially those of us who educate classically – work on verse memorization, and many churches have children’s programs that encourage Scripture memory.


Now let’s move on to the homekeeping pages.

The first page is a cleaning schedule.  This is fully customizable, so you can either incorporate someone else’s schedule here or make up one that works best in your home.

The next page is a chore chart.  I recommend printing this, laminating it, and then using a dry erase to record weekly duties.  That’s our plan, anyway.  :)


The final pages are menu planning pages.  They are designed to be printed front & back so you can cut off the shopping list end if you plan two weeks at a time.  A little note about the menu plan: you’ll notice I didn’t include indicators for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.  When I get menu planning sheets I’ve downloaded from other sites, that always ends up being wasted space for our family.  Our breakfasts & lunches are pretty routine (cereal, sandwiches, soup, etc.), so the only meal I really plan is dinner.  But I tried to leave enough space so that anyone who wants to plan all three meals plus snacks would have enough room to do so.


So those are all the extras!  I’m really excited to use these.  :)


And in case you’re wondering where the weekly CC planning pages are, don’t worry – they’re available too and all updated for Cycle 3!



Oh, and new and improved this year – PAGE NUMBERS on the calendar!  Lesson learned – always put page numbers on 100+page files.  ;)  The extra pages DO NOT have page numbers since those are print-how-you-wish.

Now, let’s talk about how you can get your copy of this!

First off, I want to say thank you so very much to all of you who have commented, emailed, Facebook-messaged me, etc. about the planner.  It has been a blessing to me to hear how much this planner blessed you all and your homeschools this past year!

The drawback is that this year, I simply do not have the time to email out everything individually anymore.  That’s part of having a high-needs foster baby AND homeschooling AND everything else that comes with the homeschool family life (and all the other homeschool mamas said AMEN, right?).  I deeply, truly appreciate the many offers I’ve gotten from all of you, being so kind and generous and offering to pay for the calendar this year.  That has lifted a burden off my shoulders and has allowed me to provide this again for you but at the same time relieve the HUGE time commitment it took to email each individual person last year.  That’s also why I’ve included the extra pages this year – since I am charging for it, I want to make sure you get some extra files for your buck.

 So here’s how it will work.  Everything EXCEPT the weekly planning pages (the ones with the CC memory work on them) will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop, Creole Paperie.  You can purchase your copy HERE.  The files are already uploaded to Etsy, so once you purchase the listing, you will be able to download your planner immediately.

The weekly planning pages will be available as a free download on CC Connected (I feel like now that we’re in Cycle 3 I need to write out CC Connected – weird, right?).  I stand firm to my commitment that I won’t sell/profit from anything that contains any copyrighted work from Classical Conversations.   You can find the planner pages by searching for my user name, tara504, under Cycle 3.

A few notes:

1. This can be bound at an office supply store for around $5 (I think Office Depot is $4.50) or you can hole punch it and put it in a binder.

2.  When you print, make sure your printer is set to “fit printable area” (or similar setting).  If you set it to actual size, you’ll lose the pretty flowers.  :)

3.  The cover that comes with the Etsy download is a general cover.  The CC cover is included with the planning pages available on CC Connected.

OK, I think that’s it!  If I think of anything else, I’ll do a follow up post!  Thank you so much for your support!  Now I’m going to get back to preparing for Essentials tutor training for next week.  I might have to do a post on that – I have been really encouraged by all the material I’ve gone through to train the other Essentials tutors!  :)

Oh, and I’ve also sketched out the first 12 weeks of science printables, so after we’re done with practicum and I have some time to work, I’ll get those designed and uploaded to CC Connected (I’m so stoked we’re covering anatomy this year!).  And English will be right behind them!  :)




School Room Prints

We moved to a new home back in March, and one of my favorite things about our new home is that we have a big, giant school room that gets beautiful light all day long because of the big windows on the front.

You know you’re a homeschooler when…  my hubby and I were trying to decide which “living area space” room should be our actual living room and which one should be the school room, and we ultimately chose that the larger of the two should be the school room.  I’m sure many of you can relate!

Anyway, we painted the school room a beautiful, peaceful light teal color and it’s been a great space for us.  But we don’t have a whole lot on the walls, simply because we’re coming from a teeny, tiny space and didn’t have any wall space to work with in our old place.

(Pretend there’s a transition here.)  Lately I’ve been going to lots of information meetings with my director to do the Essentials presentation of the info meetings.  After several meetings, during the Foundations part, I caught my thoughts trailing as I paged absentmindedly through the catalog.  Not that I wasn’t interested in what my director was saying – it was just I had heard it so much, I could pretty much repeat what she said word for word!

One night I’m paging through the CC catalog and I land on Jennifer Courtney’s article at the front of the catalog.  I read the John Milton quote in the first paragraph and I’m instantly captivated.  And I knew at that moment that I needed that quote on the wall in our school room.

So I came home and made a print of his quote.  And while I was at it, I made a print of the Proverbs scripture we often quote at CC because it mentions all three roads of the trivium.  Here’s what they look like, hanging right over our desk (excuse my terrible phone photography).

image_1-small image-small


I love looking up from working at the desk and seeing these prints hanging at eye level.  Especially since I’ve been in plan-for-cycle-3 mode lately, and these words help remind me to keep the proper perspective about education – that its purpose is to know God and make Him known.

If you would like to download these for your own use, I’ve included some links for you to use.


Download Proverbs 8X10 jpg

Download Proverbs 8.5X11 PDF with 8X10 trim lines

Download Proverbs 8.5X11 PDF with no trim lines


Download Milton 8X10 jpg

Download Milton 8.5X11 PDF with 8X10 trim lines

Download Milton 8.5X11 PDF with no trim lines


For reference, I didn’t want to spend money to have it printed in a store, so I printed my copies on cardstock at home.  I used the PDF with trim lines and cut it down to an 8X10 and used frames we already had.  ***If you use the 8.5X11 PDF with 8X10 trim lines, make sure you set your printer to print actual size, or you won’t trim out an 8X10.  I also included a plain 8.5X11 PDF you can use in binders, folders, etc.

Our end-of-year ceremony is tomorrow!  I’m so excited because my big girl will receive her Memory Master recognition there.  And then on Sunday she is getting baptized.  What a joyous weekend it will be!  And then… SUMMER!  :)

Diagramming the Preamble

I am pretty much the worst blogger ever.  It’s OK.  I own it.  I know it.  ;)

When I started this blog, it was to chronicle our adoption journey.  At the time we had no clue what that journey was going to look like.  Since the Lord led us to foster care, there’s very little I can say about our adoption process on here without getting into trouble with the state.  So our adoption blog has morphed into a school blog (sort of… one has to actually WRITE in order for it to be a blog…).

I realize I hardly ever post about Essentials.  I’m sure once my child actually gets into Essentials and we’re doing the work at home, I’ll post more about it.  But since I’m only tutoring Essentials, our home life consists of just Foundations material.  Plus it’s really hard to post info about Essentials without violating the textbook or IEW copyright material.

But every blue moon, I create something for class that can be shared, so that’s what I’m doing today.  This week is our final week of CC.  It’s bittersweet for me.  I just absolutely love CC.  I love being with my daughter in the morning in her class.  I love tutoring.  I love my daughter’s tutor and our director.  I love the families in my Essentials class.  When I was interviewing to contract for next year, my director asked why I wanted to renew for Essentials, and I told her one of my big reasons was that I love the community-within-a-community we have.  I am going to miss it terribly over the summer.  Thankfully August isn’t too far away.  And it will be nice to not have to review Memory Master material every. single. day. for a while.  ;)

Back on topic.  This week we’re doing the Faces of History presentation for IEW, and then for EEL I’ve planned to have them diagram the Preamble.  I got this idea when I saw a diagram of it on pinterest a while back.  At the time, I thought, “There’s no way my kids can pull that off.”  However, I’ve done some research, and I think they totally can.

Now, let me disclaim before I put the links up.  (I feel like every post I write has a disclaimer.  Sheesh.)  Let’s spend some time talking about the phrase part “in order/in order to.”  I have done a lot of research on this, because I was clueless as to what to do with it.  I found several different suggestions on what to do with it, and the way I have it presented is the one that I feel is most accurate (you can find more details about why I chose this method here).

To me, it makes the most sense to have “in order” functioning as a compound preposition with “to form…” as an infinitive functioning as the object of the preposition.  Then that entire section (“in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”) is an adverbial modifier modifying the verbs “do ordain and establish” in the independent clause.  It also answers the question of why the people do ordain and establish the Constitution – to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, etc. etc. etc.

I may be totally off here, and if so, call me out on it!  I don’t even come close to pretending I know everything about English grammar.  :)  But I’m hoping this will be a fun, end-of-the-year activity for my kids, and to show them that grammar and super-giant sentences really aren’t that scary… once you know how to break them down.  ;)


Preamble - blank

(Download the blank version here)


(Download the completed version here)


(Oh yeah, I left the “in order” part on the blank one for my kids because there’s no way they’d figure out that’s where it went.  I’m not that mean.)  :)

If you have an Essentials student, you’re welcome to download these and see if they can work through it themselves!

I know most of the other campuses are done for the year, so I hope you all have a wonderful summer!


Edited to add:  So many of you have been so kind to email me about doing a new planner for next year.  The answer is yes, I am working on a 2014-2015 planner.  I will most likely put it in my etsy shop because with a baby now, I don’t have time to email it out one-by-one anymore.  :)  Don’t worry – I’ll keep the cost super-low; I know ink & paper are expensive.  I will upload the CC planning pages to CC Connected, so you can still download those for free, whether you purchase the calendar part or not.  When I get it made and uploaded, I’ll do a post about it!  Thanks for your support and your kind words and encouragement.  The CC Community is the best!


Edited to add #2:  I will also make science pages for Cycle 3.  That’s on the to-do list once the planner is finished.  :)

Classical Conversations Carnival

Printables for 2nd Semester – English Grammar

First of all, I want to say thanks to all of you who have checked in and commented during my super-long blog break.  We’ve had our hands full these past several months, that is for sure!  Fostering our baby girl is still such a joy, but it’s a joy combined with lots of labor.  I’m having to learn to relax and not get too stressed out when our “schedule” isn’t followed to a T (which hasn’t happened since the beginning of November – ha!).

Yesterday and today were “sneaux” days for us, which is completely wild!  We always expect CC cancellations for hurricanes, but NEVER for winter weather.  It just doesn’t happen here in New Orleans.  And very few flakes fell, but enough rain fell to cause the zillion bridges we have around us to ice over and become super-dangerous.  I’ve been really saddened by what’s going on in Alabama and Georgia right now.  It’s funny, Monday night and yesterday morning, people were making fun of Louisiana folks on Facebook because orders had been issued for school and government office closures for Tuesday while it was still 60 degrees outside (our weather is wacko, I’m telling you!).  The city completely shut down in anticipation of the storm.  After seeing what has happened in AL & GA, I am so thankful our state and local leaders took steps to keep people here safe, and I wish the same had been done in those states.  I hope and pray those still stranded on the road will be able to be rescued and brought home (or at the very least to warmth!) safely.  My heart breaks to think of people trying to get through that mess, but especially for children and the elderly.

Anyway, all that to say, we cancelled CC this week and my hubby has had the past two days off from work.  With him home, I was able to finish up the printables for English grammar & science for this semester.  I’ve included pictures of the printables below so you can see what you’ll be downloading.  They are the same format as my other printables – answer sheet, cut & paste, and label (for older kids).  And of course the purple splotches won’t be there.  :)












These are all uploaded on CC Connected (or C3 – however you want to say it).  You can find them by looking under my user name:  tara504

(Yes, some of you may notice my user name changed.  I got some comments that a few of you couldn’t find the files by searching for the file name, and when I tried there were a few that didn’t work for some reason.  But I wasn’t too comfortable with my user name floating around because it contained some personal information.  So I contacted the nice people at CC Tech Support and they changed my user name to something very generic for me, something I’m not worried about posting publicly.  I’ve deleted all the files under my old name and now everything is uploaded under this name.)  :)

I’ll post science pics soon!


Hi everyone!

I’ve gotten lots of comments and emails wondering where I’ve been.  I think the easiest way to explain it would be bullet-style.

  • Back in September, my mom had major surgery, and I took some time to go stay with her after her surgery to help her get around while she recovered.
  • The day after SC and I got back from my mom’s house, my hubby left for a week to go on a church-planting trip to Wyoming.
  • In October we got a call from our worker that said all our paperwork was finished and we were officially going into the system as eligible foster care parents on October 1st.
  • We spent the entire month of October preparing ourselves and our home for our first placement.
  • We had a few calls (that we either turned down or the children were sent to other homes due to extenuating circumstances) during October.
  • On November 4th, we were blessed with our first placement – a beautiful 6 month old baby girl!
  • As is customary with foster care, there’s been lots of meetings, appointments, etc. that we’ve had to attend – honestly, WAY more than I was expecting.
  • Having a baby is a time-eater (right???).  Having a baby with health issues is an even bigger time-eater.  Having a foster baby with health issues that has beaucoup appointments to go to each week is a huge time-eater.  I’m still adjusting.  Obviously.
  • In mid-November, I went to get some issues checked with my eyes and got admitted to the hospital to have a whole bunch of tests run on my brain (I’m fine!  I just have lots of follow up visits over the next few months!)
  • On the same day I was admitted to the hospital, Baby Girl came down with RSV.  Thankfully my mom and dad were able to come down and stay with the girls so my hubby could stay with me at the hospital.
  • Because of these two things, our trip to NYC that we were supposed to take with my mom and dad over Thanksgiving week got cancelled.  Yes, it was disappointing, but definitely for the best.
  • The doctors put me on some medication that makes me exhausted.  I’m talking first-trimester-can’t-lift-my-head-off-the-pillow exhausted.  It’s a ton of fun feeling like that and having two kids.  My husband has been an absolute angel and has done so much to help us get through our days, especially on the days I feel like collapsing.  Each day gets a little better as I adjust more and more to it.  But I won’t lie – it’s been really hard.
  • We’re home now and both trying to make sure we make all of our follow up appointments.  My calendar is my BFF right now.
  • With the exception of our last two days of CC, I pretty much didn’t do school the entire month of November.  And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

So that’s where we are.  I am slowly, slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I’ve pulled out everything we didn’t get to in weeks 1-12 and we’re chipping away at that over the month of December.  We missed our campus’s mid-year Memory Master practice day because I was in the hospital so I’m hoping to practice and review with my big girl over our break.

And foster care?  I wish I had words to describe it.  Each day is a new emotion.  Some days I can’t allow myself to think about the possibility of her going back because I don’t think my heart could handle it.  I pray she gets to stay with our family and then I feel selfish for praying that prayer because I know out there is a mother who would lose her child if that prayer is answered.  It’s an emotional tightrope.  If I tried to write out everything in my head & heart, you’d be here all day.  So just know that she’s amazing and we love her and would love the opportunity to adopt her.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will have a wonderful Christmas!  I am not even putting up a tree this year.  I know.  That’s how tired this medication makes me.  My 7YO has been so gracious about it.  But we’ve incorporated some new Christmas traditions to take the place of putting up and decorating a tree, and I think she’s happy with those.

I am going to try to make some more printables while we’re visiting family.  I need to do some English printables for weeks 14-24 and finish up the science printables.  Fingers crossed it will happen!  :)

Our Plans – CC Cycle 2, Week 3

I have to preface this post with this disclaimer that there are no photos for our week 3 plans.  But when you hear about our day today, I hope you’ll understand why.

I wanted a do-over by 9:00 am today – that’s how bad it was.  My day began by my slipping in a few drops of water that shot out of a dropped sippy cup outside the childcare room.  I came down hard and fast on my knee, and within seconds it was swelling and bleeding.  (In fact, it was so gross, that when I rolled up the bottom of my leggings, I found skin stuck to the fabric of the inside of my leggings – funnily enough, a few of the girls in my daughter’s class thought that was “really cool!”).  The sweet lady who works in the church office brought me 2 ziplocks full of ice and a towel, and I spent all of Foundations icing my knee to keep the swelling down.  I was debating whether or not to ask my sub to fill in for me this afternoon when it hit me.  I forgot to print my lesson plans.

You see, yesterday morning I woke up early and since the other night owls in my house were still sawing logs, I decided to take advantage of the quiet and get my lesson plans written.  2.5 hours later I had all my lesson plans written and ready.  We were having some friends over and I needed to get some stuff ready, so I put my laptop away with plans to print my lesson plans that evening after everyone left.  Guess what didn’t happen?

BUT my amazing hubby came to the rescue.  He left work, came home, converted all my lesson files to PDFs (so I could read them on my phone) and emailed them to me.  So even though it was going to be like reading crib notes in my palm (and my eyes were scratchy/contacts were blurry because yes, I cried a bit when I fell – it hurt that bad!), I had my lesson plans.


I was giddy about his help – until I realized my phone was dying and would not last through Essentials.  Last night when I went to bed, I had 50% battery power on my phone.  I didn’t plug it in because I knew 50% was more than enough to get me through the CC day.  That is, until I needed my phone to read my lesson plans.

Thankfully my daughter’s tutor is a super-close friend of mine, and she has a van that will charge your phone even when it’s off.  So I plugged my phone into her car and it built up some charge – just enough to get me through the afternoon.  When I got in the car at the end of the CC day, I had 3% battery.  The Lord is indeed merciful.

I made it through class – swollen, sore knee and teeny, tiny lesson plans in all.  But since I’ve been home, I’ve had my leg and aching knee propped up in the recliner and the only movement I plan on making tonight is from the recliner to the bed.

That’s why there’s no pictures tonight.  I climb up on a stool so I can shoot straight down on the papers (and avoid shadows) and there will be no stool-climbing tonight!

Tuesday – Campus day.   SC participates in Foundations in the morning, then does memory work review with my friend Jenny  in the afternoon while I tutor Essentials.


  • All Subjects:  This is the day she does the lapbook pieces from Wisdom & Righteousness.
  • History:  Finish reading Revenge of the Red Knight.  (**I am so excited to have discovered the Imagination Station books!  They are like the Magic Tree House series, except Christian!**)  Watch “Robin Hood.”  (Yes, I just linked a Disney movie – what of it?)  :)
  • Geography: Trace laminated map onto tracing paper
  • Science:  Magic School Bus episode “Gets Eaten.”


  • History: Study guide page & lapbook pieces on The Crusades and Richard the Lion-Hearted from AJTL “Exploring the Middle Ages.”
  • Timeline: Paste our mini-timeline figures into our timeline notebook.  (Tutorial here!)  using the blank timeline from Guest Hollow that can be found here.
  • Science:  Study guide & lapbook piece on Food Chain from AJTL “Exploring Science.”
  • Geography:  Blackline map with locations labeled (my file on C3: Cycle 2 Blackline Maps with Labels to Color Wks 1-24.pdf).
  • Math:  Skip count maze found on Confessions of a Homeschooler.
  • Latin:  Fill in conjugations on dry erase version of Latin chart (my file on C3: Cycle 2 Latin Conjugation Chart.pdf)
  • English:  Pronoun Order cut & paste (my file on C3: Week 3 – Pronoun Order – Cut, Paste, and Label.pdf)


  • History:  History Sentence Fill-in-the-Blanks from C3 (History Sentences – fill-in-the-blanks Weeks 3-4.pdf).  BrainPop video “Crusades.”
  • Timeline:  Add timeline figures from HTTA to our timeline notebook.
  • Geography:  Laminated map activity game from C3 (Geography Game weeks 1-6.pdf).   Geography lapbook (my file on C3: Cycle 2 Geography Lapbook – ALL WEEKS.pdf)
  • Science:   Food Chain worksheet (my file on C3: Week 3 – Parts of the Food Chain – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf).
  • Math:  Multiplication circles from Worksheet Fun.
  • Latin:  Conjugation file folder game (my file on C3: Cycle 2 Latin File Folder Game.pdf)
  • English:  Pronoun Order label by hand (my file on C3: Week 3 – Pronoun Order – Cut, Paste, and Label.pdf)


  • All subjects:  Binder Builder activities from AJTL.  Complete any work we didn’t finish throughout the week.
  • Math: Skip count on 200’s chart (given to me by my director last year – I can’t find it on C3!)

Hope you find these plans helpful!

Pronoun Printables on C3!

I was struggling to find a fun way to teach my daughter the English Grammar material in Foundations.  As the Essentials tutor for our campus, you can probably understand why I was a bit ashamed of that fact.  I was thisclose to pulling out my EEL trivium tables and telling her to start memorizing when some ideas for printables came to me.  I made some files to help practice learning pronouns and *fingers crossed* they will help my sweet girl memorize her pronouns so that when she gets to EEL next year, she can focus on the harder aspects of pronouns instead of working to memorize pronoun lists.  (Because whew!  Don’t tell my Essentials students, but pronouns are pretty much my least favorite part of speech.  They are a pain!)

To download, search C3 for the file name listed about each image.  Purple splotches won’t appear on the C3 files.  If you are unsure what C3 (also known as CC Connected) or want to sign up, please contact your campus director or your child’s tutor.

Week 2 – Pronoun – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Week 3 – Pronoun Order – Cut, Paste, and Label.pdf


Week 4 – Nominative Pronouns – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Week 5 – Objective Pronouns – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Week 6 – Possessive Pronouns – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Week 7 – Possessive Adjectives – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Week 8 – Reflexive Pronouns – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Weeks 4-8 – Pronoun Patch – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


Weeks 9-13 – Pronoun Patch – Cut, Paste, & Label.pdf


I am working on making some “pronoun patches” that are blank where the students can just write the pronouns from memory.  Look on C3 for those soon!


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