We had Thanksgiving at our house for the first time ever, for Mike’s family. There were about 20 people there but it wasn’t as intimidating as it sounds because we didn’t have to cook the food. 🙂 Mike’s family does Thanksgiving Pot Luck style. So we whipped up the mashed potatoes and some M&M Brownie’s and called it good. We also had a white Thanksgiving. It began snowing the evening before and didn’t let up until the evening.

I’m not sure why this tends to happen to our family but Garrett got sick the Sunday before Thanksgiving with a fever, cough and congestion and was still somewhat sick on Thanksgiving. Then, in the evening on Thanksgiving, Camden came down with a fever as well. Why do our children always choose Holidays or special occasions to get sick?

I had such high hopes for our school week. I had an entire Thanksgiving unit planned with loads of great books and videos from the library and a lot of arts and crafts and other fun activities but that all went out the window when Garrett got sick. When Garrett gets really sick the whole household basically comes to a standstill and nothing else is able to be done. Oh well, I guess we’ll learn all about Thanksgiving next year.

We had Thanksgiving at 1 o’clock and then played a few games. Mike had us draw a picture of something we were thankful for and share that with the group. Then we played a telephone type game that Brianne suggested where we started with a sentence like, “I am thankful for my family”. The next person drew a picture of the sentence and then folded the original sentence over so the next person couldn’t see it. The next person wrote a sentence from the picture they saw then folded the picture over so you couldn’t see it and then the next person drew a picture from the just constructed sentence, etc, etc.  That game was a lot of fun and we played that a few times.

Later in the evening we played Turkey Bingo. This is a Reid family tradition that is played every year for Turkey Bingo prizes.  I also set up a scavenger hunt game for the kids where they searched for Turkey “treasure”. They had little word clues that led them through the house. The kids loved this game and even after 3 rounds they had us create more clues so they could keep playing.

The pictures from Thanksgiving didn’t turn out very well but here they are:

Brianne tossing the salad with her (clean) hands after realizing I don’t own salad tongs

Everyone drawing a picture of what they are thankful for

Playing Turkey Bingo

Playing with the “Turkey Treasure” from the scavenger hunt

Cousin “Owen”





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In Regards to Learning to Read…

Here is a fantastic article regarding various methodologies in teaching reading. I have long believed that teaching reading via a Phonics method was superior to teaching reading by sight words. However, I had never heard of Webster (other than his dictionary) or using the syllabary method until recently.

We began by using Phonics Pathways which is a good program and is even one of the programs recommended by Elizabeth the author of The Phonics Page. However, after learning the superior method of teaching through the syllabary, we’ve decided to drop Phonics Pathways and dive right into Webster’s 1824 American Spelling Book. I’ll be posting more on this as we go and as I have time.

There is an abundance of free information and resources available at the following two websites. There are many more websites than this but these are the two I have relied heavily upon over the last few weeks. Both websites are full of so much information it is almost overwhelming at first. It took me many days and hours to really delve through it.

Don Potter’s site:

The Phonic’s Page:

Here is the article I was referring to. I found it on Don Potter’s site. I can not get the formatting to retain when I paste it so I will link to it.

Article Here:

Why Noah Webster’s Way Was the Right Way

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Field Trip to the Bagel Factory

The pictures aren’t very good but Camden, Garrett and I took a field trip with a group of fellow homeschoolers to a local Bagel factory. The owner, himself, gave us the tour and did a fabulous job walking us through each step of production. I was happy to hear that every product they sell is made from scratch, even their soups. Even Garrett enjoyed the field trip and did a great job not touching anything (he is allergic to wheat) and didn’t mind that he didn’t get to try the sample.

When the tour was over Camden and I picked out a fresh bagel. Camden got a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese and I got an everything bagel with plain cream cheese. Garrett got a banana. 🙂

Looking at the machine that turns the dough into a bagel shape

The end result…the bagel

Watching the bagels being dipped in cornmeal

The bagels are then boiled (picture not shown) and then put into the oven




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Our Curriculum

(Please disregard the formatting of this post. I can’t get it to cooperate.)

For the first post I will go ahead and list some of the main materials we are using this year for Camden.

Right now Camden is 5 and is considered a Kindergartner. She will turn 6 on Christmas Eve. We started our school year on September 1st, 2010. We began by using a hodge podge of materials that I had on hand until I picked up a copy of The Well Trained Mind. I then revamped everything that we were doing to begin following a Classical Education route. We keep tweaking things here and there as we discover what works for us, and as we learn about different methods and curriculum for various subjects.


Math-u-see Alpha combined with





Math Mammoth 1 or Singapore 1A.

We’re having a hard time deciding between Singapore and Math Mammoth. We started with Singapore but going back and forth between the workbook, textbook and home instructor guide is obnoxious. I really like the simplicity of Math Mammoth but so far Camden loves the pictures and color in Singapore. My goal is to drop Singapore but we’ll see what happens. I really like the balance between using Math-u-see and Math Mammoth.

Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 (PreK-K)

Classic Deductive reasoning puzzles

Writing/Language Arts:

Writing With Ease: Level 1 Workbook

This teaches basic skills in writing via simple narrations and copy work of quality literature.

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1

Teaches basic grammar skills

Italic Handwriting Series: Book A

Teaches basic handwriting in an italic form


Our Own Thing

Up until now we have just been working on weekly spelling lists from the most common used words. Doing 5 words at a time. However, now that we are switching to Webster’s 1824 American Spelling Book for our reading program we will use the same program to develop her spelling skills.


We memorize poetry and/or scripture daily.


Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling

Up until the last few days we’ve been using Phonics Pathways which we’ve enjoyed and has worked well. However, I recently learned about teaching reading and spelling using a syllabary approach and this is the route we will now take.








Webster’s 1824 American Spelling Book

Over the last 2 day’s we have dropped Phonics Pathways and switched over to Webster’s 1824 American Spelling Book to teach both reading and spelling. This is a phonics based approach using the syllabary.

Read Aloud’s

Lots and lots of books that I read aloud. Ranging from classics, fairy tales,  picture books, poetry, history, science, audio books and CD’s, etc.


The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times

A chronological history of the world beginning with ancient times. We are listening to the audio version on CD and then following along in our book, activity guide and related books from the library

A Child’s History of the World

We are concurrently using this book which also follows history chronologically. So far we like SOTW much better and I’m not sure how long we’ll stick to reading this book as well. I usually read this book to Camden while she does the coloring pages from the SOTW activity guide.


Our Own Thing

We are studying the animal kingdom. Camden has been picking one animal to study at a time and we’ve been learning about that animal through books, videos and online resources.

I picked up Elemental Biology but so far we haven’t started using it.

Fine Arts:

Our Own Thing

We are simply having fun doing arts and crafts. We have lots of fun resources like Draw Write Now, Books , crafts and activity books, and lots and lots of art materials but we’re not following any type of curriculum.


Camden is taking a Spanish immersion class for beginners with other homeschoolers in the k-2 range. She has class for 1 hour, twice a week.

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