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Coffee & Conversation Link Party #82 – Homeschool Update

Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #82 – hosted by PatAndCandy.com!

Coffee & Conversation with Pat and Candy!


This week I’ve started going through what we’ve been doing this year and starting to think about next year.  I thought I’d share some of the books, products and curricula our family has enjoyed so far…

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For the last few years, our home educating efforts have really been enhanced by some of the many co-ops and support group classes that we’ve been a part of. Small group studies allow for teacher rotation (who couldn’t use a break now and again?), small classroom experiences, and a myriad of other opportunities. They also provide a tiny part of the answer to the “socialization” question that so many traditionally-educated friends and family may inquire about…

Starting out doing unit studies as the kids were younger, we began adding a bit more-serious studies as they got into middle school. One of the favorite transition subjects we studied was Visual Latin. I can’t say enough great stuff about this program! We all enjoy watching Dwayne Thomas teach (at the very least, you should definitely check out their Facebook page!). I mean, it really IS true when they say the kids will “laugh through Latin and master English”. If you’re just the least bit curious, why not download 6 free lessons and see for yourself? (And if you continue with Latin as your kids get older, you’ll definitely appreciate the guide they have available to transition to Henle Latin, a more rigorous program.)

Always a little amazed at how much my teenage thespian loves Shakespeare, too,  I’m super excited about a book I recently found out about and ordered – How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, by Ken Ludwig. Sounds absolutely marvelous, and you can be sure I’ll be posting a review about this one after a bit ;-)!

My middle schooler is continuing American History this year with All American History, by Bright Ideas Press. Love the curriculum, especially considering how the accompanying Student Guide and Teacher’s Guide really helps kids work independently. A recent and pleasant discovery is Bright Ideas’ WonderMaps. We have always felt that geography, while an essential subject to include in our children’s education, is best taught in context. We love how their maps correspond to the studies in this history book – it keeps geography relevant and in-context! And do read about “International Day”, another fun and creative way we use their maps and incorporate geography into our studies. (While we’re on the subject, check out this great resource: 10 Cool Hands-On Geography Ideas for All Ages, from the iHomeschool Network!

Another favorite of mine, and, actually, my aforementioned thespian, is our economics curriculum, another Compass Classroom product. Check out their Economics Homeschool set, which includes the Economics for Everybody DVD and Basic Economics textbook. They, too, offer 2 free lessons to try it out, or you can purchase it as part of Compass Classroom’s MegaBundle curriculum package.

Finally, in Science this year, I have one working through Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Physical Science curriculum, and 2 working through Exploring Creation With Chemistry. I’m still searching for a science program that I truly love, but for now, my kids seem to be enjoying their studies, and learning quite a bit from the motivated and committed ladies who teach them in our co-op classes.

So…that’s what we’re using and (for the most part) loving this year! Thanks for bearing with me…and hope you enjoyed this little peek into our day-to-day studies!

Now on to this week’s features! These are the top 3 “clicked on” from last week’s party 🙂

Oatmeal Muffin Mix-in-A-Jar and Printables

JES has an absolutely beautiful blog over at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth…so warm and nostalgic and inviting. Love it! This recipe is just what I’ve been looking for lately…and she even throws in printable labels so your final product is not only tasty but lovely to look at – the perfect (and practical) gift for a shut-in, new mom, or, well, anyone!

Oatmeal Muffin Recipe and Printables



What’s In A Name – A Story of Vietnam

I was so very happy to see our friend Andrew’s piece receive so many views this week! Andrew was one of the very first bloggers to share at our link party, and he writes so real and raw over on Blessed Are the Pure of Heart.  His is an honest and very painful story these days… Please check out his extremely helpful book offering practical suggestions to minister to  friends or family members with PTSD through the holidays.

What's in a Name - A Story of Vietnam


Over 30 Ways to Add Fitness to Your Daily Routine

You don’t have to be a morning person to find SOMEthing in Morning Motivated Mom’s list to work some fitness into your day.  Even I found a trick or two 😉 Seriously, if you’ve been making excuses…check in here and get going!!

Over 30 Ways to Add Fitness to Your Daily Routine


Thank you so much for your inspiration and timely words, folks…

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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12 Responses to Coffee & Conversation Link Party #82 – Homeschool Update

  1. Susan B Mead February 24, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Pat and Candy, thank you for hosting this fabulous party. The three features this week, I’ll have to go visit. Thanks for your introduction of them to us!

    • Pat February 24, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      This is my very favorite day of our blogging week, Susan! So happy you stopped by…
      Have a great day 🙂

  2. Marilyn Lesniak February 24, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you for the party! I would love for you to jon us at Thursday Favorite Things!
    Marilyn Lesniak recently posted…Comment on Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake by katherines cornerMy Profile

    • Pat February 24, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      Our pleasure, Marilyn! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at “Favorite Things!”

  3. Beth February 24, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    Sounds like you have a lot of homeschooling directions to take, Pat! I’m always so amazed at homeschooling moms. I homeschooled my youngest for just one year and couldn’t handle it–neither one of us! He happily went to school after a year with his mama trying to teach him! Yikes! It takes a special gift to be a homeschooling mom. Thanks also for highlighting some great posts. I do love Andrew’s heart for the terminally ill and the caretakers who care for them. Always wise counsel there. Thanks for the great linkup, my friend!
    Beth recently posted…Comment on The Toxic Tango of Triggers And WW Linkup by Michele MorinMy Profile

    • Pat February 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Oh Beth, I truly feel that the (homeschooling) world is our oyster! So many resources out there…but it does take time and discernment – as well as giving it the ol’ college try sometimes – to find the good ones!
      Yes, Andrew does share some important and voice-of-experience wisdom with us, doesn’t he?
      Always so blessed and happy to see you here… Have a great week, friend 🙂

  4. Jed February 24, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    Happy Wednesday! Thanks for hosting another great link-up. It’s fun to hear about the curriculum you guys are using too. Families who home-school really are amazing! Wishing you both a blessed week!
    Jed recently posted…How to Keep Love Strong All Year LongMy Profile

    • Pat February 24, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

      Hey Jed,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Actually, it was a good exercise for me. Things have been a little crazy around here these days and I was feeling a little “blue” about our my education efforts… This helped me to see that things aren’t that bad 🙂 Yay!
      Thanks as always for stopping by…

  5. JES February 24, 2016 at 7:07 am #

    Good morning! Thank you not only for the feature, but the kind and sweet words! Have a lovely week ladies! 🙂
    JES recently posted…How to Make Your Old and Ugly Potholders Nice and New AgainMy Profile

    • Pat February 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi JES,
      You’re most welcome…thank you for sharing that wonderful recipe+ with us 🙂
      “See you” soon!!

  6. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 24, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    Pat, thank you so much for the callout!

    And I love the idea of adding fitness to one’s daily routine. So much of being fit is just intentionally approaching the things you do every day.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…The Pure Warrior – A Story of Viet Nam {#BlogBattle}My Profile

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