4th Grade, Family, Family Life, Homeschool, Homeschool Family, mindfulness, Mom Life, Parenting

Homeschool Rewind!

It’s been a while since I have just written a blog piece that wasn’t a review in a long time, but 2022 means new things for our homeschool journey. For the last 4 years, we have been eclectic homeschoolers. I bought the curriculums and wrote out elaborate homeschool lessons. Then in October I started to feel burnt out and observed my son was just not his usual cheerful self and we butting heads a lot when it came to getting lessons completed. Seeing my now unhappy 4th grader I started to examine what was going wrong without homeschool.

Unkownglingy after careful observation our homeschool was starting to turn into the one thing I hated and promised myself I wouldn’t do, we were doing “school at home”!!! How did we get here? We weren’t playing games anymore… hands-on learning opportunities were still present but opportunities were few. Then it was the curriculum I had chosen curriculum that wasn’t interesting and just busywork. What had I done to our homeschool? How could I get things back to our happy place?

The first thing I did was sit down with my son and talk with him. I was shocked at how unhappy he was with our current homeschool situation, I promised him that we would get things back on track. Luckily I kept all of my previous planners and I opened them up and started to examine our previous years. After looking over the planners, I ordered a new planner because I wanted a fresh start. I needed to start fresh and our current planner for the school year was a constant reminder to me of what I had done to our homeschool. I looked over our curriculum and took the advice of a good friend on Youtube and made four piles:

  • Summer Review!
  • Stretch for 5th and 6th grade!
  • Donate/Sell!
  • You were nuts buying this!

After doing a curriculum check I had to do a mental check, we desperately needed to include mindfulness back into our homeschool day. I personally was suffering from weekly headaches and anxiety. My son was also starting to show signs of anxiety because we were just not starting our day peacefully but rushing. So I purchased us some new meditation cards, My 52 List Project, and 52 List Calm. I also picked up a few books for executive functioning and a workbook for gifted kiddos.

I also slowed our pace down for doing actual homeschool lessons. We now operate on 3-4 lessons independently and then the ones that require more 1:1 we do in the afternoon. I am making it a point to meal plan again and prepare 3 meals a week that can stretch for 2 days and the 1 day is a fun meal! I pulled out our Kid Stir, Raddish Kids kits and dedicated one afternoon a week lunch to us cooking together. While revamping our homeschool I noticed we had a significant amount of games that still had their wrapper on them. I pulled all those new games out and put them in the forefront.

I looked over our curriculum and noticed we were doing a lot of repetitiveness in lessons. Now I am well aware that there is going to be review in many curricula, but what I saw was we were truly repeating stuff my son had fully mastered. So I am taking a hard look and decided that I would make some big changes for 2022-2023, we would move towards the 5th/6th-grade curriculum. After all, his math was already 5/6th and he is working well above 4th/5th-grade in language arts, geography, history, and science. So why am I boring him to pieces with repetitive lessons he has mastered. I will continue to analyze his lessons and add support where needed. It was time for a major change and to offer him lessons that work for him and that he loves.

I think what help me validate my decision was watching my good friend Erica over at the Melanated and Well Educated 2022-2023 curriculum choices video. My son is a huge Mrs. Erica fan he studied her video and made his own list of things he liked from the video. He also let me know he wants me to get books about anatomy and physiology and cardiac science because he wants to learn all he can about the heart. With the sincerity and excitement in his voice, I knew he was ready to shift his learning. Little J is looking to expand his knowledge beyond the standard curriculums I was considering. He wanted to see even more of his ancestry in his lessons, my child is wanting to be fulfilled and I needed to pour into his cup.

So many changes have taken place these last few weeks that I know will make our homeschool more of what we both want. Be on the lookout for our 2022-2023 Curriculum Choices and Summer Review Choices!

4th Grade, Family, Homeschool, Mom Life, Morning Basket, Reviews

Plan Prep and Pray: Busy Bee Student Planner Review !

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.

This year we have been trying out a few new student planners trying to find the one that works best for us. One the planners we had the privilege of trying out is the Plan Prep and Pray : Busy Bee Student Planner.

I am a huge fan of Wendy from the Plan Prep and Pray Youtube channel and her Instagram. I love all over her organization tips, meal planning and creativity. I was super humble when she let the Melanated Gold Review Squad review her latest planner the Busy Bee Student Planner .

The Busy Bee Student Planner is a 12 month planner, The planner comes to you in a digital download, that you can print or upload to a tablet. Each sheet is 8.5 x11 students are given the option to select monthly, weekly, or daily views. I really liked the cover of the planner, but what stands to me is the affirmation at the bottom “Bee Yourself; Everyone is Taken” students will find affirmations throughout the planner along with some Bible scriptures. I decided to print the monthly sheet and the daily sheets for my 4th grader. If you have a student that gets overwhelmed seeing so much to do I would recommend printing the daily sheets double sided. I like the note pages a lot I used them for his daily pages because they have sections for:

  • Prayers & Praises
  • Homeschool Checklist ( I used for that days lessons to complete)
  • Daily To Do List
  • Daily Goal
  • Reminders
  • Parents Love Note

One of the things I would love to see added is area for writing spelling/vocabulary words. There are mindfulness sheets for drawing, writing, and a beautiful butterfly to color I added this page at the end of each week as a reflection page for him . The planner also features a

  • Goal Setting Sheets
  • Password Tracker
  • Reading Goals
  • Goal Trackers
  • Field Trips
  • Wish List
  • Mini Games

There are alternative monthly and daily views. The alternative daily view has view divined into times from 7a.m. to 11:30 p.m. I used the alternative daily view as a suggested schedule for us.

The Busy Bee Student Planner has 1 Bible scripture in it, but the notepad sheets do have pray and praise section. If you aren’t of the Christian faith these can be easily covered with washi tape or stickers. The planner can be used by both parent and student, I recommend using the Busy Bee Student Planner with students 4th grade and up.

How I Used the Planner

I printed out 5 sheets of the note pages, as I planned for the upcoming weeks lessons I would write out his lessons for the week on the first 3 pages. I only did this for 3 because sometimes our lessons change slightly mid-week. I arch punch his sheets and put them in his arc binder. I always leave room for him to make his own notes to the sheet. Sometimes he will do some unschool learning on his own and he will write down what he did. He looks forward to the parent notes and praises each day. I have noticed that I dont have to remind him about some of his chores, because I will write one that needs to be done on his sheet.

Busy Bee Student Planner is a student friendly planner with the cute bees buzzing around the planner, affirmations and extra activities students will find this planner easy to manage. I highly recommend this planner to anyone who is looking for a simple, customizable, and reasonable priced planner. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next


Homeschool Health, Mom Life, Reviews

MathandAlgebra.com Review!

The end of last school year it was like a light bulb went of in my son and he now loves everything math related. He went from a struggling math student to a math wiz over night. Now this mom is not a math lover and so I have to always keep my own skills up t pair when teaching math to my student. It was a great relief to this mom to this mom when the Crew was offered a one-year family subscription to MathandAlgebra.com.

MathandAlgebra.com is an online math program that provides detailed short instructional video lessons, quizzes and worksheets. MathandAlgebra.com also has a detailed parent dashboard for parents to track their students progress and for record keeping. Students can learn at their own pace and have the opportunity to earn badges to keep them motivated to continue to progress. Students can work on

  • Basic Math
  • Advanced Math
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra

My son worked on Basic Math along side working in his own curriculum. What I really like about this program is that it gives my son an opportunity to learn math from someone else besides myself. MathandAlgebra.com video tutorials are perfect for him to see skills done in real time and the instructor is friendly and encouraging. MathandAlgebra.com also gives this mom a break when I need from time to time. The Basic Math has 10 topic with 6 to 12 lesson per topic.

Topics for basic math include Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Ratios, Geometry and so much more. MathandAlgebra.com is a complete math curriculum in my opinion for students in grades 3rd-12th grade. The one-year family subscription to MathandAlgebra.com comes with 3 users and I politely slid myself into one the slots so I can also refresh my own math skills. MathandAlgebra.com is a great homeschool planning tool for those doing 100% homeschooling and it is also a great supplement if your student is doing virtual school and you feel they need a little more support.

My son is still working in the whole numbers section working on multiplication and long division. I very sure in the next few weeks we will work on the geometry section as well. This is going to be a great supplement for his math because he has already burned though 90% of his math curriculum and I was going to be needing something to hold him over and keep his skills sharp.

MathandAlgebra.com is a wonderful online math program . At the time of this review the yearly plan is $99 for 3 students, monthly plan for $15 for 3 students. Be sure to check out the others crew reviews on MathandAlgebra.com by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

Homeschool, Mom Life, Parenting

Homeschool Update Reality Check!

Every year social media homeschoolers across all platforms upload their new curriculum vlogs, blogs and pictures. Some videos will blow you away because it’s sooo much stuff. These moms have taken their time researched and planned but the reality is these are their choices not their kiddos because I am almost 90% sure that at some point in the year the kids will change it up. I mean let’s face it I uploaded my video also but quickly soon after that video went up I started removing over 50% of the choices out of our routine.

In October I took a long hard look at all my previous years of homeschooling and what we were currently doing. I asked myself one quick question…ARE YOU NUTS? There is no way in the entire planet you are going to use majority of this stuff. I instantly stopped purchasing stuff and re-evaluated exactly what my kiddo was really using and the rest of this junk had to GO!!

So here is my update we don’t use Horizon Math Grade 2 anymore. I love Horizon math and it did give my son a solid foundation, he just fell out of love with it. I made me peace with his decisions and moved on. I have said in many of my vlogs and blogs I DON’T CURRICULUM HOP! Horizons has been faithful to us since kindergarten, but I quickly noticed his frustration in September and put it on the shelf. Abeka math has always been my next go to for math and I purchased Arithmetic 2 in July. He is thriving in Abeka Arithmetic 2 and Beast Academy 2 series (part of co-op) . He is happy and so is mommy problem solved.

We also are no longer using The Good and the Beautiful level 2. We have been using TGAB since book K, but I quickly noticed that level 2 was almost a complete duplicate of level 1 with some additional skills added. I didn’t need a repeat of the previous year because my kid has a very good memory and he wasn’t having it. He is really loving using Grammar Galaxy Volume 2 Protostar with his co-op and Evan Moor Language Fundamentals Grade 3 so we said goodbye to TGAB.

History we have been using Curiosity Chronicles series and following his lead. For African studies we are currently studying the Negro League Baseball teams. Science is interest led, he finished his 2nd grade science curriculum over the summer and I wasn’t about to throw another penny at a science curriculum until July 2020 and even then its not looking good. We have also rekindled our love for Sassafras Science series and been zip lining our way through science and interest led studies.

We have been having fun going to co-op 2 days a week and just letting his homeschool take us where he wants it. I teach those 2 days a week at his co-op and I have really been enjoying the kiddos and having some adult interaction this year. I am not in a rush to finish out this school year because we homeschool year round. We spend our days talking, gameschooling, researching, exploring and working as a team. We still have a daily routine and a work box system. My planner is still planned to the MAX each week but my new highlighting system is working out great.

I am not spending a bunch of money on unnecessary items any more. I have purged my home of all items that are for 1st grade and below. I no longer hold on to stuff to make my shelves look full or pretty. I heavily research homeschool items that will serve a purpose for the long term. I also no longer purchase tons of books. Yup I said it I am not hoarding books especially books that are about the same subject. I only buy books that have a long term purpose or books he really loves. We use the library for our literary needs and it is working out perfectly. My son loves our unit studies and hands on activities, but now I am using better common sense. Now when planning these things out I think about the long term use of these items so I am not hoarding.

If you follow me on Little Learner and Mom Instagram page and here on the blog I do review products. Let me tell you right now every product I have reviewed on my blog or shown on my social media platforms have been put into rotation and those we don’t use I use with my co-op kiddos. I am so over seeing all these hoarding videos, let just call it what it is HOARDING and the “Look at me syndrome” or “Let me see how many followers I can get”. We homeschool because this is what is right for my family and if some of what I am doing can help a mom in need I hope we are a blessing to her.

We are completely authentic in our homeschool journey. My son has days when he isn’t in the best of moods and on those days I am like forget it lets play Switch. My homeschool room sometimes looks like a train hit. I am consider myself an organized person and as I write this piece my desk looks like a tornado also hit it. I do like things in order but I am not about to tell you that everything is perfect over here. I have days when I want to pull my hair out. My son has areas he struggles in and I am not afraid to say it. We are pretty much straightforward homeschoolers with a sprinkle of unschooling.

So this is my update we are doing great over here thriving and moving through life one day at a time. We are making positive changes in our homeschool that have made us all happier as a family.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

FTC Disclaimer The majority of products featured on my blog have been purchased by me. At any time a product has been provided to me by a company for a review or as an affiliate or I enter into a partnership with a company. I will disclose it in the video and/or description. Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience at no additional charge to you. All opinions and reviews that I share are always entirely my own.

Curriculum, Homeschool, Homeschool Health, Mom Life

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

It is second semester for us in our home school journey and coming off a long break I can honestly say my lesson plans are a mess and I feel totally out of practice. This mom is super excited and relieved to be reviewing the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a comprehensive homeschooling database for grades PK-12th grade. The membership comes with printable, lesson plans, online classes and educational videos. Along with all the great homeschooling resources their are awesome household resources such as menu planning , parenting library and many more resources.

For the second semester I wanted to plan a unit for health and nutrition and I really didn’t want to have to purchase a new textbook and teachers manual just for this unit. With the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com I was able to select my sons grade level look for through the subjects and instantly I found exactly what I needed for a full 9 week lesson plan completely laid out for me complete with helpful links for activities we can do. The best part is the lesson plan was laid out on a 2 day a week schedule which is perfect and I decided to slide this unit into our morning meeting time. I left out the best part it also included the 24 page textbook that I could print out and use as well with my son.

The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com makes it just that easy for you all you do is search, click, print and go. What I was about to start stressing out about took me all of 10 mins to prep crisis over. As a member you also have exclusive access to 450+ videos that cover academics, clean kids entertainment, parenting , relationships, religion and much more.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers parents the flexibility to use the resources to customize them as they fit your family needs. You have access to all grade levels and resources in so there is no need to wonder about having to select one grade level and only use those materials for that level. There is also a Literacy Center that is a great resource for teaching literacy and guidance for growing readers.

I also like the Focus Learning Center it helps direct you to the lessons and resources within SchoolhouseTeachers.com for extra support in these areas :

  • Math, Science and Reading
  • Special Needs
  • Physical Education
  • High School and College
  • Hands on Learning
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Parenting and a few more.

The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com is great investment for the homeschooling family, especially those with a large family and a small budget looking to cut cost on purchasing so many curriculum. The membership comes with great academic and non academic resources and makes life easier for parents homeschooling. The website is also mobile friendly I had no problems viewing and printing from the website using my iPhone. The annual membership cost at the time of this review is $99 for the year or $12 a month this sell ends 1/31/20. I highly recommend you check this resource out if you are looking for a minimal cost and approach to homeschooling that is all inclusive.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Crew reviews on the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com by clicking the banner.

Until Next Time,


Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SchoolhouseTeachers/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOSMag/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tosmag/   

Education, Homeschool, Mom Life, Parenting

Our Day and a Life in Homeschooling!

I am seriously a type A person, I crave organization and planning. There is a huge issue with being a Type A person and homeschooling you have to be able to create balance for yourself and a relaxed learning environment for your student.

November Schedule

My day typically day starts at 5/5:30 am…with prayers and trying to collect my thoughts before the day jump starts. My son is up every morning by 6:30 am, I know yikes!! We spend some time talking and cuddling and then he gets up and gets dressed and makes his bed and plays. Breakfast is at 7/7:30 am while he eats and watches Arthur I clean the kitchen and check in with the hubby and take out dinner and prep his snacks for the day for him.

We keep it pretty simple for breakfast…I always make enough pancakes on Sunday for 3 days. After breakfast he brushes his teeth and does his chores and then starts his independent board work. I write his board work on the board after he goes to bed at night so it’s ready in the morning. While he does board work I check emails and do some work at the computer, chores and then I join him at the table.

Home School Time

This is how our day runs for home school we typically start at 9am!

We kick the day off with Math! Why you may ask? Math is the area of study we are really concentrating on this year. I needed this subject to be first because his mind is ready and sharp! Math is divided into 3 areas:

  • Hands On Activity
  • Review and Teach
  • Lessons
  • Math Fact Fluency

After math we have brain breaks!! Brain breaks can be listening to music dancing and acting silly or letting him hang out with GoNoodle Plus!!

Once we are done with brain breaks we move on to handwriting! Handwriting I rotate what he is working on throughout the week:

  • M-F Learning Without Tears
  • 1 day a week Journal
  • 2 days a week Spectrum Handwriting
  • Chalkboard review (this targets any letter that needs some support)
  • 1 day a week copy work

Reading and Language Arts are the areas that he breezes through super fast these days so I tend to leave this to the end of our morning! At some point between these subjects he grabs a snack! I like to break these areas down also:


  • Phonics cards (5 mins)
  • Sight Words (5 mins)
  • Spelling box (10-15 mins)
  • Daily lesson (30-40 mins some time less)

Language Arts

    Grammar work (10 mins)
    • Hands on activity (10- 30 mins)

Time for Lunch

During lunch we eat together and that’s when I do our read aloud. Sometimes I let him watch a show on PBS Kids or Netflix. During lunch we typically talk about what he wants to do in the afternoon. We clean up lunch and then we head outside for some fresh air or we go out and run errands.


Normally the afternoon is when we do our electives we rotate them, but as of lately he has been requesting to do them all especially science. He also has taken a liking to social studies. Geography and History are defiantly rotated throughout the week. He grabs a snack while doing these electives. Our electives take about 45 mins – 1hour to run through! By 2:30/3 pm we are done for the day!

The afternoons are also reserved for special interest activities and extra curricular activities and knowledge box, but typically he just does whatever he wants. He is a HUGE Osmo fan and loves to code!

His Time

The one thing I make sure I do every day is make sure I set aside at least 30-60 mins where him and I just play. Some days he doesn’t want to play together but he just wants me in the room with him just so we can talk and he can show me what he is working on or whatever he wants. I think this is an important aspect for our day because he gets to have me in his space on his own terms! Don’t get me wrong we play all day while doing school and talk but this time of the day is special for him because he is in charge.

Late Afternoon

Daddy is usually home and they hang out for a little or he plays and helps me with dinner. Once again Arthur is watched or Odd Squad these are his two favorite shows. He can’t watch them until he has done his 20 mins of required reading.

Early Evening

We always eat dinner as a family and talk about our day and do our High’s and Low’s. My son usually finishes up dinner before we do and he clears his plate and and puts his pajamas on unless it’s bath night. He heads back downstairs and helps me clean the kitchen while we groove out to 90’s R& B on Alexa Amazon Music!


Our bedtime routine has been pretty much the same since he was a baby! My son is usually in bed no later than 8pm and sleep by 8:15 pm. There are some rare occasion when Daddy is working late but on those days he Face-time us so he is still apart of this special time.

The one thing I have learned is to follow his lead. No day is perfect, I just pause and rewind, reevaluate and let go. If he is showing an interest in something I just let that interest direct our day. Are there areas we could improve in? Probably so, but the wonderful thing about choosing this path to be a homeschooler is we are not on a clock. I want to enjoy our time together and for him to continue to develop a healthy love for learning.

So I am keeping my type A personality in line and balancing what he needs as well. If that means I do laundry at night after he goes down that’s fine. If only 50% of the things in my planner gets done I have made my peace with it. My planner is only a blueprint and not the final design of our week.

There is no such thing as a perfect homeschool, I try to let my followers and friends know that we are far from perfect in this house. There are days the house could use a little more TLC and I could make that uploaded picture on my Instagram look blemish free, staged and photoshopped, but why? That’s not real it’s fake and it applies way too much pressure on new families who want to take on this journey.  I have decided to keep  it real I am doing the best I can to make it through this crazy life and doing what matters.

So, if you happen to catch us on Instgram or swing by our way on Facebook, feel free to reach out to me because I am never too busy to lend a helping hand or just need a coffee chat with a fellow mama. Enjoy your children and let go of perfect and make everyday count!

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom