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Our daughter, Shelby, has been a joy to teach (and be taught by) during her seven years of life. She has been homeschooled since birth by enjoying nature, animals, and listening to good story books. She has completed preschool, two years of Kindergarten, and most recently, 1st grade.

We use a variety of educational materials to make her school experience a successful one. Through God's guidance, we have tailor made her education which has in turn allowed her to excel in her work. We are proud to say that, though she was 'in 1st grade', she transitioned to some 2nd grade work before the school year was even half over.


Though it varies, most days she says that math is her favorite subject. We have used various workbooks that have covered time and money problems but our main math curriculum is called Making Math Meaningful. I am SO impressed with this program and she loves it. There are various manipulatives that help make math concepts 'easy' to understand. You can find out more about Making Math Meaningful at www.cornerstonecurriculum.com/Curriculum/Curriculum_MMM.htm or you can view the curriculum in person at Mardel's Bookstore in OKC.

Phonics, Spelling and Reading

Another favorite, is our phonics and spelling program called Alphabet Island. I purchased the complete set and am so glad I did. Each letter is a person or animal that has a special function on the island. For example, Everloving E is a girl. She is scared 'speechless' at the end of the cliffs (the end of a word) and she says nothing. Cute, isn't it?! These kind of stories make spelling easier because they help kids remember. You can find out more about this wonderful program at www.eagleswingsed.com . Reading is fun and Shelby enjoys reading Bob books as well as her beginning reader books featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog. I also read to her any books of her choosing. Right now she enjoys listening to various adventures of Hank the Cowdog and a series about mice by Avi, titled Ragweed, Poppy, and more.


We believe learning a foreign language is important. In Oklahoma where we live and in Texas, where we travel, Spanish is a common language we encounter. We purchased La Clase Divertida (The Fun Class) and have enjoyed the video lessons, crafts, and stories. It has a lot of repetition but both my daughter and I have learned some basic Spanish. Go to www.funclase.com for more information.


We have no official science curriculum since God has provided us with a diverse insect and animal world. Almost everyday, we find ourselves trying to identify a species of butterfly, skink, beetle, or any other of the numerous insects or animals around. We have several field guides we use and sometimes we employ the internet to help us find the really unusual ones. One of our best 'science' memories was finding a Monarch butterfly laying eggs, collecting the egg, seeing it hatch into a caterpillar, seeing the caterpillar grown and turn into a chrysalis, then finally hatch into an adult Monarch (which we released). We also were privileged to see a Red-eared Slider (pond turtle) lay her eggs into a hole that she had dug. Awesome! Nature study is so much fun!!!!


Shelby completed her first music theory book this last year. She says she does NOT want piano lessons, but I want her to at least be exposed to the terminology. Maybe later she will be interested in taking up an instrument. She enjoys singing, however, and sings with her Disney's Lion King CD constantly. I have various Christian music playing most days and have even tried to expose her to some classical pieces through Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Tchaikovsky Discovers America from the Classical Kids Series. You can find these titles on www.amazon.com .

Bible Studies

Shelby has been in our church's Awana program since she was 3. It is a great program in which children memorize bible verses. She gets an Awana dollar for each section of verses she memorizes and gets to spend it at the Awana store on 'treasures'. We are proud of her. Shelby received her second book award this year; a red ribbon.

History...coming soon

We will be covering the Little House books using the Prarie Primer and will be discussing the 1800s sometime in the near future. We also plan on covering American history with books by D'Aulaire which an be found through www.elijahco.com .

But wait...there's still more!

Shelby is very excited about taking gymnastics at East Central University. She has received several certificates of completion (as she has taken 4 or 5 semesters) and is ready to advance to the next level. I'm scared to death! She flips and jumps and I'm afraid she'll break something. Please stop reading this now and say a prayer for her safety...will you?

During the school year, our group plans many field trips. Over this last year alone, we visited the pumpkin farm, the Coca-Cola plant, Braums' headquarters, a wildlife rescue park, and watched a cow-eye dissection. We've gone on our own field trips, as well, to the strawberry patch, zoo and more.

Each summer, when school is 'out' (we really never stop learning), Shelby is involved in our local library's activities. She is enrolled in story and craft time and many other events. This year the theme is dinosaurs so she will be creating a fossil and going to a workshop led by a staff member from the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

In the fall, we have the county fair in which to prepare. In the past, Shelby has won ribbons for her art and tomatoes and for making cookies and bread. She entered her dog Henry Ford in the dog show last year and they won 3rd prize for best name and 1st prize for best trick. Yea!

Record Keeping

I type our activities into Homeschool Easy Records. It is indeed easy and though our state doesn't require records, I like to do it for my own purposes. For more information you can see their web site at home.earthlink.net/~vdugar/ .


I'm sure I'm leaving out something but let me just state here that I don't have all week to type it up. I must draw this to a close. I'm busy don't you know...reading, laughing with my child, and making memories. A homeschool mom has to have her priorities :-) !

God bless you all!
(June 2003)

This page is maintained by Daniel West
Comments, suggestions, or questions about these pages may be sent to:
Daniel West pepsidog@inbox.com

This page was updated on January 6, 2005.