8th Grade Mid- Year Check- In

Alec and I worked long and hard to come up with a good plan of attack for his 8th grade year. We put a lot of ephasis on skills he'll need if he gets into the high school he's applying to.  He's already taken his placement test and we're waiting to hear what the next step in the admissions process is.  In the meantime he's been making huge strides in his work and I wanted to take the time to check in on how we're doing following the plan we put in place last spring.

Here is what we're using:

Spelling/Grammar/ Writing/ Language Arts: Alec will use Write Shop I this year for year.  We are on lesson 6 of 16 so we're doing OK but will have to start working on this every single week if we want to finish the whole thing.

We'll use The 100+ Series Grammar book to continue refining and honing his grammar skills. Alec is exactly 1/2 way through this! 

Math: Alec will be finishing up the last couple of units in his Kumon Pre- Algebra book and then we'll di…

Weight Watchers Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I have never really been a fan of chili but I would make it once or twice during the winter for my husband.  I had a go to recipe I used and never thought much about how I could change it to actually make it something I might enjoy eating.

Then I saw this pumpkin chili recipe from Of the Hearth and thought that sounded like something I might like with just a few tweaks.

I attempted my first pumpkin turkey chili and found that I loved the added texture the pumpkin provided and with an addition of  one "odd" ingredient (cinnamon) it had a taste I really enjoyed!  Best of all our chili recipe is ZERO points on the blue Weight Watchers plan that both my husband and I follow.

1 can red beans; rinsed and drained
1 can black beans; rinsed and drained
1 can cannellini beans; rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with the juice
1 can sliced mushrooms (or about 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms)
1 can pumpkin puree
1 package ground turkey; browned and drained.
2 tsp. taco …

Friday Favorites: The Week We Went Bowling with Friends

We planned to shorten up our schoolwork each day because many of our friends were out on February vacation and we had lots of plans... well maybe not LOTS of plans but some sort of plans each day.

We had a bit of schoolwork planned for Friday even though it was Valentine's day.  We are trying so hard to stay on track with our schoolwork in order to finish up our school year in May.  Alec put together a 3-layer white chocolate raspberry cake for us after dinner; it was amazing and I shared the recipe on Wednesday.

I spent most of my day on Saturday working on the blog, fixing up a few cards, and finishing my last two scrapbooking pages.  Then I realized it was time for me to upload and order more pictures.

I watched a movie while making a few more cards on Sunday (I'll plan a full post with all 10 cards I made soon!)and then my husband and I headed out for an afternoon of shopping and dinner out at Texas Roadhouse.  We bought some hiking clothes at LL Bean and we both bought …

Encouraging Hearts and Home-- Focusing on School

There is something about the month of February that sees us really cracking down on our schoolwork and focusing on our homeschooling.  I'm already finding myself thinking ahead to next year and where we want to be when this year wraps up.

And Now, for This Week's Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop! Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home Co-Hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

The post with the most views from last week:My Valentine's Day Mirror by Grammy's Grid

Some of my favorites from last week:
5 Reasons to do Hands On Learning Even When You Hate the Mess by Some Call it Destiny

Realistic Homeschool Schedule by Jennifer Lambert

Tracking High School Elective Credit Hours by Apron Strings & Other Things

Use the form below to share your family-friendly posts th…

White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Alec made a fabulous white chocolate raspberry cake for us all on Valentine's day.  It was amazing!  He found the recipe on Pinterest and followed it fairly closely.  I was pretty surprised since the recipe calls for starting with a boxed mix and doctoring it up; Alec typically does not like to use a mix.  The cake was amazing though and plenty challenging for him to make.

The Isty Bitsy Kitchen does a great job with their directions so I'm not going to bother repeating their directions or ingredients but I'll just add in a few things we changed.  We did buy 12 ounces of white chocolate instead of 10 and used those extra bits to decorate with.  We strained our raspberry jam filling so it was not full of seeds and we omitted the frosting between each of the cake layers thinking the jam would be enough sweetness and taste-- and we just LOVED it!

He mixed up the cake with the melted chocolate and pudding mix and baked 3- 8" round cakes on Thursday.  They smelled heaven…