Participating with the National String Project


Five of our children are participating with the National String Project through Crane School of Music. 

The NSP “mission is to expand string education opportunities in the North Country while providing teaching experiences for university students at the Crane School of Music. Lessons and ensembles are taught by Crane music education majors with the guidance of Crane music faculty.” Continue reading “Participating with the National String Project”

Homeschoolers and the Pizza Hut Book It! Program

Our Book It! Packet arrived today!

If you didn’t already know, homeschoolers are allowed to participate in the Pizza Hut Book It! program.

As the teacher, you set a monthly reading goal for your K-6 student and if they meet the goal they receive a certificate for a free personal pan pizza. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

But, to make it even more easy, Pizza Hut has a resource page for teachers that includes printables, awards, reading prompts and much more. Go to and see what helps they have to offer.

They also are offering free audio books and ebooks to go along with their program. The three that are included for 2017-2018 are Not Normal, Judy Moody and Above World. Go check them out!

Taken from Book It! Program guide


I printed out the monthly log from the website, not only for my K-6 students, but even for the older ones. If they read 20 minutes a day (which is not hard for homeschoolers!) they get to fill in a clock. I will have some kind of incentive for the older ones if they complete their chart also.

I’m always looking for little things like this to keep our homeschool fun. What are some of the extras you do with your kiddos? Comment below and let me know.


How I learned to schedule my homeschool day: See Mystie’s Work the Plan.


Homeschooling High School in New York

As many of my fellow NY homeschoolers probably know, homeschool laws for NY State are some of the most tedious and also, in my opinion, unfair homeschool laws on the books. In a nutshell, we are required to not only file a Letter of Intent yearly, but we also need to submit quarterly reports and turn in a year-end report. Every other year, from 4th grade onward, the year-end report must be a standardized test. (See HSLDAs Website)

It was confusing, but I figured it out over time. However, when my children reached high school age, we were introduced to even more stringent and biased rules regarding college entrance in New York for homeschooled students. When I pulled my daughter, Meghan from our local Catholic high school that her and her sisters had been attending she was in 11th grade. She still had a year and a half until graduation. And, at the time, she did not know whether she wanted to attend college or not. So, I homeschooled her, she finished her degree requirements, and I thought that was the end of it.

I was wrong. Continue reading “Homeschooling High School in New York”


This week during our study of our Solar System we are learning about Mercury. We are currently using Homeschool Connections recorded courses with the middle school aged children as a group. The younger ones join in for the class and color pages or just sit quietly. I’m sure they are learning as much as their minds can comprehend just by observing the older children.

The way our day usually progresses begins with breakfast and a quick clean up. This is followed by Morning Prayers and what I call Morning Time. This is when we practice our Catechism questions and do any read alouds. We also discuss any plans for the day, such as music lessons or a change to the schedule. Then the children either work on assignments or take one of our two computers to complete their math. This year we are using CTC Math. After that we do one of our “Loops”. I hope to explain loops in a future post, but if you want to read more right now, just Google “Loop Schedule for Homeschool” and I’m sure you’ll find lots of information.

So, for our Morning Loop today we’ll be watching the Homeschool Connections lesson for Mercury and watching the YouTube video probably directly after lunch. After that it’s time for the second ‘loop’.  Today it is Religion and The Purpose of Man’s Existence.

That’s all for today. Check back soon to see what else we are doing in our homeschool.


Here’s a Link to a pdf file with some facts about Mercury: Thanks to

And another pdf that might be better for the Middle School aged child: Mercury Fact Sheet

This is a really inexpensive (especially with Amazon Prime shipping) solar system model to keep in the homeschooling area of your house:

And finally, a short YouTube Video about Mercury: