Category Archives: Homeschool

Pumpkin Patch Tradition


Last year we began one of my favorite family traditions thus far! We went with another couple from church to the local pumpkin patch (~45min away). We had so much fun! The weather was just right. We watched pig races, crawled through hay tunnels, let the kids pet all kinds of farm animals, picked out pumpkins to take home, and ate at a nearby restaurant.

I love having annual thing our children can look forward to every year! Just like in any other tradition, there needs to be a little wiggle room. Ya know, adjustments for a different season {children’s ages, interests, abilities, learning capacity, etc}. With Maggie being our oldest (3) this trip is still mainly focused around tangible learning, experiences, and making memories for our kiddos! As my children get older, this tradition can grow with us. We will be able to stay for a longer outing, with that, adding even more teachable moments. Moving from simple “stay near mommy and daddy” obedience to more detailed instructional obedience on where they may go, how they may do it, and for how long; from “can you say pig, goat, pumpkin, watermelon, hay, tractor…” to learning more detailed learning about animals, fruit and vegetables, and farm stuff in general; from “here’s the lunch mommy packed for you” to “______, can you make the sandwiches, and serve _______”, etc. Making memories is always our main goal! I think we’ve accomplished that both years.

This year we were ecstatic to return for more adventures with two different couples from church and their children plus my father-in-love. The pumpkin patch was even better than the year before. I wouldn’t have guessed it could get better.

Again, the weather was just right! We made our way through a child-sized hay maze.

Watched hilarious pig races. Crawled through an even longer hay tunnel.

{We had the privilege of sharing the day with my Father-in-Love as well. Mom was on a women’s retreat.}

Did lots of swinging on tire swings. Let the kids pet a bigger variety of animals.

{Possibly my FAV pic of the day}

Went on the hay ride.

Ate our picnic lunches.

{3 generations of Rothacher Men}

Played in a big corn box (similar to the sand box but for younger children).

{Yep, this one carried 1/2 the corn home with her in her diaper}

Looked at piles of pumpkins before heading home for naps.

We took ~360 pictures of all the fun! Thanks for taking the time to view just some of our memories!
Friend me on Facebook to see more of this adventure and many other.


Tonight we are planning to work on our family costume for a costume party, carve and paint pumkins, and finalize decorations for our van to participate in Trunk or Treat at our church{Post(s) to come}.
What kind of FALL traditions do you have with your family?


1st year homeschooler!


1st year homeschooler!

Yeah, none of you are surprised. You know I’m pumped and unpolished, raw, rough around the edges, green {in the new-at-this way not the environmental way } when it comes to the thing we call “home education”. I know nothing…at least not yet.

Our oldest just turned 3 in June. I know that in most homeschool realms they don’t consider preK technically school yet {because you don’t have to get paper work done to pull your child out of public school} but we are attempting to treat  it just like School! I want to learn everything I can, in the next 2 years, about how to ‘do’ this thing called homeschooling so when we have to start the years that the state mandates we’ll be on track. I’ve already learned there is too much to learn which makes this goal an impossible  yet exciting endeavor to strive for.

Homeschooling has changed so much in the past few years. There are so many different ‘ways’ to homeschool.
So many

  • ‘methods’- “Classical? Charlotte Mason? Unschooling?”
  • ‘curriculums’- There’s an entire book with just the “100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum” 
  • ‘support groups/coops’- too many to even simply explain
  • and other endless terms I’ve yet to learn.

The possibilities are endless. With 3 tiny ones, the simple routine of just loving on , feeding, laying down/getting up from naps, running errands, shopping, church activities, and managing a household, I don’t have time to even scratch the surface of what’s out there to read on how to do all these things, much less try them out and decide which are best for my family. SO, the next 2 years will be an attempt at trying to figure that stuff out.

What  ‘methods’, ‘curriculums’, ‘groups’, and ‘options’ have you chosen for your family? Maybe I’ll leave it up to a vote. lol

So far this is what we’ve started:

  • Way/Method: “learn as we go”. Our Magdalene does great with memorization so if we simply repeatedly tell/teach her things during everyday living she seems to pick it up quickly. Hearing a lot from respected friends about Charlotte Mason– looking into for the near future.
    1. Getting dressed can be a math lesson- count legs as they go into pants, color lesson- name every color on clothing, alphabet lesson- name letter on clothing, read words, sound out letters, identify catipal and lower case letters, or even an opposites lesson- clothes are off/ on, clothes are up/down, arms and legs are in/outside of clothes.
    2. Eating can be a math lesson- count food, color lesson- name every color of food, alphabet lesson- name letter on food labels, read words, sound out letters, identify capital and lower case letters, or even an opposites lesson- food is in/outside of container.
    You get it.
  • Curriculum: HIPPY!
    “Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based, family focused program. The Curriculum, designed for children ages three, four, and five, contains 30 weekly activity packets, nine storybooks, a set of 20 manipulative shapes for each year, as well as supplies such as scissors and crayons are provided for each participating family. The program uses trained coordinators and community-based home visitors who go into the home and role-play the activities with the parents and support each family throughout their participation in the program.The packets are written in a clear scripted format that is designed to provide guidance for parents and to ensure a successful learning experience for the parent and child working together in their own home. Parents become the facilitator in the learning process with their child. The HIPPY curriculum is primarily cognitive-based, focusing on language development, problem solving, logical thinking and perceptual skills. Learning and play mingle throughout HIPPY’s curriculum as parents expose their children to early literacy skills such as:

    • Phonological and phonemic awareness
    • Letter recognition
    • Book knowledge
    • Early writing experiences

    In addition, the curriculum fosters social/emotional and physical (fine and gross motor skills) development. The storybooks bring children’s literature into the home. HIPPY provides numerous opportunities for children and parents to discuss the storybooks in varied and increasingly complex ways.

      HIPPY is not a curriculum of mastery, but rather a curriculum of exposure to skills, concepts, and experiences with books that together constitute “school readiness” for young children. Skills and concepts are developed through a variety of activities including:

    • Reading
    • Writing and drawing
    • Listening and talking
    • Singing and rhyming
    • Playing games
    • Cooking and sewing
    • Shapes and colors
    • Puzzles and more

    The storybooks and activity packets are available in both English and Spanish for all ages. The HIPPY curriculum activities are constantly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the materials are relevant for our families and reflect current educational research findings.”

  • Support Group/Coop: we will be participating in all HIPPY meetings and working on finding a local group as well
    *Anyone in a good homeschool group/coop in White Hall or Little Rock?
  • Other endless terms I’ve yet to learn: we begun {in an attempt to stay consistent} is a mixture of several things I’ve read or experienced in preKs I’ve worked: Sue Patrick’s “Workbox System“, “Morning Board”, “Calender”, “Circle/Carpet Time“, “Character Concepts“, and “Choir Chart” all rolled in one.

“Good Morning Board/Chart(s)/Calendar”

 {My Aunt gave me this calendar several years ago- Mother-in-Love helped me update the year(s)}

{We LOVE us some Veggie Tales! Plus these are part of our “Charater” lessons}

{These are the previous months from our calendar to add decor to our homeschool room
as well serve as reminders of “Character Concepts”}

 {I found this “pocket chart” on Oriental Traiding (teacher supply section) and created my own pictures for our routine/chore chart}

{I used some of the same pictures from our other chart to make these “routines”}

Well, that’s our basic start to homeschooling. I’ll elaborate more on our “Good Morning Board/Chart(s)/Calendar” in my next post.


I hope you checked out some of the links I shared! Maybe they can help narrow a search of yours like they did me.
I’m always looking for good advise to narrow mine so PLEASE share any links, methods, words of wisdom on
homeschooling {insert term here}!!!

photo credit: overwhelmed-kid

Home Schooling!


Yep, it’s official! A dream God gave me for my family back before I even started college has come full circle. Home Schooling!

As a zealous high schooler and then college student, God burned many ‘radical’ ideas in me as His disciple, one of which was the dream of home school. I was one of those weird kids that LOVED school. I hated missing and prided myself on having perfect attendance even if that ment going when I felt lousy. NO, I did not have straight As with that perfect attendance certificate but I worked hard for every grade I made! I never minded home work. I was always pumped to head back to school on or near my August birthday so an added bonus was School Supply Shopping during that month! Awe, the smell of crisp new plastic binders, beautifully tipped crayons pointing at me as I opened a new box of crayola, the smell of #2 pencils!

Werd, know!

So, after many years and having been in both camps {public and home School}, my husband and I have decided we will home school our babes! Why wouldn’t I be excited about this, a good excuse to not share my babes and buy school supplies?

I’d like to give you just a glimpse of how/why we’ve made this wonderful chose for our family but I always say, “If you can’t say or describe something better than someone else, quote them!” so:

10 reasons why you should homeschool from Jenny Buttler, a PUBLIC school teacher:

  • Individuality
  • Time Management
  • Standardized Tests
  • Substitute teachers
  • Seating arrangements
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Dress Code
  • Lesson Plans
  • Sheltered
  • Field Trips

{for more detail read the full post here}



A desired place I’d like to go: Ann Voskamp describes it best “Why would anyone be crazy enough to homeschool?”


What kind of views do you have about homeschooling? Any stigmas attached?
How ’bout the other camp, any views or stigmas to share about public schooling?

And just for the record, Thanks Dave Ramsay for teaching us how to handle our finances so I could go school supply shopping!!!




Printer/copier/scanner {never owned my own!}
New router/motum{so my internet actually works
Flashcards {add a little more challenge to Mag day before our HIPPY curriculum gets here}
New non-broken 3-hole punch
Velcro adhesive circles {making my own chore/schedule chart}
Laminator {Woop Woop!} only downer…not industrial like public schools ;o)