Summer Reading List

cropped-image_2013-11-06_1707571.pngChallenging and age appropriate books can be difficult to find.  It seems that these days everything is riddled with explicit language or sexual connotation. I personally struggled finding books that were both captivating, appropriate and also at my children’s reading level.

I’m not crazy about testing but years ago I had my children tested to find out what their Lexile Reading Measure was.  This was just a way for me to accurately select books that would challenge as well as entertain them on a suitable level.

My daughter was reading at a college level by the time she was in 6th grade and my son was reading at a 7th grade level when he was in 4th grade so you can understand my dilemma.

Maybe you’re in the same position and are struggling to find reading material for your kids.  Below you’ll find a list of some of our favorites.This is a great way to start choosing interesting books for your kids to read.  If they’ve already read these I suggest you look up similar books by entering your book titles on http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/. I found this site quite helpful when I ran out of options.

If you had your child tested and have a Lexile score then you can go to https://lexile.com/ and look up books within your child’s Lexile Level.

Happy Reading…



List of books by Lexile Levels:   

  • The Enchanted Castle by: Edith Nesbit                                                                  Lexile Level: 210L
  • The Castle in the Attic by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                       Lexile Level: 750L
  • Battle For the Castle by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                          Lexile Level: 700L
  • Dragon Rider by: Cornelia Funke                                                                            Lexile Level: 710L
  • Left Behind “Kids” Series by: Jerry B Jenkins; Tim LaHaye                                Lexile Level range: 440L-770L
  • Hunger games series by: Suzanne Collins                                                             Lexile Level range: 600L-1030L
  • Eragon Series by: Christopher Paolini                                                                     Lexile Level range: 710L-1200L
  • Series of Unfortunate Events by: Lemony Snicket                                                Lexile Level range: 850L-1370L

Linking up with: Modest Mom Blog, What Joy Is Mine, Nourishing Joy, Moms The Word,
Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman, Giving Up on PerfectTrueAim, Crystal&Co,

Summer Learning

Summer time is “no school” time but around here we never stop doing math or reading.  I know, I know sounds cruel but summer learning is my way of keeping the kids on point.  Through the school year they tend to struggle with math and with that in mind I like keeping them a step ahead by working on their weak spots during the summer break.

In past years I’ve purchased different online curriculum but this year I found TenMarks has a free summer program and decided to give it a try.  I’m actually combining it with Khan Academy for better assessment coverage.  I particularly love that both sites create a specialized program according to how they fare on the initial assessment test.  I have the kids work on this for about 30 minutes a day Monday-Friday and so far it’s worked out really well.

If you’re child struggles with math or just needs to keep it fresh give these programs a try, both are free and easy to use.  The daily work doesn’t take much time at all but it helps them build those much needed math skills.  Once that’s done they’ll have plenty of time for heading to the park or just plain lounging around.

Summer Time
Summer Time


Happy Homeschooling




Going against the flow…

Fish symbol

Its tough raising kids in this day and age. You try so hard to hold on to their innocence for as long as possible but the world always weasels its way in. It’s inevitable but you need to work that much more diligently in preparing their hearts, souls and minds for those moments when they do have to face the ugliness of this world. They might feel like they don’t fit in because the norm is to “go with the flow” so they find themselves discouraged or maybe even lonely as they go against it. As parents we need to teach them how to view all circumstances through God’s word even if that means going against the flow.  “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

I homeschooled my kids for 8 years and in that time we grew closer with each day that passed.  They learned and experienced so many things having loads of fun along the way.  I mean who wouldn’t love learning about Marine Life at a Homeschool class in The Miami Seaquarium?

We were and are truly blessed. I don’t always feel like I’ve made the right choices when doubt creeps up on me and I find myself asking if I’m a good mom. I am considered by some to be a little “over the top” when it comes to protecting them from outside unnecessary garbage but I stand strong in trusting that God wants so much more for them that I refuse to let the outside noise influence me.

Through the years my kids developed a real love and respect for one another which is not always common amongst brothers and sisters.  At times when my son is hurting due to some sort of mistreatment I well up at the sight of my daughter coming to his aide to console and encourage him.  Those are the moments that I treasure.  The times that my daughter and I have “heart to hearts” and she tells me “Mommy, you’re the best and when I have kids I’m definitely homeschooling them”.  Those are the moments that I realize everything we’ve gone through is so worth it.  We may have ups and downs but what matters are the relationships in between and knowing that my kids are GREAT not because of me but rather because of the Blessings that God has surrounded us with.   Today I can honestly say that I made the right choices for them and I am so very grateful to have such tender hearted kids.

Today I want to encourage you to love on your kids.  Show them that you care.  If that means being overprotective then so be it.  Share God’s word and experience his blessings together. They will only be children for a short time…make it count.

kids on pier 3 crosses 2

My kids at Virginia Key. Keeping Christ at the center of it all.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”3 John 1:4


Math that Makes Sense

Homeschooling is great but curriculum can add up.  It’s always great when you come across a great deal.

If your child is having trouble with math or just needs some tweaking maybe this online tutor program can help. The best part about it is that it’s FREE for the summer. WOO HOO!  Freebies are my favorite.

Hurry and check out Yourteacher.com perfect math tutor for grades 6-12.  I just signed up my daughter and she’ll be working on her Algebra 2 this summer.

You may need a tutor.

Ummm…I may be going out on  a limb here but you could probably use a tutor,  Just sayin’