Category Archives: noah asher lieb

Homeschool Plan for 2016-2017

This is a big year. I will be teach 2 kids for the first time. I’m excited but also a little concerned that I might over commit myself. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, especially when it comes to school. I’ve been doing a lot of planning and researching these past few months and I have to keep reminding my self to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Noah will be starting Kindergarten this fall and he really doesn’t need that much work. Kindergarten should be a time of learning through play. This past year I tried to incorporate more outdoor learning time and I think that will be the best environment for Noah to learn (Jude too).

Jude will be starting 3rd grade so he will have to do the most work but I’m still trying to keep things simple for him. I’ve found that pushing him too hard makes him shut down and learning becomes a chore. My main goal has a home educator is to encourage a love of learning. So I try to create an environment that allows my children to explore the world around them and learn at their own pace.

So here’s our plan:

We will do a few subjects together each day or several times a week.

Classical Conversations
Both boys will be doing Classical Conversations Foundations this year. We are a part of a community where we will attend a group session once a week to be introduced to the new week’s memory work, conduct science experiments and have a hands-on art time. Classical Conversations is the bulk of our curriculum for the year(history, science, geography, timeline, Latin, math, grammar, art). If you aren’t familiar with the classical model you can learn more here.

Morning Time
Each morning we will go over our calendar, the weather, our Bible verse, the pledge of allegiance, a poem and probably an Aesop’s fable. (we will take the poem and fable from Jude’s English book) This part of our take should only be about 5-10 minutes long.

This year I hope to do more reading aloud to the boys. They will work on their listening skills and we will try reading longer more complex books. This will probably be the biggest challenge for me. We may do more reading at night before bed when Abel isn’t a constant distraction.

nature journal

(Top Row: Our Nature Box, Pencil box with color pencils and paint brushes, watercolor guide. Bottom Row: Audubon Field Guide Southeastern States, Trees of North America, Birds of North America, Nature Anatomy)

Nature Journal
We will be following the Charlotte Mason ideas of narration, dictation, nature journal, art, etc. The boys create art and a narration that corresponds with something we’ve recently learned. Each boy will have a 3-ring binder, they will add their art/narrations to their binder throughout the year. I’m slowly collecting some great books for the boys to use in their nature studies and other interests so we can create fun journal pages, you can check out my homeschool wishlist on Amazon to see the types of books we’ll be using. Noah’s journal will be fairly simple. Probably very heavily image based. He loves to draw and paint so we’ll focus on illustrating things we’ve learned with a small amount of narration.

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Noah Kindergarten
MathMath Made Easy Kindergarten Workbook  Math Mammoth doesn’t offer a kindergarten math curriculum but they do recommend a few affordable and comprehensive workbooks available through amazon. Math Made Easy is a simple workbook that introduces all of the basics he needs to know for first grade.

ReadingTeach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons  I’m excited to try this method. Noah is so close to reading I think once we really sit down and work on it he’ll get the hang of it in no time. I considered All About Reading but again it was $$$ and very time consuming. With 4 boys I need simple. I will also add in some easy readers that I either purchase or check out from the library. We go to the library every other week.

PhonicsExplode the Code Jude loved these workbooks and I think Noah will as well. He likes doing little workbooks and Explode the Code is simple and a great way to practice reading and writing.

WritingKumon: My Book of Alphabet Games – I bought this book on clearance at Target but it’s a great simple way to work on our letter recognition, upper case, lower case and writing.

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Jude 3rd grade
MathMath Mammoth This year we are trying something new. The past 2 years I’ve been using Math-U-See, I like the program but the Gamma level [multiplication] moved so quickly. Jude got a little frustrated with the level of work near the end of the year, granted he is a little ahead in math I just thought we should try a different approach. Plus Math-U-See is kind of $$$. I bought the complete set of Math Mammoth on CD (grades 1-7) so I can use it for all 4 boys and print the workbooks as needed. It’s super affordable too.

HandwritingA Reason for Handwriting Cursive Jude struggles with handwriting so we will continue to have handwriting in our studies until he feel more comfortable. We started introducing cursive at the end of last year and he was really excited about it. I’ve heard it can be a good option for kids that struggle with penmanship.

PhonicsExplode the Code 6 This will be our 3rd year using Explode the Code. It’s a fun workbook that helps drill in phonics. Jude really enjoys doing the workbook and he can always use a little extra reading practice.

EnglishEnglish Lessons Through Literature Again a new curriculum for us. Last year we used First Language Lessons which I still love but I’m excited to try ELTL. It uses great works of literature to teach grammar, spelling, reading, poetry, writing and more.

So that’s it. Once we get into a daily routine I’ll share what our typical days look like. We probably won’t do all subjects everyday and I’m not the type of person that can function with a detailed plan but we have an outline and are open to whatever the day throws our way. I like the flexibility that homeschool affords and we will take advantage of it as much as possible.

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However, I did purchase a printable homeschool planner for the first time. Trying to remember what both kids need to get done is a little more challenging than just keeping up with Jude’s work. I bought this cute Charlotte Mason inspired planner from Vintage Kids Modern World.

We also reorganized our homeschool room and while I’m still getting everything in order I do hope to do a homeschool room tour soon. It’s not terribly exciting but I know I always like to see how other homeschool mom’s organize their materials and where they homeschool.

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Happy 5th Birthday Noah

Yesterday my 2nd baby turned 5. We celebrated with a trip to the NC Zoo and at he request we spent the majority of our trip in the KidZone playing. Noah requested to see giraffes and chimpanzees and play. Thanks to our Zoo Membership we didn’t have to wait in the huge general admission line and we didn’t feel obligated to see everything.

We saw ostriches, zebras and Noah got to feed the giraffe. Well he had the opportunity but got a little freaked out by the gigantic animal so Joe fed it instead. We visited with the chimpanzees, ate lunch and rode the tram to the other side of the zoo. There we spent the remainder of the day playing in the creek, building forts and exploring. The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast.


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noahzoo1 zoo2

Then we headed home where Noah opened presents, we ate dinner and cake. Then he elected to play video games until bed time. He had such a great day he didn’t want to go to bed but once his head hit the pillow he was out.

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I’m so thankful for my sweet 5 year old boy. He has such a tender heart, speaks works of encouragement to everyone and always tells such amazingly creative stories. I love sitting with him and talking about life. He’s very observant, caring, sensitive and thoughtful.

Happy Birthday Noah! I love you.

Double Birthday Celebration

Noah and Jude have birthdays that are just 10 days apart. So we’ve been in birthday mode for the last 2 weeks. It’s been a busy yet fun-filled  few days. We make it a point to make each birthday special, without spending a ton of money. On their actual birthday they get to decide what we do and what we eat.

Noah selected donuts for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for lunch and tacos for dinner… with a cookie cake.

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We took him (and the rest of the boys) on a surprise trip to Marbles Kids Museum.

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Jude requested Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast but we made him blueberry pancakes as a surpise (which he loved), hot dogs for lunch and pizza for dinner.

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He requested to build Legos, play video games and go to the pool.

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On the weekend between their birthdays we threw a party for both of them. Joe’s parents came up for the weekend and lot of friends came over to play.

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Last minute we decided to rent a bounce house, our neighbor has one she rents so we got a great deal!

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We also added a pinata and lots of yummy food.

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We also celebrated Father’s Day.

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Jude won his first heat in a swim meet.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.33.50 AM And Abel turned 5 months old.

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Overall, it’s been an awesome yet busy week and eventually it all caught up with the boys.

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So this week we’re taking it easy and going to enjoy the less hot/humid weather and all the new birthday toys.

An Easy Way to Give Up the Pacifier

build-a-bear pacifier

Noah was long overdue to give up his pacifier (which is called a milkies in our house). I let him keep the milkies much longer than excepted. The main reason is how close in age him and Simon are. If Simon had a milkes then Noah wanted one too… so when he was finally old enough to reason (and after Abel was born) we made the cut.

For all the boys we’ve limited pacifier use to sleep only around a year/year and a half. Jude made the cut cold turkey when he was 2, primarily because he chewed his up and I just didn’t buy anymore. Noah took good care of his milkies and was more emotionally attached. However, I knew he was able to give it up… he did pretty much potty train himself.

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So we created a ceremony of sorts. We took a family trip to the mall (btw, I hate the mall) where we let him Build-A-Bear and put his milkies inside. We talked about what was going to happen before hand and how his milkies was just inside the bear. I was really surprised at how well he took the whole thing. He hasn’t asked for his milkies since but on occasion he will remind us that it is inside Jack (his bear).

Next up is Simon. He just transitioned to a big boy bed and I don’t like to throw too many transitions into the mix at once but we should probably just get it over with.

Happy 3rd Birthday Noah B

Mr. Noah Asher is 3 years old today.
(His nickname “Noah B” is actually a nick name of a nick name “Noah Ba Doah”)

Noah Asher

At 42 weeks I thought Noah was going to stay in my womb forever but finally (after a little castor oil and some eggplant Parmesan) he made a swift and somewhat dramatic entrance into our world. He immediately proved to be a tough little boy and over the next several weeks showed us just how strong he was has we fought to overcome a tongue-tie and several breastfeeding struggles.


These past 3 years with Noah have been filled with immense joy as he’s started to find his personality and stake his claim in our family. He has such a sweet and tender spirit and is always asking me “what’s wrong mama?” or coming to just sit and cuddle. He knows what he wants and he takes his time to accomplish his goals and is extremely thoughtful.


He has completely blown me away with his ability to self-potty train, his immense vocabulary and the way he stops to consider his options before making a decision.

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His Favorites:
Mickey Mouse
Ice Cream
Playing with his brothers

We love you Noah B. Happy Birthday.

I’m adding hairstylist to my resume


I often cut the boys’ hair. I have no professional and heavily rely on YouTube videos to guide me through the process. The first time I ever cut anyone’s hair was when Joe and I were dating. I cut his hair using my mom’s clipper set from when my dad was in the Air Force. It took me well over an hour to cut is hair and in the end it looked absolutely the same as before I cut it. Eventually my mom took over and he looked somewhat presentable.

For a few more years I attempted to cut Joe’s hair solely because we were broke and couldn’t afford to get him a “real” haircut. I got a little bit better but Joe prefers to have a professional cut his hair now. I can’t blame him.

However, I do cut the boys’ hair on occasion. It’s obviously cheaper and easier to coordinate. For a while it was pretty difficult to cut Jude’s hair because of his intense sensitivity to the clippers so on occasion I would take him to one of those places that specialized in haircuts for kids. But now that he’s older he is actually doing a little bit better sitting still and not freaking out.

The other day I cut both Noah and Jude’s hair. I was attempting a two-tiered style that’s popular with all the kids these days. It started out OK but once I found their cowlicks things got a little dicey. I had to trim both of their haircuts shorter than I anticipated but in the end I think it turned out pretty cute.

I wish I could go to cosmetology school just to learn how to cut hair for my boys. That’s a bit much huh?

The Big Boy Bed


Friday morning Joe and I were enjoying the last few minutes before we had to get up when in bursts a cherry 5-year old followed by his 2-year old brother. We’re accustomed to being awoken by Jude but we were shocked to see Noah bouncing in behind him. Up until that morning Noah was contained in his crib until we got him. We asked Jude if he helped Noah get out of his crib, but he assured us he did not help.

We thought maybe it was a fluke, a one-time incident but he had been so quiet about it. There was no crying, screaming or loud thud to alert us, so clearly it was no accident. Then nap-time rolled around and a mere 3 minutes after laying him down out he pops and greets me at the top of the stairs with a proud “hello”. After several time of putting him back he eventually fell asleep. At that point Joe and I realized we needed to do something about the “situation”.

After consulting the internet (thanks Facebook friends) we decided to put his crib mattress on the floor until we could acquire a twin bed. That night he easily fell asleep on the tiny mattress and then immediately fell onto the floor. Throughout the night he managed to roll all the way across his room. The next day nap-time was a total bust because his awesome new room was too much to handle but the no-nap worked in our favor since he all but passed out that night.

Yesterday we set up a twin mattress on the floor and nap-time was a big success. He seemed a little hesitant to let his little mattress go but once he realized his “big bed” was like Jude’s he was sold.

Now we are just trying to decide which boys will get to share a room.