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I am really enjoying my new coffee pot. It has a delay brew setting and a regular or strong setting. That's enough buttons on a coffee pot for me.

I am not being very consistent about my water consumption with all this good coffee around. Its my goal for the week to get back to drinking at least two bottles of water.

I am freshly challenged in my child-training.

I am not naive as to how hard it will be although totally worth it.

I am cold. Although all the improvements we made through the spring and summer have helped (especially insulating the walls), nothing can combat these frigid temperatures.

I am occasionally thinking about summer barbecues with friends, mowing the lawn, trimming my flowers and watching the girls ride their bikes up and down the street like a cute little parade.

I am not rushing it though. Winter is a great time to buckle down and get indoor work done. We're plowing through our school work, planning for projects around the house and enjoying Sunday afternoon football games.

I am taking a chunk of time this morning and planning the rest of the CFA field trips. After getting the okay from Pastor Mike, there will be emails sent around! They are going to be fun!

I am not stressing about the CFA Science Fair. Its in less than two weeks and I haven't really made any plans for it. Why no stress? Because this is one of our science books this year. We're going to made a display containing a bunch of the little experiments that fill each page. Our subject will be "The Air Around Us." Sounds easy enough, right?


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Khan Academy

{Check out the UPDATED tutorial on using Khan Academy!!}

I'm not a math person. It just never clicked for me. So many homeschool moms have shared similar thoughts as well as their worries over how they'll teach their children upper levels of math. Finding tutors is always an option as are the more expensive computer-based curriculum. But what if those expensive curriculum are out of reach for you or you don't know anyone who can tutor?

Enter Khan Academy.

Khan Academy is a completely free resource that began with Sal - the original genius behind Khan Academy - wanting to provide a better education for relatives overseas. What began as some math videos shared with family members has become an extensive virtual library of over 4,000 videos on topics ranging from basic math to trigonometry to American Civics. They've been featured on The Today Show and have thousands of Twitter followers.  Khan Academy is being used in schools around the world.

So how does this work for …

Khan Academy - UPDATED

{UPDATE #2 -- Khan Academy now gives each person the option of choosing a grade level, from early math - which covers K-2 - to high school. You have to log in under your student's account to change their grade level. But it definitely guides their exercises in a very clear way! We really enjoy it. Let me know what you think!}

One of my most popular posts has been this little tutorial on using Khan Academy for homeschool.  Soon after I posted, Khan Academy completely revamped their Learning Dashboard.  It is even easier now for homeschool families to use Khan Academy for their students.

Here's how to get started, if you haven't yet.  And you should! Because it's amazingly easy and totally free.

First step. Sign in. Always sign in as a teacher, so you have access to all the 'coach resources' as they're called. It will also give you more ways to track what your students are doing and what skills they need to keep practicing.

Once you're signed in, what you…

map tablecloth

Reposting a popular homeschool idea...

One issue homeschoolers run into at times is where to keep maps. Many programs really require access to a world and US map. Some homeschoolers are blessed with enough space to have a dedicated homeschool room. For those of us that do school at the dining room table, the living room couch or where ever we land - where do we display a map?

My oldest daughter suggested gluing a map to the underside of a clear tablecloth. Sounded like a good idea to me! Turns out it was the easiest project ever. We now have a sturdy plastic tablecloth to protect the table as well as easy access to a world map as well as a US map.

I purchased a large clear table protector, a World & US wall map set and clear Elmer's glue.

First step, spread the whole plastic cloth out and line up the maps up the way you want them. Our table is large enough that we could have both maps shown at once.

Glue like crazy on the map side, then carefully flip it over so the map side…