Does Common Core Affect Missouri Homeschoolers?

Common Core State Standards as Defined in Missouri:

“The standards:

  • Establish consistent learning goals for all students – regardless of where they live.
  • Provide a clear roadmap of academic expectations at each grade level.
  • Are relevant to the real world and prepare students for post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.
  • Were developed by a diverse team of educators, researchers and parents from across the country‒including Missouri‒to be academically rigorous, attainable for students, and practical for teachers and districts.

The New English Language Arts Standards

Shifts in the new English language arts standards include:

  • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and information texts, in addition to literature.
  • Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text.
  • Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary.

The New Math Standards

Shifts in the new math standards include:

  • Focus: deeper learning in two to four areas at each grade level.
  • Coherence: concepts logically connected from one grade to the next and linked to other major topics at each grade level.
  • Rigor: fluency with arithmetic, application of knowledge to real world situations and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.”

How Common Core Standards Affect Missouri Homeschooling:

Books globe and glasses

“45 states–including Missouri–took the bait, gave
up the right to choose what their children would learn, and promised
to create a system that would require all public children to learn
exactly the same things.

This could affect homeschoolers profoundly if it is not stopped.
College admissions tests are already changing to submit to Common
Core. The ability to enter college or get a scholarship could one day
depend on having learned the Common Core. Getting a job or getting
into the military could one day depend on learning the Common Core.
Even some homeschool curriculum providers have announced that their
books comply with Common Core!

Once all public school children are learning exactly the same things
nationwide, the path is laid to force private schools and homeschools
to comply. After all, why should some non-conformists be allowed to
teach their kids anything they want when “everyone” is learning Common
Core? It is not unthinkable that your freedom to teach your children
what you know they should learn could vanish–or it could be penalized
beyond anything we might now imagine.

The federalization of education content would be a huge step toward
turning the clock back and ending homeschool freedom.”  HSLDA

Section 3 of the Missouri Homeschool Law:

“3. Nothing in this section shall require a private, parochial, parish or home school to include in its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with the school’s religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice consistent with the school’s religious doctrines. Any other provision of the law to the contrary notwithstanding, all departments or agencies of the state of Missouri shall be prohibited from dictating through rule, regulation or other device any statewide curriculum for private, parochial, parish or home schools. “ FHE-MO

Brookie-Lee’s Perspective:

I’m glad to know that it’s currently illegal for the state of Missouri to tell me what set of standards(Common Core) or curriculum to use in homeschooling my children.  The freedom to teach my children based on our beliefs, learning styles, and each individual student’s pace is imperative to education.  We switched math programs to find one that worked better for us.  We picked our history based on it’s broad inclusion of events, peoples, and biblical history.  Our Language Arts is a combination of many different curriculum and materials to ensure the depth of learning.  We are teaching in an environment and with materials that we believe in.  Curriculum that we are confident will educate our children thoroughly despite any lack of education we ourselves may have.

I am confident in the schooling we are doing and am not currently concerned about the SATs.  We will fully educate our children, and unless the SATs turn into tests on presidential memos, I’m sure our children will know what they need to in order to score well.  As a concerned, involved parent I will keep my eye on the progress of public education in America.  Adjusting our own course as we see necessary.  While I don’t see higher education as a necessity to success, I believe that everyone should have the choice to choose that path. I have a stronger belief in entrepreneurship and real life to teach true and useful knowledge.  But CHOICE and the FREEDOM to choose is what made this country great.  And we will teach our children and supply them with all they need to have those choices open and available to them.  Apprenticeship, Business, College, Government, Family, Travel.  The world will be available to them because we aren’t limiting them to “post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.

One of the things we emphasize is doing what you love.  We’ve discovered in our own journey’s for happiness that doing work you love is imperative.  Helping our children discover their gifts and talents and making a living at it is our goal for the next three decades.  Passion for what you do makes all the difference in the world for having a happy life.  My husband loves to design and now works for a successful solar company that he helped grow to what it is now.  His love for his job and his satisfaction for what he’s contributing to the world is a wonderful example to our children.  We hope to find each child’s passion and talent as we homeschool.  Devoting more time on areas where passion shows.  Allowing the child to blossom and become an expert by the time they are old enough to go out into the world.  Thankfully there is not a law or set of curriculum that will limit us from doing that.

Zavien’s 8th Lego Knights Birthday Party



My Own 4-day Homeschool Planner

Last year I recorded all of our daily work in a planner I purchased from Mardel’s.  It was pretty and had Bible Scriptures, perforated shopping lists, goal pages, etc, etc.  By the end of the year there was a huge section of it that I just didn’t use.  A lot of fluff that I just didn’t need.  I looked at the other options at Mardel’s this year and nothing was really perfect for having two children to record for.  They aren’t learning the same things and I needed the right amount of space for each.  And we only homeschool four days a week since we attend an enrichment program on Tuesdays.  So I created my own.  It’s very plain but it is exactly what I needed and I’m excited about it.  I put it in a three ring binder for now.  I’m going to test it out this year and make any changes I need to pages as we go.  For next year I will spiral bind it.  I just printed a simple cover page with a picture of our family and the year.  Included a two year calendar that lists the holiday dates.  Then the log sheets and the weekly planner pages.  I write down daily what we’ve accomplished and do not write down for the future.  I find the future never goes as planned so I plan for that.  ;D  This is super simple but it’s clean and clear.  I hope you find this helpful.

Click images below to open excel and word files to create your own planner!

2013-14 cover  Two Year in a Page Log2013-2014Click on image below to open a generic excel file where you can fill in your own subjects/curriculum in the left column.  Notice I have all my core subjects toward the top and all the non-core subjects after.  To leave room for my 3-ring hole punch my excel sheet margins are top/bottom: .5, left: .75, right: .25, header:.15, footer: .0


Gut & Psychology Syndrome

Allergies, diseases, being over weight…. there are so many health issues I see among my family and friends.  Breastfed infants with severe eczema, children with extreme mood swings, life threatening allergies to nuts and dairy, ear infections that burst ear drums, people with irritable bowel, or consistent constipation, chronic back pain, cancer.  Our world is filled with people suffering daily.  We have grown up on processed foods, genetically modified fruits, veggies, and grains.  We’ve been taught that dead, rotting milk and highly processed, bleached grains are the best for us.  Food giants have taken one of the best nutrient foods, eggs, and done everything they can to take out the pure nutrient goodness.  They take out the good, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and replace them with synthetic vitamins that aren’t bio-available to us.  Our food system, in the U.S., has destroyed the goodness of food and giants like Monsanto are trying their best to destroy it completely.

So as a parent how do I make sure my children receive the best nutrients they can?  Well we do vitamins but vitamins are not as bio-available as what we find in whole foods.  So we turn to the whole foods, but genetically modified pesticide covered food causes it’s own issues.  So then that leaves organic, usually over priced, and quickly perishable.  It’s very frustrating and I’ve failed often in our attempts to go completely organic.  Cooking from scratch every meal is time consuming and you have to really be committed.  And with sports, dance, piano, scouts, and all the other activities that we have in our week our meals have to happen quickly sometimes.

So how do you make quick nutrient dense foods, that prevent and heal the diseases and allergies that we see in today’s society?  With a little planning, and eating more like ancient people, we can infuse our bodies with the vitamins and minerals that they are severely lacking.  Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr, Campbell-McBride is a great book that teaches us how to heal our gut so that our foods are not leaching into the wrong parts of our bodies, rotting, and causing our bodies to be toxic and vulnerable to diseases and allergies.  Bone broths, animal organs, and a small list of foods are allowed at first to allow the gut to heal and then slowly more foods are introduced as your body is whole and able to break them down.  The book is geared toward people with Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression, and Schizophrenia.

bone-broth-445x300We are doing the GAPS diet at our house for several reasons.  To strengthen teeth and bones, to heal my gut and prevent toxicity, to increase energy and treat depression, and to loose weight.  Loosing weight was actually a side effect that we weren’t focused on.  My husband has been doing the GAPS diet for several weeks.  He isn’t following the stage one diet but more using the principles as a guideline in his meal planning.  He has lost almost 20 lbs in a month.  We strive to feed our children bone broth daily, and at minimum several times a week.  We give them liver, heart, or other organs during the week as well.  In small quantities, but it’s more than they’ve ever had before.  We purchased organic beef from a local farmer so our bone broth is super good for them.  Soup bones are actually very affordable.  You throw in some veggies, add sauerkraut juice and you have a very nutrient dense and healing food.

Here is a tutorial on how to make bone broth soup.  I like that I can put it on the stove and leave it for a long time.  And then I just store it in the fridge and use it as we need it.  Quick soups that are nutrient packed for my growing family!  We have started with bone broth soups, eggs every morning, eating organ meat a little at a time, and of course we have our raw milk and bi-products.  Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Start with one thing at a time and when you master that then add more.  Don’t be discouraged.  Do your best and that’s all anyone can ask.  Hugs.

2013-2014 Curriculum

We attended the Midwest Parent Educators conference and curriculum expo this past spring and got all our supplies and curriculum for next school year.  We purchase mostly from Rainbow Resource because they have the lowest prices but we got some things like our Math-U-See program direct from their booth at a show discount.  It’s a great place to look at the different curriculum that are successful on the market.  We are all set to go and we are spending any down time this summer finishing up the last few chapters in our 2012-2013 curriculum.

Zavien, 3rd Grade

  • Grammar: First Language Lessons II…  this is a short lesson that uses repetition in a constructive and non-monotonous way.  We’ve both enjoyed it and he retains it.
  • Writing: Writing with Ease IIthis is also a short lesson but you have to be engaged the whole lesson to make sure the child is writing correctly.  This is when I’m the most strict with writing.  Cursive Without Tearswe did one lesson of cursive last year and it was a disaster so I decided to wait until 3rd grade.  My son is young for this grade so we are a little behind in some subjects(cursive) and right on target with other subjects(math).
  • Spelling: Phonics for Reading & Spelling (spelling)… this is a good program and works best with consistency.  I’ve considered Explode the Code as an alternative as well.
  • Literature:  Classical House of Learning/Grammar Stage/Middle Ages.. my son loves to be read to and to draw.  This is a great program that ties into our history lesson too.
  • Reading: McGuffey Readersgreat classic curriculum to reinforce reading skills.  Christian Lighthouse Education Reading (readers and workbook)… I really like these readers as it teaches good character along with reading.  I got the workbooks to help with comprehension but it’s been less about comprehension and more about reading skills.
  • Math: Math-U-See Gammawe love this program and the boys really thrived on it last year.  It’s a very hands on program and teaches in sequence.
  • History: Story of the World IIthis is a great program that my son loves to listen to.  He will sit and listen to the audio while coloring and I will ask him the workbook questions to make sure he was listening.  Then we do map work and take the test.  We don’t get into the projects much due to time but we try to do some of the literature suggestions and encyclopedia reading.
  • Science: Apologia Zoology 1 & 2…. we did Zoology 3 last year and will be going back to do 1 & 2.  The children really enjoying learning about the animals.
  • Religion: Bible Storieswe read a chapter at bedtime and it’s been great for all of us.  Mom included.  Getting through the Old Testament is easy with these Children’s Bible Stories.
  • Art & Art History: Artistic Pursuitsmy son loved the few lessons we had time for last year.  I’m going to try harder to do a lesson at least once a week this next school year.  We do plenty of non directed arts and crafts at our house but this program teaches art history along with technique and I really need to buckle down and work it into our week better.
  • Music & Music History: Lives of the Musiciansthis book is so fun.  We read a short bit on the musician, I will play the music over the month, and we read books from the library about the musician.  Piano Lessonswe take lessons with Michelle Sherer and it’s been great.  It’s so fun to see them at their recitals.  Voice Lessonswe take lessons with Havilah Bruder and we saw a drastic improvement in our older son’s singing in church.

He also will be doing soccer in the fall & spring, DHA 1 day a week, and Trail Life.

Jaxon, 1st Grade

  • Grammar: First Language Lessons I
  • Writing: Writing with Ease I
  • Spelling: Phonics for Reading & Spelling (phonograms, writing, & spelling)
  • Literature: Classical House of Learning/Grammar Stage/Middle Ages
  • Reading: McGuffey Readers & Christian Lighthouse Education Reading(readers)
  • Math: Math-U-See Beta
  • History: Story of the World II
  • Science: Apologia Science Zoology 1 & 2
  • Religion: Bible Stories
  • Music: Piano lessons, Voice Lessons

He also will be doing soccer in the fall & spring, DHA 1 day a week, and Trail Life.

Tylea, Preschool

  • Reading: Phonogram cards, Discover the Code series
  • Math: Math-U-See Primer
  • Writing: tracing over letters and numbers with dry erasers
  • Enrichment: Busy Bags!
  • Music: Piano lessons

She also takes ballet during the school year and loves that.

Vaylee, Toddlerdom

  • Busy Bags!  We have like 50 different busy bags that I can turn to and entertain my little one.  I love it!


Supplement Resources:Homeschool Library

Weekly Enrichment Program: Discovery Homeschool Academy(DHA)- homeschool enrichment one day a week.  All the fun classes that you liked in public school: PE, Art, Music, Spanish, Science, Social Studies.  We have class parties, field day, grandparents day, field trips and other fun activities with the fellowship of other homeschool families.  They also have homeschool 101 classes for parents that were great.

Annual Trip to Mini Town: My children loved this program.  They got to experience being a consumer and Z also experienced being a producer.  So much fun and great learning!  I will be helping run the program this next year and I’m very excited!

Homeschool Support:  I really enjoy The Well Trained Mind forum online and the book has been so helpful in navigating available curriculum.  I also attend the Lee’s Summit Home Educators monthly meetings when I can and have found great information there.

Read Them to Sleep- Giveaway!


Recent trip to my grandparent’s farm this is how Jax and Vay fell asleep when I was reading to them.

We use to have a hard time at bedtime.  The boys would talk and keep each other up or get out of bed to play, they’d use the bathroom several times, complain that they were hungry, anything they could not to sleep.  My daughter won’t go to sleep by herself even though she sleeps in the same room as her brothers(for now).  We use to get frustrated and bedtime was a stressful time.  Then we decided to implement a bedtime routine.  When it’s bedtime we have them brush their teeth and get jammies on and then we ask four basic questions:

  • Are you hungry?
  • Do you need to go pee?
  • Do you need to go poo?
  • Do you have your water bottle?

Hp7Then we head up to their room.  We read our science and any school literature, then we do our Bible story readings(we have 3 different age levels we read too for Bible), then we say our prayers.  We finish the routine by reading a novel.  We started with The Magic Tree House Series, read some My Book House, and Grimm’s Tales, then the first few Harry Potter books, followed that with the complete Little House on the Prairie series, and now we are about to get back to finish the Harry Potter series.  My boys love for me to read to them, and my daughter gently drifts off to sleep listening to her mama’s voice.  It’s a very calm way to end the day.  We all enjoy the reading and it winds things down nicely.  Plus it’s enriching my children and giving them a love of literature.

The Giveaway!

In honor of the upcoming Summer Reading programs at our local libraries I want to share the reading love! I will be giving away a Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows to 1 lucky winner!  We were gifted some extra copies and we want to share! I’ll be mailing the book so you can live anywhere in the continental US to participate!


Subscribe to Win: Amber Teething Necklace

Post Comment Below to Win:
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

Share with us in a comment below: the age of your child/children, and what literature you have been reading to your child to enter to win: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows! 1 winner will be picked at random and announced on my blog and facebook page. Thank you for participating and sharing with us!

Mini Town!

I signed my children up to join my homeschool mom’s group(LSHE) field trip to Mini Town(BSSE)!  I took Z in for a 3 hour session of planning his shop with his team and then a week later Kev and I took the four children to shop & sell!  My three youngest were consumers and my oldest son was a producer and consumer.  They had a blast and I think it’s great that we can sign up for this annually(public school does it once per child)!  I was asked to be an apprentice next year and learn to take the ropes for future trips!  How fun!  This was a great math credit day but also taught a lot of lessons to consumers and producers alike!

The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations

I strongly believe in being an educated parent.  Researching as much as you can when making decisions for your family.  And I believe that each family has to take that information and figure out what’s best for them.

In saying that I have yet to vaccinate my children for anything.  We originally just planned on delaying vaccinations until my son was two.  At that time his immune system would be better established.  Then we were only going to do a few vaccinations.  At this point we haven’t found a vaccine we are comfortable enough with that outweighs our discomfort with the disease.  Below is an excerpt from a book that I really love.  It presents both sides, the disease itself, disease complications, the vaccine, vaccine complications, modern treatments and natural treatments.  It’s really very informative in a compact book.  I keep it in my purse at all times in case I ever need it for a discussion or parenting info.

I also became aware of a vaccination alternative called Nosodes several years ago.  “Homeopathic nosodes are thought to stimulate the body to recognize a disease-causing entity, provide a level of protection, and assist in the elimination of the pathogens naturally. Nosodes may provide a template to the immune system and the cell walls, thus making an indirect attack on diseases by stimulating the immune system and white blood cell production.” Source

Excerpt From

The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations

by Lauren Feder, M.D.

“Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines are commonly given as a three-in-one trivalent vaccine of live viruses at 1 year, with a second dose given between 4 and 6 years. The vaccine should not be given to children who are allergic to gelatin, neomycin, or eggs, since it is grown on chick embryo culture.

The MMR vaccine (along with the DTaP, hepatitis B, Hib, polio, and other vaccines) has been strongly linked to autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Although mainstream medicine believes that scientific evidence does not support this theory, many reports from parents have supported this. In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the London Royal Free Hospital and his colleagues suggested that the MMR vaccine (especially the measles vaccine) may be the cause of an inflammatory bowel condition in children, which may be linked to autism. For this reason, many parents are cautious in giving MMR and prefer that the shots be given separately.

Measles(Rubeola) What Is Measles?

Measles used to be a common childhood virus before the vaccine. It occurred primarily in children ages 2 to 6 years, and almost every child had measles by the age of 15. Measles was such a common illness that people born before 1957 are probably immune to measles, as they probably had it in childhood or were exposed. It is extremely contagious and is spread through close contact with an infected person (4 days before to 4 days after rash onset) or through touching a contaminated surfaces. The incubation period is approximately 10 to 12 days following exposure. A cyclical disease, measles outbreaks happen around the world every 2 to 3 years and more often in the late winter and early spring.

Symptoms of Measles

Most cases are mild, and begin with a high fever, then cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, pinkeye, and a hacking cough. Within a few days, a red blotchy rash appears. It can be itchy with raised red bumps. Characteristically, Koplik spots, small white spots in the insides of the cheek, appear before the rash. The rash begins faintly behind the ears and within 24 hours becomes darker as it spread to the face, head, neck, and arms (including hands). In 2 to 3 days, the rash reaches the legs, while the rash on the face correspondingly fades. With the onset of the rash, the child begins to feel better. Additional symptoms include sore throat, muscle pains, and light sensitivity. Most children who develop measles recover fully.

Complications of Measles

Occasionally there can be complications during to secondary infections. These may include diarrhea (in 8 percent of cases), ear infections (in 7 percent of cases), croup, and, in more severe cases, deafness, blindness, pneumonia, and encephalitis. The mortality rate is 1 in 1,000 cases.

How Common Is Measles?

In 1985, the government reported 80 percent of measles cases had been vaccinated. In 2002, 44 cases of measles were reported, which is substantially low, compared to 1941 when nearly 900,000 were reported. The vaccination program began in 1963, which has caused the occurrence of measles to shift to an older population. Outbreaks also occur in vaccinated populations.

Measles is still considered a severe illness in developing nations, where living conditions, sanitation, water supply, healthcare, and nutrition are considered inadequate. In past centuries, the mortality rate in the United States was higher than it is now. The current fatality rate is t to 2 our of 1,000 cases. Complications are more frequently seen in those with weakened immune systems, children with chronic disease, babies under 1 year old, and in adults.

After a child has had measles, he or she receives lifelong immunity from it. A mother who had measles as a child passes antibodies to her baby in utero, this protecting her newborn for the first year of life. However, in the early 1990s there was a measles outbreak in the United States that included children who were younger than 1 year old, which was unusual. According to the CDC, this was due to mothers who had been vaccinated, but never had the natural disease. The CDC concluded that the protection from the vaccine decreases over time, and that the vaccinated mothers did not pass their natural maternal measles antibodies to their babies.

Treatment of Measles

Standard medicine has no treatment for measles. The symptoms of high fever and cold do not respond to antibiotics or cough medicine, though supportive treatment, such as rest and fluids, are helpful. Homeopath, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and chiropractics have all been useful in the treatment of measles and in strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal.

The Measles Vaccine

The vaccine is composed of a live attenuated virus. According to a CDC published article, “Maternal Antibodies Interfere with Measles Vaccination,” some children who have received the measles vaccine or the MMR before 15 months of age may be in jeopardy of vaccine failure(in which the child fails to develop the desired immunity) because the immunity from the mother’s antibodies counteracts or neutralizes the vaccine. This can occur, especially if the mother had measles as a child. According to the CDC, many of these children were vaccinated when 1 year to 14 months old.

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines are given as a single shot of live viruses beginning at 1 year, with a second dose given at 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine is contraindicated in children who are allergic to eggs. When giving the measles shot alone, most parents follow the recommended schedule for the MMR vaccine with the first one given at around 15 months, and the second one before kindergarten. Because of possible interactions between the measles and mumps shots, separate the two by at least 6 months.

Risks of the Vaccine

Although most children receive the MMR in combination, there are adverse effects specific to each component. The measles vaccine, in particular, has been linked to colitis and various forms of inflammatory bowel disease. A study from the New York University School of Medicine involving autistic children found that 85 percent had severe intestinal inflammation, with evidence of measles virus on the biopsies. It is theorized that this inflammation may cause changes in the intestinal barrier, allowing the virus to enter the child’s bloodstream and cause inflammation elsewhere, namely in the brain, this contributing to the development of autism.

In general, mild side effects of the MMR vaccine include pain and swelling at the injection site, cold-like symptoms, fever, swollen glands, headache, dizziness, rash, nausea, and vomiting. More moderate adverse effects are convulsions, arthritis, thrombocytopenia (bleeding disorder), and Guillain-Barre. Very rarely there may be severe allergic life-threatening reactions, including deafness, comas, and permanent brain damage. The MMR vaccine has also been linked to autism.


Before the vaccination program was licensed in 1967, nearly every American child born before 1957 had measles. Most recovered without any serious consequences. With the possible link of the vaccine to inflammatory bowel disease and autism, many parents have questioned the use of the MMR vaccine, and if considering the measles vaccine at all, choose the single separated does over the combined.”

Fun in the Snow Feb 2013

Valentine’s Fun

Valentines is so much fun for my kids.  They each made boxes to hold their cards.  Tylea handed out her cards at her ballet class which was so cute.  The boys had parties at their enrichment program on the 12th.  I love that even though we homeschool they get to have Valentine’s Day parties and they aren’t missing out on anything.  Daddy came home with roses today for each child and a bouquet for mommy.  We are celebrating a day early so that we don’t have to be out with the masses of people on the 14th. We will be giving the children their Valentine’s tomorrow morning.  😀  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!