A Middle of the Homeschool Semester Update

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A middle of the homeschool semester update!

We are in the middle of the first homeschool semester, and I realized I haven’t given an update to how our year is going.

Like most families, we started out strong and have been struggling to keep the momentum up lately. I’m already looking forward to a holiday break! However we recently switched a few things up so I’m eager to see if it helps our days more.

What Is Working

Reading ~ We started the year using Level 2 of All About Reading. We should be done with Level 2 by January, and I’ve been so pleased with how well it has helped our 7 year old improve her reading. I’ll definitely get the next level and continue to use it with her.

Our Kindergarten age child is using Level 1 (slowly, but honestly that is more my fault than hers!). She really likes it and once again it’s proving to be the best reading program for our family!

History ~ Notgrass history is a huge hit with my 6th grader, just like it was last year! He is using the Uncle Sam and You set and has started the second book!

Science ~ Our 6th and 4th grader have used Apologia books again this year. I would say it’s been a big success for our 6th grader and a moderate success for our 4th grader. :)

Morning Read aloud Time ~ I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent with our morning time. Well, as consistent as a mom with a nursing baby who is up a lot at night can be. :) We definitely have our mornings where we start school super late, or we have a shortened version of our morning time, but I’m pleased with the books we are reading through together.

Character Badges ~ This continues to be a help for training our children in good character traits, even in school! You can write in one area yourself that you want the child to work on each month. I often write in good student, and if they had a good attitude during their school day they get a check at the end of the day in that category.

(The pre-order special of saving 10% with the code LAUNCH ends November 14th! We can’t wait to ship these sets out the first of December to everyone who has been ordering. We’re getting very close and the day we hold a complete set in our hands will be super exciting!).

Character Badge complete set

What Is Not Working

Grammar ~ I shared in the curriculum post for this year that we were going to try a new grammar program. Growing With Grammar came highly recommended by several people online, and then a homeschooling mom who used to be a grammar teacher raved about it at a local homeschool book sale.

It was the worst curriculum (for us!) that I picked for this school year. My boys were constantly telling me they didn’t understand it, and we were all in tears. I finally ditched it. When a curriculum makes a mom want to yell or cry, it’s time to move on! We went back to the original grammar curriculum I had purchased, which is First Language Lessons. That has been fantastic! I have both boys in level 4 together, and our 2nd grader is slowly making her way through level 2.

First Language Lessons has been an excellent grammar program for 4th and 6th grade!

Teaching Textbooks ~ I hesitate to put this in the not working category, because the main problem is that our PC computer the boys use for school has not been faithfully working! It’s been beyond frustrating to me. I send them downstairs to do math and they come up saying the computer is not working ~ I’ve heard it over and over and over.  Sean fixed it over the weekend *again* so I’m hoping we are good to go.

Israel (4th grade) has had trouble remembering his upper multiplication facts, which is making division tricky. We are actually adding Math U See, the Gamma level to our day now so he can just focus on getting his multiplication facts learned. I also bought the Xtra math app for the iPad and all three of the children are using it daily for drills.

History ~ Did you notice that I only shared the success of our oldest child when it came to history? We are trying to use Beautiful Feet guides for our 4th and 2nd grader. I love the curriculum, the problem is just with us! My 4th grader has lost his history reading books more times than I can count this year. My patience has definitely been tested over this! As for our 2nd grader, it’s just more of getting it all done, and fitting in reading the history books just to her.

So…we are going to actually do a huge switch in the middle of our school year and go to Tapestry of Grace, Year 2! I’m one of those crazy homeschooling moms that will actually switch curriculums. :) I almost bought this curriculum to use, and after reading Amy’s post from Raising Arrows on how she uses Tapestry of Grace with a Large Family, I am excited to give it a try. My goal is to start it this coming Monday, I’m getting everything set up right now.

Tapestry of Grace is a homeschooling curriculum that can work for a large family!

What Has Been Encouraging Me

Homeschool Made Simple ~ This DVD set has helped me keep focused on what my true goals are. I’ve been so inspired by watching this, and plan on watching it again this school year. I crave mentorship by older homeschooling moms, ladies who battled in the trenches during the early years and successfully made it through. I think I so desperately want this partly because my mom is not here to give me advice like I always thought she would be.

Homeschool Made Simple DVD Set

Sally Clarkson Podcasts ~ Once again, an older mom who has been there, done it, and can give sound advice. Sally recently started these podcasts and I’ve enjoyed listening to them while I fall asleep at night or cook dinner.

Joining a Homeschool Group – This is a brand new thing, but I’m going to join a local homeschool group. It’s actually not for my children, just for me! I’ve written before on how I can’t fit in field trips and be gone from home a lot, but I went to an evening meeting that was just for moms and it was so encouraging! My sister and I are both going to join and attend the monthly meetings together, I’m really looking forward to it!

I’d love to hear how your homeschool year is going! What are your successes or struggles? 






Character Badges Is Here With A $300 Giveaway To Celebrate!

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We did it! Awhile back you heard us talking about Character Badges, and then it went strangely quiet. It’s because we ended our Kickstarter Campaign as a brilliant new idea hit us. We’ve been doing our research and building the website, and today is the official launch day!
Character Badges is a new creative, flexible, and engaging child training program for children ages 5-12! Save 10% off during our pre-launch, and enter to win over $300 in prizes!

We heard nothing but positive feedback throughout our Kickstarter Campaign. But we knew something wasn’t quite right because we weren’t reaching our funding goal. It wasn’t long, though, and we realized it was the price – it was just a bit too high.

We get it. We have six children ourselves and understand homeschooling budgets that are stretched thin trying to purchase all the resources they need.

But we refused to give up. One day as we were brainstorming, a eureka moment hit me. I turned to Sean and said “what about stickers?!” He thought about it for a moment, and a smile hit his face.

Sean is the creator of Character Badges!

The talented and excited creator and designer! :)

What child doesn’t like stickers? What adult doesn’t like stickers for that matter? :) Instead of badges (the largest cost of the whole program), the same design has been put on 2″ round stickers, thus reducing the cost of the complete set almost 40%! Children can wear the stickers all day, put them on a binder and show off their achievements at the end of the month or year….there are so many possibilities! What’s more, the custom designs on each badge are beautiful and memorable!

Character Badges comes with 12 different stickers sheets!

There are 12 different Character Badge sticker designs, and each sheet comes with 12 stickers on it. A complete set of stickers is only $19.99, or separate sticker sheets are $1.99 each. Super affordable! These badges teach 9 different character attributes by referencing scriptural stories or examples from nature.

Character Badges is a fun and flexible child training system for children ages 5-12!

Are you just hearing about Character Badges?

Character Badges is a child training system designed to encourage your child to acquire the habits of good behavior. It consists of a series of colorful charts, playful but meaningful badges, and a flexible reward system. Each part works together seamlessly to incentivize good behavior and discourage poor behavior.

Character Badge complete set

Still want more information? Go to the website to learn more about how it works!

So It’s Available to Order Now?

Yes! Go to Character Badges and look at all the great items we have available there, from complete sets to individual parts of the system. We are now accepting pre-orders and will be shipping all the pre-orders at the end of November/Early December. From now until November 14th you can save 10% off your entire order with the code LAUNCH at the checkout. 

But that’s not all! If you order a set this month, you will receive a free hand drawn scripture print included in your package when it arrives! This offer is only good through October 31st.

Hand drawn scripture art prints.

Bloggers – an affiliate program is being set up this week! If you want to join our affiliate only FB group, just ask to join here

To celebrate the launch of this new product and new website, we have a big giveaway for you!

Enter to win the following: 

Deborah and co.

$50 Gift Certificate to Deborah & Co.

Modest, Feminine Clothing for Women and girls!


$50 worth of products from Lilla Rose 

Beautiful but practical hair clips for all hair types!

Character Badges Logo

A Character Badges Starter Set 

A Creative, Flexible, Engaging Child Training Program

Scripture Talk DVD

Scripture Talk DVD

Making Bible Memory Fun from Family Vision Films!

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook 

The New Cookbook for those who love THM!
Jamberry Nails

A Sheet of Jamberry Wraps (Premium ones excluded)

Beautiful wraps that last a long time!

12 Copyworb Through the Proverbs

12 Charlotte Mason Copywork through the book of Proverbs ebooks

Help your child develop good character through copywork!

Homemaking Conference

Homemaking Ministries Online Conference Ticket 

Be encouraged in your homemaking skills!


4 Unit Studies on nature for your child!

Download and learn through these ebooks.

The Heart of Humility

The Heart of Humility

A Family Study of Philippians 2:1-18 ebook!

Modesty Ebook

It’s The Heart Not The Hemline

A 5 Week Unit study for girls ages 8-14!

Paparazzi necklace and bracelet

Necklace and matching Bracelet by Paparazzi

You can join Jessica’s FB group to learn more about this $5 jewelry!


The Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character

Receive practical advice through this ebook!


Undivided Mom, Finding Christ in the Chaos of Motherhood

An ebook to uplift and encourage your mother heart!


Learning To Speak Life Family Devotion 

A fresh approach to family devotions ebook!

This giveaway is for USA only, although Character Badges will ship worldwide!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Usborne Gift Guide For Children

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It’s getting to be that time. I’m getting a good start on Christmas gifts, and I’m so excited to be tucking packages away! We have 2 birthdays in October and 3 in December, so I have to make sure I don’t wait until December to purchase all the gifts needed for that month!

I will be sharing different guides for you over the next few months, but I thought I would start by sharing a gift guide with items from Usborne Books and More. They have so many awesome products for children! Here are some of my favorite ones.

Slot-Together Castle

Slot Together Castle from Usborne Books!

This castle is SO awesome! My 10 year old son just received this for his birthday and has put it together. It’s even better quality than I had thought it would be, and it will hold up for hours of play! He was able to put it together himself, which he really enjoyed! The thought of paper thin castles that need folded and glued together makes me want to cry at the thought of it. I don’t like projects like that, so I appreciated how easy this castle was to assemble!

Usborne Slot Together Castle

The castle fully assembled! It also comes with two armies, and of course the King and Queen. :)

Slot-Together Victorian Dollhouse 

Slot Together Victorian Dollhouse! Create your very own detailed model dollhouse, complete with furniture, home accessories and a family of dolls. Simply press out the sturdy, foamboard pieces, slot together and you're ready to play. Comes with a book about dollhouses that contains ideas for games you can play with the house and the dolls.

This is a brand new Slot-Together dollhouse and I think it is so sweet! You can create your very own detailed model dollhouse, complete with furniture, home accessories and a family of dolls. My girls are going to love getting this for Christmas!

Coloring and Doodling Books For Girls!

Usborne Fashion coloring and drawing books are such fun! Plus they work great for art with homeschooling!

Here are some of my favorite doodling and coloring books for girls from Usborne:

Doodling and Coloring Fashion– Perfect for ages 6 and up! Finish out dresses, create hairstyles, doodle accessories. For girls who love to draw and love fashion, this is the perfect gift!

Pocket Fashion Drawing Book – A miniature version of the Fashion Doodle book, this is great for on the go!

Favorite Coloring Books

The Vintage Fashion Coloring Book – A lovely coloring book with fashion styles of many different time periods to color!

Wildflowers to Color, Nature to Color, Undersea Life to Color, Forest Life to Color – This is a great series. If your child likes to see a finished picture for ideas of how to color a detailed picture, these are the coloring books they need! My 7 year old loves the flower one.

Clothes and Fashion to Color

Clothes and Fashion to Color – This has lovely clothes and accessories to color!

Illustrated Classics to Read 

Do you have a reader in your home? Here are some Illustrated Original classics that are beautifully done! Little Women was recently released, which will delight many young girls. These are the original, unabridged books.

Illustrated Usborne Classic Books

Sticker Dressing Books

My children love these sticker books!

Sticker Wartime Fashion Book

Wartime Fashion from War World 2

First Sticker Book of Trains

First Sticker Book of Trains

Victorian Fashion Coloring Book

Victorian Fashion Book

Sticker Dressing Emergency Services

Emergency Services

These are just a few, you can browse through all the sticker books here!

I recently joined Usborne as a consultant and I want to offer this special deal for you! When you purchase $100 at Usborne (before tax and shipping), I will send you a refund on your shipping cost through Paypal! This offer is good through the end of October. Just email me after placing your order at Caroline@deborahandco.com and let me know where to send the refund!

Receive free shipping when you buy $100 in books!

I hope this gives you some ideas for gifts! There are so many other items for all ages (starting at baby books!), so make sure and browse through the actual website for your child’s interest!





A New Resource For Teaching Girls About Modesty!

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When it comes to teaching modesty to our daughters, I haven’t found many resources I like. There was one little booklet that I picked up at a used book sale, but honestly it didn’t fit our family standards at all. I try really hard to not teach my daughters what modesty is based on a list of strict rules. I am also quick to say that these rules are for *our* family – not everyone might say no earrings until you turn a teenager, no shorts, etc.

I have been looking forward to this study being released, because it fills a great need! As mothers, we need to teach our girls about modesty long before they turn a teenager, and this study is for girls ages 8-14!

It’s The Heart, Not The Hemline is a five week unit study. The five weeks address, what is modesty, a modest heart, a modest appearance, modest speech, and a modest behavior.
It's the Heart, Not the Hemline Unit Study on Modesty

What I love about this study is that it directs the girls back to their parents. They are told to go and ask their parents certain questions, as the authors believe the parents hold the authority to lead their daughter in the specifics on what is appropriate to wear, based on your family guidelines.

If you reach your daughter’s heart as a young girl, it will help her stay the course when all the confusing and conflicting voices come. This study will help you reach her heart!

This is so much much more than just a 5 week study, it’s full of scripture cards, memory verse cards, flash cards, quizzes, and lots of activities to do together!

Normally this study is $15.99, but you can save $7.00 with the code: modestmom7 which is only good through September 30th! This is a digital pdf download, so make sure you check your email for the link!

Modesty Unit Study