Director: Craig Pryce

Writer: Jennifer Maisel

Stars: Tia Mowry-Hardrict (Deanna), Tamera Mowry-Housley (Danielle), O.T. Fagbenle (Tate), Chad Connell (Jaz)

"Double Wedding" is a romantic comedy featuring Deanna and Danielle, indentical twin sisters who are both single. When their grandparents announce plans to renew their vows and have the big wedding party they never had fifty years ago, the sisters decide to look for dates. As it happens, they both meet the same man (Tate) and fall in love with him, and he doesn't realize he is dating two women. Separately, Jaz and Deanna have worked together for years, and he is in love with her but she doesn't realize it. The romances and difficulties develop alongside the sister's work aspirations and the grandparent's wedding plans.

It's quite a predictable movie, but cute and mostly happy. Both the sisters and Tate have happy, supportive families that encourage them to communicate and work things out - which they end up doing, of course. There were a few rough spots in the writing, but overall this was a super movie: 8 out of 10.

Rating: Age 10 to 12+

Source: IMDB


My general homeschool influences are Maria Montessori (A Montessori Mother by Dorothy Canfield Fisher) and Susan Wise Bauer (The Well Trained Mind).

Our plans for Grade 3 are as follows:

Language Arts:

Ellie is a strong reader and reads a lot for enjoyment, so we will keep reading mostly as a free time activity. Currently, this occurs before breakfast and after lunch. She learned how to read with "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" and we may do some review here and there. Our main lessons will be "First Language Lessons 1-2" and "Daily Reading Comprehension 2-3". We will read and recite poems from "A Child's Garden of Verses" almost daily. Our main book studies will be to take turns reading out loud from: 1. Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan; 2. The Chronicles of Narnia; and 3. The Pilgrim's Progress; and completing some sort of learning report as we finish each book. We will have a dictionary available for learning new words.

The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading - Jessie Wise
1st Language Lessons Level 1 - Jessie Wise
1st Language Lessons Level 2 - Jessie Wise
Daily Reading Comprehension 2 - Evan-Moor
Daily Reading Comprehension 3 - Evan Moor
A Child's Garden of Verses - Thomas Kincade & Robert Louis Stevenson

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
Stuart Little - E.B. White
The Trumpet of the Swan - E.B. White
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
The Pilgrims Progress - John Bunyan
Children's Dictionary - American Heritage

For writing, we will practice sentence and story writing, with an emphasis on correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. For spelling, we will work through "Spelling Workout A, B, and C." For other spelling practice we will use word lists from "The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary" and "ABC's and All Their Tricks". We will be spending a lot of time on spelling this year. For fun, we will include "Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive" and Ellie can do this somewhat at her leisure, with the goal being completion and competency by the end of the year.

How to Write a Super Sentence - Evan-Moor
How to Write a Story - Evan-Moor
Just Write - Elsie Wilmerding
Spelling Workout A, B, & C
The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary
The ABC's and All Their Tricks - Margaret M. Bishop
Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive


In Grade 2, Term 3, we started "Journeys in Math 3", so we will continue from where we left off. We also have a book called "Math 3 Student Notes and Problems". If we can, we might start "It's Mathmatics 4".

Journeys in Math 3
Math 3 Student Notes and Problems
It's Mathmatics 4

Other workbooks we might try include:

Grade 3 Math - McGraw-Hill Education
Math Made Easy Expanded Edition Grade 2 - DK Publishing
Math Made Easy Expanded Edition Grade 3 - DK Publishing
Math Made Easy Expanded Edition Grade 4 - DK Publishing
Canadian Money Activities Grades 1-3
Canadian Daily Math Grade 3
Canadian Daily Math Grade 4


For science, we want to focus on nature study and kids science experiments, maybe twice a week. Our books and resources include:

Sharing Nature with Children - Joseph Bharat Cornell
The Nature Connection - Clare Walker Leslie
Keeping a Nature Journal - Clare Walker Leslie
How To Keep A Naturalist's Notebook - Susan Leigh Tomlinson
Ten-Minute Field Trips - Helen Ross Russell
Drawn to Nature - Clare Walker Leslie
The Burgess Animal Book for Children - Thornton W. Burgess
The Burgess Seashore Book for Children - Thornton W. Burgess
Sharing Nature with Children II - Joseph Bharat Cornell
Usborne Big Book Of Science Things To Make And Do - Rebecca Gilpin
First Science Encyclopedia - DK Publishing
Usborne Big Book Of Experiments - Alastair Smith

Social Studies:

Our Communities - Sharon Sterling
Canadian Map Book 1 & 2
Who Runs This Country Anyway?


Director: Brin Hill

Writer: Joss Whedon

Stars: Zoe Kazan (Rebecca); Michael Stahl-David (Dylan); Mark Feuerstein (Phillip)

"In Your Eyes" is a romantic drama featuring Rebecca, the lonely wife of a condescending doctor (Phillip), and Dylan, an ex-con trying to make a new start. They live across the country from each other, Rebecca in the winter in New Hampshire, and Dylan in warm New Mexico. They begin to realize that they share an unexplainable connection, as they have since they were children, and a romance develops as they get to know each other.

The filming was great, and I especially enjoyed the characters and the settings. The movie explored the idea of true love, including respect, caring, conversation, and a shared sense of humor. It also compared "crazy" versus "normal" according to an individual and other people. The disconnected marriage, and subsequent affair and it's fall out, were expected but sad nevertheless. I thought it was very well done over all: 8 out of 10.

Rating: Age 14+

Source: IMDB and Parent's Guide

Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Matthew 15:18 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart...
Proverbs 12:18 ESV
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Matthew 12:36 ESV
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak...
Proverbs 16:24 ESV
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Matthew 12:37 ESV
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Colossians 3:8 ESV
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Proverbs 13:3 ESV
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 21:23 ESV
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
James 1:26 ESV
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
James 3:1-12 ESV
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ...
Proverbs 15:4 ESV
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Luke 6:45 ESV
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Proverbs 17:27 ESV
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Colossians 4:6 ESV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Proverbs 11:12 ESV 
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
Proverbs 10:19 ESV
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Psalm 141:3 ESV
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Matthew 7:12 ESV 
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 12:25 ESV
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Ephesians 5:3-4 ESV 
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Matthew 4:4 ESV
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Luke 11:28 ESV
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Proverbs 15:23 ESV
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Deuteronomy 8:1-20 ESV
“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. ...
Deuteronomy 6:1-25 ESV
“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ...


Source: Open Bible

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

John Milton. 1608–1674

318. On His Blindness

WHEN I consider how my light is spent
E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, least he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.

Source: Bartleby


Staying Silent Says Nothing by "All Things Held Together"

Heal Our Land - Love Will Win by "All Things Held Together"

Harmony - Where Is It?  - by "All Things Held Together"

Proof Doesn't Come From Me - by "All Things Held Together"

What To Do When Your Husband Isn't Your Spiritual Leader  - by "All Things Held Together"

A Letter to My Husband  - by "All Things Held Together"

A Lesson in Perspective - by "All Things Held Together"


A friend of ours lent me a book called "The One-Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka. It is incredible. This is exactly "it" - our cultural problems, and our cultural solutions. (Oh, and also, maybe trusting the God that made us and our world?? But that's another post!) Mainly, this book refines my focus and purpose.

I love what is natural, because it is beautiful and simple, and each part works together in amazing, connected ways. I believe that God made everything to function together in just the right way - to be in balance, in harmony, and in peace. This book gives more detail on the 'hows' and 'whys' of this kind of philosophy, and how to actually put it into practice in an individual's life and local community. I think is is essential reading for anyone with this sort of interest.

On this same subject, our initial garden inspiration this year was the video "Back to Eden" by Paul Gautschi.

There are also some books by Ruth Stout, which I haven't read but seem to have the same philosophy.

Finally, the preface of "The One-Straw Revolution", written by Wendell Berry, mentions Sir Albert Howard as "the founder of the science of organic agriculture in the West".


We have spent the last year sorting and de-cluttering our home, trying to minimize what we have, and maximize the usefulness of what we keep. However, I feel like our baskets, shelves, and closets are so cluttered still! I feel like I spend so much time trying to organize and tidy up our things, and it is wearing me out. As we focus on our basement right now, I am beyond overwhelmed. We have worked so hard for so long, and it feels like we still have so far to go. We have so much that is neat, beautiful, useful, and good quality, both in our basement and throughout our home, and those are the hardest things to deal with.

I came across this blog today, Blonde on a Budget. It is very similar to our own values, and what we already do and/or strive to do. It is encouraging me to persevere and continue on.

Also, there is this blog: Becoming Minimalist

And this blog: The Minimalists


We are thankful to have three more or less dedicated homeschool rooms in our basement and I am working to set them up as an art room, a classroom, and a play room. Most of our home is set up for children anyway, with lots of toy shelves, small tables and chairs, accessible clothes drawers and hooks, and other accommodations to encourage the independence of small children. However, this year we are teaching grade three, preschool, and we have a crawling baby around, so instead of doing school work anywhere in the house, most of our time will be spent in those particular rooms. I'm sorting, rearranging, and organizing them into a more functional and efficient unit, so the little kids can be happily and independently occupied while I'm working with my daughter, and vice versa.

If you aren't familiar with Maria Montessori and her methods of working with young children, I recommend reading "A Montessori Mother" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. This book is a fairly quick read, and gives great ideas for applying Montessori principles to your home and family routines.

Here are some classrooms that I like from Pinterest.