Returned with a fresh new outlook

On September 18, 2015 we returned back to Clayton Homes with a fresh new outlook and opened our minds (and our budget) a little more than before, and was excited to see what possibilities were in store!  Here are the links to part 1 and part 2 of our home buying experience!

We looked at more 3 bedroom, 2 bath houses and only one 4 bed/2 bath house.  It was basically an all afternoon event and with a grumpy toddler who didn’t have her nap, it definitely made it hard to focus at times!

We talked about the advantages/disadvantages with them all, and really wanted to stay focused on a more open layout for Brielle (and our future children) to just be able to run around play with, and just explore.  What was definitely important for me, was to have the ability to have an office (for blogging) and a separate area for our homeschooling/learning time.

Eventually we made our selection, and chose to go with the 4 bedroom/2 bathroom 1791 sq. ft house, called The Tyson.  It was perfect, and spacious.  It has a living room+ a den, a nice size kitchen/dining room and four bedrooms.  We really couldn’t top that, AND it was within our budget, and we were beyond happy (plus Brielle basically fell in LOVE with our master tub when we first saw it, because she thinks it has the perfect area for her to sit in while Mommy and Daddy are in it!) lol!

Below I will show you pictures from the Model Home version of ours, and even though our layout is the same, our house itself is different colors.  Hope you all enjoyed this finding a house journey with us.. but the problem doesn’t end with choosing a house, we had to get our land ready to place the house on it.. oh boy! Stay tuned…

house 13
Master Closet
Living Room
Guest bathroom/Brielles Bathroom
Guest Room
Brielle’s Room
Dining Room
Kitchen/utility Room
Living Room
Living Room
Master Bath


©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.



Crafting with numbers

During this past weeks school lessons for Brielle, I have  been focusing on counting from 1-20.  I feel like she has pretty much mastered 1-10 (sometimes skipping 4), but that we needed to expand and start counting into the larger numbers.

I wanted to have fun with some of the food/candy we had in the house that I knew she wouldn’t eat and used them to help with my counting exercise. We practiced with making a flower out of food, and the shape of a moon since one of her words of the week, is moon.

We counted everything from the peppermint, to the pretzels, all the way to the fruit snacks.  She had fun, and even got in her morning snack along the way!

What we used:

  • White printer paper
  • Permanent marker
  • Elmers glue
  • Peppermint candy
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Fruit snacks

Here is the result:




©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Which is best? Public Vs. Home Schooling

Now that Brielle is two, and school is definitely around the corner, I definitely wanted to write myself a little comparison of home schooling vs. public schooling. I have friends/family on both sides of the spectrum, and as of right now, Shane and I haven’t quite decided what is best for Brielle yet.

I like to research both sides of things when we are considering what is really best for a certain situation, and what we know is best in our heart.  I reached out to a couple of my friends who are currently living in the situation (one is a stay at home mom to her three kids– Courtney, and one is a teacher at a public school–Christy).  I asked each of them to give me 5 benefits to their style of teaching.

For homeschooling and getting to learn a lot of the facts, I spent a good amount of time on the Texas Home School Coalition Association.  One of the things that struck me the most, was that Academic testing was not a requirement to testing your knowledge when you are taught at home, like it is every year in public schools. “Home schoolers do have the option of using different types of testing to determine grade placement and to assess their child’s academic progress throughout the years”, which could be a simple review over the material they have learned.

Courtney’s 5 benefits to home schooling are:

-One on one time (which allows you to give your child extra attention)

-Go at your own pace (instead of being pushed to go faster at a public school)

-The goal is complete mastery of the subject

-Tests are different (they aren’t required, you can just check your childs comprehension of the subject by asking questions and reviewing the topic.)

-Curriculum (You can choose your curriculum based on your childs learning needs visual, auditory, etc.) The core subjects are a must (spelling, writing, social studies, etc) but the additional languages (spanish, french, etc) are a personal preference.

I also asked for a Sample daily schedule and this was her response:

7:30A-8:30A Awake and breakfast time



10:15A-11:15A-P.E (30 mins of activity, 30 mins of free play)

11:15A-11:35A- Reading on own while mom makes lunch

11:35A-12:35P- Mom reads to them

12:35P-12:45P- they have to narrate back to mom what their understanding of the book was

12:45P-1:15P- Spanish

Public schools have been opened for a VERY long time. One of the first American schools opened in the 17th century.  By 1870, all states offered free elementary schooling and encouraged parents to put them in school.  By 1910, most states offered free education through high school.  Public schools allow statistical data to be drawn and show the improvement, or decline, over a period of time.  This website here, shows how much the graduation rate has increased over a 7 year period. This website shows the top public schools in Texas, based on the academic testing and funding provided.

Christy stated 5 benefits for public school are:


-Special Needs Requirements (The children are integrated with everyone else and always have an extra teacher or helper in the class to give the child extra attention)

-Accountability (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills tells the teachers what to teach, and allows the principal and others to come and assess them in their class to make sure the knowledge is being taught)

-Funding (Access to more technology and offer more resources to the children)

-Learn how to work with others (learn conflict resolution)

I also asked Christy to provide me with an example of a daily schedule:

8:00A-8:45A- ELAR(english/language arts) MWF GT(gifted and talented), M-F Special ED ELAR Pull Out

8:45A-9:00A- Character Education (Anti-Bully Lesson)

9:00A-10:00A- Small Group Work and Tier Pull Out (Reading, Math)


11:00A-11:45A Lunch

11:45A-1:15P Math

1:45P-2:15P- MWF Specials TTH Science and Social Studies

2:15P-2:45P- TTH Specials MWF  Science and Social Studies

2:45P-3:15P Study Hall

While Shane and I still have a couple of more years before we have to make a final decision, I am glad to have researched all of the information, and I hope this may help someone else out as well.  Both are great, and I truly thank you Courtney and Christy for providing me with such great input! 🙂