Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BFS #110: Computer help People Help People (IBM)


Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites.  The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site.  Many homeschooling families have made the choice to live on very little income to do what they believe is best for their children and I want everyone to be able to benefit from this assignment.  If you have other sites that are “paid” sites, feel free to include these also as it might be something someone would really appreciate.  If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us.  I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about.  Please make sure to include links to the sites you share.

My favorite Sites:







Of course I could list more... I was just scanning my saved links and have several hundred (I need to purge them) but the above are my all time favorites for free homeschool stuff.. I have a list of fav's for blogs, mom stuff, ect but that is another post.

Field Trip: Willamette River Queen and RiverFront Park

We joined SASH for a fun afternoon on the Willamette River Queen today. Although the sky was cloudy and the wind was lightly blowing we still had fun. Cameron even decided to "drive" the boat and was put in an sailor's hat to take the wheel. Perfect as our mascot is a sailor.

Cameron tried out some new toys at the park and found out you can fly!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Cameron can fly"]Cameron can fly[/caption]

Boys in Thought

As we were waiting for the launch of the Willamette River Queen today I caught both boys in thought as they looked out their windows. Wonder what they were thinking?

Nathan is usually so talkative you wonder what he is thinking about as he experiences a boat ride for the first time.

Cameron can get lost in thought often, he reminds me of myself sometimes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Veteran's Day Lapbook finishes off Community Helpers Unit

I still need to reload the camera and take pictures of the finished lapbook but Cameron and I worked on a great Veteran's Day lapbook on Tuesday. It was a free download that another homeschooler forwarded to us and it was great.  We talked about each branch of the service, what is a veteran, how to treat the American Flag and then finished with Veteran's we know.  Cameron wrote the motto for 3 of the 5 branches of military as well as the names of 5 people we know that are Veteran's (Papa, Uncle Matt, Eric G., Pastor Jim, and Will W. ) those were the names he was the most familar with and could relate to, not that the others were not important but getting a 6 year old young writer to focus on writing a list... We picked just a few.  He decorated the cover with some patriotic stickers I found in my stash and titled it.  Overall the lesson was good and the time together was great.

Next week we will be changing gears and studying the stars. Day 4 of Creation... The boys have been looking forward to this unit for the last month... I'm glad it gets dark earlier and I can take them outside to see the stars (praying for a clear night at least once...)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Family Economics

As I try to plan the next few weeks I have to think about the economics of our family. Everyone is talking about the economy now and how terrible it is... Thankfully the price of gas has dropped making trips to town cost a lot less than they use to. When we moved out here 3 1/2 years ago we stuck with the idea that we would continue to be a one income household and make a ton of sacrifices to do that. People tell me about all the troubles they are having money wise and I just think, wait a minute these are the things I face everyday and have since I left the banking industry just over 4 years ago. People make choices in their lives, we have made the decision to live a simpler life without a lot of bells and whistles. I have to make the decision each week as to what is necessary and what is not. Some people have this impression that we have living some kind of cushy lifestyle where money isn't a problem and we have whatever we need, I'm sorry some have the impression but it is so far from the truth.

I have creatively come up solutions to problems, cut corners where I can and simply given up most of the conveniences of my former life. That is basic family economics.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BFS: #108 Quality is Job #1

My family and I rarely do anything apart from each other. We don’t really have quality time together because all our time is together. We feel like the more special moments are when we have dinner together or when we worship God together. For this assignment, tell how you and your family spend QUALITY time together.

This assignment is timely... Following Cameron's birthday I let him pick out a couple of gifts with his Gift Card from Walmart (Thank you Auntie Karla and Uncle Matt!!!). He picked out art supplies including an art pad, paint brushes, and a set of Crayola kid paints (washable and in easy to close containers)... so for the last 2 evenings we have been doing art after dinner with Daddy.  Tonight Nathan joined in and the 3 boys painted pictures (works of art!!! I'm not biased or anything.), while they painted I sat at the table and created a couple scrapbook pages of my nephew... We are enjoying this creative time together that is not "school" or eating time...  Of course I will be saving the boys' works of art in their school notebooks and scrapbooks.

BFS #109: We Bring Good Things to Life

Share a field trip/lifestyle learning experience where you really felt you were bringing good things to life for your children, where something came alive for them, or ignited a passion.

I can think of several field trips that have given the boys something to really grab hold of... OMSI teacher night back in September was a great trip for them to see things in action as well as reinforce several mini units we were working on... The dinosaur exhibit as well as the forest life area struck a cord with Cameron.  Nathan loved playing in the children's museum water works and sand box.   The other field trip was our trip to AC Gilbert House/ Discovery Village, the boys love going there and seeing what is new and exciting.  I know even a trip out to Daddy's shop can be a enlightening "field trip" for them as we strive to make learning engaging and fun.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Unit Complete

We started off the day by dropping off our ballots at the Elections Office.

[caption id="attachment_136" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Reaching for the ballot box"]Reaching for the ballot box[/caption]


Then we stopped to show off the Vote Here sign.

Vote Here

Then home to work on our lapbook.

Cameron colored tons of election themed bits and pieces for his book. As the news started coming in about different states we colored the map red and blue.  Cameron even included his own ballots.

[caption id="attachment_140" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="inside lapbook including ballots "]inside lapbook including ballots [/caption]

[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="electoral collage map and fun star file folder"]electoral collage map and fun star file folder[/caption]

Election night Prayer

I have kept politics off my blog but feel I have to say this now.
I am praying for our country and my children. I am hopeful but not ignorant to reality. I hope those of you the voted feel the pride in knowing that you did what you could do to help, it doesn't matter if we agree on the different points or not, voting is a privilege and an honor.
As we completed our ballots last night I felt a solace in knowing I was doing the right thing for me, my family, and my country. The only thing left to do know if pray. Pray that what has been said about certain parties is not all together true, pray that God continues to protect and care for his children, pray that better days are to come in Christ.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

File Folder Fun Grand Opening Celebration

We love file folder games and are so excited to share this new group with all our reading friends.

File folder games go along with our love of lapbooks and are great games that store inside themselves.

File Folder Fun is a great website for sharing ideas and finding some fun games.

Stop by the website to enter a great giveaway Valerie is having the celebrate the Grand Opening.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Not necessarily Homeschool related but still fun.

We studied Pirates last month as Cameron decided he was going to be a pirate for Halloween.

This year we decided to not trick or treat but attended a local church alternative event.

Cameron used his extra tickets from the carnival games to get Nathan a tractor. The smile on Nathan's face was worth every thing tonight I was so proud of Cameron for sharing his hard earned tickets...

Monday, October 27, 2008

So I'm a little sentimental today.. Cameron is turning 6 in a week and I'm reflecting on the last 6 1/2 years (it was an eventful pregnancy)
His favorite song for me to sing him is Amazing Grace and I love the Chris Tomlin version.. I found an awesome video on You Tube with the song and cool pictures.. Hope you enjoy it..
Amazing Grace Video

Here is our First Family picture. Cameron was less than 24 hours old...

A favorite of mine... At Day out with Thomas in 2004.

Short notice but an awesome give away.


Stop by here to enter today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Classroom reorganization

Mike and I reorganized the classroom last week while the boys were staying at Gamma's house.

Here are the results (I'm still tweaking as we settle into the new environment but that is half the fun of homeschooling)

Cameron at his Desk in the Classroom
Cameron at his Desk in the Classroom
Set up more Montessori Style with hands on learning activities
Set up more Montessori Style with hands on learning activities
the grey drawers moved from the other side of the room.
the grey drawers moved from the other side of the room.

Ancient Egypt Crafts

We are participating in an online co-op through Hands of  a Child, studying Ancient Egypt.
Here are some of Cameron's craft activities to go with the unit.
[caption id="attachment_116" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ancient Pyramid using duplo blocks"]Ancient Pyramid using duplo blocks[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_117" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Eqyptian Necklace over Daddy's t-shirt "]Eqyptian Necklace over Daddy's t-shirt [/caption]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my husband.
6 years of marriage.
15 years ago we had our first date.
Time flies!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BFS: M'mm M'mm Good

ntro: M’m M’m Good (Campbell’s Soup)
The fall is such a wonderful time of year.  The beautiful foliage and cool, crisp morning air is such a wonderful change from the hot summer.  I also love the M’m M’m good smell of fall cooking and baking.  The wonderful fall veggies, fruits and Thanksgiving foods.

Assignment:  Post your favorite fall recipe/recipes to share.  I love trying new recipes, do you?  It can be baking, main dishes, veggies, dessert or anything else you can think of.  There are no limits.  Mmmmmm..I can’t wait to take a look at some of those recipes.

This is a quick and easy recipe that is a standard around our house.

Chilli Ghetti:

1 Can of Chilli

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked pasta (spaghetti or large maccaroni)

This is a large serving (usually for my husband) or 3 small servings (me and the boys) so when we are all having it I double the recipe.

Place cooked pasta of large dinner plate top with chilli and cheese, place in microwave for 1 minute to melt the cheese. Serve.

I will post more recipes this week as I get some time..

A.C. Gilbert House/ Discovery Village Homeschool Day

Last month we attended the homeschool day at AC Gilbert House/ Discovery Village. We got our membership cards as well.  I am hoping to take the boys there through out the year for activities and classes.  Just thought I would share some of the photos from that day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We joined SASH on a field trip to Bauman Farms for a pumpkin patch trip to beat all. The whole family went and made day of it. We each got to pick a pumpkin, a gourd, and an Indian corn. There was a maze with 1 way out (down a tube slide), a play ground, a pirate ship with another huge tube slide, and lots of hay bale art. I won't post all the photos as I think I ended the day with about 50. Needless to say we had fun and it was great to meet some of the moms I have been chatting with online.

[caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="SASH field trip to Bauman Farms"]SASH field trip to Bauman Farms[/caption]


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Homeschool I.D., ideas, discounts and more

If you haven't found the Homeschool Buyers Co-op you need to check it out.

Many companie require an ID card to receive teacher discounts as well as the student discount, well HBC is the place to get yours. You can do the free card or purchase a professional looking laminated card. They also have tons of free virtual field trips, curriculum resources, group discounts , and links to tons of information.

If you follow our blog you know I am one for free or discounted homeschooling, Well HBC is one of the best places on the web for free homeschool stuff and great deals. Check them out!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BFS: Don't leave home without it.

Don’t Leave Home Without It! (Marketing Credit: American Express)

Memory Verse: Matthew 28: 20 - Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

Intro: Never Leave Home Without It (Marketing Credit:  American Express) Diapers, bottles, wipes, bibs, pacifiers, extra clothing, cell phone, PDA, ipod, iphone, credit or debit cards … what would you never leave home without?

Assignment: Well since we haven't graduated out of a diaper bag yet we don't leave home without that which includes the following:



extra binky

small toy

sometimes a small snack

Mommy's wallet

Mommy's Notebook (the brains in this game)

On occassion we are running super fast and don't always grab it so both my van and Daddy's truck are supplied with pull ups, wipes, and jackets for both boys.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

BFS: Try it You'll Like it!

Intro: Try it, you’ll like it! (Life Cereal)
When everyone else was afraid to try Life Cereal, they called on Mikey. Sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone is just too scary. Have you felt God gently (or maybe not so gently) nudging you to do something for someone else? You know that it needs to be done, but you keep putting it off because it is outside of your comfort zone? Well ladies, this week we are taking a step outside of our comfort zones.

Assignment: This week I want you to do something for someone else. Do you have a neighbor that needs you? Do you know an elderly person or single mom that could use you? What about the homeless? Pack even one single sack lunch and give it to someone in need. Do you know someone in blogland that is struggling right now and could use a note from you about how much you care? Pray about this. Let God put on your heart the perfect thing for you to do for another. Now, here is the kicker…I DO NOT want you to post about what you do. Whatever you choose to do is between you and God. Our rewards are in heaven, not here on earth, Mathew 6:1. I want you to post about how doing this “act” made you feel. Was stepping out of your comfort zone in this area as hard as you thought it might be? Could you see the gratefulness in their eyes? Hear it in their voice? Tell it from their typing? Do you think you might make doing things like this a more regular part of your time?  If this is an area that you are already active in, tell us how you feel this has impacted your life.

I've been sitting on this post for a while now trying to decide what I wanted to write.  I have been trying to help a gentleman at church that recently lost his wife. Their story is one that gives hope to those of us that are younger married couples. C is 99 and I was 90 when she passed away on 9-11-08. They had been married for 72 years. He is devastated by the loss and is still coming to grips with it. However , he remains a strong part of our little country church. I know he doesn't want to feel pitied or for that matter doesn't want people to talk about his loss. So, I've been trying to make him feel that he is a crucial part of our little church. He hands out the bulletins from his pew. And the boys and I greet him with a smile. Today I offered to set him by the sound system so he could listen to the sermon on the head phones again, but he didn't want to feel like he was singled out. We talked at lunch and joked a little, it was a blessing to see a smile and hear a little chuckle from him today.  I pray that he will feel comfort in our time together today.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Writing without worksheets: a New way to teach old school

I'm sure I'm not the first mom to come up with this... I know that I'm not as I was able to buy the products to do it.

We are working on our printing skills and I hate worksheets, and so does Cameron. So we got a wipe off board with primary lines at Walmart (there is one from Expo, but our was a back to school clearance item). We have 5 lines and the board is magnetic so we can use magnet letters to spell words then practise writing them.

Cameron took to this so fast that we have been letting him come up with "new" words on his own.

The idea isn't new, actually the concept goes back to slate tablets in schools long ago. This is just more colorful and has more options.

I was amazed at the options when we went to Staples to use our rebate coupon for some misc. supplies. WOW, the wipe off board and markers idea has taken old in a huge way. They even sell one that has felt on the backside and comes with foam letters (I didn't ever think about foamie letters on felt... )

Anyway just had to share a bit of sucess in our homeschool with everyone... I'll try and post some pictures of Cameron and his write board (as he calls it) this afternoon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

BFS: Wacky Week

Have you done something crazy in your homeschool?  Do you fingerpaint with your toes?  Do you let your children do your hair?  Do you wear your pajamas during homeschool?   Oh, the list is endless, but it’s up to you and how much fun you want to have..

Wackiness, let me think.... Does Homeschool at 9pm count. Cameron likes to play his phonics game at night and seems to absorb more this way...

What about laying on the floor? Nathan likes to lay on the floor and color....

Location..... Some find it a little crazy that our classroom is the laundry room... Personally I'm for whatever works... I've even thought of moving us out to the garage for space and flexibility and to get away from the TV in the living room......

So that is the Wackiness at Unionvale School, Care to join in the craziness?

BFS: It keeps going , and going, and going....

How do you keep energized so you can get it all done? bouncy music? treat it like a workout? Do you use a schedule?, a housekeeping binder system? luck of the draw system?.. or is this an area where you need encouragement? Do you need God’s help to keep order and beauty in your dwelling place? Take this week to tell us how You diligently keep going with your housekeeping chores.

Reading this one really got me thinking. I'll be perfectly honest... I suck at housekeeping! I do have a Mommy Notebook (Thanks to Cindy Rushton's awesome classes and ideas) that keeps us on schedule or at least in the right direction. I try to do things a little at a time.. When the sun is out I can hang the laundry and that seems to reenergize me. The other thing to keeps me going is turning up the radio/ stereo and refocusing. I have several CD's I refer to in times of overwhelming. I love Carmen's Prayer Anthem and Sandy Patty's Praise CD (the name escapes me right now.), I also have a draw toward movie scores, Narnia: Lion, Witch, and The Waredrobe is in my stereo today...  It isn't much but it seems to help...

So there you have it... Now I should go, I left the dishes half done again...

Hands of a Child All American Sale

if you haven't tried Lapbooking or you want a project ready study Hands of a Child has an awesome selection. We are currently working on our Ancient Egypt Study as part of the Hands of a Child Online Co-op and have already made plans for several more studies this year.

I received an awesome announcement from Hands of a Child today, in celebration of the election year they are having an ALL American Sale.

Here is a taste of the sale:
Presidential Election and SAVE!

Save $3 off each of the All American Lapbook Project Packs listed below.

NO coupon code needed just add the unit in the format (eBook, Printed or CD) you prefer to your cart and you will have saved between 25% and 15%.

And that’s just for the basic members.

If you are a Super Member you will have saved an additional 15% on top of that for any eBook purchases.

All American Units to Choose From:
· HOCPP 1254 Presidential Elections
· HOCPP 1032 American Government
· HOCPP 1105 September 11th, 2001
· HOCPP 1181 The American Civil War
· HOCPP 1061 The American Revolution
· HOCPP 1015 The Declaration of Independence
· HOCPP 1132 The United States Air Force
· HOCPP 1256 The United States Constitution
· HOCPP 1106 The United States Navy
· HOCPP 1238 U.S. Army: The Big Red One
· HOCPP 1104 Labor Day
· HOCPP 1149 Presidents’ Day
· HOCPP 1220 Presidents’ Day Fun

Stop by their site and check them out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creation Science Class Coming Soon

Cindy gave us this great article to share gettting ready for the upcoming Creation Science Class.

You don't want to miss this class.

Art of Expressing What You Believe
By Christina Gerwitz Moss

Many Christians I know have been exposed to Creation Science and for that I am thankful to God. They have studied it, taught their kids about it, and/or given their friends books to read about the subject. This initiative has allowed the message of Creation Science to spread and awareness to rise. Many are amazed with the re alization that there are scientific facts to support the Biblical account of the origins of life. But what happens when you are presented with an opportunity to verbally explain your beliefs?

Individuals I have known, who are often very intelligent and knowledgeable, seem to cave when presented with an opportunity to explain Creation Science to someone in a discussion format. You may be thinking that this sounds very familiar—maybe you have been in a conversation or heard a debate in which the person seemed to forget information they knew seconds before. Why does this happen? Or more importantly, “how do I prevent this from happening?”

I have personally witnessed this phenomenon on many occasions. The discussion begins between a well-meaning Christian and an evolutionist or even someone who is just curious about Creation Science, but then suddenly things take a turn for the worst. All of what has been learned is forgotten or maybe the information is remembered just not when to use certain arguments! The discussion/debate seems to be lost from the beginning, yet it’s not because the debater didn’t believe in what was being said and it’s not because they didn’t know the information, it’s simply that they have not been taught to express the data or information they have acquired from a textbook into a question and answer format.

Being able to discuss, debate, or even simply converse with someone holding opposing views on a subject is not an easy endeavor. Getting past the fact that you must disagree (kindly and articulately of course) with someone to their face, is a daunting enough proposition for some to overcome. (I’m one of the few who actually likes it! I feel bad for my husband—he doesn’t share my enjoyment of debate for the sake of debate.) After conquering this first hurdle of debate, the next that comes is being able to quickly bring to mind the information you need. Answering questions is only part of a discussion the rest comes in raising good questions of your own.

When my mother and I first began the Truth Seekers Mystery Series™, one of our goals was to aid other students in techniques to use and with facts when discussing this controversial topic. Christian and Anna Murphy, the main characters in our novels, are often faced with opportunities to share information with a variety of people. Pre-teens, teens and even many parents enjoy reading these novels; the books are specifically designed for both those who already knew a lot about Creation Science as well as those who are learning it for the first time. We knew that our readers would need to recall many of the truths about Creation Science when talking with their friends. What better way to teach them about Creation Science then in the same way they were going to need to use the information—in a conversation!

In our third novel, Key’s to the Past: Unlocked we incorporated many discussions between the Murphys and other characters. Dr. Foster, who is a marine archaeologist in the book, represents a knowledgeable individual that a reader may encounter. One particular discussion takes place between Dr. Murphy, Anna, and Dr. Foster, in which they talk about the sedimentary layers in the ocean. Dr. Murphy and Anna present information gathered from scientific abstracts. My mother took the information she read from scientific papers and abstracts and implemented true research and experimentation in formation from a creation scientist into our books. We wanted to show how the data could be used and learned in a discussion.

This is only one way to learn the information, but we feel it’s one of the best for it’s easy to remember the information in the same way you will need to use it. The characters are often presented with people who look down on them and even say that they never knew anyone who was “educated and believed” in Creation Science. This of course is simply a misconception; however, if you are not expecting this it could take you by surprise and for that reason we included characters with this mindset in our books.

As much information and as many arguments as we attempt to provide in our books (each novel deals specifically with a different topic) there is no doubt you will still encounter questions you don’t know (I do as well). Don’t get flustered or think you’ve failed, instead simply admit you don’t know. Not having all of the information is in no way a discredit to you, instead it displays your honesty. When you get home, or near a computer research the question and get back with the person—(you may go and re-read our novels or utilize another source), www.answersingensis.org and www.icr.org are great places to research. I also recommend getting together with a friend after you both have read our novels. Act out a debate (one person be a Creationist and the other an evolutionist) with a specific topic—such as the flood, or sedimentary layers, which are both discussed in Keys to the Past: Unlocked. This will allow you both to become more comfortable when you are presented with an opportunity to share your beliefs in Creation Science. And believe me, the opportunity crops up more times than you’ll expect!

About Christina Gerwitz Moss...

Christina Gerwitz Moss was homeschooled K-12 and attended Florida Gulf Coast University. She graduated with a degree in Communication and a minor in Anthropology. She is married and has two children. Christina continues to write and is working on several manuscripts. Let Christina and her mom Felice help you teach Creation Science to your children each Monday morning from September 22-October 28. Learn more here:

Monday, September 15, 2008

And the Winner is....

Penney Douglas.

Cameron selected the number 43 (I asked him to pick a number between 1 and 68)

Congrats Penney. I will email you so we can get your goodies shipped!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

BFS:Oh What a Feeling

Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling.  Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back.  Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

So I guess , better late than never , this was actually the first BFS assignment but I was so busy that week I completely forgot about it.. We are new to homeschooling but the idea of homeschool is not foriegn to me, I was always fascinated by the idea growing up as I was oftne bored at school, when I had children I just assumed they would attend the public school or if I was able to I would send them to private school. Since I am a Stay At Home Mom now and funds are tight I decided that I would homeschool rather than try to skimp more and afford Private School.  I like many moms am not happy with the direction our public school system is taking and want my children to get a Christ Centered education rather than a Anit Christian education. Some of my friends and family told me to try and work with the current PS system to fix it rather than "running away" from it. I hate to say it I am not running from it I am turning to Christ for my children. I would rather fight a fight that I know Christ is there to help me win and I don't feel we can win in the public school system in our current society. I pray some day the public will return to our roots, but for now my job is here at home. As far as struggles go, I think they are minor and given to Christ they can be over come. First, finding balance in school and homemaking. I would rather spend the time with my children learning then worrying about the home, but since we live here I need to find the balance between the two worlds. Second, money and budgeting in school; I'm sure this is a struggle for many families currently. I am creative enough that I can use supplies we have at home for crafts and our lapbooks, etc.. it is just curriculm, luckily I've been able to find used and free online stuff. Lastily , this is a biggy, support from Family. I think as a woman I will probably always be looking for the approval of my parents and for some reason I feel the need to have the in-laws approval , but I am slowly realizing the college classes I took (although I don't have my bachelor's degree) will help me on the journey ahead and who is better qualified to teach my children but me.

I am planning ahead and as long as I can be homeschooling my children. We have co-op's, play groups and organizations around us on in the virtual world that support the family and homeschool ideals so I have every intention of homeschooling for the next 12-15 years (my baby just turned 3).

I didn't realize this was going to be this long. If you are still reading feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

BFS: Plop , Plop , Fizz, Fizz

Here is the Assignment from Blogger Friend School for this week: This would be a good week to tell about your worst struggles with a lifestyle of homeschooling.  Tell about something you’ve struggled with and how God’s mercies gave us the strength to get past it.  Also, share any curriculum/homeschool methods that have been a relief to you, i.e., a particular Teacher’s Manual or Homeschooling method that’s been easier for your family.  Talk about how you felt when the burden was lifted and Oh, What a Relief it is!

As I was thinking about this all week, and spending time with the boys I realized the hardest part of the homeschool lifestyle is basically realizing that what I wanted in life and the path that I thought would be my life path is not what God had in mind for me. I know it sounds cliche' but it really is as simple as that. Realizing that being a mother and teaching my boys is where I an suppose to be has been the biggest blessing.  Of course it isn't all peaches and cream with two boys ages 3 and almost 6, life is a challenge in general so I can't blame the daily trials on homeschooling actually I think homeschooling has made the daily trials easier. Cameron (the oldest) is NOT a morning person and if we had sent him to school (public or private) the battles in the morning would be ugly (or worse.) so in that respect homeschooling is actually a blessing.

Now, curriculm is a new thing as this is our first year homeschooling. I have been blessed with a complete set of Morteson Math manipulatives and have been using them with Math-U-See (they are the same colors) worksheets from the MUS website. I am looking for a good used set of Math_U-See Primer and Alpha or even the old series( foundations I think is the name). Also not to sound sales like, but my experiences with Cindy Rushton's virtual seminars have been a blessing to our homeschool. Realizing that the outside world is our textbook and living books can be a great lesson has given me the courage to continue when others tell me I shouldn't.

Blog Mommas' Creative Give Away

This is AWESOME!!! a Creative Giveaway including a Crayola digital camera, keyboard, and photo mouse pad.

You have to go check it out...

Entering is easy to , just blog about it, link to Blog Momma in the blog and then comment with a link back. How easy could it be???

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Little Chapel that Stood

I'll make this a short post for this morning of remembrance...
I was sent a link today to a wonderful story book "The Little Chapel that Stood"
I will warn you, if you are a sentimental person you may want a tissue as you read this.javascript:void(0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

FREEBIE of the Day

Who doesn't like a freebie?

I love this site mostly because I can use so many of the resources I've downloaded.  To make it even better, when you sign up for the head's up, you get an email Monday morning with a list of the upcoming freebies for the week. Better yet, in the head's up email there are specials that you will only hear about in the email. If you miss a day, there is a resource store that most of the dailies can be purchased from.

I love the Homeschool Freebie of the Day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creation Science Class for kids

Cindy Rushton has a new class for the kids...

Creation Science this is going to be so much fun! Cameron and I have already decided to take it.  The link will take you to an awesome list of the fall line up. There is a great special listed at the bottom of the page (no I'm not going to give it away, go check it out...)

Have a learned week gang!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flat Cameron2 ready to Travel

Cameron worked on his second "flat" today. For those that don't know the story, head to your library and check out Flat Stanley by Scott Nash for a fun story.

We are doing a Geography unit and send Flats to different locations. I will even be sending an e-flat to several family members.

Here are the Camerons this afternoon.

[caption id="attachment_65" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cameron and Flat Cameron"]Cameron and Flat Cameron[/caption]

Monday, September 1, 2008

Awesome Special This week only!

Cindy Rushton is up to it again only this time with an awesome deal this week only!!

Mom Super Set

Use this link to get a great deal on the Organized Mom Super Set for just $49.95. This offer is only good through September 7th (Midnight CST the price goes up!)

For those that don't know Cindy's wonderful work, check her out. To me, she is a new homeschool Mom's answered prayer. Her wisdom and encouragement has helped me so much this summer getting ready for our first year homeschooling.

Thank you Cindy for everything including this fantastic deal

Homeschool Closet Giveaway

Its here, Its here!

I have a wonderful PreK-K goody for someone in the U.S ( I will even ship for free)

6 activity books

Disney Learning : Letters of the Alphabet, Pooh's Day to Play, The Rumbly in Pooh's Tummy, and Helping in Rabbit's Garden (All are Pooh Books... that are new... my youngest just doesn't get excited about Pooh)

also included are 2 Christian learning books. 1st: Hands on Bible Activities Alphabet each letter has a list of activities as well as a practice page. 2nd: My Little Heavenly Helper Preschool Alphabet, Colors and Shapes activity book with biblical themes and fun activities.

Leave a comment here and on September 15th I'll randomly select a winner..

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blogger Friend School now in session

Since the boys are in school it is only fair that Mommy go to school too, right? Well, I decided to join in Blogger Friend School.  I figure if nothing else it will keep me on track for blogging. And they are having a great little Back To School Giveaway in honor of September and Back to School Month. If you are a homeschool mom you should check it out...

Lapbook Lessons , a fun homeschool craft place

View my page on Lapbook Lessons

Friday, August 29, 2008

Homeschool Closet Giveaway Sneak Peak

I am participating in a fun Give away next week.
If you homeschool younger ones stop by and post a comment to win and fun package of PreK- K goodies.

Have you seen our homschool Blog?

Have you stopped by our homeschool blog lately?
I have posted a review of a great homeschool planner, photos of our classroom and activities, as well as a preview of an upcoming contest.

Unionvale School

And I will be hosting a contest to name our mascot soon. We have a theme (sailors) but don't actually have the image and a name yet...

Feel free to stop by anytime and check us out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SchoolHouse Planner Review as promised

So I'm reviewing the Schoolhouse Planner from SchoolHouse Magazine and spent the last week or so going through it critically, thinking about what will and won't work and the price. This is what I have come up with...

There is a ton and I mean a ton of awesome tools in this planner. The informational tools are worth the price, from recipes to ideas and lists galore.

The color is awesome! I love the watermark on the pages of the calendar and notes section! (I get bored with plan white paper and black lines, but don't want to spend the time to create something else.)

The fill in the blanks is great if (and this is the downer for me) you are using a Windows or possibly Mac system.  I use a Linux system for most of my school stuff and have been having format issues when I use the fill in the blanks sections. (I am trying it out on my laptop this weekend to see if I can get it to work for me). if I can't get it to work, I will still be using the pages just not filling them in first.

So from a new homeschool mom's perspective I would say if the budget allows for it, GO FOR IT!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Garage Sale Find and Classroom Organization

I promise I will finish posting my SchoolHouse Planner review this evening , but for now I have to share our awesome Garage Sale (free) finds from this past weekend.

Sorry about the side ways photo, I'm still learning my linux computer system. The huge metal drawer thing is awesome. 30 drawers! On the far right (bottom of the photo) we have our games (magnet letters, clothespin games , etc..) The center section holds activity center things (file folder games, flash cards, etc..) and the left side (top of the photo) holds worksheets, templates for lapbooks, composition books, etc..  On the top of the drawers are 8 letter sorters stacked 4 x 2. Each of the boys has a side. 1 box per day plus 1 box for projects that are done and need to go into notebooks (waiting for glue to dry,  corrected, etc..). Our weather board hangs above it and yes that is a laundry basket next to it, our classroom is the laundry room.

We rearranged the room a little after settling into a rountine of sorts. Still need to find a teacher chair for Mommy but the boys each have a chair and the table is working better now.

Under the table are their apple crates with their art box and notebook. We will add things to the crates as we need them. We haven't finished our olympics unit yet so the rings moved to the wall (they were on the door during the games.) The large chalkboard above the table is Mommy's board for lessons. The boys each have their own, Cameron's is the big one in the photo.  The table , a vintage 1950's formica table has 2 leaves that pull out from the sides. We pull those out for school time and put them away when we are done. If only 1 boy is working we don't have to pull them out...

We are off to lunch and the library. See you all later.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Nathan turned 3 today.
Papa gave the boys a set of remote control cars for Nathan's birthday and Mommy made him a brownie cake after dinner tonight. (brownie cake= brownies frosted in the pan)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Schoolhouse Planner, a review and thoughts

I decided to try out reviewing homeschool ebooks and found The Schoolhouse Planner from The Old Schoolhouse was being offered. So, I thought why not. I'd been considering the planner as a purchase when I heard about it though several Yahoo groups. I downloaded it and was immediately amazed. Pages and pages of hints, recipes, ideas, links, a fill in the blanks calendar for each month formatted to print and put in my notebook, 247 pages of fun organizational tools.  I'm not an organized person, I try but fail miserably so, when I find something that excites me I'm willing to try it. Over the next few days I will continue the review as I begin putting the Planner into practise, in the mean time feel free to head over to The Old SchoolHouse and check it out along with their awesome digital or print magazine (a review of that is coming).

School has offically started.

We started school (actually last week) and have been busy working on our Creation Notebooks as well as several art projects.

Last week we started with Creation Day 1 a pretty easy way to start. Cameron worked on several artistic pages for his Notebook as well as learned about Narration. He told Daddy the Creation Day 1 story several times (each one a little differently.)

This week we are working on Day 2 (sky and sea) so we have talked about Weather and about the ocean (water). Cameron did a collage of the water cycle and then explained the water cycle to me when we noticed it was raining outside.  (Perfect timing...). We added Pirates to the mix a little to entertain the boys while learning about the seas. Pirate Clothepin Math has been the game of choice for the last 2 days. Tomorrow we will be playing another Pirate Treasure Game with a minor change (I turned it into a file folder game and used velcro for the center of the treasure chest and will be putting velcro on the gold coins.).

Amma Gamma bought the boys and me apple crates to store our supplies in, so we painted the boxes.

[caption id="attachment_42" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Painting apple crates for storage."]Painting apple crates for storage.[/caption]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Great Blogger!

Free Homeschool I know it sounds crazy, but with all the information online and if you have a library card you can homeschool for almost nothing (except basic school supplies that you would be buying anyway).

I was reviewing my costs so far and I have spent less than $150 and that includes a couple of organizer finds (goodwill) and books.

Keep in mind, if you have good books for reading so much of it will fall into place.

Goodwill Stores are another great resource... Find yours!!

and before I forget, watch for library book sales.. I attended one this weekend (actually got a couple books for free!!!!)

Another Poem to Share

My Friend: A Place of Peace

A softly spoke word,

warms the heart

A gentle push to open up,

Break the cold icy barrier.

Across an invisible land

Our friendship blooms a tropical flower.

The gentle hand of fate bringing

Two People from different worlds a common ground.

Somehow, they manage to grow from each other.

Two new firends

Laguhing together

Sharing together

Caring and learnign together.

No matter where fate leads them; They are destine to grow stronger

Together and apart

This is my friend

I showed him my heart

He shared his with me

Together we have found

A place of peace, untouchable by the others

Ours alone.

Maybe someday, you will understand,

Maybe someday, you can accept,

My friend; a place of peace

Maybe someday , you will be as lucky as I.


Tortured Soul

The tortured soul cries in the darkness

From the anguish it feels in its feeble existance.

To look upon pure happiness, to hold it for only a moment

Only to have it ripped from the heart.

A heart whole in the presece of light,

Now weeps for the love so far away.

She need the touch,

The words

To understand

The heartache

Love, give the spriti everfy and hope

Without its voice

Without its touch

The heart can feel only pain,


It needs only words to free the spirit.

Loved without conditions

Giving love unconditionally,

Understanding loneliness.

To know sorrow

Love know pain as its own

For just a little while aprat.

Souls reachingtoward each other

Reaching for the Love it Knows


Blog Merger

So for those that read my blog you will notice a lot of "new" entries over the next couple of days. I am going to merge my old MySpace Blog and this blog.. I like my blogger better than my MySpace Blog. Especially since I can work on it anywhere even if I don't have internet access thanks to ScribeFire (an awesome little add-on application to Fire Fox)
So don't be too surprised, feel free to read the older blogs and comment if you like..

Friday, August 8, 2008

Let the Games Begin

So in the Olympic Theme I joined a challenge at Crochetville.org
I will be crocheting during our quiet time and spare time (no laughing my friends). I am working on a new laptop bag/ school bag. I want something that can hold my homeschool stuff for co-op or my laptop...
I will post photos along the way. I'm not using a pattern so it should be interesting... I will also be using a bunch of different yarns for character..

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Great resources I've found

So in getting ready for the new school year as a new homeschool family on a shoestring budget I have been overwhelmed with all the resources online...

I thought I would share some of my favorites...

Debbie's Olympic Resources This is a great list of Olympic resources. (I have used a lot of these in getting ready for the Olympics this week).

Kickbuttmama Wow What a list!!

50 State ABC A great place to find a-z about each state.

Read Write Think Another awesome resource with lessons and helps.

Units4 Teachers I like theme units and this is a great resource for themes. The site also has other great information.

I will list more later, but it is off the "class" time for today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

No Pictures but this is transition week

School officially starts for us next Monday August 11th, but this week we are "studying" for the Olympics... We are working on a lapbook and a wall map in preparation for the opening ceremonies. I have pulled from just about every free resource online regarding the Olympic games and Beijing as the host city. (I will try and post a resource list later this week.).

On the traditional learning front, we did grocery store math today. I had a set budget and shopping at Winco it is either cash or check. Since I don't carry a checkbook anymore it was cash. I told the boys we can go past $XX, so we spent the next 45 minutes adding up our groceries as we shopped. Good news we came in under budget by about $15 and only forgot 2 items...

This evening I started organizing a closet in my office and realized I could move some of the "overflow" supplies and referance materials for homeschool into the linen closet in the hall. Luckily the notebooks and referance binders (curriculm and such) fit on one of the shelves and our family scrapbooks fit on the shelf just below. (I will be modifying the bottom two shelves to accomodate albums as well.). I was pretty excited about the closet as it is half way between my office and our "classroom". Even my husband got into the idea.

Check it out

Ask Mommy Give Away

Portable Circle Time

This is a great idea if you have younger ones your are homeschooling or if you have mulitple ages.

Portable Circle Time

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Camping Fun and Educational

I don't have all the pictures as my mom still uses film, but I did get pictures of the boys' lapbooks we did while camping...

We used HSS camping lapbook, I simplified it for the boys. Instead of camping cooking recipes we put what their favorite camping food is.. cookies, marshmallows, hotdogs, sausage, etc... We had a lot of fun doing this one while we were camping..  Talked about what we saw on Nature hikes, the 5 senses of camping, and campfire safety.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Curriculum Writing and Planning

So in the theme of keeping it to a shoestring budget I decided to write/plan most of the curriculum myself. Why not, I'm a writer...

Easier said then done... I'm using a lot of free downloaded pieces but realized I still have some holes... We are going to base our theme for most of the year around Biblical Creation... For Science as well as Bible and a little History. I wanted to carry the theme into Reading and Art. Art is pretty easy as I will be trying to reinforce the science and Bible through Arts and Crafts.  Reading , well I will be using the old fashion MaGuffy's readers as well as a lot of story books relating to the various stages of Creation. It is amazing to me that I can plan the majority of a school year using the 6 days of Creation. Obviously I will be supplementing for certain "holidays" and "events" that need to be taught or focused on... i/e the election, the olympics, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Easter, etc...

We will be doing lapbooks this year alot , actually our lapbook for Creation has expanded from a lapbook to a 2" notebook that will include 6 section with all the mini books and pages. I also hope to include a second notebook of the alphabet. I picked up a set of Alphabet divider tabs at Staples today, so we now have 27 dividers for the ABC book... (1 table of contents tab and 26 letters) I was happy to see that each letter had a tab.

Anyway, ramblings aside, we are planning the year with a theme and basically 1 very large Unit Study... (I was going to spend 6 weeks on each day of creation, but I think I'm going to revamp that plan...) .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bouncing into Summer

As many of you know I love Goodwill and Freecycle...
Well, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time as a friend was preparing to take a used hand me down Bouncy House to Goodwill. He asked if I thought Mike could fix it for the boys and would he want it... Heck yah!!! so we are now the proud owners of the Bouncy Castle...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Keep it Real.. ideas

I found a wonderful blog today...  Keepin' it Real where she shares what I like to call reality checks on home and homeschool... Check it out...

Lapbook Work Day

Today we worked on our lapbooks about Cars and Route 66.

Nathan decorated his TOT Book  and Cameron worked on a couple word puzzles from his CARS activity book  that we will add to the lapbook.[gallery]

This was also our first day of school in the "Classroom". I found a couple things I need to tweak.. The biggie is a chair or something for Mommy to sit at the table with the boys.  And I still need to work on finding homes for supplies and such... But, overall I think it will work.

Train Park

The boys (all 3) went to a birthday party at the train park on Saturday while Mommy stayed home and cleaned house... Anyway, they had a lot of fun... A day out with Daddy always seems hard for Daddy until they get home and have had so much fun they don't know which story to tell first..

Sunday, July 13, 2008


If you live in the Dayton/ Amity / Hopewell areas and have kids preK - 5th grade... We are doing our Vacation Bible School, Cosmic City July 21-24 9-11:30 at Unionvale Countryside Church. drop me a note here and I will send you more information..
I am really praying for 30-40 kids this year and praying for growth in our little church. Coordinating is harder than I thought but I know the kids will be blessed for all the work we have put into it.

No Power , No Play

UGH! the power supply to my main computer died! I thought I had a spare but it didn't work out... So I'm taking the machine apart and am going to move the hard drive to my linux box so... I guess I'll be living a dual boot lifestyle... annoying as it is, I'm glad I have the other computer to work with... I can work on my laptop but it is old and slow... locks up often and is generally just for writing/ blogging... can't really do my graphics work on it... Oh well, guess I will have to start saving for a new machine (hopefully I can find something XP and less than 3 years old... for not a lot of cash...)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Homeschool Virtual Seminar

This weekend I took the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful online tool for homeschoolers.

Let's Get Organized for the New School Year
A Weekend Virtual Seminar with Cindy Rushton

If you haven't heard of Cindy Rushton you have to check out her blogs.. www.CindyRushton.com  She is an absolutely amazing woman. I learned so much and was able to leave with the confidence that I can actually do homeschool and be the Mom my boys needs.  I went ahead and bought the seminar so I have access to all the bells and whistles, but you can listen to the seminars live for free. There is another wonderful seminar scheduled for August 8 and 9.  I will post links later, but if you are a homeschooling mom you have to check her out!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Mom Blogs

If you're a Mom and you blog , check it out!!!

Organization and the "classroom"

As we are working out the kinks in our homeschool, I decided to move us to a new "classroom"... Since I needed the wall space for the chalk boards and the calendar and the weather station we needed a new spot... So, we are rearranging the laundry room to do double duty... Keep in mind the room was originally a kitchen when the house was first built in the late 40's so the room is good sized... We also have access to the backyard via the "mud room" so it works out great...

Here are some photos of our organization and the "classroom.

[wp_caption id="attachment_10" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Cameron can draw or write on his chalk board"]Cameron can draw or write on his chalk board[/wp_caption]

[wp_caption id="attachment_11" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Lapbooks and file folder games"]Lapbooks and file folder games[/wp_caption]

I will post our complete lapbook photos tomorrow... we have our Dragonfly Lapbook done and wanted to share it...  Still working on our "cars" books with both boys, hope to finish up next week.

Bouncing into Summer

As many of you know I love Goodwill and Freecycle...
Well, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time as a friend was preparing to take a used hand me down Bouncy House to Goodwill. He asked if I thought Mike could fix it for the boys and would he want it... Heck yah!!! so we are now the proud owners of the Bouncy Castle... It has a couple small leaks but Mike modified the blower so it keeps up pretty well.

The boys are having a blast... It was a blessing as I thought they were going to drive me crazy this week. (they haven't been to Grandma's house in almost 2 weeks...)
Anyway Thank you to our friends A & J for sharing...