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
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.