Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Unionvale School

and the McCready family.

[caption id="attachment_442" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The red holiday lights on our Magnolia Tree"][/caption]

We hope your New Year is blessed. Thank you for stopping by our little spot in cyber space.
by the way, unvlmom (the author of the blog) merged the old family blog from blogger to wordpress so feel free to snoop around while the dust settles.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Going, Going, almost Gone!

Do you love the Old Schoolhouse Magazine? Either digital or print has tons of fun and supportive articles, insight from homeschool families, and lots of information about different curriculum options.

Going . . . going . . . almost gone!

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is saying good-bye to their $7.95 subscription price (one year, U.S.) and international sale prices of 40% off at midnight on December 31, 2009. There is still time to treat yourself or share the gift of homeschool encouragement with your family and friends.

Receive 4 issues of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine RIGHT NOW for only $7.95 (U.S.)! That is less than $2 per issue. Canadian and international subscribers save 40%! Your subscription will start with the Spring 2010 issue. This includes one-year gift subscriptions!

Order the one-year plus current issue option and enjoy the Winter issue in January 2010 for only $12.95 (U.S.)!

Plus, new and renewing U.S. subscribers receive bonus gifts!

Get all of the details here.


Hurry! December 31 is the deadline for the sale prices!

Having Old School Magazine available to homeschool families is an awesome blessing, don't miss out on this great deal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Workbox/ Math-U-See Game

For Christmas Cameron received a package of dice, 3 regular 6 sided dice and 2 12 sided number dice. We will be adding these into our workboxes along with his decimal street game supported by his Math-U-See blocks and book. Currently we just come up with the number for him to build and write on Decimal Street, with the new 12 sided dice we can roll for our number (I had hoped to get some 9 sided dies but no luck at the local stores I was at.) The Game will work something like this... Each player will roll the die and write the number in the Units section of decimal street, then roll again to get the tens number as well as the hundreds place. If they roll a 10, 11, or 12 they will have to roll again for now...
Both boys can play the game together or by themselves. roll, say, write, build, repeat.

12 Days of Christmas Day 1 review

The boys began their 12 days of Christmas units on Christmas Eve. (Yes I had the boys doing school work on Christmas Eve).
Cameron worked on 2 activities from the 12 Days of Christmas Unit from In the Hands of a Child., while Nathan did day 1 activity from 12 Days of Christmas Fun with some modification. We did activity 1 which is suppose to be either a CD or paper plate craft. Nathan decided to make his smaller to include it in his lapbook. Once we finished the partridge he decided we need a pear tree so we cut our of scrapbook paper a pear tree complete with 6 free hand cut golden rod paper pears. (picture to come later). Then we wrote Partridge and Pear on our word strips and attached them to the wall..
Monday we will work on Day 2 and maybe Day 3.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas Homeschool friends

Merry Christmas to all our homeschool friends, blog readers, and anyone else who happens to stop by.
This season started out stress filled and has turned to blessing filled.
Be save and surrounded by God's loving arms this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Workbox activity cards and place card sorting

This is on my list of things for the kids to do.
[caption id="attachment_303" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="our recycled cigar box for workbox cards"][/caption]Right now all our workbox related cards are in decorative cigar boxes (recycling when I can), the problem with that set up is inside there isn't a way to sort the cards, they are just piled in the box... It works but not great.

So I was searching for another idea and came across this idea (someone on the yahoo group had the idea originally), a sorting bin for hardware, even better Home Depot has a kit for the kids to build, it is a little more expensive then I would normally spend on a workbox piece but since the boys can build it and decorate it themselves I am really thinking for getting this one.
We love going to the Lowe's Build and Grow workshop locally and wish we had known about the workshops when Home Depot had this one as a workshop, oh well maybe next time. For now though I will probably order the kit for a January activity.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Fun with Making Learning Fun

Workboxes have been pretty light the passed couple weeks with Holiday prep and such... however today Cameron had 3 boxes to work through. 1 box was a Disney Phonic workbook from the Dollar Tree, the other 2 were activities from Making Learning Fun . If you haven't checked out Making Learning Fun's pages you need to... Jo does an awesome job with themed activities perfect for PreK and up... I would say depending on the activity and the child you could use it through 2nd grade.. Cameron loves the mazes and crafts and Nathan enjoys the games. Jo has some awesome letter tile activity cards we have used, she even put up printable letter tiles since some people were having trouble finding the tiles. Note, I get the tiles at my local Staples where they have a small package of lower case letters as well as color coded word tiles.

Hands of a Child: 12 Days of Christmas

The boys and I are going to be working through the 12 days of Christmas lapbooks from In the Hands of a Child beginning Christmas Eve (Christmas Day will be too busy for any schooling). I decided to use both versions of the lapbook and will add in the Unit Extender from the Super Member area as well to complete the study.

The daily activies work well into a 12 days of Christmas plan, but could also be used prior to the Christmas Holiday as a way to learn about the season.

Back on Track with Blogs, I hope

Wow, I didn't realize I had fallen off the Blog Wagon for our homeschool.... It has been over a month since our last homeschool update... UGH!! Well I will start off with a couple reviews that are sitting here on my desk waiting to share...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Workboxes loaded and ready for take off.

I loaded the workboxes for Tuesday and planned the rest of the week.

Workboxes this week include:
Lesson 5 from Foundations Math-U-See
Letter writing : Thank you letters from his birthday.
History/Geography: Abeka 1st grade: Symbols of America
Science: Abeka 1st grade: Baby Animals
Art: Little Boy Adventures (I think we are almost done with this one..)
phonics worksheets
Lego building: Lego City Tow Truck (birthday present)

Letter O: My Father's World worksheets
Number 3: workbook
Unit Study: Hands of a Child : Down on the Farm Day 4
Sid the Science Kid: coloring and exploring pages
wipe off board: letter practice and word creation.
Tic Tac Toe: wipe off card... with Mommy or Brother
History with brother

I also have a couple craft projects for us this week including a collage for Thanksgiving, button flowers, cork boards from bottle corks, and spool kids from vintage thread spools.
The boys want to hit the bookstore and reading room this week so I think that will be fit in to Tuesday or early Wednesday before co-op but we will see... since we took today off for the most part we have to hit the books harder Tuesday and Thursday to make up for it, but I know they can do it.

Can you help Melissa???

One of the Moms in a yahoo group related to workboxes is looking for an idea... Melissa at Day In Day Out is looking for an idea to incorporate a bill sorter into her homeschool...
Got an idea? She is having a contest to find a way to use it... I'm interested in what comes up as I have one of the same wooden bill sorters and would like to re purpose it...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ancient Sale at Hands of a Child

Bringing Laughter and Learning Together


In the Hands of a Child

Lapbook Project Packs


  Take a step back in time and

discover life as it was in ancient days!

Take 25% off any or all of these Ancient History Project Packs
  • Ancient Mesopotamia           
  • Ancient Egypt             
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Mayans, Aztecs, & Incas
Use Coupon Code: AncientDays
                               (case sensitive)
Use Coupon Code: AncientDays
                                      (case sensitive)
Sale ends October 31, 2009

Cannot be combined with any other offer,
special, discount, coupon or sale.
Tax & Shipping not included in calculating discount price. 
Not valid toward prior purchases. 
No rainchecks.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Affiliate for TOS

So I am looking at becoming an TOS (The Old Schoolhouse Store) affiliate. I will have a link on the side bar and can post info about upcoming sales as well as my personal likes...


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Workboxes all set up ....

As promised here are the photos of our set up. The graphics for their cards were created by Honey at Sunflower School House.

Cameron's theme is "Army Guys". I used 8 Cropper Hopper 12x12 Scrapbook file sorters (I had 7 of them and got the last one from my Mom...).

[caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Here is what he has scheduled for Monday."]Here is what he has scheduled for Monday.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_274" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="8 Workboxes inside 2 Jet Maxx scrapbook cubes."]8 Workboxes inside 2 Jet Maxx scrapbook cubes.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_275" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="C puts his finished work in the file box and finished cards in a painted cigar box."]C puts his finished work in the file box and finished cards in a painted cigar box.[/caption]

Nathan's theme is tractors. His boxes are set up hortizonally and not numbers (I need to shrink the number cards down to fit the boxes).

[caption id="attachment_276" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ns schedule (not in order, but you get the idea)"]Ns schedule (not in order, but you get the idea)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_277" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="When N is done he turns in his card. His work goes back into the box for now."]When N is done he turns in his card. His work goes back into the box for now.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sorry it is sideways... box 1 and 4 are ITSO boxes from Target the rest are acrylic trays."]Sorry it is sideways... box 1 and 4 are ITSO boxes from Target the rest are acrylic trays.[/caption]

Nathan will have an extra Story card on his wall as we are going to Toddler StoryTime at Third Street Books while Cameron and Daddy do some school time together. Many of their activities this week will focus on "Where the Wild Things Are" with activities from Making Learning Fun as we attended Storytime Sunday at Third Street Books.
[caption id="attachment_279" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2 Kings of the Wild Things."]2 Kings of the Wild Things.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_280" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cameron won the doorprize, an awesome Coloring Book."]Cameron won the doorprize, an awesome Coloring Book.[/caption].
So, we filled our Sunday with storytime and fun times. Now it is off to bed and some quiet reading time for Mommy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Workboxes this week

So I decided to share our workboxes this week.

C: 1st grade
Today (Monday was much the same)
1: Computer time ( for phonic activities)
2. Starfall phonic print outs. Compound words and number words. (He got to work with Papa today as a treat... they did a great job together)
3. Math-U-See Foundations Lesson 4: skip counting by 2 , solving for an unknown, and build and solve simple addition.
4. Art: Watch me Draw "A Boy's Adventure from Walter Foster
5. Bible Time: Continue building our 10 Commandments Train book and reading Scripture Sleuth Series.
(we didn't get through the rest of the boxes today, but that was a pretty big day...)

N: PreK/K
1: My Father's World Letter T day 2 and a Leap Frog beginning sounds page.
2: white board writing
3: computer time with letter activities for Letter T
4: (we had some behavior issues so he didn't get to do anymore boxes today...)

I need to take a picture of the set up as it is working so well for us and the boys both like their cards (Thanks, Honey!!!).

I need to write up some more reviews I have worked up but need to put Nathan to bed for the night...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Workboxes and resoures

I haven't posted to the blog in a while.... I have a bunch of reviews and school activities to post, but those will come... I had to share today though... We are using a modified WorkBox system based on Sue Patrick's book. I have hooked up with a group over at the Homeschool Lounge as well as a wonderful group on yahoo filled with moms sharing experiences with Workboxes.Thankfully one of the moms shares her creativity with the group via her blog with tons of downloads that she creates. I have been able to download an awesome theme for each of the boys (pictures will come later.) as well as some great games and add ons...

Here is a link to her site. Sunflowerschoolhouse

Stop by and check it out.

If you haven't heard about WorkBoxes yet, it is a wonderful system that works for kids PreK-highschool. It helps mom stay organized (especially this mom), and helps the kids see what they need to do.
I will post some more about our method soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Homeschool Fair fun!

I had a fun afternoon with Cameron today as we set up our Hands of a Child display at the NORTH SANTIAM HOME EDUCATION Homeschool Fair at the Stayton Library. I met some great homeschoolers and got a chance to catch up with a few homeschoolers we get together with.

I will definately be looking into a Discovery Toys party for sometime soon, I fell in love with a couple of their fun todays... I love toys that are educational and fun!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

World Habitats unit on sale...


Limited Time Only!

There are many different types of habitats in this world and In the Hands of a Child wants to help you and your students discover the wonder of many of them.

So, we are featuring all of our
Habitat Series Project Packs
 (in eBook format only)
at a 40% off savings!
Use Coupon Code:
(case sensitive)

   Desert Habitats       Grassland Habitats
(Grades 3 - 8)            (Grades 3 - 6)

Rainforest Habitats        Forest Habitats
  (Grades 3 - 8)              (Grades 3 - 6)

     Polar Habitats       Mountain Habitats 

 (Multi-Level)            (Grades 3 - 8)

Mountain Habitats
(Grades 3 - 6)


This is a

Use Coupon Code:
(case sensitive)

Expires September 15, 2009
Discount applicable to eBook format only.
Cannot be combined with any other offer,
special, discount, coupon or sale.
Tax & Shipping not included in calculating discount price.
Not valid toward prior purchases.
No rainchecks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

September Holidays Sales at Hands of a Child

In the Hands of a Child


Limited Time Only!

Did You Know... Labor Day, Constitution Day,

Native American Day, and Johnny Appleseed's birthday are all coming up in September!

In the Hands of a Child wants to help you

and your students celebrate and learn about these special days!

So, we are featuring the following Project Packs

(in eBook format only)

at a 40% off savings!

Use Coupon Code:


(case sensitive)

  • Labor Day (Grades 2 - 8)

  • The United States Constitution (Grades 4 - 10)

  • A Historical Look American Indians (Grades 4 - 10)

  • Let's Learn about American Indians (Early Childhood)

  • Johnny Appleseed: A Literature Unit(Grades K - 3)


This is a


Use Coupon Code:


(case sensitive)

Expires August 31, 2009

Discount applicable to eBook format only.

Cannot be combined with any other offer,

special, discount, coupon or sale.
Tax & Shipping not included in calculating discount price.
Not valid toward prior purchases.
No rainchecks.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Day of School Ready or Not here we come...

Tomorrow (Monday) will be the first day of school for the "new" year around here.
Cameron will be working on Jamestown with our online co-op and Hands of a Child and Math-U-See Foundations (Chapter 11 already, he is flying through it..), while Nathan will be working through his workboxes that include My Father's World Kindergarten (letter L this week), Math-U-See Introduction (we are counting unit blocks this week) Boogle Jr for L words, white board for coloring, drawing, general play fun, beading with foam beads, and cutting out leaves that he gets to color.

I have several fun activities for Cameron to pick from to go between his real work... Legos and Playmobil are his favorites as well as simply coloring anything he can get his hands on. Should be fun...

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teacher Book Bag's Game Kits Released.

All I can say is WOW! I just received a great collection of file folder games from Teacher book Bag. This time around I went for K-1 for Cameron. There are several independent games as well as mulit player games that either the boys can play together or I can play with them. The graphics are fun, bright, and engaging. The games are simple enough but at the same time give Cameron just enough of the educational element.

Another great benefit is the game comes as either an e-book or a CD with game pieces in a kit. We have a box of miscelaneous game pieces so I really didn't need the kit so I downloaded the e-book and we are set.

There is a younger Pre-K set as well and the older versions are in the works.

I am including below the newsletter I just received complete with links to their great products.

Happy Playing and Learning.

Make it easy on yourself! We have it all laid out in manageable chunks. Just check out our full previews.It's like picking up a book that you want to be sure fits your needs. Don't forget our:

TBB Preschool File Folder Game Kits Collection One

TBB Kindergarten through First Game Kit Collection One

TBB Monthly Book Bags 2009-2010 Year's Subscription [BUNDLE]

August Monthly Book Bag Collection

TBB Cross Reference Guide 2008-2009    FREE

Teacher Book Bag Calendar 2009-2010 FREE

Teacher Book Bag Collection 2008-2009 on CD   Over 2,000 pages of curriculum activities! $15.98  Postage Free


Teacher Book Bag Bundle 2008-2009

Check out our full previews. Also, keep up with our freebies at our homesite .

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Freebie Monday!

Monday is not all bad especially if it comes with freebies. Here are some homeschool and life freebies I have found to share;

1. Potty Training kit from Pampers. Especially if you have aDora or Diego fan in your house, this is a fun kit for potty training. Yes I am ordering one in hopes that we get through this journey soon!

2. Farm Notebooking Pages at, these are great especially if you have a Farm unit planned for the new school year.

3. Homeschool Freebie of the Day has an awesome line up this week, you will want to check it out all week.

4. Free Apron patterns and tutorials, 50 plus apron patterns and tutorials for a quick and easy project.

Hope this makes your Monday a little easier to deal with... Our Monday is too hot and humid.

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Free Sample from

Do you have a child who's starting school soon, or maybe you're planning to home school? It's never too early to give them a head start. School starts in only a few short weeks, which means you still have time to help them get prepared. To help you out, Kid's Activity Calendar is giving away a pretty nice kit of activities around the letter 'A'. This pack includes

Fun alphabet snacks that start with the letter A
Letter A coloring sheets
Letter A search worksheets
Letter A trace sheets
Letter A flash cards and
Game of out of the week idea around the letter A

You can download them for free from this page.
This is a fun sample that you can download presented by a subscription site.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seasons, Tree and Me : August PreK-K Book Bag FUN!

Teacher Book Bags newest set was recently released and I was asked to review 1 of the new August books.  Since Nathan is so eager for school time lately I decided to go with the PreK- K Book "Seasons, Trees, and Me".  The e-book is full of fun, colorful activities with lots of practice opportunities. August focus letters are S, T, M which is double bonus for us as we recently starting using a Kindergarten curriculum with Nathan and the first 2 letters are S and M so it blended in perfectly!

Being that it is summer and we don't spend a ton of time on school activities, I was very happy to see these activities are not only fun, easy to adapt to different learning styles, and  colorful (but can be printed in gray scale and colored by hand).

With different age levels available Teacher Books Bags is a great line for multi-age families as well as co-ops. I can see using these with our co-op Preschool class.

The E-book isn't so big that you get lost. The practice pages and activities are grouped together and match up to the table of contents making it super easy to print out what you need. There are even suggestions for classroom environments so if you are a classroom teacher rather than a homeschooler these are still a great resource.

I hope to post more reviews from this fun company soon. For now, enjoying the summer learning season of life.

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