Friday, April 30, 2010

A Night with the Clarksons

School House Expo

Last night, well  actually yesterday afternoon due to the time zones, I was blessed to hear Sally, Sara, and Clay Clarkson as part of the Schoolhouse Expo.  What  wonderful messages they shared. I was especially blessed by Sally's words about seasons of being a Mom.  I love the convience of listening to these talks at home while I am being Mom, teacher, etc.. and living in the country sometimes getting to most conferences is a challenge.

Don't have a ticket yet? unfortuneatly the live session are sold out, but you can still purchase a ticket to download the MP3's following the Expo

Monday, April 26, 2010

Making History Fun with Cindy Rushton

Quick Ideas for Making History Fun! by Cindy Rushton

Want to make the new school year better than ever?

Want studies that are interesting for the whole family?

I think I can help you! How about some quick tips for making your history studies fun? I think you will find these to make lessons fun and easy.

Let's dig in... * Get Out to See History as Much as Possible… Hunt up any Living History Days scheduled in your area. Get out to all historical sites and museums...even hands-on children’s museums. Don’t miss any historical reenactments and plays within driving distance! These all give wonderful opportunities to get your children in touch with those that love History and know it best. *

Begin a History Notebook… This is the cure to dull, lifeless texts. Let your children create their own notebooks of study! Include anything from great quotes to poetry to pictures to sketches to newspaper clippings to photographs to mementos from history sites, reenactments and postcards from friends to narrations from books read. These personalized curricula will bring life into all areas of study. * Tap Into Grandparents, Elderly, Family, and Friends… Our family and friends have been a key source of finding out neat stories that are not recorded in the history books. Sitting at their feet, we have learned many details from history that would be long lost without the gift of story telling. The key to making this come alive is to listen and record their stories for your History Notebooks. Keep this part of history alive for you and for generations to come! * Find Treasures at Antique Stores… One of our favorite past-times is “junking” at antique stores, junk shops and flea markets. Take your time to find wonderful treasures from the past, which will breathe life into your History studies. You can find journals, uniforms, books, dress up clothes, and even play gadgets to make history come alive for your little ones! *

Let the Little Ones Make Up Their Own Costumes… I have always enjoyed researching and creating authentic costumes from other time periods. I used to have more time and energy to create costumes for every time period we studied. Now, my children are using their extra time and endless supply of energy to create their own costumes. I love to see them as they pull together little things from around the house to create their own costumes! *

Let Them Make Doll Clothes… This tangent began for us when my daughter got her first American Girl doll. We combined my love of creating authentic doll clothes with my deep passion for making doll clothes. Each year for the past five years, I have spent time each December creating matching outfits for Elisabeth and her dolls. This is easy to do with today’s patterns. Just take basic designs and create your own “historical” costumes for the dolls. If you have a beginning seamstress interested in some quick projects, this would be a wonderful way to learn the basics of sewing while learning History! *

Make a Timeline…Timelines are priceless! We have had two different kinds of timelines for our studies in History. We had a huge one that took up an entire wall in our old home. It was fascinating to watch the little ones as they would “review” and “test” each other on history as they went by! When we built our home, my husband would not allow that one back on the wall, so we made our own Book of Centuries on our computer, which includes all of our history facts. We simply developed a notebook with the dates marked. We record key events, people we study and the key events of their life, our family’s key events, illustrations which remind the children of those historical figures and events, pictures that the children have collected from books and trips that we have taken, information from our Computer Encyclopedias and Internet Sites, and even charts we have collected or made ourselves. These are another “text” that we create about our studies. How priceless! *******************************************

Need MORE Help? How about the ULTIMATE mom-time? Yep! Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2010! Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, the very first online homeschool convention. She is recording Preview Chats for the 2010 Ultimate Homeschool Convention RIGHT NOW! Join her wonderful guests FREE as they count down to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo (May 3-7, 2010--BUT! NEVER ENDING because it is an ONLINE Convention!). Check out all of the details here:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2 new contributors added

I'm still working on buttons and links but did get Cameron and Daddy set up as contributors on the blog. I will have Cameron start posting his own reviews sometime next week and will have Daddy write up a summary of the science unit he is planning. In the mean time, back to tweaking for buttons and links

Friday, April 23, 2010

Updating the links and buttons

please excuse the confusion while I update the links and buttons on our sidebar. I am working to add buttons to as many of the links as I can and will be adding links to companies we support and have affiliations with.  I like the new white background and hope to do a custom design along the top bar soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have You Heard about the Ultimate Homeschool Expo?

For the past 2 years I have enjoyed the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, even after the Expo was over. Read on for more fun details.

My friend, Cindy Rushton, has just finished her Ultimate Homeschool Expo audio set. I have been listening to several workshops and they are simply fantastic! You will love it!

This convention NEVER ends. You can listen to it at your convenience. You can listen again and again and again. It is set up so that you can listen on your computer or you can download these workshops to your Mp3 player and carry them along with you wherever you go. Oh! You can even burn them to a CD.

It is hard to capture all of the fun in words. You have just GOT to check it out! I give it my highest recommendation Get the details here:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dinosaurs on the Loose

or at least the boys are...

Last week we started our dinosaur unit. using In  the Hands of a Child unit #1262. It is great for a couple of reasons. First off it is a PreK-6th grade unit so it has lots of traceables and cut and past answers. Next it doesn't have a timeline so we can teach Dinosaurs from a Christian perspective and not have to stumble of millions and billions of years.  Of course since it comes from one of my favorite homeschool companies I love it all around, and while it can be purchased in print form, I own it as an e-book so I was able to read the research guide to the boys (and have them read out loud some of it) via my Banrs&Noble Nook.

We are also using an ebook from Whole Word Publishing on CurrClick titled "God Created Dinosaurs", it is a copy work pack. I am having Cameron add a couple of these activities to him lapbook for some writing practice. The e-book is colorful and has wonderful scripture for copy work.

Last week we built a model of a T-Rex, this week I'm not sure but I am thinking about some painting if we the rain holds off.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wonderful Lapbook Deals.

The Ladies at In the Hands of a Child have done it again!

Each Wednesday a new $5.00 deal is posted.  These are e-book project packs at a great savings! Currently the project is Extreme Weather (through April 13th). If you haven't tried lapbooking yet, this is a great way to give it a try.. While you are at the site you can also download the current freebie that includes a fun new Notebooking option!

Nook learning

So last month I won a Barnes &Noble Nook thanks to and Read an E-Book Week.  For the last couple months I have been eyeing an IPod Touch but when I received word that I won the Nook I couldn't have been more excited, mostly because while eyeing the Touch, I knew the budget wouldn't allow for it.  I did hit Costco during March coupon book and purchased an 8-gig micro SD card with the OK of husband/ Principal... Since the Nook was going to be used for school he agreed that the SD card would make it a lot easier to move more of the e-books to the Nook.  I received my Nook on a Tuesday via UPS and immediately cracked open the case and started playing... First off the USB cord / charing unit, what an ingenious set up... the wall plug has the USB port of the back so I only have 1 cord..  Second the size, just big enough to see , just small enough to literally fit inside a Staples brand plastic pencil box with my other small electronics that travel with me (cords, wireless network card for the laptop, various thumbdrive, and SD cards) and stows away nicely in my purse. Couple of things I'm still getting use to, the screen itself is not lit  (saves on battery life, but hard to read at night), and need to get a card charger for it...  I love the fact that my Hands of a Child Project Packs can be read (no more printing research guides for classtime). And Barnes & Noble has a large variety of free e-books.  Can't forget the built in wi-fi and since it is At&T based it pulls from the local AT&T cell phone tower... I haven't taken it to a Barnes&Noble store yet as the closest ones to me are about 50 miles away and not high on my list of places to go.

This little piece of modern electronics has been a blessing just in the 3 weeks I have had it.. I still have over 6 gigs of space on the Nook and sd card combined, although if I really wanted to spend time sorting through all my wonderful e-book resources I could fill it in no time; can also add MP3s for the onboard MP3 player or jpegs for the screensaver/ wallpaper functions.

I have a little Nook wish list: a clip-on LED light (about $10 for one at our local book store), the card charger piece ($5.00 for parts express), a an e-book of the Bible (really want a KJV or NKJV from B&N so it will search easier...)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trip Across Canada: Game Day

Honey has posted a wonderful printable board game over at Sunflower Schoolhouse A Trip Across Canada unit. Another great freebie for the unit.