Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for your Kids #hsreviews


The first review for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew this year for me has been one of the most amazing reads as a homeschool mom.. When we first started homeschooling 4 years ago it was going to be for 1 year, and we were doing it on a wing and a prayer to be kind of cliche' .

PhotobucketThis book could not have come at a better time for myself and my husband... I read it outloud in the evenings after we put the boys to bed.. There were several passages that really struck both of us. It was like the lights came on in the darkness for us...  A gentle yet firm reminder of several issues we are working on in our family as well as our homeschool.  Rachael is honest and well spoken as she shares her own personal experience. You will laugh and probably cry as you begin to take the journey through Heart, Enrichment (Marriage), Accepting your kids, Releasing your kids to God, and finally Teaching them the Truth.  On every page there is something that spoke to my heart. I have already read the book twice since I received it just about a month ago.  I am so thankful that this is a hard cover book and the perfect size to fit in my purse, next to my bed on the night stand, on my desk, or anywhere else I need a gentle reminder why I am homeschooling and that God knows the path I should take. It is up to me to listen to those voices that are reminding me of him.

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For your Kids  is written by Rachael Carmen , a homeschool Mom of 7, wife, and Focus on the Family author. She has been through what I like to think of as the 7 stages of grief when you realize you are really in this for the long haul.  H.E.A.R.T. is available from Apologia Press for $13.00.  This book is a not only a wonderful  resource for a seasoned homeschool Mom but would make a wonderful gift for a new homeschool mom 

I received a copy of this book as part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion of the book. I received no further monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Elmer's #BagItForward Glue Crew project

This year the boys and I were blessed to participate in the Bag it Foward program with Elmer's where we donated a bag full of school supplies to our local elementary school. Through the same program we are getting ready to promote recycling with the Elmer's Glue Crew. 

I highly recommend both these programs.
There is still time to participate in Bag It Forward program , you don't have to be a blogger.  You can donate school supplies and upload photos on the Bag It Forward site.

Also Elmer's is donating items to the Kids in Need Foundation for every "like" on the Elmer’s Facebook page through September 1, 2011
It gets better! Elmer's is a Upromise partner and every time you purchase Elmer's of Krazy Glue product with your registered cards a percentage of that purchase is put into your Upromise account.
The boys and I created a fun recycling container for our Homeschool Co-Op to use this year. 130+ kids use a lot of glue in a school year. In the theme of recycling I used a Tide box that we had just emptied and some scrapbook paper I had left over from a project.  We downloaded some great coloring pages in the recycling and Elmer's theme to create our Glue Crew collection bin. 
The Glue Crew is an awesome partnership with Elmer's and Walmart. In mid April students and teachers can bring their recycled glue stick and glue bottles to their local Walmart or through TerraCycle.  The Glue Crew website has not only the awesome images to color and decorate your collection bin with but all  tons of lesson plans and other goodies  that area helpful in teaching students to be green and responsible.
I hope you will join us this year on the Glue Crew and recycle those glue containers so they can be reused and upcycled into new products.   Follow our journey in creating our container below. There are quite a few pictures so I use to share the journey with you.

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer's #BagItForward #collectivebias, all product opinions are my own.

Friday, August 19, 2011

#BagitForward Unionvale Homeschool Sailors share in the joy of the new school year

The boys and I participated in BagitForward  this week and were blessed by the whole experience.  As homeschoolers we don't have a set list of school supplies but we do know how hard it is on the budget to get school supplies. We decided to help a student at our local elelmentary school.  We headed to Walmart in McMinnville, armed with the school supply list and a desire to help the boys began selecting school supplies.

Bag it Forward is a wonderful program through Elmer's that helps students and teachers in need start the school year with the new shiny school supplies students need to start the year off on the right foot. Bloggers from around the country are joining in this awesome program.
It gets better! Elmer’s is donating one product for every “Like” on the Elmer’s Facebook page to the Kids In Need foundation, and an additional item for every view the video on the Kids In Need tab receives. 
Another awesome feature of Bag it Forward, you don't have to be a blogger to join in. Anyway can purchase and donate school supplies to their local school and post pictures on the Bag it Forward website.

We found wonderful Elmer's products as well as Crayola and Walmart store brands to fill the bag with what we hope will be the beginnings of a successful school year for one student.

The boys hadn't been to the local elementary school so this was an adventure for them as well as a wonderful opportunity to bless a child with new school supplies.  I had to call the school to make sure someone was going to be there, so they were expecting us when we arrived and were very grateful. The boys told the staff their names and grades and even told them we homeschool (in a proud but not boastful tone).  Below is a slideshow of the fun we had.  Thank you Elmer's for allowing us this opportunity.

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer's #BagItForward #collectivebias all product opinions are my own personal opinion.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Broccoli Harvest with @SalemHarvest

Tonight Nathan and I joined 100+ other pickers to harvest Broccoli near the Willamette River as part of Salem Harvest. This is my second harvest this season and Nathan's first.
He jumped (literally) right in to picking the broccoli and putting in our bags.
Since half of what we harvest gets donated to Marion/Polk Food Share I decided we would pick our 3 bags and donate that first then go back and pick into those bags a second time for ourselves.
The sun was pretty bright so I knew Nathan wouldn't last the full 2 hours. We stayed out for an hour and picked plenty for ourselves. On our way back to the van, Nathan asked "Mommy, can I donated my second bag too."   I was so touched by his generosity and couldn't say no, so he carefully  dumped his second bag full into the crates headed for the FoodShare.   I was so proud of my little man.  I want these harvests to teach the boys that our food doesn't just come from the store and that a little hard work is good for the soul. I guess he taught us all a little something tonight. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blacklisted from the PTA , a hysterically funny book reviewed

I have not laughed so hard in a long time. This book is a wonderful collection of short essays that looks at Motherhood in a real honest light. This isn't for the faint of heart as the author is honest and doesn’t mince words. She really tells it like it is.

I could so relate to her stories of child birth, early childhood, toddler years, and the married life. She talks frankly about “date night” as well as open communication with your children. Like I said this book isn’t for the faint of heart.   Lela Davidson writes with a style only a mother could really possess. She is blatantly honest about her feelings and her view of motherhood.  All the stages are covered in her essays; from birth , terrible twos, the tooth fairy and Easter bunny, the extra curricula activities and all the various activities  moms get volunteered for and how not to get that job again.  As a homeschool mom I can’t get out of most of the jobs related to “school functions” but I understand the struggles she talks about in the book. I have had my own Mommy meltdowns and yes even in front of my children, although like the author I try to keep the meltdowns to my own space away from the kids.  I have seen my fair share of crazy art projects for school related activities and am glad that I am a crafty mom. If the kids want a costume for Halloween, we make it or up-cycle it; if they want a castle for their knights and dragons we build it out of corks, popsicle sticks and Elmer’s Glue; if they want a new game well then we create it using whatever we have around the house including markers, glitter glue, foam board, or whatever else we happen to find; and if they want to play sports well then the backyard isn’t perfectly manicured but it is a huge open space to kick the soccer ball. We live in the country so I don’t get to experience the cul-de-sac envy issues, but do have neighbor kids that end up in the backyard playing games and always hungry.  Lela Davidson does such a wonderful job sharing her experiences with the reader that I feel relieved knowing I’m not the perfect PTA mom, I’m actually about as polar opposite as they come and I’m ok with that.

This book is a must read for Moms, soon to be Moms, Grandmas, and even Aunties that want to catch a glimpse of the joys of motherhood with an honest look… It isn’t all fun and games, pretty pictures, and cakes, it can be real ugly some days, but honestly it is one of the best jobs on the planet and I wouldn’t give up my Motherhood job for the world.

I received an electronic copy of this book as part of a social shopper insight study for  Collective Bias,  although compensation received the opinions in this review are my own personal opinions, this post contains affiliated links where I may received a percentage of purchases made. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our first week of #homeschhol

We survived our first week with only a few tears and a lot of proud moments.

Some things that worked:

1. the file folder modification to the workboxes has been a HUGE success.
2. Color Coding, at first the boys grumbled that we were continuing with the color coding from last year but it has made it easier for them and for Mom.
3. Consistent order to what is in the folders. I may rearrange the order of the folders later but this week they were all the same.

Some thins that need some tweaking:
1. I think I am going to try and offset the start times a little more... Having the boys at the table together is fine but I think if I start Cameron 15 minutes before Nathan he will get a little more quiet time. Once he gets settled into the new year I may let him take his folders to a different spot in the house or even outside but for now I'm going to keep them at the table.

2. Nathan needs to move faster in his Math-U-See , I think I'm going to test him and possibly skip a couple lessons or maybe move him into Foundations sooner rather than later.

3.Cameron needs more coloring/ artsy activities as well as a history unit soon... I need to add another folder to his mix soon rather than later...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First day of #homeschool (posted on day 2)

It started out pretty rough. Folders 1 and 2 were a struggle, but by folder 3 we found our groove. Cameron loves to color and had a cat coloring page to go with his animals unit.. Both boys are making a memory card game as part of their phonics folder. Nathan had 5 words today,Cameron had 12. They write each word on 2 blank playing cards. By the end of the week they will have a set to play with.
Nathan did a science activity outside where he learned about evaporation but water painting the cement.. When we walked back into the house his response was  "even though we didn't blow anything up that was still fun Mommy".  I'm glad he had fun and look forward to more activities that are fun without blowing anything up.