Thursday, March 29, 2012

F is for Free Fun #educational


Local Free Fun ideas!!! Especially with summer coming, I thought I would share a Free Fun activity we enjoy locally.

The local Aviation and Space Museum has an awesome outdoor play structure for the kids to play on.  It is convenient to most other activities we enjoy. The cell signal is strong so Mommy can get some work done while the boys climb, slide, explore, and generally have a fun time playing on the various structures.

Cameron enjoys the short slide

and climbing up and down the ladder pieces

Nathan enjoys the tubes 

and climbing the chain ladder

Now if you are interested in the educational museums on the same grounds, there is a fee but it is worth the money to take the kids to the air museum or the space museum. There is also an awesome IMAX theater as well as a great water park which have separate fees.

Friday, March 23, 2012

E is for Eclectic

I've always liked the word  'eclectic'. I've used it ti describe our music collection, my book collection, and now our homeschool.
According to 
Definition of ECLECTIC

: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
: composed of elements drawn from various sources; also :

Fitting for our homeschool style mostly because of the variety in sources, but can also cover the methods we use. 

I use a little of everything for 2 reasons.. First as a member of the TOS Crew, we get to try a variety of products , and second since I homeschool on a shoe string budget I get creative with products and uses. 
Is this the ideal, no, but it works and it allows us a little freedom to explore different styles and techniques to find the perfect fit for the boys. 
Looking ahead to next year (school year is August -June... we only take July off and then we usually do learning activities and VBS), I am still coming up with a very Eclectic style as I add things to my wish list and decide between the wants and needs.

What kind of Homeschooler are you? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Spring Snow

Spring Snow 

Just a hint...


We are working with some amazing publishers on the TOS crew right now, so I thought I would give you just a hint of what is coming up.

Amazing Animals by Design
TruthQuest History
Earth Rocks by AIMS
God's Great Covenant
Amazing Science.

Just thought I would hint to some of the reviews we are working on... Can't wait to share these with you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

D is for decisions

Ok so it isn't necessarily homeschool focused in the title but I'm at a cross roads as far as the coming year and we have a bunch of decisions to make.  So D is for Decisions and I'll let you guys help make them (or at least listen to your thoughts if you are willing to share.)
Cameron will be in 4th grade in August and I want to had a more serious tone to his school work. I want to challenge him but not over whelm him. Since my budget is very small, I have to look at resale value or future use of a product before I consider it.  We are going to start our History Cycle over again , so we will be returning to Creation and working toward the fall of Rome. While I'm not sure we will get through Rome I want the set up in place in case we do. So the decision part of my dilemma, I have fall in love with Creek Edge Press and the card format , so do I purchase the entire History pack at $90.00 or just the Ancient History Set for $20.00?  Also trying to decide if I want to purchase TruthQuest History (Beginnings) and possibly the Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome books at approximately $24.00 a piece or do I just use the NotePacks I already own and search online for books?  Finally do I purchase a History Spine such as Mystery of History or Story of the World or do I just wing it and rely on my old college text books for readings?
Next is Science.... Mike and I decided that next year we are going to do Anatomy with Cameron for a couple of reason. So I am looking at science programs again taking into consideration the cost as well as resale value and re-usability of the product. I have narrowed my choices to two; Apologia Exploring Creation through Anatomy  and the accompanying notebook  which would costs be approximately $50 not including lab kits or Creation Anatomy by Felice Gerwitz and it's accompanying activity kits which would run me about  $45 
I have decided that I am going to purchase the Grammar Symbols and box for Nathan and possible the Sentence diagramming set for his Language Arts boxes for next year. 
We have also decided we are covered on Math for next year. 

So there you have it, D is for decisions to be made.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creek edge press, cards to help study


We received a copy of Creek Edge Press Geography and Culture to review as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew
I was immediately impressed with the cards as they align with the Montessori style cards.  I decided to color code the cards for Cameron. We selected 1 card for each week and worked on each task, crossing them off in pencil (later I will erase them and laminate the cards to be reused again.
PhotobucketWe received the teacher's guide along with the cards and  I love how thorough it is. The guide contains book lists, materials lists, as well as suggestions fir use and adapting it to your homeschool or even classroom.
The Geography and Culture set is a K-8 program that gives lots of room for your students learning style as well as flexibility as the cards can be used in order or not and in vary frequency within your schedule.  We are doing 1 card a week for now in our relaxed schedule, but as the boys grow I hope to move to 3 cards a week.
The Creek Edge Press Articles page is loaded with useful information on using these cards in your home and the advantages of this style of learning.
Cameron's traced world map, colored and labeled
The boys like the list style of the cards where each cards lists the activities to be done as well as the variety of tasks. The variety also gave us options, allowing us to be selective about the tasks.  Cameron was able to find tasks that he could do without Mommy's help and if something on the card needed more explanation he could do another task until the question was answered.
The value is  high in this product. Creek Edge Press Geography and Culture retails for $18.00 and included the teacher's guide and cards. Replacement cards are available as well for $0.50 each.
I am so impressed with this product I am purchasing at least the Ancient History Set (which begins with creation and includes the Great Flood , Moses, and the 10 plagues) and possibly the entire History Set. I truly believe there is value in this product and we will be able to reuse the program again. Which is a huge part of our homeschool program. Creek Edge Press is not just a history and geography program, they have Art, Music, Science, and even a grammar reinforcement set (also on my to buy list).
Of the product we have been blessed with as members of the TOS Homeschool Crew, this one is by far one of our favorites (not just Mom, but kids and Dad).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

C is Candy...math that is

Thanks to Marcy for hosting this weekly link up.
C is for Candy, math that is...
I purchased 2 small bags of pretzel M &M s and print activities sheets and set the boys up for some fun math.

Cameron had a challenge in keeping the M & Ms on his paper

Nathan had fun counting the colors and graphing the numbers.
When we were done graphing the colors, the boys got to eat the M & Ms while we talked about the graphs and the fractions involved. 
What fraction of the M & Ms were blue?
What fraction of the M & Ms were not brown?
The each had 15 M &Ms so we were working with a fraction they had not worked with before, but that added some adventure to the activity.

Monday, March 5, 2012

B is for Board games


Thanks to Marcy at Ben &me for hosting this weekly link up.
B is for board games..
Last week I introduced the boys to Upwords

Cameron had fun making new words

Together they came up with some really good words

Nathan was more interested in stacking to create new words

I have an extra board and pieces that I will be re-purposing to create a Montessori 100 board and 10 x 10 multiplication facts board, but for now the boys are enjoying a board game added ti their school bins