Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Scripture 8/25

II Timothy 1:7
... God hath not given us the spirit of fear ; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We are not created to fear; God created us to reflect his love and his mind. He is all power and we are created in that image and likeness.
What stands out to me is how beautifully God's  power created us to glorify him. We are called to share the gospel and glorify him in all we do, I am grateful for that calling, even if it is to only my children at this season. I know that I am planting the seed that God gave us within the blessings he has bestowed upon us.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Command Central, New Resource Room part 1

Our new school year kicks off this coming week and I am happy to say we have found a system that I think it going to work.
We re-purposed an old literature rack and took the divider out to accommodate two columns of folders/ notebooks.  The notebooks will hold notes , worksheets, etc.. related to a given assignment each day. The daily subjects will be all in one folder (4 math sheets, Bible notes, Spelling words and activity suggestions). I printed labels for the folders so I can write the subject and assignment / suggestions on each folder. I may end up putting contact paper over the label so I can reuse it , but for now I will just print new ones for week 2 and 3 as I have a huge box of shipping labels that I can use from.
The bulletin board for Weekly Words to Learn is divided just like the folder rack, blue for Cameron and Green for Nathan. The goal for the board is weekly spelling lists and vocabulary words including Spanish and Latin (once we add Latin to the mix in October). The 2 anchor charts above the word wall are Adverbs and Adjectives; I also hung the suggested word list for over used verbs. 
I have a thought about putting a TV tray or small table under the sign for pens, pencils, etc... along with a spot to check your work before returning it to the rack.
On the door into the room we have a colorful 10 Commandments poster that the boys have always liked. (on the back of the door is a pocket thing currently holding various flashcard activities that needs to be gone through).
 I still need to work on the bookshelf next to the command center for various Montessori themed options for Nathan and various Command Card activities for Cameron, but I feel like I got something pretty big done with this project. Now to fill the first 8 folders and find our rhythm for the new year.

My goals for next week is the giant magnet board over the dryer and the crates in the middle of the room. If I can get those handled I would also like to get the cubbies all flipped the right direction and load the appropriate books into the cubbies.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Geometry Notebook connect the lines and angles for learning fun

If you have been following our homeschool journey you know In the Hands of a Child is one of my favorite companies, so when they came up as a vendor with the Schoolhouse review crew I was happy to work with them to review a project pack.  It was actually a bit of a challenge to select a project to review that I didn't already own (I'm a little addicted). I decided to go with the Geometry Notepack (I already have the Lapbook project as well as the coordinating younger student lapbook so it made sense).

This was not our first In the Hands of a Child, if fact since we began homeschooling 5 years ago, the boys have completed more than 20 units. This time we used the laptop to read the research guide from (usually I either print it out or load it to my Nook). I also printed 2 copies of the notebook pages as Cameron's friend who is one summer break was spending a lot of time around the house and when asked to participate in school he was willing and eager.
We actually did the project in 5 sittings as I printed a couple days combined.  I love the lesson plan guide in the front of the pdf file, it makes it so easy for me to plan our sessions and gives the kids something to check off as we complete the activities.
This unit is geared to grades 4-8 (Cameron is going into 5th grade , and his friend is also a 5th grader so it was a perfect match)  While the older boys worked on the Intro to Geometry unit, Nathan also worked on the coordinator K-3rd grade unit Shapes: Simple and Solid and had fun adding his own style to the lapbook project.
The Intro to Geometry notepack retails for $12.00 is has everything you will need to read and complete the notebook as well as a reading list of books you can add to the unit.  During August and the Back to School sale this unit is on sale for only $5.00 (the sale ends August 20, 2013)
I love that I was able to teach Cameron and his buddy more than the basic geometry terms and shapes, we also talked about occupations that use geometry and even got hands of with teaching and understanding the Pythagorean theorem (I didn't understand it myself until my freshman year of high school). Making the learning fun and hands on and having a finished notebook made the whole project that much more fun for both boys. We even talked about angles and such incorporating the concepts into their bike jump building. Keeping 2 10 and 11 year old boys engaged can be a challenge but thanks to In the Hands of a Child we not only kept them engaged but also taught them something that they will use again before their school careers are over.
 In the Hands of a Child was founded in 2002 by 2 homeschool Moms, (Niki and Kim) in 2005 they brought Katie on board and since the first pack , Plants was published have published over 450 units in a variety of topics and a wide range of grade levels.  What makes  In the Hands of a Child  different is the research guides written for each unit. Everything you need to complete the unit is included, from lesson plan ideas to answer keys, from research guides to graphics (notebook pages or mini books for lapbooks). Many of the units come in a variety of types from basic lapbooks to lapboos with a type it in feature to Notebook packs all as pdf files and even printed materials; some of the units even have full kits where everything is printed and ready to put together.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a variety of the  In the Hands of a Child  and share their thoughts on each product, check them out by clicking on the button below.


Monday, August 19, 2013

It is Schoolhouse EXPO week and I can't wait!

Schoolhouse Expo

This week is Schoolhouse Expo week and I can't tell you how excited I am , even my husband is looking forward to the talks. 
I've printed my schedule and circled all the talks I want to listen to, since they are recorded I can listen later if I have to miss one, BONUS!

Today I'm looking forward to  hearing Bob Irvin and Lori Scheele talk about and getting Organized as well and Barbara Beers talk about Spelling, Grmmar and Latin, and then ending the day with Antony Kolenc and mistakes Homeschoolers make....

Tomorrow is another full day as well!
It isn't too late to purchase a ticket 
I received my ticket to this event in exchange for sharing before and during this event.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reading Kingdom, an online reading support program

Reading Kingdom logo photo readingkingdomlogo_zps9012735a.jpgWe received a subscription to Reading Kingdom to review and share our thoughts with our readers. We previously reviewed Reading Kingdom with the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so we were familiar with the program going in. Nathan was eager to start the program and began using the program with very little encouragement

Reading Kingdom is a subscription based program retailing for $19.99 after your first 30 days free trial. You can also purchase an annual subscription for $199.99 a year for the first child and $9.99 a month for each additional child.The program is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 10. Nathan is nearly 8 and familiar with the program.  The program teaches basic reading and writing/ spelling skills needed to be successful readers. 
While Nathan isn't the strongest reader he is a willing student and will try something new if it means he can improve his skills. He is also willing to try something again after a break. Since we had not used Reading Kingdom lately he asked me to give it a try again. Of course we had a computer system crash during our review period, but thankfully since the program is online it didn't effect using the program. 
We did find a couple of minor issues related to successfully using the program. Our computers aren't new machines (actually most of the machines in this house are at least 7 years old), older machines don't always respond as fast on webpages as newer machines. We found that even with a high speed internet connection, we still experiences some delay in the response to answers with the activities; that delay caused some frustration for Nathan as he was always waiting for the next question or waiting for his answer to appear on the screen. (I am working on fixing some of the issues on our end). 
The other thing we found frustrating was the story books seems slow to respond and they seemed to have a lot of graphic effects that we had to wait for to move on. 
Both Nathan and Mommy really wanted this program to be a huge success and I think it can be as we improve our computer situation. We are both enjoying the time on the computer and the colorful images that go along with the program. Nathan is nearly 8 years old and reading below his marked 3rd grade level, however is comprehension level is far beyond 3rd grade at nearly a 6th grade level, so we are working toward improving his reading through computer games as well as focused reading time . We are also using flash card and sight words to improve success with the basics. Thankfully we found a free resource on Reading Kingdom  with their Super Sight Word list. Nathan also has a magnet for his activity scheduler featuring Reading Kingdom, he still insists on putting his Reading Kingdom magnet on his schedule and is determined that we will use the program at least 3 times a week. I am grateful for his determination and drive to improve his skills .
You can follow Reading Kingdom on Twitter, and even check out their Facebook page.
You can even read what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of the program by clicking on the button below.


Sunday Scripture 8/18

I thought I this week's post figured out, but this morning sitting on church I heard the verses with a new  meaning, so  I changed the verses for this week.

Psalms 35:9

King James Version (KJV)

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Psalms 144:15

King James Version (KJV)

15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Just thinking about being Joyful and Happy in the ideas of God, this coming week is filing up with commitments and activities that I am looking forward to, but at the same time I crave that quiet time with God where I can be filled with joy knowing that our time together makes the rest of the activities during the week happier occasions. 

And on another note, also from this week's lesson. A passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy in this week's lesson  really makes me think about what we do to encourage our Godly thoughts. Am I really doing what I need to in order to fill my mind with right ideas?

SH 60:29-9
Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man. We cannot circumscribe happiness within the limits of personal sense. The senses confer no real enjoyment.
The good in human affections must have ascendancy over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition.

Thoughts for the week!
Have a blessed week !

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunday Scripture 8/11

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The idea that what we see materially is not the real focus in our lives in a pretty big idea. We need to continue to stay focused on God and his amazing Love for us, that is the eternal thought
Keep your eyes and thoughts on God and reflecting that Love.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Bible Study for all age? Yes and we love it

Unionvale Homeschool

Studying God's Word as a family is a huge thing for this Mom, but sometimes finding something that fits that bill is tough, thankfully we received a review item recently that fit the bill perfectly, Bible Study Guide For All Ages.
We received two different levels to review, Beginner and Intermediate. Along with these student pages we also received the following items: Beginner Time Line,  Children's Song CD,  and Bible Book Summary Cards to use with the program.
We decided to go with the Beginner for Nathan as a way to work on some issues we were having with following directions and his need to continue to work on his fine motor skills related to coloring. I am glad I made this decision as the stories are the same in each level just adding more concepts and memory work as the levels progress.

Bible Study Guide For All Ages is a multi -level Bible study program that takes all levels through the Bible at the same pace. The same stories are told at each level which helps with continuity. The boys could have discussions about their lessons even though they were studying at their own levels.
Beginner is intended for ages 3 through Kindergarten
Primary is intended for grades 1 and 2
Beginner Student PagesIntermediate is intended for grades 3 and 4
Advanced is intended for grades 5 and 6

Although  the Beginner set is really intended for younger children I was still very happy with the results with Nathan. We did the lessons together with both boys so the story was more important than what was on the page in front of him. I also left out the detail of what the recommended age was when we opened the box.

The student pages we received contained 25 lessons which retails for $5.95.
The Timeline Cards and Children's Song CD we received coordinate with the level  in the student pages but also engaged both boys even though they were working at different levels.
The songs on the Children's CD were all short but easy to learn and fun to sing along with. Surprisingly my boys actually began singing the songs without the CD as we worked through a few lessons. While they haven't "learned" all the songs yet, they have listened to both CDs repeatedly, almost to the point that I have to put a time limit on these CDs. The 2 disc set retails for $19.95 which is a value considering the number of songs in the set (90 songs)

The Timeline cards which retail for $24.95 contains 34 full color 8 1/2 x 11 picture cards that simplify the Biblical Timeline for younger students and include keywords to help them remember the various stories. We decided to put our cards into a binder and slipped each card into a sheet protector giving us the option on making extra notes with a dry erase pen if we thought of questions or ideas related to the story.

The intermediate Student pages also include 26 lessons and retail for $5.95 a set follow the same stories with just more detail and longer reading/ listening passages. The questions in each lesson are at a 3rd / 4th grade level but still manageable to youngers that may be listening. The coloring is more detailed but also gives room for some creativity. Cameron enjoyed searching the Bible passages for the answers to the questions of his pages and seemed to connect with the stories as well as the Bible Summary Cards.
Bible Book Summary Card SampleThe Bible Summary card set contains one card for each book of the Bible in full color 8 1/2 x 11 size. Again we slid these into sheet protectors and a binder to keep them together and easy to use. Having these in protectors also allowed Cameron to write favorite verse from each book on the sheet protector with Wipe Off Crayons or pencils.

 Overall we have really enjoyed this program especially as a summer Bible Study program for the family. It was easy to pull out a lesson sheet for each of the boys and have them work on their page while Mommy read the story after lunch as a low key yet meaningful activity.
I did find out from several of my local friends that this program has been used in a couple of the local churches as well as homeschool families. I love hearing how other families have incorporated this program and the various add on pieces. As a homeschool Mom , I often find myself tweaking a program and then wondering how others are using the same program in their situation.  The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a variety of the Bible Study Guide for All Ages products and share their experiences, you can click on the button below to read their thoughts.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Documentary leads to read aloud fun.

 photo almanzowilderlifebeforelaura_zps15bde20c.jpgWe recently received a fun documentary from Legacy Documentaries to review and enjoy. Almanzo Wilder: Life before Laura retails for $21.95 plus shipping and is loaded with tons of  photos and reenactment footage based on the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The DVD can be enjoyed by any age that is able to either watch a video or listen to the dialogue.
This video reminded me of a childhood crush. When  I was young and watched Little House on the Prairie I had a huge crush on Dean Butler who played Almanzo on the television series, so much so that I decided one year I had to dress up as Laura for Halloween in hopes that he would ride into town with his horse.
Back to the subject at hand...  The Documentary led to us reading Farmer Boy as a fun read aloud taking the stories in the documentary to the next level and discussing the difference in farm life then and now.  My boys haven't seen the whole series nor have we read all the books, so this was something new for the boys.
Lately my boys have become obsessed with horses so they enjoyed all the horse references really caught their attention.

Catch a glimpse of this DVD in the trailer below.

Legacy Documentaries has created  2 documentaries tied to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as well as a CD of music inspired by the era. The DVD we reviewed is a high quality program with clear sound and vivid cinematography. We watched the DVD three times and amazingly enough saw something new each time. The details in the history of the Wilder homestead  in upstate New York really engaged my boys. I love finding something that engages my fun memories and my boys' attention at the same time.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed two videos from Legacy Documentaries and share their thoughts on the DVDs, you can read their thoughts and experiences  by clicking on the button below.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Schoolhouse EXPO is coming August 19th-23rd

Are you ready  to be inspired?

Are you ready for 5 days of inspiration from some of the leaders in the Homeschool community? I know I am!
August 19-23, 20313 is the Old Schoolhouse Expo, an online conference where it doesn't matter how dressed up you are or aren't. You can join in wearing your jammies if you want. 
The schedule is full of awesome speakers and a wonderful time of encouragement with most speakers starting at the top of the hour.  You can purchase a ticket to this amazing event for only $24

Ray ComfortCarol Topp
Dean ButlerAdam Andrews
Todd WilsonAndrew Pudewa
Jessica HulcyAnn Dunagan
Diana WaringChristine Field
Dr. Jay WileDavid C. Gibbs III
Hal & Melanie YoungDavid Stelzl
Kim KautzerDavis Carman
Antony KolencEvonne Mandella
Terri JohnsonTyler Hogan
Andy HarrisMarie Rippel
Jennifer CourtneyDeborah Wuehler
Joaquin FernandezHeather Laurie
Malia Russell
And More!!!

What an amazing list of speakers. 
I am on the west coast and am excited mostly because the activities don't get going until 10am Pacific time.

Will I see you there?

***I received my ticket to the event in exchange for sharing my thoughts before , during, and after the expo. All thoughts and opinions on the event are my personal opinions. ***

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Looking for a little BrainFood, check out this fun Mammals DVD

Fascinating World of Mammals We recently received a fun DVD from BrainFood Learning to review and share our thoughts here.  The boys selected The Fascinating World of Mammals as their first choice. The day we received it in the mail, the boys immediately put it in the DVD.
The DVD retails for $14.99 on BrainFood's website and is for all ages which made it fun when Papa arrived for a visit and watched it along with the boys. (at that viewing we covered ages 7-82, not too bad for a educational DVD)
The boys enjoyed watching the DVD even though much of it was review from previous unit studies and along with our various studies of the creation story. Each of the boys did a very good job with the quizzing in the movie. It was a nice break for Mommy, as I was able to work in the kitchen (fixing lunch and cleaning up breakfast) while the boys and their Papa enjoyed some very relaxed school time.  The easy going style of the review questions on screen and the vivid cinematography kept the boys attention so well, they even watched the credits go by.

 photo 31477_411332758959489_253604783_n_zps2cd64016.png
BrainFood Learning was started by parents looking for educational programs that would keep the attention of little ones and when they didn't find it, they decided to create the content themselves. As a parent I really appreciate that aspect as well as the style of the videos. Seeing the animals in their native habitat helped my boys see the animals as real, I can't really explain it , but with the various cartoon movies portrayal of animals, my boys often times forget that animals are part of God's amazing creation and have their own homes and families.
BrainFood Learning is also a Pacific Northwest company out of Bellevue, Washington, I love when my kids get excited about a program and it is what I consider local.

Another feature of the DVD that I really appreciated, a lesson plan, while I didn't incorporate the extra goodies into their summer viewings, I am creating a notebook with these activities as an option on our Science shelf.  There are 3 lesson plan pdfs to download on their website (free is even better), 1 set for each of the 3 Fascinating World of DVDs. We are also heading to the zoo for a summer concert series but will also be looking for some of the mammals seen in the video and talk about their habitats in the wild versus in captivity.

Below is a short preview (including the credits that caught my boys' eyes) so you can check out this wonderful DVD. After watching the preview again, myself, I am considering offering it as an option for our Auntie School sessions if the little boys would like, maybe let them play with some of the animal toys I have stashed while we watch it together.

Other crew mates reviewed this DVD along with 2 other DVDs from BrainFood including  Fascinating World of Insects  and Fascinating World of Birds. Your can check out previews of their DVDs on their YouTube Channel and be sure to check out what the rest of the crew thought by clicking on the graphic below.


5 days of Elementary Montessori: Day 2 Sentence Fun

Unionvale HomeschoolWelcome to another fun episode in 5 days of Elementary Montessori.  Today I want to share a couple of non-traditional Montessori style ideas for Sentence and Grammar activities.

I have the Farm Game for Nathan and he still enjoys playing with the set up we have even though the farm game is meant for a younger student. I also have several other printed materials for grammar and parts of speech. Eventually I will finish his grammar boxes and his sentence modeling set, but for now he is enjoying creating sentences with a set of plastic tiles a friend gave us. The colors don't coordinate with Montessori, but that actually has an advantage for Nathan as he was starting to memorize the colors instead of what part of speech we were working on.
While his older brother works on a variety of other activities, Nathan can play a variety of games with the letter tiles and work on creative writing.  Recently he created a sentence that led to a discussion on verb tenses and how to make the verb tense match to the rest of the sentence. We also worked on writing the sentence on our home printed paper (we use Handwriting without Tears model currently, so I created a custom size paper for him).
Write the sentence and then write 2 additional senteneces that expand on the subject in the initial sentence is one of our daily tasks. Another thing these tiles have been very good for is self directed clean up, they have their own bucket with lid and when we are done with the activitiy the tiles fit in the bucket and are returned to the Language Arts Shelf in the Resource Room. As a way to encourage sharing with Daddy, Nathan is allowed to leave his completed paper on the table until he shows Daddy the work, then the paper is filed in his workbox under finished works.
We have also played a couple of rounds of Story Cubes to encourage Creative Writing and Creative Thought. 
I do allow Nathan to explore writing with either hand as he shows ambidexterous tendancies and I want to encourage whatever is most comfortable to him. 
Later this fall, I am going to have Nathan help me "build" grammar boxes and a few custom sentence strips. I am thinking we will use a modified idea, but still work with each part of speech progressively.
We are taking it at his pace rather than falling into a pattern of what the books say he is suppose to.

If you found us from the crew blog hop anchor post, thanks for stopping by, if not I'm grateful you found us. Be sure to come back tomorrow for day 3 of 5 days of Elementary Montessori and be sure to check out the rest of the 5 days of ... from other crew members by clicking on the button below.
Summer Blog Hop

Monday, August 5, 2013

5 days of Elementary Montessori: Day 1 Spelling Fun

Unionvale HomeschoolWelcome to 5 days of Elementary Montessori with Unionvale Homeschool, I'm glad you stopped by. 

Today I want to share a couple of fun ideas for spelling. We don't do a formal spelling program although I am looking into a couple for later in the year. Right now, we play a lot of games with the boys for spelling. 

The favorite is Boogle Dice. 

This simple game keeps the boys focused on what is in front of them and incorporates both boys and a parent to play. 
We have combined 2 Boogle jr. games into a small plastic container.. The rules are simple. Everyone sits together in a circle on the floor. Parent starts, gently tossing the dice on the floor between everyone. Parent goes first and builds a word (no more than 4 letters) using the letters that fell in the circle. The next person buiilds 1 word with the remaining letters, and finally the last person goes repeating the activity. After everyone has built one word and said the word, we look for rules or formulas to discuss and then start round 2. The next round 1 of the boys goes first, usually we go clockwise just to keep it simple. The person that rolls goes first and the game goes around. 

Another spelling activity is movable alphabet races. This is a game Daddy made up for the boys. I gave him a stack of 2nd and 3rd grade Dolche word flash cards and he started calling out the words with the boys, the first boy to spell it correctly got to build it and write it. Since it was a race the boys immediately responded to the competition idea and worked to be the first one to spell the word. 

I also recently purchased an e-book of 101 Ways to Make Spelling Fun and can't wait to put these in the mix of choices for the boys. I love the idea that they have options for meeting their goals.

Come back tomorrow for another episode of 5 days of Elementary Montessori where I will talk a bit about sentence building activities.
Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the Crew Blog Hop by clicking on the button below, 90 Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers are sharing 5 days of... with a huge variety of topics.

Summer Blog Hop

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Scripture 8/4

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

The subject of our lesson this week was Love. Such a simple word yet so powerful. In the last the week I have been thinking about the love our Father has for us and shows us. He gives us so much, at the same time we need to realize that we need to love those around us, just as Christ told us. Tonight we had some neighbors over for dinner including an unexpected guest. It was wonderful to share our table with these guys, nothing over the top, just backyard dinner. I am grateful for the opportunity to share our table with friends. 
Something to think about in the week ahead, do you love your neighbor as yourself? 

Friday, August 2, 2013

To Clip or To Click that is my new question

I recently posted a review of a couponing book and since then I have been really thinking about how I coupon. So the question today is to clip or to click? As a busy homeschool mom with many irons in the fire, I am realizing that traditional couponing may not be the best use of the time I am given each day.

 Last summer I attended a blogger event Sponsored by Safeway introducing their Just for U program on their rewards card and while I can still use paper coupons to find some amazing deals, the amount I save by spending just a few minutes on their website is between 40 and 50%. I am also looking at where we do most of our grocery shopping and realizing that those places don't accept manufactures coupons.

Grocery Outlet is probably our most used grocery retailer and they don't take coupons except their own store coupons. 

Next in line is Walmart, yes they take coupons and they even prices match, but since our Walmart in town is not a super center, I find that most of what I get I can usually find an internet coupon for.

 Next on the list, Safeway, they take manufacturers coupons but honestly the majority of those coupons as available as clickables on their website.

Costco.comFinally, Costco; they take coupons but the send a coupon book out monthly for that and I flip through the book and take the whole book with me if we decide it is a good month to go. 

Don't get me wrong, I love couponing and the challenge of finding a great deal but I need to be more aware of the time I am spending and is it worth the effort. 
For those that coupon, what are your thoughts, to clip or click? For those that are thinking about couponing, does the idea of clicking for coupons make it seem easier?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Auntie School with Gryphon House's The Homegrown Preschooler

 photo GH_10322_zps89a912af.jpgSome days I miss the fun of preschool, thankfully I received a wonderful book to review from Gyrphon House. The Homegrown Preschooler, became the inspiration behind Auntie School. Auntie School was and still is our summer school with my 2 adorable nephews and my fun loving boys.
Gryphon House publishes a variety of books geared toward to younger learners. There collection of books would have been an awesome resource when we started. Thankfully, I get to put some of the fun activities into action with my nephews.
The Homegrown Preschooler is a 224 page jam packed collection of activities, idea, organization, and tricks for teaching little ones in their places and retails for $29.95.  ven though my kids are older , there are some of the organizational ideas that will still work for us. Also what kid doesn't like messy art projects no matter what age they are.
Tea parties aren't just for little girls, my boys and the nephews love to play restaurant , serving wonderfully imaginative dishes. Helping cook is a huge part of growing up, there are several cooking activities listed in the book

Two of our Auntie School days included simple activities. The first , theme building with Duplo blocks and learning to spell names. My youngest nephew was so excited to write his name and his brothers name of a magnet board, matching some LeapFrog word wammer letters and then writing the words. The second day, we stepped it up a bit by playing story cubes and taking turns telling stories followed by a nature walk in the back yard. The little boys loved the 'nature hike' around our pond and through the variety of trees around the pond, something so simple brought so much excitement. It really doesn't take anything more than a bit of creativity and a lot of love.
Of course we had to have a group shot with Auntie, Grandma, and all the boys, somehow I think my oldest ended up taking the picture so he wasn't in the shot.
We are hoping to get a couple more Auntie School sessions in before the nephews head back to school in September. My goal is to have some chalk art and maybe even a couple finger painting projects. My boys love making chalk art cities for their hot wheel cars and suggested talking about maps, cities, counties, etc... as a fun activity. Also love using side walk chalk for hopscotch, jumpjack math, etc... all fun number and letter recognition activities.
So many fun ideas and activities and so little time. If nothing else this book with inspire you to be more like a child and honestly is there anything better than seeing their little faces light up while they are learning something. 
The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed not only The Homegrown Preschooler, but also a wonderful book , Global Art. I myself am looking forward to a tall glass of ice tea while I read all the wonderful reviews and glean even more ideas to add fun to Auntie School and our general homeschool life.
Check out the review by clicking on the button below.