Thursday, July 29, 2010

If you are interested in using Rightstart Math or implementing abacus work with your own math program you won't want to miss out on a FREE webinar.
Here is the info. that I was sent:

We are sponsoring a FREE webinar on Thursday, August 12 at 2:00 pm central time. Space is limited, so be certain to sign up quickly!

Abacus-Based Mathematics, presented by Kathleen Cotter Lawler

See how the AL Abacus fosters quantity recognition and develops addition strategies. The AL Abacus can be a perfect supplement or is the focal point of RightStart Mathematics.

Sign up to get a look into this GREAT math tool!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AWESOME Giveaway!!!!

Do you homeschool? Do you need more organization in your life? Do you want a chance at a $250 product for FREE? If your answer is yes to all three of those questions...although it doesn't matter if you homeschool or not cause ANYONE would benefit from this product...then you REALLY need to head on over to Homeschool Creations!!!!!!!

Jolanthe in all of her awesomeness is now running a giveaway for a Guidecraft School Library Cart worth a whopping $250 dollars!!!!! Yeah, I know!!!!

Check out her blog and enter right now!! The contest is only open until Tuesday, August 8th at 8 pm!!!

Oh, and while you are there check out her enourmous collection of great ideas, printables and more!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friend or Foe?

As I sit here sipping my coffee and surfing my ever-growing collection of watched blogs I feel convicted. This is part of my morning routine-everyday! No matter what the day holds I come and check my emails and a few other important items.

I feel convicted because the Bible says in Ecclesiaties to "Redeem the time". Am I doing that? Probably not. Is it wrong to get on this computer so often...well, I don't believe that it's wrong but I do know that it can become first place very quicly and that's when it does become wrong.

I came across a blog with a unique challenge and know that it is the Lord trying to tell me something. Beki, over at The Rusted Chain has an "Unplug It" challenge going. One day a week, one day a week, she challenges us to unplug something(s) that is basically a waste of our time. I think that its an awesome (albeit if not difficult) challenge. I can do this though, and so can you!!

We have no TV so that isn't a distraction for us, but the computer, oh the computer...that is something else!! So, I will be challenging myself to (gulp) remove myself from the computer for ONE DAY each week. Wouldn't my kiddos be surprised if they could wake up and  not find me sitting at the computer?! What would they think? Or how about not runing to my cell eveytime it buzzes letting me know that I've just received yet another email...

I'm not sure what day I will pick yet, maybe Thursday cause hubby is home early that day?! But I will pick one and I'll use that time to spend more time with my family...always a better choice!!! Won't you join me?!

Lovin' Learnin'

Wii Game Giveaway

Wow, the giveaways are hot this week!!! If you love the Wii and need some more workout in your days, check out this giveaway  hosted by Marie at Our Best Daze. Hurry though, it ends soon!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Another great giveaway!!

Is yours a game loving family?!! Well if so head on over to Living Sola Gratia to enter her newest giveaway. It is an great looking game from PlayAbility and looks like it'd be lots of fun for little ones...and it's educational to boot!!!

Go on, get on over there!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Women Living Well Blog: Vlog: My Chore Pack System

Stumped on chores? I know that in our own home I have started and stopped chore systems more than I 'd like to admit! (blush)
Well, this morning I came across a wonderful Mom talking about how she does chores in her home with her two kiddies. Check it out!!! Ya just might like it!! Oh, let me warn you however!!! There is A LOT of great stuff on this site so make sure you have enough time to browse (give the kiddos something to do) or wait until you have time!! Don't want breakfast to burn!! ;)

Women Living Well Blog: Vlog: My Chore Pack System: "(This video was first posted on - but this is the first time it has been featured on Women Living Well. I apologize i..."

Lovin' Learnin'

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our favorite Audio Books

With so many great classic literature out there it is hard to get them all read. I always feel like I have to read them all now, at the same time!! But then nothing gets read. So what to do?

Enter Audio Books!! My kiddos have listened to audio books for quite some time but this past year and a half has been slam full of great "audio literature!" They have been introduced  to so many great authors by way of audio books.

This is by no means a substitute for reading, we will get to each of these in print sometime (Little Princess is coming up this year) but I feel that they have benefited from hearing them read by much better readers than me!

Here is our list of audio books we have enjoyed.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia-Focus on the Family Radio Drama - awesome! (Not crazy about Aslan's voice however!)
  • My Father's Dragon series 
  • Peter Pan
  • Homer Price
  • A Little Princess
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Anne of Green Gables-Focus on the Family Radio Drama
  • Frog and Toad
  • Winnie-the-Pooh (original stories)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-read by Eric Idle***Great audio!! Mr. Idle is awesome and this is one of our newest favorites!!! A must "hear!!"

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, July 19, 2010

Working on Narration

In order to get more acquainted with narration I made a narration jar for our family to use. DSCN2421I made a label, scrounged up an old Mason Jar and made some narration slips to go inside. Some of the narration activities are:
  • Draw a picture of a scene from your reading.
  • Set up a scene from the story with your blocks.
  • Model something from the story using play-dough.
  • Narrate into the tape recorder.
  • Narrate orally to Mama.
  • Write down five sentences about what you read.
  • Tell me about another story or event that reminds you of what you just read about. Write down three sentences about what you read.
  • You have 10 minutes to plan a short skit from what you read.
  • If you were giving a test on this reading, what are three questions you would ask? Skip the narration today.
  • Write a letter (or e-mail) to Grandma about the reading you did today.
  • Tell me what you think is going to happen next, and why.
We also have used a narration cube which the children absolutely love!!
DSCN2427 I borrowed Littlest’s cute book basket-she now uses another-and now my Jar, Cube and current family read-aloud have a pretty little home!
This page has some great information on Narration if you’re interested in more!

A GREAT giveaway!!!

Are you like me? Do you LOVE back to school items?! Go ahead, admit it! I won't judge!! Well if you do then you won't want to miss out on this giveaway!!

Angela from My Journey is hosting a giveway from Carolina Pad company. They offer the cutest in back to school products!! We actually picked up some of their Eye Candy notebooks for the pre-teens at church and they LOVED them!!! They are not only adorable but durable as well!!

Hop on over to My Journey to enter this blog!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

TOS Travel Around the World June Module Review

Travel the WorldThe Product
My first review for the TOS Homeschool Crew is on The Old Schoolhouse June Module: Travel Around the World. This is an ebook unit study with a geography emphasis. Frugally priced at $7.95 and backed by The Old Schoolhouse reputation of quality this ebook would be a great addition to any homeschool.

My Experience
This is my very first experience with any of TOS's modules and since it might be yours too I'll explain a little bit about what a module is. A module is an add-on for The Schoolhouse Planner, the amazing planner brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse®. This module includes a study guide, activity pages, and much more! These modules come chock full of awesome items such as hyperlinks, puzzles, quizzes, and more, and they all work to add fun to your investigation of our wide, wide world!

Now that we are done with the details I will tell you how this worked in our home. I received this review just as we were ending our school year. We had just finished up some big geography work so when I mentioned to the kiddos that we would be working on this Travel the World module their little eyeballs just glazed over. I guess they had had their fill of geography for a little while. So, a little disheartened and reluctant I plunged into this one on my own. So this review will be purely from McMama's standpoint and not the McNuggets! ;)

One thing that I, as the headMcMama of this schoolhouse, love and appreciate about using items such as these modules is that all the work is done for me. (Did I reeeealy just type that?!) Yeah, no need to spend countless midnight hours searching the net looking for all the right worksheets, websites etc. because it's already done for me! Yeah!!

This module starts out explaining the meaning of geography, the use of maps and globes, and continents as a whole then delves into each continent individually. There are extra fun worksheets included to use at your discretion such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, copywork pages, recipes and a whole section to beef this up for highschoolers!

I love that the hyperlinks are there to shoot you to a great website that adds another benefit to these modules! Talk about convenience!!

I would recommend this product to really any homeschooling family that is looking to add something to supplement what you are already doing in your home or as a nice "break" from your regularly scheduled days.

I feel bad that the children did not get interested in this as I think that they would have enjoyed it but I will be sure to pull this out when I want to add some geography work to our plans.

The Wrap Up
I encourage you to stop by The Old Schoolhouse Store and check out the June Travel the World Module and others. At $7.95 you'd be hard press to find fun and educational any cheaper! You can also save by bundling these and buying more than one at a time.

Check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog for more reviews on these modules.

Lovin' Learnin'
**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Friday, July 16, 2010

Frugality pays off!!

change jar
I LOVE  am addicted to  Thrift Shops! It is very hard for me to go a week without scouring their shelves in search of great books to add to our ever growing collection. Really, I have to pray about it because it can be a problem if I don’t control it!
BUT I will have to say that the Lord has always blessed and I’ve always been able to find books for awesome prices! Whether it’s in my favorite 2nd hand shops or at library sales or less frequently, yard sales (I’m not an early riser-I admit it!!). I’m always on the search for books and He’s always led me to some great penny-pinching finds.
Take today for example, the reason for my mid-day post. I had to take Littlest and Brother out to a Doctor’s appointment and all week I have been planning to swing by St. Michael’s Thrift Shop. It’s only a couple of miles from the Dr. Office and they sell their books very cheaply. So, after their appointment the kiddos and I headed straight for the store. Now the kids are very patient with me when it comes to my thrift shopping because it always takes me so long in those stores. This particular thrift shop always has a couple of bins full of little odds and ends that the kids can choose from for free! Most of the time it’s junky (but I let it go because they endure my trips so often) but every now and then we find some great things in those bins.
Once Big Sis was wanting an automatic ATM bank machine like Biggest’s that we had picked up at a Used Book sale for homeschoolers. I really didn’t want to pay full price because they are expensive but I had thought about getting one for her b-day. Well not long after she began asking we made a trip to St. Michaels and low and behold there was a smaller version sitting in their free bins. She was SOOOOOOOO thrilled! The Lord gave her the desire of her little heart! That was a great moment!
So, things like that happen to us often but today, gotta tell you about today. Here is the list of books that I found at St. Michael’s Thrift Shop today:
1. Jamberry-Bruce Degan
2. Sand Cake-Frank Asch
3. Blaze Finds the Trail-C.W. Anderson
4. Sounds My Feet Make-Arlene Blanchard (great for Littlest, thick pages!!)
5. Thomas the Train
DSCN2900 6. The Mitten-Jan Brett
7. A Tree is Nice-Janice May Udry
8. Harvey’s Hideout-Russel Hoban
9. Madeline in London-Ludwig Bemelmans
10. Madeline’s Rescue-Ludwig Bemelmans (They are the  two big blue books in the back.)
11. Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down-Donald Sobol
12. DOGS-Luis M. Henderson
13. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble-William Steig
14. Noah’s Ark- Peter Spier
15. If you Traveled on The Underground Railroad-Ellen Levine (love these books!!)
16. The Boxcar Children-Gertrude ChandlerWarner
17. Stuart Little-E.B. White
18.Trains- Gail Gibbons
19. Wee Sing Around the World DSCN2903
20.-22. A set of three Christmas at Home books-Barbour books
23.Glitter Greeting Cards (a craft book)
And finally...DSCN290424. A Set of Cheerios flashcards from Briar Patch
Lots of books huh? Are you ready for the grand total? I paid a whopping $2.60!!! Yes, $2.60!! They sell their children’s books for $.10 a piece!!! I know!!!
Now as you can see not all are in great condition (although some surely are!) But with young children reading these things I don’t want to worry about them ruining them so this makes it easier for me to not be so crazy about how they handle them. (Though we do teach them to handle them well.)
Some are ex-library books, others have writing from previous owners, some even scribble marks here and there and some torn in a few places but all still highly useable!!
Oh, and in the free bin I found these wonderful vinyl ABC’s. They are neat aren’t they? Not sure what I’m going to do with them just yet but one can never have too many letters huh?!!
What a huge blessing for this frugal-minded Mama!! What frugal finds have you come across lately? Tell me about your inexpensive book buying excursions!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coming up!!

I am currently reading through Mind Your Mortgage to review for Book Sneeze. I am really enjoying it so if you are interested in the book check back for my review!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, July 12, 2010


 have brought two of my blogs together but in doing so I accidently clicked the "Publish all" button and so you all are getting an enormous amount of my posts...posts that are old and won't mean anything to you! I'm sorry, as I type this my cell is going off every few secconds with new emails from my blog.

Please forgive my foolishness! I hope that this doesn't cause too much trouble for you all (unfortunatley I'm sure that it will cause some!)

Again...forgive me!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Our Homeschool

We will be using the Heart of Dakota curriculum for a lot of our schooling but will also be implementing other things such as:

Rightstart Math
Learning Literature Through Language Arts (LLtLA) along with Abeka's Grammar 3
Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind
(Haven't decided if I'm going to put both girls in that book or use LLtLA and Abeka for my 3rd grader and LLWTM for my 1st grader)
All About Spelling Levels 1 and 2
Lots of Notebooking
and Preschool/Kindergarten if I can fit it in!!!

I will post here about all of those but the Heart of Dakota journey will have a section all to itself!! 

Come back later on and check us out!!
Lovin' Learnin'

What's Coming

HOD BlogRoll

When our new school year starts back I will be posting about our journey with the Heart of Dakota program. We will be finishing up our Beyond Guide and will begin our journey in Bigger Hearts for His Glory and Drawn Into the Heart of Reading. Come back and check out how we're doing!!

We are also going to be hosting the brand new HOD BlogRoll! You won't want to miss the opportunity to see what fellow HODies are doing or the opportunity to check out this curriculum in action if you've been wondering about it!! And don'tcha just LOVE the super button up top? That was created for the BlogRoll by a dear lady and fellow HODie named Karen. Check her out! She's got some great stuff on her blog. *Thanks Karen*

The first post will go live Friday, September 3 so mark you calendars!!! Hope to see you here!!

Lovin' Learnin'