Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Does the upcoming school year have you in a frenzy? Is your head spinning from the many yet unplanned areas of your school or home? Are you sick with worry that you are not going to be ready?
Well the Old Schoolhouse Magazine has just what the doctor ordered! Their Schoolhouse Planner is just the medicine you need to cure your planning sickness!

This one-of-a-kind planner is jam packed with just the right planning and organizing sheets that you need to keep you feeling your best come day one of your new school year.
There are over 600 pages of “disorganization fighting” planning sheets for both your home and your schoolhouse! Located within the healing digital covers of the TOS Planner you will find planning sheets for everything from Lesson Plans and Music Practice to Grocery Lists and Budgeting Sheets. You will find sheets that cure the computer time wars and TV time battles so that you don’t have to!
And for those mid-year illnesses that come up out of nowhere you will find 24 articles to encourage a healthy and strong, “I can continue on” spirit!!

But there is so much more!! For $39.00 you will find the medicine you need to keep your planning, organization and spirit in great shape this school year.

So don’t wait, schedule an appointment for yourself to sit down and look over The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner! available as a download or for a few dollars more in CD form. But no matter which version you choose, this is one homeschool purchase that will not leave you feeling sick with regret!!

And although it doesn't seem like this could get any better TOS is pulling out their brand new Student Planners. If you're anything like me you can quickly become queasy to your stomach when you think about the organizational skills of your children. But with the all new Student Planners your child will be able to fight off the laziness disease and strengthen their days with organization and order!

The TOS Student Planners come in four age-appropriate doses:

•Primary Planner—grades K–3
•Secondary School Planner—grades 4–6
•Middle School Planner—grades 7–8
•High School Planner—grades 9–12

Think of the possibilities!

Select from a wide variety of forms:

•To-do lists (today, tomorrow, next week . . .)
•Audio/Visual log
•Log sheet
•Marking period planners
•Wish list (stuff to buy later)
•Science lab sheets (use to gather all the supplies and record the experiment too)
•General book reports
•Early elementary book reports (with room for pictures!)
•Chore charts (includes tasks and pictures for primary and secondary grades)
•Loaned and borrowed lists (no more lost books, CDs, DVDs . . .)
•Important phone numbers and contacts (never forget a phone number again)
•Address book (from A–Z)
•Family tree
•Community service record (college and scholarship applications may require this information)
•Dates to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, important events)
•Website login/password reference (handy!)

And so much more!!!The prices of each vary so check here for more info!!

I know I’ve already put these to good use in my home and they have cured my last minute worries of not being completely ready! It will work for you too!! Remember, it’s just what the doctor ordered…or at least what he would if he homeschooled!!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

**As a member of the TOS Crew, I wrote this blog post while participating in the The Old Schoolhouse advertising campaign, making me eligible to receive a prize. I received a free copy of the planner to facilitate the writing of this blog post.**

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I am thankful for RAIN!! Yes, that wet, miserable stuff that tends to ruin any outside plans. I am thankful for it.

As I sit here at my com puter I can hear the steady stream of raindrops hitting the many trees in our backyard and it is so comforting, relaxing and beautiful!

The Lord knew what He was doing when He created rain huh? I'm thankful that our VERY parched lawn and plants are getting some much needed norishment and that I can enjoy the weather without having to go out in it.

I'm also thankful that as a child of God I too have the opportunity to feel the much needed showers of blessings that He send into my sometimes parched life. I'm thankful that when the heat of life seems like it's going to bake me, He looks down and at just the right time, send just the right kind of "shower" to keep me alive.

What a mighty and merciful God we serve!!

"And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing."
Ezekiel 34:26

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Book Guardians-First Giveaway

I recently became part of a small group of Moms who review any and all types of books with the hearts of our children in mind.

It's probably one of the more conservative book reviewer blogs that you will find but you can be comfortable in knowing that the books you choose from our reviews will have everything laid out for you. You will not be left wondering what else is included in the book that you may or may not like. When we reveiw we try to give as much information as possible.

Well, we've just put up our first book giveaway post here so if you are interested in trying to win a couple of new books for your family; mainly girls as they are classic girl books; then hop on over the Book Guardians Blog and enter. The giveaway is only open until Monday, October 4th at noon so don't waste any time!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our HOD Week in Review-Unit 29

I did not get to post last week because we had the opportunity to have a missionary family stay in our home. Time was very limited from Friday until Tuesday while they were here so I apologize for not getting anything up for the blog roll. And since I messed up the linky tool, fixed it, reset it, then ended up MISSING the time frame completely (don't ask me how! I don't even know how I did that one!) I am posting last week's post this week and will get this week's post up this weekend. Ugh, forgive me ladies, forgive me!!
Our kiddos with the Rodriguez children
Things have still been crazy this week so I am going to post on how things went last week. Does that make any sense?!

The time that we spend on our HOD activities is certainly the highlight of our days. The girls absolutely LOVE this program!!

We spent our week traveling with the fictional  O'Neil family as they made their way west. We read about their encounter with Johnny Appleseed and Indians. We learned of the work required to build their log house and what the girls thought of the school house. They went home and begged their parents to let them stay home and do school there instead! (Smart girls!)

Our poem for the week was "The Planting of the Apple-Tree" verse 2 by William Cullen Bryant.
There were some great science exploration and art activities scheduled for this week but unfortunatley we were only able to get to one of them.

We talked about the phases of the moon and made cards to go along with each of them. Mrs. Austin actully had the activity set up so that we use something edible and round (such as cookis or oranges) but we didn't have anything that fit the bill so I just made up the cards. I'm really glad that I did because now we can hang these in our school room and refer to them whenever we want.

We also did the activity laid out in the science text God's Wonderful Work.

I said that I would share some of our DITHOR experience so I'll do that now. We just finished up our unit on Biography. I couldn't find a copy of the Amelia Earhart book so I just used on biography book that I had on hand. Biggest read through Tom Jefferson the Third US President; it's part of the Childhood of Famous Americans series.

To be honest with you I had high hopes for this program but Biggest didn't really care for it at all. I don't know if she is still too young but she pretty much complained about almost every activity we did.

We did some vocabulary work where she found an unfamiliar word from the day's reading, looked it up in the dictionary and then wrote down the word's meaning.

She did some character trait work, comparing the main character with a Bible character and other such work.

The end of the unit activity was a Story Quilt taken from the Book Projects to Take Home book that HOD also sells as well. (I cannot find her project now, she showed it to her Grandparents on Skype this week and cannot remember what she did with it. As soon as I find it I'll post a picture!)

I'm not sure if we will continue with this program or wait a few weeks and pick it up again or maybe come back to it in a year or so.

Biggest doesn't really like the writing involved or the critical thinking...laziness, I don't know, just not ready yet, maybe but whatever the case we are going to put this up for a while.

Well, that is our week in a nutshell. Now, I'm off to see what others have done, click on the button to join me!

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, September 24, 2010

Schelich Toys-TOS Crew Review

The Product
As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review team I was sent an assortment of animal figures from a company called Schleich.
Before the review I had never heard of this company but was immediately interested when I took some time to look over their website.
For this review I was sent the following figures:
The McMama Experience
I was excited about this review because I knew that my children would have so much fun with them but I was in no way prepared for the beauty of these toys (and I even feel that it’s kind of demeaning to call these gorgeous things toys).
The great attention to detail and real life appearance were pretty amazing! Check out these beauties!
This was such an easy review for the kiddos. When the box arrived they excitedly helped me open the box and squealed and giggled with delight as each animal was hurriedly unwrapped. After checking out each and every one they quickly took to playing for quite a while with the figures.
The Breakdown
Schleich figures are absolutely the highest quality figures that I have ever seen! They can be purchased at many local retailers such as Target, Tractor Supply and Toys R Us to name a few. You can also purchase these beauties from various popular online retailers such as, Barnes & Noble and FAO Schwartz. Here is a list of other online retailers. Prices vary at each store.

The multiple assorment of figures available are World Of Nature, World of History and World of Fantasy.

Because so many of the World of History figures match what we are studying this year I will be looking to purchase some of those for our children for Christmas.

If you haven't yet checked into these toys I would encourage you to search them out! They are well worth the hunt and will be some of the very few toys that will be purchased for our children.


**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.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This week I just want to metion my appreciation for my fellow homeschooling Moms. There have been so many times that I have been at a loss at what to do and have been able to first pray; always pray and then seek out the advice of other Moms from yahoo groups, curriculum specific forums etc.

I am so thankful for the comraderie that is there, the desire to help and share the burden and concern of an unknown Mother.

Thank you to all of you!! I so thankful for you!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Word-Surrender

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
Luke 9:23

It's hard when the Lord is wanting you to do something that you don't really want to do isn't it? It's tough when you feel Him tugging at your heart to surrender some area of your life over to Him so that He can do more.

I know first hand how that feels. There are things going on in my personal life that makes this verse apply directly to me. I've struggled with something for a few years now and the struggle is getting tiresome. Honestly I'm not sure what the Lord wants but struggling between making my own decision and praying for the Lord's direction is hard. What if He is asking me to surrender myself to that very thing that I have thought for so long that He didn't want. What will I do then?

You know, as a daughter of the King, my life is not my own. I am here to live for Him, to do His work, to bring Him honor and glory. Yes, even if that means doing exactly what I'm not very thrilled about doing.

What about you? Is the Lord asking you to surrender some area of your life to Him? Maybe you need to make a change in your homeschool, in your relationship with your husband, a co-worker, a friend or family member. Maybe your Pastor has asked you to serve in an area that you are not really wanting to. There are hundreds of senarios that I could mention but the focus here is on surrendering to the Lord no matter what the senario is!

Why? Because the Bible goes on to say, "For whosever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Luke 9:24

It does us no good to fight the will of God. What is He asking you to do today? Surrender your life to Him!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I See Cards-PyraMath-TOS Review

Do you need help with math? Ok, well maybe not YOU directly, but do your CHILDREN need help with math? Is their knowledge of math facts (or lack there of) making your math lessons dreaded by all? Would your children rather trim the lawn with scissors than be drilled, yet again, on their facts?

Do you need a hero to sweep down in tights and a cape to come and rescue your family from the evil math fact monster? Well, read on because I SEE a Hero!

The Product

PyraMath Card game
from I See Cards

From their website:

"When children play PyraMath, they know they're having fun, and you know that they're learning! PyraMath is comprehensive interactive arithmetic lesson that gives your child unlimited practice at their individual level
Each brightly colored card displays four basic mathematical symbols on the back, and the number along with English, Spanish, Chinese, Roman, French and Arabic translations and symbols on the front. Players quickly identify the numbers on their cards and add, subtract, multiply and divide to finish their pyramid first ! Whoever is the first to finish their pyramid by using their mathematical knowledge wins !

Ensure the mathematical success of your children with PyraMath!"
PyraMath Decks Include:
  • 54 Math Learning Cards
  • Each card clearly numbered
  • Each card clearly labeled with 4 mathematical symbols addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Each card clearly marked with English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Roman and French numerical translation and symbols.
$6.95 per Deck

The McMama Experience

To be honest with you math is not really a hated subject in our home but it's not one that we are in love with either. Biggest is good at math though still slow at producing answers and such. I wasn't sure how she'd take to this game at all.

The goal of the game is to build a pyramid on your side of the cards using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You are only allowed to work with two cards that are side by side. So, for example if there is a 4 and a 6 together I could lay down between those too either a 10 (addition), a two (subtraction), a 4 (multiplication-for double digit numbers you would use the number in the ones place-24) and there are no division possibilities...I think! :)

I pulled Pyramath out one afternoon, explained the rules and got going. Big Sis soon wanted to join in too. This being her first officially year of any kind of math she quickly lost interest and said that it was too hard to try and add all those numbers together.

Biggest hung on until the end of the game and after I asked what she thought she said she liked it but it was kind of difficult.
Honestly I wasn't sure the first time we played if we were doing it right and this is how our "pyramid" ended. I figured out later that we were doing a few things wrong but was able to understand before we played again.

The math curriculum that we currently use incorporates a lot of card games already so this game, although neat, didn't really add anything to our homeschool.

However, for those who don't have a lot of manipulatives for math and are in need of math fact review I think that this game would do wonders for the children.

I even took the cards to our Co-op and showed some older kids how to play. They enjoyed the game but said that it was a little hard. I think that means that this game really makes the kids think!

The Breakdown

  • For $6.95 you get a great tool for math fact practice-practice for all the facts at the same time at that!

  • The directions were not very clear in my opinion but they do have an online version that you can try to get some practice in before playing with the children.

  • This card game is also great because you can use it with kids at all levels of math at the same time!
Here are the other math games available from the I See Cards company as well:

Fractazmic -Kids learn numbers, fractions and measurments.
Prime Bomb - Kids learn prime numbers, factoring and mulitplication (Website currently under construction.)
I See Cards - Kids learn object association, multiple languages and hand eye coordination

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew members have to say about this game.


**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.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our HOD week in review-Unit 28

This has been a very fun week of history here at our house! We've learned about Daniel Boone and how hard he and others worked to literaly create the Wilderness Road, a path basically, that led from Virginia, through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, a then new and fertile land.
We also have been journeying with a fictional family who were preparing to travel to Kentucky by way of the Wilderness Road. We've learned of the steps it takes to make a new dress for the daughter of the family and deerskin clothing for the boys.
We did go out one day and create a Wilderness Trail all of our own. Big Sis and Brother chose to mark their path with sticks and branches.
I also found a neat map outlining the Wilderness Road so I printed it off and we did some map work with it. I also had the girls narrate a little about what they knew about the Road as I wrote it down for them. (Writing is not so loved in our home so I will do some of it for both of them so that they can still have the opportunity to narrate as fully as they want.)
We've learned and colored a picture to go a long with the poem Farewell to the Farm by Robert Louis Stevenson as well. This poem is one of our favorites!

I don't have them set out to memorize the poems intentionally but do have the sheets that I've made up in their workboxes and they read through them daily. It is this simple task that actually does cause them to memorize much of the poem. I'm honestly amazed that it happens so easily!
And at their request I printed off two color sheets; one of Daniel Boone and one of an Indian girl.
The children have had so much fun with this unit!

Next week I hope to share some of what we've experience with DITHOR. Check out how others use HOD in their home here.

Lovin' Learnin'

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Learning of Mr. Washington…

"How do you spell that?"
So I meant to have this posted earlier this afternoon as I am hosting the Blog Roll but, we had an emergency and I am just now getting to it. Please forgive me!! But, without further delay...

Our week in HOD has been a good one. We've been learning about George Washington and mainly focusing on how he took care of his home at Mt. Vernon. It didn't surprise me at all to find out that he was a very orderly, organized and thoughtful man. This made for great converstation opportunities with my children.

One of the activities for the week was to make a map of the land at Mt. Vernon. The girls were to follow my instructions as I verbally gave directions on where to place each farm on the map. These are some pictures.

Biggest's Map of Mt. Vernon
Big Sis's Map of Mt. Vernon

Diligently working on her map.

As with many HOD activities I wasn't sure that the girls would enjoy this map making and almost skipped it but and am glad that I (once again) trusted Mrs. Carrie Austin's judgement and knowledge and went ahead and tried it. This will be a great keepsake.

I was going to post some videos but I can't get them loaded so I will have to add them later.

Because it's so late and has been a crazy day I am going to leave our first blog roll post at that. Not really what I imagined/planned it to be but then again that's homeschool isn't it!!

Check out what other HOD bloggers did here.

Lovin' Learnin'