Thursday, March 31, 2011

For Sale

We are trying to clean out here at Ruby Slippers so if you are looking for some homeschooling items read on. If you find anything you are interested in contact me. Unless otherwise noted I will calculate shipping after you have decided what you want to purchase so that you are charged actual shipping only.

I will be posting more the next few weeks so check back often!!

Heart of Dakota:


Little Hearts for His Glory Set-$95.00ppd
  • Teacher's Manual
  • History for Little Pilgrims plus Teacher Manual
  • History Stories for Children 
  • Finding the Answers skills book (completed to pg. 15)
  • Burgess Story Time Set - 8 books plus The Adventures of Happy Jack
  • The World God Made
  • Devotions for the Children's Hour
  • Reading Made Easy on CD plus Workbooks on CD (the 4th wkbk. is printed out and included but not pictured), plus The Francis Study Guide.


Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory-$75.00ppd   SOLD
  • Teacher's Manual
  • American Pioneers and Patriots
  • Stories of the Pilgrims
  • Boys and Girls of Colonial Days (two versions)
  • God's Wonderful Works
  • Frog and Toad All Year-bent front corners
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends-Good condition
  • Wagon Wheels-Great Condition
  • Amelia Bedilia-Great Condition (hardback)
  • Christian Liberty Nature Reader-Great Condition
  • Animal Adventures-Great Condition
  • The Bears on Hemlock Mountain-Great Condition
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble-wrinkled at top of book, writing on top right corner of book and stamped on inside

DITHOR-$50.00ppd
  • Teacher's Manual-spiral bound with thick lamination on front and back covers-I purchased this used and it was missing the appendix but have been able to acquire it since then and is now included.
  • Student Book Level 2/3-binding is cut off for easier use/filing. The biography section is completed and not included. The rest is unused and free from marks.
  • Book Projects to Send Home Level 2


Various Story Time Selections-$25.00ppd
  • Charlottes Web-exc.
  • The Cabin Faced West-great condition
  • Helen Keller-good, covered with clear contact paper for durability
  • The Railway Children-exc.
  • The Sword in the Tree-great condition
  • The Apple and the Arrow-exc.
  • The World of Pooh; The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner-ex lib, good condition but cover shows wear
  • Ginger Pye-good condition, price tag marks on upper right corner
Homeschooling Helps:
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling 3rd edition–Debra Bell:
  • $2.50
  • ex. condition
For the Love of Learning-Maureen Whitman
  • $3.50
  • Like New
The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists-Sonya Haskins
  • $4.00
  • Includes CD with printable lists
  • Good condition except for tear at top left of front cover
Language Arts the Easy Way-Cindy Rushton
Notebooking, Yes you can be a Binder Queen-Cindy Rushton
  • $2.50 each or both for $4.00
  • both are paper covers
  • one is coil bound the other is comb bound
  • shows shelf wear but otherwise good condition
The 3 R’s of Learning – Ruth Beechick
  • $5.00
  • Includes all three titles
  • Good condition
Language and Thinking or Young Children-Ruth Beechick
  • $5.00
The Way They Learn- Cynthia Tobias-sale pending
  • $4.00
  • Great condition
Educating the Whole-Hearted Child-Clay & Sally Clarkson-sale pending
  • $2.50
  • Older version but filled with excellent info.
  • Great condition
For the Children’s Sake-Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
  • $4.00
  • Exc. condition
A Charlotte Mason Education-Catherine Levison
  • $2.00
  • Some highlighting throughout
  • Fair condition
Charlotte Mason Study Guide-Penny Gardner
  • $1.00
  • This has been loved and used greatly
  • Cover is very creased
  • Some page corners are bent due to long shelf life
  • Still very useable
How to Devel0p Your Child’s Gifts and Talents During the Elementary Years-RaeLynne P. Rein, Ph.D
  • $1.00
  • Creases on cover, sticker on inside cover
  • Name on inside
  • Some underlining
A First Thesaurus
  • $1.00
  • Good condition,paperback
  • A Golden Book
November-Carson Dellosa
  • $1.00
  • Exc. condition, paperback
  • Full-color monthly activities for Grades 1-3
The Weaver Curriculum
  • $15.00
  • Interlock, ‘87 version
  • Large 3-ring binder with dividers for all units
  • Includes resource section for printables
  • When I checked a few months ago they said that most of this curriculum has stayed the same but you may want to double check before you purchase
  • Good condition with some writing/highlighting throughout
  • Heavy!!
  • I also have the staple bound book that had cards for Dad to fill out to be involved with the learning
Math:
CalcuLadder Masters Level 1 and Ready Writer
  • $8.00
  • All pages are in sheet protectors
  • In a three-ring binder
  • Include the write on/wipe off clear pages
Math Games for Learning-Peggy Kaye
  • $4.00
  • Good condition
  • Shows some shelf wear
Rightstart Math Level A
  • $35.00 ppd
  • Teacher’s manual
  • Student worksheet
Play and Find Out about Math-Janice VanCleave
  • $1.00
  • Ex-lib. – hardback
  • Great condition
Picture Books
Christopher Churchmouse Classics-Barbara Davoll
  • $1.00/each
  • Rainy Day Rescue
  • The Camping Caper
A Child’s Treasury of Beatrix Potter-hardback with dust cover
  • $1.50
Giant Treasury of Peter Rabbit-Tales by B.Potter with her Original Illustrations
  • $1.50
The Tales of Three Trees-Angela Elwell Hunt
  • $1.00
America A Patriotic Primer-Lynne Cheney
  • $1.00
Dear Mrs. LaRue, Letters from Obedience School-Mark Teague
  • $1.00
All the Children of the World-Karen Mezek Leimert
  • $1.00
Chapter Books
The Adventures of Mr. Mocker-T.Burgess
  • $.50
  • Great condition, paperback
  • Wal-Mart Version
Poetry/Art
Hiawatha-H.W.Longfellow, Pictures by Susan Jeffers
  • $1.00
  • Paperback
  • Good condition
A Child’s Treasury of Animal Verse-Compiled by Mark Daniel
  • $1.00
  • Ex-library/Hard back
  • Great condition
  • Beautiful paintings accompany many of the poems
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Baby Animals
  Little Ones At Play in 20 Works of Art
  • $1.00
  • Exc. condition, hardback
  • beautiful!!
Science
No Sweat Projects-Scholastic
Shadowy Science
Bouncing Science
  • $1.00/both
  • Fun Experiments
  • Ideas for Group Projects
  • Tips on Doing Research
  • Great for Science Fairs
  • Great condition
Play and Find Out about the Human Body-Janice VanCleave
  • $3.00
  • Great condition-paperback
Science Pocket-The Solar System-Ideal School Supplies
  • $3.00
  • 48 Reproducible Black Line Masters
  • Good condition
  • Includes extra puzzle
Good Enough to Eat-Lizzy Rockwell
  • $1.00
  • A Kid’s Guide to food and Nutrition
  • Great condition
Kenneth Lilly’s Animals – Text by Joyce Pope
  • $1.50
  • Information and pictures about animals from all around the world
  • Great condition
Maps and Mapping-Barbara Taylor
  • $1.00
  • Great condition, paperback
Electric Gadgets and Gizmos-Alan Bartholomew
  • $.50
  • Great condition-paperback
History
The Look-Up Book of Presidents-Wyatt Blassingame
  • $3.00
  • Ex. cond., paperback
  • Goes through Clinton
Penmanship
Writing the Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory Alphabet-Sarah Morgan Major
  • $3.00
  • This was an ebook I purchased and had comb bound
  • Great condition
  • Upon selling this will be deleted from my computer files
Forgein Language
An Usborne Introduction Learn Spanish
  • $2.00
  • Ex. condition, paperback
  • comic book style but very complete
Early Readers-$1.00/each
Calving Time-Dave and Pat Sargent
The Ladder at the Door-Dave and Pat Sargent
Bible
My Good Night Story Book-Susan L. Lingo/Kath Parks
  • $2.50
  • Exc. cond., hardback
  • 45 Devotional Stories for Little Ones

Monday, March 28, 2011

First Music Monthly

Music MondayI’ve decided to post a video of the kids and their music once a month to give family an opportunity to see how they are improving….well hopefully improving. My Mom so wonderfully helps out with the cost of the lessons so I also wanted this to be a way for her to see that the money she gives is being put to good use. (Thanks Mom!!)
So, here we are, at our first Monday.


Big Sis has been playing violin for 7 months and has grown to thoroughly enjoy this instrument. She has a great violin teacher who has played for the symphony and is a homeschool graduate herself.


Biggest has played the piano off and on for about three years now. We took some time off here and there when things got tight financially or when she seemed burned out. She has been taking from the same teacher as Big Sis (yes, the teacher plays both instruments) and is also doing a fine job.
The songs that they play for you on Music Mondays are those that they choose because they enjoy them. I hope that you enjoy hearing and seeing them play.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids-TOS Review

The Product:
BigIQkids.com is a web based program that focuses on math, spelling, vocabulary and state facts for grades K-8. This program is FREE but there is also a paid Premium Membership (that I am reviewing today) that is available. You can compare the two options here.


BigIQkids.com uses customizable lessons and rewards for passing those lessons as a way to teach children good study habits and hard work ethics. When used each day for around 10-15 minutes per lesson, BigIQkids.com guarantees that improvement in the child's academic grades will appear.
This is where parents or teachers can modify a spelling lesson to reflect the words in your current curriculum.
BigIQkids.com is unique in the fact that the student can use this program independently. Here's a quote from the website:  "BigIQkids.com provides true, self-learning applications without the need for parental oversight. All our material and instructions (each word and sentence) are delivered to the young learner by interactive characters with phonetically correct lips so even children with limited reading skills can utilize our e-learning applications."


Read more about BigIQkids.com here and learn about how it works here.


McMama's Opinions:


Can I say that I LOVE the Premium spelling portion of this website?!! Before this review came up I was really feeling bogged down with schooling two girls on different levels in math, spelling, reading and writing. I was earnestly seeking a way to "tweak" things so that some of my time could be freed up so that we could accomplish all that we needed to each day.



Enter BigIQkids.com. My worries began to ease!! Because the program allows you to either use the preprogrammed lists or input your own I was easily able to add our words to their spelling lessons and they would then get their lessons in on the computer. I still met with them each day to review rules, words and sounds and do some dictation but the meat of their lessons were done on BigIQkids. They loved it and so did I!!! 


What made it even greater is that with the Premium membership I was sent automatic progress emails which told me the score on their tests and if any words were spelled incorrectly how the girls spelled them. Isn't that great?!!! I could see what we needed to practice one on one because the program kept "tabs" for me!! In the life of a busy homeschooler/wife/mother/cook and everything else having help in one little area makes a huge difference!


My girls loved their lessons on BigIQkids and I think that much of that had to do with the fact that each lesson is different. Sometimes they practiced with word scrambles or robot lesson. Other days they would have a spelling bee. There was also a review and pop quiz and finally a test. All I have to do each week is input the words into their word lists and viola! Done!! The girls still get good spelling practice and I am given a few more minutes each day to get some other lessons done. Love it! They also love that they earn a game coin for successfully completing a lesson. Most days they were allowed 1 or 2 games but we did keep a limit on that. My girls mostly enjoyed the games where they could dress up someone or change up their Big IQ Buddy. (That's their avatar...well, I guess that's the word for it. I'm not up to date with all that lingo).


I focused on the spelling portion for our review because that's what we enjoyed and used the most but there are other areas available. Here is some quick information on them:


Math: You can set up a child's lesson to mirror what they are doing in their current curriculum. For example, if the child is on double digit addition and single digit multiplication, the program can focus on just these two areas providing invaluable practice and reinforcement that is certain to provide them with the tools to ace their next test. Or, BigMathTime can automatically generate grade specific and subject specific lessons as per your requirements.


Start menu for math with a neat little scratch pad to the right. You can see Big Sis' "avatar" on the bottom right...she always goes through wardrobe changes! On the bottom left is the green modify lesson book that the parent clicks on to personalize the lesson to each child. The teacher at the top left talks the child through lessons with encouragement and direction.
I liked the math portion ok. It was a little confusing to set up at first. You use percentages to determine how much of what kind of problems you want your kids to focus on. I would also always get emails saying that the girls mastered this or that but it never showed up on their lessons.


Vocabulary: With an extensive library of elementary through SAT prep words, BigVocabTime comes pre-loaded with word lists OR, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists and the program will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the week’s vocabulary test.


After reading the definition, synonym and antonym the child is then prompted to spell the word. This is lesson 1, step 1.
I had meant to input our own words from our science program but never did. I think that this is a great aspect of the program however it starts at the 3rd grade level (although you can customize). Even with that the words were difficult for my learners at that level.


U.S. States: Every elementary student will be confronted with the need to know their US State facts to mastery. BigStatesTime is the ultimate tool in learning the state's location, capital, spelling, abbreviations and general state facts. The program allows parents/teachers to add additional facts which will be included in the child's lessons and the program culminates in a “State Mastery Exam” that, if passed with 100% mastery, awards the child a State Master 
Certificate.


This is the Intro. lesson to States. Student clicks on any state to learn more about it.
My girls are funny. Honestly they never seemed to do well on the state parts but they LOVED the lessons anyway. I guess that means we need to work on comprehension a little more? The computerized teacher, Jake, tells them some information on a particular state and then they are to answer questions about what they learned. Yeah, need to work on that comprehension. I appreciated this portion of the program because the girls were able to be exposed to material that I just wouldn't have the time to cover right now.


The Breakdown:
  • I love this!
  • Premium Memberships can be purchased for each individual subject:
    • Spelling - $7.99/month or $39.99/year
    • Math - $9.99/month or $49.99/year 
    • US States - $39.99/month
    • Vocabulary - $9.99/month or $59.99/year
    • All four programs - $19.99/month or $99.99/year
  • Most of the sites can be accessed for free (however for us the premium membership for spelling would be worth it!) Check out the difference between the two.
  • Can be used with those in grades 1 on up. Everything is told to you by the computerized teachers so no extra reading is needed.
  • Can be used independently by the student.
Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members experienced with BigIQKids.com.

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**Any opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I was not compensated in anyway for doing this review other than receiving access to BigIQKids.com premium membership to complete the review. I want to express my gratitude to the makers of BigIQKids for allowing me to review their product!!**


Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Artistic Pursuits-TOS Review

Don't you just love art? Does it cause you to envision fields of flowers swaying softly in the breeze while bees softly buzz from flower to flower looking for their next source of food? Do you hear the birds sweetly chirping and wind softly blowing through the trees? Do you see an artistic soul with paints and brushes in hand dressed in casual chic quietly painting the landscape? Ah, I can just see it now.


Unfortunately for me, our "art time" usually entails spilled paint, the cry of a toddler, the swaying of a young boy who never stays still and the mother, dressed in pjs at noon wondering why I even try. Yeah, that's kind of close to my reality. :)


When the opportunity to review Artistic Pursuits came about I became excited and jumped at the chance. I hoped that this curriculum, that I'd heard so much good about, could send us in the right direction and help us to find that peaceful scene described above...uh, before the reality scene.


The Product:
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Artistic Pursuits doesn't need an introduction because they are highly popular to most homeschoolers. I have heard about this company for a few years now but had never had the opportunity to really take a look at their products. This review was my first opportunity.


I am reviewing the K-3rd Book 2 today but they produce books for Pre-School age on up to High Schoolers.


The K-3rd book 2's 32 projects cover the Artists and their Art and the materials introduced are: 

  • pan watercolors 
  • tempera paints 
  • oil pastels 
  • printmaking 
  • stamping 
  • paper-mache 
  • mixed media
And it covers Artists such as:
  • Cimabue
  • Rembrant
  • Michaelangelo
  • Raphael and many more


The pictures of famous works are beautifully printed in sharp color images on heavy weight paper. You can see a sample lesson here.  I appreciate how the lessons lay everything out for the teacher. You don't have to be an art major to teach from this material! But I will tell you what Artistic Pursuits is not. It is not a step by step guide to the mechanics of art; how to draw, techniques of painting or sculpting etc. I was a little surprised to find this out but once we dove in saw the beauty in the approach used here.

McMama's Opinon:
I was nervous about not having any direction to lead my girls to certain painting strokes or the abc's of drawing a face but I have come to appreciate the approach taken by Artistic Pursuits.

I am normally someone who has to have everything laid out for me word for word. I like to have complete lessons for the teacher so that I know exactly how to direct my children. This program catapulted me into a new experience.

Even Brother wanted a try at it!
After running to Michael's to purchase my supplies for the lessons my girls chose we set out on our first lesson. We gathered our supplies, a blanket and cup of water and headed outside to paint our picture. I read the story about the artist to them, explained what we were going to be doing and we began.

The girls eagerly set to work and I sat back and watched. Do you know what, they didn't need my direction, they didn't need to know what strokes to perform in order to get the perfect tree or cloud, they just painted. It was the most relaxing and rewarding lesson we have had all year. I was amazed. I honestly believe that had I been given exact steps to complete the project that the lesson would have been less enjoyable for the girls.
Biggest's painting.
This is what she was trying to paint.
The scene I described in the beginning of this review became a reality for us.

Read here a quote from their website:
"The Artistic Pursuits program presents both the expressive and the technical aspects of art in an age-appropriate manner. Children are curious and expressive from the start. We work with those interests to teach them to observe more closely. Skills develop as each child observes nature and enjoys the process of creating. Using ARTistic Pursuits, a child carries art tools to locations which both inspire and are chosen by the child. Creating truly personal work gives a child a sense of accomplishment that cannot be attained by copying from a book or watching an adult do it for him. They learn because direct observation is the best teacher when accompanied by an understanding of the foundational elements of art and compositional ideas. " (Read more here.)

Artistic Pursuits has something going here. I think that giving the background stories about the artists so that children can relate to someone who lived hundreds of years before them but whose art still lives today and basic directions for completing the art project that the children are truly using their own creativity and on the way to becoming great little artists.
This is what she was trying to paint.

Big Sis' painting.
I am highly impressed with this curriculum and think that even those who usually need complete direction will find pleasure in implementing this curriculum in their own homeschools.


The Breakdown:
  • A.P. can be used with children of all ages-Mom and Dad may even want to join in on the fun!
  • Complete art history examining the work of great artists.
  • Encourages individual creativity and is not a "how-to manual."
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  • Lessons are laid out in an organized fashion so parent knows exactly what is needed to do and what the goal of the lesson is. Although the manual is written to the student my girls liked me being there with them.
  • Can be purchased using PayPal, credit card, check or money order and has a no risk satisfaction guarantee for individual orders.
  • This book currently sells for $42.95.


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**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'

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Deuteronomy Chpt. 9


How often do we think in our own lives that we receive blessings simply because of our own righteousness? How often do we inwardly think that we are blessed over others simply because of the "good" that we have done.


Moses was telling the Israelites here that God doesn't bless on the account of our righteousness. He warned them against becoming puffed up and self-righteous. He also reminds them that in actuality they are not really any better than the people that have turned their backs on the Lord. He reminds them of their past sins so that they would see the mercy of God on them in spite of what they had done.


The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8,9 and 11,12 that it is only by God's grace and mercy that He saves us from a much deserved fate. It has nothing to do with the good that we do but everything to do with the greatness that is in Him.


My questions to you today are:

  • Have you been cleansed by the blood of Christ? Has He been made your Saviour today? It's only through Him that we will ever see the glorious Kingdom that so many await.
  • Have you become a little self-righteous today? Do you tend to think more of the things that you do than you should?
  • Have you pondered on what the Lord has saved you from? Do you look at your past, see where you are in the present and rejoice that Christ is your future?
  • When was the last time you bowed your head and thanked the Lord for changing you and bringing you to where you are today?


Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brill Kids, Aesops' Fables Books

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The Product:
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I reviewed  Brillkids, the software that teaches babies and young children to read, a while back, you can read that review here but today am reviewing some great little books that the have created.

Based on (but adapted) the much loved Aesop's Fables, these beautiful, glossy books are a lot of fun and unique.

Currently selling at $37.50 and if you already own the Brill Kids Little Reader you can download-for FREE-the animated versions of these books to watch and listen to on your screen.

You can read more here.

McMama's Opinion:


I really like these books. I LOVE the added "picture cover" as it helps to keep the focus on the words and not the pictures. This enables children to actually sound out the words, create a picture in their own minds and then have access to a bright and fun picture to complement what was just read.

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The print is nice and big, perfect for beginning readers. The font is simple and traditional. Both of my readers are reading above the level of these books and my non-readers are not ready for this yet but they all enjoyed pouring over them. The sentences all rhyme and in my opinion rhyming books are super fun to read and great practice for budding readers.

The price is too steep for our budget but others may have room to add these books to their personal collections.

Here is a picture of the collection that I received for this review.
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The Breakdown:
  • Great for beginning readers.
  • Excellent for those who like to read from context clues. When the picture is covered it's all about the words.
  • The reader's animation is a neat tool and great to use as a treat to motivate a child to try to read on his own first.
  • $37.50-the sale price for this collection of books as of the writing of this review.
Click on the banner to read reviews from my fellow Crew Members.
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**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'

Deuteronomy Chpt. 8

These are verses that have probably spoken to my heart the most while reading the book of Deuteronomy.


God desires our faithfulness. He lays that out in verse 1. He wants us to simply do that which He tells us. (Isn't that what we want from our own children as well?) The Israelites went through some tough times, some discouraging times but God gives the reason in verse 2. He allowed difficulties to humble His children-we can do nothing effectively for Him if we are proud and lifted up. He allowed difficulties to test them; their faith in Him and their obedience to His commandments. He wanted what was in their hearts to come out. He wanted to know the level of their faith and obedience to Him.
How often in our own lives do difficulties come our way that He has allowed so that we can be tested, so that our faith can be proven? I know that I'm going through some trials right now and I'm telling you my faith is really being put to the test! But look at verses 3 and 4.
Even though God's people were out wandering for years, they lacked nothing. Not food, clothing, shelter, nothing. Nothing ever ran out or got worn out. Why? Because it's by the Words of our God that we live. God may not have provided them with what they desired but He provided them with what they needed. They never lacked.
And neither will we. Oh it may seem at times like things are really dreary and we are being left to suffer on our own but as God's children, He will care for us. He will provide us with what we need exactly when we need it. Isn't God good?!

So what do we do? We simply be obedient. Verse 6 says it all. Simply trust and obey. He will take care of the rest.

My questions to you today are:

  • Are you going through a trial today? Maybe it's one that God is allowing to purge you from self so that He can prepare you for something wonderful on the other side of your dark valley.
  • Are you putting all of your trust in Him or are you trying to take matters into your own hands?
  • Have you thanked Him for the good He has provided in your life thus far? Maybe you don't have what you want but surely He has provided you with what is right for today.
  • Are you obeying His words, walking with Him daily and fearing Him today?
We have no idea the scope of blessings that the Lord has in store for us...but we can be sure that if we honor Him He will honor us.


Lovin' Learnin'

Goal Planning Monday

I’m worried about this one. I am not a planner. Let me say it again,
I
am
not
a
planner.
Nope, not even a little bit. I’m very global, very spur of the moment, very organizationally challenged, very…very…much not. a. planner. I like routine but not planner.
But, I know that there are benefits in being more of a planner so, I am going to try.

This is what I want to get done this week:
1. Spend time in the Word of God each and every morning, Monday-Sunday. I’ve been reading through Deuteronomy since the beginning of February and am now on my 2nd trek through the book. I’ve fallen in love. And in case you don’t know, I do post my simple little thoughts throughout the week on my blog, just in case you might be interested. :0)

2. Get my THREE reviews done. They are mostly done…well two are but I like to triple check. I’m gonna be busy!

3.  Get Big Sis’ standardized testing done. This is her first year (Biggest will be tested using the WJ in April). I’m looking forward to seeing how she does.

4. Go on a walk with the kids. The weather has warmed a little here and they have asked me a few times to take them for a walk so it’s time to get my preggo belly out of the house and out for a stroll.

5. Clean my neglected master bath. I am never in there but so very briefly that when I actually get around to thinking about cleaning it…I’m too tired to do it. Gonna try to get it done this week though.

So, that’s it. That is enough. I hope that I can get those five things accomplished and accomplished well this week!

By the way, this is a linky thing. So, if you're interested, click on the banner up top to join up!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Take advantage of the moment

Life Skills. Do you want to know how many times I have intended on working on one life skill or another with the big girls only to fail to implement it? Do you know how many "curriculum helps" I've purchased because I "knew that this would help me to actually get the ball rolling!" And yet, we've done NONE of what I had planned or wanted to.

So, why am I even participating in this Blog Cruise if I've failed at it so many times? Oh, good question. I'll tell ya. I'm participating because we do "do" life skills. Yeah, I know, sounds contradictory doesn't it? But let me tell you something, all of those things that I had "intentions" on doing or tried to "plan" never materialized but my kids learn life skills as life...get this now...is happening. For us I have accidentally found that the best way to practice life skills is by taking advantage of the moment.

My kids work on Cooking Skills by taking turns helping me prepare a meal. We talk about everything, I explain to them why we are doing what we are doing as we go, we talk about the ingredients; types of flour we use, why it's applesauce instead of oil etc, etc. They learn to safely chop veggies and crack eggs-and then immediately wash their hands. They learn SO MUCH because we have to eat so why not have one of them helping me. No lesson plans needed, just come on in the kitchen.


They can all (except for Littlest) make their own sandwiches, pour their own drinks and set the table - properly (because we've taught that too while preparing for suppers in the past) without me. This has happened because they eventually got tired of waiting on me and were so hungry that they just prepared the sandwiches themselves.

The girls have both sewn their own pair of culottes (think full gouchoes) because they wanted to. (I had to force myself to put the sewing curriculum I had purchased away because they didn't want to make what was in there.)

The girls can change diapers because they've seen me do it so often and I've taught them how to do it, because hey, the diapers were already dirty, may as well take advantage of the moment.

I purchased a latch hook kit for each of them last year. I tried to make completing them part of their school work. We had a set "handicraft time" that we NEVER GOT TO! Okay, maybe two or three times. But within the last couple of weeks that have both pulled those kits out again and started to work on them all over. They became interested so they decided to work on them.

Is there a lot more that I would like to have taught them or have them experience? Oh yes and yes!!!! But in this season of my life (little ones and pregnancy) I can only accomplish so much. I have to realize that and not be hard on myself for the things that I want to do but don't can't do. We do the necessary and as life happens whether it be in the kitchen, at the table or on the floor changing a baby we take advantage of the moment and teach our children "life skills". If we didn't do that, then we would never get to any of it.

I wish that I had something more profound to tell you. I wish that I knew of a "secret formula" for getting accomplished all that you want to. I wish that I were one of those ladies that just has it all together and can fit in every last subject every single day and still have supper on the table, brownies in the oven and perfect hair...and home by the time Daddy arrives in the evening; greeted by all 15 kids! :)

But, I don't and I can't however I know that someday I will have more time to do more of the things that my heart truly desires to do with my children. Until then we (yes, I'm going to say it again) take advantage of the moment. That's how we implement life skills.

Click on the link above to read what my other Crew Members have to say about Life Skills. I know that I will and who knows, maybe there's a revelation out there, waiting just for lil' ol' me!

Thanks for stopping by.

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, March 18, 2011

Deuteronomy Chpt. 7

In this chapter we find how strongly God stresses to His children to not take up the lifestyles of those around them. He stresses to not go after the gods that they were serving, to not desire their silver and gold, to not allow their children to marry with the children of the people that were living around them.

God desired and still does, for His children to live within this world but with a life that is set apart, separate and clean from the filth that is around those who call Him Father.

God promises in this chapter to be faithful to the promises that He gave to the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob if only the Israelites would stay faithful to Him.
6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

As I read this I can't help but reflect on my life and the life of our children and wonder if there is anything that we have allowed to creep in that God never intended. I pray that the Lord would give me and McPop discerning hearts and wise minds so that we are always aware of what comes in and out of our home. Whether it be the shows we allow our children to watch, the friends we allow them to keep or the things that we use during our homeschool day. My desire is that all of these things work together to continue to help us be a family that honors and pleases the Lord in all that we do.
What about you today? 
  • Is your life pleasing to Him or are there things that you need to purge?
  • Are you living a life that is wholly honoring to God or are you allowing more and more of this world to penetrate your home and the hearts of those that dwell there?
  • Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment. He is faithful to give all that we ask for, if we but ask.


Lovin' Learnin'

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deuteronomy Chpt. 6

Wow, this is a full chapter!!! Some very well known and awesome verses are found in Deut. 6. I'll quote my favorites:


There's a lot there isn't there? I found it neat that so many times throughout this book God has Moses tell the Israelites the same thing over and over, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." I believe that maybe God knows that if we can remember and do that then the things that He asks us to do will be done because of the immense love that we have for Him. Also though, this shows that God wants ALL of our attention. He wants us to love Him with ALL that we have within us. That means that there would be no room for the things of this world, that HE would be our focus.


In these verses God is giving Israel a glimpse of the "good life" to come in the Promised Land. Everything will be there for them, already done. They won't have the back breaking work of preparing anything, He will have it there for them. But God, knowing His creation tells Moses to warn them to not get too comfortable in the "good life" and forget Who is was that gave them all of that. He knows our nature so well doesn't He? When things are easy and good we don't go to Him, depend on Him or cling to Him like we do when things are just a bit shaky in our lives.

But I see from verse 14 that God wasn't going to completely remove all temptations from the Israelites. He tells them to not go after the other gods that are around them. God could have, had He wanted to, erected a wall around His children so impenetrable that no temptation would ever infiltrate their land but He didn't. He left some temptations close by. Why? My guess is so that the faithfulness of the Israelites, who had seen miracles and wonders that you and I never have, could be put to the test. Remember, when it's too easy, we fail to depend on Him like we should.

So, my questions to you today are these:

  • Do you love the Lord with all that is within you? Is He your focus day in and day out? Or is there something that has taken His treasured first place in your life?
  • Have the blessings that He's so lovingly bestowed upon you today been the exact things that have caused your faith and dependency on Him to wane? 
  • What temptations do you face today are those that He has allowed? Not all are from God, many are from our own wrong choices, but which were allowed by Him to grow you?
  • Are you leaning on Him today?

Well, those are my thoughts on this awesome chapter. I really have fallen in love with the book of Deuteronomy. Thanks for reading.

Lovin' Learnin'