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Showing posts from July, 2012

Our 2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

I don't know about you, but I get pretty excited about choosing our curriculum for the upcoming year.  I start thinking about it way back in the early spring and generally have my choices made by early summer.  This past May I was able to attend a regional homeschool convention and visit some great vendors, so I have had nearly every single book we will use this year for a couple of months already.  I can't wait to dive in!  
Now let's look at our lineup for this year.
First, the family subjects--we have several of those.  It's great to be able to come together from individual studies and work together on some subjects.  
Bible:  this year we are going to useGod's Great Covenant: New Testament I.  This was review product from this past year and we have obviously already begun it, but are going to complete it this year.  You can read my review of it here.  


Science: we are continuing with Apologia's Exploring Creation series with Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

The Eclectic Homeschooler

Ah, one of the big topics of discussion among homeschoolers: methods.

Are you more Classically inclined?  Do you lean more towardCharlotte Mason's methods?  Do you subscribe more to Montessoristyle?  Do you enjoy teaching with unit studies?  Are you simply traditional?  Or are you an eclectic combination of more than one method?

When it comes to my own personal style, I am a healthy mix of Charlotte Mason, Classical, and more ....a true eclectic!

We have homeschooled our children from the beginning.  And while we had always known that we wanted to do that, when our oldest was about four years old I began researching in earnest all the ways of homeschooling.  I read several really good books on homeschooling, a favorite being So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Welchel.  I liked this book because it introduces the reader to 15 different homeschool families, which means 15 different ways to homeschool.  Learning about so many different methods was very informative …

SchoolhouseTeachers.com: a Review

If you're looking for some new inspiration in your homeschool, you just might want to check out SchoolhouseTeachers.com!  This is an incredible new resource offered by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Don't be overwhelmed when you look at it--yes, it's a lot to take in--just take it a little bit at a time as you explore the whole site.  
Let's start with the teachers.  They are an impressive lot!  From Diana Waring (History Revealed) and Joy Sikorski (Sing Baby Sing) to Kim Kautzer (WriteShop), you will be amazed at the great minds that are contributing to this site.  Each of these 12+ teachers is a regular contributor of lessons in their area of expertise.  The topics include: Career Exploration, Chemistry, College Choice Guidance, Economics, Figures in History, Filmmaking, Geography, High School Math, History, Home Economics, Lapbooking, Literature, Music-Voice, Reading Lessons, Special Needs, Technology and Writing.  Each lesson comes with at least one download and m…

And the winner is...

Sorry I'm a little late posting the winner for the We Choose Virtues poster giveaway.  It has been one. crazy. week!

However, we do have a winner....{drum roll please}....

Swinging on Small Hinges has won her very own 100 Days of Virtue poster!!

If you get a chance, drop by her blog and congratulate her on her win:)

Double-Whammy Field Trippin'

This week we had the very fun opportunity to go on an all-day field trip with some families from our homeschool group.  We decided to take in two national parks in one day!  Our first stop was at Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace near Hodgenville, KY.  

We really enjoyed the museum area in the visitor's center and also walking around on the grounds.  The kids all had fun working towards their Jr. Ranger badges, too.

It's fun visiting these sites with lots of kiddos because they have the best questions.  And the rangers here were very gracious to answer them all.

We had visited here before, but did have time to walk all over the grounds.  This time we walked the path where the local boundary oak used to stand.

We also got to see the Sinking Spring, which was one of the reasons Abraham Lincoln's parents wanted to settle here.  

The kids had fun working through their workbooks and earning their jr. ranger badges and also some fun trading cards.  
Then it was time for a quick l…

Dinos, Dromedarys and More

This past weekend we made our 2nd visit (you can read about our 1st visit here) to the Creation Museum!  We love that place!!  The entire facility is so beautiful and the exhibits so well done.  Both visits have been great experiences for us.  The exhibits, the films, the interactive displays ...truly a fun and educational experience.  I especially love their bookstore, too, so many great things in there!  Here are some highlights from our 2-day visit (right now your tickets are good for two consecutive days!).  
the mastadon skeleton in the main entrance hall
reading some interesting displays
checking out the {very cool} new *Lucy* exhibit
taking a little break to work a Noah's Ark puzzle
sporting their dinosaur balloon hats made for them by a friend
having fun *helping Noah build the ark* with a fun interactive computer game
walking in the gardens {they are really beautiful!}
trying to pet the goats in the petting zoo
petting the *zorse* and the *zonkey*
in the gardens
feeding the koi
walk…

One Thousand Gifts

So many gifts each and every day...

0561.  fun family time on a road trip

0562.  listening to my son humming while he plays

0563.  a cool, refreshing dip in a pool on a hot summer day

0564.  my favorite pillow

0565.  late night conversations with my love

0566.  knowing that I'm right where God wants me even if it's a tough place to be sometimes

0567.  having fun with friends

0568.  discovering more truths in God's Word when I dig deeper

0569.  frozen coffee

0570.  fresh okra, fried up Southern-style


Keyboarding for the Christian School: a Review

When I was in school, "back in the day", no one took typing until at least junior high and the only other option for those types of classes was office machines, definitely not keyboarding.  Now children are introduced to a keyboard nearly from the day they are born because of their parents cell phones.  Knowing how to properly use a keyboard has become essential to so many things that we do throughout every single day.  
My children know their way around computers fairly well, even though we do limit their time on them.  Learning how to properly type is very important for many of the things they need to do.  That is why I was very interested in checking out Keyboarding for the Christian School.  
We received the Elementary Version ebook especially for grades K-5.  This is a very straightforward approach, very similar to the lessons that taught me how to type.  This course begins with some basic tips for  body posture when typing and then moves right into the alphabetic keys…

Road Trippin' With the Kiddos

While summer sort of feels like it's winding down a little, it's definitely not over for us.  In fact, we have several road trips coming up before we settle completely into our Fall routine.

And you know what road trips mean, right?  Having plenty of activities for the kiddos!

Before going on any road trip with my family we do the following:

Pack them each their own snack bag.  I use insulated lunch-style bags and fill them with all sorts of things in individual servings: crackers, fruit, cookies, veggies, etc.  Don't forget the napkins and plasticware if needed.Allow each child to pack their own toy bag for the trip.  Mine like to use either a small backpack or a tote bag.  I do allow them to choose their own toys, but make sure they include things like the toy they want to sleep with (if I don't do this, I'll regret it later when the fave one is forgotten), a few books to read, a notebook/pad, coloring book and colored pencils or crayons.  Allow each child to c…

Home Canned Tomatoes

Not only have I had lots of banana peppers this summer, we're getting lots of beautiful tomatoes!  I didn't want them to go to waste, so here we go with the canning again :)  I'm really feeling pioneer-ish these days--ha!  Seriously though, I can't wait to use these this winter for chili, soups, casseroles and more!  
Of course the first thing I did was to call my mom--because she has canning experience--and get some tips from her.  She was very helpful and gave me a much simpler game plan that all those canning websites I'd been reading.  You can really can tomatoes without all of that fancy equipment (as handy as I'm sure it is).  The only specialized canning "equipment" that I have is one of those plastic canning funnels.  Yep, that's it.  I simply use large stock pots for the rest of the process.  
So, let's can some tomatoes...
1.  Get your jars ready.  (I used pint jars instead of quart simply because the size makes more sense for cooki…