Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It’s Christmas Eve and all through my house not a creature is stirring… Well, except me, my husband, and may kid’s lol ;)

This past week has been a busy one for our family. Lots of Christmas cleaning (We always scrub our home down before Santa arrives. We don’t want Santa to think we are slobs, I tell my children to get them more willing to help).  We have also been getting in some last minute holiday shopping too. This year has been harder for me on the gift giving for my oldest. She turned 13 years old earlier this month and is pretty much out of the “toy” stage. So, it has gotten more difficult to figure out what to buy her. My son who is 7 was easy, which in turn made it even harder to buy for my daughter, as I didn’t want the number of gifts to be too lopsided. Most of my shopping has been done online. I LOVE shopping online! It is so much easier to find and buy certain items online then in a store. Plus, I love not having to brave those busy stores. Unfortunately, I waited till the last minute and some of the items I wanted to purchase could not be shipped in time. So, I had to go out yesterday anyways. It always amazes me how ill stocked the department stores are each year. So many shelves with barely anything left. People buying whatever they could find; just sad. Thankfully, I did find a few items the kids wanted, but some things were already bought out :/

Hopefully, Santa will bring what I couldn’t locate, even if he has to drop it off later when his elves get it made.  We also been signing, addressing, and stamping Christmas cards. I think I mailed them out in time…  We have also been busy wrapping gifts, which the kids always enjoy this part the most. Why they think they need 4 inches of tape, where a one inch will work, is beyond me?!  I did not have too much to wrap myself this year, as I for one bought gift certificates for most of my family and friends. Mainly to places like Wal-mart, but I also bought some of my homeschool friends gift certificates to Time4Learning.  I never considered it before, but my friend had mentioned to me last week that she was looking for a new fourth grade homeschool curriculum for her son. That she was dreading having to researching curriculums again. So, I thought why not give her a T4L Gift certificate ;)

Anyways, today is Christmas Eve and my kids are so excited for tonight to come. It is the one night of the year that I do not have to tell them to go to bed, lol. Of course, we have a few traditions that we do before we turn in for the night. 










We cook holiday cookies, watch Holiday movies 
(Frosty is my Favorite). 






We also build gingerbread houses, read a book that tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, and of course we set out milk and goodies for Santa.


 What are your Christmas Eve traditions?




 Until Next Time...




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Remembering Thanksgiving

 Hard to believe November will be over tomorrow. It has been a great month, especially this past week; it has been full of fun, food, and family. Like most, we spent our Thanksgiving with family; something that I am always thankful for. Besides the typical turkey, dressing, and tons of yummy desserts, I found myself sharing my homeschooling knowledge with one of my cousin’s. Apparently, she has been considering homeschooling her son, and wanted me to suggest a third grade homeschool curriculum for her.  To be honest, I was surprised by her interest in homeschooling. She had always seemed to favor the public school systems, but I guess something changed her mind. Regardless why, I am just happy that I could help her. I know how being new to homeschooling can be stressful and a bit scary and how having someone who can help walk you through, can make things so much easier.   So, if you are thinking about homeschooling and have a question, please ask another homeschooler you know, or just ask me ;)



Until Next Time…

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Is In The Home-School Air!

In just a couple of weeks, it will be Halloween. My kids are super excited, as I am sure yours are too. As a rule I always make my kids wait until at least the 2nd week into October, before they let me know what they want to be. In the past, I have had those "I've changed my mind!" moments, only after I have bought &/or made their costumes. For me, it is usually make them or some part of them, as my kids ALWAYS seem to want to be something I either can not find, or it is too expensive to buy. Over the years my kids have been ware wolfs, aliens, zombie bride, mummy, vampire, etc., etc. The hardest to create I think was the mummy. Having to stitch strips of cloth to black leggings was not fun. Of course the smiles on their faces is always so worth it ;)

In homeschooling news, we have been having some spooky fun this past couple of weeks. Besides adding some Halloween themed worksheets to our elementary online curriculum, we have also been doing fun crafts too!  Below are two of the crafts that we have made this year.


The toilet paper roll craft is really simple and fun. All you need is a clean toilet paper roll, paper, scissors, glue/tape, pencil, pen, &/or crayons, and  of course googly eyes are optional. 







All you need to make this crafts is paper, but if you have card stock that will work better. A hole puncher, scissors, plain or decorative, either will work. Pipe cleaners, but yarn or string can work too. and a pencil and ruler. 

To create these pumpkins you will be using your ruler and pencil to make equal sections to cut.  Once your paper is cut, you will use your hole puncher to make a hole in each end of your strips. Then all you need to do is use your pipe cleaner, yarn, &/or string by threading it through one end and then again through the other. You can use another pipe cleaner, yarn &/or string to make a stem at the top.
And there is your Paper Pumpkin!

                                                                Until Next Time...





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Has Arrived!


It’s official! Fall has arrived! Hard to believe that summer is already over. The kids and I are finally settled into our typical school day routine.

  • Wake-up
  • Brush Teeth,  etc.
  • Breakfast
  • Morning Chores
  • Play Time
  • Lunch
  • School Time
  • TV Time
  • Dinner
  • Evening Chores
  • Bed Time routine
  • Bed Time


 Yes, you read correctly, are school day does not usually start until after lunch. For some, this may seem like a crazy concept, but when the kids were younger I tried the whole get up and start right after breakfast. It was just too hard to get us all motivated. The kids do better once they are able to play some first and I do better when I can unwind from the morning chaos. Of course, depending on the day, this may vary, but all in all this our day.

Speaking of school time, I am so excited that fall is here. It is my favorite time of year. The weather is so nice and I love all of the colors. Plus, it is the time for Halloween and Thanksgiving! Which means fun themed things I get to add to our regular homeschool curriculum :)

~>Whether you are teaching pre, kinder, first, second, third, fourth, or even fifth grade homeschool curriculum, or heck! Even the older grades, there are tons of websites, some even free, that offer fall themed resources. To find them, just do a simple internet search ;)


Until Next Time…

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Review of Time4Writing

In my last post, I shared what we will be using again this school year. In that list was an online program called Time4Writing! This is a new addition to our regular lineup, as we have just started to use this program, this past summer. So, for those of you who are looking for a new writing program, or have been thinking about giving T4W a try, here is what my oldest and I thought about them.

                                               Review of Time4Writing

Time4Writing offers elementary, middle, and high-school courses led by a certified teacher. Each course cost $99 and they are 8 weeks long. You do have the option to get a free one week extension if you need more time, but beyond that, you will have to pay for any additional time. So, it is really important to stay on a schedule (Courses can be put on hold if needed when requested in advance.) Time4Writing also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for some reason their learning program does not satisfy your family’s needs, you can either select another course, or cancel your membership during the first 14 days. Which in my opinion says a lot about the company ;)


Before you child even starts, T4W offers a free course placement testing. This really helps you to figure out where your child should start. 
After my daughter took the placement test, we decided to start her off with the Middle School Mechanics course.  




My daughter and I really liked how the site was laid out. It made it easy for both of us to navigate. My daughter and I also really liked how quickly and to the point each lesson was. It explained things short and sweet. So, if your child needs a lot of extra practice, be prepared to create or print your own extra seat-work. For us, there was only one time where she needed some extra reinforcements. For the most part, my daughter was able to understand and learn the material easily and did not need any additional help. One other feature I liked was that you could print out all of the lesson notes from the course. This was great because my daughter was able to create a study binder with them. In the future, I am sure she will look back at her binder, if she ever needs to refresh her memory.

We also both like how there was a certified teacher as part of the course. She was able to ask her teacher questions, if needed, and me too. However, there was one area that I loved and hated. Depending on the lesson, there will be times where your child will receive feed -back on their assignments, from the teacher. I loved the fact that my daughter was getting one on one attention with her work and getting personal response from her teacher, but since they only respond M-F, we would be stuck waiting over the weekend at times to be able to move on because T4W will not let you move ahead. (Sometimes we home-school on Saturdays. So, unless you are like us, this probably won’t be an issue for you. ) 

At the end, your child is awarded a certificate of achievement that you can print out with their name on it. This was a very nice surprise! All in all, I was pleased with this course from Time4Writing. We will definitely be using them again in the future.



Until Next Time…




DISCLOSURE: As a marketing representative for Time4Learning and Time4Writing, I was compensated for this review, but my compensation in no way alters the opinions in this review and all opinions herein are my own.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Back To Home-School Time!



August is officially in full swing, which means most of us are busy, busy, busy starting our brand new homeschool year. However, there are some of us who are still busy, busy, busy figuring out what curriculum to use. Luckily, I found our core curriculum years ago (my oldest was in first grade when she started with T4L and my youngest has used their Pre-K & kindergarten online curriculum as well so far). The program is called Time4LearningSo, for those of you who are still scratching your heads, weeding through all of the endless options trying to figure out what to try this year, here is what we will be using in our homeschool this year. I hope it may help give you some ideas ;)

~For my youngest (age 7 years): We will be using Time4Learning.com as his core curriculum. In addition to T4L, we will be using Science4us for Science and the Story of the World Series for history. Plus, tons of worksheets, crafts, learning games online and off, flash cards, and of course plenty of books for reading. We will also be going on several field trips and doing a few Unit Studies throughout the year (I sometimes put them together myself, but I also buy them too. UnitStudy.com is a great site and I love Currclick too).

~For my oldest (age 12 years): We will be using Time4Learning.com as her core curriculum. In addition to T4L, we will be using Time4Art for art, Time4Writing for writing, SpellingCity for spelling, and the Story of the World Series for history. Plus, tons of worksheets, crafts, learning games online and off, and of course plenty of books for reading. We will also be going on several field trips and doing a few Unit Studies throughout the year.

I also like to keep my kids in at least one type of extracurricular activity. Last year my oldest opted to join a bowling league. This year she will be joining a league again, as well as her little brother.



Until Next Time…

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So, Whats Been Going On?!

As you can tell, I have not been writing every week as I usually do. I am very sorry to my regular readers, but I have been taking more time this past month to spend time traveling with my family.
I love to travel! I know that I have mentioned in past posts that I also roadschool, from time to time.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term "roadschool" let me explain. Roadschooling is simply homeschooling while on the road. It could be for the day, the weekend, the week or even full- time. No matter how long or how short your road trips may be, if you are learning while traveling, you are roadschooling ;)
So, since I will be spending more time with my family and traveling more from time to time, my blog entry's will be fewer, but I promise to continue to post at least once a month :)
So, what else has been going on? Well, we had our children's year-end homeschool evaluations.
(In our state we have the option to have a certified teacher evaluate or child's progress verses state testing) Our daughter, is doing very well. Officially, she is in sixth grade, but in reading, writing,  and science she has excelled beyond and is in seventh. Wow! hard to believe I will be using sixth and seventh grade homeschool curriculum this year?!
Another special thing that took place during this evaluation, was that it was my son's first. He was so excited to show the teacher samples of his work. He is now officially in the first grade!!!
                                            I am so very proud of my children :)

                                                          Until Next Time...

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Food Chain

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 4th of July. If your kids are anything like mine, then they have been eagerly waiting for Fireworks. It is so nice that with so many modern devices kids have today, that our kids can still be fascinated by the bright lights up in the sky ;)






In homeschooling news, we have been busy learning about the food chains. With my oldest, we have already went over this, but not with my youngest. I think children figure out to a point on their own that there is a pecking order to how animals live, eat, and survive. For example, lion's eat the zebra, but when the lion dies, it helps grow the grass that the zebra eats. So, it isn't cruel or mean that the lion eats the zebra, its just part of the cycle of life.

 Since there are so many scenarios, depending on what animals you are talking about, I let the kids create as many food chain scenarios as they could think of. I was surprised how many they were able to come up with.

Here are some food chain illustrations that you could show your children below.









Until Next Time...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Crafts For Kids


It is official! Summer has arrived! I must admit that summer is not one of my favorite seasons. The hot, muggy days, filled with summer storms are not fun for me personally. Yes, I enjoy flip flops and the beach, but that is about it. That is why we chose to homes-school year-round. For us, our days our mainly spent indoors to escape the brutal heat. So, it makes sense to use this time homeschooling.

In homeschooling news: This past week we have been working on reading mostly for my youngest and some spelling test online for my oldest. We have been using “summer” as our theme for fun. We have been doing some fun summer themed crafts too. Below are a few summer craft ideas that you can do with your kids too, regardless whether you are homeschooling this summer or not ;)
 
 
 
Hand Crab
Fish Plates
Stepping Stones
Friendship Bracelets
God's Eyes
 
 
Until Next Time...
 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homeschooling, what should you be doing!


If you are thinking about or new to homeschooling, you are probably looking to other homeschoolers, to figure out how and what you should be doing, when it comes to homeschooling your children. Depending on who you ask, will depend on the answer you receive. Some may say you need a room dedicated to schooling. They may say you need to have a proper school desk. Others may say, a kitchen table is enough, or if you have a floor, grab a cushion. There are some who may say, you need to buy a boxed curriculum from a well-known homeschool company. Whereas others may say shop around and pick what you like, from whom you like. Some may say buy a curriculum?! You can make your own curriculum! Then there are those who say who needs a curriculum, when life is your teacher. Educational games, printables like “grammar worksheets”, etc. are big with many homeschoolers too, but not with others. Some say you need to stick to a public school calendar year. Others disagree, homeschooling year-round. The point I am trying to make, is everyone homeschools differently. It is okay to want to get ideas from other homeschoolers. That is how we all learn and figure out what we like, by getting ideas and trying things out for ourselves. Just remember to do what works for you and not what you think you are supposed to do ;)

 

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How To Pick A Homeschool Curriculum


For those of you who are not year-round homeschooler’s, you are probably using the summer time to shop for new homeschool curriculum, especially if you are new to homeschooling. If you are a newbie, then you may be feeling overwhelmed at all the option’s you can choose from. Having so many options is a good and bad thing. It is great to have so many selections, but it makes it that much longer and time consuming to weed through them all. There are few things that you can do to help narrow your choices.

1.     Take the time to learn your child’s learning style.

2.     Decide if you are going to want a Christian or a secular homeschool curriculum.

3.     Do you want a boxed style curriculum or do you want to piece it together yourself.

4.     Do you want to use an online homeschool curriculum or text/work book style?

5.     And of course know your budget!

 

 

Until Next Time…

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Happy June!


 
Wow, it is June! Am I the only one feeling like this year is passing by a bit too quickly? Feels like spring just began and now summer is almost here. Of course, the nice warm weather is always welcomed. Kids are already asking when we will be hitting the beaches ;)
In home-schooling news, I am taking advantage of the month of June by having my oldest practice her essay writing. She will be creating a story that takes places during this month, that is the only requirement; she is free to include anything else as part of her story.
For those of you who are new to my blog and may be wondering, "home-schooling in June?!", we our a home-schooling year-round family. So, for us any day in June, July, and/or August, is just another home-school day ;)
                                                                       Until Next Time…

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Developing a Love of Reading, Starts with Finding the Right Book!

If you are lucky, your child will develop a love of reading from the start. If they don't, then it may make it harder for you, to find books that they will enjoy or at least read. Personally, I like to enlist my fellow homeschoolers to help me find books for my kiddos. Thankfully, we live in the age of the Internet, so I can easily find homeschool book reviews to help me pick out new book selections.
If you are anything like me, then you do not like to pay more than you have to, for your books. Luckily, there are many places you can find the books you are looking for, at a discount or even free. First, try your local library. Depending on the size of your library, you may be surprised how many titles they will have, that you are looking for. If you prefer to buy, amazon.com is a great site. You can also get many books for free or at a discount through Kindle, and other e-book sites. Sometimes getting your child to develop a love of reading , is just finding them the right book (;


Until Next Time...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May is National Inventors Month

The time we live in is amazing! We live in such a technology advanced world. It is so interesting to think what the world was like at different times, compared to now; from medicine, clothing, electrical power and energy, the world has defiantly changed dramatically.


With May being National Inventors Month, we have been learning this week about some of the more famous inventors throughout history. We have also been discussing what inventions we are most grateful for. TV, Video Games, and the Telephone were on my children's lists, that for sure. It has also been fun to hear the kids imagine what life would be like with out their TV, or video games, and telephone. It was even more fun to let them imagine all the things their kids or grandkids would have, that they don't today.

 The truth is, the world is changing everyday, who knows what it will be like tomorrow (;

                                                         Until Next Time...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Planning Ahead For Your Next Homeschool Year!

Summer time is almost hear and that means fun in the sun and also time spent planning the next new school year. If you are new to homeschooling, then you maybe feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to put everything together. Here are a few resources to check out, to help you plan your next homeschool year!



1. Phonics Curriculum

2, Printable Worksheets

3. Art Curriculum

4. Music Games

5. Curriculum for Science

6. Social Studies Games

7. Spelling Curriculum

8. Middle School Writing

9. Literature for Homeschoolers

10. Personal Finance High School Course




                                                                Until Next Time...






  A personal finance high school course

Saturday, May 10, 2014

We Home-School Year-Round, Do You?


For those of you who stick with a traditional school calendar year, the school year is drawing to a close and summer vacation is almost here for you. For those like myself, who home-school year-round, you are just getting started good!

Currently, my youngest has finished up his Kindergarten year and is now starting 1st grade. He is doing very well in math, already subtracting single digits and adding double digits, as well as adding money. Even though we are still reviewing his sounds, he is also starting to work on sight words; or as they are also called,” dolch words”. (Dolch words do not follow the basic phonics principle, which means they cannot be sounded out.)

My oldest is doing very well in her reading. She amazes me every day how she went from a struggling late reader, to such a book worm. She is a bit behind in her math, but I have no doubt she will catch up over the summer months. (I believe in allowing children to learn at their own pace. It isn’t about how fast they learn, but that they do LEARN. ) In science and history, she is beyond her years. I think her love of reading and her interest in watching documentaries has help with this.

Are you a year-round home-schooler? Or do you follow a typical school calendar year? Please take a moment and share how you home-school J

 Until Next Time…

Friday, May 2, 2014

Contextual Clues

I don't know about you, but my kids are sooooooo ready for Summer! They keep asking me, over and over, when we will make it to the beach or at least to the local pool. Of course, we need at least a few more weeks, but it isn't easy telling them that, lol ;)






In Our Home-Schooling News:
It is always interesting, when you are teaching something new to your children. They either get it or they need a bit more time, but in the end, when they smile with pride, it is all worth it :)

                                                This past week, we have been learning


 
 

FYI, for those looking for resources to help teach contextual clues  ~>The "WhichWord Sentences?" game from SpellingCity.com is a great activity to practice using context clues to identify spelling and vocabulary words.

Until Next Time...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

O'how Fast our Home-School Grows...

Isn't it funny how fast your home-school grows? What I mean is, one day your kids are learning their ABC's and the next they are writing book reports. One day your kids are adding 1+1, the next they are adding X + Y. One day they are learning the difference between nonliving and living things, the next, well... You get the idea. As parents, we love watching our children grow and learn. Of course we also miss our children being little too. So, bitter sweet.






In other news, I hope everyone had a Fantastic Easter! We of course did the traditional egg dying and egg hunt. Kids loved their Easter baskets and have eaten about half of their goodies so far, with a little help of course ;)


Until Next Time...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Is there Art, in your Home-school?


When you think about homeschooling and your picking out your homeschool curriculum choices, you know that you need to have math, history, language, etc., but what about art? Many times, art is one of those forgotten area of study. Even though, it isn’t part of reading, writing, & arithmetic, it is still important. It is important because art isn’t just about drawing, painting, etc. It teaches your child to explore their inner creativity. It also teaches your child about the history, the past artist that has influenced art throughout time; past, present, and future. So, if you do not have an art curriculum for your child or not ready to start anything too formal, but want to make art part of their regular studies, you can easily do this by simply choosing a famous artist and learning about them. Google their works of art, take trips to art museums, play art games, and of course create art ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Helpful Home-School Apps


I have a Great home-schooling tool to share with you all today called PuffinAcademy! It is an amazing free app, that will allow your child to use their online educational programs, on a tablet or/& smart phone devices. To use this app, is pretty easy. All you would need to do, is download the FREE Puffin Academy app (not to be confused with any other versions of Puffin), into your devices. Then, once you have the app downloaded, all you would have to do is search/select the program you want to use.

This app is exciting for me because my children's home-school curriculum is online. In the past, my kids had to be on our laptop to do their school work. Now, with this app, they no longer have to take turns using the computer. One can use the computer and the other can use the tablet. In fact, at this very moment, my oldest is playing multiplication games on her tablet ;)

Also, I can have them work on their lesson, even away from home. With this app your kids can now easily do their schoolwork at home or on the go. So convenient & easy to use!



Until Next Time...

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Heart Computers!


 
I love that I get to home-school my kids in the age of computers! Because of that technology, I have easy access to so many free resources. There are a few that I pay for too, but all still an amazing help to me and my kids. SpellingCity.com is one of those favorite's; I use it every week. Just yesterday, my daughter was doing their MatchIt Sentences game. I like this one because, when the kids match sentences, it builds their vocabulary skills.

 
 
 
 
We also have been adding Easter into our home-school last week. Here is a craft that my son made. He cut out and pasted all of the section and of course colored/decorated it ;)

 

 

Until Next Time…

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring has sprung!


 

Awwww... Spring is the air! I just love this time of year. The flowers are blooming; the days are becoming warm and breezy :)


This past week we have really been taking advantage of those breezy, breezy days. As you have probably already guessed, we have been flying kites. Kite flying, has always been one of my favorite spring activities, since I was a little girl. My kids also enjoy it! As soon as they noticed it was warm and windy, they were asking to go and buy kites! Even their cousin, who is a bit older (she is in high school homeschool ), was outside with us, enjoying this favorite pastime.

 



In homeschooling news, spring will also be all around our classroom. We will be doing an Easter/Spring Unit Study. Some of the things we plan on doing over the next several weeks will be a field trip to a Butterfly Garden, tons of themed worksheets, and fun crafts. We are also planning on going over the origin of Easter again ( kind of a yearly tradition in our homeschool) and learning about rabbits.




Until Next Time...