Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planning our Christmas Learning Fun

Well, it's hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Christmas is just around the corner.  I am honestly super excited, but at the same time a little stressed.  I need to finish my shopping, who is with me?

In the weeks ahead we will be focusing on the Christmas season with unit studies, videos, lapbooks, recipes, and more. 

We plan on continuing with our library visits once a week.  Yay for books on Christmas.  As far as recipes go, OH YEAH!  Christmas recipes will be an overflow in our house, haha.

What are some fun things you and your family do over Christmas? Unit Studies?  Lapbooks? Maybe field trips?  I am anxious to read all the amazing ideas since this is only our second year of homeschooling.  I am always compiling ideas that may work with our homeschool.  It's always worth giving a shot, right?

When I get a chance, I will post our northern adventures trip for Thanksgiving!  It was a blast. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homeschooler's Thanksgiving!

What are your family plans this Thanksgiving?  We are taking a family trip out of town.  The girls are going to learn how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch with yours truly.  Hey, everything is a learning experience right?  Haha, might as well take advantage of that while having fun.  I cannot wait to experience this with my girls. We have never cooked together before, not this large anyways.  We are planning to just have a relaxing time together for a few days.  Cooking is the only homeschool related thing we will be doing.  This is a milestone for me to be this laid back.  I have a few homeschooling friends to thank for that one, haha!

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with your family.  Because we will be out of town, I will not be updating content on here until Wednesday, November 28th!

Many blessings!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse Digital Magazine

Since starting our homeschooling adventures last year, I have been overwhelmed with resources that are available.  I am truly amazed by the amount of support there is available for homeschooling families.  One of the resources I was excited to stumble upon is The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  It is a digital publication for homeschooling families alike.  It contains resources to encourage and support homeschoolers on their daily adventures. 

Contents in the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s November issue include, but are not limited to:
  • The Factual Homeschooler
  • The Gentle Art of Learning: The Charlotte Mason Homeschooler
  • The Ordinary Homeschooler
  • The Unit Study Homeschooler
  • The Classical Homeschooler
  • The Inspired Homeschooler
  • The Veteran Homeschooler
  • The Artistic Homeschooler
and much more such as; de-cluttering tips for the holidays, frugal tips for music lessons, and free music software. And it doesn't stop there......

Do you like product reviews? This issue contains a nice mix of products geared toward any homeschooling family.  An example of one of the product reviews is Math Made Easy (Homeschool Package) by Glenda Brown James. Product reviews for the November issue can be read here

Are you currently in a place where you need to simplify your life?  I can honestly say that since homeschooling, I have had to change some things around.  My life most definitely hasn't been on the simple side of things when it comes to my freelance writing/blogging business and homeschooling.  A specific article in the study hall section of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine caught my undivided attention. "365 Ways to Simplify Your Life," an interview with Patrice Lewis.  One thing that stood out to me from Patrice's interview was simply this and she stated: "Look at your interests, even if those interests don't earn you money.  They are clues to one's gifts, because we do them passionately and without compensation.  Perhaps those things can be turned into a job."  I guess that I needed this as a reminder to myself.   When I started out blogging and writing, it was just an interest or a passion if you will.  Prior to homeschooling, God blessed me with paid opportunities.  Now, if I can just manage my time wisely so that I may utilize my gifts and interests, my life may seem more simplified. How do you simplify your life? Sorry, had to get serious there for a moment, hey it struck a nerve, haha!

I am so excited to have found The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  It is refreshing and I look forward to referring to it as much as possible. I like the easy read online format and the fact it just pops on the screen without any hassles.  It's compatible with a Mac and PC. It's great to also be able to download the issues to my desktop and archive for future reference. Is there anything I don't like about the digital magazine?  Honestly, I don't have a complaint on this one.  It's an overall GREAT online resource for homeschooling families.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is geared towards homeschooling adults and highschool students, but some areas can be modified to suit other age levels based on the topic of discussion. I guess parents can use their judgement when it comes to the content.

Did I mention that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is free? Can't beat that, right? It is also available through their free apps at

If you are interested in reading about some great product reviews from the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,  you can check those out at

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Unit Studies and Lapbooks

Thanksgiving Lapbook - EBOOK - Click Image to Close

We started our Thanksgiving Unit Study and Lapbook this past Monday.  I am liking the idea of combining ages with these studies.  It is helping me break away from rigid lesson plans and curriculums'.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I was struggling with my current method of learning.  A Beka just isn't working for us anymore.  Being a former teacher in a brick and mortar setting, I have had to learn how to break away from my strict lesson plans and just be flexible.  It most definitely has been a learning experience for me, and not a fun one I might add.

Check out this Thanksgiving Lapbook by Knowledge Box Central.

I have decided to use A Beka as a supplement here and there, but will now be sticking with unit studies and lapbooks until next year.  I am super excited about Christmas as we will just be focusing on all things Christmas.  From unit studies to crafts and recipes, it should be an exciting time of learning for all three girls.

What are you doing with your children?  I love learning about everyone's experiences and jotting down ideas.  I understand that all homeschooling families are unique and not one is alike, but I am open to trying anything that will benefit my girls in their homeschool learning.

I am so thankful to a new homeschooling friend who just today lent me her book about Charlotte Mason and the methods, etc.  I am pretty pumped to be filling my brain with new ideas to get our homeschool to where it should be.

Have a wonderful evening everyone!


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Gift of Giving

As second year homeschoolers, I have decided on picking a cause or program that my whole family can participate in.  I figured this could be an annual thing.  I am thinking 1-2 a year to teach the girls about giving and helping others in need especially, this time of year.

This year, a fellow homeschooling mom is the coordinator for Operation Christmas Child at a local church.  We will be chipping in this Friday.  It's a great way for the girls to learn about the gift of giving to others in need.  I want them to really recognize the need for these types of programs and causes because it is very easy for children to become self-centered.  The only way they can possibly know, is if we teach them and they experience it firsthand.

Out of curiosity, what kind of programs or causes do you and your family participate in around Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Soup kitchens? Money donations? Nursing home visits?  Next year, I am thinking of rounding up a few homeschooling families that would be interested in going into nursing homes and singing Christmas songs and passing out homemade Christmas cards.  I remember doing this when I was younger and the smiles and love that went around was priceless. 

I also see this as an opportunity for character training.  Kids need this now more than ever this day and age.  I worry about the future generation, but I think as homeschoolers we have something solid building faith and hope in our childrens' future.  God is so good.

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Study

Well, I can't believe it.  The election is over.  I'm kind of glad. This thing was getting ridiculous and as a Christian, I can honestly say, I am saddened by the outcome.  But, God is in control and we can't put our hope, trust, or even fear in a mere man.  All we can do is pray.  Even if Mitt Romney was to have won this thing, I would still feel the same way.  God bless America!

Now that I have that off my chest, onto homeschool business.  We are finishing up our "Election" lapbooks.  It's looking amazing and the girls are pretty proud of it.  We are also finishing up our books on elections from the library along with childrens education DVD's.  I am excited that my girls were into the whole process.  They went with me to vote.  I had them wear their "future voters" ribbons they made as you can see in the pic below. They received recognition and were made over nicely.  I like to say it was our "Election Day Homeschool Field Trip" even though it was just the three of us.  Perfect!  Looking forward to the day that little Bethany can participate and understand all of this.  I had her do preschool patriotic fun. =)

We also made "Election Day" brownies.  As you can see they are patriotic and turned out very yummy.

Last night the girls filled in an electoral vote tracker as it was updated on TV.  I was impressed by the interaction between Kelly (9) and Lyssa (6) and the television.  They were on pins and needles hoping that the remaining states would be red.  As you can see at that point, it was as far as we got before I made them head to bed.(Obviously we know how the rest plays out, girls were not happy.)  Late night learning earned them a "sleep in" since we did not have any Homeschool Connections classes this morning.

Well, I think that about wraps up our Election Unit Study for the week.  I will post pics of the completed lapbook in a later post.  Next week we will be starting our unit study on Thanksgiving along with lapbooks.  Super excited about that.  Our blog theme will be changing appearance yet again to fit the Thanksgiving theme, this will start on Monday. Can't wait!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lapbooking with Knowledge Box Central

Knowledge Box Central

Happy Monday!  I am excited to be doing Election Unit Studies and Lapbooks this week with my girls along with related recipes and crafts.  I will share pics in Wednesday's post on that, can't wait!

If you fancy lapbooks, notebooking, etc., you will love Knowledge Box Central.  I was recently introduced to this site and have been having so much fun downloading $5 lapbooks, etc.  Yep, that's right, $5!  When you sign up (which is free) you instantly receive a $5 coupon towards your first order.  So basically, what would have cost me $10 for two lapbooks, I received for only $5.  You can find occasional deals too on lapbooks that are less than $5.

When a homeschooling friend introduced me to lapbooks a couple years ago, I was a little skeptical at first.  I have to tell ya, I am loving this concept through learning and so are my girls.  I do these now as supplements with their other curriculum (A Beka).  Next year when we switch to Heart of Dakota, I will still be incorporating lapbooks into the mix.

Do you do lapbooks with your children?  Do they like putting them together and are they truly learning from it?  I would love to hear from you.

Sorry so short today, this mommy is a little behind on things! I look forward to checking in on my fellow bloggers this week to see how you are all doing!  Have a wonderful week.

Many blessings,

Blessed to be a wife and mom

Image courtesy of Knowledge Box.  As an affiliate for Knowledge Box, compensation is possible, however, all opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learn with Reading Eggs Program

Fellow homeschoolers, I have something that may be of interest to you.  The Reading Eggs program was created by highly educated teachers, writers, animators, and even web developers.  Do you need something that focuses on a core reading curriculum of skills and strategies for reading success?  With Reading Eggs, this is reality and suitable for children ages 3-12.

Reading Eggs was launched in the United States and Canada last year, 2011.  Would you believe that Reading Eggs has signed on more than "500,000 subscribers" and "presented more than 15 million lessons in North America" alone?  That is very impressive, especially for a reading curriculum.

Sign up now!
If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your children in the area of reading, I am excited to tell you that all of my readers will receive a free two-week trial offer.  No credit card is required for the two-week trial offer.  Nice, right?

If you are ready to take advantage of this online reading offer, sign up here.

I am receiving a free three month subscription in exchange for this post, any opinions stated here, if any, are my own.

Images courtesy of US Family Guide

Do You Keep a Homeschool Portfolio?

Hello fellow homeschooling moms, this post is to simply pick your brains for a moment.  Since this is only my second year of homeschooling, I am still getting organized and really wanting for this all to work. 

Last year, I used the software:Homeschool Tracker.  While it is great and keeps accurate attendance, grades, etc., I found myself forgetting to add the grades, etc.  Call me old fashioned, but I prefer handwriting everything where I can see it.

I was just recently introduced to the homeschool portfolio method.  I think I like, no LOVE this idea.  That way after a test, project, etc, I can just include it in the portfolio and move on.  This idea sounds perfect for me.  I found a list of things that should be included in a homeschool portfolio from Successful Homeschooling. Just curious though, if your family does the portfolio system, what do you include?

Can't wait to read your ideas.  Since I will be revamping our homeschool, this will be included.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Image by Stuart Miles of

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
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