Down To Earth has been one of my favorite weekly reads for years. If you want information about scaling back, living simply, or maybe what it is like to live in Australia - you should visit this blog. She also has authored two books.
Footprints in the Butter has many interesting reviews of educational products and books. She is also a fellow Crew member.
Life At Cobble Hill Farm is a great read. I love to hear about her cat Jackson's escapades.
Joyful Living is a wonderful blog. Love to read about her family, homeschooling, and simple life.
Bakerella is one of those blogs just about everyone knows, but for those that don't the recipes are great.
North Point Online is not a blog but if you are every looking for some great messages by Andy Stanley and others this is the place to watch them.
Spoon & Tamago is more like an artist's blog with all things Japan thrown in the mix.
Petra School is another fellow Crew member and I love how she homeschools her boys.
So here are some places I would like to share with you and hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I do. Happy reading!
Saturday, March 8, 2014
All homeschool families have their reasons for choosing to homeschool. The past 8 years of homeschooling have taught me that every day/month/year is different and to roll with the punches. Here is my list of favorite reasons to homeschool.
- Watching Your Child Grow Up - There are so many firsts I would have missed if I had sent my child to school 8 hours a day every day for most of the year. So many discussions we would not have had and a real closeness that we have as a family would not be there.
- Adjusting to Each Child's Internal Clock - I have a night owl that has suffered with insomnia for many years. Early mornings just haven't happened over the years. My child learns best after lunch so much of our school work happens in the afternoons, not the mornings. There is just no way that through the years my child could have gotten up at 5:30 each morning to be ready for a bus pick up at 6:45 or even me driving at 7:30.
- Strengths and Weaknesses - All children have strengths and weaknesses that sometimes get overlooked. A real weakness for us is math and we get to stick with something as long as it takes before moving on to a new concept. In that same breath art is a major strength and we get to spend so much more time pursuing that sometimes even in place of a more academic subject.
- Learning Outside of the Box - Trying many different ways and avenues to teach a hard to follow concept. Using methods that are more relaxed and less structured to accomplish the same tasks.
- Strong Family Ties - I touched on this some in the watching your child grow comments but just plain being together more.
- Learning Together - I love the fact that I get to relearn so many things and share them with my daughter. Many of these concepts and events from history either I didn't learn or don't remember. We get to share learning about these things together and have many discussions to think it all through.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Sunday and Monday found me recovering from a stomach bug so we didn't really get back to school until Tuesday. Luckily this Tuesday was a break from the Cooperative which meant we could catch up on some schoolwork. Grace started a new project for the art show in May. We visited the art store and found a new line of markers that are cheaper than her precious copics. She can buy three of these markers for the price of one copic.
Grace spent one afternoon color sorting all her markers and colored pencils. Then two days later color coded all her clothes in the closet and hats hanging on the wall.
Wednesday afternoon the new bird cage arrived. This was a pic I took from the loft of them putting it together. The birds are so happy with their new bigger space. As you can see I tried to move them out to the main living area but Grace insisted on them staying in her room.
We got a new review product this week with Philosophy Adventure. Looking forward to really digging into this. Lots of neat writing assignments.
Yesterday Grace attended Speech Class, Art Class, and then off to the animal shelter to volunteer. This cat, MaryLynn really won over Grace's heart. Playing with the cats and giving them some social interaction was a lot easier than walking all the dogs last week, but she will continue to do both.
Another new product we are working on is Life of Fred Language Arts Series for High School age kids. We did the first chapter and Grace looked at me and said, "Are you sure this is for high school because it seems very elementary." I told her it definitely progresses.
What We Discussed or Studied This Week
Watched a documentary about Henry II and Finished the Reading and Questions
Started learning study skills with a new review product
Wrote a speech about the future from an information gained from a interview
Japanese Language Lessons
Volunteers in the cat room at the local animal shelter
Geology through Supercharged Science
Sir Gawain from King Arthur book
Vocabulary words with Marie's Words
CNN Student News - Ukraine, Russia invading
God's World News Magazine
This week Cooperative had Spring Break so Grace attended only Speech and Art Class this week
Another new review product
Two outings with friends
Creative Canvas Classes
Friends coming to spend the night
Thursday, March 6, 2014
As always another art project in the works for the art show in May. As you can see Grace's collection of markers are overflowing out of her case and she has even more downstairs.
Today warranted a visit to the art store as we were looking for a piece of unglazed porcelain to do streak tests on some rocks and minerals. Alas they did not have the porcelain but we did find a container to store all her markers and a new brand of markers to try out. She spent an hour color sorting all her markers.
We have had the parakeets for almost a year in a smaller cage and have meant to purchase a new bigger cage for a good while. Last week we took the plunge and ordered one online which came to us yesterday. Grace and Scott spent time last night putting it together. The birds now look so small in this big cage, but they have lots of room to play.
The biggest headace to me about going gluten-free is finding a good bread. Even harder is finding a recipe that I can make on my own. I think I may have finally found it. This recipe was from pinterest for the bread machine. It came out so well and tasted good too.
Last but not least is a new product I wanted to try with Grace. This isn't a review product just something I wanted to try. We tried Life of Fred Math when it came out but it was a good fit for us even though we loved the story part of it. Now Life of Fred has a Language Arts Series for High Schoolers. It is a four book series and we have just started the first book titled Australia. I will keep you posted.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Contrary to popular belief homeschooled students don't all love school or in some cases even like school. Sometimes something will ignite a spark of enlightenment or joy in the learning process but for this homeschool mother they fall few and far between. Three subjects though in our day to day walk are close to what I would consider enjoyable for my student. The first would be the current study of Henry II and his sons. We watched a documentary today off of YouTube that backed up what she had recently read in her Famous Men of the Middles Ages book. The second would be a product we recently started a review on for science and the topic we chose to start with was geology. Today while eating her snack Grace sorted all her previously collected rocks by color for two experiments tomorrow we will be conducting (streak test and hardness test). Finally the third subject was also a review product with a review heading your way in a couple of week - learning Japanese. Languages seem to come fairly easily for Grace and she loves all things Japanese.
This is of course how the day began. All four animals now think they have to be all over us when we come to the loft to do school work.
Very excited about implementing this new review product as our history for the next 4-6 weeks. So all in all today was long (because we have all been sick with a stomach bug and needed to catch up) but she stuck right with everything I threw at her without a fuss. Great days don't come by often enough in the schooling world and when they do I definitely thank God for them. Here's hoping tomorrow is a repeater.
Monday, March 3, 2014
If I am to be brutally honest, I really don't like to clean. Even worse is deep cleaning. You know, wiping down baseboards, cleaning ceiling fan blades, top of the refrigerator kind of tasks. I'm good with keeping the house clutter free and "picked up", but when it comes to everything else I tend to feel overwhelmed with where to start. Numerous times I plan to clean but then get bogged down with where to start and stop for the day. Not to even mention the incredibly busy schedule my family leads like many other families out there. This is where Motivated Moms comes in to play. I was blessed with the opportunity to review Motivated Moms Ebooks as a downloaded Ebook through the TOS Review Crew.
Motivated Moms Ebooks is basically a chore list that rotates throughout each week/month so that everything is covered in a timely manner. The planner is a downloadable Ebook that can be printed in multiple types of formats. I chose to download and print the chore list in full size (8.5 x 11) without the Bible reading schedule. Normally I would have included the Bible reading schedule because I think it would be awesome to have it all on the same weekly print out, but a few weeks prior I started a women's Bible study that is on a different reading schedule. I also chose the black and white version, but a color version is available as well. The full size choice has one full week per page, both daily chores and weekly tasks. Currently Motivated Moms offers 16 different layouts to choose from. All choices retail for $8.00. The owner of the program specifically states that she doesn't want women to feel guilty if they don't get every task done each day that is on the list. If you can't get the task accomplished it will come back around again on the list. I was chosen to review the Ebook but other reviewers on the Crew had the opportunity to review the App version of this product which is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android.
Daily chores to accomplish on the list are feeding pets, making beds, wiping down counters and sinks, exercising, and so on. At the bottom of the daily chore list there are blank spaces to add your own personal household tasks that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. For me that meant watering backyard chickens and collecting eggs was added to the list. On the opposite side of the page are tasks to accomplish weekly but divided over 7 days. The tasks will even include some fun stuff that moms tend to forget to take time to do like hobbies and crafts. I did have kind of a chuckle about one of the tasks listed, "clip children's nails". Currently I have one child at home and she is 14, I don't think she would want me to take on that particular chore, but I do see where it would come in handy as a reminder for larger families with small children.
Motivated Moms Ebooks is a great product to help moms keep household chores on track. Personally my microwave has never been cleaner. I am a list maker so this type of product was right up my alley. Some days I missed some tasks, but that is okay. This product, if you will excuse the pun, motivated me to really get a handle on some aspects of my home that had been neglected over the past year.
|Motivated Moms "motivated" me to completely clean out the attic.|
If you are interested in purchasing a new household planner be sure to check out Motivated Moms. Also take a look at what some of the other TOS Reviewers thought of this product.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
1. From the picture above I bet you can guess what my number one random thought is, I am ready for warmer weather and Spring. Enough with the cold weather already.
2. I am pre-reading some teen non-fiction books to see if they would be of any interest to Grace and if they are a worthwhile read. Currently I am reading Do Hard Things which got a lot of press from the home school crowd last year.
3. Exercise has definitely been lacking the past two weeks. Life just keeps getting in the way. I have always scheduled a time each day for exercise - at least 5 days a week, but I am truly over scheduled at the moment and it is wreaking havoc on my exercise time.
4. Today is baking/cooking/writing day. I have to buckle down and bake some gluten-free brownies and muffins, cook some deviled eggs for lunches, and write two reviews as well as start a study guide.
5. Hubby was sick for a solid 24 hours with a virus. So hoping me and Grace don't contract it. We have been very lucky this year in the sickness category. No stomach viruses and only Grace has had a cold and throat virus.