This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Have you heard…

We all know that homeschooling is a labor of love. Like anything in life there are good days and bad days. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is a wonderful magazine to fill you with encouragement for relative newbies like me or well seasoned veterans. If you’ve been holding out to get a subscription, let me just say that NOW is the time!

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine extending an extraordinary
subscription offer to homeschool families. Receive a one-year print subscription for just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue subscription for $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter issue. The one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue.

Only 5000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31 through midnight on September 15. Once the 5000 are gone, they'’re gone!

What are you waiting for, hurry up and grab this crazy price today!

Chat later!

Monday, August 30, 2010

TOS Review ~ Peterson Direct Handwriting

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Recently I was given the Peterson Direct Handwriting Cursive Program to review.  Ideally this program is intended to be used with a Wacom Digital Tablet, but since I do not have access to one, I successfully printed out what we needed.  I admit I was a bit hesitant to accept a “new” way of teaching handwriting. Initially when exploring how this program works it really boggled my mind, but with further research and reading I grasped the information and was ready put it into action. The Peterson Direct program uses a 4 step multi-sensory approach to teaching handwriting.  The process of learning to write any letter involves 4 simple steps:

1) Illustrate and Describe: Using a large visual of the letter with specific words to describe each letter stroke. Letter strokes are divided into different colors.

2) Air Writing: All about muscle memory in this step. Large strokes using different muscles to help your child memorize movement. The key to this step is to move your arm with your voice as you make each stroke.

3) Finger tracking with chant: Printed pages are provided for the student for finger writing.  These movements strengthen the smaller muscle memory as you again use the voice to guide the letter formation.

4) Write and Say: This final step involves using a pencil on unlined paper first. Once the child gains mastery and control, then lined paper paper is introduced and the child writes.

If you haven't heard about the Peterson method of teaching handwriting, then I recommend that you watch the 20 minute online presentation.  The company sells a wide array of products including pre-bundled kits that are grade level based. Do you need  pencil grips? They’ve got them. How about different pencils sizes, positioning guides, wall charts, and even live personal training sessions?!? Yep, they’ve got it!  Anything and everything you possibly could think of to teach handwriting!

The downloadable E-books are non-consumable which is a real plus if you have multiple children. The price is reasonable too at $19.95 each. You can click here and preview all the E-books available for purchase.

Click over to the TOS Crew's blog to read more Peterson Directed Handwriting reviews.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and as such received a copy of Peterson Direct Handwriting in exchange for a thorough and honest review.  Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews.  The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

WINNERS~Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out

Wow, you guys are great. Thank you all for entering the giveaways. I wish I could give each and every one of you something. Here are the 2010 Fall Curriculum Clean Out winners.

Leap Frog Didj games (2) ~ #15 Edwina 

Frog & Toad books (2) ~ #1 Tristan

SOS Spanish ~ #21 Janice

Junie B. books (3)#15 Dessacooper

Geography set ~ #25 Nikki

Please email me your address within 3 days and your packages will be in the mail on Sept. 7th.

Chat later!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out ~ Switched on Schoolhouse Elementary Spanish

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I found another item taking up valuable space on my shelf. This is the Switched on Schoolhouse 2008 Edition of Elementary Spanish. We tried this program and it didn’t work out for our learning style so we switched programs. This was only installed on one computer and has everything needed to hook up to your computer. I will mention it only runs on Windows XP and Vista, NOT Windows 7.

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If you'd like to enter to win,  you can get up to three (3) entries. You need to leave a separate comment for each entry. Here's how:

~ Leave a comment on this post.

Earn extra entries:

~ Sign up as a Follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me so. (Or if you are already follow, tell me so.)

~ Link to my blog via a blog post or Facebook , and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M. EST, at which time I will randomly choose a winner.  Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner and that would be a bummer!

*** Please be aware that I will not be able to ship the winner their prize until Sept. 7th, as I will be out of town. I wanted to disclose that so you weren’t wondering where your package was***

Be sure to stop by Homeschool Creations for links to more fun giveaways! Thanks Jolanthe for hosting this!

Chat later!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out ~ Junie B. books

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Three (3) like new Junie B. books are duplicates and need a new home.

If you'd like to enter to win,  you can get up to three (3) entries. You need to leave a separate comment for each entry. Here's how:

~ Leave a comment on this post.

Earn extra entries:

~ Sign up as a Follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me so. (Or if you are already follow, tell me so.)

~ Link to my blog via a blog post or Facebook , and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M. , at which time I will randomly choose a winner.  Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner and that would be a bummer!

*** Please be aware that I will not be able to ship the winner their prize until Sept. 7th, as I will be out of town. I wanted to disclose that so you weren’t wondering where your package was*** 

Be sure to stop by Homeschool Creations for links to more fun giveaways! Thanks Jolanthe for hosting this!

Chat later!

Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out ~ Frog and Toad books

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This giveaway is for two (2) Frog and Toad books that are gently used. They both still have lots of good reading to give. The bottom corner of the Frog and Toad Together book has a worn spot from when one of my girls, who shall remain nameless, thought books were yummy to eat. Other than that the books would love a new home with a new reader.

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If you'd like to enter to win,  you can get up to three (3) entries. You need to leave a separate comment for each entry. Here's how:

~ Leave a comment on this post.

Earn extra entries:

~ Sign up as a Follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me so. (Or if you are already follow, tell me so.)

~ Link to my blog via a blog post or Facebook , and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M. , at which time I will randomly choose a winner.  Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner and that would be a bummer!

*** Please be aware that I will not be able to ship the winner their prize until Sept. 7th, as I will be out of town. I wanted to disclose that so you weren’t wondering where your package was*** 

Be sure to stop by Homeschool Creations for links to more fun giveaways! Thanks Jolanthe for hosting!

Chat later!

Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out ~ Atlas of the World

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The two books in this giveaway will be a great addition to any classroom bookshelf. The book on the right is a jigsaw puzzle book with each state in puzzle format.

If you'd like to enter to win,  you can get up to three (3) entries. You need to leave a separate comment for each entry. Here's how:

~ Leave a comment on this post.

Earn extra entries:

~ Sign up as a Follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me so. (Or if you are already follow, tell me so.)

~ Link to my blog via a blog post or Facebook , and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M. , at which time I will randomly choose a winner.  Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner and that would be a bummer!

*** Please be aware that I will not be able to ship the winner their prize until Sept. 7th, as I will be out of town. I wanted to disclose that so you weren’t wondering where your package was*** 

Be sure to stop by Homeschool Creations for links to more fun giveaways! Thanks Jolanthe for hosting this!

Chat later!

Fall 2010 Curriculum Clean Out ~ Leap Frog Didj Games (2)

CurriculumCleanOutButton It’s that time of the year again. When you start taking stock in what you have and what needs to go. I found a lot of stuff that will hopefully bless another family.

2010 curriculum clean out FAITH'S EARS PIERCED 001This giveaway is for two (2) Leap Frog Didj games, Super Chicks Math Facts (1st –3rd) and Nancy Drew Spelling (2nd – 4th). Somehow we ended up with two of these and I lost misplaced the receipt after last Christmas. They are brand new still in the shrink wrap.  My loss on these is definitely your gain!

 2010 curriculum clean out FAITH'S EARS PIERCED 005 2010 curriculum clean out FAITH'S EARS PIERCED 004  

If you'd like to enter to win,  you can get up to three (3) entries. You need to leave a separate comment for each entry. Here's how:

~ Leave a comment on this post.

Earn extra entries:

~ Sign up as a Follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me so. (Or if you are already follow, tell me so.)

~ Link to my blog via a blog post or Facebook , and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents until Saturday, August 28th at 8:00 P.M. , at which time I will randomly choose a winner.  Please be sure you leave a way to contact you in your comments (via your blog or an email address). If I don't hear back from you in three (3) days, I'll have to select another winner and that would be a bummer!

*** Please be aware that I will not be able to ship the winner their prize until Sept. 7th, as I will be out of town. I wanted to disclose that so you weren’t wondering where your package was*** 

Be sure to stop by Homeschool Creations for links to more fun giveaways! Thanks Jolanthe for hosting this!

Chat later!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up: 1 week down…35 to go

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Allie visit first day school August 16,2010 022 We made it! One week down, only 35 more weeks to go. All in all it  went GREAT!!!         

Allie visit first day school August 16,2010 020Montana was up early everyday and ready for school at          7:30 A.M. We started our first week of preschool with letter “L”. McKenzie decided she wanted in on some coloring action. More like gnawing on crayons, but she looks so cute in the chair.

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Monday, my little-big sister, Auntie Allie, came to visit before heading back to Boston University for her last year of school. WhoHoo Allie! She drove down all by her lonesome and only had a little mishap with the gas station, LOL! It was like Christmas for the girls because she came bearing gifts, thank you so much Grandpa Kemp!Allie visit first day school August 16,2010 010

School wise we got everything done and scheduled this week except Spanish and Science which we will start in September. We did get all of History done for everyone, so I was really excited about that, especially since I am teaching 3 different time periods!!! After much prayer and advice, I decided that I am switching my 2nd grader, Mikayla to Saxon Math 3 instead of 2.  Come Monday we will start fresh with Saxon 3.

We are still on summer schedule here as far as extracurricular activities are concerned. Madison and Mikayla have gymnastics practice Tues and Friday for 5 hours each day through the end of August. Then come September we switch to 3 day/ week practices. Want to know something pretty neat? We started off with 11 girls who made the level 4 team, we are now down to 5 girls, and all 5 girls are Homeschoolers!!! We get to have a day practice freeing up one evening a week. WHOHOO!!!

Another awesome thing that I found out this week is that our AWANA program is switching from Wednesday nights to Sunday nights from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. YAY!!! No more late Wednesday nights and struggling to get the girls moving for Thursday morning co-op.

CurriculumCleanOutButton Wednesday I spent some time cleaning off our shelves in anticipation of the Curriculum Clean Out over at Homeschool Creations. Don't forget to check back to see what I am cleaning out. I hope it will bless someone's family.

Allie visit first day school August 16,2010 046All in all we had a great week, I can’t wait for more! If you want to see what others are doing in their homeschool, head on over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and check out the links.

Chat later!

New England & Middle America I need YOU!

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We have just a few states remaining that need to be filled, can you fill one? Do you have a relative or friends in one of the states listed below that can get you postcards? If so, jump on the Statehood Postcard Swap. You can participate even if your HOME STATE if filled!!! Send me an email and I will get you signed up ASAP. Details of the swap can be found HERE. Already signed up, can you take another state? If so, let me know as there is an incentive for that too.

Thanks for all who signed up, it’s going to be great!

Virginia                                                                                                    Connecticut
Massachusetts ~ pending 
New Hampshire
Vermont
Maine
Arkansas
Wisconsin
Oregon
Kansas
West Virginia
Nevada
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wyoming
New Mexico

Chat later!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My 12 things

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Have you ever wanted to refine your skills or learn something new? This post from Sarah Mae over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee got my creative juices flowing, here’s my list:

August ~ bless the Lt. by waking early and making his lunch daily

September ~ 12 books in 12 months reading list

October ~ Start running again

November ~ Home Management Binder redo/setup

December ~ Teach younger girls to sew

January ~ Start practicing on my steno machine again/working up speed and accuracy

February ~ Take a mini weekend with the Lt.

March ~ Plant a vegetable garden

April ~ organize girls clothes/ get rid of some too

May ~ Make a quilt

June ~ Attend the state Homeschool Conference

July ~ not sure yet

I'd love for you to join me on my journey. What skills do you want to learn or grow in? Each month I’ll be posting my results of learning the above things – I'll link up on the last Thursday of each month with the others who have committed.  Make your list and come join us!

Chat later!

The Old Schoolhouse Fall EXPO

OctoberSchoolhouseExpo

It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.


Want to save $5 per ticket?! Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.


You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.


The best part is that MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.

Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr.  Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!
Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.


If you cannot make the Live event,  then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!

You can visit either of these links to get more information.
http://www.SchoolhouseExpo.com
or
http://bit.ly/aWHFiL

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As  a member of the TOS Crew I am offering this ad in exchange for a free Expo to Go. No other compensation will be paid. This is not a review, as the Expo has not happened yet.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not Back To School Hop ~ Meet my students

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The Not Back To School Hop is in full swing over at The Heart of the Matter, have you linked up yet? Today is our first day of the 2010 ~ 2011 school year, come and meet my students.

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This is Marie, my 13 year old in 8th grade, did I just say that?! A TEEN, WOWZERS! I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around that. She is my cheerleader who loves fashion design and anything to do with drawing, painting and creating. You usually find her with her head in a book or on her laptop designing.

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Up next is Madison my 9 year old in the 4th grade. She’s the oldest of my competitive gymnasts. A quick thinker and very hands on learner. Lover of all things Space. She is ALWAYS singing. She can here a song once and be able to sing it to you perfectly.

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This is my 7 year old superstar, Mikayla. She is in the 2nd grade this year. My other competitive gymnast who is like Gumby. This girl is so flexible it’s scary at times. One flash of her sweet smile and you will be hooked on her. She is developing into a excellent reader and you will find her on her hands in the handstand position, all. the. time.

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Montana is my 3 year old preschooler. Can you tell she is excited to start preschool lessons this year?! Montana is always talking and thinking from the moment she awakes until she falls asleep at night. She loves to play computer games, Arthur especially, games and puzzles, and to snuggle up with a book. She is my last little gymnasts who is fearless. A bit stubborn at times, but aren't we all :-)

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Isn’t she just scrumptious! My baby girl McKenzie is growing up too fast!!! In two short weeks she will be a year old. SIGH…They grow so fast. Kenzie loves her new found walking freedom. She loves to get into explore everything and L-O-V-E-S to be outside. This year she is working on her baby signs and having FUN!

So, those are my peeps this year. So glad you stopped by to visit. You can check out our curriculum choices for the 2010 – 2011 year here and pictures of our schoolroom. Please leave a comment and let me know you were here, I would love to come by and check out your blog too!

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Chat later!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Caught you

I caught you red handed in the bathroom doing this…

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Looks like you were trying to figure out how to open the potty lid too. Girls, let’s remember to keep the door closed.

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Who could be mad at a sweet face like this?

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Favorite Homeschool Supplies

This past June we finished up our very first year of homeschooling. The girls succeed and excelled beyond what I imagined. Way to go GIRLS, you rock!!! Now that we are progressing on to our 2nd year I have insight for what supplies I need to make things run like a well oiled machine. These are a few of my favorite things.

1. Diet Pepsi ~I am not a coffee drinker…this is my Caffeine! (this will get me through the week)

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2. Sharpie Pens ~ Sharpies make the world go ‘round. When I first saw these at the store a few weeks ago I did a happy dance in the store. Okay,  maybe not in the store but definitely when we got home. Do not touch! I hate to be selfish, but these babies are M-I-N-E!!!

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3. Date stamper ~ I can not tell you how many times the girls forgot to write the date on their papers. Quite frustrating when you have a loose paper that you have to rack your brain to figure out when it was done, TWO WEEKS AGO! Hopefully, this beauty will do the trick and eliminate the need for brain racking. The girls have been stamping everything, we may run out of ink soon, very soon…

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4. All In One Printer ~ This machine works as much overtime as do my washer. She’s there just when I need an extra copy or two.

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5. Electric pencil sharpener ~ Not much to say about this, but it gets a lot of use.

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6. Note Flags ~ Red light, green light, remember that game?  I use these note flags for the girls readers. It helps them to visually see where they need to start reading and where to stop reading for the day without having to interrupt. 

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7. Stapler ~ Pink, of course! It gets the job done.

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8. Paperclips ~ Big and small. I use these to keep the girls weekly work paper clipped together in the yearly binders.

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9. 3-hole punched and colored paper ~ call me lazy, but I like the convenience of the 3-hole punched paper. With the amount of copying that takes place in our house it is definitely a timesaver. The colored paper is used for each of the girls weekly schedule. A different sheet for each girls makes it easy to tell who has left there schedule laying around.

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10.  Family planner/calendar ~ What a lifesaver this is, without it the Lt. may be lost. We actually have two, one that stays on the counter in the family household binder and this one that goes in my carryall purse. August looks light compared to what we have scheduled out for September. Things get pretty busy during the school year with practices, AWANA, and church group. I wouldn’t change it for the world though.Aug favorite things 019

So, those are a few of my favorite things that make my homeschool day. What are some of your favorites?

Chat later!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sweet shot

School Rm Update Aug.2010 089 She is busy exploring her world…I love it!

I am linking this post up with Darcy over at Life with my 3 Boybarians, be sure to head over and check out the other sweet shots.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ almost

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Oh my!!! we really grew something, three baby watermelons. Way to go Madison for your tireless efforts of watering, even in 115*+ heat!