This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

050-057 ~ 365 weekly recap

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We had a tough competition this day. Both girls did really great and Madison fought hard and made it to the podium, taking 3rd place on vault. All-around scores for both were Madison-

and Mikayla-. Next up is sectionals on the 12th of March…almost to State girls, keep up the good work!

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Have you ever seen a female boxer? An 8 year old female boxer at that! This little girl did not mess around in the ring. She knocked down the little boy she fought for the title and I felt bad for him, because I am sure his parents told him to never hit a girl.

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Future Olympic gymnast in training…way to go Montana!

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Face painting at Girl Scouts…cookies anyone?

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morning reading

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8 more days until our 100th day of school!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

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this one is especially for Mikayla…Love you T!


TOS Review ~ Kid Scoop’s Reluctant Reader Solution

Do you have a reluctant reader in your house? I do…and at times it’s frustrating to think that this child of mine does not enjoy reading.  But, let me tell you this new secret weapon that I have to throw at her, called Kid Scoop ~ Reluctant Reader Solution.


Have you heard of them? Well, neither had I until I was offered to review the Kid Scoop’s ~ Reluctant Reader Solution. I am just going to tell you now, it’s an awesome program!!!

"The Reluctant Reader Solution is designed to expand your child's horizons, jump-start their curiosity about topics they didn't even know they were interested in, and exercise different areas of their brain through age-appropriate puzzles, games, stories, and much more."

The Reluctant Reader Solution comes in 2 parts:


1. An E-book ~ downloadable PDF file (love, love, love this option)!

The E-book  part is a collection of 365 individual worksheets  bundled together on a magnitude of different topics.  Each bundle is grouped with 5-7 jam packed pages of activities like word searches/scrambles, fun writing exercises, and more that are sure to please any reader.  The best part is that they are delivered to your computer in a nice neat PDF file so you can print as many or little as you like.  A great thing in my book since I have multiple children.  There are an abundance of topics too, to include bubble gum, the International Space Station, Easter, Mother’s Day, germs and more! You can actually get a free sample of the germs bundle to check out here


online_edition 2. An online Newspaper for Kids ~ a subscription to a monthly online newspaper for kids called, Kid Scoop News Online that includes 12 full color issues.

Each issue has a monthly theme and  is chock full of information to read, games to play, experiments to do, and puzzles to solve.  Navigation is a breeze and you can find yourself browsing other, age appropriate, online sources that are linked to that topic and keep the learning happening. Does your child learn better by hearing? A handy feature included are the audio files for every page.  Print the whole edition or save it to your computer for later use.

Now, you’re probably thinking this has got to be expensive, right? Nope, it’s budget friendly for all that you get at only $97, roughly $8.08 a month.  Purchasers gain access to the kid and parent friendly downloadable bundles of worksheets covering almost 60 topics and the monthly 20 page, full color online Kid Scoop’s newspaper. And the best part is that The Reluctant Reader Solution is so confident in there product that they offer a 365-day money back guarantee.

I know it’s about that time that us homeschooling moms start thinking about next school year. If you have a reluctant reader, put this program at the top of your list…it’s worth its price and you won’t be disappointed!  We thoroughly enjoyed this program and I will continue using it through the summer to keep the learning going.  Sign up to get a month of ideas to make reading fun sent to your E-mail inbox for free here and follow Kid Scoop on Facebook hereBe sure to find out what other homeschooler thought over at the The Homeschool Crew Blog.


I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and as such received a copy of Kid Scoop ~ Reluctant Reader Solution 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 .

Thursday, February 17, 2011

048 ~ 365

365 PIC 021Our first, and hopefully last this season, injury in gymnastics. Mikayla injured her knee while vaulting. It only bothers her while vaulting.  When she got up it was visibly swollen so off to the doctors we went.  We are awaiting a referral to the Orthopedics, hopefully we can get in sometime next week.  For the next few days she is sidelined, but she is scheduled to compete on Saturday at the upcoming meet.  Let’s just say a little prayer that they vault last.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

046 ~ 365

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First cookie drop…go girls and reach your goals!


Monday, February 14, 2011

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Love Juice idea that I got from Tatertots &  Jello.  Montana brought the girls in her gymnastics class a bottle of Hawaiian punch “love juice”, while Madison and Mikayla brought their teammates Propel Fitness water “love juice” packets. Everyone loved them!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

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McKenzie’s new favorite food is potato chips and French onion dip.  Can you tell how much she likes it?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

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JamFest with Marie and about 300 screaming tiny, mini, and youth cheerleaders before awards ceremony.


Beginning of 2nd semester, week 19

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We are back into our groove now…at least I think we are. Things went smoothly as the girls and I dove back into the books after a week off for first semester break.  The girls knew they had a reward at the end of the week, a movie date with Daddy if their schoolwork was done. Amazing how that reward can light a fire under oneself.

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Math~  Things in the math world are going quite smoothly. Marie is plugging away at slopes and y-intercepts…remember those? Madison is just beginning to get into long division. It has been a challenge with her because she is convinced she can do it in her head and not show her work, WRONG! But she is now back on track. Mikayla begged, yes begged to do the TimesAlive! multiplication on the computer everyday. She is flying through her math lessons, and learning her multiplication facts. She has got the 7’s down and the the 12’s to 3. Montana is busy counting up to 100 and making 1 to1 connections.

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Science~ This week in elementary science we studied Mercury. The girls are really enjoying Astronomy lessons and they are teaching me a thing or two. One funny part of this week was when the book said to ask your mother how old she was in 1974 to figure out how old I was when Mariner 10 studied Mercury. The girls didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t born. They finally decided that I was –4. We also did an experiment to simulate the craters on Mercury by dropping marbles and balls into floor. That was fun and a bit messy when McKenzie decided she wanted to try too.

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school 005  LA/Grammar~ Madison spent the majority of the week doing beginning sentence diagramming of simple and compound subjects and predicates. So far so good, she is getting it. We have a reading challenge going on in an effort for me to get the girls to read more independently. It’s very similar to Jolanthe’s challenge but I changed the number of books to be read. I also changed the number of pages to count for two books for Madison to 100 pages. For their first reward the girls have decided that if they read 30 books by the end of the 3rd quarter (April 7th) then we will go to 7-11 and get a slurpee and a treat. So far, so good, Madison has read 3 books and Mikayla 2 books. I am keeping myself accountable for Montana & McKenzie by having them do the challenge too. I read to them both each night before bed so they can participate too in addition to reading during the school day.  I have a different reading challenge for Marie that I hope to get her started on next week. It’s more of a project but I think she will like it too! Lately she hasn’t been doing any reading outside of school reading and I want to change that while I day 21111 011 school day 21111 012

AWANA~ We haven’t been to AWANA in two weeks, once because of gymnastics and the other because of the Superbowl! The girls are still plugging away at their verses but I am starting to get concerned that Mikayla may not finish her book and get her Sparky plaque. She is halfway through the book so that is good, but I need to be more diligent in getting them to club. This coming Sunday won’t be a challenge but next week might as we have another gymnastics weekend.

school day 21111 002 Pre School~ Montana has just started The Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons book. So far so good. She gets up ready to do school and do her lessons. We’ve been playing this really cool game lately too, (a review will be coming at the end of the month) that has been helping with her letter recognition. This week we made it through lesson 4 in the book. I need to do more alphabet art with her so that is my goal next week.

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school day 21111 016  Tot School ~ McKenzie has been busy as a bee. She is learning and picking up on so much stuff. Her comprehension is amazing. If you tell her or ask her something like, go get your jacket, she goes right to the closet where it is kept. She also is starting to talk, yipee!!! It is so cute to hear her say “yes” and she even can say “light”. She says light every time we get into the van because the light is just above her seat.  We have been working on stacking blocks but she likes to just knock them down. Her new thing too is to write on the dry erase board. We catch her sometimes writing on her hands and body too.

school day 21111 005  The girls earned their reward and went to see Gnome & Juliet Friday afternoon.


So, that’s our week. How was yours? Check out Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and see how others weeks went.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TOS Review ~ Curiosity Files: Zombie Fire Ants


We were given the opportunity to choose a unit study from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Store’s new series called  The Curiosity Files.


My curiosity was peaked just from reading the 9 selections available.

We ended up choosing Zombie Fire Ants, because yes, we love bugs; um NO, but my thinking was that maybe we can start appreciating God’s creatures if we weren't such scaredy cats.  Each of these new Science based Unit Studies are designed for 8-13 year olds, but they can easily be adapted for younger kids too.


Each of the units includes:

•Bible study and memory verses
•Math, history, and geography investigations
•Literature and suggested book list
•Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities
•Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)
•Science observations, projects, and experiments
•Discussion questions
•Art, crafts, drawing, and coloring pages
•Lapbook and notebook pages
•Internet resources and video links
•Complete answer key

We jumped right in with Professor Anna Lyze  and her research team as they led us through obscure, abnormal, and sometimes quite bizarre facts all the while learning interesting and fun lessons. The hands on activities, puzzles, quizzes, and games of each of the Curiosity Files are presented in The PDF format, so an adobe reader is required for viewing and printing.



Zombie Fire Ants will keep everyone intrigued and answering questions like these:

  • What is God’s plan for controlling the number of fire ants?
  • When out of control, how can scientists restore balance to the natural world?
  • What’s so special about phorid flies, and how do they fit into the ant equation?
  • Okay, so how does a fire ant morph from a hard-working colony participant into a zombie-like creature?
  • If regular fire ants cause havoc, why create a zombie version?
  • Does history tell us anything important?
  • What can we grasp from the Bible?

Is your interest peaked?  Do you want to test out one of these awesome titles for your family? The Curiosity Files are available for purchase in a 9-Pack CD-Rom bundle for $49.00 or as part of the downloadable 9-pack of E-Books for $46.00.   Each Unit Study may be purchased individually, but prices can change from month to month.  Right now you can get 4 of the titles for just $1.00 each, WOOZERS!!!  That is a steal of a price that you just can’t pass up!

We thoroughly enjoyed our study of the Zombie Fire Ants and can’t wait to dive into our other four titles that we purchased. Way to go The Old Schoolhouse for providing unit studies that not only have you learning but are fun too! To find out what other members of the crew thought, click here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and as such received a copy of Zombie Fire Ants 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 .


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McKenzie is learning how to stack blocks…although she has more fun throwing the blocks and knocking the tower down.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

041 ~ 365

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I’ve been in the midst of beginning sentence diagramming with Madison for the last few days, I think its starting to make sense to her.  And I am really loving the move to evening practices for gymnastics. No more rushing out of the house right after lunch and then trying to get school done at 430PM when the girls are tired.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011