Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Break Week 2 - Not Back To School

We are still on our 2 week break however our county public school started school Monday so we had our Annual Not Back To School Day!

Each year we try to celebrate with fun activities just to enjoy our freedom to homeschool! 

This year we chose to go to a State Park we had been trying to get to for a year. We had a blast!!

 Started out our celebration with Chocolate & Wildberry Pancakes. Can't celebrate without candles!

 Finding some really colorful leaves already!

 Zachary is showing me how this looks like a Dinosaur print!

 Daddy was talking about how and why this tree was growing in the middle of this massive rock.

On top of the Summit. It nearly killed us(me) but we made it to the very top! Took us almost 4 hours to hike all around the loop but we had so much fun talking.

 Zachary sat down and this was what he saw...

 This picture is back at the bottom of the Summit but it really does  no justice for the height. Beautiful. It was wonderful to look up and know that we had been there.

 Walking to the Lower Falls. This was the reason we came! To slide down the waterfall rock and enjoy some fun, cool mountain times.

 Dry and ready to hike out. I was soaked and cold after getting in and sliding down several times. I did almost chicken out but my lovely husband had my back - Literally he pushed me down the rock because I was thinking of getting up! Thanks honey.

 This was the Large Falls and it was beautiful to look at.

 No we didn't slide down that rock! It was a different one!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doorposts - Because You Are Stong { Review }

Today I get to introduce you to a wonderful company that has helped aid me in my parenting adventure for a few years now. I have used their If - Then Chart since my children where small and I was looking for a great way of correcting that was biblical and helpful to explain. I haven't used that product in a few years simply because my children are no longer small but I was very happy with it.

Doorposts is a great place for Bible based parenting materials. They have wonderful materials to help instill good character and a love for digging and knowing the Bible.

I was pleased to see Doorposts offer for review Because You Are Strong through The Schoolhouse Review Crew. It's a study of Godly strength for young men by Daniel Forster which actually was a homeschool scholar himself!

Upon getting the book in the mail my son was immediately drawn to it. I personally believe it was the cover. Yeah, seriously I think the cover of the book drew his attention. Boys by nature are very visual and with the Knight's armor and sword there was nothing but fascination. 

We actually discussed the book cover because it was so neat and cool. I asked Kyle (who is 13) why he thought it was chosen to represent the book and he said "Because Knight's where brave and faced all kind of battles that they have to concur. They were honorable people and God wants us to be that way." I personally loved his response!

This study teaches how to study and dig in the Bible. My son has used a concordance for the first time. He has studied some Greek & Hebrew words from passages to understand the meanings.

Because You Are Strong contains 74 days of studying. Kyle has spent almost 20 - 30 minutes in each study daily so far. We have been using this as his personal devotion each day. The book contains 10 studies with a review study at the end of each. Each study has been divided into daily assignments and here is a listing of each study and what each is focused on.

Study 1 - Strength for the Race - Devotional

Study 2 - Strength with No Limits - Topical

Study 3 - Strength and Wisdom - Topical 

Study 4 - Strength and Temptation - Character Study

Study 5 - Strength to be Valiant - Word Study

Study 6 - Strength in Our Weakness - Verse Study

Study 7 - Strength in the Battle - Chapter Study

Study 8 - Strength Serving Others - Character & Topical 

Study 9 - Strength and Gray Heads - Verse Study

Study 10 - Strength in the Faith - Book Study

Study 11 - Strength in Review

I'm going to try to walk you through a lesson so you can better understand how each lesson is broken down into daily assignments and study.

Study 3 is based on Strength & Wisdom which is  Topical study in Proverbs. This is the second topical study so far.

The key verse is Proverbs 24:5 - "A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength."

This is focusing on "strength" and talks about Solomon's wisdom.

To the side of the Day 1 page you find Topical Study overview:

1. Find verses on your topic by using the concordance.

2. Read verses and record your observations

3. Summarize findings

4. Application

Under that you will find what is needed for the study. This is so helpful in each study! Kyle can gather his materials and be independent. 

Day 1 wants you to find the definition of the word strength then it would like you to find synonyms for the word. The activity is to find antonyms for "strength". You're almost done with day one of the study however you have to also start looking for the word using the concordance or looking up the topic in Nave's Bible. That completes day one.

I hope that helps you understand that this is broken down in easy chunks for our young men to work on without being over loaded. This has been just the right size information for Kyle. He has worked hard through this Bible Study so far. He is in study 4 and is learning a lot. He talks to me and his dad about each study so that we can understand if he comprehends what he is studying and is learning the concept. 

Kyle actually asked if there was another book for when he was finished and I told him we would work that out when the time came! I think that proves that he enjoys these lessons. I am proud that he finds the Bible entertaining and real. I am thankful that there is such a Bible Study book that helps my young man learn skills that is important to my family and God. The Bible has every day heros all throughout and live action too and that is appealing to young men.

I can't say enough great things about this study! It has truly been a blessing!

It is only $12.00 right now on the website for the physical book however you can get the eBook version as well for only $10.00.

If you would like to learn more about the layout and teachings of this book you have a free preview here. This study is targeted at ages 12 and up.

Schoolhouse Crew Reviewers are blogging about Because You Are Strong & Beauty In The Heart read more reviews here. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

My Crew for the 2013/2014 School Year

It's almost time for our new school year which will begin on September 3rd. We are currently on our 2 week break and having fun relaxing.

My line up for the coming year looks promising. I'm excited however I just can't believe how fast my kids are growing!

Kyle is in 8th grade yes you read that right! Scary how fast time has flown. He loves the colors yellow and orange. He loves baseball. His favorite food is mashed potatoes. He enjoys learning about history best he is my documentary nut. I think he gets that after his Uncle Andy.

My dear darling daughter is in 5th grade this year. She is always a wonderful child. She enjoys learning about everything but math! She loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian one day. She loves Owls and the color pink. Her favorite meal is anything Mexican.

Zachary is in 3rd grade this year! Can you believe that? I can't. His favorite color is green and he is my worker. He would work his self to death outside all day long if I would let him. I'm thankful for that trait in him. He loves snuggles still and that makes my heart happy. His favorite meal is Meatloaf, he will beg me to cook it.

Last is Miss Mattie - Lou. This is my brother's smallest daughter. Jenna his other goes to school this year and is in Kindergarten. Mattie is coming to stay with me 2 days a week for a few hours and we will learn together many things. She was in Pre-School last year but this year there wasn't enough interest in her location so they aren't having it for her. Since I love her so and enjoy my time with her I don't want her to loose any skills she has gained and am happy to have her for a few hours to help her stay sharp.

She loves horses and the color pink. She loves to be read too. Writing is hard for her but we are going to work on that.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales HOAC Lapbook { Review }

In the Hands of a Child is one of the first lapbooking companies I ever heard of back in 2009 when we set out on our "lapbooking" journey so when The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew had an opportunity to review some of their titles I jumped at the chance. 

See my beautiful, lovely and passionate daughter that is 10, loves anything lapbook or notebooking related. She enjoys anything to do with this type of learning.

After speaking with her about the review we came down to loving several titles and where happy when we got Dolphin's Porpoises and Whales.

If you're not familiar with lapbooking there are always a few supplies you benefit from having and need:

Glue(stick mainly) 
Double sided tape  
Folders Paper

Things I use with Lapbooks often:  
Hole Punch 
 Scrapbook Supplies(cheap dollar ones)  
Laminator (love)

Best deals I have found on supplies:

  Cardstock/Copy Paper - Walmart, if Staples is running a sale sometimes they beat them.  

Folders (we like color) - Staples, they have the colored ones and my children love the choice. 

  Glue - Depends on who is running a sale, normally dollar store beats anyone, but when its back to school time you can normally buy at Walmart for a quarter and once Staples had glue for .10cent!

Normally if you can find items at the Dollar Store you will come out pretty good, just remember to watch for sales because normal sales will beat the Dollar Store and you get better quality.
Dolphins, Porpoises, & Whales Curriculum

In the Hands of a Child's lapbook came as a download and so obviously that was pretty simple. Just download and print out. I then stapled all the Guided Reading together and separated the activities for Lexi to have. In this unit there are over 20 activities and learn about the anatomy of each animal, the habitat that they thrive in, their life cycle, diet and what hunts them.

This unit is geared for K-4th grade and with Lexi finishing up her 4th grade year I say that it was a wonderful guide for her and fit well. She had no issues with anything within the unit.

The unit was broken down into 7 days. All the planning was broken down for you so that you knew what to do and complete each day however we used the unit for 5 days and completed it within a week. Each day took us about 45 minutes. I read the reading out loud to her daily and we worked on the vocabulary and talked about what the words meant. Then we moved on to each activity for the day.

The one problem I had with this unit was that the activities didn't have any directions with them. Only because I have had experience with lapbooking and the company before did I know what to tell Lexi to do with each activity. It would be very helpful to have directions on what to do with each activity.

The Dolphins, Porpoises & Whales Unit was awesome. It was packed full of wonderful facts and details of each animal. I personally learned a few facts about these that I didn't know too! One of our favorite activities was actually the vocabulary daily. She really enjoyed learning what the words meant, some she already knew but the majority she didn't.


She has always loved animals. She has a huge heart for them. She loved the little note about Whale Watching, because she really wants to be able to go on a boat and do this one day. 
While on vacation last year we saw 4 Dolphins up close and personal at the beach we stay at and it was wonderful to get out the video of that and be able to add that back into our learning with this unit.

Is lapbooking worth the effort?

My children have learned this way for several years now. I love that over the years they are proud to show off their work. I love that lapbooks and notebooking break the normal and still teach. Learning doesn't have to be by a textbook or worksheets. I am glad I can teach my children my way and that they enjoy different techniques.

You can enjoy this lapbook for only $5

You can also download a sample here.

The Crew had the privilege to review several different titles so there are lots of information to find out about! 


New BIC Brite Liner Highlighter Tape { Review }

I was contacted by the wonderful people at BIC to review a very interesting new product. It's their new re-invented highlighter! Guess what - It's tape & it seriously erases! 

It's the new BIC Brite Liner Highlighter Tape! Not only did they send me some to try but they are giving 15 to my lovely readers! So let's talk about this cool highlighter tape!

I was wondering at first just exactly what this would be like. I wondered if it was going to be wide or narrow or if this would bleed through my papers because this is a personal pet peeve of mine.  If it would smear or be wet.

The bright fluorescent tape actually DOES NOT BLEED or smear!! I was so happy about this because my children and I highlight in our Bible's almost daily and I can't stand when they bleed through onto the next sheet.

My smallest son is actually the one that normally has issues with it bleeding because of the force he uses the highlighter. We have tried crayons in the color yellow and that seems to work well however he wants to use what all the rest of us use.

 We use highlighters in our school textbooks so again so very happy that this doesn't ruin the next page. Also we had an instance that happened over the review period that my daughter highlighted the wrong passage in her text book and the coolest thing happened - She erased it! Yep, that's right it erased and you couldn't tell it was highlighted at all.

This new product offers a lot of convenience with the ease of using them. The highlighter tape comes in 2 of the most popular colors they offer: Pink & Yellow.

You can buy this in the store for under $5.00 which I think is a steal because the one thing that I was most impressed about was the fact that it is easy to use, my children could use it very easily and the fact that it didn't bleed. Yes, I know I've said that over and over but to me that was the most important detail! 

BIC is the worlds largest distributor of stationery products and was founded more than 50 years ago. They continue to improve their products to help meet the demand of their customers. 

I must say this is a new favorite tool to use in our homeschool!! 

No more delay!! Enter for your chance to win a 2 pack set of these awesome cool new Brite Liner Highlighter Tape!

Giveaway open until August 29th.