Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This is how real boys eat their Taquito's!!!!! HA HA HA!!!

 Pliers, the new fork!!!!!!

Freedom to Choose? Not Really...

 I wrote this 2 years ago as a thought to ponder, and I am going to re-post it again,and add to it, and I will  also let you know that I am putting together an article, or could end up as a book, about what  the scripture actually says about homeschooling. 
While I am doing that though, ponder this thought.

Think about this... If our children are gifts from God, and our children belong to Him, and He gave us our children to raise for Him, to raise up our children in the way they should go, to teach our children about Him, and how to live for Him; If our children belong to God and He gave them to us as a blessing to raise for Him, do we really have the right to hand them over to someone else to train?
Think about it...

I mean, do you really have the right to make that decision?
God gave you your children, and He told you how to train them, and what to teach them. 
He said they were a blessing to you. 
How can you say they are not?   Is God a liar?
Of course not.
How can you give them over to someone else to raise and teach?
Are you saying that God did not know what He was doing when He gave you these children, and told YOU to raise them? 
But what are you really saying when you do this?
Why is it so easy to overlook what Scripture really has to say on this issue?
Do you have a right to pick and choose which parts of Scripture to listen to?
Of course not. 
If there are other obligations that are keeping you from raising, and teaching your own children, then maybe you need to see if those things line up to Scripture.
God doesn't tell us to do something and then make it impossible.
We may add things to our lives that make it impossible, but God doesn't. 
Those things that do not line up, or prevent you from doing this, need to go.
We need to realize how huge our responsibility really is in training up our children in the way they should go. 
You, as the parent are responsible for your children even if you send them off to school or daycare. 
You can not blame the principal, or the teacher for your childs behavior. 
You can not say that it is their fault that your child got beat up on the playground, that they weren't watching good enough. 
You can't say it is the other kids fault that your kid came home spouting off nasty words, or that it is the others kids influences that are making your children disrespectful. 
No, it is yours; you do not have to send them there. 
As a matter of fact, you are asked by God  himself, to teach and guard your children, so you have no excuses if you choose to go ahead and send them off, out from under your protection. 
You will be held responsible for what the other kids, teachers, principals, etc, do, or teach to your children. 
You may be able to delegate your authority, but you can not delegate your responsibility. 
Not even if you want to. 
Think about it.

Labor of Love Sale from TOS Magazine!

I LOVE The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and I just had to tell you about their Labor of Love sale! 
If you have never read the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, you really are missing out on a  huge blessing. 
This magazine is different than most magazines. 
For one, it is huge! You will not get through this magazine in one day! lol
That, actually is one of my favorite things about the magazine. I know that it will last me a while. 
It is full of helpful articles, that really encourage and inspire you to be a better mother and teacher. 
besides articles there ae experiments, art lessons, and so much more. 
You could definitely use this magazine as part of your curriculum!
Honestly, and I do mean honestly, if I could only choose one homeschool magazine to have, it would absolutely be The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
So, why don't you get your own subscription now, while it is at this incredible sale price!

 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is 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!
Hurry and grab this crazy price today!

For all of the details click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

TOS Review/ Peterson Directed Handwriting

Peterson Directed Handwriting uses a 4 step process to teach handwriting.

Step 1. is Illustrate and Describe.

In this step you show your child the colored strokes and movement, and describe how they will make that letter.

Step 2. is Air Writing.

In this step you will bring up your e-book on your computer, and bring up the letter you are working on.
Enlarge the screen so that just the letter is showing. Now you have a large model to work with.
Ask your child to look at the letter and trace in the air with his finger the strokes of the letter.
As you are Air tracing the letter, say the words that are associated with the strokes.
So, for a lowercase a, it would go something like this...

As you are Air Tracing you would say..Hook Around, Small Down.
You would practice this a few times until they know how to write the letter in the air.
You can make a fun game out of this by using different body parts to Air Trace!

Step 3. is Finger-Tracing.

In this step you will turn the paper to it's proper slant, and your child will use his/her pointer finger to trace the color/rhythm strokes, while saying the associated words. You only need to do this for a minute or two.

Step 4. is Write and Say.

In this step you have the child write the letters on the workbook pages.
It is recommended that your child practice on blank paper first to get the hang of it before practicing on lines.

I used the e-book form of PDH, and what I liked about having it as an e-book, is that you can print out as many of the same page as your child needs, and you can't do that with a pre-bound workbook.
Also, it is easier to position your page properly when it is one page only, and not a whole book.
The pages are in color, as that helps the child to see the different strokes.
I printed mine in draft so that I could still get the color, but save money on ink at the same time.
There are e-books for Kindergarten through grades 4 and up.

Theses e-books are pretty large.
The Print Step 1 has 68 pages, and the Cursive Step 4 has 64!
Also, if you have more than one child, you can use the same e-book, and just print off more pages, so you can look at it as an investment. 

I think PDH is a good handwriting program, but it was hard for us to switch midstream, when we were used to another handwriting program already.
My son really likes his other program, so it was difficult to get him to do this one. 
My daughter tried the cursive program, and it was hard for her because some of the letters were so different from the way she had already learned to make them.
My kindergartner did not want to say the words out loud, and it was too much on one page for him to do in one day, so we split each letter into two days.
An older child should not have this problem.

I hope I am not making PDH sound like a bad handwriting program, because it is a good one, I just highly recommend that if you want to use this program, that you begin with it, and stick with it.
I think no matter which handwriting program you use, it is probably the same. It is difficult to switch handwriting programs once you have already started with another program.
If you are looking for a straight forward, no frills type of handwriting program, then this is for you. 
There is really no teacher preparation involved, except for printing out the pages.

There are not a lot of instructions included with this e-book, but there is a lot of information on the website.
I have to admit though, that the website is a little confusing. It seems as if it could be simplified a lot, and it could much more user friendly. 
Also, Rand told me that he was considering putting together a manual for homeschoolers that need more detailed instructions.
I definitely think that would be a big help.
Rand also offers one on one help with the parents, if you need it.
The company is very nice and very helpful.

You can find the e-books here.
The prices for the e-books that I used are:
Print Step 1- Kindergarten Print E-Book $19.95
Cursive Step 4 - E-Book $19.95
They also sell Homeschool Kits for each grade, if you prefer a physical book.
You can find the Kits here.

Click here to see what others had to say about Peterson Directed Handwriting. 


*I have received Peterson Directed Handwriting, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion. No other compensation has been given to me.*

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Just Received The One Lovely Blog Award!

Sister Tiptster has awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award!
Isn't that so sweet?
Thank you Sister Tiptser!
This is the first blog award I have ever gotten!
As part of receiving the award, I am to tell 7 things about myself and then pass along the award to a few others that I love, and find lovely as well.
So, here goes:
7 things about me....

1. I live in Oklahoma.
2. I  LOVE to read!
3. I have homeschooled for 9 years now, or 13 if you count from birth! lol AND I LOVE it!!!
4. I color my hair a lot! (Since I turned 30, and got gray hair!)  
5. I have been married for 13 year, soon to be 14!
6. I am JUST NOW learning to cook! HA
7. I am a member of The TOS Homeschool Crew  for 2010-2011!!!

OK, now, I am to pass this award along, and the recipients are:

1.  The Cow Queen  
I love her blog! It is so cute, and she has so many helpful articles on her blog.

2. Zipporah Beauty
This is my sister-in-laws website, and it is SO pretty! She has wonderful products! Check her out!

3. Walking Home
Her blog is beautiful, looks like a scrapbook almost, and she has Fit Mommy Fridays, that I hope to join as well!

4. Confessions of a Homeschooler
Her blog is BEAUTIFUL, and she has awesome preschool curriculum to boot, plus great organizational tips!
You have to check her blog out!

5. The Legacy of Home
Her blog is pretty in pink, and she places the most beautiful pictures in her posts! Just beautiful.

6. Our Busy Homeschool
She recently got a new blog design, and it is very cute! She has tons of great homeschooling tips!

7. Delighting in His Richness
She has a very lovely, calming blog, and she has lot's of great reviews! Check them out!

OK, ladies, I hope you love your One Lovely Blog Award, just as much as I did!
Thank you again Sister Tipster!
You can check out Sister Tipster over at Tell'n It!
She always has lot's of great tips and helpful posts!
You've got to check her out!

This was hard. There were a lot of lovely blogs out there, but these are some of my favorite ones!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Week of Curriculum Giveaways!

Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, is having a week of curriculum giveaways to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of her blog!

Hop on over tomorrow morning and help her celebrate!

 Homeschooling Hearts and Minds
See you there!

Check Out Our New Site, The Book Guardians!

 Hey Ya'll! I want to tell you about a site that I think you will love!
Myself, along with 11 other fantastic ladies, have designed a site to help other homeschooling families choose the best books for them!
What we do is, as we read books to our kids, or proofread books for our kids, we will post it on this site.

The Book Guardians

We have a 10 point checklist:

1. Religious/ Secular Content:
2. Adult Content:
3. Mature Topics:
4. Strong/ Inappropriate Language:
5. Magic/ Witchcraft/ Fictional Characters:
6. Disrespect/ Rebellion:
7. Drug/ Alcohol Use:
8. Violence/ Abuse:
9. Educational Value:
10. Positive/ Negative Messages:

We use this to judge each book. We will list whether or not a book has any of these details, and then we will tell you a little about each book, and further expand on the information in the list.

I hope this make sense! lol

The point is that I know I have a hard time proofreading each and every book for my kids, so I thought if a group of us worked together, and we each told about the books we were reading, that we could go to this site, and see what others said about a book, and check the list to see if it contained anything that we may find questionable.

Or, if you are searching for new books for your family, you could come here and see if you can find something that fits your family!
The site is new, and there is not a lot up yet, but go and check it out, and follow us, and check back often to see the new books we are writing about!
Thanks guys!

The Book Guardians

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homeschooling Doesn't Have to be expensive.

I have spent TON'S of money on homeschooling curriculum over the years, and have realized that most of it was a big waste.
I can't tell you how many things I have turned around and sold because it didn't really work for us.
If you are looking for ways to save money on your homeschool curriculum, the easiest way is to be very careful of what you buy in the first place.
Do your research, and make sure it will fit your families needs, and that you aren't just buying it because it worked for someone else.
Each family is different.
What works for some, won't always work for others.

As far as curriculum goes, I usually wait until Mardel has their Teacher Appreciation sale, and get it then. OR, I wait until there is a sale online.
I have moved away from textbooks recently, so that also helps.
I am trying to incorporate more living books into our homechool.
For school supplies, I wait until the few weeks before school starts, when all the stores have all of their sales, and then I stock up!!!
I only buy crayons at $.25, and markers for $1, colored pencils for $.50, etc...
I grit my teeth at paying full price for school supplies.

A BIG way that I save money is to shop the garage sales and the thrift stores.
I can not tell you how many books I have obtained over the years this way. I love getting a great book for a quarter! lol
I also look at www.christianbook.com in their clearance section, and I can get books there for less than a dollar!

I love CurrClick, and Homeschool Freebie of the Day! They both have great freebies, such as e-books, unit studies, lapbooks, and much more.
Also I look at Border's in their bargain books section. Here is where I have gotten most of my science/ Nature books, like books about weather, insects, trees, wildflowers, butterflies, etc...
We also have Hastings here, and they have great bargain sections also, AND they have used books, which are much cheaper.
Of course, you can be on the lookout for when other homeschoolers are selling their stuff, just make sure it is something you really want before buying it.

And don't forget the library. You can obviously get books for free there, unless you forget to take them back and get late fees! HA
I have been building my library for a couple of years now, mainly through garage sales and thrift stores, and I have thousands of great books now. 
I really don't like going to the library, so I have made my own!
You can too! It just takes a little time and creativity, but it can be done!!!
Good Luck!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Click here for your tickets!

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.

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.

Don't forget, 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!
Get your ticket here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Homemade Dishwasher Recipe

OK guys, I have been learning how to make my own household cleaners, and I have to say I am loving it!
It is so easy and it really works well, and it saves a LOT of money!
One of the first things I learned to make was Dishwasher Detergent.
This is SO easy, you can do in it minutes, and be done, and have a really good dishwasher detergent!
All you do is combine:
1 cup Washing Soda (Not Baking Soda)
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup salt
That's It!
Super easy, huh?
I store mine in a plastic container with a lid. 
Oh, and you only use 1 Tbs. 
I did a lot of research on recipes, and they are all very similar. I did read several times though that some people were having trouble with theirs leaving a white film behind, and I saw that several people said that if you add Citric Acid, it won't do that.
So, I picked one with Citric Acid, just in case!
I got my Citric Acid from The Health Food Center. 
It has worked perfectly! The only time we had any problems was the time that my daughter loaded the dishwasher, and put too much detergent in, and it left a film.
I washed them by hand and it came right off, and I showed her how much to use. 1 Tbs. only , and not a heaping Tbs. , just a loosely packed level Tbs.
If you use the correct amount, AND make sure you have White Vinegar in the rinse agent, you shouldn't have any problems.
At least, I haven't. I know everyones dishwashers are different, so I can't guarantee it, but it has worked for me!
Oh, after I first made the detergent, it seemed to get some moisture in it or something, and kind of stuck together. I stirred it back up, and it was a little different consistency, but it works all the same! lol
I hope you give it a try and love it too!
Let me know!
I will let you know all of the other recipes that I learn to make too!
Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

A couple of days ago, I received a copy of The 2010 Schoohouse Planner, so I eagerly opened up the download, and all I can say is, WOW! 
I had NO idea that this planner was SO BIG!
This planner has everything you could ever want in a planner, and MUCH MORE!
Let me just say that there are 14 pages of just the Table of Contents! YES, I said 14!
OK, I know I seem overly excited about this planner, but I did not know how awesome it really was.
I had heard of the Schoolhouse Planner before, and even looked at it online, but I guess it just never really screamed out to me that this was the planner that I needed.
Boy, was I wrong!

First off I didn't realize that this planner was interactive, and that I could use it on the computer.
Second, I did not know that it literally had every type of form I could ever use, for every part of my life, not just for school.
I know that it said this in the advertisement, but you just can't understand what is included in this planner unless you see it for yourself.
Lastly, I was surprised to see that there was SO much educational content included in this planner.
I can see how you could use this planner to guide you in the decision making of your curriculum for the whole year!

Let me tell you some of what I found in this planner that I particularly liked.
Each month contains helpful articles from well know homeschoolers, such as Amy Pak, Jeannie Fulbright, Malia Russell, Amanda Bennett, Karen Andreola, and Maggie Hogan. (WOW, I love all of these women, don't you?)
Each month is also full of ideas of fun activities for you to do with your family, a resource list full of links to products that correspond with that months supplemental page, art and crafts activities, and ton's of YUMMY RECIPES, (Blueberry Crumble Cake; sounds so good!)
It even has tips on how to cook Gluten and Dairy free!
The miscellaneous educational information is incredible! There is information on The Thirteen Colonies, The Branches of the Government, common Latin roots, famous composers, artists, inventions, cloud types, and SO much more.
They even have a kitchen conversion cheat sheet! I will definitely be printing that one out! HA HA
And of course, we can't forget the forms!
Forms, forms, forms, there are so many forms included in this planner; it is truly amazing.
I have never seen another planner that includes anything close to what this planner does.
This is truly the only planner you will ever need.
It has forms for every aspect of your life: household forms, grocery lists, menu planners, chores, bible reading, Christmas card lists, address book, journaling and notebooking pages, handwriting pages, 12 year planning pages, transcripts, report cards, on and on...
You have your choice of calendar designs.  I especially like the 2 page spread calendars. You can print these off and put them in a binder and when you open it up, both pages will show the whole month at a glance.
This is so much more than a "school" planner. You will find tips on Nature Study, unit studies, even how to make your own soap and cleaners! I have actually been wanting to learn how to make my own soap, and I have been making my own cleaners recently too.
If I would have known what this planner really was, I would have been using it for years now.
Sometimes it takes actually seeing a product in person and trying it out, to fully understand what it is and how it works.
So, if your like me, and have seen or heard of the Schoolhouse planner, but didn't really know what is was, or if it was right for you, I say, trust me on this one, you will LOVE it!
I honestly don't think that you would regret this purchase.
All e-books published though The Old Schoolhouse Magazine come with a money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.

Here are a few sample pictures of what is included in the 2010 Schoolhouse Planner, so that you can get a better idea if this planner is right for you.

Download your copy HERE.  OR, if you prefer to get yours on CD, you can purchase it HERE.
(If you order by August 15th, you will also receive 12 free E-Books! So get yours today!

* As an Independent Contractor for TOS, I have received a  free copy of The Schoolhouse Planner, so that I could participate in The Old Schoolhouse advertising campaign, which makes me eligible to receive a prize. No other compensation has been given to me.* 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working Willingly Wednesdays 8/ 11/2010

Working Willingly Wednesday!
Hey ya'll! I know I have been falling behind on this, but I am still wanting to do this with you all. 
I think after i got the last one up, things have gotten so busy, that I didn't even do any of those either! AAAAAAHHHHHHHH
OK, so let's get back to it!!!
Let's say for this week w have 2 options. i think I am going to forgo the outdoor options until it gets cooler; how does that sound?

OK, this week options are:
Wipe down the Washer and Dryer AND/OR
Go through your kitchen cabinets and get rid of anything you no longer use or don't want anymore

OK, ladies, I will try to keep this simple, and remember that you do not have to do both, and you have all week to do it!

See you next week ladies!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Looking for fellow Homeschool Moms to help me write a book "rating" blog!

Update: We have reached our current limit of authors! Thank you all so much for your interest. 
We will be considering adding a few more ladies in the future. 
You may leave your name here in the comments section, and I can add you to the list. 
Thank you so much!

Hi ladies. I am wanting to start up a new blog with multiple authors. My vision for it is that as we read books to our kids, or pre-read them, we can post about them on the blog. this will not be a book "review" blog as much as it will be a "rating" blog.
I am very cautious of what my children read, and I know that others of you are too.
It is hard to read every single book before we hand it to our kids, so I thought , what if we work together and so this, then maybe we could help each other out.
I was thinking that it would go something like this.
We would post the title of the book, if we thought it was appropriate for all ages, middle school,  high school, or adult, something like that.
And if we thought it was not appropriate, why.
Or, if we thought the book was good overall, but maybe it had a couple of words, like "stupid" or something. List that as well.
Pretty much saying that so and so book is appropriate for all ages, or the content would be better for a 11th or 12 grader or something like that.
I do not have all of the details, but I am wanting to work on this together with some of you, and come up with it together.
We can even come up with a rating scale, and have tabs or something that would categorize.
The name, and details, I would like to collaborate on together!
If you would like to help me on this, please leave a comment and your blog address, and I will get back to you soon! Thanks ladies, I am really looking forward to getting this started! Get back with me asap, and we can get it all figured out.
So excited!

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday !