Today's Wisdom

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Schedule

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

Today’s 31 Days To Clean challenge was to come up with a plan for our family.  I’ve been needing to work on our summer schedule so right on time!  Summer is here and with summer comes a new schedule because our school schedule is different with different priorities.  This summer I’m trying something new as well with our schedule.  I’m going back to assigned days for certain chores.  Here’s what I am giving a try.

Monday – Laundry Day
Tuesday – Clean out day – taking different rooms each week and working on getting rid of stuff!
Wednesday – Paperwork and planning day
Thursday – Big Clean Day
Friday – errand/library day – this is the same day all year for us

We still continue with reading lots of books, read alouds, and some other fun school projects but three cheers for a flexible summer time schedule! Hip, Hip, Hooray! Smile 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents

How awesome that this review is due today on Memorial Day.  Our presidents, our founding fathers, our commanders in chief, those who have fought for our country - all we remember on this day.  Our upcoming school year we will be studying American History.  I am so excited to start and can't wait to fill in those holes that I have in my education!  So, when this product became available for review - I jumped!

We had the opportunity to review one of the books in the series called "How to Draw the Times and Life of Franklin Pierce".  I was very impressed with the quality in this book.  It was a hardback book complete with the life history of Franklin Pierce.  I am a huge fan of combining subjects whenever we can so this also includes many drawings from the time period including how to draw Franklin Pierce himself!  It also contains a timeline, glossary, and a website link for further research!  

The pictures available for drawing were in our opinion are HARD!  The kids were excited to give them a try but quickly found out that even with step by step instructions their end result did not quite match the books.  That being said, art never has been our strong suit!  We love to keep trying though!

There are 42 books in all stopping at George W. Bush.  Some of the books are available for individual sale as well. You can see samples of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan by clicking each name.   

Unfortunately, the publisher is discontinuing this series so there will be no more added.  But the the good news is you can get the whole set which originally sold for $1,060.50 for only $195.00!!!!  Wow, what a steal!  You better hurry though because they are going fast and when they are gone...they're gone!

Our family really enjoyed the book we received and the information included in it even if we don't consider ourselves artist!  The history included is awesome!

You can also request a free catalog!  I love their browsing their catalog!

Legal Disclosure:
As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 17 & 18

In my life this week...

We finished school today!!!!!!  Summer, summer, summer time!  Yahoo!  We celebrated with the sweetest, juiciest strawberries of the season.  So good!!

In our homeschool this week...

We finished and are now on summer break!!  I now have an 8th grader, 5th grader, and 3rd grader!!  WOW!!  Congratulations!!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

Last week we went to Myrtle Beach for Beach Blast to see Toby Mac!!  Only problem was, so did everybody else in the world!!  It was so hot and the ocean was just across the road from the concert calling our names with each splashing wave.  So, we left and went swimming :)

My favorite thing this week was...

uhm....finishing school!!!!!!  And watching the sunrise at the beach!

What's working/not working for us...

Summer is so working for us, lol!!  For the next few weeks we will do nothing - nothing I tell ya.  We WILL break!!  After that, I'll start a relaxed summer schedule and start some cleaning and planning preparation for next school year.  

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

None right now - refreshing the mind!!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Enjoy Summer!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

31 Days To Clean–Week 3

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

This week was pretty much shot for me.  I read all the pages - can I get a shout out for that?  :)

Now, wasn't that a quick and painless read!  Enjoy the rest of your day!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

31 Days To Clean–Week 4

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

This week’s cleaning focused on the the bedrooms and bath in the Martha challenges.  No problems there!  Those rooms were just done not long ago by me so they were pretty easy to clean.  I didn’t steam clean any carpets though.  I like to do the whole house at once with that type of project.

For the Mary challenges, I took the personality test here and found out that mine was pretty much right on!  Although, in those kinds of tests I find it really hard to choose just one answer!  I shared the link with friends and for most of them, they didn’t agree with theirs so much.  My result was “S” which stands for supportive.  More about “S” type personalities:  steady, status quo, and sweet. This person likes to help and support others. They tend to focus on teamwork and cooperation over results.  Yes, yes – that is so much me!  I could also add that I am not big on confrontation either. 

For my personality type, the book says that my motivation is affirmation.  Again, yes – yes –yes!  I love affirmation and it helps me keep going even when well, I just don’t want to.  The support of my husband and that he sees what I do mean so much to me but my affirmation I desire the most is from my Lord.

When struggling I open my bible often to Colossians 3:23 and just ask the Holy Spirit to help me have this attitude.  This is my main motivation to just keep going!

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Since school is ending this week, our schedule is not a normal one so taking a detailed log of my time is just not going to work right now for me.  But it is such a great idea and I plan to implement it when we get back to regular schedule.  I’m no good at logs or journals – for time or health but I know they are key to the evaluation process which by the way I don’t like evaluations either!  But, if you don’t evaluate – you don’t know – and if you don’t know – you will not grow!

TOS Review: Eagle's Wings - God's Creation


If you are new to homeschooling, I am sure you are finding out that the educational curriculum out there is overwhelming.  We are finishing up our 3rd year and I am still in awe of what is available and STILL finding new products all the time!  So, my suggestion to you would definitely be to start looking at the reviews at TOS Homeschool Crew's blog.  There are lots of products available there that have entered into the homes of real families just like yours!

With that being said, my review today is from a company who has been around since 1987 and guess what?  I've never even heard of them or their products!!  Eagles Wings Educational Materials started in the home of two homeschooling families!  Here's what their website says.....

In 1987, two home schooling families launched 
Eagle's Wings Educational Materials from their homes. 
We wanted to provide the home schooling community with 
materials designed to help YOU stimulate your children's
 thinking, creativity and learning. By God's grace and 
your support, we're still at it.

We had the opportunity to review Considering God's Creation, their science program.  

This program is designed for elementary grades 2nd-7th but we found that it is easily adaptable both younger and older students.  The book contains 36 lessons but some of the lessons include an enormous amount of information.  For instance, in Lesson 2, you learn about all of the planets.  In my opinion, you could easily extend a lesson out for 2 weeks especially for younger children.  In each lesson you have a preparation section which includes supplies needed, vocabulary, introduction, song/poem, activity pages, bible reading, notebook pages, evolution stumpers, review questions, and a digging deeper section.  

Here is a sample page of Lesson 16.

You can find additional sample pages here

Topics covered in the 36 lessons include...

  • Universe
  • Stars
  • Solar System
  • Earth
  • Light
  • Sound
  • Wind
  • Weather
  • Clouds
  • Rocks
  • Plants
  • Insects
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Amphibians
  • Food Chains
  • Reproduction and Genetics
  • Human
  • Animal Anatomy
  • Physiology

You can purchase the Teacher Manual, Activity Book, and Cd here for $29.95.  There is a yahoo group available to join.  Eagle's Wings Educational Materials also has curriculum in bible, history, phonics, math, and geography!

Would our family purchase this?  I feel like I say yes to everything but we definitely would purchase this!  I can't wait to explore their other curriculum as well.  The price is really awesome for all that you get!


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of Considering God's Creation.  

**Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this curriculum in exchange for my review.  The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TOS Review: Top Ten Reviews - Our family votes!


As our family gets ready to head back to port on our homeschool crew adventure for the summer, we glanced back at the awesome opportunities and products we have reviewed this year.  We all voted on our favorites and made a top ten!

Drum roll please.................

  1. Buckets of Fun - Yuck!
  2. Apologia's Who Is God?
  3. Corps of Re-Discovery
  4. Institute of Excellence in Writing
  5. Speekee
  6. Talking Fingers
  7. Artistic Pursuits
  8. Latin For Children
  9. See N Read
  10. Ten Marks
Great memories!  Thank you The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew for such a wonderful opportunity!

Friday, May 20, 2011

TOS Review: Wordy Qwerty

One of our first products that we reviewed this year was Read, Write, and Type from Talking Fingers.  Well, this time we were given the opportunity to review the sequel to Read, Write, and Type and it is called Wordy Qwerty.

Wordy Qwerty is recommended for 7-9 year olds and takes them through the next steps of reading and writing fluency. It picks up where the Read, Write & Type Learning System leaves off.
After successfully completing Read, Write & Type!, most 6-7 year olds are able to write any word they can say but they may not spell them all correctly.  This is where Wordy Qwerty comes in with games, songs and fun to help aid in reading and writing fluency.

It includes 20 lessons...

  1. Silent E
  2. Sounds of C
  3. Sounds of G
  4. J or DGE
  5. W or WH
  6. C or K
  7. CK or K
  8. CKS or X
  9. CH or TCH
  10. LL, SS, FF, ZZ
  11. OI or OY
  12. VE Words
  13. Double Consonants
  14. Doubling rule
  15. ER, IR, OR, UR, EAR
  16. I Before E
  17. Plurals: Add ES
  18. Plurals: Y to IES
  19. Plurals: F to VES
  20. Open Syllables
Each of the above 20 lessons contain 6 steps that your child will complete in order to gain reading and writing fluency.

1. Patterns

Here children will practice their spelling. If they need assistance, helping hands Qwerty and Midi are there to help!

2. Karaoke

Here you find songs about each of the spelling rules.

3. Recycler

Here students will find lots of rhyming words - real and unreal.  The student will try to see which ones are real using the recycler.

4. Pop-a-Word

Here the children try to pop the balloons with the correct words on them.  This was Sarah's favorite!

5. Write Stories

Here the student will type the stories they see.  They then will type a dictated sentence.  The more they can do all of these activities without help, the more points the acquire.

6. Read Stories

Here students read a short story and try to fill in the blanks with the correct missing word.

You can see a demonstration of the Silent E lesson here.

Wordy Qwerty is available in an online subscription for 1 user for $25.00.  The subscription lasts for five years. If you have more than 1 user, the subscription goes up.  See here for more details and also Cd's available.  You can also save 20% by signing up for their email newsletter!

Would our family purchase this product?  Just like the results for Read, Write, and Type, we found that Wordy Qwerty was another favorite for our house!  And the price is really awesome for a five year subscription!  So, YES!


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of Wordy Qwerty.  

**Disclaimer:  I received a free trial of this curriculum in exchange for my review.  The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TOS Review: Mad Dog Math

Today's review is Mad Dog Math.  Mad Dog Math is a supplement program that can be added to any current math curriculum.  It is a fun way to get in the necessary drills of math.  If your child has not mastered addition, subtraction, multiplication or division then they will never move on to a higher math with ease.  Drill, drill, drill is the best way that we have found for a student to learn these facts.  And Mad Dog Math makes the drilling process FUN!  Your tour guide is Ruff the dog!  Your student competes against himself and tries to get a better time.  The student can go at his own level and progress at his own speed.  I had each of my children spend just 10 minutes a day on the drill lessons and there confidence was really boosted as there problems became harder and harder and their time became less and less!  Your child can earn stickers after completing so many levels.

Mad Dog Math - at Home is for whom? (from the website)

 A family whose child is in a Mad Dog Math school/classroom
 A teacher who is using Mad Dog Math in the classroom
 A parent who is using Mad Dog Math at home to supplement what is going on in his child’s classroom
 A home school family who is using Mad Dog Math
 After school programs using Mad Dog Math
 Tutoring centers using Mad Dog Math
 Any child who wants to improve his computation skills

Here is a sample screen of what you will find.

You can purchase Mad Dog Math at home software for $19.99 for a 1 year license, a 2 year license for $29.99, or a perpetual license (one that does not need renewing) for $39.99.

You can also try a trial version for yourself here!  Scroll down and pick   which version you need - 32 bit or 64.  If you have no idea which one, you can find out where to look there too!

Would our family purchase this?  Yes, the perpetual license is well worth the value!


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of this and other products from Mad Dog Math.  

**Disclaimer:  I received a free trial of this curriculum in exchange for my review.  The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 17

In my life this week...

A busy time along with fighting the laziness that comes along with the busyness!  I finished up week 2 of  The Homemaker's Challenge.  We are winding up our school days for the year and getting closer to summer break.  Only a few weeks left!

In our homeschool this week...

We are counting down the days!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

Most of the week, we will be at our local Classical Conversations parent practicum!  We also are gearing up for end of the year dance recitals!

My favorite thing this week was...

enjoying Mother's Day with my family!

What's working/not working for us...

Everything is still going well praise God!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

I'm excited and nervous about the tutor training next week for Classical Conversations.  I love kids, I love to teach, it's just one day a week but is it too much.  God, please give me the wisdom and strength necessary!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

My pretty plate that my mother in law gave us for our anniversary!