Today's Wisdom

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Important Message - Must Read!!

Saw this on Mary Roberts facebook page and just had to share!

Just in case for some strange reason, you think that I am "put-together" then I need to bring you my dear friend a little bit of reality! :)  We ALL have those kinda days!

Week 6 - The One With The Sinus Gunk and NO pictures!

Monday and Tuesday went well and as planned but when Wednesday morning rolled around three of us were majorly D-R-A-G-G-I-N-G.  We did finish our school work for the rest of the week but other than that not a whole lot was finished.  I spent a lot of time just lying around doing nothing.  Today, I am climbing atop Mt. Laundry and Mt. Hot Spot times a million to prove it!!

Yesterday, we were all pretty much on the mend - thank you Lord!  Stephen still has a lingering cough so we skipped all of his activities for this week.  He really wanted to go to his game this morning but it was sprinkling and cool and I didn't want a relapse so I made the call for him to stay home.  

High School - MFW - AHL (9th grade)
Jonathan is doing so well with this curriculum!  I am very pleased with his progress.  It is a lot of reading for him but the use of audio books is really helping in that area.  He still probably wouldn't tell you he likes it but he's getting -er done. Isn't that a lesson in itself?  I will never forget a quote from a fellow homeschool mom along those line.  "It doesn't have to be fun, it just has to be done!"  One of his weekly subjects that I love most is the service project.  Here are some that he has done so far...

  • grass cutting for grandmother
  • volunteered at food bank
  • volunteered at church with food ministry project
  • volunteered at church to sharpen pew pencils and fill envelopes (this is a bi-weekly project that we do as a family)
  • our homeschool group teen club also meets once a month with a service project in mind - this month it was cleaning the local pregnancy center.

MFW-CTG Week 5 (6th and 4th grades)
We are studying Ancient Egypt right now and learning a lot about pyramids.  The Bible memory work is the books of the Old Testament which my children already know very well so we've used it more as review time.  Sometimes, we don't complete everything given in the lesson plan but that is the beauty of the curriculum.  You can easily pick and choose what works best for you!

Classical Conversations
Our community is on week 3 but we are on week 5 at home.  I know it isn't recommended to go ahead but it works for us and gives my memory master plenty of time for review and learning.  We enjoy coming up with our own songs and motions so it works for us.  It also helps me to learn the memory work in case I have to sub which is coming up next week!  Again, another curriculum giving flexibility to homeschoolers. 

We have now officially added in all our subjects for the year!  Both Stephen and Sarah started Rosetta Stone Latin this week.  We are doing it informally and they only practice for 15 minutes a day. 

On the home front...
I recently won 2 gorgeous Tabletop Truth place mats in a giveaway over at Mom's Toolbox.  I picked these two and my children have enjoyed being "the special" person for the day who gets to use the placement.  

The backs of all of them look like this which I love too!

I really want to add to our set now.  I just love them!

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeekly Wrap-UpMFW Highlights, and Homeschool High. I love looking at other homeschoolers weeks!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up - The One With The Break!

This week was our scheduled break week and it just so happened the county fair was in town.  :)

We stayed for 5 1/2 hours!!  The kids had a blast while Shawn and I decided the county fair is nothing like it use to be.  However, when you are seeing it through the eyes of a child - it doesn't matter!  They all 3 had a blast!

Since our CC community just began, we did complete Week 2 with them.  I stayed with Stephen's class this week so here are a few of his pictures from CC Day.

Tracing the world map - oh yeah in his Memory Master shirt from last week. :)

 Fine Arts - Mirror Image

Presentation Time - He presented a drawing of an ancient Egyptian boat.

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeekly Wrap-Upand Collage Friday.  I love looking at other homeschoolers weeks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Are you interested in joining The Schoolhouse Review Crew?


My 3rd year with the crew has really ended.  Although I have a few review items left, I resigned from taking on any more.  After second thought, I probably shouldn't have signed up through the summer months since we really like to take those off and reviewing during the summer didn't really feel like a break.  I found myself dreading the reviews instead of excited to use them.  So, with mixed emotions - I resigned several months ago. 

I love the crew and it has been hard seeing all the new products going out and not receiving them but I prayed over my decision for months.  The current crew year is about to end and I thought some of my readers might be interested in this wonderful opportunity for their homeschool! I'm trying to look at my resignation as an opportunity for a new family to receive the same blessings that our family did when we first joined the crew!

See if any of the following requirements sounds like you!

Have you been wondering what it would be like to serve on the Schoolhouse Review Crew? Do you have a blog? Do you enjoy using new products and telling your friends about them?

Very soon, The Schoolhouse Review Crew will be taking applications for the new Crew year, beginning in January. If you are interested, I'll give you a couple of hints now about how to get your blog ready!

  1. Make sure you are blogging frequently (at least a couple of times a week). If you don't have a blog yet, start one now and get busy!). 
  2. Make sure you have a way for folks to follow your blog, and then work on getting some followers! You will need at least 22.   Let me know and I'll follow you!  :)
  3. Of course, you must homeschool :)
  4. If you have written reviews in the past, revisit them. Make sure they are fun and interesting. You readers should really be able to get a clear picture of how you used the product in your homeschool, add pictures of your kids using it, tell why you liked it, or why you didn't (in a tactful way, of course). 
  5. If you've never written reviews before, start with something that you use now and write about it. (same instructions as #4)
The expectations for the Crew are high. They want homeschool moms who really love to blog and write and are willing to commit to using the products we review. In fact, you are required to use the products and every review is reviewed for content. Watch the blog over the next couple of weeks for more information. But start getting ready NOW!

You can also friend The Schoolhouse Crew on twitter and facebook for upcoming details.

Free Little House Resources through 9/23/12

Through September 23, 2012, you can download the 90-page lapbook project pack for Little House in the Big Woods for free when you use coupon code freehomeschooldeals3 at checkout.

At check out you DO NOT need to enter your credit card information. After you enter the special coupon code the total will show $0.00.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 5 - the one before the break!

This was a busy week!  Classical Conversations started back in our community and Stephen and Sarah had a great day!

In my life this week… 

FULL schedule had mama worn out!  I am definitely at the life stage of being my kids personal assistants!  Now, I need one to help me keep up with their schedules, lol.  Jonathan and I are the only two left on our fast and we did give in for one meal but went right back to fasting.  It ends this Friday.

In our homeschool this week… 

High School (9th grade) - Jonathan is continuing to do well and independence is gradually increasing.  He finished up Week 5 of MFW AHL this week.  His biggest obstacle this week was getting through The Cat of Bubastes so I bought him the audio book to help him out a little.  He still says there is not a cat or Bubastes so he doesn't get the title, lol.  I told him to just keep reading.  All other areas are going well and we have been glad to have a break from the New Answers book too.  :)

One of his science experiments this week on oxygen.

Middle School (6th grade) - Stephen received his Memory Master certificate for last year's memory work when we met this week at CC.  He cannot wait to wear his t-shirt next week. His biggest struggle right now is  Spelling and it frustrates him that he cannot do as good as he wants to so I have to reassure him that it's okay.  He wants to excel at everything and sometimes that just is not the case and it's ok!!  He began reading the Hittite Warrior and loves it much better than Mara, Daughter of the Nile.  :)  He also had his first Science Club meeting this week where they set off mentos rockets.  His tied for 1st!  He choose a regular cola and mint Mentos.  Of course, many of the kids had a hard time getting all of their Mentos in the bottle and that affected some of the results.  Diet Coke with mint Mentos is suppose to be the best combination so I'm sure we will be testing that out for ourselves soon.  Soccer is back in full swing as well!

Wouldn't you know I would forget my camera so this is best picture I have of Stephen getting his Memory Master award.

Elementary School (4th grade) - Sarah is doing great too!  She surprised me as we sat in Stephen's Essentials class this week with what she remembered from last year's Jr IEW class.  First Language Lessons seems to be the best fit for her right now though.  We were using Writing Strands 3 and I decided we needed to go back to book 2 so that came in the mail this week and we will start on it after our break.  Here she is on her first day back at CC getting ready to do geography and presenting how to make a toothpick and marshmallow pyramid.

We continued our study of Ancient History and headed into Ancient Egypt where we built our own pyramids from toothpicks and marshmallows.  We made square and tetrahedron pyramids.

And then we tested the strength of building a pyramid compared to a cube.

And finally, The Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by Pharaoh Menes!  Both had to take turns being the Pharaoh.  :)

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week we have family coming in from Arizona so we are looking forward to spending a little time with them.  Sarah has girls club and our fast ends!

What’s working/not working for us… 

I'm still learning to be flexible and when something is just not working, we need to change it.  Such was the case with Writing Strands.  I really think the next change might be ordering the new version of Teaching Textbooks Algebra with automatic grading because it fits my theme of making it simple for me!  I love that Stephen and Sarah's grade automatically and it saves me time!  

I'm reading… 

We are still reading The Tanglewood's Secret and still loving it!  

Spoiler Alert:  
Actually, I cried my way through the reading this week.  They were happy and rejoicing tears as Ruth gave her precious heart to the Lord.  Children and their faith get me every time!

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeekly Wrap-UpMFW Highlights, Homeschool High, and Collage Friday.  I love looking at other homeschoolers weeks!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crew Review: Speekee TV


This is our 2nd go around at reviewing Speekee TV.  You can see the 1st time here.  This time we were given a 6 month subscription.  Our feelings have not changed since the first time we reviewed Speekee.  We LOVE it!!  It is a simple and fun approach to learning Spanish with the cutest little mascot.  


Speekee TV is designed so that children can learn Spanish in their own time and at their own pace. Available only via the web, Speekee TV is loved by children and their parents around the world.  Here is what you get with Speekee TV...
  • 10 Episodes of Spanish
  • Over 150 Minutes Of Pure Spanish Learning
  • Learn Spanish from real Spanish children in real Spanish locations
  • Features songs, animation, and puppets
  • Subtitles in Spanish and English that can be turned on or off
  • Free activity sheet downloads
  • Great fun and extremely affective
  • Created by specialist language teachers
  • Free optional curriculum
  • Songs you can't stop singing
Boy is that last statement ever true!  The catchy songs will be in your head and you will be singing them without even realizing it all while learning Spanish.  All the videos are completely in Spanish so you are receiving the total immersion method.  Speekee TV also offers a 40 week Fast Track curriculum that has everything already planned out for you.  You can even receive it by email if you want.

We did use the Fast Track curriculum this time around and it felt like it made the program even better for us.  I had the lesson plans emailed to me so they were right there waiting whenever I needed them!  That is such a wonderful feature of the program.  The lessons run 4 days a week and you spend 4 weeks per video on a lesson.  Included are craft activities such as making Lupi and Dino puppets and downloadable worksheets.   Also included are the sketches that we used to make our puppets come alive.  

Speekee TV is recommended for ages 2-10 and I used it with a 9 and 11 year old.  They both enjoyed learning from Speekee.  I could see how some older children may think the videos are too elementary but in our house, we all love them - even my 14 year old!  

Speekee TV can be purchased for $7.50/month or $60/annually.  You can subscribe monthly and stop your subscription at any time.  You can even try it out for 2 weeks for free!  Speekee is also available on DVD and for schools.

Our family loves Speekee and would recommend this program as a great beginning tool to learning Spanish!  


Be sure to check out what my fellow crew members thought about Speekee TV.

**Disclaimer: As a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a free 6 month subscription for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crew Review: Math 911


Oh, Algebra - how I miss and love thee.  Yeah, my kids all think I'm weird too but I can't help it.  I love math!!  I am especially fond of Algebra.  So when the opportunity arose to review Math 911, I raised my hand and waved it back and forth very fast and was chosen.

Math 911 was designed by a fellow Math lover, Professor Martin Weissman, who has taught Math for going on 49 years now.

I started at the beginning with the Introductory Course.  Yes, I started this one.  The children were still on summer vacation and I really wanted to try this one out for myself.  The software has a no frills approach to Math.  It even comes with this disclaimer!

It simply gives you a problem, you answer and if your answer is correct, you move on.  If your answer incorrectly, you will be given more problems until you have complete mastery.  I love this approach and think it is the only way to learn Math.  All too often, I feel students advance on when key concepts have not be learned and then they hit a brick wall and it seems they suddenly become behind in math.  When in reality, they were truly behind all along.

I spent 10 minutes a day on this program.  Here is a screen shot of a problem.  You type in the answer and if you are not correct, you can click the See Solution button to see how to work the problem.  It immediately gives you the correct answer.  You can also see additional screen shots of an older version of the program here.

The great news is you can try out the Complete Introductory Algebra course for FREE by simply clicking on the left side at the website where it says click here in red.  This is a great option to give the product a try before you buy!

(looks like this)

Complete Introductory Algebra Course. Click Here. Download, Install, Run. Free Tech Support: 347-528-7837 

Also available are the left sidebar of the website are fun free pdf downloads introducing math topics such as...

  • Intro To Whole Numbers
  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Multiplication Factors
  • Division of Wholes
  • Intro To The Integers
  • Combine Integers
  • Multiply Divide Integers
  • Combine Like Terms

These pdf's include math instruction and fun cartoons too!

We reviewed the Premier Version of Math 911 which includes Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra (Algebra 2), College Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre Calculus, and Statistics.  This version can be purchased here for $49.95 and includes all the course + free upgrades and technical support.  There is also a premier password version which allows multiple students to enjoy learning too.  There are also networking options available allowing you to use the program on more than one computer.  All of these options are available for $49.95.  Right now you can purchase Math 911 on a flash drive for only $9.95 by using the code homeschool.  I do not know how long this will be available at this price so if you are interested go here now.  Note:  If you purchase the flash drive program, you will have to run the program from the flash drive only.

One more thing that I wanted to mention that applied to our family and Math 911.  I used this program for myself and I loved it but I am a math lover.  I do not believe that it can be used as a stand alone program for my children though.  They need more instruction than what is available using this program. I think it would be a great supplement for them to receive extra math practice.  None of my children, however, inherited my love of math.


Be sure to check out what my fellow crew members thought about Math 911.

**Disclaimer: As a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a free premier version download for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Motivated Moms Planner - $1 off

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month – the disease that claimed the life of the Motivated Moms creator and co-founder, Deann Polanco. 

So in Deann’s honor, you can receive $1 off  when you use the code CURE to purchase your Motivated Moms Planner.  Also, a portion of those sales will be donated to ovarian cancer charities. It will be good for the month of September and can be used towards the 2012 ebook planners

The new 2013 planners will be available for sale on October 1st – ebook, iPhone, and new for 2013 – Android!!   Can't wait!

Week 4 Wrap Up

In my life this week… 

We began our Daniel Fast on Sunday.  The youth of our church are doing it so we joined in to support them.  Only Jonathan and myself are left for the Daniel fast. Stephen has gone to no sweets and Shawn has stopped altogether.  Sarah wasn't doing it.  

It's been a good week, we've had some ups and downs and our systems are definitely cleaned out, lol.  

In our homeschool this week… 

Week 4 and we are doing well, finding our groove still.  Next week our CC community starts back so we will have one less day at home and will have to adjust our schedules for that.  Since MFW usually has a light 5th day, it is not too hard to combine days if we need to. One more week before we break!

Stephen's work collage...

Sarah's Work Collage...

Jonathan's work collage...

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Shawn was home during our school time this week so he got to help out with the science experiment.  Love when the principal can take over.  :)
Here's what you get when you let your teenager have the camera.
What’s working/not working for us… 

So far everything is really going smoothly, thank you Lord!  Next week's new things will be logic for Jonathan and CC day for Stephen and Sarah.

I’m reading… 

  • 1 Peter 1 
  • The Tanglewood's Secret is our Read Aloud book and we love it!
  • We started Beth Moore's study of Esther this week at church too.  I love her studies!

I’m cooking… 

On the Daniel Fast, I have been on a search for recipes.  This broccoli is delish!
Microwave Lemon Garlic Broccoli. Photo by lazyme

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeekly Wrap-Up, MFW Highlights, and Collage Friday.  I love looking at other homeschoolers weeks!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 3 - Happy Birthday Sarah!

School weeks are just flying by!  My plan is for us to take a break every 6th week since Shawn will be off most of those weeks.  So, we only have 2 more weeks before we break!

Things are plugging along smoothly.  The "new" subjects this week were added with ease and so far so good.  

Jonathan began with Apologia's Physical Science and he really enjoyed the 1st week.  I purchased the lab kit available with it to make my life easier and it did just that.  I think my theme this year seems to be - make my life easier. :)

My scientist getting ready for his 1st experiment with atoms and molecules.   

Again, I have to say - love My Father's World -AHL and the plans they have laid out for us.  Jonathan is really doing well this year and I am very proud of his work effort.  He cannot stand school (so he says) but I see it differently when he is passionate about his work.

Next week's "new" subject for him is Math - Teaching Textbooks Algebra.

Stephen and Sarah's week has also gone great.  We are plugging along with our Bible/History reading in Genesis and ended this week with The Flood.  We are also using My Father's World-CTG for our lesson plans with them too.  I make copies of the grid for them and mark their individual subjects like reading, grammar, math, etc on their sheet and they use it for their checklist.  

We completed Week 2 of our Classical Conversations Memory Work.  Until we start with our community next week, we are just simply going over the weeks and doing a little copywork from sheets I printed off of CC Connected.  We can hardly wait to see our friends in our community next week!  Speaking of our community, one of the ladies there introduced me to a new CC resource that I had not heard of.  It is a weekly teaching plan available for Cycle 1 for the first 12 weeks.  I went ahead and ordered that as well.  Again, I'm all about ease this year.  If someone has already done some planning for me, I don't mind just copying theirs instead of trying to reinvent the wheel myself!  With that said - I'm sure there will be some tweaking still on my end.  :)  Next week, we will add in our lapbooks for Cycle 1.

We ended the week with Sarah turning 9!  My baby - 9!!  Time just goes too quickly.  She enjoyed her day by building her present and making her own cupcakes (her request).  

Happy Birthday Sarah!!

The bowl with no sharing!  :)

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeekly Wrap-Up, and Collage Friday.  I love looking at other homeschoolers weeks!