Monday, January 14, 2013


I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beautiful Children's Multilingual FREE Online books

I found a cool site this past week while browsing for Spanish children's books. This site has lots of beautiful children's books in lots of languages. Some are even bilingual to help teach another language. I plan on using this site this year to go along with our Spanish curriculum.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

For the month of November I will be posting Thankful Thursday instead of Wordless Wednesday.
Thankful Tree

Each day of November we will be adding a leaf to our tree with something we are thankful for on it.  We will spend time in prayer over these items as well each day.  In order from oldest to youngest child and then me. 

Day 1-

Day 2-

Day 3-
My family
God's Love
 Potato Soup

Friday, October 28, 2011

Serving Others- Nursing home Treating

As part of our home school journey I like to do service projects.  Today we did one close to my heart.  Our home school group had a "Treating" at the nursing home my grandmother is in.   All the kids dressed in costumes and brought treats to the residents. 

To prepare for today we needed to create our "treats".  My kids wanted to make flowers so we took it a step further and made vases out of old water bottles.

We raided my recycle art bin and started removing labels.

 After the kids removed the labels they started putting paint inside the bottle.  They added a little water to help it spread better since it was a thicker paint.

 Then they added some glitter and  the lid goes on. 

 It is time to SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE.  Spread that paint all over the inside and completely cover the bottle on the inside. 
 After that we took all the lids off and let the bottles dry upside down in a box (with packing paper inside to catch excess drips).
The next night they took the bottles and glued (hot glue and tacky glue) buttons, sequins, feathers and tissue paper on the outside to decorate their vases.  A few they left plain.  
We also created flowers out of foam, felt, buttons, pretty paper, beads and pipe cleaners.  The paper and foam flowers were pretty simple.  I cut petal shapes out of the paper and foam. We then hole punched the center (if a double petal) or end and threaded it on our stem.  The center of these flowers were silver beads the kids colored. 

For the felt one's I found a flower template online and cut flowers out of the felt.  The kids then layered their flowers and cut two tiny slits in the center of each one.  They then threaded the pipe cleaner through one side of each flower.  For the center they used buttons or beads.  They threaded the pipe cleaner through the buttons (also layered).  The kids then threaded the pipe cleaner back through the other side of the button and back down through all the layers of buttons flowers.  Once back to the long stem they twisted at the top and laid it flat against the flower.  This helps the flower stand up.  

 I printed out little cards that said "Bringing you a little sunshine!" on cardstock.  My oldest cut these out with decorative scissors and I put two hole punches in them.  We then threaded it onto our "stem" (pipe cleaner) of each flower.  The finished product was a deorative vase with a pretty handmade flower and card.  

 The next project we made was rainbow cards.  These were very simple.  We used construction paper cut in half, glue and tissue paper.

 The finished project was a tissue paper rainbow (this one is upside down).  Each one of these was unique. 

This morning the kids were so exited to go and pass out gifts to the residents at the nursing home.  They really had the spirit of this project in their hearts.

 At the nursing home we met at the front for our group and the activity director.   My kids got ready to start passing out gifts.  My oldest was going to hand out vases with flowers, son was handing the rainbows and youngest was giving candy. 

 The activity director then took us around to the area's we were going to pass out "treats".  The first area we came too everyone was ready and waiting.  They had buckets to collect their goodies.   The kids did a great job going around to each person and passing things out.  My youngest was confused with this and stood by me most of the time.  You can see my oldest in the pink hoody and son in black passing out items.

 The residents really enjoyed seeing the kids.  The children did GREAT.  They gave hugs, passed out goodies and even accepted the candy some of the residents handed them.

 We then all started walking down the halls to the other side of the home where my grandmother is.  That side was holding a Catholic Mass so we just went to the rooms.

 Here is a photo of my grandmother greeting my son and daughter.  She is unable to leave her room or bed.  She cannot move the right side of her body, speak or talk.  However she adores the children.  She really enjoyed not only seeing my kids come in but our friends come in.

 We continued to pass out goodies into the rooms and the residents were so grateful.

I saw first hand how much this service project touched those that live here.  When I came back later in the day many of the staff and residents thanked us for coming that morning.  The smiles on their faces was priceless.  Many of these people are terminal or just forgotten.  They are left here without people visiting them.  Yes they have activities but that one on one contact with children is often no longer there. 

 I am so blessed to be a part of a Christ Centered group that wants to teach our children to put others before themselves.  I love that we were able to turn Halloween it into something fun and exciting for not only our children but for the elderly.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Introductory lessons to the Solar System & the Sun

 This year for Science we are studying Apologia Astronomy.  My kids really wanted to learn about the solar system this year and were so excited about outer space.  I picked this curriculum because I wanted something that emphasized how incredible God is in everything he created.  Apologia so far has not disappointed.  
The first week we were introduced to our solar system and everything in it.   The kids then sat down and drew the solar system using chalk pastels.  They had a blast doing this.  The Sun is so huge that it only is on the corner of the page with most of it off the page.   We discussed how large the Sun is compared to the planets.  We also discussed the size of each of the planets.  I think the kids did a pretty good job trying to draw the Solar System to scale. 
 As the kids drew we discussed what would happen if the Earth was closer to the Sun or further away than we are now.  I was told if we were closer the Earth would be hotter and if we were further we would be colder.  We also talked about what would happen if one of the planets got off orbit.  Matthew told me it would mess up all the other planets do to the gravitational pull!  I was impressed he picked this up just from one reading. 
We read "The Planets in our Solar System" to help reinforce what we learned. 
After we got done drawing our Solar System we used balloons and pom poms to create our own Solar System on our school wall.  This also gave the kids a visual for the difference in sizes.  Especially planet Earth compared to the Sun. 

The next week we discussed the Sun as a star and how powerful it is.  We read "The Sun our Nearest Star" as part of our read out loud that week.  

We then went outside and melted frozen chocolate with a magnify glass and burnt holes in leaves.  We discussed how our eye has a lens like a magnify glass and if we look at the Sun it can hurt our retina just like it burns the leaf. 

We also spent time discussing the difference in power with the magnify glass close to the leaf and far away from the leaf.  The kids noticed they had more power the smaller the light on the leaf or chocolate.  They really enjoyed making the leaf smoke.   Ever since we did this project they discuss how we should not look at the Sun when we go outside. 

I needed to add a picture of my baby girl and her Solar System that she was so proud of! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spanish in the School of Monkeys

In the School of Monkeys we use several tools in helping us learn Spanish. 
La Clase Divertida Level 1  comes complete in a box with craft supplies, workbooks for 2 kids, teachers guide, DVD lessons and CD with pronunciation.  My children love sitting down and watching each lesson.  The fabulous part is the Mexico history lessons and crafts/cooking lessons that go along with it. 

We use I can learn Spanish and English  for vocabulary.  Each page has 3-4 vocabulary words and this is a big spiral notebook.  I have my children write down each word in English and Spanish in a Spanish vocab notebook.  They review these words over the week until they know them.  We learn about 9 new words a week.   I also make flash cards with the Spanish word on one side and English word on the other.  I laminate these cards and put them on a ring to keep them all together. 

The last thing that I use in order to get Spanish in is English/Spanish story books.  We get books at the bookstore, library and make some.  I got a PDF book off of that has 12 books to color and make.  We do one book every week to every other week and learn new vocabulary through these.  I try to pick books that go along with what we are learning in our DVD lessons. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

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When teaching my son Matthew how to read he would not want to sit down and do a lesson.  He just had an issue with reading books or using phonics cards.  Something about the paper and act of reading bothered him.  He did not want to do it.  He however LOVES computer games so I thought I would try to "trick" him into learning to read.

I did a google search and found ClickN KIDS.  They offered a free trial so I signed up to try it.  The game is set in outer space and really looked like it was up his ally.  He did not want to go away from the computer! It was fabulous.  No more fighting, tears or frustration.  He would sit down do his lessons and actually was retaining the information.  I bought a lifetime membership the first day.   What I love is that ClickN READ keeps reports of what he is doing.  At anytime I can log in and see exactly what he is doing good at and what he is struggling at.    If I feel like he did not do well on a level I have him redo it.    Reading is now fun for him and he no longer fights sitting down to read a book or play a phonics game.  I highly recommend this program for kids that are struggling with reading and getting frustrated easily. 

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