Saturday, August 31, 2013

Farewell....until we meet again at another domain...

Do you know what the problem is with living in a circus?

After awhile, it gets loud.

So loud that sometimes it's hard to think

...or to hear your own writer's voice

...or more importantly the voice of The Savior.

I have been on an incredible journey the past 3 years writing Homeschool Circus.

I have met some incredible people.  I have gotten my hands on some incredible homeschool products and have treasured writing reviews.

In many ways, it's been like a perpetual birthday!

As my children get older, I find that it's easier to homeschool.  What I wasn't prepared for was how much more my actions and activities would affect THEM.

Especially with teens, your actions weigh so much more than words.  It isn't enough for me to tell them how to live.  *I* am their living model.

With that it's time for me to dim the spotlights on Homeschool Circus and send the monkey home in order to concentrate on my calling - to share our homeschool journey.  This time with an emphasis on homelife and less on reviews.

Because I value my time as a curriculum reviewer, this site will remain up.  It is my sincere hope that future visitors will still enjoy and glean from those posts.

As for me and my family, you can catch our journey at Tales of a Homeschool Family all without the fanfare, noise and lights.

Thank you again for visiting, reading and commenting over the years!

In Christ,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming Review

I am an affiliate for Homeschool Programming and this reivew does contain affiliate links.....

This past year, my 14 year old son completed Teen Coder Windows and C# Programming from Homeschool Programming.  He really enjoyed the course, learned a lot and earned 1 electives credit for high school.

Though not as tech savvy, my 12 year old has wanted to learn some programming as well.  So, between my 14, 12 and 10 year olds we reviewed the Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming.

From their website:

KidCoder: Beginning Web Design is the first semester course in the KidCoder Web series. 4th–12th grade students will learn to create their own web pages using HTML. Hands-on fun for all students, young or old!

Topics Covered in this CourseKidCoder: Beginning Web Design
  • Mark-up concepts
  • Website layouts and files
  • Backing up projects
  • Essential HTML symbols
  • Styling of text
  • Using symbols and lists
  • Internal and external hyperlinks
  • Navigation bars and footers
  • Simple CSS effects
  • Spacing and positioning
  • Graphics and image editing
  • Tables

Kid Coder Web Design is created for students between 4-12 grade and retails for $70 for the course only, $85 for the course with video and $20 for the video only. The second semester (Advanced Web Design) is available as a package for $120.


As suspected, my 10 year quickly lost interest.  This wasn't an area she had any desire in pursing.

My 12 year old wanted to learn HTML coding, but had some troubles reading the text for comprehension.  In true auditory learning form, he thrived when instructed by his older brother.

And, as expected, my 14 year old was all over this course!  He loved it!!  He commented that "the step-by-step explanations of concepts are in-depth enough for even younger kids to follow".  He also loved being the one looking over his younger sibling's shoulder giving oral instructions when needed.

The following screen shots are from my boys working together.  This is actual code they wrote in making the web page from Homeschool Programming.

From Chapter 4

Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming Review

Here's what it looks like live:

Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming Review

And, a few chapters later, this is more code....

Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming Review

And the resulting live page:

Kid Coder Beginning Web Design from Homeschool Programming Review


I am moving from Blogger to Wordpress.  Because of this curriculum, my 14 year old was more than able to help me track down some nuance changes in the theme.  What was making me go cross-eyed was a piece of cake for him. It goes without saying that we are Homeschool Programming fans in our home!  My oldest two will continue using this program to further their web skills.

This course also contains chapter tests.  I chose to forgo these tests and have the boys do 'oral presentations' instead.

My only complaint about this program was due to having a downloadable ebook version, getting it up and running was trickier than having a hardcopy in hand to refer to.  I would definitely recommend the printed version!

Look at sample pages  and check out what other crew members are saying!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up - Colonial Times, Leather Britches & Strawberry Fool!

After a much needed blogging vacation, I am back refreshed and ready to start sharing our homeschooling journey once again!

While we weren't present on the blog-o-sphere, we were still very busy.

Since our last wrap up, we've read:

Shock of all shocks - yes, that IS a text book!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

  Worldly Saints was an eye opening look at the Puritans.  My high school son and I both had the wrong impression of this group of people.  If you think they were just a bunch of 'starchy stick-in-the-muds', think again!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

My high school student also read Paradise Lost by John Milton

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

I LOVE being able to study music and art in the context of history.  This is a tremendous aid to retention!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

And.... in case all you thought we did was read, we dove into the Colonial Cookbook again.  This time try our hand at:

Johnny Cakes

Colonial Times & Leather Britches Johnny Cakes

Definitely better eaten warm with butter and real maple syrup.

Colonial Times & Leather Britches Johnny Cakes

Cod Cakes

Colonial Times & Leather Britches Cod Cakes

Though I had to modify the recipe some (I took out the potatoes), it was still tasty!

Brunswick Stew

Colonial Times & Leather Britches Brunswick Stew

No squirrels were harmed.... definitely better eaten the next day!

Strawberry Fool!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches Strawberry Fool

An old rhyme goes:
"Curly-locks, curly-locks, wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine,
but sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feed upon strawberries, sugar, and cream."

Leather Britches

Colonial Times & Leather Britches


Colonial Times & Leather Britches

This is the method the colonist used to dry green beans.  Blanche, string and dry.....

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

Fancy enough to wear.  Just kidding.  In all seriousness,  since we live in a humid part of the world, hanging these to dry isn't going to work.  So, I got out the dehydrator where they are currently sitting.  I'll update their progress next week!

We also celebrated my daughter's 10th birthday!  The boys helped make her a homemade princess cake!  What it may have lacked in looks, it made up for in taste!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

Who are these masked men?  My oldest two at the 3-d showing of Meerkats.

Colonial Times & Leather Britches

Finally, our latest project .... hmmmm... what could it be?  Stay tuned!

Colonial Times & Leather Britches WordPress for Dummies

Now onto preparing for a busy week of Spanish and Science/Writing co-ops that are starting once again!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Step Away from the Computer......

Homeschool Circus is taking a blogging vacation as the head crew member (aka Mom) has been diagnosed with "Media Overload" with symptoms of "Attempting to Juggle it All AND Keep Up with the Joneses over at Blah Blah Blah Blog".

The only cure is prayer, peace, quiet and limited internet.

See you all in about a week!

~The Homeschool Circus Crew!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mega Meal Monday - Easy Chicken Feta

Good Monday!

Looking for another quick and painless freezer meal that's uber tasty?  (As long as you like Feta Cheese! )

Try Chicken Feta....

Mega Meal Monday - Easy Chicken Feta

This recipe can now be found at Tales of a Homeschool Family.