Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lilla Rose Flexi-clip Review and GIVEAWAY!

Festival Fallen Leaf www.lillarose.biz/tresses
If you have a daughter with long hair, you know how difficult it can be to get her hair to stay put all day long.  Equally as difficult is getting a clip or hair tie tight enough to hold a style without pulling a handful of hair out either while putting the hair style up or taking it out.  This is a huge problem for my daughter!

My long-time friend, Heather recently became a Lilla Rose consultant.  She's a stylish and frugal Queen of 9 children - so I knew these clips had to be practical, affordable and feminine.

Meet Heather:

"Blessings to all of you! So thankful to have the opportunity to be an act in Lisa's circus! As a homeschooling mother myself to my 9 blessings, I know the circus life well ;). My name is Heather Mason, and I've known Lisa many years. We even share the same birthday!

I'm so thankful to have found a unique solution to my hair dilemma ;). No time to fix it, tired of cheap plastic claw clips and poky clips that break! Lilla Rose flexi clips are comfortable, beautiful, durable hair jewelry! I feel pretty and "put-together"! My daughters and I have been enjoying new hairstyles and more "good hair days"!!"

I was thrilled to try a clip on my daughter's thick shoulder length hair.  She and I both oohed and ahhed over the selection and decided on the size x-small Festive Fallen Leaf .  Living in the Sunshine State we miss out on the changing colors of fall and this is the best representation to give us a mindset of what we are missing.

Close-up of Tails Up
Tails Up
The clip is gorgeous AND sturdy.  It's easy to use and after a few tries, my daughter was able to use it herself.

We were able to do Half-Up Ponytail, Ponytail, and Tails Up with this size clip in my daughter's very thick hair.   

She really LOVES this clip.  

And,  it stays put in her hair.  Even after an HOUR long Martial Arts class!

Half-Up Ponytail on Mom

Here's the deal!  For the next 7 days, you can enter to win a Lilla Rose Flex-clip of your choice valued at up to $16!  Read the Rafflecopter below for more details and PLEASE check out this short sizing video to help you choose the right size clip.

And, here's another sweet deal!  Buy any 3 clips from Heather's website and receive another clip FREE.  (Value of free clip up to $16).  After ordering your 3 clips, please click on the 'contact your consultant' tab and let Heather know which clip you'd like FREE.  This special expires on August 7, 2012.

****IF RAFFLECOPTER IS DOWN, to enter to win leave a comment on which flexi-clip you'd like to win = 1 entry.  Like Heather's Lilla Rose Fan page = FIVE Entries!  Like Homeschool Circus' Fan page = 2 entries.  Tweet this giveaway = three entires.  Follow Homeschool Circus via GFC, NWB or Google + = 2 entries (Please let me know in your comment how you are following and your id).  YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY TO DO.

Thank you for your understanding while Rafflecopter is down!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a hair clip free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rosie and Scamper Book Review from Sonrise Stable!

"Many modern children's books present a child-centric world where the young protagonist solves all his/her problems on their own.  I've been advised many times to follow that model, but I deliberately choose not to.  I write from my own experience as a conservative Christian and homeschool mother.  The books emphasize strong family ties and positive sibling relationships, which is a strength of the homeschool community."

"God has taught me much about Himself and my relationship to Him through the horses in my life.  I have tried to make those lessons the focal point of the books"
-Author Vicki Watson

Reading the above snippet from the author of the book, Sonrise Stable: Rosie and Scamper , I was sure it would be a hit in our house.

Delightfully heartwarming, Rosie and Scamper is about a budding friendship between two very different girls who are brought together by a love for horses.  Rosie, an eight year old girl whose world revolves around her Grandmother, her horse and the Lord and Carrie a lost but friendly foster child who lives next door to Rosie's Grandmother.

Rosie and ScamperThe author does a wonderful job weaving practical information on horses, with a fun fictional tale centered around family and faith with the ultimate goal of salvation!  Several of the presented situations are linked to scripture.  Such as:  loving your neighbor, fear, God's presence, and angels.

My 8 year old is absolutely horse crazy.  I would not hesitate to give her this book to read.  I know she will love the carefree exchanges between cousins and shared adventure during Cousins Horse Camp, the tenderhearted birth of Scamper, the growing friendship between the two girls and the examples of how God turns bad situations into good.  

"Grandma smiled at them, brushing tears from her eyes.  God had truly blessed her and her family.  Life had its difficulties, but God was there through it all, and He had a way of working all things for good."
I recommend this wholesome book and look forward to reading the second book in The Sonrise Stable  series, Carrie and Bandit.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

The post contains an affiliate link.  That means, should you click on the link and purchase an item, a small portion of the sale goes to this blog.  You are not charged extra.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making a Good Schedule Great!

This year, our homeschool consists of ages 13 (high school), 11 (middle school), 8 (elementary) and almost 3.  This is by far the trickiest year of our 10 year journey.

I received some very wise counsel by a veteran mom who told me our mornings would go much better if I started with my toddler first.

She was right!

Last week, I discovered that if we take 'scheduled' turns with our little bundle of energy,  our DAYS are so much better!

Though we don't have a set start time each morning, here's a basic formula we follow:

My oldest (high school) gets up between 5-6 am to start his work.  It's quiet and he can cruise through his work without hindrance.  (And yes, he thrives on this schedule!) The rest of the crew gets up between 7:30-8:00.

We all eat breakfast together around 8:00-8:30 and we begin our schooling after cleanup.

1st Half Hour
Mom and Nip Napper
Puzzles, Counting and ABC Games
(Oldest 3 kids work independently)
2nd Half Hour
8 year old and Nip Napper
Drawing, Coloring, Painting, Creating
(I do Spelling with 11 year old)
3rd Half Hour
11 year old and Nip Napper
Building - Blocks, Legos, Trains…..
(I do Spelling & Reading with 8 yr old)
4th Half Hour
13 year old and Nip Napper
Story and Snack time
(I continue working with 8 yr old)

The addition of these scheduled play times has made such a difference!  Everyone benefits!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Firmoo - FREE GLASSES for first time customers!

FirmooIt's almost time for back to school (or back to homeschool).  With rising prices, who couldn't use a break!  Firmoo offers seriously discounted quality prescription glasses and sunglasses!

"Firmoo.com is the most popular online eyeglasses store worldwide. Years of expertise in optical industry enable firmoo.com to offer varieties of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses in a frugal way and to be the ultimate fashion events guide. Since the establishment of our company, we have served over 300,000+ customers and now we also have 470,000+ fans on facebook. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices, 85%~90% lower than that in the brick-and-mortar optical stores. Moreover, all our glasses are free for first-time customers." (Customer pays shipping)

Sunglasses from Firmoo

Being from the Sunshine State, sunglasses are a necessity.  But, prescription sunglasses can be pricey.   When I was contacted by Firmoo to try out a pair for free, I jumped at the chance!

My FREE glasses from Firmoo
My FREE glasses from Firmoo!
I ordered the above pair and there was some question about my prescription.  Firmoo's Customer Service contacted me and asked me to clarify a few things.  I was impressed that they double checked the order and just didn't let it slide hoping it was correct.

In about a week, I received an email that the glasses were on their way along with a tracking number.  When I got the glasses, I was overjoyed!!!  What a joy to put on sunglasses that I can clearly see out and drive in.  I am very pleased!

Our family will gladly use Firmoo for our optical needs in the future!

I received a pair of Wrap Around prescription sunglasses free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The King Philips' War Adventure Book Review

I don't know what I love more....

  • The release of the second book in Susan Kilbride's Our America Series....


  • That the series is written by a home-educator....


  • That I really enjoyed a great piece of historical fiction about a topic I previously knew nothing about...

  • That I'm very excited to share this with my 11 and 13 year olds....

The King Philips' War Adventure
Book #2
The King Philips' War Adventure picks up where Pilgrim Adventures leaves off.  Siblings Finn and Ginny are still trying to find their parents who have been lost in time.  Narrowly making it back to the 21st century, brother and sister make a second attempt at time travel.  This time landing separately in 1675.

Read the rest of this review for a truly fabulous book HERE!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Singing Coach Review

Singing Coach SINGINGCoachDo you suffer from Can't-carry-a-tune-itis?

Pitch suffers of the world unite!  There's hope for you yet!

How do I know?

As one who suffers from the above malady, I found relief in SINGINGCoach!

From their website:

How It Works
The concept behind SINGINGCoach is simple: it can be hard to tell if you’re singing in tune! But SINGINGCoach shows you your voice as you sing. Our program uses a patented pitch tracking line technology that analyzes your pitch in real time and shows you if you are too high, too low, or right in tune. It happens so fast you can actually adjust your pitch to correct each note as you sing. With just a little practice you will learn to do it automatically! Your scores will go up to prove it. In very little time, you will sing with confidence and once you are confident your tone will improve.

The Secret IngredientThe secret ingredient of SINGINGCoach is the ability of the software to transpose (that’s a music term for “move up or down”) each song so that it fits comfortably in your vocal range. All you do is select whether you are a high, medium, or low singer (the technical terms are soprano, alto, tenor, etc.) and then the software takes over. It even allows you to slow down a song so that you can learn to sing it in tune at a slower tempo. Once you are confident you can “take it up to tempo.”

Created by brother and sister, Carlo and Alix Franzblau, SingingCoach is a very unique program!!

Our experience:

My children, ages 13, 10, 8 and I couldn't wait to get started. Despite not having a manual to navigate the program, it didn't take long to figure out how to set your vocal range and warm up.  Next, we jumped right in, choosing a beginning song and whether to have the screen view that fine tunes the vocalists singing (showing flat or sharp) or a general "line drawing" across the music which tracks the pitch.

We all had a blast taking turns seeing who could hit the most notes. The program keeps a record of accuracy and tells you how you did at the end of each song. The songs range from beginning, intermediate and advanced so when you are ready for the next level, there are more titles to challenge you.

I have always wanted to learn how to sing,  but lessons were out of the question.  I love that this reasonably priced program gives you instant feedback.  Best of all, my pitch IS improving!

SingingCoach would also make a fun family night activity!

You can also try a FREE trial of SingingCoach Lite.

I received a download of SINGINGCoach free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Teen Coder - Windows Programming Review & Update

Several years ago I came across Homeschool Programming at the FPEA convention.  I was immediately impressed with their Kid Coder Program.

Unfortunately, it was one of those things that got put on the back burner.  One day, my oldest son came to me with a burning desire to learn computer programming - NOW!

We checked out our local virtual school and discovered that he had to be in at least 10th grade and had completed Geometry before taking their class.   Still, he would not be deterred!  Searching out other options, we came across Homeschool Programming once again.  We were both overjoyed to learn that he could begin the Teen Coder for Windows Programming immediately!

"TeenCoder: Windows Programming is our first semester course in the TeenCoder C# series. This course introduces 9th-12th grade students to the C# programming language, Microsoft's cutting edge technology! Students will learn to create graphical Windows applications using object-oriented design concepts."
Homeschool Programming: Programming Activity "Hello World"
Hello, World Programming Activity
He is almost 1/2 way through the first semester.  It has been a welcomed challenge for a gifted math-science oriented student.  He's made great progress through this course pausing just a few times when a new concept "tripped him up".

So far, he's learned the Fundamentals of C#, programming concepts, data types and variables, basic flow, inputs, math functions and working with strings.

Homeschool Programming:  Programming Activity - Jeepers Beepers
Homeschool Programming:  Programming Activity
Jeepers Beepers 
Each lesson consists of 3-4 reading assignments, a chapter review, programming activities and a test.

Admittedly, I'm no Einstein.  I'm grateful to have the answer keys to the tests and to know that if an activity doesn't work it means that something isn't right and my son has to keep working on it.  Another great aspect of this course is if your student is stuck, you can email the company and they WILL get back to you with a helping hand!!

Homeschool Programming - Code Window for Jeepers Beepers
Homeschool Programming - Code Window
Originally I had hoped to move through the course at a chapter every 5 days.  I now see that even though my son has an analytical bent, he needs time for these concepts to sink in.  So, we spread the chapter out over the whole week allowing him to do the Programming Activities and review previous concepts during the weekend when he doesn't have other school work.
Homeschool Programming:  Programming Activity - Tale Tales
End Result for Tall Tales

Using Teen Coder has been a great experience for my 9th grader.  It's an opportunity to learn more about something he loves while having the freedom to move at his own pace.  He's also looking forward to moving on to the second semester Game Programming course.

I received a copy of Teen Coder C# in exchange for an honest review.  I'm also an affiliate.

Carnival of Homeschool: Week 342 - The Change Edition

Carnival of Homeschool from Why Homeschool!

Our family has experienced a lot of changes this year.  The first six months have been pretty packed. For example, our oldest will soon be 18 years old and will "graduated" from Cate Academy.  Our youngest will begin Kindergarten at Cate Academy. 

This spring we moved out of our home for three months while our house underwent a major remodel. (Even two months later I’m still reaching for the light switches where they used to be.) 

Carnival of Homeschooling on Homeschool CircusI took my son on his first Fathers and Sons camp out. 

My work has had some major changes (long story, don't ask) in the first six months of 2012. 

Homeschoolers are used to change. We are frequently in a state of flux. Our plans may change from moment to moment.  So, sit back and enjoy the show while we look at some of the "changes" in this week's Carnival of Homeschooling. 

Carnival of Homeschooling 

Basic Change

Life is often changing, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Mystie reminds us in Real Lifethat interruptions are the point, from Simply Convivial.

Lisa provides us with a glimpse into A day in the life of Homeschool Circus.  This was their first official day of school; see how they organized (schedule) the day and what they did when a major curriculum derailment hit!  Posted at: Homeschool Circus.

Summer changes

Sometimes people think that learning stops when school is out for the summer.  In When Does Learning Stop? Chris reminds us that we learn every day and through that learning we expand our horizons. It is important to help our children experience the joy of learning in different ways so that they will be energized with the quest!  Posted at:  Home School vs. Public School.

Crafting With Kids: Summer Tie-Dye!  shows off a families a tie dye extravaganza just before Independence Day. They had fun, and the shirts were the talk of the neighborhood as they dried on hangers from the dogwood in front of the house.  Posted at:  So Crafty.

Dave shares a recent fun family outing.  They took a hike.  Posted at: Home School Dad.

Advice for Change

Michelle has 10 Money-Saving Homeschool Tips.  My family is a strong believer in her first tip.  Posted at: The Holistic Homeschooler.

After ten years of homeschooling, Kris shares lessons she has learned in 10 Homeschooling Do’s and Don’ts.  Posted at: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Sheila reminds us that We are a work in progress, not perfection.  In all that we do, we should not allow our imperfections to hinder us from hospitality.  Posted at:littleprairiehomeschool.

Paula has some tips on Homeschooling While Moving.  She shares what they’ve done to prepare for a move.  Posted at: Average Housewife.

In Home Spun Vignette #20 Cristina asks answers the questions “Which is more important? A clean house or busy, curious kids?” Posted at: Home Spun Juggling.

Reasons for Change

Homeschooling is perfect for a creative child for so many reasons.  Jimmie and her daughter came up with their Top Ten Reasons to Homeschool a Creative Child.  Posted at: Jimmie’s Collage.

Jan responds to the question: So, Why Do You Homeschool Anyway???  Posted at: Encouraging Moms Who Homeschool.

From South Africa, Nadene explains Why would a school teacher homeschool?, and what made her decide on this journey.  Posted at: Practical Pages.

How to change

Regena explains that Sensory Boxes offer a terrific, hands-on way to explore a large variety of subjects.  They are generally set up to stimulate various senses; work large and fine motor skills; and teach patterning, sequencing, counting, colors, and so forth.  Posted at: Green Apple’s Blush.

Jimmie provides step by step directions for Getting Started with Notebooking.  Posted at:Homegrown Learners.

Anticipating changes

In Using block scheduling in Homeschooling,  Jamie writes about changing up how they homeschool. Block scheduling is a new old trick to use!  Posted at: MomSchool.

And for our humble entry to the carnival, Janine writes about her Summer Reading and reflects on lessons about homeschooling she’s learned over the last thirteen years and her goals for the next year.  Posted at: Why Homeschool.

In Thinking about College and Career Choices, Annie Kate reminds us that planning for the future is not only about a career; it’s about a whole life. Traditional career planning often forgets that simple but crucial fact.  Posted at: Tea Time with Annie Kate.

In Playing Store – Learning to Budget, Karyn provides a fun and simple way to teach children about money and budgeting using play money and play food.  Posted at: Teach Beside Me.

Learning from Change

Susan shares 10 Reasons to be Excited for School her young children came up with.  Posted at: Hopping to It.

In Looking Back and Looking Ahead, Lisa reflects on their first year of implementing the Charlotte Mason methods with some thoughts from here children as well.  Posted at:Olive Plants All Around My Table.

In Nine Disadvantages of Homeschooling, Karen talks about some things that tend to be "negative" about they homeschooling experience.  Posted at: Homeschool Atheist Momma.

Things that don’t change

Faith in God is an unchanging cornerstone for many homeschoolers.

In A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology, Mrs. White reminds us that mothers of old times would spend hours reading the Bible to their children.  Posted at The Legacy of Home.

Nebby shares her thoughts on What Does the Bible Say about Educating Children.  (Part 1Part 2) Posted at: Letters from Nebby.

Phyllis has a thoughtful post about developing habits in our children in What Will Your Children Find You Doing?  Phyllis’ children will find her reading the scriptures.  Posted at:Proclaiming God's Faithfulness.

Books will always be important to homeschoolers.

Alasandra provides us with a short Book Review of Death Run by Jack Higgns, posted atAlasandra’s Homeschool Blog.

Books are an important part of any homeschooler’s diet.  Children’s minds grew and change as they devour new thoughts and stories.  Mindy has some Great Ways to Find Affordable Books, posted at DenSchool.

For generations, little boys have been making paper airplanes.  

Dave shares videos of his son showing How to Make A Paper Airplane.  Posted at: Dave Out Loud.

Carnival of Homeschooling on Homeschool Circus 

If you have enjoyed this carnival, please spread the word. Please mention the carnival on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other appropriate places. You can also help promote the carnival by adding the carnival images. Learn how by going here.

Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

Next week the carnival will be held at Raising Real Men.

If you are interested in submitting a post for a future carnival, click here for information.

We thank everyone who has helped out. Thank you to all the participants in this carnival. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apologia Biology Flash Cards from Knowledge Box Central!

As a busy homeschool Mom of 4, I am all for making prep work easier!  These Apologia Biology Flash Cards from Knowledge Box Central are simply WONDERFUL!!

Apologia Exploring Creation With Biology 2nd Edition from Knowledge Box CentralJust follow the easy printing instructions.  Print out a module at a time or all 16 at once onto card stock for your Creation Biology student to study.  All vocabulary words from the book are included.

It's that simple and almost like having an extra pair of hands - and a few extra minutes to boot!

View a sample of this very affordable option for your homeschool!

Knowledge Box Central also makes flash cards for all Apologia Middle School and High School sciences AND lapbooks for ALL levels.

See their full catalog HERE.

I received a downloadable version of these cards in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

John Audubon, Young Naturalist Book Review!

We've read many biographies in our household.  The Young Patriots Series stands out in this genre because it concentrates on the childhood of American heroes and heroines.  Revealing the *spark* of discovery that molded them into the remarkable adults that history remembers.

John Audubon, Young Naturalist Patria Press Book Review
John Audubon
Picking up John Audubon, Young Naturalist, I was instantly swept into his enthusiasm and engaged in a world where I too saw birds differently.  Even his desire for his nature drawings to be "free, alive and moving" was infectious.

I can not wait to share Jean Jacques' early days in Haiti to a farm in Pennsylvania and beyond with my children!  This year we are studying Flying Creatures and I know the addition of this masterful, artistic, preserver of flying nature will only augment their learning!

In fact, Patria Press includes FREE downloadable Teachers' Guides and Webquests   packed with additional learning opportunities for each of the 14 titles in this series!  This would make a perfect activity for summer reading!

I am very pleased with this book and downloadable Teachers' guide.  I will definitely be incorporating more of these book in our future homeschool lessons!

I received a copy of John Audubon free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heavens Above - Christian App Created by a Homeschool Dad!

Heaven's Above from Digital Worship Created by a Homeschool Dad!
Heaven's Above from Digital Worship 
In the day, we see blue skies, grey skies, clouds, and the all-powerful sun. At night? The vastness of space. The stars, oh so many stars! The moon, a witness to days and seasons and a producer of tides. And other planets, like ours, and yet not like ours, helping us discern our specialness in the universe.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1

Heavens Above is a new iPad app which will help you see God's glory! Designed by a Homeschool Dad, this app is a presentation of 77 space photos gleaned from Hubble Space Telescope and paired with Bible verses on the theme of God's glory. Use them in your devotional time to meditate on God's vast power, His grace, His majesty, and His creativity. Choose one picture a day, or play them all, one after another, like a slide show. You could play your favorite praise music behind the scenes to add to the mood of worship.

Heavens Above includes an amazing image index showing all 77 photos at once, plus a list of definitions to help you identify a spiral galaxy from a globular cluster. The verse index allows you to scroll through all the pictures and their Bible verses.

77 Space Images paired with Bible Verses
77 Space Images paired with Bible Verses

This is the 3rd app produced by, Digital Worship. Click to go to the website to see this or his other apps, Dad's Prayers (a FREE devotional) and Bible Shuffle (a fun and educational game). Or, go straight to the Apple store and purchase for only $0.99!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Marie's Words from Timberdoodle

Marie's Words
The box says "This learning tool delivers an easier way to learn and retain word meanings, attain success on exams and improve diction for both writing and speaking."

But we say, "This is family fun in a box!"

http://www.timberdoodle.com/Marie_s_Words_p/828-828.htm?utm_source=upatdawnreadytowork&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=MariesWords Marie's Words

Consisting of 550 picture cards, Marie's Words will help your child "decode" and remember words used in literature and standardized tests.

Created by a high school junior studying for the SAT exam, these cards also provide correct pronunciations, definitions, synonyms, antonyms and sentences structured to SAT standards.

Playing "Picture Words" with just the kids (ages 13, 10 and 8) wasn't much of a challenge for my oldest.  Enter Daddy into the mix and then it became a friendly battle for dominance!

http://www.timberdoodle.com/Marie_s_Words_p/828-828.htm?utm_source=upatdawnreadytowork&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=MariesWords Playing Picture Words
Playing Picture Words

http://www.timberdoodle.com/Marie_s_Words_p/828-828.htm?utm_source=upatdawnreadytowork&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=MariesWords playing picture words
Playing Picture Words too!

This multi-aged game is played like this:  Any number of cards are place picture side up on the table.  One person goes at a time and tries to guess the meaning of the word.  The definition is read and the group decides if the player is correct or not.  If he is, he gets a point.  If not, the card goes text-up onto the table.  Extra points can be given for antonyms and usage as well.

http://www.timberdoodle.com/Marie_s_Words_p/828-828.htm?utm_source=upatdawnreadytowork&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=MariesWordsAnother game that can be played with older kids is called, "Wordsmith".  The Wordsmith pulls a random card from the box and reads the pronunciation, part of speech and definition aloud.  Each player writes a sentence using this word and gives it to the Wordsmith.   The Wordsmith then reads all the sentences out loud.  A player can earn a point by choosing the correct sentence (that is the sentence on the card) and additional points everytime someone chooses the sentence that they wrote.  The player with the most points wins.

Check out Marie's Words to help expand vocabulary while having fun!

Would you like to know more about Timberdoodle's other wonderful curriculum and products?  Sign up to receive a Free Homeschool Catalog.  And, you can visit Timberdoodle on Facebook.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Marie's Words in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sailing with Four Generations - Seabird Unit Study

A map showing Seabird's exploits around the world
While my oldest met up with the Cat of Bubastes (again), learned how to bisect angles and wrote his heart out, my middle two finished up Seabird by Holling C. Holling, which is from the Beautiful Feet  Geography Unit Study. 

A map showing Seabird's exploits around the world.  All routes and labeling done by my 8 and 11 year olds.

One of the best investments I made with this particular unit study was to laminate the maps.  Not only can they be used again, but, when a mistake happens, it's not a big deal to correct it!

My daughter's version of a whaling ship

My daughter's version of a whaling ship.  Artistic license fully extended!

'Seabird Book'

I compiled their copywork, vocabulary, and drawn pictures into a special 'Seabird Book'. The 'bark' shown on the cover is similar to the whaling ship Seabird was created on.

Hand-drawn and labeled Anchor
Hand-drawn and labeled Anchor

Banana Tree
Banana Tree

Scrimsaw Carving
Scrimsaw Carving 

This unit study has got to be hands-down the BEST we've done in our homeschool journey.  If you are interested in learning Geography alongside literature, Holling C. Holling and Beautiful Feet make a wonderful team!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Grand Canyon Lapbook Review and GIVEAWAY!

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.What a pleasure it was to review another quality lapbook from In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.

What is a lapbook?

In a nutshell, a lapbook is a hands-on learning tool that enables each child to recount what they've learned about a particular subject in a creative style with a written narration as they go.  Each fact is noted on a creative paper cut-out that will be affixed to a specially folded file set.  When finished, the student has a permanent record of their work.

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.
One section of a finished lapbook

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.
Second section of a finished lapbook

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.
Fun and easy to do!  Lapbooking is for all ages!

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.
All this information folded up into an easy to store file-folder!
First, make copies of the activity pages, gather pens, pencils, scissors, glue sticks and a stapler.  You are now ready to start your journey!  Just follow the included schedule and read the assigned information pages followed by the corresponding activity pages. All the directions that you need are included!  Yes, it's THAT easy!

The beginning of this guide takes the student through the creation, history and location of the Grand Canyon with a look at the ecology of the area all with a Biblical Worldview.  This lapbook works well as a stand alone study -OR- along side another curriculum.

We are not strangers to lapbooking.  The beautiful thing about this hands-on style of learning is that it is so flexible.  We've done lapbooks on plain paper, colored paper, written then all out first before affixing to the folder and on and on.  This time we chose to cut out all the activities and paste them onto the folders first before writing the answers.

Working through the study, my children answered questions such as:

*How did God create the Grand Canyon?

*What three factors cause the Canyon to continue to change and erode? Give two examples of the erosion process.

*What did Major John Wesley Powell and his expedition team do?

*Describe a butte, mesa and valley.

And much more!

In the Hands of a Child also gives you the option of making the elements easier (for younger children) or more difficult (for older).  The Grand Canyon lapbook is targeted for grades 3-6.  But, you can add to it for older children or scale it back for younger.

In the Hands of a Child.  This time, my 8 and 11 year olds and I put our hands to work assembling The Grand Canyon From a Creationist Perspective.
For younger students - cut and paste or trace and paste answers.

View a sample lesson .  And, if you prefer Notebooking, this study also comes in Note Pack form.  View a sample of the note pack.

If you've never tried this method of learning, you owe it to your homeschool to try!

In fact - you can enter to win a copy!

One blessed winner will receive a downloadable version of The Grand Canyon from a Creationist Perspective !

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of The Grand Canyon from a Creationist Perspective free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Esther Bible Study Review and 20% Coupon Code

"Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a times as this"?  Esther  4:14

Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies
Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies
Are you looking for an eye-catching, interactive way to study the Bible with your family?

Grapevine Bible Studies employ a unique method of 'stick figuring' to draw the student in and help them remember Biblical truths.  Plus - it's easy on the teacher/parent.  A degree in art or theology is not necessary!

I again had the privilege to review another great multi-level Bible Study product from Grapevine Studies that my family really enjoyed, Esther.

"Grapevine Studies teaches the Bible as if it were a puzzle, doing the frame first. Once the framework is in place (the timeline) then individual pieces (Bible passages, characters, and events) are much easier to place and understand in the context of the "whole puzzle" (the whole counsel of the Word of God).

This study will begin by teaching the timeline of the book of Esther. Students study each lesson by reading passages from the Bible and drawing (or taking notes on) each section of Scripture, using what we at Grapevine Studies call stick figuring. Stick figuring is using stick figures, symbols, colors, charts, and words to illustrate each Bible passage. This method allows students to interact with the Bible passage and be as creative as they desire. At the end of each lesson a set of review questions is given to ensure that students have grasped the essentials of the passage (the who, what, where, when, why, and how). Application of the lesson is for the teacher to determine based upon prayer, the class, the needs of individual students, and what that teacher feels the Lord has led him to emphasize. Each lesson ends with a Bible memory verse that is related to the lesson and the timeline."

Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies
Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies

What I love about these studies is that the lesson plans are all laid out for you.  All you need is a Bible, white board and markers, copies from the student guide and colored pencils.  You can do this study weekly or daily - either 9 weekly or 32 daily lessons.  How you divide up the lessons is completely up to each family.

Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies
Esther Bible Study from Grapevine Bible Studies

"Travel back in time with your children and teens as they study the book of Esther. Bible students will begin their in the ancient Persian Empire, as King Ahasuersus banishes Queen Vashti and begins a search for a new queen. Watch as a beautiful young Jewish woman named Esther becomes the new queen. Learn how God used the courage of Esther to save her people from an evil plot to kill them all. Discover how God used the creativity of Mordecai and Queen Esther to defend the Jews from Haman's destruction. Finally, teach your students how the celebration of Purim became a yearly holiday!"

Step by step, Esther covers:
Queen VashtiNew Queen
For Such a time
The Banquet
The Defnse

And, we especially liked the question "What do we learn about God from these verses?" posed at the end of each section. Because this book of the Bible doesn't specifically mention God, it made us all think a little harder about His character in the midst of Esther's struggle.

As a special summertime promotion, order from Grapevine studies until July 15 and receive 20% your ENTIRE order using coupon code: SummerBlog12

I received a copy of Esther Bible Study free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Rendition of a Whaling Ship and Adding to the Toddler Arsenal!

Additional reading about Whaling boats
Additional reading about Whaling boats
While my oldest dissected The Epic of Gilgamesh, mapped the ancient world, stormed the castles of Geometry and Computer Science and held a really good attitude about an intensive 'Writing Intensive', my middle two meandered through our Seabird Unit Study.

After additional reading on Whaling boats, my 8 and 11 year olds set to making their own rendition....well, let's just say due to technical difficulties it's a 'loose' rendition.  But, they tried.  The boat to my left is my son's.  My daughter's is 'in the shop' for some repair work.

Hard at work first painting his ship and then assembling.

Hard at work first painting his ship and then assembling.
Paint daubers are wonderful for toddlers!
Paint daubers are wonderful for toddlers!

 The Nip Napper was not to be left out of painting fun!  Forgoing the messiness of 'free-style painting', he's using paint daubers instead.

And "my" newest find to add to the Toddler Arsenal..... a regular old plastic piggy bank and counting chips.  As long as your toddler isn't putting the chips into his/her mouth, this is a fun way to work on fine motor skills ---- and keeps 'em busy too!

Hard at work first painting his ship and then assembling.
Hard at work first painting his ship and then assembling.

Read more about keeping toddlers busy:
Homeschooling Older Kids with Toddlers in Tow Part 1
Homeschooling Older Kids with Toddlers in Tow Part 2