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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good Friday Skit

I came Across this skit this morning. It is Awesome. I don't really
have words.

Easter Crafts 2013

Every year I work hard to prepare several tables of Easter Crafts for the
kids of our church. This is this years round up of activities. You can easily
create these at home. 

The first is an Easter basket made from Chinese food boxes. I found these
at our local craft store for 29 Cents. each. I sat out stickers, sequins anything
the kids  might like to put on their baskets. Then we stuff them with Easter grass.

Easter Egg necklaces - Purchase a pack of Easter foam shapes. I found a
large tub on sale for $5. I punched two holes in the foam eggs so that you can
see them when you lace. You will need beads and plastic string as well.
Make sure you tie those ends tight you don't want beads all over your house. 

It's time to celebrate Jesus Life. How about some Maracas to shake while the
kids jump up and down and yell Jesus has risen. Fill and egg with beans. Then I
used color duct tape to wrap about the spoon and egg. My daughter then added some
little stickers to her maracas. We cut our duct tape in half so the other half went
to cutting and adding some ribbon to the bottom. Now we have a fun celebration tool.

Christ means a new life for us. We made this fun chick with a small yellow plate.
Then we glued on yellow Easter grass. I cut out beaks and legs for our chicks so
the kids just had to glue them on. They added wiggle eyes and feathers to their liking.

I got this great cross idea from DaniellesPlace. You can find an example
of the Cross Craft at her site. You do need to be a member to download patterns
and print them off. The price is very reasonable. Its the price of a regular magazine
subscription. I use mine on a regular basis. My kids loved this one.

This craft below also came from DaniellesPlace. I used a combination of her
story telling eggs and the palm wreath craft to make these. Search around her site
it is Amazing. 

Warm Blessings,


Friday, March 29, 2013

5 on Friday

5 Fact Friday

I'm Linking up with Pebble and a Pond for 5 fun Facts on Friday.
Welcome to my Good Friday Edition.

1. Every year on Good Friday my family heads out to an Easter Gathering hosted by
my dads work. He's retired now so it makes it all the more special for him. We all love our
Pap. We would do anything for him including smashing into a tiny hall with over 100 people
really just for this photo. Every year there MUST be a picture with the kids and the Easter
bunny. My dad is present in every single one. All the children in this years photo belong to me.
On occasion we bring others with us. It touches my heart all the more since dad had a heart
attack this year. We are Thanking God that he is in this years photo.

2. Easter is a big event in our family, I am staff at our church so it requires more of my
time in ministry. This year I did not put out one Easter decoration and yet they seemed
to form on top of our TV center without me doing a thing. The lantern with the birds was
a Christmas gift from my oldest daughter. The bunny items came from my mom and my
son made the paper bunny.

3. Every year we dye Easter Eggs with Hinkle's Dye. If you didn't know
Hinkle is my last name. They kids hands are usually colored for a week
but they love doing it . Even though the older kids complained through
the entire process, they sat around and waited for a second batch of eggs.

4. Each Easter I host our Churches Easter Activities. This year we 
have three trash bags of plastic eggs with treats hidden inside, 5 crafting
activities, 1 cookie decorating activity , 25-30 registered to play with us
and 10 volunteers for help. This is the last bag to go to the church. The
pile is in my closet in the nursery waiting to be set up tonight.
Glue and food really I noticed that and separated it. 

5. Last but definitely not least is that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
This day is completely for and to Him. We might play with bunnies
and giggle with the kids over eggs but our Hearts are always for HIM!!
Thank you Jesus for laying down Your life to SAVE ME.

Warm Blessings,


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Math Game

I found the best idea for an Easter Math game for my kids.
I found these Easter bunny trays at Walmart for only I believe it was under $2.
What I noticed is that each tray has ten egg spaces. Just like a tens frame!
I then found bunnies that came in a game to play jacks and I also bought an
egg holder for grabbing the bunnies. My preschooler used the bunny grips to
work on strengthening her hands for prewriting. Once she had all the bunnies
in we counted to ten. She is already counting objects to ten so I bought a few
more trays so we could get to 20.

With my first grader we practiced subtraction facts less than 20 using the bunny trays or
you could work on addition facts. I bought extra trays and extra bunnies for when we
begin working with higher numbers. You could also use addition /subtraction dice to
play the game.  I also bought some for when we dye our eggs. We like to use the egg dye
that you use with a cotton swab to color your eggs. Often the eggs are to hot for the
younger children. This will be an easy way for them to paint their eggs. Love them!!!
I may have to go back and get more at the after Easter sales.


Warm Blessings,



Spring and the Study of Trees

Spring has not quite sprung where we live. Just a few days ago we
were covered in about 4 inches of snow. I'm hoping that is the extent
of that type of weather for the year. I'm ready for brighter skies and
warmer weather. In anticipation of the warm weather we did a little study
on painting trees. I also threw in there a project Spirit did on water lilies.
I talked a little with my son about the different types of trees and then
sent him on his way to paint his own. He was allowed to paint any
tree he wanted to and soon just about everyone in the house was painting
trees. I love what the tree represents to me. It reveals God's natural
beauty and his love for us. I just love some of the stories that surround
trees like the Might Oak and the giving Tree.

Water Color by Spirit age 7

Painting by Princess age 3

Second painting by Spirit age 7  I secretly love this one
and want to frame it and put it in our hallway.

Water lilies Sprit age 7

Superboy (aka Brett hee hee) Age 13
He's starting to use some shading techniques.

Happy Spring !! I hope that your days are not filled with snow like ours
unless you are still enjoying it of course.

Warm blessings,


Monday, March 25, 2013

Reflections of Rosalyn by Theresa Franklin

Reflections of Rosalyn  can be purchased on
Amazon for kindle for only $5.95
You can connect to the author on her blog
called the Reading Section.  You may also like to
connect with Theresa Franklin on Twitter.

I received this free copy of Reflections of Rosalyn to review
from the CWA review Crew.

Reflections of Rosalyn begins with a women who has been recently
widowed. She reaches to God and begins to handle the grief within her.
As she works through this difficult time she begins to reflect on her life.
Like pictures of time from her memory Rosalyn shares those moments in
her life that have defined and taught her lessons that God had laid out before
her. As a young girl she struggles with a mother who has become so angry
and withdrawn that she has become militant within her parenting style.
Rosalyn makes that one mistake that she knows her mother will not
be able to forget, she is pregnant. This young girl steps out of her
comfort zone and chooses her course in life.

I pause here. I am on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen
next to this young girl. It is so sad to me that this girl does not have
the support of her family. I think of my own girls and how hard it would
be if they did not have that unconditional love to get through any life experience.
Yet I can see how this one act in this young girls life began to shape who she
would one day become. Something her mother never could seem to reach.
God always has a plan for our lives.
Rosalyn steps out into the large wide world we live in and soon discovers
that not every person has good intentions. Her mother taught her well
in some ways as she knows right where to find help. A pastor reaches out
to her and sets her up working in a nursing home while she awaits the arrival
of her baby. Will Rosie be able to make it through all the hard times? Will
she be able to handle a new baby? What will become of her and what about the
father of the child? All these questions and more will be answered if you
pick up your own copy of Reflections of Rosalyn.

I thought it very clever that the writer takes Rosalyn to a nursing home to
help her begin her family. I can't think of a better place than a home
with all those grandparents. I like how the author transports you from
real time to her memory. You can distinctly tell when she is taking you
back into the story. I could hardly wait each time for each new reveal of
Rosalyn's growing up period. Without giving away to much of the story ,
I did have a hard time with the issue of the father in this story. I know that
acts such as this do occur with authority figures. Yet in this day I don't
think we want to actualize that into a fairy tale, but the ending outweighed that .
 I personally loved this book and would recommend it to any of my adult
friends. I would even hand this story to my teen daughter as a discussion on
 teen pregnancy , authority figures overstepping their bounds, and
what to watch for.

I give this story an A+ and encourage you to pick up your copy today.

Warm blessings,



I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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- Christian Women Reviewing

Classic alAcademic Press - The Art of Poetry


I was given for review the Book
The Art of Poetrythe Teachers edition
 and the first two lessons on CD  as a member of the Old
Schoolhouse Review Team. This is a product from
Classical Academic Press.  You can purchase  The Art of Poetry
for $24.94 and the Teachers Edition  for $29.95.
The Art of Poetry DVD set is listed on the website as $89.95 but
as of April 1st the DVD set will be reduced to $69.95. If you want them
all  you can save. Get the whole Art of Poetry Bundle for $124.99
or if you wait till April 1st the price will be reduced to $99.95

Suggested Age level
These lessons can be used with  High School and possibly Middle School
children. If adjusted the poems could be shared with younger students as well.
I have been using the Art of poetry with my High school daughter and
middle school son but have varied how it is used with each child.
My daughter is working from the beginning of the book and my son
is picking and choosing poems to read together.

What is covered
The first 8 chapters of the Art of Poetry begins with the teaching of the
elements of poetry. Your student will learn about imagery, metaphor,
symbols, words, sound, rhythm, stanza and tone. In chapters 9 though 15
you will learn about the formal history of Poetry such as genres, verse form,
shaping forms, Emily Dickinson case study, open verse, Walt Whitman
(my favorite) and narrative poems. Chapter 16 gives you ideas  to
grow your child's interest in poetry with journals, workshops, poetry slams
summer camps, workshops and so on.

How the book can be used.
The writers of the art of Poetry suggest that you use the book in various
ways picking and choosing which sections to work on. They suggest
possibly doing an intense month long unit. Another option is to work on
two sections per month  or two weeks for each section. This book could
be used within your school for a few years spreading it out through the
course of their education picking out the key points you'd like to highlight
with each level of your child's education.

Lesson format
The lessons are set up with an explanation of the main element or topic.
Then you are given a few poems to select for your reading enjoyment
along with a few question to ask your student. The next section is a list of
suggested activities that you can do along with the poetry readings. Along
with this is a companion Cd which is just like having a class discussion on the
poems right in your own home. The last page of the lesson is a list of necessary
vocabulary that your child will  learn as they go through the readings.

The Teachers Edition
The teachers edition explains 37 of the books poems and gives you answers to
the questions. You will also receive a supplemental poetry timeline, quiz for
each chapter and the confidence you need to implement the poetry lessons.

How we are using it and our thoughts
With my high school daughter we are working from the beginning of the
book and going through the lessons a few at a time. We are taking it slow
sprinkling the lessons throughout her regular grammar course study.
My daughter has had a poetry journal since she was a very little girl. It's
really fun to look back at some of the poems she wrote and how much she
has developed over the years. She enjoys reading Edgar Allen Poe for fun.
It will be fun to introduce her to other poets that she may come to love. I
have always loved Walt Whitman myself and remember discovering poetry
when I was young. We really enjoyed the first lesson on imagery and did
many of the activities related to the lessons along with the poetry. I admit
to doing some of the lesson in a private journal myself. I'm really enjoying
the lessons along with her. I must say that I absolutely loved the DVD
it was like taking her to a poetry discussion. At times I'd pause the video
to see what her response might be. We had some great discussion on our own
and then pressed play to see what the children on the video had to share.
You do not need the DVD's for the course but I highly recommend them
In particular if you struggle with poetry yourself.  I thought I'd share an
activity with you. Take 5 minutes and free write about an image from one
of the season. I thought I'd include an image for you. This is from my
journal my daughter feels her writing is to personal to share but I wanted
to give you an example.

(photo taken by my oldest Daughter Heart in Key Largo Florida)

The heat of the summer washing over my skin warming my soul.
Sand coarsely massaging my feet. Dipping them deep into the
cool dampness reigniting through my soul. The brightness of the
sun makes me shade my eyes and squint up to its hold on me.
The ocean waves swell and swirl  along with the beating of my
heart. It pours and drips onto this earth digging into its being.
The sky is open to God's holy grace and I sit in wonder at the
blue the vastness of this place. The clouds billow in beauty and
whisper the most highs name. It is a precious tabernacle laid out
just for the people silently walking in awe along the waters edge.
I want to dip my hands into the color of the world. The blues, pinks
and yellows. Hold them in my hands. Then wash them clean
with the salt of this earth. God is so gracious.

Warm blessings,



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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Homeschool Mother

I was asked recently from a public school teacher what it is we do
all day long. She just couldn't fathom how a mother could handle
teaching her children at home because she felt that her own children
wouldn't learn as well with her compared to a stranger. It was funny,
 I had a hard time understanding her thinking and she had
a hard time understanding mine. Homeschoolers are often
misunderstood. You can't always completely understand something
you do not do. You might get an idea from someone telling you but really
it's difficult to know until you are there digging in with both hands and
feet to know what it is really like to be a Mother who homeschools.

Right away when we think of the job itself we will look to the children
and rightfully so. We want what is best for our families. We wouldn't be
schooling at home if they weren't a main focus to our family. I've seen
many a photo on different blogs showing a day in the life of the
homeschooler. I got to thinking what if to explain it to a public
school teacher I showed them in away that is more closer to home.
What if I told you what it's like to be a Mother who homeschools.

1. A Child's Heart - If you are a non homeschooling mother this is
of importance to you too. As a homeschool mother my first and foremost
thought is my child's heart. I want my children to have a love for Jesus.
Love God, be gentle, and be careful with others feelings. This is a hard job
for every mother. It requires a lot of prayer, lot of love and a lot of teaching
and correction. The work involved in this is so huge. You must pray and study
yourself so you are equipped to teach them, You must work on your own sin
so that you can calmly discipline. This is where it gets a little bigger. As a
home educator you are with your children 24 hours a day. They look to you
for this guidance and no one else. Their Model is solely you and your husband.
You thought it was big before... Now you are watched 24/7. I say though
do not be discouraged because You are who they are watching. They
will not be lead by this world. They will not be influenced by outside
prodding. It makes your job watchful.

2. Household- The household chores suddenly become two fold.
or in our case with 4 children at home, four fold. We are always in our
home. We spend more time here than anywhere else. We are not bond to
it but at the same time it is our place and it represents us. I look at the running
of our home as a mini business. I complete the same tasks each day so that it
runs smoothly. If someone doesn't do their share than the entire thing
can unravel. As mothers we all know the tasks associated with our home.
They can be endless and unforgiving. These things must be looked upon as
a ministry to your family. Adding little details might not seem important to
anyone but it is and will be remembered later on by your children.

These top two jobs are jobs every mom has but then we get into
homeschooling deeper...

3.  Ordering Curriculum- Now it starts. Homeschooling means that
I am responsible for my child's education or children in my case.  I do
not take this lightly. These are my precious gifts that God has gifted me.
Before I can purchase items for our school time I have to first create
goals for the children. Evaluate where they are and where they need to be.
Then I dig through literally thousands of options to find just the right
choices for may children. Each choice may be different for each child
and each level. It's a lot to learn and fast. You need to be aware of new
publishers and new resources. A homeschool mother is always researching
and reworking their plan. Once you know what you need then you have to
budget it in an already tight  income budget. (or two but we'll get to that)
If you have multiple children then you want to look at the curriculum as
a whole to see if you can possibly reuse this in the future. You also
can look to see if you can find it cheaper somewhere else so there is more
research. Research is big in homeschooling.

4. Planning Time- Once your curriculum arrives it's time to sit down
read and read and plan and plan and write and work and rework and research
and research and plan  and you get the idea. It can be a lot of work especially
with varying ages. My children are most important to me. Their lives are
so special and amazing. I want the whole world for them. I want them
to love and laugh and enjoy it all. I plan to strive to do this. I plan for the love
of learning, for the love of my children. I pray over this plan. I allow
God to enter and work in our lives. I want their lessons to revolve into
who they will become one day. God knows what they need. When I am
finished I have this beautiful work of art. This lovely book of what are year
will look like. My heart is in it. It is filled with my children's future hope.

5. Organizing our space- Now the challenge of having all these supplies
for your children grows. The supplies are needed but where do you place
them. You have to squeeze and puzzle and work and rework. It adds
to the household duty. If your like me thought it doesn't matter one bit.
A pile of paper, a pile of craft supplies it means we are leaning and working
and I love that about homeschooling. PS I love STAPLES they know
me by name.

6. Implementing your Plan- The fun part begins. I get to sit, talk,
and teach them. I get to learn with them and play with them. I know
their hearts inside and out. I don't miss a day of their lives. I'm not
wasting a second of it because I know all to soon they will grow up
and leave the home. My goal it to create productive, loving , Godly
adults. Seriously the implementing is one of the best parts of all.
We have so much fun together. We don't have to rush anywhere .
Sure we plan outings and events with other homeschoolers but for
the most part we get to sit and just be. Learn and love.

I'm going to pause for a minute because as I write this I think that
my love of teaching probably mirrors that teachers I was talking to in
some ways in many ways not too. I know there are some great teachers
out there. I just want you to know that I love what I do. I research and study
teaching techniques just like you do. I work and rework our studies to
find the greatest joy for my learners but the biggest and best difference is
that I get to do this for my blood, my family, and for love. It might seem
like I'm in experienced but I can promise you that I can discuss teaching,
the history of teaching, the ins and outs just like you can. If you do mention
something I'm not aware of then I can guarantee I will be studying to find
out what you are talking about. There is nothing I can't do. God walks with
me in this endeavor. His love is abounding.

7. Know the law- Moms at home must know the law. They must protect
their rights to home educate. It is a parents right to choose how your
child is educated. If you don't home educate. I still suggest you keep up
with the legislature. You need to know what and how your child is going
to be educated. Watch to keep yourself free to choose. Maybe not today
maybe not even tomorrow but one day you might need to bring a child
home and if you do lets hope and pray that choice is still there for you.
If you are home then we have much work to do. Always stay watchful.

It's a big job. Someone has to teach my children. Why not me?
What makes me different than other teachers other than I'm at home.

Warm Blessings,


Monday, March 18, 2013

The homeschool Lunch hour

What does Milk and ice cream have to do with Chinese food.

Once upon a time there was a family who educated their children at home.
Since they did educate at home they sometimes like to go out for lunch.
The crowds are lower over the lunch hour and eating out with a large
family is so much cheaper. The daddy in this family works night work
and his weekend is on Wed. and Thursday. (for now) Sometimes Wed.
and Thursday can be rather crazy for this family. Daddy likes to run
around these days. This particular day the family decided to run out
to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. The family had the entire restaurant
to themselves and the boys tried their hand at using chopsticks. They
learned a little Chinese with their fortune cookies and had a nice relaxing
lunch hour. On the way home the family decided to stop at an old
field trip spot called PerryDell Farms. Many moons ago the family
went there to visit the dairy cows and the kids loved the flavored milk.
So they stopped at the farm and had the best time shopping for of all
things milk. (photo from PerryDell)

We love Perrydell.

Later in the week we registered our little guy for karate classes.
He is so excited to give it a try. He has asked for a long time now
to Please, Please mom can I try karate. The answer this time was
yes. A new Karate studio is opening in our Walmart. I know walmart
right? I assume they are renting space from then in the front of the store.
My sons first class is this evening. He can't wait. Here's a picture
of my Karate student. You have to say that with an accent you know.
Kar rot tay  Just kidding.

He is trying to look mean.

Warm blessings,


Friday, March 15, 2013

Hands on Project --- Think


Delight- Directed Teaching - My Puppet Maker

Schooling in the Kitchen- Environmental Print in the Kitchen

Toys, Games, & Puzzles - Games to Make and Learn

Homeschooling in a Crisis- Homeschooling Tips when you are in Crisis

And Today

Hands on Projects  - THINK!!!

I am about to send you to my very, very , very , favorite website.
I love this website so much because my kids can learn hands on
and they can THINK!! This website is called... Can you guess?

The owner of this website is the founder of The Charlotte
Community School for Girls. She believes in play based
learning. Play means to Think. I completely agree and love
her ideas.  After trying a few of the Think challenges I went
through a few years ago and put all of the think challenges
on index cards. It took me awhile she has quite a few. When
I am needing something just like this we pull from our think
stack. Once we complete a think challenge we take a picture and
save it in our Think notebook. Sometimes it's exciting to come
back and try a challenge a second time as the children age.

This is the apple challenge. Children are to Sculpt an apple
using their teeth and 4 toothpicks. They may use the tooth
picks in the sculpture. My children choose not to.

This is my 13 year olds dinosaur.

And my 7 year old with his smiling apple.
He says his teeth are good for creating since he is missing some teeth.  

This is a paper clip project my 13 year old did. He was to take a
box of paper clips and see what he could create. There were 60 in
The box. My 7 year old was reading the three little pigs so
he decided to create the wolf.

These are fun and engaging activities for the kids
to do. They are hands and hands on.

So lets go THINK...

If you are hopping along stop by the SchoolHouse
To learn more about Hands on Learning.

Warm Blessings,


Homeschooling in a Crisis

Welcome to day 4 of the Blog hop....

Delight- Directed Teaching- My Puppet Maker
Schooling in the Kitchen- Environmental Print
Toys, Games,& Puzzles -Games to Make and Learn


Homeschooling in a Crisis

To come....
Hands - on  Projects

If you are a regular follower on my blog then you know our story, and
might want to skip to the tips on how to School through a Crisis.
A few years ago, Three to be exact, my sweetheart was diagnosed with
congestive heart failure. He already had diabetes so when he came home from
work with swollen ankles and feet I was pretty worried. I told him to call his
Dr. but he did not. He said I'll wait till the morning. It was pretty late .
We recently had become new parents, our fifth child, three months earlier.
So this would later add to the stress. In the middle of the night he woke me.
He said we have to go to the ER. His legs had swollen to his knees and he
was having difficulty breathing. I rushed him to the ER. He was diagnosed
with congestive heart failure. The Dr. said if he had waited any longer he would
have had a heart attack. I posted a little about it but it was a year long of
recuperating and much emotional organization on my part.

Our Story Congestive heart failure

Since then we have had several other incidents with in the family. Daddy
again when he cut his hand with a table saw working in our woodshed.
My mom is very private so I never posted anything here but my
mom went through fighting off Cancer. She is now Cancer free. We pray
for that everyday. This caused me to be on the run from house , to hospital,
to moms house. Then my  Dad had a heart attack but God intervened.
If you have time read the story. It was so amazing how God can touch
our lives. As you can see we have had our share of Crisis' and I am
sure there will be more since I'm surrounded with family that has health
issues. I try really hard not to think about it. However, these type of things
do occur and I'm not completely blind to it. How do you handle schooling
during all of this time of stress.

My Tips on how to handle a Crisis
Many lessons to be Learned- Take on the stress day to day , hour by hour
and minute by minute. One big thing I learned was that God had a lesson
for me. There was always something that made me stronger through it
all. I dug down deep and found strength I didn't know existed. I somehow
was able to handle it all. God only gave me what I could handle. Each time
something new happened I thought I can't do this but I always could and did.
I learned so much during these times of struggle and I am sure that my children
learned some important life lessons.

Create a new normal-  If this is a prolonged Crisis you need to create a new
normal for your kids. Create a schedule even if it is Dr. on Monday's and
Wednesday. Place this schedule in a populated area of your home. We put
ours in the kitchen. Show the kids a week at a time because quite frankly
day to day is probably all you know. You can fill it in as you go. Leave
time for phone calls because they all tend to come in at the end of the day
when people get home from work. Everyone wants to know how your loved
one is doing. Include cleaning up plans like I'm cleaning my house these hours
and my moms these hours. When the time is up stop and move on.

Special time for the kids- After all your phone calls in the evening choose
a time when the answering machine takes the calls and spend time doing
those normal things with your kids like bathing them, reading them a story
and having lots of cuddles. Reading time can count as school.

The little things do matter - One of the biggest lessons I learned is that
the little things do matter. Take your child at the hospital for a milk shake
treat once in awhile. Take some books and read to them. You will loved
one might enjoy the distraction as well.

Listen to books on audio- You might find that with this crisis you
may be spending a lot of time in the car. Try getting some books on
audio for the children to listen too. This is calming too.

Bag by the door- Place a few supplies in a bag for these stressful times
by the door. You can use it as a travel bag. When you have an emergency
it really can save you with the kids. Put things to do inside. A blank note
book is great because you can practice handwriting or math facts without
Even having a text book. Kids could journal too as they maybe having
some strong feeling about what is happening or they can write some of
their own stories. They also make great drawing books. This one notebook
can provide a lot of education on the fly.

Math and Reading- If you do feel the need to work through those
workbooks throw them in the bag and stick to literature and math.
History and Sciences can be made up at a later time.

FAMILY RIGHT NOW. He knows you homeschool. He knows your
struggle. Pray with your children and Love him first.

Warm Blessings,


Hop along folks and view more on Schooling in a Crisis from
the Schoolhouse Review team.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Games to Make and Learn

Toys, Games & Puzzles- Day 3- Games to Make and Learn
Homeschool in a Crisis- Day 4
Hands-on Projects- Day 5

If you'd like to view more from the Schoolhouse blog hop
click Toys, Games, & Puzzles.

I am a huge play based learning type of gal. I feel that children
learn best while they are having fun. If they are entertained then
their interest is peeked and then the educational value of the activity goes
up. Now I know that not all things need to be educational but seriously
If they don't know they are learning then why not. Who says it can't be a
hoopla of entertainment. Let me guide you through the steps of creating
your own fun game.

Before we get started on our steps though there is something
that I want you to know....

You don't have to do it yourself

There was a time where I created all of the games for my children.
I have learned  that they can learn just as much from
creating the game itself.  If you are playing a spelling game. Your
child will get practice writing the words on the game board.
If you are studying history terms they can create the questions on
index cards. All of this is pre-practice to the game. You will be
surprised at how much they pick up in the process of creating. They
also will be more likely to want to play because they created it.

Step 1 - Plan games topic

First you have to know what the purpose of your game will be. Will it be
to study history , practice phonics words, learn musical instrument families
or  the names of colors in Spanish. Whatever it is you are doing just
make sure you start with a plan. If this is your child's first game creation
you might want to give them some guidelines. (more on that in step 3)

Step 2- Gather supplies
The next step is for you to gather some supplies. Search around your
house for things that you have multiple of like mini erasers, small toys,
little animals (game pieces), Legos, blocks, dice, spinners (dollar store has
blank spinners that you can write on), letter tiles, and plastic spoons just to
name a few. The ideas are endless. I love checking out seasonal items in the
stores. There are often some really good options for only a few dollars.
Once you get started it will be hard for you to stop.

(examples of game pieces shapes, bottle caps with sight words written
on them , gram cubes and bingo chips. )

You can also find a lot of game resources on the web game boards,
spinners and printable dice. I have created a pin Board on Pinterest for
Making your own games. Another easy printable is  Bingo. There
are various Bingo games on my pin board and some that you can create
and then print from scratch . So you could put your own words or terms
into the game and it will create various cards for you with the terms mixed
up. Another great way to create game boards is to give your child a pack of
stickers or some stamps and a file folder. The file folder will be the game
board and the stickers will be where the child lands. They can add their
own fun spaces as they go along with the sticker spots. Say I gave the
children a pack of dinosaur stickers. Maybe every time they land on a
 T-rex they go back one space. They can create slides or ladders to climb
as well. The ideas are endless

(answer can be spelled with stamps, letter beads, magnet
letters and letter dice)

You might also want to begin looking to your recycles. You can save the
caps off of soda bottles and laundry detergents for game pieces or for
hockey pucks etc... Milk cartons make great scoops when cut or
storage containers for game supplies. Old plastic table clothes can
be used with sharpie to create game boards. Card board can be used for
various things. Yogurt smoothie containers make great bowling games.
 Another thing I have done is used blank pieces of craft
foam for game tiles and laid them on the floor of our house taking us
all around the home creating a life sized game.

(blank spinners for board games , erasers for markers, dominoes for math
games or determining your turn, and sand trays for writing answers)
Once you have found some supplies then its time to decide what things
you are going to use. See the next step.

Step 3- Presenting the materials and guidelines
For first time game makers it is good to have a guide for them .
You can give them the guide with some supplies. I like to give them
a few items to work with and then I let them go. They come up with some
amazing games and often play them for hours.

Step 3- begin preparing the gameThis is the easy step. Mom and Dad sit back and watch the
creativity flow. Sometimes I have a child create a game for themselves
to play .Other times I'll have older children make something for their
sibling. Really its win, win for me because I get to blog a little longer.
(smile) Most of the time I end up watching and helping them.

Step 4- Have a fun time learning
Last step have fun and play the game. Enjoy listening to the
directions and giggling over their ideas. Early elementary kids
kids are all about the rules.

Have fun making games.
Warm blessings,


Artistic Pursuits- Middle School book one The Elements of Art


Artistic Pursuits  is an engaging Art curriculum for children ages 3 yrs.
all the way to high school level. The book I'm reviewing it for children
in the middle school grades 6-8 or about 11 years of age and up.

The Art book we were given to review is called
Middle School 6-8 Book One The Elements of Art and Composition.
This is the Newly expanded Edition. If you go to the link you will
be able to view examples from the book and the table of contents.

The price of this product is $47. 95. The book comes comb-bound,
with 62 lessons and 92 pages in full colored text. The lessons are
written toward the student and no teacher prep is needed other than
purchasing and gathering supplies needed for the lessons. On the
very first few page of your book you'll find a list of supplies you
will need to purchase. I loved this part about the book. I like when
a curriculum prepares you in advance for what is needed. You can
also purchase art kids from the vendor and all of your supplies will come
right to your door. Next you come to the getting started page. It is
suggested to have art classes two times a week for about an hour each
time. Lasting 32 weeks or a full school year.

This book is about the elements of art, space, line, shape, form,
and value. These are the basics of drawing skills.

Each lesson starts out with a description and examples of the element
of art you will be working on. Your child will learn about various pieces of art
 from master artists and you will be able to view those works. They will
learn about different cultures and you can look up the area on a map if you like.
Then you have a challenge drawing project to try. Your child will also be given
direction on how to use the art tools that you have purchased.

My thoughts on Artistic Pursuits:
First I should tell you I have a background in art. In high school I took all
 advanced art classes. Now I dabble in drawing and pen and ink sketches,
which is what is in this book. I really like how the lessons are set up and that
children can work through the book on their own. This could be the basis of
some nice sketchbook work that a child might need if they were attending
an art school later in life. There are a few basics that seemed to be missing
but I think that you sometimes have to see someone else do some of the
techniques to really understand how it is done.  It would be great if
Artistic Pursuits could add some video. I also have not viewed the books
before this one so perhaps the things I was thinking of might be in those.
I really loved that my son was able to draw what he liked for most of the
lessons. He is very creative and I  don't care for those boxed art curriculums
that might squash that desire to be himself and to create his own work.
He is enjoying the book so we will continue with it.

This drawing of the elephant and man if from lesson 2.
Lesson one he had to write his name big so that it fit nicely on the paper.
This assignment he had to draw the elephant on a piece of paper vertically
and then this one horizontally to help him see that he needed to use his space
wisely. The vertical drawing didn't fit quite right on his paper. It was difficult
for him to get it all on the page. So choosing the right size of paper for the type
of composition you are drawing is important or you need to reduce the vision
of your drawing making your sketches smaller.

This was a drawing from lesson 4. He had to draw a quick sketch of
anything he choose and then clean it up using a darker 4B pencil.
This is his drawing of a cardinal.

Over all I would purchase the books again for him. They help a child develop
their skills. I may even fiddle around with some of the lessons myself.

Warm Blessings,


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the
Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was
not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any
other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Environmental Ktichen

Welcome to Day Two of the 5 Days of Teaching Creatively
Blog Hop. I hope your enjoying your week so far. Today our

I have a confession to make. I'll warn you it might startle you.
Here goes. I  do NOT like to cook. I love to craft. I love to be
creative but I do NOT enjoy cooking. Food tastes so much better to me
if someone else cooks it. I am a lucky women too because my sweetheart
loves to cook. When he doesn't work and sometimes when he does he
does all the cooking. I watch. I'm  cool like that. I'd like to say I feel some
 guilt about it but nope not a bit.  I know he enjoys doing it so it's a win
win situation. He cooks to relax and I get to skip a chore I don't enjoy.

So, As you can imagine a topic blog hop that is title school in the kitchen
had me going ummmm maybe not. Then I thought of a project the little
kids have been doing and thought will maybe. So we are not quite
cooking in the kitchen but we are using our kitchen to school.

The thought came to me one day when I was driving around our town.
My little 3 year old says Look mom there's McDonalds. Now we don't
really eat there but I think little kids just know those golden arches.
Its a symbol of fun for kids. Sort of like Red Lobster is to some moms.
I said to her how did you know it was McDonalds and she says I read it
Mom. So my mind is working over time now. I'm thinking of my pinterest
page and my board of Environmental Print.What I could do with it with
my little ones. My 1st grader is working on beginning writing skills.
Wouldn't it be fun to make a book that both of them could use. A book
that Spirit (1st grader) could read to his little sister (Sweet Pea)
Or even more fun that Sweet Pea could read to her Big brother.

For our first day the kids finished their cereal and so Spirit made his
First page. He wrote Cereal is my favorite, which is sooo true. I think
he eats cereal almost every day. He eats it even when I make eggs or
pancakes. The child loves Cereal. We glued it to paper and put it
inside of a page protector to make it sturdier. When my little
Sweet pea looks at this she says Apple Jacks. She knows the label
and thinks she is reading just like her big brother and perhaps she
one day will actually see the words Apple Jacks.

After the Apple Jacks it sort of took off. Everyone was
saving labels. We have cheese , orange soda and Salsa.
He wrote Cheese is good, I drank orange soda and Salsa
is hot. He doesn't like Salsa but his sister does.

He made me show you the Doritos one too because this is an all time
favorite snack. " I would eat Doritos all the TIME."

It's become an entertaining project.  We have a pile of labels sitting here to go in
their book. Everyone has joined in. Its now a family project. Just yesterday
daddy said Hey here's a Mountain dew label.  Just in case your  wondering
my little ones don't drink Mountain Dew but Daddy obviously does .
Now they have something they can write about their dad.

If you have young children you might want to try an
environmental book. It has been engaging and educational too.

Warm Blessings,


Monday, March 11, 2013

My Puppet Maker

Visit Todays Blog Hop

(*if you are viewing in google reader you will have to go to my
site to view the glogs. They do not appear in google reader)

What do you do with a child who is his own? Creativity flows forth and
can't be held down. This thing called Homeschooling just feeds through this
child. The vision of what school should be cannot hold this visionary down.
It flows through his blood and makes him unique. Who would have thought
that an interest grown would be a interest born. This boy always with a sketch
book in his hand and animation on his face. He one day picks up a sewing needle
and sews a little bear for his sister. Finding that the craft is just as fun as putting
it to paper. He molds and creates without much effort. I really knew this day
was coming. In his quiet way he comes to me and asks ...
"Mom, how do I search the internet"

This new curiosity I take hold of and pull it to my heart. These lessons
they actualize themselves. The beginning of the initiation starts.

I show him the world wide web....

Lesson 1 - Diigo  I sign him in and take him through Diggo.
I show him how to use the site. He is able to save links, highlight text on
a page, put them in Lists, order things to his liking, and use post it notes
on the website for later acknowledgement. I bookmark a few for him that
I know are safe for his use.

Lesson 2 - I take him to  Web Search Strategies. He is able to watch
how the world wide web works. He is intrigued to find out more.

Lesson 3- We learn + ,- (not)  and using direct terms. I use the lessons
from Boolify and then we practice.

These are quick lessons and soon after he is searching his interests. He starts
with animals. He finds glogster and creates a glog on the McCaw. Then
he goes to the Venus fly trap. Before I can blink he is making these elaborate
puppets. No one showed him. He sat and watched and taught himself what to
do. One day He says mom I want to make a puppet. I need these supplies.

I step up. It is my turn to lead a little again. We search for the best deals.
We have a math lesson on how to measure material and how to add up the
price of his supplies and how to find the tax. He has no idea that I am
giving him the gratuity of math. And the child learns is lead by his
own influence. He molds foam into heads and lays over material.

The eyes bulge and the brows wiggle. How I am not sure?
I find this on his glogster. His parrot puppet bought not made
but the creativity and the try at ventriloquism. It's a spring board
to something new.

(note if you are on Windows 8 you may not be able to see
glogster as it is Flash rich. Go to your tools and open on your
desktop. The page will then open and you can view the
 videos and aspiration of love)

One day I say.... "How do you make those eyebrows move?"
He explains then decides to make a glog as part of another
assingment on how to make a puppet.
Suddenly we have a tremendous writing assignment.

I am needed again. I teach the how too and the child is lead
and creates. Below is the result.

This is not the end this if the prelude to Learning directed
by a child. As we speak we are working on animation and how to make
a how to video. Soon we will be into writing scripts and it goes on...

Listen first to your child. Open your heart ; distinguish where an
interest can compel a lesson.

Warm Blessings,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Threads of Grace by Kelly Long

Threads of Grace

Grace Beiler is a young girl when she is married to a cruel Amish man. She
endures many hardships and a life built from fear. When she becomes
a widow she is not free just yet as she knows her husbands brother will
be looking for her but she tries to begin a new normal life.

She cannot imagine herself falling in love again. Her first priority is
raising her autistic son, Abel. Seth Wise has his heart set on her and he
his own ideas about relationships. He is the kind of Amish man that Grace
can't help falling for but will her deep dark past keep her from him.


Every now and then I like a book like this one. It is an easy read and not
complicated in text. It was rather relaxing in the evening hours to devour
this book.  At the very beginning  I wasn't sure It was going to keep my
interest. The first few chapters seemed a little to simplistic. I kept going
and soon was on the edge of my seat wanting to know the ending.
I stayed up late one night just to find out what would happen. There were
some big issues that could have been delved into deeper but overall it
was a good read for those wanting a quiet distraction.

Warm Blessings,


I review for BookSneeze®

I received this book free from the publisher through
the BookSneeze®.com <
http://BookSneeze®.com> book review
bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The
opinions I have expressed are my own

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Rejoice in the Lord Always.