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Monday, June 30, 2014

Nutrition Monday- Diet Journal

If I thought things couldn't get more crazy here it did. It was a real test this week to see if I could stay on track with the chaos. My dad had health issues, our sand mound sprung a leak, the kids had their activities, and my daughters friend's brother was shot and killed. ( More on that on another post)  I was able to stay in my weight range but didn't lose any this week. Despite that  I am almost to my second goal. I made this goal smaller than the last which is 10lbs. I am down 5. I thought I needed a smaller challenge this time around, which seems to be working in keeping me focused. I have been extremely active but have not exercised last week intentionally. I need to get back into it but I think I'll wait till after our vacation to start the routine again. We leave on Saturday.

This morning I'm feeling a little overwhelmed so I should make a list of things I need to do. I will work on that shortly. I also woke up on Sunday and couldn't hear out of my ear so I plan to make a doctors appointment today. Hopefully they can see me rather quickly. It is really bothering me but since it is what it is my guess is they won't get to me until tomorrow. My kids have coughs too and if that keeps up I'll call wed to see if we can get some cough medicine otherwise they might make me nuts on the 4-5 hour drive.

The thing with my diet is that I have become relaxed about my eating. Not relaxed in that I'm cheating but relaxed in away that is becoming natural. I realize I sometimes will make mistakes but I have to live too. I'm just not obsessing over what to eat and when to eat it like I was at first, which is a good thing. It feels like it is finally becoming a new habit and new way of life. Over all that is a goal too not just to lose the weight but later to be able to maintain it.

Moving forward I have to keep my focus.

Warm Blessings,


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

H= History

I'm happy to be linking up again with Ben and me with an ABC Blog Hop. I chose to complete the ABC's of homeschooling. Below are the articles written so far incase you missed any of them.

G= Get Together

Today's ABC's of Homeschooling  is the
Letter H = History

Your Approach:

First thing you want to do is figure out your approach to history. There are various ways you can begin. Some people like to start  in their area (meaning surrounding your child) and work out . Others like to begin with the ancients and move through history from the beginning of time. Others start in the 21st century and move backwards. It's really up to you how you would like to begin. You can even jump in and pick and choose topics by what your children would like to learn depending on their ages.

For Kindergarten we start with our world and move out visiting various continents. We learn about Our home, Our town, then Our state and our country. Until we are ready to board the proverbial ship and take off to visit other lands.

In First  Grade we begin with the Ancients and move forward through. By Third Grade we hit Exploration and move over to American History starting in 4th. We then repeat it  all later at a Higher Grade level. If you plan out a general guide for yourself it will make it easier as you plan.

You will also want to check out any special requirements for your State. And what type of view you would like the curriculum to take. Such as a World View or a Biblical View.

Another thing you want to think about is your child's learning style. Does your child do best with Hands on learning? Auditory? or Visual? This will help you determine which curriculum will work best for you.

My Favorite Curriculum Options:
Notgrass Company  - "Notgrass Company exists to glorify God by producing materials centered in His Word that help parents train their children to honor God with heart, soul, and mind."  Notgrass takes more of a text book type of approach but there are many hands on opportunities available with in the curriculum. Notgrass is definitely on my favorites list.

Evan Moore- My kids also really enjoy the Evan Moore History pockets. They match up really well with the History of US series by Joy Hakin

Homeschool In the Woods- Another of my favorites is homeschool in the woods. This one works great for that hands on learner. My oldest daughter did the American Revolution packet and she still talks about the things we did within those lessons to this day.

Verta Press- Verta press is a recent new favorite. I was introduced to it through the Schoolhouse crew. This one takes a more visual approach with really engaging videos that take you through history.
(A review is coming soon)

This is only a small fraction of what is out there to choose from. If you are unfamiliar with various curriculum you might want to check out this great index from Cathy Duffy. You might be there for awhile if you go looking. Cathy shares many reviews on various History curriculum by subject along with supplemental material.

History is one of my very very favorite topics to teach. When I was in public school I hated history. I found it so boring but in reality it is a great big adventure and we have that opportunity as homeschoolers to jump right in.

Warm Blessings,


Heaven is for Real - Book Review

Heaven is for Real By Todd Burpo

A little boys astounding story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.  Todd Burpo tells the story of the amazing adventure of his 4 year old son. A child who's innocence leads his father to wonder Is Heaven Real? Todd is a pastor and yet he still begins to question. What is God trying to show him.

Todd's son Colton under goes an emergency appendectomy. That story alone is scary and horrifying for any parent. While Colton is under he undergoes an out of body experience. He witness his father in the chapel yelling at God because he feels like he is about to lose his son.
As time goes on little details about Colton's experience in heaven begin to be revealed. I loved that Todd Burpo takes you to scripture to show you his guess as to what Colton saw. This is one part of the book that can not be duplicated within the movie. I held my breath as Colton reveals his moment with Jesus and with his sister who had passed on. Very real and breath taking. This is a book you have to read for yourself . You will find yourself associating certain moments and images to your life.

Bonus from the movie edition:
Photos from the movie set

Updates from Colton and his Father

Question and Answers from the Actors and Crew

What did I think of the book:
I read the book first and then I went to see it at the movies. I found that I liked the book edition better. There were thoughts and feelings that can not be portrayed in a movie the way I can associate them with the book. I loved as I mentioned before that Pastor Todd took Colton's words and was able to locate them in scripture. This book was captivating.

I personally believe with all my heart that Heaven is for Real. There is now doubt in my mind and I found myself nodding my head when I read this book. Yes!
It is not so astounding that Jesus would reveal himself to a small child. As God tells us our hearts should be that of a child's full of innocence and love.

My father had an experience such as this as well and it only confirmed what I knew. There were events surrounding that day that really showed me that God was  for Real. If you have doubt at all you might want to read this book and really dig into scripture. Find out for yourself about God's amazing love story.

Warm Blessings,


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Terry TreeTop and the Lost Egg- Review

Terry the Treetop is educational and a fun story written for children ages 2-6 years of age. It can be read to a smaller child or read by a early reader.

Terry the Treetop and the Lost Egg is part of an adventure and educational series. Children will learn a bit about habitats, various environments and animals. It is written in rhyming text and 18 colorful illustrations.

About the Story

Terry is a little boy who is heading on an exciting adventure with is parents. They are going on a Camping trip. While on his camping trip he finds a big blue egg with his binoculars. Terry gently places the egg into a basket and goes about the task of finding the parent to this egg. He begins by asking a Sea turtle, an Alligator, a frog , and a hen if they are the parent to this egg. He learns all about these animals along the way and how they lay their eggs and handle their babies. Will Terry ever find out who the parent is to the blue egg? You will have to read to find out.

What I thought of the story:

I have great memories as a child going camping and I also remember the wonderment of finding an egg from a nest. Young children will be able to relate this story to their lives as it gives you a peek through the eyes of a child. My youngest child (age 4) enjoyed listening to the rhyme of the story. Her two favorite parts were the baby see turtle picture and the end. (Shhh I can't share what happens.)

If you have young children you might want to download this one to your kindle. It would be a good one to take with you on your road trips this summer.

Warm Blessings,


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

G= Get Together - Learn from other Homeschoolers


I'm happy to be linking up again with Ben and me with an ABC Blog Hop. I chose to complete the ABC's of homeschooling. Below are the articles written so far incase you missed any of them.

And Today's topic G= Get Together- Learn from other Homeschoolers

I'm going to state the obvious... We educate at Home. Being home all the time we often question our abilities. That little bit of doubt likes to sneak in and take over our minds. Some of us even feel isolated and alone in this big thing called Educating our Children. Sure many of us do enjoy being home all the time (shock Me I love being home) and you may not even realize you are needing the support. Yet it is always a good idea to surround ourselves with like minded friends. It helps keep your sense of self on track and really reminds a person that this is a valuable project we have undertaken. Home educating isn't for the weak of heart. It is hard at times to be all to everyone. We need that down time. We need to find time to rejuvenate our soul with Jesus and with others with the same interests.

Philippians 2:2

"They make my joy complete by being like- minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. "
Paul in this verse is talking about selfish ambitions. He stressed spiritual unity, Asking the Philippians to love one another and to be one in spirit and purpose. When we work together caring for the problems others as if they were our problems we demonstrate Christ's example by putting others first, and we can experience Unity. Although Paul is speaking about being a Christian here we can also apply this to our home education as well. When we complete Unity we become one mind. Together we can work through our goals and out of our selfish ambitions related to our homeschool. It is not about appearances it is about our child and the love that we emulate to them and for them through Christ.

How do you do that you say?? Where can I find others with a like mind? Others who home educate?

Start inward and work your way out. Think.. Do you know anyone that home educates? Is there someone in your family that maybe you have forgotten about?

1. Church- Another great place to look is your church family. Get to know those with kids your children's ages. Perhaps there are more there then you think. Unfortunately at our church it is only me and a close friend who home educate. So the pickings are small . However she has become a valuable friend to look too. It is so good to be able to bounce things off of her. If nothing else having that once close tie would be enough if all else failed.

2. Groups- Do a search to see if there are home educators in your local area. Here in PA we have A group called PAHomeschoolers with in that group you can locate groups in your Area. Do a search of your state. If you still can't find anything try asking at your local library. Many times these groups are run by other home educators and my require a small fee for membership. Others are open to all without a fee associated with that group.

3. Homeschool Legal Defense- You will also want to look at HSLD. You can find various Organizations by state and search for a group in your area or nearby.

4. Facebook or Yahoo groups-  If you still are struggling to find souls with the homeschool itch. Then try going to facebook or yahoo groups. Type in your area and homeschooling to see what you will get. Try surrounding areas as well with the word homeschooling. If you just type in homeschooling in the search you will also locate other homeschoolers that you can connect via internet or social media. Just always use caution when discussing your children online.  If you do find something local you might want to introduce yourself there and ask if anyone knows of local support or co-op groups that meet.

5. Start a Homeschool Blog- Seriously this might sound crazy but I have learned more from having my blog about homeschooling then maybe homeschoolers have learned from me. It has connected me in so many ways to the homeschool community and has provided that support I was looking for for this lone homeschooler who likes to stay at home.

In closing Get together. Get yourself out there. You will learn so much and you will be able to share what you have learned as well. When you look at schooling from k-12 and sometimes college too. It's a long rode. You might as well not ride it alone.

Warm Blessings,


Diet Update

To Date beginning again in January I have lost 36lbs. I am so excited about the progress so far. I am taking it slowly losing about 1lb per week. 

*I am eating healthy and when I don't eat well I am to the point where I don't feel good which makes it much easier to stick with the new way of eating. I would much rather feel well then feel icky all day. My biggest struggle is the weekend. I tend to grab things quickly or have family events that make sticking to the plan a bit harder. I am learning though to bring my own food and to prepare snacks ahead for easy exits when we are on the go. Our beach trip is coming up soon so I will have to plan for that as well.  I have found things go more smoothly if I plan meal ahead. If I don't and go with things then I tend to pick up what I shouldn't.

*Exercising was going well . I worked out everyday for a week straight but then VBS came around . I was so exhausted that I didn't work out every day. This week I have yet to get on the exercise bike. I have to get back to that. I had dropped VBS stuff all week in that room. So yesterday I cleaned it out and am ready to exercise again. NO EXCUSES...

Our pool days really help to get me moving. My little one doesn't allow me to sit still for long on the blanket. She wants to swim and swing on the swing set. These are all good things. However the pool snack bar can get us. Again having some plan or foods I can take along is helpful in keeping us eating well.

I'm not sure if anyone reads these and it's ok if you don't . I just decided to write once a week to help me along . It gives me a chance to reflect on areas that need work and make a plan as to what  I should do next.

Warm Blessings,


Friday, June 20, 2014

Diana and Friends Experience History Through Music Giveaway--$700 + Value

Diana and Friends Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Experience History Through Music, I am joining members of the Diana Waring Launch Team for an amazing giveaway. Friends of Diana have joined in and as you can see, someone's homeschool is going to be greatly blessed!  Here's what you could win! 

From Diana Waring Presents

american history -- never this fun

Experience History Through Music - set of 3 books with CDs
 ($50/set) Diana Waring Presents is about to bring back into print the BEST folk music you have ever heard, combined with the fascinating stories they represent in American history!  

The Experience Music Through History series includes: America - Heart of a New Nation, Westward Ho! - Heart of the Old West  and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The musicians are amazing, every instrument is real, lots of great vocalists, and more toe-tapping music than you can imagine! The books tell the stories behind the songs.  Together, they bring American history to life through it's music!!With fascinating history books and toe-tapping folk music CDs, American history has NEVER been this fun!


Encouragement for Homeschool Moms Collection
 ($25) Every mom needs that word of encouragement from someone who has been there, who has grownup children and can speak with assurance about the journey. Homeschool moms have an extra portion of the journey to navigate, and often wish for an extra voice that will offer direction but without nagging or prodding. Diana Waring has that voice.  

From A Journey Through Learning

Logo New 300 trans

$50 Gift Certificate
 $50 to spend in the A Journey Through Learning store, applicable toward any digital download purchase.  


From Homeschool Legacy

westward ho I 300x400

Westward Ho! Part I
 ($19.95) Load up your wagon! Discover the extraordinary times of adventurous frontiersmen and brave pioneers as you travel cross-country along the Erie Canal,  Oregon Trail, and even “remember the Alamo” in Westward Ho Part I.

Westward Ho! Part II ($19.95) Continue the exciting saga begun in Westward Ho! Part I as you journey with the forty-niners, ride the rails of the Transcontinental Railroad, experience life on the prairie, and discover the exciting era of cowboys and cattle drives in Westward Ho! Part II.

From Knowledge Quest Maps


Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History
 ($55) Map Trek is a historical atlas plus outline maps that allow you to teach geography alongside history. This is a resource that any homeschool parent can use with brilliant success, even if you don't remember a thing from your history or geography classes in public school.  


From Home School Adventure Co.

PAPS-R-96dpi shadow

Philosophy Adventure™ Digital Download ($39.95) Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.  


From Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom and Real Life Press)


Firmly Planted Family Devotional Digital Volume 3 ($39) The Firmly Planted Family Series is divided into ten-week studies and is your key to making sense of the Bible—even if you’re learning right along with your children. Each lesson provides a core idea, a simple narrative, memory verses and discussion questions for children of all ages. And the companion student workbook is filled with age-appropriate, full-color, reproducible activities for children of any age!  

From Raising Real Men


Free Registration to Boyhood Boot Camp or Boot Camp 9-12 LIVE webinar series (winner's choice) plus Mom & Dad Special Raising Real Men (Book for Mom to read in the bathroom + AudioBook for Dad to listen to on the commute) ($62-69)


Free Registration for Marriage Retreat Online plus His & Hers Special of My Beloved and My Friend: How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses (book + audiobook), ($65)  


From Institute for Excellence in Writing


$50 Gift Certificate
 $50 to spend in the IEW store, applicable toward any purchase.  

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

($139) A one year membership to the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Nearly 100 classes for Pre-K to High School, taught by expert teachers, and lots of extras including the Schoolhouse Planners, Schoolhouse Expos, monthly free ebook downloads
and more.


The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 2014 Print Book
 ($15) Be encouraged, enlightened, and educated with the all new 2014 Annual Print Book published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.You’ll get a year’s worth of homeschool support in almost 300 pages in this full color one-of-a-kind print magazine for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers. This is a magazine you’ll refer to again and again.  

From Writing with Sharon Watson


The Power in Your Hands
($53.96) With The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, they’ll learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing.


Writing Fiction [in High School]
($35) Are you raising the next C. S. Lewis or Jane Austen? Help your students develop their fiction-writing talents with Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., age 18 and older only. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Random 5 Busy week

1. Busiest week I have had in awhile. We had our VBS this week at church. I had the biggest group of kids which were all preschoolers. It was a lot of fun but crazy too. I barely got anything else around here done because of set up and planning. My blog has suffered as well but I'm here again now.

2. VBS exploded all over my house and I'm not cleaning it up today. :)

3. We are headed poolside  and that's where I am going to stay.

4. In two weeks we are going to the beach. I can hardly wait. I have a lot to do until then.

5. I have so many reviews going on here in the background. Music and history, the rain forest and explorers, Homeschool moms books and so much more.  I hope to get a few posted for you next week. .

Warm blessings,


The Pebble Pond
Friday, June 13, 2014

Random 5

Welcome back to Random 5 where I like to share five random things about our lives. First one....

1. We are on summer break!! School is done for the summer. We will do limited spelling, Math practice and reading but mostly lots of play

2. Not sure if I mentioned it or not but we had our Blessing of the Bikes event at church. I did face painting for the kids but ended up doing more things like this for the teens... The roses were a big hit.

3. We are registered with our Libraries Summer reading club. This year the kick of was the Maryland Science Center. My 8 year old was chosen to help out with an experiment. This is him in the blue.

4. Lucky us we have our Pool passes again for this year. The kids are so happy and want to go everyday. Of course it has rained all week long. Hopefully next week we can get more days in. This one was taken last weekend.

My 8 year old spends most of his time in the sandbox. He usually gathers other kids and becomes the king of the sand.

My youngest in the kids pool .

5. Last of all we have been dog sitting. Well not really needed but my parents took the older kids to go over and help them on their farm. My little one can't help and when they are busy like that they can't watch her. So she had to stay home. She was upset so my mom told her she could dog sit. She read bible stories to Him and played. Oh boy did they play until this....

If you want to join up with Random 5 on Friday you can click the little birdhouse below and link with Miranda.

The Pebble Pond

Warm Blessings all have a Great

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We Choose Virtues- Review

We Choose Virtues Review

I don't know about you, but one of the many reason I choose to home educate was to impart my values to my children. Teaching them step by step and moment by moment the way they should go. Today I would like to introduce you to We Choose Virtues. For our review. We were given.

Parenting Cards (NIV) -$38.49

WCV Download Bundle - $7.99 Which includes
*Teacher Handbook
*Family Character Assessment
*Coloring Book
* Sing -Along- Song Sheets
* Butterfly Certificate of Completion

Suggested age of use 3-11

SALE-   JUNE: *Promo Code BIG50 for 50% off our amazing set of 12 11x17 Kids of VirtueVille Posters!

Also   JUNE-AUGUST: *Promo Code BTS20 for 20% off anything in our WCV Store. This includes any kit. Let’s start School with Virtues this year! 
*Only one promo code per order

We choose Virtues was created by Heather McMillain. Heather is a Pastors wife and preschool teacher. Heather and I have a lot in common. Teaching preschool is my chosen career path. She saw a need for a virtues program because of a lack of good behavior in the classroom. Her husband in the About Us section tells how many teachers work to find a balance with behavior and school but it often takes a teacher too long to get things functioning the way they would like in the classroom. This lack of virtues turned about the creation of We Choose Virtues.

The Teacher's Handbook

The Teacher handbook is geared toward a classroom setting but can be modified for the homeschool parent. There are special notations for teaching the virtues to homeschoolers and home daycares. This handbook focuses on encouraging the teacher to be consistent in what they are doing and teaching. This could be applied to any parent. The handbook is set up in steps as explained below.

Step One- Expect Excellence goes on the premise that if you expect more from your students you will get more from them. It suggests that the teacher also follow their own guide to excellence and promote that to their children. Children watch everything that we do. We can't teach them one thing and do another. They emulate our actions and words. They can be a mini you so you want to make sure you pass the good parts of you on.

Step Two- Explain with Enthusiasm. These words really speak for themselves. If you are not putting effort into what you are teaching your children won't be interested either. Enthusiasm is contagious. Pass it on. Inspire , Introduce and Instruct.

Step Three- Emphasize it every day using the You Choose Virtues tools. (We will talk about this in a bit)

Step Four- Examine Everything Correct the wrong and reward the right.

The handbook is 48 pages of full color. It is not suggested that you print out the pages but use it on your computer or device. (It would us a lot of color ink if you did)

My Thoughts:

I found the guide a nice review for managing a classroom setting. It gave me a few ideas in teaching my Sunday School classroom but I feel it is best usable in a full time setting where you can correct and reward on a regular basis. The teacher guide does not tell you how to use the program. That you will find on the back of the Parent Cards. There are Cards for a Classroom setting as well.

*Note you can purchase this individually or as a part of the Bundle package as stated above. If purchasing individually it would be $5.

Family Character Assessment



The family Assessment allows you to assess where you are right now before you start the virtues program. You are given each character and then examples to the left that are the worst and then to the right -the best. Then you choose from 1-10 where you fall on the assessment. 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the best score you can get.  I was doing this one with my four year old and felt like this assessment would be hard for her to really understand. I used it more for me to evaluate the ones we needed to work on the most. Just because I was using it differently with my 4 year old I asked my 8 year old to fill it in. He did follow along with us but did not participate with the coloring pages. He is not the coloring type.  I didn't share his assessment for the privacy of my child but He was very kind with himself. Now my 4 year sat nearby and she would often point out others mistakes. She wouldn't readily admit to her mistakes. This is her disposition though and we will work on that Trait. Interesting what you notice when you are looking closely. We used one form and circled our answers in red the first time. After completing a week with each Virtue we circled it again in green this time reevaluating our new traits.

My Thoughts:
I found it rather interesting to listen to the children talk about how they felt about themselves. (Self esteem)  It really helped me see where their strengths and weaknesses were.  I read over on the virtues page that one parent went as far as to allow her children to assess her. Very interesting we will have to go back and do that too.  It will be interesting to see how I rate in their eyes.

*Note the Character Assessment is part of the bundle package noted above but it is also available for free right now on their website.


Sing- Along- Songs

The Sing-Along- Songs are a fun addition to the virtues. It helps your child focus on the meaning. The songs are written to the tune of other famous nursery rhyme or tune. The description on the website reminds us of times we made fun songs up to the nursery rhymes and I do remember doing that as a child. Its fun to rewrite and make up your own words. There are 12 virtues song sheets . They come in black and white so that your child can color the pictures on the page.

My thoughts:
The sing-a-longs was fun. It was often difficult for me to change some of the words to a particular song or rhyme to match those of the new one. I had to sing through in my head the old version first to get the tune and wouldn't always succeed in getting it. It was fun to try though. It is also suggest to make your own recording of the song. It might be fun to do that and sing along with yourself once you get it.

*Note the sing-a-long download is part of the bundle but also sells individually for $3.

Parenting Cards NIV

We Choose Virtues Review

The virtues cards come as 13 double sided cards, printed on high quality card stock, size 8.5' x 5.5'.
They come in a nice little ziplock bag to help you keep them together. Represented are these virtues...

* Attentive

On the front of the card you will find the Virtue, catch phrase and bible verse associated with each virtue. The catch phrase  can be repeated to your child as needed and can be very catchy.

We Choose Virtues Review

On the back of the Card you will find challenges and ways that you can teach this particular virtue to your child. There is a little story about the child on the front that associates to the virtue. This one is representative of Cake Jake. Jake is allowed to have as much cake as he wants as his parents work in a bakery. Jake is tired of the ones they have and wants more. This one will help your child with the I wants.

I choose to use Content and Cake Jake for our first Virtues activity. I posted the card on my daughters pocket chart. We colored the coloring page and added that as well to remind her about Cake Jake. My little one defiantly has the I Wants . She will often ask for what the other kids have even if she has something of her own and then only plays for a second or two when she gets it. Here is how we used the program...

Day 1- Introduced the virtue explaining its value and what we can do to not be like the Character represented. Sweet Pea received stickers through the week when I saw her being content with her belongings. We also would sing the sing-a-long song if represented.

Day 2- we would go over things again as a reminder and worked on memorizing the catch phrase and bible verse.

Day 3- Review of everything above and then added the coloring pages.

Day 4- I found some books at the library to go along with the virtues so we read a book and reviewed our memory verses etc..

Day 5- We tried an activity that I found on the Virtues Blog. That is also where I found some lists of books that relate to the virtue.



My thoughts:
We really enjoyed the virtues activities. It really helped me to focus and look closely at certain behaviors. I didn't think when I got this that it would be very helpful but it really was. It only takes a few minutes to do each day but you continually look at it all day. We plan to do a relook again in the fall at these virtues. I think this time I'd like to get the notebook and include some of my older children.

Also found myself using the catch phrases as reminders to my child. It was much more effective than don't do this or this.

I do think the price of the cards seems a little on the expensive side. I would love to see a download version that you can print.

At the end of the program you can print out this reward card and fill in your child's name. Very lovely keepsake.  

IF you would like to learn more about We Choose Virtues you can find them at these places...

FacebookPinterest (lots of Ideas here), and
We Choose Virtues Blog.

You can also read more reviews from the crew on We Choose Virtues At the graphic below...


Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,


Crew Disclaimer

Line Drawings and Monochromatic Shapes

The kids and I are on vacation mode so thought I'd post a flashback from 2011. I hope you enjoy them.

This week Spirit (5) and I talked about different kinds of lines.He created a house using different lines. Notice the rainadded to the drawing just like it was raining here.

Superboy (11) and I talked about color. He is well aware of what color you get when you mix what color. We reviewed primary colors, secondary, complementary (colors opposite the color wheel) and Monochromatic colors (colors of various shades and tones) I gave him a choice to create any shape
and then he was to use one of the color sets we learned about. He choose monochromatic in Cool colors. (blues) Warm colors are bright orange, reds, yellows.



Good News. Jennifer the Creator of the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop has created a pinterest board of our Art. So now you can go and see all of our past art projects. Yeah... Thank you Jennifer !

Follow Jennifer Miller's board Virtual Refrigerator Art on Pinterest.

Check out some of the other Bloggers co-hosting this fun Hop each week.

Warm Blessings,


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Learning Learning Wrap-ups Review

Learning Wrap-Ups Review

Kids love to play games. They like the challenge of the win. What is great about games is that your kids are learning while they play. Learning Wrap Ups help you to provide educational activities for your kids that are entertaining and enjoyable. They will be begging you to learn their math facts or practice reading skills. That's what we want as parents. We want that enthusiasm. We want them to want to learn.

Learning Wrap Ups has many fun hands on games to play . I was given the option to review a $59.99 value for up to 5 users
The vendor is offering a coupon code HOMESCHOOL to receive a 20% discount for a limited time.The online program includes access to 55 titles of Math, for grades K-5 and Reading, for grades K-3. Each of these 55 titles includes 12 lessons with 12 questions per lesson. This adds up to an amazing 660 lessons and 7,980 questions.

I used learning Palette Online with my 4 year old and my 8 year old 2nd grader. Now my four year old isn't quite ready for Kindergarten yet but she did enjoy playing a few of the palette activities. I really wish they would develop one for preschoolers.

This is what you will see when you put in your child's password and user name. At the top of the page you will find tabs that read Math and reading. You can select either one by clicking on the words/tab . I took this screen shot of my Sweet Peas (4) page remember she is not quit ready for K yet. As you can see she was able to do some of the palettes for math. I allowed her to skip around and do the ones I knew she could complete. She was happy to do them over and over again.

Down the left hand side you can view the various levels. You see that Math starts out Basic and goes through to 5th grade. The Reading starts with basic as well and goes to 3rd grade level. You just click on the grade level of your child. In this instance it was my Preschool student as I mentioned above. In the middle You see a list of cards and topics that are represented. Beside that card number is a circle. If the circle is empty It means you have not completed that one yet. If the circle is colored then you have completed the task. The colored circles seem to use a stop light type of code for kids and parents. Green meaning you mastered that palette, Yellow could be done faster and better and then red we better work on this one. To the far right you will see the topic covered. At the bottom of the page you can click progress report to view how your student is doing.


From this screen you click the card you would like to complete and then click the load button.

This is what you get after clicking the load button. You will get a variation of learning topics depending on which palette you have chosen. Sometimes the circle is divided like the one above and sometimes you use the entire middle filled with questions and its not divided. The top blue section in the middle using the round disks with a hole in the center. The child looks say for the squirrel shape. Then sees it has a purple disk with a hole in the middle. They would click and move that disk to the proper place on the wheel. Now the bottom in this palette is using the solid disks so all of her answers for this one would be in a solid color. My preschooler had no issue differentiating the differences between the top and bottom questions.  When your child lays in the last disk they will be asked if they are finished. If they click yes then then they are scored on their performance such as the example below.
Correct answers are noted with a green check mark.

You can see it took her 8 minutes to do this. She wasn't focused this activity but  had all the answers correct. She can try again or go to the next card

I also wanted to share with you an example of my 2nd graders math Palette. As you can see it is conducive to his level.

The reading is similar in set up but of course the content is toward literature. You will cover Grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension. My only complaint is that it only goes to third grade.

Both of my children enjoyed the learning Palette games. My preschooler was more excited. She never figured out that it was helping her to learn. My 8 year old enjoyed it for a time but soon realized after awhile that he actually had to solve math problems but then again he is not a big math fan . Now the reading Palette he loved doing.

I really think learning Palette would be great for a review of lessons already learned. I have the idea that this would make a wonderful program for parents wanting their children to keep up their skills over the summer months. You could complete one Palette a day per subject or more depending on your child's interest. I found that my preschooler would compete 2-3 at a time. Where my 8 year old would want to complete one math but a whole row of literature. You are able to go at your individual child's pace.

Overall we enjoyed Learning Palette. I can see using it as I mentioned as a review of topics learned  I would love to see more palettes added and to have a preschool section as well. If you would like to read more reviews click the graphic below. 

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Warm Blessings,


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