Friday, December 30, 2011

Great Books for Beginning Readers

Recently, my sister told me about the author Margaret Hillert.  She writes children beginning readers and I am thrilled with her books!

 I have been frustrated with the different levels and step books that are ridden with words that are far from basic.  My daughter Hannah who turned 5 in October is almost finished with our reading program Headsprout and she can buzz through the Margeret Hillert books only having  trouble with a few of the words.  The books are long and very repetitive which is perfect for the beginning reader.  My daughter is so proud of herself when she finished these books, it is very exciting for both of us!

So far she has read the following books:

Let's Go Dear Dragon
The Cookie House- she loved this one it is based on Hansel and Gretel
The Birthday Car

I plan on going to the library's website and getting as many as these books as possible!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lindy's Book List 2012

I am not a huge book reader, other than the hundreds I read to my children.  I don't often read for myself...I usually blame it on the fact that at the end of the day I am totally exhausted, but I think if I have a goal and have the books in my possession I am more apt to actually start reading them.  So here is my list:

Book List 2012
1.  Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz - This is a love story, but also includes lots of violence, which isn't my favorite thing to read.  It had some beautiful points that I pray I remember, one sentence that really was meaningful to me was when the Apostle John said, "The only thing more powerful than hatred is love."  Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5, it was a really great book. I find myself reflecting on the characters frequently.   I'm glad I read it and would recommend it.  

2.  Of Mice and Men- by John Steinbeck

3.  Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God- I am going to take a couple excerpts from this book that I really liked.  "Jesus didn't command that we have a regular time with Him each day.  Rather, He tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind....the results are intimate prayer and study of His Word and our motivation changes from guilt to love."........

Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what's happening on our lives
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others or our tight grip of control.  

4.  A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

5.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett- I loved this book, I'm really glad I read it instead of seeing the movie.  I read it in two days!

6.  The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children by Sally Clarkson- favorite excerpts....I try to be mindful that, to God, relationships are always a top priority.....(not homeschooling, not a clean own words added)
...Perfection is not a standard He requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children....
As I look to the hearts of my own children and seek to teach them about the grace of God.  I realize my love and service to them must come before any of my great word, my teaching and training.  My time, my attention even when I am tired or have other "important" things on my mind--is what builds our relationship and prepares them to listen to what I have to say.  Only then, once the wells of their need are filled with the grace of being loved, will my words to them about God's grace finally make sense.  

7.  The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult- I am removing this from the list I thought the topic was to negative.

9.  A Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall

10.  The Core by by Leigh Bortins

11.  The Moonlit Cage Linda Holeman- I really liked this book and I sort of had a negative bias towards it before I even started reading it.  Once I got past the first chapter I was captivated.

12.  The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls-  This autobiography was unbelievable, at first I thought I was reading a really far out fiction book, then about half way through I realized it was a biography.  It was an amazing story, I do recommend this book.

13.  One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Ann Voskamp (Author)

14.  The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

15.  The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash your Spending, Pay Down your debt, Streamline Your Crystal Paine

16.  Don't Make Me Come up there!  Quiet moments for busy moms- by Welch, Kristen-  a humble book about giving yourself grace when you make mistakes as a mom.

17.  Parenting with Love an Logic- by Jim Fay AWESOME book, probably my favorite parenting book yet, I just ordered the toddler version

18.  Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The by Julie Klassen- I give this book four starts, I would recommend it if you are trying to unwind :)

19.  The Apothecaries' Daughter by Julie Klassen - I also give this book four stars, I just like some nice romance novels that don't cross the line

20.  Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin- I just haven't found a Lynn Austin book I don't enjoy- I give this book 5 stars

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Veggie Burrito Wrap

Here is my latest invention in an effort to eat healthier.
My husband called it the Veggie Burrito so I'll stick with that name.
You start out with a flour tortilla, I like the Mission brand
Cut up some cucumber and lay it down the center of the tortilla
Next get a normal sized carrot and peel it on top of the cucumbers
Layer some spinach, green peppers, tomatoes if you like...
The key to this actually tasting really great is the guacamole
Get an avocado and 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves and squish them together, top it off with some lime juice if you have any.  Then finally spread a nice thick layer of guacamole over all the veggies!

My husband looked at me like I had 3 heads when I told him what I was making.  He did agree to eat it and LOVED it.  He said later on that he felt really good and energetic vs the usual after lunch low.

I am a super picky eater and I really love this too!  Try it :)

Tzatziki Sauce with Pitas

Tzatziki Sauce

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t white pepper (we used black)
1 c Greek yogurt
1 c sour cream (friend used fat-free)
1 large cucumber, seeded, peeled: 1/2 diced for sauce, 1/2 sliced for inside pitas
1 t fresh dill (careful, easily overwhelming; we used dried)

Mix EVOO, garlic, salt & pepper until well combined. Blend with yogurt & sour cream. Finally add finely diced cucumber & dill.

Possible ingredients for pitas:
humus, kalamata (Greek) olives, feta, sliced peppers, tomatoes, avocado, whatever... and top with tzatziki sauce. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

God's Provision Isn't always what we expect.

I had a message left on my answering machine yesterday from a dear friend, her message was something like this, "Melinda, I am in the hospital I am getting my appendix out please pray."
I immediately started praying and left a message on her cell phone.  When I did end up speaking with her the next day she reminded me that her husband was out of town.  She has 2 young children.

Our pastor preached on joy and on finding it in all circumstances.  As my friend and I were discussing her sad situation.  I remembered the sermon, how can we find joy in this?  Well,  it turned out that two girls who lived next door who are usually at college were home on Christmas vacation and were able to babysit for my friend.  Thank God.  My friend was miraculous able to drive herself to the hospital.  She was given one of the best surgeons in our area to do the operation ( I am a nurse and knew her surgeon when she told me his name).  And finally, her favorite hospital meal (she loves baked chicken, and remember it from when she had her children at the hospital) was served to her this afternoon.

This was not the ideal situation, she probable would have preferred having her husband or mother be there to support her during this crisis, however God did fully provide for her and her family!

Sometimes, the people we want to be there to support us aren't available for different reasons.  But we need to remember that God is always there, and He will provide what and who we need when a crisis hit.

When you pass through the water I will be with you,
And the waves they will not overtake you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name.
You are mine.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lindy's Soon to be Famous Pumpkin Bread

I love it when I have success in mixing different recipes and have AMAZING results.  I had run out of canned pumpkin and wanted to make some pumpkin bread.  I did have some canned Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix in the pantry so I figured I would go for it and see what happens.
It came out much better than the original recipe that I have been using.  So much better that I am blogging it so I don't forget what I did.

Lindy's Soon to be Famous Pumpkin Bread- Yes it's that good! click here for printable version

  • 15 ounces of Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix (It comes in 30 ounce cans)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease 2 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin pie mix, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 1 hour in the preheated oven. 
  4. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Life Lessons

We are always teaching our children.  I have been convicted of this lately, that everything I do is a life lesson for my kids.  Sometimes I wish I could turn off the learning mechanism or hit rewind because some of the things my kids are learning from me are negative.

I am sure my kids won't remember all of the things they are learning in our schoolwork.  However, I am also equally sure they won't forget when I teach them poor behavior.  When I throw the tenth pair of shoes that I've picked up toward the shoe mat rather than carry them back into place.   When I am rude to the telemarketer who has woken up the baby from his nap.  When I say something negative about another person and my kids are listening....and learning.

Is this what I want my children to learn, no, no, no...ugh!!

I am praying and begging God to help me "grow up", to put childish ways away.  Please God make me the wife, mother and person you want me to be.

Thankfully, I am getting an opportunity to teach my kids repentance, forgiveness, grace and humility.  I am quick to apologize to my children and tell them when I have handled things poorly.  I ask them what do you think the right thing to do would have been?  Life lessons.....I think these are the ones that will be remembered.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goals over our 6 week vacation

I am so thankful for a break from CC.  I love it, but we need a little down time to review and recover.

We have a family in our CC group who amaze me with the large volume of poetry they have memorized.   I am inspired to start having my kids memorize poetry.  We actually started about 2 weeks ago and I am really surprised at how quickly my children can memorize poetry.   My first goal for the next 6 weeks is to memorize as much poetry as we can.

My 2nd goal is to review all the CC materials for the last 12 weeks.  My son Ethan really wants to be a memory master this year and I want to help him prepare.

My 3rd goal is to work on Physical Education.  This is an area I feel that I have really dropped the pun intended.  I plan on having my kids do some basketball, soccer and baseball drills to help with coordination.   

Here is a video of How to teach your child to catch with a baseball mitt.    I thought this would be intuitive but after trying to teach Ethan how to catch with a baseball mitt and failing miserable I thought I do some research.

We will be doing some activities on being thankful this week.  And of course some Christmas celebrating!  I haven't picked anything particular out yet, I'm just at the goal setting stage.

What are your goals over the holidays?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Great Worksheets online to go with My Body

If you go on the CC website under foundations/file sharing/ science projects.  Someone made these GREAT worksheets to go along with the My Body readings we did the last 6 weeks.  I just found them and wish I would have found them six weeks ago.  We are going to do them over our "break"!
And review all that we learned about My Body!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Every time I make this someone ends up asking me for the recipe.  I make all the time especially in the summer, it's so refreshing and tasty!
Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

History Highlights Q&A Week 11

Week 11 History Highlights Q&A pdf 

History Highlights Week 11 Q&A
1.  Did Lincoln side with the seceding states or the Union?_________________

2.  What famous book did Lincoln quote when he received the Republican nomination?_________________

3.  Did Lincoln win the race for the Senate? _____________

4.  True or False____________ Lincoln was our 4th president.  

5.  Which state was first to secede from the Union?______________

6.  What was the name of the Southern nation the seceded states formed?____________

7.  Which state had been undecided about which side to join?_________________

8.  Which city became the capital of the Confederacy?_____________________

9.  This war was mostly called the Civil War can you remember any other names this war was called?_________________________________

10.  True or False. ____________The Civil War claimed more American lives than any other war in the history of the United States.  
11.  What two main issues were resolved after the Civil War? _______________________________________________________________

1.  Abe Lincoln supported the Union.
2.  The Bible was the book Lincoln quoted.  
3.  No, he lost the race for Senate.
4.  False, Lincoln was our 16th president.
5.  South Carolina was the first state to secede.
6.  The Confederate States of America was the name of the nation that left the Union.
7.  Virginina hd been undecided about which side to join.
8.  Richmond, Virginia became the capital of the Confederate States of America.
9.  The Civil war was also known as the War Between the States, the War of Rebellion, the War of the Secession, or the War for Southern Independence; it has even been called the War of Northern Aggression.
10 True, it is widely accepted that the Civil war claimed more lives than any other war.
1.  The main issues that were resolved were the end of slavery and the right of a state to withdraw from the Union.   

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Washing Feet

My kids were running around in our yard today barefoot and their feet were filthy.  After I brushed their teeth, I sat each one on the edge of the sink and told them the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, as I washed their feet.

I told them how the disciples only wore sandals and their feet got really dirty.  I explained how Jesus decided to wash the disciples feet. I explained briefly how that was the worst job, but Jesus wanted to do it for his friends.  
I explained that when Jesus washed the disciples feet it was a symbol of what He can do to our hearts.   I told my children that I could wash their feet but Jesus could do much better he could wash their hearts.  

After washing Ethan and Hannah's cold dirty feet in some water and drying them, their feet were clean and warm.  I was reminded what an gentle loving God we serve. I am so grateful that He sent His Son to wash away my sins away!

Week 13 Science Worksheet

I made a science worksheet to go along with week 13's experiment.  Here is the link if you want to print it out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/28/11 Weekly Menu Plan

1. Cereal with fruit
2.  Pumpkin bread with fruit
3.  Pancakes with nitrate free sausage
4. Waffles with nitrate free sausage
5. French toast with fruit
6.  Smoothy- egg whites(pasteurized), yogurt, banana and strawberries

1.   Deli Meat, BBQ Chicken rolls with cheese stick and fruit
2.  PB&J with hummus and crackers
3.  Mac and Cheese
4.  Pizza at CC
5.  Tuna fish Sandwiches and Kids choice
6 .  Left Overs

1.  Frozen Ravioli with home-made spagetti sauce (I'm saving left over sauce for next week)
2.  Cheese and Fresh Bread, hummus crackers and fruit
3.  Grilled Chicken Salad
4.  Omelets and toast
5.  Debdozzie's Blue Ribbon Chili- This is the 1st time I've tried this recipe
6.  Sushi take-out
7.  Texmex Bean dip

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do you all know about ?

I just finished reading Ethan the very long book The Patchwork Girl of Oz.  I figured I would search to see if the library had an audiobook for him to listen to because he really loved the story(and I'm not willing to read it again)!    It turns out our library doesn't have it, so I thought I'd search online to see if I could find it and low and behold, it's online for free!

This website has many of the Classics on audiobook, wahoo!!  And best of all it's FREE!!!  I am so excited!

Ethan is in my room right now reading along with the recording!

This won't replace my reading time with him, however, it's another way I can keep him busy and learning!

I also found a link on to this website with free audiobooks -

Monday, November 7, 2011

Play Alone Time

I recently resumed "Play Alone Time" at my house.  I don't know exactly how we got off track, I think it happened about 20 months ago when I had my son Noah.  Life becomes very unscheduled when you have a newborn.

So we started "Play Alone Time" this last week and I had forgotten what a huge blessing it is!  
If you don't know what I mean by Play Alone Time, it is a time when your child or children go in their rooms for a certain amount of time and play by themselves.

We just started with my son Noah (20 months old) and this is how I've been doing it.  I put Noah in his crib, with toys that I reserve only for play alone time.  I put in a cd with classical music for him to listen to.  I started with 10 minutes, since he didn't really know what was happening.  He squawked and then proceded to throw every toy out of his crib on day 1.  The next time I bumped the time up to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes.  He is getting used to the idea, we are on about day 5 and he stayed in his crib playing happily for about 40 minutes before I heard the toys crashing to the floor.

My goal is to make it up to an hour.  This buys me sometime to get some schooling done with my other kids without interruption.   It is also very good for Noah because it gives him time to concentrate on what he is doing.  No one is grabbing toys from his hands or "helping" him.  He also is babbling a lot during this time, I guess because no one else is talking :)

Ethan and Hannah have already been trained in play alone time.  Since Ethan and Hannah share a room, I have Ethan go to their room and Hannah plays in the living room.  I give Hannah play dough or a coloring sheet or stickers to play with and Ethan is content to play with Legos.  I have their Play Alone Time during Noah's afternoon nap.  

If you are going to try this make sure it's not near nap time for a younger child.  I've been putting Noah in his crib about a hour and a half after breakfast.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Classical Conversations Week 11 Supplements.

Abe Lincoln Animation
Abraham Lincoln Reading Comprehension Sheet Q&A
Abraham Lincoln Coloring Page
Mount Rushmore Jigsaw Puzzle
Modern Marvels Mount Rushmore 
Mount Rushmore Coloring Page
Little Log Cabin Craft
Abraham Lincoln Printable Book Time line
Explanation of Succession- Reading

Little Log Cabin Craft
I am all over crafts that don't need a lot of different supplies, so this one was just right.  Sticks, a box and a glue gun.  
Hannah carefully using a glue gun.  

Ethan trimming off the excess.

Ethan's turn with the glue gun.  

Abe Lincoln's Cabin.  I hope his looked better than this but I'm not a very "crafty" mom.  So that's about as good as it gets.
My only recommendation if you try this craft is that you choose a small box.  My kids were over it about 3/4 of the way thru.   

Next week we are going to try the craft A Pioneer Wagon we saw posted on
We have all the supplies for that craft too!  Thanks Brandy!

Once Upon A time...The Hormones-  I haven't watched this yet either, I don't know if it goes into puberty.  
Endocrine System Kids Your Health- I haven't read this so please check it out first, unless your ready to explain puberty.  
In a Beehive Magic Schoolbus-  I'm posting this because we had a presentation on Bees in our class this week.  

Reading Supplements

What Lincoln said -Thomson, Sarah L. -K-3rd grade
Lincoln and his boys -Wells Rosemary ( I think this is the same author as Max and Ruby)
The Gettysburg Address in translation : what it really means -OlsonAges 8 and up
Abe's fish : a boyhood tale of Abraham Lincoln-Bryant- PreS-Grade 3
Honest Abe Lincoln: easy-to-read stories about Abraham Lincoln -Adler Gr 1-3
Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to Whitehouse, North.
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln, Fritz.
The Yanks are Coming. 

If You Lived ... Civil War, Moore. 
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Taylor. R:3-6 
Great Civil War Debate (DVD), Marshall. 
 Iron Scouts of the Confederacy, McGiffin. 
The Red Badge of Courage, Crane. R:5-6 
Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, Sterling. RA:1-7 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Menu Plan for this week

I am really proud of myself getting my weekly menu planned out so early in the weekend.

1.  Pumpkin bread clementines and bacon :)
2.  Frozen Pancake and nitrate free sausage
3.  Frozen French toast and some fruit
4.  Waffles and nitrate free sausage.
5.  Cereal with fruit
6.  Omelets with toast
7.  Pumpkin bread with clementines

1.  PB&J with fruit and sunchips
2.  Turkey Rolls, cheese sticks and fruit
3.  Mac and Cheese
4.  Pizza at CC
5.  PB&J with fruit and sunchips
6.  Turkey Rolls, cheese sticks and fruit

1.  Tacos
2.  Grilled chicken with rice and plantains
3.  Stoffers frozen lasagna
4.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup
5.  Tex-Mex bean dip with tortillas
6.  Chipotle Burritos
7.  Pollo Tropical Grilled chicken thrown over a spinach salad.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

History Highlights Week 10 Q&A

History Highlights Week 10 Q & A
Printable PDF
1.  The Mexican war was fought between which 2 countries?   

2.  The territory of _______revolted against the Mexican government and declared its independence.

3.  What did Mexico say they would do if the U. S.  allowed Texas to join the U.S. as a state?

4.  Who was the president during the Mexican War?

5.  Why did James Gadsden want to purchase more land from Mexico?

6.  The idea of Manifest Destiny had first surfaced in a _________________.

7.  What does Manifest Destiny mean?

8.  During whose presidency was the Manifest Destiny accomplished?

9.  T or F  Polk tried many ways to help with the problems of slavery.

1.  The U.S. and Mexico
2.  Texas
3.  They would declare war on the U.S.
4.  James K. Polk
5.  He was a railroad promoter and wanted the land for that purpose.
6.  In a newspaper
7.  Americans had a God-given right to occupy the North American continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  
8.  James K. Polk
9.  False

Classical Conversation Week 10 Supplements

America The Story of Us: The Alamo- video presented by the History Channel
The Alamo Just for kids-there are a lot of different activities on this website
Davy Crockett Coloring Page
Davy Crockett reading comprehension with questions printable
James K. Polk-C-Span  Download a video

Once Upon a time....Life-Breathing
Hall Of Health Coloring Pages- this is a great pdf. to supplement Science with I'm very excited that I found this one
Label the Respiratory System- this is a large pdf.  Scroll down to pages 14 and 15 to find the worksheet to label.  I will be using these in my class at CC. 

Book match ups
The Mexican-American War- Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta.  (Grade 5-9)
The Mexican War- Nobleman, Marc-Tyler (Grade 4-6)
The Mexican War: How the U.S. gained its western lands-Cantor, Carrie Nichols (Grade 4-6)
The Mexican War: "Mr. Polk's War" -Carey (Grade 6-9)
Hispanic America, Texas and the Mexican War, 1835-1850 (Grade 5 and up)
The Mexican War: manifest destiny- Carter, Alden R. (Grade 4-8)

The Alamo- Frandin, Dennis (Grade 3-6)
The Battle of The Alamo- O'Hern, Kerri (Grade 3-5)
The Battle of the Alamo-Doeden, Matt.  (Grade 3-6)
Davy Crockett : defender of the Alamo -Sanford, William R. (Grade 4-6)

James K. Polk, eleventh president of the United States- (Ages 10 and up)
James K. Polk : our eleventh president -Gaines, Ann (Ages 9 and up)

Lungs : your respiratory system- Simon, Seymour (Grades 3-6)

The respiratory system- Jakab, Cheryl (Grade 3-5)
The respiratory system -Frost, Helen (K-Grade 2)
The respiratory system-Stille, Darlene R. (Grade 2-4)

Have you found anything else to supplement with this week?  Please leave a comment!

Friday, October 21, 2011

History Highligts Q&A Week 8

I am going to start using CC History Highlights, here are some of the questions I'll be asking my kids after we've read it.

Printable Version pdf.  

History Highlight Q&A
1.  Henry Clay was born in 1777 during the __________ ___________.
2.  Whose War was the War of 1812 referred to as?
3.  The treaty of Ghent ended which war?
4.  When Missouri applied for statehood how many slave and free states were there?
5.  What was the moral problem dividing our country?
6.  Who negotiated a compromise which kept the number of slave states equal to the number of free states?
7.  Which two states joined the Union in the Missouri Compromise?
8.  The Missouri Compromise banned slavery in what territory?

1.  American Revolution
2.  Mr. Clay's War
3.  The War of 1812
4.  Eleven Slave States and Eleven Free States
5.  Is Slavery evil?
6.  Henry Clay
7.  Missouri and Maine
8.  The Louisiana Purchase Territory

Classical Conversations week 9 Q&A from HIstory Highlights Reading.

I am going to start asking my kids questions after doing the reading the History Highlights which are available on the CC Tutorial.
Here are the some of the questions that I will be asking.

Printable PDF.  Click Here. 
History Highlights Q&A

1.  After which war did the U.S. acquire the territory that included the states of New Mexico, Utah and California?

2.  Congress had to decided whether the territory won in the Mexican War in 1848 would be _______or have ____________.

3.  What is a fugitive slave?

4.  Was it legal for people living  in a free state to help rescue a slave from a southern state?

5.  The Dred Scott decision increased tension between the North and South and lead to what war?

6.  Succession is when the __________states left the Union and formed their own government.

7.  Which was the first state to sucede from the Union?

1. Mexican war
2. Free or have slavery
3.  A slave who ran away from his master
4.  No
5.  The Civil War
6.  Southern
7.  South Carolina

Classical Conversation Week 9 Supplements

The Fugitive Slave Act Reading and questions
The Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act  Reading
Harriet Tubman- Reading Comprehension Worksheet and questions
Harriet Tubman Video-animated
National Geographic-The Underground Railroad- this is really cool, it shows the tricks they used to hid slaves.
Dred Scott case: the Supreme Court decision 
List of Reading Comprehension and Questions on Slavery
The Dred Scott Decision High School Lesson and writing actitivity
Black History Word Find Easy
Black History Word Find Hard
Harriet Tubman coloring page

PBS Resource Bank - The Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act- reading
An Unpopular Decision- The Dred Scott Decision-video
The Dred Scott Decision-video
Coloring Sheets on Early American Life

How to make a Corn Husk Doll-Wherever corn was grown as a crop, children, in both Native American and Colonial American families, used husks to fashion dolls. Follow these simple instructions and refer to the accompanying diagrams to create your own unique doll.

Great Salt Lake Facts-reading
U.S. Geography Games Online- An easy and fun way to review U.S. Geography

Once upon a time the Lymph System 

Math a fun way to practice math drills

Fine Arts Music
Giant staff paper that is easy to label.
Practice drawing notes- rhythms worksheet
Fill in the blank label the notes worksheet
Music Theory Games
Pianimals- Teach your child beginner's Piano DIY-  I used this program to teach my son beginners piano, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make sure their child likes playing piano before investing a fortune in hiring a teacher.  I am amazed at how far Pianimals has taken us.  This is not a paid advertisement, it's just a product I LOVE!  I have a link below if you want to check it out any further!  

Reading List
The Trail of Tears, Bruchac. 
Soft Rain, Cornelissen. 
Mexican War (Perspectives On History
Mexican-American War CDs 
Picture That! The Trails West, Galforf.  
Wagon Train, Kramer. 
Children of the Covered Wagon, Carr. 
Daily Life in a Covered Wagon, Erickson. 
Bud & Me, Abernathy. 
If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, Levine.
They’re Off! The Story of the Pony Express,
Pecos Bill, Bowman. 
Sitting Bull, Recht Penner. 
Cowboys of the Wild West, Freedman. 

Why I homeschool all year round and on most Saturdays.

I am very driven when it comes to homeschooling my kids, but I can't say that "being driven" is the reason I home school in the summer and on Saturdays.

The main reason I homeschool in the summer is.........simply....... what else is there to do with children when they are awake for 12 hours a day?  Really, homeschooling last only about 2 hours with my children at their current age, maybe a little longer if you include reading books.  I simply can't think of ways to keep them busy the entire day, I don't want them sitting in front of the tv or computer all day.   "Idol hands are the devil's playground", so I like to keep them busy.

The 2nd reason I homeschool in the summer, is that I don't want my kids forgetting all the hard work we did all year.  What is the point of teaching and reteaching the same material.  It bores me and I'm guessing it will bore my kids too!

The 3rd reason is I want my kids to start college as soon as possible.  Many of the local community colleges offer free college courses to home-schooled kids starting the last two years of high school.  That's money that I don't have to spend on college.  Since I no longer have a job, I figure one way I can make a financial investment in their future education is by getting my kids ready now.

Now you may ask why I we do school on Saturday.  Well, there are 52 weeks in a year which means there are also 52 Saturdays in a year.  That's almost 2 months of wasted time.  Public school give their students homework over the weekend, so really why wouldn't we do some work on Saturday.  I usually only do the 3 R's on Saturday (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic).

My husband like to relax on Saturday mornings so I usually just start the mornings the same way we do a school regular day.  By the time we finish up school work he is ready to get going.

And my final reason is that when Mommy needs a break, I don't need to loose any sleep.  We are way ahead of schedule!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making reading a little more fun!

My sister gave me this idea the other day.  Throw a bunch of pillows in the tub and let the kids read books.  We call it a pillow bath, just make sure the kids know not to turn on the water :)

Menu Plan for this Week 10/17

1.  Bagels and Fruit
2.  Frozen pancakes,butter,  no syrup
3.  Frozen French Toast, butter, no syrup
4.  Frozen Waffles, butter, no syrup
5.  Cereal
6.  Pumpkin Muffins and fruit

1.  Mac And Cheese
2.  BBQ Boars Head chicken rolls with a cheese stick and fruit
3.  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with tomato soup
4.  Pizza at CC
5.  PB&J

1.  Tex Mex Bean dip with Tortila Chips
2.  Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3.  Homemade spaghetti sauce with turkey meatballs
4.  Spinach Cranberry Salad with Grilled Chicken on top
5.  Frozen Pizza with a salad

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Skip Counting Hopscotch

This is how I've been teaching skip counting in my class, we say the numbers as the student jumps on it.
The kids love it, it keeps them moving and out of their seats!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Now that's What I'm talkin about Guacamole

I have tried countless guacamole recipes and none of them seem quite right.  When I visited my sister this summer she introduced Evan and I to our all time favorite guacamole recipe.  The ingredient that was missing in all the others was the raw garlic.

All you need is
1 plum tomato
2 avocado
1/2 red onion
1 lime
3 gloves of garlic

First mash the avocados, then mince the garlic and add it, mix in the chopped tomato and chopped red onion   Mix it all together then squeeze the juice from 1 lime over all of it .  Simple and Delicious!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Free ABC Printable Scripture Cards

I just saw this on
I will saving this one for  a little later.
Free ABC Printable Scripture Cards

CC Field Trip To Bedner's Farm and Cypress Swamp Boardwark

We just love Bedner's farm.  Our field trip started going thru their fields and learning about farming in Florida.  

Our tour included a walk on Cypress Swamp Boardwalk.  We saw a huge Black Racer Snake, but I was too busy running away to pull out my camera.  Here the kiddos found a grasshopper.

Gracie and Hannah Examining a Caterpillar
Hannah is my fearless one she will pick up almost any living creature.  She doesn't get that from me!

Noah's not so sure about this hayride business.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to homeschool with a busy toddler.

I think this year has been more of a challenge for me than last year.  Last year Noah, my 18month old was not mobile.  This year he is all over the place.  I am finding it a huge challenge, to teach Hannah and Ethan their schoolwork and keep Noah safe and attended to.

Now that it's getting a little cooler out, I have been racing to the park right after breakfast.  I let little Noah run to his hearts content!  When we get home he seems a little less rambunctious and it seems to lessen my mommy guilty.

My next weapon is assigning one of the kids to play with Noah while I teach the other.  It's a good chance for them to bond with Noah or to stuff him in a container :)  Just kidding, he climbed in there himself.

I have switched my Math curriculum this month to Teaching Textbooks, Ethan can do math completely independently and the problems we've had with him daydreaming during Math have disappeared.  I highly recommend this program.

I have also switched from McGuffy's Eclectic readers to Headsprout Early Reading.  This has also been a huge stress reliever for me.

We review almost all of our CC materials in the car by listening to our cd or I have my kids do the tutorials on the computer. has a bunch of cool ideas's called Busy Bags, we've tried a few bags and they really keep Noah busy.
Noah is putting twist ties into this bottle, he did it about 20 times before he was ready to move on to something else.

Noah can't do this one yet but Hannah had a good time stringing the noodle pieces, Noah enjoyed taking them off.  
We do all of our reading before bed.  Noah goes to sleep around 7pm, so I read to the older two right after I get Noah down.  I try to read a few nonfiction that I choose followed by whatever fiction books they want me to read.  My kitchen isn't spotless, my floors aren't clean but I know this is only a season and this is what's working now.

Menu Plan for this Week

1.  Bagels and Fruit
2.  Frozen pancakes,butter,  no syrup
3.  Frozen French Toast, butter, no syrup
4.  Frozen Waffles, butter, no syrup
5.  Cereal
6.  Pumpkin Muffins and fruit

1.  PB &J
2.  BBQ Boars Head chicken rolls with a cheese stick and fruit
3.  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
4.  Pizza at CC
5.  PB&J

1.  Chicken Curry in a Hurry
2.  Tex Mex Black bean dip with Tortilla chips
3.  Crock pot Lasagna
4.  Omelets
5.  French Onion Soup
6.  Burritos from Chipotle

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Classical Conversations Week 8 Supplements

Magic School Bus Works Out-
Magic School Bus Gets Sick- 
School House Rock -Do the Circulation
Once upon a time...The Heart 
Your Heart- Reading Comprehension Worksheet with Questions
Immune System Reading Comprehension Worksheet with Questions
Circulation Game
Anatomy Arcade- some online games to review the circulatory system
Your Heart and Circulatory System- Kids Health
Human Body organ location coloring sheet

Geography Games-Online

Geography Game- I may try this when we complete all the states and capitals at CC
States and Capitals Bingo- I may try this when we complete all the states and capitals at CC
States and Capitals Board game-  I think I'll play this one at home with the kiddos!
Wakko's 50 States and Capitols Song and video-My son Ethan memorized this song last year, he is getting it mixed up so we will probably review it again over Christmas break.

The Missouri Compromise- simply explained youtube video

Math Times tables 14's online quiz
Printable Math Worksheet 14's- I had to select then copy and paste this into a different document then print it out

Reading List

A Gathering Of Days, Blos. RA:4-A; R:6-A 
Davy Crockett: His Own Story, Crockett

Jed Smith: Trailblazer of the West 
Davy Crockett, hero of the wild fronteier 
Wanted Dead or Alive The true story of Harriet Tubman
An Apple for Harriet Tubman  Gr 1-5
Harriet Tubman Rustad, Martha -simple text and  photographs introduce the life of Harriet Tubman

Escape North: The story of Harriet Tubman, Kulling Monica
Harriet Tubman: hero of the Underground Railroad
Library of the State – Missouri
The Circulatory System-Storad Grade 3-4
Blood The Circulatory System- Grade 2-4

Friday, September 30, 2011

Classical Conversations Supplements Week 7

War of 1812 reading comprehension with questions.
Power Point Presentation of Excretory System
James Monroe- Short biography and Quiz-- for some reason I can't link these pages but they are great! So go to the website or google garden of praise James Madison. 
Reading Music Basics
Free Music Theory Worksheets
Drawing Music Symbols- I will be using some of these sheets in my class. 

Word Search
War of 1812 Word Search

Coloring Sheets
Urinary system coloring page
James Madison Coloring sheet

War of 1812 Trivia game
Excretory System Quiz
Multiplication Game Website- lots of interactive games to practice multiplication
Geography Game match States with their capitals and locations.
James Monroe Jigsaw Puzzle
James Monroe Crossword Puzzle online
James Monroe Word Search
Reading Music Game

Stuff to Watch
Once Upon a time The Kidneys
Nova Science NOW How does the brain work- LOVE THIS!!
First Invasion War of 1812- History Channel

War of 1812 Overture- Listen to Tchaikosvsky

Reading List

  • Washington Ablaze: the War of 1812 Grade 4-6
  • What's so great about Francis Scott Key Grade 1-3
  • Dolley Madison saves history -
     Smalley, Roger. Ages 9-12
  • The story of the Star-Spangled Banner - Jacobson, Ryan Ages 9-12
  • The Star Spangled Banner- Welch Catherine Grade 1-2
  • The Flag Maker  Gartoletti K-Grade 2
  • Once on This Island, Whelan. 
  • Batttles of the War of 1812. 
  • Soldiers of the War of 1812 
  • War of 1812 (Cornerstones of Freedom)
  • War of 1812 (Perspectives On History) 
  • James Monroe, Venezia. (RR)