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The Old Schoolhouse Expo and GIVEAWAY

(This is a promotion post for The Schoolhouse Expo. I have been given a free ticket to the event to help promote it. For more information please see my disclosure tab above.)

TOS Expo

Get Ready! Get Set! No need to “go”! The Old Schoolhouse invites you to attend a week long Expo event from the comfort of your home! That’s right! No fuel costs, no travel involved, no need for a sitter, no waiting in lines! This Expo includes live presentations from some of the biggest names in homeschooling! All homeschoolers will benefit from the wealth of information and inspiration shared each day. Don’t have time to commit to an entire week? No problem! The Expo will be recorded and you will have access to any and all sessions that you miss. What a great way to jump start the school year! Mark it on your calendar and tell your family you will be attending your first Parent/Teacher conference of the year! Join us August 19-23 from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Eastern). For more information and to purchase your ticket, go to www.SchoolhouseExpo.com.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to a bunch of “big-name” homeschoolers all in one place? Just think how refreshing it would be to gain perspective through the eyes of the ones who have years of homeschooling experience and advice to share! The Old Schoolhouse is about to make this a reality! You are invited to join us for a week long Expo Extravaganza event August 19-23 from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM – all from the comfort of your home and through your favorite device. You’ll hear sessions from special guests including:

Ray Comfort

 

Carol Topp

Dean Butler

 

Adam Andrews

Todd Wilson

 

Andrew Pudewa

Jessica Hulcy

 

Ann Dunagan

Diana Waring

 

Christine Field

Dr. Jay Wile

 

David C. Gibbs III

Hal & Melanie Young

 

David Stelzl

Kim Kautzer

 

Davis Carman

Antony Kolenc

 

Evonne Mandella

Terri Johnson

 

Tyler Hogan

Andy Harris

 

Marie Rippel

Jennifer Courtney

 

Deborah Wuehler

Joaquin Fernandez

 

Heather Laurie

Malia Russell

 

and MORE!

 

Don’t wait! Seats are limited! Go to www.SchoolhouseExpo.com today and get signed up for an event that will leave you equipped, refreshed, encouraged, and ready to tackle a new school year.

 

I have the privledge to give away one ticket for free!! All you have to do is sign up below!!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

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Family Field trip

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We went on a family field trip over the weekend. A short (hour drive) from our house, we found a nice little "farm" that allowed our kids to get up close and personal to many different animals. Ray Ray has this fascination with deer. We had gone out and looked for deer on our car ride home from picking up daddy at work, but that just wasn't enough for this kid. When he walked in the gates, I thought he was seeing Santa Clause! 

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These deer were so tame. They really didn't care what you did! It is not everyday that your kids can sit and watch out over the water with a deer. Each of the kids got a bag of food and got to feed the deer straight out of their hands. This was so special for each of them.

 

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Even Big Kid had a fun time sitting down and petting the deer. We had never been here before, and found new surprises around each corner as we walked. Not only were we able to feed the deer, but we got to feed goats, llamas, pigs, bunnies, ducks, horses and sheep! They also had an elk pair, a grizzly bear, bobcat, wolves and river otter. However, those that were more dangerous wer not able to be fed or touched like the deer and other animals. (This momma was glad!)

 

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Mommy and daddy had just as much fun as the kiddos! Little Miss kept wanting to feed the babies, but those were smart little deer and didn't let people get too close to them. They did have a sign saying that the fawns would "listen" well to their moms and stay away from strangers. That is good for them, and made for a good teaching moment about stranger danger!

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Until next time deer!!

 

Have you gone on a fun field trip like this? What was your favorite memory? 

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Five Minute Friday: Broken

Five Minute Friday

 

Today I am taking part in Five Minute Friday. I am given the topic and write for five minutes. Here is my post for today:

 

Broken

I look across the floor and see broken toys, "But mom we can't get rid of that. That is my favorite!" Why do boys love broken toys so much? How do you get rid of broken toys? I don't want the kids mad, but I don't want broken toys…

Broken

Broken toys are in the sandbox. "Mom, those are for our battle, we can't get rid of those!" Once again my boys won't let me get rid of anything broken!

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I am glad we have not had broken bones or anything like that! 

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Broken time alone…that is what this mommy deals with. Not even five minutes to "write" and my attention is needed. Off to make sure nothing more is broken!!

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Time4Writing Final Review

 

Time4Writing Review

Well, we are in the middle of summer. What a busy time this has been!! I can't believe how fast it has gone by. Right now in the house we are working on a solar system unit with all ages. We just got over that nasty head cold and now Little Miss is working on getting her two year molars!! How does a mommy get anything done??

When it came to helping Big Kid with his writing, I cheated during all of this. I used Time4Writing.com. It was so nice to have someone else telling him what to change, or keep the same about his writing. I would have to say this was my favorite  thing about the whole program. He knew that I wouldn't be the one grading him, so he slowed down a bit more. I also stepped back from helping him as he got half way through this program. Big Kid wasn't too thrilled the first time he got an email back telling him he had to re-do half the assignment, but I knew that I was helping too much. 

The teachers of this program were wonderful. Within 24 hours we would have his written assignments graded and ready for us to review. When he had a hard time focusing and had a lower grade, he was given a second chance. I love second chances! When I noticed him having a hard time, or getting a re-do, we would sit down together and go over the lesson and make the corrections that were needed. 

Another thing we found during our second half of using T4W was the videos!! Big Kid did his own orientation, so I didn't know there were videos, but I love those! Big Kid likes to read, but if something is "boring" he skips. When he listened to the videos, I noticed he got a better score on the assignments. Those quick little videos were our life savers!

Big Kid loved that the program was "easy". Not the writing itself, but the using of the program. He was able to get on the site and know what to do.  There wasn't a lot of extras to get in the way, but still enough to keep him interested. 

We did the basic mechanics program, so there wasn't much for the "creative writing" side of things. But I am not complaining about that. We are still working on pulling that out of Big Kid. We did a lot of looking for errors in the sentences and correcting them, or adding the missing part of each sentence.

My biggest dislike of the whole thing is the price. It is $99 for the eight week course, which isn't bad considering you have a teacher helping you at home, but I can't see fitting that into our budget right now. Besides that, I really don't have anything to complain about!

Big Kid said it was hard, yes after he said it was easy. This is where I asked for clarification, and found out that the website is easy, the course itself made him think. Do I find that as a downfall to the program? NO! Does he feel that way during the summer months? Yes, as any 12 year old boy would 🙂

Other than it being "hard", we had no other complaints from Big Kid either. What a wonderful thing considering he doesn't like to write and I made him do that over the summer!

I was happy about using this program and glad we were given the chance to! Have you tried Time4Writing? What are your thoughts about the program? I would love to hear them!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Click here to read my full disclosure policy. I received this 8-week course from Time4Writing.com for free in return for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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Top Ten Best Things About Summer (From the Kids)

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Ok, so I have no idea what to write today…too busy lesson planning and trying to stay cool. So I am leaving this one up to the kids. Here are the answers I got when I asked them what the best things about summer were.

 

1. We get to be home.  (Big Kid) I don't get why this was the answer, but we do kind of hide out in the house on the hot days.

2. We can play in the sprinkler. (Ray Ray) Well, we did just buy a new one, but this kid keeps me on my toes…he loves to say he loves playing in the sprinkler, but when it comes down to it, he won't go anywhere near it!!

3. Playing outside.  (Big Kid) And boy do we ever like to play outside! Between the sandbox, garden and bikes there are a lot of options to stay busy!

4. Ray Ray and Little Miss both agree…the sandbox! That sandbox has been getting some good use out of it!! There are many things that happen there, gardening, monster trucks, Star Wars battles and sand castles. I do love having that in the back yard!!

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5. Going on vacation. (all of us) Once a year we go to Wisconsin Dells with my dad and step mom. The kids are starting to get spoiled by this, but they do really look forward to it. As soon as Christmas is over they start their countdown!!

6. Going to the park. The kids all love the park (Big Kid loves any park with a swing since our set is too small for him now). It changes things up for them and they wear off a lot of pent up energy this way.

7. Riding bike. The boys love their bikes. Little Miss is learning on her trike, but loves to ride behind mommy in the bike trailer!

8. I can see the grass! (Ray Ray) I think this kid is going to take after his daddy and be really proud of how nice the yard looks 🙂

9. Having picnics outside.  What an easy cleanup for mommy…and as soon as they get over the fear of bugs getting into their food, we are good!

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10. Bonfires and s'mores!! Need I say more? IMG_20130706_183029_635

What are the favorite things about summer in your house?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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Having Fun With Bubbles

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We have had a busy week! Between playing outside and having fires, playing with sparklers and hanging out with daddy, we needed something calm to do today. There wasn't much, but my kids love bubbles! Big Kid is having a hard time figuring out what he can do with them. I read somewhere (sorry, I don't remember where but probably Pintrest) about sword fighting with bubbles. What boy wouldn't have fun with fighting bubbles? Well my boys LOVED it!!

Take two boys who love Star Wars, and a mom who doesn't like them fighting light sabers and hurting each other, put those together and you have to figure something out. I decided that the bubbles were the enemies (I don't do Star Wars so I don't know who the enemy is) and the boys went to town trying to destroy them! Not only do they use their imaginations, but they get in the physical exercise and mom doesn't have to do too much, a bonus!!

Little Miss wanted something to do with bubbles too. She is a mini Star Wars fan, but I thought of something different for her. She was bored with her typical bath time tonight. So what does this mommy do? Yep, I pull out the bubbles!! I had just as much as she did!! Blowing bubbles into a bathtub is so interesting. They bounce off the water! And when she was able to catch them, she was able to hold them. 

Bubbles are so fun! They are wonderful for every age. What are some of the fun ways you use bubbles with your kids?

 

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kubina/94086662/">Jeff Kubina</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

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Fine Arts Pages

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(This post contains affiliate links)

 

We have been homeschooling since January 2013.  It has been fun and a learning experience for everyone in the house! For the end of the last school year, it was find something and put it together quick to make it work. Now that I have had the time to prepare, we are almost all set for our 2013-2014 school year! One thing that I am really excited for is the oppourtunity to teach more about the fine arts. Yes, I have books, but I found a website I really like too, Classical Composers Monthly. This site is a homeschool mom's dream! 

 

We haven't started the school year yet, but it doesn't mean we can't still learn something! Over the summer months that are left, we are using the Fine Art Pages to help introduce famous paintings and artists to the kids. We are using the suggestion of hanging up a page with a picture and information on that picture in a spot where everyone can see it. Right now, the picture is of Mona Lisa. She is in a page protector and taped to the bathroom mirror…hey, teeth brushing can get boring 🙂 I told the boys about it and said I would be quizzing them later about the picture. Big Kid will have to read more about it and Ray Ray will have to study the actual picture. They seem excited about this (sneaking in just to study the picture) and are waiting for their quiz!

 

But Classical Composers isn't just about artists and paintings, it is also about composers (hence the name!). You are able to receive information about a classical composer that you are able to share with your children. These resources are wonderful! There are links to many examples of the pieces of music the composer has, links directing you to eBooks that help you teach about the composer and a section of "fun stuff" that includes word finds, quizzes and podcasts for the kids. This is the section I am excited to start using with the kids this fall. I feel that we can add some notebooking pages into this and spend two days a week learning about the Composer or Artist of the month. Nothing to scare the kids, but enough to peak their interests. 

 

Erica has some free samples for those of you who want to try it out before you buy it. For a Monet sample, click here. Some info and a free sample of the Fine Arts pages, click here. And here is where you can sign up for some free resources on composer Handel.

 

Go and check it out! I am loving what I see and having fun using it, I think you will too!!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: Click here to read my full disclosure policy. I was given a free product in exchange for my honest review. I was not paid or required to write a positive review. This  is all my own words and opinions. There are also affiliate links in this post. I receive compensation for you buying something after clicking on the link. That money is put to good use by helping to support our homeschooling. Thank you!

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Planning the New School Year

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So, here I sit. I am busy planning and thinking and planning some more. I am planning the lesson plans for the fall. I am going to have a 7th grader, a Kindergartner and a Tot-schooler! Where have those years gone?!?!

 

For Big Kid, we are going to do more living books this year. He loves to read and loves history, so I want to build on that! We are going to work on Singapore Math, and master those pesky math facts that keep tricking him! He wants to learn cursive! Public school thought it would be too hard at the time the rest of the kids were learning it, and never followed through to see if he wanted to learn later. So now we are! He is also going to work on learning computer programing, something he is excited about!

 

Ray Ray is going into Kindergarten!! My "baby" isn't a baby anymore! We are focusing on his handwriting this year!! We are using a combination of Erica's K4 program from Confessionsofahomeschooler.com and some from Carisa's Raising Rockstars Kindergarten program over at 1+1+1=1. We are also doing A reason for Handwriting and Singapore Earlybird Math. 

 

Little Miss will be doing some Before Five in a Row and learning what the letters and numbers look and sound like. Not too much, but enough to do something like her big brothers.

 

But today it is time to play outside and maybe learn something about art…maybe 🙂

 

 

 

Disclosure: I am not receiving any compensation for the links and products listed above. These are my own choices and items that I look forward to using.

 

 

photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom via photopin cc

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8 Years

A lot has happened in the last 8 years. In the last 8 years, we have lost family members who were near and dear to us. In the last 8 years, we adopted Big Kid and gave birth to Ray Ray and Little Miss. We have had so much fun in the last 8 years! And today…well today is my 8 year wedding anniversary to my handsome and wonderful husband!! A lot has happened in 8 years, but that is my favorite thing in the world!!

 

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