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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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Compassion Bloggers in Nicaragua

Compassion Bloggers Nicaragua Trip 2013

Ok, I will admit it…my kids are spoiled. They are spoiled because they have a house to live in, they have clothes to wear and food to eat. They don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from and they don't need to worry about anything more than being a kid right now. Yes, they are spoiled! 

 

I am following the Compassion Bloggers while they are in Nicaragua and the stories I have been reading are sad, but than there are the happy ones! These families work all day for $1-$6 (for the DAY!) and yet they appreciate that money and their families, maybe more than most of us!!

I want to help my kids understand compassion. I want them to know and appreciate what they have. I didn't know how to do that before, but I am having them follow along with me. Each time I read a blog from one of the bloggers, I include my children. I let them see the pictures. I read them the stories. I don't know what they might be thinking, but I know that they are seeing something new. It is no longer just mom and dad telling them not to waste food because kids in other places don't have as much as us. It is real now. Just like they see the pictures I put up of them, they are seeing the pictures of other kids.

There are many bloggers who are on this journey. Here is one of their stories. If you want to follow more of the bloggers, here is the link to where you can find them.

Follow these bloggers with me, and pray for them with me!  

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A Trip in History

 

Furpost

 

A short drive from home and we went from the year 2013 to the winter of 1804! Just off the Snake River in Pine City Minnesota, you will find a Northwest Company Fur Post. There are many Fur Posts in the Northwest, but this one we went to was the home of John sayer. My children were in heaven from the minute we got out of our "canoe on wheels" and they saw the beautiful visitor center waiting for them to explore.

 

 

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After I was able to get the kids out of the exhibits, we were able to actually visit the winter of 1804 (ignoring the heat and mosquitoes made it more like winter). We were first able to view some of the furs that the Fur Post collected during that winter (not the actual ones, but close enough). Than we took a short walk to the Ojibwe village. The Ojibwe played a very important role in the fur trade. They not only helped provide the furs, but they helped with other items such as food, canoes and helping to guide the voyageurs  who came to this area.

 

 

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We left the Ojibwe village and made our "journey" to the Fur Post. What a fun sight to see as you walk out of the pine trees and see this "fort" as my boys called it! We were able to explore the many different areas of the Fur Post, including climbing up and looking out of the Bastions on two different sides. The actual post contains six different rooms. There are the voyageur's bunkroom and quarters, then the clerk's quarters. The Sayer family has their own room which is connected to the warehouse (the one room not seen during the tour) and finally the Indian Shop where all the business and trading happened.

 

 

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The boys were loving everything they saw in the trade shop. I loved that they were able to touch, feel, and play with almost everything in the whole trip!! Where in the world are you able to go to a "history museum" (I say it like that because it was too fun to be a museum), and touch everything there is?? The kids were not bored once! It was all questions and acting things out and just being kids learning through play!!

There is the option to take a guided tour, from a tour guide who is in the role of either a voyageur or an Ojibwe woman. They give wonderful tours and I would have loved sitting down for one, but I knew my kids wouldn't want to sit and listen if they could run and play. But the guides are every where and are friendly and answer any question you may have. Plus, this momma knew a thing or two about the Fur Post and being a guide 😉

This is a trip in history that you should take if you have the chance!! Check out the website here. We had such a fun time on our field trip and you should too!!!

 

As a note: I was note paid or compensated in anyway for the writing of this post. I do not receive any affliate benefits from you visiting the website listed above, other than knowing that you are learning a little about the history we learned about. This is simply a post about my family and the fun that we had.

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A Visit to the Zoo

zoo

 

We took a family mini-trip over the weekend. We went to the zoo! Some days it feels like I live in the zoo, but this was so much more fun! Little Miss is fascinated with "monkeys" (and she even climbs like one at 2 years old!), so it was nice to see the new gorilla forest they had. She couldn't get enough of them, even with the crowd they had. And it was cute to see the baby curled up with his (or her) blankie in this picture. The kids were able to get up close to see him (or her).

 

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Ray Ray got to see his favorite animal too, the buffalo (bison)! He was so happy to be able to get right up to the fence and watch them eat the grass. You can tell the weather is finally getting warmer here, as the bison were starting to shed their winter coats. They didn't look "pretty", but to a 4 year old, they were perfect!! And yes, we spent a lot of time at this exhibit!!

 

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Big Kid enjoyed himself, but the pictures of him are far and few between…he just doesn't want his picture taken. He must be getting older, although I am not quite ready for that!

 

It was a fun filled day and we enjoyed it! I was glad to be able to spend some time with Daddy before he had to go back to work, and the kids enjoyed it also!!

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Time4Writing Midcourse Review

Time4Writing

I can't believe we are at the four week mark in our Time4Writing experience! Big Kid is enjoying to a degree…but he is a struggling writer and I am making him do this over the summer vacation, so I can see where that is coming from.

 

I sat down with Big Kid and we talked about what we did and didn't like about this program. Here is what we have come up with so far.

Pros

  • The set up is easy to understand. Once we watched the introduction video, we both knew what we needed to do to check everything out.
  • The assignment directions are just as easy to understand.
  • Even thought the directions are easy, the assignments themselves are challenging to the right degree. They are not too hard, and not super easy either.
  • The teacher was very friendly and helped Big Kid when he would turn in assignments without me knowing.
  • The emails are sent to my inbox, so I am able to keep an eye on when he should be moving on to the next section or if he needs more practice.
  • The lessons don't take too much time. I really appreciate this since we signed up for our course over the summer months. It doesn't take Big Kid that long at all if he actually focuses on it and if I have him do it before he gets involved in something else for the day.

Cons

  • To log out, Big Kid is constantly searching for the button. I have to keep reminding him where it is because it is too small and doesn't really stand out.
  • The price for this program is $99 for an eight week course. This isn't really an outrageous price, but for those on a tight budget, this is a price that is hard to find room for sometimes.

 

As you can tell, at this point in our course both Big Kid and I really have more pros than cons when it comes to this program. I am looking forward to see how the second half of this course works for us! I will let you know how we do when we finish. Keep an eye out for my post in about 4 weeks!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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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Weekly Wrap Up

 

 

Another week gone by. Where did it go? I really don't know some days! This week was the first week of summer vacation for the public school kids. For my kids that meant they had company this week. For mommy that meant getting up 2 hours earlier than I have in the last six months!

 

Monday

We all had a wonderful time on Monday since that was the first day our friends were here. We did some reading and Big Kid continued his reading catch-up so we are ready to go in the fall on our new curriculum.

 

Tuesday

This is when our rainy weather started…we didn't have a spring this year, but I think maybe it is now here! If it hasn't been raining it has been cloudy and cold! This has made it a little difficult for the kids to wear off their energy, so we are finding new things to do. I didn't realize how much paper and markers could offer when presented at time of boredom!!

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Wednesday

We decided it would be fun to learn a little about Bald Eagles today. It was fun to do a little something "school wise", but still have fun doing it! We had some pages printed up from NotebookingPages.com and I found a few websites that showed us pictures, facts and even the sound of an eagle. We have a "few" statues around the house, so it was easy for us to find something to copy the colors with.

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Thursday

Another day, and more rain…at this point the kids were ready to hurt someone! This is the point where arguments happen on a regular basis. And for some reason they were between siblings and not amongst everyone…except for one 🙂

 

Friday

Now today we are hoping for some relief! It is not raining, so even with these dreadful clouds I am going to be ready to go and run in the backyard for a while after lunch. I just hope it's not too muddy. Big Kid has his weekly job of cutting grandma's yard. This is another thing that has been put off due to the fact that it has been just plain too wet! We plan to go there this afternoon and get that done. We are also expecting daddy to come home for the weekend! It will be so fun and hopefully the weather will cooperate so that we can get out and do something together! Mommy and daddy have a few ideas that the kids don't know about, just have to see what happens weather wise first!

 

I hope that you all have had a fun filled week! I look forward to another week ahead and have been thankful for the week I have had!

 

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 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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Cloudy Days

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photo credit: DeaPeaJay via photopin cc

 

 

So, it is Tuesday…it is cloudy and ready to rain. We just had a rainy weekend and I have kids who are going to want to play outside, but this is the day we have, so I am thankful!

 

We are in our first week of "summer vacation". I think that is more for the kids than for mommy. I still have the same things to do, and more with plans for next years homeschool schedule. I honestly think I have everything I need to actually plan it all out! Now just to do it!

 

We have some fun planned for the summer of course. I have two extra kids every other week to start. My three love these two and it is a special treat for them to have their friends here to play with. We plan to do some basic school over the summer months, with lots of reading involved…who doesn't love to read? And we do have our family vacation planned. It will be so fun to go and relax together! We also have our flat travelers here for a little while. We are having fun showing them what we do and where we live!

 

Today I look forward to some good, old fashioned cleaning! Since it will be unlikely that we are able to actually get outside, I am going to clean while the kids play. I really want to have my utility room clean so that I can store more and have less clutter else-where in the house! Also, tonight at 9/8C is the Philosophy Adventure twitter party (#PhilosophyAdventure). Since I have been part of the launch team, I am going to try my hand at participating in my first "twitter party". I hope that I have fun…I know reading this program has already been fun! I hope you will join me there and we can learn together!!

 

Now, I am off…time to wake the kids up and have a fun day!!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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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Philosophy Adventure Review and GIVEAWAY

Adventure

Philosophy and me? It's not something I would even think about. I am not a philosophy person. It seems way to deep and even before I had kids, I didn't feel that I would ever be able to understand something like this. But that all changed when I was asked to be a part of the special launch group for the Homeschool Adventure's Philosophy Adventure.

 

I became intrigued when I read the words "Philosophy Adventure™ is a program 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". I thought this might be a good way to teach Big Kid more about writing and speaking. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be interested in the actual philosophy of this program!

 

I have to be honest…I have not finished reading all of this yet. I am taking my time and using the teacher resources and the student text to help me out. I never would have thought I would have enjoyed this subject as much as I have. Stacy Farrell really took her time in making sure to have this be something that is understood by kids and adults alike!

 

The Reader in this program has a very nice laid out plan of action. You learn about the Philosopher first and than you are able to work on your writing, thinking and speaking. After that you have a nice colored map of the area where the important information of  the philosopher's life is shown. The lesson ends with a contrast section where you are able to compare and contrast the actual source materials written by the philosopher to that of the biblical worldview. This program is easily worked into a 4 or 5 day school and you are able to earn high school credit!

 

The teacher resources include memory cards that can be used for any kind of fun game your mind can create. There are timeline resources that not only have the names of the people talked about, but nice little pictures too! I am excited to use this part the most…just being able to post something up on the wall to help with the visual understanding of what we are learning. And of course, like every teacher resource, you have all your answers listed for the sheets that are in the student text.

 

The student workbook is my second favorite, the reader is my first. Here is where I was able to put what I was learning to the test and it will be fun to use with Big Kid. Each lesson has a question sheet to help you retain your information you are learning. You have maps that you fill out and show where different locations are along with writing the important information of that area from the text. And the fun writing activities. You are given information about the philosopher you are learning about (or something similar to him) and you have all your background information…it is up to you to have fun  writing with that information. I have always loved creative writing, so this is my favorite section and I hope Big Kid will enjoy it too!

 

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I haven't had Big Kid start on this yet. I want to fully complete it myself first. But I have already started planning it into our fall lesson plans. I am so excited to see him excel! If you know us, you know that Big Kid has some issues when it comes to school. I was worried about how this writing would go with him, but after asking the wonderful ladies who are reviewing this with me, I found some ways that  make him now enjoy writing a little more!

 

Are you getting interested? It's not too hard is it? Check out this short video for more!

 

 

 

If you have Twitter, make sure you join us for the Twitter party!

 

Twitter

 

Now that I have you really interested, here is the fun part! Philosohy Adventure launches today!! Go here to order your own copy!! Also, I have one of the digitial copies to give away! How awesome is that?

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

ftc

 

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I Let Him Cook!!!

I am a control freak when it comes to kids in the kitchen. I am sure my poor kids have missed out on a lot of fun things because of this. However, I worry about EVERYTHING that could go wrong with kids in there! Well, Ray-ray got to go and spend some time helping daddy cook pork chops on the grill the other night. I am not sure on details, but he made us tell him thank you for supper too, so he did something pretty important smiley After that, I figured Big Kid needed his turn. So I bit my tongue and basically tied my hands behind my back for last night's supper.

 

Now, it wasn't anything crazy…nope, no five course menu coming out of the kitchen. Heck, it wasn't even balanced and it came out of a box. But you know what? He did it by himself and he was proud of it, as I am of him!

 

Directions

Step one was to read the directions. I really made it tough on him and we made a double batch!

Open Cans

Than we had to open cans. He wasn't too sure of the smell from the freshly opened can…but we went with it to see if it turned out better than it smelt!

 

Boil Next we had to bring it to a boil while stirring occasionally. I had to remind him that he didn't have to be right there on top of it and to find something to do when he wasn't stirring.

Supper!

And here we have our supper!!! Like I said, not really balanced, but all done without me! We didn't have daddy home with us, so that is why there were only four plates frown But next time Big Kid cooks, we will make sure to have daddy be our taste tester too!