Thursday, February 27, 2014

President Lesson for our co-op

This week we had our church's homeschool group. I had the K-3rd graders and decided to learn/review the first 16 presidents of the United States.

1. I used Lives of the Presidents to start the class. I 
did not read the whole's more geared to 4th grade and up, but the pictures were fun. In fact, you might be prepared for a mini lesson on caricature. I went over each president and gave a few fun facts about each. I stopped every couple of presidents to review.

2. While they took a quick bathroom/drink break, I took the first 16 US Presidents  Flash Cards and hid them throughout the classroom. When they came back, they had to find the flash cards and then as a group, we put them in the correct order.

Presidents' Day Directed Drawing

3. The kids thought it was awesome to be able to draw pictures of Washington and Lincoln. I found this awesome Directed Drawing activity on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can't be the price of FREE!

4. Then we played president bingo. It was a learning experience for some of the kiddos who had never played bingo before. I found the one I used on Pinterest.

5. We actually finished after bingo, but I had one more book to end with if we had time. First Pooch: The Obamas Pick a Pet is really cute and mentions some of the pets that have lived in the White House.

All the kids left happy and smiling and even saying they had fun. I think I succeeded!

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post has an affiliate link, which means I may get a commission if you purchase from Amazon. I only recommend things that I love & use myself, so I know you'll be in good hands.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to do a Science Fair Project

I will confess. I am not that familiar with doing a science fair project. I never did one as a student and never had to judge one as a classroom teacher. I have observed a few including one in Mexico! My personal experience, however, is very limited.

But mija is now going to be doing her first. The school affiliated with our church is having a little space available for the homeschoolers. They will even do the judging for us!
Our first step, however, is how to do a science fair project.

We did some online research on how to proceed, and thought some of you might enjoy the information we came across. 

First, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab offers a short video series about doing a science fair projects. They do a great job of explaining how to come up with ideas and how to turn those into hypotheses. 

Science Buddies offers not only project ideas but guides on how to do them as well.

Here's a video if you can get through the annoying characters!

And we got our hands on a book:

So, do you think we're prepared or do we need to know something more?

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post has an affiliate link, which means I may get a commission if you purchase from Amazon. I only recommend things that I love & use myself, so I know you'll be in good hands.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

K5 Learning---watch for my review

K5 Learning has an online reading and 

math program for kindergarten 

to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 

week free trial to test and write a review 

of their program.  If you are a blogger, 

you may want to check out their  open 

invitation to write an online learning 

review of their program. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday--Adoption is not a joke

We are definitely not a family to be on top of the latest movies. In fact, we finally watched Marvel's The Avengers this week. 

But I did a terrible thing. I laughed at a joke.

Here was the joke.

The Avengers are sitting around telling Thor that Loki
Thor is the hairy one and Loki is the horny one.
is a sociopathic monster bent on taking over the world.

Thor supports Loki by saying, "Yeah, but he's family!"

The Black Widow explains, "He's also killed 80 people in the last 2 days."

Thor then replies meekly, "He's adopted."

And we laughed.

And mija with a puzzled look on her face asked why it was funny.

As I was trying to explain it to my 9-year-old, adopted daughter the joke, I realized it really wasn't funny.

All these 9 years I've tried to explain that adoption is a wonderful gift of God. Adoption makes you no different than any other member of the family. We are your real mom and dad and you are are real daughter.

And then I laugh at a joke using adoption as a way of distancing a relationship.

I humbly agreed with my daughter that the joke really wasn't funny and silently prayed that my laughing at the joke did not make her think that I thought any less of her as my daughter.

I know it was just a joke in a movie and not a comment on real life. Still, it was thoughtless joke and I was a thoughtless mommy to laugh.

{sigh} Just keeping it real.

Linked up here: Modest Mom blog button copy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Truth About Yoga

I've shared before about my thoughts on yoga and using PraiseMoves as an alternative.

Well, Laurette Willis of PraiseMoves is going to be hosting free webinar on The Truth About Yoga

Here is what she says about it...

As believers, is it okay to do yoga? Is it "just exercise," or is there more to yoga than meets the (third) eye? 

Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 8PM Eastern

You Will Discover:

* What yoga poses really are, and what they are designed to do. 
* Who is "The Lord of Yoga" 
* Can the spiritual elements of yoga be removed? 
* Should yoga be offered in churches and schools? 
* Is "Christian yoga" still yoga?

Hear what Hindu and Christian leaders say are the dangers of yoga for the Christian, and discover some effective, Christ-centered options to yoga.

Find out if Fitness Ministry is for you, and how to start a Fitness Ministry in your church or community.

Everyone who registers will receive my guide, "The Truth About Yoga: Peaceful Practice or Dangerous Deception?" with helpful tips for fitness and fitness ministry. 

Learn more at:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Child Labor Rocks!---Ideas about chores.

Child Labor Rocks! is the name of my Pinterest board where I pin chore ideas. Have you checked it out before?
Follow Betsy Price {Mrs. Price is Right about Homeschooling}'s board Child Labor Rocks! (chores) on Pinterest.
What we've been using is My Job Chart. It's an online job chart. It's simple. You sign up for free, set up what chores and what credit you want to assign, and tada! Bob's you uncle. It's easy to change chores and credits.

Rewards can be simple like going to a park or making cookies. To average? How about having them save credits to purchase things you chose from the from Amazon? The children can even choose to save or donate some of their credits as well. 

It has worked well for us. 

One thing that has made it "cool" for mija is that I allow her to keep track online using my mini iPad. She doesn't get to use it very often, so having that reason to use it is a plus. So far she has earned an ice cream cone, a game night, and is working to some lip gloss I found on Amazon.

It's free to try it out, so you won't lose anything by trying it out!  

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post has an affiliate link, which means I may get a commission if you sign up for My Job Chart. I only recommend things that I love & use myself, so I know you'll be in good hands.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Catechism 101

My post at Home Educating Family today is about catechisms. Hope you find it useful!

What is one goal that most parents have in teaching their children.

Most parents want to pass on their faith to their children.

What has been a fundamental process parents have used historically?


What is Catechism?

— Catechism is a group of questions and answers that deal with the doctrines of the faith. It is generally used to teach children and new believers.
- See the rest at: HERE

Thursday, February 13, 2014

5 Things Modesty Never Taught Me

Great article by The Fulltime Girl.

Modesty. The “M” word in our Christian circles. I have written a lot about it from the heart of modesty to what men really think about modesty.  Inevitably, people always make a comment about how destructive this concept of modesty is on a girl’s psyche as if somehow covering our bodies oppresses and demeans women. I have been taught to dress modestly all my life, and there is nothing wrong with my mindset or view of myself because of it. In fact, I believe that modesty has done quite the opposite. More specifically, here are 5 things modesty never taught me.
Read the rest HERE.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let go of my LEGO--Using LEGOs for fun and education

We're fairly new to the LEGO world. LEGO Friends like Heartlake Pet Salon  was mija's introduction to the LEGO world. 

Now, you can't watch television without seeing a commercial for The Lego Movie. We probably won't see it until it's on Netflix much to mija's chagrin.

Did you know that there is a whole educational page for LEGO? Of course there is the whole robotics and simple machine aspects, but there is also a language arts element as well. 

But you can still be educational with LEGOs even if you do not have LEGOs. Here are some posts from Homeschool Encouragement with links to all kind of printables and activities.

And don't forget notebooking!

Just in case you haven't had enough LEGOs in you home, how about making a LEGO afghan?
" href="">

This post is not affiliated or sponsored by LEGO brand.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this post has an affiliate link, which means I may get a commission if you purchase anything from Amazon. I only recommend things that I love & use myself, so I know you'll be in good hands.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Funny--Kid President

Not necessarily funny, but definitely makes you grin!
20 Things We Should Say More Often

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday---Handling Moving Hurdles

(Warning: this is an extremely long post. If your short on time, read the beginning, skim the bullet points and jump to the end!)

We have needed to move for awhile. We knew Christmas would be the Rubicon. Once it was passed, we needed to seriously start looking for a new place to live.

Well, God provided a great 2-bedroom apartment for us. It was the first place we looked at, in fact. It’s part of an old elementary school building that has been revamped. What makes it’s really cool is that at one point, it was the elementary school for the Christian high school from which I graduated. 

But getting here has not been an easy process.

 We were supposed to be move in on the 18th, but between a creditor putting a hold on the checking account, a garnishment on my husband’s paycheck AND an error on his paycheck all in the same week, we had to put it off until Feb. 1.

 Another paycheck error with the continued hold and garnishment put the move in jeopardy again. God provided this time. 

 A winter storm brought about 3 inches of sleet postponing the move about 5 hours in hopes of better road conditions.

 Because it was postponed, we couldn't use the free moving van we had planned on, and ended up having to rent a moving van. Of course, we hadn't planned that expense.

 We get the moving truck back to the house only to get stuck in the ice/mud! Took about an hour, kitty litter, and a tow from a friend’s truck to get it out of the yard.

 My husband falls off the ramp of the truck messing up his left side and muddying up our mattress.

 We woke up Sunday morning and have to take the moving van back. Started our car to find the cold and ice had gotten into the door that triggered the car alarm—which we didn’t know we had! Not a great introduction to the new neighbors. 

 Because we had to work on the car alarm issue for an hour in the single digits, we didn’t get a chance to gas up the moving van before returning which resulted in astronomical additional charges.

 Did I mention that except for the day of the move, my husband continued to work 12-hour shifts throughout this process? The only reason he didn’t work on Saturday was because he was so sore from falling off the ramp!

 As a result of sleepiness and soreness, and a small car, we were unable to totally finish up on Sunday and Monday. I mention the small car because we still had a lot of small things left to move. 

 We were unable to finish up Tuesday or Wednesday thanks to the 10 INCHES OF SNOW that fell on Tuesday.
We obviously live on an Emergency Snow Route! ;-)
So, here we are almost a week after the move preparing to deal with snow covered streets, in the midst of hubby’s 12 hour shift, on a day when the high will be a single digit, we will return to the house one last time to finish moving and cleaning and hoping that our few remaining belongings are not out on the curb.
(For extra credit, have your child diagram the previous sentence!) ;-)

Needless to say, all those bullet points can lead one to question and even doubt the move.

I asked my hubby why he thought we were dealing with so many hurdles.

He said he thought it was because God had great plans for us at our new place. God was allowing the enemy to challenge and test us.

That was reassuring. 

It’s one thing to face hurdle after hurdle not knowing why. It’s totally another thing to accept hurdles knowing it a promise of great things to come!

(Sorry there weren’t many humorous highlights in this post. You don’t always see the humor in a hurdle until it is history…and sometimes not even then!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5 Simple Ways to Help Kids Memorize Scripture

From Hip Homeschool Moms

Kids are like sponges.  I’m amazed at what my kids manage to soak up from the world around them (sometimes good, sometimes not so good), and even more amazed by what they remember, especially during the times when I don’t even think they are paying attention.  Childhood is the perfect time to have our kids memorize information for future use.  During their school years, they will most likely memorize things such as countries and capitals, world leaders, dates, poems, math facts, and prepositions.  But above all else, make sure they memorize scripture.  The most important thing we can have our children memorize is God’s Word
Not only will memorizing scripture help shape their character, grow their faith, and teach them the Truth, it will be with them always to help comfort them , encourage them, discipline them, and nurture them.  They will always have their armor – belt, breastplate, shield, helmet, and sword (Ephesians 6:14-17) – in their back pocket. Even before our children begin to talk, we can start helping them learn and become familiar with scripture by reciting it to them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7). Teaching our children scripture doesn’t have to be elaborate or hard to implement; it can actually be quite easy and FUN.  Here are 5 simple ways to help your kids memorize scripture

Monday, February 3, 2014

How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

So excited! I have items for sale on! GIVEAWAY

That's right. Yours truly has items for sale on Hoping to help my family through providing some items that others might also find helpful!

The first items are my I Can Illustrate Psalm 23 booklets which are available in ESV, KJV, NIV, and NKJV. 
I have offered this free on my blog before, but this has been updated.

A brand new item I have on Currclick is Quality Quotations for Copywork: Nelson Mandela. His recent death made me want to have some a way to include some of his memorable quotes in our school day!

Now for a giveaway! That's right, I'm going to give away an item that I made! The winner will receive one item of their choice the Psalm 23  or the Nelson Mandela. Giveaway will end Sunday, February 10.

Blog Archive