Friday, August 24, 2007

Homeschool Curriculum

***I know there is MANY more homeschool curriculums out there. These are just some of the ones that I have used or have reviewed.***

Ambleside Online Curriculum –based on the Charlotte Mason approach

Truth Quest History – Christian based History

Doorposts –bible study focused on training boys to be Godly men.

Sing, Spell, Read, and Write (SSRW) –language arts curriculum

A Reason For –reading, spelling, and handwriting Christian based curriculum

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews –a wealth of information from “real people” reviewing the different home schooling curriculum available.

R.O.C.K. Solid Inc. – Christian based home school resources at discount prices.

Sonlight Curriculum –Christian home school comprehensive curriculum, resources, materials, and books

Zaner-Bloser –language arts curriculum

Saxon Publishers –math curriculum-kindergarten through high school

McGraw-Hill Children Publishing –toddler through high school curriculum

Geography Matters –fun effective way to teach geography, history and science

Five in a Row(FIAR) –unit study approach with literature

Tampa Reads --Reading program

Starfall Reading –learn to read program. Also has writing journals and books.

Owl & Mouse Educational Software -- games, software and educational activities. Early reading software—phonics software, alphabet games, and Dolch sight words in a fairy tale story. All of it FREE! Free online USA maps, world maps, map of Europe, map puzzles of the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, and many more. You can build your own castle and coat of arms—free downloads.

Homeschool Information

Home Sweet Home School--helping home-schoolers and prospective home-schoolers by offering resource links that are useful or informative through forums and their articles and related links and message boards and a FAQ page. This is a ministry site.

Home School Central--Home schooling news and a “how to get started home schooling” page

Home School Help at Sassafrass Grove--home school help from subjects and tools to fun and books to hows and whys to support. There is a lot of information contained in this site.

Heart of Wisdom--a wealth of Biblical based home schooling information and ideas

The How to for Home Schooling --discusses the how-to get started in home schooling. It touches on topics of socialization, picking the correct curriculum, to picking a home school support group.

Home School Oasis –This is Barb Shelton’s site. She has different articles pertaining to burn-out and getting through the high school years.

Pre-K Smarties-- a preschool education resource for parents teaching preschoolers with tips for early reading using phonics, parenting articles, family freebies, and deals on the best educational toys.

Home School Fun Online Magazine – lots of home schooling tips and articles, along with lesson plans for any subject.

Home Education Magazine --free online newsletters, discussion boards, a networking list, and selections from the magazine, including articles, interviews, columnists, resources, reviews and more.

Homeschooling Today – links to state home schooling laws, home schooling articles, tips on how to start home schooling, and more. Also can subscribe to the magazine.

Homeschool Yellow Pages –source for everything for home schooling from curriculum, testing, and conventions. Like a telephone yellow pages book!

Homeschool World – “mall” of resources, articles, experts in different areas, organizations and forum.

Teaching Home Magazine –Christian magazine for home educators (by subscription), the site provides information, inspiration, and support.

Scope and Sequence Websites

Home school Haven--reviews of home schooling products and sites, articles written by home school veterans, lists of lesson plans found on the internet, home schooling bookstore and a scope and sequence chart

Covenant Home Kindergarten Readiness Exam--online kindergarten readiness exam(can also be downloaded for printing)

Family Education--select an age group and get parenting advice, child development, and family resources

World Book's Parent Resource Center-- contains World Book resources to help parents help their children with schoolwork. There is links for “hands-on help”, “typical course of study”, “news and resources”, and even “throughout the year” which highlights interesting facts for each month of the year.

Abeka Book's Scope and Sequence-- Abeka’s version of a course of study from two years old through grade 12.

BJU Press Scope and Sequence-- A scope and sequence of the entire BJU Press curriculum for three-years-old through grade 12.

What Your Child Will Learn--overview of K-8gr. curriculum

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thrifty Tips, Recipes and Menus

I found these free publications on thrifty living at The University of Maine's Co-op Extension Site. The recipes that are in the publication can be doubled or tripled for your family size easily.

Thrifty Recipes: Main Dishes

Saving Money with Homemade Mixes

Recipe Ideas for Thrifty Families

Thrifty Recipes: Soups, Salads, and Breads and Desserts

Buying food for a Small Thrifty Families -- the tips are more for buying for 2 people but I found the tips to be helpful for even the bigger families of 5 and more.

Cutting Food Costs

Ideas For Planning Thrifty Menus

Planning Thrifty Meals for Small Families

I encourage you to go and explore the site further, because they have more free publications! There is an entire section on specific fruits and vegetables that include nutritional facts and recipes as well. There is also some publications on personal finance, gardening, safety and emergency preparedness. Needless to say, another "goldmine" waiting to be dug for valuable information!
(Also just so there is no confusion, if you look at other publications on the site you will find that there is a cost by each publication that is if you have them send you a printed copy of the publication. You can click on the link in the description for the pdf file for printing it on your own printer.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


One is probably wondering where the post is for today!?! Okay! I will admit it....I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box today! I took all FIVE of my munchkins grocery shopping/errand running with me today! I am whipped! But as I sit here and reflect on the day...It was productive and everyone is alive! I also remember something I had read a while ago on Above Rubies website so I thought I would share it tonight.

By: Nancy Campbell

There are those who would spurn the vocation of mothers
And say it's inferior to the career of others,
I'll have to admit that it's not easy work,
It's relentless and from it you cannot shirk.

It takes all your energy to be a mother and wife,
It requires daily commitment and a disciplined life,
It demands all your resources of patience and love,
Long-suffering and wisdom from God above.

It takes self-control and continual endurance,
It needs constant and faithful perseverance,
It is total sacrifice and forgetting your self,
You may sometimes think you are left on the shelf!

And what about time?
It's no longer yours,
It belongs to everyone else who comes in your doors.

Can you claim your own rights?
No, they're gone too,
Like your right to sleep the whole night through!
It's not so easy to crawl into bed with a book
Or go off and dream in some quiet little nook.

It seems like you're totally losing your life
To be a good mother and a godly wife.

But oh, dear mother, please do not despair,
In God's great vision you have a share,
You are fulfilling your destiny planned before creation
Which is to nurture children and BUILD A NATION!

You are walking in the footsteps of Jesus your Lord
Who lived a life of sacrifice out-poured,
He didn't cling to His rights with selfish futility,
He didn't claim any privileges but walked in humility.

He gave up His own life to save millions of others,
This same principle is at work in the lives of mothers,
When you lose your own life you'll find it again,
Glorious life - His life - even in toil and pain.

So lift up your head, embrace your calling so high,
You're in God's perfect will so you don't have to sigh.
You may sometimes feel worthless - don't listen to this lie,
For your influence will go higher than the clouds in the sky!

As you nurture and train your God-given seed,
As you sharpen these 'arrows' by word and by deed,
You shape the nation, you determine its course,
Your mothering is not wasted, but is a mighty force!

As your children leave home and go into the world
The stamp of your training will be unfurled,
Your influence will reach countries you've never been
And down the generations its extent will be seen.
Your work is so powerful, no wonder it's tough,
But God is behind you, He's the GOD WHO IS ENOUGH,
His strength and wisdom are available to you,
He'll stand behind His promises which are totally true.

He'll always be with you right through to the end
As you follow His leading and deny the world's trend,
Each morning you wake, your strength He'll renew.
He'll fill your home with His presence and His blessed peace too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Have Fun Indoors"

We are on our THIRD day of rain!! We desperately needed the rain but we didn't need it all at once! LOL So I was looking through my files and I came across these ideas to do. I am thinking on using some of them today like pulling out the play-doh and those music videos! I might even try to get some baking done before the heat and humidity set in later in the week. Right now there is a break in the rain so I sent the four older munchkins outside to burn some energy.

"Have Fun Indoors"
By Victoria Purdie
It’’s raining again! Don’’t despair! Here are some creative ideas to help you have some fun with your children indoors.

Rainy Day Art Materials Box
Be prepared in advance for winter or a wet day by making up a rainy day box. This could include the following types of art materials: Crayons, felts, coloured pencils, colouring books, scissors, cello tape and glue, paints and paint brushes, stencils, old magazines and greeting cards, glitter, Easter egg tinfoil, an ink pad, stamps, pens, empty toilet rolls, glitter, chalk, cardboard, and paper. A drop cloth or old newspapers can also be kept with the box. Add to the box regularly with new supplies, even junk mail that can be cut up.

Those Old Toys
Toys that are put away, or stored up high for safe keeping and not used much, can be brought out at a time like this when you are stuck indoors.

Build An Indoor Play House
This is usually a favourite activity with most children, and doesn’’t require much work. Simply throw an old rug or bed sheet over a couple of chairs or a table and you have an instant house. By adding a few accessories like a cardboard box as a TV your children will probably play for ages.

Burn Up Some Of That Energy
Put on a video or cassette tape with some upbeat music and dance until you’’re all exhausted. This is a good activity just before an afternoon nap with a slow warm down, settle down period, followed by a snack and drink.

Take A Long Bath
Fill up the bath; throw in some bubbles and lots of plastic toys. You can jump in yourself if you dare. You’’ll all get really clean and have lots of fun at the same time. The best kinds of bath toys are things that you would find when you unpack the grocery shopping i.e. plastic scoops and jars, funnels made by cutting up a milk bottle or soft drink bottle etc. Adding some food colouring to the bath is also exciting for little children. You could show how colours are made by putting a couple of drops of red food colouring at one end of the bath, and a couple of drops of blue at the other end. Put your children in and let them swish the water around to make purple.

Play n’’ Work
Since children love to imitate adults and get involved in what they are doing, get out your feather duster, floor mop and bucket, a soft broom, vacuum cleaner and an old rag and set to cleaning. Give your child a job that is age appropriate to them, and you will find you are able to get your housework done and entertain at the same time. You could put on some music and move around as you work and make it look like fun.

Hot n’’ Cold
Children usually love to find hidden treasure. For young children that can’’t read clues on paper yet, play the hot n’’ cold version. Hide something, even morning tea, and then as your child walks around the room, say, "hot, warm or cold" depending on how close they are to the hidden object.

Be Brave, Go Out
Wrap everybody up warmly, and head out somewhere undercover like a friend’’s house, the local library to read books and do puzzles together, a restaurant with an undercover playground, or a relative’’s house. Another alternative is to invite a friend and her children over to play. "The more the merrier" as they say.

The Plastics Box
Every house with children should have one of these. It’’s a medium sized box filled with clean, empty and safe plastic things to play with such as wet wipes containers, plastic formula scoops, spoons, cups, film canisters, face cream jars, lids from hairspray and shaving foam cans, peanut butter jars, straws, plastic bottles etc. Add to this box regularly as you’’ll find whenever the box comes out, the new object in there is the first to be spotted and played with. This box is also useful to look in when you need a jar to catch a bug in or for another reason that may crop up. Never add anything to the box that once contained poisonous chemicals like bleach bottles.

Have a Baking Session
Pull out your easy recipes and get your young ones assisting you. They can pour in the ingredients or stir the mix, and of course, they will love to help you eat the goodies that you have made together.

If all this fails to keep away the boredom, just before you scream and pull out your hair, suggest a nice game of hide and seek - they hide and you pretend you can’’t find them for a while.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Snack Basket

I have had several people comment to me about my "snack basket"(the blue basket in the picture!) so I thought I would take the time to explain my concept.

I got tired of having several(make that MANY) open boxes of snacks sitting in my cupboard, or bags of homemade goodies sitting on top of my toaster. And then to top it off, having the munchkins asking me "What's for snack?" So I decided it was time to get a little inventive. I got myself a basket and emptied all the different boxes into it. AHHHH!!! There is space in my cupboard! It doesn't look too cramped now AND the best part my munchkins know what is available for snacks. I don't get that nagging question, "What can we have for snack?"

So now the question remains what do you have in that basket for them to choose from?
I have granola bars, fruit snacks, snack crackers like teddy bears, graham crackers, triscuits, better cheddars, crackers & PB, fruit bars, goldfish crackers, nilla wafers, popcorn, homemade muffins or quick bread, homemade cookies or brownies, and peanuts. Then instead of a basket in the fridge, I use one of my crisper drawers in my fridge for other snack type things like cheese sticks, cheese slices, candy bars, yogurt, individual fruit cups(applesauce, pineapple, peaches), grapes or other in season fruit. We also have special(rare occasion) snacks like popsicles and ice cream(usually vanilla). I use the ice cream mostly for making homemade chocolate shakes. Here is a full list of the snack options that I use on a monthly basis! :)

Now you may think, she keeps ALL those things available for her munchkins?
Actually, I don't have all of those items in the basket all at once. They are usually rotated thru on a weekly basis or til an item is gone then I refill the basket with a new item. When it comes to grocery shopping for snacks I usually buy them once or twice a month. I also either buy them in bulk at Sam's Club or when they are on sale at the local grocery store.

The Rules of the Snack Baskets are:
1. They can only have one item out of each "basket"and not two sweet/treat type snacks at one time.
2. Snack time is not the time for another meal, just to have something to keep the hunger pangs away through the night!

Items needed to create your own:
--small plastic basket from the dollar store that will fit on your cupboard shelf or in your fridge.
--variety of individually wrapped snack food(either prepackaged or wrapped in plastic wrap or in a sandwich bag.)

Menu Plan Monday

**This is just a plan and plans have the ability to change! Lunches listed below are for the kids and I, dh's lunches are not included as he normally will just take what leftovers are available. A special thanks to Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday!

Breakfast: eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, Hostess choc. donuts
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Chicken gravy, mashed potatoes, corn
Snack: "Snack basket" (I keep a small basket of individually wrapped snacks for the kids to grab in the cupboard.)

Breakfast: cereal(hot or cold), homemade orange juice or banana bread
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Spaghetti, garlic toast, carrot sticks
Snack: brownie and milk

Breakfast: frozen waffles
Lunch: sandwiches(tuna or PB&J), chips, carrots or applesauce
Dinner: Pork chops, boiled potatoes, peas, and rolls
Snack: "Snack basket"

Breakfast: cereal(hot or cold), poptarts
Lunch: Subway(kids have coupons from Public Library's Reading Club for free kids meal!)
Dinner: Breaded Chicken Tender Sandwiches, fries, carrot sticks/salad
Snack: Popsicles

Breakfast: eggs and bagels
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: creamy chicken, rice, green beans
Snack: "Snack basket"

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken nuggets, fries, applesauce
Dinner: Hoagie bun pizza
Snack: Homemade chocolate shakes

Breakfast: "free grab"--whatever you can find for breakfast you can have!
Lunch: Still in the planning stages! With dh home on weekends it is hard to plan this meal!
Dinner: Picnic with friends--Burgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, salad/fresh veggies
Snack: popcorn

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Singing Sunday

**I love to sing, though I have a hard time staying on key! So every Sunday I am going to try to post the lyrics of a song that really spoke to me either at church while singing or one that I heard on the radio. Here is the first one. This was a song that was sung during worship time at church today.**

Glory in the Highest
by Chris Tomlin

You are the first
You go before
You are the last
Lord, You're the encore
Your name's in lights for all to see
The starry host declare Your glory

Glory in the highest
Glory in the highest
Glory in the highest

Apart from You there is no god
Light of the world
The Bright and Morning Star
Your name will shine for all to see
You are the one
You are my glory

And no one else could ever compare
To You, Lord
All the earth together declares ...
Glory in the highest ... to You, Lord

All the earth will sing Your praise
The moon and stars, the sun and rain
Every nation will proclaim
That You are God and You will reign

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory to You, Lord
Glory, glory hallelujah