Thursday, April 28, 2011

Art Showcase


I know that I have been MIA this last week, we have just been trying to catch up from Easter, plus the kids are not feeling that well.  Tay is now getting better, but she had bronchitis, and then there is Ash, who is slowing getting worst with her respiratory issues.  Buddy is fine for now, but we shall see.  We had some short school days this week, but plenty of free arts and craft time.  Tay love to free draw, so she was in her glory.  Ash did a lot of coloring this week, but she also was able to have fun doing one of her favorite things, puzzles.  Buddy loves puzzles as well. and joined in the fun with his sister.  Here are our entries for the Art Showcase this week.  Please feel free to link up your kids creations this week!  I can't wait to check them out.

Tay's drawings this week:

Ash's Favorite Fairy Puzzle:

Buddy's Super Big Thomas The Train Puzzle:

Next week we will be back to some art work from out lessons, but this week was full of true creativity.  When I say full creativity, I mean creativity that was not directed.  The kids were able to just let loose and do what they wanted.  These are my favorite times, as I can really see what the kids are thinking and feeling.  I love what they come up with on their own.  Please link up below if you would like to share your kids art work for the week.



The Curiosity Files Review

The Curiosity Files, The Zombie Fire Ant.  

Are you curious yet?  I know I sure was when I was given the opportunity to review this great unit study.  What is Curiosity Files, and why are we talking about The Zombie Fire Ant?  Well, let me explain.  The Curiosity Files is a new unit study put together by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine or TOS for short.  This study is geared towards kids 8-13 years of age, and focuses on learning about subjects that most likely are new to both the kids and us parents.  The study is told by Professor Ana Lyze who states, "My research team and I specialize in the obscure, and bizarre.  We search land and seas for these oddities, and make each one a star".   We reviewed The Zombie Fire Ant, but there are 8 more unit studies available by TOS.  These studies are as follows:

1. Blue Footed Booby
2.  Cicada Killing Wasp
3.  Quicksand
4.  Blue Diamond
5.  Dung Beetle
6.  MRSA
7.  Puffer Fish
8.  Red Tide

As you can see by the titles, The Curiosity Files really does look for obscure topics and make them come to life for the kids.  The Curiosity Files are set up in E-Book format, which you can purchase and download from the TOS store.  Each E-book costs about $6.95 with a few of them costing as low as $1.00.  You also have the option to purchase the entire set for $46.00.  Pretty amazing deal.  I love the fact that these studies come in E-Book format so you can print what you need as many times as you need to.

What is included in the E-Book?  Everything you need to complete the lessons is laid out in the unit study. It is great!  Since it is a unit study, multiple academic subjects are covered.  Some examples of these subjects are:

1.     Bible
2.     Math
3.     Writing assignments/copywork
4.     Reading comprehension
5.     History
6.     Geography
7.     Spelling/Language Arts
8.     Arts and Crafts
9.     Science
To read more about what is covered in each Curiosity Files unit study, please visit the TOS store.  There are many different activities to choose from with suggestions for older/younger learners. 

How did we incorporate The Curiosity Files into our homeschool?
Great question!  Since the kids and I are fairly new to unit studies, we decided to add a little bit of Curiosity Files each day.  We began with All You Never Wanted to Know About The Zombie Fire Ant.  This is basically something at the beginning of the unit study explaining exactly what the Zombie Fire Ant is, where it came from, and what function it serves.  I read this out loud to both of the girls, stopping as needed for questions and discussions.  The kids were so intrigued and loved listening to the story of how the Zombie Fire Ant came into existence.  After reading, there were about 20 questions to be answered in the Let’s See How Much You Learned section of the unit study.  I decided to do this part out loud with the girls as well.  My reason, mostly because of Ash.  She is only 7 and not strong in writing.  She really wanted to participate, so I had the girls work as a team and answer the questions without writing.  This worked out great.  We then moved on to learn about God’s creation and what happens to species when they are taken out of their intended environment.  I chose one of the research activities for the kids to do together.  The girls needed to find and research an animal and an insect native to the United States.  They then needed to see if that animal was somehow placed into another part of the world by man, and what happened because of this.  The kids had a great time doing this.  This is only one great activity included in the unit study.  The kids and I also did Figure it Out, some math questions about the fire ant, Fire Ant Fun, which is basically a simple lesson on following directions, a couple of grammar lessons from The Write Stuff, and a great writing assignment for my older daughter.  I think the kids really enjoyed making ants on a log from the Let’s Get Creative Section.  As I mentioned earlier, the Curiosity Files also includes spelling, geography, science, and history into the unit study.  There are so many options for you to choose from that it is hard to list them all.  

Now comes the big question, what did we think of the Curiosity Files?  We loved it.  I am so thankful that I was able to review this great unit study by TOS

Disclosure:  All opinions in this review are my own.  I was given the product for free in exchange for an honest review.



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art Showcase and Good Friday


Good Morning to all of you!  We have another great chance to show off our kids work here at the Art Showcase.  My first thought was to put this showcase on hold this Friday in observance of Good Friday, but then Tay was a little upset with this decision.  I have decided to go ahead and have Art Showcase as usual.  This week Tay's work comes from Drawing Textbook again.  Ash was focusing on words that start with J this week and she drew a picture of Jesus with a bright light around his head.  Buddy, again was super busy working with play dough this week and stickers, as I previously talked about in my Attack of the Stickers post.  Here are this weeks creations!  Enjoy.

Tay's Picture from Drawing Textbook:

Ash's drawing of Jesus:

Buddy having fun with stickers:

If you would like to add your child's artwork please link up below.  I look forward to seeing all the kids work!



Our New School Room

Well, after months of moving things around, we have finally completed our new school room.  We are all so excited, and a little tired I might add.   My Mom and I finally finished yesterday.  Yeah!!  We still have a room upstairs that needs organizing, but other than hanging a few things on the wall, the school room is complete!  I can't tell you what relief I feel.  I get very stressed out when things are out of sorts, and between cleaning out rooms, adding the school room, and our backyard work, you could say that I have been a little more than stressed out.  I am down to the last room, and since it is upstairs I don't have to look at it for most of the day.  I was able to move the cubby system from upstairs into the new school room, this allowed me the capability to bring all the reading books downstairs and organize them in the cubbies.  I love this concept!  It was always a challenge to bring books downstairs for reading time, and then somehow nobody knew how to bring them back up during cleaning up time.  Now there is no excuse.  Everything has a place.  I also was able to use the cubbies to store all of my supplies.  All of our school stuff is now in one room.  I am hoping this makes for less mess in the kitchen area as well as being more efficient during lesson time.  I also moved the big craft table from the playroom into the school room.  I wanted to give Buddy a place to work that was nice and big so he can spread out.  I will also use this table during craft time for all the kids as there is enough room for all 3 of them.  The girls each have their own desks in the middle of the room.  This way they can have their own space, but be able to use any of the resources on the wall.  I am planning on getting one more write off board to put on the wall by the big map. We don't use the board very often, but there are times that it is helpful, especially during math lessons.  I can't wait to get started in our new room.  There is a lot to be said for the environment in which you learn.  My hope is that the kids will love the new room as much as I do and have a good attitude during our lessons.  I know, I know that is a lot to ask, but I have faith.  HaHa!  Below are pictures of our new room!

Picture 1:  This is looking in from the door, the table in the back is Buddy's work space.  I am planning on hanging the board on the wall and changing the look as we change themes.

Picture 2 is showing one side of the cubbies, this side is used for my supplies and reference books for the kids.

 Picture 3 is showing the shelving unit behind the doors.  I use this to store books that correspond with the different grade levels.  These are items I use, just not everyday.  I also store Tay's art bucket on this shelf.  This way she has easy access to it and will be able to grab what she needs.  In the pull out buckets from Ikea, which I love, I store math manipulative, pattern blocks, and such.  I love having this all in one place.

Picture 4 is showing the other side of the cubby system.  This side stores all the kids reading books.  On the bottom in the blue bins are Buddy's books. He can pull a bucket out and explore.  In the cabinets I am storing things I don't want the kids to get to.  Mostly paper, scissors, and office type supplies.  I figure out of site, out of mind.  We will see.

Picture 5 is another shot of my shelving unit.

Picture 6 is showing Buddy's work space.  He will be able to still be apart of the school day, but not be so disruptive to the girls during the lesson.  He has his own space, with his own learning tools.  I think this will be a big help for us!

I still am planning on adding to the walls.  I have much more to hang, but for the most part we are done.   
Since we are doing Astronomy for science most of the wall decorations on the cubby wall is space.  I plan on changing all this out as we move through the curriculum.  Thank you for taking the time to check out our new room.  I am so very happy to finally be finished.  Now we need to get to learning!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Attack of the Stickers


I have been a bit absent lately due to spring cleaning around the house, but I am hoping to be back to blogging next week.  The other day, I bought Buddy a new sticker book for Church.  He loves sticker books.  The funny thing is he actually plays with the stickers rather than putting them on the pages in the book.  This book, is a Star Wars Lego book and he took it out of his Church bag on Monday morning.  Here is what happens when he plays stickers.  I had to laugh!

Blessings to all of you and Happy Holy Week!


This post is linked to:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art Showcase


Happy Friday Everyone!  Sorry for the delay on getting this post on, we just have had one of those weeks. If you are new here and unfamiliar with the Art Showcase welcome!  Each Friday I host a link up called Art Showcase.  This showcase is a way for us to display our kids art work in what I like to call the gallery.  We have so much fun looking all the amazing creations that are added.  If you would like to join in please link up below. Any type of creativity is welcome.  I hope you enjoy this weeks creations!  

Drawing Textbook, Tay's last 3 assignments:  I love watching her progress each week:

We are really having fun with Drawing Textbook.  Tay is learning a lot about shading and how to draw with perspective.  The spinach cans on her second drawing are meant to look like they are behind each other.  This concept took some work, but after some time she was able to get it.  She was very proud of herself.

If you would like to link up please do so below.  Have Fun!



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Ash and Buddy having some quiet time together.

This post is linked to:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Multitudes On Monday #35-50

Last week I missed posting for Multitudes on Monday, so I am continuing on this week.

35.  Children laughing

36.  Birds singing pretty songs in the trees

37.  Family dinner at my parent's house

38.  Day out with my husband and children

39.  Much needed patience on our 3 hour ride to Ash's Doctor Appointment today

40.  Making awesome time both to Palo Alto and back, no traffic makes for a peaceful ride

41.  Acceptance of Ash's new diagnosis, and the Dr. for being realistic in Ash needing a break from all the tests.  (Next test is not until August, so we give special thanks to the Lord for this)

42.  My husband being able to come with us on this trip and always doing something to make Ash laugh

43.  For silly bands and the smiles they bring

44.  For my Mom and my Aunts who are always there to fill in on appointment days

45.  Ash being able to stop one of her medications through the summer, a much needed break

46.  For IPhone Apps that keep little ones busy while we wait

47.  For Chocolate milk

48.  McDonald's diet coke

49.  Tay helping my mom fold all the laundry so we can come home to relaxing bedroom instead of a mess of clothes

50.  Nightly run with husband and Bella, so relaxing

If you would like to participate in counting your blessings, or read what others are thankful for please head on over to A Holy Experience.



Friday, April 8, 2011

I Won!

 Last week I posted about an awesome giveaway that Mary was hosting over atWinecup Christian Academy, and guess what, I won.  I am so excited!  When  I went to the mailbox today, there was a package with my name on it.  My "prize" is here.  Yeah!!  Thank you Mary, I can't wait to dive into this great book.

Mary offered Science Through the Year as her very first giveaway a couple of weeks ago.  This book is for kids ages Pre-K/K, and will be a great addition to our resource collection.  I am planning on using this book with Buddy, but having the girls help out during activity time so they can benefit from the lesson being taught as well as learning, how to work together as a team.  I plan on posting any activities we do from this book so you can see how we are using it.  I am thankful to Mary for providing such a great giveaway look forward to working our way through Science through the Year.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Art Showcase


Hello everyone,

This week was a little crazy as we had a lot of things going on.  I had the kids do free art this week.  Actually this is Tay's favorite time, free art.  She likes to let her creative side shine.  Tay is one who would rather create on her own, instead of being directed.  Ash is usually the opposite, she likes to be given an idea and then create from there.  This week was a little different.  Ash was able to have a play date today with a friend who she has not been able to see since she got sick on New Years Eve.  She was so very excited and was able to create her drawing right away.  Such a great day!  Please take a look at our gallery for the week and link up if you would like to add your kids creations.  Have fun and enjoy!

Tay's drawing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow":

Ash's drawing of her play day with her BFF (notice BFF in the middle):

Buddy was not really into drawing this week, he was more into doing puzzles, so here is one he did with some help:

Please link up your child's art work below.  Happy creating!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Bella jumping in the air to catch bubbles from the bubble machine!  Man can she jump or what?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Imagination Station Attack at the Arena Book Review

The kids and I had had the great opportunity to review Attack at the Arena by Marrianne Hering and Paul McCusker.  Attack at the Arena is book 2 in the Imagination Station series put out through Focus on the Family.  It is part of the Adventure in Odyssey series.  The kids and I decided to read this book as a read aloud every evening.  We had so much fun with it, that they can't wait to get the next book in the series.

The story begins with a short prologue detailing the story line in book 1.  The prologue introduced the 3 main characters in the book, Mr. Whittaker, the Imagination Station inventor, and cousins Beth and Patrick.  We learn that Mr. Whittaker is using the Imagination Station to send the cousins back in time to try to save someone named Albert from the mysterious Lord Darkthorn.  The children are sent to find certain items that are requested in a letter sent to Mr. Whittaker through the Imagination Station.  The first item recovered was a blue Sunstone found in Greenland.  The next adventure, Attack at the Arena is underway.  The cousins are sent to Rome to look for a silver cup/chalice.

Before Patrick and Beth are sent to Rome through the Imagination Station they are placed in the correct clothing for the time period.  Patrick is dressed as a Monk, and Beth is in a white tunic with gold trim on the front.  This white tunic is what slaves wore during ancient roman times.  The Cousins are off to find the silver cup/chalice.  The Imagination Station drops the kids off in an old Roman Arena.  The arena is empty of people, but soon Beth and Patrick learn they are not alone.  A wild tiger comes racing towards them.  This is only the start of what Beth and Patrick will face along their journey.  As they progress through the story, the cousins soon find out why they are wearing what they are wearing.  Patrick soon meets up with a Monk, Telemachus, who saves Patrick and Beth on more than one occasion.  Beth soon becomes a slave to the very young, and powerful Emperor, Honorius.  In the end Honorius has a very important decision to make in regards to the Roman Games that take place in the arena.  Telemachus, the Monk is the one who helps guide Honorius in his decision, with only a few words.  The cousins journey to find the silver cup/chalice, not only helps Albert, but in the end changes the lives of the people of Rome.

The kids and I decided to read Attack at the Arena as a read aloud.  Every night we sat down together and read two chapters.  The kids were always asking to read more.  They loved this book!  Attack at the Arena is fast paced and full of adventure.  We never knew what was going to happen next.  Attack at the Arena was not only full of adventure, but it had a wonderful lesson in humanity and being children of God.  I love the many references to the Bible and what it means to be a noble person.  I also like that there is a lesson in history embedded in this story.  We were able to learn about the clothing the Romans wore during this time period, as well as the games that took place at the Arena.  I can honestly say, that there was not one thing we disliked about this book.  We enjoyed it so much that the kids would like to continue with the series as part of our nightly reading.  Tay, my 10 year old did say she was disappointed in the ending as she wanted more information about the fate of the Monk.  The book is geared towards kids ages 7 and up, but if you are doing a family read aloud, I think this book would be great for kids of any age.  Overall Attack at the Arena is a wonderful, adventurous story that we thoroughly enjoyed reading together as a family.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of Attack at the Arena from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my review.  The above review is my honest opinion and thoughts on this book.


Homeschool Mother's Journal

 The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In My Life This Week:  Oh man, things have really been crazy around this house.  We have been doing some work in our backyard, all week, and I have been a little on edge.  I am not one who enjoys upset with household things.  The yard is no exception.  We had to pull up and remove grass, which left us with a huge mess due to rain.  We then added some new concrete to the yard so the kids can have more space for riding bikes and scooters and such.  We were scheduled to have our new patio installed on Friday, but the installer was running behind, so we are hoping to get this done on Monday.  I am really looking forward to completing this project.  The kids are going to be able to have so much fun out there.

In Our Homeschool This Week:  Well, despite all the commotion outside we were able to get quite a bit of work done.  Tay is moving right along in her work.  She is now one week into using her Latin DVD's and doing great.  This has been such a stress reliever for me and for Tay.  She is able to use the laptop to watch her lessons and really understanding what is being taught.  I finally feel that Tay is actually learning Latin and not just trying to "get through" the lesson with me.  Ash is also doing great.  She is continuing to improve her reading skills everyday.  I am pleased with her progress and I honestly think Ash is pleased as well. The girls and I finished a great chapter book we are reviewing.  I am hoping to have the review posted by the afternoon.  I read the book aloud to the girls every night.  We really enjoyed this time together and I now plan on doing this nightly.  Buddy is really enjoying reading his books about ocean life.  He is also watching Finding Nemo, I think we are on day 4. Sigh.  I am hoping to be able to get an ocean craft done this week, and focus on reading Rainbow Fish.  I love that story!

Places We Are Going/People We Are Seeing:  This week we really didn't get a chance to get out of the house much.  We did take a trip down to the outlets to get the kids and myself some summer clothing.  We had such a great time.  The car ride was about 45 minutes and we were able to spend a couple of hours at the outlets.  The weather was perfect!  After,  we headed home for a nice dinner with the rest of the family at Red Robin.  Fun day!

My Favorite Thing This Week:  My favorite thing this week has to be hearing Tay play Amazing Grace on the piano.  Amazing Grace is one of my favorite songs and she finally perfected it.  It sounded beautiful!   It was really a proud and emotional moment for me.

What Is Working/Not Working For Us:  As far as schooling goes, everything worked well for us this week.  The new Latin DVD's have proved themselves to be a good buy, and everyone is moving along nicely in all other areas.  One thing not working for me is my workout schedule.  I am feeling a little bit in a rut and need to change some things up a bit.  I am hoping to get this situated for next week, as my frustration level is slowly increasing.

A Photo, Quote To Share:  Buddy in his new hat and his sisters glasses (upside down mind you) on our way home from the outlet stores yesterday.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our week.  Please check out what others are saying over at The Homeschool Chick.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Joining The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I have decided to join in on the Ultimate Blog Party being hosted over at 5 Minutes for Moms.  I am so excited as this will be my first time participating in a blog party!  It sounds like so much fun and I can't wait to get started.  So a little bit about me:

I am a Mommy of 3 wonderful children ages 10, 7, and 3.  My two oldest are girls, Tay and Ash, and my youngest is my little guy, Buddy.  We have been homeschool almost 3 years now and are having a blast.  I just started blogging a couple of months ago, and I am learning as I go.  I have met some wonderful homeschooling Mommies in the process.  The friendship and fellowship that is available is absolutely one of my favorite things about blogging, and homeschooling.

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading great books, baking delicious treats for everyone, and reading aloud to the kids.  I love reading and learning about my Catholic faith.  I try to spend my time learning all I can and give thanks to God for all He has given me and my family.

I am so excited about getting to know all you great bloggers out there.  I hope you enjoy checking out my little blog as I know I will enjoy reading all of yours.  Thanks for stopping by today!