Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: How to Be God’s Little Princess by Sheila Walsh

When I saw that How to Be God’s Little Princess was up for review, I had to jump on it.  My three year old just loves the series.  We own many books and movies featuring “Gigi.”

How to Be God’s Little Princess: Royal Tips for Manners, Etiquette, and True Beauty is a book about teaching our daughters what it means to be God’s little princess as opposed to creating that spoiled, little princess attitude that is so prevalent in our society.  It’s geared towards the elementary to tween set.

The book touches on every thing from manners, dressing modestly (gasp!), respecting family, to surfing the web safely,  what to do if someone hurts your feelings, and, most importantly, how to follow Jesus.   It can serve as a great list of things that every parent should be discussing with their daughters.
My ten year old daughter grabbed it  as soon as it arrived and I had to pry it out of her grasp to read it for the review. LOL  So here are her thoughts on the book.

Mackenzie said, “ The book was fun and entertaining and never boring.  It helped me to learn to control my temper and be nicer to my family.  It has little Bible verses in it and they helped me feel closer to God.”

Judging from how often she is reads this book, I’d have to say that we give it two thumbs up and our highest recommendations.

I received a copy of this book as part of the Book Sneeze program.  All opinions are my own. (Or my daughters.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: The Curiosity Files-The Puffer Fish

I was given the opportunity to review The Old Schoolhouse’s science unit study, The Curiosity Files-The Puffer Fish.   


About The Curiosity Files

The Curiosity Files are science unit studies for ages 8-13.  They come in an e-book format for $6.95 each.  Each unit study contains activities for Bible study, math, history, geography, language arts, science, arts & crafts, experiments,   lap booking, and much more. 

Our Experience

My daughter and I both enjoyed reading the articles and learned a lot that we didn’t know about the puffer fish.  In fact, it was so interesting my daughter read it twice.

Mackenzie was easily able to recall the information need to complete the “Let’s See What You Learned” activity.

For math practice we chose the “Exchange Rate” activity.  I thought it was a great way to show the real world value of knowing your math skills.  Since we’d actually been to Japan, we actually had some “spare change” from Japan lying around, along with some from a few other countries that my husband has traveled to.  I guess that’s one of the perks of being a former military family.  LOL

Mackenzie loves to draw so she was thrilled to see a step-by-step lesson on how to draw a puffer fish. 


There were also a couple of activities that you could do with your under 8 crew.  Unfortunately, my tot is persnickety and wasn’t will to test the unit with us.  No surprises there!

We also recently had an opportunity to observe a live puffer fish.  Our dentist has a huge salt water tank and he has a dog-faced puffer fish that we like to call “Smiley.”  He doesn’t seem to be aggressive like we read though.  

The Pros & Cons

The Pros:
*Great for multiple ages
*Activities cover all subjects and a variety of learning styles
*E-book format makes for instant gratification and easy printing for multiple students
*Articles are well-written and fun to read
*There are lots of different units to choose from and they require minimal prep and supplies

The Cons:
*E-book format means either reading articles on the computer or using a lot of printer ink.  (I should mention that I have a love/hate relationship with e-books.  I love the “instantness” of them but I hate reading large amounts on a screen.  Thus I use a lot of printer ink.)
*The sheer number of activities can be overwhelming for someone who feels like they have to “check every box.”  (Or a plus for those of us who like to pick and choose.)

My Final Thoughts

I thought the unit was really well done and nice break from our normal school routine.   I really like the way the information was presented.  It was a fun, easy read for my daughter and I.  I also loved the way God’s hand, in the creation of these amazing animal's was woven through out the unit.

The was a huge variety of activities to choose from.  And there was something for every learning style.
I’m definitely going to be looking at the other Curiosity File units for some fun summer learning.


Website: http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/
Free Samples are available on the website.
Price: $6.95
Age Range: 8-13

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up and Tot School Combo

Kayleigh is 38 months old

Mackenzie is not a tot


It was spring break here so there wasn’t much schooling going on at all.  We did mainly Easter activities and hung out.

The big bust of the week was the fact that we went to Busch Gardens.  When public school was out.  What were we thinking.  It took hours to get in the gate and then it was just people all day.  The kids got on about four rides, Kayleigh one.  Never again.  




We got to visit with an old friend from Guam.  Mackenzie and I hadn’t seen her in four years.  Now she’s got babies.


We thought Kayleigh would be thrilled to have a playmate her size, but Kayleigh and Morgan ignored each other. LOL  Kayleigh opted to do this instead…




Mackenzie was in baby heaven.


Although school was out, we still had to take care of our insect zoo.


These lady bug larva are still ugly and still don’t resemble a lady bug in any way. LOL

Our monarch caterpillars and milkweed arrived.



Even though it’s Mackenzie’s science project, Kayleigh was the one who helped me repot the milkweed plant for the caterpillars. 



Yes, I know, the garden is full of weeds and the grass is long.  I’m happy to report the garden no longer has weeds but that the grass is actually longer.  We’ve decided to put in sod so we’re not cutting it because they’re going to kill it real soon.

We’ve been doing a lot of Easter activities to prepare our hearts.  I don’t have a lot of pictures though, as I was preparing mine too.

Mackenzie and I have been reading through Amon’s Adventure: A Family Story for Easter.  It has been FABULOUS.  It’s by the same author who wrote Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels for advent.  I would highly recommend any of these devotionals to anyone.

Kayleigh has been doing the 12 Days of Easter from 2 Teaching Mommies.  Adorable!!  And fun.  Haven’t really gotten any pictures this week though.

I’ll list all of our favorite Easter tools at the end of the post.   Today we did some crafts so I have a couple of pictures.

First up, mini-marshmallow crosses.  I saw some one making eggs with them so I decided to make crosses.  Then they ate their weight in marshmallows.


Kayleigh wanted to do another craft, with marshmallows I’m guessing lol, so we did this printable.   Kayleigh glued, Mackenzie made a mobile.


I thought this picture was cute.  Kayleigh was watching/reading the Easter Story in her Read ‘n See Dvd Bible.  The scene where Jesus ascends to heaven thrills her. So here she is acting it out with her dolls.  Too cute!


Mackenzie also had a sleepover with her bff that she rarely sees these days.


Be sure to visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for other wrap-ups or click the Tot School button at the top of the page for other tot happenings.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Tot School: The One with Yet Another Incident

Kayleigh is 38 months
Tot School

It was a light week for Tot School this week.  Kayleigh was not really interested in anything beyond our new sensory bin and our ressurection egg activities.  

Our new sensory bin...

Easter grass, plastic eggs, bouncy egg balls, little egg koosh balls, Easter erasers, pastel pom poms, felt Easter basket.  Mainly from Target dollar spot and the Dollar Tree

She started hiding the bouncy eggs for her sister

She hid them in the same spot every time. LOL

She decided the grass was hair and started brushing it

All of the resurrection egg activities game from 2 Teaching Mommies.  I love them.  Here our some of her favorites.

Day 1 Jesus enters Jerusalem

Coloring Page

Roll and Count Game

Day 2 Jesus Betrayed for silver coins

Coloring page

Counting thirty coins

Day 3 The Cup~This was a really cute lesson on
how our sin makes us look "ugly" to God

And how Jesus washed our sins away.  
We went on a field trip with friends to a couple of museums this week.  Field trips are generally boring for poor Kayleigh as they are geared toward her sister and they involve Mackenzie's friends.  Poor Kayleigh's life revolves around sissy's activities a little to often.  Here's a few shots of her making the best of another incredibly boring situation.

She finally found somebody her own age to play with. LOL

And if a boring day with her sister's friends weren't bad enough, she spent the evening at the ER.  Again.    Kayleigh and Mackenzie were playing tickle fight or something and we thought she broke her wrist.  Just a bad bruise and a slight sprain.   I'm expecting CPS to show up any day now.

And that was poor Kayleigh's week.  We're going to hold off on our normal Tot School stuff again this week and just do our Easter activities.   Hopefully the poor girl will survive without a trip to the ER.

Opps!  I forgot about Kayleigh's first trip to the circus.  The highlight of her week.  And her arm was feeling better by then.  =o)

Click on the button at the top of the page and see what the other tots are up too.


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