Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids

About How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids

From the publisher:
How well do you really know your kids? What has God shown you about who they are and who they will become? He has sent these children into your home at this specific time for His glorious purposes. Indeed, you have been invited on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey on which you will see walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. You don't need special skills or training for this journey—you need only to seek God and hold tight to His mighty hand! As with so many things, the first step to having a heart for your children is knowing your heavenly Father. As you seek daily to share His heart for your children, keep this inspirational book close at hand.

My Experience

Every homeschooler goes through highs and lows along their homeschooling journey.  Some days it’s hard to remember why you entertained the thought of homeschooling in the first place.

There are times when the kids are so off the hook that you dream of putting them on that big, yellow bus.  Other times, it’s you who’s losing it and you wonder if spending the day trapped with mom’s insanity is really what God had in mind for His precious children.  At least, that’s been my experience. 

What I got from this book was encouragement, some conviction, and a renewed sense of purpose.  It’s a book that was written to improve my homeschool, and yours.  This book gets to the heart of the matter alright, starting with the person reading the book.  It’s all about the relationships.

The author shares her personal experiences and what has, and hasn’t, worked for her.  She covers five different areas:
H – Have a heart for things of God
E – Enrich your marriage
A – Accept your kids
R – Release them to God
T – Teach them the truth
Reading this book encouraged me to improve myself so that I can be a better example of Christ for my children.  It reminded me that educating my children is about so much more then teaching the three Rs.  It also reminded me that I am not in this alone.

The book won’t give you an instant fix but it will give a plan to get to where you want to be and a renewed sense of purpose. 

This is a book that I’m going to read before the beginning of every school year, and whenever needed in between.  It’s that inspiring. 


Website:           You can preview the book on the Apologia  website.
Price: $13.00
Read more reviews of this wonderful book at The Homeschool Crew Blog.


I was given a copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tot School: RRS Unit 2, Pt. 2

Kayleigh is 42 months



Raising Rock Stars

This week we finished up Unit 2, on Tt.

We did the power point show on the iPad this week.  Kayleigh calls it the big iTouch. LOL  Which I guess is fairly accurate.  She LOVES the turtle reader from this unit.


She wrote Tt on her verse sheet.


She cut and taped her memory verse, Exodus 20:15.  Boy was she upset that it wasn’t long.  ROFL


Painting her Ten Commandments craft


Writing T


Other Activities

She made play doh Tt s and pushed pony beads into them.  The mats come from Homeschool Creations.


Our game this week was Candy Land Castle


She painted this Rainbow Shape Turtle from Making Learning Fun.


She worked in her Kumon books, Let’s Sticker and Paste and Let’s Color


We had a new tool, Tangoes Jr., in one of her boxes.  She really loved it.  So did big sis. LOL  I found it on clearance at Target.


Using our Shape Tracers from Confessions of a Homeschooler.



We started reading in the Eloise Wilkins Treasury from our Sonlight p 3/4.  Such a sweet book!  She wanted to read the stories over and over.  And she pulled it off the shelf on her own several times this week.


We finished “rowing” Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? Here’s a quick look at our activities.  You’ll get a more detailed look when I finish my review in the next few weeks. 





Click on the Tot School and Preschool Corner buttons to see what other tots are doing.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One With Maps That Include Iceland

Ahhh, week 3 of the new year is done.  Woot!!  I know you’re probably waiting to hear about our misadventures with Winter Promise but, of course, I’m saving those for last.  =o)

Here’s the skinny on our week.


We are still reading in Genesis and Mackenzie is still enjoying the Bible Study Guide for All ages sheets.  It’s nice how they use a variety of activities to drive a point home.  One minute she’s drawing, writing a letter the next, mapping another day.  Very cool!


This week she had her first lesson in adding fractions.  Her she is with her math teacher, Mr. Demme.  =o)


Here she is doing some adding with the fraction overlays.


Language Arts

We’re still waiting on  Advanced Language Lessons and Writing With Skill to be released.  It’s looking like October.  But Word Roots Beginnings and Writer’s Apprentice are keeping us busy.

This week in WA she was writing “ads” and got some practice using “vivid verbs.”  It also gave us an excuse to get a neat thesaurus app for the iPad.  Our current thesaurus was a bit young for this level.  I guess it was good enough for kindergarten, when I bought it. LOL


Still love, love, loving it.  We started learning about the skeletal system this week.  Who knew they were so fascinating?  And who knew that part of the reason that I’m so forgetful these days might be because I don’t get enough calcium?  Not me!  LOL

We did a little project with some play doh to see what life without bones would be like.



We saw just how much of a flop life would be without bones.


Add in some  “bones” and problem solved.



We did another experiment to show how God designed the brain to have a little extra protection besides the skull.

Two “brains”, one with fluid between the “brain” and the “skull”, the other with just the “skull” for protection.


Now run around with your “brains” to simulate an active lifestyle.




It certainly looks like the protection for our brain was a good design after all. 

Social Studies

As you might know, our studies with Winter Promise have not been going well.  =o)  Things like accuracy and facts are important to me when it comes to my daughter’s education.  Call me crazy!

The main bone of contention, besides trying to figure out what the assignments actually are in the error-riddled IG, has been the junk they call “maps.”

So, I’ve tossed their maps to the curb and this week I’ve been using different ones.  Ones that are accurate.  And I bought this wonderful “around the world” program called Expedition Earth.   It was written by a homeschool mother.  It was only $15.  It’s maps are accurate.  It’s notebooking pages are VASTLY SUPERIOR to those in Winter Promise.  The quality of the pages were miles above what we got with WP.  When she writes out an assignment in the IG, the page numbers are correct.  I did check them all.  =o)

So I’ve kind of been melding the two programs.  EE is meant for younger kids so it wouldn’t do to be our spine.  I’ve kind of been adding in some of the WP books to EE and making something workable for us. 

We did continue with the Draw Your World (DYW) assignments from WP, but we used accurate maps.  I have some from Knowledge Quest, Homeschool in the Woods, and I’ve been offered an awesome review of a product called WonderMaps from Timberdoodle that look AWESOME.  Completely customizable and totally wonderful.  I can’t wait to get the program.  God was certainly answering prayers for us.

But I have to share this weeks sketch from DYW.  So funny.  So ironic.  So like WP.  LOL  I almost want to send them a thank you note for the laugh that they gave me.

You might need to click on the picture to be able do read it.  Do it!!  It’s totally worth it. 


In case you think I’m lying, here’s their map.


Here’s what we used.  Mackenzie was just a tad excited to see Iceland actually on a map.  LOL  It just goes to show that the saying about “the little things” is so true…


Yesterday we went on a field trip to The Mariners Museum with some friends.  We were visiting the section on explorers because that’s what one of our friends was currently studying.  But we could always use a review.  I’m going to write a separate, more detailed, post about the trip later.  But I had to share some pictures of what pertained to our studies.  You’re going to LOVE it!!!!

Why is Mackenzie giving this display a thumbs up, you might wonder?


I’ll show you why…


That’s right, Iceland baby!!!!  On a 17th century map.

Here’s a really, really, really old globe.


And guess what?  It has Iceland on it too.


I could go on and on and on with more examples but you get the idea.  So here’s the question of the day…

If 17th century map makers where Iceland is, why doesn’t Winter Promise?  Disturbing.

Oh, we were focusing on the United Kingdom this week.  I don’t really have much to say.  It wasn’t terribly exciting or informative.   I’m not even sure as to what we were supposed to have learned.   Some of the books are really good, like Material World and How People Live.  Others are, well, published by WP and not so good.  But despite some good books,  there just doesn’t seem to be any cohesiveness to the study.   We finished the week wondering what the point was.

Thank goodness I paid the $15 for EE so we could add some interest and facts to our learning.  Her notebooking pages added some focus for us.

Here’s a good example of the randomness and lack of focus in WP.  In the notebook, which is just a bunch of cutting and pasting and filling in of facts,...  And now I have to go off on a tangent and mention that the facts that they ask aren’t even covered in any of the readings.  That’s just weird.  Thank goodness for google.

Anyhow, in the notebook, they have you cut out a picture of Stonehenge and glue it in.   But they don’t give you any information about Stonehenge in any of the readings.  It’s just randomly thrown in the notebook.  Random seems to be a good way to describe WP.

So I was looking through the various books that came with it and I grabbed one called Fun and Traditions in Many Lands, published by WP.  So I thumb through the British Isle pages.  There was a small blurb about English crackers, invitations, and, lo and behold, Stonehenge.  Granted it was a small paragraph of info, but still better than nothing. 

Why on earth weren’t these pages scheduled or, at least, given a mention in the IG as something to check out?  It’s mind boggling.

That tiny paragraph on Stonehenge suggested make a “model” out of brownies.  Did you say brownies?  We were in.  You need a lot more brownies to make it to scale. 


While this week was not a complete success, at least there weren’t any tears.   Gone are the days of easy lesson planning; I’ve still got a lot of tweaking to do.  At least we got some chocolate out of it.  LOL 

Be sure to head over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see other Wrap-Ups.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: Meet the Students

Not Back to School Blog Hop
Fifth Grade
Favorite Subject: Science
Least Favorite: Anything published by Winter Promise
One Word Description: drama, Drama, DRAMA!!

Tot School
Favorite Subject: Snack
Least Favorite: Nap
One Word Description: TROUBLE!!

Tot School

Kayleigh is 42 months old


We had a light week this week.  A lot was going on with Mackenzie’s schooling this week so we only got in a few days of tot school.

Raising Rock Stars

Unit 2 Deets

Verse: Exodus 20:15, The Ten Commandments

Letter: Tt

Color: Green

Number: 2

Shape: Square

Getting ready for T sheet.  I like to use tiny crayons to encourage proper pencil grip.  These game with our Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kit but we also have a huge box of them from Handwriting Without Tears. 


Cutting her vocabulary cards.  Her cutting is getting better every week.


Coloring her memory verse.  She was very excited to use the “stinky” markers. lol


Other Activities

We were reading Head to Toe in one of our Sonlight books and Kayleigh did some donkey kicks like a donkey.  Can you believe that the book is a treasury?  Look at the size of those illustrations.  We just love this treasury with it’s full size illustrations.


We practiced counting with the stacking turtles activity from Homeschool Creations Pond Pack.


Playing on ABC Mouse.  There is a way to customize the lessons to your liking, so I could arrange them to match up with the letter we’re studying in Raising Rock Stars, but I just haven’t had time to figure that out.  I’m too busy having to redo Mackenzie’s curriculum.  Grrrr!

Our Starfall lessons are coordinating with RR though. 


Sorting T/t , dot painting, and color matching from Confessions of a Homeschooler.




Working in her Kumon Let’s Cut book


WE had pop beads and dress-up magnets in our star boxes.  The pop beads are always a hit with both girls.




In other news, we are reviewing Before Five in A Row and we started “rowing” our first book, Jesse Bear What Will You Where?DSC_0289redo

We dressed a bear according to the seasons.  These came in FIARs  Fold and Learn Pockets.


Another day we discussed the shapes used to illustrate the book and Kayleigh decided to get out her shape sorter.


She also got to paraticipate in one of Mackenzie’s science activities.  They made edible cells.  Yum!!



She pretty much ate the “organelles” and left the “cytoplasm” on her plate. LOL

Her little buddy also came over and they had lots of fun. DSC_0092redo

Click the Tot School button at the top of the page to see other tot happenings.  And don’t forget to check out Preschool Corner.




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