Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with a Visitor or Three

There wasn't much going on in the way of formal schooling this week. My sister and her family were in town so we did a lot of hanging with them.

We went to The Mariner's Museum on one of the rainy days. My nephew, 15, is very into that sort of thing so it was a good fit for him. My sister enjoyed wrecking havoc and taking goofy pictures with us. Goofy pictures at Mariners is a tradition for us and our friends. It was good to see that my sister could hang with the "big dogs" like us. It's very important to me that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot. lol

And I saw some scrimshaw (art on a whales tooth) that I hadn't noticed on any of my other trips here. We're starting a lesson on whales so I took a picture of it. lol

We even let them drag us to the beach. On the main strip. With all the annoying tourists. It was a bit of a rainy type of day so the crowds weren't bad. I bought the girls boogie boards and Mackenzie is quite good at it. So we're going to to the beach again tomorrow with some friends. We have to get our $6.99 worth out of those boards.

We also took them to Water Country because that's just a good time. I didn't take any pictures except for some crappy ones with my phone. But fun was had by all. Our friends met us up there so Kayleigh had her bff there and she loved that. And I had someone to sit in the kiddie area with me while everyone else rode the rides.

When they left we did some school lite. Mackenzie didn't do much more then finish up what we didn't get to on Friday and continued on with math and science. Kayleigh finished her Friday work and did a little more LA.

I had her do a cut and paste craft with her memory verse from last week. Just cause Colossians 3:20 is a favorite of mine. ;o) And she worked on her All About Reading lessons went on to 'd'. We made Dd shaped cookies out of cookie Dough just for fun. And cuz we like cookies.  We also did a sink/float activity to go along with something we were reading with Sonlight. Kayleigh insisted that everything was going to float. She was correct 2 out of 8 times. lol

I'd like to say that we'll get in a full week next week but that would be a big 'ole lie. We start music classes up again and we have our annual "Not-Back-to-School" outing to celebrating the PS kids going back to school and clearing out of our favorite hang outs.

What's been going on in your homeschool?

Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up, Preschool Corner, Homegrown Learners, and Homeschool Mother's Journal

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Molly Crew Review: Everyday Cooking


Today I get share with you a different kind of review. The Schoolhouse Review Crew is branching out to include the Molly Crew. So not only will I get to continue bringing reviews of great homeschooling curriculum, but I'll also be reviewing great items and gadgets that pertain to other areas of your life.

First up on the Molly Crew, deck... Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking.


About Everyday Cooking

A collection of tried-and-true recipes and hints for simple, everyday cooking with an emphasis on whole foods - from a busy homeschooling mother of eight. Includes photos, sample menus, shopping, equipment tips, and more! 100 full-size pages; color cover and color photos.

Our Experience

PhotobucketI received the e-book version of this cook book in a PDF format. I was able to quickly and easily load it  onto my iPad and get cooking. 

The book contains recipes for the following categories:

**Breakfast Ideas

**Appetizers &Dressings

**Breads & Grains

**Main Dishes & Soups & Salads

**Desserts & Snacks

It also includes:

**Basic Measurements and Helps

** Planning & Shopping Hints

**Basic Cooking Skills Checklist

**Sample Menus & Menu Planning Masters

**Basic Kitchen Accessories

**Kitchen Equipment

**and more

PhotobucketMackenzie and I had a great time trying out recipes in this cookbook. In fact, the recipes were simple enough that Mackenzie was able to make a lot of them on her own. We made taco seasoning mix, Chicken Broccoli Braid, Italian Chicken and Rice, Chicken Taco Rice, Vicki's Italian Chicken and Pasta, Sloppy Joes, Chocolate No-Bakes, Fruit Juice Knox Blox, Helen's Orange Delight, and Becky's Mystery Cake. We enjoyed them all! My husband doesn't usually like Sloppy Joes but he really enjoyed this version. There is something for everyone in this cookbook.

While she does use a lot of whole food options, I wouldn't label this as a whole food cookbook. In cases where she uses less healthy option, she offers alternatives. And the recipes are easily customized to suit your family's tastes or health needs.

One of my favorite features was the Basic Cooking Skills checklist. I plan on using this list as a guide for teaching my sixth grader some cooking skills. A nice and simple way of incorporating some home ec into your home or homeschool.


Price: $17.99 for the print edition, $14.99 for the e-book



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own or those of my family.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Ten Girls from History ~ Golden Prairie Press

At our house, history is a much loved subject. Both my daughter and I find it fascinating. Especially when you it learn about reading real books, as opposed to a dry text book. When the opportunity came up to review some books from Golden Prairie Press, we were eager to be picked.  Mackenzie was very excited to be selected to receive Ten Girls from History by Kate Dickinson Sweetser, edited by Amy Puetz.  

About Ten Girls from History

From the website:

Prepare to befriend ten of the bravest girls of history! Whether facing a band of Indians with Madeleine; or saving lives at sea with Ida Lewis; or experiencing the battlefields of the Civil War with Clara Barton, you will be inspired by their faith, courage, and devotion. Girls of all ages will enjoy meeting these ten remarkable girls from the past, and parents will appreciate the godly examples found in these pages. Both inspirational and entertaining, this book will bring history alive for your family.

Each chapter dramatizes the life and accomplishments of these ten girls:

Louisa May Alcott: Author of Little Women
Clara Barton: The Angel of the Battlefield
Molly Pitcher: The Brave Gunner of the Battle of Monmouth
Cofacachiqui: An Indian Princess
Madeleine De Vercheres: The Heroine of Castle Dangerous
Dorothy Quincy: A Girl of the American Revolution
Ida Lewis: The Heroine of Lime Rock Lighthouse
Elizabeth Van Lew: The Girl who Risked all for the Union
Virginia Reed: Midnight Heroine of the Plains
Clara Morris: The Girl who Won Fame as an Actress

Our Experience

We received the ebook version of the book which is available as an EPUB, MOBI, or PDF file. Easy to install on pretty much every e-reader out there. I chose the PDF file and I was able to load it on our Kindle and iPad with ease.

Since this review fell during our summer break, I just let Mackenzie go ahead and read it for fun. And she was totally happy to read this history book as pleasure reading. That alone says a lot about this book doesn't it?

What I really like about this book is that it allows today's girls to see that girls and woman have played important roles in history. Since the roles of woman were vastly different in the past, their contributions weren't always noted. It was nice to find a book to highlight those accomplishments. I also like how possible unknown vocabulary is highlighted throughout the book.

As for Mackenzie, she has really been enjoying the book. She said that it inspired her to stand up for herself more and it helped her realize that she could also help change or better the world. Her favorite story so far has been about Madeleine De Vercheres. She found it amazing that a young girl of 14 would not only be left in charge of a fort and defend it successfully from attack.

This book is just jam packed with dramatic, action packed stories that will inspire young girls on to greatness. I am looking forward to incorporating these stories into our regular history studies.



Age Range: 10 +

Price: $15.00 for ebook, $25.00 for print and MP3 audio book

And great news!!! They are currently 20% off through September 1. So they are going for $12.00 and $20.00

This was just one of four books reviewed by the Crew. Be sure to check out our reviews of other Golden Prairie Press products.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own or those of my family.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with A LOT of Science

That's right we did a lot of science. In the form of experiments.


We're finishing up the last lesson in our Apologia Anatomy from last year as well as finishing our first lesson in Apologia's Swimming Creatures.

In anatomy we were studying growth and development and all of that. Including DNA. So we made an edible DNA strand that we saw all over pinterest.

It was simple. It was fun. And tasty.

The directions are HERE. (P.S. We are now done with anatomy. So only one science lesson for us.)

We also worked on our Try This! and project activities from lesson one of Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day. We did them co-op style with our friends who are studying the same thing. They didn't get to do any of their science experiments last year so we're making them this year. lol

One of their projects is to make an Ocean Diorama. Each lesson they will add examples of the types of animals they studied. This week they created the box and put in some animals from the abyss.  They also had a demonstration of how water pressure effects your body using a ballon and a 2-liter bottle. They made "wind currents" using a tub of water and mini fans. The book suggested using hair dryers for that. Water and hair dryers? LOL No thanks. Lastly they demonstrated how water temperature can effect currents.

She has 3 more lessons left in MUS Epsilon and one more in Growing with Grammar. Then she can start her next level. Yay! IEW continues to go well. She's loving those keyword outlines. We'll start lesson 2 next week.

In the world of home ec, she baked my husband and I some yummy carrot cake cupcakes. From scratch. Cuz we both turned 41 this week. I'm a day older. And wiser. lol


The first thing I want to share is this: Progress. We are off the dreaded "starter level." Thank goodness. We were so happy we thought about throwing a party in celebration.

I'd like to say that she made some great reading progress but I can't. I'm not sure what they're trying to teach them other than typing skills. And maybe spelling. I'd kind of hoped to teach her to read before we tackled spelling. But at least there were no tears. But that might be because she only did one round of the new level. lol But I'm choosing to remain hopeful.

Naturally, we read a lot. Which is good because we like that. Sonlight had some fun suggestions to go along with some of our stories. When we read The Greedy Farmer from The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book she was comparing liquid volume by pouring milk into cups of different sizes. I'm not going to lie and tell you that she gave a hoot about the mini-math lesson. She was only into the pouring and the drinking of the milk. When we read Tiger Tries to Cheat she had a blast acting out the story with some of her stuffies. She also built the Tower of Babel with blocks but I didn't catch a picture of that. Sorry.

We worked on lowercase b in All About Reading pre-1. She did her little craft, practiced blending with the puppet, and I finally got around to making a salt box for letter tracing like I've been planning in my head for months. Because it was so hard to to find the 30 seconds that it took to prepare. In my defense, the real issue was remember to by a box for it. A 97 cent pencil box from Walmart did the trick. She loved it and used it to draw every letter except for b. lol J was a favorite for this activity. Who wants to place a bet that when she gets to J, she won't want to write it? The odds are in your favor.

We had a blast with our Language Lessons for Little Ones this week. We read a poem about caterpillars and butterflies so I decided to turn it into a little science lesson. (I told you we did a lot of science.) We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and talked about the life cycle of a butterfly. Then we made a life cycle craft using various band aids. How cool is that? Pinterest rocks!! And now I have a lot more band aids in the house.

This week in Handwriting Without Tears , we learned about Mat Man. And body parts. And counting. So versatile. lol We sang the song, built Mat Man, and then she drew him. Everybody loves the Mat Man song.

We did do math. I just didn't photograph any of it. =o)

Oh, I forgot to share our Bible verse for this week. Colossians 3:20. I love it! It's never a favorite of the kids though. I can't figure out why. lol

So how did your week go?

Linking up to: Weekly Wrap-Up, Collage Friday, Preschool Corner, and The Homeschool Mother's Journal.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop: Student Week

This week is student week on the Not-Back-to School Blog Hop. So without further ado, here are the students of the Sonlight Academy for Girls.

Sonlight Academy for Girls 2012-2013 Class Roster

Favorite Subject: Sonlight

Least Favorite Subject: anything with "Winter Joke" Promise

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Book: Harry Potter series

Favorite Music: One Direction

Loves to: read, piano, art

One Word Description: DRAMA!

Favorite Subject: Snack

Least Favorite Subject: Coloring

Favorite Color: Pink

Favorite Book: Three Sleepy Kittens

Favorite Song: All in All (or Jesus Lamb of God as she calls it)

Loves: rocks, tape measures, and small dolls with hair to brush

One Word Description: Crazy!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with a Sixth Grader

Yes, you read that title right. My first born is now, sniff, a sixth grader. Sniff, sniff. Against my wishes. Can you believe the nerve of this child? I should probably ground her.

In fact, I think I shall. And I'll give her extra math. And make her write a ten page report. By hand. And fix her liver and onions for lunch. That will teach her to squash all of this growing up.

And that is not all that this little girl did this week. She also got baptized. In the very ocean that God created with his own hands. The idea of being baptized in the very oceans that God mentioned creating in the Bible thrills me. As does the thought that maybe the water from Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, had made it's way to the Atlantic where my daughter was baptized. How exciting that thought is?

I will not ground her for this type of growth though. In this case I will rejoice with her and be a proud mama.

Now on to the rest of our Wrap-Up...


As I mentioned, against my will, Mackenzie started sixth grade this week. We haven't started up a full load yet as we haven't started back up with our Sonlight studies  yet,  but we did start some of our new items and are finishing up a couple of other things. We did miss our Sonlight though.

We started our Institute for the Excellence in Writing this week. If you've read my blog in the past, then you'll know that finding the writing program that best fits our needs has been a challenge. We did really well with Writing With Ease but Writing With Skill didn't click with us the same way. Since I've only heard rave reviews about IEW, we decided to give it a try. So far so good. Just one week in and I'm ready to rave. Key word outlines? Genius!! Mackenzie was very excited about writing this week. Always a great way to start off the new school year.

We are finishing up our last few lessons in Math-U-See Epsilon. We got a little behind in it due the amount of math programs we reviewed last year. She was supposed to finish it up this summer but she was lazy about it so she has to start off sixth grade finishing last year's math. Bummer. lol

She's also working in Life of Fred fractions and loving it. The original plan was to just do a LOF lesson after completing each MUS lesson. But she thinks it's hilarious and does it every day without complaint. Math win!

And, as a mom, you just can't complain when your child wants to do extra math. It just wouldn't be right.

We're also finishing up our Growing With Grammar lessons from last year. That's not because of anything Mackenzie did or didn't do. It's because we started off the year using Advanced Language Lessons (follows First Language Lessons) and then in January the author decided that she wasn't going to finish writing ALL after all so we had to find something new. Despite the late start with GWG, she is almost finished with it. Then on to the level 6. Woot!

We started our new science, Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day, and it's going well. We've been skipping the experiments and projects because we're going to be doing those as a group with our friends. So we'll do that stuff next week. We're excited about working with our buddies.

We were happy to get back to our Visual Latin. Always a lot of fun. And we got back to our composer studies. This week we studied Verdi. We're also adding back in our artist studies that we didn't keep up with last year. We're using COAH's World's Greatest Artist units as our guide. I think having something scheduled will help keep us on track.

Mackenzie also started working in her Artistic Pursuits' book. I bought this because she had decided not to take art at Young Musicians of Virginia, but she's since changed her mind. But since I already bought the book, and it's self-led, she's going to do it anyway. This week she was learning about outlining objects.

All in all, our first week of middle school was a good one. Attitudes were in check, lessons completed in a timely manner. Here's hoping week two goes just as well.


Week two of preschool is complete. It went really well for the most part. Except when it comes to a review item. There is one thing we're reviewing that she just hates. Just mentioning the name of the item makes her cry. With tears. For real. The poor, poor dear. I think when we get past what I will call the "training phase" she will be fine and even enjoy it. But at the moment it's a never-ending, tedious nightmare. Ugh!

That photo is tragic, isn't it?


We're onto letter our letter B verse in My ABC Bible Verses. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 Avery timely one for a household with two girls who love to bicker. I choose kindness as our Virtue for this week. I might stick with it for next week because Kayleigh has really been struggling to be kind lately.


Our little math trio of Math-U-See, Mathematical Reasoning , and Family Math for Young Children: Comparing has been working out really well for us. This week I traded our Family Math activity for something I saw on pinterest. I put number cards and paint cards in our education cubes and she rolled a number and a color. Then she dot painted the correct number of dots using the correct color with our Do-A-Dot markers. She loved that.

Also please note, her spectacular coloring skills on her MUS page. The best I've ever seen her do. The little minx has been holding out on me. Again. All this time she just scribbles a few scribbles and calls it good. Now that I know she can color neatly...


Naturally we've been doing a lot of reading for our Sonlight core p 4/5. One of our nursery rhymes this week was Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater and the IG suggested making pumpkin pancakes as an extension. Well I didn't feel like standing in the kitchen flipping pancakes but I'm am determined to incorporate more "making memories" activities into our school so I decided to let the girls make pumpkin cookies. One of our favorite fall treats. Yum! So bake them they did and they were delish!!! I helped with the icing because they had lost interest by then. But they were baked to perfection. I give them both an A+!

Notice that Kayleigh discovered a new way to clean the beater. She's nothing if not creative. And determined. lol

And thanks to Michelle over at Delightful Learning. It is her blog that inspires me to spend more time "making memories" instead of stressing over the 3Rs all the time.  She is everything that I wish I could be. But instead of beating myself up for not being as creative or organized as she is, I decided to do better with the personality that I was given. And drool over her blog in-between. She has tons of great ideas. Some of which I'm able to incorporate. Love her!

I am still loving Language Lessons for Little Ones. (Which I discovered over on Michelle's blog, btw.) This week Kayleigh had to do her first narration. And she did a great job. I was so impressed. She choose a story that we had just read in Uncle Wiggily's Story Book, one of our Sonlight read alouds. I still can't believe how well she did. Maybe she's a natural? lol

We still haven't touched the book in Handwriting Without Tears. We're still having a lot of fun playing games that help us get used to the wood pieces. And we did a really fun activity that had us drawing "free style" to classical music. We choose Vivaldi's Four Seasons and had so much fun! Who said handwriting had to be boring and tedious?

Other stuff

This week's Artistic Pursuits' The Way They See It  lesson was on telling a story with your crayon ala Harold and the Purple Crayon. So of course we had to read Harold and the Purple Crayon . Then Kayleigh drew her own crayon adventure about her guinea pigs on a mountain. She was quite pleased with it. lol

Do you know what else I like about this book? It includes a picture study using a famous work of art with each lesson. This, of course, will help with the skill of narrating. Hooray!!!!

And that dear readers was our week. How did your week go? Well I hope!

I'm linking up to the Weekly Wrap-Up, Homeschool Mother's Journal, and Photo College Friday.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...