Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blast From The Past - Christopher March 1998

Blast From the Past Blog Button - mom

You will find the rules for participating in my meme by clicking this link
Blast From The Past
  Blast From The Past occurs on Tuesdays   

This week I am featureing one of some of my favorite photos of Christopher
These were taken outside of our trailer in Bear, DE.

Christopher is 16 mos. old

His smile makes you want to smile

This is one of my favorite pictures of Christopher
when he was little.

He was always making noises or talking or singing.
Such a Cutie!!!

 I hope you enjoyed this weeks Blast
Now it is your turn!!
Post a picture from your past... yesterday... days gone by...
Pictures of you, your family, your kids, your spouse...

Make sure you take my Blast From The Past button to put in your post. Tell your readers to click on the button to come to my blog or leave them a link at the bottom so they can read my post and participate if they want to.

Don't forget to come back and sign Mr. Linky
so we can all go read your post!!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Sept. 28, 2009

FOR TODAY... Monday, Sept. 28, 2009

Outside my window... the sun is rising, the cars, with their humans in them, are zooming to work, the kids are already standing at the bus stop, the world is starting their day.

I am thinking... about all the work to be done this week

I am thankful for... being home with my kids, homeschooling them, and not all zooming off to so many different places to be separate for the day.

From the learning rooms... 2nd week of workboxes, Bible - Esau and Jacob; History - Columbus; Science - last week of reviewing Christian Kids Explore Physics; Historical Fiction - read Sarah's Wish a TOS Homeschool Crew review item; and lots of other extra's... read my week in review on Friday to see all we get done using the workboxes!!! I love them!!

I am wearing... blue jumper, white tope with red and blue flowers, blue knee socks and my blue Crocs.

I am creating... a full school log book with our many and varied activities in the workboxes. I need to get to work on the ornaments I want for this year. Each year I make a new ornament for each of my kids, my dh and I so that when the kids get married and leave us they have a bunch of ornaments to take and hang on their tree and we still have many to put on our tree. They also become rememberances of Christmases past.

I am going... to the library after dh gets home, and to Bible Study on Friday.

I am reading... Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn

I am hoping... to get a lot done in school this week with our workboxes and to make time for daily personal Bible study.

I am hearing... cars outside... the windows are open... it is a lovely fall morning, 57 degrees

Around the house... always lots to do... chores, cleaning, school, put away laundry, wash more laundry...

One of my favorite things... vacations!!! to bad they don't last... now back to work/school!

A few plans for the rest of the week: School, Bible Study, hopefully start on Christmas ornaments.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Sight and Sound's Mellenium Theatre
we got to see "In the Beginning" for more details see my

Weekly Wrap-up for the week of Sept. 20th

Join us at the Simple Woman's Daybook: read others and do your own

Have a Wonderfilled week,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Wrap-up for the week of Sept. 20th

We did not do "school" this week. We were on vacation. We could not afford to really go anywhere, no $$ for hotels and such so we slept at home and ate mostly at home and did a couple day trips. We call this a Staycation!!! It was a great week, but it went waaaaaaay to fast! Free Smileys

Our Staycation week started Last Friday night when dh came home and said,
"Let's go out to eat at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries."
There was no arguing about that... everyone got ready quickly and we got going!! Court and I had been to the one near our home for the first time on our anniversary weekend and we promised the kids we would take them while we were on vacation this week. Everyone was excited and everyone loved it. Most of us could not finish our food even though we got each got the little burgers and shared large fries between two people.

Last Saturday we drove around for quite a while: we laughed, had a good time together, and we went to an Amish store. We bought a few treats, the girls got some material, and we had a great time looking at all the housewares, material, books, games, sewing notions, and the boys especially enjoyed the selection of penknives. Christopher was not feeling well and Nathan was still recuperating from his cold and sore throat, but we did not do anything strenuous so they survived. We stopped at a little pizza shop we like for dinner and then went to a nearby dollar store and bought a bunch of junk food for our staycation. See Rachel's post on the material they got by clicking this link: Miscellaneous...

Sunday Rachel, and Court and I went to church and Jessica stayed home with the boys since they were still sick. After church we went to the Library and got a bunch of movies so we could just chill and relax Sunday and maybe even Monday depending on the sick kids and what they felt up to doing. So the rest of the day was lazy, watching movies and eating!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we did not do much of anything. We spent the days working on blog stuff (I had reviews to do), watching movies, hanging out, and eating.

Thursday morning Rachel had a knitting class. I had wanted to have one of our day trips be a trip to Sight and Sound Theatres. I had been notified through our homeschool support group that they were offering discount tickets for educators and their students. The tickets were offered for the present time through the middle of Oct. so I had thought it would be a great thing to do for our staycation. I had tried to get tickets for all 6 of us online and it would not allow me to get 4 adult and 2 student tickets with the discount. I did not want to be disappointed and so I had not tried to call them over the phone and find out if there was anything they could do for us. Each of us had decided that we wanted to go to Sight and Sound badly enough that we were willing to pay for our own tickets. We couldn't afford to do it any other way, even with the discount.

Well, Thursday was the last day we could go, so I decided to call and leave the results up to the Lord. My dh said that we could make the 4:15 pm show fine if they had seats available and we could all get the discount ticket price and did not have to pay full price for any of us. The boys qualified fine for the discount, of course, and my dh and I were fine as homeschool parents and educators. The problem was our grown daughters. So I called. First I asked if they had any seats left for the show that afternoon. They did. Then I told the man on the phone about the discount and the problem with the online order. Next I told him about Rachel teaching knitting and sewing classes, and the fact that Jessica has helped in our homeschool, helping the boys with their writing and with art. It was all the truth. I was so excited when he said there would be no problem getting us all discount tickets!!! I gave the phone over to dh so he could give him the credit card numbers and I went running down to tell all the kids.   Free Smileys  I was jumping up and down and running to all the levels of the house. No one was as excited as I was, but I did not let that dampen my enthusiasm!!  I was definitely doing a happy dance!!!   Free Smileys

My dh took Christopher and went and got some supplies for lunch meat wraps and we made them after Rachel's class finished and we all got ready to go. By the time we got there the kids were starting to get more excited. Jessica and dh took a couple of pictures and then the batteries for the camera quit. Free Smileys   Typical!!! You can't take pictures in the theatre during the production anyway but they wanted to get a few more shots of the family and the lobby! Oh well!

 A photo of the outside of Sight and Sound Theatre

That is Rachel (in the pink top), Nathan (in the green shirt) and I (in the white top) in the lower left hand corner.

The musical we got to see was "In The Beginning," the story of creation. It was beautifully done. From the beginning of the production where they brought up from below the stage a huge blue earth and projected moving pictures on it to simulate the creation of the earth and the waters etc. to the finish where Christ our groom spread out the Marriage Supper of the Lamb the show was stupendous, amazing, moving, spiritually uplifting, full of wonder, encouraging, challenging, and many other things. I cried several times, including when Cain killed Abel (and then as Adam and Eve found their dead son); and when the earth was made new and then the marriage supper of the Lamb took place.

You can see Rachel's blog post with the pictures by going here:  
Sight and Sound Trip!

I am unable to describe it well enough! Words do not suffice!! You have to see one to understand. By clicking around on their site...  Sight and Sound Theatres... you can get a little idea. It is the ultimate theatre experience for Christians and a great outreach if you took non-christian friends or family. Much better than any Broadway play because of the content... but the production, the music and the quality of the acting is as good as any play anywhere!! and just so you know I have seen a few in my years, including ballet's in Philadelphia and New York City and even an Opera in my college days!! Nothing compares to a Sight and Sound musical!!

After the program they said that if anyone needed or wanted to pray with one of the staff or members of the cast that they would be up in front of the theatre and out in the lobby. I felt a need to have prayer (and so did Court, but I did not know that until later) but I did not go up. When we went outside we sat in the car and ate our dinner (the lunch meat wraps) and one of the guys who was a parking lot attendant came over to our car. His introduced himself as "Moose" he had been a missionary in Alaska for years, probably where he got his nickname, and was now working at Sight and Sound. He wanted to know how we liked the show and he and dh talked a couple minutes.

He then asked if we had any questions and we wanted to know what they did if anyone got sick. He said that had 3 ladies that played Eve and 3 or 4 that played Adam and 3, or maybe it was 4, that played Satan. He said that though they have multiple shows a day that the guys that play Satan only do one show a day. They bathe them in prayer before each show so they will not be spiritually weakened by playing such an evil character and the actors find is so draining that they each only do one show a day. They want the Lord to be glorified and not Satan so they bathe the actors and the musical in prayer each day. After he answered our questions he asked if he could have a word of prayer with us. It was a God-thing!! Both Court and I felt the need for prayer, did not go and ask for it, but God sent someone to pray for us anyway.

That was definitely the highlight of our week!!

Friday we went to Shady Maple Smorgasbord with a family from our church that had never been. They have two children, a little boy (Matt) and a little girl (Katy). On the way to Shady Maple Matt road in our car with boys, Rachel, Court and I. Jessica went with the rest of their family in their car. The boys were a riot!!! We put on some Patch the Pirate music and Matt took his water bottle lid and put it over his eye like a patch. The boys were also making all kinds of boy noises... you know: light sabers and making up characters. We got to Shady Maple and we had a great time. We ate...... a lot.... as usual. We shopped in the gift shop on the level below the smorgasbord, then we went to Goods store and Jessica got two new sweaters.

Today we hung out at home for most of the day then Jessica, Court and I took a walk at Winterthur. I have been working on school stuff for next week and working on TOS Crew stuff also, and of course I wrote this really long weekly wrap-up post!!! Free Smileys

I hope you had a great week whatever you were doing.
Join the Weekly Wrap-up... read other's and post you own.

I will be doing the weekly wrap-up each week from now on, though most will not be this long or this varried... usually it will just be homeschool stuff.

In Christ,

Friday, September 25, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew Review - Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

Does you family need to eat better? Do you want to study the Human Body? Do you need a health course for you High School Student? I may have just the product for you!


Nutrition 101 is a complete study of the Human Body and Nutrition. The book is 448 pages long. The units are as follows:
  1. The Brain and Nervous System;
  2. Digestion and Elimination;
  3. Respiration and Olfactory;
  4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems;
  5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems;
  6. Endocrine System and Emotions. 
Each unit teaches not only the science of the Human Body but also the nutrition that is needed for that portion of the body. Included with the nutrition is what foods you can eat to keep that part of your body healthy and also any supplements that can help. Each unit has 4 lessons and each of the 24 lessons includes hands-on activities, science, art projects and recipes. The book also contains a complete reference guide filled with nutrition facts, charts, practical tips and an exhaustive index. The book is based on the truths of the Bible and passages of the Bible are quoted and referenced throughout the book.

Their are activities in each chapter for Elementary and Secondary students. The activities are varied and interesting. They include things like vocabulary, viewing movies on YouTube, games to play, memorizing scripture, and challenges for better health like eating foods each day for good brain health.

So that you can trust the information in the book the Authors are:
Debra Raybern, N.D., M.H., C.N.C., I.C.A. (Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritional Counselor, Internationally Certified Aromatherapist). She is a veteran home school mom and shares from nearly two decades of personal and professional experience.

Sera Johnson, B.Mu. is a home school mother of four, private music teacher and the president of operations for Growing Healthy Homes LLC.

Laura Hopkins, B.S. is a professional communicator with a decade of experience in the public and private sectors, including a Fortune 8 global energy company. As president of communications for Growing Healthy Homes LLC, she is responsible for content and Internet management.

Karen Hopkins, B.S. is a former Home Economics teacher and published author who developed diabetes at the age of 45 due to S.A.D (Standard American Diet). Karen reversed the prognosis in six short months without medication through the use of specific natural supplements, diet and exercise. She founded Growing Healthy Homes LLC in 2007 to educate and train families about God’s desire for His children to prosper in health even as their souls prosper (III John 2).

View sample pages Here.

Out of 5 stars we give this ...


Order the CD-ROM for $79.95
Order the book for $99.95
Order the book for $99.95 Order the combo (book and CD-ROM) for $129.95

The only problem with this program is the cost. If I had not gotten this to review for free I would not be able to afford it. It is a great product. It is very thorough but the price is so that I would not have been able to afford it this year. Of course, each families budget is different and I can sometimes save up for larger purchases that I really want. I hope, in spite of the price, that some of you check this product out. Take a look at the sample above. It could do a lot to fix your families eating habits and hence your families health, and because of that may be well worth the price.

Note: if you order the CD-ROM this book of 448 pages takes a LOT of printing unless, like me, you don't mind reading to your kids off of pdf's. We were given a pdf download of the book, the same thing you get if you order the CD-ROM. I could not afford to print the whole thing so I just print the necessary pages as we go along and we read the book directly from the pdf. If that is not something you like to do you may want to count the cost of having to print it yourself, though many of my crew members printed most of the book in black  and white and only the absolutely necessary pages in color. Weigh this option against the option of buying the book already printed.

Personal Note: If you added Notebooking pages or Lapbook Elements it would really add to the study.

This could easily be counted as a 1/2 or maybe even full credit of Health for your homeschool high school student.

Check out my Crew friends and the reviews they did of this product,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

Who is Charlotte Mason? She was born Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason  and lived from January 1, 1842 – January 16, 1923. She got her teacher's degree and then was asked to teach and lecture. She gave lectures to parents and those who cared for children. Then the Parents' Educational Union was formed and quickly expanded. Next a periodical was launched, the "Parents' Review", to continue to aid parents in teaching and training their children. Charlotte then moved to Ambleside, England and started a school for the training of governesses and others working with young children. More schools adopted her philosophy and methods, and her school at Ambleside became a teacher training college to supply the Parents' Union Schools that were springing up. She spent her final years overseeing this network of schools devoted to "a liberal education for all."  

An article on Charlotte Mason
Another article on Charlotte Mason

Many homeschoolers have adopted her style of education and so there are many websites and blogs about CM homeschooling.

The major points of CM homeschooling are:(by the way CM= Charlotte Mason, makes for less typing)

Living Books
This is one of the most well known of the parts of CM homeschooling. Using books that are written by a single author and not using textbooks. This also includes not reading or using twaddle in your homeschool.

is asking a student to tell back in his own words what he just saw, heard, or read. It can be used with all the subjects. The child must think about and process the new information, comparing this to his prior knowledge and previous experiences. This is much harder than filling in the blanks on worksheets.

Copywork is what Charlotte used for learning and practicing handwriting. Instead of just copying, a brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, or some other useless phrases you have the kids copy scripture, poems, or worthy passages from the books you are reading. You start small and build up over the years.

Dictation is used like copywork except that you read aloud the portion you want them to copy instead of them copying from a printed page. This gives them practice in things like spelling, grammar and punctuation since you have them correct their work according to the original after they are done the dictation. Again, start small and work up to larger passages.

Short Lessons 
This is self explanatory. This is for the purpose of keeping the child's attention. When lessons go on to long, especially for younger children, you teach them to let their minds wander. As the children get older the lessons can be lengthened. Charlotte advocated starting with lessons about 20 minutes long.

How CM handled different school subjects
Charlotte believed that children could understand reading the Bible and did not need watered down children's Bible story books. She read to them from the Bible every day. She also assigned portions of the Bible to be copied, as dictation and for memorization.

Charlotte thought it was more important that children understand the concepts behind the math that they are doing than that they get the right answers. This quote is from "Home Education" (The Original Home Schooling Series, Vol. 1, Home Education; Part V, number XV, Arithmetic pg. 254).
"The practical value of arithmetic to persons in every class of life goes without remark. But the use of the study in practical life is the least of its uses. The chief value of arithmetic, like that of the higher mathematics, lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers, and in the habits of insight, readiness, accuracy, intellectual truthfulness it engenders."
For this I will again quote CM herself from The Original Home Schooling Series, Vol. 1, Home Education; Part V, number XIX--Grammar pg. 295 Grammar a Difficult Study...
"In the first place, grammar, being a study of words and not of things, is by no means attractive to the child, nor should he be hurried into it. English grammar, again, depending as it does on the position and logical connection of words, is peculiarly hard for him to grasp."
Thus Charlotte is all for waiting before teaching formal Grammar. We started Grammar study in 3rd grade.

Using living books in History is one of the first things we did when we changed from a packaged, text book type of homeschooling to a more living book, unit study, then later CM type of homeschooling. We study the lives and important events in history not through text books but through biography and historical fiction, living books, and primary source material.

We study geography in relation to and along with the History we are doing. We do maps, as we go along in our studies, of the people and places of History and not as a separate study for the sake of memorization or just to improve map skills.

Nature Study 
Nature Study is an important part of CM homeschooling and it is a fun part. Our family doesn't get to explore nature daily but we do have a favorite place to explore and we get to go back time after time, in all seasons. During these trips we have gotten to know the plants in the area and recognize them by their leaves, flowers, needles, pods, nuts, or cones. We have collected bits and photographed things and looked them up in our nature books. The boys are not much for drawing but because we have gone back to the same place over and over they have become familiar with the nature there.

Read and recite poetry aloud frequently. You can read poems about nature, the seasons, holidays, and life events. Or you can focus on the poems of one poet for a few weeks, reading a biography about that poet sometime during those weeks. This is especially effective when combined with your History study or unit. Occasionally assign a poem for copywork, dictation or recitation.

Charlotte advocated the use of Shakespeare in all grade levels. When studying a Shakespeare play, you may want to first read together the narrative in a book like Tales from Shakespeare or Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare in order to get a good idea of the plot and characters.These books are especially good for introducing Shakespeare to younger children, but they are a great introduction for your older students, too. Also, many libraries have unabridged versions of the plays on CD that you can listen to. There are also other "fun" versions of Shakespeare just for kids... check out the link below for Shakespeare's Animated Tales in print.

One of the things we like to do is attend or host a Shakespeare in the Backyard day with other homeschoolers. This is a day where you buy multiple copies of one Shakespeare play and invite a bunch of friends over. Each student, and some parents if you need or if they want, takes parts in the play, some multiple parts if necessary and then you read the play together. This takes no practice it is only a reading. If possible, watch a video or live performance of the play you’re reading. We like Shakespeare's Animated Tales. See if you library has any copies. They also come in print, see Here. I hope your library carries one or the other, if not see if they will order them.

Picture Study 
We love our picture study. I usually go with the schedule on Ambleside. Besides the list of artists they have copies of the work of each artist that you can print out and use with your study. This year since we are studying the Renaissance I have chosen to go with all Renaissance artists this year. We started with Fra Angelico. If the pictures on Ambleside are to my liking I use them, if not I use the images at Wikipedia. For each artist at Wikipedia they have a Gallery down near the bottom of each page. From there you can choose those paintings, sculptures, etc. that you would like to have you children view and discover and compare. Check out this link to see what I mean: Fra Angelico Gallery

Have children look at the picture until they can see it clearly in their minds’ eye. When all children are ready, turn the picture over or close the book and ask them to describe the picture. When their narration is finished, display the picture again and notice together any new aspects. Summarize any accompanying information if desired, but be careful not to interfere with each child’s forming his own relationship with the artist’s work. This study is not a lesson in art criticism. Display the picture in a prominent location in your home so children can look at it throughout the week. We put them on the wall in our dining room where we do most of school. I have them posted on the wall in plastic sleeves. The plastic sleeves just stay on the wall and I can change the pictures as needed.

Continue to study works by the same artist for several weeks until the children become familiar with that artist’s style. If possible, read a short biography about that artist sometime during your study of his or her work. I have found several old texts about artists at archive.org that are very good. The one we are using now is Knights of Art. We have only read a few of the first chapters but we are enjoying the book. Sometimes older books are better when studying History, even Art History.

Music Study 
Music appreciation is done in much the same way as art appreciation. Simply listen to the music of one composer at various times throughout the week. Be sure to begin the CD or tape at different songs to make sure the children have a chance to hear more than just the first selection. Continue to listen to pieces by the same composer for several weeks until your students become familiar with that composer’s style. If possible, read or listen to a short biography about that composer sometime during your study of his or her work. We like the book Gift of Music: Great Composers & Their Influence for this.

We are currently reviewing and enjoying Bright Ideas Press new program A Young Scholars Guide to the Composers, it is one of our TOS Homeschool Crew things we got to review. The boys are looking forward to using this all year. They asked that this be one of the review items we continue using. My son Nathan is especially anxious to get to study John Williams. He is the last composer in the study! I hope his enthusiasm continues all year. We have only done the first section which is on Ancient to Middle Ages music but we like it already. I will be doing a thorough review of this product some time late next month. Watch for it.

Hymn Study  
We do Hymn Study as a family practicing hymns for special music at church or singing when we minister at the nursing home. If you do not participate in music in this way make sure to teach your children the old hymns anyway. Choose a hymn and print out the words and music for your children, or use hymnals if you have enough for everyone. Sing the hymn over and over, use a cd if you don't have much musical talent. There are a lot of hymn collection cd's out there. Children may also use the lyrics of the hymn for copywork, dictation, or recitation and studying the History of the Hymn is also good.

Now that you have been introduced to CM and to the basics of her methods here are some websites and books to further your study.

Some of my favorite Charlotte Mason Homeschooling sites: 
Simply Charlotte Mason  Make sure you join The Inside SCM E-mail List down near the bottom of the page. Great CM tips right in your inbox!

Ambleside Online (Ambleside has a complete CM curriculum for free all online. I do not use this but you are welcome to check it out. I use the artist and composer studies most years, this year we are using the BIP book for composers and I have used a few of the recommended readings in our school but not the whole thing.)  

*New Note: I checked into Ambleside online in more detail due to a reader comment. I had checked Ambleside out a couple years ago, but I do not use Ambleside's complete curriculum so I have not checked it out lately. Not all the books suggested in the Ambleside online curriculum can be found online. Some of the resources can be found online for free. Others can be found as used copies. In some of the areas of study you have choices and so you can choose the free online resources instead of spending money, if need be.

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
Charlotte Mason Research and Supply Company
A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling: Charlotte Mason Method
Living Books Curriculum
Homeschool World: Karen Andreola Articles
A Charlotte Mason Education

The Original Books by Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason Original HomeSchooling Series

If you can't afford to buy the books you can get downloads of all the books at Ambleside for free. You have to download the books piece by piece or chapter by chapter but it is all there.

There is also a new site, I just found, where you can find each of the first four books of the CM series  piece by piece. She is working her way through the books with just a small section each day. A great site to bookmark and read each day, or add to your Google reader, so you can take the books bit by bit. Here is the link: A Full Life: The Works of Charlotte Mason. You could start at the beginning and read a portion or two a day or you could just jump in at the book she is on for that day. Or you could do what I hope to do and that is read the portion for each day as it comes and also go back and read at least one old portion, from the beginning until you catch up.

Books about Charlotte Mason Homeschooling  
Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola  
Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
For the Family’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

There is also a list of books at The Charlotte Mason Store at Amazon. I have not read all of them but wanted to include this list for those who would be interested in more books or used copies of the books I have listed.

I hope you have enjoyed this overview and the links for Charlotte Mason Homeschooling.

There you go Paulina, the post you have been waiting for.

Have a Great week,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Evening Prayer

I found this on a site of a friend and she got it from a relative. I am not sure of the original source. If any of my readers know where it comes from let me know.

Dear Lord,

Every single evening
I'm lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head

God bless all my family
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm and safe from harm
For they're so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don't mind me asking,
Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it's unusual
To Bless a motherboard,
But listen just a second
While I explain it to you, Lord

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my friends.

I know so much about them
By the kindness that they give,
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you.
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendships grew.

Please take an extra minute
From your duties up above,
To bless those in my address book
That's filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail inbox
And each person who hits 'send'.

When you update your Heavenly list
On your own Great CD-ROM,
Bless everyone who says this prayer
Sent up to GOD.Com

(author unknown) 

God Bless You All,

Carnival of Homeschooling

I submitted a post to the Carnival of Homeschooling again. I submitted my post about my favorite homeschool books. This week it is over at Apollos Academy. Check it out all the great posts about homeschooling HERE

You can also see when the next one will be by scanning down the right hand column. I keep the Carnival of Homeschooling widget there all the time. Join us next week by submitting your own post. The post has to be put on your blog and then submitted by 6:00 PM (PST) on the Monday evening. I will be submitting the post I am currently working on about Charlotte Mason Homeschooling for next week's carnival.

Monday, September 21, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew Review - Study Pod


Have your children ever had problems keeping a book open while trying to do their school??? The STUDYPOD can help!

It keeps the book at a great angle... alleviating neck pain and gives you more desk/table space for the notebook/page you are writing on.

Have you ever been cooking something and gone to get something in the fridge and come back to find the wind or fan has blown the pages of your cookbook to a different page and you have to search for it again. Or, maybe you left the book on the table next to you and then spilled something on it. The STUDYPOD can help with both of those problems. It also keeps the book at a good angle for reading.. even if you are standing next to the table or counter.

It is great for doing crafts... keeping your page open and your hands free to do the task at hand. In the same way it would be great for music lessons to keep your page secure and leave your hands free for playing.

It is also great for copying your own writing onto the computer. It keeps the book at a great angle and keeps the pages secure. As I said before it also saves desk space in case your space is limited.

The above are some of the ways we have used the STUDYPOD I am sure we will find more ways to use it in the years to come.

Here is what it looks like all folded up.

The first step in opening it is to pull the metal pivot prop rod out.

 Then you open the STUDYPOD up.
Here is a back view.


Here is a little video (no sound) that I did to show how it opens up.

 You slide the locking pin over and fold the shelves down.

There is a velcro pouch inside that you can use to carry pens, markers, or other small things like a calculator. Very convenient.

This is a side view with a Saxon math book on it.

  • Holds virtually any size book with thickness up to 2.25".
  • Size (closed) 6.75" x 9" x 1.33"
  • They also have the BOOKPOD. The BOOKPOD and STUDYPOD book holders are physically the same products but sold under different names and colors 
  • The STUDYPOD is available in Black, Blue, and Pink and the BOOKPOD is available in Black, Gray, and Beige. 
Here is a link to a video on the website and a pdf you can download. The video lets you see how the STUDYPOD works and the pdf gives you step by step instructions on how to open the study pod. It is easy to use and convenient to store and carry. When folded it is smaller than most of the books on our selves.

My boys like the STUDYPOD and I hope to be able to buy them each one.. actually I want to buy the pink one for me and then give one of them the black one we got for review.

They sell one unit for $19.95 and if you buy two or more you can purchase them at a discounted price of $16.95 each. Plus as a bonus for my readers they have provided a $5 off coupon. This discount is not off of each STUDYPOD but off your total order. Use the code TOSBLOGS5.  STUDYPOD has graciously made the wonderful discount available for about a year, so you have plenty of time to check it out and buy some for your family... maybe as Christmas gifts or even Birthday's. Buy some for extended family as well!! 

Check out the STUDYPOD website for more details and for purchase.

Out of 5 stars we give the STUDYPOD ...

Check out the TOS Homeschool Crew post about the STUDYPOD and read more reviews for different view points on this fine product.

I hope you enjoyed this review and that you check out the STUDYPOD,

The Simple Woman's Daybook~September 21, 2009

FOR TODAY... Monday, September 21, 2009

Outside my window... beautiful sunny , cool fall (well, it will be fall tomorrow) morning

I am thinking... about all the fun times I will have with my family this week. The time of relaxation. I like having my hubby home with me... wish he could be home always!! Hoping for a home business some day soon!

I am thankful for... A weeks vacation with my family. Only day trips on some days but relaxation and fun none the less.

I am wearing... my p.j.'s and bathrobe... it is vacation after all!

I am remembering... our last "real" vacation to Gettysburg, Antietam, Harper's Ferry and Lancaster

I am creating... nothing much. Maybe I will take some of my free time this week and work on some scrapbooking.

I am going... out to A.C. Moore, the dollar store, and to the supply shop with hubby and daughter... to get a part for our oven... it stopped working... hope hubby can fix it... we have been cooking in the crock pot and on the stove onely... not sure if the other will go with us or not.  The plans for the rest of the week are up in the air except a trip at least one day to Winterthur for a house tour and to walk the gardens and a trip Friday with church friends to Shady Maple for an early dinner.

I am reading... Home Educating with Confidence by Rich and Marilyn Boyer. Doing the post last week on my favorite homeschooling books brought up the fact that I had not read some of them for quite a while so I started one!

I am hoping... to have a great week with my hubby and kids. Watching movies, eating lots of treats, doing some special things together, playing some board games, eating out.

On my mind... vacation and two posts for the TOS Homeschool Crew one due on Wed. that I am almost done and one due Friday.

From the learning rooms... nothing this week... Vacation

Noticing that... the leaves are starting to change colors

From the kitchen... nothing much unless we get the oven fixed!!

Around the house... some cleaning to do and I still have stuff to find new homes for that I took off the dining room shelves so that we could do the workboxes

One of my favorite things~ Days at home with the family... especially with hubby home, just the comfort of having him on his laptop in the room with me.

A few plans for the rest of the week: hanging out with the family, board games, trip to Winterthur, fun and eating.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

(photo taken at Winterthur, by my daughter Jessica, last week)

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my world... my week ahead.
Join us at Simple Woman's Daybook to do a daybook of your own and read a lot of others.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Offer - Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Red Heart Yarn

I just got the Free Offer in my blog's e-mail: Get Ready for Autumn: Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Red Heart Yarn
Create a cozy garment or decorative home accent for autumn with this downloadable collection of 9 free crochet patterns and 10 free knitting patterns. Find the perfect homemade gift for any occasion and have fun creating with these free patterns. You can even help save the Earth with a range of patterns featuring eco-friendly yarns. Crochet and afghan, knit a stylish sweater or create a warm hat for the cooler months with this free eBook. Red Heart offers the best knitting and crochet patterns you'll love this Autumn. In this eBook you'll find:
  • 39 Pages of Easy Free Knitting Patterns and Free Crochet Patterns 
  • Crochet Afghan and Purse Patterns
  • Knit Poncho and Sock Monkey Patterns
  • Eco-Friendly Scarf and Hat Patterns
  • And many more!
You can get this eBook free at:

There is no obligation to buy anything or even sign up for anything.. It is totally Free! I downloaded it and some of the projects look great... some are really cute... especially the baby stuff Smoking Smileys

I don't know if any of my readers do crochet or knitting but I know my daughters do. Download away Rachel and make me something cute for Christmas... LOL


Favorite How to Homeschool Books

This is Part two in my series on how to start homeschooling. In this list I will be putting my favorite books to read about homeschooling, except I will not be including the Charlotte Mason books. I will leave those for my next post which will be about all things Charlotte Mason. Sorry Paulina... you will have to wait for sometime later I don't know when. We have vacation next week so I don't know if I will get it done. I will try!

Each book is linked to one place where you can purchase it... see it. You should of course see if your library has any of these first. Read it for free and see if you think it is worth investing in a copy for yourself. Most of these I have read numerous times and have had my children read as part of their Educational Foundations course for High School. A how-to-homeschool course I make them take so they will understand homeschooling better and will be prepared ahead to homeschool their kids. You can of course look where you usually buy homeschool supplies and might find them there. You can also look for used copies on Amazon or on eBay/Half.com

Also, these are in no particular order... I could not pick a favorite from amoung them... they are all great, they each have particular things that make them special and unique. They are all favorites...so... here they are.

These are specifically about Homeschooling

A Survivor's Guide to Home Schooling by Luanne Shackelford and Susan White. Love this book!! Great chapter titles (check them out at Rainbow). Great wit and insight into many areas of homeschooling and areas of our homes that homeschooling affects.

Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling - Diana Waring. One of the first books about homeschooling that I read. I have loved Diana and her resources since my girls were quite young... I think Rachel was in 2nd or 3rd grade when we went to a homeschooling night featuring Diana and her kids!! We bought everything she had with her and continued to buy her resources over the years. I have all her books and cd's except the new revisions of her History guides. This book will enrich your life and lighten your homeschool load.

Things We Wish We'd Known: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling Compiled and Edited by Bill and Diana Waring. Ever wish you could ask veteran homeschoolers how they do/did it? This book has chapters by 50 homeschool veterans and not just veterans but "big names" in homeschooling. It is a big encouragement to new and old homeschoolers alike.

Child Training and the Home School : A Legacy of Grace - Jeff and Marge Barth. This is an oldie but a goodie. Mostly about child raising. They also wrote Old-Fashioned Courtship & How It Works Today.

Gaining Confidence to Teach: Forty-Two Confidence-Builders to Encourage Christian Homeschoolers - Debbie Strayer. This book will do what it says. Give you more confidence to teach your children at home. Whether you are considering homeschooling or already homeschooling your children, this book will help you feel that you can do it too!

Home Educating with Confidence - Rich and Marilyn Boyer. Check out the chapter titles on Amazon by clicking look inside this book - a link just under the picture of the book on the upper left. How can you go wrong with titles like...  "Doing it God's Way" and "Making Learning Fun" ... those are just two of them... check it out.. another oldie but goodie.

Reaping the Harvest: The Bounty of Abundant-Life Homeschooling - Diana Waring. This is Diana's book about homeschooling in High School. High School is the time to keep them home and enjoy all the years of work you put into them... not send them off to public school because you are afraid they won't get into college. Wow! This book will get you thinking and if you get your High Schooler to read this book it will get him thinking. An especially good chapter for teens (and parents) is "Yagottahavagottawanna!" it is all about getting your teen to motivate themselves. There are a lot of great chapters/topics in this book.

Schoolproof: How to Help Your Family Beat the System and Learn to Love Learning - The Easy, Natural Way by Mary Pride. The title almost says it all. Some of the topics include: "20 ways to present a lesson" and "20 ways for your student to show what he knows." One of my favorite chapters is about recognizing and dumping educational clutter.

The Simplicity of Homeschooling: Discover the Freedom of Learning through Living by Vicky Goodchild. This book is especially good for new homeschoolers as it covers such basics as the history of homeschool methods; goals, priorities, and schedules; choosing resources; record keeping; and covers preschool to high school. Great book with great resources and even printables for you to use in your homeschool.

The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A Creative and Stress-Free Approach to Homeschooling by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore. The Moores have been around for a long time and have several books they have written. This book is one of the newer ones they wrote. Their first book "Better Late Than Early" was written in 1975.... I was still in high school.  This one was written in 1994. You can see all the chapter titles at this link at Amazon by clicking look inside this book - a link just under the picture of the book on the upper left. This book also has a lot of the basics and is great for new homeschoolers and those who would like a stress free approach. There is also a section written by homeschoolers where they share their wisdom, it's great.
Other books by the Moores:
   and more at Amazon... click here

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 by Linda Dobson. What can I say that the title does not say.... hmmmm... some of these would be great in workboxes!! There are activites that cover all the subjects and more. That about sums this book up.

Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell (there is also a Study Guide to go with this). At the link above you will find a great review of this book and you can look at the table of contents. We love all the resources the Maxwell's have. They are a great homeschool family and an inspiration to our family. Some more of their resources are listed below.

Homeschool Dad books 
(I have not bought a book just for homeschool dads for my husband for a long while. We did buy the books from the Maxwell's (see below) but we read those together.. they are not just for Dad's)

How a Man Prepares his Daughters for Life by Michael Farris (CBD has What a Daughter Needs from Her Dad How a Man Prepares His Daughter for Life this may be a new version... it does not say... but the first link to the book is the one I own, you can get it from Amazon).

The Homeschooling Father by Michael P. Farris

How to Be a Good Dad by Stephen A. Bly

Well that about does it for this installation of How to Homeschool... the Basics! I hope this helps many of my readers out and I hope you enjoy some good books this fall... get to your library or buy one.. and read something to encourage you as you start or continue your homeschool journey!!



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