Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beginning Reading

This is little Miss A.  

She is four almost five, and she wants to learn how to read.

I have been reading a lot to her out loud and she has been MEMORIZING the books I have read!

I was astounded at her recall of words such as "unusual" and "concentrate."  She does have a pretty good vocabulary. :)

We have also been listening to audio books.  One of her favorites is "The Chronicles of Narnia."

I have tried working on vowel and consonant sounds with her, but she doesn't quite get it yet.  

She can't seem to figure out how the sounds go together to form words.  Yet she can remember almost an entire book verbatim!

My kids will never cease to amaze me!

Family Zoo Trip

L-R from the top: Papa, Mr. I, Miss A & Mr. J

Our family portrait in snake vision!

My three greatest reasons for homeschooling!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012


Organization is not one of my strong qualities. (My husband will readily attest to that!)  And so I have struggled with trying to find a method to keep all the wonderful links organized that I have found in my blog travels.  Most of these have been road-tested by our family, although some I have simply marked down for future reference.

One Stop Shopping:
An Old Fashioned Education --- complete website dedicated to free lesson plans and materials for home education.
1+1+1=1 --- free printables for a variety of subjects
Confessions of a Homeschooler --- free printables
Homeschool Creations --- free printables
Lesson Pathways -- free unit studies
Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop -- TONS of free downloads on all different subjects
Budget Homeschool

Calvary Curriculum -- free Bible studies for kids (haven't checked this one out extensively yet)

Living Math Booklist
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching --- games and puzzles
Johnnie's Math Page
Math Playground
Lego Math Games
Wild About Teaching: Math Printables
Math Journals: Runde's Room
Bringing Meaning to Flash Cards with Manipulatives
Living Math Pinterest Board
Kidscount 1234
Pig Out

Free online guitar lessons

Worksheet Works

The Happy Scientist
All About Birds
The Open Book Project: Electric Circuits
My Science Box
Cell Pizza!
Cloud Charts

Christian Unschooling
Unschooling Lifestyle: Directory of Articles

Unit Studies: Tips and Tricks for Notebooking
Jeanne Fullbright on Notebooking
I Choose Joy: Notebooking
Pinterest Notebooking
Homeschool Share: Master Lapbooking List 
The Notebooking Fairy

Language Arts:
Sheppard Software
KISS Grammar Approach
Top 100 Children's Books
LibriVox -- free PDF copies of books online
Google Books
Project Gutenberg
Books Should Be Free
Vocabulary Spelling City
Language Arts from Crafty Classroom
Phonics Wordblocks from Confessions of A Homeschooler

Country Flags Printables: Homeschool Creations

Games For Learning
Deceptively Educational
Ten Word Games For Kids
Vocab on the Move
Kids Activities Blog:  Cool Math Games

Free History Lessons from Mom's Mustard Seeds
Civil War Curriculum
Have Fun With History: One Minute History
National Museum of American History: Online Exhibits
The Mariner's Museum
American Revolutionary War Unit Study
American Revolution: Dynamic 2 Moms
History & Government: Hippocampus
Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers: American History
The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project
Ben's Guide to American Symbols

Freely Educate -- a treasure trove!
Khan Academy --- Online lessons with video tutoring
Homeschool Radio Shows
Are We There Yet?
Homemaking 911
Making Learning Fun

Printables Pages:
Donna Young
Mr. Printables
Crafty Classroom --- lots of free printables here as well

Canon Creative Park: 3D Sun Printable
Canon Creative Park: Solar System Mobile 
Canon Creative Park: Sundial Printable
Canon Creative Park: Planisphere
US State Map Printables

Unit Studies/ Lapbooking:
LEGOS Lapbook & Unit Study by Walking By the Way

Creative Schoolroom Organization & Decor:
Magnetic Map Puzzle
Awesome Book Organization!
Budget Art Display
Colorful Crayon Organization -- scroll down to the last photo of the post

Revolutionary War Ideas: Teaching in Room 6
Revolutionary War Four Part Unit: Living Life Intentionally

Creatively Educate!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Duck, duck, duck...

 When we first brought them home....

 And now a month later!

Ducks grow so fast!  We are having so much fun learning as we go.  The ducks are the kids' responsibility and they are loving it.  Every morning they wake up and go say hi to the girls. :)  We bought the ducks in hopes that we had some females and would get eggs.  At least one will be a girl so far, the others are kind of hard to tell yet.  
I have fallen for the ducks too.  In the morning when I get my husband's coffee ready, they start talking to me begging me to let them out of their duck run.  (We converted a dog run into a run for the ducks so when we aren't home they are still safe but are able to forage in the grass.)  And then they happily chirp their way around the entire yard as they busily scrounge for bugs.  I love having my land (less than a quarter of an acre) be productive!

We are novice urban homesteaders, but we are enjoying the journey!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


As we start off a new year in our educational journey, I have chosen FOCUS as my goal for the year.

FOCUS on who God wants my children to become
FOCUS on what is important to teach them
FOCUS on being intentional in what I do as their mother and teacher
FOCUS on our family more
FOCUS on spending quality time teaching
FOCUS on having fun
FOCUS on meeting challenges and overcoming struggles
FOCUS on their strengths and not their weaknesses
FOCUS on diligence and excellence (for me and them!)
FOCUS on loving 
FOCUS on saying yes more
FOCUS on staying organized
FOCUS on what resources I have and using them
FOCUS on homesteading purposefully
FOCUS on serving joyfully
FOCUS on my home management skills
FOCUS on cultivating life-long learners

Right now as my FOCUS, I am planning out our year!

What are you FOCUSing on this year?